Drive to Anegundi

Today we go on a lazy drive to Anegundi, also known as Kishkinda, the legendary ape city of Hanuman and Sugreeva, as told in the epic tale of Ramayana.

Tungabhadra Dam

After the exploits of the day before in Hampi, we were a bit tired and decided to take it easy and just go on a long drive to Anegundi. Along the way, we took a short break at the huge Tungabhadra Dam. We had to park the car at the entrance and take a tour bus to the top. At the top is a small tower. Visitors are not allowed inside the tower. The reservoir is vast. In the mist, it was impossible to make out where it ended. We stayed there at the top for a few minutes. Rather than taking the bus down, we decided to walk back down a flight of stairs through a forest of sorts. After a few minutes, we reached a clearing. From there we hit the main road. Along the way, a couple of ladies were selling some small rounded tangy fruits. They looked like amla, but a bit different. We munched on them as we walked to our car.

Ancient Bridge

On the way to Anegundi, we crossed an ancient broken bridge made of stones that used to connect Hampi with Anegundi during the days of the Vijayanagara empire. Anegundi’s history dates back to the 3rd BCE century when it was a part of Ashoka’s Empire.

We passed Aanjaneya Temple along the way.  I could recall a movie scene shot here on the steps of Aanjaneya Temple in the movie “Myth.” Aanjaneya Temple is believed to be the birthplace of  Hanuman and a famous pilgrim destination. A few kilometers down the road, we turned right into a mud track leading to Pampa Sarovar. The road was tight and on the left was a wall of boulders, maybe 3 stories high, placed so precariously, it felt they could fall down any moment. The pond is surrounded by rocky boulders. According to Ramayana, Sabari a devotee of Rama used to reside here in a cave. There is a small Lakshmi temple here beside the pond. After staying there for some time, we turned back to the main road and went towards the Durga temple.

Navabrindavan, Anegundi

Navabrindavan is located on a small island bang in the middle of the Tungabhadra river. The only way to reach it is to take a ferry or maybe swim 😉 The island is home to the tombs of nine saints,  followers of Madhvacharya.  The nine tombs form a circle, and a yellow line is drawn as a perimeter around them to stop visitors from disturbing the saints at peace in their Samadhi.

The fascination of Anegundi is not just confined to its topology but also for its mythology. A story goes that an angel by the name of Sangukarna used to come here to collect flowers for the puja of Lord Vishnu. He used to be so mesmerized by the beauty of this place that he would often be late for delivering the flowers for the puja in Brahmalok. Angered by this, he was cursed to be born as an Asura by Lord Brahma. The child so born was Prahalad, son of Hiranyakashyap, the demon king. Even though he was born an Asura, Prahalad was a dedicated devotee of Vishnu and spent hours meditating in the cave on this island. Hidden amidst the boulders and hillocks of Anegundi are many more such places with mystical stories. Sites like these must be protected and saved. They have so much to tell about us.

We had to wait for some time for the ferry to come around. A small crowd had gathered and we were afraid, we might have to wait for another round. However, we somehow managed to get a couple of seats. On the way back I got a few snaps of a submerged structure. Why it was there in the middle of the river is beyond me. Even more interesting is that even the raging Tungabhadra had not been able to break down this structure over all these years.

We went back to the car and started our ride back to the Hotel. The beautiful sun was setting behind the boulders by then and even though a part of me wanted to get down and take some pictures, I just sat back to watch and enjoy.


How much time does it take to reach Nava Brindavan from Hampi Hyatt Place?

It takes an hour to reach Hospet, where one can take a break. From there it takes another hour to reach Anegundi

What is the best time to visit Nava Brindavan in Anegundi?

During monsoons, the river is flooded and the currents are very strong so visits should be avoided. Any other time should be fine. There is a ferry run by the tourism dept. with life jackets on board.

How much time does it take to climb Aanjaneya Temple?

About an hour at a leisurely pace

Night Trek to Kunti Betta

After the amazing experience of Savandurga Night Trek last weekend, I had to yield to this weekends Night Trek to Kunti Betta.

Legend has it that..

