Day Trip to Agra from Delhi

Monday, August 30, 2010

Decoration Of Taj Mahal -Alamgir Khan Agra


                       The exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal are among the finest in Mughal architecture.
As the surface area changes the decorations are refined proportionally.
The decorative elements were created by applying paint, stucco, stone inlays, or carvings.
In line with the Islamic prohibition against the use of anthropomorphic forms, the decorative elements can be grouped into either calligraphy, abstract forms or vegetative motifs.


All beautyful inlay work in Taj mahal is noteble'
Craftsmen use simple peice of stone ( Zems) and created into followers,stems,leaves and buds. set io marble and fix it.


Calligraphy

The calligraphy was created by a calligrapher named Abd ul-Haq, in 1609. Shah Jahan conferred the title of "Amanat Khan" upon him as a reward for his "dazzling virtuosity". Near the lines from the Qur'an at the base of the interior dome is the inscription, "Written by the in

signific
ant being, Amanat Khan Shirazi.Much of the calligraphy is composed of florid thuluth script, made of jasper or black onex,inlaid in white marble panels. Higher panels are written in slightly larg
er script to reduce the sk
ewing effect when viewed from below. The calligraphy fo
und on the marble cenotaphs in the tomb is particularly detailed and delicate.


Abstract forms are used throughout, especially in the plinth, minarets, gateway, mosque, jawab and, to a le
ss
er extent, on the surfaces of the tomb. The domes and vaults of the sandstone buildings are worked with tracery of incised painting to create elaborate geometric forms. Herringbo
ne inlays define the space between many of the adjoining elements. White inlays are used in sandst

one buildings, and dark or black inlays on the white marbles. Mortared areas of the mar
ble buildin
gs hav
e been stained or pai
nted in a contrasting colour, creating geometric patterns of considerable complexity. Floors
and walkways use contrasting tiles or blocks in tessellation patterns.




On the lower walls of the tomb there are white marble dados that have been sculpted with realisti
c bas relief depictions of flowers a
nd vines. The marble has been polished to emphasise the exquisite detailing of the carvings and the dado frame

s and archway spandrels have been decorated with pietra dura inlays of highly stylised, almost geometric vines, flowers and fruits. The inlay stones are of yellow marble, jasper and jade, polished and leveled to the surface of the walls.




Interior Decoration

The interior chamber of the Taj Mahal steps far beyond traditional decorative elements. Here, the inlay work i

s not pietra dura, but a lapidary of precious and semiprecious gemstones. The inner chamber is an octagon with the design allowing for entry from each face, although only the door facing the garden to the south is used.


The interior walls are about 25 metres (82 ft) high and are topped by a "false" interior dome decorated with a sun m
otif. Eight pishtaq arches define the space at ground level and, as with the exterior, each lower pishtaq is crowned by a second pishtaq about midway up the wall. The four central upper arches form balconies or viewing areas
, and each balcony's exterior window has an intricate screen or jali cut from marble. In addition to the light from the balcony screens,

light enters through roof openings covered by chattris at the corners. Each chamber wall has been highly decorated with dado bas-relief, intricate lapidary inlay and refined calligraphy panels, reflecting in miniature detail the design elements seen throughout the exterior of the complex.



The octagonal marble screen or jali which borders the cenotaphs is made from eight marble panels which have been carved through with intricate pierce work. The remaining surfaces have been inlaid in extremely delicate detail with semi-precious stones forming twining vines, fruits and flowers.
Muslim tradition forbids elaborate decoration of graves. Hence, the bodies of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan were put in a relatively plain crypt beneath the inner chamber with their faces turned right and towards Mecca. Mumtaz Mahal's cenotaph
is placed at the precise center of the inner chamber on a rectangular marble base of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) by 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in).
Both the base and casket are elaborately inlaid with precious and semiprecious gems. Calligraphic inscriptions on the casket identify and praise Mumtaz. On the lid of the casket is a raised rectangular lozenge meant to suggest a writing tablet. Shah Jahan's cenotaph is beside Mumtaz's to the western side, and is the only visible asymmetric element in the entire complex. His cenotaph is bigger than his wife's, but reflec
ts the same elements: a larger casket on a slightly taller base, again decorated with astonishing precision with lapidary and c
alligraphy that identifies him. On the lid of this casket is a traditional sculpture of a small pen box.


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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Indian Rebellion of 1857-The Eyes of Alamgir Khan











The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to present-day Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, northern Madhya Pradesh, and the Delhi region.


The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region,and it was contained only with the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858. The rebellion is also known as India's First War of I

ndependence, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, the Revolt of 1857, the Uprising of 1857, the Sepoy Rebellion and the Sepoy Mutiny.

