Saturday, 28 October 2017

Make your Dream a Reality! #TATA99HomesFestival



Image Source

Home is where a person build dreams and make memories for a lifetime. There comes a time in every person’s life when a dream house is what one saves money for and a key milestone that makes you chase it. With cities growing day by day and crowd creeping in slowly; people often find it difficult to accept a rented home as their own. For working professionals there is only one thing that provide respite from the hustle and bustle of the city is when they reach their home and take a sound sleep under their own roof. It is that relaxing moment one lives for and create wonderful memories around to cherish later in life.

Now, the main question arises here is why it’s so hard these days to own a house in a well located area in the city? There is no specific answer to this question as the real estate market has no set standard in terms of value and trust. Trust is something that builds the reputation and keeps your faith alive. Buying a home is one of the toughest and most important decisions of life that a person takes. Being a working professional myself, I always look for options that gives me belief and shouldn’t impact much on pocket. In India, when it comes to ‘Trust’ there is one brand that is the most trusted in all sectors i.e. Tata. A Tata product comes with a standard and trust value that people often relate to easily. And what’s better when TATA offers something for those who want to build their home around a trusted brand. When I heard of TATA Value Homes,  the first thought that struck my mind was that it must be something really impressive as we don’t associate TATA with anything fishy. Also, the offerings adds up to customer satisfaction and a win-win situation for everyone. TATA Value Homes is offering unique options to customers with impressive budget friendly deals. All necessary and highly advanced amenities at jaw dropping prices is also a reason that makes it a really good option for genuine customers. People who really want to invest in or buy a house to fulfill their distant dream, this is surely one of the best and affordable offers to consider. Apart from its customer friendly options there is a unique ’99 Homes Festival’ which TATA is offering for a limited period. 


La Montana- TVH's Pune Project


‘99 Homes Festival’ comes with
99 Homes For
99 Hours With
99% Funding. And all this comes with great discounts; up to 19 Lakhs* (yes you heard it right) that vary from projects to projects across India. 

To learn more about #TATA99HomesFestival and their  properties and locations, one can visit and register on TATA Value Homes

The period to avail this exciting offer i.e. #TATA99HomesFestival is until 1st, November. Bookings will begin from 2nd, November.

TATA Value Homes is not only changing the landscape in the real estate sector but also changing lives of people by giving them the opportunity to buy a dream home for themselves. For a working professional like me, TATA not only gives a satisfaction but also assures that your dream is safe with them. 



Monday, 25 September 2017

A Beacon of Hope!

Painting By: Ayushi Jain


How many times does it happen that you look for something good in the world and people shatter your hopes and destroy the meaning of humanity?


I don't write on social issues usually but an incident that happened a day ago when I was traveling to Bhopal from Pune by Jhelum express, shocked me to the core. No, I was not the victim but it happened right in front of me. A girl who was in the berth next to me was harassed and photographed without any consent. It all started when we boarded the train from Pune.


What I like most about train journeys is that how we develop a skill to interact with complete strangers and also sometimes end up making lifelong friends. I didn't know that my perception about train journeys would ever change before taking this trip. It always takes time for me to initiate conversation with strangers and to get comfortable with fellow passengers. I was traveling to my hometown i.e. Bhopal. A girl on the opposite berth, who was traveling alone for the first time to her hometown Jhansi had no idea that someone was staring her. Since it was a long journey we started the conversation to kill time. One of the guys sitting on side lower berth joined our conversation and started talking nonsense. Well, I really don't want to disregard anyone here but that person was from the army and posted in Ladakh. We didn't want to interact with him because he was using false language and that too in front of kids and women. After some time he was joined with one of his batch mates and then left their seat for a while. Since the girl was from IT background, we had common interests to share our work-related experiences. Suddenly the friend of the guy appeared again and started interacting with us.He seemed to be a better person. Still, there were no signs of anything fishy that was about to happen in few minutes.



