Archive for February, 2011


SHRINGERI AND HOSANADU

Located in Chikmaglur ,the famous coffee estate district of Karnataka state in India ,this small temple town Shringeri is famous for its lush scenic surroundings and the famous Sharadamba Temple.This place is around 300 km from the coastal city of Mangalore  and the nearest airport is either Mangalore or Shimoga.The drive from Mangalore is very scenic with a lot of places to visit on the way like  small temples like Hosanadu and Kudupu and Hanumangundi falls.

Hosanadu/also called as Kodyadka , is a recently constructed temple which many people are not aware of.Located at a distance of 35 km from Mangalore ,this temple which is dedicated to goddess  Annapurneshwari is built with a modern architectural perspective and has  granite flooring, good interiors and paintings of Gods and sculptures  along with the traditional‘ Garbha Gudi’/center place  with goddess Annapurneshwari  statue glowing with her unique charm.There is a small zoo with monkeys ,elephants ,birds ,rabbits  deers and other animals on the exterior of the temple,making this unique.The temple also has a small park with some statues and fountains adding to the elegance.The huge 72 feet tall  lord Hanuman statue /structure is commendable.The temple is a worth watch for its beautiful architecture and traditional devotional elements.

 

 

Zoo at temple premises

Hanuman statue

 

After visiting this temple ,we continued on our journey to Shringeri .The way to shringeri has dense forests and Ghat sections /steep narrow hilly roads and ends high on an elevation of about 200 feet .In between these winding roads ,we managed  take a break by the gorgeous HanumanGundi Falls.The Hanumangundi falls is just 25 km ahead of Shringeri and is located on a gorge in between the dense forests.The gorge is accessible through steps and the fall has a nominal entrance fees of 30 Rs.The luminous water falls fall from a remarkable height of 100 feet but through a rocky path and don’t abruptly decent from a height making it less risky.People often have a refreshing bath under the water fall amidst the cool surroundings and the soothing music of the chirping birds and flowing fresh water.

 

Hanumangundi Falls

We reached Shringeri as planned by afternoon 12 pm and went ahead for Darshan /seek blessings of the Godess.First ,we visited the Sharadamba Temple of Godess Sharada ,who is worshipped as the god for ‘vidya’ or knowledge as well as wisdom.People with a wish of their children’s prosperity in education worship here with utmost faith.The temple was extremely crowded and we managed to get veneration and Aarthi of the lord.We also did the traditional ‘aksharabhyasa’/first writing in front of the goddess ,for our child there.After this we visited the Vidhyashankara temple ,which was built by Vidhyaranya in commemoration of Vidhyashankara.This temple is of architectural significance and has an elegant view with beautiful sculptures and carvings on the exteriors and 12 zodiac pillars.This temples stands uniquely splendid at the center of the temple premises.There is a river across the temple premises ,which is a place of worship as well and many devotees offer feed to the numerous fishes there on the banks .After a small stroll near the banks of river Tunga,we crossed across the bridge and went to the Shringeri Mutt where the pontiff of the Adi Shankaracharya descendents reside .Shringeri temple also provides a delicious Naivedyam/food offering to the devotees in the afternoon as well as night.We had our full-fledged afternoon meal at the temple premises and returned back home.

Vidhyashankara Temple
Shardamaba temple
Beautiful carvings at the exterior
Banks of River Tunga
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Hot and cool!

Hello readers,I thought of sharing a small personal incident with you all .We were living in Bangalore a year back .It was may 4th ,a saturday,and was my neighbor’s son’s birthday on that particular day.I had been there along with my hubby and son who was 4 and half years old  .The party had just commenced and after  cake cutting ,some singing and dancing , the guests  were  settling down .Adults were busy with the usual chit-chats and discussions;whilst the kids were busy playing and  yelling and the atmosphere was filled with a lot of noise and confusion.The party  hosts started serving us with some tea/coffee and snacks along with the cake.I was talking to a friend and her husband was sitting next to her.My son was just adjacent to me and he was holding a tennis ball and bouncing it around.

