137 years back…a saint was travelling from Dakor to Dwaraka. Once he was thirsty. To quench his thrust he stopped at Karnej, before the mighty gate of Bhadra. Upon seeing that there were very few trees inthe area, he expressed his wish to have a chabutra where birds could come, feed and rest. There lived a grocery seller called Bapalal Modi. He heard the saint's wish and decided to build the chabutra by the time the saint returned from his pilgrim.
Modi had a deep devotion for the cause. He even threatened to go on indefinite fast when his wife refused to sell her gold ornaments to help Modi raise money for the structure. Modi was on the verge of selling his shop and his wife's ornaments when the town had come to his rescue and urged the community to share the financial burden. Later on, the structure was named after Bapalal Modi to honour his efforts.
Today the restored chabutra of Karnej (one of the oldest in the city) stands as a rich testimony of Gujarati folk art heritage.
Chabutra is a unique cultural institution of Gujarat reflecting the benign attitude of Gujarties as peace lovers and their concern about the welfare of all life forms. Chabutra is essentially a platform covered with a dome or hood and mounted on a 5-6 feet high pole. On the platform a dish of water and some grains are kept for birds. Chabutras are of various sizes and shapes. Some can be as large as rooms. They are built of various material including stone, metal, wood and bricks. However the common function of chabutras is providing refuge to birds that are commonly found in human settlements. Historians have different interpretations regarding chabutra's etymology. Some claim that chabutras were earlier known as kabutar, which means pigeon house. It is also believed that the word chabutra has been derived from the word chatri, a popular Rajasthani architectural design. There has been a significant amount of fusion between the design forms of Rajasthan and Gujarat over the centuries and the chabutra is a manifestation of this rich synthesis of culture of two regions. Chabutras also reflect a rich synthesis of Hindu, Jain and Islamic architecture. However, the idea is undoubtedly linked tothe Jain faith which preaches non-violence and humanity. In the local lore there is wide belief that after death a person's soul assumes the form of birds and animals. So by caring for birds they also care for the souls of their departed ancestors.
Some historians believe that originally chabutras were meant to be the destination of message carrying pigeons in the royal households. Yet another group of experts find chabutras as an important element of urban design. They served to enhance the utilization of space judiciously and aesthetically in pols i.e. traditional urban settlements in Gujarat. Even now, old chabutras in villages and pols are located very prominently in the centre — the place where most community interactions and the celebration of festivals take place.
Today many of the chabutras of the old city are decaying. Having being encroached upon or plastered with bill boards and loudspeakers, manyof these beautiful chabutras are dying - a sad testimony to the horrific changes that are taking place in the urban environment, in total disregard to traditional relics. The chabutras were once symbols of man's concern for weak and helpless life forms but, in today there is no Bapalal Modi left to show such concerns. But still, in the midstof the hustle and hustle of old Ahmedabad, they stand tall and majestically silently in their stoic grace and elegance.
1. Sanskar Kendra – Sanskar Kendra is a museum at Ahmedabad, India, designed by the architect Le Corbusier. It is a city museum depicting history, art, culture and architecture of Ahmedabad, another Patang Kite Museum is there which includes a collection of kites, photographs, and other artifacts. The campus is located at the west end of Sardar Bridge near Paldi, the museum was designed in the Modernist style by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier. It was named Museum of Knowledge during designing and it also included a pavilion for theatre called miracle box. But out of whole planned cultural centre, only museum was built and its foundation stone was laid on 9 April 1954. It rests on his signature pilotis, that are 3.4 metres high there, the buildings exterior is of plain brick with exposed elements of raw concrete structure. The structural grid is 7 metres, the building is designed to protect against the hot climate. On the roof there are large basins originally intended as planters. One enters from underneath the building there is an open court with a large pool. The interior spaces are finished in plaster, Museum have various sections related to history of city, art, photography, Mahatma Gandhi, Indian independence struggle, various religious communities of Ahmedabad. It houses the tallest incense stick of the world of 4.5 m, the building includes a Kite Museum, which includes a collection of kites, photographs, and other artifacts. Foundation block of Ellis Bridge was moved to Sanskar Kendra and it reads, The Ellis Bridge - So named by Government after Sir Barrow Helbert Ellis, K. G. S. I. was built in 1869 and 1870. At a cost of Rs,549,210 destroyed by the flood of 22nd September 1875 and rebuilt in 1890 and 1895 by Government, Local Bodies. At a further cost of Rs.407564 and this the First Stone of the new bridge was laid by His Excellency Donald James eleventh Lord Reay C. C. I. E. LL. D. Governor of Bombay December 19th,1889, list of Le Corbusier buildings Index, Modernist architecture in India Ellis Bridge Girsberger, H. and Boesiger, W. Le Corbusier. Herausgegeben, ed. and Boesiger, W. Le Corbusier, Zurich, Verlag fur Architektur Artemis Zurich,1983
2. Ahmedabad – Ahmedabad is the largest city and former capital of Gujarat, which is a state in India. It is the headquarters of the Ahmedabad district and the seat of the Gujarat High Court. With a population of more than 6.3 million and a population of 7.8 million, it is the sixth largest city. Ahmedabad is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River,30 km from the state capital Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad has emerged as an important economic and industrial hub in India. It is the second largest producer of cotton in India, Cricket is a popular sport in Ahmedabad, which houses the 54, 000-seat Sardar Patel Stadium. The effects of liberalisation of the Indian economy have energised the citys economy towards tertiary sector such as commerce. Ahmedabads increasing population has resulted in an increase in the construction, in 2010, it was ranked third in Forbess list of fastest growing cities of the decade. In 2012, The Times of India chose Ahmedabad as Indias best city to live in, as of 2014, Ahmedabads estimated gross domestic product was $119 billion. Ahmedabad has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a city under PM Narendra Modis flagship Smart Cities Mission. The area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 15th century, at that time, Karna, the Chaulukya ruler of Anhilwara, waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval, and established a city called Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati. Solanki rule lasted until the 13th century, when Gujarat came under the control of the Vaghela dynasty of Dholka, Gujarat subsequently came under the control of the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century. This