Friday, May 9, 2008



Athirappally Waterfalls is located 78 kms from Kochi (Cochin), located at the entrance to Sholayar ranges, this waterfall is a popular picnic spot. Affording to the onlookers, one of the most bewitching sights, Athirappally Falls is about 80 feet high and located in the forest area. Combined with the greenery, it infuses freshness into any tired soul. The Athirapally Falls join the Chalakkudy River after plummeting a drop of 80 feet.

A tranquil and much needed escape from the troubles and stress of life. Let the soothing sounds take you to some of natures most relaxing places - the beautiful waterfalls of Athirampally and Vazhachal (Prounced as vaazhachaal).

The charm of the Athirampally nature cannot be described by words, Starting calmly from the high ranges, and crashing through gorges overhung with trees, these waterfall is one of the best places in India to re-capture a real sense of the classical idea of the 'Picturesque' - not just calm and sweet, but something wild and natural.

How to get there?

Getting to athirappally is now easy thanks to the rebuilt roads. Road from Athirappally to Vazhachal is still rough, but doesn't matter since it is about 4KM. Distances from various important places,Kochi International Airport - 55 KmChalakudy Railway station - 33 KmTrichur - 63 KmIn order to get into Athirappally or Vazhachal, you need to get tickets. The amount is per person and typically there is usually a long queue. When you get the tickets it looks funny. It looks like you are entering a different country and what you are issued is passport and visa for entering that country. There is no value for money at the falls. Even though they charge heavily, you cannot see any corresponding investments in the facilities provided (Yeah, I know it is usual in tourist spots).

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


shettyhalli church
gorur dam


HASSAN 190 kms from Bangalore is the District Headquarters of Hassan. This quiet and peaceful town is a convenient base to visit Sharavanabelagola, Belur and Halebid. Hassan offers a wide variety of accomodation. It is well connected by road and rail to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.

Around Hassan

This quaint hamlet - 38 kms from Hassan - is located on the banks of the river Yagachi. It was once capital of the Hoysala empire, today made unforgettable for its exquisite temples.

The Chennakeshava temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It took 103 years to complete this architectural marvel. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and frescos, with no portion left blank.Elephants, episodes from the epics, sensuous dancers.. they are all there - awe-inspiring in their intricate workmanship.Hand-lathe-turned filigreed pillars support the temple. The Veeranarayana Temple and the smaller shrines are worth a visit.


Halebid is 27 kms north-west of Hassan and 17 kms east of Belur. The temples of Halebid - like those of Belur - bear mute testimony to the rich, cultural heritage of Karnataka. The Hoysaleswara Temple, dating back to the 21th century, is astounding for its wealth of sculpture details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of Gods and Goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. Yet no two facets of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple - guarded by a Nandi Bull - was never completed despite 86 years of labour. The Jain basdis nearby are equally rich in sculpture detail.


Located 51 kms south-east of Hassan, Shravanbelagola is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centres .The world's tallest monolithic statue27 m. high monolith of Lord Bahubali is situated here . Thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka a spectacular ceremony held once in 12 years, when the 1000-year -old statue is anointed with milk, curds ,ghee, saffron, and gold coins. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2017A.D. Shravanabelegola is 158 kms from Bangalore.

Channarayapatna, Ramanathpur, Gorur and Manjarabad are the other places of interest around Hassan.

Getting Here -

Hassan is well-connected by road and rail to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore. Regular buses ply from Hassan to Belur, Halebid, Sravanabelagola and Arsikere. There direct buses from Sravanabelagola to Arsikere,Hassan,Mysore and Bangalore.
Accomodation At Hassan you can stay at any of the following hotels:
Hotel Amblee Palika. .
Hotel Hassan Ashok..B.M.Road.
Kotari Hotels. Station Road.
Hotel Suvarna Arcade, B.M.Road.

At Belur, Hotel Mayura Velapuri..

At Halebid, Tourist Cottages of tourism Department. .
ShoppingStone idols,sculptures and terra cotta items available here make good mementos. .

Holy Rosary Church at Shettihalli, which is being submerged in the waters of the Hemavathy, is attracting tourists by the hordes. Many are flocking to the area to get a glimpse of the partially submerged church, which looks like a stranded ship. The ruins of this enormous church are completely visible only in summer.
Situated around 15 km from here on the Hassan-Shettihalli Road, the church is attracting those who visit Belur, Halebid and Shravanabelagola.

A mention of the name Shettyhalli gets people in the region nostalgic about the picturesque village. The sunflower and castor fields, and the Hemavathy flowing quietly by the side, completes the picture of a quaint village.
However, it was submerged during the construction of the Hemavathy Reservoir at Gorur, to irrigate land in Hassan, Tumkur and Mandya districts. Now the church stands in the middle of the river, as a reminder of a village that was lost.
According to villagers, French missionaries built the church in 1860 for wealthy British estate owners in Alur and Sakleshpur. The church was reportedly built with mortar and bricks and a mixture of jaggery and eggs.
Villagers say that this has given the edifice the strength to withstand the vagaries of nature. The church was used by Christians in Shettyhalli, Changaravalli, Madanakopplu, Doddkopplu and Gaddekopplu.

When the reservoir was built, the villagers were rehabilitated in Maria Nagar of Arkalgud, Alphonso Nagar of Channarayapatna and Joseph Nagar in Hassan taluk.
The church stands to this day as a tribute to the excellent craftsmanship of the masons of those days.
The tourists arriving in Hassan will be able to see only the tip of the spire, as the water-level has increased considerably this monsoon.
Despite being submerged for almost 20 years, a part of the altar is still intact. The cruciform and the nave are also in perfect shape.
The number of tourists visiting Shettyhalli has increased in the past few months after a national television channel featured it in a travel programme. A little publicity and mention in travel books will help put the church on the tourist map.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Sun set at Manasa sarovara


Mount Kailash, which is believed to have been formed 30 million years ago when Himalayas were in their early stage of formation, is one of the most revered places in the Himalayas.Spread out on the Tibetan plateau beside Mount Kailash is the giant lake of shifting colors - Lake Mansarovar. Brahma, the creator, had a mind (Man) for the creation of a lake (Sarovar), hence its name. A pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and a bath in the Mansarovar is believed to bring about salvation (Moksha).I have read in books that the circumference of Mansarovar is 88-km, its depth is 90m and total area is 320-sq-kms.It seems the lake freezes in the winters and melts only in spring. It seems it looks unbelievably fascinating on moonlit nights when an ethereal ambiance pervades the atmosphere. The circumference of Rakshas Tal, also known as Ravan Kund, is 122-km. A 6-km long natural channel - Gangachhu - connects Manas with Rakshas Tal. This Takshas Tal is where Ravan in Ramayan did the tapasu ( meditate for lord shiva) hence it is called Rakshas tal.
Grade of trekking is : Hard
General Information :
Temperature and Weather Conditions
Weather conditions from May to September in Tibet, can be expected to be dry and sunny, with precipitants in July and August, day time temperatures can be as high as 22 degrees centigrade in Tibet.The average daily temperature will be 10 degrees centigrade, however, the intense sun at high altitude can, make it feel even hotter. At this time of year there is an incredible drop in temperature from early afternoon to evening time, temperature at night-time will drop as low as 0 to -10 degrees centigrade at altitudes of 5000 meters, our highest camp during the PARIKRAMA.
Health Considerations
All participants must provide health certificate given by a reputed doctor confirming that the participant is fit to travel in altitudes of 5700 metres.

