Sunday, July 30, 2017

Jagdish Temple, Udaipur



Jagdish Temple may not be in a traveler's must see list of Udaipur, but you would love this place for sure. The architecture and marvelous carvings would leave you awestruck.  My v
isit to this temple was a part of my first day itinerary, post the tour of City Palace. 

The temple’s beauty speaks volume of medieval period’s magnificent construction. 
Made on a raised platform, you have to mount a staircase of 30 steps to enter the temple.

The main shrine

The first flight of stairs to the temple

Constructed in the Indo-Aryan style, the three storied Jagdish temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651.  The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu also known as Laxmi Narayan, the preserver of the Universe. It holds a record of being the largest temple in the city of Udaipur


Garuda statue

Across the main shrine, stand the brass image of Garuda, a figure of half-man and half-eagle. The symbol of strength and loyalty, this idol stands guarding the doorway of Lord Vishnu.
 Another flight of 32 marble steps leads to the main shrine that houses the beautiful four-armed idol of Lord Vishnu. This idol is carved out of a single piece of black stone. The main shrine of Lord Jagdish/ Vishnu is centrally located encircled by four smaller shrines which are dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Sun God, Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva respectively.

     

   

The temple has a double -storey mandap  tucked within its pyramidal bell-roof. The hollow clustered 79 feet spire over the sanctum contains two more, nonfunctional stories.


The gods on walls

The exquisite carvings on the walls leaves you in awe. Every corner or wall of the temple boats of art prodigy. It is said that 1.5 million rupees were spent to raise this temple.  


The intricate carvings





The temple was a visual treat for us. Serenity and charming appeal oozed out from each stone.  
I am the sure evening arti would have been a sheer delight as well. However we could not watch since it was still an hour and a half to start. 

Location- City Palace Complex, Udaipur
Distance from City Palace- 210 meters
Distance from Bagore ki Haveli- 220 meters   


The next tourist attraction was Bagore ki Haveli, at a short walking distance from Jagdish Temple.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Coding to Fitness Athlete: Shweta Mehta breaking the stereotype


Meet Haryana girl Shweta Mehta, known as a fitness athlete as well as the recent winner of the popular reality show Roadies Rising. Breaking the stereotype, Shweta took the risk of quitting her cushy job as software engineer to pursue her interest in body building.


 

Born in a small town Fatehabad, in Haryana, Shweta is the only girl among her four siblings. Her mother, headmistress of school and father a property landlord, had defined her priorities of education. Hanging around with her brothers, she didn’t have girl-friends in her childhood. Perhaps it was them who made her strong and tough.

Being a geek, she pursued B.Tech and moved to Bangalore as a software engineer where she worked for 5 years. Switching career to body building was not on her mind until she joined a gym for general fitness.


 

The push


Soon Shweta learnt about fitness competitions and researched on the fitness categories. She continued working out and prepared her body along with her job. Taking the step towards becoming a professional body builder and figure athlete was no small task. The tag of “small town” undoubtedly creates immense pressure in case of such career choices. When Mehta summed up courage to speak to her mom about her change in career and her willingness to compete internationally, her mom’s response was disheartening. Shweta was asked to delete her Facebook page showcasing pictures from her gym and stage practice. Scared of what her father’s response would be, she openly spoke to him about her career choice. He supported her, appreciated her photos and encouraged her move.


 

The struggle

 


Focussed on being a figure athlete, she did not look back. The rigorous training and exercise came with not just massive hard work but also a lot of risks. Shweta realised she had a lot financial crunches to squeeze out of in order to compete. With no sponsors aiding her, and the bills for clothing, gym, food, competition preparation piling up, Shweta decided to take the big risk and spend her savings for her passion.

The silver lining

 


In March 2015, she appeared in her first competition as a Figure Athlete. In a span of a year this dimpled girl managed to secure a Gold in Jerai Women’s Fitness Model Championship 2016. Later she signed four brands in two years including Adidas, Neulife and Procel. In 2017, Shweta added another feather in her cap by winning MTV Roadies Rising, a popular TV show. She had instantly grabbed eyeballs during Roadies auditions when she did full squats with Harbhajan Singh on her shoulders and did pull ups better than anybody. The show demonstrated her strength and ultimately she emerged as the winner, crossing all hurdles and beating stronger male contestants.

 

Inspiring women

Shweta proudly says if she being from a small town could do it, so can anybody. Owing her success to her father’s support, Shweta asks people to believe in their dreams and never lose focus.



Talking about her future plans, Shweta wants to be a successful athlete first and later start a Fitness Food Truck that would serve only healthy food. Her long term plan includes setting up a gym.


Kudos to the fearless girl for following her dreams and inspiring women to never give up on their passion.

Monsoon Palace, Udaipur