Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sheth G.M Jain Hostel, Mumbai

Sheth G.M Jain Hostel near Elphinstone Road Railway Station in in Mumbai now a century old and this is a gift of Late Shri Gokulbhai Mulchand Parekh to the nation who was for spreading education in the society.

The foundation for this was laid in 1909 and sadly before his vision become a reality he passed away. But his son Late Shri Manibhai Parekh provided shape to his fathers vision. It is a beautiful stony structure was constructed by Western & Central Railway in Mumbai. 

Finally the magnificent structure was inaugurated in the year 1910 by Sir John Sydenham, anoted educationalist and then Governor of Mumbai.

The hostel was visited by our Father of Nation Shri Mahatma Gandhi during the quit India movement. Today, this is beautiful structure surrounded by modern buildings.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Images of India - 47

A glimpse of  of India in black and white. People at the local market.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Coonoor is a famous hill station in the Nilgiris which is just 17 km away from Ooty. It is at a height of 1839 meters above the sea level. is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills, first being Ooty.

it is famous for tea gardens and tea factories. One can start their trekking expeditions into the Nilgiris by making this place as therir base. The place is known for its great picnic spots and picturesque surroundings. 

One can experience  panoramic view of the lush green Nilgiri hills, with its ravines, valleys, mist-laden mountains from here. This place is also a paradise for birds watchers.

Some of the places  of interest that I have covered in my trip are:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mysore Zoo - Asian Elephnats

Mysore Zoo is the most popular zoo at Mysore in India. There are various wild animals and birds at the zoo. One among them is Asian elephants.

They grow to a height of 3.1 m and weigh around 2500 to 5000 kg. They have a lifespan of 70 years. They use their ivory tusks for digging, uprooting trees and displaying. They are herbivore that eats all types of vegetation such as grasses, leaves, fruits and bark.

The dominant elephant in the herd is a female. She is often the oldest, largest or most experienced elephant in the herd of related females and their young. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Silver Jubilee Clock Tower, Mysore

The Silver Jubilee Clock Tower in Mysore is located adjacent to Chamaraja Circle near Mysore Palace. Built in 1927, it is also known by the name "Big Clock Tower".

It was built to commemorate the 25 years rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore. The clock tower is 75 feet tall and boasts of different architectural styles. 

Built in Indo-Saracenic style has a curvilinear chhajja lends a Rajasthani touch to the domed canopy. Under the dome there are arches of early English architecture. The tower has 5 feet diameter clock that spots Kannada numerals on it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Images of India - 46

A glimpse of heritage sites of India in black and white. Other posts will give you more details about this monument.

A  view of street at World Heritage Site Hampi

Monday, January 20, 2014

Brahmeswara Temple, Bhubaneshwar

Brahmeswara Temple in Bhubaneshwar is one of the earliest temples of the city built during the period of Somvasi Kingdom. The late 9th century temple as per the inscriptions that were originally available in the temple. 

The temple complex has central main temple and sub shrines in the four corners with tall towers. The temple is built in Kalinga style of architecture which has two interconnected structures of assembly hall and main sanctum. 

The front structure of assembly hall is beautifully carved pyramidal roofs. The carvings over the door frame contain beautiful flower designs as well as flying figures  and there are images of the eight directional Guardian Deities. 

The main sanctum has towering structure with beautiful carvings on it including lion head motif in the four corners of the tower. 

The temple built using red sandstone is an architectural marvel and has exceptional carvings on its walls. There are quite a number of beautiful carvings musicians and dancers.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Indian Pond Heron at Hebbal Lake, Bangalore

Hebbal Lake in north Bangalore is favorite spot for various colorful birds. People have identified nearly 100 spices of birds here. One among them is Indian Pond Heron. 

It is a small heron. They appear stocky with a short neck, short thick bill and buff-brown back  and colored or streaked fore-neck and breast. They are typically 40–50 cm long with 80–100 cm wingspan. 

They are usually solitary foragers but numbers of them may sometimes feed in close proximity during the dry seasons.

The primary food of these birds includes crustaceans, aquatic insects, fishes, tadpoles and sometimes leeches.This is a migratory bird that comes to here from outside India, may be Africa or Europe. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Vatcha Agiary, Mumbai

Dadabhai Naoroji Road (D.N.Road) in the Fort area of South Mumbai is an important area where one can see various heritage structures of Neo–Classical and Gothic style. 

Vatcha Agiary is one such structure on this road. It is a Parsi fire temple built in 1881 by Bai Pirojbai, who was the widow of the late Seth Dadabhoy Maneckji Vachha. Its main entrance has been closed but Parsis who wish to visit this Agiary, have to enter through a tiny door that is situated to the left of the entrance. 

Inside this is there is holy fire which can be touched only by priests and Dadgar. It has distinctive carvings in Assyrian style. The exterior of this Agiary is extravagant with two winged bulls at the gate and a motif of a winged angel atop it. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Images of India - 45

A glimpse of ancient sculptures of India in black and white and they are on display in the museums for the benefit of interested people.

The Hero Stone with inscription at Archaeological Museum in Shimoga

Monday, January 13, 2014

Avani, a Touch of Ramayana

Avani is a small village in Kollar district 32 km from Kolar in Karnataka. It is a popular location for rock climbing. The name Avani is of dravidian  origin, and means "earth". 

