The buried township of Kiradu

#1 Dec 30th, 2004, 15:32
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#1
About 43 kilometers west of Barmer, Rajasthan, lie the ruins of five temples in a picturesque amphitheatre of hills. These temples date back to circa 1000 A.D. and later. Though some people ascribe it to the Rastrakuta Dynasty, it is believed to belong to the Gurjara-Praihara School of temple building. The intricately sculpted walls and pillars and the complex toranas, also seem to be paving the way for the imminent Solanki vogue. Certain Gupta influences are also apparent, obviously arising from their proximity to Gupta territory.

Kiradu was invaded, the enormous wealth looted and carted away. In search of the hidden treasures, the sanctums were dug up relentlessly and stones dislodged from its original place. In the absence of preservation the weather did further damage, sand corroded the walls. An observation of desert landscape would lead one to believe that the cause of the entire township now being buried under sand resulted from the sand deposits on the lee side of the three hills which forms the amphitheatre for the deserted township. Nature completed the ruin of Kiradu as an earthquake at the beginning of the 19th century with its epicenter in Kathiawar brought about unprecedented destruction.

Kiradu today lies buried in a valley of barren hills. One can stay there for days without meeting another human soul, but it is an overwhelming experience, entirely different from the routine tourist places. To discover Kiradu is to discover a forgotten page from the glorious past of India.
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#2 Jan 15th, 2005, 01:12
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#2

Guesthouse nearby, how to reach

Thanx for your posting.

Kiradu seems to be nice. But how can I access this place and where to spend the night?
#3 Jan 15th, 2005, 01:51
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Exclamation Nice Post

This is indeed off the beaten trail... thanx for the posting. What were your experiences in Kiradu? I mean what did you see (guided by some professional guide?) there if you did not meet anyone?
The Universe is an ellipsoid?... or a Spheroid?? If the sphere smiles... it becomes an ellipse. This IS Creation.
#4 Feb 4th, 2005, 11:20
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#4
sorry, guys.
Didn't know anyone responded to this post.

I stumbled on it while working with NGO's in the area. There is no infrastructure there in terms of accomodation or conveyance.
The only thing to do is go to Barmer (via Jaipur - 6hrs./ Jodhpur - 3 hrs / Ahmedabad - overnight) There are only two decent hotels in Barmer on the only main market road they have. From there you could enquire about private buses that go to the village near Kiradu (the village is at least 10 KM from the temple site) and then walk down the distance or you could hire private cabs (thats what i did) which will take you to the place. Should be about 2-3 Hours drive from the main town of Barmer.
It is because it is so inaccessible that it has remained unspoilt and not too many people know about it.

When I went there with my fellow NGO workers, my reaction was...
its not possible that this is such a beautiful place and i didn't even know it exists. i specially liked the solitude of the place. i mean, you can't have the feeling of "ruins" or "lost empire" envelop you if hundreds of tourists are crawling all over the place!
The other feeling, of course, was that it is so sad that the government or other organisations don't have the kind of funds to be able to excavate / restore the place. The entire township is buried in the sands and only the few temples which were possibly on the hill tops are there for us to see.
And to think that once upon a time India had so many riches that it attracted people from all over the world to come and trade / plunder as per their inclination. Kiradu became a deserted town after such attacks and then nature took its toll on the empty township.

If any of you have seen Belur / Halebid down south, the temples in Kiradu are mostly the same except that they are in the midst of the spectacular desert settinng with a remarkable absence of population. you won't even find people selling post cards of the place. there is no one there except the watchman who lives there and serves as the guide.

oh, lord, this has become so long.
getting carried away as usual.


In case anyone ever plans to go there, let me know. I can put you on to people in Barmer who can help you with the details.
#5 Apr 16th, 2005, 04:32
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#5

I hope you dont mind me digging this topic out..

That sounds beautiful. Someday I might be able to save up enough time to discover India. I read your description with some mental pictures from the Movie "Sonar Kella".
Even if I manage to go to India for a few weeks this year, I'm afraid I'll get so busy meeting all family that there wont be any time left for visit such beautiful places.

Tourism in the United States lacks such soul. Everything is so hyped up here.
#6 Apr 16th, 2005, 11:34
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#6
I know what you mean. Ever since i've moved to Bangalore. Both set of parents expect me to go spend time with them at least once a year. And with the limited leave days you get, for the last few years all my leave is eaten up by visiting family.
So i've made a promice to myself this year that every year i will take off for 15 days to a month and travel solo. not even my husband. Just myself. That will be "my" time.
And i have told both set of parents, if they want to spend time with us, they are most welcome to come visit us in Bangalore. So sometime in winter i hope to do rajasthan once again! let me keep my fingers crossed.
#7 Apr 21st, 2005, 07:57
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  • Yanek is offline
#7