We do ask you to bring along your own small first aid kit (available at Pharmacies).
Some of the items we ask you to bring in the kit are :
Antiseptic cream or Wound disinfectant:
Iodine and tube-squeeze cream.
Foot care and Blister Treatment, band-aids, adhesive roll & strips, gauze pads, moleskin. (please bring ankle high boots to avoid muscle sprain.)
Gauze Pads : 3", at least 6 pads, Gauze roll: 2-3 rolls Adhesive Tape : 2 roll.
Ace Bandages for the Ankle. Elastic bandages 3 roll. Water disinfectant tablets
Antibiotics: (Triethoprim/sulfamethoxazole - Bactrim DS or Septran DS - double strength (l60mg/ 800mgs). Antidiarrheals - Lomotil & Pepto - Bismol tablets and make sure you bring Charcoal tablets.
Please see your doctor for more advice concerning antibiotics and antidiarrheals.
Deamox: 20 Tablets:
Anti - Inflamatories: · Avil, Brufen or Mortin. Asprin / Tylenol or general painkillers. · Strong sunscreen oil, skin antibiotic cream/ Antifungal Ointment Lozenges/Strepsils (plenty).

Please start to get in shape NOW!!! A good 30 minutes walk, jogging daily, stretching and regular exercise should put you in the right shape (Concentrate on your heart & legs - Aerobics). Porters will be carrying the bulk of your equipment, but it is recommended that you bring a good day pack and are fit enough to carry snacks, filled water bottle/small scissors and knife, waterproof matches, safety pins, Thermometer, Lighter, Dehydration salt (electral) packets, Neosprine Powder and cream. Heat balm for muscles/joints, Vicksinhaler/vapourub, Chapsticks. Dry Fruits/snacks, camera, Film, Map, Jumper, Sun Hat, First Aid Kit, Light weight Rain Gear, Extra Cloth etc.
Altitude Sickness
This is an environment related condition that can effect anyone who ascends too rapidly to high elevations without acclimatizing properly. Suggested to read any book on trekking, which has a chapter on this, and also consult your doctor.
All arrangements within Tibet are solely at the discretion of the China Tibet Tourism Bureau (CTTB), a government Organization, and we have no control over the quality of the vehicles facilities. Travelmasti Holidays reserves the right to change itineraries without prior notice, depending on the weather and road condition.
All major foreign currencies and Tcs are accepted in Zhangmu Bank in return for Yuen, the basic unit of Chinese Currency. Yuen equals 10 Jiao and 1 Jiao equals 10 Fen. At present US$1 = 8 Yuen, Credit cards are not accepted. 1 Yuen = INRs. 6/- approximately. Antiques must be properly certified, otherwise they mey be confiscated.
Clothings for both extremes of climate and temperature. While driving to Kailash, it will be warm inside the vehicle and light clothing will be required, but as soon as you step out of the vehicle, warm clothing will be required to keep off the cold winds of the Tibetan Plateau. Evening will be generally cold and warm clothing will be required We recommend that you bring along the following clothings and accessories with you:01. Down Jacket - one 02. Warm thick pullover - One03. Warm thin pullover - One04. Warm pants - Two05. Light loose cotton pants - Two06. Warm windproof jacket - One07. Cotton full sleeve T-Shirts - Four08. Thermal under pants/long - Two09. Thermal vest / warm full T-Shirts - Two10. Rain coat with hood/ Poncho (should be roomy) - One11. "Broken - in" pair of ankle high walking boots & one extra shoe laces.12. Light tennis shoes & light rubber sandal.13. Warm woolen socks-Six15. Large cotton or silk scarf-One16. Warm gloves.17. Soft paper tissue and handkerchiefs - Plenty18. Monkey cap and Sun heat - one each19. Towels (one big, one small)20. Washing kit.
1. Personal First Aid Kit2. Toilet kit, Nail Clipper, Scisors3. Flash Light with extra batteries (3 Set)4. Sun Glasses, Sun Hat, Monkey Cap, Woolen Gloves5. Water bottles- unbreakable ( Min 2 ltrs capacity) can be purchased in Kathmandu6. Note book , Pen , Pencils7. Camera and film and extra batteries for electronic camera8. Binoculars recommended9. Rain Gear-Your raincoat should be roomy and have a water proof hood.10. Pocket knife , Sewing kit, Buttons, Cigarette lighter, towel, bags( a few of each size strong) dustmasks, strong sun cream and chapstick, Moisturizers, Money pouch/belts etc.11. Water purification tablets12. Walking stick- Can be purchased in kathmandu13. Washing Kit
You will be provide · 2 Men Tent, Foam Mattresses· Sleeping Bag· Dinning Tents & Table and Stools· Toilet Tents· Kitchen Tents, Equipment, Food· Guide, Cook, Helpers· Porters/Yaks to carry luggage/camping equipments during the Parikrama· 4WD Vehicles with Drivers· Equipment Truck with driver· Oxygen cylinder with Masks in every Vehicle· Kit Bag for your cloth and Equipment
Kathmandu to Kodari Private minibus will be provided for the group. Border crossing from Kodari to Zhangmu (Tibet) will be on trucks, incase of landslide, approximately 30 mins ride. Throughout the journey in Tibet you will be travelling in 4 WD Japanese vehicles. A truck will be provided for luggage and all camping equipments and food supplies.
The last place to make any international calls is in Darchan, Tibet. However, please be informed that it may be difficult at times to get the connection. If any urgent messages has to be sent to any of the participants, then please contact us at the hotel address in Kathmandu

Mountaineering in Ladakh

For more than a decade we have been actively involved in the safe rendering of adventure lovers to the most exhilarating adventure sports with experienced mountain guides, cooks and Ponymen, our emphasis is to provide you a crew with good understanding and teamwork, even we can accompany beginner to climb above 6000mts with in a week. we also provide base camp management where all transportation, porters and ponies and logistic support is being provided for climbing expeditions in Ladakh. The climbing season in ladakh extends from mid - May to mid -October, the ideal period being from June to September because it is during this time that Ladakh remains unaffected by the monsoon, which holds sway over most of the Himalayas.

