Sunday, 10 November 2019

Gadisar Lake of Jaiselmer, in Deep Desert of Thar

In the bone melting heat of Jaisalmer desert it is hard to imagine a peaceful pond with temples, shrines, ghats, trees such as Gadisar Lake. This lake was built in 1400 A D by Maharwal Gadsi Singh in the middle of desert, the lone water resource for the city of Jaisalmer before modern water pipelines arrived.
All the photos are taken on one single evening in the duration of 1-2 hours. Let me know your feedback 
 A number of birds belonging to rare species that make a stop over this place to have a few drinks out of these sparkling clean waters of the lake.
 On the bank of Gadisar Lake one can see a gateway made of yellow sand stones known by the name of Tilon Ki Pol. A Krishna Temple is located by the side of the archway.
 The gaseous sun of the afternoon transforms in to soft golden light the gadisar lake fills with full of life. Exhausted due to heat, I see a heaven here! 
 The day gets ready for a gorgeous end as the powerful sun rays turn in to warm cover for the cold breeze.
Written, Photographed and Posted By Engr Maqbool Akram

Friday, 8 November 2019

Itinerary of Lucknow: The City of Nawabs, Tunday Kababi (First Day)

Lucknow mujh par fida main fida-e-Lucknow
Allah Jane kitni kashish Lucknow men hai

This is narration of first day, walk on roads of Lucknow.

After a decade, I an itinerant was in Lucknow the city of Nawabs famous for its tahzeeb, culture, mannerism, traditions and the most famous cuisine Tunday Kababi. After a decade, I was in Lucknow.

Till now million and million tons of water had flown away in Gomti, and Lucknow had witnessed the hurling crowns of various Political parties. Recently: The city was crowned with Metro Rail Project.

Char Baagh-Railway Station of Lucknow

My first impression was not good. Garbage and rubbish waste items were boiling on Road and in drains too. It may be due to recently constructed Metro Ril project and its over bridge. Aalam Baagh Bus stand was converted into Metro Rail station.
From Charbagh bus stand, hired a rickshaw for Charbagh Railway station, where a retiring room was already reseved for me. After a shower I was ready to move to look the bygone era of Nawabi daur of Lucknow.

I was shocked, while on road just at a distance of few yards from beautiful Charbagh Railway station.There was Metro Rail station and metro over bridge passing over main road. This was a heavily crowded, noisy and full of uncontrolled traffic even difficult to breathe fresh air.

Vidhan Sabha

First destination was Grand building of Vidhan Sabha. Here I clicked some beautiful pictures. The beauty of this building was under shadow of Metro works.

Its foundation stone was laid by the then Governor Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler in 1922 and completed in 1928.It is said that at that time it costed Rs 21 Lac.
From here I decided to walk on foot up to Hazratganj. As moved further, encountered the same disciplined traffic, the grand beautiful buildings along road side were looking me haunted,the same garbage and dust.

Heavy earth moving machines and technical staff were busy in Metro work.I found the same position on roads of Hazrat Ganj too.
Destruction and destruction.My mind whispered to my heart: “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction. The way to create an art is to burn and destroy”.
New Lucknow was in womb of time. Definitely “When completed, it would bloom its glory on getting back its older look”.

GPO Complex of Lucknow

I was near GPO Complex of Lucknow, where I looked statue of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi. An arch surrounds this statue with a stairway on each of its four sides. 
To my surprise, I found this park was crowded with heavy Police force, which broke down my pleasure to enjoy the peaceful greenery in a chaotic road crossing at Hzarat Ganj.

I was in a mood to sit on bench lying under cool shadow of trees.Left soon this place after some photography.

Shaahi Masjid in Hazrat Ganj

Hay-ya alas Salah--- Hay-ya alal Falah (حي على الصلاة حي على الفلاح)  (Rush to prayer - Rush to success).

