Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sunset View

Friends wish you all

HAPPY & PROSPEROUS

New Year




Your continuous support and interest in my blog enthused me to show more of my Little World. Looking forward to do more of it in the New Year. Thanks to all and happy blogging.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

St. Milagres Church, Mangalore

Mangalore located in Karnataka state is a small city. It is well connected by land, sea and air. There are many temples and churches in and around this place. Some of these churches are more than 100 years old and have their own history to tell.

Milagres Church was originally built by Bishop Thomas de Castro in 1680. This church is also known as Church of Our Lady of Miracles.


The church was brought down due to battles between kings in those days and it was reconstructed in 1811. The facade collapsed again in 1911 and present structure was rebuilt again in the same year.

Wish you all Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bhimbetka Prehistoric Art

Apart from the cave paintings of Bhimbetka which are old as 10000 B.C, that were seen in earlier post there are plenty more paintings that are very colorful and artistic.

Auditorium Cave is a spacious horizontal tunnel about 25m in length, ending in a cathedral-like hall that opens in three directions. At the center of this junction visible from all four entrances is a large rock, 2.5m high and 3.4m wide, called Chief's Rock.


On the left side wall of the East passage into Auditorium cave there are paintings on the walls. They are red in color. The prominent figures are that of cattle, goat, deer, hand prints, and double bar.

One can see another beautiful cave painting in the nearby cave. This is located in a elevated region. There are two sets of paintings in this caves. At the lower bottom they are in white color and the top are in the red color. In the above one can see figures of people riding the horse as if they are going for a war.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hampi Bazar

This is the only post in Hampi Series that does not concentrate on architecture. Rather this focuses mainly on how the city layout was formed in terms of markets. It gives basic idea on the location of markets and how they are organized.

During the Vijayanagara rule in the 15th century, the Bazaars (markets) happened to be the centers of all the commercial activities. It is believed that these bazaars were not only just commercial regions but were also the sprawling quarters of the capital city of the empire. These bazaars are mostly situated opposite the temples. 

In
Hampi there were main four bazaars of varied sizes, all of them in front of the temples. They are, the Virupaksha Bazaar opposite the Virupaksha Temple, the Soolai Bazaar opposite the Achyutapura Temple, the Krishna Bazaar opposite the Krishna Temple and the Vithala Bazaar opposite the Vithala Temple. Today, except the Virupaksha Bazaar, the other three bazaars have been deserted over a period of time and no activity can be seen.


Virupaksha Bazaar with Virupakasha Temple tower at the far end

Virupaksha Bazaar is 1 km in length and the market stretches from the doorstep of the Virupaksha Temple and extends in the western direction till the the Bull Temple. Both sides of the street are lined with a series of old pavilions, some of them are two storied. These structures were once part of a thriving market and residence of the nobles. Today here one can find everything from the coconuts and flowers to offer at Virupaksha Temple to rare coins and antiquities of great value.

Vithala Bazaar


Monday, December 14, 2009

Bhimbetka Cave Paintings

The caves of Bhimbetaka have paintings that date back to various periods during which these caves could have been inhabited. The main colors used in these paintings are red and white. Red color paintings are bright, while the white paintings look faded. The quality of the paintings is so great that the painting appear so fresh as if it has been done few days back. At lot of places, paintings have been done on top of the other, giving a feeling that the artists have used the same space to paint and re-paint. The style of paintings resembles the Worli paintings and at times the Madhubani. Most of the figures are written using geometrical shapes. Animals form the primary subject of paintings, followed by humans and occasional trees and flowers.

The rock art in these caves has been classified into various groups on the basis of the style and subject.

Upper Palaeolithic

The paintings in this period were mostly drawn using green and dark red colors as liner representations. The figures drawn were animals like bisons, boar.

Mesolithic


The paintings in this period are comparatively smaller in size. The linear representation of drawings are more stylish. Apart from animals, there are human figures. The hunting scenes clearly show the weapons like barbed spears, pointed sticks, bows and arrows used during those times.

Hunting scene

The depiction of communal dances, birds, mother and child, pregnant women, men carrying dead animal, drinking etc, are seen in this rock shelter range.

people dancing holding hands at the top and they are going for hunting at the bottom

Chalcolithic

The paintings in this period show that the cave dwellers of this area were in contact with the agricultural communities. They exchanged goods with them.

