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Meenakshi Temple- The Marvel of Madurai

Meenakshi Amman Temple, also known as Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple, is one of the oldest and most important temples in India. Located in the city of Madurai, the temple has a great mythological and historical significance.

Located in the heart of the city of Madurai, the Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar temple is dedicated to goddess Meenakshi, the consort of lord Shiva. It has long been the focus of both Indian and International tourist attraction as well as one of the most important places of Hindu pilgrimage. For the people of Madurai, the temple is the very center of their cultural and religious life.

History

Built in the Dravidian style. The ancient city of Madurai, more than 2,500 years old, was built by the Pandyan king, Kulashekarar, in the 6th century B.C. But the reign of the Nayaks marks the golden period of Madurai when art, architecture and learning flourished expansively. The most beautiful buildings in the city including its most famous landmark, the Meenakshi temple, were built during the Nayak rule.

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During his reign, many ‘Mandapams’ (pillared halls) were built. The temple was then expanded by many later Nayaka rulers before the advent of the British East India Company. The temple was once again degraded and parts of it were destroyed during the British Rule. In 1959, the restoration work wass started by Tamil Hindus by collecting donations and by collaborating with historians and engineers. The temple was completely restored in 1995.

The Folklore

According to a legend, Meenakshi emerged out of a ‘Yajna’ (sacred fire) as a three-year-old girl. The ‘Yajna’ was performed by a king named Malayadwaja Pandya along with his wife Kanchanamalai. Since the royal couple had no child, the King offered his prayers to Lord Shiva, requesting him to grant them a son. But to their dismay, a triple-breasted girl emerged from the sacred fire. When Malayadwaja and his wife expressed their concern over the girl’s abnormal appearance, a divine voice ordered them not to fret over the girl’s physical appearance. They were also informed that the girl’s third breast will disappear as soon as she meets her future husband. The relieved King named her Meenakshi and in due course crowned her as his successor.

Lord Vishnu preciding over the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi

Meenakshi ruled over the ancient city of Madurai and also went on to capture the neighboring kingdoms. Legend has it that she even captured Indralok, the abode of Lord Indra, and was on her way to capture Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, as well. When Shiva appeared before her, Meenakshi’s third breast disappeared and she knew that she had met her better half. Shiva and Meenakshi returned to Madurai where their wedding took place. It is said that the wedding was attended by all the gods and goddesses. Since Parvati herself had assumed the form of Meenakshi, Lord Vishnu, Parvati’s brother, handed her over to Lord Shiva. Even today, the wedding ceremony is celebrated every year as ‘Chithirai Thiruvizha’ which is also known as ‘Tirukalyanam’ (the grand wedding). The two ruled over the kingdom for many years before they left for their heavenly abode from the spot where the temple now stands.

Architecture

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The temple occupies a huge area in the heart of Madurai as it spreads over 14 acres. The temple is enclosed with huge walls, which were built in response to the invasions. The entire structure, when viewed from above, represents a mandala. Famous as one of the largest temples in South India, the Minakshi-Sundareshwarar Temple has a spectacular architecture with spellbinding murals all around.

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Gopura

Two principal sanctuaries (accessible only by Hindus) sit at the center of the temple complex: one dedicated to Meenakshi (who is considered a manifestation of the goddess Parvati), and another dedicated to Sundareshwara or “Beautiful Lord” (a form of the god Shiva). A gold finial, visible only from a high vantage point, caps each of these sanctuaries. Fronting each sanctuary is a mandapa (a pillared, porch-like structure) that pilgrims pass through as they make their way to the garbagriha (the innermost sacred areas of the sanctuary).

Gopura Sculptures

The temple has four main towering gateways (gopurams) that look identical to each other. Apart from the four ‘gopurams,’ the temple also houses many other ‘gopurams’ that serve as gateways to a number of shrines. The temple has a total of 14 towering gateways. Each one of them is a multi-storey structure and displays thousands of mythological stories and several other sculptures. It has 4 Raja gopurams, 2 gold gopurams, 1 Chithirai gopuram, 5 five-floored gopurams and 2 three-floored ones, which are all majestic in appearance.

The tallest gopura rises to approximately 170 feet and contains more than 1500 figures that are repaired and repainted every twelve years. This multitude of brightly-colored figures excites some visitors and repels others. It is likely that most Hindu temples (just like their ancient Greek and Egyptian counterparts) were painted in vibrant hues, and many are still today.

Thousand pillars hall

The most popular fact about the temple is that it is home to a hall that has a thousand pillars, a sacred pool with a golden lotus where you can take a ritual bath, a wedding hall, innumerable small shrines, gardens, and elephant sheds. The temple is so beautifully maintained that it was recognized as the ‘Best Swachh Iconic Place’ in India in 2017 by the Central Government.

Renowned for its astonishing architecture, Meenakshi Temple was nominated as one of the wonders of the world, but couldn’t make it into the list of ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. However, the temple is definitely one of the ‘Wonders of India’. 

Heart of Madurai

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Shops inside the Meenakshi Temple

The Meenakshi Temple is in many ways a microcosm of the earthly and spiritual characteristics of Hindu India. It is bustling, crowded, and filled with people from all walks of life. It is said that the people of the city wake up, not by the call of nature but by the chant of hymns at the temple. 

The temple’s shrines, pillars, sculptures, and paintings are populated with a dazzling quantity of divine beings who engage in various activities, can manifest in multiple guises and places simultaneously, and are subject to dissolution and rebirth. On the famous gopuras, figures of gods and goddesses are repeated as though reincarnated many times over as they rise towards the heavens, symbolically preventing the defilements of the everyday world from polluting the sacred spaces within.

The Meenakshi Temple is the physical center of the city of Madurai as well as its economic, mythical, and spiritual heart. Its importance radiates outward from the central shines through Madurai to the entire Tamil-speaking region in south India, and beyond. Modernity has reached the city, but not at the cost of its rich culture and tradition.

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The Dwarkadhish Temple

The Dwarkadhish temple, also known as the Jagat Mandir is a Hindu Temple dedicated to the Lord Krishna, who is worshiped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or ‘King of Dwarka’. The temple is located at Dwarka city of Gujrat, India, which is one of the destinations of Char Dham ( Sacred abodes: Badrinath, Puri, Rameshwaram and Dwarka), a Hindu pilgrimage circuit.

Dwarka means the gateway to salvation, that’s why the city also referred as Moksha Puri, Dwarkamati and Dwarkavati. In the 8th century, Adi Shankaracharya had established one of his four Peetha here as Sharda Peetha.

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Mythology

Legend has it that Lord Krishna shifted his capital from Mathura to Dwarka because Jarasandha, who wanted to avenge the death of his son in law (Kamsa), repeatedly attacked Mathura. During the 18th attempt by Jarasandha, Krishna chose to leave Mathura with the Yadav dynasty. Dwarka, as a site for the capital, was chosen by Garuda, the divine eagle, to bring Krishna when he departed from Mathura. Krishna then besieged Vishvakarma to help him build his new capital. Vishvakarma agreed to help only on one condition that Samudradev, the god of the sea, should provide the land. Krishna then offered prayers to Samudra dev and was blessed with a land that measures 12 yojanas (773 sq km). He then founded his kingdom in Dwarka and stayed there for the rest of his life.

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Lord Krishna created the twin city of Dwarka and Bet Dwarka with the help of Vishvkarma. Bet Dwarka as his residence while Dwarka as his administrative office. Thereafter, Lord Krishna called as Dwarkadhish in Dwarka.

It is also believed that original city of Dwarka, belonging to Lord Krishna swallowed back by the Sea, right after the death of Lord Krishna. At this point, it is not easy to say that it is completely mythology or base on some evidences.

History

It is said that Vajranabh, the great grandson of Lord Krishna had built the very first temple at this location almost 2500 year ago. That original structure of Dwarkadhish temple had been destroyed by Mahmud  Begada in 1472. Later Raja Jagat Singh Rathore rebuild and enlarge the complex in 16th century, that’s why it is also called Jagat Mandir.

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Dwarka was Situated on the banks of river Gomti. The current temple in Chalukya style which is constructed in 15th century. Dwarkadhish is a seven storey temple, supported on seventy-two pillars.

Architecture

Built of soft limestone and granite, Jagat Mandir features a vestibule, sanctum and a rectangular hall with porches on three sides.The temple has two entrances – “Moksha Dwara” (Door to Salvation) towards the North and “Swarga Dwara” (Gate to Heaven) on its North. The main temple included four sections- Vimangrih, Bhadrapeeth, Ladva Mandap and Arth Mandap. From plinth to walls to columns, every corner of the temple is profusely carved with panels of elephants, dancers, celestial being and musicians.

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It is a five stories temple, its spires touches height of 78 meters and the complete structure is supported with 72 decorated pillars. This temple shares the typical style of Chalukaya temples, exterior of the temple and its pillars have intricate carving and sculptures.It is believed Mirabai, who dedicated her whole life to Lord Krishna had been merged with this idol at this temple.

Dhwaja, the temple flag, spans 84 feet high and is hosted on top of a pillar that is 20 feet high. It bears the emblem of the sun and the moon and can be seen in the various combination of pink, red, saffron, yellow, white, blue and green. Colours of the flags are chosen as per the different days of the week and each stands for a specific spiritual quality.

The Dwarkadhish temple lies on northern bank of Gomti river and Sudama Bridge connect the mainland to Dwarka beach. Dwarka beach is also one of the beautiful beaches of India and Sun-set is the main highlight of this place. There are several benches on the way from bridge to beach, where you can sit and enjoy the beautiful sight.

It is very mesmerizing to see Gomti river merging with the Sea near Sumudra Narayan temple. All these elements create a beautiful scene that make your day.

Apart from the main temple, there are many other temples at the Gomti Ghat dedicated to Samudra, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Pilgrim like to take holy dip in the Gomti River before visiting Dwarkadhish temple. Everyday, thousands of pilgrim visit this temple and offer their prayer, while on the occasion of Janmasthami(the birth day of Lord Krishna) the crowd increase several manifolds.

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Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Scenic beauty of Rock Memorial

Located 500 meters away the mainland, Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a place of great scenic beauty, historical importance and religious significance. Undeniably one of the most popular places to see in Kanyakumari, this rock is considered to be holy as well as an architectural wonder. Vivekananda Rock Memorial is one of the two rocks located slightly away from the mainland.

Entrance of Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built in 1970 in honor of Swami Vivekananda on one of the two adjacent rocks projecting out of the Lakshadweep Sea. This is the site where Vivekananda attained enlightenment. This was to honour the great saint and leader of India, Swami Vivekananda who has visited Kanyakumari in 1892, a few days before leaving for Chicago for World Religious Conference. He had then visited the rock and meditated here for two days.

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Historical Importance

Foot print of Goddess Kumari Devi

Historically, it is believed that Goddess Kanyakumari, who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, prayed to Lord Shiva proposing marriage in this region. This is why the region was named in her honor. Keeping with the mythological traditions, women from all parts of the country flock here offering prayers to find a suitable groom. Hence this place got the name ‘Kanyakumari’.

The marks of Goddess’s pious feet can be seen on the rock. There is a small projection which resembles the human feet. Hence the name Sri Pada Parai was given; a Tamil word denoting the rock which has been sanctified by the Goddess’s feet. According to some beliefs, the original ancient temple of Devi Kanya was built at this rock. However, later with changing time, the rock became an island and the mainland separated from it.

Memorial Architecture

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On the left is Shripada Mandapam and on the right is Vivekananda Mandapam

A mix of conventional and modern architectural styles of India, particularly a blend of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal style of architecture is palpable from the design of the memorial.  The memorial consists of two main structures, the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam. 

Vivekananda Mandapam:

Parivarjak posture of Swami Vivekananda

Vivekananda Memorial Mandapam resembles Sri Ramakrishna Temple at Belur, West Bengal, the design of its entrance features architectural styles of Ajanta and Ellora. It houses a life size bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda standing in his famous ‘Parivarjak’ posture that was made by famed sculptor Sitaram S. Arte. Vivekananda Rock is also called ‘Sripada Parai’ .

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Dhayan Mandapam

This mandapam has various sections. There is a meditation hall with six rooms adjoining it; it is called as Dhyana Mandapam. Its spiritual atmosphere is ideal for a peaceful meditation. The assembly halls combined with two rooms, corridor, and open courtyard (prakaram) is the Sabha Mandapam. It also includes the area where statute has been kept, called as Pralima Mandapam. Another section is Mukha Mandapam. The area with front steps has two more rooms and a corridor.

Shripada Mandapam:

One of the two principal structures of the memorial is the main sanctum sanctorum, the ‘Shripada Mandapam’, which is enclosed within an outer platform. This hall, square in shape also includes a ‘Garbha Graham’, an ‘Inner Prakaram’ and an ‘Outer Prakaram’. Sunrise and sunset are even more beautiful when viewed from the memorial.

Thiruvalluvar Statue

Vivekananda Memorial is not only the only tourist spot in Kanyakumari. Thousands of tourists flood Kanyakumari every year, seeking to explore its beauty and serenity. Some famous tourists places are Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kumariamman, Suchindram and many more.

This sacred memorial symbolising purity and unity preached by Swami Vivekananda has over years emerged as one of the most revered memorials of India and one of the must visit destinations of Kanyakumari. The rock also offers a striking view of the confluence of the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. 

Kanyakumari experiences pleasant weather between October to February and this is known to be the best time for tourists to visit the coastal city. Filled with fun, adventure, and spirituality, this city has something in store for everyone. 

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Varanasi: The Cultural Capital of India


The religious and cultural heartbeat of India can be found in Varanasi, the most sacred city for Hindus, and the oldest living city in the world, dating back to 2,000 BCE. Also known as Benares, Banaras or Kashi, Varanasi is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism. Devout Hindus believe that if you die here, you will be forever liberated from the endless cycle of death and rebirth (reincarnation). However, if you did not have the luck to die in Varanasi, your ashes can be immersed in the Ganges for salvation.

