April 2018

Somanathapura Temple

Somanathapura Temple

Prasanna Chennakeshava Temple, also known as Somnathpur Temple is another popular shrine located near to Mysore. This temple still stands majestically as one of the finest exemplary of Hoysala Architecture. Located in Somanathapura town, it is a place not to be missed when on your Mysore tour. It has been also nominated for the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. One can see miniature and elaborate carvings and sculptures which is a specific feature of Hoysala architecture.
The temple was built in 1268, by Somanatha who was general of King Narasimha III during the Hoysala reign.It is said that Dandanayaka Somanatha, after establishing a village on the banks of cuvery River- Somanathapura, had taken the permission of King Narasimha III to create a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple was created not only to seek blessings of the lord but also to showcase the enviable brilliance of Hoysala architecture and to represent its grandeur and intricate craftsmanship.

Panchapalli Dam

Panchapalli Dam 1

Panchapalli dam is a nice picnic spot in Hosur district, Tamil Nadu. It is a decent weekend getaway from Bangalore. During the months of September/October/November, the water level will be more and you might get to see very few birds. If you love nature and want to see and spend some time then this is the place. If you are driving from Bangalore then you need approx 4 to 5 hours to visit and come back.

Tonnur Lake

Tonnur Kere

Tonnur Kere: This amazing historical lake is spread over an area of 2,150 acres. Tonnur Kere was planned and built by the Sri Vaishnava Saint Ramanujacharya 1,000 years ago and was named by him as “Tirumalasagara”. The saint made this place his home after leaving Srirangam and before he went to Melukote. The Adilshahis of Bijapur invaded this place and Nasir Jung, the Mughal Subedar of Deccan named it as “Moti Talab”/Lake of pearls referring to its crystal clear water. Tipu Sultan of Srirangapatna later repaired the lake bund. There are few caves in the hills known as Tipu caves.
A bund/dam built between two rocky hills formed Tonnur Kere. The height of the dam is 230 meters and the length is approximately 145 meters. The water to the tank is fed from Yadavanadi/river and also from the many streams running off the hills surrounding the lake. The water from this lake irrigates thousands of acres of paddy and sugarcane fields.
In and around Tonnur Kere are 4 ancient Hoysala temples (1000 years or more) they are:
1. Venkataraman/Srinivasa
2. Nambhi Narayana
3. Parthasarathi and Venugopal
4. Yoga Narasimha and Saint Ramanujacharya

Channarayana Durga Trek


Channarayana Durga is a hilltop fort near Madhugiri in Tumkur district of Karnataka. There are few temples and old structures inside the fort. Though most of the place is in ruins without any care, few monuments are still intact. This is one of the ideal sites for trekking near Bangalore.Situated at an altitude of 3734 ft, Channarayana Durga was strategic fortress during medieval times and many battles were fought for its possession. The fort was originally built by Channapa Gouda in the 17th century, a feudal lord from Madhugiri. Later the fort fell into the hands of the Marathas. But in subsequent year’s control of the fort changed several times between Marathas and Mysore Wodeyars. The British took over the fort during third Mysore war and then abandoned it.
Channarayana Durga trek can be classified as moderate. The starting point of this trail begins from the small village of Channarayana Durga situated at the foot of the hill. The fort has three stages, while the lower part of the hill is covered with the steep rocky patches, the upper part consists of vegetation and a pond filled with water. This pond would have served as a water source for the people in the fort. There is a small temple next to the pond. During the monsoons, this initial trek would be difficult as the smooth rock would become slippery. There were few structures which were probably used for the storage of ammunition and food grains. At the peak of the fort was a small structure which might have been used as the watchtower. The view from this hill is astounding with dry green shrub, villages and hillocks.
The trek to Channarayana Durga is quite interesting and there are no signboards with very few tourists visiting. It takes about half day to trek to the top and explore the fort. Visitors have to carry their own food and water. Villagers can be hired as guides to explore the fort once you reach the village at the foothill.

Markonahalli Dam

Markonahalli Dam


Markonahalli Dam is built across the river Shimsha in the Kunigal Taluk of Tumkur district. It was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the king of Mysore under the guidance of his Diwan, Sir M Visweswaraiah. It was built to irrigate 6,070 hectares of land and has a masonry structure of 139 m and a pair of earth dams extending to 1,470 meters on either side.The reservoir has a catchment area of 4,103 km2 (1,584 sq mi) and can hold a volume of 68 million m³ of water at a full reservoir level of 731.57 m above the mean sea level.Twenty-seven species of fishes have been recorded from the reservoir, among which 13 contribute to the commercial catch. Pontius has the maximum species diversity with five species.
The technology behind these siphons is simple. Siphons are the only way for water to pass through. And these work on the simple principle of air flow. The air hole shown in the picture is always closed and when the dam reaches its capacity water is forced to pass through the siphons since there is no way for air to enter except the closed hole!! Hence this dam requires  no actual maintenance!! And the water in the whole dam can be cleared within one and a half hour!!!

Balmuri falls

balmuri falls

The Balmuri Edmuri waterfalls are situated in the district of Mysore. They are actually two falls located within a distance of 500 meters of each other. The falls are just off the road to the Krishna Raja Sagara dam and are situated amidst paddy fields and a small island. The Balmuri fall is a mini cascade resulting from the 6 ft high step protruding from the check dam on River Kaveri. The Edmuri fall is located to the left of the Balmuri and is more suitable for enjoying swimming and other water activities.Balmuri Falls is a picnickers’ paradise. You can go for a dip or enjoy a swim in the water while visiting the waterfall. But you need to exercise caution while going into the water as there are no lifeguards in the spot and the water can be deceitful at times.
Generally, the flow of water is not at a high speed unless the dam is opened to release water. At such times, it is advisable to strictly stay away from the water.Balmuri Falls is an excellent location to go for leisurely walks or sit and adore the scenic beauty. You can enjoy seasonal boat ride facilities at the waterfall. It can be a thrilling experience to go on a boat ride along with your family and friends in the waters of the River Cauvery. If you are of a religious bent of mind, you can pay a visit to the popular temple of Ganapati that is situated near the waterfall.