I want to inform you all that now I have a new blog named The Srishti Blog. I am planning to post on that blog from now on, but don’t worry, I will be active on this one too. This means that The Srishti Blog is now my primary blog, and you can consider this one as my travel blog.
Please continue to like, share and follow this blog, and please like, share and follow The Srishti Blog.
So today I am here with the 2nd part of my Jaipur Trip.
The second place we visited was Hawa Mahal.
Hawa Mahal (English translation: “The Palace of Winds” or “The Palace of Breeze”) is a palace in Jaipur, India approximately 300 kilometers from the capital city of Delhi. Built from red and pink sandstone, the palace sits on the edge of the City Palace, Jaipur, and extends to the Zenana, or women’s chambers.
The structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, the grandson of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, who was the founder of Jaipur. He was so inspired by the unique structure of Khetri Mahal that he built this grand and historical palace. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad. Its five floor exterior is akin to honeycomb with its 953 small windows called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework. The original intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey the strict rules of “purdah”, which forbade them from appearing in public without face coverings. This architectural feature also allowed cool air from the Venturi effect to pass through, thus making the whole area more pleasant during the high temperatures in summer. Many people see the Hawa Mahal from the street view and think it is the front of the palace, but it is the back.
In 2006, renovation works on the Mahal were undertaken, after a gap of 50 years, to give a facelift to the monument at an estimated cost of Rs 4.568 million. The corporate sector lent a hand to preserve the historical monuments of Jaipur and the Unit Trust of India has adopted Hawa Mahal to maintain it. The palace is an extended part of a huge complex. The stone-carved screens, small casements, and arched roofs are some of the features of this popular tourist spot. The monument also has delicately modeled hanging cornices.
This palace is a five-story pyramidal shaped monument that rises to about 50 feet (15 m). The top three floors of the structure have the width of a single room, while the first and second floors have patios in front of them. The front elevation, as seen from the street, is like a honeycomb with small portholes. Each porthole has miniature windows and carved sandstone grills, finials and domes. It gives the appearance of a mass of semi-octagonal bays, giving the monument its unique façade. The inner face on the back side of the building consists of chambers built with pillars and corridors with minimal ornamentation, and reach up to the top floor. The interior of the palace has been described as “having rooms of different coloured marbles, relieved by inlaid panels or gilding; while fountains adorn the centre of the courtyard”.
Lal Chand Usta was the architect. Built-in red and pink colored sandstone, in keeping with the décor of the other monuments in the city, its color is a full testimony to the epithet of “Pink City” given to Jaipur. Its façade with 953 niches with intricately carved jharokhas (some are made of wood) is a stark contrast to the plain-looking rear side of the structure. Its cultural and architectural heritage is a reflection of a fusion of Hindu Rajput architecture and Islamic Mughal architecture; the Rajput style is seen in the form of domed canopies, fluted pillars, lotus, and floral patterns, and the Islamic style as evident in its stone inlay filigree work and arches (as distinguished from its similarity with the Panch Mahal at Fatehpur Sikri).
The entry to the Hawa Mahal from the city palace side is through an imperial door. It opens into a large courtyard, which has double-storeyed buildings on three sides, with the Hawa Mahal enclosing it on the east side. An archaeological museum is also housed in this courtyard.
Hawa Mahal was also known as the chef-d’œuvre of Maharaja Jai Singh as it was his favourite resort because of the elegance and built-in interior of the Mahal. The cooling effect in the chambers, provided by the breeze passing through the small windows of the façade, was enhanced by the fountains provided at the center of each of the chambers.
The top two floors of the Hawa Mahal are accessed only through ramps. The Mahal is maintained by the archaeological department of the Government of Rajasthan.
We got our tickets and went inside. We clicked some photos around the fountain. I had always wanted to see a live rainbow, and my wish came true. I saw a rainbow in the water of the fountain. It was beautiful.
We also saw the coloured glasses. They were beautiful!
Then, we headed towards Jantar Mantar.
Stay tuned for a detailed post on Jantar Mantar.
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Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10 to honour the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The UDHR is a document which “proclaims the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being”- irrespective of their gender, language, religion, race, colour, national or social origin, political or other opinions among other statuses, according to the United Nations (UN’s) website.
