Sunday, July 27, 2014

Twin Temples of Marle

5th July 2014

Marle is a small nondescript village but for the Hoysala Temples in the village. Situated few km away from Chikmagalur, this village has two beautiful Hoysala Temples. Located in the same compound, the Keshava and Siddeshwara Temples have their traced to the period of Vishnuvardhana who rules the Hoysala kingdom in 12th century.

Reaching Marle village was not difficult thanks to helpful villagers. A small detour on Chikmaglur-Belur road leads to the village. The Temple is situated in an open area next to the lake.

The Keshava Temple has two small elephant statues holding lotus at its entrance. One of the lotus is damaged.

The Temples does have some good carvings.

In between the Temples are two stone slabs with inscriptions.

The Temples were locked and hence we could not enter to its interior. The priest who had the keys stays far away from the Temple.

The Temple does not seem to be under ASI maintenance but surprisingly it is clear of encroachments. While the compound is of no hindrance for the animals to enter, it does provide an artificial security to the Temple.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shigekhan, Bhadra

5th July 2014

An uphill road that goes from Muthodi in Bhadra wildlife sanctuary leads to Shigekhan which provides panoramic views of the sanctuary.  This 2.5 km stretch was fit for only four wheel drive vehicles.  A forest guest house is also located here.

Last week I was in Muthodi with my family for an evening visit. A casual talk with forest official revealed that the road to Shigekhan was improved. He encouraged us to go up and have a look. That was great news!! And indeed that road though muddy was decent enough for any cars to move.

What we did not expect was that the Shigekhan guesthouse was occupied by drunkards. Shocked to see someone ‘encroaching’ their ‘holy land’, they tried to bully us by claiming themselves as forest officials. Without permission no one can enter this area, they barked. While I was taken aback, my wife started telling that they do not look like forest officials!! I clearly told that it was forest department people at Muthodi who sent us here.

Unfortunately, due to the canopy of trees, the views can be seen only from the terrace of the guest house.

The caretaker seemed to be worried and came to me and told that he would take us to the terrace. It was then I realized those guests were ‘drunk’. Obviously they were not forest officials but some law abusing citizens. Considering its isolation, it was not safe to spend much time when family was around. So, we quickly took some snaps and drove down.

Though the place was great, we were disappointed that we could not spend good amount of time in that serene place.

Its a pity that there seems to no end to my encounters with unruly drunkards!! Whether it is Bhadra, Anashi or Belikal the story remains the same.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Butterfly Park, Banneraghatta

15th June 2014

I had visited Banneraghatta few times but never bothered to have a look at the Butterfly Park nearby. I thought that my daughter would like the place.

The authorities claim that there are 20 species of butterflies in the park but I could not see all of them. It seems the number of butterflies increase a lot during the month of October. I am not sure but would like to visit again during October/November.

It is a decent place to spend some time and understand the world of butterflies. A small gallery and a documentary provide insight into the life of butterflies.

Only a small fraction of people visiting Banneraghatta visit this park. Hence the place is less crowded. But “graphitti” people have put their marks on the flowers also. It is a pity that we have such lousy people. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stockholm in pictures

May 2013

This trip was done over a year ago. I am now putting some photos together to stitch a story. Like any of my other European trips, I covered Stockholm by using only public transport and foot!!

It was almost midnight when we (I and Vikas) landed in Arlanda Airport situated 40km away from the city. The airport was deserted. It was during these times I preferred crowd. I asked guy at the information guy on how to reach the hotel I booked. He immediately called up the hotel who promised to pick us up at the earliest. They were prompt and we were at the hotel within few minutes. 

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden is a place where Nobel prizes (expect for Peace prize which is awarded in Oslo, Norway) are awarded. Here is the building where the prize ceremony is conducted.

Like any other European city, the historical monuments are located in “old town”. The old town of Stockholm is located at Gamla Stan Island.

Stockholm Palace is the main attraction.

Out of several museums, we decided to visit Vasa museum. Vasa was a Swedish warship built in 17th century. It sank in its maiden journey after sailing about a kilometer!! It was later savaged in 1951 and housed in a museum. Do not forget to watch a movie about Vasa ship in the museum. It gives an idea of the kind of ships present in 17th century.

Vasa ship

Top of Vasa ship

Vasa museum
Here is the Nordiska museum which we only viewed from outside.

I like to see towers. In Stockholm, I visited the observatory. Nice views of Stockholm can be can from the top of the tower.

Stockholm tower

Stockhom view

View from the tower
A street in Gamla stan.

At 6PM, we were shocked to see the shops being closed. It was common scene in Europe but I expected the capital city to open for little more time!!

On second day, I took a cruise ride to Stockholm Archipelago. It consists of 30,000 islands!! Most of them are privately owned!! But in Sweden public access is allowed in private property. Many people use it as a vacation place. It was an amazing journey to see tiny islands owned by individual family.

A Dutch windmill seen from the boat.

Varieties of boats and ships.

Even on summer day, I could feel the cold during boat ride. The jackets I had were useless and I was shivering for most of the journey.  Took some blankets from the boat to wade off the cold. It was hard to imagine how the place can be in winter.

Finally, an outside view of Arlanda airport.

If I missed seeing something, it was Ericson Globe. We could not just find the time to visit that place.