The culture of India is one of the oldest and unique. In India, there is amazing cultural diversity throughout the country. The South, North, and Northeast have their own distinct cultures and almost every state has carved out its own cultural niche. There is hardly any culture in the world that is as varied and unique as India. India is a vast country, having variety of geographical features and climatic conditions. India is home to some of the most ancient civilizations, including four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
The Web Cultural India

Friday, October 21, 2011

South Indian Food

The cuisine of South India is known for its light, low calorie appetizing dishes. The traditional food of South India is mainly rice based.
South Indian Food
The cuisine is famous for its wonderful mixing of rice and lentils to prepare yummy lip smacking dosas, vadas, idlis and uttapams. South Indian dishes are not just delicious, but also very easily digestible. The best part is that South Indians do not use much of oil for cooking their meals.

South Indian Food
Sambhar is like a must in the main course. It is usually a companion to most of the food items then be it idli, vada or dosa. Most of the South Indian dishes consist of sambhar, rasam, vegetable curry and pachadi (yogurt). When it comes to rice preparations, South Indians are real experts. Their lemon rice is savored and appreciated by almost all the people. Other preparations of rice include coconut rice, carrot rice and fried rice made by using coconut, curry leaves, urad dal, tamarind, peanuts, chilies, and fenugreek seeds.

South Indian Food
South Indian chutneys are well liked by people. Infact, chutney, especially the one made from coconut, is the major attraction for many people to visit a restaurant that specializes in South Indian cuisine. The main ingredients for preparing varied chutneys are coconut, peanuts, dal, tamarind, fenugreek seeds, and cilantro. Dals cooked in the South Indian style are also quite different from that of North Indian preparation. They are more soupy in comparison to the dals cooked in the North Indian style.

South Indian Food
The cuisine of South India is hotter than the North Indian cuisine. South Indians do not make much use of garam Masala and other dried spices. However, turmeric, black pepper and cardamom are an exception. For the cuisine of South India, it can be said that it is a perfect blend of flavor, color and taste and also takes care of the nutritional balance. Even, the visual appeal of the South Indian dishes is quite alluring. South Indians usually prefer drinking coffee after having their meals. Well, coffee has become a popular beverage in the entire country. Coconut milk is also quite common in South India.

South Indian cuisine consists of the cuisine of four states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. All the four cuisines have lot many things in common; however, they differ in terms of the spice content in their food preparations.

Andhra Food
Andhra Food

Andhra food is the spiciest and the hottest of all the South Indian cuisines. There is a liberal use of oil, tamarind and chilli powder (Guntur). An interesting thing is that though Hyderabad is the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, its cuisine is absolutely distinct from that of Andhra cuisine.

Popular Vegetarian Food: Pesarattu, gongura, pulihora, avakkai (cut raw mango) pickle

Popular Non-vegetarian Food: Kodi iguru(fry), Kodi pulusu(gravy), Chepa pulusu etc

Karnataka Food
Karnataka Food

In Karnataka, lunch is mostly served on a plantain leaf. There is a higher percentage of vegetarians in Karnataka; therefore, their cuisine mainly consists of vegetarian dishes. The food of Karnataka is the mildest of all. Here, the use of chilli powder is done sparingly. They make a liberal use of palm sugar or brown sugar. Udupi food forms part of the cuisine of Karnataka.

Popular dishes: Ragi rotti, Akki rotti, Khara Bisi bele bath, Kesari Bath, Vangi Bath, Saaru, Bath, Davanagere Benne Dosa, Ragi mudde, and Uppittu.

In South Karnataka, Rava Idli, Mysore Masala Dosa and Medhu Vada are extremely popular.

Among the sweet dishes, Karnataka is well known for its wonderful preparation of Mysore Pak, Dharwad pedha, Pheni, Chiroti.

Kerala Food
Kerala Food

Kerala cuisine mainly consists of coconut based foodstuff. Since, Kerala is the chief exporter of coconut; therefore coconut is used liberally over here. Kerala is a place well known for its beautiful backwaters and thus, this place is a paradise for seafood lovers. There is an abundance of seafood specialties.

