2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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THE ARMS OF THE FORMER PRINCELEY STATES OF GUJARAT-1

BANSDA

bansdaArms: Or, three dexter hands appaumé Sable, ensigned with flames of the field within a bordure gules.

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Or and Sable a Sara (Ibis leucocephalus – Ciconiidæ) proper.

Supporters: Two bears, ensigned on the shoulder with flames proper.

Motto: Wansheshwapi Chandra

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BHAVNAGAR

BHAVNAGAR

Arms: Murray, an eagle displayed Or, on a canton of the second a lion statant of the first.

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Marry and Or, a sambuk Argent.

Supporters: Two bisons bezanté.

Motto: Manusya Yatna Isvara Krpá (Human Effort, God’s Grace).

 

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CHHOTA UDEPUR

CHHOTA UDEPURArms: Or, a demi man affronté in flames holding a sword in dexter and bow in sinister hand, all proper, within a bordure Sable, charged with eight quatrefoils of the field.

Crest: On a helemt to the dexter lambrequined Or and Sable, rising out of a mural crown Sable, a dexter arm vested Or, holding in bend sinister a sword broken and imbued proper.

Supporters: Dragons.

Motto: MEMORIA MANET (The memory Remains)

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DEVGAD BARIA

DEVGAD BARIA
Arms: Or, a demi man affronté in flames holding a sword in dexter, a bow in sinister hand all proper, within a bordure compony Sable and Argent.

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter lambrequined Or and Sable, rising out of a mural crown Sable a dexter arm vested Or holding in bend sinister a sword broken and imbrued proper.

Lambrequines: Or and Sable.

Supporters: Dragons.

Motto: MEMORIA MANET (The Memory Remains)

* The man in flames is without any doubt a Hindu-god which, however, usually has a sword (khadga) and a shield (khetaka) in his hands. The motto was later translated in Hindi: Smarane Vartate.
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DHARAMPUR

DHARAMPUR
Arms: Argent, on a pile Gules between two hands couped Sable a sun in splendour.

Crest: On a helmet tot the dexter, lambrequined Argent and Purpure, a demi lion rampant Gules.

Supporters: A panther on the dexter and a bear on the sinister.

Motto: Suryavamso Dharmaraksah (The Race of the Sun is the Protector of Heavenly Law).

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DHRANGADRA

DHRANGADRA

Arms: Murray, three canopied niches Or.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Murray and Or, a hand clenched proper, vested Or.

Supporters: Two bulls proper.

Motto: Anatha Vajrapanjaro Mama Bahuh (My Arm Protects the Defenceless)

DHRANGADRA-2

 

Arms: Murray, three canopied niches Or, the field damasqued.
Crest: A five-pointed crown and a canopied niche surrounded by four axes.
Supporters: D. A lion guardant and S. An elephant
Motto: 1 Anatha Vajrapanjaro Mama Bahuh (My Arm Protects the Defenceless) in devanagiri. 2. Sri-Sakti-Prasadana Jayatu Sri-Rajah Sukhino Bhavatu Dhararyah (The Noble King be the Conqueror by the Favour of Sri Sakti, the Noble Dara be Happy) in Sanskrit and in gujarati script.
Compartment: A platform with three steps, before the lower step a holy cow couchant.

The achievement is embellished with fructed branches.
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GONDAL
GONDAL

Arms: A belt and sword with the word “Gondal” at the top.
   

Motto: Sajyam Cha Satyam (Ready and True).
                (Leithbridge)

 

 

 

 

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IDAR

IDAR

Arms: Barry of six Gules and Argent, on a pale raguly Vert, a tower of the second, and a canton paly of five Tenné, Argent, Gules, Or and Vert.

Crest: On a helmet tot the dexter, lambrequined Gules and Argent, a falcon rising proper.

Supporters: Two Leopards Sable.

Motto: Ama Idario Gadha Jitya (We Conquered the Fortress of Idar).

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JAMBUGHODA

JAMBUGHODA

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KACHCHH

The state was consolidated in 1549, by Sri Maharao Khengarji, the head of the Jadejaclan. This clan had originally migrated from Sindh. The capital of the State was established at Bhuj.

