One Unique Experiment

Krish is an IIT graduate.
Krish is an IIM graduate.
Krish is a successful entrepreneur.
Krish is happily married to his childhood sweetheart.
Until…..one day………

jumping

What happened to Krish ??
To find out click http://raagara.wix.com/storyofkrish

 

 

 

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Howler of a day

Having a rough day? Our Tiger too is having a rough day (rather has been having rough days for quite sometime). Find out, what solution the monkey has to offer, to cheer up the Tiger.

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The monkey realises that something is wrong with the Tiger. So, he stops his singing and enquires.

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Sensing that something is terribly wrong with the Tiger, the monkey comes down from the tree and approaches the Tiger.

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So, how did you like it ?? Peace of Mind channel can be viewed here Peace of Mind It is also available on DTH. Do, leave your thoughts as comments as Tigrrr and Monk love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Exam Time

It’s exam time for the monkey. So, let’s find out how did his history paper go.

exam   fecf875d541cdcaf541b239e109df19e

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ae4998b32f1f6e8d293ce94322782555 42d752bd96326c8271fc86e24e7cb891   handing

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The Tiger couldn’t believe his ears. Flabbergasted, he growled and said

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A post after a long time. Had been busy with something. To know what is that, do keep watching out for the next post. Till then Ciao! Enjoy! And hope you liked this post, then do post in your thoughts as comments. Tigrrr and Monk are always happy to hear from you.

Hampi-Badami-Pattadakallu-Aihole (Part 2)

Before you proceed with this I hope you have read through Part 1. If not here is the link https://tigrmonk.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/hampi-badami-pattadakallu-aihole-part-1/

In Part 1, we had explored Hampi and the surrounding locations. In Part 2 we are going to explore the Aihole-Pattadakallu-Badami route and surrounding locations. They all fall on the same route with Aihole coming first then Pattadakallu and then Badami. Any route you take you will have to go through this sequence. Aihole is around 10-15 kms from Pattadakallu and Badami is further 22 kms from Pattadakallu.

Hampi was all about 14th – 15th century. This is all about 6th – 7th century, Chalukya era. Just like Hampi, all the monuments here too are on the list of World Heritage sites (except Aihole). Hamp was located on the banks of river Tungabhadra, while Aihole and Pattadakallu are on the banks of Malaprabha.

Aihole —> Aihole was the first capital of Chalukya era. The monuments here (mostly temples) were built on an experimental basis. So, temples here are small but many in numbers. There are around 19 main monuments and many small monuments spread across Aihole. The sad part is many of them have been encroached by villagers, who have actually, made it their home. Yet there are some main monuments which have been fenced by the ASI and this is where the major tourist crowd can be found.

The main attractions here is the Durga Temple (which is shaped like a Shiv Ling)

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The Ladkhan Temple (named after a person Lad Khan who is supposed to have taken up residence here)

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The Ravana Phadi Cave is one of the oldest rock cut cave temple dating back to the 5th century. Its a Shiva temple, with the most promising feature being the dancing Shiva (Natraja)

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Pattadakallu —> Pattadakallu (also known as Pattadakal) is the place where Badami Chalukya kings were coronated. It was the capital of the Chalukya dynasty in between the 6th and 8th centuries. The Chalukyas built many temples here between the 7th and 8th century. There are ten temples at Pattadakallu, including a Jain sanctuary surrounded by numerous small shrines. The temples here are much bigger to Aihole and have more detailed and intricate carvings. One unique aspect of both these places is that the windows in the temples are each carved out differently. Not one window will resemble the other. The carvings here are very fine, intricate and detailed compared to Hampi and that is why the monuments here steal more ratings from me than Hampi.

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A panoramic view of the Temple complexes at Pattadakallu

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Some of the stone carvings at Pattadakallu

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                                         Remember the windows??

The two places are basically treat for the eyes and once again guide is required to show you around, so that, someone is there to explain you the statues and carvings on lining up various walls as well as ceilings. Here are some from the ceilings.

