Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station

The_Chhatrapati_Shivaji_Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a historic railway station in the city of Mumbai, India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a spitting image of Victorian-Gothic style of architecture in India. Its name used to be Victoria Terminus. The station is also called VT (as short-form of Victoria Terminus) or CST (as short-form of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus). Built in 1888, the station is a grand reminder of the British Raj in India and still one of the most historical landmarks within the Central Business District of Mumbai.

Chatrapati_Shivaji_Terminus_(Victoria_Terminus_Station) The building, designed by the British architect F. W. Stevens, became the symbol of Bombay as the ‘Gothic City’ and the major international mercantile port of India. The station stands as an example of 19th century railway architectural marvels for its advanced structural and technical solutions. Whatever its stature on the world stage, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is for most Mumbaikars essentially a transit point—people get on or off the suburban or long-distance trains and make their way towards their destinations. They might stop and glance at CST momentarily, click a selfie with it perhaps, but their engagement with it mostly ends there. It is the busiest railway station in India. There are always a lot of people at the station. Short-distance trains and long-distance trains come to this station.

History:

Victoria_Terminus,_Bombay_(c._1900) The Chhatrapati Shivaji station, formerly known as Victoria Terminus, was built in 1888. Designed by the British architect F.W. Stevens, the structure became a symbol of Bombay (Mumbai) and the city was labeled the ‘Gothic City’ due to this magnificent building’s architectural styles. Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture. It is an outstanding example of the meeting of two cultures, as British architects worked with Indian craftsmen to include Indian architectural tradition and idioms thus forging a new style unique to Bombay. Bori Bandar’ station, located in Eastern Mumbai, was the main station for all commercial and trade activities in the city, starting its first rail service covering a total distance of 34 kilometer to Thane. 

It was during the British Rule that it was re-designed by F. W. Stevens, who named it Victoria Terminus (VT), after the then-reigning Queen Victoria. At the time, the building was the most expensive structure in Mumbai costing 260,000 Sterling Pounds.  In 1996, the Minister of Railways, Suresh Kalmadi, changed the name of the station to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a famed Maratha king.

Architecture:

Gare Chhatrapati Shivaji (anciennement gare Victoria) Chhatrapati_Shivaji_Terminus_(formerly_Victoria_Terminus)_-_Central_dome_over_grand_staircase_-_5 This building, designed by F. W. Stevens, is spread across a 2.85 hectare area. The terminal was built over a period of 10 years starting in 1878. This is one of the finest functional Railway Station buildings of the world and is used by more than three million commuters daily. The style and the ornamentation of the edifice were acceptable to both Indian and European culture.  Complete with turrets, pointed arches and an eccentric ground plan, the CST was a novel achievement during that period. The entrance of the Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus is flanked by figures of a lion and a tiger representing the two countries-great Britain and India. From the outside, it looks far more imposing that its three storeys for its profusion of spires, turrets, domes and gables. Close up, the building is heavily ornamented with floral and animal patterns. The grand, modern identity the British sought for their colonial cities must have been evident in this cathedral that enshrined the power of steam locomotion. and the interiors of the station are lined with high-quality Italian marble.

It is among the top ten railway stations in the world. It is perhaps the second most photographed monument in India after the Taj. It has stood for 129 years. Unless a major natural calamity strikes, it could stand for another 500 or 1,000 years.

How To Reach:

Mumbai is well connected to all Big city of India by Flight, Train and Road way. Its also have International Airport which is connected to domestic as well as International flights.

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Brihadeeswarar Temple

Brihadeeswarar_Temple_Full_View

Brihadeeswarar Temple Big Temple (locally known as “Thanjai Periya Kovil”) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Siva Peruman located in Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is also known as RajaRajeswara Temple Rajarajeswaram and Peruvudayar Temple. Thanjavur named after the legendry asura “Tanjan”, is one of the ancient temples in India. The 1000 year old temple was built by Raja Raja Chola I to grace the throne of the Chola Empire in 1 to grace the throne of the Chola Empire in 1010 AD and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”, with the other two being the Peruvudaiyar Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Airavatesvara temple.

