Sunday, October 31, 2010

ಮೈಸೂರು ದಸರ - 2010

I used to force my father to accompany me to the famous Dasara procession which is held in Mysore every year. After years of requests , this year I was granted :) So we took off to see the famous AMBARI .

The Team :
1. Mr. Gowrishankar ( my father )
2. Mr. Suresh (my uncle)
3. Myself

Our first visit was to Nanjangud :
Nanjangud (Kannada ನಂಜನಗೂಡು) is a town in Mysore district in the Indian state ofKarnataka. It is a temple town and is on the banks of the river Kapila (Kabini), and lies at a distance of 23 km from the city of Mysore. Nanjangud is also called as "Dakshina Kashi" (southern Kashi)

Origin of the name

The main temple at Nanjangud is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, also called Sri Nanjundeshwara, "The God who drank poison" . In Hindu mythology, the Gods and demons churned the ocean in search of the ambrosia. During this churning, poison emanated first, followed by ambrosia. To prevent the poison from spreading across the universe and to destroy it, Shiva came to the rescue and drank it up. His wife Parvati then held his throat tightly to prevent the poison from spreading to the rest of his body and killing him. Narada held his mouth so that he did not vomit it out. The poison remained in his throat, making it blue in colour. For this reason, Shiva is also called Neelakantha, or "the blue-thorated one". Nanjanagud literally means "the place where Nanjundeshwara resides.


Nanjangud has been a major Shaiva centre for nearly a thousand years. It is the biggest temple in Karnataka. The original Nanjundeshwaraa temple is said to be of Ganga period (325 - 1000 CE). This temple has then been renovated by the Hoysala kings. Both Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan had close associations with this temple. The Wodeyar kings of Mysore made various grants to renovate the temple.
 Getting There

 By Road

From the state capital Bangalore, one can take the State Highway 17 which goes to Mysore and then onwards to Nanjangud. The total distance from Bangalore to Nanjangud is around 163 km. Another route is about 30 km from Mysore, which takes 30 minutes by road.

[edit] By Rail

Nanjangud has a railway station with broad gauge line (the standard gauge followed by Indian Railways) which runs from Mysore to Nanjangud. Mysore being an important location is well connected by rail to major cities in India and hence passengers can stop over at Mysore and take another train to reach Nanjangud. There is also a proposal to connect the railway line at Chamarajanagar to the railway line at Mettupalayam in Tamil Nadu which will provide connectivity between Nanjangud and other cities in south India.
The gauge conversion of the railway track from Mysore to Chamarajanagar has been completed.

 By air

The nearest airport is the one at Bangalore. Alternatively one can use the airports at Coimbatore or Calicut for reaching Nanjangud. However, the airport at Mysore is being upgraded which can then be used to reach Nanjangud.


Nanjangud is a home to many industries which are mainly located in the Nanjangud Industrial Area which is spread across 532 acres (2.15 km2). It all started with the now closed Sujatha Textile Mills (STM) which at its peak used to employ about 3000 people. Since then, STM has closed down. However, there are other industries which thrived. There are 36 major industries, 12 medium industries and 35 small-scale units at Nanjangud. According to NIA, Nanjangud is the second highest tax-paying (sales tax of over Rs400 crore a year) taluk in the State after Bangalore. Some of the major businesses located in Nanjangud are:
Nestle India Ltd
AT&S India Pvt Ltd.
TVS Motor Company
Bannari Amman Sugars Ltd
South India Paper Mills
S Kumars Reid & Taylor
Raman Boards
Jubilant Organosys
Brakes (India)
Bacardi RUM

