Vidur’s Travel Diary – 14 : Sarnath


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 04 , 2012           01.05 A.M.

On the morning of June 17 , 2012 , I started for my native place Deoria from Varanasi . I decide to visit Sarnath , which is world-famous centre of Buddhist religion and is just 13 km. away from Varanasi on Varanasi – Gorakhpur national highway . This was my second visit of Sarnath . I had earlier visited this place almost 30 years back .

It is here in the Mrigadava [ deer park ] , Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodh Gaya . According to Buddhist folklore , Lumbini , Bodh Gaya , Sarnath and Kushinagar are the four most important places connected with the life of Gautam Buddha . Lumbini [ Place of his Birth ] , Bodh Gaya [ Place of his Enlightenment ] , Sarnath [ Place of his First Sermon or Dhammachakkappavattan ] and Kushinagar [ Place of his Nirvana ] are pilgrimage centre and visited by devout Buddhists .

Out of these 4 holy cities of Buddhist religion , I have visited 2 cities . Kushinagar was a tehsil headquarter in Deoria district and now it is a separate district . It is 34 km. away from Deoria . I have visited it many times . And this time it was my second visit to Sarnath .

Buddha gave his first sermon or Dhammachakkappavattan in Sarnath . He also spent his first rainy season at Mulagandha Kuti .

Two pillars at the two sides of the road indicate the starting of the boundary of Sarnath .

Main Entrance of Sarnath City

Main Entrance of Sarnath City

Main Road of Sarnath City

Main Road of Sarnath City

Mulagandhakuti Vihara is a modern monastery built in 1930 by king of Sri Lanka Anagarika Dharamapala . It has a golden statue of Gautam Buddha and beautiful murals on the inner walls .

Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

My Wife at Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

My Wife at Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Outside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Outside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

My Wife Outside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

My Wife Outside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Statue of Anagarika Dharamapala , King of Sri Lanka , Who Built The Temple

Statue of Anagarika Dharamapala , King of Sri Lanka , Who Built The Temple

The Inscription

The Inscription

Dhamek Stupa is another important shrine . It is 128 feet high and 93 feet in diameter .

The Dhamekh Stupa - Sarnath

The Dhamekh Stupa – Sarnath

The Dhamekh Stupa - Sarnath

The Dhamekh Stupa – Sarnath

Me & My Wife At The Dhamekh Stupa - Sarnath

Me & My Wife At The Dhamekh Stupa – Sarnath

Me & My Wife At The Dhamekh Stupa - Sarnath

Me & My Wife At The Dhamekh Stupa – Sarnath

Very close to Dhamek Stupa , in Singhpur village , there is birthplace of Shreyansnatha , the 11th Tirthankara of Jainism . A temple is built on that holy place .

Birthplace of Shreyansnath , 11th Tirthankara of Jainism

Birthplace of Shreyansnath , 11th Tirthankara of Jainism

Birthplace of Shreyansnath , 11th Tirthankara of Jainism

Birthplace of Shreyansnath , 11th Tirthankara of Jainism

At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Desciples

At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Disciples

At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Desciples

At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Disciples

My Wife At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Desciples

My Wife At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Disciples

Bell , Donated by Dalai Lama

Bell , Donated by Dalai Lama

The latest in the list of temple is a Thai temple . It has a gigantic statue of Gautam Buddha .

Thai Temple - Sarnath

Thai Temple – Sarnath

Me & My Wife at Thai Temple - Sarnath

Me & My Wife at Thai Temple – Sarnath

Me & My Wife at Thai Temple - Sarnath

Me & My Wife at Thai Temple – Sarnath

Buddha Statue - Thai Temple - Sarnath

Buddha Statue – Thai Temple – Sarnath

Main Entrance of Sarnath City

Main Entrance of Sarnath City

Sarnath is a small town . I completed my visit within few hours and after visiting local museum proceeded for Markandeya Mahadev temple in Aundihar . I have written about that temple in my travel diary of Varanasi .