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There are list of reason why one should travel to Varanasi among which the most prominent reason is the life of locals depicting various cultures of India. It means when you are in Varanasi, you just don’t see the monuments or places but you live that moment of time which you can just feel, by experiencing the places, meeting the people and interacting its culture & tradition, so nothing can be a better place than Varanasi to learn the lessons of life.

Varanasi is completely a different experience to be enthralled with. It is an important cultural and learning centre of north India which is closely associated with river Ganges. In Varanasi you can find one of the finest silk weavers, the land of several finest musicians gifted to the world, Maha-Samshan or “The great cremation grounds” the holy city humbles you by bringing face to face with the balance of life and death and the land of Buddha where it is believed that Buddha has founded Buddhism around 528 BC and gave his first sermon here are some more reasons to travel to Varanasi.

Here are some of the best things one can’t miss to see while in Varanasi-

THE RIVER GANGES

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It’s hard to put into words the all-encompassing significance of the Ganges, or Ganga, to Indians. The revered ‘mother river’ of India originates in the Himalayas, snakes through northeast India, and empties in neighbouring Bangladesh. Considered a living goddess and featuring in many Hindu creation stories, the Ganges is sacred all along its 2,525-kilometre (1,569-mile) route.

It’s said that bathing in its waters (especially on auspicious days) will destroy ten lifetimes of sins. Her eternal waters nourish, feed and give life to millions of Indians in this cradle of civilization. According to Vedas, if a person takes a bath at Kashi, he attains moksha. So Kashi and Ganga combined have the spiritual edge when compared to the other cities.

THE GHATS OF VARANASI

Ghats are the large, flat steps built on the land that lead directly down into the Ganges River. They are used by pilgrims to enter the water to wash away their sins and pray and worship upon.

DASHASHWAMEDH GHAT( Ganga Aarti)

The most colourful and impressive ghat of all, you’ll find nightly rituals performed by priests here at at 7 p.m., on every single day of the year. The agni puja is a fire offering and worship to Lord Shiva, the Ganges River, the sun, the nature of fire, and the universe itself. Its name derives from the Hindi legend that ten horses were sacrificed here by Lord Brahma, and that it was created to welcome Lord Shiva himself. It is also the closest ghat to Vishwanath Temple.

Huge crowds gather around the ghat, lit by brass lamps, while mantras and chants fill the air at the start of the ceremony.  Incenses are burned, conch shells are blown, and loud music is played while the priests perform their rituals. This a truly unique way to experience this holy city.

MANIKARNIKA GHAT

It’s the main “burning ghat”, the most prosperous cremation site for a Hindu. On these steps, the body is dunked in the Ganges River prior to being burned by firewood on the steps. Tourists are allowed to witness the ceremony.

KASHI VISHWANATH TEMPLE

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Constructed in 1776 and dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple holds nothing back. Aesthetically speaking, the temple is jaw-dropping; the dome and tower are coated in 800 kilograms of gold. It’s also one of the holiest (if not the holiest) Hindu temples in the world. Many saints have visited here and pilgrims attribute a visit to this temple and a bath in the Ganges as the path to liberation.

SARNATH

The religious atmosphere pervading Varanasi can also be found in nearby Sarnath, about 13 kilometres (8 miles) to the northeast, where Gautama Buddha founded Buddhism in 528 BCE when he gave his first sermon here.  You’ll find 80 foot tall statue of   Lord Buddha. This popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists also features additional Buddhist temples supported by various nations: China, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and more, which are worth a look.

SILK SHOPPING

Varanasi silk is one of the most admired fabrics in India. On any important occasion like weddings Indian ladies prefer to wear Varanasi silk sarees (Indian traditional dress for ladies) which are made manually by weavers. This art is passed from generation to generation but unfortunately now this art is seriously at the risk of extinction.

While these are only just a few beauty of Varanasi there still more to explore. And this will only be possible once you travel to Varanasi: The cultural and spiritual capital of Incredible India.

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Ancient City Dwarka is under water? Proof of Krishna’s Dwarka and Mahabharat!

What is Dwarka?

The ancient Indian city of Dwarka is known in Hindu culture to have been the great and beautiful city of Krishna. The Hindu writings say that when Krishna left the Earth to join the spiritual world, the age of Kali (Kaliyug) began and Dwarka and its residents were submerged by the sea. 

Where is Dwarka?

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Dwaraka is a city and a municipality of Devbhumi Dwarka district in the state of Gujarat in northwestern India. It is located on the western shore of the Okhamandal Peninsula on the right bank of the Gomti River. In 2011 it had a population of 38,873. Dwarka is one of the Chardhams, four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites, and is one of the Sapta Puri, the seven most ancient religious cities in the country. Dwarka is often identified with the Dwarka Kingdom, the ancient kingdom of Krishna, and is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat.

Merine Archeological saying

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The discovery of the legendary city of Dvaraka which is said to have been founded by Sri Krishna, is an important landmark in the validation of historical relevance of Mahabharata. It has set at rest the doubts expressed by historians about the historicity of Mahabharata and the very existence of Dvaraka city. It has greatly narrowed the gap of Indian history by establishing the continuity of the Indian civilization from the Vedic age to the present day. The discovery has also shed welcome light on second urbanization in the so-called ‘Dark age’, on the resuscitation of dharma, on the resumption of maritime trade, and use of Sanskrit language and modified Indus script. Incidentally, scientific data useful for a study of sea level changes and effects of marine environment on metals and wood over long periods has also been generated by underwater exploration. All this was possible because of the dedicated and daring efforts of marine archaeologists, scientists and technicians of the Marine Archaeology Centre of the National Institute of Oceanography.

Dwarka Exploration

Dwaraka is a coastal town in Jamnagar district of Gujarat. Traditionally, modern Dwaraka is identified with Dvaraka, mentioned in the Mahabharata as Krishna’s city. Dwaraka was a port, and some scholars have identified it with the island of Barka mentioned in the Periplus of Erythrean Sea. Ancient Dwaraka sank in sea and hence is an important archaeological site. The first clear historical record of the lost city is dated 574 A.D. and occurs in the Palitana Plates of Samanta Simhaditya. This inscription refers to Dwaraka as the capital of the western coast of Saurashtra and still more important, states that Sri Krishna lived here.

The first archaeological excavations at Dwaraka were done by the Deccan College, Pune and the Department of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat, in 1963 under the direction of H.D. Sankalia. It revealed artefacts many centuries old.

The Marine Archaeological Unit (MAU) of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) conducted a second round of excavations in 1979 under the supervision of Dr S. R. Rao (one of the most respected archaeologists of India). An emeritus scientist at the marine archaeology unit of the National Institute of Oceanography, Rao has excavated a large number of Harappan sites including the port city of Lothal in Gujarat. He found a distinct pottery known as lustrous red ware, which could be more than 3,000 years old. Based on the results of these excavations, the search for the sunken city in the Arabian Sea began in 1981. Scientists and archaeologists have continually worked on the site for 20 years.

The project for underwater exploration was sanctioned in 1984, directly by the then Prime Minister for three years. Excavation under the sea is a hard and strenuous task. The sea offers too much resistance. Excavation is possible only between November and February, during low tide. The sea has to be smooth and there should be bright sunshine. All these requirements effectively reduce the number of diving days to 40 to 45 in one season.In order to make the maximum use of the time available, divers use echo sounder to get a fairly accurate idea of the location and the depth of the object under water. The side scan sonar offers a view of the sea floor. The sonar signals sent inside the water return the signals. Reading of the signals reveals the broad nature of the object under water. Underwater scooters, besides the usual diving equipment like scuba were also pressed into service. Between 1983 and 1990, S.R.Rao’s team came across discoveries that cemented the existance of a submerged city.

In January 2007, the Underwater Archaeology Wing (UAW) of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) began excavations at Dwaraka again. Alok Tripathi, Superintending Archaeologist, UAW, said the ancient underwater structures found in the Arabian Sea were yet to be identified. “We have to find out what they are. They are fragments. I would not like to call them a wall or a temple. They are part of some structure,” said Dr. Tripathi, himself a trained diver. Dr. Tripathi had said: “To study the antiquity of the site in a holistic manner, excavations are being conducted simultaneously both on land [close to the Dwarakadhish temple] and undersea so that finds from both the places can be co-related and analysed scientifically.”

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The objective of the excavation was to know the antiquity of the site, based on material evidence. In the offshore excavation, the ASI’s trained underwater archaeologists and the divers of the Navy searched the sunken structural remains. The finds were studied, dated and documented. On land, the excavation was done in the forecourt of the Dwarakadhish temple. Students from Gwalior, Lucknow, Pune, Vadodara,Varanasi and Bikaner joined in to help the ASI archaeologists.

Gulf of Cambay Or Gulf of Khambat Exploration


In 2001, the students of National Institute of Oceanography were commissioned by the Indian Government to do a survey on pollution in Gulf of Khambat, seven miles from the shore. During the survey, they found buildings made of stones covered in mud and sand covering five square miles. Divers have collected blocks, samples, artefacts, and coppers coins, which scientists believe is the evidence from an age that is about 3,600 years old. Some of the samples were sent to Manipur and oxford university for carbon dating, and the results created more suspicion since some of the objects were found to be 9000 years old.

It is indeed overwhelming to find that what had been discovered underwater at the bay of Cambat is an archaeological site, dating back to 7500 BC and older than any previously claimed oldest sites of civilization.

Marine archaeological explorations off Dwarka have brought to light a large number of stone structures. They are are semicircular, rectangular and square in shape and are in water depth ranging from inter tidal zone to 6 m. They are randomly scattered over a vast area. Besides these structures, a large number of varieties of stone anchors have been noticed along the structures as well as beyond 6 m water depth.These findings suggest that Dwarka was one of the most busy port centers during the past on the west coast of India. The comparative study of surrounding sites indicates that the date of the structures of Dwarka may be between Historical period and late medieval period.The ruins have been proclaimed the remains of the legendary lost city of Dwarka which, according to ancient Hindu texts, was the dwelling place of Krishna.

The underwater excavations revealed structures and ridge-like features. Other antiquities were also found. All the objects were photographed and documented with drawings – both underwater. While underwater cameras are used for photography, drawings are done on boards – a transparent polyester film of 75 micron fixed with a graph sheet below. The graph sheet acts as a scale. One or two divers take the dimensions and the third draws the pictures. The Public Works Department routinely conducts dredging in these waters to keep the Gomati channel open. This throws up a lot of sediments, which settle on underwater structures. Brushes are used to clear these sediments to expose the structures.

* Explorations yielded structures such as bastions, walls, pillars and triangular and rectangular stone anchors.

* A semi-spherical single-hole stone which might be the base for flagpost.

* L-shaped edges of stones for proper grip and arresting wave action on bastions.

* Seals, inscriptions, which have been dated to 1500 BC.

* Pottery, which have been dated to 3528 BC.

* Stone sculptures, terracotta beads, bronze, copper and iron objects.

Until recently the very existence of the city of Dwarka was a matter of legends. Now, that the remains have been discovered under water, and with many clues seeming to suggest that this, indeed, is the legendary Dwarka, dwelling place of lord Krishna, could it be that lord Krishna and his heroics were more than just a legend?

Conclusion relating to Dwarka

A few years ago, when asked as to how sure he was that this was Krishna’s Dwarka, Rao had replied, “only the name board is missing.” He submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Culture in January 2000, that aimed at preserving the ‘underwater cultural heritage of India Dwarka’ and also promoting it as a pilgrimage-tourism center. His proposal, in three stages, was to cost Rs 14 crores. It is sad that the proposal was not taken up. The then Secretary, Ministry of Culture, visited Dwarka and promised help, but nothing has been heard so far.

In the project proposal, Rao writes, “The fort walls of the first town of Dwarka said to have been founded at Kusasthali in Bet Dwarka island have been traced on shore and in the sea and also dated by thermoluminescence dating method to 16th century BC.” According to him, the clue to the existence of ancient Dwarka near the modern town of Dwarka was found during archaeological excavation near the Dwarkadhish temple in 1979-80. Eroded debris and pottery provided evidence of a port town destroyed by sea about 3,500 years ago. This evidence is what led to the early excavations in the Arabian Sea, near the mouth of the Gomati river, where the modern town of Dwarka stands.

The Indian mythology is replete with accounts of how the original Dwarka looked like. Mahabharat says that Dwarka had 900,000 royal palaces, all constructed with crystal and silver and decorated with emeralds. The city was connected by an elaborate system of boulevards, roads, market places, assembly houses and temples. These legends have been etched into the Indian minds for so long that their authenticity is not questioned. Fortunately, due to the grace of the marine archaeological department of India, the childhood stories have come to be a reality to a great extent.

Marine archaeological explorations have thrown light on a number of structures of different shapes, stone anchors and other artefacts. The exploration has found sandstone walls, a grid of streets and remains of a sea port, some 70 feet beneath the sea. The evidence points to the fact of the existence of a city some 9,000 years ago. Also according to them this was one of the most important and busy ports during historical and medieval periods.

The detailed exploration and excavation of this sunken city was started in 1988 with certain goals and results in mind:

1. The explorations were extended up to the Temple of Samudranarayan (Sea God), in order to trace the extent of the port city and the purpose behind the massive stone walls built on the banks of the ancient Gomati River.