Popular Vegetarian Food: Aviyal, olan,

Popular Non-vegetarian Food: Shrimp coconut curry, fish poriyal

Tamil Food
Tamil Food

The cuisine of Tamilnadu consists of plenty of mouthwatering vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Tamilnadu has a lot to offer, when it comes to food.

Popular Vegetarian Food: Idli, sambar, rasam, vada, thayir sadam (yogurt rice), thayir vadai, murukku, kootu, poriyal, uthappam, appalam and papadum and thayir pachadi

Popular Non-vegetarian Food:, Chettinad pepper chicken and karuvadu kozhumu (dried preserved fish flavored curry)

Rajasthani Food

The cuisine of Rajasthan is primarily vegetarian and offers a fabulous variety of mouthwatering dishes. The spice content is quite high in comparison to other Indian cuisines, but the food is absolutely scrumptious.
Rajasthani Food
Rajasthanis use ghee for cooking most of the dishes. Rajasthani food is well known for its spicy curries and delicious sweets.

There is an enormous variety of sweets in Rajasthan, which are relished and savored by all. In Rajasthan, the sweet dishes are had before the meal, with the main course and after the meal unlike other desserts. Therefore, sweet dish is never called dessert in Rajasthan. When a guest arrives in the house of a Rajasthani, he/she is served food in a proper manner. Self service concept is considered rude and thus it does not form part of the etiquettes of Rajasthanis.

Rajasthani Food
The cooking style followed in Rajasthan is based on the natural climatic conditions of this desert land. There is scarcity of water and fresh green veggies in the state of Rajasthan, which has an adverse impact on its cooking. In the desert belts of Rajasthan, it is preferred to use milk, butter milk and butter in larger quantities to minimize the amount of water while cooking food.

Rajasthani Food
Dried lentils and beans obtained from native plants like sangria are used extensively in the preparation of Rajasthani dishes. Gram flour is the major ingredient in the making of a couple of delicacies such as "pakodi" and "gatte ki sabzi". Powdered lentils are liberally used in the preparation of papad. Rajasthanis are quite fond of chutneys, which are prepared using different spices such as coriander, turmeric, garlic and mint.

Rajasthani Food
Out of all the Rajasthani dishes, dal bati churma is perhaps the best known. For those who are in a lookout for variety, Rajasthan has a lot to offer. Infact, as you travel from one part of the state to another, you'll find that every region has something unique, which reflects in its food as well. There is a popular sweet of each region like Mawa Kachori of Jodhpur, Rasogullas of Bikaner, Ghevar of Jaipur, Malpuas of Pushkar etc.

Popular Rajasthani dishes:

Bail-Gatte, Balushahi, Besan-Chakki, Chaavadi, Churma, Dal-Bati, Dhungari Hui Chaach, Ghevar, Googri, Jhajariya, Laapasi, Nukhti, Panchkoota, Raabdi, Tarfini.

Popular Rajasthani curries:

Beans ki sabzi, Gajar ki sabzi, Guwar fali ki saag, Karela ki sabzi, Keri ki sabzi, Khaddi, Kicha ki sabzi, Kikoda ki sabzi, Makki ki raab, Matar ki sabzi, Moranga ki sabzi.

Punjabi Food

The cuisine of Punjab has an enormous variety of mouth-watering vegetarian as well as non vegetarian dishes. The spice content ranges from minimal to pleasant to high. Punjabi food is usually relished by people of all communities.
Punjabi Food - Makki Di Roti Sarson Da Saag
In Punjab, home cooking differs from the restaurant cooking style. At the restaurants, the chefs make a liberal use of desi ghee, butter and cream to make the food lip smacking and finger licking. On the other hand, at home, people prefer using sunflower oil or some other refined oil for cooking, with the basic idea of making the food low in fat content.