Like Varanasi , Sarnath is also not a remote place . I intend to visit it again in winters . But again the same feeling ; who knows ?

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

Vidur’s Travel Diary – 13 : Varanasi


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 03 , 2012           01.15 A.M.

Varanasi or Benaras or Kasi or Kashi , this old and perennial city of India , which symbolises Hindu ethos and its timeless tradition , is a new metropolis , yet it existed and started its journey several millennium ago . As per tradition and folklore it is 5000 years old city . Its mythical and cultural name is Kashi . Rigveda mentions this city as Kasi or Kashi . During British era the name was changed and the city came to be known as Benaras . After independence the city was rechristened as Varanasi . Varuna and Assi are two rivers , which caress the city from two sides , hence the city was rechristened as Varanasi .

Varanasi predates history . It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world and the oldest city in India . As per Hindu mythology this city rests on the trident of Bhagwan Shiva . This city is closely associated with the legendary Raja Harishchandra , an ancestor of Bhagwan Ram . Harishchandra ghat still exists and bears his name and reminds us of his supreme sacrifices in pursuit of truth . Along with AYODHYA , MATHURA , MAYA [ HARIDWAR ] , KANCHI , AVANTIKA [ UJJAIN ] and DWARKA , Varanasi , for the Hindus , is the 7th Holiest Cities of India . I consider myself lucky and fortunate that I have chance to visit all the above mentioned seven cities .

I have been to Varanasi several times . I first visited this city with my parents and other siblings , while I was a toddler . It was for the MUNDAN [ Tonsure Ceremony ] of my younger brother . I still remember my first journey to Varanasi by train . I was a kid and I used to converse with my parents only in Bhojpuri . My father insisted that while in Varanasi , we all must converse in Hindi . I was finding it difficult and avoided speaking throughout the journey .

I have visited this city numerous times since then . Every year when I visit my native place Deoria , I have to make a halt either at Varanasi or Lucknow . This year in June , I took a morning flight from Mumbai on June 16 , 2012 and along with my wife , landed there in the afternoon . Varanasi now has a swanky and sprawling airport . Old airport was not worthy of the reputation of this ancient city . This new Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is truly impressive .

Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport - Varanasi

Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport – Varanasi

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport - Varanasi

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport – Varanasi

I took a cab and drove to Hotel Gautam Grand near Varanasi Cant station .

Hotel Gautam Grand - Varanasi

Hotel Gautam Grand – Varanasi

When in Varanasi , you have to enjoy the crowded lanes and by-lanes of this mythical yet  modern metropolis . Godaulia is the nerve – centre of the city .

Godaulia - Varanasi

Godaulia – Varanasi

The world-famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 JYOTIRLINGAS of Bhagwan Shiva in India . You dare not afford to miss this shrine . The old temple , built by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century , was destroyed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb , who built a mosque on the ruins of this temple , which , today , is known as Gyanvapi mosque . The present Kashi Vishwanath temple was built by Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1717 . This temple was adorned by Maharaja Ranjit Singh , who donated 820 k.g. gold in 1889 .

Kashi Vishwanath Temple - Entrance

Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Entrance

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

 

Gyanvapi, the original holy well between the t...

Gyanvapi, the original holy well between the temple and mosque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After darshan of Kashi Vishwanath temple , you proceed to Dashashwamedha Ghat , where Ganga Aarti is performed in the evening . Dashashwamedha Ghat was built by Maharaja Savai Jai Singh II in 1693 . It is one of the 100 ghats of Varanasi . Originally Ganga Aarti was started in Haridwar by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya . Few years back it was started in Varanasi also and today it is major tourist attraction .

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Apart from Dashashwamedha ghat , Kedar ghat and Harishchandra ghat are other two major ghats of Varanasi .

