Z Point Trek - Kemmannagundi, Chikmagalur

   "Kemmannugundi", also known as Kemmanagundi is a hill station located in Tarikere Taluk of Chikkamagaluru District. It is located at a height of about 1500 mts above mean sea level. The name 'Kemmannugundi' is a combination of three kannada words Kempu (Red), Mannu (Soil) and Gundi (Pit) and is attributed to the nature of soil available locally. The place is pristine and the monsoon rain only added to the beauty of this place. We were accompanied by rain through out our journey and thoroughly enjoyed nature.
Colors of Life
      We knew by name about a place called Z point, and when we inquired with a local, he advised us to avoid getting there and did so without giving us any satisfactory reason. Though confused, we did not want to miss this chance and proceeded. A trek of about 4 kms takes us to a popular view point called the 'Z point' (called so because of its resemblance to the letter Z when seen from far). The place being situated at a high altitude, is known for its strong winds. We trekked towards Z point braving leeches and crossing wet and slippery pathways with almost zero visibility at times. Though the view was foggy for most of the time, we caught glimpses of the wonderful view from top. The lush green carpet with drops of rain, the white fog and the red colored soil that made for the pathway proved the best contrast.
Beauty hidden behind the Fog
A Foggy Morning
Trek towards Z Point
  The trek was as exciting and adventurous as it could get. Walking along the edge of the cliff with pathways at some stretches turning into waterways as it rained,  we managed to cross and reached the final stretch. From far behind the final stretch, it looked as though steps were laid and we could reach the peak easily. But, half way ahead we realized it was not as easy as we thought. All of a sudden we were dragged in the direction of wind and the winds were strong enough to have pushed us aside if we had proceeded further. It was our first time experiencing gusts of this sort. An experience that will last for a long time.  And since at that point in time, we were the only ones trekking that peak, we did not want to take any risk. We waited for the winds to slow down, but there were no signs of it. We then slowly started to walk down holding each others hands firmly  and made sure every step was cautiously laid. The first few steps were the most challenging ones ever laid in our lives until now. It was equally exciting and frightening to have experienced such high speed winds.  Once we passed the danger zone, everything calmed down and we walked back to our vehicle.

Rock Layers - Beauty and Power of Nature
The slippery pathway
A Glimpse of the Peak




To be continued ..............

Just Like that

   Below is a compilation of a few amongst our many favorite captures .
Bhadra Back Waters
Dark Clouds Hovering Over Bangalore
Raging Nature
A Pleasant Greeny Evening
Lovely Sunset
A Walk Back to Shelter
Golden Shower Tree  (Cassia fistula )
Mating Plant Bugs
Fire/Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba)
Honge  (Pongemia pinnata)
Pupa



ASI Museum , Aihole

            The 'Archeological survey of India' (ASI) is the most important organization dealing with archeological researches and responsible for protection of India's rich history and heritage. There are 41 ASI museums all over India. One of the museums is located inside the main enclosure of Aihole,  opposite to the famous Durga Temple. The museum houses many stone sculptures that were found in and around Aihole. The museum has an open air gallery exhibiting the various master pieces (mostly idols of various gods and goddesses and hero stones) of the Chalukyan era. The inside of the museum displays stone sculptures, artefacts and photographs of pre-historic findings and of the Chalukyan period giving information about the place of find and its approximate period.
Varuna (Rain God) on Makara (Crocodile)
Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Lajja Devi - Fertility Goddess (in the centre)
Intricately Carved Pillar

Beheaded Mohini
Lord Vishnu with his Consorts
 Pillar Base
Nataraja
Sapthamathrikas
Sapthamathrikas
Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha
Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Ruins
Looks like ET
    Photography is limited to the open air gallery. The entrance fee to the museum  is as low as it can get with only Rs 2 per head. It proves a worthy place to get a quick insight into the history of Aihole and its significance during various periods including the pre historic period.
References:
1 ASI .

Hoysala Temples of Sindaghatta, Mandya

      'Sindaghatta' is an erstwhile town of the Hoysala kingdom . There are many religious structures spread across the village. One such, located in the village center is the beautiful temple dedicated to Lord  Lakshminarayana, built during the 14th Century. The Lakshminarayana sculpture inside the Garbhagriha  is magnificent. The temple externally is not as intricate as many of the other Hoysala temples though internally, it has all the features representing the same.
Lakshminarayana Temple
Grand Entrance
Simple Shikara
Temple on a Raised Platform
There is an  inscription on the entrance corridor. There is also a tall Garuda pillar in front of the temple .The interior of the temple is a true reflection of patience and skill possessed by the artisans, craftsmen and sculptors.
Inscription
Outer Ceiling
Ceiling 1
Ceiling 2
Ceiling 3
Decorative Door Frame
Lord Lakshminarayana on the Lintel
  Melted Carvings
Intricate Dwarapalaka
Lion Carving on top of the Pillar
Temple Gate and the Pillar
Garuda Kambha
Garuda Inscribed
 The priest lives by the side of the temple. We were unable to gather much information about this temple from the priest. The ASI maintains this temple while there is permanent care taker.
To be continued .............