Sunday, November 30, 2008

Homage to the heros

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quantum of solace

'Quantum of Solace' is more like the sequel of the adventures of James Bond from 'Casino Royale'. Bond captured Mr. White, and is right in the middle of an unnerving car chase as the movie starts. Bond and 'M' interrogate Mr. White who reveals the organisation which blackmailed Vesper to steal Bond's casino winnings is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined. While Mr.White says that to know about us means to know that we have people everywhere, at that moment a fellow MI6 agent shoots and the chase that follows is quite exciting. This time bond shoots hanging upside down, then came the score "another way to die".Bond finds out that the lover of Vesper, because of whome she betrayed Bond was a cheat, this causes him deep anguish, M is worried that Bond is out for revenge, she also doubts the loyalty of her own people. Forensic intelligence links the MI6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille, a woman who has her own vendetta against General Medrano and is using Greene to get to him. Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene, a ruthless businessman and major force within the mysterious criminal organisation known only as 'Quantum'. On a mission that leads him to Austria, Italy and South America, Bond discovers that Greene, conspiring to take total control of one of the world's most important natural resources(water, well Bond fought for money,power, oil, diamonds, even space but this is new, he uncovers a plot by 'Qunatum' to keep all the water for themselves in a deserted area) is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano. Using his associates in the organisation, and manipulating his powerful contacts within the CIA and the British government, Greene promises to overthrow the existing regime in Bolivia, giving General Medrano control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land which is, however, a main source of the South American water supply. In a minefield of treachery, murder and deceit, Bond allies with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, 007 must keep one step ahead of the CIA, the terrorists, and even 'M' herself, to unravel Greene's sinister plan and stop Quantum from getting its way.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Notre - Dame

Notre - Dame

In the heart of Paris stands the capital's most beautiful religious monument, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, a master piece of harmony and balance.
In the dinning room of our house, stands my Notre - Dame as the most unique center piece anyone could have on thier table.

Construction :
Its construction spanned almost two centuries.
Mine, spanned almost 2 weeks of relentless cutting paper and glueing them together.
The first stone was laid in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII le Jeune and construction was completed in 1345.
The first paper was cut on june 13th, 2008 when I was really bored and I found the book which my brother bought in Paris.

During a little more than a century and a half everyone participated in the great enterprise, in an immense demonstration of faith.
Immense boredom owing to frequent power cuts in Banglore, and lack of anything better to do lead to the under taking of such a tiresome mission.

Guilds of masons, carpenters, glass makers and sculptors united their efforts under the direction of the architects, Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil.
My husband, tired of me not cooking him proper meals decided to finish it off, so that I will be back to my original self.
The fascade extends 40 m (130ft). The total length is 130 m (423 ft) the totla height of the tower is 69 m (224 ft). These few figures give us the indication of the immensity of the building.
Scaled down to 1/250,(1cm=2.5m) with the base of 22 x 63 cm and maximum height of 38 cm, with over 300 pieces to cut out. These figures give the indication of the complexity of my building.
For centuries and even before its completion the great cathedral has pulsed with the heart of the capital.
For days and even before its completion it has been the topic of discussion in and around the friends circle.
Nothing was too good for the house of God, and the builders did not hesitate to change the Romanesque portals of the transept, which was judged to be severe in relationship to the ornamental richness of the great Gothic facade.

Notre - Dame de Paris is certainly one of the most sumptuous bibles in stone offered to the centuries marvelling gaze.
And so is mine in paper...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chandrayaan-I India's Pride

