Latest India Travel Guide: The Essential Handbook


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Latest India Travel Guide: The Essential Handbook

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Introduction
  3. 3. CONTENTS Introduction 17 CHITRADURGA 24 HAMPI FORT 18 Introduction 19 The Fort 23 25 8 Impressions Introduction INTRODUCTION 26 9 VittalaTemple 29 BANGALORE10 Royal Enclosure & Introduction Queen’s Bath 30 11 Bangalore Palace Hazara Ram Temple 13 Vidhana Soudha & Zenana Enclosure 31 14 Ulsoor Lake16 Badavilinga, Lakshmi Narasimha, Impressions & Kadalekalu Ganesha 32 Virupaksha Temple 34 Impressions 4
  4. 4. 35 BADAMIIntroduction 56 MANGALORE 36 Introduction 57 Introduction37 Aihole 58 Gokarnateshwara Temple40 Pattadakal42 Badami Caves 59 Milagres Church45 Kudalasangama 48 GOKARNA 60 Dr. Shivaram Karnath Biological Park47 49 Introduction Impressions 61 Ulal Beach 50 Jog Falls 63 Impressions 51 Gokarna Beaches 52 Murudeshwar Temple 55 Impressions 5
  5. 5. 73 DHARMASTHALAIntroduction 74 Introduction 75 RUDSET Institute64 BELUR 81 MADIKERI 76 Sri Dharmastala Manjunatheshwara Yoga & Nature Cure Hospital 77 65 Introduction Manjusha Museum & 82 Introduction66 86 Car Museum Chennakashava 78 Abi Falls 87 Statue of Bhagwan Temple69 Bahubali Raja Seat Hoysaleshwara Temple 79 Sri Manjunatha Swamy 88 Dubare Elephant 72 Temple Camp Impressions 80 Impressions 89 Namdroling Monastery 91 Impressions 6
  6. 6. 92 MYSOREIntroduction93 Introduction94 Shravanabelagola98 Mysore Palace 10399 Mysore Zoo100 Chamundi Hills ABOUT THE 102 Impressions AUTHORS 110 Impressions 7
  7. 7. Karnataka is a state located in southwest India neighboring of Monuments in Pattadakal in Bagalkot district are situated IntroductionKerala and Tamil Nadu to the South, Andhra Pradesh to the East, Maharashtra to the North and the beach paradise Goa comfortably one day drive from each other. Once in Pattada- kal, the cradle of ancient Hindu temple architecture in Aihole to the West. It ranges from the middle of the Deccau Plateau and a “monkey paradise” around Badami caves are definitely to the west coast, covering 5.83% of the total geographical worth the visit. The superb view from the stone-cave tem-area of India. There are pleasantly cool highlands in Karna- ples never stops fascinating people. taka, such as Bangalore and Mysore where people come to spend the summer. The drive way up west of Karnataka is splendidly scenic. Go- karna is a beach village in Uttra Kannada district, where it is Karnataka was known as the Kingdom of Mysore ruled by on the corner of Northwest Karnataka. the Wodeyar family at a certain era of history. It became the Princely State of Mysore under control of the British Raj, in Passing by a huge statue of god Shiva on the way down to 1799, after the Anglo-Mysore Wars, which were fought over Mangalore, a principal port city located in the southwestern the last three decades of the 18th century. The Mysore kings tip of Karnataka, Dharmasthala shows up with its sacred as-were so eminent as to firmly establish modern and urban- pects in Dakshina district. It is well-known as a temple vil-ized administrative policies and educational systems, thus lage where many devotees gather up from different districts. building up the fundamentals of Karnataka. After India gained independence, the Princely state of Mysore became Beyond green mountains with the wonderful natural view of a state of Mysore whose boundaries were modified by the ravines, the river Kaveri flows generally south and east. In States Reorganizations Act of 1956, a major reform of the the east of Kodagu district, a town - Bylakuppe - functions as boundaries of India’s states along linguistic lines. In 1973, a Tibetan refugee settlement. Belur and Halebeedu are one the state was renamed to Karnataka. of the major tourist destinations in Karnataka on the out- skirts of the Hassan district. Starting from Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka is the best way to travel around as it has a good transportation net- On the Mangalore-Bangalore National Highway 48, where work. Riding the bumpy roads further north, the scenery the state highway leading to Mysore intersects, there is a gets hilly, forts and small villages grow out of the landscape. famous Jain pilgrimage center, Shravanabelagola. Before Chitradurga Fort, located on the surface of rocky hills, is a reaching Bangalore, it is highly recommended to visit the must-see in this administrative district. Moving up a north, most famous places of natural beauty and historic interest in there are the only two UNESCO Sites in Karnataka. Group of Mysore. The trip is over in this old city where the prosperity 8UNESCO Monuments at Hampi in Bellary district and Group of Karnataka took its origin.
  8. 8. Introduction Map: KSTDC Bangalore, an anglicized version of the town´s name in Kannada Bengaluru, is the capital of the Karnataka state. With 5,840,000 people it is tinct dry and wet seasons and an average tem- perature of 18C. Combined with the relatively high elevation, one can visit Bangalore any time India´s third most populous city. Bangalore is lo- of the year and enjoy the pleasant climate. Yet, it cated on the Deccau Plateau at is advisable to avoid the monsoon season, which an average height of 3,018ft drops from July to September, with regular rain- (920m) above sea level, which falls usually in the evenings. In a sad contrast to is quite peculiar. The city its refreshing climate, the city is nowadays going is located in the very rather the polluted path to heat and dust. south-eastern part of Karnataka close From the historical perspective, all major ruling to neighbouring dynasties in Karnataka left their imprint also in Tamil Nadu. Bangalore starting with the Western Ganga Dy- nasty, the Cholas, the Hoysalas up to the Vijay- Bangalore, nicknamed anagar Empire when the modern day Bangalore the Silicon Valley of In- was found in the 16th century. After 1799 Ban dia, is a major economic and galore was incorporated into the British Indian cultural hub and the fastest growing Empire and was administered by the rulers of metropolis in India. It is home to many Mysore Kingdom. With several intervals, the of the most well-recognized colleges and main residency of the Mysore State was from research institutes in India. Numerous 1867 until 1947 continually in Bangalore. public sector heavy industries, software companies, aerospace, telecommunica- The older parts of Bangalore - though a bit crowd- tions, and defense organizations are lo- ed - are livable, especially, if one seeks a regional cated here. Beside this, it is home to over cultural flavor. On the whole, the modern town 10,000 dollar millionaires and about 60,000 su- areas like Jayanagar, Koramangala, Sadashivana- per-rich people. gar and Indiranagar are cosmopolitan. The lat- est layouts are beginning to show a sprinkling of 10 Throughout the year the city is blessed with salu- people from several countries, mainly due to the brious climate promoting good health. Bangalore IT boom. experiences Tropical Savanna climate with dis-
