Tanjore Temple: all you need to know before visiting.

The land of temples -India is home to some of the most beautiful, historic, and architecturally fabulous temples in the world. Often a hot topic for researchers when it comes to building techniques and heights achieved in ancient times as compared to the technological progress achieved in building monuments today. The Tanjore Temple is an architectural marvel, which stumps historians even today.

While this temple is closed temporarily, just like all the others in India, we hope you have enough information around it to plan a trip to this wonder when its doors open.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Thanjavur Brihadeshwara Temple, symbolises heritage and culture of the Tamilnadu state. Locally known as the Thanjavur Periya Kovil, this temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and is one of the largest temples in India. King Raja Raja Cholan had this temple built between 984 A.D. and 1010 A.D. The temple shows the creative skills and affluence of the Chola kingdom

History

Arulmozhivarman, the emperor, popularly known as Rajaraja Chola I, was a Lord Shiva devotee and laid the foundations of the Tanjore temple after he dreamt about it in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). This temple was the center of most festivals celebrated in the Chola kingdom and it served as the center of economic and religious activities. Villages from the country provided human resources and material to maintain the temple.

Location

Called the Big Temple, it lies is in the Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu. Built on the banks of the river Cauvery, where the water was diverted to the moat, this temple is made entirely of granite, and it stands tall amidst fortified walls. The closest airports are Tiruchirappalli and Madurai and closest seaport is the Karaikal port.

The Tanjore temple is on the top Archaeologist List of top picks for its unsolved mysteries and engineering feats in the 11th -century.

Places to visit while visiting Tanjore Temple

1. Airavateshwara Temple: It is one of the greatest living Chola temples in Darasuram, Tanjavur. The legends say Lord Shiva’s white elephant Airawat worshipped the Lord to clear the curse Sage Durvasa gave him. A visit to this temple is a must.

2. Thanjavur Royal Palace: Located inside the Vijayanagara fort complex, the royal palace was once the residence of the Nayak Kings. The Nayak Hall, Saraswati Mahal library and the durbar hall are worth a visit.

3. Gangaikonda Temple: The architectural brilliance of Thanjavur does not end with the Tanjore temple. The 1000-year old Gangaikonda temple is an instance of the beautiful temple carvings, engineering virtuoso and historic significance of the Chola reign. It is a part of the UNESCO’s Living Chola temples World Heritage sites.

4. Vijayanagar Fort: Just 2-km away from the Brahadeeswara temple lies the celebrated Vijayanagar Fort. This stately fort was built partly by the Nayak and the Maratha monarchs in early 1550 AD. The Shiva Ganga Gardens are also a part of the complex. Though the fort is mostly in ruins today, it still resonates the métier and opulence it must have once had.

Read More : Things to Do in Thanjavur

How to reach the temple

The temple is easily accessible with direct flights to Tiruchirappalli or Madurai or the nearest railway station Thanjavur or Trichy. You can even use the bus or local taxi to reach Thanjavur.

Madurai

Madurai vibes

The ancient South Indian city of Madurai is often referred to as ‘Thoonganagaram’, or the ‘City That Never Sleeps’, thanks to its Princess, the warrior Goddess Meenakshi, who keeps a watchful eye over it. Go to this ancient temple town in Tamil Nadu and you will be amazed at how it still reverberates with wondrous legends. Perhaps the most beautiful is the legend surrounding its name, ‘Madurai’, a reference to the nectar that fell from Lord Shiva’s locks.
In Madurai, history and legend are inextricably intertwined.

Brihadeeswarar Temple – The Big Temple with no shadow in Thanjavur.

Locally, the Brihadeeswara temple is called Peruvudaiyar Koyil or Thanjavur Kovil. This “Great Living Chola Temple” is dated back to the 11th century and the times of the famous Raja Raja Chola. This was after the famous group of monuments in Mahabalipuram (8th century) but before the gorgeous Madurai Meenakshi temple (14th Century). The temple is built using granite and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is in fact, called the Dakshin Meru (South Meru).

The famous Sri Vimana of Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tanjore
During the reign of one of the longest-ruling dynasties of India – the Cholas, the temple was called Rajarajeshwaram. It was a center for all religious functions and festivals. Later, after the Nayakas and Marathas invaded it, the temple became famous as the Brihadeeswarar Temple. It is now a UNESCO Heritage site and one important destination in South India. This stems not just from its history but also, owing to the unusual facets of it.

