The history of Mount Abu is as diverse as the city itself. It was once a part of the Chauhan kingdom of Rajasthan and served as a summer resort for the Rajput kings of the region. After that, it was leased by the British government from the then Maharaja of Sirohi for use as the headquarter of the resident to Rajputana (another name for Rajasthan).
During the British rule in India, it was the favorite summer destination of the British, who came here to escape the dusty, dry heat of the plains particularly Rajasthan. It also served as a sanatorium for the troops. The small huts and cottages here tell stories of those times even today.
Mount Abu was the home of many saints and sages in the old days. Legend has it that all the 330 million gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon used to visit this holy mountain. It is also the place where the great saint Vashishth lived and performed a yagna (sacrificial worship on a fire pit) to create four Agnikula (four clans of fire) to protect the earth from demons. The yagna was supposed to have been performed near a natural spring, which emerged from a rock shaped like a cow's head.
According to another legend, once sage Vashishth's cow Nandini was trapped in a deep gorge and could not free herself. The sage appealed to Lord Shiva for assistance. The Lord sent Saraswati, the divine stream, to help flood the gorge so that the cow could float up. Vashishth then decided to ensure that such mishaps did not occur in future. He asked the youngest son of Himalaya, the king of mountains to fill the chasm permanently. This he did with the assistance of Arbud, the mighty snake. This spot came to be known as Mount Arbud and was later changed to its present form - Mount Abu.
This place is held in reverence by Jains as well since Jain scriptures record that Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankar (spiritual leader), also visited Mount Abu and blessed the city.
Chittorgarh / Chittaurgarh
former capital of the Sisodia clans of Rajput and of Mewar .
Chittorgarh Fort ( Hindi / Rajasthani : चित्तौड क़िला Chittorgarh Qila ) is the biggest fort in Asia. Situated on a hilltop near Chittorgarh town in the Indian state of Rajasthan , it is one of the most historically significant forts not only of Rajasthan but of the whole of North India .
It was constructed by the Mauryans in the 7th century AD.
Ujjain ( Hindi : उज्जैन ) pronunciation ( help · info ) (also known as Ujain , Ujjayini , Avanti , Avantikapuri ), is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India , on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River (today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh .)
In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini. As mentioned in the Mahabharata epic, Ujjayini was the capital of the Avanti Kingdom , and has been the first meridian of longitude for Hindu geographers since the 4th century BCE. Ujjain is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus , and the Kumbh Mela religious festival is held there every 12 years. It is also home to Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga , one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva .
Few hours on the way
40 feet (12 m) high idol at Bada Ganapati is the largest idol of Lord Ganesh in the world.
Lal Bagh Palace - A beautiful palace spread across 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land. It is now a museum and one can see the artefacts of the Holkar era.
Shree Sansthan Bada Rawala - Historical home of the founder of Indore, Rao Nandlal Chaudhary. It contains the famous personal library of philanthropist Niranjan Zamindar and has over 28,000 books and other artifacts of historical importance.
'' Rajwada'' - A seven storied palace built during the Holkar era. The main wada (the kings' residence) was rebuilt recently to its original glory by Ar Himanshu Dudwadkar and Shreya Bhargava and funded by Maharani Ushadevi Holkar.
Devlalikar Kala Vithika - A well-known art gallery named after famous painter Vishnu Devlalikar
Khajrana Ganesh temple - Temple of Lord Ganesha.
Mhow (Military Headquarters of War) Cantonment - An old Cantonment town near Indore, founded in 1818. Has a very charming market and an old world charm. Foreigners cannot enter without permission.
Patal Pani - A beautiful waterfall near Mhow. Patal Pani has a small railway station - the first after Mhow as one travels on the metre gauge track towards Khandwa.
The temple of Janapao - On the road. 16 km from Mhow. The temple is on top of a hill in the village of Kuti. According to legend, it is the place where Jamadagni, the father of Parshurama, had his ashram. It is famous for a mela (fair) held on Kartik Purnima - the first full moon after Diwali,
Kajligarh - Nearly 20 km towards Khandwa on Khandwa road, its a very small old ruined fort situated near to a beautiful valley & small waterfall. Its worth watching during & after the rainy season. An Ideal one day outing spot which is yet unknown to even most of the Indorites
Thincha Falls - Located close to Kajligarh, its a beautiful waterfall near Simrol. Breathtaking beauty is what describes it the best. A must see during and after monsoons.
Annapurna Temple - A nice Hindu Temple, primarily of goddess Annapurna, in the west region of the city.
Mhow - A small and beautiful town 22 km away from Indore having pride of being birth place of Creator of Indian Constitution "Baba Saheb Bheemrao Ambedker".
Omkareshwar is a Hindu temple in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh state in India . It is on an island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river. It is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva .
The shape of the island is said to be like the Hindu Om symbol. There are two temples here, one to Omkareshwar (whose name means "OM-maker-lord") and one to Amareshwar (whose name means "immortal lord" or "lord of the immortals").
Gods of all the Gods Lord Shiva’s Omkareshwar linga is situated on the mountain Mandhata.Shri Omkareshwar temple stands on a one mile long, half a mile wide island that has been formed by the fork of the Narmada. The sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols, `Om', has drawn a hundred generations of pilgrims. The white dome of the temple is constructed of soft soap stone displaying intricate carvings on the upper portions and stone roof of the temple. Verandhas with columns which are carved in circles, polygons and squares encircle the shrine. The tower or Shirkhar was built in Nagara style and consists of 5 layers, each representing a different deity
As of 2001 India census, Omkareshwar had a population of 6616.
The name Maheshwar comes from Mahesh, a name for Lord Shiva. The word Maheshwar in Hindi means abode of Lord Mahesh.
Maheshwar is abode of Lord Shiva and has a number of Shiv mandirs (temples). Some of the temples are named after different incarnations of Lord Shiva, such as Kashivishwnath temple, Rajrajeshwar temple, Omkareshwar temple, Tilbhandeshwar temple, Kaleshwar temple, Jaleshwartemple and Pandrinath temple.
There are many other places to visit in Maheshwar.The main attarction of Maheshwar is the Maheshwar fort which situated on the banks of the holi river Narmada, on top of a small hill.
The fort is being used by the royal family. Inside the fort there is the state archaeological museum, and temples, it is also famous for the Rajgadi (royal throne) of Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar who has been the most remembered queen to her people. The fort is maintained by the royal family. Some parts of the premise has been converted into a hotel for guests to savour the flavours of the historic grandure of the Holkars. The fort maintains its traditional beauty interms its, architecture, designs, sculptures, materials used in reconstructions and furnitures. From a top the fort tourists can also enjoy a panoramic view of the River Narmada and its beautiful surroundings. Also, boats can be hired to enjoy boating in the Narmada river.
Mandu , or Mandavgarh, is a ruined city in the Dhar district in the Malwa region.
This fortress town on a rocky outcrop is celebrated for its fine architecture . Mandu celebrates in stone the life and love of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur for his consort, Rani Roopmati . The balladeers of Malwa still sing of the romance of these royal lovers. High on the crest of a hill, Rani Roopmati's pavilion gazes down at Baz Bahadur's palace, a magnificent expression of Afgan architecture.
Mandu's old name was "Shadiabad" meaning the city of happiness (Anand Nagari), the name was given by then ruler Allauddin Khilji . Mandu city overlooks the plateau of Malwa to the north and the valley of the Narmada River to the south. Mandu with its natural defences was originally the fort-capital of Rajput Parmara rulers of Malwa . Towards the end of the 11th century, it came under the sway of the Taranga kingdom. The city reached its greatest splendour in the early 15th century.
The circuit of the battlemented wall is nearly 37 km (23 miles), enclosing a large number of palaces, mosques and other buildings. The oldest mosque dates from 1405; the finest is the Jama Masjid or great mosque, a notable example of Pashtun architecture. The marble domed tomb of this ruler is also magnificent.
Ajanta - Ellora
Ellora (Marathi: Verul) is an archaeological site, 30 km (18.6 miles) from the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta Dynasty. Famous for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site.
Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture.The 34 "caves" – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – comprised of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries, were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1-12), 17 Hindu (caves 13-29) and 5 Jain caves (caves 30-34), built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.
The Kailasa or Kailasanatha Temple, is the unrivaled centerpiece of Ellora. This gargantuan structure – designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva – looks like a freestanding, multi-storeyed temple complex, but it was carved out of one single rock, and covers an area double the size of Parthenon in Athens.
The Buddhist caves were the earliest structures, created between the fifth and seventh centuries. These consist mostly of viharas or monasteries: large, multi-storeyed buildings carved into the mountain face, including living quarters, sleeping quarters, kitchens, and other rooms.
Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra, India are rock-cut cave monuments dating from the second century BCE, containing paintings and sculpture considered to be masterpieces of both "Buddhist religious art" and "universal pictorial art"
The caves are in a wooded and rugged horseshoe-shaped ravine about 3½ km from the village of Ajintha.
The monastic complex of Ajanta consists of several viharas (monastic halls of residence) and chaitya-grihas (stupa monument halls) cut into the mountain scarp in two phases.
The viharas are of various sizes the maximum being about 52 feet. They are often square-shaped. Their excavation exhibits a great variety, some with simple facade, others ornate; some have a porch and others do not. The hall was an essential element of a viharas. In the early phase, viharas were not intended to have shrines because they were purely meant to be halls of residence and congregation. Later, shrines were introduced in them in the back walls, which became a norm. The shrines were made to house the central object of reverence that is the image of the Buddha.