A family who was traveling to Delhi boarded from Ahmadnagar. They had 4 seats in our compartment. As soon as everyone got settled, one boy from the family noticed that the same person who was interacting with us before was clicking pictures of the girl and he conveyed the message to her. She asked me to check and confirm whether it was really happening or it was just a confusion. In just a split second after that, she saw her picture on his mobile thru the reflection in the window. She stood up and grabbed that person's mobile and there we noticed that he clicked many of her pictures and even shot a video. The girl was stunned and so was other people in the compartment. We decided to take this case further and to teach that deplorable person a lesson.


It was 9 pm already and TT was also no way near our bogie. Since I had seen some of the cases resolved over twitter by Indian rail ministry. I thought of dropping a tweet stating the train and passenger details to Indian rail ministry and to the rail minister himself. Within few minutes I received a response from the Indian rail ministry account and then later followed up by different regional DRM office and RPF team. It all happened in just a few minutes after sharing the tweet. As soon as we reached the next station i.e. kopargaon. Two RPF officers came and noted her complaint. Since, we already crossed a different DRM circle, on next station the complaint was transferred to the Bhusawal RPF team. They noted the complaint and then asked the girl if she wants to file a registered complaint? She was ready to take action against the guy but she was told that she might need to come to the police station or court to take this case ahead. Meanwhile, that guy pleaded guilty (in public) and was begging for mercy. She was traveling alone and didn't want to spoil a soldier's career/life. Hence, she decided to take the complaint back. The guy was shifted to a different bogie later on.












What I felt that she stood up against the monster rather bravely and didn't give up till the last. It was only the circumstances and her kindness that made her take the decision of leaving that guy. Though I didn't want to mention it but he was an army officer. We all respect our army men and one person cannot spoil the image of those who fight for us on the border and give us the reason to live our life rather peacefully.

Social media has gone to a different level now. I never experienced that in person before but this incident made me believe in digital revolution. Twitter is proving to be a revolution when it comes to approaching the government bodies for help. I hope this will lead to a better India in future. Also, one must always take a stand against people who take advantage of others. There is humanity still left in the world. I experienced it when everyone stood up for the brave girl and defended her. We need more such people to take this torch of humanity further in the generations to come. Hopefully, one day this world will become a better place to live.


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Omkareshwar- A sacred land of Shiva..



Omkareshwar Temple (in left)


After getting the taste of hundreds of years old historical places, we finally thought of coming out from the prehistoric era and delve ourselves into devotion of Lord Shiva. Yes, we finally reached the mystical land of Shiva i.e. Omkareshwar (one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines in India). It took us around 2 hours to reach Omkareshwar from Maheshwar. The road was fine and the distance was around 70km. It was a hectic day already and I seriously needed some energy for revival. And there couldn’t be a better place than Omkareshwar to redeem my being. The divinity in the air provided me the much-needed peace and calmness which I was looking for.

Walk over bridge

Lord Shiva

Sacred land of Shiva

A recap of where we started our journey from and what all we covered:

Bhopal → Dhar → Mandu → Maheshwar → Omkareshwar → Indore → Ujjain → Bhopal


We started from Maheshwar at 2 pm and reached Omkareshwar around 3:30-4 pm. Despite being a hectic day, my mother and father were still looking as refreshing as when we started from Mandu in the morning. Maybe, I was driving, hence the excuse can be considered, No? Though I won’t take away the fact that my parents are actually fitter and much more proactive than me. Well, the weather was comparatively good in Omkareshwar and that made our life much easier. The cool breeze had a lot of good vibes and a sense of welcome to the humble abode of Lord Shiva. There are two main temples of Lord Shiva, one is on the island i.e. Omkareshwar temple and other on the mainland i.e. Mamleshwar. Many say that Mamleshwar is the actual Jyotirlinga as it is stated in the sloka on Dwadash Jyotirlingam. But despite all the contradiction over the main jyotirlinga, most people consider both temples as equally sacred.

