Category Archives: India

Old city of Bern, Switzerland.


The Old City is the medieval city center of Bern, SwitzerlandIts. Its compact layout has remained essentially unchanged since its construction during the 12th to the 15th. century. Despite a major fire in 1405, after which much of the city was rebuilt in Sandstone ,  and substantial construction efforts in the 18th. century, Bern’s old city has retained its medieval character. Old City of Bern, Switzerland is a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site since 1983 due to the compact and generally intact medieval core and is an excellent example of incorporating the modern world into a medieval city. Numerous buildings in the Old City have been designated as Swiss Cultural Properties of National Significance, as well as the entire Old City. 1-DSC041031-DSC041091-DSC04111


Posted by on 09/06/2017 in Travel, Uncategorized


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An wall art image of God Ganesh at Udaipur City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India (Popular image of God Ganesh is given below)

Ganesh is also goes by the names Ganesha, Ganapati and Vinayaka. He is a popular Hindu God in India. Ganesh is easy to recognize by his elephant head and large tummy. It is believed that Ganesh can bring wealth and prosperity. Ganesh is the God who will help you overcome all road blocks you may encounter and help bring success. Thats why he is known as Siddhidata.

In India Ganesh is worshiped by all, rich and poor. Everyone seems to consider him vitally important. In Thailand Buddhists have equally accepted this god and he has become a part of their rich inheritance.

Business people turn to Ganesh before starting a new enterprise. Ganesh is there to assist in financial matters and make sure the wind of wealth blows in their direction.People moving to new places make sure to have Ganesh with them. Ganesh is the god who helps with new beginnings ensuring success.

The image on the wall of the Palace at Udaipur, Rajasthan is not a surprise because the rulers were all Hindu Kings there. They must be worshiping God Ganesh before heading for fighting their enemies on the warfields or  at peace.wpid-lord-ganesha-picture-hd-wallpapers

Popular image of God Ganesh


Posted by on 17/04/2016 in God, India, Uncategorized


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Padmini, the queen of Chittor

When you visit Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan, among other historical stories, two stories about two women, you will come to know. Local guide will take you to the palace and the self immolation site of Queen Padmini and narrate about her beauty and how she committed Jauhar (self immolation) to protect her honor. Here, I will attempt to tell the tale of Rani Padmini (Queen Padmini) of Chittor. Her life story is an eternal legend in the history of Chittor.
Pani Padmini big

Rani Padmini (Queen Padmini) was the queen of  Chittor, the wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh and the daughter of the contemporary Sinhala king Gandharvsen. Rani Padmini was renowned across Indian land for her bewitching beauty.

Padmini or Padmavati spent her life in Singhal under the care of her father Gandharvsen and mother Champavati. Her father arranged a swayamvara and invited all the Hindu kings and Rajputs to ask for her hand (request to marry her by showing their eligibility). In that Swayamvara, Rawal Ratan Singh won the Swayamvara and married Padmini. He had another queen, Nagmati. He returned Chittor with his beautiful gorgeous Padmini, the second queen.

In 1206 Sultan Allauddin Khilji took the reins of Delhi throne. He was very ambitious and adopted as his title ‘Sikander Sani’ (Second Alexander).The Sultans made repeated attack on Mewar. Reason being Allauddin Khilji wanted to win Chittor because Chittor never accepted the rule of Islam. Another reason was Rani Padmini, most gorgeous beautiful queen of Chittor. When he came to know about her, he launched an attack on Chittor in order to capture her.

But to his dismay, on reaching Chittor, Alauddin found the fort to be heavily defended. Desperate to have a look at the legendary beauty of Padmini, he sent message to King Rawal Ratan Singh that Khilji could have a glimpse of Queen Padmini’s face he would return Delhi.  In order to maintain peace and avoid loss of life, Rawal Ratan Singh agreed to let Khiljee see Padmini’s reflection in mirror.

Khilji alongwith his bodyguards entered the fort and after looking at her in the mirror,returned. By way of courtesy Ratan Singh, alongwith his warriors went to see him off to the gate of the fort. There the deceptive Khilji signaled his soldiers to arrest the King Ratan Singh and sent a message through his men that in order to gain release of Rawal Ratan Singh, Padmini should agree to accompany Sultan to Delhi.

