• Agra Fort
• Ajanta Caves
• Ellora Caves
• Taj Mahal
• Monuments at
• Sun Temple, Konarak
• Kaziranga National Park
• Keoladeo National Park
• Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
• Churches and Convents of Goa
• Fatehpur Sikri
• Monuments at Hampi
• Monuments at Khajuraho
• Elephanta Caves
• Chola Temples
• Monuments at Pattadakal
• Sundarbans National Park
• Nanda Devi and Valley of
Flowers National Parks
• Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
• Humayun's Tomb
• Qutb Minar and its
• Mountain Railways of India
• Mahabodhi Temple Complex
at Bodh Gaya
• Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
• Champaner-Pavag' adh
Archaeological Park
• Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
• Red Fort Complex
• The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
July 2012
Volume: 6 No: 10
Title No: 70
Ï08 Î8h0f8M80lÌh0Í8`1 Î81l
Each of our ancient, historic monu­
ments is a window to the rich heritage of
our past. Let us hear what one of our
greatest, and most imaginative minds
had to say about such great sites.
"At Sarnath, near Benares, I could al­
most see the Buddha preaching his first
sermon, and some of his recorded words
would come like a distant echo to me,
through two thousand five hundred
years. Ashoka's pillars of stone, with their
inscriptions, would speak to me in their
magnificent language,
and tell me of a man
who, though an em­
peror, was greater
than any king or em­
!|Iê!in |0d|ê||!Iêd0yUhL:LÛ.
To subscrb to Tell Me Why m.mö¤0römö0¤II¤e.t0m/t00ttrI0e
|orsubsc|ìpt|onenqult|es:18004255002 (To||-f|ee)
(between 9 am & S pm on working days)
M.M. Publications Ltd.,
f.¥.W.26.1 ln.
Ph:08I-2563721 -22 .23
Emil: subsriptiommp.in
NEW DELHI: Mlyal Mnam Co. Lt.
Andhra Vanltha Mandali Building.
2. Azad Bhavan Road. lndraprastha Estate.
New Delhl - 110 02.
Phon:011-23379718. 23379719, 23379720
MUMBAI: Mlayala Manorama.
A- %Marathn Innva. A Wlp4th lKt,
Lower Parel (et). Mumbl- %013.
M¦ 022 - 39959. 2490. 2491331
KOLKATA: Malayala Manoram.
14 Parasr Road. Near lake Market
Kolkata - 70 029.
Phone: 033 - 24198233. 2419808
PATNA: Malayala Manorama,
M,Jagat Tra Centte. lt&ætRoad.
Patna - 8001. Phon: 012 - 22338
JAIPUR: Mlyala Manoam
Co Ral mÞmCete. Ush P Nar
ÆIpr   . M.I. Rod. Jaipur - 302 01.
Phone:0141 - 23636. Mob:91628972
HYDERABAD: Malayala na ••
C/o Dr. B.C. Mathur 8-2-62911 lB. Road
No.12. BanJara Hills. Hyderab&· 50 034.
Phone: 0- 2331416. 2332492
BENGALURU: Malayala Manor.m,
No. 132. Kantha Court 3rd llor.
lal Baugh Ro. B@luO56 027.
Phne: 22247735 l>
CHENNAI: Malyala Manoram,
Unit B III Flor. 23. Spur Tank Road. Chetput
Chennal-60 031. Phone: 0 - 43181405.
COIMBATORE: Malayala Manorama.
101. Sunshine Buildings. 1056.
Avinashl Ñ,Coimbtore - 61 018.
Pone: 2241911 /2245470
LUCKNOW: Malyal Mnoram.
B1657.lnira Nagar, Lu226 016.
Phone: 0522 - 231 576
CHANDIGARH: Malyal Mnoa . .
H No. 22S2. Ground Flor Annexe. Stor
21-C. Chandlgarh -16 022.
Phon: 0172 - 27249 Mob: 017310727
BHOPAL: Mlayal Mnrama,
PtN.161.Gpal Bhawan.Zon 1,
M.F.Nagr, B Phon: 0755 - 2557937
Mlyal Mna NP.B. N16.
69501. M. 2328198
KOH I: Mlyal Mnram,
P.B. N.MPanampilly Nagar.
Kohl - m036. Kerala.
Phn: Û- 2316285
Why is heritage called a gift
from the past to the future?
Heritage is somethi ng that is
passed down to us from our fore­
fathers. l n thi s respect, heritage i s
a gift from past generati ons to
future generations. I n the case of
fami l ies, heritage can be proper­
ty, possessions, or a tradi ti on.
When we speak of a country's
heritage, we are referri ng to its
hi story, achi evements, and cul ­
ture. The term 'World Heritage
Sites' i s used to refer to those
treasures of the past and won­
ders of nature that are so unique
that all the nati ons of the world
have a duty to protect them, i rre­
spective of the country that they
are located in. The World Herit­
age sites refl ect the cultural and
natural wealth and diversity of
our planet.
The UNESCO has so far
identified 28 places in India as
Heritage sites and many
others are awaiting approval.
Why did UNESCO
str the Word Herit­
age Centre?
The UNESCO World
Heritage Centre was
born by mergi ng two
separate movements.
The first was a move­
ment for the preserva­
tion of cul tural sites. The
second was a move­
ment that deal t with the
conservation of nature.
The bal l for the first
movement was set rol l i ng with the de­
ci si on to bui l d the Aswan Hi gh Dam in
Egypt. Thi s dam woul d have flooded
the val ley in whi ch one of the treasures
of anci ent Egypt- the Abu Si mbel tem­
ple- was located. I n 1 959, UNESCO
l aunched a campai gn to safeguard
these templ es. It was a joi nt effort of 50
countries, and it l ed to many other
si mi l ar projects to safeguard rare treas­
ures. It was the United States that led
the movement to combi ne the conser­
vation of natural wonders along with
cul tural sites.
The Stone
Chariot at
Vitthala Temple,
How many World Heritage sites are there to­
There are 936 World Heritage sites today. They
i ncl ude 725 cul tural sites, 1 83 natural sites, and 28
sites that are a com bi nation of the two. These sites
are found i n 1 53 places all over the world. The first
two sites in I ndi a that made the l ist were the Agra
Fort and the Ajanta Caves. Overthe years, 26 more
sites have been added. Of the total of 28 sites i n
I ndia, 23 are cultural sites, and the remai ni ng 5 are
natural wonders. The latest site to make the l i st i s
the Jantar Mantar i n Jai pur.