Omkareshwar Palace

Shops en route to Omkareshwar Temple

Keyrings and Lockets

Omkareshwar temple is situated on the island in the Narmada River. So, there are two ways to reach the island, either by boat or by walk over the bridge (well connected to the island). We started walking from the parking point and crossed the Narmada River through the bridge. Some people also prefer to go by boat but that requires more time. Since we had to complete the darshan before evening, we opted to walk. It hardly takes 20-25 min to reach the main temple if it’s not the peak season. During Shivratri, the same 20-25 min walk turns into hours. 

Flowers, Garlands, and Prasad

Colors of Sanctity

En-route to temple, one can also find many shops along the street selling Pooja related articles. As we reached the temple, we deposited our shoes/sandals at the shoe stand. Luckily, there were hardly 20-30 people standing in the queue for darshan. Hence, there was no pushing and all to make the experience unpleasant. We completed the darshan and sat in the temple for some time. All the positive energy that was flowing in the air embarked our journey from thoughts to wisdom. It was blissful! After spending much needed peaceful time in the temple, we left for the Mamleshwar temple. Also, to add there is a Gufa (Cave) Mandir ‘Govindeshwar Gufa’ near the entry gate of Omkareshwar Temple. It’s believed that Aadi Shankaracharya took yog lekh shiksha (Education) from his Guru Govind Bhagvad in Omkareshwar. And the place where Guru Govind Bhagvad used to live was a gufa (cave), now known as Govindeshwar Gufa Mandir.

Abhishek to Lord Shiva

Gomukh Ghat

View from the Omkareshwar Temple

Mamleshwar temple is situated in the heart of the city. It can also be seen from the Island where Omkareshwar temple is located. Mamleshwar temple was earlier named Amleshwar in the 10th century during Parmara period. Not only it looks older than the Omkareshwar temple but it also has beautiful pre historic carved sculptures on the structure of the temple. People in Omkareshwar consider both the temples on island and mainland as jyotirlinga. So, if you ask anyone for the directions, first they will ask you which jyotirlinga you want to visit? I was a bit confused when I heard it for the first time. My father then explained me the whole story that why the locals consider both places as equally sacred. Well, the questions were answered. Hence, we went ahead for the darshan. Comparatively, the Mamleshwar temple was less crowded than the Omkareshwar temple. There was hardly any queue for darshan and in no time we reached the inner sanctum.

Mamleshwar Temple

One of the temples at Mamleshwar shrine

Sculptures at Mamleshwar Temple

The whole experience of visiting the greatly revered place like Omkareshwar was quite enchanting. I was really happy that I visited this place and realized a great deal about how we are ruining our lives in big cities, running after things that are materialistic in nature. It’s true that some trips make memories for a lifetime! This was one such trip. :)

City of Temples

Do you want to take a boat ride?

Best Season...

July to March


Where to Stay...

Narmada Resort (MP Tourism).


How to reach Omkareshwar via Mandu and Maheshwar from Bhopal...

Bhopal → Sehore → Dewas → Indore → Pithampur → Dhar → Mandu → Dhamnod → Maheshwar  → Barwaha → Omkareshwar
 




Previous Posts from this trip:

Hidden Gems of Madhya Pradesh - Dhar 

Mandu - A place that resonates with history.. 

Walk the talk with city of Maheshwar...



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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Walk the talk with city of Maheshwar...

Ahilya Fort and Ghat


I haven't been writing much lately and the series of posts (from the last year road trip) which I had to complete a long back are still pending. Though it's difficult to recollect everything, I'm trying to post at-least what I have remember from the trip.


A colorful house on the street


About Maheshwar...

In the last post, I shared my experiences of my visit to Mandu. The trip was planned well in advance and we were going as per the plan, so the next place in our itinerary was one of the oldest cities of Madhya Pradesh i.e. Maheshwar. Maheshwar is located at a distance of 40-45 km approx from Mandu. It used to be known as Mahishmati and mentioned in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata under its old name. Does the name ring a bell? Mahishmati from the epic 'Bahubali' series. Well, if you have started relating things then please don't go further and pull back your thoughts. It ain't the same Mahishmati but the city has great significance in the Indian history.

