Category Archives: Karnataka

Karnataka is a south Indian state along the Arabian Sea coastlines, with Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) as its capital city.

Daria Daulat Bagh or Garden of the Sea of Wealth – Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace

Daria Daulat Bagh which means ‘Garden of the Sea of Wealth’ is a palace made mostly of teak-wood at Srirangapatna. This palace was the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan. This palace was built by Tipu Sultan in 1784. He ruled Mysore Kingdom from here and Lal Mahal, the main palace. There is a beautiful garden around the palace.

Daria Daulat Bagh or Garden of the Sea of WealthDaria Daulat Bagh or Garden of the Sea of Wealth

Daria Daulat Bagh palace is made in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. It stands on a raised platform in rectangular shape. Open corridors are there on the four sides of the palace. Mysore paintings adds to the beauty of the arches, canopies, pillars and walls of the palace. Battle scenes and portraits can be found on the outer walls.  On the western wall, you can find the painting that depicts the victory of Haider Ali and his son Tippu Sultan over the East India Company in the Battle of Pollilur near Kanchipuram in 1780.

Srirangapatna and Mysore princely state

Srirangapatna was the capital of erstwhile Mysore princely state for a few decades (1760 to 1799), in the second half of the 18th century, under Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. Haider Ali was the the commanders-in-chief of Wodeyars. Haider Ali made himself as the de-facto ruler of Mysore. Wodeyars, the then Kings of Mysore, were unable to do anything much against this. Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan fought many wars with other neighboring kingdoms and were successful in adding new areas to their kingdom.

This city is the place where the “Battle of Seringapatam” was unfolded between Tipu Sultan on one side and the combined forces of Nizam of Hyderabad along with the East India Company, on the other side. Tipu Sultan or the “Tiger of Mysore” was killed in this battle.

Kingdom of Mysore was one of the largest kingdoms in India, even after the death of Tipu sultan. Wodeyars took back the control of their lost kingdom and ruled the kingdom till the middle of the last century, until it became part of India.

Near to the Garden of the Sea of Wealth palace, you can find the fort ruins. It is inside this fort that Tipu Sultan was killed. Tipu Sultan was believed to be betrayed by one of his confidants. There is a memorial at the spot where Tipu Sultan was killed.

Lal Mahal Palace ruins can also be seen  inside the fort premises.

Looting of Tipu Sultan’s Wealth and other Items

All of Tipu Sultan’s  wealth and even his personal belongings were looted after his death and many found its way to Britain. Victoria and Albert Museum and British Royal Collection contains many of those looted items.

Some of those looted royal belongings of Tipu sultan found its way back to India after legal battles and some others at auctions.  Tipu’s sword has been acquired by Vijay Mallya, in the last decade or so in an auction. The current location of this sword is not revealed publicly.

A UK court was told that Vijay Mallya ‘gave away’ Tipu Sultan’s sword, as it was bringing him bad luck.

Sahebzada Mansoor Ali Tipu, the seventh-generation successor of Tipu Sultan, claimed that the family has tried to purchase it from Mallya.

Tipu Sultan Museum

There is a small museum called Tipu Sultan Museum, on the top floor of the Daria Daulat Palace. It has a fairly good collection of Tipu memorabilia, paintings and Persian manuscripts.

Storming of Srirangapattanam“, which depicts the final fall of Tipu Sultan on 4 May 1799, is there in the museum. It is an oil painting by Sir Robert Ker Porter, painted in the year 1800.

Gumbaz at Srirangapatna (Mausoleum or Tomb of Hyder Ali and Tipu)

Mausoleum or Gumbaz at Srirangapatna contains the tombs of the Royals like Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali. It also contains the grave of tipu Sultan’s mother, Fakr-Un-Nisa. It is situated at the center of a landscaped garden.

Ranganathaswamy temple

Ranganathaswamy temple is a ninth century world famous temple in the city. It is a Vaishnavite pilgrimage center.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Applciation

Many of the historic monuments inside the city of Srirangapatna has been nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the application is pending.

How Do I Go to Daria Daulat Bagh?

