Saturday, December 20, 2014

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania, Australia

Executive summary by darmansjah

The wattle has been golden since July and now is being joined by splashes of white and yellow from the spring blossoms. The days are getting longer making for relaxing evening strolls along the beach.

The sunsets are golden. The weather is fine. There is lots to do.  Take the cruise around the Peninsula. Have a leisurely walk in Freycinet National Park. Kayak around the Bay. Go bush on a quad bike. See Wineglass Bay from the air.

Come and relax in one of the world's beauty spots.

The Freycinet Experience

Mention Coles Bay, Wineglass Bay, and Freycinet National Park to a Tasmanian and you'll see eyes light up with thoughts of fishing and boating, bushwalking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, sun and sand, and spectacular coastal scenery.

Where else in Australia can you find pink granite mountains rising straight from the sea to form a magnificent sheltered waterway or one of the top ten beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay?

Coles Bay, Tasmania sits at the foot of the granite mountains known as the Hazards and on the edge of the world-renowned Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay, about two and 1/2 hours drive from Hobart and Launceston on the east coast of Tasmania.

Facilities in Coles Bay or on the Freycinet range from luxury accommodation and gourmet restaurants to wilderness camping and self-catering. Freycinet National Park is home to the only interpretation centre on the east coast of Tasmania. 

Coles Bay, Tasmania: Australia's First Plastic Bag Free Town. In April we celebrated the 10th anniversary of becoming Australia's first plastic shopping bag free town.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Norway Alesund Birdseye of City

Executive summary by darmansjah

Ålesund  is a town and municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Sunnmøre, and the center of the Ålesund Region. It is a sea port, and is noted for its unique concentration of Art Nouveau architecture.

The town of Ålesund is the administrative centre of Ålesund Municipality, as well as the principal shipping town of the Sunnmøre district. Ålesund Municipality has a population of 45,033 as of 2013, while the greater Ålesund urban area has a population of 48,460 (this also includes most of neighboring Sula Municipality as well).

From Øye at the head of Hjørundfjorden, a road strikes south to the Nordfjorden, and from Maråk on Geirangerfjorden another strikes inland to Otta. The railway line Raumabanen starts at Åndalsnes, 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Ålesund, going to Dombås, then southwards on the Dovrebanen railway to Lillehammer and Oslo. Ålesund is a port of call for passenger and freight vessels travelling between Bergen, Kingston upon Hull, Newcastle, Hamburg, and Trondheim, including the Hurtigruta (Norwegian Coastal Express) cruise ships, which arrive in Ålesund twice a day.

The town's airport, Ålesund Airport, Vigra, has several daily flights to/from Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Copenhagen. It also has several weekly flights to/from Riga (Riga International Airport) (AirBaltic) and London (London Gatwick Airport). In November 2012 KLM announced it would fly to Ålesund 5 days a week from Amsterdam starting in April 2013.

Lately, there have been suggestions of a high speed rail link to Oslo as well as metro-style local services to meet the needs of the expanding population of the town.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chittorgarh, India

Executive summary by darmansjah

Chitaurgarh  is a city and a municipality in Rajasthan state of western India. It lies on the Berach River, a tributary of the Banas, and is the administrative headquarters of Chittorgharh District and a former capital of the Sisodia Dynasty of Mewar. The city of Chittaurgarh is located on the banks of river Gambhiri and Berach. The district was bifurcated and a new district namely Pratap Garh was created with certain portion taken from Udaipur district in the newly created district of Pratap Garh.

Fiercely independent, the fort of Chittor was under siege thrice and each time they fought bravely and thrice Jauhar was committed by the ladies and children, first led by Rani Padmini, and later by Rani Karnavati. The famous warriors Gora and Badal, in the war against Allaudin Khalji (1303 AD), have become legendary. The sacrifice of Jaimal and Phata in the war against the Mughals (1568 AD) was so great that the Mughal Emperor Akbar installed their statues in the fort of Agra. It has also been land of worship for Meera. Chittorgarh is home to the Chittorgarh Fort, the largest fort in India.

