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Aga Khan Palace/Gandhi National Memorial

Occupying an area of about 19 acre, this palatial mansion was once used as a prison by the British for Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadeo Desai, as well as Miraben, Pyarelal Nair, Sarojini Naidu and Dr Sushila Nayar. Though imprisoned during the Quit India movement, both Ba (as Kasturba Gandhi was fondly known) and Desai died of a heart attack in these premises. Their memorials, made of marble, still stand here. With Italian architecture and sculpted lawns, this grand building is now the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society. It was Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III who built this palace in 1892 as an act of charity for those who were drastically affected by the famine that had hit Pune at the time. Khadi, the handwoven natural fibre that Gandhiji used to spin on his charkha, is still made here. The 2.5-m-long circular corridor is well-known, running the periphery of the palace. There are several photographs and portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders of the freedom movement housed here; one of the most impressive and moving of these is a tableau of the Mahatma leading a protest march against the British. Visitors can also take a gander at Gandhiji’s work at the Sewagram, located 8 km in the in the village of Wardha. Other highlights of the palace that are open to public viewing are the room in which he stayed with Kasturba Gandhi, as well as his charkha, sandals and other personal belongings. It has now been taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Agra Fort

A massive red-sandstone fort located on the banks of River Yamuna was built under the commission of Emperor Akbar in 1565 and was further built by his grandson Shah Jahan. The fort, semi circular on plan, is surrounded by a 21.4 m high fortification wall. The fort was built primarily as a military structure; parts of it are still reserved under Indian Army. Later on, it was transformed it into a palace, it also became a gilded prison for eight years after his son Aurangzeb seized power in 1658. The fort houses a maze of buildings, including vast underground sections. The Amar Singh Gate to the south is the sole entry point. A path leads straight from here up to the large Moti Masjid. Just before this is the open Diwan-e-Aam, where Shah Jahan listened to people’s petitions or issues. A small staircase just to the left of Diwan-e-Aam throne leads up to a large courtyard. To the left is a beautiful white marble Nagina Masjid.Nagina Masjid is a beautiful mosque located in Agra Fort. It is located near Moti Masjid. This mosque is constructed with pure white marble and has a beautifully designed prayer chamber. The Mosque built in the north-western corner of the Machchi Bhawan was meant for the personal use of the Emperor. It has a marble paved court enclosed by walls to the north, south and east and the prayer chamber on the west. The prayer chamber is also made up of marble and has three domes on its top. The mosque has a three-arched façade with the cusps and supported on slender piers as its entrance. The arch in the middle is larger and has nine cusps and ones on the either sides have seven cusps only.Other places to see within the Fort are Diwan-e-Khas - which once housed Shah Jahan’s legendary Peacock throne and the diamond Koh-I-Noor, Shish Mahal- a palace with walls inlaid with tiny mirrors, and Khas Mahal - the white octagonal tower and palace. In the South of the fort, there is a huge red-sandstone Jahangir’s Palace, built by Akbar probably for his son Jahangir.

Ambran

Far away from the idyllic mountains of Ladakh which reverberate with Buddhist chants, Nirvana-seekers can now hear the sacred hymns in the city of temples as Jammu will soon get its first Buddhist temple-cum-cultural centre, adding another landmark to the city where thousands of students from the coldest region of the state come for studies. Although work on the cultural centre at Channi Rama was started in 2006-07, so far, only a two-storey building has been completed for which land was provided by the government.  The work got stalled due to shortage of funds arranged by the All Ladakh Gompa Association which has decided to complete the building. When contacted, All Ladakh Gompa Association president Shedup Chamba said the remaining work on the centre would be started soon. “The delay was mainly because of fund shortage. It is a huge building and needs crores of rupees. All the funds are being collected through donations. We want to make it a living relic of a unique Tibetan Buddhist culture being followed in Ladakh region,” said Chamba.  Apart from a ‘gompa’ (Buddhist temple), the centre will have a conference hall, rooms for visitors and an information desk to give people a glimpse of life and religious ceremonies. It will also have a meditation room-cum-library.The building has been given a typical Buddhist prayer hall shape which sets it apart from other structures in the vicinity close to the Jammu-Pathankot national highway.  “For years, our students pursuing studies in Jammu have no place where they can assemble. They had to hire or rent costly hotels or auditoriums in the university to host social events,” said Sonum Dawa, member of the Ladakh Hill Development Council.  Jammu has a centuries-old connection with Buddhism. Around 30 km from the city centre, there is a place called Ambran on the banks of the Chenab river in Akhnoor where archaeologists found ruins of the Kushan period which ruled the state in the eighth century. A gompa and living quarters of monks was found at the site. Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama had visited the ancient Buddhist ruins in December 2012, highlighting its importance.

