Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Muhammad Shah Alam

2. Muhammad Shah Alam : a son of Burhan al-Din who was the founder of Bukhariya Saiyid, and his group had a great religious influence in the Gujarati region and were respected by the ruling class of the Ahmad Shahi dynasty. His dargah consisting of the tomb of Shah Alam, a mosque, tombs and Jama'at Khana (Assembly Hall) is the most famous religious centre among those still venerated by religious Muslims in Gujarat.

From the historical Persian inscription hung at the entrance to the tomb, it can be assumed that the saint died in 880AH (1475). This inscription also mentions that his tomb was constructed in 888AH (1483), and the name of a noble who constructed the tomb is written. As Dr. Rajan stated, there remain various buildings built between 1475 and 1575 in the Dargah of Shah Alam. Among all, two mausoleums and Jama'at Khana, which will be introduced below, are the main buildings.

The tomb of the Sayid Shah Alam is situated roughly in the centre of the east end of this dargah. It is a majestic building on a square plan with a 12-pillared mausoleum with a high dome in the centre of the roof, surrounded by double corridors with 24 small domes on top. It has arch-shaped entrance on all sides. The main entrance on the west having a small dome projects out from the wall. On each wall of the mausoleum, there is an entrance in the centre. On either side of the entrance, there are three arch-shaped windows, over which an arch-shaped part covered by Jali Screen is formed. It helps giving dignity to this mausoleum. When I visited the site, all domes on the roof was painted in white, suggeting that this dargah is still venerated.

?To the west-southwest facing the tomb of Shah Alam, there remains the tomb of Saiyid Makhdum 'Alam. The size, form and structure of the tomb is roughly same as the above tomb. Saiyid Makhdum 'Alam is said to have been the 6th grand son of Shah Alam. This mausoleum also has the entrance projecting out to the east. 24 small domes on the roof are very prominent in this building. Unlike the tomb of Shah Alam, the domes were not painted in white, which conversely gave me strong impression. Inside of this mausoleum is filled with tomb stones. What struck me most was the Jali screen employed on the walls of this squre building. Every pattern was different. I was surprised by the variety of the patterns.

?To the north of this mausoleum, there is a mosque built in the west-northwest of the tomb of Shah Alam. It was constructed later in history. Having an open space with a pond in front of the main building, the noble structure of this construction is quite distinctive. Inside of the prayer room, having a transition with unique sculptures and patterns and mihrab forming simple circular arches, creates unique atomosphere. According to Dr. Rajan, this mosque was constructed by a person called Najabat Khan in the early 17th century and the construction was completed by a person called Saif Khan in 1620. The scluptured patterns on the surface of high and slender minarets on either side of the mosque seemed to me prominently unique.

Sayyid Uthman

1. Sayyid Uthman was one of the Sufi leaders under Sultan Mahmud Begarah reign. The area on the opposite shore of the Sabramati river, which later on came to be called as Uthmanpur, was made the centre of his ascetic practices. The centre of its darga consists of a mosque built in the late 15th century and this leader's tomb. This Sufi saint died in Jumada month in 936 AH (January 1530).

The tomb of Sayyid Uthman was built, corresponding to the position of the mosque, with a large garden in between. It has a flat but large dome at the centre of the roof, surrounded by eight small domes. This central tomb chamber has the same structure as the mausoleum of Shaikh Ahmad Khattu, surrounded by 12 jointed arches. Surrounding this part are double corridors. Like the mosque, there is almost no decoration on the numerous pillars. However, as can be seen in the picture, the outer edge inside the ceiling is richly decorated by sculptured patterns. It is assumed that the large tomb at the centre of the tomb chamber is the tomb of this Sufu saint.

Hazrat Shah Abdullah Husaini Kadri Shattari

2) Hazrat Shah Abdullah Husaini Kadri Shattari (d. 1609) (5th Moharram 1017 hijri)(Ahmadabad) received Khilafat from Hazrat Wajiuddin Guajarati and carried the Shattari traditions and illuminated the generations to come with the Sufi Shattari message. His Shrine is located inside the beautiful Shrine structure of Hazrat Shah Wajiuddin Guajarati in Khanpura, Ahmadabad.


MAZAR-E-SHAREEF HAZRAT SHAH ABDULLAH HUSSAINI QADRI SHATTARI (RA) , AHMADABAD.


Hazrat Sayyed Shah Moulana Qutub-ul-Aktaab Haashim Peer Dastageer Husaini Kadri Shattari (Bijapur, Karnataka) (7th Ramadan)

Hazrat Hashimpeer Datageer who represents the glorious traditions of Qadri and Shattari Sufi orders came to bijapur on specific instructions from the holy prophet of Islam. He was born and brought up in a highly scholastic atmosphere particularly under influence of Hazrat Sayyedna Wajihuddin Gujarati, popularly known as Haider Ali Saani.
It was rule of Ibrahim Adil Shah II when Hazrat Hashimpeer arrived in Bijapur. During his stay in Bijapur he influenced the rulers of Bijapur to give up their un-Islamic and heretic practices.
The world famous monument of Gol Gumbad is located near shrine of Hazrat Hashimpeer owes its completion to the 10 years of life which Hazrat Hasshimpeer granted to his disciple Sultan Mohammed Adil Shah.

