Sunday, 31 July 2011

Gulbarga, Karnataka



From being a Hindu city to becoming the capital of one of the great Muslim kingdoms to dominate the Deccan, the city of Gulbarga is steeped in rich history. Gulbarga is a unique confluence of Hindu and Muslim cultures and contains some of the earliest examples of Islamic architecture in Karnataka. Gulbarga tourism has capitalized on these historic monuments.

Gulbarga derives its name from the word Kaliburgi which stands for stony land in Kannada. The Chalukyas of Badami and the Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra were the major Hindu dynasties to have ruled Gulbarga. The first Muslim kingdom came up with establishment of the Bahmani Sultanate in 1347 by Hassan Gangu, who chose Gulbarga to be his capital. 

When the Bahmani dynasty eventually collapsed, the kingdom broke up into the five independent Deccan sultanates, Bijapur, Bidar, Berar, Ahmednagar and Golconda. The present Gulbarga district came partly under Bidar and partly under Bijapur. In 1956 when the state of Hyderabad was partitioned among neighboring states along linguistic lines, most of Gulbarga district became part of Mysore state, later renamed Karnataka, excluding two taluks which were annexed to Andhra Pradesh.


Places to See:

Gulbarga Fort


The Gulbarga fort was originally built by Raja Gulchand, a feudatory of the Orangal Kakatiyas. As Gulbarga gained prominence as the Bahmani capital, the fort was fortified by Alauddin Bahman. 

Jumma Masjid

Nestled within the ramparts of the Gulbarga Fort, the Jumma Masjid bears a striking resemblance to the great mosque of Cordova in Spain. Built by Muhammed Bahmani in 1367, the Persian architecture of the mosque features stilted domes and narrow entrances. The mosque's unique feature is the roof which contains 68 domes that resemble a collection of gigantic pots. Historians reckon that the Jumma Masjid was built to commemorate Gulbarga's status as the Bahmani capital and is one of the earliest mosques in South India. 

Khwaja Bande Nawaz Durgah


The Khwaja Bande Nawaz Durgah, the tomb of the great Sufi saint Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz (1320-1422), is another major tourist attraction of Gulbarga. One of South India's holiest Muslim shrines, the Durgah is a unique example of communal harmony. The annual urus held at the Durgah is attended by thousands of devotees including both Muslims and Hindus. The dargah library contains nearly 10,000 books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic on subjects ranging from history and philosophy to religion and literature. 

Royal Tombs


Gulbarga features a profusion of royal tombs and mausoleums. A complex of seven royal tombs known as the Half Gumbaz lies to the west of the Khwaja Bande dargah. Among the royal mausoleums, the one resting Firoze shah Bahmani is the largest and the most elaborate.

Excursions...........
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Gulbarga Excursions



Jewargi (40 km)


Located on the banks of Bhima River, Jewargi is a popular Jain pilgrimage. Many Jain Basadis are present here. 

Gangapur


The pilgrimage of Gangapur is a renowned seat of Dattatreya worship and locates the sacred math of Shri Narasimha Saraswathi. Devotees flock this place to take a holy dip at the confluence of the rivers Amreja and Bhima. A huge 'jatra' is held here every year in the month of February. 

Malkhed (40 km)

The erstwhile capital of the Rashtrakutas, Malkhed is known for two holy shrines, the Jain Bhattaraka Math and the Uttaramath of the Madhava sampradaya. Malkhed was home to Madhava saint, Tikacharya and Pushpadanta, the poet who wrote during the reign of Krishan II, the Rashtrakuta king. 

Sonthi 

The pilgrimage of Sonthi is well-known for the revered Chandralamba Temple with the sacred Bhima River flowing besides it. On the either side of the main entrance are huge mantapas. In the inner courtyard are 12 lingas and the statues of Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Saraswathi............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Saturday, 30 July 2011

How to Reach Gulbarga



Air
The nearest airport is Hyderabad (220 km).

Rail
The nearest railway station is at Basavakalyan - 80km. Gulbarga is also connected by rail with Bangalore, Bombay and Hyderabad.

Road
Gulbarga is connected by road to Basavakalyan (80 km), Bidar (120 km), Bijapur (160 km), and Bangalore (600 km)............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Chikmagalur, Karnataka



Chikmagalur is an exciting tourist hotspot for the sprawling coffee plantations and misty mountains. The winding mountain trails of the Baba Budangiri hills and the adjoining forests make Chikmagalur a veritable paradise for adventure sports buffs and avid trekkers. Thus it boasts of a flourishing tourism culture.