Unusual Facts about Brihadisvara Temple
Gopurams smaller than Vimana-Brihadeeswarar Temple

Whether by design or by coincidence, the architecture and the design of the Thanjavur Temple have made it quite mysterious. There are quite a few unexplained stories about it that will intrigue every visitor here. Some of them did make my eyebrows disappear into my hairline. No – really – they did. Check them out –

In most South Indian Temples, the gates (gopurams) are taller than the main temple tower (Vimana). Check my post of the Meenakshi temple and you will know what I mean. However, in the Brihadeeswarar Temple, it is exactly the opposite. The gopurams are smaller than the main Vimana.
The entire temple is made of Granite. Evidence shows that there was no granite cutting quarry or even sources to get the stone around Thanjavur. In fact, it is not available even within 50 km of the site. Imagine how they would have carried it all here to be used in the temple – and in those days!
Speaking of Granite, the main Vimana measures 66 m in height. This is 6 stories high and was the largest structure in South India in those days. The astonishing part about this is that the large granite capstone on the top weighs around 80 tons. This is those days, was placed over the hollow Vimana – how? No one knows!’ Upon my 2nd visit, this astonishing fact was explained. My guide told me that they had created inclines stretching to almost 8 km to reach the top of the temple and place the granite there. Close your eyes and imagine how a procession of elephants carried a piece at a time to reach the apex. That itself must have been a jaw-dropping sight.
The tall Vimana is made using interlocking bricks. There is no binding material used. The best part is – it has survived so many centuries and various invasions and calamities like earthquakes
According to my first guide, there is a debate on whether this was really a temple or was it a watchtower. The presence of a moat around the temple and the various underground passages leading to different locations definitely add some weight to this theory. However, my money was on it being a temple for there is other evidence that points to it. And boy! Was I right? Upon my 2nd visit to the Tanjore temple, my 2nd guide explained that owing to the kingdom wars after the Cholas, the Marathas and the Nayaks sought refuge within the temple and consequently used it as a watchtower. The added extra fortifications around the temple – which is the moat and the outer gates and walls.
And here is the whoopiest of all facts about Brihadeeswarar temple. You will never see the shadow of the Vimana at noon – no matter which season you visit it in. In fact, I was super puzzled by it. My first guide through the Golden Chariot insisted on it by pointing the various spaces in the Tanjore temple grounds at noon and saying there was no shadow. However, this myth was debunked by the facts shared by my knowledgeable 2nd guide a few years later. She said that it is true that the shadow of the Big Temple Thanjavur did not fall within the grounds. However, the Tanjore Big Temple did cast a shadow away from the main grounds, towards the periphery. One could not see it owing to the various trees covering the ground.
The 80 ton granite capstone atop the 60 m high vimana at Brihadeeswarar Temple
The 80-ton granite capstone atop the 66 m high vimana at Brihadeeswarar Temple
Pretty cool – right? I am sure that by now you are all geared to take the virtual tour of this unique Indian temple, with one more hidden mystery in its carving. Just don’t want to spoil the fun by revealing it here – time you take the tour!

Layout of the Tanjore Temple

The Dravidian styled Tanjore Temple may seem quite elaborate and daunting when you see it from the entrance. However, it is a fairly simple layout. To help you get your bearings right – you will first cross three Gopurams (gateways) and enter the main square. Here along the perimeter of the wall are open corridors called mandapams. Straight in front of the gopuram, you will see a cow shrine – Nandi Mandapam. This faces the entrance to the main shrine – Sri Vimana. Around the Shri Vimana, are several other shrines. And yes, each of these has a story of its own. 😉 Thus, not surprising if you spend half a day just seeing all this around.

Gopurams of Brihadeeswarar Temple
The outer most gate of the Tanjore Big Temple

Technically, there are three gates but only two elaborate Gopurams. The first one is more like a fort gate that was built by the Marathas to defend the place. It was connected to the moat that surrounded the Temple. It is the 2nd gate – Keralantakan Tiruvasal and the 3rd gate – Rajarajan Tiruvasal that I spend a lot of time admiring.

