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Showing posts from March, 2018

Gokarna - Sun, Sea & Chill

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Introduction

Gokarna - once a temple town with unspoiled beaches has been transformed to a prime backpacker hangout over the course of the past decade or so. The temple of Mahabaleshwara still plays a central role in the town affairs, however the pristine beaches are now the main draw. There's nothing much do other than soak up the sun, learn a bit of yoga, take a quick dip and chill on the sand - I think that is more than enough though. Gokarna is a place to sit back and relax.

Tranquil!
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Getting In and Around

Gokarna has one railway station, but not many trains halt there. It is pertinent to get to Ankola to get a connecting bus to Gokarna. Ankola has good bus connectivity. There are a few direct buses between Gokarna and Hubli as well.

Gokarna on the map
Rickshaws and rental scooters are available to get around places on Gokarna, but they are not very necessary of you are carrying light loads. There are a few ascents and descents so it is pertinent to understand your load c…

The Madanikas Of Palampet

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Introduction

The Kakatiya Dynasty has been credited with some amazing architecture during their reign in the 12th and 13th centuries. One of the structures that has withstood the test of time (and changing rulers) is the Ramappa Temple near Palampet, about 65km north of Warangal. The grand temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, has some amazing sculptures depicting mythological scenes and daily lives of the people. However, the temple is famous for the graceful bracket figures of madanikas flanking high on the corners and entrances.

The madanikas of Palampet
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The Temple Complex

The temple complex has two entrances - the main entrance on the west and a smaller one to the east. The area outside the complex is littered with ruins which are under restoration by the ASI.

The ruins outside the complex
The complex is quite spacious in itself. It houses the main temple in the centre, a mantapa with a stone plaque to the north-east and one minor temple to the north.

The minor temple and the in…

The Kakatiyan Monuments At Warangal

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Introduction

The triple cities of Warangal, Hanamkonda and Kazipet contitute the second largest urban area in the state of Telangana after the capital city Hyderabad. Apart from being an urban centre, the triplets are also culturally important since Warangal was the capital of the Kakatiya Dynasty around the 12th and 13th centuries. A few monuments from that era dot the urban-scape here; the Thousand Pillared temple and the Kakatiyan Arches being the main ones.

One of the Kakatiyan Arches - the symbol of Warangal
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The Thousand Pillared Temple

This is perhaps a monument at the heart of the triplets, located as it is at the centre of Hanamkonda. The temple premises are easily reachable from the main road connecting the triplets. The entrance to the complex is from the north. The complex has three sections - the Ramappa Temple to the north and the actual thousand pillared section to the south and a stepped tank to the east. An open Nandi pedestal is between the Ramappa Temple and th…