4 DAYS & 4 DYNASTIES

A road trip to North Karnataka

Karnataka has witnessed many powerful dynasties and they have left incredible legacies; we decided to explore few of them and headed to north from Bangalore.

Day 1

We started our road trip from Bengaluru at 5:00 am and reached to our first destination Chitradurga at 8:00 am, which is 200 km from Bangalore on NH-4.  After finishing our breakfast at “Lakshmi Tiffin Room”, we started to explore the fort.

This fort is also known as “Kallina Kote” (Stone Fortress) or “Yelusuttina Kote” (Seven Circles Fort). This fort was built in stages by dynastic rulers of the region, including the Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas and Hoysalas as well as the Nayakas of Chitradurga. We were thrilled to see the Onake Obavvana’s kindi inside the fort, Onake Obavva was a brave women who single handedly crushed the army of Hyder Ali. we were also lucky to watch the stunts of Jyothi Raj aka “Kothi Raju” who is famous for scaling the Chitradurga Fort without safety harnesses. After exploring this magnificent fort, at 11:30 am we headed to Hospet which is 130 km away.

We reached Hospet at 3:00 pm, checked in to Hotel Swati and had our lunch there. After relaxing for a while, we visited Tungabhadra dam.

Day 2

Morning after having breakfast, we reached Hampi, located on the banks of Tungabhadra river, a former capital of the Vijayanagara and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The splendid remains of the magnificent palaces, gateways and creativity of architects silently narrate the story of the prosperous kingdom of the 14th century.


We started with visiting Sasivekalu Ganesha temple, then visited Virupaksha Temple, Kadalekalu Ganesha, Krishna Bazar, famous Lakshmi Narasimha Statue and Zenana Enclosure. Zenana Enclosure was a fortified and secluded area reserved for the royal ladies of the Vijayanagara Empire. Lotus Mahal situated here is a most beautiful structure designed in the shape of a lotus bud and one of the very few structures that have been left undamaged by the Mughal attackers. Apart from this, there were many beautiful structures such as watch tower, Elephant Stable, Treasury Building within this enclosure.  There is small structure, one could notice on top of a small hill nearby; according to locals, and this was constructed by famous jester poet Tenali Ramakrishna to ridicule one of the thought of then king Krishnadevaraya.


We had our lunch in one of the Khanavali nearby and continued our discovery of Hampi. We visited Hazara Rama Temple where entire Ramayana was carved on the temple wall. Then we visited Queen’s bath place and Mahanavami Dibba. Mahanavami Dibba, the grand platform was used as a stage by the kings to watch the celebration of the Navaratri festival. After the fall of Vijayanagara Empire, Dasara festival was moved to Mysore and continued by Wodeyars of Mysore. From there we headed to last our destination in Hampi, famous Vijayavittala temple. World famous stone chariot and musical pillars are in this temple.

 

Day 3

Entire Day 3 was dedicated to exploring Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal built by Chalukya dynasty. We started from Hospet at 6:30 am towards Aihole, which is around 130 km away. Had our breakfast on the way near Kushtagi and reached Aihole at 9:30 am.

Aihoḷe has been described as a cradle of temple architecture. Locals say, Aihole was the University of temple architecture and many of the structures in this temple complex are experimental structures erected by students of this University. There were few cave temples as well and even these were erected by students by cutting the huge rocks as part of their curriculum.

From there we drove 13 km and reached Pattadakal. After reaching, first we had Jolada (jowar) rotti oota in a nearby Khanavali. Pattadakal temple complex is also a UNESCO inscribed World Heritage site having both Hindu and Jain temples. As it was considered a holy place by Badami Chalukya kings, they were crowned here.


Again we drove another 20 km to reach Badami, also known as Vatapi and is famous for Cave temples. 4 major cave temples of Badami are carved on escarpment of the soft Badami sandstone hill and they too devoted to both Hindu gods and Jain Tirthankaras. The famous Carnatic music Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje composed by Muthuswami Dikshitar was inspired by the idol brought from Badami by Pallava kings to Thanjavur. Another place to visit in Badami is Banashankari Temple, locals say a strong devotee from Bangalore who found it difficult to visit Badami Banashankari temple every year, brought an idol of Devi Banashankari to Bangalore and installed in Bangalore.

Out of three sites, Pattadakal was most beautiful and complete. After witnessing great architecture of Chalukya dynasty we headed to Bijapur or Vijayapura to discover the Adil Shahi dynasty. We started 5:00 pm from Badami, drove 125 km and reached Bijapura at 8:00 pm.

Day 4


In the morning we visited Gol Gumbaz, a tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah, Sultan of Bijapur. Visited this site with least expectation as it would be like any other tomb I have visited so far, but architecture amazed me to the core. This mausoleum was constructed by Mohammed Adil Shah initially as a place of amusements through dance, music and latter to be converted as his tomb. Inside the building near the grave I uttered “Hoo” in a loud voice and I could hear it resonated around 7 times!! Yes, 7 times. Then we stepped up to the chamber of the doom and this is also called as “Whispering Gallery” where even the softest sound can be heard on the other side of the mausoleum due to the acoustics of the space. Local here narrated the story where once King wanted to test his closest dancer’s love towards him and whispered if she could sacrifice her life for him. The dancer who was other side of the chamber without even thinking twice jumped from the whispering alley through seven floors and hit the ground. Her grave is now next Mohammed Adil Shah’s. Go to this place early morning to avoid crowd to experience the echoes and whispers very clearly.


