Temple of the Emerald Buddha - Amazing Thailand

This series is based over my reflections upon visiting Thailand.

Shahjahanabad (Const 1648 CE)- The Legacy of Delhi Series (Vol 8)

'Shahjahanabad' is the eighth post in a series of 9 articles on the former capital cities which were built in the historical region of Delhi. Read on to know more..

Hill Fort of Kumbhalgarh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Know more about this incredible World Heritage Site here..

The Immortal Kumbh Mela - Mahakumbha of 2013

Believed to be the largest congregation of mankind in the world, read my series of posts to know how it feels like to be amongst a magnitude of people

Guru Dongmar Lake, one of the highest in the world

Few destinations have the ability to change your life; Sikkim being one of them. Check out the series 'Sikim Soujourn' to find out why ?

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Begumpuri Masjid, New Delhi (14th Cent CE)


A close up of the facade in front of the main dome

Located off Sri Aurobindo Marg, in Begumpuri Village; this heavily encroached upon Mosque is a class apart, architecture wise. Constructed on the orders of Jauna Khan Telangani (prime minister of Feroz Shah Tughluq and son of Khan i Jahan Maqbul Telangani) , Begumpuri Masjid (Mosque) of Delhi was one in the series of seven mosques constructed by him with the others being - Jama Masjid (Ferozabad), Khirki Masjid (in Khirki Village, opposite Select Citywalk Mall), Kalu Sarai Masjid, Kalan Masjid (Turkman Gate of Old Delhi), Kalan Masjid (Nizamuddin) and Wakya Masjid (Lahori Gate).

View, upon entering the mosque
 
The moment you climb up the moderately steep stairs of this mosque, you would find yourselves in a lofty domed gateway which would lead you to the expansive courtyard (surrounded by a 3 aisled corridor whch is interrupted by gateway entrances and the mihrab) where, during its heydays, this ruinous mosque would be full of life and would have grand carpets spread upon its, now stony, floors and great shamiana's (tents) spread overhead so that the faithful could pray at ease.

.The large courtyard, where at one time large tents and carpets would be present to offer the prayers

 Worn out Mihrab on the Qibla (west facing) Wall
If we look at what remains of this architecturally distinct mosque, it is the manner it has been constructed. Jauna Khan Telangani took personal interest in the designing of the seven mosques he had commissioned and tried to incorporate a unique feature in each of them.

 View of the concealed dome
In this mosque the main dome over the Mihrab is screened by a large wall thus giving an initial impression (from a frontal viewpoint) that the dome does not exist. There are narrow (and dark) stairs which can take you to the top of this wall and the giant dome behind it !! The wall also has a slight slant to it , something reminiscent of the Tughluq style of architecture; and has false minars at both its ends, to beautify as well as to strengthen the structure.


Begumpuri Masjid is a 2 aisled mosque


Shot of an aisle
The roof of the aisles, which surround the courtyard have 2 rows of domes which are running parallel to each other. The walls of the mosque have arched gaps at periodic intervals, thus providing a view of the outside.

 Interior of the Main Dome
The Begumpuri Mosque, now over 600 years old, is also a classic example of how neglect, by the concerned authorities, resulted in the mosque being encroached upon by all sides by residential houses and squatters creating permanent residences 'inside' the mosque. It was only after a prolonged legal battle between ASI and those squatters the courts ordered all the squatters to be shunted out, one by one. But, that said even today the mosque can see the presence of anti social elements by seeing broken bottles and litter.

 Another shot of the courtyard, this time facing the entrance
It is recommended to visit the mosque during day time and preferably with someone. If alone take the help of the guard posted at the gate or 'just keep your eyes open'.
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Friday, April 8, 2016

Qutub Minar, Mehrauli, New Delhi (Const 1206-36 CE)




The Qutub Minar was commissioned by Qutbuddin Aibak in 1206 CE and completed by Sultan Iltutmish in 1236 CE. This minaret is believed to have been named after Hazrat Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, a Sufi saint of Chistiya Silsila. He was revered by Sultan Iltutmish and his shrine/dargah is close to the Qutb Complex.

The Qutb Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world (at 72 metres). As per various historians this UNESCO World Heritage Site is believed to have been inspired by the Minarets of Jam, Ghazni, Bukhara e.t.c. But Historian Ziyauddin Desai believed that the Qutb Minar is inspired by a minar in Khwaja Siyaposh in Sistan (S-W Afghanistan).