· · �
In 1 972, the World Heritage Fund was
created. Its aim is to assist nations in
identifying, preserving, and promot­
ing World Heritage sites. Contribu­
tions to the fund are made both on a
compulsory and voluntary basis.
Compulsory contributions are one
percent of their annual UNESCO dues.
Voluntary contributions must be paid
on a regular basis, at least every two
Nomination Process
�` iItr|ttI
How does a site become a World Her­
itage site? To be eligible for nomina­
tion as a World Heritage site, the
place or cultural landmark must be located within
the boundaries of those countries that have signed
the World Heritage Convention. Only these na­
tions are eligible to apply for a World Heritage
Why is the formation of a tentative list impor­
If a country wants a property to be recognized as
a World Heritage site, i t must have signed the Worl d
Heritage Convention. The next step i s to submit a
tentative l i st. The tentative l i st is an i nventory of the
i mportant natural and cul tural heritage si tes that
are located with the boundaries of that parti cul ar
country. The tentative l i st i s more than an i nventory
though. It is a forecast of the properties that the
countries mi ght consi der for nomi nation i n the
next five to ten years. It can be updated at any ti me.
The tentative l i st is i mportant because onl y those
sites on thi s l i st will be consi dered for nomi nation
as a World Heritage site.
9ra Ò M
Why is the Agra For con­
sidered an important par of
India's heritage?
The city of Agra in Uttar
Pradesh has a hi story that goes
back more than 2500 years. It
is famous for two magnificent
monuments- the Taj Mahal ,
and the Red Fort of Agra- that
reflect the grandeur of the
Mughals. The Red For of Agra,
or the Agra Fort as it i s usual l y
cal led, is located about 2. 5 kms
from the Taj Mahal. It was the
i mperi al city of several Mughal
rul ers, and contai ned many
pricel ess treasures. Di d you
know that the famous di a­
mond that i s now known as
the Kohi noor di amond was a
part of thi s treasure? Thi s fort
of red sandstone is actual ly a
wal led city encl osi ng many
pal aces, audience hal ls, and
two mosques. There are four
gates on its four sides, and one
of the gates was cal l ed 'khizri­
gate' or the water gate, be­
cause it opens to the river
front. The fort has survived
throughtheonsl aughtofti me,
nature and men, and i s todaya
UNESCO World Heritage site.
Tel l Me Why
For for Freedom
he Agra For was
the site of an impor­
tant battle in the Indi­
an rebellion against
British rule in 1 857.
It was this rebellion
that marked the be­
ginning of India's
movement for Inde­
Sir, may I
e a trip
from the Red
Fort to the Taj?
Heritage Sites in I ndia
lehangiri Mahal
Why is the history of Agra Fort fasci­
nati ng?
Agra Fort was ori gi nal ly a brick fort
bui l t by the Rajputs, the Hi ndu ki ngs who
rul ed the l and. Later, the first Sultan of
Del hi, Si kander Lodi shifted to Agra, and
l ived i n the fort. It was duri ng thi s ti me
that Agra became i mportant as the sec­
ond capital. Hi s son I brahi m Lodi hel d
the fort for ni ne years, unti l he was de­
feated and ki l l ed i n the battle of Pani pat
in 1 526 by the Mughal ruler Babur. How­
ever, it was Akbar who made Agra the
capital of the Mughal Empi re and who
rebui lt the fort. It was rebui lt i n red sand
stone, and 1 ,4 ,000 bui lders worked on
i t for ei ght years. I t was completed i n
1 573. Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan, al so
made some changes to this fort. Shah
Jahan was later i mprisoned, and it i s be­
l ieved that he died in a tower i n Agra Fort
that had a view of his masterpiece, the
Taj Mahal .
Kas Mahl
Why is the Agra For a blend of Hindu and Mughal architec­
Agra Fort i s spread out over 94 acres, with walls that are 21 me­
tres hi gh. The river runs alongsi de, and it has four gates bui l t of red
sandstone. Del hi Gate is the grandest of the gates that faces the
city on the western side. It i s embel l i shed with i nlay work i n white
marble, and has a wooden drawbridge that spans a moat. The
other i mportant gate i s the Lahore Gate, whi ch i s al so known as
the Amar Si ngh Gate. At one ti me, there were five hundred exqui­
sitely desi gned bui l di ngs i nside the fort. Some of them were de­
mol i shed by Shah Jahan, and replaced with palaces of white mar­
ble. Usual ly, I sl ami c architecture has decorations l i mited to cal l ig­
raphy and patterns. The Agra Fort however, is an i nteresti ng bl end
of Hi ndu and Mughal architecture as there are i mages of dragons,
ani mal s, and bi rds, as well.
Peacock Throne
` Îlâ||âd
The magnificent Peacock
Throne of Emperor Shah
Jahan had an enamelled canopy studded with gems.
Its underside was inlaid with diamonds, emeralds,
rubies, and garnets. It was suppored by 1 2 pillars
covered with emerald facings, and got its name from
the bejeweled peacocks that flanked it.
Tel l Me Why
All these
caves were built
by my grand
Ajanta Caves
Why were the Ajanta Caves given this
The Ajanta Caves are situated north of
Aurangabad in Maharashtra. They get thei r
name from the vi l l age of Ajanta that i s l o­
cated nearby. The caves were di scovered i n
1 81 9 by a Bri ti sh army officer. He stumbl ed
on them by accident, duri ng a hunti ng ex­
pedi ti on. The caves are carved out of a horse
shoe shaped rock surface that overlooks a
stream, and thi s cl iff is nearly 76 metres tal l .
There are 31 caves i n al l , and it i s bel i eved
that they were carved in the 2nd century BC
as a retreat for Buddhist monks duri ng the
rai ny season. They were used as prayer hal l s
for about ni ne centuries, and then abruptly
abandoned. Today, the caves are an i mpor­
tant tourist destination, and are famous for
thei r magnificent mural s.
Why are the Ajanta Caves imporant?
The Ajanta Caves are i mportant be­
cause they i ncl ude pai nti ngs and scul p­
tures consi dered to be masterpieces of
Buddhist rel i gi ous art. Some pai nti ngs
reflect the Theravada tradition of depict­
i ng the Buddha onl y in symbol i c form
such as a throne or footprints. Others fea­
ture col ourful mural s and statues depict­
ing the l ife of the Buddha and vari ous Bo­
dhi sattvas. There are al so frescos whi ch
are remi niscent of the pai nti ngs found i n
Sri Lanka, and some of the caves depi ct
scenes from everyday l ife and i nscri p­
tions. l nspi red byfaith and devotion, each
fi gure has been carved by the monks us­
i ng just hammer and chisel. The caves of
Ajanta reflect the achi evements of the
Gupta and post Gupta period i n I ndi an
hi story. They tel l us the story of a rich and
a gl orious past.
1 2
Another View of
the Ajanta Caves
Hurry up!
ram ready to
draw my master­
Tel l Me Why
Why are the Ajanta paintings special?
The pai nti ngs in the Ajanta Caves depict
different i nci dents in the l i fe of Buddha, as
wel l contemporary events and social l ife. A
special technique was used to execute the
pai nti ngs. The rock surface was first pre­
pared with el aborate care, and scored with
chisel marks and grooves to hold the next
layers in place. A first layer of red earth
mixed with rock-grit or sand, vegetable fi­
bres, and grass was then appl i ed on the
rough surface of walls and cei l i ngs. The
surface was fi nal ly fi ni shed with a thi n coat
of l i me wash. Outl i nes were drawn on the
surface, and the spaces were filled with
col ours. The pai nti ngs of Ajanta are not
frescoes in the accepted sense of the word.
Frescoes are pai nted while the l i me wash
is sti l l wet, so that it acts as a bi ndi ng agent,
but those of the Ajanta caves use gl ue as
the bi ndi ng agent.
Heritage Sites in I ndia
` ' Îlâ|Íâd
The Ajanta
Tere are 30
caves, including
some unfinished
ones at Ajanta.
Of them five are
prayer hal ls­
'Chaityas' and
rest are
monasteries -
A Painting
fom Cave 1
1 3
Ellnra Oaues
Why are the Ellora Caves considered a meeting place of three
great religions?
The El l ora Caves are a series of anci ent templ es and monasteries
hewn i nto the si de of the Charnadari Hi l l i n the Deccan Plateau.
I ndi a is the bi rthplace of three world rel i gi ons - Hi ndui sm, Bud­
dhi sm, and Jai ni sm. Hi storical l y speaki ng, the emergence of El l ora
coi ncided with the decl i ne of Buddhi sm, and a Hi ndu renai ssance
in AD 7th and 9th centuries in I ndi a. The El lora Caves fal l i nto three
di sti nct groups, Buddhi st, Hi ndu, and Jai n. There are twelve Bud­
dhi st caves, and the first ni ne Buddhist caves are variations of vi­
haras or monasteries, fi l l ed with figures of Lord Buddha, and scenes
1 4
Kailasanat Temple -
Cave 16
Who built
this? ram
confused . . . .
from Buddhist mythology. The
Hi ndu Caves are seventeen i n
number, and represent the peak
of El lora's development. They
contai n i mpressive scul ptures
of dei ti es from the Hi ndu pan­
theon. There are five Jai n caves.
They are si mpler than the other
caves, but are just as i nspi ri ng,
wi th el ephants and l i ons com­
i ng to l ife in their depths.There
is no doubt thatthe El lora Caves
bear witness to the spi rit of tol­
erance among faiths.
A View of Cave |0
Why are the El l ora Caves
i mportant?
The EI Iora Caves are i mpor­
tant because they fol l ow the
development of rel i gi ous
thought i n I ndi a through the
decl i ne of Buddhi sm i n the lat­
ter half of 8t century to the Hi n­
du renai ssance that followed
the return of the Gupta dynasty,
and then the Jai n resurgence
between the 9th and 1 1 th centu­
ries. The Buddhists caves are
1 5
monastery hal ls, whi ch the monks
used for study, sol itary meditation,
and communal worship, as wel l as
for thei r dai l y activities l i ke eati ng
and sl eepi ng.
The Hi ndu caves present another
worl d. They are profusely scul ptured
with Shiva and Vishnu i mages. They
begi n with Shiva ki l l i ng a demon,
and movi ng i n a clockwise di rection,
they end with Vishnu as the man-l i on
Narasi mha. These caves l i e i n the
centre of the group, and are the most
The Jain caves are the si mplest, and
radiate an aura of peace. The mai n
i dol s i n the El l ora Caves i n al l the three
groups are l arger than life-size. El lora
has been declared a UNESCO World
Heritage site, and is presered by the
Archaeological Survey of India.
1 6
Relief of Nataraja at
Kailasanatha Temple,
A Stone Carved Pillar
�` iItr|ttI
Indrasabha Temple
The two storied Indrasabha
temple is a masterpiece locat­
ed in the Jain caves. It is a huge
structure that can be reached
by a flight of steps, flanked by
magnificent carvings. There is
a couryard with a small shrine,
and the sides of the central
quadrangle contain many
more shrines to the Jain saints.
A Jain Cave in ELlora
Why is the Tin Tala cave in Ellora
an architectural wonder?
The Tin Tal a is the 1 2th Buddhist
cave in El lora. I t is at first gl ance,
rather pl ai n, with unadorned pi l l ars
and scul pted panels only on the i n­
nerwal l s. However, i t i s breathtaki ng
in that thi s three storey structure
was completely fashioned by hu­
man hands, without the ai d of any
machi nes. It i s a monastery cum
chapel that has been pai nstaki ngly
cared to house fory monks. Its
floors and cei l i ngs are smooth and
levelled, and i t i s without doubt, a
tributetothe architectural skill ofthe
Buddhist monks i n the 8t century.
Heritage Sites in India
Painting in the Dark
t is truly amazing that
such intricate paintings
were done on the walls of
dark caves, where there is
very little natural light. So
how did the monks man­
age to do these paintings?
One theory is that they
used mirrors to reflect and
magnify whatever little
natural light there was.
Another theory is that the
pools of water that gath­
ered in the depressions in
the rock floor acted like
mirrors to enhance the
available light.
1 7
hy is the Taj Mahal awe-inspiring?
The Taj Mahal is an i nspi ri ng monu­
ment bui l t by the Mughal Emperor Shah
Jahan between 1 631 and 1 648, as a trib­
ute to the memory of his favourite wife
Mumtaz Mahal , who died in 1 63 1 . It i s
bel ieved that thousands of workers from
I got a j?b
for India  to Jom the TaJ
Mahal construction
Designer of the Taj
t is still not clear who
designed the Taj. Us­
tad Ahmed Lahouri is
generally believed to
be the chief architect,
but some others think
it was Ustad Isa from
Turkey. France and
Italy both claim that
it was the brain child
of their arists. How­
ever, we can safely
say that the Taj is the
sum total of the de­
signs of two centuries
of Mughal tombs.
several countries toiled for 1 7 years to
compl ete it. Bui l t compl etely of white
marbl e and exquisitely designed, it i s
more than a rul er's achievement or a na­
ti on's pri de.
Why did Shah Jahan build the Taj Mahal?
Shah Jahan became the Emperor in 1 628 after a
bloody battle for the throne. He gave hi s favourite
wife the title of Mumtaz Mahal , which means 'jewel
of the pal ace'. In 1 63 1 , Shah Jahan went on an expe­
diti on to the South. Mumtaz Mahal al ways accompa­
nied hi m, wherever he went, and thi s journey was no
exception. Tragical ly, she died duri ng chi l dbi rth at
Burhanpur. She was the mother of 1 4 chi l dren, of
whom only seven survived. She was j ust 39 at the
ti me of her death, and Shah Jahan was heartbroken.
He went i nto mourni ng for two years, duri ng whi ch
there was no musi c or any ki nd of celebration i n the
The emperor, a passi onate bui lder, then decided
to give hi s beloved a memori al that woul d express
hi s love for her. So, the Taj Mahal took shape, beside
the Yamuna River, set amidst spl endi d gardens. The
site was chosen because Shah Jahan could gaze at it
from the Agra For, his pal ace. Skil led archi tects,
more than 20,000 workers, i nlay craftsmen, cal l igra­
phers, stone carvers, and masons from lands as di s­
tant as Persia and Turkey toil ed to create a master­
piece that stuns the worl d to thi s day.
Taj Mahal seen fom the
banks of the Yamuna
The tombs oJ
Shah lahan and
Mumtaz Mahal
in the Taj Mahal
Great Gate oJthe
Taj Mahal
This stone
is from Baghdad,
and this one from
Egypt, and this
one .....
Why is the Taj Mahal one of the won­
ders of the world?
The Taj Mahal is one of the most flawless
architectural creati ons of al l time. For the
past five centuries, travel lers from al l over
the world have gazed i n awe at its i ncom­
parabl e beauty. Situated on the ri ght bank
of the Yamuna River, the Taj Mahal gleams
l i ke a jewel i n the perfect setti ng of i ts vast
gardens. The purity of the white marble,
and the i ntricacy of the floral arabesques,
as wel l as the decorative bands, al l hi gh­
l i ght to perfection the exquisite cal l i gra­
phy. The material s for its construction
came from al l over I ndia and Central Asia.
The pristine white Makrana marbl e came
from Jodhpur. Precious stones forthe i nlay
were brought from
Baghdad, Punjab, Egypt,
Russia, Gol conda, Chi na,
Afghanistan, Ceylon,
Persia and the countries
i n I ndi an Ocean. The Taj
Mahal , without doubt, i s
considered to be the fin­
est example of Mughal
Tel l Me Why
- Îlåf|åtl
Mood Change
. d you know that
the Taj Mahal seems to
change moods
according to the time of
the day? The Taj Mahal
shimmers with a cool,
ethereal beauty in the
moonlight, glows a
bl ushing pinkat dawn,
and blazes a fiery red
when the white marble
catches the rays of the
setting sun.
Minaret of the
Taj Maha/
Why is the Taj Mahal called an ar­
chitectural masterpiece?
The Taj Mahal represents the finest
and most sophi sticated exampl e of
Mughal architecture. I t i ncorporates
and expands on many desi gn tradi­
ti ons, parti cul arly Persi an and earl i er
Mughal architecture. Known for its
symmetry, the Taj Mahal sits on a
raised pl atform surrounded by four
mi narets
The massive red sandstone Taj gate­
way was compl eted in the year 1 648,
and stands 30 metres hi gh. The gate­
way i s topped by smal l cupol as or
chhatris. Symbol i c of the divide be­
tween the materi al and the spi ri tual ,
the gateway is decorated i n cal l i gra­
phy with verses from the holy Koran.
The tomb stands on its own marbl e
pl i nth, which rests on a red sandstone
platform. Four tal l pi l l ars rise up from the cor­
ners of the white marbl e pl i nth. They are
topped with ei ght wi ndowed cupol as. I mme­
diately below the dome, is the tomb of Mumtaz
Mahal , whi ch i s central l y l i ned with the mai n
entrance. Besides Mumtaz Mahal's tomb, i s the
tombof Shah Jahan.
The crypt and the cenotaphs at the Taj carry
decorati ons of fabul ous elegance. As many as
35 diferent types of precious stones have been
used on a si ngl e bl oom-turquoise, jade, agate,
coral, l api s l azul i, onyx, bloodstone, cornel i an,
jasper, garnet and mal achite have been used
to fashi on bl ooms of fuchsias, l i ly, honeysuckl e
and more.
The beauty of the Taj Mahal is enhanced by
the garden l ai d out in the Persian Charbagh or
four garden pl an style.
The Taj Mahal at Sunset
The Taj Mahal­
View fom the South
Amazing Detail ing
The fine detailing leaves
thevisitortothe Taj Mahal
wonderstruck. Flowers
are the main decorative
ments as the tomb
represents a palace gar­
den. The inlay work is
done with such skill that it
is impossible to discern
any joints, even when as
many as 40 tiny pieces of
mi precious stones have
been used in the petals of
a single flower.
Heritage Sites in I ndia
How are the tombs ar­
ranged in the Taj Mahal?
The Taj Mahal houses the
tombs of Murtaz Mahal and
ShahJahan hi msel f.Theactual
tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and
Shah Jehan are i n the base­
ment, whi l e in the mai n
chamber, there are fal se
tombs surrounded by l ace­
l i ke marbl e screens.These
screens transmi t l ight i nto the
actual buri al chamber. Both
tombs are exqui sitely i nlai d
wi th semi precious stones.
Cal l i graphic i nscripti ons of
the ni nety ni ne names of Al­
lah can also be seen on the
tomb of Mumtaz Mahal . Shah
Jahan' s tomb l i es next to
Mumtaz Mahal 's, but was not
a part ofthe ori gi nal pl an.
Wuuumru¡6 u\
W quh lipur
hy is there a bit of mystery
about the group of monu­
ments in ahabal ipuram?
the 7th century when it was a
thriving port of the Pal lava Em­
pire. The Pallavas were power­
ful rul ers of the regi on south of
Madras. Mahabal i puram was
famous for its trade with distant
The monuments at Mahabal i­
puram in Kancheepuram di s­
trict, Tami l Nadu, date back to
A Panoramic
View of
Monuments of
Why arethe monuments at Mahabal ipuram
one of the world's treasures?
Mahabal i puram means the CityofBalLlt is al so
known as Mamal l apuram after Mamal la, who
was responsi bl e of creating the earl i est monu­
ment under the rei gn of the Pal lava ki ng Nar­
asi mha Varman I. This templ e town is sai d to be
at least 2000 years ol d. It i ncl udes eleven exca­
vated templ es or 'mandapas', two open-ai r bas­
reliefs i ncl udi ng Arj una's Penance', and one en­
cl osed bas-relief shri ne. Beside these, there i s a
uni que stone chariot cal led 'ratha' cut out of a
Tell Me Why
ki ngdoms, both by sea, and by
l and. The monuments were
carved out of rock on the Coro­
mandel Coast, sometime be­
tween the Ïand 8t centuries.
They are renowned for their
templ es, cavesanctuaries, stone
chariots and gi ant open ai r re­
l iefs, depicting the gl ory of Lord
Shiva. However, these monu-
rock.There are five more
'rathas' al ong with three
big scul pturesofa Nandi ,
a lion, and an el ephant.
A p
al ace in rui ns can al so
be seen nearby al ong
with a templ e. The Tem­
of Sthal asayana Pe­
and the Shore
Templ e are perhaps the
best known of al l the
mpl es.
tage Sites in I ndia
ments remai n a bit of a mystery,
as no one knows their purpose,
or why royal patronage to the
pl ace was abruptly withdrawn.
Experts say that there were sev­
en pagodas or temples on the
shores of Mahabal i puram. Al l
but one were destroyed by the
sea. Most of the temples and
rock carvi ngs of thi s place were
bui l t duri ng the rei gns of
Narsi nha Varman I, and
�Narsi nha Varman I I .
The site is al so
knownasMamal ­
Who put this
rocK here?
Who built the Konarak Sun Temple?
Accordi ng to legend, the Konarak Sun
Templ e was bui l t by Samba, son of
Lord Kri shna. He was affl icted with
l eprosy, and after twelve years of
severe penance, he was cured
by the Sun God, Surya. lt i s be­
l i eved that Samba then bui l t
thi s templ e i n honour of the
Sun God. Hi stori ans however,
feel that the templ e that
stands today was bui lt by
Narasi mha Deva ofthe
Ganga dynasty around
1 250. The enti re templ e i s
i n the form of a chariot to the
Sun God, pul led by seven
horses. The cul t of the Sun God
had ori gi nated in Kashmi r
around the 8th century, and
spread to eastern I ndi a as wel l .
The Konarak templ e was bui lt dur­
i ng the period when the cult was at
its peak.
Chariot Wheel ofthe Sun Temple,
How is my painting
Sun Temple Symbols
The Konarak Temple is built to
represent the chariot of the
Sun God. There are seven
stone horses that represent
the seven days of the week.
The twelve pairs of wheels
stand for the
twelve months
of the year.
Why is the Konarak Temple
considered to be a shining ex­
ample of temple architec­
On the shores of the Bay of
Bengal , stands a magnificent
stone temple bui l t with such
preci si on and ski l l that the rays
of the ri si ng sun strike its mai n
entry at dawn. Thi s i s the Kon­
arak Sun Temple. The templ e is
bui l t to resemble the Sun God's
chariot. I t has 24 wheel s with
spokes scul pted with symbol s
that represent the cycl e of the
seasons, and the months. There
are seven stone horses that ap­
pear to be pul l i ng the chariot.
However, the rest of the templ e
fol l ows the pl an of tradi ti onal
Ori ssa temples. The exqui site
carvi ngs on the outer wal ls, and
the free standi ng scul ptures
make thi s templ e trul y a tri bute
to the arti sans of Orissa.
A Panoramic View of
Konarak Sun Temple
Where is the Kaziranga National
The Kazi ranga National Park is in As­
sam, on the banks of the majestic Brah­
maputra Ri ver. I t is the oldest park i n As­
sam. The park is made up of swamps, and
tal l thi ckets of el ephant grass. The grass­
l ands are i nterspersed with open forest,
and i nterconnecting streams and l akes,
maki ng it the ideal habitat for the one
horned I ndi an rhi no. I n fact, it has the
world's l argest popul ation of one-horned
rhi noceroses, as wel l as many other
mammals, i ncl udi ng tigers, el ephants,
panthers and bears, and thousands of
bi rds too. In 1 940, the park was decl ared
a wi l d l ife sanctuary. Today, the Kaziranga
National Park is one of the UNESCO World
Heritage sites in I ndia.
Tel l Me Why
Why is the  aziranga Na­
nal Park associated wi th
e one horned rhinocer­
Theone-horned rhi noceros
is a huge beast, next i n size to
an el ephant. One-horned
rhi nos are herbivorous ani ­
mal s, and they are found i n
tal l grassl ands and riverine
forests. The Kazi ranga Na­
tional Parki stheonl ynational
park i n I ndi a where they can
be seen i n thei r natural habi­
tat. The l argest of the three
Asi an rhi nos, the one-horned
rhi no has a si ngl e di sti nctive
tusk, as its name suggests. Its
ski n i s grey brown, and it has
fol ds whi ch make it look as
Indian Roller
coaster at
Naional Park
age Sites i n I ndia
though the ani mal has armour
pl ati ng. One -horned rhi nos are
cal l ed l andscape architects be­
cause they take up to three days
to digest a meal of grasses, leaves,
aquati c pl ants, and fruits. Duri ng
thi s ti me, they move around quite
a bit, and so, the seeds of whatever
they have eaten are transported
to diferent pl aces before bei ng
deposited as droppi ngs.
The one- horned rhi no was
hunted relentlessly for its horn
whi ch i s i n great demand for tra­
di ti onal medi ci nes, and it has
been pl aced on the endangered
l i st of ani mal s. Kazi ranga Nati onal
Park has more than 75% of the
enti re gl obal popul ation of one
horned rhi nos.
Why is the Ka­
ziranga National
Park a haven for
wi ldlife?
More than 1 5
species of I ndia's
threatened mam­
mal s can be found
here . It al so boasts
ofthe world's larg­
est popul ation of
I ndi an rhi noceros
and I ndi an ele­
phants. When the
park gets flooded
duri ng the mon­
soons, these ani ­
mal s mi grate to
the nearby Mi ki r
Hi l ls.
Kazi ranga'sl akes
and streams are
rich in many forms
of mari ne l ife,

