Monday, December 4, 2017

Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi

Veera Narayana Temple located in Belavadi is an ancient 12th century temple carved in soapstone. This temple comprising of three shrines was built during the rule of the Hoysala King Veera Ballala II.


In this temple with unique architecture each  of the three shrines has a complete by itself with tower on top of the shrine. Among the three shrines, two of the shrines face each other and are located on either side of a wide and spacious open hall with thirty seven bays.


The central shrine is much older and its inner walls are plain with well decorated roof. In all, the temple complex has fifty nine bays that is exhibited by many pillars. While most of these pillars are lathe-turned and bell shaped, some have decorative carvings on them. 


The outer wall of the temple has many eaves running around the temple. Below this are miniature decorative towers on pilasters. A panel of Hindu deities and their attendants are below this eves followed by a set of five moldings that form the base of the wall.


All shrines have sculptured decoration on the towers, and the sculptures on the walls are bold and are visible from a distance. These beautiful sculptures represent various forms of deity of the temple.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Lakshmi Narayana Mandir, Somnath

These are group of temples at Somnath situated on the banks of a Hiren river. This is a calm and serene place just 5 kms away from the Someshwar Mahadev Temple.



Lakshmi Narayana Mandir is modern temple built by Birla family in 1970 very next to Gita Mandir.



It is dedicated to Lord Lakshmi-Narayan (Vishnu) and is said to be a replica of Lakshmi-Narayan Temple of Badrinath.  



Monday, November 27, 2017

Brick Monastery, Udayagiri

At Udayagiri, the Buddhist site in Orissa, ASI have excavated many interesting structures that were created any time between 7th and 12th century. One such excavation has brought to light the remains of a huge monastic complex comprising a Mahastupa and an east facing square monastery.


This monastery has the mountains as its backdrop giving it a majestic look. The monastery measures about 35 M sq. and had 21 cells.


At the back-end of the courtyard, in the sanctum there is a huge 12 feet statue of Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra. On his either side are Vajrapani and Padmapani.


The door frame to the sanctum is beautifully carved. The detailing with flying apsaras, pupil climbing vines, elephants are simply beautiful. The eyes, nose and lips of a miniature human forms are crafted with at most care.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Archaeological Museum, Lothal

The Archaeological Museum at Lothal was setup in 1976. In the museum it displays artifacts recovered from the excavation conducted from 1952 to 1961. 



It showcases beads, terracotta ornaments, shell and ivory objects, copper and bronze objects, tools and potteries yielded from excavations. There are about 800 objects are on display in the museum.




Sadly photography is not allowed inside the museum. Outside the museum there is a tree and there I spotted a new bird that I had not seen before.



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Shri Shiddeshwar Temple, Bijapur

Shri Shiddeshwar Temple in Bijapur is located at heart of the city.



It is on behalf of Solapur Shree Siddarameshwar of Basav's Saints. This is a relatively new temple when compared to other ancient structures of the city.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Temi Tea Garden, Ravangla

The Temi Tea Garden in Ravangla, considered one of the best in India and in the world. It is established in 1969 by the Government of Sikkim.



It is the only tea garden in Sikkim. The garden is laid over a gradually sloping hill covering an area of 177 hectares. 



Organic tea is produced in this garden based on the guidelines issued by the Institute of Marketology (IMO) of Switzerland.

Top quality tea is produced, which has great demand in the international market.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Flowers at Sim's Park - 1, Coonoor

Sim's Park in Coonoor is one of the major attraction that is feast for the nature lovers. Here one can see variety of beautiful and colorful flowers.



Here are a few of them.





Monday, November 13, 2017

ASI Museum Sculptures - 2, Shimoga

In Shimoga in the fort area is the 16th century Shivappa Nayak Palace  has been converted into a A.S.I Museum. There are many sculptures in this museum which were excavated from various regions. Some of them are sculptures of Bodhisattva. 


In early Indian Buddhism, Bodhisattva was primarily used to refer specifically to Gautama Buddha in his former life. Here is sculpture of 2nd century Gandhara style Bodhisattva Head excavated from Taxila.


