RSS

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan

Rajasthan is a famous state for its forts and handicrafts. There are many other popular things that make Rajasthan very unique and because of its arts in every city it is famous worldwide. A state known as ‘Kumbhalgarh’ is very popular for its fort and is also the birthplace of the warrior ‘Maharana Pratap’ that lies in the Rajasthan in Rajasmand district.

kumbhalgadh fort

Kumbhalgadh fort( Image by Ricardo Fernandez on Flickr)

kumbhalgadh fort vies

Kumbhalgadh fort( Image by Ricardo Fernandez on Flickr)

Kumbhalgarh fort is built in 15th century by ‘Maharana Kumbha’.  It is named after its Maharana named ‘Maharna Kumbha’. It lies in Rajasmand district at 64 kms of distance in north–west region of Udaipur.  The specialty of this fort is that it is the second important fort after the ‘Chittorgarh’ fort and it was declared a World heritage site in India by UNESCO. This fort is much secured as it is surrounded by the Aravali ranges. Its protection is very high that it is unconquerable.

arieal view of kumbhal fort

Aerial view of Kumbhalgarh (Image by Ricardo Fernandaz on Flickr)

How to reach Kumbhalgarh fort?

To reach Kumbhalgarh fort is not very difficult because it is very much easy and comfortable to reach their by taxis or buses directly from the Udaipur city. Before reaching to Kumbhalgarh fort, a zig-zag kind of road is made that passes from the thick forests and ravines. The road is finding before few kilometers to fort. On this way one will find many types of ‘Pol’ that one can enjoy very much. The names of such Pol are ‘Nimboo Pol’, ‘Arait Pol’, ‘Bhairava Pol’, ‘Hanuman Pol’ and many more.

7609703-Ram-Pol-Kumbhalgarh-Fort-0

Entrance gate of Kumbhalgadh Fort

Ram pol of kumbhalgadh

Ram Pol

About Kumbhalgarh

Kumbhalgarh fort is also termed as ‘Badal Mahal’ or ‘Palace of Cloud’. On the top of the fort there is a palace which is also very famous. This palace is known for the birth of the great warrior ‘Maharana Pratap’. This palace is very beautiful and attractive with bright color combinations of turquoise, white and green in the rooms. The color combinations in the rooms give the effects of the cloud and give panoramic effect which looks very attractive.

badal mahal palacejpg

Badal Mahal (Image by Pavan Gupta on Flickr)

fa_z

Interior of Badal Mahal (Image by Blake Kirkland on Flickr)

2042905593_d10ac62f0d_z

Image by Vicky on Flickr

There are huge watch towers and the fort is covered with seven ramparts and seven gates. The foundation of the fort is very strong and solid and that is the reason why fort is unbeatable till now. Walls of the fort are too broad and that is sufficient to stand the eight number of horses one side another. There are 360 temples located inside the fort and among all the temples, Shiva temple is very famous. Visitors enjoy a lot while visiting the fort because they are the symbol of ancient times.

kheda deveri

kheda deveri temple in kumbhalgarh fort (Image by Eric Parker on Flickr)

Vedi-Temple-Kumbhalgarh-Fort-0

Vedi Temple in Kumbhalgadh Fort

Fort is surrounded by mountain peaks that are thirteen in number.  Fort is found in the international records due to its number of beautiful palaces, gardens and temples.  The fort is surrounded by a wall that is 15 kms long and the wall is the second longest wall in whole world after Great Wall of China. The width of the wall is 15 to 25 Ft and it is the thick wall after ‘Great Wall of China’. The visit to this fort gives people a special attraction and feeling that they want to visit here again and again.

great wall of the kumbhalgadh fort

Great wall of Kumbhalgadh fort (Image by bookchen on Flickr)

Walls of kumabalgadh fort

Great Wall of Kumbhalgadh Fort

 

Tags: , , ,

Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan

Rajasthan is very famous for its beauty, sculpture, arts and crafts. It is most popular state all over the world where every tourist wants to visit once in their lifetime. There is a city known as Jaisalmer which is popular for its fort. Among several largest forts, Jaisalmer Fort is one of them and it is located in the Jaisalmer city that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was constructed in 1156 A.D by the ruler ‘Rao Jaisal’.

