Monday, November 30, 2009

Glimpses of Central Province

Madhya Pradesh (MP), the center of India is a land of natural beauty along with rich heritage. The state has two hill ranges Vindhya and Satpura and several small and big rivers running across the state. These natural features have created a landscape of plateaus, river valleys, hills, and forests. (Click on all the images for bigger picture)

It has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the 9th - 10th century temples at Khajuraho, remains of the 3rd - 7th century BC Buddhist settlement at Sanchi; and cave paintings dating to 8000 BC at Bhimbetka. Apart from this There are plenty of rich cultural heritage sites. Gwalior is famous for the forts and palaces. Shivpuri is known for wild life and cenotaphs, Orchha and Datia is known for the palaces, Jabalpur well known for its natural water resource and marbles. The capital, Bhopal is a former princely state, a small city celebrated for its mosques and palaces, old-town ambiance. The hill-citadel of Mandu (near Indore) is renowned for its ruins set in greenery, especially after monsoons. Ujjain is a holy city for the Hindus. Other less known sites like Padavali, Mitavali, Suryavahi also have rich cultural heritage. The scenic sanctuaries of Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks are mostly savanna grassland terrains that have tigers and elephants as prime attractions.
The itinerary that we followed for my trip is as follows. We reached Bhopal overnight and started my trip next day early morning. During our journey we also covered Jhansi which falls in the different state and that is Utter Pradesh.
My family comprising of 4 adults and 2 kids enjoyed our experience owing to the good road network in the state. The travel and sight seeing was done by train and SUV. We had booked the accommodation and vehicle at all the places before the start of journey.

Friends, it was a pleasant experience and let me share the details with you in the subsequent posts.
From Bhopal, we traveled to Bhojpur.

Bhopal ---> Bhojpur 28 kms

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hazar Rama Temple, Hampi

This 15th century shrine of Lord Rama located in the Royal Area of Hampi is popularly called "Hazara Rama Temple". Inscriptions inside the Hazara Rama temple provide evidence of the indicate the period of origin of this temple as Devaraya I erected it in the early 15th century. This is the only temple in the area with its external walls decorated with five rows of bas-reliefs. They portray the processions of elephants, horses with attendants, military contingents, and dancing girls. 

The name of the temple is Rama due to the large number of Ramayana panels carved in long arrays, onto the walls of this temple. Incidents in the story like Dasaratha performing a sacrifice to beget sons, the birth of Rama, his exile into the forest, the abduction of Sita and the ultimate fight between Rama and Ravana are all carved in a vivid manner. In these panels, the story of Rama and through it the triumph of good over evil is brought out.

This high wall encloses the entire complex with the main entrances set on the east. The temple consisted of a sanctum, an ardha mantapa and a pillared hall with an open porch with tall and elegant pillars. The pillar hall is notable for its unique pillars in black-stone. They are set on a raised stone platform in the middle of the hall. The other structures in this temple complex are a shrine for Devi and Utsava Mantapa.

To the south is a small doorway, which leads to the Durbar Area. It is believed that this thempe is used privately by the royal family.