What is Carding.
Carding (also known as credit card stuffing and card verification) is a web security threat in which attackers use multiple, parallel attempts to authorize stolen credit card credentials. Carding is performed by bots, software used to perform automated operations over the Internet. The objective of carding is to identify which card numbers or details can be used to perform purchases.
Besides the damage caused to card owners, a carding attack can negatively affect businesses whose websites are used to authorize stolen credit cards. Carding typically results in chargebacks – these are disputed transactions that result in a merchant reversing the transaction and refunding the purchaser’s money.
Chargebacks can happen for legitimate reasons (for example an erroneous purchase or a clerical error), but are very often the result of fraud techniques like carding. Every chargeback hurts a business’s reputation with credit card processors. Carding executed against a website can lead to poor merchant history and chargeback penalties.
Inside a Carding Forum
A carding forum or carding website is an illegal site used to share stolen credit card data, and discuss techniques for obtaining credit card data, validating it and using it for criminal activity.
These forums are used by individuals who want to use stolen card information to illicitly purchase goods, or by criminal groups who seek to purchase credit card details in bulk to sell them on the dark web.
Carding forums are often hidden using TOR routing, and payments made for stolen credit card data are performed using cryptocurrency to avoid tracking by the authorities. Forum users typically hide their identities.
Forums are a source of credit card data for carding, and can also be used to share the results of carding – for example to sell success credit cards to other criminals.
How a Carding Attack Works
A carding attack typically follows these steps:
- An attacker obtains a list of stolen credit card numbers, either from a criminal marketplace or by compromising a website or payment channel. Their quality is often unknown.
- The attacker deploys a bot to perform small purchases on multiple payment sites. Each attempt tests a card number against a merchant’s payment processes to identify valid card details.
- Credit card validation is attempted thousands of times until it yields validated credit card details.
- Successful card numbers are organized into a separate list and used for other criminal activity, or sold to organized crime rings.
- Carding fraud often goes undetected by the cardholder until it is too late when their funds are spent or transferred without their consent.
Attack Example: Carding Gift Cards
Hackers designed a malicious bot named GiftGhostBot to hack gift card balances. Nearly 1,000 eCommerce websites fell victim to this attack.
Criminals used this bot to enumerate through possible gift card account numbers, and automatically request the balance account of each card number. When a card balance was identified, instead of the usual error or zero, this meant the gift card number had real money associated with it. The crooks then used the validated gift card numbers to make purchases.
This is a card cracking or token cracking attack. For a cyber thief, the beauty of stealing money from gift cards is that it is typically anonymous and untraceable once stolen.
Detecting Card Fraud
Here are several pays payment websites can detect that carding bots are accessing their sites or other fraud techniques may be taking place:
- Unnaturally high shopping cart abandonment rates
- Low average shopping cart size
- An unnaturally high proportion of failed payment authorizations
- Disproportionate use of the payment step in the shopping cart
- Increased chargebacks
- Multiple failed payment authorizations from the same user, IP address, user agent, session, device ID or fingerprint
How to Protect Against Card Cracking Bots
The following techniques can help you safeguard your payment site against bad bots used in credit card cracking.
Fingerprinting is done by combining the user’s browser and device to understand who or what is connecting to the service. Fraudsters or bots who are attempting credit card fraud need to make multiple attempts, and cannot change their device every time. They will need to switch browsers, clear their cache, use private or incognito mode, use virtual machines or device emulators, or use advanced fraud tools like FraudFox or MultiLogin.
Device fingerprinting can help identify browser and device parameters that remain the same between sessions, indicating the same entity is connecting again and again. Fingerprinting technologies can create a unique device, browser and cookie identifier, which, if shared by multiple logins, raises the suspicion that all those logins are part of a fraud attempt.
Machine Learning Behavior Analysis
Real users visiting a payment website exhibit typical behavior patterns. Bots will typically behave very differently from this pattern, but in ways you cannot always define or identify in advance. You can use behavioral analysis technology to analyze user behavior and detect anomalies – users or specific transactions that are anomalous or suspicious. This can help identify bad blots and prevent cracking attempts.
As part of behavioral analysis, try to analyze as much data as possible, including URLs accessed, site engagement metrics, mouse movements and mobile swipe behavior.
There are many known software bots with predictable technical and behavioral patterns or originating IPs. Having access to a database of known bot patterns can help you identify bots accessing your website. Traffic that may appear at first glance to be a real user, can be easily identified by cross-referencing it with known fingerprints of bad bots.
When your systems suspect a user is a bot, you should have a progressive mechanism for “challenging” the user to test if they are a bot or not. Progressive testing means that you try the least intrusive method first, to minimize disruption to real users.
Here are several challenges you can use:
- Cookie challenge – transparent to a real user
- Captcha – most disruptive
Additional Security Measures
Beyond the above techniques, which allow you to directly validate if traffic originates from a real user or a bot, use the measures below to strengthen your security perimeter against cracking bots.
eCommerce sites can require users to sign in with something they know (for example, a password) and something they have (for example, a mobile phone). While this does not prevent cracking, it makes it more difficult for criminals to create large numbers of fake accounts, and renders it almost impossible for them to take over existing accounts.
How to Secure your Gmail Account .
Online threats and Gmail account breaches are no laughing matter, and Google takes them very seriously. For this reason, it has built a very robust security system that you can rely on to secure your account from email security threats.
1. Use a Strong Password
It all starts with a strong password. Unfortunately, many online users often overlook the importance of a good password and opt for convenience over security. This is a very bad and potentially harmful practice. If you want to make sure your password is as strong as it can be, it’s best to follow the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) password guidelines. Let’s take a closer look at the most important NIST password guidelines:
- Length Over Complexity – It’s commonly accepted that a complex password is significantly safer than one that’s not complex. However, results show that password length is much more significant than complexity. This is why NIST doesn’t recommend any password-complexity guidelines. Instead, it recommends using passwords of at least eight characters.
