Jal Mahal – Water Palace

 

 

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Jal Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

A beautiful palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city, the capital of the state of Rajasthan, India. The palace and the lake around it were renovated and enlarged in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber.

Ram Yantras – Jantar Mantar

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Ram Yantras, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Ram Yantra, as it represents by its name, is an instrument, which is very helpful to the astronomers to find out the zenith distance and the altitude of the sun. The beauty of the instrument is, that it gives us direct readings. Basically the instrument consists of two circular stone building. If we unite them together, it becomes one instrument. This way one is complimentary to the other. They are constructed at a reasonable distance. In the center of the instrument a perpendicular rod is fixed, which is of the same height of the building itself.

Twelve stone triangles are fixed above the ground. These triangular stone slabs are graduated from 90 degree to 45 degree, while 45 to 0 degree the graduations are on the circular wall. This is an instrument by which we come to know the movement of stars.

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Ram Yantras, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

The Ram Yantra consists of a pair of cylindrical structures, open to the sky, each with a pillar or pole at the center. The pillar/post and walls are of equal height, which is also equal to the radius of the structure. The floor and interior surface of the walls are inscribed with scales indicating angles of altitude and azimuth. Ram Yantras were constructed at the Jaipur and Delhi observatories only.

Panaromic – Agrasen ki Baoli (also known as Ugrasen ki Baoli)

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Agrasen ki Baoli, New Delhi, India

Agrasen ki Baoli (also known as Ugrasen ki Baoli), designated a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958, is a 60-meter long and 15-meter wide historical step well on Hailey Road near Connaught Place, Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, India. Although there are no known historical records to prove who built Agrasen ki Baoli, it is believed that it was originally built by the legendary king Agrasen and rebuilt in the 14th century by the Agrawal community which traces its origin to Maharaja Agrasen.

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This Baoli, with 108 steps, is among a few of its kind in Delhi. The visible parts of this historical step well consist of three levels. Each level is lined with arched niches on both sides. From an architectural perspective, this step well was probably rebuilt during the Tughlaq period. However, the oldest existing Baoli in Delhi, the Anangtal Baoli located in Mehrauli, which was also known as Yoginipura, was built in the 10th century by the Rajput King Anang Pal II of Tomara dynasty. Anang Tal literally means reservoir provided by Anang Pal of the House of Tomar.

Regarding the name Agrasen Ki Baoli it should be stated that, in 1132 CE, an Agrawal poet named Vibudh Shridhar mentions, in his work Pasanahacariu, a wealthy and influential Agrawal merchant of Dhilli named Nattal Sahu, who was also a minister in the court of King Anang Pal III. Rebuilding the old Agrasen Ki Baoli would have been within the means of a well established and wealthy Agrawal community during the 14th century.

Diwan-i-Am – An Another beautiful view at Red Fort

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The Diwan-i-Am, or Hall of Audience, is a room in the Red Fort of Delhi where the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658) and his successors received members of the general public and heard their grievances.

The inner main court to which the Nakkar Khana led was 540 feet broad, 420 feet deep, and surrounded by arcade galleries, where chieftains (umaras) on duty were posted. On the further side of it is the Diwan-i-Aam.

The Diwan-i-Am consists of a front hall, open on three sides and backed by a set of rooms faced in red sandstone. The hall is 100 ft x 60 ft and divided into 27 square bays on a system of columns which support the arches. The roof is spanned by sandstone beams.

The proportions of this hall, of its columns, and of the engraved arches show high aesthetics and fine craftsmanship. With an impressive façade of nine engraved arch openings, the hall was ornamented with gilded and white shell lime chunam plaster work. Its ceiling and columns were painted with gold.

In the centre of the eastern wall stands a marble canopy (jharokha) covered by a “Bengal” roof. A marble dais below the throne, inlaid with semi-precious stones, was used by the prime minister (wazir) to receive petitions. The emperor was separated from the courtiers by a gold-plated railing, while a silver railing ran around the remaining three sides of the hall. The audience ceremony is known as Jharokha Darshan.

Behind the canopy, the wall is decorated with panels inlaid with multi-coloured pietra dura stones. They represent flowers and birds and are reputedly carved by Austin de Bordeaux, a Florentine jeweler. The hall was restored by Lord Curzon, while the inlay work of the throne recess and the plaques of the arch to the west side of the throne were restored by the Florentine artist, Mennegatti. Bernier gives a full account of the splendid appearance of the hall during the rule of Aurangzeb, as well as the 17th century merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier.

Red Fort – The Mughal Heritage

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Red Fort, New Delhi, India

The Red Fort is a historical fort in the city of Delhi in India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, until 1857. It is located in the center of Delhi and houses a number of museums. In addition to accommodating the emperors and their households, it was the ceremonial and political centre of the Mughal state and the setting for events critically impacting the region.

Constructed in 1639 by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as the palace of his fortified capital Shahjahanabad, the Red Fort is named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone and is adjacent to the older Salimgarh Fort, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. The imperial apartments consist of a row of pavilions, connected by a water channel known as the Stream of Paradise (Nahr-i-Bihisht). The fort complex is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity under Shah Jahan and although the palace was planned according to Islamic prototypes, each pavilion contains architectural elements typical of Mughal buildings that reflect a fusion of Timurid and Persian traditions. The Red Fort’s innovative architectural style, including its garden design, influenced later buildings and gardens in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kashmir, Braj, Rohilkhand and elsewhere.

The fort was plundered of its artwork and jewels during Nadir Shah‘s invasion of the Mughal Empire in 1747. Most of the fort’s precious marble structures were subsequently destroyed by British colonialists following the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. The forts’s defensive walls were largely spared, and the fortress was subsequently used as a garrison. The Red Fort was also the site where British colonialists put the last Mughal Emperor on trial before exiling him to Rangoon in 1858.

Every year on the Independence day of India (15 August), the Prime Minister hoists the Indian “tricolour flag” at the main gate of the fort and delivers a nationally-broadcast speech from its ramparts.

It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 as part of the Red Fort Complex.