There are various interesting sites at this place of historic importance. The history of the place has been associated to the time Hindu epic 'Ramamayana'. There are references to this place in the epic and it is said that Sitadevi gave birth to her twin children Lava-Kusha here. Later the war between Sri Rama and his sons Lava and Kusha happened in this village. At the top of hillock is Sita Mata Temple.

The temples of interest that I have seen here are:

The hill at this place has various places of historic significant including temple of Sitadevi.

How to reach there: It is 95 kms away from Bangalore on NH4 via Kolar. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Eastern Great Egret, Chilka Lake

Chilka Lake which is around 55 kms from Puri is home for many birds. One can get to see many birds in this place during the winter months. But we were here in off season and we could still see Eastern Great Egret.

It is a large heron with all-white plumage and grow approximately 3.3 ft tall. They have yellow bill and black legs and feet.

The diet includes vertebrates such as fish, frogs, small reptiles, small birds and, invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans. 

The Eastern Great Egret hunts by wading or standing still in shallow water and "spearing" prey with its bill.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Gateway of India, Mumbai

The Gateway of India in Mumbai is at the tip of Apollo Bunder, and the gateway overlooks Arabian Sea. The colossal structure was constructed in 1924.

Built in the Indo-saracenic style, and there are traces of Muslim architectural styles incorporated in the structure of the grandiose edifice. The central dome of the monument is about 48 feet in diameter, with a total height of 83 feet. It is built using yellow Kharodi basalt and reinforced concrete. 

Designed with intricate latticework, the 4 turrets are the prominent features in the entire structure. 

The Gateway of India is meant to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay. The writings on the Gateway of India which reads "Erected to commemorate the landing in India of their Imperial Majesties King George V and Queen Mary on the Second of December MCMXI"

The last British troops to leave India, the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, passed through the gate in a ceremony on February 28, 1948.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Images of India - 44

A glimpse of  of India in black and white. Entrance gate to the Ganesh Temple at Kumbashi. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cave No. 17, Ajanta

This beautifully painted monastery, Cave No. 17 in Ajanta is donated by a feudatory prince Upendragupta under Vakataka King Harishena in the late 5th century A.D. 

It has some of the most magnificent paintings of Ajanta. The porch is a stream of jataka narratives and early Buddhist themes. Over the door are eight Buddhas, including Maitreya, the next Buddha to come. Even the sculptures on the door frame are beautiful.

The left end of the porch once had a magnificent kalachakra - the Wheel of Rebirth, showing the different possibilities of reincarnation according to your actions, and the possibilities of elevation.

It consists of a spacious hall surrounded by 17 cells on three sides, a vestibule and a sanctum containing the image of Buddha. The hall supported by twenty octagonal pillars and is pierced with three doors and two windows.  The cave houses some of the well preserved paintings. Even though the ceilings are beautifully painted.

One famous Jataka tale called the Matropaksha Jataka tells the story of a Bodhisattva born as a six tusked white elephant that is attacked by warriors commissioned by the queen of Banaras. The Elephant-Bodhisattva removes his own tusks to present them to the queen.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Silver Oak at Hebbal, Bangalore

Around the Hebbal Lake in Bangalore there are several trees and plants in the park. Some of these plants and trees bear flowers and fruits. One such tree is Silver Oak.

The flowers are golden-orange bottlebrush-like blooms, between 3 to 6 inches long in the spring season. These flowers do not have any  petals. 

It is a fast-growing evergreen tree that grows tall, with dark green delicately dented bipinnatifid leaves. The leaves are generally 6 to 12 inches long with greyish white or rusty undersides.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bhitarkanika National Park

As part of our Orissa trip we had been Bhitarkanika, which is one of the largest Mangrove Eco systems in India. The place is on the river delta of Brahmani and Baitarni rivers. It is home to diverse flora and fauna, migratory birds, turtles, and the menacing estuarine crocodiles.

The wetland is divided into 3 protected Areas, namely “Bhitarkanika National Park”, “Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary” and “Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary”.

If lucky one can spot any of salt water crocodile, king cobra, water monitor lizards, marine turtle, kingfisher, wood pecker, horn-bill, bar headed geese, brahmany duck, pintail, white bellied sea eagle, tern, sea gull, waders and a large variety of resident and migratory birds. It supports an amazing 8 varieties of Kingfishers in its habitat.

The best time to visit the place is November to February. We had been here in the month of April and could see few of the birds and other creatures in the area. Khola and Gupti are the two main entry points to the park. Visitors should take entry permit from the Forest Check Gate at Khola and Gupti.

We hired a boat to ferry us in the river system for observing the scenic beauty and the biodiversity resource including basking crocodile, water monitor and spotted deer.

We went around the park in the boat for around 4 hours and visited crocodile breeding area, museum, red crabs, birds and even basking crocodile. Even though off season it was a good experience. In other posts on this I will show you what else I discovered. But,  a tour of this place is must during the peak season.

How to Reach: Entry pints to the park is 160 kms from Bhubaneshwar, 140 kms from Cuttack and 70 kms from Bhadrak. We reached this place from Kendrapara which is at a distance of 35 kms.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Images of India - 43

A glimpse of  of India in black and white. People admiring the scenic locales at Ooty.