Sunday, March 18, 2012

Choudeswari Temple Tiptur

Who would not like their wishes and longings to come true.  If one were to seek blessings of the goddess and seek answers to their prayers, Chodeswari temple is the place to visit from Bangalore.  It is located 160 kms from Bangalore and 10 kms away from Tiptur which on SH6 enroute to Shimoga.  We had seen a recent TV program on TV9 which sang praise of this temple and its power to make individuals wish come true.  So this Sunday ( 18/3/2012 ) we decided to take the trip to check out the powress of the goddess.

 The distance travelled towards this destination was almost very comfortable because the combination of national and state highway was in good condition.  The rustic atmosphere approaching the temple at Dasarighatta was pleasant surprise.  This temple complex is maintained by Adichunchungiri Mutt.  One can seek the blessings of the Goddess Chowdeswari in the main temple complex.  The idol in the sanctum looks powerful, with bold eyes.  The fierce expression on the goddess face is however soothened  by the priest who are hospitable.  They request you to go to the goddess and seek divine intervention.

One has to buy a ticket for Rs 110 to seek the blessings of the Devi.  Two lemons are placed on a table which is filled with vibuthi ( ashes ) on which the goddess is supposed to answer one's wishes.  Two priest hold the goddess and it is guided by the spirit to answer the queries of the disciple.  We paid for seeking the divine intervention, but unfortunately the queue system and issue of the token seemed to be mismanaged, so we decided to enter the main complex and silently prayed for our wishes to come true.  We had to proceed a long way back lest our doggie goes hungry.

We had a good lunch at the temple premise, it was sumptuous but once again mismanaged by the bhatts, who ran out of  plantain leaves.  We were surprised many advised us to serve ourselves, and there was commotion among themselves and the incharge left the place in a huff.  The rest of the devotees were served on plastic banana leaf.

Accomodation for pilgrims to stay put is being developed, and one can seek the same.  I am sure the devotees may eventually ending up donation for the temple if one decides to stay put in the free accommodation provided.  Marriage ceremonies to seems to be conducted to bolster the revenue generation in this temple.

I hope more organised system of  dharshan is ensured online in future.  The system of  having food too needs to be organised so that devotees don t feel let down.  Whatever lacuna in the organisation the feeling of the visit aftermath definitely leaves behind a miraculous effect.  One feels as if one's burden and worries is off the chest.

Weekend Getways from Bangalore..Kaidala

The challenge is when you almost exhaust your one day round trips, to keep churning more routes and adventure.  Normally when we plan a one day trip we would like to cover maximum.  Last month we undertook a round trip of 460 kms which was exhausting due to intermittent bad roads.  This time around we were fortunate to cover 340 kms comfortably because of  NH 4 and SH 6 which takes one to Shimoga and Honnavar from Tumkur.

So when we started off  our primary destination was Dasarighatta, which is known for the famous Choudeswari Devi.  To travel the distance of  nearly 160 kms without covering any places in between would have been tiresome and boring.  So we decided to take a breakfast break at Kamat Upachar near Dobbaspet.  After a sumptous breakfast and freshen up we moved towards our destination but in between we saw the tourism board of  Kaidala, it was pointing 27 kms from Dobbaspet, but i have travelled that route, the road is not so good.  So decided to stick to NH 4, and approaching Tumkur there is a deviation to Shimoga.  We took the byepass, my hunch told me that Kaidala must be enroute.  We enquired and confirmed that a slight deviation of 4 km on SH6 will take us towards Kaidala.

We proceeded towards Kaidala, which is supposed to be birthplace of  fabled Jakanacharya.  There are so many myths associated with this legendary sculpturer, that it is fabled and even a movie is made on this storyline.  But the fact of the matter after seeing the temple i got the impression that it was first of all not a hoysala architecture.  It resembled more from the Vijaynagar Era or Wodeyar era.   This temple has seems to have been resurrected by ASI.  The symbols on the facade of the temple are elephants, fishes etc.

The diety inside the temple belongs to Lord Chennakeshava, which is also present at Belur temple.  This is carved out of the soap stone.  There are not many sculptures on the facade of the temple surprisingly which may have been removed by ASI for fear of vandalism.

I had read an article wherein a famous professor had clearly mentioned that Jakanacharaya is figment of imagination of the ancient folklore.  He was immortalised and credited for the various hoysala temples.  Eversince this news was revealed the guides too nowerdays refrain from uttering his name.  Most of the artisans engaged during the hoysala period have their names etched on the sculpture and monuments.

Kaidala temple complex is managed by priests appointed by Murjai department, who seem to open the temple premise according to their whims and fancies.  Imagine that too on a Sunday an adjacent temple which must have been part of the main complex is separated and handled by another priest family.  Unfortunately the temple was locked at 9.30 am, and we did not want to risk searching for the priest, since we had to proceed a long distance.

