Category: INDIA EXPLORED


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

MY BANGALORE (PART 2)

Hello readers,I had to come back to update my post because Bangalore would be incomplete without the gardens! Indian cities being highly populated and congested;there is no scope for trees and greenery.In this sense,Bangalore stands apart with the unique feature of incorporating trees in front of almost every house and street ;and also the city municipal corporation /Bangalore developmental authority/BDA trying to maintain the parks and also attempting to sustain and enhance the available land and resources and develop new gardens or parks for every single locality.The most famous gardens in Bangalore which cannot be afforded to miss are:

1.LALBAGH BOTANICAL GARDENS:One of the oldest gardens in Bangalore,it was built by Tippu sultan’s father Hyder ali in 1740!Lal bagh has a variety of species of trees,herbs and plants from around the world.This garden is famous for the ‘Glass House’ which was built on the grounds of ‘crystal palace‘in London.This glass house houses a variety of plants ,including heart whelming varieties of blooming roses.There are flower shows conducted at different times in the year for special occasions;the most famous being ‘republic day flower show‘.Lalbagh is incorporated with an organised  designing and decor with beautiful landscapes,fountains,lotus pond,seating arrangements,statues and a 3000 year old huge  rock which is a major spot for tourists to enjoy the cool breeze and relish their souls.

Glass house lalbagh

2CUBBON PARK:This park was built by Sir Mark Cubbon,hence the name;and  is spread over a 300 acre region and is the largest in the city.The park houses  a large aquarium near the entrance ,which is the second largest in the country;a red olden style brick finished building which has the city central library;High court,Jawahar Bal Bhavan,children’s museum and park ;a number of monuments;statues;beautiful landscapes;well laid lawns and a variety of flowering plants.The kid’s train ride is famous here.It is an ideal place for a pleasant evening away from the busy noises of the city ;yet located centrally in the heart of the city!You can reach here from the central Majestic area or Mg road and is 5 kms distance approximately from both places.

children's museum

 

 

3.LUMBINI GARDENS:This place is a little far away from the city around 15 kms,almost in the outskirts.It has a large lake named ‘Nagavara lake’ surrounding a small amusement park.The lake offers different boat rides and the amusement park mainly has kids rides and also some fun adult rides along with water games and slides.It has a pleasant view .

 


 

PLACES AROUND BANGALORE:

1.BANNERGHATTA NATIONAL PARK AND ZOO: This place is located at a distance of 25 kms from Bangalore and ha a wild life sanctuary and a zoo located in a national park.This place is a major attraction for the kids with a variety of species of animals and birds in the zoo .Elephants are a major attraction here in the zoo and could be seen roaming around throughout the zoo.There are elephant rides available for both adults and kids.The other side of the park has a Wild life sanctuary and a ‘Safari ride‘ is available for watching the sanctuary at a reasonable cost of 250rs/person.The safari ride experience is wonderful with Tigers of different species ,including the ‘royal bengal tigers‘ and Lions mainly and also all other species of wild life .

 

2.NANDI HILLS:This place is situated at a distance of 55kms from Bangalore and is a major sightseeing/picnic location with exotic hills of the Western Ghats and scenery around.These hills are at a height of 1500 meters above the sea level and the drive is scenic with winding roads and valleys around.Nandi Hillsis is a massive granite rock hill and  resembles a ‘sleeping bull’ in it’s shape and hence the name.There is an ancient fort named’ tippu fort’ built by Tippu Sultan and also has a cliff named ‘Tippu drop‘which used to be a location of  death punishments by the king in the ancient days.An anciet temple of ‘Nandi’is also located here.

3.OLD BANYAN TREE:This spot which is at a distance of 25 kms from Bangalore ,is situated at Ramahalli and is an unique place  due to the strange fact that this 500 year old Banyan tree has its branches and roots spread out at a width of 400 acres!The huge tree with its expansions ,looks like a massive jungle by itself.