Nandi_of_The_Big_Temple- The vimanam (temple tower) is 198 ft (60 m) high and is one of the tallest in the world. The Kumbam (the apex or the bulbous structure on the top) weighs around 80 tons.There is a big statue of Nandi (sacred bull), carved out of a single rock measuring about 16 ft (4.9 m) long and 13 ft (4.0 m) high at the entrance.  This is the second largest  Nandhi in India and is carved out of a single stone.  Everything about this temple is big, majestic.  No wonder it is referred  as The Big Temple.The structure is a proof of wealth, artistic expertise and power of the Chola kingdom. According to the inscriptions present in the temple, Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Perumthachan was the engineer and architect of this famous temple.  The tower stands tall and one can see this fabulous structure even as one enters Tanjore.  The temple is entirely built of more than 130,000 tons of granite. 

History:

Brihadeeswarar_Temple,_Thanjavur The temple was built to grace the throne of the Chola empire by the Tamil emperor Arulmozhivarman, popularly called Rajaraja Chola I, in compliance to a command given to him in a dream. This is the Chola dynastys finest contribution to Dravidian art.  The Big Temple  was an expression of the success of Raja Raja Chola’s empire.  This temple is also called as  Brahadeeswara Temple or Peruvudaiyar Kovil or Rajarajeswaram. The emergence of such features as the multifaceted columns with projecting square capitals signal the arrival of the new Chola style. The style of construction of temple resembles the temple in Bhuvaneshwar. The temple is built over 29 square base and is surrounded by moat on two sides and Grand Anaicut river on the other side. The walls of the complex are adorned by beautiful paintings belonging to the Chola and Nayak period.  The temple is entirely built of more than 130,000 tons of granite. Intended to display the emperor’s vision of his power and his relationship to the universal order, the temple was the site of the major royal ceremonies such as anointing the emperor and linking him with its deity, Siva Peruman, and the daily rituals of the deities were mirrored by those of the king. The temple “testifies the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting.

Architecture:

Brihadeeswarar_Temple_3624 The architect and engineer of the temple was Raja Raja Rama as stated in inscriptions found at the temple.  The temple took 12 years to complete, and King Raja Raja Chola – I, performed the Kumbhabhishekam (consecration ceremony) in 1011 AD. The temple was built in honour of his victorious reign, during when the Chola kingdom (10th to 14th centuries AD) extended till Ceylon and some parts of the Malaya archipelago. The fresco painting can be seen in the ceilings of the corridors and also in the ceilings of the many sub-shrines. They are an invention of the Cholas and the painting, which are about 1000 years old are still brightly colourful. The Temple, like many others built during this period served many functions; the walls are very high and the entrance is built like a fort, along with a moat. On the inside, there are separate waiting areas for musicians, workers etc and the periphery served as a meeting place for the public.  Built towards 600AD, the architecture is considered ‘modern’ in the scale of Dravidian architecture. The temple is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu.

The day of the Ruling star, satabhishag is treated as a festival day every month as it symbolizes the ruling star at the time of birth of Rajaraja. The temple is also the venue of the annual festival that is celebrated here for the period of nine days in the month of Visaka according to the Hindu calendar. The deity is bathed with the water soaked with the fragrant Champaka flower.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest airport is at Trichy (45 km), which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: Thanjavur railway station is well connected to all major city of India

By Road: Thanjavur is well connected to all major city of India, Regular buses to Thanjavur from other major cities of the country are always available.

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Sher Shah Suri Tomb, Sasaram

Sher_Shah_Suri_Tomb

The tomb of Sher Shah Suri is in the Sasaram town of Bihar state, India. Sher Shah Suri is truly regarded as one of the brilliant national heroes of India.  Sher Shah Suri is truly regarded as one of the brilliant national heroes of India.  The tomb was built in memory of Emperor Sher Shah Suri, a Pathan from Bihar who defeated the Mughal Empire and founded the Suri Empire in northern India. the enterprising Pashtun who forced emperor Humayun out of India, took charge of his empire, and established a dynasty that kept the Mughals at bay for 15 long years. Hailed as one of the most magnificent tombs of the ‘octagonal style’ in India, the monument continues to draw a steady stream of visitors throughout the year.

