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Posts Tagged ‘Karnataka’

Bangalore has a traffic flow of under 19km per hr which is the slowest across metros in India… and to add to this problem are numerous speed breakers blindly put up at each and every junction. According to the latest report, Bangalore has over 1,000 illegal or unplanned speed breakers. Who do you blame for this? The BBMP (city corporation) or the police department?

New type of speed breaker in Bangalore, pic courtesy DNA

You will find a speed bump rite after you cross a junction (residency rd) and sometimes before it also, you will find one just before you get on to a flyover (yeshwantpur) and you will find one on almost any road where an accident has taken place. Guess, the authorities have found a quick fix solution by installing a bump for any and every reason.

Most of the cars both sedans and hatchbacks which have slightly lower ground clearence cannot avoid but scratch their floors while negotiating these bumps and almost 90% of these speed breakers do not have any kind of marking or sign. So, on a dark night you may be taken by complete surprise to find one right in front of you and you have no option but to hope that your vehicle doesn’t get completely damaged. These unplanned bump also result in additional breaking, additional acceleration which results in increased consumption of fuel and emissions.

It took the death of police inspector (who died due to a speed breaker) to finally get the authorities to remove some unscientific road humps but that was almost 2 years back. But its back to where we started off.

New rubber speed breakers which do not damage your car. Pic courtesy TradeIndia

The only solution i see is if we get the government to set-up a special unit to study and then install and maintain these speed breakers.. till then, don’t let your sight out of our roads no matter if you are on a highway or on a city road.

Here is a recent story in Deccan Herald which talk of unauthorized speed breakers in the city.

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The tourism and forest departments of BJP-governed Karnataka plans to launch terror tourism, based on the life and trails of forest brigand Veerappan, shot down by a special police team in 2004.

Veerappan with his band of men Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Tourism Director K Vishwanatha Reddy said construction of ecotourism facilities, including solar electrification, is at an advanced stage in Veer-appan’s village, Gopinatham, 200 km from Bangalore.
A trekking scheme, called Mystery Trails, will be part of the package for high-end and mid-rung tourists.

“Mystery Trails aims to explore the myths surrounding the brigand, his hideouts, escape routes and harsh living conditions,” said Deputy Conservator of Forests Narayan Swamy. “People would surely like to know what were the incidents that took place.

The “incidents” during Veerappan’s 20-year reign of terror across 6,000 sq km of forests in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, included the killing of 184 people, many of them police and forest officials, smuggling of sandalwood worth Rs 103 crore, and poaching of at least 200 elephants.

Western Ghats bordering Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu was dominated by Veerappan until his death

Source: Hindustantimes.com

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One of our popular blog post on the Volvo service to Bangalore International Airport has been carried by Bangalore Mirror under their Blog Talk section. Attached below is a scan for your viewing.

GE's Blog post in Bangalore Mirror, 22Jan'10

All this happened suddenly last week when this good journo friend of mine from BM called and asked if i have any Bangalore specific blog post. Couldn’t think of anything else but this post which is our most popular and informative blog and receives good hit rate on a daily basis.

Thanks to BM, we are seeing more and more hits now. Hope people post similar blogs for their respective cities as well which will help budget travelers like us save on travel expenses.

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http://www.the-golden-chariot.com/photogallery.html#

The Golden Chariot luxury train winds its way through the fascinating worlds of Karnataka. Worlds enriched with unique customs and cultures. Worlds frozen in time. Worlds that blend graciously the glory of the past with the magic of today! It’s Karnataka – after all. Here’s a brief run down on the escapes you’ll be visiting on your dream train sojourn.

Bangalore – A bustling metropolis
The silicon valley of India is unique. It’s modern; it’s traditional – at the same time. Historically, the city finds mention in an inscription as old as 900 CE. Technologically, there’s no city as advanced as Bangalore is. No wonder, the city boasts of third most populous city of India.

Explore Vidhan Soudha, the splendid structure used as legislative house for Karnataka assembly; Tipu’s Palace, the summer retreat of Tipu Sultan; Lal Bagh, the most romantic garden in India and MG Road, a bustling market street in the town.

