Monday, May 31, 2010

Rai Praveen Mahal, Orchha

Orchha (State: Madhya Pradesh) has an imposing fort, dating back to the 16th century. The Fort Complex contains magnificent palaces of the Bundela kings presenting a matchless spectacle of those times.

One of such palace is Rai Praveen Mahal. This palace was built in honor of the ‘Nightingale of Orchha’, Rai Praveen. As per the legend when she had been to Emperor Akbar's court, she was lured by him to stay back in his court by denouncing her King of Orchha. But she returned back to Orchha without accepting the Emperor's offer.

Built in 1618 using circa by then Maharaja Indrajit Singh is a three-storeyed palace. The second floor is decorated with the poses and postures of Indian dance. A octagonal shaped lush garden, with shrubs and flowerbeds developed in many artistic shapes, surrounds the palace.

In the landscape beyond the palace various small temples and Betwa river can be seen.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Travel Photo Challenge

BlogAdda has organized a ‘Travel Photos Contest’. After a long time I am seeing a contest in my area of interest - travel and photography. So I am glad to participate in this, where I have to post 5 of my best travel photographs as I see it.

The above image is of Jaisalmer Golden Fort taken during the Rajasthan tour. Built in 1156 on the Trikura Hill it is one of the oldest forts that has 99 bastions around its circumference and is protected by three walls. Why the fort is called so, is very much evident when Sun rays fall on the fort. I wanted to capture the fort shining like gold in the night when focused by light and went around the fort to get the best possible view. The shot which was taken with film SLR camera without the support of tripod when developed was truly satisfying.

The above image is of Brhihadeeshwrar Temple in Tanjore taken during the Tamil Nadu tour. This Big Temple was built during the period 985 -1012 A.D. Because of its unique architectural excellence the UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Monument. It was a pleasure to capture the gigantic temple and the big Nandi Mantappa in one frame. The size of the people around the temple gives us an idea of how huge the temple really is.

The above image is of Jog Falls taken during the Karnataka tour. The sight of river Sharavathi taking a leap from a height of 900 feet is spectacular. It is the highest waterfall in India. When we had visited the place it was the beginning of the rainy season and on the day it rained heavily with low flying clouds. It was a challenge to capture the beautiful waterfall in image because of low flying clouds blocking the view.

The above image is of Qutub Minar taken during the Delhi tour. Measuring 72.5 meters is the world's tallest brick minaret. Construction of this started in 1193 and the topmost story of the minaret was completed in 1386. It is surrounded by various medieval and ancient structures. People will love to capture this monument in various angles along with other ruins surrounding it. This image is one such attempt.

Finally the above is image of Glass House at Lalbagh Botanical Gardens in Bangalore. This beautiful garden of 40 acres is home for various rare plants. It is regarded as one of the best gardens in Eastern part of the World. The glass house when lighted in the night looks more beautiful than during the day time. The shot which was taken with film SLR camera without the support of tripod when developed was truly satisfying.

India is such a wonderful treasure of architecture, nature, and wildlife it is very difficult to choose only 5 images. Each image have their own story to tell. Truly a Picture is worth a thousand words.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Orchha Fort Complex

Orchha (State: Madhya Pradesh) has an imposing fort, dating back to the 16th century. The fort complex contains magnificent palaces of the Bundela kings presenting a matchless spectacle of those times.

The complex has 3 palaces:

Raj Mahal - Bundela kings residential palace. a massive square building of which the exterior is almost absolutely plain.

Jehangir Mahal - a square building, but far more ornate, a singularly beautiful specimen of Hindu domestic architecture.

Rai Praveen Mahal - built in memory of the famous poetess and musician, Rai Parveen, the beautiful courtesan of Raja Indramani.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Desert Romance

This is one of the numerous paintings one can shop in the markets Rajasthan.

The above painting depicts romance in the sand dunes of the desert.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Orchha, the Hidden Place

From Jhansi we traveled to Orchha in Mahya Pradesh which is at a distance of 18 kms. I had read about this place a bit in various travel magazines. And whatever little I knew kept me interested in this place. Once in this place, I was more than happy on my decision of touring this place.

Enclosed by woody forest, Orchha is a historical city that exhibits the rich heritage of medieval times. In the 16th and 17th century this was the capital of Bundela kings. On the banks of the Betwa River, Orchha reflects the glory of the mighty Bundelas. An artificial island with the meaning a ‘hidden place’ Orchha, lives up to its name.

The splendor of ancient times can be seen in the graceful monuments.They showcase unique and exclusive architectural legacy. The fort, exotic palaces, beautifully carved temples, spectacular mural paintings and frescoes on the walls of temples and the palaces keep the viewers spellbound.

