Posted On: 14,Mar 2012 | Goa , India |
The fort was constructed in 1612 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas. It was a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. This old Portuguese fort stands on the beach south of Candolim, at the shore of the Mandovi river. It was initially tasked with defense of shipping and the nearby Bardez District. A freshwater spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that used to stop by. This is how the fort got its name: Aguada, meaning Water. Crews of passing ships would often visit to replenish their fresh water stores. On the fort stands a four-storey Portuguese lighthouse, erected in 1864 and the oldest of its kind in Asia. Built in 1612, it was once the grandstand of 79 cannons, a moat around the fort also protected it. Fort Aguada was the most prized and crucial fort of Portuguese. The fort is so large that it envelops the entire peninsula at the south western tip of Bardez. Built on the mouth of river Mandovi, it was strategically located and was the chief defence of Portuguese against the Dutch and Marathas. During the Salazar Administration, Fort Aguada was repurposed for use as a prison primarily, some claim, for Salazar's political opponents. Many of its inmates are Western tourists serving time for drug-related crimes. [more]
Posted On: 09,Mar 2012 | Assam , India |
The Kamakhya Temple is a Shakti Peeth temple situated on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati city in Assam. It is an important pilgrimage destination for general Hindu and Tantric worshipers.
The temple consists of three major chambers. The western chamber is large and rectangular and is not used by the general pilgrims for worship. The middle chamber is a square, with a small idol of the Goddess, a later addition. The walls of this chamber contain sculpted images of Naranarayana, related inscriptions and other gods. The middle chamber leads to the sanctum of the temple in the form of a cave, which consists of no image but a natural underground spring that flows through a yoni-shaped cleft in the bedrock. During the Ambuvaci festival each summer,the menstruation of the Goddess Kamakhya is celebrated. During this time, the water in the main shrine runs red with iron oxide resembling menstrual fluid.
It is likely that this is an ancient Khasi sacrificial site, and worshiping here still includes sacrifices. Devotees come every morning with goats to offer to Shakti. The Kamakhya Temple in Assam symbolizes the "fusion of faiths and practices" of Aryan and non-Aryan elements in Assam.
The goddess is worshiped according to both the Vamachara (Left-Hand Path) as well as the Dakshinachara (Right-Hand Path) modes of worship). Offerings to the goddess are usually flowers, but might include animal sacrifices. In general female animals are exempt from sacrifice, a rule that is relaxed during mass sacrifices. [more]
Posted On: 09,Mar 2012 | Delhi , India |
The splendour of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is multi-dimensional. It is a vast mansion and its architecture is breathtaking. The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the President of India, located at Raisina Hill in New Delhi, India. Until 1950 it was known as "Viceroy's House" and served as the residence of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India. At present, it is the largest residence of any Head of the State in the world. Only Few official residential premises of the Head of the State in the world will match the Rashtrapati Bhavan in terms of its size, vastness and its magnificence. The construction of the building was planned for 4 years, but World War I intervened and construction required 19 years to complete. Its first occupant, Lord Irwin, moved into the premises on January 23, 1931. [more]
Posted On: 09,Mar 2012 | Haridwar , India |
In Haridwar, the evening aarti at Har-ki-Pairi is the major attraction. This is the religious ceremony giving prayers and offering to the Ganga. The sound of gongs, chaotic atmosphere and fully packed crowd.
Small baskets with flowers with a candle to light can be bought everywhere, and the idea is to place it into the Ganges after sunset. The sight of the flickering candles on the water is beautiful.One spectacle to watch with many diyas floated on river and devotees holding a common belief of faith and trust on Ganges river. [more]
Posted On: 05,Mar 2012 | Madhya Pradesh , India |
Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh combines scenic beauty, historicity and modern urban planning. Bhopal is also known as the City of Lakes. Visiting the city is an immensely fascinating and rewarding experience.
Bhopal today presents a multi-faceted profile; the old city with its teeming market places and fine old mosques and palaces still bear the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers; among them the succession of powerful Begums who ruled Bhopal from 1819 to 1926. Equally impressive is the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern edifices.
The two lakes of Bhopal still dominate the city, and are indeed its nucleus. Bordered along their shores stand silent sentinels that testify to the growth of the city. It is greener and cleaner than most cities in the country. [more]
Posted On: 05,Mar 2012 | Tamilnadu , India |
Madurai, probably over 2500 years old, is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu. Its origin and name emerge from a misty and lovely legend. In a forest near a lotus pond, Indra, King of Gods, Worshipped Lord Siva as a Swayambu Lingam.
