Friday 21 June 2019

WhatsApp’s: Inspiring Success Story of Jan Koum Founder of WhatsApp’s From Rags To Riches.

WhatsApp story is live example of innovation in true terms. This is Jan Koum’s Story “Rising from Rags to Riches”, the Co-founder and CEO of globally famous mobile messaging application–WhatsApp.

Can we imagine a world without WhatsApp, can we keep our smart mobiles without WhatsApp? Obviously, answer is great “No”.

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for a huge US $19.3 Billion.

 Story of Struggles, sufferings and desolations
Jon Koum co-founder of WhatsApp was born in Kiev, Ukraine in a Jewish family. He faced a life of true hardship. He knew the meaning of living in the throes of deprivation. Koum was so poor that his house did not even have electricity.

His mother moved with him and grandmother to California in 1992, where a social support program helped the family to get a small two-bedroom apartment, at the age of 16. 

His father had intended to join the family later, but he never left Ukraine, and died in 1997. Koum and his mother remained in touch with his father until his death.

At first Koum's mother worked as a babysitter, while he himself worked as a cleaner at a grocery store. His mother died in 2000 after a long battle with cancer.

The great American dream did not make its way to Jan’s life as quickly as he hoped. Everything in the United States was expensive.

By 18, Jan knew he wanted to learn to program. He knew this was his destiny. Jan studied by buying second hand books and stationary and returning them after he was done.

He was hit with a major blow when his mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2000 and Koum was left to fend for himself in a strange and unknown country.

But life’s adversities only made Jan Koum stronger and resilient. By 18, he learnt computer networking all by himself with the help of manuals from a used book stores.
Little did he realize that this was the beginning of an illustrious career. Meeting Brian Acton was a turning point in his life.

Along with that, he also began working with Ernst & Young as a Security Tester.

Jon Koum and Yahoo

After working there for roughly six months, Jon Koum got the biggest opportunity of his life. He was selected to work at Yahoo as an Infrastructure Engineer. Now this was when he was still studying at San Jose State University. Soon he dropped out of college. 

However, Koum did not stay on the job for long. In 2007, Koum and Acton bid farewell to Yahoo and decided to unwind and travel around.

In 2007 after giving nine years of his life to Yahoo, Koum and Acton left Yahoo and took a year off. And this is when it all began! But they weren’t sure what to do next. They took a year off traveling around South America to refresh their minds.
Origins of WhatsApp

In 2009, after purchasing an iPhone, Koum had the vision to see that an entire industry was about to form based around mobile apps.

The app store was just a few months old, but Koum saw it starting an entire new industry. He started thinking about building an app.

At the time, Koum was living off of his savings from Yahoo!, with little direction as to where his next career path would take him. 
Looking to capitalize on this up-and-coming industry, Koum began to explore the possibility of creating an app that would let mobile users better interact and engage with their friends, family, and business contacts without ads.

Koum almost immediately chose the name WhatsApp because it sounded like "what's up", and a week later on his birthday, February 24, 2009, he incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California.

WhatsApp was initially unpopular, but its fortunes began to turn after Apple added push notification ability to apps in June 2009.
Koum changed WhatsApp to "ping" users when they received a message, and soon afterwards he and Fishman's Russian friends in the area began to use WhatsApp as a messaging tool, in place of SMS.

The app gained a large user base, and Koum convinced Acton, who was then still unemployed, to join the company. Koum granted Acton co-founder status after Acton managed to bring in $250,000 in seed funding.

It was a bit of a rocky start for WhatsApp, though. After numerous crashes and failures, Koum grew frustrated with the app’s development and reportedly considered giving it up entirely.

Luckily for the both of them, the duo did indeed stick it out and saw the app through to its eventual success. By February of 2013, WhatsApp boasted 50 staff members and 200 million users.

Shortly thereafter, the app was bought out by Facebook for a staggering $19 billion—a number that stands as the largest acquisition in the world to date.

Another fascinating aspect is; WhatsApp runs lean with just 32 engineers. One WhatsApp developer supports 14 million active users, a ratio unheard of in the industry. 

The most remarkable aspect of the company is that, “It doesn’t even employ a marketer or PR person. Yet like the world’s greatest brands, it’s created a strong emotional connection with consumers.

Written by Engr Maqbool Akram with help of Wikipedia and other write-ups available on net. Photos are from sources with thanks.

