Mallikarjuna & Rameshwara temple: Nadakalsi, Sagar Thaluk, Shimoga District, Karnataka

Nadakalsi is a remote village around 10 kms from Sagar on Soraba-Uulavi Road. The temple here is much old, built during 1218 during Hoysala King II Ballal period. This is one of those forgotten monuments which was never listed until Archeological Survey of India documented its existence.

The Mallikarjuna temple is a great example of Hoysala architecture and is said to be constructed by father and son sculptors, Jankana and Dakkana. They are constructed using the stone called `Somanatha Shile’, which was found abundantly around the village itself. Both the temples have been built on star-shaped plinth and the roofs are also of star-shape. Each temple has a sanctum and a Navaranga with vast pillared-hall. The pillars are beautiful and typically resemble other Hoysala temples












Rameshwara temple is just next to the Mallikarjuna temple and has only one entrance. The walls on either side of the main entrance have been carved with statues related to Vatsayana Kamasutra. It has a magnificent Gopuram over Garbhagudi, where we saw the beautiful Hoysala emblem and a fine statue of Bhuvaneshwari.

The temple stands out like a marvel against the backdrop of an ordinary village. The surrounding rural countryside is tranquil with lush fields, quiet lakes and no traffic. Beyond this, our interest was at best as we wandered around the temple trying to appreciate whatever we could see.
Take a look at these amazing sculpture:
Source of information: by Pradeep P Damle.

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where is Shri krishnadevaraya tomb ?


Historians are still in a state of conflict over the grave of Vijayanagara emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya, who reigned from 1509 to 1530 as the third ruler of the Tuluva dynasty. There are no clear inscriptions about the emperor and his chief minister Thimmarasu’s graves, and only belief by the locals.


A tomb situated on Penukonda Hill in Anantapur district, summer capital of Vijayanagar empire, is believed to be that of Thimmarasu on Penukonda hill.



Amazing sculpture of Sri Krishnadevaraya in Hampi





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Artificial Ripening of Fruits – The right way

Climacteric fruits like mango, banana, papaya, sapota and custard apple are often harvested in a mature but unripe condition and then subsequently allowed to ripen by natural release of ripening hormone (ethylene) from the fruit. However, natural ripening in some fruits is a slow process, which leads to high weight loss, desiccation of fruits and uneven ripening. With the rapid development of fruit trade, artificial ripening has become essential and the methods practiced earlier by small traders are smoking and calcium carbide treatment.


Bad effects of calcium carbide

Fruits are still being commercially ripened with banned chemical like calcium carbide which after reaction with water vapour present in the surrounding atmosphere releases acetylene gas. Some traders ripen fruits like banana in enclosed chambers where large quantities of calcium carbide  is put and water sprinkled before sealing the chambers. Though the released acetylene triggers ripening process in fruits, it is an inflammable gas involving risk of fire hazards. Calcium carbide is also put in small packets in the fruit boxes and in some cases sprinkled onto the fruit surface. However, calcium carbide contains chemical impurities such as arsenic hydride and phosphorus hydride that are highly carcinogenic compounds. Improper use of calcium carbide can therefore cause chemical contamination of fresh produce. Further fruits ripened with calcium carbide though develop attractive surface colour, are inferior in taste, flavour and spoil faster.

Government of India has banned the use of calcium carbide for ripening of fruits under PFA Act 8-44 AA, 1954.

Alternatives to calcium carbide

Ethrel or ethaphon (2-chloroethane phosphonic acid) is a commercially available plant growth regulator, which is a source of ethylene similar to that naturally released by fruits during ripening process.  Although dipping of fruits in diluted ethrel solution is recommended for enhancing ripening, it is a cumbersome process and may cause some problems if commercially available ethrel contains chemical impurities. Further, Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) in its advise issued during May 2010 permits only the use of ethylene in gaseous form for artificial ripening of fruits. To overcome these problems ethylene gas is commercially used in modern ripening chambers which requires huge investment and is not economical for farmers or small traders. Catalytic reactors based ethylene generators are also available which produces ethylene gas using ethanol or methanol or ethrel.

An alternative simple method is standardized for enhancing the ripening process by exposing the fruits to ethylene gas released from ethrel/ethephon solution. This is a simple method wherein small quantity of alkali is added to ethrel to release the ethylene gas and the fruits are exposed to this liberated gas in air-tight portable plastic tents. In this method the fruits are placed in ventilated plastic crates inside air-tight plastic tents of known volume. Required/calculated quantity of ethrel is taken into a container and placed inside the tents to which required quantity of alkali (Sodium hydroxide) is added for releasing the ethylene gas from ethrel solution and the tents are sealed air tight immediately. A small battery operated fan can be placed inside the tent for uniform circulation of released ethylene gas. After 18-24 hours of exposure the fruits are taken out for completing the ripening process at room temperature or 18-24°C especially for Robusta banana. Using dessert coolers during ripening at room temperature would help to reduce the temperature and increase the relative humidity thereby reducing the weight loss.