The Legend of Kaziranga
According to legend, a girl named Ranga
and a youth called Kazi fell in love. They
lived in nearby vil lages, but since they were
not al lowed to marry, they ran away to­
gether, and were never seen again. The for­
est into which they disappeared came to be
called Kaziranga.
One - horned Rhinoceros at Kaziranga
National Park
whi ch provide abundant food for the wi l d
ani mal s and bi rds that are found here. Thou­
sands of mi gratory birds- over a hundred
species of them- flock to the park seasonal ly.
Some of them come from as far away as Si be­
ria! In al l; over 300 species of bi rds can be
seen here, whi l e reptiles l i ke the I ndi an py­
thon, water monitor, common cobra, and
ki ng cobra abound. I t i s no wonder, there­
fore, that the Kazi ranga Nati onal Park has
been desi gnated as a World Heritage site.
Tel l Me Why
� íIãr|ãtI
World Heritage Site
The park was first
established as a re­
serve forest in 1 908.
In 1 91 6, it was de­
clared a game sanctu­
ar. The park became
a wild life sanctuary in
1 950, and a World
Heritage site in 1 985.
Why i s the Keoladeo Ghana Na­
tional Park ideal for bird watching?
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park i n
Bharatpur was earl i er known as the
Bharatpur Bi rd Sanctuary. Bharatpur i s
i n Rajasthan, and every year it plays host
to thousands of migratory birds duri ng
the winter season. Keoladeo Ghana Na­
tional Park i s trul y a paradise for bi rds,
with over 380 resident and mi grant spe­
cies, i ncl udi ng the Common Demoi sel l e
and the rare Si berian cranes. The mi gra­
tory bi rds i ncl ude several species of
cranes, hawks, pel icans, geese, shanks,
ducks, eagles, warblers, stints, wagtai l s,
bunti ngs, wheatears, flycatchers, l arks,
and pi pits.The Keol adeoGhana Nati onal
Park i s al so an excellent pl ace to spot
mammal s l i ke the gol den jackal, j ungl e
cat, sambar, ni lgai , and bl ackbuck.
Sambars at Keoladeo National Park
Great Egret
The Keoladeo National Park
abounds with waterowls like
the gadwall, shoveler,
common teal, tufted duck,
little cormorant, and great
The Saras Crane with its
spectacular courship dance
is one of the main attractions
of thepark.
Why is the history of Keo­
ladeo National Park an inter­
The Keol adeo Ghana Nati onal
Park i s al so known si mpl y as the
Keol adeo Nati onal Park. I t is
named after the Keoladeo or
Shiva templ e that i s i nsi de the
park. I n the past, the area encom­
passed by the park had a natural
depression, surrounded by a for­
est or "ghana". Thi s depression
was subjected to seasonal flood­
ing by the waters of the river
The area was developed i nto a
duck shooti ng reserve in 1 899 by
the rul er of Bharatpur. I nspi red
by the duck shooting events that
he had experienced in England,
he got bunds and dykes con­
structed between 1850 and 1 899
and i ncreased the water-hol di ng
capacity of the depression. The
park became a popul ar hunti ng
ground for the Maharajas of
Bharatpur who organized duck
shoots for visiti ng royalty. Later,
the Government of Rajasthan
took over the park, and made it a
bi rd sanctuary in 1 956. I n the
year 1 967, the area of Keoladeo
Ghana was fi nal l y decl ared as a
protected forest. I n 1 981,
l adeo was declared as a National
Tel l Me Why
The Keoladeo National Park was previously
the private shooting preserve of the
Maharajah of Bharatpur. lt was es­
tablished as a game sanctuary in
1 956, a national park in 1 982, and
a Ramsar site in 1 981 . lt made the
World Heritage site list in 1 985.
Group ofPainted Storks

