Thursday, October 30, 2014

Images of India - 85

A glimpse of sites of India in black and white. 

A view of Hyderabad 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ramalingeshwara Temple Complex, Avani

Ramalingeshwara Temple Complex at Avani is not only a place of religious and historical importance, but also archaeological wonder. I visited this temple with my family when I went on a tour of Mulubagal district.

This temple complex at the base of hillock is constructed in 10th century  by Nolamba dynasty and later renovated by the rulers of Chola dynasty.

This huge temple complex has many temples and they are:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Poetry in Stone - 23

This is twenty-third  in the series on the rich cultural heritage of temples in India. The ancient temples of India are richly carved and they behold ones attention for their craftsmanship. 

Here is a beautiful sculpture on the exterior of the Lakshmana Temple at Khajuraho where a boys help a lady to remove thorn from her feet.

On the back side exterior wall of the Varhai Temple at Chaurasi is the beautiful sculpture of Sun God on a chariot pulled by 7 horses.

At Airavateswarar Temple of Darasuram there is a very unique sculpture of Ardhanareeswarar with three faces and eight arms. If one observes carefully the left half is man and the right half is woman.

In the above the first one is Lord Shiva on sitting pose with sword and shield in pair of hands. This is again from Airavateswarar Temple at Darasuram. The next two are from Chennakesava Temple of BelurThere are many more such beautiful carvings, we will explore some other time.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jungle Babbler at Ratangiri

When we were in Ratangiri to visit heritage Buddhist sites we came across several birds. One of them is Jungle Babbler.

It is a common bird of the Indian subcontinent which as well as in forested areas. They feed mainly on insects, but also eats grains, nectar and berries.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happy Deepavali

Friends wish you all

Deepavali, the  Festival of Lights is favorite among kids because they get a chance to light fire crackers.

But my kids this year decided against lighting crackers as they wanted to protect our environment from air and noise pollution.

But, the sky is lit with fire crackers of various colors and shapes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Images of India - 84

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

At Tonnur Kere lake near Mysore

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Ooty

When in Ooty, we wanted experience the ride on Nilgiri Mountain Railway. This unique rail line between Mettupalaiyam and Coonoor was planned in 1854, but built and got operated for the first time only in 1899. 

It was operated first by the Madras Railway under an agreement with the Government. After a long period South Indian Railway took over it. This line in 1908 was extended to Ooty from Coonoor.

The train on this track covers a distance of 26 km and in one direction travels through 208 curves, 16 tunnels.

It is one of the 6 Mountain railways of India and operates on single track.

In July 2005, UNESCO declared Nilgiri Mountain Railway as World Heritage Site.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mysore Zoo - Hog Deer

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 Hog Deer. 

It is named so because of the squat pig-like appearance and by its hog-like movements. It runs through the forests with its head hung low so that it can duck under obstacles instead of leaping over them like most other deer. The young stags are spotted.

The body is long and legs are relatively short. It stands about 70 cm at the shoulder and fur is brown, dark brown in ols stags, wit a yellowish or reddish tinge. It is seen mostly in moist or dry tropical deciduous forest environments. 

Images of India - 83

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

Interiors of Chitradurga Fort

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monastery No. 1, Lalitgiri

Lalitgiri Buddhist complex has various structures of religious and architectural importance that have been excavated by the A.S.I.  There are various monasteries here and we shall rediscover Monastery No. 1. is the largest one and measures 36 externally. 

On the basis of architectural ground and excavated material this monastery came into existence between 10th and 11th century A.D during the period of Bhaumakara and Somavamsi dynasties. 

The monastery rectangular on plan is facing to south east and oriented north-west to south-east. The monastery has an open courtyard with chambers in all side fronted by a veranda and a sanctum. The courtyard in the center measures 12.9

For courtyard and doorjambs the material used is Khandolite stone are used and bricks are used for other structures. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bhoganandisvara Temple, Nandi

The Bhoganandisvara Temple at Nandi is the finest architectural  specimen of Dravidian order built anytime between 9th and 15th century A.D. 

In the Bhoganandisvara Temple complex among the twin temples Bhoganandisvara and Arunachalesvara. The Bhoganandisvara dedicated to Lord Shiva is on the North. 

