Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sangameswara -Koodli

In this rainy season I & Rajesh sir visited some places in Shimoga district. Koodli was our last targeted place as his plan we reached Koodli by late noon. First we stepped to Chintamani Narashimaswamy temple.
The temple architecture reminds one of the Chola kingdom style but less impressive. Behind the Chintamani temple there is Brindavan, which seems to be Samadi place of priests who have passed away. It is adorned with Tulsi enclosure and is worshiped by priests even today.
Left side to Chintamani temple there is another beautiful Hoysala temple known as Rameshwara temple. An inscription in the temple indicates that in the year 1313, the Hoysala king, Veera Ballala III provided grants to the temple is situated at the conluence of Thunga & Bhadra rever.
Behind the temple a  small roofless temple with Nandi denotes the exact point where the two rivers meet, and is considered to be very sacred. At Sangama lord called  as Sangameshwara.
Below the steps adjacent to the river bed there is a small temple at the confluence point of Tunga and Bhadra. When I reached to river bed it started pouring heavily. I took shelter under one big Aswatha tree and enjoyed the beauty of two mighty rivers and An exquisite view of the 'Sangama' makes the place more exotic..
Tunga flows from the western ghat from northwest direction and Bhadra from southwest  meet to give rise to the Thungabhadra River. Because of heavy rain the water level and water force also very high.
There are two Mutts in Koodli, one belongs to Advaita philosophy Shankar Mutt and other one represents Dvaita philosophy Arya Akshoya theerta Mutt. Shankar Mutt is also known as the Koodli Sringeri Mutt. It received patronage from the Wodeyars. A well maintained cows stable is undertaken by Arya Akshoya theerta Mutt.
Koodli is located on Hole-Honnur route proceeding to Chennagiri and Chitradurga. It can be approached from Bhadravathi as well as Shimoga, almost equi-distance. Overall the visit to Koodli gives one a feeling of religious fervor but devoid of much hassling of a crowded atmosphere
Flooded Tunga River-View from  Pillangere Ranganathaswamy temple

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gangadhareshwara temple-Turuvekere

When I visited the incomparable temple of Lord Gangadhareshwara located in Turuvekere, I was wondering why this grand temple is being ignored by the public and remains almost unknown to most of the people. The temple is very artistic and the temple complex is beautiful and attractive. This temple built by Mahadandanayaka Somanna and the exact date of its construction has not been ascertained.

When we reached the Gangadhareshwara temple, the temple was closed so we could only view the architecture and sculptures from the outer side. The entrance is dominated by a huge and attractive Nandi which is around 7-8 feet in height sculpted from locally available Blackstone, well known as Turuvekere Kallu, the lifelike image with finely carved beads, bells and garlands has retained its brilliance. The sculpture of the sacred bull Nandi is being polished to such an extent that one can see the reflection in it. Also, the idol is very much intact and not being ruined anywhere. 

Gangadhareshwara temple has a Shiva Idol with serpent hoods carved in a single piece of stone and is considered an example of fine sculpting. The unique difference here, the Shiva Idol is carved with Ganga sitting on top of his head and one can see fountains of water being flowing in the form Prabhavali. It is the only temple which is having such depiction of Ganga and Shiva being together. Also, the Uthsava Murthy made out of Bronze is having an extra eye on the right foot, which also is a unique in nature.

The eastern door has some wonderful features. The large Grey bell which is around 2 feet in diameter hanging from the ceiling is hew out of stone, but when struck gives a clear metallic note. Just below the bell is the carving of Bedara Kannappa offering his eyes to Lord Shiva .The pillars have soldiers riding rampant lions and the images of Ganapathy, Bedara Kannappa and those of Girija kalyana are all chiseled into them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Karni Betta..

