Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mysore Zoo - Leopard

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 Leopard.

Leopards are solitary and interactions between individuals appear to be infrequent. They are strong swimmers and are one of the few cats that like water. 

When it's time for a rest, they like to climb trees and sprawl out on the branches. They bare the largest cats to climb trees regularly.

When compared to other "big cats" they have relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but is smaller and more slightly built. Its fur is marked with rosettes that are smaller and more densely packed when compared to that of Jaguar, and they do not usually have central spots as the jaguars do. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sri Venkatramana Temple Pond, Karkala

The ancient Venkatramana Temple in Karkala has a history of over 550 years. This temple also has a sacred pond associated with it.

This pond is known as Sri Pushkarni.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Images of India - 55

A glimpse of India in black and white. 

View of the country side on the way to Bhitarnika National Park

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rock-cut Caves of Kanehari

Beginning with 1st century BC, the genesis and growth of the group of the Buddhist caves at Kanehari continues up to 11th century AD, a period of more than thousand years. It is located inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai

These rock cut caves excavations are of mainly four types (i) Chaiyahrahas, (ii) Monasteries, (iii) Podhis and  (iv) rock cut benches and seats. The Buddhist monks of Hinayana faith were of the first to commence the excavation of these caves. A majority of these rock-cut caves are small consisting of a single cell with a front pillared verandah approached by a flight of steps.  

Of the numerous donor inscriptions found here mention of ancient cities like Suparaka, Nasika, Chemuli, Kalyana, Dhenukakata etc., The donors were from all class of the society, from the members of the royal families to the commoners. 

The entire group consisting of more than 100 caves is one of the biggest monastic  settlements  in India. The prominent caves are numbered as 1, 2, 3, 11, 32, 34, 38, 41, 67, 89, 90, etc. 

How to Reach: It is located in the north of Mumbai inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Eastern Great Egret at Hebbal Lake, Bangalore

Hebbal Lake in north Bangalore is favorite spot for various colorful birds. One of the white heron that can be seen here Eastern Great Egret. They can be distinguished from other white egrets by its very long neck.

This large heron measures about 83 to 103 cms in length. The overall plumage is white and the legs are dark olive-grey or sooty black. When not breeding, the bill and facial skin are yellow and the bill turns mostly black and the facial skin becomes green during breeding.

They prefer shallow water, particularly when flowing, but may be seen on any watered area, including damp grasslands. Great Egrets can be seen alone or in small flocks, often with other egret species.

They usually feed alone. The preferred diet is fist. But they also feed on aquatic insects, molluscs, amphibians, small reptiles, crustaceans and occasionally other small animals.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Anantheshwara Temple, Udupi

The ancient Anantheshwara Temple at Udupi has great spiritual and historical significance. This temple has been considered as seat of learning since ages for study of Veda, Vedanta, Upanishads. It was this place where Shri Madhwacharya obtained his early lessons. 

The architecture of the temple is very unique and this style of construction can be seen in Southern Karnataka and Kerala. The temple has typical sloping roofs. 

It was believd that on the request of Lord Shiv that Lord Parashurama also enshrined inthe Linga in the form of Lord Anantha and hence the name Anantheshwara. 

The backside of the temple is curved with small windows at intervals. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Images of India - 54

A glimpse of India in black and white. 

View of the city from Golden Fort at Jaisalmer

Monday, March 17, 2014

Palaces of Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

Junagarh Fort at Bikaner encompasses several places each one surpassing other in magnificence. The fort was constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Mughal emperor. The subsequent Maharajas have added luxurious suites to this palace. 

The palaces within the fort are on the southern side and make a picturesque ensemble of towers, courtyards, balconies and windows. A major feature of fort and palaces is the superb quality of stone carving.

Karan Mahal, built in 1680 classic Mughal style was is covered with rich Rajput elaboration of Mughal style in terms of the purity of white marble and stucco design. 

Anup Mahal has magnificent decorative art work in this palace with gold vermilion varnished work. There are beautiful motifs treated completely in gold and by mirrors and mirrors or glass mosaic. It also has one throne where the ruler would sit and meet his foreign guests and highly placed officials. Old and antique carpets adorn the floor. 

Gaj Mandir has walls that are covered with elaborate Mughal niches and panels enclosed by a framework of marble plaster slabs, which are carved into various Mughal open-work floral designs behind which mirrors have been placed.

