28 November 2013

Skywatch Friday - A dry tree

This dry tree attracted my sight at Shivappa Nayaka Palace, Shimoga. The grey linings against the blue and white background made it a unique sight.

Linked to Skywatch Friday

25 November 2013

Koodli, Tunga-Bhadra Sangama

Koodli is a small village in Shimoga District. This is the place where rivers Tunga and Bhadra meet, and then on flow together as Tungabhadra. Hence the name Koodali, which means meet in Kannada. A small temple with nandi denotes the exact point where the two rivers meet, and is considered to be sacred.
As we entered the place a priest asked us to perform special worship to the river, which we ignored and enjoyed the beauty. Just like in any Sangama, due to death rituals performed here, there are so many people behind you demanding bakshish(money).
 At the sangama is a 12th century Rameshwara temple and Narasimha temple built in Hoysala style.

Koodli has Smartha Monastery, stated to have been found in 16th century by Jagadguru Narsimha Bharathi Swamigalu of Sringeri. Within the premises of the matt are the shrines of Sharadamba and Shankaracharya. Koodli is also known as Varanasi of the south, it is home to Rushyashrama, Brahmeshwara, Narasimha and Rameshwara temples.  
Koodli is 15kms from Shimoga and is accessible by road.

20 November 2013

Kuala Lumpur - A Dream Destination

Kuala Lumpur is a blend of Modern buildings, history and culture, nature and adventures, shopping, food and beaches. Here are list of things I wouldn't miss when I am in Kuala Lumpur.
Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower:
Enjoy breathtaking view of Kuala Lumpur City from the world's highest 2 storey bridge connecting the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower, standing atop Bukit Nanas has something for the nature lovers along with the panoramic view.  The verdant green surrounding Menara KL is the Bukit Nanas forest. This green lung of Kuala Lumpur is a sanctuary to a wonderful array of flora and fauna, and unique tropical climate.
Patronas Twin Towers
KL Tower

History and Culture: The Islamic Art Museum, National Museum, National textile museum reflects states history and culture. While National Monument was built to honour those who gave their lives in the cause of Peace and freedom, P Ramlee Memorial the house of great actor, singer, composer and director late Tan Sri P Ramlee has a collection of his awards, photos and personal artefacts. Also are religious attractions, Jamek Mosque and National Mosque.
Shopping: Kuala Lumpur is considered as shopper's paradise. Where three of the world's 10 largest malls are in KL. BBKLCC, the stretch from Bukit Bintang to Kuala Lumpur City Center offers abundant fashion, food and entertainment. On the contradictory Central Market offers you a wide range of handicrafts, art and authentic Malaysian souvenirs. The Central Market's outdoor stage offers visitors colourful arts and cultural events.
Nature and Wildlife: For Nature and wildlife lovers are Aquaria KLCC, KL Bird Park, Perdana Botanical Gardens and Zoo Negara. While Aquaria KLCC showcases the fascinating nature of aquatic life and behaviour of animals and crwaly creatures above water, the KL bird park located at Perdana Botanical Garden offers you with more than 3000 birds in free flight. Egg incubation room and nursery, feeding programms and daily bird shows are not to be missed. And the best thing which makes Zoo Negara unique from most of the zooes is, its open at night and you get to catch glimpse of animals which are active at night.
KL Bird Park, photo credit Malaysia Tourism

Aquaria KLCC, photo credit Malaysia Tourism 

So plan your trip soon to explore this wonderful place. 

I am participating in the MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest in association with BlogAdda.com.

Come, Join Hands with Dabur to Make India An Immune Country..

As mothers the most important topic on our social media groups is kid's health. During monsoons I find one or the other kid in the group is absent to school, and when I went through my daughter's medical records, the last time she visited her doc was 6 months back. How could I maintain such neat record of hers? 
As a preterm baby, she really needed some special care to boost her health and immunity. There is well known proverb, you are what you eat. Instead might be its what you live: what you intake, what you inhale, how much you sleep. Thats, those who indulge in regular routine and have healthy diet maintain good health, conversely who maintain irregular routine and unbalanced diet are found to suffer from ill health.
But its not easy to have a regular routine and balanced diet for a 4year old kid. She being a fuzzy eater, I was always worried about her health and immunity. Must say, I tried everyway to make her have healthy diet. Few of my freinds suggested me to cut vegetables and fruits in interesting shapes, so that she could get tempted of having them. Some adviced to mash the vegetables, so that she couldn't remove them from her dish, but nothing worked. The only thing which came to my survival was Dabur Chyawanprash.

