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)

Hemant Shesh's conversations

Very interesting view of modern India. LIKE. Best wishes Reinhard

MENAL.,situated between BHILWARA and CHITTORGARH, IS 70 kms east of CHITTORGARH. IT is a pleasant place to be seen. During monsoons, the Menal river waterfall presents spectacularly a splendid sight to behold.This place is known for it's historical and archaeological importance .It was once the capital of BIJOLIA.It's temples, statues, and palace halls are unparallel and extraordinary examples of architectural beauty.They were built in the 11nth century.Unfortunately, the Mughal invaders annhilated most of the statues of this place.7kms far from Menal is Joganiya Mata Shakti Peeth. This place , surrounded by hills ,has panoramic vistas of natural beauty around it.

Dear Tariqs, This seems to be an Architectural photograph of the Mall- and not the real site picture!

Incepted in November 2005, State Museum houses an amazing assortment of artifacts and offers on display the multifaceted rich cultural heritage of Madhya Pradesh. Initially, it was known by the name of Bhopal Museum. Later, the building was relocated to Shyamla Hills, where its entire construction and designing was handled by the Capital Project Administration (C.P.A.) and Environmental Planning and Co-ordination Organization (EPCO), respectively.

Presently, this museum is home to seventeen galleries, housing historical works including excavated objects, pre-historic articles and fossils, royal collection, sculptures, paintings, documentary heritage and textiles of Madhya Pradesh. Also, you can witness some real nice masterpieces such as miniatures, musical instruments, weapons and coins that reflect the rich heritage of the city.

uncommon roof with holes

The Bhopal Lake or upper lake had a yacht club initiated by Ubedullah Khan, son of Sultanjahan Begum.

Many visiting English officials of the British India suggested that this beautiful city be given to British Municipality officials. To avoid this, the yacht club was initiated by Ubedullah Khan, which was continued by his sons Saiduzaffar Khan and Rashiduzaffar Khan after his death. The club was made of wood, which used to stand in the middle of the lake. The English political agent was made the yacht club secretary who used to reside in “Lal kothi”, the present day Raj Bhawan. Many races used to be organized in this yacht club, with teams from Nanital and Pune participating. The races used to start from 8 in the morning. Nawab Hamidullah Khan had two rowing boats by the name of “Nagina” and “Noushaba”, which used to participate in the races.

There used to be parties and at-homes thrown in the evenings in this building of Yacht club. Due to some difference of opinion between the English political agent and the nawab, the nawab is said to have withdrawn from the boats from yacht club and stopped visiting the yacht club. Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma hosted many important parties, during the initial days of Bhopal being made the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh. The announcement to join Bhopal with the All India Radio network was made by Dr Keskar from this building. However, this being a private property of the Nawabs, the inheritors dismantled the building. One can see only some wooden pillars when one visits the modern boat club of today, standing at the point where this old yacht club of Bhopal stood.

The present day boat club at upper lake provides facilities for exciting trips by sail, paddle, motorboats and now even a hugely popular cruise boat. The vast majority of yachting activity is concentrated along the coast, and landlocked Bhopal is therefore breaking ground by bringing this sport virtually into the heart of India. India’s first National Sailing School (NSS) opened its doors here on 8th August 2006 at this historic Upper Lake in Bhopal, with much fanfare and enthusiasm exhibited particularly by the youth. Madhya Pradesh Sports and Youth Welfare Department, Indian Navy and Yachting Association of India (YAI) jointly established the sailing school.

Children ranging in age from 8 to 21 years will be trained in three major classes namely Optimist, 420 and Laser. NSS will offer three levels of courses certified by YAI & Madhya Pradesh State Sports Department of 12 days, 50 days and one year duration. The South Asian Yachting Regatta 2006 is scheduled at Bhopal during 26 – 30 Dec 2006. The event is to be conducted in the “YAI – National Sailing School”, Bhopal and is supported by the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, the Indian Navy and the Indian Army. In all 20 competitors and officials are expected each from Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Gandhi Bhawan Trust Shyamla Hills , Bhopal - 462002 Madhya Pradesh

Tel: +91 755 2661453 2660674 Email: navjeevan_nashamukti@yahoo.comhttp://www.gandhibhawantrust.org/GBTNavjeevan.htm

Founded in 1969, the Gandhi Bhawan Trust has been a program inspired by the thoughts and works of Ghandi – serving society through love. With a focus on caring for those who need it the most, Navjeevan, the de-addiction and rehabilitation centre partnered with the Gandhi Bhawan Trust runs cost free.

