October 21, 2014

Bannerghatta National Park

Site Name: Bannerghatta National Park
Site Type: Wild life safari, Zoo, Biological Park
Location:  Bannerghatta, Bangalore, Karnataka state, India
Highlights: An important biological park in entire India
Nearest Railway Station: Bangalore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options including luxurious and budget hotels all over the city
Restaurants: A lot of options across the entire city

Bangalore, officially known as Bengaluru, is the capital city of Karnataka state of India. It is called as the 'Silicon Valley of India' as all IT majors have presence in the city. Bangalore is known for its pleasant climate has a lot of tourist attractions which include parks, gardens, temples, etc. Bannerghatta National Park is one of the most important biological parks in entire India. Let us explore about this site in this article.


If you think Bannerghatta National Park as an ordinary Zoological Park that you found in any other town or city of India, you are wrong. It is much more than that. It is a biological park which consists of a zoological park, wild life safari park, butterfly park, animal rescue centre, aquarium and a snake house. It is indeed a gift for tourists to find such a huge forest very close to a metropolitan city like Bangalore.

For the tourists who would have visited wild life sanctuaries and few zoological parks such as the one in Chennai city, the wild life safari might not look attractive. However, if they visit Bannerghatta National Park once, they would realize that this park is unique. Generally, the other sites offer lion safari or tiger safari. But, this is the only site where you can enjoy multiple safaris such as herbivore safari, beer safari, tiger safari and lion safari.


Some of the animals that are found in the herbivore safari include elephants, various types of deer, boar, porcupine, etc. The bear safari has more than 70 bears. The tiger safari has two parts - white tiger safari and tiger safari. There are about 6 white tigers and more than 30 tigers found in the safari park. The lion safari park has about 30 lions. It is always fun to watch the wild animals in their natural habitat.

The zoo has around 1300 animals that belong to around 78 species. They include mammals, birds, reptiles, crocodiles, etc. Unlike other zoological parks, this zoo is small and it takes very less time to cover the entire park.

The butterfly park is unique. It is a role model for the other national parks in India. I would compare this butterfly park to be as good as the one in Singapore. There are about 40 species of butterflies found here.

For adults as well as kids, the Bannerghatta National Park has a lot of interesting offers. A visit to Bangalore city is incomplete without visiting this park.

Happy travelling.







October 19, 2014

Bangalore Meenakshi Temple

Site Name: Meenakshi Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Bannerghatta Main Road, Hulimavu area, Bangalore, Karnataka state, India
Highlights: An important temple of Bangalore city
Nearest Railway Station: Bangalore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options including luxurious and budget hotels all over the city
Restaurants: A lot of options across the entire city

Bangalore, officially known as Bengaluru, is the capital city of Karnataka state of India. It is called as the 'Silicon Valley of India' as all IT majors have presence in the city. Bangalore is known for its pleasant climate has a lot of tourist attractions which include parks, gardens, temples, etc. Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple which is located at Bannerghatta Main Road in Hulimavu area has become an important temple of the city in the recent past. Let us explore this site in this article.






Temple Layout:

Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple is one of the most popular temples in India. It is located in Madurai city in Tamil Nadu and is very ancient. In memory of that Madurai temple, this temple of Meenakshi Sundareshwarar was built in the recent times by the Tamil community who live in Bangalore city. The temple, which has an elegant four tiered tower, is built as per the temple architecture style followed in Tamil Nadu state.

The temple has two entrances; the main entrance faces the east direction whereas the other one faces the south direction.

The temple which occupies a vast areas has Sundareshwarar (Lord Shiva) in the Shiva Linga form as the main deity. He is found in the main shrine which faces the east direction. Adjacent to his shrine, there is a separate shrine dedicated to the extremely beautiful Meenakshi carrying parrot on his right arm. This shrine faces the south direction. Both the shrines are located on a raised platform with a big pillared mandapa in the front side. The sculptures in the pillars are not so attractive. However, the stucco images found in the tower and the vimanas are colorful and look beautiful.

Facing the shrine of Sundareshwara, the flag staff, bali petha and Nandi are found. Another Nandi and bali peetha are located facing the Meenakshi shrine.