Transport

The completed Golden Quadrilateral highway system will pass through Chittorgarh, connecting it to much of the rest of India. Also crossing the East West Corridor (Express Highway). The Chittorgarh is situated at National Highway No. 76 & 79, both the Highways are crossing at Chittorgarh. National Highway 76 connects to Kota within 2 hours. It is well connected by rail with Jaipur via Bhilwara and Ajmer, Kota via Bundi, Jodhpur via Ajmer, Indore Junction BG, Bhopal, Indore Mhow, Ujjain, Ratlam, Nagda Junction, Ajmer and Fatehabad by many Broad gauge trains. The city is also connected to Udaipur City via Mavli Jn. Thus, Chittaur Garh is a major rail head of south Rajasthan. Some weekly trains to Hyderabad and Kolkata are passing through this station. The town still lacks connectivity to Bikaner, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur and Nagpur, so in order to catch trains for further destinations one has to reach Kota, Ratlam or Ajmer.


Places of Interest :

Chittorgarh Fort

The Chittorgarh Fort seated on a 180 metre hill, covers an expanse of 700 acres (2.8 km2). It was constructed by the Mauryans in the 7th century AD. There is also a belief that it was constructed by Bhima of the Pancha Pandavas. This fort was the citadel of many great Indian warriors such as Gora, Badal,Rana Kumbha, Maharana Pratap, Jaimal, Patta, etc.

Kalika Mata Temple

Kalika Mata Temple was originally built in the 8th century for Sun God and was later converted to a temple for mother Goddess, Kali in the 14th century.During the festival days of Navaratri, fairs are organised and pilgrims from different places come here to pay obeisance at the temple.

Vijay Stambh

Vijay Stambha, is a huge nine storey tower which was built by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440. The tower is 122 ft (37 m) high and stands on a 10 ft (3.0 m) high base. There are sculptures and carvings on the exterior walls of the tower. The tower is visible from any section of the town below. And for reaching tower top one have to climb 157 steps, one can take great view of the surroundings. The inside walls of the tower are carved with images of Gods, weapons, etc.

Kirti Stambh

Kirti Stambh is tower is dedicated to Rishabha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism. It was built by a merchant and is decorated with figures form the Jain pantheon.It is a seven storied pillar which was build by Biherwal Mahajan Sanaya of Digambar Jain sect during 12th century AD. On its four corners are engraved idols of Shri Adinathji in Digambar style which each are five feet (about 1.5meters) high and elsewhere are engraved several small idols consecrated to Jain lineage of deities.

Rana Kumbha's Palace

Rana Kumbha's Palace is near the Vijay Stambh. This is the birthplace of Maharana Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur. His life was saved by the heroic act of the maid Panna Dhay, who replaced her son in place of the prince, with the result that her son was killed by Banbir. She carried the prince away to safety in a fruit basket. Rani Meera Bai also lived in this palace. This is the place where Rani Padmini committed jauhar with the other ladies in one of the underground cellars.

Rani Padmini's Palace

Rani Padmini's Palace is from which Alauddin Khilji (one of the rulers of Khilji dynasty during the sultanate rule over India) was allowed to watch a reflection of the Rani by replacing the mirror at such an angle that even if he turned back he could not see the room. Khilji had been warned by the Rani's husband Rawal Ratan Singh that if he turned back they would cut his neck.

Samadhisvara Temple

Dedicated to Lord Siva, the temple was built by Bhoja Pamaror powar one of Banjara group in early 11th century AD. Later on Mokal renovated it in AD 1428. The temple consists of garbhagriha, an antarala and a gudha-mandapa with mukhmandapa (entrance porch) on all the three faces, i.e., northern, western and southern sides. A colossal image of three faced Shiva is enshrined in the sanctum.

Kumbhaswamin Temple

Originally dedicated to Varaha (boar incarnation of Vishnu) the temple was built in 8th century AD and largely renovated by Maharana Kumbha (AD 1433-68). It is built on a raised plinth and consists of a garbhagriha, an antarala, a mandapa, an ardhamandapa and an open pradakshinapath. An image of Varaha is shown in the principal niche on the back of the shrine. In front of the temple is an image of Garuda under a canopy. On the north, there is a small shrine known as Meera Mandir.

Ratan Singh Palace

Located along the Ratneshwar pond, this palace is attributed to Rana Ratan Singh II (AD 1528-31). It is rectangular on plan and comprises a courtyard surrounded by rooms and a pavilion with balcony on the eastern part of the second storey.

Fateh Prakash Palace

This magnificent double storeyed palace was built by Maharaja Fateh Singh (AD 1884-1930). It is an edifice with a tower on each of its four corners crowned by domed chhattries. This palace is a grand specimen of modern Indian architecture and at present houses a museum.

Other havelis of relatively lesser significance include those of Alha Kabra, Fatta and Jaimal, Khatan-ka-Mahal and Purohitji-ki-haveli.