I was busy in the conversation ,when suddenly I saw that my friend’s husband who was  sitting there, just bounced from his seat with a thud nad yelled “AHH…!”and within a fraction of second ,I could see his face and body drenched with tea all over !Mind me, he was just looking like “bhigi billi”/”drenched cat”.His expression is just still fixed in mind even today ,because the way he reacted was just incredible;his face turned red ,with mixed emotions of anger,tumult and shock and couldn’t recover from the shock till he knew what exactly had happened.Actually the scene was described  by the spectators and was revealed to be a prank from my son ,which was unintentional though!He had just flung the ball towards the wall and the ball just missed its path and flew straight into the man’s cup of tea and then the consequence!At that moment ,all the kids and some elders too were laughing heartily.Infact,even I would have burst out  into laughter;but I was helpless . After knowing that my son was the culprit for this,I turned wild instead and felt humiliated and very embarrassed for my child’s behaviour.So at one particular moment  it was both “Hot and “cool”feeling for me ,because I was even burning with anger and also having small doses of “humor/laughter within .I obviously had to scold my son for his act, as a responsible mother and also stay calmposed and not mock at the person!But mind me ,after going home ,I had my hearty share of laughter.So I can call this moment ,a perfect “Fire freeze “moment!

PS:This post was written as a part of closeup fire freeze contest.’You can as well place your own stories with such magical moments of mixed emotions /opposite reactions/feelings at ‘close up fan page at face book – Link to this is      http://www.facebook.com/closeupindia or as a comment here in my blog post .

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Yo Yo Yosemite

Yosemite  National park located at a distance of around 180 miles from San Fransisco and 300 miles from Los Angeles ,is one of the largest national parks spread over a wide 1100 square feet area.Yosemite  encompasses  the enormous mountains and valleys,giant Sequioa trees and grooves ;a number of water falls ,wide life and scenic natural beauty.It is an ideal location for nurturing  your trekking craze,for it has many beautiful locations accessible on   trekking.

The drive from our place,Santa Clara to Yosemite was fun ,as we explored the different native regions and farm sides throughout.As the yosemite region was approaching, we could feel the nature’s glory, with  narrow and single lane roads  winding like a roller coaster and  surrounded with hills on one side ; the valleys with dense trees and forests on the other side.As we entered the Yosemite valley ,we could see huge granite rock hills and mountains  and they looked  amazing and increased our curiosity to explore the rest of it.The Yosemite valley in fact took us to a different world, like those seen in ideal picture portraits and sketches of nature.Though we stayed there  only for a day;the trip was a wonderful memoir.Here,I would list a few important spots to be visited at Yosemite valley.

Yosemite valley can be explored by a drive in a car or by the of free shuttle  bus service within the park.I would rather suggest the shuttle becuase that would offer a guided descriptive tour of the entire valley .The shuttle stops at all the important locations including :

  • Museum:This museum exhibits  the history of Yosemite ;pictures of  some native people living in yosemite ,gallery exhibiting the  photographic views of various granite cliffs,mountains and water falls.
  • Yosemite falls:Yosemite falls comprises of the upper ,middle and lower yosemite falls  and spans from a hieght of approximately 2400 ft ,giving it the credit to be one of the largest falls in the world.Lower Yosemite falls is at a short distance walk and takes us to the base  of the water falls.The Water falls emerges from a narrow creek which gushes down to form a huge torrent;leaving us wondering about the marvel of nature!

Yosemite Falls Location during late summer

Yosemite falls in it's elegant form.

