#BandraLegacy Heritage Walk

Some of the beautiful, well preserved treasures of Mumbai are hidden in plain sight. The Heritage structures of Bandra combined with Hip artwork is a wonderful sight to behold. The old world charm has never left these villages. Hence we decided to explore Bandra’s Legacy on foot.

We knew that Bandra comprised of 7 Heritage villages

  1. Sherly
  2. Malla
  3. Rajan
  4. Kantwadi
  5. Waroda
  6. Ranwar
  7. Boran
  8. Pali
  9. Chuim

Some of villages are completely overtaken by Redevelopment, hence are very difficult to find.Also the best way to explore the area is on foot.

P.S. There are around 200 Photos, and you can fully appreciate it in Full Screen

Street Art Gallery

Heritage Gallery

More photos by friends who joined us for the walk.

  1. Dr. Ajay Pradhan (Wanderlust Adventures) – https://travelnew.tumblr.com/
  2. Paresh Soni (My Travel Adventures) – http://traveladventuresbyme.blogspot.in/

If you think we have missed some important heritage structure or artwork, or you have any suggestions, please let us know by leaving a comment below. Thank You.

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(The Almost Complete) History of Shri Jirawala Parshwanath Tirth

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Rajasthan, a beautiful land of kings, just when you thought you had seen everything you discover something new, something you have never seen, felt or experienced before.

The temple I am about to describe lies near a village named Jirawala. This small town is located just 48 kms from Abu Road station. The temple is named Shri Jirawala Parshwanath Jain Tirth.

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Shri Jirawala Jain Tirth

According to history the Temple dates back to ancient times. During ancient times the town was known by many names, Jiravalli, Jirapalli, Jurikavalli, Jairapalli and many more. The area in which the temple now stands (Tirth Kshetra) is associated to many legends.

One of the legends say that Seth Amarasha of Kodinagar and Acharya Devsurishvarji (a.k.a. Shri Devasurivara), on the same day saw in their dream that there lays an idol of Lord Parshvanath near the foot of Jayraj Hill. Following thier dream both found out the place and excavated the area. There they found the Idol of Lord Parshvanath lying in the ground. This statue of Shri Parshvanath was 18 cm high sitting in Padmasana position.They took out the Idol and a magnificent temple was built in that place.

Shri Jiraval Parshvanath

Hence under the guidance of Devsurishvarji a temple was built in 331 Vikram Samvnt Era  (Which is approximately 389 B.C.; Source – Wikipedia); and the idol was installed by Shri Devsurishvarji himself. Then in the surrounding of the temple 108 idols of shri Parshvanath were installed

As you can see in the photos a complete renovation of the Temple was underway and the Mulnayak (main idol) and other 108 idols was shifted inside a small room temporarily.

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The temple pillars and walls are carved with intricate designs by the hands of skilled labours. Some of the pillars and walls also display ancient works of art.

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I did manage to grab some shots of the workers working on the intricate carvings trying to make this place better and wonderful

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Apart from the temple the place consists of a Dharamshala, for larger group of pilgrims which is also located in the shade of a mountain. This provides a calm environment for Jain scholars as well as priests to learn and rest.

You can also find this place on Google Maps

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(The Almost Complete) History and Architecture of Ancient Sri Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune

This post originally appeared on My Yatra Diary; written / photography by Arti

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Pune is not only about blooming IT companies, growing urban concrete and flashy glass structures – but a lot more about a distinct culture and unique traditions that it lovingly keeps in its heart. As a cherished treasure. Something I realized during my recent visit to the ancient Shree Ram temple in Tulsibaug…
The verandah to the ancient Shree Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune, Maharashtra
Come, let’s visit Tulsibaug.
Built by Jivajipant Khasgiwale in 18th century, Tulsibaug, with its array of shops splattered all around and a few heritage temples, is both a commercial hub as well a cultural hub – with a ‘vintage’ feel. At that time when it was so named, the place used to be a flourishing garden filled with the fragrance of basil. Today, however, it’s a contrast… a stony mosaic, of nondescript buildings, habitual shops and half-insulated-half-naked copper wires dangling loosely – such that you could as well pass this off as any other gully from a city like say, Mathura. Not just that, the uncanny resemblance also stems from the high quotient of antiquity that whirls in its environs.
Amid the chaos of shops and buzzing people, I am struck by the tantalizing aroma of freshly cooked traditional Maharashtrian delicacy Pohe wafting in the air one minute followed by the sight of its highly acclaimed envoy Lord Ganpati greeting me from the window of a pandal (residential tent) the other.
Tulsibaug sarvajanik ganesh utsav mandal trust, Pune
Tulsibaug Ganpati greets the visitors in one of the lanes.
A few more miles and a small gate, in blue frame appears with a clear signpost tacked above it – it says, Shree Ram temple, Tulsibaug.
Entrance gateway to ancient Shree Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune, Maharashtra
Entrance to Shree Ram temple, Tulsibaug.
Inside the gate is a narrow verandah wrapped in dilapidated structures, revealing broken wooden doors and windows both thrown open as well as closed. The verandah passes through a two storied ‘Nagarkhana’, which was built by Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa after he won the battle of Kharde. The Nagarkhana is a musical complex housing a traditional musical instrument called Chaughada which comes alive with its beats on festive occasions, a tradition carried on since the times of its inception.
Musical Naagarkhana at the Shree Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune, Maharashtra
The Nagarkhana breathes in music on festive occasions.
Below the nagarkhana is another modestly arched doorway which opens into the spacious compound of the temple.
Beautiful paintings on the walls of ancient Shree Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune, Maharashtra
Tales from the Ramayana come alive through these paintings on the walls.

As soon as we step in, the 150 feet high conical shikara (spire) of the temple stands out for its grandiosity, beauty and the intricately carved figurines of saints and deities all over it.

Restoration work of Shree Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune, Maharashtra
Behold the majestic and intricately carved conical spire of the temple
The blackish tinge on the brick structure of the spire gives it – the temple is aged. A dive in history and indeed! Though the shikhara was added only in the late nineteenth century but the original structure of the temple is an ancient one dating back to the 17th century. Constructed by Shrimant Naro Appaji Tulshibaugwale a nobleman in the Peshwa court under the orders of Balaji Baji Rao, the temple is today one of the few that have managed to retain its element from the era of the Pehwas. It was good to see restoration work in progress when we visited the place.
The spacious sabhamandap of Shree Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune, Maharashtra
The temple, being restored, yet retains its charm from the era of the Pehwas.
The temple has a wooden sabhamandap (congregation hall), essentially an open space supported by withered columns and carved arches with an attractive teak ceiling decorated in ornate designs and patterns. The sabhamandap evoked a sense of peace and calm with no people around. There were a few things though – like a charpoy, bare with nails, which lay abandoned in the center and a few chalkboards reading significant dates in the Hindu calendar, which clung to the wall.
Arches in sabhamandap of Shree Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune, Maharashtra
A sneak peak of the sanctum in the far distance
Wooden columns in the sabhamandap of Shree Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune, Maharashtra
Sabhamandap: Footsteps echo as we walk, except that – there is no noise, total silence prevails.
The garbhagriha or the sanctum sanctorum is a stone enclosure housing deities of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman in the center while other deities like Lord Vishnu and Garuda sit beside them. Lord Hanuman sits exactly opposite them, not in the sanctum but in thesabhamandap with folded hands and a gaze constantly fixed at His Shree Ram.
The ornate teak ceiling
There is ample space of circumambulation provided around the mandap area where one gets a glimpse of other smaller temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vithal-Godess Rakhumai, Lord Ganesha, Godess Parvati, Lord Dattareya but due to the restoration work that was on, we had to skip it.
Restoration work: Stones, slabs and rods lying all around the temple precincts.
If we were to literally going by the name, Tulsibaug is no ‘Tulsibaug’ anymore – the basil plants are nowhere to be seen and there is no garden. On the face of it – it’s hard, stony but it’s just a matter of time and you realize the something that is deep and buried within it…
The incospicuos doorway to Shree Ram Temple, Tulsibaug, Pune, Maharashtra
Till the end of this life, work will keep you forever busy;
Make some time such, shower love to your Master.
‘English translation of the signpost outside the temple’
Tulsibaug, for me, with its tapered lanes, bustling market and heritage temples; will alwaysremain a fragrant memory… the place where cultural roots continue toburgeon in the garden of history and traditions.Tips and other information for Travellers:– Tulsibaug is located right in the middle of the city, just 10 minutes walk from the famous Dagdusheth Ganpati temple, so you can club them together and visit Tulsibaug just after paying reverence at Dagdusheth.

