Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sursagar Lake, Vadodara

Sursagar Lake at Vadodara is right in the middle of the city. The lake has held the water in one place with the help of stone banks and masonry and as a result it is full of water throughout the year.

In case the lake overflows to control the water several underground gates have been constructed to empty the lake. Water from these gates gushes to Vishwamitri river, which flows through the City. 

The Vadodara Mahanagar Seva Sadan has intalled a 120 ft tall statue of Lord Shiva in standing posture in Year 2002, in the middle of this lake. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the oldest churches located in Old Goa. This is India’s first minor basilica and its construction began in 1954.

The architecture of the church is one of the best examples of baroque architecture. The entrance of the church is very ornamental.

The church with simple interiors has marble flooring inlaid with precious stones. The main altar holds a large statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus.

The church holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. He died on Sancian Island while en route to continental China in the year 1552. His body is placed in silver casket on top of a mausoleum. 

It was designed by the 17th-century Florentine sculptor Giovanni Battista Foggini. The church also holds paintings of scenes taken from the life of St. Francis Xavier. 

This church is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Indian Peahen at Gir

In Gir Sanctuary went for Safari in an open jeep and we could see some birds flying around. We spotted the Indian Peahen in open areas of the forest.

It has a mixture of dull grey, brown, and green in the plumage.  It has brownish upperparts while underparts, lower breast and belly, are whitish. 

The flight feathers are darker brown. The neck is glossy green whereas the breast is dark brown with green gloss.  On the head, it has glossy green forehead and crown, with the same form of crest but greenish at tip. The bare skin of the face is white.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sri Gangamma Devi Temple, Bangalore

Sri Gangamma Devi Temple in Bangalore is located in Malleswaram region. It is built very close to the Kadu Mallikarjunswamy Temple. The temple has beautiful and colourful tower at the entrance.

The main deity of the temple is Gangamma representing the river Ganga. Other sub shrines inside the temple are for Sri Ganapathi and Sri Subramanya.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Seven Sisters Waterfalls, Gangtok

On our way to Lachen in North Sikkim from Gangtok we came across beautiful scenes and water falls. One such water fall just 32 kms away is Seven Sisters Waterfalls.

There are quite a few waterfalls on the way and this is a place where one has to break to savour the pristine beauty and to be with nature.

This lovely falls is named so because it can be seen that water in the waterfall falls cascades in seven stages. 

This serene waterfall can be seen in three distinct tiers. One can climb a few steps gives a beautiful view of the waterfall in the upper stages.

This is a ideal place for break up for the tourists travelling to North Sikkim.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Bank Myna at Patan

When we were in Patan to visit the ancient Rani-Ki-Vav we could spot several common birds in the vicinity. One of them is Bank Myna.

This bird identified by the grey body, black hooded head and the bare brick red patch behind the eye. The upper plumage is slaty grey while the underside is lighter grey. The legs are yellow while the iris is deep red. 

It is found in northern parts of South Asia. They inhabit mainly in the vicinity of open water and cultivated farmland.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sri Rudreshwar Temple, Aravelam

Sri Rudreshwar Temple at Aravelam is newly built on the site where only a image of diety existed earlier. 

This temple is also known by the name 'Temple of Lord Shiva'.

Inside the temple is a old Linga of Rudreshwar facing the waterfall.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Veerabhadra Temple Complex, Lepakshi

Veerabhadra Temple Complex in Lepakshi is one of the ancient structures in the area. Built in 16th century this is a architectural marvel. This was built by Virupanna Nayaka and Viranna, both brothers who were Governors under the Vijayanagar Empire. 

The outermost waled enclosure has three gates, of which the northern gate is used regularly. The temple complex has Veerabhadra Temple and Natya Mantapa. 

Within the temple complex, to its eastern side, there is huge boulder of granite stone which on one side has carving of coiled multi-hooded serpent providing an umbrella cover over a Linga. On the other side of the same boulder there is also a huge statue of Lord Ganesha.

There are also several other structures in the complex like Shiva Linga and Hanuman.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Black-headed Ibis at Ponda

During our trip to Ponda, we could spot some birds  in a field filled with water and one of them is Black-headed Ibis.

They have white-plumage with some greyer areas on the wings. The bald head, the neck and legs are black. The thick down curved bill is dusky black. 

