Keoladeo National Park

A_view_of_the_Bharatpur_bird_sanctuary

Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India. It is also a declared World Heritage Site owing to its vast collection of Avi-Fauna and wildlife. Keoladeo National Park (KNP), formerly known as the Bharatpur Ghana Bird Sanctuary. Locally, it is still known as ‘Ghana’ which means a dense forest. It acquired its name, ‘Keoladeo’ due to the presence of the Lord Shiva temple at the centre of the Park. It is also a major tourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971.

The park is home to over 370 species of birds and animals such as the basking python, painted storks, deer, nilgai and more. It is a man-made and man-managed wetland and one of the national parks of India. The reserve protects Bharatpur from frequent floods, provides grazing grounds for village cattle, and earlier was primarily used as a waterfowl hunting ground. This ‘Bird Paradise’ was developed in a natural depression wetland that was managed as a duck shooting reserve at the end of the 19th century. 

History:

The sanctuary was created 250 years ago and is named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple within its boundaries. It was a being a hunting ground in the times of Maharajas used to be host to a number of Duck shoots organised here by the Maharajas for the British dignitaries. And duck shoots were organised yearly in honor of the British viceroys. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were killed by Lord Linlithgow, the then Governor-General of India. The park was established as a national park on 10 March 1982. Previously the private duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur since the 1850. In 1985, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site under the world Heritage Convention. It is a reserve forest under the Rajasthan Forest Act, 1953 and therefore, is the property of the State of Rajasthan of the Indian Union.

Flora And Fauna:

Migratory_birds_at_Keoladeo_National_Park The park is the only area with significant vegetation, hence the term ‘Ghana’ meaning ‘thicket’. The principal vegetation types are tropical dry deciduous forest, intermixed with dry grassland in areas where forest has been degraded. Rich of natural flora and fauna, spread in over 29Km2 of area. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary contains a wide variety of flora representing 64 families, 181 genera and 227 subspecies. Its unique mosaic of habitat types ranges from temporary swamps and potholes, which hold water for a few weeks only, to floodplains where water flows over for several months. 

Keoladeo_ghana_national_park_with_blue_bird Darter_sitting_on_a_tree@_Keoladeo_National_Park Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary as the name suggest is a haven for the birdwatchers and avifauna . Over 370 bird species have been recorded in the park. also home to around 50 species of fishes, 13 species of snakes, 7 species of turtles and many more wild animals. The land insects found here in great numbers are good for the breeding of land birds. It is the only wintering ground for the central population of the rare and highly endangered Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) in India. A large number of breeding colonies of fish-eating birds occur in the monsoon and autumn months. That is why this park is regarded as the hub of ornithologist for their research works on the various species of birds. During its evolution, it was declared as a protected sanctuary in 1971 and was declared as World Heritage Site in 1985! For ornithologists, the park has 2 important aspects- one important aspect is its location that is a favourite of the migratory waterfowl that comes here in the Indian subcontinent before it goes to the different places. 

Climate:

The summers are too hot in Keoladeo as the temperatures can reach soaring heights making it a really unbearable place for tourism, the temperature ranges from 38 ° C to 45°C. winter the temperatures reach a maximum of 350C and a minimum of 50C The monsoon precipitation is about 69 cm. November to March is the best time, for the migratory birds are there as well as the residents. But the park is a treat all year round.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest airport is Agra (55 km), Which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: Bharatpur Railway station is 5 km away from the national park, Which is well connected to major city of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, Kolkata etc.

By Road: Buses are available for Bharatpur from most cities and towns in Rajasthan and taxi services are available from major cities like Agra, Jaipur and Delhi. Alwar, Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura and Sariska are also in close proximity to Bharatpur.

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Mehrangarh Fort

800px-The_Mehrangarh_fort

Mehrangarh Fort, located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is one of the largest forts in India. It is also the most magnificent fort in Jodhpur, intact, in the whole Rajasthan. The fort was built by Rao Jodha in 1459 when he transferred his capital from Mandore, the fort is situated 410 feet (125 m) above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls.  Its immense size makes it one of the largest forts in India and it has been designated as “the work of giants” by Rudyard Kipling. The Fort houses a number of palaces inside its premises; these palaces display some of the fine Rajputana art works and carvings on their walls.  

