Revolutionizing Awareness

helping humanity, make choices, more so through awareness, than ignorance

Posts Tagged ‘Karnataka’

Where does Bangalore’s power come from?

Posted by Admin on November 12, 2012

http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/4648-bescoms-power-sources

Bangalore had been reeling under a power shortage until recently. The city alone consumes about a third of the state’s total power. What are Bangalore’s power sources?

By Navya P K
06 Nov 2012, Citizen Matters

For over a month, there have been reports about power shortage in the city. Early October, BESCOM had contemplated power cuts for industries, but later changed the plan when rains started.

Currently, the city has shortage of around 100 MW daily, which is only less than 5% of its total requirement, says P Manivannan, MD of BESCOM [1]. The shortage for entire BESCOM area is upto 600 MW. Manivannan says, “The shortage cannot be quantified, but varies from 0-600 MW through the day depending on wind and other sources. We are able to handle it, and are not contemplating any load shedding for the city.”

Bangalore’s daily power demand is about 2300 MW (Mega Watt). That is, 2300 MW of power is transmitted throughout the day to the city on average (there are sharp differences in peak and non-peak hour consumption though). Bangalore consumes about one-third of the state’s total power. Karnataka‘s average demand is 6000 MW per day.

Pic: wikimediacommons

Overall, Bangalore consumes 42 Million Units (MU) energy per day, as opposed to state’s 140 MU. The transmission of 2300 MW through the day, leads to consumption of 42 MU of energy.

What are our power sources?

Bangalore is powered by the same grid that supplies to the entire state – there are no specific sources for Bangalore alone. The sources include hydel, thermal and non-conventional sources like wind and sun. The state also gets power from Central Generating Stations (CGS) like Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Kaiga Atomic Power Station in North Karnataka etc. Together, the sources have the maximum capacity to produce 12,000 MW of power, but actual generation is about 6000 MW and the extent of generation from each source varies through the day. Major sources are the state’s own hydel and thermal power stations.

Hydel power:

The state has over 15 hydel power stations – Shivanasamudra, Sharavathy and Bhadra are some of them. Though hydel power is a major part of state’s power, BESCOM gets only a small share of it. The amount of hydel power allocation is fixed for ESCOMs (Electricity Supply Companies).

BESCOM gets 12% of state’s hydel power for its entire area which also includes Tumkur, Chitradurga, Davanagere etc (not just Bangalore). Because of this low dependency on hydel power, poor monsoon rains do not hinder power supply to Bangalore as much.

Thermal power:

Thermal power comes from coal, gas and diesel stations. Raichur and Bellary Thermal Power Stations (RTPS and BTPS), and Yelahanka Diesel Generating Station (YDGS) are the state’s major thermal stations. Unlike hydel power, thermal power is stable as long as there is no shortage of coal/diesel.

Central Generating Stations (CGS):

CGS are thermal/nuclear stations. The stations are maintained by central government, and each state gets a specified share of the power generated. The state in which the station is located, will get majority of the power while neighbouring states will get a smaller share. Karnataka gets about 1000 MW from CGS, on average.

Non Conventional Energy Projects (NCEPs):

This power is produced not by government agencies, but by Independent Power Producers (IPPs). NCE sources mainly are wind, sun, biomass etc. Wind generation is a major part of NCEPs, but depends on wind availability. While IPPs like Tata BP Solar exclusively generates solar power, much of NCE is generated in factories as by-product.

For instance, in sugar and steel factories, while production process goes on, power can be generated simultaneously. The factories use part of this power for themselves, and sell the excess to the state. Udupi Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL), a major IPP, produces power from imported coal.

How power reaches Bangalore

Three agencies are involved in the procurement, transmission and supply of power, before it reaches consumers. Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) is the state agency that gets power from different generating stations. KPCL also buys power from other states when required.

Another agency, Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (KPTCL) is in charge of transmitting power to different ESCOMs, including BESCOM. Once it gets the power from KPTCL, BESCOM’s local network supplies it to consumers.

All of this is co-ordinated by KPTCL’s State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC). ESCOMs inform SLDC about their power requirement forecast for the next day, 24 hours earlier. Similarly, KPCL informs SLDC of its generation forecast, a day before. Depending on this, the total power is distributed among each ESCOM for the next day. Demand and supply varies through the day, and SLDC maintains real-time data on this.

06 Nov 2012

Navya P K is Senior Staff Journalist at Citizen Matters.

Advertisements

Posted in Bengaluru, Pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Where does Bangalore’s power come from?

Igniting Kannada minds

Posted by Admin on November 5, 2012

http://www.bangaloremirror.com/article/31/2012083120120831184632730b9e70a63/-Igniting-Kannada-minds–.html

Eminent scholar K V Narayana’s path-breaking initiative ‘Reading Karnataka’ seeks to radically change our traditional concepts of information and knowledge.

