Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Devimane Ghat - Beautiful Curvy Ghat- On The Way From Kumta to Sirsi

Devimane Ghat comes on the way between Kumta to Sirsi is located at a sharp curve on the hilly roads of Western Ghats. It connects coastal region to the Malnad region. There is a small Devi temple beside the ghat and so the name Devimane Ghat. The ghat is surrounded by evergreen thick forests of Western Ghat and its mountain range. 
There is also a viewpoint to witness the majesty of Western Ghats. One can have breathtaking views of mountains of Western Ghats. 
View Of The Western Ghat Mountains from Devimane Ghat

Near this view point there is a small temple of Kshetrapaleshwara. People believe that the God Kshetrapaleshwara is protecting the surroundings area. People who travel through this ghat usually stop here and offer money, coconut, banana, flowers etc to the God and pray for their safe journey. Even public transport buses stop here and take the blessings of the God. 
There is also a reserved and protected forest area which belongs to the forest department of Karnataka. Many medicinal plants, trees, herbs can be found here. 

I often commute through this ghat to reach Kumta. During heavy rainy seasons, in the early mornings and evenings of the winter Devimane Ghat will be covered with dense fog which makes the driving tough and challenging. 

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Mirjan Fort - Kumta : During Summer

Long back I had written about Mirjan Fort, a beautiful fort situated in my native place Kumta. I had visited the fort during peak Monsoon when the entire fort was wearing green look. With the lush green surroundings the fort looked very lovely and lively. The fort was covered by green creepers, algae and green grasses. You can read my post on the fort, about its history etc by clicking the link below :
                             Mirjan Fort - Kumta : During Monsoon
But last time when I visited the fort during hot summer, the entire picture of the fort was different. Mirjan fort was built using brick red laterite stones. In summer, we can clearly identify these stones and fort looks red. Surroundings look very dry with no trace of greenery. Here are some photos of the fort taken during the warm summer season.
Entrance to the big well inside the Fort..During Monsoon all these steps will be sunk in the water...
The Place where horses were tied

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Grand Taj Expo and The Family Fair

The picture of Taj Mahal and a big banner 'The Grand Taj Expo' attracted us near Jayadeva Hospital/Jalabhavan when we were returning from a family function. The word 'Taj Expo' increased my curiosity to know what exactly this expo was all about. We parked the car, paid an entry fees of 150Rs and went inside. Wow!! There was a mini Taj Mahal. A huge replica of Taj Mahal was attracting everyone. Colorful plants and flower pots were kept in front of the Taj Model to create the magical feel of real Taj Mahal. 

This replica of Taj Mahal was made using different materials - wood, plywood, fibre, Plaster of Paris etc. It was created by Chennai born Malaysian artist Shekhar and his team. They took almost two months to complete this Taj model. 
There were many other attractions for kids like kids train, motor riding, water games, giant wheel, toys etc..My son had great fun and enjoyed kids games. 

At the place there were stalls of jewelries, bags, footwear, utensils, cosmetics, cloths. Ladies were seen shopping happily. 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Kamat Upachar : At Your Service - Your Food Friend On Your Way

Kamat Upachar restaurants belong to Kamat Hotels Group - a big name in hotel industry of Karnataka. Whenever you are on the highways of Karnataka, you can rely on Kamat Upachars for food - be it breakfast, lunch, quick afternoon snacks or dinner. It is our food destination every time we travel to native on NH4. Kamat Upachar is one of the very few available decent option for food on NH4. Kamat Upachar outlets are present in Tumkur, Chitradurga, Sira, Ranebennur, Hubli and Dharwad.
Kamat Upachar@Ranebennur
Food is delicious here. They have decent varieties for breakfast, meals and dinner. Varieties of dosas, idli, Poori, Upma etc are available for breakfast. Coming to meals - Jowar roti meals are tasty. Normal South Indian thalis are also available. North Indian thali lovers can taste hot and crispy roti and curries. Tea, coffee, fruit juices, milk shakes also satisfy your hunger. 
Kamat Upachar@Tumkur
Ambiance of Kamat Upachars is neat and clean. Spacious sitting arrangements, fast service, friendly servers, ample parking place, well maintained clean toilets will invite you again whenever you are on the road. 

