Saturday, November 17, 2012


Talakona is situated at about 50km from temple town Tirupati and lies in Sri Vekateswara National Park.There are direct buses from Tirupati or alight at Bhakarapet on Tirupati-Pileru route to reach Talakona which is 20km from Bhakarapet. Last 10 km of travel after Nerabailu village is superb. Along with tourists, so many devotees come here to get the blessings of Sri Siddeswara Swamy, an abode of Lord Shiva.
Talakona is ideal to make a family outing for a day or two. One can stay overnight at C.B.E.T (Community Based Eco-Tourism project) or at T.T.D cottage. Be careful, monkeys are aplenty at both the places. Kitchen staff at CBET prepare any type of food as per the visitor's choice and supply it any where in the surrounding areas. The places of interest here are C.B.E.T, Talakona Waterfall, Appasamy Gundam. So many trekking options are there. One can reach Papavinasam (25 km) near Tirumala from here. Yuddagala Teertham trek (25 km) is another one. Guides are available at C.B.E.T to do all these treks. Don't forget to carry a large amount of water to do these long treks because there are no water bodies present in these routes.
A large densely wooded land is converted into an attractive place with all amenities to the tourists. It has 4 log huts, 2 dormitories, a kitchen, a beautiful dining place and an administrative office. A stream is flowing beside the area. This has a 240 meter long canopy walk at a height of 20 feet. A check dam was constructed to make a tiny  pond on the stream. One can enjoy pedal boating in the pond.
Fall is 3 km from C.B.E.T. You have to walk past Sri Siddeswara Swamy Temple on a well laid road. At one point road goes down. Take a left here. Instantly you notice a stream. This is the one flowing beside C.B.E.T. Here there is a pond. Path now crosses the stream and you will be walking in a divide of two hills.Stream is right side to you.The 270 ft waterfall first jumps on a rock directly from a solid rock cliff. This is upper portion of the fall. From there it cascades down the rocks and forms the stream. People reach the point where water is landing directly and enjoy taking bath. Just before this point there was path on the left going up. After clearing so many steps there is a T shaped path. On the left you can notice a shed. People take rest here. Take right and go downward at the first bend. Be careful in clearing this steep down hill path to see a stream flowing from left to right. Going left takes you to Appasamy Gundam, a beautiful waterfall with a large pool. To the right of the stream, there is a large long rocky flat area. Usually we camp here at nights. The stream flows beside the rocky area and at the end of the stream it jumps from a rock cliff. Now you are on top of Talakona Waterfall. Usually in day time you can notice so many visitors coming to take bath. On the right side of the flat rock area, there is a path which takes you down to the road. So no need of going back on the same path.This path is on opposite side hill. Here stream flows on the right side. You can see visitors coming to the waterfall on the path you already walked. This can be done vice versa.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Sudi or Soodi is a village in Gadag District of Karnataka.
It has three main attractions.Twin Towered Temple (Jodu Kalasa Gudi), Mallikarjuna Temple and Nag Kunda.
In 1100AD Sudi was the capital of  Kalyani Chalukyas.
I came from Gajendragad (12km) to visit this place. Jodu Kalasa Gudi is beside Gajendragad-Ron State Highway, within a school premises, with an instantly attracting look.
A very good looking twin towered Temple has a Shiva Linga under one tower and the other is unknown. In the common platform between the two shrines a very artistically decorated Nandi was placed facing Shiva. Nandi has its own Panapattam, unlike in so many Temples. On both the sides of Nandi there is a seating arrangement with stone benches. Some of the pillars are standing on those benches. Two ancient inscriptions in Halegannada are lying here. Pillars and outer walls are so attractive.
Mallikarjuna Temple is also very attractive. The entrance doorway of Sanctum Sanctorum  is very nice. This Temple was constructed in 1054.In Mukha Mantapa in the left side there is a Vishnu Idol. On the right Shiva,Parvati,Ganesha and Nandi are standing on a single platform, which is unique.
Naga Kunda is a tank with beautifully carved inner walls. The pemises of Nagakunda has many attractions. Two big Lingas are there. One is under the roof and the others roof is missing. Nandi is under a shelter. A stone carved Maha Ganapati is in another structure in a corner. The statue is nearly 8 feet height. Beside this structure a Halegannada inscription was planted on a platform.
