Specialty - A handbook of Indian tradition, heritage, culture, cuisine, art & music.

7 WONDERS OF INDIA


TajMahal

There is no other monument in the world that can match the beauty and grandeur of Taj Mahal. Set amongst the serene ambience of a well laid out garden the massive marble structure of the Taj Mahal is awe-inspiring. Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by Shahjahan- the fifth Mughal emperor, in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Shahjahan loved his wife so much that after she passed away in 1631, he decided to immortalize their love in the form of the Taj Mahal.


 
Khajuraho

There is nothing in this world that could compare with the erotic images of Khajuraho. The sense of imagination have given form to human emotions in the form of spiritual and physical love. Every facade-wall, window, pillar, and ceiling of Khajuraho is carved with figures of mythical and historical origins, and while many of these full-breasted, girdle-waisted women in forms of innocent play, they depict carnal love.


 
Ajanta Ellora

 
  Hidden away from view in the middle of nowhere, or so it may seem to us today, and nestled in the hills themselves, are two magical locations where the rulers of yore thought it befitting to display the artistry of their time recording for posterity stories from mythology. These caves are none other than the famous Ajanta and Ellora caves, located near the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. . The richness of their imagery and the fact that they were carved between the 2nd century BC and the 8th century AD is highly impressive. It appears that while the rest of the world was in dark ages, we in this country were highly evolved in thought, word, and deed. India and Indians indeed have a past to be proud about.

It was only in the 19th century that the Ajanta group of caves, lying deep within the Sahyadri hills at Maharashtra and cut into curved mountain side above the Waghora river, were discovered. They depict the story of Buddhism, spanning the period from 200 BC to 650 AD.

The Ellora caves, of which there are a total of 34, are carved into the sides of a basaltic hill 30 kilometers from Aurangabad. The finest specimens of cave temple architecture, they boast of elaborate facades and house exquisitely adorned interiors. These structures representing the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, were carved between the 350 AD to 700 AD. The 12 caves towards the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the center are dedicated to Hinduism, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain.



Hampi

  Hampi is located in the central part of the state of Karnataka, in the southern part of India. It is 353 km from Bangalore, and 13 km from Hospet. It is located on top of a rugged terrain and is 467 m above sea level. Tungabhadra River flows through Hampi. It has a tropical climate with hot summers (April-June), and cool winters (October-February). It experiences the southwestern monsoon rains from June to August.

The 15th-century Virupaksha Temple is located in the Hampi Bazaar area. It is one of the oldest monuments of the town. The top of the temple rises about 50 m from the ground and the main shrine is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva. Hemakuta Hill, south of the Virupaksha temple, contains early ruins, Jain temples and a monolithic sculpture of Lord Narasimha, a form of Lord Vishnu.



Konark Sun Temple

  About 65 km from Bhubaneswar, near the sacred city of Puri, is the great Sun Temple of Konark. The temple dedicated to the Sun God or Surya is a masterpiece of Orissa's medieval architecture and has been designated a United Nations (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.

  The massive structure of the temple, now in ruins, sits in solitary splendour surrounded by the drifting sands. The entire temple has been designed in the shape of a chariot carrying the Sun God across the heavens. The huge intricate wheels of the chariot, which are carved around the base of the temple, are the major attractions of the temple. The spokes of these wheels serve as sundials, and the shadows formed by these can give the precise time of the day. The pyramidal roof of the temple, made of sandstone, soars over 30 m in height. Like the temples at Khajuraho, the Sun Temple at Konark is also covered with erotic sculptures.


Mahabodhi Temple

The life of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is associated with the small town of Bodhgaya. It is one of the four holiest cities of Buddhist faith. The Mahabodhi temple is the main attraction of this town and is located near the spot where Lord Buddha attained spiritual enlightenment. Bodhgaya is not only an important Buddhist pilgrim center, but it is also an important center for the study of Buddhism.

Mahabodhi Temple and other monasteries are the major attractions in Bodhgaya. Places associated with the life and times of Lord Buddha are located inside the Mahabodhi complex including the Bodhi Tree and a pond where according to legends, Lord Buddha mediated for few days.


Brihadeeshwara temple

The Brihadeeshwara Temple at Tanjavur is famous as one of the 7 wonders of India. It was built by the n famous king Rajarajacholzhan. It shrines Lord Shiva as the main deity named as Brihadeeshwara. It was built in dravidian style. The main Vimana was built using single monolithic stone. It is built in such a way its shadow never falls on any side during any part of the day. It shows earliest depiction of sculptures portraying Natyas.

 

 

              
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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