The Following are some of Famous Awliyas / Sufi Saints of Silsala-e-Shattari / Silsala-e-Shuttari :-
1) Hazrat Abdullah Shattari Mast (RA)
- Founder of the Silsala ( Kila Mandav, Dhar, Madhya Pradesh )
2) Hazrat Allauddin Kaazan Shattari (RA) ( Hajipur, Bihar )
3) Hazrat Abul Fatah Hidayatullah Sarmast Shattari (RA) ( Hajipur, Bihar )
4) Hazrat Shah Zahoor Haji Huzoor Shattari(RA), Malikana kabrastan, Ratan Sarai Ratan Sarai ( Railway Station ), Sivani, Bihar.
5) Hazrath Shah Sultan Haji Hameed Mohammed Shattari ( Ghouse-e-Gwaliori )
6) Hazrat Shah Wajihuudin Gujrati Husaini Kadri Shattari (Khanpur, Ahmadabad)
7) Hazrat Shah Abdullah Husaini Kadri Shattari (Khanpur, Ahmadabad )
8) Hazrat Sayyed Shah Moulana Qutub-ul-Aktaab Haashim Peer Dastageer Husaini Kadri Shattari (Bijapur, Karnataka).
9) Hazrat Qutb-e-Zamaa Sufi Sarmast Ali Shah Qalander Husaini (RA) ( direct desecent of Hazrat Hashim Peer Dastageer (RA) (Nandura - Dist. Buldhana, Maharashtra)
10) Hazrat Sufi Abdullah Shah Husaini Qadri Shattari (Bijapur, Karnataka)
11) Hazrat Sufi Ghafoor Shah Qalander Husaini Kadri Shattari (Ganesh peth, Daroowala pool, Pune - Maharashtra)
12) Hazrat Sufi Hidayatulllah Shah Husaini Kadri Shattari (Nandura ,Dist. Buldhana, Maharashtra)

In Bangalore a very Famous Dargah Shareef of Sufi Saint belonging to Silsala-e-Shuttaria is of Hazrath Attah-ulla shah Shuttari (RA), who is very well known as the peer-o-murshid of Hazrat Hyder Ali Khan Bahadur (RA) father of Hazrat Tippu Sultan Shaheed (RA).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DARGAH-E-HAZRATH WAJIHUDDIN



DARGAH-E-HAZRATH WAJIHUDDIN (RA), GUJARATI, AHMADABAD.


1) Hazrat Shah Wajihuudin Gujrati Husaini Kadri Shattari (Ahmadabad)

(d. 1590) (28th moharram 998 hijri) Also known with the title `Haider Ali Saani'. He was born in place called `Champaner' an ancient city of Eastern Gujarat. He latter moved to Ahmadabad where he received and latter imparted Knowledge in Islamic studies. He became a prominent scholar of his times and became a Mufti. Royals of that time came to him for opinion (Fatwa) on complex religious issues. Fatwa of Hazrat Mohammed Gouse Gwaliori was also referred to him by Moghal ruler of that time, Sultan Mehmood. We have already discussed how he got influenced by Mohammed ghouse Gwaliori in the above passage. He lived a simple life and always kept humble profile. He used to share whatever came to him with the poor and the needy.


MAZAR-E-SHAREEF HAZRATH WAJIHUDDIN (RA), GUJARATI, AHMADABAD.

His beautiful shrine was built by one of his follower, Nawab murtuza Khan in Khanpura, Ahmadabad. In vicinity of this shrine there is small water well around 2 feet deep. This well water is gushing out for generations from unknown source. Followers have faith that this water has miraculous properties blessed by Haider Ali Saani and is used by them for medicinal and spiritual advantages.


Patanjali Yogpeeth | Divya Yog Mandir (Trust)

Patanjali Yogpeeth | Divya Yog Mandir (Trust)

Patanjali-Yogpeeth-Haridwar

Patanjali Yogpeeth in junagadh is one of the most popular Yoga institutes in the world. The institute has been set up for treatment and research in Yoga and Ayurved. It proudly features world's largest out patient department or OPD which will cater to 6 to 10 thousand patients everyday.

The Yoga and wellbeing institute has been founded with several aims and objectives. The prime among all the objectives is to make the world disease free with the help of scientific approach to Ayurved and Yoga. Apart from OPD, Patanjali Yogpith in Haridwar also features an IPD and a huge pathological laboratory research and treatment with the help of Yoga and Ayurved.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Anandmayi Ma Ashram

Anandmayi Ma Ashram

Anandmayi_Temple_in_Kankhal_Haridwar Situated in Kankhal, one of five sub-cities of Haridwar, the ashram houses the smaadhi shrine of Sri Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), a noted saint of India.

Anandmayi Ma Ashram

Anandmayi Ma Ashram

Anandmayi_Temple_in_Kankhal_Haridwar Situated in Kankhal, one of five sub-cities of Haridwar, the ashram houses the smaadhi shrine of Sri Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), a noted saint of India.

Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar

Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar

Neel_Dhara_Pakshi_Vihar_Haridwar This Bird Sanctuary is situated on the main Ganga river, or Neel Dhara, at the Bhimgoda barrage, it is a paradise for bird watchers and home to many migratory birds during the winter season.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sapt Rishi Ashram

Sapt Rishi Ashram

Sapt_Rishi_Ashram_Haridwar According to Mythology the seven sages- Kashyap, Vashisht, Atri, Vishvamitra, Jaindayani, Bhardwaj and Gautam-were deep in meditation here. The Ganga, not wanting to disturb them and facilitating each her easy approach prefer rather split herself into seven channels around each Rishi.

Bharat Mata Mandir

Bharat Mata Mandir

Bharat_Mata_Haridwar A multi-storey temple, dedicated to Bharat Mata, Mother India, with each floor depicting an era in the Indian History, from the days of Ramayan till India's independence.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rajaji National Park

Rajaji National Park

Rajaji_National_Park_Haridwar Haridwar is also a popular destination for nature and adventure lovers. The Rajaji National Park is about 820 sq. km. in area; attracts wildlife lovers with its pristine scenic beauty and rich bio diversity. Three sanctuaries of the Shivalik range of western U.P. - Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla were amalgamated into a large protected area and named Rajaji National Park in year 1983. It has 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. One may watch a herd of elephants roaming majestically in the jungle or may find oneself excited by wildlife of many kinds including tigers, leopard, jungle cat, Himalayan yellow throated marten, samber, cheetal, barking deer, wild boar, langoor, ghural, sloth beer, king cobra, woodpecker etc. The river shelters fish in abundance.