The achievement of the Rao of Kachchh (formerly spelled Cutch or Kutch) following a description of the Diwan of Kutch from 1876 was:

KACHCHHArms: Quarterly: 1. The field of an off-white color, a trident per pale and a sword and an axe in saltire proper; 2. A sambuk on waves of the sea, all proper; 3. A holy cow in a landscape, all proper; 4. A killed tiger (depicted is a lion) in a landscape with a red sky, all proper. Over all a palmtree proper.
Crest: On an iron helmet affronté, lambrequined Vert, the crown of Kachchh surmounted by a crescent Argent.
Supporters: Two horsemen, the sinister carrying a pennon Tenné, charged with a crescent and a sun in splendour (the “Jari Patha” flag), all proper.
Motto: COURAGE AND CONFIDENCE in black lettering on a yellow ribbon.
Badges: a. In dexter chief of the achievement: a castle ensigned BHUJ. b. In sinister chief of the achievement: An elephant passant proper, his saddlecloth and headgear Gules, fringed Or. On his back two men (sowaris), the hindmost carrying the “Mahi Muratab” or Goldfishbanner.
KACHCHH-2
For his design of the arms on the flag presented at the durbar of 1877, Taylor made a selection of some of the elements presented to him and so the arms were much simplified:

Arms: Gules, over a sword and axe in saltire a banner Or, on a chief Azure an eastern galley (i.e. a sambuk) Argent.
Crest: On a helmet affronté, lambrequined Gules and Or, a castle ensigned BHUJ.
Supporters: Horsemen mounted proper, the dexter armed with a sword, the sinister with a lance.
Motto: COURAGE AND CONFIDENCE.
A more recent drawing of the achievement however shows the version of 1876.

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LIMBDI

LIMBDILimbdi was a princely state during and before the British empire, ruled by the Jhala Rajput dynasty, who also ruled neighboring princely states of Limbdi, Lakhtar, Sayla, Chuda, and Wankaner. After India’s independence from British colonial rule in 1947, Limbdi was integrated into the nation with other princely states.

The arms of Limbdi show the emblem of Wankaner within a bordure. Its crest is an open hand and its supporters are a tiger and a lion.

 

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LUNAVADA

A coat of arms was granted to Maharaja Wakhatsinhji Dalelsinhji (1867-1929) at the Durbar in Delhi in 1877. It is:

LUNAVADA
Arms: Gules, a tiger passant proper between three tridents Or.

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Gules and Or, a dexter hand appaumé ensigned with a flame proper.
Supporters: Two saras (Ibis leococephalus – Ciconiidæ) proper.

Motto: Vado Vaumsa Vaghel (The Great Race of Baghel).

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NAVANAGAR

Nawanagar was one of the two largest of the Kathiawar States in Western India. It covers an area of four thousand square miles. The Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar maintains as his State Forces a regiment of Lancers consisting of two squadrons and a company of Infantry. Both of these units are composed almost entirely of Rajputs, to which race he himself belongs.

At the Durbar of Delhi in 1877 Maharaja Jam Sahib Vibhhaji II Ranmalji (1859-1895) was granted a coat of arms. It is:
NAVANAGAR
NAVANAGAR-2Arms: Parted per fess dancetty Gules and Argent, three fish naiant in chief and a galley in base counterchanged.

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Gules and Argent, an antelope’s head erased proper, ensigned with a crescent.
Supporters: Two antelopes gutty d’eau.
Motto: Sri Jamo Jayati (The Glorious Jam Conquers).NAVANAGAR-3

The emblem of the Sate of Nawanagar is a lion rampant with a banner:

 

Crest: A lion rampant holding a banner and the motto NIL DESPERANDUM. L.: SHRI HAZUR – NAWANAGAR STATE.

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PORBANDAR

A coat of arms was granted to Rana Sahib Vitematji IV Khimaji (1831-1894) at the Durbar in Delhi of 1877. It is:
PORBANDARArms: Tenné, three eastern galleys (i.e. sambuks) Argent, two and one, and an escutcheon Argent Hanuman proper.

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Tenné and Argent, a bull couchant proper.
Supporters: Two bisons

Motto: Sri Vrsabhadhvajaya Namah (Honour to Him Who has the Bull in his Banner)

A later version of Maharaja Rana Sahib Shri Sir Natwarsinhji Bhansinhji Bahadur (1908-1979) shows:

PORBANDAR-2

Arms: Hanuman proper, in base two swords in saltire, surrounded by the legend: H.H. THE MAHARAJA RANA SAHEB.

Crest: On a helmet affronté, lambrequined (Tenné and Argent?) a bull couchant proper.

Supporters: Two bulls proper.

Motto: 1. PORBANDAR. 2. Sri Vrsabhadhvajaya Nama (Honour to him who has the Bull in his Banner)

 

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RAJKOT

RAJKOTIn the time of Dharmendra Singh (1930-1947) the emblem of Rajkot State was a crescent between two tridents.

In chief a running deer.

 

 

 

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RAJPIPLA

A coat of arms was granted to Maharana Shri Gambirsinhji Vairisalji (1860-1897) at the Durbar in Delhi in 1877. It is:

RAJPIPLA

Arms: Azure, on a pale wavy betwen two galleys Argent, three cannon Gules, pointed to the sinister.

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Azure and Argent, a bull statant.

Supporters: Two Bhils armed with bow and arrow.

Motto: Rewah Jine Kanté.