Mango fruits exposed to 100 ppm ethylene gas for 24 hrs can be ripened in   5 days as compared to 10 days in non-treated fruits without adversely affecting the quality. Similarly banana bunches/hands exposed to 100 ppm ethylene gas for 18 hours  can be ripened in  4 days at RT and 6 days at 20°C. Papaya fruits exposed to ethylene gas ripened with uniform surface colour and uniform firmness in 4 days at ambient temperature. Therefore, use of ethylene is suggested as a safe alternative to calcium carbide for ripening of climacteric fruits.

Castle Rock is a village in the Uttara Kannada district of the Indian state of Karnataka. The village is located in the Western Ghats on the state’s border with Goa – at an elevation of 621 m (2,040 ft).


Located in a heavily forested area, Castle Rock’s vegetation is moist tropical deciduous. Manganese mines form the main economy of the region. The village lies within the Dandeli Tiger Reserve.


img_5591 For many years, the village marked the frontier between Portuguese-held Goa and British-held India. A metre gauge railway line used to connect the Goan towns of Vasco and Margao with the rest of India and was the only rail link in the state till the Konkan Railway started services in the early 1990s. In the early 1990s, the Indian Railways converted the metre gauge line to broad gauge, thus connecting the old rail network with the rest of India. Metre gauge tracks can still be seen at the Castle Rock railway station.




Indian Railway Reservation/booking status & it’s meaning

Indian Railway Reservation/booking

The advance booking for indian train ticket opens 120 days before the date of journey. Tickets can be booked both offline at Passenger Reservation System (PRS) or online using irctc website. Ticket booked online can be an e-ticket ( which is a print-out / sms) or an i-ticket wherein the PRS ticket is couriered to the passenger.

All the tickets issued have a unique 10-digit PNR (Passenger Name Record) which you should quote for any correspondence regarding your ticket / journey. The ticket also contains all the other journey details like train number, journey date, travel class, origin, destination, ticket status, berth details for confirmed tickets, passenger details etc. Maximum of six passengers can travel through one ticket. But just having a ticket does not guarantee that your journey is confirmed. It all depends on the ticket status. All the passengers in a ticket are assigned a ticket status which can be waiting (WL), RAC (a half berth), or confirmed (full berth). These are explained below in detail:

Waiting List (WL): If the passenger status is marked as WL followed by a number then the passenger has a waitlisted status. This can get confirm only if the passengers who have booked before you for the same journey cancel their ticket. For example if the status is GNWL 4 / WL 3 , then this means that you have a waiting list of 3 (the latter number) and your ticket will get confirmed only if 3 passengers who have booked before you for the same journey happen to cancel their journey. Similarly, GNWL/AVAILABLE means that current status of your ticket is CONFIRMED because some passengers who booked before you have cancelled their tickets. This status also gives some insight into the current ticket cancellation trends for this journey. For more on this, visit Trainman’s trend analysis. In case the passenger status is waitlisted even after the chart preparation, then the passenger is not allotted any berth. If all the passengers on an e-ticket have waitlisted status after final chart preparation, then the ticket gets automatically cancelled and the amount is refunded back to the user’s account. In this case, the passengers should NOT board the train. If at least one passenger has RAC or confirm status while other passengers on same ticket have waiting list status, then the e-ticket DOES NOT get cancelled automatically and the passengers are allowed to board the train. Waiting list can be of various types:

  • GNWL: General Waiting List (GNWL) waitlisted tickets are issued when the passenger begins his/her journey at the originating station of a route or stations close to the originating station. This is most common type of waiting list and has got the highest chances of confirmation.


  • RLWL: Remote Location Waiting List (RLWL) means ticket is issued for intermediate stations (between the originating and terminating stations) because usually these are the most important towns or cities on that particular route. This type of tickets will be given a separate priority and confirmations will depend on the cancellations of a destination confirmed ticket. Remote location stations prepare there own chart 2-3 hours before the actual departure of train. For this type of ticket there are less chances of confirmation.


  • PQWL: A Pooled Quota Waiting List (PQWL) is shared by several small stations. Pooled Quotas normally operate only from the originating station of a route, and there is only one Pooled Quota for the entire run. The Pooled Quota is generally allotted for passengers travelling from the originating station to a station short of the terminating station, or from an intermediate station to the terminating station, or between two intermediate stations.


  • RLGN: Remote Location General Waiting List (RLGN) is issued when a user books a ticket where WL quota is RLWL. This means after ticket booking RLWL gets named as RLGN.


  • RSWL: Roadside Station Waiting List (RSWL) is allotted when berths or seats are booked by the originating station for journeys up to the road-side station and distance restrictions may not apply. This waiting list has also very less chances of confirmation.


  • RQWL: If a ticket is to be booked from an intermediate station to another intermediate station, and if it is not covered by the general quota or by the remote location quotas or pooled quota, the request for the ticket may go into a Request Waiting List (RQWL).