- No Periodic Resets – The idea behind periodic resents is to lock out unauthorized access to an account by requiring the user to reset their password every couple of months. In reality, this practice just complicates the user experience and increases the chances of a breach. It’s difficult enough to remember one strong password. So it’s always better to make that one password extra-strong than to change it up every once in a while.
- Don’t Use Password Hints – In today’s overexposed era of social media, most of us are sharing more than we realize. If you use a password hint an attacker can find by researching one of your social media profiles, you’re just making it easier for the hacker to get access to your account.
- Enable Two-Step Verification – Multi-factor authentication, also known as Two-factor authentication, is a very efficient identity verification method that allows you to secure the Gmail login process even better. This brings us to the next crucial security step.
2. Choose your two-factor authentication (2FA) method
Adding Two-step verification to your Google account is fairly simple and straightforward. The technology has come a long way over the past few years and is a must-have for all security-conscious Google users. There are several types of 2FA you can set in place to add security to your Gmail account. The most widespread ones are:
- Text Messaging – SMS verification has long been the industry standard for Two-factor verification. That said, this type of 2FA has become obsolete with time, as SMS messages can be intercepted through basic flaws and are not very secure overall, compared to other methods we’ll get to in a second.
- Google Prompts – There are two ways to use the Google Prompts feature. You can set it to use it with your phone instead of your password. Alternatively, you can select it as a 2FA method on top of the password. We must mention that Google Prompts can only be used on a mobile or tablet device.
- Authenticator App – There are many authenticator apps out there, but Google Authenticator is the best on the market. It’s simple, barebone, and relatively streamlined. Taking that into account, it poses the question – can Google authentication be hacked? If you’re worried about this, there’s only one 2FA method that can top it.
- Security Key – hardware keys are always the most secure option in terms of 2FA security. They are created with customization and user experience in mind, often combine multiple features and compatibility with different devices. For example, the one like Hideez Key Promo can store and automatically enter your login credetials at the push of the button, generate one-time passwords and make the process two-factor verification seamless and intuitive.
3. Take Care of Your Google Account Recovery
Strong password and 2FA aside, you also need to have a system in place in case you have to recover your Google account. Having a good account recovery mechanism in place will allow you to safely regain access if you’ve forgotten your password or lost your mobile device. With this in mind, there are two critical aspects you should take care of:
- Phone and Email Recovery Setup – Registering a recovery mobile phone number and email address are a key precaution every Gmail user should take. It’s always a good idea to keep these recovery details up to date, especially when switching devices and emails.Recovery data will help you reset your password in case if you forget it or someone else will use your account.
If you want to add a recovery phone number and email address, go to “Personal info” of your Google Account and click “Add a recovery phone” on the “Contact info” section.
4. Report Scams, Spam, and Phishing Attempts
Scams, phishing and pharming attcka are a common occurrence every one of us has likely come across, whether we realize it or not. Luckily, Gmail has antimalware, and phishing protection turned on by default, so there isn’t anything extra you can do to add protection to your account.
That said, some phishing scams and spam mail can get through from time to time. In such cases, the best thing you can do is report the attempt to Google and avoid interacting with the email in any other way.
To report a spam or phishing email, you first have to click on the drop-down arrow mark on the right side of the email. When prompted, you can choose either the “Report Spam” or “Report Phishing” option. This will automatically remove the email from your inbox and forward a report to Google to help it improve its defense against such attempts.
Credit card safety: 8 tips.
(1) Limit Your Risk With One Account
Designate just one credit card for all your online purchases. This way, you keep yourself from exposing multiple accounts to hackers and can easily check for suspicious charges. Some banks even offer special cards for online usage. Get set up to receive text message or email alerts each time a purchase is made on your account. Whenever possible, check out as a guest when making a purchase instead of creating an account that stores your card information in a profile, too.
(2) Get Virtual Account Numbers
Check with your credit card company to see if it offers a virtual-number service. This feature creates a temporary one-time card number for each purchase transaction you make online. Your real card information isn’t exposed during the checkout process, but the temporary number is still linked to your account to register your purchase activity. If hackers obtain your data later on, they won’t have your real card number.
(3) Create Unique Passwords
Passwords for your online card and banking profiles should be unique and complex to prevent hackers from accessing multiple accounts using the same login information. Generally, an effective password is long, contains both upper- and lower-case letters, has numbers and uses symbols (if permitted). Try using a phrase or an entire sentence to create complexity, replacing words like “to” with the number 2 and “and” with ampersands. Use memorable phrases that you won’t forget — but that also don’t contain any personal details — and don’t write your passwords down anywhere.
(4) Remember “S Is for Secure”
Always make sure your connection to a website is secure. When you see the lock symbol in your Internet browser’s URL field, and the address starts with “https” rather than “http”, this indicates that the transaction is encrypted. This isn’t 100 per cent safe, since cybercriminals can obtain legitimate security certificates, but it does prevent opportunistic scams.
(5) Use Known, Trusted Sites
Choose retailers that you’re familiar with. If you aren’t familiar with a site, do some research to find out more about it. Also take note of the design; if it looks off or unprofessional, find your product elsewhere. There are plenty of reputable ecommerce sites to choose from.
(6) Only Shop on Secure Network
For online shopping, only use secure, reputable websites and avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi. Cyber criminals often spy on public Wi-Fi networks and intercept data that transferred across the link. Public network can leave you vulnerable to these attacks enabling hackers to access your confidential financial information, banking credentials, account passwords and other sensitive data. Read more about Public Wi-Fi security.