Daria Daulat Bagh is situated at Shrirangapattana, an island town at around 14 kilometers from Mysore city.  (Mysore was renamed as Mysuru, recently. ) The historic and religiously important Srirangapatna city is surrounded by the river Kaveri, a major river in South India. Srirangapatna is in the Mandya district.

Srirangapatna town is on the NH 275 (Bangalore – Mysore – Madikeri – Bantwal).

There are frequent train services  to this island town.

Mysore airport is the nearest airport to Srirangapatna town, at around 15 kilometers distance.

Have you been to Netrani Island, famous for Scuba Diving?

Netrani Island is a small coral island off the coast of Karnataka, situated around 10 nautical miles (19 kilometers) away from Murudeshwar town. It is famous for scuba diving, snorkeling, etc. It is also rich in coral reef.

Netrani IslandNetrani Island off Arabian sea coast in India.

Sharp rocks and steep cliffs prevent tourists from entering the island. Scuba diving and snorkeling is done from anchored boats.

Netrani Island is rich in fauna. Butterfly fish, Coral,eels, parrot fish, trigger fish, shrimps, etc, can be seen here. Fish eagles can also be seen in large numbers, which feeds on sea snakes and fish. A Mongoose species is also seen here. Bats are also found in the island. Whale sharks were seen around the island, occasionally.

Netrani Island was being used by Indian armed forces for their target practice; remains of which can still be seen there. In 2012, Honorable High Court of Karnataka has issued a stay order on target practice here. Naval authorities has admitted that they are using a big rock here for target practice.

There are some shrines in the island.

How Do I Go to Netrani Island?

Murdeshwara (or Murdeshwar) and Goa are the nearest towns where dive shops are there. Murdeshwar shops charge you around 5000 to 6000 Rupees (negotiable). They will arrange diving trips to the island. Fishing motor boats also can take you to the island from Bhatkal Fishing Harbour.

Ideal time to visit the island is during the months of December and January.

Conclusion

Are you interested in going Netrani Island for scuba diving? Please leave your comments.

INS Chapal Warship Museum and Rock Garden at Karwar Beach

INS Chapal Warship Museum is a Museum on Decommissioned  Chamak class missile boat of the Indian Navy called INS Chapal (K94).  It  is located at the Rabindranath Tagore beach in Karwar city, Karnataka state, India.  It is also known as INS Chapal Museum.

INS Chapal Warship Museum at Karwar Beach
INS Chapal Warship Museum at Karwar Beach

INS Chapal was commissioned on  4 November 1976.  Ii is 38.6 meters long and is Russian made. It was decommissioned on 5th May 2005. This warship was used during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. It destroyed many an  enemy ships near Karachi, causing large scale damage to enemy ships. Technically categorized as a Missile boat, it is a 245 tonne ship. INS Chapal comes under Osa class of missile boats.

INS Chapal Warship Museum was founded here because, a Naval Base was established at Karwar in the year 2005.  It was in the same year that  INS Chapal was decommissioned. Currently, it is the third largest Indian naval base. It is called INS Kadamba. The first phase of the  naval base  was  commissioned on 31st May 2005.

What is to be seen in the INS Chapal Warship Museum at Karwar?

This warship is now positioned on a concrete platform. The process of setting up the museum  was  documented and this video is available at this museum. There are mannequins (dummies) dressed as captain, doctors, sailors, etc. Replicas of the missiles used those days are also on display inside the Karwar Warship museum along with many other interesting documents.

It’s a wonderful experience to come close to the nation’s warship. Anybody visiting Karwar town should not miss the opportunity to visit this magnificent military museum. It may take an hour or so to have a glimpse of the INS Chapal museum. Guides are there to explain the details to you.

How Do I Go to INS Chapal Warship Museum at Karwar?

INS Chapal Museum at Karwar is at around 1.1 kilometers from Karwar Bus Station. Karwar city is situated in Uttara Kannada district.

Karwar railway station on the Konkan railway line,  is the railway station in the city. It is a major railway station where many long distance express trains stops.