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Sun God

 

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Carvings on the pillars

Badami —> The main attraction are the 4 caves carved out in the rocks. The first cave is a Shaivite cave (carved out by followers of Shiva), the second and the third cave is the vaishnavite cave (carved out by followers of Vishnu) and the fourth cave is a Jain cave (carved out by followers of Jainism). The carvings here are again very exquisite and the caves face a small lake and give a good view of the Bhootnath temple. Just watch out for the monkeys at this place as they have tendency to snatch anything that they see in your hands.

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                                        Carvings at the Badami caves

Next you can visit the Archaeological museum which is around 5 minutes walk from the caves and then the Bhootnath Temple. The view there is awesome at the sunset time.

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Bhootnath Temple and Agastya Lake at sunset

Next you can visit the Badami fort which is perched on a hill with two Shivalaya complexes. The entry to the fort is from the museum.  Visitors have to walk all the way up to the fort. King Pulakeshi II, a devotee of Lord Vishnu had built the two Shivalayas that dates back to the 5th century.

The Upper Shivalaya is devoted to Lord Shiva, who is the lord of the five elements (bhuthaas) whereas the lower one is dedicated to Ganesha. The outer walls of the Upper Shivalaya are sculpted with mythological tales, like the elephant and lion on top of the temple steps.

A 16th century cannon is placed north to the Lower Shivalayas that looks down on the city. Close to this is a 14th century watchtower.

The other attractions is the Banashankari temple. The Chalukyas of Kalyan are believed to have built the Banashankari Temple located at Cholachigud, just 5 km from Badami. This temple is dedicated to Devi Parvati who killed a demon at Banashankari named Durgamasura.

Next you can visit Sri Mahakuta temple dedicated to Shiva. Actually, this temple is around 10 kms from Badami and can be visited enroute Badami from Pattadkallu. We landed there at night, and later realised it was a mistake to go there at night. It is worth visiting the temple during day time. The temple is surrounded by forest. The temples are dated to the 6th or 7th century CE and were constructed by the early kings of the Chalukya dynasty of Badami.

There is a big banyan tree at the entrance of the temple, which is almost the size of a 10-11 storeyed building in height and the girth is so huge that it will take around 5 men holding hands to cover the whole diameter of the tree. The tree must be more than 500 years old or even longer than that. For me it was the very first time that I had seen such a huge tree.

So, that overall wraps up the visit to Hampi and Badami. It’s definitely off my bucket list now. But, if its in your bucket list then it surely is worth planning for soon.

This post took like forever. But, I finally finished it. Yeah! First post for January 2016. Hope you like it. Do let me know through comments and likes. Sharing the post would be icing on the cake!

 

 

Hampi-Badami-Pattadakallu-Aihole (Part 1)

Nestled amongst the boulder mountains, on the banks of river Tungabhdra, surrounded by lush green paddy fields and coconut trees lies the ruins of Pampapattam alias Hampapattam alias modern day Hampi/Vijayanagar. The place derived its name from Goddess Pampa (Godess Parvati for Hindus) whose temple is located at the Virupaksha Temple also known as Pampathi temple. Hampi developed into a main trading centre through the 14th to 15th century and reached its pinnacle during the rule of Krishnadevraya, where it boasted of a population of half a million people (supporting 0.1% of the global population during 1440-1540). After his death it was attacked by the Moghuls (also known as Deccan Sultans in that part of India). The whole population fled from the place and within 6 months it went from being a prosperous place bustling with activity into a state of oblivion.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a major tourist attraction, specially with the international tourists, who come here to explore the ruins, trekking, rock climbing and have a relaxed time. The place has such a charm that many of the international visitors keep coming back to it at least once a year.

To explore the place a guide is a must who explains all the fine details of the various monuments. Excavation is still on at this place and each day leads to new discoveries.

SO WHAT DO THE RUINS CONSIST OF? The Hampi ruins are divided into two parts. The first part consists of the Temple area which is located majorly on the banks of the Tungabhadra and the second part consists of the Palace area. The third part to be explored lies on the other side of the Tungabhadra river at village Anegundi, which is the erstwhile famed Kishkinda empire of the monkey king Sugriva of the Ramayana era. The picturesque village, located on the northern side bank of River around 5 kms from Hampi (after crossing over the river), has beautiful scenic views of the lush green paddy fields besides some historic monuments to be visited. So, in total minimum of 3 days are a must must to explore the place.