Tomb_of_Hasan_Khan_Suri Sher Shah Suri is truly regarded as one of the brilliant national heroes of India. Apart from a brave, intelligent and tactful military genius with shrewd political foresight, Sher Shah (original name Farid Khan) was a person of extra ordinary skill and ability in civil administration also.  The construction work of this tomb was started by Sher Shah himself and completed by his son and successor Islam Shah some 3 months after the death of Sher Shah in 1545 A.D. The chief architect of this structure was Alawal Khan. UNESCO give the following account ‘The tomb of Sher Shah Suri at Sasaram is an imposing structure of stone standing in the middle of a fine tank and rising from a large stone terrace.It is currently protected and maintained by the Archeological Survey of India. 

Architecture :

Entry_gate_of_Hasan_Khan_Suri's_tomb His tomb is an example of Indo-Islamic architecture, it was designed by the architect Aliwal Khan and built between 1540 and 1545, this red sandstone mausoleum (122 ft high), which stands in the middle of an artificial lake, which is nearly square, is known as the second Taj Mahal of India. The imposing structure is surrounded by all sides with large stone stairways leading to water of the excavated lake. It is an imposing brick structure partly veneered with stone standing in the middle of a fine square tank measuring about 305 mts and rising above a large stone terrace. The 9.15 mts high terrace is enclosed by a parapet wall with octagonal domed pavilions at four corners. The eastern side there is a grand doorway which is the only way to the Tomb. These verandahs further include 24 smaller domes supported by four arches. Its roof is also a pillared cupola which used to have white glazed tiles that are much faded now. 

Balcony_at_Sher_Shah_Suri_Tomb The 3-storied mausoleum is located on a low octagonal pedestal right at the middle of the terrace. The mausoleum was originally planned to be a typical island tomb with no access to the mainland. These arches stand 22 ft tall to support the lofty dome, which is one of the largest domes in India. The main mausoleum building has large octagonal chamber surrounded by a wide verandah on all of its sides. The chamber that houses the main tomb is supported by beautiful arches.  Half-a-kilometer from Sher Shah’s tomb lays the tomb of his son Aslam Shah. It is grand but incomplete. Nearby this location also lies Alawal Khan’s tomb, the superintendent of these constructions on the outskirts of the town.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest airport is Gaya (108 km), which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: The Sasaram railway station is well connected to all major city of India.

By Road: Sasaram is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses.

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Dholavira

Dholavira-1

At the height of our civilization, our technological development, our social and material complexity, all signs point to progress, we often think. And yet, all is not as it seems and once in a while it occurs to us to look into the past to discover our future.

Dholavira is the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization or Harappan culture, dating back to 4500 years ago. While the other site, Lothal, is more exhaustively educated and easier to reach, a visit to Lothal only complements, rather than replaces, a visit to Dholavira. What this site offers you, in the intense environment that comes with being surrounded by the Great Rann of Kutch, is a unique insight into the pioneering Harappan mind, with one of the world’s earliest and best planned water conservation systems and what might be the world’s first signboards, written in ancient Indus script.

The excavation also tells the story of the 7 stages of the civilization, from development to maturity to decay, the last of which hints at a strange piece of history, with more questions than answers. After the peak of the civilization Dholavira was temporarily abandoned, after which it seems that the settlers returned with a markedly de-urbanized culture. There are hints that they willingly chose to simplify their lives, rather than try to ride the collapse of their once glorified civilization. Here, on the ruins, you will have a chance to contemplate what progress and civilization mean and what, if anything, is truly permanent.

Background

Dholavira Dholavira, known locally as Kotada (which means large fort), sprawls over 100 hectares of semi-arid land at the north-west corner of the island of Khadir, one of the islands in the Great Rann of Kutch that remain above the flood-plains in months when the rest of the desert is submerged by the monsoon. Dholavira has two seasonal nallahs, or streams: Mansar in the north, and Manhar in the south. The journey to Dholavira itself is beautiful, taking you through the saline desert plains of the Great Rann, where you can spot wildlife such as chinkara gazelle, nilgai (blue bull, the largest antelope in Asia), flamingos and other bird life.

