Posts Tagged india

Shri Mahavirji Temple – Chandanpur, Rajasthan

Location of Shri Mahavirji Temple

Shri Mahavirji Temple is a Jain temple devoted to the 24th Jain Tirthankar. This Digember Jain pilgrimage centre is 90 Kms by rail from Sawai Madhopur on the Delhi-Mumbai Broad gauge route. The main temple is in side in inclosure known as katla.

The town of Sri Mahavirji is one the most popular Jain pilgrimages in India for here is one of the holiest Jain temples in Rajasthan. The Shri Mahavirji temple on the banks of the river Gambhir was built in white marble in honor of Mahavira, the 24th Jain saint. The temple has a nice legend attached to it.

Legend of Shri Mahavirji Temple

The legend behind the construction of this temple is rather quaint; it is believed that a local milkman observed that his cow, after a long day’s grazing, would return in the evening with her udders empty. Obviously puzzled, the man followed the cow, and discovered that the creature would stand atop a nearby hillock and allow all her milk to flow away on it.

Shri Mahavir Ji Temple, Chandanpur, Rajasthan - A Famous Jain Pilgrimage

Shri Mahavir Ji Temple, Chandanpur, Rajasthan - A Famous Jain Pilgrimage

Architecture of Temple

Shri Mahavirji Temple is an amalgamation of ancient and modern Jain architecture – quite contemporary in design, unlike the ancient Jain temples which were highly ornamented and richly carved.

It is a complex of smaller temples with the main temple having idols of Jain saints, placed within delicately carved pillared niches.

The temple is a vast complex constructed with white sandstone, and has cupolas of red sandstone along with the chhatris & spires visible from all around.

A huge statue of Shantinath, one of the Jain ford makers, stands as high as 32 feet and there is a tower where the footsteps of Mahavira have been consecrated. The main Chattries are visiable from a distance and are built of red sandstone. The walls of the temple are illustrated with carvings of religious scenes.

A man stambh (Tower) Made of marble is installed in front of the main temple. Devotees pay specail homage at this point their Chattri is also erected bearing the footprints of Shri Mahavirji.

An annual fair is also held here which attracts Minas, Gujars Jains, and people of other communities in large numbers. The fair last for the five days and ends with a colorful Rath yatra.

It is a spendid sight to view the temple at night when lights illuminate the entire complex.

Best Time to Visit

The period between Chaitra (March-April) and Vaishakh (April-May) is when the Sri Mahavirji annual fair is held. It’s an occasion for great rejoicing, and definitely the best time to visit the shrine.

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Terror Strikes Mumbai, India | Terrorists Open Fire And Throws Handgrades

Mumbai is South Asia’s financial hub and an entertainment capital, with many of the glitzy targets symbolizes the new cosmopolitan face of the world’s largest democracy.

Ten simultaneous terrorist attacks on 26 November 2008 occurred across Mumbai.

All attacks took place in South Mumbai, at the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station; two five-star hotels: the Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point, and Taj Mahal Palace and Tower near the Gateway of India; the Leopold Cafe a popular tourist restaurant in Colaba; the Cama Hospital and the police headquarters where at least three high-level officers, including chief of the Anti Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra, were killed in an encounter with the terrorists.

At least 101 people people have been reported to be killed and 314 plus wounded in the attacks. Among the dead are 81 Indian civilians, 14 policemen and six foreigners, including one Japanese man, one Australian, one Briton, one Italian, and one German residing in these five star hotels.

A previously unknown group calling itself Deccan Mujahedin said it carried out the attack, though experts warned that the claim might be false. Mumbai and other Indian cities have suffered a spate of terrorist attacks in recent years, most of which the Indian government has blamed on Muslim extremists.

Previous terrorist attacks have mostly involved bombs left in public spaces such as markets and parks, causing indiscriminate casualties.

In sharp contrast, Wednesday’s attacks were a brazen, frontal assault using automatic weapons. The targets included police headquarters in south Mumbai, where some officers were pinned down by gunfire.