(7) Use Security Software
Use security software that protects both your desktop and mobile devices. Many of us shop on the small screen, and that can make us more vulnerable to hackers. Cover yourself with antivirus software or a comprehensive Internet Security software that offers protection on all devices.
(8) Update to Stay Safe
Stay on top of updates for your operating system and other software. Often, these updates patch security holes to keep you safer. When you get a notification that an update is available, download it right away.
These tips may seem simple, but they’re effective ways to lower your risk when shopping online. It is easier to enjoy some virtual window shopping when you know your credit card details are secure.
JOB FRAUDS THROUGH CALL CENTRES.
Cyber criminals target young, educated citizens in the name of job offers. They get bulk bio-data/CV of persons looking for jobs from job sites such as naukari.com. shine.com, etc., and using the details given in the CV – phone number, email, educational qualification, previous employment, etc., device personalized fraud emails promising job opportunities in reputed companies.
The fraudsters run a call-centre setup and either pose as a job consultancy firm or impersonate the prospective employer itself They make the victim interact with multiple levels of HR executives to give an impression that they are genuine entities.
Once the potential victim falls into their trap, they start demanding fees in the nature of registration charges, document verification, interview scheduling, uniform advance, etc. After extracting a large sum from the victim, they stop further communication.
1. No genuine recruiter will demand large sums for registration, document verification, interview scheduling, etc.
2. Fraudsters impersonate as genuine job consultancy firms by using similar email accounts, logo, etc. Please verify the details of the firm before committing any payment towards job assistance.
3. Look for complaints and reviews about the said firm on online forums. If significant number of people have shared reviews about their fraudulent activities, then probably they are cheats.
4. Verify from the said reputed employer whose job has been offered, about the genuineness of the offer. Use contact details given on company’s official website to seek clarification. Do not seek clarification from company officials referred to by the job consultant. They are probably part of the gang trying to cheat you.
5. Do not get tricked by spoofed email IDs, Customer Care Numbers, etc. Cross-verify every claim with alternate channels before engaging with the said job consultant.
How to Protect Laptop from Hackers?
There are several important tips which will help you how to secure laptop from hackers, which are as follows:
- Create a Strong Password
- Use Unique Password
- Use antivirus software
- Dont Visit Porn Sites
- Careful use of USB devices
- Lock Your Computer
- Avoid installing software from unknown sources
- Never deactivate your antivirus
- Ignore spam email
- Scans Regularly for Virus
- Use a firewall
- Back Up Your Data
- Use data encryption
Create a Strong Password
How to secure laptop from hackers? You should use a very strong password to protect your laptop from hacking. We are using very simple password to remember in our memory like as date of birth, mobile no, employee id, and 123456, which is one of the vital reasons for attacks. So, create a strong password for your laptop and change on a regular basis (i.e., Between 30 and 180 days).
- The password length should at least 10 characters long.
- The password must have uppercase letters (A – Z), lowercase letters (a – z), numbers (0 – 9), and special character (@, #, $, %, ^, (,), &, *!).
So, create a strong and standard password to secure your laptop from hackers.
To creating a strong password you can combine letters, numbers, special characters (minimum 10 characters in total) and change them on a regular basis.
Use unique Password
If you use one password for all accounts and if a cyber-attacker gets access to your one account then attacker will also get access all other accounts.
So, if you want to protect your sensitive and business information from attacker, then its important to use a separate, strong and unique password for each account.
- Laptop login -> Use strong and unique password
- Email account -> Use strong and unique password
- Face book account -> Use strong and unique password
Use antivirus software
You should use an antivirus software which will helps to secure laptop from viruses, malware, Trojan horses, and others cyber threats. It scans every file which comes through the internet, USB devices or external hard disk to your laptop and helps to protect your system.
- You should use professional anti-virus software such as Bitdefender, Norton, Kaspersky, Panda, ESET, Avast, AVG and keep updated with update version.
Don’t Visit Porn Sites
Porn websites are one of the most common places to catch a virus or malware and the traffic of porn websites are increasing day by day. There are lots of advertisements on porn websites and which looks very attractive. Since attacker are skilled software engineer so, they hack the advertisements servers and include the malware in those advertisements. When a user visits a porn site and clicks on advertisements, then he gets infected by the malware.
If you visits and click on that advertisements then you may infected by a malware such as Keylogger which is a type of spying technology or system monitor software that recording user keystrokes to steal passwords and other sensitive information. It can record instant messages, email, and capture any other information at any time using keyboard.
If you want to safe your laptop from malware, so please dont visit and click on the advertisements and banners.
Careful use of USB devices
The USB devices are very easy medium to transfer data from one device to another. The uses of external USB devices can easy harm to your laptop and system. So, you have to be very careful before plugging them into laptop or any other devices.
- Dont use the same USB devices for home and office laptops
- Dont plug unknown USB devices into your laptop
- Make sure your antivirus software working properly and keep up to date.
- And ensure that all external devices are come from a reliable source. If you feel, there has any suspicious file then please scan it by antivirus software.
6. Lock Your Computer
If attacker gets access your laptop, so attacker can steal your sensitive information or can inject a malware to your laptop.
- To safe your sensitive information on a laptop, so dont use an automatic login feature that saves your user name and password.
- It is better always log off when you are out of from your laptop.
7. Avoid Installing software from unknown Sources
When downloading and installing software from external source, we dont need to check the source is trusted or not. The problem is that many external sources are not safe to downloading the software. If you choose to download software and install it yourself, you could be putting malware on your laptop.
- So, before downloading and installing software, first you have check the source site is trusted by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) such as https://cyberthreatportal.com
- It is better to download your software either from the systems store or the vendors site.