Everyone was taken aback by this message. Queen Padmini at once arrived at a counter scheme by which could get release of her husband and protect her honor as well. Her reply to the Sultan was that if the Sultan could send seven hundred Dolis or Palkis1 for her seven hundred maids then she could accompany him.

Sultan accepted the proposaland consequently sent her seven hundred Palkis. According to Padmini’s plan a warrior in woman’s disguise was made to sit in each palki which carried arms for six soldiers disguised as footmen of the each Palki. So, these 700 palkis led by Goura (Padmini’s uncle) reached Sultan’s camp and conveyed it to him that Padmini wants to meet her Husband for the last time. Sultan agreed, whereupon Palkis moved towards Rawal’s camp. The warriors freed him from bondage and he was taken back to the fort. The turn of events took the Sultan and his soldiers completely by surprise and before they could take hold the situation the 700 warriors from the Palkis and 4200 footmen turned warriors fell upon the enemy and routed them out of  Chittor.

A frustrated Allauddin though returned to Delhi but he seethed in agony to avenge his insult. In no time did he organize his army and attacked Chittor again. However, hard as they tried the Sultan’s army could not break into the fort. Then Allauddin decided to lay siege to the fort. The siege was a long drawn one and gradually supplies within the fort were depleted. Finally King Ratan Singh gave orders that the Rajputs would open the gates and fight to death with the besieging troops. On hearing of this decision, Padmini decided that with their men-folk going into the unequal struggle with the Sultan’s army in which they were sure to perish, the women of Chittor had either to commit the divine suicide jauhar or face dishonour at the hands of the victorious enemy.

The choice was in favour of suicide through jauhar. A huge pyre was lit and all the women of Chittor jumped into the flames after their queen, thus depriving the enemy waiting outside. After this pyrrhic victory, the Sultan’s troops entered the fort only to be confronted with ashes and burnt bodies.

The Queen Padmini and other women of the palace who performed jauhar perished but their memory has been kept alive till today by bards and songs which glorify their act, which was right in those days and circumstances. A halo of honour is given to their sacrifice.Rani Padmini1

**1-DSC04716Is it that same mirror? Tourist guides say so and demonstrates how Padmini was shown to Khilji in the mirror.1-DSC04715

Padmini Palace Garden.

Palki1 : Covered seat enclosed in curtains on which royal ladies were carried in mediaeval times on poles held parallel to the ground on the shoulders of two or four people.




Posted by on 31/12/2015 in History, Travel


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Jaipur : The Pink City of India

Hi friends, I am back with lot of pictures, memories and stories which I will try to share with you through this Blog and my Photo Blog. Today, lets go to Jaipur, the capital city of Indian state of Rajasthan, which I visited  on 29 & 30Nov_2015. 1-DSC04529HAWA MAHAL (Palace of winds) was built in 1799 by the poet king Sawai Pratap Singh for his Royal ladies to enjoy the possession and day to day activities from the cool confinement of this majestic façade.1-DSC045351-DSC04534Today Hawa Mahal has become the hallmark of the ‘Pink City’ and the most recognizable and photographed monument of Jaipur. It comprises of 953 niches and 152 windows. This fine structure is part of City Palace complex.

1-DSC045301-DSC04533HISTORY OF JAIPUR : Jaipur the capital city of the Indian state Rajasthan was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh-II, a Kachwaha Rajput who ruled Jaipur state from 1699 to 1744. Initially his Capital was Amer (Amber) which lies at a distance of 11 Km from Jaipur.

Inside Hawa Mahal

He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. Jaipur is the first planned city of India and the King took great interest while designing this city of victory.

After several battles with Marathas, Jai Singh was keen on the security aspect of the city. Due to this reason, he focused on his scientific and cultural interests to make a brilliant city. Being, a lover of mathematics and science, Jai Singh sought advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar of Bengal, to aid him design the city architecture. The construction of the city began in 1727 and took four years to complete. The city was divided into nine blocks, two of which contained the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. In order to ensure the security, huge fortification walls were made along with seven strong gates. 