The area surrounding the temple is now being landscaped and hopefully it would be a wonderful and serene complex in years to come.  We took the route back to join the SH6 to proceed towards our main destination at Darsarighatta.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Prologue :   My earlier visits to freedom park met with disappointment with regard to timings, i got to know that this park has strange and odd timings for visit, but exceptions are made for rallies and protests i presume.  Once during the Bangalore Photowalk session the park was closed at 9.30 am on Sunday.  Another time i went in the noon @ 2pm and found it was closed.  So friends this time i wanted to unravel the public timings for this visiting this place :

Timings displayed on the notice board :   4.30pm to 7.30pm official. 

Nothing official about it, probably a concept derieved from Pepsi advt, i mean the timings unofficial for the morning joggers and walkers are 6.30 am to 9.00 am.  Probably meeting one of the official objectives of giving the citizens of  Blore with a breathing lung space.  So guys now we have both official and unofficial timing as guide to visit the Freedom park.  Plan your visit according and you will not be disappointed. The iconic Sachin bashing the ball is featured on the main wall at the enterance giving a fun concept.

The idea of designing Freedom park germinated with inspiration from Hyde Park which covers more than 625 acres including the Kensington park in London.  Basically these parks are designed to hold demonstration, rallies and protests with public speakers spread across the park.  Probably the Amphitheatre is designed as a stage for the purpose of speakers making their ideas known in an open air atmosphere. 
Freedom park is located in the earstwhile Central Jail on an area of  21 acres of land, out of which another 3 acres is getting redeveloped by BBMP after a wall collapse.  I hope this area has two or three tier of underground parking facility which can house 5000 vehicles for protestors, otherwise the purpose of this park will be defeated, and Palace grounds will still be used as rallying point.

Yesterday i had three options before me, either to see a movie beginning at 4.30 pm, for which i was late or get back to my house, or to another attend program.  But i chose to visit Freedom park as a long wish to be fulfilled. 

This place was orginally housing the prisoners, who were conspiring against the British rulers beginning from the first war of  Indian Independence in 1857.  There are three huge barracks for housing common prisoners, an a VIP enclosure to house high profile prisoners.  The original capacity of the jail during 1863 ( 1866 ) when it was constructed was to house 300 prisoners which was slowly expanded to accomodate 800 prisoners.  Finally when the headcount exceeded 2000 nos the govt decided to move the prison to a new premise. details of prison admin :

The central watch tower was used to keep a round the clock vigil over the activities over the innmates.  This monument gives a 360 degree circular axis to secure the place from prisoners creating a rukus.  Earlier the boundary wall was scaling more than 16 feet.  During the emergency L.K.Advani was one among the VIP prisoners who was housed in Central jail, naturally he was the ideal person to inaugrate this premise as a symbol of  FREEDOM along with the Chief minister and Home Minister of  Karnataka.

This premise consists of  Asoka Pillar, Amphitheatre, Jail Museum, Sculpture court, Barracks, Watch Tower, Children playing area, People Courtyard, Water Fountain, Book Museum, Cafeteria which was not operational during visit, Art and Craft Bazaar, Toilets, and Parking space.  There are supposedly two entries into freedom park, one is from Shesadri Road, opp Maharani college premise leading to Gandhi Bazaar, which is main, and the other one is supposed to be from Ramachandra Rao road.

Dummies of the prisoners housed is featured in the VIP barrack is displayed.  Maybe some of them were reading and writing too in this premise.

When i visited a classical program was in progress, particularly weekend there are some cultural activities, today a drama is supposed to be enacted in the open amphitheatre.
The best part of the Freedom park is that it is currently free, but how long it is going to be free is the issue, because ticket counters are already in place.  Even the parking is currently free, so guys if you have some spare time to kill, nothing like visiting the old bangalore central jail and checking out the concept of  Freedom.  I experienced that the concept of  Architect couple Soumitra Ghosh & Nisha Mathew Ghosh with a budget 17.35 crores has really yielded an aura of  Freedom amongst the concrete jungle of Gandhinagar.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

In line of fire.........civil defence

JUst imagine staring at AK47 Barrel, @ VT station......on a wet dawn.....the commando manning the sand bag laden cubicle at Victoria terminus, waved with a hand signal move. I moved and found my cousin in line of fire........i asked him to move.I heard that cat has 900 lives, before it perishes, but am i lucky enough....yes so far so good. Life is ridden with peril, and that instant i decided to join civil defence.

Later we ( Cousin ) went to relax our mind elsewhere, preferably AC room to escape from extreme humidity. We entered a restricted room....where entry is prohibited without permission. . I was shocked to find the 40 video monitors of VT station from all angles......streaming live on the facade.The women commandos guarding them were stooping and taking a deep breath.....i wanted to photograph them for my own safety, but refrained myself and was prepared to face the consequence.. Suddenly they realised an intruder has entered their domain. We were thrown out by the arrogant security women. But we gave them a lesson of their lifetime.So friends when you do a good job pl remember there are no medals waiting for you and me at the independence day parade or republic day. but you have still perform, with an attitude of blank cheque when it comes to protecting people, place and property.Shankar guru turned out be a hero from Blore. He performed his duty wearing the CIVIL DEFENCE jacket. He prevented disaster, was proactive and seen all round the KSCA Stadium where the in augral ceremony was underway. Back stage he ensured that the sponsorers flag and banner did not fall on the VIP. He invited Kirmani for Viveknagar division launch. CD assignment is a reflex and pro active venture. He picked up a circular to the police constables to be alert about sabotage at KPL and handed over the CI. She was grateful for the gesture, she called up the concerned to alert him.
Rescue act does not require any sanction or paper work. He has demonstrated it is beyond doubt, that at his age he can perform his duties, like a college student. Come join the party and experience the adventure beyond compare.........join Civil defence for it is worth a billion. We can perform the duty to protect people and property.
Civil Defence was incorporated in 1968 by an act of Parliament, still 42 years later CD is unknown to 99.9 of the Indians. The brand and the organisation was dormant. Now the mandate from the Home ministry is to accelerate and develop a model for All India. Join civil defence @ Bangalore. Contact 9844308466 and walk the talk

