Thursday, 5 August 2021
|Raj Parveen Mahal, Orchha. .flickr.com|
|Praveen-Mahal, Orchha fort, Orchha, MP. gosahin.com|
|praveen-mahal, Orchha fort, Orchha, MP., en.wikipedia.org|
The Indian Maharajahs and Nawabs had an uncontrollable urge for romance with opulence and expensive jewelry; their obsession was irresistible. Apart, some of them had a liking for young women and a harem on the palace or close to it. In the 19th century and earlier period in the Indian subcontinent it had been an acceptable custom for a ruler, in particular, Muslim king to have concubines on the sides and a harem is part of the royal residence. Further, it was a social status for a ruler to seek the company of courtesans. Harem was where the courtesans or dancing girls used to stay with women helpers /maids Very few Indian rulers, for some reasons, developed intimacy with a woman or a paramour outside royalty. Their romantic involvement with her was so deep some rulers would honor her by building a memorial, an expression of their deep and eternal love and affection. The Rai Praveen Mahal within the Orchha fort complex, Madhya Pradesh was built by a Rajput ruler in memory of his concubine.
Grandeur in style, it used to be an entertainment place and on the ground floor near the entrance, there is a big assembly hall meant for royal gatherings. Dance performances by the courtesans were held here right before the dignitaries. The rooms with lattice windows and fine decorations on the upper level were for the women of the royal family to view events and for aeration. There are also other apartments on the floors of Raj Praveen Mahal. The structure is made of sandstones and bricks and the royal bath called Hamam lies between Jahangir Mahal and this building. There are many niches in the chambers and they keep the interior places cool and airy. The interior walls of the second floor in the central hall have many life-size paintings highlighting various dance postures (Nattya mudras) and moods of Rai Praveen
Rai Praveen's bewitching beauty, her artistry - singing, dancing and poetic talents, and above all her popularity and fame became a topic in that small village and her fame, over a period, reached far and wide and Delhi was no exception, The Mogul ruler, Akbar, upon hearing her stunning look and corresponding artistic talents, fell in love with her and summoned her to Agra without grace to his court / durbar. His approach was a bit aggressive, however when the Mogul ruler heard from her about her loyalty to Maharajah Indrajit, being a just ruler, he respected her stand and commitment and later sent her back with dignity. Undeterred, Rai carefully composed a couplet before Akbar in his court and in a subtle manner expressed her royalty to king Indrajit. This bold and frank expression immediately changed Mogul ruler's heart and mind. Rai never compromised her principles and his loyalty to ruler Indrjit at any cost. This won her more admirers and followers. No doubt, she was known as the "Nightingale of Orchha".
|Yoga Rama temple, Nedungunam, TN. en.wikipedia.org|
|Yoga Rama temple, Nedungunam, TN nativeplanet.com|
|.Yoga Rama temple, Nedungunam, TN .flickr.com|
The distinctive features of this temple are:
02. It is also a rare Sri Rama temple where the lord in the garbagriha is enshrined in a sitting posture. In most temples Sri Rama is seen in a standing posture with his bow and arrow.
03. Not bearing bow and arrow, the lord looks calm and composed as if He is teaching Vedas. His right hand is on the chest.
04. This form of Sri Rama in the sanctum is rare across India.
06. Unlike Sri Rama, his brother, Sri Lakshmana bears the weapons - bow and arrow.
07. The idol of Sri Hanuman is also in the sanctum reverentially sitting before the lord, chanting the Vedas from the palm-leaf scriptures; The lord and others listen to the recital with rapt attention. In most Sri Rama temples, Sri Hanuman is found outside the sanctum. In some temples there is a separate shrine for Sri Hanuman within the temple complex.
08. The sitting form of Sri Rama in a meditative state creates a positive energy in the temple and devotees throng the temple to have peace of mind and success in their endeavors.
