Tchogha Zanbil:Ancient city of Dur Untash

Tchogha Zanbil

Introduction:

Tchogha Zanbil corresponds with the ancient city of Dur Untash. It dominates the course of the Abe-e-Diz which is a tributary of the Karun. The ruins of the kingdom of Elam are found at Tecogha Zanbil. It is surrounded by three huge concentric walls.

Situation: tchogha Zanbil is an ancient Elamite complex in the Khuzestan province of Iran. It is about 42 km in south-south west of Dezfonl and 30 km in west and 80 km in north of Ahvaz.

Foundation:

it was funded in 1250 BC.Even it was not finished after it had been invaded by Ashurbanipal. It has been shown that thousands of unwed brick left at the site. It was founded as a religion Capital. Roman Ghirshman carried out the complete exploration of the site from 1951 to 1962.

Long Description:

The site contains of all the ziggurats of mesoptamia. They are the best preserved and the largest ziggurats. The first exclosure contains the temenos. The temple located at the centre was a square building. It was dedicated to Sumerian god Inshushinak. This temple was converted into a ziggurat of which it constitutes the first story.The solid masses of the four other storys are in the other XX. It starts from the group of the court so as to cover all the surface of the old central court.

There was a valled staircases for entering into the ziggurats.There were also three external staircases. Now the ziggurat is below the 25m high. The last two stages rose to a height of 60 m. The ziggurat is also sacred to the god of Ar shan, Napirisha.

On the north western side of the ziggurat a group of temples were dedicated to the minor divinities, Ishnikarab and Kiririsha. An oval wall surrounded the temples and the ziggurat. A whole serions of heads, statuettes, animals and amulets were found and the remanins of two panels in ivory mosaic. Several vaulted tombs were discovered in the basement of the royal residence. With evidence of cremation.

Untash-Napirisha made a channel of about fo km long to supply the water for the people.

Choga Zambil means basket monnel and chogha in Bakhtiari means hill. It’s orginal name was Dur Untash , means town of Untash.In 1979, chogha zanbil became the first Iranian site to be inscribed on the UNESCO.

Kullu Town & Valley

Kulu Town & Valley

Known as the abode of gods and goddesses, this idyllic pastoral valley is also known as the orchard of India.A picturesque and tranquil heaven,Kulu is a famous spot drawing heaven ,Kulu is a famous spot drawing tourists from all over the world.Apples ,pears.apricots,cherries ,plums and peaches grow here in plenty.

This is also the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti,it is also rich in deodar forests,rice, barly and wheat crops. Kulu town, at a height of 1220 metres and with a population over 15,000 is the district headquarters. Located on the western banks of the river Beas,Kulu is famous for its feativals, temples and delightful long walks. It is best known for its week long Dussehra celebrations held in the month of October every year.

During this most colourful festivals all the images of various deities are brought down from their shrines in well-decorated palanquins to pay homage to Raghunathji of Ranhunathpura in Kulu Rajas, is brought here from Manali on the occasion.

Reaching Kulu is not difficult now a days. The nearest airport is Bhuntar, just 10 kms.drive from Kulu.It is connected by Vayudoot flights from Delhi and Chandigarh,Chandigarh is nearest rail head (270 kms).There are regular buses to Kulu from dDelhi,Shimla,Pathankot and Chandigarh. Kulu is just 40 kms from Manali.

HPTDC has a Tourist Bungalow with double room and dormitory accommodation.Aluminium Huts are laos available there.For reservations Area Manager, HPTDC Ltd. (Tel.7) should be contacted. The private accommodation include Ashok Travellers Lodge and many other hotels and lodges.

Jim Corbeett National Park

Jim Corbeett National Park

The National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary of India ,offer a visitor a wonderful spectacle of life.In its full diversity that encompasses a wide range of spectrum of existence on land, in the sky and in water.Corbet National Park ,is one of the most fascinating specimen of nature’s bounty.

This Park, situated in the foothills of the Shivalik Range along the banks of meandering Ram Ganga,is the paradise of wildlife .At an altitude from 400 to 1,000 metres and covering an area of 525.8 sq. kms.

