Historical

Kolkata-Howrah

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I was little ahead of Indian Museum on the road so decided to walk unto the museum. By this time the footpaths along the road were starting to get occupied by hawkers selling all sorts of wares. I came to Indian Museum building which had just opened its counters. I did not have any expectations form the museum and thought I would just skim through it. However, it turned out to be a real treat. It has geological, archaeological, animal, avian, marine specimen over several galleries. The galleries where huge with several things at display. The display units were either tall wooden almirahs or wooden boxes placed on the floor. Rather than specimen I was more amused by rarity of such display furniture.

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Soul of Kolkata – Festivals, Food, and Sports

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Calcutta also known as the city of festivals almost remains enlightened all through the year with various festivals every now and then. Whether it’s Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Laxmi Puja, Kartik Puja, Vishwakarma Puja, Holi, Diwali, Christmas or whatever, the city enjoys them all with full celebration. Durga Puja is ideally the biggest festival of Calcutta (and West Bengal). The city of Calcutta has a completely different look.

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पांडव लेनी (गुफा), नासिक की पदयात्रा

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नामकरण के किस्सों को जानने के पश्चात् मैं इन्हें देखने के लिए और लालायित हो उठा. कदम तेजी से बढ़ने लगे और मैं गुफा-वृन्द के गेट पर आ गया. वहां २४ लाजवाब गुफाएं थीं. पुरातत्व विभाग द्वारा एक बोर्ड भी लगा हुआ था, जिसमें बताया गया की वे गुफाएं लगभग २०० वर्षों में बनीं थीं. कई गुफाएं तत्कालीन सम्राटों और धनिक-सम्मानित लोगों के द्वारा दान में दी गयी राशि से बनाई गयीं थीं और बौद्ध धर्म के हीनयान सम्प्रदाय के अनुयायियों द्वारा उपयोग में लाई जातीं थीं.

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Salem – Madurai – Kanyakumari Road trip and sightseeing

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1322km, hidden beach, kanyakumari, 6:10am, 10mins away from sunset. The Road ends and it ends with Indian extreme south land zone, and turquoise sea in front about to turn saffron and then black gradually.

The feeling can’t be explained in words, of what we were watching, what we have achieved and what we have experienced so far.

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मुंबई की गुफाएँ – मंडपेश्वर और महाकाली

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यह भी कहा जाता है कि जब-जब शासन बदला, तब-तब इस गुफा का विभिन्न प्रकार से उपयोग किया गया. कभी तो यहाँ सैनिकों के टुकड़ियाँ निवास करती थीं, तो कभी शरणार्थी-गण. यह भी समझा जाता है कि प्रत्येक शासन काल में यह गुफा उजड़ी और फिर नए सिरे से बसी. लोग यह भी मानतें हैं कि विश्व युद्ध के समय भी अंग्रेज सैन्य-बल यहाँ बसा हुआ था. इनका यह मतलब निकलता है कि मंडपेश्वर गुफाएं हमेशा से लोगों द्वारा आबादित रहीं हैं.

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Neemrana to Bundi: In search of Indian step wells – Part 1

Neemrana to Bundi: In search of Indian step wells – Part 1

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But leaving the roads apart, when I entered Chand Baori, a WOW just came out from my mouth. I mean Neemrana Stepwell was massive, but this one is like some aliens came to build it. This stepwell is enormous and mind-blowing & now I understand that why a scene of Batman 2008 was filmed here. There is no parallel of such structure in India.

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Road to Eternity

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We followed the surging crowds that seemed to be heading in just one direction – towards the Sistine Chapel. With masses of people packed like sardines inside the chapel, it was hard to imagine it as a quiet place of deliberation. But cardinals have gathered here in conclave for centuries to elect new popes, broadcasting their results through smoke signals from a chimney. It’s also the only place in the museum where photography is prohibited. A world of discovery awaited us as we entered the Sistine Chapel – the pinnacle of western art.

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संजय गाँधी राष्ट्रीय उद्यान, मुंबई की पदयात्रा – “कान्हेरी गुफा”

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पर एक बात थी. कान्हेरी पहाड़ का वह स्थान बिलकुल वीरान था. इतना वीरान कि गुफाओं के अन्दर अकेले जाने में ऐसा महसूस हो कि कोई वहां पहले से मौजूद है, जो आपको निरंतर देख रहा है. उस वीरानी में मन में कई ख़याल आते हैं. जैसे कि क्या वहां जाने वाले का कोई सम्बन्ध पश्चात काल में उस गुफा से था और उसी सम्बन्ध के सहारे वह इस जीवन में भी वहां लौट कर आया हो? उस अंतिम गुफा में बैठ कर मैंने अपनी एक कविता का प्रथम अन्तरा लिखा. इस कविता के दूसरे अंतरे बाद में मुंबई के अन्य गुफाओं की यात्रा में पूर्ण हुए.

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A Triad in Time – Gharapuri, Ambarnath and Pataleshwar

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The most important sculpture here is the Trimutri, 3 faces of Mahadev which have found its space on Maharashtra tourism logo as well. Nearly full length of wall, the faces are very skilfully carved. Point to note that this is not a sculpture of Trimurti – Brahma , Vishnu and Mahesh but these are faces of Shiva only. There has been tradition to carve faces on Shivling as well. And based on number of faces, the shivling gets the name from Ekmukhi to Panchmukhi.
Although the common man thinks these are 3 faces, the experts have always more to add. Stella Kramrisch is one such expert in Indian iconography. She has proven that these are not 3 but 5 faces. There are distinct names to each of the face and it really represents the attribute of colorful character of Shiva. Five faces of Shiva represent five elements, Ishana (sky), Tatpurusha (wind), Aghora (fire), Vamadeva (water) and Sadjoyata (earth) and together this depiction is called as Sadashiv as per iconography. We see three faces and there is one assumed to be behind and one on top.

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Jovial Jaipur…

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As we came out of the hotel, It started raining but we were prepared for this. We took out our Rain-coats and started our exploration. In the market we bargained with an Auto wala and for Rs 600 he agreed to took us to various places including Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Amer Fort and Chokhi Dhani. First of all we went to check out the famous Hawa Mahal of Jaipur. Hawa Mahal is a palace built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, so named because it was essentially a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals while unseen from the outside.

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