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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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Legacy of Delhi Vol 1 - An Introduction

(Begining from now, the bi-monthly editions of Delhi-iteful Tuesdays are going to present a new and extremely informative insight into the treasures of the city of Delhi, it's seven former capital cities, in the series The Legacy of Delhi. Read and Enjoy.)

New Delhi (28°36′36″N 77°13′48″E) is the capital of India. It's total area is 1484 square kms or 573 sq miles and within this area seven capital cities (of the kingdoms of their time) and other numerous military garrisons (which also served as capitals of the kingdoms of their time) were established.
What made successive rulers choose the location (where Delhi stands today) millennium after millennium to choose the same spot to build their capitals ? What were those capitals like ? Did they serve their Purpose ? Do their ruins still remain and Can we still see them ? It is questions like these and more which will be answered in this special series called 'The Legacy of Delhi'. Read On..

The Genesis -
                               Since the Sun first dawned over the Indian Subcontinent ( which includes countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal e.t.c.) people started to move in to this part of Earth, which is separated from the rest of Asia by a continuous mountain system, to make this place their own. Initially there was area for everybody. So people worked, traded and dwelled in peace (for example The Indus Valley Civilization). They established relations with civilizations beyond the subcontinent (like the Mesopotamians).

The Indus Valley Civilization (the biggest urban centers of the Indus valley are underlined in Red while the location of the city of Delhi, which was uninhabited then, is highlighted in Green)

But as time kept flowing by, more and more people (e.g. Aryan tribes) migrated, from Central Asia, into the subcontinent to make this land their own and therefore the space or the land available began to lessen. As a result conflicts arose and when conflicts arose the need for establishing supremacy came up. When the societies and the manner of governance in the Indian Subcontinent became more organized kingdoms began to be formed and the rulers started to expand their dominions across the subcontinent.

Gradually, the concept of having large kingdoms arose when rulers began to emerge with large powerful armies and good administrative skills. For example,the Mauryan Empire under the rule of Chandragupta Maurya, Bimbisara and Asoka the Great started to expand their empires successfully until it encompassed the entire subcontinent.

A replica of Ashoka's major rock Edict at Girnar, Gujarat, India
Through these edicts, which were placed across the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal), Emperor Ashoka proclaimed his beliefs in the Buddhist concept of dharma and his efforts to develop the dharma throughout his kingdom. Although Buddhism and the Buddha are mentioned, the edicts focus on majorly over social and moral precepts of Buddhism.

Now, with the advent of large empires the need for greater coordination amongst the armed forces in the event of an attack by an invading force was felt. Also in order to smoothen the process of tax collection the capital of the empire had to be located in a particular location from where the coordination of the armed forces and that of the administration could take place smoothly. So when large empires began to be setup in north India especially by invaders from Central Asia the search for the ideal capital led them to Delhi.


The naming of Delhi - 
                                                    There are various theories which suggest how the city got his name, all of them interesting to read, but the first reference about the name(of the location) Delhi seems to have been made when Raja Dhilu built a city nearby in the 1st century B.C.
                                                    Vibudh Shridhar
(an accomplished writer of his times) in his book Pasanah Chariu (The Conduct of Parshva) provides the first 'written' historical reference to the name 'Dhilli' (it is pronounced in the same manner as Delhi would be pronounced in Hindi). 
                                                    As per the lines written in his book - 'There are countless villages in Haryana (look at the map below) country. The villagers there work hard. They don't accept domination of others, and are experts in making the blood of their enemies flow. Indra himself praises this country. The capital of this country is 'Dhilli'


Physical Map of Delhi

Geographical Location - Once you observe the location of Delhi in the Indian Subcontinent on the map above it would reveal to you how advantageous the position of Delhi must have been to the former rulers keeping in mind the fact that Afghanistan(from where the majority of invasions took place) is neither too far nor too close to the capital. This locations was not in an aggressive location nor in a very defensive location which is why the city either ended up being ransacked by the invading army or the armies of the ruler of Delhi would take the battle against the enemy right into Afghanistan.

One other reason for rulers(Hindu) to choose Delhi as capital was because Delhi is said to be located in the very spot where the fabled city of Pandavas (of Mahabharata), Indraprastha once stood.

This was the first post in the series of The Legacy of Delhi. Next post would be over Indraprastha (The fabled city of the Pandavas)


Co-Written by Traveler Fahad and R Yamuna

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Please Note:- The geographical map has been sourced from vidiani.com under the  Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Licence.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Memorial of the Immortal Soldier

Each year on January the 26th when India celebrates the Republic Day, the nation also comes together to honor the soldiers who fell defending the Union of India. In India Gate, apart from the names of the soldiers who fell while fighting for the British Crown, there are inscribed the names of the soldiers who fell while fighting the Kargil War(against Pakistan) of 1999.
This picture becomes immortal because the India will always remain indebted to the supreme sacrifice they made while defending the Union(of India) and will always come together to commemorate and celebrate them. We remember those Five hundred and twenty seven soldiers in this Republic Day edition of Black and White Thursdays.

