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 ?



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.

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)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Chand Baori, Abhaneri (Const 8th-9th Cent CE) - Picture of the Week #135

The Chand Baori is one of the oldest and deepest step wells in Rajasthan and India, in particular. It is also known as 'Abhaneri Chand Bawdi'. This magnificent stepwell was constructed by King Chandra of Nikumbha dynasty around 8th-9th Cent. C.E.
This stepwell is 19.5 mts deep and has around 3500 steps ! This ancient step well was religiously and spiritually related to the nearby Harshat Mata Temple. A devotee visiting Harshat Mata Temple was first supposed to perform ablutions here and then go to the temple.
The sight and pattern of Chand Baori's 1200 years old steps leave a powerful impression on the mind and heart of a visitor !
Sources -
1. ASI Info Board on site at Chand Baori in Abhaneri
2. Wikipedia

Friday, May 8, 2015

Harshat Mata Temple Abhaneri (Const 8th-9th Cent CE) - Picture of the Week #134

Harshat Mata Temple Abhaneri was constructed in 8th-9th century C.E. It is dedicated to Harshat Mata (Goddess of Joy and Happiness). It is located in Abhaneri village in Rajasthan.

The Harshat Mata temple was constructed by King Chandra of Nikumbha Dynasty. It was constructed in Mahameru style of architecture. This temple was demolished in the 10th century CE. As per the temple keeper the King of Jaipur got the temple reconstructed in the 18th Cent CE.

The iconic Chand Baori step well is closely related to the temple. A devotee was supposed to perform ablutions at the Chand Baori before going to this temple.
Information Sources -
1. Information Board on site.
2. Wikipedia
3. The Temple Keeper of Harshat Mata Temple

Friday, May 1, 2015

Palace Entrance of Bhangarh Fort (Const 1573 CE) - Picture of the Week - #133

Bhangarh Fort was constructed by King Bhagwant Das for his son Madho Singh (younger son of the illustrious Man Singh I). This fort cum township was abandoned in the year 1783 CE. Bhangarh is believed to be one of the most haunted places in India.

On an architectural note this township has been observed, by archaeologists, to be very well planned. There are separate sections in the city for residential areas, markets e.t.c. The streets are well lined as well.

Madho Singh, the individual for whom this town was built, was a royal prince and a soldier. He participated in the Battle of Haldighati (against Maharana Pratap) and led the vanguard of the Mughal forces of Akbar (which were being commandeered by his brother Man Singh).

Friday, April 24, 2015

Gopinath Temple, Bhangarh (Const. 1613 C.E.) - Picture of the Week - #132

In Bhangarh, the Gopinath Temple is one of the many temples located in the fort. Constructed as per the Nagari Architecture (North Indian style) the Gopinath Temple is based on a raised 14 ft Platform (Jagati). It is one of the most well known temples in Bhangarh.  It is not in use, currently.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Ruins of Southern Gate of Siri Fort, New Delhi (Const 1303 CE) - POTW #131

The ruin of the Southern Gate of Siri Fort are one of the few remaining structures of the 3rd city of Delhi, Dar'ul Khilafat (better known as Siri Fort) with other major ruins being 2 intact sections battlements opposite August Kranti Marg, the Thanewala Masjid behind them and the Hauz e Alai. This city was commissioned by Sultan Alauddin Khalji and built with the help of Seljuq Turks.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Shrine of Sacred Heart, Idaikattur (Const 1894 CE) - POTW #130

Located in Idaikattur (Tamil Nadu) the Shrine of Sacred Heart, const in 1894 CE by a French missionary, is an imitation of the Rheims Cathedral of France, upon the wishes of the donor. Despite that the church has some unique features which include statues of 153 angels which adorn the exterior of the structure. The reasoning behind placing the angels is because of a dream (seen by a presiding judge who was deciding upon a litigation regarding the church) who saw that the church was being built by angels !

Friday, April 3, 2015

Panipat Battle Field Memorial, Panipat - Picture of the Week #129

This memorial has been erected at the spot where a tree with black mangoes (Kala Amb) used to stand. The significance of the tree was that it marked of the spot of the battle field where the Third Battle of Panipat (1761 CE) took place between the Maratha and the Durrani armies. The Marathas were led by Sadashiv Rao Bhau while the opposing armies were led by Ahmad Shah Durrani (who was accompanied with local collaborators).

