Monday, January 31, 2011

Jagat Mandir,

The Architecture
Also known as Jagat Mandir, the five-storey structure of the Dwarkadhish Temple is built on seventy-two pillars. The temple spire is 78.3m high. From the temple dome waves an eighty-four foot long multicolored flag decorated with the symbols of the sun Dwarkadhish Temple - Gujaratand moon. Lord Krishna's grandson, Vajranabha, is said to have built the original temple of Dwarkadhish over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna's residential place).

The sanctum of the temple is formed by the Jagat Mandir, or Nija Mandir, dating back at least 2500 years. The Jagat Mandir has a tall tower and a hall of audience. There are two entrances to the temple. The main entrance (north entrance) is called "Moksha Dwara" (Door to Salvation). This entrance takes one to the main market. The south entrance is called "Swarga Dwara" (Gate to Heaven). Outside this doorway are 56 steps that leads to the Gomati River.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kutch

Kutch

Location: Western Coast of India
Tourist Attractions: Kutch Mandvi Beach, Dholavira, Mandvi, etc
Highlights: Kutch Mahotsav
Administrative Headquarter: Bhuj
Best Time to Visit: November to March

Vujay Vilas Palace Mandvi GujaratKutch is the largest district in the state of Gujarat. It is the least populated owing to the fact that it is barren, covered with desert and marshland. Although it forms a major part of the state it has its own distinct identity. It is mostly inhabited by varied tribes. There are around 18 tribes living in the region which have their own discrete language and culture. This has made the place a paradise for the flourishing different cultures. It is a showcase of all the tribal culture of the region.

The Kutch district is surrounded by the Gulf of Kachchh in south and the Arabian Sea in the west. The northern and the eastern parts are surrounded by the Great and Small Rann (seasonal wetlands) of Kachchh. Though it is less supported by the elements of flourishing life forms, it still has a lot to offer to the outer world. The culture of the people of Kutch is rich to its core. They still preserve the ancient art and craft techniques, prevalent in the region. Kachchh is one of those places where the existence of Indus valley civilization was confirmed.

This substantiates the fact that the region has a lot to be explored. The jewelry, the clothing, their handmade house hold articles, their customs and traditions are fascinating as well as enlightening. The handicrafts of the lace are simply awesome. The hand printed Bandhani Sarees, embroidery and exquisite gold and silver ornaments are popular crafts of Kutch. The people speak Kachchhi and Gujarati language. Though the language is quite typical, it is still music to the ears. You can find the script of Kachchhi language in the Kutch Museum.

Kutch experiences extreme climatic conditions. The summers are extremely hot whereas the winters are chilling. Thus, the best time to visit the place is between November and March. The main attraction is the Kutch Mahotsav which is organized every year to promote tourism in the region. It is the best way to explore the culturally rich district. It takes you around the various historical as well as religious places in Kutch. Therefore, be a part of the Mahotsav and enjoy the Kutch experience.

Vadodara

Vadodara

Location: Vadodara District
Distance: 112 km from Ahmedabad
Tourist Attractions: Laxmi Vilas Palace, Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Pratap Vilas Palace, etc
Best Time to Visit: October to March

Laxmi Vilas Palace VadodaraVadodara city is the administrative headquarter of the Vadodara district in Gujarat. It is often termed as Baroda and is the industrial capital of the state. The city stands on the bank of River Vishwamitri, flanked by a number of graceful buildings like palaces, parks, temples and museums. This has greatly boosted tourism in Vadodara. The cultural galore of Vadodara impels visitors to travel to this historic city. In the ancient time, it served as the capital city of Gaekwads, the former rulers of Vadodara.

