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Himalayan Monasteries
Monasteries built in the Himalayan region were called Gompas. These were often associated with the Vajrayana form of buddhism. The design and interior details of gompas vary from region to region; however, all follow a general sacred geometrical mandala design of a central prayer hall containing a murti or thangka, benches for the monks or nuns to engage in prayer or meditation and attached living accommodation. The gompa may also be accompanied by any number of stupas. There are many beautiful gompas in India that are set in spectacular locations. Source: Wikipedia

Monasteries built in the Himalayan region were called Gompas. These were often associated with the Vajrayana form of buddhism. The design and interior details of gompas vary from region to region; however, all follow a general sacred geometrical mandala design of a central prayer hall containing a murti or thangka, benches for the monks or nuns to engage in prayer or meditation and attached living accommodation. The gompa may also be accompanied by any number of stupas. There are many beautiful gompas in India that are set in spectacular locations. Source: Wikipedia

பொன்னியின் செல்வன் வழித்தடம்
பொன்னியின் செல்வன் அமரர் கல்கி (1899-1954) எழுதிய புகழ் பெற்ற தமிழ் வரலாற்றூப் புதினமாகும். 1950 - 1955 ஆண்டு வரை கல்கி வார இதழில் தொடர்கதையாக வெளியிடப்பட்டது. கி.பி. 1000 ஆம் ஆண்டு வாக்கில் இருந்த சோழப் பேரரசை அடிப்படையாகக் கொண்டு இந்த வரலாற்றுப் புதினம் எழுதப்பட்டிருக்கிறது.இந்த வரலாற்று பதினத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற இடங்கள் இங்கு குறிப்புகளோடு வழங்கப்படுகிறது.

பொன்னியின் செல்வன் அமரர் கல்கி (1899-1954) எழுதிய புகழ் பெற்ற தமிழ் வரலாற்றூப் புதினமாகும். 1950 - 1955 ஆண்டு வரை கல்கி வார இதழில் தொடர்கதையாக வெளியிடப்பட்டது. கி.பி. 1000 ஆம் ஆண்டு வாக்கில் இருந்த சோழப் பேரரசை அடிப்படையாகக் கொண்டு இந்த வரலாற்றுப் புதினம் எழுதப்பட்டிருக்கிறது.இந்த வரலாற்று பதினத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற இடங்கள் இங்கு குறிப்புகளோடு வழங்கப்படுகிறது.

Epigraphy of Chennai
தமிழ்நாடு அரசு தொல்லியல் துறை வெளியிட்டுள்ள 33 கல்வெட்டு தொகுதிகளில் முதல் கல்வெட்டு தொகுதியாக 'சென்னை மாநகர கல்வெட்டுகள்' 1970-ஆம் ஆண்டு வெளியிடப்பட்டதாகும். இந்த தொகுதியில் சென்னையிலுள்ள 31 பகுதியிலுள்ள கோயில்களில் மொத்தம் 247 கல்வெட்டுகள் வெளிவந்துள்ளன. சென்னை மாநகர் பல்லவர் காலத்திலிருந்து சிறப்புற்று விளங்கியிருந்ததை திருவல்லிக்கேணி பார்த்தசாரதி கோயிலிலுள்ள பல்லவ மன்னன் தந்திவர்மனின் 12-ஆவது ஆட்சியாண்டு (கி பி 808) கல்வெட்டு வாயிலாக அறிய முடிகிறது. மேலும் மயிலாபூர், தண்டையார்பேட்டை, அயனாவரம், எழும்பூர், புலியூர், சைதாப்பேட்டை, ஆலந்தூர், சாந்தோம் போன்ற பகுதிகளில் உள்ள கல்வெட்டுகள் இத்தொகுதியில் இடம்பெற்றுள்ளன. 'சென்னை மாநகர கல்வெட்டுகள்' தொகுதியின் பதிப்பாசிரியர் முனைவர் இரா நாகசாமி அவர்கள் கல்வெட்டுகளை அனைவரும் அறிந்திடும் வகையில் சிறப்புற எழுதியுள்ளார். இந்த தொகிதியில் இடம்பெற்ற வரலாற்று பொக்கிஷங்களாகிய கல்வெட்டுகளை, மக்கள் எளிதில் கண்டு அறிவதற்கும், காப்பதற்கும், இங்கே வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

தமிழ்நாடு அரசு தொல்லியல் துறை வெளியிட்டுள்ள 33 கல்வெட்டு தொகுதிகளில் முதல் கல்வெட்டு தொகுதியாக 'சென்னை மாநகர கல்வெட்டுகள்' 1970-ஆம் ஆண்டு வெளியிடப்பட்டதாகும். இந்த தொகுதியில் சென்னையிலுள்ள 31 பகுதியிலுள்ள கோயில்களில் மொத்தம் 247 கல்வெட்டுகள் வெளிவந்துள்ளன. சென்னை மாநகர் பல்லவர் காலத்திலிருந்து சிறப்புற்று விளங்கியிருந்ததை திருவல்லிக்கேணி பார்த்தசாரதி கோயிலிலுள்ள பல்லவ மன்னன் தந்திவர்மனின் 12-ஆவது ஆட்சியாண்டு (கி பி 808) கல்வெட்டு வாயிலாக அறிய முடிகிறது. மேலும் மயிலாபூர், தண்டையார்பேட்டை, அயனாவரம், எழும்பூர், புலியூர், சைதாப்பேட்டை, ஆலந்தூர், சாந்தோம் போன்ற பகுதிகளில் உள்ள கல்வெட்டுகள் இத்தொகுதியில் இடம்பெற்றுள்ளன. 'சென்னை மாநகர கல்வெட்டுகள்' தொகுதியின் பதிப்பாசிரியர் முனைவர் இரா நாகசாமி அவர்கள் கல்வெட்டுகளை அனைவரும் அறிந்திடும் வகையில் சிறப்புற எழுதியுள்ளார். இந்த தொகிதியில் இடம்பெற்ற வரலாற்று பொக்கிஷங்களாகிய கல்வெட்டுகளை, மக்கள் எளிதில் கண்டு அறிவதற்கும், காப்பதற்கும், இங்கே வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

Rock Paintings & Frescoes
Almost all early painting in India survives in caves, as very few buildings from Ancient India survive, and though these were probably often painted, the work has been lost. The history of cave paintings in India or rock art range from drawings and paintings from prehistoric times, beginning around 30,000 BCE in the caves of Central India, typified by those at the Bhimbetka rock shelters to elaborate frescoes at sites such as the rock-cut artificial caves at Ajanta and Ellora, extending as late as the 8th - 10th century CE. This is a collection of spots with famous artwork on rock from ancient India.