The victims included Mumbai’s anti-terrorism chief, Hemant Karkare, and two of his senior police officers, which complicated the law enforcement response to the attacks. Television video showed Karkare donning a flak jacket and helmet minutes before heading into one of the hotels.

A number of European Parliament Committee on International Trade delegates were staying in the Taj Mahal hotel when it was attacked. British Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim (who was in the lobby when gunmen initially opened fire there) and German Social Democrat MEP, Erika Mann were last heard of hiding in different parts of the building. Also reported present was Spanish MEP Ignasi Guardans, who was barricaded in a hotel room.

Another British Conservative MEP, Syed Kamall, reports that he along with several other MEPs left the hotel and went to a nearby restaurant shortly before the attack. Kamill also reported that Polish MEP, Jan Masiel, was thought to have been sleeping in his hotel room when the attacks occurred and has not been heard from since Kamil and Guardans reported that a Hungarian MEP’s assistant has been shot.

Also caught up in the shooting were the President of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, while checking-in at the Oberoi Trident and Indian MP N. N. Krishnadas of Kerala, while having dinner at a restaurant in the Taj hotel.

These strikes seems too horrifying. As a common man we feel too terrified when we hear how the security wall is breached and the terrorists open fires.

We as the citizens of India unite and pledge to take action against the terrorists who needs to be punished for this terror strike on humanity. My personal view is to not point fingers on politics or on any particular cast for these attacks as this is the time to speak and act together as the people of Indian state.

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The Bundi Palace and Chitrashala | Bundi, Rajasthan

Bundi Palace, Rajasthan

Bundi Palace, Rajasthan

‘Picturesque, enchanting and magnificent.’ These would be just some superlatives that compliment the lingering medieval flavour that Bundi in Hadoti region holds.

The entrancing land of Palaces, stunning stepwalls or baoris and miniature paintings seems frozen in time. Bundi, also claims a take on the foundations of an authentic school of miniature painting.

An of beat destination ruled by the Hada Chauhans, Bundi is a rich repository on Indian art, culture and heritage and is frequented by domestic as well as international tourist.

It has magnificient medieval forts and palaces, miniature paintings, temples with intricately carved out idols and chattris, fabulous stepwalls and a picturesque lake.

The Bundi Palace

The Bundi Palace is situated adjacent to the Taragarh fort. This outstanding palace, built during the 16th and 17th centuries is a classic Rajasthani architecture. Only part of the palace is open to the public.

The quarried stone Bundi Palace is known for it’s traditional murals. Just one look at the monument will soak you with the royal opulence and splendour, an innate part of the lifestyle of the royals. Intricately engraved brackets, pillers, balconies, sculpted elephants and the extraordinary craftsmanship will catch your attention here.

The palace is entered through the Hathi Pole (Elephant Gate) into a small courtyard. You then come to the Ratan Daulat, the Diwan-i-am (Hall of Public Audience), where there is a marble throne. The highlight of this palace is the beautiful murals that carry the spectators back into the time of Bundi royalty.

Chitrashala

The silent, secret garden, with it’s elegant formal layout still visible through the tangle of wild-roses and weeds is the most enchanting place at the Bundi Palace. Showcasing the Bundi genre of miniature art, the walls and the ceiling are festooned with pictures out of the Ragmala and Raaslila-the story of Radha-Krishna.

Then there are hunting and court scenes, festivals, processions, animal and bird life that spring back images of all that was a part of the artist’s acuity then. The vibrant blue, green and turquoise on white with touches of terracotta yellow lend an arresting view.

The Bundi style of painting famous for its Rang Yojna infuses life in every bit and corner of Chitrashala. If you are an art connoisseur you could visit Bundi just for a glimpse of the miniature artwork that holds inspiration to people from world over.

