The man, his legacy and more; William JR Curtis; Tribune India

India – The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement

Perhaps most important of all, given Le Corbusier’s overall intentions in Chandigarh, was the so-called ‘Open Hand’ hovering on a mast like a gigantic wind vane, although the irreverent observer cannot help thinking of a base-ball glove.

The ‘Open Hand’ epitomises Le Corbusier’s attempt at combining a public iconography with an abstraction permitting several levels of reading and a formal presence permitting multiple relationships to other ‘objects’ against the sky, such as those on top of the Parliament or the Governor’s Palace.

… Like the bull, the hand was a recurrent theme in Le Corbusier’s own paintings. He initially thought of the ‘Open Hand’ as a symbol of reconciliation above the messy infighting of mundane politics: ‘A symbol very appropriate to the new situation of a liberated and independent earth. A gesture which appeals to fraternal collaboration and solidarity between all men and all nations of the earth.’

‘Modernity’, ‘Nature’, ‘Tradition’— this great triad of Olympian notions is ever present in Le Corbusier’s Capitol. His basic materials were space, light, water, reinforced concrete, the sky and the ground.

Source: The man, his legacy and more

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Central Govt. to Develop Karnataka’s Hampi as Iconic Tourism Site!; Rayomand Engineer; The Better India

India – Group of Monuments at Hampi

On crossing Bengaluru’s city limits, you immediately notice the change in scenery. Wider roads, less vehicular smog, and abundant greenery. If you happen to travel down the picturesque Tumkur Road, down to Chitradurga and then onwards to Hospet, you will notice the beautiful flora, a complete change from your daily urban environment.

Just 13 km from Hospet, Hampi is not a new phenomenon for well-versed travellers. Due to the proximity of the area from Bengaluru, it is a popular weekend getaway. According to estimates, every year, more than 2 lakh visitors descend upon Hampi!

Karnataka’s famous tourist destination has amassed name and fame for a reason. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the epicentre of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire, in the 14th century. Browse through chronicles and journals left behind by Persian and European travellers, to find mention of Hampi, described as a prosperous, wealthy and grand city.

It is perhaps befitting, that the Central Government, is considering Hampi as one of the 10 tourist destinations pan-India, to be developed as an ‘Iconic Tourism Site.’

Source: Central Govt. to Develop Karnataka’s Hampi as Iconic Tourism Site!

Taj Mahal introduces Rs 200 fee for main mausoleum, hikes entry fee; PTI

India – Taj Mahal

Tourists visiting the Taj Mahal will have to pay more from April 1 as the government has decided to introduce a Rs-200 charge for those wishing to see the main mausoleum of the heritage site, and also raise the entry fee to Rs 50 from Rs 40.

Speaking at a media briefing, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said the changes have been effected to “preserve the Taj Mahal” and for better crowd management.

As of now, there is no separate fee for entry to the main mausoleum, where the graves of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal lie.

“We need to preserve the Taj Mahal for generations to come. New ‘barcoded’ tickets would cost Rs 50 instead of the earlier Rs 40 and it would be valid only for three hours,” said Sharma.

“A separate ticket of Rs 200 will be needed to enter into the main mausoleum at the Taj Mahal to ensure the protection of the area and better crowd management.”

Source: Taj Mahal introduces Rs 200 fee for main mausoleum, hikes entry fee

Top 5 Mountain Ranges In India Which Are Way Beyond Comprehension; Akash Singh; Native Planet

India – Western Ghats

Read all about the highest and longest mountain ranges in India and find out about the Western Ghats, Vindhya Range, etc.

Being a part of nature, mountain ranges have equally contributed to the development of nature and the evolution of several species in the world. They have always been behind the abundant biodiversity in a country. Ever thought of visiting the highest and longest mountain ranges in India which have been standing strong and rich for thousands of years?

If not, here is your chance to know everything about these gigantic mountain ranges in India which showcase the flourished vegetation and prospered state of the country. Read on to learn about the exciting features of these ranges, eventually compelling you to plan a trip.

1) Himalayan Range

A cross-border range in Asia spread across the countries of Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Pakistan, the Himalayan range is formed by the upliftment of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks under the effect of the geological process of subduction.

Source: Top 5 Mountain Ranges In India Which Are Way Beyond Comprehension

File vision document for protection of Taj Mahal: SC to UP govt; PTI

India – Taj Mahal

The Supreme Court today directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file within four weeks a vision document for protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal.

The apex court also directed the state government to explain why there was a sudden flurry of activities in and around the Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and why leather industries and hotels were coming up there.

‘File the vision document’

TTZ is an area of about 10,400 sq km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan. “You file the vision document within four weeks,”a bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.

“There is sudden flurry of activities in TTZ. Is there any particular reason for that? Leather industries and hotels are coming up there. Why?,” the bench asked Additional Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the state.

Mehta told the top court that he would get instructions on this issue and get back to it.

