web 2.0

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Victoria Terminus-CST Railway Station- Mumbai India


 Mumbai , formerly called Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. Mumbai, the most populous city in India, is one of the most populous cities in the world  and an awesome travel destinations India.

Fast facts about Victoria Terminus in Mumbai
When it was built: 1888
By whom it was built: Government of India
Nature of the building: Railway Station

Brief Description
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station, in Mumbai, is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture. The building, designed by the British architect F. W. Stevens, became the symbol of Bombay as the ‘Gothic City’ and the major international mercantile port of India. The terminal was built over 10 years, starting in 1878, according to a High Victorian Gothic design based on late medieval Italian models. Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture. It is an outstanding example of the meeting of two cultures, as British architects worked with Indian craftsmen to include Indian architectural tradition and idioms thus forging a new style unique to Bombay.

History of Victoria Terminus in Mumbai

Victoria Terminus in Mumbai was modeled on St Pancras Station in London. Mr Frederick William Stevens, an architect designed the railway station in Mumbai in 1887-88 at a cost of Rs16.14 lakh. Later Stevens, went to Europe for 10 months so that he could study the railway stations across the European countris in detail. Victoria Terminus was completed in 10 years, named to honor Queen Victoria and then opened to all. Only recently in 1996, it was renamed after Chhatrapati Shivaji, a famous Maratha king of 17th century y the state government of Maharashtra.

Features of Victoria Terminus in Mumbai

  -   Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is popularly known by its acronym VT. Being the headquarters of the Central Railways in India, it is the western-most end point of the division and also the southern end point of the central and harbor lines of Mumbai's metropolitan rail transport system.
  -   Long distance trains as well as suburban trains on the main line and the harbour line operate from this station.
  -   A blend of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Indian architecture-is displayed by the wood carving, tiles, ornamental iron and brass railings, grills and balustrades in the station
  -   It showcases advanced technical and structural designs
  -   There is a statue of Queen Victoria on the dome of the station.
  -   The first steam train in India-- from Mumbai to Thane was flagged off from here in 1853.

Victoria Terminus in Mumbai

Don't miss out the architectural splendor showcased by the station as you reach Victoria Terminus in Mumbai. A High Victorian Gothic design based on late medieval Italian models blended with stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground-features of traditional Indian palace architecture, created a new style of architecture in Mumbai

Terrorist attacks in 2008

On 26 November 2008, two terrorists entered the passenger hall of the CST, opened fire and threw grenades at people. The terrorists were armed with AK-47 rifles. More than 50 people were killed in the attack.

Famous Hotels In Mumbai, India

The Taj Mahal Intercontinental hotel in Mumbai is one of the premier hotels in India since its opening in 1903.This hotel in mumbai combines gracious architecture, luxurious accommodation and fine dining experience. Read more about this famous hotel in my next post.....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Museum Based on Hindu Scriptures & Legends-Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh- India

Hyderabad has developed into a major hub for the Information technology industry in India. It is the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Capital of the Country. The city is home to the world's largest film studio, the Ramoji Film City as well as the Telugu Film Industry, the second-largest in India, known popularly as Tollywood. Lthough it has various IT Hubs comming up it also houses some of the modern temples and is a major travel destinations India.

traveldestinationsindiaSURENDRAPURI, A place where one can visit and feel the experience of visiting 100's of temples all over India. It is Located on Yadagirigutta Road and just 2 KM before Yadagirigutta, Nalgonda Dist. Andhra Pradesh, India.

A 60-km drive away from hyderabad city, this museum at Surendrapuri near Yadagirigutta, Hyderabad has given a great opportunity to the devotees to get acquainted with the fascinating events of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata and other Puranas. All the important events are carved out in the form of eye-catching sculptures employing ultra-modern artistic techniques. That’s not all, this sprawling 18-acre set up also has famous replicas of all the important temples and gods such as Kaashi Viswanath, Kolkata Kali, Madhura Meenakshi, Tirumala Balaji, Shirdi Saibaba, Palani Kumara Swami and Ayodhya Rama.

A visitor can see models of all the important Hindu pilgrim centers like Gangotri, Kashi, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Amarnath, Tirupati etc.

