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Architecture / Sculptures / Statues

Forts


* 20 Aug 2022
Harishchandragad is an ancient hill fort in the Ahmednagar district situated in the Malshej Ghat, an altitude of 4,670 ft. with its origin in the 6th century during the rule of the Kalchuri dynasty. The caves on top are probably carved out in the 11th century. The various constructions on the fort and those in the surrounding region indicate the existence of diverse cultures. Saptatheertha Pushkarni, Kedareshwar cave, Harishchandra temple and other caves are the examples for that.
Taramati or Taramanchi peak is the top most point on the fort.
Kokan Kada - sheer cliff faces west and looks down upon the Konkan.
Source: indiahikes.com  ;  wikipedia.org


* 10 Apr 2022
Hill Forts of Rajasthan
The serial site, situated in the state of Rajastahan, includes six majestic forts in Chittorgarh; Kumbhalgarh; Sawai Madhopur; Jhalawar; Jaipur, and Jaisalmer designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The six extensive and majestic hill forts together reflect the elaborate, fortified seats of power of Rajput princely states that flourished between the 8th and 18th centuries and their relative political independence.
Within the defensive walls of the forts, the architecture of palaces and other buildings reflects their role as centres of courtly culture, and places of patronage for learning arts and music. As well as housing for the court and military guard, most had extensive urban settlements within their walls, some of which have persisted to the present day. Collectively the forts contain extensive water harvesting structures, many of which are still in use.
Source: whc.unesco.org


* 6 Jul 2022
Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh Fort, a symbol of Rajput chivalry, resistance and bravery is located on a 180m high hill near the Gambheri River in Chittorgarh at a distance of 112 kms from the city of Udaipur, Rajasthan. This fort was built by various Maurya rulers in the 7th century covering an area of 700 acres, extending to 3 kms in length and 13 kms in peripheral length.
Chittorgarh or Chittor was the capital of the Gahlot and Sisodia clans of Rajput and of Mewar. The Fort was named after Chitrangad Mori of the Maurya dynasty who is said to have laid its foundation. The fort came into the possession of Bappa Rawal, who established the Mewar dynasty, in the mid 8th century.
There were 3 major attacks on the Fort
In 1303 by Allaudin Khilji to fulfill his desire to make off with Rani Padmini.
In 1535 by Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat
In 1567 by Mughal Emperor Akbar to conquer Maharana Udai Singh.
Every time, a jauhar (mass suicide) was observed by the womenfolk and children of royalty who never allowed themselves to be captured.

There are seven huge gates (Pols) strengthened by strong iron spikes that served as a watch towers.
Ram Pol the gate of Lord Rama.  Near the Ram Pol, is the Chattri of 15 year old Patta of Kelwa who fought bravely to the end.
Padal Pol - Two cenotaphs dedicated to Jaimal and Kala, who were killed by Akbar in the battle of 1567. There is a memorial erected in the memory of Rawat Bagh Singh who along with King Vikramaditya fought against Sultan Bahadur Shah.
Bhairon Pol - in memory of Bhairondas Solanki, who also fought against Sultan Bahadur Shah in 1534
Ganesh Pol, Jorla Pol, Lakshman Pol and Hanuman Pol.

Within the fort, there are several structures such as palaces, cenotaphs, temples and towers.
The Rana Kumbha Palace, the Fateh Prakash Palace, Rani Padmini's Palace and the Vijay Stambh (Tower of Victory), a huge complex of Jain temples.
Vijay Stambh
Vijay Stambh
(the Tower of Victory) is a huge nine storey tower which was built by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440. The tower is 122 ft high and stands on a 10 ft high base. There are sculptures and carvings on the exterior walls of the tower. The tower is visible from any section of the town below. And from the tower top after climbing 157 steps, there is a great view of the surroundings. The inside walls of the tower are carved with images of Gods, weapons, etc.

Kirti Stambh
Kirti Stambh
(the Tower of Fame) is dedicated to Adinathji, the first of the Jain Thirthakaras. It was built by a merchant and is decorated with figures form the Jain pantheon.

Rana Kumbha's Palace
is near the Vijay Stambh. This is the birthplace of Maharana Udai Singh the founder of Udaipur. His life was saved by the heroic act of the maid Panna Dhay, who replaced her son in place of the prince & consequently her son was killed by Banbir. She carried the prince away to safety in a fruit basket. Rani Meera Bai also lived in this palace. This is the place where Rani Padmini committed jauhar with the other ladies in one of the underground cellars.

Rani Padmini's palace
Rani Padmini's Palace is the palace from which Alauddin was allowed to watch a reflection of the Rani (wife of 14th century monarch Maharawal Ratan Singh). The original palace was reconstructed in the same plan by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1880.