Stok Kangri is a perfect objective for amateur climbers to climb above 6000mts in a short span of time. You can always have a view of this beautiful peak from Leh town. Once you are at the summit you can see the amazing views of the Saser Kangri (7670mts) in the Karakoram Range, Kang Yatse 6400mts. and Nun Kun (7135mts.).
Cost: 300 Euros
Person Size Of group: 2 Min 6
Maximum Highest Point: Stok Kangri Summit 6150mts
Grade: Hard
Duration: 6-7 Days

For a detailed day by day itinerary and to know what includes etc. please email us at

Kang Yatse (6400 meters.) 11-13 Days
Kang YatseLies south east of Leh and its situated in Markha Valley on the top of Nimaling Plateau. This beautiful peak is a desire for all the trekkers doing the Markha Valley, as they are always having a glimpse of this outstanding peak while trekking there. Actually there are two peaks one is easy and non-technical 6200mts high, and the other one is quit technical 6400mts. high. Though there are many options for this summit, but the best way is to do it with the Markha Valley trek 6 days of acclimatization trek from Spituk to Hankar 4-5 Days to reac upto summit and back to base camp and 2-3 days from base to Nimaling and than to Shang Sumdo Via Gongmarula 5150mts.
Cost: 480 Euros
person Size Of group: 2 Min 6
Maximum Highest Point: Kang Yatse 6400mts
Grade: Hard
Duration: 11- 13 Days

For a detailed day by day itinerary and to know what includes etc. please email us at Mountaineering in Ladakh

For more than a decade we have been actively involved in the safe rendering of adventure lovers to the most exhilarating adventure sports with experienced mountain guides, cooks and Ponymen, our emphasis is to provide you a crew with good understanding and teamwork, even we can accompany beginner to climb above 6000mts with in a week. we also provide base camp management where all transportation, porters and ponies and logistic support is being provided for climbing expeditions in Ladakh. The climbing season in ladakh extends from mid - May to mid -October, the ideal period being from June to September because it is during this time that Ladakh remains unaffected by the monsoon, which holds sway over most of the Himalayas.

Stok Kangri is a perfect objective for amateur climbers to climb above 6000mts in a short span of time. You can always have a view of this beautiful peak from Leh town. Once you are at the summit you can see the amazing views of the Saser Kangri (7670mts) in the Karakoram Range, Kang Yatse 6400mts. and Nun Kun (7135mts.).
Cost: 300 Euros/ person

Size Of group: 2 Min 6
Maximum Highest Point: Stok Kangri Summit 6150mts
Grade: Hard
Duration: 6-7 Days
For a detailed day by day itinerary and to know what includes etc. please email us at
Trekking in Ladakh.
One can experience exciting treks in the valleys of Ladakh, Zanskar and Changthang Plateau, with great contrast such as the Changthang Plateau with Nomads and high pasturelands high altitude lakes and the Zanskar gorges hidden deep in the western reaches of Ladakh. There one can see villages & monasteries nestled high on cliffs, the greenest fields of peas, barely, wheat, and mustard. These are just some of the attractions on these spectacular treks.
Markha Valley Trek ( 8-10 days)
This trek is easily accessible from Leh and offers a large diversity of landscapes. The green oasis of the Markha Valley guarded by Kang Yatse 6400mts from east and Zanskar range from the south west. From any of the high points you can have breath-taking views of the Korakoram Saser Kangri peak (7670mts) Stok Kangri (6150mts) Kang Yatse 6400mts.and Nun Kun (7135mts.) During this trek you will go through many scattered high villages, each with irrigated fields of barley, wheat and mustard which adds brilliance to the landscape of this broken moon land, and Markha valley trek is a part of Hemis National Park, Where there is always an opportunity of spotting wild animals. We have departures to the famous Markha Valley every second day from 1 st of June to 10 th of October.
Cost: 280 Euros/ person
Size Of group: 2 Min 6 Maximum
Highest Point: Gongmarula Pass 5150mts
Grade: Medium
Duration: 8 Days
To book the trek and for a detailed day by day itinerary and to know what includes please email us at

Spituk to Stok Trek (4 days) Rumbak valley Trek
This is a part of the Markha Valley trek, famous for wild animals, National Geographic made an award winning documentary in the Rumbak valley regarding Snow Leopards. This is the perfect trek If you are looking for a shorter option, beautiful view and moderate difficulty, this trek is definitely for those who have very short time in Ladakh, yet they want to have a flavor of trekking in Ladakh.
Cost: 160 Euros/ person
Size Of group: 2 Min 6 Maximum
Highest Point: Stokla Pass 4850mts
Grade: Medium
Duration: 4 Days

Hemis to Tsomoriri Trek (14 - 16 days)
This trek is famous for its unique landscape, nomads and the lakes. This area is a part of the Changthang Plateau, a part of western Tibet which can be called Eastern Ladakh. This region, known as the land of the nomads, will give you an experience to last a lifetime. You can see the nomads’ traditional lifestyle. The area is also an important wildlife sanctuary, harboring snow leopards and wild asses, as well as various species of birds, such as Black Necked Crane.
Cost: 560 Euros/ person
Size Of group: 2 Min 6 Maximum
Highest Point: Nakpo Gonzing Pass 5390mts
Grade: Medium-Strenous
Duration: 16 Days

Rumtse to Tsomoriri Trek (8-9 Days Trek)
Rumtse is situated 70 Kms east of Leh, the starting point of this trek. Rupshu Valley lies sandwiched between Ladakh in the north, Tibet in the east and Zanskar in the west. It is a part of the Changthang plateau and is characterized by high arid plains, nomads, high pasturelands, snow-capped peaks and beautiful high altitude azure-blue lakes, the largest being Tsokar & Tso Moriri at 4,500 m.
Cost: 320 Euros/ person
Size Of group: 2 Min 6 Maximum
Highest Point: Nakpo Gonzing Pass 5390mts
Grade: Medium-Strenous

Duration: 8-9 Days

2. Mount Everest
Location :
Tibet And Nepal
Altitude : 8,850m (29,035ft) Also Known As Sagarmatha In Nepal & Chomolangma In Tibet
Best Trek Season : April To May English climbers were the first ones to conquer the Mouth Everest debacle.
Before World War IInd, three English expeditions were sent to the north of Himalayas, which is the Tibetan side of the Mount Everest. Twice the climbers reached the altitude of 8,600m, but unfortunately failed to summit. The southern side of the Mount Everest, that is the Nepalese side of the mountain was opened to the mountaineers after World War IInd. After the occupation of Tibet by China, the mountaineering expeditions toward Mount Everest began from the Nepalese side. On 29th May, 1953, after three decades of immense attempts, man finally reached the highest-lying point on Earth. The winning team of the first climbers of the Mount Everest consisted of Newzealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.