Punjabi,Aloo Gobi
Wheat is the staple food of Punjabis; however, they do enjoy eating rice on festivities and other special occasions. When it comes to food, each region in Punjab has an entirely different preference like people in Amritsar are particularly fond of stuffed paranthas and milk products. The philosophy of life for most of the Punjabis is to eat, drink and make merry. They are real lively people who are extremely fond of eating good food. In the preparation of Punjabi food, onion, ginger and garlic are used extensively to enhance the taste of the food.

Punjabi,Navratan Korma
Traditional Punjabi thali consists of varied kinds of breads; some are baked in the tandoor such as tandoori roti, lachha paratha, naan and kulcha, while others are dry baked on tava like chapatti and jowar ki roti. There is another fabulous variety of roti called rumali roti, which is larger in size as compared to the normal one and is also easily absorbable. Also, there are breads that are shallow fried such as parantha and deep fried such as puri and bhatoora.

Popular Punjabi Dishes

Non Vegetarian

Butter Chicken, Chicken Curry with Tomatoes (Murgha Kari), Chicken Biryani, Chicken Tikkas, Fried Garlic Pepper Chicken, Amritsari Fish, Murgh Musallam Chicken Curry, Tandoori chicken, Zeera Murg (Cumin Chicken)

Egg: Egg Curry, Egg Bhaji


Amritsari Aloo, Aloo Gobhi, Aloo Mattar, Aloo Tikki, Baigan Bharta, Bhindi, Cauliflower Bhaaji, Chana Masala, Dahi Bhalle, Dal Fry, Dal Makhani, Handi Biryani, Jeera Rice, Makki Di Roti, Malai Kofta, Navratan Korma


Carrot Halwa, Gulab Jamoon, Kaju Barfi, Kalakand, Imarti, Jalebis, Motichoor Ladoo, Pinni, Soan Papdi, Sooji Halwa.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mughlai Cuisine

Mughlai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines, whose origin can be traced back to the times of Mughal Empire.
Mughlai Cuisine
Mughlai cuisine consists of the dishes that were prepared in the kitchens of the royal Mughal Emperors. Indian cuisine is predominantly influenced by the cooking style practiced during the Mughal era. Mughlai food is quite spicy and has a very unique aroma. On eating Mughlai food, one can get a feel of the ground spices. The spices used in the preparation of Mughlai food are easily accessible.

Mughlai Cuisine
Mughlai food is especially preferred in Northern parts of the country. Some of the Mughlai dishes have Muslim names such as biryani, pulao, kebabs, kofta. This is suggestive of the strong influence of Muslim cooking style. The Mughals have truly left a long lasting influence on India, which is also reflected in the cuisine of India. Mughlai food occupies a commanding position in the popular cuisines of India.

Mughlai Cuisine
The rich preparation of Mughlai food consisting of flavored sauces and butter based curries is so tempting that food lovers are bound to crave for more and more food. Mughlai food offers an amazingly delicious variety of food ranging from hot spicy shorba or soup to ginger based roasted meats to kulfi with rose petals sprinkled on it. Even, the names of the Mughlai food are so attractive that a person gets tempted to try out different dishes.

Mughlai Cuisine
Though, Mughlai food is cooked in all parts of the country, but the best feel of this cuisine can be had only in Delhi, which specializes in the preparation of this royal cuisine. In the 16th century, India was invaded by Mughals, who introduced the exotic spices, nuts and fruits to India. Also, the Indians got an opportunity to learn new techniques of cooking. In the preparation of most of the Mughlai dishes, milk and cream is used liberally. Mughlai Biriyanies, Pasandas, Kormas and Pulao are so enticing and yummy that people usually end up licking their fingers.

Popular Mughlai Dishes

Aloo Ka Raita
Badaam Halwa
Carrot And Capsicum Raita
Chaamp Masala (Lamb Chops Curry)
Chicken Biryani
Chicken Korma
Chicken Tikka
Chole or Chane
Jhinga Malai Curry (Creamy Prawn Curry)
Kesar Chawal
Murgh Achaari
Naan (Indian Bread)
Palak Gosht
Palak Paneer
Paneer Tamatari
Seekh Kebabs
Tandoori Chicken Legs (Grilled Chicken Drumsticks)

Kashmiri Food

Kashmiri food that we have today in the restaurants has evolved over the years. Highly influenced by the traditional food of the Kashmiri pundits, it has now taken some of the features of the cooking style adopted in Central Asia, Persia and Afghanistan.
Kashmiri Food
Kashmiri food makes an extensive use of turmeric and yoghurt. Superb preparation and fabulous aromatic flavor of the Kashmiri food is so alluring that even those who are not feeling hungry end up yearning for more.

