Trip To Nandi Hills,Nandi Hills:Reviews,Tourism,Tourist Places,Travel Guide

Are you staying in Bangalore and feel stressed because of its traffic, pollution or your hectic schedule@Work Place ?? If so, this is the time to take a small break from your life and go for a trip. If you want to enjoy your outing as you would like to being in Shimla , but unfortunately don’t have time to go there, then the best place for you is Nandi Hills, a place filled with breathe taking scenic beauty, laced with mountain, dew,fog, strong wind and offers a pleasant climate on economized budget for  honeymooners. Previously, its name was Ananda Hills, meaning a place of happiness and it indeed is a place where you can happily unwind yourself. Interestingly, its present name is based on the shape of hill which resembles a sleeping bull.


Location:
Nandi Hills is located in Chikkaballapur District of Karnataka State, which is 60 kms from Bangalore city and situated 4851 feet above sea level.

How to reach there ??
Bus : Government buses runs from Bangalore, Chikkaballapur and Nandigrama. It takes 2 hours from Bangalore and 1 hour from Chikkaballapur to reach Nandi Hills.The hills has an 8 kilometers road from all the way to the top. But it is preferred that you take your Personal Vehicles. To reach there, from Majestic start towards Chikkaballapura on NH-7. After about 10 kms from the Airport crossing, turn towards left towards Nandi Hills. Google Maps for the location available here

Timings:
As it’s name suggests, it is a hilly area with strong wind blowing across and that too at high altitude laced with dew drops and mist. The best time for visit is from sunrise time(typically around 6 AM) to 10 AM (when the fog starts disappearing pretty fast). There is an entrance gate leading to Nandi hills and is  open from 5:30 AM to 6:00 PM, on all seven days of a week.

Climate:
Here the climate is moderate so we can enjoy the trip anytime but specially from June to August because of intermittent rain, we can experience little bit problem. The temperature is 25 to 28 centigrade during summer and 8 to 10 centigrade in winter. You can also choose to go at the time of Dussehra, during which a number of devotees pay homage at the temple situated on hill-top.

Prior Preparation:

  • It is very important to take proper winter clothes and snacks items in bag, as you will be taken by surprise by the temperature on hill-top, if you go unprepared.
  • Start your journey at proper time to reach the Nandi hills as early as possible in order to be able to see the sunrise on it.

Entry Ticket:
Entry fee is 5 Rs per person and 60 Rs for parking the four wheeler and 15 Rs for two wheeler.

Precautions:

  • We should be careful with  monkey and dogs on the hill (You can be sure there will be plenty :-))
  • We should take care for driving the car or vehicle also because there is only one road to the top and you can expect vehicles coming from the other side as well, that too amidst dew and fog. There are around 40 sharp curves in the way so one has to be extremely careful while driving both ways.

Accommodation:
There is only one hotel on top that is Mayura pine which is run by KSTDC (Karnataka state tourism development Corporation). It is  very basic one but its location is fabulous. It is situated at one edge of the hill and you can enjoy to see deep down into the valley .On the other hand there is one Nehru house also which has more than 15 rooms ,in which you can enjoy ancient world.

Places Of Interest:

  • Temples:There are temples for Sri Bhoga Narasimha, Sri Ugra Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha .
  • Tippus Drop:During Tippus empire the prisoners were pushed down from this point to death.
  • Rivers:Arkavathi river originated on the south-west of the hill,Palar river on the eastern side and Pennar river also originated from it but most of the sources have dried.
  • Tippus Residence:This was used as Tippus summer residence but now it’s not open to public.
  • Amruth Sarovar:It’s a beautiful water lake decorated with plants.
  • Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple:It has beautiful carving and also has a beautiful Kalyana Mantapa.
  • Secret Passage : A secret passage which was built for the Kings to escape during unforeseen attacks.

So what are you waiting for ?? Go, pack your bags and visit Nandi Hills 🙂

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How To e-file Income Tax Return-Online Income Tax Filing-Advantages And Disadvantages Of e-filing Of Income Tax Return

Sahaj & Sugam – New IT Return Forms. Can download from the website www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and print as per colour specifications. Due date – 31st July 2011.