“We are not going anywhere,” said Prof G Venkatasubbaiah, effectively indicating that “the Kannadigas are here to stay and we will survive” irrespective of all the recent politicising of language issue.
Another crusader, Prof U R Ananthamurthy, never gets tired of pushing for “all information/knowledge to Kannadigas through Kannada”. But there is an unexpressed “also” to it, implying most of our knowledge sources are in English.
That the language issue has become a political game is common knowledge. The current topic of debate is the Nature of Knowledge. Journalist Sugata Srinivasaraju calls it an “epistemological intervention”.
Scholar and critic Dr K V Narayana thought of expanding the debate on such an issue and he started a series of workshops, a special knowledge zone, what he calls ‘Karnataka Oodu’. Some translate it as ‘Reading Karnataka’. It could also be termed Karnataka Studies. The three basic questions he poses are:
1. What should be the nature of the knowledge that we receive through Kannada?
2. Should the knowledge that we receive through Kannada be similar to the one we derivefrom English?
3. Is there a need to also import the frameworks through which we receive knowledge, that is, should we also borrow the troughs in which knowledge is contained?
“Karnataka Oodu (studies) is a result of debates we used to have among a group of friends and we decided to expand the reach and started conducting workshops at various places for the last two years,” says KVN.
“The first step we need to take in this process is to integrate the various knowledge zones that remain scattered, independent and disconnected in the language. Though we can’t erase the borders between them, we should not create walls. Through this process, as it connects history, sociology, political science, anthropology, archaeology, art history, linguistics etc., we’ll figure out the way Karnataka has been perceived and interpreted by these disciplines. As we peruse the material, we’ll realise that the various disciplines have perceived and placed the land and its culture in a global framework. That there is hardly any difference between an insider’s view and an outsider’s take because the theoretical receptacles are the same or similar. They are indistinguishable and alien. The only difference is that the insider would have written his exegesis in the Kannada language.”
‘Karnataka Study’ aims to get as many as possible to think about acquiring the capacity for thinking in Kannada and it should start from within and not be borrowed from outside. Education has resulted in getting into the habit of looking at ourselves from the outside rather than evolve a method that comes as being an insider critique.
If this has to change, we have to use frameworks that have an organic or symbiotic relationship with the knowledge that is created.
“In our enthusiasm to ensure that all knowledge is made available in Kannada, we opened our gates wide. Now, we realise that the knowledge we possess is what got transferred from elsewhere and that we haven’t created any of them ourselves. We seem to have expanded our understanding of things, but then we have lost the ability to think independently. Ram Manohar Lohia had once said that India had not produced an independent thinker since the 4th century. Shankaracharya was the last one. We have come to such a pass that if need to develop a process of thinking, we borrow it from outside; we have lost confidence that a Kannada mind can create it independently. When we borrow, we struggle to adapt to them to our circumstances and that in itself appears like a huge exercise. We should not only have a goal to create our own knowledge systems, but we should also believe that it is very much possible.”
LIKE HANUMAN’S MIND
He says that some sort of languor or fatigue has impeded the Indian mind. To think independently has taken a back seat. “It is like the state of Hanuman’s mind in Ramayana just before his leap across the ocean. He thinks he is an insignificant small ape and may not be able undertake the venture. But luckily for Hanuman, there are others around to instil confidence in him, that he is very much competent to carry out the job. But sadly, there is nobody to do that to our languages and cultures. We have simply given up.
“As we get into an exercise like this there are people who’ll accuse us of being frogs in the well. They may be correct, but while we express wonderment about the expanse of the ocean, we can’t allow our ponds and lakes to go dry. They sustain us, not the sea.” (Translated by Sugata Srinivasaraju)
Is the ‘Reading Karnataka’ a process or a product?
KVN says it is both. “It is something that I have been preoccupied since 30 years since my student days. Take for instance, the American concept of South Asia. For them, South Asia comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. But from our point of view Tibet, Burma, Malaysia, Japan also belong to South Asia. However, we are conditioned by their concept. But our culture thoughts should be for our understanding and should relate to our lives in the contemporary times. The Kannada life, its problems should be understood from our point of view and we have to reclaim our intelligence. I call it the moment of realisation. Can we really reclaim our way of thinking? I think we can. We have to interact and include our younger generation into the debate and since it is not merely an intellectual exercise, but also emotional. They will definitely respond.”
KVN also talks about the scholars who address the pan-Indian or global audience “with their backs turned on Kannadigas, they should be facing the Kannadigas, if you know what I mean.” One has to talk to Kannadigas as an insider and not as an outsider.
KVN and his friends are organising workshops across the state and the response has been phenomenal. The next workshop is on September 1 and 2 at the farm house (Nisargadhama, Doddaballapur – Chikkaballapur Road, Thimmasandra,) of Kannada activist T N Prabhudev at Doddaballapur. Boarding and lodging facilities will be provided at Doddaballapur for participants. Those interested contact K Y Narayana Swamy (9739007127) and Ravikumar Bagi (9448881480).

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Igniting Kannada minds

Shutdown hits normal life in Karnataka

Posted by Admin on October 7, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/shutdown-hits-normal-life-karnataka-063958980–finance.html

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – 14 hours ago

Bangalore, Oct 6 (IANS) A day-long shutdown to protest the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu crippled life in Karnataka Saturday.

The state-wide shutdown called by farmers and pro-Kannada organisations is supported by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular.

Uneasy calm prevailed in Bangalore and other cities and towns of the state.

“The 12-hour shutdown began at 6 a.m. There were stray incidents of road blockade, forcible closure of shops and damage to a couple of state-run buses,” a senior police official told IANS here.

The state-run transport services of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) were suspended amid fears of damage to the vehicles by miscreants.

Although train and flight services remained unaffected, passengers were stranded at the railway station here, as autorickshaws and taxis remained off the roads.

The state education department late Friday advised schools and colleges to declare a holiday Saturday to ensure safety of students during the bandh.

Companies offering 24×7 services like call centres and business process outsourcing had to make arrangements to escort their employees to work and back home.

With commercial establishments like shops, malls, restaurants and petrol pumps shut, life has virtually come to a standstill in the state capital, Mysore, Hassan, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum and Shimoga.

Supply of essential commodities like milk and medicines and ambulance service were, however, exempted from the shutdown.

The security has been beefed up across the state.

Additional police personnel were deployed at vital installations and sensitive areas, especially in Bangalore.

