Tag Archives: Architecture

Nat Geo Show : The Next Frontier – Smart Cities India

Nat Geo Show on Smart Cities in India has been very well documented. It features the development with respect to Smart Cities mission in cities like Surat, Vishakapatnam, Pune and Varanasi. Each city is leading it’s change in particular aspect as necessary in the city. As these cities set the benchmark for development, implementation and projects in regards to smart technologies, other cities can replicate similar implementation at their level.

SURAT

Under the Smart Cities implementation projects Surat is leading in transportation and public services. Surat Municipal Corporation managed Bus Rapid Transit System BRTS is a fully functional centralized GPS system based Bus transport system in the city with a separate corridor for the buses. The system is centrally managed and monitor with over 270 buses running across the city. Electronically managed timings shown on the display inside the bus stops provided a glimpse of the waiting time for the passengers. Online booking of tickets and schedule help to avoid queues.

To promote the use of Public transport – City mayor travels to work via BRTS once in a week. Surat also has bicycles for use at various junctions to provide last mile service. (Not shown in the show)

City is monitored from the command center and actions taken respectively to correct any course.

VISHAKAPATNAM

Vishakapatnam is leading this frontier by developing new projects in the city for beautification, public parks and various projects undertaken to set a benchmark in design, development and public awareness and sensitivity. Under such projects one of the park has been developed keeping in mind the requirements for special children who seem to be enjoying and having a good time everyday in such park.

Popularity of that park has raised curiousity in other city administrators and Commissioners who seem to be interested in replicating similar projects in their own cities. We must set such benchmark in every front of development and implementation in projects across India.

Similar large scale park is being developed with facility for skating at national level by the same team. Along with local plants and greenery, design and astetics are given prime importance. Such projects boost the morale of city dwellers and create a positive vibe for the future.

PUNE

Pune is leading in technology implementation under Smart cities. Pune has implemented Emergency Call Boxes which are attended and managed by a central help centre. Any kind of Emergencies are attended by a call and immediate action taken via various departments in place.

Entire city is under observation via centrally managed system and every occasion is planned for. Any traffic movement is routed via centrally managed display hoardings.

VARANASI

Varanasi is leading the change in restoring archeological sites and monuments of cultural importance. Once such project near the Ganga river is go restore a temple and build a complex which is connected to the river directly. Major services will be upgraded to latest modern technology and services like online darshan, pre-booking, personalized guide and similar are available.

Development across various cities and projects under taken to improve the functioning of cities along with public participation is bringing some of the cities to global standards and similar projects are replicated by smaller cities in frontiers of energy, transportation, digitization, cleanliness, hygiene, emergency and healthcare services and centrally operated services.

India is changing with it’s cities becoming smarter and people adopting new technologies. In times to come, some of the cities will be the leaders in many frontiers and set benchmark in city functioning. We wish to see many more such projects unfold and provide comfort to the citizens.


Captivating drone view of Indian Cities during lockdown

We are all staying at home in our fight with corona virus led COVID19 pandemic. During this time, it is an interesting journey to go through various Indian cities via a virtual tour using drone shots by various folks. As we see that our cities look cleaner, beautiful, captivating and serene almost the least. The cities start to look new and refreshing. Go through them all and mention your favourite in the comment section below. Also what you liked the most about Indian cities. Stay safe and stay healthy.

SURAT, shine right like a Diamond !

SURAT DURING LOCKDOWN BY NEERJAFILMS

MUMBAI, amchi Mumbai global city ahe!

MUMBAI DURING LOCKDOWN BY MUMBAILIVE

HYDERABAD, combo of Old n New just like it’s biryani

HYDERABAD DURING LOCKDOWN BY THE HINDU

BENGALURU, one is not just enough

BENGALURU DURING LOCKDOWN BY EAGLE EYE FILMS
BENGALURU DURING LOCKDOWN BY THE NEWS MINUTE

CHENNAI, time travel to the Victorian Era !