Krishna Raja Sagar : Then  me moved to see the famous KRS dam which is built on the river Kaveri. The famous Brindavan gardens are located here.
Krishna Raja Sagara (Kannada: ಕೃಷ್ಣರಾಜಸಾಗರ), also popularly known as KRS (ಕೆ.ಆರ್.ಎಸ್.), is the name of both a lake and the dam that causes it. For information about the settlement near the dam and reservoir, see Krishnarajasagara. The dam is across Kaveri River, in Mandya District near Mysore in Karnataka state, India. There is an ornamental garden attached to the dam, called Brindavan Gardens.
The Dam
The dam was built across river Kaveri, the life giving river for the Mysore and Mandya districts, in 1924[1]. Apart from being the main source of water for irrigation in the most fertile Mysore and Mandya , the reservoir is the main source of drinking water for almost the whole of Bangalore city, the capital of the state of Karnataka. The water released from this dam is further used as an important source of water in the state of Tamil Nadu, which has its own Mettur dam in the Mettur district. Sir. Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya served as the chief engineer during the construction of this dam. The dam is named for the then ruler of the Mysore Kingdom, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV
The Brindavan Gardens
The Brindavan Gardens is a show garden that has a botanical park, with fountains, as well as boat rides beneath the dam. Diwans of Mysore planned and built the gardens in connection with the construction of the dam. KRS Dam was the first to install automated Crest gates during 1920 which was initiated by Sir. M V. Display items include a musical fountain. Various biological research departments are housed here. There is a guest house, and a four star luxury heritage hotel Royal Orchid for tourists


The Krishnarajasagara dam was constructed under the guidance of Sir Mirza Ismail, the Dewan (chief financial officer) of Mysore. As a part of beautification of the dam site, Sir Mirza Ismail conceived a plan of developing a garden in Mughal style with a design similar to that of Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir. The work on this garden was started in 1927. It was constructed in a terraced fashion and named Krishnarajendra Terrace Garden. The main architect for the park was G.H. Krumbigal, then Superintendent of Parks and Gardens of the Mysore Government

After KRS, we went to Mysore to view the famous Dasara procession.

Mysore  is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. It is the headquarters of the Mysore district and the Mysore division and lies about 146 km (91 mi) southwest of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishūru, which means the abode of Mahisha. Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, a demon from Hindu mythology. The city is spread across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi) and is situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills.
Mysore is famous for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city receives a large number of tourists. Mysore also lends its name to the Mysore mallige, the Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, the Mysore Peta (a traditional silk turban) and the garment called the Mysore silk saree. In an exercise carried out by the Urban Development Ministry under the national urban sanitation policy, Mysore was rated the second cleanest city in India in 2010 and the cleanest in Karnataka
Dusshera (Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು ದಸರ) is the Nadahabba (state-festival) of the state of Karnataka. It is also called as Navaratri (Nava-ratri = nine-nights) and is a 10-day festival with the last day being Vijayadashami, the most auspicious day of Dasara. Dasara usually falls in the month of September or October. According to a legend, Vijayadashami denotes the victory of truth over evil and was the day when the Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura is the demon from whose name; the name Mysore has been derived. The city of Mysore has a long tradition of celebrating the Dasara festival and the festivities here are an elaborate affair and attract a large audience including foreigners.


On Vijayadashami, the traditional Dasara procession (locally known as Jumboo Savari) is held on the streets of Mysore city. The main attraction of this procession is the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari which is placed on a golden mantapa on the top of a decorated elephant. This idol is worshipped by the royal couple and other invitees before it is taken around in the procession. Colourful tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels form a part of the procession which starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantap where the banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshipped. According to a legend of the Mahabharata, banni tree was used by the Pandavas to hide their arms during their one-year period of Agnatavasa (living life incognito). Before undertaking any warfare, the kings traditionally worshipped this tree to help them emerge victorious in the war. The Dasara festivities would culminate on the night of Vijayadashami with an event held in the grounds at Bannimantap called as Panjina Kavayatthu (torch-light parade)
On all the 10 days of Dasara, various music and dance concerts are held in auditoriums around Mysore city. Musicians and dance groups from all over India are invited to perform on this occasion. Another attraction during Dasara is the Kusti Spardhe (wrestling-bout) which attracts wrestlers from all around India
Before the Ambari come, many tableaux of different districts of Karnataka go through the royal roads in the city.
Many folk dances and different music bands along with NCC students perform.
Another major attraction during Dasara is the Dasara exhibition which is held in the exhibition grounds opposite to the Mysore Palace. This exhibition starts during Dasara and goes on till December. Various stalls which sell items like clothes, plastic items, kitchenware, cosmetics and eatables are set up and they attract a significant number of people. A play area containing attractions like Ferris wheel is also present to provide entertainment to the people. Various Governmental agencies setup stalls to signify the achievements and projects that they have undertaken. Now-a-days youth Dasara is being held in Mysore, which is attracting large groups of youngsters from mysore as well as from all over karnataka.