Talking

Natasha,
your post made me change my travel plans... gotta persuade my pals and we might want to go there in July (the problem is, I`m looking for such places in India and they`re looking for singing teachers... you don`t happen to know such teachers in the neighbourhood..? Hehe, I know, you can`t get it all; I`ll make them go there anyway).
Hope to make use of your knowledge later
#8 Apr 21st, 2005, 11:03
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#8
uh... ?? !! ??
no, i guess, i don't get it.
Singing teachers where? From the places you plan to visit?
Problem with such a remote area is they hardly have schools let alone music teachers. What you would find though, are folk singers. And rajasthani folk singers are amazing! I've found that a good way of picking up really god music is to buy locally produced cassettes and CD's. The ones you get in the urban market are usually by famous artists. But these albums by local artists can only be found in that region and sometimes turn out to be really good stuff.
Anyway, I have friends in that place so once you tell me more about your mysterious plans, i can try and help you out.
And if your search is not area specific, i can put you on to a lot of musicians and teachers. I have been in the music circuit for a long time now.
good to know, i'm contributing to the tourism of Barmer.
#9 Apr 21st, 2005, 18:54
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by natasha chanda acharya So i've made a promice to myself this year that every year i will take off for 15 days to a month and travel solo. not even my husband. Just myself. That will be "my" time.
"My" time-that elusive commodity!! Good luck!

Read your Kiradu post, sounds wonderful. I don't know if I will ever be able to go off the beaten path while in India, since my visits are not long enough to even catch up with all my family and friends. Someday....
#10 Apr 22nd, 2005, 18:36
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#10
Only another woman can appreciate the concept of "my" time. Why am i not surprised?
#11 Apr 22nd, 2005, 23:01
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by natasha chanda acharya Only another woman can appreciate the concept of "my" time. Why am i not surprised?
Look who's talking. Have you ever tried leaving your men alone? They'd love it. Nobody other than a "Man from Mars" would appreciate "leaving him alone in his cave" more. If you've read that book.
#12 Apr 23rd, 2005, 00:02
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#12

Talakad

In Talakad (Karnataka) there is another entire township that is buried in sand. Butk what is really strange is that other than this big mound of sand, the rest of the area is filled with greenery. No one knows for sure how the sand got there. Details...
#13 Apr 23rd, 2005, 15:28
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#13
After been to hampi such places sound goood
will try to make it there
#14 Apr 25th, 2005, 01:10
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#14
Natasha,
Nice of you to be willing to help us! The problems with my India travel plans are probably typical of many travellers: the lack of time (we`re going to be there for 51 days), the lack of knowledge (of course) and different priorities everyone of us has.
There are four of us: me and Karolina (a little experienced India "camp"- we`ve already seen some of India- North&South, I studied sanskrit for 5 years) and the other camp: Rudi (the vocalist) and his friend - India virgins.
1. We want to go to some must-see places so that the virgin camp could see them and the little experienced camp could explore these places once again (or if possible go to less known archaeological sites that could be found in the neighbouring area)
2. Rudi wants to get some singing classes while travelling (in any possible place- we could depend on your hints... Rudi has to define his needs)
So, here`s our travel plan:
Delhi, Haryana, a bit of Rajasthan (hopefully Kiradu), Agra, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Gaya, Bodhgaya, Kolkata, Orissa (Konark, Puri), and if there`s enough time- Rishikesh (to rest before coming back home).
I personally can`t wait to see some archaeological sites in Haryana (Rakhigarhi, Banawali, Agroha,Kunal- and I have no idea if they are open to tourists). I would most like to see a vedic sacrificial site (but as far as I know it can`t be done).
#15 Apr 25th, 2005, 21:17
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#15
Hi Yanek,
um.... Don't you think you're being a bit ambitious.
about the music learning thing. You have 51days and 10 to 15 broad destinations to cover, which will give you an average of 5 days a place or less! Where will you find a teacher who will be willing to teach you some music in one sitting, assuming that you have grounding in Indian music to be able to pick up stuff in a day!
I am so sorry, i am sounding pessimistic, but unless you've done this kind of thing before...

I could put you on to someone in Calcutta. That's the easiest. I could hunt up people in Varanasi and delhi, but since I don't know them personally, I don't really know.

You could meet up this person called "Pir Muhammed" in fatehpur Sikri, while you are in Agra. He is not a teacher per say but a singer. But he will be glad to help you if you show interest. I had made a documentary on him once upon a time.
He sits in one corner of the Darwaaza to Salim Chistis’ Dargah, an old man sitting with his harmonium and grandson on the tabla. He sings beautifully. You could listen to him singing all day, raagas and kawwalies, and weave fantasies made of kings and queens, musicians and courtisans, of an era gone past. And if he is in the mood he will tell you stories of his ancestors who were court singers / musicians in Akbar’s court. (I hope you know who Akbar is by now!)

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