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Showing posts from January, 2017

The Fort Of Gwalior - A Witness To Millennia

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Introduction

I arrived at Gwalior at the second leg of my trip through the state of Madhya Pradesh. The city, over a period of three days, left a very poor mark on me as a whole - with the air laden with diesel fumes, the narrow roads running a stream of honking mini-tempos and bikes, the debris of construction and signs of decay and the general heaviness of a north-Indian winter smog. But amidst all these, raised as if on a pedestal, stood the proud fort of Gwalior. This place was different than the city that encircled it. This place was wonderful.

The Fort Of Gwalior - Man Mandir Palace
The silhouette of the fort walls in fading light The fort has witness the history of central India being made through the past millennia and more - the Gurjar-Pratiharas, Kacchaphaghatas, Tomars, Mughals and then Marathas (Scindias) ruled over this fort and the territory. The fort stands proud.

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Getting In and Around

The Gwalior Fort occupies a north-south running hill/plateau. There are two acc…

Shekhawati & Its Havelis - An Open Art Gallery

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Introduction

There is a region in Rajasthan near the eastern fringe of the Thar desert called Shekhawati, distributed between two districts of Sikar and Churu. The region is sparsely populated by Indian standards, yet by some estimates, it indirectly accounts for 80% of the countries industry. Oh yes, this is the region of the Birlas, the Goenkas, the Dalmias, the Jhunjhunwalas, the Poddars, the Devras, the Sarafs and many other illustrious names that make up bulk of India's industrial base.

A glimpse inside a havel Clicked at Nadine Le Prince Haveli, Fatehpur
The residencies of these families - their havelis - are no less important. These palatial houses, bunched up in narrow lanes of the small villages that dot the Shekhawati region, comprise a gallery of an immensely beautiful art-form - the fresco. The region is rightly called 'the open-air art gallery' of Rajasthan.

A random haveli in Fatehpur
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The Prosperity Of Shekhawati

Shekhawati is one of the newer parts of …