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Showing posts from 2015

Hattarsang Kudal - A Hidden Gem

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Introduction

In a tiny hamlet of Hattarsang-Kudal, 40km South of Solapur, on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border off the Bijapur highway, there lies a treasure trove for seekers of early, pre-medieval Indian architecture. The village is nestled in a peninsular land form flanked by the rivers Bhima ana Sina. At the confluence of the two rivers lies the 17th Century temple of Sangameshwar. While this temple is innately beautiful, it pales in comparison to the one next to it - the Chalukyan Era (11th-12th century) temple of Harihareshwar.

All that remains is the pedestal ... ruins at Hattarsang-Kudal
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Getting There

Google mis-labels this place as Kudalsangama. Kudalsangama is located in Karnataka, about 100km south of Bijapur. This place is to be addressed as Hattarsang-Kudal. Pronounce 'Kudal' as 'kuddle'.

Getting there and then getting out is the most difficult task about this place. These historically and artistically important temples are yet to register on the tour…

Naldurg - Maharashtra's Largest Land Fort

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Introducing Naldurg
Naldurg was a must-do point on my Solapur Trip. Naldurg derives its name from Nala Raja who built the initial fort. The fort was later captured and considerably expanded by the Adilshah of Bijapur. Today, the fort enjoys the status as the largest land-fort of Maharashtra.
Naldurg, like Tujlapur, lies in the Osmanabad district, bang on the Solapur-Hyderabad Highway. It is located at a distance of 36 km South of Tuljapur, 45 km East of Solapur and is accessible from both these places by public transport. I had scheduled Naldurg after Tuljapur and arrived here in style in a battered old Mahindra Jeep filled with 20 people. The fort is about 15 mins walk from the bus stand of Naldurg.

Naldurg on the map
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The Entrance

The first entrance of the fort is flanked by two huge bastions, but does not have a gate. The old moat that surrounds the fort is also patched up at this point to facilitate entry. Inside this entrance one has to pass through a long wide passage flanke…

Hitchhiking - Thumbing The Long Road

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Introduction

Traveling to some far off, remote place without ones own vehicle can be a pretty demanding exercise. Arranging logistics for such trips is a complicated task in itself. The timings of the public transport available may not match your schedule. Some places are so remote or locally unimportant that they do not have a fixed transport infrastructure of any sort. Also, there is no guarantee that you will find yourself at the right place at the right time to catch the right bus to the right destination! Well, if you miss any of those rights, its time to stick your left thumb out! (left thumb valid in places with left side driving :P)

You are bound to miss many though
Wikipedia has the following definition: Hitchhiking (also known as thumbing or hitching) is a means of transportation that is gained by asking people, usually strangers, for a ride in their automobile or other road vehicle.

Hitchhiking can be free or paid. In most cases you may not be even dropped to your actual des…

Tuljapur & Revelations

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The Start

Tuljapur was a day trip that I did as a part of my larger Solapur Trip in Dec 2015. Post breakfast on a Saturday morning, amid the bustle of the city, I made my way to the central bus stand. There's a bus for Tuljapur every 15 minutes. Most of these buses are Latur bound, with Tuljapur as a major stop in between.

Tuljapur on the map
I got in to the first bus, but had to get down since it was already packed and there was no place to sit. The one that followed had a spare bench near the back where I took a seat. The 45 km journey lasted for about an hour, and cost me Rs 50. I slept most of the way, and woke up just as the bus laboured on the incline that leads to Tuljapur.

The temple is at a distance of about 5 minutes walk from the bus stand. The way to the temple is crowded as in a typical temple town in India. At the gate was a notice which said that bags and mobiles were not allowed. The guy at the cloak room though said otherwise and I got to take my day-pack and my ph…