  9. 9. Bangalore Palace consists of granite seats that are covered with a fluorescent blue ceramic tiles. A decorated staircase leads toward the A glance of a Bangalore palace transfers you over sev- Durbar Hall, where the kings used to address the assembly. eral seas to the old continent to England where a replica of The palace has gothic windows made from a stained glass. the Bangalore palace is standing (…) or is it the other way Yellow color is used mostly for the sofa set. round? In fact, the palace in Bangalore is the one “play-ing the ape” here, while being a smaller replica of its origi- Nowadays, sprawling grounds surrounding the palace are nal in Windsor. Though not that spectacular in its param- used for holding public events including music festivals. eters and lacking the snowy white facade of its Windsor Some of the well known music bands: rock stars and heavy sibling, Bangalore palace can still attract visitors and bring-Hana, Czech Republic metal legends like Sting, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Deep Pur-into life the almost 150 years old British imperial history. ple, and Bryan Adams have concerted here.Bangalore palace, one of the many British footprints left be-hind in India. The palace was built by Rev. Garrett, who was the principle of Bangalore central high school at that time. The style of Bangalore Palace is very different than others.The construction of the palace started in 1862 and was com- Its British style makes it more extraordinary. In Taiwan, ourpleted in 1944. In 1886, it was purchased by the maharaja of president castle and some department buildings are in Japa-Mysore, Chamaraja Wodeyar. The palace has recently under- nese style. It’s one kind of tracks that refers to a long historygone a renovation. - Rita, Taiwan of colonization.The palace has an amazing interior décor, the ground floor 11
  10. 10. Vidhana Soudha Soudha has four floors above and one floor below ground level and sprawls across an To be honest, it is a mistake to waste such area of 700 by 350ft.building on a parliament! I mean yes, it isimportant and so, but you cannot just for- Noteworthy is that it is the largest legisla-bid people from enjoying such beauty. It is tive building in India. Its eastern face has literally a forbidden fruit, and I will not be a porch with 12 granite columns 40ft tall. surprised if someday I read about someone Leading to the foyer is a flight of stairs with who broke into the place just for the sake 45 steps more than 200ft wide. The cen-of enjoying the view from a closer point. It tral dome, 60ft in diameter, is crowned by is surprising to know that it is only about a likeness of the Indian national emblem.60 years old! My first impression was thatit is one of those 17th century palaces. Even The cost of the construction at those years though it is surrounded with armed guards, was just about 17.5 million Rs. But annual the Vidhana Soudha is tempting you to en- maintenance is what matters now as they ter, and I was not really afraid to do so un- cost more than 20 million Rs. and that in-til I reached the check point… conclusion? cludes repairs, paintings, and other mis-I returned empty handed, with a lot of dis- cellaneous expenses.appointment of not getting closer to that- Ahmed, Bahrainwonder. Never miss the chance to be around the The Vidhana Soudha, built in the 1950s, is building on Sunday nights and on public the seat of the state legislature of Karna- holiday’s evenings, as the entire building taka. It is an imposing building, construct- is lit up and turned into a shining jewel.ed in a Neo-Dravidian style. The Vidhana 13
  11. 11. Ulsoor Lake with one belonging to the Madras Engineer- ing Group center of the army. Consequent-So as every water surface breaks and pleas- ly, many studies were made on the lake antly livens up the otherwise concrete sea, that confirmed high levels of phosphate, so does the Ulsoor Lake, one of the biggest nitrogen, chlorophyll and blue green Algae. and oldest city lakes in Bangalore. As Ulsoor This results in a relatively high level of tox-Lake faces severe environmental problems, icities in the lake. a look into its calm waters mirroring sur-rounding skylines is definitely a better op- While walking through the garden sur-tion to any kind of water pleasures. Dotted rounding the lake, a marble statue of with small green islands resembling floating Swami Vivekananda gives the place a lotuses you can switch on your imagination special spirit. Inscriptions on the statue´s and look for the lotus Goddess Lakshmi that- Hana, Czech Republic pedestal contain life lessons as well as must be residing there. positive proverbs full of motivation and Ulsoor Lake, also called Halasuru Lake inspiration. Engraved on the pedestal by the natives, is one of the biggest (1.5 were quotes by Vivekananda himself km2) lakes in Bangalore. The lake de- that give a notorious push toward social rives its name from the place where it is development of the area. situated and is fed by three main drains 14
  12. 12. find many brand named shops and to go is MG Road, where you can If you enjo y shopping the best place where high buildings offering res- lly UB City Mall consisting of four a good place for night time, especia end retail stores, a five star Impressions it is also - cafes besides offices, banks, high taurants, food courts, pubs, health clubs and entertainment places as they upset by the closing time of these hotel and serv iced apartments. You might get private house parties. ple usually continue their fun at all get shot at 11.30 p.m. so the young peo will show you one of the best have to find the right people who Bangalore is a city of many faces; you just - Erika, Slovakia parts of it! Bangalore is one of the most important and flourishin g centers in India. This was my very first image of Ban business and IT However, things on the ground are very different from galore back home. There is no subway, and the road is never flat. The my imaginations. infra catch up with such a fast-growing city. It makes peop structure cannot time in “big traffic jams” weaving their way throu le waste lots ofcows. gh the slow-movingBesides, Bangalore is a city lacking its own color;It reminds us that when people pursue high growth it’s very pity.should keep our treasure - culture. of economy weThere’s one more thing making me disappointed;well-behaved city where you cannot have fun afterBangalore is a 9F., No.290, Sec. 4, 12 o’clock. Ihope the rule will be abolished.- Ken, Japan -- Zhongxiao E. Rd., Bangalore has a lot of fascinations not only for short - stay tourists but Da-an District,also people expecting a long stay. As it is very crowded and the roads are always busy, it is the best way to take an auto - rickshaw, which is a motor vehicle for hire to thread through narrow paths. It might be Taipei City 10694, difficult to negotiate with the drivers ; however, it is fun and TAIWAN (R.O.C.) 16exciting to experience the ride seeing how the society operates and howthe locals live.Chisato from Japan.