6992366523_25f267cf91_c

View of Jaisalmer Fort (Image by Koshy Koshy on Flickr )

The fort stands in the mid of the great ‘Thar Desert’ which looks very beautiful. Many battles have been fought at the Jaisalmer fort. Its yellow color walls look as if a lion is standing during the day. When sun sets, it gives the fort golden color in the desert and that is why it is known as ‘Golden fort’. The local people of the city also called the fort ‘Sonar quila’ and it is located as the heart of the city.

Gate of jaisalmer fort

Main Gate of Jaisalmer Fort (Image by Grete Howard on Flickr)

33canon of jaisalmer fort

Canon of jaisalmer fort ( Image by Blake Kirkland on Flickr )

Features of the fort

The fort is very worth visiting and that is why it has many attractive features which are:
•    It is located in the mid of Jaisalmer and because of this reason it is referred as the heart of the city.
•    Its bazaars, architecture and miniatures are very attractive that pulls everyone towards it.
•    It is made up of sand stones that look very beautiful in the day as well as in night.
•    It is the second oldest fort of Rajasthan.
•  There are many numbers of historical monuments present in the fort which are main reason of the attraction of the fort.

Attractions of Jaisalmer fort

There are various types of attractions of the fort which is the cause of many tourists to come there. The names of such attractions are:-

•    Laxmi Nath temple

lakshminath-temple-jaisalmer

Laxmi Nath temple

•    Jain temple

jain temple Jaisalmer_017

suclptures of jain temples

Sculptures of Jain temple (Image by Biswarup Sarkar on Flickr)

Jaisalmer_026

jain temple

Image by Andrea Longoni

sculp of jain te,plejpg

Image by dhReist on Flickr

•    4 massive gateways

•    Rajmahal

1616654065_959155a6f5_z

Rajmahal palace (Image by Steve Browne $ John Verklir on Flickr)

2441095694_222e347af4_z

Rajmahal palace (Image by nationalx6453 on flickr)

6776732734_daf7e9d23e_z

Silver throne (image by Simaon White on Flickr)

The above are some very beautiful places that attract everyone towards it. The person who visits the fort must surely visit these places. The beauty, art and craft of the places are very effective and attractive. The drainage system of fort is known as ‘Ghut Nali’ that allows the drainage of rain water very easily. The drainage system allows rainwater to flow in the four directions of the fort.
One can find many types of eating item over there which includes French, native cuisines and Italian. One great thing about the fort is that a famous film director ‘Satyajit Ray’ wrote the novel ‘Sonar Kella’. This novel is the detective novel which is based on this fort.

Danger to Fort

Where there is a beauty, there is a threat and just like that fort has also many threats. Inadequate civic amenities, water seepage and derelict houses are some major threats that are affecting the fort. Fort has been built over the very weal sedimentary rock which is also the danger to fort.
Forts have always been a good place to visit and enjoy. Plan a visit to Jaisalmer fort and enjoy the various good and artistic things there.

 

Tags: , ,

Amber Fort, Jaipur

Amber fort depicts the glorious heritage of Jaipur, Rajasthan which listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of India. It is one of the main tourist attractions of the pink city, Jaipur. It is located in small town, Amer which is 11kms from Jaipur. It was built by Raja Maan Singh I (one of the nine gems of Akbar’s court) in 1592. It is made up of white and red sandstone marble. The fort is located high on Arawali hills range front facing Maota lake. It is renowned for its architecture, intricate carvings, mirror and stone work on the walls and ceilings. It depicts beauty and blend of both Hindu and Mughal elements.

