Friday, December 31, 2010

Vijay Vilas Palace

Vijay Vilas Palace



Vijay Vilas Palace
Built in 1929 by Rao Vijayrajji, this palace is very well-maintained, and often the scene of filming for Bollywood productions. It was built of red sandstone in the Rajput style, with a main central dome, Bengal domes at the sides, bastions at the corner, and colored glass windows. The balcony at the top affords a superb view of the surrounding area, and the king's tomb can also be seen.

The House of Mangaldas Girdhardas

The House of Mangaldas Girdhardas

The House of Mangaldas Girdhardas (MG for short) was the home of Mr. Mangaldas Girdhardas - amongst Ahmedabad's foremost businessmen and philanthropist of the early 20th century. He started his career as a store-keeper in a textile mill. Within a decade, he became its owner and soon after, he was over seeing an empire comprising of a clutch of mills and other related businesses. With his increasing influence in the community, he decided to build a new residence for himself and his family in the year 1924, across from the famous Sidi Sayed Mosque. He died soon after in 1928. By 1950, his entire family moved to another location, leaving this house vacant. A large portion of the house was requisitioned by the government between 1955 and 1960 and the rest was used by the accounts offices of the family. One half of the house, that is covered by bill boards and has not been restored, belonged to his brother, Chimanlal Girdhardas and his descendents continue to be its landlords. In 1994, the House of MG was taken over by Victoria Capital Ventures Ltd., a company managed by Abhay Mangaldas, great grand son of MG, for renovation and reuse.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

RAM CHANT IN JAMNAGAR




45 YEARS OF RAM CHANT IN JAMNAGAR GUJARAT BALA HANUMAN TEMPLE
45 YEARS OF RAM CHANT IN JAMNAGAR, GUJARAT TEMPLE.
For Hindus Ram Chant gives release from all the problems and difficulties they come across. It is said that Ram Chant is sweeter than the sweetest, bestowing the best for the Ram Devotees.
In Jamnagar, Gujarat, Sri Bala Hanuman temple constructed 44 years back, Ram Chanting that started on August 1, 1964 that is for 44 years and is still continuing without interruption even during natural calamities. In the past 44 years, 23,140,800 minutes the chanting is continuing and may continue eternally.
The continuous Rama Chant has already entered into Guinnes Book of Word Record already twice.
The famous Rama Chanting SRI RAMA JAYA RAMA JAYA JAYA RAMA has entered its 45 th year on 1st August 2008 and continue for many more years and even hundreds of years.

A Home for Nature Lovers

A Home for Nature Lovers



Life today demands an escape from the routine, and what better way to spend a couple of days at a destination that will allow you to leave your city life behind and be with nature. To simply enjoy. To rejuvenate. A brief get-away prepares you to be back to your city life with renewed vigour. Irrespective of whether you are a corporate head honcho, businessman, painter or a writer.

Hotel Nilambag Palace

Hotel Nilambag Palace



In the hectic commercial and industrial city of Bhavnagar, Nilambag Palace Hotel comes as a pleasant juxtaposition with its cres of lush green lawns and beautific foliage surround the imposing Khakhi stoned structure. Built in 1859 A.D., this relic of the past, home to the ruling Gohil dynasty of Bhavnagar, now stands as a Heritage Hotel.

Institute of Indology

Institute of Indology


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Institue of Indology
The Lalbhai Dalpathbhai Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad was started in 1956, to preserve a repository of rare art, manuscripts and archaelogical objects of India. In 1984, a museum was opened to cover topics ranging from Buddhism, Jainism and its darshans (expressions), grammar, tantra and poetry, Vedas and other different branches of Indian philosophy.

