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Showing posts from April, 2017

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The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan

Abhaneri - The once radiant city

From the outside, the structure looked unimpressive. A couple of old men were seated on a table, there was no ticket counter, and above all, no visitors. “Are we in the right place?” was the question foremost on our mind. Our hesitation must have been obvious, for one of the old men walked up to us. “Come in, Come in!” he exclaimed. “Would you like a guided tour?” That was reassuring, and we were quick to accept. Following him through a pillared pavilion, we entered into what appeared to be another world! The distinctive steps, descending into the earth, told us we were where we wanted to be – at the Chand Baori, Abhaneri. A panoramic view of the Chand Baori, Abhaneri

My Narendra Bhawan Experience

From the outside, it appears to be a Haveli. The traditional architecture, with red sandstone, is seen all over Bikaner. It is only when we step in, that we realise that there is more to Narendra Bhawan than meets the eye! Narendra Bhawan

The Royal Legacy of Bikaner

The story of Bikaner often starts with the disagreement between Rao Jodha of Jodhpur and his sixth son, Rao Bika. A stray comment by his father led him to the wild land ruled by the Jats, overcome them, and set up a new kingdom. The story is filled with emotions, replete with drama, politics and intrigue. However, there is another story as well – the story of Bikaner, seen over 500 years, through its art and architecture.