The archaeological expeditions in the region indicate that there was human habitation here since the pre historic times. But the present day glory of the city is due to Maharaja Sayajirao, a great patron of art, architecture and music. Vadodara was originally called Vadapadraka, meaning 'a village amidst the banyan trees'. The city houses a number of historical monuments which are worth watching. The unforgettable tale of its past is narrated by the exquisite structures erect in the city

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gandhinagar

Gandhinagar

Best Time to Visit: October to March
Location: West Bank of Sabarmati River
Distance: 32 km from Ahmedabad
Main Attraction: Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple GAndhinagarGandhinagar is the capital city of Gujarat. It is located on the west bank of River Sabarmati, about 32 km from Ahmedabad. The city is named after the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. After the partition of Gujarat and Maharashtra, it was decided to make a new capital for Gujarat. As a result, Gandhinagar was established in the vicinity of Ahmedabad. It is a well organized and architecturally integrated city and is slowly picking up as a tourism destination.

Gandhinagar is the administrative headquarter of Gandhinagar District. It is a major center of learning in Gujarat. Many educational institutes have sprung up in the city, which provide knowledge in different fields like science, medicine and engineering. Students from across the country throng the campus of these institutes every year. Some of the prestigious institutes in the city are National Institute of fashion Technology (NIFT), National Institute of Design (NID), Institute of Plasma Research, Indian Institute for Advanced Research.

Saputara

Saputara

Location: Sahyadri Hills, Dangs District
Distance: 400 km from Ahmedabad
Tourist Attractions: Valley View Point, Sunset Point, Artist Village, etc
Best Time to Visit: April to Early July

Saputara Lake GujaratSaputara is a picturesque hill station situated in the Sahyadri Hills, which come under the Dangs District of Gujarat. The hill station serves as an added treat for the tourists who travel to the state. It is a perfect retreat from the hustling bustling city life and is popular from tourism point of view. The pleasant town offers utmost peace and tranquility. Amidst the lush green woods, one can rejuvenate and admire the chronicles of Mother Nature. The sightseeing tours of Saputara reveal much of its beauty.

The climate here is pleasant and embracing round the year, making it a much preferred hangout of the urban crowd. There is a lot to be explored here, like the dense woods, waterfalls, streams, lakes, etc. Saputara can be reached via private vehicles, taxis and state transport buses. The hill station also houses the longest ropeway in India, which stretches over a whole km. It is a hot spot amongst the tourists which flock around the place, especially during evenings. You can also find a Gujarat tourism office for assistance.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Saiyedi Hasan Feer Shaheed (ra)

Saiyedi Hasan Feer Shaheed (ra)
Date of Wafaat : 23rd Moharram ul-Haraam 795 AH

Rauzah Mubaarakah of Saiyedi wa Maulaai Hasan Feer Shaheed saheb (ra) - Denmaal
Du'a-e-Tawassul at the mazaar of Saiyedi Hasan Feer shaheed (ra) at Denmaal
The outer& inner view of the Rauzah Mubaarakah of Saiyedi Saheb (RA)

Hindustaan ma aa Da'wat ul-Haqq, Mustansiriyah ane Taiyebiyah che .Hind ni zarkhaiz ane hamwaar sarzameen par Da'wat e Taiyebiyah na gulistaan ma nughatdaar ane khushbudaar phulo khila che ,je ye Imaan ane Islaam ni aab-o-hawaa khushgawaar ane dilkash raakheli che. Imaam Mustansir (A.S) na zamaan ma 468 AH na saal ma Maulaai Abdullaah ye aa Da'wat ul-Haqq ne qaa'im kidhi. Aapne ba'ad Maulaai Ya'qoob, Maulaai Ishaaq ane Maulaai Ali ek ba'ad bija Hind na Waalio thaya. Aa tamaam fozalaa-koramaa, Anhilwaar (Naherwaal) Patan ilaaqah ma thaya.

