Friday, 29 May 2015

Trip to Cultural Capital Of Karnataka - Mysuru : Brindavan Gardens

Mysuru :
Cultural Capital Of Karnataka
City Of Palaces (Ambavilasa Palace, Jaganmohana Palace)
City Of Museums (Rail Museum, Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, Regional Museum of Natural History..etc)
City of lakes (Kukkarahalli Lake, Karanji lake etc) 
Famous for its products like Mysore Silk, Mysore Pak, Mysore Sandal Soap, Mysore wood art...uffff words are not enough to describe this historical city.
Yesterday while watching coronation celebrations of Yaduveer Krishnadutt Wodeyar (27th Maharaja of Mysuru) in TV, my memories of Mysuru trip got refreshed.
Mysuru trip was an unplanned one which happened two years ago. Unplanned trips always will be unforgettable and joyful. Our Mysuru trip was no exception.
Only a week was remaining for Dasara Celebrations (Navaratri Festival) and we left for Mysuru on Friday morning without booking hotel room. My hubby was confident of getting a room in one or the other hotel. I was happy and thrilled because so far I had seen attractions of Mysuru only  in photos, movies etc.
Our first destination was Brindavana Gardens (KRS Dam). We reached Brindavan Gardens at 4.30 PM. Parking place was already full with hundreds of vehicles. We paid the parking fees and parked our car. Before entering the garden one has to pay fees for camera. There were many shops, eateries, fast food centers near parking place. 
Brindavan Gardens, built in the Mughal style is in the KrishnaRajaSagara Dam site (Popularly known as KRS Dam) of Mandya District. KRS dam is built across river Kaveri. This garden is spread over an area of 60 acres. The river Kaveri below the giant dam divides the garden into two parts.  
As we entered the world famous Brindavan Gardens, I was mesmerized by the ethereal beauty and grandeur of the garden. It is one of the most beautifully laid out gardens in the world and famous for its symmetric design. This garden is a public park and it is one of the important tourist spots of India.
Brindavan garden is enriched with many water sprinkling fountains, lush green lawns, shrubs and trees, flower beds, terraces, running and cascading water channels, statues of Goddess Kaveri and Lord Krishna etc. In the midst of the garden there is a big pond in which visitors can take a boat ride. This pond has big statue of Goddess Kaveri. 

We cant describe the beauty of the garden in words when it is lit up in the evening. With colorful lights garden looked like heaven on earth. It was 6.30 in the evening. Long awaited time had finally come ie, time to watch the famous musical fountain and laser show. Crowds gathered in a large number around the gallery. 
When the natural sunlight diminishes, show starts. Water, colorful lights and music are synchronized in the fountain to create an illusion that fountain is dancing to the music and song. People clapped and started blowing whistle when a famous Kannada song "ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡಿನ ಜೀವನದಿ ಈ ಕಾವೇರಿ " was played and fountain danced to its music. Many songs and different colors were used to create a rich look to the fountain. It was really a feast to eyes. The show went on till 7.30PM. 
Dancing Fountain

After the show ended we left towards Mysuru city that is 20+ KMs away from Brindavan gardens. It was 9 PM when we reached Mysuru. Now our main aim was to find out a good hotel to stay at night. Lodges, hotels, large buildings and temples were shining with decorative lights. My hubby enquired almost 8-10 hotels and got frustrated for not getting a single room. "Rooms are not available or all rooms are booked" was the answer from hotel reception for our enquiry. We were experiencing the side effects of not booking a room in prior during Dasara. Before deciding spending the night in the car we thought of enquiring one more hotel for the last time. My hubby went to enquire while I remained inside the car. After some time he returned with a smile. Though all rooms were booked in that hotel, hotel manager had decided to give his room itself to us which was in the last floor at the corner. We felt like we got an oasis in the desert :) Room was spacious enough, had TV and all other facilities. No need to say - he charged double rate. 
Next morning with all fresh energy we started off to Mysore Zoo, one more world famous tourist spot in Mysuru.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Big Banyan Tree (Dodda Aalada Mara) One of the wonders of Bengaluru

If you want to have a relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city then Dodda Aalada Mara also called Big Banyan tree is the ideal place. Relaxing under the cool shade of this giant tree gives a fresh feel. It is located at Ramohalli. We started at 3PM from home. On Mysore road we took the road to the right at the Kumbalagod junction. Travelling 7 Kms on this narrow road leads to the famous tree. We reached the place at 4 PM.
Big Banyan tree is 400 yrs old and covers an area of 3 acres. I wondered by seeing its aerial roots. There are more than 1000 aerial roots touching the earth. 

