NE-GQ Tour: Delhi — Day 1: Temples, Memorials and Tombs — Part 1

With the north east completed we headed to delhi for the next leg of our tour. The kingfisher flight I had booked was rescheduled for an early departure. Checked with the kingfisher office only to find that the flight had been rescheduled for afternoon. I had asked the office people to intimate me if the flight had got rescheduled again, ,which luckily didnt happen.

A 5 hr flight saw us land in delhi around 8 at night. An hours drive in traffic and we were at the hotel.  The golden quadrilateral leg of our tour would begin the next day.  Since we had an entire day, I had asked the driver to come a little late. We started with a short stop at saravana bhavan for breakfast before heading of to lakshminarayan temple.

Lakshminarayan or the birla temple as it is called is dedicated to goddess lakshmi. The construction of the temple was started in 1933 and completed in 1939. The temple was built by Baldeo Das Birla of Birla family and hence it is known as Birla temple. The maintainence of the temple is done by the birla family

Lakshminarayan temple

The main shrine is dedicated to lakshmi and narayan. There are also smaller shrines dedicated to hanuman, ganesha and shiva and buddha. Due to security concerns cameras and mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple. One need to deposit them in the safety lockers present in the entrance before going to the temple.

Spending sometime at the temple visiting the shrines we then headed to India Gate. A big crowd was already present by the time we went there. During my roopkund trek, we had a day to roam around delhi, however due to the heat we could just visit Red Fort and Qutub Minar. Now with the weather being favorable, and having more time we could cover all the important tourist places.

First Look at India Gate

India Gate is constructed as a memorial and was built in the memory of 90,00 soldiers who laid down their lives during world war I. It was constructed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and was built in 1931. The monument also contains the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the flame of the immortal warrior.

There were photographers present there offering to take photos from various angles for a fee. We went closer to the gate and took a few more snaps. As this is one of the important landmarks and monuments, tight security is present around it.

India Gate

We spent some time at the gate before going back to the car. A quick look at the parliament house and a stop for a few minutes in front of rashtrapathi bhavan for a couple of snaps we were of to the next location

Rasthrapathi Bhavan

The next place we visited was Indira Gandhi Memorial.

Indira Gandhi Memorial

The place is a museum housing countless photos and things of  Indira Gandhi. The museum provides a insight into the life of the late prime minister. One can see photos of her in various avatars. Honarary titles and medals awarded to her are also some of her achievements and failures. The museum built within Indira Gandhi’s house also has a section dedicated to Rajiv Gandhi.  The place also contains the spot where Ms Gandhi was assassinated by her bodygaurds.

The memorial is a worth a visit as one can get an glimpse into the life of Indira Gandhi.

Inside the Indira Gandhi Memorial

Indira Gandhi Memorial

Qutub minar the world heritage site was next in the iternary. As expected there was a huge crowd to see the monument built by Qutb-ud-din Aibak.This is one of the largest minarets in India.

Qutub Minar

The place was like an oven when I visited in june. The cooler weather made the visit this time more enjoyable. The place was given a major makeover and huge photos of other world heritage sites were put on display. A quick glance at the photos and we were off to see the minar.  There was a guide explaining the history to a group of foreigners and we spent a couple of minutes listening to it before moving on.  While my wife was looking around the complex I could experiment by taking photos from various angles.

Qutub Minar in various angles



The qutub minar complex also contains the tomb of illtumush.Spending some more time at the complex we went back.


It was already afternoon by the time we came out of qutub minar. The driver then took us to Delhi Haat an authorized govt handicraft ans cloth showroom. There are various handicrafts displayed there. Quills, sarees and other clothes are also present at the same place. Since the place is run by govt, prices are fixed and bargaining is not possible.

Couple of hours were spent shopping there and we broke for lunch.

Post lunch we visited lotus mahal which is a Bahai House of worship.The building is built in the shape of a lotus as the bahai believe the lotus symbolizes purity. The building is a meditation chamber.

Lotus Mahal

The walls of the building contains the teachings of bahai. There’s  also a pond surrounding the building


As the place is a meditation place one needs to maintain slience inside. Groups are formed by the people standing outside and they are let inside the building. We spent sometime meditating inside before going back. The place remainded me of the Pyramid Valley in Kanakapura which is built for the same purpose.