area finally came under the control of his grandson Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 A. D, according to other sources, he named it after himself. Ahmed Shah I laid the foundation of the city on 26 February 1411 at Manek Burj and he chose it as the new capital on 4 March 1411. In 1487, Mahmud Begada, the grandson of Ahmed Shah, fortified the city with an outer wall 10 km in circumference and consisting of twelve gates,189 bastions and over 6,000 battlements. In 1535 Humayun briefly occupied Ahmedabad after capturing Champaner when the ruler of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, Ahmedabad was then reoccupied by the Muzaffarid dynasty until 1573 when Gujarat was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar. During the Mughal reign, Ahmedabad became one of the Empires thriving centres of trade, mainly in textiles, the Mughal ruler Shahjahan spent the prime of his life in the city, sponsoring the construction of the Moti Shahi Mahal in Shahibaug. The Deccan Famine of 1630–32 affected the city, as did famines in 1650 and 1686, Ahmedabad remained the provincial headquarters of the Mughals until 1758, when they surrendered the city to the Marathas. During the period of Maratha Empire governance, the city became the centre of a conflict between two Maratha clans, the Peshwa of Poona and the Gaekwad of Baroda
3. Sinugra – Sinugra is a village 7 km from the town of Anjar, in the Anjar taluka of Kutch district in the Indian state of Gujarat. The village is one of the eighteen villages founded by Mistris of Kutch in late 12th century, the Mistris of these villages have built and developed the infrastructure around the villages in late 1890. There is a mine which located across the hill named Topi dungar behind the Sinugra village. Also the Sang river, which rises from this hill behind village serves the needs of village. The river flows through parts of Anjar taluka. The village boasted of 200 odd houses made by rich Mistri families, ornate facades, intricate carvings and metal grill windows. There were also huge wall and Ceiling paintings depicting scenes from Mahabharata & Ramayana, Sinugra was known as Pride of Kutch for its unique artistic heritage. However, most of it was destroyed in the earthquake of 2000, Sinugra Village being very near to Anjar also bore the heavy brunt of the quake and almost all old majestic houses built around 100 years ago were completely destroyed. There was also a number of human casualty. Some of the old buildings, temples, Chabutro have been since re-constructed, Seth Khora Ramji Chawda of village, a railway contractor and miner, was noted by British as first Indian to break monopoly of Europeans in Jharia coalfields belt. Among other famous person — Devraj Daya Chawda, who established himself at Jharsuguda, Seth Vallabhdas Kunwarjee Tank of village established himself as industrialist in Bombay & founded special chemical factories at Vapi and was closely associated with Kasturbhai Lalbhai. Further, there were a number of railway contractors from the village, the village has primary co-educational school named Seth Khora Ramji Prathmik Shala built by Seth Khora Ramji and brothers in 1910 and therefore, has been named after him. Kuldevi Temples of many clans of these Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya community are there in this village. For example, Tank clan Mistri community have their Kuldevi Chamunda, the Thakor Mandir of Sinugra built by Seth Khora Ramji Chawda, Pachhan Ramji Chawda, Teja Ramji Chawda, Akhai Ramji Chawda, Jetha Lira Jethwa and Khoda Ratna Tank in 1900. It is a piece of architect with beautiful and colorful carvings of Gods. Further, Jadeshwar Mahadev temple also built by Seth Khora Ramji is worth seeing, the Swaminarayan Temple and Dharamshala are also there is Village. A small temple of Ramdev Pir is also there in village, after the earthquake of 26 January 2001 all the temples and Chabutro have been rehabilitated to their past glory by donations from the Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya community. Further, a mosque belonging to Mohammedan community is also there, villagers enjoy a good drinking water supply, and a steady electricity supply with few power shortages
4. Kutch Gurjar Kashtriya – Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya also known as Mistri or Mestri are a minority Hindu and one of the Socially and Educationally Backward Class community of Gujarat in India, whom claim to be Kshatriyas. They are an artisan community related with Kadia works and this term was later used to refer to them as a separate caste known as the Mistri a. k. a. The community first entered into Saurashtra at that time and founded 36 villages in the area, around 1177–78 AD, a major group migrated to Kutch from Saurashtra under the leadership of Patel Ganga Maru. They settled in the village of Dhaneti, there are several Parias of the community, located near village pond of Dhaneti, standing as memorials of the war that was fought in 1178 AD. The community members still go every year to offer pooja. Some are followers of Swaminarayan and Pranami sect of Hinduism, They are vegetarian in diet, the staple food is khichdi, vegetables, pulses and butter-milk. However, most of people prefer to pre-fix Mistri to their name, the community are an endogamous community who practice the principle of clan exogamy. Dowry is generally not asked for, neither practice of price is there in community. Divorce is generally not encouraged, however, divorce can be claimed in certain cases, betrothal ceremony generally precedes marriage, which is held usually within one year of engagement and marriage is observed as per Hindu rites by taking seven circumambulation of fire. Widow remarriage is allowed, where the women is married outside husbands family. The Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas were master craftsmen, architects and contractors and have played a role in erection and construction of the majority of forts, palaces. It was because of quality that around the mid 16th century they came to be known as Mistri in Kutch. The word Mistri means skilled artisan in Gujarati, the Portuguese were present in Gujarat from around 1500 AD and the Battle of Diu was fought in 1509 where the Portuguese later built Diu Fort. They also acknowledged the expertise in building fortress and called them mestre. Even the Muslim rulers accepted the expertise of the Kadias and were sought after for building forts. The community was known to travel far and wide for building such forts, palaces. Their original roots were in Kota in Rajasthan, the community members who were expert builders were patronized by kings of Cutch for their ability to design fort and some members of the community holding the post of Gaidher or Raj Mistry. Mistry Pitambar Padma was Gaidhar in the 18th century, the Mistris of Kutch were also involved in construction and erection of Vijay Vilas Palace built on sea-beach of Mandvi by Khengarji III, as summer palace for his son and heir Vijayaraji
