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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cow & Gate was a popular Milk food available in India till the 1960’s probably imported from the UK. Now the product is not seen on the Indian shelves, though some online stores seem to offer it.
I distinctly remember the logo of the product. -a cow (a Jersey?) standing beside a picket fence and a wooden gate. Wikipedia describes the logo thus: “A cow looking uncomfortably through a somewhat untypical four-barred gate, rather as if its neck had got stuck between the bars”.
The name and the logo are also connected with one of the founders – a surrey grocer named Charles Gates. ( Perhaps an ancestor of Bill Gates!)
The above scene reminded me of the Baby food tin from my younger days. Those were the days of recycling of such packing materials especially used tins of Ovaltine and Britannia biscuits and Horlicks bottles.
The scene is from the famous Dwarakadish temple, Mathura. The temple had just closed when we reached there. The cows, like us, were peering disappointedly at the temple door.
There was also an Indian Ghee brand called Cow & Krishna.
You can view more street scenes from Mathura here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/21kiPT3admQIoIsf2
This is the view of Diwan-e-Khas and the Taj Mahal from the Meena bazaar side in Agra Fort. To me somehow the Taj appeared to be bigger than what it looked from the Diwane Khas. Our guide confirmed that it is an illusion created by the clever architecture of the Taj.
I had the same feeling when I viewed the Taj from Mehtab Bagh across the Yamuna.
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….
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Kolkata, September 2016.
A historical town like Delhi can throw up surprises. One such surprise to me was the Agrasen ki Baoli. It is situated on Hailey lane a kilometer from CP but still under the shadows of its multi-storey buildings.
This was believed to have been built by king Ugrasen of the Mahabharat era but rebuilt by the Agrawal community in the14th century. It is about 60 m long and 15 M wide. It has about 100 steps.
The main well shaft opens out to the sky and there was no water when I visited. The rubble and stone masonry is well preserved (probably recently renovated).
Unlike the step wells of Gujarat,this has no sculptures.
There were hardly any tourists when I visited but many young students and couples. The monument became more popular thanks to a controversial Hindi movie.
Most of us know Aurangazeb as a tyrannical and bigoted emperor who tortured and killed his family members, suppressed non-Muslims,fought many unnecessary wars which drained the exchequer. He is also known as the one who paved the way for the decline of the Mughal Empire.
But how many of us know the ‘softer’ side of this emperor? I have read in my school history book that Aurangazeb used to stitch caps and transcribe by hand copies of the Koran to sell anonymously to earn money for his burial and tomb.
The remains of the mighty emperor who lorded over the sub-continent for about five decades lie in a modest tomb in a non-descript town of Khuldabad, about 30 kilometers from Aurangabad.
Aurangzeb died in Ahmednagar(1707 C.E.), but he had a desire to be interred near the tomb of his Islamic guru, Sayyad Zainuddin Shirazi at Khuldabad.
Originally, his tomb was open and on all sides. Lord Curzon directed the then Nizam to put up marble panels all around. The top is still open to the sky.
A blind caretaker Sheikh Hakim was at the site when I visited and was most helpful.
Aurangazeb’s son and his wife are also buried near the emperor’s tomb and Zainuddin Shirazi’s dargah is just behind. Behind the dargah there is a small room which is believed to house the robes of the prophet.
Across the narrow and busy street is the dargah of Sayyad Burhanuddin another notable teacher. The tomb of the first Nizam is also in this complex.
The whole complex is devoid of any visual or architectural attraction but it stands as a testimony to the frugality of a mighty emperor who hailed from a dynasty which took pride in building grandiose monuments and tombs.