Kunti Betta consists of two rocky but easy to climb hills that towers over a picturesque lake. The nearest town is Pandavapura, a panchayat town in Mandya district, located approximately 130 km from Bangalore. It came into prominence during the Mahabharata period. It is said the Pandavas ended their exile of 14 years here in Pandavapura. It is also here that Bheema, one of the Pandava brothers slayed Bakasura, a demon who used to terrorize the local villagers. The Hills derive their name from Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas.

The Journey

The skies were much clear today. My pick-up point was at Central Silk Board at 11 p.m. and had a tough time reaching. I am surprised how basic transport services reduce drastically after 10 p.m. in  Bangalore. I mean isn’t Bangalore an IT Hub. How can basic transport services go off at 11pm. Its ridiculous!

It takes around a couple of hours to reach Pandavpura so some of us took the opportunity to grab a nap. Midway we stopped at a highway tea stall. Along the way we also crossed the Pandavpura Railway Station. We finally stopped at the base near a boarding school. I have forgotten the name of the school. This time we didn’t have a guide, why I realized later. Kunti Betta is comparatively an easier trek from what I experienced at Savandurga Night Trek. No steep faces, boulders strewn across with easy trails all the way to the top. The only hindrance were some thorny bushes.

The Trek

Situated at a height of around 2900 feet above sea level, Kunti Betta is one of the relatively easy treks.  We reached the base of Kunti Betta at around 2 am. This time around the Ishan & Salwat from Get Beyond Limits had an alternative route planned for us. There are certain things I love about Get Beyond Limits. They always do a good reckon of the place they are going to take trekkers and plan everything early on. Not many use this route, bit it was certainly more challenging. The first beautiful rock we reached was the Croc rock, with the rock face protruding out in the shape of a crocodile’s head. I had my new trekking shoes and I was amazed with the grip I was getting. Boo Woodlands! The night was pitch black. During the climb there were moments I would just sit back & stare at the beautiful starry skies. Luckily the clouds stayed away for  a few hours.

We reached the top of a small hill in an hours time. We took a breather there and were off again towards the peak. All around I could still see lights from the town and far off places. I wonder how it would feel if all lights went out for a few minutes. Along the way there were areas with open spaces, perfect for setting up a camp. We reached the peak in another hour. By this time the clouds had gathered again and the stars were gone. From the top of this hill at night, the Kunti Kund lake looked mesmerizing, slightly hidden from view by the other hill. I had my tripod and was able to get a long exposure shot of the amazing scene.

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It was almost dawn, but we still decided to have a bonfire. Within a few minutes the Sun started to rise. It was hard to see with all the clouds, but the sky went into a fantastical gradient of orange and purple. Everyone was taking selfies 😉 Unfortunately selfies don’t do justice the the breathtaking scene they were in.

As the first lights of the Sun started to clear the darkness, we went towards the “Parikrama” rock. One has to jump over to reach this place. Even though I was in better shape on this trek, I was still far away from taking on this challenge.

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The Descent

By 8 a.m. we were ready to descend. Downhill was quick and easy. I find it fun to look for faces & shapes in clouds. As we descended, I went past a few boulders that I think were in the shape of an ape’s face. Ishan threw us a couple of challenges along the way. He is always looking around egging us on to take on new challenges. At the base we headed towards the Kunti Kund lake on the far side.

We passed some freshly planted sugarcane fields. I recalled having fresh sugarcane juice right from the fields when I used to visit my Grandpa in the village long time back when I was a kid. We reached the lake in about 30 mins. The breeze was almost blowing us away as we reached the banks of the lake. Some of the more enthusiastic trekkers went into the water. It wasn’t more than knee deep at the edges.

After spending some time at the bank of Kunti Kund, we trekked back to the town where we had a sumptuous breakfast lined up. I heard the town also has a few Jaggery factories. We had a scheduled visit to a sugarcane factory but everyone got tired and we skipped it.

The ride back to Bangalore was sleepy. I dropped off at Jayadeva at 2pm and took an auto ride home.

I would love to come back to this place again sometime when we have clear skies. I also wonder how beautiful it would look with the sun descending on that lake. But that’s for another day. Not too far in the future, I hope.


