Friday, July 27, 2012

Giant Sequoia trees @ Kings Canyon


044/366 Giant Sequoia trees @ Kings Canyon National Park


Giant Sequoia trees (sequoiadendron giagnteum) are amongst oldest trees in the world.
Age of these trees can be estimated based on its height.
Approximate age of a tree of height 250 ft will be 2500 years!
Base diameter for these giants can be as large as 40 feet in diameter!
They can grow up to 300+ feet heigh and can weigh 2.7 million pounds!

Many people incorrectly consider these Sequoia trees are same as Redwood trees as both have cinnamon-colored bark & grows very tall.
But they differ from the Redwood trees in many aspects. Redwood trees are usually found closer to coast in California.


Read interesting comparison between Sequoia and Redwood Trees here:
http://www.visitsequoia.com/redwoods-and-sequoias.aspx

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mono Lake - Mirror Lake of Tufa



043/366 Mono Lake, California

What you get to see in the pic is off Calcium Carbonate formation - a type of lime stone.
Lake bottom contains calcium rich springs, which bonds with carbonates in lake water.

These are called "Tufa". These constant formations stop when water level recedes.
If one observes lake water carefully, one can see fresh water swirling up like vegetable oil in Salty water.
These are delicate and fragile formation.

Mono Lake is huge and spread over 150 sq km.
360 degree view of Mono Lake can be seen here:
http://www.airpano.com/360Degree-VirtualTour.php?3D=Mono-Lake-California-USA

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Saranath - Buddha's first sermon


042/366 Saranath - Buddha's first sermon

Saranath, located just 10km away from Varanasi is considered to be very important place in Buddhist trail.

Here in this place, Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon in deer park.
In religious language, he set in motion the Wheel of Law ("Maha Dhamma Chakka Pavattana Sutta" in Pali Language or "Maha-Dharmachakra Pravartan Sutra" in Sanskrit).

Saranath is said to be origin of shloka 'Buddham sharanam gacchami'.
Emperor Ashoka visited this place around 234 BC, and erected a stupa here.
Tallest Stupa seen in pic is 'Dhamek Stupa' is said to be built in 500 CE to replace an earlier structure
commissioned by the great Mauryan king Ashoka in 249 BCE, along with several other monuments, to commemorate the Buddha's activities in this location.

This place is also famous for Ashoka Pillar, which has Indian National Emblem (4 lions standing back to back).
But original pillar broke off over the period but this sculpture is still preserved in Saranath museum.

This museum contains many beautiful sculptures/artifacts.

Saranath is referred with various names in history namely Mrigadava, Migadāya, Rishipattana, Isipatana.

More info:
http://www.spiritualjourneys.net/Venues/sarnath.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarnath
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhamekh_Stupa

Monday, April 23, 2012

Saaketh - Birthplace of Lord


041/366 Saaketh - Birthplace of Lord

This Hindu religios city, which is very famous for Lord Rama's birth looks very ancient even now. City located in the banks of River Sarayu chants Rama all the time. Even in current modern times, citizens of here of all ages watch Ramayana, which was televised by Ramanand Sagar!
It was surprising to see small kids glued to TVs running Ramayana.
Most people seem to earn bread in the name of Lord Rama here till date.

This heritage city, which was capital of Raghu Vamsa, unfortunately has not caught up in development(true for many UP towns). Most buildings still look very old. Apart from Rama Janmbhoomi, other heritage places to visit are Dasharath Mandir & Kanak Mandir.

PS: Saaketh is ancient name for Ayodhya. Lord Rama is known as "Saaketha Raja".

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sirimane Falls



040/366 This lovely falls named sirimane is close to Sringeri(14km) is located in western ghats. It is located in same route of Kigga, which is 9km from Sringeri. Stream water falls from around 40 feet high and is very beautiful to watch.

I had visited this falls when it was almost unknown to most people.
But now, this is very popular spot and road has been improved.