This battle ended in decimation of the Maratha armies post a tense 'stand-off' between the two armies for over 3 months. The Panipat Battle Field Memorial is located on the outskirts of the city.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wazu Khana, Jama Masjid (New Delhi) (Const 1656 CE) - Picture of the Week #128

Clicked from the minaret of one of the largest mosques in Asia, the 'Wazu Khana' of Jama Masjid is dotted with people getting ready to say their prayers before they open their roza's (fast)..

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Original Babri Masjid, Panipat (1529 CE) - POTW #127

Located in Panipat this mosque, also known as Kabuli Bagh Masjid, was built by Babur (the first mosque to be built by him in India), the founder of Mughal Dynasty, as a token of thanksgiving to God post his victory over the armies of Ibrahim Lodi in the First Battle of Panipat (1526 CE). So, by that virtue it becomes the original Babri Masjid. Click here to find out more..

Architecture-wise a two aisle mosque, a part of it has collapse due to aging and lack of maintenance.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Sweet Shop Banner in Old Delhi - Picture of the Week #126

Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, March 6, 2015

Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu - Picture of the Week #125

Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Khwaja Khizr's Tomb, Sonipat (Const 1524 CE) - POTW #123

Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kashmere Gate, New Delhi (Const 1835 CE) - POTW #122

Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, February 6, 2015

St James Church (Const. 1836 C.E.) - Picture of the Week #121

Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, January 30, 2015

National Highway 11A, Rajasthan - Picture of the Week #120

Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dargah of Bu Ali Shah Qalandar, Panipat - POTW #119

Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, January 16, 2015

Picture of the Week #118 - Wat Arun (Const 17th Cent CE)

Picture © Rohan A Singh
Wat Arun used to house the famous Emerald Buddha statue until it was shifted to its present location, at the Wat Phra Kaew in the Grand Palace Complex in Bangkok, Thailand

Monday, January 12, 2015

Swami Vivekananda - The Traveler

Swami Vivekananda (Source - Wikipedia)

Swami Vivekananda was a monk and a philosopher. He was born on 12th January 1863 CE (in Calcutta) and today the world is celebrating his 151st Birth Anniversary. Amongst many of his famous deeds, his introduction of Hinduism at the Parliament of World's Religion in Chicago in the year 1893 CE is remembered across the world by many. It was thanks to the hundreds of conventions and lectures addressed by him, in the west, that the Hindu concepts of Yoga, Transcendental Meditation e.t.c. were embraced warmly by the people of the west. He founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission, both named after his guru.

Vivekananda Rock in Tamil Nadu, located 50 metres off the mainland of India, is the spot where Swami Vivekananda meditated in the winter of 1892 and attained enlightenment. A memorial, seen in the pic, stands to commemorate that incident.

The reason why he features in Path Rarely Taken - The Travel Blog is because he, as a wandering monk traveled across the lengths and breadths of India (from Ayodhya to Ernakulam, from Srinagar to Kanyakumari, from Lahore to Sri Lanka and across America and England) for five years from 1888 CE to 1893 CE to understand the religious and (the prevalent) social norms of those times and to give lectures. He didn't travel because he had some business to do, he traveled because he wanted to 'see' unlike others who travel to see only what they want to see; a salient feature of a true traveler !

An illuminated Vivekananda Memorial, on Vivekananda Rock at nighttime.  

He travelled by foot and by the means of railway (with just a couple of books, a staff and his water pot along with him) and even though the purpose of his travels were religious in nature (just like Hiuen Tsang and Fa Hien) he had an open mind, an open heart, the curiosity to know, the intelligence to understand and the wisdom of not judging anyone. These qualities, I personally believe, are present in only those people who are true travelers by heart !

Path Rarely Taken - The Travel Blog pays respect to his eminence, Swami Vivekananda (a true traveler), on his 151st Birth Anniversary !

Friday, January 9, 2015

Picture of the Week #117 - Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Tamil Nadu

Picture © Rommel A Singh

January 12th 1863 was Swami Vivekananda's (born Narendra Nath Dutta) birthday and this year the world will celebrate the 151st birth anniversary of this iconic Philosopher who introduced Hinduism to the modern world ! Located off the coast of Tamil Nadu, India; Vivekananda Rock is located at the tri-junction of Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Palk Strait. Swami Vivekananda attained enlightenment after meditating on this rock, in the year 1892 CE. Accompanying Vivekananda Rock out in the Ocean is another rocky outcrop upon which stands a giant statue of the great Indian poet Thiruvalluvar.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Picture of the Week #116 - Phra Mondop, Bangkok

Picture © Rohan A Singh