Almost all early painting in India survives in caves, as very few buildings from Ancient India survive, and though these were probably often painted, the work has been lost. The history of cave paintings in India or rock art range from drawings and paintings from prehistoric times, beginning around 30,000 BCE in the caves of Central India, typified by those at the Bhimbetka rock shelters to elaborate frescoes at sites such as the rock-cut artificial caves at Ajanta and Ellora, extending as late as the 8th - 10th century CE. This is a collection of spots with famous artwork on rock from ancient India.

Paleolithic Tool Sites
The earliest identifiable remains of the ancient man are confined to crude stone tools fashioned and used by him for hunting and other purposes. Sometimes bones of human and animal origin were also used as tools. All these are often found lying discarded in geological formations like the old terraces of rivers, caves, and rock shelters. This stage, when stone was the all-purpose material for man, is referred to as the stone age. \n\nIt is customary to divide the Stone Age into three ages - the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age, the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age, and the Neolithic or New Stone Age. The first paleolithic tool in India was discovered in 1863 from a gravel pit at Pallavaram, near Chennai, by Robert Bruce Foote of the Geological Survey of India. Thereafter, paleolithic tools were discovered from many parts of India. This is a collection of spots where such tools were found.

The earliest identifiable remains of the ancient man are confined to crude stone tools fashioned and used by him for hunting and other purposes. Sometimes bones of human and animal origin were also used as tools. All these are often found lying discarded in geological formations like the old terraces of rivers, caves, and rock shelters. This stage, when stone was the all-purpose material for man, is referred to as the stone age. \n\nIt is customary to divide the Stone Age into three ages - the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age, the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age, and the Neolithic or New Stone Age. The first paleolithic tool in India was discovered in 1863 from a gravel pit at Pallavaram, near Chennai, by Robert Bruce Foote of the Geological Survey of India. Thereafter, paleolithic tools were discovered from many parts of India. This is a collection of spots where such tools were found.

Tamilnadu Terracotta Antiquities
Terracotta figurines of India is mostly connected with culture and throw light on the social aspect of the race and their mode of life. The figurines which were made from mould or by hand, serve as a vital tool for anthropologists, historians , and archaeologists for reconstructing the cultural links with the past.

Terracotta figurines of India is mostly connected with culture and throw light on the social aspect of the race and their mode of life. The figurines which were made from mould or by hand, serve as a vital tool for anthropologists, historians, and archaeologists for reconstructing the cultural links with the past.

Places of The Chozhas
The Chozhas were one of the greatest dynasties of India whose reign at its peak extended from the Ganges to Sri Lanka and all the way to the south east asian countries. This group includes some of the places of importance in the Chozha kingdom .

The Chozhas were one of the greatest dynasties of India whose reign at its peak extended from the Ganges to Sri Lanka and all the way to the south east asian countries. This group includes some of the places of importance in the Chozha kingdom .

Epigraphy of Thanjavur
A collection of spots in Thanjavur with epigraphy.

A collection of spots in Thanjavur with epigraphy.

Epigraphy of Coimbatore
A collection of spots in Coimbatore with epigraphy.

A collection of spots in Coimbatore with epigraphy.

Epigraphy of Dharmapuri
A collection of spots in Dharmapuri with epigraphy.

A collection of spots in Dharmapuri with epigraphy.

Epigraphy of Krishnagiri
A collection of spots in Krishnagiri with epigraphy.

A collection of spots in Krishnagiri with epigraphy.

Epigraphy of Madurai
A collection of spots in Madurai with epigraphy.

A collection of spots in Madurai with epigraphy.

Epigraphy of Tirunelveli
A collection of spots in Tirunelveli with epigraphy.

A collection of spots in Tirunelveli with epigraphy.

Epigraphy of Virudhunagar
A collection of spots in Virudhunagar with epigraphy.

A collection of spots in Virudhunagar with epigraphy.

Epigraphy of Tiruppur
A collection of spots in Tiruppur with epigraphy.

A collection of spots in Tiruppur with epigraphy.

Epigraphy of Erode
A collection of spots in Erode with epigraphy.

A collection of spots in Erode with epigraphy.

Archaeological Excavations
A collection of spots in India where archaeological excavations have been done. The archaeological reports have been summarized to provide an overview of the excavation.

A collection of spots in India where archaeological excavations have been done. The archaeological reports have been summarized to provide an overview of the excavation.

British Colonial Birthplace
Fort St. George in the city of Chennai marks the origin of the British trading presence in India via the British East India Company. It was common practice for the overseas traders who engaged in commerce on the coasts of India to have the trading centre be fortified against the possibility of an attack. When the first traders of the British East India Company looked at setting up a formal trading post in India, they chose a site on the coromandel coast of south India. This site, located on a strip of land, between the Cooum and the Bay of Bengal, was obtained in 1639 CE as a grant from Damarla Venkatappa Nayaka, the Raja of Chandragiri for the East India Company. This original settlement was the nucleus of the present Fort St. George. A group of buildings were built within the Fort at different times for different purposes with the increasing needs of the East India Company.

Fort St. George in the city of Chennai marks the origin of the British trading presence in India via the British East India Company. It was common practice for the overseas traders who engaged in commerce on the coasts of India to have the trading centre be fortified against the possibility of an attack. When the first traders of the British East India Company looked at setting up a formal trading post in India, they chose a site on the coromandel coast of south India. This site, located on a strip of land, between the Cooum and the Bay of Bengal, was obtained in 1639 CE as a grant from Damarla Venkatappa Nayaka, the Raja of Chandragiri for the East India Company. This original settlement was the nucleus of the present Fort St. George. A group of buildings were built within the Fort at different times for different purposes with the increasing needs of the East India Company.

Churches of San Thome
San Thome is older than Chennai itself. It was originally a small seaside village, and was developed into a town by the Portugese who came to trade in the early 16th century. The word Santhome or San Thome is derived from Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. As per tradition, the apostle landed in Muziris (present day Kodungallor in Kerala) in 52 AD, and was martyred in 72 AD at St.Thomas Mount in the city. Santhome is a catholic stronghold, with many churches dating back to the portugese times. This heritage walk takes us through some of the key churches in this ancient locality. These photos were captured during the 2015 Heritage walk led by Chennai journalist and media entrepreneur, Vincent D'Souza.