Friday 14 June 2019

Aligarh ka Shakeel Badayuni: A Poet of Romane in World of Progressives poets.

Meri zindagi hai zaalim, tere Gham se ashkara
Tera Gham hai dar-haqiqat mujhe zindagi se pyara

This short write-up is dedicated to Shakeel Badayuni, who was decisively romantic poet in the world of Progressives. A generation of Aligs has grown up by humming Shakeel’s some romantic lines, such as---

“Suhani rat dhal chuki na jane tum kab aoge”, “Milte hi aankhen dil hua deevana kisi ka”, “jab pyar kiya to darna keya”,  “Na milta gham to barbadi ke afsane kahan jate”, …….and many more.

It is painful that Aligarh Muslim University has all but forgotten Shakeel. The next year 2020 will be 50th year of Shakeel’s passing away. It is requested “AMU Aligarh Students Union” and “University Cultural Education Centre to remember the legend Shakeel Badayuni.

Shakeel hailed from a literary family. He was born in 1916 in Badayun and died 49 years ago in 1970, at age of 53 but, his lyrics didn’t die…they would never. He had done enough by then for lovebirds in the Hindi-Urdu speaking world to sing his songs, listen to his ghazals.
After overcoming initial hurdles Shakeel turned a legend in early 1950's. He had earned name and fame as a poet during his Aligarh Muslim University days, winning awards at many mushairas.

An utter romanticist at a time when it was fashionable to be in the league of Progressive writers, Shakeel made his short life count.

An utter romanticist at a time when it was fashionable to be in the league of Progressive writers, Shakeel made his short life count.

He joined Aligarh Muslim University in 1936, where he started participating in inter-college, inter-university mushairas and won frequently.

After completing his BA from Aligarh Muslim University, he moved to Delhi as a supply officer, but continued participating in mushairas, and in 1944 to Mumbai.

At a time when the best and brightest of Urdu poets wavered between shabab and inquilab – the two poles around which much of Urdu poetry has always gravitated–Badayuni spoke up steadfastly for shabab.

He applied his talents to describe the beauty, love romance, emotional, sentimental and passionate experiences as well as joys and sorrows of life.

He had little interest in political ideology or social causes and did not join the contemporary galaxy of progressive poets such as Faiz, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kaifi Azmi, Sardar Jafri, Makhdoom Mohiuddin and others.

Music by Naushad, lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni: The great partnership in Hindi film music history.

Shakeel was Naushad’s discovery; it was Naushad who got the struggling poet a break in A R Kardar’s film Dard (1947), ending days of poverty. 

As the story goes, Naushad had asked him to sum up his poetic skill in one line and Shakeel said:

 “Hum dard ka afsana duniya ko suna denge
 Har dil mein Mohabat ki ek aag laga denge”.

This was the beginning of the Naushad-Shakeel partnership that was to continue for over the next two decades.

The songs of “Dard” were a great hit especially the one by Uma Devi (Tun-Tun) “Afsana likh rahi hun dil-e-beqarar ka”.
Soon, Naushad-Shakeel team became one of the most sought after duo by the film industry.

Their box office hits included “Deedar”, “Baiju Bawra”, “Mother India, “Mughal-e-Azam”, “Gunga Jumna “and “Mere   Mehboob”.

Shakeel turned a household name after his all time-favourites of “Baiju Bawra”, “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale” and “Man Tadpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj”.

Then there was “Na milta gham to barbadi ke afsane kahan jate”in “Amar”, which prompted Sahir Ludhianvi to compliment Shakeel as the best ghazal writer in Hindi cinema.

Shakeel reached the zenith of his fame with “Mughal-e-Azam”, with each song being a runaway hit and one of them, “Pyar kiya to darna kya” turning an all-time classic. Incidentally, with “Mughal-e-Azam”, the best of Naushad was over and so was the partnership with Shakeel.

he had done enough by then for lovebirds in the Hindi-Urdu speaking world to sing his songs, listen to his ghazals.

Sunday 9 June 2019

Falaknuma Palace: Gem of Hyderabad: --The Epitome of luxury Where Breath Will Stop.

Falaknuma Palace is the jewel in the crown of Hyderabad. Its shining glory, its very own signature luxury symbol is a heritage property dating back to 19th CE.

Quli Qutb Shah, established the city of Hyderabad in 1591. The Qutb Shahi dynasty ruled Hyderabad for nearly a century before it was captured by the Mughals.