This park was founded in 1935 as Haley National park, after the name of the then Governor Sir Malcolm Haley, Later, it was changed after the name of the famed hunter, author,conservationalist and naturalist Jim Corbett who spent a major part of his life in the Kumaon region.Under the project Tiger it has now been made a Tiger preserve.

The Park abounds in tiger; panther, bear, gharial,barking deer,ghural,porcupine,python boar, hyna,rheshus monkey and a large variety of birds .For the angler there are huge masher,trout,and goonch.It is also rich in vegetation with flaming forests,lofty hills,dales and gushing streams.

Fishing permits are available from Assistant Warden,Dhakaila,at a nominal fee but shooting with firearm is strictly prohibited. U.P. hill Development Corporation conduct Package Tours to Corbett Park from New Delhi.For reservation and other information contact Tourist Officer ,Up Govt ,Chandralok Building, Janpath,New Delhi should be contacted.

Mnadi: A gateway to Kulu Valley

Kulu Valley

Laying on the either bank of the river Beast at the foothills of the Shivalik range. Mnadi is a gateway to Kulu Valley.Rich in its heritage of history ,culture,lore and lagend, Mandi acquired its name because all trade from Ladakh passed on to Hoshiarpur through here.

The term ‘Mandi’ as is well-known, means busy market.But many scholars believe that the term Mandi is derived from the name of sage Mandavvya who performed rigorous penance in ancient times. Mandi has a number of temples dating back to antiquity.The prominent ones among them are Bhuthnath,Trilokath, Panchavaktra,Ardhakari and Shyamli temples.The Shiv-Ratri festival is celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm.

Mandi is 202 kms. North of Chandigrah and 110 kms south of Manali. The sacred Rewalsar Lake is 24 kms beyond Mandi.The airport at Kulu (60kms) is the nearest airport.Fifty six kms away, Joginder Nagar,is the bearest railhead.It is also well conectioned by all-weather metalled roads to many big towns of the region . For stay,there are Tourist Lodge,its Annexe , and many other smaller places.For reservation the Mnager,Tourist Lodge, Mandi (Tel:575) may be contracted.

Around Mandi there are many temples and old shrines at some distance which are the favourite spots for the devout.Rawalsar ,sundar Nagar,Joginder Nagar,Prashar Temple,Bilaspur,Gobindsagar are some of the prominent and popular spots.For visiting these shrines it is better to make Mandi as the base station and visit these temples.

The Pleasure Gardens of Pinjore

Gardens of Pinjore

The Pleasure Gardens of Pinjore, now renamed as Yadavindra Gradens at the foothills , of Shivalik hills, are 20 kms. From Chandigrah, and 12 kms from Kalka.The superb scenic beauty of the place has been a centre of great attraction for Maharajas,saitnts and common folks alike .

in ancient times Pandavas came and stayed here during their exile.They built a temple and bath here .Draupadi is said to have used this same bath . in the memory of this visit of the Pandavas,the village came to be known as Panchpura.Pinjore is belived to be the curruped from of Panchpura.

The present garden was built by Nawab Fidai Khan. Governor of the Punjab during Aurangzab’s reign.He was so fascinated by scenic that he at once decided to have a terraced garden as his pleasure reaort.The garden contains seven descending terraces, with an ornamental waterway flowing down the centre and flanked by well laid out lawns and gardens. Overlooking the water course are the three pleasure places-Sheesh Mahal,Rang Mahal and Jal Mahal. The sesh Mahal’s ceiling has numerous mirror pieces encased in geometric patterns.Its windows opening over the waterways offer a beautiful scene of the garden.

The gardens are open down dawn to late night, and accommodation is available in the Rang mahal and Sesh Mahal or in the Guest Hoses within the gardens .Adjacent to the gardens ,is a motel with air-conditioned rooms,a banquet hall and a conference room.