Then comes the famous Ambari :  The Golden Howdah (elephant seat or Chinnada Ambari in Kannada) is a howdah, the carrier mounted on the lead elephant during the Jamboo Savari (Elephant Procession) of the famous Mysore Dasara. It is the cynosure of all eyes during the famous Dasara festivities.

The Howdah

The exact date of its making is not known. The 750-kg-howdah, used in the Jamboo Savari (elephant procession) on the Vijayadashami day, has two wide seats in rows, bigger than the interiors of a family car. The Rajas of Mysore used this howdah in the famous Dasara procession, which traversed through the thoroughfares of the princely city during the festival every year. But since the abolition of royalty the statue of Chamundeshwari is being carried in the howdah. The Howdah is made of Pure gold

Usually when the Ambari comes , it rains . This has happened from many years  and is still continuing. To our excitement, this time also it rained heavily as the Ambari left the palace.
After we saw the Ambari, we moved towards the Amba Vilas palace . The rains had stopped and a beautiful  rainbow was formed at the gate of the royal palace.

Mysore Palace :
The Palace of Mysore (Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು ಅರಮನೆ) is a palace situated in the city of Mysore in southern India. It is the official residence of the Wodeyars - the erstwhile royal family of Mysore, and also houses two durbar halls (ceremonial meeting hall of the royal court).
Mysore has a number of historic palaces, and is commonly described as the City of Palaces. However, the term "Mysore Palace" specifically refers to one within the old fort. The palace was commissioned in 1897, and its construction was completed in 1912. It is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in Mysore. Although tourists are allowed to visit the palace, they are not allowed to take photographs inside the palace.




The architectural style of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic, and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower. The palace is surrounded by a large garden.
The three storied stone building of fine gray granite with deep pink marble domes was designed by Henry Irwin. The facade has seven expansive arches and two smaller ones flanking the central arch, which is supported by tall pillars.
Above the central arch is an impressive sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck, and abundance with her elephants.


The palace complex includes twelve Hindu temples. The oldest of these was built in the 14th century, while the most recent was built in 1953.
Some of the more famous temples are:
  • Ambavilasa or Diwan e Khas.
This was used by the king for private audience and is one of the most spectacular rooms. Entry to this opulent hall is through an elegantly carved rosewood doorway inlaid with ivory that opens into a shrine to Ganesha. The central nave of the hall has ornately gilded columns, stained glass ceilings, decorative steel grills, and chandeliers with fine floral motifs, mirrored in the pietra dura mosaic floor embellished with semi-precious stones.
  • Gombe Thotti (Doll’s Pavilion)
Entry to the palace is through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll’s Pavilion, a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The pavilion also houses a fine collection of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects like a wooden elephant howdah (frame to carry passengers) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold.
  • Kalyana Mantapa
The Kalyana Mantapa or marriage hall is a grand octagonal-shaped pavilion with a multi-hued stained glass ceiling with peacock motifs arranged in geometrical patterns. The entire structure was wrought in Glasgow, Scotland. The floor of the Mantapa continues the peacock theme with a peacock mosaic, designed with tiles from England. Oil paintings, illustrating the royal procession and Dasara celebrations of bygone years, make the walls more splendid.