  14. 14. Map: KSTDCIntroduction Chitradurga Fort, a place where solitude can be reached, a symbol of resistance and multicultural integrity. When entering this site, your eyes see immediately many mar- vels that give birth to a story blowing your mind away. While climbing the resistant mountain, trying to reach up to the skies, a feeling of strength and solidity emerges with many other emotions of glory and fascination dragged up by that intense blowing of air. In addition to its purity, it gives the feeling of symmetrical balance. This engages a re- - Ayoub, Morocco laxed state of mind and builds up strong will. Chitradurga Fort, 240km from Bangalore, is the big- gest fort in Karnataka (32km2). Hidden between the rocks, the fort gives the impression of be- ing one with the mountain; whose grey granite was used for its construction. The fort is built in a slope, and a horizon view from its top is well worth climbing up the serpentines. 18
  15. 15. from the 14th until the 16th century over the lands of present Karnataka) The Chitradurga Fort is one of the most was facing a series of Bahamani attacks. interesting sites in the State of Karnataka. Although the Vijayanagar Empire was It’s has a great blend of natural beauty soon defeated in 1565, the fort con-and architectural excellence. Being there struction continued under local Nay-takes you on a journey back in time to akas tribes` commands for the next 211 where Indian’s leaders were resisting years, and during that period it was ex-fearlessly against repetitive greedy at- tended considerably. The fort was never tacks. Yet, the religious and natural com- conquered, yet, it was lost by treason in ponents cover the fort with a halo of har- 1779 to General Hyder Ali of the Maysur mony and serendipity. That halo can also Kingdom. 20 years later, the British de-be tracked to the yoga practices around feated Hyder Ali´s son Tipu Sultan, tak-the fort. Honestly, even if I didn’t know ing over the fort without any bloodshed how to meditate, it will not be so hard to to make it the strongest line of defence to do that in such an inspiring piece of his-- Ahmed, Bahrain Mysore´s northern border at that time. tory.The history testifies to the visitor´s im- The fort reflects the influence of both its pression, that Chitradurga went through history and natural setting. Muslim arch-lots of destabilizations and survived es decorate the walls of the fort - which many wars. The beginning of the fort’s literally grows out of the site - and whose construction dates back to 1562 when simple geometric signs like semi-circles, the Vijayanagar Empire (which spread conics or triangular shapes are inspired 19
  16. 16. by the surrounding nature. place, all at once I got a huge portion of in-While it was occupied by different inhabit- formation about the history of the fort asants from different backgrounds, the Fort well as the glorious empires ruling Karna-kept its significant religious weight. There taka over centuries, so that I could actuallystill are 18 temples between the forts “process” them properly only in the upcom-walls, with Uchcchangamma temple being ing days. Anyway, the richness of the place´sthe most important. People still come to history was striking to me; it literally leftpray and pay homage to Subramania, the my eyes wide open and aroused my curios-cobra god, and Anjaneya, the monkey god. ity for the rest of the excursion.Once on the top, one can enjoy the gentle breeze while relaxing in the air house, or Chitradurga was a place where I couldobserve Hindus perfecting in a rather con- breathe freely. After a little unease lean-tortionist manner their yoga skills. ing on me since we had left Bangalore, it was like a dose of fresh air to me that is blowing at vast speed on its very top. Fur-I came to India only a couple of days be- thermore, once we had walked throughfore that I spent together with others in the the maze of the fort walls, climbed thebustling city of Bangalore. As I was going winding path and crossed the impres-through a rather intensive cultural shock sive square style open space with templesat that time, our first stop-off at the Chi- and aged trees, I was entirely fascinatedtradurga Fort after long hours spent on the by the endless view from the top into thebus was kind of a rescue for me. lowlands around the Chitradurga hill; the - Hana, Czech Republic one I had only experienced in Russia so far.Chitradurga bewitched me. As our guidehad a very profound knowledge of that 21
  17. 17. natural barrier, Wall of China. It is like a t, totally different from the Great It is a gigantic ancient for Impressionsa gift given by the gods. ____ Rita, Taiwan__ A strong wind is on a hill covered wit rocks. the past whe Vijayanagars reined ragingof the southern partsh of IndiaInas Hindu dyna n most royal people created naturally air-conditioned rooms on top of the hillsty, taking advantage of this wind. The city built in the rugged wasteland by in ruins due to the attacks of Muslims. Many temples seem to merge is now the desolate area, which strangely creates a mysterious and fascinainto aspect. Since it has not achieved the development as a sightseeing ting it is hardly likely to be crowded with tourists. There is also an oppospot and Awes to interact with school children who are full of curiosity. rtunity ome!!! Chisato from Japan I swe ar!The defensive walls are so solid that the cannon ball can make only a H.little hole in the wall. When we walked climbed the fort, we arrived ata place where we could enjoy the strong breeze which gives a good view Kupecká 3,of Chitradurga district from the hill. Since we were in a rural part ofIndia and the kids who were visiting the place went crazy and started 949 01 Nitra, interacting with us, we could feel like celebrities for a short moment Slovakiawhich was a rare and unexpected experience for me. 23-Ken, Japan -
  18. 18. 24
  19. 19. Map: KSTDCIntroduction Hampi is Vijayanagar`s architectural masterpiece. It holds a big spiritual value in the hearts of Hindus. Hampi can dress up in different dresses. Its generous beauty, ev- ery part of Hampi`s land participates in that continu- ously variable phase changing. Starting from Vitthala temple, symbol of a typical victory of good versus evil, one can experience a fabulous “review” on this place, which is hardly known to people. I like to see ruins. They -Ayoub, Morocco give me such an immense feeling of the power of time. Once upon a time, Hampi was the former capital of the once mighty Vijayanagar Kingdom (1336-1565). Today it profits mainly from its grandiose history. Fortunately, the monuments are rather well preserved, so that one can clearly read the history written on the temples´ walls. To see Vijayanagar`s architectural brilliance, one should not miss this small village, which by its busy market streets has a charm of its own. In a relatively small area in the vicinity of the Tungabhadra River, one can enjoy Vijayana- gar monuments in its abundance. Even though they can be comfortably visited on one day, these forgotten ruins are definitely worth a longer stay; a microscopic obser- vation would grasp every admirable detail. Hampi is one of the two UNIESCO Heritage Sites in Karnataka. It is an important must visit site not only for foreign travelers; but to all Indian citizens, especially Karnataka residents. Hampi is situated in the vicinity of the now regional cen- tre of Hospet (13km). 25
  20. 20. VittalaTemple chronicle: the Ramayana story. Built under the first Vijay- anagar dynasty (the Sangam dynasty - ruling from 1336 to Passing through the entrance to Vitthala temple, a building 1486), the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is said that shaped like a float catches visitor’s attention with its unique- in his incarnation as Prince Rama, together with the Monkey ness. The inside of a tower-shaped gate and the ceiling of the King Hanuman, defeated on these grounds the demon king building, are fully decorated with many types of sculptures. It also impressive to see a building with fifty six pillars “musicstones” that resound with different tunes throughout a hall of Within the temple complex one can find such functional the building once they are tapped. There are many functional buildings as a wedding temple, cooking hall, prayer hall or a rooms in the temple such as a cooking room, a praying room, congregation hall. Once in the congregation hall, look for the and a wedding room that generates some feeling about the- Chisato, Japan granite pillars which, each can be slightly tapped to produce lifestyle of royal people in the past. different gentle musical beats.The Vitthala Temple is one of the earliest monuments of the Vijayanagar Empire. It is widely known for a related Hindu 26
