Monday, February 16, 2015

The Gudibanda Fort , Ananthapura

The Gudibanda Hill Fort
The second fort we visited on the same day (Madakshira adventure) was the Gudibanda Fort situated very close to Madakshira. In no time we were at the front of this hill fort which is a small hill with a lot of fortification. With not much history known about this fort, we began to wonder why one would build a fort on such a small hill. We reached the gateway of the fort and could clearly witness the technique and skill used to build the fort walls here.
Path to the Fort
Need of the Hour Save Tree and Water 
Fort Building Technique
One of the Gateways
Lord Shiva Temple
 There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which portrayed the architectural style of Vijayanagar Kings. Further to this there is another gateway enclosing a vacant area which probably housed a palace or the king's residence. There are 2 big water ponds enclosed inside the fort walls. The steps laid help one to the climb this hill. The descent was not very exciting and thus we completed our dual fort adventure.  
The Temple 
Fort Walls 
Water Pond 
Another Water Pond 
Inside the Fort Walls 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bangara Kusuma Falls, Shimoga

The Waterfalls 
During one of our waterfall explorations, we were in search of MM falls located somewhere near Gerusoppa. After enjoying the Apsarakonda falls, we headed towards Shimoga in search of MM falls. On the way, we sighted a small board put up by the Karnataka Forest Department directing towards 'Bangara Kusuma Falls'. We immediately forgot about the falls we were in search of and decided to explore the current BK Falls. We parked our vehicle and started to walk, following the directions as per the sign board and in no time reached a small beautiful waterfall. We had to trek down a while to reach the falls. While we were enjoying the falls, suddenly the top tiers of the falls caught our attention! Only then did we realize that we were probably at the bottom most tier and there was much more to explore.
The Path 
Bottom Tier 
Hereon we moved towards exploring the upper tiers of the falls and reached a Y junction. At the junction was a direction board which unfortunately was fallen on the ground and wasn't fixed right. We had to choose between the two routes and taking a right, we walked for a while until we reached a small stream that lead us to another tier, probably the mid-tier of the falls. We spent a good time here and looked out for any paths leading to the upper tiers. Though the upper tier was visible, it was quite far away and there was no clear route to reach the same. Due to time constraints we had to forgo any further exploration as we also had to head towards searching the MM falls.
Bangara Kusuma Falls

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Fort of Garudanagiri, Hassan

'Garudanagiri' is a small sleepy village about 30 km from the town of Arsikere. Long time back while  travelling on this highway, we saw a board put up by the Tourism Dept.of Karnataka showcasing the history of this place, Garudanagiri. Though immediately it was in our to-explore list on our next visit around this place, it rather took us a lot of time for this next visit. After having lunch in Arsikere,we decided to check out this interesting place. We took a deviation towards Garudanagiri and drove until we reached the village. When we inquired the way to the fort, we got a response that there was a way until the top from right behind the temple present at the hill base.
The Garudanagiri Hill Fort 
Way to Fort 
Intact Fort Walls 

We reached the temple and started our trek. The fortification on the hill was quite visible from the start point. The weather was favorable which made our climb comfortable.We were protected from the sun's heat by the monsoon clouds and the not very warm weather. We were also excited and happy to see that much of the fortification was intact. As we entered the second tier, we found a Lord Hanuman temple and from here, passed through five more gateways. There is a temple at the top of the fort dedicated to Lord Shiva. This fort being 7 tiered is believed to have been built during the Hoysala period by the body guard of King Vishnuvardhana who carried the name Garuda, thus the name Garudanagiri. Lots of other rulers have ruled this place.
Bird's Eye View of Garudanagiri
Fort Walls 
Temple and Water Pond Inside Fifth Tier Fort Walls
Fort Gateway 
Cave Temple
 We spent some time at the top until the clouds turned dark and heavy after which there was a sudden downpour for a short while. The rain surely made our descent slippery and long as we had to watch every step. We reached our car and from here we headed towards Hire Nallur.
On the Top 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Lost Hoysala Town of Keresanthe, Chikmagalur

While returning from Shimoga after a monotonous drive, we decided to explore an interesting place before reaching Bangalore. One such place we found along was 'Keresanthe' and a board directing us towards this village. Though our GPS directions varied from the ones on the board, we stuck to and followed the board directions strictly. Few inquiries here and there on our way ensured that we reached the right village but sadly, our GPS was adamant until the end to accept this place as Keresanthe.
Goddess Mahalakshmi Temple
The Watch Tower
 On reaching the village we located the Mahalakshmi temple, a temple dedicated to goddess Lakshmi.This temple architecture bore close resemblance to the later Vijayanagar Style. Later on, when we inquired the locals about the presence of any other similar temples in this village, their answer was a firm no.Then luckily, an elderly lady informed us about a ruined town nearby housing a few old ruined temples. In no time we reached that town and sighted many ruined temples. At the first look, it was obvious that these were built by the Hoysalas.
The Lord Janardhana Temple 
Lord Krishna on the Lintel 
  The first temple we visited here was the Sambhulingeswara temple, a trikuta (three celled temple) dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a linga, Lord Kesava (Lord Vishnu) and Lord Surya (Sun god). As the entry to this temple was blocked by overly grown thorny bushes, we had a tough time getting into the temple and were shocked to see that the entire temple had been disturbed in order to find the presence of rumored treasure and today, this place is nothing but a bats den. Hereon, we visited the temple dedicated to Lord Janardana (Lord Krishna), an Ekakuta (single celled temple) with a very long Mukhamantapa. This temple was no different from the Sambhulingeswara temple, being entirely in ruins.
Lord Sambhulingeshwara Temple
Lord Natraja on the Ceiling 

To be continued.......