Keralantakan Tiruvasal
Keralatakan Gopuram at Brihadeeswarar Temple

The gate as the sign informed me, was constructed to celebrate the victory of the King Raja Raja Chola over the Cheras. Tiny figures of the popular Hindu Gods – Ganesha, Shiv – Parvati, Vishnu and more highlighted the entrance arch. Along with these, all through to the top. I could see various mini-stories of mythical beasts, nymphs and humans. I could have figured more out except that from the arched gateway, I could see an even more elaborate gopuram – waiting to be explored. That is what I did – but not before a quick stop to the shoe stand behind the Keralatakan Tiruvasal.


Rajarajan Tiruvasal from Keralatakan Gopuram
Carvings of Rajarajan Tiruvasal as seen from Keralatakan Tiruvasal

Rajarajan Tiruvasal

Rajarajan Tiruvasal at Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tanjore
The third and final gateway was a teaser of things to come. Every inch of the Rajarajan Tiruvasal (Gate of the King) was covered with detailed stone carvings. Two stone guards – Dwarpalikas flanked the arched doorway. As I gazed over the arch, I could make out three distinct tiers of carvings. Stories from the life of Shiva seemed to be the overlying theme for I could make out some that referred to his marriage.

Dwarpalika close-up
Close up of Dwarpalika
There were also, scenes from the Puranas like this one that is said to be of a wishing tree – Kalpavriksha. I remember this one as I first thought it was from the life of Krishna – like this one where he mischievously steals the clothes of the bathing ladies and climbs up a tree. I was corrected by my first guide saying that it wasn’t that – though he could not substantiate his explanation. Personally still, think that it is Krishna and not Kalpvriksha 😉

Kalpavriksha carvings on Rajarajan Gopuram of Brihadeeswarar Temple
Kalpavriksha carvings on Rajarajan Gopuram of Brihadeeswarar Temple
Carvings along the inner walls of the arched gateway of Brihadeeswarar Temple
Carvings along the inner walls of the arched gateway of Brihadeeswarar Temple
Even within the arched gateway, there are complete stories etched along the walls. Once you come out, spare a glimpse along its inner walls. You will see many cows or Nandi figures on it. The ones on the corner have 2 bodies but one head.

Nandi on the walls of Brihadeeswarar Temple
Nandi on the walls of Brihadeeswarar Temple
And finally, the first glimpse of the grand Vimana from the doorway. It was time to move ahead to the next stop – the Nandi Mandapam.

Nandi Mandapam
Nandi Mandapam facing Brihadeeswarar Temple
Nandi Mandapam facing Brihadeeswarar Temple
Where there is Shiva, there is Nandi. For those of you who are not familiar, Nandi is Shiva’s guardian as well as his mount. Every Hindu temple that is dedicated to Shiva, will have a Nandi outside its shrine, with the Nandi idol facing the Shiva Idol. Brihadeeswarar Temple too, followed this norm. However, the interesting thing is that the pavilion with this Nandi was only built later in the 16th century by the Nayaka Kings.

Nandi facing the Shiva in the main shrine of Thanjavur Brihadeesvara temple
Nandi facing the Shiva in the main shrine of Thanjavur Brihadeesvara temple
Nandi at Thanjavur Temple
Nandi at Thanjavur Temple
Maybe, there was a structure earlier or maybe, the Nandis along the Tanjore Temple walls served the original custom of a Nandi before the Shiva. Or maybe, it was indeed a defense post and not a temple. Either way, there was no denying the excellent craftsmanship of the monolithic Nandi here (yes, carved out of a single stone).

Close-up of one of the ceiling murals of Nandi Mandapam
Close-up of one of the ceiling murals of Nandi Mandapam
Pillars of Nandi Mandapa at Brihadeeswarar Temple
Pillars of Nandi Mandapa at Brihadeeswarar Temple
Pillars of Nandi Mandapa at Brihadeeswarar TempleIf you are here and glance up, you will see gorgeous ceiling paintings. Some say that the Nayak dynasty was responsible for these while some credit the Maratha kings. While you admire the Nandi and the ceilings, remember to check out the pillars with the mythical Yellis holding up the Nandi Mandapam. I am sure, you will even notice the old oil lamp in front of the Nandi as you exit it.