If you try to get little deeper into Ayurvedic studies on immunity, as per Ayurveda, Ojas, which is the ultimate product of what you have and which exists in each and every cell of your body is considered to be vital in the defensive mechanism of the body.
As per Ayurveda immunity is classified into:
* Congenital or Natural: inherited by parents
* Time, season, age: its said the immune power is higher during early morning, spring and youth than in evening, summer and old age. And also climatic condition, its said places with abundance of water, cool and pleasant climatic conditions contribute to stronger immunity. Now I realise why my cousin always said, Mumbai was better place to stay than Bengaluru(no offense to Bengalureans).
* Acquired: This can be classified into rejuvenating, exercise and adapting to wholesome substances.
While you don't have any control on the first two, its the last one where in you can influence your immunity by adapting a healthy living. 
Dabur Chyawanprash: Papa, Mumma and kiddo packs
Dabur Chyawanprash, has the ingradients that help strengthen the immune system,
 Ashwagandha: It has antistress, anti  oxidant and immunomodulatory properties
 Guduchi: It has anti oxidant, immunomodulatory and hep to provide strength. It act as rejuvenator too.
 Satavari: It helps to promote general health. Improves memory and found benicifial for eyes.
 Bala: It has anti oxidant properties and acts as strength promoter.
 Vidarikand: Acts as a rejuvenator.
Its these properties which keep my little one in good health and help her grow naturally.
Being immune just doesn't mean increased resistance against deseases, it also increases the working and exertion capacity, and a power to adjust the body according to the forcefullness of the medicine. Even though adults are better immune than kids, Chyawanprash help adults with its antistress and rejuvenating properties and increased workability. So, now its our whole family who proudly endorse Dabur Chyawanprash.

17 November 2013

Bangkok - A Dream Trip

Bangkok is in my forthcoming travel plans. When I came across "World’s Best Online Travel Fair" with AirAsia, I thought of working on this trip. Bangkok is a complete package of tourist attractions, shopping, food and spas. Where old charm meets the modern convenience. Bangkok or Krung Thep,"the city of angels", as known by its inhabitants, offers a vast attractions, within its sheer city.
The first place to visit in Bangkok, about which I have heard from almost all my friends who have visited Bangkok is The Grand Palace. This is conveniently located near most spectacular temples, including Temple of Emerald Buddha(Wat Phra Kaeo), Temple of Dawn(Wat Arun) and Wat Pho(temple with inclinded Buddha and the first Thai massage school). These temples are few among the 400 Buddhist temples in Bangkok. Bangkok gets its name "Venice of the East", because of the numerous canals connected to the river Chao Phraya, "River of Kings". Your trip to Bangkok is incomplete without a cruise on the Chao Phraya, a visit to floating market and exploring cities "back alley" cannels(Khlongs). If you are looking for exploring History and culture of the city, the city is definitely not going to disappoint you. National Museum, National Gallery Museum, King Prajadhipok Museum, Vimanmek Museum, Bangkok dolls and museum are the places, which you must not miss.  
The Grand Palace
For shopaholics, China Town, located on the street of Yaowarat, is where you need to land up. A chinese community dominated trades, which is lined up with shops selling gold, China herbs, fruits and chinese restaurants during day time, turns into a food street heaven after sunset, where you can find food trucks serving some amazing food from Chinese fried noodles to Chinese Iced desserts. Off-course don't forget to shop their handicrafts, Thai dolls and toys, Thai gems, jewelry, gold and silverware and the world famous Thai silk as souvenirs from Bangkok.

ChinaTown at Night
Thai Women working on silk loom

Floating Market
To taste their Thai food, try their food stalls along the streets and at outdoor markets. And if you share interest in cooking and have a day to spare then, try Thai Cooking class, where in you will be taken through the tour of local market, shop ingradients used in Thai cooking, then a demonstration of the process by the instructors and then try yourself cooking these stuff under instructors observation.
After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, have a rejuvenating and relaxing spa treatments at any of their luxurious spas or traditional Thai massage centers. Ancient healing knowledge passed down through generation, provide ideal setting for continuous pursuit of inner and outer beauty.
Hope this homework of mine would turn up useful for my trip and I would definitely share with you all my experience when it would turn real.

