Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Chandragiri, Shravanabelagola

At Shravanabelagola there are two huge hillocks Chandragiri and Indragiri. Indragiri with the statue of Bahubali is more popular of the two among the tourists. The Chandragiri smaller of the two rises about 300 feet above the plain. 

One has to climb series of steps to reach the top of this small hill. one can see numerous large and small boulders of granite rocks scattered en route to the peak.

The history of this place dates back to 3rd century BC when Maurya Empire Emperor Chandragupta and his teacher Bhadrabahu came here with this place in order to attain religious peace. Hence the hillock is named Chandragiri.

There are about 92 memorials located on this hill of which 47 memorials are that of Jain monks. Important sites of interest here are:
  • Shantinatha Basadi
  • Parshvanatha Basadi
  • Chandragupta Basadi
  • Kattale Basadi
  • Majjigana Basadi
  • Shasana Basadi
  • Chandraprabha Basadi
  • Parshwanatha Basadi II
  • Chavundaraya Basadi
  • Eradukatte Basadi
  • Inscriptions
  • Savatigandhavarana Basadi
  • Terina Basadi
  • Shantishwara Basadi
  • Iruve-Brahmadeva Basadi
  • Suparshwanatha Basadi
  • Bhadrabahu Cave
  • Marasimha's Manastambha 
  • Mahanavami Mantapa
  • Bhadrabahu Inscriptions 
  • Gangaraja Mantap 
  • Nishidhi Mantaps 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hutheesing Temple, Ahmedabad

Hutheesing Temple in Ahmedabad is very ornate temple known for its sculptural work. The construction of the temple is initiated by Shet Hathisinh Kesarisinh and it was completed in 1848.

This temple built using white marble with a double-storied main shrine building. The main shrine is covered with a big dome supported by twelve ornate pillars. The temple is dedicated to the 15th Jain Trithanakara named Dharmnath.

The front is exquisitely ornamented by a 'dome' shaped structure. The temple is lavishly carved with beautiful sculptures.

The temple has a unique Manastambha which have carved beautifully.

This temple was built during a severe famine in Gujarat and then this had become a source of income for hundreds of skilled artisans for a period of two years.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Red-wattled Lapwing at Malyadi Bird Sanctuary

Malyadi Bird Sanctuary near Udupi is one of of the upcoming site for bird watchers. There are various birds that one can see here. One among them is Red-wattled Lapwing.

The wings and back of the bird are light brown with a purple sheen. The head, chest and front part of neck are black. It has white patch that runs between black and brown colours, from belly and tail. It has a red bill and red eye. They have yellow coloured long legs.

They are usually seen in pairs or small groups not far from water. They are seen in large flocks.

They feed on insects, snails mostly picked from the ground. Their diet also includes grains. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bindu Sarovar, Bhubaneshwar

Bindu Sarovar in Bhubaneshwar is a sacred lake surrounded by various temples. The 1300 feet long and 700 feet wide large lake has a tiny island with several shrines in its middle. This lake is also known as Ocean Drop Tank.

As per legend the lake was created by Lord Shiva by pouring water from all the holy places to quench the thirst of Goddess Parvati.

This lake on one side has the famous Lingaraj Temple and while in other direction it has Ananta Vasudeva Temple. 

The lake is the venue for conducting the ritual bath of Lord Lingaraj held during the annual festival. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Gangtok, the Hill Top

Our tour of Sikkim started from its capital Gangtok. We had reached this place late in the night and we were welcomed by chilling cold. Next day morning we stated the local tour of this beautiful place that is located in the higher peaks of Eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1650 m. The name of the city when translated to local language means "Hill Top".

In the early 20th century, this place was part of trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and Indian city Kolkata. Today, it is a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning. 

The places of interest that we had visited here in our short stay are:
  • Hanuman Tok 
  • Ganesh Tok 
  • Tashi View Point
  • Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Museum
  • Dro-dul Chorten  
  • Rumtek Monestry
  • Bakthang Waterfall 

The places of interest near by are:

The place is a natural beauty with lot of greenery and wild flowers all around. One can also enjoy here the flower show. From some areas of the city magnificent Kanchanjunga peak can be viewed. The city is one of the cleanest city in India. M G Road is the popular shopping destination of the area. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Black-headed Ibis at Malyadi Bird Sanctuary

Malyadi Bird Sanctuary near Udupi is one of of the upcoming site for bird watchers. There are various birds that one can see here. One among 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 yellow. 

They are mainly seen in marshy wetlands inland and on the coast. 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, August 17, 2016

Sat Kaman, Pavagadh

The fort in Pavagadh has several gates on all directions. Close to one of of the gates on the Western side is Sat Kaman or the 7 arches. This is up on the hill just 4 kms from the base of the hill. This area is part of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park.

This arches are built using local sandstone. The individual stones used to build the arches are trapezium shaped, and when they are assembled together they form an arch. The topmost stone in the arch is wedge shaped.

They were built somewhere between 15th and 16th century. At Present out of the 7 arches only 6 arches are remaining as one has been lost to the fury of nature over the period of time.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Farmagudi Shri Gopal Ganapati Temple, Ponda

Farmagudi is just 3 kms from the main Ponda City. Here Shri Gopal Ganapati Temple is located amidst beautiful natural surroundings.

Herdmen while gazing cattle near the hill had discovered the Gopal Ganapati stone image and later was installed it in a small shrine with a thatched roof. In April 1966 a new temple was built and the idol made of metal alloy was installed.

The temple has a mix of both ancient and modern architecture.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Poetry in Stone - 32

This is thirty second in the series on the rich cultural heritage of temples in India. The sculptural work in each of these temples are always admirable.

In the Chennakesava Temple of Belur there are several beautiful sculptures created in 1175 A.D. Here one can see a sculpture of Garuda as soon as one enters temple complex.

There are beautiful sculptures on the tower of the 10th century Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneshwar.

The pillar that has been carved from all the directions to tell stories from Hindu epics. This is inside the 15th century Ganesha Temple at Kurudumale.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Dashavatara, Ellora

In Ellora the cave numbered as 15 is a Hindu Temple. To reach this magnificent Cave No. 15 one has to climb up series of steps where the entire court has been hewn out of the solid rock with a curtain wall across in front of it, and a sacrificial hall in the middle. This cave originally a Buddhist monastery is popularly known as Dashavatara.

This cave is a double storey, the lower part measuring 95 feet in length is a few feet above the level of the court, and it is supported by 14 square pillars. The upper floor is 95 feet wide and 110 feet deep inclusive of the vestibule of the shrine, supported by 44 square columns.

The two pillars in the front are carved with floral ornamentation,  including dwarfs, snakes etc.

In the eighth century was converted into a Hindu sanctuary under the patronage of the Rashtrakuta king Dantidurga. The beautiful carvings in this cave were done under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the sixth and the ninth centuries. This cell has a huge sculptress of The second has Siva and Parvati. 

One of the cell has Varaha holding the Prithvi on his hand, with three other snake figures below it.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Birds of Jakkur Lake - 3, Bangalore

Jakkur Lake in north Bangalore you can come across some colourful birds. 

Here is glimpse some of the birds.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Remains of Patan Fort

The ancient town of Patan is a fortified town is founded by Vanraj Chavda. 

The old fort of the Hindu kingdom is nearly vanquished and only a wall can be seen on the way from Kalka to Rani ki vav

Monday, August 1, 2016

Kila Shikan, Devgiri Fort

The 14th century Devgiri Fort is known for various bronze canons found all around the fort. One such canon is Kila Shikan.

The canon located in a strategic place named so mean Fort Breaker. It lies on a stone platform.

The impressive canon has a ram-head.

The canon has the name inscribed on it in Persian.