IndiaPhotogallery

How all the fountains at Taj got their water from Yamuna!

So like me, many of you would have visited Agra and Taj Mahal a number of times, may be. And, each time you would have been so engrossed in admiring the beauty of the marble marvel that you might have easily ignored all the other details of this huge Taj complex, such as its beautiful fountains. Quite unjustified, isn’t it!  Gardens, fountains and the channels add to the glory of Taj Mahal Although nothing can undermine the beauty of the white mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, but you can’t deny that surrounding gardens and the fountains add to the glory of whole structure. That is the reason, why Taj Mahal is also a ‘rauza’ as per Persian principles- a tomb with a ‘charbagh’ (four cornered squared gardens), fountains and channels. So were the many other tombs of the M...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Lockdown reads: Walking down the Agra’s necropolis, in the shadow of the Taj

Walking around Taj Mahal is like roaming within different layers of Mughal history. Once you start peeling off these layers, you get to know—one after the other—many lesser known facts and events of the period which was largely overshadowed by a single story of love. As one of the curators of our walk, Shradha Arora would say it as the ‘shadow of the Taj’, a ‘necropolis’ where all dead lay buried, including the other queens of Shahjahan, all of whom have largely been forgotten. We all know about Mumtaz Mahal and the story of Taj Mahal. In an earlier post we also talked about the first wife of Emperor Shahjahan. Kandahari Begum, as she was know, has her tomb at Sandali Masjid complex on the other side of the Taj Mahal complex, but not the part of it. We are now going to talk about other...

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India

Where a Shah Jahan’s queen lies in solitude on the other side of Taj

At a very remote corner just outside the boundary of Taj Mahal complex towards its Eastern gate, when you climb the narrow stairs of Sandali Masjid you get an eerie feeling. With monkeys and dogs around, what attracts you more is the presence of a big number of cats, many of them black. Sandali Masjid is also called as Kali Masjid. Mosque is at the one side of the complex, with its back towards the Taj complex across the road. While right in front of the mosque, in the middle of a garden is an octagonal tomb. Its onion shaped dome in white marble signifies that it belongs to someone from the royal family. We are told that it belongs to the first queen of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan- Kandahari Begum. Platform of Kandahari Begum's tomb You will hardly find any tourists here. F...

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IndiaNews

The original Bahubali and the Ghoda goes green!

Spring is early this year, not just because Basant Panchami was celebrated in January itself, but also because winter too seems to be giving way to the spring already. Time of romance and enjoyment. Carnival time at places around the world. But the shortest month of the year is also one of the richest in terms of cultural output that we get out of it. Well, we are already done with the first quarter of the month and many events have already rounded up, like the Rural Olympics at Kila Raipur in Punjab (2-4 February 2018) and the Sula Fest at Nasik (3-4 February). Even the Kala Ghoda Arts festival at Mumbai has started from 3rd February, but there is still time to catch up few events in remaining days. But surely gem of the month is the once in 12 years Mahamasthakabhisheka of t...

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India

Lot outside Kerala too to enjoy in March

I talked about Kerala yesterday but there is lot more happening outside Kerala too in terms of events and festivals. With spring in its full bloom, it is riot of colours everywhere- in nature as well on faces! Actually, this is one of the most awaited months of the year because of its festivities- festival of colours- Holi undoubtedly. It is also last of the months of the pleasant weather before the summer strikes. Its already getting hot this time of the year. Don't spare a chance to be around at any one of these places! As a matter of fact, there are so many happenings this month that instead of usual ten, I couldn't stop myself from listing eleven this time. Here they go- Festival of colours in Brij Though there are many festivals around the world where people throw colours, water

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IndiaNews

Surajkund Mela is on but much more to do this February

The month starts with Basant Panchami today and the day also marks the start of two premier yearly events in the NCR region- Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2017 started today at Surajkund in Faridabad on the Delhi-Haryana border. While in the heart of Delhi 19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, India's biggest theatre festival also started. These both are much sought for events by the art & culture enthusiasts. Surajkund Mela comes right at the nick of spring. With dates fixed for every year (February 1-15) , it makes easier for travellers to plan. A marvellous mix of handicrafts, folk arts and folk dances makes it a crowd puller. With lots of food stalls representing different states, it has lot more to offer. Hosted by Haryana Tourism, this fair also has a large entertainment value....

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IndiaPhotogallery

Basking in glory : Fatehpur Sikri in lensview

It is indeed one of the reminiscence of India's glorious past- one which has been largely well-documentated and one which is largely intact, as is the case with most of the Mughal-era structures of that time. The beauty of this place is that every time you come here, you learn a few new things about the old times, just like sort of revising the history. Every time, it gives you a new perspective in current situations. Well, we are talking about Father Sikri, near Agra which was the capital of great Mughal emperor Akbar. This architectural wonder is located right adjacent to the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, who was the guiding soul of Akbar throughout his life. Both the structures, often visited together, have different identities and different architectural values as well. But both...

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IndiaPhotogalleryReviews

Sheroes : A monumental zeal of human spirit!

Well, honestly it was always on cards while visiting Agra. Honestly also, the trip to Sheroes Hangout meant for us more than a stopover for a food to a restaurant. Also, because Sheroes symbolises the strength of the human spirit against all odds. We also needed to visit this place to realise the tough times we live in! For anybody coming to this place a restaurant run by women survivors of acid attacks is altogether a different experience. Therefore, I feel that for any tourist coming to Agra this place is a must-visit. A visit to place like this make you more humble and perhaps more committed and strong. Its a great inspiration. Agra is said to be place for monument of love, but I have no doubt in saying that in Agra Sheroes hangout is actually the real monument of love and compas...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Hi mate! Shall I join you for the meal?

Watch these two for minutes and you will feel how close these two creatures are to each other. The heron closely follows each step of the Blackbuck. But then, follow more closely and you will notice that heron walks so close to deer because when the blackbuck is walking while grazing it is disturbing the insects resting in the grass, which are forced to fly and then they become easy prey for the herons. How nature has created this cycle! Well, this is Sikandara in Agra, which is mausoleum of one of the greatest kings Akbar, the third mughal emperor to rule India. I had already done a post on the blackbucks of Sikandara, sometime back after my last visit to Agra. But couldn't resist doing one more after the most recent trip. Sikandara has hundreds of blackbucks in the four dev...

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India

Navigating through a fun-filled month of February

Its Spring time. This year we has less chill, still sing is always anticipated a lot. Time of romance and enjoyment. Carnival time at places around the world. With Basant Panchami and Valentine Day just falling within two days of each other, time for some of the best festivals for different tastes- whether it is dance, theatre, crafts, books or just fun. Presenting top 10 travel ideas for February, might not be in that order as each one of them has its own speciality. Go ahead... 1. DESERT FESTIVAL, JAISALMER Once a year in winter and in the middle of the continually rising and falling stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the brilliant colour, music and laughter of the Desert Festival. The festival is organized by the Departmen

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