Saturday, July 31, 2010

Camels in Desert, Sam

From Jaisalmer (State: Rajasthan) at a distance of 42 kms is a popular spot in the desert is Sam (State: Rajasthan). People go to this place to watch sunset.

One can reach this place by driving on the road. Other most popular means of transport is camel safari.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Khajuraho Temples

From Orchha (State: Madhya Pradesh) we moved to our next destination Khajuraho (State: Madhya Pradesh) which is at a distance of 180 kms. Here one requires 2 full days to cover the monuments and other places around.

Khajuraho derives its name from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree), which can be found in plenty in the area. The World famous temples of Khajuraho were constructed between 950 and 1050 A.D. during the reign of Chandel Empire. During those days there were 85 temples, of which only 22 still exist.

Most of the temples are built of sandstone in varying shades of buff, pink or pale yellow. Erotic scenes represent a relatively small part of the carvings but sensuous eroticism prevails throughout all of the sculptures. The divine sculptures in these temples, are a tribute to Life itself, embodying everything that is sublime and spontaneous about it.The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions:
We shall attempt to cover these temples in some detail in the subsequent posts.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Murals of Laxminarayan Temple, Orchha

In Orchha (State: Madhya Pradesh) the Laxminarayan Temple of 1622 is one of the most important tourist attraction of the place.

The inner portion of the temple in the ceilings are adorned with murals, where the themes are based on Sage Valmiki’s Ramayana, and the poet, Tulsidas’, Ram Charitra Manas. In the painting above among other things one can see Lord Krishna with Radha.

The vivacious colors of the frescoes are still retained. In the painting above there are various animals like men on elephants and horses. There are also peacocks at the corners.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Laxminarayan Temple, Orchha

In Orchha (State: Madhya Pradesh) the Laxminarayan temple is one of the most important tourist attraction of the place. Though the temple is dedicated the Goddess Laxmi, there is no idol of the Goddess in the temple.

This beautiful temple was built in 1622 by Vir Singh Deo. The condition of the temple soon worsened due to inadequate maintenance. It was reconstructed by Prithvi Singh during 1793. Built using lime mortar and bricks, the architecture of temple exceptional blend of temple and fort architecture. The temple has a rectangular plan with four multi-faced projecting bastions at its four corners. There are mural paintings on the interior walls of the temple.

The carvings on the central dome are exquisite as can be seen in the above image. The pillars on the corners are ornate with carvings. There is a statue of Lord Ganesh on this structure.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bijapur, City of Victory

Bijapur (State: Karnatka) is located at a distance of 530 km northwest of Bangalore. This city was established in the 10th - 11th centuries by the Chalukya Dynasty. It was then referred as Vijayapura (City of victory).

From the 13th century onwards this city was ruled by Mughal, Bahamani rulers. The city landscape is covered with great monuments of historical importance built during the Adil Shahi dynasty. It had a citadel of 6km stretch around the city. Within the citadel are the remains of both Hindu temples and old mosques. Outside the walls are the remains of a vast city, now for the most part in ruins.

The places of interest both old and new here are:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Flowering Trees - Jacaranda

Bangalore is slowly changing from the Garden City to concrete jungle. However, some of the trees that helped it to earned its name, still adorn the streets of Bangalore. The beauty of these flowering trees is appreciated and cherished. It is pleasure to move on the streets of Bangalore with all the trees around you.

One such tree is beautiful Jacaranda flower tree. Mostly the tree bears flowers when the tree is leafless.

The flowers are purple colored and tubular. These flowers hang from the tree for a long time before falling off.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Heritage Jain Temples Stamps

Government of India on 14th October 2009 released two stamps on the Jain Heritage Temples - Ranakpur Temple and Dilwara Temples. Each of these stamps are of denomination Rpees 5.

I visited both these temples in December 2004, when I toured the State of Rajasthan.

Ranakpur Temples: Located in Ranakpur (State: Rajasthan) this 15th century temple is famous world-wide for their intricate and superb architectural style. This temple is wholly constructed in light colored marble covering an total area of 48000 sq feet. There are more than 1400 exquisitely carved pillars that support the temple. 

Dilwara Temples: Located in Mount Abu (State: Rajasthan) these temples of 11th to the 13th century AD are world famous for their minutely carved ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels in marble. The specialty of these temples is externally they look very plane. This temple is on World Heritage Monuments list.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dinman Hardaul's Palace, Orchha

In Orchha (State: Madhya Pradesh) the 17th century Dinman Hardaul's Palace is a symbol of the respect and love between brothers. The splendid edifice of Palace represents the rich artistic skills and creative imagination of the local craftsmen of the ancient times.

According to a historical legend, Dinman Hardaul's Palace was constructed in honor of the prince Hardaul who sacrificed his life for his elder brother Jhujhar. The elder brother had suspected that his younger brother was romantically involved with his long time companion and friend. Due to this prince Hardaul decided end his life to show his virtuous nature to Jhujhar.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Phool Bagh and Wind Towers, Orchha

In Orchha (State: Madhya Pradesh) the Phool Bagh is a beautiful garden of the royal rulers of the Bundelkhand dynasty. Surrounded by colorful and attractive flower beds in those days, Phool Bagh was the summer palace of the rulers of Orchha.

The shot below was taken from the Charurbhuj Temple. On the left is Ram Raja Temple and in the extreme right the two towers are Wind Towers. In the center is Phool Bagh Palace.

Next to Phool Bagh palace, are the cooling towers which caught the prevailing wind. The huge towers would capture the hot winds and produce a cooling effect over the entire area.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dayalbagh Gardens, Agra

Dayalbagh (State: Uttar Pradesh) is at a distance of 15 kms from Agra. Here in 1861, Shiv Dayal Sahib stared a religious movement known as Radhasoami Satsang Movement, that is an amalgamation of a number of other religions. In his memory his disciples constructed the Dayalbagh Gardens.

This is actually not a flower garden, but home for a monument with beautiful carvings.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha

In Orchha (State: Madhya Pradesh) apart from palaces other attractions are temples in the city. One of the major attraction in the city is Chaturbhuj Temple, built between the years 1558 and 1573 by Raja Madhukar.

Built upon a massive stone platform and it is reached by a steep flight of steps. This is a huge temple that has plenty of light and space inside. The temple has a huge cross-shaped congregation hall that caters to devotees. Conical spires crown the sanctuary of the spacious temple. The temple was specially constructed to enshrine the image of Rama that queen got from Ayodha. But this could not happen and the image of Rama remained in the Ram Raja Temple forever.

Lotus emblems and other symbols provide the delicate exterior ornamentation. The doorway is crafted beautifully.