5. Gujarat – Gujarat is a state in Western India, sometimes referred to as the Jewel of Western India. It has an area of 196,024 km2 with a coastline of 1,600 km, most of which lies on the Kathiawar peninsula, and a population in excess of 60 million. The state is bordered by Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east, and the Arabian Sea and its capital city is Gandhinagar, while its largest city is Ahmedabad. Gujarat is home to the Gujarati-speaking people of India, the state encompasses some sites of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, such as Lothal and Dholavira. Lothal is believed to be one of the worlds first seaports, Gujarat was known to the ancient Greeks, and was familiar in other Western centres of civilisation through the end of the European Middle Ages. Modern-day Gujarat is derived from Sanskrit term Gurjaradesa, the Gurjar nation, parts of modern Rajasthan and Gujarat have been known as Gurjaratra or Gurjarabhumi for centuries before the Mughal period. Gujarat was one of the centres of the Indus Valley Civilization. It contains ancient metropolitan cities from the Indus Valley such as Lothal, Dholavira, the ancient city of Lothal was where Indias first port was established. The ancient city of Dholavira is one of the largest and most prominent archaeological sites in India, the most recent discovery was Gola Dhoro. Altogether, about 50 Indus Valley settlement ruins have been discovered in Gujarat, the ancient history of Gujarat was enriched by the commercial activities of its inhabitants. There is clear evidence of trade and commerce ties with Egypt, Bahrain. The early history of Gujarat reflects the grandeur of Chandragupta Maurya who conquered a number of earlier states in what is now Gujarat. Pushyagupta, a Vaishya, was appointed governor of Saurashtra by the Mauryan regime and he ruled Giringer and built a dam on the Sudarshan lake. Between the decline of Mauryan power and Saurashtra coming under the sway of the Samprati Mauryas of Ujjain, in the first half of the 1st century AD there is the story of a merchant of King Gondaphares landing in Gujarat with Apostle Thomas. The incident of the cup-bearer killed by a lion might indicate that the city described is in Gujarat. For nearly 300 years from the start of the 1st century AD, the weather-beaten rock at Junagadh gives a glimpse of the ruler Rudradaman I of the Saka satraps known as Western Satraps, or Kshatraps. Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I founded the Kardamaka dynasty which ruled from Anupa on the banks of the Narmada up to the Aparanta region which bordered Punjab, in Gujarat several battles were fought between the south Indian Satavahana dynasty and the Western Satraps. The greatest ruler of the Satavahana Dynasty was Gautamiputra Satakarni who defeated the Western Satraps, the Kshatrapa dynasty was replaced by the Gupta Empire with the conquest of Gujarat by Chandragupta Vikramaditya
6. India – India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and it is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast. It shares land borders with Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast, in the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Indias Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a border with Thailand. The Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE, in the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, early political consolidations took place under the Maurya and Gupta empires, the later peninsular Middle Kingdoms influenced cultures as far as southeast Asia. In the medieval era, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived, much of the north fell to the Delhi sultanate, the south was united under the Vijayanagara Empire. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal empire, in the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, and in the mid-19th under British crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which later, under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance, in 2015, the Indian economy was the worlds seventh largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition, a nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the third largest standing army in the world and ranks sixth in military expenditure among nations. India is a constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system. It is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society and is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindu, the latter term stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus River. The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as The people of the Indus, the geographical term Bharat, which is recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations. Scholars believe it to be named after the Vedic tribe of Bharatas in the second millennium B. C. E and it is also traditionally associated with the rule of the legendary emperor Bharata. Gaṇarājya is the Sanskrit/Hindi term for republic dating back to the ancient times, hindustan is a Persian name for India dating back to the 3rd century B. C. E. It was introduced into India by the Mughals and widely used since then and its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety
7. Columbidae – Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae, which includes about 310 species. Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks, and short slender bills and they primarily feed on seeds, fruits, and plants. This family occurs worldwide, but the greatest variety is in the Indomalaya, in general, the terms dove and pigeon are used somewhat interchangeably. Pigeon is a French word that derives from the Latin pipio, for a peeping chick, the species most commonly referred to as pigeon is the rock dove, one subspecies of which, the domestic pigeon, is common in many cities as the feral pigeon. Pigeons and doves are likely the most common birds in the world, doves and pigeons build relatively flimsy nests – often using sticks and other debris – which may be placed in trees, on ledges, or on the ground, depending on species. They lay one or two eggs at a time, and both parents care for the young, which leave the nest after seven to 28 days. Unlike most birds, both sexes of doves and pigeons produce crop milk to feed to their young, secreted by a sloughing of fluid-filled cells from the lining of the crop, young doves and pigeons are called squabs. The adjective columbine refers to pigeons and doves, recent phylogenomic studies support the grouping of these pigeons and sandgrouse together, along with mesites, forming the sister taxon to Mirandornithes. The Columbidae are usually divided into five subfamilies, probably inaccurately, for example, the American ground and quail doves, which are usually placed in the Columbinae, seem to be two distinct subfamilies. The order presented here follows Baptista et al. with some updates, osteology and DNA sequence analyses indicate the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire are better considered as a subfamily Raphinae in the Columbidae pending availability of further information. The dodo and Rodrigues solitaire are in all part of the Indo-Australian radiation that produced the three small subfamilies mentioned above, with the fruit-doves and pigeons. Therefore, they are included as a subfamily Raphinae, pending better material evidence of their exact relationships. Exacerbating these issues, columbids are not well represented in the fossil record, no truly primitive forms have been found to date. The genus Gerandia has been described from Early Miocene deposits of France, apart from that, all other fossils belong to extant genera. For these, and for the number of more recently extinct prehistoric species. Phylogeny based on the work by John H. Boyd III, Pigeons and doves exhibit considerable variations in size. Overall, the Columbidae tend to have short bills and legs, the wings are large and have low wing loadings, pigeons have strong wing muscles and are among the strongest fliers of all birds. They are also highly manoeuvrable in flight, the plumage of the family is variable