Te sivaay ba'az Mawaali-e-Taahereen ane fozalaa Gujarat ane tene aas-paas na gaamda-shahero temaj Dakhkhan ma thaya. Gujarat, Da'wat ul-Haqq na qiyaam ane nashr-o-ishaa'at waaste umdah baagh bano jema ikhlaas ane amaanat na gulhaa-e-aqeedat khila ane aaje pan aa suba-e- Gujarat maaj Da'wat-e-Alaviyah qaa'im-o-daa'im che ane Mumineen Alaviyeen aabaad-o-shaad che .

Du'aat-e-Yemeniyah ni jaanib thi Hind ane Sind ma Da'wat na amar ne hudood-o-fozalaa lai utha. Yemen thi Da'wat ni niyaabat (qaa'im maqaami) na khatt Hind na Waaliyo taraf aawta hata ane Du'aat-e-haqq ni razaa ane amar thi Hind ma Waaliyo qaa'im thata rahya. Maulaai Ali bin Maulaai Ishaaq na zamaana thi Saiyedi wa Maulaai Hasan Feer saheb shaheed (qr) na zamaan tak ni taareekhi sanad ane akhbaar ni tafseel ane tafseer milti nathi. Maulaai Hasan Feer saheb, Maulaai Abdullaah ni nasl-e-athar ma thaya. Aap har amal-o-kamaal ma jali hata. Har jamaal-o-jalaal ma tamaam thi fauq hata. Ilm-o-fan ma benazeer ane aalim-e-zamaan hata. Yemen na Da'i-e-haqq Waliyullaah ni razaa thi Maulaai Ali ye Aapne naa'ib-e-Da'i-e-haqq na mansab-e-aali par qaa'im kidha, ane Hind-Sind na Waali muqarrar farmaava. Saiyedi Hasan Feer saheb fasaahat-e-zabaan ane balaagat-e-bayaan ma yaktaa-e-zamaan hata.

Maulaai Ali ye Aapne Sidhpur ane ihne ird-gird na ilaaqah ni amaalat sipurd kidhi. Maulaai Ali par je waqt qazaa ni naubat aawi te waqt Aap ye Allaah Ta'alaa na ilhaam thi ane Da'i-e-haqq ni razaa thi hukumat-e-ilaahiyah ni zamaan ane lugaam bakhshi ane kul Hind na umoor-e-ruhaani, masaajid ane mashaahid ni razaao temaj shar-e-Mohammadi na Allaah na waajib huqooq ne kabz karwaani tamaam ijaazat bakhshi. Maulaai Abdullaah ni nasal maathi-j Maulaai Hasan Feer shaheed no shajaro mile che, te thi Maulaai Abdullaah (qr) nu ehsaan adaa karwa Maulaai Ali ye Aapne aa ajar-e-khaas ane sila-e-bekinaar ataa kidhu. Da'wat-e-Haadiyah na aywaan ma Aapni koshish ane khaas tadbeero na sabab ilm ni roshni dugni thai ane Da'wat-e-Haadiyah ni bahjat-bahaa ane izzat-o-azmat dobaala thai. Hasan Feer saheb ye Patan ne potaani qiyaam-gaah banaawi ane Da'wat-e-Haadiyah na arkaan ne mazboot-o-mustahkim kidha. Aapna waqt ma suba-e-Gujarat par ahl-e-zaahir-naasibi logo no ghalbo hato ane Ja'far ni fitnat ni aag haji bujhi na hati. Patan ma baadshaah Firozshaah ye hukoomat qaa'im kidhi ane Muzaffarshaah teni jaanib thi Ahmedabad ma aamil hato. Taarikh na kitaabo ma zikr che ke, Maulaai Hasan Feer saheb ajab maqaam-e-hikmat na saheb hata.