  21. 21. Royal Enclosure & Queen’s BathUnfortunately, the queen’s private bath squared shaped, with declining inwardsdoesn’t have many details, but the con- stairs where his musicians gatheredcept behind it might make you compare around him to keep him the current lives of the ruling fami- The second comes a little distance ahead,lies are and how the ancient “rulers” where you find an ancient hundred me-- Ahmed, Bahrainlived their lives. ters long swimming pool –now dry- dag into a hill. It’s amazing that the enter-On the way from Vitthala temple to entertainment of the modern world. tainment of the kings could become thethe King`s Palace is placed the extrava- - Ahmed, Bahraingant Queen´s bath. The mortar bath dates back to the golden era of king A short walk from the Queen´s bath Krishnadevaraya, ruling from 1509 till takes you to the palace of King Krish-1529. Once inside the bath, watch for nadevaraya. The King´s residence is both Hindu and Muslim architectural situated within the Royal Enclosure features used to decorate it, especially that once formed the very centre of the throughout the passages surround- ancient capital Vijayanagara. The enclo-ing the bath, where architectures filled sure occupies an area of 59,000m2 and each space on the ceiling with a differ- within its premises are more than forty ent unique design. three buildings, out of which are the King´s Audience Hall, the Public Bath, If the queen had her private bath, her the Stepped tank (Pushkarani) and Ma-king has his own open bath. This site is hanavami Dibba the most important divided into two basic parts: the first is a ones. 29
  22. 22. Hazara Ram Temple & Zenana EnclosureMainly made of polished and carved basalt the Hazara Rama reception hall for the king and his military commanders I felttemple turned out to be resisting to the changing climates blessed to be standing on the floor of the place where influentialthroughout the centuries. It majestically reveals many so- decisions were discussed. It’s visibly one of the most beautifulphisticated and royal incarnations of Lord Vishnu which only structures that gather Indian and Islamic architecture whichshows how Hindus from the 15th century were proud of their were left undamaged during the siege of the ruined city. In areligion. The minute I got in, I was blown away when I per- later stage, passing by the 11 interconnected giant chambersceived the whole story of the area was being told through in the Elephant Stable shows the significant position that these– Hadi, Moroccothe narrative sequences carried out on the temple walls. friendly animals use to occupy and still. The symmetry of these edifices and the way they’re built up and preserved made me re-Between the residential and ceremonial complex is Hazara ing one of the most resistant buildings of the ruined city gives it alize how important the Islamic influence over Hampi was. Be-Ram Temple, dating back to the 15th century. The temple is a unique holiness; it had me wanting to bow to the greatness ofdedicated to Lord Vishnu’s incarnation of Prince Rama as Ra- the royal ruler back then.mayana portraits are found outlining the temples shrine walls. – Hadi, MoroccoThe sanctum, vestibule and pillared dance hall are the main constituent parts of this temple, since it is built in Dravida Vi- Visitors to Zenana Enclosure are most attracted by the Lotus mana style. Mahal (also called the Chitrangini Mahal). This two storied Hindu-Islamic building stays cool even in the hottest sum-I instantly said there’s a unique Muslim touch in Lotus Mahal. mers, and it is said to be there as a queens’ rest house, who had The Indo-Islamic way of erecting this location gave me a sensa- their residence within the enclosure. Not less popular is the tion of pureness and perfection, and once I knew it served as a nearby Elephant Stable, where royal elephants used to be kept.
  23. 23. Badavilinga, Lakshmi Narasimha, & Kadalekalu GaneshaThe biggest of all lingas in Hampi, the statue, thus we can only presume that non-human form of Shiva, is the Badavil- Vishnu´s consort Lakshmi used to sit on inga (12ft). Made of a monolithic black Narasimha’s left lap.stone, this linga stays always in water as a canal passes through the temple. Less than a kilometer away from Ba- davilinga, the monolithic 15th century Right next to the Badavilinga is to be Kadalekalu Ganesha is nicely located at found a monolith of Lord Vishnu in his the edge of the Hemakuta hillock. The fourth incarnation as Lakshmi Nara- seated Ganesha sculpture is four armed, simha. With 22ft of height, this is con- bearing in each hand a tusk, goad, noose sidered to be the highest idol in Hampi, and a bowl of sweetmeats. From the pa-dating back to the era of Krishnadeva- vilion in front of the sanctum you can raya. Even though there is no temple see the Hampi bazaar, which can make today, there must have been one at for a good break before entering the some point of history. The absence of a Virupaksha Temple situated at the end roof has inflicted many damages on the of the main street. 31
  24. 24. Virupaksha Temple Virupaksha Temple dating back to the Hoysala period. Visi- tors can enter the temple from the eastern, southern as well I was surprised at the number of monkeys on our way to Viru- as northern side. This place composes of a middle hall (Na-paksha Temple. There were more than 30 monkeys, but un- varanga) and an inner Sanctum (Shukanasi and Garbhagudi). like monkeys in Japan they don’t attack you and steal yourcameras. You can get blessed by the elephant, if you give them The deity of the Virupaksha Temple is Lord Virupaksha. The money, but from my point of view, I don’t feel any holiness from- Ken, Japan mythology has it, that a girl called Pampadevi married Shi-this action, because the elephant might be trained to do so. va, so that their son could destroy the demons here. Shiva As the eleven stories tower is visible from distance, finding remained here in the form of lingam, while Pampadevi´s the way to this Hampi highlight is simple. The main bazaar name can be traced down in the town´s name Pampapathi, street takes you right in front of the 165ft high Bistappaya and thereby Pampakshetra or Hampi. Still to the north of the Tower. It is not known who built this magnificent tower nei- Virupaksha Temple there are two temples waiting for the ther is it known when was it built. Once at the tower you will visitor: one for Pampadevi and the other for Bhuvaneshwari. definitely notice the monkeys that live here in large numbers. A drop to the temple´s dark chamber is necessary; to see an Upon passing through the tower gate, you enter the temple upside down image of a tower, whose shadow created by compound that houses the oldest Hampi temple, which is the light coming through the hole in the eastern wall falls on the Virupaksha temple. There are two towers in the temple the opposite western wall, demonstrating the application of complex with the second one named Raya tower. It honors combined advanced science of optics and architecture. It’s the coronation of king Krishnadevaraya. Walking through worth mentioning that there’s another temple that holds the the Raya tower gate takes visitors into the second compound name of this temple, and it’s located in Pattadakal, which will with Pataleshwara, Muktinarasimha and Suryanarayana be covered later on.Temples. The temple in front of the main tower gate is the 32
