National Museum exhibits Hyderabad Nizam’s jewels

Though we visited many times the National Museum in New Delhi, this week we made a special visit only to see Nizam’s Jewels. Priceless royal jewels which once adorned some of the most powerful Hyderabad Nizams, bear testimony to the sheer grandeur of the Asaf Jahi dynasty rulers. Open in Delhi third time now, a public exhibition has displayed 173 dazzling pieces of jewellery, including one of the world’s biggest diamonds — the Jacob Dimond.

“Jewels of India: The Nizam’s Jewellery Collection”, a temporary exhibition at the National Museum, has the Jacob (or Imperial) Diamond as its centerpiece, amid panels of richly-studded crown jewels, headbands, waistbands, necklaces, rings, earrings and other jewellery.

Now temporarily housed in a highly-protected chamber of the Museum, the studded rubies, emeralds, diamonds and pearls dating back to 18th-20th centuries, glitter in dim light. Such was the splendour of the Nizams that jewellery worn by royal men and women now represent some of the finest jewels and cultural heritage globally.

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My Role Model

It is the era of nuclear families. The concept of joint family is fast disintegrating in India. I fear that the present generation may not know what is called ‘Joint Family’. Most of them treat their grand father either as a guest or an outsider. I am one among the privileged who have been born and brought up in joint family system and had an opportunity to interact with my grand father.

My grand father was living in a small house just opposite our home, which we fondly call it as ‘Thatha Veedu” (Grand Father’s house). From my parents I came to understand that he took a decision to move to this small house which lacked even basic amenities like electricity for the comfort of my parents. What a biggest sacrifice! He had not changed his decision till his death is really amazing.

I never remember my Grand Father ever sitting idle. While we return from school we used to see him standing on the road removing the obstacles on the road like broken stones and thorny bushes to prevent others getting hurt by these objects.

He was known for his discipline. Since he was in a village and had no 9 to 5 job, he could afford to relax and do things at his own pace. But he used to do his works with clock work precision and always took his meal in time whether it is break fast, lunch or dinner.

I am not aware whether he got any formal education, but he was a voracious reader. The habit refused to die even after he lost his eye sight due to his old age. Every morning he used to call us for reading the news paper for him. After hearing the news he expressed his opinion firmly and often raised questions about few illogical actions of our politicians.

The keen interest he had shown on us always moved us very close to him. He always interested to know how we are faring in the school examination and when the result will be out. He closely watch us when we play and very often warn us for getting injured.

While doing our home work, if the tip of our pencil breaks, we immediately rush to him for getting the pencil sharpened. The artistic way he sharp the pencil with a big knife was really a delight to watch. We always get inspired of his patience and interest shown whatever he did.

One morning when he passed away, we were shattered as this was the first time we experienced that some one who was so close to us dying. Though more than thirty years have passed since his death, he still lives in our memory and I am sure he will continue to live with us for ever.

One of the biggest advantages of joint family system is that you need not look for your role model out side your home. Yes, my greatest role model is my grand father.

Gujarat Diary – A Missing Passenger

On the day of our return from Veraval to Ahmedabad, we boarded the train at 9 pm. When we entered our coach no body was there. We kept our luggage and indulged in chatting. After few minutes one middle aged man entered in our coach. I said hello to him. He smiled at me and started to keep his things below the seat.

We forget about his presence as we resumed our chatting . After few minutes a lot of passengers started coming to occupy the coach. As per schedule time train started. After half an hour or so we suddenly noticed that the middle aged man who came earlier not seen in the coach.

Since, Delhi has made us more security conscious, we were perturbed over his absence. We immediately inquired our fellow passengers whether they have seen that person. But everybody denied . We both got worried and feared too!

Almost one hour passed after the train started still there is no trace of that man. We started imagining worse things and started staring his luggage in suspicion.

When the Ticket Checking Staff came, we briefed him about the missing man and our possible worst scenario which bound to happen. But Ticket Checking Staff did not bother about our concern and moved to the next coach.

We could not able to sleep. We started indulging conversation with fellow passengers about the possible solutions. One passenger suggested that we can throw his luggage when the train reach next station. Another passenger suggested that we can open his luggage to check the contents.

