Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amrutesvara Temple, Amruthapura

Amruthapura is a small village located 35 km from Shimoga on NH 206 towards Bangalore. This place is known for the Amruteshvara temple that was built sometime in 1196 by commander Amrutheshwara in the army of Hoysala Dynasty.

This midsized temple showcases excellent craftsmanship of Hoysala architecture. The temple has large open mantapa and a closed mantapa connects it to main shrine on top which is a beautifully carved single tower. The open mandapa has 29 bays and the closed mantapa has 9 bays.
The shrine tower is richly decorated with sculptures, miniature towers.The wall below the tower does not contain panel of Hindu deities which has been later Hoysala style of temples. Instead the wall has various design patterns. One can also see the original Hoysala emblem of Sala fighting the tiger. The outer wall of the temple has interesting equally spaced circular carvings.

There are 140 panels of sculptures depicting the Hindu epics on the outer parapet wall of the open mantapa. If the South side wall panels portray story of epic Ramayana, the North side wall panels portray story of epic Mahabarath and life of Lord Krishna.

The ceiling of the mantapa is well supported by rows of shining lathe turned pillars.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tiruchirappalli, the Holy Rock Town

In our tour of State of Tamil Nadu from Thanjavur we traveled to Tiruchirappalli more popularly known as Trichy. As for 16th century a rock inscription Tiruchirappalli is mentioned as Tiru-ssila-palli meaning "Holy Rock Town" in Tamil language.

The city was under the control of several dynasties Cholas, Pandyas, Pallavas, Sultanate, Vijayanagar and Nayak in the olden days. The places of interest that I have seen here are:
Another important town close to this place is the island temple town of Srirangam.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lalbagh Flower Show - Yellow Rose

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on January 2011 there were exclusive collection of Roses on display. The colors were amazing. Below is one of the roses on display:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Royal Cenotaphs of Orchha

In Orchha there are around fourteen cenotaphs (chhatris) of 16th century along the Kanchana Ghat of the Betwa river.

They are the tombs erected for rulers of Bundelkhand in their memory. We have already seen them in earlier posts( 1, 2). Here are some more images of these magnificent structures.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Srirangam, City of Festivals

Srirangam is an island located just 7 kms away from Tiruchirappalli. It is surrounded by river waters in all the sides. If one side has River Kaveri, then on the other sides are its tributary the River Kollidam. It is a 600-acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the massive Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple.

The civilization here is thousands years old and the place was under the reign of the Pallavas and they gave lot of importance to the culture. Then the place further flourished under the reign of Cholas and Pandyas.

Srirangam is famous for the largest temple complex, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. The boundary of the city and that of temple are same. As there are celebration in the temple through out the year here it is also known as 'City of Festivals'.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mysore Zoo - Rhinoceros

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 rhinoceros.

This is a nice place for the kids to get know about the various animals in the wild.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Panch Mahal, Fathepur Sikri

Panch Mahal is an important monument in the royal complex Fathepur Sikri built between 1570 and 1585.

It is a five-storey palace and it is located very close to the ladies quarters. For
this reason, it is believed that this served as a pleasure palace of Emperor Akbar.He primarily used it for relaxation and entertainment purpose.

This five storey structure, where each storey being smaller than the one upon which it stands. The structure has all together 176 columns. Of this there are 84 are on the ground floor, 56 on the first floor, 20 on the third floor, 12 on the fourth floor and last floor has 4 slender columns.
This pillars are richly carved an there are interesting variety of design and ornamentation on them.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Royal Palace, Thanjavur

The Royal Palace of Thanjavur was built durinr the reign of Nayak's sometime during mid 17th century. After the fall of Nayak's the place was ruled by Marathas. They further developed this palace and used it as their residence.

Marathas had control over this region even after British took over most of their kingdom.
The palace complex has several sections like Sadar Mahal Palace, the queen's courtyard and the Durbar Hall.

To understand how the place would have been in the olden days one has to see the Durball Hall. It is is beautifully painted and one can see several designs and patterns here.

In the complex there is also a huge 190 ft high tower with eight storeys and it is known as Goodagopuram. This was used as a watch tower and also the storage for armory during those days.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lalbagh Flower Show - Orchids - 13

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on January 2011 there were exclusive collection of Orchids on display. The colors were amazing. Below is one of the orchids on display:

There were stalls selling the Orchids plants outside the flower show. The price ranged from Rupees 600 to 1200 depending on the variety.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Madurai

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple at Madurai is the most important place in the city and forms the lifeline of the city. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati who is known here as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva, better known as Sundareswarar.

This beautiful temple complex spread over 45 acres is the largest and is built between the years 1623 to 1655 CE. There are totally 14 gateway towers to the complex and 4 of them are in each direction. The average height of towers is 50 meters, and the the tallest in the Southern side of the complex is 51.9 meters in height. The tower of the main sanctum is covered with gold.

The temple has large number of beautiful sculptures and each one of them are better than the other.

There are several halls in the temple with 100 and 1000 pillars which are carved beautifully. The sacred temple tank measuring 165 ft by 120 ft has a beautiful golden lotus in it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Qutb Complex, Delhi

The Qutb complex in Delhi has several important monuments of great interest to one and all. The entire complex was not constructed in one time. The buildings in the complex were built over several years starting from 1192 A.D.

Originally in this place there were several beautiful Jain and Hindu Temples all together 27. They were all destroyed by Islamic fanatic ruler Qutb-ud-din Aibak and reused the materials for the construction of mosque and minar. This can be seen from the Persian inscription still on the inner Eastern gateway.

All the monuments other than temple ruins were built after 1192 A.D. Some of the important monuments here are:
  • Qutb Minar
  • Quwwat ul-Islam Mosque
  • Alai Minar
  • Iron Pillar
  • Tombs of Iltutmish, Alauddin Khilji
  • Jain Temple Ruins

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mysore Zoo - Peacock

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 beautiful peacock.

This is the National bird of India.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tomb of Salim Chishti, Fathepur Sikri

The courtyard of Fathepur Sikri has several magnificent monuments. Built between 1580 and 1581, the tomb of Salim Chishti is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India. It is the burial place of the famous Sufi saint, Salim Chisti. It was built by Emperor Akbar as a mark of his respect for the Sufi saint. The Saint had predicted the birth of his son Jahangir.

This was initially built in red sand stone and then later converted into white marble structure. The tomb is on the top of a platform and a flight of five steps lead one to its entrance. The tomb is at the center of the main hall i.e., covered by a single semi-circular dome. The door to the main chamber is beautifully carved and has inscriptions from the Koran.

The carved and painted tomb chamber has a white marble floor i.e., inlaid with multicolored stones. All around the building there are delicate marble screens on all sides. They are of different patterns.