Witness the grandeur of past by exploring the lost kingdom of Madhya Pradesh
Since the very beginning, India is known to be a land of monarchs and rulers. A grand impression of the same can be easily discovered in various architectures and culture of Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh - Due to its strategic location and rich heritage, the state of Madhya Pradesh was always a prime target of invaders who struck this country several times pre-independence. Every time, foreign aggressors made incursions to this royal state and left an indelible mark on the state’s culture, architecture, and people.
The state boasts of a number of stories that narrate the royal saga of its past and how invaders shattered it with swords and ammunitions from time to time.
To experience the same, it is advisable to linger a while and head to places near to Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. There you will come across a number of monuments that feature intricate design and splendor that is hard to find these days even in the era of computer-aided programming and advanced 3D graphics. From erotic temple carvings to ghost cities and stupas, the state carries a rich heritage along with that tell a tale of warring empires and the pointlessness of the chase of power.
# Gwalior: A shining star of the past
The invaders who continued to ravage the plains of Madhya Pradesh left an imprint on its various cities and Gwalior is one of them. The Hindu rulers of the influential Tomar dynasty elevated huge Gwalior fort to envision their status, but they soon fascinated the attention of the sultans of Delhi, who overmastered the town and modified the fort in their image in 1517.
Strolling around Gwalior Fort, it is quite obvious to see Islamic imprints from sizzling turquoise tiles set to sandstone work, minaret-like towers, adorned by beautiful domes. Peeping out from the strongholds over the dusty landscapes, it is quite simple to think about how the sultans and later the Mughals considered themselves invincible in their hilltop fortress. The change was restored only when the Marathas captured Gwalior in 1754 and reinstated the Hindu’s splendor.
The latest known owner of the Gwalior Fort is the Scindia family, who are still here at Jai Vilas Palace. If you’ve made a visit there, you could have noticed splendid living such as stuffed tigers, family portraits, and heavy chandeliers dangling from sky-like domes.
# Sandstone work in Khajuraho
In the Khajuraho area, the change-maker was the Hindu culture that exhibited high levels of creativity, carving out some of the most profligate and stimulating temples ever made in India. While the Muslim sovereigns of Gwalior were fanatical with power, at Khajuraho, the concentration was on communing with the divine.
The wall carvings at Khajuraho are bodily symbols of the notion of kama – the festivity of love, desire and pleasure of the senses – one of the four objectives of life in Hindu philosophy, along with dharma (virtuous living), artha (the quest for prosperity) and the search of moksha (freedom from unawareness and the cycle of rebirths). In comparison to the severe viewpoint of the state’s Muslim rulers, the brazen joie de vivre of Khajuraho’s racy temples couldn’t be more distinct.
# Sanchi: where dharma prevails
On moving to the east of Bhopal, the existing state capital presents an alternative vision of India at Sanchi. Here, the great Buddhist king Ashoka elevated a huge stupa as reparation for the suffering he inflicted on the population of Kalinga in Odisha during his empire-building rage. The historical Buddha lived and died on the plains between Nepal and northern India, but it was Ashoka who did the main job of spreading Buddhism in every corner of the country.
Compared to the devastating rampage of Gwalior, and the erotic saga of Khajuraho, Sanchi was built with a view of introspection. Spooky by his legacy, the regretful Ashoka raised one of the first Buddhist stupas in India, decorating the entries adjacent to the stone-cladding dome with panels narrating the life take of the Buddha and his own virtuous redevelopment as a Buddhist adept.
# The majestic ruins of Mandu
The signs of ravage are quite visible everywhere in MP. For example, visit the lost city of Mandu and see yourself how a naturally-blessed region was turned into dusty lands shabbily.
Discovered by the governor Dilawar Khan on the place of a bested Hindu fortress, Mandu emerged as a sovereign kingdom in the early 15th century, and its rulers adorned the plateau with fortresses, mosques, and tombs of arresting elegance and compassion. Probably for those unrestrained periods, Mandu was considered an epicenter for a long-standing game of king-of-the-castle between competing Afghan, Mughal, Gujarati and Maratha militaries, before eventually being wild to the monsoon showers in the 1730s.
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