2. Whether the architectural features were in conformity to the ones described in the Mahabharat.

3. To obtain a more corroborative evidence for reclamation referred to in the epic.

4. The nick point where the Gomati River joined the sea had to be determined.

5. The cause of the submergence

Dwarka was supposed to have been built on six blocks, two on the right bank and four on the left. All the six sectors have protective walls built of dressed stones of sandstones. Whatever has been traced so far conforms to the description of Dwarka in the Mahabharat to a large extent. For example, the enclosures may correspond to the Antahpurs (harems) of the texts.

Similarly, the large number of stone anchors is indicative of overseas trade. The large ships were anchored to the sea, whereas the small ones were near to the warehouses on the Gomati, part of which has been submerged.

The layout of the excavated city, the spread and the location of fort walls and bastions match the descriptions mentioned in Harivamsha, a prologue to Mahabharata. Harivamsha described the city of Dwarka in minute details. According to it, the area of Dwarka was 12 yojanas. It was connected to the mainland by a strip, which is visible even now, in low tide. The city excavated is of the same size.

Harivamsha, detailing the security arrangements, says that there were seals, without which one could not enter the city. Seals of a particular description were found on the seabed. A stone image of Vishnu, chert blades and pottery are all part of the recovered objects. Certain coins were found during excavations underwater having inscriptions similar to details found in Mahabharata.

Elaborating on the town plan of first Dwarka, Rao’s proposal says, “There were two fortification walls. One in the lower terrace and another in the middle terrace. The walls which extended over a length of 4 km on the eastern shore are mostly destroyed by sea action. The walls of the lower terrace are of massive, dressed sandstone blocks while that of the upper terrace are of rubble. The houses and other public buildings, built of smaller size stones within the enclosure are all destroyed and levelled up by the encroachment of the sea. These structures lie in a depth of 7 to 10 meters, below the present mean sea-level, indicating a rise of 10 meters in sea-level during the last 3,600 years.” The reclamation of land from water-logged areas, referred to in Mahabharata, in order to build the city, is also attested by the boulder foundations over which walls and bastions were raised.

Marine archaeology has proved that the existence of the Dwarka and its submergence in the second millennium B.C referred to in the Mahabharat, Harivamsa, Matsya and Vayu Purans (Sanskrit texts) is a fact and not fiction. The implications of accepting the archeologists’ finds as proof that the sunken city is indeed the legendary Dwarka would be very significant for the understanding of what the Mahabharata is. It would no longer be merely a book of myths and legends, but in fact, at least to some extent, a genuine account of past events.

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Mahabalipuram-UNESCO World Heritage site

Mahabalipuram is a historic city and UNESCO World Heritage site in Tamil Nadu, India. During the reign of the Pallava Dynasty, between the 3rd century CE and 7th century CE, it became an important centre of art, architecture and literature. Mahabalipuram was already a thriving sea port on the Bay of Bengal before this time.

Mahabalipuram is a coastal town in North Tamil Nadu. It is a favorite weekend getaway for Chennai residents and an important heritage destination for international travelers. It has other names, such as Mamallapuram or Seven Pagodas. This town got its other name from the belief that it was once home to seven temples. It is believed that a tsunami submerged six of these temples during the 13th century. Now we have only one temple surviving, namely the Shore Temple.

HISTORY OF MAHABALIPURAM

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The monuments we see today in Mamallapuram were built by the Pallava Kings who ruled this region between the 5th and 8th centuries. Hence Mamallapuram monuments are the oldest structural monuments of India built before 1700 years. Originally, Mamallapuram complex had more than 400 monuments. Only about 50 of them have survived till date. These monuments bear testimony to the incredible talents of the rulers and artisans who made them. The UNESCO has declared Mamallapuram a cultural heritage place especially highlighting the three monuments namely Descent of the Ganges, Panch Rathas and Shore Temple.

Some places to visit:

1. The Shore Temple

The Shore Temple is located on the beach and if local lore is to be trusted it is the one surviving structure of the legendary Seven Pagodas. Despite continuous erosive effects of the moist and salty sea air, the Shore Temple preserves its beauty in many parts. Built between 700 and 728 CE during the reign of Narasimhavarman II, this is indeed a remnant of a larger complex of temples and civil structures much of which lie under the depth of the sea now.

This temple was constructed in Dravidian style. It was hit with the worst tsunami in 2004.  However, the strong structure survived the catastrophe with the least damage to its structure and beauty. The mighty tsunami waves heaped the sea sand on the temple. Later when the sand was uncovered a few more sculptures that were hidden in the sand before the tsunami were discovered.

2. Descent of the Ganges

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Alternatively known as Arjuna’s Penance, Descent of the Ganges is a gigantic open air bas-relief sculpted out of pink granite. The dramatic relief sculpture narrates the tales from Indian epics such as the Mahabharata. Nearby mandapas, particularly the Krishna Mandapa, however, showcase scenes of pastoral life amid mythical figures. Other similar rock artworks close by have been left unfinished due to some unexplained reason.

There is an alternate belief that the rock relief represented how the sacred Ganges river was brought from the heavens to Earth. So some people prefer calling it the Descent of the Ganges.This sculptural collage consists of around 150 sculptures depicting some animals and birds, natural phenomenon, planets and dragon.

3. Panch Ratha

The five chariots or Pancha Rathas are rock cut temples each of them carved out from a single rock. These five temples are dedicated to the Five Pandava brothers and their consort Draupadi. Thematically and structurally, each ratha is significantly different from the other ones, but all of them were carved out of a long stone or monolith. This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. Krishna’s Butterball

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Krishna’s butter ball is a natural rock that looks stunning. This huge rock is found on a hilltop surface. How this rock stands there with the most minimal contact with the ground below is a matter of wonder. This could roll down anytime but it has not happened yet. For now, it is a great place for taking selfies. One can find this rock at the base of the hillock housing the cave temples.

5. Cave Temple

There is a small hillock behind Arjuna’s Penance where one can find many cave temples. A small trek takes one to the cave temples on this hillock. In the Varaha Cave Temple (the first image in this article), one can see delicate and intricate workmanship.
Another attraction is a half-finished building resembling a fort on this hillock. It is an unfinished temple called Rayar Gopuram.

6. The old Lighthouse

The old lighthouse that was used to guide the vessels and ships to the port of Mamallapuram sports an unconventional design. Built on a huge rock, this light house has some narrative sculptures carved on its stone walls.

There are three old lighthouse built near the half finished hillock fort. The more prominent one was built by the British only a century ago. The other two were the old lighthouses built during the 7th century by Pallavas.

Mahabalipuram as of today

Mahabalipuram is trying to re-create its image as the country’s premier beach resort but it has not completely lost touch with its past cultural exploits. Every year, it hosts classical dance and drama festivals to preserve and promote the heritage of a very ancient culture.

There are still many places to visit like Tiger Cave, Sadras Fort, Alamparai Fort, Mahabalipuram Beach and many more. Presence of beach makes this place to be unforgettable as the entire landscape will definitely makes you to admire of its beauty.

Conclusion

There are many places to visit in chennai like Valluvar kottam, Marina beach etc., but Mamallapuram stands separate among all the places. The reason for its popularity is mainly because of the presence of some beautiful ancient cravings and sculptures.

The entire place looks so beautiful with the environment and the atmosphere makes relaxed and calm. The temples and the rock cuts gives some great view to this place.

What are you waiting for? The right time to visit this destination is just around the corner! Plan a trip soon.

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300 Billion Dollars worth Vijayanagara Empire treasure was transported on 550 Elephants!!!

Yes, you read it correct estimated about 300 Billion dollars (in INR 2 lakh crore worth at present day) worth treasure was transported on 550 elephants along with numerous horses and bullock carts during the downfall of Vijayanagara Empire. In the World history Vijayanagara is one of the such empire which was one of the known most wealthiest and prosperous kingdoms in world.

To know the interesting story of it please read further !

On January 26, 1565, the Glorious Hindu empire of Vijaynagara confronted the combined armies of the Islamic Deccan Sultanates of Ahmednagar, Berar, Bidar, Bijapur, and Golconda at the battlefield of Talikota (about 60 kms from Bijapur in North Karntaka). At this battle, the Vijaynagara king Rama Raya lost his life and his army was routed.

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But, what happened after this battle? What happened to the fabled treasures accumulated over 300 years by successions of dynasties, which ruled Vijayngara. What happened to all the fabled gold that legend and contemporary visitors say were sold openly on the streets of Hampi, the richest Indian city south of Delhi?

Rafiuddin Shirazi, a former resident of Persia and an eyewitness of the battle, observes in his book, Tazkiratul Muluk, that the victorious army entered Vijayngara after a period of 20 days after the battle. Portuguese historian Diogo Do Couto, who observed the last days of Vijayngara in person, writes of the Muslim armies entering Hampi three days after their victory. Another contemporary from Golconda, Ferishta says it took 10 days for the victors to reach Hampi.

Whether it was 3, 10, or 20 days, the fact remains that the delay of the Sultanate army in reaching the Vijayngara capital afforded the inhabitants and the remnants of the Hindu royalty some breathing space.

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After returning to Hampi from the battlefield, Tirumala Raya, the brother of the deceased king Rama Raya, quickly left the city accompanied by the surviving members of the royal family. Legend has it, the entourage comprised 550 elephants along with countless horses and bullock carts – all laden with treasures in gold along with the bejeweled throne of the king. The destination was the fortress of Penunkonda in southern Karnataka.

Merchents Selling diamonds on street during Vijayanagara Emperors ruled!

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It is believed that much of the treasure trove worth over Rs 1 lakh crore – discovered in 2011 at the 16th century Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram – was originally a part of the Vijayangara riches. According to news reports, the items found included a 3.5-foot tall golden idol of Vishnu, studded with precious stones; a pure golden throne, studded with hundreds of precious stones, an 18-foot long gold chain; a gold sheaf weighing 500 kilograms; a 36-kilogram golden veil; several sacks filled with golden artifacts, necklaces, diadems, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, gemstones, and objects made of other precious metals; gold coconut shells studded with rubies and emeralds; hundreds of thousands of gold coins of the Roman Empire; and of course, gold coins of the Vijaynagara era. Point to be noted still Vault B is yet to be opened !!! No one knows what’s there !!!?

Folklore has it that the stranglehold of the Mughal Empire over the Deccan, followed by relentless raids by Maratha cavalrymen, prompted the descendants of the Vijaynagara kings to transfer their treasure to one of the farthest points down South, in the safe custody of Sri Padmanabhaswamy.

Till date the recovered treasure is said to be only about 40 to 50% of the transported treasure no one has a clue where the rest of the treasure is held and locals at Hampi(capital during Vijayanagara Regime-current day in Bellary district, Karnataka ) still found sometimes digging and searching for the treasures . Vijayanagara Empire history is one small example showing how rich the Ancient India was before many invaders came inside with greed .

This is all which is recorded and known to people who knows how much is still hidden!!!!?

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This Enormous 8th Century Temple in India Was Carved from One Rock

Kailasa Temple at the Ellora Caves in India

Formed from a single block of excavated stone, Kailasa temple is considered one of the most impressive cave temples in India. The enormous structure is one of 34 cave temples and monasteries that are collectively known as the Ellora Caves. Located in the western region of Maharashtra, the caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and include monuments dating between 600 and 1000 CE. While there are many impressive structures on-site, it’s the megalithic Kailasa temple that is perhaps the most well known.

Renowned both for its size and impressive ornamentation, it’s not entirely clear who had Kailasa temple built. While there are no written records, scholars generally attribute it to Rachtrakuta king Krishna I, who ruled from about 756 to 773 CE. This attribution is based on several epigraphs that connect the temple to “Krishnaraja,” though nothing written directly about the ruler contains information about the temple.

While scholars have yet to discover its true origins, a medieval legend paints a romantic picture behind the mammoth temple. According to a story written in Katha-Kalpataru by Krishna Yajnavalki, when a king was severely ill, his queen prayed to the god Shiva that her husband would be cured. In return for his health, the queen vowed to construct a temple in Shiva’s name and fast until the shikhara, or peak, of the temple was completed.

Kailasa Temple at the Ellora Caves in India

The king quickly got better and construction began on the temple, but to the couple’s horror, they realized it would take years for the shikhara to emerge. Luckily, a clever engineer came along and explained that by starting from the top of the mountain, he could make the temple’s shikhara appear within a week. This was much to the relief of the queen, who could quickly finish her fast and thus, the temple was constructed from the top down.

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Though this is a legend and not fact, the truth is that Kailasa was built from the top. This unusual decision called for 200,000 tons of volcanic rock to be excavated from the rock. Standing at about three stories tall, a horseshoe-shaped courtyard has a gopuram—tower—at its entrance. Given the vast space and the ornate decorations of the temple, it’s believed that the work may have started with Krishna I, but could have carried on for centuries, with different rulers adding their own flair..

Enormous stone carvings depict different Hindu deities with particular attention to Shiva. As one walks past the gopuram, panels on the left have followers of Shiva, while panels on the left show devotees of Vishnu.  At the base of the temple, a herd of carved elements appears to carry the load of the temple on their backs. It’s thanks to these masterful sculptures, as well as the incredible engineering of the temple, that Kailasa is considered an outstanding example of Indian art and architecture.

Kailasa temple is a megalithic structure carved from one rock.

Kailasa Temple at the Ellora Caves in India

UNESCO World Heritage Site - Ellora Caves

Stock Photos from Leonid Andronov/ShutterstockTemple Carved from One Rock in India

Located in India, it’s part of the Ellora Caves and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kailasa Temple at the Ellora Caves in India

The temple is dedicated to Shiva and is covered with ornate carvings showing different deities.

Carvings in Kailasa Temple at the Ellora Caves in India
Temple Carved from One Rock in India

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The Indian Tiger Trail

Tiger spotting is nothing short of an adventure sport that calls for preparation, patience and positive outlook. These popular national parks that can guarantee you a rendezvous with the Great Indian Tiger.