While we were trying to find out some solution, suddenly the missing passenger appeared and we were all shocked to see him and of course got a sigh of relief. We were curious to know about his disappearance, he casually told us that he just went to see one of his colleague who was in the other coach without bothering about the scene he has created for the last one and half hours !

Gujarat Diary – Somnath Temple

The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.  

It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat. Reconstructed several times in the past after repeated destruction by several Muslim invaders and rulers and Portuguese.

Standing on the coast of Arabian see , the temple look awesome. The moment we enter the temple a serene atmosphere enveloped us. We had a nice darshan of lord Shiva. I appreciate the temple administration for the facilities extended to the devotees and ensured that the devotees felt happy when they come out of the temple.

After having seen the fantastic light and sound show in Akshardham temple at Gandhi Nagar we had a chance to see equally awesome light and sound show in Somnath temple. Using temple gopuram (tower) as screen they presented the history of the temple in a colourful way with devotional music. See the glimpse of the show in this video.

Visit to Kankaria lake, Mahatma Mandir and Indrdo natural park

We visited Kankaria lake at Ahmedabad.  It is the second largest lake in Ahmedabad. A lakefront is developed around it, which has many public attractions such as a zoo, toy train, kids city, tethered balloon ride, water rides, water park, food stalls, and entertainment facilities. You can either stroll round or enjoy the beauty of the lake just sitting on the banks. It is a well maintained and very neat and clean and very good place for enjoying your evening hours.

  • Mahatma Mandir

Mahatma Mandir is a convention and exhibition centre as well as a memorial. It is inspired from life and philosophy of Mahtma Gandhi. It is one of the biggest convention centre of India. This memorial has got lot of rare photographs of Gandhi with audio guide.

Indrodo Natural Park

Indroda Dinosaur and Fossil Park is a precious treasure spread over an area of about 400 hectares on either bank of Sabarmati river in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat. Indroda park is regarded as India’s Jurrasic Park, it is run by the Gujarat Ecological Education and Research Foundation (GEER), and is the only dinosaur museum in the country. The park consists of a zoo, massive skeletons of sea mammals like the blue whale, as well as a vast botanical garden. It also has a Wilderness Park which is home to innumerable species of birds, reptiles, hundreds of nilgais, langurs and peafowls in its vast forest.

Visit to Adlaj step well, Trinity Mandir and Vintage Car Museum at Ahmedabad

During our visit to Ahmedabad we went to see Adlaj Step Well which was built by a queen Rudabai in memory of her King Rana Veer Singh. It is an architectural beauty and worth a visit.

After that we also visited Trinity Mandir. The Trimandir is a magnificent two storey structure with a discourse hall on the ground floor and temple on the first floor. The entire structure, with a centre shikhar height of 108 feet, is set with intricate carvings on pink sandstone.

At Ahmedabad we visited one of the rare World Vintage Car Museum. It has got a great Collection of Vintage Cars from across the world, spread over a long time period. The cars appear too be well maintained, and I was told that all the vehicles are in running condition. I have never seen such a large collection of vintage cars anywhere.

Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad

While in school, I read lot about Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram and at that time I never imagined that one day I will visit there. Our main aim to visit Ahmedabad was only to see Gandhi’s Sabarmati ashram.

When we entered the Ashram we got goose pumps as the very feeling of our standing on the spot where Gandhiji stood once.

Gandhiji selected a place on the bank of the river Sabarmati. Gandhi used to remark, “This is the right place for our activities to carry on the search for Truth and develop Fearlessness for on one side are the iron bolts of the foreigners and on the other, thunderbolts of mother nature.”

Gandhiji had driven all the major activities of independence as well as upliftment of the society from this Ashram. He stayed in the ashram for many years before he finally proceeded for a march to Dandi to break the salt law on 12 March 1930. Before starting the march to Dandi, Gandhiji declared that he will not return to the ashram before the independence of the country.

There are books, manuscripts and photocopies of his correspondence, photographs of Gandhiji with his wife Kasturba and other ashram associates, life size oil paintings and actual relics like his writing desk and spinning wheel.

After seeing Gahdhiji’s room we wondered how such a great leader led a very simple life and also inspired others to do the same.