Hemant Shesh
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Hemant Shesh IAS (Retd.) is a renowned Poet, Art-Critic, Editor, Painter and a keen Photographer. (Dr. M. Sharma)
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Hemant Shesh's conversations

Proud to See this pic.

Dynamic view and excellent perspective, dear friend!

Dear Anilji, I am overwhelmed to read all that you wrote about Gandhi Nagar, once that was! Things have changed a lot since you left. It is the natural way of life, but it was indeed a pleasure to note that some of my pictures transported back into bygone days. You may like to revisit those places again to see how much water has flown under the bridge...Please keep watching my collection. I am planning to capture Jaipur and its fast changing face in my next series of photographs.

The genesis of the Odisha State Museum goes back to the year 1932, when two notable historians Prof. N. C Banerjee & Prof. Ghanshyam Dash of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack started collection of archaeological treasures from various places. The small museum was then housed within the premises of the College. In 1938, by a suitable order, the Government of Odisha transformed this nucleus into the Provincial museum of Odisha.

Maintaining close contact with the general public and the Archaeological Department of the Government of India and other States, the Museum continued to grow. In order to popularize the cultural exhibits of the Museum, leaflets printed both in Odia and English were published in the Samaj and the New Odisha and copies of the same were sent to officials and the public to create a sense of awareness about the significance of the Museum. As a result of this publicity, students and the general public started visiting the Museum in large numbers. The teachers of the History Department made sustained efforts to explain to them the cultural value of the Museum and its exhibits.

The Peace Pagoda built by the Japanese Buddhist Sangha stands tall on a hill and overlooks the entire Dhauli plain. This peace pagoda houses various statues of Lord Buddha and visually depicts stories of the Kalinga War and King Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism. Situated on the banks of the Daya river and at about eight kilometres from Bhubaneshwar, Dhauli is the place where the gory Kalinga war was fought in 261 B.C. Today, Dhauli doesn’t look gory at all. Instead, it is a picture of greenery, peace and serenity.

OM SHARMA JI I am happy that my photograph inspired you to see the magnificent temple.


The Kos Minars are the milestones made by the Mughal emperors between 1556 to 1707 AD. "Kos" literally means a medieval measurement of distance denoting approximately 3 km and "Minar" is a Persian word for tower. The Kos Minars measure over 30 feet in height and were once erected by the Mughals marking their royal route from Agra to Ajmer via Jaipur in the west, from Agra to Lahore via Delhi in the north and from Agra to Mandu via Shivpuri in the south. Modern highways have come up much along the same route as the one delineated by the Kos Minars. Abul Fazl recorded in Akbar Nama that in the year 1575 AD, Akbar issued an order that at every Kos on the way from Agra to Ajmer, a pillar or a minar should be erected for the comfort of the travellers. So that the travellers who had lost their way might have a mark and a place to rest. It is believed that Akbar derived inspiration to build Kos Minars from his predecessor, Sher Shah, who built many roads and repaired and revived the ancient route of the Mauryas henceforth termed the Sher Shah Suri Marg or the Grad trunk Road. The Kos Minar is a solid round pillar that stands on a masonry platform built with bricks and plastered over with lime. Kos Minars became an institution during the rule of the Mughals that after Akbar, emperor Jahangir and Shah Jahan, both added to the existing network of Kos Minars. In the north they were extended as far as Peshawar and in the east to Bengal via Kanauj. The geographic span makes for nearly three thousand kilometers of Mughal highways, accounting for nearly 1000 Kos Minars, i.e., 1 every Kos or 3 km. there is no record as to how many of them have survived. The Kos Minars are never looked at as architecturally impressive structures. It is only when we view them in the totality of a much larger design that their real significance emerges. The Kos Minars proved critical in the governance, as there was a horse, a rider, and a drummer posted at every Kos Minar and royal messages were relayed back and forth with great speed. Some historians believe that the Kos Minars were principally made to facilitate transportation and not communications. Those were the days when the Mughal emperors traveled on elephant back, in a royal entourage that included more than a thousand people consisting of bodyguards, personal retainers, tent erectors, cooks, foot soldiers and cavalry.

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