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Chakra

The Ghost, the Stripes and Chariots of the Last Empire: Karnataka - One State, Many Worlds

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Chakra

@Galago

 

Let's try the facebook link as you seem to be genuinely interested in the architecture. 

I've set privacy as public , so all you need is a facebook log in 

 

https://www.facebook.com/supratik.chakraborty.14/media_set?set=a.2872518132778118&type=3

 

https://www.facebook.com/supratik.chakraborty.14/media_set?set=a.2873595999336998&type=3

 

 

 

Edited by Chakra

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Chakra
19 hours ago, AKR1 said:

Excellent. The New York Times had a recent report on Hampi that you might enjoy. 
 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/26/travel/52-places-to-go-hampi-india.html

I'm really pleased to see that NYT has tried to make people aware of this amazing place.   I entirely agree with the author.  Direct flight from Bangalore will make it more easily accessible but at the same time I'm worried about the effect of mass tourism on these fragile ruins. 

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Chakra
17 hours ago, Treepol said:

Thanks so much for posting the detailed photos of Hampi, don't hear much about this place which is a shame because the carvings look significant.

Thanks for your interest. It is getting popular with Westerners. I'm ashamed to say that despite spending first twenty odd years of my life in India I had never heard of Hampi.  I was under impression ( at least the history books gave that impression)  the whole capital was mercilessly sacked and razed to the ground with practically nothing left standing. Came to know about it a few years back from one of my "hippie" friends. 

The sheer size of the ruins is unbelievable. I have been to Pompeii and  many other ruins.  This simply dwarfs them. I had planned two full days here.  Unfortunately my gout flared up all thanks to heat and dehydration. Temperature was 41 degrees celsius in Hampi. I could hardly walk on day two and had to abandon the idea of visiting the temple complexes on the hills or climbing to see the amazing sunsets.  Despite that I took nearly  a thousand photos. 

But when it comes to carving I felt the Belur Chennakesava temple reigned supreme. 

The soapstone was carved so thin that if you tap the edge of the pillars it actually produces musical notes from reverbnation , just like metals.  Music from stone. 

This is one of the most ornate statues from the series : The  dancers . The craftsmanship is mindblowing. I wish I could take better photos. Tripods are not allowed inside temples and low shutter speed is a killer. 

 

DSC_5610.jpg

Edited by Chakra

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TonyQ

A wonderful section on Hampi and the other sections, well photographed in difficult conditions. I hope you do encourage people to travel to different areas. We have really enjoyed travelling in the South of India - we spent about 4 weeks travelling independently in Tamil Nadu and loved it (about 20 years ago!) Far less touristed than the Golden Triangle, and wonderful food. Some of the architecture is stunning.

 

I didn’t realise Hampi was so close to Mysore. All very interesting. Fascinating to see important Jain pilgrimage sites as well as the Hindu temples.

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Chakra
9 minutes ago, TonyQ said:

A wonderful section on Hampi and the other sections, well photographed in difficult conditions. I hope you do encourage people to travel to different areas. We have really enjoyed travelling in the South of India - we spent about 4 weeks travelling independently in Tamil Nadu and loved it (about 20 years ago!) Far less touristed than the Golden Triangle, and wonderful food. Some of the architecture is stunning.

 

I didn’t realise Hampi was so close to Mysore. All very interesting. Fascinating to see important Jain pilgrimage sites as well as the Hindu temples.

Wonderful @TonyQ. That must have been a superb trip. Tamil Nadu architecture is indeed stunning. Thanjavur temple, Meenakshi Madurai  and the Elephants of Mahabalipuram by the bay of Bengal.   And the food !!  Yum, Yum , Yum !! As we prefer vegetarian food so Dosa, Idli, Vada, sambhar, uttapam are our firm favourites. 

Karnataka and Tamilnadu must learn from Kerala how to market their appeal to Westerners. 

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Galago

@Chakra Thank you for the links. I shall enjoy looking at all your photos.

 

@AKR1 Thanks for the NYT link

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Galana

Dear Chak.

What have you done? Whilst away in December my team got to discussing next year and I showed some reluctance at India unless to the South where I have been before.

One team member has yet to see flaming golden stripes and I favoured flights to Bangalore and The Ghats plus Nagarhole.

I come home to an alert to your topic and report. Sold! This from the chap who swears each time he returns he will never return.:rolleyes:

And if that was not enough you go and photo the one BeeEater that I have always dipped on. My Lawyers will be in touch.

 

Great report, too great.

We will make a birder of you yet. You have the eye that can tell the bird is not quite what it seems and that is 75% of the game. all I/Ds correct although I may have just plumped for Green Imperial Pigeon.

One my ST friends missed was your Yellow Wagtail. It is a Grey but who is looking?

 

I shall send the link to your report to my December companions and if they go for it you can expect numerous exchanges of mail so clear your Inbox.

Regards to the ladies in your life.

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Chakra

@Galana Dear Fred, 

I'm so happy that at last my ramblings have caught your attention and motivated you to consider India once again. Your original report of Tiger at the Bus Stop encouraged me to travel to these parts. I hope your friend won't be disappointed. 