Patan no baadshaah Firozshaah ek din Qur'an-khwaani karto hato ke ek aayat-e-Qur'an ne padhine ghaur karwa laago. Laa yadkholunal jannata hatta yalejul jamalo fi sammil khiyaat- tene aa aayat ni ma'naa samjhaai nahi ke ,im kim bane ke sooi na suraakh maathi oont chaalo jaai? Teni hairat ziyaadah thaati gai. Saheeh ma'naa jaanwaano zauq wadhto gayo. Teni saltanat na awaam na tamaam mhota mhota aalimo ne talab kidha pan koi ye kaafi-shaafi jawaab aapi tena dil ne itmenaan na bakhshu. Tena darbaar na ba'az haazireen ye arz kidhi ke, Baadshaah salaamat agar chaahe to teni saltanat na gali-kucha ma ek aalim-e-benazeer qaum-e- bawahir na mashhoor saheb banaam-e-Hasanfeer deendaar-parhezgaar uloom-e-Qur'an ma maahir che. Je aayat-e-kareemah ni ma'naa ma Aapne uljhan che te aa saheb ne puchwaama aawe to temna jawaab thi Baadshaah salaamat na dil no uqdoh shaayad hal thaai. Farmaan-e-shaahi mujab Maulaai Hasan Feer saheb ne darbaar ma talab karvaama aawa. Aapna libaas-e-haqeer kal faqeer ne joi ne Baadshaah hairat-angaiz thayo ke aa miskeen adna ghulaam su jawaab aapse! Baadshaah ye karr-o-far thi Maulaai Hasan saheb ne kahyu ke, ay Sheikh aalim, aa aayat no jawaab irshaad farmaawiye ane aa ma su bhed ane hikmat che te waazeh kariye? Aap ye sawaal par ghaur karine Baadshaah ne arz kidhi ke, ay Baadshaah, aa aayat shareefah no mafhoom bataavvaama maari kai sharato che, ye qubool kari amal baja laaviye to bandah-e-aajiz zaroor teni ma'naa aashkaar karse. Baadshaah ye kahyu ke, farmaawo tamaari su sharato che?

Aap Maulaai ye farmaawu ke, tamaara badan par je masnad-e-shaahi na libaas che te utaaro ane maaro faqeerana libaas pahero! Tamaaro libaas mane aapi do! Aap je masnad-e-shaahi par jalwaa-afroz cho te par thi utro ane mane te par besaadi maara muqaabil, jem ek ustaaz ne saame teno shaagird ubho rahe che tem, ba-adab ubha raho. Toj tamne aa aayat na asli ma'naa samajh ma aawse. Baadshaah aa misal amal kidho ane Maulaai Hasan Feer saheb na saamne ek taalib-e-ilm ni haisiyat thi ubha rahya. Maulaai Hasan Feer ye farmaawu ke, Baadshaah salaamat, ”hatta yalejul jamalo fi sammil khiyaate” no aaj matlab-o-ma'naa che. Sooi na suraakh ma unt jaase toj jannat ma jawaase. Ilm-o-amal thi Haqq na Haadi ane murshid-e-Rabbaani ni haqeeqi taa'at ej jannat ma jawaano rasto che. Aa tafseer saambhline Baadshaah ghano khush thayo. Bayaan na kalaam puri saltanat ma har koi ni zabaan par aam thaya ane har gosha ma aya thaya, te thi Aapni shohrat ane naamwari ane ilm no danko saltanat-e-Patan ma ghar-ghar dar-dar dobaala thayo. Baadshaah ye Aapne shohrat ane jaagir bakhshi jhenu naam Denmaal che. Hasan Feer saheb ni izzat-o-qadar ane jaah-o-karaamat baland tar thaya. Aap ye duniyaa ane aakherat ma hasanat haasil kidhi.

