Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Great Indian Kingdoms

1. Pallava Dynasty.

The Pallavas ruled the area of Andhra pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka from 275 BCE to 882 BCE with Kanchipuram as their capital.
They built  architectural temple Mahabalipuram and created the modern form Brahmi script which influenced the genesis of almost all Southeast Asian scripts.
Thailand, Indonasia, Burma and other Southeast Asian Scripts are evolved from Brahmi script which was the Pallavas creation.

2. The Maratha empire.

chatrapathi shivajiSource
The Marathas were a Hindu warrior group who established an empire that existed from 1674 to 1818 in the present day Maharashtra that rose to prominence by establishing ‘Hindavi Swarajya’.They ended  the Mughal rule in India and united India after creating biggest empire like Great Ashoka.Thanjavur was their capital.
maratha empireSourcewikipedia
They ruled almost the whole India  except  Andhra and tamil nadu and a part of kerala. They are known to be fierce warriors  who are said to be devoted Hindus and never ate meat.
Some of the famous rulers include Chathrapathi Sivaji, Baji Rao 1 and Rajaram Chhatrapati.

3. Vijayanagara Empire.

The Vijayanagara Empire lasted for 3 centuries from 1336 to 1660 before losing it to the Deccan sultanates. This period is said to be the golden period for the Telugu and Kannada cultures as they have established many monuments across South India and enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in Kannada,Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit. Carnatic music evolved into its current form. They ruled the whole south India with Vijayanagara as their capital city.
Srikrishna Devaraya was the famous king of Vijayanagara empire. He was a devotee of Lord Venkateshwara and the Diamonds and Gold we see on lord Balaji in Tirumala are mostly his donations. It was known that Vijayanagara kingdom was equal to the rule of Lord Sri ram where people where happy and prosperous. He was called as  “Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana” (Lord of the Kannada empire) and  Andhra Bhoja. 

4. Kingdom of Kochin.

kings of CochinSourcewikipedia
This Kingdom lasted for 7 centuries from early 1200s to 1947 surviving every foreign invasion. They are said to be excellent negotiators and tacticians. They formed relations with all their surrounding kingdoms and played their cards wisely. Their capital changed over time but they mainly ruled in the areas surrounding Kochin.

5. Kakatiya Dynasty.

The Kakatiyas ruled from 1083 to 1323 with orugallu (Warangal) as their capital extending to the whole of Andhra along with a part of Telangana, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. The kakatiya kings are said to be given low importance to Caste system as a social identifier, anyone, regardless of birth, could use the nayaka title to denote warrior status and the inscriptions suggest that people were not bound to an occupation by birth. This helped them flourish in war and arts alike.
The Warangal Fort, Thousand Pillar temple and the famous Kakatiya Toranam are built by kakatiya legacy.
Rani Rudramadevi, the famous queen of the Kakatiya dynasty set path for the Women to lead kingdoms in India as early as 12th century.

6. Gajapathi Kingdom.

konark sun templeSourceFlickr
The Gajapatis were a medieval Hindu dynastythat ruled over Kalinga (the present day Odisha), large parts of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, and the eastern and central parts of Madhya Pradesh and the southern parts of Bihar from 1434-1541.  They were claimed to be descended from the Surya Vamsha (Sun Dyanasy) of the Mahabharata
“Gaja” in Oriya means elephant and “Pati” means master. As such, Gajapati etymologically means a king with an army of elephants. The literature  Oriya flourished during this period .
They ruled from Mukhalingam of Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh and later moved their Capital to Cuttack. Religious leader Ramanujacharya had a great influence on the Raja Choda Ganga Deva, who renovated the Puri Jagannath Temple and another king from the dynasty, Narasimha Deva built the Sun Temple at Konark which are both Archaeological wonders.

