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Category Archives: Monuments

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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Glimpses of Erotic Sculptures at Khajuraho Group of Monuments

Khajuraho Group of Monuments is located in Madhya Pradesh, India. These groups of monuments are the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples which are basically famous all around the world for their erotic sculptures. The temples were built during the Chandella Dynasty that reached its peak point between 950 and 1050 AD.

Khajuraho Temple

Kandariya Mahadev Temple in Khajuraho Group of Monuments
Image by John Ubinger on flickr.com

Total area of the complex is enclosed by a wall with eight originates and each of them bordered by two golden palm trees. Originally, there were 85 temples but now only 25 temples remain that falls into three distinct groups namely eastern, western & southern and follows Hinduism and Jainism styles. They scattered in an area of over 20 square kms. A perfect balance displays between the architecture and sculpture of the temples.

Sculptures at Khajuraho Temple

One of the many erotic sculptures at Khajuraho Temple
Image by GrandecapoEstiCazzi on flickr.com

The whole complex of Khajuraho illustrates a unique artistic creation, surprising quality, variety of scenes of amusements, sculpted decor of mythological repertory or amusements. All the temples are elegantly decorated on the outside. These temples are world famous for their exceptional art due to which they have been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Devi_Jagadambi_Temple-Khajuraho

Devi Jagadambi Temple

Some of the temples like Visvanatha, Parsvanatha and Vaidyanatha belong to the period of King Dhanga, who was the successor of Yasovarman. The Jagadambi, Chitragupta, are the most remarkable among the western group of temples of Khajuraho. Other temples are Vamana, Adinatha, Javari, Chaturbhuj and Duladeo, are the smaller temples but designed elegantly.

Lakshmana_temple-Khajuraho

Lakshmana Temple

The Khajuraho group of monuments and temples are esteemed for soaring terraces and functionally effective plans. The sculptural adornments include besides the clan images of parivara, avarana devatas, dikpalas, apsaras and sura-sundaris and all win universal applause for their exquisite, adolescent female forms of enchanting beauty. The apparel and embellishments embrace the winsome elegance and charisma.

Ercotic Sculptures at Khajuraho Temple

Ercotic sculptures of women
Image by east med wanderer on flickr.com

These temples serve as finest example of Indian architecture that have gained popularity mainly due to their precise depiction of sexual life during medieval time period. These erotic sculptures can be easily locate by anyone on Kandariya Mahadev Temple. The sexual art is located outside the temple or even near the deities. It has been said by many people that the erotic art suggests Tantric practices. Many sculptures, i.e. around 10% display the sexual activities between people rather than among deities. The rest of the sculptures depict the everyday life of the people including women putting on makeup, potters, musicians, farmers, etc.

Wall_outside_temple-Khajuraho

Sculptures on outside walls of one of the temples

The temple complex also offers an evening light and sound show. The show covers the history, philosophy and the art of sculpting of these temples and so enjoyed by most of the people. Two languages are preferred in the show, i.e. English and Hindi. One can choose according to their comfort and understanding of the language. Thus, nobody forgets any moment spent in Khajuraho temples for their whole life.

 

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A Mausoleum Dedicated to Love – Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is such a popular monument that almost everyone in the world knows about it. It is located in the Agra city of Uttar Pradesh, India and is a major tourist destination. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and an iconic structure of India. Due to its beautiful architecture, it is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its beauty is unmatched and has never been surpassed by any other building. This timeless monument was built by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved life Mumtaz Mahal. It is made-up entirely of white marble. Its dazzling architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and dusk. It glows more in the light of the full moon and in the foggy morning, it looks pure white structure, which is placed among the clouds.

Taj_Mahal_Agra_Uttar_Pradesh-India

The timeless beauty – Taj Mahal

This monument is referred as “elegy in marble”. It is a mausoleum that houses the grave of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Later, the grave of Shah Jahan was added up to it. This marvel of India took twenty-two years to complete its construction with the help of twenty thousand workers. More than 1,000 elephants were employed in transportation of the construction material. In 1648 C.E. the whole structure completed perfectly. Total cost of 32 Million rupees was used for the construction purpose. The master architect of the mausoleum was Ustad Isa. He was the renowned architect of his time. Expert craftsmen from several places of India like Delhi, Qannauj, Lahore and Multan were employed. Also, renowned Muslim craftsmen from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara worked on specialized tasks to build it perfectly.

