Monday, October 31, 2011

Patwon ki Haveli, Jaisalmer

When in Jaisalmer, our guide took us through the several narrow lanes. We were not sure where he was taking us and when we reached the destination what was in front of us was stunning. We had heard a lot about Havelis of Jaisalmer but were certainly not prepared for this architectural extravaganza.

We were in front of magnificent Patwon ki Haveli. This was built by Guman Chand Patwathe well-renowned dealers in brocade, gold and silver embroidery during those times.
Built between 1800 and 1860 this five-storey mansion has five suites for the five sons of the merchant.

This beautiful sandstone mansion is carved and pieced together with in different patterns. This difference is undone by the perfect harmony in architecture.

The lavish haveli showcases their beauty of craftsmanship in the stone carving. It surely hypnotizes one and all with its charm. No two windows are same.

Every window has something different to offer.
It reflects the unique architecture of traditional Jaisalmer. The splendid monument adds to the old glory and grandeur of the place.

It is not possible to capture every detail of this marvel in camera. One has to be there in person to really enjoy it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Colorful 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, October 27, 2011

Shindyanchi Chhatri, Pune

When in Pune, one must no miss to visit Shindyanchi Chhatri, situated in Wanowrie. It is a architectural marvel.

Mahadji Shinde as commander-in-chief of the Maratha army under the Peshwas served Pune for 20 years from 1760 to 1780. This chhatri is the memorial dedicated to this great solider.

He was cremated on 12th February 1794 in Pune and in this spot a memorial was built by Madhavrao Sindhia in the year 1795. It has an exquisite architecture, reflecting the style used in Rajasthan. The Anglo-Rajasthani style of construction exhibits a fine blending of two different cultures. The memorial showcase the splendor of the past, representing the rich heritage of that era.

The exteriors are done with perfection, giving intricate details to every carving. Even years after its construction, the memorial retains its architectural designs and beauty and seems to be totally unaffected by time.

This is open for visitors from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Entry Fee Rs.2.00

Monday, October 24, 2011

Olakneswara Temple, Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram is famous for finely carved rock cut shrines. Adjacent to the hill on which there is a lighthouse, there is a superb rock-cut shrine of Mahishasuramardini Mandapa.

On top of the diorite hillock where the cave is present is an another ancient shrine, Olakneswara Temple.

It was closed when we were there. On the exterior walls it had beautiful carvings.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Pentas

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2011 there were exclusive collection of Pentas on display. The colors were amazing.

A glimpse of the different colors.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shaniwar Wada, Pune

Shaniwar Wada in Pune is the most magnificent and stately mansion built chiefly as the residence of the Peshwas. The foundation of the original residence was laid by Bajirao - I in 1730 A.D. and the construction completed in 1732 A.D. His successors made several additions such as fortification walls, with bastions and gates, court halls and other buildings, fountains and reservoirs in 1828 A.D.
However, fire gutted the building in this place and what now remains is their plinths and fortification wall with five gateways and nine bastions that enclosed the whole complex. Nobody knows what caused the fire. The complex had an impressive lotus-shaped fountain in the garden. The location of this can be seen in the below image (the central part near the green cover where no people are present).
The main gate of the complex known as Dilli Darwaza faces north towards Delhi. This strongly built entrance has massive doors, large enough to admit elephants outfitted seating canopies. Each door has seventy-two sharp twelve-inch steel spikes arranged in a nine by eight grid which are at the height of elephants forehead. On the right door there is a small man-sized door for usual entries and exits.
The invading army can not charge through the open main gates as there is a sharp right turn followed by a sharp left before entering into the central complex. This would provide a defending army with another chance to attack the incoming army, and to launch a counterattack to recapture the gateway.

One of the brass canons with carvings on them in the complex.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chidambaram, City of the Cosmic Dancer

From Mahabalipuram in the afternoon we left for Chidambaram which is at a distance of 145 kms, via Pondicherry. Unfortunately it was past 6 p.m when we reached Pondicherry. Hence could not see much of this place other than a few. From here we moved to Cudlore where we had our rooms booked for overnight stay.
Early morning we left for our destination. Chidambaram, known as the 'City of the Cosmic Dancer' as the ancient Nataraja Temple of the dancing Shiva is located here.

Chidambaram is a center second to none in representing the rich cultural heritage of India. The artifacts hand created from here are rich in quality and artistry. Above is one of the four entrance towers of the temple.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Pink Candytuft

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2011 there were little beautiful flowers Candy-tuft. These were on display in a variety of colors. One of them was pink in color.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Parvati Temple, Pune

Parvati Hill and Temple in Pune is an important landmark. Located very close to the city center it is a main tourist attraction.

One can reach top of the hill by climbing approximately 110 steps. Here the main temple at the top as the name suggests is of Goddess Parvati.

It was built by the third Peshwa, Shrimant Nana Saheb in the year 1749 A.D. There is no change in the temple architecture that we see today. It was constructed in this style on those days itself. Probably only new thing in the temple is the paint.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mahishasuramardini Cave, Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram is famous for finely carved rock cut shrines. Adjacent to the hill on which there is a lighthouse, there is a superb rock-cut shrine of Mahishasuramardini Mandapa.

This is a 7th century cave temple where front part adorned with four columns.
There are two impressive friezes one at each end of the long veranda.

On the panel in the right, Goddess Durga seated astride on her lion wielding an assortment of weapons. She is slaying a buffalo-headed demon, Mahisha, who disturbs the delicate balance of life. Goddess is accompanied by eight ganas, where as Mahisa with his army of seven demons is retreating. Hence, the name Mahish-asura-mardini meaning ‘destroyer of demon’.

At the opposite end of the veranda, Lord Vishnu is lying under the protective hood of the seven-headed serpent Adishesha in the sea of eternity. Below Vishnu there is Bhu-devi, Mother Earth. Above and below the God are shown four flying ayudh-purushas - divine weapons of Lord.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Penstetom Purple

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2011 there were little beautiful flowers Penstetom. These were on display in a variety of colors. One of them was purple in color.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2nd October, 1869 in Porbandar. He completed his basic education in India and then moved on to London to study Law. After that he practiced law in South Africa.

Later he returned back to India in 1915 to join he freedom struggle against British. He led Indians in protesting the British-imposed salt tax with the 250 mile Dandi Salt March.

He practiced non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha.

With his principles he forced British to free India from their clutches.

The above images of Gandhi and beach are taken at Malpe Beach at Udupi.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lalbagh Gardens - Tree Fossil, Bangalore

The Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore is an important destination where one can find variety of flowers, fountains, trees. One of them is tree fossil.

This tree fossil is a collection from the Natioanl Fossil Park, Tiruvakkarai, South Arcot in Tamilnadu. It is supposed to be 20 million years old.

The fossil is of petrified coniferous tree.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

ASI Museum Garden - 2, Shimoga

In Shimoga the ASI Museum has a beautiful garden. The garden with flowery plants attract lot of butterflies.

With these flowers one can see lot of butterflies flying around.

This butterflies are colorful and have different patterns on them.