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:

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

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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

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).

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.

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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: