Thursday, 2 May 2013

Forts of India

Amber Fort – Forts of India The famous forts of India have witnessed the history in its making.  They saw the rise and fall of many empires, flourishing of various ruling dynasties, the many accounts of romance and chivalry and even became the canvas for unique royal art forms. These power centers realized the architectural vision of their rulers who blended their royal aesthetics with the architectural mightiness to establish these wonderful jewels called forts in India. These visionaries had only one vision in their mind, which was only the protection of their kingdom and people. And these forts signified the glory of their kingdom. So, great planning of the medieval times in present era became the wonderful jewels of India dotting the entire landscape. Following are some of the majestic forts present in different parts of India. The Kings previously believed that building a fort on the hillock is a great defensive measure to protect their kingdom from attacks. Amber fort epitomizes the same vision. Built on a hillock with the high walls, this wide area fort provided the kingdom of Jaipur greater stability and security. Tourists come here to experience the mightiness of Rajputana kingdom that flourished under the rule of Raja Man Singh I. In fact, the unique Amber Fort is an iconic example of the Rajput and Mughal architectural blend prominently visible in Rajasthan Forts and Palaces. The fort has borrowed the concept of Aram Bagh, Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam and Zenana or women’s complex from the Mughal architectural aesthetics. The other attraction of this hill fort is the enchanting Elephant Safari experience. The travellers can fulfill their desires of sitting on a royal elephant’s back as a part of an illustrious royal experience during the Amber Fort excursion. Sindhudurg Fort – Sindhudurg is a massive citadel spread over 48 acres on an Arabian Sea island in Maharashtra. Surrounded by the sea from the four sides, this unique fortress received fortifications with the use of over 4000 cast iron mounds by the iconic personality of the Marathas, Chhatrapati Shivaji in the 17th century. The high rising walls also contributed to the security of this fort. At the time when travelling by sea was banned by religious texts, this immaculate fort was and still is a testimony to human intelligence and engineering. Agra Fort – This flawless fort personifies the stronghold of Mughal majesty that flourished under the rule of Jalaluddin Akbar, the third and the most popular emperor of his times. Located on the western banks of River Yamuna, this fort served as the home to nearly five emperors of the dynasty. Later the fort received the sublime elegance from Emperor Shah Jahan, the fifth in the legacy of Mughals. Currently, this medieval fort is a recognized world heritage site for its sheer grandeur and mighty elegance. The attractions of this complex include the Mughal buildings like Diwan-i-Khaas, Diwan-i-Aam, Anguri Bagh, Mina Masjid and Sheesh Mahal. This fort can be explored during Agra city tour. Fort St. George – Forts St. George in Chennai, Tamil Nadu served as the first establishment of the British people under the East India Company. This iconic fort which was the structured originally for coastal spice trade harbour, later became the concentrated edifice for the rising power of the British. It was named as a dedication to St. George, the patron saint of England. The fort is structured with mighty 6 meters high walls that contributed to the security of the monument. The glory of Fort St. George can be revisited as a part of Chennai city tour. There are hundreds of other forts in India, each having different identity, character which reflect the vision of its constructing ruler. Through this blog, we will try to bring tourists closer to these mighty structures of power in incredible India. This attempt will make sure that they understand the vision, aesthetics and the immaculate artistry the Indian kings were known for.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

India – the country of Incredible Facets

Introducing India, the country of incredible delights is a mammoth task, involving an exploration of strange yet extraordinary secrets stored in its heart. India gave to the world many novel concepts and visionary thoughts. One such prime thought is the concept of peace and non-violence which this country mastered through its 100000 years of history. Throughout this passage of illustrious time, India never invaded any country and always practiced peaceful and harmonious existence with the rest of the world.When many civilizations were dwelling in forests as nomads over 5,000 years ago, Indians were enjoying flourished and fulfilled existence at Harappa during Indus Valley Civilization period. In fact, the modern name ‘India’ is derived from the River Indus, the valley which was the home for the early settlers in the country. India got rechristened as ‘Hindustan’ by Persian invaders who pronounced Sindhu as Hindu. The term Hindustan became synonymous as the land of Hindus in the popular dialect, representing the land of bounties and riches defined by a metaphor of ‘the Golden Bird.’ This phrase illustrated the richness and grandeur of India equated with gold, wealth, diamonds, spices, fertile soil, rich resources, diversified knowledge and tolerant principles. Emperor Ashoka immortalized the principle of non-violence after a shattering bloodshed during the Kalinga War. He placed Buddhist rock edicts and pillar edicts in different regions of India. He also placed the Lion Capital in Sarnath, which later became the national emblem of this country. The Chakra in the Indian Flag is also inspired by the Dharma Chakra devised by Lord Buddha. Besides the peace and non-violence, India pioneered the concept of knowledge and education. The country’s achievement in the field of education was the conception of two famous universities in the world; Nalanda and Takshila. At that time, these universities taught more than 60 subjects and attracted around 10,500 students from different parts of the world, adding on to the glory of this region. The ancient sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga owe their origins to India. The timeless appeal of these healthy disciplines is valid till date, providing a boost to Ayurveda, Spa and Yoga therapies. In the field of science, Saint Charaka, the father of medicine devised and consolidated the concept of surgeries which are applicable even today. The accidental discovery of America by Christopher Columbus is also accredited to India. Columbus, in a hope to find out the sea route to India, unintentionally landed in America. Lastly and most importantly, India gave to the world the concept of immaculate hospitality through an age old adage, ‘Atithi Devo Bhavah.’ This saying sums up the belief that guests are god, and they should be treated with the divine hospitality. This saying is still a part of incredible India where tourists are considered gods and are treated at par with the best of hospitality and tourism potentials. This is a great reason why a great number of tourists prefer to visit India and experience a gamut of colours, regions, religions and traditions in a rich way. The incredible India tour is about all this and much more. It is an unabridged attempt to present the heritage, culture and natural bounties to the purveyors of India and bring them closer to this country of contrasts. Through this blog, we will continue to enlighten the tourists with the wealth of bestowed wonder called incredible India.