Incredible India for ancient wonders
India has a rich heritage and culture. All the heritage and culture is revealed in all forms of the constructions starting from the majestic monolith to the huge monasteries, places of worship and many more. Our wonderful land is a treasure of trove. Discovering the greatness of Incredible India and its glory is a never ending story. In bringing up the incredibility of India Ministry of Tourism of India along with NDTV took initiative in conducting a poll and succeed in bringing up the seven wonders of India. This is the second year in a row.
India has lots of cultural heritage the one lacking is the cultural aspect and interest in the crowd. As a part of survey there were a total of 200 nominations for the seven wonders of India out of which 20 were selected for the final entries. The seven wonders of India that were declared by the Ministry of tourism include:
Meenakshi temple of Madurai
Meenakshi temple is located in the holy city Madurai in TamilNadu. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva (in the form of Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord) and his consort, Goddess Parvati (in the form of Meenakshi). Tamilians call it as Madurai. The temple is famous for its architecture. The temple has a history of 2500 years of old ancient history. It is located in the banks of the river Vaigai. The city has lost its glory in the past and retained the glory during the earlier part of this millennium. One should visit the Madurai temple in their life time. It took nearly 120 years for the Rulers Tanjavur. The cost behind the construction was not known. We can say like almost half of their wealth is being spent towards the construction of this temple.
There is a story behind this great architecture. Malayadwaja was the ruler of Madurai. He was a great devotee of Lord Durga Devi. The lord was so impressed by his devotion turns into a sweet little girl and follows raja Malayadwaja. She stays with him and after she has grown into a woman she takes up the responsibility of the Raja Malayadwaja and rules the empire. Lord Shiva comes down Bhooloka in search of Parvati Devi. Here they come across each other and get married. Lord Vishnu, who is the father of Parvati Devi, tries to come over to the wedding, but due to some hindrances he could not make attend the wedding. Being upset with this wedding he gets angry and says that he is not going to see his daughter and son-in-law. Somehow convinced with the words of other gods he comes over blesses the. Both Lord Shiva and Parvathi ruled over the kingdom for many years. The spot from where they left for their heavenly abode is where the temple now stands. Basing on this mythological story till date a ritual named Chidurai Thiruvija is being celebrated in Madurai.
There is no correct evidence of when this temple is being constructed. Basing in the Tamil literary scripts we can say that the temple has a history of thousands of years. Also there is a rumor that in 1310 Malik Kafar a Muslim ruler has destroyed the temple and Raja Nayaks Prime Minister Arayandha Mudaliyar rebuilt the temple, and Tirumala Nayaka got this into glory.
One can experience the architectural glory as soon as we enter in to the 45 acre land. All the Gopurams and the mandapas give the feeling as we are in the abode of gods. There no words to explain the beauty of the 1000 pillar mandapa. The temple has four Gopurams. Out of which the Southern gopuram has a unique feature. It plays the saptaswaras of music. The golden Lotus in the lake is a unique feature of the temple. There no words to explain the glory of this beautiful temple located in South India. We shall have to borrow another pair of eyes to experience the temple architecture. There is no doubt in saying this.
No doubt the Meenakshi temple of Madurai is being honored as the first seven wonders of glorious India.
Dholavira, an ancient metropolitan city, and locally known as Kotada Timba Prachin Mahanagar Dholavira, is one of the largest and most prominent archaeological sites in India, belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. It is located on the Khadir Island in the Kachchh district of Gujarat, India which is surrounded by water in the monsoon season. Here you can see the lives of the people who spent their whole life like a festival. One can see the ancestral glory of the people. The excavation brought to light the sophisticated urban planning and architecture, and unearthed large numbers of antiquities such as seals, beads, animal bones, gold, silver, terracotta ornaments and vessels linked to Mesopotamia. Archaeologists believe that Dholavira was an important centre of trade between settlements in south Gujarat, Sindh and Punjab and Western Asia.
