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Category Archives: Heritage Buildings and Sites

Pattadakal-A lavish Group of Temples and Monuments In The Depth Of Ancient Era

Pattadakal

Pattadakal

Pattadakal-Group of Monuments is situated about 22 km from the Badami.It is a small village in the Bagalkot district on the bank of river Malaprabha in the state Karnataka. Pattadakal is renowned as the “City of the Crown Rubies”. It is the UNESCO World heritage sites. Pattadakal is a wonderful and ancient magnificent example of great Indian architecture. These Pattadakal monuments were build by the Queen as a gala of conquest of the king Vikramaditya II over the Kanchi Pallavas .

Pattadakal is the cluster of ten beautiful carved temples which are the showcases of the amazing Indian architectural with the great blend of northern and southern archeology. It is situated at the centre of wonderful green lawn. Among the ten temples nine are the Hindu temples and one is the Jain temple. All temples are beautifully carved with various stories and scenes of the great Hindu epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. The walls of temples also carved with the Goddess, God, demons and battle fields.

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple

Nandi(Black stone Bull)

Nandi(Black stone Bull)

Virupaksha Temple is the largest temple in the Pattadakal campus. This temple is also renowned as the Lokeshvara temple or the Lokapaleshvara.This temple is built in the Dravidian style and it has three entrances. Black stone bull is the great charm of this temple.

Sangameshvara Temple

Sangameshvara Temple

Sangameshvara Temple

Sangameshvara Temple is the oldest temple of the Pattadakal and it is earlier known as the Vijayewara Temple. It was constructed by the Chalukya King, Vijayaditya from AD 696 to AD 733.This temple is decorated by the twenty pillars which are arranged in four rows in the navaranga.Beautiful figures of Nataraja and Ugranarasimha are placed in the walls of temple. Although this temple is incomplete, remains attractive for its architectural excellence.

A Wonderful  Architecture Of Pattadakal

A Wonderful Architecture Of Pattadakal

 

ChandrashekharaTemple
It is the small temple in the campus. It is only 15 feet and located on the left side of the Sangameshwara Temple. This temple has a garbhagriha with sacred Shiva Linga.

MallikarjunaTemple
This temple like as a smaller version of the Virupaksha Temple. It is constructed by the second queen of Vikrmaditya during AD 745 and it is located on the north side of the Virupaksha temple. It is constructed in the Dravidian style. It has eighteen pillars which are decorated with the stories of the Ramayana, Mahabharata and other Hindu epics. All walls are carved with the images of Hindu God and Goddess.

Kashivisvanatha Temple

Kasivisveshwara temple

Kashivisvanatha Temple

The Kashivishvanatha Temple, constructed in the 8th century and it was the last temple built in early Chalukya style. The temple was built in the Nagara style of architecture. It is placed on the north side of the Mallikarjuna temple.

 Galganatha Temple

 Galganatha Temple

Galganatha Temple

Galaganatha temple is constructed between the 8th century.It is constructed in the Rekha Nagara Prasada style. The major specialty of this temple is the sculpture of the Lord Shiva in the posture of killing a demon, Andhakasura. The tower of the temple draft workmanship in the Rekhanagara style.

 Kadasiddheswara Temple

Intricate carvings

Intricate carvings Of Temple

Kadasiddheswara Temple built in the middle of the 7th century. It is lies on a plinth. It is constructed in the Rekha Nagar style.there is a sanctum that install a sacred linga of Lord Shiva. This temple is beautifully carved the images of Shiva , Parvati,river goddess ,Ardhanariswara and many more.

Jambulingeswara Temple

This temple is built in between 7th century. It is same as the Kaidaisiddeshwara temple. The Jambulingeswara temple lies on a plinth with five eaves. All eaves are well carved with beautiful figures of birds, God, Goddess, Shiva, Sun and Vishnu.

Jain Temple

Jain Temple

Elephant In Jain Temple

Jain Temple is located on the Pattadakal Badami road. It is also renowned as the Jaina Narayana Temple.It is built in the Dravindian style.It consist a garbhagriha,a mukhamantapa, a shukanasa and a navaranga.

Another Beautiful Glance Of Temples In Pattadakal

Another Beautiful Glance Of Temples In Pattadakal

 

PapanathaTemple

The construction of the Papanatha Temple started in the Nagara style but later it was built in the Vesara style.It is constructed in AD 680.This temple is full with incredible carvings on the walls and ceilings.

A Lake Side View Of Pattadakal

A Lake Side View Of Pattadakal

Pattadakal is the graceful and amazing showcase of the great art of Chalukyas.Although the construction of some temples remains incomplete but they still possess an attractive and enchanting posture. The ancient sculptures embellished the subjects of women, demons and Gods. It is really marvelous to see the whole complex of monuments standing tall against the desolate of time.