Graves_inside_Taj_Mahal

Graves inside Taj Mahal

Interior of Taj Mahal

Interior of Taj Mahal

The monument stands on a raised and a square platform with its four corners truncated that forms an unequal octagon. The architectural design uses the interlocking arabesque concept in which the each element erects on its own and integrates perfectly with the main structure. Its central dome is 58 feet in diameter and 213 feet in height. It is encompassed by four subsidiary domed chambers. The four graceful, slender minarets outside the main chamber are about 162.5 feet high. The entire mausoleum is decorated with veneer design of flowers and calligraphy using precious gems namely agate and jasper. Main archways are chiseled with passages from the holy Quran and the engrossing work of flowery pattern that captivate charm to its beauty.

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Reflection of Taj Mahal in Yamuna River

The Taj Mahal complex is vast and full of several other palatial buildings like mosques, garden, gateway, reflecting pool, etc. Behind the complex, there is the Yamuna River that reflects the beauty of this marvelous wonder throughout the day. Many replicas are modeled on the Taj Mahal like the Taj Mahal of Bangladesh, Bibi Ka Maqbara in Maharashtra, Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and the Tripoli Shrine Temple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But, none of them were able to get even close to the beauty of Taj Mahal.

Bibi-ka-Maqbara

Bibi ka Maqbara in Maharashtra
It was created by Azam Shah, son of Aurangzeb and grandson of Shah Jahan, to rival the beauty of Taj Mahal

Thus, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of mixed Indian and Muslim art and architecture as it combines the elements of both Persian and Indian architectural elements. A large number of visitors choose the Taj Mahal tour only to see this white marvel. Some tourists across the globe come to India only to visit this elegy in marble. So, a curiosity to visit this marvel of India only makes the Golden Triangle tour popular in India.

 

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The Graceful Art in the Monuments at Mahabalipuram

The Graceful Art in the Monuments at Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram, located in Tamil Nadu, India, is basically famous all across the globe for its famous group of monuments. The monuments and its architecture are so elegant that they are listed in the UNESCO World heritage sites. These monuments were founded by the Pallava Kings in the 7th and 8th centuries. They are popular mainly for their exotic rathas, mandapas, giant open-air reliefs and many more things. These temples are excellent examples of Pallava art.

Mahabalipuram

Panoramic view of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

The monuments of Mahabalipuram are popularly known for its rock carvings and monolithic sculptures. These monuments illustrate the intricate sculptures and carvings which are true evidence to the artisans creativity and craftsmanship. Most of the monuments at Mahabalipuram are very popular like the rock-cut rathas, sculptured scenes of open rocks like Arjuna’s penance, the caves of Govardhanadhari and Ahishasuramardini, and the Jala-Sayana Perumal temple.

Mahabalipuram2

Rock-cut Cave in Mahabalipuram

Of the popular nine monolithic temples, the most important are the Five Rathas. It was named after the famous five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata fame. Draupadi ratha is a simple and beautiful hut like kutagara shrine while the Arjuna ratha is a dvitala vimana. Similarly, other rathas are there and each has its own significance. Ratha temples in the form of cavalcade chariots, monolithic constructions appear as if they are delightfully emerging from the sand. Other notable landmarks are Varaha Mandapa, Mahisamardini Mandapa, Paramesvara Mahavaraha Vishnugriha, etc.

Varaha-Cave-Mahabalipuram

Varaha Cave Temple

Mandapa, or rock sanctuaries modeled as rooms covered with bas-reliefs. Arjuna’s Penance which is the world’s largest bas-relief panel with over a hundred figures of men, gods and beasts are visited by a large number of people.

Arjuna's Penance

Panoramic view of Arjuna’s Penance

Rock reliefs in the open air modeled a popular story in the iconography of Siva, that of the Descent of the Ganges. Temples built from cutting the stoned, like the Temple of Rivage, which was constructed under the reign of King Rajasimha Narasimavarman II, popular for its high-stepped pyramidal tower and thousands of sculptures which are dedicated to the glory of Siva.

Pancha Rathas at Mamallapuram

Pancha Rathas at Mamallapuram

The colossal attraction of this place is the spectacular Shore Temple that is worth to be visited. It is surrounded from all sides by rows of Nandi bulls that are looking out to the sea. This temple was re-built as it was washed away by the cyclone emerged from the sea. This temple is also referred as the Seven Pagodas but out of the seven pagodas, six are submerged in the sea and only one remains now.

Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram

Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram

It is believed by many people that this area was once surely served as a school for young sculptors. The different sculptures, some of them are half finished, are giving the examples of different styles of architecture, probably demonstrated by instructions and practices by young students of that time. This can also be seen in the Pancha Rathas where each Ratha is engraved in a different style.

The glamour of Mahabalipuram lies not only in its monumental architecture but also in its pristine sandy beach, unique architecture, handicrafts and stone carved sculptures. While exploring the different cities of Tamil Nadu, one must add this place in the itinerary of the Southern region as it is a must visit place.

