Friday, December 10, 2010

Golden Temple, Bylakuppe

A long pending dream to visit Coorg (Kodagu) came true thanks to the initiative taken by my Cousins, A bunch of vibrant people, lots if fun spread over two days began with a visit to the Tibetan settlement at Bylakuppe on the door way to Kodagu district. Enter this settlement and you are in a different world altogether, A home away from home for Tibetan.

The main entrance to the monastery

Rear View

Monks in prayers

And the Buddha........

Monday, November 22, 2010


Here we were in this Picardie region visiting some sites related to clean energy and efficiency. The first point being the station of Douai, where we arrived at, by TGV from Paris, just a couple of hours. 

We drive through some picturesque landscapes and visiting  some Municipal waste based power generating sites and Landfill gas based power generation site and

  We arrive at Amiens. A beautiful city again with a rich heritage, a famous cathedral and wonderful cuisine. The Amiens Macaroon are a delicious speciality of the Picardie area  I was told and they tasted delicious and almost melted in the mouth. Another of the local delicacy is Foie gras -prepared out of the liver of a duck specially fattened. Did I enjoy this? I dont't know, I will have to try it again.
 Well this our dinner table

And now the cathedral of our lady of lady of Amiens,
said  to be tallest in France and built in the 11 century has some marvellous facade.
The are some exquisite hotels and restaurants around the bylanes of the Cathedral and its lovely to spend a evening.
Unfortunately for us this monument was closed due to major repairs being undertaken.
The entrance to the cathedral                                       Apostles and Saint on the facade

Getting around this wonderful city was such a experience, with canals and quaint little building lining it, Alas, the camera was at the hotel, but could manage these shots from the city centre.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


And here we are at Nantes railway station

On a visit to L'ecole de Mines, we got to spend a couple of days in this lovely city of Nantes. Located in the western part of France, about 500 kms form Paris. I learn later of the rich history of this region starting with the Gauls, the Roman and the English
Two days was hardly sufficient to do justice to this historic city in the erstwhile province of Brittany. Wish I could visit the coast and the many beautiful  cathedrals, but not to be.
Some shots from the city centre
Stade de la Beaujoire -the home stadium of the Food ball club de Nantes

The tram-very effective means of transportation

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Buddha Vihara- Gulbarga

Gulbarga has many historical buildings particularly of the Deccan sultans. A visit to the the Shrine of the Sufi saint Hazrat Kwaja Bande Nawas and the Sharana Baseweshwara temple is a must, which I couldn't in this visit, But the latest addition to monuments is the Buddha Vihara which was thrown open to public last year. A imposing white structure built over 75 acres of land is worth a visit, if one is in Gulbarga. Photography is prohibited in the precincts and I have no complaints, the ambience is silent and peaceful

The gateway to the vihara

The main Stupa resplendent in twilight

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gulbarga Fort

History always surprises me. Its one thing reading history in text books and another when you visit the monuments. I have read a lot about the Deccan sultanates. Always thought that Bijapur was the one which was all powerful with impressive list of monuments. But then Gulbarga fort is a massive and beautiful. Roaming around in the fort one is taken back to the grand old days when the Bahamani sultans ruled from here for more than two centuries, until they decided to change their capital to Bidar

Surrounded by a moat, which is overgrow by weed. There are two entrances to this fort, entry of which is through the bridges across the moat. Both these entrances are flanked by strong bastions.
One of the entrance, What is he waiting for?               Settlements inside the fort - time stands still 
Among the many Canons in this fort this is the one biggest one, Majestic in length all 29 feet and facing the entrance   on the other side ready to boom in case of a breach
This is a jewel in the fort-the Jumma Masjid, a huge structure extremely simple and beautiful, The ASI board say this was designed by Rafi -an architect from Iran. Designed to accommodate 5000 people.

This Mosques is said to resemble the a famous mosque in Cardova city of Spain

A view from the rear side, This mosques is also opined to follow the plain Turkish design contemporary to Byzantine, I wonder if the raised design in the middle wall does resemble some Churches particularly the St. Francis Church in Goa

The interiors of the mosques supported by 140 pillars and 250 arches 


It has five large domes. The central dome here is 80 feet in diameter The Grandeur of  the ceiling decorated with flowers and creepers

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nilgiri Thars at Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park boasts of the being the only place one could see large concentration of Nilgiri Thar. This national park situated in the Kanan Devan Hill of Idukki Districts.

Good thing about this park is a limited no. of vechiles are allowed into the park, thereby causing less interference. The long wait for tickets enabled me to shoot this colourful waste bin.

The Mini bus take the visitor deep into the park,lined up with some exquisite mist laden gardens


Spotting the Thar is not a problem with so many in abundance. They are quite friendly and do not mind crossing the human path. 

The male is called a saddleback, I know not which is this one

And This one-serenely watching the onlookers

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Idduki High ranges

Idduki nestled in the high ranges of Western ghats is truly God's Own - with the beautiful Munnar tea gardens and the wonderful Thekkadi. But if one is not a tourist, we get to see the beautiful interiors-how common people live in bliss, high up in mountains, where its a challenge to provide electricity and communication facility. Well lucky enough to be in such locations on job.

The tea-garden workers dry their clothes in this vast expanse of land

High up in the mountains, people live in such huts, surrounded by peaks on all sides

Kids do play cricket in this open space beyond a           Local kids basking in the mellow sun light
small temple

How would it be to watch a program in this settings

Thursday, July 15, 2010


This was the last of our sojourn to Jammu, put a perfect icing on the cake.  A short detour of about 10 kms from the town of Udhampur brings us to Krimchi. That this temples had a Greek influence in the architecture made me eager to see this place and I should give the credit to my kid brother who influenced this visit not withstanding the fast approaching twilight.

At the village square, one need to take a deviation  and walk down this Path that lead to the Krimchi temples which are situated on the banks of river Burunala.

A good half a km walk in the wilderness, going up and down the hillock, This first sight of the temple Shikara burst opens. But its perched on a small hillock yet another climb to take to the isolated temple complex

Shikaras of the Krimchi temple complex.

If the palace of Virat was nearby at Aaknoor, can the palace of Kichaka be far behind ? Krimchi was purported to be founded by Raja Kichaka of Mahabarata times .
Said to bear close resembles to the ones at Bhuvaneshwar, I would say the shikaras at Aihole and Patadakal in Karnataka are similar.


All the material available on the Net talks of the Hellenic (Greek) Influence in the construction of these temples, but never mentions in what way. I may have to request fellow blogger from Greece Phivos Nicolaides to point out if he can spot  any influence.

Could it be the columns at the entrance. Are they similar to the columns of Parthenon?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Patnitop-The hill station enroute to Srinagar

If one finds travel to Srinagar a risky affair and yet wants to have a whiff of the valley then a alternative could be Patnitop or Patni Top-a beautiful hill top tourist spot located on the Udhampur - Srinagar route.
On cancellation of our helicopter service to the shrine at Vaisno devi due to bad weather (Lucky to get the tickets the next day), we took this journey to Patnitop from Katra, a journey in the lower Himalayan ranges with picture postcard images all along.

A better way explore and bask in the atmosphere here would be to spend at least a day at the many resorts in the the vicinity. On our short visit we could only enjoy the beautiful valley for some time in biting cold on a summer day.

The Winding road to the top

The Beautiful meadows with the tall Pine trees

Cute Little cottages painted green

Pani-puri  on the meadows