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           Map of Hampi – the three parts divided by the pink lines

—> The Temple Area: The temples are pretty grand and most of them are intact (surprisingly). The looters only destroyed the main shrine area (so most of the temples do not have the deity in place). There was a practice of placing precious stones under the statues of deities in that era, and hence, the statues were removed by the looters to get hold of those precious stones. That is the only damage they caused in the temple area. Rest of the damage has been done by the weather and the moisture. The only Temple where the deity is still present is the Virupaksha temple (Lord Shankar) and religious ceremonies as well as the daily pooja is still held at the temple. The bazaar leading up to the temple was the trading market for pearls and diamonds. There is a painting on the ceiling of the temple coloured with natural colours which is still intact (as it has been saved from being subjected to the vagaries of nature)

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Virupaksha Temple from outside and inside

The architecture is such that, each village separated by a hill, has a main temple and bazaar in front of it (the grand idea of Krishnadevraya who figured out that in order to expand his empire he would have to engage in trading [leading to tax collection] rather than just plundering by waging wars, which is a very costly affair) and a water tank called Pushkarni. The biggest water tank (in depth) is the one located next to the Virupaksha temple (since its the main temple) where excavation work is still going on. The road in front of the Virupaksha temple leads to the Achyutaraya temple by crossing over the Matanga Hill. Just before you start climbing the flight of stairs there is a monolithic bull (Nandi) to the left side. If you don’t want to climb the stairs there is a stone pathway leading to the other side of the hill which runs parallel to the Tungabhadra river. Achyutaraya temple can be approached by foot only. While Virupaksha temple can be approached by car (if you are stationed at Hampi) or by ferry (if you are stationed on the other side of the river)

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Achyutaraya Temple and the bazaar for selling horses

There is a water source on the right side of the bazaar called Pushkarni (water tank). All such water sources used to be depicted by a fish carving on the walls of the temple.

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When you come out of the Virupaksha Temple there is a hill to the right hand side leading to the Hemakuta group of Temples. You can climb the hill or proceed down the road and take the first right turn (the hill is recommended as it gives a good view from top of the Virupaksha temple and has mane monuments lining up the path). As soon as you climb down the hill you are greeted by a Ganesha statue to your right.

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and the Hemakuta group of Temples (with the vegetable bazaar leading up to it).

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The main attraction here is the stone donation box (of course with sliding lids)

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Stone donation box with a view of vegetable bazaar in the background

There are exquisite carvings on the temple walls and ceilings. The Krishna temple is the main temple which was constructed by Krishnadevraya after his conquest over Odisha. After you come out of the temple and head to the right side of the temple, there is a massive rock cut idol of Narsimha. the fierce aspect of Vishnu, 6.7 m high. Originally the idol bore a smaller image of Lakshmi on one knee; this had fallen off, probably due to vandalism. The Lakshmi statue is now in the museum at Kamalapuram. This is a restored statue (the strap and the slabs below the thighs being the latest addition)

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To the right side of this statue, is a massive stone Shiv Ling.

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Next we head to the Vitthala temple. Legend has it that the Vitthal statue at the Pandharpur temple was once located here. Purandardas Maharaj foresaw the misfortune that was going to befall on this place and hence requested Krishnadevraya to hand over the Vitthal statue to him. For a long time the statue was with Purandardas Maharaj before it was placed in the Vitthal temple at Pandharpur. The main attraction here is the stone chariot and the musical pillars. Each of the pillars that support the roof of the main temple is supported by a pillar representing a musical instrument, and is constructed as 7 minor pillars arranged around a main pillar. These 7 pillars, when struck, emanate the 7 notes from the representative instrument, varying in sound quality based on whether it represents a wind, string or percussion instrument. The pillars are hollow from inside. It is one of the major engineering marvels of that time. During dance performances, musicians used to stand near the pillars and strike it together with sticks creating music matching various instruments like jalatarang, veena, bansuri etc.

The wheels of the stone chariot also used to be moved during prayers. But, now they have been affixed to the stone with cement as it had led to quite an erosion of the stone.