Other regions of Company-controlled India—Bengal province, the Bombay Presidency, and the Madras Presidency—remained largely calm.In Punjab, the Sikh princes backed the Company by providing both sold

iers and support. The large princely states, Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, and Kashmir, as
well as the states of Rajputana did not join the rebellion.


In some regions, such as Oudh, the rebellion took on the attributes of a patriotic revolt against European presence. Rebel leaders, such as the Rani of Jhansi, became folk heroes in the nationalist movement in India half a century later, however, they themselves "generated no coherent ideology" for a new order.



The rebellion led to the dissolution of the East India Company in 1858, and forced the British to reorganize the army, the financial system, and the administration in India. India was thereafter directly governed by the Crown in the new British Raj.



Some Picture Which Take In 1857:-




Some where in Kanpur (India)1857

Tantia Topee's Soldiery 1858

The Jantar Mantar observatory in Delhi in 1858, damaged in the fighting

The Flagstaff Tower, Delhi, where the European survivors of the rebellion gathered on May 11, 1857; photographed by Felice Beato 1858 AD

The Bibigurh Well site where a memorial had been built. Samuel Bourne, 1860.

1858 picture of Sati Chaura Ghat on the banks of the Ganges River, where on 27 June 1857 many British men lost their lives and the surviving women and children were taken prisoner by the rebels.
The Hospital in General Wheeler's entrenchment, Kanpur (1858) The hospital was the site of the first major loss of European lives in Kanpur

The Flagstaff Tower, Delhi, where the European survivors of the rebellion gathered on May 11, 1857

Mortar damage to Kashmiri Gate, Delhi, 1858

Hindu Rao's house in Delhi, now a hospital, was extensively damaged in the fighting

Bibigurh house where European women and children were killed and the well where their bodies were found, 1858
Bank of Delhi was attacked by mortar and gunfire


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bharatpur Birds Sanctuary


            Bharatpur has not that much of rich heritage sites, architecturally or even, commercially like the other cities of Rajasthan. But it is the home of more than 380 species of beautiful feathered birds, and this is the reason why visitors want to visit this place time and again. It is situated in the eastern part Rajasthan of India and significant for Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. The best season to visit is October to February. Here, mainly Hindi and English are spoken. Distance from Agra is 56 km and from New Delhi is 215 km. Brij Festival is the most colorful festival of Bharatpur. It is celebrated prior to the festival of Holi, which marks the beginning of the spring season and end of winters and thus, falls mostly in March.



              The villagers wear traditional costumes that are dyed in bright vivacious colors, sing Holi songs and enact Raslila dance that depicts the playful dance of Krishna with 'gopis'. The reenactment and the overall atmosphere of the region during the festival, is full of gaiety and enthusiasm. Everybody, whether young or old, men or women, give in to the boisterous moods of the festival and celebrate with folk melodies and performances, warm and hearty smiles and splashing colors on everybody. Visiting Bharatpur during this time gives you a chance to have first-hand experience of the festival




Climate
The temperature ranges from 38° C to 45° C in summers. There is retrieve when the monsoons approach in July and August and decreases the temperature to about 27°C. Winters are cold and temperature may drop down below 10°C. Fog and mist is common throughout January.





What to Wear
Loose cotton clothes are the most appropriate outfits to wear in Bharatpur in summer and warm woolen clothes in winter. Hat or a scarf can also be used as a head covering, and drinking lots of water would be beneficial to avoid heat strokes. Tourists must wear comfortable footwear, as they will have to walk a lot for sightseeing in the bird sanctuary.


   How to Reach Bharatpur

By Air : International flights are accessible to and from New Delhi only.

By Train : Bharatpur is well connected by trains to Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and other major cities of India.

By Road : Bharatpur is linked to Agra and Jaipur via good roads. Buses are available to and from Agra (time duration of two hours) and Fatehpur Sikri (time duration of one hour) and many other places.



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Monday, August 23, 2010

Akbar's Tomb Entrance Gate


            Akbar started building his own mausoleum, near Agra, that was to be a perfect blend of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jain designs and motifs, bespeaking of his religious tolerance and secular views. However, he could not complete it and died. Thus, his son Jehangir completed his tomb, popularly known as Sikandra after Sikandra Lodi, who established the community where Akbar's Tomb is located. However, Jehangir made quite a number of alterations in the original plan, in keeping with the development of Mughal art and architecture. The tomb has three-storeyed red sandstone minarets displaying wondrous inlay work of marble on the four corners of the building. 'Langurs', black-faced monkeys have found a safe haven in the beautiful gardens surrounding the mausoleum and often stray to the walkways too.


