Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The famous Elephanta Caves

The famous Elephanta Caves
The famous Elephanta Caves
The famous Elephanta Caves
A very fine example of early rock cut architecture, Elephanta Caves are designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Located 10 km from the Gateway Of India at Mumbai, the cave temple of Elephanta is one of the most popular destination for tourists on visit to Mumbai. Though Elephanta Caves are not as popular as Ajanta and Ellora, yet the caves are quite appealing in their architectural beauty.

One-and-half hour boat ride (almost 10 km) from the Gateway Of India, Mumbai, takes you to a world of rocks carved out beautifully thousands years before, and today known for its architectural excellence. Excavated by Rashtrakuta kings during 8th century (AD 757-973), the cave temple of Elephanta is dedicated to lord Shiva, and somewhat can be assumed today as perfect spiritual retreat for travellers. The whole temple complex including chambers, courtyard and shrines covers total area of 60,000 sq feet, and boasts of its magnificence.

The main attraction to liven your cheer are definitely sculptures of lord Shiva in different forms. Trimurti, the popular sculpture of the cave temple shows three faces of lord Shiva similar to trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha. Several other famous sculptures are Shiva as Natraja, Andhakasuravadhamurti Shiva, Shiva Linga, Maheshwara, Parvati in attitude of Mana and Shiva as Lakulisa. Watching these sculpture in their wonderful natural setting are tourist's great delight as well as fine spiritual retreat.

India Gate- The rich heritage of India

India Gate- The rich heritage of India
Lotus Temple
Amar Jawan Jyoti
One of the most important monuments of the historical city of Delhi, the India Gate is also one among the most visited destinations. Built as memorial commemorating 80,000 Indian soldiers, who were killed during the first World War, the historical edifice of India Gate is located exactly opposite to the President House.

42 meters high arch of the magnificence building, designed by famous architect Edwin Lutyen, India Gate, for tourists, is a wonderful two-in-one experience. On the hand, the location of New Delhi gives you feel of contemporary Delhi, on the other, the historical significance lets one peep into the importance of contribution of Indian soldiers in the world war I.

Being one of the most favourite picnic spots of Delhi, the India Gate has very large lush lawns, where tourists as well as local visitors can be seen in heaps. For children, local vendors selling ice-creams, aerated drinks, and balloons, are best to be glued to. Children park and boat club are the two spots close to the gate, which are mostly flocked by picnickers. Visiting the India Gate comes to its full circle in the evening, when the special lighting makes the monument appear very illuminating.

Feel the patriotic zeal : Feeling deep the patriotic zeal becomes natural when you see the names of 70,000 Indian soldiers inscribed on the magnificent Gate, and the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the eternal flame, which was built in the memory of a soldier, who sacrificed his life for the nation.

Eating out : After the patriotic feat is over, rush to any of dozens of local vendors selling ice-creams, Golguppas, Papad, and other junkies. Gulping few of Golguppas and ice-creams will be best solution to your celebratory mood.

See the wonderful illumination : The best joy of visiting India Gate, you can draw in the evening. Sit on the flat bench or lie in the lush lawn, and see the wonderful lighting illuminating the historical monument.

Enjoy boating : Paying a nominal charge at nearby Boating Club lets you acquire a pedal boat for a fixed duration. Enjoying boat ride here with your companions is great fun.


dussehra festival
dussehra festival
dussehra festival
Dussehra is celebration of triumph of good over evil. One of the main festivals of Hindus, Dussehra is celebrated all over the country with different names. The festivals better known with names like Durga Puja, Vijayadashmi, Mohani Nakha and Navratra is an annual festival occurring in the month of October every year. Dussehra is one of the most celebrated festivals in not only India, but also in neighboring Nepal.

The very purpose and significance of Dussehra, according to mythologies, is to take one’s ten sins away. This is what its name Dussehra literally suggests. The 10-days running auspicious festival drives its deeper significance from the fact that the 10 days symbolise the battle between god Rama and demon king Ravana, which continued for 10 days until Ravana was killed on 10th day, which is called Vijayadashami. On the other hand, the legends also relate it to other mythological occurrence in which Durga, the goddess of power kills the demon Mahishasura.