Kabini – A wildlife park
Known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, this retreat is wildlife enthusiasts’ paradise. Little streams, waterfalls, glens and glades make this heaven an ideal retreat to unwind. The sight of wild animals is only a bonus. You’ll get to see elephants, gaurs, sambars, chitals, wild boars and, of course, tigers. Ornithologists, bring extra batteries for your camera as the Park plays host to 300 species of birds.

Mysore – A royal city
Mythical connection of Mysore with demons and goddesses will surely make you hanker for the city. The royal city remained capital of Vijaynagar Empire. Today resplendent palaces, verdant gardens, tree-fringed boulevards, magnificent buildings and sacred temples grace the skyline of the city. Sights of interest? There are many: Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills, Jagmohan Palace and Art Gallery, Lalit Mahal Palace, St Philomenas Church, Brindavan Gardens and Mysore Zoo.

Belur, Halebid, Hampi and Badami: World heritage sites
Belur is a little town in Hassan district. It was the capital of magnificent Hoysala Empire during tenth and fourteenth centuries. Hoysala Temple Complex and Chennakesava Temple are major attractions here.

Halebidu is a town close by and houses finest examples of Hoysala architecture. Must visits include Hoysaleswara Temple which is resting on a star-shaped base amidst lush lawns. The tourists of Golden Chariot will also visit Shravanbelagola, home to Asia’s largest monolithic statue of Gomateswara.

Hampi ruins narrate the fascinating saga of Vijayanagar Empire’s splendor and fabulous architecture.

Badami, also a world heritage site, offers breathtaking vistas of its embellished monuments. The 18-armed Nataraja in striking 81 dance poses is a must visit.

Goa: A World of Golden Beaches
Goa, the pearl of the orient, is gifted with everything you fancied in your dream travel. Serene beaches, magnificent architecture, lip-smacking cuisine, pulsating nightlife, you name it and Goa offers it on a platter.

The Golden Chariot luxury train travel reaches to its climax on the shores of this Tourists’ Paradise.

source: http://www.articlesbase.com/exotic-locations-articles/golden-chariot-five-great-escapes-1444625.html

Some of the other luxury trains in India are listed below:

1. Places on Wheels

Palace on wheels which covers the beautiful state of Rajasthan is a journey worthy of kings with its cream saloons, with a border of flowers, forbidding fortress, fairytale palaces, fully vestibule and centrally air-condition, truly a Palace on Wheels.

2. Heritage On Wheels

No other region in India, or perhaps, even in the world, has such a large concentration of high quality frescoes as the region of Shekhawati. The Heritage on Wheels, a luxury tourist train on meter gauge enroute to the unexplored regions of Bikaner and Shekhawati, famous beholders of the Heritage of Rajasthan. Heritage on Wheels is a prefect royal treat for all those on board organized with restaurant and shopping facility.

3. Royal Orient

The Royal Orient train is one of the world’s most exotic trains where you get to explore two of the most fascinating and culturally rich states of India, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The journey by the Royal Orient takes you back to the times of Rajas and Maharajas which is fitted with all the modern conveniences you would expect in five star hotels like clean, comfortable and furnished cabin with spacious bath equipped with running hot and cold water and multi-cuisine restaurants, bar and library.

4. Fairy Queen

The Fairy Queen starts once in a month from October to February renowned for its oldest working engine in the world with the capacity of 50 passengers starts from Delhi to Alwar. The train stops at every major destination and the ambience inside the Fairy Queen makes you feel like a Maharaja as you take on the royal journey. The comprehensive two-day tourist package includes on-ground catering, lodging, boarding, transfer facility, visit to Sariska National Park, cultural programmes etc. In the package, the tourists would be taken to Alwar and would be lodged in Hotel ‘Tiger Den’ at Sariska.

5. Deccan Odyssey

The Deccan Odyssey criss-crosses the Indian Deccan Plateau over 2400 km in Eight days covering beautiful beaches in Goa and Maharashtra, the grand forts and palaces of the Marathas, the Osho Ashram in Pune, the historic sites of Ajanta, Ellora, Aurangabad and the modern city of Mumbai. The 21 coach Air-Conditioned Deccan Odyssey offers combination of richly furnished Deluxe Cabins and Presidential Suites. There are two Dining Cars, One Bar Saloon with smoking lounge area, Conference Area/recreation saloon with small Business Centre, Spa Saloon with mini-gym. Each passenger Saloon has four Deluxe Cabins and is serviced by a private attendant/butler, who looks after tea/coffee service and housekeeping.