     
One can see the Baradi palace in the gardens built by Sikander Lodhi. The tomb building is shaped like a truncated pyramid and has five storeys while the main tomb has a distinct square design. There are spacious cloisters on the ground floor. An elaborately decorated vestibule occupies the centre of the southern side, highlighted by exquisite carvings, artistic paintings and inlay work in geometric and floral designs enshrining the tombstone of Akbar. Other tombs on this floor belong to Shakrul Nisha Begum and Aram Bano, the daughters of Akbar. The ornamental arch and square pillar on the second storey looks unique. The third and fourth storeys also have identical arrangement of arches supported on pillars and chhatris adorning the façades. All the storeys are built in red stone except the fifth one, which is entirely in white marble.


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Akbar's Tomb At Sikandra




   
        Located centrally in the square plan, at the junction of four causeways dividing the garden into four quarters, the main tomb building has five storeys built in the shape of a truncated pyramid. It stands on a high stone platform. There are massive iwans in the centre of all sides that are as high as the tomb and have beautiful panels adorned with inlaid mosaic work. Inlaid arabesque work graces its spandrels, semi-soffits boast of paintings and turrets have chevron designs. They are crowned by white marble chhaparkhat with eight pillars. The mortuary chambers are on the ground floor. The vestibule leading to the Akbar's tomb is decorated with floresque, arabesque and calligraphic designs. The chamber itself is simple and paved with stone.




           The other chambers entomb graves of Aram Banu and Shukru-n-nisa (daughters of Akbar), Zebu-n-nisa (daughter of Aurangzeb) and Sulaiman Shikoh (son of Shah Alam). The first storey houses a large platform and corridors roofed by stone arches in each façade. The second storey is built of red sandstone and has arched verandah with twenty-three bays. These bays are crowned by cupolas and white marble pyramidal roofs decorated with glazed tiles arranged in geometrical designs. The third and fourth storeys follow similar plans, though they reduce in size with the ascending storeys. The fifth and the top most storey is entirely in white marble and has no roof. It has delicate marble screens as its walls

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Agra & Mughal





Agra remained the capital of Moghul for generations to come. Humayun was crowned the next emperor. After the Afghan ruler Sher Shah defeated Humayun at the battle of Chausa, Agra came under the rule of Brahmajit Gaur on his behalf. In the second battle of Panipat in 1556, the Mughal forces recaptured Agra. It was the golden period in the history of Agra. It became the center of art, culture, commerce and learning during the reign of Akbar and flourished under the reigns of Jehangir and Shanjehan.








The thirty years of Shah Jehan's rule were comparatively peaceful and thus, his passion for architecture came to the fore and the world-famous architectural masterpieces were constructed including the Taj Mahal and the Moti Masjid. Agra's glory faded since Aurangzeb shifted his capital to Delhi but it will always be remembered as the city of Taj.



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Agra



In the times of Mughals, Agra was one of largest Subas out of the 12 provinces of their empire and encompassed Gwalior, Kalpi, Kannauj, Koil (Modern Aligarh), Narnaul and Alwar. Abul Fazl, the court historian of Akbar, describes Agra as a large city with a healthy climate, situated in the bank of River Yamuna. He has also mentioned the villas, gardens and red sandstone fort built by Akbar. Badaoni and Nizamuddin, the other two contemporary historians also describe the grandeur and splendor of the Mughal Agra. A church, an orphanage, a Christian cemetery and a college were built by a Jesuit father at Agra. In 1585, Ralph Fitch noted that Agra had much more population and larger dimensions than London, while Jehangir boasted in his memoirs that the number of the buildings here were equal to several cities of Iraq, Khurasan and Mawar-un-Nahr put together. Agra attracted English and Dutch, who established their factories here. The capital of Moghul India for nearly a century, it sports beautiful palaces and splendid royal mausoleums and tombs. Today, the city is more famous for Taj, the white-marble tribute of Shah Jahan to his beloved queen Mumtaz mahal. The other places worth visiting here speaking volumes about the splendor of thise days are Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb enshrining graves of Nur Jehan's parents and Moti Masjid. However, if we take the monuments away, the city has lost it all.

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History of Agra Before Mughals




The evidences suggest that that the city of Agra is much more older than it is supposed to be. Khwaja Masud bid s'ad bin Salman mentions about Agra and its fort in his 'Diwan', a collection of poems. He wrote that after a tough fight with Jaipal, the Amir of Agra, Mahmud Shah who was the governor of Hind invaded the Fort of Agra in 1080-81. Undoubtedly, the fort must have been built sometime earlier than the mentioned time frame. There are other records that confirm the existence of this old brick fort on the bank of River Yamuna, which was in ruins at the time of Akbar. Akbar found it in ruins and rebuilt in red sandstone, which stands to this date and is known as Agra Fort. This reconstruction activity has found its mention in the memoirs of Jehangir and the three eminent historians of those times including Sheikh Abul Fazal, Mulla Abdul Qadar Badaoni and Khwaja Nizamuddin.

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