The UDHR is available in more than 500 languages and is the most translated document across the globe. It continues to be the foundation of all international human rights laws.
What are human rights?
Human rights are the rights that people simply have and are not granted by any state. These rights are inherent to all irrespective of any of the above statuses. Human rights range from right to life, right to food, right to education, right to health etc.
Human Rights Day 2021 theme
This year’s theme for Human Rights Day is Equality – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights. The theme is related to Article 1 of the UDHR which states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
Famous quotes on human rights:
Former South African president Nelson Mandela
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”:
Former American minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr
“A right delayed is a right denied.”
António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations
“When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people – they will build a peaceful, sustainable, and just world.”
Former US president John F Kennedy
“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”
Books are our best friends, and the pandemic has proved this. As we all are sitting at home, books have proved to be a great source of entertainment, learning and relaxation.
I have always been an avid reader, and the pandemic gave me plenty of time to fulfil my greatest hobby, reading. I started reading the Percy Jackson Series, and it has become my favourite book series ever. The series is filled with magic, thrill, fantasy and adventure. The author of the series is Rick Riordan.
The series is about a boy named Perseus Jackson, also known as Percy. He was the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, and Sally Jackson, a mortal woman. Until he was 12, he did not know that he was a demigod, after which he went to camp half-blood, a place that taught half-bloods to survive in the outside world. He made many friends there, like Annabeth Chase, Thalia Grace, Grover Underwood, and many more. Throughout the series, he went on many quests, fought monsters and titans, and in the end he was successful in saving Olympus, the home of the Greek Gods, thus fulfilling the great prophecy, which was about him.
The series consists of five books, The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and the Last Olympian. All of them will make you stick to them for hours.
1. The Lightning Thief
In The Lightning Thief, Percy is accused by Zeus, the god of lightning and the king of Olympus, for stealing his lightning bolt, although Percy was not the thief and at that time, he did not even know that he was a demigod. How will Percy come to know he is a demigod? How will he meet his friends? Who is the Lightning Thief? Read the book to find the answers.
2. The Sea of Monsters
In The Sea of Monsters, he discovers that he has a half brother, Tyson, a Cyclops and another son of Poseidon with a sea nymph. He discovers that the pine tree of the demigod Thalia Grace has been poisoned. To heal the tree, they will need the Golden Fleece? Will Percy and his friends be able to get to the Golden Fleece in time? Will Thalia, in the tree form, get resurrected? Read the book to find the answers.
3. The Titan’s Curse
In The Titan’s Curse, Percy meets two half-bloods, Nico and Bianca Di Angelo, and they encounter a monster. In the process of fighting it, Annabeth falls off the cliff along with it. Later, the Goddess of the Hunt, Artemis, goes missing while searching for a dangerous monster. Now it is up to the Hunters of Artemis and the campers to save them. Five of them will have to go on a quest, and not all of them will survive. Will they be able to find Artemis and Annabeth? What challenges will they face? Who will be the ones who die? Read the book to find out the answers.
4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Percy and his friends are going to face an attack from their friend and the camp leader turned enemy Luke Castellan and the Titans. There is a high chance they will come through the ancient Labyrinth. It is up to them to save the camp. Will they be successful? Will they find their way inside the Labyrinth? Read the book to find the answers.
5. The Last Olympian
In the last book of the series, The Last Olympian, there is a war between the Gods and Titans. Now, it is up to Percy to either save the world or destroy the world. Will Percy save the world or be the cause of its destruction? What will happen to the titan lord Kronos and Luke? Will Percy survive? Find the answers in the book.
To find all the answers, you can read the books. I hope you will enjoy reading them as I did. Happy Reading!
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Today I am here with the introduction of a series of posts on my experience of exploring the Pink City, Jaipur.
Jaipur is my hometown, and I have been there so many times, but still, I didn’t know much about it till I had a tour of the city. So, in the following posts, you will get an overview of the places I have visited in Jaipur.
So, first let’s know more about this beautiful city.
The city of Jaipur was founded by King of Amer, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II on 18 November 1727, who ruled from 1699 to 1743. He planned to shift his capital from Amer, 11 kilometres (7 mi) to Jaipur to accommodate the growing population and increasing scarcity of water. Jai Singh consulted several books on architecture and architects while planning the layout of Jaipur. Under the architectural guidance of Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur was planned based on the principles of Vastu Shastra and Shilpa Shastra. The construction of the city began in 1726 and took four years to complete the major roads, offices, and palaces. The city was divided into nine blocks, two of which contained the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge ramparts were built, pierced by seven fortified gates.