  1. 2 Liters of Water. Very essential
  2. Torch or a head lamp (only for night treks) It is always handy to carry one battery operated and one dynamo torch as a backup in-case batteries die out.
  3. Rubber Sole Shoes
  4. Pain Spray for sprains etc
  5. Basic medical supplies
  6. Raincoat or poncho

Photo Walk to Bhoga Nandishwara Temple

It’s a breezy Friday morning and today I head out to a 1200-year-old temple in the outer reaches of Bangalore.

Bhoga Nandishwara Temple

The Bhoga Nandishwara temple was built in the 9th century and is a classical example of Dravidian Architecture. It is located in a small village called Nandigram, some 30 km from Bangalore. This village is surrounded by five hills – Nandi Hills, Brahma Giri, Vishnu Giri, Divya Giri and Skanda Giri. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered one of the important pilgrimage sites for Shaivites in the state.

The temple foundation is said to have been laid by Queen Ratnavali of the Banas in around 810 CE. Thereafter the temple underwent many additions and modifications especially during the reign of the Vijayanagara kings.

How to reach Bhoga Nandishwara by bus

I took a bus ride from home to Majestic Bus Stand. Thereafter I took a bus for Devanahalli. At the Devanahalli bus stand, I had to wait for some time looking for a bus to Nandi Cross. At Nandi Cross, there is an auto stand. They charge around Rs. 60 for a ride to the temple. It takes about 30 mins to reach the temple along the Nandi Hills Road. On the way I passed some lovely boulders and grape orchards.

The Courtyard

The Bhoga Nandishwara temple is unlike any other temple I have seen. It is built like a fort with an outer wall enclosing a huge courtyard, the size of a football field. Vehicles are not allowed inside the courtyard.

You can always find some monkeys loitering around the temple grounds. Do take care! they are not very friendly especially if you are carrying any eatables in your hand.

A gravel path leads up to the main entrance gate. Just before the entrance, you find a podium of sorts on your right, almost in ruins.

A few paces from here, near the main temple gate, one has to leave their shoes behind at a makeshift shoe rack. Chances are you might not find any person in charge of the shoes.

Opposite the shoe racks one can find a number of water taps to wash up before you enter the temple.

As I made my way inside the temple, on the sides you can find the stone-carved Apsaras greeting you at the gates. These girls in dancing poses are almost a signature style of most temples in Karnataka.

The temple is built in the Dravidian style of architecture, characterized by its tall gopuram (tower), large mandapas (halls), and elaborate carvings. The temple’s main sanctum sanctorum houses a large linga (phallic symbol) of Lord Shiva. I found a big crowd was gathered for a marriage ceremony in the “Kalyana Mantapa.” The main temple, the Bhoga Nandeeshwara has a majestic Shiva Linga, the sacred symbol of Lord Shiva. Photographing the linga is prohibited. Right in front of the stone idol, sits a Nandi, carved in black stone.

The temple is also known for its unique architectural features, such as the Mukha Mantapa (front hall) which has a large collection of intricate carvings of different Hindu deities. The temple also has a large Nandi (bull) statue, which is considered the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva. The Nandi statue is carved out of a single piece of stone and is considered one of the largest Nandi statues in the world.

The temple was originally dedicated to Shiva and Parvati and the Nandi is a common sight at all temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The main hall is the most beautifully decorated with carvings on each pillar. One of the most striking features of the temple is its intricate carvings. The temple is adorned with intricate carvings of various Hindu deities and other religious symbols. The temple’s gopuram is adorned with intricate carvings of various Hindu gods and goddesses, including Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma. The temple’s mandapas are also adorned with intricate carvings of various Hindu deities and other religious symbols.

After watching the marriage ceremony for a few minutes, I moved on to the other areas of the temple.

On the right, there is a small staircase that leads to the back of the temple complex. Once I came down and turned back, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lovely elephant carved on the side.

The temple grounds actually houses three separate temples. Even though each of the temples were built in different periods, it is impossible to make out any difference in the way there were constructed.

Girijamba Temple

The temple on the side is known as Shri Girijamba Temple. The walls of the temple contain some exquisite wall carvings depicting the legendary stories of the Hindu Gods.

There is also a Nandi idol made in black stone in front of this temple. Few Kannadiga inscriptions dating back centuries can also be seen on its walls.

The columns holding the roof are made of a single stone with exquisite and intricate carvings of Narasimha and other deities. This is a close-up shot of the Hindu God Vishnu.