Amber fort

Amber fort (Image byYoung Shanahan on Flickr)

LAYOUT

The fort is divided into four main sections each with a courtyard:-

I COURTYARD

Main entry is through the Suraj Pole (Sun Gate) which is the first main courtyard. This gate was provided with guards as it was the main entry into the palace. It was named as sun gate as it faced the eastern direction towards the rising Sun. It leads to Jaleb Chowk which means a place for soldiers to assemble.

Suraj pole

Suraj pole, The sun Gate (Image by Penn State University on Flickr)

A stairway from the Jaleb Chowk leads into the main palace. At the entrance of the palace there is sila devi temple situated which is near to the Ganesh Gate.

ganesh gate

Ganesh Gate (image by Paul on Flickr)

II COURTYARD

The second courtyard consists of  Diwan-i-Aam . It is also known as the Public Audience Hall. It is a beautiful hall stands on two rows of ornamented pillars. Here, the king used to hear about the needs, problems, petitions of the audience.

Diwan-I-Am

Diwan-I-Am (Image by Penn State University on Flickr))

III COURTYARD

The third courtyard is where the private quarters of the king and his family were built as Diwaan-e-khaas. This courtyard is entered through the Ganesh Pol or Ganesh Gate.

sheesh mahal

Sheesh Mahal ( Image byJosiane Xavier Parreira on Flickr)

3273373209_a34972fc49_z

Interior vew of sheesh mahal

Interior view of Sheesh Mahal (Image by Ziaur Rahman on Flickr)

The courtyard has two buildings opposite to each other. On the left is Sheesh mahal or mirror palace which is a beautiful part of Amber fort .It is famous for its mirror work. The walls and ceilings of this palace is carved with magnificent paintings of glass work.

khush niwaspg

Sukh Niwas (Image by Mark-Averitt on Flickr)

The other building opposite to the Sheesh mahal is Sukh Niwas or Sukh Mahal (Hall of Pleasure). In this mahal, an artificial air conditioned environment was created.

The main attractions in this courtyard consist of:

Palace of Man Singh I 

This palace is situated in the south which is the oldest part of the palace and this palace took 25 years to build which was completed in 1599 during the reign of Raja Man Singh I (1589–1614). It is the main palace.

A pavilion called Baradari

A pavilion called Baradari

Tripolia gate

Tripolia gate denotes three gates. The gate opens in three sides, one from Jaleb Chowk, another to the Man Singh Palace and third one to the Zenana Deorhi on the south.

Lion gate

The Lion gate is the way to the private quarters in the palace premises and is named as ‘Lion Gate’ as it denotes strength.

Amber_Fort_-_Steps_to_Singh_Pol

Singh Pol, the Lion Gate

Fourth courtyard

The fourth courtyard includes the Zenana region of the palace where queens with their mistress lived. This area consists of many living rooms where queen’s mothers and king’s consorts along with their female attendants used to live.

fourth courtyardjpg

Fourth Courtyard (Image by danat3709 on Flickr)

Presently, for a tourist to reach the entrance of the fort, he has to cross the hills either by hiring a jeep and taking an elephant rides also. Amber fort is an incredible and magnificent junction for tourists.

 

Tags: ,

The Natural Wonders of Kaziranga National Park

The heritage of India lies not only in its grand monuments but also in its natural wealth. Kaziranga National Park is one such place in India that has conserved the natural wonders and beauty of the region. Kaziranga National Park was established in Assam to protect the population of one-horned rhinoceroses. Due to its scenic beauty and the conservation efforts by the government and the authorities, Kaziranga National Park was declared a World Heritage Site in India by UNESCO in 1985. The park covers 430 square kilometers of land occupied by tall grasses, marshland and dense forests.

Kaziranga_park_gate1

Gate No 1 of Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park is considered a haven for a wide variety of wild flora, fauna and avifauna. This national park holds about two-third of the total world population of the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceroses. Kaziranga is also home to the endangered Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo. It is one of the last homes for these water buffaloes. A total of 15 endangered species of mammals are living in the park.

