Cambodia Day 3 – Angkor Wat

The third day of the trip would start with a visit to prasat kraven which is again a temple dedicated to vishnu, The temple is under renovation with co-operation from the Govt of germany.

The temple does not contain many carvings as other temples, however the sanctum sanctorum contains the idol of vishnu.

Prasat kraven

IMG_5531_resizeAs the temple is under renovation, the image of vishnu is not fully visible. The temple contains two chambers on the ether side of the sanctum sanctorum and the right chambers contains statue of lakshmi and her assistants.

Vishnu and Lakshmi

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The next stop was Bantaey samrei a temple dedicated to shiva. The carvings here are damaged and the guide explained during the khmer rouge time many of the carvings were illegally exported to thailand.

Banteay Samrei

IMG_5536_resizeThe temple has various libraries situated in the interior of the temple. These libraries used to be used for religious purposes.

Libraries of Banteay Sameri

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 The interior of the temple has a linga and a huge courtyard. The back end of the temple contains statues of two liones whose backside is shown to us. Clicking few photos there we moved to the next temple Banteay Srei

Lions at back entrance

IMG_5565_resizebanteay Srei the next temple in the list is also a important temple as it was built during the construction of other important monuments such as the Notre Dame Castle and the chichen itiza in mexico

Banteay Srei Construction

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The temple is dedicated to lord shiva. The temple also has carvings dedicated to lord vishnu in his narashimha avatar.

Narasimha

IMG_5573_resizeThe temple has some ancient writings written in pali language. As with other temples there are various libraries within the temple

Ancient Inscriptions

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Banteay Srei Libraries

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 Among the other carvings in the temple there is one carving from Ramayana depicting the battle between vali and sugreeva. The caving shows Rama shooting and arrow killing vali.

Battle between vali and sugreeva

IMG_5606_resizeThe outer portion of the temple was being enclosed by a wall and once a get a full view of the temple. We took several photos before heading to Banteay Kdei.

Banteay Srei

IMG_5622_resizeBanteay Kdei is a temple that is constructed in bayon style. The entrance of the temple has 4 headed buddha which is same as the one present in Angkor Thom

Banteay Kdei

IMG_5642_resizeThe speciality of this temple is that there are big trees growing throughout the temple. Most of the tress have their roots within the stone blocks of the temple from which it has grown.

Trees in Banteay Kdei

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With trees growing and giving the temple a mysterious look this place has become very famous and even movies such as Tomb Raider are shot here. The guide showed us the tree which was used for the shooting of tomb raider.

Famous Trees

IMG_5669_resizeApart from the trees there are carvings of aparas as well. Spending some time here we headed to the Royal Baths a huge man made public bathing system which was used by the people and the royals alike. This is present next to Angkor Wat. As it was already afternoon, we broke for lunch at a hotel near royal baths.

The royal baths

IMG_5682_resizePost lunch break we headed to the most famous of all temples The Angkor Wat . The temple complex is a world heritage site and was constructed in the first of 12th century by king suryavarman II. The temple was initially built as a hindu temple when cambodia was ruled by hindu kings and later became a buddhist temple. This is also one of the largest temple complexes in the world.

We entered the west side of angkor wat as it has less tourists. The temple has 3 main towers and has various levels. Each level has various carvings and has significance based on the type of religious activity that is done

West entrance of angkor wat

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The angkor wat is a massive complex and there are 3 main towers which stand out pre-dominently. The first level of the temple contains carvings of a battle scene where we can see the king on top of his elephant with his other soldiers.

To enter the upper levels of the temple one needs to climb the steps which are steep. The carvings of the aparas are more detailed here than other temples. Once we go inside we can see various buddha statues in his various avatars.

Apasaras

IMG_5723_resizeThe temple also has inscriptions similar to the ones in Banteay Srei. At each level we can see buddha statues indicating the influence of buddhism has had towards the later part of the khmer empire

Inscriptions and Buddha Statues

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IMG_5744_resizeThe temple following the other temples has libraries. Taking photos of the central tower and other statues within the temple we spent some time roaming inside the huge complex. Ideally one would require around 2-3 hours to cover every inch of the temple. We spent approximately the same amount of time admiring the wonderful architecture .

Central Tower

IMG_5734_resizeAs we headed to the lower level we could see more carvings on the wall. The carvings depicts a story from Mahabharata.

Carvings

IMG_5760_resizeWe headed out of the temple after couple of hours. Once we come out we can see Angkor Wat it all its glory with its reflection in the waters surrouding the moat. This photo has become very popular and I could experiment with various angles.

Angkor Wat Reflection

IMG_5773_resizeCouple more snaps of the towers and we exited the complex biding adeiu to the temple.

The 3 towers

IMG_5786_resizeThe outer portion of the temple contains a large statue of buddha which is worshipped by the people. Few more snaps and we headed back to the hotel thus ending a wonderful tour.

Buddha

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Lepakshi – A weekend outing

This was my first trip in our new car. After a lot of begging and pleading finally got the go ahead from my dad to take the car for the trip. My initial plan was to go to belur and halebid, however that wasnt meant to happen as the distance was a little long and i wasnt allowed to drive at night .

This prompted a chance in plans and after a few calls to my friend i decided to go to Lepakshi.