The museum houses about 76,000 hand written Jain manuscripts with 500 illustrated versions and 45,000 printed books, making it the largest collection of Jain scripts. It has precious old books written in languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Old Gujarati, Apabhramsa, Hindi and Rajasthani. It also showcases Indian sculptures, terracottas, miniature paintings, cloth paintings, painted scrolls, bronzes, woodwork, Indian coins, textiles and decorative art, paintings of Rabindranath Tagore and art of Nepal and Tibet.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Darbargadh Poshina

Darbargadh Poshina



The rulers of Poshina were descendants of the Chalukyas, who ruled much of Gujarat and Central India in the 12th century. The Darbargadh was once the pride of the Chalukya dynasty. This palace has huge gateways, a massive dome, numerous pillars and arches. It offers pleasant courtyards, gardens, lawns, shady trees and terraces with views of the Arravalli mountains. Ancient fort walls and the old prison are reminders of the property‘s history.

Riverside Palace / Orchard Palac

Riverside Palace / Orchard Palace



Once the capital of an affluent and progressive 100-square mile princely state comprising four towns and more than 175 villages, Gondal today offers a glimpse of its princely past through accommodations at two 19th century heritage properties – the Riverside Palace, an elegant European-style mansion facing a river that was once the residence of the Gondal Yuvraj (Crown Prince) and the Orchard Palace, the guesthouse in the palace estate.

The palace estate houses a collection of vintage and classic cars from pre-1910 to contemporary makes, a royal rail saloon beautifully finished with inlaid wood and ornate furniture, and horse-drawn carriages.

Guests staying here can visit the Darbargadh or old palace complex which has the Naulakha Palace, a festival of stone sculpture, and museums housing princely memorabilia like silver elephant howdah, custom-made wooden furniture, hand-crafted 19th century wooden toys, beadwork, utensils, silver caskets, etc.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Vijay Vilas Palace Hotels & Resorts

The Vijay Vilas Palace Hotels & Resorts



The Vijay Vilas Palace was built in 1906 AD by Yuvraj Vijay Sinhji of Palitana, a member of the same Gohil Rajput clan as the Maharajahs of Bhavnagar. The Vijay Vilas palace once the country retreat, of the Gohil Rajputs offers a splendid view of the Shatrunjaya hill and the historic Palitana temples which are situated at close proximity. It offers a convenient base for visiting the famous temples of Palitana and an excursion of the Palitana township. Sihor with the historic old palace of the Maharajas of Bhavnagar, featuring gardens, wall paintings and woodcarvings. Ship breaking yard at Alang.

The Rajmahal Palace

The Rajmahal Palace



The Rajmahal Palace was built in the 19 th century by HH Bal Sinhji and was earlier called Bal Vilas Palace. It is located in 13-14 acres of park-like grounds with tennis courts, lily ponds, fountains, out houses and cricket pitches. The centerpiece is a beautiful pillared courtyard with marble statues. There is a marvelously appointed Darbarhall with painted ceilings, king-sized portraits and a throne. There are beautifully restored vintage cars and a library of automobile books.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Khijadia Bird Sanctuary

Khijadia Bird Sanctuary

This place which witnesses the blending of sea water and fresh water was declared a sanctuary on the 6th November 1982.Earlier there was a Dam which stored fresh water. Over the years, geographical variations resulted in the formation of a unique type of land amidst the blend of sea and river water.http://www.topnews.in/files/Gujarat-birdsanctuary.jpg

Depending on the water type two different varieties of vegetation started growing here inviting wildlife. Birds and animals started flocking this area and dwelling here. The sanctuary spans an area of 605 hectares.

Jasdan:

Jasdan:
(47 Kms from Gondal) the great warrior clan of Khachar Kathis ruled the house of Jasdan. They founded the fortified town of Jasdan on the banks of Bhadar River. http://www.heritagehotelsofindia.com/images/hotels/hingolagadh-palace.jpgThe Darbargadh at Jasdan is a beautiful example combining plaster decoration with intricate wrought iron work. The decoration above the arches and 'jharokhas' are noteworthy. Hingolgadh Nature Education Sanctuary in the vicinity of Jasdan is a creation of the nature loving rulers of Jasdan. Here, nature education camps are organized to create awareness about wildlife and environment. The royal palace on the hilltop is now a heritage hotel, offering a nice and comfortable stay amidst natural surroundings.
Balaram Palace Resort


Constructed in the late 1920s, Balaram Palace was the weekend retreat and hunting resort of the Lohanis who ruled from Jalore in southwestern Rajasthan. The palace is a gracious work of neo-classical architecture, with 13 acres of private wood-lands and formally landscaped gardens with Mexican lawns, exotic flowerbeds, modern fountains and a well-concealed music system.