  25. 25. There tus Ma unity of is andLoarchitehalurandanand Elephant Stable where the No one coHi uimagine thct the Elephant architecture exists. e at Muslim Stable was used for Impressions uld as it is splendid. Most of the temples keeping the oldest temple in Hampi, still has are in ruins, whereas Virupakshelaephantles,, visitors can feed and give some money a lot of devotees. Inside the temple, temp elephant,-bunosalsototo h. It ismoenjoyable to buy some banant snanotdonlykshmi to getea blessing e uc to a holy elepha me La Hampi is one of the most bazaar, whtich connefesed e nkeysleliving around the gana of the templeedHath i amazing places I te to fe have ever seen. ct th temp with other parts of th many kinds of restaurants and souvenir e ruined city,. hamp As for meals, it is recommended to go stands along both sides of the streets. The primary orange color of is famous a beautiful to the restaura Ma Tr wh e of food. Itforkes about tenviewutof the river and fine nt, ing ngoth aee, de erngeit the rocks with exquisite scriptures make a won-banana trees ta ng the river Tungabhadto get there by wadin ing wiwn a with among derful view. You must see it from different sides. alo min es lk do pa ra Having a far view makes us exclaim in admiration. Chisato from Japan ra heading toward the west. Viewing the interior of temples makes us discover the mystery behind every scripture. If Chitradurga was a “starter”, Hampi on the follow- ____Rita, Taiwan. ing day was a rather filling main course. Hampi has lost nothing from its medieval glamour and bright shine. It is a place, where the touch of wonderful stone engravings decorating the temple walls revives 2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, the history that is following one´s footsteps. Beside this, I found Hampi in stark contrast with the kind of architecture I am familiar with from my European Shinjuku -ku,background. The Hampi architectural pearls are set in remarkable scenery of palm groves and bizarre granite boulders strewn all around that give an impression of Tokyo being just ready-made by the gods for the construction of Hindu temples. Thus, the granite temples and sanc-tuaries evoked in me an image of a chameleon perfectly JAPAN 34fitting into his environs, what is in fact a fulfilment ofHindu harmony between man and nature.(Hana, Czech Republic)
  26. 26. 35
  27. 27. While travelling throughout Karnataka State, visitors will get the chance to visit a variety of temples. Al- though sometimes one gets the feeling that it is just Introduction going to be the same thing over and over again, tour- ists should think twice before considering skipping some of the wonders this State has to offer. Many different cultures that influenced the region gave it an exceptional character, which is reflected by the temples of Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami. Religion has always been considered as the spinal bone of the country and this region. Abundance of forms, styles, decorations and colors, symphony of rites, customs, gods, beliefs, festivals and music, profusion of legends, tales, anecdotes, morals and allegories… all of this takes people in a journey that is simply unforgettable. Temples are the real wonders hidden in a lush green coun- tryside or in the middle of a bustling village, gems of the remote past reminding our heritage. We marvel at the splendor and masterwork of the ancient artists, the wealth of historic societies, and strength of the faith which makes people do such miracles without any hesitation. Just step- ping barefoot on the floor warmed by the sun makes one feel special, then touching a stone after few millions of believers from all walks of life and all centuries simply touches your heart and makes you respect… and willing to explore more… especially here, in this cradle of Hindu archi- tecture, Aihole. Unleash your imagination… Map: KSTDC 36
  28. 28. AiholeThis land of wonders with an exceptional tion, that literally means “Oh my river”. 120 surrounding temples became the character stayed away from the influence centre of life, trade and education in of many cultures. It gets delighted every- 540 AD, as the town became the capital day by the light of the Sun God Surya. A for Chalukyan dynasty. The capital sur-friendly piece of air cuddles your hair vived barely 3 years before being shift-then it pulls you toward an exclusive mo- ed to Pattadakal, but the importance of ment of being alive. All these moments this place as a unique scholar centre reflect great cultures, religions and tra- has lasted. ditions, which proves are sculptured on- Ayoub, Moroccoeach column, pillar and temple wall. Nowadays these temples keep remind-The existence of Aihole came after a ing about principles of life and the tale of honour and bloodshed. One of carvings tell their own anecdotes. For Vishnu’s incarnations, Saint Parushara- instance, just a brief look at the turtle ma, after taking revenge of his father’s hold by a group of birds, first carvings murder is believed to have washed his on the round outside the Durg temple axe in the river Malaprabha so that the (not Durga, as it is often referred to), whole water became red. Local ladies, gives a timeless message, a common seeing the reddish river, started to cry moral shared by Humanity: Long time “Ai! Ai! Hole”. The name of the local vil- ago, the turtle was jealous of the birds lage - Aihole - comes from that exclama- because they, by flying, could see much 37
  29. 29. 38
  30. 30. more than it could, so the birds decided to Influenced by Buddhist architecture, the take it for a ride. Held by a couple of animals, temple is dedicated to Suria, the Sun God. the turtle had to depend completely on them After Puja, the pilgrims take two rounds and trust them utterly. The talkative pair around the idol, another around the temple. couldn’t open their mouth; otherwise, the In the second round, visitors can admire the turtle would fall down and die. The sense carvings on the windows and niches, full of of this story is simple, behind the lines it symbols and stories. Most of these carvings shows you how, in certain moments of life, are related to Lords Vishnu and have to adapt, accept the consequences of your choice and live with your limitations. In this same complex of temples, there are also the Navadurga, Ladkhen and Goda Tem-Durg temple complex, literally “the fort”, ples. Basically at the beginning, the temples was built based on the scheme of a human were nameless and served as houses to body, where the entrance symbolizes the many people. Then they were named after legs, the tower represents the face and the the residents.function hall embodies the stomach. As the temple is located far from the water, in the While roaming around Durg Complex, have entrance we can find carvings in the shape a look at a 50 Rs note. Does the building of of a turtle - representing Emuna river, and the Parliament on the back side remind you a crocodile - symbol of Gangha river, placed something? Yes, the shape is inspired by the there in order to give pilgrims and visitors Durg Temple construction. the purity of water. 39
  31. 31. Pattadakal The two largest temples are Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna, both built in Dravidian style during an impressively short Pattadakal, impresses visitor by their enchanting beauty and period of 12 years (733-745). The construction of these mas-mastership of its craftsmen. For the whole day I was roaming terpieces was ordered by the twin sisters Lokamahadevi and in the forlorn temples and ruins of Pattadakal, while being ob- Traiklokadevi, the wives of King Vikramaditya II.served by the eyes of dancing waving gods. One can try his best tomaster the knowledge of Hindu deities in their manifold mani- The victory pillar situated outdoors between temples is cov-festations and forms; however, a visit to this “open-air museum”- Hana, Czech Republic ered with mystique and enigmatic sanscrit inscriptions. In-of Hindu religion shows clearly elusiveness of such an effort. side of the Virupakasha temple one can find interesting rep-Once called the Red Town - Pattada Kisuvolal – Pattadakal is resentation of right handed Ganesha, the symbol of purity, situated on the banks of a holy river, Ghataprabha, the only carved on the second column to the left from the entrance. one of its flow in India; which goes from south to north. After Ordinary Ganesha figures show him with his left hand raised, Aihole and Badami, the town became the third capital, cul- as this particular image does not require any special, clear tural centre of Chalukyas Empire. Nowadays it is recognized environment and can be kept in every house. worldwide as a UNESCO heritage site and it still preserves its cultural significance attracting thousands of visitors and The second important temple, Galaganath, built in the North annually hosting a cultural festival in January. Indian style, typically topped with a dome illustrates the evo- lution of Hindu architecture by the usage of innovative steel Each temple within Pattadakal complex is the product of ei- clips to join the stones, as one can observe at the entrance.ther North Indian (Arian) or South Indian (Dravidian) archi-tectural styles. 40