Early Historic


The paintings in this period are painted mostlty in red and white. The drawings have a schematic and decorative style. They mainly depict riders, religious symbols, tunic-like dresses, and the scripts of different periods.

Medival

The paintings in this period are geometric, linear and more schematic. The artistic style was crude when compared to earlier periods.

The picture below is taken at the first cave that you see as soon as one enters the cave complex. There are paintings of animals drawn in white color on the roof of the cave.

This place can be reached directly from Bhopal or from Bhojpur as I had done.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

From Bhojpur we moved to Bhimbetka to explore the rock shelters which is which is located in Vindhyan mountain range in the central India.
It is a rocky terrain of dense forest and craggy cliffs. In 1957, V S Wakanker of the Vikram University, Ujjain discovered over 1000 rock shelters belonging to the Neolithic age spread over a area of 10 x 4 Kms. In more than 500 of these caves there are paintings that depict the life of the prehistoric cave dwellers. Here there is also evidence of Stone Age habitation from the lower Palaetholic period to the late Mesolithic. It is a natural art gallery and an archaeological treasure.
In 2003, UNESCO made them part of the World Heritage List. Out of the over 1000 caves, the 15 of them are extraordinary ones. It is amazing how these caves are located in convoluted cliffs on the top of a hill.
These caves depict paintings belonging to the Paleolithic (10,000 BC), Mesolithic (5,000 BC) and the Chalcolithic (2,000 BC) periods. The paintings are mainly in red and white. There is also hint of other colors being used like green and yellow. Most of the paintings depict the scenes hunting, dancing, music, horse and elephant riders, animals fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, disguises, masking and household scenes. Animals such as bison’s, tigers, lions, wild boar, elephants, deers, dogs, lizards, crocodiles etc, have been abundantly depicted in some caves.
There are unobtrusive and clear passageways that have been provided, so that visitors can view the paintings at leisure but are kept sufficiently away not to cause any damage. We will explore this place in several sections in subsequent posts as:

Monday, December 7, 2009

My First Time

I was interviewed by Devang Vibhakar for his popular site speakbindas.com.

I have never been interviewed by anyone before this. Please read the interview and let me know what you feel about it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bhojeshwar Temple, Bhojpur

Next day morning we started the tour of early morning by first going to Bhojpur and then Bhimbetka as we had to catch a train to Gwalior in the afternoon. The drive from Bhopal to Bhojpur pleasant.

The lesser known vibrant town of Bhojpur has a history of its own. It was founded by Raja Bhoj of Dhar in 11th century after whom the town is named as Bhojpur. The town is famous for the Lord Shiva Temple named Bhojeshwar Temple. Around this part of India, the temple is more popularly known as Somnath. Had it been completed, it would have had very few matches. As it is, even with the ravages of time Bhojeshwar temple remains one of the best examples of temple architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries. 




The temple was constructed sometime around 11th century. The incomplete temple structure in height is around 66 feet. Even though the dome is incomplete, the beauty of it is enchanting. In layout the temple is a simple square. The ornately carved dome, though incomplete, has a magnificent, towering strength of line, supported by four richly carved pillars. The dome has an astonishing elegance because of the tapering form. Divided in three sections, the lowest is an octagon with facets of 2.12 feet, from which springs a 24-faced section. The richly carved doorway is plain below, throwing into sharp relief the two exquisitely sculpted figurines that stand on either side. On the other three sides of the structure are balconies, each supported by mammoth brackets and four elaborately carved pillars.

The temple houses the largest `shiva lingam` in India, measuring 7.5 ft in height and 17.8 ft in circumference. it is set upon a massive platform 21.5 ft sq, and it is composed of three superimposed limestone blocks. The architectural harmony of the lingam and platform is marvelous.

From Bhojpur, our next destination is Archeological Treasure of Ancient India, Bhimbetka.

Distance:
Bhojpur ---> Bhimbetka 26 kms

Monday, November 30, 2009

Glimpses of Central Province

Madhya Pradesh (MP), the center of India is a land of natural beauty along with rich heritage. The state has two hill ranges Vindhya and Satpura and several small and big rivers running across the state. These natural features have created a landscape of plateaus, river valleys, hills, and forests. (Click on all the images for bigger picture)