Overall, Kamat Upachars are good pit-stops during long road trips on NH4.  

Thursday, 5 November 2015

River Aghanashini - The Lifeline Of Kumta

Western Ghats are the birth place of many rivers. The river Aghanashini originates in the Western Ghats of Uttara Kannada district.The birth place of Aghanashini river is called "Shankara Honda" and it is situated in Sirsi town. Aghanashini river flows westward towards Arabian sea and meets the sea in a small Village called 'Aghanashini' (named after the river) of Kumta taluk. On its way, the river has created many beautiful falls - Unchalli falls, Burude falls, Benne Hole Falls etc.

River Aghanashini
Aghanashini river is called as the lifeline of Kumta and it is the source of livelihood for thousands of fishermen who live along the bank of the river. They worship Aghanashini as "Destroyer of Sins".There are more than 150 varieties of fish in the river.  Many varieties of edible bivalves (shellfish) can be found in the river and they have high demand in the local market as well as from neighouring states. Bivalves harvesting and collection has provided direct employment for the people of Kumta.
Fishermen boats parked on the Aghanshini River
Aghanashini River as seen from Kumta Bridge
Aghanashini is one of the pristine rivers of Karnataka. There are no major dams and industrial establishments along the banks of the river. The river is surrounded by hills, valleys, paddy fields, arecanut and coconut farms, mangrove forests. The Mangrove forest surrounding the river is an important habitat and source of food for many birds, animals and reptiles.  These mangrove forests play an important role in maintaining the Eco system. As it is a rain fed river, Aghanashini looks even more beautiful during Monsoon season. It is a stunning sight to see the river with muddy water and high tides. 
Konkan Railway Bridge constructed across the river
Aghanashini is an ancient river, older than the river Ganga - considering the Western Ghats were formed around 88 million years ago while the Himalayas were formed around 50 million years ago. In 2014 February, Bangalore based company 'Eco Watch' had organized a fest called 'Aghanashini Sambhrama'. The aim of the festival was to celebrate the rich heritage of river Aghanashini, to promote tourism, to conserve the Western Ghats and to spread the awareness about Eco System and Bio diversity.

I feel that people of my native town Kumta are really blessed to have such a holy river in their life. Whenever I visit my home I make sure that I spend some time on the banks of Aghanashini and enjoy its serene landscape.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Hara - The Fine Dine Experience

Last week I was very much tired after heavy shopping in BDA complex Banashankari 2nd stage. I was hungry too. So my very first choice for the lunch was the restaurant 'Hara' which is exactly opposite to BDA Complex. Thus my long time wish to have lunch/dinner in Hara came true :)
The concept I liked in 'Hara' was solving SU-DO-KU game. No need to get bored while you wait for the items you have ordered. SU-DO-KU papers are kept on all tables. It is really fun to solve this game with friends or family and the time passes quickly. It doesnt mean that waiting period here is long. Service is quick. 
 The ambience of Hara is fresh and beautiful. White, green and brown interiors with shades of light and peaceful ambience giveyou the fine dine experience. 

 Moving on to the food items - Hara has vide varieties of items to choose from. Description on the Menu book is at its best. Their starters list is long with tasty chinese and North Indian items. I tasted Masala papad with vegetable spring roll. The taste was something I never had in any other restaurants so far. Manchow soup was awesome.  For the main course I had hot and soft butter rotis with paneer butter masala. It was yummy and delicious. Finally finished the lunch with chocolate milk shake. Milk shake was Ok..I would have loved it if they had added more chocolate :)

If you are around Banashankari 2nd stage and love vegetarian food and want to have affordable fine dining then dont miss Hara. You would visit again and again for sure :)

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Hill Temples Of Bengaluru -5 : Ragigudda Prasanna Anjaneya Temple

When we started to Ragigudda Anjaneya Temple, I thought the temple would be like any other small temples in the city. I had heard lot about this temple. I hardly knew that commercially busy Jayanagar is hiding such a big and beautiful temple within. It is easily accessible, near to Central and Gopalan mall (Jayanagar 9th block). 
The main deity of the temple is Hanuman sitting on a small hillock known as Ragigudda. It is believed that a big heap of Ragi (Millet) turned out to become a stone, hence the name "Ragigudda". One can easily climb the hill, sit on the rock and enjoy the temple surroundings. At the base of the hill there are temples of Seetha Rama, Ganesha, Bhagavathi, Goddess Rajarajeshwari and Navagraha. The total area of the temple is around five acres.
Entrance Of The Temple

