Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SAVANDURGA TRIP

On Saturday, 26Oct decided that we should go to Savandurga hills...... We were five... Rishi, Mom, Supriya and Smitha and myself,,,,,, we got ready early on Sunday 27th Oct and left from Birthi Mane at Bhuvaneshwari Nagar, Bangalore at 8.30am.....


Reached foot of hills after driving along Magadi road about 70km at around 10.30am. There was celebrations at the Lakshmi Narasimha temple at the bootom of the hills and lots of people. 

We could see the huge monolith rock infront of us and few people climbing.


All were excited that we could easily climb the hills and after walking through a pathway through shrubs, we reached the bottom of the rockhills. After few 100metres the steepness of the rock put me down and I decided not tp proceed further and sat. After about another 50m, Smitha slipped and fell and she also sat on the rocks. Only mom, rish and Suppi continued the tough and challenging climb and after about an hour they reahced the top, clicked many photos. It took another hour or so to climb down and all were back safely, dead tired, but with sense of achievement. 


Savandurga is a hill 65 km west of Bangalore off the Magadi road,. The hill is considered to be among the largest monolith hills in Asia The hill rises to 1226 m above mean sea level and forms a part of the Deccan plateau. It consists of peninsular gneiss, granites, basic dykes and laterites. The Arkavathi river passes nearby through the Thippagondanahalli reservoir and on towards Manchanabele dam.

Savandurga is formed by two hills known locally as Karigudda (black hill) and Biligudda (white hill). The earliest record of the name of the hill is from 1340 AD by Hoysala Ballala III from Madabalu where it is called Savandi. Another view is that the name is originated from Samantadurga attributed to a Samantharaya, a governor under Ahchutaraya at Magadi, although there is no inscription confirming this. This was the secondary capital of the Magadi rulers such as Kempegowda. From 1638 to 1728, Mysore took over this place and Dalavayi Devaraja occupied this place with the palace at Nelapattana. In 1791.

Thursday 31 Oct 2013



Sunday, October 27, 2013

DELHI SIGHTSEEING

Delhi is a fascinating place, country's capital and is made beautiful for last few years. The place is horrible near Red Fort, Candani Chowk and Old Delhi. However, we time off to visit some places travelling by metro, which is a superb means of transportation..... fast, no traffic, reliable and cheap. Some of the places we visited were
INDIA GATE
1. India Gate: At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919.
JANTAR MANTAR
2. Jantar Mantar:(Yantra - instruments, mantra - formulae) was constrcted in 1724. Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur who built this observatory went on to build other observatories in Ujjain , Varanasi and Mathura. Jai Singh had found the existing astronomical instruments too small to take correct measurements and so he built these larger and more accurate instruments.
RED FORT
3. Red Fort: The Red sandstone walls of the massive Red Fort (Lal Qila) rise 33-m above the clamour of Old Delhi as a reminder of the magnificent power and pomp of the Mughal emperors. The walls, built in 1638, were designed to keep out invaders, now they mainly keep out the noise and confusion of the city.
The main gate, Lahore Gate, is one of the emotional and symbolic focal points of the modern Indian nation and attracts a major crowd on eachIndependence Day.
4. Swami Narayan Temple (Akshara Dham): Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, inaugurated in 2005,  epitomizes 10,000 years of Indian culture in all its breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom an d bliss. It brilliantly showcases the essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages. The Akshardham experience is an enlightening journey through India’s glorious art, values and contributions for the progress, happiness and harmony of mankind. 
The Swaminarayan Akshardham complex was built in only five years through the blessings of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) and the colossal devotional efforts of 11,000 artisans and thousands of BAPS volunteers. Heralded by the Guinness World Record as the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple, the complex was inaugurated on 6 November, 2005.
BIRLA MANDIR
5. Birla Mandir: Laxmi Narayan Temple, also known as Birla Mandir, is one of Delhi's major temples and a major tourist attraction. Built by the industrialst G.D. Birla in 1938, this beautiful temple is located in the west of Connaught Place.
6. Karol Bagh: Also spelled as Qarol Bagh, is a mixed residential-cum-commercial neighbourhood in Delhi, India, known for its shopping streets, like the Ghaffar Market and Ajmal Khan Road.


