The theme for the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge is of photographs with exceptional ambience. I take this as an opportunity to share pictures of a few places with unique atmosphere and character.
Dholavira, an archeological site at Kutch district in Gujarat, India, contains the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappan city. This was the Bronze Age civilization (3300-1300 BCE; mature period 2600-1600 BCE) extending from what is today northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. It was one of the three old world civilizations (along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia) and also the most widespread. During history lessons at school, I remember getting goose bumps thinking about their unimaginable skills and expertise in a time, which existed before the Vedic period.
Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin). The Indus cities are especially renowned for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings.
Rudabai Stepwell, built in 1499 AD at Adalaj, Gujarat, India by Mahmud Begada for his queen Rudabai. The step well nicely depicts fusion of Indian and Islamic architecture. The step well or ‘Vav’, as it is locally known, is intricately carved and is five stories deep.
Such step wells not only provided water for drinking, washing and bathing but were also venues for colorful festivals and sacred rituals. Listen – can you not hear the echoes of laughter, rush of feet with tinkling anklets and bangles amidst a rustling swirl of colors on the backdrop of love, lust, oppression, greed and intrigues? Or am I being fanciful?
For a spooky ambience, visit the abandoned and haunted village of Kuldhara, Rajasthan, India. Kuldhara was established around the 13th century and was home to the Paliwal Brahmins till about 200 years ago. Legend has it that the unscrupulous and rogue Diwan of Jaisalmer, Salim Singh fell for the beautiful daughter of the village chief. Determined to have her, he threatened to levy huge taxes upon them unless they toed his line.
Equally determined not to yield, one night, all the residents of the village fled, leaving behind their homes and everything within them. There is no information about the whereabouts of the Paliwals. Before leaving, the Paliwals cursed the village which is why, till date, it remains uninhabited by mortal beings. Instead ghosts roam the deserted streets. I believe night stay facility is available for those who wish to experience moving shadows, haunting spirits and other paranormal activities. Game anyone?
A big thank you to my friend and family for sharing the pictures 🙂 Thanks to you too for dropping by – where would you like to go first?
Psst I think the curse of Kuldhara is affecting my post as well – I had to redo the whole thing again 😦 Fingers crossed