San Thome is older than Chennai itself. It was originally a small seaside village, and was developed into a town by the Portugese who came to trade in the early 16th century. The word Santhome or San Thome is derived from Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. As per tradition, the apostle landed in Muziris (present day Kodungallor in Kerala) in 52 AD, and was martyred in 72 AD at St.Thomas Mount in the city. Santhome is a catholic stronghold, with many churches dating back to the portugese times. This heritage walk takes us through some of the key churches in this ancient locality. These photos were captured during the 2015 Heritage walk led by Chennai journalist and media entrepreneur, Vincent D'Souza.

Irish roots in Chennai
From Ireland to Madras' shores - This heritage walk takes us through a history of time - from the port of landing to the schools that were setup - that tell the story of the first set of catholic nuns - the nuns of Presentation of BVM congregation. The nuns set up St Columbans, St. Aloysious, Sacred Heart (Church Park), St Ursulas, St Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Kevin's, and more...This heritage walk also stops by many of the old landmarks in George Town that take us to the times of the British era. The history of the Catholic Church in Madras, in the 18th century and how the Presentation Sisters in Kildare, Ireland became part of the mission is very interesting not only now but also over the past 165 years. When Dr. Fennelly, a professor of Theology at Maynooth College, Ireland was named Vicar Apostolic of Madras in 1840 the Catholic mission was greatly in need of religious education. Among the most neglected were the children of the catholic garrison troops, mostly Irish at Fort St. George, Madras. Propaganda Fide appointed Dr. J. Fennelly, the new Vicar Apostolic. When he arrived in Madras he was put in charge of the Cathedral of St. Mary’s of the Angels, which had been built by the Portuguese Franciscans. He took up his abode in a large house beside the Cathedral. As he met his new challenge he was overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. So he came to the conclusion that he could not manage on his own. He would go back to Ireland and seek the services of some nuns and recruit some priests.\n\nThe sisters would take on the task of educating the children of European origin, and most of all care from the orphans of deceased Irish soldiers. Many of whom had been massacred in the Afghan war.\n\nFull of hope and faith Bishop Fennelly returned to Ireland. In Kildare, he visited two convents destined by God to be instruments in pioneering the work of education in South India.\n\nThese convents were Presentation Convent, Rahan and Presentation Convent Maynooth Co. Kildare. The large hearted superior of Rahan Convent responded to Bishop Fennelly’s request by being the first to volunteer for the Madras Mission. Three Sisters from Presentation Convent, Maynooth and a young eighteen-year-old postulant also volunteered and offered to join the first party of sisters to sail to India. This meant no returning .to their native country.\n\nIn the month of August 1841 Bishop J. Fennelly, accompanied the group of Presentation Sisters from Maynooth, led by Rev. Mother Frances Xavier Curran, Sr. Regis Kelly and Sr. Martha Kelly and Miss Josephine Fitzsimon and four seminarians. Saying “Good Bye’ to their families, friends and native land was a sad parting especially since it was for the last time. We can only visualize what it cost them. They traveled to England en route to Southampton, where the East India Company Sailing Vessel “The Lady flora” was in the docks, waiting for them to board. Depending on the weather they would reach Madras in five or six months time.\n\nIt is left to our imagination to depict the journey and what they had to en route. The ship being a light sailing vessel, it heaved and tossed on the rough seas. Annals tell how many times the Sisters thought it was their last, and prepared to meet their God. What immense joy it was when on January 13th 1842 Madras harbor was sighted and their sea voyage was coming to an end but more excitement awaited them.\n\nIn 1842 Madras harbor was just a coastline. “Lady Flora” had to anchor about ten miles out to sea, and the passengers had to wait for small boats to bring them to land. To quote the annals this seems to have been the most frightening part of the journey. We can imagine the terrified nuns in long black habits climbing down the rope ladder to the small boats as the collies rowed them to shore. Annals say this was the most fearsome part of the journey, as at any moment they were in danger of being thrown into the sea\n\nOnce safely landed a warm welcome awaited them. The four sisters were escorted to the Cathedral where the solemn ‘Te Deum’ was sung to thank God for their safe return and their Bishop and his party of co-workers. A great sight indeed for the Catholics, their first glimpses of nuns in long black habits! After a few days, the building work began. What was once Robert Clive’s Office, now it was to be the first Presentation Convent in Madras, India.\n\nPrior to the Presentation Sisters’ arrival, in Madras, thirty orphans and sixty-day pupils had been taught and cared for over five years, by Madam Smith the wife of an English army office officer and her co-workers. They willingly handed over the care of the orphans and the school to the Presentation Sisters. After helping for some time they left for Pondicherry from where they came.\n\nIt took the sisters a long time to get accustomed to life in their new environment, like all new foundations they had many problems to cope with. Mission life in Madras was no exception.\n\nThe sisters found language a great problem- they suffered from the hot and humid climate recurring fever, clothing like worn in Ireland not suitable for a tropical country - food problems, epidemic of cholera claimed the lives of many including the sisters. The greatest calamity occurred in 1844, barely two years after their arrival. Cholera and fever took their toll of life. Sr. Regis Kelly aged 36 died of cholera and 18 months later Sr. Martha Kelly died of cholera aged 32 years, leaving only two of the pioneers to carry on the mission.\n\nHelp was sought from Ireland and the response from three Presentation Convent was excellent. Many finally professed sisters responded to the call and embarked for the Madras Mission. A note in the annals tells a tale of unrelenting heart and joyful service of the sisters. They were noted for their spirit of joy and dedicated service. As a result an extraordinary flowering of Catholic Education spread in South India. (Source: http://www.presentationsistersunion.org). These photos were captured during the 2015 Heritage walk led by Chennai journalist and media entrepreneur, Vincent D'Souza.