Oil Lamp near Nandi Mandapam, Tanjore Temple
Oil Lamp near Nandi Mandapam, Tanjore Temple
Sri Vimana of Brihadeeswarar Temple
Sri Vimana of Brihadeesawara Temple
Sri Vimana of Brihadeesawara Temple
Following the gaze of the faithful Nandi, I made my way across an elaborate courtyard to the main shrine – the Sanctum Santorium – the Sri Vimana. The courtyard was marked out like a car park and a query to my guide revealed that this was where an annual cattle fair was held. Cows were brought here for cow worship and each herd was given a lot for it. However, in the olden days, this same courtyard was used for religious gatherings and functioned as a community hall.

Inside Brihadeeswarar Temple as seen from the entrance
Inside Brihadeeswarar Temple as seen from the entrance
Standing at the entrance of the Brihadeshwara temple, I could see the magnificent Shiva Linga. It was at the far end in a smaller shrine called the Garbha Griha, where only the priests were allowed. No pictures were allowed inside the temple and the only window that our guide pointed out was to take whatever we could from the entrance.

Lakshmi carving as you exit the shrine at Brihadeeswarar Temple
Lakshmi carving as you exit the shrine at Brihadeeswarar Temple
Wall carvings of Brihadeeswarar Temple
Wall carvings of Brihadeeswarar Temple
I don’t remember much about the work inside the temple for I was focused on the glistening Shiva Linga. Also, possibly because it was so dark inside. However, the one thing that I recall my guide telling me – the Vimana which stood over the Garbha Griha was hollow so much that the echo of “OM” chanted in it became a divine sound!

The magnificent Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur.

Built by Raja Raja Chola I in 1010 AD, Brihadeshwara Temple is an ancient temple at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The deity of the temple is Lord Shiva—in his dancing pose—who is called the Nataraj. The temple is also known as Rajeswara Temple, Rajarajeswaram and Periya Kovil. The temple was built, like a fortress on the shores of a river, by the king to grace the Chola Empire. This thousand-year-old temple is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site adding to its exceptional historical and cultural value.

The temple is a magnificent architectural construct that will never stop surprising anyone visiting the temple. Built using over 130,000 tons of granite, this fabulous structure shows the architectural prowess and affinity of the South Indian kings.

The major attraction of the temple is the 216-feet-tall tower that is built above the Sanctum of the temple. This flamboyant tower can be seen by anyone entering the city from afar. Another breathtaking thing that will sure stupefy the visitor is the magnificent Nandi statue built at the temple; it is about two meters in height, six meters in length and two-and-half meters in width, and weighs around a whopping 20 tons for a statue built from a single stone. Various postures of the famous classical dance, Barathanatyam, are carved carefully on the exterior walls of the upper storey of the temple.

There are several shrines added to the temple by most of the following rulers such as the Pandyas, the Vijayanagara rulers and the Marathas, too. The temple architecture marvels at housing a myriad of surprises for everyone taking a look at this great temple. Another important architectural feature of the temple is that the shadow of the temple never falls on the ground at noon. The architecture of the temple is done so cleverly that the temple casts no shadow on the ground when the sun is at its peak. This is a phenomenon that attracts thousands of tourists and architectural enthusiasts from across the world to unravel the architectural mystery of the temple.

Brihadeshwara Temple is also the first all-granite temple in the world, and the fact that granites are not available within the 100-mile radius of the temple only makes it all the more astonishing. Granite is as heavy a stone to carry as it is to carve, but none of that seemed to have shied the king from realizing the temple the way he envisaged.

When the temple was built in AD 1010, it was the tallest temple in India hitherto, and it took only seven years to complete. The topmost structure of the temple, called Vimana, weighs around 80 tons, and it is a mystery how the builders got it up there. There are several musical pillars, which make different sounds when taped, at the temple. Upon visiting, anyone can understand that the temple is a brilliant testimonial of the opulence of grand South Indian architecture.

yercaud hill station.