Suddenly my ears were poured with Azzan .It was call for zohar ki Namaz.I raised my head to locate the masjid.Vision stopped at a board written in Urdu: GPO Complex of Luknow.
Shaahi Masjid was shining in thick white wash coats, behind Mahila Hospital.The beauty of intricate carving was under cover of commercial shops inside a narrow lane.It is said to have been constructed during the era of first King of Awadh Ghaziuddin Haider during 1819-20.
Hazrat Ganj

After few steps, I was walking in corridor of Hazrat Ganj, which may be called Conn aught Palace of Lucknow. Hazratganj, got its name in 1842, and is popularly known as ‘Ganj’. After the First War of Independence in 1857, the British took over the city of Lucknow and Hazratganj was modeled after Queen Way in London
Shops in Hazrat Ganj are not like shops and show rooms as of grand malls of Delhi and other metro cities. They were a blend of old and new. Most building housing shops, restaurants, and cinemas were almost 100 years old.
Hazrat Ganj cateres to all ages, interests, tastes suited to all pockets, with a variety of shops, cinema halls, and restaurants, some of them could be recounted Most historic “The Indian Coffee house” and”Chaudhary sweet house”.
That was a time when the name Chaudhary sweet house, its sweets and other platers were a symbol of status.
I was feeling some food stuff for Pet Pooja (Lunch).Strolled upto “Moti Mahal Restaurant”, a big name for mouth watering chaats. Here I relished with chaat basket and Famous kulfi falooda.


From Hazrat ganj I hired a riksha for Aminabad at a distance of about 3.50 Km.Aminabad is a cluster markets in narrow lanes and bylanes, which look quite similar to Chandni Chowk  of Old Delhi.

Historians tell about Aminabad that: Fourth Nawab of Avadh Asaf-ud-Daula gifted this area to Shah Aalam the the 16th Mughal Emperor during reign during 1759 -1806.
After his death, his Begum sold out the entire properties to one of the officers in Nawab Amjad Ali Shah court, Imdad Hussain Khan Aminaddaula (1842-47). He also further constructed here gardens, Mosque, Big houses, market and named it as Aminabad.
Apart from being a major shopping hub, Aminabad is also food lover’s paradise as it is home to several iconic eating joints in the city. The famous Prakash Kulfi and Tunday Kababi Wahid Biryani and famous Burma Biscuits shop are also located here.
The evening of Aminabad was at its full youth, the road and shops were full of customers.I was feeling laziness and tired.It was signal to add some energy by feasting myself.

Aminabad Market

Prakash Kulfi
In that craziness, I was at a Chaat shop in Aminabad. A plate of Aloo Tikki, Dahi Paapdi, Dahi Bade and Gol Gappe; these were the beginning of my evening tasting! Followed by Prakash kulfi topped with faluda noodles.

Staff of Prakash Kulfi was v gentle.They allowed me to click   full view of Aminabad market from roof of the shop.
Tunday Kababi

Lucknow and Tunday Kababi are synomys to each other. Yes; there is a Tunday Kababi’s outlet in Aminabad, but I choiced to eat Tunday kabas at Chowk’s outlet.This outlet is on road connecting Chowk Gol darwaza and Akbari gate.
Undoubtedly true the kababs at the Chowk shop taste was very different than that at Aminabad restaurant with the same name.

The Chowk outlet serves only two items– Only Tunday kabab and parathe (ulte tawa ke parathe). The other restaurants with the same name serve Tunday Kabas and many Mughlai dishes too.

The Chowk outlet serves only two items– Only Tunday kabab and parathe (ulte tawa ke parathe). The other restaurants with the same name serve Tunday Kabas and many Mughlai dishes too. 

Lassi of Chowk
This ends First day”s Itinerary of Lucknow with a dinner at Tunday Kababi. Travelling of Lucknow is Incomplete without chewing of Paan. I purchased two glauries of Paan from a shop in chowk.

The culture of Lucknow is still very much alive and retains its old world charm even today. Popularly known as the City of Nawabs, Lucknow is famous for its traditional cuisine, fine arts and the most courteous people you will ever find in India.

Written, photographed and posted by Engr Maqbool Akram

Thursday, 31 October 2019

The 202nd, Sir Syed Day in Camera Of Engr Maqbool Akram.

 AMU. Aligarh celebrated the 202nd birth anniversary of its founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan with traditional fervour and gaiety.on 17th October 2019.

For AMU Fraternity all over word this day: 17th October is not an ordinary day of the year. For them it is above many festivals.They celebrate Sir Syed day in full sprit.

After sun set ,all the main buildings specially,Bab-e-Syed,Maulana Azad Library,Arts Faculty, Victoria gate ,University’s grand Masjid and residential halls are well decorated with special light effects.