  • Swinging bridge ;Vernal and Bridal veil falls and Glacier point : Swinging bridge is a place  from where you could trek to the Vernal and Bridal veil falls.Vernal falls  looks beautiful dropping from a hieght of 200 meters and is at a distance of around 1 miles  trail trek. The trail further carries us through a steep trek towards the Bridal veil falls and is at a distance of 2 miles from there.I was so exhausted at this point ,that I couldn’t evn dare to climb still further upto the Glacier point”.The Glacier point  is around 4 miles trekking distance from the bridge and one of the most exotic locations on earth ,owing to the breathtaking panoramic view of the entire stretch of the yosmetie valley ; the water falls and granite formations including the el captain rock ,’half dome  shaped granite hill and the valleys.The valley is visible at a drop of around 3000 feet and looks spectacular!The sunset or sunrise views here are elegant and pleasure to eyes of  the spectators. .Glacier point is also accessible via the highway 41 and is drivable up to a short distance away from the view  point ,from where it’s a short walk.

Glacier point view.

Yosemite falls from Glacier point

view from the bridge

  • Elcaptain meadow:This place is located at the outskirts of the park and we could stop by and watch this as we drive out of the yosemite valley.This features a huge granite rock named“Elcaptain” which is a huge spectacular rock formation.

El Captain granite

  • Sentinel meadow and Sentinel bridge: These locations give a beautiful view of the Half dome shaped granite rock as well as it’s reflection in the merced river and also the  Yosemite falls and Elcaptain.

Half Dome

A beautiful lake on the way

PS: Yosemite has a variety of activities which includes Trekking ,Hiking rock climbing ,biking ,bird watching ,forest camping ,water activities like swimming,rafting,fishing etc for enthusiastic people.Lodging facilities are avialiable and also tent houses for camping.visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm for details.

Mystery spot -Santa cruz

MYSTERY SPOT : This place is located at Santa Cruz ,CA ,at a distance of approximately 40 miles from City of  San Fransisco.This is termed as a”mystical “place where you experience effects of gravity ,perspective ,positioning and variations in hieght.This place was discovered in 1939 by some surveyors and has been a point of interest and curiosity since then for many spectators and visitors.This area has a small wooden house ‘ located at a small circular area of around 50 meters diameter which has this ‘magical effect’.People have a lot of predictions including  ‘extraterrestrial effect’;’haunted house’;Some heavy metals buried beneath the place ;co2 seepage underneath the house ,etc etc;but the credits for these phenomenon  seems to be given to some scientists for the  optical phenomenon demonstrated here by them.
The drive to this place was very skeptical and seemed very mysterious with narrow winding roads and dense forests around with tall sequoia trees touching the sky;no where giving us the hints of a tourist location ahead.Finally when we reached the place ,it seemed like a small area with only forest around and not even some shops or entertainment spots around.The tour was guided with a tour guide who took a bunch of people of 20 in number  at a time.This haunted house ‘ mimicking  place  was located at a small hilltop and we had to trek a little distance to reach it.On reaching there ,the guide demonstrated some phenomenon like –
1.’when a ball was placed on a wooden plank facing downwards,the ball would travel in the opposite direction uphill’ rather then rolling down!
2.Drops of water flown on the plank would also roll upwards and drip rather than flowing down towards the sloping side.
3.She asked few people to stand in a row in ascending order of their heights  on a flat board and it appeared that the shorter person  seemed  the same height as the tallest person.
After all these,we entered the house ,and there we felt as if we were leaning ,and we couldn’t stand still and were feeling dizzy or as if we were about to experience a fall.Everybody around appeared leaning either towards the side or to the front.People were trying hard to keep themselves balanced and stand erect. Appeared like everyone where boozed and intoxicated!. When we stood on the window steps on the wall ,we appeared to lean forward as if  we would fall ,but in spite of that were standing erect!A table was placed inside the house and people were standing on the table to experience the enigma.People were perceived to be leaning forward and still managed not to lose their balance and trip down!So everything around seemed as if there was no effect of ‘gravitational force’ in the house! On close observation,what we felt and concluded was that the house was constructed at a ’tilted angulation’ opposite to the direction in which the hill was directed towards.For ex:If the hill was sloping from direction” x to y”;the house was tilted at an angle of ‘y to x’ so that the gravitational effect would be neutralised.Sounds amazing right! Yes this strange ‘engineering and construction marvel ‘ left everyone perplexed.This place is a worth watch just to experience this phenomenon.