Celebrated in every region of the country with different names and different styles, the essence of Dussehra remains the same – a panorama of rich cultural heritage of the country, and building one’s spiritual connection with divinity. In eastern part of the country (especially in West Bengal), Puja pandals with beautiful idols of goddess Durga are main attraction. In Gujrat, Garba and Dandiya dances are innate part of the festival, while in Mysore, 10-days royal Dasara include majestic procession and dance & music programme.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The famous City Palace

City Palace look of Inside
City Palace
The famous City Palace is an intricate labyrinth of inner patios, courtyards and balconies in granite and marbles, connected by interspersed passageways and flight of stairs. Enter from a mammoth courtyard (Badi Pol) where you can park your car, through an prodigious gate (Tripolia Gate) embellished by eight carved marble arches, into the building that cater a tour across centuries. This is because the mansions have been added to by succedents of the royal clan in a process that continued into the 20th century, and have been integrated much later but still retain an symmetry of design. Under the connected arches between the two, the Mewar kings were weighed with gold and silver, which would then be bestowed to the indigent.

Enjoy the famous City Palace Attractions while crossing the Tripolia Gate, you enter a courtyard where elephant fights were staged until 1951, the year Mewar joined independent India. The oblong depressions on the western side of the courtyard were used to park pachyderms. Although the 20 elephant stables remain untouched, they are unoccupied today.

Most alcoves will astonish, as much for their craftsmanship as for the vista, but in particular look out for the Mor Chawk, the peacock square which gains its name from the vivid blue mosaic, composed of thousands of tiny colored-glass carrying images of a peacock that decorates its walls. Looks as if a divine gift, these decors really makes one feel to kiss those blessed hands responsible for such marvellous craftsmanship. There are rooms with mirrored walls, ivory doors, colored glass windows, and carved and inlaid marble balconies. However, the piece de resistance must be the tiny room (Kanch ki Burj) in which every inch of space, even the ceiling, is enveloped with brightly colored, minikin paintings of festivals, flowers, jungle scapes and dancing damsels.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lalgarh Palace - A Heritage destination.

Lalgarh Palace
The famous Lalgarh Palace (named after maharajah Lall Singh, who spelt his name with two lls), on one hand served to portray Ganga Singh's endeavor to make Bikaner prudentially more liberated while on the other, it also served as a link with the continuing tradition of the past.

A huge but compact palace, Lalgarh Palace is built entirely of red sandstone embellished with magnificent filigree work and is an integrated example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Its facade is almost entirely composed of the pierced stone screens called jaalis. A well known feature of Rajasthani architecture, the jaalis keep most of the sun out even as they let in the most trivial whiff of breeze.

The famous palace attractions of BIkaner lies in the main building that consists of the personal dwelling pads of several branches of the royal family, some of which are recently renovated while others still retain their past grandeur. Take for example the alcove where the Rajmata or Queen Mother resides, a section that has never being photographed because of the numerous shikar (hunting) trophies and old snapshots that embrace its walls. Walk over to the balcony to see the sprawling terraced lawns with blooming bougainvillea and peacocks dancing with tails fanned out, which make this palace a not-to-be missed visual retreat.

Go through the Lalgarh palace museum in Rajasthan. The fort museum, located inside the Ganga Niwas, holds an unique omnibus of miniature paintings of Bikaner school, manuscripts, terracotta wares, armors, armaments and even a world war I bi-plane. The eye catching and soul soothing library of the Lalgarh palace is supposed to have the largest collection of original Sanskrit manuscripts on parchments, copper and gold or silver plaques.

The exhibits are splendid masterpieces of Harappan civilization, Gupta and Kushan era, and sculptures of late classical time. A must see corner is the separate section displaying exclusive arts and crafts of the region. The museum is opened from 10 am to 4.30 pm and is closed on Fridays.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The language of India

India is a multilingual country. It has been said that India is a living Tower of Babel! There are fifteen national languages recognized by the Indian constitution and these are spoken in over 1600 dialects. Add to this a population of over 900 million today, and the remark would seem to be true.
language of India
India's official language is Hindi in the Devnagri script. However, English continues to be the official working language. For many educated Indian people, English is virtually their first language, and for a great number of Indian people who are multi-lingual, it will probably be the second.