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Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan – An Amazing Palace Hotel

About Jodhpur

Jodhpur, a gateway to the Thar desert towns, is the second largest city of Rajasthan and for almost five centuries it was the capital of Marwar. Historically too this region was important for being a part of major trade route caravans loaded with the most precious merchandise made their way here from the ports of Gujarat. This Blue City seems to have been put together for the benefit of the tourist.

Some of the very famous places of interest of Jodhpur are Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mandore, Mahamandir Temple, Jaswant Thada, Kailand Lake, Balsamand Lake, Gardens, Osian, Dhawa and Luni Fort.

About Umaid Bhawan Palace

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Umaid Bhawan Palace constructed with marble and pink sandstone is also known as the Chhittar Palace as it uses local Chittar sandstone.

Begun in 1929, it was designed by president of the British Royal Institute of Architects for Maharaja Umaid Singh and took 15 years to complete.

Probably the most surprising thing about this grandiose palace is that it was built so close to Independence, after which Maharajas and their grand extravagances were a thing of the past.

Umaid Bhawan was one of the last royal constructions in Rajasthan. The building stands as a grand palace and features gardens, palace halls, balconies, terraces and more. The palace is built in the sandstone and highlights the typical Rajputana style.

The complex is divided into three main segments – the heritage hotel, private residence and the museum. The whole palace complex has as many as 347 rooms. The palace stands grounded in an area of about 26 acres. Out of these 15 acres are occupied by palace lawns.

The heritage hotel is a popular venue for some of the most talked about weddings of film stars to business barons. It’s a magnificent structure that uses local stone and is representative of the Indo- Saracenic style of architecture.

Some sections are not open to the public, but one can still visit the palace to see the museum. To see the collection of old watches here is a sheer delight.

A Tip

If you really wish to spend a luxirious holiday, Umaid Bhawan Palace is the place. I have personally been there and frankly speaking I have never seen a more grandiose palace hotel than this one.

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City Palace Alwar

City Palace, Alwar, Rajasthan

City Palace, Alwar, Rajasthan

Alwar has a rich past that dates back to pre-historic times. The alwar fort better known as Bala Quila stands 304 meters above the city and was constructed before the rule of Mughal empire, making this the oldest existing structure in the city.

Alwar being one of the newer royal states in Rajputana, its rulers never seemed to tire of fort-building as they went on build dozons of them in their kingdom.

Bala Quila was occupied successively by khanzadas, Mughals, Pathans, and Jats. In 1775, Pratap Singh ousted the Jats from the fort. His Successor, Bakhtawar Singh added to the existing structure the rooms of the palace, and some fine gold leaf painting on the ceiling.

Below the fort, in the heart of the old city, is the magnificient City Palace. Five massive gates were once closed  and caged tigers let loose at night to keep intruders at bay. Alwar’s district government inhabits the rooms of the former armory library and treasury.

In the grand courtyards where girls once danced in the light of the full moon to  entertain the maharaja and his courtiers, crowds now seek succor in the offices, and courts of the district administration.

Alwar City Palace Attractions

The Palace is particularly noted for its darbar room decorated with a frieze of miniature paintings and an upper chambet of mirror set in gilt. Previously used on state occasions. City Palace has a government Museum with one of the finest collection of miniature paintings. Located closed by are Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri, Vinay Vilas Palace, Vijay Mandir Palace and Moti Dungri.

The armory section has weapons dating back to the days of Hazrat Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s son in law, and as renowned as the swords and armor of Muhammad Ghori. Akbar and Auranzab. The daggers, swords, shields and sabres on display are often richly ornamented and encrusted with jewels.

Art objects in jade, iviory and sandal wood are delicately filigreed, inlaid and enameled and a silver table with a trick impression of colored fishes floating in channels of water across it are other highlights of its collection.

Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carltonbrowne/2128736110/

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Deeg Palace – Bharatpur Rajasthan

Deeg Palace, Bharatpur, Rajasthan

Deeg Palace, Bharatpur, Rajasthan

Deeg is a palace that may force you to change your image of Rajasthen as an arid state with a perennial shortage of water.  It will also explain the term “land of contrasts” like nothing else will.

