Noor Mahal

Posted on 28. Aug, 2015 by in Uncategorized

Image by Yasir Nisar on Flickr.com

Image by Yasir Nisar on Flickr.com

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Bahawalpur one of the princely states in Southern Pakistan still conveys antiquated reminders of its gorgeous and rich past. From the mighty forts to magnificent places to the mystical shrines it is simply a land of majestically designed buildings. But, Noor Mahal is the jewel in crown and is the palace of lights. Noor Mahal is the best and glowing monuments in Punjab and is an Italian styled palace established for the Bahawalpur ruler Nawab Sir Muhammad Sadiq. It is listed among the most exquisite buildings and was specially designed for Nawabs. There are innumerable stories regarding the construction of the Mahal and according to one story it was designed for Nawab’s wife though, she never stayed for a single day because of the Basti Maluk Graveyard in proximity.

The building was supervised by Mr. Heenan a British Engineer and this palace was often used as a guest house for the nobilities of the state. Notable guests and Nawab also organized cabinet meetings here and for some time in the reigns of Nawab, Noor Mahal was used as a court where Nawab addresses the courtiers.  This magnificent palace is established in the middle of a lush green garden having splendid water tank and fountains. Walls of the palace are artistically decorated with beautiful and antique paintings and the ornaments designed by western artists. Verandahs of the Mahal are covered with elegant carpets adding a royal look to the palace.

Noor Mahal is a double storey building having tremendous furniture and exquisite fixtures such as chandeliers and cupboards. It is beautifully accentuated with an outstanding collection of arms, some of the swords and muskets are displayed on palace walls. A wonderful mosque accurately like the Atichison College was added by the 5th Nawab Muhammad Behawal Khan in 1909. This Mahal is under army possession currently and was used as a club for the army in 1999.

Design of the palace encompasses features of Islamic and Corinthian style architecture with an artistic amalgamation of sub-continental style. The Corinthian touch can be noticed easily in balustrade, columns, pediments and ceiling of the Durbar hall.  While the Islamic style architecture is evident in its 5 domes and the angular elongated shapes are the glimpses of sub-continent style. Be it the massive chandeliers, grand little piano, gilded furniture, hunted dungeons, chipped mosaic floors in short, every cranny and canny of the palace has a bit of splendid history attached to it making it a visitor hot spot.

Doubtlessly, Noor Mahal is a park, a hotel and a marvelous museum attracting thousands of visitors every year. Universities, colleges and school trips are proudly arranged to this glorified historical palace every now and then.  It is the perfect masterpiece reminding us of the glory and greatness of our past. Noor Mahal was built in 1872 covering 44,600 square feet area having 32 rooms 14 in basement, 5 domes and 6 verandas.

Bridal Dresses in Pakistan

Posted on 22. Aug, 2015 by in Uncategorized

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The bridal dresses are something that are matchless around the world. In Pakistan these are generally red, maroon and pink, heavily embroidered and exceptionally attractive. While the main center of focus is the bride, her friends are no less in choosing their dress for these special occasions. Intricate detailing combined with sequins and zari work on beige gold and off-white, offers an offbeat approach with red having made a comeback with a splash on bridal dresses.

The bridal dresses are incomplete without heavily ornate jewelry, studded with precious and semi-precious stones. The unique beauty of the jewellery of Pakistan reflects the cultural traditions and diversity of the people. Centuries of tradition are artistically and lovingly molded in each hand-crafted piece of gold, silver and other metallic and non-metallic materials. The 22-karat gold jewelry is mixed with silver, copper or other metals. Intricately woven designs are either traditional or modern. Gold jewelry, plain or studded with diamonds, other gems or pearls, is usually patronized by urban women, while silver jewelry is popular in the villages. The styles in vogue are Kundan, Nau-ratna (set with nine gems), Jarao and Minakari. The gem setting centers are Karachi and Lahore but Hyderabad too specializes in making fine gold jewelry, particularly ornate filigree work. Sind and Bahawalpur have preserved the old technique of Minakari. Swat, Kaghan and Chitral are known for their folk jewelry manufacturers Pakistan.

The menswear generally remains unchanged, wherein the use of “Sherwani” – a long coat, is still worn on traditional occasions like marriages. However, the trend of adding embroidery is on the increase, perhaps to compete with the women. Wearing of brightly colored embroidered long shirts “Kameez” on marriages is also gaining popular choice. While the men continue to wear simple Shalwar Kameez combination, the summer dresses for women are brightly colored, simple yet attractive.

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Images from: www.dresses8.com, www.dressesimages.com, glamourouspk.com

 

 

 

Urdu & Hindi Languages

Posted on 20. Aug, 2015 by in Uncategorized

HindiUrdu

Urdu

Hindustani

Hindustani

Hindi and Urdu developed from the “khari boli” dialect spoken in the Delhi region of northern India. Along with this common origin, Hindi and Urdu also share the same grammar and most of the basic vocabulary of everyday speech; but they have developed as two separate languages in terms of script, higher vocabulary, and cultural ambiance. Urdu, written in a modified form of the Persian script, and rich in loanwords from Persian and Arabic, has a broadly Islamic orientation, especially in its rightly celebrated poetry. Hindi, on the other hand, written in the Devanagari script that it shares with Sanskrit, traces a long history through largely Hindu culture. Like siblings separated at birth in a Hindi movie (which might equally well be called an Urdu movie, incidentally), the two languages live parallel lives, sometimes closely aligned, sometimes standing at a distance from each other. The most graphic difference lies in the two scripts.

Hindi is usually ranked second among the world’s languages in terms of number of speakers; 40% of the population of India speaks Hindi natively, with a large number using it as a second language; thus the total number of Hindi speakers is well over a half a billion. Urdu has approximately 50 million native speakers in India; Pakistan has fewer native speakers of Urdu, but almost the entire population of more than 175 million speaks it as a second language.

Hindi and Urdu are Indo-European languages and are thus distantly related to English, having a similar range of tenses and some cognate vocabulary in words. They also have linguistic features lost in English but still common in other European languages, such as noun gender and different informal and formal words for ‘you’. Urdu and Hindi share a lot of commonalities and one cannot fully understand one language without somewhat understanding the other.