From Ireland to Madras' shores - This heritage walk takes us through a history of time - from the port of landing to the schools that were setup - that tell the story of the first set of catholic nuns - the nuns of Presentation of BVM congregation. The nuns set up St Columbans, St. Aloysious, Sacred Heart (Church Park), St Ursulas, St Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Kevin's, and more...This heritage walk also stops by many of the old landmarks in George Town that take us to the times of the British era. The history of the Catholic Church in Madras, in the 18th century and how the Presentation Sisters in Kildare, Ireland became part of the mission is very interesting not only now but also over the past 165 years. When Dr. Fennelly, a professor of Theology at Maynooth College, Ireland was named Vicar Apostolic of Madras in 1840 the Catholic mission was greatly in need of religious education. Among the most neglected were the children of the catholic garrison troops, mostly Irish at Fort St. George, Madras. Propaganda Fide appointed Dr. J. Fennelly, the new Vicar Apostolic. When he arrived in Madras he was put in charge of the Cathedral of St. Mary’s of the Angels, which had been built by the Portuguese Franciscans. He took up his abode in a large house beside the Cathedral. As he met his new challenge he was overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. So he came to the conclusion that he could not manage on his own. He would go back to Ireland and seek the services of some nuns and recruit some priests.\n\nThe sisters would take on the task of educating the children of European origin, and most of all care from the orphans of deceased Irish soldiers. Many of whom had been massacred in the Afghan war.\n\nFull of hope and faith Bishop Fennelly returned to Ireland. In Kildare, he visited two convents destined by God to be instruments in pioneering the work of education in South India.\n\nThese convents were Presentation Convent, Rahan and Presentation Convent Maynooth Co. Kildare. The large hearted superior of Rahan Convent responded to Bishop Fennelly’s request by being the first to volunteer for the Madras Mission. Three Sisters from Presentation Convent, Maynooth and a young eighteen-year-old postulant also volunteered and offered to join the first party of sisters to sail to India. This meant no returning .to their native country.\n\nIn the month of August 1841 Bishop J. Fennelly, accompanied the group of Presentation Sisters from Maynooth, led by Rev. Mother Frances Xavier Curran, Sr. Regis Kelly and Sr. Martha Kelly and Miss Josephine Fitzsimon and four seminarians. Saying “Good Bye’ to their families, friends and native land was a sad parting especially since it was for the last time. We can only visualize what it cost them. They traveled to England en route to Southampton, where the East India Company Sailing Vessel “The Lady flora” was in the docks, waiting for them to board. Depending on the weather they would reach Madras in five or six months time.\n\nIt is left to our imagination to depict the journey and what they had to en route. The ship being a light sailing vessel, it heaved and tossed on the rough seas. Annals tell how many times the Sisters thought it was their last, and prepared to meet their God. What immense joy it was when on January 13th 1842 Madras harbor was sighted and their sea voyage was coming to an end but more excitement awaited them.\n\nIn 1842 Madras harbor was just a coastline. “Lady Flora” had to anchor about ten miles out to sea, and the passengers had to wait for small boats to bring them to land. To quote the annals this seems to have been the most frightening part of the journey. We can imagine the terrified nuns in long black habits climbing down the rope ladder to the small boats as the collies rowed them to shore. Annals say this was the most fearsome part of the journey, as at any moment they were in danger of being thrown into the sea\n\nOnce safely landed a warm welcome awaited them. The four sisters were escorted to the Cathedral where the solemn ‘Te Deum’ was sung to thank God for their safe return and their Bishop and his party of co-workers. A great sight indeed for the Catholics, their first glimpses of nuns in long black habits! After a few days, the building work began. What was once Robert Clive’s Office, now it was to be the first Presentation Convent in Madras, India.\n\nPrior to the Presentation Sisters’ arrival, in Madras, thirty orphans and sixty-day pupils had been taught and cared for over five years, by Madam Smith the wife of an English army office officer and her co-workers. They willingly handed over the care of the orphans and the school to the Presentation Sisters. After helping for some time they left for Pondicherry from where they came.\n\nIt took the sisters a long time to get accustomed to life in their new environment, like all new foundations they had many problems to cope with. Mission life in Madras was no exception.\n\nThe sisters found language a great problem- they suffered from the hot and humid climate recurring fever, clothing like worn in Ireland not suitable for a tropical country - food problems, epidemic of cholera claimed the lives of many including the sisters. The greatest calamity occurred in 1844, barely two years after their arrival. Cholera and fever took their toll of life. Sr. Regis Kelly aged 36 died of cholera and 18 months later Sr. Martha Kelly died of cholera aged 32 years, leaving only two of the pioneers to carry on the mission.\n\nHelp was sought from Ireland and the response from three Presentation Convent was excellent. Many finally professed sisters responded to the call and embarked for the Madras Mission. A note in the annals tells a tale of unrelenting heart and joyful service of the sisters. They were noted for their spirit of joy and dedicated service. As a result an extraordinary flowering of Catholic Education spread in South India. (Source: http://www.presentationsistersunion.org). These photos were captured during the 2015 Heritage walk led by Chennai journalist and media entrepreneur, Vincent D'Souza.

Islamic Heritage of Triplicane
The Nawab of Arcot was a loyal ally of the British who offered him Chepauk Palace where he could house his military and administrative buildings. It is believed that Nawab Muhammad Ali moved to Chepauk, located in Triplicane in 1768. There were around 20,000 Marakayar Muslims who moved with him to the city. It was then the largest community of Muslims in South India after Hyderabad. The Nawab had full control of the region and all the cases were resolved under Muslim Law irrespective of the religion of the accused. The Big Mosque was built in 1795 by the family of Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah, the Nawab of Arcot during 1765. Triplicane, home to Parthasarathy Temple, possibly the oldest temple in Chennai (due to the 8th century Pallava Danti Varman inscriptions found there), and the Big Mosque built by the Nawab’s family, is a symbol of harmonious coexistence of Hindu and Muslim culture in south India. This is a collection of places in Triplicane that tell the story of the Islamic heritage that originated and flourished here from the time of the Arcot Nawabs. These photos were captured during the 2015 Heritage walk led by Historian Mr Kombai S Anwar. History enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in such walks as the experience of the place combined with the narration by the expert is a wholesome experience.

The Nawab of Arcot was a loyal ally of the British who offered him Chepauk Palace where he could house his military and administrative buildings. It is believed that Nawab Muhammad Ali moved to Chepauk, located in Triplicane in 1768. There were around 20,000 Marakayar Muslims who moved with him to the city. It was then the largest community of Muslims in South India after Hyderabad. The Nawab had full control of the region and all the cases were resolved under Muslim Law irrespective of the religion of the accused. The Big Mosque was built in 1795 by the family of Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah, the Nawab of Arcot during 1765. Triplicane, home to Parthasarathy Temple, possibly the oldest temple in Chennai (due to the 8th century Pallava Danti Varman inscriptions found there), and the Big Mosque built by the Nawab’s family, is a symbol of harmonious coexistence of Hindu and Muslim culture in south India. This is a collection of places in Triplicane that tell the story of the Islamic heritage that originated and flourished here from the time of the Arcot Nawabs. These photos were captured during the 2015 Heritage walk led by Historian Mr Kombai S Anwar. History enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in such walks as the experience of the place combined with the narration by the expert is a wholesome experience.