During the rule of Sawai Ram Singh I, the city was painted pink to welcome HRH Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VII, Emperor of India), in 1876. Many of the avenues still remain painted in pink, giving Jaipur a distinctive appearance and the epithet Pink city.
In the 19th century, the city grew rapidly and by 1900 it had a population of 160,000. The wide boulevards were paved and its chief industries were the working of metals and marble, fostered by a school of art founded in 1868. The city had three colleges, including a Sanskrit college (1865) and a girls’ school (1867) opened during the reign of the Maharaja Ram Singh II.
Large areas of the city including the airport were flooded in August 1981, resulting in the death of eight people and much damage to the city’s Dravyavati River. The floods were caused by three days of cloud burst that produced more rain than the annual average.
Jaipur has a monsoon-influenced hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh) with long, extremely hot summers and short, mild to warm winters. Annual precipitation is over 63 cm, falling mostly in July and August due to monsoon, causing the average temperatures in these two months to be lower compared to drier May and June. During the monsoon, there are frequent, heavy rains and thunderstorms, but flooding is not common. The highest temperature ever recorded was 48.5 °C (119.3 °F), in May. The city’s average temperature remains below 20 °C or 68 °F between December and February. These months are mild, dry, and pleasant, sometimes chilly. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −2.2 °C (28.0 °F). Jaipur, like many other major cities of the world, is a significant urban heat island zone with surrounding rural temperatures occasionally falling below freezing in winters.
According to provisional report of 2011 census, Jaipur city had a population of 3,073,350. The overall literacy rate for the city is 84.34%. 90.61% males and 77.41% females were literate. The sex ratio was 898 females per 1,000 males & the child sex ratio was recorded 854. However, the population of the city is expected to grow up to around 39.1 lakhs (3.91 million). According to the 2011 census, Hindus form the majority religious group accounting for 77.9% of the city’s population, followed by Muslims (18.6%), Jains (2.4%) and others (1.2%).
Jaipur is a major tourist destination in India forming a part of the Golden Triangle. In the 2008 Conde Nast Traveller Readers Choice Survey, Jaipur was ranked the 7th best place to visit in Asia. According to TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards for Destination, Jaipur ranked 1st among the Indian destinations for the year. The Presidential Suite at the Raj Palace Hotel, billed at US$45,000 per night, was listed in second place on CNN’s World’s 15 most expensive hotel suites in 2012.
Jaipur Exhibition & Convention Centre (JECC) is Rajasthan’s biggest convention and exhibition centre. It is famous for organising events such as Vastara, Jaipur Jewellery Show, Stonemart 2015 and Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit 2015.
Visitor attractions include the Birla Auditorium, Albert Hall Museum, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, City Palace, Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Birla Mandir, Galtaji, Govind Dev Ji Temple, Garh Ganesh Temple, Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple, Sanghiji Jain temple and the Jaipur Zoo. The Jantar Mantar observatory (The Jantar Mantar is a collection of 19 astronomical instruments remarkable at their time.) and Amer Fort are one of the World Heritage Sites. Hawa Mahal is a five-storey pyramidal shaped monument with 953 windows that rises 15 metres (50 ft) from its high base. Sisodiya Rani Bagh and Kanak Vrindavan are the major parks in Jaipur. Raj Mandir is a notable cinema hall in Jaipur.
Jaipur has many cultural sites like Jawahar Kala Kendra formed by Architect Charles Correa and Ravindra Manch. Government Central Museum hosts several arts and antiquities. There is a government museum at Hawa Mahal and an art gallery at Viratnagar. There are statues depicting Rajasthani culture around the city. Jaipur has many traditional shops selling antiques and handicrafts, as well as contemporary brands reviving traditional techniques, such as Anokhi. The prior rulers of Jaipur patronised a number of arts and crafts. They invited skilled artisans, artists and craftsmen from India and abroad who settled in the city. Some of the crafts include bandhani, block printing, stone carving and sculpture, tarkashi, zari, gota-patti, kinari and zardozi, silver jewellery, gems, kundan, meenakari and jewellery, Lakh ki Chudiya, miniature paintings, blue pottery, ivory carving, shellac work and leather ware.