At this hallowed spot, the Pandyan monarch Kulasekhara built a great temple and clearing the forest, he created a lotus- shaped city around the temple. On the day the city was to be named, Lord Siva appeared at the ceremony. As he blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Mathuram) was showered on the city from his matted locks.
The city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri. Madhurapuri grew and prospered to become the capital of the Pandyan Kingdom. It is referred to in the Ramayana and Kautily's Arthashastra. Megasthenes (302 BC), pliny (77AD) and Ptolemy (140 AD) wrote of "Madura, the kingdom of the Pandian".
Macro polo visited Madurai in 1293 AD and lbn Batuta in 1333 AD. Madurai lies on the banks of the River Vaigai. The temple and the old city are on the southern bank, while modern Madurai with its textile mills, engineering industries and large university sprawls around. [more]
Posted On: 29,Feb 2012 | Delhi , India |
Delhi, the capital of India and the city with an effervescent history, has always been a prime tourist location of India. Foreign visitors and travelers have always shown great interest and enthusiasm in the city’s rich cultural and historical heritage. At Delhi Guide, our aim is to help travelers and tourists explore the beauty and essence of Delhi. To read more please log on to www.guide-delhi.com [more]
Posted On: 29,Feb 2012 | Uttaranchal , India |
Tungnath is the highest temple in the world located in the mountain range of Tunganath in the Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand, India. The Tunganath (literal meaning is lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. Located at an altitude of 3,680 m, the Tungnath temple is the highest Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to be 1000 years old. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.
According to Hindu mythology lord Shiva and his consort Parvati both reside in the Himalayas: Lord Shiva at Mount Kailash and Parvati is considered to be the daughter of hills. The Tunganath myth is indelibly linked to the origin of the Panch Kedar temples built by the Pandavas. The legend states that sage Vyas Rishi advised the Pandavas that since they were culpable to the slaying of their own relatives during the Mahabharata war or Kurukshetra war, their offense could be pardoned only by Lord Shiva. Consequently, the Pandavas went in search of Shiva who was avoiding them since he was convinced of the guilt of Pandavas. In order to keep away from them, Shiva took the form of a bull and went into hiding in an underground safe haven at Guptakashi, where Pandavas chased him. But later Shiva’s body in the form of bull’s body parts rematerialized at five different locations that represent the “Panch Kedar” where Pandavas built temples of Lord Shiva at each location, to worship and venerate, seeking his pardon and blessings. Each one is identified with a part of his body; Tungnath is identified as the place where the bahu (hands) were seen: hump was seen at Kedarnath; head appeared at Rudranath; his navel and stomach surfaced atMadhyamaheshwar; and his jata (hair or locks) at Kalpeshwar.
Legend also states that Lord Rama, the chief icon of the Ramayana epic, meditated at the Chandrashila peak, which is close to Tungnath. It is also said that Ravana, also of Ramayana fame did penance to Shiva, the lord of the peaks, when he resided here [more]
Posted On: 29,Feb 2012 | Hyderabad , India |
It is an annual industrial fair held in Hyderabad, India. In Urdu “Numaish” means exhibition. The Numaish in Hyderabad is precisely just that – an open-air exhibition to display ingenious products and goods produced in the city. Held annually since 1938 during the rule of Hyderabad’s Nizams, the fair draws about 2.5 million people each year to the 2,600 stalls and entertainment in the form of joyrides and eateries. To say the Numaish is a massive event is an understatement. The exhibition has remained the only event of its kind in the world to be organized at a stretch for a 46-day period at its permanent venue in Nampally, Hyderabad. It runs from the first of January up to the fifteenth of February. This is one of the most eagerly awaited events in Hyderabad
Nowadays Numaish has come to be recognized as one of the country’s biggest display windows and bazaar-style sale for trade, commerce, and industry, participants from all over the country has started to set up shop there as well. Even neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Bangladesh have also been participating in the famous event.
Almost everything can be bought at the fair. The usual products on display include handicrafts and textiles, electronic devices, jewellery, handicrafts, and dried fruits. Specialties from places in India such as Kashmir, Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh are on sale so anyone who wants something indigenous from those places is bound to find it without going out of Hyderabad. Most times, they’ll get it at a lower price, too; it is not uncommon for bargaining to take place during Numaish. In fact, it is part of the fun of shopping during Numaish.