The emotions evoked on sighting the majestic big cat in its natural surroundings on a wildlife safari is magnificent. Let us explore some of the popular national parks and wildlife destinations that can guarantee you a rendezvous with the Great Indian Tiger.

1. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

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Established in 1936, this is India’s first national park. It is named after the legendary naturalist and conservationist Jim Corbett.  Located at the Himalayas’ foothills, near the popular hill-station of Nainital, the beautiful Jim Corbett National Park, is famous for being home to a large number of tigers, the highest among any Indian national park.

A paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, Jim Corbett National Park is known to house a population of 200+ tigers along a massive topographical area interspersed with hilly ridges and rolling grasslands.

2. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Located in Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India, the erstwhile hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa, the dense Bandhavgarh is known to the world as the home of the big cats.

The Tiger Reserve is Known for the healthy population of tigers and variety of herbivores. This area is unique from the point of biodiversity, as it comprises hills,valley, rivers, marshes and meadows to give rise to diverse vegetation. Apart from tiger, as many as 34 species of Mammals have been listed and nearly 260 species of birds and 70 species of butterfly.

However, the real thrill of Bandhavgarh is in seeing the tigers roam the jungles freely. History has it that the species of white tigers, known as the ‘elusive’ White Tigers, where first sighted in Bandhavgarh. So if luck comes your way, spotting a white tiger while you are seated on an elephant back can make your day.

3. Sunderban National Park, West Bengal

To drop Sunderbans out from the discussion on tiger trails in India would be sacrilege for this is the kingdom of the Royal Bengal Tiger (one of the ferocious breeds of the carnivore). The charm of Sunderban lies in navigating through the remote reaches of the dense mangrove forest that characterises the world’s largest Delta. What sets this vast tract of impenetrable forest situated along the Bay of Bengal apart is the mode of transport used to reach the habitat of the tiger.

Amidst a sprawling 15 bighas of forestland, the 2 hour motorboat ride from the Sunderban Tiger Camp calls for a culture-rich journey with local villagers performing to traditional songs and dances.

4. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

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Surrounded by the Avaralli and Vindhyachal ranges, the landscape of Ranthambore serves as one of the oft-frequented zones of tigers in India. The size of the park and its environment are two primary elements that determine the population and subsequent chances of spotting tigers. The territorial expanse, deciduous forests, rocky plains, lakes and rivers of Ranthambore confirm a suitable ecological climate for tigers to thrive in.

Ranthambore National Park was established initially as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India. In 1973, it was declared as one of the Project Tiger reserves in India. It was on 1st November, 1980 that Ranthambore was declared a national park, while the forests located beside it were named Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary & Keladevi Sanctuary.

Tigers at Ranthambore National park have been known to even hunt in full view of human visitors.

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Ancient Indian engineering ..250 years old bowl of Baby Lord Krishna

Below is the video of 250 year old bowl said to be engineered by Vishwakarma … This bowl when you start filling with water not even a drop comes out of the bowl but once the water reaches lord krishna feet not even a drop remains in the bowl!!.

This bowl represents the story when Lord Krishna was born and his uncle Kamsa wanted to kill him so then his father carries baby krishna and escapes in river Yamuna its when river Yamuna was ferocious with waves but when water was touching baby krishna feet the water levels went down ..!The above incredible master piece of bowl represents the same story..

Watch below video to know more…!!!!

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Isn’t it amazing!! Yes , this is not some magic or anything off course it has a logic or a mechanism or physics but doing this 250 before 250 years is something this is just a one small example of how he Ancient India was rich in knowledge and technical advancements..!! Its truly Incredible INDIA!

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Oldest Bricks Temple in India 🇮🇳,magnificent Terracotta Temples of Bishnupur, West Bengal!

Interesting Facts about these Oldest Bricks Temples

where it is located?

Bishnupur, a municipal town in the modern day Bankura district in West Bengal,India was a centre of music, art, and architecture for hundreds of years. Among other things, the town is well-known for its terracotta temples, extensively embellished with carved and moulded terracotta decorations made from the locally available laterite clay. These temples are associated with the Gaudiya Vaishnava faith, dating back to seventeenth century.

Many Brick Temple are located here with different architectural blend…

1.Rasmancha Temple

Rasmancha temple stands on a raised square laterite plinth with a pyramidal superstructure. Three successive circumblatory galleries, The arches of which are decorated with terracotta lotus motifs.

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Similar architecture and building has not been found elsewhere in India and it is considered as the pride of Bishnupur for its unique shape.

The interesting thing about the temple is that it has only a single chamber, the sanctum sanctorum, with an elongated tower, surrounded by hut shaped turrets. A passageway surrounds it and some large cannons found here date back to the Malla period.

Rasmancha is the oldest brick temple and the only temple of its kind in the whole country.

2.Madan Mohan Temple and Shyama Raya Temple

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The temples in which these deities were installed, however, are distinctively atypical in that rather than turning to the architectural styles of Vrindavan for inspiration, they followed local architectural traditions and innovated on their own. These temples were conspicuously distinct from the Vrindavan temples,they were constructed on a new ratna style, reoriented to face south, departing from the nāgara custom of north India and the rekha style of facing east in the direction of the rising sun. They had two storeys instead of one, with an additional shrine stacked over the conventional sanctum on the lower level. The shrine in the upper pavilion was reserved for special occasions such as festivals, leaving the lower sanctum available for daily worship. One altar was constructed on the traditional east-facing style of Hindu temples, and this deity would be ministered to by the priests of the temple. The other altar, which eventually came to hold greater importance, faced south towards the courtyard and nātmandir (entertainment hall), where devotees would gather to sing praises to Krishna and his heroics, and often spontaneously rise in dance during the ārati. This new temple form served the various ritual needs of the emerging Gaudiya Vaishnava community in Bengal.

3.Nandalal Temple and Radha Shyaam Temple

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The temples and monuments of Vrindavan drew heavily from the imperial Mughal style of the late sixteenth century. The architectural style of the Bishnupur temples, however, derived from the tradition that had developed under the sultanates that had ruled Bengal for the previous four centuries—interior vaulting, pointed arches with cusps, sturdy pillars with many facets, curved cornices, and terracotta decoration (McCutchion 1972).

4.Radha Madhav Temple

The temples also draw inspiration from the sloping thatched huts of the region; the curved cornices of these temples, a characteristic feature of this design, are derived from the bent bamboo eaves of cottages in the Bengali countryside. This feature occurs in combination with a number of basic designs. There is the char-chala design that consists of a four-sided roof coming to a point on a square base. A similar but smaller roof may be constructed on top of the char-chala like a tower to make an at-chala. There is the do-chala or ek-bangla design, which features a two-sided humped roof evocative of the curved cornice on an elongated base. The Rasamancha in Bishnupur is the earliest known temple in existence built in the ‘bangla’ do-chala style.

5. Jor Bangla or Kesto Raya Temple

Jor-bangla temple, also called Kesto Rai Temple, has a typical architecture that is found in the southern part of Bengal. The temple was built by Malla King Raghunath Singha in 1655.

Even though scenes from Krishna’s life were most commonly sculpted on the terracotta plaques, there are also depictions of scenes from other Vaishnava texts and the larger body of the Vishnupurana, as well as legends of other gods and goddesses. The terracotta work on the Shyam Raya temple (1643), one of the oldest terracotta temples in Bishnupur, is a fine example of this.

There are innumerable small plaques embellished with images based on themes such as Krishna embracing Radha or playing his flute to her, Krishna’s battle with Indra for the parijat tree, and Krishna between two gopis under an elaborate canopy .

Don’t Go Away because You are in a land of Surprises! India 🇮🇳

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4000 Years old India’s Burial Site, Who were warriors of Sanauli?

Where is Sanauli?

The Sinauli excavation site is an archaeological site located in Sinauli, western Uttar Pradesh, India, at the Ganga-Yamuna Doab.The site gained attention for its Bronze Age solid-disk wheel carts, found in 2018, which were interpreted by some as horse-pulled.

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When excavation was Conducted?

The excavations in Sinauli were conducted by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 2005-06 and in mid-2018. The remains found in 2005-06 season, the “Sanauli cemetery”, belong to the Late Bronze Age, and were ascribed by excavation director Sharma to the Harappan Civilisation, though a Late Harappan Phase or post-Harappan identification is more likely.

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Sanuli Excvation 1st:

  1. The excavations first began in 2005 and within a year 116 burial sites were discovered. Due to this, it was referred to as one of India’s largest known necropolis in the Chalcolithic period.
  2. The burial sites are different from Indus Valley Civilization. The coffins are 4 legged and the tombs had underground chambers. 
  3. In the tombs are found systematically arranged vases, bowls and pots near the body. 
  4. There is rice found in those pots buried along with the bodies of the troops 
  5. In one coffin upon excavation, 8 anthropomorphic figures (something that looks like humans) were found on it. 
  6. One thing that is extraordinary is that the burials were similar to vedic culture and not Indus Valley culture
  7. Impressions of cloth to wrap the bodies suggests purification of corpses like those practiced in Hindu customs today.

Sanuli Excavation 2nd:

It came into light again in 2018 when a farmer reported to have found antiquities in the land while ploughing the field. As per Hindustan Times report, the farmer found pieces of copper in the ground after which the ASI came into action. 

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  1. After reporting of copper antiques, the ASI started the dig. 
  2. They found horse drawn chariots which were almost 5000 years old. The chariots found have a fixed ankle linked through a long pole to a small yoke. This ankle, chassis and wheel shows similarity to the modern chariots. These chariots are thought to have been drawn by animals, preferably horses.  
  3. Many weapons like copper antenna swords, war shields etc were found
  4. They also found wooden for legged coffins this time along with pottery. 
  5. Also a whip to indicate to the animals has been found, which means the tribe that lived here controlled the animals 
  6. Along with the male warriors, female warriors have also been found buried with their swords. 
  7. However their legs around ankles had been removed before they were buried. 
  8. The region is expected to be fertile and suitable for agriculture. The excavation hints at a large kingdom’s existence here. 

Carbon Dating of the objects found in Sanuli:

  1. Once the carbon dating of the objects was done they were found to be 3800 years old. This means the civilization was alive in 1800 BC. 
  2. The process of carbon dating was done in the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences in Lucknow. The technique used was C-14 dating technique. 
  3. The human remains were inspected by the Deccan College, Pune and a lab in Hyderabad conducted the DNA research. 

You are in land of surprises that is India 🇮🇳! So,Just hold on many more yet to come….

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Magnificent beauty Of Lady of Keylong.

Lady of Keylong, a less popular peak is located in the harsh and arid atmospheres of Lahoul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, 🇮🇳 India. It was named Lady of Keylong after a British Lady Elashainghday during British rule. Later Geological Survey of India also recorded it as the “Lady of Keylong”. Thus the name Lady of Keylong might have known to the world. But actually the mountain looks alike its name suggests, remaining covered with snow almost the year.

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However the dark patches of rock in middle of the mountain remain uncovered. These rocky patches resemble a figure of a lady as walking with a load on her back.

The Lady of Keylong is a technical peak mixed with all sorts of climbing experiences. The route consists of few campsites but the terrain is strenuous and challenging accompanied by severe weather conditions and high altitudes. The approach starts from driving to Tinoo village a few KM’s far from Keylong. It is a beautiful village surrounded by varied foliage and vegetable fields juniper trees etc.

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You have to will cross the river and climb toward northern flank of the Tinoo village over steep route of scree. After hours of climb you will reach at Base camp and is surrounded by boulders highland vegetation’s on a reasonable slope.You will transfer all the equipment’s and edibles to the base camps and further on to the higher camp. The acclimatization process will roll on as we ferry loads up and down until summit camp is achieved. At initial steep climb remains consistent till the first high exposure section of gully, a region demanding quick maneuver.

The gully is mixed of loose rocks hard snow and ice and a rock wall marking the end of the passage. The route ahead includes miles of moraine glacier waterfall and ice wall to negotiate. Soon climb reaches to a point of steep glacier which has scree embedded in ice, a peculiar feature to overcome. This section of steep ice wall is excessively strength demanding. As getting near to the summit camp another treacherous climb on the boulders piled up on the short steep slope of glacier lay ahead. Then you will reach at summit camp located on vast glacier and establish it on flatter zone. A huge section of numerous open crevasses lay aside the campsite. The glacier continues toward south increasing gradient till the skyline showed the highest point of Mt. Lady of Keylong. The peak can be seen clearly from the summit camp at 5200m.

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Now the zero hour arrives and you will need to check your equipment’s edibles then attack the summit in the middle of the night. At first gradient rises on icy surface and the hump which was seen from the summit camp needs to be traversed. Ahead deep craters and crevasses remain wide open to the unknown depth. We will climb hump over hump over icy slopes that appeared frequently between ice and snow. Finally you will make it to the summit heightening about 6061m. A top one can see to the north Mt. Gangstang adjoining with a number of unnamed peaks and glaciers toward west Mt. Hanuman Tibba, Mt. Makarbeh, Mt. Shikarbeh, Mt. Ghepan, toward east was the horizon of Spiti valley. You will return back to the summit camp wind up all the stuff and climb down to the base. Finally return back to keylong and back to home. 

Try to visit Keylong before you die!

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The terrifying AGHORI sadhus of INDIA…

Who are the Aghoris?

The Aghori are a small group of ascetic Shaiva sadhus based in Uttar Pradesh, India. They engage in post-mortem rituals. They often dwell in charnel grounds, smear cremation ashes on their bodies, and use bones from human corpses for crafting kapalas (skull cups which Shiva and other Hindu deities are often iconically depicted holding or using) and jewellery

Is there any Ahori path?

Definitely there is, still a very active spiritual process. A recently dead body has certain possibilities, so certain system use that. If you really want to see raising the dead and that kind of stuff, these are the people.