Itagi Bhimambika Temple is 4 km from here. I visited that Temple also.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Ahobilam is in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. The principle deity in the Temple here is Lord Narasimha an abode of Lord Vishnu.Usually Ahobilam means lower Ahobilam. Upper Ahobilam is 9 km from lower Ahobilam.
The Temple in Lower Ahobilam is a gigantic one with lot of art work on rock, which is really a feast for eyes.
Altogether there are nine Narasimha Temples in Ahobilam area. They are called Nava Narasimha Temples.
Ahobila Narasimha Temple:
Upon alighting at Upper Ahobilam, instantly a tiny, beautiful "U" shaped water fall attracted our attention. After a flight of steps along the dormitories Ahobila Narasimha Temple will be visible between two hills. Left side hill was more scenic with waterfalls. The right side hill was cut for some extent to make a flat area and the Temple was constructed in that place. At the left side of the ground there is a stream which is making the "U" shaped fall. 
We first had darshan of Lord Ahobila Narasimha. To the left of the temple along the stream, there is a way, which leads to the back side of the Temple. Here the path bifurcates. The straight one from here goes to Varaha Narasimha Temple along the stream. The path to the right that goes from back side of the temple goes to Pavana Narasimha Temple, which is 7 km from here. On the right side path there is only one Temple, Pavana Narasimha, but on the left side hill along the stream, there are Varaha, Jwala and Malola Narasimha Temples. So after visiting Pavana, we have to come back all the way and visit the other three Temples on the left side. All together there are five Temples in this area.
Pavana Narasimha:
We opted to visit Pavana Narasimha Temple first. Initially we cleared so many steps and then we walked on a well marked road. Not only this but path to every Temple is well marked. Malola Narasimha witch was seen in the dense vegetation on the slope of opposite hill was superb. This entire stretch of 7 km goes under the shade. Surprisingly, Tamil devotees were high in number than Andhrites. We noticed only our batch were the local state people going to Pavana. Pavana Narasimha temple is in the midst of green hills.It has another route which can be accessed from Lower Ahobilam on motor vehicles. It is a whopping 25 km kaccha road. Had darshan of The Lord and came back on the same way.
Varaha Narasimha:
From the point where we took left from the back of the Ahobila Narasimha, go straight along the stream to reach Varaha Narasimha. Visited the Temple and went on crossing a bridge on the stream to reach Jwala, then Malola. Here there is a path just before Varaha to reach Malola first and then to Jwala depending on your choice.
Jwala Narasimha Temple:
We again crossed the stream after the bridge and went along with it for a while, which is very scenic. Walk itself was a pleasure here. Soon we saw a bridge across the stream and went up. From here path was continuously up hill made beside the hill slope and going round along a gorge. The gorge is exactly " ? " shaped. Now Jwala Narasimha Temple was exactly in our opposite on the other side of the gorge. In between there is a waterfall. Devotees were soaking in water when they were crossing it. When we crossed the waterfall, Sun was in such a position created a rainbow on the splashed droplets of water that jumped on the rocks. Devotees had a whale of a time at the waterfall. Had darshan of Lord and came down to the bridge area. This is the junction point. Devotees coming from Malola and Varaha meet here. Here our guide showed us Fierce Pillar (Ugra Sthambham) beside the waterfall on top the hill, which was believed to be the Mythological Pillar from where Lord Narasimha emerged, to kill Hiranyakasipa, the demon king. It can be accessed from the waterfall area. We didn't go there. We were on our way to Malola Narasimha Temple.
Malola Narasimha Temple:
From the bridge area the path is stepped at some stretches but a pleasant one. There are names to the faces of the hills in our opposite direction. Guide explained why they got those names. After visiting the Lord we headed to Ahobila Narasimha. Thus we visited five of the Temples. Had a sumptuous lunch at a dormitory and began going down to visit other Temples.
Karanja, Chatravata and Yogananda Narasimha Temples:
All these are accessible by vehicle during the ride to Lower Ahobilam. But Bhargava Narasimha Temple which we missed to see is at half an hour distance from Lower Ahobilam Temple in the forest. Bhargava closes at 5 in the evening. We reached lower Ahobilam at 6, so it didn't happened for us to visit.
We made all this in one day. Had we reached Upper Ahobilam before six in the morning, we would have visited Bhargava Narasimha Temple also.