3.Nanga Parbat peak
Nanga Parbat peak situated in the Himalayan region, Nanga Parbat peak has passed into mountaineering lexicon. Standing remote and aloof, at the western edge of these ranges, Nanga Parbat's name that means “the Naked Mountain”, describes the peak better than anything else. Its sharp ridges can hold little snow and this unclad appearance is most unusual in zones where all other mountains are wrapped in white snow. It is considered the ninth highest mountain in the world.Nanga Parbat has a height of 8126 meters/26,660 ft. It has three vast faces. The Rakhiot (Ra Kot) face is dominated by the north and south silver crags and silver plateau; the Diamir face is rocky in the beginning. It converts itself into ice fields around Nanga Parbat peak.

Nasik, Shirdi, Aurangabad, Nanded and Ganapatipule are simply the itineraries of the true masti by Travelmasti.
Not withstanding the Mumbai's pre eminence for having some famous British structures like Victoria Terminus (Now Known as Shivaji Terminus) the Gatewat of India etc. Travelmasti enthusuastis must find explore and discover where the soul of Maharashtra lies.
Mumbai, the booming capital of the state and the economic powerhouse of India, is the most affluent and industrialized city in the country today. Lively and pulsating, Mumbai is India's answer to Hollywood, producing more films each year than any other county in the world

Looking for a small and quiet getaway spot? Nestling amongst the hills, Bhandardara is easily among the most beautiful holiday resorts. A perfect stopover on the way to or from Shirdi, it is a charming little picnic spot. Amidst the densegreen forest, lies the most splendid lake of the country - Arthur lake. It is formed by the dammed waters of the Pravara river. Legend has it that Shri Agasti Rishi meditated continuously for a year, living only on water and air. Pleased with his tremendous devotion the Lord came down to earth. He blessed Shri Agasti Rishi and left leaving behind a stream of Ganga - now known as Pravara River.

Places to Visit :
1.The famous dam
Wilson Dam is a lovely site for picnicking. Built in 1910 on the Pravara river, the dam is almost 150 meters above the sea level and attracts crowds from all over the country. The cool placid waters of the river run by the miles.
The umbrella falls are also in the vicinity, Unfortunately, these picturesque falls are enjoyed only during the monsoons when the water level in the lake is considerably high.
Streamlets from the lake cascade down 45 meters as the Randha Falls - an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature. Besides being a scenic spot, these falls are also used for hydro power generation.
2.Mount Kalsubai
Overlooking Bhandardara, you can see Mt. Kalsubai, the highest peak (1,646 meters) in the Sahyadri range. During the Maratha rule, this peak point served as the watchtower. It is an ideal place for those who enjoy trekking, as are the surrounding hills. There is a small temple at the top, with an old well in its backyard. Legend has it that the level of the well water never drops below 3 feet.
3.Agasti Rishi Ashram
Situated on the bank of the Pravara River, this legendary dwelling finds a place in the scripts of the Ramayan. It is said that Lord Ram, Laxman and Sita visited Agasti Rishi. The Rishi had then given Lord Rama a miraculous arrow which was used to kill the devil, Ravana, in order to rescue Sita.
The ashram, although under renovation, manages to attract crowds from all over.
The fort lies only a few kilometers away from the MTDC resort. It was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and was only of his favorites. The fort is a breathtaking view and provides ample grounds for trekkers.
This temple dates back to 1100 AD. Built in a distinct Hemadpanti style, the intricately carved temple still stands proud. Other places worth visiting are Konkan Kada (another trekker's delight), a small garden and a swimming tank.

Since it is in the interior regions of Maharashtra, the place experiences extreme climatic changes. The summers are very hot and the winters quite cold.
Languages spoken
Marathi, Hindi and English.
What to wear
Attire is best decided upon according to the climatic conditions. During summers, cotton clothes are fine, while in winters warm woolen clothing is a must.
Where to stay
The MTDC holiday resort at Bhandardara is in a prime location. The rooms have spectacular views of the Wilson Dam at one end, and of 22 Kms. of backwater (the Arthur Lake) at the other.
How to get there
By Air:
Nearest airport is Mumbai
By Rail: Nearest railhead is Igatpuri, 45 Kms. on Central Railway.
By Road: Mumbai - Bhandardara. 185 Kms.Pune - Bhandardara, 191 Kms.

B).Raigad Fort
Raigad Fort(Post. Pachad, District Raigad - 402 305. Telephone (02145) - 22898)
Shivaji's impregnable capital, the place where he was crowned and where he died. Besides the fort, you'll find his Samadhi and the remains of his palace.
Other attractions include Gangasagar Lake and the Jijamata Palace at Pachad.
For its immense beauty, Raigad remains a hiker's paradise. The formidable Pratapgad Fort with its equestrian statue of Shivaji makes for an interesting excursion.
Getting There
By Air : Nearest airport is Pune, 126 kms.
By Rail : Nearest railhead is Veer on Konkan Railway, 40 kms.
By Road : Mumbai - Raigad, 210 kms, via Mahad. Pune Raigad, 126 kms. Mahad - Raigad, 27 kms. State Transport buses ply from Mumbai, Mahad and Pune to Raigad.

Ropeway is available from foot hills to the top of the fort (seasonal), on foot, about 1450 steps from foot hill to top of the fort.
Self contained rooms ( 6 Blocks) and Dormitories (2 Blocks - 100 tourists).
Closed during monsoon.
Checkout Time: 9.00 a.m.
Reservation: Mumbai.

Ramtek(District Nagpur - 441 106 Telephone: (07114) 55620, 55625).
The story goes that Shri Ram stayed here for a while with Laxman and Sita. Hence, the name. Its was here that the prolific poet Kalidas wrote his epic Meghdootam.
Besides the Shri Ram Temple and the Kailasa Memorial, there's Ramgiri Hill, Ramsagar Lake and Khindsey Lake making for enchanting sightseeing. There's nothing like it if you can make it to the 15 day fair in November.
Getting There
By Air:Nearest airport is Nagpur, 58 kms.
By Rail:Ramtek is a station on South Central Railway and regular trains ply between Nagpur and Ramtek.
By Road:Mumbai - Ramtek via Nagpur, 913 kms. State Transport buses ply from Nagpur to Ramtek.
Self contained rooms (5 Blocks) and Dormitories (1 Block - beds).
Checkout Time: 12.00 noon.
Reservation: Nagpur and Ramtek.

Titwala(District Thane, Telephone 911-381307).
A pilgrim center sacred twice over for its Mahaganesh Temple and the temple of Shri Vithoba. Another fascinating temple is the one at Ambarnath, dating back to the 11th century, and built in the 'Hemadpanti' style of architecture.
Getting There
By AirNearest airport is Mumbai, 75 kms.
By RailTitwala is station on Central Railway, but the more convenient railhead is Kalyan.
By RoadMumbai - Titwala, 75 kms, via Kalyan. [ Can be visited from Thane, Kalyan and Mumbai].
East of Mahaganesh Temple self contained 2 bed Rooms (2 blocks) and Dormitories (2 Blocks - 12 beds).
Checkout Time: 8.00 a.m.
Reservation: Mumbai and Titwala.

