Sep 29, 2012


वक्रतुंड महाकाय, सूर्यकोटि समप्रभः,
निर्विघ्नं  कुरु में देवः, सर्व कार्येशु सर्वदा ...

India is a Land of Festivals. Our festivals hold immense importance in our lives. Apart from the religious significance they are also a time for the family to get together. With the ever expanding world of opportunities, Indian's have settled all over the globe. This has given a new meaning to our festivals too, which at times were only confined to the Indian borders. 

Our Festivals have become truly International now, with most of them being celebrated with equal pomp & splendour in the world outside. Ganesh Chaturthi is one of them.

This festival of 10 days, spanning from Ganesh Chaturthi (4th day after new moon) to Annant Chaudas (14th day from new moon) is celebrated with more joy & vigour than any other festival you could possibly think of. Much of the enthusiasm could also be attributed to the Youth involved in the celebrations.

Just like all of you, I too have been celebrating this 10 days of shear joy & devotion ever since I was a kid. And this chain has not broken since past 15-20 years.

Will like to share with you all, some memorable moments of the 3 days of this years celebrations, when the good Lord decided to be our Guest. And unlike all previous years of celebrations, this time we decided to Go Green. Finding a Eco-friendly deity of the Lord wasn't a easy task here. But after some earnest efforts d good Lord decided to reveal Himself. Made of pure mud with no Plaster involved and dyed with Vegetable based colours, these deities dissolve very soon after immersion.

गणपति बाप्पा मोरया




and this is the hardest part of the Festival, Visarjan. This is when the Lord decides to go back to his abode. With a promise to His devotees that He Will Come Back soon next year as well.

Hope you guys enjoyed it as much I enjoyed it putting it together for you.

Stay well...

Sep 2, 2012


Chittorgarh Fort the largest fort in India and the grandest in the state of Rajasthan. The fort, also known as Chittor, was the capital of Mewar and was named after Chittrangad Maurya.

Chittorgarh Fort lies at a distance of 112 kms from the city of Udaipur. This huge fort was built by various Maurya rulers in the 7th century and covers an area of 700 acres, extending to 3 kms in length and 13 kms in peripheral length. Standing on an elevated hill of 180m, the mighty fort has witnessed three battles.

The fort has a long story of romance, courage, determination and sacrifice. A glimpse of the fort still makes one to think the glory of the Rajputs who once lived here. The fort was attacked three times and every time it got saved by the daring heroism of the Rajput warriors. Every time, a jauhar (mass suicide) was observed and the womenfolk of the Royalty never submitted themselves.

This colossal fort is accessible through seven huge gates (Pols) that are comprised of strong iron spikes and served as a watch tower in earlier times. Apart from these massive gates, the Fort has many palaces to boast of including Rana Kumbha Palace and Padmini's Palace, which are wonders of Rajput architecture. 

Vijay Stambh (The Tower of Victory) 

Panoramic view of the majestic Chittorgarh Fort from the city

Another view of the majestic Chittorgarh Fort from the city

Mira Temple inside the Fort premises

Saint-poet Mirabai who was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, dedicated her entire life to His worship.

The larger temple in the same compound is the Kumbha Shyam Temple (Varaha Temple).

Side view of the Varaha Temple of Lord Krishna where Mira used to worship. The pinnacle of the temple is in a pyramid shape.

An idol of Meerabai praying before Krishna has now been installed in the temple.

The popular legend associated with her is that with blessings of Krishna, she survived after consuming poison sent to her by her evil brother-in-law.

Idol of Lord Ganesha on the outside wall of Varaha Temple

Ruins of the Palace of Meera viewed from a majestic balcony in the palace.

Ruins of the Palace of Meera viewed from a majestic balcony in the palace.

Above all, the fort has towers that depict the glorious history of the Rajput rulers. Vijay Stambh and Kirti Stambh are the most famous towers celebrating the victory of Rajputs.

Site protected & preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India, ASI.

Entrance arch to the Tower of Victory

Entrance arch to the Tower of Victory

Kirti Stambh is the tower that literally means 'the Tower of Fame. Built in the 12th century, this tower is dedicated to Adinath ji, the first Jain thinker. Kirti Stambh is a seven-storied structure with the height of 22 m.

Vijay Stambh, literally it means 'the tower of victory'. Vijay Stambh is the most impressive structure of the Chittorgarh Fort. It was constructed by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mohammed Khilji in the 15th century. This giant tower is nine-storied and offers a picture-perfect view of the down-town from its balconies. This huge tower extends to the height of 122 feet and width of 47 sq ft at the base. The circular stairs of this tower has 157 steps. This imposing tower took 10 complete years to construct.

View of the Mira's palace from a window of Victory Tower

View of the Fateh Prakash palace from a window of Victory Tower. Build by Maharana Fateh Singh this huge palace is of morden style. This place has been named Fateh Prakesh after Maharana Fateh Singh. This palace, now a museum, has a rich collection of sculptures from temples and buildings in the Fort.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple inside the Fort

This is the place where Rani Padmini commited Johar.

Ala ud din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, rallied his forces against Mewar, in 1303 AD. The Chittorgarh fort was till then considered impregnable and grand, atop a natural hill. But his immediate reason for invading the fort was his obsessive desire to capture Rani Padmini, the unrivalled beautiful queen of Rana Ratan Singh and take her into his harem. The Rana, out of politeness, allowed the Khilji to view Padmini through a set of mirrors. But this viewing of Padmini further fired Khilji’s desire to possess her. This finally led the 2 parties into a mighty battle.

Khilji won the battle on August 26, 1303. Soon thereafter, instead of surrendering to the Sultan, the royal Rajput ladies led by Rani Padmini preferred to die through the Rajput’s ultimate tragic rite of Jauhar (self immolation on a pyre).

Fort is sometimes referred to as the Water Fort. At its peak, the fort had 84 water bodies, including ponds, wells, and stepwells covering approximately 40% of the fort area.  Of these 84 water bodies, only about 20 exist today.

The wells and stepwells were strategically located downstream from the ponds in order to conserve water from overflow.  It is said that in a year of average rains, the water bodies could easily store enough water to last the residents for over 12 months or could meet the water needs of an army of 50,000. 

View of the city from one of the high points of the Fort. Going with the Rajasthan tradition most of the houses in the city appear to be painted predominantly in Turquoise Blue.

Gaumukh Reservoir: A spring feeds the tank from a carved cow’s mouth in the cliff. This pool was the main source of water at the fort during the numerous sieges.

Statue of Rani Padmini near the Gaumukhi Water reservoir.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

3 faced idol of Neelkanth Mahadeva.

Closer view

Garden outside queen Padmini’s personal palace. Photography prohibited inside.

Yes of course, no prizes for guessing that. That's me. Had a memorable time with friends.

A little of the topic, but I need to share this with you. I was equally surprised to see this, as you are for sure now. Yes its a LPG cylinder delivery vehicle.

What else could be a bigger way to go Green. Totally appreciate the efforts of Bharat gas, or perhaps the delivery boy.... 

This heritage fort and the city of Rajasthan is definitely a 'must-visit' place that cannot be afforded to miss.

Kesariya Baalam aavo ni, Padharo mhare Des re...