Historical

A trip to Mewar, Raj – Jaipur Once again

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painting section: Second floor of this magnificent museum consisted of some rare books on display and a series of Raagmala paintings on display.These paintings are based upon different Ragas and Raginis of Indian classical music system. Different types of Raagmala series have been painted in different parts. Pahari style, Deccan style, Rajputana style. Each Raga is personified by a specific color, mood , time of its singing is mentioned on the painting and a story is told about a Nayak and a Nayika. I had read about tese paintings but was seeing these for the first time. I also had the privilege to see the paintings based upon stories from Hitopdesha and Panchtantra.  Just beautiful. Another surprise for me was the the presence of classic book JANGNAMA by Shah Muhammad(original).

Overall we spent about 2 hours in the museum and were tired. The big walls of this museum are adorned by the life like portraits of erstwhile kings of Jaipur state. Now was the time to have some snacks for the evening and visit the famous zoo of Jaipur, if not so big then not too small also. Dear Pavani’s desire was to have a look at the lion and the tiger which was duly fulfilled here.

THE ZOO: The desire was of Pavani was duly fulfilled as the first cage in the zoo was that of Leopard and next to it lay the cage of Tiger (wish double fulfilled).

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A trip to Mewar, Raj – Pushkar and Jaipur

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A small and picterusque town famous for one and onky temple of Brahma Ji, the town is also famous for the foreigners coming to the time to learn Yoga and instrumental music in the streets of Pushkar and numerous cafes adorning the streets. I can vouch for only temple perhaps my main motive was that only so I did,nt bother to look out for the guests from abroad or cafes. After inquiring my way to the temple of Brahma Ji, I straight away drove in that direction until I reached the place where Ghats were located. I thought may be temple is located in the centre of the sarovar there. So we all went towards the Ghat area and the thing that I  wanted to avoid at all costs followed us , hounding by various priests(pandas to have one or other form of puja for salvation of soul. As a person I m dead against these things as it seems to me more as an economic activity of these priests, nothing more(my personal opinion). Many persons were involved there in one or other ceremonies per their beliefs. But I did,nt want to listen to these priests about all this. One priest said “Unless you take bath in these Ghats and perform a puja your visit to Brahma temple would be incomplete” Why so? I just asked myself. After enquiring again about the temple from a family , we came to know that it was just on the next end of the street. I just pulled my family members from there hearing this. While walking towards the temple, in one corner , there was a small shop(PANDIT JI KI LASSI). Iski story baad mein bataoonga.

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A trip to Mewar – Haldighati

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How one could forget  the deep loyalty of Chetak towards its master when in todays time loyalty is missing amongst the human beings. We were also thrilled to find so many peacocks in that area. It was just beautiful. I had never dreamt of visiting the famous Haldi Ghati battlefield site that also along with my closest kith and kin and that also driving my own car. After a few minutes we were on highway and from there Nathdwara town was about 4 km towards left. The beautiful evening was soon on the verge of merging with the queen of night as it was winters though the time was just about 5.20 p.m. Mausam khushgawar tha,door ghar baar tha , main apni car mein sawar tha aur kuchh hi doori par Srinath ji ka dwar tha. And the song playing in my mind at that time was yaara sili sili birha ki raat ka jalna from the movie Lekin. Lekin kyu….. pata nahin.

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A trip to Mewar – Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur

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The drive looked like very good till I encountered a steep slope drrive as in hills. Though I had driven the car a few times in hilly area but God knows what happened I just lost the confidence here when I saw that it was down and down and down. Oh God what to do now. I was trembling with fear and had put my car on to first gear . My wife and Bhakti just motivated me to carry on slowwly and remember our sojourn in the hills. I saw  Mahindra scorpio coming uphill. I just stopped him and asked him about how long it would continue like this. It was about 5 kms like this, according to him. and the situation became hilarious when he also asked how it would be like this uphill .

hahahahhaha……….. Any way the ordeal became less and plain road was there .  We were passing through  the forest area now and after a few minutes we entered the temple complex. So serene was the atmosphere there and about 30-35 vehicles parked inside the complex. Main reason that I found for heavy rush was that people from Jaina community revered the place and comee there just as they have Dilwara temples at Mount Abu. So a mixed crowd of foreigners and Indians there. And there stood the vast sprawling temple structure in white marble, so clean and so serene and so pious.