5028306340_87fb3a142d_z

One Horned Rhinoceros (Image by Luaia nampui on Flickr)

6478505857_10e76d112e_z

Wild Water Buffaloes (Image by Een Ar on Flickr)

Tiger_India

Tiger

Some interesting figures about Kaziranga Park are

No. of species of fishes – 42
No. of species of amphibians – 9
No. of species of reptiles – 27
No. of species of birds – 491
No. of species of mammals – 35

Elephant safari

Elephant safari (Image by Rita Willaert on Flickr)

5460522017_dec3a1d854_z

Baby Hog Deer (Image by Mark.photos on Flickr)

Kingfisher

White-throated Kingfisher (Image by Vijay Anand Ismavel on Flickr)

9103326600_b6d02a6181_z

Sunset view (Image by VinayakH’s photostresm on Flickr)

The population of several other wild animals like tigers and elephants is thriving inside the park. Kaziranga has the highest tiger density in a protected area around the world. There are many water bodies all around the park, which are formed by the crisscrossing of Brahmaputra and three other rivers. These water bodies are an important source of food (fishes) for the birds of the park. Kaziranga is considered an important bird area for the conservation of bird population globally. A variety of migratory birds, water birds, predators and scavengers can be seen inside the park.

You can find more about Kaziranga Park here : http://india-wildlife-tour.blogspot.in/2013/10/kaziranga-national-park-home-to.html

 

Tags: , , ,

The Great Awakening at Mahabodhi Temple

Bodh Gaya is the place where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in 530 BC. Bodh Gaya is located in the Bihar state of India and is a popular tourist and religious destination. The Mahabodhi Temple is a Buddhist temple located near the Bodhi tree and is listed as a World Heritage Site in India by UNESCO. Mahabodhi means great awakening, and the area around the tree is called Bodhimanda. It is a Buddhism term which means the position of awakening. The Bodhi tree is the prime attraction inside the temple complex.

401691607_4c67b40efe_b

Maha Bodhi Temple (Image by ivesabroad on Flickr)

entry gate

Entry Gate (Image by marc_p_1970on Flickr)

Mahabodhi-Temple-cen

Mahabodhi Temple, BodhGaya

MBTpg

Image by everytin irie on Flickr

The Mahabodhi Temple was constructed by Emperor Ashoka in 260 BCE. It has gone under many restorations under different reigns. The temple is a great example of earlier brick-work in India. It is one of the earliest brick structures in eastern India that had endured for so long. The temple follows a straight-edged pyramidal design and is a seven storey high structure according to the amalakas occurring at the corners of the sikhara.

Area of Mahabodhi temple

Area of Mahabodhi Temple

tree

Bodhi Tee (Image by everytin irie on Flickr)

The temple has a central tower that is surrounded by four smaller towers of the same design. The central tower is about 55 metres in height, and the temple covers about 4.8 hectares of land. The Mahabodhi Temple is surrounded by stone railings, which have statues of Hindu Gods and Goddess. The figures of stupas, garudas (eagles) and lotus flowers are also there on the railings. It is one of the most holy Buddhists places in India. The large number of visitors it gets includes tourists and pilgrims from India and around the globe.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Historical Buildings of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is the only World Heritage Site in Gujarat state of India. But it is full of palaces, temples, residential complexes, agricultural structures and water installations such as stepwells and tanks, mosques and tombs. It is located around Champaner, a historical city and extends to the Pavagadh hill-station. This park was given the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. This vast heritage site is spread over 1,329 hectares with an extended 2,812 hectares of the buffer zone. The primary zone is 983.27 hectares wide and has many archaeological and historic sites.

The different categories under which all these buildings fall are

Temples

Kalika Mata Temple is the oldest and most visited temple of this region. It is located on a cliff in between a dense forest near Halol city. This temple contains the images of three Goddesses; central image is of Kalika Mata, Goddess Kali is on the right and Bahucharamata on the left. There is also Sadanandsha Pir of a muslim saint.

