Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Historic Cultural Places and Famous Monuments of India (K-P)



The list of Historic Monuments of India continues from G-J to K-P.


Khajuraho


KhajurahoSituated in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho was the religious capital of Chandolas, In the history of Indian Art, Khajuraho is famous for more than thirty temples built by the Chandelas at Khajuraho and in the neighbouring village. The splendour of Khajuraho reached its peak in the 11th century A. D. under the Chandela rulers. The Khajuraho temples are the finest group of Hindu temples in northern India which are almost equally divided between the three sects, Shaiva, the Vaishnava and the Jain. The largest and the most imposing of these temples is the Kandariya Mahadeva temgple and the largest and the finest of the Jain temples is the Parsvanath temple. The magnificence and splendour of the Khajuraho temples is largely on account of their sculptures - several of them being highly sensuous.



Kalanjar


Located about 56 km. south of Banda in U. P. Kalanjar with its famous hill fort is a place of great antiquity. The world Kalanjar has been derived from the temple of Shiva under his title of Kalanjar. Kalanjar was one of the three important towns of the Chandela Kingdom, two other being Khajuraho and Mahoba. Mahmud Ghazni invaded Kalanjar atleast twice. In 1545, Sher Shah Suri while supervising siege of the fort of Kalanjar was fatally hit by a shell and  died at Kalanjar. The hill fort of Kalanjar is one of the strongest and best known pre-Mughal fort of northern India. Numerous rock out tanks, remains of inscriptions etc.. are scattered on the hills. The temple of Neel Kanth is one of the best surviving Chandela temples at Kalanjar.



Kanya Kumari or Cape Comorin


Situated at the southern most tip of Indian main land, where the waters of three seas coverage, Kanya Kumari is a very ancient port town which has been mentioned by the early Greek writers. It is said that Parvati as a maiden meditated here and therefore the place was known after her as Kanya Kumari. The temple of the Goddess built by the Pandyas on the sea coast is dedicated to her Swami Vivekanand also meditated here and the two rocks where he sat in contemplation are now the site of the celebrated Vivekanand memorial.



Kanchi or Kanchipuram


Situated about 69 km. south-west of Madras in Tamil Nadu, Kanchi is one of the seven most sacred places of Hindu pilgrimage. It was also regarded as the Kashi or Varanasi of the South. It was the capital of the Pallavas from the 5th to the 9th century A. D. Kanchi once contained about a thousand temples and, therefore, it was known as the city of thousand temples. Two most famous temples built by the Pallavas here are the Kailashnath temple and the Vailkuntnath temple. Kanchi continued to enjoy the pre-eminence position under the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Kings of Vijayanagar. It to also India's one of the oldest and the greatest centres at silk weaving.

Kashi or Varanasi


Located on the bank of Gangs, Kashi also known as Varanasi on account of its geographical location between the two small rivers or varuna or Varna and As it was known as Varanasi. In the 6th century B. C.. Kashi was one of the sixteen great states which was later on merged into the empire of was also a great centre of Shaivism The famous temple of Lord Vishvanath is the most renowned centre of pilgrimage at Kashi. It is also one of fhe seven most sacred cities for the Hindus.

Konark


Located about 39 km. north-west of Puri on the sea-shore of Orissa. Konark is famous for the Sun Temple, known as Black Pagoda. The erection of the temple is ascribed to King Narasinhavarman of Khuria who ordered his  minister Sibai Santara to build a vast temple complex over here. The Orissian  architectures reached its culmination in the Sun Temple of Konark in the 13th  century. It was conceived of as a gigantic solar chariot with 12 pains of ornamental wheels dragged by 7 horses. The temple had also hall of dance with numerous subsidiary shrines.

Kurukshetra


Located about 160 km north to Delhi in Karnal District of Haryana.  Kurukshetra which means the land of the Kurus finds frequent mention in the  ancient literature particularly, the Mahabharata, the Puranas etc. It shot into  prominence as the scene of the famous Mahabharata was and the site of the discourse of Gita by Lord Krishna.

Kusinagar


Located about 60 km. to the east of Gorakhpur in U P Kusinagar is  identified with modern town of Kasia. It was the scene of Buddhas death or Parinirvana. In the 6th century B. C., Kusinagar was also the capital of Mallas. Kusinagar is one of the four greatest centres of Buddhist pilgrimage, in India. The famous image of the 'Buddha in death', about 20 feet in length, has been found from here, which was erected in the 5th century A. D.