A less explored and undiscovered treasure perched in the Eastern Ghats in the Shevaroy Hills, Yercaud is a rejuvenating hill-station in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu. It is situated around the Emerald Lake, which is also known as the Yercaud Lake. The emerald green hue of the beautiful natural lake is also where the hill-station gets its meaning from. In the local language, the word, Yercaud translates to ‘The Lake Forest’, which it, indeed, is. This Tamil Nadu weekend destination is all that an ideal getaway is about – green landscapes, fog covered hill-tops, fresh breeze, and a soulful experience. 
Steeped in raw natural attractions and a rustic aesthetic, the destination is set at an altitude of 4970 ft above sea level. From flora and fauna to an air of freshness and purity, Yercaud is also called the Ooty of the Poor, given its low cost tourism. The hill-station is seemingly enveloped under picturesque skies above dense forests that grow coffee, spices and fruits, with oranges in abundance. It houses some famous parks and gardens proffering floral masterpieces, like Anna Park and Rose Garden to name a few. Yercaud, discovered in the 19th century by the Britishers, also boasts of some stunning vantage points that help tourists soak in the beauty of the town.  
Due to its unspoiled and pristine nature, Yercaud is a paradise for nature lovers, trekkers and adventurers, with various trek tours that take you to spots like Kiliyur Falls and Tipperary Point. It sees less crowd than most hill-stations, which is why it remains fairly raw and thereby, cost-effective. Moreover, Yercaud is a compact destination, easily explorable in a day or two. Beautified by fruit orchards and spice & coffee plantations, the hill also reaps in its merit from its flora and fauna that intrigues all kinds of vacationers. Epitomized as the Jewel of South India, the untouched charm of this lake hill-station and its quaintness, undoubtedly, makes it one of the topmost places to visit in Tamil Nadu.

8 Ways To Keep Your Mobile Phone Safe From Cyber Attackers.

1.    Beware of software you install
Many applications require access to your mobile phone camera and photos before installation. Unless you trust the creator of the application, it is safer to avoid installing as your device will be vulnerable to external tampering and sensitive data theft. Ensure that permissions given match the purpose of the downloaded application. After the application is installed, you may or may not be able to change this permission.

2.    Do not open suspicious URLs
If you receive an invitation to click on a URL to win a prize or holiday within the next 15 minutes, and that little voice in your head is telling you that it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do not click any links even if it looks like it was sent from a friend, and do not be pressured to make quick and potentially unsafe decisions.

3.    Do not use modified smartphones or electronic devices
When restrictions imposed by the smartphone or electronic device manufacturer have been removed to allow the installation of unauthorised software (known as “jailbreak” for iOS, “rooting” for Android), it is possible for your device to be fully controlled externally. Your mobile device can be used for criminal activities, for cyber scams or attacks, without your knowledge.

4.    Avoid using free WiFi networks 
When you connect to a hotel’s free WiFi network or to a public WiFi network in a restaurant or shopping mall, always check with the staff what the name of the official free WiFi network is. Cyber attackers sitting close by can introduce fake WiFi access points with the network name very close to legitimate one, like “C0ffeeshop” instead of “Coffeeshop”. Fake WiFi networks can ask you to provide personal information such as email addresses and passwords.

5.    Do not make sensitive transactions using public WiFi networks
Some improperly developed or configured mobile applications can allow cyber attackers to tap on the same WiFi network to sniff and decode personal sensitive data accessed via your mobile device. Even if a secure HTTPS connection is used, some applications may not be sufficiently validated which can lead to your web traffic being intercepted by a cyber attacker, sitting between you and the application’s servers.

6.    Set PINs/ face recognition/ fingerprint for device unblock
If you haven’t done it, set a phone lock. Sometimes cyber attackers do not need to steal your phone to install malicious applications. Three minutes of unattended access to your mobile device is more than enough time to transfer your private information to an external web drive.

7.    Do not leave your mobile device with strangers for charging
When you leave your mobile phone to charge at public locations, your data can be transferred to another device without your knowledge. It is better to use a power bank than to hand over your mobile device to unknown people, even if they look friendly

8.    Use an anti-malware solution with a remote wipe function
Installing an anti-malware application in your mobile device will enable you to remotely wipe your personal data from it in the event that it is stolen, once the device is switched on and online again.

The 9 Most Common Security Threats to Mobile Devices in 2021.