Chennai Heritage Structure
Chennai, with historically rich records dating from the British era, houses 2,467 heritage buildings within its metropolitan area (CMA), the highest within any Metropolitan Area limit in India. Most of these buildings are around 200 years old and older. Some of them are Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Ripon Building, Bharat Insurance Building, and so forth. Chennai is home to the second largest collection of heritage buildings in the country, after Kolkata. The official list of heritage buildings was compiled by the Justice E. Padmanabhan committee. (Source: Wikipedia)

Chennai, with historically rich records dating from the British era, houses 2,467 heritage buildings within its metropolitan area (CMA), the highest within any Metropolitan Area limit in India. Most of these buildings are around 200 years old and older. Some of them are Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Ripon Building, Bharat Insurance Building, and so forth. Chennai is home to the second largest collection of heritage buildings in the country, after Kolkata. The official list of heritage buildings was compiled by the Justice E. Padmanabhan committee. (Source: Wikipedia)

Bengaluru Heritage Structures
Heritage structures are those that stand out based on three aspects: historic significance, historic integrity, and historic context. Historic significance is the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation. Historic integrity is the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during the property's historic period. Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble the historic appearance but it must also retain physical materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance. Historic context is information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time. A knowledge of historic context enables listers to understand a historic property as a product of its time.

Heritage structures are those that stand out based on three aspects: historic significance, historic integrity, and historic context. Historic significance is the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation. Historic integrity is the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during the property's historic period. Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble the historic appearance but it must also retain physical materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance. Historic context is information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time. A knowledge of historic context enables listers to understand a historic property as a product of its time.

Mumbai Heritage Structures
Heritage structures are those that stand out based on three aspects: historic significance, historic integrity, and historic context. Historic significance is the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation. Historic integrity is the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during the property's historic period. Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble the historic appearance but it must also retain physical materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance. Historic context is information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time. A knowledge of historic context enables listers to understand a historic property as a product of its time.

Heritage structures are those that stand out based on three aspects: historic significance, historic integrity, and historic context. Historic significance is the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation. Historic integrity is the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during the property's historic period. Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble the historic appearance but it must also retain physical materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance. Historic context is information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time. A knowledge of historic context enables listers to understand a historic property as a product of its time.

Hyderabad Heritage Structures
Heritage structures are those that stand out based on three aspects: historic significance, historic integrity, and historic context. Historic significance is the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation. Historic integrity is the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during the property's historic period. Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble the historic appearance but it must also retain physical materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance. Historic context is information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time. A knowledge of historic context enables listers to understand a historic property as a product of its time.

Heritage structures are those that stand out based on three aspects: historic significance, historic integrity, and historic context. Historic significance is the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation. Historic integrity is the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during the property's historic period. Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble the historic appearance but it must also retain physical materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance. Historic context is information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time. A knowledge of historic context enables listers to understand a historic property as a product of its time.

Delhi Heritage Structures
Heritage structures are those that stand out based on three aspects: historic significance, historic integrity, and historic context. Historic significance is the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation. Historic integrity is the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during the property's historic period. Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble the historic appearance but it must also retain physical materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance. Historic context is information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time. A knowledge of historic context enables listers to understand a historic property as a product of its time.

Heritage structures are those that stand out based on three aspects: historic significance, historic integrity, and historic context. Historic significance is the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation. Historic integrity is the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during the property's historic period. Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble the historic appearance but it must also retain physical materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance. Historic context is information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time. A knowledge of historic context enables listers to understand a historic property as a product of its time.

Delhi Protected Monuments
This is a collection of all protected ancient monuments & sites of Delhi, under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India.

This is a collection of all protected ancient monuments & sites of Delhi, under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India.

British Colonial Heritage
Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns were the administrative divisions of British governance in the subcontinent. In one form or other they existed between 1612 and 1947, conventionally divided into three historical periods. 1. During 1612–1757, the East India Company set up "factories" (trading posts) in several locations, mostly in coastal India, with the consent of the Mughal emperors or local rulers. Its rivals were the merchant trading companies of Holland and France. By the mid-18th century, three "Presidency towns": Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta had grown in size. 2. During the period of Company rule in India, 1757–1858, the Company gradually acquired sovereignty over large parts of India, now called "Presidencies." However, it also increasingly came under British government oversight, in effect sharing sovereignty with the Crown. At the same time it gradually lost its mercantile privileges. 3. Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Company's remaining powers were transferred to the Crown. In the new British Raj (1858–1947), sovereignty extended to a few new regions, such as Upper Burma. Increasingly, however, unwieldy presidencies were broken up into "Provinces" (Source: Wikipedia)

Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns were the administrative divisions of British governance in the subcontinent. In one form or other they existed between 1612 and 1947, conventionally divided into three historical periods. 1. During 1612–1757, the East India Company set up "factories" (trading posts) in several locations, mostly in coastal India, with the consent of the Mughal emperors or local rulers. Its rivals were the merchant trading companies of Holland and France. By the mid-18th century, three "Presidency towns": Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta had grown in size. 2. During the period of Company rule in India, 1757–1858, the Company gradually acquired sovereignty over large parts of India, now called "Presidencies." However, it also increasingly came under British government oversight, in effect sharing sovereignty with the Crown. At the same time it gradually lost its mercantile privileges. 3. Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Company's remaining powers were transferred to the Crown. In the new British Raj (1858–1947), sovereignty extended to a few new regions, such as Upper Burma. Increasingly, however, unwieldy presidencies were broken up into "Provinces" (Source: Wikipedia)

Pancha Bootha Temples
According to the ancient texts of India, all matter, living and non-living, are made up of the five primordial elements, called Pancha Boothas. These are Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. This is very similar to the western tradition of four elements, with the addition of the invisible element Ether (also called sky). There are five locations of Shiva where the essence of each of these elements stands foremost. These locations have temples dedicated to Shiva and are together referred to as the Pancha Bootha Sthalas.

According to the ancient texts of India, all matter, living and non-living, are made up of the five primordial elements, called Pancha Boothas. These are Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. This is very similar to the western tradition of four elements, with the addition of the invisible element Ether (also called sky). There are five locations of Shiva where the essence of each of these elements stands foremost. These locations have temples dedicated to Shiva and are together referred to as the Pancha Bootha Sthalas.

Char Dham of Aadhi Sankara
This is India's most famous pilgrimage circuit with four important temples at Puri, Rameshwaram, Dwarka, and Badrinath. These were grouped together by the great 8th century reformer and philosopher Shankaracharya (Adi Sankara), to represent the all-encompassing pilgrimage circuit covering all of India, by visiting the holy places at the ends of the four cardinal points in the subcontinent.

