Saturday, July 30, 2016

Scaly Breasted Munia at Jakkur Lake, Bangalore

At Jakkur Lake in north Bangalore you can come across many colourful birds. One of them is Scaly breasted Munia.



It is a sparrow-sized bird named so because of distinct scale-like feather markings on the breast and belly.



It is about 11 to 12 centimetres long. They are characterised by brown upper-parts and a dark brown head with stubby dark bill. The underparts are white with dark scale markings. 



They can be seen in tropical plains and grasslands. They mainly feed on grass seeds apart from berries and small insects. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Riverside Palace, Gondal

The Riverside Palace in Gondal one of the many palaces in this city. Presently this property is a heritage hotel where one can taste of royal splendour.



This magnificent structure was built in 1880 by Maharajah Bhagwat Sinhji for the then Crown Prince of Gondal. It has a well furnished living room with colonial style with chandelier, antique wooden furniture and sofas.



We could not take snaps inside as it was not allowed.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kevda Masjidh, Champaner

This masjid inside the Citadel of Champaner, in Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is one of the many beautiful mosque built during the reign of Mahmud Begda between 15th and 16th century.


It is rectangular on plan with a double storeyed main prayer hall. There are two minarets on either side of the central arched entrance.


The windows provided with pillared balcony are beautiful and exquisitely decorated. The minarets are beautifully carved and niches are filled with floral and geometrical designs.


Originally the mosque had three domes built above the prayer hall but the largest central dome has collapsed.


One can also see the birds in the open space around this place.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Naida Caves, Diu


Naida caves in Diu are within a short distance from the town. These caves totalling about 11 is a intriguing network of square hewn hollows.



These caves have a natural opening that allows sunlight to enter the caves, making out to be a visual delight. A labyrinth of orange rock caves, look beautiful with sunbeams gleaming in through the open areas.



It is not clear how these caves are formed. The studies show that the caves were formed due to geological irregularities and processes over a significant amount of time.



It is believed that when the Portuguese ruled over Diu, they broke down sections of a huge rock formation, that they used for construction of the Diu Fort. This resulted in the formation of these caves.



Monday, July 18, 2016

Bull Temple, Bangalore

Bull Temple in Bangalore at the southern end of Bull Temple Road, Basvangudi. This is one of the oldest temple in the city and it is built by Kempe Gowda in 1537 A.D. during the Vijaynagar period. 



The temple is at the top of Bungle Hill. The temple has an impressive tower that is decorated with sculptures on all the sides.



This attraction at this temple is the colossal image of bull. it is 5 meters in height and 6 meters in its length. The monolithic bull out of the granite stone is much older than the temple itself. 



Originally colour of the bull was grey and gradually, it turned black as devotees applied coconut oil to it.



It is believed that the temple was constructed to pacify a bull, who went on rampage in a ground nut field. It is also thought that the statue size increases further and as per the advise of Lord Shiva, to prevent the bull from growing further a trident was placed on the forehead of the bull. 



In this temple the Bulls the principle deity and behind this gigantic Nandi, there is a Shiva lingam. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Green Parraot at Srirangapatana

During our tour of Srirangapatana, we spotted  a parrot around the temple premises. Here are few shots.




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ganesha Temple, Kurudumale

Ganesha Temple at Kurudumale is one of the 15th century temple built during the time of Vijayanagara Kings.



This temple is built of a single rock without any foundation. On the exterior the temple is simple and plane. Half of the temple has different style of carving, believed to have been done by the legendary artist Jakanachari.



On the interior of the temple there are beautifully carved pillars. 



The massive Ganesha Idol here is 13.5 feet long and 6 to 7 feet in width. Opposite to Lord Ganesha is a big mouse sculpture.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Cave No. 16, Ajanta

The excavation of Cave No. 16 at Ajanta was ordered by Varahadeva, the minister of King Harishena in the late 6th century A.D. The entrance gate to this cave is carved with an elephant on either side.



This monastery with its colossal hall, ornate doors and windows, beautifully painted galleries, sculptures, ornamented pillars is a architectural beauty that makes it one of the most striking in the series. 