  32. 32. Badami Caves 540 – 757). Nowadays Badami Caves re- main one of the most significant and vis-Women in colorful saris are washing ited Karnataka’s destinations, it became a clothes in a huge green pond, having a fashionable, must-see site for thousands rocky mountain with old forts as a back- of pilgrims and buses of foreigners, but ground. Once the sun shines, the view be- still have not lost any of their charm and comes more splendid. A gentle breeze blows character. Due to their spectacular ap-over the forts, as if it was the current of pearance, extraordinary cultural impor-time that has passed since 6th century. In tance and religious and artistic inheri-spite of its magnificence, it is not crowded tance, Badami Caves take place among with tourists due to the inconvenience of top 10 state attractions, if not top three. access from the surrounding cities. A must Those four impressive caves are dedicated see in Badami is a group of stone-cave to different gods, well, even different re-temples that consists of four temples on the- Chisato, Japan ligions… first to Lord Shiva, second and mountain located in the south of the pond. third to Vishnu, and the fourth is a Jain This red monolithic marvel towering Temple. above the town of Badami not only takes your breath away because of plenty After climbing the first dozen of stairs and stairs you have to climb, but also knocks reaching the first temple, no one can pass you off your feet once you see the view by without noticing the singular carvings and approach its fabulous interior. Once, of Nateraja, the dancing Shiva. This is a this fairy-tale spot used to be the second one of a kind sculpture since it is the only capital of powerful Chalukya Empire (AD existing 18 armed representation of Lord 42
  33. 33. Shiva. In fact several arms gather togeth- third cave (also Vishnu’s) is an excep-er and analyzed two by two in different tional sculpture of the huge Vishnu sitting combinations they make a certain type of on a cobra. Usually Lord Vishnu sleeps or dance manual of 81 hand positions used stands on this snake. This cave was carved until these days. Wandering around the in AD 578 and probably is the earliest of temple where the dance is the noblest of this group of caves. arts you can even find a carving of Gane-sha dancing with his father Shiva. Ganesha The last and smallest cave is the Jain tem-- the deity - never dances because of his ple, dedicated to the prophet Adinatha large belly and bottom, but this is an rare Tirthankara and was built between 7th exception. and 8th century. Basically, the walls are covered with the figures of Tirthankara Entering the second temple, you have to and 24 other naked prophets, what makes pass next to Jay and Vijaya – two dodgy the temple a pleasant stop for each wom-looking guards of Lord Vishnu, the door- an. keepers who can easily thrill you to death or petrify you just with one ‘gaze’. The in- This temple complex is one of a kind, which ner walls are covered with carvings repre- can easily kindle your love for art, imagi-senting incarnations of Vishnu. On the left, nation and desire for knowledge. The as-one finds bull-headed Varaha, on the right tonishing view of Agastyatirtha Tank and wall – Trivikrama. In perfect wheel shape Badami town make it a perfect location to 16 fish gather together which are the of- stop, contemplate, meditate or simply… ferings for the god. chill out. And watch your stuff here as the blasted monkeys rule the whole place Beyond any doubt, the highlight of the more than the gods nowadays. 44
  34. 34. Kudalasangama the founder of the Lingayat faith - reposes here; making the place a center of pilgrim-It is one of the most majestic holy places age. The river, nonetheless, is one of the where you can discover relationship be- longest rivers in India. It merges with its tween mind, soul and body. The temple has tributaries Malaprabha and Gattiprabha differently sculptured pillars which symbol- rivers at its right bank near Kudalasan-ize different parts of the temple character. gama, where it is worth to take a boat ride The inspiration that one gets from the way on the rivers’ junction and admire the nat-these pillars were sculptured is that it re- ural surroundings. This place provides a vives a defensive protective profile for the delight, not only for its particular natural gate of the temple. The river seemed to ex- beauty; but also for the important spiri-ist already with the rise of the temple, since tual weight it carries. It is a very tranquil, it looks very much related to the temple. and an offbeat place, where one can find Even the stairs that lead to the surface of mostly pilgrims and/or locals praying or the river show the emerging importance of simply enjoying views from the pier over the river for the temple. People clean their the river.sins there, after opening up their hearts andsouls for healing. As long as the river flows,- Ayoub, Moroccoit takes away many of the peoples´ sins.At the bank of the Krishna River (1300km) rests the Sri Sangameshwara Temple. Built in the Chalukyan style, the temple has a special significance for the Lingayat believers as the holy soul of Basavanna - 45
  35. 35. Sri Sangamesh- wara Temple is Impressions When you go to Badami caves first you will not know, whether it is a zoo or a historical place. You will see enormous number of monkeys a tranquil place crawling over cars and shops. The emerald lake, which you can see situated on the as you climb the cave, is a breath taking scenery. Inside the cave, banks of the holy you can see a powerful carved picture of Lord Shiva and other gods. Krisna River is a - Ken, Japanb - nice place to have a The orange majestic rock standing walk along the river respect for the magnificence of the in front of me makes me feel or even a ride on a add much amusement to the place. nature. Lots of monkeys around boat. Although, wag- ing one´s left part of the rocks, you will find Besides, dont forget to go to the foot on the wobbling board is a smallfrom the turmoil of the surrounding another Arcadia (a retreat away act of courage due to the crocodiles do is relax our exhausted bodies world). The only thing we need to ploughing waters of this river. I likedenjoy the peace and serenity of natu and minds, lie on the natural bed, this place where I could rest with___ Rita, Taiwan ___________ re. my eyes on the rapidly flowing wa- ter, while imagining magnitude of a The red town of Pattadakal, a host of many cultural festivities. Purity runs in river crossing almost the whole In- the veins of thistalkative’ town. One of its stories is that about Virupaksha, dian peninsular from Karnataka to one of the largest temples in the region. A mixture of Dravidian and Arian such a distant place as the Bay of styles of artisanal architecture magnetizes pupils of your eyes towards a Bengal. (Hana, Czech Republic) fascinating piece of art modeling the history of the place in form of sculptured Hauptplatz 1, columns, pillars, and walls of each temple. Badami caves, the souls of the sandstone mountain, where the eyes are magne- 4020 Linz tized by its marvels. The religious value of the site was especially perceived by climbing enormous number of stairs. The higher you go, the more solid you are, a concentrated wave of boost air is smashing your brain. As soon as you see AUSTRIA Shiva sculptured here in the heart of history in these sandstone mountains, 47 you can sense his enormous influence on that era’s intellect. -Ayoub, Morocco