PS: I have never visited this falls during summers

More info:
http://www.karnataka.com/chikmagalur/sirimane-falls/
http://www.dreamroutes.org/western/sirimanefalls.html

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oldest fort of India - Kangra



039/366 Oldest fort of India - Kangra

Kangra Fort is believed to be Oldest fort in India.

Katoch Dynasty ruled from a town called "North Trigartha" (new name supposedly, Kangra).
Kingdom of Trigartha gets mention in Mahabharatha as well.
Katochs said to have ruled regions of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal, parts of Jammu up to Multan(Pakistan).
Trigartha gets its name with land of three rivers - Ravi, Beas & Sutlej.

Kangra fort gets mention by Greek emperor, Alexander(4th century BC).
Fort is very strategically built between two small rivers and was considered tough to capture.

In Indian history, Kangra was considered as very important place for power in this region.
Hence, this place was conquered by many famous kings - Md. Ghazni, Md. bin Tughluq.
Akbar never succceed to capture this fort despite many attempts, but his son Jahangir finally conquered this place.
After Mughal decline, power was back to Katoch family but they lost to Ranjit Singh of Punjab while attempting to expand their kingdom.
After Sikhs, this place was occupied by Britishes.

In 1905, earthquake hit this place and heavily damaged this historic fort. Currently fort does not have any major structures.

Pic depicts wall of Laxmi Narayan Mandir, located in the fort.

Kangra is located 17km from Dharmashala & 220km from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangra_Fort
http://123himachal.com/kangra/fort.htm
http://himachaltourism.gov.in/post/Kangra-fort.aspx

Monday, April 16, 2012

Floral bed @ Himachal



038/366 This lovely view was spotted in one of the villages of Himachal Pradesh. Yellow flower bed is off Mustard plant (remember Sarson Ka Saag???).
Those trees standing in between are Apple trees. We were not lucky to pluck apples from trees since it was off season.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

World Famous University - Nalanda


037/366
I got goose bumps when I visited this world famous university! It is probably 1500 years old, at least!.
Now, you might be wondering which place is this. It is Nalanda University (pronounced as Naalanda locally).

It is said that, Nalanda was in its prime during Lord Buddha’s time frame (5th-6th Century BC).
Jain scripts mention Vardhamana Mahavira, spent many years here. But archaeologists are able to find proofs only up to Gupta period(5th century AD).http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

Renowned Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang had visited this place and notes that, Nalanda University housed around 10000 students and 2000 teachers. Courses included Medicine, Logic, Grammar, Vedas & Buddhism. It is said that, total of 108 blocks were present here, but only 11 have been found during excavation.
Mohammed Bhaktiar Khilji in 12th century AD is said to have burnt & destroyed this world famous place, which was already in its decline at that point of time during Muslim invasion.

Picture depicts Main Temple & Stupa, Nalanda, which is 75km from Patna, Bihar.

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalanda

Thursday, April 12, 2012

California's Old Faithful, Calistoga



036/366 California's Old Faithful, Calistoga


This geyser is located Calistoga, in Napa Valley, California.
Geyser errupts upto 30-35 feet above the ground fairly regularly at 15-30 minutes interval and lasts for about a minute or two.
Since water contains high amount of boron, it smells awful and reminds of Hydrogen Sulphide.

This place also houses few Llamas and Goats.

Note: Entry fee is quite high (around 8$) for what we get to see.

More info:
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/12648
www.oldfaithfulgeyser.com

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Queen's Cave - 2nd Century BC



Beautiful two-story cave seen in the pic is at Udayagiri Caves.
Udayagiri-Khandagiri caves are spread over hills is situated 6 km from Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.
"Ranigumpha" Cave shown is most prominent among 33 caves located on two hills, and dates back to 2nd Century BC. This is also called as "Rani Ka Naur" or Queen's palace and extensive carvings & sculptures are found here.

