Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gundicha Temple, Puri

Gundicha Temple at Puri is just 3 kms away from the  Jaganath Temple.  We visited this temple in the evening on our way back from Chilka lake to Puri

The temple is built using light-grey sandstone and follows Kalinga temple architecture style. The temple is set within a high walled compound and photography is not allowed inside temple complex. All photos that feature here are of the entrance gate to temple.

This temple is empty through out the year and only for 7 days out of 9-day Rath Yatra Lord Jagannath is relocated to this temple from Jaganath Temple.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Images of India - 34

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

Canon inside the Meharangarh Fort at Jodhpur 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Poetry in Stone - 17

This is seventeenth in the series on the rich cultural heritage of ancient temples in India. There are various intricate sculptures in each of these temples where each one of them is better than the other.

Chennakesava Temple at Belur is renowned for its sculptural marvel. Here are some of the sculptures that are present on the exterior of the temple on the south-west wall.

Harihara (Lord Vishnu) standing with a bull on the right and Garuda on the left.

Lord Shiva overcoming the demon Jalandhara whom he lifts up with the point of his trident.

Saint Parasurama with battle axe. We will explore more of this sculptural heritage soon.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Birds in Neighbourhood - 12

I get to see variety of birds around my parents house in Udupi. I have captured few of them in my camera and here they are. 

One such beautiful bird belongs to woodpecker family and is known as  Black-rumped Flameback (Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker or Lesser Goldenback).

They have black throat and black rump with distinctive golden yellow wing coverts. The underparts are white with dark chevron markings.The head is whitish with a black nape and throat, and there is a grayish eye patch. The adult male has a red crown and crest. 

It is one of the few woodpeckers that are seen in urban areas. It is fun to see them moving on the tree branches and trying to make a hole in the tree.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Loknath Temple, Puri

Loknath Temple at Puri is on the western side of Jaganath Temple and just 1 km separating them. We visited this temple in the evening on our way back from Chilka lake to Puri. It is built between 10th and 11th century A.D. It is simple and does not have any sculptural work on it.

The sanctum is underneath the earth and it can be reached by climbing down the steps. Here Shiva lingam is immersed under stream of flowing water. As per the belief Shiva Lingam here is installed by Lord Ram. 

Just outside the temple is a big water pond used by the temple.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Images of India - 33

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

View of Amber Fort and Palace in Jaipur 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oriental Building, Mumbai

Oriental Building in Mumbai is one of the first buildings to come up in the Fort area.

Built in 1885, it initially housed the Cathedral School. In 1893, the building was sold to the Oriental Life Assurance Company.

It is a beautiful blend of Gothic and Indian architecture. There are varioyus sculptures on the building that can hold peoples attention.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Birds at Teeta Reservoir - 2

At a distance of 73 kms from Bangalore in the Teeta village there is a Teeta reservoir. 

At this picturesque location one can see egrets and cranes. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore

There are several palaces at Mysore and most famous among them is Amba Vilas Palace. It is popularly known as Mysore Palace. When in city people never fail to visit this prominent tourist attraction.

This palace here is within the old fort area and it is the official residence of Wodeyars, who ruled the place for over seven centuries. This palace was built for the first time in the 14th century. In the year 1638 the original wooden palace got damaged by a lightning strike. It was repaired and extended later. 

The palace is surrounded by a large garden. The architectural style of the palace follows Indo-Saracenic, and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. 

It is a three-storied stone building of fine gray granite with deep pink marble domes that was designed by Henry Irwin. The facade has seven expansive arches and two smaller ones flanking the central arch, which are supported by tall pillars. 

Above the central arch is an impressive sculpture of the goddess of wealth, prosperity Gajalakshmi, with her elephants on either side.

The interior of Mysore Palace is richly carved, intricate, colorful and architecturally thrilling. The palace has several elegant and impressive rooms.

One enters the palace through Doll’s Pavilion where a traditional dolls from the 19th and early 20th centuries are on display. Private Durbar was used by the king for private audience and is one of the most spectacular rooms. 

Kalyana Mantapa a Octagonal shaped hall where all royal weddings, birthdays and ceremonial functions were celebrated. In this room there are 26 paintings that depict Dasara procession. In Public Durbar Hall the King would host major ceremonial gatherings in this hall. It has cool marble floor, through colonnades of cusped arches supported by intricate and elaborately painted columns. 