The state has been releasing 9,000 cusecs of water daily since Sep 29 in compliance with the Supreme Court order of Sep 19, directing the prime minister, who is also the chairman of the Cauvery River Authority, to supervise the distribution of water in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Posted in Economic Upheavals, India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Shutdown hits normal life in Karnataka

Karnataka’s new ration card system goes hi-tech

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2012

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/karnataka%E2%80%99s-new-ration-card-system-goes-hi-tech.html?page=all

By | Yahoo! Finance India – Wed 26 Sep, 2012 1:00 PM IST

By K.R. Balasubramanyam

Risaldar Street is a little known Bangalore locality situated about a kilometre from the city’s main railway station. It has only one fair-price shop. More than a third of its 3,000-odd ration card holders belong to families living below the poverty line (BPL). But the fair-price shop now has one claim to fame – it is one of a handful of shops through which the Karnataka government has taken its first steps towards reforming its leaky public distribution system (PDS).

Consider the scene at the shop one evening in the last week of August. As usual, a group of people had gathered to buy their rationed monthly quota of foodgrains, sugar and kerosene. Among them was Sujatha, a helper at a hotel, in her mid-30s. When she handed over her ration card to the shopkeeper, he did not, as he used to once, scribble on it and return it to her. Instead he punched the card number into a biometric machine installed at the shop three months ago. The woman was then asked to put her left thumb on the machine, which promptly recognised her thumb impression as that of a genuine beneficiary. As each item Sujatha sought was placed on the weighing platform, the machine not only displayed the list of purchases along with their weight and price, but also announced these verbally in Kannada. Finally, the transaction complete, it printed a bill.

The process does not end there. After each transaction, the machine electronically relays its details to a National Informatics Centre (NIC) server, which uploads the data on a newly created portal of Karnataka’s PDS data centre. “Not just the officials, anyone from anywhere can access the information,” says B.A. Harish Gowda, Karnataka’s Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Secretary, who has been driving the change. “We can achieve results only by increasing transparency.”

Karnataka’s move is the latest in a series of efforts by states and the Centre to fix the inefficient system of distributing essential items at subsidised rates to the poor. The PDS is run through more than 500,000 fair-price shops across the country.

The Centre spends a huge amount on food subsidies – it has budgeted Rs 75,000 crore for 2012/13 – but many poor people do not get their allocated quota of grains as the system is notoriously leaky. Some estimates suggest more than half the subsidised grain meant for BPL families is siphoned off.

“Transparency puts pressure on people to perform,” says Sudhir Kumar, Union Food and Public Distribution Secretary. “We support all such positive moves, and are in the process of preparing a scheme that will encourage states to take up PDS reforms.”

Gowda says the state has installed biometric machines in 103 shops in Bangalore and Tumkur districts since July. He is satisfied with their performance. “We will now start installing them in all the 20,459 fair-price shops in the state,” he adds. Karnataka hopes the Centre will help fund the Rs 100-crore programme.

Continued on next page…

Gowda estimates there could be around 1.5 million ineligible ration cards in the state, which will go out of circulation once the machines are installed all over. He expects the move to save the state around Rs 150 crore a year.

In the first phase, the Bangalorebased Essae Teraoka is supplying 1,000 machines at Rs 46,011 apiece. “We had feared shop licensees would resist the new system, but things have gone smoothly till now,” says its Managing Director S.A. Prabhu Chandran. He is trying to persuade other states such as Tamil Nadu to follow Karnataka’s example.

To ensure only genuine beneficiaries buy from the fair-price shops, the state food department has collected fingerprints and photographs of all cardholders and fed the data into a server that links all the machines. To further eliminate fake ration cards, the government has also linked the cards to electricity meter numbers in urban areas and property tax numbers in rural.

Wherever more than one family has claimed the same electricity meter or property tax number, officials have visited the houses and allowed only the ones genuine.

The linking had another tangential effect – it cleaned up land records. “When we shared data relating to property details with village panchayats, it did not match in many cases with what the panchayats had. The panchayats were able to identify more than 200,000 new properties that had not paid taxes,” says P.V. Bhat, Senior Technical Director, NIC, Bangalore.

Karnataka is also using its information technology network to ensure fair-price shops lift their allocated stock from warehouses in time. Earlier, many shops would lift the stock only in the last week of each month – since lifting early meant locking up their working capital for a longer period. Today most shops are taking their quotas well in time and state officials keep tabs on the stock position. “A few warehouses had a month’s extra stock because many shops postponed lifting by one week every month,” says D.N. Jeevaraj, Karnataka’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister. “I have instructed that stocks should be lifted by the 10th of every month.”

How the new system works
1. The machine identifies beneficiaries with their thumb impressions
2. It displays weight and price of items, verbally announcing them too
3. It electronically transmits transaction details to a server
4. The data is uploaded on Karnataka PDS Centre’s portal

Reproduced From Business Today. © 2012. LMIL. All rights reserved.

Posted in India Forgotten, Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Karnataka’s new ration card system goes hi-tech

Shravanabelagola – where faith and grace converge

Posted by Admin on June 2, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/shravanabelagola-where-faith-and-art-converge-slideshow/;_ylt=Ai4khjKo5ZvA_H7mBC4JjnMY9Ol_;_ylu=X3oDMTM3ZzI2ZWhhBG1pdAMEcGtnAzZiYmNmZDA2LWVjYWItMzVjNS1hZWE1LWI3OGFkNDcyYmQxMwRwb3MDNARzZWMDZW5kX3NzBHZlcgM0YzY5NTY2Mi1hYjBhLTExZTEtYmEzNi0yZDA4MjY2OTIzNGI-;_ylv=3

Shravanabelagola – where faith and grace converge

Nestled amidst two hills, Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri, is the picturesque town of Shravanabelagola. It has been one of the prime pilgrimage destinations in Jainism for more than 2,000 years. The statue of Gomateshwara or Bahubali is the main attraction. Carved elegantly, it is one of the architectural marvels of the world and happens to be the world’s largest monolithic sculpture. Shravanabelagola also enshrines a number of Jain temples (called Bastis or Basadis). This destination is situated about 50 km south-east of Channarayapatna in Hassan district of Karnataka State. Text and photos by ANANTH V RAO

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
ANANTH V RAO is an engineer by profession and a hobbyist photographer with a passion for picturing architectural grandeur as well as nature and wildlife. He was born and brought up in Hassan, Karnataka, a place known for its culture and heritage. He lives in Bangalore.