There also models of the Sapta Lokas mentioned in the Puranas – Brahm Lok, Vishnu Lok, Shiva Lok, Naga Lok, Indra Lok, Yama Lok, Pathal etc.,

Another important exhibit is the paintings on the life of Lord Hanuman.

It is also known as "Kunda Stayanaranayana KalaDhamam". This is the place where you can find Panchamukha Hanuman Temple, where you can see one of the tallest idol of Hanuma. But currently it is became a main tourist attraction with A Mytholigical Awarness Centre calling as "Padmavyuham" which is started recently.

The 36-feet high sculptures depicting Lord Krishna, enlightening Arjuna with message of the Bhagavad gita, even as the the armies get ready for war at Kurukshetra, is simply spell binding. Also worth mentioning are the sculptures of Lord Vishnu along with his weapons and that of Goddess Lakshmi as she saves Gajendra from the clutches of the crocodile. Equally fascinating is the sculpture of Balakrishna who’s shown dancing on the the snake-king Kaliya.

You can see all the famous Pilgrim Centers models in a form of permanent construction at Surendra Puri, like Gangothri, Kashi, Badarinath, Kedarinath, Amarnath and Sapta Lokas Brahmlok, Vishnu Lok, Shiva Lok, Naga Lok, Indra Lok, Yama Lok, Pathal etc.,

Monday, February 15, 2010

Interesting Facts About Charminar

Built in : 1591 AD
Built by : Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah
Location : Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)

Charminar is an important travel destinations & landmark in the city of Hyderabad. The monument is synonymous to the city as well as to its glorious historical past. It was erected, when Quli Qutb Shah shifted his capital from Golconda to the present city of Hyderabad. The monument is called so, owing to its four minarets. The splendor of the monument is especially evident during the night time, when it is illuminated. For some more interesting and fun facts about Charminar, read on.

Interesting & Fun Facts about Charminar

    * Charminar was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591.
    * It is believed that Charminar was built to honor a promise Quli Qutb Shah made to Allah.
    * The mosque became popular as Charminar because of its four minarets.
    * The four minarets of Charminar are said to honor the first four khalifas of Islam.
    * The mosque actually occupies the top most floor of the monument.
    * Charminar is a four - storied structure.
    * As per a popular legend, an underground tunnel connects the palace at Golconda to Charminar, in order to provide the Qutb Shahi royal family an escape route in case of a siege. However, the exact location of the tunnel is unknown.
    * Charminar is an impressive square monument.
    * Each side of the monument measure 20 m and each corner has a tall pointed minaret.
    * The height of each minaret is 48.7 m above the ground.
    * Each minaret of Charminar has four stories and is marked by carved ring.
    * Each minaret encloses 149 flights of steps, which take the visitors to the top floor.
    * Each side of the Minar has a giant arch, which is 11 m wide and 20 m high, measuring from the summit to the plinth.
    * Each arch also has a clock, which was installed in 1889.
    * Built with granite and lime mortar, Charminar is a fine example of the Cazia style of architecture.
    * There are two galleries within Charminar, one over another.
    * Above the two galleries, there is a terrace, which acts like a roof along with a stone balcony.
    * The main gallery of the Minar has 45 covered prayer spaces. Just in front, there is a large open space to accommodate more people for prayers on Fridays.
    * Charminar is famous for its intricate carvings and moldings.

The Charminar is an imposing monument, which reflects the glory of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. It is a massive square structure, 56 m (183.72 ft) high and 30 m (98.42 ft) wide. This monument is built entirely of granite and lime mortar. It has 4 minarets one on each of its corners. These fluted minarets are attached to the main building and rise towards the sky to a height of 56 m (183.72 ft). Each minaret of the Charminar has a double balcony. A small bulbous cupola crowns each of these beautiful minarets, which is decorated with petal like formations. A short pointed spire crowns all the minarets.

The four grand arches of the Charminar face the four cardinal directions. Once upon a time each of these arches led to four royal roads. Each of the four arches is decorated on its sides with a row of small arched niches. The Charminar is a two-storied building with the first floor being covered. The elegant balconies on this floor provide excellent vantage point for viewing the surrounding areas. There is a small mosque on the top floor of the building, which can be reached by climbing a total of 149 steps. The mosque is situated on the western side facing the Muslim holy city of Mecca. There are as many as 45 prayer spaces on this floor, which does not have a roof on top of it. It is said that people thronged this mosque to offer Friday prayers, during the reign of the Qutub Shahi dynasty in Hyderabad. This mosque is the oldest surviving mosque in the city of Hyderabad. The panoramic view of the city from the top is simply breathtaking.