8. Kutch district – Kutch district is a district of Gujarat state in western India. Covering an area of 45,674 km², it is the largest district of India, the population of Kutch is 2,092,371. It has 10 Talukas,939 villages and 6 Municipalities, the same word is also used in Sanskrit origin for a tortoise. The Rann is famous for its salt flats which become snow white after the shallow water dries up each season before the monsoon rains. The district is famous for ecologically important Banni grasslands with their seasonal marshy wetlands which form the outer belt of the Rann of Kutch. Kutch District is surrounded by the Gulf of Kutch and the Arabian Sea in south and west, while northern and eastern parts are surrounded by the Great and Little Rann of Kutch. When there were not many dams built on its rivers, the Rann of Kutch remained wetlands for a part of the year. Even today, the region remains wet for a significant part of year, the district had a population of 2,092,371 as of 2011 census, of which 30% were urban. Motor vehicles registered in Kutch district have their registration Number starting with GJ-12, the district is well connected by road, rail and air. There are four airports in the district, Naliya, Kandla, Mundra, Bhuj is well connected with Mumbai airport. Being a border district, Kutch has both an army and an airforce base, the history of Kutch can be traced back to prehistorical times. There are several related to Indus valley civilization in region and is mentioned in Hindu mythology. In historical times, Kutch is mentioned in Greek writings during Alexander, by fifth century, Maitraka of Valabhi took over from which its close association with ruling clans of Gujarat started. Chavdas ruled the eastern and central parts by seventh century but were came under Chaulukyas by tenth century, after fall of Chaulukya, Vaghelas ruled the state. Following conquest of Sindh by Muslim rulers, Rajput Samma started moving southwards to Kutch, by tenth century, they controlled significant area of Kutch and by thirteenth century they controlled whole of Kutch and adopted a new dynastic identity, Jadeja. For three centuries, Kutch was divided and ruled by three different branches of Jadeja brothers. One of his descendants, Rayadhan II left three sons of two died and third son, Pragmalji I took over the state and founded the current lineage of rulers at the start of the seventeenth century. The decedents of other brothers founded states in Kathiawar, the state accepted suzerainty of British East India Company in 1819 when Kutch was defeated in battle
9. Chhatri – Chhatris are elevated, dome-shaped pavilions used as an element in Indian architecture. The word Chhatri means canopy or umbrella, in the context of architecture, the word is used to refer to two different things. The usual and more widely understood meaning is of a memorial, usually very ornate, such memorials usually consist of a platform girded by a set of ornate pillars which hold up a stone canopy. The word chhatri is also used to refer to the pavilions that mark the corners. These pavilions are purely decorative and have no utility, but are a folly which announce the status. Chhatris are commonly used to depict the elements of pride and honor in the Jat, Maratha and they are widely used, in palaces, in forts, or to demarcate funerary sites. They are today seen on its finest monuments, Humayuns Tomb in Delhi, Chhatris are basic element of Hindu as well as Mughal architecture. The term chhatri means umbrella or canopy, in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, chhatris are built on the cremation sites of wealthy or distinguished individuals. Chhatris in Shekhawati may consist of a structure of one dome raised by four pillars to a building containing many domes. In some places, the interior of the chhatris is painted in the manner as the Havelis of the region. Many other chhatris exist in parts of Rajasthan. Their locations include, Jaipur – Gaitore Cenotaphs of the Maharajas of Jaipur, set in a narrow valley, the cenotaphs of the former rulers of Jaipur consist of the somewhat typical chhatri or umbrella-shaped memorials. Sawai Jai Singh IIs Chhatri is particularly noteworthy because of the carvings that have used to embellish it. The chhatri of Maharaja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur has fine frescos illuminating the life of Surajmal, vividly depicting darbar and hunting scenes, royal processions and wars. Udaipur- Flanked by a row of enormous stone elephants, the Lake Pichola island has an impressive chhatri carved from gray blue stone, haldighati – A beautiful Chhatri with white marble columns, dedicated to Rana Pratap, stands here. Chetak Smarak, the dedicated to Chetak, Rana Prataps famous horse, is also noteworthy. Alwar – Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri is a red sandstone. Bundi – Suraj Chhatri and Mordi Ki Chhatri, Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri, Bundi, rani Shyam Kumari wife of Raja Chhatrasal on the northern hill constructed the Suraj Chhatri and Mayuri the second wife of Chhatrasal on the southern hill erected Mordi Ki Chhatri
10. Chabutro – Chabutro or Chabutaro or Chabutra is a structure mostly found in villages of Gujarat State of India. It is a structure with octagonal or pentagonal shaped enclosures at the top. In the upper enclosure are several holes, wherein birds can make their nests, in Gujarat these are constructed at the entrances villages, especially for use and breeding of pigeons. Inside this structure mostly pigeons reside and breed, mostly such monuments are found in village centers or at village entrances in the Gujarat & Kutch in India. At the base of the structure a sitting platform is usually made, the base and the surrounding area of this structure serves as a gathering place for villagers and as a playing area for children. Another type of Chabutro, which can be seen in Gujarat & Rajasthan have different design and are only for feeding & resting place for birds & not for breeding purpose. The upper enclosure of such Chabutra are artistically craved and designed like a window of house with conical dome or Chhatri, in English it can vaguely be defined as Pigeon-Tower or Pigeon-hole-tower. Actually, Chabutaro is a word of Gujarati language, in Gujarati language Pigeon is called Kabutar. The word Chabutro has arrived from word Kabutar, since Chabutaro is specially constructed for use and breeding of Pigeons only in Gujarat, people and specially ladies of Gujarat, belonging to Hindu faith, consider it auspicious to feed Pigeons. Therefore, this structure is made in villages, where pigeons can live, in early morning, you can find ladies, children and gents alike feeding grains to Pigeons below Chabutro. The Chabutaro is, therefore, usually found in villages dominated or established by Hindu, for example, Chabutro at Sinugra in Kutch, the image is shown here. A famous example of Chabutro found outside Gujarat is in Chhattisgarh, just outside Raigarh Railway Station in Chhattisgarh a huge white colored Chabutro is standing as a landmark of the town. The erection of which was done by one Shyamji Gangji Sawaria of town in 1900 and he was a famous railway contractor & entrepreneur of Raigarh, founder of Shyam Talkies, who hailed from Mistri community of Kumbharia, Kutch. Chabutro can also be seen in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Chabutra is Hindi language word for Chabutro. In these States of India, it is found within Royal Palaces or Temples. But in States other than Gujarat, the Chabutra is not made exclusively for Pigeon, although, in Hindi a pigeon is also called Kabutar. The word Chabutra or Chabutro is also used to indicate a sitting platform, usually under a tree or beside any water-body like lake, pond. But commonly it is used to indicate the tower-like structure explained above
