Tuesday, October 28, 2014


 The royal family of Chalukya had some illustrious kings. King Pulikesi defeated the mighty army of the emperor Harsha Vardhan in 606 A.D. Later kings built beautiful temples and encouraged the arts. The Chalukya kings were  coronated in Pattadakal.
 Pattadakal, a world heritage site, is now a small village. The 7th century temples here are in ruins, but beautiful.

 Some temples are built in the Nagara style, and some are in the Chalukya style.
 The beauty of the 1500 year old temples takes your breath away. The villagerssell fresh coconut water and roasted peanuts outside the periphery ofthe World Heritage Site.
The pleasing ABCWednesday was pioneered by Mrs.Nesbitt, and presently managed by Roger and his team. My thanks to all of them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nagabana- the Garden of Serpents

 All along the Western Ghats, there are Nagabanas, or reserved forest for snakes.The forest there is kept in pristine conditions.
 The Nagabana at Apsarakonda has a beautiful waterfall which makes a delightful pool.
 Apsaras, the beautiful heavenly maidens used to bathe here, according to the locals!
 There are some natural caves on the hill adjoining the falls, and a natural garden.
 When you come down the rough hewn steps, you are in a golden beach. And if you are lucky, you might catch sight of a snake as we did. This was a sea snake thrown ashore by the waves.
The Nagabanas which dot the hills of the Western Ghats are important for the ecology of the region since they conserve the endangered native flora. People treat the snakes with great respect there.
My thanks to Mrs.Nesbitt who started ABCWednesday, and Roger and his team.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Magical Mirjan Fort

It was just by chance that we went to see Mirjan Fort near Kumta, last week. The monsoons were just over, and the walls of the fort were covered with moss.There were swathes of wildflowers inside the fort. The place was sheer magic.
 Built in the 15th century, Mirjan Fort served as the headquarters of the shrewed and brave queen, Channabhairadevi. She exported pepper, cardamom,ginger and sandalwood to Europe from the seaport at Mirjan. She made a canny deal with the Portuguese, who gave her the title Raina da Pimenta,or 'Pepper Queen'
 The fort is strong and built with red laterite stones. There is a durbar hall and a market place inside the fort.
 There are three deep wells inside the fort, which are now covered. These wells were connected to the moat surrounding the fort.
 After the Pepper Queen's death, the fort passed into the hands of different chieftains.
Sharief-ul-Mulk, the governor of Goa renovated the fort in 1670.
 There is an amazing secret passage to help people escape if things became too difficult!
Mirjan Fort is near the famous temple town of  Gokarna on the west coast of India.
I'll be linking this post to ABCWednesday started by Mrs.Nesbitt, and meticulously managed by Roger and his team.