Madurai or Madura


Situated on the banks of river Vaigaj, Madurai is a famous district and town in Tamil Nadu and it one of the most ancient cities of South India. It was the centre of early Tamil poets of the Sangam age. In the growth of Madurai, the Pandyas, Pallavas, the Cholas, the Vijayanagar Kings and the Nayaks of Madurai contributed equally. From the middle of the 16th century to 1743, the Nayaks of Madurai left their majestic or artistic imprint on the city by raising nine tall Gopurams of the Meenakshi temple and the hall of thousand pillars inside the temple. The Meenakshi temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and his wife Meenakshi is the greatest religious, culture and artistic landmark of Madurai.

Mahaballipuram or Mamallapuram


Situated at a distance of about 56 km. to the south of Madras and Tamil Nadu, Mahabalipuram was once the main harbour and naval base of the great Pallava empire. It is famous for its seven Pagodas known as Rathas representing attractive Puranic scenes. These rock cut cave temples were carved out during the Pallava period. The most famous of the Rathas of the Mahabalipuram consist of a group of five chariots dedicated to five Pandavas Princes and their wife Dropadi. But the Penance of Bhagirathi at Mahabalipuram is the world's largest base relief.

Mandu


Situated about 35 km. south of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, Mandu was one of the strong holds and a royal enclave of the Permaras who frequently held their camp capital at Mandu. In 1401 when the independent kingdom of Malwa was founded, the glory of Mandu was revived again and soon it became a 'city of joy'. The Khalji Sultans of Malwa greatly enriched the place with a numerous beautiful buildings. A majority of the surviving monuments at Mandu were built over a period of nearly 25 years between 1410 and 1526. During this period numerous mosques, palaces like Jahaz Mahal, Hindola Mahal, Hawa Mahal, etc., were built at Mandu. Two most romantic structures associated with Baz Bahadur and Rupmati are Baz Bahadur and Rupmati's Pavilions.

Mathura


Situated on the banks of Yamuna, Mathura was the capital of the Suresenas, one of the sixteen great states into which northern India was divided in the 6th century B. C. It is believed to be the birth place of Lord Krishna. It was also a great centre of Jainism and one of the richest centre of the Kushana art known as the Mathura School of Art. Mathura has been sacred to the Vaishnavas, the Jains and the Buddhists alike.

Nagarjunikonda


Situated on the banks of river Krishna in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, Nagarjunikonda is now the site of the famous Nagarjunasagar Dam. It was a great centre of Buddhism and boasted of a number of monasteries and stupas and was also the city of the Krishna culture. It was a great centre of Mahayan Buddhism and this place has been named after the great Buddhist Scholar Nagarjuna.



Nalanda


Situated about 10 km. north of Rajgir in Bihar, Nalanda was the principal centre of Mahayan Buddhism and a renowned university town with numerous monastries and shrines which attracted scholars from all parts of the India, and the far east. From the 8th to the 12th century A. D., Nalanda continued to enjoy the patronage of the Palas. Numerous Pala sculptures, Bronzes, seals, sealings etc.. of great historical evidence have been discovered from here. The invasion of Bakhtiyar Khalji destroyed this ancient town and city of learning.



Pratisthan or Paithan


Situated on the north bank of the Godavari, about 45 km. to the south of  Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Pratisthan or modern Paithan was the capital of  King Shalivahan who is said to have founded the Shalivahan era. It was also a flourishing capital of the Satvahans and a great centre of trade and commerce during the Satavahan periods. After the decline of the Satvahans Paithan lost its importance.



Prabhasa or Somnath


Situated on the Arabian Sea about 72 km. south of Junagarh in Gujarat, Somanath is the name of the famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Somanath is properly the name of the temple and the city proper was called as Prabhasa. Somnath is also regarded as the scene of Lord Krishna's death. Temple of Somnath was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026 A. D. The present temple was built in 1950 exactly at the old site.



Puri


Located on the Bay of Bengal, Puri a city in the district of the same name in Orissa is one of the four holiest places of Hindu Pilgrimage and the abode of Lord Jagannath. The most famous temple of Puri is the temple of Lord Jagannath known as the white Pagoda, which was built in the 11th-12th centuries. Besides the temple of Jagannath, there are also numerous other Vaishnava temples at Puri. The great Vaishnav Saint Chaitanya also died at Puri.




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