The wall around the main shrine has Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Lingotbava, Brahma and Vishnu Durga as the niche idols. The wall around the shrine of Meenakshi has Ganesha, Durga and three other Goddesses as the niche idols.

The sub-shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya, Ayyappa, Padmavati (very beautiful idol), Venkateshwara, Gaja Lakshmi, Bhairava, Chandikeshwara, Anjaneya, Surya and Chandra are located in the prakara.

The Navagraha in this temple is unique. All of them are found along with their respective consorts and seated on their respective mounts.

The details of planets and their consorts and mounts are given below.


Surya - Usha and Chaya - seated on a chariot pulled by seven horses and driven by Aruna
Chandra - Rohini - seated on antelope
Mangal (Sevvai) - Shakti - seated on ram
Budha - Ila - seated on eagle
Guru - Tara - seated on elephant
Shukra - Sukirti - seated on horse
Shani - Neela - seated on crow
Rahu - Simhi - seated on dragon
Ketu - Chitralekha - seated on a bird

Happy travelling.



October 11, 2014

Ratanpur

Site Name: Ratanpur
Site Type: Hindu religious town
Location:  25 kms from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh state, India
Highlights: Old temples and fort
Nearest Railway Station: Bilaspur
Nearest Airport: Raipur
How to reach: Well connected by road from Bilaspur
Hotel: Few options in Bilaspur
Restaurants: Very limited options in Bilaspur

Ratanpur is a small town located near Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh state of India. It is a Hindu religious site. It was founded by Ratanraj, the grandson of Kalingaraj in the 11th century CE. It continued to be the capital city for various kingdoms till 18th century CE. Let us explore the important tourist sites in this little known town.


Legend:

As per the legend, Kapardidev, the husband of Ravana's sister Surpanakha ruled Ratanpur. He kidnapped Parvati and killed by Lord Shiva. Surpanakha wept so much that her tears formed a pond called Kajal Talab.

It is believed that Ratanpur was the birth place of Kausalya, mother of Lord Ram.

As Sati sacrificed herself in the yagna as she was unable to bear the insult towards her husband Shiva by her father Daksha, Lord Shiva got very angry. He carried the corpse of Sati and started performing Rudra Tandava. To save the universe, Lord Vishnu cut down Sati's corpse into pieces. The sites where the parts of Sati's body fell became Shakti Peeths. It is believed that the shoulder of Sati fell in Ratanpur and hence it is considered to be a Shakti Peeth.

When the Pandavas was performing the Ashwamedha yagna, the prince Tamradhwaj, the son of the King Mordhwaj who was ruling Ratanpur defeated the great warrior Arjuna and stopped the holy yagna horse.

Bhairavnath Temple:

At the entrance of Ratanpur, the Bhairavnath temple with the 9 feet tall Bhairava idol is located.

Lakshmi Temple:

Near Bhairavnath temple, on top of a small hill which can be reached by climbing around 150 steps, a small temple of the Goddess Lakshmi is located.

Maha Maya Temple:

Maha Maya Temple is the most visited temple in Ratanpur. It is the Shakti Peeth temple where the shoulder of the Goddess Sati fell. This temple was built in the 11th century CE during the reign of Ratandev.

Kantideval Temple:

Near Maha Maya temple, the 300 years old Maratha's Kantideval temple of architectural importance is situated.

Ratanpur Fort:

Ratanpur fort is in dilapidated state. There are two small temples dedicated to Jagannath and Vishnu apart from few sculptures are situated inside the fort.

Bhuddeshwara Temple:

Bhuddeshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva called as Bhuddeshwara. It is located at the foothills.

Ram Panchayat Temple:

Atop the hill where Bhuddeshwara temple is situated, the Ram Panchayat temple where all the four brothers Ram, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughna are worshiped is located. 

Ratneshwar Temple:

Ratneshwar (Shiva) Temple is supposed to be the main temple of Ratanpur. The town is named after the king who found it and also the same king built this temple and hence it is also named after him. It unfortunately remains unknown even to the locals of the town. It is situated in a remote location with a big tank in the front side and surrounded by fields in all sides.

Suryeshwar Temple:

Suryeshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and as Surya worshiped the deity he is called as Suryeshwar.

Happy travelling.