Lotus mahal was the last place for the day and we headed back to the hotel thus concluding a exciting day of outing

Roadtrip Day 2: The Hoysala Trail

For the second day of my trip, i was planning to cover the hoysala temples around hassan. Normally when people visit hassan, they tend to visit only belur and halebid. However there are plenty of other temples built by the hoysalas around hassan, which people dont tend to visit.

I came across a few of these temples while browsing and decided to cover these and then head to sringeri.

As instructed by the hotel guy, I took the road to ariskere. The initial part of the road is full of pot holes and the progress was slow. Inquirying for directions for haranhally I moved ahead.

Driving for another hour i reached haranhally and I could see someshwara and chennakeshava temples in the main road.

Temples of Haranhally

The temples are in a state of neglect and this is quite evident. As I had reached the place early the temples were not yet opened, so no one could tell me about the temple.  I spent sometime taking photos, before going to ariskere.

The chandramoulishwara temple in ariskere is a mix of chalukya and hoysala architecture. The guide present at the temple told me, that its the only temple in karnataka which has a locking mechanism for the pillars. The temple was built over 600 yrs ago by a queen who was ruling the land at that time.

Chandramoulishwara Temple

The dome inside the temple is a fine piece of architecture brilliancy. Due to the interlocking mechanism most of the weight of the dome is supported on top. There are elephants carved around the base of the dome. As per the guide the dome was also called ‘Nirytagruha’ or the ‘Dance Place’ where dance programs were being conducted.

Dome inside the temple

The guide also told me to visit another temple in arikere before going to javagal to see Lakshmi Narashimaswamy temple.

After thanking the guide i headed to javagal which is 30kms from arsikere. There are sign boards mentioning the distance to belur, halebid. One needs to take a left and proceed further another 3 kms. There is a huge poster of the temple as one reaches arikere. Ask the locals for the directions for the temple

Temple in Arikere

The temple being closed, I reached javagal. Here also there is a large poster showing the directions to the temple. The temple is located inside the town

Lakshminarasimhaswamy Temple

The temple is actively used for worship by the people. Having seen the temple, I then went to belavadi, which is approx 20-25kms from javagal. There is veera narayana temple present here, which is again built by the hoysalas. There were a few tourists present in the temple already by the time I reached there

Veera Narayana Temple -Belavadi

The time was already half past 1 and I still had to see halebid and lakshmi devi temple in doddagadavalli. I left for halebid, soon after seeing the temple.

With halebid being quite a popular tourist spot, there were a large no of tourists present.


I spent sometime in halebid and then went to belur. I inquired about doddagadavalli, and one of the auto drivers told me, to take the hassan highway. There is a board marked doddagadavalli. Taking right there would lead me to the temple. With time running out, I decided to skip that and decided to go to sringeri directly.

I began the ride to sringeri via mudigere-aldur-balehonur. The road to mudigere was in pathetic condition, with huge potholes present. I had a hard time driving on these roads, as there were more potholes than the road. Finally I reached mudigere and asked for directions to aldur. The road was initally good, and it later deteriorated. Progress was very slow and I reached Aldur around 4.  I stopped at a hotel at the junction and for a break and asked about the road condition. I was told that the road is very good for driving.

I began the descent from aldur to balenohur and I had an amazing time going down the ghat. Stopping occasionally to enjoy the scenary around me and to take photos, I reached balenohur

Scenary enroute to sringeri

I soon reached a bridge and the river flowing underneath the bridge had a very serene feeling to it

Scene @ bridge

It was getting dark and I was still 30kms from sringeri. A pedal to the medal kind of driving , and I reached sringeri and checked into a lodge. An early dinner and I hit the sack to give my tired body some rest

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Snaps can be found here

Less Known Hosyala Temples

After a hectic week of working in the night due to client requirements , I got some much needed rest on Friday  when my team lead said i need not come to office in the evening. I finished the remaining work from home while searching for a few places to visit on the weekend.