Shanti Kunj Ashram

Shanti Kunj Ashram

Shanti_Kunj_Haridwar Shantikunj was founded by the Saint-Scholar-Philosopher par excellence, Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, who in his youth was also a freedom fighter.

Shantikunj has emerged over the years as a unique center and fountain-head of a global movement of Yug Nirman Yojana (Movement for the Reconstruction of the Era) for moral as well as spiritual regeneration in the light of very old Indian heritage. It is the head-quarter of Yug Nirman Yojna of the All World Gayatri Pariwar, which has a following of more than twenty million devoted disciples and seventy million persons all over the world.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Parad Shivling

Parad Shivling

Parad_Shivling_Haridwar Situated in Harihar Ashram, Kankhal. Shivling weighing about 150 kg and Rudraksha tree are main attractions here.

Bhimgoda Sarovar

Bhimgoda Sarovar

Bhim_Goda_Haridwar Bhimgoda Sarovar or tank is at a distance of about 1 km from Hari-ki-Pauri. It is said that while Pandavas were going to Himalayas through Haridwar, Bhim made this tank with the blow of his knee.

Sureshvari Devi Temple

Sureshvari Devi Temple

Sureshvari_Devi_Mandir_in_Haridwar Temple of Goddess Sureshwari, situated in midst of beautiful Rajaji National Park. Serene and religious makes this temple abode of worshipers, saints etc. Located at outskirts of Haridwar in Ranipur and permission from forest rangers is necessary.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chandi Devi Temple

Chandi Devi Temple

Chandi_Devi_Mandir_Haridwar According to Indian Mythology the army chief Chanda-Munda of a local demon King Shumbh- Nishumbha was killed by goddess Chandi here after which the place got the name Chandi Devi . Cable_Cars_to_&_from_Chandi_Devi_Mandir_in_Haridwar The temple of Chandi Devi at the top of Neel Parvat on the other bank of river Ganga was constructed in1929 A.D. by the King of Kashmir-Suchat Singh. It is 3 kms. trek from Chandighat. It is believed that the main statue was established by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century AD. It is situated at a distance of 6 kms. on Neel Parvat on the other bank of the main Ganga river. Cable car service is available to reach the temple if one can not climb on foot.

Mansa Devi

Mansa Devi

Mansa_Devi_Mandir_in_Haridwar The temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat (Bilwa mountain). People with a lot of faith climb the top of the mountain to reach the temple on their feet. Here one statue of the Goddess has three mouths and five arms while the other statue has eight arms. The beautiful view of the city can be seen from this place. There is also available a cable car service (ropeway) to take devotees to the old hilltop of Mansa Devi.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Har ki Pauri

Har ki Pauri

Ganga_Aarti_Scene_at_Har_ki_Pauri_Haridwar This sacred Ghat was constructed by the king Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhratrihari. It is believed that Bhratrihari eventually came to Hardwar to meditate on the banks of holy Ganga. When he died, his brother constructed a Ghat in his name which later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri. This sacred bathing ghat is also known as Brahamakund. The reflection of golden hues of floral diyas in the river Ganga is the most enchanting sight in the evening during the Ganga Aarti (Worship). The ghat is regarded as the most sacred in Haridwar and this is the most auspicious point to bathe in the Ganga. A clock tower was also constructed here by Seth Birla which is worth watching.

Piran Kaliyar

Piran Kaliyar

Piran_Kaliyar_Haridwar The 'Dargah' of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahamed 'Sabir' on the outskirts of Roorkee town is a worth-visit-place for every visitor. It is situated towards the south of Haridwar. This place is one of the living examples of unity between the Hindu and Muslim religions. Famed for its mystical powers that fulfill the desires of the devout, the Dargah is visited by millions of devotees from all religions from India and abroad. The Urs is celebrated at this Dargah every year, from the first day of sighting the moon to the sixteenth day during the Rabeeull month of the Islamic calendar.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shamlaji :

Shamlaji :

The ancient Hindu temple of Shamlaji, built during the Solanki Rajput period, is a splendid work of architecture with fine carvings and an aura of devotion. Some of the shrines here date from the 1`st century BC or even ealier. The main aarti attracts numerous pilgrims. During the Kartik Poornima period, Shamlaji is the site for a massive fair. Shamlaji is believed to have been an important site for Buddhism in Gujarat before the Solanki rule.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sidhpur

Sidhpur
Photos

Sidhpur

Sidhpur is a sacred town, around 103 kms. north of Ahmedabad. It is situated on the left bank of the River Saraswati, around 24 kms upstream of Anhilwad Patan, the old capital of Gujarat before Ahmedabad was founded in the first quarter of the fifteenth century. The town is a revered destination, flanked by temples, kunds, ashrams and other sacred structures. Around the 10th century, under the Solanki rulers, this town was at the pinnacle of prominence and glory. It derived its name from the great ruler of Gujarat, Siddhraj Jaisinh from the Solanki dynasty.

Raja Siddhraj built a magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called as the ‘Rudra Mahalaya’ in 12th century AD. The temple was an architectural wonder with a three-storeyed 'shikhara', 1600 pillars, 12 entrance doors, central 'mandapa' and porches on east, north and south and sanctum in west. Around the temple, there were 11 shrines of Rudra. The eastern gate was adorned with beautifully carved 'Toran', with a flight of steps leading to the Saraswati River. The ornamentation of the temple was exuberant as shown by the elaborate and detailed carvings of the pillars and the beautiful Toran, which are the only remains of the temple today.

