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.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kote Varadaraja Swamy Temple, Satyagala

052/366 Kote Varadaraja Swamy Temple at Satyagala

Satyagala (also known as 'Sattegala') is in Kollegala taluk, Chamarajanagar District, Karnataka. Located 6km away from Madhya Ranga, is considered to be holy place for Sri Vaishnavas.
Main deities in the temple are 'Varadaraja Swamy' and 'Perundevi'(Lakshmi). Along with main deities, revered saint Vedanta Desika(1269–1370)'s sannidhi is in the temple.
Sri Vedanta Desika is also known as re-incarnation of the divine bell of Lord Vishnu. He is often referred as "Ghantaavataara".

When Muslims attacked Srirangam Temple, Vedanta Desika travelled along the banks of River Kaveri, Sri Vedanta Desika stayed in Satyagala for 12 years and wrote many books during his stay.

Read more about Vedanta Desika here:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sakrebailu Elephant Camp

051/366 'Surya' plays in Sakrebailu Elephant Camp near Shivamogga(Shimoga), Karnataka

Sakrebailu Elephant Camp is located 14km away from Shivamogga on Thirthahalli road. Camp is on the banks of Tunga river & has more than 15 elephants.

'Sakrebailu' or 'Sakkare-bayalu' means 'Sugar Field'. This name might have come because of Sugarcane fields though I did not notice much of this. But I can surely say people here are as sweet as Sugar!

In this camp, One can get to see, Mahut's washing elephants in Tunga river. This camp has elephant rides to the visitors. Gajanur Dam is very close to this camp.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Birth Place of Mahatma Gandhi

50/366 I had the opportunity to visit Porbandar few years back.
As pic depicts, this is main entrance to home in which Mahatma was born.

Very little to be said from my side about the great soul as he is well-known around the world.
Hence I am picking few famous Quotes from Mahatma Gandhi:
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong"
"The future depends on what we do in the present"

Jelly Fishes @ Monterey Bay Aquarium

049/366 Jelly Fishes are very interesting creatures which does not have specialized digestive system, centralized nervous system or circulatory system. These invertebrates are umbrella shaped & are found in almost all seas & oceans. Their are wide varieties of Jellyfishes and are abundantly available from surface to bottom...
They have loosely connected nerves & some Jellyfishes can identify light...

Pic shows Jelllyfish - "Black sea nettle" commonly found in Pacific Ocean.

More info:
— at Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Berijam Lake near Kodaikanal

048/366 Berijam Lake is located 21km from Kodaikanal, and is in the midst of Palani Shola forest. This route takes you towards Munnar, another famous Hill Station. This route is quite popular amongst trekkers/hikers.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Shamu Show @ Sea World, San Diego

047/366 Shamu Show @ Sea World, San Diego

Shamu Killer Whale Show has been quite popular at San Diego Sea World, where trainers &
Killer Whales perform a show and provide great entertainmen to audience.
Name "Shamu" comes from first Killer Whale which performed from 1960s and 1970s.
Shamu Show is running for decades with different Killer Whales.
There are various encounters where trainers have got injured and one needs to applaud for brave people who play with Killer Whales.

Note: "Namu" & "Ramu" are other names in other Seaworlds - Florida & Texas.

More info:
— at SeaWorld San Diego.

Venice Beach near LA

046/366 Venice, originally called "Venice of America," was founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney in 1905 as a beach resort town. This town has small canals, which mimics canals of Venice.
Venice, which is close to Los Angelese is famous for its beach, boardwalk.

Har-ki-pauri, Haridwar

045/366 Group of elder women lit "diyas" on the banks of River Ganga, Har-ki-pauri @ Haridwar

Ganga Arathi is very famous in Haridwar and one can lit diyas placed in tiny boats made of leaves containing flowers. Devotees leave these tiny diya boats in River Ganga every evening and pray Maa Ganga. — at Har ki pauri,haridwar.