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.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Birds in Neighbourhood - 24

I get to see variety of birds in the back yard of my parents house in Udupi. I have captured few of them in my camera and here they are. One such beautiful bird is male Brahminy Kite.

It is a medium sized bird that measures 45 to 50 cm in length and weighs 400 to 700 grams. The wingspan is 110 to 125 cm. The adult has chestnut back, wings and belly and a contrasting white head and breast.

It is mostly seen in coastal plains, rivers, lakes, swamps, marshes, reservoirs, rice fields and urban areas.

They feed mainly on dead fish, crabs and carrion. They also catch and feed on live preys such as small birds, reptiles and fish. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Someshwara Beach, Ullal

Someshwara Beach is located in Ullal. It is at the confluence of the Netravati River and the Arabian Sea.

The beach is still in a pristine condition as it is not visited by many tourists. The endless golden sands are ideal for walking or sunbathing. There are a large number of rocks on the beach.

The presence of hidden rocks along this stretch of the coast make this each unsuitable for swimming.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Rumtek is located at a distance of 23 kms from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. It is 5500 feet above sea level on a hill facing the city of Gangtok. 

When Chinese occupied Tibet, the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje arrived in India in 1959 and chose this beautiful place over all other sites, as his main seat in exile.

One can reach this place by driving on the winding roads through paddy fields and small villages. The lush green hilly terrain and misty mountains makes this small place an ideal place for some quiet time.

The main attraction is the Rumtek Monastery, seat of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa of the Kargyu sect of Buddhism. Also inside the complex there is a Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Buddhist Studies.

How to Reach: We had visited this place during our stay in Gangtok. We went here early in the morning as it is just 23 kms from the city.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Black-headed Ibis at Sangam

During our trip to Mysore, we also visited Sangam.  We could spot some birds here 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 yellow. 

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 3, 2017

Suparshwanatha Basadi, Shravanabelagola

At Shravanabelagola on the Chandragiri hill there are various monuments all over the hillock. One among them is Suparshwanatha Basadi to tthe north-west of the fort enclosure.

It is a small temple that consists of a garbhagriha, a sukhanasi and a porch. The temple belongs to a period between 11th to 12th century.

In the garbhagriha there is image of tirthankara Suparshwanatha. The image here is a seated figure, canopied by a seven hooded serpent and flanked by male fan bearers.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Qutub Shahi Tombs, Hyderabad

Close to the famous Golkonda Fort in Hyderabad is Ibrahim Bagh that has many historic monuments. Qutub Shahi Tombs and mosques built by the various kings of the Qutb Shahi dynasty are located inside this garden. 

The tombs form a large cluster and stand on a raised platform. There are seven tombs of varying sizes. Smaller tombs have single storey while the bigger tombs have two storeys. The tombs were built using Persian, Pathan and Hindu architectural styles. 

These tombs were built around 14th century and in the 19th century they were renovated by Sir Salar Jung III. In the centre of each tomb is a sarcophagus which overlies the actual burial vault in a crypt below. 

The various structures of interest are:
  • Tomb of Sultan Quli Qutb Shah
  • Tomb of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah
  • Tomb of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah
  • Tomb of Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah
  • Tomb of Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah
  • Tomb of Abdullah Qutb Shah
  • Tomb of Hayath Bakshi Begum
  • Tomb of Fatima Sultan
  • Tomb of Mirza Nizamuddin Ahmed
  • Great Masjid