Mundra

Mundra
Photos

Mundra
Another port town on the south coast of Kutch, Mundra was well-known for salt and spice trading in the past and now more for tie-dye and block-print textiles. The harbor is virtually unusable today, and only small local fishing craft navigate its silted waterways up the river.

The Mahadev temple has memorials to famous Mundra sailors, including some who advised the Sultan of Zanzibar and guided Vasco da Gama to India. Darya Pir, the patron saint of Kutchi fisherpeople, arrived here from Bukhara (now in Uzbekistan) in 1660. He was well-loved by the locals, introduced them to Islam, and they built the shrine that bears his name here when he died; this site still receives visitors of many religious backgrounds seeking blessings. The Mughal Emperor built a gate in his honor, which still stands and is known today as the Mughal Gate. Interestingly, the walls of the old city fortifications have a religious origin, as they were dragged from the ruins of the Jain city of Bhadreshwar.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Kutiyana:

Kutiyana:
(53 km from Dhoraji)http://www.tourismjunagadh.org/wp-content/themes/VacationTime/jdgallery/slides/1.jpg Kutiyana is located on the banks of river Bhadar. Before independence, Kutiyana was under the rule of the Junagadh Nawabs. Rich traders of the Memon community, before independence inhabited the town. The houses of Kutiyana reflect the high aesthetic taste of Memon Muslims. Kutiyana is a well-planned town with a central main bazaar street leading to a magnificent mosque with high minarets and impressive façade. The shops at lower level of arcade form an urban edge. The courtyards within the water tank for 'vazu' and the profusely plaster-decorated architectural elements, painted in yellows, greens and blues make it a perfect representative example of mosque architecture of the late 19th century.

Chandod

Chandod:
(22km from Dabhoi) this picturesque town on the bank of the Narmada, at the confluence of three rivers: Narmada, Orsang and Gupta Saraswati, is an ancient seat of Sanskrit learning for Brahmins. http://www.gujuland.com/vadodara/images/chandod.jpgThe 'ghats' leading to the pure waters of Narmada and the temples, make it a sacred place for Hindus performing the rituals after death. Mandvi Mahal, a haveli of the Mahida Rajputs, dating back to the late 19th century, is now a heritage hotel. It is located close to river Narmada, in a serene setting. The 'haveli' offers a picturesque vista of bathing 'ghats', temples with fine carvings and the aquatic life on the river.

Navjivan Nature Cure Centre

Navjivan Nature Cure Centre
Photos

Navjivan Nature Cure Centre
This healing centre, based on naturopathic remedies and M.K. Gandhi's ideas of “nature cure”, offers treatment for a wide variety of conditions, using everything from ayurvedic and herbal remedies to panchakarma, acupuncture, meditation, prayer, and yoga asanas.. On the Bhuj-Mandvi road near Punadi Patiya village, the centre also maintains 40 hectares of organic farmland on which they grow fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants. You can

Kera

Kera

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Kera

Just 22 kms south of Bhuj on the road to Mandra, Kera houses the ruins of a Shiva Temple that dates to the era of the Solanki rulers. Only part of the temple remains, as much was destroyed in the 1819 earthquake, but the inner sanctum is still there, as well as half of the main spire. The Fort of Kapilkot, also in a rather rundown state, is next to the temple.