7. The Pandyas.

The Pandyan  dynasty was an ancient Tamil dynasty, one of the three Tamil dynasties, the other two being the Chola and the Chera.
They were descendents of ancient Mahabharata  Pandya King and they have survived till the early British conquest.
They controlled the pearl fisheries along the South Indian coast, between Sri Lanka and India, which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world.

8. The Chola Dynasty.

The Chola dynasty  was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of southern India spanning between 300s BCE–1279 CE.
Together with the Chera and Pandya dynasties, the Cholas formed the three main Tamil dynasties of Iron Age India, who were collectively known as the Three Crowned Kings.
They mainly ruled the area between the Kaveri and Tungabhadra rivers. Their rule extended out of india when they successfully invaded cities of Srivijaya in Malaysia, Indonesia and Southern Thailand.

9. Satavahana Kingdom. 

The Satavahana Empire also known as Andhra kingdom was an Indian dynasty based from Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh which is now back as Capital of Andhra Pradesh State. This dynasty extended to Junnar and Prathisthan in Maharashtra during the later years.
The territory of the empire covered much of India from 230 BCE onward. History suggests that it lasted about 450 years from 230 BCE to 22- CE.
The Satavahanas are credited for establishing peace in the country, resisting the onslaught of foreigners after the decline of Mauryan Empire.

10.  Hoysala Empire.

The Hoysala empire was a prominent Southern Indian Kannadiga empire that ruled most of the modern-day state of Karnataka between the 10th and the 14th centuries.
The empire is remembered for architectural temples like Chennakesava Temple at Belur, the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu, and the Kesava Temple at Somanathapura.

11. Magadha Kingdom.

Magadha was a kingdom which existed right from by Vedic period was founded by King Jarasandha . It was reborn from the Gupta Kingdom. Rajgir of Bihar was the capital.
As you know, King Jarasandha was killed by Bheema in a wrestling duel and Pataliputra (Patna) was choosen as the new capital of this kingdom during the start of Kali Yuga. This kingdom later gave  Mauryan Empire that spanned almost whole of India with ASHOKA,the great,

12. The Chalukyas.

The Chalukya dynasty  was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries.
They had their capital in 3 cities namely Badami and Kalyani of Karnataka and Vengi on the river of Godavari. This marks the first time a Southern India based kingdom took control and consolidated the entire region between the Kaveri and the Narmada rivers.
The Kannada and Telugu literature flourished during their reign.

13. The Mauryas.

The Maurya dynasty was the superpower of the Iron Age India which existed between 320 BC to 185 BC. It was founded by Chandragupta Maurya in pataliputra and later extended to Afghanistan.
During the rule of Ashoka, the Great the kingdom managed  to conquer the whole Indian sub continent and rule it as one dynasty. They were credited as the only people who could defeat King Alexander the Great. The Jain and Buddhist cultures flourished during this Kingdom.

14. The Rajputs.

Mehrangarh Fort
The Rajputs are a ancient dynasty that ruled a vast area of the subcontinent whic includes western, central, northern India and current eastern Pakistan.
They seem to have risen to prominence from the late 6th century CE and governed the the country with Rajastan as their base.
They are credited as one of the very few dynasties who were unmoved from their capital by the Muslim sultanate.

15. The Nanda Dynasty.

The Nanda dynasty originated from the region of Magadha in ancient India during the 4th century BC and lasted between 345–321 BCE. At its greatest extent, the empire ruled by the Nanda Dynasty extended from Bengal in the east, to Punjab in the west and as far south as the Vindhya mountains.
The rulers of this dynasty were famed for the great wealth which they accumulated. The Nanda Empire was later conquered by Chandragupta Maurya, who founded the Maurya Empire.
The Nandas are described as the first empire builders in the recorded history of India. They inherited the large kingdom of Magadha and expanded it to yet more distant frontiers. To achieve this objective they built a vast army, consisting of 200,000 infantry, 20,000 cavalry, 2,000 war chariots and 3,000 war elephants.

