Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pushkarini, Hulikere

Hulikere is just 5 kms from the Halebid. This place is not as popular as other ancient archaeological sites of Belur and Halebid. This place one can see beautiful Pushkarini (sacred pool). 

This pool is constructed below the ground level. There are stone stairs from top to the bottom on all the four sides. At the mid height level there are 12 sanctums with pinnacles. Apart from this there are also 15 sanctums without pinnacles at the same level. 

The 12 sanctums most probably represented the twelve Zodiac constellations. The total number of sanctums may be standing for the 27 constellations. As this pool is filled with 75% water during the rainy season, its full architectural beauty is visible only during the summer season.

The base of the sanctum has two layer of beautiful carvings of elephants, horses, humans in war scenes. There is also a layer of beautiful motifs.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Birds of Hebbal Lake - 10, Bangalore

Hebbal Lake in north Bangalore is favorite spot for joggers, photography enthusiasts and birds. Here are some shots of the birds around the lake.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lamb's Rock, Coonoor

Lamb's Rock in  Coonoor is a view point named after Collector Captain Lamb just 8 kms from the city. It has a stunning view of the Coimbatore plains, tea estates and coffee estates on the slopes of the Nilgiri Hills. 

On the way to the spot there are few shops of local spices, tea by the road side. We bought few items from here and quality was good.

The mountain cliff is at 5000ft above the sea level. Green hills all around the cliff, mist and cool breeze make the visit worthwhile. 

One of the views here is 'Sleeping Lady' as seen above. The top of the mountain gives an impression of a lady in deep sleep overlooking the skies.

It is a mountain cliff with steep depth down below. The view point with concrete shade is standing on the cliff accessible by man-made steps. The walk up to this point passes through a thick forest of various trees some bearing flowers. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Images of India - 76

A glimpse of heritage monument of India in black and white. Check other posts that will give you more details about this monument.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Surya Shrine, Halebid

The 12th century Hoysaleswara Temple complex at Halebid has the main shrine Hoysaleswara Temple and two Bull Mantapas. Among the two Bull Mantapas the one on the South has a shrine behind it dedicated to Sun God.

This shrine is very small and has beautifully ornamented walls. The shrine contains a beautiful image of Surya, the Sun-god. On each side of deity is a consort shooting an arrow.

The walls of the temple has beautifully carved sculptures of various deities. In these sculptures every minute detail is carved with utmost care.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Birds in Neighbourhood - 18

I am the few of the fortunate who occasionally get to see few birds of different variety around my house in Bangalore. I have captured few of them in my camera and here they are. One such beautiful bird is Asian KoelHere are few snaps of the family. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sri Pathaleshwara Swamy Temple, Talkad

Pathaleshwara Swamy Temple at Talkad is one of the oldest temple built in 11th century by the kings of Ganga Dynasty. Recent excavations have unearthed this temple and some other prominent temples. 

This is one of the 5 Shiva temples in the area. The temple is amidst the sand dunes and down in side the protective walls built to save the temples from sand movements. To reach this temple one has to climb down series of steps. 

This is a small and simple temple with minimal carvings on the exterior walls of the temple like any other temples of that period.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Images of India - 75

A glimpse of  India in black and white. I had taken this snap of lovely flower at Lalabagh Flower Show in Bangalore. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chitraduga Fort

Chitradurga Fort straddles a cluster of seven rocky hills on the north eastern side of Chitraduga. The seven circlur walls of the fort enclose these hills,  three of which are on the ground and four on the hill and hence known as "Yelu Suthina Kote" (fort of seven rounds).

The hills on which major part of the fort and the city rest, belong to the oldest rock of granitic formation in the country. The area covered by the fort is 1,500 acres.

The Fort was built in stages between the 17th and 18th centuries by Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas and Hoysalas as well as the Nayakas of Chitradurga. The fort once had 19 majestic doors, 38 smaller doors, 35 special entry points and four secret entrances. The fort is entered through four gateways of the outermost wall. 

The foothills of the fort constitute the main residential area of the town. The upper parts of the forts on the hill has extensive fortifications, ramparts, bastions, batteries, watchtowers and entrances located at strategic points and house fourteen temples. Some of the fort’s important landmarks are:
  • Thuppada Kola Betta 
  • Hidimbagiri
  • Zadaa Battery (Flag battery)
  • Kahale Battery (Trumpet battery)
  • Lal Battery (Red battery) 
  • Nellikai Battery (Gooseberry battery)
  • Banashankari Temple
  • Enne Kolas
  • Bombe Chavadi Mantap
  • Ekanatheshware Temple
  • Hidimbeshware Temple
  • Brihanmatha
  • Grinding Stones
  • Sampige Sidheshwara Cave Temple 
  • Gopalakrishna Temple 
  • Vanake Obavva Kindi

Huge towering boulders are seen in the fort precincts. The main entrance to the fort, Kamanbhavi, has carvings of the seven – hooded cobra the legendary twin headed bird, Gandaberunda, the royal swan, Rajhamsa and lotus flowers.

How to Reach: Chitradurga is 200 kms from Bangalore. Drive on NH4 and then turn left onto SH48. Later drive on Kote Road to reach the fort.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mysore Zoo - Brahminy Duck

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 Brahminy Duck.