Located in the south-western part of Karnataka, Chikmagalur is a malnad district i.e., a largely forested hilly region of heavy rainfall. This scenic coffee town takes its name from the word Chikkamagalaooru which in Kannada means 'younger daughter's town'. Legend has it that the district had been given as a dowry to the younger daughter of Rukmangada, a prominent local chieftain. Another part of the town bestowed on the elder daughter is known as Hiremagalur.

Chilkmaglur is considered the cradle of the powerful Hoysala Kings, the dynasty that held sway in South India for considerable period. Hoysala inscriptions state that Sala, the founder of the Hoysala dynasty, hailed from the hill regions of Angadi in present day Mudigere taluk of Chikmagalur district.


Places to See:

Angadi


Historians have identified Angadi as Sasakapura or Sosevur, the original home of Hoyasalas who held sway in vast swathes of South India. The shrine here has pillars of granite with cylindrical shafts and hemi spherical mouldings.

Belavadi


The pilgrimage of Belavadi is dotted with a number of ancient temples and shrines. The Veeranarayana temple is a supreme example of Hoysala temple architecture. 

Coffee Plantations

Sprawling coffee plantations dot the landscape of this hill station. As a major coffee producing hub of the country, it hosts a number of coffee curing centers where the raw coffee is dried, shelled, winnowed, graded and packed. When coffee bushes blossom in April, the whole area is filled with the exquisite fragrance of the brilliant white flowers. The Central Coffee Research Institute is located in the district. 

The Baba Budangiri Hills


The Baba Budangiri hills are named after the Muslim saint, Baba Budan, who took up residence here in the 17th century. The Baba Budan Shrine is revered by both the Hindus and Muslims and thousands of devotees throng the shrine for the blessing of the peer. A complex of three caves can be found here, believed to have been sanctified by 3 revered siddhas whose icons and 'gaddinges' (tombs) are located in the caves.

Excursions...........
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Chikmagalur Excursions



Sringeri (90 km)


Regarded as one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages in South India, Sringeri was the abode of Shankaracharya, the great 9th century philosopher and social reformer. The exquisitely sculptured Vidyashankara Temple overlooking the Tunga River, houses the Vidyatirtha-linga and is a synthesis of Dravidian and Hoysala temple architecture. 

Inam Dattatreya Peetha (30 km)


The Inam Dattatreya Peetha, nestled in the Baba Budangiri hills, is a revered shrine for both Hindus and Muslims. A laterite cave here is believed to have sheltered, at different times, both Guru Dattatreya and the Muslim saint Hazrat Dada Hayath Mir Khalandar, sent to India by Prophet Mohammed. Muslims celebrate urs at the site three days every year in the month of Rabi-ul-Avval, the third month of the Islamic calendar while Hindu devotees observe Dattatreya Jayanti every year during Kartik Poornima celebrations. 

Kemmannugundi (50 km)

Nestled amidst the green canopy of Baba Budan hills, Kemmannugundi is a scenic hill station and a popular trekking spot. Also known as KR Hills after Woodeyar king Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, Kemmannugundi attracts tourists looking for an idyllic vacation in the hills. 

Muthodi (32 km)


A perennial favorite in excursions around Chikmagalur. The Muthodi wildlife sanctuary is endowed with rich flora and fauna with the tributaries of the Bhadra River winding through it. It is home to a diverse and exciting range of wildlife - bisons, elephants, tigers, panthers, sambars, spotted deers, wild boars, porcupines, peacock, parrot, partridge, pigeon and snakes............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

How to Reach Chikmagalur



Air
The nearest airport from Chikmagalur is that of Mangalore, which is approximately 170 km away.

Rail
Kadur provides the nearest rail link from Chikmagalur. From there, you can easily find express trains to Bangalore, which cover the distance in approximately 3 to 3.5 hrs.

Road
NH 48 connects Chikmagalur with all the major cities in Karnataka as well as the neighboring states............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Dandeli National Park, Karnataka



The second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, Dandeli is located at a distance of approximately 485 km from the capital city of Bangalore. The serpentine tributaries of River Kali fork through the lush forests and breathtaking valleys of the sanctuary. Dandeli is a heaven for nature enthusiasts, what with its abundance in wildlife, apart from numerous breathtaking trekking trails and pleasant fishing spots.

The magnificent Virnoli Rapids, Supa Dam, Nagajhari Viewpoint, Kulgi Nature Education Camp, Kavla Caves (with their Shivling-like stalagmites), and Sykes Point (which offers a stunning view of the Kalinadi Valley) are other major attractions of the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. Syntheri rocks, an awesome monolithic granite structure, stand located 35 km from the wildlife sanctuary and definitely merits a visit from the tourists coming here.


