Archaeological

Jama Masjid – mosque with a view of the world

Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India – one of the jewels being built by Emperor Shah Jahan. Situated just in front of the Red Fort in the old city of Shahjanabad, now in heart of Chandni Chowk, the Jama Masjid is not only an important mosque, but also an important monument of history. A flight of pigeons flying in front of magnificent structure – it is a sight simply to behold. And while I look up at the tall minarets of the masjid, I am simply awe-struck at the enormity and minute detailing that went into making...

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Humayun’s Tomb – Abode of Peace

Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi is one of the place I had been always fascinated since I read about it in my history class. I still remember our history class about the Mughal period. Our teacher was so vivid in her description that I would always be transported to that era. And I always had the special liking for the historical monuments. Visiting a monument, walking along the huge corridors, gaping at the intricate designs, all these transports me back to those eras. While reading about the Mughal emperor Humayun, I was equally fascinated by his tomb. Humayun’s tomb was...

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Victoria Memorial – a memorable experience

Victoria Memorial is one of the most elegant and grand monuments in the heart of Kolkata. A vast white structure made of marble is a cynosure of all eyes and a respite for the tired feet. Once you are in Kolkata it is a sin not to visit the Victoria Memorial. Victoria Memorial, which is located near the luscious green Maidan, is a testimony of the peak of the British Empire in India. The memorial was built between 1906 and 1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria’s 25 years reign in India.  Lord Curzon, who was then the Viceroy...

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Decoding the mystery of Bhul Bhulaiya

So you have heard about the famous Bhul Bhulaiya of Lucknow – the maze where you are warned not to enter alone lest you get lost in its numerous passageways! It is also rumored that the Nawabs of Lucknow and their Begums used to play hide and seek at the Bhul Bhulaiya. I don’t really know the truth, but Bhul Bhulaiya has intrigued people for a long time. The Bhul Bhulaiya or Labyrinth is a part of the Bara Imambara of Lucknow. The Imambara is neither a mosque nor a mausoleum. It is a place where the Shia Muslims...

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The impressive Bara Imambara of Lucknow

The Bara Imambara and Bhool Bhulayia are the most imposing and beautiful structures of Lucknow. The Imambara is neither a mosque nor a mausoleum. It is a place where the Shia Muslims gather together for various ceremonies especially the Muharram.

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Maluti – the hamlet with 108 temples

Maluti, a nondescript hamlet is situated near the Bengal– Jharkhand border at Dumka district of Jharkhand. What sets apart this village from others is the presence of as many as 108 temples clustered in a radius of about 350 metres. The History: It was during the reign of emperor Alauddin Hussan Shah of Gour (1495 – 1525) when the Sultan had camped with his entourage near Maluti. During this time, the Begum had lost her pet hawk (Baaj pakhi in Bengali) and was quite upset. The Sultan, to please his queen announced that anyone who finds the bird will be rewarded handsomely....

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Adina Mosque Malda

The Adina Mosque is situated about 16 kms from the town of Malda. It was built by Sultan Sikandar Shah and is the largest Islamic monument of Bengal. It is one of the finest architectural structure built in Bengal during the Muslim period. As we first entered the mosque, we were awed  the vast dual coloured wall.  Below, the wall was made of grey stone upto about 10 feet. The upper portion of the wall was made of red bricks. The Adina Mosque has many distinct remnants of Hindu deities on the gateways and the walls of the mosque. Also the...

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Excavation sites at Gour Malda

The excavation sites at Gour, Malda tells the tale of the erstwhile kingdom of the Bengal rulers. A bye lane from the road towards Firoz Minar from Qadam Rasool mosque will take you to the excavation sites. There is very little called road, it is just a muddy and dusty path. A few minutes walk or you can take your vehicle too and you will be standing in front of a mammoth wall – the Baisgazi wall. Baisgazi Wall: There is a huge wall called the “Baisgazi Wall”. As the wall is measured 22 Bengali yards i.e. 42 feet...

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Gour, Malda – the erstwhile power centre of Bengal – II

In our previous post, we had written about the grandeur and beauty of Gour, the ancient power seat of Bengal. We had told the stories of the Kotwali Darwaja, Lottan mosque and Tantipara mosque  in our previous post. The rest follows…. Lukachuri Gate: Next we passed through the “Lukachuri Gate”. It appears to have been built by Shah Suja, brother of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1655 AD. This has large double storeyed gate, with guard’s room on sides and a Naqqar Khana (drummers chamber) on top is built of brick and stone and is the eastern entrance into the...

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Gour, Malda – the erstwhile power centre of Bengal

Malda – the first thing that comes to our mind about Malda is mangoes. But Malda is much more than that. Malda has a very rich history and was the seat of power for many empires. Malda thus have a few historical relics scattered throughout with Gour and Panduah being the most famous. The history of Malda can be traced back to the medieval periods and centres around the cities of Gaur and Pandua. Gaur being an ancient city, its mention can be found even in the Hindu Puranic texts. The historical records of the city however can be...

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Beth El Synagogue Kolkata

Beth El synagogue is situated in the busy Pollock Street, one of the busiest roads in Kolkata. The place is surrounded by shops and thousands of people walk down the road giving the yellow gigantic structure a miss. In fact, on a busy day, you will see the white marble stairs of the building inviting you, but will barely notice it. So after visiting the Magen David Synagogue and the Neveh Shalome Synagogue, we walked down the busy Pollock Street looking for Beth El. Beth El stands tall with an arched entrance. Above the arch there is a glass panel...

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Neveh Shalome Synagogue Kolkata

Neveh Shalome Synagogue is the oldest synagogue to be built in Kolkata. After an overwhelming visit to the Magen David Synagogue, we ventured for the other two synagogues of Kolkata. The Neveh  Shalome Synagogue was built by Shalom Obaida-Ha-Cohen in 1831 in the memory of his father Shalom Ha-Cohen. The Neveh Shalome is not as ornate and magnificent as the Magen David Synagogue which is situated right beside it. The entry to the synagogue is through a domed arch whose door is now hidden by the myriads of shops in front of the gate. The Neveh Shalome synagogue was...

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