This is a monastery that consists of a central hall surrounded by 14 cells on three sides, vestibule and a sanctum for Buddha image. The veranda has octagonal columns. The sanctum of this cave is devoid of doorway and antarala. The sanctum has Buddha image seated in pralambapadasana. 



Originally the entire cave was beautifully painted but now very little of the painting now remain. Several interesting scenes from the life of Buddha such as the infant Buddha, Siddhartha at school- drawing the bow, miracle of Sravasti; and other Jataka stories are depicted.



The "Dying Princess" is considered to be one of the important paintings produced in this cave. The princess is wife of Nanda the cousin brother of Buddha. She fell ill after hearing the decision of her husband that to renounce the crown and to become a monk. The dying woman with drooping head, half-closed eyes, and languid limbs, reclines on a bed.



Apart from painting there are beautiful sculptures in the cave at the juncture of pillars and ceiling.



Saturday, July 9, 2016

Malyadi Bird Sanctuary

Malyadi is a small village just 24 kms from Udupi. It has been home for both large congregation of resident birds. One can also see lot of migratory birds here. Over the years number of birds visiting this  place us increasing steadily. This has prompted the people in developing it is bird sanctuary.



This place, spread over 1.5 sq. kms, is actually an abandoned clay query. Since then it has become a marshland as excessive rain water got accumulated in this land. 



The flora and fauna differs from what is found locally. This may be one of the reasons for the birds showing interest here. You can see migratory birds coming here during the winter time and leave before the first monsoon rains.



One can see numerous birds here. To name a few – Whistiling Teals, Purple Moorhen, White Ibis, Comb duck, Carmorants and Darters.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Shamalaji

Shamalaji is a small village in the state of Gujarat. This beautiful place is in a valley surrounded by well wooded Aravali hills. 



This small village is a pilgrimage centre that has anceint temples and we visited two of them. They are:

We visited this place on National Highway 8 on our way from Adalaj to Ambaji.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Sikkim Travel Itinerary

So far my travel has been to Indian states which are known for heritage monuments. But, it was a long pending desire to visit states that has natural beauty in abundance. Finally that wish cam true on May 2016 with a trip to Sikkim. As it was not possible to visit such distant place repeatedly, it was our desire to cover important destinations in 8 days.



That was followed by extensive research and immediately hotel bookings and travel arrangements were done. We started from Bangalore by the morning flight and reached Baghdogra in the late afternoon. 



From here a 5 hours drive took us to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Best part of the trip is that one get to see Himalaya from any place in the state.



On first day we did the local sightseeing in Gangtok which included garden, monastery and view points among other sites. 



On the second day we moved to Lachen by seeing various scenic spots on the way including waterfalls. On third day we left hotel as early as 4:00 am for Gurudongmar Lake. Once back from the lake we proceeded to Lachung.



On fourth day after covering flower valley at Yumthang, cold zone at Yumesamdong we reached back in Gangtok by the night. On the fifth day we went around Tsomgo Lake, Nathula and were back to hotel after some shopping.



On the sixth day we reaching Pelling in the night via Namchi and Ravangla. Next day we did the local sightseeing and this a place is a heaven for birdwatchers. On eight day we left for Kolkotta. First we reached Siriguli to board the train. 


Day
Start From
Stay At
Sightseeing
Day 1
Gangtok
Gangtok
Gangtok
Day 2
Gangtok
Lachen
View points
Lachen
Day 3
Lachen
Lachung
Gurudongmar
View points
Lachung
Day4
Lachung
Gangtok
Yumthang Yumesamdong
Day 5
Gangtok
Tsmgo
Nathula
Day 6
Gangtok
Pelling
Namchi
Ravangla
Day 7
Pelling
Pelling
Day 8
Pelling
View Points


But as our tickets were not confirmed we had to travel by bus to Kolkotta. After the hectic travel we reached the place only next day afternoon. But that is for another day and we shall cover Sikkim in detail very soon.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Sayaji Baug Zoo - Pelicans

Sayaji Baug Zoo at Vododara is one of the biggest zoo in the country. There are various wild animals and birds at the zoo. One among them is Pelican. 



They are large water birds characterised by a long beak and a large throat pouch. They have predominantly pale plumage.