Doorway

Maheshwar is situated on the banks of the holy river Narmada. It's a small town but is known for many great things.In the 18th century, Holkar Queen Rani Ahilyabai of Indore revived the soul of the city and shifted the Holkar capital from Indore to Maheshwar. Under her reign, the city witnessed a great transformation; a lot of buildings were built and public works were completed. Since Ahilyabai was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, she built many temples and ghats across the country, including the Lord Shiva Temple on the ghats of Narmada. The temple has astounding architecture and since it's built adjacent to the Ahilya Fort, the view one gets from the top of the fort is surreal.

Temples on the Maheshwar Ghat

One of the many temples along the ghats of Narmada

Ahilyeshwar Temple (Top View)

Now, a recap of where we started our journey from and what all we covered. Here's the itinerary-


Bhopal → Dhar → Mandu → Maheshwar → Omkareshwar → Indore → Ujjain → Bhopal


Ahilyeshwar Temple

Our Journey...


Our plan was quite tight and we had to cover the remaining monuments in Mandu then Maheshwar and Omkareshwar on the same day. Therefore, we started early and reached Maheshwar at twelve noon. Though it was winter season, the sun was belching fire.We all were hungry and tired. I thought it would be better to fill the tummy first and then explore the ghat and temples. While I was parking the car my father noticed a board alongside road:  'Shudh Saatvik Pavitra Bhojan' and the rest I'm unable to recollect that what all I ate that day. I was hungry like a Sher - 'Bhooka Sher'. :P 
And the feeling of  'Bhagwan sabke dil ki baat sunte hai' was proved 100% true!!




 
Carved artwork on the doorway


After the meal, we walked down to the Ahilyeshwar Temple and spent some time at the Ghat. Since it was quite hot we couldn't manage to take the boat ride.


Apart from the majestic Ahilyeshwar Temple, there is a Chhatri (Cenotaph) of Vithoji adjacent to the temple in the precincts of the Maheshwar Fort. The artwork on the Chhatri (Cenotaph), Temple, Jharokhe, Windows, Overhanging balconies and Doorways tells a great story about the place and the artisans employed for carving spectacular designs on the Windows and Doorways of Fort.  Devi Ahilyabai had a great vision and all the works completed in her reign proves that.




Chhatri of Vithoji Rao Holkar


Entrance of Ahilyeshwar temple


After visiting the temple, we went on to visit the Rajgaddi and Rajwada (of Devi Ahilyabai) built within the Fort complex. Within the complex, there are other collectibles of the Holkar Dynasty that are kept in other rooms for public display.

As we had to leave for Omkareshwar the same day, we started from Maheshwar at 2 pm. Maheshwar is also very famous for Maheshwari Silk and Cotton Sarees, so before leaving my mother did some shopping and then we left for the holy city of Omkareshwar.


Carved overhanging balconies and the doorway

 



Also, it would be wrong if I do not mention that Maheshwar is one of the few cities of Madhya Pradesh that has attracted the Film Industry many-a-times. There are many movies and TV shows that have been shot in Maheshwar. Ashoka, Yamla Pagla Deewana, Tevar, Bajirao Mastani and Jhansi Ki Rani to name a few.

 
Royal Palace


Devi Ahilyabai's statue

Maheswari Sarees


Best Season... 

July to February


Where to stay...


Narmada Retreat (MP Tourism)


How to reach Maheshwar via Mandu from Bhopal...

Bhopal → Sehore → Dewas → Indore → Pithampur → Dhar → Mandu → Dhamnod → Maheshwar






Previous Posts from this trip: 

Hidden Gems of Madhya Pradesh - Dhar 

Mandu - A place that resonates with history..  

 




Note: Few details have been taken as a reference from Incredible Madhya Pradesh.


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Monday, 19 June 2017

Mandu - A place that resonates with history..


Hindola Mahal

In the last blog post, I had covered the city of Dhar and all the places to explore in and around Dhar. Hopefully, you must have got a taste of the rich historical relevance of the city with some known and unknown facts. Well, since it was a great day out at Dhar, I would like to introduce you all to the more interesting and historically known place i.e. Mandu also known as the "City of Joy" (named by Muslim Rulers in their reign). So, the journey started from Bhopal and then after covering Dhar, there couldn't be a better place than Mandu to explore further and it was a perfect decision that we took as there was so much to look around and capture the memories in camera. 