Shravanabelagola

Shravanabelagola got its name from the pond in the image. This pond is located between the hills Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri. Belagola translates to a white pond in Kannada and Shravana translates to Jain monk or ascetic.

Shravanabelagola

A view of Vindhyagiri, the larger of the two hills.

Shravanabelagola

The statue of Lord Bahubali on Vindhyagiri hill overlooks Vadegal Basadi in the foreground.

Shravanabelagola

The shrine of Vadegal Basadi got its name from the stone props placed against the basement. This is the only ‘Trikoota’ (triple-shrine) temple at Shravanabelagola. The three sanctums house the idols of Thirthankaras (Jain renunciates) carved in schist. This temple dates back to the 14th century and is known as Trikoota Basadi in literary works.

Shravanabelagola

Tyagada Kamba. ‘Tyaga’ in Kannada translates to sacrifice and ‘kamba” translates to pillar. This pillar was erected probably in the tenth century by the then minister Chavundaraya. He distributed gifts to the poor and needy near this pillar and hence the pillar got the name ‘Tyagada Kamba’. It is also said that Chavundaraya renounced his worldly possessions and his life near this pillar. The floral scrolls in bold lines on the pillar bring out the best of the Ganga dynasty’s workmanship.

Shravanabelagola

Gullakayajji or ‘the granny holding the eggplant’ is a five-feet-tall statue that stands opposite to the statue of Gomateshwara. The story goes that when Chavundaraya arranged for the Mahamastakabhisheka – a festival held every 12 years when, among other rituals, the gigantic idol is consecrated with milk — the milk did not descend lower than the thighs of the statue. Upon the order of his guru, Chavundaraya used the milk brought by Gullakayajji in the eggplant and performed the abhisheka.

Shravanabelagola

Entrance to the Gomateshwara statue enclosure.

Shravanabelagola

Shravanabelagola

The index finger of the statue’s left hand is slightly shorter in length. Some say it was deliberately done to show that the statue was actually man-made, and not a divine creation. Another speculation is that the sculptor might have done it to show that nobody is perfect.

Shravanabelagola

A Jain sadhvi meditates at the lotus feet of Gomateshwara.

Shravanabelagola

A scenic view of Chandragiri Hill, which got its name from the Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya, who stayed here, served and followed the path of his spiritual guru, Acharya Bhadrabahu, the eighth in the lineage of the 24 Thirthankaras.

Shravanabelagola

Entrance to the temple complex at Chandragiri.

Shravanabelagola

View of the temple complex at Chandragiri. There are a total of 14 Basadis on Chandragiri and a cave where Bhadrabahu stayed and meditated.

Shravanabelagola

The over 800 inscriptions on Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri hills are carefully protected. The first inscriptions on Chandragiri are the signatures of Chavundaraya and of the Kannada poet Ranna.

Shravanabelagola

Regular worship services are held at the Gomateshwara statue in Shravanabelagola.

Posted in Ancient Architecture, Hindu Empire, India Forgotten, Picturesque | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Shravanabelagola – where faith and grace converge

Apaulogy: Where art meets cartoon

Posted by Admin on June 1, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/apaulogy-where-art-meets-cartoon-slideshow/apaulogy-photo-1334593973.html

Apaulogy: Where art meets cartoon

Take a walk by Richards Park in Bangalore, and you’ll stumble upon a most curious gallery that will lure you inside with its funny sketches of a man on a wobbly bicycle and a policeman with ballooning shorts. I followed my feet to find inside a treasure-trove of the city’s collective memories. Apaulogy, the gallery, is a showcase of artist Paul Fernandes’ work as he recaptures the Bangalore of ‘60s and ‘70s – when it was still a sleepy little town. What makes it absolutely delightful is that Paul’s illustrations of the city’s history are in the form of cartoons.

Apaulogy

Artist Paul Fernandes with a cut-out of a policeman from the 1960’s. The official police uniform included shorts starched so stiff they were nicknamed parachutes, and a well-oiled moustache on a Rs. 5 maintenance-allowance.

Apaulogy

Paul Fernandes with Jatin Prabhu and Mona Weber, the gallery’s charming curators who will take you through the time-machine of Paul’s sketches, back to a more comic and peaceful Bangalore.

Apaulogy

Walk through the warm spaces of Apaulogy, step into a picture and travel back in time. If you’re lucky you’ll even bump into the artist on many of his (mis)adventures!

Apaulogy

A music series.

Apaulogy

The hilarious Shine Boards – a collection of misspelt sign-boards across the country that will leave you in splits.

Apaulogy

Praise for Paul’s work.

Apaulogy

Paul’s gallery Apaulogy is located near Richards Park, in Bangalore.

Apaulogy

India Coffee House, MG Road, where the coffee cups were always full and the conversation never ran out.

Apaulogy

Pedestrians at the risk of early learners at the Bangalore Driving School.

Apaulogy

Koshy’s, an old favourite, hasn’t changed much. Unfazed by posh neighbours like the Hard Rock café, it is abuzz with endless energy fuelled cups of tea and homemade sandwiches.