It was in 1724 that Asif Jah, a Mughal viceroy, declared his sovereignty over Hyderabad and created his own dynasty which came to be known as the Nizams of Hyderabad.

Nizams constructed some of the historical buildings in different parts of Hyderabad city. One among them: A jewel among the clouds “Falaknuma Palace, spreading across 32 acres, this former palace of the Nizam, offers spectacular view of the Hyderabad skyline from each of its 60 luxurious rooms.

No photo and words can do justice to the beauty and charm of the palace, one has to visit the palace to feel this. The palace has been recognized by New York Times as among the 20 places in the world to visit once during one’s lifetime.

The Palace is famous for its various unique things, few among them are: --------

(1) The library at Falaknuma Palace is as majestic as Windsor Castle’s library in England. Modeled after Windsor Castle’s library, it treasures a large collection of rare manuscripts and books from the Nizam’s repertoire

(2) The 2 ton manually operated Piano in the ballroom. The Falaknuma Palace do have a very impressive collections of unique artifacts like Paintings, Furniture’s, Statues, Books and Manuscripts.

(3) The billiards table in the billiards room is one of the two pieces of its kind. The other is at the Buckingham Palace in London.
(4) In Falaknuma Palace, you will find a world’s unique jade collection which belongs to Nizam and his family

(5) The center of attraction is the colossal dining hall with the world’s longest table (108 feet) that can accommodate 100 people at a time.

(6) The Palace do have the amazing collection of Venetian Chandelier’s

(7) The Guest are welcomed in Nizam Style that means in a Buggy.

History of Falaknuma Palace
Sir Viqar ul-Umara, (1856–1902) was a dominant figure in Hyderabad and wanted a unique palace built for him, but building the palace almost bankrupted him. Rs. 40 lacs in 1893 was an astronomical sum even for kings.

He served as the Prime Minister of Hyderabad from 1893 to 1901 and Amir-e- Paigah 1881 to 1902.
Princess Esra and Mukarram Jah
History of Falaknuma Palace

Sir Viqar ul-Umara, (1856–1902) was a dominant figure in Hyderabad and wanted a unique palace built for him, but building the palace almost bankrupted him. Rs. 40 lacs in 1893 was an astronomical sum even for kings.

He served as the Prime Minister of Hyderabad from 1893 to 1901 and Amir-e- Paigah 1881 to 1902.

Viqar ul-Umara was the maternal grandson of the Nizam III Nawab Sikandar Jah. Viqar ul-Umara was married to older sister Princess Jahandarunnisa Begam Sahiba, older sister of Nizam VI Nawab Mir Mahbub Ali.

The Falaknuma Palace was so costly to build that even Sir Viqar-Ul-Umra had to borrow money to complete it and realized that he had gone beyond his means.
His very intelligent wife, Lady Viqar -ul -Umra, thought up a solution and advised her husband to invite Mehboob Ali Pasha Nizam VI to the palace.

As anticipated, the Nizam liked the palace so much that he extended his stay and this prompted Sir Viqar to offer that if his sovereign liked the palace he would be honoured to give it to him.

The Nizam liked the gesture but, being the grand man he was, he had his treasurer send the entire amount spent on the palace to Sir Viqar, thus easing his paigah noble from a financial crunch. 

The Nizam VI in 1897 used the palace as a royal guest house till his death in March 1911. After him, no Nizam ever stayed at the palace. as it had a commanding view of the entire city.

 The list of royal visitors included King George V, Queen Mary, Edward VIII and Tsar Nicholas II. The palace fell into disuse after the 1950's. The last important guest was the President of India, Rajendra Prasad, in 1951.
Falaknuma Palace turned into Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel

Palace remained unused and neglected. Finally, the current Nizam Prince Mukarram Jah’s divorced wife Princess Esra took charge.

In 2000 Taj Hotels Group entered into an agreement with Esra Birgen and the royal family. The main brief to restorers was to ‘preserve as much as possible’.
Princess Esra
After a long and tedious renovation and many hiccups the palace finally opened up as a luxury hotel in 2010. New name was Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel and Resort.

Nightly rates in the hotel begin at Rs. 32,000 and can go as high as Rs. 380,000. The royal rooms, the grand architectures and the top-notch services do justify these rates.
Itinerary of Falaknuma Palace (with /without high Tea), Chowmahallah Palace & Golconda Fort Sound and Light Show.  