The Western-Ghats revealed themselves in every mood, aspect and form. And then, the skies opened and nature revealed itself again in familiar acceptable contours of attractiveness. Contrasts of sun, sky and clouds, flowers and vivid butterflies, a whisper of Green it was a great experience to watch the beauty of nature which can’t be explained in simple words but just imagine, standing into the wild dark unfathomable jungle with unhoped feeble condition with a happy end I prefer to remember the Karni Betta experience for a right example....
Whenever I remember Karni betta this would come to my mind because for the very first time I had such a type of experience in my life. I had visited this wonderful place few years back with my Udupi YHA team in the peak summer.
By early morning we reached Hullukudike a small village and found one local person as guide. All arrangements had been made by Mr. K S Adiga a senior experienced member of our unit so we had no need to worry about anything especially food. It was disciplined and well arranged. Our team was full of well experienced trekkers but the luck was not with us this time. Our guide missed out the route ( there was No proper rout for this place) and it took us entirely in a narrowed wrong dead end into the dense.
After a long walk on a mud road we reached the next village the weather was exceedingly hot and not endurable. There I simply asked the details about the hill but all replayed in negative. Our guide was well experienced in that region so we didn’t worry about the route we believed on his confidence and simply followed him wherever he lead.
After crossing the village we started to walk into the deep timberland. Huge trees very thick evergreen vegetation the initial forest walk was dulcet but harsh humidity on that shaded forest everyone began to get weary. After a non stop walk our energy level went down each step all our food and water got empty. when the ardor of the nonstop climb left me more hot and thirsty and some our our teammates were not able to maintain the team gap and discipline and we came to know our guide had missed the route.
The sun shaded itself and the climb was barren and rarefied but our hike never ended. Finally Adiga sir took the initiative and made a small troop to find the peak. After much climbing we reached nether of the peak it was a ridge and a Kilometer wide steep rock concatenation which was never climbed or crossed. The Sun was going to cover its face we din’t have time to think climbing the rock was not possible.. All we decided was to get down the hill as soon as possible before it was dark.
Even it was a tough task descending in lubricious terrain in dim light with low energy. After a lot of helping each other in the dark night at one point we found a water point. Then we had a small break and almost agreed to spend that night at that place but the water was not sufficient to cook for one night.
Same time few guys went down and found a foot-wide path and that route took them to the village. They returned back with few villagers and we were happily shifted to bottom side village house. In that tired out condition only Adiga sir made very delicious food. Later we made a small campfire and slept off under clear star painted blue sky. Next day we changed our plan and we went to another nice place near by the village.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Keshava Temple –Aralaguppe

The Old Testament there was a physically glorious work which was replaced by a spiritually glorious work. We sea that it was harder for those who saw the previous temple (Kalleswara) to be content when they saw the Chenna Kesava temple in Arasikere.

This temple was constructed in 13th century AD during the Hoysala period and its stands on a raised platform (4 feet high Jagati) in the centre of the village.
This is Ekakootachala temple a single celled temple, with its star shaped Garbhagriha and tower is of a simple ground plan consisting of an Antarala (vestibule), Navaranga and an entrance Ankana with an entrance porch at east and it fitted with pierced stone windows, which allows subdued light into the temple. The temple follows the contours of the Vimana and has a flight of steps in the front flanked by two miniature towers on each side.
A separate shrine is built for Narasimha at south. The wall decorations are as profuse as in any other ornate Hoysala temple the upper half of the wall shows varied forms of miniature towers, turrets on pilasters. The basement of the temple consists of the friezes of rows of elephants, Horses, Scrolls and Depiction of Puranic scenes. The walls are embellished with sculpture of Vishnu in his 24 forms flanked by other secular themes all under Patralata-torana.
The noteworthy sculptures are Naryana, Lakshmi, Dancing Ganesh, Mohini, Shadbuja-Saraswati, Venugopala, Krishna, Lakshmi-Narasimha and Ugra-Narasimha etc. Many of these sculptures have the name of the sculpture as Honnoja inscribed below them.
The Garbhagriha has a beautiful Shikara in 4 tiers of Vesara type. It is decorated with miniature turrets. At the interior the Navaranga has beautiful pillars of Hoysala architectural features. The niches on the walls have sculptures of Ganesh and Mahishamardini. There is also a sculpture of Keshava about 6 feet high. The central celing (Bhuvaneshvari) has a row of Yakshas and sculpture of Narayana flanked by Miniature turrets.

The Garbhagriha houses sculpture of Keshava of Hoysala period. The Prabhavali has miniature sculptures of Dasavataras of Vishnu. The pillars that support the navaranga and the ceilings are elaborately worked. The fine workmanship of the pillars is eye-catching.



The Vimana of this temple is in the shape of 16-pointed star and consists of Koota aedicule each one rotated by 22.5 degrees, 45 degrees, and 22.5 degrees successively. The tower of the Vimana with four Talas has a Vedike and Koota roof at the top, which follows the contours of the sanctum below. The top Kalasa is missing.
The Old Testament there was a physically glorious work which was replaced by a spiritually glorious work. We see that it was harder for those we saw the previous temple (Kalleswara) to be content when we saw the Chenna Kesava temple in Arasikere.