  • CKWL or Tatkal waiting list: For tatkal tickets, the waiting list issued is CKWL. If tatkal ticket goes up, it directly gets confirmed and doesn’t go through RAC status unlike GNWL. During chart preparation, general waiting list (GNWL) is preferred over tatkal waiting list (CKWL) therefore tatkal waitlisted tickets are less likely to get confirmed. Follow these tatkal booking tips to get a confirmed tatkal ticket.

If you have booked a waiting ticket or you are deciding whether to book a ticket where current status is waiting, then check your chances of confirmation i.e. ticket will get confirmed or not.
Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC): If a user has been issued an RAC ticket, then most likely his ticket will get confirmed by the time of chart preparation and he will get a berth. In case the ticket remains RAC even after chart preparation (if the coach number is preceded by R i.e. RB1, 31 means RAC seat no 31 in coach B1), then user is allotted a half berth (seat) i.e. two persons having RAC ticket status are allotted one side-lower berth. The TTE is obligated to allot berths which are cancelled after chart preparation to these RAC passengers.

Confirmed (CNF): In this case the passenger gets a full berth for the journey. In case of first AC (1A), the passenger may not get berth details even for confirmed ticket when ticket is issued. This is because the berth allotment for this class is done manually by the TTE on chart preparation.


Renowned as ‘the Land of Aryans’, Dha and Hanu village are settlements of Drokpa or Brokpa community in Ladakh. The village is located about 163 km northwest of Leh at the confluence of rivers Shyok and Indus in Kargil region in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Brogpa are a small community of Dard people residing in the valley of indus at the border with pakistan, about 163 km southwest of Leh in Ladakh. They are thought by some to be the purest descendants of the ancient Indo-Europeans.[1][2]

Dha, hanu, garkon and darchiks are the only villages where they are found. Part of the community are also located in the Deosai plateau just across the LOC in the Baltistan. Like the people of Gilgit, they speak an archaic form of the Shina language unintelligible with other dialects of Shina. They are originally said to have come from Chilas and settled in the area generations ago. They are predominantly caucasoid in contrast to the Tibeto-Burman inhabitants of most of Ladakh. They are nominally Buddhist, however animist rituals still survive.

Minaro is an alternate ethnic name. ‘Brogpa’ is the name given by the Ladakhi for the people.

Aryan Dard Lady

The traditional Brogpa diet based on locally grown foods such as barley and hardy wheat prepared most often as tsampa/sattu (roasted flour). It takes in different ways. Other important foods include potatoes, radishes, turnips, and Gur-Gur Cha, a brewed tea made of black tea, butter and salt. Dairy and poultry sources are out of menu because of religious taboos. Brogpa takes three meals a day; Chin-nana (Breakfast); Beh (Lunch) and Ganzang (Dinner). Brogpa vary with respect to the amount of meat (mainly mutton) that they eat. Household’s economic position decides the consumption of meat. It is only during festivals and rituals all have greater access to mutton.

Brogpa economy has shifted from agropastoralism to wage labor, and the division of labor that relied on stratifications of age and gender is now obsolete. Brogpa transition to private property, monogamy, nuclear families, formal education, wage labor, and their incorporation into a highly militarized economy of soldiering and portering illuminates the complex workings of modernity in Ladakh.

According to popular belief, the Brokpas were part of the army of Alexander the Great and came to the region over two thousand years ago. The Brokpas reside in five villages; however, tourists are allowed only in two villages – Dha and Hanu. Besides tourists, the villages also attract anthropologists.

The custom of marrying within the community has ensured the Brokpas have retained their distinctive features. Brokpa have fair complexion and blue coloured eyes. The custom of marrying within the community has, however, limited the population of Brokpas. The community hardly numbers over 2000.

Drokpa or Brokpa community is racially and culturally distinct from the common Ladakhis. The community has a unique sense of dressing. The community especially women makes it a practice to wear flowers on their hats. The practice has earned them the sobriquet of flower women of Ladakh. The community also practices polyandry.

Unlike rest of Ladakh which is predominantly Buddhist, Brokpas are animist and follow the Bon religion. They consider Ibex as sacred animal. The Brokpa people have preserved their traditions and rituals over the ages.

The villages of the Brokpas are also famous for their scenic splendour. Unlike the spartan landscape of Ladakh, the Brokpa villages have more green cover. Temperature in the villages is also higher than in other parts of Ladakh which has also led to the thriving vegetation. Temperature during summer reaches up to 40 degree Celsius.

Isolated from the modern world, the community mainly thrives on horticulture. Apricot and apples are the main crops. Apricots, especially from Dha, are renowned for their sweetness. The apricot stones are used for producing oil.

Dah and Hanu don’t have hotels or guest houses. But many tourism companies do offer tented accommodation.

There are no restaurants in the village. It is advisable to carry your own food. You can buy snacks and other eatables from the small shops in the village. But if you want to stay longer than one day you would need to seek the help of locals.

During summer, it is quite hot in the villages as temperature rises to 40 degree Celsius. The best time to visit is between June to October.

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