India on Wednesday became the sixth nation to launch a moon mission when indigenously built PSLV-C11 rocket blasted off from the spaceport here carrying with it Chandrayaan-I, which will map the lunar surface.
Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) home-grown rocket PSLV-C11 lifted off at 6.22 a.m. from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre taking the spacecraft beyond the thick dark cloud cover over this coastal town.
After 18.2 minutes, ISRO's warhorse rocket had injected Chandrayaan-I, its maiden moon mission, in the earth orbit.
With the launch, India joined the elite club of moon faring nations -- the US , Russia , European Space Agency , China and Japan .
"The launch was perfect and precise. The satellite has been placed in the earth orbit.
"With this, we have completed the first leg of the mission and it will take 15 days to reach the lunar orbit," ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said.
President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Leader of the Opposition L K Advani congratulated space scientists on the successful launch.
Chandrayaan-I is carrying an Indian flag which will be placed on the lunar surface when the Moon Impactor Probe lands on the moon during the course of the two-year mission.
"Our baby is on the way to the moon," Chandrayaan-I spacecraft director Mylswamy Annadurai said after the satellite was injected in the Transfer Orbit with a perigee of about 250 km and apogee of about 23,000 km, about 19 minutes.
About 18 minutes after liftoff, Chandrayaan-I separated from the rocket and began circling the earth in an elliptical orbit powered by its own engines.
At opportune moments, space scientists tracking the mission will fire the spacecraft's Liquid Apogee Motors (LAM) repeatedly to take it into more elliptical orbits.
Subsequently, the LAM would be again fired to take the spacecraft till it reaches 387,000 km from earth which is called the Lunar Transfer Orbit (LTO).
After Chandrayaan-1 reaches the LTO, its LAM would be fired again so as to slow down the spacecraft sufficiently to enable the gravity of the moon to capture it into an elliptical orbit.
The next step would be to reduce the height of the spacecraft orbit around the moon in various steps.
After some more procedures, Chandrayaan-1's orbit would be finally lowered to its intended 100 km height from the lunar surface, which is expected to take place around November 8.
Later, the Moon Impact Probe would be ejected from Chandrayaan-1 in a chosen area following which the cameras and other payloads would be turned on and thoroughly tested, marking the operational phase of the mission.
The MIP will not survive the fall but demonstrate technologies for a future soft-landing mission. During its crash on the lunar surface, the MIP will send high resolution images of the moon and also analyse terrain.
Of the 11 instruments carried by the satellite, five are Indian, three are from the European Space Agency, two from the US -- including a radar that can search for ice under lunar poles -- and one from Bulgaria .
Beyond 3-D mapping the moon and scanning for mineral deposits, the mission will test systems for a future moon landing

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who or What is God

This morning my husband and I had a debate, that's what we do when we have nothing better to do, about who God is. (A healthy debate is what a couple need,when it is far from home you could always agree to disagree and move on)

So he asked me what in my opinion is God, where is he, and how does he look like. Isn't that a universal question that never had any real answer though centuries. But faith, always helps when we talk about God. Great philosophers had pounded over the existence of God and ever one concluded its faith that you have to have to see God.
As Hindus we come to believe that it is with that faith and belief that we could see God in an stone idol. We do have a lot of Gods don't we. Well the recent God who has joined this fraternity is Shiridi Sai Baba. Most people believe him and think he has some supernatural power that could make their wishes come true. But from what I know he was a humble man who preached equality, unity and service to others as his primary objective. He had followers who offered him riches but he used every rupee of it to help others, so people respected him and called him God. Many stories emerged that he has performed miracles and soon temples emerged and people started to pray, do bhajans and perform festivals, but they forgot his basic idea, he never wanted temples, he never wanted a name for himself what he wanted was to help others. why dont we stop doing bajans and building temples and do some good, after all thats what he wanted. But no we want to have the easy way to "Moksha", I don't have time to go out there and help others but I could give money so that some one else could do the work. With that attitude can you blame others for making this as a business and earning for themselves. I am not suggesting you stop working and do social work, God no,....... Why do you always have to go to extrems, I am not asking you to be a yogi man I am suggesting that you do good things in your daily life, and when you do good not matter how small, believe me it could make a difference. Teach your children and those who are younger than you how it is done. My mom did that to me.

My mother she was a well educated woman who always taught us that spending one hour in a temple will not even come close to as helping those who are in need. She never encouraged fasting, she said God would never want you to go hungry what he WOULD want is for you to feed others who could not feed themselves. She always taught us to give back something to the society which has given us soooo much. My father was different he prays to God every morning, my father obeys all the disciplines of religion but he too believes in helping others. My father teaches by example, he taught us that no religion is bad and with patience and understanding we could read the true lesson each religion has to offer, which not surprisingly, remains the same Equality, Non- violence and Service to others amoung others.

