One legacy of India rich and varied history, which goes far back into early antiquity, is the numerous forts and palaces, which dot the landscape through the length and breadth of the country. In popular imagination forts and palaces are redolent of mystique, romance, pleasure and intrigue; but above all melding beauty and grace with strength and substance these proud sentinels are living reminders of India's breathtakingly rich civilization and culture.
Spanning the four corners of India, the forts and palaces featured in these pages have been included as much for their historical and cultural significance as for their architectural splendour and beauty. Some of these hitherto little known forts and palaces are important for the restoration and preservation work being undertaken there.
While they may often look like mute witness to eras long since vanished in the mista of time, their walls contains within them many stories. Stories not just of mighty royals and the rise and fall of dynasties and empires; but of builders masons and craftsmen; of foot soldiers and ladies-in-waiting; of eunuchs and dancing girls. Their stone and bricks are a vast repository of knowledge-a truly priceless treasure trove of history, myth and legend of culture and tradition. What the reader like the discerning visitor, comes away with is the startling realization that far from decay and lost splendour these forts and palaces are actually vibrant and living representatives of an ageless civilization where the past and present gracefully commingle in harmony.
About the Author:
BINDU MANCHANDAN has been deeply involved with heritage conservation in her role as Director Projects, INTACH ( Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage).Her primary focus has been on the preservation of the architectural and cultural heritage of Jaisalmer. She has also been working with communities living in and around heritage precincts, helping them develop skills for self-empowerment. She is the secretary of the Jaisalmer Heritage Trust and has authored a well-received book, Jaisalmer.
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