 

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SANTH

A coat of arms was granted to Rana Pratabsinhji (1873-1896) at the Durbar in Delhi in 1877.

SANTHArms: Or, a globe Sable between three flames proper.

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter lambrequined Or and Sable, two wings endorsed Or.

Supporters: Two elephants.

Motto: Prthvi Paramaro Tani.

 

 

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VADODARA

THE RULING PRINCES OF BARODA BORE THE TITLE OF “GAEKWAD” WHICH means “The Rescuer of the Cow”. This refers to an incident in Poona where Nandaji Rao rescued a (holy) cow from the claws of a tiger. The title “Shamsher Bahadur” has been gained by a son of Nandaji Rao who distinguished himself in the battles between the Maratha’s and the Nizam of Hyderabad.
After the collapse of Maratha power the Gaekwad remained the only representative of their former status and Baroda was reputed for its enlightened administration. In 1937 Rewa Kantha, Surat, Kaira, Nasik en Thana joined Baroda and founded the Gujarat States Agency with Baroda as its capital. In July 1947 the states joined India and became a part of the State of Bombay. With the splitting up of that state into Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1960 Baroda was incorporated into Gujarat.

VADODARA

Arms: Gules, the words GUICAWAR + SIRKAR + (Government of the Gaekwar) per bordure Argent and the words SENA KHAS KHEL SHUM BAHADUR (The Valiant, The Sword of the Cavalry, The Leader) also Argent.

Crest: Two indian maces in saltire, in chief a sword per fess and in base a golden indian shield, all proper.

Garland: Flowering branches encircling the shield and in base two other branches in saltire.

Supporters: Dexter a tiger and sinister a horse saddled, both suppor­ting a banner consisting of a double triangle Gules charged with two swords Or.
Mantle: A pear-shaped screen Gules, strewn with crosslets and circlets Or, crowned with a royal crown.
(State Museum Baroda Obj. P 7.9.: The coat of arms of old Baroda State. Foto H.P. de Vries, 1984)

VADODARA-2
Arms: Parted in saltire Argent and Gules, a horseman charging proper.

Crest: On a helmet guardant, lambrequined Gules and Argent, a naked arm holding a sword in bend sinister.

Supporters: Two elephants.

Motto: In base: JIN GHAR JIN TAKHT (The Saddle is my House, my Home and my Throne); in chief: SRI MAHADEVA (Great Lord) both in devenagi­ri script.

On the banner of Baroda, preserved in the State Museum at Baroda, the shield is parted per saltire Argent and Purpure, the shade of purpure tending to violet.

VADODARA-3

Arms: Tenné, a horseman charging Argent.
Crest: On a wreath Argent and Or, an arm embowed armed with a sword proper.

Supporters: Two elephants proper.

Motto: JIN GHAR JIN TAKHT in black devenagiri script on a ribbon 
VADODARA-4

 

Pratap Singh
1939-1951
Arms: (Tenne) a horseman charging (Argent).

Crest: A sword per fess, hilt on the sinister proper.

Crown: The crown of Baroda.

Supporters: Two elephants, in their trunks two indian maces in salti­re.

Motto: In chief: SRI MAHADUR; in base: JIN GHAR, JIN TAKHT.
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WADHWAN

The state of Wadhwan was founded about 1630 as an offshoot of Dharangdra. An achievement of the state of Wadhwan is known from the reign of Thakur Sahib Shri Balsinhji (1885-1910):

WADHWAN

Arms: A sun radiant charged with the word “OM” (amen).

Crest: A trident with a pennon.
Supporters: Two lions rampant guardant.
(On a stamp, 1888)

The flag of Wadhwan shows the trident from the crest.

 

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WANKANER

WANKANER

Emblem: A temple enclosing a trident entwined with a double headed snake
Crest: A white crescent and a golden sun
Supporters: Two tigers with red pennons
Motto: IN GOD IS MY TRUST.
Title: WANKANER

The flag of Wankaner shows the achievement of Wankaner in yellow on a red cloth.

Love at first sight : Chandra Gupta Maurya and Greek Princess, Helen – A Love Story

“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star” ~ E.E. Cummings

Chandragupta Maurya Chandra Gupta Maurya and Greek Princess, Helen   A Love Story

Love at first sight

Different people has different views. Some say it is possible while some argue it is not. However, centuries of arts, literature as well as mythology has been contributed greatly to this idea and to our surprise, even history. Although, we are quite well known with the historic love at first sight tragic story in the form of Cleopatra-Mark Anthony, nothing much has been said about one of the happiest historical love at first sight tale – The glorious love affair of Chandra Gupta Maurya and Helen, the Greek princess and daughter of Seleucus Nicatar, the ruler of Western India and Persia (earlier the general of Alexander)

It all began when Chandra Gupta aka Sandrocottus in Greek History while riding through the rivulet Jhelum had secretly seen Helen playing with her hand maidens. Mesmerized with the rare Greek beauty and her charm, Chandra Gupta fell in love with her almost instantly. Being from humble background, he however thought of claiming the hands of Helen by marrying her.