Source: File vision document for protection of Taj Mahal: SC to UP govt

Taj Mahal: India’s Most Luxurious Love Letter; Patti Morrow; JustLuxe

India – Taj Mahal

I passed through the elaborate gate at the main entrance – a beautiful construction unto itself – and gasped as I looked through the rounded frame.  There it was… the elaborate, dazzling white marble castle-like structure that inspires so many dreams.

Commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the purpose for the Taj Mahal was to be the mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess who died giving birth to their 14th child.  The Taj Mahal is set on 42-acres of beautifully manicured grounds with abundant flowers and a reflecting pool leading to the ornate tomb.  There’s also a mosque and a guest house.

I had to stop just after entering the gate to reflect on and admire the beauty of India’s most famous monument.  The 115 ft. onion dome dominates the skyline, not only because of its size, but also the design elements.  Surrounding the tomb are four slender minaret towers that lean slightly outward, so as not to damage the tomb in case of an earthquake.

Source: Taj Mahal: India’s Most Luxurious Love Letter

Taj Mahal ‘built on Hindu temple’, claims Indian MP; Al Jazeera

India – Taj Mahal

Member of India’s ruling BJP party calls for destruction of the monument in Agra, saying a temple should replace it.

An Indian politician has sparked fresh controversy after saying that Taj Mahal, a popular tourist destination in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, will soon be turned into a Hindu Temple.

The stunning white marble mausoleum was built in the 17th century by Mughal King Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, in Agra, about 200km from the Indian capital, New Delhi.

Vinay Katiyar, a member of parliament for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told local media on Monday that “there is not much difference between Taj and Tej [Mandir]”, referring to a Hindu far-right claim that a temple existed in place of Taj Mahal.

“It was our temple. Taj Mahal will be converted into Tej Mandir soon,” he said.

This is not the first time that Katiyar, who is currently facing a criminal trial for his role in the demolition of the 16th century Babri mosque in 1992, has made such a claim.

Source: Taj Mahal ‘built on Hindu temple’, claims Indian MP

Video: Walking into the Past in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhimbetka Rock Shelters; National Geographic Traveller India

India – Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka

Welcome to the Stone Age version of the Louvre. 

Walking through Bhimbetka Rock Shelters is like walking in a Stone Age version of the Louvre. It is the largest repository of prehistoric art in India, and also the only which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Out of an estimated 750 rock shelters, over 400 are adorned with paintings, and 15 of the best have been made accessible to tourists via walkways and signposting.

Although most of the art is between six to nine thousand years old, archaeological researchers think that the site was in use as early as 100,000 BC, well before the art of painting evolved. The most current artwork seen here dates to 400 years ago and is comparatively modern, showing kings on horseback, and sword- and shield-wielding soldiers. From that time the caves were forgotten, until everything was rediscovered by Indian archaeologists in 1957. The first archaeological dig was only in 1971.

The artwork here tells stories and provides a window into the lives of prehistoric men: there’s hunting, dancing, royal processions, the drawings are spellbinding and thought-provoking in equal measure.

Source: Video: Walking into the Past in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

This Road Trip from Bangalore is Way Better than the Golden Triangle; Annabel Usher; Hostel World

India – Group of Monuments at Hampi

It goes without saying that it would take you years to experience even a taster of all that beautiful, exciting India has to offer. Spanning 29 states, 7 union territories and 3.3 million square kilometres, India ranges from serene rolling green lands to dry deserts to golden beaches to buzzing city vibes. If you’re looking to check four Indian states off your bucket list, here’s the lowdown on seven uniquely wonderful destinations for the ultimate road trip from Bangalore. This immense drive will take you in a loop from Bangalore to the best places to visit in South India! We can even help you with hiring a car!

This trip is bound to make a home in your heart and your memories forever

Bangalore/Bengaluru

Why start your road trip from Bangalore? Well, Bangalore is the busy and bustling cosmopolitan hub, bang in the centre of South India. Capital city of Karnataka state, and dubbed the “Silicon Valley of India”, Bangalore has its tech industry (as well as its university) to thank for attracting a growing young population year on year, keeping it ever-trendy.

Source: This Road Trip from Bangalore is Way Better than the Golden Triangle

Culture, selfies, or a really good hill? #travel #India #humor; Barb Taub

India – Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat

So much of India is defined by its relationship to water. It’s a symbol for almost every aspect of life from purity to fertility to spirituality. Rivers are goddesses, while the Ganges is said to promote health, and speed the path to enlightenment. Ancient engineering feats of water harvesting meant the difference between destruction or survival of cities and empires. A common feature of even the earliest temples is the “tank”, the open water pool where it’s customary to take a purifying dip before entering to worship. Even the humblest of restaurants have hand washing stations. Visitors in Gujarat are always greeted with an offer of a cup of water.

So picture, if you can, a soaring temple built over seven levels, all covered with literally thousands of carvings and sculptures—only the temple soars DOWN, with several levels extending further down into the water at the bottom. They were called stepwells, and could serve as a special retreat for a princess, or as a town’s social center.

Source: Culture, selfies, or a really good hill? #travel #India #humor