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Sompalyam: Hidden treasure in Andhra Pradesh

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Overview: Sompalyam is around 160km from Bangalore and is in Chittoor District of AP. This temple can be reached from Bangalore via Hosakote - Chintamani - Kothakota. We left at 4am so we could reach there by 7:30am.  The first striking feature of this temple is the 52 feet high ornamental Dhwajastambha, highlighting of the brilliance of the Vijayanagara rulers.  The outer mantapa pays tribute to the female and male warriors who played a role in protecting the empire. There is a huge Uyyale mantapa also, similar to the King's Balance in Hampi. As we enter the temple through the main Gopuram, the first sight which captures our eyes is the stone chariot carved out of granite. Yes, you heard it right. The stone chariot which can be seen in Hampi and Tadipatri, can also be seen here, though smaller in size. The ceiling of the temple is decorated with colourful murals, depicting the scenes from Ramayana.  The Kalyana Mantapa is exquisitely carved out of black soapstone and has captured

Chennapatna & around: The land of Toys

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Overview: I hadn't visited Chennapatna solely for the purpose of buying the locally made toys. This time we thought of exploring the local shops for some wooden craft shopping.  As usual we clubbed a few other places so that we can have a half day trip from Bangalore. Around 60km from Bangalore is the Sanjeevaraya Anjaneya temple at  Devarahosahalli , located not very far from the Kanva Dam. This whole area is known as the Kanva Kshetra. According to the priest, when Vyasaraya was meditating near the Kanva river, he heard an Omkar sound emerging near the place where the temple now stands. He came close to this place and then installed the Anjaneya image and hence people started worshipping it. It is believed that people with ailments come to this temple to seek blessings of Anjaneya to be cured of their illness. There is a small lake near the temple and some monkeys were also seen playing on the tree top. Sanjeevaraya Anjaneya Temple Sanjeevaraya Anjaneya Temple Devarahosahalli Lak

Journey from Bangalore City to the airport in Suburban train

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Overview: Ever since it was announced that the suburban train to KIA airport, Bangalore has been started, I wanted to try it out to find out how much time it saves and its convenience. So I decided to take the train on Jan 6, 2021, on day 3 of its run. I wanted to board the 4:45am train from Bangalore City railway station, but since the return train at 7:50am from airport terminates at Bangalore Cantonment, I decided to park my vehicle at Cantt railway station and board the train. After taking the Rs 10 ticket, I was waiting at platform 2 for the arrival of the train. The train was on time and arrived at 4:55am at Cantonment railway station. I checked the first 2 coaches and there was no passengers other than me. I however expected the train to the airport to be a bit more cleaner than it turned out to be. The train chugged through Bangalore East, Baiyappanahalli, Chennasandra, Yelahanka, Bettahalasur, Dodjala before reaching the KIA halt. The train which was supposed to reach at 5:50

Know your neighbourhood - 32: Hosakote Taluk

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Overview: Hosakote was a prehistoric site with several stone age weapons discovered by historians since last few decades. The place was founded by Thamme Gowda according to a 15th century inscription on a copper plate. Hosakote has several ancient temples and mosques. There are several ancient temples in Hosakote old fort area and Brahmin’s street like Hanuman temple, Kashi Vishveshwara temple, Raghavendraswamy temple and Nagareshwara temple. One of the most prominent structures in Hoskote is the Avimukteshwara temple, built by one Thammegowda, the chief of Sugatur. A few metres away is the Panduranga temple, built in the 17th century by Raghunath Bhavji under the Peshwas. It is believed the temple entrance has been built over the old fort walls.  Hosakote lake sees plenty of migratory birds and offers a perfect location for birdwatchers and photographers. Some of the frequent visitors are Coots, Glossy Ibis, Spot billed Ducks, Spot billed Pelicans, Sandpipers, Cormorants and Brahminy

Know your neighbourhood - 31: Devanahalli Taluk

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Overview: Devanahalli is one of the upcoming localities in Bangalore District with the Kempegowda Airport in its vicinity. The history of Devanahalli goes back to the 15th century when Kempegowda’s ancestors led by Ranabhairegowda settled in this region after migrating from Kanchipuram. They settled in Avathi, which happens to be the birthplace of Kempegowda, also in Devanahalli Taluk and a few kms away from the town. Devanahalli was a part of Gangawadi under the Gangas, then later came under Hoysalas and Cholas. During the Vijayanagara rule, Mallabhaire Gowda from the Avathi clan built a fort with the consent from Deva, a feudatory from Devanahalli. The fort was later annexed by Hyder Ali. Devanahalli also happens to be Tipu Sultan’s birthplace who later renovated the fort. The Venugopalaswamy temple inside the fort dates back to the Vijayanagara times. Devanahalli Fort Venugopalaswamy temple, Devanahalli Tipu Sultan's birthplace, Devanahalli Gangavara: This is an ancient village