The museum is open from 10 am to 1 pm.  It is open again from 4.30 pm to 6 pm.

There is a small entry fee to be paid here.  Visit the warship museum at Karwar and listen to your guide.

Rock Garden at Karwar Beach

There is a rock garden at the Rabindranath Tagore beach in Karwar, which attracts a lot of tourists. The shapes carved out in rocks gives the visitors glimpses of the district.  There is an Aquariumon the beach.

Kavualedurga Fort – A Ninth Century Fort in Karnataka

Kavualedurga Fort is a  ninth century fort located at around 18 kilometers distance from Thirthahalli Town in Shimoga district, Karnataka state, India.
Kavualedurga Fort
Kavualedurga Fort.   Image source Wikimedia / Wikipedia.

Kavualedurga Fort was constructed during the 9th century. Cheluvarangappa, a feudatory  under the Vijayaanagara emperor,  renovated this fort in the 14th century.

Venkatappa Nayaka (1582-1629) fortified the place. He constructed a palace,treasury, granary, ponds and stables for elephants and horses. A portion of the fort was made as an Agrahara (attached to Sringeri Math).

Kavualedurga fort a has three lined walls, which were made of massive granite slabs. Each fortification has separate gateway with by rooms for guards on either side. In between the three fortifications you can find temples, a ruined palace site and other structures which looks like basement of some ruined building.

At the top of the hill, almost at the middle of the fort, overlooking the Arabian sea, you can find a small temple which is known as Shikhareshvara or Srikanthesvara temple. The temple has a Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum). A Nandi sculpture (bull), a mantapa (hall)  and an entrance porch can be seen at the temple site.  View of sunset from the entrance porch is amazing.

The palace site is one among the most visited sites in Shimoga district. This site has an ornate basement which shows proof of a large terraced structure. Recent studies in the area has shown a  series of interconnected rooms around a spacious inner quadrangle.  Pillared roofed platform along the outside of a house (verandah), a pooja room (prayer room), kitchen with five burners, stone platform in the bath room were found here.

A well developed water supply system existed in the fort. There is a closed pathway (verandah) which  leads to the  stepped water tank

How Do I Go to Kavualedurga Fort?

Kavualedurga Fort is at a distance of around 18 kilometers from Thirthahalli town. National Highway 13  passed through Thirthahalli road, which is the access point to the Thirthahalli town.

Shimoga railway station is the nearest one at around 87 kilometers from the fort. This station is connected to Bangalore and Mysore by direct trains. Udupi and  Mangalore  are two  nearest railway stations at around 95 and 142 kilometers distance receptively, for those coming from North India.

Explore the Unique Geological Formation of Basalt Columns of Lava at St Mary’s Islands

St Mary’s Islands are a group of four small uninhabited islands in the Arabian Sea, near Udupi in Karnataka state, India. It is situated off the coast of Malpe. These islands are also known as Coconut Island and Thonsepar.  These islands are unique in their geological formation of Basalt Columns of lava or rock columns.

Saint Mary's Islands
Saint Mary’s Islands

It is believed that  Vasco da Gama landed at St. Mary’s Islands in 1498 on his voyage from Portugal, before setting his foot at  Kozhikode in Kerala. He named one of the islands as ‘O Padrão de Santa Maria’  and thus got its current name.

Coconut Island, North Island, Daryabahadurgarh Island and South Island are the four islands of St. Mary’s islands.

St Mary’s islands are among the 26 Geological Monuments of India. Coconut Island and Thonsepar islands are considered as an important site for “Geo Tourism”.

These islands are not crowed and are very neat.  You can explore these islands and take selfies! With those rock lava formations as the drop, these selfies are worth its salt. Swimming is not allowed, as there are rocks around the beach. Security guards are there in these islands to prevent tourists from Swimming.

There is not much of sand in the beaches. The western coast of beaches have a large number of seashells of different  sizes and shapes.

There is no permanent buildings. Animals are also not there in these islands.

St Mary’s Islands were formed due to the sub-aerial sub-volcanic activity, which might have occurred around 60-88 million years ago, during the time of rifting of Madagascar from the Indian sub-continent.