In the making of Kashmiri dishes, garlic and onion are not used much as in the case of other Indian cuisines. Absolutely rich in taste and exotic in flavor, Kashmiri cuisine has become a popular choice. The strong influence of Kashmiri pandits, who are predominantly meat eaters, explains the reason why the cuisine of Kashmir has more of non vegetarian dishes. Kashmiri thali is preferred mainly for its non vegetarian dishes. However, there are some real mouthwatering vegetarian dishes too, which are relished by all.

Kashmiri Food
Traditional Kashmiri thali consists of Wazwan, which demands lot of preparation. Infact, preparing Wazwan in itself is considered a great art. Substantial time and effort is spent on the making of this special feast. The cuisine of Wazwan encompasses near about 36 dishes. The head chef known as Vasta Waza does all the requisite preparations. It is mostly prepared on some big family occasion or festivity.

Kashmiri Food
The use of curd in the preparation of food gives the dish a creamy touch. To enhance the flavor of the meat dishes, Kashmiris add asafoetida (Hing) to it. Other addictive spices used to add to the taste are dry ginger and Saunf (aniseed). Sometimes, ginger is used in excessive quantity that makes the dish pungent. Kashmir being the leading producer and chief exporter of saffron makes an extensive use of it in the form of a colorful flavoring agent. For its amazing aroma, it is added to pulaos and sweets.

Kashmiri Food
Kashmiri dishes make a regular use of dry fruits, especially in the preparation of curries. Kashmiris use ghee to cook meals, though in urban areas, well educated families have started using mustard oil as an alternative, to avoid the intake of high fat in ghee. Kashmiri rice is also quite aromatic and light and thus the Kashmiri rice pulao is well liked by people. The cuisine of Kashmir is truly unique and has absolutely no comparison.

Popular Kashmiri Dishes

Chamani Qaliya
Choek Vangan
Dum Aloo
Hak (with Nadeir/Vangan)
Muji Chetein
Nadeir Yakhean
Nadier Palak
Razmah dal aanchar
Razmah Goagji
Veth Chaman
Aab Gosht
Daniwal Korma
Dhani Phul
Gaad kufta
Kashmiri Chicken
Martswangan Korma
Rogan Josh
Shami Kabab
Tabak Maaz

Friday, October 7, 2011

Gujarati Food

The traditional Gujarati food is primarily vegetarian and has a high nutritional value. The typical Gujarati thali consists of varied kinds of lip smacking dishes. Gujarati cuisine has so much to offer and each dish has an absolutely different cooking style. 

Gujarati Food
Some of the dishes are stir fry, while others are boiled. Gujarati food is more often served on a silver platter. Gujaratis use a combination of different spices and flavors to cook their meals and this is what makes their food truly exotic.

The traditional Gujarati thali mostly encompasses rotli, dal or kadhi, sabzi also known as shaak and rice. People in Gujarat eat one or the other type of curry along with rice and roti in almost every meal Gujarati dishes usually have a very subtle taste that makes it truly distinct from other Indian cuisines. Lot of emphasis is laid on maintaining hygiene while cooking. Most of the Gujarati dishes are sweet, while others have a quite larger concentration of sugar as compared to salt and spices. Sometimes, jaggery is used as an alternative to sugar.

Gujarati Dhoklas
Gujarati food is highly energy efficient and thus do not cause much of fuel wastage. The staple food of Gujarat consists of homemade pickles, chhaas (buttermilk), salad etc. main course includes vegetables which are usually steamed and dal. Vaghaar is a blend of spices, which is purified in hot oil and then added to the dal. To prevent the body from becoming dehydrated, lot of salt, sugar, tomato and lemon is used.

