Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tarakeshwara temple - Hangal

 Hangal is 35km frmo the district headquarters Haveri. .It is on the left bank of the Dharma River, and has ruins of some fortification on the river bank; the town has a huge lake near Billeshwara temple called Anekere.  Hangal was the capital of Hangal Kadambas feudatories of the Kalyani Chalukya. It is mentioned as Panungal in early records and identified by tradition with Viratanagara of Mahabharata days. The town has a huge Tarakeshwara temple. Other temple in the town are Ganesha temple, Virabhadra, Billeshwara and Ramalinga are the important temples.
The Tarakeshvara temple on plan consists of a Garbhagriha, Antarala, Navaranga, Sabhamandapa and a Mukhamandapa is a good example of the Kalyana Chalukya architectural style. Originally the Navaranga had Praveshamandapas on north, south and eastern sides. At present the north and southern Praveshamandapas have been converted into Garbhagrihas. The Garbhagriha has indented plan and enshrines a tall Shiva linga installed on a Panipitha having Kadambastylistic futures.
The intricately carved decorative doorways of the Garbhagriha has Panchashakas. On either sides of the decorative doorway of the Antarala has trellis (Jalandhras). The lathe turned pillars inside the Antarala has a decorative ceiling (Bhuvanesvari). The entrance way has intricate carvings.
In front of the garbhagriha is the Sukhanasi with four intricately carved pillars and a Nandhi is placed in the middle. The Sukhanasi situated on the right and left sides has a Linga and Parvathi sculpture respectively.
The main Garbhagriha enshrines a Linga which is called Tarakeshvara, sculptures of Vishnu, Brahma, Kartikeya and Nandhi. The exterior walls of the temple has bas-relief sculptures of Ramayana. The incomplete carved images of the Dvarapalakas are attractive. In the Mukhamandapa Hero-stones, inscribed sculptures and a few mutilated sculptures are kept. The Kadamba-Nagara Sikhara above the Garbhagriha has intricately carved decorations. It has a sculpture of hero fighting with a Lion resembling the Hoysala emblem.
The temple is famous for its very large domical ceiling in the main hall, which rises, in concentric circles of cusped mouldings, and then, at the apex, falling again in a great rosette or pendant. The Sabhamandapa with four entrance ways is stellar shaped and Hoysala styled huge pillars therein supports the upper beams. The rock is carved in the form of a lotus and is 30 feet in diameter, is a octagonalpiece of stone supported on 8 pillars.
The Kakshasana has polished pillars that are variously styled and shaped runs all along the Mandapa. The subsidiary ceilings (Bhuvanesvaries) found in the Sabhamandapa is plan while the centre one has the depiction of a flower-bud motif. The Mukhamandapa has also Kakshasana. The exterior wall of the temple is decorated with pilasters and Devakosthas. Garbhagriha ha four tiered sikhara with Sukhanasi projection. A tall stone pillar stands in front of the temple. 

 An inscription records a grant made to the Tarakesvara temple while another dated 1121 AD records the construction of Tailesvara temple and land grants made to it by the Mahaprashana Masana.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Mystery of Soorya Temple - Kalkere, Haveri

The trail to Golden Era...Part 1
Sunday morning was very pleasant with bright sun in sky. On a fresh early morning we started our journey to visit few historical places surrounded to Haveri.  As per our plan first we visited to Kalkere village it is a small picturesque village historically it was an imperative place, as good number of temples and inscriptions have been found in the village.
 There are three beautiful temples in this village they are Somesvara temple, Basaveshvara (Jayasingesvara) temple and Lakshmi (Bhairavi) temple. The Basaveswara temple is the most important structure at Kalkere, which is full of ornamentation practically represents the whole Hindu pantheon are the finest examples of master craftsmanship.
 We spotted a few who were having a morning session of updating each other with latest worldly matters we interrupted them to enquire about the temple details and the whole group got so excited & few seniors were eager to help and guide us to Basaveshvara temple were in action full swing after half an hour of total excitement with villagers priest opened the temple. As soon as I went inside the main entrance, two virtues of this place caught our attention, cleanliness and calmness of the place. 
 Basaveswara Temple has four cells (Garbhagrihas) with a common Navaranga. The current disposition of images in the Kalakeri temple’s sancta indicates the disruption of an earlier arrangement.  At present main cell has a Shiva Linga and opposite to this cell has a crudely carved Surya figure. The Surya shrine opposite to the front hall is remarkable for its splendid sculpture it’s elaborate and fine carvings attracts the attention of the viewer.
 Approximately 6 feet tall, 77 cm wide and 12 cm thick, the Surya is carved from a single slab of dark green chlorite schist. Such fine grained soft metamorphic stones became the medium of choice of Karnataka’s artisans from the 11th to the 14th centuries, driving an aesthetic revolution in both sculpture and architecture.  An elaborate ornamental archway springs from columns behind the attendants and encircles the principal figure. The fertility of the design the through finish the richness of ornamentation and the hard stone had turned out to be pieces of vax in the hands of master craftsman Mandoja. The Surya image is exceedingly handsome and the sculptor has reached his pinnacle here the perfectly carved is awe inspiring.
 The other two cells don’t have original deities. In that place Naga stones and Vishnu figures are kept which is not original one, Naga-nagini images stand atop comparatively elegant, and much larger, pedestals. These images are mismatched to their pedestals physically, stylistically, and ichnographically. The pedestals bear central images of Visnu’s vehicle, Garuda, in the northern sanctum and Brahma’s vehicle, the Hamsa in the southern one. 
 The Hamsa pedestal in the temple’s south sanctum bears the emblem of Brahma’s vehicle, the goose. Its size and profile are well matched to the Brahma’s base.  In the western sanctum is a Siva Linga, while the occupant of the fourth or eastern sanctum and ties the evidence together. Here stands an extremely fine image of Surya that is a perfect match, both to its pedestal bearing the sun god’s seven horses and, more importantly, to the Museums Brahma!
 It happens that a letter in the Penn Museum Archives identifies just such a temple. Writing to Museum Director George Byron Gordon in 1922, the Brahma’s seller, Hagop Kevorkian, reports that the sculpture was removed in 1835 from “the temple at Kalkerry at Talook Kode, southern Mahratta County India.” in New York might be it. Purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Kevorkian in 1918—the same year he lent the Brahma to the Penn Museum—this image is not as close a stylistic match. Its inscription, however, associates its maker with the artists of the other two images, and another letter to the Museum Director indicates that the Brahma and the Kesava were brought from India together.  The quadruple shrine Basavesvara temple there was the Brahma’s original home.

