A Travellerspoint blog

Fort - Devanahalli

Devanahalli Fort and Tipu Sultan's birth place


Fort - Devanahalli

Location: About 35 km north of Bangalore.
Directions: Drive on NH7 (towards Hyderbad) and take the right deviation to Devanahalli town.
Entrance fees: None

The Devanahalli fort was initially constructed of mud in the 16th century AD, believed to have been constructed by one Malla Baire Gowda, a local chieftain. In 1747 AD, it was taken over by Nanja Raja (brother of the then Chief Minister of Mysore, Devaraja). With the rise of Hyder Ali in the affairs of Mysore state, the fort came under his management, who re-fortified it with stone, and later under that of his son, Tipu Sultan.

Nothing much is left of the fort today, except for the imposing entrance. Since most of the walls are gone and the fort itself has been encroached by residential houses, shops etc of modern day Devanahalli, all that you can do is drive through it. There is also a modern day memorial, just outside the fort, with a plaque declaring that Tipu Sultan was born there in 1751 AD. But nothing much apart from it.


Posted by arunbaliga 16:22 Archived in India Tagged devanahalli Comments (0)


Birthplace of M Visvesvaraya


Location: Muddenahalli Village (Chikkaballapur district), around 55km north of Bangalore.
Directions: From Bangalore, drive on NH7 (towards Hyderabad) and take the Nandi Hills Road (SH 104, on the left soon after the Hill Jain Temple). Then, at the Karahalli Cross, take right (towards Chikkaballapur town on SH 74). Ahead on SH 74, near Gantigana halli, take the left deviation (village road) to Muddenahalli.
Entrance fees: None.

Muddenahalli, an otherwise non-descript village, is well known for being the birthplace of Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya (Sir M Visvesvaraya), a notable engineer who went on to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in 1955.

M Visvesvaraya, as an engineer, contributed immensely to the field of irrigation. He designed a system of flood gates, which were later used at the Khadakvasla reservoir (near Pune), Tigra dam (Gwalior) and Krishna Raj Sagar/KRS dam (Mysore). He also designed a flood protection system for Hyderabad city (from Musi River). He later went on to be Diwan of Mysore state. He supervised the construction of KRS dam and was intrumental in transforming the Mysore state (ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty) into a modern state through many initiatives/ventures such as the Mysore Soap Factory, Mysore Iron & Steel Works - Bhadravathi (now known as Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited), Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic Institute, the Bangalore Agricultural University, the State Bank of Mysore (SBM) and many others. He was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1955.

Today, his house in Muddenahalli is converted into a museum and his tomb, located a few steps close by, is converted into a memorial park. We couldn't visit the museum though (it opens at 11am and we had reached there early). However, we did visit the memorial which is well maintained.


Posted by arunbaliga 15:27 Archived in India Tagged bangalore sir muddenahalli visvesvaraya mv Comments (0)

Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple complex - Nandi Village

Historical temple with stamps of five ancient dynasties of Southern India


Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple complex - Nandi Village

Location: Nandi Village (Chikkaballapur district), around 50km north of Bangalore.
Directions: From Bangalore, drive on NH7 (towards Hyderabad) and take the Nandi Hills Road (SH 104, on the left soon after the Hill Jain Temple). Then, at the Karahalli Cross, take right (towards Chikkaballapur town).
Entrance fees: None.

The Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple is one of the oldest temples in Karnataka, being more than 1000 years old. The temple complex houses 3 temples - Arunachaleswara, Uma Maheshwara and Bhoga Nandeeshwara. Dedicated solely to God Shiva and Goddess Parvati, the Arunachaleshwara represents the childhood days of Shiva, while the Uma Maheshwara and Bhoga Nandeeshwara temples represent his youth.

The construction has stamps of five dynasties known for their expertise in stonework and temple architecture. All of them built around the initial temple structure over many centuries. The first phase is believed to have been built by Queen Ratnavali of the Bana kingdom in the 9th century AD. Then came the 5 experts.

Cholas added the roof of the main temple, Bhoga Nandeeshwara, in 11th century AD.There is also a figure of a Chola king in the temple, believed to be of Rajendra Chola.

Then, the Gangas built the Arunachaleshwara temple. There is a Nandi idol in front of this temple.

Later in the 13th century, the Hoysalas added the initial structure for the marriage hall. Also, the temple pillars and walls have intricate carvings typical of Hoysala architecture.