Things to do:

Wildlife Viewing


Dandeli is a natural habitat for a large number of wild animals and is very rich in flora and fauna. The forests have a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees like Bamboo and teak plantations. Abundant wild life is at display in this forest reserve which is home to sloth bears, barking dear, Indian pangolin, the Malabar giant squirrel, elephants, wild pigs, tigers, rare black panthers, wild dogs, monkeys, deer, mongoose and many others. Dandeli is an excellent choice for all the animal lovers.

Bird Watching


Some of the birds that are to be found in Dandeli are Great Pied Hornbill, Blue-Throated Barbet, Peregrine falcon, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Indian Nightjar, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Pied Bushchat, Green Sandpiper, House Sparrow, Forest Wagtail and Oriental White Eye. A bird-watching paradise, Dandeli is a great option for the enthusiastic birdwatchers to see a lot of rare birds. Listening to the exotic birdsongs will just the double the fun.

River Rafting


Water sports are one of the main attractions of Dandeli. White water rafting at the Virnoli Rapids on the Kali River will be a thrilling experience for the adventurous souls. Almost 9-14 kms of rafting facility is available in the Kali River with class 3 rapids named Adi's beard, The stitch, Snuggler's trove, Stanley's squeeze and many more continue for over 2-3 hours. Trained guides accompany the tourists who also give them basic lessons on rafting. Many tour operators organize for rafting with excellent facilities for the tourists. 

Safaris

Jeep safari is an exciting activity for the tourists and an opportunity to sight the extensive and exclusive wild life in the Dandeli sanctuary. Take a guide and experienced person along and unravel the mysteries of the forest wrapped with lush green plants and rare animals. Jeep safaris are known for uninhibited fun and adventure. So, don’t miss out on the safari fun............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

How to Reach Dandeli



Air
Belgaum (90kms) is the nearest Airport to Dandeli. It is connected to Mumbai and Bangalore by domestic flights.

Rail
The nearest railway station to Dandeli is Alnavar.

Road
Dandeli is connected by Alnavar, Dharwad, Hubli, Belgaum & Bangalore............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Karwar, Karnataka



Karwar is a tranquil port town with a pleasing ambience situated 100 kms from Goa and 260 kms north of Managalore based in South India. It is the administrative headquarter of the Uttar Kannada district in Karnataka. A seaside town based on the banks of Kali River which flows along the western coast of the Indian peninsula, the quiet town of karwar is an ideal holiday destination for those who are enamored by the sight of water bodies and deep-blue beaches. Karwar lies at a distance of 15 kms from south of the Karnataka-Goa border and 519 kms northwest of Bangalore. The present day Karwar town is an entirely new settlement.

The historical significance of Karwar can be traced back to the colonial era in India. The British used made this town their district headquarter in 1862. It was frequented by Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, French and later, the British as it has been an ancient site of sea trade. Ibn Battuta, the Moroccan scholar and traveler, has passed through this route during some of his journeys. The town fell under the Bombay presidency ruled by the British and was described as a first rate harbor between Bombay and Calcutta. The name 'Karwar' was earlier spelled as 'Carwar'. 


Places to See:

Beaches

Karwar is most famous for its exotic beaches and they are many in number. The Devabag beach is a small paradise located on an island amidst the casuarinas. The locales of the beach are serene and peaceful which makes for a perfect retreat into the quiet arms of nature. Another beautiful and welcoming beach in the town is the Karwar beach, also known as Rabindranath Tagore Beach which is highly frequented by visitors. Golden sands and tranquil locales of this secluded island are perfect to spend a quiet holiday. 

Magod Falls

Magod falls are one of the biggest tourist attractions around Karwar located at a distance of 80 kms from the place. Magod falls are formed by the cascades of river Bedthi. Surrounding the spectacular falls are dense and serene jungles that enhance their beauty. There are many other tourist attractions around the Magod Falls. Jenujalugudda, hill lock near Magod falls is much frequented tourists. 

Ullavi & Gokarna

Mahabaleshwara Temple

For the devotees of lord Shiva, Gokarna is a pilgrimage as important as Kashi and Rameshwaram. The Mahabaleshwara temple is the main attraction of Gokarna. It is believed that the Shiva Idol kept inside the temple is a good 1500 years old. 

Two other temples known as Bhadrakali temple and Venkatramana temple attract tourists in a similar way due to their immensely popularity. Ullavi situated at a distance of 75 kms from karwal, is another important pilgrimage destination frequented by tourists. There is regular transport facility available from Karwar to Ullavi. 