Their diet is fish, frogs and other water creatures, as well as on insects.
It can be seen walking around on marshy land probing with its bill into soft mud and shallow water.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Jama Masjidh, Junagadh

Jama Masjid in Junagadh, the mosque inside the Uppekot Fort is today in ruins but still worth a visit. This mosque can be seen once one enters the fort very close to the medival cannons inside the fort.

Muhammad Begada, who conquered this fort in 1470 AD, celebrated his victory by converting the palace of Ranakdevi into a mosque.

There are more than 140 pillars in the mosque. It has a courtyard with three octagonal openings which may once have been covered by domes. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ashta Mathas, Udupi

The Ashta Mathas of Udupi are a group of eight mathas. It was established by Hindu philosopher Madhvacharya, the chief proponent of the Dvaita school of Hindu thought. For each of the eight mathas, he also appointed one of his direct disciples to be the first Swami, head of the matha.

These ashta mathas are named after the villages in which they were originally located and today they are located surrounding the Krishna Temple.

They not only work to propagate the Dvaita philosophy, but also administer the Krishna Temple by way of a formal rotation. They take care of the temple in pairs.

The four pairs of mathas are: Palimaru and Adamaru; Krishnapura and Puttige; Shirur and Sodhe; and Kaniyooru and Pejavara.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Birds of Jakkur Lake - 8, Bangalore

Jakkur Lake in north Bangalore you can come across some colourful birds.  Here is glimpse some of the birds.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Chandragiri Fort

Chandragiri Fort in Chandragiri (State: Kerala) is one of the oldest forts  perched atop a hill  in India by the side of the river Payaswini.

This 17th century fort is 150 feet above sea level and occupies an area of about seven acres.

This fort is in square shape is currently in not great shape and in ruins. It is one of the chain of forts that was built by Shivappa Nayaka of Bedanore.

How to Reach: This fort is on a highway that lead to Bekal Fort from Kasaragod. It is about 7 kms from Kasargod.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Shri Shantadurga Temple, Ponda

Shri Shantadurga Temple is on slopes of foothills of a mountain chain, surrounded by lush vegetation of Kavalem village in Ponda. It is one of the oldest temple in the area.

There is a main temple and three smaller temples of other deities on three sides of the main temple. The main temple structure was built during the period 1738 A.D. It was constructed during the reign of Maratha ruler Chattrapati Shahu of Satara.

The temple is dedicated to Goddess Shantadurga. The temple has several pyramidal roofs with a dome. The pillars and floors are made of Kashmir stone. Temple also has roman-arched windows, some of which have the stained-glass window panes of deep red, yellow, blue colours.

In front of the main temple there is a light tower. The temple also has a huge tank in the front.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Birds at GKVK Campus, Bangalore

The GKVK campus on Airport Road near Hebbal in Bangalore is one of the lesser known hot spots for the birds. This campus belongs to University of Agriculture Sciences. This is spread over a vast agricultural land of 1100 acres.

I had visited this place with my friend recently and could spot few birds.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Drive to Yumthang

We reached beautiful Yumthang Valley from Lachung. The drive through on the winding roads is very memorable. 

It is a beautiful place that nature lovers will definitely love to spend their time.  

On the route one will get to see the snow covered peaks.

The road side had lot of flowering shrubs and trees of variety.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Shamlaji Temple, Shamlaji

Shamlaji Temple in Shamlaji is located on the banks of the Meshvo river in the valley surrounded by wooded hills. This 16th century temple is known for its artistic beauty in sculptures. The temple is built in Chaulukyan architectural style.

The temple built of white sandstone and brick is of two stories, supported on pillars. Above the shrine is a pyramid-based tower that rises into a spire like a high-shouldered cone with flattened sides. The forepart of the roof consists of a number of small domes springing from a flat roof.

The temple is divided into three parts: Sabha Mandap, Antaraal and Garbha Griha. The steps lead to the entrance hall; and this also faces straight into the Garbha Griha with the Image of the Lord Vishnu.

On the external wall the temple is richly carved with beautiful sculptures of various sizes. Running right round the building is a fringe of elephants' heads carved in stone. Above this is a frieze full of figures in bass-relief, men on horseback with bows, and animals. At every corners in the frieze of elephants there are two twin elephants ejecting out.

There are several ventilated stone windows in the temple that has been carved all around the temple. They have beautiful patterns that let sufficient sun light into the temple.

There are several carvings of deity in various forms all around the temple that stand out for their craftsmanship and beauty.