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Kalavantin Durg near Panvel, India

 Posted by Germain Laroche
Germain Laroche
, September 24, 2013 at 09:40:00 :: India

Kalavantin DurgKalavantin Durg is considered as one of the best trekking spots located at an elevation of 2300 feet in the Sahyadri mountain range. Situated adjacent to Prabalgad Fort on the Mumbai Pune expressway, Kalavantin Durg is fairly a picturesque area to check out. It is located close to Panvel (about 17 Km), in Raigad district, Maharashtra state, India.

The trek which begins from base village of Shedung, takes about 3 hours. Kalavantin Durg pinnacle is tougher. First it has some steps carved into the rock and then few more but muddy path near the pinnacle. Reaching Kalavantin Durg is relatively a tough affair and is recommended for experienced trekkers. A number of instructions must be followed during the trek to ensure maximal safety. There is no source of water there, so carry at least 3 or 4 litres.

The fort top, which was used as a watch tower, commands an excellent view of the surroundings with Prabal in the front. From the peak of the hill you can see Chanderi, Matheran, Ershal, Peh, and Karnala forts and also Mumbai city.

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In The News

Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 04, 2008 at 11:03:22

Golden temple, Harimandir Sahib, AmritsarThe Golden Temple is the main attraction in Amritsar (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ, Hindi: अमृतसर), holy city in the state of Punjab (Punjabi: ਪੰਜਾਬ, Hindi : पंजाब), India (Hindi: भारत).

Originally a small lake in the midst of a quiet forest, the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib "holy pool of nectar" - mr. सुवर्णमंदिर) is the spiritual and cultural center of the Sikh religion. The Golden Temple is culturally the most significant shrine of Sikhism (Punjabi: ਸਿੱਖੀ), the fifth-largest religion in the world.

The Buddha is known to have spent time at this place in contemplation. Two thousand years after Buddha's time, another philosopher-saint, Guru Nanak Dev (hi. गुरु नानक, 1469-1539 - first of the eleven Sikh Gurus (hi. सिखों के दस गुरू)), the founder of the Sikh religion, came to live and meditate by the peaceful lake. After the passing away of Guru Nanak, his disciples continued to frequent the site; over the centuries it became the primary sacred shrine of the Sikhs. The lake was enlarged and structurally contained during the leadership of the fourth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Ram Das (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਰਾਮ ਦਾਸ, born in Lahore, 1534-1581), and during the leadership of the fifth, Guru Arjan Dev Ji or Guru Arjun Dev Ji (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਅਰਜੁਨ ਦੇਵ, 1581-1606), the Hari Mandir, or Temple of God was built.

The Golden Temple,Amritsar District in Punjab, IndiaFrom the early 1600s to the mid 1700s the sixth through tenth Sikh Gurus were constantly involved in defending both their religion and their temple against Moslem armies. On numerous occasions the temple was destroyed by the Muslims, and each time was rebuilt more beautifully by the Sikhs. In the mid 18th century it was attacked by the Afghans, by one of Ahmed Shah Abdali's Generals, Jahan Khan, and had to be substantially rebuilt in the 1760s.

One of the most important festivals celebrated at Harmandir Sahib is Vaisakhi (Punjabi: ਵਸਾਖੀ, also known as Baisakhi) during the second week of April. Sikhs celebrate the founding of the Khalsa. Other important Sikh religious days such as the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur or the birthday of Guru Nanak.

In film and television

Several movies have been shot in and around the Temple, including Gandhi (1982 - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી, Hindi : महात्मा गांधी)), Bride and Prejudice (2004, Bollywood), the Indian (Hindi) serial Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin (2005), Rang De Basanti (Hindi: रंग दे बसंती) starring Aamir Khan (hi. आमिर ख़ान) (2006), and Namastey London (2007). The Temple is also one of the places visited by the BBCs Michael Palin for the documentary "Himalaya" (2004).

UNESCO World Heritage

India, Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 24, 2011 at 10:11:08

Location Delhi, India
Coordinates N28 31 32.988 E77 11 7.008
Date of Inscription 1993

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/233 )

Built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples.

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Qutub Minar Qutb Minar

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India, Humayun's Tomb, Delhi

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 24, 2011 at 10:02:02

Location Delhi, India
Coordinates N28 35 35.988 E77 15 2.016
Date of Inscription 1993

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/232 )

This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal.

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Char Bagh Garden, Humayun's Tomb

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India, Red Fort Complex

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 24, 2011 at 06:18:35

Location New Delhi State, Central District, New Delhi, India
Coordinates N28 39 20 E77 14 27
Property 49 ha
Date of Inscription 2007

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/231 )

The Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The private apartments consist of a row of pavilions connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise). The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement. The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions The Red Fort’s innovative planning and architectural style, including the garden design, strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield.

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Red Fort

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India, Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 25, 2011 at 10:45:48

Location Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu State, Chingleput District, India
Coordinates N12 37 0.012 E80 11 30.012
Date of Inscription 1984

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/249 )

This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.

Photos from Landolia

Elephant sculpture, Pancha Rathas Arjuna's Penance, Descent of the Ganges

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India, Taj Mahal

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 07, 2009 at 13:27:36

Location Uttar Pradesh, Agra District, India
Coordinates N27 10 27 E78 02 32
Type Cultural
Date of Inscription 1983

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/252 )

An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.

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Taj Mahal Taj Mahal

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