THE SIEGE OF THE GOLDEN TEMPLE

GOLDEN TEMPLE

The most serious issue which confronted Indira Gabdhi in her third term as prime minister was the rise of terrorist violence in the Punjab. One of the most fertile regions in the subcontinent, it enjoyed India’s highest per capita income and its households earned twice as much as other peasant families in the rest of the country. A large part of the Punjab was dominated by the Sikhs who,although they numbered barely 2 percent of India’s total population,formed one of the subcontinent’s most visible and most self-confident minorities.They were particularly well represented in the armed forces where they occupied nearly 10 percent of all the higher posts in the Indian military. Many Sikhs had also risen to prominent positions in the government and in 1982 Giani Zail Singh, Indira Gandhi’s home minister,was elected as India’s first Sikh president.

Since Independence there had been an increasing growth in Sikh political consciousness, led by the main Sikh party, the Akali Dal. In response to growing pressure,in 1966 the Sikhs were given their own state of Punjab which was separated from the other non-Sikh regions. The Akali Dal went on to become the most important political party in the state and in 1976 ousted the Congress party in both the provincial and central elections.Mrs Gandhi,however ,refused to topple the new government.To undermine the Akali Dal’s popularity,Congress politicians sponsored their own Sikh fundamentalist movement led by a young militant,Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (1947-84). Hoping completely to destabilize the Akali Dal,the government turned a blind eye as Bhindranwale attacked a number of its leaders and supporters. This strategy ,however, backfired: by 1983 Bhindranwale had proved himself more extreme and more dangerous than any other Sikh leader. With a group of armed followers he established his headqurters at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Founded in the sixteenth century,the Golden Temple is the holiest shrine in the Sikh religion .It stands in the middle of a lake,surrounded by pavements of pure marble, and is connected with the land by a long marble causeway.The outside was covered with gold leaf, so giving the temple its name.From this peaceful,dignified setting Bhindranwale launched a campaign of terror against the government . Going much further than the Akalis had ever dreamed of, he and his supporters called for an independent Sikh homeland-Khalistan. Anyone who opposed him was assassinated and by the end of 1984 he and his followers had murdered hundreds of moderate Sikhs and Hindus.

The government,which had remained curiously inactive for almost two years,was finally forced to act.In May 1984the Indian army launched a massive operation to clear out the Golden Temple,which had been transformed into a fortress by the rebels.Nearly 70,00 troops were used to surround the area and the army was given strict instructions to use the minimum of force so as not to damage the temple too much. The initial assaults,however, failed completely; Bhindranwale’s men had amassed a huge quantity of heavy weapons which they used to devastating effect.In the first attack alone, nearly 100 Indian soldiers were killed as they charged up the narrow causeway.Finally the army brought in tanks and artillery and battered down the defences.In the process one of India’s most sacred shrines was reduced to a pile of rubble. Operation Blue Star, as it was called, had cost the lives of 200-300 Indian soldiers and almost 1,000 rebels.

The political consequences of the siege were even more devatating.It left the Sikhs of the Punjab in a deep state of shock; the sanctity of their shrine had been violated and they felt deeply humiliated by what they saw as an outrage to their religion.Many amongst them held Indira Gandhi herself personally responsible.This mounting sense of anger found its outlet a few months later when, on the morning of 31 October, as she walked to work Mrs Gandhi was assassinated by two of her most trusted bodyguards, both of them Sikhs.

Lucknow: Famous for Culture,Cupolas and Refinements

Lucknow

This capital of Uttar Pradesh has a number of historic buildings,monuments and gardens.Standing on the banks of the river Gomti,Lucknow is famous for its typical culture,cupolas and refinements.With the disintegration of the Mughal Empire the Nawabs of Oudh became very powerful and independent .They ruled this part of the province for about a century after the fall of the Mughals.The builder of modern Lucknow was Asaf-ud-Daula (1775-1797) ,the fourth Nawab in succession.In this dynasty Wajid Ali Shah was the last ruler,known for his extravagant pleasure loving pranks ,and other tantrums.In 1856 he was deposed and deported to Calcutta by the British. Then after ,the First War of Independence in 1857 took place in which the small chieftains and princes of the adjoining states took on the British forces but they lost eventually. The traces of the struggle of 1857 are still visible here.Its historical buildings are mainly of the 18th century. Aminabad and Hazratganj are its two main shopping centres.In the old city the bazaar , popularly known as “Chowk” a large variety of artistic pieces,brocades, saris, pottery, embroidery and chican work overflow the shops. Lucknow is also famous for Dusseri Mangoes ,Kakadis and a variety of orginal dishes. This capital city is very well linked with all the major towns and cities of the country by air,rail and road connections.