Maurya, who was already married to queen Dhundhara confessed this desire to marry Helen to his counsellor and advisor, Chanakya. The learned man counselled that the only way to seek her was by declaring war against Seleucus, who after the death of Alexander seized opportunity and took over the eastern part of the Greek empire (Persia and Western India) and became emperor. However, this was only possible by conquering North India which was under the Nanda Empire.

Soon, Maurya triumphed in the North which alarmed Seleucus about the rise of Chandra Gupta Maurya in North India. Meanwhile, Chandra Gupta Maurya had expressed his love to Helen by sending messages through carrier pigeons. Helen too was smitten by this ardent suitor from India. Perfect start, isn’t it? Well, the Greatest Emperor who had the might of capturing places even had the gift of conquering hearts that too intensely! It is then, Helen got to know through her hand maiden that the lover is a Hindu and heathen – who doesn’t acknowledge the Greek religion or their Gods. Still, she had formed an image of the Hindu emperor in her mind and loved him immensely. True love !

Later, it was during 305 BC when Seleucus’s army met with Chandra Gupta Maurya’s in a battle where Seleucus was defeated. As per Chankaya’s advice, Chandra Gupta Maurya then invited the defeated emperor for a meeting. Seleucus was suspicious; still he marched for the meeting and here, the victorious offer the Greek King a truce and alliance for Helen’s hand. To allay the feelings of hurt Seleucus, the Indian emperor handed him war elephants as a token of gift and in the Greek King ceded large areas of Afghanistan and other territories to the Indian Emperor.

Later, when Chandra Gupta entered the palace of the Greek King, Helen was equally delighted to see the man in real with whom she was deeply in love already. Initially, Seleucus was not ready to give his daughter‘s hand to a heathen but when Helen insisted he agreed and the two married only to live happily ever after. Chandra Gupta Maurya, India’s greatest emperor thus not only had the ability to unite India, but east and west through his unique bond of love.

The Emperor with his newly wedded life then came to Patliaputra his capital from Persia and their marriage was celebrated with great joy and happiness. Historian confirms that Helen was a great lover of India and even learned Sanskrit and Indian classical music. Just like a fairy tale end of the a classic story, the two lived happily after…

P.S:
Helen died after 4 to 5 years of their marriage. Chandra Gupta later converted his religion into Jainism and handed over his throne to Helen and his son Bindusar (Father of the Great Emperor Ashoka) and moved away to Karnataka where he eventually

Courtesy :- Deepti Verma

Love Bird : “Jam Tamachi ” and “”Noori””

There once lived a woman named Noori who had spent all her life in a small fishing village next to a beautiful lake. All the villagers there lived in huts made out of straw and got their living from fishing on the lake.
The daughter of a humble fisherman, Noori loved the little village and all things to do with life by the water.
What she loved best was simply to go out on the lake no matter what the reason and just watch the blue waves shimmering in the sun. She thought she would spend her whole life in that little fishing village, but things have a way of changing…

noori2A VERY STRANGE THING
One day while Noori was helping her father unload some nets from the boat a great clamor arose in the village. The news traveled fast from person to person: “The King is coming!” and all the villagers rushed around to make their houses and garments as presentable as possible.
The woods surrounding the village were great hunting grounds and King Jam Tamachi had been spending time there doing some hunting. Now he was ready to relax for a while by the lake before returning back to his palace.
Noori was quite curious because she had never seen the King before, or really anyone of royal status for that matter. The villagers around her whispered that he would be wearing clothes made of gold as well as the finest jewelry. She thought the idea of someone wearing clothes of gold to be kind of strange and reminded herself to look and see if this was actually true.
But as soon as the handsome King came near to where Noori was she forgot all about that, his eyes met hers and it was love at first sight for both of them.
It was a very strange thing for a king to fall in love with a poor fisherman’s daughter, but many people in the village weren’t surprised when they learned it was Noori that the King had fallen in love with. She was quite beautiful and had a face that people said shined bright like the full moon. She had been given the name Noori, which means ‘bright light’, in honor of her unusual beauty.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
Not too long after the first meeting of Noori and the King came something even more unusual though, the King asked her to marry him. This was pretty much unheard of because the culture there was very obsessed with status, and someone with the status of royalty would never mix with someone who lived in a poor fishing village. Until now.
Noori was deeply in love and accepted the King’s marriage proposal happily, though when it came time to go she looked back at her beloved fishing village and felt sadness at having to leave. But she knew it had to be done, her new life and home was ahead of her in the royal palace.
Now in most tales this is where the story stops and everybody celebrates a (mostly) happy ending. The poor fisherman’s daughter becomes a queen and lives happily ever after in a golden palace right? But this wasn’t the case for Noori.