Friday, July 27, 2012


Sidlaphadi is a cave, that housed  the prehistoric man. It is near Badami.
I heard about this just before my visit to Badami. So i decided to have a look at this place. First day I saw Badami Caves, Temples and Fort. At cave area there were so many guides. I hired a guide for tomorrow to reach Mahakoota Temple from Badami via Sidlaphadi.
In the morning after breakfast, we moved on Bagalkot road to reach Hotel Badami Court, a little far from the town towards Railway Station. Just after the the Hotel there is a track going up towards the hill. We took that trail and walked toward a Mobile Phone Tower which was seen on a hill. Now a days Karnataka Tourism Corporation people nailed a sign board beside the road showing the way to Sidlaphadi. A power transmission line is going along with the route, up to a Mobile Phone Tower. Road was pebbled and gravel one. Crossed Mobile Phone Tower and walked further to reach Sidlaphadi. On our way there were some curious rock formations looked like igloos.There was a  descend at the end of the road into a U shaped gorge between two hills. Here we saw a unique rock-formation during the descent. It was an hour walk from the main road.
The cave looked like a big arch, placed on two rocks on both sides,with holes on its top. Locals say they were caused by lightning. So it was called Sidla-Phadi. Thorny bushes were present on the ground here and there.This place was the home to the humans Millions of years ago. Spent some time here to inspect the cave. There were some more caves in its vicinity.
Archaeological Survey Of India conducted research here. They found some Neolithic Pottery and microliths. A replica of Sidlaphadi is seen in ASI Badami Museum.
An hour of walk took us to Mahakoota Temple. We reached the Temple by a steep descent from top of the hill.
Mahakooteswara is the principle deity in this Temple, an abode of Lord Shiva. This Temple was built by Chalukya Dynasty in 6th century AD. The main Temple is highly decorated mainly with Shivapurana stories. Here there are two tanks.One is inside the Temple and another one is outside. Both the tanks are fed by perennial streams. Water oozing is not visible in both the tanks. But you can notice water going out of the inside tank into a canal through a surplus weir. Pilgrims usually take bath first in the outside tank and later inside and go to darshan. The Temple has  nicely kept old charm. There are so many sub shrines within the Temple premises. Some Sub Shrines are constructed in Nagara style. They believed to be constructed on later date. Some of the Sculptures are awesome. Ardhnariswara image on one of the Temples beside the inner tank was fabulous. Ficus trees are every where to give good shade. Every one will be in a state of fulfillment by the charm and grace of this Temple.
I recently visited Mahakoota (13-01-2013). A renovation work is going on inside the Temple premises. Authorities removed some sub shrines to reconstruct.

Mahadeva Temple, Itagi

Mahadeva Temple, Itagi is in Koppal District of Karnataka.
Ever since I visited this Temple, I assume myself as a lucky guy. Because this Temple was a finest piece of example for an artistic sculpture. It was built by Mahadeva, a commander in the army of Vikramaditya VI, a Western Chalukya King, in 1112 AD.
The first look of this Temple from far of an area gives an impression that you reached a remarkable place. The entrance takes us to eastern most open mantapa with so many artistically decorated pillars. It has a dome at the center. The pillars that are hanging from the dome leaves you speechless. We can see immaculate display of craftsmanship in shaping the Pillars. Never I have seen that type of artistry before. Look up into the dome, you will find a lavish sculpture. Not only in this one, but in every one.Overall there are 4 domes. This East faced Temple comprises 68 carved pillars, columns and decorated walls with doors on North and South. All the doorways are fashioned in surprisingly beautiful style. The magnificence and exquisitely carved decorative details of this Temple are the finest example of  Chalukyan Architecture.
This high towered Temple has a cluster of many Temples in its premises. An inscription in this Temple in medieval Kannada states this Temple as "Emperor Among Temples".

