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Dwarka Bawali, a recently discovered stepwell

September 13, 2017 1 comment

Dwarka Bawali

A recently discovered stepwell in Dwarka

Monsoon in India has a very short duration and moreover it has always been very unpredictable, this gave rise to the necessity of water conservation. Over the centuries Indians have constructed artificial lakes and dug wells to hold the water supplied by the monsoon rains.

Dwarka Baoli (Loharheri Baoli), Delhi

Dwarka Baoli (Loharheri Baoli), Delhi

It is often said that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and the necessity of conservation of water, for the dry season, led to the construction of step wells. Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps. They are often multi storied in structure and are found in Western India and in the other more arid regions of South Asia, extending into Pakistan.

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Khooni Darwaza (Bloody Gate), Delhi

September 6, 2017 4 comments

Khooni Darwaza (Bloody Gate)

A Tale of a Notorious Gate of Delhi

…… close to the walls of Delhi, and near an archway known ever after as the Khuni Darwaza, or Bloody Gate, ……………Stopping the cart, he (William Hodson) ordered the princes (Mirzs Mughal, Khizr Sultan and Abu Bakr) to get out, and strip naked. Then taking a Colt revolver, he shot them dead, in cold blood and at point blank range, one after another.

William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal

On 22 September 1857, as a retaliation of Sepoy Mutiny, General Hodson, shot dead the three Mughal princes in cold blood in front of the towering arched gateway, which later came on to be known as the Khooni Darwaza.

The three princes Mirza Mughal (fifth son of Bahadur Shah Zafar II), Khizr Sultan (ninth son of Bahadur Shah Zafar II)and Abu Bakr (grandson of Bahadur Shah Zafar II), fought along with the mutineers and were finally over powered and surrendered at the Humayun’s Tomb.

Khooni Darwaza, Delhi

Khooni Darwaza, Delhi

Hodson, who was escorting the three princes to his superiors at the Red Fort, when a crowd of about 3000 men started following them. Hodson assumed that the crowd was there to free the princes and panicked. He asked them to strip their garments in order to prove how powerless they were but even then when the crowd did not thin. Hodson panicked more and shot them in cold blood at point blank range. Such was the dejection of the public that, to Hodson’s surprise, not a person stirred or protested against the cold-blooded killing.

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Jahaz Mahal, Mandu

August 19, 2017 1 comment

Jahaz Mahal, Mandu

A ship like pleasure palace

Also see: Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Madhya Pradesh (MP)

If the great mosque and the tombs of Hoshang and Mahmud, ……………, represents the serene grandeur of the building art of Mandu, the Jahaz Mahal may be said to reflect the spirit of its romantic beauty and joyous hilarity…….

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) booklet on Mandu

Mandu, the city of joy, in the heart of incredible India, is often refereed to as the site of the eternal love affair of Baz Bahadur and Roopmati (Also see: Rewa Kund Group, Mandu).

Jahaz Mahal (Ship Palace), Royal Enclave, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Jahaz Mahal (Ship Palace), Royal Enclave, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

On the other hand the magnificent marble mausoleum of of Hoshang Shah, first of its kind in India, dominates the Mandu sky line (Also see: Central Group, Mandu).

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Agrasen ki Baoli, the most ornate stepwell of Delhi

August 9, 2017 4 comments

Agrasen ki Baoli

The most ornate stepwell of Delhi

Monsoon in India has a very short duration and moreover it has always been very unpredictable, this gave rise to the necessity of water conservation. Over the centuries Indians have constructed artificial lakes and dug wells to hold the water supplied by the monsoon rains.

A foreign tourist makes her way up the steps of Agrasen ki Baoli (Ugrasen ki Baoli), Delhi

A foreign tourist makes her way up the steps of Agrasen ki Baoli (Ugrasen ki Baoli), Delhi

It is often said that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and the necessity of conservation of water, for the dry season, led to the construction of step wells. Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps. They are often multi storied in structure and are found in Western India and in the other more arid regions of South Asia, extending into Pakistan.

Read more…

Adilabad Fort & Nai ka Kot, unknown forts next to Tughlaqabad Fort

August 3, 2017 2 comments

Adilabad Fort and Nai ka Kot

Lesser known forts in the shadows Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi

Although archaeological evidences show that the region around Delhi has been inhabited for over 3000 years but it has been only in the last thousand years Delhi has been the stronghold of north India.

A panoramic view of the exterior of Adilabad Fort, Delhi
A panoramic view of the exterior of Adilabad Fort, Delhi

It was only in middle of the 11th century, during the Tomar rule, Delhi got its first fortified city the Lal Kot. Later Prithiviraj Chauhan (Reign 1170 – 92) expended the citadel and renamed it Qila Rai Pithora.

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Ganga Aarti, Howrah and the Kolkata Skyine

July 26, 2017 2 comments

Ganga Aarti and the Kolkata Skyine

Howrah

Howrah, the twin city of Kolkata, has always lived in the shadows of of its more famed counterpart Kolkata. History of the city of Howrah dates back two centuries before the arrival of Job Charnock, on 24 August 1690, in present day Kolkata.

Howrah Bridge and Kolkata skyline from Telkal Ghat, Howrah

Howrah Bridge and Kolkata skyline from Telkal Ghat, Howrah

The Hooghly River separates the twin cities of Howrah and in recent years both the city authorities have given stress on beautifying the river fronts of both the cities.

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Rail Museum, Howrah

July 15, 2017 13 comments

Rail Museum

Howrah

The stations and locomotive sheds became our temples, the locomotives the god we worshiped and our tributes were not measures in gold and silver, but in the profits of Kodak and Agfa.

Assortment of locomotives at Rail Museum, Howrah

Assortment of locomotives at Rail Museum, Howrah

The following lines are written by a railway enthusiast about the Indian Railway ~ It is often said that India is a country but Indian Railway is no less contrasting From the super fast Satabdi Express to the super slow trains of Mettupallayam- Ootacamund line, from the vintage steam engines of Darjeeling Mountain railways to the state of art technology of the Konkan Railway, from the luxurious coaches of the Palace on wheels to the cramped coaches of the Bombay’s intra city railways, India has it all. It is true that Indian Railway is as diversified as the country itself.

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