I am sure, most of you must have got this group-message via email, which was sent by Indian Government to all tax-payers, whose had their mobile numbers updated with Income Tax Offices. Now we all are making our loan-payments online, paying the electricity bills online, so why should filing Income Tax Returns be an exception? Yes, You heard it right, you can e-file your income tax return !! No need to seek an appointment with a CA(Chartered Accountant) or standing in a long queue outside Income Tax Offices, you can do it sitting right inside your home. This article lists out the complete process on how to go about filing your income tax returns online.

E-FILING PROCESS:

  1. First of all, You have to select an appropriate type of Income Tax Return FormIt varies from individual to individual depending on whether you are a Salaried Individual or Business-Owner or a Partner in a Partnership Firm etc.
  2. Once you have selected the right type of Income Tax Return Form, please download the corresponding Income Tax Return Preparation Software. Please fill the Income Tax Return Form with all relevant details regarding your Income/Taxes/Losses etc offline. Once you are done, please validate your entries by clicking on “Check Form” button, provided at the end.
  3. Once you are sure about your Income Tax Return Form, that you filled offline, proceed to generate an XML File out of it by clicking on “Export to XML” button, provided at the end.
  4. If you are e-Filing your Income Tax Returns for the first time, you will have register as a user on https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. Once you are registered by creating a user id and password, please log into the portal using your credentials. Please browse to select the XML files (generated out of your offline Income Tax Return Form) and upload it on the same site. Now you have to attach the digital signature for yourself. Once you do that, your return gets filed !!In case, you don’t have a Digital Signature of yours, you need to generate a PDF file for your Income Tax Return Form and send it via courier to to Income Tax Department – CPC, Post Bag No – 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru – 560100, Karnataka(You can check out the details of IT offices, where you need to submit your Income Tax Return Forms on the same website). The post can be sent by ORDINARY POST OR SPEED POST only and that too within 120 days of transmitting the data electronically.

So this way, your e-filing process gets completed. As you can see, this is very easy to use and time saving at the same time. In case, you get into any problems, you can always contact the PRO(Public Relation Officer) of the Local Income Tax Office.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of e-filing Of Income Tax Return: As you know, earlier tax-filing used to be a very tedious process. You have to stand in long queue but now it is faster and efficient process because of e-filing. In e-filing chances of getting error is also lesser than physically filed.There is no postage charge also,so it is money  saving also.

Thus it is faster,efficient and money saving process but it has also a black hole that is security concern. There may be chances of hacking of computer system and unauthorized access to taxpayer’s files. But, I am sure those concerns have been raised elsewhere too. We are hoping that huge usage of computer and internet will make e-Filing of Income Tax Returns grow as mushroom.

Last Date of e-filing your Income Tax Return Form has been fixed as 31st July 2011

Track Your PF Provident Fund Account Balance Online

As you already know, it is too difficult and involves a lengthy process to enquire about your own PF (Provident Fund) Account. I have already mentioned it at length in one of my earlier blog posts. But, finally some good news for PF account holder. After first announcing it almost 2 years back, EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization) has finally said that starting 1st July 2011, PF (Provident Fund) Account related information is just a mouse click away from you, as it will be available online via an SMS to your mobile. PF(Provident Fund) related information will also include the latest transaction regarding your PF account like settlement/transfer-in/transfer-out, your current balance, employer’s contribution etc. However, this facility will be available only for a certain region of the country, at present it is available for Delhi North, Delhi South, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Laxmi Nagar (Delhi), Faridabad and Karnal.  Although, they have announced that very soon this service will be available for remaining PF offices as well.

For knowing the PF account details, please follow the following set of steps.

  • Go to site http://www.epfindia.com/MembBal.html.
  • Select the regional PF office, where your account is maintained.

  • Enter the establishment code (maximum 7 digits), extension field and account number(maximum 7 digits). If there is no extension it can be left blank.
  • Now enter the name and mobile number and submit. Once done, all the relevant information with regards to your PF (Provident Fund) Account will be sent to you by SMS.

Hopefully, this initiative will please the PF Account Holders, who for long have been crying for more transparency and accessibility from government offices, in this case EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization)

RituSays (Ritu’s Corner) Gets Its First Page Rank After Google Page Rank Update

Folks, it is time to celebrate. On June 27th, Google have issued an update to PageRank for the second time this year (First update happened in January 2011) and guess what ?? [Ritu’s Corner aka RituSays] has just got its first page-rank :-). Prior to this update, its PageRank was N/A (Not Available), but now its PageRank has increased to 1.