16. The Guptas.

The Gupta Empire which existed at its zenith from approximately 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian Subcontinent. This period is called the Golden Age of India and was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy that crystallized the elements of  Hindu culture.
Chandra Gupta I, Samudra Gupta, and Chandra Gupta II were the most notable rulers of the Gupta dynasty. The Gupta period produced scholars such as Kalidasa, Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Vishnu Sharma and Vatsyayana who made great advancements in many academic fields.
Vatsayana of this kingdom wrote the world famous “Kama Sutra“. One of the greatest inventions ever ” 0 “ was invented by Aryabhata in their period as Shoonya.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Few unique temples outside India

10 unusual temples outside of India 1. Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

A contemporary temple, Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai is better known as the White Temple. A Buddhist place of worship, it has made it to our list of funky temples because of its unconventional exterior. It is completely white, and each form it highlighted with mosaic glass and mirrors, making it sparkle in the sunlight. Privately owned; it is a work in progress, not expected to be completed for many years to come. Thailand’s very own Sagrada Familia!
Wat Rong Khun

2. Haeinsa , South Korea

One of South Korea’s most important Buddhist temples, Haiensa in South Gyeongsang Province was initially built in 802. It was rebuilt in 1818 after a fire gutted it the year before. The most amazing bit about this temple is the fact that it is home to a complete copy of Buddhist Scriptures which have been written on 81,350 printing blocks made of wood – all of which survived the devastating fire!
 Tripitaka Koreana


3. Po Lin Monastery , Hong Kong

This Buddhist monastery on Lantau Island was started in 1906, but continuous additions and extensions have been made to it over the years. A very notable extension - and the one that resulted in putting this monastery on our list – was the construction of the Tian Tan Buddha, in 1993. This statue, made of 202 bronze pieces, is 112 feet tall. On a clear day, the statue is visible across the bay from as far as Macau. It also holds the record of being the world’s tallest, outdoor, seated Buddha.
Po Lin


4. Borobudur Temple,  Indonesia

Borobudur in Java is the largest and one of the most famous Buddhist temples around the world. Built in the 9th century, it was abandoned in the 14th for not so clear reasons. Made of over 2 million blocks of stone, this huge monument lay hidden for centuries under volcanic ash and jungle growth only to be rediscovered in the 19th century. Since then several restorations have given it back some of its past glory.

5. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, Malaysia

One of Malaysia’s oldest and now a major Hindu temple, this sparkler started off as an ordinary little hut. That is, till the chairman of the temple decided it was time the humble place of worship got a make over fit for a disco. So now Malaysia has its first and only glass temple in Tebrau. Light from crystal chandeliers bounces off every surface, from doors and walls to pillars and ceilings which are decorated with 300,000 tiny mosaic pieces of coloured glass. It is quite a bright blaze in there!

Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple

6. Hanging Temple, China

Hanging precariously on a cliff side in the mountains near Datong, is the Hanging Temple. Built about 1,500 years ago, this monastery is the only existing place of worship which is a combination of three traditional Chinese religions – Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Another claim to fame is that it has made the list of the world’s top ten most odd dangerous buildings!
 Hanging Temple

7. Chion-in Temple, Japan

Kyoto’s Chion-in temple is the headquarters of the Jodo sect, the most popular form of Buddhism in Japan. A 17th century structure, it has a huge two storey tall gate which is the largest existing structure of its type in Japan. Another completely bizarre feature is the floor – the wooden boards have these metal ends that are attached to metal joints – giving off a piercing squeaky sound when someone walks over them. The purpose of this musical floor was to keep a track on intruders. Chion-in also has a giant bell in the main hall – it weighs some 70 tonnes and needs 17 strapping monks to ring it!

8. Jetavanaramaya, Sri Lanka

Jetavanaramaya is a 4th century stupa in the sacred city Anuradhapura. It makes our list for the incredible number of firsts in figures – it is 400 feet tall, placing it on top of the tallest stupa in the ancient world list. It is also the largest structure in the ancient world with a base area of 2,508,000 square feet. Another funky figure is an unbelievable 93.3 million baked bricks that were used as construction material for this colossal structure.