In Vedas, this modern day Sidhpur is mentioned as ‘Shristhal’ or a ‘pious place’. Of the five most holy and ancient lakes in India is the Bindu Sarovar, which lies here in Siddpur. According to the Hindu religion, it is said that as the obsequies offerings to the paternal ancestors must be made at Gaya, so corresponding offerings to the maternal ancestors have to be performed at Sidhpur. Thus Sidhpur has the importance of ‘Martu Gaya’ or ‘Matru Shraddh’, a place where people come annually to perform the rituals for their mothers who are in heavenly abode. These ceremonies are presided over by the Brahmins, who are treated with high regard. They are performed at Kapilamuni Ashram, where 3 sacred water kunds: the Gyan Vapika, Alpa Sarovar and Bindu Sarovar are present. It is also said that Lord Parshuram performed ‘Matru Shraddh’ at the Bindu Sarovar and his temple is also created here for darshan (worship).

HATGADH FORT

HATGADH FORT

Hatgadh Fort is though situated in the state of Maharastra in the border of Gujarat and Maharastra it is nearby to Saputara.The main feature of this fort is that it is about 3,600 feet high giving panoramic views of the down valley. A narrow passage carved through the rocky terrains leads to the fort. It is also an ideal place to trekk up the village.Hatgadh Fort

Sunday, November 20, 2011

SAPUTARA

SAPUTARA

SAPUTARA

INTRODUCTION

Saputara is a very scenic place situated in the Dang district of Gujarat which attracts a lot of tourists.Saputara at an altitude of about 875 meters is an ideal place to escape from the hustling bustling city life giving peace of mind and serenity.Saputara helps in the restoration of youthful features to fluvial landscapes amidst the green woods.Saputara is free from commotion or disturbance experiences a climate that is consistently pleasant, although leaning towards chilly, throughout the year. Summers are also not really very hot for even during these months the temperature does not exceed 28 Degrees C.

ORIENTATION


Saputara coordinates between 20°40N and 73°21E / 20.67°N 73.35°E and is situated in the Dang forest area of the Sahyadri Range.

HISTORY

Saputara though not has much on its history legend has it that Lord Rama spent 11 years of his exile in these very forests. There is other meaning for the name Saputara for it literally it literally means 'abode of serpents’. This name of Saputara is highlighted by the presence of an image of a snake on the shores of the Sarpagana river, which flows through the town.

FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

DANGS DARBAR

Dangs Darbar is a tribal festival which falls in the month of March/April just before holi.It is a very colourful tribal festival which goes for about five days during which the tribal people assemble to celebrate an old custom of political pensions given to the tribal kings. The events of the festival include merry making, dance and music, colour and a brisk buying and selling of tribal wares. The tourists visiting Saputara also participate in this festival with equal enthusiasm.

DWARKA TEMPLE

DWARKA TEMPLE


Location : Dwarka, Gujarat.
Also Known As: Jagat Mandir.
Dedicated To: Lord Krishna.
Major Festivity: During Janmashtami In August

LORD KRISHNA'S ABODE
The temple of Jagat Mandir, with the presiding deity of Shri Krishna known as Dwarkadhish, is an imposing edifice and a superb architectural monument. Having a plinth area of 1800 square feet, the temple consists of a shrine that is supported by 60 pillars of granite and sandstone.

The seven-storey edifice gradually rises to a height of 170 feet. The spire is unique for the view it presents and the experience it induces. Beautifully sculpted sandstone wall enthralls the visitors and the ambulating devotees.

On the west side of the temple is the seat of Adi Shankaracharya, the great master of Hindu faith who visited the temple in the seventh century. For the scholars, a wall poster depicting the family tree tracing the lineage to Lord Krishna offers an interesting insight into the great Indian epic of Mahabharat.

LEGEND
An interesting legend surrounds the idol installed at this temple. It is said that, taking pity on his old devotee Badana, who used to traverse the long distance from Dakor to Dwarka, God in the form of an idol went with him to Dakor. This enraged the priests at Dwarka, who chased Badana to retrieve the idol. Badana persuaded the priests to leave the deity in return of gold, where upon the priests agreed to withdraw. By a miracle, the idol became as light as the nose-ring, which was all that the poor widow could offer.

But the Lord didnot want to disappoint the priests. He therefore granted them a boon that they will find a replica in Dwarka on a particular day. Unable to resist their curiosity, the priests excavated at the suggested site a little too early, and found yet to grow idol, which is now enshrined at Dwarka.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Someshwar Mahadev Temple

Someshwar Mahadev Temple is believed to have built out of gold originally by Somraj, the Moon God himself, then rebuilt by Ravana in silver, then by Lord Krishna in Wood, and then by Bhima (the strongest of the five Pandava brothers) in stone. The present temple is the seventh one reconstructed beyond six repeated destruction by the Muslim invaders. http://hallosushant.blogspot.com/


Architecture of Somnath Mahadev Temple

Though built in the Kailas Mahameru Prasad style, the Somnath Temple’s architecture influences that of Jain http://hallosushant.blogspot.com/
style. The temple consists of Garbhagruh, Sabhamandap and Nrityamandap with 150 feet high Shikhar and a Kalash at its top. The dome of the temple is the biggest one. The Somanath temple faces east and has a vast central hall with three entrances, each protected by a tall porch. Added attractions are the carved doorways, the sculptured representations of Nandi (the celestial bull) and the figures of goddesses. In the balconied corridor is the damaged form of Nataraja statue. Shri Kapardi Vinayak and Shri Hanuman Temple are other spots to be noted in the temple. This temple is said to be the place where Lord Krishna performed all his Lilas. There is a small cave in the temple where a lamp burns continuously.

