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PLACES & MONUMENTS OF INDIA

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Paiga Tombs: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Built of lime and mortar, these tombs are excellent examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture.

 

Palwal:  Haryana. The city of Palwal, located in Faridabad district, has an important place in the history of Haryana. It is believed that the Pandavas spent one year of their secret exile or  'Agyatwas' at this place.  The Panchvati temple, Draupadi Ghat and the Dau Temple are important religious monuments of this place. It was also at Palwal that Mahatma Gandhi was arrested by the British Government while he was on his visit to Punjab on April 10, 1919 to protest against the killings of the Jalianwala Bagh.  To mark this event a 'Gandhi Sewashram' was built on the outskirts of the town.

 

Pachmarhi: Madhya Pradesh.  Pachmarhi is a beautiful hill resort girdled by the Satpura ranges.  The important tourist attractions at Panchmarhi are Priyadarshini Point, Handi Khoh, Apsara Vihar, Rajat Pratap, Raj Giri, Duchess Fall, Jata Shankar, Chhota Mahadeo, Mahadeo, Chauragarh, Dhupgarh and Pandav Caves.

 

Paharpur:  West Bengal.  This place is famous for its Buddhist Sanctuary and represent the largest Buddhist ruins south of the Himalayas.

Panipat: Haryana. This is the place where three great battles were fought.  The place is famous for Ibrahim Lodi�s tomb; Kabuli Shah mosque (built by Babar and named after his wife Kabuli Begum); Chabutara Fateh Mubarak near the mosque; Jain temples in Holi Mohalla and shrine of saint Abu Ali Kalandar.

 

Parasurama Kshetras: Karnataka. The seven muktisthalas of Karnataka, Udupi, Kollur, Subrahmanya, Kumbasi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana and Gokarna are described as Parasurama Kshetras as they were believed to have been created on the land reclaimed from the sea by Parasurama. Gokarna is one of the celebrated Shiva temples in Karnataka, enshrining the Atma Lingam.

 

Parasnath Hills: Jharkhand. Located in Hazaribagh, these were the abodes of the Jain Tirthankaras, most of whom had attained salvation here including Parsvanatha, the 23rd Tirthankara.

 

Pataliputra: Bihar. Located in modern Patna, it was the capital city of the Mauryas. The Third Buddhist Council was held here during Ashoka�s reign.  It was also the venue of the First Jain Council in 4 BC.

 

Patiala: Punjab.   It was a Sikh principality founded by Baba Ala Singh in 1764 AD but became famous under its 8th Maharaja Bhupender Singh.  Important places in Patiala include the Motibagh Palace (built by Maharaja Narinder Singh) with its Sheesh Mahal and Hall of Mirrors and the Motibagh Gurudwara.

 

Patna: Bihar. The modern Patna, which is known in history by several names like Kusumpur, Pushpapur, Patliputra and Azeemabad, saw the rise and fall of India�s earliest major kingdoms. Its period of glory spanned a thousand years, from 6th century BC to 6th century AD. Ajatashatru, the second Magadh king, built a small fort at Patligram at the confluence of river Ganges and Sone. This later became the famous Mauryan metropolis of Pataliputra and was ruled by Chandragupta Maurya and his grandson Ashoka.  Other emperors who ruled from Patna were the Gupta and Pala Kings, Sher Shah Suri (16th century) and Azimush-Shan (18th century), grandson of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who renamed it Azeemabad.  The important historic places of Patna include: Agam Kuan; Gol Ghar;  Har Mandir (Built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, a ruler of Punjab, it is one of the holiest Sikh shrines, being the birthplace of the tenth religious Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh); Jalan Museum; Khuda Baksh Oriental Library; Kumrahar; Padri Ki Haveli; Patthar Ki Masjid (also known as Saif Khan�s Mosque, Chimni Ghat Mosque or Sangi Masjid); Sadaqat Ashram (It has a museum having personal belongings of the first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad); the Birla Mandir, Nawab Shahib-ka-Maqbara, Paschim Darwaza and Begu Hajjam�s mosque.  

 

Pattadakal: Karnataka.  Referred to as 'Petrigal' by Ptolemy, Pattadakal was later known variously as 'Raktapura' (Red Town) and 'Pattadakal Kisuvolal'.  It is famous for the early Chalukyan temples.  The Verupaksha and the Sangameshwara temples are famous.

 

Pawapuri:   Bihar. The Pawapuri or Apapuri, located about 90 kilometres from Patna, is a great pilgrimage centre of the Jains.  Mahavira had delivered his last sermon here, took Mahaparinirvana and was cremated here. Jalamandir, the white marble temple in the middle of a lake, is a centre of Jain pilgrimage, along with the Samosharan temple.