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3 sets of musical pillars can be seen at the right and left side each

Next you can visit the Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple. Dedicated to Lord Rama, there is Akhand Ramayana Paath going on in the temple since the past 4 years (as of Nov 2015). There is an interesting structure of 32 stone shiv lingas carved at the back of the temple with each shiv linga preceded by a Nandi.

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A natural stream of spring water is running through the centre of the structure.

That covers the Temple area. There are many other small temple structures that can be seen along the road (some of them in very good conditions). If you have the time you can visit each one of them. The carvings on the temple walls are something of a wonder.

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—-> The Palace area: The palace was fortified with 7 layers of wall (now only 3-4 layers can be seen, that too at some places only, the other layers being devoured by coconut tree plantations and various village settlements).

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The main attractions here is the Queen’s bath (swimming pool for the 2 queens of Krishnadevaraya) at the entrance itself, Lotus Mahal in Queen’s palace, Elephant Stable, Hazara Rama Temple and the Royal big Enclosure. It is a very big area and has to be traversed by foot only. Car, cycle and other vehicle’s can be used to move from one place to another, but, each place has to be explored by foot.

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Queen’s Bath                                                  Bath tank in the Royal Enclosure

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Aqua duct (stone water pipe line in Royal Enclosure) 

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Hazara Rama Temple (the only  temple in Royal Enclosure and where Black Granite has been used). The temple is called Hazara Rama because Ramayana alongwith Luv Kush kand and some part of Baal Krishna leela has been depicted in 1000 pictures carved on stone.

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Carvings on the walls of Hazara Rama Temple

Across the river (third part) —> The third area to visit is on the other side of the river. The ambience of Anegundi is refreshing for the ones who like a peaceful place to soak themselves in a rural setup and tour at their own pace. Other attractions include Anjeneyadri (the hill top Hanuman temple which has about 550 + steps to climb), Pampa Sarovar and Durga temple (a tiny shrine and a sacred tank), Gagan Mahal (a small old palace), Rishimukh Hill, a ruined ancient stone bridge crossing the river, Chandramouliswara Temple near the ruined bridge, The Ranganatha Temple, further up caves with prehistoric cave paintings and a number of other small and big temples. You can also check out the Sanapur Lake/Reservoir where you can enjoy coracle boat ride. The view of sunset and sunrise is equally mesmerizing at this location.

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Coracle boat ride during sunset at Sanapur Lake

Navabrindavan is a sacred place of Sri Raghavedhra sect which is located in Anegundi. It is a small island and you need to take a ferry from Anegundi to reach the place.

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Nava Brindavana

The picturesque paddy fields, specially if you take the route from Sanapur Lake to Anegundi, is breathtaking.

For more details on the monuments and various other places that can be explored in Hampi, refer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayanagara

How to go about exploring Hampi? —> Hampi is majorly explored by foot. You can hire a cycle or a car or an Auto to reach various monuments, but, once inside only your feet will take you everywhere. The Autorickshaw driver even serves as a guide.

Where to stay? —> There are many options as far as stay  is concerned. You can stay in Hampi or Hospet which is around 13 kms by road from Hampi. You can also stay in Sanapur or Anegundi which is across the river from Hampi. To reach Hampi, you need to cross the river by ferry (hardly takes 2 minutes to cross over, but, there is waiting time involved which can go upto half an hour). By road Sanapur is 50 kms (an hours drive) so, if you have rented a car and you are staying in Sanapur, you can tell the driver to drive and come over to Hampi while you take the ferry and in the meantime you can explore the monuments on the bank of the river (this is what we had done). We had stayed in Gowri Resort in Sanapur. There is another one in Anegundi very close to Pampa Sarovar called Garden Paradise Restaurant (he has only 5 rooms) with the resort facing the Tungabhadra River and is a multi-cuisine place. Food is good here and the view is awesome. Only drawback, the approach road (after you leave the main road) of about 5oo metres is dusty. Otherwise its the most secluded and relaxing place you can find in Hampi.

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            Garden Paradise Restaurant and view from the Restaurant

How many days to stay in Hampi? —> This one actually depends on your preference. If you are short on time then 2-3 days (visit the main places and you are done). If you are history buff then it takes around a week to explore the whole of Hampi in its finer details. Most of the international tourists spend around a week to 15 days here.