Image

Maha kali temple( Image by Arian Zwegers on Flickr )

Lakulisa temple is the oldest temple atop the Pavagadh hill. It is now in ruins and dates back to the 10th or 11th century. It follows the basic Hindu temple architecture style with key Hindu temple architecture elements like mandapa and an entrance porch.

lushika temple

Lakulisa Temple

Image

Lakulisa Temple ( Image by Bipin Gunvantlal Shah on Flickr )

Jain Temples are also an important site to visit. They are categorized into three groups. The Bhavanaderi temples near the Naqqarkhana gate fall under the first group; the second group consists of temples dedicated to the Jain saints Thirthankara Suparsva and Thirthankara Chandraprabha and, the third group contains the Parsvanath temple.

Image

Jain temple in Pavagadh

 

Mosques

Jami Masjid, also called Jama Masjid of Champaner, is one of the finest mosques in western India. The fine architecture of Jami Masjid is unique amalgam of Hindu and muslim styles of decoration. It is a two-storey structure with multiple halls for prayers, which are supported by 200 pillars. There are some tombs built nearby the mosque building.

5117487520_5894d01d84_b

Jami Masjid ( Image by Anshum Mandore on Flickr )

Jami masjid

Jami masjid ( Image by UrvishJ on Flickr )

6065970021_73f0a316cf_z

Interior Area of Jama Masjid ( Image by Arian Zwegers on Flickr )

Kevada Masjid is famous for its mausoleum and its globe-like domes. The incorporation of nature and environment in the architecture of the mosque is the most interesting thing about this mosque. It is usually not a common practice in Islam to do so.

Kevada Masjid

Kevada Masjid ( Image by Arian zwegers on Flickr )

Nagina Masjid is a large monument built during the same time as that of Kevada Masjid during the 15th century. Nagina means Jewel and thus is also referred to as the Jewel Mosque. It is a two storey high building with a balcony. The mosque was built using white stones. It has domes, elegantly carved minarets and decorative columns and windows. The floral designs are its main attraction.

Nagina masjia

Nagina Masjaid ( Image by Arian Zwegers on Flickr )

Lila Gumbaj Ki Masjid is located in the east gate of the historic city in Champaner. It has three entrances on north, south and east directions. The fine designs and colors of the central dome, out of three domes, is its main feature.

lila masjid

Lila Gumbaj Ki Masjid ( Image by Arian Zwegers on Flickr)

The Bawaman Mosque is named after a saint named Bawaman. It also has three large domes, ablution tanks, arched entrances and a minaret. Huge restoration work has been undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India to preserve this monument.

Bawaman's Mosque

Outside view of the Bawaman’s Mosque

Bawaman 3

Interior View of Bawaman’s Mosque

Sahar Ki Masjid, Kamani Masjid, Ek-Minar Ki Masjid and Panch- Mahuda-Ki Masjid are some other mosques inside the vast heritage site of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park.

Sharki mashid

Interior Area of Shar Ki Masjid ( Image by Anshum Mandore on Flickr )

Forts

The Fort of Pavagadh was a Hindu fort built by the kings of Solanki. It is located on the Pavagadh hill. The fort was further fortified by the Khichi Chauhans. After it fell into the hands of Sultan Mahmud Begadah in 1484, it was renamed to Muhammadabad Champaner. There are several religious buildings inside the fort walls that include Lakulisa temple and few other Hindus and Jain temples. There are few named walls like Citadel Walls, City Walls at the Southeast Corner and Walls of fort on top inside the fort.

champaner_gates_fortwalls_001

Champaner Gates of the Fort Walls

gate of fort wall

Gates of the Fort Walls

Champaner_eastern_gate., on wikijpg

Gates of the Fort Walls

champaner_gates_fortwalls_007 (1)

Gates of the Fort Walls

Pavagadh Fort has many gates throughout the fortification. The City Gate has a projecting arch and is in a well-preserved form. The Gate No. 1, the Atak gate is on the west end of the fort and has two gateways. The Budhiya gate (Gate No. 2) is on the western end of the fort. The Gate No. 3, the Sadanshah gate (also called Moti gate) is located in the Machi plateau. It has four gates and is the second line of defence. The third line of defence is the Gate No. 4 that has big bastions and cells in the interior. The Gulan-Bulan gate is the Gate No. 5 and is behind the Sat Manzil. Gate No. 6 or Buland Darwaja is of 13th-century vintage gate built on the hill near Makai Kothar. The Makai gate (Gate No. 7) has an arch on it and bastions flanking it. The last gate is Gate No. 8, the Tara pore gate.