Brahmi Inscription of 17 lines by Raja Kharavela, King of Kalinga was found in Hatimgumpha(elephant cave), which dates back to 2nd Century BC.
It is believed that, these caves were residential blocks for Jain monk during his regime.

For more info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udayagiri_and_Khandagiri_Caves
http://www.orissatourism.org/udayagiri-khandagiri-caves.html

Thursday, March 22, 2012

125 temples, Jyotirlinga - Jageshwar



034/366 Jageshwar, Uttaranchal

Jageshwar, temple lies in ancient route to Kailash Manasa Sarovar.
It is said that, Adi Shankaracharya came here and re-established the sanctity of these temples.

This place is unique and contains around 125 temples and are of different size and shape. These temples is said to be built between 7th century to 18th century AD.
Main temple contains Jageshwar(also called as Yogeshwar). Dieties in other temples are Mrutyunjaya, Nava Durga, Surya, Kalika, Lakshmi, Pushti Devi etc.

It is said that, Katyuri Rulers(7th-14th century AD) & Chand Dynasty(15th-18th Century AD) restored these temples & worshipped here.

People here consider that this is amongst 12 jyotirlingas, instead of Nageshwara, which is in Gujarath.

Jageshwar is 37km from Almora, Uttaranchal

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pottery @ Janapada Loka



033/366 Janapada Loka, near Ramanagara, Karnataka
Janapada Loka in Kannada means "Folk-Culture World", is lovely place where one can get to see glimpse of Karnataka's folk heritage. This place contains museum displaying more than 5000 artifacts which depicts the essence of Karnataka folk.
The display includes an various tools used for agriculture, hunting, fishing implements, weapons, ingenious household gadgets, masks, dolls and shadow puppets.

Pic shows pottery skill...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Touch the clouds in Kodachadri




032/366 Kodachadri, Karnataka
This lovely peak located in Shivamogga District, Karnataka, is of altitude of around 4300 ft. This peak is with dense forest in Western Ghats.

Word "Kodacha" means hill in native dialect and "Adri" also means hill in Sanskrit. It is also called "Kudajadri" and "Kodashi Parvatha".

It is said that, Adi Shankaracharya visited this peak amd performed penance here. There is a small temple on the peak for Sage Sri Shankaracharya.

Famous Mookambika Temple is located in Kollooru (Kollur) is at the foothills of Kodachadri. It is said that, Adi Shankaracharya established Mookambika Temple.

Path to the peak from Nittur(base) is around 13km and is extremely scenic. Best time to trek is monsoon season but one needs to sustain leech attacks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodachadri

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand



031/366 Kedarnath, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath Temple situated at around 11700ft(3584 meters) in Uttarakhand.
One needs to trek for 14 km from Gaurikund. One can also use horse or dholi to reach this lovely place. This route is extremely scenic and to be remembered for long. Most part of trek is next to beautiful River Mandakini and one gets to see various falls through out the trek including Rudra Falls.

It is also believed that, Jyotirlinga situated here was worshipped by Pandavas and main temple was built by them..

Indian Saint & Philosopher, Adi Shankaracharya, who propagated "Advaitha" concept, is said to have renovated this temple. Sri Shankaracharya's Samadhi is close to the temple.

About pic: Wooden carving of Lion seen on Kedarnath Temple.

More info:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kedarnath_Temple

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Woman Power



030/366 Salute to multi-tasking woman on Women's Day

Woman carries wheat & other necessary things up the hill in small village close to Phata, Uttarakhand.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Naina Devi Mandir, Nainital



029/366 Nainital, a beautiful hill station earns its name from eye-shaped lake called Naini Lake.
"Nain"(or Nayan in Sanskrit) means eyes, "taal" means lake, resulting in name "Nainital".

In the northern part of lake(called as 'Mallital'), Naina Devi Mandir is situated.
It is believed that The Naini Lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths, or religious sites where parts of the charred body of Sati (Parvati) fell on earth while being carried by Lord Shiva. The spot where Sati's eyes (or Nain) fell, came to be called Nain-tal. The goddess Shakti is worshipped at the Naina Devi Temple.