Apaulogy

A boisterous Mangalorean wedding: food, high spirits, and a veritable jewel-box of characters that belong to every Indian family.

Apaulogy

Plaza theatre that once screened the latest films in Bangalore is now the entrance to Namma Metro.

Apaulogy

In simpler times, when crimes were more innocent.

Apaulogy

In Pub City, Bangalore, Dewars Bar was the most popular watering hole. The name of the bar is apparently a play on Devarajan, the owner of the bar and Dewar’s whiskey.

Apaulogy

The BRV went from British armoury to premier movie hall that screened all the James Bond films. However, when they began to lose their audience to competition from other theatres, they began to screen racier films, with women doing cabarets. In ’77 a 20 ft. cut-out of a Japanese woman in a bikini took the city by surprise. But despite the collective shock at such a brazen image, Bangaloreans of the time were too laid-back to organize a hartal or protest.

Apaulogy

Posted in Bengaluru, India Forgotten, Picturesque | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Apaulogy: Where art meets cartoon

Magical Hampi – Blissfully lost in a time-warp

Posted by Admin on May 24, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/magical-hampi-blissfully-lost-in-a-time-warp-1331140839-slideshow/

Magical Hampi – Blissfully lost in a time-warp

Hampi, the medieval capital of the Vijayanagara Empire (14th to 16th century AD), is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its boulder-strewn hills, stunning jewel-box temples and the Tungabhadra River that runs among them make Hampi spectacular. Stories abound in every nook and corner, making this land of ancient legends a photographer’s playbook. The little town attracts tourists in droves, and the fact that almost everything is in ruins doesn’t seem to matter at all; in fact, it only adds to Hampi’s charisma. Strolling through the ancient markets and temples can throw you in a time-warp, says photographer, traveler and wildlife enthusiast RADHA RANGARAJAN as she shares these telling images that tempt you to clamber onto the roof of a bus and head to Hampi.

Photographer, traveler and wildlife enthusiast RADHA RANGARAJAN loves to wander, camera in tow. An aesthete, her forte is creative and offbeat compositions. Radha has presented her images in many forums and publications. Faces intrigue her and she loves to tell stories through her photographs. Birds, butterflies, leaves and shafts of light fuel her imagination. Besides nature and wildlife photography, she enjoys traveling and making images of people and places. Enjoy more of her work at her blog.

Hampi

The Virupaksha temple is one of the most recognized structures in Hampi. Located at the Hampi Bazaar, it has an iconic 160-foot tall ‘gopuram’ or tower at its entrance. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Though the city was destroyed in 1565, worship in the temple has persisted over the centuries.

Hampi

Hampi attracts a wide variety of people – backpackers, pilgrims, tourists, history enthusiasts, photographers… The locals add to this wonderful mix and what you get is a very intriguing array of faces. Sit on a step by the Hampi Bazaar or walk around the temples for some absorbing people-watching.

Hampi

An Indian Nightjar sits pretty by the side of the road. Hampi’s birdlife is very rich. Hoopoes, Sirkeer Malkohas, Indian Eagle Owls, Yellow Wattled Lapwings and Painted Spurfowls are some of the species one can sight in and around the town.

Hampi

A threatened species like the Yellow Throated Bulbul or our friendly neighborhood Green Bee Eater, they are all around. Matanga Hill is probably the best place to sight the very shy Yellow Throated Bulbuls. Watch out for groups of them flying from tree to tree, twittering all along.

Hampi

On an evening at Hampi, turn left into the narrow lane at the entrance of the Virupaksha temple. A short walk up Hemakuta hill sets you up to witness a memorable sunset.

Hampi

One of the best sunset spots in Hampi, Hemakuta Hill attracts a lot of people in the evening. Get there early, choose a good vantage point and settle down for an evening you won’t forget for a long time.

Hampi

The early bird gets the best sunrise! A steep climb up the Matanga Hill before the break of dawn can give you one of the best sunrise experiences of your life. With a rocky landscape on one side with a view of the Achyuta Raya temple and the river on the other side, the rising sun has a beautiful canvas to paint. It is advisable to take an experienced guide along if you want to walk up the hill before dawn.

Hampi

While the sun rises, the early morning mist fights a losing battle and eases away, revealing a breathtaking view of the hills on the far right of the Matanga hill. Green fields at the banks of the Tungabhadra River and a lone ‘mantapa’ on a rock complete this view.

Hampi

The ruins of the Achyuta Raya temple look so serene and beautiful that one can only wonder how grand the temple must have looked 500 years ago. It rests at the foot of the Matanga hill. This is the pillared ‘Mahamantapa’ and two of the three ‘Mahadwaras’ in the temple complex.

Hampi

A ‘Kalyana Mantapa’ – a marriage hall for the annual wedding ceremony of God and Goddess – is at the northwest corner of the Achyuta Raya temple. Beautiful stone carvings adorn stunning, tall pillars in the Mantapa. When light seeps through the hall, it is a sight to behold.

Hampi

Hampi

A market street, or what is also known as the courtesan’s street, leads to the Achyuta Raya temple. The ruins add to the serenity of the place. Also, the street and the temple are hidden snug behind Matanga hill and attract fewer tourists than the rest of the temples.

Hampi

Intricate stone carvings of mythical wars, pillars that create music when tapped, massive monolithic pillars and a huge temple yard – the Vijaya Vittala temple is an architectural extravaganza.

Hampi

Need souvenirs and gifts to remember Hampi? Wander around Hampi Bazaar and you are sure to find trinkets like these, mostly made by local artisans.

Hampi

Thanks to the iconic stone chariot the Vijaya Vittala temple is the most popular spot in Hampi. This chariot is the emblem of Karnataka Tourism. From the marks on the platform, where the wheels rest, it appears that the wheels were once free to move around the axis. It has and probably will always be the flag-bearer of Hampi’s relics.