7. Palika Bazaar: This underground, air-conditioned market located below the inner circle of Connaught Place was set up in the late 1970s. It is especially famous for cheap electronic goods and clothes. From footwear to clothing to nightwear to perfumes to accessories to electronic gadgets to DVDsand CDs, you will get a wide range of products in this massive market. You may also buy curios and small knick-knacks to take back home as souvenirs. There are hundreds of shops in Palika Bazaar. It is estimated to have some 15,000 people within its confines at any given time and also attracts many foreign tourists. Although bargaining is the mantra for shopping anywhere in Delhi, it must be followed here rigorously.


Monday, 28 Oct.2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

BOTCHED TRIP TO AGRA

THE TAJ MAHAL
With an intention going on a same day trip from Delhi to Agra-Mathura-Vrindavan, Ravi booked for two seats on Delhi sightseeing tourist bus on Thursday, 17th Oct. With full enthusiasm and excitment we got ready early and reached Patel Chowk by Metro at 7 am.
The tourist bus came around 7.30am and after picking other tourists, left Delhi around 9am.
The driver stopped the bus at on hotel at Panwel, and the place was so crowded. The people were just screaming and shouting for nothing. Ate some some idli and vada and the bus left after half an hour.
After about an hour, bus stopped on the highway, due to tanker accident and afterwards it took a detour, going along the village road, on and on and on....... The driver didn't stop for lunch and eventually reached Agra city to get into traffic at 7 pm. Then only he realized that Taj Mahal will be closed for visitors by 6pm. He took a U-turn, without going towards Taj Mahal, and imagine the disappointment of tourists. 
CLOSED GATE AT MATHURA TEMPLE
The driver was forced to stop for food at 8pm and all were hungry. When we reached Mathura, It was 9.30pm and gate to the temple was closed and we could only drink lassi on the roadside for Rs20/- Further we reached Vrindavan at 10.30pm and some guide calling himself Maharaj, started giving lecture took the tourists in a gulli to a small building, where he asked people to pray and said we are all blessed for being in Vrindavan.
AT VRINDAVAN
Eventually, the bus left at 11.30pm and stopped somewhere in a Dhaba for food and reached Delhi Patel Chowk at 3.30am.
Metro was closed, no taxi and no auto....... called Ravian..... he got up from his sleep and drove for an hour and reached us and so we could reach Gurgaon.
So sad, after spending money, energy and time..... it was a waste of one day's trip.
Sunday, Oct 27, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

MUSSOORIE

ENJOYING MORNING MIST
Our next destination from Dehradun was Mussoorie, a distance of 35 km on a hilly and winding road. We left at 5.30pm from Dehradun, after saying "bye" to Paramjeet Singh, reached Mussoorie Himalayan Club at 7pm and checked in at the hotel for the night's stay.
The city was lively, with lot of noise due to the celebrations of burning RAVANA, on the occasion of NAVRATRI.
In the night we sat around the campfire, spent sometime chatting with other guests of the hotel, had some food and went bed.
NIGHT'S STAY
Mussoorie is a hill station and a municipal board in the Dehradun District of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is located about 35 km from the state capital of Dehradun and 290 km north from the national capital of New Delhi. This hill station, situated in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges, is also known as the Queen of the Hills. The adjoining town of Landour, which includes a military cantonment, is considered part of 'greater Mussoorie', as are the townships of Barlowganj and Jharipani.
The next morning, we went for a walk seeing the valleys and hills in morning sunshile and slight mist, had some tea in a local teastall. It was really pleasant and wonderful. 
AT KIMTY FALLS
We had some breakfast, checked out from the hotel, went to see KIMPTY FALLS about 15km from Mussoorie on a winding road and a beautiful view of the himalyan mountains. 
After 12noon we headed back towards Dehradun, met a colleague Mr Shephard from Our Own, Dubai. 
We drove back to Delhi passing thorough Roorkee, Muzaffanagar, Meerut reached Gurgaon at 12.30am.
It was a very pleasant trip. Glad all was well.
Friday, Oct. 26, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

