Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Godachinmalki waterfalls

Spending a refreshing time in Gokak falls we headed to another wonderful falls nearby this. A few kilometers easy journey we left vechile in safe and followed the muddy path towards falls. Clearly there was a formal trail down here as I saw a cairn down at the creek bed and I followed the trail was a bit muddy and slippery from the drizzling rain.
After nearly a half-hour of walking this far only heared the georgeous sound of the roraing waterfalls Then slippery and muddy path where some flimsy walkway was supporting us to stand in-front of the pretty cascade nestled in a serene setting whose silence was only broken by the clapping of the falls.
This falls is formed by Markandeya River and is 50 ft height unlike Gokak falls, the drop is not sudden, the water cascades on different steps before falling into the valley. We went the vast surface rocky area which very near to the falls and felt the full glimpse of milky falls were water was falling with huge volume.
On the surface once more we gulped fresh air into our hungry lungs and gazed out at the open vista around us. waterfalls is so rapturously beautiful that almost all are smitten at first sight and end up spending hours here as we did. this falls could very well be one of the most enchanting in Belgoa distict.
The spray was so Intense that for a long distance we were drenched to the skin even though the falls wasn't tall, it still generated enough mist to make photography a bit difficult. So I took the obligatory photos before I huffed and puffed my way up the steep and somewhat slippery ascent back to the trail. If time was not short I would have go further to explore.
The dazzling sight of the falls was simply amazing there is nothing quite as relaxing as standing at red rock during the peak rain, watching the falls flowing over the sandstone buttresses was really eye-popping and heart touching.
Photos by - Ashok SB and Me

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kamalanarayana Temple – Degaon

It was my unanticipated unplanned visit to Kamalanarayana Temple we reached this place at unusual time but still we had enjoyed the breathtaking stunning this temple, it’s really amazing to have such a glorious temple belonging to the ancient times and this is a place worth to showcasing. What we admire today is a ligancy of our ancient people handed down to the generations that have followed and are yet to come and each delicately carved figure was a testament to the rich talent of those forgotten sculptors whose chisels and hammer converted simple stones into such everlasting works of art..
The Kamala Narayana Templeple at Degaon is one of the best monuments which situated at unassuming little village. The place name might have originated from its temple complex Devagrama meaning a village of God..
The striking monument here is the magnificent Kamala Narayana Temple, built by Tippoja, the architect of God Bankesvara at the command of Kamala Devi, the queen of the Goa Kadamba King Sivachitta, in the middle of the 12th century. These wise moves ensured that even today 9 centuries later while exploring on here we could experience the same solitude and place that allowed those ancient cultures and peoples.
It’s built on an unusual plan as it has three shrines and the principal one is located inside a long hall which has an open verandah with a sloping roof resting on ten pillars. While this temple with its lovely pillar designs and eye-catching symmetry was delighting and it quicken my pulse.
The back of the temple shows the two shrines wide apart. The walls are decorated with projecting pillars and horizontal bands of moldings. The shrines are not roofed by superstructures. The temple is rectangular in shape and consists of three cells with the pillared hall running from North to South in front of the shrines on the west side.
Each of these shrines is divided into two parts, Garbhagriha and Sukhanasi. The frames of the doorways of the Sukhanasi are carved with creepers. The pieced stone windows which surround the doorways are more ornamental than in any other Kadamba temple.
The Garbhagihas have, as in other Kadamba temples, the dedicatory block with the image of Gaja-Lakshmi. The first cell contains the image of Narayana. The second cell has the icon of Lakshmi-Narayana with Lakshmi seated on the lap of Vishnu. Garuda and Maruti are standing on either side of this image. The third cell bears the image of Kamala Narayana with two attendants on either side.
The walls of the temple are adorned with niche having plasters surmounted by terraced pyramidal towers in the Kadamba style crowned with a Kalasha. The ceiling has pendant lotuses, all of them artistic pieces of workmanship remarkable for richness of ornamentation and elaboration of details.
The distinguishing feature of the Kadamba style is the tapering terraced tower, a perfect pyramid, the vigorous and purposeful line of each of these terraces attracting the eye even from a long distance. The Kadamba style would seem to have reached its perfection in the ''Kamala Narayana Temple at Degamve. It is a typical example of a temple built in this style which had come under the Hoysala influence.
On returned we took local food we tried Rotti with local curries in one small hotel. Rotti is sort of a staple food. The dish itself is rather bland, and I wondered how something as tasty as this. It does provided a peaceful sight with excellent unsullied experiences to see on the end of the journey.
Photos by- Rajesh Naik,Ashok SB  &  Myself

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gokak Falls

After a long traveling we occupied a nice place to stay for a night at Gokak. Gokak is one of the most important cultural heritage site as well as one of the places with huge waterfalls and lots of industries. We slept early so we could wake up early and land for Gokak waterfalls which was just 20 minutes journey from the Gokak city unfortunately we had 1 hour late because of our cab driver.
After a smooth nap having complementary continental breakfast, we headed out to Gokak falls. A small journey from hotel we parked our vehicle in front of the 125years old Textile mill and stepped down to visit beautiful Mahalingeswara (Tateshwara) temple. The temples built in the Later Chalukyas style of architecture situated at on the south side of the falls and It faces north an unusual orientation for Shiva temples.