Last time, when we wrote about this blog’s popularity and hit-counts, calling for cheers and celebration, we had just crossed 500 hits mark, today we have clocked ~ 24000 Hits, with an average hit-count of 200-250 on a daily basis. Needless to say, we are happy and we are pretty sure, so are our readers.  This updated Google PageRank has definitely motivated us a lot. We hope to continue with our exploits in coming months and be more regular with our blog posts.  Thanks to everyone, who visited our site. We hope, you will continue doing so and find our blogs useful.

PF(Provident Fund) Claim Process Track Your PF(Provident Fund) Claim Status

Every time, you plan to purchase an Empty Land or a Constructed House/Apartment and think of your finances, the first dilemma, that you face, is whether it is better to withdraw the money from your Provident Fund(PF) Account or to take a new Plot Loan/Home Loan. I was also in a similar situation, so before taking the final decision, I thought it’s better to go to EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization) Regional office, Bangalore in order to get full details, regarding the same.

I went to PF office and was surprised to see that that PF Office Name was written in Hindi. The other thing, that caught my attention was a big sign-board, which had Tomorrow Is Holiday written in bold letters, which is fair enough, given that this was a government office. After all Govt. employees are more interested in holiday than work 😉

I started searching for the Enquiry Counter, but obviously I couldn’t find it myself.  So I entered inside the building and saw few people talking to some officials in a corner. Some of them were carrying their application forms also. I knew, I was in right place. I had a list of questions to ask and gentleman at the counter promptly answered all of them. At times, I found their answers somewhat cryptic and too-brief to understand completely. But whatever information I got from PF Office, I would like to share with you.

PF Claim Eligibility:
You should have completed your service for more than 5 yrs.

Reasons for claiming the PF:
Almost every reason !! You can withdraw the PF(Provident Fund) money for purchasing the plot or flat, constructing the house, family members’ illness, marriage, post matriculation education, property damaged by natural calamity, member’s physically handicapped, financing of member’s life insurance policies.

PF Form:
You have to fill the Application FORM 31 in which you have to mention the purpose,amount and other details to withdraw the money. A Declaration Form also needs to be submitted along with Application Form 31 for purchasing a dwelling site/house/flat or reconstruction of dwelling house or for addition/alteration of the dwelling house.

Track your PF claim: 
You can track the status of PF(Provident Fund) Account Transfer and PF(Provident Fund) Money Withdrawal claims online or on mobile phone. For more details, you can refer to one of my earlier blog “Track Your Provident Fund Claim

Maximum Amount of PF that can be withdrawn:
It varies from reason to reason for which you are applying to withdraw the money. In most of the cases, you can withdraw up to 80-85% of your PF(Provident Fund) Account Balance.

How long does it take to process the PF Claim ??
 When I asked Bangalore EPFO’s Employee, I was told that it will take 2 months to process the claim. This was due to the huge backlog of pending PF forms, which need to be cleared first, before the new claims are processed. But again, it may vary depending on location of Regional EPFO Offices, where your PF Account is managed.

Inquiry about PF Balance:
You need to go to EPFO office where your PF Account is maintained, fill an application to Assistant Commissioner, in order to get details of your PF account.

Conclusion:
Before taking a decision to withdraw your PF money, you should bear in mind that you are earning about  9.5% interest rate on PF money, which is a very good, safe and guaranteed return on your investment, when compared with other investment avenues. As I have mentioned earlier, you can cite almost anything as a reason for withdrawing your PF money.  So you should always think twice before deciding to withdraw. Just think of some critical situations, for example, loosing your job due to market recession or having caught a critical disease, which is not covered by your medical insurance policy.  In such cases, banks will not oblige you with a loan, but your Provident Fund will be your savior.

SBI (State Bank Of India) Increases Home and Personal Loan’s Rate

Are you planning to take a home loan or a personal loan ?? When it comes to selecting your preferred bank, the first name that comes into your mind is SBI (State Bank Of India) which is India‘s largest bank. We also have in our mind that it may take “some” time to get your loan approved, but one thing is for sure, You will get it at very low interest rate.

But there is a bad news coming for SBI’s loyal customer base, which is bound to affect all its present as well as future borrowers. SBI (State Bank Of India) has just hiked its Base Rate and Benchmark Prime Lending Rate(BPLR) by 25 basis points each. This change will be effective from 25th April 2011. However, the Interest Rate on Term Deposits has been left unchanged.