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Seshachalam Trek

Year: 2006
This trek was conducted by YHAI Andhra Pradesh State Branch.
I came into contact with state YHAI officials after my Har Ki Doon trek. For this trek I reported at Tirumala. As soon as the flag off ceremony we reached Papavinasam Teertham. Crossed Papavinasam Dam after showing permission letter. YH Tirupati unit arranged all those formalities in advance. We soon entered in to greenery. First reached Sanakasananda Teertham. It is believed 108 Teerthams are there in Seshachal Hills. Teertham is a pond where one can take a holy dip. It's all like taking bath in Kapila Teertham in Tirupati. But In Sanakasananda there was no sufficient water to have a dip.
We headed for Ramakrishna Teertham. Unlike other treks, here porters were carrying utensils and groceries along with the trekkers. So there was no need to pitch tents in advance and prior arrangements. After porters reaching a designated camp, cooks started cooking, mean while trekkers were taking some rest.
There are two foot path routes to reach Tirumala from Tirupati. One starts at Alipiri and another starts at Srivari Mettu near Srinivasa Mangapuram. But this route starts from Kukkala Doddi in Kadapa district which is on Renigunta -Kadapa highway. People from adjoining places opt this route to reach Tirumala.
Ramakrishna Teertham:
1.5 km after Sanakasananda, trail reaches a stream. This is the junction point of Ramakrishna and Tumburu Teerthams. Crossing  the stream and following the trail takes you to Ramakrishna Teertham (1.5 km) and continuing along the stream for a while and following the path takes you to Tumburu Teertham. Entering Ramakrishna Teertham opening was a thrilling experience.Trekkers were disappearing into a hole covered with branches and leaves. I also entered to discover a deep down hill path studded with huge boulders. Some of the boulders were knee high and some were more than that. At some places ropes were tied to sticks and ladders were fixes to ensure the safety of the visitors. That maneuver went on for 40 minutes. At the end there was a big ladder to enter into a flat rocky area which we used as a camping ground for the night.  A stream was emerging from one corner, dividing into so many canals on the flat rock area. At the end all were united to make a single fall making a pond. That was Ramakrishna Teertham. We went down to the pond and had bath.
In the night after dinner it was campfire time. Enjoyed it. In the morning took bath another time. Left to Tumburu Teertham on the same path. It took nearly 50 min to reach the top. From there it was 1.5 km to the junction. Visiting Ramakrishna Teertham was a nice experience.
Tumburu Teertham:
It took 3 hours to reach Tumburu Teertham from the junction. Just before reaching Tumburu, there was a pond with crystal clear water with a depth of 5 feet. One or two guys jumped into it. Underneath stones were clearly visible. A marvelous sight. Just after this pond we saw a cave. Some people ventured in.
We put all our belongings beside a stream which would be our camp site for the night. Here also there is a cave. It is believed Matrusri Tarigonda Vengamamba, a poetess, an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara, made penance in this cave.
Here there is an amazing geographical wonder. We went along the stream. After a normal walk within the stream, there was a long deep pool. Then started the magic. We were now walking in a crack of a hill. The crack formed a deep, long  gorge of about 300 m long, 25 m high, 10 m wide gorge. Stream is flowing at the bottom of the gorge, which had so many jacuzzi type pools and a waterfall at the end. What a thing! So many people were in awe.
In the morning I went up to the crystal clear pool along with two others to take bath and thoroughly enjoyed.
Bandi Irusulu Teertham:
As we were in the middle of the forest and surrounded by hills, we were unaware when it clocked 8. After a photo session we moved along the stream. We began moving inspecting the surroundings, the leader stopped us to have a stare at the paintings that were believed to be painted by ancient man. Scientific experiments revel they were painted 10,000 years back. All curiously inspected those figures. Some even touched them. Sanyasivani Gavi (an ascetic's cave) came within a km of walk from the paintings in a open area that surrounded by hills with large trees. Many people went in crawling. There was room for only one at some height from the ground in one cave. May be it was made like that to ensure the safety of the occupant from animals, I believe. But another cave beside that was larger compared to the previous one. It was easily accessible. Walk entered into a rivulet studded with medium sized boulders. Before entering the rivulet, one of the organisers showed us a pug mark of a leopard. Shutter bugs immediately went into action. Here there was another attraction. The hill slopes on the other side of the rivulet were very smooth. On the smoothy areas there were some marks. It is believed those were also made by ancient people that lived in that area. When those people sharpened their arrows, those groove like marks remained on the hills. The rivulet was large initially and it became narrow afterwards. We passed Pagadimanu Gundam in no time. A 2.5 km boulder hopping took us to Chakalibana Teertham, which I consider as a beautiful waterfall, with a right side detour. Surroundings were also great, especially the upstream area. A guy went up and appreciated its beauty. I told so many people, who were participating, not to miss that view. Half a km from here we reached  our camp sight Bandi Irusulu Teertham ( axle of ox cart). Water in this Teertham was very clear and refreshing.
In the morning, after another refreshing dip started to come back into "our" world. Passes Pyramid Hill (named because it looked like Pyramid) and Pandi Gunta (Pit made by a wild boar). In any given time there will be water in this pit. In one summer there was no water available to drink in the forest. A wild boar furiously dashed the earth that made a pit. Instantly water emerged from that pit. This was the story behind that. Took lunch at Balapalle Forest Guest House. Reached Kadapa-Reigunta Highway to catch the bus.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I am Ratna Prasad Ravi. But I am familiar with my nickname Nani. The photograph on the left was taken when I was on my mother's lap. The other one was taken in 1990. Now you can see myself with a bald head.
My Ideology:
Many experts predict India may become a super power in the future. Some said (In 2000) it will become in 2020. We are now dragged into 2012, and I see no ...............Why?
I think to become a super power a country has to be self sustained in so many areas especially in defense. Living standards of its citizens play a major role in calculating it. Economically the country should be sound. Should record a good Industrial growth. Where is India in all those areas?
1) Defense:
Still looking for vendors for arms, ammunition, fighter planes, bomber jets and submarines.
No one knows when it will get Blue-Water naval capability.
2) Public Health:
Worst of all
a) About 15% of worlds Leishmaniasis patients are in Bihar itself.
b) Accounts for 1/5 of world TB patients.
c) India is home to the world's largest number of blind people.
d) It has a single highest share of neonatal deaths in the world.
e) Reported as having highest rate of rabies deaths in the world.
f) Makes up 58% of world population which still practices open defecation.
3) Agriculture:
a) India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses in the world(2011). To meet the demand it is importing 3 million tons(2011) of them. Productivity is 637 kg/ha. Global average is 871 kg/ha. So no self sufficiency.
b) Largest producer and consumer of milk yet neither exports nor imports
c) India had the largest farm area of paddy production. But India is the second largest producer of the essential staple food Rice (China stands first and Indonesia third). Farm paddy productivity in India were about 45% of China's and 60% of Indonesia's. If India could adopt the paddy farming knowledge and technology in use in China and Indonesia, it can produce 75% higher.
4) Electricity:
Load shedding is a very common factor in India. Each and every Indian knows where India is in this sector. No one knows when it will become self sufficient in this area.
5) Social:
Social inequality is another factor which is much more alarming. If politicians continue their rogue politics like this Indian society may not be like this. Social divide will be wider and there will be clashes between people.