Gujarati Shrikhand
Gujarati cuisine differs from season to season depending on the availability of vegetables. People in the urban areas are starting some new eating trends. In the summer season, spices such as black pepper and its constituent spices are used in lesser quantities. People fast on a regular basis and limit their diet to milk, nuts and dried fruits.

In the modern era, more and more youngsters have started developing taste for oily spicy food. Even, the modern chefs are coming up with fusion food concept by combining Gujrati food and Western food. Desserts, which were in the ancient times offered only on festivity or some special occasions, have now found their way in the daily meals.

Popular Gujarati Dishes


Basundi, Ghari Ghebar or Ghevar, Halvasan, Keri no ras, Malpua, Puran Poli, Shrikhand, Sutarfeni

Diwali Special Snacks

Cholafali, Ghooghra, Mathia, Soonvali

Farsan (Snacks)

Daal Dhokli, Dhokla, Fafda, Farsi Falafel, Ganthia, Hahdwoh, Kachori, Khakhra, Khaman, Khaman Dhokla, Khandvi, Khichu, Lilva Kachori, Muthia, Sev Khamani

Shaak and Daal: Vegetables and Curries

Meethi (Sweet) Kadhi, Sev Tameta nu Shak, Undhiyun


Bajri no rotlo, Bhakhri, Dhebara, Thepala

Bengali Food

Bengali cuisine is appreciated for its fabulous use of panchphoron, a term used to refer to the five essential spices, namely mustard, fenugreek seed, cumin seed, aniseed, and black cumin seed. 
Bengali Food
The specialty of Bengali food lies in the perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavors. For Bengalis, food is one of the most essential aspects of their day to day lives. Ladies spend lot of time in the kitchen cooking delicious feast for the family.

The staple food of people in Bengal is rice and fish. A typical Bengali needs to have fish in every meal; otherwise there is a feeling that the meal is incomplete.
Chum Chum, Bengali Food
There is an ample stock of fish in every household, because fish is cooked frequently, almost on a daily basis. Even the Brahmin Bengalis relish fish. Fish is a part of every festivity celebration. To lend a distinctive flavor to the fish, it is deep fried in mustard oil and then cooked in gravy.

Most of the cooking is done using mustard oil. Traditional Bengali food always ends up with mishti and sweet curd. Bengali food is famous for its mithais (sweets). The origin of typical Bengali sweets can be traced back in the traditional household kitchens. The most popular Bengali mithai is rasogolla, which is enjoyed by people all over the country.

Jhal Muri
When it comes to cooking fish, there are unlimited options. You can either fry, or cook it with gravy. Some Bengalis prefer eating steamed fish to avoid the intake of extra calories. Another great option is to sauté the fish with curd. The fish market in Bengal is always stocked with wide varieties of fish, the popular ones being salmon, hilsa, bhekti, magur, carp, rui and prawns. To fully relish their meal, Bengalis eat the food with their fingers. It is indeed quite exigent to find authentic Bengali dishes outside the Bengali kitchen.

Popular Bengali Sweets
  • Chum Chum
  • Pantua
  • Pitha
  • Rasgulla
  • Sandesh
Popular Bengali Snacks
  • Muri
  • Jhal-Muri
  • Moa

Chittorgarh Fort

Constructed By: Bhim, a Pandava (As per the legend)
Highlights: Numerous palaces and towers inside the fort.

Chittorgarh Fort
In the pages of history Chittorgarh holds a proud place and regarded as the symbol of Rajput chivalry, resistance and bravery. The Chittorgarh fort is situated 175 km to the east of Udaipur and is named after Chitrangad Maurya. Chittorgarh covers an area seven mile covering 700 acres of land with its fortifications, palaces, temples and towers. The fortress of Chittorgarh epitomizes the romance and chivalry of the Rajput tradition.