Jodhpur_mehrangarh_fort The fort has seven gates of which the noted ones are the Jayapol meaning victory, built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806; Fatehpol or the Victory Gate built by Maharaja Ajit Singh; and the Lohapol or the Iron Gate. The fort has seven gates of which the noted ones are the Jayapol, built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806; Fatehpol or the Victory Gate built by Maharaja Ajit Singh; and the Lohapol or the Iron Gate. Other attractions of Mehrangarh Fort, Rajasthan include several palaces inside the fort, with their sprawling and huge courtyards. The museum in the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan. In one section of the fort museum there is a selection of old royal palanquins, including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin which was won in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730. The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.

History:

Mehrangarh_Fort,_Jodhpur,_India Rao Jodha, the chief of the Rathore clan, is credited with the origin of Jodhpur in India. He founded Jodhpur in 1459  which is previously know as marwar. Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort History is related to Rao Jodha. He became the fifteenth Rathore ruler in 1459.  One year after his accession to the throne, Jodha decided to move his capital to the safer location of Jodhpur, as the one thousand years old Mandore fort was no longer considered to provide sufficient security. The one thousand years old Mandore fort was slowly and gradually deteriorating. This led to the foundation of Mehrangarh Fort. Mehrangarh – a word for ‘fort of the sun’ – was chosen as the name of this massive structure that is 500 yards long and features 120-feet high and 70-feet thick walls. The eventful history, well-preserved heritage and impressive architecture of this fort make it the face of Jodhpur on national as well as global platform. 

Architecture:

Carved_balcony,_Mehrangarh_Fort Decorated_room,_Mehrangarh_Fort,_Jodhpur,_Rajasthan,_India Mehrangarh Fort is the crowning glory of Jodhpur, a majestic fortress perched proudly on a rocky hillock. It’s a historic monument blessed with jaw-dropping architecture, fine art and exquisite ornamentation. The fort has 68-ft wide and 117-ft elevated walls which overlook the surrounding plain.  the first of the fort’s seven defensive gates. The sixth of the seven gates, Loha Pol, has a sharp right-angle turn and sharper iron spikes to hinder the ascent of charging enemy elephants. the most famous among them is the Jayapol (meaning victory). This gate was constructed by Maharaja Man Singh to celebrate his triumph over the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner. The second one, Fattepol, was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to commemorate the defeat of the Mughals. The palm imprints on these gates are the centre of attraction of tourists even today. 

Within the fort are several brilliantly crafted and decorated palaces. These include, Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesha Mahal (Mirror Palace), Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana. The museum houses a collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. The ramparts of the fort house preserved old cannon (including the famous Kilkila), and provided a breath-taking view of the city. A large part of the Mehrangarh Fort has been converted into a heritage museum, which is one of the finest museums across the country.

Ticket is not need to enter the fort. A ticket is needed only to enter the museum section and the Chokelao Bagh. And every year on May 12, the foundation day of the fort, entry remains free. Fees for Indian are 60 rupees and for Foreigners 300 rupees.

How To Reach:

By Air: Jodhpur has domestic airport which is around 5km away from the city. Flights to Jaipur, Delhi, Udaipur, and Mumbai can be taken from here.  The nearest International airport is Jaipur. 

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

By Road: Jodhpur is well-connected with national and state highways that connect cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Udaipur and Jaipur.

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Dilwara Temples

Dilwara_Prashvantha_Temple

The Dilwara temples of India are located about 2½ kilometers from Mount Abu, Rajasthan’s only hill station, Its rank among the popular tourist attractions in Rajasthan. The five temples of Dilwara – Vimal Vasahi, Luna Vasahi, Pithalhar, Khartar Vasahi, and Mahavir Swami – have their own uniqueness to speak of. These Jain temples were built by Vastapul Tejpal, Jain laymen between the 11th and 13th centuries AD and are world-famous for their stunning use of marble. some experts also consider it architecturally superior to the Taj Mahal. 

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.  The door opens on to a blend of irresistible beauty and elegance. The temples are surrounded with mango trees and wooded hills and a high wall that shrouds the entire temple complex.The door opens on to a blend of irresistible beauty and elegance. The temples are surrounded with mango trees and wooded hills and a high wall that shrouds the entire temple complex. Dilwara Temple forms a famous pilgrimage of the followers of Jainism. The striking use of marble, in the construction of this temple, is truly worth-admiring. 

