Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ajanta Ellora Tour Agents

India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd
(A Govt of India Undertaking)

Unit : Ashok Travels and Tours

Address: Shop No 1,
TRC Building, MTDC Holiday Resort,
Station Road
Aurangabad 431 005

Tel No: 0240 - 2331143
Fax : 0240 - 2346304


Tour Itinerary

Ajanta Tour (Except Monday)

Fare - Rs 300/- per seat
Departure - 0830 hours
Arrival - 1730 hours
Places Covered - Ajanta Caves

Ellora and City Tour (Except Tuesday)

Fare - Rs 200/- per seat
Departure - 0930 hours
Arrival - 1730 hours
Places Covered - Daulatabad Fort, Ghrishneshwar Temple, Ellora Caves, Khultabad (Aurangzeb's Tomb) Bibi-ki-Maqbara and Panchakki

For Reservation Contact:

Ashok Travels and Tours
Address: Shop No 1,
TRC Building, MTDC Holiday Resort,
Station Road
Aurangabad 431 005

Tel No: 0240 - 2331143
Fax : 0240 - 2346304


India Tourism Office
Krishna Vilas Road
Station Road
Aurangabad 431 005
Ph - 0240 2331217

Hotel in Aurangabad

Budget Accomodation in Aurangabad

Shiv Shakti's Hotel Pushpak
(Lodging and Boarding)
Two minutes walk from the railway station

Near Railway Station,
Station Bhaji Mandi,
Behind RTO,
Aurabgabad 431005

Phone (O) : 0240 - 2324614, 6993385
(R) : 0240 - 2332713


Contact Person:
Sanjay Kshirsagar
Mobile: 9823145113, 9422707675

24 hours check out time.

Aurangabad Tours and Travel

Bharat Tours and Travel


Hotel Ajanta Executive,
Near Railway Station

Services Offered:

All Types of Tourist Taxis available
(Tata Sumo, Qulais, Indica, Tavera, Innova)

Ellora and City Tours

South and North UNdia Tours (AC and NOn AC)




Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Karanji Nature Park and Lake

Karanji Lake, one of the oldest tanks in Mysore city, has been taken over by Mysore Zoo during 1976.

The total area of Karanji lake is 90 hectares. The lake is surrounded by a nature park consisting of a butterfly park and a walk-through aviary. This aviary is the biggest 'walk-through aviary' in India.

A butterfly park has been created on a small island within the Karanji lake. About 45 species of butterflies have been identified here.

Some of the common migratory birds found here are Grey Pelican, Painted Stork, Ibis, Cormorant, Egret, etc. which nest on trees in the islands present in the lake. Recent survey of birds have indicated 87 species and 12 of them are migratory birds. Herons, Asian open bill storks, Egrets, Red wattle lapwing, Sandpipers, Rose ringed parakeet, Black Drongo, Brown Shrike, Red-whiskered bulbul, Booted warbler, Sunbird and Greenish Warbler are some of the other species of birds found here.

The aviary constructed on the shore of the lake has a height of 20 m, length of 60 m and width of 40 m making it India's biggest walk-through aviary.The aviary was set up at a cost of Rs 3.8 million. It includes an artificial water fall and two small water bodies. Water from the Karanji lake is pumped inside the aviary in the form of a stream while the used water is discharged into the lake. It has about 40–50 birds of 17 species. Hornbills, peacocks, white-peacocks, turkeys and black swans are some of the birds found in this aviary.

Entrance Fee

Adults Rs.10.00
Children (5–15 years) Rs.05.00
Senior Citizen Rs.05.00
Children (Below 5 years) Free
Still Camera Rs.10.00
Video Camera Rs.25.00


Pedal Boat Rs.25.00 each
Row Boat Rs.25.00 each

Pedal Boat Rs.15.00 each
Row Boat Rs.15.00 each

Vehicles Parking

Bus Rs.50.00
Car Rs.10.00
Cycle Rs. 01.00
Motor Cycle Rs. 05.00
Cycle hire charges (for 1 hour) Rs. 05.00

* Tariff subject to change from time to time.

Timings - 8.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m
Weekly Holiday -Tuesday

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Shamirpet Lake

Shameerpet Lake in Hyderabad

Shamirpet lake is located near Hyderabad, India. This lake is a non-natural one, and was built during the Nizam reign.
The lake is situated 24km north of Secunderabad. The beautiful rocky landscape on its bank is a delight to the eyes. The sunset at the lake is very beautiful. The best time to visit this lake is during October to March.

Shamirpet lake attracts a lot of birds, consequently a destination for bird watchers too.Its distance from the city is an incentive for the weekend picnics. It offers a serene atmosphere. There is also a deer park run by the state government near the lake.