Posted in Ancient Architecture, Hindu Empire, India Forgotten, Picturesque | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Magical Hampi – Blissfully lost in a time-warp

Magnificent Belur – Poetry in soapstone

Posted by Admin on May 20, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/magnificent-belur-poetry-in-soapstone-slideshow/belur-chennakeshava-temple-photo-1334830400.html

Magnificent Belur – Poetry in soapstone

Belur, 40 km from Hassan city and 220 km from Bangalore, is in Hassan district of Karnataka state, India. The Chennakeshava temple was built by the Hoysalas under the rule of King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 CE. The deity of this temple is lord Vishnu and the word ‘Chennakeshava’ literally translates to ‘Handsome Vishnu’. Within the temple complex, the Chennakeshava temple is in the centre, facing east, flanked by Kappe Channigaraya temple on its right, and a small Sowmyanayaki temple set slightly back. On its left, set slightly back is the Ranganayaki temple. Two main Sthambhas (pillar) exist here. The pillar facing the main temple, the Garuda sthambha was erected in the Vijayanagara period while the pillar on the right, the Deepasthambha, dates from the Hoysala period.

TEXT AND PHOTOS: ANANTH V RAO

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: ANANTH V RAO is an engineer by profession and a hobbyist photographer with a passion for picturing architectural grandeur as well as nature and wildlife. He was born and brought up in Hassan, Karnataka, a place known for its culture and heritage. He lives in Bangalore.

Note from the Admin : – Yet another glorious tribute to the timeless splendour and enchanting beauty of my beloved Motherland.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

The Hoysala emblem at the Chennakeshava temple in Belur depicts the fight between the mythical Sala and a tiger, the emblem of the Cholas. Historians and scholars believe it represents King Vishnuvardhana’s victory over the Cholas at Talakad.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

The main entrance to the complex is crowned by a Rajagopura built during the days of Vijayanagara empire. The Rajagopura is a five-storey structure comprising idols of Lord Vishnu in different incarnations, as well as erotic idols.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

A view of the temple with the flag mast in the foreground.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

The Chennakeshava temple is built on a 4.5 feet plinth. The temple, including the plinth, is in the shape of Sri Chakra (star shape), a characteristic feature of Hoysala architecture. Sri Chakra is considered most auspicious in Hindu religion.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Another view of the temple.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

A pillared corridor inside the temple complex.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Tourists at the Chennakeshava temple precincts.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Another view of the temple complex.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Lord Garuda, the sacred steed of Vishnu, greets devotees at the portals of the temple.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Note the intricate carving of the sculpture of Garuda, and its harmony with the temple in the background.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

The main temple consists of three bottom friezes. The lower frieze depicts charging elephants, which symbolize strength and stability. The middle frieze depicts lions, which symbolize courage and valor. The upper frieze depicts horses, which symbolize speed. No two elephants, lions and horses are alike.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

A priest in the temple precincts. Belur is among the few Hoysala temples where regular worship services are held.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Darpana Sundari (lady with mirror) is one of the main attractions in the temple. The intricate carvings include the mirror frame, the tendrils around the lady, and her jewelry. A maid on her right is feeding grapes to a pet monkey.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Shukhabhashini depicts a woman in conversation with a parrot.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

The scene is called Gajasura Samhara.Lord Shiva, in one of his furious forms- Gajasura Mardana, is dancing on the head of Gajasura, the elephant demon, and ripping off his skin. Observe the ripped skin above Shiva’s head.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

In Hindu mythology, Bhasmasura was an asura or demon who was granted the power that anyone whose head he touched with his hand should burn up and immediately turn into ashes (bhasma). The asura was tricked by the god Vishnu’s only female avatar, the enchantress Mohini to turn himself into ashes. The specialty of this sculpture is that a drop of water from the tip of her right hand would fall on the left breast, then on the tip of the left hand and then on the thumb of the left leg. Such was the brilliance of Hoysala architecture.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Here, a monkey is teasing the lady by pulling her sari. The lady is trying to shoo the monkey off by holding a tendril in her hand.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Tribhangi pose is considered to be humanly impossible in Indian dance forms. Tribhangi consists of three bends in the body; at the neck, waist and knee. The body is oppositely curved at waist and neck which gives it a gentle “S” shape.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

The Hoysalas carved the sculptures incorporating the finest of details. In this photo, one can see the care taken and effort put to carve the fingernails to perfection. Their talent for detail and ability to match imagination to sculpture were matchless.

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

This is a scene from the Mahabharata. Here, Arjuna is piercing the eye of a rotating fish with his bow and arrow by looking at the reflection of the fish in a bowl of oil. He does so to win the hand of Draupadi. Some people say that the bow in this sculpture, which has been destroyed now, would twang when struck.

 

Posted in Ancient Architecture, India Forgotten, Picturesque | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Magnificent Belur – Poetry in soapstone

A cloudy day at Bellary Fort

Posted by Admin on May 7, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/bellary-fort.html?page=all

Photo-editor AZHAR MOHAMED ALI spent a day among the ruins of the historic Bellary Fort in Karnataka, taking in their various moods. Enjoy this pictorial tour.