 

Pitalkhora:  Maharashtra. Pitalkhora is an early Buddhist site, which has first century BC sculpture remains, and fifth century painting remains. The site has yielded many unusual sculptures, including wonderful yaksa figures. 

Piprahawa:  Uttar Pradesh.A village located  in the Siddharthnagar district is identified as Kapilavastu, the capital of the Sakya clan to which Buddha belonged.

Plassey:  West Bengal.  It was an important battlefield associated with Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula, who fought a valiant but unsuccessful battle against the British in 1757.

Pudukkottai: Tamil Nadu.  Pudukkottai was a Princely state in the 17th Century AD.  It has rich reserves of archaeological and cultural remains at Kodumbalur, Narthamalai, Kudumianmalai, Kunnandarkoil, Sittannavasal, Thirumayam and Avudaiyarkoil. The nearby Sittannavasal has a rock cut Jain cave temple dating back to 2nd Century BC. There are a few sculptures of Jain Thirthankaras in the Ardhamandapam and inner shrine of the Cave temple. Kudumianmalai, located about 20 kms from Pudukkottai, has a beautifully sculptured temple with a thousand pillar-hall dedicated to Sikhagireeswarar. Avur is renowned for the old chapel constructed in 1547 AD and the new Roman Catholic Church constructed in 1747 AD.

 

Pune: Maharashtra.  Pune can be considered as the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Shivneri, near Pune, was the birthplace of Shivaji. The Peshwas enriched the city with temples, gardens and educational institutions.  It was at Pune that Bal Gangadhar Tilak introduced the principle of Swadeshi during the freedom movement. Pune is famous for the Aga Khan Palace (it has the samadhi of Kasturba Gandhi), Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Lal Deval or the Jewish Synagogue built by David Sassoon in 1867, Iyengar Yoga Institute, Shanirwada (built in 1736, this was once the palace of the Peshwa rulers), Saras Baug, Bund Gardens, National Defense Academy, Panshet Lake, Bund Gardens (Mahatma Gandhi Udyan), Parvati and Devdeveshwar temples, Osho Teerth, Pataleshwar cave Temple and Mahadaji Shinde's Chhatri. Jejuri, near Pune is known for its Khandoba temple.  

 

Purana Qila: New Delhi. It is site where the second Mughal emperor Humayun made a city called Dinpanah (refuge of the faithful).  When Sher Shah Suri overthrew Humayun, he rebuilt the city and called it Dilli Sher Shahi or Shergarh. The Purana Qila has three main gates � the Humayun darwaza, Talaqi darwaza and Bara darwaza. Many believe that the Purana Qila is the site of the legendary city of Indraprastha.  Excavations at the Purana Qila have yielded Painted Grey Ware pottery belonging to 1000BC and coins of the Gupta (about 4-5th century AD) and post-Gupta periods. The Qila-i-kuhna masjid built by Sher Shah Suri in 1541AD is one of the most fascinating buildings in the Purana Qila.

 

Purani Haveli: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Built by the first Nizam of Hyderabad, it is a large building surrounded by high walls where the Nizam used to hold his cabinet council meetings.

 

Pushkar: Rajasthan. Located about 11km from Ajmer city in Rajasthan, it is believed to be the only place in the world where a Brahma Temple (Jagat Shri Brahma Temple) is found. Other important places include Boraji temple, Old Rangnathji temple, Rangnathji temple, Apteshwar Mahadeo Temple, Warrach Temple, Man Mahal and Pushkar Lake.  A cattle fair is held every year at Pushkar on the Karthik Poornima.

 

Puttaparthi: Andhra Pradesh. It is located in Anantapur district and is an internationally famous place of worship associated with the spiritual and religious head Shri Satya Sai Baba.

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Qadam-i-Rasoool: Orissa. Literally meaning "the foot-print of the Prophet", it is a small shrine in the city of Cuttack built by Nawab Shujauddin Khan, the deputy Nizam of Orissa in 1715 AD.  The architecture is a blend of Hindu and Afghan style of architecture. It is believed that the shrine shelters the footprints of Prophet Muhammad on a circular stone in its central mosque.

 

Quilon: Kerala. It is an ancient city dating back to 9th century AD.  The Malayalam era is calculated from the date of the foundation of this town.