Kedar Ghat - Varanasi

Kedar Ghat – Varanasi

Harishchandra Ghat - Varanasi

Harishchandra Ghat – Varanasi

Godaulia - Varanasi at Night

Godaulia – Varanasi at Night

A British Era Church at Godaulia

A British Era Church at Godaulia

Sankat Mochan temple is the another famous temple of Varanasi . According to the folklore , Sant Tulsidas worshipped here and Bhagwan Hanuman gave him darshan . After Kashi Vishwanath temple , it is the 2nd most revered temple of Varanasi for Hindus .

Sankat Mochan Temple

Sankat Mochan Temple

Varanasi is famous for Sants like Tulsi Das , Kabir Das , Ravi Das , Tailang Swami and Keena Ram . Tailang Swami and his disciple Keena Ram Baba followed AGHOR PANTH . Keena Ram Baba is most famous exponent of AGHOR PANTH . I visited his Ashram also . This was my first visit . I visited it twice . First visit was in the afternoon of June 16th and the second one was next day , on June 17 , 2012 .

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba - Main Entrance

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba – Main Entrance

At The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

At The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba  - Residence

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba – Residence

At Keena Ram Baba Ashram

At Keena Ram Baba Ashram

My Wife at The Ashram of Sant Keena Ram

My Wife at The Ashram of Sant Keena Ram

I left Varanasi on June 17 , 2012 in the morning . While proceeding towards Sarnath and Aundihar , I started remembering several luminaries of Indian history , who were born in Varanasi and spent their lives in this city .

Notable residents of Varanasi

Temple of Markandeya Mahadev in Aundihar is another famous shrine of Bhagwan Shiv , which I visited with my wife , while on my way to Deoria .

At Markandeya Mahadev Temple - Aundihar

At Markandeya Mahadev Temple – Aundihar

My Wife at Markandeya Mahadev Temple - Aundihar

My Wife at Markandeya Mahadev Temple – Aundihar

Varanasi is not a remote place for me . It is in between Mumbai and Deoria . I can and will visit it as long as I am alive . But then being alive is the big , unknown and unanswered question . Who knows it is my last visit or not ? Who knows whether I would be able to visit it again or not ?

I started for Deoria with heavy heart . Though I do hope to visit Varanasi again in winters for Allahabad Kumbh mela . Lines of Agyeya come running in my mind :

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

Vidur’s Travel Diary – 10 : Dabra


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 04 , 2012           01.55 A.M.

After Orchha visit on February 29 , 2012 , I returned to Dabra in the evening . Next day on March 01 , 2012 , it was party on the occasion of House – warming of Shri Ashok Tiwari .

As I had nothing to do any thing particular , I started roaming in the city and started thinking about my numerous Dabra visits . Dabra is a non – decrepit town in Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh . It is not a historical place of repute . It has no significance in history of even Madhya Pradesh either . Dabra is just the ancestral town of my wife . This town is situated in between Gwalior and Datia / Jhansi . My wife’s grand – father , in search of greener pastures , went there in his younger days , bought huge tracts of land there and became permanent resident of Dabra , leaving his native place Ghortap in Deoria district of Uttar Pradesh .

 

Map showing location of district in Madhya Pra...

Map showing location of Gwalior district in Madhya Pradesh

My wife spent most of her childhood there in the house , which her grand – father built . P

hotos of the house given below is the slightly altered version of the original house .

Ancestral House of My Wife - Dabra

Ancestral House of My Wife at Dabra

Dabra Ancestral House of My Wife

Ancestral House of My Wife at Dabra

My Wife in Her Father's Room

My Wife in Her Father’s Room

Gallery Leading to Aangan

Gallery Leading to Aangan of old House

The facade and exterior of the house is changed . Photo , which I have posted above , shows the interiors of the old house . As I have stated in my earlier blog and if I am remembering correctly , I visited Dabra for the first time in 1977 / 78 . My wife’s grand – father was ill and I went to see him . Since then I had gone to Dabra many times .