In pic, devotee worships Lord Shiva Linga installed in Naina Devi Mandir early morning.

Friday, March 2, 2012

108 Streams, Salvation at Muktinath



028/366 Muktinath, Nepal

This place is highly revered for Hindu Vaishnavas(devotees of Lord Vishnu). As name of this place suggests, it is believed that one attains Salvation if this holy abode is visited.
It is said that, famous Indian philosopher, saint Sri Ramanujacharya(1017AD - 1137 AD), who spread the devotion to Lord Vishnu, installed main deity here.
Main deity is made of Saligrama Shila. There is beautiful statue of Ramanujacharya in this temple.

Temple is surrounded with 108 water springs & water falls through Cow shaped structures(seen in pic). There are two ponds in front of temple.

Muktinath is also called as 'Chumig Gyatsa', which means 'hundred waters' in Tibetean language. This place is considered to be sacred even for Buddhists and is one of 24 Buddhist Tantric Places.


This temple is situated at an elevation of around 12200ft & gets covered with snow during winters.

More info: http://www.muktinath.org/

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Parking woes - New York City



027/366 New York City, New York

There is an aura about this most populous city of USA.
Instead of showing rosy picture of NY, I thought of showing pain point of this huge city :-)
Finding free Parking Space is almost impossible & charges for paid parking is atrotious, which will definitely burn your pockets.
Looking at the sign board of a busy street in NY seen in pic, one can imagine the fine for violation.

I also felt NY is the 'dirtiest' city amongst the cities which I have visited in US.

Other beautiful pics of NY seen through my camera are here.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gandaberunda, Keladi



026/366 When I was kid, I was extremely fascinated with this two headed bird seen on red buses plying in Bangalore/Karnataka.
Later on I realized that, there were many many Kannada rulers, who ruled different parts of Karnataka, were also fascinated with this imaginary bird "Gandaberunda" just like me!
List of dynasties which used 'Gandaberunda' Symbol includes Kadambas, Chalukyas, Hoysalas & few Vijayanagar rulers like Nandyals & Gobburis.

Gandaberunda seen in this pic is found in ceiling of Keladi Rameshwara Temple in Shivamogga District.
This beautiful stone carving depicts might of this bird by holding lions in two heads and elephants in its feet.

Currently, Gandaberunda is part of official State symbol of Karnataka.

Mythologically, Gandaberunda is linked to Narasimha Avatara of Lord Vishnu.
You can read very interesting story about "Gandaberunda" & another imaginary animal "Sharabha" here.

Keladi is situated 6km North of Sagara, Shivamogga District, Karnataka.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lakhota Palace, Jamnagar



025/366 Lakhota Palace, Jamnagar

Small yet beautiful palace is built in the middle of Lake in Jamnagar.
Name for this city is after King Jam Rawal, earlier this town was known as "Nawagarh" was renamed as 'Jamnagar' during Jam Dynasty.
Though I could not figure out the date of this Palace, this city is supposedly built in around 1540.
This palace currently houses lovely museum(with collectibles from 9th to 18th century), though I was not fortunate to see them since it was closed on the day of our visit.

For more info:
http://www.indiasinvitation.com/monuments_jamnagar/

Thursday, February 23, 2012

1903 Wright Flyer, Washington DC



024/366 On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard.

We have been reaping rewards of Wright Brother's invention for good long time now.
I had this great oppurtunity to get close view of first successful flight "1903 Wright Flyer" in Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Washington DC.

I am sure you all know about this masterpiece, if you are still interested, read here:
http://www.nasm.si.edu/wrightbrothers/index_full.cfm

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shesha Shayana Maha Vishnu, Budhanilkantha



023/366 Ok! This was one of my "dream come true" moments...
I first saw this beautiful Shesha Shayana Maha Vishnu's lovely statue in a travel show 'musafir hoon yaron' in Star Plus hosted by Deepti Bhatnagar many years back. Ever since I saw this huge 18 feet statue of Lord Vishnu on TV, I wanted to visit this place...

