Chanderi – Beyond Beautiful Saris – Turning the pages of History - 3

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Severed head of an idol at Chanderi Museum
The severed head of an idol at Chanderi Museum

Chanderi – Beyond Beautiful Saris – Turning the pages of History - 3


On our second day in Chanderi, after Lunch, we visited the Bunkar colony or weaver's colony. Will discuss about the weaving process, their lifestyle and other aspects in the next post. The highlight of the evening was a cultural program in which folk songs and dances of Bundelkhand were Presented by the artists
Folk songs and Folk dance of Bundelkhand at Hotel Kila Kothi Chanderi
Folk songs and Folk dance of Bundelkhand at Hotel Kila Kothi Chanderi 

                   The artists were really good and the overall effect was magical.


Bylanes of Chanderi

Today was our last day and the morning started with a much-desired walk in the streets of Chanderi. A heritage walk had been organised by MP Tourism. The meeting point was Jama Masjid and crisscrossing through the by lanes, we reached Chakla Baodi. We have already talked a bit about Jama Masjid and Chakla Bawdi.  It was nice to see people of Chanderi involved in their daily chores as people of any other place.


Fresh coat of cow dung
A fresh coat of cow dung at the entrance and footprints of Lakshmi ji to welcome prosperity 
           
  In this house, the house lady had just finished giving a fresh coat of cow dung to the floor and drawn Goddess Lakshmi's footmarks and a small a Rangoli. This tradition is dying these days and can be found only in villages that too rarely.

Kid Going to school
Kid Going to school
                                      This young chap is happily off to school.

Kid having Fun
A kid having Fun with his wheel
                    Maybe for this young man, it is an off day from school and he is enjoying it.

Cooking on a Chulha in open air Kitchen
Cooking on a Chulha in open air Kitchen
                This lady is preparing breakfast in her open-air Kitchen or is it the Lunch.

Bloodshot eyes
Bloodshot eyes
                       This guy with bloodshot eyes was wondering what were we doing there.


OontSaar

The next stop was Oont Saar – A stable for camels. It is just behind the Badal Mahal Darwaza reaffirming the presence of A Palace behind Badal Mahal Darwaza. As it is either a palace or an inn, which would have received travellers or dignitaries who used camels for travelling.

Oontsaar
Oontsaar
The Oontsaar has parking lots for the camels and above it are the rooms for camel drivers.


Purani Kachehri

Near to Oonthsaar is Purani Kacheri. It is an abandoned building, which used to serve as court or Kutchery as it is called in Hindi.


Purani Kutchery
Purani Kutchery
















This actually was an old Palace or Kothi built by Bundela kings. The building was locked so we could not see it from inside. The facade of the building was very beautiful. However, it was disheartening to see such a beautiful building dying slowly and the bad botch up job done instead of conserving it.


Beautiful carving at Purani Kutchery entrance
Beautiful carving at Purani Kutchery entrance


Facade of Purani Kutchery
Facade of Purani Kutchery and poor botch up job done on the first floor



Narsingh Mandir

Close by was Narsimha Mandir, a temple dedicated to Narsingh Avtar of Lord Vishnu. This is a simple temple with no carving and the facade looked similar to the Lakshman ji Ka Mandir.


Narsimha temple
Narsimha temple

Narsimha temple
Narsimha temple



Lanes of Chanderi
 Lanes of Chanderi


Ageing gracefully
An old building ageing gracefully

Chaubisi Jain Mandir

Chaubisi Jain Mandir is a Jain temple complex, which actually is a group of 24 temples with individual spires each one dedicated to the 24 Jain Teerthankars. Generally the idols of Jain Teerthankars are made in white stone, however, the speciality of this temple is that idols are made in their specific colours. As per Jain belief system, each Teerthankar was born with a specific colour and the idols here are made in that particular colour. This complex also houses a lot of ancient and rare Jain manuscripts written on palm leaves. Photography inside the Jain temple is prohibited, so no pics of the inside of the temple.

Chaubisi Jain Mandir
Chaubisi Jain Mandir entrance


Chaubisi Jain Mandir
Chaubisi Jain Mandir Spires


Raja Rani ka Mahal, Jain Mandir and Chanderi Fort in one Frame
Raja Rani ka Mahal, Jain Mandir and Chanderi Fort in one Frame

Raja Rani Ka Mahal

Adjacent to the Jain temples is Raja Rani Ka Mahal. It is a large complex housing the palaces of Bundela Kings and queens. Maybe it was difficult for them to live in the fort, so they had built these palaces below the fort inside the walled city. The irony is that when we reached there, this was also locked, with no trace of the ASI person who has the keys and is responsible for opening and closing of the palace. Took a few shots from outside and then jumped over barbed wire to go inside. However without the guide explaining about the place, it simply looked like a collection of rooms and pillars, though the complex is quite large and is beautiful.