Entertainment is also another great pull of the event. The usual rides available for everyone include a mini-train, ferris wheel, motorcycle stungs in stunt globes, and many others. Food courts and stalls serving delicacies from Hyderabad and other places are also available for those who want to go on a food trip. [more]
Posted On: 27,Feb 2012 | Varanasi , India |
Varanasi, the holy city seems to be relaxing on the shores of sacred Ganga river. It is situated in the southeastern part of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. It is India’s religious capital, frequently called as Banaras or Kashi. people from several parts of the world come here to take holy dips at the popular Ganga Ghats. This includes a major belief that by doing so all their sins would be sanitized and they will be able to lead a blissful life.
Varanasi is also a learning center for many scholars, and shows off as many as 6 different universities for a better experience. thiscity beautiful homes the largest residential University in Asia, the Banaras Hindu University or BHU. Moreover, this is the only place where Tulsi Das composed the very famous Ram Charit Manas and if get time you can also visit the well known Tulsi Manas Mandir. Varanasi in India is a very unique place to explore some really awesome shrimes like Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, Durga temple, Bharat Mata Mandir, etc. all are a perfect option to discover the heavenly wonders around you. However, for some worldly entertainment you can visit local bazaars to buy the famous Banarasi sarees or else purchase Sitar, Tabla and Shehnai for a refreshing foray in music. [more]
Posted On: 27,Feb 2012 | Bihar , India |
Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in Bihar. It is famous for being the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment.
The main monastery of Bodh Gaya used to be called the Bodhimanda-vihāra (Pali). Now it is called the Mahabodhi Temple. For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In 2002, Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The surrounding town, by contrast, is dusty and somewhat noisy. A new development plan has been proposed to "ensure a sustainable and prosperous future" for Bodh Gaya, but has become controversial because such a plan may require the relocation of whole neighborhoods. [more]
Posted On: 27,Feb 2012 | Mumbai , India |
Mumbai is the commercial, financial and entertainment capital of India. The mumbai is much different from any other metropolitan city in taste, aura and feel. The 20 million population of Mumbai represent the ethnic and cultural diversity of India. Mumbai has lot to offer for a traveller.
Explore the major attractions like Gateway of India, Marine Drive, many Beaches, Haji Ali Mosque and many more. The nightlife of this city is second to known in the country with some world class bars, clubs, pubs and lounges on the couch. Shopping could be another thing by which you can understand the city better in its raw and tempting charm. [more]
Posted On: 27,Feb 2012 | Maharashtra , India |
Ellora is an archaeological site, 30 km from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty . Well-known for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture.
Ellora consists of 34 "caves" actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples andviharas and mathas were built between the 5th century and 10th century.
Posted On: 27,Feb 2012 | Maharashtra , India |
Kailasanatha, is the unrivaled centerpiece of Ellora. Ellora is an archaeological site, 30 km from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra . This is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva – looks like a freestanding, multi-storeyed temple complex, but it was carved out of one single rock. Initially the temple was covered with white plaster thus even more increasing the similarity to snow covered Mount Kailash.
All the carvings are done in more than one level. A two-storeyed gateway resembling a South Indian gopuramopens to reveal a U-shaped courtyard. The courtyard is edged by columned galleries three storeys high. The galleries are punctuated by huge sculpted panels, and alcoves containing enormous sculptures of a variety of deities. Originally flying bridges of stone connected these galleries to central temple structures, but these have fallen.
Within the courtyard are three structures. As is traditional in Shiva temples, first is large image of the sacred bull Nandi in the front of the central temple. Central temple - Nandi Mandap - is housing the lingam. Nandi Mandap stands on 16 pillars and is 29.3 m high. The base of the Nandi Mandap has been carved to suggest that life-sized elephants are holding the structure aloft. A living rock bridge connects the Nandi Mandap to the Shiva temple behind it.