11. Gujarati language – Gujarati /ɡʊdʒəˈrɑːti/ is an Indo-Aryan language native to the Indian state of Gujarat. It is part of the greater Indo-European language family, Gujarati is descended from Old Gujarati. In India, it is the language in the state of Gujarat, as well as an official language in the union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra. Gujarati is the language of the Gujjars, who had ruled Rajputana, according to the Central Intelligence Agency,4. 5% of the Indian population speaks Gujarati, which amounts to 54.6 million speakers in India. There are about 65.5 million speakers of Gujarati worldwide, Gujarati was the first language of Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Gujarati is a modern IA language evolved from Sanskrit, Central, in Gujarati/Rajasthani, Western Hindi, and Punjabi/Lahanda/Sindhi, on the basis of innovation of auxiliary verbs and postpositions in Gujarati/Rajasthani. Gujarati/Rajasthani into Gujarati and Rajasthani through development of such characteristics as auxiliary ch-, grammatically, a new plural marker of -o developed. In literature, the quarter of the 19th century saw a series of milestones for Gujarati. The printing was introduced in Gujarati in 1812, the first printed book published was the Gujarati translation of Dabestan-e Mazaheb prepared and printed by Parsi priest Fardunjee Marzban in 1815. 1822, first Gujarati newspaper, Mumbai Samachar, the oldest newspaper in India still in circulation, 1840s, personal diary composition, Nityanondh, Durgaram Mehta. 1845, first modern Gujarati poem, Bapani Piparu, Dalpatram 1851, first essay, Mandaḷī Maḷvāthi Thātā Lābh, Narmadashankar Dave 1866, first original novel, Karaṇ Ghelo, Nandshankar Mehta. 1866, first social novel, Sasu Vahu ni Ladai, Mahipatram Rupram Nilkanth 1866, first autobiography, Mārī Hakīkat,1900, first original short story, Shantidas, Ambalal Desai. Of the approximately 46 million speakers of Gujarati in 1997, roughly 45, however, Gujarati community leaders in Pakistan claim that there are 3 million Gujarati speakers in Karachi. There is an amount of Mauritian population and a large amount of Réunion Island people who are from Gujarati descent among which some of them still speak Gujarati. According to the 2011 census, Gujarati is the seventeenth most spoken language in the Greater Toronto Area, most, with British passports, settled in the UK. Gujarati is offered as a GCSE subject for students in the UK, a distribution of the geographical area can be found in Linguistic Survey of India by George A. Grierson. Gujarati is one of the recognized constitutional languages and fourteen regional languages of India. It is officially recognized in the state of Gujarat, India, in A simplified grammar of the Gujarati language by William Tisdall, two major dialects of Gujarati are mentioned, a standard Hindu dialect and a Parsi dialect
12. Hindu – Hindu refers to any person who regards themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. It has historically used as a geographical, cultural, or religious identifier for people indigenous to South Asia. The historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time, by the 16th century, the term began to refer to residents of India who were not Turks or Muslims. The historical development of Hindu self-identity within the Indian population, in a religious or cultural sense, is unclear, competing theories state that Hindu identity developed in the British colonial era, or that it developed post-8th century CE after the Islamic invasion and medieval Hindu-Muslim wars. A sense of Hindu identity and the term Hindu appears in texts dated between the 13th and 18th century in Sanskrit and regional languages. The 14th- and 18th-century Indian poets such as Vidyapati, Kabir and Eknath used the phrase Hindu dharma, the Christian friar Sebastiao Manrique used the term Hindu in religious context in 1649. In the 18th century, the European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus, in contrast to Mohamedans for Mughals, scholars state that the custom of distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs is a modern phenomenon. Hindoo is a spelling variant, whose use today may be considered derogatory. At more than 1.03 billion, Hindus are the third largest group after Christians. The vast majority of Hindus, approximately 966 million, live in India, according to Indias 2011 census. After India, the next 9 countries with the largest Hindu populations are, in decreasing order, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United States, Malaysia, United Kingdom and Myanmar. These together accounted for 99% of the worlds Hindu population, the word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan and Sanskrit word Sindhu, which means a large body of water, covering river, ocean. It was used as the name of the Indus river and also referred to its tributaries, the Punjab region, called Sapta Sindhava in the Vedas, is called Hapta Hindu in Zend Avesta. The 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I mentions the province of Hidush, the people of India were referred to as Hinduvān and hindavī was used as the adjective for Indian in the 8th century text Chachnama. The term Hindu in these ancient records is an ethno-geographical term, the Arabic equivalent Al-Hind likewise referred to the country of India. Among the earliest known records of Hindu with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by the Buddhist scholar Xuanzang, Xuanzang uses the transliterated term In-tu whose connotation overflows in the religious according to Arvind Sharma. The Hindu community occurs as the amorphous Other of the Muslim community in the court chronicles, wilfred Cantwell Smith notes that Hindu retained its geographical reference initially, Indian, indigenous, local, virtually native. Slowly, the Indian groups themselves started using the term, differentiating themselves, the poet Vidyapatis poem Kirtilata contrasts the cultures of Hindus and Turks in a city and concludes The Hindus and the Turks live close together, Each makes fun of the others religion