1. Social Engineering

Social engineering attacks are when bad actors send fake emails (phishing attacks) or text messages (smishing attacks) to your employees in an effort to trick them into handing over private information like their passwords or downloading malware onto their devices.

Reports by cybersecurity firm Lookout and Verizon show a 37% increase in enterprise mobile phishing attacks and that phishing attacks were the top cause of data breaches globally in 2020.

Social Engineering

Phishing Attack Countermeasures

The best defense for phishing and other social engineering attacks is to teach employees how to spot phishing emails and SMS messages that look suspicious and avoid falling prey to them altogether. Reducing the number of people who have access to sensitive data or systems can also help protect your organization against social engineering attacks because it reduces the number of access points attackers have to gain access to critical systems or information.

2. Data Leakage via Malicious Apps

Today, hackers can easily find an unprotected mobile app and use that unprotected app to design larger attacks or steal data, digital wallets, backend details, and other juicy bits directly from the app.

For example, when your employees visit Google Play or the App Store to download apps that look innocent enough, the apps ask for a list of permissions before people are allowed to download them. These permissions generally require some kind of access to files or folders on the mobile device, and most people just glance at the list of permissions and agree without reviewing them in great detail.

However, this lack of scrutiny can leave devices and enterprises vulnerable. Even if the app works the way it’s supposed to, it still has the potential to mine corporate data and send it to a third party, like a competitor, and expose sensitive product or business information.

How to Protect Against Data Leakage

The best way to protect your organization against data leakage through malicious or unsecured applications is by using mobile application management (MAM) tools. These tools allow IT admins to manage corporate apps (wipe or control access permissions) on their employees’ devices without disrupting employees’ personal apps or data.

3. Unsecured Public WiFi

Public WiFi networks are generally less secure than private networks because there’s no way to know who set the network up, how (or if) it’s secured with encryption, or who is currently accessing it or monitoring it. And as more companies offer remote work options, the public WiFi networks your employees use to access your servers (e.g., from coffee shops or cafes) could present a risk to your organization.

For example, cybercriminals often set up WiFi networks that look authentic but are actually a front to capture data that passes through their system (a “man in the middle” attack). Here’s what that looks like:

Unsecured Public WiFi

If this seems far-fetched, it isn’t. Creating fake WiFi hotspots in public spaces with network names that look completely legit is incredibly simple, and people are very willing to connect, as shown by experiments run at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2016 and by an experiment run by a researcher in 2019 from Magic.

How to Reduce Risks Posed By Unsecured Public WiFi

The best way for you to protect your organization against threats over public WiFi networks is by requiring employees to use a VPN to access company systems or files. This will ensure that their session stays private and secure, even if they use a public network to access your systems.

4. End-to-End Encryption Gaps

An encryption gap is like a water pipe with a hole in it. While the point where the water enters (your users’ mobile devices) and the point where the water exits the pipe (your systems) might be secure, the hole in the middle lets bad actors access the water flow in between.

End-to-End Encryption Gaps

Unencrypted public WiFi networks are one of the most common examples of an encryption gap (and it’s why they’re a huge risk to organizations). Since the network isn’t secured, it leaves an opening in the connection for cybercriminals to access the information your employees are sharing between their devices and your systems.

However, WiFi networks aren’t the only thing that poses a threat—any application or service that’s unencrypted could potentially provide cybercriminals with access to sensitive company information. For example, any unencrypted mobile messaging apps your employees use to discuss work information could present an access point for a bad actor.

Solution: Ensure Everything is Encrypted

For any sensitive work information, end-to-end encryption is a must. This includes ensuring any service providers you work with encrypt their services to prevent unauthorized access, as well as ensuring your users’ devices and your systems are encrypted as well.

5. Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

The types of mobile devices that access your organization’s systems are branching out from mobile phones and tablets to include wearable tech (like the Apple Watch) and physical devices (like Google Home or Alexa). And since many of the latest IoT mobile devices have IP addresses, it means bad actors can use them to gain access to your organizations’ network over the internet if those devices are connected to your systems.

How to Combat Shadow IoT Threats

Mobile device management (MDM) tools can help you combat shadow IoT threats, as well as identity and access management (IAM) tools like Auth0. However, IoT/Machine-to-Machine (M2M) security is still in a bit of a “wild west” phase at the moment. So it’s up to each organization to put the appropriate technical and policy regulations in place to ensure their systems are secure.