Here is another sculpture of 5th century Gupta style Bodhisattva Head excavated from Saranath.


Tara in Tibetan Buddhism, is a female form of Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism. Here is sculpture between 11 - 12 century Gupta style Tara female Head in black stone from Alwar. Another is sculpture between 9 - 10 century Prathihara style Tara female Head in white stone excavated from Saranath.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Redstart at Gir

In Gir Sanctuary went for Safari in an open jeep and we could see some birds flying around. We spotted the Redstart in open areas of the forest.


The adult male has overall dark grey to black on the upper parts and a black breast. The lower rump and tail are orange-red, and tail feathers dark red-brown.They have bright orange-red tails. The wings are blackish-grey.


They are rarely seen on the ground. They are usually seen on the trees.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Parvati Temple, Kurudumale

At  Kurudumale there are many temples that are known for their architecture and spiritual importance. Here  Ganesha Temple and Someshwara Temple are very ancient.



Parvati Temple is one of the ancient temple here that is very simple. The temple was closed when we were in this place. 



However, we could see the deity from the window.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Ravangla

Ravangla is a semi town that lies between Pelling and Gangtok. It is an elevation of 7000 ft and experiences snowfall during winter.



This picturesque place is a must visit for who tour Sikkim. When we reached this place in the late afternoon it was very cold and covered in mist.



The places of interest here are:

How to Reach: It is at a distance of 65 km away from the state capital Gangtok. From this place we drove a distance of 49 kms from Pelling.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Red Vented Bulbul at Coonoor

In Sim's Park of Coonoor among the various plants and trees one can also see a lot of birds. During tour of the park we also spotted many birds and one such bird is Red Vented Bulbul.



Their body is dark brown with a scaly pattern while the head is darker or black. 



The rump is white while the vent is red. The black tail is tipped in white. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sinquerim

Sinquerim is a coastal village in North Goa. This is a beautiful village around 16 kms from the state capital Panaji close to Candolim.



This village has pristine Sinquerim Beach and huge Fort Aguada that flanks it’s southern tip.



Monday, October 30, 2017

Great Masjid - Qutub Shahi Complex Hyderabad

Great Mosque in Hyderabad is one of the grandest masjid in the city. It is popularly known as the great masjid of the Golkonda tombs.


This beautiful masjid is next to the tomb of Hayat Bakshi Beguminside inside the Qutub Shahi Tomb Complex. It was built in 1666 A.D. by Hayat Bakshi Begum's son, the 7th Sultan Abdullah. 


The architecture has a distinctive style that blends Persian, Pashtun and Hindu forms. The Prayer Hall is 76 feet wide and has three bays which are 51 feet deep. The front has a five arched facade. 


Fifteen cupolas decorate the roof and the prayer-hall is flanked by two lofty minarets. The inscriptions in the masjid are in calligraphic art. 


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Coot at Jakkur Lake, Bangalore

At Jakkur Lake in north Bangalore you can come across many colorful birds. One of them is Coot.


Coots are small water birds. They have predominantly black plumage with red to dark red eyes and colored bills.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bhedaghat

Bhedaghat is a small town is just 20 kms from Jabalpur by the side of the river Narmada. It is ideal getaway for people looking for a peaceful time from their busy schedule. The place is known worldwide for huge marble rocks found here.



The other places of interest here are:

Monday, October 23, 2017

Pemayangtse, Perfect Sublime Lotus

Pemayangtse is located in the South Western part of Sikkim at a distance of 9 kms from Pelling. It is at a height of 6,000 feet above sea level. 



The weather in this place is amazing with mild and short summer followed by monsoon and cold winter.



The name of the town means the “Perfect Sublime Lotus” as indicated by the name it is beautiful place with full of greenery. It is also a important Buddhist religious center.



Pemayangtse Monsastery located on the hill top is a beautiful place. One can also get a magnificent view of Ruins of Rabdentse Palace from here.