Saturday 18 January 2020

The Tragic End of Marie Antoinette: The last queen of France

The Tragic End of Marie Antoinette: The last queen of France
Marie Antoinette (1755–93), was the last queen of France who helped provoke the popular unrest that led to the French Revolution and to the overthrow of the monarchy in August 1792.

She was the youngest daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa, born 1755.Marriage was arranged between Marie Antoinette and Louis XV’s grandson to create and hold an alliance between Austria and France.

Marie Antoinette became a symbol of the excesses of the monarchy and is often credited with the famous quote "Let them eat cake," although there is no evidence she actually said it. As consort to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette was beheaded nine months after her husband by order of the Revolutionary tribunal. She was 37 years old.
Marie soon became involved in the extravagance of French court life, attending lavish balls and gambling. Her husband, however, shied away from public affairs. The couple would not consummate their marriage until seven years later – this became a popular matter of discussion and ridicule both at court and among the public.

King Louis XV died on 10 May 1774 after contracting smallpox. Marie, who was not yet 19 years old, became Queen of France when her husband inherited the throne as King Louis XVI. Marie gave birth to the couple’s first child, Marie Thérèse Charlotte, in December 1778.

Marie Antoinette

King Louis XVI and the French Revolution

France experienced poor harvests during the 1780s, which consequently increased the price of grain, and the government faced mounting financial difficulties. As a result, Marie’s lavish lifestyle at court came under attack. Numerous pamphlets and satires were distributed across the country demonstrating peoples’ disgust towards the queen’s extravagant spending.

King Luis xi of France

During the French Revolution, the monarchy deteriorated and in 1789 the royal family was eventually imprisoned in their own palace. Marie had planned to flee France with her family and return to her birthplace of Austria, but they were captured during the attempt and taken prisoner.

The French Revolution completely changed the social and political structure of France. It put an end to the French monarchy, feudalism, and took political power from the Catholic Church.
It brought new ideas to Europe including liberty and freedom for the commoner as well as the abolishment of slavery and the rights of women.
Although the revolution ended with the rise of Napoleon, the ideas and reforms did not die. These new ideas continued to influence Europe and helped to shape many of Europe's modern-day governments.

Louis XVI’s policy of not raising taxes and taking out international loans, including funding the American Revolution, increased France’s debt, setting in motion the French Revolution. By the mid-1780s the country was near bankruptcy, which forced the king to support radical fiscal reforms not favorable with the nobles or the people.
Louis XVI declared the Assembly null and void and called out the army to restore order.Public dissension grew, and a National Guard formed to resist the King's actions.By July 1789, he was forced to acknowledge the National Assembly's authority.

On July 14, riots broke out in Paris and crowds stormed the Bastille prison in a show of defiance toward the King. The day is now commemorated in France as a national holiday and the start of the French Revolution.
For a time, it seemed that Louis XVI could soothe the masses by saying that he would accept to their demands. However, he accepted bad advice from the nobility's hard-line conservatives and his wife, Marie Antoinette. He talked of reform but resisted demands for it
King Luis xi and Queen Marie Antoinette
Escape Attempt of Marie Antoinette
The royal family was forcibly transferred from Versailles to Paris on October 6, 1789. Louis ignored advice from advisers and refused to abdicate his responsibilities as king of France, agreeing to a disastrous attempt to escape to the eastern frontier in June 1791. He and his family were brought back to Paris, and he lost all credibility as a monarch.
Execution of Queen Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed for treason. Louis had failed to address France's financial problems, instigating the French Revolution that eventually descended upon him.

He made matters worse by often escaping to more pleasurable activities like hunting and locksmithing. Modern historians attribute this behavior to a clinical depression that left him prone to paralyzing indecisiveness.
On September 21, 1792, the Legislative Assembly proclaimed the First French Republic. That November, proof of Louis XVI's secret dealings and counter-revolutionary intrigues was discovered, and he and his family were charged with treason. Louis was soon found guilty by the National Assembly and condemned to death.

Trail of Marie Antoinette

Louis XVI was guillotined in the Place de la Révolution on January 21, 1793. His wife, Marie Antoinette, met the same fate nine months later, on October 16, 1793. Their young son, Louis-Charles, died in prison where living conditions were horrible. Daughter Marie-Thérèse was released from prison in December 1795 into the custody of her family in Austria.

Note---this storythe tragic end of marie antoinette: the last queen of France”,has been prepared with help of various articles and photos available on net,with great thanks to original writers.
The End

Monday 6 January 2020

Travelogue of Ajmer: The City of Spirituality.

It is an old saying that:--“Only he travels to Ajmer, who are called by Khawaja Saheb”. Perhaps it was a call of Holy sprit from Ajmer”, that I was in a holy trip of Ajmer the city of spirituality.

After a shower, we came down stairs, out side Railway station for lunch. In a near by hotel we took our lunch.  During travelling I prefer vegetarian meal .Wow the same Rajasthani style of meal. Chapatis (bread) soaked in desi ghee.

An Arial view of City Ajmer from Tragadh Fort

Do you know: Even the first contacts between the Mughals and the British occurred in Ajmer when Sir Thomas Roe met with Emperor Jahangir here in 1616?

Taragarh Fort.
Taragadh Fort is most spectacular monuments in Ajmer, which should not be missed by any tourist. Taragarh is the main hill looming over the city of Ajmer.
The fort on top of this hill dates back to at least 11th century AD and came to be known as Taragarh fort. During the Mughal and Sultanate period, there were many wars that were fought here and the fort served as a key military base

Now it is known for the dargah of Miran Shah, a governor who was killed in one of these wars at the hands of Rajput warriors.
He is refereed to as shaheed and it is his mazaar that many pilgrims come to visit. This is Ajmer's little hiking spot. The view from the hill makes a visit to Taragarh fort worthwhile.The bird's eye view of the city below is a vantage point that stays in your memory.After one hour stay and offering fateha on mazar shareef of Hazrat Miran Shah (R.A), we hired a shared taxi and back down in city.
From Roads of Ajmer
Ana Sagar Lake.

