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Showing posts with label Forts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Forts. Show all posts

Teli ka Mandir, Gwalior

When was the last time you drove for 6-7 hours since early morning, just to visit that splendid spot? 

When you are in the country known India, there are many such spots which are destinations in themselves. Even a whole day travel is worth to just spend 30-40 minutes at the spot. Ancient Teli-Ka Mandir in Gwalior is one such spot. Colossal size, splendid architecture, intricate carvings of Gods and Goddesses and image of Garuda, vehicle of Lord Vishnu make this temple a complete destination.

More than 100 ft. in height, the temple is a unique blend of different Indian architectural styles. It is the tallest structure in the Gwalior Fort. Check out the different styles of lower half and the upper dome.
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Alwar - Unseen Getaway

State where once Rolls Royce’s were deployed to collect garbage, could not have been an ordinary place. Legend of Maharaja Jai Singh of Alwar is well known, how he bought Rolls Royce company to its knees. Apart from the legend of Maharaja jai Singh Alwar is acclaimed worldwide for its famous dessert Kalakand (Milk-Cake). 

Located midway between Delhi and Jaipur, Alwar is one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan, with history going back to the time when Viratnagar used to be flourishing center. Viratnagar, the same Matsya Desh dating back to the times of Mahabharata, where Pandavas spent last year of the 13 years of exile. Despite located close to Delhi, Alwar somehow gets missed out from the itinerary as crowds prefer opulence of Jaipur or probably information about unseen spots in Alwar is rather limited.

Alwar City has several spots, which make it a worthy weekend getaway destination. Though Alwar is a dry region, but has a celestial Siliserh lake, which shall be the first spot in the Alwar itinerary. The Siliserh Lake is a big man-made lake, constructed by Vinay Singh in year 1845 AD and was supposed to provide the water supply reserves for Alwar state.
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Maheshwar - Cultured by Ahilya Bai Holkar

Once the devil Ravana took up a fight with King Sahastrabahu. However, the result did not go as per his expectations and Ravana was taken as prisoner by king Sahastrabahu. The place where Ravana was kept as prisoner is mentioned as “Mahishmati” in Ramayana.


Yes, the same “Mahishmati” which was mentioned in blockbuster movie Bahubali. But where this city Mahishmati is or had existed in the past? After finished our exploration of Mandu, we were all set to Maheshwar, 45 km. from Mandu situated along the banks of river Narmada.


This small and peaceful town is noted for its mammoth Ghats, temples, and Sarees. Lots of pilgrims and saints come here to offer prayers and worship sacred river Narmada. Lot of Saints, why? Reason being - The mythological city of Mahishmati “, is now known as Maheshwar. Our spirits soared to unprecedented heights to realize that we were standing in legendary mythological city of “Mahishmati”.


To thank the Gods for this fortunate trip, we went to the banks of Narmada River for thanksgiving. That is the first thing to be done in Maheshwar. Neat and clean mammoth structures alongside the Ghats (riverbanks) will ensure every moment spent here is worth. Ahilya Ghat is the most prominent place of worship on river Narmada.


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Mandu - City of Love destroyed by Powerquest

Situated approx. 100 km. from Indore, Mandu is a small ancient city in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Mandu rose to its peak of glory under patronage of then king Baz Bahadur. This was the time when love story of Baz Bahadur and his queen Rani Roopmati had painted the Mandu in colours of love during 16th century. Till date their love story is the flavour of all folk tales and song-dance theme in this Malwa region. Baz Bahadur (commonly known as Brave Hawk) was a warrior par excellence who fall in love with Roopmati, a shepherd with a symphonic voice.


Testimony to their fairy tale saga: To respect the desire of Roopmati to worship river Narmada every morning, Baz Bahadur constructed a Pavilion (Roopmati Mandap) cum military observatory fort to enable Roopmati get a sight of and worship river Narmada daily from terrace of pavilion.

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24 hours in Bikaner

A quick escape to the warmth of Rajasthan is just what you need this winter
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Forts, Beaches and Alibaug in the Incredible Western Ghats

Older than the Himalaya mountains, is the Western Ghats ranges that runs parallel to the western coast of the India through the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. A drivable road from inside the lush green forests and alongside the coastline will take you on a journey to a different world.