15 November 2013

Mission '24', with Anil Kapoor and Tata Motors

Date: 12 November, 2013
Venue: Lake House, Tata Motors, Pimpri, Pune
Website: http://www.tatasafari.com
Few months back I was part of Xtreme Drive bloggers meet organised by Indiblogger, sponsored by Tata Motors. As a member of Indiblogger and been part of Xtreme Drive, I was invited by Tata Motors(the title sponsor of the action packed TV series '24') for a lunch with Anil Kapoor, the star of the series. Initially I wondered whether to join, as the event was in Pune. But Inditeam confirmed me of transportation been provided by Tata Motors, so I made up my mind.
Me, Nandini Deka, Vaisakhi Mishra along with Tata team and few social media contest winners gathered at Dadar station. While Deepti Verma and Punit Dubey joined us on the way, at Vashi. By around 12:30 we reached their plant at Pimpri, Pune.
Tata Motors
We along with Anil Kapoor and few other dignitaries were taken through a drive of the plant. The drive reminded me of my industrial visits during Engineering course.
Tata Motors

Tata Motors
Vintage Car at plant
Tata Motors
The first Indica model

Tata Motors
Different terrains for testing

Tata Motors

Tata Motors
Safari Assembly Line, where the ragged SUV gets assembled
The company staff gathered in huge number to cheer for Tata Strome and Anil Kapoor starrer series.   
Tata Motors

Tata Motors
Anil Kapoor paying homage to JRD Tata
 Back from plant, we joined the event at Lake House.
Tata Motors
Anil Kapoor awarded few of Tata dealers for their performance, greeted we bloggers and social media contest winners and shared his thoughts on '24' and Tata Safari.
Tata Motors
Tata Motors presented Mr. Kapoor a specially manufactured, Jai Singh Rathod(the character as a chief of Anti Terrorist Unit, he plays in '24' series) edition of Safari Storme- Safari Strome, the rugged SUV which symbolizes power, resilience, style and performance, which truely compliments the essence of the series '24'. Mr Ankush Arora, Sr. Vice President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors stated, Tata Motors was proud to partner with Colors to be the title sponsor of the series '24' in its Indian avatar. He also claimed that Safari Strome sales had a hike of 30% with the start of this series.
Tata Motors
Tata Motors
The specially manufactured Jai Singh Rathod edition of Safari Strome
The event ended with lunch and we started off by 4PM to reach Vashi around 6:30PM. Me and Nandini Deka took a train from Vashi to reach home.
Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

13 November 2013

Ambi Pur Home Range Review

After using Ambi Pur car vent in my car, I couldn't stop myself from trying their Home Range. They have Ambi Pur Air Effect, an instant freshness spray and Set and Refresh, which releases perfumed oil continunously to keep air fresh. I applied for a Ambi Pur Air Effect, the spray, as most of the time we are out of house and set and refresh did not suit our need.
Home Range reached home for review at perfect timing. August brings with it season of festivals. Its that part of the year, when there are family get-togethers for celebration. Also its the month, when my daughter celebrates her birthday.
Firstly I thought of having a smiley test at home with my family, I sprayed Ambi Pur Air Effect, Blossom and Breeze before my hubby was back from office and asked him to guess the frangrance. He came up with few amazing stuff, he felt he was at a wedding ceremony, surrounded by roses and orchids. The smell refreshed few of his wonderful memories of our visit to one of the Flower nursery in our native and our Vihigaon and Igatpuri trip, were there were lots of Frangipani tress. And my 4 year old, came up with all fruit names she was familiar with, while guessing the fragrance.
Driving through Mumbai-Nasik highway, smelling those fresh Frangipanis
Ambi Pur Home Range, added freshness to the house. So, for our this year's Navratri celebration and get- togther, I thought of giving the traditional festive celebration a contemporary touch with Ambi Pur Blossom and Breeze air freshener. Few of my friends were mesmorized by the fragrance and wondered if I had lit a scented candle or a fragrance stick or decorated with fresh flowers. With nowhere to find any of them, they checked with me what the wonderful fragrance was of. The Blossom and Breeze Ambi Pur room freshner turned my festival a memorable one. Thank you Ambi Pur for such a wonderful festival gift.