And what I saw in reality was more mesmerizing than what I saw in TV...
Beautiful calm face of Vishnu is seriously infectious!

Lord Vishnu is known as "Budhanilkantha" is also located in place called Budhanilkantha, which is situated 10km north of Kathmandu.
Though exact date of this statue is unknown, it is believed to be at least 1300 year old as inscription dated 641 AD by Vishnu Gupta is found in this area.
This beautiful statue is set in the middle of pond and Lord Vishnu appears to float on water.

Since main deity is in horizontal position & is surrounded by water, preist has to walk over the statue to decorate, which probably is unique in the world!

Legend
Legend has that King Suryaketu had it constructed during his reign but it lay buried for many centuries after an earthquake. Later, King Dharmagat saw the image and the location of the Budhanikantha in a dream and he excavated the ground. The people believe that the excavation caused the unparalleled image small damage on its nose. Others believe it was an old farmer(buddha in hindi) who discovered the image while working on his field.

For beautiful pics & more info:
http://sacredsites.com/asia/nepal/budhanilkantha_statue.html
http://www.trailblazertrekking.com/budhanilkantha.htm

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu




This beautiful Stupa(Place of worship for Buddhist) was built in the beginning of 5th Century AD by King Maana Deva(464-505AD).

Lord Buddha's eyes(known as Wisdom eyes) are painted in all four directions on a cubical structure placed above the dome, symbolizes omniscience(all-seeing), below which Nepali number "1" is painted representing Unity.

According to Swayambhu Purana, the entire valley was once filled with an enormous lake, out of which grew a lotus. The valley came to be known as Swayambhu, meaning "Self-Created." The name comes from an eternal self-existent flame (swayambhu) over which a sūpa was later built.

Legend says that this lovely place was also visited by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd Century BC and built a temple in same place, which was later destroyed.
Although the site is considered Buddhist, the place is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus. Numerous king Hindu followers are known to have paid their homage to the temple, including Pratap Malla, the powerful king of Kathmandu.

Another photo from this place is here, which speaks about "Mani Wheels" of Buddhism...this is another favorite photo of mine..

For more info

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chauli Ki Jaali, Mukteshwar



Chauli ki Jali, Mukteshwar


Mukteshwar is situated at 51km from Nainital is small but beautiful hill station and has Lord Shiva temple, which is around 350 year old. It sits high in the Kumaon Hills at an altitude of 2286 meters (7500 feet).
'Chauli ki Jali' is a popular tourist spot in Mukteshwar and has beautiful rock formation at around 45 degress slanting position. From this place, one can get breath taking views of Himalayan Mountain Range.


Picture inset is known as "Chauli ki Jali".

"Chauli" means Rock - "Jali" means hole.
There is one point in these rocks where there is a hole in the rock(seen in inset), as per locals, women who are not able to conceive tend to cross this hole on Maha Shivaratri and it is believed that after crossing this they will be blessed with a child.

For more info, click here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nageshwara - Jyotirlinga


020/366 Nageshwar, Gujarath is one of the Dwadasa(12) Jyotirlingas.
It is located near the holy city of Dwarka in Gujarat.
Legend says, Krishna the King of Dwarka worshipped at this shrine.

Normally linga is made from black stone and resemble pillars rounded at the top.
The linga at Nageshwar is, however, unique. It is made from a stone known popularly as Dwarka Stone, which has small wheel imprints on it. The linga is shaped like a three-faced oval Rudraksha, which literally means the tears of Shiva.