CHENNAI DURING LOCKDOWN BY TOI

KOCHI, a drop from God’s own land !

KOCHI DURING LOCKDOWN BY THE HINDU

Galteshwar Mahadev Mandir, Temples in Surat


Galteshwar Mahadev Mandir, is a prominent temple of Shiv also called as Mahadev, the ultimate God. This temple is built in the recent past and is a piece of architecture, art, sculpture, spirituality, meditation and religious importance.

Galteshwar is a village near by the outskirts of Surat. It is located around 15km from Kamrej, which is a major bus halt on the national highway between Mumbai-Vadodara, further going to Ahmedabad, Jaipur or Delhi. When you go from Kamrej towards Galteshwar, you will go through villages with lot of greenery, farming and simple living. The smell of the mud, sugarcane will make you soon recall what a beautiful countryside we have in India. Not so far from the fastest growing city, you will experience the beauty of nature and be close to mother Earth.

As wonderful and heartwarming the journey to Mahadev Mandir will be, once you reach the premises of the temple, you will realise another beautiful aspect of India, divinity, spirituality and magnificent impact on the lifes of India. You can see Mahadev (Shiv) from far glazing in blue and attracting you to be in close contact to the divinity. You can sense an auro of sacred place and instantly connect with the surrounding.

SHIV, IN MEDIDATION

This is one of the simplest of all the temples you may find. As the meditating Shiv, is deeply engrossed within himself, not disturbed by the constant hustle of the people who are only interested in taking selfies with him, never bothered about the importance of sitting quietly for once. As you will realise that the art has been dealt with precision and care. If you observe the Shiv, you will find that intricate details of meditation, being one with self and the sense of awakening being in that state for a long time, is very well projected out from magical blue and his presence is instantly felt.

To become one with Him and experience divinity, you don’t necessarily have to travel to the Mount Kailash, you can come to Galteshwar and keep your phone/camera aside. Just look at the magistic beauty of Shiv in meditation, listen to the musical resonance of the giant bell and take a dip in Tapi river only to feel clean within and happy about the entire experience. Walk home with a new sense of reawakening.

JYOTIRLING

The Shiv is built over a man-made replica of Kailash parvat(hills), underneath with neatly crafted cave, takes you through a walk of replicas of Jyotirling in India. Jyotirling are the 12 prominent place of worship of Lord Shiv in India. This places of worship are spread across various states in India. Inside the cave, you will find the history of each place as well as the replica of Shiv Ling (the marvelous symbolic representation of Shiv). One particular Ling of Kailash Mansarovar (Amarnath) is very well replicated like you walk through the mountains of Himalayas and look at the Ling made from ice. All other replicas are also very well demonstrated.

TAPI RIVER

Once you walk through the cave, you come out with a feeling of reaching various places in India. As you look behind you the tall structure of Shiv, gigantic and shining in every sense, you cannot stop feeling mesmerized by the divinity in himself. As it is located near Tapi River, you can see Sunrise and Sunset alongside this place. It adds to the experience of this temple.

GIANT BELL

As you walk around you will find a huge temple bell, which creates a resonating sound that lasts for around a minute, when you ring it. The resonance seems to wash off all your negativity and disturbance in your mind, if only you let that music reach your heart. There are other temples with some history around. You can visit each one of them.

DIP IN TAPI RIVER

Near by the bell, there is a walk way down towards the Tapi River for the devotees to take a bath in the river. However it seems to be closed for some renovation. Once open, this place is considered to be of equal importance as taking a bath in of the Triveni Sangam (meeting of rivers).

HOW TO REACH

This place is located in a village, a bit secluded from the city so you must plan your travel before hand. The best experience would be if you take personal vehicle or book a cab/auto for entire journey. Also preferably go with the sunlight times that is 8am-6pm. After sunset this place and the route becomes too dark, however roads are in good condition.