Tree offers a beautiful vision of greenery. Support has been given to the very old branches of the tree.  The tree has fenced boundaries and benches for people to sit and enjoy its beauty. There is a small and old temple in the area. 
Entire landscape of this tree is developed by Bank of Maharashtra, Basavanagudi Branch. It has been maintained in a neat and clean manner. But here and there we can see some nonsense and mindless acts of foolish people. Littering, throwing plastic bottles, carving graffiti on the tree can be seen. It is really sad to see a heritage being destroyed by some nonsense people. 

One thing I have observed from my travels is people's favorite picnic spot is favorite for monkeys too :) Here too monkeys roam around the place abundantly. If you dont want harassment from them then avoid roaming around with food items in hand. 
Food and water is available near Big Banyan tree. There are few shops that sell tea, snacks, tender coconuts etc. 
We spent two hours there. On the way back home we visited a plant nursery. There are many plant nurseries on the way that sell many indoor, outdoor and flowering plants.  

Monday, 18 May 2015

Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple - One of the oldest Temples of Karnataka

Everyone knows Nandi Hills as a popular picnic spot. But Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple is unknown to many people though it is situated at the foothills of Nandi Hills. We have visited Nandi Hills many times earlier but never thought of visiting this temple. Only after seeing its beauty in a movie we decided to visit this temple. We started at 1.30 PM from home and reached the temple at 2.45 PM. Finding out the temple was easy as we can see direction boards along road side.
Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple is one of the oldest temples of Karnataka. History says that temple was built in 9th century by Bana queen Ratnavali. The temple then underwent many additions and modifications by five dynasties that ruled here - Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pallavas and Vijayanagara Kings. Though originally built in Dravidian Architecture temple bears the architectural styles of these five dynasties.
When we entered the temple compound I was surprised. It didnt look like a temple but it looked like a huge park with many big trees, flowering plants and green lawns.People were sitting and chating on the ground, childrens were playing in the lawn. We were confused and asked someone where exactly the temple is. He showed us the pathway which leads to the temple complex.
Temple Courtyard
Temple complex is large and magnificent housing three small temples inside - Arunachaleshwara temple, Umamaheshwara temple and Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple.  Arunachaleshwara represents the childhood of  Lord Shiva, Bhoga Nandeeshwara depicts youthful phase of Lord Shiva and Umamaheshwara temple depicts the wedding scenes between Shiva and Parvati.

Architectural attractions of the temple :
Temple itself is a fine example of Dravidian and Hoysala Architecture. Temple also offers many architectural attractions.  

Kalyani (Shringi Teertha) : 
Another portion of the temple has a large water pond (Kalyani) called Shringi Teertha/Shringeri Teertha. This Kalyani is surrounded by rock carved steps. This entire structure is surrounded by stone carved pillars giving it a fort look. Kalyani is a favorite spot for photographers and a popular location for for cinema shooting. You must have seen this Kalyani in numerous Kannada films especially in songs.  My son really enjoyed the serene beauty of Kalyani. Sitting on those steps he started playing happily and was reluctant to come back. 
Temple Kalyani

Kalyana Mantapa (Marriage Hall) :
Kalyana Mantapa was constructed by Hoysalas in the temple complex. So it is in Hoysala architecture style. Pillars of Kalyana Mantapa are beautifully carved. On the pillars we can see structures of divine couple like Shiva-Parvati, Brahma-Saraswati, Vishnu-Lakshmi, Agni Deva-Swaha Devi etc. Also we can see carvings of animals, birds, creepers etc. Now also many weddings take place here. Infront of this Kalyana Mantapa there is enoughg place to sit and watch wedding rituals. 
Kalyana Mantapa

Stone Umbrella :
In the temple prakara we can see a beautifully carved tall and attractive stone umbrella.

Stone wheels of chariot :
In the courtyard near the temple entrance, we can see eight stone wheels of the temple chariot. These wheels are beautifully carved and colorful.
Stone Wheels Of the Chariot
Mahanavami Dibba :
In the courtyard of temple we can see a small hill like structure with stone pillars. It is called Mahanavami Dibba. 
Mahanavami Dibba
We relaxed in the courtyard for few minutes before leaving. Visit to this temple turned out to be a good weekend getaway. Sir M Vishweshwarayya's birth place Muddenahalli is also near to this place. So one can club Nandi Hills, Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple and Muddenahalli for a perfect weekend getaway.