A tour of Falaknuma Palace, a dream of every travelers to Hyderabad, is managed by “Telangana state tourism Development Corporation”. 

This tour with optional high tea is included in the half-day Nizam Palaces Tour, on Saturdays and Sundays. Chowmahalla Palace and the Golconda Fort Sound and Light Show are the other attractions on the itinerary.

With-out High Tea Package
Rs.2000/- per Adult
Rs.1850/- per Child

With High Tea Package
Rs.3100/- per Adult
Rs.2950/- per Child

A/C transportation with tour escort services
Entry tickets for Falaknuma Palace, Chowmahallah Palace & Golconda Fort Sound and Light Show
High-tea at Falaknuma Palace

Itinerary of Telangana Tourism Nizam Palace Tour
01.00 pm - Departure from Tourism Plaza, Begumpet.
01.20 pm - Departure from Hotel Taj Krishna.
01.45 pm - Departure from Hotel Golkonda (Masab Tank).
02.30 pm - Arrival: Chowmahalla Palace.
02.30 pm to 03.30 pm - Visit of Chowmahalla Palace.
04.00 pm to 05.30 pm - Visit and Hi-tea at Falaknuma Palace.

06.45 pm to 08.00 pm - Golconda Sound & Light Show.
09.00 pm - Drop at respective pick-up points.

This blog has been compiled with different materials available on net and photos are from sources with thanks

Sunday 5 May 2019

Common Managerial Practices That Stresses Employees At Workplace.

According to a study half of the employees in India are facing excessive pressure at work. Around one-third of them pinned the blame on “overwhelming” productivity demands from employers. 

Stress occurs in the workplace when an employee perceives a situation to be too strenuous to handle, and therefore threatening to his or her well-being.

Stress is defined as “it impacts physical and psychological health; it includes mental, physical, and emotional strain. Stress occurs when a demand exceeds an individual’s coping ability and disrupts his or her psychological equilibrium”.

A stressed-out or unhappy workforce is unable to achieve company’s goal.If your staffs are feeling continually stressed in workplace, it is important that you take action.

it's boss's responsibility to get  staff to rise to the occasion--but some bosses go too far by putting excessive pressure on their employees.

As a leader in the business it is important that you understand common precursors to work stress.

Failure to quickly spot and implement effective workplace stress management has long-term effects on their health and your business.

Attitude of managers that creates stress to employees

“A bad boss can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the reminder to lose motivation”.There are many common managerial practices that create stressed out employees.The most common are:

1. Negative behavior in the workplace
The manager sets the tone for workplace behavior.Disrespect from managers to employees’ causes stress and discomfort among employees, which in turn affects productivity and attendance.

2. Allowing hazardous conditions for employees
Managers should avoid the following to prevent the accumulation of stress.Unfair and unbalanced workloads.Short-term demands with unrealistic deadlines/expectations.Ignoring conflicts/arguments within the team.Ignoring harassment/bullying

 3. Lack of direction/training/planning
Insufficient training or knowledge transfer is a great “stressor”.Unclear job performance expectations. lack of direction.Lack of communication – detrimental to achieving goals, stressed out employees.

How Managers Can help in reducing Stresses at Workplaces

Modern workers feel stressed out on the job, and the stress is taking a toll on their sleep, health, relationships, productivity and sense of well-being.Yet at a time when jobs are arguably easier than ever before—because of automation, technology, employee-friendly laws and attractive benefits—why would the modern worker feel so stressed out?
Provide space where employees can take a rest or a break. Nap rooms are found in some of the most popular companies like Google and Uber, and others have wellness rooms that help their employees recharge within the day.
When employees are always busy and working hard, chances are, they’re missing out on much needed rest and relaxation, which in turn can contribute to work stress. Allowing employees to take a breather at work in peace – whether to nap or do some meditation practice – can help them regain their energy and help reduce the effects of stress.

Remember, you are responsible for establishing the culture of your workplace, and if the culture you are creating is one of long hours and little work/life balance, you are probably a major factor in your employees’ stress levels. To keep everyone’s stress in check, commit to modelling better work/life balance by working reasonable hours, taking breaks, and having a life outside of the office.
Often, what causes stress is not necessarily the work itself, but managing all of life’s responsibilities, including children, spouses, and household responsibilities in addition to work. Allowing employees to work remotely, or to set their own hours, helps them maintain that balance more effectively, and keeps stress low.

