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Magadi: Medieval Footprints

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Overview: Magadi taluk is known for lot of history and being close to Bangalore, it is easy to explore. But lot of places around Magadi are still less visited by people from other towns.
Ranganathaswamy temple: This is a 11th century temple built by Chola kings which was later renovated during Vijayanagar rule. This temple has carvings inside the temple and inscriptions about the history. More details and pictures here - http://arunthetraveller.blogspot.in/2011/06/rock-climbing-series-i.html
Someshwara temple: This has resemblance to the Someshwara temples at Ulsoor and the one in Kolar. So this must be initially built by the Cholas and later expanded by Kempegowda. There is also a watch tower built by Kempegowda which is similar to the Kempegowda towers in Bangalore.

Fort: The walls of the fort built by Kempegowda can still be seen near the bus stand area.

Kalya caves: Around 10 kms from Magadi, we come across natural caves and cave temples where saints were known to meditate during anci…

Lost temples of Karnataka: Kikkeri, Govindanahalli, Hosaholalu, Kallahalli

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Overview: We continued our exploration of hidden Hoysala gems into interior Karnataka. This time we did Kikkeri and Govindanahalli.
Kikkeri is a very small village in Mandya district. The pillars and carvings of the Brahmeshwara temple are typical of Hoysala architecture. Though the overall structure looks even older, like the ones built during the Ganga dynasty. As per the locals its a 12th century temple. It has a dried out 'kalyani' and a small lake just outside the temple adds to the beauty.

From Kikkeri we went to Govindanahalli, known for Panchalingeshwara temple. Its a small and beautiful temple with exquisite Hoysala architecture, built around the same time as the temple in Kikkeri. The temple was not crowded and we were the only visitors to the place for the morning.

Next we went to Hosaholalu, 20kms south of Govindanahalli. The Lakshminarayana temple was the best for the day as far as the stories carved out of the temple walls were amazing. This temple has a big 'Go…

George Town, Penang, Malaysia: Exploring one of the oldest towns in Malaysia

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Overview: After visiting the natural beauties of Penang in Penang Hill, the national Park and the beaches, our next destination was the famous Kek Lok Si Buddhist temple and the historic George Town, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
First we visited the Kek Lok Si temple, which can be reached till the top if we have our own vehicle or commute by a taxi. But if travelling by Rapid Transport buses, one has to get down at the bus stop and climb a series of stairs to reach the temple top. Its Pagoda is a blend of Burmese, Thai and Chinese architecture. At the top there is a huge 100 ft statue of Kuan Yin which is visible from as far as the top of Penang Hill.
The Outer part of George Town is more developed with malls, big skyscrapers like the Komtar building and other temples/mosques can be seen.
The inner part of the city still retains the old world charm. The chowrasta market is the largest market area of George Town. One attraction in the heart of Georgetown is the use of Tris…