The temple consists of a garbhagriha, a sukanasi and a navaranga. The pillars of the navaranga are carved with fine small figures on all the sides. 

Both sukanasi and navaranga have pierced windows with sculptured jalis. 

In front of the of the navaranga entrance is the Nandi Mantapa. 

The outer wall of the shrines have pilasters, turrets. The carvings on the temple and pillars are varied and are in excellent condition.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Black-winged Stilt at Hebbal Lake, Bangalore

Hebbal Lake in north Bangalore is favorite spot for various colorful birds. One of the birds that can be seen here is Black-winged Stilt, a widely distributed very long-legged wader.

They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. 

They are mostly seen marshes, shallow lakes and ponds. They pick up their food from sand or water. They mainly eat insects and crustaceans.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Images of India - 82

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


On One of our trip to Nandi Hills which is 60 kms from Bangalore we happened to visit offbeat place Nandi which is at the foothills of Nandi Hills. This place is a perfect weekend getaway for people who are buried in their work throughout the week.

The major attraction of the the place is magnificent temple of 15th century. The major attractions of the place are:

How to Reach: From Bangalore drive towards Nandi Hills. Once on the Nandi Hill road one can ask directions for this place even before reaching Nandi Hills. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) at Mumbai is one of the prominent landmarks in the city. This historic railway station serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. I had visited the place when I was in Mumbai for work and it was a public holiday in the middle of the week. I reached the place by local train and went around the station.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is based on architecture that is a mix of traditional Indian and Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival. This building designed by Frederick William Stevens and its construction in the Bori Bunder area of Mumbai was completed in 1887. The main structure is built from a blend of India sandstone and limestone, while high-quality Italian marble was used for the key decorative elements. 

The skyline, turrets, pointed arches, and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture while externally the wood carving, tiles, the balustrades for the grand staircases and other ornaments are in Victorian style.

One of the important architectural marvel is its high central dome. The octagonal dome is a ribbed structure built without centering, was considered as a novel achievement of the era. At the top of the dome is a female figure symbolizing Progress, holding a torch pointing upwards in her right hand and a spoked wheel in her left hand. 

The side wings enclose the courtyard, which opens on to the street. The wings are anchored by monumental turrets at each of their four corners, which balance and frame the central dome. The columns of the entrance gates are crowned by figures of a lion  and a tiger. 

The entire building has eye catching carvings of local species of animals, flora and fauna, portrait roundels of human faces, and stone mesh works on the decorated rose windows. The elaborate detailing of the heritage building is original. It has carvings made in local yellow malad stones blended with Italian marble and polished granite in a few places. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ooty Rose Garden - Yellow Rose - 1

There are many roses of different colors and sizes at the Government Rose Garden at Ooty

They differ from each other with very minute differences. One of the them is in yellow color is here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad

On the last day of our trip to Gujarat, we visited peaceful environment of Sabarmati Ashram or Gandhi Ashram at Ahmedabad is on the banks of the river Sabarmati. There were people reading books and involved in various activities and total silence everywhere. This is one of the residences of Mahatma Gandhi after he returned from South Africa. Since 1917 he lived there for about twelve years along with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi.

It was established by him as he intended to conduct some experiments in living eg farming, animal husbandry, cow breeding, Khadi and related constructive activities. It served as one of the main centers of the Indian freedom struggle. While he was in the ashram he formed a school that focused on manual labor, agriculture, and literacy to advance his efforts for self-sufficiency. 

This is the place from where he launched the famous Dandi march in protest of the British Salt Law, which taxed Indian salt in an effort to promote sales of British salt in India. Over the years, the Ashram became home to the ideology that set India free. 

Today ashram has a museum, the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay containing life-size paintings, around 35,000 books dealing with Gandhi's life, work, teachings. Vinoba Kutir is a cottage named after Acharya Vinoba Bhave. Upasana Mandir is an open-air prayer ground. 

Today, the Ashram serves as a source of inspiration and guidance, and stands as a monument to Gandhi’s life mission and a testimony to others who have fought a similar struggle.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Images of India - 81

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 small entrance to Sinhagad Fort near Pune