31 March 2013

Bylakuppa Golden Temple

Going on with our weekend getaway to Madikeri(from Hassan). Started with Hemavathi Reservoir at Gorur, then Ramanathapura and Konanur, our next destination was Bylakuppa which is around 36kms from Konanur.
Bylakuppa is the Tibetan Refugee resettlement, location of “Lugsum amdupling”(established in 1961) and “Dickyi Larsoe”(established in 1969). After Chinese took over Tibet, the refugees were settled here and Buddhist Monastery was established in 1972. This Tibetan settlement is the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet, after Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. The Golden Temple here houses thousands of Tibetans and a center  for Tibetan Buddhism in South India.

Golden Temple
Golden Temple

Golden Temple

Golden Temple

Golden Temple
40feet golden status of Padmasambhava, Buddha and Amitayus.
Golden Temple

Golden Temple

Golden Temple
Prayer Wheel
Golden Temple

There are also several stores around the temple area that sell Tibetan jewellery , handicrafts, incense and souvenirs. From here we headed to Nisargadhama and ended our trip with Raja seat in Madikeri.

  • Location: Bylakuppa is 6kms from Kushalnagar, around 50kms from Mysore and 250kms from Bangalore
  • How to reach
    • By Train: Nearest railway station is Mysore, which is well connected to major railway stations of India.
    • By Bus: There are regular KSRTC buses that connect Kushalnagar with Madikeri (Coorg) and Mysore. From Kushalnagar you can reach Bylakuppa by auto rickshaw.
    • By Air: Nearest airport is Mysore, but Bangalore International Airport has better domestic and international connectivity.
  • Accommodation: There are accommodation options in Bylakuppa outside Monastery.

28 March 2013


From Gorur, we headed to Ramanathapura which is around 25kms. It was 10 AM by the time we reached here and unfortunately the temple was closed. 
Situated in the bank of Kaveri, Ramanathapura is called Dakshina Kashi. This is another Hoysala structure which resembles Belur and Halebidu. There are temples dedicated to Subramanya Swamy, Pattabi Ramachandra which are built in the Dravidian Style. Also are the temples of Laxminarasimha and Prasanna Rameshwara. It is said that Sri Ramanujacharya, the founder of Vishishtadvaitha philosophy had visited Ramanathapura.
Apart from the main temples, there are other small temples on both banks of the river.

From Ramanathpura we headed to the Hanging bridge at Konanur which is at about 5kms. 
Built across Kaveri this hanging bridge is the second largest hanging bridge in Karnataka. It facilitates easy movement for pedestrians from Konanur to Kattepura village. There are also temples of historic importance in Konanur village.

During Mansoons, the sight here is really beautiful and breathtaking.
Here as well we can find temples on the banks of the river.

27 March 2013

Hemavathi Reservoir - Gorur

I have visited Hemavathi Reservoir many a times, but my most memorable moment was in 2005, when all the gates of the reservoir were open. We had planned to visit as it was in News for more than a week. The view was just awesome, with the splash of water. Whole of the garden place was filled with visitors, the scene outside the garden had turned into a fair with eateries and toy shops.
My mother's memories with this reservoir is still more amazing. As we say few childhood memories never fade, when ever i check with her about Gorur, the first thing which she shares is her trip to Gorur in 1967, when she was in class 2. She had been to Gorur from her school as a part of educational excursion to have a look at the construction work of the reservoir. 
The Hemavathi is an important tributary of the Kaveri. It starts in the Western Ghats near Ballala rayana durga in Chikkamagaluru  District, and flows through Hassan District and Mysore district. At Gorur, river Yagachi from Belur joins Hemavathi. And Hemavathi  joins Kaveri along with Kapila at Shrirangapattana near Krishnarajasagar losing its identity then after.
A Dam is constructed across the river Hemavathi in Gorur to form a reservoir, which is named Hemavathi Reservoir. 
This post is part of our last trip to Madikeri. We started at 7:30 in the morning from Hassan, a gang of 10 of us. By the time we reached Gorur it was  around 9, this was the first stop of our trip. 




Also there are Temples of Yogarasimha and Paravasudeva. 
Gorur also has an interesting bird population and one should visit during sunrise to catch a glimpse of a large number of water birds.

  • Location: Gorur is 192 kms from Bangalore, 24 kms from Hassan, and around 108 kms from Mysore.
  • How to reach:
    • By Train: Nearest railway station is Hassan, Hassan Railway Station is linked to major Indian cities and well connected to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.
    • By Road: There are regular KSTRC buses from Hassan to Gorur
    • By Air: Nearest airports are Bangalore International Airport and Mangalore airport.
  • Accommodation: The nearest preferred stay option would be in Hassan.

