Friday, January 19, 2018

Hitchhiking to Dhauli

Hotel manager asked me not to visit Dhauli alone. It might be too expensive (almost 600 bucks) for a solo traveller as there was no bus service even no shared auto rickshaw service is there. People either go via car or reserved auto rickshaw.

In my previous post I told you the story of my solo trip to Bhubaneswar. I had ample time after visiting the Rajarani Temple and thus decided to visit Dhauli. It was almost 9.30 am of a winter morning. I had a confidence that the entire day was in my hand, so by hook or crook I could visit Dhauli.

Dhauli War Monument
I opened GPRS. Google Map showed me the distance of Dhauli is not more than 9.9 kilometres from Rajarani Temple. I have a practice of walking, more over I trek in Himalayas. 9.9 kilometres in plain land is nothing to me. To be very honest, the discouragement of the hotel manager whetted my desire to visit Dhauli with myself only.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

My solo trip to Bhubaneswar

It was my first solo trip. Bhubaneswar was my choice to celebrate a trip with myself only. Right from my teen age I had had an interest about architectures and sculptures. Though I had already seen Indo-Islamic era of architecture but did not visit to any pre-Islamic architectures in India. In that age of architecture, sculptures were depicted in the temple. There are several genres of pre-islamic art, one of them is Kalinga Architectures (Kalinga is the name of Orissa in ancient India). Bhubaneswar is regarded as the birth place of Kalinga Art.

Panel on the wall of Rajarani Temple
I think, I should give you some historical background of the temples of Bhubaneswar. Orrissa has its own cultural identity from its very ancient days. Mouryan King Ashoka the Great conquered Kalinga. The brutality of war impulsed him to leave Hinduism and started practicing Buddha religion. Ashoka created the first architecture at Dhauli (near to Bhubaneswar). It was the holy beginning of the cultural journey of Orissa.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Har Ki Doon Trek – A journey to the Valley of Lord Shiva

Har Ki Doon means the valley of Lord Shiva (a Hindu God). I am not sure whether god exists or not, but if he exists, Har Ki Doon valley must be one of his addresses. The trek is known for its grand vistas. An easy trek, over major portion along river, up above are azure blue sky, backdrop is snow-capped mountains and foreground has lush greenery. Though it is a popular winter trek, but we (my friend Avra, his wife Shipra and myself) decided to visit to Har Ki Doon in May, 2016.

Har Ki Doon Valley
At the beginning of this travelogue, it is better to say you the location of Har Ki Doon valley. Located in the Tamasha valley of Western Garhwal, Har Ki Doon can only be reached by trekking from Taluka, a small village inside Govida Ballav Pant Wild Life Sanctuary. Which in turn is accessible by bus or car from Mussourie/ Dehradun. Har Ki Doon is the last shelter before crossing Borasu Pass to reach Kinnuar Himalaya.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Lucknow Tour: Part 3 - Residency: The silent witness of Sepoy Mutiny

Residency Building
Nawabi dynasty of Awadh that started in the first quarter of 18th Century came to a tragic end in 1857. Glancing in the pages of history we can see East India Company that was founded to trade in India acquired power in 1757 when the Nawab of Bengal Shiraz ud Doula got defeated by them. In Lucknow they were sharing power with Nawabs or vice versa. But in 1857, the Sepoi Mutiny erupted and spread in Northern and Central India like a raging fire. British houses were attacked near Lucknow. British from different portion of India took refuge in Residency Building, Lucknow. Residency was a group of buildings originally built in 1800 by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan and then served as the residence of the Chief Commissioner who was British representative in the court of the Nawab. On a beautiful rainy day of June, 1857, when the refugees of Residency were enjoying a peter-patter of rain drops experienced the first boom of cannon shells and bang of musket shots. The residency got under siege. This was the beginning. For five months Residency faced shelling-counter shelling and the entire complex got shattered.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lucknow Tour: Part 2 - Hussainabad Imambara (Chhota Imambara), Clock Tower, Picture Gallery and Hussainabad Tank

In my previous post about Bara Imambara I have mentioned the beginning of renaissance in Lucknow with the patronage of Nawab Asaf Ud Doula. After his demise in 1797, the successors Nawab Wazir Ali Khan, Nawab Saadat Ali Khan II, Nawab Rafa'at-ud-Daula, Nawab Abul-Mansur Qutb-ud-din Sulaiman Jah carried the baton of but they were more interested to build office and residential places.

Chhota Imambara

When Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah ascended to the throne, he decided to build another remarkable structure like Bara Imambara. He was as ambitious as Nawab Asaf Ud Doula and thus patronaged to construct Chhota Imambara.

Hussainabad Imambara (Chhota Imambara)
Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah’s intention was not to challenge Nawab Asaf Ud Doula, rather he added drove the engine of cultural excellence that his predecessors started.

Dear readers, let’s now explore Chhota Imambara, Hussainabad Tank, Clock Tower, Picture Gallery that you can visit with the same day of viewing Bara Imambara.