What is Western Ghats? A world set aside in the serenity of the green mountains, where music of chirping birds and where streams of flowing water play a perfect symphony to the tired souls. Well known for their rich and unique flora and fauna, Western Ghats is one of the eight "hottest hot-spots" of biological diversity in the world and UNESCO has declared Western Ghats, a world heritage site.


As per the studies, Western Ghats are sustaining around 7402 species of flowering plants, 1814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammals' species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6000 insect species and 290 freshwater fish species. This is not all, many may get discovered tomorrow. Over and above these, Western Ghats provides shelter to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.

A small welcome break from the business schedule opened a window to explore the incredible Land of Western Ghats, its biodiversity, nearby a small coastal town of Alibaug. Alibaug is much popular for its neat and clean beaches. It was the time to enjoy attractions near Alibaug.


We started early morning for our first destination, Korlai Fort which is approx. 25 Km. (75 minutes) from Alibaug. Though now in ruins, Korlai Fort is an old Portuguese structure situated on a hill top. Built in the year 1521, Korlai Fort originally meant as a watch point for the invaders and was used to be a house of 7,000 people including horses and Portugese army men. The Korlai Fort is surrounded by Arabian Sea on three sides and has a beautiful lighthouse as major attraction.

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Orchha - Land of Forts, Palaces, Cenotaphs, Relics and Ruins

Going beyond the ravines of Chambal, we were on the way to explore a small hidden town of Orchha, which literally means hidden. Orchha is a small town on banks of Betwa river in Niwari district of Madhya Pradesh, 125 km. from Gwalior and 15 km. from Jhansi. Kingdom of Orchha was established in the 16th century AD, year 1531 AD by the Bundela Rajput chief, Rudra Pratap Singh on the banks of Betwa River. Orchha was developed as an impenetrable fortified citadel. Orchha fort complex consists of numerous temples, forts and cenotaphs (Chhatris), these all make Orchha an interesting spot to explore.


All good things shall start with a prayer to the Gods; first spot in Orchha shall be the Raja Ram Temple, an acclaimed temple which was earlier in fact a queen’s palace. This is the only temple in the world where Lord Rama is worshipped as King Rama. 

Adjacent to Raja Ram temple is the gigantic Chaturbhuj Temple, built by the king Madhukar to idolize Lord Rama. However, Lord Rama decided to rest in the Raja Ram Temple. 
Read the interesting story about Raja Ram temple and Chaturbhuj Temple...

After praying, time to walk the heritage trail. Orchha fort consists of many palaces like Raja Mahal, Jahangir Mahal and Rai Parveen Mahal. Jahangir Mahal reflects the Bundela architecture. The views from the balconies in the palace are spectacular. Raja Mahal is most ancient historic monuments in Orchha fort. Standing on the island created by Betwa River, Raj Mahal is surrounded by a battlement wall.

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Saga of Raja Ram Temple at Orchha

After exploring the Chambal ravines and an amazing pit stop at Sonagiri temples the road to Orchha was in front of us. We have driven for 15 km. from Sonagiri, when a fort along side a river came to our sight. It was the imposing 7 storied Datia Fort, also known as Bir Singh Palace. However no member of Datia royal family ever lived in this palace.


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Golden City of Jaisalmer

This is a place whose skyline is crafted in Gold, has been a travellers’ delight since long. Located in the heart of scorching and arid Thar Desert the Golden Yellow colour becomes a delight to eyes much before the majestic “Jaisalmer” begins.

 

Boarding an early morning train (Delhi-Jaisalmer Express) from Blue City of Jodhpur, we comfortably arrived in “Golden City” at 11:15 AM with second half still with us to explore. The mighty and impregnable fortification of “SONAR Qila” rising like a mirage from the ground, which is also the largest living fort on this earth is the landmark and defines the skyline of this city.

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The Blue City of Jodhpur...

City of Jodhpur, also known as Blue City has been a travelers delight since times. City of Jodhpur has something which is very unique to Jodhpur only. Mighty Mehrangarh Fort and royal grandeur of Umaid Bhawan Palace has made Jodhpur frequently being listed as most extraordinary places to visit and stay, most recently in 2014 by Lonely Plant. Check Mehrangarh Fort on top of the Hill:


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Garhi Padhavali - the Fortress Temple

Inspired, charged and rejuvenated after the exploration of Mitawali, it was the time to unearth one more jewel from the chronicles of Golden Indian Heritage.