9. The Golden Rock, Myanmar

The Golden Rock on Mt Kyaiktiyo in Mon State is probably the most dramatic mounument on our list. A popular destination for Buddhist pilgrimage, it is a visual delight – imagine a small pagoda built on top of a granite boulder which defies all known laws of gravity and is strangely perched on a mountain side. If that is not cool enough, add to it gold leaves pasted on the boulder by the faithful. A beautiful sight, especially in the evening;  when the rays of the setting sun seem to set the gold leaf on fire.
 The Golden Rock

10. Ta Prohm, Cambodia

One of the very few temples in the Angkor region of Siem Reap that has been left in its original form, Ta Prohm is as dramatic as they come. A simple structure, its beauty is in the fact that large roots of various trees have grown over and above the temple structure, binding it in a sort of an unearthly and pretty scary looking grip. Made famous by the Tomb Raider movie that was filmed here, it is one of Cambodia’s most visited sites.
 Ta Prohm


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Millennium-Old Hindu Temple Discovered in Bangladesh

Archaeologists have discovered a millennium-old Hindu temple in northwestern Bangladesh believed to be established during the Pala dynasty, experts here said today.

"We found the temple, excavating an area in Bochaganj area of Dinajpur," leader of the excavation campaign Professor Swadhin Sen of Jahangirnagar University said.

He added the temple was believed to be built in between 8th and 9th century in this area which is now called Meherpur village of the Bochaganj sub-district.

The surprise discovery came as farmers found some archaeological relics like old time bricks whir preparing a piece of land for cultivation, the Daily Star newspaper reported.

Officials said the state-owned piece of land was leased out to local farmers for cultivation, who informed the university's archaeology team which was engaged in another excavation in a nearby area.

Sen said they found some terracotta plaques from a trench while the solid objects on the walls surrounding the temple were overly burnt.

Another member of the excavation team, Sohag Ali said they had detected idols and staircase of the temple and "we are working to dig those out".

The discovery came months after the same team unearthed a Buddhist temple, built around the same time at nearby Basudevpur village, the central edifice of which was built on a platform of 45 metres.

The Dhakeshwari Temple, the national temple of Bangladesh and one of the oldest in the country, was built in the 12th century by Ballal Sen during the Sen Dynasty which ruled the region after Pala kings and in popular notion the country's capital Dhaka was named after this temple.


A. EVIDENT HERE .... !!!
Gateway & part of temple ruins @ Warangal
Unknown Photographer .....Date: 1875
Photograph of the gateway and temple ruins at Warangal in Andhra Pradesh, from the Lee-Warner Collection: 'Bombay Presidency. William Lee Warner C.S.', taken by an unkown photographer in the 1870s.
Warangal was the capital of the Kakatiya rulers in the 12th-13th centuries and together with Hanamkonda nearby, they were important political and artistic centres of the eastern Deccan. The circular city of Warangal was founded in the 12th century by the Kakatiya ruler Ganapatideva and was occupied by the Muslims in later times. There are two concentric circles of fortifications. The outer circuit is an earthern rampart entered through four arched gateways. The inner circuit is of stone and has four gateways. In the centre of the city there is a ruined temple dedicated to Shiva Svayambhu and another smaller one also dedicated to Shiva which dates from 14th century.
The Thousand Pillar Temple was built during the period of the Kakatiya dynasty, probably in 1163 CE by order of the then king, Rudra Deva. It stands out to be a masterpiece and achieved major heights in terms of architectural skills by the ancient Kakatiya vishwakarma sthapathis.
It was destroyed by the Tughlaq dynasty during their invasion of the Deccan. It consists one temple and other buildings. There were 1,000 pillars in the structures, but no pillar obstructs a person in any point of the temple to see the god in the other temple.
Modern engineers have removed all the pillars. After they lifted all the pillars they encountered a huge mass of sand. It took nearly two weeks for them to take away all the sand. It was wet sand, because of a pipe connection from the nearby water body named Bhadrakali Cheruvu.
The Thousand Pillar Temple with its ruins lies near the Hanamkonda-Warangal Highway in Telangana State, about 150 kilometres (93 mi) from the city of Hyderabad.
The temple is star-shaped with several shrines and lingams. There are three shrines inside the temple called the Trikutalayam, dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Surya. The temple is surrounded by a big garden in which many small lingam shrines can be seen. There is a carving of a Nandi bull in the form of a highly-polished black basalt monolith.
The Thousand Pillar Temple is constructed on a platform that is raised to a height of 1 metre (3.3 ft) from ground level. Rock-cut elephants and perforated screens in the temple are characteristic of the then prevailing dynasty. Many pilgrims visit. It is also a popular location for shooting films. The Kakatiya festival is held here.
The temple was renovated in 2004 by the Government of India.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fingerprint Of Gods

Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh Fort (Hindi/Rajasthani: चित्तौड़ दुर्ग Chittor Durg) is one of the largest forts in India and probably the grandest in the state of Rajasthan. It is a World Heritage Site. The fort, popularly known as Chittor, was the capital of Mewar and is today situated in Chittorgarh City. It was initially ruled by Guhilot and later by Sisodias, the Suryavanshi clans of Chattari Rajputs, from the 7th century, until it was finally abandoned in 1568 after the siege by Emperor Akbar in 1567. It sprawls majestically over a hill 180 m (590.6 ft) in height spread over an area of 280 ha (691.9 acres) above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River. The fort precinct with an evocative history is studded with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers. These monumental ruins have inspired the imagination of tourists and writers for centuries.
The fort was sacked three times between the 15th and 16th centuries; in 1303 Allauddin Khilji defeated Rana Ratan Singh, in 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat defeated Bikramjeet Singh and in 1567 Emperor Akbar defeated Maharana Udai Singh II who left the fort and founded Udaipur. Each time the men fought bravely rushing out of the fort walls charging the enemy but lost every time. Following these defeats, Jauhar was committed thrice by more than 13,000 ladies and children of the Rajput heroes who laid their lives in battles at Chittorgarh Fort, first led by Rani Padmini wife of Rana Rattan Singh who was killed in the battle in 1303, and later by Rani Karnavati in 1537 AD.
Thus, the fort represents the quintessence of tribute to the nationalism, courage, medieval chivalry and sacrifice exhibited by the Mewar rulers of Sisodia and their kinsmen and women and children, between the 7th and 16th centuries. The rulers, their soldiers, the women folk of royalty and the commoners considered death as a better option than dishonor in the face of surrender to the foreign invading armies.
In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Chittorgarh Fort, along with 5 other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.
Chittorgarh Fort is considered to be the largest fort of India in terms of area. It is stated that the fort was constructed by the Mauryans during the 7th century AD and hence derives its name after the Mauryan ruler, Chitrangada Mori, as inscribed on coins of the period. Historical records show Chittorgarh fort as the capital of Mewar for 834 years.[citation needed] It was established in 734 AD by Bappa Rawal, founder ruler in the hierarchy of the Sisodia rulers of Mewar. It is also said[by whom?] that the fort was gifted to Bappa Rawal as part of Solanki princess’s dowry in the 8th century.[citation needed] The fort was looted and destroyed at the hands of Emperor Akbar in 1568 AD and subsequently never resettled but only refurbished in 1905 AD. Three important battles were fought for control of the fort; in 1303, Ala-ud-din Khilji besieged the fort; in 1535, Sultan of Gujarat Bahadur Shah besieged the fort; and in 1567, Mughal Emperor Akbar attacked the fort. Not that there were only defeats at the fort. Excluding the periods of siege, the fort had always remained in possession of the Sisodias of the Guhilot (or Gehlot/Guhila) clan of Rajputs, who descended from Bappa Rawal. There were also success stories of establishment of the fort and its reconstruction after every siege, before it was finally abandoned in 1568, all of which are narrated.
Chittor is cited in the Mahabharat epic. It is said that Bhima, the second of the Pandava brothers of Epic Mahabaharata fame, known for his mighty strength gave a powerful hit with his fist to the ground that resulted in water springing up to form a large reservoir. It is called Bhimlat kund, an artificial tank named after Bhima. Folk legend also mentions that Bhima started building the fort.
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Images: Bing com and
Mystery of India