According to that time, architecture of the town was very advanced and certainly the best in Indian subcontinent. In 1878, when Prince of Wales visited the city, the whole city was painted in Pink color to welcome him and after that Jaipur was titled as “Pink City”. Still, the neat and broadly laid-out avenues, painted in pink provide a magical charm to the city. This gated Pink City is also referred as old Jaipur city today.

When you are in Jaipur, you must visit the following attractions which can be covered by 2 days :

Hawa Mahal (Palace of winds)

Amber Fort & Palace

City Palace & Museum

Jantar Mantar &

Jal Mahal 

AMER FORT & PALACE : The Amer Fort, situated in Amber, a town with an area of 4 square km on a high hill, 11 kilometers from Jaipur, is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan. Amer, originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur was built. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace.  Amer also spelled as Amber.  The town of Amer (Or Amber) was originally built by Meenas and later it was ruled by Raja Man Singh. He was a trusted general of the Mughal emperor Akbar, who included him among the Navaratnas, or the nine  gems of the royal court.

Amer Fort & Palace

Amer Palace & facing Jaigarh Fort at distance

Amer Fort is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake. It is the main source of water for the Amer Palace.


Palace courtyard


Keshar Garden in the Maota Lake and the Jaigarh Fort

Amber Palace

Amber Palace Ganesh Pol

The palace is constructed with red Sand stone and Marble, and opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. It consists of the Diwan-e-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-e-Khas, or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is also popularly known as the AMER PALACE. The palace was the residence of the Rajput Maharajas and their families.

Sheesh Mahal

Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace)

Shish Mahal

Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace

At the entrance to the palace near the fort’s Ganesh Gate, there is a temple dedicated to Sila Devi (incarnation of Kali and Durga), a goddess of the Chaitanya cult, which was given to Raja Man Singh when he defeated the Raja of Jessore, Bengal in 1604. ( Jessore is now in Bangladesh).

This palace, along with Jaigarh Fort, is located immediately above on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of hills. The palace and Jaigarh Fort are considered one complex, as the two are connected by a subterranean passage. This passage was meant as an escape route in times of war to enable the royal family members and others in the Amer Fort to shift to the more redoubtable Jaigarh Fort.


It is located in the heart of Jaipur, occupying about one-seventh of old city area. The palace complex was built between 1729 and 1732, by Sawai Jai Singh and various structures were later added to it by his successors. It is popularly referred as the City Palace to differentiate it from the ancient Amber Palace. The complex is surrounded by a high wall and is divided into a series of courtyards, gardens and other buildings. The magnificent Chandra Mahal  occupies the cetre stage and is still the residence of  erstwhile ruling. and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings, is a palace complex in Jaipur. It was the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The Chandra Mahal palace now houses a museum but the greatest part of it is still a royal residence.

Royal Residence and Museum

Royal Residence and Museum


Royal Residence

City Palace Museum

City Palace Museum

City Palace Jaipur

City Palace Jaipur

The palace was built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. He planned and built the outer walls, and later additions were made by successive rulers continuing up to the 20th century. The credit for the urban layout of the city and its structures is attributed to two architects namely, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the chief architect in the royal court and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, apart from the Sawai himself who was a keen architectural enthusiast. The architects achieved a fusion of the Shilpa shastra of Indian architecture with Rajput,Mughal and European styles of architecture.


Jantar Mantar

Panoramic view of Jantar Mantar monument, Jaipur

JANTAR MANTAR : The Jantar Mantar (literally means ‘calculation instrument’) monument of Jaipur, Rajasthan is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments, was built by the astronomer king Sawai Jai Singh-II in 1728 and is one of the five open air astronomical  observatories built by him. The original Brass instruments were replaced by masonry instruments for greater accuracy which still hold ggoodfor many astrological calculations. The instruments used for measuring local time, the altitude of stars and constellations, the Sun’s declination, meridian etc etc. It also features the world’s largest stone sundial. The monument was recognized  as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2010.