  36. 36. IntroductionA winding road goes up into the sunnysky after going up and down the moun-tain. Gokarna, a small beach town whichfaces Arabian Sea lying on the westcoast of India, gathers many visitors asone of the famous destination for tour-ists. On the beaches surrounding thetown like a miniature, it is admiring tosee Indian women in saris dipping their is located feet in the shallows and their figures- Chisato, Japan at the ear-shaped being right above a distant horizon. confluence of the “Gokarna, the ocean speaks of it as an two rivers Gangavali inspiring village”. After a long journey and Aghanashini. By from the Indian inland, a glimpse of tradition, Hindus come Om Beach and its symphonic waves to this place to cherish spreads comfort and refreshment to their holy´s heart. This temple town in Uttara Kannada district has a spiritual weight Heading southward of its own, and wandering around in the from Gokarna leads streets near the beach brings the feeling to the cut off, yet in-of being in a place of intense holiness. viting world of sub-The city holds the Shree Mahabala Deva urban villages that Temple, which is one of seven holy sali- absorbs the visitors vation spots in India (better known as with its peaceful and simple life-Mukti Kshetras). style. The decision to remain on the south route would be rewarding in-Gokarna, meaning Cow´s Ear, is referred deed, as it opens the door to the heav-to as a place, where Shiva emerged from enly isolated beaches, such as Kudle, 49the ear of a cow. Furthermore, the town Half-Moon and Paraside beaches. Map: KSTDC
  37. 37. Jog FallsI honestly cannot describe what I felt while season (between July and September) is great facing this nature wonder; I had a mixture as well, while the water falls hard and creates of feelings: admire, peace, and pleasure. a bright rainbow every now and then. The water falls with rhythm; not the oneyou hear in meditation CDs, but more like a Another feature of the falls is that it does not living rhythm, as if nature was singing in a stream on the rock below, but rather falls di-sweet and smooth loud tone. I am certainly rectly (proper naming of such phenomena is returning to that place again, and next time untiered waterfalls), resulting in a louder roar, - Ahmed, BahrainI’m taking my meditation kit along. and an incredible atmosphere in the neighbor- ing area. Another must see site in India’s outstanding Jog Falls – also known as Gerusoppaa Falls state of Karnataka is the masterpiece of na- powers the hydro-electric generators at the ture, The Jog Falls. Consisting of four differ- nearby Linganmakki Dam across the river ent cascades - Raja, Rani, Roarer, and Rocket Sharavathi. In association with the river, –, and falling of 829ft, the Jog Falls are offi- the waterfalls have been producing around cially the tallest waterfalls of India. The site is 1200MW of the station’s full capacity since located on the borders of Shimoga and North 1949. Finding the way to the falls through the Kanara, which is 100km from Shimoga city. thick evergreen forests should be easy, espe-Being around the falls in the winter is the best, cially if dressed smart to cut the way with ease as the sky is clear and dry, but the monsoon and comfort. 50
  38. 38. Gokarna Beaches The four beaches are Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Half-moon and Paradise Beach (also Om beach and its waves hitting the coast in known as Full-moon). Each of those beach-symphonic and synchronized speeds spread es is situated 20 – 30 minutes away from comfort and refreshment to one´s heart. each other, noting that only Om beach is the The town itself has a spiritual weight of its accessible by car (or rickshaw).own, and while wandering around in thestreets near the beach one gets the feel-- Ayoub, Morocco It’s also known that the furthest beach ing of being in a place of intense holiness. (Paradise) is nothing more than a little bay Gokarna holds the country’s top 4 beaches, area of what’s left of the hippies, whom and the reason it’s being on top of the list moved into India during the simple; they resemble all what a beach should be like: white sand, marvelous palm trees, and service huts. 51
  39. 39. Murudeshwar Temple although it is a rather small town, it sets world records. The very first thing Ocean sparkling with the completely that lefts one spellbound - after reach- clear sky, the huge statue of Shiva with ing this place - is the Ornate Gopura, a majestic face is sitting on a small hill. monumental tower at the entrance of Surrounded by small fishing boats float- Murudeshwar temple, that is consid- ing on the deep blue sea as if they were ered the tallest gopura in the world waiting for time to go, a towering gate (249ft). The second tallest Shiva statue welcomes visitors with two statues - Chisato, Japan in the world gingerly juts out from the of life-sized elephants on both sides. tower´s shadow, yet not overshadowed Further south from Gokarna, the coast- by it. Hardly surprising; Murudeshwar al town of Murudeshwar is waiting for is another name of Shiva, who is com- the visitor. Murudeshwar is delusive; fortably overlooking the vast distances 52
  40. 40. of the Arabian Sea surrounding the base of the statue, and it illustrates Kanduka hill - where he is seated - the story of the demon king Ravana from all its three sides. struggling in his effort to achieve im- mortality for the soul of Shiva in the The statue is 123ft (37m) in height, form of Atma-Linga.and its construction took about two years. Besides this, Murudeshwara´s At this place one´s attention is almost Shiva “godfather” Rama Nagapa Shet- entirely held by the architecture cu-ty, who is one of the leading business- riosities. Awareness of the land com-men in Karnataka and who put up ponents is lost, except for those very also the Raja gopura, sponsored the few moments where they slip into the construction with approximately 50 eye sight as it shifts itself to another million Rupees. At whichever time of brilliant shrine in matter of seconds. the day one drops in to take delight Those moments reveal the scenes of of this breathtaking Shiva statue, the sandy palm beaches and canoes with idol is designed to get direct sun- fishermen balancing in acrobat-like light and thus stunningly sparkles in style, riding the powerful waves of the the sunrays from dusk to dawn. As Arabian Sea eagerly to return to their Murudeshwar features in many Hindu beloved ones.legends; a museum was found at the 53
  41. 41. Leaving behind the Karnataka we moved further west to the sea droughty inland, village. The timing of our tripside – to Gokarna Impressions perfect. After visiting places pa to Gokarna was cal ruins and temples, we hadcked with histori- opportunity to rest up on love this wonderful swim in the stormy Arabian S ly beaches and the waves was an exhilarating ea. Jumping into enjoying the fantastic scenery adventure, while sun setting almost imperceptib around. Golden The statue of rizon, rainy clouds, whose raly behind the ho- Lord Shiva in minute ago for a colourful mist in made only a Murudeswara hold s a y over palm groves and green trop rainbow arching title of the second tallest Shiva background – this is only one ical hills in the statue in the world. With its 123ft it gives the feel- face beaches, with others still luring of Gokarna ing of respect, admiration and charisma and makes to (Hana, Czechexplore.lic) people feel enthusiastic. Additionally, there isthere sea Repub nearby where it is possible to swim. Also, the is a very nice restaurant above the sea, which is worth b- ul beaches and landscapes, but pro visiting.Gokarna is famous for its beautif nice and a ! The nature itself is very Dominic, Austriaably not for European standards if the people of Kar-bit wild in a good way. It would be much nicer, tion. We had a chance to swim in the Arabian Sea and to the country as a tourist destinanataka took care of this part of poor condition and I also sunbathe on the Om beach. The waves were high and notUnfortunatel y, the beach is kept in a pretty many people were swimming in the sea. We had to keep Cows walking on the distance didn’t like the mess and trash on the sand beach. from local people because they are not allowed to you want to experience swim near girls. beach made it even more challenging. But if the We could see a lot of cows on the way wild waves of Arabian Sea, it is an adventure and jump in to the to the beach and some of them were even on the beach. right place to go for it! - Ken, Japan -- Erika, Slovakia 55The waves of the Arabian Sea are really big. We can enjoy the waves hitting us like the dolphin jumping into thewater, enjoying the power of nature._________ Rita, Taiwan______