Betla National Park

Spread over the hilly terrain of the attractive scenic beauty, Betla National Park is an amazing scenic location. Wild elephants wander without restraints in the forests of this park. It has the status of being one of the 9 tiger reserves that were first established in India. Due to a diversified ecosystem, the Betla National Park is home to a huge variety of wildlife and birds. One of India’s earliest tiger reserves (1974), Betla features luxuriant tropical forest cover and a rich variety of fauna. It was first established as a sanctuary and later upgraded to its present status. Average elevation is about 1000 feet and though the park is open throughout the year the best time to visit is between November to March. Spread over 250 sq. kms., the park is covered with good roads cris-crossing each other, to enables the motorist to have a closer view of the wild life in dense forests.Gour, Chital, Elephant, Tiger, Panther, Sloth and Wild Bear, Sambhar, Nilgai, Kakar, Mouse Deer are permanent residents. Langurs are present in large families. Betla features waterfalls and natural hot springs on one hand, and historical monuments including a 16th century fort of Chero kings on the other.Regulations within the Reserve :- Following regulations are practiced :- 1. No entry after sunset & before sunrise. Night driving is prohibited in the reserve. 2. Pets, transistors, tape-recorder, stereos are not permitted. 3. No arms and ammunitions are allowed. 4. Carelessly throwing & leaving trash litter are strictly prohibited. 5. Candling fire in the forest is prohibited. 6. Fast driving (> 20 km. Per hour) & blowing of horn is strictly prohibited. 7. Shouting, teasing or chasing of animals are prohibited. 8. Hunting and fishing are strictly prohibited. 9. Staying in rest house without reservation are prohibited. 10. Use of flash camera to take a snap of wild animals is not allowed. Interpretation & Conservation Education: - There is one Nature Interpretation Center (NIC), at Betla. This is an excellent creation, consists of reception, displays of models, Museum, Library and auditorium. This NIC remains open for the visitors daily from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. 16 mm films and videos film on wild life are also shown in the auditorium.

Bhutia Busty Monastery

At a distance of 2 km from Darjeeling Railway Station, Bhutia Busty Monastery or Karmaa Dorjee Cheoling Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in Bhutia Busty area of Darjeeling, West Bengal. It is one of the popular and oldest Buddhist monasteries in Darjeeling and among the top places to visit in Darjeeling.This monastery was earlier located in Observatory Hill where the Mahakal Temple stands today. It was originally built there by the Lama Dorje Rinzing in 1761 CE. According to history, the monastery was completely ravaged during Gorkha invasion in 1851 CE and was rebuilt in 1861 CE. But due to many disturbances, it had to be shifted to its present location in the year 1879. However, the monastery in the new location was also destroyed by an earthquake in 1934 CE, after which it was restored and reconstructed by the King of Sikkim. The present structure is stunning and has been built in a traditional Tibetan style with Sikkimese influence. The monastery belongs to the Red Sect of Buddhists and has links with the Kagyu and Nyingma orders of Tibetan Buddhism. The main prayer room inside the monastery has a model of Buddha in a glass case and photos of His Holiness Dalai Lama. There are also the images of Tara Devi and Lakshmiswari who is a goddess with thousand hands and eyes. On the other side of the prayer room there is a large image showing Buddha's life story.Set against the mighty Kanchenjunga, Bhutia Busty Gompa is home to stunning murals that depict the life and journey of Buddha. The monastery has a huge library, which has collections of many Tibetan and Buddhist books. One can have a glimpse of the Tibetan life and culture from these books. Travellers can also have a look at the original copy of the 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead' at the library. Photography is completely banned inside the monastery.

