Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bangalore Weekend - Quick drive to Shivanasamudra and Somanathpura

We had recently visited Shivanasamudra and Somanathpura on a Saturday. It was really a good visit and here is a brief write-up on how to reach, what to see etc.

How to reach Shivanasamudra:

  1. Drive on SH17 (Bangalore - Mysore highway)
  2. Reach Maddur and take a left turn to get on SH33
  3. Drive on SH33 which will lead to Malavalli, a small town
  4. Continue further and join NH209 which will eventually take you to Shivanasamudra

    Except SH17, road condition is not good and be prepared for a bumpy ride! Shivanasamudra is almost 130 kms from Bangalore.

    Here is the route on google map to get a better idea.

    View Larger Map

    Alternate route is to take Kanakpura road from Bangalore, which is NH209 but the road condition is unfortunately bad again.

    At Shivanasamudra, Kaveri River splits into two causing western and eastern branches. The western branch is known as Gaganachukki Falls and the eastern branch is known as Bharachukki Falls. Both are spectacular.

    Gaganachukki Falls:

    Gaganachukki Falls (twins) can be viewed from two different locations, one from the Shivanasamudra Watch Tower and the other from the Darga Hazrath Mardane Gaib.

    View from Watch Tower

    A view from the Darga Hazrath Mardane Gaib

    Bharachukki Falls:

    A short drive on NH209 brings us to the eastern part of the falls - Bharachukki. It is the best as one can climb down and have a closer look at this amazing falls. The roar of the falls is just refreshing and can not be described in words but experience it.

    Bharachukki Falls

    A closer look

    A view from the Teppa

    Recommended try at Shivanasamudra:

    A teppa ride to have the closest view of Bharachukki is something great. The boat-man steers the Theppa through the rapids of rising water that really gives a thrilling experience. You can literally touch the falls and you also realize the depth of the water. Boat-man told me that it could be as high as 80 feet! At the end, he gives a nice 360 degree spin for a while, which is cool.

    Waiting Teppas

    But, the sad thing is that the visitors have really littered the place with plastics, which makes us realize that after all we are here to do damage than enjoy the serene beauty of nature.

    You can enjoy the pure nature and may want to stay-put till evening :-). But, If you need to visit Somanathpura, climb up to get into your vehicle. In no time, you will be on the route to Somanathpur (Please refer to the initial route map) and soon you will realize that the journey ahead will be harder than you thought. Worn out road will be a major obstacle unless you have a serious off-roader like Hummer :-)

    Once you reach Chennakeshava Temple at Somanathpura, you will forget all the pain. The mesmerizing temple with its extremely detailed carvings will definitely touch you.

    A view of Chennakeshava Temple - The tripple shrines (Shikharas or Gopuras)

    A rear view of the Shrine

    Depiction of various types Shrines seen in Northern and Southern India

    Star shaped platform has detailed 6 layers of Friezes. Lowest of all is the procession of Elephants symbolizing the strength of the base, horsemen, a band of foliage, an imaginary beast "Makara", depictions from hindu epics and Swans. Each object in these friezes is unique and shows the expertise of the sculptors.

    Panel Carvings

    An incomplete depiction of Shrine kept as a challenge for others to try out?

    Each lathe turned pillar looks unique mainly because of the ancient primitive tools used for turning the stone blocks.

    Rear view

    Hindu Deities

    You can spend a good time exploring the detailed carvings and trying understand what they tell us. You can also get government provided guides to get more details about different carvings.

    Once you are done appreciating the temple, you can head back to Bangalore via Shrirangapattna-Mandya->Bangalore or Bannur->Malavalli->Maddur->Bangalore routes.

    What to carry?

    Extra pairs of cloths if you want to get wet at Shivanasamudra, packed food as getting a decent hotel around these places is difficult and of-course a good Camera.

    Round trip distance is approximately 350 kms. Incase you don't want to drive, you may try conducted tours by KSTDC to these locations.

    We hope you enjoy as much we did. All photos are taken on my Olympus C8080WZ camera

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Recession Blues?

Current market condition is definitely troubled and people are pondering over "recession" and its consequences.

People started speculating that the US economy would enter in to a recession in the early 2008. They were mostly right as it is mostly a reality now. The word recession looks like a buzz word now and it is also being searched frequently on Google and the trend is increasing.

Check for yourself on Google Trends report on the word "recession" :-)

Average worldwide traffic of the word "Recession" on Google has too many peaks in 2008 showing that the search frequency of the word "recession" is growing.

More interestingly the majority of the traffic seems to be from Singapore and India!

The panic started when people learned about the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers and Merril Lynch getting taken over by BoA. Story continued with other Ameircan giants and made the things worse. People frantically started speculating on who could be next, recession, possible job losses etc.

Here in India, things really started to heat when rumors started spreading over ICICI Bank's bankruptcy filing (even though we don't have anything called 'filing for bankruptcy'),and people lined up at the ATMs, cash soon dried up at some ATMs with this mass panic. But, I knew ICICI bank would not fall so soon as Indian Banks have little exposure to sub-prime lending. But, by and large, situation was tense and slowly things stabilized after our finance ministers assurance that all banks here are doing god with enough cash reserve.

Recent Citibank crisis again fueled a rumor here that the Citibank India operation would get a hit and the depositors would lose money. I was a little worried this time as I mostly bank with them. Citibank Indian (outgoing) CEO Sanjay Nayar, even sent a public email to customers stating that the bank was doing really well with no cash issues.

Anyways, I'm finger crossed on how this recession would shape over the next few quarters.

Hmm...World is flat, Isn't it? Anything that happens at the other end of the world, just comes here in a day!

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