History :

DILWADA_TEMPLE Mount Abu located in the southwest part of Rajasthan is a part of the Aravalli Mountain Ranges and is separated from the Aravalli by a narrow valley and Guru Shikhar is the highest point at the northern end. These Jain temples were built by Vastapul Tejpal, a Jain layman between the 11th and 13th centuries AD. The five legendary marble temples of Dilwara 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 five shrines that are dedicated to Lord Adinath, Lord Rishabhdeo, Lord Neminath, Lord Mahavir Swami and Lord Parshvanath respectively. All of its ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels has minutely carved ornamental details which show its architectural uniqueness. The Dilwara temples are dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras and served as storehouses of illustrated manuscripts and treatises. The temples at Mount Abu were constructed between 800 AD and 1200 AD. Vimala Shah, Vastu Pala and Teja Pala contributed a lot toward the development of Jain art and architecture.

Five Unique Temples of Dilwara:

There are five temples in all, each with its own unique identity. Each is named after the small village in which it is located. 

 1. Vimal Vasahi Temple:

Jain_temple_Mt.Abu The oldest among the five temples of Dilwara, this exquisite piece of architecture was constructed by Vimal Shah, completed in AD 1032. This temple is the oldest of all and dedicated to Shri Adinath Ji – The first jain trithankar, the temple has an open courtyard surrounded by corridors all beautifully decorated with marble carved stones. The plan of the temple resembles that of Kashmiri Sun temple at Martand.Elaborately columned porticoes surround the main shrine and front the cells lining the courtyard. The ceilings of this temple are festooned with patterns of petals, flowers, lotus-buds and murals depicting scenes from the mythology. The central dome and the 12 pillars of Rang Mandap hall are stunning to look at. 

2. Luna Vasahi Temple:

LDDilwaraCeiling The Luna Vashi temple is dedicated to Lord Neminath. This temple was built in 1230 A.D. by two brothers known as Tejpal and Vastupal, they dedicated this temple to the 22nd saint of Jainism – Shri Nemi Nathji. Its the second most important temple amongst the temples of Dilwara. The architecture and sculpture of this temple closely follow the Vimal Vasahi temple. The main hall or Rang mandap features a central dome from which hangs a big ornamental pendant featuring elaborate carving, Which has three hundred and sixty (360) tiny idols of Jain trithankar. Made on the same structural pattern, Luna Vasahi Temple also has a Hathishala with 10 marble elephants. Again, Navchowki holds nine delicately carved ceilings with intricate marble work.

3. Pittalhar Temple:

Kalpavruksha_page Pittalhar Temple is dedicated to Lord Rishabdeo, the first Jain Tirthankara Lord. This temple was built by Bhima Shah, a minister of Sultan Begada of Ahmedabad. This temple is known as Peethalhar temple because in this temple most of the statues are built using ‘Pittal’ (Brass Metal). The Shrine consists of a main Garbhagriha, Gudh mandap and Navchowki. It seems that the construction of Rangmandap and the corridor was left unfinished. 

4. Parshvanatha Temple: 

Interior_of_the_Neminath_Temple,_Dilwara,_Mount_Abu_by_William_Carpenter This temple, dedicated to Lord Parshvanath, was built by Mandlik and his family in 1458-59. It consists of a three storied building, the temple has the tallest shrine along with four big Mandapa’s amongst all dilwara temples. This three-storied building is dedicated to Lord Parshavanath, the 23rd Jain Tirthankar Lord. The outer walls of the sanctum comprise beautiful sculptures in gray sandstone, depicting Dikpals, Vidhyadevis, Yakshinis, Shalabhanjikas and other decorative sculptures comparable to the ones in Khajuraho and Konark. 

5. Mahavir Swami Temple:

Dilwara_Temple_(c._1900) This is a small structure constructed in 1582 and dedicated to Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara Lord. Though small, the carvings on the temple walls make this a marvelous conception in marble. On the upper walls of the porch there are pictures painted in 1764 by the artists of Sirohi. 

The Dilwara Jain Temples are open from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. for tourist’s for free and No photography is allowed inside the temple complex.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest Airport Dabok Airport (185 km) Udaipur, Which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: The nearest Railway station is Mount Abu railway station (25 km), Which is well-connected to different cities in India like New Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad.

By Road: Daily bus services are available from cities like Baroda and Ahmedabad. From Abu Road, you can hire a cab or take private/state transport buses to Mount Abu.

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