The state government of Andhra Pradesh has its guest house close to the lake. Apart from other private owned resorts.

Bylakuppe - Namdroling Tibetan Monastery

Bylakuppe is the location of "Lugsum Samdupling" (established in 1961) and "Dickyi Larsoe" (established in 1969), two adjacent Tibetan refugee settlements, in the west of Mysore district. The nearest town is Kushalnagar in Kodagu in the State of Karnataka.

Namdroling Monastery represents the fruit of the huge investment of time and energy made by Penor Rinpoche. Today, Namdroling Monastery in Byalakuppe is a thriving community and home to thousands of lamas, monks and nuns, making it the largest Nyingmapa teaching center in the world.

Those who have studied or are studying at the monastery include all the major lineage holding tulkus and lamas of the Palyul tradition, including the fifth Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, the third Choktrul Rinpoche and the third Rago Choktrul Rinpoche. Their spiritual training is directed and guided by Penor Rinpoche himself. Tulkus of other traditions have also studied at Namdroling, including the Sakyong (Mipham Rinpoche), Minling Dungsey, and Minling Khenchen Rinpoche.

Those wishing to visit the monastery must telephone the office at (91)8223-694-318 and attempt to make arrangements with a staff member.

Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery
Arlikumari, P.O. Bylakuppe pin 571104
Mysore District, Karnataka State
Tel: (91) 8223-254-318
Tel: (91) 8223-254-0383

Getting to Namdroling

* Fly into Bangalore, then take a public bus, passing through Mysore to, Kushalnagar, the town nearest Namdroling. Total trip time is five hours.
* No need to get off or change buses in Mysore. Make sure to get off at the correct stop as there is a stop at a small village called "Byalakupee" - which is not the correct stop. Instead continue on a little further to Kushalnagar, where there is a bus station and an Indian town with hotels.
* Once in Kushalnagar, take a ten- minute motor rickshaw to the "Fourth Camp Nyingma Monastery." Or, simply say "The Golden Temple." The trip should cost no more than 30 rupees.
* Many visitors take a taxi from the airport to the monastery (6 hours). You should inform the driver that you are going to Kushalnagar, to the Golden Temple. Fare should be approximately 3600 - 4300 rupees.
* It is also possible to take a train from Bangalore to Mysore , then a government bus from Mysore to Kushalnagar.

Accommodations, Introduction

* Accommodations are available on the monastery premises or just by the front gate at the Paljor Dhargey Ling Guest House. Most guests stay at the Paljor Dhargey Ling Guesthouse.
* Please be forewarned that it is possible that arrangements cannot be made in advance, depending on circumstances. Visitors are advised to keep a contingency plan for accommodations including plans to stay in one of the hotels in Kushalnagar until other plans can be confirmed.
* Be prepared as it may not be possible to attend to all visitor needs. Visitors need to be prepared to be completely independent.

Information Courtesy: Palyul Buddhist Website -

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lonar Meteroritic Crater near Aurangabad

Lonar Crater near Aurangabad

170 kms from Aurangabad, is the village of Lonar. Over 30,000 years ago, a falling meteorite struck the area creating the world's largest impact crater in basaltic rock. Botanists have recently discovered vegetation life forms not found anywhere else on this planet, in the stunning lake of the crater.

Getting there:
There are a few state transport buses that ply between Aurangabad and Lonar, however the best way to go is by private car or taxi.

Air Nearest airport is Aurangabad, 122 kms.
Rail Nearest railhead is Malkapur on the Mumbai-Bhusawal line.

Road Mumbai-Aurangabad-jalan-Lonar, 600 kms. Lonar-Buldhana, 95 kms. Lonar-Mehakar Taluka, 23kms. Lonar-Aurangabad, 145 kms.

Where To Stay
MTDC Holiday Resort comprises self-contained rooms and dormitory with a restaurant.

Bibi Ka Maqbara

Bibi Ka Maqbara, in Aurangabad, was built by Prince Azam Shah, son of Emperor Aurangzeb, in the late 17th century as a loving tribute to his mother, Dilras Bano Begam. The monument's name translates literally to 'Tomb of the Lady', but has earned the nickname 'poor man’s Taj' because of its resembalance to the Taj Mahal.

How to reach:

Aurangabad is well connected to Mumbai and other cities.There are two trains that depart daily from Mumbai. The Tapovan Express leaves Mumbai early morning arriving in Aurangabad by late afternoon, while the Devgiri Express is an overnight train.

Daily city tour buses take you to Bibi ka Maqbara.

