Saturday, October 30, 2010

Flowering Tree - Bauhinia Variegata

Bangalore (State: Karnataka) known as Garden City true to its name as lot of flowering trees on either side of most of the roads. They bloom with flowers of various colors. One such tree is Bauhinia Variegata popularly known as "Orchid Tree"

It is an ornamental tree grown in subtropical and tropical climates from southern China west to India. The flowers are conspicuous, bright pink or white, 8-12 cm diameter. These scented flowers have only five petals.

It is a small to medium-sized tree growing to 10-12 m tall. The leaves of the tree are broad and split in the middle.

During the season the tree is full of flowers and with green leaves and pink flowers they look lovely.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Meharangarh Fort, Jodhpur

The Fort of Jodhpur (State: Rajasthan) looms on the top of a rocky hill, and it rises 125 mts, above the plains. Built in the 15th century by the Rathore Rajputs, the architecture is such that, one can not separate the fort from bluff-colored sandstone hill on which it is constructed.

The fort is built on the hill in such a way that it is very difficult to identify where the hill ends and the fort walls begin. The fort at several places has 17 feet thick and 68 feet high walls.

It is approached by a series of 7 gateways set at an angle so that armies could not charge them with any success. Past the gates, the fort-palace takes one's breath away.

Across from huge courtyards are the palatial apartments that have been built over five centuries of bristling history. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrates a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled craftsmanship. Only some of the spectacular palaces of the fort are open to the visitors.

These consists of Moti Mahal with its pierced screen windows overlooking the coronation seat where the Rathore ruler have been ritually anointed to rule; Jhanki Mahal, the apartment from where the zenana women would watch ceremonial events; Chandan Mahal, where affairs of state were discussed; the royal Darbar Takhat or throne room with its octagonal throne.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner

Lalgarh Palace is located outside the Bikaner city limits. It is at a distance of 3 kms from the city. This palace was built between 1902 and 1926 by Maharaja Ganaga Singh in the memory of his father, Maharaja Lal Singh. 

The architecture of the palace is Indo-Saracenic where one can see elements of Rajput, Muslim and European styles.

Now, this palace has been converted into a heritage hotel. But, the first floor of the palace is converted into a museum, the Shri Sadul museum. The museum has on display are artifacts and personal possessions of the Bikaner Maharajas.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lalbagh Flower Show - Orchids

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2010 there were exclusive collection of Orchids on display. The colors were amazing. 

There were more than 25 variety of Orchids on display. The color combination and designs on each of them were beautiful.

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

For closer look at the Orchids: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nadi Narasimha Temple, Dodda Mallur

This small temple is located right on the banks of a river Kanva. If one gets out of the temple from one of its entrance they can get down into river. The deity of the temple is Lord Narasimha. As it is on the edge of river (nadi) the name of the temple is "Nadi Narasimh". But we had been here in peak summer and river had dried up.

The temple is belied to be 1000 years old, but it might have been renovated some 300 years back.
The brick wall seen above is not part of the temple. It is an enclosure build around the temple to provide shade.

The towers of the temples have beautiful sculptures and they have been painted.
If on one side of the temple there is river, on the other three sides are sugarcane field, vegetable field and coconut garden.

How to Reach: It is located at a distance of 70 kms from Bangalore on State Highway 17 en-route to Mysore. There is a diversion to the right, 2 kms after Channapatna. After passing through a railway Crossing on this road, a mud road will lead to the temple.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nandi Shrine, Khajuraho

The Nandi Temple in Khajuraho (State: Madhya Pradesh) is a small temple opposite to Vishwanath Temple. Both the temple built in 1000 A.D belong to Western Group of Temples with their entrance facing each other. It has a large stone image of Nandi.

It is an open square pavilion resting on twelve pillars. It has a pyramidal roof of receding tiers of steps with minimal carvings at the top. The noteworthy decoration on its facades is a bold elephant frieze on the basement.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tamil Nadu, The Land of Temples

The state of Tamil Nadu has a history that dates back to several thousand years where the traditions and culture live in harmony. The state has plenty of monuments and temples that are ancient and each of them are artistic. It is better known as can 'The Land of Temples' for the number of temples that can be seen here built over its centuries. The architecture and design of these temple have seen a change across centuries. It is home to more than 30,000 temples with every one of them being an architectural gem.

Apart of temples there are various natural resources across the state. It has a long coastline that stretches nearly a 1000 kms. Golden sands of the beach are dotted with coconut palm and casuarina groves. In the hill stations of the state one can stroll through the clouds afloat, and admire the nature.

I had the pleasure of touring some of the cities of this beautiful state. I have covered in my various trips in the state: Vellore, Tanjore, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Chennai, Mamallapuram, Kancheepuram, Gangaikondacholapuram, Darasuram, Madurai, Trichi, Ooty, Kode. Come travel with me and enjoy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Methar Mahal, Bijapur

Methar Mahal constructed in 1620, this is one of the interesting sights in Bijapur (State: Karnataka). Even though by name it is called "Mahal" this is not a place. This is a turret with the Mehtar mosque behind it.

This is a two-storeyed structure with an exquisite entrance. The roof has two delicate minarets standing straight and tall.

This ornamental gateway is an excellent example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. It is embellished by a profusion of carvings in the form of brackets supporting the balconies and stone trellis work in Hindu Style.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ken Gharial Sanctuary

At a distance of 24 kms from Khajuraho is Ken Gharial Sanctuary situated at the confluence of the Ken and the Khudar rivers. The river passes through areas which is rich in 3 varieties of stones like Bauxite, Granite and Lime.

The Sanctuary gets its name from the Gharial, the very rare species of crocodiles. They are characterized by their exceedingly elongated and unbelievably slender snouts. Unfortunately we missed the Gharials as we were late in spite of reaching the place before 9:30 a.m. In the sanctuary they come out of the river and stay on the rocky river bed during early mornings usually.

One can also see here beautiful Raneh Water Falls.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ganesh Mandir, Jhansi

Inside the Jhansi Fort is the Ganesh Temple used by the royal family for the worship. (Click on the images for bigger picture)

This is a simple temple built in a very small area very close to the gate. In Jhansi (state: Uttar Pradesh) this is one of the most popular temple. The wall behind the temple is the inner walls of the fort. A tour of fort is not complete without a visit to this temple.