Wednesday, November 30, 2011

KoteAbbi Waterfalls

In my last Coorg visit our Jeep driver said ‘if you have time go to KoteAbbi falls’ my ears perked at that bit of information. He seemed sincere after all when we paid him he flashed a good smile and said ‘Do go to falls you’ll love it’. I knew then that it was going to be a long day my perceptions about this place are about to change irrevocably.
Also I collected some useful information from Arvind sir about this place I like to thank him, he provided some useful information’s about this place and an existence of this waterfalls. After a short journey we came to near our destined place. A short walk brought up us to in front of the fall. It is a beautiful sight to see the waterfalls flowing into a gorge from a height of 40-50 feet.
Water flows rapidly into a pond with a loud roar. The mist kicked up by the falls cooled the surrounding air. The pristine surrounding adds to the beauty of the place. Fresh water gushing through rocks. We could never tell how deep the water ran. The big pond and water droplets make it difficult to view the falls from close. But still we manged to reach left side of the waterfalls Moreover, every step on the boulders has to be traded carefully near the waterfall as it can prove dangerous.

The waterfalls magnificence of what I did see for that brief moment will stay with me forever and I still consider its one of the highlights of the trip.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Balligavvi a ancient town in Shikaripura Taluk its known for its ancient monuments. also well known as Dakshina Kedara. I visited Kedaresvara Templ few years back This temple is an excellent example of a trikuta (triple towers) temple in a transitional Western Chalukya-Hoysala architecture Its the oldest example of such a combinational style in Karnataka. This town had 54 temples and few Basadies of which only a few survived today.
The word Balli in Kannada refers to creepers grown in forests or gardens. Gavi means cave. In ancient times Balligavi backed up as an University for learning with numerous schools with the earliest being the Jaina basadis. The availability of water in plenty with lakes and rivers surrounding the area was an ideal learning atmosphere. This area is generally blessed with abundant rainfall due to western ghats.
The dancing queen Shantala Devi too hailed from Balligavi along with famous architects and sculptors of the Hoysala era, Malloja, Dasoajja, Nadoja, Siddoja etc originated from Balligavi. It will be safe to assume there was a school for sculpting too in Balligavi patronized by the Kadambas, Chalukyas and Hoysala royals. Akkamma Maha Devi too was married to a merchant hailing from Balligavi.
Balligavi complex contains the main kedareswar temple complex , with surrounding temple edifices from Badami Chalukyan era. ( 685-86 AD) They seem to have been moved from neighboring land in lieu of their crumbling structure. The statues adorning the facade are missing. The Hoysala symbol of Sala slaying tiger is embedded by Hoysalas subsequently 1060 AD, by King Vijayaditya.
The temple faces east and has a stepped entrance on three sides. The entrance on the sides is a Western Chalukya idiom. The central shrine has a Linga made from black marble (Krishnashila). The shrine to the south has a linga called Brahma and the shrine to the north has a statue of Janardhana.
The temples outside plan is in "staggered-square" style with many projections and recesses which is a Hoysala design. The outer walls of the open mandapa (hall) have carvings of women wearing fine jewellery. Two Hoysala emblems were added in 1060 CE by .Hoysala Vinayaditya The superstructure (tower) of the vimana are very well decorated with sculptures of Tandaveshwara, Varaha, Uma Narasimha, Bhairava etc and the sukanasi of all three towers still exist.
The western shrine is the oldest dating from the 7th or 8th century. Attached to the vestibule that connects the shrines is a well designed open mantapa with two rows of pillars. The outer row of pillars are 16 faced while the inner row of pillars are lathe turned with bell shaped mouldings, a style popular with both Western Chalukys and Hoysalas.
The ceiling of the mantapa is flat and the inner ceiling is well carved with lotuses in them. The central ceiling has the carving of Tandaveshwara (dancing Shiva) with eight dikpalakas (guards). The entrance to the shrine which faces east has a Nandhi the bull and a celestial attendant of Shiva.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mathada Basti...ShravanBelagola

This Jain Basti is known for it’s exquisite sculptures and frescoes. Its located in the town next to the Bhandara Basti. In this Muth the walls, of the Verandah which surrounds a central courtyard, are decorated with mural paintings.
The Jain religion is contemporary of Buddhism, believes in cycle of rebirths and consequently regards life as painful, longing for liberation. It came to Karnataka four centuries before the Christian era. The Gangas, Kadamba, Chalukyas and Hoysala kings had encouraged the Jainism. They have left innumerable shrines, Bastis , Gomata statues and Stambhas (pillars). The Matha or the Mathada Basadi appears to have been built or renovated during the 18th century. But Chavundraya founded the Matha and installed his guru Namichandra Sidhantadeva here.
There is open space in the middle of the Math and of late it is covered by a ceiling and a store was added in 1930. The Matha has three donors engraved on them are worshiped here. Its walls have fone murals : One depioting the durbar of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III and also paintings of Panchparameshthis, Neminanatha , Parshwanatha's Samavasarana, Yakshas and Yakshis, forests where munis lived etc.
The panels on left depict the life of Parshvanatha who underwent many rebirths. In his firs birth he was known as Marubhuta born to a minister to king Aravinda. He had an evil brother called Kamatha. When elder brother was on a mission with the king, Kamatha declare himself the emperor and tricked his brother's wife to have sex with him. After the king's return he was severely punished.
He was given a head shave while boys urinated on his head; He was parade on a donkey's back while the boys threw stones at him. All these events could be recognized in different panels. Other wall paintings depict episodes from King Bharata and Prince Nagakumar an annual fair has been painted in detail.