Baadshaah thi ziyaadah qurbat ane karaamat haasil thai te sabab Da'wat ul-Haqq na mukhaalifo na dilo hasad ni aag thi silgi gaya. Tamaam Waliyullaah na dushman-e-mubin thaya. Mauqah ni talaash ma rahya ke kiwaare aa kanta ne rasta ma thi nikaali daiye. Naapaak chaal chaline tamaam mukhaalifo ne dhoka thi Aapne Denmaal mauze ma ek kuwa ne nazdeek shaheed kidha, Aa'lallaaho qudsohu wa razaqana shafa'atohu. Moharram ul Haraam ni taarikh 23, Imaam Husain (as) na Da'i na ghulaam Saiyedi Hasan Feer shahaadat na jaam na martabah ne pahoncha. Hind ni zameen ma je je Allaah na waliyo Daur us-satar ma fi-sabeelillaah qatl thaya ye tamaam na pehla Hasan Feer shaheed che. Je 795 AH ma Saiyedna Abdullaah Fakhruddin na Yemen ane itlaaq na 16th Da'i na zamaan ma shahaadat na jaam ne nosh farmaawo che; ane Sultaan Muzaffar shaah ye Aapna naam parthi Patan nu naam Feer Patan tabdeel kidhu che. Aa pehla Da'wat ni khidmat ma Maulaai Fakhruddin shaheed (qr) ane Maulaai Nuruddin (qr) shahaadat na martabah ne haasil kidha che .

Aapna mazaar ane mashhad aaje sang-e-marmar na aalishaan kaarigari na namuna che ane bemisaal qubbah ta'meer karwaama aawa che. Du'aat-e-Mutlaqeen Aapna mashhad-e-nooraani ni ziyaarat waaste padhaarela che ane Saiyedi Khawj bin Malak saheb Aapna risaalah ma tarteeb farmaawe che ke, Saiyedna Dawoodji bin Qutubshaah, Saiyedna Sheikh Aadam Safiyuddin ane Shaheed-e-aa'zam Saiyedna Ali Shamsuddin qaddasallaaho arwaahahum Aapna roza mubaarakah ni ziyaarat waaste padhaara che ane zamaana-e-qadeem thi aaj tak aa muqaddas maqaam bausah-gaah-e-mumineen che ane muraad-e-dili na husool waaste zaa'ereen ni panaah-gaah che. Qadeem zamaana thi Aapni qabr-e-mubaarak par taqtee laageli che je Aapni wafaat no sabab ane taarikh bayaan kare che.

Vegetable Market

Vegetable Market


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Vegetable Market
Just a couple of blocks outside the gates of the Aina Mahal and Prag Mahal, take a stroll through the fruit and vegetable market, housed in an old British garrison. Pick up some fresh fruits for a snack, and have a cup of tea or some cold juice to beat the heat.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gondal

Gondal

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Gondal

Drive south from Rajkot to Gondal and you pass Vintage Fords and Buicks taxis of a bygone era still plying the roads of Saurashtra. Gondal, a city state mere 35 km away from Rajkot ruled by a family of car enthusiasts whose royal passion resulted in a fine collection of automobiles which are now part of a museum in the palace premises. Such was the royal passion that Gondal had the best planned and well designed road system in preindependent Gujarat. Gondal like its neighbors has some visually exciting palaces and living spaces; some like the Riverside Palace commissioned in 1875 by Bhagwatsinghji is now a Heritage Hotel. The palace grounds form a private forest reserve with frolicking deers and a variety of birds adding to the tranquil beauty of the place.

A building worth visiting is the old Darbargadh a seventeenth century structure which reputedly cost Rupees Nine Lakhs thus earning the sobriquet ‘Navlakha Palace’. The palace is built on series of arches delicately carved and inscribed in stone with a magnificent spiral staircase leading all the way to the top. The interior of the Darbargadh is open to visitors and for a fee one can experience the opulent living style of the Maharajas of old. Mandvi Chowk. The central marketplace of Gondal is a typical riot of color, the bustle of street cries and hawkers, vendors and beggars and wafting aromas of food stuffs amidst flowing bales of trade cloths in a variety of exotic prints. To experience Gondal is to take a walk down its winding streets inhaling the soul of the city and its people!