Hexagonal  rock formations is the characteristics of  the northernmost island  and is unique in  India. The island measures around 500 meter X 100 meter  with a large number of coconut trees. Hence the island got its name, Coconut Island.

Vadabhandeshwara Temple is situated near to the Malpe Beach. Jet skiing, parasailing, banana boat ride, etc, are available near Malpe Beach.

How Do I Go to St Mary’s Islands?

Malpe Beach is at around 5 kilometers from Udupi town, the administrative headquarters. Frequent bus services are available up to Malpe bus stand. You may hire an auto-rickshaw or walk the distance from the Malpe bus stand to the ferry station.

Boats starts only when there is a  minimum of 30 passengers are there. On working days, the starting time gets delayed up to 10.30 am or a little later, due to this. On holidays, boats may start at around 9 or 9.30 am. The last boat to the mainland from the islands is at 5 pm. The cost for the round trip is around Rs. 250.

It takes around 15-20 minutes of travel by boat from St Mary’s Island Boating Office at Malpe Beach. These islands are at around 6 kilometers from the mainland. You need to wade through the water, once you reach near the islands. i.e. Boats can not go to the islands due to the rocks.

I was told that there are other boat services also from the Malpe Beach,  which starts at 8.30 am and costs anywhere between Rs. 150 – 300. These boats seems to be operated by private people.  These boats go even with  10 people. Return journey for this boat is available up to 5.30 pm. Please confirm this with the locals.

Udupi railway station with station code UD, is the nearest railway station to Coconut Island and Thonsepar islands.  Mangalore is at around 60 kilometers from Malpe Beach. The nearest airport is at Mangalore.

Tips for St Mary’s Island Tourists

There are no restaurants or hotels at these islands. Tourists are not allowed to stay in the islands. There is a small shop selling  juice, snacks, water, etc. It may not open on certain week days or is opened late.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary Known for Venomous King Cobra Telemetry Research

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Karnataka state, India. It is named after “Lord Someshwara”, the presiding deity at the famous “Someshwara temple”, located inside the sanctuary. This sanctuary is known for Venomous King Cobras.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary
Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. Image Courtesy – udupilive.in

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated below the Agumbe range. Agumbe receives the maximum rainfall in South India. The park is spread over 314.25 square kilometers in Udupi & Shivamogga districts. This park along with Kudremukh National Park, Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary and Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary forms a contiguous protected area. Sitanadi River flows through this wildlife sanctuary. Mahasheer fishes and Otters are found in Sitanadi river.

The sanctuary is rich in Flora and fauna. The wildlife sanctuary is known for venomous King Cobras. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station inside the sanctuary, conducts telemetry based projects (recorded using scientific instruments) on King Cobra.

Seethanadi Nature Camp which is run by Karnataka State Forest Department, is situated inside this sanctuary. Trekking, Bird Watching, Nature Walks, Rafting (from July to September), Fish feeding, etc, are some of the activities in the Nature Camp.

Agumbe Sunset point gives excellent view of the sunset. Jomlu Theertha falls, Kudlu Theertha falls and Onake Abbi falls are situated inside the wildlife sanctuary.

How Do I Go to Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary?

Hebri town is the nearest town at around 14.5 kilometers distance from this wildlife sanctuary. Udupi and Mangalore are two nearby major cities to the wildlife sanctuary. Udupi is at around 55 kilometers, whereas Mangalore is at around 100 kilometers distance from Someshwara wildlife sanctuary. Shimoga Town is at around 110 kilometers distance from this wildlife park.

Udupi and Shimoga are the nearest railway stations. Mangalore airport is the nearest airport.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary Timings

The wildlife sanctuary is open from 06:00 am– 06:00 pm, on all days. There is an entry free of INR 200 for adults and INR 100 for children. November to April are the ideal months to visit this Wild Life Sanctuary.

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary Safari Near Chikkamagaluru

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected Project Tiger reserve forest, near Chikkamagaluru town in Karnataka state, India.