Near the Fateh Prakash Palace, is the newly-restored government museum that has an extensive collection of weapons, royal paintings, medieval sculptures, a model of the fort, and magnificent recreation of the royal durbar of Mewar kings.

Chittorgarh fort, along with other hill forts of Rajasthan was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.

Sources: udaipur.org.uk ; culturalindia.net ; indian-heritage.org ; tripsavvy.com


* 4 May 2022
Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer Fort also known as Sonar Quila (Sone Ka Quila) or the Golden Fort was built in 1156 AD by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal on the Trikuta Hill and has survived several attacks by the Muslim rulers like Ala-Uddin-Khilji and Mughal Emperor Humayun.
It is 1,500 ft (460 m) long and 750 ft (230 m) wide and the basement of the fort has a 15 ft (4.6 m) tall wall forming a double line of defense in Islamic and Rajput architectural style. The bastions of the fort form a chain about 30 ft (9.1 m). There are  four entrances - Ganesh Pol, Rang Pol, Bhoota Pol and Hava Pol.
Attractions - Maharawals located in front of the Chauhata Square with the Maharawal’s marble throne which is placed over a flight of marble steps, a five-storied Tazia tower constructed by Muslim craftsmen with decorative Bengali styled roofs, Jawahar Palace, Raj Mahal, The Jain and the Laxmikanth Temples, several Havelis with decorated windows, archways, doors, and balconies.
It is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.
Source: rajasthandirect.com


* 4 May 2022
Amber Fort
Amber Fort also popularly known as the Amer Palace, overlooking the overlooks Maota Lake is located in Amer town, 11 km from Jaipur fort. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. A perfect example of Rajasthani architecture, it has influences of both Hindu and Muslim architecture.
It is an extensive palace complex built with pale yellow and pink sandstone, and with white marble. The fort is divided into four main sections that are graced with their own courtyards. There are two entrances Suraj Pol and Chand Pol. Both these gates open into the Jaleb Chowk, which is the main courtyard, where in earlier times, returning armies used to display their plunder to the people. The fort has a number of sections, including the King’s quarters, the zenana (women's quarters), gardens, temples, Diwan-e-aam, Sukh Mahal, and the Sheesh Mahal. Amer Fort is also home to some underground tunnels that connect Amer to Jaigarh Fort. A part of these tunnels have been restored, and is now open to public as well. This fort also has the 'Shila Devi' temple and the 'Ganesh Pol' which is a gate that leads to the private palaces of the kings.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Source: tourism.rajasthan.gov.in ; jaipur.org.uk


* 15 Apr 2022
Chitradurga Fort
Chitradurga Fort is locally known as Elusuttina Kote (meaning the fort of seven circles) is located 200 kms from Bengaluru and is one of the country’s strongest hill forts. The fort is originally said to have had 19 gateways, 38 postern-gates, 35 secret entrances and 4 ‘invisible’ entrances. Many of these have gone out of existence now. The doors were made of strong and thick wooden beams fastened with iron plates. The soaring ramparts were designed so that each line of fortification overlooks others below. Zigzagging pathways slowed down enemy soldiers and prevented the use of battering rams. The doors of the main gateways were, in addition, bristling with iron spikes to ward off elephants.
Chitradurga fort is famed for its sophisticated water harvesting system. Interconnected reservoirs collected and stored rainwater, which overflew from each tank flowing into other tanks below it. Such an effective system ensured that the fort never ran out of water. After filling all these tanks, the water used to flow to the moats round the fort-walls.

Temples in Chitradurga Fort: The fort has numerous temples like the Sampige Siddheshwara, Hidimbeshwara, Ekanathamma, Phalguneshvara, Gopalakrishna, Anjaneya, Subbaraya and Basava. A big piece of bone has been kept in the Hidimbeshwara Temple and is shown as the tooth of the demon Hidambasura, and a cylinder of iron plates, six feet high and ten feet in circumference, as the bheri or kettle-drum of Bhima. A figure of Hidambasura is sculptured on the Vimana. In the Siddheshwara Temple also is kept a piece of bone much larger than that kept in the Hidimbeshvara temple, which also is believed to be as the tooth of Hidambasura.

Onake Obavva Kindi: A must-see in this fort is the Onake Obavvana Kindi, named after a brave woman Obavva. It is connected with the famous attack of Haidar Ali on Chitradurga. Haidar’s forces were unable to enter into the fort, in spite of a long siege. They soon found a small crevice through which they could get into the fort. It was a very narrow crevice, hardly admitting a human being in a kneeling position. Obavva hid there and saw the enemy trying to get inside. Displaying remarkable courage, she grabbed onake (a pestle) and killed each soldier getting inside.
Source: karnatakatourism.org