The Pathway to the Anjaneya Temple

At the entrance there is a beautiful artificial water falls in between the huge rocks and big trees. It is called 'Hanuman Dhara'. At the top of Hanuman Dhara we can see a big and beautiful statue of the bird 'Garuda'. This fountain is illuminated in the evenings and it is a treat to eyes.
Hanuman Dhara

Thrimurthy Sannidhi : One more attraction of the temple is Thrimurthy Sannidhi (Trinity) at the backside of the temple. Statues of Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara are beautifully carved of a huge stone and they are 32ft tall. I really feel blessed to see these Thrimurthies together.
Thrimurthy Sannidhi

Temple also has beautiful garden where you can see nine different trees representing nine planets and they are called as Naavagraha Trees. Garden also has fountains, small waterfalls, small pond and mini statues of divine figures.

Temple Complex also consists of -
Parna Kuteera - where special poojas, homas are conducted.
Goshala - there are many cows. These cows milk is used for abhisheka.
Auditorium : Big and neatly maintained. Cultural programs are conducted here.
School and Medical Centre: Run by Ragigudda Temple Management.
Library : Many books related to religion, science etc are available to read.
Ragigudda Anjaneya Temple is a must visit temple for Hanuman devotees. I liked the temple for the following reasons :
Temple is clean and neatly maintained.
There is not too much commercialization. Temple is peaceful and calm.
Lift facility is available for senior citizen and physically handicapped to reach the temple at the hill.
One can sit on top of the hill and relax as long as you want.
Greenery is maintained everywhere. Water falls, fountains, ponds, plants and trees add their own charm to the scenic beauty.
Temple management is actively involved in social works through its charitable foundation.
Prasadam is very tasty :)

My previous posts on Hill Temples of Bengaluru : 

Friday, 9 October 2015

Lalbagh Flower Show - 2015 : The Independence Day Edition

I had last visited the Lalbagh flower show in the year 2012. This year again I got an opportunity to visit the Independence Day flower show when the show was nearly ending. Only two days were left. On weekday morning at 10 AM we reached Lalbagh thinking that early morning on weekday crowd will be less. But the huge crowd proved our thinking was wrong. 
This was the 202nd edition of the flower show. Every time the show organizers come up with the different theme. This time the two main attractions inside the Glass House were - The replica of Bengaluru Palace created using nearly 2 lakh colorful Dutch roses and statues of five Maharajas (Wodeyars) of Mysuru.
Replica Of Bengaluru Palace created using Roses

Near the statues of Mysuru Maharajas boards were installed that speak of their contributions to the state. There was a photo gallery which had rare collections of photos from the Royal Families of album of memories. The specialty of this year's show was -  Rajamata Pramoda Devi Wodeyar and the new scion Maharaja Yaduveer Krishna Datta Chamaraja Wodeyar themselves inaugurated the show.
Statues of Mysuru Wodeyars
There were many other attraction at the lawn area outside the Glass house which depicted the lifestyle of Royal family of Mysuru. As a tribute to the great Kings of Mysuru , this years flower show was transformed into Mysuru King's Garden. 

One more attraction at the lawn area was the sand sculpture of former President Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. People were busy taking selfies with this sculpture. 

Flowery Musical Instruments : Musical Instruments made out of different colorful flowers were displayed at the lawn area.
Trumpet and Gramophone


Harmonium and Mridanga
Bonsai Garden had Elephant created using Tomatoes and Capsicums.

Apart from all these special attractions, there were many varieties of flowers, plants, herbs, shrubs in the show. The show also featured hundreds of stalls and specialized nurseries where people can buy plants, gardening needs, pesticides, manure, seeds etc. There were also stalls demonstrating roof top garden, balcony garden concepts. 

My previous posts on Lalbagh : 

Lalbagh Flower Show : 2012
Mango and Jackfruit Mela @ Lalbagh
An Evening In Lalbagh
Roses From Lalbagh Rose Garden