A Rich Park
The Keoladeo National Park has
more than 350 species of birds
which include 42 species of raptors,
and 9 species of owls. There are 34
species of mammals, 22 species of
reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 57
species of fish, and 71 species of
butterlies. There are also more
than 30 species of dragonflies, and
another 30 species of spiders in the
Heritage Sites in India
Common Parakeet
My binoculars is
not working.
Why was the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary selected
as a World Heritage site?
The Manas Wi l dl ife Sanctuary in Assam is located
on a gentle sl ope at the foothi l l s of the Hi malayas,
where wooded hi l l s give way to al l uvi al grassl ands
and tropical forests. Covering an area of 39,100 hec­
tares, it spans the Manas River, and i s bounded to the
north by the forests of Bhutan. The sanctuary provides
critical and vi abl e habitats for rare and endangered
species, i ncl udi ng the tiger, greater one-horned rhi no,
swamp deer, pygmy hog, and Bengal florican.
The Manas Wi l dl ife Sanctuary pro­
vi des habitat for 22 of I ndia's most
threatened species of mammal s. I n
total, there are nearly 60 mammal
species, 42 repti le species, 7 amphi bi­
ans, and 500 species of bi rds, of whi ch
26 are global ly threatened. The park
gets its name from the Manas River
whi ch i s named after the serpent God­
dess, Manasa. The river flows through
the park, whi ch i s recognited by
c _ •   UNESCO as a World Heritage site be-
cause of its rich biodiversity.
Tel l Me Why
Highly Endangered
The most endangered
animals in the Manas
Wildlife Sanctuary are the golden langur, pygmy
hog and hispid hare. The pygmy hog is the smallest
member of the pig family,and according to the Inter­
national Union for Conservation of Nature(l UCN), is
one of the 1 2 most endangered animals in the world.
It was rediscovered in the Manas Forest in 1 971 .
Why is the geography of the Manas Wildlife
Sanctuary interesting?
The Manas Wi l dl ife Sanctuary l ies in the foothi l l s of
the Outer Hi malayas. The Manas River flows through
the western porti on of the park, where it spl its i nto
three separate rivers, and joi ns the Brahmaputra
some 64 ki l ometres further south. These rivers carry
an enormous amount of si lt, and rock debris from
the foothi l l s, whi ch l eads to the formation of al l uvi al
terraces. The area of the
Boki basi n, i n the west of
the park, i s someti mes
flooded duri ng the mon­
soon. The park consi sts of
tropi cal semi-evergreen
forests in the north, tropi­
cal moi st, and dry deci du­
ous forests over most of
its area, and extensive al ­
l uvi al grassl ands i n the
west. There i s al so a con­
siderabl e vari ety of
aquatic fl ora al ong river
banks, and in the numer­
ous pool s.
A View of
the Manas
Why is Manas an important wildlife destination?
Manas is noted for its spectacul ar scenery, with a
variety of habitat types that support a diverse fauna,
maki ng it the richest of al l I ndi an wi l dl ife areas. It i s fa­
mous for its Ti ger Reserve, whi ch also provides pro­
tection for mi gratory wi l dl ife. In fact, Manas harbours
the greatest number of I ndia's Schedul e I mammal s of
any protected area in the country. These i ncl ude the
gol den l angur, capped l angur, hool ock gi bbon,
cl ouded leopard, ti ger, leopard cat, and gol den cat.
Fifty-five species of mammal s, thi rty-six species of
reptiles, and three species of amphi bi ans have been
sighted at Manas. Over 450 species of birds have been
recorded, i ncl udi ng the threatened Bengal florican,
great pied horn bi l l , wreathed hornbi l l , and other
hornbi l l s. Manas also has a variety of repti l es i ncl ud­
i ng diferent speci es of snakes, ghari al s and monitor
l izards. The ri chness and diversity of its fauna and flora
have made Manas one of the most popul ar wild l ife
destinations i n I ndi a today.
culture unique f
The cultural heritage of Goa is very
di ferent from that of the rest of I ndia.
The Portuguese ruled here for many
years, and thei r influence can be seen
everywhere. At the same ti me, the peo-
ple have not forgotten thei r I ndi an
roots. Goa i s a place where the peopl e
respect anci ent traditions, yet are very
modern in thei r outlook. It is al so a pl ace
where you wi l l find al l rel i gi ons existi ng
together i n perfect harmony. Easter
and Di wal i, Christmas and Shivarathri
are all cel ebrated with equal passi on.
Magnificent churches, and anci ent
templ es dot the breathtaki ng l and­
scape i n profusi on. The Goans have
musi c in thei r blood, and both I ndian
and Western music are appreciated and
performed with equal pl easure. Yes,
Goa i s trul y a place where East meets
est, and it i s this amazi ng bl end ofthe
I ndi an and the Portuguese that makes
Goan culture unique.
Goan coastline
Hava hava e. .
Ye havaa ..
� �
Heritage Sites in I ndia
Basilica of Bor Jesus
The Se Cathedral
The Se Cathedral is one
of the largest churches in
Asia.The west facing ca­
thedral has a Tuscan ex­
teriorwith square towers
flanking the 30.3 metre
high facade.The interior
has huge pillars dividing
the 76.2 metre long cen­
tral space from the side
aisles. The cathedral has
1 5 altars.
Why are the churches of Goa his­
torically important?
In 1 542, the Jesuits arrived i n Goa.
They bui lt tal l and i mposi ng churches
with magnificent interiors. Their awe
i nspi ri ng appearance and i nteriors lav­
i shl y adorned with twisted col umns,
decorated pediments, profusely
carved and gi lded altars, and col ourful
wal l paintings i mpressed the local
population, and played an i mportant
role in converting them to Christianity.
Of the 60 churches that were surviv­
i ng in the 1 8th century, sadly, onl y sev­
en major churches remai n today.
However, even those that are in rui ns
are archaeol ogical treasures of hi s tori­
cal i mportance. Thi s i s because, these
churches exered great i nfl uence i n
the 16th-18th centuries, on the devel­
opment of architecture, scul pture,
and pai nti ng. The churches hel ped to
spread different forms of art through­
out the countries of Asia.
Bell of the Church of Mar
Immaculate Conception
Se Cathedral
Church Bells of Goa
The Church of Mary Immaculate
Conception is one of the most famous
landmarks of Goa. It is famous for the
largest bell in India, which is also the
second largest in the world.
The Se Cathedral, dedicated to St.
Catherine, has five bells which include
the famous Golden Bell, which is
among the world's largest, too.
Why is St. Francis Xavier called
The Lord of Goa?
St. Franci s Xavier was a Jesui t mis­
si onary from Spai n. He came to Goa as
a missi onary i n 1542. He cared for the
ill in the Royal Hospital, and preached
i n the streets for the conversion and
sal vation of soul s. He performed mi ra­
cl es duri ng these journeys, and it i s
bel ieved that he turned casks of sea
water i nto fresh water for sai l ors, and
brought a boy back to l ife afer he had
fal l en overboard.
This nobl e priest fel l i l l, and died i n
1552, on the i sl and of Sanci an. Hi s
body was brought back to Goa i n a mi­
raculously wel l preserved conditi on. I t
remai ns there to thi s day, i n the Bor
Jesus Church. St. Franci s Xavier i s the
patron sai nt of Goa, and hi s feast i s
cel ebrated every year wi th rel i gi ous
fervour and passion. He i s cherished i n
the hearts of the people, who cal l hi m
'Lord of Goa' with awe and reverence.
A Panoramic View of
Fatehpur Sikri
Birbal, we will
make this 'Sikri' a
'Fatehpur Sikri. . .
Why is Fatehpur Sikri so named?
Fatehpur Si kri was bui l t by the Em-
peror Akbar i n 1571. The work, super­
vised by Akbar hi mself, was compl eted
i n 1573. Fatehpur Si kri derives its name
from the vi l l age of Si kri, whi ch occu­
pied the spot earlier. The prefix Fateh-
pur, or 'city of victory', was added in
1 573 afer Akbar's conquest of Gujarat.
The city comprised of a series of pal ­
aces, publ i c bui l di ngs and mosques, as
wel l as l ivi ng areas for the court, the ar­
my, servants of the ki ng, and for hi s
people. I t was bui lt on a rocky plateau,
near an artificial lake, and the monu­
ments were constructed of red sand­
stone, i n a bl end of Hi ndu, Persi an, and
I ndo-Musl i m traditions. I n 1 585, how­
ever, Akbar abandoned Fatehpur Si kri
to fight agai nst the Afghan tribes, and
¯º, chose a new capital . Though it had a
short l ife of spl endour, Fatehpu� Si kri
has remai ned ti l l date as one of the
most magnificent and wel l -preserved
heritage sites in I ndi a.
Tel l Me Why
� ` iItr|ttI
Panch Mahal
The Panch Mahal is a
five-floored pillared pavil­
ion in Fatehpur Sikri. This
extraordinary building
was called badgir or wind
tower, because its innu­
merable pillars on all the
floors allowed the breeze
to flow through it, so that
it was always cool, even in
summer. Built on the pat­
tern of a Buddhist temple,
Panch Mahal was basically
a pleasure palace of Em­
peror Akbar.
Why is Fatehpur Sikri the city
that an emperor forgot?
Akbar chose to bui l d hi s city in the
vi l l age of Si kri out of reverence for
Shei kh Sal i m, a rel i gi ous mystic of
the Chi sti order, who prophesied
that he woul d have three sons at
that site. Akbar moved hi s pregnant
wife to Si kri where she had two
sons. I n thanksgi vi ng, Akbar decid­
ed to bui l d an i mperial mosque and
pal ace at the vi l l age of Si kri.
Afer 1573, it was regarded as the
capital of the Mughal Empi re. How­
ever, after the city was abandoned
by Akbar i n 1 585tofight a campai gn
i n the Punjab, i t seems to have de­
cl i ned j ust as rapidly. By 161 0, it was
completely abandoned. The reason
for the sudden decl i ne of the city is
usual ly given as the fai l ure of the
water suppl y system. However, the
real reason may have been the em­
peror's loss of i nterest, si nce he had
bui lt it on a whim i n the first pl ace.
` Îlâ||âd
Jodha Bai's Palace
The palace of Jodha
Bai, the Rajput queen
of the emperor is the
largest and most im­
porant par of Akbar's
imperial harem at
Fatehpur Sikri. The
palace consists of a
rectangular block, with
a single magnificent
gatewayon theeastern
side, which was pro­
tected by guard rooms.
Hindu motifs like
swans, parrots, ele­
phants and lotuses
adorn the interior.
Why are the Diwan-i- Aam and Di­
wan-i-Khas important buildings in
Fatehpur Sikri?
Fatehpur Si kri is regarded as Emperor
Akbar's crowni ng architectural legacy.
Hi s creative and aesthetic i mpul ses have
found exqui site expression i n its numer­
ous palaces, hal l s, and masjids. The Di­
wan-i-Aam is the first enclosure of the
palace as one enters. I t is a vast courtyard
that was used by Emperor Akbar for the
dai ly publ ic audience cal l ed 'Jharokha'.
It was al so used to dispense justice.
The Diwan-i-Aam gave access to a sec­
ond magnificent encl osure that is cal l ed
Diwan-i-Khas. This is undoubtedly the
finest bui l di ng i n Fatehpur Si kri, and was
used for the private audiences and other
court activities. This i nspi ri ng chamber is
domi nated by a massive carved pi l l ar
that has thi ry si x brackets supporting a
balcony for Akbar. I f you ever get a
chance to visit Fatehpur Si kri, let
i magi nation soar, and i n your mi nd's eye
you wi l l see Akbar granti ng audi ence tc
hi s subjects, and di spensi ng justice.
Tel l Me Wh)
Ornup nf
at iampi
Why is the story of Hampi an amazing
The story of Hampi i s the amazi ng saga of
how a ti ny haml et grew i nto the sprawl i ng
medi eval metropol i s, that was the capital of
the grand Vijayanagar Empi re. The history of
Vijayanagar is one of resistance agai nst the
northern sultanates as well as bui l di ng of its
spectacul ar capital in Hampi. The city grew
to be one ofthe major tradi ng centres of the
medieval world. Everythi ng from horses
to gems was traded here. Art and archi-
 cture found a special pl ace in Hampi, as
its rul ers were great patrons of art and
rel i gion.
In course of time, the Vijayanagar
army sufered heavy losses, and its
capital city was pl undered. Its popu­
lation was massacred, and treasure
hunters ransacked its pal aces and
templ es for months. The once glori­
ous capital turned i nto an aban­
donedghostcity. (urrentl yHampi's
monuments - hundreds of them­
are popul ar among tourists and
pi l gri ms. Hampi was decl ared a
World Heritage site in 1986.
Virupaksha Temple
Krishnadevaraya, who ruled the king­
dom of Vijayanagara between 1 509-1 529, was one of the great­
est statesmen in medieval South India. His rule was marked by
all round prosperity, culturally, and materialistically. He was a
great warrior and a poet. Krishnadevaraya encouraged learning,
art, and architecture. When he died, the glory of the Vijayanagar
Empire died with him.
Which are the main monuments of Hampi?
The 1 4th century rui ns of Hampi lie scattered ami dst giant boul ­
ders and vegetation, wi th the River Tungabhadra rushi ng i n the
north, and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides. Most of
the monuments were bui l t i n honour of the sage Vidyaranya, be­
tween 1336-1570 AD. A l arge number of royal bui l di ngs were
raised by Krishnadevaraya, the greatest rul er of the dynasty.
One of the most spectacul ar structures is the zenana encl osure.
Today, a massive stone basement in the queen's pal ace and the
ornate pavi l ion cal l ed 'Iotus-mahal ' are the onl y remnants of a l uxu­
ri ous l i festyle. Other archi­
tectural masterpieces in­
clude the corner towers of
arresting elevation, the
treasury, the Mahanavami
Di bba carrying beautiful l y
scul ptured panel s, avariety
of ponds, and tanks, man­
dapas, and the el ephant's
stables. Recent excava­
ti ons at Hampi have
brought to l i ght a l arge
number of pal ati al com­
pl exes and basements of
several platforms too.
Hampi Temples
Ariel View of
Which are the famous temples of Hampi?
Hampi is an ancient site that once used to
be the royal capital and the rel i gi ous centre
of the Vijayanagar Empi re. Its templ es are so
fabul ous that Hampi can be cal led an open­
air museum of templ es. The Vi rupaksha
templ e i s the most renowned shri ne at
Hampi. I t has three towers, and the eastern
tower rises to 49 metres, and has ni ne tiers.
The templ e traces its origi n to the first half
of the 1 5th century, and is dedi cated to
Virupaksheshwara or Pampapathi - a form
of Lord Shiva. There is al so a shri ne to Vid­
yaranya, the spi ri tual founder of Vijayana­
gar. Other famous templ es are the templ es
of Ramachandra and Hazara Rama.
The Vitthal a temple is consi dered as the
most i mpressive and most ornate of al l the
templ es at Hampi. The presi di ng deity of
the templ e is Lord Vitthal a , who is a form of

 i ng' ��alance

� Hampl l s famous
for a 5 metre or so tall /balance' located
near the Vitthala temple. On special occa­
sions like the solar or lunar eclipse, kings
were weighed against grain, gold or mon­
ey, which was then distributed to the poor.
Rober Sewell
Rober Sewell was the collec­
tor and magistrate in Madras
Presidency in colonial India. He
was a scholar in
history, and was
in charge of the
archaeology de­
parment too.
His book on the
Vijayanagar Em-
pire was pub­
lished in 1 900,
and offers us fas­
cinating insights
into this vanished
Lord Vishnu. The foreground of
the sanctum has a pi l l ared hal l
whi ch i s beautiful l y decorated.
The Vitthal a templ e i s famed for
its stone chariot. The stone
wheel s of thi s chariot are twisted
in the form of a lotus, and can
even revolve! I sn't that amaz­
i ng?
Buka 's Aqueduct, Hampi
¿ L0riº0s\ec|
Travellers Notes
Domingo Paes and Fernao
Nuniz were two Portuguese
chroniclers who visited
Vijayanagar and wrote down
accounts of what they saw.
Abdur Razzaq was a Persian,
who was sent by Persian ruler
Shah Rukh as ambassador to
the Zamorin of Calicut.
Abdur Razzaq also visited
Vijayanagar during the reign
of Devaraya II, and was
overawed by its size and
grandeur. His narrative
provides valuable
information on the
administration, and social life
of Vi jay ana gar at that time.
Tel l Me Why
Why is the history of Khajura­
ho fascinating?
Khaj uraho was the first capi tal
of the Chandelas, who rul ed Bun­
del khand from the 1 0t
to the 1 4th
centuries. The town got its name
from the Khajur or the date pal m
tree, whi ch abounds i n thi s region.
The Khaj uraho templ es are very
different from the normal templ es
i n I ndi a, because, the emphasi s i s
on the stunni ng archi tecture,
scul pture, and art of the period
more than on rel i gion, deities, and
worshi p.
It took them more than 200
years to bui l d these monuments.
It is presumed that every Chandel a
rul er has bui lt at least one templ e
i n hi s l ifeti me. So, the Khajuraho
templ es were not constructed by
any si ngl e ki ng, but represent a
traditi on carried forward by suc­
cessive rul ers. After the fal l of the
Chandel a dynasty, the wonderful
Khajuraho templ es suffered de­
struction and disfi gurement by
i nvaders. They l ay abandoned,
nd were at the mercy of Nature
ti l l
they were restored and revived
i n 1 9th
Heritage Sites in India
Why is the architecture of the
Khajuraho temples considered
to be speciar?
One thousand years ago, under
the patronage of the Chandel a
Raj put ki ngs of Central I ndia, 85
temples, magnificent i n form, and
richly carved, were bui lt near the
vi "age of Khajuraho. The Khajura­
ho templ es are a tribute to the
North I ndi an Nagara architectural
style. The primary feature of thi s
style i s a central tower, whose
hi ghest poi nt i s di rectly over the
templ e's mai n deity. Thi s i s often
surrounded by smal ler, subsi diary
and i ntermediate towers that nat­
ura"y draw the eye up to the hi gh­
est point, l i ke a series of hi l l s lead­
ing to a distant peak. Setti ng the
templ e on a raised base al so shifs
the eye upward, and enhances the
i l l usi on of hei ght.
These extraordi nary templ es
rise, spi re upon spi re, l i ke a mi rage.
The spi res have horizontal bands
of richly carved figures of mal e
and femal e forms, ani mals, trees
and chariots, a" scul pted with un­
erri ng perfection. The Jai n tem­
pl es nearby al so have exqui site
carvi ngs. I n fact, Khaj uraho has
the l argest group of medieval
Hi ndu and Jai n templ es that are
famous for their scul pture, as w "
as thei r architecture.
Adinath Temple
Which are the temples in the Eastern
group at Khajuraho?
The Eastern Group of templ es at
Khajuraho i ncl udes the Parsvanath tem­
pl e, Adinath templ e, Ghantai temple, Ha­
numan temple, and the Brahma temple.
The Parsvanath temple is the l argest of
the Jai n templ es. It is famous for its beau­
tiful scul ptures depicting celestial beau-
ties i n several postures. The Adi nath
temple i s dedicated to the Jai n Tirth­
ankara Adinath. I t is lavishly embel­
l i shed with scul pted figures, i ncl ud­
i ng that of yakshis. The Ghantai
templ e is al so a Jain templ e. I t is fa­
mous for its ornamental depiction
of the 1 6 dreams of Mahavi ra's
mother, and a Jai n goddess on a
wi nged Garuda.
The Brahma templ e, the Va­
mana temple, the Hanuman
templ e, and the Javari templ e
are the Hi ndu templ es i n thi s
group. The Brahma templ e i s
known for i ts four-faced i mage
of Brahma, whi l e the Vamana
templ e i s adorned on i ts outer
walls with carvi ngs of apsaras
or celestial mai dens. There i s a
Hanuman templ e that is re-
nowned for the col ossal stat­
ue of Hanuman, about 25m
high, whi l e the Javari tem­
pl e has a ri chly carved
gateway that wi l l take
your breath away.
Which are the Western Group
of temples in Khajuraho?
The Western Group of templ es
at Khaj uraho i ncl udes the Kandar­
iya Mahadeo temple, Chaunsat
Yogi ni temple, Chitragupta tem­
ple, Lakshamana temple, Matan­
geswara temple, and Varaha tem­
pl e.
The Kandariya Mahadeo templ e
dedicated to Lord Shiva, i s the
l argest of Khaj uraho templ es,
reachi ng a hei ght of 31 metre. The
earl iest surviving shri ne in thi s
group i s the Chaunsat Yogi ni tem­
ple. The Lakshmana templ e i s re­
nowned for the tri nity of Brahma,
Vishnu and Shiva, along with god­
dess Lakshmi - and also for the re­
markabl e three-headed i dol of
Vi shnu's i ncarnations.
The Chitragupta templ e i s dedi ­
cated to the Sun God and i s famed
for the three- headed i dol of Lord
Brahma. The Matangeswara tem­
ple i s dedicated to Lord Shiva,
whi l e the Viswanath Templ e is
known for its i mpressive pathway,
flanked by scul ptures of l i ons and
el ephants. A ni ne-foot hi gh boar­
i ncarnation of Lord Vishnu i s· the
unique feature of the Varaha tem­
pl e. Together, these templ es re­
flect the grandeur of the architec­
ture of the times, and the ski l l of
the artisans.
Kurho Dance Festival