The Legend

In the Rudra Samhita of the Shiva Purana, Nageshwar is addressed as “DarukavaneNagesham”. This refers to the legend of Supriya. Supriya was a devotee of Shiva who was attacked by the asura Daruka, while she was traveling in a boat. Supriya was then imprisoned by the demon along with many other captives in his capital city of Darukavana. Daruka wanted to get additional powers from Shiva and so he asked Supriya to teach him the correct way to worship Shiva. Supriya knew that Daruka was a tyrant and would use the powers for destructive purposes so she refused to help. This enraged Daruka and he decided to kill Supriya. In order to rescue his devotee Shiva appeared in the form of a Jyotirlinga and killed the demon with his Pashupatastra. Daruka’s wife Daruki, however, continued to torment Supriya. Therefore Shiva emerged again from the Jyotirlinga to kill Daruki as well. It is this Jyotirlinga that is worshipped as Nageshwar.

More info

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cable car view of River Trishula, Nepal


Scenic view from Ropeway enroute to Manakamana Mandir, Nepal

I have been fortunate to go in many ropeways, but this one ranks amongst specials along with Gondola Ride in Lake Tahoe.
Starting at Kurintar at around 850 ft goes up to 3900 ft in just 10-15min covering 2.4km length ...
Trishula(Trishuli) River can be seen in pic.
ManaKamana Mandir is very popular temple in Nepal.

This place is around 95km from Kathmandu on the way to Pokhara.

More info on Manakamana Mandir

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sun Chariot, Konark



018/366 Sun Chariot, Konark, Orissa

Introduction to Konark came via earlier 20 Rs note,
on which famous wheel was printed on light orange colored
(more accurately 'Kanakaambara' colored) note from my father when I was kid.
This could be true to most of you as well.

I had the oppurtunity to see this famous wheel, which is part of famous Sun Chariot in Sun Temple, Konark few years back.
This architectural beauty - Sun Temple is in the form of Sun Chariot.
This chariot sculpture has 7 horses in the front and 12 beautifully carved wheels.

It was constructed using Sand stone found by King Narasimhadeva I (1238-1250 CE) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
Legend has it that the temple was constructed by Samba, the son of Lord Krishna.
It is said that Samba was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his father’s curse on him.
After 12 years of penance, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honour he built the magnificent Konark Sun temple.

Different types of Sun's idols have been installed in all 4 directions.
The pyramidical roof soars over 30 m (98 ft) in height.
Now, main deity is not existing in this temple.
The temple complex also contains erotic sculptures similar to the temple in Khajuraho.
This famous Sun temple is now partly in ruins.

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konark_Sun_Temple

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Parashurameshwara Temple, Bhubaneshwar


017/366 Parashurameshwara Temple is small yet extremely beautiful temple found in "Temple City of India", Bhubaneshwar.
This is one of the oldest temples found in this city and is fine example of Kalinga School of Architecture.

Carvings on outer wall contain beautiful of Mahisha Mardini. This temple is said to built in 650 AD.

Along with Lord Shiva one can also find the idols of Vishnu, Sun God, Yama and Mother Goddess.
This temple is lavishly decorated with floral motifs, human and animal figures.

Apart from this beauty, temple city boasts other famous temples like Lingaraja Temple(10-11th Century AD),
Mukteshwara Temple(7-8th century AD), Raja Rani Temple(1100 AD), Brahmeswara Temple(1050AD).

More info:
http://www.art-and-archaeology.com/india/bhubaneshwar/pr01.html

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kumara Parvata



016/366 Scenic view found while desending from Kumara Parvata towards Kukke Subramanya.

Kumara Parvata, also known as Pushpagiri is third tallest peak in Karnataka next to Mullayyana Giri and Tadiyandamol.
Peak is of altitude 5136ft. One can trek to Kumara Parvata peak either from Kukke Subramanya or from Bidalli(near Somavarapete).

In case you are trekking to this place, make sure you are carrying enough food and water as both are not available on the peak.
Even for drinking water, one needs to trek down to tap water from small stream.

