This was the capital of the Qutub Shahi dynasty and is also known as the Golla Konda Fort. It is a few kilometers from the Hussain Sagar Lake and is a huge and mighty fort till date to have been built on a hilltop. Originally known as Mankal, this was a palace built in the 12th Century in place of what was earlier a mud palace built by the king of Warangal. This was later fortified in the 14th and 17th centuries and the credit for this goes to the Bahmani Sultanate. One of the architectural marvels of Hyderabad, there are a numkber of gates out of which the most famous is the Fateh Darwaza which could be crossed by Aurangzeb once. This fort is on top of a granite hill and is itself also made of granite.
Mysore Maharajah's Palace (Amba Vilas)
This palace which was the seat of the Wodeyar kings was rebuilt in the year 1912 by an English architect named Henry Irwin as the original one was destroyed of fire in 1897. This palace is one of the best examples not only of the Edwardian Raj Era but also of Indian Royal architecture. The beautiful kaliedoscope of stained glass enhanced with the wood carved doors and mosaic floors is exquisite undoubtedly. The museum of weapons is a must visit along with the part of the palace where you see a number of beautifully carved statues and paintings referring to the life of Mysore in that era.The palace is lit up with hundreds of bulbs every evening from 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM and the whole evening on public holidays. This is when you get a more extravagant view of this royal beauty.
This is one of the oldest and largest forts of the country and the presence of this fort can be traced from years ago. The Thirakkal as well as the Kolathiri kings are the earliest inhabitants of this beautiful structures. It was at that time a common habit of royals and kings to fortify their royal enclosure or palace to defend it from the enemys. The stronger the structure of a fort is, the better it is always. Later, when excavations have been made here in the fort, a number of coins and other items have been found which bring out the clear influence of the Mysore Sultans here. Later came the British rulers and then started a new Era in the Economical and social structure of the region. At present, the Bekal Fort is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kerala and also a known place where directors shoot movies and ads. Also, the Tourism Department has put this place as one of the five best tourist attractions here and special care is taken of this.
This palace is the Palace Gardens located in the heart of the city was constructed in 1887 by the Wodeyar Dynasty. The look of the palace is just like one of those medieval castles of England. It is said that this Tudor style palace was inspired from the Windsor Castle of England. The design and beauty of the Windsor Castle is said to have impressed Raja Chamarajendra Wodeyar so much that he decided to make this palace. The palace, though it has lost much of its previous grandeur, still manages to stand stunning. The garden and lawn around the palace is well maintained and the castle is now used for exhibitions and large cultural programs. As you enter the palace, it is the ballroom of the king and on the first floor is the assembly halls. The walls are intricately decorated and Yellow seems to have been a favorite of the king. There are ornate walls and also a place with a veil where the ladies used to sit while the assembly was in progress. The castle is mainly carved in wood and the paintings of Raja Ravi Verma, a court artist adorns many of the walls here.
The official residence of the Nizams while they were the authority of the state, this ws a prominent seat of the famous Asaf Jahi Dyansty. The palace in the local language is called as the Chowmallattuu Palace. The construction began in the year 1750 by Nizam Salabhat Jung and was finally completed in the year 1864- 69 by Nizam Afzar- Ud Dawla Bahadur. Stretching from the Laad Bazar to the Aspan Chowk, the palace is a replica of the Shah's Palace in Teheran of Italy. The palace in spite of being so old has held on nicely to its former beauty and glory and is ageing with absolute grace. The detailing of the architecture and designs is fantastic. Apart from the beautoful lawns and and gardens the Tehniyat Mahal, Afzal, Mehtab and Aftab Mahals are very popular attractions in here.
Qutab Shahi Tombs
This is a park and lawn and also the graveyard for the Qutub Shahi dynasty rulers who took over Golconda after the decline of the Bahmani Sultans. They were a Shia Muslim clan of the Koyu Koyunlu Region and were from the Persian Sect and also followed the culture of the same. The founder of this dynasty was Sultan Quli Qutub Mulk who came to Delhi with his uncle for the first time and then started his journet which ended with him being the ruler of such a powerful kingdom. The other sultans of the Telangana were in constant fight with the Qutub Shahis, till they were meged with the Mughals. Later in the 1th century Aurangzeb took over them and the downfall of this dynasty took place.