Toranmal(District Dhule, Tal. Shahad, Mumbai Telephone 4303921, 4300898).
Tucked away in the Satpuda mountains at an altitude of 1461m., Toranmal is one of the most peaceful places on earth. And when you are tired of plain lazing, you could visit the beautiful Yahwant Lake, Seetha Khali or any of the charming temples of old.
Getting There
By AirNearest airport is Aurangabad.
By RailNearest railhead is Nandurbar, 76 kms, on Surat - Bhusawal line of Western Railway. A more convenient railhead is Dhule, 128 kms.
By RoadMumbai - Toranmal via Dhule. Dhule Toranmal, 128 kms.
State Transport buses ply from Dhule, Nandurbar and Shahada to Toranmal.
Self contained rooms (11 Blocks), Wooden huts (8 Blocks) and Tents (5 Seasonal).
Checkout Time: 12.00 noon.
Reservation: Mumbai and Toranmal.

Trimbakeshwar(District Nashik - 422 212 telephone (02594) 3143.
It's one of the five Jyotirlingas in Maharashtri day, a large fair is held here, which draws hundreds of people from all over India. Every twelve years, the Sinhastha fair, the most important Kumbh Mela after the Allahabad's is held here.
Complementing the sanctity of the two, are the beautiful surroundings: Brahmagiri Hill, Neel Parvat. Kushawart Teerth, Gangadwar.
Easily accessible are Nashik and Jawhar.
Getting There
By AirNearest airport is Mumbai.
By RailNearest railhead is Nashik, 44 kms. on Central Railway.
By RoadMumbai - Trimbakeshwar, 180 kms. Nashik - Trimbakeshwar, 28 kms.
State Transport buses ply between Nashik - Trimbakeshwar frequently.
Self contained rooms (10 Blocks), Dormitories (2 Blocks - 20 beds).
Checkout Time: 120.00 noon.
Reservation: Mumbai and Trimbakeshwar.

Tuljapur(District Osmanabad - 413 601, Telephone (02471) 42096).
Known for the holy temple of Tulja Bhawani (Goddess Durga). It is said that before venturing on a military expedition, Shivaji always sought her blessings, Legend has it that the Goddess gifted him a sword the Bhawani Talwaar for success in his expedition. Important pilgrimage centers nearby are Pandharpur and Akkalkot.
Getting There
By AirNearest airport is Aurangabad, 257 kms.
By RailNearest railhead is Solapur on South central Railway.
By RoadMumbai - Tuljapur, 452 kms. via Solapur. Aurangabad - Tuljapur, 257 kms. Solapur - Tuljapur, 40 kms. Osmanabad - Tuljapur 19 kms.
Near Ghat Shil Temple - Dormitories (2 Blocks) and Self - contained rooms (6 Blocks)
Checkout Time: 12.00 noon.
Reservation: Mumbai and Tuljapur.

Wardha(District Wardha - 441 001. Telephone (07152) 43872).
This is a convenient base for visiting two modern pilgrimage centers - Gandhiji's Ashram at Sevagram, 8 kms. and Vinoba Bhave's Paunar Ashram, 13 kms. Sevagram is the epitomic of Gandhiji's teachings of simplicity and truth. There's also the Gandhi Gyan Mandir, Manganwad and Bjajwadi.
Getting There By Air Nearest airport is Nagpur, 67 kms.
By Rail Wardha is a junction on central Railway, 759 kms. from Mumbai.
By Road Mumbai - Wardha, 77 kms. Yeotmal - Wardha, 58 kms.
Self contained 2 bed rooms (12 Blocks) and single rooms (6 Blocks).
Checkout Time: 12.00 noon.
Reservation: Nagpur and Wardha.
A journey to mount kailash by bicycle route

Kailash as a sacred place
Venerated by four different religions, Mt. Kailash is perhaps the most sacred place in Asia. To Hindus it is home to Lord Shiva who spends his time atop Kailash practicing yogic austerities, making joyous love with his divine consort, Parvati, and smoking ganja. By some Hindu texts, Kailash and near by Lake Manasarovar, comprise the center of the world.

To Buddhists, Kailash is central to the story of how buddhism came to Tibet and is know as The Precious One of Glacial Snow. The most devout buddhist pilgrims will circle the entire mountain bowing and laying flat to the ground every step of the way.

To complete the 52 km trek around Mt. Kailash (in any fashion) is a ritual of great significance offering release from ignorance and delusion. However, due to its remote location, harsh climate, and border restrictions, only a few thousand pilgrims make the journey each year.

Kailash as a bike tour
Kailash is only accessible via a high altitude jeep road. The infamous ‘Highway 219’ rolls for 2,000 km across some of the most sparsely populated stretches of Asia. Reaching heights of nearly 18,000 ft and rarely dropping below 14,000 ft, Highway 219 is more commonly know as “the highest road in the world”. Originally built by the Chinese in the 1960s, the road sparked the 1962 Sino-Indian war when both countries claimed the territory that the road traverses. Though the fighting ended in the 60’s, the border dispute is still unresolved. As a result Highway 219 is highly militarized and closed to tourism.

Traveling by bike, however, it is possible to quietly pedal down Highway 219 and slowly approach Mount Kailash. Cycling from Kashgar, in far Western China, it took 28 day of hard riding to reach Kailash and an another 17 to reach Kathmandu. The going is slow due to the poor road conditions, high altitudes, and unpredictable weather. Riding over 2,000 km of Highway 219 we averaged 5.7 mph; about the pace of a brisk walk.

The following pages are a photo tour, road notes, and travel information for Tibet.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the Seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati Hill, and lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini. It is by the Lord's presidency over Venkatachala, that He has received the appellation, Venkateswara (Lord of the Venkata Hill). He is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills.
The temple of Sri Venkateswara has acquired unique sanctity in Indian religious lore. The Shastras, Puranas, Sthala Mahatyams and Alwar hymns unequivocally declare that, in the Kali Yuga, one can attain mukti, only by worshipping Venkata Nayaka or Sri Venkateswara. The benefits acquired by a pilgrimage to Venkatachala are mentioned in the Rig Veda and Asthadasa Puranas. In these epics, Sri Venkateswara is described as the great bestowed of boons. There are several legends associated with the manifestation of the Lord at Tirumala. History There is ample literary and epigraphic testimony to the antiquity of the temple of Lord Sri Venkateswara. All the great dynasties of rulers of the southern peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later), the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar (14th - 15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord and they competed with one another in endowing the temple with rich offerings and contributions. It was during the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty that the contributions to the temple increased. Sri Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the temple, and these statues can be seen to this day. There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple.