For people who know nothing about these financial terms(that include us as well :-)) BPLR(Benchmark Prime Lending Rate) is the Interest Rate, at which Commercial Banks charge their most credit-worthy customers. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committee, which reviews the Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR), has recommended the BPLR nomenclature to be scrapped and in stead a new benchmark rate — known as Base Rate — be put in place.

But, there are enough reasons not to worry. Even though the Base Rate for SBI’s loans is increased, it’s interest rate is still the lowest in Banking Industry. The Base Rates of most other public sector banks are in the range of 9-9.5 per cent whereas for State Bank Of India (SBI) the revised Base Rate is 8.5 per cent. No wonder, SBI remains the preferred first-choice lender for most of us, provided we get one !! They have set pretty stringent norms in place for granting home loans. I think, they should be more lenient in their home-loan-grant and should also cut-down on their processing time.

Instant Inter-Bank Funds Transfer Using IMPS (Inter-Bank Mobile Payment Service)

Did you know, you can transfer funds instantly across banks using your mobile ?? National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched a facility called Inter-Bank Mobile Payments Service(IMPS) on 22nd November, 2010. At present in India, there are close to 60 crore mobile users which is much higher than bank account holders that is 30 crores so allowing funds transfer by mobile will really make a lot of sense for the customers. This blog post will describe at length how to make use of this facility and what are its main features and current limitations.

One natural question arises as to How is it different from NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) and other transfer facilities like RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlements) ??

  • NEFT(National Electronic Funds Transfer) : As of now, we all can use National Electronic Funds Transfer(NEFT) for Inter-Bank Funds Transfer but it is not a real time service. It usually takes up to 48 hours to get the funds transferred. Hence the main drawback with NEFT is the time-lag.
  • RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) is another service, which can be used for Instant Inter-Bank Funds Transfer. Unfortunately it is not designed for common man. Here the minimum transfer amount is 2 Lakhs and this service is  available only during banking working hours, but the good thing about RTGS is its an instant service.  So you could say Special Service for Special People (Read Rich) 🙂
  • IMPS (Inter-Bank Mobile Payment System) is designed keeping rural India in mind, where mobile density is pretty good compare to banking sectors’ penetration. So now even common man (of course with less than 2 lakhs 😉 in their account) can transfer funds across banks instantly  IMPS (Inter-Bank Mobile Payment System) is 24×7 fund transfer service and its instant,automated,real time and simple to use as well.

Transfer Process:
At first a mobile customer has to register with his bank to activate mobile banking by installing a special application available at

Even if you phone is not supporting these applications, there is no need to worry. You can complete the transaction via SMS as well. After that a bank account holder will have to get a unique 7 digit number called MMID (Mobile Money Identifier).

What is MMID (Mobile Money Identifier):
Mobile Money identifier(MMID)
is a  7 digit number offered by IMPS by which we can send money instantly from our savings bank account using our mobile number.

Steps involved in transferring the money:

  1. Enter beneficiary’s 10 digit mobile number
  2. Enter beneficiary’s 7 digit MMID number
  3. Enter the amount you wish to transfer
  4. Provide bank authentication (user/customer ID and MPIN).
  5. Once your details are authenticated, the money is transferred instantly from your account.
  6. You will also receive an SMS with the transaction status

Steps involved in receiving the money:

  1. To receive money to your account via instant money transfer you will need to share your mobile number and MMID with the payee

Complaint:
In case of any problem you can register your complaint by placing a call to Call Center/Customer Care Toll-Free Number 1800 22 22 44. You can also register at the respective branches.

What all banks offer this facility ??
You will be happy to know that currently this service is available for customers having an account in Axis Bank,HDFC Bank, State Bank of India,Bank of India,Kotak Bank,Union Bank of India,Corporation Bank, Lakshmi Vilas Bank,Yes Bank. Soon, it will be made available to other bank customers as well.

Limitation:
The Maximum amount that can be transferred in a day has been set as Rs 50,000.

The most important part is this service IMPS (Inter-Bank Mobile Payment Service) is free till March 2011 an. Although nothing to loose sleep over, even after that NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) will only charge 25 paise per transaction, which is fairly nominal.

So no need to have passbook or to go to bank ,just have your mobile and you can pay anyone like shopkeeper,auto man etc,if you have money in your account 🙂