Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A day visit to KOLAR

Finally I made up my mind to visit kolar after so much obstructions in past. I had plans to go by bike however it would be too much tiring with hot sun out. If it was a four wheeler then it really makes sense for me.  So how did it start? On 19-Feb-2012, I started around 9:30 AM from majestic and reached Kolar around 11:15AM. My goodness, got bus early.  I could have taken the bus from KR-Puram however I would end up not getting seat. Same thing happened though as bus entered KR-Puram. The day was crystal clear and non hazy which makes it ideal environment for photography.


So what are the spots I visited? Through the blogs I read about Antaragange, Kolaramma temple and Someshwara temple. My primary intention was to visit these places and later ask the locals for others. As I alighted in Kolar bus stop, caught up an auto-rickshaw for 200 rupees to make me visit the places. This included waiting charges too. The driver of auto-rickshaw was polite and answered to my curious questions patiently. His name is Azim.

Antaragange is 4km from Kolar bus stop. It is in middle of rock hill. You need to climb around 100 steps to reach there. On the way you can find lots of monkeys so beware if you are exposing any eatables! (Better carry a long stick) As per driver, government feeds monkeys with MUDDE (a solid food made of raagi) every day (not sure about frequency).


The main attraction here is the water coming out from small outlet. It is believed that water comes from Ganga (not sure about mythology behind). There are three temples here. One is Ganesha temple in middle of small pond, the other is shiva temple while another is Navagraha temple. There are Nandi idols near the outlet where water comes out. It seems the water flows round the clock and 365 days in a year. There has been no instance of water being stopped flowing as per driver’s explanation. You could see people carrying loads of can to fill it with the flowing water.


The water is so sweet that you will be tempted to catch a bottle for you (I did taste it). If you don’t have one well no problem there are vendors selling bottle for 2 rupees near by temple. Don’t ask me about the cleanliness of bottles or their source. It is up to you to decide. If you are reading this blog definitely you will carry from your home. I presume that some people may carry so much water even to sell them (I saw water pouches similar to milk pouches in bus stand).
There is lot queue for the water. Some even take light shower near since Ganga is considered holy. I went another way to capture some pictures. On the way to AntaraGange there is a platform where you can take pictures of rocky hills. There are lots of honeycombs too. So beware!

After AntaraGange, the auto-driver carried me to Kolaramma temple. It is beautiful stone temple and very old too. The temple is protected by Archaeological Department of India (ASI) as heritage place. You can also enjoy beautiful sculptures on the pillars and walls. The place is well maintained. Here are some pictures and story about temple.



Next we went to one more heritage place called Someshwara temple. Similar to Kolaramma temple the place is also protected by ASI and there are warnings about tampering with the place. The temple is very close to Kolaramma temple. 


The main attraction here is Shiva-Linga which is faced by Nandi. There is a Kalyana Mantapa, Parvathi temple and a Yaaga Shaale. Outside the temple there is a chariot as well as a pushkarini (a small pond near temple is called pushkarini. In coastal areas, the people who do pooja in temple have to take bath in here before entering deity’s place). 


Irony was with next day being Maha-Shivaratri not much celebration was seen here. May be restrictions by ASI? The photos speak about mythology and temple look. Again the sculptures and architecture is mind blowing.
That’s it I was getting too much hungry. The auto-driver said, there are some beautiful temples atop the rocky hills. However I did not have time. I could have gone there if I had a private vehicle. Nevertheless I was satisfied to see the main places in here. Others I have made note to visit next time probably when I bring my own vehicle.

Only AntaraGange is bit far from town while the other two is within town limits. Many people visit AnataraGange while not much people were seen in other two temples. The auto driver showed me one more shiva temple in one of the streets. After that he dropped me in a hotel and I handed over the money. He was very polite to me throughout the journey and did not complain about the waiting time. I had some light lunch and left to bus stop to return.

Kolar as town is still under-developed. It seems that development is restricted to Bangalore only while the near by places are still backward. The only development here is the highway widening which runs as bypass to town. The roads were in deplorable condition too with too much dust around town. Other than that the rocky hills surrounding the town is really wonderful to watch. The lunch was also good since I was hungry.

Kolar is about 70kms from Bangalore (from KBS terminus). The ordinary bus fare is 50 rupees and varies where you catch up (may be it is bit less from KR-Puram). The road joins Chennai via Chittoor. The NH-4 runs outside the town. While it is 6 lanes from KR-Puram to Hoskote, it is 4-lane thereafter. Seems like highway was recently completed (the toll plaza is still not functional). For people who travel by taxis or private vehicles, there are lots of dhabas and restaurants on the way (KAMAT is also there).

One thing I forget every-time is pen and a scribbling pad to document journey as and when I visit places. I bought a pen and sheet of paper and documented inside the bus. So I started back at around 2 PM from Kolar and got down at KR-Puram to catch ring road bus. Thereafter I traveled to HSR BDA and reached home at 3:45 PM. The weather was hot but the memories are still persistent.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Driving through Monsoon rains near udupi at night

This video was taken during peak monsoon season of 2011 (around july). We went for some work to udupi and while returning to Kaup it started pouring down. This was taken along NH-17 (Now NH-66) near Udupi. Finally my father agreed to hold the camera while I was driving. I wanted to feel the monsoon drive :-). So requested father to hold camera for sometime. Here is the video. Watch and share if you like :-).

Music: Smooth Drift - Goaschuld

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Digital display in trains

Yesterday I traveled to Mysore in Tiruchi-Mysore train. The thing I observed in Bangalore railway station was the introduction of digital LCD display on trains. Some trains had them including the one I traveled. Roghly I saw one display board per 5 bogies (not sure). This is very good move. It also shows en-route towns which train stops. This is on par with BMTC buses in Bangalore. Hope the display lasts for long time. I am really not sure their reliability during rainy days. I suppose they will be spoiled if water enters the board. Apparently no protection from water was seen. Anyhow I welcome the new facility by raiways. Hope this will last long. And as always here is the picture. (bit obscure though)


The picture was taken with (1/25)s shutter. With (1/50)s of shutter, the photo was not proper with some part of display not showing up. Then thought for while and recalled the LED animation we were covering in microprocessor lab. Basically the display has refresh rate and shutter is how fast you capture the picture. Hence if the shutter is more than the refresh rate obviously the photo will not contain some part of LCD display. Consequently you need to take picture which is slower than refresh rate of the display. From the above experiment the refresh rate of train's LCD display board is

50Hz < refresh_rate <= 25Hz [Small lab experiment :)]

Sorry I am not expert photographer. There may be better way of doing this. You can have similar experiment by taking snap of your desktop or laptop screen [of-course being powered on :). Seen in CRT displays though]. Usually refresh rate of displays is between 50 to 75Hz. So in order to have proper picture, you need to adjust shutter less than refresh_rate. Try it out :). Any corrections to explanation is welcome


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