Marine Sanctury & Marine National Park

Marine Sanctury & Marine National Park
(Jamnagar - Gujarat)


Location: 30 Kms From Jamnagar, Gujarat.
Area: 458 Sq Kms.
Main Attractions: Coral Reef Formations.
Unique Feature: India's First Marine Park

PIROTAN'S CORAL REEF

Gujarat has the distinction of creating the country's first Marine National Park spread over an area of nearly 458 sq. kms in the Gulf of Kachchh, 30 kms from Jamnagar. Offshore from the southern coast of the gulf of Kachchh, an archipelago of 42 islands sits like little gems in the Arabian Sea.

Here, corals create fantasies in stone and are the master builders of the Park. These are home to some of the finest coral reef formations on India's west coast, some fringed by mangrove forests. Their limestone fortresses - each one the work of a colony of countless tiny animals - come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes, from the convoluted brain coral to corals that look like horns.

The waters of the gulf are home to the dolphin, the finless porpoise and dugong sea cow. In 1980, the Gulf of Kachchh was declared India's first marine nature reserve, and in 1982 it became India's first marine national park.

MAIN PARK POPULATION

Turtles, shrimp, sponge, eels, sea urchin lurk among the corals and huge schools of fish create a brilliance of colours that are unknown, unseen and unimaginable. Here you can see dolphins and octopuses.

Dugong, a marine mammal, which resembles a seal and the rare Boralia species are found in these protected areas. The park has dense mangrove growth, which provides scores of birds with nesting and roosting sites.

MARINE LIFE

Sea turtles nest on the beaches. The coral reefs are a blaze of colour, home to a variety of rare life forms like the octopus, sea hare and 200 species of molluscs. Also colourful fish like the puffer, butterfly and parrot; and echinoderms like the star fish, brittle star, sand dollar, sea urchin and sea cucumber. More than 40 species of sponges in vivid shades of green, red, pink and other colours abound.

Soft corals include the sea anemone, sea fans and sea pens which resemble a bed of flowers in this brilliant underwater world. Thousands of shore birds like crab plovers, terek sandpipiers, oystercatchers and sanderlings descend on the mud banks to feed on the array of beached marine life when the tide turns. In summer and the monsoons, more than 30 species of birds including herons, darters and terns nest on the island shores and canopies of the mangrove trees.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wild Ass Sanctuary

Wild Ass Sanctuary
(Little Rann of kachchh - Gujarat)


Location: Little Rann Of Kachchh, 150 km off Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Coverage Area : 4953 Sq Kms.
Main Attractions: Wild Asses.
Best Time To Visit: October To March.

Arrival Information :

-- By Rail : New Bhuj Railway Station is 1 kms. north of BhujWild Ass Sanctuary in Gujarat

-- By Air : The nearest airport is located 150 kms. away at Bhuj, connected by regular flights from Mumbai.

-- By Road :
-- Nearby Excursions : Modhera is famous for its temples built of delicately carved stone. Patan is one of the oldest cultural centers in the region and famous for its Patola saris.
-- Nearby Cities : Rajkot is an important city in the Saurashtra region.

Gujarat is as famous for its large wild ass herds as it is for its lions. To protect these rare animals, a sanctuary covering an area of over 4,953 sq. kms. was created to offer protection to more than 2,100 wild asses inhabiting this area. In the Little Rann of Kachchh, the asses are attracted by the flat green grass covered expanse known as bets (islands where coarse grasses springs up during the monsoon).

THE AGILE WILD ASS
Few animals in the animal kingdom can match the wild ass in terms of speed and stamina. They are capable of marathon runs at a pace of about 24 km/h for as long as two hours, reaching a top speed of 70 km per hour over short distances.

FLORA AND FAUNA
The Rann of Kutch is full of dry thorny scrub and there are no large trees. The main vegetation in the region includes many species of grasses that are widely available as the source of food for the wild Asses. The most famous wildlife of the region includes the Indian Wild Ass, as well as the chinkara, desert fox, jackal, desert cat, caracal, nilgai, wolf, blackbuck, and striped hyena.

THE AVIAN POPULATION
The area is also well known for its birds the most notable being the flamingoes from Siberia. During winter, thousands of these magnificent pink birds can be found, particularly at Dholavira. An excursion of the Rann of Kachchh can enable you to see many species of birds.

At the Little Rann, you can see numerous birds ranging from the incredibly beautifully colored Indian Roller to the majestic stature of the demoiselle cranes, numerous falcons, bustards and 'saras' cranes. Of equal joy is a chance to ride a camel decked in its finest riding apparel.

Porbandar Bird Sanctury


Porbandar Bird Sanctury
(Porbandar - Gujarat)


Location: Porbandar, Gujarat.
Area: 1 Sq Km.
Famous For: Bird Population.
Best Season: October To March.

Located in the heart of Porbandar city, this small bird sanctuary approximately 1sq km in area is home to a variety of wildfowl, teals, ibis, curlews, and a sizeable number of migratory birds.

GETTING THERE
Air:
The nearest Airport is at Porbandar, 5 kms.
Rail:
The nearest Railway Station is at Porbandar, 5 kms.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

APUTARA HILL RESORT

APUTARA HILL RESORT


Location: 160 kms from Surat, Gujarat.
Altitude: 1000m Above Sea Level.
Main Attractions: Saputara Lake, Ropeway.
Best Season: April To Early July.

Gujarat's picturesque hill station is perched on a plateau at an altitude of about 1000m in the Dang forest area of the Sahyadari Range. It has a cool bracing climate, the highest temperature even in the summer months not exceeding 28 degrees Centigrade. Saputara is situated 160 kms from Surat. Legend has it that Lord Rama spent 11 years of his exile in these very forests.

'Saputara' means the 'abode of serpents' and a snake image on the banks of the river Sarpagana is worshipped by the 'adivasis' (tribals) on festivals like Holi.