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What Aghori Sadhana is like?

Ahori means “ghora” which is beyond terrible. People use various substances to do many different things. so, what they are doing is -there is still life in the body that is dead.

They are sitting there – if you go there to Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghat in Varanasi, Uttarpradesh district of India, aghoris will be sitting there , watching Everybody who will come, they enquire “How old is this person? How did he die? ” That’s why some of them who don’t want that to known, they are covering with plastic sheets, where people can’t see,But agoris want to know.if it’s a young person somebody who was vibrant life and for some reason he died they want that kind. When that happens, they want to do work there. They want to make use of the energy that’s is released. Once the dead body begins to burn, the energy has to exist immediately. when that exits, they want to make use of that life energy to do something with themselves. If you guys don’t know the science of that , you can’t just think it’s all bizarre. Yes it’s an extreme way of doing things, it’s not for every body. it’s a very crude technology. If you want to look at all system of spirituality as a technology, it’s a very crude technology, but still a technology.

Why should somebody choose such a way of life?

because they don’t see life as good or bad, they just see life as a possibility towards the ultimate. They don’t care how; they don’t care how they get there.

Ahora has never been socially acceptable kind of path because the things that they do are totally beyond anything that you would imagine.

so these paths are generally taken more than spiritual dimension to acquire occult powers, that’s why they go on that path. But most people may not get there because most people don’t have that kind of perseverance , or not do they have that kind of courage, nor are they capable of handling disgust, because you have to do most disgusting things in aghori path. But they are done by people who want acquire certain powers, to dominate life, to dominate other human beings.

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How aghori make dead bodies walk? 💀

The corpses walk in tantric rituals!

when somebody dies or when somebody is certified dead by a doctor, he is not completely dead. Up to 5 to 7 minutes it’s behaving as if it’s alive and then falls dead, exhausts itself. So it’s based on this when somebody dies, there are rituals in India ; upto 14 days there are various kind of rituals.

THE MOST IMPORTANT AGHORI RITUALS!!! 💀

Perhaps the most important of the Aghori rituals is Shav Putra, an incredibly private ceremony.  In order to complete it, they must find human corpses.  These are hard to find in Varanasi as nearly everyone is cremated.  Some families in Varanasi, cannot afford to be cremated so instead they will put the bodies in the Ganges. 

So, the Aghori monks literally ‘fish’ them out.  When they find a body they meditate on it, chop the head off (because it holds the most energy) and then in some Aghoris practices they eat the flesh. This is why the Aghori tribe are known as the Indian cannibals.

They believe that they can’t please God if they don’t do this human sacrifice.  They keep the skull of the corpse as a reminder of the impermanence of life.  They believe that all their acts and rituals, including cannibalism, are done in pursuit of spiritual liberation.

The Aghoris have their own lifestyle and beliefs that are seen as evil and taboo amongst Hindus.  This why most of the locals stay right away from them.  They are believed.


Mantras and Marijuana

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No Aghora would ever abstain himself from smoking Marijuana because they believe it is marijuana that helps them concentrate on religious mantras and the strenuous yogic practices they perform by routine. In spite of being under the effect of marijuana all the time they appear very sober and calm. When asked by curious visitors that whether they consume weed for pleasure, they abruptly deny the assertion. The delusion and hallucinations provided by weeds are taken as religious ecstasies and heightened spiritual experiences.

MYNTRA

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Mysterious medicines

To the surprise and awe of the scientists all over the world, The Aghoras claim they have medicines that can treat some of the most stubborn diseases. These medicines called ‘human oils’ come from burning the human body collected from the burning pyre. The babas claim that these medicines are very effective on curing all the diseases but are not used in modern medicine due to ethical considerations. However, the authenticity of their claim has never been tried and tested by the scientific community.

Tantric powers and Black magic

The healing powers of Aghori Sadhus are said to come from their expertise in Black magic. What they say about these practices is that they never use their powers for harmful deeds. Instead they absorb the diseases that plague the victims who visit them into their bodies and eliminate the diseases by burning them using Black magic. Certain Aghori who intensely practice Black magic say the more they please Lord Shiva and goddess Kali, the more they gain powers.

Do You want to meet with a Aghori? Sorry Sorry, Don’t worry, I’m just kidding!!!!

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A One Trillion Dollar Hidden Treasure Chamber is Discovered at India’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple!

The Padmanabhaswamy temple treasure is a collection of valuable objects including gold thrones, crowns, coins, statues and ornaments, diamonds and other precious stones.

Items were recovered from Padmanabhaswamy Temple ….

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The Supreme Court of India had ordered an amicus curiae appointed by it to prepare an inventory of the treasure. Full details of the inventory have not been revealed. However, newspaper reports gave an indication of some of the possible contents of the vaults. About 40 groups of objects were retrieved from Vault E and Vault F. Another 1469 groups of objects found in Vault C and 617 in Vault D. Over 1.02 lakh (102,000) groups of objects were recovered from Vault A alone.

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According to news reports some of the items found include:

  • A 4-foot (1.2 m) high and 3-foot (0.91 m) wide solid pure-golden idol of Mahavishnu studded with diamonds and other fully precious stones.
  • A solid pure-golden throne, studded with hundreds of diamonds and precious stones, meant for the 18-foot (5.5 m) idol of deity
  • Ceremonial attire for adorning the deity in the form of 16-part gold anki weighing almost 30 kilograms (66 lb)
  • An 18-foot (5.5 m) long pure-gold chain among thousands of pure-gold chains
  • A pure-gold sheaf weighing 500 kilograms (1,100 lb)
  • A 36-kilogram (79 lb) golden veil
  • 1200 ‘Sarappalli’ pure-gold coin-chains encrusted with precious stones weighing between 3.5 kg and 10.5 kg
  • Several sacks filled with golden artifacts, necklaces, diadems, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, gemstones, and objects made of other precious metals
  • Gold coconut shells studded with rubies and emeralds
  • Several 18th-century Napoleonic-era coins
  • Hundreds of thousands of gold coins of the Roman Empire
  • An 800-kilogram (1,800 lb) hoard of gold coins dating to the mediaeval period.

Among the six chambers in the Temple, Chamber B is very closely associated with Sri Padmanabhaswamy. It is not a part of the Temple Treasury. The holy Chamber houses an idol of Sri Padmanabha and many valuables meant to enhance the potency of the Principal Deity.

Chamber B has long been considered by Astrologers of India, as highly mysterious, sacred and too dangerous to unveil it. The enormous steel door of Chamber B has two massive cobras painted on it and has no bolts, latches or any other means of entry. This is mystery straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.

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I think this is a desert of Gold which makes everything OMG! What do you think? #India 🇮🇳

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Could This Be The legendary “Magic Bridge ” Connecting between India and Srilanka?

Historical Significance of Rama setu Or Adam’s bridge, is a chain of natural limestone shoals Bridge!

The Ram Setu bridge – also known as the Adam’s Bridge – is a 50-km stretch from Rameswaram Island in Tamil Nadu to Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. According to Indian mythology, it was built by an army of monkeys for Hindu god Ram and his warriors to cross over to Lanka to rescue Sita.

How the Adam’s bridge was built? Just hold on , you are going to be surprised!

According the Hindu epic, Ramayana,  Ravana, the demon king of Lanka (Sri Lanka) kidnapped Rama’s wife Sita and took her to Lankapura, doing this for revenge against Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of Ravana’s sister, Shurpanakha. Shurpanakha had threatened to kill and eat Sita if Rama did not agree to leave her and marry Shurpanakha instead.

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To rescue Sita, Rama needed to cross to Lanka. Brahma created an army of vanaras (intelligent warrior monkeys) to aid Rama. Led by Nila and under the engineering direction of Nala, the vanaras constructed a bridge to Lanka in five days. The bridge is also called Nala Setu, the bridge of Nala.

Rama crossed the sea on this bridge and pursued Ravana for many days. He fired hundreds of golden arrows which became serpents that cut off Ravana’s heads, but ultimately had to use the divine arrow of Brahma (which had the power of the gods in it and cannot miss its target) to slay Ravana.

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The Geological Survey of India (GSI) in its study under ‘Project Rameswaram’ indicates that the islands of Rameswaram in India and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka was exposed between 7,000 and 18,000 years ago; and by including the dating of corals the GSI stated that the Adam’s Bridge was formed about 500-600 years ago.

A US television channel has reignited the debate over the Ram Setu bridge between India and Sri Lanka, claiming that it was not a natural formation but rather a man-made structure. Murali Krishnan reports.

Don’t be surprised enough! Many more yet to come…. about Our Great India🇮🇳

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1000 years old Brihadeeswara temple of Lord Shiva!

when advanced equipment like cranes and transportation technology didn’t exist even then shocking architectural structures were in INDIA 🇮🇳!

And the architecture of the temple makes it OMG!!

This temple is a fine example of the Dravidian architecture built by Raja Raja Chola 1,situated in Tamilnadu. This temple is 216 feet high and more than 130,000 tons of granite is said to have been used to built it. And what is more surprising is that there is neither monument or a rock Hill for approximately 60kms around Thanjavur.

Hey.. How did these heavy rocks come here?

It is said that with the help of 3000 elephants these stones brought from far away. The architecture is based on interlock also known as puzzle technique. Now didn’t get puzzle!

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Puzzle techniques means placing one stone with other one just to lock it without plaster or adhesives. There is nothing in between stones. It has been seen that many ancient monuments like London’s Big Ben, Italy’s leaning tower are tilting with time but after 1000years this temple is absolutely straight. This is because of interlocking or puzzle technique.

The other speciality of this temple it was built without digging the earth which means on a plain surface.

Dude, it’s such a superb architecture. That’s is amazing!

Friends the stone placed on the top of this temple also known as KUMBAM weights around 81 tons which is curved out of a single rock. Oh, my God!

I wonder how they would have placed this single stone on top of this temple? To lift this stone, thay made a ramp of around six kilometres long . Elephants, Buffalos and labourers altogether carried the stone to the top of the temple.

Another Fascinating thing about this temple is a bull made up of a single stones!

By looking this, the only thing I can say is OMG! Yeh Mere India 🇮🇳.

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10 Discoveries by Ancient Indian Scientists!

Hey, are you ready? Let’s go…

The history of science and technology in the Indian subcontinent begins with prehistoric human activity in the Indus Valley Civilization to early states and empires. Following independence, science and technology in the Republic of India has included automobile engineering, information technology, communications as well as space, polar, and nuclear sciences.

1. The Zero(0)

The place-value system, first seen in the 3rd-century Bakhshali Manuscript, was clearly in place in Aryabhata’s work. While he did not use a symbol for zero, the French mathematician Georges Ifrah argues that knowledge of zero was implicit in Aryabhata’s place value system as a place holder for the powers of ten with null coefficients.

However, Aryabhata did not use the Brahmi numerals. Continuing the Sanskritic tradition from Vedic times, he used letters of the alphabet to denote numbers, expressing quantities, such as the table of sines in a mnemonic form

2.Approximation of Pi

Aryabhata worked on the approximation for pi (π), and may have come to the conclusion that π is irrational. In the second part of the Aryabhatiyam (gaṇitapāda 10), he writes:

caturadhikaṃ śatamaṣṭaguṇaṃ dvāṣaṣṭistathā sahasrāṇām
ayutadvayaviṣkambhasyāsanno vṛttapariṇāhaḥ.

“Add four to 100, multiply by eight, and then add 62,000. By this rule the circumference of a circle with a diameter of 20,000 can be approached.”

This implies that for a circle whose diameter is 20000, the circumference will be 62832

i.e, pi  =  62832 \ 20000 = { 3.1416} , which is accurate to three decimal places.

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3. Binary Numbers

Binary numbers are the basic language that is written to the computer programs. Binary basically refers to a set of two numbers 1 and 0, the combinations thereof are called bits and bytes. The binary number system was first described by the Vedic scholar Pingala, in his book Chandahśāstra, which the earliest known Sanskrit treatise on prosody (the study of poetic meter and verse).

4. Algebra

In Aryabhatiya, Aryabhata provided elegant results for the summation of series of squares and cubes: 1^{2}+2^{2}+….+n^{2}={n(n+1)(2n+1) \ 6}}

and 1^{3}+2^{3}+…..+n^{3}=(1+2+….+n)^{2

5.Fibonacci Numbers

The Fibonacci numbers and their order first appear in Indian mathematics as mātrāmeru mentioned by Pingala in connection with the Sanskrit tradition of prosody. Later, the process for the formation of these numbers of mathematicians Virahanka, Gopala and Hemacandra the fascinating sequence were given much before the Italian mathematician Fibonacci introduced to Western European mathematics.

6. Ruler measurements

The excavations in Harappans sites have resulted from ivory and shell of rulers or linear measures. staked minutes into subdivisions with amazing accuracy calibrations correspond closely with the hasta increments of 1 3/8 inches, traditionally used in the old architecture of South India. Old bricks at the archaeological excavations have found dimensions that correspond to the units on these rulers.

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7. Theory of Atoms

One of the remarkable scientists of ancient India was Kanad, who is said to have developed the atomic theory centuries before John Dalton was born. He speculated the existence of Anu or a small indestructible particles, similar to an atom. He also explained that Anu can have two states – absolute peace and a state of movement. He continues to be held, the atoms of the same substance combined with each other and in a specific manner synchronized dvyanuka (diatomic molecule) to generate and tryanuka (triatomic molecules).