Situated 300 km from Bangalore is the spectacular and historic Bellary Fort, which sits atop Ballari Gudda, otherwise known as the Fort Hill. During the Vijayanagara era this fort was built by Hanumappa Nayaka. In 1769, Hyder Ali of Mysore stormed the fort and occupied it.  The fort was then renovated by a French engineer who, according to legend, was executed because he miscalculated its height, making it visible from a hill called Kumbara Gudda, and thus compromised its military location. The French engineer’s grave can still be found at the east gate of the fort. The Bellary Fort is home to an Upper Fort or Fort Hill (constructed by Nayak) and a Lower Fort or Face Hill (constructed by Ali), symbolizing the two rulers. The only way to get to the Upper Fort is to navigate a rocky, winding path over boulders. This polygonal walled site has no garrison room.  On the other hand, the lower fort is easily accessible from two gates from the western and eastern sides respectively.  A Hanuman temple, the Kote Anjaneya Temple, is located at the eastern side of the fort. The lower fort housed barracks and arsenals.  The British added their own structures in the Lower Fort including stores, a post office, a church, an orphanage and private homes. Today, one can find a number of public buildings and other institutions.

Click through the numbered links to enjoy these dramatic images.

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on A cloudy day at Bellary Fort

Halebeedu – the crown jewel of Hoysala temples

Posted by Admin on May 5, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/halebeedu-the-crown-jewel-of-hoysala-temples-slideshow/halebeedu-photo-1336120076.html

Note from Admin : – Behold the remnants of a civilization vastly superior to any of the western nests of plague found today. Try matching the depth and details provided in the Architecture of theses buildings in any of your past and modern civilizations. Observe the sanctity of theses places, their sacredness, solemnity, peace and quiet. No occult and perverted rituals and blood sacrifices to some abstract gods like in your western secret societies and no abuse of victims be they children or women. Just sacred gathering of people to adore and garner prayers upon and request humbly of provisions of grace and blessings from magnificent beings of Light from the Higher dimensions. True Gods they be not Ets posing as Gods like in your Holy Bible and other ancient scriptures. The beings we worship are beings of pure consciousness.

The energetic vibrations associated here are harmonious to the Tree and Sacred Flower of Life. It accentuates the incoming rays of the Great Central Sun itself aiding the believer in the individual Ascension process.

  Behold the glory and multitude and vastness and continence, unwavering over several millennia and yugas of my glorious motherland, her beauty and traditions rooted in the ancient cultures of her unfathomable and legendary past you worthless wretched disgusting Caucasian vermin.

You bring desolation and unwarranted destruction with wanton disregard for her Godliness. You try and destroy my proud nation with your jeans, disgusting coffee, McDonald shit junk food, multi national corporations for all types of goods and services founded in your filthy western nations based on unethical and moral disregard for human values and ever cringing for more profit and insatiable greed, ridiculous and shallow cosmetic products, base disgusting music, songs and hip hop pop rock culture along with forcing us to learn your version of history in our education books and forever holding us guilty to your white man’s burden. Yeah right! It truly has always been the coloured man’s burden.

I will not tolerate or put up with this any longer. I will not let my country be one of your playgrounds anymore.

One more thing, you think you have those disgusting looking three sided or four sided hideous pyramids numbering 86,000 around the world, all so remnant of a signature of overdrive for power by the Atlanteans and the Orion factions.

Guess what, we have 86,000 temples in India alone, discounting the ones in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar(Burma), Java, Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines. Not to mention the fact that it was and still belongs to the more massive and submerged continent of a bygone era –  Australia is our land and our remnants there the Aborigines were butchered and are now near extinction, ruled by whites who were sentenced to it as convicts of a penal colony of the British Empire and whose descendants are exactly what their forefathers were and will always be.

There are plenty of holes into the crust of the Earth below temple foundations in India and Sri Lanka which lead to very ancient underground caverns and subterranean cavities inhabited by all sorts of reptilian races and beings of a semi advanced nature. They are not too violent or too spiritual and they don’t like to be disturbed.

How many times have you heard of them coming to the surface abusing and raping us in the middle of the night or conducting experiments on us or even eating us? Not much not because it isn’t recorded or documented but because we each know how to treat one another and give and take respect. We don’t disturb them and they don’t trouble us. Simple. Also we do not propagate hate and violence in our daily life like how you do all the time in your parts of the world.

So they are not drawn to positivity which we maintain very well on the surface. Where there is violence there they are being given an open ticket of entrance. Also we do not secretly or morbidly worship any of them in our temples, all those photos where you see snakes, those are the good ones and allegorical in nature than literary. So we don’t call out to them secretly to come up and perform sick twisted rituals through our bodies on infants and virgin girls.

What? Is it too hard to comprehend that there are good reptilians as well. The ones with honour and dignity just as much as any well natured and good human being.

Think about my ramblings…

One more thing…when we pray to our Gods we ask them to put up wards in all places where we live so that the nether world beings do not infringe on our privacy.

The name Halebeedu means ruined city, a coinage that took effect after the capital of the Hoysala empire was sacked by the Mughal sultanate twice. Its original name was Dwarasamudra and the temple here is considered the crowning glory of Hoysala architecture.

Enjoy this photo-essay by ANANTH V RAO

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
ANANTH V RAO is an engineer by profession and a hobbyist photographer with a passion for picturing architectural grandeur as well as nature and wildlife. He was born and brought up in Hassan, Karnataka, a place known for its culture and heritage. He lives in Bangalore.

Halebeedu

Known as Dwarasamudra in the 12th and 13th centuries, Halebeedu was the capital of Hoysala Empire. It is situated at a distance of about 30 kms from Hassan, Karnataka. The name Dwarasamudra (Dwara = Entrance, Samudra = Sea) came due to the presence of a lake constructed beside the Hoysaleshwara temple, which resembled the sea. It then changed to Halebeedu (ruined city) after it was laid to ruin by the Moghul sultanate twice. The Halebeedu temple is considered as the ultimate work of Hoysalas and it took more than a century to complete building.

Halebeedu

Halebeedu temple comprises of two shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleshwara are the two deities in this temple.