MEETING AN OLD FRIEND

WITH P S KALRA
Paramjeet Singh Kalra (Param) is an old friend, We joined together as teachers at Our Own English High School, Dubai in Sept 1986 and living together sharing the same house. He was 10 years younger to me and had high ambitions and was a Sardarji and was from Dehradun. I used to get on well with him and he used to like me. He got married in 1989 and his new wife was a good family friend. However, as his father passed away in 1991, he decided leave Our Own, and returned to Dehradun in 1992 to take care of his mother.
Since that time I had no contact or communication and I didn't have his address or contact number. However, Ravi Google searched to find out, he is in Guru Nanak Academy in Dehradun as head of the school. 
Since we were passing through Dehradun to go to Mussouri, on Sunday Oct.13, 2013, I thought we will look for him and meet him. After a search for an hour in Dehardun City, we found the school, met the Admin. officer, who in turn took us to his house. 
WITH THE FAMILY AT DEHRADUN HOME
He is P S Kalra, Prncipal of Guru Nanak Academy, distiguished himself as a Principal.
He and his wife was so thrilled and surprised, that he didn't know what to do. We all had nice food in his house, talked nostalgia, and he gave gifts to all of us. He followed us up to the road to Mussouri and we said Bye and he promised to visit us in Bangalore.
Friday, 25 Oct.2013

RAFTING

RAFTERS READY 
The thrilling of rafting was mooted by Vidya, who was very keen to experience. Though initially I was hesitant to go, but later decided to join the group, hence a booking was made the previous night for four of us. (Rs 300/- each) to on Sunday Oct 13, 2013.
Next day waited for the vehicle for an hour to take us up the river , finally it came after an hour and travelled about 8km up the mountainous road. We are all fitted with floats and helmet and walked down to the river.
ENJOYING COOL WATERS
The tour guide gave us briefing on the procedure and boosted our confidence, as it is considered an extreme sport. 
It was an amazing experience, different from going in a boat, which used to go in Mabukala river, when going to grandmother's house in Balekudru. A couple of places where waves become rapid, movement of raft up and down was fearsome and thrilling, 
CLIFF JUMPING
The raft was stopped for a while and Vidya & Ravi took part in cliff jumping and mom enjoyed the cool flowing waters of Ganga.
Further rafting proceeded upto Laksman Jhoola area, got out from the raft walked up with paddle and floats and handed over at the office and went back to the hotel.
SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
Rafting or white water rafting is the challenging recreational outdoor activity of using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done onwhite water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid-1970s, evolving from individuals paddling 10 feet (3.0 m) rafts with double-bladed paddles to multi-person rafts propelled by single-bladed paddles and steered by a tour guide at the stern. It is considered an extreme sport, as it can be dangerous.
The modern raft is an inflatable boat, consisting of very durable, multi-layered rubberized (hypalon) or vinyl fabrics (PVC) with several independent air chambers. Typical lengths vary from 6 m (20 ft) (with a width of 2.5 m (8 ft)) down to very portable single-person packrafts which may be as small as 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) long and weigh as little as 4 pounds (1.8 kg).
Friday Oct.25, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

RISHIKESH

MIGHTY HIMALAYAS AT THE BACKGROUND
Our next stop was Rishikesh, a distance of 24 km from Haridwar. It is in the laps of lower Himalayas and is surrounded by the scenic and unparalled beauty of hills on three sides with holy Ganga flowing through it. Rishikesh believed to represent the site where Vishnu vanquished the demon Madhu.
HOLY RIVER GANGA
PLACES VISITED;
Bharat mandir- The oldest temple in Rishikesh near Triveni Ghat is dedicated to Bharat, who is believed to be the incarnation Lord Vishnu.
Lakshman Jhoola - A suspension bridge across ganga connects the two banks of the river. Though it is made for pedestrians, we see two wheelars honking and speeding on the bridge.  Another suspension bridge called Ram Jhoola between Shivananda Ashram and Swarg Ashram.
Another attraction is lots and lots shops on the gullies of river banks on both sides, hotels, showpiece items, restaurants, lodging, Yoga and Meditation centres.
LAKSHMAN JHOOLA BEHIND
We stayed in a hotel at Tapovan on the main road, and had good night's rest and the next morning we walked around temples around Lakshman Jhoola and waited for another attraction - RIVER RAFTING.
Thursday, 24 Oct 2013

HARIDWAR - VISIT

On the way at a Daaba
From Delhi a three-day trip was planned and first stop was Haridwar, a distance of 214km from Delhi. Ravi, Vidya, Mom and myself set out by car early morning on Saturday 12th Oct 2013, passing through passing through Meerut, Roorkee. Reached the place around 11am visited temples. went by ropeway to some places.
ON THE ROPEWAY
HARIDWAR is an ancient city in the state of Uttarakhand in India. It is the most sacred city in India for the multiple pilgrimage sites. This holy town is a treasure trove of India's complex culture and the ancient civilization. It is said in Hindu Mythos that the professionals of Hindu religions named it Haridwar. The place is also a doorway of Dev Bhoomi and Char Dham the four most places in Haridwar for worship- GangotriYamunotriKedarnathji and Badrinath. The site is located in the foothill of Shivaliks. The ancient pilgrimage city of Haridwar is also mentioned in many Purans, Upanishads, Mahabharata and in the Vanaparva chapter too. 