 

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The Legendary Fort of Chittorgarh

The Legendary Fort of Chittorgarh

The Chittorgarh Fort holds a great place in the Indian history. Its palaces, broken walls show the heroism of innumerable sieges. This fort is located in the Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. It is a seven mile fort with a number of palaces. This amazing fort is spread in a large area and located at a great height. It is the largest fort in India in terms of area.

Chittorgarh_Fort

The Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh was one of the furiously contested seats of power in India. It was fortified many times but, the legendary founder of the Sisodia dynasty-Bappa Rawal finally received the Chittor in the middle of the eighth century. This seat was the part of the last Solanki princess’s dowry. In 1330, Allauddin Khilji, Sultan of Delhi fascinated by tales of the exquisite beauty of Padmini who was the Rani of Chittor. After this, he wanted to verify himself about the tales. So, he went Chittor with his army. His armies surrounded the Chittor and the sultan sent a message to Rana Ratan Singh, Padmini’s husband, to say that he would leave the city with his army only if he could able to meet his famous beautiful queen. So, at last Rana Ratan Singh compromised with the sultan to save his empire. He sent a message to the Sultan that if you came unarmed into the fort, only then you would be able to take a reflection of the Rani of Chittorgarh. After this, the Sultan decided accordingly to go up the hill and have a glimpse reflection of the beautiful Padmini standing by a lotus pool. After that Khilji decided to conquer the fort to win Rani Padmini in the battle. Many warriors of both the sides died during the battle. Rana Ratan Singh saved himself and did not want to surrender, due to all that, khilji decided to attack Rani Padmini directly. After hearing this, Rani Padmini and other women of the fort decided to perform Jauhar (self immolation of women and subsequent march of men to the battlefield to end their life with respect) to avoid capture and dishonor at the hands of Muslim invaders. So, this was the famous story behind the famous fort and the beautiful rani’s end. Thus, the fort represents the epitome of tribute to the nationalism, courage, sacrifice exhibited by the Mewar rulers of Sisodia and their kinsmen, women and children.

Chittorgarh_Fort-2

Chittorgarh Fort

Many other battles were taking place to conquer the fort but this was the important one in terms of sacrifice. The huge fort has many things inside it to visit. To reach the fort, one has to pass through the seven huge gates (Pol) namely, Padan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Jorla Pol, Ganesh Pol, Laxman Pol and the last one is Ram Pol.

Popular places to see and visit in the fort are:-

Tower of Victory (Vijay Stambh) – It was built in 1440 AD by the famous ruler Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mohammed Khilji. It is a nine storey tower, adorned mostly by the sculptures of Hindu deities. Around 157 narrow steps are there that leads to the terrace of the tower.

Vijay-Stambh-Chittorgarh-Fort

Vijay Stambh (Tower of Victory)

Tower of Fame (Kirti Stambh) – This tower is dedicated to Adinathji, the first Jain Teerthankar and adorned with the naked figures of the Digambers.

Kirti-Stambh-Chittorgarh-Fort

Kirti Stambh (Tower of Fame)

Gaumukh Reservoir – This reservoir is basically a deep tank filled by a spring coming from a “cow mouth”, located at the edge of the cliff.

Gaumukh-Reservoir-Chittorgarh-Fort

The Gaumukh Reservoir

Rana Kumbha Palace – This place is totally ruined now and is most famous as the Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar there. In spite of the ruined building, it is of great historical and architectural interest.

Rana-Kumbha-Palace-Chittorgarh-Fort

Rana Kumbha Palace Ruins

Padmini Palace – This palace is also famous there as Rani Padmini lived here. It is a distinct feminine structure that overlooks a beautiful pool. This is the palace which is responsible for the battle between Allauddin Khilji and Rana Ratan Singh.

Padmini-Palace-Chittorgarh-Fort

Padmini Palace

Meera Temple – Also known as Meerabai Temple, it was also built by the Maharana Kumbha in 1449. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna.

Meera-Temple-Chittorgarh-Fort

Meera (or Meerabai) Temple

Kalika Mata Temple – This temple is also located inside the fort and simply dedicated to Goddess Kali. It was built originally as Surya or Sun Temple and after that converted to Kali temple.

Kalika-Mata-Temple-Chittorgarh-Fort

Kalika Mata Temple

Fateh Prakash Palace (Government Museum) – This palace or museum was built up by the Maharana Fateh Singh and so the name of the museum is. It is a huge palace with all modern amenities. There is a big sculpture of Lord Ganesha, a fountain and many frescoes. Now, the palace becomes a museum and has a rich collection of sculptures from temples and buildings in the Chittorgarh fort. Today, it is managed by the government of India.

So, Chittorgarh fort has many places to visit and each has its own past behind it. If anyone visits this place then, one should also visit Udaipur to know the whole past and the history behind the city’s battles and the Maharaja’s & Rani’s sacrifices towards their beloved ones.