This is India's most famous pilgrimage circuit with four important temples at Puri, Rameshwaram, Dwarka, and Badrinath. These were grouped together by the great 8th century reformer and philosopher Shankaracharya (Adi Sankara), to represent the all-encompassing pilgrimage circuit covering all of India, by visiting the holy places at the ends of the four cardinal points in the subcontinent.

Chota (Himalayan) Char Dham
This is the set of pilgrimage places in the Himalyan region consisting of the Vaisnava site Badrinath, the Saiva site Kedarnath, along with two Devi sites (Yamunotri and Gangotri). Most pilgrims to the Char Dham embark from the famous temple town of Haridwar or from Haridwar's sister city, Rishikesh. Some also choose to start from Dehra Duhn, the capital of Uttaranchal.

This is the set of pilgrimage places in the Himalyan region consisting of the Vaisnava site Badrinath, the Saiva site Kedarnath, along with two Devi sites (Yamunotri and Gangotri). Most pilgrims to the Char Dham embark from the famous temple town of Haridwar or from Haridwar's sister city, Rishikesh. Some also choose to start from Dehra Duhn, the capital of Uttaranchal.

18 Maha Shakthi Peetams
These are the 18 most powerful places of worship of the divine mother according to Sri Adhi Sankara, the great philosopher of the 6th century. According to the puranas, King Daksha Prajapati was the son of the creator, Lord Brahma. He had 27 daughters and Sati devi was one of them. Daksha gave his daughter Sati in marriage to Lord Shiva, During the conduct of a fire sacrifice, when Daksha entered the arena, every one except Lord Shiva stood up to respect him. Daksha felt very insulted by Lord Shiva’s behaviour. So when he conducted a yaga again, he did not invite his daughter Sati and his son-in-law Lord Shiva. Sati felt saddened by the act of her father and went to the Yaga against the wishes of Lord Shiva. Daksha insulted her and Shiva. Saddened and enraged she immolates herself in the sacrificial fire. Shiva hearing this rushed to the place in great fury. In the battle that ensued, he cut off the head of Daksha and took the body of Sati in his hand and started dancing furiously - The dance of supreme consciousness and supreme energy, that could bring the entire universe to its end. To prevent this, Lord Vishnu used his Sudarsana chakra (discus) and separated the body of Sati from Shiva, thus ending the dance of destruction. The 18 parts of Sati fell down in different places in India. These places are called Shakthi Peethas (seat of energy). Since Sati Devi represents Shakthi, the divine feminine, and the supreme energy of the cosmos, these 18 places are considered to house intense forms of that supreme energy. These places are considered very important in the Shaktha tradition and Tantric tradition, where the focus is on Shakti worship. The following verses by the 6th century Guru, the great Sri Adhi Sankara, summarizes the 18 maha shakthi peetas: Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane || Alampure Jogulamba,Sri shaile Bhramarambika Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika || Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike || Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari Jwalayam Vaishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika || Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham || Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham ||

These are the 18 most powerful places of worship of the divine mother according to Sri Adhi Sankara, the great philosopher of the 6th century. According to the puranas, King Daksha Prajapati was the son of the creator, Lord Brahma. He had 27 daughters and Sati devi was one of them. Daksha gave his daughter Sati in marriage to Lord Shiva, During the conduct of a fire sacrifice, when Daksha entered the arena, every one except Lord Shiva stood up to respect him. Daksha felt very insulted by Lord Shiva’s behaviour. So when he conducted a yaga again, he did not invite his daughter Sati and his son-in-law Lord Shiva. Sati felt saddened by the act of her father and went to the Yaga against the wishes of Lord Shiva. Daksha insulted her and Shiva. Saddened and enraged she immolates herself in the sacrificial fire. Shiva hearing this rushed to the place in great fury. In the battle that ensued, he cut off the head of Daksha and took the body of Sati in his hand and started dancing furiously - The dance of supreme consciousness and supreme energy, that could bring the entire universe to its end. To prevent this, Lord Vishnu used his Sudarsana chakra (discus) and separated the body of Sati from Shiva, thus ending the dance of destruction. The 18 parts of Sati fell down in different places in India. These places are called Shakthi Peethas (seat of energy). Since Sati Devi represents Shakthi, the divine feminine, and the supreme energy of the cosmos, these 18 places are considered to house intense forms of that supreme energy. These places are considered very important in the Shaktha tradition and Tantric tradition, where the focus is on Shakti worship. The following verses by the 6th century Guru, the great Sri Adhi Sankara, summarizes the 18 maha shakthi peetas: Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane || Alampure Jogulamba,Sri shaile Bhramarambika Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika || Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike || Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari Jwalayam Vaishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika || Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham || Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham ||

Ancient Thevaram Temples
The Thevaram temples are the 275 ancient temples of India that are revered in the Thevaram verses of Saiva Nayanars in the 6th-9th century CE and are amongst the greatest and oldest Shiva temples of the continent. These temples are also referred to as Paadal Petra Sthalams, which in Tamil means "Places that were praised with songs"

The Thevaram temples are the 275 ancient temples of India that are revered in the Thevaram verses of Saiva Nayanars in the 6th-9th century CE and are amongst the greatest and oldest Shiva temples of the continent. These temples are also referred to as Paadal Petra Sthalams, which in Tamil means "Places that were praised with songs"

108 திவ்ய தேசங்கள் /Holiest shrines of Vishnu
A collection of shrines of Vishnu praised in the ancient verses of Nalayira Divya Prabandam. 108 திவ்ய தேசங்கள் என்பது பன்னிரு ஆழ்வார்கள் பாடிய நாலாயிரத்திவ்ய பிரபந்தத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற சிறப்புமிக்க வைணவத் திருத்தலங்கள் ஆகும். திவ்ய தேசங்களைப் பற்றிய பாடல்கள் மங்களாசாசனம் என அழைக்கப்படுகின்றன. இவற்றில் 105 தலங்கள் இந்தியாவிலும், ஒன்று நேப்பாலிலும் உள்ளன. கடைசியாக உள்ள இரு தலங்கள் இவ்வுலகில் இல்லை. இந்தியாவிலும் நேபாலிலும் உள்ள 106 தலங்களுக்கும் தம் வாழ்நாளில் சென்று அத்தலத்திற்குரிய பாடல்களைப் பாடுதல் ஒரு வைணவ சமய வழிபாடாக உள்ளது.