 

 

 

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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)

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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.

 

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Mastani Mahal recreated at Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

Mastani Mahal was a palace built by Bajirao I for his second wife Mastani. Stories and movies related to Mastani are well known to the people. It was named after this leading lady of immense beauty and skills. He built this palace for Mastani at Kothrud. After a long time of negligence, the palace fell into ruins. Mrityunjaya Temple, along with few other ruins, is now what remains at the site.

Painting-of-Mastani

Painting of Mastani

It was Dr Dinkar G. Kelkar who preserved some of its remnant when the palace was dismantled. He tried to recreate the beauty of Mastani Mahal’s inside architecture in Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum. Dinkar Kelkar was an ardent art collector, so he transplanted the fine wooden pillars and wall paintings to his museum in Pune.

Mastani_Mahal-Replica-in-Raja-Dinkar-Kelkar-Museum

Replica of Mastani Mahal in Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

There is a special section inside the museum that is dedicated to the legacy of Mastani Mahal. Its living room assembled the old carpenters work. The replicated architecture inside the museum reveals the intricate design and woodcarving. The breathtaking furnishing recalls the atmosphere of the home of Mastani, whose portrait on glass is also presented in the museum. It is a lesser know, but a great place to visit in Pune.

Mastani_Mahal-Replica-in-Raja-Dinkar-Kelkar-Museum (1)

Replica of Mastani Mahal in Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

Mastani_Mahal-Replica-in-Raja-Dinkar-Kelkar-Museum (2)

Mirror in Mastani Mahal

 

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Shivaji’s Childhood Palace – Lal Mahal

Lal Mahal, as the name suggests, is a red brick building located at Pune. It is an important historical building as it was built by Dadaji Konddev in 1640, two years after he had ownership of Pune city from the Adilshahi Sultans. Konddev brought Shivaji and his wife up there, and then built this palace.

Lal-mahal-pune

The renovated Lal Mahal in Pune

It was the childhood home of Shivaji as he spent many years there. The statue of Jijamata (Shivaji’s mother) is placed inside the palace. There is another structure of young Shivaji with a golden plow looked after by his with mother Jijabai and Guru Dadoji Konddev. Four umbrellas on the terrace are the main attraction of the Mahal. This is the place where Shivaji Maharaj cut Shaistekhan’s fingers when he was trying to escape from the windows of the Lal Mahal.

Shivaji-statue-lal-mahal

Many incidents from Shivaji Maharaj’s life are vividly illustrated on the walls of this palace. A garden is also there which is dedicated to Jijamata, so known as Jijamata Garden. In this garden, Kids, Senior Citizens spend their evenings very enjoyably.
The Pune Municipal Corporation had remodeled this Mahal in the year 1988. In its present renovated avatar, this magnificent Lal Mahal resembles more a sandstone red place, than a traditional Wada. This marvelous structure is just next to Shaniwarwada. Many pictorial representations of different incidents from Shivaji Maharaj’s life could be seen on the walls of this palace which attracts lots of tourist. It is another historic place worth visiting in Pune, Maharashtra.

 

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Retracing the legend of Gangadhar Tilak at Kesari Wada

The Kesari Wada, located in Pune city of Maharashtra, has gained much significance as a historical monument. The Gaikwads built this Wada as their personal resident. The Prince of Baroda, Sayajirao Gaikwad Sarkar lived here before selling it to Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the famous leader of the Indian independence movement. Bal Gangadhar Tilak ran the Kesari (Marathi newspaper) and the Maratha (English newspaper) from this place till his death in 1920.

Kesari Wada

Kesari Wada

Originally called the Gaikwad Wada, its name was later changed to Kesari Wada by Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The Wada has witnessed many night-long discussions by India leaders from the freedom moment about the British rule in India. The original building has gone through several renovations to make it fit for the modern lifestyle. However, few things are still the original like the main entrance gate, which is made of wood.

Kesari Wada

Replica of Bal Gangadhar Tilak with his original belongings in Tilak Museum

Kesari Wada still houses the office of Kesari newspaper. The Tilak Museum is a great attraction that houses many belongings of Gangadhar Tilak. There is also a Kesari-Maratha Library on the second floor of the building. Bal Gangadhar Tilak started the annual Ganesh festival celebration in Kesari Wada to unite the people for independence struggle. The trend is still followed and many events like music concerts, lectures and competitions are organized during the Ganesh festival.

 

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Where Mahatma Gandhi was Imprisoned – Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace is yet another historical site in Maharashtra that holds a great significance in Indian history. It is located at about 2 Km away from Bund Garden in Yerwada, on Pune-Nagar Road. It is also recognized as Kasturba Gandhi Memorial or Kasturba Samadhi. It was built in 1892 by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Agakhan III and was donated to India in 1969 by Aga Khan IV as an act of charity because the areas of Pune drastically hit by famine at that time.