Some Indian languages have evolved from the Indo-European group of languages. This set is known as the Indic group of languages. The other set of languages are Dravidian and are native to South India, though a distinct influence of Sanskrit and Hindi is evident in these languages. Most of the Indian languages have their own script and are spoken in the respective states along with English.

The country has a wide variety of local languages and in many cases the State boundaries have been drawn on linguistic lines. Besides Hindi and English, the other popular languages are Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Oriya, Telugu and Urdu.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jaigarh fort

Chiefly constructed for defense purposes, the Jaigarh Fort is a huge moated castle containing all the gadgets of a full-fledged citadel. One of the exigent charms of this majestic fort is the world's largest cannon on wheels, the Jaivan. It has a 20-foot-long barrel, its wheels are 9 feet in diameter and it took 100 kg of gunpowder to fire a single shot. Parables say that the cannon was used only once and the shell fell some 35 km away on a village! But that's quite dubious, since a deeper scrutiny of the cannon actually debunked that it had been fired at least a couple of times.
Jaigarh Fort
The historical Jaigarh fort palace in Jaipur also has a magnificent water channel management system for harvesting rain water. One of those reservoirs measures 158 feet by 138 feet and is 40 feet deep, and can hold 60,00,000 gallons of water; an artificial oasis made to satiate the thirst for water and eternal glory simultaneously.
Because it is considered as one of the most well fortified structures in India, because this fort was never being captured, because it has myriads of motifs and bastions, you get a real feeling of its glorified days. The armory displays numerous majestic swords, adamant shields, unforgivable guns, impenetrable muskets and even a 50 kg cannon ball; think about the strength the robust maharajahs used to have! The Museum in the fort presents a large array of photographs of the Maharajahs, royalty, buildings and processions and even a circular pack of cards besides many other antiques of the past.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mehrangarh fort – The rich heritage of India

Nestling within the depths of the Thar, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the nihility of the desert. Flanked on the western side by the Mehrangarh Fort and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone palace of Umaid Bhawan, its monuments, temples and gardens depict a multi-faceted grandeur. But the gravity that pulls everyone to Jodhpur, is its vicinity to a desert landscape, almost as barren as the moon. This makes the medieval fort seem more magical, a larger than life version of an idealized illustration in a child's book. The Mehrangarh Fort, which looks as if it grew organically out of the low hill on which it is built, surely puts everything else in the city, completely in shade.

Mahrangarh fort

Den of The Chivalrous Rajputs

Before you buy your ticket and enter the fort, walk to the edge of the parking lot for the first of the many panoramic vistas it affords. The view one gets from this spot probably does not have a parallel anywhere in the world, as it is one of the largest fort structure in the world. It is as if the entire Old City, with its alleyways, courtyards and terraces, lies open to your gaze, as in one of those miniature paintings of cityscapes. It is not just what you see that gives the view its intimacy, but the way it blends with the sounds rising up from the houses and streets. It is fun to hear individual voices from the vantage point and trace down where they come from.

You have to bestow an entry fee to pierce the grim, once nearly impenetrable walls, which conceal magnificent palaces spanning five centuries of Rajput glory. Get an entrance ticket from the main portico at Jaipol, built by Maharajah Man Singh. Don't forget to climb the summit (Lohapol) through the steep zigzag ascent, where there are hand prints of Raja Mansingh's widows, who committed "Sati" (traditional Hindu practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre happily, no longer a custom) rather than suffer at enemy's hands. The images of the hands of Hindu widows of the Rajput reverberates the devotion of these women and the high status of the men for whom the women committed Sati.

Inside the fort, behind the lotus-patterned, lacework sandstone facade, are many places to be explored. In order to create the original fort, legend has it that, a hermit was evicted from his abode. During the eviction he lay a curse upon any future building on the hill. He stated that any building on the hill would have severe problems annexing water. To avoid the consequences of this curse, a man volunteered to be buried alive in the foundations of the fort.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]