If you take bus till Kamrej BRTS, try to take an auto on the other side of Highway to the temple and return. It may cost you anywhere between 150-200 Rs. If you can find a direct bus that runs from Surat Bus Stand to Galteshwar, then nothing like it but it will be recommended to check your return plan before you start.

If you drive, then follow the below route to the location.


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Mugal Sarai | Heritage Site Surat

INTRODUCTION

Mugal Sarai ~ Mughal Sarai, the Building which is used at present as an office complex by Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is one of the ancient monuments of Surat city and was built originally as a ‘Sarai’ or Musafarkhana (travellers’ inn). It was built during the period of Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in the year 1644 A.D. and was popularly known as ‘Mugal Sarai’. During 18th century the same building was used as jail. Since 1867 the building was occupied by the present corporation.

This building with its considerable architectural qualities as disposed by the skilful composition of its various parts combined with harmonious combination of arches, cornices, decorated parapets, sculptured patterns on the exterior facade etc. each being disposed in an artistic and effective manner upon a sound foundation with coherent strength is still intact and is in a very good state of preservation. Yes.

However, some changes are made lately in the original building but due care is taken so as not to harm the overall harmony of the structure. The central courtyard which at present is used for parking vehicles of the employees of the corporation still have huge trees in it hosting a wide variety of birds, giving it still the same touch of nature which it would have once enjoyed.

HISTORY

The Building which is used at present as an office complex by Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is one of the ancient monuments of Surat city and was built originally as a ‘Sarai’ or Musafarkhana (travelers’ inn). It was built during the period of Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in the year 1644 A.D. and was popularly known as ‘Mugal Sarai’.

The detail description about the sarai was inscribed on two marble stones each 3.65 m long which were being placed at its entrance gateway itself till middle of the 19th century. But later on they were negligently dumped in one of the rooms of this sarai and were left unattended for quite long time. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. A.D. Banerjee; an officer of Archaeological Survey of India, that these inscriptions were transferred to the Prince of Wales Museum of Bombay in 1929 and history of Mugal Sarai could thus be preserved there.

The description was inscribed in the Arabian script by Mohammed Amin of Mashahad, the translation of which was published in 1925-26. According to these inscriptions it was stated that though this building was built as sarai during the rule of Emperor Shahjahan in the name of Almighty Allah it was in fact believed to be a heaven during those days. In the last line of the script the year of construction of the sarai was also mentioned.

The instructions regarding the usage of this sarai were inscribed in small sized letters in the margin space of the article. It was mentioned that no rent shall be levied from persons like learned scholars, and pilgrims going to Macca and Madina and any other sacred or religious individuals intending to halt in the sarai, and the allotment of rooms to the soldiers in this sarai shall be strictly prohibited.

It was also instructed that the income from rent charged to the travellers other than those specified above shall be used for maintenance and repair of the building; wages of watermen and sweepers; purchasing fodders for animals, and rest of the income should be donated to the pilgrims going to Macca-Madina.

This sarai was built by Eshak Beg Yazdi who was initially a chief guard for the family of Begum Mumtaz Mahal and was later on appointed as a leader of the fleet of about 1000 horse-riders. He was honoured as Hakikat-Khan in 1673 and was since then popularly known by that name only.

The Emperor Shah Jahan used to give the entire revenue earned from the Surat port to his daughter Jahan Ara in order to meet her daily expenses. The management of this income was being done by Hakikat Khan who also became the chief officer of the Surat city from 1640 and during that tenure itself he built this sarai (1644). It is said that he had built it on the basis of same planning principles as that for sarais of Esfahan.

During the period when this building was in the charge of Britishers it was utilised for storage of military weapons and also as a prison at later stage.

On 23rd April 1852 Collector Rozers incepted the Surat Municipality with its office in the building of Head Post Office, Nanpura.

Later on the Mugal Sarai was handed over by the government for using as a Municipal Office complex in the year 1864 at the instance of the then President of Surat Municipality Mr. T.C, Hope and it was then renovated at a substantial cost. The clock tower at its entrance was added after this only.

