Bhaja Caves area group of 22 rock-cut Buddhist caves at Bhaja, near Lonavala in Maaharastra state of India. These caves dates back to the 2nd century BC. Bhaja is part of the ancient trade route connecting Arabian sea and the Deccan Plateau.
Bhaja Caves are also known as Bhaje caves. There are a number Buddhist stupas (stupas are relics of Buddhist monks of those times), numbering 14, in the area. Five Stupas are inside the caves while the remaining 9 are outside the caves . The Bhaja Caves share their architectural design with the Karla Caves. These cave temples at Bhaja are protected as National Monuments by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Wooden Ceiling in Main Chaitygruha at Bhaja Caves
Bhaja Cave XII is built in wooden architecture and there is a vaulted horseshoe ceiling. Cave XVIII has a verandah in front with many pillars. The carving in these caves depicts a woman playing tabla ( a very ancient Indian percussion instrument) and another woman, performing dance. There is a waterfall near the last cave.
Brihadeeswarar Temple, is a famous Shiva temple situated at Thanjavur in Tamilnadu state of India. Brihadeeswarar Temple, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is part of “Great Living Chola Temples“.
Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar Temple
Brihadeeswarar Temple is called “Peruvudaiyar Kovil” in local language Tamil, Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur or Thanjur, is a temple built using granite in Tamil architecture by the emperor Raja Raja Chola I alias Arulmozhivarman in 1010 AD. Thanjur or Thanjavur is famous for its art, architecture, culture, religion, etc.
Brihadeeswarar Temple is one of the largest temples in India and hence called the ‘big temple‘ or ‘Periya Kovil’ in Tamil. This temple is also known as RajaRajeswara Temple and Rajarajeswaram, Brihadeshwara Temple.
Peruvudaiyar Kovil was the largest building built fully with granites. Brihadeeswarar temple is built in Dravida type of temple architecture. The temple construction was completed in 5 years. The temple is at a raised height of around 5 metres from ground level. the raised platform is full of stone deities and carvings showing Shiva dance forms.
The temple tower with a height of 216 ft (66 meters) is one of the tallest temple towers. The apex or ‘Kumbam’, weighing about 81 tons is carved out of a single rock. There is a 16 feet long ,13 feet high ‘Nandi statue‘ at the entrance weights around 20 tonnes and is carved out of a single rock.
How do I go to Brihadeeswarar Temple?
Brihadeeswarar Temple is well connected by road and railway network to other parts of the country. “Thanjavur Junction” is the nearest railway station to the famous Big temple at Thanjavur. Thajavur is well connected by regular trains to Chennai, the capital city of the state. Chennai is at around 229 kilo meters from Thanjavur. Tiruchirapalli Airport at around 49 kilo meters distance, is the nearest airport to the temple city of Thanjavur. The nearest major international airport is the one at Chennai.
Kemmangundi Hill Station is in Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka state, India. Kemmangundi Hill Station at 1434 meters above sea level is one of the best hill stations in Karnataka state.
A misty day at Kemmangundi Hill Station
There are many Mountain streams and waterfalls in the hills of Kemmangundi. Hebbe Falls and Kalhattagiri Falls (also known as Kallathi Falls or Kalahasthi Falls) are located in the hill station at Kemmangundi. Raj Bhavan offers sunset view at its best here. Kemmangundi Hills are a trekker’s paradise. Bhadra Tiger Reserve is part of this hill station. Rose garden is a beautiful garden maintained by the Karnataka state Horticultural Department.
Kemmangundi Hill Station is also known as ‘Sri Krishnarajendra Hill Station’ as a mark of the respect to the erstwhile ruler, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, who donated his summer retreat to the government of Karnataka.
How do I go to Kemmangundi Hill Station?
Kemmangundi Hill Station is at a distance of around 40 Kilo meters from the district headquarters, Chikkamagaluru city.
Bangalore is at around 244 kilo meters and Mangalore at around 184 kilo meters from the hill station town of Kemmangundi.
Birur Junction with station code RRB and Kadur Junction with station code DRU are the nearest railway stations at around 33 kilo meters from Kemmangundi hill station. “Kemmangundi Road” is at around 30 kilo meters from Kadur and 20 kilometers from Birur .
Kakolat Falls is a beautiful, 160 feet or 49 meter high, falls on the Kakolat hills of Nawada district in Bihar, India.
Kakolat Falls is located onthe border areas of Bihar and Jharkhand states. The cascading falls at Kakolat is a marvelous sight to any tourist. Tourists flock to this tourist spot from nearby cities and states and is a very popular weekend getaway place.
At the base of the falls, there is a natural reservoir formed from the Fall waters. There are many water sports and fun activities for the tourists at Kakolat.
Bishua or Chait Sankranti, a three day religious festival, is a major festival in the area and tourists comes in large numbers to Kakolat Falls during this festival time.
How do I go to Kakolat Falls in Nawada District of Bihar?
Kakolat Falls is at distance of 33 kilo meters from the Nawada town in Bihar.
Patna airport is the nearest airport and “Gaya Junction” is the nearest major railway station to the falls at Kakolat. NH 31, Patna – Kolkotta National Highway, is the major road link, close to Kakolat Falls, at around 17 kilometers from the falls.
There are regular buses to Thali, which is a small town, very close to Kakolat falls. Taxis and autos are also available from Thali and Nawada towns.
Karla Caves are
Karla Caves is a group of Buddhist rock-cut cave shrines located in Karli near Lonavala, in Maharastra state of India.
Karla Caves alias Karle Caves or Karla Cells, dates back to the 2nd century B.C. to 10th century A.D. The oldest cave shrine in Karla caves is believed to be made in the year 160 B.C. by Buddhist monks.
The caves at Karli also houses a Buddhist monastery, which dates back to the second century B.C. There used to be two 15-meter giant pillars in the monastery, out of which one was ruined and only one exists now. There is by temple dedicated to the goddess Ekveera, where the ruined pillar once existed.
The main feature of Karla Caves is their arched entrances and vaulted interiors. There is also an Ashokan pillar at the front entrance. These Karla Cave interiors are lighted with a large number of openings, cut in the rocks.
The largest rock-cut prayer hall in India (chaitya), which is 45 meters in length and up to 14 meters in height, is found in Karla Caves. There are many other carved chaityas also in the rock complex. Many Viharas are also found in the complex, which was used as the dwelling place for the monks in those days.
How do I go to Karla Caves?
Karla Caves are situated at a distance of around 60 kilo meters from Pune city, which is well connected to the rest of the country by road, rail and air.