Thursday, 27 December 2012

Around Shimoga - 1: Jog Falls, Keladi & Ikkeri

Around Shimoga 1: Exploring the heart of Karnataka - Jog Falls, Keladi & Ikkeri 

Overview: Visiting the Jog falls in monsoons was always my wish. Luckily my friend from Shimoga got married in August. But unfortunately it didn't rain as it usually does in 2009. Nonetheless, as we had to visit Shimoga, we chalked out a separate plan to visit a few places around Shimoga.
Took the night train to Shimoga from Bangalore and reached early in the morning at around 6am. First in the list was Jog Falls. Didn't want to miss that. So started after having breakfast at friend's place. Shimoga is surrounded by tourist places. We were aware of this so didn't want to plan beyond Jog Falls as there is a never ending list of places beyond that. We did want to cover everything on the way though.
We reached the Jog at around 12pm and it was very cloudy. We could see decent amount of water but not the best of Jog Falls. There are 4 falls next to each other named 'Raja', 'Rani', 'Roarer' and 'Rocket'. This happens to be the second highest waterfalls in India. We could go to the base of the falls as well using steps but that would take enormous amount of time and energy to climb back to the top. Instead, we decided to go to the other side of the falls where we could actually see the water falling down from below our feet. The driver took us to that spot and we had to walk for some distance to get closer to the falls. This was the place where some scenes of the popular Kannada movie 'Mungaru Male' were shot. It was really terrific to see water falling down to the depths. The rainbow formation below added to the beauty of the scene. We were told that the water is much more when the nearby Linganamakki Dam is open and water gushes out creating a spectacle. We sat there for sometime posing in front of the cameras and then left the place.
Talaguppa On the way to Jog Falls Jog Falls Jog Falls Linganamakki Dam at a distance Jog Falls Jog Falls Jog Falls Jog FallsJog Falls Jog Falls Jog Falls  
It was already lunch time and we decided to have lunch nearby.
Then our next plan was to visit Ikkeri near Sagar. Its an ancient temple built by Keladi Nayaks. Built in the Hoysala and Kadamba styles, the Aghoreshwara temple was built in the early 15th century. Ikkeri was the capital of the Keladi rulers. Old Kannada inscriptions are present in the temple walls which derives the period in which the temple was built. Intricate carvings of elephants, Gods, and scriptures are present on the walls. There is a huge idol of the Nandi bull which had a shine on it even though it is not polished frequently. The park around the temple is also very well maintained.
Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri   Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple, Ikkeri
We then moved towards Keladi, which was a small region in the Vijayanagar and was headed by a local chieftain. This place was then taken over by Hyder Ali in the 18th century. It houses a Rameshwara temple which resembles temples of South Canara region. Its a nice calm and peaceful temple and it a little unknown to the people even though Karnataka tourism board has been installed at the Sagar main road. The ceiling of the temple is made out of wooden planks and flowers and animals are carved out of the pillars.
Keladi Keladi Keladi Keladi
Keladi was ruled by Chennamma for some time and hence some stones were having carvings of women fighting on a horse.
How to reach: Take the NH206 from Shimoga to Honnavar, After Sagar, continue on the National Highway till a board appears pointing left towards Jog Falls.
By Public transport, many buses are available from Shimoga to Jog Falls.
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jog_Falls
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikkeri
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keladi
Map:

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Monday, 17 December 2012

Gurudwara Nanak Jhira, Bidar

Gurudwara Nanak Jhira, Bidar

Overview: The legend is that when Baba Guru Nanak visited Bidar around 500 years ago, he was moved by the plight of the people of Bidar who didn't have proper drinking water and the rains were also scarce in this region. So he uttered the words 'Sat Kartar' and removed a stone and to the surprise of everyone, water came gushing out of earth and till this date the spring has been providing clean drinking water to the people in Bidar. This holy place is called Nanak Jhira. Food is provided as 'Langar' for lunch and dinner inside the Gurudwara for all pilgrims.
Gurudwara Nanak Jhira, BidarGurudwara Nanak Jhira, Bidar Gurudwara Nanak Jhira, Bidar Gurudwara Nanak Jhira, Bidar Amrit Kund, Gurudwara Nanak Jhira, Bidar  Gurudwara Nanak Jhira, Bidar
For accessibility and route details please see the main post – Bidar: An interesting place at the northern tip of Karnataka

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Jharni Narasimhaswamy temple, Bidar

Jharni Narasimhaswamy temple, Bidar

Overview: One of Karnataka's best kept secrets is the Jharni Narasimaswamy temple in Bidar. An ancient temple dedicated to Narasimhaswamy situated around 5 kms from Bidar town, its a natural cave temple. The water flows down from Lord Narasimhaswamy's feet and joins Manjeera river and further leads to Singur dam in Andhra Pradesh. A marvel in itself, the pilgrims have to make their way through the water inside the cave to reach the deity of Narasimhaswamy. The water is around 3 feet deep and the cave is infested with Bats and insects. This temple is open from 7am to 6pm. Locker facilities are provided outside the cave for the pilgrims. This is one of its kind temple in Southern India and is a good place to visit.
Jharni Narasimhaswamy temple, Bidar Karnataka Tourism board Stalls at the temple Way to the shrine through the waters inside the caveWay to the shrine through the waters inside the cave  Inside the caveNarasimhaswamy in all his glory  Cave walls infested with Bats and insects
For accessibility and route details please see the main post – Bidar: An interesting place at the northern tip of Karnataka

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Bidar Fort: Living Marvel of the Bahamani Sultanate…

Bidar Fort: Living Marvel of the Bahamani Sultanate

Overview: One of the most formidable forts in India, built across a huge area in the town of Bidar was built by Bahamani Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1426-32 AD. Though many of the walls are in ruins, it stands tall and still gives an idea how secure it was from inside in case of an attack. The entrance of the fort is beautifully decorated and has massive doors leading to the interior of the fort. The fort also has tunnels and underground passageways which are closed for public now. Inside the fort premises there is an office belonging to archaeological department. Outside the office, various mutilated carvings have been displayed which belong to the Rashtrakuta dynasty which flourished in these regions.
Inside the fort also there is a Mosque called Solah Khambh mosque which is believed to be the oldest in Bidar.
Another interesting monument in the fort is the Gagan Mahal or a heavenly place. The palace has two courts, Diwan-e Aam for the common people and the inner court, Diwan-e-Khaas for the VIPs.
The evening sun looked amazing in the fort's backdrop. Not many visitors are aware of this beautiful marvel built by the Bahamani Sultanate. But its worth spending a day in Bidar if one happens to be nearby.
Bidar Fort Bidar Fort Bidar FortBidar Fort Bidar Fort  Bidar Fort Bidar Fort Bidar FortBidar Fort  Bidar FortBidar Fort Bidar Fort  Bidar Fort
For accessibility and route details please see the main post – Bidar: An interesting place at the northern tip of Karnataka