The Charminar is a unique blend of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture that flourished in India during the medieval period. The beauty of this enchanting monument is accentuated every evening when it is illuminated.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Golconda Fort Hyderabad India

Golconda fort is a majestic monument, which lies on the western outskirts of Hyderabad city. It speaks of a great cultural heritage of 400 years and is regarded as a place worth visiting. Built by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah in 1525, it stands as the epitome of Nawabi culture and grandeur.One has to experience this travel destination.

A Well Planned Architecture

The magnificent architecture of the Golconda fort is manifest in its acoustic system, the structural grandeur of the palaces and ingenious water supply system. The fort was famous for its diamond trade and the 'Kohinoor' diamond is said to have come from here. One is perplexed to see the meticulous details of the architecture and the fading gardens, which were once upon a time replete with sprawling lawns and playing fountains.

Golconda is built on a granite hill 120m high, and is surrounded by crenulated ramparts constructed of large masonry blocks weighing several tonnes. The design of the ventilation reveals the brilliant planning of the architects; they are designed to let in a flow of fresh cool breeze, which is a respite from the heat of summer.

The massive gates are studded with large pointed iron spikes to prevent elephants from battering them down. The outer wall surrounding the entire township of Golconda, is about 11-km long, and is strongly fortified. In its heyday, the 10-km long road from Golconda to outer Hyderabad was a fabulous market selling jewellery, diamonds, pearls and other gems, which were famous all over the world.

History Of Golconda

Before the city of Hyderabad was founded the Deccan was ruled from Golconda fort. Founded originally by the Kakatiya's in the 13th century the existing structure was expanded by the Qutub Shahi kings into a massive fort with granite walls and ramparts extending some 5-km in circumference. The first three Qutub Shahi kings rebuilt Golconda, over a span of 62 years.

Shepherd's Hill" or "Golla Konda", as it was popularly known in Telugu, has an interesting story behind it. One fine day, on the rocky hill called 'Mangalavaram', a shepherd boy came across an idol. This was conveyed to the Kakatiya king, who was ruling at that time. The king got a mud fort constructed around the holy spot. Over a period of time this lowly construction was expanded by the Qutub Shahi kings into a massive fort of granite, which has been a silent witness to many historic events.

Attractions Within The Fort

One of the most remarkable features of Golconda is its system of acoustics- a hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the 'Bala Hissar', the highest point almost a kilometre away, palaces, factories, water supply system and the famous 'Rahban' cannon, that was used during the last seize of Golconda by Aurangazeb, to whom the fort ultimately fell.
There is also supposed to be secret underground tunnel leading from the 'Durbar Hall' to one of the palaces at the foot of the hill. The tombs of the Qutub Shahi kings, built with Islamic architecture lie about 1-km north of the outer wall of Golconda. These graceful structures are surrounded by landscaped gardens, and a number of them have beautifully carved stonework. Not be missed is the Sound and Light show conducted by Andhra Pradesh Tourism.

Outside the Golconda Fort are two separate pavilions built on a rocky eminence - the 'Taramathi Gana Mandir' and the 'Premathi Nritya Mandir' from where the legendary sisters 'Taramathi' and 'Premamathi' resided. They gave their performance on a circular dais atop a two-storied structure, the 'Kala Mandir', which was visible from the king's durbar (king's court) on top of the Golconda Fort.


A new attraction at the fort is a sound and light show that brings the legend of Golconda to life. With a spectacular interplay of audio and visual effects, the story of Golconda unfolds over centuries of splendour. The show livens up the glorious past and it is an experience worth watching. The show is presented in English, Hindi and Telugu.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Inside The Taj Mahal - A Master Piece

The Taj Mahal is a wonderful piece of art. The beauty of the Taj Mahal is not limited to just the outside view but the art works and carvings inside the Taj Mahal are even more beautiful and fascinating. If one says that the works in Taj Mahal interiors are no less than jewellery, it is not exaggeration! The works and decorations inside the Taj Mahal are so exquisite that there is hardly any space for criticism. They epitomize perfection and beauty and an excellent travel destination India.
As soon as one enters the monument, one can see an elevated central chamber below which is the burial chamber. Four octagonal rooms in each corner surround the crypt. There are two levels in the Taj Mahal that consist of eight rooms each. These rooms were to be used to bury other members of the royal family. The crypts of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal lie side by side with the heads facing in the direction of the holy city of Mecca. They are decorated beautifully with inscriptions from the holy book of Muslims, The Quran and once were studded with semi-precious stones and gems.