A collection of shrines of Vishnu praised in the ancient verses of Nalayira Divya Prabandam. 108 திவ்ய தேசங்கள் என்பது பன்னிரு ஆழ்வார்கள் பாடிய நாலாயிரத்திவ்ய பிரபந்தத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற சிறப்புமிக்க வைணவத் திருத்தலங்கள் ஆகும். திவ்ய தேசங்களைப் பற்றிய பாடல்கள் மங்களாசாசனம் என அழைக்கப்படுகின்றன. இவற்றில் 105 தலங்கள் இந்தியாவிலும், ஒன்று நேப்பாலிலும் உள்ளன. கடைசியாக உள்ள இரு தலங்கள் இவ்வுலகில் இல்லை. இந்தியாவிலும் நேபாலிலும் உள்ள 106 தலங்களுக்கும் தம் வாழ்நாளில் சென்று அத்தலத்திற்குரிய பாடல்களைப் பாடுதல் ஒரு வைணவ சமய வழிபாடாக உள்ளது.

Ancient Temples of Chennai
Despite being a city founded by the British less than 400 years ago, the metropolitan region of Chennai city is an ancient center of activity home to many old temples. Here we have a list of temples in Chennai which are over 1000 years old. Many of these have stone inscriptions that date back a thousand years. However, the date of the inscriptions only give us a milestone in the temple's history - not its actual origin. Since many of these temples were constructed using brick and lime before they were reconstructed using granite during the Pallava/Chozha period, these worship sites may in fact be several thousands of years old.

Despite being a city founded by the British less than 400 years ago, the metropolitan region of Chennai city is an ancient center of activity home to many old temples. Here we have a list of temples in Chennai which are over 1000 years old. Many of these have stone inscriptions that date back a thousand years. However, the date of the inscriptions only give us a milestone in the temple's history - not its actual origin. Since many of these temples were constructed using brick and lime before they were reconstructed using granite during the Pallava/Chozha period, these worship sites may in fact be several thousands of years old.

Meditation Hotspots
This is a collection of samadhi spots, dargahs, temples, and other spots of mystical interest that draws seekers of the ultimate truth.

This is a collection of samadhi spots, dargahs, temples, and other spots of mystical interest that draws seekers of the ultimate truth.

Samadhi Temples
These are temples where yogis/gurus have left their earthly bodies, often with an assurance that their presence will be felt, and blessings offered to seekers. There is a long tradition in India where those desiring to break free from the life of samsara seek out such masters in the places of their samadhi to meditate and ask for greater knowledge.

These are temples where yogis/gurus have left their earthly bodies, often with an assurance that their presence will be felt, and blessings offered to seekers. There is a long tradition in India where those desiring to break free from the life of samsara seek out such masters in the places of their samadhi to meditate and ask for greater knowledge.

Buddhist Stupas
Stupas are structures that were built to house the mortal remains and possessions of the Buddha, his disciples, or other buddhist monks. Such places are considered to be high in spiritual energy and therefore considered to be ideal places for meditation. After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight mounds with two further mounds encasing the urn and the embers. It has not been possible to identify these original ten monuments - however, some later stupas, such as at Sarnath and Sanchi, seem to be embellishments of earlier mounds. The earliest archaeological evidence for the presence of Buddhist stupas dates to the late 4th century BCE in India and Pakistan. Buddhist stupas are classified based on form and function into five types: - Relic stupa, in which the relics or remains of the Buddha, his disciples and other saints are interred. - Object stupa, in which the items interred are objects belonged to the Buddha or his disciples such as a begging bowl, robe, beads, or important Buddhist scriptures. - Commemorative stupa, built to commemorate events in the lives of Buddha or his disciples. - Symbolic stupa, to symbolise aspects of Buddhist theology, for example, Borobuddur is considered to be the symbol of "the Three Worlds (dhatu) and the spiritual stages (bhumi) in a Mahayana bodhisattva's character." - Votive stupa, constructed to commemorate visits or to gain spiritual benefits, usually at the site of prominent stupas which are regularly visited. Source: Wikipedia

Stupas are structures that were built to house the mortal remains and possessions of the Buddha, his disciples, or other buddhist monks. Such places are considered to be high in spiritual energy and therefore considered to be ideal places for meditation. After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight mounds with two further mounds encasing the urn and the embers. It has not been possible to identify these original ten monuments - however, some later stupas, such as at Sarnath and Sanchi, seem to be embellishments of earlier mounds. The earliest archaeological evidence for the presence of Buddhist stupas dates to the late 4th century BCE in India and Pakistan. Buddhist stupas are classified based on form and function into five types: - Relic stupa, in which the relics or remains of the Buddha, his disciples and other saints are interred. - Object stupa, in which the items interred are objects belonged to the Buddha or his disciples such as a begging bowl, robe, beads, or important Buddhist scriptures. - Commemorative stupa, built to commemorate events in the lives of Buddha or his disciples. - Symbolic stupa, to symbolise aspects of Buddhist theology, for example, Borobuddur is considered to be the symbol of "the Three Worlds (dhatu) and the spiritual stages (bhumi) in a Mahayana bodhisattva's character." - Votive stupa, constructed to commemorate visits or to gain spiritual benefits, usually at the site of prominent stupas which are regularly visited. Source: Wikipedia

Rock Cut Caves
Buddhist monks preferred to use caves as temples and abodes, in accord with their religious ideas of asceticism and the monastic life. Furthermore, caves rocky mountains were considered to be ideal places of meditation, providing the right environment to control one's spiritual energies. The Western Ghats topography, with its flat-topped basalt hills, deep ravines, and sharp cliffs, were ideally suited to the earliest rock cut cave constructions. The earliest of the Kanheri Caves were excavated in the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C., as were those at Ajanta, which were occupied continuously by Buddhist monks from 200 BCE to 650 AD. As mercantile and royal endowments grew, cave interiors became more elaborate, with interior walls decorated in paintings, reliefs, and intricate carvings. Facades were added to the exteriors while the interiors became designated for specific uses, such as monasteries (viharas) and worship halls (chaityas). Over the centuries, simple caves began to resemble free-standing buildings, needing to be formally designed and requiring highly skilled artisans and craftsmen to complete. These artisans had not forgotten their timber roots and imitated the nuances of a wooden structure and the wood grain in working with stone. Although many temples, monasteries and stupas had been destroyed over time, by contrast cave temples are very well preserved as they are both less visible and therefore less vulnerable to vandalism as well as made of more durable material than wood and masonry. There are around 1200 cave temples still in existence, most of which are Buddhist. Source: Wikipedia

