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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Sundarbans National Park

Sudhanyakhali_Jetty

Sunderbans national park is located at the South Eastern tip of the 24 Paraganas district in the state of West Bengal, India. It is a National Park, tiger reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve in the Sundarbans delta. It got its name from one of the mangrove plants known as Sundari (Heritiera Minor). The mangrove forests are a part of the greater Sundarbans and lies in close proximity to the Sundarbans reserve forests in the neighboring republic of Bangladesh.  It contains the world’s largest area of mangrove forests. They are constituted by the crisscrossing of 54 small islands along with numerous River Ganges tributaries. Sundarbans National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Southeast Bengal in India, which is formed by three rivers named Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. It is considered as a World Network of Biosphere Reserve (Man and Biosphere Reserve) in 2001.

Sundarbans Sundarbans National Park, the land where entire wildlife  embroidered to the perfection, is situated in South 24 Parganas at the  most charismatic location of Sundarban delta which is largest delta of the world. The total area of the Indian part of the Sundarban forest, lying within the latitude between 21°13′-22°40′ North and longitude 88°05′-89°06′ East, is about 4,262 sq km, of which 2,125 sq km is occupied by mangrove forest across 56 islands and the balance is under water. 

Today this tiger conservation effort in the Sunderban area is really rocking the dense masses with the exemplified glaring of royal tigers in Bengal. It is estimated that there are now 400 Royal Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area. The forest is called ‘Sunderban’due to the rich growth of Sundari trees.

Flora:

Tiger_Sundarbans_Tiger_Reserve_22.07.2015 Sundarbans-national-park The mangrove vegetation of Sundarbans has 64 plant species with the capacity to withstand estuarine conditions and saline showering on account of tidal effects. There is mangrove scrub forest, salt water mixed forest, brackish water mixed forest and alluvial grasslands. Due to the dense and huge forest reserve, Sundarbans has also been classified as a World Biosphere Reserve. The crab-like red flowers of the kankra and the yellow flowers of khalsi can be seen. Some of the other commonly found plants and trees in the park are dhundal , passur, garjan,  sundari and goran. The forest in the Sunderbans mainly consists of Saline Water Type Mixed Forest, Tidal Swamp Forest, Brackish Water and Palm Forests. In general 64 various species of Flora has been discovered in the deltaic Sunderbans. 

Fauna:

SUNDARBANS_3 Sundarbans (Sundari Trees) The Sundarbans forest is home to more than 400 tigers. This area has a silent charm that manages to amaze one with the simplicity and naturalness of its ecological balance in spite of offering habitat to some of the most dynamic and awe inspiring fauna. it was discovered that the Bangladeshi part of the Sunderbans supports diverse biological resources that includes 150 species of commercially important fishes, 270 species of birds, 42 species of mammals, 35 reptiles and 8 amphibian species. The royal Bengal tigers have developed a unique characteristic of swimming in the saline waters, and are famous for their man-eating tendencies. Tigers can be seen on the river banks sunbathing between November and February. Apart from the Bengal tiger, Fishing cats, Leopard cats, Macaques, Wild boar, Indian grey mongoose, Fox, Jungle cat, Flying fox, Pangolin, Chital, are also found in abundance in the Sundarbans. Some of the aquatic animals found in the park are sawfish, butter fish, electric rays, silver carp, starfish, common carp, horseshoe crabs, prawn, shrimps, Gangetic dolphins, skipping frogs, common toads and tree frogs.

Summers could be quite hot and send the temperature shooting up, but are an ideal time to visit the wildlife sanctuary. The monsoons with full generosity in showers may make travelling a little difficult but the lush green surroundings might just make up for it. The best time to visit Sunderbans is during winters between December and February.although the park is open for longer from September to March. This is the period when the maximum migratory birds are also present here.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest airport is Dum Dum Airport Kolkata (166 km), which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Canning (48 km), regular local trains running between Canning and Kolkata.

By Road: Sundarban National Park is well connected with Kolkata – Basanti High way.

