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Karnataka Heritage Tour

With my trip to malaysia done, I returned to India on the 13th feb. However while I was in KL, I was having having a discussions with my friend, on a trip after coming back !!!. I was granted leave on 19th and with my friend also taking leave, the only thing pending was the place. Having checked team-bhp we still couldnt figure out the places.

I had told my friend we could go by car , however that wasnt the case, as my dad refused to give the car :(. This however turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We booked the north karnataka heritage package tour conducted by KSTDC. The schedule was ideal for us as the tour dates was fri-sat-sun.

I met my friends srikanth and subbu krishna on thur night at badami house at 9.30. We boarded the bus at 10 and headed to hampi. After a brief stop in between we reached the ksrtc’s hotel mayura around 6.30. We were allotted rooms and after freshing up, we headed back to the bus, to begin our journey to hampi. We were introduced to the guide who did a wonderful job of explaining the facts and history of hampi.

Day 1

The first stop was at sasuvekal ganesha or mustard ganesha which we saw from the bus. After that we proceeded to see kadlekal ganesha or groundnut ganesha. Historical records indicate that a merchant had earned a lot of money by selling mustard and groundnuts. Since he intended to build a temple dedicate to ganesha, he donted a large part of his earning to the king, hence the name has stuck.

Kadlekal Ganesha


After seeing the ganesha we procedded to hemakuta which was located a short distance from hemakuta. The place contains some old temples. Since the place provided a ideal place to take some good shots, a small photoshoot was conducted there and then we proceeded to virupakshaw temple. To use camera one has to pay Rs 25. Since there was nothing interesting to take snaps, hence we just had a look at the diety. The guide also explained that the from 6 am to 6 pm one can see the inverted image of the temple gopura. No one is still able to explain how this occurs.

Hemakuta

By the time we finished came out of virupakshaw temple it was already 11 and the sun was beating down hard on us.  Our next stop was the famous lakshmi narasimha statue and the badavilinga statue.

Lakshmi Narasimha Statue

After seeing both these , we headed for lunch which took approx an hour to complete. After lunch we were on our final leg of hampi tour, we visited the lotus mahal, elephant stable and few other important places such as stepped tank, sister stones.

Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stable, Stepped Tank

We then approached the main attraction of  hampi, the stone chariot and vijaya vittala temple. There are musical pillars in the temple, however we are not allowed to touch it. The guide showed us the location of the musical pillars.

Stone Chariot

We took a few pics of the stone chariot and we bid adieu to hampi and boarded the bus to go back to the hotel.

Tungabhadra Dam is very close to the hotel and me, srikanth and subbu krishna went there in the evening as we wanted to see the sunset. The bus ride to the top takes around 10 min and charges are Rs 20. Since we reached the top early, we spent some time roaming around waiting for the sun to go down.  The actual sunset began aroung 6.15. With the sun going down slowly, the sky was illuminated with various colors. We were busy capturing the sunset with our cameras.

Sunset @ TB Dam

After seeing the sunset we headed back to the base of the dam and to the musical fountain. Spending some time in the garden we got back to the hotel and after having dinner we hit the sack as we had to get up early the next day

Day 2

We proceeded from hampi at 5.30 in the morning to the caves temples of badami. Stopping for a short while for breakfast, we reached badami.

The cave temples of badami are all carved of the mountain. The temples are dedicated to shiva, vishnu and mahavira. As per the guide the all statues are made of sandstone. We spent some time there before moving to pattadakal where the kings coronation cermany used to take place.

Carvings in Badami

pattadakal has some impressive temples which were built by the chalukyas between 3rd and 6th centuries.  As per the guide the lower the temple is on the ground the more ancient it is. We spent an hour in pattadakal listening to the guide as he explained the history of the various temples. Pattadakal was an expiremenation area used the sculptures. The temples are a mix of north and south indian architecture.