So it is you who have the power to make a difference and the power to do a miracle. It is his good deeds that made Sai Baba a God, it is his giving nature that secured a place in peoples hearts as God. So when anyone asks me who God is I would say "Its You" and where God lives I would say "In You". So before going to temple next time, think to yourself, What am I doing and why am I doing this, If you are doing this for "Punyam" you can get it by serving others, If you are doing for peace of mind, helping someone in need will fill your whole heart with such a pleasant feeling that you will find great happiness in that.

I believe in God, I too go to temples but I don't think that alone will give me satisfaction, I strongly believe that charity begins at home, so I believe in being happy. When I am happy I could make others happy. When I keep a healthy family, and impart good values in them I will be doing a much greater job than leaving my family at home alone to perform pujas in a temple.
As women we have a great deal of responsibility, how we behave has a lot of impact on the one who are around us so we have to be extra careful.

Ok thats my opinion and I am open for discussion.....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ugly Betty is back.....

Somehow I like the show.

It has all this glitz and glamour

All the fashions and cool actors

and then they have Betty and her world

They have this two different worlds in the same episode

and still it does not look dramatic,

Its fun and entertaining.

Its not like feel sad for the poor and hate the rich sort of thing we usually see

It shows how people suffer in different environments and behave in different situations.

No one is truly right and wrong, its the situation they are in that makes them such.

Mostly I love the confidence in Betty who stands up to people who are, well to be frank quite taller than her in those heels.

All in all Ugly Betty is one funny serial and I recommend you watch it.

A new season is starting on aug 11, on star world, in India

Sunday, August 3, 2008


The other day I saw in the TV a debate where the people are addressing the government about certain issues, when the topic of eve teasing came about. When the commissioner of police said that women should dress properly and not dress in reveling cloths which would provoke the men to eve teasing, a woman responded by saying that now they want to restraint their dress, and in future they will send us back to home asking them to cook and clean. Let me tell you that I agree with the commissioner that women should dress well. Women mostly is cities are not very conscious of what they wear. Movies are a high influence on the young generation but I think its their attitudes that need a make over. Girls wear revealing cloths thinking that they are following a certain trend or that they are creating a certain trend, they think that they are moving forward. They are the next generation, and older generation will not understand. but is it really so. Does moving forward mean you have to loose your identity. Every women wants to prove that she is equal to man in every respect, but her attair is giving her away. Men are too much distracted by her revealing cloths that they are failing to see who you are. Every girl wants a husband, or boyfriend who understands her, while that is highly impposible if you appear in front of him in a short top and a tight jeans. Did any of you girls notice that, even in movies boys dance with girls in short dress, but when they take them to their parents or if they want to marry someone they find a well mannered girl in saree. what does that mean...... though the guys are interested in seeing a girl in tube top he wants anyone who is related to him quiet decent.

Yes I said decent, because even you know that wearing a jean to a temple is not proper. you drape yourself in a shawl or dupatta. why not hold that attair always. It will earn you the respect of your collegues and friends not just their attention. It will give them a chance to know you. Dress well and be fashionable but always be aware that you need to dust of the glitter before seeing the real you. Women are entering in every profession and are equally brainy, so let us use our brains and decide what we want to be the wrap that we wear or the person you are.

To my friends

This Friendship Day I want to acknowledge the friendship of all my friends without whom I will not be the person I am today.

From my childhood I had to move to different places as my father got postings all around Andhra Pradesh so I had the chance to meet new people and always make new friends. I am not really sure who I played with when I was little but my true friendship started in Eluru a small town near Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. Aiwhwarya was my fist best friend. We were classmates from my first to third standard in St. Theressa's school. I do not remember much about that time except that we always had a great time together.

