Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bilagi Heritage Trip -2

 We reached Ratnatraya Basti at mid noon which situated at another corner of the village. I wonder about the size of the Basti, the sculptures of the stones where exquisite, flower formation decorated on the ceiling was intriguing and slab made by huge stone sheets. This Basti consists of a Ardhamandapa, a Navaranga and Mukhamandapa. The Basti is triple shrine (Trikutachala). The Sikhara is in Kadambanagara style. The main Garbhagriha itself has three compartments (in a row) and the images of Neminatha, Parsvanatha and Vardhamana are installed, and above the Parswanatha shrine raises the Sikhara.

 There are two Navarangas. The Mukhamandapa at the front appears to be a later addition. There is a vide porch which was plain. The pillars are not much elegant and plain.  It has two slabs containing inscriptions. The outer walls of the Basti have very beautiful sculptures are relief of imaginary birds and animals in profusion. There is also a Balipitha on the front side. The Jainas did not have decoration or sculptures on outside walls but took care to use such decoration in a limited way within the structures.
 History- The graceful Ratnatraya Basti was built by Bilagi chiefs The earliest inscription in the Basti dated to 1581 A.D. records the construction of the Ratnatraya Basti by Rangapparajodeya and the installation of the images of Neminatha, Parshwanatha and Vardhamana by his son Ghantendra – II at the instance of the Jaina saint Bhattakalanka.    Another inscription dated 1592 A.D. records the addition of ganhakuti which has the Shantisvara and also refers to the land grants made by Ghantendra – II.
Bhuvaneshwari Temple -
One more place we visit near to Bilagi village was Bhuvanagiri which is the only place in the entire State where a 16th century temple is dedicated to Kannada Mate Bhuvaneshwari Devi, situated at atop of 300 feet high in Bhuvanagiri, The temple deity is worshiped on all days of the year, complete with Naivedya Annadabhisheka, accompanied with the chanting of mantras. Surrounded by lush greenery on all sides, the age-old temple is a feast for the eyes.
Though the idea of a temple dedicated to Bhuvaneshwari Devi was conceived by the Kadambas, the rulers of Vijayanagar carried it forward, so much so that they would not venture out without paying their obeisance to the deity. Finally, it was the rulers of Bilagi who constructed the temple of Bhuvaneshwari Devi in Bhuvanagiri. It all started when Tirumala, the then ruler of Vijayanagar, was unable to bear the torture of Bijapur ruler Adil Shah and shifted his kingdom to Pennugudi (Chandragutti) with the help of the rulers of Shwethapura present day Bilagi.
 
 Bilagi kingdom spread from Gangavali River in Uttara Kannada district to Gangolli River in Udupi district. Since the rulers of Bilagi were both valiant and great admirers of Kannada language, a temple was built in dedication to Kannada Mate Bhuvaneshwari Devi. There is ample evidence to suggest that the temple was built in 1692 by Basavendra, the last ruler of Bilagi. Since the area is populated by people belonging to the Havyak community, the temple administration is taken care of by them.
Virabadhra Temple- Kallapura
At Evening we visited Virabadhra Temple in a remote village called Kallapur, the temple built in later Chalukyan style. On plan, it has a Garbhagriha, and a Navaranga. The Navaranga has supported by 14 pillars and surrounded partially walls in its 3 sides. Inside the temple are placed a huge statue of lord Virabhadra. The place has a very tranquil and scenic setting, the surroundings of the temple have many sculptures and a vast tank situated just few steps away from the temple.

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