Palaces

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park has many palaces belonging to different kings. These palaces were built at different time periods. All of them are nearly in ruins now. These palaces along with gardens and pavilions were an important part of the fortification. The Kasbi talao is a square pond with descending steps in the west gate. The ruins of Patai Rawal’s Palace with tank are located to the south-east of the Machi plateau. Kabutarkhana Pavilion is a small structure of bricks and lime plaster located on the north bank of Bada Talao near Khajuri Masjid.

Other Structures

Helical Stepped Well is a step well built with bricks and stone paved steps. It descends in the form of a snake coil.

51cb645ab3fc4be56b000015_india-s-forgotten-stepwells_helical_vav_champaner_-23--528x396

Helical Stepwell Champaner ( Image by Victoria S. Lautman )

Sat Manzil was a seven-storey watchtower that was built in 15th century. Now, only four storeys remains as the structure fell into ruins.

Mandvi is a square structure in Champaner’s fort and was used as a separate house for the king’s guests.

Thus, the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park has a lot to offer to those visitors who are looking for some great architectural masterpieces in India.

Explore other tourist sites in gujarat here: http://travelagencyindia.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/must-visit-destinations-in-gujarat/

 

Legacy of Mughal Era – Tomb of Humayun

The impression of mughal heritage can be seen in the form of the great monuments in north India. Cities like Agra in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are two such examples of it. While Agra boasts the grandest of grand monuments, the Taj Mahal, Delhi also has many tombs and monument that are worth visiting. Humayun’s Tomb is one such attraction of Delhi that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and glorifies the mughal architectural style.

humayun-s-tomb-delhi

Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (Photo credit: Een Ar, on flickr)

23humayunstomb
Humayun was the second emperor of the mughal empire in the Indian subcontinent. Humayun died in 1556 and his first wife, Bega Begum, commissioned his tomb. She hired a Persian architect named Mirak Mirza Ghiyas as the chief architect for Humayun’s Tomb. The architecture and design of this tomb were unique for that time. It was the first tomb in the Indian subcontinent with a garden, and also the first grand monument made up of red sandstone. The excessive use of red sandstone is one of its prime features. The tomb follows the early mughal architecture that was mostly influenced by Islamic style but also included few Indian designing elements.

hunmanyun

topp

Photo Credit: Ameen Ahmed Tumkur on Flickr

44humayunstomb

Inside the main chamber, there is a cenotaph of Humayun’s Tomb while the original grave lies in the basement below it. There are many symbolic elements inside the main chamber like a mihrab design over a marble lattice or jaali that is facing Mecca in the West. Also, there are four main octagonal chambers on two floors. Some of the smaller chambers contain cenotaphs of other mughal family members like Bega Begum, Hamida Begum (wife of Humayun and mother of Akbar), and Dara Shikoh (Humayun’s great-great grandson).

30gateway

Path from West gate to Humayun’s Tomb

38gate

There are many big and small monuments around Humayun’s Tomb. Char Bagh (literally four gardens) is a Persian-style four layouts garden, which are subdivided into smaller squares with pathways. Another prominent attraction is the Babar’s Tomb. It is a tomb of the royal barber and is also called Nai-ka-Gumbad. Then, there is Tomb and mosque of Isa Khan that was built before the Humayun’s Tomb. Other smaller buildings include Bu Halima’s Tomb, Afsarwala Tomb and Nila Gumbad. Humayun’s Tomb and many other buildings have gone under restoration to preserve them for the future generations to see.

Isa Khan

Isa Khan Niyazi Tomb

 

Tags: , , , , ,