Temples in Pattadakal

We moved to aihole which is also called the birth place of south indian architecture, and this would be our last place we would visit for the day.  The guide explained there are more than 150 temples around aihole, however many of them have collapsed. Only very few temples are standing till today.

We saw the architectural marvals in aihole and shot plenty of snaps. The tour operator announced that we lodging would be at bijapur which was 3 hrs from aihole. With a short break for cuppa, we headed to bijapur and reached there at 8 at night. After having lunch in kamat we retired for the day

Aihole

Day 3

With only bijapur sightseeing and a visit to kudalasangama scheduled for the day, we woke up leisurely and headed to gol gumbaz.

Those interested to use the camera inside the gombaz had to pay the fees which me and srikanth did. We were explained the architectural style of the perisans and the arch pillar method of archtitecture developed by the persians. Inside the gombaz one can find the tombs of adil shah and his family.

Gol Gumbaz

The guide showed us the various sounds that could  be generated inside the gombaz.  We were also showed the place where we could get some good shots of the gombaz, which wes used well. We then moved to ibrahim roza. The roza is a mouseleum built by Adil Shah II in memory of his wife.  Unfortunately the king died before his wife, and he was buried here, hence the name.

The tomb is a mix of Indo-Persian architecture and is a source of inspiration for building the Taj Mahal. A tour inside and we were off to big canyon located inside the bijapur fort.

Ibrahim Roza

The canyon is one the largest canyon ever constructed and it was built by hand. The guide told us the canyon had the capacity to destory a city in those days. Also beneath the canon , one can find the carvings of half and full moon, indicating that both hindus and muslims served in the army.

Big Canyon

The canyon marked the end of the bijapur trip. We headed to koodlasangama, the place which was chosen by basavanna. We saw the dhayana mantapa. Apart from the dhanyanamantapa and the river there is nothing much to see here. Those who were intersted in taking group snaps, were allowed to take, and the rest took a break from the sun, and had a few cool drinks.

We saw a couple more places enroute and then headed back to hospet for dinner and then back to bangalore.

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Snaps can be foundhere

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Le Tour De Kuala Lampur Part 3

This would be our final week in KL and there were a couple of places which were still pending to be visited. Me and my friend decided to visit them on the weekend

Our first destination was putrajaya the administrative captial. Though we would pass through putrajaya everyday we couldnt get a chance to visit the monuments. We intended on covering them on sat evening.

After booking a taxi for an hour which costs 40 RM. We started our tour of putrajaya. It was drizzling intermitently, however that didnt stop us from going. Our first destination was the convention center. According to the taxi driver any major program that happens in putrajaya takes places in the convention center. The building is well designed. From the top we get a panaromic view of putrajaya. Taking a few snaps of the countryside and the convention center we moved forward.

Putrajaya Convention Center

Very close to the convention center is a famous bridge. We stopped there for a short time, while me and my friend went for a stroll.  A small photoshoot there and we were off to the next destination. The taxi driver told us we would be going to the silver mosque which was built newly.

Silver Mosque

While going to the mosque, the driver showed us a bridge that as based on the sydney bridge in australia. While going to the mosque we saw a few administrative buildings.

Sydney Bridge Replica

The dome present on one building impressed me and i asked the taxi guy to wait for a few min while i went to take a few snaps.

Supreme court in putrajaya

Once that was complete, we headed to the the administrative building and the main attraction the putra mosque. Having spent some time there taking snaps we headed back to putrajaya sentral and back home

Administrative building

Putra Mosque

Sunday we headed to port dickson which has a few beaches. The reviews on the net indicated that the place was live and happening. After taking the train to seremban we boarded a taxi to PD. The journey takes an hour and soon we were on the shores on saujana beach.  We reality what entirely different from what was given on the net. There was hardly any crowd on the beach and the activities werent that interesting either.

Saujana Beach

We settled down on the beach expecting people to start coming once the sun goes down. However even after an hour there was no action. We were really disappointed.  After enquiring about the location of the next beach, we were told it is about 5 kms and we would need a taxi to go there.