Then my father got transferred to Vizag. This was the place when I knew that Friendship has no age limits. We had these great neighbours, Prof. Pandu Ranga Rao, Leela Aunty, Nunny, Munny and Bunny. LOL I know .... they are pet names but I never knew them by their original names. All of them were elder than me but they were people I would never forget in my life. Great people the very meaning of perfect neighbours. We were there only for one year but they gave me and my family memories that could last for a life time. When I came back from school I was always in their place than in my home. I was Leela aunty's favourite and no one is allowed to tease me when I was around her, even my mom. when my mother used to scold me for not studying aunty used to call her from her house and tell her to send me to her house. I will not forget those days. I remember I used to play with uncle also. That new year he got so many bouquets, and I was down there tearing of all the flowers and filled thier whole house with stems and leaves... the thing is no one stopped me. I was free to do anything in their house. They had taught that being friendly is important than anything in the world. I am sorry that I could not meet them again after we left Vizag. Hey... I still have time don't I

OK from there we went to Kakinada, It is called a pensioners Paradise. The place is a secluded charming town with such a warm hearted people. I had my lifes best time in that place, I have improved my studies and also as a person in this place. I had many friends in this place but the person who had an impact on me was Uma, she and I were inseparable. we studied together, played together, we participated in debates, we acted in school dramas. Uma always wanted to be a doctor, her father suffered with heart problem. I wished I knew where she is and if she became what she always wanted to be. We lost touch after she too moved from Kakinada. There is another person I want to mention hear. Friendship does not always happen between people who have everything in common but it might spark between two people who are completly different. Lekha, the principle's daughter was this big headed girl who always got what she wanted, neither teachers nor students crossed her path except for a new girl from Vizag... ya me.

Well I was hot headed too, when she started to dominate me I was really mad and I did not care if she was principle's daughter and the rest of the class were with me. So for two years of cold war between us finally she complained to her father and I got a good shouting from the principle. My mother was not happy about it and she called for a truce between us. It was quiet well from then on, Lekha followed me around after that and I became friends with the 'Principle's daughter'. A very funny girl who was just misunderstood.

From there we came to Vijayawada, our native, the place we have been away for so long. This is where I learnt that making friends is not easy and finding friends you can trust is an impossible task. Still I found friends who cared for me and about whom I cared. This place taught me that life is full of odd people. When I first joined Nirmala High School I was naive, but when I left it I was street smart. In a way the school taught me that life is not good to you unless you are tough enough to handle it. But I was lucky to find a true friend, Deepthi. It was the time I knew the true meaning of friendship. She was with me through thick and thin and she still is. She is my pillar of strength and hope. She might change someday, but our friendship will not. It was a friendship based on give and take, she gave me friendship and I took it. When people talk of Friendship I think of her. We were friends, are friends and will be friends forever. Her favourite quote was

miles and miles apart
thousand miles apart
you can never depart
from my heart

Now she is in US and I am in B'lore but thanks to modern technology we are always near, whenever I want a caring word Deepu is always there for me. After school we went different ways, she had her set of friends and I had mine but no one could replace her, and the special place she has in my heart.
After her I met Samyukta, she is bold and beautiful. Courageous and and outspoken, she and I have always argued about one thing or another, well more of a debate since we never shared a same opinion and after our debate we both agree to disagree. Both of us are calm and collective and never missed a chance to share our opinions, that way I always can count on Sam for an intelligent conversation. And in Engineering when people forbid her from talking to me (due to caste difference, yes it still prevails in colleges in Andhra... shocking isn't it that too in an educated community) she took it as a challenge and did not stop talking to me. (courageous as I have told you before) She and I are forbidden friends its actually exciting right. But time passed and we were busy with our own friends.

Well there is another person with whom I share a special bond of friendship Sri Vidya. She is my partner in crime. The both of us were the misfits in Nalanda where we made fun of boys, lecturers. We studied with competition and we did a lot of work, but mostly we enjoyed each others company.

Then when I got to my Engineering I got not one but six best friends, Everyone unique in their own way. Sirisha, the caterpillare which came out of its cocoon to become a butterfly, she has reached her heights with hard work and pure determination. Indu, the voice of reason, always cool and collective. She was never too rash in making decisions, and she helped me a lot. Satyavathi, was this innocent village girl, innocense is a bliss they say and I would say she would stay that way forever. Jhansi is the modest one, she always knew why she was here and she became the typical wife, and mother. She is this image of 'the Indian girl' everyone talks about. Lalitha is always confused, I frankly never understood her the four years of our friendship and still do not understand her, but there is this truth about her one cannot miss. Neelu, the poor little rich girl, she had everything handed to her in a silver plate, everything selected for her by her parents and done for her by her brother. She had nothing to do but live a happy life. I am told she is expecting a baby boy soon. They made my college life a memorable one.

