Friday, January 29, 2010

Badavilinga Temple, Hampi

Badavilinga Temple is the home for the largest monolithic Linga in Hampi. This is located near the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple.

It is installed inside a small chamber that has a single opening in front. The Linga was commissioned by a peasant woman. On the Linga there are the three eyes carved on it. They depict the eyes of Lord Shiva. The sanctum containing the Linga is always filled with water at the base as the water channel flows through it.

The Linga was commissioned by a peasant woman. In the local language the term Badva means poor and the temple derived its name from the same word.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Scindia Museum, Gwalior

In Gwalior we first visited Jai Vilas Palace also known as Scindia Museum. Built in 1809, as many as 35 rooms of this palace is converted into museum.

In the museum on display are several belongings of the Royal family.
The palace has various rooms each one decorated in its own way with different colors and exquisite furniture.

There is a weapon room displaying some of the weapons used by the Kings and his army. In this room the weapons ranging from swords to guns are on display.

There are two dining rooms in the palace. One is in a traditional style where people sit on the floor and have the food. Other is the western style where food is served on the table. Here there is a silver train with cut glass wagons which served the guests drinks as it chugged long the table on miniature rails.

Dining room
Most fascinating place in the palace is the Durbar Hall. Here ceilings have glittering paintings, heavy draperies and tapestries, fine Persian carpets. In this room there are antique furnitures from France and Italy. There are two central chandeliers, weighing a couple of tonnes. They were hung only after ten elephants had tested the strength of the roof.

Durbar Hall

That covers the tour of the palace/museum.

Next we shall discover the places nearby Gwalior to start with Padavali.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Born on 23rd January 1897 in Cuttack, Subhas Chandra Bose is one of the greatest freedom fighter who fought for independence of India. He studied in Fitzwilliam Hall of the University of Cambridge, and passed with high scores. He was elected president of the Indian National Congress for two consecutive terms. He advocated complete freedom for India at the earliest which differed from views of other leaders of India. He was popularly known as Netaji (Respected Leader).

Statue of Netaji near Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore

During the Second World War, he traveled to the Soviet Union, Germany and Japan, seeking an alliance with the aim of attacking the British in India. With Japanese assistance, he led the Indian National Army, formed from Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from British Malaya, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British forces. With Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance, he formed the Azad Hind Government in exile and regrouped and led the Indian National Army in battle against the allies at Imphal and in Burma.

Statue of Netaji with Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore in the backdrop

It is believed that he has died on 18 August 1945 in a plane crash over Taiwan. However, contradictory evidence exists regarding his death in the accident. There are theories that state that he was traced in India in the late 1990. Hie death is still a mystery.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior

From Bhopal after touring Bhojpur and Bhimbetka we reached Gwalior overnight. In Gwalior we first visited nearby destinations like Padavali and Mitavali. Some time in the afternoon we visited this magnificent palace before visiting the fort. This palace is located in the city outside the premises of the fort.

Jai Vilas Palace, is an Italianate structure combining the Tuscan and Corinthian architectural modes. This palace was designed by Lt. Col. Sir Michael Filose and was bui
lt in 1809. The part of the palace is occupied by the Royal Scindia family.

About 35 of the rooms have been converted into the Scindia Museum. A splendor of a different kind exists in this palace. These rooms, are so expressive the royal lifestyle, the past comes alive. The museum provides a glimpse of the rich culture and lifestyle of the royal India.

The palace has various rooms each one decorated in its own way with different colors and exquisite furniture. One such room is shown below. The furniture in this are made of crystal.

Room with crystal furniture

In the museum on display are several belongings of the Royal family. Some of the
antiques are glass cradle from Italy used for the baby Krishna on each Janmashtami celebrations, and swords that were once worn by Emperors Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan.

golden footwear

These are, besides, personal mementos of past members of the Scindia family: the jeweled slippers that belonged to Chinkoo Rani, four-poster beds, gifts from practically every country in the world, hunting trophies and portraits.

In the next section we will discover other rooms of this beautiful palace.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Turtle Rock, Bhimbetka

This particular spot in Bhimbetka is not a cave or painting of a turtle in the cave. This is a simple rock formation in the form of a turtle. This spot is well known as Turtle Rock.

From here we moved back to Bhopal by afternoon. At Bhopal we had our lunch and proceeded to railway station to board a train to Gwalior. From Bhopal to Gwalior is 6 hrs journey by train. We reached Gwalior by night and then checked into hotel.

Bhimbetka ---> Bhopal 28kms
---> Gwalior 388 kms

Monday, January 11, 2010

Zoo Rock, Bhimbetka

The most famous cave or monument in Bhimbetka is Zoo Rock which is around 10000 years old. The paintings here are primarily in white color and few are in red color. These paintings depict most of the animals like bison, deer, elephant, horses.

There are scenes depicting community living, with groups of people dancing, drinking, playing musical instruments.

There are also figures depicting war scenes with people on horses. They may be king and his soldiers. The king can be differentiated from the soldiers by the decoration on the horse and sometimes an umbrella above his head. You can see the swords and other weapons used in warfare then.

Most of the paintings are on the ceilings of the cave. The paintings on the outer edges are lighter than the ones away from the edges as the water could not reach the paintings that are in the inner circle.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Monolithic Bull, Hampi

The monolithic bull, is one of the beautiful structures in Hampi. This bull is locally known as Yeduru Basavanna. It is located at the the east end of Virupaksha Bazaar, and it stands like a guard opposite to Virupaksha Temple. 

The sculpture is placed in a two storied pavilion constructed on a high platform at the foothill of Matunga Hill. A heap of gigantic boulders behind the pavilion offers an picturesque view.

Though partly mutilated, it attracts lot of tourists for its sheer size.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Stepped Tank, Hampi

The stepped tank of 15th century within the Royal Enclosure of Hampi is one of the very ornate and proportionate in terms of design. This square tank built using black chlorite schist measures about 22 meters in square. It is 7 meters deep. 

It has five distinct tiers, each fitted with symmetric steps set in a pleasing pattern. It has five distinct tiers, each fitted with steps set in a pleasing pattern.

The mason marks on each step showing the exact position and direction in which it had to be placed, tells us that the layout of the tank was well designed. The stones were given the desired shape in some other place and later assembled here. Practically every stone is earmarked for this purpose and some bears even 'sketches' by its architects. This tank was fed by aqueducts which brought the water from the river to the tanks. The remains of aqueducts used for supplying water have been found in a number of locations near Hampi.

The purpose of this tank mostly could have been for religious ceremonies by the royals.