It was very well maintained and the gorgeous waterfalls presence in-front of temple was adorning its premise. It has a sanctuary with a Mandapa the outer walls of the closed hall are from recent times. After rounding the temple complex we climbed down for few steps and reached right side corner of the upper cascade, which situated next to the temple. The natural cataracts are quite beautiful, plunging with white foam over dark rock into iridescent yellow pools. Here River hurtles along through a narrow wide rock gorge overhung into the beautiful ragged valley.
I saw a beautiful view from the edge of the cascade and also I saw an old power generation stattion here electricity was generated for the first time in the country in 1887 were exactly bottom side from the cliffs. Later we crossed a very old (201 meters) hanging bridge It was a fantastic experience on standing middle of the bridge and having a full glimpse of the dazzling Ghataprabha river which takes 170 feet leap over a sandstone cliff in a picturesque george with a thunderous sound was so enjoyable to spend some time on that.
We’d crossed the river and found few older temples Datttreya and Shiva temple. The outer temple wall was not in good condition but somewhere inside was filled with modern paints hastily but still I was able to take some good photos of that. After visiting the temple I turned to waterfalls and joined my team, we had better view of the waterfalls from this part. We'd continued our risky climb down further until we got yet another interesting view of cascade.

We passed by a narrowing of the gorge where the creek was louder and interesting red rock formations could be seen below the trail. Obviously it was difficult to photograph very closer to the cascade, but still we were amazed that such scenery could exists in-front of us so we didn’t hesitate to take photos instead of drizzling rain and mist.
However, the scramble to the base of the falls was a bit steep so we couldn’t able to reach bottom but somewhere got better views of the cascade and valleys. After lot of enjoyment we headed back to starting point and had visit textile mill and our lady teammates had purchase enough cloths on a discount price.
Gokak falls the area features colorful red hillsides with beautiful waterfalls its location amazing to see such a collection of people, buildings, temples, rivers, etc. here. It’s nice to be in such a beautiful place and we had spent a great joyful time in this location still, the experience of feeling the power of the falls from the overlooks as well as getting nervously close to the rush of water without railings sure made us crazy…

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sogala - A feast for the eyes...

Sogal hills was one of the most under- appreciated aspects of visiting most important cultural heritage site as well as one of the places of waterfalls, beautiful hill ranges, unusual scarlet rock formations are richly rewarded with incredible nature and it was a chance at seeing the real beauty of a wonderful place in life time…
When we reached the Sogala a gorgeous 80 feet high waterfall welcomed us with its big pond. The waterfalls view was very pleasant with its surrounding red mountains and huge red cliffs and back side greenish paddy fields all were so delightful was once we forgotten everything for a while.
After a heartfelt sight of the waterfalls we stepped for next spot. After few stepping up we reached to the hillside, were we seen many temples, including the Someshwara temple, and it was a great antiquarian interesting place, It is perhaps the most popular attraction of Someswara Temple’s Interior and outer door wall.
The temple is made from carved stone and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple was constructed on Rashtrakuta’s period. The name of the place is ascribed to a sage, Sugola Muni, who is believed to have lived in the area, but one inscription speaks of Sovala. We spotted and the black faced monkeys and normal monkeys around the hill and temple premises.
Local folklore states that tigers came to Sogal to listen to the religious teachings. Other legends include a nearby Kalyanmantapa (temple), now renovated, where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati is said to have taken place all this reminiscent of the harsher times of the Saga Age.
Later we headed to deer park were maintained by forest department. Eastern side we find few more temples like Sri GuruMatananda Samadhi temple and a dilapidated condition cave temple and a stone Surya-Chandra shrine also here. On the hill to the east of Sogal is an old fortification, now in ruins, locally referred to as Kadambarayan Kote perhaps named after Kadamba King but we couldn’t able to trace this place.
We made enough adventures activities in this hill ranges in our own way it was very interesting aspects with great panoramic views, here forest also vaguely different with thick vegetation we had some beautiful countryside outlook from southern end of the hill range.
 Fascinating fiery red hiils
With the relative low population density, ecosystems and a vast variety of landscape features, we had adventurous enough to experience such delightful sightings of rare birds and animals and extra-ordinary countryside views, the Sogal hills, and the waterfalls in places that have yet to be crushed by mass developments somehow in few parts were effected by some insightful intuitive development activities but still enough to hold its attraction for nature as well as spiritual lovers. As the day wore down we headed back with enjoyable pleasing memories ….