As time passed and as family grew in numbers , every nuclear family of my in – laws started leaving old house and moved to the newly constructed mansions . Three swanky and huge mansions now stand in their farm land .

Road Leading to Tiwari Farm - Dabra

Road Leading to Tiwari Farm – Dabra

3 New Houses As Seen from the Road

3 New Mansions As Seen from the Road

New Bungalow of Shri Ram Sevak Tiwari

Bungalow of Shri Ram Sevak Tiwari

New Bungalow of Shri Ram Sevak Tiwari - Side View

Bungalow of Shri Ram Sevak Tiwari – Side View

New Bungalow of Shri Rang Nath Tiwari

Bungalow of Shri Rang Nath Tiwari

New Bungalow of Shri Rang Nath Tiwari - Side View

Bungalow of Shri Rang Nath Tiwari – Side View

New Bungalow of Shri Ram Sevak Tiwari

Bungalow of Shri Ashok Tiwari

New Bungalow of Shri Ashok Tiwari - Side View

Bungalow of Shri Ashok Tiwari – Side View

I don’t have photos of my wife’s grand – parents and her mother . But I do have few photos of some of her family members and I am posting them here .

With My Father - In - Law

With My Father – In – Law

My Wife With Her Father In front of Dabra House

My Wife With Her Father In front of Dabra House

With My Wife's Brother Shri Deen Dayal Tiwari

With My Wife’s Brother Shri Deen Dayal Tiwari

With My Wife & Her Brother Shri Rang Nath Tiwari

With My Wife & Her Brother Shri Rang Nath Tiwari

With My Wife & Her Brother Shri Ashok Tiwari

With My Wife & Her Brother Shri Ashok Tiwari

With Shri Rang Nath Tiwari My Wefe's Nephew Manoj

With Shri Rang Nath Tiwari & My Wife’s Nephew Manoj

With My Wife's Nephew

With My Wife’s Nephew Rakesh

With My Wefe's Nephew Brijesh

With My Wife’s Nephew Brajesh

With My Wife's Nephews : Munna & Santosh

With My Wife’s Nephews : Rakesh & Santosh

With Shri Rang Nath Tiwari & My Wife's Nephew Vivek

With Shri Rang Nath Tiwari & My Wife’s Nephew Vivek

All these photos were clicked on various occasions . As I have stated earlier Dabra is a small , dusty and sleepy town . In a way , it resembles my own native place Deoria . I am posting few photographs of Dabra town here . I am starting with the Kanya Vidyalaya , where my wife studied .

Kanya Vidyalaya - Dabra

Kanya Vidyalaya – Dabra

Main Road - Dabra

Main Road – Dabra

Main Road - Dabra

Main Road – Dabra

Another Road of Dabra

Another Road of Dabra

Another Road of Dabra

Another Road of Dabra

Main Road - Dabra in The Night

Main Road – Dabra in The Night

Main Street of Dabra During the Night

Main Street of Dabra During the Night

With the passage of time many things have changed in Dabra . The metamorphosis are striking . Town is now bigger . Roads are better . Swanky buildings and bungalows have sprung up in every nook and corner of Dabra .

There are changes in my wife’s family also . My wife’s grand – parents are long gone . My wife’s mother is also dead . Her eldest bhabhi too , died few years back on April 26 , 2010 . Whenever I visit Dabra and I see old Dabra house , I remember her . For me Dabra town and Dabra house came to be associated with her only . Due to huge age difference , I couldn’t talk much to my wife’s grand – parents . But her bhabhi was different . She was jovial , humane , very affectionate and was always there for us with smiling face . Whenever I used to visit Dabra , either alone or with my wife , she always stood at the main gate to welcome us . I can , even today , visualize her standing there with eyes wide open with joy and a pleasant smile on her face . After few day’s stay , when we prepared to leave Dabra for our journey back home , she always came to the Dabra railway station to say us goodbye . As our train started chugging out of the station , I can visualize and do remember her frail figure standing on the platform . I still remember her tear – filled eyes glued to our face , as if  saying us to come soon and expecting us to return again . For me ,  she was not only my sister – in – law but in every aspect , she was my mother – in – law . With her demise , and that too at quite young age , significance of Dabra , for me , changed completely . It will never be same again for me . I associate Dabra with her existence and for me this equation is not going to change ever . I have her picture and I am posting it here .