The importance of this city was not known for many decades. It was in the past 25 years we dig out the treasure and brought to the limelight. Dholavira is one the five important Sindhu Civilizations of India. As you dig the history we can find the history of the ancestors for the past 5000 years. This gives us a lesson about the livelihood and how we are living today. One of the unique features of Dholavira is the sophisticated water conservation system of channels and reservoirs, the earliest found anywhere in the world and completely built out of stone, of which three are exposed. They were used for storing the fresh water brought by rains or to store the water diverted from a nearby rivulet. This probably came in wake of the desert climate and conditions of Kutch, where several years may pass without rainfall. No where in the world we can see such a systematic reservoir. One of the most significant discoveries at Dholavira was made in one of the side rooms of the northern gateway of the city. The Harappans had arranged and set pieces of gypsum (a kind of mineral) to form ten large letters on a big wooden board. People of Dholavira believe in rebirths. Basing on this belief they used to burry their wealth and food.
University of Nalanda has its own unique form of education. Nalanda is the name of an ancient university in Bihar, India. The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from 427 to 1197.
The university flourished during the reign of Guptas, which was also called the Golden Age of Guptas. The university flourished mainly on account of patronage of Buddhist Emperors like Harshavardhana and Pala kings of Pala dynasty. The ruins of Nalanda University occupy an area of 14 hectares. This university was completely built with Red Bricks. At its peak, Nalanda University attracted scholars and students from many parts of the globe e.g. China, Greece etc. The university accommodated nearly 10,000 students, 2000 teaching staff and thousands of Buddhists monks, dorms for the students, classrooms, administration and discipline on the top of all these. The university attracted pupils from all over the world. There is also a belief that Buddha visited Nalanda University. We can see the architectural style of Guptas in all of the construction of Nalanda University. The whole construction is made out of bricks. There are 10,000 temples in the campus. The library was located in a nine storied building where meticulous of books were produced. All the treasure was spoiled when Khilji, set fire to the entire treasure. Many monks were killed in the fire. The smoke was spread all over the surrounding areas and was there for few days. Most of the treasure was burnt in the fires.
Now the university is just a construction. No books, no students and no monks. It’s all a brick construction in Bihar. Buddhist Monk Jagdish Kasyapan started a Nava Nalanda Mahavira near Pali and started a multi media museum where is now playing the animated 3d version of the University. Other then this there is nothing in the famous Nalanda University.
Khajuraho is a village in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District, about 385 miles (620 kilometers) southeast of Delhi, the capital city of India. The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculpture. Chendela emperors constructed this beautiful architecture. They called themselves as the ancestors of Chandra dynasty, which may be because of this the structure, will glorify in the moonlight. The Khajuraho temples are made of sand stone. Chendelas constructed total of 85 temples in Khajuraho out of which 25 retained their beauty. One of the biggest temples is Mahadeva Temple. Matanga Temple is famous till today. Sivaratri is being celebrated here even today with utmost devotion. There is story behind this Matanga Temple. This is the place where Lord Shiva and Parvathi got married. Ten years back Bijamata Temple was found in the excavations. Lakshaman Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Parsvanatha Temple and many more are in and around Khajuraho have their own importance. Every temple has a unique feature. During 13th century Chendela Empire was destroyed and the temples also lost their glory. Again during the 18th century with the help g British officer the temples came into limelight.
The Khajuraho temples do not contain sexual or erotic art inside the temple or near the deities; however, some external carvings bear erotic art. Also, some of the temples that have two layers of walls have small erotic carvings on the outside of the inner wall. There are many interpretations of the erotic carvings The Khajuraho temples are now set in a parkland landscape. When India gained independence from Britain in 1947 the landscape setting was semi-desert and scrubs. The archaeological park now has something of the character of an English public park, with mown grass, rose beds and ornamental trees. This may be popular with visitors but has no relationship with the historic landscape at the time the temples were built.
Konark Sun Temple
Konark is a small town in Puri district of the state of Orissa, India, on the Bay of Bengal, sixty-five kilometers from Bhubaneswar. It is the site of the 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), built in black granite by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236-1264) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple symbolizes the majestic stride of the Sun God. The entire complex was designed in the form of huge chariot drawn by seven horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels. Narasimha Deva of Ganga Empire constructed this temple to celebrate his victory over Muslims. Konark (or Konark) derives its name from Konarka, the presiding deity of the Sun Temple. Konarka is actually a combination of two words, Kona (corner) and Arka (sun), which, when combined, means the sun of the corner.