Khajuraho Dance Festival
 �iItr|ttI� The Khajuraho Dance Festival is a
.. ..
yearly event that takes place at the
open-air auditorium in front of the Chitragupta temple dedicated
to the Sun God, and the Vishwanatha temple dedicated to Lord
Shiva. lndia's finest arists come from the various states to par­
ticipate in the festival, which draws flocks of tourists eager to ex­
perience the majesty and delicacy, the emotional depth and
technical skill, the throbbing rhythms, and sensuous grace of the
diferent forms of Indian classical dance.
Which are the temples of the South­
ern Group at Khajuraho?
The Southern Group oftempl es consi sts
of only two temples - the Dul adeo temple,
and the Chaturbhuj templ e. The Dhu­
l adeo, located south of the Jai n encl osure,
was constructed wel l after the other tem­
ples. l t shows the i nfuence of wani ng cre­
ativity of the artists, for it l acks the beauty
of the earl i er templ es in Khajuraho. It is
dedi cated to Lord Shiva, and its fa�ade
has repetitions of the i mages of a
standi ng Shiva and Shiva-Parvati. The
Chaturbhuj temple is dedicated to
Lord Vishnu. I t has a massive 2.7 metres
hig h, i ntricately ca rved i mage of Lord
Vi shnu, in Chaturbhuja - or four-
armed form. It looks si mi l ar to the
Dul adeo templ e except for i ts
size, whi ch i s smal ler. General l y
speaki ng, thi s group oftemples
i s not as i mpressive as the ear­
lier shri nes.
Why are the El ephanta Caves considered to
be one of the most perfect expressi ons of I n­
di an art?
Across the sea from the Gateway of I ndia i n
Mumbai, l i es the i sl and of El ephanta, home to
the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the El ephanta
Caves. These caves- seven in number- contai n
rock cut templ es dati ng back to the 5th century
A D. The templ es, dedicated to Lord Shi va, were
created by carving out rock, and creating the
col umns, the i nternal spaces and the i mages.
The enti re templ e is l i ke a huge scul pture,
through whose corridors and chambers one can
wal k.
El ephanta is famous for the statue of Tri murti.
Here ,Shiva is depi cted in the three moods as the
creator, the destroyer and the preserver. It i s a
masterpiece i n itself. Thetempl e compl ex covers
an area of about 5574 square metres, and it con­
sists of a mai n chamber and two lateral ones,
courtyards, and several subsi di ary shri nes.
Above the templ e i s the mass of natural rock.
Tel l Me Why
Three Headed Shiva
The centre piece and the
star attraction of the EI­
ephanta Cave Temple is
the image of the three
headed Shiva called Ma­
hesh, the great Lord. They
represent Shiva as the
Creator, Protector, and
Destroyer .
What was Elephanta's fate at the
hands of the Portuguese?
There are no el ephants in El ephan­
ta! The namewas given by the Portu­
guese as there was a l arge el ephant
scul pture i n the i sl and, when it was
hel d by them. Otherwise thi s i sl and
was known as Gharapuri . El ephanta
I sl and is known for its great cave
shri ne, excavated i n the 6t
The i sl and lies 10 km northeast to
Apol l o Bunder, or Gateway of I ndi a
A Cave at Elephanta
i n Mumbai. The i sl and came under
the rul e of at l east hal f a dozen pow­
ers over the centuries.They i ncl ude
the Mauryas of Konkan, Trikutakas ,
Chal ukyas of Badami, Si l aharas,
Rashtrakutas, Kalyani Chal ukyas, Ya­
davas of Deogiri, Shahi dynasty of
Gujarat, the Poruguese, the Mar­
athas, and al so the British. It is con­
si dered to be the gl ori ous abode of
Lord Shi va. Many of the carved
figures have been unfortunate­
ly destroyed by Portuguese.
They turned the pi l l ared hal l i n­
to a shooting gal l ery, and let
the famous stone el ephant fal l
to pieces. The broken pieces of
the great el ephant structure i n
bl ack stone, were removed i n
1 864 by the British with the i n­
tention of taki ng them to Eng­
l and. However, the statue was
l ater returned to I ndi a, and now
stands at the Victoria Gardens
i n Mumbai .
Another popular sculpture
at the Elephanta Caves is that
of Ardhanariswara. Ard­
hanariswara is Shiva in his half
male and half female form.
This deity is composed of Shiva
and his consort Shakthi. The
Ardhanari form also illustrates
how the female principle of
God and Shakti, is inseparable
from the male principle of God
and Shiva. 'Ardhanarishwara'
is a combination of three
words 'Ardha', 'Nari' and 'Ish­
wara' means 'half, 'woman'
and 'lord' respectively, which
when combined means the
lord whose half is woman.
I didn't see any
elephants here!
Tel l Me Why
Why are the Chola kings con·
sidered to be great patrons of
The Chol a Empi re stretched
over al l South I ndi a and the nei gh­
bouri ng i slands. The period of the
Chol a dynasty was described as
the gol den age of Tami l cul ture.
The rulers of this great empi re bui l t
magnificent temples. The great
templ e of Tanjore was bui l t in a
few years, from 1 003 to 1 01 0, dur­
i ng the rei gn of the great ki ng Ra­
jaraja, the true founder of the
Chola Empi re. The major templ es
are the Bri hadi swara templ e at
Thanjavur, the templ e of Gan­
gai kondachol i svaram and the Ai r­
avateswara templ e at Darasuram.
The whol e combi ned site i s known
as the Great Livi ng Chol a Templ es.
The I mperial rulers of Chola Em­
pi re had developed the Dravi di an
style of templ e architecture al most
to perfection. A special feature of
Chola architecture is the purity of
artistic tradition. The Bri hadi swara
templ e was declared by UNESCO
as a World Heritage site in the year
1 987. The tem pie of Ga nga i konda­
chol isvaram and the Ai ravateswara
templ e were added as extensi ons
to the site i n 2004.
Heritage Sites in India
Give me a
chance to build
a temple ..
� L0riº0s\ec|
Richest Temple
The Brihadiswara temple was
one of the richest temples of its
time. Its wealth came from a lav­
ish gift of immense quantities of
gold by Rajaraja Chola. In addi­
tion, the temple received revenue
from many villages, and owned
vast tracts of land and herds of
cattle- all of which were sources of
a handsome income. Of course,
there were also donations of
money from individuals- and gifts
of jewellery for the idols.
Why is the Brihad­
iswara temple con­
sidered as the mas­
terpiece of Chola ar­
The Bri hadiswara
templ e was bui l t i n
the wondrous city of
Tanjore by the great
Chol a ki ng Rajakesari
Raja raja. The templ e
was consecrated i n
1 01 0 AD- and to thi s
day, al l the ritual s and
festival s have contin­
ued uni nterrupted.
This temele repre­
sents the pi nnacl e of
Chol a architecture.
There are two el abo-
The Gateway of
Brihadiswara Temple
The VI m 1M of �
The vimana is the tower over the sanctum of the
main deity. At the Brihadiswara temple, the vimana
is 62 metres tall and has a single 80 tonne block of
granite on top of it. The granite block was installed
by building a 6.5 kilometres long ramp, and using
elephants and enormous wooden blocks.
rately carved towers or gop­
urams that lead to a huge i nner
courtyard that i s domi nated by
the huge statue of Nandi , the
sacred bul l of Lord Shiva. The
courtyard is surrounded by a
massive granite wal l , with 1 008
statues of Nandi . The central
shrine has a massive shiva l i n­
am i n bl ack granite. There are
al l eries for the devout to ci rcl e
the deity, and one of the won-
Heritage Sites i n I ndia
ders of the templ e i s a si ngl e
stone wei ghi ng 80 tonnes, that
has been placed atop the tem­
pl e, without a crane to l ift it!
What i s truly i nspi ri ng i s not just
its massive structure, but the
microscopic attenti on to meas­
urements and detai l , at a ti me
when preci si on tool s were un­
known. Another amazi ng fact
is that the shadow of the templ e
never fal l s on the ground!
Which are the other temples of Chola period?
The Great Livi ng Chol a templ es i ncl ude three great
1 1 th and 1 2th century temples. They are the Bri hadis­
wara templ e at Thanjavur, the Bri hadiswara templ e at
Gangai kondachol isvaram, and the Ai ravateswara tem­
ple at Darasuram. The templ e of Gangai kondachol i s­
vara was bui l t by Rajendra I. It was compl eted in 1 035.
It has a 53 metre hi gh vi mana wi th recessed corners,
and a graceful upward curvi ng movement. Thi s is i n
contrast to the strai ght and severe tower at Thanjavur.
The Ai ravateswara templ e compl ex was bui l t by Ra­
jaraja II, at Darasuram. It has a 24 metre vi mana, and a
stone i mage of Shiva. Other templ es i ncl ude the tem­
ple of Devi, bui l t in the 1 3th century by the Pandya ki ng
Koneri nmai kondan, the templ e of Subrahmanya, the
templ e of Ganesh, and the mandapa of Nataraja. All
these templ es represent outstandi ng creative achi eve­
ments in the pure Dravi di an form of architecture.
�Bharatanatyam Gallery