Temple Legends Sri Venkatachala Mahatmya is referred to in several Puranas, of which the most important are the Varaha Purana and the Bhavishyottara Purana. The printed work contains extracts from the Varaha Purana, Padma Purana, Garuda Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Markandeya Purana, Harivamsa, Vamana Purana, Brahma Purana, Brahmottara Purana, Aditya Purana, Skanda Purana and Bhavishyottara Purana. Most of these extracts describe the sanctity and antiquity of the hills around Tirumala and the numerous teerthams situated on them. The legends taken from the Venkatachala Mahatmya and the Varaha Purana, pertaining to the manifestation of the Lord at Tirumala, are of particular interest. According to the Varaha Purana, Adi Varaha manifested Himself on the western bank of the Swami Pushkarini, while Vishnu in the form of Venkateswara came to reside on the southern bank of the Swami Pushkarini.
Pilgrimage Attractions at Tirupati Tirumala :
Padi Kavali Maha Dwara : The Padi Kavali Maha Dwara or Outer Gopuram stands on a quadrangular base. Its architecture is that of the later Chola period. The inscriptions on the gopuram belong to 13th century. There are a number of stucco figures of Vaishnava gods like Hanuman, Kevale Narasimha and Lakshmi Narasimha on the gopuram.

Sampangi Pradakshinam: The path for circumnavigating the temple is called a pradakshinam. The main temple has three prakarams. Between the outermost and middle prakarams is the second pathway for circumambulation known as the Sampangi Pradakshinam. Currently, this pathway is closed to pilgrims. The Sampangi Pradakshinam contains several interesting mandapams like the Pratima Mandapam, Ranga Mandapam, Tirumala Raya Mandapam, Saluva Narasimha Mandapam, Aina Mahal and Dhvajasthambha Mandapam.

Ranga Mandapam: Ranga Mandapam, also called the Ranganayakula Mandapam, is located in the south-eastern corner of the Sampangi Pradakshinam. The shrine within it is believed to be the place where the utsava murti of Lord Ranganadha of Srirangam was kept during the 14th century, when Srirangam was occupied by Muslim rulers. It is said to have been constructed between 1320 and 1360 AD by the Yadava ruler Sri Ranganadha Yadava Raya. It is constructed according to the Vijayanagara style of architecture.

Tirumala Raya Mandapam: Adjoining the Ranga Mandapam on the western side, and facing the Dhvajasthambha Mandapam is a spacious complex of pavilions known as the Tirumala Raya Mandapam or Anna Unjal Mandapam. It consists of two different levels, the front at a lower level and the rear at a higher. The southern or inner portion of this Mandapam was constructed by Saluva Narasimha in 1473 AD to celebrate a festival for Sri Venkateswara called Anna Unjal Tirunal. This structure was extended to its present size by Araviti Bukkaraya Ramaraja, Sriranga Raja and Tirumala Raja. It is in this Mandapam, that the utsava murthi Malayappan, holds His annual darbar or Asthanam during the hoisting of the Garudadhwaja on Dhwajastambham to mark the commencement of Brahmotsavam. Incidentally, the prasadam distributed on this occasion is still called Tirumalarayan Pongal.

Tirumala Raya Mandapam: The Mandapam has a typical complex of pillars in the Vijayanagara style, with a central pillar surrounded by smaller pillars, some of which emit musical notes when struck with a stone. The main pillars have rearing horses with warriors mounted on them. Some of the best sculptures of the temple are found in bold relief in the Mandapam. The bronze statues of Todermallu, his mother Matha Mohana Devi and wife Pitha Bibi, are kept in a corner of the Mandapam.

The Aina Mahal : The Aina Mahal is on the northern side of the Tirumala Raya Mandapam. It consists of two parts - an open mandapam in the front consisting of six rows comprising six pillars each, and a shrine behind it consisting of an Antarala and Garbhagriha. It has large mirrors which reflect images in an infinite series. There is an unjal in the middle of the room in which the Lord is seated and festivals conducted.

The Daily Routines - Tirupati Tirumala Balaji Temple The daily program starts with 'Suprabhatam' (awakening the Lord) at three in the morning and end with the 'Ekanta Seva' (putting the Lord to sleep) at one in the night. Daily, Weekly and Periodical 'Sevas' and 'Utsavams' are performed to the Lord. Interested pilgrims can choose from the list and pay to get the Sevas or Utsavams done on their name. Devotees offer their gifts and donations in the "Hundi", which is the main source of income. Festivals of TirupatiEveryday is a day of festivity at Tirumala. The most famous is the annual festival called 'Brahmotsavam', which is celebrated on grand scale for nine days in September, attracting pilgrims and tourists from all parts of the country. The fifth and ninth days of the festival are especially significant in as much as Garudostavam and Rathotavam takes place on those days.
How to reach Thirupathi?
This city is connected to all parts of the country by road, railway with all the government transport corporation extending their maximum services on special puja diwas. From thirupathi you have to go to alipiri which is walkable, or any auto rikshaw can be hired (NOTE: This is for people intending to reach tirumala temple by walking across the seven mountains to reach the temple.) For others who use motor transport be it personally ownwd vehicle or APSRTC ghat eligible buses, you can board them right at thirupathi.
Accomodation facilities are available in plenty but i recommend booking hotels during peak seasons. for those who cant afford star hotels there are chatras in tirumala which is open to all for free (I request people availing this facility to offer little amount towards maintainance of the chatras).
And for the most important thing, TONSURE is absolutely free here with the TTD providing this facility at various centres in Tirumala( Tonsure is done here by )..