Never deactivate your Antivirus
When you are installing software and ask for disabling your antivirus software that means the software is pirated or malicious software. This type of software may also contain viruses or Trojans or ransomware and any other such malware.
- So, never disable or deactivate your anti-virus for such softwares.
- It is proved that, legitimate software would never ask you to disable your anti-virus. If your software is legitimate, and you still face this situation, you should contact to your vendor to overcome this problem.
9. Ignore spam email
The spam emails are usually advertisements or are commercial in nature, but sometimes may contain website links that lead to phishing sites or include malware as file attachments.
In addition, that type of email scams are trying to get your sensitive information such as bank details, login credentials, credit card details or steal your identity.
Here are some ways to protect you from spam email:
- Try to avoid opening the spam emails
- Do not clicking on links in spam messages.
- Or think before you click on the link
- Do not reply to spam messages.
- Download spam filtering tools and use anti-virus software
- Do not provide your personal or business email address.
- Better to delete the spam emails
Scans Regularly for Virus
If a virus gets access your laptop and not removed in a timely manner, then it can cause a serious problems such as you can lose your important data, your login credentials, financial data or you identity.
- If you regularly browse or use the Internet, then you need to run a virus scan every day and if youre not able to scan every day, then at least run a scan once a week.
- It is better, to setup a schedule in your anti-virus software to run a scan late at night or whenever you dont use your laptop.
11. Use a firewall
A firewall is a security tools which is designed to monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic based on security rules and protects network system. Its main purpose is to create an obstacle between internal and external network in order to block malicious threats.
If your laptop ports are open, then a malicious code can sent by an attacker and gain unauthorized access. A windows firewall can acts as a simple defence by closing all ports.
In Windows operating system, this can be found by navigating to:
- First, Choose Start→ Control Panel→ System and Security→ Windows Firewall.
- Then, click the Turn Windows Firewall On or off link in the left pane of the window.
- Select the Turn on Windows Firewall radio button for one or both of the network locations.
- And Click OK.
12. Back Up Your Data
A data backup is a process of copying or archiving your important data files for the purpose of being able to restore data in case of data destruction. If a hacker can access and destroy your files then you can recover you data from backup storage. It acts as a secondary storage of data which is used for future data protection.
You can do your data back-up manually or automatically by archiving important documents to an external hard drive, or using Drop box or using Google drive or any others external devices etc.
13. Use Data encryption
Encryption is the process of encoding of your data using an encryption algorithm to transform information that only authorized users can access it and make it unreadable for unauthorized users.
Mettur Dam Tamilnadu.
Mettur Dam, situated 30 miles from Salem in a small Mettur Village, is one of the largest dams in India. Built across the River Cauvery at the canyon, Mettur Dam was built in the year 1943 and is a sight of sheer beauty. The dam is surrounded by verdant hills and picturesque natural beauty and is quite popular among tourists. One of the most extraordinary features of the dam is its design, which is a testament to the country’s engineering genius. Mettur Dam is a huge human-made marvel which spans over a massive length of 1700 metres and is a major hotspot where tourists visit from all across the country to relax and seek solitude.
Apart from being a tourist hotspot, the dam also provides irrigation facility for 2,71,000 acres of agricultural land around it. Another major attraction of the area is a water reservoir flanked by hilly ranges all around. Earlier known as Stanley Reservoir, the place is also in proximity to a major Hydro Electric Power Stations which produces 240MW. The water here is not merely for the generation of power alone, rather it houses a variety of local fish as well. Together with Ellis Park and hydroelectric power plant, the Mettur dam is a favourite among tourists. To visit this facility, one needs to obtain permission from authorities in advance.
Mettur Dam Activities .
Architecture of Mettur Dam
The structure of the dam was designed by British architect Mr Ellis, and the project was supervised by another British engineer, Mr Mullings. The Mettur Dam built over a ravine on River Kaveri covers a vast area of 15,540 hectares. The dam has the dimensions of 1700 meter length and 65-meter height with a capacity of 2648 cubic meter. The maximum storage height of the Mettur Dam is 120 feet and facilitates two hydroelectric power stations as well. It provides irrigation facilities to parts of Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Karur, Tiruchirappalli and Thanjavur district for 271,000 acres of farmland. A park at the base of the dam called the Ellis Park is another popular attraction located right nearby. The backdrop of verdant hills along with the magnificence of the dam makes Mettur a popular tourist destination.
Best Time To Visit Mettur Dam .
The place is open all around the year and you can plan a visit anytime. However, the best time to visit is from October to March. Just make sure to take note of any public holiday to prior your visit.
Tips For Visiting Mettur Dam .
- Make sure to follow all the guidelines provided by the authority there.
- Also, if you are planning to visit the factories and Hydro Electric Power Stations, do obtain permission well in advance.
History of Mettur Dam .
Mettur Dam is regarded as one of the largest and oldest dams in India. The actual construction of this edifice began in the year 1925 and after a ceaseless effort spanning over 9 years, the dam reached its final form. Mettur Dam was inaugurated on August 21, 1934, by the Governor of Madras, Sir George Stanley, hence the reservoir was named after him. It is said that the United Kingdom provided funds to evacuate the site of the dams. Interestingly, when the water level in the dam recedes, you can see several idols and sculptures pertaining to Hinduism and Christianity emerge to the surface.
How To Reach Mettur Dam .
The best way to reach Mettur Dam is by bus or a taxi. It takes around one and a half hour to reach the place from Salem which is a bit more than 40 km away.
A Hoysala Marvel – Chennakesava Temple, Belur.
