Biggest Cannon, but Never Used

Jaivana, the biggest cannon

If you are visiting Jaigarh fort in Jaipur you are sure to see Jaivana, believed to be the biggest cannon in the world. It was cast by Maharaja Jaisingh II in 1720. Jai Singh II took a keen interest in developing armory and munitions. Perhaps he also wanted to impress his Mughal overlords. The gigantic proportion of the gun is quite impressive. It is 20 feet long and weighs 50 tonnes. But the size and weight itself would have been a weakness. It was (test) fired only once. Folklore has it that the 50 kg cannonball traveled 45 kms. Ballistics experts reckon that it would not have been more than 5 kms. Definitely worth ticking the box if you visit Jaigarh.

 

Historical Structure in Ruins

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Reflections on the ruins of Poosimalai kuppam Palace
Reflections on the ruins of Poosimalai kuppam Palace

Poosimalaikuappam Palace in Arni was built as a guest house by the Jagirdhar in 1860 CE. To keep up with the British, he added 4 fireplaces and chimneys even though the place is always hot. It was one of the early structures to use steel girders. CI pipes serve the dual purpose of pillars and drains. It is believed that the Jagirdhar built it for his British wife. It was used as a hunting lodge. Locals refer to it as Glass Palace. Today, it is in ruins and wears a ghostly look with graffiti on the walls by vandals.

Chand Minar, Daulatabad

Chand Minar 15 C.C.E Daulatabad
Chand Minar 15 C.C.E Daulatabad

Daulatabad or Devagiri was established in the 12th Century CE by the Yadavas. The present fort was built in 13-14 C.CE. It is 16 Km from the present day Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

The Chand Minar stands tall inside the Daulatabad Fort. It is 210 feet high and is about 70′ in diameter at the base. It was built in 1445 by Alauddin Bahmani to commemorate his conquest of the fort. Originally it was covered with Blue Persian tiles.

 

Pachisi- the Game Emperors Play

Do you want to feel like royalty, playing an ancient Indian Game?

A game for which emperor Akbar built a huge courtyard in his palace at Fatehpur Sikri to depict the squares of the board. Akbar is believed to have used women from his harem as game pieces.

Pachisi Courtyard at Fatehpur Sikri
Pachisi Courtyard at Fatehpur Sikri
Chaupad squares at Fatehpur Sikri
Chaupad squares at Fatehpur Sikri
Chaupad squares at Fatehpur Sikri in front of Panch mahal
Chaupad squares at Fatehpur Sikri

I have also seen the board carved on granite floors of ancient temples and monuments.

Yes, I am referring to Pachisi. The game that is also known as Dayakattam, Chokkattam, Chaupad, Chaupar etc. The Western versions of this game, go by many names like Parchisi, Ludo, The Game of India etc.

Now you can buy an authentic version of this game online at Amazon and Flipkart. The game board is made of hand embroidered cotton and comes with cowrie shells, wooden pieces, cotton pouch, instructions etc.

For Amazon click here.

For Flipkart click here.

Ludo made out of recycled elephant dung is available at www.golisodastore.com

Pachisi Indian Board game
Pachisi authentic Hand embroidered game board

Largest monolithic Nandi at Lepakshi

Granite Nandi at Lepakshi
Granite Nandi at Lepakshi

The monolithic granite Nandi (Bull) is believed to be the largest in India. Built during the Vijayanagar period(14th C CE) it is part of a large temple complex. The exquisite carvings of bell garland, jewellery etc. stand out beside the size.

It is 4.5 Mtrs high and 8.25 Mtrs long. The Thanjavur Big Temple Nandi is smaller.

Boatmen on the Yamuna

Boatmen in the Yamuna
Boatmen on the Yamuna

The scene behind the Taj Mahal on an early Monday morning.

Just a few yards from the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world. A labour of love built about 500 years ago by the Emperor of India in memory of his favourite wife. Took 20,000 artisans 22 years to build. Attracts millions of visitors every year.

All these mean nothing to these poor boatmen for whom it is just another day at work.

 

Badami

On the way to Shivalaya temple, Badami
On the way to Shivalaya Temple, Badami

On the way to the Shivalaya group of temples Badami, Karnataka.

Badami, formerly known as Vatapi, is a town in  Karnataka, India. It was the capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for its rock rock-cut structural temples. See wikipedia for more….