Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Durgadhalli Landscape

Durgadhalli is a small village 75 kms from  Bangalore. This place is very close to another famous tourist destination Devrayan Durga.

It is surrounded by forest area and rocky terrain.

This place recently renovated temple of Sri Vidya Shnakara Swamy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Rajabai Tower, Mumbai

The Rajabai Tower is a Clock Tower located within the Fort campus of the University of Mumbai. Recently I visited this and other near by places when in Mumbai.

The construction of tower started in 1829 was completed in 1878. The entire cost of construction of tower was funded by Premchand Roychand a wealthy merchant. The tower was named named after his blind mother Rajabai.

Modeled on Big Ben of UK, the tower was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English architect. This 85m tall tower is built using locally available buff coloured Kurla stone. Its architecture is a fusion of Venetian and Gothic styles.

The ground floor has two side room one on  either side along with a spiral staircase. At the base it has a square form. The form changes from a square to an octagon towards the top. The tower has a spiral staircase and access to the top is closed. 

It houses the library of the University, which has some of the brilliant stained glass windows in Asia. This spectacular structure has been carved beautifully with various sculptures at various stages of tower. The carvings on the external surface of the tower is exquisite.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mysore Zoo - Red Billed Toucan

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 red billed toucan.

A big black bird with a white throat and a big red bill with a yellow border.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Saraswati Well, Devgiri Fort

The formidable 14th century Devgiri Fort is at Daulatabad, near Aurangabad has triple line of fort walls surrounded by moats preventing easy access to the summit. The space between the outer and the inner defenses contains many ruined palaces, temples, dargahs and mosques. 

In this region there is a well known as Sarasvati Well which is about 100 feet square and 40 feet deep. Today this well is in ruined state. It is considered sacred and named after Goddess Sarasvati. The sides are paved with square blocks of stone, and have narrow flights of steps leading to the bottom. 

The water in the well is filled by natural springs. There is used to be pipes that supplied water to it from the nearby reservoir.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Poetry in Stone - 13

This is 13th in the series on the rich cultural heritage of ancient temples in India.  In Sanchi not only the Stupas are interesting  but the beautifully carved gateways (tornas) are one of the most elegant structures. There are 4 such carved gateways in 4 cardinal directions, depicting life scenes of Buddha and Jataka stories around the Great Stupa.

The South Gate mark is the main entrance to the Stupa. The inscription on the Southern Gate states that they have been carved by ivory carvers of nearby Vidisha. These gateways were constructed during 1st century B.C with Southern Gate being the oldest.

The architraves are carried on lion caryatids. Riders mounted on deer and horses occupy the cross squares. Pictured on the outer face of the architraves from top to bottom are: a lustration of Lakshmi, a royal visit of Ashoka to the stupa, and a scene with dwarves among foliage.

On the left post there are various interesting carvings. One of them is King Ashoka with his queens. 

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lalbagh Flower Show - Yellow Rose

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2011 there were lot of colorful roses. The colors were bright and amazing.

Bright yellow-orange rose is one of the color on display.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shubh Deepavali

Deepavali festival, popularly known as "Festival of Lights" is celebrated all over India with various rituals. I wish you all Happy and Safe Deepavali.

The crackers light the sky with various designs and patterns. These are some of the images on the night of Deepavali sky over Bangalore.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rishikesh, The Gateway to the Himalayas

From Delhi, with my friends and family, I had been to Haridwar and Rishikesh to see a glimpse of both this cities. I did not spend much time here, however I did capture some of the little precious moments. Both these places are 25 kms apart.

Rishikesh is ideal place for various adventure sports like treking, rock climbing, kayaking and rafting. This place is famous for white water rafting throgh the sacred river Ganges flows through here. Several temples, ancient as well as new, exist along the banks of the river.

As it is located in the foothills of the Himalaya mountain range, it is known as "The Gateway to the Himalayas". It is also known by the name "The World capital of Yoga" as there are numerous yoga centres that attract tourists from all over the World. 

The prominent tourist attractions here are:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mysore Zoo - Crocodile

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 crocodile.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nandi, Lepakshi

One of the biggest attraction at Lepakshi, 130 kms from  Bangalore  is Nandi sculpture. This and Veerabadra Temple built around 1538 A.D are one of the finest specimens of Vihjaynagar architecture.

The 27ft in length and 15ft in height, this monolithic structure, is biggest Nandi in India after the Nandi at Chamundi Hills at Mysore. The fine carving of the big sculpture is inexplicable and it is a feast for the eyes. Besides the record size, the perfectly proportioned body, finely-carved chain with a bell around its neck, ear rings and other ornaments enhances its grandeur.

This big granite Nandi in the open area 200 mts of temple is built in such a way that it faces the Shivlinga inside the temple.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Devgiri Fort

The formidable 14th century hill fort is at Daulatabad, 15 kms from Aurangabad. The fort is 190 meters conical hill that rises from a plain. This fort is visible from a very far distance and dominates the landscape. This fortress was constructed by Raja Bhillamraj, of Yadav Dynasty, who was a great general of his time. 

As the time passed the fortress was under the control of several dynasties such as Thuglaqs, Delhi Sultans, Bahmanis, Marathas. Each of them developed and strengthened the fort in their own way. The outer wall is 4.43 km in circumference. The entrance through the fort is a huge gate guarded by strong outer door. The door studded and spiked against elephant attack, is still in position. 

The fortification comprises of triple line of fort walls surounded by moats preventing easy access to the summit. To reach the top of the fort one has to pass through successive lines of gateways and courtyards.

The third line of defense is called Kalakot (fort of the Death), due to provision of deep rock cut moat, strong thick fortifications having bastions zigzag gateways, wide wall-walk with battlements and the strategic position gun-turrets. 

This fortress enclosed an area occupied by the ruins of the palaces once used by the kings and queens. The outer part has also numerous ruined buildings – palaces, temples and mosques. 

The important structures that still present are:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bannerghatta Zoo - Dancing White Peacock

Bannerghatta Zoo is part of  Bannerghatta National Park near Bangalore. The zoo has wide variety of animals and birds. One among them is white peacock.

White peafowl have blue eyes. The white color appears in other domestically bred peafowl but in different quantities.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Grishneshwar Temple, Velur

Grishneshwar Temple is at Verul at a distance of 11 kms from Daulatabad. This place is close to another historic place Ellora Caves. This temple dedicated to Lord Shivaand it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. 

This ancient temple was re-constructed several times, once in the 16th century by Maloji Bhosale of Verul, and later by 18th century by Ahilyabai Holkar.

The tower of the temple is beautifully carved with lovely sculptures.  As it was a special day when we visited the temple there was huge rush. Hence I could not go close to the temple.