– Since Tulsibaug is spread in a vast area, keep around 30 – 45 minutes in hand to explore the place.

– A little off from Tulsibaug is Mahatma Phule Mandai, the biggest vegetable market in Pune.

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(The Almost Complete) History and Architecture of 72 Jinalaya

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G.P.S. Coordinates:  25°0’12″N   72°18’2″E

72 Domes of 72 Jinalaya, Bhinmal, Rajasthan

72 Domes of 72 Jinalaya, Bhinmal, Rajasthan

Introduction

On the outskirts of a Rajasthani Town, Bhinmal, there is huge complex which offers Pilgrimage to Jain’s all around the world. It is know as Shri Laxmi Vallabh Parshwanath 72 Jinalaya.

History

Bhinmal was earlier known as Shrimal Nagar (or Bhillamal), which was an early capital of the Kingdom of Gurjars. There are evidence found which indicates Lord Mahavir Swami, the 24th Tirthankar has roamed in these places. This makes Bhinal a very holy place for Jainism.

A Portrait of King Kumarpal

King Kumarpal, the King of Gurjar Kingdom had erected many temples but were destroyed by Alauddin Khilji.

There was a time when Bhinmal looked absolutely stunning with city pinnacled with many temples. It was a great learning center in old times. Many books on Jainism were written here between 7th to 10th Century.

Construction

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The pilgrimage is built almost 6 kms away from Bhinmal. Spreading itself across 80 acres of land it offers pilgrimage as well as temporary charitable rest houses to travellers.

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It is built completely in Marble and hence provides a magnificent views. The work done on construction is very intricate. All the details and colors are carved out very nicely.

 

A benevolent Yakshini guarding the entrance of 72 Jinalaya, Bhinmal

A benevolent Yakshini guarding the entrance of 72 Jinalaya, Bhinmal

 

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The construction of this tirth (pilgrimage) had begun at 1982 and took around 19 years to complete.

The temple spreads in the area of 4700 sq. ft. The temple is elevated with the help of 8 ft high platform. The main temple is in the center (It consists of mulnayak, the main god) and is surrounded by 72 other smaller temples

Overview of 72 Jinalaya

The mulnayak of this temple is Lord Mahavir. His statue is housed in the main temple which is 72 x 54 x 60 ft. in dimensions.

There are usually 24 Tirthankars (gods, people who has attained enlightenment) in Jainism. But this temple is a representation of 24 previous Tirthankars, 24 current Tirthankars and 24 future Tirthankars

If you are curious of the names of all (past, present and future) Tirthankars you can check out the list on this site.

http://jainsite.com/jain-tirthankaras/24-tirthankars-past-present-futureatiti-anagat-vartaman-jain-tirthankars-names.html.

Around the Temple

The other 80 acres of area is covered with huge Gardens and a big charitable complex for visitors/travellers. There are also some small temples spread out in that area.

Here are some of the photos I took at this place

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Entrance to 72 Jinalaya

 

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Dharamshala

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(The Almost Complete) History of Raj Bhavan, Mumbai

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G.P.S. Coordinates – 18°56’42.2″N 72°47’38.6″E

Introduction

Mumbai’s Raj Bhavan is the official residence of Governor of Maharashtra. Located in the plush Malabar Hill Area of Mumbai it occupies 50 acres of surroundings which includes many heritage bungalows, trees, large lawns and a beach.