The offices of Surat Municipality were shifted to this monumental building in the year 1867. Since then it is used for the same purpose by SMC and the area in which this building is located is still known as ‘Mugalisara’.

HERITAGE SITES

TRAVEL GUIDE HERE


Introduction and History sections of this article are reproduce from Surat Municipal Corporation website.

Heritage Sites Circuit in Surat | Travel Guide

HERITAGE SITES IN SURAT

HISTORY

History of Surat, dates back to around 16th century during those times it was known as Suryapur. The historic monuments like Surat Fort and Gopi Talav, tell the story of Surat along with the notes by some of the travellers like Barbosa, who noted the proceedings of Sultan of Gujarat in his travel notes. However difficult it may be to trace the exact details of the history back then, this monuments definitely speak to us in the language only a traveller can understand.

CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

AttractionYearSynopsis
Gopi Talav1510Gopi Talav was built in around 1510 by Malik Gopi, who was an affluent merchant and governor of Surat
during the Mughal Empire.
Surat Castle1546The construction of the castle was completed
in 1546 by Safi Agha, under the ruling of
Ahmedabad king Sultan Mahmood III
Mughal Sarai1644It was built during the period of
Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan
in the year 1644 A.D. and was popularly
known as ‘Mugal Sarai’ (Travellers Inn).
Andrew’s Library1850Andrew’s Library was opened on 1st July 1850
Narmad House1866Saraswati Mandir was built by Narmad in 1866,
renamed as Narmad House after the restoration
work by SMC
Gandhi Bagh1870Rani Baug, presently Gandhi Baug
inaugurated by Municipality in 1870
Clock Tower1870Clock Tower was erected in 1870
Hope Bridge1877Inauguration of Hope Bridge – 1877

HERITAGE CIRCUIT MAP

Heritage Circuit Route Map

MONUMENTS

Clock Tower

  • Clock Tower is on the Station-Chowk main road and will be one of the first things you will be noticing when you go around on this route.
    • It was constructed in 1871 by Khan Bahadoor Burjorjee Merwanjee Fraser at the cost of Rs 14000 in the memory of his father Merwanjee Hormusjee Fraser and for the convenience of the inhabitants of Surat. Know More
    • Timings
      • Clock Tower is on the main road, opened to be viewed from the outside, anytime.
    • Fees
      • It’s Free.
    • Notes
      • Insides of the Tower is currently not opened for public.

Narmad House

  • Narmad Dave was a poet, philosopher, writer, social reformer in Surat. He composed, Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat, which is the state song of Gujarat.
  • He built Saraswati Mandir in 1866.
  • It got lost in the time, later renovated by SMC. Know More
  • Timings
    • 8 am to 8 pm on regular days.
    • On Mondays and public holidays – 8 am to 2 pm
  • Fees
    • Free.
  • Notes
    • It is a heritage site as well as library, maintain decorum of the place.

Mughal Sarai

  • The Building which is used at present as an office complex by Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is one of the ancient monuments of Surat city and was built originally as a ‘Sarai’ or Musafarkhana (travellers’ inn). Know More
    • It was built during the period of Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in the year 1644 A.D. and was popularly known as ‘Mugal Sarai’.
    • Since 1867 the building was occupied by the present corporation.
    • Timings
      • Suggested timings : 10 am to 6 pm
    • Fees
      • Free. This is not just another tourist attraction. So please follow the norms of place.
    • Notes
      • It is administrative office of SMC. It is not open for public exploration. You can walk around and look at the beauty of this place.

Andrew’s Library

  • Library was established on 1st July 1850 and named after Andrew.
    • This library got destroyed during the floods in 2005. Know More.
    • Timings
      • Tuesday to Saturday  9am to 1pm & 3pm to 7pm
      • Sunday 9am to 1pm. Library is closed on Monday.
    • Fees
      • Free
    • Notes
      • It is only open to see from outside. Insides not open for public exploration, yet you can enjoy the mesmerizing architecture from the outside.

