Monday, November 28, 2011

Trimurti Cave Temple, Mahabalipuram

Trimurti Cave Temple in Mahabalipuram is located behind huge rocks and a passage leads one to this temple.

We would have missed seeing this temple, had I not followed a group of travelers going in the direction of the rocks. I am glad I followed them.

This 7th century rock-cut shrine is unique in that is honors the Hindu Trinity in one place. This cave temple is devoted to three supreme gods of Hindus, Brahma-the creator, Vishnu-the preserver and Shiva-the destroyer.

There is a separate section in the temple for each of them.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Great Stupa of Sanchi

If one is in Bhopal, not a single opportunity to visit the 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi should be missed. It was commissioned by the emperor Ashoka in the third century BCE. It is one of the oldest stone structures in India.

It is a simple hemispherical brick structure measuring 36.5mts in diameter and 16.4 mts high. built over the relics of the Buddha. It is crowned by a parasol-like structure symbolizing high rank. Inside the Stupa there are relics of the Buddha. The dome which is flattened near the top is crowned by three superimposed parasols within a square railing. It is a symbol of the Dharma, the Wheel of the Law.

There are four monumental gateways (toranas) facing the cardinal directions.
The gateways carved out of stone are covered with narrative sculptures. They showed scenes from the life of the Buddha. They show scenes from the life of Buddha. The gateways were erected c. 35 BCE. The four gateways are the finest works of art at Sanchi and are among the finest examples of Buddhist art in India.

On these stone carvings the Buddha was never depicted as a human figure as it was thought to be too confining for the Buddha. The artists choose to represent him by certain attributes, such as the horse on which he left his father’s home, his footprints or a canopy under the Bodhi Tree at the point of his enlightenment.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Grandeur of Shindyanchi Chhatri, Pune

When in Pune, a visit to Shindyanchi Chhatri is must. Built in 1795 this architectural marvel has intricate carvings on the external surface.

Above is the top part of front portion of the Chhatri, while below is the bottom portion of the same.

The interiors are beautifully carved and painted. The bright interiors is a nice contrast to wonderful carvings on the exterior.

Here in the above one can see the beautifully carved arches and the painting on them. Below is a closer look at the painted carvings on the arches. Most of the decorations are flower patterns.

Below one can see the interior and external carvings.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Orchids - 9

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on January 2011 there were exclusive collection of Orchids on display. The colors were amazing. Below are some of the orchids on display:

There were stalls selling the Orchids plants outside the flower show. The price ranged from Rupees 600 to 1200 depending on the variety.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pancha Rathas, Mahabalipuram

Pancha Rathas are group of important monuments in Mahabalipuram. These 7th century shrines were carved sometime in the period 630 - 670 A.D. during the reign of King Narasimhavarman I. There are totally five shrines, each of them are monolith, carved out from an outcropping of rock.

Since these temples are still unfinished, no worship has been offered there.
Pancha Rathas when translated mean "five chariots", and they are named individually after Draupadi and the Pandava brothers. It is different matter that there may not be relation between them and the epic Mahabharata.

The view in this photo is from the northwest.
In the foregrou
nd is a carved lion. Behind the lion, from left to right in the photo, are the Draupadi, Arjuna, and Bhima Rathas. In front of Bhima Ratha is Elephant and Nakul-Sahadava Ratha. Dharmaraja Ratha is hidden in this photo behind the other structures.

Draupadi Shrine is the smallest and simplest and it is formed as a bangla hut. The Arjuna shrine is like a small palace or pavillion, with sculpted pilasters, and an octagonal dome. Bhima Shrine is the largest with its
barrel vaulting and long columned porch. Seated lions are carved in front of the columns at the base. Nakul-Sahadeva Shrine is south-facing and is in apsidal shape.

Dharmaraja Shrine is a larger version of the Arjuna Shrine with pyramidal roof. The building is topped by an octagonal-shaped dome, the shikhara. Since there is a increase in the elevation below this shrine, it gives a clear look at the decorative elements of its roof, when compared with Arjuna's similar roof.

The craftsmanship when viewed in person will be appreciated more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Pune

The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is in Pune is a must see place. The museum showcases the various items that are collected by Dr Dinkar G. Kelkar since 1920.

The museum is a three storey building that houses more that 20000 items of which 2,500 are on display. There are various sculptures, ornaments made of ivory, silver and gold, musical instruments, paintings, war weapons and vessels, etc.

Some of the sculptures date back to 14th century. Also on display are Indian decorative items from everyday life and other art objects, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries.

One need more than half a day to cover this museum leisurely. Unfortunately I had only one hour on my hand, I did not purchase the ticket for photography. I entered the the museum when there was one hour for closure.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Multi Color Rose

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2011 there were exclusive collection of roses on display. The colors were amazing. One of the rose that I liked most is dual color rose.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

ISKCON Temple, Bangalore

When in Bangalore all tour operators will surely take one to this temple. Even though new the temple has been constructed beautifully and well known in the city. ISKCON Temple is the temple of Lord Krishna and Radha. It is located at Rajajinagar, in the North Bangalore.

Built on a small hillock it is one of the largest ISKCON temples in the world. The construction of the temple that sprawls on 7 acres of land is completed in 1997. Built in neo-classical style of architecture, the temple brings together conventional architecture with ultra-modern services.

The Temple has six shrines. The main shrine is for Radha-Krishna. Others are Krishna Balrama, Nitai Gauranga, Srinivasa Govinda, Prahlada Narasimha and Srila Prabhupada.
The main hall of the temple covering a area of 10000 sq ft has the first three shrines that are listed above. The ceiling of the hall is decorated with beautiful paintings of Lord Krishna made by the Russian painters.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Grandeur of 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. Originally there was a palace here surrounded by fortification walls.

However, a fire later gutted the buildings in this place and what now remains is the plinths and fortification walls.
To experience the grandness of this place one has to see the balcony at the top of Dilli Darwaz.

The balcony has wooden pillars that are beautifully carved with floral designs. Each of the pillars are carved exactly same with no difference at all.

The palace in those days had several rooms for queens, court hall, dancing hall any many other rooms. They were beautifully painted. A glimpse of which can be seen in the interiors of Dilli Darwaza. There is a beautiful painting of Lord Ganesha and Lord Vishnu sleeping on the serpent.

The place had beautiful gardens and fountains which we will try to explore soon.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Alstromaria

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

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

The tour of Mahabalipuram is not complete without a visit to the famous Shore Temple. This imposing temple is located away from other rock cut shrines. As the name suggests it is on the shore of Bay of Bengal. It is built sometime during the period of Pallava King Rajasimha (700 - 728 A.D.). It is one of the earliest structural temple in Southern part of India, very different from other rock-cut monuments in this place.

The temple has 3 sanctuaries and they are dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The pyramidal structure is 60 ft high and sits on a 50 ft square platform. The roofs of the temple are capped by finials indicating that the temple was complete and functional.

Underneath the towers the walls of the temple are mostly p
lain except for the engaged columns that are carved with lion bases. At the top of the compound walls around the temple there are large sculptures of Nandi.

There is a huge rock-cut of sculpture of a lion rode by two young women in the temple premises. The lion has a small a square shaped cut in its belly with the carving of Goddess Durga.

This temple is listed in UNESCO World Heritage.