Chittorgarh Fort
The famous Chittorgarh fort is situated on a 180 m high hill that rises swiftly from the plains. The road leads through seven gates namely Padan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jorla Pol, Lakshman Pol, to the main gate, Rampol. In between the second and the third gate there are two Chhatris or cenotaphs, built in honor of Jaimull and Patta, the heroes of 1568 AD siege by Emperor Akbar. The main gate of the fort is called the Surajpol (the Gate of Sun). Inside the Chittorgarh fort there are many palaces like the Rana Kumbha Palace, the Fateh Prakash Palace, the Tower of Victory and Rani Padmini's Palace. All these structures are significant for their Rajput architectural features.

Chittorgarh Fort
The most imposing structures inside the Chittorgarh fort are the "Kirti Stambh" and the "Vijay Stambh". The "Kirti Stambh" was built by Maharana Kumbha in 1440 AD to celebrate his victory over Mohammad Khalji. The pedestal of the tower is 10 ft high and the tower stands at a height of 122 ft and is 30 ft wide at the base. The tower is nine storeyed and is adorned with sculptures of Hindu deities and stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The tower provides a breathtaking view of the city. There is a huge complex of Jain temples within the fort.

Red Fort

Constructed By: Shah Jahan
Year of Construction: 1638-1648
Location: Old Delhi

Red Fort, Delhi
The Red fort (Lal Qila) at Delhi was built by Shah Jahan on the banks of river Yamuna. The Red fort at Delhi is one of the massive forts in India and is a witness to the heyday of the Mughal Empire. Shah Jahan built the Red fort as the citadel of Shahjahanabad, his new capital at Delhi. The Lal Quila or the Red fort rises above a wide dry moat in the northeast corner of the city of Shahjahanabad. Red fort's walls extend from two kilometers and differ in height from 18 meters on the river side to 33 meters on the city side.

Red Fort, Delhi
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan started the construction of the Red fort in 1638 and it was completed by 1648. The Red fort contains all the paraphernalia of the Mughal government- halls of public and private audience (Diwan-i-am and Diwan-i-khas), domed and arched marble palaces, plush private apartments, a mosque (Moti Masjid) and richly designed gardens. Though the Red fort had to face the wrath of Nadir Shah in 1739 and the British soldiers during the revolt of 1857, it still remains an impressive testimony to the Mughal splendor and might.

Red Fort, Delhi
The main entrance of the Red fort opens at the Chatta Chowk, a covered street bordered with arched cells that used to house Delhi's most talented jewellers, carpet makers, weavers and goldsmiths. This covered passage was also known as the Meena Bazaar, the shopping centre for the ladies of the court. The Naubat Khana or the Drum House is situated a little away from the Chatta Chowk. The musicians used to play for the emperor from the Naubat Khana and the arrival of princes and royalty was heralded from here.

Red Fort, Delhi
The Red Fort also has the Diwan-i-Am (the Hall of Public Audiences). It was the place where the Emperor would hear complaints of his subjects. In the Diwan-i-Khas (the hall of private audiences) the Emperor held private meetings. This hall is made of marble. The Peacock Throne adorned this hall. It was carried away to Iran by Nadir Shah in 1739.

Red Fort, Delhi
Some other attractions of the Red fort are the Royal Bath or the hammam, the Shahi Burj (Shah Jahan's private working area) and the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque, built by Aurangzeb for his personal use. In the Rang Mahal or the "Palace of Colors" lived the Emperor's wives and mistresses. The Rang Mahal was crowned with gild turrets, skillfully painted and ornamented with a complex assortment of mirrors and a ceiling overlaid with gold and silver.

The Red fort of Delhi is an important link between the past and the present i.e. in the past it was a witness to the might and splendor of the great Mughals and in modern times the Prime Minister

Gwalior Fort

Built In : Goapchal in Gwalior
Renowned As : 15th Century AD
Popular As : 'Pearl among the Fortresses in India'
Famous Palaces : Man Singh Palace, Gujari Mahal.
Most Famous Temple : Teli ka Mandir – Inside the Fort.
Don't Miss : Visiting the Suraj Kund Inside the Palace that is Considered to have Healing Properties.
When To Visit : July to March

Gwalior Fort
The Gwalior fort spreads out over an area of 3 square km, surrounded by concrete walls of sandstone. The Gwalior fort encloses three temples, six palaces and numerous water tanks. At a point of time Gwalior fort was regarded as North and Central India's most invincible fortress. The fort was built by Raja Man Singh Tomar in the 15th century. The fort of Gwalior has seen many ups and downs of history. In the course of almost five hundred years, the Gwalior fort went from one ruler to another.