It has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the 9th - 10th century temples at Khajuraho, remains of the 3rd - 7th century BC Buddhist settlement at Sanchi; and cave paintings dating to 8000 BC at Bhimbetka. Apart from this There are plenty of rich cultural heritage sites. Gwalior is famous for the forts and palaces. Shivpuri is known for wild life and cenotaphs, Orchha and Datia is known for the palaces, Jabalpur well known for its natural water resource and marbles. The capital, Bhopal is a former princely state, a small city celebrated for its mosques and palaces, old-town ambiance. The hill-citadel of Mandu (near Indore) is renowned for its ruins set in greenery, especially after monsoons. Ujjain is a holy city for the Hindus. Other less known sites like Padavali, Mitavali, Suryavahi also have rich cultural heritage. The scenic sanctuaries of Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks are mostly savanna grassland terrains that have tigers and elephants as prime attractions.
The itinerary that we followed for my trip is as follows. We reached Bhopal overnight and started my trip next day early morning. During our journey we also covered Jhansi which falls in the different state and that is Utter Pradesh.
My family comprising of 4 adults and 2 kids enjoyed our experience owing to the good road network in the state. The travel and sight seeing was done by train and SUV. We had booked the accommodation and vehicle at all the places before the start of journey.

Friends, it was a pleasant experience and let me share the details with you in the subsequent posts.
From Bhopal, we traveled to Bhojpur.

Distance:
Bhopal ---> Bhojpur 28 kms

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hazar Rama Temple, Hampi

This 15th century shrine of Lord Rama located in the Royal Area of Hampi is popularly called "Hazara Rama Temple". Inscriptions inside the Hazara Rama temple provide evidence of the indicate the period of origin of this temple as Devaraya I erected it in the early 15th century. This is the only temple in the area with its external walls decorated with five rows of bas-reliefs. They portray the processions of elephants, horses with attendants, military contingents, and dancing girls. 


The name of the temple is Rama due to the large number of Ramayana panels carved in long arrays, onto the walls of this temple. Incidents in the story like Dasaratha performing a sacrifice to beget sons, the birth of Rama, his exile into the forest, the abduction of Sita and the ultimate fight between Rama and Ravana are all carved in a vivid manner. In these panels, the story of Rama and through it the triumph of good over evil is brought out.


This high wall encloses the entire complex with the main entrances set on the east. The temple consisted of a sanctum, an ardha mantapa and a pillared hall with an open porch with tall and elegant pillars. The pillar hall is notable for its unique pillars in black-stone. They are set on a raised stone platform in the middle of the hall. The other structures in this temple complex are a shrine for Devi and Utsava Mantapa.

To the south is a small doorway, which leads to the Durbar Area. It is believed that this thempe is used privately by the royal family.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Time-off

I was suffering from lower backache for more than 3 months now and was under treatment, cure by exercise. Unfortunately the condition worsened. The doctors have advised surgery and complete bed rest for 4 to 5 weeks depending on the response to the recovery. Hence I will not be able to share my travel experiences with you all for the period.


Meanwhile, you can still go through my old posts, if you have missed anything and share your thoughts. Once back, I shall go thorough all your posts, which I like very much and respond to them.




Thursday, September 17, 2009

King's Balance, Hampi

In Hampi this is a located near Vittala Temple. This 16th century balance also known as "Tula Bara" is 5 meter tall and is a very simple structure. It is believed that on special days like Solar or Lunar eclipse King used to weigh himself in gold, silver, gems and precious stones. Then this used to be distributed among the people of the State.

Balance (click on the image for bigger view)

From far this balance looks like an arch way. Once near the balance on close observation on can see three loops at the top from which balance was actually hung. Also at the base of one of the pillars one can see image of the King carved with his concerts.

Loops in the balance



Monday, September 14, 2009

Mahanvami Dibba, Hampi

In the Royal Enclosure zone of Hampi this is a giant 3 layer structure and is the tallest in this area. From a distance this looks very simple elevated square stage and may not generate any interest to go near it. But as one approaches the structure, more details emerge and one can appreciate the marvel in stone. The platform is known as the Mahanavami-dibba (House of Victory).

This dimension of the base of these structure is 40 meter square and the topmost area is 24 meter square. It is 12 meters in height. The top of the structure can be reached by the the stairs either in the front (east facing) or in the back. There is nothing at the top, but for the view if the surrounding area from the top. The front stairs are highly decorated on either sides with carvings of elephants, horses, camels, lions and a host of other things.