Jaipur has its own performing arts. The Jaipur Gharana for Kathak is one of the three gharanas of the major north Indian classical dance form of Kathak. The Jaipur Gharana of Kathak is known for its rapid intricate dance forms, vivacious body movements and subtle Abhinaya. The Ghoomar is a popular folk dance style. Tamasha is an art form where Kathputli puppet dance is shown in play form. Major festivals celebrated in Jaipur include Elephant Festival, Gangaur, Makar Sankranti, Holi, Diwali, Vijayadashami, Teej, Eid, Mahavir Jayanti and Christmas. Jaipur is also famous for the Jaipur Literature Festival, the world’s largest free literature festival in which authors, writers and literature lovers from all over the country participate.
Children’s Day in India is also celebrated as a tribute to India’s First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. He was also fondly known as ‘Chacha Nehru’ among children. Jawaharlal Nehru advocated for children to have a fulfilled education. Nehru considered children as the real strength of a nation and the foundation of society. The nation usually celebrates Children’s Day with educational and motivational programmes held across India for Children.
Children’s Day 2021: Date
Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14 across India, every year.
The day is also known as ‘Bal Diwas’ and is marked on the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Pandit Nehru was also known for his affection towards kids.
Nehru also established the Children’s Film Society India to make indigenous cinema exclusively for children.
Children’s Day 2021: History
After the death of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, a resolution was passed in the Indian Parliament to mark the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister of India as Children’s Day.
It was done so because he was very popular among the kids. Prior to the death of Nehru, India celebrated Children’s Day on November 14.
Failure is a thought that drives fear in the hearts and minds of many people. In fact, it can have a paralyzing effect. But what if I tell you failure is a good thing? That instead of being afraid of failure, you should embrace it like a long-lost friend?
The Olympics best represents a harsh truth in a world that has grown to be highly competitive: There will always be more losers than winners.
We all love a happy ending.
But life is not a Hollywood script. Every day we write our own story. Each page adds to a chapter in our lives until we close it and start a new one.
We are not guaranteed a happy ending, but we have the power to write one for ourselves.
People who are afraid of failure tend to operate within their comfort zones. If you want to grow, you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. In time, everything becomes easier.
I genuinely believe failure is a gift. A gift that you give to yourself to learn, to grow, to have the chance to improve.
I’ve learned to be vulnerable, to overcome my fear of being unguarded, of showing my sensibilities. Being vulnerable does not make me weak – it only makes me wiser and stronger. Vulnerability allows people to connect beyond what we express externally.
I have acknowledged now that a career is a journey about learning. What we do is our footprint, sometimes in all people’s life, sometimes in none but our own, sometimes in a few. But doing what you believe in and sticking to your values is always the right and best decision, taking ownership of our actions in any case. If it is a mistake, it is our own responsibility to absorb the learnings and repair what we did with a solution.
What is worse than failure?
Not taking the risk; becoming a dreamer forever instead of a doer. Don’t worry about the outcome; achieving long-term, sustainable success is a marathon, not a sprint. What you need to do is to take that first step and turn your dream into a reality.
Therefore, it is rightly said that “Winners are not people who fail but, people who never quit”. So, get up, stand up, stand up for your life, stand up for your rights, and don’t give up the fight!
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Bhai Dooj, the final day of Diwali festivities, is celebrated on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the Hindu calendar month of Kartika. This year, Bhai Dooj falls on November 6, two days after the Diwali celebrations on November 4.
On this day that celebrates the bond between the siblings, sisters pray for their brothers’ long lives by performing Tika ceremony and brothers give gifts to their sisters. Bhai Dooj is also known as Bhau Beej, Bhatra Dwitiya, Bhai Dwitiya and Bhathru Dwithiya.
The day is also known as Yama Dwitiya and is observed on Dwitiya Tithi during Kartik month. Bhai Dooj or Yama Dwitiya falls two days after Diwali. Yamraj, the lord of death, is worshipped on Yama Dwitiya along with Chitragupta and Yama-Doots, the subordinates of Lord Yamraj.