Aina Mahal

Aina Mahal






Aina Mahal
The Aina Mahal palace, or “Hall of Mirrors” was built during the flamboyant rule of Lakhpatji in the middle of the 18th century. Master craftsman Ramsinh Malam, who trained as an artisan for 17 years in Europe, felt unappreciated by lesser rulers in the area, so he went to the royal court at Bhuj and appealed to the king for work, who commissioned this palace. Malam designed it in a mixed Indo-European style and set about creating the materials for the palace locally. He established a glass factory at Mandvi, forged cannons in an iron foundry and manufactured china tiles in a factory in Bhuj. It seems Gandhiji's ideal of swadeshi had an early proponent in Ramsinh Malam. He personally crafted the fountains, mirrors and glasswork, as well as many other wonders of artisanship—a pendulum clock in sync with the Hindu calendar, doors inlaid with gold and ivory... come visit to find out the rest.

The Aina Mahal is at the northeast corner of Hamirsar lake, easily walkable from most of Bhuj. Anyone along the way will give you directions. Be sure to explore the rest of the compound outside the palace, with its beautiful carved doorways, elaborate window boxes and balconies. Most of the compound is in ruins, some brought down as recently as the 2001 earthquake. Poke around and explore unexpected places; don't settle for just walking into the palace museum with a ready-made experience.



Location:
Situated at the northeast corner of Hamirsar Lake

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

koteshwar

Koteshwar

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Koteshwar

Koteshwar is eight kilometers from Ambaji and it is believed to be the source, or gomukh, of one of the present-day Saraswati rivers. Valmiki Ashram and Shakti Ashram are worth seeing here.

Champaner

Champaner

Location: Panchmahal District
Distance: 159 km from Ahmedabad

Champaner GujaratChampaner is an ancient fortified city of Gujarat. It is located at the foothills of Pavagadh, around 159 km from Ahmedabad. The city falls under the Panchmahal district of Gujarat. It is believed that the city derived its name either from the Champa tree or from Champaraj. Champaraj was the founder of the city and a contemporary of King Vanraj Chavda of Anhilwada. Tourism is slowly picking here and people are drawn towards exploring the historical town of the yore. In the late 15th century, Muhammad Begada, the Muslim King of Gujarat captured the fort of Champaner.

In 1484 AD, he decided to build the new capital of Gujarat here. It took 23 years to complete the construction of the massive project. Muhammad Begada finally named the town as Muhammadabad. It soon gained amazing popularity and was established as one of the glorious towns of western India. It became a major trade center dealing in fine silk, woven and dyed textile and sword manufacturing. After the death of Sultan Bahadurshah, the capital was shifted back to Ahmedabad.

Consequently, the town is dotted by the ruins of fort walls, tombs, gardens, arches, pillars and wells. There are a number of monuments in Champaner that are worth visiting. The royal palace of Muhammad Begada is one such building. Vada Talav is a huge lake situated near the citadel, which is a good place to relax. Amir Manzil is an excavated site containing a residential area, gardens, houses, water channels and three gates. The gates are Halol gate, Delhi gate and Godhra gate.

The major mosques found here are Shehar Ki Masjid, Jami Masjid, Kewada Masjid and Nagina Masjid. Jami Masjid, an architectural marvel of its times, is an imposing structure with high plinth, tall minarets and minutely carved gates and windows. Other worth watching buildings here are the ruins of Khapra Zaveri Palace, Atak gate, Makai Kothar, Kalikat Temple, Lakulish Temple. Kalikat Temple is a venerated Hindu pilgrimage for the devotees of Goddess Kali. Millions of people visit the temple every year.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Polo Monument and Vijaynagar Forest

Polo Monument and Vijaynagar Forest


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POLO MONUMENT AND VIJAYNAGAR FOREST

Tucked away in a forest, there are secrets to be revealed...

An ancient city, a gateway to Rajasthan. A hiding place for rulers, concealed from enemies, citizens, angry wives, even from the sun, tucked between sacred hills on the east and west. And the mystery of abandonment, decay.