Binaga Bay


Binaga bay is a naval base for the Indian Navy which carries out operations from here for a project called Seabird. The navy opens its portals for common people for a week in December when the Navy week is celebrated. Educational and tourist groups visiting the base are allowed to free roam and seen around the Naval Base known as INS Kadamba............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

How to Reach Karwar



Air
The nearest air link from Karwar is provided by the Dabolim Airport of Goa, situated approximately 90 km away. It is well connected with all the major cities of India, such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.

Rail
Karwar has a railways station of its own, situated about 2 km away from the main town.

Road
Karwar is situated at a distance of 105 km from Panaji (Goa), 298 km from Mangalore, and 513 km from Bangalore............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Bandipur National Park, Karnataka



Nestled at the foothills of the Western Ghats Mountains, Bandipur National Park is well-known for its expansive tracts of virgin forests. Once a popular game reserve of the Mysore Maharajas, this national park forms a part of the Niligiri Biosphere Reserve today, which also encompasses the Nagarhole National Park of Karnataka, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu. Spread over an area of approximately 874 sq km, it was created out of the Bandipur Reserve Forest, in 1931.

In 1973, Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary was conferred the status of a designated tiger reserve, as per the ambitious Project Tiger Scheme launched by the World Wide Fund (WWF). In 1974, the wildlife sanctuary was declared a National Park, under the Wildlife Protection Act. Since then, stringent anti-poaching measures have resulted in a steady increase in the big cat population. The park is open throughout the year, but the best time to visit is in monsoon season i.e. from May to September, when the wildlife is plenty and forest is full of greenery. 


Things To Do:

Jungle Safari


Bandipur is a safe haven for a wide variety of wild animals. Spotting tigers in the Bandipur national Park is not as easy as in Ranthambore, but they exist in considerable numbers. A mini-bus Safari or jeep safari would be ideal to chance upon any opportunity of sighting a tiger. The sanctuary is also home to other animals like elephants, panthers, Jackals, spotted deer, sloth bears, grey langurs and snakes from cobra to the python. It is possible to sight them congregating around the guest houses. Four-horned antelope is also a member of the forest but it's rarely sighted. 

Bird Watching


The Bandipur sanctuary can boast of being home to about 300 species of birds. Enjoyed by people of all ages, birdwatching can be an excellent way to pass time, especially if you have not been lucky enough to sight the tiger. Bird watching can be more fruitful in the morning hours and can be a real treat for the enthusiastic birdwatchers. 

Trekking & Hiking

Trekking on the Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta hilltop is also an exciting activity to do in Bandipur. On the top of the hill is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. A beautiful mist covers the area for most part of the year. In fact, there is a greater chance of sighting animals from this hill top. Take along your trekking shoes and make sure that you make minimum noise so that you don’t disturb the natural habitat............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

How to Reach Bandipur



Air
The nearest airport to Bandipur is the Bangalore International Airport at a distance of 215 kms.

Rail
The nearest railway station to Bandipur is Mysore at a distance of 80 kms. The railway station is well connected to all the nearby cities and Bangalore.

Road
State owned buses run from all the nearby cities to reach Bandipur............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka

Reputed to be one of the well-managed sanctuaries in India, Nagarhole National Park is a part of the sprawling Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in South India. Established in 1955, as a sanctuary, it was designated as a national park in 1975. The park was later renamed as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, after the late Prime Minister of India. Spread over an area of approximately 640 sq km, Nagarhole forest originally served as an exclusive hunting ground for the erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore.

Nagarhole, in Kannada, stands for 'Snake River'. The wildlife sanctuary has been so named after the serpentine streams that fork through its rich tropical forests. On its northern confines is the Kabini River and on its southern fringes is the Bandipur National Park. A dam on the Kabini River and its picturesque reservoir demarcates the two national parks. During the dry season (February and May), this artificial lake attracts a large number of animals, making it an ideal spot for sighting wildlife.


Things to do:

Wildlife Viewing


Nagarhole National Park is rich in wildlife which includes four-horned antelope, sloth bear, civet, spotted deer, elephant, flying fox, tiger, panther, gaur (Indian bison), sambhar, wild boar, black-naped hare, bonnet macaque, and pangolin which makes it an ideal destination for the wildlife enthusiasts. Cobras, crocodiles, kraits, pythons, vipers and various species of lizards are also found in the forests.

