Monday, November 25, 2013

Excellent Architecture in Alamatti Dam


On 26/11, I want to share this apt architecture seen near Alamatti Dam.
This structure seen in garden developed next to Alamatti Dam, calls for unity amongst all Indians irrespective of religion/caste & creed. We should never forget the famous phrase - "Together we stand; divided we fall".

Alamatti Dam is one of the largest projects in India.
This massive dam built across River Krishna is 524 meter high and holds capacity of 200 TMC storage capacity. Due to this mega project, large areas of Bagalkot(Baagalakote) district in Northern Karnataka got submerged including Bagalkot town. Since its incorporation, Alamatti Dam has played key role in agriculture & irrigation projects in Norther Karnataka.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Beautiful McArthur-Burney Falls

058/366 McArthur-Burney Falls, California

Burney Falls is one of the lovely waterfalls I have seen. While water flows down the rocks, lovely patterns are formed. Water at the base is cyan color and is very attractive.

Once upon a time, this 129 Feet mesmerizing falls was home for Native Indians/Native Americans. They dug deep pits here and were referred as Pit River Indians. This spot was considered "Power spot" by them.

Burney falls is located in Shasta County, Northern California.

Friday, November 15, 2013

DevPrayag - beginning of mighty, holy River Ganga

DevPrayag, is a holy place, where two beautiful rivers - Alakananda & Bhagirathi meets.
This merger plays an important role in the forming one of the mightiest rivers on earth. From here onwards, this sacred river is known as "Ganga".
In this picture, River Bhagirathi, seen in light green colored & River Alakananda is brownish.

I have been lucky to visit this place twice. First time, when I was studying class 7. Back then River Bhagirathi was also brownish in Color! Now it is looks clear & has turned in to light green color.
Are you thinking, I am cooking some sort of story here?
Well, no! This color change is due to Tehri Dam built recently across River Bhagirathi.

River Bhagirathi begins its journey in Gaumukh(also pronounced as Go-Mukh). Gaumukh, is considered as birth place of holy Ganga river. But, until this river reaches DevPrayag, it is referred as "Bhagirathi" and not Ganga.

River Alakananda is considered to rise at the foot of Satopanth & Bhagirath Kharak Glaciers.

DevPrayag is amongst "Pancha Prayag" or Five Confluences of River Alakananda. From this point onwards, Ganga still has more than thousand kilometer journey to reach Bay of Bengal.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ananda Bhavan, Allahabad

056/366 Ananda Bhavan, Allahabad

November 14th is celebrated as 'Children's day', in rememberance of "Chacha" Jawaharlal Nehru.

Last year, I happened to see "Anand Bhavan", bought & renovated by Motilal Nehru, in which Jawaharlal Nehru & Indira Gandhi spent their childhood days. Motilal Nehru supposedly spent considerable amount of money to renovate this place.

Indira Gandhi, turned Anand Bhavan into museum in remembrance of Indian Independence related activities and renamed it as "Swaraj Bhavan". Since the day I visited was holiday, I did not have opportunity to see inside.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Aihole - Cradle of Temple Architecture

055/366 Aihole, is famously known as "Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture". This historic town, which was also known as "Ayya-vole" & "Aryapura" has over 125 temples. It appears that, Aihole was used as place to experiment in rock cut architecture. Temples have been built in unique style and experiments have been done with cave architecture as well. These temples dates from 5th century AD to 12th century AD built by Chalukya Dynasty.

Aihole was prominent city during Chalukya Dynasty & it was also early capital for Chalukyas. Over the period when Chalukyas grew in power, Badami became their new capital.

Durga temple depicted in the pic is one of the prominent temple. This temple was probably built around 7th-8th century AD. One can find famous inscription by court poet Ravikeerthi, which depicts Immadi Pulakeshi's win over famous emperor of Kanauj, Harshavardhana. This inscription is in Sanskrit and Old Kannada.
In one of the temples, one can also observe famous Chalukya's Royal Emblem depicting Varaha(Wild boar). Chalukyas were Vaishnavas(devotees of Lord Vishnu).

More details on Aihole:

More details on Chalukyas:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maha Nandi - Lepakshi

054/366 Nandi - Lepakshi

Nandi in this picture is biggest monolithic Nandi sculpture in entire India. It is close to 15 feet high & 27 feet long. This lovely Nandi is made of single granite stone. Nandi faces huge Nagalinga, which is in the main temple at some distance.

Main temple was built by Vijayanagara rulers has Veerabhadra as main deity. Temple ceilings contain many beautiful paintings. Hanging pillar inside the temple is interesting one to see. Pillars in the temple contain many beautiful carvings depicting Brahma, Vastu purusha etc. Temple also contains huge idol of Lord Ganesha. Many Kannada in inscriptions can be found on temple walls.

As per local legend, massive Nagalinga was built by sculptors while they were waiting for their mother to prepare lunch. Another interesting legend is about Viroopakshanna. Viroopakshanna was main sculptor of this temple and due to some misunderstanding between him and King, King ordered him to be blinded. Upon hearing this, Viroopakshanna plucked his eyes and threw them at the wall. One of the wall has two red colored/blood colored marks and is known as "Eyes of Viroopakshanna".

Name of this place "Lepakshi" has links to Ramayana. When Ravana abducted Seeta in flying chariot, bird Jatayu fights with Ravana. Ravana cuts the wings of Jatayu during the epic fight. Jatayu falls down on the ground. Subsequently, when Rama comes in search fo Seeta, he finds Jatayu lying on the ground. With his divine touch & magical word "Le(vu) Pakshi" - "Rise Bird" heals Jatayu. With Rama's touch, Jatayu rises again. Since then, this place is known as "Lepakshi". But now it is pronounced as "lepaakshi".

More info & pics about this place can be found here:

Lepakshi is 122km away from Bangalore and is close to the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Baijanath Mandir, Baijanath

053/366 Introduction to Baijanath, Himachal Pradesh would have been more apt during Dasara.

Baijanath is located on the banks of River Binwa (tributary of River Beas) in Kangra Valley. This place is to the east of Dharmashala. Baijanath town has famous temple of Lord Shiva - Baijanath/Vaidyanath. This temple has many scripts written in 'Sharada' style and it depict that 'Baijnath' was earlier known as 'Keeragraama'. As per the script, this temple was built in 1204 A.D.
Temple built in typical North Indian Nagar style, has 'Vaidyanath' as main deity. West facing temple contains 4 pillars in the center. Attractive idol of Ganesha is on to the left of main entrance. Temple wall contains attractive statues of Subramanya, Kali, Parvati etc.

I would like to share on interesting info about this town.
Most of us are familiar with 'Rama-leela' event performed during Dasara festival in North India.This is an event in which, people create dummy idols of Ravana, Kumbhakarna & Meghanada and burn them to celebrate the destruction of evil. But this town does not celebrate this, because people belive that, Ravana did penance in this place to please Lord Shiva. Couple of times, people of this town tried to break this custom by attempting to start 'Rama-leela'. But, each such event ended up in some kind of mishap. Hence, people stopped celeberating 'Rama-leela' here.

Baijanath, surrounded by hills is indeed an interesting place to visit.