Raj Bhavan Area

Approximately 50 Acres of Raj Bhavan

The Raj Bhavan has a precious collection of beautiful carpets, paintings, exquisitely carved doors and elegant french styled chairs and sofas with intricate portraits on them.

History

The place Malabar Hills could have got its name from the Pirates of Malabar (Refer the book The Pirates of Malabar, and An Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago ). As the coast of this area was a witness of major Naval Battles between the British Raj and Maratha Navy (which were also known as Pirates of Malabar at that time) (F.Y.I. Malabar Coastal region was accounted as the coastal area from Goa to South of India). The exact location of the Raj Bhavan is known as Malabar Point. This was the 3rd residence specially made for the Governor’s of Mumbai.

The First residence was Manor House (1665 – 1757) which lied at the heart of Bombay Castle between the Town Hall(Now Asiatic Library) and Old Customs House.

Mr. John Spencer’s (Youngest Son to the 3rd Earl of Sunderland) House was purchased as a new residence for the Governor in 1757. But the Governor Richard Bourchier (1750 -1760) wanted to stay away from the already congested area.

The Second Residence was located in Parel (1757 – 1897), where the Haffkine Institute now stands. It was then converted into Plague Hospital.

It is recorded that the Malabar Point was an occasional retreat for Governor William Medows (1788 – 1790) and Sir Evan Nepean (1812 – 1819)  who used to live in a small room in this area (probably a Hunting Lodge) . In 1880, Sir Richard Temple had already initiated the formal transfer of Government House from Parel to Malabar Point.

The early residence and office was known as Marine Villa, Sir Richard Temple had already shifted to this place. When the wife of Governor James Ferguson (1880 – 1885) died in Parel due to plague, the official residence was permanently shifted to Malabar Point.

Architecture

The Raj Bhavan consists of 5 Buildings.

1. Jal Bhushan

Built by Governor Mountstuart Elphinstone, the commanding citadel of Jal Bhushan is built on the foundation of a pretty cottage. Reginald Heber described this place as “a pretty cottage on a rocky and woody promontory actually washed by sea spray”.

Mountstuart Elphinstone built this place with French furniture, artistic wooden carpentry and exquisite paintings on the wall which magnifies the charm of Jal Bhushan. It also houses paintings by many Indian Masters.

2. Jal Chintan

Jal Chintan was once known as Point Bungalow. Jal Chintan resides at the edge of the cliff. It is the official residence for the visiting Prime Minister of India. It is said that it was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s favourite abode.

3. Jal Lakshan

This residence is preserved for the President of India. Sir Bartle Frere had commissioned Theodore Jensen to paint a series of Maratha Warriors after the Mutiny of 1857. These paintings were then placed inside the building for a political standpoint which would make the leaders of India less hostile and make them accept British Sovereignty.

Jal Lakshan also has grand receiving rooms where the guests are invited to join the President who find themselves seated on grand furnitures gilded with Gold.

4. Jal Vihar

Jal Vihar is a Banquet Hall. The carved screens are designed to separate the dining area from the reception hall. The vaulted ceilings are now crowned with Ashoka Lion Emblems. The priceless persian carpets are inlaid with ancient motifs to give a look of Mughal Era.

5. Jal Sabhagraha

Jal Sabhagraha is the serene Durbar Hall of Raj Bhavan. It is a venue swearing ceremonies and other occasions.

Flora & Fauna

The Raj Bhavan houses 108 species of plants and trees, 35 species of butterflies, a huge variety of marine shells and many other plants and animals. The details of all Flora and Fauna found inside Raj Bhavan can be read in Flora & Fauna of Raj Bhavan-Mumbai by Naresh Chaturvedi

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Other Information

The place has its own Helipad and a swimming pool inside the mangroves which is cool.

Tourist entry is not allowed  in this place which is a very sad thing for history buffs.If someone has information on how to get entry inside the Raj Bhavan with official permissions and who to contact that would be really appreciated

References

Old Rajbhavan Mumbai Website

New RajBhavan Website 

The Pirates of Malabar, and An Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago by John Biddulph