Sunday, July 27, 2014

Harihareshavara temple -Harihara

 Karnataka is land of monuments the various dynasties that ruled here were great patrons of art and architecture. As a result of their efforts Harihara has been dotted with beautiful temple in Davangere district. The Harihareshavara temple built in 12th century by Polava, a commander and minister of Hoysala Empire king Vira Narasimha-II, here Lord Vishnu and Shiva are worshipped in the combined Harihara form, the deity is also known as Shanarnarayana and Shambhu. The place is also known as Dakshina Kashi.
 The deity being a fusion of the two lords, the right vertical half is of Lord Shiva and the left vertical half is of Lord Vishnu.  On the right side of the Harihara idol is carved Shiva’s Trishul and Hari styled as an ascetic and on the left side Vishnu is carved with the discus and head is curved with a crown. This marvellous stone carved temple is visited by both Vaishnavaites and Shaivites.
 God had to take this form because the places from Uchchangi Durga in the east Govinahalu in the south, Madanur in the west and Airani in the north were under the control of the demon Guhasura and the place was known as Guharanya. The demon had a boon from Lord Brahma that no human and no god or Shiva or Vishnu kills him. This gave him the power and evil mind to harass people living around the place.
 When the people complained to the gods about devil Guhasura, the gods in turn approached Cishnu and Shiva for a solution. Vishnu and Shiva came together in a new Avatara/farm called Harihara and killed demon Guhasura. Here onwards this place came to be known as Harihara. The place on earth where god took this form is near Kadalur, at the confluence of the rivers Haridra and Tungabhadra.
 The striking feature of the temple is the symmetrical big hall with beautiful lathe turned shining stone pillars supporting the roof. The roof has projections and recesses adding charm to the temple. The ceiling also carved with different flowers like lotuses and lilies.
 A microscopic image of Goddess Lakshmi represented on the lintel of the doorway testifies the architectural proficiency and inimitable craftsmanship of the Hoysala artists. South side of the temple is Vamana avatar with his foot raised high to measure the world. Shiva and Ganesh idols are carved on the south wall. Many inscriptions written in Kannada are on display in the temple premises.
The outer walls of the temple are rich in extensions, cells and carvings, and the outer end of the roof is supported by half pillars resting on the walls of the hall. The ceiling has exquisite artistic carvings on it and is held up by the pillars. The temple is made of soapstone whose original tower is missing and has been replaced by today’s tower of brick and mortar.
 Every year the Car festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm with many people thronging the place. During Nagapanchami the Karnika is chanted by priest of Yelavatti Hanumantappa temple on the banks of the Tungabhadra. The priest of this temple visits Harihareshavara temple on this day and gets the impressions of the lord. This ritual of getting the impression and chanting the Karnika has been going on for the last 200 years, for prosperity of our country.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Alekan waterfalls

 One gets to see curious onlooker and vast valleys more often on Charmadi. Undisturbed hill ranges, beautiful waterfalls and the deep showers transform Charmadi into a magical realm. Every time when I pass through the Charmadi Ghat, I start dreaming about to spend at least a short time in Alekan waterfalls, it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls hardly 2kms from Malayamaruta and 5kms from Kottigehara. Alekan falls is visible completely from the roadside, one can also get down sharp 200 meters to reach the base of the falls.
 Alekan waterfalls blessed with everlasting natural beauty leaves nature lovers in awe and admiration. The wonderful species of bird’s life around here is truly awesome the falls and its adjacent landscape are beautiful as the ones depicted in fairy tales.
 The beauty of these falls blooms with the onset of season of natural showers. During monsoon water fall runs with incredible speed and vigour and time from August till early December is best to visit the place.

 It would be a good idea to spend a day in Monsoon just roaming back and forth in this stretch. Every inch is so scenic across the Ghat road you may want to stop at all places & get lost in nature! You will get your own private scenic spots in each visit! Actually it’s a humid place on a sunny day you will feel steaming with sweat.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Siddappa Gudi Betta -Haveri

 Trek to Siddappa Gudi Betta is really refreshing in all season with scenic view from the top of the hill we can see vast evergreen fields. At the top there is a small temple and we can find many monkeys. The site is excavated in an isolated stone hill watching all these beautiful peaks with gusty wind to our face were amazing experience. 
 Journey start with various small villages en-route is really refreshing. After a small drive from Haveri town in a nasty village road we reached a small traditional hamlet, we left our vehicle end of the road and started to hike first immediate stretch from the road side. One has to climb around 200 steps to reach the summit. The climb is safe and quite easy because of the stairway right to the top.
 However, it is well worth after crossing the first hump, a beautiful planet opened in front of us. The hill top is refreshing with cool breeze offers beautiful views of its surroundings; on the boulder strewn surface cave temple can be seen close to the hill top.
 This natural ancient cave temple dedicated to Lord Siddeshvara. There is no such history of this temple it’s difficult to say who exactly established this but locals says is that it is an ancient temple. There is no such evidence it is just the supposition that the temple is ancient by the statements given by senior devotees by villagers and the legend which was emanated by tradition.
 Spent some time and half explored the cave, offered our prayers in the temple on the top of the mountain. After spending sun set we turned back to our home carrying the great experience & wonderful memories.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Someshvara Temple - Kalkere