6. Spyware

Spyware is used to survey or collect data and is most commonly installed on a mobile device when users click on a malicious advertisement (“malvertisement”) or through scams that trick users into downloading it unintentionally.

Whether your employees have an iOS or Android device, their devices are targets ripe for data mining with spyware—which could include your private corporate data if that device is connected to your systems.

How to Protect Against Spyware

Dedicated mobile security apps (like Google’s Play Protect) can help your employees detect and eliminate spyware that might be installed on their devices and be used to access company data. Ensuring your employees keep their device operating systems (and applications) up to date also helps ensure that their devices and your data are protected against the latest spyware threats.

7. Poor Password Habits

2020 study by Balbix found that 99% of the people surveyed reused their passwords between work accounts or between work and personal accounts. Unfortunately, the passwords that employees are reusing are often weak as well.

For example, a 2019 study by Google found that 59% of the people they surveyed used a name or a birthday in their password, and 24% admitted to using a password like one of these below:

Poor Password Habits

These bad password habits present a threat to organizations whose employees use their personal devices to access company systems. Since both personal and work accounts are accessible from the same device with the same password, it simplifies the work a bad actor has to do in order to breach your systems.

However, these behaviors also provide opportunities for credential-based brute force cyberattacks like credential stuffing or password spraying because cybercriminals can use weak or stolen credentials to access sensitive data through company mobile apps.

How to Reduce or Eliminate Mobile Password Threats

The NIST Password Guidelines are widely regarded as the international standard for password best practices. Following these guidelines—and insisting your employees do the same—will help protect you against threats from weak or stolen passwords. Password managers can simplify the work required for your employees to follow these guidelines.

Requiring your employees to use more than one authentication factor (multi-factor authentication or MFA) to access mobile company applications will also help reduce the risk that a bad actor could gain access to your systems since they’d need to verify their identity with additional authentication factors in order to log in.

Finally, implementing passwordless authentication will help you eliminate password risks altogether. For example, in the event that a mobile device is stolen or accessed illegally, requiring a facial scan as a primary (or secondary) authentication factor could still prevent unauthorized access.

8. Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices

Lost and stolen devices aren’t a new threat for organizations. But with more people working remotely in public places like cafes or coffee shops and accessing your systems with a wider range of devices, lost and stolen devices pose a growing risk to your organization.

How to Protect Against Lost or Stolen Device Threats

First and foremost, you’ll want to ensure employees know what steps to take if they lose their device. Since most devices come with remote access to delete or transfer information, that should include asking employees to make sure those services are activated.

How to Protect Against Lost or Stolen Device Threats

Mobile device management (MDM) tools can also help you secure, encrypt, or wipe sensitive company information from a device that’s lost or stolen, so long as those tools were installed before the device went missing.

9. Out of Date Operating Systems

Like other data security initiatives, mobile security requires continuous work to find and patch vulnerabilities that bad actors use to gain unauthorized access to your systems and data.

Companies like Apple and Google address a lot of these vulnerabilities with operating system updates. For example, in 2016, Apple realized it had three zero-day vulnerabilities that left its devices open for spyware attacks and released a patch to protect users against these vulnerabilities.

However, these patches only protect your organization if your employees keep their devices up to date at all times. And according to Verizon’s Mobile Security Index Report, operating system updates on 79% of the mobile devices used by enterprises are left in the hands of employees.

How To Keep Mobile Operating Systems Up To Date

Google and Apple both allow organizations to push updates to managed Android and iOS devices. Third-party MDM tools (for example, Jamf) often provide this functionality as well.

IAM Tools Can Help Secure Company Mobile Applications

Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools can help organizations secure the apps and data that users access from their mobile devices, including:

  • Restricting which devices and users can access enterprise applications and data, as well as which parts of those applications they’re allowed to access.
  • Tracking user behavior and securing access in the event that something looks suspicious with security features like multi-factor authentication (MFA),brute force attack protection, and more.

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𝗦𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗿 something 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝟮𝟬 𝗞𝗶𝗱𝘀. 𝗡𝗼 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗶𝗴 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗶𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲’𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿.