8. Plastic surgery

Written by Sushruta in the 6th century BC, Sushruta Samhita is considered one of the most comprehensive textbooks of the old surgery. The text mentions various diseases, plants, preparations and remedy along with complex plastic surgery techniques. The Sushruta Samhita, s best-known contribution to plastic surgery is the reconstruction of the nose, known as rhinoplasty

9. Ayurveda

Long before the birth of Hippocrates, Charaka authored a seminal text, Charakasamhita, on the ancient science of Ayurveda. Referred to as the father of Indian medicine, Charaka was was the first physician to present the concept of digestion metabolism and immunity in his book. Charaka the old manual on preventive medicine remained a standard work on the subject for two thousand years and has been translated into many languages, including Arabic and Latin.

10. Astronomy

Age India contributions to the field of astronomy are well known and well documented. The earliest references to astronomy in the Rig Veda, found that are dated 2000 BC. During the next 2500 years, built around 500 AD, ancient Indian astronomy as an important part of Indian studies and its impact on reflected seen that time in several treatises. In some cases, astronomical principles of astrology in terms of how casting a horoscope were borrowed to explain matters. Apart from this link of astronomy with astrology in ancient India to continue to develop independent science of astronomy and culminated in initial results, such as:

i.The calculation of occurrences of eclipses

ii.Determination of Earth’s circumference

iii.Theorizing about the theory of gravitation

iv.Determining that sun was a star and determination of number of planets under our solar system

The Pleiades hold a prominent place than the mothers or nurses the newborn in one of the oldest and most central Hindu myths of the birth of the war god Rudra / Skanda, which is evident, among other things, the rising victorious sun (and how Spring Sun the new Year). The Pleiades are said to have been the women of the seven sages, who are identified with the seven stars of the Big Dipper.

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The old people of the Great Bear Tamil name elu-meen, seven star ‘corresponds to the combination of, 7’ + pictograms, fish ‘, which forms the seal alone the entire text of a finely carved Indus. The Satapatha Brahman states that the six Pleiades were separated from their husbands because of their infidelity; specify other texts that only one of the seven women, Arundhati, remained faithful and was allowed to stay with her husband: it is the small star Alcor in the Great Bear is exhibited in the Vedic marriage to the bride as a paradigm of marital virtue ceremonies.

Evidence for the Harappan origin of this myth is provided, inter alia, by Indus seals, which show a series of six or seven human figures; her female character is suggested by a long braid of hair that remained characteristic to this day the Indian ladies.

What Do you think? is India 🇮🇳 great???

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Amazing and Interesting story of BIJLI(Electricity) MAHADEV TEMPLE!

There are many amazing temples of Lord Shiva in India, one of them is Bijli Mahadev in KulluHimachal Pradesh

The entire history of Kullu is associated with the Bijli Mahadev. The city of Kullu has an ancient temple of Bijli Mahadev atop a high mountain near the confluence of the Beas and Parvati rivers.

 It is located at an altitude of about 7380feet in the Kullu Valley. Bijli Mahadev is one of the sansation temple in India.

 Located twenty two kilometer from Kullu across the Beas river, it can be approached by a rewarding trek of 3 km. A view of Kullu and Paravati valleys can be seen from the temple.

There is a belief in the entire Kullu valley that this valley is the form of a giant snake. This snake was slaughtered by Lord Shiva. Every celestial lightning falls on the Shivling at the place where the temple is located.

 Shiva lingam of the temple is damaged due to lightning. The priests here collect pieces of fragmented Shivling and combine it with butter. After a few months the Shivling changes into a solid form. 

Why lightning falls on this Shivling every twelve years and how this place got its name Kullu is a mythological story behind it.

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Bijli Mahadev – Kullu – every twelve years, electricity falls on Shivling

There are many amazing temples of Lord Shiva in India, one of them is the Bijli Mahadev in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.

 The entire history of Kullu is associated with the Bijli Mahadev. The city of Kullu has an ancient temple of Bijli Mahadev atop a high mountain near the confluence of the Beas and Parvati rivers.

There is a belief in the entire Kullu valley that this valley is the form of a giant snake. This snake was slaughtered by Lord Shiva.

 Every celestial electricity falls on the Shivling at the place where the temple is located. Shiva lingam of the temple is damaged due to lightning. 

The priests here collect pieces of fragmented Shivling and combine it with butter. After a few months, the Shivling changes into a solid form.  
Why electricity falls on this Shivling every twelve years and how this place got its name Kullu is a mythological story behind it.

Kulant Demon

People of Kullu Valley tell that long ago there used to be a Demon called Kulant. The demon took the form of a dragon from the Naganadhar near Kullu and came to Mathan village from Lahaul Spiti, passing through the Ghoggardhar of Mandi. 

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The dragon wanted to submerge this place in water by stopping the flow of river Beas by killing the dragon horoscope. 

Its purpose behind this was that all the animals living here would die by drowning in water. Lord Shiva became concerned with this idea of Kulant.

Shiva struck a trident on the head of the Kulant demon

After a long time, Lord Shiva took that demon-like dragon in his faith. Shiva said in his ear that your tail has caught fire.

 As soon as the Kulant demon turned back as soon as he heard this, then Shiva struck a trident on the head of the Kulant demon. The trident was killed by the trident.

 As soon as the patriarch died, his body turned into a huge mountain. His body was spread over the entire part of the earth, the whole area turned into a mountain. 

The power of the Kullu Valley from Mahadev to Rohtang Pass and the Ghooghardhar of the market there are believed to be built from the body of the Kulant. This legend is said to be from the Kulant only after the name Kulut and after it Kullu.

Lord Shiva told Indra to drop electricity at this place

After killing the Kulanta monster, Shiva asked Indra to turn off the electricity at this place once in twelve years. Every twelfth year, celestial lightning falls here. 

Shivalinga is shattered by this lightning. By collecting pieces of Shivling, the priest of Shiva is established by attaching it to butter. After some time, Pindi returns to its old form.

Why lightning falls on Shiva Linga

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It is said about the celestial lightning falling on the power Shivling that Lord Shiva did not want that when the lightning falls, it would harm the public money. 

To save the people, Bholenath makes this electricity fall on himself. This is why Lord Shiva is called the Bijli Mahadev here. There is a fair in the month of Bhadon. 

Bijli Mahadev’s hill is about seven kilometers from Kullu city. Crowds of devotees throng here on Shivratri too.

Heavy snow in winter

This place is situated at an altitude of 2450 meters above sea level. There is heavy snowfall in winter. Mahadev is also a beloved deity in Kullu.

 Somewhere he is Sayali Mahadev and somewhere Brani Mahadev. Somewhere he is Juvani Mahadev and somewhere he is Bijli Mahadev.

 Bijli Mahadev has its own significance and history. It seems that the entire Kullu history revolves around the bijli Mahadev. In every season, people from far and wide come to see the Bijli Mahadev. 

Best time to go
Bijli Mahadev trek remains closed during the winter months. Due to extreme weather conditions and excessive snowfall, the roads are also bad and are not good for trekking.

Moreover, there is a very strong thunderstorm in this area. So the best time to visit this place is during the summer months, it is the best time to visit Bilji Mahadev and nearby places.

HARA HARA MAHADEV

Things to Do Scroll down after AD

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The trek known to the temple covers an area filled with thick cedar trees. If you too love greenery and want to spend some time in the lap of nature, then definitely visit this temple

-> It attracts all types of photographers as the beauty surrounding it is not captured without it. There is a very spectacular view from the top of the temple.

-> There are some well-decorated cafes in this area. You can spend some time with your family, friends and loved ones as well as have a fabulous meal. You can also prepare your food by taking your goods and langar is specially managed by the temple committee here.

-> If you are new to the world of mountains and trekking, then a visit to the Lightning Mahadev Temple can be the right start.

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Scotland of India: Coorg

Kodagu, Karnataka.

Coorg, also known as ‘Scotland of India‘, is a mountaineous and regulative district in Karnataka. It is situated midway between Mysore and the coastal town of Mangalore. This land is also famous for its rainforests and spices.

Coorg lives up to its name with luring amalgamation of history, luxury, adventure, mouth-watering cuisine. Located along the western ghats, this famous coffee-producing hill station is well-known for its jaw-dropping ravishing scenery and opulence.

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Stunning mountains, the cascade of falling waters, and eye-feasting view of the flora and fauna, this place is indeed a perfect holiday destination for people who need an escape from their monotonous 9-5 hectic life. Much-acclaimed to be the preferred destination for trekking sports and white water rafting, Coorg qualifies to be the perfect location for the thrill-seekers.

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Rolling Hills

Lined by the Western Ghats, Coorg boasts of some of the most exotic ecosystems. The flora and fauna that flourish in the several hill ranges found here make Coorg one of the most sought-after natural retreats. Karnataka’s fourth highest peak, Tadiandamol, and other hills of the Pushpagiri and Brahmagiri ranges are absolutely an adventurer or naturalist’s delight. 

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Refreshing Greenery & Gushing Waterfalls

The ‘Land of Cauvery’ has vast expanses of the country’s most exotic spices and world class coffee growing here. The varying hues of green in the delicate pepper vines amidst the sprawling coffee plantations and scented cardamom fields offset by the gurgling Kaveri and its tributaries that plunge to form glorious waterfalls, makes Coorg a joyous place to be in!

Regal Warrior Culture and Heritage

The Kodava clan are the indigenous denizens of Coorg with a valiant history and a rich, deeply rooted legacy. Their courageous and fierce warrior-like traits are evident in not just their attire and weapons but cuisine and local customs as well, although it’s the nobility that truly shines through these people!

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Perfect Weather All the Damn Time

Being a hill station, one would expect Coorg to have pleasant weather, but what sets it apart from several other hill stations in India is that despite being in the tropics, it’s a favourable holiday spot at any given time of the year. We’d still suggest that you head down here to enjoy the monsoons with the valley bursting into fresh greenery and the aroma of coffee blossoms hanging in the air *dreamy sighs*!

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Enchanting Forts & Palaces

The former kingdom of Kodagu has had a long line of warrior kings which obviously means there were forts and palaces constructed in the typical Kodava style which add to the unique beauty of this place. The Madikeri Fort, which also houses the Madikeri Palace, and the Nalknad Palace are just two examples of the ancient royal architecture that has stood the test of time and are important archaeological sites to this day.

Quaint Colonial Estates

The history of Coorg isn’t martial alone and owes much to the British settlers who cultivated the coffee culture here (don’t miss the Plantation Trails by Tata Coffee) and set up picturesque homes in the middle of these large estates. The romance of Coorg is heightened by these quaint bungalows and often attract scores of tourists for a taste of the colonial lifestyle without the cons of it, of course. In fact, it was the nostalgic Britishers themselves who fondly called this slice of heaven the Scotland of India.

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Rani ki Vav (Queen’s Stepwell)

Patan, Gujrat.

Rani ki Vav aka the Queen’s Stepwell situated on the banks of Saraswati River in Gujarat is one of the largest stepwells of its kind in the country. This 900-year old structure is located about 125 km from Ahmedabad, in Patan, which was a fortified city in medieval times. Even though stepwells were constructed in India since 3rd BC as a means of storing water, Rani ki Vav is much more than that. It has gained huge popularity due to its elaborate seven-storied structure and intricately carved sculptures of gods, goddesses, and deities.

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Are you planning a trip to Gujarat this holiday season? Then keep aside a day to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is counted among the must-visit weekend getaways from Ahmedabad. We have curated every bit of information you should know about Rani ki Vav, such as its history, architecture, timings, and other interesting and lesser-known facts.

Rani ki Vav: History

Rani ki Vav traces its origins back to the 11th century when the Chalukya Dynasty was in power. The popular assumption is that the well was commissioned in 1063 by Rani Udayamati for her husband Raja Bhimdev I. A collection of semi-historical Sanskrit narratives named Prabandha Chintamani, compiled in the 14th century, has references to the queen building this memorial for her beloved husband.

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As years passed, the River Saraswati changed its course and this stepwell was extensively damaged and silted by floods. Due to repetitive floods and river deposits, this massive structure received little attention and was almost buried under the sand. In the late 1980s, the Archaeological Survey of India started excavations on the site, desilting and restoring the structure to its present form.

Rani ki Vav: Architecture

Constructed in the Maru-Gurjara architectural style, this east-facing memorial is spread over 12 acres of land. Rani ki Vav is 64 meters long, 20 meters wide and 27 meters deep, and is designed like an inverted temple. That is, the structure begins from the ground level with steps leading to the bottom of the deep well below. In addition to steps, there are supplementary staircases that can be used to reach the lower stories. The draw well is situated in the extreme west of the structure. Needless to say, Rani ki Vav shows mastery of complex techniques and a great display of details and proportion.  


The well has seven stories, each featuring sculptures of spellbinding artistic quality. You can see a combination of religious, mythological, and secular imageries in the 500 plus main sculptures and several minor ones. There are around 226 pillars in this stepwell that remain intact even after the repetitive floods. The corridors, pavilions, and pillars are intricately carved with the figures of Hindu deities, gods and apsaras or celestial dancers. The carving of Sheshashayi Vishnu, where he is seen as reclining on a serpent with thousand hoods, is one of the key attractions to check out.

There are more than 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works. The ornamentation of stepwell depicts the entire universe inhabited by gods and goddesses; celestial beings; men and women; monks, priests and laity; animals, fishes and birds including real and mythical ones; as well as plants and trees.

The stepwell is designed as an underground shrine or inverted temple. It has spiritual significance and represents the sanctity of water. The sculptures in stepwell depicts numerous Hindu deities including Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, goddesses (Devi), Ganesha, Kubera, Lakulisa, Bhairava, Surya, Indra and Hayagriva. The sculptures associated with Vishnu outnumbers all which include Sheshashayi Vishnu (Vishnu reclined on thousand hooded snake Shesha in the celestial ocean).

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Lesser Known Facts about Rani ki Vav

‌In the Indian Sanitation Conference (INDOSAN) of 2016, Rani ki Vav was awarded the title “Cleanest Iconic Place”.

