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.

Hogenakkal Falls – Water falls through Graphite Rocks.

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There was a 3 days off as 26th Jan 2009 was on Monday and I thought of utilizing this time to going out to Chikmagalur, kuuke subramanyam however due to unavailability of reservations in resorts and last minutes commitments I along with my friend and his family, have opted for one day trip to Hogenakkal Falls on Sunday the 25th so that we can relax on 26th.

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Very Well Unplanned – A trip to Ooty

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During our sound sleep around 4am in between our journey to Pune we heard a loud bang and suddenly got out of our sleeps. We realised that our bus met with an accident with another bus and the other bus went into divider and got the front damaged causing human casualties. Sight of an old lady lying on road with blood dripping on the road from her head and many other injured people at 4am in the morning was a horrifying and depressing sight. The driver had few arguments with the people outside and took us to the bus stand where we realised that we have reached Nasik. The driver decided to end the journey there only due to damaged windshield of the bus and refunded us our remaining amount. Then we took another Maharashtra roadways bus to Pune and reached Pune after a long , tiring , scary and adventurous  journey of  almost forty hours.

We decided to get freshen up at a friend’s flat in Pune and got the tickets booked for the volvo in evening to Bangalore from where we will have to take another bus to Ooty. After taking rest in Pune we boarded the volvo to Bangalore in the evening.

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Single Day Trip Near Bangalore: Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve and Madhugiri Fort

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Well, hope is a wonderful thing and is a must grab tool too, be it come from any source, come on any moment, come from anywhere. There He walked down where we sat down with a fickle mind whether to proceed or not. He looked like an ordinary man, carrying a backpack with a 1 litre bottle, head shining like a aura in sun, spects crowning like a jewel on Him, and a determination to climb any fort in vision. And as expected He rides on a THUNDERBIRD. We asked Him how far is it going up from here, and He replied in simple words, “2 hours of continuous walk up and 1 hour of a smiling walk down”. We just kept listening to His stories, He kept on sharing his experiences, and within few minutes of interaction He was a hero. Trekking alone just to make sure He climbs every fort He knows exist. He motivated us to the brim of our taking and we were all set to see what’s there on the top. We were short on water and with every level up we tasted water pretty slowly. There we saw the mighty walls of the fort, standing tall through times and weather, without APEX ULTIMA :p.

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Ashtur Dreams – The Technicolour Royal Necropolis of Bahmani Sultanate

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Just looking at the long line of tombs you know the big daddy is the Ahmad Shah I Wali Tomb. The tomb is the second from the east. Ahmad Shah shifted the capital to Bidar in 1430 and rebuilt the old fort. Riches from different conquests brought opulence to Bidar which turned the city into a centre of culture and progress. He was religiously inclined and invited saints to Bidar. He was devoted to Hadrat Banda Nawaz of Gulbarga and later to Shah Nimat Ullah of Kirman, reportedly a Sufi dervish. He also respected the doctrine of Lingayats, a religious order of Deccan established by the philosopher, statesman and social reformer Basavanna (1134-1196). Ahmad Shah was like an earlier Akbar.

The Ahmad Shah I Wali Tomb is majestic and looks solid. The walls are about twelve feet thick supporting a huge orb dome on the top. There are three doors built into huge recessed arches. The walls carry three tiers of arches of varying dimensions. The tomb looks similar to its contemporary tombs in Delhi’s Lodhi Gardens.

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Talakadu – Town of Lost Temples

Talakadu – Town of Lost Temples

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A town with an atmosphere rich in history, mythology, religion, belief and faith with the river Cauvery quietly flowing agelessly, a witness to the rise and fall of several kingdoms, to the fervent prayers and resonant chants of devotees, to the happiness and sadness in their hearts and to the progress of human civilization over time.

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Badami Delight

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You have started from Bagalkot and your first stop is Badami. You have only one day to see the triple wonders of Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole. It is hot and the area is drought affected. You drive into the dusty town and abruptly turn left into the parking lot. The parking lot seems to be at the foot of this ravine with sandstone hills rising on either side. On the right, the red rocky outcrop rises almost vertically housing the rock-cut temples. On the top of this South Hill sits the Badami Fort. Few yards straight ahead to the parking lot is the lake called Agastya Teertha hemmed in between the two hills. On the left of the lake is the North Hill of Badami. North Hill also has fort ramparts, few temples, guard posts and the ASI Museum. The forts were initially built by Chalukyas & Rashtrakutas and then Tipu Sultan installed cannons and his treasury to the original structures. On the west, the town is threatening to push into the lake with houses built on the edge of the lake. Beware of a snarling dog that apparently dislikes city slickers and is ready to chew your neck. Into the east, you can see the Bhootnath Temple complex built on the edge of the lake with another hill rising behind it. Kids bathe in the cool lake water and women wash laundry spreading it on the steps.

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Aihole: A Peep into Chalukyan Temple Architecture

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There are few more temples in the complex: There is a 7th century Suryanarayan Temple with a Rekhanagar (curvilinear) shikhar; Badiger Gudi, a 9th century Surya Temple with a stepped well and ‘Twin Temples’ for lack of any identification sign. Most of the photos carry rear views as all temples in the complex are east facing. With the low Sun shining brightly in the late afternoon western sky it was practically impossible to photograph temples from the front.

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COORG DELIGHTS-DUBARE, MADIKERI AND MYSORE

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We reached Dubare Forest Camp at 4.30 PM. All our tiredness from the ride vanished at the sight of the serenely flowing Cauvery and the joyous screams of the people frolicking in it. Even before our car halted at the parking area, my first impulse was to rush out and throw myself into the river. But my wife calmed me down and reminded that we had a lot of time in our hands. As soon as we got out of our car, we were swarmed by the locals advertising their boating and rafting rides.

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Coorgi Delights – Talacauvery and Bhagamandala

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Every visitors’ must-see destination in Coorg is Talacauvery and that is where we were first heading to. It is the birthplace of River Cauvery and is 48 kms from Madikeri Town. I had hoped to start around 7.30 Am to reach the place early and enjoy the surroundings before the rush started. But since Madam had overslept(!)our start got delayed by an hour. We stacked up on some snacks and cool drinks before we left Madikeri.

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COORGI DELIGHTS-GOLDEN TEMPLE AND NISARGADHAMA

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The place has a guest house and treetop cottages run by the Forest Dept. I heard from the regular visitors to the place that tourists were allowed to enter into the river at certain safe and shallow points to enjoy themselves under the watch of the guards. But I found all those entry points locked and out-of-bounds for tourists. The guards at the place said that this was a precautionary step to avoid any mishaps because of flash floods which were possible sometimes in January. He also added that in March and April, there was no restrictions for tourists to enter the river. I wondered how much water will be there in the river then !

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