We left bangalore around 7 in the morning and quickly reached the new airport. I was maintaining a steady speed of 80-100kms and was really enjoying the drive. After a while we stopped to munch a few biscuits and we proceeded again. The scenary was quite good.

Scenary enroute to Lepakshi

The road got better as we drove long until we reach chikballapur.Negotiating the traffic we proceeded further until we reached bagepalli. Going further we found a toll booth which was about to be opened. After driving for a while we reached lepakshi. We entered the temple. The temple carvings reminded me of belur.

Carvings

Carvings

After clicking snaps and spending some time in the temple we headed back. While entering lepaskhi there is a stone carving on nandi which happens to be the largest in india. We stopped by to see that before heading back.

Nandi

Nandi from a different angle

Since we left early i wasnt in i a mood to go back early to bangalore which resulted in me ambling along the highway at speeds around 50 km/hr. We reached bangalore around 2. After a quick bite in a ice cream parlour, reaached home around 3.30

How to get to lepakshi

Route 1: Bangalore->Devanahalli->Chikballapur->Bagepalli->Lepakshi

Route 2: Bangalore->Doddaballapur->Gauribidnur->Hindupur->Lepakshi

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Snaps can be found here

The weekend that was almost ruined

With a 3 day long weekend , I was in no mood to stay at home. I had completed lepakshi on saturday and was happy with the performance of the swift.Got back thinking of the long drive for the next 2 days. Smsed by friend asking him to be ready by 7 the next day so that i could pick him up and dozed off for an hour.

Things began to take a turn for the worse when i got up. I had recieved a sms from my friend saying he wont be able to come as he was going for the mullayanagiri-bababundangiri ridge walk. Just what I did not want as dad would not allow me to solo drive in the car.

With one guy stuck in office and a few others not interested to come I decided to go alone.

Things took a turn for the worse later on when dad forced me to stay in the house to attend an important function which i wasnt keen on attending. I was planning on leaving bangalore at 6 or 6.30 in the morning as I had planned to cover bluff, talkad,somanthpur and srirangaptna before heading to mysore. The next day being vijayadashmi and with most of the people in mysore for the procession and festivities, I was thinking of driving down to pandavapura-> KRPET->Kikkeri and govindhalli to see a few hoysala temples which was built in the helebid style.

This plan was defanitely not going to work and I was thinking of an alternate one. My bro further gave me a scare by saying the clutch on his pulsar was not functioning properly. I decided to take a risk as driving on my splendor was out of the question.

Sunday arrived and I was still in the house rather than being on the road. After finishing the function I was it was already 2.30. Finally tanking up the pulsar fully I left bangalore at 3 in the afternoon.

My first pit stop was at kanva dam. Saw a few people playing in the river. Took a few snaps of the backwaters and zipped off towards mysore.

Kanva Dam Backwaters

View from kanva Dam

Took a small break at maddur cofee day. Reached mysore at 7 at night. I was amazed to see the rush as vijayadashami was the next day. I managed to drive down to my grandma’s house.

After a quick cuppa i headed out to the mysore palace which was lit up like a christmas tree :). A gaint pandal was erected and they were broadcasting yedurappa’s speech. Took a few shots of the palace in all its glory from a few different angles before heading back home.

Palace

Side view of palace

Next day  left home early as i had to cover a few places. Had a smooth ride till bannur. After bannur there are no roads except in patches until u reach bluff. My long ardeous ride had just began. Reached somanthpur and 8.

I found that they open the temple only at 9. With nothing to do , i got chatting with a retired wing commander who had come there with his family as incidentally was on the same route as mine. He was boastful about his bicycle rides and treks which he used to do.

The authorities opened the temple around 8.50. After a photoshoot i left for talkad around 9.30. My back and the bike’s suspension were getting a real work out driving on those roads :).

Somanthpur Temple

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Carvings in somanthpur temple

Carvings

There was a lake just a few meters from somanthpur temple which provided a good scenic location.  I left the places taking a few snaps of the lake

Lake near somanthpur temple

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Driving another 30 kms, i reached talkad around 11. Hired a guide to show me around. Explored talkad for an hour and after taking photos, left the place at 12 in the afternoon.

Talkad Temple

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My final destination was gangan chuki and bharachuki falls popularly called as bluff. It was another bone rattling 40 kms drive till I reached bypass road from maddur which goes through malavalli to MM Hills and chamarajnagar . Reached gaganchuki falls around 1.30. After spending some time and taking snaps , I left for bharachuki falls after munching a few snacks as i hadnt eaten anything since my morning breakfast.

Gaganchukki Falls

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Bharchukki Falls

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The 13 kms drive was through good roads and i was made the most of it by clocking speeds of 90 kms. After a photo session , left for bangalore. It was already 2.30 by the time i left. Dark grey clouds began to appear on the horizon and i didnt want to get drenched. The rain started to fall heavily as I was driving towards malavalli. Had a take shelter at a bus stand. The rain dance continued for another hour , as i had to stop quite a few times so that i dont get drenched too much in rain. Contiuning on this road I reached the mysore-bangalore highway at 4. I was suprised to see it had not rained in this part of town. The road was absolutely dry.

With less traffic I reached ramangaram and had my “lunch”. Proceeding further I reached home at 7 thus ending an interesting trip.Hoping to cover srirangapatna and pandavapura route some other day

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