My Wife's Bhabhi [ Seated at Left ]

My Wife’s Bhabhi [ Seated at Left ]

Old house of my in – laws will soon be demolished . With its demolition several old memories will also be gone forever . Some old workers and family – helpers will also cease to exist or have already faded away . I specially remember an old maid , Mathuro . She has already faded away with time .

I don’t know whether I would be again visiting Dabra or not . Whether it will be too soon or it would be many years away . Times have changed . Dabra is changed . Younger generation has taken control and they are firmly in saddle . Older generation is slowly fading away .  A girl – child’s affection for her ancestral home does not ebb with time . So for my wife’s sake , I have to accompany her to Dabra , whenever there is some occasion / function . But this will happen only if I outlive her . But if I die before her , I don’t know whether my sons will take her there or not .

So now onwards , every visit of Dabra is perhaps , the last visit .

Remembering these lines of Agyeya , I ended my Dabra visit , took afternoon flight from Gwalior and reached Mumbai on March 02 , 2012 .

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Vidur’s Travel Diary – 9 : Orchha


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 29 , 2012           01.30 A.M.

After finishing sight – seeing of Datia on February 27th and Gwalior on February 28th , I still had one day left . So I decided to visit Orchha also . I had visited it once . Many years ago I went to Jhansi for the thread ceremony of my nephew Ashwary Chaturvedi and after the ceremony was over , I went to Orchha . But I reached there in the night , so I could visit only the temple . Orchha Fort complex was closed . I returned with a heavy heart .

So I was not willing to let this opportunity go again . This time I started from Dabra in the morning on February 29th . I passed through Jhansi and since Orchha is only 16 kilometres from Jhansi , I reached there before noon .

Orchha town was built in the 16th century by Bundela Rajput chieftain Rudra Pratap on the banks of rocky Betwa river . Situated on Jhansi – Khajuraho road , it comes under Tikamgarh district of Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh . Orchha is 170 km from Khajuraho and 16 km from Jhansi .

Rudra Pratap’s successor Bir Singh Ju Deo developed Orchha city in the 17th century . Orchha means hidden and in true sense of the term , Orchha is really hidden from the concrete jungles of modern-day .Even today it is a small town of few thousand people .

Starting from the 1531 AD , Bundela rajputs ruled Orchha for almost two centuries .

I first went to see Raghunath Ji temple . Idols of Bhagwan Ram , Sita and Lakshman are worshipped in a palace like structure . It is said that queen of Orchha brough the idols from Ayodhya . King of Orchha constructed a grand temple for the idols . This structure is known as Chaturbhuj Temple . It was ordained that the idol will remain where it will be kept first . When queen reached Orchha , it was night . Thinking that she will place idols in the main Chaturbhuj temple in the morning , queen kept the idols in her palace . In the morning , when queen tried to remove the idols from her palace to put it in the sanctum-sanatorium of Chaturbhuj temple , she failed . And since then her palace became the de – facto temple and grand Chaturbhuj temple , even today , remains vacant .

Raghunath Ji Temple Orchha

Raghunath Ji Temple Orchha

Original Raghunath Ji Temple in Orchha Which is Vacant

Original Chaturbhuj Temple in Orchha Which is Vacant

After darshan , I proceeded towards Fort complex . The complex has many palaces . Raja Mahal , Rai Praveen Mahal , Jahangir Mahal are magnificient example of Bundela art and architecture . I started from Deewan – E – Aam and Raja Mahal .

