Showing posts with label Goa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goa. Show all posts

100000 Km of XYLOing



Monkeys Play
Boys checking out the Interiors of the Xylo
Xylo beside Kunigal Lake
In  the Middle of the Ghat some where in Kerala

Parked under the tree belonging to One of Oldest Grove
With Toy Cart in Coastal Andhra

At the site of the supposedly Oldest Fort in India, located in the state of Orissa
On the Turn of Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu
In Front of A Temple in East Goa

Rear View Mirror's View of Antaragange Hills, Kolar 


The Prefect Road Trip - " Team G Square"


   On the evening of December 05 2008, I was in a hurry to end my day’s work as I had to join my friends for a road trip. Little did I know that this would turn out to be a life changing road trip. My friends and brother waited eagerly at home so that we could kick start our journey.  As usual we borrowed our sister’s Indica (car) for our trip and with the entire luggage packed and stuffed into the car, headed towards Goa. We drove on the NH-4 up to Tumkur and then took a turn towards Shimoga. It was time for dinner and so we stopped by at a Dhaba (highway eat-out) for a sumptuous meal. Heading on, we kept driving until midnight and decided to halt when we were about 15 km ahead of Shimoga (towards Honnavar). We had a good night’s sleep in the car and the next morning we woke up and found a nice spot to finish our morning ablutions and continued driving towards Goa. We had Jog falls for breakfast and Karwar for lunch. Then cruising along the west coast we reached Madgoan/Margoa, headed towards our family temple where we had booked our stay for the next two days. The following morning kept everyone busy but me, in marriage preparations. I had the privilege of resting as I was the lucky (read it as not-so-lucky) bride-groom. I spent the day’s end by the riverside dreaming about married life. The D-day arrived atlast! The marriage was a very simple affair and went on smoothly. We finished our lunch at the temple and headed towards Margoa railway station. Thanking them for being there, we bid adieu to our friends and family who boarded trains to return to their homes leaving the car to us. This was only the beginning of our new journey. Me and my wife headed towards Colva beach and spent a good amount of time enjoying the cool breeze. We later drove towards Panjim where we booked a room at a lodge that had a riverside view and spent the night calmly just like the river there. The next morning, we explored various forts and beaches around and did some parasailing over sea and spotted some dolphins far away in the sea. After the water sport, we rested for a while and moved on. On our way, we sighted a board directing towards Arvalem caves and falls. Feeling very excited, we inquired a few people and reached the caves and falls. The evening was spent enjoying the falls and late evening we headed towards Karwar. At Karwar, we halted at a fairly good lodge to spend the night.
Go Goa