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stonage to Shivgange

Just imagine on a glorious Sunday morning Khalid arrives in Bangalore weary from his Rajdhani journey. I hug him and receive him and he checks in and talks about checking out or I mean cancelling his ticket to Delhi. We have a quick breakfast Chicken sukka and wholesome wheat bread and rush to Cant Railway station after dropping my wife at the bank enroute.

We spend 20 minutes on the token system to cancell the ticket and drive back Home for Khalid to fresh up and be ready for some action. Sridhar anna arrives on his swift and we exchange notes on various facets of our life..........including certain celebrities of MS............Jammy boy, Tanna di, Shalu_Dayani, Faire, Sonika, Fenil, Jasmine, Nishant, Paulose etc etc.........Come on guys we had to kill some time, waiting for Mazhar and Azam to arrive. Finally after nearly 2 hours we guide them on GPS mode to our residence vide cell conversation looking out from our balcony. It was real guide them till the security gate.

Now we had to plan our trip for the day so that we are totally engaged and what a way to begin the trip with refuelling our bellies and diesel tank of Innova. We had the chicken curry and few slices of bread................along with cutting chai and grapes to chew. I packed some Taj wheat halwa, Sprite and little savouries for the trip. Eroute we checked out STONA 2010 exhibition at the BIEC on Tumkur road. Azam bhai was busy collecting data on various options for his construction project. We were having a gala time snapping up all the hues of stonage. Majority of the vendors on display were from Granite industry and cutting tools. We were astonished at the semi clad females who manning the stall to invite the customers into their stall. I used to only ask them only two questions do you have an office in blore, and what is the price per square of their wares. Don t read between the lines........guys..........We had a ride in the golf vehicle, and tried to emulate Tiger woods lifestyle..............oh my gosh we are spilling some beans virtual world.

After a number of photo ops at the exhibition we were sufficient cooled by the air-conditioned enviorns, which left us hungry. We decided to have Veg in the noon, and Azam knew a joint which was a semi-dhaba. We quickly gulped rotis and fried rice and omlet and proceeded to our heritage trek to Shivgange hills.

Shivgange towers over 1350 meters strectching over 4 kms from the ground level parking bay. My previous two experiences of climbing were during summer months which leaves one sapped and zapped for breath. The steps on the hillock is quite steep, so one should be well prepared with sufficient glucose and salt to replenish lost energy. I did not want Mazhar, Khalid and Azam to be put off. Sridhar aborted the ascent due to health concerns. He waited for return at Innova listening to stories dished out by the villagers.

Historical Preview :
Shivgange was popular from the Hoysala period with Veerabhadra temple, Shiva temple and many other temples in honour of Hindu gods. This place became popular because of Queen Shantala's suicide from the hilltop. The fabled tale is covered by me in the Bellagavi post. Do check out in Malnad Musings

The first major landmark point on the hillock is a monolithic granite Nandi on a deteour. We skipped two temples Veerabhadra and an ancient ruined temple. We proceed towards Olakallu theerta meaning grinding stone underground spring. Well despite being a regular climber, i was heaving breathlessly and so were Azam and Mazhar. But they quickly recovered with a dosage of Sprite.

Khalid was enjoying the trek, and on hindsight i found them really enjoying the cooling breeze enviorns in the evening. It was soothing dicussions about a member which kept them going with great fervour. In between we shot of pictures in various background with Sridhar's camera. We were warned by caretakers not to carry plastic carrybags for the fear of monkey menace. Naturally they act as predators on the prasad and eatables. Cant blame these monkeys some homosapien have taught them how to snatch eatables, if one does not offer them gracefully. Better to carry some bananas and feed them i suppose or else one has to carry a bamboo stick to scare them. We carried the packet of Halwa, Kitchen knife, Tissue paper, Mineral water and salt for keeping us company.

Enroute i acted as Mineral water vendor, Dacoit with a knife waylaying pilgrims, Seeking blessings from a saint after committing sins galore, all were lapped up in good humour. Khalid wanted to try his luck on drawing water from the spring. He failed once, but never gave because he was guided by another lady with regard to techinique. Behold the miraculous spring water hit his fingers and he leaped in joy since he tasted the Nectar of Life. It is fabled people who are able to fetch and drink this holy water will be blessed.