The following spots in Lucknow deserve special mention:

(a) The Great Imambara

Popularly known as ‘Bara’ Imambara,this was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784.With its estensive frontage and the huge tomb measuring 15 metres wide ,49 metres long, and 16 metres wide,without any supporting pillars,this is the largest vaulted hall in the world .Its labyrinth of corridors are popularly known as ‘Bhulbhaliyah’ . From the top of this massive structure one can have a fine view of the city .This Imambara was started as a famine relief project in 1784.

(b) The small Imambara

This small or ‘Chota’ Imambara of Hussainabad was built in 1837 by Mohb. Ali Shah. It contains the tomb of Ali shah’s family and the Nawab’s silver covered throne.The edifice is crowned with domes and minarets. The central dome is golden.

(c) British Residency

This extensive structure,reminding of the 1857 struggle for Independence, is now a quiet place with its well maintained gardens and lawns. It was built in 1800 for the British residents in Lucknow.During the uprising of 1857 all the British residents of LUcknow took refuge here till they were rescued on the 87th day by Sir Hevelock.But the revolutionaries besieged it again till sir Colin Compbell broke through the siege the seconed time .Just in front of the Residency is the Martyrs Memorial erected in the honour of the martyrs who dies in 1857 uprising.

Mogao Caves

Mogao Caves

Introduction:

Mogao Caves are famous for their statues and wall paintings and it has religions cultural and intellectual influences. The 492 cells and cave sanctuaries are existed here spanning 1,000 years of Buddhist art. The mogao caves are of unmatched historical value. It is an evidence of the evolution of Buddhist art known as the caves of the thousand Buddhas.

Situation:

Mogao caves are situated in the north west region of china.It is located at a religions and cultural crossroads on the silkrads in Gansu province.

History:

The construction of the Mogao Caves near Dunhaung is generally taken to have began sometimes in the fourth century CE. Dunhuang as established by the Han Danasty Emperor Wudi in III BCE. It is an important gateway to the west.During the Tang Dynasty Dunhuang became the main hub of commerce of the silk Road and a major religions centre. A large number of the caves were constructed at Mogao during this era.

Long Description: The Mogao caves has 492 temples about 25 kilometres southeast of the centre of Dunhuang. The caves are also known as Dunhuang caves. There are also have western thousand Duddha caves and the Yulin caves further away. The first caves were dug out in 366 CE as places of Buddhist meditation and worship. The mogao caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes are one of the three ancient Buddhist seulptural sites of china. An important document as library cave was found in 1900. It was walled up in II century.It is the largest collection found in Beijing, paris, Barlin and London. International Dunhuang project exists to coordinate and collect scholarly work on the Dunhuang manuscripts and other material. The caves are now considered as popular tourist place and open for visiting.

The main attraction of Mogao Caves:

Mogao caves are very famous for its tourists attraction.

The main attraction are:

  1. the library caves
  2. Dunhaung manuscripts
  3. architecture
  4. stucco
  5. sculpture
  6. wall paintings
  7. silk paintings
  8. calligraphy
  9. wood block
  10. embroidery
  11. literature
  12. music
  13. dance
  14. popular entertainments
  15. printed images
  16. Textiles
  17. caves

The Mogao caves were inscribed on the world Heritage list in 1987.

Bisotun:Archaeological Site

Briston

Introduction:

Bisotun is a city and capital of bisotun District. At the 2006 census its population was 2075 and families were 527. this is the only known monumental test of the Achaemenids to document the re-establishment of the Empire by Darihs.

Situation:

Bisotiun is located along the ancient trade route linking the tranian high plateau with

Mesopotemia and features remains from the prehistoric times to the median, Achaemenid , Sassanian and Ilkhanid periods.