13. Kshatriya – Kshatriya is one of the four varna of the Hindu society. The Sanskrit term kshatriya is used in the context of Vedic society wherein members organised themselves into four classes, brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya, traditionally, the kshatriya constituted the ruling and military elite. Their role was to protect society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime, the Prakrit derivative of Kshatriya is Khatri. The administrative machinery in the Rig Vedic period functioned with a chief called Rajan whose position was not hereditary. The king was elected in an assembly, which included women. The Rajan protected the tribe and cattle, was assisted by a priest, the concept of fourfold varna system was non-existent. The hymn Purusha Sukta to the Rigveda describes the history of the four varna. Since not all dark-skinned Indians was fully regulated under the varna in the vedic society, the term rajanya unlike the word kshatriya essentially denoted the status within a lineage. Whereas kshatra, means ruling, one of the ruling order, jaiswal points out the term Brahman rarely occurs in the Rig-veda with the exception of the Purusha Sukta and may not have been used for the priestly class. Based on the authority of Panini, Patanjali, Katyayana and the Mahabharata, Jayaswal believes that Rajanya was the name of a people and that the Rajanyas were, therefore. Some examples were the Andhaka and Vrsni Rajanyas who followed the system of elected rulers and this later gave rise to the idea of kingship. In the period of the Brahmanas there was ambiguity in the position of the varna, in the Panchavimsha Brahmana, the Rajanya are placed first, followed by Brahmana then Vaishya. In Shatapatha Brahmana 184.108.40.206, the Kshatriya are placed second, in Shatapatha Brahmana 220.127.116.11 the order is—Brahmana, Vaishya, Rajanya, Shudra. The order of the brahmanical tradition—Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra—became fixed from the time of dharmasutras, the kshatriya were often considered pre-eminent in Buddhist circles. Even among Hindu societies they were sometimes at rivalry with the Brahmins, the kshatriya caste constituted an aristocracy but were not always necessarily wealthy. Kings usually belonged to this caste and it was considered their duty to acquire a knowledge of weapons in addition to cultivating their aptitude for command, the science of weaponry was one of the 13 branches of learning which every educated kshatriya male was expected to study. Both the kings suite and the army were recruited from among this caste. Many kshatriya were authorised to take up a craft or trade rather than gaining their living as professional warriors and these families still retained the privileges accorded to their caste however, which included special forms of marriage which were their prerogative
14. Brahmin – Brahmin is a varna in Hinduism specialising as priests of sacred learning across generations. However, Indian texts suggest that Brahmins were often agriculturalists in medieval India, the Gautama Dharmasutra states in verse 10.3 that it is obligatory on a Brahmin to learn and teach the Vedas. The text forbids a Brahmin from engaging in the trade of animals for slaughter, meat, medicines, the Apastamba Dharmasutra asserts in verse 1.20.10 that trade is generally not sanctioned for Brahmins, but in the times of adversity he may do so. The chapter 1.20 of Apastamba, states Olivelle, forbids the trade of the following under any circumstances, human beings, meat, skins, weapons, barren cows, sesame seeds, pepper, and merits. The 1st millennium CE Dharmasastras, that followed the Dharmasutras contain similar recommendations on occupations for a Brahmin, both in prosperous or normal times, and in the times of adversity. The widely studied Manusmriti, for example, states, Except during a time of adversity and he should gather wealth just sufficient for his subsistence through irreproachable activities that are specific to him, without fatiguing his body. –4. 2–4.3 He must never follow a worldly occupation for the sake of livelihood, one who seeks happiness should become supremely content and self controlled, for happiness is rooted in contentment and its opposite is the root of unhappiness. –4. 11–4.12 The Manusmriti recommends that a Brahmins occupation must never involve forbidden activities such as producing or trading poison, weapons, meat, trapping birds and others. It also lists six occupations that it deems proper for a Brahmin, teaching, studying, offering yajna, officiating at yajna, giving gifts, of these, states Manusmriti, three which provide a Brahmin with a livelihood are teaching, officiating at yajna, and accepting gifts. The text states that teaching is best, and ranks the accepting of gifts as the lowest of the six, in the times of adversity, Manusmriti recommends that a Brahmin may live by engaging in the occupations of the warrior class, or agriculture or cattle herding or trade. Of these, Manusmriti in verses 10. 83–10, the term Brahmin in Indian texts has signified someone who is good and virtuous, not just someone of priestly class. Both Buddhist and Brahmanical literature, states Patrick Olivelle, repeatedly define Brahmin not in terms of family of birth and these virtues and characteristics mirror the values cherished in Hinduism during the Sannyasa stage of life, or the life of renunciation for spiritual pursuits. Brahmins, states Olivelle, were the class from which most ascetics came. The earliest inferred reference to Brahmin as a social class is in the Rigveda, occurs once. Ancient texts describing community-oriented Vedic yajna rituals mention four to five priests, the hotar, the adhvaryu, the udgatar, the functions associated with the priests were, The Hotri recites invocations and litanies drawn from the Rigveda. The Adhvaryu is the assistant and is in charge of the physical details of the ritual like measuring the ground. The Udgatri is the chanter of hymns set to melodies and music drawn from the Samaveda, the udgatar, like the hotar, chants the introductory, accompanying and benediction hymns. The Brahmin recites from the Atharvaveda, the Ritvij is the chief operating priest
15. Raigarh – Raigarh is a city and municipal corporation in the Raigarh district of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. The administrative headquarters of Raigarh district, it is known for its coal reserves, Raigarh is also a major producer of steel and iron ore as well as the cultural and industrial capital of Chhattisgarh. Jindal Steel and Power Limited is a steel plant based in Raigarh. Raigarh is a major rice producing district with a net production of 350,000 tonnes per annum. A major rice processing industry in the district is Raigarh Foods & Hotel Business Pvt Ltd, Raigarh consists of various shopping complexes, broad four-lane roads,3 star hotels, upcoming malls and much more. Ela Mall is a mall at raigarh. Prior to Indian Independence, Raigarh was capital of Princely State of Raigarh, after the independence of the country, the princely state was the first ones to join the Union of India. The Royal family still resides here, but due to Privy Purse and internal conflicts, moreover, the palace - Moti Mahal - is in very bad shape. It has recently declared a heritage site by the state government. Raigarh is located at 21. 9°N83. 4°E /21.9,83.4 and it has an average elevation of 215 metres. The Kelo river flows through the city, which is one of its water sources. The minimum - maximum temperature range is 29.5 -49 °C in summer, languages spoken are Chhattisgarhi Hindi, and Odia. The demographics of the city consist mainly of people from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Orissa, a sizeable community of Bengali, Telugu and Marathi speaking people also live here. As of 2001 India census, Raigarh district had a population of 12,69,925, males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Raigarh has an literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59. 5%, male literacy is 79%. About 80% of the population are Hindus, 15% Christians and remaining 5% are other religions, in Raigarh, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. New Raigarh involves the transformation of old Raigarh into a better planned, located around National Highway 216, it lies 10 kilometres to the south-east of the old town of Raigarh and 15 kilometres from the proposed NTPC Lara-Pussore site. Kodatarai Airport separates the old Raigarh, new Raigarh and the NTPC site, Naya Raigarh will serve as the industrial capital of the state and also cater to the infrastructure needs of industry and trade in the region. Naya Raigarh is spread over an area of about 600 acres and includes a number of villages of which Kodatarai village forms the core of the Naya Raigarh, Raigarh is a cultural city known for its Kathak dance and classical music