An Indian tiger at Bhadra wildlife Sanctuary

An Indian tiger at Bhadra wildlife Sanctuary.

Situated at an altitude which varies from 615 meters (2,018 feet) to 1,875 meters (6,152 feet), this wildlife sanctuary is very popular for its day outings. Hebbe Giri, Mullayanagiri, Gangegiri and Bababudangiri hills are some of the scenic hills inside the wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary is famous among the nature photographers. Its also a paradise for wildlife explorer and wildlife photographer community.

Bhadra wild life Sanctuary is known for its rich flora and fauna. Apart from 33 royal Bengali Indian Tigers, Bhadra Tiger reserve has many beasts of the Jungle, which includes elephant, sloth bear, gaur, wild boar, black leopard, etc. Some of the other Fauna inside the forests includes jackal, jungle cat, wild dog, sambar, mouse deer, spotted deer, barking deer, common langur, slender loris, , common palm civet, small Indian civet, bonnet macaque, pangolin, porcupine, Malabar giant squirrel, flying squirrel,etc. Bhadra wildlife sanctuary safari is very popular with tourists.

Hebbe Falls with a height of 551 feet or 168 meters, is at the eastern part of the sanctuary. Manikyadhara Falls on the sacred Baba Budan Giri Hill, is another fall which lies close to the wildlife sanctuary. The scenic Bhadra River passes through the wildlife sanctuary cum project tiger reserve.

How Do I Go to Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary?

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is at around 38 kilometers North-West of Chikkamagaluru town, in Karnataka state. The nearest airport to the wildlife sanctuary is located at Mangalore, at around 163 kilometers distance.

Bhadravthi, Birur, Shimoga and Tarikere are some of other nearby cities. Bhadravthi railway station with code BDVT and Birur Junction railway station with station code RRB, are connected by railway network to the rest of the country.

Cubbon Park Known for its Landscaping, Aquarium and Statues

Cubbon Park or Sri Chamarajendra Park as it is officially known, is a beautiful park spread over an area of 300 acres, in the heart of the Bengaluru city.

Cubbon ParkCubbon Park

Cubbon Park was initially created in 1870 with an area of 100 acres. Later-on, the park was extended to 1.2 square kilometers, spanning over 300 acres. This park is known for its landscaping, which is integrated well with  the natural rocks, tress, bamboos, etc. The park has walking paths which are well maintained. There are motor-able roads inside the park; access is only for light motor vehicles.

Brief History on  Sri Chamarajendra Park alias Cubbon Park

The first name of the park was Meade’s Park, named after Sir John Meade, who was the Acting Commissioner of Mysore in 1870. Later on, the park was renamed as Cubbon Park. Sir Mark Cubbon was the longest serving commissioner of the state.

The park was again renamed as Sri Chamarajendra Park in 1927, in memory of the 19th century ruler Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar. Chamarajendra Wodeyar was the King of the then princely state of Mysore. He reigned from 1868–1894. Bengaluru was under his rule, when park came into existence in 1870.

Flora inside Cubbon Park or Sri Chamarajendra Park

Cubbon Park is very rich in flora. There are around 68 genera trees or plants. A total of 96 species of plants or trees, numbering around 6000 plants or trees, are found inside the park. There are many ornamental and exotic trees and plants, lining the roads of Cubbon park.

Other buildings inside  Sri Chamarajendra Park alias Cubbon Park

K.Sheshadri Iyer Statue, Cubbon ParkStatue of K.Sheshadri Iyer, in whose memory Iyer Hall is constructed.

Cubbon Park is known for the Historic and aesthetic buildings and statues of famous personalities. Originally known as Attarakacheri; a group of 18 ancient buildings; now houses the Karnataka State High Court. Iyer Hall with a rose garden in front, is another historic building, which now houses the State Central Library alias Seshadri Iyer Memorial Library.

Aquarium (the second largest in the country), Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Library, Venkatappa Art Gallery, YMCA, State Youth Center – Yuvanika, Press Club, Century Club, Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Tennis Pavilion, Cheshire Dyer Memorial Hall and the Ottawa Chatter are some of the other prominent buildings inside this Park.