noori3THE SIX QUEENS
The King may have looked beyond Noori’s status as a fisherman’s daughter but when she arrived at the palace she found out that most people there could not do the same, or just plain chose not to.
And she had a big problem: the other queens. There were 6 of them and they burned with hatred for her, their new favorite thing to do soon became trying to poison the mind of the King against “that simple girl from the fishing village”.
Mostly the King ignored the hateful rumors that the 6 queens tried to pass on to him but there was one particular rumor that they said so many times it actually started to make him worry. What if Noori wasn’t the person he thought she was?
For months the queens had been whispering about how Noori was constantly stealing jewels from various rooms of the palace and giving them to her brother when he visited, so that he could sneak the jewels back to the fishing village.
In fact the King had heard from other more trusted people that she had often been seen secretly handing a box to her brother as he was leaving the palace. The King knew that these people wouldn’t lie to him, so it was with a heavy heart that he decided to finally see with his own eyes what was happening.

THE WOODEN BOX
Imagine Noori’s surprise when the King and his guards jumped out of the shadows as she was handing a small wooden box to her brother!
The King demanded that she instead hand the box to one of his guards, and helooked so betrayed while he said this that it stung her heart. Before she could say a word he walked over to the box and lifted the lid to see just how many precious jewels she had tried to steal from the palace this time. You’ll never guess what he saw in the box…
It was nothing but a few fish bones and bread crumbs.
“What is this?” he said in complete surprise. Noori saw that it was a happy kind of surprise though, because he smiled as he said it and turned to her.
Noori explained to the King that she was afraid if she got used to the kind of food that was served in the palace she’d stop being able to enjoy the kind of food that she grew up eating in the village. So she asked her mother to send a bit of fish and village bread along with her brother each time he visited. She had been trying to keep this from the King because she didn’t want to seem ungrateful for all the lavish food he provided.
Well after this the King never listened to another rumor from the 6 queens again, no matter how hard they tried to convince him.
Seeing that Noori longed for the village by the lake he agreed to go with her and visit it as often as possible, and through his great love for her he started to appreciate beauty of the lake and the little village as she did.

noori1THE TOMB IN THE LAKE
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that over the years Noori became very famous and well-loved by the people of her country, she was an unusually humble and kind queen that never forgot what really mattered in life. And even now many generations later people still enjoy talking about Queen Noori and the love story of Noori Jam Tamachi.
After she died the King had her buried in a white tomb in the middle of that same lake where they first met. And when you climb up to the tomb you get a spectacular view of the shimmering blue lake that Noori loved so much all through her life.
The lake is called Kenjhar Lake and every day hundreds of people go there to pay their respects to Noori and celebrate the kind of love that she and the King had for each other.
Some people will take pictures, some will pray, and some people have even been known to sprinkle rose petals over the monument. One thing is for sure though: they will all talk about the remarkable story of Noori, the fisherman’s daughter who married a king.
(Big thanks to Qaseem Ahmad for providing  of the photos for this post. Thank you!)

Hanging Pillar : Indian architectural wonders

when you visit Vijayanagar-era templeLepakshi you can see that the guide whipped out a twig from his pocket with a flourish and will say dramatically: “Now I show you best part of Lepakshi temple.” And will get down on his knees before the large grey pillar before us. Bending forward, he will pass the twig slowly under the pillar. From one end to the other!  Its WoW no ??? yes its Indian architectural wonders !!!!!!! Hanging Pillar temple

 I am saying about  Hanging Column or Pillar of Lepakshi temple, located in Anantapur district in southern Andhra Pradesh. It is truth that  “This is the pillar which does not rest on the ground fully,”

There are about 70 pillars at this fabulous 16th-century temple of stone in Vijayanagar style, but this one is the best known and a tribute to the engineering genius of ancient and medieval India’s temple builders. However, it is a bit dislodged from its original position — it is said that during the British era, a British engineer tried to move it in an unsuccessful attempt to uncover the secret of its support.

Much of the temple is built on a low, rocky hill called Kurmasailam — which translates to tortoise hill in Telugu, after the shape of the hill. The temple dates back to 1583 and was built by the brothers, Virupanna and Veeranna, who were initially in the service of the Vijayangar kings. However, Puranic lore has it that the Veerabhadra temple was built by the sage Agastya. It has idols of Ganesha, Nandi, Veerabhadra, Shiva, Bhadrakali, Vishnu and Lakshmi.

Hanging Pillar temple 2Another legend gives the town a significant place in the Ramayana — this was where the bird Jatayu fell, wounded after a futile battle against Ravana who was carrying away Sita. When Sri Rama reached the spot, he saw the bird and said compassionately, “Le Pakshi” — ‘rise, bird’ in Telugu.