6. Konkan Train

Konkan Railways, one of the lesser luxurious trains compared to the list above but this journey offers breathtakingly beautiful sights to the commuters, unexplored destinations with natural charm covers the length of 760 kms, with 1,798 bridges and 88 Tunnels on the route. Konkan Railways offers a mesmerizing picturesque from Mumbai to Thiruvananthapuram via Veer-Khed-Chiplun-Ratnagiri-Rajapur Road-Sindhudurg-Mapusa Road-Goa-Udupi-Mangalore-Kochi.

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Yesterday the state witnessed its second largest attack on unsuspecting partygoers at a restaurant and lounge bar called The Beach on 100ft rd Indiranagar, Bangalore infront of video cameras. The first attack was on a club in Mangalore where hooligans attacked the partygoers and manhandled the women and beat them infront of TV cameras calling themselves RamSena.

More details here <

http://www.hindu.com/2009/08/30/stories/2009083061040300.htm&gt;

<http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=3&contentid=2009083020090830024922109857501ec&gt;

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Mangalore_pub_attack&gt;

The reason for this blog is to discuss issues common in both these attacks and ways to keep ourselves safe in the future..

I’m not sure how many of you have noticed but its cause for great concern that the media were present in both these locations well before the local cops. In yesterday’s case, the cops from Indiranagar station which is less than 2 kms away turned up 45mins after the incident broke out but the media crew had arrived well before.

This opens up two important questions

1) In both the cases, our media were informed in advance of this attack  and decided to get the first scoop for their channel

2) The media didn’t find it important enough to alert the police about such an attack since they wanted to get as much meat from this story

Guess we are all living in an artificial world and have to take care of ourselves and not depend on anyone. Here are a few pointers for all of us including travelers visiting the state:

a) Women should always make it a point to carry pepper spray for their own safety. These sprays are easily available at all cosmetic (Health n Glow) and large departmental stores and cost anywhere from Rs 200 – Rs 450.

b) Always travel in groups of min 2 members and carry information of the local police hotline numbers. For India, we have standard hotline numbers – Police – 100, Ambulance – 108  & Fire – 102

c) Do not stay out too late on the streets especially in revealing clothes. This may create unnecessary attention.

d) Do not venture into unfamiliar localities especially at nite and even if you do, make sure you have reliable sources dropping you back home or to your hotel.

These pointers may help us stay away from unnecessary trouble atleast until our police department pulls up their socks. But for these two incidences, the state is still one of the safest destinations for travelers.

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Having to travel on work, on a Sunday can be irksome to best of travel enthusiast especially so when the task one set out to accomplish remains undone.  This was my story having had to travel to Davangere at the end of a grilling long week at work. But this trip turned out to be different from what I imagined.

Driving back from Davangere we made a much needed & refreshing stopover at the 18th century  Seebi Narasimha Swamy Temple, this quite temple adjacent to the National Highway 4 can be easily missed but for a large board reading ‘Seebi’ on the median. This place is about 20km from Tumkur when driving towards Sira.

Seebi_1

This temple looks very plain and deceptively simple from the outside but hold your breath, for the beautiful stucco figures on the parapet will defy everything that you might imagine to see inside. Walls and ceilings are bountifully covered by paintings. While a majority of the paintings are in a sad state of affairs some still carry the tinge of delicacy and softness. Paintings, which can be called historical, have themes of Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Dashavatara and are very similar to paintings in Daria Daulat Bagh, Srirangapatna. Some breathtaking stucco figures line the four walls of the outer parapet of the temple. These have survived the ravages of time and stand testimony to the eye for detail and excellence of the sculptors.

Seebi_2This temple is managed by a family of priests over the generations; they are now making an effort restore the sculptures & paintings of the temple to its original shape.  They have roped in sculptors from Archeological Survey of India (ASI) who have begun work of restoring the sculptures, but are yet to find quality professionals to restore the beautiful paintings.

Considering the lovely weather these days this would be a lovely day trip for those looking for a weekend drive from Bangalore.

Seebi_3

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