Chamundi Hill Bull Statue
This is the highest and probably the most important landmark of Mysore. Located very close to the Tipu Sultan's Palace, this is a perfect option for adventure seekers. Hiking is a popular activity enjoyed by tourists here and the most important attraction is of course the Chamundeshwari Temple on the peak of the Hill. This place was once named Mahishapura after the name of the Buffalo Demon. He became extremely powerful with a boon that no man could kill him. He became arrogant and started torturing all the gods and goddesses. This is when all the lords of heaven decided to take the help of Goddess Shakti who then took the form of the fierce Chamundeshwari. The goddess is said to have killed the demon on this hill after which the hill was named Chamundi Hills. The region was once also named as Mahabaleshpura as the cult Deity was Lord Shiva and there is also a lovely temple dedicated to the God of Gods, Lord Shiva here. Later, when the Wodayar kings accepted Chamundeshwari as the royal goddess, the temple of Chamundeshwari temple became more popular. There is also a life size statue of Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva. This Bull statue is the third largest bull statue of India. There is also a brightly painted statue of Mahishasura on the foothills and this is a hotspot for clicking group photos by all tourists.
In total there are 11 domed chambers, tall and inter-connected, giving it a grand appearance. These halls have different shapes, such as drum-shape and octagonal. In the middle is an ornate hall that was perhaps used for ceremonial gatherings that included elephant processions.
Hampi is one of the best ruined cities you will find in the world and the Queen's Bath is a popular attraction here. This is a part of some very old palace and this was the place where the royal ladies and queens would bath themselves. From the outside everything looks very simple but as you go in you find beautiful corridors and a central courtyard. The corridor has a number of ornately decorated arches and also fountains. These fountains supposedly were filled with perfumed waters and sprouting options during the earlier times. This is now almost in ruins except for the fact that you can make out the beautiful architectural patterns.
Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex
This is a whole temple complex where most of them are in complete ruins and some are partly in ruins. The temples all look like Jain Temples mainly due to their beautiful architecture of typical Jain Temples but most of these are dedicated to Lord shiva, Vishnu or Lord Ganesha. As you go further, you find a beautiful ond which is now dry but the group of temples around, especially the Veerupaksha Temple complex is extensive and beautiful. The other temples are the Kalu Ganesha, Kadalekalu and Sasivekalu Ganesha. The Lakshminarasimha and Badavalli are two more attractions and there is also an old Hanuman Temple here. This is a perfect spot for history buffs and photographers.
We went to Bidar Fort from there, which is open from 06.00 AM to 05.00 PM daily. Bidar Fort has seven gates in the fort and the places to see inside the fort are Takht Mahal, Tarkash Mahal, Rangeen Mahal, Gagan Mahal, Diwan-e-Aam and Solah Khamb Masjid. During an era when there were no Cranes or any technological aids, wonder how the men then built such huge Forts and Palaces. Inspired by the beauty of the Fort, my daughter has done a sketch of the Fort, which I have used as the cover image of this blog.The beautiful hindi song Ishq Sufiyaana, from the Bollywood movie “Dirty Picture” was shot here, featuring Imran Hashmi and Vidya Balan. Bidar has caught the attention of film directors for its unique monuments and historical locations. A lot of Kannada, Tamil and Telugu movies are also shot here. The place caught got its public attention after the Kannada movie Sanju Weds Geeta was shot here. All the songs were so beautifully picturized here on the gorgeous Ramya (Divya Spandana), with the Fort as backdrop. I have pasted an YouTube link of this lovely kannada song for you to see and enjoy. After all, sharing is caring.