Legend of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti (R.A).When the saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chish
ti (R.A) arrived in Ajmer, he and his followers were banned from using water from Ana Sagar. He requested to get a cup of water that was granted.

When the cup was filled the water of the lake got dried up miraculously. People requested to return the water, the saint gracefully did so. Since then Moinuddin Chishty got multitude of followers.
It was constructed by Anaji Chauhan, the grandfather of Prithviraj Chauhan by excavating as a dam on in early 12 Th century as a dam on river Loni.The lake carries its name from Anaji.

We then headed towards the Ana Sagar Lake; the beauty of the lake was accentuated by the setting sun. The lake also has a boating option; however we decided to just enjoy the beauty from the sides. We could also see a small group of local musicians playing Qawwali.

It was a perfect time to be on this lake. People from all walks of life were having the pleasure of sitting and walking on the garden or on the banks. The reflections on the surface of the water were creating a mesmerizing spells.

Bara Dari of Ana Sagar Lake

We stood motionless for some time and admired the beauty of the nature. The silhouette against the setting sun was absolutely picturesque. I felt that sometimes, cameras cannot capture the real beauty and colorful display of the nature.

We saw people throwing bread-crumbs, rice flakes and other edible items into the lake. Immediately, we guessed the presence of fish in the lake.

At that time, a small group of young children was sitting on the banks of the lake and singing a “quwwali” in the name of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti alias Garib Nawaz.

Qawwali in Bara Dari of Ana Sagar Lake

When we came out of the Ana sagar Lake, it was a perfect time for an evening snack. The street food stalls, that we had avoided so far, ultimately dragged us into their charm of spicy mouth watering Pni Puri, Dal Kachauri and finally cold and sweet ice cream with faluda.

The day gets ready for a gorgeous end as the powerful sun rays turn in to warm cover for the cold breeze.

Dargah of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti (R.A)

Born in Afghanistan in 1156, Khwaja Muin-ud-Din Chishti (R.H), India’s most revered Muslim saint began his religious career at the age of 13.

Dargah-Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti (R.A) in Ajmer

On his travels, he soaked up the teachings of the great Central Asian Sufis, whose emphasis on mysticism, ecstatic states and pure devotion as a path to God were revolutionizing Islam during this period. Khawaja Sahib and his disciples settled in Ajmer at the beginning of the thirteenth century.

Our next destination was “Dargah Sharif” for which Ajmer is famous. We hired a three wheeler. Distance of Dargah sharif and Ana Sagar is about 2 Km.He left us at Delhi gate, and told us we could walk straight to the Sharif shrine ahead.
When I looked at the crowd my resolve wavered but we somehow proceeded to the entrance. I could see a lot of threads tied to the jali. You come back and untie them if your wish comes true.

I was carrying my small backpack which had my camera, a few lens and all valuables. A back pack or any other luggage is not allowed. The lady police at the entrance of the Nizam Gate was very polite and friendly. She told to deposit all goods with camera out side.

As I was walking barefoot my feet were a mess. But there is a water tank inside where you can clean your feet before entering the main shrine and I happily freshed my wazoo to physically purify for a Fateha, Dua and Namaz.
It is my faith that it is power of Allah to grant “yes” to wishes and duaen of evry human. I offered my Fateha on grave of Khawaja saheb, asked Allah to make true my wishes .Ameen.

Now it was time of isha prayer, I entered in masjid adjacent to main shrine chamber .This was a beautiful masjid built by Gt. Moghul king Shahjahan.

If you have time, make sure you attend a ‘qawwali’ (musical performance) at the dargah, usually held on every Thursday and Friday evening. These melodious performances include verses sung in praise of the Prophet and various Sufi saints.
It is bad habbit of officials and care takers of Dargah to ask and exchange mony at every step. I did’t obliged them.This tradition must be banned.It leaves a bad impression of spiritual places.

I cold’t stop my carving of a non veg foods .All hotels were full of devotees; we waited few minutes to get seats.we ordered  Butter chicken , chiken fry ,chicken masala biryani and tandoori roti. Food was taisty and spicy.
Dinners are incomplete without some sweets. We stopped on a sweet shop. It was difficult to choose a sweet from dozen varieties of sweets; we ordered “Ras malaee” ,and packed famous Hawa Sohan of Ajmer. Hired an auto and reached retiring room at railway station for night stay.
Second Day

We had half day more to stay in Ajmer. Our next destination From Ajmer was Jaiselmer.We decided to see Adhai Din ka Jhopra , which is situated near dargah.

Adhai Din ka Jhopra
The Adhai-Din-Ka-Jhonpra, The two and half days Masjid, legend said the constructed was constructed in 2.5 days.

Dhai Din Ka jhopra-in Ajmer

According to legend, after defeating Prithviraj Chauhan in the Second Battle of Tarain, Shahabuddin Ghori passed through Ajmer. There he ordered his slave general Qutb-ud-Din-Aibak to construct a Masjid — all within 60 hours (that is, two-and-a-half-days).

The artisans could not build a complete Masjid in 60 hours time, but constructed a brick screen wall where Ghori could offer prayers. Another theory says that this mosque hosts a two-and-a-half-day fair and hence the name, but no one really knows how this name came.  By the end of the century, a complete mosque was built.

Railway Station of Ajmer

End of itinerary of AJMER...Next destination Jaiselmer. The train to Jaiselmer was scheduled to depart at 1.30 P.M. packed our luggage, stepped down at platform in wait of train.
The End