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Friends welcome to "PADAWALI", a fortress temple dedicated to all the Gods (Padawali is spelt differently across various places/ platforms). Padawali is just 3 km. from Mitawali and can be visited comfortably with Mitawali. You only must make sure your vehicle does not run the risk of running out of fuel. Area around Mitawali is devoid of any habitation however the region around Padhavali is populated with several villages. 


As an honorary tradition in India, Red Carpet welcome is extended to all the visiting dignitaries at the entrance. Find out yourself, a grand welcome by none other than the mighty: LIONS: on moving closer to the main structure:

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Udaipur: Isn't Venice - Udaipur of the West..

It was all excitement and counting of days as soon as we planned a trip to Udaipur, one of the most romantic places in India and also popular as “city of lakes”. Every lane of the city is worth falling in love and network of Seven (7) lakes provide an ideal setting for romantic evenings. Established by Maharana Udai Singh in 1553, when he shifted the capital of Mewar from Chittorgarh. Udaipur City is one of best examples of Royality defined from India is one of most visited tourist destinations across the world. 

 

Along with Chittorgarh, Udaipur is a proud constituent of Mewar region. Mewar is the region which has weathered most of the attacks coming from the West to protect India. The folk tales of brave Rajputs and Maharana Pratap can be heard at every street and corner of this city. After history hunting at Chittorgarh, it was the time to discover the Grand Udaipur City.


As all good things shall start by prayers; one auto rickshaw driver advised us to first visit the Manshapurna Karni Mata Temple on the Machla Hills and enjoy the ropeway ride to reach the temple on top of hill. While enjoying the ropeway, one can click some breath-taking views of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Park adjacent to Doodh Talai Lake.



From the ropeway, the distant emerald Lake Pichola was visible and calling us to cherish the legendary boat rides on its blue waters. As soon as we returned from the temple, within no time we were at the boat ride station entry.

In the front of us were visible the noted monuments of Udaipur. The Boat ride will take you closer to Udaivilas and Lake Palace hotels which are situated in the middle of waters. Lake Palace used to serve as royal residence during summers.


All the lakes are interconnected. While enjoying our ride, a beautiful channel of connection of Lake Pichola with Fatehsagar lake.

No doubts all the boats gather at this point to click, this beautiful spot. Now I fully understood, why foreigners prefer to call Udaipur as “Venice of the East”. Venice must be feeling proud on this comparison with Udaipur. Check out Udaipur City from the water side...
Ride turned a full circle and the majestic City Palace, the royal residence of royal family of Udaipur was standing in front of us.

City Palace is complex of 11 palaces, courtyards and gardens and acclaimed globally for its intricate peacock mosaics, something heard only in mythological stories. A good part of City Palace is now turned into a museum. Camera is allowed inside after paying the prescribed entry fees. Take your camera to capture the grandeur from inside...
Also can have a royal meal inside the premises:

Around 200m. from City Palce is the major attraction and much visited Jagannath temple or Jagdish Temple.

It is believed that Lord Jagannath ordered the Maharana to build a temple in Udaipur where the God himself will come to bless this place. This 100 ft. high temple is also an architectural marvel and various mythological stories have been carved on the walls of this temple.

One has to take 32 marble steps to reach the temple. And to welcome the visitors, there stands two huge elephants with its trunk uplifted on either side of the stairs.
These elephants were built 11 stones’ blocks with such a craft that the joints are never visible. Lord Vishnu is called as Lord Jagdish here and is the worshipped deity here.







Located at the north of Lake Pichola is the Fatehsagar lake, which is an artificial lake and one of the most popular tourist hangout destinations in Udaipur.

Surrounded by Aravalli Ranges, the panoramic lake looks like an artists sketch. It is an ideal place to enjoy some quite moments with yourself or some romantic moments with your beloved.
Near to Fatehsagar Lake is the Maharana Pratap Memorial, the life of Maharana has been depicted by paintings. The most prominent being a caricature of Maharana Pratap slicing the Mughal officer along with his horse into 2 pieces with a single blow of his sword. During the battle of Haldighati Mughal officer had challenged Maharana Pratap for a duel fight.