Then came the pallavas. The presence of the patially ruined gopura (ornate temple entrance) is an evidence in itself that these were built by the Pallavas, since the origin of the gopura is tracked back to the early structures of Pallavas.

Finally, the Vijayanagara empire built - the Shringi Theertha (a Pushkarni [tank] surrounded on all it's 4 sides by steps and a madapa [pillared hall]), the current Kalyana Mandapa [marriage hall] and the Tulabhara Mandapa (where donors used to weigh themselves and donate equivalent quantity of grains, money or other articles).



Posted by arunbaliga 12:02 Archived in India Tagged bangalore nandi pandava_rathas bhoga_nandeeshwara chikkaballapur Comments (0)

Smile of Angkor Show @ Siem Reap


Back to travel blogging..let me add the missing pages, before I add the recent ones. Starting from Siem Reap, which we visited back in 2012.

We had arrived in Siem Reap around noon after a 10 hr journey from Bangalore, with a connecting flight in Kuala Lumpur. We were picked up by our hotel van and reached the hotel within half an hour.

Being a heavily touristed town, Siem Reap has good roads, but very less traffic. On the way from the airport, we saw plenty of hotels, I never expected there would be so many for a town of this size, hotels of all ranges and tastes and they are quite inexpensive, even comparing to those back in India. But yes, the town is mostly meant for tourists, after all this is the most touristed location in Cambodia, many arrive in this country just to visit the famous Angkor temples near the town. It is nice to see a small town of this size to have an active international airport, plenty of hotels and restaurants, supermarkets and the usual touristy stuff we encounter in Asia - fish spa, night markets, souvenir shops, currency exchanges and cyber centers around every corner. And it isn't difficult for a tourist in this town, unlike the rest of Cambodia. USD is the de-facto currency in touristed towns in Cambodia, only for small changes, you get paid back in Riels (1 USD makes about 4000 Riels), a currency which is virtually useless outside Cambodia.

On reaching our hotel Somadevi Angkor, we rested until the evening and then went for the Smile of Angkor show. The show isn't a must for a Siem Reap itinerary, but it fitted well for the time we had on this Sunday evening. We had booked the tickets online, it cost us 33 USD/person incl. dinner and hotel pickup/drop. The show is organized at Angkor COEX, which located in the outskirts of the town... it took us around 15 min to reach by car.

The buffet dinner started early at 6 pm, mostly with S.E Asian dishes, though I wouldn't rate it high for quality, quite OK, it certainly was the largest buffet dinner I had ever seen considering the number of dishes. The show started at 7:15 pm, a commercial cultural show with Acrobatic performers, lasers, water fountains and modern light and sound effects, I would say it is the Siem Reap equivalent of the show at Gurgaon's Kingdom of Dreams back in India. The show is 75 min long and tells the story of ancient Angkor through costumed dancers, with scenes such as the churning of the sea of milk for Amritha. It is not meant to be compared with traditional Cambodian dance shows, it is purely an entertainment show with dance, colorful costumes, sound and light effects, plus with a dinner thrown in. Though I had read mixed reviews of this show while booking it, we did enjoy our visit and felt worth the money and time.

The hotel where we stayed while in Siem Reap...

A snap from the Smile of Angkor show...

Posted by arunbaliga 01:00 Archived in Cambodia Tagged cambodia siem_reap smile_of_angkor_show somadevi Comments (0)

Mahabalipuram - Sun & Sand


Mahabalipuram was once only a short 3-4 hr stopover for tourists touring temples and historical monuments across Tamil Nadu. However, things have changed quite a lot. Today, tourists are increasingly spending at least a couple of days at Mahabalipuram, due to the place emerging as a unique combination of history and sand. Due to its nice beaches, it is emerging as a sunbathing and surfing spot, especially for western tourists. The waves are not huge, but surfing is on the roll. Few luxury beach resorts such as Chariot and Radisson Blu and numerous hotels/guest houses and restaurants close to its beaches have opened up to cater to the tourists.

Just attached an assortment of snaps of our stay at Mahabalipuram.

Idli Vadai (South Indian breakfast@Mamalla Bhavan)

Waiting for lunch@Golden Palate(Mamalla Heritage)

The beach

The Four Horses

Our room@Hotel Ramakrishna

Dinner@Waves Restaurant(Mamalla Heritage)

Fish&Chips for lunch @ a beach restaurant

Streets of Mahabalipuram

Posted by arunbaliga 09:30 Archived in India Tagged india mahabalipuram mamallapuram tamil_nadu Comments (0)

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