Badal Mahal is stylized blue-and-white clouds, and it reflects the longing for rain in an arid area. Phool Mahal is the oldest part of the palace that has decoration with motifs of trays, flower vases. Inside the rooms the interior walls are decorated with stucco work and glass inlay works.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pin-tailed Snipe 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. All the photos of birds are taken from a moving boat.

We spotted few Pin-tailed Snipe birds on the river banks. It is a small stocky wader seen in damp marshes as well as drier habitats. These birds forage in mud or soft soil, picking up food by sight. Their main diet is insects and earthworms.

This bird is 25–27 cm long with greenish-grey legs and a long straight dark bill. The body is mottled brown on top, with cream lines down their back. They are pale underneath with white belly. They have a dark stripe through the eye, with light stripes above and below it. 

It is seen prominently in Northern Russia and in the non-breeding season it migrates to Southern Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gommateshwara, Karkala

In Karkala between 13th and 16th century, the Jainism gained popularity. As a result large number of Jain Basadis were built during this period in the area. 

In this period, a monolith of Shri Bhagwan Bhaubali (popularly known as Gommateshwara) on the leak of Granite Hill of 300 ft was erected by the King Virapandya in 1432 AD. The statue measuring 42 ft  in height, stands on a 5 ft high molded platform enclosed by a high cloistered parakara at a safe distance.

The striking features of the statue include elongated years, palms stretching up to knees, curly hairs. At his feet there are symbolic representation of creepers and anthills at his legs as he is standing for a long time in this position meditating after renouncing the world.

This statue of Bahubali is second only  to the massive monolith at Shravabelagola. There are few sculptures of Jain Thirthankaras behind the main statue.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Images of India - 53

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

Inside City PalaceUdaipur

Monday, March 10, 2014

Aluva Palace

Aluva Palace in Aluva is on the banks of the Periyar River. The palace has seen numerous battles and successions, and it has been part of the splendor and heritage of the ancient past of Kerela.

The palace has beautiful sprawling garden in front of it. 

Its architectural style is very unique and is in the traditional style of architecture seen mostly in this part of the world.

The circular balconies of Aluva Palace give a spectacular view of the river.

The palace has beautiful artifacts inside the palace. The wooden stair case inside the palace is very neatly crafted. The lovely palace building is presently being used as the Aluva Guest House.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Birds of Hebbal Lake - 7, Bangalore

Hebbal Lake in north Bangalore is favorite spot for joggers, photography enthusiasts and birds. Here are some shots of the birds around the lake.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mahavinayak Temple, Chandikhole

Chandikhole is located in densely wooded hills towards North of Cuttack. Here Mahavinayak Temple is one of the oldest Ganesha temples in Orissa. 

The temple painted in red, yellow and florescent green has beautifully carved external walls. 
The importance of this pilgrimage center is that the Pancha Devata 'Shiva', 'Vishnu', 'Durga', 'Sun' and 'Vinayaka' are worshiped as a single deity in a single sanctum sanctum. 

There are lot of monkeys one can see in the premises of this temple.

How to Reach: Chandikole is 40 kms from Cuttack on  NH-5. From Chandikhole one needs to take a left turn on the Sukinda-Paradip Expressway. Hardly 10 minutes drive will take you to this temple.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Images of India - 52

A glimpse of image of India in black and white. I am also seeing something like this for first time.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Poetry in Stone - 19

This is nineteenth in the series on the rich cultural heritage of ancient temples in India. The 12th century Hoysaleswara Temple of Halebid is known for their exquisite Hoysala architecture. 

On the external walls of the temple there is a beautiful sculpture of lady dressing her hair.  This temple has intricate sculptures and friezes. Each of these sculptures are very different from each other. The craftsmanship is is very detailed and beautiful.

The 9th century Brahmeswara Temple in Bhubaneshwar is one of the earliest temples of the city. There are beautiful sculptures on the external walls of the temple. 

In this temple there is a beautiful sculpture of a dancer with musicians playing instruments around her.

In the same temple there are many more beautiful sculptures. One of such intricate sculpture is  that of Somavasi King in his Royal courtroom with his pupil.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kingfisher 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.

People have spotted here 8 varieties of kingfisher. And all of a sudden we spotted one of them flying across the lake and finally it sat on a far of tree.

Apart form kingfisher one can also get to see other birds like wood pecker, horn-bill, bar headed geese, pintail, white bellied sea eagle, tern, sea gull, waders and many more.