09. Lord Rama's idol was consecrated by sage (Rishi) Sri Krishna Premi.
|yoga Rama temple, Nedungunam,TNanudinam.org|
|Main towerYoga Rama temple, Nedungunam,TN divyadesam.com|
|Yoga Rama temple, Nudungunam.aalayamkanden.blogspot.com|
Above image: Entrance to the sanctum /garbagriham of Yoga Rama temple, Nudungunam. The sentinels - dwarabalas are on either side. All Hindu temples Sri Vishnu, Sri Shiva temples, etc have sentinels at the entrance of sanctum; they are supposed to guard the God's chamber.
|Nedungunam, T.V. malai didt. TN.careers360.com|
Roughly 1200 years old, this temple was built by the great Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishnadeva Raya. The moolava idols in the sanctum are Sri Rama, Sri Sita and sri Lakshmana. The processional deity (Utchavar) is Vijayarajan. The goddess's name is Sengamalavalli. In the sanctum goddess Sita's right hand holds the lotus implying prosperity and wisdom, and the left hand pointing to Sri Rama's feet assuring the devotees that the lord will safeguard their destiny and protect them.
The reason for the absence of bow and arrow in the Rama's image is the lord was on his return from Lanka after having won the war against demon king Ravenna and releasing Sita who was a hostage there. The lord was at peace with himself as goddess rejoined him and his 14 year long exile from Ayodhya was nearing.
What made Rama read the Vedas here? Here the lord met Sukabrahamma Rishi who was in penance on the near-by hill. Pleased with the visit of Rama, the sage gave him the scriptures on Veda. Soon Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and also Hanuman (in padmasana posture) began to read the Vedas. The sthala purana says that Sri Hanuman learnt Muktikopanishad from the learned sage.
Among the major temple festivals, the most important ones are: 10 day Panguni ( March- April-) Brahostsavam, Sri Rama Navami (7th day chariot / car festival; Indiravimana festival 10th day is a great event). This temple is about 40 km from Thiruvannamalai town
|Pondicherry, India Dupleix' statue -.alamy.com|
| Statue of Joseph Francois Dupleix Puducherry Beach, India. alamy.com|
Above image: Bronze statue of French Gov. Gen. Dupleix, Pondicherry (Puducherry) on the sea shore (sept. 2019).........
Joseph François Dupleix (23 January 1697 – 10 November1763) , a man of commanding stature was the colonial administrator and governor-general of the French territories in India and rival of Robert Clive. Since the 1720s the colonial rivalry between Britain and France had been growing in intensity an time went by and there was no force to stop them India was no exception to it. .Under his command the French East India company gave a stiff competition to the EIC operations in Madras and also in Bengal. Widely traveled, he made several voyages to the Americas and India and in 1720 was named a member of the superior council at Bengal and he got the job through his father. His wife was one Jeanne Albert, widow of one of the councilors of the company. and was quite well known among the natives as Joanna Begum. Using his business acumen on his own, he made many business ventures on the sides and acquired a big fortune. He was the one who turned the succession disputes among the Indian rulers to his advantage and pushed the French influence to the fore. After 11 years he was appointed as the Gov. Genera. On 7 September 1746, with the help of a French fleet, Dupleix seized Madras (now Chennai) . The fortifications of Madras were not strong enough to withstand the continuous French bombardment.
|Gov. Gen. of French India Joseph Francois Dupleix, alamy.com|
|Battle of Madras, India. 1746 French Vs English en.wikipedia.org|
|renovation of Gov. Gen. Dupleix statue, Pondicherry, S.India.thehindu.com|
He was unsuccessful in recovering the money that he had spent from his account in India from the French East India Company. Discredited in France he was pushed to a precarious position and died in despair and obscurity. Dupleix was a good administrator and a diplomat, but with respect to military operations, he lacked leadership military strategies and the ability to work with others.