 

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Jantar Mantar Observatory – The Largest House of Instruments

Jantar Mantar Observatory is one of the famous UNESCO listed heritage sites of Rajasthan. It was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II, a Mughal Commander who served Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and his successors. Jai Singh II built his new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. He had constructed a total of five such houses of instruments, but at different locations, including one in Delhi. The Jaipur Observatory is the largest and best preserved of these and has a set of some 20 main fixed instruments placed in it in an elegant manner. It is just an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts.

Jantar_Mantar-Jaipur

Jantar Mantar in Jaipur

There are many observatories built all over the world, but the Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is considered to be one of the largest observations ever built. Being the largest observatory, it also houses the world’s largest sundial in it. Due to the people’s lots of interest in the Universe and the Cosmos, Maharaja compelled to build this observatory. The people interested in these things can move to this place as it is a right place for them.

Sun_Dial

Sun Dial at Jantar Mantar in Jaipur

This observatory is a perfect combination of the astronomical intelligence with the typical heritage of Rajasthan. On one side of it, the instruments symbolize the astronomical predictions and on the other side, the same marble made instrument honors the heritage of the state. Even though, it was built in the early days, the main importance of this national monument can still be felt by anyone. Due to this, it is the heritage placed on the list of pride of Rajasthan.

Jantar_Mantar-Jaipur (5)

The architecture of the astronomical observatory is very elegant. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices especially located there for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars’ location, etc. Each instrument is a fixed and ‘focussed’ tool. The Samrat Yantra, the largest instrument, which is 90 feet high and the shadow of it is properly plotted to tell the exact time of day. The main face of this instrument is angled at 27 degrees, which is the latitude of Jaipur. The Hindu Chhatri located on top is used as a platform for announcing eclipses and the arrival of monsoons in the medieval era. It was renovated from time to time and houses the above said instruments that provide precise measurements of time, the azimuth, declination of the sun and the positions of constellations along with several other astronomical phenomena.

Jantar_Mantar-Jaipur (4)

This famous Jantar Mantar is a gleaming reminder of the royal heritage of Jaipur and stands as a royal affidavit to a former epoch. This beautiful structure still manages to captivate the attention of tourists and astronomy enthusiasts towards it. It is an intriguing structure, and is a must visit place in Jaipur.

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Jantar Mantars houses multiple unique buildings and each with a specialized function for astronomical measurement. These structures have striking combinations of geometric forms have captivated the attention of architects, artists, and art historians from across the globe. Though it was built in old times, no one can doubt the accuracy and prediction of astronomy through these instruments. Today, Jantar Mantar is one of the popular attractions for the tourists and travelers to Jaipur and it does not leave the impression of excellent architecture only, but also the idea and amazement involved in the interpretations of astrology. “Jantar Mantar”, “the house of instruments”, “the pride of the pink city” are some of the common and popular names given to this observatory. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Rajasthan.

Jantar_Mantar-Jaipur (1)

 

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Bibi Ka Maqbara – Deccan’s own Taj Mahal

Historical places are nice to visit as one can get know more about a country’s past. Bibi Ka Maqbara, Deccan’s own Taj Mahal, is one of the historic monuments in Maharashtra that is unique in its own way. It is located in Aurangabad city and was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. One of the striking features of Bibi Ka Maqbara is its resemblance with the Taj Mahal in Agra in terms of design. Like Taj Mahal, it was also created in the memory of a Mughal emperor’s wife. It is often called the Dakkhani Taj or the Taj of the Deccan.

Bibi-ka-Maqbara

Prince Azam Shah, son of Aurangzeb, created this memorial in the memory of his mother Dilras Banu Begum. It was completed in a time span of 10 years (1651-1661 AD). Azam Shah wanted to create a tomb as grand as the Taj Mahal which was made by his grandfather Shah Jahan. But, Mughal architecture was in its decline during that period and the budget for the construction was limited by Aurangzeb. The resulting monument thus looks more like a poor or cheap replica of the grand beauty Taj Mahal. Bibi Ka Maqbara is some times called the poor man’s Taj Mahal.

Image source-http://travelagencyindia.wordpress.com/

Bibi Ka Maqbara is one of the prime monuments in Aurangabad. It follows the charbagh (literally meaning four gardens) layout which was a common element in Mughal architecture. The marbles used in the construction of this monument were brought from the mines near Jaipur city, Rajasthan. Similar designs from Taj Mahal can be seen all around this monument. Despite many similarities, the Bibi Ka Maqbara is still a tourist place to look out for. Also, while visiting Bibi Ka Maqbara in Aurangabad city, one can also visit the nearby heritage sites like Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2013 in Maharashtra Heritage Sites, Monuments

 

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