The road north of Bharatpur goes via Kumher to Deeg ( 34 km). Kumher was founded by Kumbi Jat of Sinsini and was at one time the second capital of Bharatput State.

Badansingh in 1722 built the palaces and many of the fortification which are now impressive ruins to the east of the road.

The important palaces here are Nand Bhawan, Gopal Bhawan, and Krishna Bhawan. The Palaces are still in very good condition and it is possible to see the kind of meticulous planning that has gone into their construction.

Deeg Palace Attractions

Deeg is justly known for its palaces and gardens begun by Badan Singh and laid out by Suraj Mal following the tradition brought to India by the early Mughals. The Palace pavilions and gardens are laid out with an excellent sense of balance.

The present area is probably only half what was originally planned with two complementary gardens to be linked by a broad terrace. However, what was built is exciting and well preserved, with the buildings forming a large rectangle enclosing the gardens and two large tanks at the eastern and western ends.

The largest and most impressive building, Gopal Bhawan, was built around 1763 and overlooks the Gopal Sagar (tank) to the west. It is flabked by two smaller pavilionswhich purport, in their curved roofs and pillers, to simulate  a large pleasure barge, and is fronted by an arch for a swing and two marble thrones with the gardens beyond.

On the northen side of the garden is a large audience hall known as Nand Bhawan. The focal point of the garden is the pillered summer pavilion with its ingeniouslydesigned waterworks overlooking Roopsagar to the east.

At the southwestern corner is Suraj Bhawan, completed by Jawahar Singh. Suraj Bhawan is built of white marble, decorated with a mosaic and inlay of semiprecious stones. Puran Mahal, at the southeastern corner, has a display of Rajput wall paintings, many influnced by the Mughal schools.

This palace is an attraction spot for each and every tourist who visits Rajasthan. Bharatpur Bird Sanctury makes Bharatpur well known all over the world but Deeg Palace makes it well known into the hearts of tourists who visit it even once.

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The Fort of Jaisalmer – Sonar (Golden Fort)

Jaisalmer Fort - Sonar, The Golden Fort

Jaisalmer Fort - Sonar, The Golden Fort

Jaisalmer, the desert city in north-western part of Rajasthan, is the capital of proud Bhati Rajpoots who maintain a glorious record of unsurpassed gallantry. The fort was erected in 1155 A.D. by Rawal Jaisal and was named after its founder.

Architecture and Location

The fort of the desert is erected on an almost insulated peak, 250 feet in height. A strong embattled wall runs round the summit of the hill. The height of the hill from see level is 959 feet. The base of the hill is surrounded by wall of massive solid stones upon which the hill projects and supports the rampart. This forms a double line of defense.

Attractions and Monuments of the Jaisalmer Fort

A serpentine narrow ascent leads to the fort along where four gates are thrown named Akhyapol, Surajpol, Ganeshpol and Hawapol. Crossing these gates one reaches a spacious enclosure within the fort. There are  splendid palaces Rana Mahal, Gaj Vilas, and Moti Mahal inside the fort, whose faces are relieved by balconies and cupolas with finely executed carvings and stone traceries.

The wall paintings of Radha and Lord Krishna depicted in various posturess are nicely executed pieces of art. The art of carving exhibited  on the front portion of palaces are also very impressive.

Several temples are situated within the fort, the most important being that of Tikamji and the Goddess Bhagawati which was erected in 1912-1913 A.D. In front of the palaces, the temples of Bhagawan Adinarayan and Sakti stand flanked by jain temples. These temples contain a fine piece of sculpture with mythological details and dancing figures. The pleasant style of construction attracts visitors from a great distance.

In the lower part of the fort near the city ramparts stands the tower of Badal Vilas built by Maharawa Barisal. This seven storeyed building is one among the great attraction of the fort. There are numerous towers with embrasures for discharging cannon shots. Amar Bazar Pol in the west and Gharsisar gatr in the east are prominent entrances to the city which is built of yellow stones.