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Bodh Gaya

796px-Bodh_Gaya_1899

Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. As the site of the Buddha Shakyamuni’s enlightenment, Bodh Gaya is the most revered of all Buddhist sacred sites. Bodh Gaya is the most revered of all Buddhist sacred sites. Bodhgaya (also written Bodh Gaya) is the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment and the holiest of four main Buddhist pilgrimage destinations. Known as Uruvela in the Buddha’s time, the city of Bodhgaya is now a town of about 30,000 permanent residents. 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 history of this town can be traced back to 500 BC. History mentions Bodhgaya as Bodhimanda and the main monastery as the Bodhimanda-vihara. 

History :

Bodh Gaya is the holiest place for the followers of the Buddhist faith all over the world. Situated by the bank of river Neranjana the place was then known as Uruwela.  In the 6th century B.C. Prince Siddhartha Gautama attained Supreme Enlightenment at this Holy place and became the Buddha. As Siddhartha, he renounced his family at the age of 29 in 534 BC  and traveled and meditated in search of truth. The disciples of Gautama Siddhartha began to visit the place during the full moon in the month of Vaisakh (April–May), as per the Hindu calendar. Over time, the place became known as Bodh Gaya, the day of enlightenment as Buddha Purnima, and the tree as the Bodhi Tree. 

After gaining Enlightenment, Gautam became Buddha (The Enlightened One) and spread his message of love and peace. To mark the spot where Gautam Buddha had attained Enlightenment, the great Mauryan ruler King Ashoka built a small shrine here in the 3rd century BC. Subsequent rulers left their mark on this shrine, which finally took the shape of the Mahabodhi temple that still stands.

Tourist Attraction:

Mahabodhi Temple:

Mahabodhi_temple._The_Mahabodhi_temple,_Bodh_Gaya,_India One of India’s prime spiritual places, Mahabodhi Temple is not just a temple but Buddha’s actual enlightenment place, which is declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It contains the Mahabodhi Temple with the diamond throne (called the Vajrasana) and the holy Bodhi tree. This tree was originally a sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka, itself grew from a sapling of the original Bodhi tree. Inside the Mahabodhi templecomplex, you can also enjoy the Lotus Pond or the meditation garden. Though the temple was constructed in 7th century AD, it has been repeatedly repaired and renovated, the last being in late 19th century by the Burmese King and Archeological Survey of India. It has a very calm and serene ambiance, which people from all walks of life can appreciate.

Bodhi Tree:

Bodhgaya_3639641913_f4c5f73689_t It is believed that this tree is a direct descendant of the one under which the Buddha Sakyamuni attained enlightenment, inside the Mahabodhi complex. Buddha meditated below this tree for the first seven days of enlightenment. The original tree was burned down and destroyed by many Kings. Emperor Ashoka was in fact so depressed that he ordered a branch of the tree in Sri Lanka and planted it and took so much care that the jealous queen ordered its destruction. The current tree is the descendant of the original. Devotees circle around the tree and gather fallen tree leaves and seeds as blessings from the lord.

80_feet_buddha_statue Great Buddha Statue:

The gorgeous idol stands tall at a height of 80 ft and is made of sandstone blocks and red granite and was instated by the XIV Dalai Lama in 1989. This huge figurine depicts Lord Buddha meditating (dhyana mudra) while he is seated on a giant lotus in open air. Bordered by 10 smaller sculptures of Buddha’s disciples in the passageway leading to the Great Buddha Statue, the entire visual is a breathtaking sight.

Best time to visit:

October to March is ideal for a visit according to the weather conditions, but tourists flock here throughout the year. 

How  To Reach:

By Air: The nearest Airport is Gaya (17 km), It is connected to Kolkata by flights; however, the frequency is less. Kolkata is the nearest international airport, around 485 km away.

By Rail: The nearest Railway station is Gaya (14 km), It is well-connected to major Indian cities. 

By Road: Bodhgaya is well connected to many cities of India through roads. The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation provides deluxe buses for tourists twice a day.

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