Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Bilagi Heritage Trip - Part (1)
I visited Bilagi (Svetapura) village in few months back with my friend RajeshNaik & Sunil Kamath. It’s a small and beautiful village which reflects unique elements of Hindu and Jain influence over the span of generations. A casual glance at the rich historical past of this village is enough to recognize the significance of the place. I wasn’t very excited because I had no idea what I will expect to see, normally I won’t ask much details about our destinations with Rajesh Sir, every time each destination will be big surprise for me so when we got there, first of all I was extremely beyond excited.
Bilagi Village has some beautiful Hindu and Jain temples and monuments. First we went Gola Baavi a huge square shaped well sprawled on just few meters from Bilagi circle is a place of immense importance to Heritage lovers. As soon as we went inside, I quickly took out my camera and started taking pictures. It was so magical. The weather was perfect, the sun was setting, and absolutely breathtaking view.
On the eastern side there was a small underground passage which lay down to a small squared shape corridor. A deep well and a pond with flight of steps are there inside the fort. The beauty of this well is that it is entirely made of bricks and the brick work can be seen inside the entire inner wall of the well very beautifully. However, there is no one is using this water for quite sometime now. The well was built by Bilagi Chiefs in scientifically considering natural interferences like rain & wind.
I was wishing to stay there longer. Since it was getting late we had to leave for next place. Later we headed to explore Virupaksha Temple which situated just interior part of the village. As per the inscription this temple is dated to 1570 A.D. by Queen Virambika. There is an inscription on the slab in the Virupaksha temple which records the construction of the temple along with Shikhara, Prakara, Mantapa, etc.
This temple is built in Vijayanagara style and has a Garbhagriha, Navaranga, a separate Nandimandapa and a Mukhamandapa. The Pradhakshinapatha around the Garbhagriha is enclosed and there are pierced windows on the either side of the Garbhagriha. One of the windows has Mahishamardini motif.There are images of Ganapati and Mahishmardini on either side of the entrance of the Garbhagriha. Apart from the big Nandimandapa, the Mukhamandapa has many impressive carvings in relief.