 The Surya and the Brahma are essentially the same size with strikingly similar proportions, poses, and renderings of their figures. Their personal ornaments are nearly identical, as are many individual motifs used throughout the two sculptures. A particularly telling correspondence is the complex structure of their framing columns. Even the damaged inscription on the Surya’s base is strikingly like that on the Brahma’s in both orthography and content. 
 Given Kevorkian’s identification of the site; the physical, stylistic, and epigraphic similarities between these two sculptures and the tradition of housing sets of deities in multiple-shrine temples, it is almost certain that the Museum’s Brahma was removed from the Hamsa pedestal in this temple’s southern sanctum. But where is the missing Visnu for the Garuda pedestal in the northern sanctum? A well-known image of Kesava (Visnu). The theft of cultural objects affects developed and developing countries alike. The illicit traffic in cultural heritage is a transnational crime that affects the countries of origin, transit and final destination.
Museum’s Brahma was removed from the Hamsa pedestal in this temple’s southern sanctum.
The Navaranga has four niches. At present in one niche original Saraswathi figure is available in damaged condition. Further a huge and very elegantly carved Nandi is available in the Antarala in front of Surya cell.
 The brick work in top of the roof is the remnants of the original shikharas on four Garbhagrihas of the temple and the Hara portion of the superstructure. It may be remembered here that there is no Later Chalukya temple known to have brick superstructure in the country. Therefore, it is not only unique but also contributes to the history of architecture in Karnataka.

 Kalkere village provides a restful escape for those wanting to feel the powerful vibrations from the lord. This unique temple, which contributes to the history of architecture in karnataka, Villagers of Kalakeri took initiative have embarked on preserving and renovating the centuries old Basaveshwara temple.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Chikmagalur is carved against a mountainous canvas and this beautiful Malnad district is full surprises of lofty peaks, delightful dales, racing rivers, sparkling streams, captivating cascades, Sloppy grass lands with velvet looks and branching mountains. Panchami Kallu is one of the few unknown hill located here it is less explored and unexploited, great place filled with greenery and varied terrain with forest, valleys and enormous historic back set. 
 As soon as I heard of the place I was eager to explore it. Panchamikallu is a beautiful natural Viewpoint with the trails passing through thick forests, meadows and valley. Few months back I got the opportunity to visit Kogre village, first I met my friend and relaxed full 2 days in his orange estate home, and on my second day by late noon I went to explore this beautiful place with my wife.
 After about 2kms we stopped at the Shanthinath Basadi entrance on the main road, where I took few snaps of this 10th centaury Jain Basdi. Later we started moving towards Panchamikallu hills on the tarred road for almost 4kms with beautiful coffee estates and forests on both sides. Trail goes up and down after the tarred road, we entered a muddy jeep track passing through shrubbery forests and continued on for 5 minutes trail narrowed from here on and we came across to the beautiful Mantapa on top of the hill.
 Though it was a short trip, but still its etched in memory as it give us full view of the valley in front of us, it had everything to offer – Natural viewpoint, valley, peak, forest, meadow & historical testaments. The beautiful view of the meadows and the majestic trees were a treat to the eyes, level of height the colours of meadows are different that view was amazingly beautiful.

 It’s a soul soothing experience to watch the clear skies and then the green cover on the surrounding hills. We just sat there soaking in the moment and I couldn't help wondering how much more beautiful it would be during the monsoons with clouds beneath us.
We would have loved to embrace the serenity of true and undisturbed nature for a longer time but we had to leave early. So we ended our exploration early and ride back to home with serene experience.