Saturday, September 26, 2015

An exploratory trek to NGD waterfalls

September 2015

One way to explore Western Ghats is to look at the source of the river!! A year ago I had visited a village at the foothills of Western Ghats. There flowed a stream and for some reason I tried to look at its source (in the map!!). During this journey I found that the stream formed a huge waterfall. The falls was not known much in the internet world.

Superb!! A little bit of more research revealed that my Udupi friends had already explored this waterfall. Knowing them it was not a surprise.  After receiving some details about this waterfall, I put this in my backlog.

A small pond with clear water
Last week when I visited my native place for Ganesha Chaturthi, I had some time which I utilized to explore this waterfall. I was joined by my brother and my cousins.

Walking along the village road

A small road deviated from the state highway. We drove for few km on this road to reach where a mud road deviated. It was time to park my vehicle and start walking. We met a person whom we asked for direction. His response was simple. “Just follow this mud track and just take left turn wherever you find deviation”. No right-left-right-right-left concept!!

Crossing paddy fields
We followed the directions as mentioned by the villager and walked for about 45 minutes to reach the last house. From here we had to cross the paddy fields to reach a small stream. The sound of the waterfalls was clearly heard which energized us. After crossing the stream we entered into a leech infested forest. The trail was clearly visible and we just ran on it to escape from leeches.

After 5 minutes the falls made dramatic appearance.  What a sight!! It was a huge two step falls. The undergrowth in front of us prevented from getting the complete view of the falls. We were at the edge of the valley. I moved down a bit on that slippery path to get a better view. The image of valley, waterfall, forests and hills was simply amazing.

The first step
It was hard to see the base of the falls. A small path seemed to go down the valley. It was so slippery that we did not dare to go down. All along the way, people had warned us not to get down into the valley. Post monsoon season would offer better condition to get down the valley though the volume of water would be significantly less.

Second stage of the falls
The feel of exploring place that is outside normal tourist circle is something to experience. Hope the place remains serene in the coming days and years.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Someshwara Temple at Kolar

18 July 2015
This Temple is located very near to Kolaramma temple. Compared to Kolaramma temple, Someshwara temple is bigger and newer. It is said to be built in 14th century during Vijayanagara rule with Dravidian style.

An interesting aspect of this Temple is its tall gopura over the main entrance. The tower is constructed with bricks and stucco. 

The walls at the entrance have nice sculptures which look very similar to the one at Kolaramma Temple.
The temple has large open pillared hall that leads to the sanctum. The hall is surrounded by raised floor.

Look at the pillars of the hall. They look amazing.

At one corner of the complex is the ornate Kalyana Mantapa with decorative pillars. It was so peaceful there prompting us to spend a long time.

A place not to be missed while visiting Kolar.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Kolaramma Temple - A very old temple in Kolar

18 July 2015

Kolar was ruled by Gangas in 3rd century AD who were succeeded by Cholas followed by Hoysalas and Vijayanagara rulers. Today, two old Temples stand as a testimony to those kingdoms. One of them is Kolaramma Temple situated at the outskirts of the town.

The Temple has two shrines in Dravidian architecture. Both share a common pillared Mantapa. The mahadwara (main door) has several nice carvings.

Inside the temple are the images of Saptamatrikas and Kolaramma, in the form of Mahishasuramardhini with eight hands and a demon under the feet.

It is interesting that the temple does not have a super structure.

Apart from the carvings at the door, the temple is quite simple in structure. There are inscriptions of Rajendra Chola.

I could not get information on the exact period of construction. Considering the Gangas style, it must be one of the oldest temples in Karnataka. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Ruins of Panamaram

26 July 2015

I am always interested in looking at old and architecturally significant temples. So when I saw a photograph of a ruined Jain Temple displayed at Pazhassi tomb museum in Mananthavady, I did not take much time for me to decide to visit that place. The itinerary was slightly modified to accommodate the ruins!!

Reaching Panamaram was not a problem but it took little time to find out the road that led to the ruins. The rains were just next to the road but inside a coffee plantation. It is quite interesting to see the structure intact in spite of the plantation and scrubs grown all over.

It is amazing to see the architecture of the Temple. The Thirthankara statue inside the Temple is missing; most likely it would have been shifted out. Few sculptures are in a good shape. It was also little scary to enter as the roof seemed unstable.

Wayanad was one of the settlements of Jains in Kerala. It looks like Panramaram was one of the important places during the peak period of Jainism.