JAL MAHAL (Water Palace)

JAL MAHAL (“Water Palace”) was built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, in the midst of picturesque Man Sagar Lake  and is about 6 kms from Jaipur city on the way to Amber. It was the summer resort of the erstwhile Royal family.


JAL MAHAL in the evening


Jal Mahal in the evening



Posted by on 15/12/2015 in India, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized


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My Blogging will have a break,

calling western part of the country,

Rajasthan, for tourism sake.

While discovering beauty of the land,

I will certainly miss you all, amidst

Palaces, lakes, temples, hills & sand.




Posted by on 27/11/2015 in Travel


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Weekly Photo Challenge : Ornate

1-DSC03583 St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City


Posted by on 14/11/2015 in Photography, Travel


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The Indian diaspora in the Caribbean is one of the most vibrant


The Indian diaspora in the Caribbean is one of the most vibrant across the globe, says India’s Minister for External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, in a just published book titled, “India In The Caribbean”.

The book was initiated and coordinated by Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago Gauri Shankar Gupta and edited by Atlury Murali.

“Though numbering less than two million across the Caribbean islands, they (Indians) occupy a position of considerable power and influence. They have produced some of the best artists, writers, spiritual leaders, political thinkers, doctors, lawyers, scientists and sportsmen. Indian festivities including Diwali, Holi, Maha Shiva(Rathri) and Ram Navami are celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety. Indian films and music are as popular as they are in India,” Sushma Swaraj said in a message in the book.

“I, therefore, take this opportunity to pay tribute to the sagacity, fortitude and courage of these valiant people far away from India.”

Former T&T Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran, in a message, said that as with other diasporas, the Indian community does have an affinity with the home country.

“That affinity was kept alive by films, letters and the ties of kinship. The earlier generations understandably were nostalgic. Globalization today, however, is triumphant. With growing convergence among nations and states, nostalgia will recede and some memories lost. While not losing their heritage, the Indian community is first and foremost part and parcel of the citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago,” Dookeran noted.

He said that the journey was long, at times arduous and difficult but always inspiring, in discovering a new Caribbean identity.

Indian High Commissioner Gupta, in the foreword, noted that relations between India and Trinidad and Tobago are deeply rooted in history and culture, though their initial history has been painful and brutal.

“During the colonial era, after abolition of slavery in 1833, the British faced extreme shortage of labour for sugar plantation in their sugar producing colonies of the Caribbean. To overcome this problem, over half a million Indians were transported to the region as indentured workers (often called as Indian coolies) with false hopes and promises. Most of these workers came from (what is now) Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Western Bihar, while a smaller number came from (what is now) Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Many of them even died on the way during the long voyage,” Gupta added.

“India In The Caribbean” is a classic presentation, away from the routine issues such as cramped huts, and singles out some of the achievements of the Indian diaspora today which are both educational and forward-looking, thus ensuring a firm place in the overall scheme of challenges which they faced earlier on in their sojourn to Trinidad and Tobago and by extension the Caribbean.

In its 275 pages, the book, which was edited and published by India Empire Publications, India, carries articles like “Customs and Traditions of East Indians in Trinidad and Tobago”, “From Girmityas to Nation-builders: the Indo-Caribbean Experience”, “Role and Evolution of Broadcasting”, “Memory. Indian Films and the Creation of Indian Identity in Trinidad”, “Challenges to Tracing Roots in Trinidad”, and “Culture and Traditional Way of Life”, among the 24 on offer. Each one of the contributions is stimulating, refreshing and thought-provoking – enhanced by in-depth bibliographies and researches.

“India In The Caribbean” is worth reading by all, irrespective of religious, cultural, geographic or ethnic orientations as it gives an eventful insight of the Indian diaspora which has a few years short of 200 years on this side of the Atlantic.

Source :

via Repeating Islands 


Posted by on 27/09/2015 in India


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Indian Beauty : Deepika

Deepika-Curvy-FigureDeepika Padukone – She has it all, her height, her slender figure, her million dollar dimpled smile, her gorgeous hair and super acting prowess. This gal simply has it all.