Saputara has been developed as a planned hill resort with hotels, parks, swimming pools theatres and a museum. It has several gardens, picturesque locations and a cool bracing climate even in the hot summer months making it an ideal getaway. The resort is equipped with adventure sports facilities like paragliding.

The thick forest around Saputara is dotted with Adivasi tribal, villages and heir unique dance is great interest to visitors.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS
Saputara Lake: Right in the heart of the valley is the extremely calm Saputara Lake where row and paddleboats are available on hire.

Valley View Point: A bird's eye view of the valley, a somewhat adventurous climb (1-1.5 km).

Sunset View Point: A lovely view of the sunset over the entire valley. Visitors can climb or use the ropeway to approach the point.

Gardens In Saputara: The Lake Garden, the Step Garden and the Rose Garden offer scenic places for the tourist to laze in, while walking around Saputara.

The Ropeway: A ten-minute ride straddles the valley to the Sunset Point. The comfortable coupe is safe and ideal for a family. The view from the halt midway is truly breathtaking. Sunrise Point should also not be missed.

Gandharvapur Artist Village: Visitors can pick up pretty pieces of pottery, jewellery, vases, paintings, pen stands, key chains all made from bamboo chips and other locally found material. Children can learn to make simple items in the workshop organized by the craftsmen.

Museum: A small museum with a tribal theme displaying the lifestyle, ornaments and musical instruments of the tribes of Dangs. There is also a workshop making some of the traditional displays.

Other places of interest in Saputara include the Honey Centre, Forest Nursery, Horse Riding, Log Hut, Governor Hill and Echo point.

EXCURSIONS
Excursions from Saputara can be made to the wild life sanctuary in the Mahal Bardipara Forest, 60 kms from the resort and the Gira Waterfalls 52 kms away.

MAHUDI

MAHUDI


Location : Modhera, Gujarat.
Dedicated To: Vir Ghantakarna.
Famous As: Jain Pilgrimage.

Situated on the bank of the river Sabarmati, Mahudi is a centre of pilgrimage for the Jains and Khadayata Banias. The Jain temple is dedicated to Vir Ghantakarna. Jain Muni Buddhisagarji had observed a long period of penance here and had inspired the construction of the new temple.

The Sun temple of Kotyark attracts the Khadayata community. The mother and child idol of this temple dates back to Gupta period.

Devotees offer 'Sukhadi' (assorted varieties of food) to the reigning deity. Tradition forbids the devotees from taking this 'Sukhadi' out of the temple complex.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AMBAJI TEMPLE

AMBAJI TEMPLE


Location : Arasur Hill, Gujarat.
Dedicated To: Goddess Amba.
Built Of: Marble.
Prominent Feature: No Idol.

Situated on the Arasur hill near Mount Abu, Ambaji is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Gujarat because of the famous temple of goddess Ambaji, also known as Amba Bhavani or 'Arasuri'. It is the principal shrine of the goddess in Gujarat and its actual origins are still unknown. The fact that this temple does not have an idol is indicative of it antiquity, since the worship of images of deities became popular much later.

Built of the finest quality of marble, the temple of Ambaji is recognised as one of the original 'Shakti Pithas' where, according to the ancient scriptures, the heart of the goddess Ambaji fell on earth when her body was dismembered. The deity in the temple is represented not by an idol but by a triangular 'Vishwa Yantra', inscribed with figures and the syllable 'Shree' in the centre.

During the holy month of Bhadrapad, devotees trek hundreds of miles on foot to reach the temple by 'Bhadrapad Poonam'. In the vicinity are the well-known Jain Temples of Kumbharia and Gabbar, a steep hill whose peak bears the footprints of the

Rajkumar College

Rajkumar College
Rajkumar College
Rajkumar College

The impressive Rajkumar College was established by the British for the sons of the Gujarat noble families. Today it still remains a prestigious public school in Rajkot. The statue of the first Principal of the college stands in front of the college building.

Lakhota Fort


Lakhota Fort

Lakhota Fort
Jamnagar’s old walled city is dominated by the huge Lakhota Fort which was the seat of the Jamasahebs of Jamnagar. The fort is like a palace with semi-circular bastions, turrets, a pavilion with guard-rooms housing swords, powder flasks and musket loops etc. Today there is a small museum within this fort with artifacts, armours and objects found from the excavation site.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kutch

Kutch


Kachchh district is surrounded by the Gulf of Kachchh and the Arabian Sea in south and west, while northern and eastern parts are surrounded by the Great and Small Rann (seasonal wetlands) of Kachchh. When there were not many dams built on its rivers, the Rann of Kachchh remained wetlands for a large part of the year. Bhuj is the district head quarters of Kutch district.

Mandvi
Mandvi
Mandvi


Mandvi is a fortified town located 60 km southwest of Bhuj. It is famous for its beaches and camel and horse rides on the shores. Close to the beach is the Vijay Vilas Palace, an impressive building built in 1940 as a royal summer retreat. From the rooftop one can have a beautiful view of the sea.


The Little Rann of Kutch Sanctuary

The Little Rann of Kutch Sanctuary
Kutch Sanctuary
The Little Rann of Kutch Sanctuary, a UNESCO world heritage site is located in the Kutch district. The sanctuary covers an area of 4954 sq. kms with unbroken bare surface of dark silt, encrusted with salts, which is transformed to a spectacular coastal wetland after the rains. It can be considered as a transition between marine and terrestrial eco-system. There are 74 bets (elevated plateaus or islands) inhabited by 93 species of invertebrates including 25 species of zooplanktons, 1 species of annelid, 4 crustaceans, 24 insects, 12 molluscs and 27 spiders. Due to its strategic location the sanctuary provides an important feeding, breeding and roosting habitat for a large number of birds.

