Fujiyama, Japan
Showing posts with label Work of Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Work of Art. Show all posts

Friday, 23 June 2017

Diabutsu, Kamakura

Google Maps: Daibutsu, Kamakura
It always makes sense to visit the nearest beach-town on a sunny weekend and that is what we planned during our stay at Tokyo. Yuigahama Beach is an hour away from Tokyo. There was a direct train from close to our hotel to Kamakura and a 15 min walk from Kamakura station to Yuigahama. On the way we got feedback from a friendly lady on how wonderful the walk is from Kita-Kamakura to Kamakura. It was a good idea. The series of temples and a garden dedicated to the hydrangeas were delightful.

Daibutsu, Kamakura

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, 2 January 2016

Tehri

Google Maps: Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India
  • Tehri is only fifty miles from Rishikesh through a spectacularly tortuous road. We happened to be in Mussoorie which is equidistant but uphill.
  • The relocated town of New Tehri is unique  and on the way. It is reminiscent of the historic town that had to be flooded to provide for the reservoir dam.
  • Tehri is growing into a water-sport hub at Koti. Don't miss the speed boating at Tehri reservoir among the high hills.

The road to Tehri is among the most tortuous one. A whole living city was dismantled and rehabilitated to accommodate a man made reservoir. New Tehri in that sense is a rare specimen of human ingenuity. It was close to noon when we passed the strikingly uniform houses of this city. Our destination, however, was a place called Panch Koti at the banks of Tehri dam.

Expanse of Tehri Reservoir

Friday, 14 August 2015

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

Friday, 20 June 2014

Jain Temple, Ranakpur

Google Maps: Ranakpur, Rajasthan, India
  • Ranakpur is 50 miles from Udaipur. A private vehicle will be handy to cover nearby Kumbhalgarh Fort as well in a single day. Start early.
  • The Jain Temple does not allow entry in shorts or half pants hence dress fully. The campus also offers delicious thali at bare minimum charges.
  • Do take an SLR to capture the intricate marble work. You need to pay nominal camera charges along with entry fee, all of which goes to maintain this magnificent structure.

The next morning we started for Ranakpur. It's 90 km from Udaipur through a tortuous but smooth road mostly into hills. The place is famous for Ranakpur Jain Temple which has exquisite carvings on marble. Whatever we had heard about this place was going to be dwarved by what we were going to witness.

Elaborate ceiling carvings @ Ranakpur

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Udaipur

Google Maps: Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Trip: Bangalore > Pune > Lonavala > Mumbai > Gandhinagar > Udaipur > Ranakpur > Chittorgarh > Ajmer > Jaipur > Delhi

We reached Udaipur by noon and started searching for a suitable hotel. It was serendipitous for us to find Hotel Lake Pichola at such short notice. It is one of the hundreds of hotel adjacent to Pichola Lake but also has a view of palatial complex across the lake. Our room was modest in a royal fashion.

City Palace across Hotel Lake Pichola @ Udaipur

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Madurai

Google Maps: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Trip: Bangalore > MaduraiKodaikanal > Bangalore

We started for Madurai early morning at 7 and as has been the ritual, we broke our fast at McDonalds Krishnagiri. Road from Bangalore to Krishnagiri is under construction. The slow pace was covered up by the fantastic stretch from Salem to Madurai. The 300 miles were covered in 7 hours. Heritage Madurai proved to be an excellent choice for hotel, thanks to Manish who booked in on cleartrip. The stay was royal. We unpacked and refreshed ourselves.

Highway to Madurai

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

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Kanchipuram

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

Kanchipuram was a bonus and a surprise on our way to Mahabalipuram.  We decided to cover it on our way back. It was a decision I rue since the architectural richness of this city begs for more than a day to spare - not to forget the market of famous silk sarees which has developed its own brand.

Sri Ekambereswarar Temple @ Kanchipuram

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Murudeshwara

Google Maps: Murudeshwara, Karnataka, India

We checked out of our Gokarna Hotel at 10 and started for Murudeshwara. We had to change at Kumta but given the frequency of buses, we were able to get them back to back and were staring at the massive complex before 1.

Murudeshwara temple complex

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

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sri Arunachaleshwerar Temple, Tiruvannamalai

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

Tiruvannamalai was a stopover on way to Pondicherry from Bangalore. We would not have stopped had we not been surprised by colossal high temples appearing out of nowhere. Nobody had told us it was there and looking at the crowd, we were sure not many know about Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple.

South Gate@ Sri Arunachaleshwarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai

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

Friday, 8 March 2013

Shravanbelgola

Google Maps: Shravanabelagula, Karnataka, India
Trip: Bangalore > ShravanbelgolaChikmagalur > Belur > Halebidu > Bangalore

Having just missed a visit to the giant Bahubali statue on my last trip to Chikmagalur, it was imperative we take digress to see this place of holy importance to Jains. We took the turn and reached the small and peaceful town of Shravanbelgola. Almost unexpectedly, the statue is at the top of a monolith that takes some climbing.



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


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

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Pavapuri

Google Maps: Pawapuri, Bihar Sharif, Bihar, India
Trip: Gaya > Rajgir > Pavapuri > Gaya

Pavapuri was a short while from Rajgir - a drive of two hours. The first glimpse was enough to leave an impression. We parked our car on the roadside and took the only bridge for the majestic marble structure that was visible at the middle of a large lake.

Pond@Pavapuri

The bridge itself was made of carved red sandstone. The fishes in the lake had been allowed to grow large. The     Mahavir Temple, as it grew larger to sight, was a spectacle to watch.

Bridge to Pavapuri Temple

The temple is famous for being the place where Lord Mahavir was enlightened. It is a remarkable coincidence that the two places where Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavir each were enlightened is not more than 50 miles apart.

Marble gates@Pavapuri

Sitting on the cool marble stairs of the temple was pleasant with the lake view in front. The lukewarm winter weather of late November morning was complimenting the overall atmosphere. We simply sat and chatted for a  while before starting back for Gaya.