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A prominent pilgrim site for the Hindus Madurai is the third largest city of Tamil Nadu. Madurai has a long and constant history since 3Rd BC. It has the references in the written history of Greek Ambassador Megesthenes and kautilya the minister in the Mauryan Empire. Madurai was a prominent cultural and administrative center during Pandyan rule till about 1311; afterwards rule of Ma’bar was established by Delhi Sultanate. Later it came to be known as Ma’bar sultanate which ruled till Vijaynagar Empire absorbed Madurai in 14Thcentury finally British East India Company ruled Madurai till India’s independence in 1947.George Procter was the first collector of Madurai.
History of Varanasi
Varanasi was known as Kashi Kshetra in the Rigvedic texts. Since the ages it has been regarded as one of the important Pilgrimage centers for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. The place was formed into an independent city during 18th century.
The earliest mention of the city could be found in Rigveda. Then the great epics of India (The Ramayana and The Mahabharata) talk about this place. Buddha gave his sermon at Saranath which is just 10 m away from Varanasi. The 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism (Parsvanatha) was born here.
From 11th to 17th century Varanasi was under the capture of the Muslim rulers. The city saw a setback during this time due to the invaders. Kingdom of Kashi was established during 18th century. Under the British rule Varanasi was made a separate State in 1910, making Ramanagar its headquarters. The Kashi Naresh is a title of honor bestowed upon the king. Kashi Naresh is the supreme power concerning ritualistic activities there. He stays in Ramanagar fort. The then Kashi Naresh raja Balwant Singh built this fort. After Independence, Varanasi merged with the Indian Union.
On attaining Independence from the British in August 1947, India had to surrender quite a lot of its northern territories for formation of Pakistan, Punjab was also split into two parts with Lahore its biggest city going to Pakistan. Then a need to create a new capital for Punjab led to many options but the most suitable one was creating a new modern city as the capital. This proposal was selected by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. A Swiss born French architect Le Corbusier was commissioned to design a new city Chandigarh as the capital of Punjab. Later in the year 1966 Haryana state was created from the eastern portions of Punjab. Chandigarh was at the border of both Punjab and Haryana hence it was made a union territory and appointed as the capital for both the states.