After my education I got married and my husband became my next best friend. The supports me , encoourages me, guides me and I am happy to find a friend in my husband, It is every girls dream and I am lucky to live my dream.

On this Friendship day I wish all my Friends a Happy Friendship Day

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Banglore Palace

Bangalore Palace is a palace located in the city of Bangalore, India and is built to look like a smaller replica of the Windsor Castle in England.

It was built by Rev. Garrett in 1884, it was bought by the Maharaja of Mysore, Chamaraja Wodeyar.Now owned by the current scion of the Mysore royal family, Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar. The palace was built in Tudor style architecture with fortified towers, battlements and turrets.

The ground floor consists of an open courtyard containing granite seats covered with fluorescent blue ceramic tiles.

It also contains a ballroom for holding private parties.

The first floor containing an elaborate hall called as the Durbar Hall can be reached by climbing a decorated staircase. This is the hall where the king used to address the assembly. The walls along the Durbar Hall are adorned with paintings and the staircase has a massive elephant head mounted on its wall. After climbing the stairs we find the photograph of the king on his golden throne in the Mysore palace, which is taken out only during the Dassera festivities.

After that we enter the elegant Durbar hall with its magneficient chandlers, and beautifully ornamented mirrors. One side of the Durbar hall contains stained glass windows in Gothic style. The colour yellow is used profusely and the walls and the sofa set in the hall are in yellow. A screen on one end separates the area where the ladies used to sit and watch the assembly proceedings in relative privacy.

The interior walls of the palace are also adorned by old paintings belonging to the mid-19th century, including some Greek and Dutch paintings.Some paintings of Raja Ravi Verma are also present here.

Some of the other attractions include a dining table belonging to the Diwan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail. This table contained a mother-of-pearl inlay with Chinese lacquer work.Also the numerous photos of the royal family, depicting the various generations of royality and splendor.

The interiors were decorated with elegant wood carvings, floral motifs, cornices and relief paintings on the ceiling. The furniture, which was neo-classical, Victorian and Edwardian in style, was bought from John Roberts and Lazarus. A total of 35 rooms were built in the palace with most of them being bed rooms, which demand our special attention.

The palace is open to the public who can visit it after paying a nominal fee. There are also plans to rent out the ballroom for private parties and also to sell silk scarves, photographs and other articles used by the royal family to the tourists. Illumination of the palace and renovating the gardens using Mexican grass is also being planned.

Story relating to Lepakshi

There is more than one story or a legend attributed to the origin of this place. Some say that the name Lepakshi was given to the village when Lord Rama, asked Jatayuvu, the mythological bird who was injured, to “le-Pakshi” i.e. “get up”. Every one knows that when Ravana kidnapped Sita, there came Jatayuvu to the rescue of mother Sita and got killed trying to save her. Legend says that this is the place where it all happened, and as the bird lay injured on the hill, Lord Rama came there in search of mother Sita. Jatayuvu informed Rama as to who took mother Sita and where they went. This helped Lord Rama in waging a war against Ravana thereby getting back mother Sita and getting rid of a cruel king. The temple also has an imprint of a lady's leg in the rock, which the locals say it if the foot print (which is unusually large for a person) of mother Sita.

As per local legend Lord Shiva and Parvati were married on the spot where the Kalyana Mandapa stands.

Another story of how the place got its name is attributed to a story centuries later to the builder of the temple which stands today.Veerabhadra temple is a notable example of the Vijayanagar style of architecture. A reference is made in the 'Skandapurana' to Lepakshi as one of the hundred and eight important 'Shaiva Kshetras' (shrines). Though the temple of Veerabhadra is claimed to have been constructed by Saint 'Agastya' himself, it was developed into the present exquisite shrine by 'Virupanna', the treasurer of the Vijayanagar Kings.He conceived the idea as he found the image of Veerabhadra.He executed the plan in the absence of the king and used the treasure when he was away at Vijayanagar. When the construction was almost finished and it was being supervised the king returned and found the treasure empty. The king ordered, as a punishment to this heinous crime, that he should be blinded. The treasurer being a loyal person carried out the punishment spot with his own bands. Even today one can see two dark stains upon the wall near the 'Kalyana Mandapa', which are said to be the marks made by his eyes, which he himself dashed against the wall. The builder did not survive for a long time and the village is called "Lepa-akshi Lepakshi", i.e., a village of the blinded eye.