Ancient temples, some still performing their pujas deep within this dense jungle, itself the larger temple, the trees themselves the gods.

Adivasi settlements, their lives rooted in their connection to the forest, from whom you might learn to listen to the deep hum of the world that envelops these scattered whispers of human constructions...

Come. Listen. Learn. Know your Self. You may return to your homes, your cities, your roads, but the forest will never leave you.

Taranamata shrines

Taranamata shrines


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Taranamata shrines
The Taranamata shrine that you see as you ascend the path to the Taranga tirtha was not as popular with devotees because of the difficulty in accessing it, so another one was later built at the foot of the hills to the north. It is 2 km from Timba, where the bus drops people off.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hemachandracharya Jain Gnan Mandir

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Hemachandracharya Jain Gnan Mandir


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Hemachandracharya Jain Gnan Mandir
Hemachandracharya, renowned Jain scholar and poet, is credited with formulating Gujarati grammar. His treatise ‘Siddha Hema Shabdanushasana’, written during the rule of Siddharaj Jayasinh, is seen as a counterpart to Panini’s treatise on Sanskrit grammar. The poet built this Gnan Mandir, literally "knowledge temple", an ancient library that includes a number of ancient palm-leaf Jain manuscripts (some written in ink of gold) and literature that he wrote. Open 10am-5pm

Hemachandracharya Jain Gnan Mandir

Hemachandracharya Jain Gnan Mandir


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Hemachandracharya Jain Gnan Mandir
Hemachandracharya, renowned Jain scholar and poet, is credited with formulating Gujarati grammar. His treatise ‘Siddha Hema Shabdanushasana’, written during the rule of Siddharaj Jayasinh, is seen as a counterpart to Panini’s treatise on Sanskrit grammar. The poet built this Gnan Mandir, literally "knowledge temple", an ancient library that includes a number of ancient palm-leaf Jain manuscripts (some written in ink of gold) and literature that he wrote. Open 10am-5pm

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ambaji Temple

Ambaji Temple


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Ambaji Temple
This is the principal shrine of a goddess who has been worshiped since the pre-Vedic period. She is often referred to as Arasuri Amba, named for the location of the temple in the Arasur hills, near the source of the Saraswati river at the south-western end of the Aravali mountain range.

The red flag above the small temple dances welcomingly in the wind. Made of white marble with gold cones, the temple was originally built by Nagar Brahmins. There is a main entrance in the front and only a small side-door, because it is believed that Mataji (another name for Ambaji) has forbidden the addition of any other door. The temple is surrounded by an open square called chachar chowk where ceremonial sacrifices called havans are performed.

The inner sanctum of the temple has silver-plated doors. There is a gokh, or niche, in the wall on which is fixed a old-plated marble inscription of the Viso Yantra, a Vedic text on sacred geometry, which is the main focus of worship. There is no idol of the goddess, perhaps because the temple is so ancient that it predates idol-worship, but the priests decorate the upper portion of the gokh in such a way that it looks like an idol of a goddess from a distance.

Be sure to look across the temple (i.e. with your back facing the goddess) at the other temple on the Gabbar, considered the original abode of the goddess. At a short distance from the Ambaji temple is a large rectangular kund, with steps on all its four sides, called Mansarovar.

The ecstatic festival of Navratri is celebrated all over Gujarat in reverence of Ambaji, by dancing garba around the Holy Mother. On these nine nights the Nayak and Bhojok communities also perform bhavai theater.

Ambaji temple is open all days of the week, 7:15-11:30am, 12-4:15pm, 6:30-9pm.

