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Posts Tagged ‘common hoopoe’

I have really been sweating this summer, more so at work. Still, I did manage to attend NTP on the last weekend of March. Three weeks later, made a trip to a village near Hassan for a wedding. Wedding trip turned out to be a great one, for birding and visiting historical monuments.

Anyone driving to Nelamangala from Bangalore would know the pain to drive on the under construction, rather under expansion road. It took about one and half hours get going past Nelamangala.

Route: Bangalore –> Nelamangala –> Kunigal -> Adichunchanagiri–>  Channarayapatna –> Hassan

Distance: 185km

A deviation on the Hassan – Sakaleshpur highway got us into the village roads. As we drove down a pond near to the village, i sighted a couple of Pied Kingfishers, and a Paradise Flycatcher. Told myself to come back to the place later some time.

common-kingfisher

Spend about half an hour the next day biding on an alley, along one side of which is a lake and a arecanut plantation on the other side. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of birds i could readily see around that place. There were plenty of Purple Moorhens, and Common Coots. Pied Kingfishers flew from one end of the lake to another as they saw us walking. The day was cloudy, and the birds were at a distance. Couldn’t manage to get a decent shot of any bird.

bethala-temple-dodda-gaddavalli

Lakshmi temple at Dodda Gaddavalli is not a very well known one, but i learned that it is the first Hoysala temple. Having visited Belur and Somnathpur earlier, i wanted to have a look at this Hoysala temple too. Hoysala temples are known for their intricate stone carvings. Hoysala craftsmen made this temple as a practice prior to the ones constructed at Belur and Halebidu.

The temple is also the only Bethala temple in the world. Bethala is a deamon, guarding the MahaKali, a Hindu goddess, who shares the temple with Lakshmi.

Bethala, the deamon standing guard to Maha Kali

Bethala, the deamon standing guard to Maha Kali


Indra on white elephant with wife suchi devi

The ceiling of the temple has carvings of 8 Hindu deities, one each in 8 directions of North, South, East, West, North East, South East, South West and North West.

The image on left shows Indra, in one of the directions, on his vahana (vehicle), a white Elephant, along with his wife Suchidevi.

vastu-purushaThe image on the right shows Vastu purusha, the god of Vaastu Shastra. Vastu Purusha does not have a vahana. He uses his own body, which is very evident from the beautifully carved structure.

The rocky temple proved to be an excellent habitat for Rock Agamas. I could readily see brightly colored males, basking in the sun. I managed to get close to one of them for a good shot. Click on the image for a larger and sharper view.

rock-agama-breeding-male

I saw a Common Hoopoe on the fence of the temple. I had missed it a couple of times, and was waiting patiently for it to come back. It came back with a meal!

common-hoopoe

This was a great trip on many fronts. Here’s the list of birds sighted:

  • White-Breasted Water hen
  • Purple Moorhen
  • Small Blue Kingfisher
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Brahminy Starling
  • Common Myna
  • Jungle Myna
  • House Sparrow
  • Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  • Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher
  • Little Cormorant
  • Great Cormorant
  • Common Coot
  • Vernal Hanging Parrot
  • Rose Ringed Parakeet
  • Blue Rock Pigeon
  • Red Whiskered Bulbul
  • Brahminy Kite
  • Black Kite
  • House Crow
  • Jungle Crow
  • Common Hoopoe
  • Great Grey Shrike
  • Indian Pond Heron
  • Grey Heron
  • Little Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Pied Bushchat
  • Greater Coucal
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