� A gallery at the Brihadiswara temple
has statues of Lord Shiva in various dance poses that
are described in the ancient text on dance called the
Natya sastra. There are 79 figures adorning this gal­
lery, known as the Bharatanatyam Gallery.
Tel l Me Why
Who built the famous temples of Pattadakal?
Pattadakal is a smal l town in Karnataka that is re­
nowned for its anci ent temples. It was once the sec­
ond l argest city of the Chal ukyas. It is sai d that the
coronation of the Chal ukya ki ng was always hel d
here. Duri ng the 7th and 8t
centuries, the Chal ukya
rul ers bui l t the ni ne magnificent templ es known as
the Pattadakal temples.
These temples are i nteresti ng i n that they di spl ay
a rare bl end of the South I ndia styl e or Dravi di an
style of architecture, and the North I ndi an or Nagara
style. Fou r of the tem pi es are bu i l t i n Dravid i an style,
four in Nagara style, and the fifth, the Papanatha
templ e i l l ustrates a perfect synthesis of both styles.
In the 8th century, the Rashtrakutas constructed the
Kashiviswanatha templ e whi ch was bui l t in the
north I ndi an style. The Gal ganatha templ e i s famous
for i ts scul pture of Lord Shi va ki l l i ng the demon
Andhakasura. Kasi Visweswara i s another templ e
that boasts of the Nagara style of archi tecture. Ow­
i ng to its i ncredi bl e temples, Pattadakal was titled a
World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1 987.
Monuments at Pattadakl
The Papanatha
The Papanatha
temple follows
the North Indian,
or Nagara style of
architecture. It is
believed that it
was originally
dedicated to the
worship of Vishnu
and the Sun God
Surya. It has
bulky pillars and
earthy decora­
tions. The carv­
ings on the wall of
the temple include
diferent figures.
Scriptures of Lord
Shiva along with
Goddess Parvathi
are present on the
ceilings of the
temple, along
with decorative
carvings on the
temple walls.
Some of the
unique designs
and carvings on
the external por­
tion of the temple
include elephant
figures and scenes
from the epic
I need a
great victory
to construct a
temple . .
What are the architec­
tural features of the
Virupaksha and Mal­
likarjuna temples?
The Virupaksha templ e
of Pattadakal reflects the
grandeur of the Early Cha­
l ukyan archi tecture. This
templ e was buil t to com­
memorate the victory of
the Chal ukyas over the
Pal lavas of Kanchi puram.
The temple was built by
Queen Lokamahadevi,
queen of the then rul i ng
ki ng Vikramaditya I I . The
templ e i s probabl y the
l argest and most sophi sti­
cated templ e the Early
Chal ukyas ever attempt­
ed. The Chal ukyas took i n­
spi ration from the Kailas-
Tel l Me Why
Virupaksha Temple
anatha templ e of Kan­
chi puram.
The Mal l i karjuna templ e
was bui lt by Queen Lokama­
hadevi's si ster. She was al so
queen of Vikaramaditya I I ,
and bui lt for the same pur­
pose-to commemorate the
victory of the Chal ukyas over
the Pal l avas. This magnificent
templ e is noted for the ex­
quisitely carved figures on its
wal l s, and the massive square
pi l lars in sand stone. It is si mi ­
l ar to the Vi rupaksha templ e,
and is comparatively smal l er
i n size. Li ke the Virupaksha
templ e, it too is a tri bute to
the architectural genius of
the Chal ukyan rulers.
Heritage Sites in I ndia
Badami is famous for its cave
temples that are located in a red
sandstone clif . It is picturesquely
situated at the mouth of a ravine,
between two rocky hills. The
temples are dedicated to Vishnu
and Shiva. Of the four temples,
thefirst three belong to the Vedic
faith, and the fourh and natural
cave is the only Buddhist temple
in Badami.
Badami Cave Temple
Aihole has around 70 buildings,
some of which are truly striking.
Aihole was the regional capital of
the Chalukyas, and the Durga
temple there has a round sanc­
tum that suggests the influence
of Buddhism.
Why is Sunderbans unique?
Sunderbans i s a nati onal park,
UNESCO World Heritage site, and a
ti ger reserve in West Bengal . I t is lo­
cated at the southern ti p of West
Bengal , where the l and meets the
sea. The Sunderbans covers a vast
area of 4264 square ki l ometres i n I n­
di a al one, and forms part of the
w.rld's l argest del ta created by the
mi ghty rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra,
and Meghna. Situated on the lower
end of Gangetic West Bengal, it i s
_¸ ¸ cri ss-crossed by hundreds of creeks
and tributaries. The l and is constantly
being changed, moul ded, and
Tel l Me Why
Blue Eared
shaped by the action of the tides. About hal f of
the Sundarbans is under water, and the rest of
the l andscape is characterized by low-lying
mangroves, al l uvi al i sl ands, and mud banks,
with sandy beaches and dunes al ong the coast.
There i s a rich variety of wi l d l i fe in the Sun­
derbans. The I ndi an Sunderbans forms the
largest ti ger reserve and nati onal park i n I ndia,
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
and is home to more than 250 tigers. Chital
deer, rhesus monkeys and other forms of wild
l ife abound. The marine l i fe i ncl udes a variety of
fishes, red fiddl er crabs, and hermi t crabs. Sun­
derbans i s al so noted for i ts conservation ofthe
Ridl ey sea turtle. An i ncredi bl e variety of wi ld
repti l es is found here, i ncl udi ng the ki ng cobra,
rock python, and water monitor. The endan­
gered river terrapi n, batagur baska is found on
the Mechua beach, whi l e the barki ng deer is
found only i n Hol i day Island i n Sunderbans.
Sunderbans i s a heaven for bi rdwatchers too,
and the l i st i ncl udes such rare species as the
masked finfoot, mangrove pitta, and the man­
grove whi stl er.
Heritage Sites in I ndia
6alltp af
Snow Leopard
What makes Nandadevi and the
Valley of Flowers National Parks spe­
The Nanda Devi Nati onal Park is locat­
ed in the upper Hi mal ayan ranges i n the
state of Uttarakhand. The Nanda Devi
Mountai n, whi ch is the second hi ghest
peak i n I ndi a soars to over 7,800 metres,
and domi nates the park on three sides.
The area is a vast gl aci al basin, divided
by a series of paral l el ridges that rise up
to the enci rcl i ng mountai n rim. I t is un­
i nhabited by Man, but i s the habitat of
several endangered mammals, espe­
ci al ly the snow l eopard, Hi mal ayan
musk deer an
d the bharal . The park is
Tel l Me Why
covered with hi gh al ti tude flora such as fir, bi rch,
rhododendron, and juni per. It i s al so famous for i ts
Val l ey of Fl owers, whi ch ofers you breathtaki ng
vi stas of endl ess meadows, surrounded by i nsur­
mountabl e snow-capped peaks.The gentl e l and­
scape of the Val l ey of Fl owers Nati onal Park com­
pl ements the rugged mountai n wi l derness of
Nanda Devi National Park. Fl owers carpet the en­
tire val l ey- i ncl udi ng al pi ne species that are found
onl y here- and the leaves form a porous umbrel l a.
Thi s richly diverse area is al so home to rare and
endangered ani mals, i ncl udi ng the Asiatic bl ack
bear, snow l eopard, brown bear, and bl ue sheep.
ogether with the Val l ey of Fl owers, Nanda Devi
Nati onal Park has been desi gnated as an UNESCO
World Heritage site si nce the year 1 988.
Heritage Sites i n I ndi a
Valley of
I am trying to
read the stupa's
history .. .
Why is Sanchi an important Buddhist
Sanchi , in Madhya Pradesh, is world fa­
mous for the rui ns of stu pas, temples, and
monasteries that l i e scattered across a
l onely hi l l . I t is the l argest and ol dest Bud­
dhist sanctuary i n I ndia.
The stupa was ori gi nal ly a buri al or reli­
quary mound, but later became a purel y
symbol i c structure. In the begi nni ng, stu­
pas were bui It over the rel ics of Lord Bud­
dha. Later, the Emperor Ashoka bui l t over
84,000 stu pas. The Great Stupa at Sanchi
i s one of the ol dest i n I ndia.
Sanchi conti nued to flouri sh afer the
Mauryas, through several l ater dynasties.
Magnificent gateways were constructed
by successive rul ers, four i mages of Bud­
dha were added, and more monasteries
and templ es were built. With the gradual
di sappearance of Buddhi sm from I ndia,
the ruins of Sanchi l ay forgotten, unti l
they were di scovered by an Engl i shman,
General Tyler, in 1 8 1 8.
Tel l Me Why
View of
From Pillar to Press
The Ashoka Pillar at Sanchi is a beautifully pro­
portioned structure. After the discovery of the
ruins by General Taylor in 1 81 8, there was a mad
scramble to unearth more relics, and many of the
monuments were found to be badly damaged. In
fact, the Ashoka pillar was being used by a local
landowner as a sugarcane press!
Why is the Great Stupa of Sanchi of great sig­
The best known, and most el aborate amongst
the stu pas at Sanchi is the Great Stupa. It is part of
an enti re compl ex of structures, mostly stu pas,
bui l t between the 3,
century BC and the 1 2th Cen­
tury AD. The stupa evolved from bei ng a structure
bui l t overthe relics of Buddha and his fol l owers, to
a symbol of the Buddha hi mself. More exactly, it
became a symbol of his fi nal release from the cycle
of birth and rebi rth. The Great Stupa, l i ke other
stu pas, i s a hemi spherical dome. Its hemi spherical
shape represents the world egg. Stu pas commonl y
rest on a square pedestal, and are careful l y al i gned
with the four cardi nal points of the compass. The
Great Stupa has a three tiered umbrel la or parasol
on top. The so-cal led 'parasols,' set one above the
other, al ong the shaft emergi ng from its upper­
most regi on, represent a heavenl y hi erarchy.
Heritage Sites i n I ndi a
Norther Gateway
of the Sanchi Stupa
Other Stu pas
he hillside at Sanchi is scattered with
many stupas, both big and small. There is a
stupa known as Stupa 2, which today con­
sists only of a carved balustrade. The stupa
known as Stupa 3 has relics inside large
stone boxes that were discovered by the ar­
chaeologist Sir Alexander Cunningham.
The Sanchi stupas are noteworthy for their
gateways, as they contain ornamental de­
pictions of incidents from the life of the
Buddha and his previous i ncarnations.
The Great Stupa of Sanchi is the ol dest
stone structure in I ndia. It was commis­
si oned by the Emperor Ashoka the Great
in the 3rd century BC I t underwent a com­
pl ete reconstruction afer wanton dam­
age i nflicted upon it in the mi ddl e of the
second century BC The reconstruction
consi sted of a stone casi ng, bal ustrades, a
paved processional path and an umbrel l a
and rai l i ng. Four el aborately carved gate­
ways were added in the first century BC
The Udaygiri Caves are situated about
1 3 ki lometres from Sanchi. Udaygiri is a
Sanskrit word meaning 'sunrise hill'. The
Udayagiri Caves ­
Udayagiri Caves are a group of rock-cut An Inside View
caves sanctuaries carved into a sand-
stone hill that stands sentinel-like on the horizon. An i nscription
i n one of these caves states that it was carved during the reign of
Chandragupta II.
Humayun 's Tomb
6umapur' aTam|
Why i s Humayun's tomb of cultural im­
The Mughal Emperor Humayun was the son
of Baburwho establ i shed the Mughal dynasty
i n I ndia. Most of Humayun's ti me was spent i n
conti nuous warfare, and he had l ittle time for
i ntel l ectual or cultural pursuits. Humayun
rul ed I ndi a for a decade, but was exil ed. Even­
tual ly, he took refuge with the Shah of Persia,
who hel ped hi m regai n Del hi in 1 555, the year
before his death. He di ed i n 1 556, and his Per­
si an wife, Hamida Begum, supervised the
construction of her husband's tomb i n Del hi,
from 1 562-1 572. The architect, Mi rak Mi rza
Ghiyuath, was al so a Persi an.
Humayun's tomb is the first di sti nct exam­
ple of the pure Mughal style, whi ch was i n­
spi red by Persi an architecture. I t is al so the
first of a series of grand tombs surrounded by
exqui site gardens. The Taj Mahal has been i n-
spi red by Humayun's tomb,
and in manyways, this magnifi­
cent red and white bui ld­
i ng i s as spectacul ar a
monument as the Taj
Mahal .
What are the architectural fea­
tures of Humayun's tomb?
Humayun's tomb stands as a l and­
mark i n the devel opment of Mughal
architecture, and al so represents the
earl iest exampl e of the Mughal con­
cept of a garden tomb, with cause­
ways and channel s. Thi s awe i nspi ri ng
monument took al most ni ne years to
compl ete, and cost nearly one and a
hal f mi l l ion rupees. The mausol eum is
a 42 metres hi gh structure with a
central dome. The doubl e-l ayered
dome has a white marbl e exterior, but
the rest of the tomb is made of red
sandstone, with white marbl e orna­
mentation. I t is set in a geometrical ly
arranged garden, criss-crossed by nu­
merous water channel s. Such typical
Persi an gardens had been i ntroduced
i nto I ndi a by Babur. Later, they woul d
be found i n the Red Fort i n Del hi , and
at the Taj Mahal i n Agra.
The architectural form of the bui l d­
i ng is Persian, and this tomb i s the first
I ndi an bui l di ng to use the Persi an
doubl e dome. The most obvi ous I ndi ­
an features of the architecture are the
smal l kiosks or chhatris on the roof.
The bui l di ng is al so noteworthy for its
i nlai d ti l e work, embodyi ng both I ndi­
an and Persian decorative el ements,
and its carved stone screens. Located
on the banks ofthe River Yamuna, thi s
structure was decl ared a UNESCO
Heritage site in 1993.
Exterior Arch of
Humayun' s Tomb
Bahadur Shah and
Humayun's Tomb
he last emperor of the Mughal dynasty, Bahadur Shah II,
sought refuge in the tomb of his ancestor Humayun during the
uprising of 1 857. He was later captured here by a British oficer,
Lieutenant Hudson, and this marked the end of Mughal rule.
Tomb of/sa Khan
This is
Humayun's tomb.
'It's the grandfather
of the Taj Mahal!'
Heritage Sites in I ndi a
Which are the other monu­
ments in the compound of
Humayan's tomb?
There are many other smal l
monuments i nsi de the com­
pound of Humayan's tomb.
There is an i mpressive square
tomb, with a doubl e dome, that
was bel ieved to have been bui lt
for the Emperor's favourite bar­
ber. A picturesque gateway
leads to a wal l ed encl osure
cal l ed Arab Ki Sarai. It was bui lt
by Humayun's widow for the
300 Arab merchants that had
returned with her, from her pi |-
gri mageto Mecca. Other monu­
ments i ncl ude the tomb of Isa
Khan, a nobl eman, and Bu Hal i­
ma's garden. The Afsarwal a
tomb and Masji d are al so a part
of the compl ex. Both the masjid
and the tomb are in honour of
an afsar, or oficer. The Afsar­
wala tomb has a grave with the
date 974 marked on it, that cor­
responds to 1 566-67.
(utb WÎu0t
Why is the Qutb Minar an imporant
Qutb Minar
heritage site?
The Qutb Mi nar was bui l t by Sultan
Qutbu'd Di n Ai bak. The work strated in 1202,
and was compl eted by his successor Mu­
hammed bi n Sam. It is 72. 5 metres tal l , and to
reach the top, one woul d have to cl i mb 379
steps, five ti mes a day!
The conical tower is an exqui site exampl e
of I ndo-I sl ami c Afghan architecture. The
base of the Qutb Mi nar measures 1 4.32 me­
tres, and the top of the structure measures
A Stampede at the Qutb Minar
The stairs inside the Qutb coil so steeply
that they're enough to make the hardiest
climber dizzy and claustrophobic. In 1 979,
a stampede occurred during a school trip.
The lights failed, and the children pan­
icked. The resultant stampede caused a
number of deaths. The inside of the tower
has since been closed to visitors.