‌The new ₹100 note features the structure on its rear side.

‌Under the last step of the well, there is a gate that opens to a 30-meter long tunnel which leads to a town near Patan called Sidhpur. It is said that this tunnel was used as a secret passage to escape during wars or invasions.

‌There used to a lot of medicinal plants in and around the well. It is believed that the water in the well has medicinal properties and can cure diseases and ailments.

This marvelous memorial truly projects the quality of workmanship that survived the test of time. So, when you visit Gujarat, take a short trip to Rani ki Vav and pay tribute to two things – the undying love Rani Udayamati had for her husband and the unmatched techniques used in the construction of the well. And don’t leave Patan without buying the iconic patola saree the town is famous for.

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GULMARG – The Winter Wonderland of India

Gulmarg in winter looks like a cherished dream. The enchanting scenery of Gulmarg is enough to make your jaw drop in awe. The hot cup of Kahwa is what you need to get mesmerized by the endless views of snow-capped mountains and the valley. The mere resemblance with Finnish Lapland is uncanny, especially when it comes to the snow-covered landscape.

Nestled in the territory of Kashmir, this hill station is India’s premier skiing destination and every Gulmarg winter hosts the International Heli-Skiing Competition. Excellent for off-piste skiing, Gulmarg’s much popular gondola is used by skiers and tourists alike. It is also very pretty in summer when the landscape becomes true to the meaning of its name, “Flower Meadows”. One can enjoy picnics, pony rides, and trying their shots at one of the world’s highest golf courses there. The surrounding pine slopes provide beautiful distant views of the Nanga Parbat and from mid-December to mid-March, the gondola hauls visitors to the top of Gulmarg’s skiing slopes.

THE BEST SKIING DESTINATION IN INDIA

Gulmarg is reputed to have the best powder for skiing in India. In other words, the ‘powder’ which is basically soft and fluffy snow, considered the finest in the world is what you find in Gulmarg during winter.

Skiers across the world fly to experience skiing in Gulmarg. Therefore, Gulmarg is considered a haven for skiers.

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The density of snow, uber luxury accommodation, high quality of snow, infrastructure, and availability of ski equipment along with the high slopes, makes it the best skiing destination in India.

The accessibility and excellent road condition from Srinagar to Gulmarg is one of the major reasons that contribute towards having a huge number of skiers across the country visiting Gulmarg every year.

Moreover, Gulmarg houses the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering in the valley where anyone can enroll and get skiing training under experts. Gulmarg has five Poma ski-lifts on the lower slopes that are international level. Apart from that, one can also do Heli-Skiing in Gulmarg. The skiers can take the Gondola ride which is one of the highest cable cars in the world, to reach 3,980m.

THE WINTER WONDERLAND OF INDIA

Every year Gulmarg sees a sea of tourists flocking across the country and abroad to spend their winter vacation here. Gulmarg is considered as the winter wonderland of India for the right reasons. From the month of December to March, Gulmarg is showered with fresh snow.

The valley is blanketed in white snow that makes it nothing less than a fairytale destination. It doesn’t matter in which direction your eyes travel; you will be treated with the most enchanting views beyond the horizon.

HIGHEST GONDOLA RIDE

The gondola ride in Gulmarg is one of the topmost attractions in the valley. One should not miss the gondola ride in the valley which is the second-longest and the second-highest cable car in the world. It is a must-do thing in Gulmarg, irrespective of the season.

The gondola ride allows you to get mesmerized by the magnificent view of snow-clad mountains, white forest, and the spectacular landscapes around. Hanging between wire while riding in the highest cable car thousands of meters above the ground is not just a tick off activity in Gulmarg, but an experience to add to your bucket list.

MAHARANI TEMPLE

One of the must visit places in Gulmarg is the Maharani temple. Located on a hillock, this temple is an important site as it is said to be the royal temple of the Dogra dynasty. The Maharani temple has a striking appearance, which can be viewed all across the town.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The temple is also known as the Rani temple. The Maharani temple was constructed by the wife of the former ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh.

ST MARY’S CHURCH

St Mary’s church is one of the top attractions of Gulmarg. More than 100 years old, St Mary’s church is located near the golf course in Gulmarg. With Victorian architectural wonder, the church has grey stone walls, beautifully decorated inside and the green roof makes it look like a countryside chapel. They even have frescos inside. The only way to reach the church is to trek.

Due to each scenic surroundings, St Mary’s church looks absolutely breathtaking. Especially in winter, the snow-laden landscape, and the white snow sheet on the meadow makes it look quite enchanting. The recorded history suggested that the church was constructed in 1902, during British rule and it was later renovated in 2013.

When in Gulmarg, don’t miss the lovely walk around the valley. It looks heavenly when snow showers the valley, making it a fairytale destination. Wear your snow boots, cover yourself with heavy woolens and a colorful cap.All you need to do is to take a lonely walk around the valley. The captivating town makes you fall in love with Gulmarg. It charms you so much that you don’t feel like leaving this paradise.

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Hide and Seek Beach of India!

In the state of Odisha, near Balasore Village in the small town of Chandipur, Chandipur Beach is a secluded place shrouded in mystery. It’s unique because the sea water periodically disappears right in front of your eyes, then reappears after some time.The beach is about 16 km from Balasore and has been listed by Lonely Planet (world’s renowned travel expert) as one of world’s most unusual beaches.

1)   It’s magic! It’s magic!

The Chandipur coast has attained global popularity for its ‘Vanishing Sea’ phenomenon. Here one can literally see the sea disappear (read recede) by almost 5 to 6 kilometres everyday during low tide and then comes back at high tide. This rare event occurs twice a day.

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2)   A Walk to Remember

The receding waters at low tide offer an excellent opportunity to walk into the sea, ride a bike or even drive a car! The exciting prospect of venturing fearlessly into the seabed attracts a lot of curious visitors to this beach.

 3) Succulent Seafood

Chandipur is famous for its seafood – specially the prawns and pomfrets. So the next time you’re there, don’t forget to try some mouthwatering Odia-style fried prawns and pomfret in one of the small beach shacks.

4)   Picturesque and Unexplored

Sand dunes, rocky coasts and verdant Casuarina trees make Chandipur one of the most spectacular seashores, lending the beach an air of romance and idyll. Unlike the bustling and more popular Puri beach, Chandipur is a relatively unexplored coastline. Relaxing on a tranquil patch of sand and watching the sea recede and advance with the tides is a delightful experience.

5)   Home to Biodiversity

Chandipur is home to a wide range of biodiversity. Apart from a variety of fish species, the rare Horseshoe crab and tiny red crabs are often spotted on the beach

6)   Integrated Test Range (ITR) of the Indian Army

A portion of the beach, under the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is the ITR of the Indian Army. Akash, Shaurya, Agni and Prithvi ballistic missiles have been launched from here. A scenic beach and missile launch site make for a unique combination.

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The Fascinating History And Story of Hampi And Vijayanagara Empire

hampi

Hampi, a village and a temple town in Karnataka is one of the most historically rich places. Listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Site as the Group of monuments at Hampi, this city was also at one point one of the richest cities in the world when it was at its peak. Located inside the Vijayanagara city, Hampi has been one of the most significant tourist places of attraction. People from all over the country visit Hampi for its beautiful monuments and history. As per statistics of the year 2014, Hampi is said to be the most searched places of Karnataka online. People who visit Hampi are mostly people who love history and architecture. It is no surprise that Hampi is such a famous place for tourists that visit from all over the globe. Visit Hampi at any time of the year and you will see the place swarming with people. We will take you through the fascinating history of the city of Hampi and also the Vijayanagara Empire. First, let us tell you a little about Hampi. 

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Hampi is also known as Pampa Kshetra, Kishkindha kshetra and even Bhaskara kshetra. These names were derived from the famous Tungabhadra River Pampa. According to mythology, it is said that Pampa was Brahma’s daughter who was later married off to Shiva. It was here where the city was built. Hampi word in is another version of Hampe, a Kannada name. Today, Hampi is also known as Vijayanagara who used to rule the city. As you walk through the remains of Hampi’s magnificent forts, palaces and gateways, you will get a glimpse of the excellent architecture of those times. The monuments speak volumes about the history of Hampi that used to be a prosperous and rich kingdom in the 14th century which was eventually ruined owing to the attacks made by the Moghuls.

The history of Hampi dates back to the 2nd and also the 3rd century that is the Neolithic and Chalcolithic era. This fact has been established from the ceramic potteries that have been found here from those centuries. The popular folklore is that two local chiefs called Hakka and Bukka one on a hunting expedition report of an unusual sighting to their guru Vidyaranya. And the fascinating sight was that of a hare who was being chased by their hound. The hare suddenly becomes all brave and powerful and turns around to chase the hound. This made the Guru believe that the place where they found this unusually beautiful sight is very special and hence decided to shift their local capital to this very place. This was the start of an empire that went on to become one of the richest. In a span of over 200 years, a total of four dynasties ruled Vijayanagar that is also called the City of Victory.

hampi

At one point Hampi was also one of the biggest trading centers of the world. Vijayanagar brought a lot of wealth, fame and splendor to Hampi. In those times, most markets in Hampi were always crowded and swarming with buyers and also merchants. These merchants were not just Indians, but also people from various parts of the world. In no time, the markets grew tremendously and goods were exchanged for spices and cotton. In ancient times, the currencies were all silver and gold.

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Hampi was also rich in art and architecture. The rulers who ruled the region were great lovers of religion and art and hence most Kings put in a lot of effort to set up magnificent empires using one of the best architectural designs, which is for you to see now. Hampi had reached its prime during the rule of Krishna Deva Raya who ruled this city between 1509 and 1529. This was the same period when international trading had flourished and reached great heights under the progressive trading practices and also several international trade agreements that were carried out. During this era, Vijayanagara Empire had almost taken up most of South India and also beyond. However, Hampi succumbed to the attacks carried out by five Deccan Sultans called Bidar, Bijapur, Ahmednagar, Golconda and also Berar. They attacked Hampi in 1565 and looted them for a long period, approximately six months. An attack of six months long definitely had to bring such massive destruction that it would have taken them forever to rise again. The temples of Hampi were damaged and most of the markets were robbed. This was one of the biggest attacks that Hampi witnessed and their golden era with this came to an end. After the attacks, the empire was ruled by different Kings; however, nobody really could bring back the lost glory.

The city did function, but it had lost its strategic importance and thus got lost in time. Even today, the loss and destruction of the 1565 attacks can be seen in many parts of the city. During the colonial period, Hampi had stirred up some curiosity in the mind of archaeologists from abroad. For those who love watching ancient historical stories, you must definitely watch Robert Sewell’s ‘A forgotten Empire Vijayanagar’ that was made as an attempt to narrate the incidents that occurred during their ruling. Also, there is a travel guide that was also the first-ever, named Hampi’s Ruins Described and Illustrated by Longhurst. In today’s time, the monuments, which are almost hundreds of them, are very popular among tourists as well as pilgrims.

The Vijayanagara Empire is said to have been established and founded by Bukka and Harihara who were also known as Sangama brothers. The brothers initially lived in Warangal where they were working as treasurer and minister. In 1323, the brothers fled Warangal when the city was attacked by the Muslims and went to Kampili. They fled from there too again owing to the attacks by Muslims and crossed River Tungabhadra to form a new city which is now known as Vijayanagara. This city was ruled by four different dynasties from 1336 to 1565. Sangam dynasty, Saluva Dynasty, Tuluva Dynasty and Aravidu Dynasty were the four dynasties in ruling during that period. The kings and princes of each of these dynasties made sure that while in their ruling, they do whatever it takes to brings richness and wealth to the city and ended up building over 500 monuments. And because Hampi was the capital, it flourished in trade. We have listed down the four different dynasties with small information about each one of them.

Sangama Dynasty was founded by Bukka Raya 1 and Harihara 1. The ruling passed on from them to Harihara II and Devaraya II and several others.

The Saluva dynasty was ruled only by two rulers in the name of Saluva Narasimha Deva and Immadi Narasimha.

The Tuluva Dynasty was the third in a row to rule the Vijayanagara Empire. Immadi Marasimha who initially ruled the dynasty was killed by Vira Narasimha who then took over the throne and made the Tuluva dynasty in 1505.

The Aravidu Dynasty is the last dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire and Tirumala was the founder. This dynasty was defeated and taken over Bijapuri Muslims.

Before the Vijayanagar Kings rose in this area, the city was ruled by Kampili and his chiefs. Kampili is now a quaint town that is situated 19 km on the east of Hampi. It was Colin Mackenzie who discovered the ruins of Hampi in 1800. The Archeological Survey of India still does many excavations to discover the many beautiful temples and also other artifacts.

Mythological significance of Hampi:

Hampi also has a strong mythological story associated with it. And if these beliefs are anything to go by, it is said that the Kishkinda Vanara Kingdom is where Ram and Lakshman had stayed when they had set out in search of Sita who was abducted by Ravana. You will also find several spectacular mountains that are said to be spots where Ram, Hanuman, Sugreeva and Vali stayed. And because we are talking of Ramayana and its association with Hampi, the first thing that comes to mind is the Hazara Ram temple at Hampi that is one of the thousands of temples here. The word Hazara was derived from a Telugu word Hazarumu that also means an Entrance hall. If you have ever visited Hampi or if you are planning to make a trip son, you will find many intricately done carvings that depict a lot about Ramayana and the many stories surrounding the same. The Hazara Temple used to be a private temple to the royal family of those times.

The famous temples and monuments of Hampi:

Since Hampi is popular all over the world for its beautiful monuments and temples, here are some of them that you need to explore on your visit.