Sunset

The buses and taxis ply once an hour and we knew we wouldnt be able to get back if we didnt find a taxi.  Since transport facilities werent that friendly, we decided to skip the other beach and head back. After waiting for another hour we found a taxi who took us to the seremban station. After boarding the train we returned to KL and back home

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Snaps of the entire malaysia trip can be found here

Le Tour de Kaula Lampur- Part 2

With a three day weekend looming large, plans were put in place to visit “Genting Highlands” which is promoted as city of entertainment on sat and to cover the remaining places in KL on sunday.  Monday was a reserve day which we thought could be utilized for shopping . After searching on the net about the travel options, me and my friend set out for genting on sat at 9. Taking a train to gombak we hired a taxi to reach the base of genting, which took us about an hour and 15 min to reach. From the base we have to take the famous cable car which goes all the way to the top. Tickets cost 10RM.

Cable Cars


One can view lush greenary and also see other cable cars coming down.  The ride to the top takes approximately 15-20 min. Once we reach the top,there are various activities which one can indulge in. From the outdoor theme parks which has some killer rides, to shopping and to the casino’s genting has it all.

Greenary

Our main purpose of visiting the park was to experience the thrill of the outdoor theme park,  so we headed there. After paying the fee of 48RM, we headed inside and we thrilled to see all the various  rides awaited us.

Our first ride would be the pirate ship (also called colombus back home). The ship swings from one side to the other and the higher it goes, the more the people scream 🙂 :). Waiting in the long queue, we finally got to sit in the boat. We enjoyed the ride and soon moved to the next one.  We had a plan of covering all the thrill rides which were about 10 of them.  Standing in the queue for each one of them took a long time.

Here are some of the best thrill rides you can enjoy in genting

  • Corkscrew

Corkscrew

  • Flying Dragon

Flying Dragon

  • Flying coaster
  • Spinner

Spinner

  • Cyclone

Apart from the thrill rides, the park also offers rides for family and for children. One can spend the whole day trying out all the rides and not get boared. There were however a few rides that dissapointed us

After covering all the thrill rides we headed to the indoors. After a quick snack at pizza hut, we went about exploring the first world plaza, which also has the indoor theme park, and the casino de genting.

The first world plaza offers shoppaholics enough choices there shops present in every floor and each shop is stocked to the brim with various items worth purchasing.

First World Plaza

Our final stop in genting would be the casino de genting. Since this was our first visit to the casino, we were not sure what to expect. Upon entering the casino, we found plenty of roulette tables and other machines.  As we werent aware of how to play the games we spent the time, looking at others play and roaming around the casino. With nothing much to do, in the casino we came out of the casino and headed to the bus terminal to book our return tickets to KL Sentral.

We bid farewall to genting and reached home at 10.30 thus concluding an exicting day at the peak

Our visit to the petronas skybridge was pending and we had planned on covering it on sunday. To get the tickets we had to be at the petronas towers at 7 in the morning. We went there thinking we would be among the first persons to get the tickets. However we were in for a suprise, as we already found a sizable crowd waiting for the counter to open. As we stood there we saw more and more people coming and the queue size got larger.

Finally the counter opened at 8.30 and we got the tickets for the 9.30 slot.  Initally a 3D movie about the development acitivities of petronas is screened for about 8 min, before we are led to a high speed elevator which zooms of to the 42nd floor in 41 sec. Each group is given 10 min on the skywalk. The skywalk offers a panaromic view of the city. Snaps can be taken here before we are led to the elevator and back to the base.

Skywalk

With the skywalk complete we headed to the railway station, and to masjid jamek as we couldnt cover it in our outing last week.

Masjid Jamek


During the city walk we also toured a few other monuments such as majid india, st mary’s cathedral, meredaka square (the place where the malaysian flag was first raised after the independence in 1957).

Meredeka Square

We also got to visit a few taoist temples such as saz-ya temple and thean hou temple.

Saz-Ya-Temple

Thean Hou Temple

 

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