Buddhist monks preferred to use caves as temples and abodes, in accord with their religious ideas of asceticism and the monastic life. Furthermore, caves rocky mountains were considered to be ideal places of meditation, providing the right environment to control one's spiritual energies. The Western Ghats topography, with its flat-topped basalt hills, deep ravines, and sharp cliffs, were ideally suited to the earliest rock cut cave constructions. The earliest of the Kanheri Caves were excavated in the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C., as were those at Ajanta, which were occupied continuously by Buddhist monks from 200 BCE to 650 AD. As mercantile and royal endowments grew, cave interiors became more elaborate, with interior walls decorated in paintings, reliefs, and intricate carvings. Facades were added to the exteriors while the interiors became designated for specific uses, such as monasteries (viharas) and worship halls (chaityas). Over the centuries, simple caves began to resemble free-standing buildings, needing to be formally designed and requiring highly skilled artisans and craftsmen to complete. These artisans had not forgotten their timber roots and imitated the nuances of a wooden structure and the wood grain in working with stone. Although many temples, monasteries and stupas had been destroyed over time, by contrast cave temples are very well preserved as they are both less visible and therefore less vulnerable to vandalism as well as made of more durable material than wood and masonry. There are around 1200 cave temples still in existence, most of which are Buddhist. Source: Wikipedia

Churches of St. Thomas
Christianity in India is older than Christianity in the West. The teachings of Jesus of Nazareth was brought to India by none other than the Apostle, St Thomas, who landed in India in 52 AD. Though initially propagating the teachings to the jews who had settled in the Malabar coast of Kerala, he expanded his sermons to include the native Indians in and around the ancient Indian port city of Muziris. In India, the followers of the teachings propagated by St Thomas are called Nazranis. The Christianity that resulted had as its essence the teachings of Jesus, but was rooted in local traditions and customs. As a Nazrani Church Father recently said "We are Christians in Faith, Indian in citizenship, and Hindus in culture". St Thomas, founded churches at 8 locations: Palayoor, Kodungaloor, Paravur, Kokkamangalam, Niranam, Nilackal, Kollam and Thiruvithamcode. The one at Thiruvithancode is called a half church or a church made on land donated by the local king or arajan (arappally in Malayalam). Six of the churches are preserved even now. The church at Kollam is believed to have been submerged in sea, possibly due to tidal wave action, while the actual location of the church at Chayal has not been identified conclusively. Some historians conclude that the church at Palayoor is identified wrongly, and that the original town Palayoor is present day Arthat.

Christianity in India is older than Christianity in the West. The teachings of Jesus of Nazareth was brought to India by none other than the Apostle, St Thomas, who landed in India in 52 AD. Though initially propagating the teachings to the jews who had settled in the Malabar coast of Kerala, he expanded his sermons to include the native Indians in and around the ancient Indian port city of Muziris. In India, the followers of the teachings propagated by St Thomas are called Nazranis. The Christianity that resulted had as its essence the teachings of Jesus, but was rooted in local traditions and customs. As a Nazrani Church Father recently said "We are Christians in Faith, Indian in citizenship, and Hindus in culture". St Thomas, founded churches at 8 locations: Palayoor, Kodungaloor, Paravur, Kokkamangalam, Niranam, Nilackal, Kollam and Thiruvithamcode. The one at Thiruvithancode is called a half church or a church made on land donated by the local king or arajan (arappally in Malayalam). Six of the churches are preserved even now. The church at Kollam is believed to have been submerged in sea, possibly due to tidal wave action, while the actual location of the church at Chayal has not been identified conclusively. Some historians conclude that the church at Palayoor is identified wrongly, and that the original town Palayoor is present day Arthat.

Atash Behrams
Fire temples are built to serve the fire within them, and are classified and named according to the grade of fire housed within them. There are three grades of fires. The Atash Dadgah is the lowest grade of sacred fire while the next higher grade is the Atash Adaran, the “Fire of fires”. An Atash Behram (Fire of Victory) is the highest grade of a fire that can be placed in a Zoroastrian fire temple. There are 9 Atash Behrams in India. Note: People outside the Zoroastrian faith are NOT permitted into Atash Behrams.

Fire temples are built to serve the fire within them, and are classified and named according to the grade of fire housed within them. There are three grades of fires. The Atash Dadgah is the lowest grade of sacred fire while the next higher grade is the Atash Adaran, the “Fire of fires”. An Atash Behram (Fire of Victory) is the highest grade of a fire that can be placed in a Zoroastrian fire temple. There are 9 Atash Behrams in India. Note: People outside the Zoroastrian faith are NOT permitted into Atash Behrams.

Synagogues of India
This is a collection of synagogues in India. Judaism has an ancient history in India. Evidence of Jewish people arriving on the western coastal ports of India goes back 2000 years. In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented his counterpart in Israel, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, with a copy of a copper plate inscription from the 10th century CE that recorded the grant of royal privileges to a group of jewish people by the Kulasekhara king, Bhaskara Ravi Varma. This original copper plate kept at the Jewish Synagogue in Mattancherry, is called "Judapattayam" (the title of Jews). It describes the rights and benefits accorded to Jewish leader Joseph Rabban. The 72 rights and benefits included the right to collect tax and to travel on a palanquin. The Jewish leader was also given the title of "anchuvannasthanam".

This is a collection of synagogues in India. Judaism has an ancient history in India. Evidence of Jewish people arriving on the western coastal ports of India goes back 2000 years. In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented his counterpart in Israel, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, with a copy of a copper plate inscription from the 10th century CE that recorded the grant of royal privileges to a group of jewish people by the Kulasekhara king, Bhaskara Ravi Varma. This original copper plate kept at the Jewish Synagogue in Mattancherry, is called "Judapattayam" (the title of Jews). It describes the rights and benefits accorded to Jewish leader Joseph Rabban. The 72 rights and benefits included the right to collect tax and to travel on a palanquin. The Jewish leader was also given the title of "anchuvannasthanam".

A Trip to Bhutan
This is a travel diary of collections from a holiday trip to Bhutan in 2017

This is a travel diary of collections from a holiday trip to Bhutan in 2017

Highway on my Plate
Collection of eating spots covered in the Food and Travel show: "Highway on my Plate", hosted by the vivacious pair of Rocky Singh (Non-Vegetarian) and Mayur Sharma (Vegetarian) who travel the length and breadth of India in search of memorable eating joints.

Collection of eating spots covered in the Food and Travel show: "Highway on my Plate", hosted by the vivacious pair of Rocky Singh (Non-Vegetarian) and Mayur Sharma (Vegetarian) who travel the length and breadth of India in search of memorable eating joints.

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