The de-addiction program consists of an initial consultation with a physician, NA and AA meetings, and group, family, and individual counseling. Patients are given many tools to aid in recovery; yoga, literature, gardening, sports, and prayer. The program has a minimum requirement of 30 days. Time spent at Navjeevan is implemented with the love, care, and morals of Gandhi, and is a peaceful place for those fighting addiction.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple (Laxmi Narayan Temple- Birla Mandir)

Lakshmi Narayan Temple alias Birla Mandir is located atop the Arera Hills of Bhopal on the southern part of Lower Lake. This beautiful Vaishnavite temple is dedicated to Lakshmi (Laxmi), the Goddess of Wealth. The temple houses the idols of Goddess Laxmi and her husband Lord Vishnu or Narayana, along with the magnificent idols of Shiva with his consort Parvati.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple is located in a picturesque area, surrounded by a lush green lawns with fountains and attractive flowing plants. The architecture of this sandy yellowish Lakshmi Narayan Temple, topped by a shell roof and wooden Chhattries, reflects age old Indian sculpture. The main entrance of the temple has a magnificent archway. The temple complex consists of several smaller shrines. Lakshmi Narayan Temple is open to all the tourists irrespective of caste and creed. It took four years to complete. (1960-1964)

Situated alongside serene Upper Lake in City of Nawabs Bhopal, Gohar Mahal built by the first female ruler of Bhopal, is another evidence of Nawabi era architecture and grandeur.

Having seen the majestic Nawabi era, the heritage palace now serves as a centre of art and culture as MP Handicraft Corporation which hosts number of cultural activities, workshops and exhibition of artifacts at the palace.

In the year 1819, 18-year old Qudsia Begum (also known as Gohar Begum) took over the reins after the assassination of her husband. She was the first female ruler of Bhopal.

Although illiterate, she was brave and refused to follow the purdah tradition. She declared that her two-year old daughter Sikander will follow her as the ruler.

Deeg is a little known town, situated 36 km away from Bharatpur. Founded by Maharaja Suraj Mahal in the 18th century, this town served as the second capital of Bharatpur and a summer retreat for the royal family. The main attraction of the place is the Maharaja's Palace, in the centre of the town, with sprawling gardens beautified with fountains expansive courtyards. Deeg bore the brunt of battles in which Maharaja Suraj Mahl showcased the strength of his Jat empire against the combined empires of Mughals and the Marathas.

Kings of Bharatpur administered their empires both from Bharatpur as well as from Deeg. This signifies the importance of this lesser known town in Indian History. Once you lay your eyes on the the Palace pavilions and the fortification near it, you will realize the magic of the place which otherwise appears to be nothing more than an agricultural area. The Jats, a dynasty that dared challenge the power of the Mughals, once ruled Deeg. The living testimony to their rule is a fort constructed during the reign of Surajmal in 1730s. Surajmal was also responsible for the development of the town of Deeg. The control of Jats ended in the year 1776 following their defeat by the imperial Mughal army under Mirza Nazaf Khan. Deeg was returned after a decade, but it did not remain free for long. It was again seized, this time by new rulers, namely, the British with their unusual style of gun power and diplomacy. The British set it free not long afterwards in 1805. North of Bharatpur is this beautiful garden town, the gardens have been laid with great care and precision, the sparkling fountains and meticulous palaces add to he beauty of this idyllic retreat of the princes of Bharatpur. The tourist can enjoy the wonderful view of this agricultural town, along with the gardens and pavilions of the palace. Prominent tourist attractions include the following:

Gopal Bhavan:

Completed in 1760, an imaginatively designed building complex with beautifully laid gardens at its entrance and the rear overlooks the Gopal Sagar which is flanked with smaller pavilions Sawan and Bhadon. The formal gardens face a raised terrace with an arch of lustrous marble installed on a pedestal in the form of swing. This exquisite swing is a war trophy brought in by the famous Jat king Raja Suraj Mal from the Mughal court in Delhi. The spacious and well proportioned Banquet Hall has a double row of graceful pillars. The rear of the chamber is further divided by a charming sunken pool with fountains. The Banquet hall exhibit a large collection of souvenirs, curios, and Victorian furniture. Staircases wind upstairs to the upper floors. One room has a solid black marble bed from Delhi.

Suraj Bhavan:

To the east of the main building, this palace has balconies overhanging the water. The entire palace in marble is like an airy pavilion with fine ornamentation within the apartments.

Nand Bhavan:

It is a large audience hall. Krishna Bhavan, and the ingeniously designed water works of Keshav Bhavan, with open twelve pillared pavilion are of great interest.

Deeg Fort:

The fort stands majestically over a slightly elevated point, built by Raga Suraj Mal. The fort is enclosed by amazing gateways, pits and moats and the interiors of the fort are generally in ruins now. But the watch tower still stands in the ruins keeping an eye over the City and Palace; a gun captured from Agra fort is placed over it.

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