Raja Rani Ka Mahal
Raja Rani Ka Mahal

Raja Rani Ka Mahal
Raja Rani Ka Mahal -The beautiful domes Bundela style

Raja Rani Ka Mahal
Raja Rani Ka Mahal - Pillared Cloister

Raja Rani Ka Mahal
Raja Rani Ka Mahal courtyard

Sufi Darwaza 


                This small but very beautiful Darwza or gate just stands in a bylane, behind with was a huge heap of debris. This gate was built by Hoshangshah Gouri. This gate served as an entrance to the tombs of the Sufi Saints. To me, the shape seemed to be similar to Badal Mahal except for the upper arch, which is missing in this gate.

Sufi Darwaza
Sufi Darwaza

Jagirdaar ki Haveli

Jagirdar Ki haveli is a huge haveli opposite to the Sufi Darwaza. This Haveli belonged to the last Jagirdar of Chanderi. Still, some of his descendents live here. The Haveli is in bad shape and cries for repairs. Recently some parts of film Sui Dhaaga were shot here.

Jagirdaar Ji Ki Haveli
Jagirdaar Ji Ki Haveli

Chanderi Museum

After roaming about in Chanderi for three days, I just made a comment to one of my fellow blogger that the buildings of Chanderi did not have the intricate carving as we find in Rajasthan. But as if the Chanderi museum was built to prove me wrong. The Chanderi Museum built by ASI slightly out Chanderi has a vast collection of engraved remains, statues and other artifacts brought from Boodhi Chanderi and other surroundings. The collection is Huge and the carving is very intricate. The collections include the idols of Lord Shiva in various positions, Lord Vishnu in various avtars and Jain Teerthankars.

Varah Avtar
Varah Avtar


Statues at Chanderi museum
Statues at Chanderi museum


The amphitheatre at Chanderi Museum
The amphitheatre at Chanderi Museum

Various artefacts and statues in Museum lawn
Various artefacts and statues in Museum lawn 

Various artefacts and statues in Museum lawn
Rows of artefacts and statues in Museum lawn 


Boodhi Chanderi

Boodhi Chanderi, The original Chanderi of anciant times is located some 22 kilometers from present Chanderi. As I had 2-4 hours at hand and our good Friend Nadeem Jafri was gracious enough to take me to Boodhi Chanderi.

Before starting for Boodhi Chanderi Nadeem took me to yet another beautiful Baodi

Yet another beautiful Baodi
Yet another beautiful Baodi


After riding about 15 kilometers on a highway a single road winding up the hill takes you to Boodhi Chanderi. The monument that welcomes you here is the ruins of old Chanderi fort. Nothing has been left of this fort except an entrance gate, a room which is now below the ground and a small Jharokha.



Entrance of old fort at Boodhi Chanderi
Entrance of old fort at Boodhi Chanderi
 Entrance of old fort at Boodhi Chanderi has the statues of Ganga and Jamuna carved on each side.


A Room under Debris
A Room under Debris
           This is the only serviving room and is under the debris. I had to walk over the ledge on the right hand side to access the stairs and get a view of the room below

A Room under Debris
A Room under Debris

                And this is what I saw a room with pillars below the ground. There are said to be many such rooms, which mar be revealed, once the site is excavated.

Ruins of Boodhi Chanderi Fort
Ruins of Boodhi Chanderi Fort and the lone surviving Chajja



The next stop was ruins of Jain Mandirs. This is a small complex which has two small temples, and a row of rooms, which seemed like living quarters of the sadhaks or the travellers. A lot of broken pieces of the arches with very beautiful carvingswere strewn all over the place.

The first temple on the right hand side is the larger one and better preserved. Images of Jain Teerthankars are carved on the entrance and then there is a pillared hall before we reach sanctum santorum. The sanctum sanctorum has a very tall statue of Jain Teerthankar Adinath ji.

Another smaller temple in the same complex has another statue in it, whose head is brutally chopped off probably to be sold off to some western collector. As per Nadeem, it is the same head, which has been displayed in Chanderi museum and is cover picture for this post, but I was not very convinced about it.


Entrance to the Jain Mandir
Entrance to the Jain Mandir

Sanctum Sanctorum of the Jain Mandir
Sanctum Sanctorum of the Jain Mandir

Idol inside Sanctum Sanctorum of the Jain Mandir
Idol inside Sanctum Sanctorum of the Jain Mandir

Ornately carved ruins
Ornately carved ruins

A row of Rooms in Jain temple
A row of Rooms in Jain temple

Second Jain Temple
Second Jain Temple

Headless statue
Headless statue

Singhpur Palace

 On the way to Boodhi Chanderi, about 4 KM from Chanderi is this beautiful Singhpur Palace. Though it is right on the highway, but the pond in front of it and the lush green surroundings give it a very calming effect. It was built by Devi Singh Bundela as a Hunting Lodge in 1656. Before being shifted to the new building, the Chanderi museum was housed in this Palace only

Singhpur Palace with a beautiful Lotus pond in front of it
Singhpur Palace with a beautiful Lotus pond in front of it

Singhpur Palace
Singhpur Palace



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Continued...............

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