Aurangabad MTDC
Holiday Resort, Station Road,
Aurangabad-431 001.
Tel: 0240 2331513 Fax: 331198

Monday, June 2, 2008

Shri Siddheshwar Temple in Solapur

Among the many interesting architectural aspects of Solapur, what attracts the visitor to the city more is the temple of Shri Siddheshwar in the lake with a garden and coconut trees and a fort at the west presenting a picturesque background. The Siddheshwar lake occupies an area of five acres and is about 20 feet deep. It is surrounded by a narrow path. To make an approach to the water of the lake easier, ghats or flights of steps have been constructed. The most well-known ghats are Hatti, Pakhali and Dhobi.

The temple which is surrounded by the lake waters has two parts. One at the west, viz., the courtyard contains garden, shrines of devotees, and the samadhi of the saint Shri Siddheshwar with a cloister and the other, at the east, comprises the shrine of the saint, an antechamber, a sabhamandap, etc., without a cloister. The courtyard which has a cloister is encircled by a road about 18 feet to 20 feet broad. The road is however cut off for a short distance at the north. The inner side of the road touches the backwall of the cloister while the outer side of the road has a continuous flight of steps leading down to the water of the lake. Three gates are provided in the cloister for reaching the inner side of the courtyard from the road. The main gate faces the west and has a stone platform towards its west known as Amritling ghat. The stone platform admeasures 20' X 20' and is surrounded by lake water at its north, south and west. It contains two square stone altars each, one having two lingas without a shrine and another containing four lingas without a shrine and at the centre, there is the shrine of Amritlinga. The other gate of the cloister is called dakshin darwaja. To the south of this gate there is an island semi-circular in shape. The third gate of the cloister called uttar darwaja opens into a well.

The cloister is constructed in stone and lime and is said to have been built during 1836 to 1917 A.D. by many devotees. The courtyard is divided by a narrow path which leads from the main gate of the cloister to the temple of saint Shri Siddheshwar. The southern part has no garden but has a linga on an altar without a shrine near the cloister. Just near this linga there is a shrine with plain stones containing the samadhi of Billesh Bammayya. In the centre of this portion of the courtyard and near the path there is a samadhi of Shri Siddheshwar. This is the place where the great saint immolated himself. This samadhi is at the south-east of the temple and is fenced by wire and bushes. A quadrangular stone platform admeasuring 15' X 15' is constructed 3 feet above the ground. Another stone platform of 12' X 12' X 2' is constructed on this platform. On the surface of this platform there is a raised platform containing two lingas called " Yoginath". The raised platform admeasures 8' X 8' X 4'. Arrangement is made for pouring water continuously on the lingas from a pot kept hanging from an iron bar.

The other part of the courtyard has a well-planned garden with alleys. In the centre of the garden there is a shrine of saint Nalavatvad. To the south-east of this shrine near the cloister, there is the shrine of god Vithoba and goddess Rukhmini.

The main temple which faces the east can be approached by a path from the western gate of the cloister or by this road around the cloister. The main temple comprises a sabhagriha, the pharashi mandap, the ante-chamber and the shrine.

The sabhagriha is surrounded on three sides, viz., the south, east and north by a path 10 feet wide. This path is fenced with iron bars about ten feet high with iron arches with arrangements for decorations with lights and lamps. Four steps from the path lead down to the holy water of the lake.

The sabhagriha is divided into equal parts with four east-west rows each having nine iron pillars. The hall admeasures 80' X 100' X 25' and is floored with plain stones. The hall without walls is shaded with conical tin sheds resting on horizontal iron plates fixed on pillars.

The pharashi mandap, a hall admeasuring 30' X 20' X 25' is built by the devotees during 1900 to 1910. A brass-plated wooden beam separates the pharashi mandap and the ante-chamber. The lower portion of the beam is occupied by brass latticed plates with brass bars. The ante-chamber is known as nandicha gabhara and in it stands the silver-plated image of the sacred bull, the favourite conveyance of god Mahadeo, facing the west.

The back wall of the ante-chamber has only one gate which opens into the shrine. The shrine has an area of 15' X 15' with a stone roof in cut corner style. The entire construction is of stone. In the centre of the back wall there is a niche. It is the place where the saint Siddheshwar used to meditate. The entire niche is plated with silver as is the seat or sinhasan of the deity. On both the sides of the niche there are pillars plated with silver and a spiked arch rests on the pillars. The upper portion of the pillars and the arch are decorated with leaves and the entire decoration is plated with silver. The back portion of the niche has silver plating with floral designs. A five-headed cobra made of silver is in the centre.