You can see many such intricate carvings here that have stood centuries of weathering.

Vasantha Mantapa

As I moved on towards the back of the temple, I found myself in front of the Vasantha Mantapa. This structure was added in the 13th century by the Hoysala rulers.

You can also find some columns carved in the appearance of a Yali, mythical creatures that have the head of a lion and the body of an elephant. These Yali pillars in the Vasantha Mantapa are also a Vijayanagara era addition at Bhoga Nandeeshvara temple complex.

Shringa Theertha

After fully checking out the main temple grounds, I moved into a side compound that houses a large indoor water pond. This section of the temple is known as Sringeri Teertha. The Kalyani or Pushkarni (temple tank) was added by King Krishnadeva Raya during the heights of the Vijaynagara Empire.

Such a historical place cannot be without its mystical stories. One of them goes like this…

It is said that Nandi, the bull plunged his horns (shringa) into the ground for water. And the water of Ganga gushed from it. Hence the name Shringa Teertha. More on the lines of logic a renowned sage named Shringi used to meditate here and the name stuck.

The best time to visit the Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple is during Shivaratri and Deepawali. The temple is known for its unique architecture and intricate carvings, which are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans who built it. The temple’s intricate carvings, unique architectural features, and the Nandi statue make it a unique and worth visiting place.

Thanks for reading. Please leave me a comment if you liked the post or follow my story as I visit the beautiful meadows of Ooty.

Angelina Jolie Wallpaper


One of my projects during the first year of arena – Angelina Jolie Wallpaper. I remember the first of the “Tomb Raider” series had just opened up in Theaters when I made this.

Softwares: Photoshop & Illustrator

Year: 2004

How to add a program in Startup on Ubuntu

This is a simple tutorial on how to make any program to start up by default in Ubuntu:

  1. Start up the program you want to add in the startup.
  2. Open a terminal window and type the following command:xprop | grep WM_CLASSYou will notice that your cursor will change to a cross-hair. Now click on the Application which you want to be added in the startup. You will get a string back like this: WM_CLASS(STRING) = “application”, “Application”

    I got this when I clicked on my Terminal window which I am using with Tilda

    screenshot tilda ubuntu

    Screenshot Tilda Ubuntu

    the first string tells the command for terminal is tilda.

  3. Now you need the path for the application. To get the path, use the “which” command in terminal. For eg. which tilda will return me the path to the program on my machine. Just substitute whatever the first string you got in place of “tilda”
  4. The system will reply a path like : /usr/bin/tilda. In your case it will be your application path.
  5. Copy the path and open the Session Manager from System > Preferences > Sessions. You will see a window like below:

  6. Click on the add button on the right and add the path you copied from the terminal window into the window


    Adding a Program to Startup in Ubuntu

  7. That’s it. Logoff and login again. You will find the application you added in the Session Manager will start by default.

How to navigate the Terminal in Ubuntu

The first thing I discovered after my crossover from Windows was that I have to make the Ubuntu Terminal my friend. I have been running away from the DOS prompt since I first learnt Windows back in 2002. Since then I have always been assisted by UI replacements to do all the work I should have been using the Terminal for. But after Ubuntu happened, I have had to use the Terminal pretty regularly for everything. So, I decided to put together a small list of commands I learned in the first few days I have started using Ubuntu:

The Ubuntu Terminal can be found in Applications » Accessories » Terminal. A terminal is in a way very similar to a file manager in that it’s always inside a specific folder and is able to navigate to other folders and do regular file management. By default it’s inside my home folder when I run it. To confirm that my terminal is indeed browsing my home folder, I need to type pwd ending with a press on enter. The pwd command outputs the path to the current folder.

If I want to see a list of files and directories inside the current directory, I need to run the command “ls”. If I want to navigate up the directory tree, I run “cd ..”(cd space dot dot.) If I want to navigate down the directory tree, I run “cd directoryName” where directoryName is the name of the folder I want to navigate to. For example: if I am inside my home folder and there’s a directory called “movies” inside it, I will have to run “cd movies” to go into that directory. If I want to go back I have to run “cd ..”(cd space dot dot.) If I ever get lost all I have to do is run “cd” by itself; this will take me back to my home folder.