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Falaknuma Palace : The Crown of Hyderabad

Fabulous was the first word to strike me as soon we crossed the main gate and entered the palace complex. It is a magnificent white-and-grey edifice, captivating, one of the finest royal residences exhibiting the luxurious lifestyle of the Nizams and a part of the fascinating heritage of Hyderabad and India. Spread over 32 acres,… Read More

Chowmahalla Palace : A Piece of Restored History

Modern Hyderabad is a fast paced, sprawling and high-tech city, very different from the languid paced times of Nizams, but traces of the gracious and aristocratic culture with which this ‘pearl city of India’ is associated are easily visible. Older parts of the city still preserves the old-world charm and houses some exquisite historical monuments…. Read More

The Bodh-Gaya Plaque : A Puzzle

This small, about 10cm in size, clay disk (probably dating 600-700 AD) found at Kumrahar (कुमराहार), Patna in 1914. Kumrahar is the area where remains of the ancient city of Pataliputra were excavated. This historic, partly damaged, disk was found at a depth of only 1 ft. 6 inches (45.7cm). It depicts a five-storyed rectilinear… Read More

Mysterious Kailashnath Temple : A Photo Essay

‘‘Its excellence is beyond the power of description.’’— Pandit Bisheshwar Nath in his book ‘The History of the Rashtrakutas’ about the Kailashnath Temple ‘‘The Kailasa Temple, it is safe to say, is one of the most astonishing ‘buildings’ in the history of architecture.’’—G.E. Kidder Smith, American architectural writer and photographer, in ‘Looking at Architecture’ Younger… Read More

Enigmatic Konark

Poet Rabindranath Tagore said about Konark, ‘‘Here the language of stone surpasses the language of man.’’ There can’t be any doubt about it. Today this magnificent replica of Sun God’s chariot is in a bad shape, deteriorating daily, unable to resist the devastating rigors of time. It is an unfortunate fact that Konark is a… Read More

The Panch Rathas of Mahabalipuram

Confucius said, ‘‘Study the past, if you would define the future.’’ Heritage and architectural wonders from our past make us unique. Historical structures bring character and certain charm to the place and people associated. My travels and interaction with local people have always rejuvenated me and I seldom felt tired. Trip to Mahabalipuram was no… Read More

Mahabalipuram : Arjuna’s Penance or the Descent of Ganga

Mahabalipuram is a lot more than the famous Shore temple. It has many monolithic temples, Chariot-shaped structures sculpted out of huge stones and some astonishing open-air bas-reliefs. Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram was the second capital of Pallava kings Mahendravarman I (600–630 AD) and his son Narasimhavarman I (630–668 AD). They were not only great warriors, but… Read More

Mahabalipuram : The Elegantly Beautiful Shore Temple

The two-towered Shore Temple of Mahabalipuram stands elegantly overlooking the Bay of Bengal. This shining symbol of the glorious Pallava architecture, surrounded by a great open area and some ruined courts. The tiny town of Mahabalipuram, situated on the Coromandel Coast facing the Bay of Bengal—in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu—is known by several names… Read More