Gwalior Fort
From the Tomars it passed to the Mughals, Marathas and the British. The Gwalior fort finally went to the Scindias from the British. The Teli-ka-Mandir is the most famous of all the temples of the Gwalior fort. This temple was built in the Dravidian style shrine and is notable for its generously sculpted exterior. The Saas-Bahu Temples (two pillared temples which stand next to each other, one larger than the other) are also fascinating.

Gwalior Fort
The Man Singh Palace is one of the most amazing palaces of the Gwalior fort. It was built by Man Singh in the 15th century. It was in the same palace the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb imprisoned and later murdered his brother Murad. Then there is gruesome Jauhar Kund, where the women of the harem burnt themselves to death after the defeat of the king of Gwalior in 1232. Other significant palaces within the Gwalior Fort include the Karan Palace, the Jahangir Mahal, the Shah Jahan Mahal and the Gujri Mahal (built by Man Singh for his favorite queen, Mrignayani).

Getting There :

Air - India Airlines Flights Connect Gwalior with Delhi, Bhopal, Indore and Mumbai.

Rail - Gwalior is on the Central Railway's main Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai lines. Among other Major Trains, the Shatabdi and the Taj Express Connect Gwalior with Delhi and Agra daily.

Road - Gwalior is Connected by Regular Bus Service with Agra, Mathura, Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhopal, Chanderi, Indore, Jhansi, Khajuraho, Rewa, Jabalpur, Ujjain and Shivpuri.

Jaigarh Fort

Year of construction: Between 15th and 18th Century
Highlights: Palaces, granary, cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower, etc. The fort also houses a collection of weapons, puppets and ancient coins and the largest cannon in the world.

Jaigarh Fort
The magnificent Jaigarh fort is located near Jaipur. Jaigarh fort or the fort of victory was constructed by Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur in 1726. The Fort stands in the middle of thorn and scrub hills, which impart it a stout look. The Jaigarh fort gives an amazing view of the city below. The purpose of building the Jaigarh fort was to strengthen the defense of Amber. It is the main reason why the Jaigarh fort is quite plain and simple. The fort is surrounded by a moat and all other arrangements seen in big citadels. Jaigarh Fort was also used as the treasury of the royal family of Jaipur.

Jaigarh Fort
The water supply of Jaigarh fort and its storage reservoirs are a marvel of engineering. The Jaigarh Fort has a number of water channels, constructed with the aim of harvesting rainwater. Besides the water channels, there are underground tanks at the fort. The fort could withstand long sieges without much difficulty as a result of the ingenious water supply arrangements. Inside the Jaigarh fort there is an armory and a museum. The armory has an assortment of swords, shields, guns, muskets and cannon balls. Inside the museum are photographs of Maharajas, royalty, buildings and processions and even a rounded pack of cards besides many other remnants of the past. The most fascinating thing inside the fort is large cannon on wheels, Jaivana. It was manufactured in Jaigarh's foundry in the year 1720.

Jaigarh Fort
Apart from the abovementioned features, there are other fascinating things to look out for in the Jaigarh fort. Of all the open halls the most interesting one is the Shubhat Niwas (the Meeting hall of Warriors). It houses numerous remnants of old times. The imposing ramparts of the Jaigarh Fort have walkways on its inner side. From the Diwa Burj or the watchtower one can have an excellent view of the town and the Amber Fort, which is located at a short distance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jaisalmer Fort

Location: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Highlights: A palace, havelis of rich merchants, several temples and residential complexes of the armies and traders.