Some of the places that we shall explore in some detail are:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jhansi Fort -2

The fort of Jhansi popularly known as Jhansi Fort is built on hilltop in 1613. The Fort is an architectural delight for his sheer size and the structure. The fort spread across 15 acres of land is about 312m in length and 225m in width. (Click on the images for bigger picture)

There are 10 gates providing access to this fort. Some of these are Khanderao Gate, Datia Darwaza, Unnao Gate, Jharna Gate, Laxmi Gate, Sagar Gate, Orcha Gate, Sainyar Gate and Chand gate.

Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, inspired patriotism in heart of all her subjects. This particular cannon in the above image is operated by Moti Bai a dancer in the royal court. While defending the fort from the enemies not only men, even women of the state fought bravely.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jhansi Fort -1

The Jhansi fort (state: Uttar Pradesh) is built by Raja Vir Singh Judeo of Orcha in 1613 on a hilltop called Bangra. The fort covers a sprawling area of 15 acres and this massive fortification with 22 bastions measures about 312m in length and 225m in width. 

There are 10 gates to enter this fort. The important sights in the fort are the two temples - Shiva temple, Ganesh temple, the palace - Panch Mahal, and the Kadak Bijli cannon used in the freedom struggle of 1857.

The fort was a residence of Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, who fought British army and attained martyrdom. In the fort one of the most important location is the place from where queen jumped out of the fort on horseback.
She tied her adopted son on her back and jumped from top of the fort on her horse Pavan. The height of the fort walls on the hillock clearly highlights the courage she had shown.

Once out of the fort she regrouped her army and attacked Gwalior Fort which was under the control of British. She successfully captured this much bigger fort from the British.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beat the Heat

Lot of resorts have mushroomed in and around Bangalore. This mainly serve corporate customers. Some of the companies take the employees to these places for a days outing once in a while. Apart from food they provide lot of facilities like games, swimming pool and host of other amenities.

These resorts have also started to cater to the family crowd.

With the temperature going as high as 36 degree centigrade in Bangalore, these places are ideal getaways for a fee.
My family along with my friends family ventured to explore one such resort on a weekday.

Luckily on the day we were the only people in the resort. We had good fun with the kids spending more than 5 hours in the pool. The place had water slides, pools of various sizes, play area.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


From Datia we traveled to Jhansi which is at a distance of 34kms. This place is known for the fort of Rani Laxmi Bai situated in the hilly area.

Jhansi (state: Uttar Pradesh) is part of Uttar Pradesh state. We covered this in our tour of Madhya Pradesh as it very close to the borders of the state. Another reason being passing through this place also reduces the travel time. Most important reason is I would not have missed the chance to see the fort after being so close to it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi

Born in November 1835, Rani Laxmi Bai is the bravest soldier of First War of Indian Independence. Even in her childhood she was known for her bravery. Even though not from royal family she was well versed in horse riding, sword fighting and archery.

At a very young age she was
married to Raja Gangadhar Rao, the Maharaja of Jhansi. After the death of her husband, she adopted a son and appointed him as a successor of Jhansi. But on the pretext that adopted son is not entitled to throne the British annexed Jhansi from her. Rani was not ready to give up Jhansi to Britishers which rightfully belonged to her.

In March 1858, the Britishers attacked Jhansi. With her trusted warriors Rani Laxmi Bai
fought for about two weeks against the British. However, after this great war, Jhansi fell to the British forces. When the situation was not in control, Rani of Jhansi with some of her warriors departed from Jhansi. But regrouped her warriors and she captured Gwalior, which was under the control of British then. Again a fierce battle took place. Rani Laxmi Bai fought with deathless patriotism and martyrdom. However on the second day of battle,on 18th June of 1858 she lost her life at the very young age of 22.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Datia Palace

This 16th century palace is popularly known as Govind Palace or Jehangir Palace. The palace is built using the Bundela style of architecture, which is a blend of the Mughal and Rajput architecture. The arched openings, brackets and dome is characteristic of the Mughal architecture, while the lotus petals and use of animal sculpture and avian painting are symbols of the Rajput architecture.

In the central courtyard there is a five-story structure with apartments for the royal family. It is connected by bridge corridors to the middle of each side. The facades are decorated with bracketed balconies, arcades and wide eaves which create a glorious play of light and shade.

It is the representative of one of the finest architectures of the Bundela period. The place is decorated the Bundela mural paintings. It is impressive architecturally and has nice mural painted on the walls.

Ceilings are intricately decorated. These murals have withstood the test of time.

From Datia we proceeded to Jhansi

Distance: Datia ---> Jhansi 34kms