Long Description:

The principal monument of this archaeological site is the bas-relief and cuneiform inscription. This was ordered by darius I, the great. He rose to the throne of persion Empire during 521 BC. The bas relief portrays Darius holding a bow, as a sign of sovereignty and treading on the chest of a figure who lies on his back before him.

According to the legend, the figure represents Gaumata, the median Magus and pretender to the throne. Their assassination led to Darius’s rise to power. Below and around the bas-relifs, there are ca. 1,200 hnes of incriptions telling the story of the battles.Darins waged in 521-520 BC against the governors who attempted to take a pert the Empire founded by Cyrus.

The Description is written in three languages. The oldest is an Elamite text referring to legends describing the king and the rebellions. This is followed by Baylonian version of similar legends. The last phase of this Description

Is particularly important.Darius introduced for the first time the old Persian version of his resgestae. It also bears witness to the interchange of influeness in the development of monument art and writing in the region of the Persian Empire.There are also remains from the Median period as well as from the Achaemenid and post Achaemenid periods.

Jammu and Kashmir the World’s Heaven

Karakoram-West_Tibetan_Plateau_alpine_steppe

Climate:

Jammu: Winter-Average 20*C .

SummerAverage 35*C.

Srinagar: Winter-Average Below 0* to 30*

Summer Average

Langusge: Kashmiri,Dogri,Ladakhi.

Best Season: April-Octor & December-January.

Area: 2,22,236 sq.kms. (provisional).

Population: About 80 lakhs.

(i)Jammu

The second largest city of the state and its summer capital ,Jammu is situated on a Shivalick hillock,with the river .Tawi flowing by at the foot of the hill.Jammu is said to have been founded by Jamboo Lochan some 3,00years back.The city has long been a centre of Indian culture and arts.It is especially famous for its exquisite Pahari School of miniature Paintings. There are many Hindu,Muslim and Sikh shrines, but the best known is Raghunath Temple in the heart of the city ,built in 1835.60 kms. North-east of Jammu is the famous shrine of Vaishno Devi. The holy cave shrine situated at the altitude of 5,300 feet is visited by thousands of devotees every year.The traditional pilgrimage is made during the Navaratra preceeding Dussehra in October and preceeding Ram Navmi in late March or April.

 

Jammu city in itself has nothing much to offer besides acting as the resting place for pilgrims going to Vaishno Devi or tourists going to Srinagar .Thus Jammu is a gateway for the Valley of Kashmir.

(a) BAsohli

East-South of Jammu near Dalhousie (Himachal) is Basohli,the birth place of renowned art of Pahari Miniatures.It is in tradition of the great Ajanta Art. Its wide spread influence can be seen on many other schools popular in Jammu and neighbouring Himachal.

(b)Sudh Mahadeva

Situated oon the banks of river Devaka, Sudh Mahadev is associated with many Shiva myths. Pilgrims in thousands congregate at the shrine during the three days festival of Ashadh-Purnima in July-August.There is a regular bus service to Sudh Mahadev from Jammu,however ,an eight kilometer pleasant walking or jeepable road connects Sudh Mahadev with beautiful hill resort of Patnitop on Jammu-Srinagar highway.

(ii) The Kashmir Valley

Kashmir is described variously as the paradise on earth ,the dream-land, the choicest creation of God,etc. Jehanghir is said to have quoted the following Persian Sher in praise of Kashmir . Gar Firdaus BavRoo-e-Zemin-ast Hamin asto,Hamin asto,Hamin ast.

The same sheri is etched in the walls of the Diwan-i-Aam in Red Fort Delhi which means if there be paradise anywhere on the earth; it is here,it is here ,it is here! The vale of Kashmir in its sheer beauty and enchantment surpasses even the imagination . Kashmir is unmatched by any other country for its prestine loveliness,placid lakes reflecting like a mirror,the scenic beauty,green meadows laced by gurbling streams,luxurious houseboats,stately chinar,tall snow capped mountain, the highest golf course in the world,flowers of many hues and scents and the proverbial beauty of its maidens.