Note---Photos are taken from sources with thanks 

Monday 29 April 2019

Ghumakkad in Ahmadabad:The City of Sultan’s and Mahatma.

Ahmadabad is quite an interesting place to visit. The rich history, delicious food, amazingly beautiful handicrafts and lot of places to hangout, this city is not less than a metro city.Ahmadabad may be called city of Jali’s,city of thali’s and above all city of Mahatma Gandhi.

The real charm of Ahmadabad lies in the old city located on the eastern bank of the river Sabarmati. It’s here among the rumpled lanes which reminisce of an era gone by that you’ll discover the city’s true soul. Ahmadabad comes across an erratic combination of the old and new.It is the sixth largest city and seventh largest metropolitan area of India. 

Sabarmati Ashram

Our first stop was Sabarmati Ashram.I don’t remember the age and class ,when first I came to know the importance and role of “Mahatma Gandhi”in India’s struggle of Freedom fighting movement.

I was enveloped in tranquility of Sabarmati Ashram.The time spent  in the ashram and the museum, gave me a complete insight of the history, the struggle of our freedom fighters, the experiments of Gandhi ji and his life,even his experiments with Truth.

Here I found handsome count of visitors; among them were many foreign visitors too.My camera was carving for some beautiful photos of the Ashram.I clicked here some memorable shots.
 An important landmark of the ashram is Gandhi J's Cottage 'Hridaya Kunj', where some of his personal relics are displaced.

The charkha used by Gandhi to spin khadi and the writing table he used for writing letters are also a few of the priceless items kept and looked after here.

Sabarmati Ashram is the place where the father of our nation – Mahatma Gandhi resided from from 1915 to 1930 with his wife and started his Dandi March from here. Since the ashram is located very close to the Sabarmati River, it gives a good view of the river.
Over the years, the Ashram became home to the ideology that set India free. It aided countless other nations and people in their own battles against oppressive forces.
 Today, the Ashram serves as a source of inspiration, guidance, and stands as a monument to Gandhi’s life mission and a testimony to others who have fought a similar struggle.
 There is a beautifully curated museum, an archive of letters written by Gandhi j's , auditorium photo galleries and a library cum bookshop  in the campus.

We spent here one hour and purchased a biography of Mahatma Gandhi. (The Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi by Robert Payne) in Hindi.

Bhatiyar Gali

Now it was about 1.30 P.M,tired and feeling less energy to roam further on roads of Ahmadabad hired an auto riksha for Bhatiyar Gali. You name it and this Gali will serve you the most authentic and sumptuous preparations.

Famous for its 600-year old tradition of mouth-watering non-vegetarian delicacies, Bhatiyar Gali is a Non-Veg paradise at the heart of the vegetarian city of Ahmadabad. Narrow streets, crowded stalls, roaring surroundings and the rhythmic beatings of Bhatiyar Gali; this pretty much sums up this hottest hubbub of Amdavad. Tava-Biryani, Bheja Masala, Chicken Angara, Kebabs, Kheema Samosas, Chaap Fry, Bhuna Ghost.
We were charged with new energy,after a lunch in Bhatiyar Gali. Close to this Bhatiyar gali is Teen Drwaza.

Teen Darwaza

Teen Darwaza is an architectural marvel, the beauty of which is surely going to leave you awestruck. Consisting of gorgeous arched gates, Teen Darwaza is one of the longest as well as the oldest gateways of the Ahmadabad city. 

It was established in the year 141 A.D. by Sultan Ahmed Shah , who founded the city of Ahmadabad. Teen Darwaza was meant to be a royal archway welcoming the king and other state dignitaries into the fort and consequently to the city of Ahmadabad.  

Teen Darwaza of Ahmadabad, India is truly an epitome of the fine Islamic architecture. The windows of this fabulous monument are semi circular and adorned using mesh work. 

The central window depicts the tree of life. Five palm trees are shown that are covered with snakes. This portrayal also serves as the symbol of the Gujarat Government. This regal citadel is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Ahmadabad.

Kankaria Lake

Kankaria Lake is one of the most favorite picnic spots of the people of Ahmadabad. It left me completely spellbound. It is place, where you can relive your childhood.Adjacent to the lake, lies a beautiful garden called Nagina Wadi. 

