Monday, January 30, 2012

Udayagiri Cave No. 4

In Udayagiri (Madhya Pradesh) one can find some of the amazing caves with great sculptural work. The origin of these caves is between 4th to 5th century when rulers from Gupta Dynasty ruled the place. One such cave is No. 4 for convince.

It is a rectangular cell with a rock-cut plinth in which there is a very unique Śhiva linga. This Shiva linga has been given a face with the hair is tied up into a topknot with long locks cascading down each side.

The cave is entered through an entrance with delicately-carved floral scrolls. Externally, the cave is flanked by rock-cut pilasters and two guardians that have been damaged and weather-worn.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lalbagh Flower Show - Phlox

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2011 there were exclusive collection of Phlox on display. The colors were amazing. One of the colorful Phlox flower is below.

The varied colors of the flower.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Serfoji Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur

Located in campus of the Royal Palace of Thanjavur, it is one of the oldest libraries in World. The library has exceptional collection of books, manuscripts, paintings and other valuable items. This library was started sometime between 1535 - 1675 AD by the Nayak Kings of Thanjavur. From 1875 the Maratha rulers further developed this library until 1855.

Most notable among the Maratha Kings was Serfoji II. He took special interest in the enrichment of the Library. He employed many learned people to collect vast number of works from all renowned Centers of learning. As a tribute to the Great Collector Serfoji, the Library has been named after him.

The library has a rare collection of palm leaf, and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. Over 80% of its manuscripts are in Sanskrit. The manuscripts on palm leaves are very unique. There are manuscripts covering a wide area of literature, music and medicine. Some of the manuscripts are from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

A Museum is located in the Library building and one can see some of these items on display. This Museum is small but organized into sections highlighting ancient manuscripts, printed copies of the original drawings, paintings.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thanjavur, Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu

From Chidambaram we drove to Thanjavur to see the magnificent place, the treasure house of art and handicrafts. This city is one of the ancient cities in India and has a long and varied history. The city came into prominence during the Chola period between the 9th and 14th centuries A.D. Later it further flourished during the rule of the Nayaks and Mahrathas. The city is an important agricultural center is known as the "Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu".

It is well known for handicrafts ranging from pithwork, bronze icons, Thanjavur paintings and the classical South Indian musical instruments. It is regarded as the major learning centre for culture and education.

The main tourist attractions in the place are:

We will soon explore these above places.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mysore Zoo - White Peacock

Mysore Zoo is the most popular zoo at Mysore in India. There are various animals and birds at the zoo. One among them is white peacock.

This is a nice place for the kids to get know about the various animals in the wild.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Peshwa Museum, Pune

Peshwa Museum in Pune is on Prvati Hill adjacent to Parvati Temple. For people who are interested in history and want to know about Peshwa rulers a visit to the museum is a must.

On the hill top a palace was built by Shrimant Peshwa in the year 1795. Part of the Peshwa Palace has been converted into museum.

At the museum on display are the items belonging to Peshwa era. Here there are paintings of all Peshwas, Maratha Sardars along with the arms, manuscripts, coins and other articles which were in use in those days. Photography inside the museum is not allowed.

A glimpse of interiors can be seen from the entrance.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Aurangabad, City of Gates

From Pune we went to Shirdi. From here we traveled to Aurangabad by train covering a distance of 120 kms.

Aurangabad city located in Maharastra is more than 2200 years old and was known by many other names in the past like Rajtadak or Fatehbad.
It was given the present name by the Moghul ruler Aurangzeb. The entire city was fortified with the erection of huge entrance gates. Due to this it is known as "City of Gates". Today only 13 gates have survived test of time out of 54 gates.

This place is famous for Himroo and Paithani Sarees.
These sarees have gold and silver threads woven in silk fabric. There are many interesting places around the city. The places that I had covered during my visit of the city are:

We shall explore these places in detail soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Garden at Shaniwar Wada, Pune

Shaniwar Wada in Pune cannot be missed by any tourist at it is at the center of the city. Built in 1732, it is the residence of the Peshwas.This place in the ancient time had beautiful garden around the palace. Now there is only glimpse of past glory.

The garden had remarkable fountains in those days.

I have captured some of the flowers that had bloomed in the garden during my visit to the place.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore

Established in 1892, the Mysore Zoo at Mysore it is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in India. It is home to a wide range of wild species. The zoo is spread across 45 acres now and it is founded by Maharaja Chamarajendra Wodeyar. Officially the zoo is known as Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, named after the founder of the zoo.

This is one of the well maintained place, where animals are well taken care of. This is a nice place for the kids to get know about the various wild species. The trip through the zoo consumes more than half a day.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lalbagh Flower Show - Dahlia

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2011 there were exclusive collection of Dahlias on display. The colors were amazing. One of the colorful Dahlia is below.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram

Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram is one of the prominent temples in South India. This 6th century Lord Shiva temple represents element sky of the basic 5 elements of nature (Others land, water, air, fire). The place where temple located is the center point of world's magnetic equator.

The temple occupies 40 acres of land and had several renovations over the years in the the ancient and pre-medieval periods by several dynasties such as Pallava, Chola, Pandya, Vijayanagara and Chera.The temple is well endowed with several water bodies within and around the temple complex.

There are 9 gateways around the temple from where one can enter the temple complex. 4 of the gateways facing in the East, West, South and North are 7 storeys.

The intricate carvings adorn the tower. The sculptures of the temple were inspired the postures of dance form Bharatha Natyam.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Castle Mandwa, Shekhawati

Castle Mandwa at Mandwa in the Shekhawati Region was build in 1755 by Thakur Nawal singh, a descendant of Rao Shekha, the founder of Shekhawati. In those days this was fortress and now it is converted into a luxury hotel.

Two imposing gateways lead to the central courtyard where cannons stand as a reminder of the past when they were used to repel the enemy.

The palace in the fort hosts beautiful fresco paintings. Mostly vegetable pigments were used for coloring. Some of the main ingredients are kajal for black, lime for white, neel for blue, geru for red, kesar for orange, yellow clay for yellow. Family portraits, antique cannons and arms add to the charm of this palace.