Virupaksha Temple

Karnataka_Hampi_Virupaksha-Temple-UNESCO-World-Heritage-Site-listed-as-the-Group-of-Monuments-at-Hampi

When in Hampi make sure to visit the Virupaksha temple that will be a treat to the eyes for people who love history and religion. Located on the banks of the beautiful Tungabhadra and is a part of the Group of Monuments in Hampi. And since it is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, there is no doubt that the beauty and charm of this temple are still eye-catching. The inscriptions that you will find on the structure go back to the 9th and 10th centuries. Built in dedication to Shiva, this site is one of the most important and visited pilgrim sites. When the temple was first built it was small however during the ruling period of the Vijayanagara Empire, the temple was extended. You must have read a lot about Hampi no longer having the same beauty as before, however, this temple is still beautiful and the sights of its architectural beauty is worth watching. The Virupaksha temple is also famously known as the Pampvathi temple and is exactly situated in the Hampi Bazaar. The most fascinating part about this temple is the stunning three gopuras and also a big high tower that stands tall at 160 feet hat is the main entrance. The temple also has an elephant called Lakshmi.

Vijaya Vittala Temple

shutterstock-Vijaya-Vittala-Temple

Among the many Hampi attractions, the Vijaya Vittala temple is one of the most breathtaking pieces of architecture. Built in dedication to Vittala who is a form of Vishnu, you must explore this temple if you love architecture. You don’t really have to be a believer to be here. The several hallways, gateway, towers and pavilions make this temple very beautiful. The Vittala temple was built in the 15th century and many kings who ruled have tried their best to further enhance the beauty of this temple, and thus, it because of their efforts that Hampi was gifted with such a beautiful structure. The highlight of the Vittala temple is the stone chariot. It is almost considered as an iconic structure of Hampi. It also has musical pillars that are as iconic as the stone chariot. Each pillar of this temple depicts a musical instrument and also serves as the main support for the whole structure. This has been arranged around the main pillar of the temple which when struck gives out the 7 notes from each of the instruments that it represents.

The British found this pretty suspicious and went on to cut open the pillar to find out if there was anything hidden that produces the sound. However, on cutting it open they found nothing and it is considered as a miracle. The cut made by the British can still be seen. This temple is also a venue for the famous festival Purandaradasa festival that is held there annually.

The King’s Balance

Another great attraction is the King’s balance which is also famously called Tulapurushandana. It is situated on the southwest of the Vitala temple what we mentioned above. The King’s balance is just five meters tall and forms an archway like structure. The structure has been carved from stone and it is believed by many that during the lunar and solar eclipse and also during Dussehra, the King was weighed with gold and many other precious stones. These jewels were then given away to the priests of the temple. If you look closely you will also find three loops that may have been used by the King to hang on the swing and weigh. You will also find an image of the King on one of the pillars. The image carved is assumed to be that of King Krishna Deva Raya and his wives. The weighting procedure is also called Tula Bhara which is even today followed in many temples.

Achyutaraya Temple

shutterstock Achyutaraya Temple

Built and sanctified in AD 1534, the Achyutaraya temple is a classic example of the Vijayanagar style of architecture. The architecture used in this temple is much advanced in comparison to the other structures in Hampi. And it is said; the Achyutaraya temple was the last grand temple to be built before the empire fell and got defeated in the hands of Sultans. This temple is also dedicated to another form of Vishnu- Tiruvengalanatha and was set up and built by an officer in Achyuta Raya’s court and that’s how the temple got its name. Situated between two stunning hills namely- Gandhamadana and Matanga Hills, the scenic beauty is sure to leave you awestruck. The temple courtyard is lined by intricately carved pillars and the temple also houses an antarala, rangamantapa and also garbhagriha. This is one of the many temples in Hampi that you must explore on your visit to this religiously and historically significant place.

Archaeological Museum in Hampi

Archaeological Museum in Hampi1

The very first museum that was built and set up by the Archeological Survey of India is this beautiful Archaeological Museum in Hampi.  The museum exhibits ancient sculptures and also many artifacts and this is where you will get a glimpse of the history of Hampi.  If you are a history buff, a visit to this museum is sure to leave you satisfied and awestruck.  From silver coins to sculptures of several deities and gold coins, there is a lot that you will get to see here. There are different galleries that display different precious stones and sculptures.  You will have to pay a fee of Rs 5 per head to explore this beauty.

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Uttarakhand’s Char Dham(The 4 Sacred Abodes)

Uttarakhand is of great spiritual value to Hindu devotees. Lofty Himalayan peaks on all the sides gives it a divine aura. Char Dham of Uttarakhand or Chota Char Dham (small four abodes) is one amongst the foremost important Hindu Pilgrimages in India. It includes of 4 most holy sites of Uttarakhand, particularly – Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

Chota Char Dham is the most highlighted spiritual tour in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. These shrines are the crowning glory of lofty Himalayan peaks and the heart of Uttarakhand Tourism.

Pilgrims from across the world undertake the difficult journey to reach these shrines. The sacred shrine of Yamunotri belongs to Goddess Yamuna and the sacred shrine of Gangotri symbolizes Goddess Ganga’s descending on Earth.

On the other hand Lord Badrinath (Vishnu) blesses the pilgrims in the form of a sacred shrine of Badrinath. The bliss of soul-searching ends in the serene shrine of Lord Kedarnath which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

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The grandeur and history of these sacred shrines has been luring devotees for ages. There is a long and affluent history added to all the four shrines.

The History of Badrinath

Nestled among the Himalayan range of Chamoli district is the Badrinath Temple, set right at the shore of Alaknanda River. This pious shrine was established by Adi Guru Shankaracharya in 8th century to offer new life and meaning to Hinduism. As per the myths, it was ppreviouly a residence of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. Later on, Lord Vishnu made Badrinath as his own abode.

Legends around Badrinath

According to Padam Puran, Lord Vishnu performed rigorous penance in the hills of Badrinath. His consort, Goddess Lakshmi took the form of a berry tree to protect him from the harsh sun. Thus, naming the town as ‘Badrinath’ which stands for ‘Lord of the badri’ where badri is the local name for wild berry and nath means lord.

Badrinath is also the place where Mahabharata finds its traces. According to myths, the five Pandavas along with their wife Draupadi took their last pilgrimage to heaven by ascending the slopes of a peak called ‘Swargarohini’ or the ‘Ascent to Heavan’.

According to legends, few kilometers from the shrine is a cave in Mana Village where the great sage Ved Vyasa wrote the greatest Indian epic, Mahabharata.

The History of Kedarnath

Set at the bank of sacred Mandakini River, Kedarnath Temple is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. In Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, this shrine remains open between the Akshay Tritiya to Kartik Purnima.

Devotees pay homage to Lord Shiva as the Lord of Kedar Khand, which was once the name of this region. It is said that this structure was edified by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century.

Legends around Kedarnath

As per the legends, after the battle of Mahabharata, Pandava arrived to Guptkashi in the region of Kedar Khand in order to get the blessings of Lord Shiva and to wash away their sins of killing their own relatives.

However, Lord Shiva did not want appeared in front of them and thus he transformed himself into a bull and hide himself in group of cattle and started grazing. Bhima identified him. While the cattle was returning to their habitats, Bhima stood by stretching leg over two boulders and made allow cattle to pass under his legs.

Lord Shiva tried to escape and started merging himself in to the earth. Only the hump was caught by Bhima. On this, Lord Shiva became happy and appeared in front of Pandavas. Therefore, the hump of bull is revered at Kedarnath.

The History of Gangotri

The consecrated shrine is dedicated to holy Ganges. It is believed that the river washes all the sins and makes the souls of devotees pious. It is the way to salvation.

This shrine is primarily known as the originating point of Ganges River. It is the place where Lord Shiva took Ganges in his hair curls. Gaumukh is the place where the Ganges is emerged from Gangotri Glacier.

Legends around Gangotri

On Bhagirath Shila, which is positioned near temple, it is said that King Bhagirath performed penance to please Goddess Ganga and make her agree to come on earth from heaven.

To reduce the shattering pace of Ganges while it was coming to earth, Lord Shiva took the stream in His matted hair. There is a submerged Shivlinga where it is said that Lord Shiva sat to receive the stream.


The History of Yamunotri

Yamunotri the source of sacred Yamuna River. It is positioned in Uttarkashi District and lies at the elevation of about 3293 meters. It is famous for thermal springs found there.

The actual source of the river is a frozen lake and glacier positioned at the Kalin Mountain at an elevation about of 4421 meters. The shrine is termed highly consecrated and it is said that the sins of the devotee wash away through visiting this shrine. There is a trek incorporated to reach this place.

Legends around Yamunotri

The legends say that that the sage Asit Muni used to reside here. He bathed daily all his life in Yamuna and Ganga. In his old age, he was unable to go Gangotri and thus for him, a stream of Ganga appeared opposite the stream of Yamunotri.

The daughter of Sun God, Yamuna is believed to be the mother of humans, offering them the nourishment. Tehri Naresh Sudarshan Shah built the Yamunotri Temple in 1839. However, the temple was damaged severely due to an earthquake and Maharani Gularia of Jaipur reconstructed this temple in late 19th century.

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Serenity Personified – The Phugtal Monastery

A monastery can be defined as a spiritual house or building in which a community or group of monks or nuns resides, secluded living under religious vows. During historical times monasteries were a place where travelers could relax and eat, other than being a spiritual hall, monasteries fulfilled the purpose of feeding the poor, school the boys in villages. Monasteries depict the Buddhist communal life in all of Asia. The origins of monastery architecture lie in the historic era of Buddhism, Gautam Siddhartha. It got popular for wealthy lay worshippers to offer huge complexes of structures to oblige the requirements of monastic life. 

The Buddhist temples in Ladakh are commonly known as monasteries or Gompas. One such gompa in Ladakh lies at the height of 16,600 ft, on a magnificent snowy field, the Phuktal monastery competently signifies liberation. Arising drastically from a mountainside on the rocky piece of a gorge of the Lingti-Tsarap Chu, a significant tributary of the Zanskar river, is the great Buddhist religious community, Phuktal monastery.

This majestic monastery amalgamates with the surrounding rocky mountains like it’s a part of the natural structure. This dreamlike projection, looking like a honeycomb, frames the feature of the trek from Darcha to Padum by means of the extensive snowfields of Shingu La (16,600ft). 

This Monastery lies in the southeastern Zanskar area in the Ladakh region and requires five days to reach via foot from the closest road.

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The historic scriptures say that the three academic siblings, Dangson, Pun, and Sum who were blessed with the extraordinary gift of flying, explained their Dharma Teachings here and departed subsequently to handing down this sacred place of worship to Jangsem Sherap Zangpo, a Tibetan Buddhist Guru. Zangpo caused the cave to become bigger, dividing a spring to run in the cave and a tree to develop over the cave. 

Phuk signifies ‘cave’ and tal signifies ‘leisure’. There is likewise a second name Phuktar where Tar signifies ‘liberation’. The monastery is open only for four months, i.e., July to mid-October, and is covered in snow for the rest of the year.

This enchanted mud and wood development stayed covered up, until the 19th Century Hungarian history specialist Alexander Csoma de Koros, the pioneer of Tibetan studies and the creator of the primary Tibetan-English Dictionary visited this seclusion. He lived here from 1826-1827 and made it known to the world. 

The monks of the Blue hat deal with this monastery that has four spiritual meditation rooms, a library with rare Buddhist manuscripts, and an old chapel. There is a chamber above committed to Ma Kali. The natural spring inside flows over and splashes outwardly during the rainy season making an ethereal setting.

The Phugtal Monastery is not any ordinary residence of the Buddhist monks, given the fact that it rests on verticals of a gigantic tough mountain. The whole Gompa is connected through some pipes so that when the bell rings at the time of prayer everyone is present. No wonder, it is a significant overwhelming position to arrive at this secluded monastery.

A wonderful gorge is situated before the cave monastery, which offers a path to the tributary of the Lungnak road. Perhaps the simplest way that explorers can take to visit this Gompa is the Padum-Manali trekking route.

The main monastery is situated in a cave and its architecture depends on ancient Indian customs. Because of its secluded and practically blocked area, supplies to the Phugtal Monastery are sent by means of horses, donkeys, and mules (khachhar) in the hotter months, and through the frozen Zanskar waterway in the colder time of year. 


The Phugtal Monastery permits outsiders or explorers to stay, offer prayers, and know the cultural traditions and history of the spot. Furthermore, on the grounds that this Gompa is about 700+ years old and the caves in which it is built are around 2500+ years old, you may likewise think that it’s intriguing to hear each one of those fascinating tales about the extraordinary sages and enlightened creatures, who might visit this site to pursue their training or to simply teach the aspirants. 

Every traveler that has been to this monastery has explained the surreal calmness of the place through words, photography, and videos. But the whole experience of this phenomenal place, the direct connection to lord almighty, and the silence and realization of his presence, the happiness of being there cannot be captured in words.

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Beautiful Photos of India’s Culturally Rich Railroads

World traveling photographer Steve McCurry, who is probably best known for his  photos, shares a stunning set of images offering some insight on the commuting lifestyle of the people in India. The series, simply titled Trains, presents the life of Indian commuters and travelers, many of whom appear to travel for livelihood rather than just for pleasure. As passengers scramble to hop on moving trains or ride atop the metallic beasts, we’re given a sense of the hardships these people must face on a daily basis.

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There are cultural and economic differences made abundantly clear when viewing the photographer’s set, especially when compared to images of  urban stations. However, despite the apparent lack of wealth, there is a richness in culture that McCurry captures beautifully. The photojournalist says, “As I tried to tell the story of the community that inhabits the depots, I would go to the train station every day and wander around the platform. Each time a train would roll in, while carefully stepping over bodies and around huge mountains of luggage, I would start to photograph the swirl of life that assaults and saturates the senses.”

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