Qutub Minar has a total of 5 stories and it was topped by a chattri (installed by Ferozeshah Tughluq). The lowermost, and the tallest floor has 24 flutings. The architecture of the Qutub Minar is such that from a distance it would appear like a bundle of reeds ! Inscriptions on the minar have been found in Perso-Arabic and Nagari Scripts which shed light on its history and the repair works done over it.

Being so tall in height the Qutub Minar has often been prone to lightning strikes across the ages. It has been damaged and subsequently repaired quite a few times across its 816 years old existence by various sultans like Ferozeshah Tughlaq (14th Cent CE), Sultan Sikandar Lodi (1489 - 1517 CE) and the Britishers (in early 1800's CE).

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Sources -
1. Indo-Islamic Architecture by Ziyauddin Desai
2. ASI Sources (Website/Information Board)
2. Wikipedia

Friday, March 25, 2016

Article on Kumbhalgarh - Hill Fortress of Mewar (Rajasthan) (Const 15th Cent CE)

Last year I had written an article over Kumbhalgarh and it was accepted by Ezine to be published on it's site. A very informative article, I would like to share it's link with you. Please got through it and let me know your views !

Just to let you know in brief Kumbhalgarh is a UNESCO world heritage site and has the longest continuous wall in India (36 kms) and the second longest wall in Asia, after the Great Wall of China ! Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Rana Kumbha (in 15th century CE) and was the birthplace of Maharana Pratap !

Here's the link to the article - http://ezinearticles.com/expert/Rohan_Anirudh_Singh/2056412



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Friday, February 5, 2016

Article on The History of New Delhi - Capital of Capitals


Last year I had written an article over The History of New Delhi - Capital of Capitals' and it was accepted by Ezine to be published on it's site. A very informative article, I would like to share it's link with you. Please got through it and let me know your views !


To let you know in brief the article traces the history of the historical region of Delhi and it's rise in significance over a period of time. This article also introduces you to the various capital cities which the historians built in the historical region of Delhi !


Here's the link to the article -
http://ezinearticles.com/expert/Rohan_Anirudh_Singh/2056412

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Jain Kirti Stambh, Chittaurgarh (Const 12th Cent CE), Picture of the Week #141




The Jain Kirti Stambh is the other 'stambh' or tower standing inside the Chittaurgarh Fort. Constructed in the late 13th century this tower was raised, not to commemorate victory in battle (like the Vijay Stambh was) but to honour Jain Tirthankara Adinatha. 

Architecturally speaking, the Jain Kirti Stambh, is 24.5 mts tall and has six stories in it. As visible in the picture the tower is built on a platform.

This 'stambha' is relatively shorter and older than the Vijay Stambh (of Chittaurgarh Fort) and currently stands tilted ! The Jain Kirti Stambh stands right next to a Jain Temple.
                    

Friday, May 29, 2015

Chittorgarh Junction Railway Station (Est. 1881 C.E.) - Picture of the Week #137


Chittorgarh Junction Railway Station is the main railway station of Chittorgarh City. It connects the town with major cities in North and West India. The trains here run on Broad Gauge tracks.
The Chittorgarh City (which was established next to the Chittorgarh Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) was linked with railways in the late 19th century as a part of Rajputana - Malwa Railway. This railway station is one of the major transit points for travelers and tourists to visit the legendary fort.
One of the most important links in the railway network of this region was the Chittorgarh - Udaipur Railway Link. It was opened in 1898 C.E. Even today this link is the best and most economical way to reach Udaipur. Udaipur is the 456 year old capital of erstwhile Mewar Princely State in Rajasthan and also a tourist paradise.
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Gaumukh Kund, Chittorgarh - Picture of the Week #136



The Gaumukh Kund of Chittorgarh (Kund means a Reservoir) is a pool of water whose source is a natural spring. This reservoir is revered by Hindus. The Gaumukh Kund had been the source of water for the citizens of Chittorgarh during the numerous seiges it faced. Devotees are permitted to feed the fishes in the water here.

Some of the most famous sieges faced by Chittorgarh included -
1. The Siege of 1303 (where Mewar was pitted against Sultan Alauddin Khalji)
2. The Siege of 1535 (where Mewar was pitted against Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat)
2. The Siege of 1567 (where Mewar was pitted against Mughal Emperor Akbar)
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