Jaisalmer Fort
One of the oldest and massive forts of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer fort is located in the remote Thar Desert. In the medieval times, the location of Jaisalmer on the trade route made it a prosperous town. Jaisalmer came to be celebrated for the chivalry and bravery of its rulers and also for the aesthetic sense represented by its palaces and Havelis. The rulers and merchants of Jaisalmer engaged craftsmen to work on the sandstone mansions, buildings and palaces, filling up the front with sculptural filigree, screen windows, delicate pavilions and beautiful balconies. The Jaisalmer fort is two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by an imposing crenellated sandstone wall of 30 feet height. The fort has 99 bastions.

Jaisalmer fort crowns the Trikuta Hill. Within the walls of Jaisalmer fort lays the old city, which is nearly a quarter of modern Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer fort stands almost 30 meters over the Jaisalmer city and houses an entire living area within massive battlements. Jaisalmer fort is approached through many gates. The Akshya Pol is the entrance gate of the fort. Across the road is the Suraj-Pol. The Suraj Pol is embellished with a figure of Sun. The Hawa Pol (Wind Pol) is an enormous Gateway, girdled by palaces and courtyard and was constructed during the 17th century AD.

The steep cobbled pathways leading to the royal palace pass through four gates. The fort was made invincible by pathways having sharp and twisting turns. Jaisalmer Fort is a five story architectural monument embroidered with balconies and windows, exhibiting fine craftsmanship of Rajput style. Jaisalmer fort has five interconnected palaces. All the palaces have amazing "Jali" and 'jharokha' work.

Outside the Jaisalmer fort is the main market place called Manek Chowk. From the walls of the Jaisalmer fort one can have a marvelous view of the Old City and the adjoining desert.

At present, merchants and shop owners, living within the walls of the fort, crowd the fort. Small lanes inside the fort are surrounded with houses, temples and shops. Being part of the Desert Triangle and the venue of the Desert Festival, Jaisalmer is accessible by rail, road and air. Jaisalmer is also covered by the "Palace on Wheels".

Junagarh Fort

Constructed By: Raja Rai Singh
Highlights: A number of palaces with carved courtyards, balconies, kiosks, windows and towers. A rich collection of illuminated manuscripts, jewelry, carpets, arms, weapons, treaties and royal farmans (messages), etc.

Junagarh Fort
Located in Bikaner, the Junagarh fort is one of the most impressive fort complexes in India. Junagarh fort was built by Raja Rai Singh in 1588 AD. Junagarh fort is one of those few forts that are not built on a hilltop. The fort complex consists of palaces, courtyards, pavilions and balconies. The walls palaces etc. are ornamented with carved stones, marbles, paintings and inlaid semi-precious stones. Each palace in the Junagarh fort complex was built by a different ruler over the centuries.

Junagarh Fort
One of the most impressive structures in the Junagarh fort complex is the Anup Mahal. Its elaborately decorated walls are covered in red and gold with colored glass inlay. The Anup Mahal is a multi-storied palace and was the governance chambers for the rulers. Its beautifully decorated rooms display the valuables of the royal family. In the Badal Mahal or the clouds palace White plaster pillars are decorated in delicate patterns and covered with gold leaves. The Badal Mahal or Cloud Palace's walls are painted with a fresco of rain clouds. In the rain fresco photograph there is a painting of Krishna and Radha surrounded by the blue cloud motifs.

Junagarh Fort
Junagarh fort is surrounded by high walls and deep moats. There are 37 bastions that guard the fort and the fort is accessible through two Gates. The Suraj Pol or the Sun gate is the main entrance to the Junagarh fort. It is interesting to note that the Junagarh fort remained almost unconquered throughout its history. Inside the Junagarh fort there are 37 palaces, temples and pavilions. All these structures are marvels in red sandstone. The palaces inside the fort have elegantly carved windows, balconies, towers and kiosks. The mirrors, paintings and carved marble panels in the Moon palace are worth having a look. Another fascinating palace inside the fort, the Phool Mahal or Flower palace was decorated with glasses and mirrors. Other interesting places to watch in the Junagarh fort are the Ganga Niwas, Dungar Niwas, Vijay Mahal and Rang Mahal. Junagarh fort has a museum, which has an extensive collection of various things belonging of the past.