      Making inquiries the next morning at the lodge reception about places of interest nearby, we got to know of great places such as Yana, Mirjan fort, Gokarna and so on. We headed toward Gokarna and offered our prayers and moved on to the beach. Without wasting much time we decided to explore Yana since we had heard a lot about this place before. We walked by foot to enjoy the bliss of the Western Ghats during winter. With no breakfast our 12km trek to Yana was wonderful and an unforgettable one.  We reached a village on Sirsi-Kumta highway and stopped by at a small shop and ate everything they offered us. So hungry we were! From here, we decided to head towards Unchalli waterfalls near Sirsi. We reached the crossing where we had to deviate towards the waterfall at around 5pm and had to travel 20km more to reach the waterfall. We were now in a dilemma whether to proceed or not as it would turn dark by the time we reached. We decided to head towards the falls and were greeted by a swiftly moving deer which in no time vanished into the woods, thus giving us a signal of the wildlife activity here. Finally, we reached the point from where the trek to the falls began. The Sun had already set and darkness gradually started to engulf the area. With a lot of courage, we walked towards the falls. After walking for about half a kilometer, we realized it was too dark to proceed as nothing was visible. We safely returned to our vehicle and headed to our friend’s house near Honnavar, where we had our night’s meal and crashed onto our beds.
     After a sumptuous breakfast the next morning, we were at the jetty point waiting for the jetty to take us to an interesting place revealed by our friend, the Mavina Kurve Island. Mavina Kurve is a small and serene Island nestled in the River Sharvathi. The jetty ride was quite pleasant and rewarding. Hereon we moved towards Mirjan fort, which was under restoration by the ASI (Archeological Survey of India) during our visit. We had no idea about its history at that time. The guard there told us not to take photos using a camera though he allowed mobiles to do the same. After a good stroll inside the fort, we   drove towards Karikana Parameshwari temple located atop a hill close by to Honnavar from where we had a good view of the Arabian Sea, Sharvathi River and the surrounding hills. Now it was time to head towards the Mighty Jog, considered to be the highest plunge waterfalls of India. On the way we stopped at a view point to get a wonderful view of the Sharvathi River. We reached Jog, and as the water trickled down the rocky hills, we only wondered about how wonderful it would be during the monsoons. We were curious to we see the spot where a scene for the movie “Mungaru Male” was shot.   Later, while driving towards Sagar, a board directing towards Ikkeri caught our attention and in no time we were in front of a huge and magnificent temple built by the Keladi kings during the 17th Century.  We were quite surprised as we were not aware of such a temple. It was late evening and we reached Heggodu, a village that houses a famous cultural organization called NINASAM, started by K V Subbanna (a famous Kannada artiste). We were quite hungry as we had forgotten to have our lunch and went in search of the canteen here. The hot Idlis with chutney served here were the best we have had till date.  We inquired about the route towards Mangalore and were directed to reach Thirtahalli first. Driving on the winding roads in the dark was a pleasure. People at Thirtahalli recommended us to head on to Sringeri for halt, where we crashed for the night.
     We woke up little late in the morning and moved towards the temple of Sringeri. At South Kanara border, we turned towards Kudremukh and reached the Kudremukh Nature camp. Unfortunately we were not let into the camp as we failed to get a prior permit. He suggested we visit the Lakkya dam and Hanumangundi waterfalls. On reaching the Dam site, we realized the visiting hours were in the evening. Not wasting much time we reached Hanumangundi falls. After paying the required fee, we had to walk down to view the falls. The falls looked majestic and seemed like it awaited for its first visitor of the day. We spent a lot of time here enjoying and exploring the surroundings until a noisy crowd walked down.  Our ascent was tiring. We decided to end our exploration here and reached home for lunch.
A Wonder Called Karnataka
    Personally, this was the perfect road trip I had ever been on. To have started this road trip as a bachelor with friends and ended the trip with my friend for life (my wife), having traveled in a borrowed car through unfamiliar routes, without much preparation or planning was an adventure by itself and a once in a life time experience. It was undoubtedly an amazing road trip, but most importantly it opened a new avenue in our lives.  “Team G Square” was born with a desire to explore and discover every inch of Karnataka and beyond. We only wish that this journey never ends…..

Tambdi Surla, Goa

 'Tambdi Surla' is a small village inside the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, Goa. This place houses one of the finest and probably the oldest surviving temple of Goa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva (Shiva) and is believed to be built around the 12th Century by Goa Kadambas. This is one of the few temples that has survived trough years and remains intact.
Mahadeva Temple
ASI Tourist Information Broad
Entrance and Sloping Roof of the Mukhamantapa
Lord Mahadeva 
Floral Ceiling- Unique Feature of Kadamba Architecture (Asta Kona, Eight Directions)
Decorative Artwork on the Pillar
Kadamba Nagara Shikara
Not sure what these are
Mahadeva Temple, Tambdi Surla
The temple is very well maintained by the ASI. There is no entry fee. We had no information regarding the priest of this temple.

Pandava Caves Rivona Goa - 2

                After exploring the Pandava caves, we walked back to our guide's house in order to thank them for their generosity in accompanying us  to the caves. On exchanging information about our places visited, they revealed the presence of  another Pandava cave in this place and  gave us directions for the same. We thanked them and proceeded further to explore the next cave. We reached the Lord Shiva temple,  parked our vehicle and  inquired with an elderly person sitting inside the temple. He told us we had reached the right place and directed  us to the cave. 
Entrance to the Pandava Caves
           At the first look, we thought it could be ruined house, though we were wrong. The presence of  a "Havan Kund" (havan - a sacred ritual performed using fire; kund - pit) outside the cave indicated  that  Rishis or Monks may have lived here and performed 'Havan' or 'Homa' as a part of their daily chores. As we entered  the cave, a flight  of rock cut steps lead us to the central portion of the cave which had a  wonderful ceiling and an opening at its center for the entrance of light. There are two perennial springs originating from inside the cave which served as the main water sources  for the Rishis/Monks. The water currently is being used for irrigation  by the Local farmers. We found a  small carving of Lord Hanuman inside the cave.Though the historians associate this cave with the Buddhist Monks, the locals believe that the Pandavas resided here for sometime during their exile.
Cave Entry
 Rock Cut Steps
Natural Water Spring
Cave Ceiling
  Cave Interior
Lord Hanuman Carving
Natural Water Spring
Pandava Cave Complex
Altogether, it was a wonderful experience exploring the caves. 

Direction from Panajim: Panajim - NH17 - Margao - Take left turn - Quepem - Tilamol - Right turn - Rivona
Distance from Panajim: 65 km
Places to Visit Around: Usgalimal, Kurdi,  Surla, Canacona, Margao and many more.

Pandava Caves - Rivona, Goa - 1

          Our next destination after Kurdi was Rivona, which served as a home to the Pandavas during their exile. We imagined the Rivona Pandava caves to be similar to the Arvalem Pandava caves. Though we reached Rivona with least difficulty, it was rather tricky to locate the Pandava caves. We inquired about the same to a few locals and got mixed answers which helped us the least and confused us more. Finally, we picked a house and on asking them, we found that they were familiar to the place and requested them to guide us to the cave. We had the company of two kids who lead us to our destination.
Pandava Cave
          The cave is believed to have been associated with the Pandavas of  Mahabharata (epic), though the historians date the cave back to the 6th century and believe it could be of Buddhist origin. The cave is simple with only a Peeta (Seat) like structure inside. It is said that the Buddhist gurus sat on this Peeta, meditated  and preached  principles of Buddhism to their disciples .There are steps by the side of the cave leading to a water pond.
Peeta
Cave Entrance
Natural Cave

Cave... First Look
Rock cut Steps
Water Pond 
    To be continued ................

Mahadeva Temple - Kurdi (Curti), Goa

       As we were heading towards the site of "Usgalimal Rock carvings" in Goa, we saw a Dept.of Tourism Board directing us towards a 1000 year old temple of  Mahadeva in "Kurdi". We tried locating this place on our map but in vain. After a long search, we found a name 'Curti' on the map and guessed it could be a name given to Kurdi by the locals. Since previous day we had a similar confusion about the names of Forts Alorna and Aldona,  and thought them to be the same ( which we found later to be two different forts) and applying the same logic here,  realised this could be our destination! and  decided to give it a shot. After a few inquiries, we reached this place . Lucky we .
Mahadeva Temple
   It turned out be an unique temple built with laterite stone. The ASI has done a good job in restoring and maintaining this temple. At  the entrance is a board giving details about the temple and its history.  As per the information given by the ASI, it is known to have been moved from its original location to the current one. The  temple was originally located about 17 km from its current position, in Kurdi Angod on the banks of the river Salaulem.
ASI Information Board
       The board further says that " The construction of  a dam across the river had threatened the submergence of the Temple and hence it was systematically dismantled and reconstructed at this place providing similar topographical setting. This temple consisted of a square garbhagriha and porch in the front and the main idol is presently under worship in Someswara temple at Kurdi Angod."
Rear View of  the Temple
Door Frame
Ceiling
Lord Ganesha
Gorgeous Pillars
Front Porch
River Salaulem
  This temple was built by the Kadambas during the 10th Century.  We could not find a single soul around the temple, though we spotted a small house inside the temple compound which probably belonged to the care taker of this place.


 Distance from Panajim : About  70 km

Places to Visit around: Rivona, Usgalimal, Surla, Canacona, Margao and many more.

Safa Masjid Ponda Goa

     The 'Safa Shahouri Masjid' is one amongst the 27 mosques built in Ponda by Ibrahim Adilshah during the 16th  Century. Safa Masjid is a single chambered mosque with tiled roofing. A flight of steps lead us to the inside of the mosque. Adjacent to the mosque is a well constructed masonry tank with small chambers  resembling the mihrab ( semi circular niche for prayers ).
Tourist Information Board of the ASI
Safa Masjid
 
 
 
   The mosque is located on the national highway NH4A connecting Panaji with Belgaum. It is being maintained by the ASI and the entry is free.