The interior of the mausoleum comprises a lofty central chamber, a crypt immediately below this and four octagonal corner rooms originally intended to house the graves of other royal family members.

In the centre are the cenotaphs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan's cenotaph is to the left and is higher than that of his beloved which rests immediately below the dome.

The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal stands in the centre of the marble screen, it has inscribed on it in Persian with texts from the Koran. The cenotaph of Mumtaz has the single epitaph inscribed on it- "Marqad Munavvar Arjumand Bano Begum Mukhatib bah Mumtaz Mahal Tanifiyat fer sanh 1040 Hijri" (Here lies Arjumand Bano Begum called Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1040 A.H. or 1630 A.D.)

Inside View of Taj Mahal : The cenotaph of Shah Jahan is inscribed in Persian- .'Marqad Mutahar Aali Hazrat Firdaus Ashiyani Sahib-qiran Saani Shah Jahan Badshah taab surah sanh 1076 Hijri" (The sacred sepulchre of his most exalted Majesty, dweller of Paradise, the second lord of constellations, the king Shah Jahan, may his mausoleum ever flourish, 1076 A.H. (1666 A.D.).

A masterpiece inside the Taj Mahal is the marble screen or "Jali" that surrounds the graves. It has been intricately carved by artisans and is a delight to look at. It is carved so finely that it seems as though the screen is made up of fine cloth. The walls are intricately decorated with drawings like vines, creepers with flowers and other beautiful designs. At one point of time, these decorations had semi-precious stones and gems studded in them.

Above the tombs is a Cairene lamp, the flame of which is supposed to never burn out.

Marble screen of trelliswork surrounds the graves. Both tombs are exquisitely inlaid with semiprecious stones.

The acoustics of the building are superb with the domed ceiling being designed to echo chants from Koran and musician's melodies.

It is suggested that one walk around the outside of the tomb, before retrieving your shoes, to appreciate it from all sides.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Taj Mahal Garden- A Seanic Beauty

Taj Mahal is endearing and special as a love story or ode to love ever created by human will. This has become a major travel destinations for people visited locally and around the globe. From the moment it is sighted, it grabs a tiny, corner space in the head to remain a part of one for evermore, a shadow figure that travels everywhere. Every once in a while this etched monument acquires larger than life proportions in one`s head to reaffirm an imposing presence - like a magician`s bewitching trick.

Garden In Taj Mahal, A well laid out garden in Taj Mahal forms a lively centerpiece, side vistas and border design for the great monument. Trees, flowers and birds aglow with life, stretch themselves to greet the somber world of spirit with cheer.

Two fountain-studded marble canals lined with Cypress trees divide the garden in Taj Mahal into four equal halves. Four and its multiples repeat themselves attractively as square patches of colour. Stone paved pathways crisscross the sixteen flowerbeds into a fragrant arena.

Then, as one begins to walk towards the great monument it appears to be growing. With each progressive step the Taj Mahal rapidly expands in dimensions of octagons raised to manifold powers. Architectural wizardry too can be seen in the design. A love for symmetry is reflected in each perfectly shaped part of the Taj Mahal.

Water Garden
Garden of Taj Mahal, AgraThrough the centre of the garden runs the two marble canals with fountains and lined with cypress trees (symbolising death). This divides the garden into four equal squares(Islam considers four to be a holy number), evoking the image of Islamic paradise that has rivers of water, milk, wine and honey flow. The stone paved pathways further subdivides each flower bed into 4, making total of 16 flower beds.

The Persian Style Garden
The lush green garden expands from the main gateway to the plinth, over which stands the tomb. The garden in essense is based on symmetry and geometrical measurements. The Persian style garden has a close link with paradise, since Quran describes paradise as a beautiful garden.