More info/pics:
http://bmcindia.org/events/kumaraparvata-trek.html

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mud Bath, Murkal Elephant Camp



015/366 Elephant takes Mud bath at Murkal Elephant Camp, Nagarahole.

This place is enroute to Nagarahole main camp while entering the forest range from Hunsur.

We could also spot Balarama here, which regularly carries Golden Howdah(ambaari) during Vijaya Dashami(Dasara) in Mysore.
Most of the elephants which take part in world famous procession during Dasara are brought to Mysore from many elephant camps aroud Nagarahole.

While I was trying to take snaps of elephants, Balarama got wild...We were shooed away by caretakers :P

Rappelling @ Camp Leopard Rock



I experienced rappelling(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abseiling) for the first time in Camp Leopard Rock, near Hunsur.
Rappelling is a technique that allows you to do a controlled descent down a rope from a cliff.

Initially it looked very scary for most of us to descend 50-60ft rock just using/clinging onto the rope...
But when we practically did it, it was much easier than what it appeared to be...

It is indeed thrilling experience to dangle in the air and push yourself against rocks and move down swiftly :-)

I have done rappelling couple of more times later on, but this was one was the best experience I had...

PS: Identify the adventurous person who is rappelling down the boulder ;-)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ibrahim Roza, Bijapur




It is said that, inspiration to world famous Taj Mahal, Agra is said to be this architectural beauty situated in North Karnataka.

Ibrahim Roza(also spelled as Ibrahim Rauza) was built in 15-16th century by Ibrahim Adil Shah II of Adil Shah Dynasty.
Ibrahim Roza was built in rememberence of Ibrahim Adil Shah's queen Taj Sultana and houses tomb of king as well.

PS: Song sequences of latest Kannada hit song "Pyarge agbittaite" from movie Govindaya Namaha is shot here & other beautiful monuments of Bijapur.

More info:

http://www.mapsofindia.com/bijapur/tourism/ibrahim-roza.html

Friday, February 3, 2012

Backwaters, Bhadra Reservoir



Bhadra Dam built against River Bhadra is situated 28km from Shivamogga.
Dam was commissioned in 1965 & is of 194 ft heigh.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bird's view of flyover, San Jose



10/366 Sharing this fly-over pic from archive...

Birds view of one of the fly-overs in San Jose, CA was caught during the journey to Watsonwille, CA with my collegues.
My ex-colleauge was pilot by hobby and he took us around to get exciting views in 4-seater Cessna 172 Skyhawk


I also had pleasure of sitting as "Co-Pilot" and controlling the directions of this small flight for brief period :-)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tapovan, where Bhageeratha pleased Lord Shiva



View towards Tapovan from Baby Shivling, Uttaranchal

Local legends say that, Tapovan is the place where Bhageeratha Rushi did tapas to please Lord Shiva and brought Ganga to earth.
This place is beyond Gaumukh Glacier, where we get first sight of River Ganga(also called as River Bhaageerathi).

If my memory serves me right, the first peak visible in the pic is named as Sudarshan Peak.

Approximate altitude of this place from where I shot this pic is around 12000ft.

Monday, January 30, 2012

In rememberence of Mahathma...




8/366

In rememberence of Mahathma on 30th Jan...

Pic depicts Mahathma Gandhi's Charaka, his desk and place where he used to meet visitors in 'Hriday Kunj' @Sabaramati Ashrama, Ahmedabad.
Sabarmathi Ashram is situated right next to River Sabarmati.

This ashram houses museum which depicts Gandhiji's life history.
Ashram has a school which runs even today.

This is the place where Gandhiji brought Harijan's into main fold...

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabarmati_Ashram

*This photo has been post processed to give ancient look...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunrise @ Tonsepar



This pic captures sun-rays falling over Volcanic Rock formations found on "Tonsepaar" (in Tulu).

We had this life time oppurtunity to stay overnight on Tonsepaar (now popularly known as St.Mary's Island) and sleep under stars (Thanks to YHAI, Udupi Unit!) on a full moon day.
This pic was taken during sun-rise on Nov 1st(Kannada Rajyotsava!), which we celeberated on the island.