Charges —> A guide would typically charge Rs. 800 for half day and Rs.1200 – Rs. 1500 for a full day. During rush time the charges will be typically more. Accommodation is easily available for Rs. 1000 onwards. There might be cheaper accommodation, but, then you need to go there on the spot and bargain (not book accommodation online or in advance)

What time of the year is best suitable for visiting —> Typically October to March is the tourist season in Hampi. For international visitors it would be advisable to travel from November to February, as temperature and the heat is higher after February and prior to November.

Hope I have covered most of the points here. If you do have any query post in the comments section and I shall reply back. This was Part 1. A separate part will follow for Badami-Aihole and Pattadakallu. Thanks for reading. I hope you do get inspired to visit the place soon.

Here is the link to Part 2

https://tigrmonk.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/hampi-badami-pattadakallu-aihole-part-2/

 

 

Batman, Robin and Spiderman

The Tiger was as usual busy relaxing under the tree when he saw the monkey approaching from a distance.

monkey on tree   yesterday

busy   with what

watching   movie

At this the monkey was flummoxed. He got down from the tree and proceeded towards the Tiger.

bale  watch movie

bat  tobey

At this the monkey laughed out loud and removed something from his pocket. It was a camera and he showed some pictures to the Tiger.

look

The Tiger looked closely at the pictures and started laughing like crazy. What had he seen ????

picture

So, how did you like the Batman ?? Do let Tigrrr-Monk know through your comments.

I came across this website which will teach you to draw cartoons in very simple steps. Do check it out

http://www.how-to-draw-cartoons-online.com/index.html

Enjoy!!!

Junk Food by Tigrrr-Monk

One day the monkey was relaxing on the tree when the Tiger approached him for a little tête-à-tête.

lucky monkey what

gorging zilch

what a life    daibetes

exage   more lucky

The monkey finishes munching on the Pizza slice and comes down from the tree.

handing    what this

ticket    participate

TV    how

obese   feature

effort

bugger    aargh

Saying so, the monkey also put the remaining pizza and burgers in the Trash can.

So, how did you like this series on Junk Food do let us know. Tigrrr-Monk would be glad to hear from you.

About the show: My 600-lb (read as pounds) life

It’s a show on TLC that chronicles the journey of severely overweight individuals who are struggling in their day to day lives because of their weighty issues. It follows their physical, emotional struggles and the tough decision to go under the knife and to completely change their diet preferences (totally undo the junk food lifestyle) to manage their weight issues. Here is a sneak peek.

Food by Tigrrr-Monk

Next post has something to do with…….yeah Food. What kind of food? Patience is a virtue. In the meantime Tigrrr and Monk want to show you how incredible India as a country is. This one is their personal favourite.

Take care and enjoy your weekend!

You can also check out 3 sample chapters of my book http://bloodygoodbook.com/254-karma-isnt-such-a-bitch. BGB is a platform for budding authors where their work is put up for review and feedback from reader’s. Based on reader’s feedback the book is taken up for publishing. So, do check out the book.

The lowly Cow by Tigrrr-Monk

One day the Tiger was sitting and relaxing under the tree. He seemed to be in a jolly good mood.

Sing     mood

To which the Tiger replied

lunch   have for lunch

cow

Hearing this, the Monkey was totally astounded and he got down from the tree and approached the Tiger.

bananas   what happnd

no cow for lunch

At this the Tiger got up from his relaxing pose and approached the monkey.

hunting   moron

quit  imprisonment

tigggggggggggg    modify

holy cow

The Cow photo is credit — Indian Express

So, how did you like this post? Do post your comments. It would be nice to interact with the reader’s. And will be encouraging to keep posting such fun, new posts.

Cow by Tigrrr-Monk

Since the cow is such a hot topic of discussion these days, Tigrrr and Monk too have taken interest in her. So, stay tuned for the next post…..Commminnnngggg Soooon!!

In the meantime you can enjoy this funny video

24th October 2015

Done!

Check the post titled “The lowly Cow” and don’t forget to leave your comments!