16. Chhattisgarh – Chhattisgarh is one of 29 states located in central India. It is the 10th largest state in India, with an area of 135,194 km2, with a population of 28 million, Chhattisgarh is the 17th most-populated state in the country. A resource-rich state, it is a source of electricity and steel for the country, Chhattisgarh is one of the fastest-developing states in India. The state was formed on 1 November 2000 by partitioning 16 Chhattisgarhi-speaking southeastern districts of Madhya Pradesh, currently the state comprises 27 districts. The following are the list of the districts of Chhattisgarh State, There are several opinions as to the origin of the name Chhattisgarh, Chhattisgarh was popularized later during the time of the Maratha Empire and was first used in an official document in 1795. It is claimed that Chhattisgarh takes its name from the 36 ancient forts in the area, however, experts do not agree with this explanation, as 36 forts cannot be archaeologically identified in this region. Another view, more popular with experts and historians, is that Chhattisgarh is the form of Chedisgarh which means Raj or Empire of the Chedis. In ancient times, Chhattisgarh region had been part of the Chedi dynasty of Kaling, in the medieval period up to 1803, a major portion of present eastern Chhattisgarh was part of the Sambalpur Kingdom of Odisha. The northern and southern parts of the state are hilly, while the part is a fertile plain. The highest point in the state is the Bailadila Range, deciduous forests of the Eastern Highlands Forests cover roughly 44% of the state. The state animal is the van bhainsa, or wild water buffalo, the state bird is the pahari myna, or hill myna. The state tree is the Sal found in Bastar division, in the north lies the edge of the great Indo-Gangetic plain. The Rihand River, a tributary of the Ganges, drains this area, the eastern end of the Satpura Range and the western edge of the Chota Nagpur Plateau form an east-west belt of hills that divide the Mahanadi River basin from the Indo-Gangetic plain. The outline of Chhattisgarh is like a sea horse, the central part of the state lies in the fertile upper basin of the Mahanadi river and its tributaries. This area has extensive rice cultivation, the upper Mahanadi basin is separated from the upper Narmada basin to the west by the Maikal Hills and from the plains of Odisha to the east by ranges of hills. The southern part of the lies on the Deccan plateau, in the watershed of the Godavari River and its tributary. The Mahanadi is the river of the state. The other main rivers are Hasdo, Rihand, Indravati, Jonk, Arpa and it is situated in the east of Madhya Pradesh
17. Rajasthan – Rajasthan is Indias largest state by area. Elsewhere it is bordered by the other Indian states, Punjab to the north, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, and Gujarat to the southwest. Rajasthan is also home to two national reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar. The state was formed on 30 March 1949 when Rajputana – the name adopted by the British Raj for its dependencies in the region – was merged into the Dominion of India. Its capital and largest city is Jaipur, also known as Pink City, other important cities are Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Kota and Ajmer. Parts of what is now Rajasthan were partly part of the Vedic Civilisation, kalibangan, in Hanumangarh district, was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization. Matsya Kingdom of the Vedic civilisation of India, is said to roughly corresponded to the state of Jaipur in Rajasthan. The capital of Matsya was at Viratanagar, which is said to have named after its founder king Virata. Bhargava identifies the two districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar and parts of Jaipur district along with Haryana districts of Mahendragarh, bhargava also locates the present day Sahibi River as the Vedic Drishadwati River, which along with Saraswati River formed the borders of the Vedic state of Brahmavarta. Manu and Bhrigu narrated the Manusmriti to a congregation of seers in this area only, the Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain and established the Saka era, marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps state. Gurjars ruled for many dynasties in this part of the country, up to the tenth century almost the whole of North India, acknowledged the supremacy of the Gurjars with their seat of power at Kannauj. The Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as a barrier for Arab invaders from the 8th to the 11th century, the chief accomplishment of the Gurjara Pratihara empire lies in its successful resistance to foreign invasions from the west, starting in the days of Junaid. Majumdar says that this was acknowledged by the Arab writers. He further notes that historians of India have wondered at the progress of Muslim invaders in India. Traditionally the Rajputs, Jats, Meenas, REBARI, Gurjars, Bhils, Rajpurohit, Charans, Yadavs, Bishnois, Sermals, PhulMali, all these tribes suffered great difficulties in protecting their culture and the land. Millions of them were killed trying to protect their land, a number of Gurjars had been exterminated in Bhinmal and Ajmer areas fighting with the invaders. Meenas were rulers of Bundi, Hadoti and the Dhundhar region, hem Chandra Vikramaditya, the Hindu Emperor, was born in the village of Machheri in Alwar District in 1501. Hem Chandra was killed in the battlefield at Second Battle of Panipat fighting against Mughals on 5 November 1556, maharana Pratap of Mewar resisted Akbar in the famous Battle of Haldighati and later operated from hilly areas of his kingdom
