Monday, July 24, 2017

Charminar, Hyderabad

The Charminar in Hyderabad, is a historic monument as well as mosque that is visited by tourista all over the world. The ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah built this magnificent structure in 1591. 

It is part of old city and was constructed at the intersection of the historical trade route that connects the markets of Golkonda with the port city of Machilipatnam.

It is built using Indo-Islamic architecture style, incorporating Persian architectural elements. It is constructed using limestone, mortar and marble. It is a square structure with each side having 66 feet wide grand arches in the four directions. There are 149 winding steps inside each of the minaret to reach the upper floor.

The minarets at each corner are exquisitely shaped with three storeyes rise  to a height 0f 56 meters. Each minaret is crowned by a bulbous dome with dainty petal-like designs at the base. 

The mosque is located at the western end of the open roof; remaining part of the roof served as a court during the Qutb Shahi times. The interiors of the dome is beautifully carved. 

The clock on the four cardinal directions was added in 1889. At the base of Charminar there was originally a water cistern at the center with a small fountain. The every inch of the structure is beautifully carved.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Red-necked Ibis at Talkad

We came across many birds during our visit to Talkad. We spotted many birds around the temple in this small village. One of them is Red-necked Ibis.

It is a medium sized bird, measuring 60-70 cm in length. It has bright reddish warts on the crown and the nape. It is a black bird with a patch of white near the shoulder. 

These birds inhabit grasslands, meadows, marshes, riverbeds and irrigated farmland. They build nest in trees.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bangalore Palace

Bangalore Palace, is a magnificent palace located in Bangalore that still retains its old world charm. Construction of a palace building was started in 1874 and completed by 1878 on a land of area 454 acres.

The palace with a floor area of 45000 sqft was built in Tudor style architecture with fortified towers, battlements and turrets. In the later years, Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar added some portions outside of Durbar Hall during his reign. 

All together there are 35 rooms in palace and most of them are bed rooms. The first floor has an elaborate hall known as the Durbar Hall that can be reached by climbing a decorated staircase. The walls along the staircase are adorned with paintings.

Durbar Hall is a sprawling hall where the king used to address the assembly. One side of the hall contains stained glass windows in Gothic style. The yellow color is used profusely and the walls and the sofa set in the hall are in yellow. 

The furniture are neo-classical, Victorian and Edwardian in style. They were bought from John Roberts and Lazarus. 

The interior walls of the palace are adorned by 19th century old paintings. Some of those are also Greek and Dutch paintings.

The interiors were decorated with elegant wood carvings, floral motifs and relief paintings on the ceiling. The palace also has beautiful  work of arts and crafts on display.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Eurasian curlew at Bhitarkanika

In Bhitarkanika National Park we  hired a boat and cruised in the lake. Event it is off season we wanted to try our luck to spot some birds. One of them is Eurasian curlew.

It is one of the largest wader that is 50–60 cm in length. This is a greyish brown bird with a white back and greyish-blue legs. It is a very long curved bill. 

It feeds by probing soft mud for small invertebrates. It is one of the most widespread of the curlews, and can be seen across Europe and Asia. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer has many interesting sites of architectural importance. One of them is Bada Bagh that is on the outskirts of the city just 6 kms away.

It contains a set of royal cenotaphs built in memory of Kings and Queens of Jaisalmer. The first one to be built is for Maharaja Jai Singh II of Bhatti Dynasty in 18th century.

There are two distinct rows of cenotaphs, that look distinctly similar. They have been carved beautifully and some of them have interesting carvings on them.

Later on, many more cenotaphs were constructed here for other Bhattis. The last one built was for Maharaja Jawahar Singh sometime in 20th century.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rani Sipri's Mosque, Ahmedabad

Rani Sipri's Mosque located in the old area of Ahmadabad is one of the ancient monuments that is known for its elegance. the construction of this medieval mosque was commissioned in 1514 by Queen Sipri the wife of Mahmud Begada herself.

It is also known as Masjid-e-Nagina (Jewel of a mosque) because of its elegant proportions and slender minarets.

This mosque even though small in size it impresses all with the intricate cravings on its walls. The artistic work in the mosque are a reflection of the beautiful craftsmanship of the bygone era. 