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Yana Caves

The gigantic crystalline-like rock formations of Yana stand proud and tall among the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats in Uttara Kannada District. Yana is an ideal destination for pilgrims, trekkers, and nature-lovers alike. A 16km trek through the cool and breezy hills brings you to the foot of the mountain where the rock formations begin. At the top, a stunning sight awaits you: the awesome Bhairaveshwara and Jaganmohini shikharas (or peaks). A cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva lies below these shikharas. The vagaries of time have caused these limestone structures to turn blackish brown and lots of beehives dot the rock surface.
A popular legend associated with Yana holds that Bhasmasura, an evil demon, performed penance to Lord Shiva and obtained the power of reducing to ashes anybody on whose head he placed his hand. An ungrateful Bhasmasura, however, soon decided to test the boon on his benefactor. To escape from him, Lord Shiva came to earth and hid in this place. Lord Vishnu taking the form of a beautiful woman Mohini, challenged the demon to dance and made him touch his own head and thereby reducing him to ashes.

Yana rocks are an adventure seeker’s ultimate destination. Yana in Uttara Kannada district attracts trekkers and climbers from all over the world.

Why Visit Yana:

  • Hike up to the rocks: Yana attracts hikers because of its two massive rock formations, known as Bhairaveshwara hill and Mohini hill (90 meters) in height.
  • Temples: At the bottom of Bhairaveshwara hill, a Shiva temple, believed to be self emerged exists. Water drips on the Shiva Linga from the top of rocks.
  • Bird Watching: Probability of bird spotting is very high at this rocks and nearby areas.
  • Waterfalls: Trek to visit Vibhooti waterfalls will be an excellent adventure activity in Yana (9.7 kms by trek from Yana, longer road access available but 70 kms by road)

There is a Kannada saying “Sokku iddare Yana, Rokka iddare Gokarna”-  If you have lots of money to spend, go to Rona (Gokarna), if you are feeling over enthusiastic, visit Yana. This saying was due to extreme difficulty one had to face in the past to reach Yana. Now well paved roads take you till the bottom of the rocks. 

Mythology:
The names of the majestic rocks at Yana are linked to an interesting section in Hindu mythology. A demon named Bhasmasura manages to get a unique gift that anything on which he keeps his palm burns into ashes (bhasma). With this unique skill Bhasmasura wrecks havoc and attempts to try his skill on the very person who granted the gift- Lord Shiva. Fearing his life, Lord Shiva seeks help from Lord Vishnu, who takes the shape of a beautiful woman named Mohini and appears in front of Bhasmasura. Trying to win over Mohini, Bhasmasura accepts her challenge to dance with her and perform the same steps as she does. As the dance progresses, Mohini keeps her hand over her head. Bhasmasura performs the same act and burns into ashes.

How to reach Yana:
Plan about half a day to explore Yana. A visit to Yana rocks can also be clubbed with a visit to Murudeshwara (76 kms), Gokarna (48 kms) and Karwar (90 kms) along the coastline would be a wonderful option especially for those looking to enjoy some vitamin sea.

By Train: Kumta is the nearest railway station to Yana from KSR, Bengaluru Station. You can hop on to Karwar Express which is usually scheduled for 5:30 AM from the departing destination. There are trains available from Mangaluru Railway Station to Kumta as well. Karwar Express transits via Mysuru Railway Station to Bengaluru with the station of arrival being Kumta, totally close to 470 kms away from Yana.

By Road: Travelers can either take their own vehicles and drive through the smooth NH 48 from Bengaluru to Yana which is approximately 470 kms and close to 9 hours by road. 

There is bus connectivity such as KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) and private buses as well up to Kumta from Bengaluru. 

The closest city to Yana, Sirsi, is about 30 kms and takes about 1 hour to reach the destination.

The next closest town to Yana is Hubli-Dharwad, which is about 104 kms give or take and takes close to 3 hours of travel by road. 

By Air: The closest airport to Kumta is Debolim Airport, Goa to reach Kumta and the rest that follow are closer based on distance from the coast and connectivity. You may either hire taxis or hop on to the public transport to reach Yana or your accommodation in Kumta or the surrounding locations.

Places to stay near Yana: Multitude of hotel options are available in Kumta.