The inscribed names of the Soldiers who fought defending the Union of India are depicted in this picture. The name of the regiment is given first and then the names of the soldiers are given in a vertical pattern.


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Begining from February we at Traveler Rohan's blog will start or resume our series over Sikkim, the north eastern Himalayan state of India and cover some of the most beautiful and historical destinations. Read it every Sunday and enjoy your February !

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

India Gate

When Thursday 26th of January 2012 comes, India will rise and celebrate its 63rd Republic Day and display the world its strength at arms and diversity in culture. An integral part of the Republic Day Parade is the India Gate where the Amar Jawan Jyoti (Flame of the Immortal Soldier) is located. Every year the prime minister along with the Heads of the Armed Forces place a wreath over the tomb. After which they proceed to the Rajpath and the parade commences. The Parade starts from Rashtrapati Bhavan and passes through India Gate to the reach the Red Fort.

 India Gate in the evening. 
Observe the immortal flames of the Amar Jawan Jyoti(Flame of the immortal soldier) 
between the two pillars of the Gate.

The India Gate is a national monument of India. Situated in the center of New Delhi, the India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was built in 1931. Originally known as the All India War Memorial, it is an important landmark in Delhi and commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the British Indian Empire in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The imposing structure has been built with red and pale sandstone and granite.

Inscriptions on the top of the Gate clearly indicate the gratitude of the British Empire for Indian soldiers who died fighting for the crown during World War 1 in Mesopotamia(Iraq), Gallipoli(Turkey), France, e.t.c. and also the Afghan wars of the 19th century

Until the 1920s, the Agra-Delhi railway line cut right through what is today called Lutyens' Delhi and the site earmarked for the hexagonal All India War Memorial (India Gate), on Kingsway (Rajpath). Eventually the line was shifted to run along the Yamuna river and when that route opened in 1924 construction of the memorial site could begin.

India Gate in the 1930s
Courtesy eBay, Columbia University and Wikipedia


The 42-metre tall India Gate is situated in such a way that many important roads spread out from it.

 Flags of the three wings of the Indian armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) and a member of each force guards the gate and tomb for 24 hours in rotation.


Burning in a shrine under the arch of India Gate since 1971 is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal soldier) which marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The shrine itself is a black marble cenotaph surmounted by a rifle standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier's helmet. Each face of the cenotaph is inscribed in gold with the words "Amar Jawan" (Immortal Warrior).

This cenotaph is placed on a pedestal with four continuously burning torches on its corners. It was unveiled in 1971. After the India-Pakistan war of 1971, the then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi paid homage on behalf of the whole nation on the eve of 23rd republic day (26 January 1972).


Standing behind the gate is an empty canopy made out of sandstone, also designed by Lutyens, and inspired by a 18th century Mahabalipuram pavilion. Until the Independence of India in 1947 it contained the statue of King George V which now stands in the Coronation Park, Delhi.

Empty Canopy which housed the statue of King George the Fifth (the emperor who declared the establishment of New Delhi) till the 1960s.

The statue of King George the Fifth which was housed in the canopy above and is now present in the Coronation Park, Burari, New Delhi.

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Begining from February we at Traveler Rohan's blog will start or resume our series over Sikkim, the north eastern Himalayan state of India and cover some of the most beautiful and historical destinations. Read it every Sunday and enjoy your February !

You can now join our Facebook Page for beforehand information and exclusive pictures.

I have marked this location on my uencounter.me map.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Raj Path (Kings Way) - Black and White Thursdays

The Raj Path is a stretch of road in India which is the most significant because of the importance attached to it. The road stretches from the Rashtrapati Bhawan(Presidential Palace) to the India Gate (War Memorial to the Indian soldiers). It is over this road that the parade of Republic Day of India is held every year on 26th January. Before independence this road was known as the Kings Way.

People have congregated on this stretch of road to celebrate the Indian Republic and remember its freedom struggles and will continue to do so for generations to come. This makes the picture of Raj Path an immortal one, one that would never change for ages to come and thus becomes a part of Black and White Thursdays.



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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Republic Day of India

The Republic Day of the 'Union of India' commemorates the date on which the Constitution of India came into force replacing the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of India on 26 January 1950. Every year on the 26th of January the annual parade to celebrate the event is held over the Raj Path and will continue to be held over the Raj Path for generations to come. In this edition of Delhi-iteful Tuesdays we visit this stretch of road which is used to display the strength and diversity of the Republic of India.

The 26th of January was chosen to honor the memory of the declaration of independence of 1930 by Jawaharlal Nehru (Purna Swaraj). It is one of the three national holidays in India. While the main parade takes place in the national capital New Delhi at the Raj path before the president, the anniversary is also celebrated with varying degrees of formality in state capitals and other centers.


Raj Path or the Kings Way is the road in New Delhi where the annual parade to celebrate the republic day is held. The road stretches from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to the India Gate.