The slender and ornate minarets of this magnificent mosque are the major attraction.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Birds in Bhitarkanika

Bhitarkanika National Park is home for many common as well as rare birds. We spotted few common birds while going in a boat ride in the river.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Snow Peaks of Lachen

Lachen is a scenic mountain village surrounded by imposing snow capped peaks, glaciers and rock cliffs.

Th place in all directions is surrounded by snow capped peaks.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sayaji Baug Zoo - Tortoise

Sayaji Baug Zoo at Vododara is one of the biggest zoo in the country. There are various wild animals and birds at the zoo. One among them is Tortoises.

They are land-dwelling reptiles that are shielded from predators by a shell. They vary in size from a few centimetres to two meters. They are the longest living land animal in the world.

They move very slowly on dry land. Most of them feed on grasses, weeds, flowers, and some fruits. There are also some species that feed on worms or insects.

The zoo has variety of tortoise species.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Red-necked Ibis at Diu

During our visit to Diu, we came across many colorful birds. We could spot some birds near the beaches. One such beautiful bird is Red-necked Ibis.

It is a medium sized bird, measuring 60-70 cm in length. It has bright reddish warts on the crown and the nape. It is a black bird with a patch of white near the shoulder. The bills and legs are grey but turn reddish during the breeding season.

These birds inhabit grasslands, meadows, marshes, riverbeds and irrigated farmland. They build nest in trees. They mostly feed on frogs, fish, worms, insects, small reptiles. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Veera Brahmam Cave, Yaganti

Yaganti has many places of historic importance apart from the Uma Maheswara Swamy Temple. There are several caves in the hills surrounding and one of them is Veera Brahmam Cave.

To reach the cave, one has to climb a series of steep steps that are not too steep. 

Once one reach the top to enter inside one has to bend half over. Inside the cave there is small Shiva Linga and Nandi in front of it.

This is the cave where saint Sri Potuluri Veera Brahmendra swamy wrote some of his Kala Gnaanam (prophecy).

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Common Kingfisher at Usgalimal

When we were in Usgalimal to visit the Rock Engravings we came across Common Kingfisher.

It is a small bird, measuring 25-35 cm in length with a wingspan of 25 cm. These birds have bright plumage and have compact body, short tails, large heads and long bills. The upper-parts of this beautiful bird are greenish blue and the back and the rump are pale sky-blue. 

On the throat and the nape it has a whitish patch. It has rufous patches at the base of the bill and ear region. It has greenish blue neck strip while the breast, abdomen and rest of the underparts are rufous. 

Their main diet is mostly fish. It also feeds on aquatic insects, flies, dragonfly nymphs, butterflies. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sursagar Lake, Vadodara

Sursagar Lake at Vadodara is right in the middle of the city. The lake has held the water in one place with the help of stone banks and masonry and as a result it is full of water throughout the year.

In case the lake overflows to control the water several underground gates have been constructed to empty the lake. Water from these gates gushes to Vishwamitri river, which flows through the City. 

The Vadodara Mahanagar Seva Sadan has intalled a 120 ft tall statue of Lord Shiva in standing posture in Year 2002, in the middle of this lake. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the oldest churches located in Old Goa. This is India’s first minor basilica and its construction began in 1954.

The architecture of the church is one of the best examples of baroque architecture. The entrance of the church is very ornamental.

The church with simple interiors has marble flooring inlaid with precious stones. The main altar holds a large statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus.

The church holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. He died on Sancian Island while en route to continental China in the year 1552. His body is placed in silver casket on top of a mausoleum. 

It was designed by the 17th-century Florentine sculptor Giovanni Battista Foggini. The church also holds paintings of scenes taken from the life of St. Francis Xavier. 

This church is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Indian Peahen at Gir

In Gir Sanctuary went for Safari in an open jeep and we could see some birds flying around. We spotted the Indian Peahen in open areas of the forest.

It has a mixture of dull grey, brown, and green in the plumage.  It has brownish upperparts while underparts, lower breast and belly, are whitish. 

The flight feathers are darker brown. The neck is glossy green whereas the breast is dark brown with green gloss.  On the head, it has glossy green forehead and crown, with the same form of crest but greenish at tip. The bare skin of the face is white.