About the place

About the place

Champaner
Champaner
The deserted city of Champaner is 52 km north east of Vadodara and is a world heritage site. Originally a kingdom of Rajput Chauhan dynasty, Champaner was conquered by Muslim ruler Mahmud Begada in 1484. He added magnificent palaces, mosques and tombs within the massive walls guarded by huge gateways. The city saw gradual decline after 1535.

There are some remains of mosques and forts standing in the city. The Jami Masjid and Nagina Masjid are two huge mosques dating back to the 16th century. The ruins of the Pavagadh fort can be seen just four kilometers off Champaner. Inside the fort you can see a cluster of Hindu, Muslim and Jain shrines.

On the way to the fort you can also come across a seven storey palace of the Chauhan kings. The kings were slain here when they refused to embrace Islam.s

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dutch Gardens

Dutch Gardens -Surat

About:

Surat is a bustling port city sited in the state of Gujarat. A forerunner of India's industrial enterprises, Surat is shrouded in history and myriads of reference of its former efflorescence can be found in the chronicles of the Mahabarata, the annals of the foreign travelers and the British and Dutch colonial powers. A beautiful relic of Surat's glorious past are the magnificent and sprawling Dutch Gardens.

The Dutch garden in Surat is essentially cemeteries of the officers who landed and settled in Gujarat on their business ventures. Dutch garden is one of the most significant gardens in Surat. Gardens in Surat have been expanding from time to time, under succeeding gardeners to its present state. The striking features of the English and Dutch cemeteries are their huge and imposing tombs. They tell the story of power and glory. Tombs of Christopher Oxenden and George Oxenden, two English traders who took charge of the English Factory in Surat, are the biggest ones in the English cemetery. The tomb of Baron Adrian Van Reede, who was director of the Dutch Company in India, stands out arrestingly in the Dutch cemetery

Surat, a busy port city is the administrative headquarter of its namesake district. The city is full of life and has all the hustle and bustle that is characteristic of an industrial city. The second largest city of Gujarat, Surat is credited to be the ninth largest city of the Indian subcontinent with a population touching the sizable 4.9 million mark. Standing in a quiet corner away from the chaotic rush and the raucous traffic the Dutch Garden stands unperturbed by all the pollution and cacophony and offers a welcome refuge with generous stretches of

Surat Dutch Garden has been set up to pay homage to the Dutch officers who were drawn to Surat on business purposes. There are English, Dutch and Armenian cemeteries around the Kataragama Gate. There is an enormous mausoleum of Baron Adrian Van Reede, who died here in 1691. Godert de Ginkell, 1st Earl of Athlone or Godart van Ginkel was a Dutch general in the service of England.

He came of a dignified family, and bore the title of Baron van Reede, being the eldest son of Godart Adrian van Reede, Baron Ginkel. In his youth, he entered the Dutch army and served the country for a long period of time. He is a man of great reverence. While taking a stroll you might feel like offering your prayers to those whose soul are resting in peace in the cemetery ground. The ancient original port from where the ships sailed to other parts of the world is another main attraction near the Dutch gardens. The old English factory and the Anglican Church located close to Surat Dutch Garden are other interesting sites that are worth a visit.

Location info:

Address:Dutch Gardens,Surat,Gujarat,India
District: Surat
Nearest City: Surat
Best time to visit: October to May

Climate/Weather:

The average maximum and minimum temperatures are 40 °C (104 °F) and 18 °C (64 °F) respectively

History:

In 1612, the British established their trading factory in Surat soon to be followed by the Dutch and French. Due to political and climatic problems and growing significance of Mumbai, Surat lost its prominence. In 1852, Surat became the first municipality of Gujarat and gradually it became a major business city famous for its textile industry. The Dutch influence in the city is very prominent. Many Dutch as well as Englishman came over to Surat to start trading business in textile industry. These people opened a burial ground in honor of the Dutch businessman. The Dutch garden in Surat has been set up to cremate business men who came here for trading purpose.

Rajkot

Aji Dam Garden- Rajkot




Aji Dam Garden, Rajkot is a major Tourist Attraction in Rajkot. The Aji Dam Garden in Rajkot is a beautiful garden beside the Aji Dam. The garden is situated downstream and looks beautiful with lovely flower plants, trees and different types of floras. The Aji Dam Garden in Rajkot in Gujarat in India also has amusement parks and zoos. There are food courts and children parks. In the amusement parks both the adults and the children can have a nice time. The Aji Dam Garden in Rajkot is a spot which is visited by people of all ages.

Aji Dam Garden is maintained by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation. In the amusement park of the Aji Dam Garden people can spend a nice time trying out the rides and eating snacks at the food courts. The Aji Dam Garden at Rajkot in Gujarat in India also has a bird aviary, zoo and crocodile park. This garden is situated at a distance of eight kilometers from the city, on the outskirts which gives the visitors an opportunity to move around in serene tranquility. During the winter season the Aji Dam Garden, Rajkot looks more beautiful as the trees and the flowers are in full bloom.

The winter birds which comes to this area during the winter stays on the trees of the gardens which adds color and beauty to the Aji Dam Garden of Rajkot in Gujarat in India. The colorful and the vibrant atmosphere attract more and more people during this time of the year. The pleasant atmosphere of the park and the number of people around helps the visitor in having a good time in the Aji Dam Garden of Rajkot. People of Rajkot visit the Aji Dam Garden for an evening walk and to meet and sit with their friends and enjoy a beautiful evening. The food stalls and amusement park in the Aji Dam Garden of Rajkot attracts children and adults alike.