Posted by on 24/05/2014 in Beauty, India


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Narendra Modi is ‘welcome’ in US, says White House

NAMOWashington: The United States swiftly courted India’s future prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday, saying the victorious Hindu nationalist would be welcome to visit despite a long-standing visa ban.

The White House also said President Barack Obama hoped to speak to Mr Modi by telephone soon, following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) landslide election victory. US Secretary of State John Kerry also congratulated Mr Modi for his triumph in the biggest election in human history on his official Twitter feed, as Washington moved to forge early ties with the new centre of power in New Delhi.

“The prime minister of India will be welcomed in the United States,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. “The president looks forward to speaking with Mr Modi,” Carney said, though he cautioned it was too early at this stage to talk about a possible Modi visit to Washington. “We congratulate Narendra Modi and the BJP on winning a majority of seats in this historic election.

“Once the government is formed, we look forward to working closely with the prime minister and the cabinet to advance our strong bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values.” The United States refused Mr Modi a visa in 2005 over claims he failed to quickly curb deadly anti-Muslim riots three years before when he was chief minister of the state of Gujarat. But as it became increasingly clear Mr Modi was riding a political wave in India, outgoing US ambassador Nancy Powell shook hands with him before closed-door talks.

Obama forged close ties with outgoing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and in 2010 visited a country which is a key target of his policy of pivoting US power to Asia. But relations have drifted recently, antagonised by the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York who was strip searched over claims she mistreated a domestic servant.

Courtesy : NDTV News


Posted by on 18/05/2014 in India, politics, Uncategorized


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Patriotic Song “Aye mere watan ke logon”

Lata & PM
In 1963, when Lata Mangeshkar sang this patriotic song, it moved Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Indian Prime Minister, to tears. After the song, PM told to Lata ” “you made me to weep”. The song completes 50 Years today.
This is  my all time favourite patriotic song. Whenevr I listen to it, I cry inside me. The song was written by Poet Pradeep. The lyric of the song is given below:

Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon
tum Khoob Laga Lo Naara
ye Shubh Din Hai Ham Sab Ka
lahara Lo Tiranga Pyaara
par Mat Bhoolo Seema Par
veeron Ne Hai Praan Ganvaaye
kuch Yaad Unhein Bhi Kar Lo -2
jo Laut Ke Ghar Na Aaye -2

aye Mere Vatan Ke Logon
zara Aankh Mein Bhar Lo Paani
jo Shaheed Hue Hain Unki
zara Yaad Karo Qurbaani

jab Ghayal Hua Himaalay
khatre Mein Padi Aazadi
jab Tak Thi Saans Lade Vo
phir Apni Laash Bichha Di
sangeen Pe Dhar Kar Maatha
so Gaye Amar Balidaani
jo Shaheed…

jab Desh Mein Thi Diwali
vo Khel Rahe The Holi
jab Ham Baithe The Gharon Mein
vo Jhel Rahe The Goli
the Dhanya Javaan Vo Aapane
thi Dhanya Vo Unaki Javaani
jo Shaheed …

koi Sikh Koi Jaat Maraatha
koi Gurakha Koi Madaraasi
sarahad Pe Maranevaala
har Veer Tha Bhaaratavaasi
jo Khoon Gira Parvat Par
vo Khoon Tha Hindustaani
jo Shaheed…

thi Khoon Se Lath-Path Kaaya
phir Bhi Bandook Uthaake
das-Das Ko Ek Ne Maara
phir Gir Gaye Hosh Ganva Ke
jab Ant-Samay Aaya To
kah Gaye Ke Ab Marate Hain
khush Rahana Desh Ke Pyaaron
ab Ham To Safar Karate Hain
kya Log The Vo Deewane
kya Log The Vo Abhimaani
jo Shaheed…

tum Bhool Na Jaao Unko
is Liye Kahi Ye Kahaani
jo Shaheed…
jay Hind Jay Hind Ki Sena -2
jay Hind, Jay Hind, Jay Hind

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Posted by on 28/01/2013 in India, Indian


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