On The Betawa Bridge Connecting Orchha Palace Complex

On The Betwa Bridge Connecting Orchha City to Orchha Fort Complex

Palace Gate Orchha

Fort Gate Orchha

Entrance of King's Palace

Entrance of King's Palace

Deewan - E - Aam Orchha Palace

Deewan - E - Aam Orchha Palace

Front View of Darbar - E - Aam

Front View of Deewan - E - Aam

Deewan - E - Aam Balcony From Where Kings Used to Address Crowd

Deewan - E - Aam Balcony From Where Kings Used to Address Crowd

A View of Raja Mahal

A View of Raja Mahal With Stage for Plays

A View of Raja Mahal

A View of Raja Mahal

A View of Raja Mahal

A View of Raja Mahal

Ceiling of King's Room in Raja Mahal

Ceiling of King's Room in Raja Mahal

Walls of King's Room in Raja Mahal

Walls of King's Room in Raja Mahal

Ceiling & Walls of King's Room in Raja Mahal

Ceiling & Walls of King's Room in Raja Mahal

Ceiling & Walls of Queen's Room in Raja Mahal

Ceiling & Walls of Queen's Room in Raja Mahal

Front View Raja Mahal Orchha

Front View Raja Mahal Orchha

Once Royal Guest House - Now Heritage Hotel

Once Royal Guest House - Now Heritage Hotel

After Raja Mahal , I proceeded for Jahangir Mahal with my wife . We entered in the palace from the back entrance . This palace was built by Bir Singh Ju Deo in the early part of 17 century to commemorate Jahangir’s Orchha visit .

Back Entrance of Jahangir Mahal

Back Entrance of Jahangir Mahal

Back Entrance of Jahangir Mahal

Back Entrance of Jahangir Mahal

Back Entrance of Jahangir Mahal

Back Entrance of Jahangir Mahal

Jahangir Mahal Orchha

Jahangir Mahal Orchha - Interiors

Jahangir Mahal Orchha - Interior

Jahangir Mahal Orchha - Interior

Jahangir Mahal Orchha - Interior

Jahangir Mahal Orchha - Interior

Main Entrance  of Jahangir Mahal Orchha

Main Entrance of Jahangir Mahal Orchha

Main Entrance  of Jahangir Mahal Orchha

Main Entrance of Jahangir Mahal Orchha

Rest House for Camels in Outer Compound

Rest House for Camels in Outer Compound

Rai Praveen Mahal was built for Rai Praveen , the beautiful paramour of Raja Indramani [ 1672 – 1676 ] . She was a poetess , musician and dancer of her time .

Rai Praveen Mahal As Seen from the Courtyard of Jahangir Mahal

Rai Praveen Mahal As Seen from the Courtyard of Jahangir Mahal

Orchha Fort Complex

Orchha Fort Complex from the Back of Jahangir Mahal

It was time to leave Orchha . I left the small town with heavy heart . Pristine beauty of Orchha and its grand , beautiful palaces are source of joy for ever . I visited it years ago . I could again visit it after many years . I don’t know whether I would be able to visit it again or not .

heart longs for one more visit . Fate says nothing and gives only an enigmatic smile .

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

Vidur’s Travel Diary – 8 : Gwalior [ C ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 27 , 2012           09.30 P.M.

Gwalior travelogue is really getting longer . This is the third one . 

But I clicked lots of photos and apart from that , Jai Vilas Palace and Gwalior fort are really historic and have many anecdotes worth telling , so I can not shorten the travelogue even if I wish to .

If I am remembering correctly , I visited Gwalior for the first time in 1977 / 78 . I went to visit Jai Vilas Palace and Gwalior fort for the first time on that visit . Since then I have visited these two places  3 / 4 times . But this time I went with renewed vigour and with different understanding and outlook .

I always knew that Gwalior is associated with legendary singer Tansen and Maharani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi also . But I was unable to visit their memorials on my previous visits . This time I made it a point to include these memorials in my itinerary .