Beyt Dwarka

Beyt Dwarka
Photos

Beyt Dwarka

Beyt Dwarka, also known as Beyt Shankhodhar, is a small island and was the main port in the region before the development of Okha. It offers opportunities to spot dolphins, marine excursions, camping and picnicking. Most of the archaelogical ruins excavated here and religious manuscripts correspond with Beyt Dwarka as the original abode of Lord Krishna. In order to get there from Dwarka, one might need to first get to Okha port jetty (32 km), by either rail or road and then take a ferry or small boat (Rs.5/-), 5km away.

Shri Krishna Temple: From here an enormous 500 year old temple is a 15 minute walk. Built by Shri Vallabhacharya, it enshrines an idol believed to be made by Rukmini. There is a story where Lord Krishna's friend Sudama presented him
with rice and so the tradition is continued by the visitors who present the Brahmins here with donations of rice. There are other smaller temples in the same vicinity of Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman, Devi and Lord Vishnu. Beyt Dwarka is also associated with the legend where Lord Vishnu slew the demon Shankhasura.


Hanuman Temple: The magnificent Dandiwala Hanuman Temple is situated about 5 km east of the Beyt Dwarka's maintemple. It also has facilities of accomodation for visitors who might want to perform special worships. One of the rare features of this temple is the idol of Hanuman's son Makardwaja. It is said that the celebate Lord Hanuman impregnated a fish with a drop of his perspiration, which conceived and gave birth to a son as strong as Lord Hanuman. Legend also says that during the famous war of Lanka, Ravana kidnapped and kept both Lord Ram and Laxman in Patal (the world underneath the earth). Hanuman chose this place to enter Patal and had to fight Makardhwaja, who was guarding it. This is where they met and recognized each other as father and son. Hanuman Jayanti evokes a large celebration here. Also, on Dashera, the idol of Shri Krishna is adorned like Shri Ram, who is carried here for a special visit on a palkhi (palaquin).

Ranmal Lake

Ranmal Lake

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Ranmal Lake
Around 8 km away from town, Ranmal Lake is a natural water body in which the river accumulates, another beautiful spot for birdwatching, especially during migration season.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

SHRI MANIBHADRAVEER DERASAR, MAGARWADA

SHRI MANIBHADRAVEER DERASAR, MAGARWADA

Magarwada, in the Vadgam taluka at a distance of 18 kms from Palanpur owes its importance to being one of the three centres of Manibhadraveer. The other two are Ujjain and Aklod.

Manibhadraveer, as the legend goes, was born in his previous birth in Ujjain as Manekshaw. He was a staunch Jain Shravak whose Guru was Maharaj Hemvimal Suriji. During his chaturmas in Agra, Manekshaw was deeply influenced by his Guru's discourses on the sacredness and importance of Shatrunjay. Due to this, he decided to undertake the arduous penance of going on foot to Shatrunjay to do the Navanuni Yatra and end it with a 2-day fast under the Ryan tree.



With his Guru's blessings, he set off on the auspicious day of Kartiki Poonam. When he was close to present day Magarwada, a gang of dacoits attacked and killed him, severing his head, arms and lower body. Manekshaw, who was totally absorbed in his Navkar mantra jaap and the sacredness of Shatrunjay, was reborn as Indra of Manibhadraveerdev.



Meanwhile, his Guru's disciples were facing many difficulties because of the Bhairvos. According to the Dev vaani, his Guru came to Magarwada, and sat down in Dhyan to overcome these difficulties. That is when Manibhadraveer decided to help his Guru to overcome the obstacles caused by the Bhairvos. He subdued them. His Guru honoured him by installing a 'pind' of his legs in Magarwada on Maha Sud Pancham day and constructed the temple there.

Today, people flock to Magarwada in large numbers to pray to Manibhadraveer to solve their problems and help them overcome their obstacles.

Traditionally, all Palanpuri Deravasi Kotharis need to go to Magarwada before their wedding, to pay their respects to the Adishtai Dev - Shri Manibhadraveer. This 'mahet' ritual is strictly adhered to by most families even today

Northwest Kutch




NORTHWEST KUTCH

Northwest Kutch is home to four sites of interest: Narayan Sarovar, one of Hinduism’s holiest lakes; Koteshwar Temple, virtually next door, connected to legends of Lord Shiva and Ravana; Lakhpat, a major port city before the Great Rann dried up in 1819, now a ghost town of ruins; and the Narayan Sarovar Wildlife Sanctuary, home to many species of birds and the chinkara gazelle, along with other wildlife.