 The proceedings of the day began with a Quran Khwani (Quranic Recitation) after the Fajr (Day Break) prayer at the University Masjid.
 The Vice Chancellor also inaugurated 'Exhibition of Books and Photographs' pertaining to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan at the Sir Syed House. The exhibition was jointly organised by Maulana Azad Library and Sir Syed Academy.
 The main function held in Athletic ground under a huge pandal. Function started with recitation of Quranic verses.

Dr Frank Islam, AMU alumnus and head of the FI Investment Group, USA, entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, civic leader, and writer was the chief guest on the occasion of Sir Syed Day. 
 Dr Frank Islam and his wife deby with Vice Chancellor Dr.Tariq Mansoor reached Athletic ground on traditional baghhi, escorted by Horse riders of MURC.

Dr Frank Islam and his wife deby with Vice Chancellor Dr.Tariq Mansoor reached Athletic ground on traditional bag-ghhi, escorted by Horse riders of MURC.
 Dr Islam delivered the commemoration addresses on the subject 'Remembering and Building upon Sir Syed's Legacy of Love, Learning and Light'.

 In 1877, Sir Syed founded the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College in Aligarh and patterned the college after Oxford and Cambridge universities that he had visited on a trip to England. By 1920 the college was transformed into the Aligarh Muslim University.
In the welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor said, "In view Sir Syed's vision; the University has started number of courses in emerging areas such as M Tech (Biomedical Engineering), M Tech (Solar and Renewable Energy), MBA (Hospital Administration), MBA (Islamic Banking and Finance) and a PG Diploma course in Muslim Chaplaincy."
 Starting of the Center for Robotic Engineering and Artificial Intelligence has been initiated, said the Vice Chancellor adding that many PG Diploma seats have been converted into MD/MS seats.
Dr Islam and Professor Mansoor honoured The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy with the International and National Sir Syed Excellence Awards respectively.
Dr Farhan Nizami received the Sir Syed Excellence Award with a cash prize of Rs two lakhs for The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, while Prof Ishtiaq Ahmad Zilli collected the award with Rs one lakh, prize money, on behalf of Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy.

Professor Mujeebur Rahman Khan, Department of Plant Protection and Dr Riaz Ahmad, Department of Zoology received the Innovation Council Awards for Outstanding Researcher of the Year and Young Researcher of the Year from University Pro Chancellor, Nawab Ibne Saeed Khan Chhatari. They received Rs one lakh and Rs 50 000 as prize money respectively with the awards.
The top three winners of the 'All India Essay Writing Competition' on the topic, "Revisiting Sir Syed in the Contemporary World" also received their prizes from the University Treasurer, Prof Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman.
With a cash prize of Rs 25,000, Md Farrukh Ilyas, a student of BA Political Science in AMU bagged the first prize while Mamdooh Abdul Fathah of Madeenathunnoor College of Islamic Science, Markaz Garden, Calicut, Kerala won the second place with a cash prize of Rs 15,000 and Hunaiza Mushtaq of Sri Venkateshwara College of Pharmacy, Hyderabad, Telangana emerged third with prize money of Rs 10,000.
A cash prize worth Rs 5,000 was given to state toppers from colleges and universities across the country.

AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Akhtar Haseeb distributed the Students' Research and Innovation Awards
The first prize was conferred to Mr Uzair Alam (M.Sc Interdisciplinary Nanotechnology Centre), while Mr Mohd Nooruddin Ansari (PhD, Museology) and Mr Abdul Hannan Mustajab (B.Sc Mathematics) shared the second prize. Mr Md Kaikubad Ali (PhD, Geography) and Mr Suhail Ahmad (B.A Psychology) were given the third prize and Mr Shahe Alam (BUMS) won the consolation prize.

The programme ended with University Tarana and National Anthem.Fully packed Pandal at Athletic ground was burst into clapping like a thunderbolt.

 The most eloquent part of the celebrations was holding of gala dinners at various residential Halls of the University where several distinguished personalities from different walks of life grace the function as chief guest.

The Vice Chancellor and Pro-Vice Chancellor visited different halls of residence to witness the Sir Syed Dinner.

It was a nostalgia occasion for hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University alumni and AMU fraternity, to attend the celebration of Sir Syed Day of Aligarh Muslim University.

Written, photographed and posted by Engr Maqbool Akram.