A model of Chittorgarh Fort is also on display, as we were coming from Chittorgarh, we started identifying all the land mark features of the fort once more...



Next in the line was beautiful aura of lush green lawns, gardens, marble art and fountains, the place known as Saheliyon Ki Badi.







Built by Rana Sangram Singh, the place used to serve as the recreation spot for the royal maids. Notable feature here is the white marble umbrella/ chhatri type of fountain at the centre.

Water dripping down in the form of thin sprays from the terrace of the cenotaphs shaped like birds, create a wonderful sight like singing rains. The Saheliyon-ki-Bari opens from 8 AM to 5 PM.

We may have clicked numerous pictures and enjoyed some great food here, but what which can not be expressed fully in the words is the experience and remarkable hospitality of the people. Something is there in the Udaipur weather. For food lovers, Sukhadia Circle is the epitome of satiating the taste buds. Come early and secure a place, else enjoy the fountains while waiting for your turn at the food stalls.

 

Every moment in Udaipur is exploration of amazing history of our motherland and some memorable romantic moments with the soil of this region. Not only Udaipur city history is spread outside of Udaipur too, take some time to follow the trail of Maharana Pratap and the battle of Haldighati


Keep Travelling Guys…

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Royal Traditions of "Chittorgarh"

Fortified citadel, tales of brave Rajputs to whom Pride was more important then their lives and womenfolk who chose to immolate themselves rather than the dishonor at hands of attackers.

Chittorgarh has been at the centre of all the brave tales, Nationalism and chivalry of Rajput Kings is indeed "Pride of India"
(The remains of Rana Kumbha Palace; Jauhar was commited here 3 times)
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Getaway to Gwalior

Everyone has his/ her ways to enjoy the gift called "LIFE". Some prefer hanging out with friends, some like discotheques and some prefer travelling to distinct locations to seek enjoyment. Apart from enjoyment, travelling is an ideal way to recharge your energy stocks.


I too fall in the latter category, and I honestly believe that you need not going to Bahamas or Paris to seek rejuvenation: "just look around yourself, pack your bags and start". Here lies the Advantage India. India is such a diverse country that if you try to explore, you can go to any city/ town or village I am sure you would not be disappointed. This I believed during my trip to Gwalior. 


This was my 2nd trip to Gwalior. First visit was too hectic, so this time I kept some time for exploration, as Gwalior has a rich heritage and legacy. This city has been a witness to numerous curves of the India history.
This was the time to opt for our National transporter. You guess it right, Indian Railways. There are numerous trains at all times during the day and it takes only 5 hours to reach Gwalior from New Delhi.



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Bhangarh - Trail of 2 Ghosthunters

Bhangarh - The most haunted place on this Earth. Internet is flooded with the stories and legends about Bhangarh, which are too interesting to resist.

I got too much tempted to see this place. All the stories about this place motivated me to the extent that I was expecting to shake hands with the "Ghosts of Bhangarh" and I was looking forward to pull the curtains from the "Mystery of Bhangarh". 

One fine Saturday, we started our adventure at 7:00AM from Delhi to Bhangarh. If it was the indication of the things to come, one of my friends who has confirmed to be a part of Ghost Hunting trip, changed his mind at the last moment, that is only 15 minutes before. Well, this didn't dampen our spirits. Unfazed and Undaunted, we continued our voyage with high spirits.


Though the route was unfamiliar, but as I always say "Good Travellers never plan in advance". We had escaped the traffic of Delhi and were enjoying the cruising on NH-8. Left turn from Shahpura took us into the dominion of Aravallis mountains. Sailing through the gorges and mountainous roads, we were celebrating the drive of our lives. Steep incline and acute descents will be enough to keep a delicate balance between thrill and caution. Do not miss a steep right turn from Thanagaji.


There are no Petrol Pumps after Thanagaji till Bhangarh, so drivers please ensure you do not run out of gasoline. Road after Thanagaji used to be pretty narrow, when I first visited Bhangarh in 2010. However, the Rocky Terrain, mountains, Red Sands and colourful heritage of Rajasthan will set your spirits and enthusiasm rolling for the adventure ahead. This is the road to Bhangarh (Year 2018) -
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