India

AvantiSwamin Temple, Pulwama, Srinagar

Avantipur (Lat 33° 55′ N: Long 75° 1′ E) is located 28 km south east of Srinagar in Anantnag district overlooking the Jhelum river. The foundation of the town is ascribed to Avantivarman (AD 855 – 883 AD), the first king of the Utpala dynasty.

At Avantipura itself Avantivarman erected two magnificent temples, one dedicated to Lord Vishnu called Avantisvamin and the other to Lord Siva called Avantisvara, the former built before his succession to the throne and the latter obtaining sovereignty. During the medieval times, these temples witnessed mass destruction and were reduced to ruins.

The early part of twentieth century witnessed large scale operation by D.R. Sahni who exposed the entire quadrangle of the temple down to the floor of the courtyard and reclaimed the extant basement of the central shrine and remains of the subsidiary shrines. The excavation yielded a rich crop of antiquities including 121 coins issued by Toramana, Sultans of the Shah Miri dynasty, Durrani Afghan rulers etc. Sahni also excavated the quadrangle of the Avantisvara temple and brought to light a small earthen jar having 108 copper coins issued by various rulers, fragments of birch manuscripts containing accounts of articles of worship, inscribed earthen jar etc.

The layout of the original complex consists of a temple erected in the central part of a spacious oblong courtyard, four smaller shrines at the four corners of the central shrine, a running roofed peristyle with an array of cells ranged around the periphery of the paved courtyard, and an imposing gateway. In front of the staircase of the central shrine was a sort of a pillared mandapa with open sides, containing within perhaps garudadvaja. The temple is effectively distributed with exuberant carvings and refined, graceful sculptures which is a masterly symphony of architecture and art.

Textual Info Source

Conjectural Restoration of Avantisvami Temple, Kashmir, 9th Cent. A.D.
By renowned artist and Art Historian Dr. Percy Brown.

Source

Sanjeevni – A Ray of Life

Shri Hanumangarh, Nainital

The Bridge & A Boat

Gaula River, Haldwani

The Gaula River is a river in India. It is approximately 500 km (310 mi) long. It originates in the Sattal lakes of Uttarakhand state, and flows south past Kathgodam, Haldwani, and Shahi, finally joining the Ramganga River about 15 km (9.3 mi) northwest of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, Ramganga in turn is a tributary of the river Ganges.
Over the years, due erosion and deforestation the Gaula catchment has become prone to landslides and the springs in it and overall rainfall have declined leading to reduction in its flow.
The Gaula riverbed after it hits the plain near Haldwani has also been facing erosion to excessive quarrying. When despite Supreme Court’s directive which effectively banned quarrying while only allowing silt deposit removal, has led to public protests in the regions and a bandh (mass strike) in Haldwani in December 2009 by activists, alleging nexus between stone crushing and mining industry and the administration.

Textual Source

Madhavendra Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur

Cultural Night Show, Sam Sand Dunes

Canon EOS 600D, f/10, 1.6 sec, ISO-3200

Zaheer Khan playing Khartal
Canon EOS 600D, f/10, 1.6 sec, ISO-3200

Folk Dancer Simran
Canon EOS 600D, f/10, 1.6 sec, ISO-3200

Folk Dancer Sharda
Canon EOS 600D, f/10, 1.6 sec, ISO-3200

Dhol player Barkat Khan
Canon EOS 600D, f/10, 1.6 sec, ISO-3200

Canon EOS 600D, f/22, 3.2 sec, ISO-1600