PLACES VISITED
NEAR GANGA RIVER
MANSA DEVI TEMPLE 
Mata mansa devi mandir is situated in west part of Haridwar.It is on top of the Bilv Parvat.It can be reached either by foot or by the ropeways. The temple is quite old.The starting point of the ropeway or the pedasterian way is 2 Km from the Haridwar bus and railway station. Ropeways are used to reach temples of Mata Mansa Devi and Mata Chandi Devi.

DAKSHA MAHADEV TEMPLE 
The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev is situated in the south Kankhal town .The mythological story about this place is that King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva 's first wife ) performed yagya at this place. Daksha Prajapati did not invite Lord Shiva and Sati felt insulted . Therefore she burnt herself in the yagya Kund . This incident provoked the disciples and followers of Mahadev who killed King Daksha, but later on Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. Daksha Mahadev temple is thus a tribute to this legend.

HAR KI PAIRI GANGA JI TEMPLE 
This is an ancient temple of Maya Devi the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar, known as one of the Siddhpeethas. Said to be the place where the heart and navel of goddess Sati had fallen.
Oct 24, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

DELHI TRIP

View from the plane
It's wonderful to go for a planned tour and naturally we thought of going to Delhi as Ravi-Vidya recently shifted and working there. So we made a program ten days and booked a flight in JetKonnect for Friday 11 Oct 2013. It was morning flight at 9.50am and the weather was pleasant and we (myself and wife Nalini) were dropped by Rishi at Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli. 
It was a pleasant feeling as we didn't travel by air for more than three years, after we were re-located at Bangalore from Dubai, that was in July 2010.
On board JetKonnect
The flight was on schedule and took 2hrs and 35min to reach Indira Gandhi International Airport, Terminal 3, New Delhi. Ravi and Vidya were there at the airport to receive and take us to their apartment at Gurgaon. It took 50 min by his new car Hyundai Verna to reach his Flat No. 1202, Tower 8, Vipul Greens, Sector 48, GURGAON.
New Delhi International Airport
It was a great feeling as one son (Rishi) dropped us at Bangalore airport and the elder son (Ravi) was at New Delhi airport to receive us.
Remembered about Dec 2003 when I was travelling alone from Dubai, wife Nalini dropped me Dubai International airport and daughter Shubha was at Bangalore airport to receive me.
23 Oct 2013, Wednesday
  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

NAVRATRI 2013 GET-TOGETHER

"Nava-ratri" literally means "nine nights." 

During Navaratri, we invoke the energy aspect of God in the form of the universal mother, commonly referred to as "Durga," which literally means the remover of miseries of life. She is also referred to as "Devi" (goddess) or "Shakti" (energy or power). It is this energy, which helps God to proceed with the work of creation, preservation and destruction. In other words, you can say that God is motionless, absolutely changeless, and the Divine Mother Durga, does everything. Truly speaking, our worship of Shakti re-confirms the scientific theory that energy is imperishable. It cannot be created or destroyed. It is always there.

Karnataka will be celebrating its 403rd Navratri this year. Karnataka’s way of celebrating Navratri dates back to the times of Raja Wodeyar in the 1610. The way people spend these nine nights are absolutely historic in nature, for they follow the same trend which was followed by the great Vijayanagara dynasty. It’s called `Naada Habba’ in the state. However, the basic reason for the celebrations remains the same - victory of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasur, who happened to be a resident of Mysore. The celebrations include procession of elephants on the streets. Fairs and exhibitions of handicrafts and artifacts are common feature.
Celebrations was in the form of get-together for lunch. Nalini cooked nice lunch and there was doddappa, doddamma, usha-suresh, sandhya, Shyla-uday and children, Sridhar Bidarhalli family, Purushotham Adiga family, Sridhar-Tara family....... Puliogare, Raagi haalu bai, and paayasa as special in the menu. Nalini's sister Vijaya from Kadiyali, Udupi was also there. 
Asha-Ramesh (Son and daughter-in-law of Sridhar Adiga) were presented with wedding gifts and all the ladies were given haldi-kumkum and a small gift.

Good feeling of get-together.

Monday, 7th October 2013