 The statue Circle is also beautifully lit .
 Information Source : Wikipedia

Friday, September 10, 2010


Hello friends,
As monsoons had approached, it was a visual treat to visit Western ghats.
We had planned to visit Dudhsagar falls,  Belgaum and then visit Gokak and Godachinmalki waterfalls'.
So, we boarded Rani Chennamma express from Bangalore, which departs at 9.15pm  on August 27th,2010 ,. We arrived at Londa around 7.30AM the next day. This place is almost near the border of Karnataka and Goa. Then we boarded the Chennai-Vasco express which passes through Londa

The Team :

 (left to right)
 Mr. H Satish
 Mr. Arfan Asif
 Mr. Prakash

    This trek is really a very beautiful one, you feel as if you are walking in heaven. For that matter any treks in Western ghats give the same feeling.
    This trek is not a hard one, while trekking one has to cross 3 tunnels on foot to watch the eternal beauty of the waterfall. If you are a photographer, you will be confused what to shoot. As there are a number of options for photography.
    You can do pictorial , nature and lots more. Dudhsagar station is a very small one, it does not even have lodging facilities, if you want to stay there for a long time Food items have to be carried as there are no hotels there.
    While travelling from the station, you can see the old Dudhsagar railway station which is now ruined. Mosses have grown on the walls .
    While trekking, you get to see many endemic birds and butterflies of western ghats. 

    Trekking through the tunnel continues :

    Walking through the tunnel, gives a great feeling. We have to look out for bats and other creatures such as snakes and small reptiles. 

    Carrying a torch is Safe and Secure

    While trekking, it rained heavily. The above picture was the first glimpse of the falls

    Dudhsagar Waterfalls : 

    Location of the fall
    The Dudhsagar Falls is located in the eastern border of Goa and Karnataka, 60 Km from Margoa,which is in South Goa.
    The Fall
    Believed to be among the top Waterfalls in India, The Dudhsagar falls measures a grand 600 meters from head to foot falling at a height of about 2000 feet down the cliff into the forests of the Western Ghats.The headwaters of the Mandovi River cuts across the Deccan Plateau and breaks into three streams that pours down, in the face of the vertical cliff. The Konkani name for the falls mean 'sea of milk' when translated, because of the clouds of foam that rises up at the bottom when the water levels are at their best. The sight of the Falls which looks like a stream of milk flowing along the mountainsides is out of this world and in the magical lights of the dawn it looks even more enchanting.
    Best time to visit
    The perfect season to take the breathtaking view of the falls and soak in it's beauty is the Monsoon when the falls become alive. However it is best to visit it immediately after the Monsoons from October to Mid December as the road is often inaccessible in the monsoon.
    Reaching the falls

    • The falls are easily reached through a 2 hour long train journey from Margoa or Vasco..The train leaves from Vasco Railway Stations at 6.40 a.m, arriving at Margaon at 7.25 a.m.It halts at Sanvordem, and Colem stations, before reaching Dudhsagar at 9.15 am .
    • A number of private operators tender special trips to the Waterfalls while the GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation) operated tours also have Dudhsagar Waterfalls as one of the tour 
    • By road the best way to get to the falls is by a four wheel jeep drive from the railway junction village of Colem. But this path is recommended only between January and May when the level of the water allows the jeep to reach the base of the falls.
    • The nearest interstate bus station is at Ponda, the KTC bus station. Buses and taxis are also available from Panaji.
    What to do at the falls
    Now that you have at last reached this breathtaking destination in your vacation In Goa, you have a number of ways to spend the day in fun and frolic. The place around the falls offers an attractive location for picnic lovers providing a wonderful scenic view. The clear and refreshing waters of the pool at the bottom of the falls is the ideal place for those who love to swim.For the adventure seekers, you should never leave without one trek through the wilderness to catch the mind blowing view of the Dudhsagar falls from the above. It's a tough climb but worth the view.
    Places to Stay
    There aren't many places for halt near the falls except a Forest rest-house, owned by KTDC.But Visitors can stay at Margoa and plan a one day trip to Dudhsagar Falls.