So after finishing visit of Gwalior fort , I went to see Tansen Mausoleum . I was excited as it was my first visit . Passing through the lanes and by – lanes of old Gwalior , my car stopped in front of an unimpressive iron gate . But as soon as I entered in the compound I was shocked to see a grand mausoleum .

This grand mausoleum belongs to Muhammad Ghaus , a venerable Sufi saint of those times and the mentor of Tansen . Tansen [ born 1493 or 1506  – died 1586 or 1589 ] was born as Ramtanu in a Hindu Gaur Brahman family . His musical talent came to prominence at the age of 5 . Initially he learnt music from Swami Haridas of Vrindavan . He rose to national prominence in the court of legendary Man Singh Tomar , the 10th Tomar King of Gwalior . In Man Singh Tomar’s court he became exponent of Dhrupad and made this form of Hindustani Classical music world-famous . Man Singh Tomar gave him title of  ” Tansen ” . He , later on ,  joined the court of Ramchandra Baghela of Reva . Mughal emperor Akbar heard about him and invited him to his court . Tansen went there , joined his court and thus rose to prominence and immortality .

Later on he embraced Islam and married Akbar’s daughter Meherunnissa .

Mausoleum of Muhammad Ghaus - Sufi Saint & Tansen's Mentor

Mausoleum of Muhammad Ghaus - Sufi Saint & Tansen's Mentor

Mausoleum of Muhammad Ghaus - Sufi Saint & Tansen's Mentor

Mausoleum of Muhammad Ghaus - Sufi Saint & Tansen's Mentor

Mausoleum of Muhammad Ghaus - Sufi Saint & Tansen's Mentor

Mausoleum of Muhammad Ghaus - Sufi Saint & Tansen's Mentor - Main Entrance

Mausoleum of Tansen

Mausoleum of Tansen

Mausoleum of Tansen & Muhammad Ghaus As Seen from the Entrance

Mausoleum of Tansen & Muhammad Ghaus As Seen from the Entrance Gate

Tansen's Mausoleum

Tansen's Mausoleum

From Tansen’s mausoleum , I drove to Maharani Lakshmi Bai memorial at Kotah Ki Serai near Phool Bagh . This world-famous queen of Jhansi [ November 19 , 1835 – June 17 , 1858 ] valiantly fought the British during 1st War of Independence of 1857 . She lost Jhansi fort due to treachery of her own people , came to Gwalior to seek help of Scindias but was not able to get their help . Scindia’s unflinching loyalty to their British masters and their non – cooperation to the freedom struggle drove Maharani Lakshmi Bai away from Gwalior and while crossing a nullah , which is still there , she was martyred by British army . She was only 23 years old at the time of her death .

Maharani Lakshmi Bai Memorial : The Place Where She Was Martyred

Maharani Lakshmi Bai Memorial : The Place Where She Was Martyred

Maharani Lakshmi Bai Memorial : The Place Where She Was Martyred

Maharani Lakshmi Bai Memorial : The Place Where She Was Martyred

Maharani Lakshmi Bai Memorial : The Place Where She Was Martyred

Maharani Lakshmi Bai Memorial : The Place Where She Was Martyred

After paying my obeisance at the memorial of Maharani Lakshmi Bai , I was engulfed with emotions . It is sad to get martyred at the tender age of 23 . It is sad to not have a family life , which she definitely deserved . She died for the country at such a tender age but her memorial is not well – kept at all . Few months back I visited Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial at Sriperumbudur . It was so well maintained and beautifully kept , that I was amazed . I am not saying that Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial should not be maintained properly . But the memorial of Maharani Lakshmi Bai also deserves same treatment , if not better .

I am saddened by the neglect .

Evening started descending on the Gwalior city . It was time to leave . Same never-ending feeling engulfed me again and completely.

I remembered Agyeya’s famous lines and left Gwalior . Hope I would visit Gwalior again and really soon .

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

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