While India became independent on 15th August 1947 the country did not have a constitution of its own. The country's laws were based over the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935, and the country was a Dominion, with George VI as head of state and Earl Mountbatten as the Governor General. On 28 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as chairman. While India's Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into effect of its constitution.


A view of the Raj Path from the Rashtrapati Bhawan end. The road has been made extra tough to bear the weight of the multiple tanks which roll over it during the parade.

A draft constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on 4 November 1947. The Assembly met, in sessions open to public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution. After many deliberations and some modifications, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English). The Constitution of India was passed on 26 November 1949, 10.18 AM IST, signed by the members on 24th January and came into effect completely on 26 January 1950. Following elections on 21 January 1950, Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the president of India. The Indian National Congress and other parties had been celebrating 26 January as a symbol of Independence, even before India actually became independent. Thus, applying the constitution on 26 January, to mark and respect 26 January and the freedom struggle and the freedom fighters.


The Raj Path is bisected by four roads namely the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg, Janpath, Mansingh Road and the India Gate C hexagon.


The Raj Path as seen in the night from the India Gate End. Observe the illuminated dome of the Rashtrapati Bhawan

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Might of the Bay - Black and White Thursdays

In this edition of Black and White Thursdays I am presenting you the mighty Bay of Bengal which for centuries has challenged mariners to the best of their abilities while they made their way to Bengal in India via the Bay.

Picture taken from the beach at New Digha, West Bengal, India

The Bay of Bengal, which forms the north eastern part of the Indian Ocean, is not only the largest Bay in the world it is also one of the most active bays in the world with strong tidal waves lapping the shores. It occasionally throws up large Thunderstorms(Sidr, Laila e.t.c.) which cause huge damage to life and property. Ask any local person living on the coast of the Bay and he/she will tell you that the Bay is someone whom you need to respect.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ikebanas Day Out

This edition of Delhi-iteful Tuesdays is a continuation of the Flowers Day Out series. Today I will show you some of the best Ikebanas to be found in entire India. Ikebana is the Japanese art of Flower Arrangement.

So, before going ahead and showing you a selection of some of the most beautiful pictures I clicked for my post, I wish to let you know a bit more about the Ikebana flower arrangement. The word Ikebana originates from the Japanese 'ikeru' (to place, to arrange, life, birth) and 'hana' (flower). Possible translations of the word also include 'giving life to flowers' and 'arranging flowers'.

Nageire is a style is characterized by a tight bundle of stems that form a triangular three-branched asymmetrical arrangement which was considered classic.

More than simply putting flowers in a container or a vase, ikebana is a disciplined art form in which nature and humanity are brought together. Contrary to the idea of floral arrangement as a collection of particolored or multicolored arrangement of blooms, ikebana often emphasizes over other areas of the plant, such as its stems, leaves, and draws emphasis towards its shape, line, form. Though ikebana is a creative expression, it has certain rules governing its form.The artist's intention behind each arrangement is shown through a piece's color combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the usually implied meaning of the arrangement.


Seika style consists of only three main branches, known as 'ten' (heaven), 'chi' (earth), and 'jin' (human). It is a simple style that is designed to show the beauty and uniqueness of the plant itself.


Another view of this flower arrangement

These Ikebanas were exhibited at the exhibition organized by the Rose Society of India.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Monsoons and Floods - Black and White Thursdays

For years since the dawn of time the seasonal Monsoon rains have played an important part in giving water to all things living in South Asia which includes countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives. But, when extra rain pours down, floods come. This picture depicts one such flood which arrives every year in the Indian State of Orissa (Odisha) (a part of the Gangetic Plains) affecting life, destroying crops and damaging property. Because of its repeated occurrence it becomes an immortal picture and finds a place in this edition of Black and White Thursdays.

 Observe the overcast skies, submerged trees and the weeds floating about

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chrysanthemums Day Out

Traveling recently in a cold winter evening brought me to an exhibition being organized to display beautiful Chrysanthemum flowers from all over India. The beauty of the displayed flowers and the cultural significance associated with them could simply not be ignored. Therefore, I dedicate this edition of Delhi-iteful Tuesdays to these Flowers who enhanced the beauty of the city of Delhi that evening.

Pink Chrysanthemum in full bloom

Chrysanthemum flowers belong to the genus (Chrysanthemum) constituting approximately 30 species of perennial flowering plants (plants which have a life of more than 2 years) in the family 'Asteraceae' which is native to Asia and northeastern Europe. The name Chrysanthemum is derived from the Greek words, chrysos (gold) and anthos (flower), along with the name the Chinese initially gave to the flower,mums.

Sea of Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. The plant is renowned as one of the Four Gentlemen in Chinese and East Asian art. The plant is particularly significant during the Double Ninth Festival.


Different varieties of the flower present at the exhibition have been shown as follows -


It is believed that the flower may have been brought to Japan in the 8th century AD, and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal. There is a "Festival of Happiness" in Japan that celebrates the flower. The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century.



















The season of the Chrysanthemum flower is during Autumn. It is the official flower of the month of November.

This exhibition was being hosted by the Chrysanthemum Society of India.

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