4.MEKEDATU/SANGAMA:This term means’goat pass’ meaning in  this place the river  narrowes down at a particular place in between the rocks which allows only a thin stream or is comparable to as little as that where a  goat can pass through!The river then suddenly widens or stretches wide and gushes with a roaring noise ,and then flows down a distance to form a water  fall.This place is also a little dangerous because of the high turbulence of the river ,and is not advisable to attempt getting down /swimming here.This place is off Kanakpura road and is around 80kms from Bangalore .The road is approachable till  ‘Sangama’which is a place where river Arkavati and Kaveri meet;from here we need to take a round boat or walk along the river up to the ‘mekedatu’.The walk in water or boat ride is exotic.

5.SHIVANASAMUDRA FALLS:This place is a little far away  at a distance of 120 kms from Bangalore ,located in Mandya district,but nevertheless not to be missed!This is the place where the famous river Kaveri branches into 2 streams ‘gaganachukki ‘and barachukki’.The surrounding areas have beautiful forests and hills surrounding ;it looks like a picture perfect portrait with greenery and mist.There is a watch tower here for observation of the falls.People could even go down to the falls ,but it’s always better to be on the cautious side.

The shivanasamudra falls overview.

 

My Bangalore (part 1)

Living in Bangalore/Bengaluru  for more than 7 years ,I have known Bangalore quite a lot ;and it wouldn’t be wrong if I nomenclate it as “mine”:).Bangalore , termed the ‘garden city‘ has tried to survive still as the garden city with a lot of greenery ,gardens ,parks and trees spread all over the city amidst the fumigating vehicles and tall buildings.Bangalore can be termed as  a perfect synchronization of modernity and traditionalism. Pubs, disco techs ,trendiest attire clad gals n guys on Mg road/commercial and Residency streets on one side and  temples spread in every nook n corner , traditional /spiritual people  ,people boasting with ethnic  on the other end.Bangalore is the main IT hub and is called ‘Silicon city‘ also and  has a mixed cultural heritage with people from all over the country dwelling here  for different  purposes and speaking a variety of languages.Bangalore has  everything to visit including the scientific innovations to the architectural structures , traditional temples and entertainment places.I have managed to see a lot of places and have created my own list of top priorities in and around Bangalore for sight-seeing.

ARCHITECTURAL SPLENDORS:

1.BANGALORE PALACE : This palace was built-in 1880 by Chamaraja Wodeyar ,king of Mysore , and was exemplified by the ‘Windsor Castle‘ ‘in  England.The building has beautiful tall pillars in the exterior  giving the ‘castle’look.The interiors are exuberant with Floral motifs ,wooden pillars and carvings on the walls and stupendous ceilings with chandeliers and beautiful paintings.The ‘Durbar hall’is the main attraction in the palace with it’s architectural and interiors excellence .These days ,palace serves as a venue for film shootings,concerts,special functions and exhibitions.The palace is surrounded by or located in the premises of a huge ground named ‘Palace grounds’, which is the most desired locations for musical shows and concerts, marriage functions and receptions.

2.VIDHANA SOUDHA: This is another monument (housing the state legislative assembly) which is a worth watch;but only from outside,since the visitors are blocked to enter,unless having the vip pass which is given by the MLA. Anyways,built by the central government in the year 1956,this building was built after the transition of the wodeyar dynasty to state government.This monument is located near the Cubbon park and is at the center of the city.The structure and design is unique ,having a large central dome which is 66ft tall and also has a ‘Ashoka Lion ‘with 4 heads at the top of it ,which represents the state.The building is built in Dravidian style ,built  wholly with granite ,hieght of 700 ft and has pillars and domes supporting .

 

3.TIPPU’S PALACE: Built by Kempe Gowda  in 1553 ,this palace has good architectural design with mostly wooden built and pillars of teak wood.The palace now has only ruined paintings and pillars and is located in a very crowded market place and I personally feel is not a real wort watch.