  42. 42. Not only that it’s the administra- gest in the city, and tive headquarter of the Dakshina leading Christian Kannada (formerly South Ca- facility. Taking into nara), but also the 8th cleanest consideration the city in the country. In Karnataka religious tolerance, Introductionit is the 2nd after Mysore. Mangalore is also one of the big- a Christian institu- tion was established a little over a centu-gest sea traffic handlers over the ry ago. Remaining in west coast of India, as the Ara- the religious part of bian Sea Port handles 75% of the the city, the Gokar-India’s coffee exports, along with nateshwara Temple a large mass of cashew exports. – the golden temple – is Considering previous point, just a comprehensive Hin-Mangalore is one of a kind city in du mark in crowded the State of Karnataka, as it gen- place. erates large revenues that boost the states economy. Not far, and as seaside city, Ulal beach introduc-Culture wise, this chief port city es the Arabian Sea to the could literally be called the danc- visitors in a much elegant ing city as it practices a large way, as the craved stair steps number of dancing festivals over leads through the the year. Moreover, this religion large rocks, all the melting pot of India celebrates way down to the sand every religious festival, rang- and the moody waves. Last ing from the obvious Hindu to but certainly not least is the Christianity passing through Biological Zoo that honors Dr. Islam. And with that point men- S. Karnath with its noticeably in-tioned, it is emphasized to visit creasing popularity. 57the Milagres Church, the big- Map: KSTDC
  43. 43. Gokarnateshwara Temple the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Mangalore. On this place one can walk on The main deity here is Lord Shiva. Gokar- fleecy carpets laid throughout the whole nateshwara is the most fascinating modern temple compound and follow the route that temple I have been to. Just walking on its takes one on a display of the main temple floor makes you feel like a king, the floor is deities, which are Lord Shiva with his wife made of finely shaped white marble. Lights Parvathi - here praised as the jeweled God-at night are simply breathtaking, especially dess Annapoorneshwari - their son Lord Ga-with the tremendous shining statues of Shi- nesha, and last but not least: Lord Bhairava, va’s family and the temple is embedded with which is a fierce incarnation of Lord Shiva golden buildings and royal red walls which- Hadi, Morocco helping to achieve success and materialistic gives it a rare touch of divine Hindu Gods. well-being. The founding father of the tem-And yet another name for Shiva; Lord Go- ple was Shri Narayana Guru, a Kerala social karnatha, is the main deity of the relatively reformer tackling the castes system in India. young temple in the center of Mangalore. The temple was renovated back in 1991. It The golden temple of Kudroli Sri Gokar- is built in the Chola style of architecture and natheshwara is particularly charming when the new gopuram is 60ft in height.lit at night. It is an ideal haven to overlook 58
  44. 44. Milagres Church Indians or foreigners. The entrance hall is decorated with the statue of “Our lady I simply was shocked to see how peacefully Fatima” and after a few minutes spent in the Christians, Muslims and Hindus can cohabi- church you easily notice the Indian influ-tate. I personally think Milagres Church is ence over this church, the colors and flowers one of the most beautiful artistic houses of which are slightly different from the Euro-prayer in Mangalore emphasized with ar- pean churches, thus making this holy place chitectural beauty. It has high columns, long even more sophisticated and unique. seats and French painting of St Monica andSt Augustine which makes it an awesome Moreover, religious education is provided to rare piece of art worth visiting. India, land Catholics from Mangalore and its surround-of religious diversity, each one can follow- Hadi, Morocco ings by the private Saint Aloysius College. whatever religion fits his spirit in total peace. This huge campus is 125 years old. It was Religions in India have no frontiers. This is commissioned by Sri Veerappa Moily, the well documented on the successful integra- Minister of education back then, and blessed tion of all religions, pushing away odds and by Rt. Ref. Dr. William L. D´Mello, Bishop of barriers, leading toward a peaceful, cheer- Karwas. There are many sport courts and an ful and harmonic sociability of all religions. open-air theater, which makes it look more Milagres Church, the biggest church in Man- like a coliseum from ancient centuries. A big galore was built 330 years ago by Bishop church is in their disposition for religious Thomas De Castro, the first Bishop in Man- prayers and confessions which is a good galore and founder of Milagres. With the point in the favor of the tolerant Indian cul-main mass starting daily at 6 pm, the church ture.gathers many Catholics whether they were 59
  45. 45. Dr. Shivaram Karnath Biological ParkWhen I first saw it I didn’t believe, I swear I thought it was ing a variety of animals and trees. Among the most noteworthy animals are the Black Sloth just a costume. I couldn’t believe that something can be that Bear; with sloth hind legs, elongated muzzle and longer face, ugly! The ugliest living creature in the world! Looks like a Hanumal Langur; an Indian monkey with grey, dark brown pig… and anything else…I just hope that he doesn’t become and golden fur shadows and also Asian tigers, lions or pan-the star of the Animals version of Prison Break. Five seasons thers kept in large natural enclosures. Lethargic crocodiles with him would lead to an extinction of the human race. lay in half dry water pools. Restless Indian Elephants, eager This can be the only time that Photoshop can’t fix a photo to cover their backs with palm despite the availability of perfect shooting conditions! My- Ahmed, Bahrein leaves and grass as they try to advice, go see it yourself to see that I’m not exaggerating… get rid of disturbing insects. A visit to a biological park is nev- er complete without watching The zoo itself was nothing extraordinary, but the bear snakes, so for that there is a made me speechless, it could win the competition for the snake house which is inhabit-best model ever. That guy was locked in this ‘jail’ just for ed by various types of snakes. his looks, and still he made the best out of his mug as he All is there, from the small-possessed an unbeaten title of the most photographed est River Snakes, reaching to beast. Who knows, maybe the next World Press Photo- Gloria, Poland the Kings of the specie, as in Award is going to be granted to me thanks to that fellow. Pythons, Boas and Cobras. Mangalore is also known for the wild life successfully imi- The famous place will satisfy tated in its parks and forests. Dr. Shivaram Karnath Biological the visitors’ needs of refresh-Park in Pilikula is the most famous biological park in the city ments as they placed kiosks of Mangalore (15min drive from the city center). Surrounded that sell snacks and drinks to by thousands of different kinds of plants, this biological park restore the energy that would appears to be one of the most visited parks in Mangalore be used up to tour such a large with people of different nationalities flocking to enjoy watch- park. 60
  46. 46. Ulal Beach of different sizes are beautifully shaped because of the end- less motion of breezy waves, combined with very smooth The favorite beach of Karnataka is Ullal beach, which is and fine beach sand. In addition to an exotic forest with tall not too far from the city of Mangalore. The place provides coconut palm trees and diversity of vegetation that make you with very peaceful atmosphere, as you cannot find so up a magical green landscape and add up to tremendously many tourists in this area. The sea is wild here, because tropical atmosphere. of the open ocean, and the waves might get very strong.Thus, swimming is not very recommended in any season.- Erika, Slovakia Moreover, to make it even a more pleasant visit, there are Generally speaking, it is better for walking and relaxing. kiosks within the beach resort selling snacks, drinks and ice Ullal beach, close to the Ullal fishing village, is one of the fin-creams to satisfy the visitors’ needs.est destinations that can be chosen in the whereabouts of Mangalore (20km from the city center). It’s one of the beaches I love in Karnataka. You can just spendThis charming beach on the mysterious Arabian Sea and the around long palm-shaded road. You just need to relax your one afternoon sit on the beach enjoying the nature or walksouth bank of the Nethravati River is a very peaceful place, a mind and enjoy the quietness.getaway from the everyday’s stressful life. Rocks and stones - Rita, Taiwan 61