Gharsisar tank three miles in length and one mile in breadth presents a charming view having a great portal on it’s western ghat. Amar Sagar and Moolraj Sagar surrounded by rich garden full of fruit trees are other things of attraction.

The fort of Jaisalmer looks very attractive due to the uniformity of construction, the level of crest being of non-varying eminence. The construction of 99 towers in a short circumference augments the defending capacity of the fort. The early morning rays dawn on the fort, casts a midas touch. As far as your eyes takes you, the yellow sand stone fort turns magical golden yellow lending the fort its name Sonar or the Golden Fort.

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The Fort of Jalore

Fort of Jalore, Rajasthan 

 

Fort of Jalore, Rajasthan

 

The fort of Jalore has a proud, chequered historical past and beares a great name. It was one of the most famous strong holds of the Chouhans in the Western  Rajpootana between Gujrat and Rajasthan border. 

The eastern and southern part of the Jalore district is comprised of rocky terrain of the ‘Sunda’ hill which is covered with a dense forest.

Dharvarsha and Munja, the most powerful Parmar rulers who constructed the fort of Jalore in the later part of the 10th century. There is an inscription in Jalore fort at Shiva temple which give the date of dedication of the temple as samvat 1015 (958 A.D.) . It may safely be assumed that the dedication wither marked the completion or construction of the fort.

Location and Area Covered by the Fort

The famous Jalore fort crowns the crest of the Songiri hill with eminence of 2408 feet,  which spread as a great barrier on one side  of  the Jalore town. The top side of the hill is steep and narrow except at the site of the forty where a spacious space measuring 800 yards by 400 yards has been surrounded by high walls.

The fortress is approachable from one side only and have four stupendous gates. The peculiarity of the mode of construction of this gateway is noteworthy. A huge semi-circled wall nearly twenty feet high and 10 to 15 feet thick shields the gateway from without. This wall of barbican is particularly meant to prevent direct shelling of the gateway by the enemies.

Important Monuments in the fort

The fort has been constructed in the usual Hindu style. In the enclosure very big and spacious, stand the mosque of a malik shah, a Mohammadan saint. The mosque have been built by allauddin khilzi when he occupied the fort. This three-domed mosque contains many pillars slight and simple and encloses a space of moderate dimensions.

At some distance of the mosque stands two-storeyed Jain temple comprising of three inner portions. It belongs to the 17th century A.D. There are other four Jain Temples in the fort built from time to time.

A beautiful ‘Kund’ full of the brim with water is another attraction of the fort. Cannon pieces are lying scatteredin the fort lamenating over the lost grandeur. At places near rampart huge plateforms of mud covered with stones at the top are constructed for the gun positions.

There is a very famous couplet on the tongues of the people of the western rajasthan which contains a challenge thrown down to no less a  person than the mighty allauddin by the Songaras of Jalore.  The couplet roughly means, “Let the sky be torn as under, the earth turn upside down, let the iron armour be cut in to pieces, heads, body fighting alone, but Jalore still would not Surrender.”

This completes our brief on Jalore fort, we would be back tommorrow with another of the walled structure famous for their architecture and monuments. Keep coming back as Rajasthan is one place where kingdoms are older than centuries but customs of those dynasties are still followed in some parts.

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Ramdevra Fair of Pokhran Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, India

Shri RamdevJi

Shri RamdevJi

A wonderful pilgrim center which symbolizes national unity and community harmony as devotees of all religions come here to pay homage. The majestic Shri Ramdev temple at Ramdevra, Runicha, 13 kms from Pokran in Jaisalmer district, houses the shrines of Ramdev. He is believed to have been incarnated on earth for the benefit of humanity and was born in the house of Ajmalji in the Tomar Rajput family.

Ramdevji choose Ramdevra as the place where attained a Samadhi and went into a divine state of meditation. Fairs are held here twice a year when people flock to the temple and chant the glory of Ramsa Pir, so that their prayers may be answered. Many cultural events are also organised during this fair. Rice, coconuts and wooden horses(toys) were offered to Ramdevji by the devotees at the temple.

