Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pandava Caves, Aravelam

The ancient Caves in Aravelam is must visit place for history buffs. These 6th century caves are small that have 5 compartments. The Buddhist monks have carved these caves out of a single hard laterite rock. 


These caves are also known as the Pandava caves as it is believed that Pandavas have stayed here at some point during their 12 year exile as described in the Mahabharata.


At a later period these caves have been converted to shaivite caves. 


Shivlings carved out of granite of different shapes and sizes have been placed in each of these caves. These Shivlings are placed on raised platforms.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Flower Garden of Samdruptse

In the park where tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava in Samdruptse is located there is a beautiful garden.



There are variety of colourful flowers in this garden.



We could also see some flowers that I was seeing for the first time.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Karma Shri Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies, Rumtek

Inside the Rumtek Monastery Complex at Rumtek behind the main monastery, is the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Golden Stupa.


The institute constructed in the year 1984 is the most beautiful building in the complex. The students who study here spend at least 9 years to complete the studies. 


The institute is decorated with colourful murals.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Rang Mahal, Ellora

We have already seen details of Kailasa Temple of Ellora in the earlier post. This 8th century temple has strong architectural influences  of Pallava and Chalukya styles.


Within the enclosed courtyard, there is a flat-roofed main shrine dedicated to Shiva, and an image of his mount Nandi. The rectangular main shrine is called Rang-Mahal because after its completion, the temple was plastered and painted. 


The temple has niches, plasters, windows as well as images of deities and other figures. The 7 meter high plinth is decorated with life size elephants and mythical animals.


The two storey main shrine has Vadys Mandapa, Nandi Mandapa, a pillared hall, an antechamber and a small sanctum surrounded by five subsidiary shrines.


The pillared hall is supported by 16 pillars each with different set of carvings on them.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Boganarasimha Temple, Devarayan Durga

The rocky hills of Devrayan Durga near Bangalore is surrounded by forest. The hill is dotted with several temples and at the at the foot of the hill is Boganarasimha Temple.



This ancient temple is of the Chola period and has been renovated recently. This temple enjoyed the patronage of many kings from various dynasties and also is well known for its simple but beautiful architectural marvel. 



Lord Narsihma is main deity of this temple and The idol of Goddess Lakshmi devi  is also seen here. The temple has beautifully carved tower. Also adjacent to the tower in the temple is beautifully carved sculptures showing various avatarts of Lord Krishna.



Saturday, July 29, 2017

Birds of Hebbal Lake - 17, Bangalore

Glimpses of birds at Hebbal Lake in north Bangalore.



Monday, July 24, 2017

Charminar, Hyderabad

The Charminar in Hyderabad, is a historic monument as well as mosque that is visited by tourista all over the world. The ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah built this magnificent structure in 1591. 


It is part of old city and was constructed at the intersection of the historical trade route that connects the markets of Golkonda with the port city of Machilipatnam.


It is built using Indo-Islamic architecture style, incorporating Persian architectural elements. It is constructed using limestone, mortar and marble. It is a square structure with each side having 66 feet wide grand arches in the four directions. There are 149 winding steps inside each of the minaret to reach the upper floor.


The minarets at each corner are exquisitely shaped with three storeyes rise  to a height 0f 56 meters. Each minaret is crowned by a bulbous dome with dainty petal-like designs at the base. 


The mosque is located at the western end of the open roof; remaining part of the roof served as a court during the Qutb Shahi times. The interiors of the dome is beautifully carved. 


The clock on the four cardinal directions was added in 1889. At the base of Charminar there was originally a water cistern at the center with a small fountain. The every inch of the structure is beautifully carved.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Red-necked Ibis at Talkad

We came across many birds during our visit to Talkad. We spotted many birds around the temple in this small village. One of them is Red-necked Ibis.


It is a medium sized bird, measuring 60-70 cm in length. It has bright reddish warts on the crown and the nape. It is a black bird with a patch of white near the shoulder. 


These birds inhabit grasslands, meadows, marshes, riverbeds and irrigated farmland. They build nest in trees.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bangalore Palace

Bangalore Palace, is a magnificent palace located in Bangalore that still retains its old world charm. Construction of a palace building was started in 1874 and completed by 1878 on a land of area 454 acres.



The palace with a floor area of 45000 sqft was built in Tudor style architecture with fortified towers, battlements and turrets. In the later years, Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar added some portions outside of Durbar Hall during his reign. 



All together there are 35 rooms in palace and most of them are bed rooms. The first floor has an elaborate hall known as the Durbar Hall that can be reached by climbing a decorated staircase. The walls along the staircase are adorned with paintings.



Durbar Hall is a sprawling hall where the king used to address the assembly. One side of the hall contains stained glass windows in Gothic style. The yellow color is used profusely and the walls and the sofa set in the hall are in yellow. 



The furniture are neo-classical, Victorian and Edwardian in style. They were bought from John Roberts and Lazarus. 



The interior walls of the palace are adorned by 19th century old paintings. Some of those are also Greek and Dutch paintings.



The interiors were decorated with elegant wood carvings, floral motifs and relief paintings on the ceiling. The palace also has beautiful  work of arts and crafts on display.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Eurasian curlew at Bhitarkanika

In Bhitarkanika National Park we  hired a boat and cruised in the lake. Event it is off season we wanted to try our luck to spot some birds. One of them is Eurasian curlew.


It is one of the largest wader that is 50–60 cm in length. This is a greyish brown bird with a white back and greyish-blue legs. It is a very long curved bill. 


It feeds by probing soft mud for small invertebrates. It is one of the most widespread of the curlews, and can be seen across Europe and Asia. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer has many interesting sites of architectural importance. One of them is Bada Bagh that is on the outskirts of the city just 6 kms away.



It contains a set of royal cenotaphs built in memory of Kings and Queens of Jaisalmer. The first one to be built is for Maharaja Jai Singh II of Bhatti Dynasty in 18th century.



There are two distinct rows of cenotaphs, that look distinctly similar. They have been carved beautifully and some of them have interesting carvings on them.



Later on, many more cenotaphs were constructed here for other Bhattis. The last one built was for Maharaja Jawahar Singh sometime in 20th century.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rani Sipri's Mosque, Ahmedabad

Rani Sipri's Mosque located in the old area of Ahmadabad is one of the ancient monuments that is known for its elegance. the construction of this medieval mosque was commissioned in 1514 by Queen Sipri the wife of Mahmud Begada herself.


It is also known as Masjid-e-Nagina (Jewel of a mosque) because of its elegant proportions and slender minarets.


This mosque even though small in size it impresses all with the intricate cravings on its walls. The artistic work in the mosque are a reflection of the beautiful craftsmanship of the bygone era. 


The slender and ornate minarets of this magnificent mosque are the major attraction.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Birds in Bhitarkanika

Bhitarkanika National Park is home for many common as well as rare birds. We spotted few common birds while going in a boat ride in the river.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Snow Peaks of Lachen

Lachen is a scenic mountain village surrounded by imposing snow capped peaks, glaciers and rock cliffs.



Th place in all directions is surrounded by snow capped peaks.






Monday, July 3, 2017

Sayaji Baug Zoo - Tortoise

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 Tortoises.


They are land-dwelling reptiles that are shielded from predators by a shell. They vary in size from a few centimetres to two meters. They are the longest living land animal in the world.


They move very slowly on dry land. Most of them feed on grasses, weeds, flowers, and some fruits. There are also some species that feed on worms or insects.


The zoo has variety of tortoise species.