The Konark Sun Temple rises above the horizon in all its majestic glory as a terrestrial symbol of Surya’s golden chariot flying through the sky. The Sun temple belongs to the Kalinga School of Indian Temples with characteristic curvilinear towers mounted by cupolas. In shape, the temple did not make any major departure from other sikhara temples of Orissa. There are many opinions regarding the temple. Some say that the temple lost its fame in the early 17th century by the envoy of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. It is also opined by some historians that due the early death of King Langula Narasimha Dev, builder of the Konark temple, the construction of the temple had been left in a haphazard state. As a result the incomplete structure collapsed. But this view is unsupportive as the king narasimha Deva ruled till 1282 and the history says that the temple was built between 1253 and 1260 A.D. The legends say that King Narasimha Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty had ordered the temple to be built as a royal proclamation of the political supremacy of his dynasty. After the 17th century the sun temple has lost its sun light and there was only darkness left behind. The Muslim rulers started ruling the country and the main deity was being hidden somewhere. The ocean waves took away the temple architecture and the some were ruined by the rulers.
Once a sleepy desert city, Jaisalmer has transformed itself into a major tourist destination of India. Situated amid picturesque Thar Desert, the Jaisalmer city commands premiere position among the tourist attractions scattered all over the desert land of Rajasthan. The Jaisalmer city is revered both by Indians as well as foreign tourists. The Jaisalmer city is a prominent educational as well as cultural hub in the region and regularly showcases the vivid cultural aspects of Rajasthan. Among others, it includes folk dances as well as semi classical and folk music.
Many people take the initiative in taking the pictures, and filming the fort Jaisalmer, but still there is a lot to explain about the historic monument. The beauty of the fort is different in the morning sunlight and in the evening. Its massive walls are a tawny lion color during the day and a magical gold color in the sunset. Raja Jaisal constructed this fort. As this is located in the desert area it really retained its glory. But historians say that it was during the period of Allauddin Khilji the fort was sacked. Slowly the Muslims rulers stared ruling the country and the fort lost its glory. Many women who believed in the traditions suicide and some women fought for their liberation. After Humayun came into power relations with Muslims was increased and Mughal emperor Akbar was married to one of the Jaisalmer princesses. Later, Jaisalmer was ruled by a noble called Sabala Simha, who won the patronage of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for services rendered in his Peshawar campaign.
However, the glory of Jaisalmer faded when Bombay emerged as a port and the sea trade replaced the traditional land routes. The partition of India in 1947 lead to closing of all the trade routes on the Indo-Pak border and rendered Jaisalmer a drought-prone desert backwater on the international border.
Khila-E- Mukhbar means god's blessings. This is so true in with respect to the Red Fort. Because of its name and meaning it is still retaining its glory with out any disturbances. There is some unique power that is still protecting the Fort. The Delhi Fort also known as Lal Qil’ah or Lal Qila is located in the walled city of Delhi, India and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. We cannot see the River Yamuna flowing through the southern side or we cannot experience the minerals that were on the walls during its construction. All those were lost with the Persian Rulers invasion. But still the fort attracts many tourists. The Red fort was initially built by Raja Anangpal a Rajput Tomar king. It was further expanded and improved upon its inclusion into the city of Shahjahanabad constructed by the Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639 A.D. This Fort has had many developments added on after its construction by Emperor Shahjahan. The significant phases of development were under Aurangzeb and later Mughal rulers. Important physical changes were carried out in the overall settings of the site after the First War of Independence during British Rule in 1857. After Independence, the site experienced a few changes in terms of addition/alteration to the structures. The walls of the fort are smoothly dressed, articulated by heavy string-courses along the upper section. They open at two major gates, the Delhi and the Lahore gates. The Lahore Gate is the main entrance.
The Red Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Old Delhi, attracting thousands of visitors every year. The fort is also the site from which the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation on 15 August, the day India achieved independence from the British. It also happens to be the largest monument in Old Delhi.
Other prime wonders
Though many scholars and historians voted for the seven wonders of India, the story doesn’t end here. There is no wonder with out the beauty of Tajmahal. Though the seven wonders of India have their own importance in historical background, TajMahal has its own importance. It occupies a major place in the history of India. The voting will not be completed with out adding TajMahal. TajMahal is being voted as the Wonder of India and the Golden temple is being honored as the Peaceful Wonder.
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