11 November 2013

Shivappa Nayaka Palace, Shimoga

We have been visiting Shimoga on our way to native. This time we planned of exploring this place, during our visit. So we got down at Shimoga and joined our parents from native. Our plan was to start off with Sakrebailu Elephant Camp, but due to delay of our bus, we had to change our travel plan and thought of visiting Shivappa Nayaka Palace. Thanks to Shrinidhi Hande and Anuradha Shankar's blogs, for, we got to know about this Palace.
Shivappa Nayaka Palace
Unfortunately we visited on a state holiday and the museum was closed, on request we were just allowed within the campus.
Shivappa Nayaka Palace
Built in 16th century, this was used by Keladi Nayakas as summer sojourn. The palace under went several renovations to take its present form and is presently under ASI. The structure is a two storey building, with rosewood carvings.
Shivappa Nayaka Palace
Shivappa Nayaka Palace
The campus has a collection of stone structure and monuments in a very well maintained garden.
Shivappa Nayaka Palace

Shivappa Nayaka Palace
Few Jain monuments,
Shivappa Nayaka Palace
The palace is with in city limits on Kote Road. There is no entry fee and the Palace is closed on Public Holidays.

8 November 2013

Hasanamba Temple and Deepavali...

Am back from a week long vacation to native. Had a lot of travel plans this vacation, but due to a loss in the family, had to cut short my trip. One of my uncles passed away and we couldn't celebrate Deepavali this year, but here is a post on Hasanamba Temple, which is very much related to Deepavali. I have lots of memories associated with this temple. As kids, this was a place where we had lots of fun with cousins during summer vacation, our very favourite play ground.
Hassan, a disctrict in Karnataka, gets its name from the presiding diety, Goddess Hasanamba at Hasanamba temple. The temple premises has the main temple of goddess Hasanamba, Siddeshwara Swamy temple, and few small temples. Recently new temples have been built and the temple attracts lot of devotees due to publicity.  
Hasanamba Temple

The Goddess, Photo Credit Voice of Hassan
Built in 12th century, the main temple of goddess is open to public for a week, once a year during the lunar month of Ashwayuja maas(7th month of Hindu calendar), during Deepavali. While rest other temples in the premises are open throughout the year. The temple is opened on the first Thursday of the Ashwayuja month and closed on the next day of Deepavali. On Deepavali night, a grand procession moves through the main streets of the city and ends early morning at the temple. On the last day, whole of the jewellery offered to the goddess are wrapped in a cloth and a procession moves through the Raj Beedhi(main street) before the jewellery is handed over to district treasury office. Special worship is performed and the door is closed to be opened for the next year. 

Siddeshwara Swamy

Veerabhadra Swamy Temple

A recent temple of 101 Shiva Linga
Outside the temple premises is a big Peepal tree, where people worship throughout the year. This years special attraction was the sand model of Ganesha.
Photo credit Voice of Hassan
There are lot of stories and miracles associated with the temple.
Its said that, the Nandaa Deepa (a ghee lit lamp), burns through out the year, with the ghee never depleting. The anna naivedya(rice offering) offered at the time of closing the door stays warm and unspoiled when the door is open again, a year later. The bale kandu(banana stem) and flowers offered to the goddess remains fresh through out the year.
Years back five robbers tried to rob the jewels of the devi, were turned into stones, you can find these stones at Kallappana gudi.

Kallappana Gudi
There is another story of a lady, who visited the temple on the closing day of the temple and fell asleep in the temple. She wake up in the morning to find herself closed in the temple. She prey to goddess to take her out of the temple. Goddess, turn her into a frog and ask her to go out of a small hole at the back of the temple and turn back to human. Goddess ask her not to let anybody know about the miracle, and she would turn into a stone if she did so. Family members insist her to tell where she spent the whole night. With no other option, she tell about the way she was taken out by the goddess. Non of the family members believe her and ask her to leave the house. The lady come and sit in the temple and turn into a stone. Its said that the stone moves a paddy length every year and once the stone reaches the goddess, the earth comes to an end. The premisses has a well, its said that a ring dropped in this well reaches Devigere(a pond few meters away from the temple) a year after.
A visit to this temple is a must if you are planning a trip to Hassan during Deepavali.

PS: Thanks to Voice of Hassan, for lending their exclusive photographs to be used on my blog.