Yet another story goes that in ancient times, the village was used for the preparation of “Akshi Lepam” i.e. eye make-up, hence the name. For those who are content with any version, it is the treasures of Lepakshi that allure one to its sites.

also read...

A visit to Lepakshi

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Visit to Lepakshi

Lepakshi is a small village, set back in time. Situated 480 km from Hyderabad, and It is 15 km east of Hindupur and about 100 km north of Bangalore.

We thought of starting early and got up at 5 a.m but since both me and my husband hate to wake up early on a weekend we stayed in bed for a while and by the time we started out it was already 8a.m. But not to worry we got a bus to Hindupur from majestic bus stand and we were off. But our trip was not going to be a smooth one. The bus broke down around 12km from Hindpur so we took an auto rickshaw from there. Lucky for us there are a lot of service autos connecting all those small villages to Hindpur. when we told the driver that we wanted to go to Lepakshi temple he dropped us at a bus stand where a lot of private buses to Lepakshi are available. By that time it was already afternoon and we were hungry. We searched for a restaurant but all we can find is a small hotel that provided meals, which I should say that we were able to eat only because we were hungry. I suggest u take ur own lunch if u r planning to go.

From there we got a bus to Lepakshi, just a 15 min ride in a crowded bus is not that bad. We reached the temple and to our shock we realised that the batteries in our camera were not charged. Since we took 3 sets of batteries with us I tried all combinations and one of them worked so I was not able to get as many pictures as I wished I had. We hired a guide who basically told us the story of how and why the temple was built. Want to read the story? I think you would like it better when a professional told it, and the place also would add to the mystic. but if you are still interested read my next blog, because this one is for my visit only. Now where was I, yes we hired a guide, took the tour. And had some great pictures.
The weather was favourable, thank God. It was cloudy all day and drizzled a bit when we were in the temple. The light shower of water on an already heated rocks has rather cooling effect. The place looked even charming in the rain.

The Temple is built on a turtle shaped hill called 'Kurma Saila' . There are 5 'Lingas' in this place and each one has its own history. One of which was placed by Lord Rama when he found 'Jatayuvu'(A bird which tried to Save Sita). Another was placed there By Lord Hanuma and so on...All these small temples were noted and a huge temple was rebuilt in its place by 'Virupanna' a treasurer of Vijayanagara Kings, when he had a vision from his deity 'Veerabhadra' asking Virupana to build a temple for him.

The temple is divided into three parts - the 'Mukha Mandapa', (also called 'Nitya Mandapa' or 'Ranga Mandapa'), the 'Artha Mandapa' and 'Garbha Griha', and the 'Kalyana Mandapa', with 38 carved monolithic pillars in grey sandstone is unfinished. These three form a triangle with a common Mandapam.The temple sanctum stands in the middle of two irregular enclosures and the entrance is through a huge hall which is the 'Mukha Mandapa'. The pillars in this hall bear sculptures of different deities major and minor. We can see Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma, Devi Parvathi watching a dance performance of 'Rambha' who dances according to the steps of 'Brungeeswara' (the three legged dance teacher of the Devas, who keeps on danceing with any of his two legs at any given time.....tiring isin't it). There are musicians also.

Adjacent to the main hall is a pillar , hanging from the ceiling. A heavy pillar of it size hanging from the celing is quiet intriguing. A British Engineer — studying the uniqueness of the pillar about a century ago — disturbed the delicate balance. The ceiling here that is more interesting. The frescos that cover the entire space are reputed to be the most important specimens of Vijaynagar pictorial art. Painstakingly done, these narrate events from the life of the patrons of this temple as well as episodes from the Mahabharatha and Ramayana. In one corner, the brothers Viranna and Virupanna are shown worshipping Shiva and Parvathi in the company of courtiers. These are of great interest, as they provide details of costumes,ornaments and hairsyles of an bygone era. Apart from these, these are many sculptures depicting puranic episodes like those of 'Ananthasayana', 'Dattatreya', 'Chaturmukha Bramha', 'Tumburu', 'Narada' and 'Rambha'. The 'Artha Mandapa' and 'Garbha Griha' is where we find the main deity is an almost life-size image of Veerabhadra carrying weapons. And in the ceiling is a painting of Veerabhadra with Virupanna dutifully offering obeisance. There are also minor temples of Durga, Vishnu, Vinayaka, and the 'Nava Grahas'. A pillar here shows the pefect images of man and woman.

