Saturday, October 29, 2011
Keladi in Sagar taluk of Shimoga district was the capital of the Nayakas identified by their capital Keladi. They were the feudatories of the Vijayanagara rulers and subsequently became independent and began to rule Keladi. The Ramesvara temple is in their capital Keladi. No inscription has been useful to date this temple but according to the work Keladi Nripavijaya the Grabhagriha of this temple was built Chowdappa Nayak the founder of this dynasty (1500-1530 A.D.) and his son Sadashiva Nayaka added the Rangamantapa. According to a legend, Chowdappa Nayaka found a lingam buried in an anthill on which his cow was shedding its milk everyday. It is said that the Keladi temple was built around this sacred Lingam.
The Ramesvara temple consists of a Garbhagriha, Pradakshinapatha, Antarala a Navaranga and a Mukhamantapa in east-west axis. The square Garbhagriha has no decorations it has a Ramesvara linga of black stone on the Peetha. Garbhagriha doorway has Ramesvara with other decorations. The Antarala provides space for circumambulation and pillars which have bas-relief sculptures of lotus, lion-face etc.
The outer walls rise over the horizontal friezes or round moldings and the uppermost one is decorated. The walls and plain expect for a pilaster and a bas-relief sculpture. This is repeated on all the sides. Over this is broad eave at angle over which is a molding with a parapet. Over and above is the Sikhara of the Chalukya-Vesara type. The architecture of the temple is unique and has influences of Kadamba, Hoysala and Dravidian styles. Stupi is slightly elongated.
The Navaranga has fine pillars almost similar to later Chalukyan or Hoysala pillars with a square base. The Mukhamandapa has series of pillars with Kakshasanaa, which are broad and convenient to sit and watch the rituals and dance. TheMukhamandapa has three entrances at north, west and south with flight of steps with balustrades on either side. And also I found the statue of Rani Channamma.. Underneath Lord Ganesh, Rani Chenamma is paying respect accompanied by her consorts.
There are many sculptures which adorn this temple among which mention should be made of Bedara Kannappa, Garuda, amorous couples, Harihara, musicians playing on instruments, animals like monkey,camel,elephant,serpent, and dancers etc. At the back of the temple complex that is more or less facing the entrance a picture of Vaastu sketched on full wall panel. There exists a massive Manasthamba at the backyard of temple. This indicates the temple could have been altered subsequently in accordance with Vaastu guidance.
The interiors of the Keladi temple can surprise the visitor as it looks rather nondescript from outside. Popularly known as the Keladi Rameshwara Temple, the temple complex encloses a Parvati shrine, a Rameshwara shrine and a Veerabhadra shrine. The roof and pillars of the Parvati Temple have intricate carvings on wood. Thus the Ramesvara temple is a structure built at the beginning of the Nayak rule and hence it occupies an important place in understanding the Kealdi style of architecture. This is a popular temple and attracts devotees from all over Karnataka.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
The kings of Keladi who were the subordinates of the Vijayanagara empire, became independent at the end of 16th century and ruled as independent kings till the last part of 18th century A.D., in parts of Malenadu and coastal Karnataka. Ikkeri was their capital for sometimes and they built the Aghoresvara temple here.
The Keladi kings followed a distinct style of architecture combining the elements of Hoysala, Vijayanagara and Sarcenic features. This is well known as Ikkeri style and the Aghoresvara temple built in about 1520 A.D, is a good example of this style. Today Ikkeri is a small village wit ruined buildings, forts, temples and palaces. During the period of the Ikkeri Nayakas it was a prosperous city.
The walls of the Mandapa also have friezes which contain decoration of monkeys, swans, amorous scenes and series of miniature Gopuras. The series of shallow niches on the walls at the upper level makes the walls attractive. The niches contain Dikpalas, Vishnu, Bhairava etc. The doorways also are highly decorative. There are flights of steps with elephants as balustrades. There is Pradakshinapatha from the Sukhanasi.
The pillars of the Mandapa show a variety. There is a Sivalinga inside the Garbhagriha called Aghorescara a form of Shiva. To the west is the shrine of goddess Parvati. The doorways and windows have pointed arches which perhaps is a Islamic influence. The Nandimandapa has a finely carved Nandi. Thus Aghoresvara temple is a good testimony to the architectural and sculptural tradition of the rulers of Keladi at their one-time capital Ikkeri.
There is an interesting play of colors in the temple as it exists today. What I am not sure about is if this was always like this or the temple was of Red or Green or brown beige color and the heavy rains in this region have played their part. There are sculptors that carry a distinct deep red color, beneath them a panel has a dark green color and then the usual brown beige. On the first look you are tempted to think that it is red or green stone, but when you go closer you realize that the single stone probably can not have all the three colors. Probably the stones were colored and I again have to bank on my wild imagination to think what color it would have been conceived by the original makers of this temple.
I am also intrigued by the technique that would have been used to color the stones, as the color still stands bright and alive even after centuries of heavy rainfall on it. Sometimes the images give an impression of being cast in metal and its only when you touch them that you know that they are stone. The carvings are intricate, the curves proportionate and the expressions dedicated.
There is an interesting myth engraved in this temple. On the left hand side outer wall, there is a Scorpio and two lizards engraved. Between the two lizards is a line dividing them. It is said that when the lizards cross this line are able to touch each other, the world would come to an end. Though cast on stone, I must say that the lizards are not too far apart. This may or may not have been a part of the original temple as it does not gel with the rest of the fine sculpture and is very raw as if carved by a novice.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
We find an abrupt narrow approach from our left side but in dark we couldn’t see how deep it was. We throw some stones on deep and heard the reverberation back on few seconds. After wavering discussion once again Ashok got ready to go further downer level with helping of Camera flash and my job had to wait his reply so I stand on the cliff edge on 1st base.
Kallugundi waterfalls-Long Shot
On return the rugged terrains would endurance for each step of the way and it’s always blanketed in lush greenery. The variation in landscape allows the scope for both an arduous as well as a leisurely trek. All of it, all of the jagged rock, the incredible cliff bands, the outrageous climbs and drops,Undiscovered natural caves all of that it was an exotic getaway, nestled in the midst of Shola forests in Western Ghats.