Fujiyama, Japan
Showing posts with label Archeology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archeology. Show all posts

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Golkonda Fort

Google Maps: Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, India
  • Golconda Fort is a major attraction of Hyderabad. Trek to the top on an October morning is heavenly. The whole city is visible.
  • Take as little baggage as possible. Take water and some food. The top of fort is a huge terrace where one can sit and relax for hours.
  • A digression from main path will take you to one of the edges from where view of the city is uninterrupted. Steep fall below and chill air with the landscape in front is a view to behold.

We visited Golkonda Fort first thing in the morning. Still it was 11. Thanks to the incessant rainfall for last four days, the air will chilly and there was ample greenry around. In front of us was the grand Golkonda, famous for its sound system.

Golkonda Fort

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Charminar

Google Maps: Charminar, Hyderabad, India
  • Hyderabad is a crowded city. Most important roads lead to Charminar and are perennially congested. Most of the good hotels are in Banjara Hills area.
  • Charminar, Chowmahalla Palace, Mecca Masjid and central market are all stone throw to each other. One can spend full day exploring these and trying hyderabadi delicacies around.
  • Paradise Hotel famous for the Hyderabadi Biryani is nearby. So is Karachi Bakery, famous for the fruit cookies.

Charminar is a charming relic of rich old Hyderabad. The imposing tower sits at the centre of city at a cross-road that is perennially crowded. We reached simultaneously at around 4 PM, one coming from periphery of the city, other from the airport. It was the most apt place to meet in Hyderabad. Quickly we submitted our heavy bags at a nearby cloak room as bags are not allowed inside Charminar. It made movement easy.

Charminar, Hyderabad

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Agra Fort

Google Maps: Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Visit before Taj Mahal as its bigger and takes time to complete a round. It is closer to the Express Highway as you enter Agra.
  • A weekday trip is recommended given the crowd on weekends. On Monday both Agra Fort and Taj are closed.
  • Guides are good to have given the expanse of Agra Fort although it sometimes get intrusive to have them.

Agra Fort is the automatic next destination to Taj Mahal, both being UNESCO World Heritage Sites and as rare as it is with heritage sites, they are only couple of miles from each other. Spread wide across the banks of Yamuna, the fort boasts of being home to five generation of Mughal Emperors.

Huge motes, Agra Fort

Friday, 14 August 2015

Rock Shelters, Bhimbetka

Google Maps: Bhimbetka rock shelters, Madhya Pradesh, India
Trip: Bhopal > Sanchi > Bhimbetka > Bhopal

  • Nestled in the deep forests, this place is a true jewel. Plan at least a half day excursion through the whole area. It takes time to cover and more time to appreciate.
  • The road is not in a good condition and there are not many road-side restaurants. Visit  after the monsoons if you like greenary. The month of August is ideal.
  • Read about the place before you go. You will appreciate the rich heritage more. It is one of the 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India for a reason.

We reached Bhimbetka at noon from Sanchi. A slight detour on way to Hoshangabad from Bhopal and nestled in the Vindhyas is this ancient home to humankind that most of us are unaware. I guess most of those including me realized the special position this place holds in world history is when it was a declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Domestication of animals, Bhimbetka

Stupas, Sanchi

Google Maps: Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India
Trip: Bhopal > Sanchi > Bhimbetka > Bhopal

Sanchi was as calm and serene as we had left it in our Class IX history book. While in Sanchi one realizes why a secluded place built on a hillock suits the purpose of meditation and learning. The place is as picturesque as possible with a panoramic view of the Vindhyas.

Gateway to Stupas, Sanchi

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Qutub Minar

Delhi boasts of hosting three of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites apart from a plethora of monuments and ruins of old. One of the three and probably the most visited is Qutub Minar. The entire complex is a tribute to pre-mughal architecture and attracts a wide array of visitors throughout the year.