Karkala Gomateshwara Statue
Moving ahead, I visited the Gommateshwara statue. I couldn’t take much photos here though as the statue was being given a face lift and was covered with logs which the people were using to reach the top. After having some fresh fruit juice at the base of the temple, I returned to Manipal. At Manipal, I saw a board showing directions to the Museum of Anatomy & Pathology. Having lot of time on my hand, I visited the museum and was glad that I did so. The museum is very well maintained and is one of its kind in the country. There are over 3000 specimens/ samples of anatomies of various mammals including man that are kept on display. As can be expected at a museum, the place is big treasure of information and knowledge. I spent almost close to 1.5 hours here looking through the entire collection of specimens. The visit was then followed with light lunch and topped off by savoring delicious natural ice cream at Thanco Fresh Fruitz Ice Cream. The place offers over 75 varieties of ice creams made from various other fruits apart from the standard ones of Mango, Strawberry, Pineapple…. I tried out the Guava flavor and it had quite an amazing taste. I then returned back to the Malpe beach for the evening to enjoy the last couple of hours of my trip by the sea side. I stayed put till 8 PM sitting on the edge of the beach, listening to nothing but the sound of sea waves. Having my dinner by the beach side, I then proceeded to board my bus to return back to Bangalore and end what had been a quite memorable trip. My next trip was already in plans for the upcoming weekend. From the west coast of India at Udupi, my next trip was to the east coast of India at Pondicherry. I wouldn’t be writing about it though as I have visited Pondicherry many times before ????Until next time, adios! ????This post was originally published on Wanderlust Diaries.
Jain Temple Pattadakal
This is a ruined, World Heritage Site as declred by the UNESCO. It is situated on the left banks of the River Malaprabha and is in the District Bagalkot. Another name for this place is Pattadakalu and this is a very popular tourist attraction. This place was ruled by the Chalukya Dynasty and this was the Golden Era for this town. This was when art and cultured flourished here like never again and here evolved a fine blend of the South and North Indian forms of Art. They built as many as 9 Hindu Temples and then 1 Jain Temple. The best among all is the Virupaksha Temple which was a gift of honour by Queen Lokamahadevi to her husband to mark his victory over the kings of Southern India.
Taj Falaknuma Palace
The Taj Falaknuma is a palace which has been converted into a hotel property by the Taj Group. Amazing hotel with the best views of the city, it lies at a distance from the city. Worth a visit if you have an extra day and are willing to spoil yourself in luxury. There are entry fees for entering the hotel property.
Badami Cave Temples
Badami is a small town on the north of Karnataka and was built by Pulakesin I of the Chalukyan Empire. This town is mainly known for the cave temples here. These caves were carved out of soft sandstone and bear the remains of Hindu and Dravidian styles of architecture. A major attraction in these caves is the 18 armed statue of Lord Shiva. Cave 1 is probably the oldest of all the caves and is made of red snadstone. The whole cave is adorned with the murals of Hindu deities. The life size statue of Lord Shiva with his consort and the snake is beautiful. Over here you will also be able to find also the statues of dancing Nataraja in 81 different poses. Caves 2 and 3 are dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Cave 4 is a Jain Temple.
One fine day I got to know there is something called turtle festival & which happens at Velas beach, Ratnagiri. After that moment I was excited to visit the place & started searching partner in crime. Nobody was interested to see turtle hatching since that just not enough to make them pack the bags, so then made some changes in plan by adding Bankot fort & Harihareshwar beach in road trip. After big No from my all groups asked my best buddy Suhas to come with me & he said yes!!, not only yes he also convinced his roommates Rakesh, Yadnesh & Pabhakar to become the journey mates.On 27th February around 11 PM we all met at my place & then stated much awaited road trip. Velas is 210 Kilometers by road, which won’t take less than 5-6 Hours. In these 5-6 hours we all became friends by understanding each other background & habits, making new friends are the best thing about travel.
Earlier known as the Vijayanarayana Temple, this is the prime attraction of th Belur Region of Karnataka. The temple is stuated on the banks of the Yagachi River and was once the capital of the Hoysala Empire Empire. There are also other temples in Belur and the neighbouring Halebid is a popular tourist attraction. The maning of the word Chennakesava is 'Handsome Krishna'. One of the most attractive temples, this temple is decorated inside out. Light greenish colour soapstone is mainly used to make the Chennakesava being carried on a Garida and the entrance with the Golden Lion makes the temple look even better. There are also other smaller shrines and temples inside this huge temple complex.