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A trip to Mewar – Karni Mandir, Ekling Ji and Sukhadia circle

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It was about 3 p.m that we exited from ahar museum and decided to go to Ekling ji which is situated on Udaipur-Ajmer highway before the historical Nathdwara town. When I was on my way to Ekling Ji just after 7-8 kms it resembled as Iwas driving in some hilly state(hills on one side and deep gorges on other side was the scenic view. So it was now only 2nd and 3rd gear for me. Frankly I didn’t expect such a terrain in Rajasthan. We as a unit were awed by the beauty this stte was offering. When we reached EKLING JI, the temple was closed and it was full one hour foe the gates to open. We paid our obescience from outside only and vrooom back to Udaipur. I would like to mention here that the temle is under maharan mewar trust and security guards posted there also bore badges of mewar security. Historically it is said that Bappa Rawal, founder of Mewarkingdom got blessings at this place only from god Ekling Ji to esrtablish the mewar empire.

SUKHADIA CIRCLE
It was fourth day in Udaipur and now it looke like this was my own city. I  felt so attachment with this city.Clean roads, sensible traffic sense, good ambience and culturally strong, this city had just cast its spell on us. I don,t know which route I took but that route took us straight to Sukhadia circle which looked like a min picnic cum entertainment spot. More than me, Bhakti and Pavani were happy on reaching there. The spot which excited Bhakti and me was a large common place with about 30 shops under one roof filled with street food and fodies we are though I try to control this urge(plz insert 20). And the square (Sukhadia circle) was in form of a very small lake (gol-gol) with small boats in the shape of ducks in it(that excited little daughter, Pavani). I think the place got its name from Mohan Lal Sukhadia Ji, if I am right or someone kindly correct me.Agenda at Sukhadia circle:

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Come walk on me

Walking The Royal Mile

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Each floor had a different theme of illusions. I liked the floor with 3D illusions the best. There were a lot of interactive illusions as well. And the best part? They encouraged you to touch everything! The Mirror Maze was also fun. My mom kept walking into the mirrors, and I finally had to go in and help her get out.

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The Spell of Bundi, Rajasthan : Reaching Bundi

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Hence, our first stop was at at ‘Salim Paper’ at Sanganer. From what we had learnt, this would be a cottage industry like place where one could see paper making and block printing. So we reached after going circles in the village, and ultimately realising that the place was right at the beginning. If you tell them that you are from ‘Arya Niwas’, they take you through a guided tour of ‘Paper Making’. This was our first visit to a ‘Paper Making’ factory and it was an extremely educative experience. The place was large, expansive and had sections where different jobs took place. The lady took us through the entire process with a lot of patience. The first step is to make the pulp by mashing waste cloth-cuttings that they procure from all the factories around. So essentially the raw material was waste organics being recycled and that was heartening to know. The cloth is shredded to very tiny pieces that are kept submerged in water for a few days. After that the whole cloth-water solution is rolled over and over again to form a thick pulp. This pulp is then further rolled to form a smoother paste. Color and condiments like rose/marigold petals, leaves are added now. Then the paste is spread on metal sheets and left to dry in the sun. Each sheet individually! Hence the paper is born. The dried paper sheet is taken off the metal based and pressed through machines. And thereafter, different actions are taken to make use of this paper. So we saw techniques of cutting, printing, pasting and finishing.

To give the viewers an experience to take home, and of course as a model for this tour fee, they also have a small shop/display counter. The only way we could have reciprocated the gesture was to buy some stuff so we bought quite a lot. Most of that was exciting and relatable as we were purchasing exactly what we saw being made right then. All of it was for European and American markets and were indeed of supreme quality. So we made a good collection of fancy paper bags, craft kits, various kinds of papers etc. that my daughter is waiting to rob off her mother for her school projects.

