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Mini strokes paint Taj Mahal story

Posted on Wed, 12/12/2012 - 10:56 by easytours

Twenty five years ago when Naveen Sharma was 17 years old, he visited Agra with a few friends. At that time he did not realize that setting his eyes upon the iconic Taj Mahal would change the course of his life. Captivated by the beauty of the white tomb, Sharma decided to replicate its grandeur on canvas. And what followed is a work of art that has fascinated many across Delhi who visit the trade fair.

Occupying a small area in the Rajasthan pavilion of the trade fair are two paintings that have grabbed the attention of many. It is confusing to see passers-by scanning a painting with a magnifying glass, which on face seems like a regular painting of the Taj Mahal.

Encased in a 20-inch by 24-inch wooden frame using the Mughal School of miniature painting is the iconic monument with brush strokes pictorially documenting the series of events that occurred around the construction of the Taj Mahal.

There are 20 tablets bordering the main structure. Each painted tablet connects with each other to tell a story. Beginning with Emperor Shah Jahan, the story shows the artists’ designs. Then it proceeds to the foundation laying, consultation with elders, kiln construction to tax implementation by the emperor in order to cover resource shortage.

The hand-painted story ends with his son Aurangzeb rebelling and imprisoning Shah Jahan who later died gazing at the white marble tomb.

All this along with 10,000 micro Taj Mahals, six Great Mughals and 230 other buildings constructed by the dynasty were hand painted by Sharma using a one-hair brush. He started the piece in 2006 and completed it in 2010. It took Sharma 4,900 hours to complete this intricate work of art.

*Elements of this story excerpted from “Mini strokes paint Taj Mahal story” – The Times of India

Fateh Prakash Palace

Posted on Tue, 12/11/2012 - 18:41 by easytours

Located on the eastern shore of the picturesque Lake Pichola in Udaipur, the Fateh Prakash Palace seems to have floated straight out of a fairytale. This palace was constructed during the reign of one of the greatest Maharanas of Mewar, Maharana Fateh Singh. The palace was constructed as an exclusive venue for royal functions and has been meticulously preserved and managed by the HRH Group of Hotels for discerning guests.

The history-soaked interiors, dotted with miniature paintings, portraits, and royal artifacts transport you to legendary times. The Durbar Hall Sabhagaar and Crystal Gallery, resplendent with rare paintings and objects, will connect you to a rich and authentic heritage.

The suites and rooms are decorated with original paintings and period furniture from the toshakhanas (royal storerooms). Cocoon yourself in velvety luxury as you soak in the ever-changing hues of the lake from large arched windows.

Enjoy the dramatic views of Udaipur’s most famous landmark palaces from the Sunset Terrace, consistently rated as one of the top restaurants of India. The restaurant offers a varied menu to choose from while taking in the magnificent natural scenery. Live musicians add to the charm of this exquisite vantage point.

Humayun's Tomb gets 16th century makeover

Posted on Thu, 11/15/2012 - 10:59 by easytours

Nearly 100 master masons with chisels have begun to recast the weathered stones and crumbling lime facades of the 16th century mausoleum of Mughal Emperor Humayun, a royal family tomb that is home to 160 graves.The tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is getting a makeover to resemble its original state with a unique not-for-profit conservation project. At the core of the structural renovation project is the restoration of 42 arched bays on the enclosure (outer ramparts) of the tomb, which have collapsed, and 68 arched alcoves on a lower level.The stonework of the terrace and the elevated plinth in the forecourt have been relaid as well. The tomb was known to be have been commissioned by Emperor Humayun's wife Hamida who is also entombed in the mausoleum along with five Mughal princes.The red-and-white tomb cast in sandstone and marble was constructed 1565 – 72 A.D. on a bank of the Yamuna. Its impressive design and facade are typical of symmetrical Timurid architecture.

Tharangambadi (formerly Tranquebar): Land of the Singing Waves

Posted on Fri, 10/19/2012 - 12:48 by easytours

Lying on the Coromandel Coast, in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, the small town of Tharangambadi (Tranquebar) is a vestige of Danish heritage in India.

In the 15th century, under the rule of the Thanjavur king Raghunatha Nayak, Tranquebar was an active international trading port attracting Muslim traders, German theologians and Moravian entrepreneurs. When the Danes arrived in Tharangambadi, as it was then known, Arab and Portuguese traders had already been plying the coasts. In 1620 the Dansborg Fort was constructed as part of a treaty between the Kings of Thanjavur and Denmark. The primary purpose of the treaty was pepper exportation from India via the now established Danish East India Company.

By 1777, the Danes had taken complete control of Tranquebar. In 1801, Tranquebar was taken by the British, but restored to the Danes in 1814. Tranquebar remained under Danish control until 1845 when the British purchased it and the other Danish settlements in India.

This pocket of Danish influence gives Tranquebar a unique legacy. The first Protestant missionaries who set foot in India were sent by the Danish King Frederick IV to begin work in Tranquebar. As a result, Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg and Heinrich Pluetschau translated the New Testament into Tamil for the first time.

Though the architectural journey of Tranquebar can be traced back to the 14th century Masilamaninathar Temple built during the Pandya Regime, by the 18th century the Danish influence was apparent not only in the Dansborg Fort, but also in the churches and colonial houses scattered around Kongensgade (King Street). Homes featuring thick stucco walls, massive pillars supporting classical pediments, second-story verandas and carriage porches remind us of a time when this busy trading center was an outpost of Danish culture. Entry to this town is through an impressive two-hundred-year-old town gate featuring Danish architectural influence.

Sariska reserve gets tiger number 7

Posted on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 10:34 by easytours

There is a new addition to her majesty's secret brood at Sariska tiger reserve, tiger number 7. Tigress ST-2, which was found with a cub on August 7, was spotted with yet another cub in the Kalikhoh area of the reserve during the wee hours.

The tiger relocation process at Sariska reserve, which began in 2008, continues to reap rewards and the new cub seems to be the latest result of the experiment. In fact, on August 7, the authorities had anticipated that the number of cubs could be more than one.

The total number of tigers in the reserve is now seven, including five adult tigers, three of which are females. The cubs appear to be six to seven months old. By the age of 1, they will learn hunting from their mother.

Spotting of the first cub in August was the most celebrated moment of the reserve since the tigers began being airlifted from Ranthambore to Sariska in 2008.

ST-2 is the second big cat, and the first tigress, shifted to Sariska from Ranthambore National Park. The first relocated tiger, ST-1, was poisoned to death in November 2010. The villagers, whose cattle graze in reserve, reportedly killed ST-1 after it attacked animals. Thereafter, two more tigresses were introduced — in February 2009 and July 2010.

There are two males in the reserve now.

*Elements of the above excerpted from “Sariska reserve gets tiger number 007” – The Times of India

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