Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Wishes

May everyday of the new year glow with good cheer and happiness for you and your family.
 Happy new year 2015

Sunday, December 28, 2014

India's First Biodiversity Heritage Site - Nallur Tamarind Tree Sacred Grove

Road to Bliss 
"Nallur" is a the small village located off  the Devanahalli - Hoskote highway. We heard of this place first from a friend's tweet  and then Google revealed more information about it. It was quite surprising that such a wonderful site was not very well known to the outside world and a trip to this place was definitely on. On a holiday, we decided to explore the Tamarind Grove and headed towards Nallur. After a while, owing to the presence of good direction boards all along, we found ourselves right in front of this sacred grove. We could hardly believe our eyes while we witnessed the scenic beauty of the tamarind trees against the backdrop of the blue sky and white clouds.

 An information board at the entrance of the grove read, " This site covers around 53 acres and there are more than 300 tamarind trees. This site is believed to have had its origin during the period of the Chola Dynasty, who ruled this region during 12-13th Century AD. The oldest trees have been confirmed to be older than 410 years now while the others have been here around for 200 years. One can find 5 types of crown, 4 types of foliage, 3 types of inflorescence and 3 types of trunk".
Nallur Tamarind Grove

The Bark of the Oldest Tamarind Tree
There are many ancient temples in and around the grove. While the main temple dedicated to goddess Gangamma  has been renovated, the other temples are in ruins which stand tall and beautiful. The temple of Lord Gopalaswamy  has some magnificent carvings of  Lord Krishna. After exploring this place a little further, we found more ruined temples around and a big Banyan tree. The site has been maintained by the Karnataka Biodiversity Board, Dept. of Forest, Ecology and Environment. The National Biodiversity Authority (Government of India) has listed 5 such sites in India as of now, two of which are the Nallur Tamarind Grove and my college campus of GKVK, Bangalore. 
Lord Gopalaswamy Temple

Goddess Gangamma Temple 
Banyan Tree

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tadipatri - Sri Bugga Ramalingeshwara Temple

 Sometime back, while researching on the incomplete Raja Gopurams built by the Vijayanagar Kingdom, I stumbled upon Bugga Ramalingeshwara Temple of Tadipatri. The gopuram of this temple is one amongst the five such incomplete Raja Gopurams, the others being at Hampi, Melukote, Srirangam  and Mahabalipuram (last two being located in Tamil Nadu). Although these gopurams were initially planned to be completely built  in a day's time, they remained incomplete as the sculptors were cheated by a fake cock-a-doodle-doo (representing the emergence of a new day). The Raja Gopuram of  Bugga Ramalingeshwara at Tadipatri is supposedly the most beautiful and intricate of the five. The temple is situated on the bank of the river Pennar (which was dry during our visit in the peak monsoon season).
The Grand Entrance 
   The temple of Bugga Ramalingeshwara was built ten years earlier than Sri Chintala Narasimha Swamy temple.  Though the architecture of this temple is simpler compared to the later, its gopuram is undoubtedly the most remarkable. We were amazed by its beauty and spent a good time exploring the magnificent gopuram. It stands tall to tell stories of the glory of the Vijayanagar kingdom.
Sri Bugga Ramalingeshwara Temple - Tadipatri
The Incomplete Glory 
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and inside the garbagriha is the idol of Lord Shiva in the form of a linga at the pedestal of which is a continuous flow of water, considered to be holy.
Tadipatri is about 260 km from Bangalore and the roads from Bangalore to Tadipatri are in good condition.
The Incomplete Gopuram 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Rat Tail Falls - Kodaikanal

Rat Tail falls
Rat Tail Falls 

 The Rat tail falls or Thalaiyar falls  is the 9th highest waterfall in India and the highest in the state of Tamil Nadu.