    Dudhsagar Waterfalls

    Wild orchid seen near the falls

    After trekking another 1.5 kms from the bridge, you get to see this Point of View :                                                     

    Dudhsagar during monsoons

    There are lot of monkeys in the valley.
    You can find plenty of them near the bridge. There is an old guest house, and it also hosts many of these gentle creatures.

    I'm hungry
    western ghats
    Sunflower closeup

    Train moving through the valley

    We came back to Belgaum after visiting this majestic waterfalls. While returning we could shoot some landscapes.
    Next morning, after having breakfast, we  left for Gokak falls which is about 65 kms from Belgaum.
    On the way, we shot few pictures of Sunflowers as there are sunflower fields near Belgaum.

    Goddess Mahalakshmi

    The famous temple of Goddess Lakshmi. They say that if you believe her ,whatever wish you have will be fulfilled.           This goddess is also the graama devatha.

    Then we moved towards Gokak Falls.
    The Gokak Falls is a waterfall located on the Ghataprabha River in Belgaum district of Karnataka, India. The waterfall is six kilometers away from Gokak, a nearby town.
    Gokak Falls -
    After a long winding course, the Ghataprabha river takes a leap of 52 metres (171 ft) over the sand-stone cliff amidst a picturesque gorge of the rugged valley, resembling Niagara Falls on a smaller scale. The waterfall is horse shoe shaped at the crest, with a flood breadth of 177 metres (581 ft). During rainy season, the thick reddish brown water sweeps far over the brink of the cliff with a dull roar that can be heard from some distance. There is a hanging bridge across the river, measuring about 201 metres (659 ft). Its height above the rock bed is 14 metres (46 ft).
    One of the interesting features of this place are the monuments from the Chalukya era that are present on either banks of the rocky gorge.
    There is an old electricity generation station which used to generate electricity during 1880s. A ropeway connects the power station to the cliff top.
    July to September is the best season to visit the place. The Gokak Falls can be developed into a fine tourist attraction.
    Nearest Railway Junction
    Miraj - All express and superfast trains stop at Miraj station. You can then take another train from Miraj which halts at Gokak or Ghataprabha stations.Belgaum - 65kms from Gokak falls

    Gokak Road - only few trains stop here
    Ghataprabha - few express trains stop here
    It is recommended that passengers get down at Miraj junction and then take another train from Miraj which stops at Gokak or Ghataprabha stations. Or people can alight at Belgaum and take a taxi or a bus

    Gokak falls during monsoons. 
    Courtesy : Wikipedia

    It is a very famous waterfalls, it is a shorter version of Niagara falls during monsoons. Now it has been dried up , you can see very less water as in the picture.

         Then we moved towards Godachinmalki waterfalls which is around 20kms from Gokak.
     The Godachinmalki falls, also known as Markandeya falls, is located in a rugged valley, which is approachable from      Godachinmalki village by walking through an irregular forest route for about 2.5 kilometers. It can also be reached from Nirvaneshwara Matha near Yogikolla, only by foot. Another route is from Pachhapur via Mawanur, which is about 6 kilometers. Presently this water fall is not easily accessible.
    There are actually two falls formed here. The Markandeya river takes a first fall from a height of about 25 metres and flows into a rocky valley. After a short distance from the rocky valley, it takes the second fall from a height of about 18 metres. Later Markandeya river joins Ghataprabha river near Ghodgeri. Within the 6 km of radious there 2 Dams one built on ghataprabha river(hidkal dam)and one Markandeya river. The best time to visit these places is from June to September

                                          This was the last destination of our trip.

    Thank You

    Photography: Arjun Haarith


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