Chaneti Stupa

It is a small village situated 3 kms east of Jagadhri and nearly the same distance north-west of the historical site of Sugh. The area in which Chaneti is situated is known as the Khadar of the Yamuna River which now flows about 7 kms east of it and on the old deserted bed of which was excavated the Western Yamuna Canal. There were thick forests in this area and the present village was inhabited only about a hundred and seventy years back by clearing away these forests. Buddhist Stupa at Chaneti In the south-east of the village lies the site containing a Kushana period Buddhist Stupa. Dr. D.D. Handa of Kurukshetra University has given detailed description of this Stupa (VIJ, Vol. IV, Part I, pp. 75-80) and recently ASI branch of Chandigarh Circle has undertaken steps for its restoration. We produce below some of the details about it available in the earlier studies. The height of the mound is nearly 8 meters and its diameter about 20 meters. The original height must have been more than it is at present. The bricks used are well-burnt and yellowish-red in colour. The two sizes of the bricks are 30X30X7 cms and 30X15X7 cms. Laying down the rules of construction of a Stupa, is said that the first step was probably merely to build the cairn, the next step was to build the cairn of concentric layers of huge bricks in use at the time and to surround the whole with a wooden railing. Eluding to the very shape of this Stupa (Brick mound), Dr. Handa avers that it corresponds greatly to the Shahpur and Dharmarajika Stupas at Taxila as the same method of laying the concentric layers of huge bricks, the gradually diminishing diameter as the structure rise up and up. The bricks well-set in the circular fashion, the core of burnt bricks, and the place of Harmika as the top, all lead to its being a Stupa. The testimony of Huen Tsang, who visited Sulo-kin-na i.e. ancient Srughana/Sugh in the first half of seventh century AD, is also very important.   It seems that the Chaneti Stupa must have been one of these which were erected in Dhanabhutiâ time in and around the capital city. The yellowish red colour of the bricks which is typical of the Mauryan period and the plain, square and large sized bricks, corresponding with those used in the construction of the Bharhut Stupa lend further support to surmise that this Stupa was erected some time during the reign of King Dhanabhuti who ruled from 240 to 210 B.C. a find which has however, to be confirmed by more positive epigraphically or excavation evidence

Cubbon Park

The Cubbon Park, officially known as Sri. Chamarajendra Park, is an historic park, located in the heart of city in the Central Administrative Area. The park provides sylvan surroundings to the State Legislature building- the Vidhana Soudha, the High Court Buildings – the Attara Kacheri and a number of other organizations located along the periphery and within the park which constitute the Central Administrative Area.The Cubbon Park has a history of over 100 years. It was established in the year 1870 by Sri John Meade, the then acting Commissioner of Mysore. The vast landscape of the park was conceived by Major General Richard Sankey, the then Chief Engineer of the State. As a mark of honour to Sri John Meade, the park was initially named as "Meade’s Park" and subsequently it was called the Cubbon Park. Since the inception of the park, it was developed and improved by adding new structures and features. In the year 1927, the park was officially renamed as "Sri. Chamarajendra Park" to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Sri. Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s rule in Mysore State.It is one of the prominent parks of Bangalore, the Cubbon Park with about 300 acres area, claims to be the green zone of the city. Replete with landscaped gardens, blooming flowers and tall shady trees, the garden provides a fresh breath to its visitors. Well equipped with long and wide jogging tracks, walking lanes and comfortable benches, this is the first place visited by Banga- loreans in the morning and after a tiresome day in the evening.

Deor Kothar

Deor Kothar is a location of archaeological importance in Madhya Pradesh, Central India. It is popular for its Buddhist stupas and was discovered in 1982.These stupas are credited to Mauryan emperor Ashoka the great. It is located about 5 km North West of the Katra village in Rewa district at a distance of 75 km from Rewa on Rewa - Allahabad Road. The stupa of Deor Kothar was established by the Mauryan king Asoka in the 3rd century BCE. In the ancient time the site was located on the Dakshinapatha running east west from Patalipurta to Pratishthana in Maharashtra through central part of India. This place, because of it is located near the place like Sagar, Sanchi, Sarnath and Kaushambi, used to be frequently visited by the monks. Discovery of Deor Kothar: This place was discovered by P.K. Mishra along with Ajit Singh in 1982 and in 1988 the place was declared as national importance by Government of India and is being preserved and conserved by Archaeological Survey of India, Bhopal. Architecture of Deor Kothar: The Deorkothar complex proudly houses four brick stupas, the most ever found at a site of this period. The bricks used are of varied sizes like twirling lotus, conical lotus bud, and a simple flower pot on a three-tiered pedestal-the carving of which foreshadows early Buddhist art, can be seen on the railing posts of the largest brick stupa, which rises to a height of nearly 30 feet.  The stencil cut design of the friezes, along with their simple ornamentation and paucity of animal and human figures depict that they are attempt for stone railing art. This stupa was at Deorkothar was built much before the early free standing Sanchi Stupa. Apart from this the site of Deorkothar also comprises monasteries, an ancient pathway, a system for water channel, and 30 stone stupas, many of which contained sherds of high quality northern black polished ware, the pottery of everyday use between 700 and 300 B.C. The absence of such sherds from Sanchi proves the fact that Deorkothar predates that site. There are 63 rock shelters adorned with various types of arts dating back to first century BC which were used by monks for meditation. One of the paintings shows a tree and a stupa surrounded by a railing. Others show social or hunting scenes; men, women, and animals; weapons; and designs.  Although the pillars bear resemblance with the typical Mauryan polish, it is not made of the Chunar sandstone features of the Ashoka Empire but of the local sandstone. Some of the other remains that have been found are that of stone pieces, pottery and bangles with beautiful polish and some exquisite copper fragments. Some of the other art form that are worthy of mention are the stone pieces of the Mauryan polished chattra (the multi-tiered "umbrella" at the top of a stupa) with evidence of radial ribs. To the west of the main stupa, a lump of iron ore, iron slag and white nodules of lime indicate the presence of an iron-smelting furnace nearby.