Hardly one can get to see sun-rise as regular ferrys to island start much later and over-night stay is not allowed.

Since natural hexagonal rock formation made of lava is commonly found here, it is listed as Geological Monuments of India declared by the Geological Survey of India.

Scientific studies indicate that the basalt(common extrusive volcanic rock - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basalt) of the Tonsepaar was formed by sub-aerial subvolcanic activity, because at that time Madagascar was attached to India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Mary%27s_Islands_%28Karnataka%29

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hoysala Symbol @ Kedareshwara Temple, Belligavi





Photo captures Hoysala Symbol found over Kedareshwara Temple, Belligavi.


Belligaavi(also known as Balligave, Belagami, Balligame, Balligrama and Balipura) is located just 2km from Shiralakoppa/20km from Shikaripura in Shivamogga(Shimoga) district, Karnataka.

This place is also known as Dakshina Kedara as per Archeological department due to religious & cultural importance.

As one can figure out from the pic, temple was built in typical Hoysala architecture in Trikootachala Style(triple celled). This temple was possibly built in Eleventh century AD .

This temple situated opposite to huge lake, has Kedareshwara (Lord Shiva) as main deity with beautiful Nandi.
Bramhalinga and Vishnu reside on southern and northern parts.

Belligavi is supposedly birthplace of famous Hoysala Queen, Natya Rani Shantale.
Allamaprabhu the mystic-saint & Vachana poet of 12th century was also born in Balligavi.

This place also contains beautiful museum maintained by Archelogical department and houses many inscriptions of Halegannada.

More info & pics can be found here:
http://karnatakatravel.blogspot.com/2011/12/kedaresvara-temple-belligavi.html

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stanford University, Palo Alto


5/366 Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, US

Picking this pic from my old albums taken almost 8 years back...
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Leland Stanford, a Californian railroad tycoon & politician, founded the university in 1891 in honor of his son, Leland Stanford, Jr., who died of typhoid two months before his 16th birthday.
Stanford University is one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions. It is located in Palo Alto, California.

The university is organized into seven schools including academic schools of Humanities and Sciences and Earth Sciences as well as professional schools of Business, Education, Engineering, Law, and Medicine.
Some of the famous inventions from Stanford students include Digital Sound synthesis, DSL lines, search engine by Google, Genome Sequencing.

Stanford faculty & alumni have founded many prominent technology companies including Cisco Systems, Google, Hewlett-Packard, LinkedIn, Rambus, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, Varian Associates, and Yahoo!

http://www.stanford.edu/

Diwan-E-Aam @ Amber Fort


4/366 "Diwan-E-Aam" or "Hall of Public Audience"
Place where Raja(king) of Jaipur used to meet his citizen to hear their grievance & petitions - Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Amber Fort,built in 16th century by Maharaja Man Singh contains blend of Hindu & Muslim architecture.

Built with double row of columns, the Diwan-E-Aam is a raised platform with 27 colonnades, each of which is mounted with elephant shaped capital with galleries above it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amer_Fort

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Madhukeshwara Temple, Banavasi



3/366 "ಶ್ರೀ ಮಧುಲಿಂಗ ದೇವರು" [Sri madhu linga devaru" reads inscription below carving of Shiva Linga and Basava(Nandi), in Madhukeshwara Temple, Banavasi.

Found in Banavasi, Karnataka, which is known as first capital of ancient Karnataka[Kadamba Kingdom]...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banavasi

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bed of flowers...




2/366 "Bed of Flowers" - Haven't we all read fairy-tale of walking over the bed of flowers...
I had this opportunity to walk over the bed of Rhododendrons @ Binsar with my life partner!
It was romantic, thrilling & mesmerizing...

Rhododendrons(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron) have medicinal value and juice made out of it tastes awesome!