Lightning Hits
The Qutb Minar has been hit by lightning a couple
of times. In 1 368, Tughlaq commissioned repairs to
the Qutb Minar after a lightning strike. In 1 503,
Sikander Lodi had similar structural repairs carried
out. To resolve the problem of lightning strikes, a
large number of iron clamps, in the form of cylindrical
inserts, were added to reinforce the stone joints.
These iron clamps acted both as dowels and lightning
conductors, and the Qutb Minar stand to this day in
all its grandeur.
2.75 metres. It is five storeys hi gh. Each storey has a different desi gn
theme, and bal conies project from each story. These bal coni es are
supported on el aborately carved and i nscri bed brackets. Verses
from the hol y Koran are carved on its sandstone wal l s.
TheQutb Mi narwas the symbol of the mi ght of the Turko Afghan
Sl ave Dynasty- a dynasty whose first ki ngs were sl aves who later
became kings. The Qutb Mi nar is a World Heritage site and has sur­
vived the ravages ofti me i mpressively.
Close -up view of the Qutb Minar
��¯ îI:r|:tI
The Tomb of
Thetombof lltutmish was
built by the ruler IItutmish
himself in 1 235. It lies in the
extension that hehadadded
to the Quwwatul lslam Mas­
jid, and is rather plain on
the outside. The inside,
however, is covered with
exquisitely carved inscrip­
tions from the holy Koran.
B 5nehdkdO
One day
I will reach
the top of that
Inscriptions on
Iron Pillar
Iron Pillar
I'm planning
to sell this pinar.
Are you interested
in buying it?
Why is the iron pillar near
the Qutb amazin
A famous i ron pi l l ar, belong­
i ng to the 4th century, stands in
the courtyard of the Qutb Mi­
nar. The Sanskrit i nscri ption
tel l s us that this pi l l ar was ori gi nal ly set up as
a fl ag pol e, or 'dhvajastambha', of Lord Vi sh­
nu on the hi l l known as 'Vishnupada'. lt was a
tri bute to Ki ng Chandragupta II of the Gupta
dynasty. It is al so suggested that a deep hol e
on the top of the pi l l ar was used to fit the i m­
age of 'Garuda' as the vehi cl e of Lord Vishnu.
The i ron pi l l ar is bel i eved to have been
brought to Del hi by Anangpal , the Tomar
ki ng. The base of the pi l l ar i s tied to its foun­
dati ons by smal l pieces of i ron. It ri ses to a
hei ght of 7.20 metres, with 93 centi metres
buried below the present floor level. What is
trul y amazing about thi s pi l l ar i s that the iron
has not rusted despite the seventeen centu­
ries that have passed. The pi l l ar i s an excel­
l ent exampl e of advanced metal l urgy of
those ti mes, and is a marvel in itself.
� L0riº0s\ec|
Aai Darwaza is the gateway to the
Quwwatul Mosque that was built in 1 1 31 by
Alauddin Khilji. lt is built of red sandstone,
and has arched openings on all sides.
The interior is intricately carved with
geometric symbols and inscriptions.
dountain &ilways
Which are the mountain railways in
India included in the World Heritage
There are three mountai n rai lways i n
I ndia that are i ncl uded i n the World
Heritage List. The first i s the Darjeel i ng
Hi malayan Rai l way. I t was opened i n
1 881 .Thi s rai l way appl i ed bol d and i n­
novative engi neeri ng sol uti ons to the
probl em of establ i shi ng an effective rai l
l i nk across a mountai nous terrai n. The
second is the Ni l gi ri Mountai n Rai lway
whi ch i s 46 ki l ometres l ong, metre
gauge si ngl e track rai l way in Tami l
Nadu. The thi rd rai l way i s the Kalka
Shi ml a Rai l way. I t i s a 96 ki l ometres long,
si ngl e track rai l l i nk bui l t i n the mi d-19th
century to provide a service to the
mountai n town of Shi mla.
Darjeeling Himalayan
. .�
Loops and
Z Reverses
he Darjeeling
Himalayan Railway
passes through very
steep terrain. To allow
the train to climb
comforably, the track
has cerain features
known as loops and
Z- Reverses. In a loop,
the train gains height
by circling around and
tracing the natural
contours of the hill. In
a Z- reverse, the train
first moves forward,
then reverses, and
then moves forward
again, and each time it
does so, it climbs a
slope and gains
Te" Me Why
Why is the Oarjeeling Himalayan Railway
placed first in the list?
The Darjeel i ng Hi mal ayan Rai lway was l ai d to
connect Darjeel i ng with Si l i guri . The project
was a tough one, because of the i nabi l ity of the
l ittle narrow gauge engi nes to
raise enough steam pressure at
a conti nuous vol ume, when the
trai n was cl i mbi ng uphi l l . It was
Frankl i n Prestage, an agent of
the Eastern Bengal rai lway, who
brought the proposal to real ity.
He opted for a z-shaped zigzag
route, not just once, but six ti mes
i n the 82 ki l ometre stretch from
Si l i guri to Darjeel i ng. There are
si x reverses and three l oops on
the l i ne.
The Darjeel i ng Hi mal ayan
Rai l way passes through thi rteeen stations dur­
i ng its journey. One of these, Ghoom, is the sec­
ond highest railway station i n the world, at an
a Ititude of 2258 metres.
The Darjeel i ng Hi malayan Rai lway is al so af­
fecti onately known as the Toy Train. It afords
breathtaking vistas as it chugs uphi l l , of hi gh
waterfal l s, green val l eys, and fi nal ly, a breath­
taki ng view of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga
Heritage Sites i n I ndi a
Panoramic View
of Darjeeling
Railway Station
' Toy Train ' ,
Locomotives in the
Darjeeling Himalayan
total of 34 steam locomotives were built for the
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, but by 2005, only 1 2
remained in use. At present, four diesel locomotives
are in use. One steam locomotive has been taken out
of India. It was in an American museum for many
years, but was sold to an enthusiast in the UK, and
restored to working order.
w æ M

The Kal ka Shi mla Rai lway was bui l t duri ng the ti me
of Bri ti sh col oni al rul e to l i nk the summer residences of
the Bri ti sh with the capital i n Del hi. I t i s one of the four
narrow gauge rai l routes on hi l l terrai n i n the country.
I missed the
mountain train. So
I am rushinq to
catch itr
Started duri ng the rei gn of
Lord Curzon in November
1 903, this rai l route features i n
the Gui nness Book of World
Records for oferi ng the steep­
est rise in alti tude in the space
of 96 ki l ometres. More than
two-thi rds of the track i s
curved, sometimes at angles
as sharp as 48 degrees! I t pass­
es through 1 03 tunnel s, across
more than 800 bridges and vi­
aducts. The cl i mb i s arduous,
and the l ittle 'toy trai n' as it is
afectionately cal led, takes al ­
most 5 hours to make i ts way
up al most 4800 feet from Ka­
l ka to Si mla.
Tel l Me Why
Kalka Shimla
Heritage Sites in I ndi a
Tu n Is a Statio
he Kalka Shimla Railway runs
through 1 03 tunnels! Most of the
tunnels have not been changed till
date. An interesting feature about
these tunnels is that till today,
whenever these tunnels have to be
illuminated for maintenance, plain
mirrors are used to catch the sun­
light and reflect this light inside the
The Ni lgi ri Mountai n Rai lway con­
nects the hi l l station of Ooty ( Ud­
hagamandal am) to Mettupalayam,
at the foot of the Ni l gi ri s Mountains.
The construction of this line was a
bi g chal l enge, as the terrai n is rather
tri cky. It was in 1 854 that the first
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
pl ans were drawn up to bui l d a moun­
tai n rai lway, but it was onl y 45 years
later, i n 1 899, that the first trai n
chugged up thi s track. The trai n covers
the 46 kil ometres to aoty i n four and a
hal f hours. There are five stations be­
tween Mettupal ayam and (oonoor
and, at one ti me, there were five be­
tween (oonoor and aoty too. afthese,
four are sti l l functional . The trai n, for
obvious safety reasons, averages 1 0.4
kil ometres per hour, and is perhaps
the sl owest i n India. There are 208
curves and 1 3 tunnel s, and 27 viaducts
on the route. The termi nus is at aoty at
2,203 metres above sea level .
Track Record
T he British wanted to
build a railway up into
the hi l ls of Ni l gi ri, from
Mettupalayam to Ooty ,
which was a popular
summer resort. The first
plans were made in
1 854. The Ni lgiri Rigi
Railway Company Ltd
was formed in 1 885.
completed in 1 908. It
was incorporated into
the Southern Rai lway in
1 951 .
Tel l Me Why
Why is the Mahabodhi Tem­
ple Complex at Bodh Gaya an
inspiring example of brick
structures in India?
The Mahabodhi Templ e l iter­
al ly means the 'Great Awaken­
ing Temple'. It i s one of the four
hol y sites associated with the
l ife of Lord Buddha. The templ e
is located i n Bodh Gaya i n Bi har,
at the place where Lord Buddha
attai ned enl i ghtenment. The
first templ e was bui lt by Emper­
or Ashoka in the 3,
century BC,
and is one of the earl i est Bud­
dhist templ es bui lt enti rel y wi th
brick, sti l l standi ng i n I ndia. Thi s
templ e has had great i nfl uence
in the development of architec­
ture over the centuries, espe­
ci al ly in the use of scul pted
stone bal ustrades and the me­
mori al col umn. An i nscription
dated between the 1 st and 2
century AD. mentions that the
templ e of Ashoka was repl aced
by a new one. Several addi ti ons
and alterations took pl ace, and
the present templ e may have
been bui l t i n the 6
century AD.
Heritage Sites in I ndi a
Wen the dynasties tho. were
  _Dedine of theTemple
patrons of Buddhism went into
decline, Buddhism declined too. During the 1 2thcen-
tury, Bodh Gaya and the nearby regions were invaded
by Muslim Turk armies. The Mahabodhi temple fell
into disrepair, and was largely abandoned. During
the 1 6th century, a Hindu monastery was established
near Bodh Gaya, and the monastery's abbot claimed
ownership of the Mahabodhi Temple grounds.
Why is the Mahabodhi Temple asso­
ciated with the life of Lord Buddha?
Accordi ng to tradition, Si ddhartha
Gautama wandered al l over the l and
seeki ng answers to the probl ems that
were troubl i ng hi m. He fi nal l y reached
the city of Gaya around 530 BC There, he
sat in meditation under a sacred peepal
tree, whi ch later became renowned as
the Bodhi tree. After days and ni ghts of
meditation, Gautama attai ned enl i ght­
enment, and knew the answers that he
had sought- and was henceforh known
as the Buddha or Enl i ghtened One. The
Mahabodhi templ e marks the spot where
Statue of thi s happened. The Buddha, then spent the next seven
weeks at different spots i n the vici nity of the Bodhi
tree, meditating, andal l these spots are consi dered to
be sacred. Butthe hol iest of holy pl aces i n the complex
is, without doubt, the great Bodhi tree itself. I t i s sup­
posed to be a di rect descendant of the origi nal Bodhi
tree under whi ch the Buddha spent hi s first week, and
where he got enl i ghtenment. The enti re compl ex i s
located i n the very heart of the city of Bodh Gaya.
Tel l Me Why
` îI:r|:tI
Rstoration of the Mahabo­
dhi Temple began in 1 880 un­
der the direction of Sir Alexan­
derCunningham. Later,control
of the temple passed from the
Hindu monks to the state gov­
ernment of Bihar. A temple
management committee was
formed, consisting of both
Hindus and Buddhists, and it is
they who keep the temple
functioning smoothly now.
Devotees at
Two hundred and fifity years after the Buddha
attained enl i ghtenment, Emperor Ashoka visited
Bodh Gaya with the intention of establ i shi ng a
monastery and a shrine. He bui lt a diamond throne,
He's still
for answers!
Heritage Sites in I ndi a
and attempted to
place it at the exact
spot where the Bud­
dha attained En­
l i ghtenment. Today,
it is the hol i est pil­
gri mage site for the
Buddhists around
the world. The Ma­
habodhi Temple
was declared as a
World Heritage site
by UNESCO in 2002.
Who discovered the rock shelters of
At the foothi l l s of the Vi ndhya Mountai ns
are five cl usters of natural rock shelters known
as the Rock Shelters of Bhi mbetka. They are
located in Madhya Pradesh, and l i e withi n
massive outcrops of sandstone, above dense
forests.There are more than 700 rock shelters,
of whi ch over 400 of them are remarkabl e for
the pai nti ngs they contai n. These pai nti ngs
reflect the traditions and culture of twenty
one vi l l ages near the shelters. They al so tel l us
a l ot about the earl iest human activities, be­
cause of the numerous stone
tool s i ncl udi ng hand axes,
cl eavers, and al so the pebbl e
tool s that have been found here.
Bhi mbetka was first mentioned
i n 1 888 as a Buddhi st site. The
Bhi mbetka Rock Shelters are, a
natural art gal l ery, and an archi­
tectural treasure.
Tel l Me Why
Man of Discover
The Bhimbetka Rock
Shelters were discovered
by Vishnu Sridhar
Wakankar , an archaeolo­
gist, in 1 957. They were
actually discovered by ac­
cident during a train ride
that he undertook. In
1 975, he was awarded the
Padmashree award.
• kddhd Ndtr
are better
than these!
Heritage Sites in I ndi a
Why has Bhimbetka been rec­
ognized as an UNESCO World
Heritage site?
The word Bhi mbetka is derived
from the words ' Bhi m ka bethika'
which means 'the pl ace where Bhi m
sat and meditated'. I n ancient times,
the regi on around Bhi mbetka was
cl osel y associated with hunti ng and
food gatheri ng, as is evident from
the pai nti ngs in the rock shel ters.
Thanks to thei r natural red and
white pi gments, the col ours are re­
markably wel l - preserved and, i n
certai n caves, pai nti ngs of diferent
eras adorn the same rock surface .
Wi l d buffaloes, rhi noceroses, bears
and tigers, hunti ng scenes, i nitia­
tion ceremonies, chi l dbi rth, com­
munal danci ng, dri nki ng sessions,
rel igi ous rites and buri al s all come
al ive on the rock wal l s. The ol dest
pai nti ngs in white, ofen of huge
ani mal s, are probabl y up to 12, 000
years ol d. Successive periods depict
hunti ng tools, trade with the agri­
cul tural communities on the pl ai ns,
and, sti l l later, rel i gi ous scenes i n­
volvi ng tree gods. The rock forma­
tions themselves are vi sual l y stun­
ni ng and these rock shelters are i m­
portant both from the archaeolo­
gi st's and the pai nter's poi nt ofview.
Is it any wonder then that these rock
shel ters have been recognized as
an UNESCO World Heritage site?
< 4ampancr- 'aungab4
Arrqncnlngiral 'ark
e a
e Champaner- Pava­
gadh Archaeol ogical Park
is the site of the regi onal
capital city bui l t by Meh­
mud Begda i n the 1 6th
century. Pavagadh Hi l l
was a famous Hi ndu for­
tress under the Solanki
ki ngs of Gujarat, fol lowed
by Khi chi Chauhans. I n
1 484, Sul tan Mahmud Be­
garah took possession of
the fort, and renamed it
Muhammadabad. Today,
it i s a World Heritage site.
The park is located at
the foot of, and around
the Pavagadh Hi l l. At the
top of the hi l l is the Ka­
l i kamata Templ e whi ch is
consi dered to be an i m-
Monuments at Champaner­
Tel l Me Why
Monuments at Champaner
portant shri ne, attracting l arge
numbers of pi l gri ms through­
out the year. The park al so i n­
cl udes the Great Mosque,
whi ch i nspi red later mosque
architecture i n I ndia. I t i s i m­
portant because it i s the si te of
the deserted city of Mahmud
Begarah, as well as the l ivi ng
vi l l age of Champaner, whi ch
l i es withi n the area of the hi s­
toric town. In fact, it i s the onl y
complete and unchanged I s­
ami c pre-Mughal city, and
represents a cul ture that has
l o
ng si nce di sappeared.
Heritage Sites i n I ndia
The Champaner Pavagadh
Archaeol ogical Park i s a col lec­
tion of sti l l l argel y unexcavated
archaeol ogical , hi storic and cul ­
tural heritage sites, situated in a
hi l ly and beautiful l andscape.
The park i s spread over three
levels. The base i s cal l ed Cham­
paner, the top of the hi l l is cal l ed
Pavagadh, and the area con­
necting both of them i s cal led
Excavations have unearthed
ancient dwel l i ngs and ful l town­
shi ps, pal aces and ramparts,
and rel i gi ous bui l di ngs. There

