18 April: World Heritage Day ๐ŸŒŽ – Forts of South India

Celebrated on 18 April, it started off as โ€œInternational Day for Monuments and Sitesโ€ and after approval from UNESCO in 1983, it was made popular as World Heritage Day. 2021 World Heritage Day theme is “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures” This would be the apt title for our Indian heritage – it’s complex! The history text…

Tourist in my city ๐Ÿ‘’

I never imagined I will call Bangalore as my city. Kochi has always been my city simply because it is where my home is – a house of my own. Hubs definition of home is different; he plays to the gallery. He was asked once in our family WhatsApp group by my cousins on his…

The perfect muse to (or not) travel ๐Ÿงš

I stumble into books; this one was an accidental discovery in an in-flight magazine; on their list of the five best books on travel and it was the first one the list. I remember watching Alain De Botton on YouTube once and I was very curious on what he has to say on travel. I…

Hampi Chronicles: Last glance ๐ŸŒ…

It was close to 5:00 pm by the time we finished with the sights at the Vitthala temple complex. There were buggy rides ferrying people from the Vitthala temple to the car park, driving along the length of the 1 km long bazaar or Chariot street. People were standing in queue waiting for the rides,…

Hampi chronicles: Bazaar and beyond ๐Ÿž

The picture below helps to get an idea about the once thriving markets of Vijayanagar, which must have been glorious so as to be recorded by travellers. R K Narayan paints the picture beautifully for us in his book The Emerald Route ” One can let one’s imagination roam over the old bazaar street in…

Hampi chronicles: Hemakuta Hill – the Granite abode of Gods ๐ŸŒ…

We are on a trail covering the sacred centre of Vijayanagar and after starting with the Virupaksha temple ๐Ÿ‘‰Hampi chronicles: Charmed by the colonettes at Virupaksha temple ๐Ÿ›•, the next destination is the Hemakuta hill situated right next to and above the Virupaksha temple complex. The entrance to the Hemakuta hill is a majestic quadrilateral…

Hampi chronicles: The curse that saved a temple โš”๏ธ

There are many stories leading to the origins of the Vijayanagar empire, too many in fact; but they all have some converging points. A broad outline of these narratives is aptly outlined by Srinivas Reddy in his book Raya stating ” It is a tale of two brothers, a sacred geography and one legendary sage.”…

Jain dedication in Badami ๐Ÿ™

The fourth cave temple in Badami is a Jain temple and this was a total surprise. I know very little about the Jain religion. It’s my ignorance, but Karnataka has a rich history with respect to the Jain religion; Sravanabelagola in Karnataka is one of the most important centres of Jain religion being the home…

Stone compositions in Badami ๐Ÿ‘‘

Cave 3 in Badami is the largest and the most elaborate among the four cave temples. An inscription on the wall of the cave details that the cave was created under the auspicious of the king’s (Kirttivarman I) brother Mangalesha Chalukya in 578 CE. The cave is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the sculptures and…

Vishnu avatars in Badami ๐Ÿ›•

The caves 2 & 3 in Badami are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The pattern of the caves are the same as cave 1 – outer verandah, pillared hall and inner sanctuary. Cave 2 first. Boar is the symbol of the Chalukyas and here were are presented with a sculpture depicting the Varaha (Boar) the third…

Shiva stories from Badami ๐Ÿ”ฑ

Cave 1 in Badami is dedicated to Lord Shiva; it consists of a an open verandah, a pillared hall and an inner sanctuary. Our tour of Cave 1 in Badami began with the above spectacular sculpture of Shiva, the Lord of dance, in a cosmic dance pose. Shiva here is depicted with 18 arms, nine…

Badami: Stories sculpted in stone ๐Ÿ‘‘

Badami (formerly Vatapi) was the capital of the Chalukyas who ruled the land between the 6th -8th century CE. The major monuments of interest in Badami are the 4 cave temples with their beautiful sculptures dating back to those periods. The lake in the middle called the Agastya lake divides the area into the South…