The beautiful iconic statue of Joseph Francois Dupleix, who was the last Governor of French Pondicherry, is being given a facelift after 145 years. The restoration work has been taken up by the Public Works Department (PWD). Continuous exposure to saline air had an impact on the bronze statue, loss of shine and dull look grabbed the attention of the passers-by. The iron poles were corroded and the pedestal became weak. .The highly oxidized statue need proper restoration as it was treated with chemicals to remove the flakes. A coat of paint would mar its originality. The continuous exposure to saline air , considering its proximity to the sea is a big problem and needs further attention. A children's park was planned on the promenade and around the statue there was a proposal to install 24 powerful lamps in the part for better view at night.
|)Dupleix on Banque de l'Indochine banknoteupload.wikimedia.org|
Erected in memory of Dupleix who was the Governor from 1742 to 1754. the statue was shipped from France to Puducherry in 1869 to be erected at Gandhi Thidal, where the statue of Jawaharlal Nehru stands now. It was later shifted to its present location near the Park Guest House.
|Delhi Iron Pillar. Alamy.com|
|Qutb Minar and rust free Iron Pillar Delhi. Alamy.com|
Weighing 6.3 tons the 23.08 feet tall black Iron Pillar with a diameter of 17 inches in the base and 12 inches at the crest in the courtyard of Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque complex, Delhi attracts lots of tourists and also metallurgists /scientists from many parts. From the look it may pass off as an ordinary pillar of the past era. It it were an ordinary iron pillar, probably long long ago it would have turned into a pile yellow dust. What is special about this tall vertically tapering iron pillar? It was forged in the 4th century with neither special protective paint over it nor any cover on it, but has not rusted in the last 1700 plus years. The crux of the question is how come it has withstood continuously the vagaries of weather for such a long period with no semblance of rusting so far? The scientists are at their wit's end and at a loss to come up with a possible explanation regarding its chemical combination that resists rusting and corrosion.
|As section of Delhi's Iron Pillar at the base.springer.com|
|Inscriptions on the iron pillar, Mehrauli,Delhi. jovialholiday.com|
|Qutb minar and rust free Iron Pillar Delhi..jovialholiday.com|
The pillar with roughly 3 feet and 8 inches at the base of the column is below the ground. To give extra stability to the heavy iron pillar, the base is set on a grid of a series of iron bars soldered into the upper layer of the stoned pavement. For centuries studied in depth by the experts in metals, this iron pillar is "a testament to the skill of ancient Indian blacksmiths" of by-gone era because of its high resistance to corrosion. An even layer of crystalline iron hydrogen phosphate forming on the high phosphorus content, serves to protect it from the effects of the local Delhi climate - extremely hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Such extreme climatic conditions do impact the stuff made of iron and causes rusting. That it does not promote rusting over several centuries is a matter of great surprise and has been an unsolved riddle since 1900s.
|Delhi Iron Pillar. tribuneindia.com|
|iron pillar, Mehrauli,Delhi. .slideshare.net|
There is a sort of some decorative feature at the top of the pillar, where a statue of Lord Garuda, or the ‘Sun Bird’, might have been set. According to historians this kind of feature was common to many such pillars of the time. The composition of the iron pillar is a subject of discussion and debate among the scientists. Some postulate the reason for the continuous resistance to corrosion is due to the fact that the Iron Pillar has a high content of phosphorus and total absence of Sulphur or magnesium. This is the reason why the iron pillar has not rusted even after 1700 years. Yet another positive aspect is this pillar was made to resist humidity to a greater extend - ''about 70 percent, which is appropriate as the climate in Delhi, despite experiencing four seasons in a year, does not ever exceed that limit.”
The pillar which is made of – 98 percent wrought iron is listed under the Out-of-Place Artefacts (OOPArts) – a term applied to prehistoric objects from around the world that show technological advancement beyond the time when they were built. In 2003, experts at the Indian Institute of Technology came up with an explanation to address the mystery of the pillar’s resistance to rust. They attributed the pillar’s resistance to rust to a thin layer of misawite, a compound of iron, oxygen and hydrogen.
|$th century Iron Pillar, Delhi.atlasobscura.com|
R. Balasubramaniam of the IIT, Kanpur explains how the pillar's resistance to corrosion is due to passive protective film at the iron-rust interface. The presence of second-phase particles (slag and un-reduced iron oxides) in the micro structure of iron, high amounts of phosphorus in the metal, and the alternating wetting and drying cycles of atmospheric conditions are the three main factors in the formation of that protective passive film over the pillar.