Surat Castle

  • Surat Fortwas built in 1546 by Safi Agha, who was appointed by Ahmedabad king Sultan Mahmood-III. This fort was built for protection against the attack of constant invaders. Know More.
    • The fort is now restorted by SMC and the new makeover look is called as Surat Castle. The beauty of this place is mesmerizing.
    • Timings
      • Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
      • Fort remains closed on Monday and major holidays.
    • Ticket Fees
      • 3 Years to 16 Years       Rs.20/-
      • 17 Years to 60 Years     Rs.40/-
      • Above 60 Years             Rs.20/-
      • Photography                 Rs.20/-
      • Videography                 Rs.100/-
    • Notes
      • Ticket selling is open only till 4:30 pm

Hope Bridge – Heritage Walkway

  • Hope Bridge was built on Tapi river by Sir Theodre Hope, when he was district collector and magistrate.
    • The bridge’s foundation was laid in 1874 and it was completed in 1877.
    • The bridge was dismantled in 2015 and replaced by new bridge keeping the old design of Hope Bridge intact. Know More
    • Timings
      • Suggested Timings : Sunrise – Sunset.
    • Fees
      • Free.
    • Notes
      • It is a public place. Do not litter. Enjoy the view of Tapi River and birds.

Gandhi Baug (Gandhi Garden)

  • This is a public garden built in the year 1870.
    • Currently it is managed by SMC. Just beside this garden, you can enjoy shopping in Sunday Fair, which is open only on Sundays.
    • Timings
      • Suggested Timings : 6am to 9pm.
    • Fees
      • Free.
    • Notes
      • It is a public place. Do not litter.

Gopi Talav

  • Gopi Talav, the water reservoir was constructed around 1510 A.D. by Malik Gopi, who was a leading merchant of surat and cheif vazir of Gujarat Sultanate. Know More.
    • Gopi Talav was a source of water supply for the population till 1673 A.D. Later lost it’s place in time. In 2015, it was renovated by Surat Municipal Corporation as “Lake Garden”.
    • Timings
      • 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Suggested to visit in evenings.
    • Ticket Fees
      • Kids        Rs.10/-
      • Adults Rs.20/-
      • Parking Rs 10 for 2 wheelers, 20 for 4 wheelers.
    • Notes
      • It is crowded on weekends and festive seasons.

HERITAGE CIRCUIT ON GOOGLE MAPS

Andrew’s Library | Heritage Site Surat

Andrew’s Library is one of the many libraries in Surat, but it dates back to 1850 when it was constructed, which makes it unique piece of history, architecture and knowledge. It is named after Andrew, a retired magistrate during that period. Rao Bahadur Naginchand Jhaveri, a wealthy pearl dealer who often contributed to the development of the city, helped in co-establishment of Andrew’s Library.

IMAGE GALLERY

Andrew’s Library is situated in Chowk area, Surat. It is near the edge of Tapi river and opposite to the entrance of Surat Castle. Library was established on 1st July 1850. The first president of this library was Mr. Alexander Kinlock Farbers.

During the 2005 floods, entire Surat City was submerged in water. Places surrounding Tapi river, were severely impacted. One of such impact was seen on Andrew’s Library. As per the records, it is said around 25000 artifacts were lost or destroyed due to floods. It was such a huge loss.

Currently it is run by a group, who are working on restoring the premise as well as working to digitize the artifacts. We asked for a walk through the premise or a talk over the history, but currently they are not available for public demonstration. They asked us until the restoration work is completed. However you can look at the mesmerizing beauty and detailed craftsmanship of those time from the outside.

LIBRARY TIMINGS

  • Tuesday to Saturday
    • 9am to 1pm & 3pm to 7pm
  • Sunday
    • 9am to 1pm
  • Library is closed on Monday.

HERITAGE SITES

LOCATION


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