Thursday, 25 April 2013

Qutub Minar : A World Famous Tower

The world famous Qutab Minar is situated in the capital of India, Delhi. It is a UNESCO world heritage site which attracts the tourist from worldwide and thousands of visitors from India and other countries come here to see it. It is a top priority tourists spot for those who came Delhi first time. 

Qutub Minar Delhi
Qutub Minar Delhi
Five Storey Building of Qutab Minar

Qutab Minar is five storey building whose height is 73 meter or 239.5 feet. Each storey of the tower has a projecting balcony. Qutub Minar is cone type building whose diameter at the base is 47 feet or 14.3 meters and at top 2.7 meter or 9 feet. Each storey of Qutub Minar is distinct from each other due to its construction completed by three Muslim Sultans Qutb Ud-Din Aibak, Shamsuddin- Iltutmish and Firoz Shah Tuglak. The first three storey of Qutub Minar constructed by red sandstone and other two storey constructed with marble and sandstones. Its construction design was based on Afghanistan’s Minaret of Jam that why it also contains spiral stairs of 379 steps. Qutub Minar is the best example of the different style of construction of building used in Qutb Ud-Din Aibak to Firoz Shah Tuglak time period. It is also the example of Indo-Islamic architecture style of construction. 

A view of Qutub Minar tower
A view of Qutub Minar tower
Qutub Complex

Other than Qutub Minar there are lots of other famous tourist attraction monuments also present in the surrounding area of Qutub Minar which were built by the Delhi Sultans from time to time. Some of the major archaeological monuments are listed below.  
  • Alai Darwaza
  • Alai Minar
  • Ala-ud-din Madrasa
  • Iron Pillar of Delhi
  • Major Smith's Cupola
  • Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque
  • Tomb of Iltutmish
  • Tomb of Imam Zamin

Qutub Minar : A World Famous Tower
Iron Pillar of Delhi
History of Qutub Minar

In 1192 Mohammed of Ghur’s general, Qutb Ud-Din Aibak founder of the Delhi Sultanate who captured Delhi from Hindu rulers started the construction of the Qutub Minar first storey immediately as a symbol of victory over Delhi’s last Hindu Kingdom. Construction of Qutub Minar started in 1192 and completed in 1220 by Aibak's son-in-law Shamsuddin- Iltutmish. Qutb Ud-Din Aibak only constructed the basement of the Qutub Minar, three more storey constructed by Iltutmish and Firoz Shah Tuglak completed the last two storey.

Restoration works or additions of Qutub Minar

In 1369 due to the lightning strike on this historical monument its top storey was destroyed then Sultan of Delhi Firoz Shah Tuglak done restoration work of it and added one more storey on it. The entrance to the tower is later added by Sher Shah Suri.

In 1505 due to the earthquake, it again damaged then that time Sultan of Delhi Sikandar Lodi starts the reconstruction of Qutub Minar top two storey. Qutub Minar once again faced major earthquake in September 1803 damaged badly then in 1828 its renovation work was done by the British Indian Army’s Major Robert Smith.

How to Reach Qutub Minar

Delhi is the capital of India so reaching to Delhi for tourists either national or international is not a tough job. New Delhi is well connected to other cities by railway, bus services, and airplanes. In Delhi Qutub Minar is situated in Southwest district of Delhi, Mehrauli. For reaching to Mehrauli from Delhi you can take Metro, DTC bus or you can book cab also.

Visiting Time of Qutub Minar

It opens from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm daily. When I visit this place the entry fee was Rs. 30/- per head for Indians and for foreign tourists it was Rs. 500. Entry was free for children’s up to 15 years.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Hanuman Garhi - Ayodhya

Ayodhya is a divine place for every Hindu and it is famous worldwide due it is the birthplace of Lord Shri Ram. There are lots of Hindu God, Goddess temples. One of the very famous temples of Ayodhya is Hanuman Garhi. Hanuman Garhi is the temple of Lord Hanuman. Every devotee or tourist who come to Ayodhya must visit the Hanuman Garhi.

Ayodhya- The Ram Janam Bhoomi
Hanuman Garhi-Ayodhya
Temple features

It is a very old temple and due to it situated at height there are 76 stairs to reach Lord Hanuman temple. There is a huge Lord Hanuman statue with a nice golden umbrella adjacent to the temple. Hanuman Garhi temple is nearest to the main road so easy to reach there. Temple has also a statue of Baal Hanuman with his mother Anjani.

Lord Hanuman is the extreme devotee of Lord Shri Ram. So he lives with Lord Shri Ram in Ayodhya. According to legends, Lord Shri Ram provide this place to Lord Hanuman for watching and protecting the Ram birthplace (or Ramkot).

History of Hanuman Garhi

This temple was constructed near to the 10th century and peoples believe it was constructed by the King Vikramaditya. As per information, this temple reconstruction is done by Nawab of Awadh (Lucknow) and Sant Abhyaramdas.

How to reach Hanuman Garhi

Ayodhya is well connected by railway and bus services to other cities. Hanuman Garhi is only one km far away from the Ayodhya railway station. You can reach there within 3 to 4 hour from Lucknow by train or Bus. It is only 135 km from the Lucknow. There is no airport in Ayodhya, the nearest airport is in Lucknow.

Parijaat Plant - The Wish Fulfilling Tree

Kalpavrisha plant or Kalptaru
Parijat Plant
There is a very famous and historical plant called Parijat tree in the Kintoor village, Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India. Parijat tree is a unique type of plant of its kind found in India. It is about more than 5000 years old tree and peoples believes it as living proof of Mahabharat because of many mythological stories related to its mention in Mahabharata.

Parijaat Plant also called by various names such as Kalpavrisha plant and Kalptaru which means a tree who can fulfill your wishes. It is considered a Divine plant due to various mythological stories related to God.

Touching and harming this religious tree is fully prohibited by the local governing bodies and this very large tree is covered by the boundary to restrict the entry near to the Parijaat tree and touching or damaging anything there. This tree looks like Lord Ganesha in an angle and on other angle looks like an elephant. 

Parijaat Plant
Kalpavrisha plant or Kalptaru
According to modern science- Botany, this tree is called Baobab which is found in dry and arid regions such as Africa, Madagascar, Australia, and Arabia. Parijaat plant is unisex male. It has five petals white color very beautiful flowers which turn into golden color after drying but there is no seed or fruit produced by the tree. It is also unable to produce another plant. Due to uniqueness kind of tree, Indian Postal Department issued a stamp on the Parijaat tree showing it with flowers.

Mythological Stories

According to local people saying and temple priest Parijaat tree is brought by the Arjun from heaven for his mother Kunti, who wants to use this tree flowers for offering to Lord Shiva during the prayer.

How to Reach to Parijat Plant

Barabanki is a small district of Uttar Pradesh which is fully connected by train and public or private bus facility. But for going to Kintoor you have to take a private taxi or cab. I visited this place with my own car. It is the only two-hours journey from Lucknow and distance between the Lucknow and Kintoor is only 72 km.

Nearby places to visit in Barabanki

Mahadeva Temple- Lord Shiva Temple