The temple itself is tall pyramidal structure reminiscent of a South Indian Dravidian temple. The shrine complete with pillars, windows, inner and outer rooms, gathering halls, and an enormous lingam at its heart carved from living stone, is carved with niches, pilasters, windows as well as images of deities, mithunas (erotic male and female figures) and other figures. Most of the deities at the left of the entrance are Shaivaite (followers of Shiva) while on the right hand side the deities are Vaishnavaites (followers of Vishnu). There are two Dhvajastambhas (pillars with the flagstaff) in the courtyard. The grand sculpture of Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva, with his full might is a landmark in Indian art. The construction of this cave was a feat of human genius. It entailed removal of 200,000 tonnes of rock, and took 100 years to complete [more]
Posted On: 23,Feb 2012 | Jammu Kashmir , India |
Srinagar is the summer seasonal capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of theIndus. It is one of the largest cities in India not to have a Hindu majority. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits.
Srinagar has a humid subtropical climate, with a climate much cooler than what is found in much of the rest of India, due to its moderately high elevation and northerly position.The valley is surrounded by Himalayas on all sides. Winters are cool, with a January daily mean of 10.0 °C (50.0 °F), and temperature remains below freezing at night; Moderate to heavy snow fall is expected in winters and the only road that connects Srinagar with rest of India is cut off. Summers are warm, with a July daily mean of 30.1 °C (86.2 °F). The average annual rainfall is around 710 millimetres (28 in); spring is the wettest season while autumn is the driest. [more]
Posted On: 23,Feb 2012 | , India |
Bijapur city is well known for its historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur is located 530 km northwest of Bangalore and about 550 km from Mumbai.and 384 km from Hyderabad.
The city was established in the 10th-11th centuries by the Kalyani Chalukyas and was known as Vijayapura (City of victory). The city came under the influence of the Khilji Sultanate in Delhi by the late 13th century. In 1347, the area was conquered by the Bahmani Sultanate of Gulbarga. By this time, the city was being referred as Vijapur or Bijapur.
Posted On: 23,Feb 2012 | Rajasthan , India |
The Dilwara Jain Temples of India are located about 2˝ kilometers from Mount Abu,Rajasthan's only hill station. These temples built by Chalukya between the 11th and 13th centuries AD are world famous for their stunning use of marble. These are a sacred pilgrimage place of the Jains. Some consider them to be one of the most beautiful Jain pilgrimage sites in the world. The marble temples have an opulent entranceway, the simplicity in architecture reflecting Jain values like honesty and frugality. The temples are in the midst of a range of forested hills. A high wall shrouds the temple complex.
There are 5 temples in all, each with its own unique identity. Each is named after the small village in which it is located. These are:
Posted On: 23,Feb 2012 | Punjab , India |
The Harmandir Sahib, also referred to as the Golden Temple, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. Harmandir Sahib is considered holy by Sikhs. The most holy text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside the gurdwara. Its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally.
Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev. In 1604, Guru Arjan Dev completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and installed it in the Gurdwara. In 1634, Guru Hargobind left Amritsar for the Shivalik Hills and for the remainder of the seventeenth century the city and gurdwara was in the hands of forces hostile to the Sikh Gurus. During the eighteenth century, the Harmandir Sahib was the site of frequent fighting between the Sikhs on one side and either Mughal or Afghan forces on the other side and the gurdwara occasionally suffered damage. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and English name of "Golden Temple".
The present day Golden Temple was rebuilt in 1764 by Maharaja Jassa Singh Ahluwalia(1718–1783) with the help of other Misl Sikh chieftains. Between 1802–1830 Ranjit Singh did the sewa of adding gold plating and marble to the gurdwara, while the interior was decorated with fresco work and gemstones. [more]
Posted On: 21,Feb 2012 | Delhi , India |
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Posted On: 18,Feb 2012 | Gujarat , India |
Dwarka located in the West is in the state of Gujarat, India. The city derives its name from word dvar meaning door or gate in the Sanskrit language. It is located close to where the Gomti River merges into the Gulf of Kutch. The city lies in the westernmost part of India.
The legendary city of Dwarka was the dwelling place of Lord Krishna. It is believed that due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dwarka has submerged six times and modern day Dwarka is the 7th such city to be built in the area.
Dwarka is as old as the history of India. It was the seat of Sri Krishna after He quit Mathura, His maternal home, to come and reign here. Since it has been held as holy for a long time it has gradually accumulated, over the years, a large number of religious monuments and institutions that today make it one of the most revered spots in Hinduism.
The main Dham temple houses Ranchchodji, another name for Lord Krishna who time and often fled from the battlefield under unfavorable circumstances to return again another day and win. "Ran" means "War" while "Chod" means "Running away". There is also a temple to Lord Krishna's wife Rukmini, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lakshmi. [more]
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