 

Qutub Minar: Delhi. The Qutub Minar, a huge tower located in Mehrauli, was built in the honour of the famous saint Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtyar Kaki.  It was started in 1192 AD by Qutub-ud-din Aibak but completed by Iltutmish in 1230 AD.  It is hit by lightening twice � first during the reign of Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq and again during Feroze Shah Tughlaq's time. It was renovated by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1369 AD after it was damaged by lightening.  The diameter of the Qutub Minar is 14.32m at the base and about 2.75m at the top.  It measures a height of 72.5m and contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps. The Alai Darwaza, near Qutub Minar, was built by Allaudin Khilji in 1311 AD.

 

Qutub Shahi Tombs: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.These are a cluster of six magnificent tombs situated a kilometer north of Golconda Fort's Banjara Darwaza built in a unique architectural style which is a mixture of Persian, Pathan and Hindu forms. The tomb of the fifth king of the Qutub Shahi dynasty and founder of Hyderabad - Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah is one of the largest and most imposing of these monuments.

 

Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid: Delhi. The Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid was started in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak but was finished four years later. It is considered as the earliest mosque in India. The mosque has beautiful Islamic calligraphy, the arabesque designs and pillars with pre-Islamic Hindu motifs.  The tomb of Imam Zamim, who was the Imam of the mosque during Sikander Lodi's time, is located in the mosque compound.  It also has within its precincts an uncorroded Iron Pillar.

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Raipur: Chhattisgarh.  It is the capital and the district headquarters of the newly created state of Chhattisgarh.

 

Rajagriha:  Bihar.  It is the place where Mahavira died in 468 BC.  The First Buddhist Council was held here in 487 BC during the reign of Ajatasatru.

 

Rajgir:  Bihar. Rajgir was the ancient capital of the Magadh emperors and an important pilgrimage centre for the Buddhists, Jains, Hindus and Muslims. It was the capital of the mighty Magadhan Empire in the fourth century BC. It is also construed as the first recorded capital in Indian History. It was in Rajgir that Lord Buddha delivered some of his famous sermons and converted king Bimbisara of the Magadh Kingdom to Buddhism. Rajgir is also reverently mentioned in Ramayana and Mahabharata.  The First Buddhist Council was held here on one of the hills in the Saptaparni Cave, which is also the source of the Rajgir hot water springs, considered sacred by the Hindus. The Chinese scholar Fahien also visited Rajgir. Rajgir is also the site of the Vishwa Shanti Stupa, the  "Peace Pagoda" built by the Japanese.  Important tourist places in and around Rajgir include: Gridhakuta or the "Hill of the Vultures" (the site where Buddha returned after his enlightenment to deliver his sermon and set in motion his second wheel of law and converted the powerful Magadhan king, Bimbisara into the Buddhist order); Karnada Tank (the place where Lord Buddha used to bathe); Venuvana (the Bamboo grove was the royal park built by King Bimbisara and gifted to Buddha in order to make it easier for his devotees to visit him); Pipali Cave (a rectangular stone sculpted by the forces of nature on the Vaibhava Hill which became the resort of pious hermits, also popularly known as "Jarasandha ki Baithak");  Amaravana or Jivaka�s Mango Garden (which marks the site of the dispensary of the royal physician, Jivaka, who happened to dress the wounds of Buddha here when he was injured by his hostile cousin Devadutta); Ranbhumi (is believed to the place where Bhima killed the mighty Jarasandha after a month long wrestling duel);  Ajatshatru�s Fort; Swarna Bhandar (two strange cave chambers hollowed out of a single massive rock which has inscriptions in the hitherto un-deciphered Shankhalipi or Shell script etched into the wall); the Cyclopean Wall (a Pre-Mauryan stone);  Brahmakund ( a popular hot spring) and  Kundalpur (the Digamber sector of the Jains believe that Lord Mahavir was born at Kundalpur).

 

Rajmahal:  Bihar. It is another medieval settlement on the eastern fringe of Bihar.  The Jami Masjid, Akbari Masjid, Mughal Bridge, Jagat Seth�s mint, an old temple at Kanhaiyasthan which houses the foot prints of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are interesting places in Rajmahal. In the paddy field lies an interesting 17th century tomb acknowledged as the first octagonal tomb of eastern India.

 

Rakabganj:  New Delhi. It is the famous gurudwara in Delhi where the 9th Sikh Guru, Guru Tej Bahadur is cremated.

 

Rameshwaram: Tamil Nadu. The sacred island town of Rameswaram is famous for the Ramalingeshwara Temple.  Rameshwaram has the longest corridor in the world.  It also has the Dhanushkodi, the meeting point of Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Rameshwaram is connected to the Indian mainland by the Pamban Bridge. Ramnathswamy Temple, Gandhamadhana Parvadham, Kothandaramaswamy Temple at Dhanushkodi and Kurusadai Island are important places in Rameshwaram. The Gulf of Mannar has been declared as a Bio-sphere Reserve. Erwadi, located about 21 kms from Rameshwaram, is well-known for the tomb of Ibrahim Syed Aulia.