18. Madhya Pradesh – Madhya Pradesh is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and the largest city is Indore, nicknamed the heart of India due to its geographical location in India, Madhya Pradesh is the second-largest state in the country by area. With over 75 million inhabitants, it is the fifth-largest state in India by population and it borders the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the west, and Rajasthan to the northwest. Its total area is 308,252 km², subsequently, the region was ruled by the major dynasties of India. By the early 18th century, the region was divided into small kingdoms which were captured by the British and incorporated into Central Provinces and Berar. This state was the largest in India by area until 2000, in recent years, the states GDP growth has been above the national average. Rich in mineral resources, MP has the largest reserves of diamond, more than 30% of its area is under forest cover. Its tourism industry has seen growth, with the state topping the National Tourism Awards in 2010–11. Isolated remains of Homo erectus found in Hathnora in the Narmada Valley indicate that Madhya Pradesh might have been inhabited in the Middle Pleistocene era, painted pottery dated to the later mesolithic period has been found in the Bhimbetka rock shelters. Chalcolithic sites belonging to Kayatha culture and Malwa culture have been discovered in the part of the state. The city of Ujjain arose as a centre in the region. It served as the capital of the Avanti kingdom, other kingdoms mentioned in ancient epics — Malava, Karusha, Dasarna and Nishada — have also been identified with parts of Madhya Pradesh. Chandragupta Maurya united northern India around 320 BCE, establishing the Mauryan Empire, ashoka the greatest of Mauryan rulers brought the region under firmer control. After the decline of the Maurya empire, the region was contested among the Sakas, the Kushanas, the Satavahanas, Heliodorus, the Greek Ambassador to the court of the Shunga king Bhagabhadra erected the Heliodorus pillar near Vidisha. Ujjain emerged as the predominant commercial centre of western India from the first century BCE, the Satavahana dynasty of the northern Deccan and the Saka dynasty of the Western Satraps fought for the control of Madhya Pradesh during the 1st to 3rd centuries CE. The Satavahana king Gautamiputra Satakarni inflicted a defeat upon the Saka rulers and conquered parts of Malwa. Subsequently, the region came under the control of the Gupta empire in the 4th and 5th centuries, and their southern neighbours, the attacks of the Hephthalites or White Huns brought about the collapse of the Gupta empire, which broke up into smaller states. The king Yasodharman of Malwa defeated the Huns in 528, ending their expansion, later, Harsha ruled the northern parts of the state
19. Hindi – Hindi, or Modern Standard Hindi is a standardised and Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language. Along with the English language, Hindi written in the Devanagari script, is the language of the Government of India. It is also one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India, Hindi is the lingua franca of the so-called Hindi belt of India. Outside India, it is a language which is known as Fiji Hindi in Fiji, and is a recognised regional language in Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana. Hindi is the fourth most-spoken first language in the world, after Mandarin, apart from specialized vocabulary, Hindi is mutually intelligible with Standard Urdu, another recognized register of Hindustani. Part XVII of the Indian Constitution deals with Official Language, under Article 343, official language of the Union has been prescribed, which includes Hindi in Devanagari script and English. Gujarat High Court, in 2010, has observed that there was nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a language of India. Article 343 of the Indian constitution states The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script, the form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union shall be the international form of Indian numerals. It was envisioned that Hindi would become the working language of the Union Government by 1965. Each may also designate a co-official language, in Uttar Pradesh, for instance, depending on the formation in power. Similarly, Hindi is accorded the status of language in the following Union Territories, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu. National-language status for Hindi is a long-debated theme, an Indian court clarified that Hindi is not the national language of India because the constitution does not mention it as such. Outside Asia, Hindi is a language in Fiji as per the 1997 Constitution of Fiji. It is spoken by 380,000 people in Fiji, Hindi is also spoken by a large population of Madheshis of Nepal. Hindi is quite easy to understand for some Pakistanis, who speak Urdu, apart from this, Hindi is spoken by the large Indian diaspora which hails from, or has its origin from the Hindi Belt of India. Like other Indo-Aryan languages, Hindi is considered to be a descendant of an early form of Sanskrit, through Sauraseni Prakrit. It has been influenced by Dravidian languages, Turkic languages, Persian, Arabic, Portuguese, Hindi emerged as Apabhramsha, a degenerated form of Prakrit, in the 7th century A. D. By the 10th century A. D. it became stable, Braj Bhasha, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Khari Boli etc. are the dialects of Hindi
20. Dovecote – A dovecote or dovecot /ˈdʌvkɒt/ is a structure intended to house pigeons or doves. Dovecotes may be free-standing structures in a variety of shapes, or built into the end of a house or barn and they generally contain pigeonholes for the birds to nest. Pigeons and doves were an important food source historically in Western Europe and were kept for their eggs, flesh, in some cultures, particularly Medieval Europe, the possession of a dovecote was a symbol of status and power and was consequently regulated by law. Only nobles had this special privilege known as droit de colombier, many ancient manors in France and the United Kingdom have a dovecote in one section of the manorial enclosure or in nearby fields. Examples include Château de Kerjean in Brittany, France, Houchin, France, Bodysgallen Hall in Wales, the oldest dovecotes are thought to have been the fortified dovecotes of Upper Egypt, and the domed dovecotes of Iran. In dry regions, the droppings were prized by farmers and were collected for fertilizing their arid fields. The presence of dovecotes is not noted in France before the Roman invasion of Gaul by Caesar, the pigeon farm was then a passion in Rome, the Roman, generally round, columbarium had its interior covered with a white coating of marble powder. Varro, Columella and Pliny the Elder wrote about pigeon farms, the French word for dovecote is pigeonnier or colombier. In some French provinces, especially Normandy, the dovecotes were built of wood in a stylized way. Stone was the popular building material for these old dovecotes. These stone structures were built in circular, square and occasionally octagonal form. Some of the medieval French abbeys had very large stone dovecotes on their grounds, in Brittany, the dovecote was sometimes built directly into the upper walls of the farmhouse or manor-house. In rare cases, it was built into the gallery of the lookout tower. Dovecotes of this type are called tour-fuie in French, even some of the larger château-forts, such as the Château de Suscinio in Morbihan, still have a complete dovecote standing on the grounds, outside the moat and walls of the castle. In France, it was called a colombier or fuie from the 13th century onwards, the dovecote interior, the space granted to the pigeons, is divided into a number of boulins. Each boulin is the lodging of a pair of pigeons and these boulins can be in rock, brick or cob and installed at the time of the construction of the dovecote or be in pottery, in braided wicker in the form of a basket or of a nest. It is the number of boulins that indicates the capacity of the dovecote, the one at the chateau dAulnay with its 2,000 boulins and the one at Port-dEnvaux with its 2,400 boulins of baked earth are among the largest ones in France. In the Middle Ages, particularly in France, the possession of a colombier à pied, constructed separately from the corps de logis of the manor-house, was a privilege of the seigneurial lord