Once you reach the temple’s outer enclosure, you will see a mammoth Ganesha — hewn in stone and leaning against a rock. Perpendicular to it is a massive Naga with three coils and seven hoods. It forms a sheltering canopy over a black granite Shivalingam. It’s reckoned by many as the largest Nagalinga in India.

There are two red blotches on the western wall of the inner enclosure, explained by a gory story. Virupanna, the royal treasurer, was accused of drawing funds without the king’s permission from the state treasury to build these shrines. However, he forestalled the enraged king’s punishment by blinding himself, and those maroon spots are said to be the marks left by his bleeding eyes!

The temple’s main deity is Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva in his rage after the Daksha Yagna and the immolation of Parvathi. There are several forms of Shiva here — a majestic Kankala Murthi, Dakshinamurthi (Guru of Gurus), Tripuranthaka or Tripurasurasamhara (vanquisher of demon Tripura); Ardhanareeshwara (the half-female, half-male form, where Shiva and Parvati are equally represented in one body), etc. Another shrine has the fiery goddess Bhadrakali, though bearing an uncharacteristically serene expression.

The Lepakshi temple also has the finest specimens of mural paintings of the Vijayanagar kings. We were informed that the 24 by 14 ft fresco of Veerabhadra on the ceiling before the main sanctum sanctorum is the largest in India of any single figure. The rest of the frescoes are also beautiful and show an impressive attention to detail with colours strikingly contrasted — black limework against an orange-red background with some green, white, black, and shades of ochre-gold and brown mostly applied to a stucco surface specially treated with lime. The Shiva-Parvathi kalyanam — an enduringly popular subject with traditional Indian artists — finds expression here. However, these frescoes are peeling off in many places and in need of better maintenance and expert restoration.

After the ache in the neck from gazing upwards at these alluring frescoes, we sat down for a while, rubbing our necks, in the splendid Natya Mandapam or dance hall with its superbly sculpted pillars. The Kalyana Mandapam is another hall known for its artistic beauty. Among the many eye-catchers in this temple, the frieze of geese with lotus stalks in their beaks stands out.

The Lepakshi temple is close to the famed pilgrim town of Puttaparthi, From Hyderabad it is about 480 km and about 130 km from Bangalore.

Jam Ranji :-Why he preferred to stay unmarried to honour his Love ??

Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties,’ runs the old maxim. And no one can denial that cricketers are hero in cricket paying country. if we look back, so many girls mad after famous cricketers. Oki and if that cricketer is real prince then? And I add, not only real prince but in real sense prince charming then ??

hmmm today I am going to write on jam ranji………before I start to write  this I want to say that jam ranji, the king of nawanagar state never marry, he pass his all life as a single status WHY?? This “why” click in our mind,,  may he love someone?? And may he pass his life as a real lover?? Many many questions hitting in mind

ranji_020603Yes, I am saying jam ranji the king of nawanagar [Jamnagar] was in love….. This love was like Romeo or Kaish  or farhan ?? whatever it was that but fact was that  he never marry. !!!!!!

sometimes the lives of cricketers can turn out to be more gloriously uncertain than an exciting ame of cricket. How else can you explain the fact that Ranji, arguably India’s greatest cricketer ever, rented a whole train to take his love, Mary Holmes (also called Madge and Poly), to London for a holiday in the 1890s even as he was deeply in debt, owing money to his tailor, bartender, grocer, newsagent and restaurateur in Cambridge? How can you explain that he was showering Mary with costly gifts—a diamond bracelet, an ivory necklace, a model of the Taj Mahal, a brooch—even as he was planning to live on friends, eating in their homes after inviting himself forcibly, to avoid destitution?
What we all know is that Ranjitsinjhi played for CambridgeUniversity and decided to make his cricketing career in England rather than in India, for Sussex and England.

Holmes was where his heart was. In his letters, the young royal avowed he loved sisters Madge and Minnie more than any other girl. Ranji also showed his appreciation through verse—borrowed, original or translated.

He played 15 Tests between 1896 and 1902 (in a period well before India had achieved Test status), all his matches being against Australia. Ranji had a first-class average of 56.37 and a Test average of 44.95, which is outstanding for the period. What is not, however, known is Ranji’s colourful love life. This is evident from 37 letters he wrote to Mary, rescued from oblivion in March 2002, 112 years after they were written. The letters are now housed safely in the Wren Library, TrinityCollege, Cambridge. There are more than half-a-dozen published treatises on Ranji. (Cross Standing, 1903; Kincaid, 1931; Roland Wild, 1934; Ross, 1983; Raiji,1987; Simon Wilde, 1991.) Yet, there is no mention of Mary Holmes, also referred to as Madge or Poly by Ranji, in these books. The recent discovery of these letters is a prize, one that opens up interesting aspects of Ranji’s life and character.

