Friday, 25 April 2014

Lost temples of Karnataka: Chandragutti

Lost temples of Karnataka: Chandragutti

Overview: We stumbled upon this place called Chandragutti during our visit to Banavasi. Chandragutti was known as Chandraguptapura during the ancient times when it was a stronghold of the Kadambas of Banavasi. The temple situated on the top of a hill is a large natural cave approached by a flight of steps where a Shiva Linga is worshipped.
The place is associated with the saint Jamadagni and his wife Renuka, the collosal hip like boulders in the cave are identified as Renuka in hiding when Parshurama persued her. The outer facade of the cave forms a vestibule in front of which is an imitation of the Chalukyan style and a pillared Sabhamandapa is also present added during the Vijayanagara period in east-west orientation.
The top of the hill further takes us to a tower which was a bit sticky due to the oil lamps which are lit everyday by devotees. The place offers a stunning view of the surrounding hills. Chandragutti is also known for the nude procession which takes place on certain days after having a holy dip, people offer their prayers to the Goddess. But as per the latest reports, this nude fair has been banned by the Government.
There is also a fort in Chandragutti which we missed during our visit. Please check http://karnatakatravel.blogspot.com/2011/11/chandragutti-fort.html for more details on that
Chandragutti Chandragutti Chandragutti Chandragutti Chandragutti ChandraguttiChandragutti Chandragutti Chandragutti  Chandragutti Chandragutti Chandragutti Chandragutti

How to reach: Bus: KSRTC buses ply from Bangalore to Soraba and Sirsi. Buses are available from Sirsi and Soraba to Chandragutti.
By Bike/Car: Take the NH4 to reach Ranebennur, from there, take a deviation towards Soraba and proceed further to reach Chandragutti.
Food/Accommodation: Vanavasika tourist home in Banavasi is the nearest place to find good accommodation around Chandragutti.
Map:

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sand Dunes, Michigan

Sand Dunes, Michigan

Overview: The Silver Lake State Park in Michigan offers a spectacular variety of Dunes. We took a Dune Ride at Mac Woods Sand Dune Rides and the view from the top was simply amazing with clear blue waters in the horizon. We had a brief stop at the banks of Lake Michigan which is a vast fresh water lake and we could see miles and miles of blue waters. The Ride takes you through the forest area which is a part of the State Park.
 Michigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand DunesMichigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand Dunes Michigan Sand Dunes 
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Lake_State_Park_(Michigan)
Map:

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Srirangapatna: A place where history is written all over it

Srirangapatna: A place where history is written all over it 

Overview: Srirangapatna: Welcome to the Historic City Srirangapatna, says the board on entering the town in Mandya District. True to the statement, Srirangapatna is loaded with history from different ages. Most people tend to miss this place as it is on the Bangalore-Mysore road and people just zip through this city. So let me share my experiences as I explore this historic city.
We started from Bangalore at around 8:00 am. We stopped for breakfast at Hotel Kadambam near Channapatna. We reached Srirangapatna at around 10am and first up was our visit to Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple. The board outside the temple says that this temple was built by the Ganga chieftain Thirumalraya in 894 AD which was later expanded by the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagara rulers and the Wodeyars.
The main deity of reclining Vishnu is supposedly the largest in Karnataka. The obelix belonging to the Vijayanagara period can be seen at the temple. There are other shrines inside the temple and the inner courtyard is designed in the Hoysala style. Its a huge temple and we got Puliyogere and Curd rice as the prasadam which was very nice.
Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple Ranganathaswamy temple
Next we went to Colonel Bailey's dungeon, welcomed by lush green carpet-like garden outside. Built in brick and mortar, this dungeon was used to keep British prisoners who were chained to the walls and punished by Tipu Sultan. One gets a view of the railway bridge on river Cauvery making it picture perfect.
Colonel Bailey's Dungeon Colonel Bailey's Dungeon Colonel Bailey's Dungeon Colonel Bailey's Dungeon Colonel Bailey's Dungeon Colonel Bailey's Dungeon Colonel Bailey's Dungeon
Then we went to the banks of the river Cauvery where we relaxed for a while. Then we went to the Lal Mahal which was completely in a ruined state.
Cauvery, Srirangapatna Cauvery, Srirangapatna Cauvery, Srirangapatna Cauvery, Srirangapatna 
We then went further to Tipu Sultan's death place and the Jumma Masjid. The Masjid is built in the Islamic architecture.
Tipu Sultan's death place Jumma Masjid Jumma Masjid Jumma Masjid Jumma Masjid Jumma Masjid Jumma Masjid Jumma Masjid
We then crossed the main road to reach the other side where we have the Dariya Daulat Bagh which was Tipu Sultan's summer palace. The place is well maintained with greenery all around. The main palace has many paintings and armoury associated with Tipu Sultan.
Dariya Daulat Bagh Dariya Daulat Bagh Dariya Daulat Bagh Dariya Daulat Bagh Dariya Daulat Bagh Dariya Daulat Bagh
Next we went to Gumbaz, which was built by Tipu Sultan in the memory of his father Hyder Ali. It enshrines the cenotaphs of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, after his death in 1799.
Gumbaz Gumbaz Gumbaz Gumbaz Gumbaz
Further down we went to Sangama where the rivers Cauvery, Kabini and Hemavati meet. There is a temple here where many rituals are performed.
Sangama Sangama Sangama Sangama Sangama
Though we had to wind up for the day, we have a few more places in Srirangapatna, the Nimishamba temple and Karighatta.
How to reach: Easily approachable by road and rail. Take the SH17 Bangalore-Mysore highway. Srirangapattna is around 120 kms from Bangalore.
All buses towards Mysore halt at Srirangapatna. Many trains bound to Mysore stop at Srirangapatna.
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srirangapatna
Map:

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