Then we visited Bara Kaman and beautiful Ibrahim Rouza. After lunch at 2:00 pm in Kamath Restaurant, we concluded our trip and started back to Bangalore. This was a long and non-stop 10hour drive to cover 550 km, reached Bangalore in the mid-night and my car trip meter was showing 1356 km.

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C# 6.0 – Elvis operator and other improvements

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Microsoft has released yet another version of .Net framework (4.6) and C# (6.0). In this post I am highlighting few improvements released as part of C# 6.0 which will largely benefit day to day development activities of a C# developer.

Elvis operator or formally called null conditional operator (?.) makes the null check simple. In a highly hierarchical object structure this operator reduces the length of code required to check for null and proceed further.

public class Sale
{
public Order orderItem { get; set; } = new Order();
}
public class Order
{
public int orderId { get; } = 101;
}

To read the value of orderId from main() class, null checks are required on objects of two of its hierarchical structure.

Sale sale = new Sale();

if(sale != null && sale.orderItem !=null && sale.orderItem.orderId > 0)
Console.WriteLine(string.Format("In older C#, value is {0}", sale.orderItem.orderId));

if (sale?.orderItem?.orderId >0)
Console.WriteLine($"In 6.0 C#, value is {sale.orderItem.orderId}");

Elvis operator makes this simple by evaluating the above expression left to right. The expression sale?.orderItem?.orderId >0 evaluates to orderItem if the left operand sale is non-null; otherwise, it evaluates to null.

In the above class definition, you will observe the way I have initialized the properties. I have directly initialized orderItem next to the property definition and it’s called auto-property initializer. Also you will notice orderItem has only get and no setter, this feature is called get-only auto property.

Also in the above code block you will notice, first I used string.Format to format the string and latter a special and simplified template to do the same. This is again a new feature in C# 6.0 called Interpolated Strings. An interpolated string expression creates a string by replacing the contained expressions with the ToString representations of the expressions’ results.

Bdotnet – Visual Studio 2013 Community Launch

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This Saturday (14-December-2013) I was privileged to attend my 1st Bdotnet event in Microsoft office Bangalore. I had started exploring VS 2013 from the RT build and every time it gave me new stuffs to rejoice. So was I exited to hear more from experts on various new features, tips and tricks.

First session was by Tejasvi Kumar who made official community launch of Visual Studio 2013. He introduced few exiting features of VS 2013, including Visual Studio Online and CodeLenses. Just before this session, filler by Lohith was awesome. I would love to be part of such discussion. Many a times we try to discover new stuffs, advanced stuffs but start to forget basics. Lohith touched basics of web request response.

Later session was by Vic Parmar, who took us through new features introduced in VS 2013. One of the feature was Synchronized settings with which one can take his settings across devices. Those settings include, user preferences such as chosen color schema, text editor settings etc. I would expect much more from this sync settings such as synching of extensions and add-ons added. So that once you setup your environment, wherever you go and login to VS, sync will bring those settings to you and you will get homely feeling.

Next sessions were by Rajasekharan Vengalil and Karthikeyan Anbarasn on developing cloud based applications and Windows Azure applications. Since I had to rush for some other appointment, I could not attend rest of the sessions, but I am sure, I missed the session by Lohit on MONACO.

Overall the event was well organized. Thanks to the entire BDotnet team.

Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

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As Windows 8 and 8.1 are catching up, old Windows users are missing their favorite Start button. Also Windows 8 has introduced lot many new features to improve the usability and productivity. For example there is a charms to search, access settings etc. Instead of depending on mouse for calling all these functions, it would be good if we know the keyboard shortcuts. Here is the excel sheet which has most popular Windows shortcuts.

Download Windows 8 Shortcuts

Source: Yash’s Blog

Visual Studio Online

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Wow!! This the word I exclaimed when I first saw Visual Studio Online. This is combination of collaboration, planning, version control tools and over cloud. Exciting??!!   Actually this is not something new, Microsoft has renamed their existing Team Foundation Service as Visual Studio One.

As soon as I installed Visual Studio 2013, it asked me to create http://___.visualstudio.com profile. That’s it!!! I am now ready with all above said combination of tools to start.

VSO1

You can choose among TFS and Git as your version control system and this gets integrated with your Visual Studio IDE. So as you create the project, you can start collaborating with your team members. Also there are various out of box agile/scrum templates to manage your epic, stories and iterations. In addition to these, VSO (Visual Studio Online) has quality related tools integrated. You can do code reviews, build, test plans, test case execution etc.

Advanced VSO even provide lighter version of Visual Studio to edit code, automated builds, load tests, etc. With Visual Studio Online, Microsoft is offering broad range of tools and services that support the different kinds of development code named “Monaco” specifically designed for building and maintaining Windows Azure Websites.