Jeep Safaris

The forest department in Nagaehole provides for minibus safari in the national reserve. Jeep safaris inside the park are also allowed, if you have brought your own jeep. However, you need to seek the permission from the forest department. Taking along a guide is mandatory in a jeep safari. The safaris commence from the range office inside the park. The forest department also organizes for elephant rides which last about 30 minutes. The park and safari timings are 6 to 8 in the morning and 3 to 5.30 in the evening 

Bird Watching


Nagarhole National Park has a sizeable population of birds. It is home to over 250 species of birds making it a sought-after destination for the birdwatchers. Some rare species of birds can be spotted in Nagarhole which are not seen anywhere else. The most spotted bird species are the common babbler, bee-eater, bulbul, crested serpent, hornbill, peacock, woodpecker, great Indian reed, eagle and the southern tree pie. The park is a paradise for wildlife lovers and environmentalists. 

Boating

Boating is another exciting fun activity to do in Nagarhole National Resreve. A relaxed boat ride through the Kabini River's backwater to sight crocodiles, birds and various other animals is simply one of the most interesting things to do in Nagarhole. You can also stay overnight in the river lodge for a complete experience of this natural habitat............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

How to Reach Nagarhole National Park

Rail
The major railhead closest to Nagarhole is Mysore (80 km). Mysore is well connected to Bangalore by state run buses and Bangalore to the rest of the cities of the state.

Air
The Nearest domestic airport to the park is Mysore (96 km) and Bangalore is the nearest international airport.

Road
The nearest town is Kutta 7 km way. And other major towns that are accessible by road are are Madikeri (93 km), Mysore (80 km) and Bangalore (236 km)............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Chitradurga, Karnataka

Nestled at the base of a chain of lofty peaks, Chitradurga is characterized by its stunning boulder-strewn landscape. Natives believe that these massive boulders are remnants of the arsenal used during the duel between Pandava Bhima and the demon Hidimbasura, an event mentioned in the Epic Mahabharata. Chitradurga derives its name from Chitrakaldurga, an umbrella-shaped lofty hill found here. 

For a considerable period, Chitradurga remained a part of the dominions of the Vijayanagar Empire. Timmana Nayaka, a chieftain under the Vijayanagar Empire, established the rule of the Nayakas in Chitradurga. Later, in the 17th-18th centuries, Chitradurga became the headquaters of Bedas, until it was occupied by Haider Ali in 1799 and then annexed by the British. 

The boulders that lie scattered in and around Chitradurga belong to the oldest rock formation in the country. The district is rich in mineral deposits, including gold prospecting at Halekal, Kotemardi or Bedimaradi, etc., and open cast copper mines at Ingaldhal. The Kallina Fort is a major attraction here and tourists travel to Chitradurga from all over India.


Places to See:

Ankali Math

The ancient monastery of Ankali Math is also called Paradeshappana Guhe. A number of caves, located underneath the Kallu Mantapa (stone sanctum) of this mutt, might have served as refuges for monks and mendicants indulged in penance and praying. 

Chandravalli



A tour of Chitradurga will take you to the scenic valley of Chandravalli located to the north west of Chitradurga. Chandravalli is an ancient archeological site and coins, inscriptions, ruins, stone images belonging to the Hoisala-Kadamb and Sathavahana period have been discovered at Huligondi, Basavanagondi, Baralagondi and other locations of Chandravalli. A rock inscription seen near Bhairaweshvara temple here links Chandravalli to the reign of Kadamba Mayura Verma. 

Kallina Kote

The imposing fort in Chitradurga is known as the Kallina Kote or the Palace of Stone. This massive fort, regarded a marvel of military architecture, stood guard against marauding enemies. Encircled by seven massive walls, the fort has 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, four of which are secret. The approach to each gate is uphill and through passages that twist and turn, thus making it impossible to use elephants or battering rams to break down the gates.

Excursions...........
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

Friday, 29 July 2011

Chitradurga Excursions

Harihar (90 km)


Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, Harihar is well known for the Harihareshwara temple, also known as "Dakshina Kashi". The temple was built by the Hoysala kings who ruled the region from 11th to 13th Century AD. As the name suggests, Harihara, the presiding deity of the temple, is an amalgamation of Shiva ("hara") and Vishnu ("hari"), the two polar Hindu deities. 

Hospet
Located in the Bellary district, Hospet's claim to fame is its proximity to Hampi, the erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagara Empire and a World Heritage Site............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

How to Reach Chitradurga

Air
Chitradurga is connected by air to Bangalore - 200km.

Rail
Chitradurga has train connectivity. There is a daily service to Bangalore and weekly services to Mumbai.

Road
Chitradurga is located at the junction of NH-4 (Bangalore-Poona National Highway) and NH-13 (Sollapur-Mangalore National Highway)............
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com
Backlinks to my website?