Although tourists are allowed to visit the palace, they are not allowed to take photographs inside the palace. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Images of India - 32

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

One of the minarets of Bibi ka Maqbara mausoleum at Aurangabad 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Namdroling Golden Temple, Bylakuppe

Located inside Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery at Bylakuppe is the famous Namdroling Golden Temple. The path to the temple passes through a sprawling garden. 

The temple looks grand with a giant rainbow arch over it. The interior of this temple is amazing and brightly colored with paintings all over the place. The walls are intricately decorated with patterns and murals of Tibetan Buddhist themes. 

The altar of the Golden Temple contains the imposing  three golden images. They are Guru Padmasambhava (on the left), Lord Buddha Sakyamuni and Amitayus (on your right).

The statue of Lord Buddha is 60ft in height where as the height of other two statues are 55ft. Theyt are made of copper, plated with gold. Inside the statue are scripture, relics of great beings, small clay mould stupas, and small  statues.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Birds of Hebbal Lake - 3, Bangalore

Hebbal Lake in north Bangalore is favorite spot for joggers, photography enthusiasts and birds. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jaganath Temple, Puri

Jaganath Temple in Puri is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Jaganath, the Lord of the Universe. The construction of this temple was initiated in the 11th century by the king Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva of Ganga dynasty.

The huge temple complex covers an area of over 400,000 square feet and is surrounded by a high fortified wall. Within the fortified walls there are many more sub-shrines  The temple follows Oriya style of architecture.

The temple tower was built on a raised platform of stone and, it rises to a height of 214 feet above the inner sanctum. The pyramidal roofs of the adjoining halls rise in steps toward the tower like a ridge of mountain peaks.

At the top of the main main tower is the 'srichakra', a eight spoked wheel of Lord Vishnu. It is made out of eight materials and is considered sacrosanct. The temple is a sculptural marvel, but unfortunately photography is strictly prohibited in temple premises.

The central forms of Jagannath, Balabhadra and the goddess Subhadra constitute the trinity of deities in the main sanctum of the temple. Unlike any other temple, the idols here are made from sacred Neem logs.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Images of India - 31

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

Towers around the Akbar Tomb, Sikandra 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mukteshwar Temple, Bhubaneshwar

Mukteshwar Temple in Bhubaneshwar is the first temple we visited on our way back from Puri to this city. This is one o the earliest temples built during the period of Somvasi Kingdom. This 10th century temple built using red sandstone is an architectural marvel and is considered as jewel of Orissan temples for its exceptional craftsmanship.

This compact temple is in the amidst a group of other temples and just behind this temple is temple water pond. The stepped pyramidal roof over the rectangular jagamohana of the temple was the first of its kind. The porch in the front is a walled chamber with a low beautifully crafted compact roof.

The tower of the temple over the sanctum is small compared to other temples in the city. The tower measuring 34 ft at the top of it has the kalasa. Every inch of this tower is carved with decorative patterns and sculpted figures. It has four Natarajas on and four kirthimukhas on the four faces.

The most striking feature of the temple is the arched gateway in thr front which is built sometime in 900 CE. The gateway has thick pillars that have strings of beads and other ornaments carved on statues of smiling women in languorous repose. The gateway has sculptures that range from elaborate scrolls to pleasant female forms and figures of monkeys and peacocks.

The exterior wall of the temple is beautifully sculptured with intricate carvings  There is a small compound around the temple with beautiful craftsmanship on it. The carvings are of various sizes. There are several carvings of solider riding on a horse in a varied decorative styles.

This temple is located just off Lewis Road in the older southern part of the Bhubaneswar City.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mysore Zoo - Jaguars

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 Jaguars.

They have the most powerful jaws of all big cats. They are the only big cats that bite the head of prey rather than the neck like other cats. 

Jaguars are solitary animals occupying large area of land. They are also excellent climbers, leaping from a tree or ledge to ambush their prey.

They are crepuscular, most active near dusk and dawn. They tend to rest in the mid-morning and afternoon in deep shade, under thick vegetation, in caves, or under large rocks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gates of Sinhgad

Sinhgad fortress located 30 kms from Pune is an hill fort with several gates. One of the prominent gate is Pune Darwaz.

After you enter through this gate, one can across one more gate of the fort.

There is another prominent gate is Kalyan Darwaz at the other end of this huge fort and unfortunately I missed this. In the area inside the fort there are also beautiful flowery plants.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Images of India - 30

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