Qutub Minar

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Padmanabhswamy Temple, Trivandrum

Google Maps: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Trip: Bangalore > Kanyakumari > Kovalam > Trivandrum > Rameswaram > Bangalore

  • Padmanabhswamy temple is the star attraction of Trivandrum. Dress code is sstrict so be prepared - full clothes and no western attire permitted inside the temple.
  • India Coffee House near railway station is a landmark and serves amazing dosas. The shape itself is uniquely spiral.
  • Kovalam is an hour drive from here. One should plan stay at Kovalam and visit Trivandrum on the way back. Kanyakumari is only sixty miles away. 

Trivandrum was a halt on way to Kovalam. There are not many things to visit but one that has come up as a superstar attraction is the Padmanabhswamy Temple. Few years ago, government became aware of gold worth $20 Bn lying in the basement of this temple all collected from devotees over hundreds of years.

$20 Bn Padmanabhswamy Temple @ Trivandrum

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Khajuraho

Google Maps: Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India

  • Khajuraho can be planned as a weekend getaway from Delhi. Overnight trains at convenient time run but travel need to be planned at least a month given limited seats.
  • Temples should be visited early morning or in evening. Noon is hot unless its winter. Be ready for couple of miles walk around the complex.
  • Raneh Waterfalls and Pandav Cave are nearby attractions that one may cover. Hotels are aplenty and affordable. There is an airport also under construction.


Khajuraho happened to us so quickly that we were neither ready with appropriate duration nor with a camera fitting for the occasion. One fine morning we were just there. We reached this legendary temple city by train one morning. Hotels are in abundance near main temple complex. We settled in Ramada Khajuraho and freshened up quickly. Plan was to have a brunch near main temple and then start off.

Poses, Khajuraho

Monday, 10 February 2014

Hampi

Google Maps: Hampi, Karnataka, India
Trip: Bangalore > Chitradurga > HampiBangalore

Hampi offers such bizarre backgrounds in such quantity that it can easily be declared a photographer's haven.  From flowing river to ruined city,  from ancient temples to high hills it has everything a remarkable photoshoot demands.WereachedHyatt Hampi from Chitradurga by taking a diversion from Kudligi. This proved to be a big mistake as the 35 miles stretch can hardly be called a road. By the time we checked in we were good for nothing. Hungry and tired, we settled at the restaurant and ate a mouthful.

Stone Chariot @ Vitthala Temple Hampi

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Mahabalipuram

Google Maps: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Trip: Bangalore > Tiruvannamalai > Pondicherry > Mahabalipuram > Kanchipuram > Bangalore

Mahabalipuram offers an interesting combination - archeological monuments beside a beach. Hence on a bright Saturday morning we were on  Bangalore - Kanyakumari highway. The road has one of the most picturesque settings in south India.

Carved pillars @ Five Rathas Temple

Monday, 14 October 2013

Srirangapatna

Google Maps: Srirangapatna, Karnataka, India
Trip: BangaloreRamnagaram > Srirangapatna >  Mysore >  Bandipur >  Mudumalai >  Ooty >  Coonoor >  Bangalore

Srirangapatna is a small diversion on Bangalore-Mysore highway and so we took it on our way out from Mysore. The geography of this fort city hints why Tipu Sultan moved his capital here. It is a natural island created by forking of river Kauveri.

3 Points @ Srirangapatna Tourist Map

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Halebidu

Google Maps: Halebeedu, Karnataka, India
Trip: Bangalore > Shravanbelgola > Chikmagalur > Belur > Halebidu > Bangalore

Halebidu is in the middle of Belur and Hassan although through an alternate route. The Shiva temple at Halebidu is inspired by the Vishnu temple at Belur. What adds to the charm is a flowing river by the side - and seclusion.



Chennakesava Temple, Belur

Google Maps: Belur, Karnataka, India
Trip: Bangalore > Shravanbelgola > Chikmagalur > Belur > Halebidu > Bangalore

The Chennakesava Temple, in Belur on our way to Chikmagalur, was ancient and marvellous. We stayed in the premises of this extensive work of art for almost three hours but were still not able to fathom the intricacies that were sculpted all over.

Backside of Chennakesava Temple

Belur was capital to art-loving Hoysalas. Approximately thousand years ago they started the construction for this temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. A similar construction started some hundred years later nearly 10 miles away at Halebidu but this one was for Lord Shiva. This twin set-up has been put up for UNESCO World Heritage Site waiting list and by the look of it, deserves it.