Badami lake

Inner view


<- Another side view

Kudal-Sangam Temple in Rainy season

Bagalkot - Back to the Chalukya dynasty

Aihole,Pattadkal (comes under Hungund taluk) ,Badami and Kudal Sangama are tourists places' delight in this Bagalkot district.
Almatti (Lal Bahaddur Shastri Sagara)dam also is in this district. Badami, Aihole and Pattadkal take us into the Chalukya dynasty.
Badami is located in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka.
The " Badami caves " have their famous 'Menabasi' carvings are very intricate. There are four rock-cut temples. Cave number three is famous for its frescoes.
Aihole is known as the 'cradle of temple architecture'. One can see the temple architecture in its embryonic form here in the earliest Ladkhan temple to more complex forms in Kunligudi and Durgigudi.
Excursions (Distances and directions from Bijapur)110 kms, 134 kms and 120 kms away are the temples of Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami. Standing close to each other (within a 13 km radius), these temple towns represent Chalukyan architecture at its best. Caves Entrance, Rock cut Vishnu Temple, Badami Aihole Famous as the `Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture', Aihole has over 125 temples all intricately carved and rich in detail. The oldest temple here, is perhaps the 5th century Lad Khan Temple. The Durga (Fort) Temple has a semicircular apse and a complete portico. The Hutchmalli Temple, the Ravalphadi Cave Temple, the Konti Temple Complex, the Uma Maheshwari Temple, the Jain Meguthi Temple and the two-storeyed Buddhist Temple are the other attractions at Aihole. A Temple at Aihole Pattadakal A World Heritage Center, it has 10 major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture. The biggest temple dedicated to Virupaksheshvara, has a huge gateway and several inscriptions. In front of the temple is a majestic 2.G m high Nandi. The Mallikarjuna and Papanatha Temples, and the Jain Temple from the Rashtrakuta period are well worth a visit. Temple at Pattadakal Badami The capital of the early Chalukyas, Badami is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. It has four rock-cut cave temples, the largest being the third cave dedicated to Vishnu. Overlooking the temples is a reservoir, its banks dotted with temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. The Bhutanatha Temples and the Museum set up by the Archeological Survey of India, are the other attractions. Basavana Bagewadi About 43 kms from Bijapur, this town is the birthplace of Saint Basaveshwara. There are several important temples here.
Kudalasangama 67 kms from Bijapur is a famous pilgrim center, associated with the great 12th century poet and reformer Saint Basaveshwara.
About Badami Cave
Badami is known for its beautiful carved cave temples belonging to 6th & 7th centuries. Wedged between two rocky hills at the mouth of a ravine, the four rock-cut cave temples display the full range of religious sects that evolved in India. Overlooking the sandstone caves, is an artificial lake lined with four temples on its shores. While three of the temples belong to Vedic faith, the fourth and natural cave is the only Jain temple at Badami. Out of the three Hindu temples, two are dedicated to Lord Vishnu while one is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The beautiful carvings, paintings and bracket figures depict Lord Narasimha (with the face of a lion and body of a man), Lord Vishnu Hari Hara (half-Shiva and half-Vishnu), Vishnu Narayana sitting or reclining on Shesh Nag or Ananta (Eternity) and various other figures and scenes from Hindu mythology.
  • Shopping in Bagalkot ad Bijapur is famous for its hand-woven Ilkal sarees.
Access Bijapur is well-connected by road and rail to Bangalore, Belgaum and Goa. The nearest airport is Hubli(120kms) and Belgaum( 205 kms) away.

How to Reach Badami :
By RoadBadami is connected by road to Pattadakal (22 kms).
Aihole (44 kms) and Hubli (110 kms). Karnataka State Transport Corporation buses ply from Badami to different major locations of the state. How to Reach Badami by Rail It takes four hours to get to Badami by the Guntakal Express from Hampi. The other trains take a little longer for this journey as it involves a change at the Gadag station.

Tangas(vehical pulled by horse) and autorickshaws ply from the station to the town.
How to Reach Badami by AirThe nearest airport is at Belgaum, 192 km away.

VISITING TIME: ClimateThe ideal time to travel here is September-February.
Food Specialties : Famous North Karnataka Jawar Meals and Non-vegetarian preparations distinctly Mughlai or Hyderabadi, milk sweets.

Monday, April 21, 2008


<-Asara Mahal <- World Largest Canon <- Canons in front of Golgumbaz <- Entrance door of Golgumbaz


Bijapur : The name Bijapur is derived from a sanskrit term 'Vijaypura' meaning ' City of Victory. Think of Bijapur and the first thing that comes to mind is the Gol Gumbaz - the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah. Gol Gumbaz boasts of the second largest dome in the world. 44 meters in diameter, this dome forms a highly sensitive echo-chamber. The slightest whisper echoes 7 times over and the tick of a clock held at one end can be distinctly heard at the opposite end - 125 feet away ! But there's a lot more to Bijapur. On the western outskirts of the city lies the mausoleum of Ibrahim Adil Shah II - Ibrahim Roza, said to have inspired the Taj Mahal in Agra. Embracing 1,16,300 square feet is the Jumma Masjid - "one of the finest mosques in India". Here, in a beautiful mihrab -covered by a heavy curtain - are verses of the Quran, beautifully inscribed in letters of gold. Malik-e-Maidan - the largest medieval cannon in the world - is fourteen feet long, weighing about 55 tons. Legend has it that if you touch the gun and make a wish, it will come true ! Bijapur is full of such legends. Liked the one surrounding Afzal Khan's Centaph. It is said that Afzal Khanstarted the construction of his own tomb in his lifetime. But eventually could not be buried here. You could spend days exploring Bijapur. Wandering around the Arakilla, the Anand Mahal, the Mehtar Mahal, the Bara Kaman, the Gagan Mahal, the Amin Durgah, the Assar Mahal, the Chota Asar, the Faroukh Mahal, the Jahz Mahal, the Jod Gumbaz… Listening to the quaint Deccan dialect. Sampling the spicy curry with jowar rotis. And packing a host of delightful memories to carry back home.
Local Festivals: The Bijapur Music Festival - featuring the stalwarts of Indian music - is organized by the Government of Karnataka every year. Language Spoken: Kanada, Urdu, English, Hindi.
Local Food Specialities: Non - vegetarian preparations distinctly Mughalai or Hyderabadi. When to visit: Bijapur is extremely hot in the summer. September to February would be the best time to visit the Queen of Deccan.
How to go?
Air: The nearest airport is Belgaum (205 kms).
Rail: Bijapur is connected by rail to Bangalore, Bombay, (via sholapur) Hospet (via Gadag) and Vasco da Gama (via Hubli Londa).
Road: Bijapur is connected by road to most places in south and west India. These are: · Aihole (129 kms) · Badami (132 kms) · Pattadakal (148 kms) · Hampi (220 kms) · Belgaum (205 kms) · Bangalore (550 kms) · Bombay (486 kms).