 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. Kalkeri has places of tourist interest like the Someshwara Temple, a huge lake and the Basaveshwara TempleVillagers of Kalakeri took initiative have embarked on preserving and renovating the centuries old Basaveshwara and Someshvara temple. 
  A few steps lead you into the Someshvara temple with stone pillars and beautiful clean stone courtyard where you can walk and peacefully experience the calmness of the temple, which has stood witness to mankind for a century.
 A rare 15th-century relic — a combination of Viragallu and Mastigall the 1.85-metre-long and 55-cm-wide stone has sculptures at four levels. At the lowest level, a soldier is injured in a war. He and his wife, who had committed Sati, are carried in a palanquin in the second level. This is the depiction of death, according to experts. At the third level, the couple is seen looking at each other intimately, while sitting in the palanquin. This time, the carriers are women guards ‘approaching the gates of heaven’.
 At the final level, the brave couple is sitting before a Shiva Linga. They are joined by a priest, Nandi, the Sun and the Moon. This is seen as the depiction of heaven. While Viragallus are erected in memory of brave soldiers, Mastigallus represent women who sacrificed their life on the pyre of their husbands. However, this stone is unique as it is a single structure erected in the memory of a brave soldier and his wife, a Maha Sati.
The trail to Golden Era...Part 4.
In the 6 lines carved at the bottom, references have been made to Veera Harihara Rama and his minister Mangappa Nayaka. There is also a reference to Kumara Harihara Rama, who is probably the prince.  Kalkeri was an important cultural centre in the Vijayanagara kingdom. The new stone is an addition to the rich cultural heritage of the village.
 The inscriptions written in Kannada script denote that the stones belonged to the 13th century and were carved during the reign of Yadava (Sevuna) king Ramachandra (1272 AD). The inscriptions tell us about the attack on Chandavara in Kumta taluk of Uttar Kannada district by his army chief Saluva Ballugideva. Ballugideva was defeated by the combined attack of Kavadeva of Chandavara, Hemmadideva (Shivachitta Permadi) of Goa and Pandyadeva of Baarakuru in Udupi district,” Ms. Potnis said in a release. Both the inscriptions reveal the heroic death of the army commanders Paraka Paruseyya Nayak and Kaayya and subsequent “Sati” performed by their wives Elubai and Banubai the place, “Barakuru” in Udupi district, was an important one during the reign of Alupa kings.
 The chirping of the birds and the gurgling of the river are soothing to the ears. The greenery surrounding the riverbanks is breathtaking. All these put together was the picture perfect. . Inside the sanctum sanctorum is the one foot tall lingam. This is said to be an ‘Udhbava Lingam’ meaning lingam which was naturally formed and one can feel the powerful vibrations from the lord.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Doddabasappa Temple, Dambal

 Dambal near Gadag was a famous ancient town particularly during the period of the Chalukyas of Kalyana (10th to 12th century A.D.). Its original name was Dharmapura or Dharmavolal. Chalukya Vikramaditya’s (VI) queen Lakashmidevi was ruling from this provincial capital. Apart from this, Dambal was also famous for Buddhisam and the cult of Tara Bhagavati.
 Dambal is famous for the Shiva temple now known as Doddabasappa temple. Actually it was built in 1124-26 A.D., and it was then known as Ajjamesvara temple, as it was built by an officer Ajjayyanayaka. This temple is unique in the architectural history of the Kalyana Chalukyas because of the satellite plan as against the rectangular plan of the other temples.
 Thus it is an exception to that style. It is interesting to note that Hoysala Temples are generally star-shaped and this important future is found in the later Chalukya temple itself. This is the uniqueness of this temple.
 The temple consists of a Garbhagriha. Antarala, a Navaranga  and two Mukhamandapas facing east and south. The Garbhagriha,Antarala and the frontal Navaranga are stellate or star-shaped from the basement itself. The star-shaped basement has mouldings parallel to each other and runs round. The same contour is continued on the walls of the structure over which are two eave like mouldings which also follow the same star shaped contour.
The walls of this temple are interesting because of the decorative elements such as pilasters and turrets at regular intervals. The horizontal friezes at the basement and the vertical decorative elements of the walls make pleasing combination of a unique nature, and this temple is known for that. Further this star shape is continued in the Shikara in the form of receding tiers up to the top. 
 Thus this vertical and horizontal combination of star shape at the Sikhara level makes this temple unique and elegant. Thus the vertical tendency adds strength to the building whereas the horizontal string courses intersect the former and produce a pleasing effect, not seen in the other temples of the Kalyana Chalukya period.
 someshvara Temple and Japada Bavi
 The pillars of the Navaranga and Mukhamandapa are elegant with relief sculptures of gods and goddesses. The moulding above the entrance would have originally contained images of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, the Trinity. This space is empty now. The temple is covered elaborate carvings of creepers, dancers and musicians, and a Mithuna Couple. The entrance Mandapa has three main figures are a five-headed Brahma on his Vahana, the Swan, and two figures of the Sun God Surya.  Because of the big Nandi sculpture in the Mukhamandapa, the temple is called by the name Doddabasappa (big bull) temple.