Whenever we talk about Madhya Pradesh, the first place that comes to our mind is Khajuraho or any Wildlife Sanctuary, as MP is quite rich in Flora and Fauna and covers a lot of forest area. We also often talk about Orchha and the vast history it holds with all the Mughal - Rajput rulers and their unheard stories. But there is one more place in M.P. that is equally beautiful and possess centuries-old tales of Parmara Kingdom - Muslim rulers and also the Mughal influence. Yes, the city of Mandu holds a rich historical background and some great stories to be told to every history enthusiast. 

Please find the itinerary below, which I shared in my earlier post as well

Itinerary was...

Bhopal → Dhar → Mandu → Maheshwar → Omkareshwar → Indore → Ujjain → Bhopal


Sunset from Baz-Bahadur Palace

About Mandu...  

Mandu is located at a distance of 40-45 km approx from Dhar. Since Dhar falls en-route to Mandu, so it's always better to cover "Dhar" first and then leave for Mandu. Mandu being the hill fort has an attractive natural scenery, which looks the best in the rainy season. The city was also famous because of its natural safeguard (hills as fort walls for defense) it used to provide in the early times when fighting a battle on the ground was always preferable than climbing the hill to out-dare for the battle. Also, Jehangir, the Mughal ruler had a great place for Mandu in his heart who once told that there is no place as pleasant and beautiful than Mandu. As I read in one of the books on Mandu, it's said that Mandu city was first founded in the sixth century but it's known more because of the ecstatic architecture built from early 15th century until the end of Muslim rulers period in late 16th century. From the 10th century, the Parmara kings like Munja and Bhoja also had a great influence in Mandu and Munja Tal i.e. Tank can be seen in Mandu, today as well. After the Muslim rulers, Mughals and Marathas also ruled over Mandu for good stint. Though, most of the architectural ruins present in Mandu today, are from the Muslim period only i.e. prior to the Mughal period.

Capturing the captured, Jahaz Mahal


Let's sink-in in the history and explore the architectural gems of Mandu...

There are various monuments that are in good condition and one can find the well-detailed architecture up close. Most of the ruins are protected by Archaeological Survey of India and some by State Archaeology department. And one must appreciate the efforts put in by the ASI and State authorities to keep this 500-600 years old heritage in good condition. 

When we reached Mandu, the place had so much to offer and a story to narrate of its surreal beauty in each one of our minds. With the word go, Mandu started unfolding its marvelous gems and one could see the centuries old gates raised by Muslim rulers to mark their mantle. Our first stop in Mandu was the famous Jahaz Mahal, fortunately where we were staying too for the night in nearby Taveli Mahal guest house (within the precincts of Jahaz Mahal). We dropped our luggage in the restroom and headed for Roopmati Pavillion, to witness the serene sunset view.

Play of light and shadow, Jahaz Mahal

1) Roopmati Pavilion:

Roopmati Pavilion is well known as the monument where Rani Roopmati used to pay the visit for the darshan of sacred Narmada river, the stream of which can be seen from the top of Roopmati Pavilion. Also, to keep clear sight at Baz Bahadur Palace where the queen's beloved Baz Bahadur used to live. Their love tales are very famous in Mandu and everyone has a different yet interesting story to tell

To enjoy the beauty of this stunning monument one should visit it at the time of sunset. Also, from the top of Roopmati Pavilion, one can see the low lying areas with a carpet of greenery and many other mesmerizing monuments located in lower regions.

Epitome of love, Roopmati Pavilion

From the terrace of Ran Roopmati Pavilion

2) Baz Bahadur's Palace:

Situated on the slope of a hill just before the Roopmati Pavillion, Baz Bahadur's Palace is a great example of well planned and structured monument. There are few steps as we enter in the Baz Bahadur's palace and few halls, humongous rooms and open court. The spectacular architecture with intricate details just makes us feel like that we're transported to centuries back in a different world altogether. One can also see the Rani Roopmati Pavilion from the Baz Bahadur's palace which also narrates the love tale of Baz Bahadur and Rani Rupamati.