�Pavagadh Rulers
· ��îItr|td
The Hindu kingdom of Pavagadh
was ruled by the Khichi Chauhans,
who were the descendants of the famous Prithviraj Chauhan.
Later, Mehmud 8egda, the grandson of Ahmed Shah, who estab­
lished Ahmedabad, captured it. He built his own capital, Cham­
paner, at the base of the hill.
Monuments at Champaner - Pavagadh
are the rui ns of the capital of Gujarat state from the 1 5
century. The fortifications are bui l t of massive sandstones
and i ncl ude basti ons with beautiful bal conies. Out of the
massive rui ns, five mosques are sti l l in good conditi on.
There are templ es bel ongi ng to different Hi ndu deities
on the Pavagadh Hi l l . Mi l itary architecture i ncl udes wal l s
and bastions, barracks and camps, as wel l as prisons. The
palaces are mostly in rui ns. Water i nstal l ati ons i ncl ude
different ki nds of wel l s, many of whi ch are sti l l i n use!
The Patha or pi l gri m' s route is one of the most i mpor­
tant features of thi s site. It cl i mbs from the pl ateau to the
top of Pavangadh Hi l l .
Tel l Me Why
Why is the Chhatrapati
Shivaji Terminus a fine exam­
ple of Victorian Gothic archi­
tecure in India?
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Ter­
mi nus, formerly known as Vic­
toria Termi nus in Mumbai , was
desi gned by the Briti sh archi­
tect F,W. Stevens. It soon be­
came the symbol of Bombay ­
now known as Mumbai . Bom­
bay was a major i nternati onal
mercantil e port city i n the I ndi­
an subcontinent withi n the
British Commonweal th. The
termi nal was bui lt over ten
years, starti ng i n 1 878, accord­
i ng to a High Victori an Gothic
desi gn based on l ate medieval
Ital i an model s. At the same
ti me, i ts remarkabl e stone
dome, turrets, pointed arches,
and eccentric ground plan are
cl ose to traditional I ndi an pal ­
ace architecture. It therefore
epresents Victorian Gothi c Re­
vival architecture in I ndia, with
bl end of themes derived from
Heritage Sites i n I ndi a
I ndi an tradi ti onal archi­
On 2n
July 2004, the
Worl d Heritage Commit­
tee of UNESCO nomi nat­
ed thi s magnificent
speci men of late 1 9th
century rai l way archi tec­
ture as a World Heritage
Site. Thi s termi nus i s one
of the rare speci mens of
the excel l ent fusi on of
tradi ti onal western and
I ndi an architecture.
I'm goin
Mumbol to
visit CST.
Why is the history of
the terminus an inter­
The Chhatrapati Shivaji
Termi nus, or CST, is one of
the hi storic structures i n
the Mumbai . I t forms a
very i mportant part ofthe
city's history too. The very
site in whi ch it is located is
associated with the ori­
gi ns of Mumbai itself.
Mumbai was an i sl and
that passed first i nto Por­
tuguese, and later i nto
British hands, in 1 661 . I n
1 667, the i sl and was transferred to the East I ndia Com­
pany. As a result, the i sl and became an i mportant
commercial centre. The town fl ourished, especi al l y
afer the bui l di ng of rai l way connections with the i n­
l and. The Governor of Bombay i nitiated a programme
of l and recl amation, and undertook the construction
of magnificent Victorian publ i c bui l di ngs al ong the
seafront. The Victoria Termi nus, the most i mpressive
90 Tel l Me Wh�
of these bui l di ngs, was named
afer Queen Victoria, Empress
of I ndia, on whose Gol den Jubi­
lee it was formal l y opened in
1 887.
CST was designed by the Brit­
ish architect Frederick Wi l l i am
Stevens. Work began i n 1 878,
and was compl eted 1 0 years
later. The bui l di ng was ori gi ­
nal l y i ntended onl y to house
the mai n station and the ad­
mi nistrative ofices of the Great
I ndi an Peni nsul a Rai l way. Later,
a number of anci l l ary bui l di ngs
were added. The Chhattrapati
Shivaji Termi nus i s al so the
headquarters of the Central
Rai lways of the country.
Panoramic View of
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Terrorist Attack
The Chhatr

atl Shivaji Termi·
nus, or CST as It IS popularly called,
was the scene of a terrorist attack on November 26th,
2008. The attack began at 9.30 pm, when two men
entered the passenger hall, and opened fire. The at­
tack killed 58 people, and injured 1 04 others. One of
the terrorists, Ajmal Kasab was caught alive and iden­
tified by eyewitnesses.
Heritage Sites in I ndi a
icl 1nr
Why does the Red Fort Complex
have an outstanding universal
The fifh Mughal Emperor of I ndia,
Shah Jahan bui l t a new capital whi ch
he named Shahjahanabad. lts pal ace
fort was the Red Fort compl ex, whi ch
was so cal l ed because of i ts massive
wal l s of red sandstone. The Red Fort
is a tribute to the outstandi ng crea­
tivity of the Mughal s, and each of its
many pavi l i ons reflects different as­
pects of Mughal architecture. There
is a harmoni ous bl end of Persian,
Ti murid, and Hi ndu el ements - and
the result is breathtaki ng.
The Red Fort is consi dered to be of
outstandi ng universal val ue, be­
cause it is representative of the ar­
chitectural devel opment i nitiated in
1 526AD bythefi rst Mughal Emperor,
and spl endi dl y refi ned by Shah Ja­
han with a fusi on of three traditions.
The Red Fort has been a witness to
many hi storic changes, and has been
the setti ng for many sti rring events
that have had a l ong lasting, and
sometimes permanent i mpact on
the hi story of the nati on.
Red Fort
Sir, I have a
super question,
' What's the colour
of Red Fort?'
Tel l Me Why
¯ ÎIã| |ãd
The Red For Today
Today, the Red Fort is a
major tourist attraction in
India, and a UNESCO World
Heritage site. The Prime
Minister of India addresses
the nation on 1 5th August,
the day India achieved
independence from the
British, from the ramparts of
the Red Fort.
Why is the Red Fort di fferent from other monuments?
The Red Fort Compl ex i s different from other monuments i n that
it reflects both Mughal architecture and pl anni ng, as well as the
manner i n whi ch the Bri ti sh used the forts. After the Sepoy Mutiny
of 1 8S?, when the fort was used as a headquarters, the British army
occupied and destroyed many of its pavi l i ons and gardens. One of
the dramatic changes made by the British was the transformation
of a river i nto a major
road, and in the way
they bui lt a railway l i ne
that divided the Red
Fort from the Sal i m­
garh Fort. Today, the
onl y structures remai n­
ing are those chosen
for -preservation by
the British.
Heritage Sites in I ndi a
Residential Palace
he residential
palace at the Red
Fort is designed as
an imitation of
paradise. In fact, a
couplet inscribed
here reads "If there
be a paradise on
earh, it is here, it is
here". The private
consisted of a row
of pavilions
connected by a
continuous water
channel, known as
the Nahr-i-Behisht,
or the stream of
B DevNofh
Diwan-i- Khs
Which aN the imprant buiJdings in
the Red For?
The Red Fort is a veritabl e treasure house
of magnificent bui l di ngs. The entrance to
the Red Fort was through gateways, each of
whi ch was named accordi ng to the famous
city that they faced. Thus, the gates had
names l i ke Lahori gate, Kashmi ri gate, Kabul
gate and Aj meri gate. I nside, the fort was a
city in itself, with its own shoppi ng arcades,
and gardens. Amongst the bui l di ngs, the
Diwan-i- Aaam was the hal l of publ i c audi ­
ence. The Diwan-i-Khas was the hal l of pri­
vate audi ence where the Emperor gave pri­
vate audience to the courtiers and i mpor­
tant guests. The Nehri-e- Behi sht was a con­
ti nuous channel of water that ran through
the pavi l i ons of the i mperi al apartments.
Water for the channel was drawn from the
Yamuna, from a tower known as the Shah
Burj. The i mperi al private apartments lay
behi nd the throne. The zenana was the
women's quarters. I t consi sted of the
Mumtaz Mahal and Rang Mahal . The Moti
Masjid or pearl mosque was a later addi ti on,
The Hayat Bakhsh Bagh, was a l arge formal
�i·.· .+j
Jantar Mantar'
literally means
i nstrument.
Heritage Sites in I ndi a
Why is the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur
The Jantar Mantar is an astronomi cal
observation si te i n Jai pur. I t was bui l t i n
the 1 8
century, and was desi gned for ob­
servati ons of the stars and thei r positions,
with the naked eye. I t has some twenty
mai n fixed i nstruments, and i ncl udes sev­
eral architectural and i nstrumental i nno­
vations. The Jantar Mantar i s i mportant
because it is the most si gnificant, and the
best preserved of I ndia's hi storic observa­
tories. Moreover, it reflects the astronomi­
cal ski l l s and cosmol ogi cal concepts of the
period. The Jantar Mantar's significance
also l i es i n the fact that is the ul ti mate cul ­
mi nation of a traditi on known as Ptole­
maic positi onal astronomy, which was
shared by many civil izations. It was de­
cl ared a World Heritage site for these rea­
N0Xt Î55u0
Tel l Me Why
Why is a visit to the Jantar
Mantar an inspiring experience?
The Jantar Mantar of Jai pur
was bui l t by Maharaja Sawai Jai
Si ngh I I . Between 1 727 and
1 734, the Maharajah had con­
structed five astronomi cal ob­
servatories i n West Central I n­
dia. The observatories, or 'jantar
mantars' as they are commonl y
known, i ncorporate multi pl e
bui l di ngs of uni que form, each
wi th a special ized function for
astronomical measurement.
The i nstruments are in most
cases, huge structures. The
Samrat Yantra, the largest i n­
strument, is 27 metres hi gh, and
i ts shadow has been careful l y
pl otted to tel l the ti me of day.
The smal l cupol a on top was
used as a pl atform for announc­
i ng ecl i pses and the arrival of
monsoons. Built from local
stone and marbl e, each i nstru­
ment carries an astronomi cal
scale, general l y marked on the
marbl e i nner l i ni ng.
The observatory became a
symbol of royal ty, and was a
meeting point for di fferent sci­
entific cul tures. This gave rise to
soci al
l i nked to
cosmology. A visit to
the Jantar
Mantar is i nde
ed an
i nspi ri ng experience.
Heritage Sites i n I ndi a
I| ur| |1ru| | unSò
� . | unS
your )eedback,mentìonìngthe
Ujwal D Jai n, a student of
class 4, Jai n Heritage School,
Bangal ore, has pointed out a
mistake in the May issue ofTel l
MeWhy, 'HuntersoftheAnimal
World'. He writes that on Page
gO, 'Prayi ng Mantis' is wrongly
captioned as 'Grasshopper.'
co|e |eeJocc|. 5o|| ||e |n:ec|:
c/e :|oon oe|oo o||| co//ec|
· fJ||o/
Send us your
E mail:
Why do we see rainbow colours on a CD?
A CD i s made up of two layers of pl astic, pro­
tecti ng a thi n layer of al umi ni um. It has a series
of di ps organi sed in the form of concentric ci r­
cular paths. When light waves fal l on the CD, each
of thi s al umi ni um paths scatters the l i ght rays
in diferent di rections. When thi s scatteri ng
occurs, l ight waves from diferent ci rcul ar
pl anes mix with each other.
Li ght is a wave consisti ng of vari ous col ours
in different wavelengths. At some poi nts, waves
with si mi l ar wavelength 'joi n' together upon
the CD. As a result, these points wi l l be bright i n
the col our correspondi ng to the particul ar
wavelength. Si nce, the CD surface contai ns a
l arge number of refl ecti ng ci rcul ar pl anes, scat­
tering wi l l be hi gh, and al l the seven col ours
get reflected at one pl ace or the other. The total
efect produces VI BGYOR (the seven col ours)
on the CD.
• AlwnúeOrge
Editor: Ammu Mathew Editor-in-Charge: N M. Mohanan·
Printed and Published by N. Sajeev George. on bhalf of MM. Publications Ltd.
P. B. No. 226. Kottayam " 686 01 at M.M. Publicatons Ltd. P.B. No. 226. Kottayam " 686 01
and Malayala Manorama Press. Kottaya " 686 039 and published fom
M.M. Publications Ltd. P.B. No. 226. Kottayam " 686 01 .
• Respnsible for seletion of news un<er the PRB Act
Krishna s BUllerball, Mahabalipuram
:|têã| | Kê|yt0ê0tê|thêUh|:LÛ||ãt0êxt. . .
• Buddhist Monastery Complex,
• Le Corbusier in Chandigarh
Alchi, Leh.
• The Kangra Valley Railway
• Golconda Fort • Churchgate - Extension to Mumbai CST
• Dholavira: a Harappan City • The Maharaja Railways of India
• Rani-ki-Vav at Patan • Oak Grove School
• Mattanchery Palace • Nalanda
• Tomb of Sher Shah Suri
• Great Himalayan National Park
• Monuments at Mandu
• Bhitarkanika Conservation Area

Buddhist Site at Sarnath
• Neora Valley National Park
• Hemis Gompa
• Desert National Park

Sri Harimandir Sahib
• Silk Road Sites in India

River Island of Majuli
• Santiniketan

The Matheran Light Railway

Western Ghats
• Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad,
Golconda Fort, Charminar

mdapha National Park

Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch

gchendzonga National Park
• Mughal Gardens in Kashmir
• Hill Forts of Rajasthan
• Historic city of Ahmedabad
Ju|y20I2 ¯20 MANORAMAT)LLM) WHY ISSN 0975 · 0436
KERENG/2006/18236 Registered Reg. No. KLIKTMl65612010·12 KLlCRlKTMlWPP·1I 2010·1:
SC¯©© Ç©]CCt:
öC¸© ¯¸t© ©C
Pu!|C|!| Cd|G| |!O|0d!|VC.
1C! h|gh|yreadab| eW|| !!C| || c
| uC| G5!y| C5u|!dO| C!O|C|| | G|C|.
1|C O|| yOOOKO!|!5
K| |Gd!5uC|d|
unbe| |evab| e
Ï8Î Î M8 Wßÿ
"M0W|cÛbc Y/b//| Mc
|0H Ld| |ÛHcM
l0¯cJ¯t|'JcI0lc| | Yc w0]00| |0c,| 0q00I0
www.mö00tömö00| | 0e.c0m/!00!ct|0e
|O|5uO5C|| [!| O|C|Qu| || C5. || Cd5
C Cd| |
Ou| !O| | ·!|CC |u0OC|· T dÜÜ 4ZÞÞ ÜÜZ
|oetween9 am& 5 pmonwork| ngday>)

Related Interests