The pillar was installed in its current location by Vigraha Rāja, the ruling Tomar king. The pillar is thought to have originally been erected in what is now Udayagiri by one of the Gupta rulers. The suggested age of 402 CE is still a matter of serious discussion. This rust free iron pillar at Mehrauli near Qtub complex continues to baffle the scientific community and the common man.
It was only in the second half of the 19th century the iron pillar drew the attention of the some inquisitive people. One British soldier Captain Archer talked about an inscription of unknown antiquity on the pillar, which nobody could read. Later James Prinsep, a British archaeologist studied the inscription in 1838 and translated it into English in the journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. According to the inscription a ruler named Chandra, had conquered the Vangas and Vahlikas. Historians believe reference is made Samudragupta, the real founder of the Gupta Empire in (375–414 AD).
|Iron Pillar, Delhi. commons.wikimedia.org|
Delhi's cast Iron Pillar is a fine example of massive production of superior quality iron and it confirms the fact that the Indian steel makers of past era had a good technical know-how and high degree of accomplishment in the area of hand-forged block of iron. The one at Delhi is the largest forged hand made one, perhaps in the world.
On the Corrosion Resistance of the Delhi Iron Pillar, R. Balasubramaniam, Corrosion Science, Volume 42 (2000) pp. 2103–2129. "Corrosion Science" is a publication specialized in corrosion science and engineering.
Wednesday, 4 August 2021
|Dufferin /Malaviya bridge, Varanasi,UP. .touristlink.com|
|134 year old Dufferin Bridge, Varanasi, UP. thehindu.com|
|Double train track. Dufferin/Malaviya bridge, Varanasi,UP facebook.com|
|Dufferin Bridge, now called Malaviya bridge indiaeasytrip.com|
Malaviya (Dufferin) Bridge, introduced in 1887, is a double decker sturdy iron structure over the Ganges at Varanasi with rail tracks on lower deck and a wide road on the upper deck; besides, it has footpaths on either side of the bridge. It is one of the significant bridges connecting the Grand Trunk (GT) Road over the river. It has 7 ranges of 350 ft and 9 ranges of 110 ft and it was the primary extension of its sort developed in the Indian sub-mainland by the designers of Awadh and Rohilkhand Railway. It is built connecting the already built lines from Benares and Lucknow to the Eastern railway; 4th bridge built by the same company. The allowed stain work on the bridge is 6.5 ton per sq. inch in the bottom booms and diagonals and 6 ton in the upper booms and 5 tons in the verticals. Built on 16th Dec 1887 to commemorate the viceroyalty of the Viceroy the Earl of Dufferin. The project was approved in 1879 by the state govt..
|Dufferin /Malaviya bridge, Varanasi,UP. timesofindia.indiatimes.com|
|Lord Dufferin eh.blogspot.com|
To rule with any success, Dufferin would need to gain the support of both communities. By all accounts he was highly successful in this regard, and gained substantial support from all communities in India. He advanced the cause of the Indian Nationalists greatly during his term, without antagonizing the conservative whites. Among other things, the Indian National Congress was founded during his term in 1885, and he laid the foundations for the modern Indian Army by establishing the Imperial Service Corps, officered by Indians. Work began in 1881 and formally opened in 1887 for traffic.
|Dufferin (Malayiya) bridge, Varanasi, UP.artsandculture.google.com|
Above image: The 134 year old iron bridge with two decks- upper deck for the vehicles and the lower deck for the trains, built by the Awadh and Rohilkhand Railway. After India's freedom the bridge was renamed after Madan Mohan Malaviya, the founder of Banaras Hindu University.....................
|office of the Awadh Rohilkhand Railway,Lucknow.bl.uk|
|Logo of Oudh & Rohilkhand Railway wiki.fibis.org|
Above image: Formed around 1872 by taking over the interests of the ‘Indian Branch Railway’. ‘Awadh Rohilkhand Railway (O&RR) operated under a Government of India guarantee, was acquired by the State on 1 Jan 1889. BG mileage in 1905:1165 miles. Main lines included Benares (Varanasi) to Saharanpur and Allahabad to Fyzabad (1905). In 1925, the O&RR was merged into the ‘East Indian Railway’(EIR) when the latter fell into the control of the state government. The Oudh (Awadh) and Rohilkhand Railway Company built their workshops in Lucknow in 1865 and eventually became one of the top sites engaged in overhaul, repair and restoration of carriages and wagons. .....................