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Somnath Temple and Abadhit Samudra Marg, Tirsthambh (Arrow)

Mahadev TempleShree Somnath Mahadev and the sacred soil from where Bhagvan Shri Krishna took his last journey to his neejdham. 

Somnath temple stands at the shore of the Arabian ocean on the western corner of Indian subcontinent in Gujarat State. This pilgrimage is one of the oldest and finds its reference in the ancient texts like Skandpuran, Shreemad Bhagavat, Shivpuran etc. The hymn from Rig-Veda quoted below mention the Bhagvan Someshwar along with the great pilgrimage like Gangaji, Yamunaji and Eastward Saraswati. This signifies the ancient value of this Tirthdham.

The Moon God is said to have been relieved from the curse of his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati by the blessings of Bhagvan Somnath.  In  the Shiva  Purana  and Nandi  Upapurana, Shiva  said, `I  am  always present everywhere  but  specially  in  12  forms  and places as  the  Jyotirlingas`. Somnath is one of  these 12 holy places. This is the first among the twelve holy Shiva Jyotirlings.
The  shore  temple of Somnath is  believed  to  have  been  built  in  4  phases-in  gold  by  Lord Soma,  in  silver  by  Ravi,  in wood  by  lord  Krishna  and  in  stone  by  King Bhimadeva. 

It has withstood the six-repeated desecration by the Muslim invaders. The very existence of this temple is symbol of reconstructive spirit and cultural unity of our society.

The seventh existing temple is built in the Kailas Mahameru Prasad style. The Iron man of India Sardar Shri Vallabhbhai Patel is the pioneer of the existing temple.

The temple is consisting of Garbhgruh, Sabhamandap and Nrityamandap with a 150 feet high Shikhar. The Kalash at the top of the Shikhar weighs 10 tons and the Dhwajdand is 27 feet tall and 1 foot in circumference. 

The Abadhit Samudra Marg, Tirsthambh (Arrow) indicates the unobstructed sea route to the South Pole.

The nearest land towards South Pole is about 9936 km. away. This is a wonderful indicator of the ancient Indian wisdom of geography and strategic location of the Jyotirling. The temple renovated by Maharani Ahalyabai is adjacent to the main temple complex.

Hari Har Tirthdham is here in Somnath. This is the holy place of Bhagvan Shri Krishna's Neejdham Prasthan Leela. The place where Bhagvan Shri Krishna was hit by an arrow of a poacher is known as Bhalka Tirtha. 

After being hit by the arrow, Bhagvan Shri Krishna arrived at the holy confluence of Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati and their Sangam with the ocean. He performed his divine Neejdham Prasthan Leela at the sacred and peaceful banks of river Hiran. 

The Geetamandir is built here where the divine message of Shrimad Bhagavat Geeta is carved on eighteen marble pillars. Shri Lakshminarayan Mandir is close by. The Balramjiki Gufa is the place from where Bhagvan Shrikrishna's elder brother Balaramji took journey to his nijdham-patal.

Here is the Parshuram Tapobhumi, where Bhagvan Parshuramji carried out penance and he was relieved from the sin of Kshatriya killings. The Pandavas have said to have visited this place and taken holy bath in the Jalprabhas and built five Shiv temples.