Location info:

Address:Aji Dam Garden ,Rajkot,Gujarat,India
District: Rajkot
Nearest City: Rajkot
Best time to visit:

Climate/Weather:

summer with temperature soaring up to 45 'C and proper care should be taken to avoid and kind of sickness. The winter in turn are quiet pleasant with average temperature dipping up to 12 'C

History:

The history of Rajkot city dates back to the 17th century. The city was established by the then ruler of Sardhar in 1608 A. D. Gradually, it earned the status of a Princely State in the year 1805. The British Government during 1820 to 1870 played a commendable role in developing the old city area popularly known as Sadar.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam

Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam


SSNNL owns some land downstream side of the dam consisting of light deciduous forest inter spread with lakes, grass, land, streams, hillocks and rivulets. The topography is undulating, with a fairly amazing variety of plant species and wild life, making it an excellent location for recreational and leisure activities.

SSNNL recognized the immense potential of the dam site and its environs in terms of tourist potential and has developed primary tourist facilities such as road, drinking water, toilet, street light, new view points, lakes, vishram kutirs, reception centre, huge parking facility, gardens, restaurant and snacks parlor.

SSNNL is also interested in development of eco friendly tourist facilities with private sector participation, with a view to create an attractive tourist destination and also to create awareness about the project. Total 80.50 Hect. Some of the land has been identified in first stage. To facilitate the tourist activities proposed in first stage are Restaurant and Food-Court, low-cost accommodation, Rose-Garden, Land scaping souvenir and Vendor Stalls Hotels with 50 Rooms, Camping, Island Restaurant, and Adventure Sports etc.

History of Gujarat

History of Gujarat
The history of Gujarat dates back to 3500 years. The Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilization can be known from the archaeological findings at Lothal near Dhandauka in Ahmedabad district and Razdi in Saurashtra. The history of Gujarat flows through the dynamic kingdoms and principal states of Saurashtra. According to the legends, the Somnath shore temple was built by Soma, the moon god himself to mark the creation of the Universe. The Lord Krishna’s kingdom was also built at Dwaraka in Gujarat. Gujarat was also present in the exploitation of the great Buddhist emperor Ashoka and his Rock Edicts can be seen near Junagarh. Later, Gujarat

Gujarat History

also suffered invasions from Mahmud of Ghazni who demolished the Somnath Temple and carried away gold with him. Gujarat was also a battlefield at the time of the war between the Mughals and Marathas. It was also the earliest contact point with the West at Surat where the British set up their first commercial outpost in the 16th century. Daman and Diu, the two small Portuguese enclaves survived within Gujarat for over 450 years till 1961 when these were liberated by the Indian Army. During the British Raj, Gujarat was part of the larger Bombay Presidency and was ruled from Mumbai, and became a separate state in 1960 when the Indian States were divided on the basis of language. More...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tarnetar Mela

Tarnetar Mela

Tarnetar Mela GujaratTarnetar Mela is one of the most popular fairs of Gujarat. It is organized in a village called Tarnetar, situated at a distance of around 75 kilometers from Rajkot. It is an annual three day fair and is celebrated during the months of August-September and is also called the Trinetreshwar Mahadev Fair. Tarnetar Mela is an important fair for the tribal people of India and is therefore thronged by all the nearby tribes of the region. The major tribes which participate in this fair are Koli, Bharwad, Rabari, Khant, Kanbi, Kathi, and Charan.

There is an exciting story behind the commencement of the fair, which refers to the Mahabharta Era. It is said that the Swayamvar of Princess Draupadi was conducted here. According to the folklore, the Pandava Hero, Arjun, won Draupadi's hand by showing his skill at archery. This has made the Tarnetar Mela a 'marriage mart' or 'Swayamvar' for the tribal youth. The young tribal men come to this place to look for suitable brides for themselves. The vibrant fair is the main attraction for the tribal youth.

Men can be seen in traditional colorful attire of dhotis, waistcoats and eye-catching turbans. These men come here to be chosen by the young tribal lasses dressed in customary finery. All the bachelors sit under their respective colorfully embroidered umbrellas. These umbrellas are especially prepared for the occasion by the men themselves. The spirit of festivity is at its peak during the Tarnetar Mela. All the tribal people indulge in various merry making activities, like dancing, music, competitive sports etc.

Gujarat People


Gujarat People

Gujarat PeopleGujarat boasts of a rich culture and heritage. The people of Gujarat are commonly referred as Gujaratis and the main language spoken by them is Gujarati. Gujarat is a flourishing state in all spheres and as a result, numerous people from different parts of India have settled here for various reasons like trade, education, etc. Though, with changing times the state has prospered and is on the path of development, its people are strongly bound by their ancient value system.

Gujarat still has a number of tribes like Jats, Harijans, Ahirs, Rabaris, etc. Where the Jats are believed to be herdsmen of Sindh, Ahirs are said to be the descendants of Lord Krishna. Meghwal people were named as the Harijans by Mahatma Gandhi. Originally from Marwar, Harijans are known for their exclusive handiworks. Unlike other tribal people of Gujarat, the Rabaris are nomads and have their own unique lifestyle. The women amongst all the tribes are essentially homemakers, who spend their time taking care of their children and house.

Whatever their origin, these tribes are an inseparable part of Gujarat. Both the Harijans and the Rabaris are known for their dexterity at making beautiful handicrafts and contribute their best to the Indian art and craft galore. The Hindus form the major part of state's population, followed by other religions. Infact, there are many castes lines - Koli, Kanbi, Brahmin, Vaishnava, Suthar, Luhar, Kadiya, Kumbhar, Rajput, Vaniya, Anavil and Lohana, which originate from the Hindu religion.

In Gujarat, women are given equal importance in the families. They are efficient and meticulous in their household work. Their usual attire is Sari, teamed with light gold jewelry and sindoor (vermillion). Being influenced by Gandhiji, Gujaratis do not prefer non vegetarian diet and alcohol. People also devote a considerable time towards religious practices. In concise terms, the people of Gujarat are lively and vivacious, who live in perfect harmony, while respecting each other's religious sentiments and feelings