The walls of the tiers are covered with rows of boldly carved horizontal friezes of horses, elephants, warriors, dancers, musicians,royal ceremony, city life, hunting scenes.















processions and hunting scenes

This was constructed by King Krishnadevara in the 16th century. This platform was used by the king to watch the army march-pasts, war games, aquatic sports, shows of the royal animals, musical performances and also the most important Navarathri celebrations.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mumbai Skyline

I had taken these snaps few years back from the sea shore on a Sunny day. The sky scrapers of Mambai can be seen across the sea.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Cubbon Park, Bangalore

The Cubbon Park in the heart of the Bangalore (State: Karnataka) city and it occupies around 250 acres of area.

The vast landscape of the Park was first visualized by Major General Richard Sankey, the then Chief Engineer of the Mysore State. In the year 1870 it was made reality by Sri John Meade, the then acting Commissioner of Mysore. Gradually it was developed and improved by adding new structures and features. In the year 1927, the park was officially renamed as "Sri. Chamarajendra Park" to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Sri. Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s rule in Mysore State.

The park is also popular among the naturalists, who prefer studying the plants in their own environment. The park has variety of statues, heritage buildings, children park, aquarium, tennis court. It is the favorite area for the people who want to jog in the morning and exercise.

The park has a predominant green area with a few concrete buildings, housing government and other organizations' offices. The park has many motorable roads and well laid out walking paths running through the park.

Rich in plant wealth, many indigenous and exotic botanical species are found here. The park has about 68 genera and 96 species with a total of around 6000 plants or trees growing in its locale.

Indigenous species such as Artocarpus, Cassia fistula, Ficus, Polyalthias etc., and exotic species such as Araucaria, Bamboo, Castanospermum australe, Grevillea robusta, Milletia, Peltophorum Schinus molle, Swietenina mahagoni, Tabebuia sp. etc., can be seen. In addition, many ornamental and flowering trees both exotic and indigenous are found in the park.

The landscaping in the park creatively integrates natural rock out crops with thicket of trees, massive bamboos, with grassy expanse and flowerbeds and the monuments within its limits, regulated by the Horticulture Department of the Government of Karnataka.

bandstand
A bandstand, in an octagonal shape made with cast-iron, was built in the early part of the 1900s. Before India’s Independence, the British Royal Air Force used to play western band music at the band stand every Saturday evening.

lake in the park
The park also has a small lake and it is home for various variety of ducks. There is also a separate area in the park for birds.


Flowers of Park: 1

Thursday, September 3, 2009

King Edward Statue, Bangalore

In the year the King Edward VII statue was built by public subscription, and installed at the North-Western point of the Cubbon Park, Bangalore.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vittala Temple, Hampi

Hampi, is the cradle of Vijaynagar architecture as showcased by various monuments in the region. But,the Vittala Temple is the prime attraction among them. No words of explanation can do justice to the architectural extravaganza of this temple. The construction of the temple was initiated in 1513 AD by the Maharaja Krishnadevaraya. The work was later supported by its successors Achuta and Sadasiva till its destruction in 1565 AD.

Sculptures on the tower of gateways

The sprawling temple campus was built inside the high boundary walls with 3 gateway towers on the east, south and north. The eastern entrance is used for entry into the temple complex. Inside this campus there are many halls, pavilions and temples.

Stone chariot

In front of the main temple is the Stone Chariot. This has become a iconic monument in Hampi. Even though it is referred as monolithic, it is in fact built with many giant granite blocks.


Temple Maha Mandap
The Vittala Temple stands on a strong ornate stone basement that has been richly carved with designs of horses, elephants, dancing girls, floral motifs and soldiers. The temple can be entered through a series of steps flanged by elephant balustrades that leads to the Maha Mantapa. This contains four open halls within. While the central western hall has collapsed, the south, north and the east ones are still intact.


musical pillars
The main attraction of Maha-Mantapa is its superbly carved giant monolithic pillars. The outermost of the pillars have slender and short pilasters carved out of the giant pillars. They are known as musical pillars as they emit musical tones when tapped. The tapping on it is not permitted for the sake of preservation. 


Sculpture on the pillar

The eastern hall is known as the musicians hall because of the sculptures of musicians on the pillars. The southern hall pillars are carved with mythical creatures called Yalis. The northern hall is surrounded with a series of pillars with the Narasimha themes. The ceilings of the halls are carved with lotus in the centre. The inner sanctum is devoid of any idol.



Pillared Hall in the temple campus
Even the other halls inside the campus are equally worth noticing. There is a 100-pillared hall at the southwest, the ceremonial marriage hall in the southeast. Even they have been richly carved.