Ramdeora village is situated about twelve kilometer to the north of Pokhran, headquarters of a sub-division in Jaisalmer district. Pokran is a historic place from Indian Defense point as it was where India first tested their nuclear bombs.

Celebrations and Details of Ramdeora Fair

Celebrations at Ramdevra Fair in Pokran, Rajasthan

Celebrations at Ramdevra Fair in Pokran, Rajasthan

Ramdeora Fair, Pokhran, Jaisalmer is attended by a large number of people from the different parts of the country. The fair is held in order to pay homage to venerated Baba Ramdev who holds firm belief in the minds of both Hindus and Muslims. This eleven day fair is attended by a large number of devotees and holds a lot of importance for the local inhabitants. The last day of the fair is one of the most important one and the zest and ardor of the pilgrims is worth watching.

This is a good place for the foreigners to come face to face with the local people’s tradition, culture and their perception of the religion. The women during this festival dance and display their captivating performances which is called Terahtal. All the women join very keenly and display their best thus enthralling each and every one present to witness the show.

This is a good opportunity for the different people from the various parts of the country and the world as a whole to come and exchange their culture and tradition thus enriching each other’s knowledge and taking back home some of the most cherishable moments. Beautiful, traditional, mirrored Rajasthani embroidery and arts and crafts are sold, along with sweet and savoury snacks.

I sincerely feel that if your planning to visit Rajasthan around this time, do visit Ramdevra Fair as it is the place where actually the rural masses flock in numbers, as many as 2-3 million villagers and other pilgrims gather here in Ramdevra to pay homage to Ramdevji.

I will be continuing with my posts on forts in Rajasthan from tommorrow, so stay stuned as always!!

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The Fort of Jodhpur – Meherangarh Fort

Jodhpur Meherangarh Fort

Jodhpur Meherangarh Fort

 

Location, Monuments and Architectural Beauty in Fort

The fort and city of Jodhpur were founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 AD. This fort is situated on the rocky eminence 400 ft above the city and dominating the surrounding underlying plains. The crest of the hill is crowned with piereced battlements for safe-guarding the fort. Numerous round and square towers and strong walls encircle the edge of the encompassing a space of nearly 4 miles.

Seven barriers are thrown across the ascent which is circutious like the other hill forts. The doors are heavily built having an immense mortal. The Lohapol which is the last gate bears palm marks of some ladies indicating their practising sati on the funeral pyres of their husbands.

There are two small lakes under the walls, Rani Talab and Gulabsagar from the garrison draws water. The buildings and palaces colores in red stone are real fine specimens of civil architecture and showcases the passion of the rules towards architectural designs. The palaces are an excellent models of diversified architecutre and are decorated with finely executed panels, latticed window of delicate design and pierced screens of red stones.

Several huge and extra ordinary length cannons named Kalka, Bhawani and Kilkila lay on the crest of the hill facing the city. In the extremity of this portion a temple of goddess Chamunda Kul Devi is situtated. Jaswant Thara built of white marble near the fort is a fine piece of Indo-Muslim architecture.

History and Invasions of Fort

The fort since its construction has been subjected to enemy attacks from time to time. The mughals and the Marhattas were the chief invaders and at intervals the mutual jealousies brought Jaipur, Bikaner and Udaipur rulers. There were numerous other attacks and attackers involved with fort history and writing in detail would not be of so much interest.

Misc Information about the Fort

The main palaces in the fort are Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Takht Vilas and Jhanki Mahal. A museum also finds a place inside the fort, displaying a rich collection of old royal palanquins, arms, paintings, costumes, etc.

There are many details about this giant fort which needs elaborate articles encompassing volumes. Tommorrow I would be posting about the very famous “Ramdevra Fair” where people are flocking in numbers. The fair is said to be attracting more than 2 million rural and urban crowd and is of great importance from Rajasthan perspective.

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