 

Ranchi:  Jharkhand. Situated picturesquely in the heart of Chotanagpur at an altitude of 2,140 ft above sea level, Ranchi is the capital of the newly created state of Jharkhand. It is famous for the Ranchi Hill bearing a Shiva temple and the  Ranchi Lake , the Tagore Hill  named after Ravindra Nath Tagore who is believed to have written a part of his famous Gitanjali here, besides other poems, the Ram Krishna Ashram, the 17th century Kankedam Temple, where the annual Rath Yatra (car festival) is held in the month of June/July.  The place is also renowned for the Hatia Dam and the Hundru, Jonha, Sita, Dassam, Hirni, Lodh and Sadni Falls. McCluskieganje, located about 60 kms from Ranchi, is a sleepy hamlet, which was once popular with Anglo-Indian families with their typical cottages, clubs and shops. Netarhat, the queen of Chotanagpur, located about 156 km from Ranchi is a beautiful summer resort.  Balarajgarh is famous for the ramparts of an ancient fort of Raja Bali.  Bhimbandh has hot water springs flowing in rivulets.

 

Ranikhet: Uttaranchal. It is a beautiful hill station near Nainital, which offers panoramic views of the western Himalayas.

 

Rashtrapati Bhawan:  New Delhi. It is the official residence of the President of India.  It is the largest presidential residence in the world. Built of cream and red sandstone, it is a synthesis of Hindu, Muslim and Colonial architecture.  The building comprises of the magnificent Durbar Hall, the Ball Room, the State Dining Room and private chambers.  It has 227 columns, 35 lobbies, 37 fountains and 340 rooms. The Mughal Garden at the Rashtrapati Bhawan is famous for a large variety of roses.

Raymond's Tomb: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Located in Saroornagar, about 10 km from Hyderabad city centre, the Raymond's Tomb is a 7m high black granite obelisk or the pillared shrine with ornate initials 'J.R.' engraved on its sides. The initials stand for Jaochim Raymond, a gallant French trader-turned-soldier who was the Comptroller of Ordnance during the times of the Fourth Nizam of Hyderabad, Nizam Ali Khan.  The area where he developed a garden is now known as the "Moosarambagh".  A 28-pillared open structure resembling a Grecian temple is located close to the Raymond's tomb.

 

Red Fort:  Delhi. The fort, built by Shah Jahan, was completed in nine years at a cost of about a ten million rupees. The fort is octagonal in plan, like most Islamic buildings in India. On the north the fort is connected to the smaller Salimgarh fort by a scaffold. The main entrance nowadays is through the Lahori gate. The Chhatta Chowk, Naubat or Naqqar Khana or Hathipol, Diwan-i-Am, the Mumtaz Mahal, Rang Mahal, Khas Mahal, the Diwan-i-khas, the Hamam and the Shah Burj give testimony to the magnificence of the fort.

 

Rishikesh: Uttaranchal. Famous pilgrimage centre known for the Laxman Jhoola, Muni-ki-Reti, Bharat Mandir, Nilkanth Mahadev, Raghunath Mandir, Triveni Ghat, Chandreshwar Temple, Someshwar Temple, Hanuman Temple (erected in 1924 by Swami Ramdas), Rajaji National Park and Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary. Rishikesh also has several ashrams like Sivanand Ashram, Yoga Niketan, Omkaranand Ashram, Swargashram, Geeta Bhavan, Parmarth Niketan, etc.

 

Rohtak: Haryana. Rohtak is one of the historical districts of Haryana. It finds a mention in the Mahabharata as well as the Skanda Purana. People also believe that Kartikeya, Lord Shiva�s son, rode around Rohtak on a peacock.  Rohtak was the site of many strong forts in the past like Meham, Hansi, Sirsa, Meerut, Hastinapur, Satkumbha, Sthaneshweri, Mohanbari, Prakritnagar, Patannagar, Havannagar and Malba. Khokrakot, near Rohtak, is a place where ruins of the forts of Khokar King Khokhrashah are found. Archeologists have found many coins and articles of historical importance from this site. The other important places in Rohtak include the Dini and Adina Masjids; Pirzada Masjid; Shahjahan Ki Baoli; the Gaokaran tank and the Bhindawas Lake.  

 

Ropar: Punjab.  It is the site of an ancient Indus Valley settlement.

 

Rothney Castle: Himachal Pradesh. Located in Simla, it was the home of A.O.Hume. 

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