Outside the compound is a magnificiant multi-hooded Naga shielding a granite Linga. It is shaped out of a natural boulder and is an awe-inspiring spectacle. The big granite bull is on the main road, about 200 metres from the temple faces this Linga. 'The Kalyana Mandapam' is a standing monument to the exuberance of Vijayanagar art but it is left unfinished. Here we find on one pillar Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathi in the middle of their marriage ceremony. Parents and other deitys attending the ceremony. Lord Bhrama Inviting the guests and many more sculptures. The best specimens of the Vijayanagar style of sculpture and mural paintings are found in the Natya and Kalyana Mandapams (dance and wedding halls). The different pillars of the Kalyana Mandapa contain different designs on each face which are used as borders for sarees now a days.

Lepakshi is a must see if u are a devotee, or interested in history and architecture or just like taking photos. This place will not disappoint you.
All in all a day well spent. We had no more troubles getting back to banglore, and we spent the next day resting in the comfort of our home.

also read...

Story relating to Lepakshi

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Daasavataaram is a Kamal Hassan movie. what can I say when it is a Kamal movie it has to be different. There is no other choice but to watch it in the theater, so we went. paid Rs70 each for a ticket in a theater in banglore where there was no numbering, no AC, and they sold more tickets than the number of seats so people for fighting for seats. we were lucky we got two in the front row. The movie started great, like "in 12 centuary BC when people fought for their gods" there were some powerful dialogs in the narration and cool special effects. Being a fan of fiction and mythical movies I was quiet intrigued. After the prologe the story shifts to 2004 from where we take the journey of 10 kamal hassans appearing in different makeup. some are good and some are bad. well the hero had no makeup but kamal being the villain too was great. He was an American ex-CIA agent a rouge agent who wants to have the virus which America developed as a biological weapon(come on......) then there is this scientist who wants to save it from falling in the wrong hands. There were some cool special effects and too good to be true camera angles. It was great in the beginning but as the movie went on they seemed to drag the story just to include the script. and finally at the end of the movie they seem to suggest that everything happens for a reason and for our own good but they failed to justify the lose of life. Ok its a movie so let us skip that. but I felt that when Asin and Kamal were quiet insensitive when they were having a light romantic moment when the people were shown suffering in the background as being quiet insensitive. Actually I saw no connection, what so ever between the prolog and the movie except the idol comes back to shore. But why? I was disappointed at the end for the storywriters are too busy to include 10 kamals that they had no time for an actual story. U comment...........

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Coorg / Kodugu

Coorg or Kodagu(originally called Kodaimalenadu) means 'dense forest on steep hill', roughly dubbed as the Scotland of India.
Coorg was one of the coolest vacation we had since or marriage. The place had such a reputation that we simply HAD to go and we did to celebrate the birthday of my dear hubby.
We started in Banglore at about half past ten by bus in Kempagowda bus stand. Though we searched the net and got a lot of good hotels and homestay reviews we decided we go there and then decide where to stay, so we did not make any reservations.
We reached Madikeri at 5:30 in the morning, but did not know where to go as the sun did not rise yet and it was still cool and foggy, so we stayed in the busstand until there was a little bit of sunlight. There we found that the auto drivers are trying to sell us the idea of a homestay which is consired to be a pretty nice way of staying in coorg, but since its just the two of us in a strange place, we decided we would rather stay somewhere we would feel secure, the ever reliable KSTDC Mayura hotel.
KSTDC Mayura Valley View Hotel: cost us 1200/- per day and the check-in counts from 12 in the afternoon no matter when you arrive.