Because these sites are very far from Bhuj but quite close to each other, most travelers take advantage of the journey to visit them all at the same time.

Mandvi - Kutch gate

Mandvi - Kutch


Photos



MANDVI - KUTCH

In the 21st century, most people travel by land in fast-moving buses or trains, and to reach destinations further away, many even travel in airplanes. Sometimes it is hard to remember that until the mid-1800s, overland travel was done by horse or bullock-cart. That human technological flight began only a century ago, and flying only became available to average travellers in the last 50 years. Until the middle of the 20th century, for the several millennia of human history that came before us, people voyaged on the seas. How many of us today have traveled on the open ocean?

If you don't feel ready to embark on a seabound voyage anytime soon, visiting a historical port town may at least bring you closer to understanding the way people and goods used to move around the planet (and 95% of world trade still does!). Here in Mandvi, the principal port of Kutch and of Gujarat for hundreds of years until the rise of Mumbai, visit the shipbuilding yards along the Rukmavati River where wooden ships are still built by hand. Stand at the Tower of Wagers, where wealthy shipowners would gather in May to scan the horizons, awaiting the return of the trading fleet from East Africa, and bet on whose would arrive first. Wander around the Vijay Vilas Palace and marvel at the items brought from far-off ports, and the architecture itself that shows a global awareness in its mixture of styles. Or recreate your favorite scene from Lagaan or Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, both of which have scenes filmed at the palace.

Solarium

Solarium
http://www.mpsmcjamnagar.com/Res/Gallery/Mix/Solariyam.jpg
Solarium is a one of its kind structure in entire Asia. It is also known as Ranjit Institute of Poly-Radio Therapy and is mainly known for the treatment of skin diseases. It is a revolving tower which provides full daylong sunlight for the treatment. It was built by Jam Shri Ranjitsinhji with the help of an expert from France.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dholavira


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DHOLAVIRA

At the height of our civilization, our technological development, our social and material complexity, all signs point to progress, we often think. And yet, all is not as it seems and once in a while it occurs to us to look into the past to discover our future.

Dholavira is the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization or Harappan culture, dating back to 4500 years ago. While the other site, Lothal, is more exhaustively educated and easier to reach, a visit to Lothal only complements, rather than replaces, a visit to Dholavira. What this site offers you, in the intense environment that comes with being surrounded by the Great Rann of Kutch, is a unique insight into the pioneering Harappan mind, with one of the world’s earliest and best planned water conservation systems and what might be the world’s first signboards, written in ancient Indus script.

The excavation also tells the story of the 7 stages of the civilization, from development to maturity to decay, the last of which hints at a strange piece of history, with more questions than answers. After the peak of the civilization Dholavira was temporarily abandoned, after which it seems that the settlers returned with a markedly de-urbanized culture. There are hints that they willingly chose to simplify their lives, rather than try to ride the collapse of their once glorified civilization. Here, on the ruins, you will have a chance to contemplate what progress and civilization mean and what, if anything, is truly permanent.

Hamirsar Lake

Hamirsar Lake



Hamirsar Lake

An excellent place to cool off on a hot afternoon, Hamirsar Lake is where people go to swim, or sit under a tree and enjoy the water, as well as where many women do their laundry. Walking along the lake's edge is a great way to get from one place to another, with the Aina Mahal and Praga Mahal, the Kutch Museum, the Ramkund Stepwell and Ram Dhun Temple, the Swaminarayan Temple and the Alfred High School all located very close to the eastern side of the lake; a walk from the Aina Mahal to the Swaminarayan Temple (passing all the other sites mentioned) takes about half an hour. Further around the other side of the lake is the Sharad Baug palace, and the road to the royal chhatardis.