Collapse of the USSR was the beginning of the end of world peace:
After World War II The USSR and The USA were emerged as Super Powers. The USSR and its allies  Eastern Bloc and The USA and its Western Allies were always engaged in duel with each other. The USA came up with a mutual defense treaty with its allies called NATO forces. The USSR  came up with a similatreaty with its allies at Warsaw, Poland to form Warsaw Pact Forces. So USA and USSR took the responsibility of their allied country's security and sovereignty. After the collapse of USSR, the Warsaw pact countries felt unsecured and felt they have to secure their position on their own. So, arms race began at this point. Some of the countries even worked for nuclear devises to threaten the US. US now a days is not so peaceful than it was in the days of cold war (1947-1991).
Future of US:
I see no threat to the US position as a strong nation in the near future. People all over the world like to settle in the land of opportunity like ever before.
Future Bombs:
Since from the existence of humans on this Earth, the strongest is the winner, when they were single or after forming a society and colony or in kingdoms or after transforming into the current system of country hood. Who was having more destructive power than others was agreed to be their leader. Most of the Asian and African sects fought Europeans with arrows and swords, while the latter were using guns and cannons. Entire world went into their hands, because of their mass killing power. Now also the thing is same. In the future also it will be the same. The nation which is having more destructive power than others, like nukes in greater range, rules. In the future US may develop Genom Bombs. They can wipe out entire humans of particular race they wish to destroy.

In my life:
Usually every one come across some curious things in their life time. I also.

1) Man set his foot on Moon in 1969.
2) Mobile Phone: Developed in its present form in 1973, this technology, I consider, as revolutionary in the entire history of mankind. No other technology has this distinction. It penetrated into the life of humans like it were the part in their body.
3) Concorde Plane: Considered to be an aviation icon, this supersonic transport plane was a favourite to so many in their life time. Commercially started in 1976, retired in 2003, this marvelous technological giant still has an unsurpassed technology. It retired long ago, still it hasn't had any alternative.   
4) Launch of space Crafts Voyager 1 and 2 in 1977. In 1998 V 1 became the most distant man made object ever sent from Earth. Probably V 1 by 2014, may become the first object that sent from Earth to become an Interstellar Spacecraft.
5) In 1978 first "Test-Tube" baby was born.
6) Space Shuttle Program: Started in 1981 and ended in 2011. Witnessed a paramount technology.
7) Internet. Nowadays people can't think of their livelihood without this. Born in 1983 in its present form it brought magic and it is considerably greatest technology that influenced human life.
8) In early 1986 Halley's comet visited our inner solar system and it will again come here in 2061 
9) In 1997 Comet Hale-Bopp was seen with the naked eye from the Earth. It was calculated that Hale-Bopp came to inner solar system previously was in July, 2215 B.C. It is predicted, it will come back in the year 4385.
10) In 1998 Comet Tempel-Tuttle came and it will re appear in 2031.
11) I saw the beginning of a millennium.
12) The most shocking incident I ever felt was the collapse of Twin Towers.
As usual like all Indians I was a die hard fan of this game until fixing charges surfaced. Now I pay a very little attention towards this game.
These days bowlers are there to give runs. All the cricket controlling bodies over the world are framing rules to 

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