Miss Mariecke Clarke, grand-daughter of Mary Holmes. She wrote: ” I have just donated a substantial number of letters written by Prince Ranjitsinhji to my grandmother to his old College, Trinity, Cambridge.” It is true that Ranji had been close to the Holmes family since 1890.

ranji cyIt all started when Ranji was cycling past Bond and Holmes (established 1874), their huge grocery store on Cambridge’s 57 Sidney Street, when the two sisters, Mary and Minnie, saw the Indian prince for the first time. Finding him extremely attractive, they dropped their handkerchief for Ranji to pick up. Once he picked it up, the journey had begun. The next stop was the Holmes house, above their store. The 18-year-old Ranji soon became a regular. Only after a few months he started calling Mr and Mrs Holmes “”mother and father””. With Ranji living on 22, Sidney Street, it wasn’t difficult for him to visit the Holmes house regularly, more so with indulgence from both the sisters.

Ranji’s first letter to Mary, written in 1891 as a 19-year-old, was formal. However, it was reflective of his growing attachment to the Holmes family

. “My dear M.H.,

I was delighted to have your sweet note. I am sorry I was the unfortunate means of a quarrel between your darling self and your beautiful sister. The opera glasses, I hope, you will accept as a present from me to you. But if your sister is desirous of having a pair, I shall be most willing to provide her with a pair. I wish I could have your charming company sometimes here at teatime. I shall be delighted to be of any service to you if you want anything.”

At the end of the letter, he expressed keenness to know her full name.

By the course of the third letter, the tenor of the writing had changed.

“Dear Madge,

I am glad to say that I am not going away during the vac but am allowed to stay here. So I hope I shall have your company till the next term without a break. If you let me know when you can come today I will manage (ensure) so that no one can come and see me. I hope your mother will let you and Minnie come.”

In the next letter, Ranji was profusely apologetic for not being home when the two sisters had come. He also insisted he liked them more than he liked any other girl.

“Please do not think I like all girls because I seem to give them presents. I like you and Minnie best. I can do anything I can to please you and Minnie.”

Within six months, their affair had grown stronger, if the tone of Ranji’s letters is anything to go by.

“I think of going to London from Friday to Monday. I shall miss you immensely but shall rejoice doubly to see you back again.”

It’s from this time that we know of another Ranji, the poet.

In many of his letters, he wrote verses for Madge, urging her to write some for him. He claimed that all of them were either original, composed by him, or translated from the vernacular. He had copied Shelley’s Lines to an Indian Air, claiming it had been written by an Indian poet and translated by him! On April 1, 1891, he wrote to her, saying,

 “In the last verse I have asked you to guess (who I am referring to). I think these are better than the last ones as they are made after thinking a lot and the rhythm is all right.”

Dearest Madge,
Would my Poly know if I love let her take
My last thought at night and the first when I awake?
Let her think what odd whimsies I have in my brain
When I read one page over and over again
And discover at last that I read them in vain.
And lastly when summoned to drink to my flame
Let her guess why I never mention her name
Though herself and the lassie I love are the same.

In the next verse he did not leave anything to guesswork:

I loved thee once, I love thee still
And fell this world asunder
My loves eternal flame would rise
Midst chaos crash and thunder.
Two rubies on those lips of thine
Unrivalled in fresh glory
Happy is the man to whom
They whisper their love story.

A few days later, he wrote:

Good night my love! The night is ill
Which shows those we should unite
Let us remain together still
Then it will be good night.

On one occasion, Ranji had tried to ignite Mary’s passions by telling her how intimate he had become with a London girl. This was part of a plan his friends had made to tease her. Upon seeing the plan fail, and finding her determined not to speak to him any more, he wrote:

 “I am so sorry to have offended you by letting you (know) about the beastly London girl. It was Hussain’s (a friend who visited Ranji often) suggestion, when I told him that you had asked me whether I like any girl beside you and Minnie, to say what I did. I shall never forgive him for the trick. I am so awfully ashamed of acting accordingly but you must forgive me for doing so unless you wish to make me unhappy and sad. I love you only and I did not think I could be fond of anyone as I am of you and of Minnie. I hope you will forgive me.”

It’s evident from the account of Christopher Neve, grandnephew of Mary Holmes, that Ranji often gave the girls extravagant gifts, bicycles and jewellery. He used to take them on picnics and expeditions. Once he had taken them to visit Wimpole Hall, where the Holmes had their farm, to see their grandfather William Clarke, referred to as W.C. in the letters. The most interesting thing about this expedition was that they used a dogcart as transport.

In the letters, there is little mention of cricket, except to say,

“I am tired this evening. I have been playing cricket.”