25 March 2013

Rosary Church - A Hidden Treasure of Hemavathi Reservoir

Am on vacation to Hassan, my native place, but my routine remains same as in Mumbai... Both my parents are employed and this being March, financial year end, both of them don't get holidays. So only time for us to go on an outing is during weekends. Since last two weekends, we had one or the other priorities and we couldn't make it. This weekend we planned to most awaited, Rosary Church at Shetti Halli.
Dams and the creation of reservoirs require relocation of potentially large human populations if they are constructed close to residential areas. Such relocation took place in the early 1960s, when construction of Hemavathi Reservoir started on the river Hemavathi in Gorur. More then 28 villages got submerged. Shettihalli was one amongst them on the upstream of the reservoir and whole of the civilization had to be moved to near by place, leaving behind a holy place of worship to get submerged. 
Rosary Church, was built by French Missioners in 1860 and represents the Gothic Architecture. The water has depleted its structure but not the peace and serenity of the place. During Monsoons, the church gets submerged, post monsoon as the water level descends, the church emerges out. Even when the church is half under the water, you can go near it on a coracle.
Rosary Church Shettihalli

Rosary Church Shettihalli

Rosary Church Shettihalli

Rosary Church Shettihalli

Rosary Church Shettihalli

Rosary Church

Rosary Church

Rosary Church
  • Location: Shettihalli is 205kms from Bangalore, 22kms from Hassan and around 123kms from Mysore.
  • How to reach:
    • By Train: Nearest railway station is Hassan, Hassan Railway station is linked to major Indian cities and well connected to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.
    • By Road:
      • Driving directions: On Bangalore-Mangalore highway NH 48, driving from Bangalore take Hassan ring road at Bovanahalli, driving ahead, take left to Haluvagilu Road. Driving 15kms ahead on this road reaches you to Shettihalli. Once you pass the village, you can have a look at the church. A narrow road to the left reaches the church.
    • By Air: Nearest airports, Bangalore International Airport and Mangalore airport.
  •  Accommodation: The nearest preferred stay option is Hassan.

Bird Watch - Shetti Halli

We planned Shetti Halli trip for evening, so that we could get few birds to watch. On the way back, we found few Black Headed Ibis near a pond 

An Ibis in flight
And an Egret
There were lot of Pond Herons
And an Egret midst those birds

And a Sandpiper
All together Shetti Halli trip turned out to be a fun filled one.

20 March 2013

World Sparrow Day

We Hindus follow lot of customs. One such is, coconut wrapped in red cloth and tied above the main door of the house. Now, what to do with this custom for World Sparrow day? The reason is, these coconuts were the room for house sparrows at my grandparents place. As kids we enjoyed life in the lap of nature. But with present lives in Metros we hardly come across too many birds, but sparrows though are very frequent visitors to my balcony next to pigeons.
Due to drastic decline of sparrows across Asia, Europe and Africa, 20th March every year is celebrated as World Sparrow Day since 2010, to create awareness among people. 

Useful Links:

Linked to Camera CrittersThe Bird D'Pot

Sand Castle for a Cause

Through High Street Phoenix F/B page did i hear about The Sand Castle for a Cause. To commemorate the World Cancer Day was this Sand Castle by World Master People’s Champion, Simon Smith who himself is a cancer survivor. Organized by Sand Cult in coalition with High Street Phoenix and Cancer Patients Aid Association, this sculpture was made entirely out of just sand and water..
Back home from Kala Ghoda and Marine Drive we visited High Street Phoenix to have a look at this sculpture.
Sculpture with the creator

Useful Link: Pictures of making of this castle and sand sculpture workshop Sand Sculpture

18 March 2013

Queen's Necklace at night

Driving all the way till Kala Ghoda we wouldn't get back home without spending some time at Marine Drive. So did we head there. Spent some time enjoying its beauty and cool sea breeze. Marine drive is to die for at any time of the day. 

16 March 2013

Evening Admist Crowd KGAF-13

After hearing so much about Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2013, we planned to go on 9th Feb, the day just before the closing and a Saturday. That was the biggest mistake we could ever make. First of all there was such a long queue at the security check-in for ladies. Somehow managed to clear in 5 mins... Once we got in, it was so crowd that we couldn't even stand at any of the visual arts.. Heard, even few visual were already been damaged. 
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival hosted by Kala Ghoda Association draws attention to its unique and beautiful area which was formed with the objective of maintaining and preserving the heritage art. The festival heralds vibrancy, drama, excitement and the beautiful colours of culture. You have music, dance, theater, literature, street stalls, films, workshops for adults and children, visual arts and heritage walks.

Fish made of CDs

Go green
Visual art of Dabba wala

The below visuals were by Department of Civil Defense,

You can find very detailed posts on Kala Ghoda Art Festival by Anuradha Shankar on these links, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival Part-1Kala Ghoda Arts Festival Part-2Kala Ghoda Art Festival Part-3