|Location. Varanasi city, UP>mapsofindia.com|
The specialist accountable for development of the Dufferin Bridge was Frederick Thomas Granville Walton, who ultimately became the Engineer in Chief of the Awadh and Rohilkhand Railway organization. The extension was renamed as the Malviya Bridge in 1948 after Madan Mohan Malaviya. As the extension is close Rajghat, it is likewise privately known as Rajghat connect. Malaviya Bridge is between Kashi, Varanasi and Mughal Sarai stations; the extension is given the name Kashi Bridge, after the near-by city, however, is otherwise called ''Varanasi''.. Dufferin Bridge's opening service was postponed as a result of floods. In 2016 engineers from the Northern Railway studied the safety of the old bridge and found it to be in good nick. However, the trains had to limit the sped to 30 km on the bridge.. Threat to the bridge was further reduced with the ban on the movement of heavy vehicles on the upper deck. The bridge had completed its life in 1997 and since the periodic check on the safety has to be done. The heavy vehicle movements continued despite the ban and it damaged the expansion joints on the upper deck. In 2007 and 2008 it was repaired and the heavy vehicle traffic is very much limited with the installation of heavy weight gauges.
A new bridge has been announced over the Ganga in Varanasi. The old one, they say, is close to collapse, and needs an overhaul or rest. Last year, a report mentioned that the bridge was in critical condition. In 2016, it had seen the infamous stampede that resulted in the death of some 20 people. With respect to Dufferin bridge, it must be strengthened at any cost and should not be abandoned after the construction of a modern bridge across the Ganges. It should be preserved for the posterity.
|Motihari railway station, Bihar. patnabeats.com|
Above image: The original Motihari railway junction (where Gandhi embarked on his arrival in Champaran) to join the protest against forced Indigo cultivation by the British.........
It was at Motihari railway station in Bihar's East Champaran on the afternoon - around 3 pm of April 15, 1917 in Bihar’s East Champaran, Gandhiji got off from the train coming from Nuzaffur with a firm determination not to leave that place unless hia mission was successfully completed. - lifting the poor farmers from abject povery and misery and to give a direction and a sense of purpose. A big crowd was waiting to receive Gandhi and none of them had no idea whatsoever about the outcome of their perpetual struggle against the British who forced them to grow indigo.
|Location of Motjhari, Champran Dist. Bihar.mapsofindia.com|
Little did the press or the British realize that the little man's crusade against them would snow ball into a popular passive resistance called Satyagragha. The first satyagraha (policy of passive political resistance) was successfully introduced here which later became a tool for Gandhiji to continue his freedom struggle against the English. The concept was so effective, it drew the attention of the media world over. ''While Champaran “introduced” India to Gandhi, he introduced his idea of Satyagraha or civil disobedience to India.'' It was at Champaran that the transformation from Mohandas into the Mahatma began. During the 31st session of the Congress in Lucknow in 1916, Gandhi met Raj Kumar Shukla, a representative of farmers from Champaran through whom he came to know about the repression being faced by the native farmer. The wily British took advatage of the native farmers ignorance and illiteracy and exploited them to make fast bucks.
The house passed the bill, which paved the way for the abolition of Tinkathiya system.Tinkathia was the system under which the native peasants of Champaran( Bihar) were forced to cultivate 3 kathaa Indigo out of every 20 kathaa (Bigha) of land. A Bigha is a popular land holding in Bihar and it is little less than an Acre. In other terms, the European agriculturists in Bihar (Champaran) followed illegal means of indigo farming and urged the Indian farmers to grow Indigo on the 3/20th portion of their land holding. This system came to be known as the Tinkathia system.The farmers were poorly compensated for their indigo crops and if they refused to plant indigo, they had to face heavy taxation. The landlords (mostly British) would enforce this system through their agents, called gumasta, who executed the terms brutally.