Vadodara

Vadodara History & CultureFamily Vacations

Fast Facts
Location : Gujarat
Attractions : Sayaji Bagh, Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery, Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Laxmi Niwas Palace, Naulakhi Well etc.
Best Time To Visit : October to March

Introducing Vadodara
Baroda MuseumVadodara also known as Baroda was the capital of the princely Gaekawad state in the pre-independence era. While in the post-independence era Vadodara became famous as a major hub of education and arts. Situated in the industrial corridor of Gujarat, Vadodara is emerging as the commercial and industrial capital of the state. Over the years a number of large and medium industrial units have come up in surrounding areas and the city's main avenues are lined up with a number of commercial complexes that rate among the best in modern architecture. Today Vadodara is an industrial city with some interesting museums and art galleries and a fine lush park. Popularly known as the City of Palaces and Gardens, Vadodara is home to a number of magnificent palaces and monuments which attract large number of tourists every year.

How to Reach Vadodara
By Air : Vadodara airport is located 6 kms from the city centre. Indian airlines, Jet Airways and many other airlines have flights between Vadodara and Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Ahmedabad. From the airport you can hire a taxi or auto-rickshaw to various parts of the town.
By Train : Vadodara has its own railway station which is situated in downtown Sayaji Gunj. Express and superfast trains connect Vadodara with Delhi, Mumbai and other cities of India. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are available at the station.

By Road : Excellent Highways and other roads connect Vadodara with other cities of Gujarat and neighbouring states. Buses of State Transport Corporation and private operators run to from Vadodara to Ahmedabad, Surat, Gandhinagar and cities of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The Central bus station is close to the railway station, auto-rickshaws will take you to any part of the city.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hemachandracharya Jain Gnan Mandir Photos Map data ©2010 Google - Terms of Use Map Satellite Hybrid Back Map data ©2010 - Terms of Use Map Sat

Hemachandracharya Jain Gnan Mandir


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Hemachandracharya Jain Gnan Mandir
Hemachandracharya, renowned Jain scholar and poet, is credited with formulating Gujarati grammar. His treatise ‘Siddha Hema Shabdanushasana’, written during the rule of Siddharaj Jayasinh, is seen as a counterpart to Panini’s treatise on Sanskrit grammar. The poet built this Gnan Mandir, literally "knowledge temple", an ancient library that includes a number of ancient palm-leaf Jain manuscripts (some written in ink of gold) and literature that he wrote. Open 10am-5pm

The Sculptures of Gauri Kund

The Sculptures of Gauri Kund and Ajaypal Temple

These two monuments are located in south-east direction, outside the Amarthol Darwaja. Their religious importance has been described even in Skand Puran. Gauri Kund has been decorated with carving of large number of sculptures in varied sizes. Late Dr Kantibhai Sompura had written his study paper on these sculptures. The carving pattern of these sculptures is indicating that they were made during the Solanki era.

Tadhavaj Hill

Tadhavaj Hill

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Tadhavaj Hill
On the confluence of the rivers Shatrunai and Talaji on the hill top the town of Talaja is located. Carved out in the hills are Buddhist caves or monasteries which were built thousand of years ago. A pleasant climb up the hill brings one to magnificently built Jain temples.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wild Ass Sanctuary - Little Rann

Wild Ass Sanctuary - Little Rann


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WILD ASS SANCTUARY - LITTLE RANN

Some places in the world are known for lush greenery, others for steep cliffs and snowy glaciers and others still for refreshing water lapping against hot beaches. But of all the landscapes in the world, harsh deserts are perhaps the one that fewest people have experienced. Believing it to be not as pleasant as other landscapes, many people miss out on the tremendous beauty found in deserts. Precisely because there are very few people, visiting deserts like the Little Rann of Kutch which gives a traveler the chance to ponder a world before there were so many of us around.

Only after hours blanketed by the deep silences that fall on the salt flats in the middle of the day, when the only sound is the wind scraping along the sand, can you appreciate the sounds that emerge in the evening, the birds singing, insects chirping and the scuffle of small animals rustling in the brush. Only after looking out at the unending flats do you appreciate the greenery and rich wildlife that congregates on the beyts or islands that rise up out of the Rann. And only after getting to know the desert do you begin to understand a secret, that the beauty of life lies hidden in even the most seemingly desolate of places.