The 900-year old Belur Chennakeshava Temple is one of the greatest treasure-houses of Indian art, architecture and sculpture, all of which was accomplished by the motivation of Sanatana piety.
The Belur Chennakeshava Temple, also known as the Keshava, Kesava, or Vijayanarayana Temple of Belur, is a 12th-century Hindu temple in Karnataka’s Hassan district. Belur Temple was built in 1117 CE on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur, also known as Velapura, an early Hoysala Empire capital. It was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana. The Belur Chennakeshava Temple was constructed over three generations and took 103 years to complete. Throughout its history, it has been repeatedly damaged and plundered during wars, and it has been rebuilt and repaired numerous times.
Chennakesava is a manifestation of the Hindu god Vishnu. The chennakesava temple belur is dedicated to Vishnu and has been a functioning Hindu temple since its establishment. It is described reverently in medieval Hindu texts and is still an important pilgrimage site in Vaishnavism. The architecture, sculptures, reliefs, friezes, iconography, inscriptions, and history of the temple are all noteworthy. Through numerous friezes, the temple artwork depicts scenes of secular life in the 12th century, dancers and musicians, as well as a pictorial narration of Hindu texts such as the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranas. Chennakeshwara Temple Belur is a Vaishnava temple with many Shaivism and Shaktism themes, as well as images of a Jina from Jainism and the Buddha from Buddhism. The Chennakeshava temple reflects artistic, cultural, and theological perspectives in 12th century South India under Hoysala Empire rule.
Belur Temple History :
The Hoysala period of South Indian history lasted from around 1000 CE to 1346 CE. During this time, they constructed approximately 1,500 temples in 958 centers. In old inscriptions and medieval texts, Belur is referred to as Beluhur, Velur, or Velapura. It was the Hoysala kings’ first capital. In later inscriptions, the Hoysalas refer to the city as “earthly Vaikuntha” (Vishnu’s abode) and “dakshina Varanasi” (Hindus’ southern holy city).
The construction of the Chennakeshava temple in Belur took 103 years. Vishnuvardhana relocated his capital to Dvarasamudra (now Halebidu), where he began work on the Hoysaleswara Temple, dedicated to Shiva. Its construction lasted until his death in 1140 CE. His descendants carried on his legacy, completing the Hoysaleswara Temple in 1150 CE and the Chennakesava Temple in Somanathapura in 1258 CE. The Hoysalas employed many notable architects and artisans who established a new architectural tradition known as the Karnata Dravida tradition by art critic Adam Hardy.
Belur Temple Architecture :
The Chennakeshava complex at Belur consists of a 443.5 feet by 396 feet court surrounded by a wall with several Hindu temples and minor shrines. The compound is entered from the east via a Gopuram added during the Vijayanagar empire’s repairs. The following temples and monuments can be found within the walled complex:
The main temple is Chennakesava temple, also known as Kesava temple. It is located in the center of the complex, facing east and directly in front of the gopuram. It is 178 feet by 156 feet, including the later improvements. The temple is built on a three-foot-high platform terrace (jagati). The temple honors Vishnu in the form of Kesava.
Chennakesava Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala dynasty in 1117 CE, on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur, an early Hoysala Empire capital. The temple was built over three generations and took 103 years to complete. It was repeatedly damaged and plundered during wars, repeatedly rebuilt and repaired over its history.
The temple is very famous for extensive carvings, stone sculptures, artwork and its unique architecture. Built with soapstone, the Chennakeshava complex at Belur consists of several Hindu temples and minor shrines inside a walled compound. The compound is entered from the east through a Gopuram. The main temple sits in the center, facing the east – a classic example of South Indian temple architecture. A six feet tall idol of Lord Vishnu is placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the Kesava temple.
The pillars of the temple exhibit some of the best details and finishing of sculpture and artwork in the entire complex. The Narasimha pillar is one of the most popular of these temple pillars. There are a total of 48 pillars, all uniquely carved and decorated. The four central pillars were hand chiselled by artisans and feature madanikas or celestial damsels. The madanikas are in different poses and some of the popular ones which gain the attraction of tourists and art enthusiasts include the lady with a parrot and the huntress.
The temple features a beautiful stepwell (Pushkarani), right near the entrance. This well was used in the olden days for taking a bath before offering prayers and other rituals, as was customary at the time. A 42-meter high pillar called the Gravity Pillar has also been installed in the middle of the courtyard.
The magnificent Chennakeshava temple was built in 12th century by the Hoysala ruler VishnuVardhana on the banks of Yagachi River. The temple is also known as Keshava temple, Vijayanarayana temple. Even though the temple was commissioned by Vishnuvardhana it took 103years and three generations to complete it. The temple is around 16kms from Halebidu temples and it is one of the important Vaishanava pilgrimage place for Hindus. Chennakeshava temple is an evidence to the architecture and culture of Hoysala rule during 12th century in South India.
The temple is at a height of 37 metre with outer walls is beautified with dancing girls posing in different postures. The original temple that was built by the Hoysala had no boundary wall; it was built later on in 13th century for the security reasons. Even the main mandapa was also covered with perforated stone screens. Inside the wall of the Chennakeshava temple there are many Hindu temples with small shrines.
The temple is facing towards east and it is built in ekakuta vimana style which is a combination North Indian Nagara style and South Indian Karnataka style of architecture. To the south of the temple is Kappe Channigaraya temple and to the right and left side of the temple is small shrine of Lakshmi and Andal temple. Andal temple is also known as Ranganayaki temple is beautifully decorated with artistic works of elephants and other animals and nature.
