India

Group of Monuments at Aihole

Group of Monuments at Aihole

Today we drive to Aiholi, said to be one of the first regional capital of the Karnakata region under the rule of the Calukyas. The town contains a large number of early Hindu temples and shrines including some outside the walled site that mostly date from the 6th to 8th century CE when the city was at its zenith of prosperity and power.

Today we drive to Aihole, said to be one of the first regional capital of the Karnakata region under the rule of the Chalukyas The town contains a large number of early experimental Hindu temples and shrines that date between the 6th to 12th century CE It was a beautiful morning as we left for Aihole The heritage town is about 35 km from Badami and 11 km from Pattadakal, both of which are major centers of historically important Chalukya monuments Highway to Aihole Along the way we passed vast spaces of empty terrain with nothing but brown bushes The desolate landscape
Pattadakal Group of Monuments

Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

Pattadakal, also called Paṭṭadakallu, is a collection of temples from 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples in northern Karnataka. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a historically significant cultural center and religious site to witness the structural tastes during the times of the Chalukya dynasty.

Pattadakal, also called Paṭṭadakallu, is a collection of temples from 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples in northern Karnataka Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a historically significant cultural center and religious site to witness the structural tastes during the times of the Chalukya dynasty We were staying in Badami, which is just about 23 km from Pattadakal The drive to Pattadakal is beautiful Surrounding by empty vastness along a beautifully paved road, you will find the ride very satisfying Road to Pattadakal The heritage site falls on the main road and very easy to find using Google Maps The
Cave Temples of Badami

Cave Temples of Badami

Today we hike up a small hill in the quaint town of Badami, in northern Karnataka, to explore the rock-cut cave temples dating back to the 6th century. Primarily commissioned during the times of Chalukya reign, the temples provide an insight into the Indian architecture that influenced the next generation of sculpturing style surrounding regions of south India.

Today we hike up a small hill in the quaint town of Badami, in northern Karnataka, to explore the rock-cut cave temples dating back to the 6th century Primarily commissioned during the times of Chalukya reign, the temples provide an insight into the Indian architecture that influenced the next generation of sculpturing style surrounding regions of south India We were staying at Clark’s Inn, which in my opinion is the best hotel in this area It is also a good base, if you have Aihole and Pattadakal planned in your itinerary Both heritage sites are located within an hours drive from Badami Deluxe Room at Clarks Inn, Badami Badami
Stone Chariot at Vittala Temple in Hampi

Photowalk to Vijaya Vittala Temple

A simple journal of my third visit to the heritage temple.

While in Hampi, it is discourteous not to visit the Vijay Vittala Temple This was my third visit to the UNESCO world heritage temple grounds and I was not sure what to capture I have gone over the temple grounds pillar by pillar with my camera Anyways I left for the Temple early at dawn This time I drove from Bangalore, so I had my car available to me at all times during the visit It makes life a hell lot convenient having your own ride in a place like Hampi which spreads over acres of land I had booked my lodgings at Clark’s Inn, which is a
Hemkuta Hill

Monuments on Hemkuta Hill

Hemkuta hill with its gentle slopes offers a remarkable view of the sprawling ruins of Hampi. The hill contains many abandoned temples and boulder carvings scattered across along with two huge monolithic statues of Ganesha. It is also one of the best places to witness sunsets in Hampi.

India is a country, rich in cultural heritage with hundreds of ancient archaeological sites – each with its own mythical stories The monuments on Hemakuta Hill in Hampi is one such cluster of ancient temples, archways and pavilions with local folklore spread over centuries Hampi’s claim to fame began when it became the capital of the Vijayanagara empire However these temples on the Hemakuta Hill are among the oldest cluster of shrines in Hampi, preceding even the Vijayanagara reign The hill is located on the southern side of the Virupaksha temple, identified quite easily by the slopes dotted with a number of abandoned monuments When the revered Virupaksha temple was still in its infancy, this hill used to be occupied by
Virupaksha Temple

Shades of Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha was the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi since the dawn of the 7th century. Since then this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been elaborated on by future rulers and especially Krishnadevaraya, the most famous kings of the Vijayanagara Empire, who commissioned the iconic nine-tiered gateway that we identify the temple with today.

This was my third visit to Hampi, but the first time that I drove myself to the historical city Hampi sits on the banks of the Tungabhadra river in the ruins of the ancient city of Vijayanagar, capital of the once flourishing Vijayanagara empire The road to Hampi is pretty straightforward I took the NH48 from Bangalore and then slid into NH50 near Chitradurga The NH50 is under major repairs but its still faster than any alternative routes On the way we passed the Tungabhadra reservoir The national highway leads directly to the town of Hospet, from where we drove into Kamlapur, where our hotel was located Clark’s
Pangong Tso

Blue waters of Pangong Tso

We are at the edge of Pangong Tso in the outer reaches of Ladakh at a height of about 4,350 m above seal level. The colors of Pangong lake change dramatically from a vivid blue to aqua green depending on the angle of the Sun. The beautiful lake is shared between the countries of Tibet and India.

The journey to Pangong Tso starts from Nubra Valley We had a lovely day among the sand dunes of Nubra Desert vegetation around Khalsar in Ladakh Drive from Nubra to Pangong Lake The drive from Nubra to Pangong takes you through a wide varied landscape The Shyok river stays with us for most part of the ride The Shyok River flowing through the Nubra Valley Once the river leaves us and goes on its own way near Durbuk, the road too becomes quite bad In fact, at certain points, it was almost impossible to make out where the road was [ngg src=”galleries” ids=”125″
Sand Dunes of Nubra

Dunes of Nubra

Nubra is a cold desert at 10000 ft above sea level and the color of the sand is unlike anywhere in India. These dunes lie close to the Hunder village that sits like an oasis in the middle of the cold desert. The weather is not friendly here and it gets pretty cold once the Sun hides behind the clouds. The strong breeze keeps blowing the fine sands, reshaping them into new shapes.

Nubra is a cold desert at 10000 ft above sea level and the color of the sand is unlike anywhere in India These dunes lie close to the Hunder village that sits like an oasis in the middle of the cold desert The weather is not friendly here and it gets pretty cold once the Sun hides behind the clouds The strong breeze keeps blowing the fine sands, reshaping them into new shapes Nubra Valley On the way we passed Diskit Monastery Diskit Monastery The Maitreyi Buddha near Diskit Monastery Apart from the silver sands, Nubra is also known for Diskit Monastery. Perched high up in the Himalayas at an altitude of 10000+ ft, it was founded in the 14th century by Changzem Tsera Zangpo. The star attraction this monastery is a recently built 106 foot high Maitreya Buddha statue which was commissioned in 2010.
Khardungla Pass

Road to Khardungla Pass

The drive from Leh to Nubra Valley goes through Khardungla Pass, said to be one of the highest motorable road in the world. Goes without saying the view was just mesmerising as we motored along the golden mountains towards snow capped peaks. I’ve always had this desire to travel the world – but nothing beats exploring your own country.

Ladakh is the highest altitude plateau in India It is situated in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, bound by two of the world’s highest mountain ranges, the Karakoram in the north and the Himalayas in the south Khardung La is a mountain pass in the Ladakh that serves as the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys from the city of Leh Though we write it as Khardung La, the local pronunciation is more like “Khardong La” or “Khardzong La” The word La means pass while Kharzong means castle I am not really sure how the combination of these words were used to name this mountain pass Ride to Khardungla

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