History and significance of Bhai Dooj
As per the legend, Yamraj’s sister Yamuna tried to get her brother to visit her on many occasions but Yamraj was unable to do so for a long time. When he finally met her, his sister organized a grand ceremony for him, offered sweets to him and placed tika on his forehead.
Extremely pleased with the love and respect he was showered with, Yamraj gave Yamuna a boon and she, in turn, asked him to dedicate a day on which he would visit her house each year. Hence, the ritual of siblings visiting each other on this day began to honour the kinship between them.
It is believed that sisters who feed their brothers on this auspicious day would be forever Saubhagyavati and eating at his sister’s home bestows long life to brothers.
According to Hindu mythology, a young and curious Lord Krishna once asked his father Nanda Maharaj why the people of Braj worshipped Lord Indra. He answered that they were worshipping Indra to bless them with rain and shower his grace over them. However, Lord Krishna was not satisfied and convinced the people of Braj to concentrate on doing their work and stop worrying about the result.
This made Lord Indra angry, and he called on Samavartaka clouds of devastation to hammer Vrindavan with rain and thunderstorms. People of Braj turned to Lord Krishna for help. He then lifted Govardhan Parvat on his little finger, and people of Braj took shelter under it for seven days, unaffected by hunger and thirst.
Devotees of Lord Krishna worship him on this day to bless them. They offer him a ‘mountain’ of food, which is why food plays an important role in this puja. Apart from that, Lord Krishna’s worshippers also sing hymns, kirtans, light diyas, and decorate their homes.
Govardhan Puja Rituals
One of the most significant rituals of Govardhan Puja includes making a small hill out of cow dung and mud, signifying the Govardhan parvat. Devotees pray to Lord Krishna and the Govardhan parvat for saving the people of Braj Bhoomi from floods and the wrath of Lord Indra. People also give a milk bath to Lord Krishna’s idol, dress him in new clothes and jewellery, and offer him various dishes. In some states, devotees also prepare an extensive food platter of 56 kinds of different items.
Every year, Indian communities all over the world celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, with much fanfare. Diwali is a five-day festival that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. The origin of the word ‘Diwali’ is from the Sanskrit word ‘Deepavali’ where ‘deepa’ means ‘light’ and ‘vali’ means ‘row’; thus a row of lights, which is exactly what is seen in homes during this time—rows of light in celebration of the festival.
This festival is celebrated on Amavasya or ‘no moon day and heralds the dawn of a New Year according to the Hindu calendar. Celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains, each of these groups honour some historical figure and significance. Whatever one’s belief, it is a celebration of good over evil and heralds new, positive beginnings.
In the Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a festival every day of the year—365 festivals in a year! The idea behind this was to make our whole life into a celebration. Today, maybe only thirty or forty festivals remain. We are not able to celebrate even those, so people usually celebrate only around eight or ten festivals annually. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji. However, the largest Diwali celebration outside of India takes place in Leicester, England’s Golden Mile section.
The Festival of Lights does just that―light up the homes and hearts of communities all over the world. During the five-day period, people’s homes are lit up by ‘diyas’ (earthen candles or small clay lamps), and the exteriors are often decorated with electric lights. Inside the home, one will find intricate rangoli art, which are patterns on the floor created by either rice or coloured powder. Neighbours exchange gifts, and the emphasis is often on sweets, dried fruit, and other gifts. It is also a time to share with those in need and give freely to members of the community who have little.
The air is rich with the smell of incense, the acrid smell of burning crackers, and the aromas coming from the kitchen. The celebration features various rich savoury and sweet dishes, and while eating out is popular, families will mostly prepare food at home for when guests arrive to exchange gifts and watch fireworks.
To some, Diwali celebrations are loud and colorful, with people vying for who has the loudest and brightest firework! For some, Diwali means the annual cleaning and decorating of the house. And for some, it means the last bit of sweets, the end of an array of Hindu celebrations before you start dieting to get into that evening gown on New Year’s Eve!
May this festival of lights bring you peace, prosperity, success, health and great happiness! Happy Diwali!
I want to be a writer and do something which I had never done before. I really feel that this is a good time for kids, as they are getting more opportunities to express themselves and follow their passion. So I have started this blog.
In this blog, I will be sharing my trips and my memories of that place. Sometimes I will write about other things too.
I hope you will like my post and please like and follow my blog.