How Do I Go to Sri Chamarajendra Park alias Cubbon Park?

Cubbon Park is located at the heart of Bangalore City. M.G. road, Kasturba road, Hudson circle and Ambedkar road are the main roads around the park.

Bengaluru (old name is Bangalore) is well connected by roads, trains and flight services to the rest of the country. Bengaluru City Junction Railway Station is the main railway station from where most of the train starts. Kempegowda International Airport is the new airport on the outskirts of Bengaluru city, at around 1 hour drive from Cubbon Park.

Galibore Nature Camp and Galibore Fishing Camp; Home for Endangered Mahseer Fish

Galibore Nature Camp is situated deep inside the forests, on the banks of the River Cauvery in Karnataka state, India. Galibore Fishing Camp is also part of the Nature Camp.


This photo of Galibore Nature Camp is courtesy of TripAdvisor

This Nature Camp is named after the Galibore hillocks that stand behind the nature park. Wilderness is what makes this nature park unique.

There are spotted deer, grizzled giant squirrel, an endangered species, marsh crocodiles, turtles, snakes, etc, are seen here. This Nature and Fishing Camp has around 230 birds species also.

Coracle ride is a specialty here. Fishing is allowed at the Fishing Camp, provided you release the catch back in the river waters. Catch release policy is strictly enforced here to protect the Endangered Mahseer Fish. Fishing is also allowed at the nearby Cauvery Fishing Camp located inside the Fish Camp Center at Bheemeshwari Adventure & Nature Camp Center.

The Nature Camp center offers food. Barbecue is arranged for the dinner, by the Cauvery riverside.

How Do I Go to Galibore Fishing Camp at Galibore Nature Camp?

The Nature Camp is located at Cheelandavadi village, at around 100 kilometers from Bangalore. This beautiful nature park is at around 109 kilometers distance from Mysore.

Which is the Ideal Time to Visit Galibore Nature Camp?

The Nature Camp is to be visited after the onset of monsoon rains. August to February are the ideal months to visit this famous nature camp and Fish camp center. The months of March to June are extremely hot and should be avoided.

Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple – 800 Year Old Famous Temple

Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple is a 800 year old famous temple on the banks of River Netravati at Dharmasthala, a temple town in Dakshina Kannada District, India. The temple is also known as Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala.

Dharmasthala Temple
Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple Entrance.

This temple is famous for its Hindu and Jain deities. Lord Shiva is the main deity which is work-shipped here. Lord Shiva is known as Manjunatha at this temple and hence the temple got its name Manjunatha Temple. Theerthankara, a Jain deity is also work-shipped in this temple. Four Daivas; Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswamy and Kanyakumari are also work-shipped here.

Lakshadeepa festival is the main temple festival and is celebrated during November or December each year.

Dharmasthala Temple
Statue of Lord Bahubalii at Dharmasthala.

Monolithic stone sculpture of Lord Bahubalii, with a height of 39 feet and weighing 170 tonnes, is situated at a distance of around 1 kilometer from the Manjunatha temple. It was installed in 1982. You can reach hilltop where the statue is situated by climbing the steps or by car.

The Pergade family, a Jain family and belonging to Bunt sub-community, is the hereditary trustees of the temple. They are known as Dharma Adhikari (chief administrator). They are believed to be descendants of the creator of the temple. They are Feudal Lords and they still resolve civil and criminal disputes. The practice is called “Hoyulu”. The present day Dharma Adhikari is believed to be the 20th decedent of Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballalthi; the first Pergade family members who built the temple.

How Do I Go to Dharmasthala Temple?

Dharmasthala Temple is well connected to other parts of the country by roads. Mangalore is the nearest Major Town. Yedamangala (YDM) and Kabakaputtur (KBPR) railway stations are the nearest railway stations at around 27 to 28 kilometers distance from Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala. Bajpe airport at Mangalore is the nearest airport at around 75 kilometers distance from Dharmasthala Temple.