Sunday, June 28, 2015

Madhya Pradesh, the Heart of India - Sanchi, the Heart of Madhya Pradesh

Recently we were at Bhopal for a marriage. When we planned the trip, my wife had already ordered that we stay one additional day and visit Sanchi, an ancient Buddhist Site of high importance (read about it at -

I had known about Sanchi for a long time and was happy that I would be able to visit it. On 12 th Jun we left Bhopal at 0830. Took Vidisha road. Stopped en-route for breakfast and reached Sanchi at about 1045 hrs. The road was good though not of Golden Quadrilateral type.

After taking a ticket of Rs 10 per person (which I guess doubles as ticket to Museum next to ticket counter and considered good, closed on Friday, day of our visit) we went up a small hill till the parking. As we walked in from parking through the complex gate, here it was, the famous site of Sanchi Stupa.

First Glimpse of Sanchi Stupa

We had seen the stupas in many photos, they were covered in school books too but the grandeur was beyond imagination. Once inside, we headed for Stupa 1, the main stupa constructed by Samrata Ashok the Great in 3rd century BC to retain some part of Ashes of Lord Gautam Buddha. Originally it is said to have been built by bricks. It was fortified by stone structure during Sunga dynasty in 2 century BC. Many other stupas, Viharas and Buddhist temples are there in this complex.

Stupa I

The circular enclosure and the ceremonial gateways (four, each in each direction) were made by Satvahana Kings. They are inscribed with carvings depicting Jatak Kathas (Stories from the life of Lord Buddha). In fact it may be worth while to read Jatak Kathas on the net prior visiting Sanchi to enjoy the gateways more.

One of the  Gateway

The Stupa II and III were also constructed during same period. They contained relics of disciples of Gautam Buddha. Stupa II was opened by British and the relics were taken to UK as personal Trophies. Later they were returned to Srilanka and finally to India. They are now at Sanchi at a different newly constructed temple just outside this site.

Stupa I has a stairway within its circular enclosure to climb up to second level to do Pradakshina of the Stupa. Well there is no entrance into the hemispherical stupa as the relics of Buddha are totally enclosed but the sight itself is worth visit.

Stairways to higher level circular path.

The Sarnath complex has three stupas, Many Viharas and many temples. The Ceremonial gateways of the stupa I are magnificent. In the radius of few Km there are few more buddhist sites but Sarnath is main one. Let me allow the my photographs to do the balance talking about Sanchi. One can see Ashoka Lions (the national emblem) also on one of the ceremonial gateways.

The beautiful carvings of Jatak Kathas are on the Gateways. As for Stupa their beauty is in the symmetry and its looks. See some of the carvings on various gates below:-

Though Buddhism is supposed to be free of cast or class, the stupas are there in different sizes, like Stupa I, II and III for Lord Buddha and his disciples while there are very small circular stupas, little bigger rectangular stupas etc for lesser monks.

There are also ruins of Viharas and Buddha Temples


Buddha Temple

As for the place itself, it is well kept. Modern toilets are available.

Drinking water is available. It is friendly to Visually Challenged and Physically challenged (but of course the old stairways are what they are with no ramps). Has information boards, has a small canteen and a small zoo (an overstatement) which has few rabbits and few pigeons (white ones like Massakali song fame).

These Pigeons  when offered grains, eat out of your hands giving you a feeling of being in Jurong Bird Park in Singapore without spending that kind of money (and of course not the variety of birds though).

See the video

In fact the Squirrels at the canteen are also emboldened and pick out potato chips out of your hand very neatly.

The MPTDC  Gateway Retreat hotel is a good place to have lunch (good quality food) before returning to Bhopal. Sanchi is also a railway station between Vidisha and Bhopal where only passenger trains stop. Vidisha is a major town just 10 Km away.

Sanchi is a must visit place. You must visit it definitely if you are at Bhopal as Sanchi is worth the effort.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Tanu Weds Manu Returns - Recommend Must Watch

It was just a year or so ago that no body took Kangana Ranout (Hope the spelling is right) as a serious actor. She proved every one wrong in Queen. She also made her mark in Tanu weds Manu.

When I had gone to watch Tanu Weds Manu Returns I had known that her and Madhavan's acting would be good. The story line is good, It does not look outlandish. But what takes the cake is yet again Kangana, That she is an  actor (used as gender neutral expression) par excellence is fine but she surpassed that too.

While she in her original avatar is good but as a Haryanavi rustic, outspoken, bold yet tender girl she has acted unbelievably real as if she has actually grown up in Jhajhar (where her house is supposed to be). Well it is said that actors are Putty in the hands of director but bringing in the earthy flavour in the acting has to come naturally and she has done it.

At times the movie become loud but that can be easily over looked for watching Kangana for the wonder she is.  Recommend Must Watch.

Monday, June 8, 2015

New Look to my Blog - Searchability by Category - WIP

Finally I have been able to give page functionality to my blog. Now my posts can be accessed by clicking the menus on the top.

I have learnt the technique but it is still the Work in Progress. That means full category buttons are yet to be done as also categorization of all old posts are not complete. Be rest assured, it will happen soon.

See the screen grab below:-

Dil Dhadakno Do - Delightful Watch

Being away from work sometimes gives you free time. This time I could use it to watch First Day First Show of Dil Dhadakne Do. It was after many years that I watched a movie on first day first show (last was when I was doing may Engineering that too not sure).

The movie is longish by current standards (close to three hours unlike current movies that are about 120 min) and some reviewers have criticized it for that.When I watched the movie, I realized that the movie is 3 hr long only after it got over. That means,while there are few places that look lengthy but the length of movie does not get on to your neck.

Story? Well really speaking a very run of the mill kind with Punjabi Business families and their maneuvers etc. Then what makes it delightful? Freshness of the acting, Plenty of twists and turns created very craftily by the director and over fun element of the movie.

To me, it was a Paisa Vasool visit to cinema theater (Multi Screen at that) and I had enjoyed the movie, Happy viewing to all of you.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Mighty Kumbhal Garh brilliantly described

Kumbhal Garh,a mighty fort in Mewar is known for being birthplace of Maharana Pratap, Also for having Second longest wall after the  Wall of China and for being a fort which was conquered ONLY once that too because the water inside the fort finished due to a siege.

Here is a link to photo blog of Kumbhal Garh for you all to read and enjoy -