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Konark – The Heritage of Mankind

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On the three sides of Temple three forms of Sun god idols are placed. The southern side GOD called “Mitra” described as the rising Sun. It is 8’3” in height. The western side GOD is called “PUNSAN” and described as mid day Sun, it is 9’6” in height. The northern side GOD is called “ Haritasva” described as setting sun, it 3.58 meters in height which is approximately above 10’.

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Roaming around in the Castle

Scotland – Touring Edinburgh Castle

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We were told that the Queen was coming to Edinburgh the next day, and the Palace was being spruced up. Since this was our last day in Edinburgh, we would be missing that (not that she was inviting us to tea or anything like that). We would, at best, have got to see her motorcade.

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Ride to Rajasthan (Pune to Mount Abu) – Udaipur Sightseeing and ride to Abu

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To our surprises, our machines would not reach even 80 kmph ….

The First Goof-up
We stopped on the highway, and all of us looked at each other with pale faces … “My bike is not reaching 80 at full throttle … said Ayush. I seconded him and said…I am also not able to go above 80 with full throttle … we turned to the pulsars and they had the same problem …. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!

We realized that the workshops we had visited have shown all their Engineering on our bikes and probably changed the tuning of the bikes.

Now what to do at 8:30 am on the highway !!! Our savior was Ayush … the man and the machine aka Sabu !!! we parked the bikes on the highway and took out the toolkits … and we started to check the idling and the tuning … for the people who understand the bike basics … the tuning which normally should be 3-4 rounds in Royal Enfield and 5-7 rounds in Pulsar was way off the mark … and the idling was also changed. That’s why the Petrol oil ratio going into the engine was not good and hence the bikes not picking speed and acceleration was very poor.

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Shimla – Kufri – Jakhu Temple and Back Journey

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Early morning at around 6 o’ clock, when rest of the family members were still asleep, I attended to daily routine and then decided (as usual) to wander and acquint myself a bit with the geography of Shimla. The first important thing I discovered was the fact that you didn’t need to go through the Victory tunnel to reach other side of the town. The tunnel is for automobiles only (but you won’t get fined if you do venture into it). Even if you walk towards the Bus Stand, you would find lanes at your left side with very stiff heights to scale, which promise to leave you at other side of the hill i.e. Mall Road side. However, without going to the Mall Road side, I walked roughly 1 km. in the opposite direction of the railway station and discovered that I had reached Bus Stand. Well, I was as happy at my discovery as Vasco-de-gama must have been after discovering Bharat Varsh aka India! Regarding it enough achievement for the time being, I made a U-turn and arrived at the hotel. Since I didn’t find any group of pahadi girls singing as I often see in Hindi movies, I had to hum a song myself and that too without any tabla or dholak (no it was not Abida Parveen this time but someone else which I don’t remember! ) First rays of the Sun peeped into the room and blessed us with very exhilerating and invigorating feeling. Technically, these were not first rays of the Sun because when the Sun ascended high enough in the sky to defeat the hills and throw its rays directly into our room, our watch was already showing 8 a.m.

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The Seige & Tragedy of Lucknow’s Residency – A History Lesson

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As you enter the main gate of Residency, the din of Lucknow city recedes until just the distant hum of traffic remains. It is a quite green oasis in the middle of cacophany that Lucknow is today. The pervading hush makes it hard to believe that this eerily quite place was witness to one of the bloodiest fights of Indian Mutiny of 1857. This is nature’s way of soothing the Residency with eternal balm and tranquility to anesthetize the tumultous past. The dewy green grass absorbs the shock of looking at the cannon scarred red brick walls. Most of the buildings are heavily damaged with few having roofs.

Barring the green grass, it seems that the siege ended just yesterday. The shattered walls carry the echoes of tragedy, doom, valour, disease and gore. Walk the grounds and you are immediately transported to those turbulent days. Residency is a sprawling compound with neat manicured gardens. Signs indicate the names of various buildings. During the rains, the green moss covering the red brick broken walls lends an exquisite charm to the place. Spend some time in the museum. The church’s cemetry has the graves of about 2000 people including Lawrence. Visit Nawab Saadat Ali Khan’s Tomb. Stay back for the light and sound show in the evening.

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