While browsing aravind’s blog I came upon a few less known hosyala temple’s near Mysore which could be covered in a single day. I was initially planning on covering these during dussera but couldn’t due to  time issues. Now that I had ample time I set out to cover these places as I had missed them during my earlier trip. I had taken the directions from aravind before and I just cross checked them with my uncle before heading out

Apart from Belur,  Halebid and Kesava temple in somanthpur , the Hosyala’s have built other temples around Mysore which are not aware to many people. Some of the other temples built by hosyala’s are

  1. Sri Lakshminarayanaswamy temple in Hosaholalu
  2. Sri Bramheshwaraswamy temple in Kikkeri
  3. Sri Panchalingeshwaraswamy temple in Govindahalli

All these temples are within 15-20 kms from each other which makes it ideal for a one day visit along with belur halebid and sravanabelogla

I set out on sat morning around 9 towards panadavapura on my brother’s bike. Cruising at good speeds I reached pandavapura around 10.30. From Pandavapura I had to travel to KR Pet which is 30 kms.

I reached KR Pet in around 45 min and asked for directions to hosholalu. Hosaholalu is 2 kms from KR Pet was my first destination. There is a sign board showing the route to the temple once you reach hosholalu.

Lakshminarayanaswamy Temple

The temple is built on the similar lines of kesava and halebid temples i.e on a star shaped stone. The temple is surrounded houses and is well maintained by the ASI.

This temple has 3 shines and is called as a trikuta temple as explained by the priest present in the temple.  However he seemed to know very little about the temple and there were no guides around

A structure is built in front of the temple which spoils its beauty

After spending some time clicking snaps I headed out to kikkeri which is 15 kms from KR Pet. Upon reaching kikkeri i asked a few people directions to the temple and i was surprised to see people didn’t know about the temple. One of them asked to go to the town and inquire. I asked a person at the tea shop and he gave me the directions to the temple.

Bramheshwara Swamy Temple Entrance

The temple is situated next to a lake which is present near the town. There is a sign board one of the walls of a house advertising the presence of the temple

Lake near temple

The temple is not fully completed as some of the sculptures are not fully finished. The temple was closed by the time I reached there. I could however get inside the temple as parts of the wall has collapsed.

Bramheshwara Swamy Temple

Though the temple represents a fine piece of hosayala art , it is sad to see the temple is being neglected by the local people. Luckily there is no physical damage done to the temple

My final destination was govindahalli which is 5 kms from kikkeri. There is a rock slab just a few meters from kikkeri police station showing the direction to panchalingeshwara temple.

The temple is located amidst fields and has an air of freshness around it.

Panchalingeshwara Temple

The temple was closed when i visited, however an old lady near the temple gave me some info regarding the temple. The temple is huge and it has 5 sanctums for 5 shiv lings. Shiv lings  are named as  Tatpurusheshwara, Aghoreshwara, Sadyojateshwara,Ishanyeshwara  and Vamadeveshwara .

The 5 santums

A nandi statue is present for each of the 5 shiv lings. While  Aghoreshwara and Vamadeveshwara have their nandi statues outside , the nandi statues for Ishanyeshwara, Tatpurusheshwara and Sadyojateshwara are present inside the temple

Nandi Statue

The sculptures are missing from a few places in the temple. Theft might be a likely explanation.

I had finished seeing all these temples and I still had enough time to get back to Bangalore.  Sravanabelagola is just 11 kms from kikkeri and I was thinking of covering even that and then head to belur and halebid which was just 90 kms.

I however decided to cover these at a later date and moved to srirangapatna which around 50kms from kikkeri.

I reached srirangapatna at 3 and headed to dariya daulat which was tippu’s summer palace.

Dariya Daulat

Photography is allowed only outside the palace. The place houses paintings of srirangapatna during its fall along with the guns and other artifacts of tippu’s era

Guns used during Tippu’s Reign

After visiting dariya daulat I then visited gumbaz which contains the bodies of tippu and his family.


After seeing gumbaz , left to see the remaining places in srirangaptna namely , colonel bailley’s dungeon , jumma masjid and rangathaswamy temple before heading to Mysore

Canon at colonel bailley’s dungeon

I spent the evening visiting the palace and relaxing

The next day i headed out to KRS and I wanted to see the venugopalaswamy temple which was recently renovated. I had visited the temple last year and the renovation was still under progress. The temple is located at the KRS backwaters.

Brindavan Gardens

Lot of things had changed in one year and due to some new construction being done I could not locate the place. Had to return home empty handed :(. I had taken a few snaps from my earlier visit

I left KRS and reached home at 3.30 in the afternoon.

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Snaps can be found here

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