Kankaria Lake was built by Sultan Qutab-ud-Din in the year 1451 A.D. It is basically an artificial lake with thirty four sides. lake has a fascinating island summer palace.

For people seeking peace, there can be no better place than Kankaria Lake. The pleasing view of the lake, the humming and chirping of birds and the greenery bordering the lake will make you fall in love with this place. 

Bhukkad Gali

After two hrs of enjoyment at Kankaria lake,the time was to go back.Where to take dinner?The big question for us.Lunch was Non Veg in Bhaityar Gali. For a vegetarian dinner we decided Bhukkad Gali.

There is no concrete story behind how this street got the name Bhukkad, but this college hub is definitely a paradise for gluttons. Owing to the young crowd that visits here. This Bhukkad gali is relatively newer hub ,bit too expensive than the older food streets, though.

Sidi Saiyyed ki Masjid

This relatively small masjid is located at a busy traffic junction, but on reaching here, I felt  peace that is beyond words.

It was built in the year 1572-73 by an Abyssinian known as Sidi Saeed or Sidi Saiyyed. He came to Gujarat from Yemen and later served Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud III. 

He was known as the nobleman who helped the poor and had a large collection of books. He built this magnificent monument during the reign of Sultan Muzaffar Shah III, the last ruler of Gujarat.

Gujarat Sultanate can be credited for much of the most amazing Islamic architecture not only in Ahmadabad but also much of Gujarat. The masjids built in that era rival some of the best in the country, and possibly in the world as well.

Siddi Sayyed Majid ki Jaali or “Tree of Life”

Today one of Jali depicting the Tree of Life has become a distinguished symbol of the city of Ahmadabad. The same Jali has also been abstracted for the logo to IIM Ahmadabad.

The main pillar at the entrance of the mosque is rich in carvings of Islamic motifs. Lace on stone is the only way to describe the masterpiece of Siddi Sayyed ki Jaali. On the backside of the mosque are four sets of delicate carvings on the wall.

Jama Masjid, Ahmadabad

This magnificent Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) stands proudly just in West of Manek Chowk. All around masjid lies the hectic frenzy of the center of the old city. Manek Chowk,one of the most crowded market of Ahmadabad. But inside the mosque, it was an entirely different story.The morning prayers were done, so the mosque was empty.

It was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423, founder of the Ahmadabad. This jama Masjid was one of the greatest masjid of during that period of India.Itmay be called smaller cousin of Delhi’s Jama Masjid. Yellow sand stones are used in the construction of Jama Masjid of Ahmadabad. Its architecture is a blend of Hindu and Muslim Styling.

The wide open courtyard, floored with white marble, is ringed by a columned arcade painted with giant Arabic calligraphy,a tank for ablutions (wazoo)with a fountain in the center. The masjid and arcades are built of beautiful yellow sandstone,carved with the intricate detail. There are pillars everywhere, 300 of them supporting 15 domes.

The Jhoolta Minar of Ahmadabad

Italy may have the ‘Leaning tower of Pisa’, but Ahmadabad has also something equally splendid – the Jhulta Minar!The world famous Jhulta Minar or the swaying minarets or shaking minarets is a part of Sidi Bashir Mosque in Ahmadabad. Constructed in 1452, this masjid is a beautiful example of the unmatched craftsmanship of that time.

The two minarets of masjid are designed such  that if you apply a little force on its upper arch, the minaret tends to sway. In fact, a minor movement in either of the minaret results in the vibration of the other minaret after a few seconds. Amazingly, the passage between the two minarets remains free from any vibration. The mechanism behind this is still a mystery.

The Step wells of Adalaj

For those having an interest in history, Dada Harir is a good option. Dada Harir is a step well in Asarwa area of Ahmadabad. Apart from a deep history which is displayed through the inscriptions on its walls, it also makes for a good photography point.

This step well was made of sandstone in the style of Solanki architecture over 500 years ago. This place is about five levels deep with an octagonal structure on the top. When you move inside the well, you will find vertical pillars and platforms stacked upon one another, and if you look horizontally, a view of step-well is formed, lending itself to further beautiful perspectives.

It gets darker as you go deeper. We wondered how the artisans would have managed to see their work down there back then.

The well water is now fenced off for protection. But we could sit on the steps and enjoy the cool by the water. Just like the travelers would have centuries ago!