The temple has 31 images of deities from Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism. Kappe Channigaraya has two shrines of God Venugopal and Chennigaraya another name for Lord Vishnu. Kappe chennigaraya was built by the queen is a smaller version of Chennakeshava temple. However the architecture of both the temples are excellent and quiet similar. Vijayanagara Empire further improved the temple by building many small shrines around Chennakeshava temple.
To the west of the Chennakeshava temple is a small temple of Viranarayana. It has garbha griha and also has 59 large images of deities on the outer walls. Near the Viranaryana temple there is a mandapa or dias known as vahana mandapa. There are two main pillars or sthambha in the Chennakeshava temple complex which was erected by Vijayanagara Empire and the Hoysala Empire.
The one which is facing the main temple, the Garuda was erected by Vijayanagara Empire while the other pillar which is on the right of the complex, the deepa stambha or pillar was erected by Hoysala empire.
The pillars are the beauty of the Chennakeshava temple. There are 48 beautifully carved pillars inside the temple. The central four pillars are built and carved during the Vijayanagara period. Among all the pillars the Narasimha pillar is the most beautiful and has miniatures figures carved from top to bottom of the pillar.
It is believed that the pillar used to rotate earlier but not anymore. Another important pillar is the mohini pillar which has carvings of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and the ten avatars of lord Vishnu. The pillars and the walls are beautifully carved with different poses of women, Gods and more scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. One can see the garbha griha after passing the pillars and the mandapa. Jaya and Vijaya dvarapalakas welcome the tourists at the entrance of the door.
The outer walls of the temple are beautifully decorated with different strips of carvings. The art work on the outer wall is the best part of the temple. The bottom strip of carving has elephants with different moods. The next strip is the row of horsemen in different riding positions
A visit to vibrant state of Karnataka would be incomplete without visiting Belur and Halebidu. The Hoysala dynasty has left immense art and architecture in the state which has now become an important tourists destination.
How to reach:
Belur is around 40 Km northwest of Hassan. The place is at a distance of 221 km from Bangalore which is around 4 hours drive. Other important places which are close to Belur are Chikamanglur which is 22 km, Halebidu is 16 km, Mysore is 149 km and Mangalore is 166 km. The nearest airport would be Bangalore and Mangalore. From there one can drive down to place. There are also frequent buses from the major cities of Karnataka and other South Indian places. The nearest railway station is Hassan. Getting to Belur should not be a problem at all. Ones visiting Belur one should also not miss to see Halebidu and other important places near Belur.
Halebidu – The epitome of Hoysala temple architecture.
Halebidu is a small town located in Hassan district of Karnataka. Halebidu is 210 km from Bengaluru and 142 km from Mysuru.
Halebidu is famous for its world class temples built during Hoysala period. Halebidu was also known as Dwarasamudra and it was the grand capital of Hoysala Empire during 12th century.
This place is known for Hoysala architecture which is visible in Hoysaleshwara temple and Kedareshwara temple. Halebidu is very closely located to Belur and has regular bus services from different parts of the state.
The massive temple was built by the Hoysala ruler King Vishnu Vardhan in 12th century in Halebidu which was a capital of Hoysala dynasty. The construction of this marvellous and magnificent temple was completed in 1160 CE.
The temple is also known as Halebidu temple attracts thousands of tourists every year. The temple has two shrines one dedicated to Hoysaleshwara and Shantala Devi( named after wife and queen of King Vishnuvardhan).
The temple is facing towards east and has two Nandi Shrines in front of both the temples. Both the temples have Shiva linga inside the temple. The temple also has another important shrine dedicated to Sun God. Hoysaleshwara temple has been beautifully carved and designed using soap stone. There are about 340 large images which depict about Hindu mythology of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagvad purana.
History of Hoysaleshwara temple:
Hoysala Empire ruled the state of Karnataka, India from 10th to 14th century. During this period the rulers of the empire who ruled South India built around 1500 magnificent temples in 958 different centres. Even though the city of Halebidu was ransacked and demolished by the army of Delhi Sultanate still the temples have not lost its beauty and sheen.
Earlier Belur was the capital of Hoysala Empire but later Vishnuvardhana moved his capital to Halebidu which served the empire as capital for nearly 300 years. Many inscriptions and carvings of the temple have been destroyed during the invasion of Delhi Sultanate. During Ala ud din Khiliji period both Belur and Halebidu was plundered, destroyed and ransacked.
Hoysaleshwara temple was one of the largest temples built by Hoysala Empire in South India.
Architecture of the temple
The temple has four entrances and the north entrance is the main entrance through which tourists can get inside the temple. The temple is a mixture of North Indian Nagara and South Indian Karnataka style of architecture. It is has ekakuta vimana design. Along with the four entrances, dvarapalas were added. These dvarapals are wearing huge jewels and also has four arms. One can see a large image of Lord Ganesha on the southern entrance. Hoyasala’s architecture is one of the most outstanding and marvellous. Hoyasala built the temples between 10th to 14th centuries which are famous even to this day. Temples built in Belur and Halebidu are the best examples of Hoysala style of architecture.
The Hoysala’s usually dedicated their temples to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva and also built some temples dedicated to Jain worshippers. Most of the temples that were built by the Hoysala had themes based on Hindu mythology in their sculptures. The hoysaleshwara temple is built on a raised platform called as jagati which is around 15 feet wide around the outer walls of the temple. This is also the pradhakshina patha of the temple.
They have intricate carvings all around. The lower part of the outer wall has horizontal strips or Friezes of animal like elephant, lion and the scenes from Hindu texts. The horizontal strip on the outer wall is predominantly depicting stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad Purana.