In 1518, the Bahmani Sultanate split into five splinter states known as the Deccan sultanates, one of which was Bijapur, ruled by the kings of the Adil Shahi dynasty (1490-1686). The city of Bijapur owes much of its greatness to Yusuf Adil Shah, the founder of the independent state of Bijapur. The rule of this dynasty ended in 1686, when Bijapur was conquered during the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. In 1724 the Nizam of Hyderabad established his independence in the Deccan, and included Bijapur within his dominions. In 1760, the Nizam suffered a defeat by the Marathas, and ceded the region of Bijapur to the Maratha Peshwa. After the 1818 defeat of the Peshwa by the British in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, Bijapur passed into the hands of the British East India Company, and was assigned to the princely state of Satara.
The city consists of three distinct portions: the citadel, the fort and the remains of the city. The citadel, built by Yusuf Adil Shah, a mile in circuit, is of great strength, well built of the most massive materials, and encompassed by a ditch 100 yards wide, formerly supplied with water, but now nearly filled up with rubbish, so that its original depth cannot be discovered. Within the citadel are the remains of Hindu temples, which prove that Bijapur was an important town in pre-Islam times. The fort, which was completed by Au Adil Shah in 1566, is surrounded by a wall 6 m. in circumference. This wall is from 30 to 50 ft (15 m) high, and is strengthened with ninety-six massive bastions of various designs. In addition there are ten others at the various gateways. The width is about 25 ft (7.6 m); from bastion to bastion runs a battlemented curtained wall about 10 ft (3.0 m) high. The whole is surrounded by a deep moat 30 to 40 ft (12 m) broad. Inside these walls the Bijapur kings bade defiance to all comers. Outside the walls are the remains of a vast city, now for the most part in ruins, but the innumerable tombs, mosques, caravanserais and other edifices, which have resisted the havoc of time, afford abundant evidence of the ancient splendour of the place.
In front of the Gol Gumbaz is a Museum maintained by the Archeological Survey of India
Badami, Aihole, and Pattadakal, near Bijapur, are noted for their historical temples in the Chalukyan architectural style.
Gol Gumbaz: In 1848 the territory of Satara, along with Bijapur, was annexed to Britain's Bombay Presidency when the last ruler died without a male heir. The British carved a new district by the name Kaladagi. The district included present-day Bijapur and Bagalkot districts. Bijapur was made the administrative headquarters of the district in 1885, when the headquarters were moved from Bagalkot. After India's Independence in 1947, the district became part of Bombay state, and was reassigned to Mysore State, later Karnataka, in 1956. The former southern taluks of the district were separated in 1997 to form Bagalkot District.
Info:530 kms to the northwest of Bangalore connected by NH17 is the ancient town of Bijapur, the capital of the Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur is close to Belgaum - the gateway to Karnataka from Goa and Mumbai. Bijapur has many places of historical, cultural and architectural interest.
Places to visit
Gol Gumbaz The tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah, boasts of the second-largest tomb in the world. 44 m in diameter, the interior of the dome is mysteriously unsupported and has a whispering gallery under it, whose acoustics are superb.
1.Gol Gumbaz
Jumma MasjidIt is still used for worship, has been called one of the first mosques in India. It holds an exquisite copy of the Koran, written in gold lettering. Ibrahim Roza, the mausoleum of Ibrahim Adil Shah II, is said to have inspired the Taj Mahal in Agra.
2.Ibrahim Roza
The Malik-e-MaidanThe largest medieval cannon in the world is 14 ft long, weighing 55 tons. Legend has it that if you touch the gun and make a wish, it will come true! Also worth a visit are the Mehtar Mahal, the Jod Gumbaz, Afzal Khan's Cenotaph, Asar Mahal, Anand Mahal, Ark-Kila, etc.
3.Malik-e-Maidan The largest medieval cannon in the world is 14 ft long, weighing 55 tons. Legend has it that if you touch the gun and make a wish, it will come true! Also worth a visit are the Mehtar Mahal, the Jod Gumbaz, Afzal Khan's Cenotaph, Asar Mahal, Anand Mahal, Ark-Kila, etc. (The Monarch of the Plains) the largest medieval cannon in the world. Being 4 m long, 1,5 m in diameter and weighing 55 tons, this gun was brought back from Ahmadnagar in the 17th century as a trophy of war by 400 oxen, 10 elephants and tens of men. It was placed on the Sherza Burj (Lion Gate) on a platform especially built for it. The cannon's nozzle is fashioned into the shape of a lion's head with open jaws & between the carved fangs is depicted an elephant being crushed to death. It is said that after igniting the cannon, the gunner would remain underwater in a tank of water on the platform to avoid the deafening explosion. The cannon remains cool even in strong sunlight and if tapped, tinkles like a bell. In 1854 the cannon was auctioned for Rs. 150 but the sale was cancelled in the end.

4.Upri Buruj: Built around 1584 by Hyder Khan, is an 80 ft (24 m) high tower standing to the north of Dakhani Idgah in Bijapur. This is a spherical structure with stone steps winding round the outside. Top of the tower offers a commanding view of the city. This is also known as ;Hyder Burj", "Upli Burj". On top of Upli Burj there are two guns of huge size. The parafeet this tower which was used for monitoring purposes has been fenced now. One needs to climb the circular stairs to reach the top. However except for this tower there is very little evidence of the citadel wall in this area due to rampant construction.
Chand Bawdi, Ali Adil Shah (1557-1580) built this tank near eastern boundary of Bijapur. When there was large influx of people into Bijapur after the fall of the Vijayanagar empire, and new settlements came up within the walled city raising the need for better infrastructure and providing water supply. This has a storage capacity of 20 million litres. Later it became a model for many other tanks constructed in the city. A grandeur complex came up around it, which was mainly used to house the maintenance staff though members of the royal family occasionally used it for recreation. He named this after his wife "Chand Bibi".

The incomplete masolueum of Adil Shah, Barakaman(Ali Roza-II), India, which means twelve arches in Urdu
Asar Mahal, The Asar Mahal was built by Mohammed Adil Shah in about 1646, which was used to serve as a Hall of Justice. The building was also used to house hairs from the Prophet's beard. The rooms on the upper storey are decorated with frescoes and the front is graced with a square tank. Here women are not allowed inside. Every year there is urs (festival) held at this place. In front of the hall, one can see three tanks the bigger tank, which is at the centre is about 15 feet (4.6 m) deep however the other two are comparatively smaller in size as well as depth. Behind Asar Mahal one can still see the remain of the citadel. Just a kilometer away behind Asar Mahal, one can still find the old mosque which is on top of the citadel wall. There is a big entrance with arc below this mosque. Many stones have inscriptions. The site is under maintenance of Archeological Survey of India.

5.Asar Mahal
Gagan Mahal, Which means Sky Palace, is built with a 21- meter façade and four wooden massive pillars, has a majestic central arch. Sikandar Adil Shah, in silver chains, surrendered to Aurangzeb in 1681 here.

6.Gagan Mahal
Barakaman (Ali Roza-II) A mausoleum of Ali Roza built in 1672. It was previously named as Ali Roza, but Shah Nawab Khan changed its name to Bara Kaman as this was the 12th monument during his reign. It has now seven arches and the tomb containing the graves of Ali, his queens and eleven other ladies possibly belonging to the Zenana of the queens.
Among the other historical attractions at Bijapur, some notable ones are the Anand Mahal, Jod Gumbaz, Jumma Mosque, Sat Manzil, and Jal Manzil. Also among old houses at Bijapur, the most famous is Elavia House ( Nauzer Elavia) which is more than 100 years old.

7.Barakaman (Ali Roza-II) : A mausoleum of Ali Roza built in 1672. It was previously named as Ali Roza, but Shah Nawab Khan changed its name to Bara Kaman as this was the 12th monument during his reign. It has now seven arches and the tomb containing the graves of Ali, his queens and eleven other ladies possibly belonging to the Zenana of the queens.
Among the other historical attractions at Bijapur, some notable ones are the Anand Mahal, Jod Gumbaz, Jumma Mosque, Sat Manzil, and Jal Manzil. Also among old houses at Bijapur, the most famous is Elavia House ( Nauzer Elavia) which is more than 100 years old.

Transport By
Bijapur is connected by a railway (Gadag-Hotgi railway line) to Hotgi junction near Solapur and Kurduvadi on Central Railway towards the north and to Bagalkot on South West Railway towards the south. The railway track from Bagalkot to Hotgi junction on the Hubli-Hospet railway