However, in the last surviving letter from him to Madge, dated October 24, 1905, Ranji briefly mentions his financial crisis and his plans of writing a cricket book, which he intended to sell as a last resort to alleviate his problems. He mentions that he had already secured 3,000 orders for ‘Cricket Guide and How to Play Cricket’ and he planned to sell 5,000 copies in all. Clearly, Ranji, living like a prince, continued to live beyond his means on an annual allowance of Rs 5,714 and was perpetually in debt. He gave away expensive gifts to the Holmes sisters on credit. His financial problems were only partly taken care of in 1898 when his friend, Pratapsinhji of Jodhpur, gave him Rs 30,000.

What was most interesting, as suggested by Neve, was that while Mary had married in 1898 seeing that her affair with Ranji was going nowhere because of their colour difference, Minnie was deeply attached to him and preferred to stay unmarried all her life. This seems possible, for Ranji was in constant touch with Minnie even when he had not written to Madge from India. However, Mary had never forgotten her first love and had a large photo portrait of Ranji with his bat with her in her old age.

What we don’t know is whether Mary, whose husband had abandoned her and six surviving children, and who was on the verge of destitution, received any support from Ranji after he became the Jam Sahib of Nawanagar in 1907. We will also not know whether Ranji would have preferred to stay unmarried to honour his relationships with Mary or Minnie Holmes. This suspicion is strengthened when we hear about the statue of a British woman Ranji had erected in his native state in the 1920s. His biographers have wondered whether it was of Edith Borissow, daughter of the Chaplain of Trinity, the Rev Louis Borissow, who had looked after Ranji when he arrived in Cambridge. The discovery of his letters to Mary suggests otherwise. In which case, Ranji, Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1897, never forgot the love(s) of his life.

courtesy :  Boria Majumdar and out look india

Manimandir the love symbol:- Built by morbi thakor to immortalize his love for a girl named Mani

Morbi [also called Morvi ]This beautiful city is located on the Bank Of Machchhu.It is  67 Kms away from the Rajkot and 245 Kms away from the Ahmedabad. Morbi was founded in the year of 1698. Morbi was the Capital of Rajput Jadeja‘s State. Untill 1947 Morbi was a princely state. .The prosperous city Morbi has much of the built heritage and town planning is attributed to the efficient administration of Sir Waghji, who came to the throne in 1879 and ruled till 1948. Sir Waghji acted as the Ruler, Manager, Patron and Policemen of the state with great authority, always keeping the citizens’ interests in mind.

mani manidrMani Mandir Built by Thakor Saheb Sir Waghji to immortalize his love for a girl named Mani, [ manibai] the building is a symbol of love that stands testimony to excellent workmanship.In Gujarati and Hindi a Hindu temple is called a ‘Mandir’. Mani Mandir is a temple of Radha-Krishna, Shri Laxmi Narayana and God Shiva. Mani Mandir is one of the great examples of the Temple Architecture in India.  Mani Mandir was also one of the hidden places for the King. To this date no one has been able to count the total number of cellars in this building! The Mani Mandir of Morbi is an excellent example of Art. Mani mandir is a stunning piece of temple architecture, situated in the courtyard of Wellingdon Secretariat, in Morbi, Gujarat. Built in 1935, this magnificent structure took shape in Jaipur stone, adorned with exquisitely carved elements-arches, brackets, jalis, chhatris and shikhara. The temple enshrines the images of Lakshmi Narayan, Goddess Kali, Lord Ram, Radha- Krishna and Lord Shiva.

Manimanidr : photo by: Harish Gohel

Manimanidr : photo by: Harish Gohel

The Manimandir of Morbi reflects the wonderful mental capacity of Shah Jahan as he built his Taj Mahal. This manimandir was also built with such sharp and unusual emotions at work. The history says. It is a symbol of Love in the history of Saurashtra. The King of Morbi, Vaghji Thakor had built this manimandir in the memory of his beloved first wife Manibai, and is no less than a royal palace in its beauty of design and sculptures.

manimanidr planMani Mandir stands as a testimony to the excellent dexterity of its master craftsmen and architects, who had conceived and materialized the structure at the turn of 20th century. it is an excellent piece of temple architecture and a palace belonging to the erstwhile princely state of Morbi  is going to be renovated and converted into a first of its kind museum showcasing the socio-cultural heritage of the Saurashtra region.

Mani Mandir is a structure adorned with exquisitely carved arches, brackets, jalis, chhatris and shikhara.it is famous for its beautiful architecture, which is a harmonious blend of Gothic, Saracenic, Mughal and Rajput styles. At the centre of the temple complex, overlooking the river Machhu is the temple of Radha Krishna. A rectangular double-storied complex with over 130 rooms surrounds the temple. Waghji had completed the structure at a cost of Rs 30 lakh in 1922 and died the same year.

After the 2001 earthquake, unfortunately most of the mandir fell down but is back to its noble stature again

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