Dhankar Fort And Monastery

This beautiful monastery is locked between the rocky spurs at the top of clif in the Dhankar village at an elevation of over 3,800 meters in the Spiti valley. It is a 16th century old fort monastery, which has also served as a prison in the erstwhile era. The Dhankar Gomba is over 1000 years old and is connected to the rest of the valley through a Motorable road, which is good for small vehicle only. There is a new monastery in the small village of Shichilling below the old monastery. The old monastery is associated with the Great Translator, Rinchen Zanggpo, and its complex comprises a number of multi-storey buildings perched together.The fort of Dhankar now lies in ruins, but still is a place worthy of a visit. From the remnants of the fort one can see vast expanses of the Spiti valley. It is also of art and historical importance. Founded between 7th and the 9th Centuries, Dhankar's old temple complex occupies the southern part of the steep mountain slope of the village. It is known by the name of Lha-O-pa Gompa (monastery of the followers of Lha-O). The monastery consists of a number of multistoried buildings perched together, giving a fortress like impression. There are five different halls including Kanjur, Lhakhang, and Dukhang where a life size silver statue of Vajradhara, the Diamond Being, is placed in a glass altar embellished with scarves and flowers. Most interesting at the Lha-O-pa gompa is the small chapel on the uppermost peak above the main monastery - Lhakhang Gongma. The building is decorated with depictions of Shakyamuni, Tsongkhapa and Lama Chodrag on the central wall. Dhankar's main attraction, although least publicised, is a fresh water lake about 2.5 km from the village at a height of 13500 ft. Set amidst lush green pastures, the lake offers an idyllic camping site. Some boating facilities are proposed to be introduced in the near future. Under the Desert Development Project of Spiti the common carp variety of fish has been introduced in this lake. No angling is however, allowed in the lake. There is no rest house in the village. If you plan to halt for night, do carry tents, sleeping bags and other provisions.

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum opened to the public in 1857 and is Mumbai's oldest museum. It is the erstwhile Victoria and Albert Museum, Bombay, that showcases the city’s cultural heritage and history through a rare collection of fine and decorative arts that highlight early modern art practices as well as the craftsmanship of various communities of the Bombay Presidency. The permanent collection includes miniature clay models, dioramas, maps, lithographs, photographs,  rare books, miniature paintings, early modern art, textiles and beautifully crafted objects that document the life of the people of Mumbai and the history of the city from the late eighteenth to early-twentieth centuries.The Museum, once in a derelict condition, underwent a comprehensive five-year restoration by INTACH supported by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation. The project won UNESCO’s international Award of Excellence for cultural conservation in 2005. The Museum re-opened in 2008 andhosts an extensive exhibitions programme which explores the importance of the collection and includes a strong focus on contemporary art and culture.The Museum has partnered with international institutions to showcase artists and exhibitions. From an intensive post-graduate diploma programme on modern and contemporary art, weekend family activites, festive fun, workshops for adult learners, to tours that link school curriculum with the Museum's collection and exhibitions, the Museum strives to offer something to everyone. The programmes and tours at the Museum are available in both English, Hindi  and Marathi.The Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum is closed on all Wednesdays and certain public holidays.