Some of the other various and important carvings or horizontal strips include lord Krishna lifting Govardhan hill, Lord Krishna stealing butter or playing flute while animals and gopis are dancing to the tune, Lord Ram killing the golden deer. Towards the south west of the Lord Shiva temple one can see the episodes from Mahabharata, Mohini doing dance and many more. These carvings or the horizontal strip are truly breath taking and has overcome all the invasions and still standing magnificently welcoming thousands of tourists every year.
The interior walls of the temple are quite simple and plain as compared to outer walls. The pillars inside the temple are plain with not much of any carvings on it. The most important pillar is the garuda pillar which is located to the south of the temple. The top portion of the pillar is damaged. This garuda pillar or stambha depicts the stories of the body guard who lived with the kings in ancient days. Some of the bodyguards committed suicide after the death of their masters and hence this pillar pays homage or respect to a bodyguard by name Kuruva Lakshma who killed himself on hearing the news of death of his master. Some of the artists who helped in building this magnificent temple include Ballana, Mabala, Manibalaki, Ketana, Bama and many more.
Location – How to reach
Halebidu is well connected by road and rail from the major cities of Karnataka India. The nearest airport is Bangalore which is around 200Kms. It is around four hour drive from NH75 highway.
Location: Halebidu, Hassan,
Built by : Hoysala dynasty around 12th century
Dedicated: Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Distance: Belur – 16Kms, Hassan – 30 Kms, Shravanbelagola- 81Kms, Mysore- 150Kms and Bangalore- 210 kms
Best time to visit: October-March
Timings of the temple: morning 6:30am to 7pm.
Shettihalli Rosary Church: The story behind the church that goes under water.
Located 22 km from Hassan in the small district of Shettihalli in Karnataka, the Shettihalli Church is a structure in ruins, but one that has also stood the test of time. Also known as The Submerged Church and The Floating Church, it has recently become a popular tourist attraction in the region and in Karnataka. Standing tall in the middle of barren fields, Shettihalli Rosary Church gets submerged in water every monsoon. A popular picnic spot and home to some birds, several tourists flock here to spend quality time with friends and family.
French missionaries built the church in 1860. This gothic-designed church was constructed on the picturesque banks of the Hemavati River in Hassan and served the wealthy Britishers as a religious worship centre. The Gothic-style-inspired structure does give haunted church vibes.
Soon after, the government decided to build the Hemavathi River and Gorur dam so the flowing river could become helpful in a better way.
The 1960 dam construction led to massive flooding of the Hemavati reservoir, flooding the church. Since then, the church has half submerged in water every monsoon leaving only the top portion visible, making it a rare sight.
- It is pretty evident now that I have stated that the church is half-submerged in the water, but once the water subsides, it can be seen as a whole in its full magnificence.
- The vicinity around the church is a significant movie shooting spot for shooting regional movies & serials.
- Even after the consistent flooding of the reservoir over the past 25 years, the church stands tall.
- Those who are photography lovers would love this place. When the dark sky reflects on the church through the Hemavati River in the background of the church, it creates the most amazing panoramic view.
- For bird lovers and nature enthusiasts, this place would steal your eyes with its breathtaking surroundings.
The church is a masterpiece in many ways. Built on the banks of Hemavathi river in Shettihalli village of Hassan district (about a half hour from Bengaluru International Airport), it is the forgotten testament of the village’s past and a classic example of Gothic architecture. It is purported to have been constructed in 1860 by a French missionary named Abbe J A Dubois. The materials used were the ordinary brick and mortar, along with glass from Belgium, Egyptian gypsum, jaggery and eggshells.
In 1960, the Gorur-Hemavathi dam was constructed over the river which uprooted all villages surrounding the area of the church. Since then, every year during peak monsoon (from June to October), the land floods with water and enters the surviving skeletal frame of the building. Despite this, the church still stands, with only about one-third of its structure above the water’s surface. Over the years, it has acquired names like ‘Floating Church’ and ‘Submerged Church’. Tourists visiting the nearby Gorur dam to watch the waters flood through its gates hire boats for a quick sojourn to the ruins, and fishermen from surrounding areas can be asked for a tour of the historical site.
How to Reach Shettihalli Church Hassan:
By road: The church‘s distance from Bangalore is 200km, and you can always choose to access it through the streets. Buses are also available, which will drop you at the Shattihalli rosary church.
By train: Trains are available daily from Yashwantpur railway station to Hassan, Karnataka. Hassan to church distance is approximately 40 km.
Yercaud – Rejuvenating hill station.
Yercaud is a hill station in Salem District, in Tamil Nadu, India. It located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats; the Yercaud hill area is called the Shevaroy Hills. It is situated at an altitude of 1515 metres (4970 ft) above sea level. Foot Hills to Yercaud Lake will be 22 k.m. in 40 min. There are 20 Hair-Pin Bends. There are good roads connecting Yercaud to various places in south via Salem. The road from Salem to Yercaud has plenty of lush greens on both sides of the road once the uphill climbing begins.
The Big Lake Or Emerald Lake – The first thing one sees as you enter the Yercaud town is this placid lake in a wonderful surrounding of hills and natural shoals. Also a beautifully landscaped garden on one bank. It has boating facility. This lake is the only natural lake among all the hill station lakes in the South. A floating fountain is constructed by MALCO , at the center of the lake. The lake is surrounded by a “Deer Park” and “ leisure park” and “Tamil Nadu Hotel”. Boat services are available at reasonable rate [ Rs. 75 /- for 2 seats and Rs. 95 /- for 4 seats ]. Self Pedaling [ 15 min ] and Rowing boats [ 30 min ] are available. You have to pay the same amount as caution deposit. The safety measures are followed strictly. The minimum time can be spent : 20 min. The Natural shoal seen around the Petrol Bunk, Round Tana and adjoining the Anna Park are about the oldest shoals of natural species of trees that one can see around the Shevaroys. Another shoal of this type can be seen adjoining the Orchidarium. In the interests of conservation this last stronghold of original trees should be preserved and replenished for the future.
