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Showing posts from August, 2012

Madhya Pradesh Trip-3: Visit to Chitrakoot

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Watch the full video here Overview: I first heard about Chitrakoot while watching the TV series Ramayan in the 1980s. Then later read several books and heard from different people how important Chitrakoot is in Indian history. I reached Chitrakoot from Gwalior at around 4am in the morning, and I had booked the Retiring room at Chitrakoot Railway station for my accomodation. But unfortunately after reaching ChitrakootDham railway station, I found the Retiring room in a shabby conditon and in complete darkness. People were sleeping on the platform and there was nobody to guide me on the retiring room. So finally I decided to move out of the station and look for accomodation. I managed to get a single room just opposite the Railway station for Rs 800. There are several options for stay near the railway station, and since I had my next train past midnight, I preferred some place quite close so that I can just walk to the train station. I got freshened up and at around 7:30am, I ventured ou

Rock Climbing Series 6: Skandagiri

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Overview: Skandagiri is probably the first place which I explored through trekking. Back in June 2008, on a cloudy monsoon morning, I set off to Skandagiri with my college friend. My friend, who enjoys biking, and I enjoy hiking, combined each other's passion and set off to Skandagiri. Skandagiri is situated on a village called Kalavarahalli village near Chikkaballapur which is the base of the hill. Though trekking is done in Skandagiri at midnight or past midnight so that they get a glimpse of the magical sunrise, we decided to go there a bit late to avoid the crowd. We started from Bangalore at around 5:30am and reached Skandagiri at around 7:00am. We parked our bikes at Papagni Mutt which is at the foothills. The hills looked inviting and the weather was cool. So we immediately set off to climb the hill. The path is well laid with directions pointed out on rocks at every step. We could see people climbing down after catching the sunrise. We climbed steadily and the trek is no

Balligavi: Village enriched with history

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  Overview: Balligavi is a small village in Shikaripura Taluk of Shimoga district also known was Dakshina Kedara. Legend says that it was the capital of the demon king Bali and was called Balipura in those times. Balligavi flourished under Kalyani Chalukyas ruling for 200 years. Also serving as the center of learning during the times of Kadambas of Banavasi. The Kedareshwara temple, built in the 11th century in east-west orientation is a Trikutachala or triple-celled temple of Hoysala style. The western cell has vestibule or Sukansi and the northern and southern cells have an Ardhamandapa. In the interior, the Mahamandapa walls are pierced with Devekoshtas while the western and southern cells have Shiva Linga, the northern cell enshrines Vishnu.The artistic wall decor and the general sculptures are of Dravidian architecture. This method is also referred to as Karnata Dravida.             Another historic structure in Balligavi is the Bherundeshwara temple with a 9 meters high Vuay

Mahadevapura: Mysore’s best kept secret

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   Overview: Mahadevapura is a silent little picnic spot near Mandya on the Banks of Cauvery and some exotic birds. We decided to go for biking to Mahadevapura and parked the vehicle near the river. There is a small Shiva temple and close to it is the river bank. There were people offering coracle rides to the other end to have a glimpse of the birds. The coracle ride was very good and though we were not lucky enough to spot birds, we stopped by near a small waterfall formation which looked out of this world. Stayed there for some time, and then we returned back to our bikes. A short trip, though its worth visiting during early mornings or evenings. Also it looks great during monsoons. Not to mention the drive to this place is through scenic countryside and lovely villages.         How to reach: By Car/Bike: Head towards Mysore road on SH12 and at 8 kms before Srirangapatna turn right at Baburayana Koppalu. From there watch out for an arch mentioning directions to Ranganathittu B