Karnataka

Karnataka is a land of ancient temples, wildlife sanctuaries, unexplored forests, awe inspiring waterfalls, beautiful beaches, sprawling coffee plantations and much more. This southern state has a varied geography with and climate. Coastal plains lie on the western side bordering the Arabian Sea sporting a warm and humid climate for most part of the year. Mountains, valleys and farmlands in the interior regions have hot summers and cool winters.
Karnatakas rich heritage and history are evident in the numerous temples and heritage sites present in the state such as Hoysala temples at Belur, Hampi, Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur, Ibrahim Rauza, cave temples at Badami and the rock-cut temples at Aihole, monolith of Gomateshwara Bahubali at Shravanabelagola and Mysore Place. Karnataka invites beach lovers to Murudeshwara,Gokarna and Karwar and the religious to Udupi Sri Krishna Matha, the Marikamba Temple at Sirsi, the Sri Manjunatha Temple at Dharmasthala, Kukke Subramanya Temple and Sharadamba Temple at Shringeri, Kudalasangama, Basavana Bagewadi, Mudabidri and Karkala.
Karnatakas natural heritage, the forests and wildlife are fondly cared for in Bandipur National Park, Bannerghatta National Park, Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary, Dubare – Elephant Camp and Kudremukh National Park to name only a few. Natural wonders abound in the state in the form of Jog Falls (India’s tallest single-tiered waterfall), Gokak Falls, Unchalli Falls, Magod Falls, Abbey Falls and Shivanasamudra Falls among many.
Karnataka has a good network of railways, national and state highways and has international airports at Bengaluru and Mangalore.

Skydiving Experience

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I opted for the tandem jump. On the assigned day, I reached Mysore airport. Staff from Kakini enterprises, organizers of the skydiving arrived later. There were about a dozen participants that day and my turn was at the end. That day’s group had some air force personnel and some adventure seekers like me.

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Bidar – Of Hasan Gangu, Mahmud Gawan and Barid Shahis

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The Madrasa is the best known example of Bahmani (Persian) Architecture and is one of its kinds in India. The building functioned like a residential University. It is a rectangular three storey structure that consisted of a mosque, lecture halls, professor quarters and student cubicles. The walls were covered with blue, green, golden and white glazed Persian tiles. In its heydays, the madrasa would have looked pretty spectacular with the sun glinting off the majolica work; the minars soaring into the sky reflecting the aspiration of the founder and the students. The architecture provided the perfect setting for intellectual brainstorming and discussions. The scene of harried professors and students scurrying between classes would be similar to being played out at Feroz Shah Tughlaq’s madrasa at Hauz Khas Village in Delhi – unless all inmates fled during Taimur’s plunder of Delhi.

Today, the madrasa is much in ruins. In 1656 Aurangzeb occupied the building (Bidar Sultanate was gone by 1619) and turned it into an army barrack. Aurangzeb believed in occupation and razing rather than building. Rooms in the south-east were used to store gun powder. Since Aurangzeb was not fond of smokers, somebody hid in the corner stealing a few puffs, when reportedly an explosion blew up along with the unwitting arsonist, portions of the south and east walls with the eastern entrance gate. Out of the supposedly two minars, only one 100 feet tall minar on the north east corner survives. The biggest surprise is that the two balconies of the minar project from the structure rather than being supported by brackets. The minar has vibrant colourful patchwork of zigzag motifs. Facing the central courtyard are the reading halls with open arched doorways rising to three storeys creating huge iwans, which in turn are surmounted with domes. The minar, iwans, domes and glazed tiles complete the Persian Architecture.

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Soak up Some Rain on the Beach – Bangalore Monsoon Getaways

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Pondicherry is a unique destination in so many ways. The Union Territory boasts an idyllic vibe when compared to its neighbouring states, and the French colonial influence has added to the aesthetics in every turn. The Rues of the French Quarters need a bit of exploring – hidden amongst them many heritage buildings, quaint bakeries and hotels.

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Talkād – A City under the Sifting Sand

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By the banks of Cauvery was the ancient town of Talkād a bustling pilgrim city now lay buried under the sheets of shifting sand. What transpire me to visit Talkād are not the exquisite carvings and murals or the archaeological excavations but a curse – The Curse of Malangi, the ancient name of the neighbourhood.

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The Gol Gumbaz

A Deccan Odyssey

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On the final day we visited the Tunga Bhadra dam in Hospet which is a multi-purpose dam for irrigation and electricity generation. The dam which was completed in 1953 is a source of prosperity for farmers in Koppal and Raichur Districts.

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Cool Coorg

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The return journeys, as always, make the heart heavy. This time my heart did put on a lot of weight. We decided to leave for Bangalore via a detour of ‘Talacauvery’. So we started very early on the next morning. Talacauvery, the source of the river Cauvery in the south was draped in a mystical legend.

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कुर्ग या कोडागु – स्कॉटलैंड ऑफ़ साउथ इंडिया

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कोडगु या कुर्ग  कर्णाटक प्रान्त का एक जिला है। इसका मुख्यालय मडिकेरी में है। पश्चिमी घाट पर स्थित पहाड़ों और घाटियों का प्रदेश कुर्ग दक्षिण भारत का एक प्रमुख पर्यटक स्‍थल है। यह खूबसूरत पर्वतीय स्‍थल समुद्र तल से 1525 मीटर की ऊंचाई पर है। यहां की यात्रा एक न भूलने वाला अनुभव है। कुर्ग के पहाड़, हरे-भरे जंगल, चाय और कॉफी के बागान मन को लुभाते हैं। कावेरी नदी का उदगम स्‍थान कुर्ग अपनी प्राकृतिक खूबसूरती के अलावा रिवर राफ्टिंग, हाइकिंग, क्रॉस कंट्री और ट्रेल्‍स के लिए भी मशहूर है।

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Nandi Hills – Nice picnic spot.

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Nandi Hills ke liye hamne Outer Ring Road pakdi towards North aur uske baad liya NH 7 to Hyderabad. Road shaandar thi till Devanhalli Airport, 60 KMS ka pata hi nahi chala, uskebaad 1 village road li for next 12 KMS, wo road typical village road thi, and then another 8-10 KMS pahadi chadhai.

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Coffee, Hills, Foliage and Beaches – Part 2

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There are two basic varieties of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. On asking how does one distinguish between two varieties and which variety is popular brands nescafe and bru made of he told us that instant coffee in India contains a mix of whatever coffee beans remain after sorting. To a connoisseur, instant coffee is blasphemy as the taste is nowehere near good coffee. We left after 20 minutes promising to return back some other time.

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Sightseeing in Bangalore

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There are still so many places left to visit – Bannerghatta National Park, HAL Aerospace Museum, Cubbon Park [by the time we visited all the places on KG road it was closing time for the park somehow every time :( ], St. Marks Cathedral etc. So there will be a second part of this post!

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