Boating in Yercaud Lake.
Deer Park – Situated in the Lake. Suitable for Kids to playground. It will be closed by 5.00 p.m.
Anna Park – The park is situated next to the Lake. It is typical park used to host the “Flower Show” in the month of May. The “Japanese Park” inside Anna Park is a must see. Children can play around and elders can take rest. The entrance ticket will be Rs. 2/- for adult and Rs 10 /- for Camera. The minimum time can be spent : 30 min for laymen.
Arthur Seat – A bird’s eye view of the Big Lake, Yercaud Town and the Shevaroyan Peak is available from this vantage point, which is reached by taking the steep road going north from the centre point of town 1 km from town.
Lady’s Seat, Gent’s Seat and Children’s Seat – This is a cluster of Rocks on the South West of the Yercaud hills over looking the ghat road and the town of Salem to the South. There is a natural rock formation in the form of a seat where reportedly a white English Lady of yeaster years spent her evenings viewing the magnificent panorama before ones eyes. There is a sheer drop of about 200 feet at this point into a private estate in the valley below. There is a man made viewing tower with Telescopes. One can see the magnasite deposits on the plains and on clear days a view of Mettur Dam. One should not miss the night view of the Salem town with millions of twinkling lights. On the right of Lady’s Seat are Sterling Resorts, Gents Seat and Children’s Seat. There is a mini park and it is a breath taking spot for a picnic. 2 km from town.
A view from “Ladies seat” on a cloudy day
Orchidarium-Botanical Survey of India – This is one of two orchidariums run by the Botanical survey of India. It has a large collection of native orchids. One can see the rare Ladies Slipper, an insect eating Orchid. A rare tree Shevaroys Bombax which was reported on one of the private estates has also been identified and multiplied in this farm. A treat for plant lovers. Botanical garden is closed during Saturday, Sunday and National holidays.
A “Bell Rock” in the BSI campus makes bell sound when you hit with stone. You have to climb to reach the rock. The entrance ticket will be Rs. 3/- for adult and Rs 10 /- for Camera. It remain closed on Sundays and National Holidays. The minimum time can be spent : 25 min for laymen few days for Nature lovers.
Horticulture Farm – It has “Rose Garden” and “Children Seat”. The Rose Garden is filled with various verities of Roses from Button Rose to Very Big Rose. A “Green Rose” plant is grown along with beautiful rose plants. Saplings of various plants are available at reasonable price. The entrance ticket will be Rs. 2/- for adult and Rs 10 /- for Camera. The minimum time can be spent : 35 min for laymen few days for Nature lovers.
Silk Farm & Rose Garden – One can see the cultivation of Mulberries, the growing of silk worms and the method of spinning silk. The Silk Farm (go little ahead from Lady’s seat and take a mud road on the right) does not allow outsiders The season for breeding is during monsoons. The Rose Garden – one can see a good collection of colourful Roses and also purchase nursery plants from here 2 km from town.
Pagoda Point – This lies on the Eastern side of the Yercaud hills and is also known as Pyramid Point. The name comes from the hill tribes having made four piles of random stones in a Pagoda or Pyramid formation reportedly to mark some event. Today there is a Rama Temple which lies between these Pagodas. One can get a grand view of Attur and Ayothiapattinam from this picnic spot. 5 km from town.
Montfort School – Montfort School was established in 1917 in Yercaud by the untiring effort of Bro.Denis. The school was named after the founder of the Order of St.Gabriel. St.Louis Marie Grignoin de Montfort. Its vast campus with attractive buildings, spacious play grounds, well planned and beautiful gardens, and a swimming pool which is the envy of all the schools in the South.
Retreat – The Retreat belongs to a Religious Society founded by St.Don Bosco (1815-1888). The Saint wanted his spiritual son, popularly known as Salesians of Don Bosco, to work for the poor land abandoned youth through schools, technical institutes, agricultural and trade schools. The Retreat serves as a Novitiate house where students of the religious order stay and study.
Kiliyur Falls – This delightfully breathtaking water falls is 3 km from the Yercaud Lake and should be visited after the South West or North East Monsoon. The surplus water from the Yercaud Lake and the other reaches of the Shevaroys Hills fall deep into the Kiliyur Valley in a breath taking 300 feet fall. The views from the bottom and top of the falls are breathtaking. The view from the top of the falls into the Valley is heart stopping.
Tipperary View Point – One can reach this southern most view point of Yercaud by taking the Tipperary Road. From there one can see the Elephant Tooth Rocks. Which are reportedly said to be the remnant of a meteorite which fell to earth. It is pure white rock compared to the Black Granite available on these hills. The Estate adjoining known as Tipperary Estate was once a posh hotel catering to the elite of British India from 1930 to 1940. The night view from this spot-with the lights of Salem in the distance is mesmerizing. 2 km from town.
White Elephant Tooth – One is on the Southern Spur of the Shevaroys below the villages of Guntur and the other is in the east overlooking the Ghat road, above the 60′ bridge. The larger one next to Guntur has two rocks about 120′ high and consists of pure white quartz, which is in stark contrast to the greenery around and the black of the granite available around. Easy to climb up but hard to climb down as the material is soft and crumbles beneath your feet. 9 km from town, it is a days trek up and down.
HOW TO GET HERE:
The nearest airport to Yercaud is Trichy Airport, connected with all major airlines in India.
The nearest railheads are Salem Junction (36 Km.) and Salem Town (33 Km.), connecting with major cities in India.
Yercaud is connected with good motorable roads with all villages and towns in Northern Tamil Nadu.