Mandapam, Belur

The most striking feature of the temple complex is the ceiling of central chamber. One can spend hours. We moved to one of carved pillars and took extensive photographs. Each pillar was different and beautiful.

Sanctum Sanctorum, Chennakesava Temple

We moved out and were dumbfounded to see that the entire outer wall was an extension of artwork that we had admired inside the temple. Elephants and horses were abundant. There were stories of war and important events carved on stone.

Intricate rock carvings, Belur

We had to reach Bangalore by evening and so we left. Halebidu was next and if it was anything closed to this one, we had another couple hours to look after.

Trip details

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ellora

Google Maps: Ellora, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

We started our trip to Ellora with a pint of beer. It was available in MTDC Restaurant right at the entrance of Ellora Cave Complex. We were little drowsy as we closed in on the main temple building. The concept of this structure broke some of our lethargy as the entire temple is carved out of 125000 cubic metre of one solid rock.

Elephants, Ellora Caves


Daulatabad Fort

Google Maps: Daulatabad, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora > Aurangabad

  • A full fledged 7 tiered fort, Daulatabad is worth studying on the defense systems of forts used by early rulers of India. At worse its a healthy trek to the top.
  • Dont miss the bat cave, a set of staircases to the top only few hundred metres long but full of squeaking bats. You need to cross it to reach the top.
  • Within few miles of Daulatabad are the grand Ellora Caves and Grishneshwar - one of the twelve jyotirlingas, both dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Daulatabad Fort is impregnable by the look of it - a layer of seven increasingly difficult barriers from bottom to top. We arrived at the foot of this hill fort through a shared auto that runs frequently from Bawa Petrol Pump in Aurangabad City. The entrance is a massive wooden gate that opens to view of a high watch tower and the fort itself. The gate is not counted among the seven layers of defence.

View from Bharat Mata Mandir

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Lonar Crater

Google Maps: Lonar, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

Imagine a mile wide and 150m deep pit. Worth watching? Naah. Now add the fact that a meteor created it some 60,000 yrs ago. Geeks would be interested. What if I tell you that this is the third largest impact crater in the world and right in the middle of our backyard? I hope you will go have a look.

Lonar Crater, Lonar

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Ajanta Caves

Google Maps: Ajanta, Maharashtra, India
  • Setup your base at Aurangabad. There is enough for five days. Ajanta Caves are a day trip from here. The system of transport created is to cater huge crowd so it takes a while to reach.
  • Photography is allowed. During or after Monsoon, a waterfall also comes alive in the middle of this U shaped masterpiece.
  • Paintings are still in good shape. Overall the facility is well maintained. Trek the hill in front of the caves for a bird eye view. 


We sat on the engine of the tourist bus for a 100 miles. Then we waited for pollution free buses that connect the base of Ajanta with the cave complex. All the efforts found their return in one turn of view of the knoll shaped hills of Ajanta.

Panoramic View, Ajanta

Monday, 24 December 2012

Aurangabad

Google Maps: Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
Trip: AurangabadAjanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

When we told friends that we will be in Aurangabad for Christmas the question we faced invariably was 'What's there in Aurangabad?' Any reply to that question would be an understatement. 

Chand Bibi's Tomb, Aurangabad

Monday, 28 February 2011

Fatehpur Sikri

Trip: Delhi > Agra >  Fatehpur Sikri > Delhi

A trip to Agra is not complete without visiting the capital of Mughal Empire during Emperor Akbar's reign - Fatehpur Sikri  The drive to this small fort town is partly rough partly smooth.


Monday, 8 November 2010

Rome

Google Maps: Rome, Italy
Trip: Zugspitze > Pisa > Rome > Vatican City

The original idea was to cover the five points of the cross decribed in Angels & Demons. However at 3PM the three of us were only checking into a hotel room. It was walking distance from Station. We now had exactly 24 hours in Rome  By 4 we had a definite plan which was bit different from the original one. Colosseum was the closest and hence we found ourselves walking towards the grand structure in no time.

The Colosseum@Rome