A 17th Century Fort, it is situated right on the banks of the Chandragiri River. It was once the line of division between the kingdoms of Thulunadus and Kolathunadus. There is also a bridge over this river and you can take boat rides to the nearby islands. The fort acts as a watchpoint for everyone. From here you can enjoy some of the most extraordinary views of the Arabian Sea and the blue waters of the river. This is a popular place for movie and ad shoots and also for picnics and outings.
Another architectural marvel made of lime and mortal, Paigal Tombs are made out of lime and mortar with amazing marble carvings. These tombs are 200 years old which represent the final resting places of several generations of the Paigah Nobles. You'll feel wonderful seeing the delicately carved wooden doors and window screens done in jaali (netted) work. The detail work done on these is in itself a display of its magnificence.Each Tomb has been designed differently, with elaborate covering and marble fences which are adorned with exemplary geometrical and floral designs. The Paigahs were great patrons of arts and have made several palaces. Their love for art is seen even in their exquisite tombs. This place is provides a dazzling sight for someone who is visiting this place first time.
Chitradurga Fort or as the British called it Chitaldoorg, is a fortification that straddles several hills and a peak overlooking a flat valley in the Chitradurga District, Karnataka, India. The fort's name Chitrakaldurga, which means 'picturesque fort' in Kannada, is the namesake of the town Chitradurga and its administrative district.The fort was built in stages between the 17th and 18th centuries by the dynastic rulers of the region, including the Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas and Hoysalas as well as the Nayakas of Chitradurga, feudal lords in the Vijayanagar Empire. The Nayakas of Chitradurga, or Palegar Nayakas, were most responsible for the expansion of the fort between the 15th and 18th centuries. They were defeated by Hyder Ali at Chitradurga in 1779. Later the fort was expanded and strengthened by Hyder Ali and his son Tippu Sultan,who succeeded Madakari Nayaka V, the last ruler of the Nayaka clan. The fort is built in a series of seven concentric fortification walls with various passages, a citadel, masjid, warehouses for grains and oil, water reservoirs and ancient temples. There are 18 temples in the upper fort and one huge temple in the lower fort. Among these temples the oldest and most interesting is the Hidimbeshwara temple. The masjid was an addition during Hyder Ali’s rule. The fort's many interconnecting tanks were used to harvest rainwater, and the fort was said to never suffer from a water shortage.Distance: 209km
Chandragiri Fort is another imposing structure that showcases the beauty of ancient Kerala. Almost in ruins now, it is still a popular attraction because of the spectacular view of the Chandragiri River joining the Arabian Sea. Only 7km from Kasaragod, this fort is a great place to visit for an Instagram-worthy sunset. You can also take a boat-ride on the Chandragiri River that lasts for around half an hour and starts from the Chandragiri Bridge.Entrance fees: ₹5 per person, ₹100 per person for foreign nationalsTimings: 8am to 5.30pm
Vidhana Soudha and Attara Kacheri
This magnificent neo- Dravidian structure is one of the architectural marvels of Modern India. This is the seat of the Karnataka Legislature and the credit for this goes to Chief Minister Hanunmathaiya who was their from 1951- 56. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation of this building and thus stands the giant monument made of granite and holding the integrity and the sovereignity of the Karnataka Government. The building has two quadrangualar wings on both sides and the whole assembly sits here. There is also a huge banquet hall and many other chambers and rooms for government officials inside. This is now also a very popular tourist attraction in the city.
This is an International Meditation Center near Bangalore in the Kebbedoddi Village of District Ramnagar. This is the largest meditation pyramid in the world and was founded by Brahmarshi Patriji in the year 2003. The main aim of this organization is to help every individual and every community to find the answers for their inner questions. They follow the path of Buddhism and thus people no matter what caste, creed or religion they belong to can enter this place. The ambience here is very quiet and serene and this is an add on when it comes to detoxification of your mind and body. The spiritual leaders of all communities gather here and preach harmony. They also try to make everyone aware of the value of scientific ways of meditation and usefullness of vegitarianism. This is also known as one of the Seven Wonders of Bangalore and you will also see a huge statue of Lord Buddha in a yogic posture inside this place.