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Monday, March 25, 2013

Hampi Tour - Krishna Temple

this was the third and final day of the Hampi Tour. After morning breakfast we set off to see the temples and ruins around Hampi. Our first stop was at the Krishna Temple.This temple was built by the king (Krishnadevaraya) in 1513 AD to celebrate the conquest of the eastern kingdom of Udayagiri or Utkala (in the present day Orissa state). The main idol installed in the temple was the figure of Balakrishna (Lord Krishna as infant). This idol is now displayed in the state museum at Chennai. A huge slab installed inside the courtyard of the temple states the story of this temple and the conquest of Ulkala.

Image on the gateway to the temple

This is one of the must see sites in Hampi.The carvings are especially spectacular with the Yalis (the mythical lion) on the pillars and the entrances to the temple hall flanged with impressive carvings of elephant balustrades. Many small shrines and pillared halls adorn the campus. The temple kitchen is located at the south east of the main shrine. The main tower at the east is an impressive sight with numerous carvings on it (now the tower is under restoration work). You can see the carvings of the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu in this temple.
Krishna Bazaar & Pushkarani ( Lake).

Entrance Tower to Temple
Sculpture of Lady in rapturous pose
Maha Mandapam ( Pillared Hall) - See the Yaalis on the pillars & elephants at the entrance steps
Frontal view of the Maha Mantapam
Pillared corridor around the temple
More sculptures
Sculptures on Vimanam of temple tower
Stone Inscriptions

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Badami Cave Temples

We visited Badami cave temples during the month of September 2012. We were part of a large group of tourists who were on a 3 day trip to Hospet & surrounding areas to see the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire  as well to visit the magnificent temples at Hampi, Pattadakkal & Badami. We visited Badami on the 2nd day. It was late evening when we reached Badami & the sky was over cast & there was light rain when we reached. Soon the light rain turned into a down pour and we had to take refuge in one of the cave temples. Finally the rain subsided and we took a quick tour of the temples in fading light. The pictures are therefore not as good as I would have liked them to be:
The Badami cave temples are composed of four caves, all carved out of the soft Badami sandstone on a hill cliff in the late 6th to 7th centuries. The planning of four caves is simple. The entrance is a verandah (mukha mandapa) with stone columns and brackets, a distinctive feature of these caves, leading to a columned  main hall (also maha mandapa) and then to the small square shrine or garbha graha cut deep into the cave. The temple caves represent different religious sects. Among them, two (cave 2 and 3) are dedicated to god Vishnu , one ( cave 1) to God Shiva & one (cave 4) to Mahavira
Steps Leading upto the Badami Cave Temples - And the massive Temple Tank below

Waterfalls from the nearby hills
The rock cut caves

Statue of Shiva carved on the rock - Below another Shiva statue in cosmic pose with 16 hands

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ooty - Big Shop

Went to Big Shop Ootacamund (Ooty for short) couple of weeks ago to pick up some knobs,handles & knockers for the doors & cupboards in our new house. The Big Shop is very famous in Ooty for their wide and varied collection of antiques. Some of the spectacular & amazing  range of items on display are shown below. The weather in Ooty was glorious and we walked around the Commercial Street for long. We bought an assortment of home made chocolates - a confectionery for which Ooty is equally famous. We had a nice sumptuous & satisfactory lunch after which we headed back to Coimbatore.
Clock Tower en route to the Big Shop
An Elephant, a clock & a date calendar 
Buddhas in  White Metal & blue ornamentation
Range of Ganesha Bronzes

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Misty Morning at Boise

Towards the end of October 2012 at Boise we looked outside the window & found mist. Perhaps this was a sign of winter setting in. The temperature was hovering around 45-50 degree F during daytime and less than 30 F at night. Here are some pics captured that misty morning:


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Idaho Historical Museum - Boise

The museum is conveniently located in the campus of the Julia Davis Park inn downtown Boise. Here is a great place where you can experience Idaho's rich history - discover the state's remarkable people, places, and events. Travel the Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail to find the explorer’s secret cache, climb aboard and compare a variety of historic saddles, admire the artistry of Native American basketry, and imagine taking a drink at a frontier saloon. The Story of Idaho takes visitors through the times of Idaho's first residents, missionaries, and fur traders. See how the 1860s gold rush created Idaho Territory, and how pioneer settlement, logging, and farming changed the state’s landscape forever. The entrance fee is $.5.0 for adults & $.4.0 for Senior Citizens. ( Gee I saved one dollar for my ticket :) ). The museum is closed on all Mondays as is the norm world over. The museum has a small store that sells hundreds of unique items about Idaho and history to choose from including books, jewelry, basketry, pottery, purses, folk toys, and more.
Please enjoy these images from the Museum:
Located in the sprawling campus of the Julia Davis Park
The magnificent lighted dome at the entrance
A typical cabin with bare essentials
Starting point of the Museum Tour
A riding saddle on display
A rifle used for hunting and self protection
Lumbermens saw to cut logs
A horse plough
Cowboy Tools - Above & below
Pics of The Sherwood Store
Ropes,lassos & lariats
Riding Jeans with leather outers & moccasins
More Riding Saddles - above & below
Man & his dog paddling in their canoe
Bellow to send compressed air to fuel the furnace
Workshop to make cart wheels
A printing press
Dinner is set
Room heater with chairs around it
A Chinese dispensary- above & below
Chinese Prayer place - above & below

An ancient cooking range as existed 150 years ago
A magnificent bar in mahogany
A cowboy in full riding gear
Immigrant Americans signing peace treaty with Native American Chief