Aga Khan Palace

Historically, this palace is a ceremonial building and is closely associated with the Indian Freedom Movement as it served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu. It is the place where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died. In 2003, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared the palace as a monument of national importance.

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial inside the Palace

This lonely palace once belonged to the Agha Khan, served as quarters for imprisonment of Gandhi and his wife Kasturba towards the trail end of the British rule in India. It is situated near the river Mula and is just a simple memorial to Gandhi and his lifetimes. A shop attached to the palace sells Khadi or cotton, hand loomed garments and textiles. It is also called the Gandhi National Memorial or the Yerwada Ashram. It is located at Talegaon Road, beyond Fitzgerald Bridge.

Museum inside the Palace

The significance of the Aga Khan Palace is that it has marvelous Italian arches and spacious lawns. The building constitutes of five halls. It covers an area of 19 acres, out of which 7 acres are just a built up area. The palace bewitched the eyes of a spectator with its glamour and picturesque architecture. It took 5 years and an estimated budget of Rs. 1.2 million to complete this palace. The area of the ground floor is 1756 sq meters, in which the first floor is 1080 sq meters and the second floor is 445 sq meters. The specialty of this adorable palace is its corridor of 2.5 meters spreads around the entire building. In 1972, Prince Karim Aga Khan of that time donated this palace to Gandhi Smarak Samittee and since then Parks and Gardens organization is maintaining it.

Mahatma Gandhi Statue

Now, the palace mainly houses a memorial to Gandhi where his ashes were kept. The then prime minister India Gandhi had visited the place in 1974 where she allotted a sum of Rs. 200000 every year, for its maintenance. The amount rose to Rs. 2 million till 1990s, after which the national monument of India, was neglected for many years due to improper allocation of funds. There was a grand protest held at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Pune Railway Station on July 1999 to protest against the deteriorating condition of the monument.

Museum view inside Aga Khan Palace

The archives of the palace contain a number of photos and portraits depicting stories from the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation of India, and other personalities of the Indian freedom struggle. Many activities are organized there at some special occasions. The Gandhi Memorial Society celebrates the following public functions at the palace: –

30th January – Martyr’s Day 
Mahashivratri – Kasturba Gandhi’s Death Day Celebrated As Mother’s Day
15th August – Indian Independence Day
26th January – Republic Day
2nd October – Mahatma Gandhi’s Birth Anniversary

Other than yearly events, morning prayers terms are held daily at the Samadhi for decades. The prayer attracts a large number of crowds every day, and the number goes up threefold on 2 October as most of the people visit the place to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. So, this monument is worth to see and surely visited by the tourists.

 

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Reliving the British Legacy at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or in short CST is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mumbai city of Maharashtra, India. It was formerly known as the Victoria Terminus Station. It was designed by Frederick William Stevens and was built in 1887 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne. It took ten years to complete the entire station. Over three millions of commuters use this station on daily basis making it the busiest railway station in India. It is a great place to relive and explore the imperial legacy of the British rule in India.

Chhatrapati-Shivaji-Terminus

The CST was built initially to be the headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway which will house its main station and the administrative offices. But, soon a number of ancillary buildings were added afterwards. In 1929, a new station was created to handle the main line traffic. The building of station follows the High Victorian Gothic style of architecture. The fusion of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Indian architecture can be seen all over the station. It has well-proportioned rows of windows and arches.

Ceiling-and-archway-detailing-CST

On the columns at the entrance gate of CST, there are two figures of a lion and a tiger representing Britain and India respectively. The main interiors are lavishly decorated including the ground floor of the North Wing which is known as the Star Chamber, is embellished with Italian marble and polished Indian blue stone. The stone arches are covered with carved umbrage and eerie. All these fine designs and architectural style make CST a fine example of 19th century railway architectural marvels.

Lion-and-Tiger-at-entrance-CST

CST has total 18 platforms in which 7 are for local trains and 11 are for long distance trains. Local trains or sub-urban network trains are very famous in Mumbai. It divides into two suburban lines-the Central line and the Harbour line. On the central line, the train terminates at Kurla, Ghatkopar, Thane, Dombivli, Kalyan, Ambarnath, Badlapur, Kajrat, Khopoli, Asangaon, Titwala and Kasara. While the Harbour line trains terminate at Bandra, Andheri, Mankhurd, Vashi, Belapur and Panvel. This sub-urban network is the only network through which citizens of the state maintain their daily routine activities. Lakhs of local commuters use it daily.

Crowd-Chhatrapati-Shivaji-Terminus

 

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