The courtyard of Baz Bahadur Palace

Rewa Kund, a reservoir built under Baz Bahadur's reign, is situated just a few meters away from the Baz Bahadur's palace. It was built to supply water to Baz Bahadur's palace and Roopmati's Pavilion. It's considered as an architectural marvel as the use of such developed technology in the 16th century was of great significance.


Rewa Kund

3) Jahaz Mahal:

Jahaz Mahal is one of the most famous monuments in Mandu and is very well kept by the ASI. Since we stayed in Taveli Mahal, the view of Jahaz Mahal was exquisite at the night and with the first strike of sun rays on the Jahaz Mahal, it made the whole scenic beauty of the Mahal even more exemplary. With Munja and Kapur tanks on the either side of the Jahaz Mahal, makes it appear like a Ship Palace floating in the sea. Though the water tanks were not full in December we heard the same bio of the place from many locals. The grandeur of Jahaz Mahal in itself speaks a lot and describes the love and joy which used to be the main highlight of the palace in the reign of Muslim rulers. The corridors, halls, chattris, tombs and beautiful "Jharokhas", everything is so royal and magnificent that even today's artisans would feel and wish like if they had born in that era.

Wide view of Jahaz Mahal from Taveli Mahal

A peek into history

We have our own Greek architecture in Mandu...

4) Hindola Mahal:

Hindola Mahal literally means a swinging palace. Its sidewalls give a peculiar sloping impression that makes this monument quite different from others. Though the architecture of this palace is simple, huge arches and sloping sidewalls make it look amazingly different yet marvelous

Hindola Mahal (Swinging Palace)

5) Jami Majid:

Jami Masjid is by far the most protected and majestic monument of Mandu. As soon as we enter from the huge gate of Jami Masjid, this flawless, next to perfect monument awaits for your appreciation. The courtyard, arches, and domes take you to the European Architecture, where the awe-struck feeling strikes you more often than not. I personally found this as the most magical place in Mandu and a rich example of architectural brilliance. 

Side view of Jami Masjid- An architectural marvel

Corridors of Jami Masjid

6) Hoshang Shah's Tomb:

It's said that Hoshang Shah's Tomb was the first marble structure ever built in India. Also, the Afghan architecture was so impressive and stunning that even Shah Jahan sent his architects to meet the builders of the Tomb to pay homage and study about the tomb for the construction of Taj Mahal in Agra. The tomb from inside has the mausoleum on the square marble platform in the middle of the hall. The intricate design and beautiful internal architecture set it apart from other ruins present in Mandu.

Hoshang Shah's Tomb

Natural 3D image of a corridor

7) Asharfi Palace:

Asharfi Palace is situated in the front of Jami Masjid. Apart from stairs to the gateway, there is nothing more left of the seven story-ed building ruins. Once, it was the highest building in India and now there are only ruins left of the palace. People say that it was built in very small time and that's the reason why it collapsed completely.

Entrance to the Asharfi Mahal

People gazing at the beauty of more than 600 years old architecture

Best time to visit....

Best time to visit Mandu is from August to February. In the summer season, it gets very hot to dedicate enough time to each place. So, it's always preferable to plan a trip here in the second half of the year.


Jahaz Mahal (A ship palace floating in the sea)

Timings....

Every spot opens at sunrise and closes at sunset.


Entry Fee and details....

The entry fee was nominal at most of the places and at some places, we don't even have to pay the entry fee.

One of the centuries-old ruins

How to reach Dhar from Bhopal....

Bhopal → Sehore → Ashta → Dewas → Indore → Pithampur → Dhar Mandu



PS: Special thanks to my father. I took all the liberty and asked him to guide us throughout the tour. Being an archaeologist, he was fully aware of the places and history behind them.


Previous Posts from this trip:

Hidden Gems of Madhya Pradesh - Dhar



Note: Few details have been taken as a reference from Incredible Madhya Pradesh.