The site was unearthed by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1967, but has been systematically excavated only since 1990. Artifacts include terracotta pottery, beads, gold and copper ornaments, seals, fish hooks, animal figurines, tools, urns, and some imported vessels that indicate trade links with lands as far away as Mesopotamia. Also found were 10 large stone inscriptions, carved in Indus Valley script, perhaps the world’s earliest signboard. These are among the most important discoveries about the Indus Valley Civilization, but remain tantalizingly undeciphered.

The remains show an imposing citadel in the center, with a middle and lower town, each fortified separately, built with pleasingly smoothed structures of sun-dried brick and stone masonry, and with remarkable town planning. Well laid out lanes lead outward systematically from the citadel, with a well-constructed underground drainage system for sanitation. There is a large stadium with a complex structure and seating arrangement.

Finally, Dholavira has one of the world’s earliest water conservation systems ever excavated. Satellite pictures show a reservoir underground, an expertly constructed rainwater harvesting system extending from the walls of the city, without which the settlement would not have thrived in the sparse rainfall of the desert.

DHOLAVIRA_SITE_(36) Dholavira is one of the two largest Harappan sites in India, and 5th largest in the subcontinent. Like Lothal, it passed through all the stages of the Harappan culture from circa 2900 BC to 1500 BC, while most others saw only the early or late stages.

The excavation found a decline of the civilization in the 5th of 7th stages, after which were signs of a temporary desertion of the site. Settlers returned later in the late Harappan stage, with a change in their pottery, influenced by cultures found at sites in Sindh, South Rajasthan and other parts of Gujurat, but they did not bring the return of the civilization. Their houses, for example, were built in an entirely new form that was circular (bhungas), and the material signs were strikingly deurbanized and simplified. Perhaps the last stage of the powerful civilization had become aware of its future, and was preparing itself for a gradual end.

Online Booking for Archeological Site Museum Dholavira Asi Monuments : http://asi.payumoney.com/#/Common/Booking/Index

How to get there

By road: Dholavira is 250 km from Bhuj and is reached via Bhachau and Rapar. A bus leaves from Bhuj at 14:00 and arrives at Dholavira at 20:30. It leaves at 05:00 the next morning and returns to Bhuj by 11:30. It is also possible to rent a vehicle.

By air: The nearest airport is Bhuj. Bear in mind that an on-site guest house allows the possibility of a more leisurely experience, rather than a day trip.

Image copyright by Rahul Zota & Lalit Gajjer 

Lothal

Archaeological_Museum_of_Lothal

The museum was setup in 1976 in order to display the artifacts recovered from the excavation conducted from 1952 to 1961. The Museum has three galleries. In the front gallery depicts an artist’s conjectural idea of Harappan town of Lothal. There are also introductory write-ups and maps about the site. The gallery at left side has showcases with beads, terracotta ornaments, replicas of seal and sealings, shell and ivory objects, copper and bronze objects, tools and potteries yielded from excavations. The gallery at right has game objects animal and human figurines, weights, painted potteries, objects recovered from burials and ritual objects, miniature potteries, bricks besides a replica of a joint burial and a scaled model of Lothal site. Out of the 5089 objects unearthed during the excavation, 800 objects are on display in the museum.

1280px-Lothal_(2) Apart from the exhibited antiquities, the most fabulous antiquities of Lothal are beads, steatite seals with unicorn motif and inscription, terracotta sealing with an elephant motif, Persian Gulf type seal, gold necklace copper / bronze fish hooks, bangles, dish on stand, perforated jar, jar painted with the stories of thirsty crow and cunning fox, terracotta bull, horse, model boat, model of mummy, ivory scale and shell compass, chess dice, etc.

The museum has a small reference library and a publication counter for selling publications of the Archaeological Monuments.

Opening Hours : 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Closed on – Friday

Rs. 2/- per head
(Children up to 15 years free)

Online Booking for Archeological Site Museum Lothal Asi Monuments : http://asi.payumoney.com/#/Common/Booking/Index

How to get there

By road: Lothal is 78 km from Ahmedabad. Buses from Ahmedabad take 3 hours.

By rail: Ahmedabad is the nearest railway station.

By air: Ahmedabad is the nearest airport. The site is open from dawn to dusk, and entry is free.