This bird looks more like a goose than a duck. It has orange-brown body plumage and a paler head. The wings are white with black flight feathers. Its bill and feet are black.

It can any of this has its food: grain, vegetable shoots, tubers, aquatic insects, molluscs, reptiles. It is a common winter visitor in India. This bird is found in large wetlands, rivers with mud flats and shingle banks. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gujarat Travel Itinerary

After travelling across some of the states of India, this time we planned to tour state of Gujarat on April 2014. We wanted to cover whatever little possible in 10 days and we chalked out a plan after a lot of research.  Hotel bookings and a vehicle for entire trip was booked 2 months in advance. We started from Bangalore on Day 1 and reached Vadodara by 09:30 A.M.

After touring the city on the first day we visited palace, museum, and garden among other sites. On the second day with Vadodara as base location we did full day tour of world heritage city Champaner and Pavagadh. On third day we moved to Ahmedabad and on that day we covered various heritage monuments like mosques, step-well and a fort.  

On fourth day we started from Ahmedabad with end destination as temple at Ambaji. On the way we covered various heritage monuments like step-well at Adalaj and temple at Shamalaji. On day five we reached Rajkot while en-route covering step-well at Patan and Sun Temple at Modhera. Sixth day we left Rajkot for Somnath. It was exciting day as we covered palaces at Gondal and fort at Junagadh

Next day after visiting the temple at Somnath we moved to Diu for full day tour. On eight day we reached wild life sanctuary Gir. The afternoon was most exciting 4 hour lion safari and we could also spot lions in the jungle.

Start From
Stay At
Day 1
Day 2

Day 3
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10


Next day evening we reached Bhavnagar on the way we visited Sihor. On the final day we visited Indus Valley civilization at Lothal and reached Ahmedabad. In the evening we boarded the train back to Bangalore. It was exiting trip with family which had piece of heritage monuments, beaches, temples, mosques, garden, shopping and jungle safari. 

We will cover each of these above places in detail in subsequent posts.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Images of India - 74

A glimpse of  India in black and white. I had taken this snap while traveling back from Ajanta to Aurangabad.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Maharwada Cave, Ellora

Cave 5 at Ellora known as Maharwada Cave as it was used by local Mahar tribes people as shelter during monsoon. This cave is dated to 7th century AD. is a largest Vihara of the Buddhist group here.  The cave was used probably as an assembly hall or for delivering lectures. 

It has a grand assembly hall stretching 36m long supported by 24 massive pillars arranged in two rows from front to back dividing the hall into central nave and two side aisles. 

The central nave is further divided into three passages by providing two rows of raised rock-cut benches, which run along the nave. 

It has seventeen cells.The main shrine door is guarded by the usual Padmapani and Vajrapani. On the back wall of the shrine is carved Buddha figure seated in Pralambapadasana in Dharmachakrapravartana mudra. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Karanji Lake, Mysore

Karanji Lake is a beautiful lake located in Mysore. The total area of Karanji lake is 90 hectares. While waterspread area is about 55 hectares, the foreshore area measures about 35 hectares. 

It is one of the favorite haunts of migratory birds like herons and egrets. Some of the common migratory birds found here are Grey Pelican, Painted Stork, Ibis, Cormorant, Egret, etc. which nest on trees in the islands present in the lake.

It is under the control of Mysore Zoo Authority and the lake  has been well maintained. The lake is surrounded by a nature park consisting of a butterfly park and a walk-through aviary.

The entire area surrounding the lake has been transformed into beautiful landscaped gardens. The area is planted with attractive flowering and fruit bearing shrubs and trees.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Breeks Memorial Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School, Ooty

Breeks Memorial Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School at Ooty is a Christian Co-educational School established in 1874. It was named after J. W. Breeks, the first Commissioner of the Nilgiris. 

On those days it was decided that a memorial in the form of a school should be built in his name. The school was started in a heritage building, which is now a part of the Nilgiris District Court complex. The special architectural features are the cloister vault roof, the arched masonry decorations.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Images of India - 73

A glimpse of  India in black and white. I had taken this snap in one of the office parking area at Chennai.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lakshmi Devi Temple, Doddagaddavalli

On our Hoysala trail we visited an offbeat small village Doddagaddavalli. This village is known for Lakshmi Devi Temple a 12th century temple. This magnificent temple is lesser known when compared to the more prominent temples at Belur and Halebidu

This temple was commissioned on the side of a large pond by Kallahana Rahuta, a high officer in the Hoysala court and his wife Sahaja Devi. It is built using soapstone. Like other Hoysala temple, this temple does not stand on a platform. This is one of the earliest Hoysala style temples. The main shrines are located within a high walled compound. At the four corners of the walls are four smaller shrines.

The main temple is located at the center of the compound. In fact this temple has four shrines facing each other and sharing the common hall within the temple. The shrines contain deities, Lakshmi, Siva, Vishnu and Kali. The two entrances to the temple are located in this oblong hall.

The ceiling of the central hall are beautifully carved. At the eight cardinal quarters of the ceilings are carved with the guardian deities of the respective directions. 

The east facing entrance has two beautifully carved Dwarapalakas on either side. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Flight of Egret at Bhitarkanika

Bhitarkanika National Park is home for many common as well as rare birds. Here we spotted egret flying across the river.

Finally it landed on the shore.