Halebeedu

The segment that joins the Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleshwara shrines.

Halebeedu

There are eight friezes on the temple walls. Each carries an array of decorations. The lowest frieze depicts charging elephants, which symbolize strength and stability. Above them, in order, are friezes with lions, which symbolize courage, floral scrolls as decoration, horses for speed, another band of floral scrolls, depiction of Hindu epics, Makara (beasts) and finally a frieze with hamsas (swans). No two animals are alike in a total frieze span of over 200 m.

Halebeedu

The plinth and the temple is built in the form of Sri Chakra (star shape), a characteristic feature of Hoysala architecture. Sri Chakra is considered most auspicious in Hindu religion.

Halebeedu

The walls of the temple consist of carvings of different deities of Hindu mythology as well as stories from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas.

Halebeedu

This is Varaha (the boar), the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Varaha saved mother earth from the demon Hiranyakasha.

Halebeedu

Govardhana Giridhari – Lord Krishna holding up Govardhana mountain to protect his village Gokula from the torrential rains caused by Lord Indra. The people and cattle can be seen seeking shelter beneath the mountain. The carvings are so intricate that one can see monkeys, hunters, tigers and a lizard in the mountain above Lord Krishna.

HalebeeduGajasura Mardana. Lord Shiva, as Gajasura Mardana, is slaying Gajasura, the elephant demon by ripping him off from inside out. Observe the two legs and tail of the demon above Shiva’s head.

HalebeeduNataraja Shiva, the king of dance. It is believed that Shiva as Nataraja performs this thandava in order to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for Brahma to begin the process of creation. Observe the snake making way through the ear of the skull and exiting through the eye socket to the right of Shiva.

Halebeedu

Uma Maheshwara. Shiva in a calm state with his consort Parvathi in his lap. A mongoose sits beneath Parvathi as her mount.

Halebeedu

Mahishasura Mardini is one of the furious forms of Goddess Parvathi. Mahishasura Mardini slew the buffalo demon, Mahishasura, after nine long days of fighting. This is celebrated as Mahanavami or Ayudha Pooja in southern India.

Halebeedu

Makara is a mythical creature, the front portion of which is in the form of an elephant or crocodile, and the hind portion is in the form of a peacock’s tail. Makara is the steed of Goddess Ganga, as well as of the sea god Varuna.

Halebeedu

A play of light and shadow in the temple precincts.

Halebeedu

A visitor standing amidst the hand-lathed filigreed pillars of Halebeedu temple admires the intricate carvings on the walls.

Halebeedu

Lord Hoysaleshwara. Halebeedu temple is among the Hoysala temples where regular worship is held.

 

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Halebeedu – the crown jewel of Hoysala temples

Magnificent Women of India

Posted by Admin on February 26, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/magnificent-women-of-india-slideshow/;_ylt=Ai0GWSZgbSopIR0Wi_OkphNgmeh_;_ylu=X3oDMTM3anZmdnFiBG1pdAMEcGtnAzkxMGU2OGJlLTAzNTUtMzMyZS05MjRhLTg1MWU0OThiNTQzNARwb3MDNARzZWMDZW5kX3NzBHZlcgM4NjQzMjJkMi01ZWQ0LTExZTEtYTlmNy1hMWE4Njc4NDMzODc-;_ylv=3

=========================================================================================================================================================

Note from Admin:- To the greatest nation on Earth and Mankind’s greatest compromise to the Divine,…For the Land of My Birth,My Love,My Glory,My Sacrifice and My Passing, Ever Unto Thee…I shall never forget you nor let go, for it is in you that I am forever nested beyond the confines of the Cosmos and Origin…

=========================================================================================================================================================

When France-born photographer CLAUDE RENAULT came to India, he fell in love with the land he now calls “a special place” and his “second country.” His observant eye finds inspiration in commonplace sights that most people let pass without a second glance. His lens seeks out hidden character in the map of human faces, in their laugh lines, dark eyes and unpretentious smiles. A passionate traveler, Renault’s journey is fueled by the mantra: “I won’t travel just for a nice landscape or an historical monument, but for what makes a country: the people.” Enjoy his candid, fascinating and inspiring photos. You will never look at India the same way again. And if you are a foreigner wandering in India with a camera, we invite you to share your impressions of India.

Danuko Lakshmi, a Lambadi woman in Andhra Pradesh.

Photo by Claude Renault

Widows in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, renowned in mythology as Krishna‘s playground.

Photo by Claude Renault

Saying hello to God in Sri Sailam, Andhra Pradesh.

Photo by Claude Renault

Durgi is a shepherd I met in Hampi, Karnataka.

Photo by Claude Renault

Papu during the camel fair in Pushkar, Rajasthan, in 2001.

Photo by Claude Renault

Fatima Tabasu, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh in the bus going to Golconda.

Photo by Claude Renault

This Rajasthani pilgrim was sitting inside a small temple next to her husband in Ram Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

Photo by Claude Renault

This woman is the owner of a small ‘Chai’ place in Ram Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

Photo by Claude Renault

A Muslim girl in Gulbarga, Karnataka.

Photo by Claude Renault

A lovely woman I met walking in the streets of Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Photo by Claude Renault

A Lambadi woman waiting for the bus in Hyderabad.

Photo by Claude Renault

Ma Ganga in Hampi, Karnataka.

Photo by Claude Renault

Danuko, Sri Sailam, Andhra Pradesh.

Photo by Claude Renault

Papu in Pushkar, Rajasthan. I met her for the first time in 2001. Now she owns a little shop near the Ghats.

Photo by Claude Renault

Claude Renault at work

France-born photographer Claude Renault in Varanasi.

View more of his work on his website.

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Magnificent Women of India