On the shrine is a spire. It has four tiers with niches having images of gods and goddesses. It has also a dome surmounted by a gold-plated pinnacle. It is said that the shrine was built 600 to 700 years back by the Habbus who were disciples of saint Siddheshwar.

The objects of worship in the shrine are the gadi of the saint and the saint's mask mounted on it in the niche in the back wall. The niche which is 3 feet above ground is converted into a sinhasan by two pillars on either side with an arch resting on them. In the centre of the niche there is a square platform made of black stone admeasuring 1' X 1' X 4½' to hold the mask with an image of five-hooded cobra with silver cover. This platform is called the gadi or the seat of the saint. The silver cover on the gadi has a silver cylinder fixed in its centre to hold the mask with an image of five-hooded cobra of silver shading it. Both the mask and the cobra image are gold-plated. A gold-coated silver crown with a diamond in the centre and fish-shaped ear-rings on either side is put on the head of the mask.

The deity is worshipped thrice a day at about 8-00 a.m., 4-00 p.m. and 8-00 p.m. The gadi is worshipped after removing the silver cover. It is cleaned with water. Five nectars are then poured on it to the accompaniment of mantras or holy verses. The gadi is then rubbed with lemon and sugar. It is then cleaned with water and scented oil, and argaja is applied to it. It is then washed with hot water. A sandalwood paste is then applied to the gadi and offering of flowers and bel leaves are made to it. Incense sticks are waved and cooked meals are offered. The last item of the puja is waving of lights. The puja is performed by the priests who are Habbus. The abhishek or the pouring of five nectars is performed during the morning and evening pujas. Naivedya is offered thrice a day. During the fair and on every Monday in the month of Shravana, the afternoon puja is not performed. After the puja is over the mask and the cobra are put on the cover. Sandalwood paste and vibhuti are applied to the mask and flowers and garlands are offered. Silver foot-prints are kept in front of the mask and a gold-coated silver umbrella is put on the heads of the cobra. Extremely valuable mukut or crown with diamonds adorns the divine head of the mask on festival occasions. A necklace of rudraksha beads partly covered with gold and with golden chain is put on ceremonial days. On every Monday, the favourite day of the saint, the deity is worshipped thrice a day with shodashopachar worship. Before the worship of the deity, the samadhi in the courtyard is worshipped. This worship includes pouring of water (abhishek), offering of bel leaves, chanting of mantras for 108 times, offering of food and waving of camphor arati.

The priests of the deity belong to the Veershaiv Lingayat caste. There are eight households of these priests which change their turn on every Tuesday after the morning puja.

It is believed that the inhabitants of this city became prosperous since the birth of the saint Siddheshwar. It is also said that the deity is capable of bestowing blessings on the devotees. The pilgrims, therefore, make promises for getting a child or removal of body pain, gaining prosperity in business, etc. On the fulfilment of their vows they offer pujas, etc. For getting a child they make a vow to remove the first hair of the child in the premises of the temple. Some pilgrims cover the distance between their houses and the temple by falling prostrate on the ground. Some pilgrims offer a pan-puja wherein the deity is decorated with betel leaves. Some offer garlands of dried coconuts or flowers. Another offering is of seven cereals. The mixture of seven cereals measuring eleven seers is kept on the gadi in the shape of a linga. A bunch of flowers or copra or lemon is offered to the mask. Some pilgrims perform the worship with the rudra, laghu rudra, maha rudra, etc.

The fair is celebrated from 12th to 16th January. The principal day of the fair is 14th January on which day the saint had allowed one of his female devotees to marry his mace (yogdand). One Ganga-bai of Kumbhar caste desired to marry the saint who would not allow it. He, however, allowed her to marry his yogdand (mace), which she did and committed suicide afterwards by burning herself. The fair commemorates the marriage ceremony and devotion of the girl.

Due to great attraction of the fair and the faith in the deity, people from far and near flock to the place. Nearly one and a half lakh of people visit the place during the fair. The largest number of pilgrims, i.e., about fifty thousand, attend on 14th January.

Lodging arrangement of the pilgrims is made in the arcade surrounding the courtyard. The pilgrims also use the cloister for lodging purposes. The city has many lodging and boarding houses and dharmashalas. Unlike many holy places, there are no professional upadhyayas or pandyas or hosts to make arrangements for the pilgrims. Some pujaris, however, make arrangements for accommodation of the pilgrims who come from Bijapur, Hubli, Dharwar, Bangalore, Mysore and also from the district itself. Large number of pilgrims come from southern India. Besides the pilgrims of Lingayat caste, the fair is also attended by pilgrims belonging to other castes amongst Hindus.

Information Courtesy -