Sorry about that bee eater :D 

Cheers

 

 

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Chakra

It's now time to wrap this up with some wildlife.

Hampi is actually a well known birding spot in India and has a few rare ones like yellow throated bulbul. I was looking forward to do some birding but the time was not right. The boulders reflect heat and it becomes too hot by late morning. I was due to climb one of the hills on the second morning looking for birds but my gouty foot complained badly and had to abandon that. Sleep was more important. 

I did sit in the bird hide of the resort for a while but it was becoming quite uncomfortable there with no ventilation.  So I stuck to late afternoon birding around the resort and the nearby dam.  It was not prolific by any standard.  Clearly December would have been much more productive. 

But one big target was achieved : the Indian eagle owl.  What a majestic bird. Sadly under significant threat from habitat loss. I saw them twice, just after sunset and also on an early morning trip. Once the owl actually was trying to threaten us by spreading its wing and did not fly away.  The other target was a painted spurfowl : sadly none showed up 

We also went to the Daroji sloth bear sanctuary next door. It's not really a genuine wildlife experience as the forest department staff spread molasses on the rocks to attract the bears and they are too far away, but still worth a visit. Several guests have spotted leopards in the rocky terrain but we had no luck. 

 

Sloth bears 

 

 

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And a silly peacock 

 

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I believe this is an ashy crowned sparrow lark. A few years back I'd have ignored this thinking just another sparrow :D

 

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Squirrels are just giant rats with good PR

 

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Silverbill

 

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Some kind of babbler ?

 

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These quails were super curious coming inside the bird hide 

 

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Riki Tiki Tavi again 

 

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 Help please :unsure:

 

 

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Purple heron

 

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bronze winged Jacana 

 

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These babblers drove me mad with their noise 

 

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A beautiful purple moorhen "mooning" at me 

 

DSC_7279.jpg.2d1c781c2fc0a7d4894e188378f32ffb.jpg

 

 

General Franco posing like a ballerina 

 

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This was new to me : yellow wattled lapwing

 

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It is a bit disconcerting when a timid dove heads straight towards you : looks like an alien with bulging eyes

 

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But soon realises its mistake 

 

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White throated

 

DSC_7417.jpg.5943b5ab98281162bf91895c72ae9110.jpg 

 

 

I believe this a Malkoha : sorry all I got was its tail so don't know if it had a blue, green or purple face :P

 

DSC_7387.jpg.3fdc16de2e917663ece0487ac658feb8.jpg

 

 

 

Juvenile one 

 

DSC_7428.jpg.824d9c17932ae25a11aadeefb3fdd2af.jpg

 

The scary one : spreading its wing to warn us . Sorry  about grains, it was practically pitch dark. 

 

 

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Look at those claws

 

DSC_7445.jpg.1e7038210574e1a5c6fa3d9e541440b5.jpg

 

 

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Galana

Help please is I believe a Juv Moorhen and 'some kind of Babbler' is the Yellow-eyed version. NIce capture.

Excellent stuff.

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Zubbie15

Beautiful eagle owls, must have been impressive to see! 

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Chakra
8 hours ago, Galana said:

Help please is I believe a Juv Moorhen and 'some kind of Babbler' is the Yellow-eyed version. NIce capture.

Excellent stuff.

Why not red footed ? I rechristen it  :P

8 hours ago, Zubbie15 said:

Beautiful eagle owls, must have been impressive to see! 

Indeed. Couple of years back one of my friends gifted me a falconry experience at Rosliston nature centre, Derbyshire. I don't like to see creatures in captivity but this was more of a rehab centre for abandoned and rescued birds and the staff seemed to be genuinely interested in their welfare. I had a great time  as a Bird Handler and I was particularly impressed with Karl the Eagle Owl and its sheer size.  He was huge. My wife could not resist taking a selfie with Karl and adding funky filters for her social media posts. Karl would have been horrified to see his head adorned with pink flowers.  I'm sharing the photo to show his size in comparison. 

 

67770180_2777251228971476_6130214110140301312_n.jpg.67cdce49de6833bd0f3f4c05e40ab76e.jpg

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Galago

That warning pose of the Eagle Owl is wonderful. And I'm envious of the proximity of the quail. I've never managed to see any quail in India, wondering if this is the Jungle Bush Quail. And the tail looks right for Blue-faced Malkoha. The same happened to me, as soon as it was called it hid its face which was super frustrating as that blue eye ring is lovely. And the Jungle Babblers may have driven you mad but, you must admit, they really do what it says on the tin!

 

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AfricanQueen

Thank you for your informative TR @Chakra! I enjoy it a lot- the more as I will go to Nagarhole and Bandipur in March. My first time to go to India and I soak up every information I can get! 

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Chakra
1 hour ago, AfricanQueen said:

Thank you for your informative TR @Chakra! I enjoy it a lot- the more as I will go to Nagarhole and Bandipur in March. My first time to go to India and I soak up every information I can get! 

Thanks very much  @AfricanQueen  First time in India can be a little overwhelming but just go with the flow. I'm sure you'll have a fab time in  Karnataka.   

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