TEMPLES: being the internal part of Bangalore ,Temples are very difficult to be mentioned ;but still I would like to mention these temples which are a must watch for their uniqueness.

1.GAVI GANGADHEESWARA TEMPLE: This temple is located in Basavanagudi,south Bangalore and is Lord Shiva’s temple and was built by Kempe Gowda in 16th century.This temple has a ‘Nandi/bull at the exterior and huge granite pillars with 2 large discs representing sun and moon.The temple has a unique feature that it was built inside a natural  cave and exhibits the architectural intelligence of the builders. Temple is dark inside and  has different idols within ,the main one being the ‘shiva linga ‘at the center.People have to bend while going around the temple for ‘pradakshina’and is extremely difficult for tall people,but the builder has made sure that the devotee does not face difficulties while seeing the lord or doing the offerings ,and so has built the central portion at a hieght where a person could stand.There is a special phenomenon happening in this temple every year during  ‘Makara sankranti’/mid January.Sun’s rays cross through the bull statue outside and directly illuminate the ‘shivalinga’ inside only on this particular day and devotees gather in masses to observe this.

2.BULL TEMPLE  AND ‘DODDA GANAPATHI/BIG GANESHA TEMPLE: Bull temple and Dodda Ganesha temple are next to each other and are located at Basavanagudi in south Bangalore around 3 km from gavi temple.The bull temple has a history that it was built by Kempe Gouda,founder of Bangalore to save the farmers from the fright of their groundnut fields being destroyed every night by a bull.There is a huge granite bull situated inside the shrine which is located at the ‘Bugal rock/hill‘.The bull measures 4.5 m in height  and  6.5m in length.The Bugal rock on the other side has a beautiful park and a view point at the top,which is also a location for movie shootings.The dodda Ganesha temple located down the bugal rock,has a large Ganesha idol built with a single stone and decorated round the year with butter.The idol looks beautiful decorated with butter and sometimes people even refer to this idol as ‘benne   Ganesha ‘meaning ‘butter ganesh.

3.Iskcon temple: This is lord Krishna’s temple located at the chord road off vijayanagar.This temple was built in a modern style along with incorporation of traditional elements needed for a temple.Temple has elegant interiors and marble flooring;exterior also looks distinguished.People from all over th world visit this temple;and ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna devotees are seen in the temple reciting chants and devotional songs.

4.There are few other  temples which not only serve the purpose of devotion ,but also a sightseeing place like ‘Ragiguuda Hanuman temple located at Jayanagar 9th block ,Lord Shiva’s temple at Indira nagar.

TECHNOLOGICAL AND INNOVATIVE PLACES:

1.NEHRU PLANETARIUM: This planetarium is a scientific center and is a eye-opener for astronomical facts and is ideal for learners and students.It has  a 15 m diameter dome with ‘a sky theater and large seating capacity and displays astronomical phenomenon on the top of the dome as it appears at night.

2.VISHWESWARIAH TECHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM:This museum located at Kasthurba road has a variety of scientific and technological elements for display including the airplanes,steam engines,’electro technical gallery’s ‘children’s science gallery’.

3.INNOVATIVE FILM CITY:I truly  don’t  suggest this,but it’s worth a watch if you have some extra time and need to have fun.This place was built on the grounds of Universal studios ,Los Angeles,and has some good museums like ‘Louis Tussaud’s museum,’Jurassic Fossil museum and ‘Ripley’s museum;4D Theater,Amphitheater,film shooting sets and studios including airplane, artificial Eiffel tower,some good housing colonies  ,also featuring some news channel sets , some entertainment zones like a double-decker carousel ,cartoon city,go carting, roller coaster rides for kids, Dinosaur world,Haunted Mansion featuring some skulls ,skeletons and horror and  special effects in a 2 storied building.You can spend half day or more with family and small kids here.

Innovative film city