View of the valley below from our room
view of the small town of Madikeri from our hotel with its charming little cottages

Madikeri or Mercara is the main town of Coorg and is also a well known hill station.

Madikeri Fort

This 19th century fort, in the centre of Madikeri, houses a temple, a chapel, prison and a small museum. The fort offers a beautiful view of Madikeri.Now it is used to host some governament offices.
Raja's seat
Raja's seat is a small, square 'mantapa' with a commanding view of the valleys and cliffs to the west is an attractive spot for lovers of nature. here we can sit and enjoy the glorious scene of sunrise and sunset as the raja and his consorts did in the past.

A view from the Raja's Seat

Omkareshwara temple
There is a beautiful Omkareshwara temple in Madikeri just a 10 min. walk from the Raja's seat.

kushal mantapa

The Kushal mantapa lies right in the middle of the tank just outside the temple.It is said Lingarajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions. That Brahmin became a “Brahmarakshasa” and started troubling the king. The king got rid of the so called “Brahmarakshasa” only when he brought a “Shivalinga” from Kashi and installed it after building a temple. The shivalinga was named as “Omkareshwara” and regular rituals were performed.

Abbi Abbi falls
Then we took a local autorickshaw to see the famous Abbi falls. The Madikeri stream, also called Muttaramuttu, falls 21.3m to the huge boulders to a deep rocky valley to form this picturesque waterfalls called (Abbi Falls (abbi means waterfall in kodavatak-a tribal local language). The British called it the Jessey Waterfall in memory of Jessey, the daughter of Madikeri's first chaplain.

First view of the falls

A scene of the valley below while returning from Abbi falls


Entrance of Kaveri Nisargadham

Nisargadhama is situated about 36 kms from Madikeri. This is an ideal picnic spot. It is an island in the middle of the river connected by a rope bridge. You can do boating or go for elephant rides as well as visit the elephant training camp run by the Forest Department at Dubare (8 kms further). This place is also home to a few animals sort of a petting zoo where people are encouraged to interact with the animals. It also has tree houses made of bamboo.


When the river Cauvery flows downhill, it is joined by two more tributaries - Kanake and Sujyoti. The spot where all three converte (the Cauvery, the Kanika and the Sujyothi) is called Bhagamandala. The temple here, built in Kerala style, has smaller shrines dedicated to various gods. It is about 40 kms from Madikeri.

Road to Tala-Kaveri


The birth place of river Kaveri, is an astoundingly beautiful place which is surrounded by mountains. Talakaveri (head of Cauvery) in the Brahmagiri hills, at about 4,500 ft above sea level. This place is marked by a tirtha kundike or Brahma kundike (small spring/pond) from where the river emerges as a small perennial spring, but flows underground again to emerge a short distance away. It is about 48 kms from Madikeri. There is a shrine near the kundike and a big tank in front of it where devotees baths before offering prayers. There are 2 temples, a Shiva temple and with a rare and ancient Shiva Linga, and another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This temple has a holy Ashwantha tree where, according to legend, the Trimurtis - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh gave darshan to sage Agastya.
Legends also has it that every year on Tulasankramana day (approximately on 17 October) Goddess Parvati appears in the Kundike as the sacred teerthodbhava. This occasion is marked by the sudden unsurge of water in the kundike and is considered very auspicious
From Talakaveri, steps lead up to the nearby Brahmagri peak, where the 7 great sages called the Sapta Maharishis had performed a special yagna. From the peak, as well as on the drive to Talakaveri, tourists can enjoy a good view of the misty blue Brahmagiri hills.


Some of the popular items to buy are coffee, honey, spices, cardamom, pepper, pineapple papads and oranges ( season). Coorgi silk saree are also very famous and they have a different style of wearing them.


Ummathat, the lively dance of kodugu is set to the bent of cymbals, which resemble the exuberant Ummat flower (Datura metel) from which the dance gets its name. Ummat flowers and seeds have both medicinal and poisonous properties depending on the parts used and the quantity administered.

Tasty medicine

Abundant in this region, Madduthoppu (Justicia wayanadensis) is attributed medicinal value believed to peak on the 18th of Kakkada (July - Aungust), when it is used as an ingredient in various delicacies.