The driver took us through narrow lonely village roads and my uncle suddenly asked us 'What if our driver is a ghost?' he backed it up by saying that the driver brought us to Bhangarh though we had plans of going to Alwar. The lonely roads supported his point.
The Adil Shahis wanted to transform their capital city to rival the Mughal cities in the North by building imposing courtly structures, gardens, wells, waterways and granaries. Most of the structures have fallen to ruin, some have been converted to government offices and only a handful are open to tourists.
Basavanna’s samadhi at Kudala Sangama is a place of great importance to his followers and admirers alike. But largely forgotten is the place where he was born, Basavana Bagewadi which is just 45 km from Bijapur on the Bijapur-Bangalore highway. The main place to visit in Basavana Bagewadi is a Kalyani Chalukya temple built in the 11th century dedicated to Lord Shiva and his vahana (vehicle) Nandi/Basava.
The next time you are in Bijapur walk off the well-trodden path and explore some of the lesser known mausoleums and get a taste of Indo-Persian-Ottoman architecture.
Mewar is not the sandy stereotypical picture of Rajasthan we have in mind, it is an oasis in the desert and is often called the 'Venice of the East'.
Sirsi and its surrounding places are a treasure trove of natural and man-made wonders. There is something for everyone. Several waterfalls, forest trails, natural rock formations and wildlife for the nature lovers; temples and ashrams for the pious; and ancient monuments for the history buffs.
Lakkundi is full of ruined temples and tanks, a few of which have been restored and maintained by the ASI. Lakkundi has temples and inscriptions spread over the period of Kalyani Chalukyas, Kalachuris, Sevunas and Hoysalas.
There are many more monuments in Lakshmeshwar, that are steeped in history, but are completely ruined or lost in the midst of a growing town. Still Lakshmeshwar, the land of art and literature, retains the essence of Karnataka’s heritage. It is the cradle of Jainism, Hinduism and Islam, the three major religions that flourished in Karnataka and shaped its history, and these structures stand as a testament to the co-existence of cultures.
The Male Mahadeshwara Temple which is nestled amongst green rolling mountains is a scenic weekend getaway. Located about 200 km from Bengaluru, the drive to the temple is an experience in itself especially during the monsoons when the mountains are crowned with wispy clouds. The chill of the winds, the sound of the forest and the green of the new shoots are refreshing.
The river Kaveri at Shivanasamudra splits into two, plunges downward forming two famous waterfalls –Gaganachukki and Barachukki and then re-joins thereby forming an island on which are situated two ancient temples – Ranganatha and Someshwara Temples.