Thursday, February 24, 2011


   'Hariharapura' is a sleepy village situated in K R Pete taluk, Mandya district. Hariharapura is an erstwhile town of Hoysala during the reign of Vishnuvardhan (11 th century AD). The entire village had to be shifted to the current location due to Hemavathi back water project. There are two temples in the village built during the Hoysala period.
   We visited Varahanatha Kallahalli, another village with a Hoysala temple dedicated to Varaha, Lord Vishnu's third avatar (form of Boar). But the temple has been pulled down for a complete makeover and a temporary shelter was made for the Lord. It may take about 2 more years for completion. The sculpture is supposed to be incredible and huge. But one can still enjoy the back waters of Kannambadi very close by to the temple. Hereon, we moved towards our destination of Hosaholalu.
The Inscriptions
Kannambadi Back Waters
      While we were driving towards Hariharapura ,we found a ruined temple of which we wanted to have a look. The temple was in complete ruins, There was no maintenance whatsoever. But there was a recently built temple for Basava (Nandi) close by this ruined temple. We found an interesting herostone lying near by. We could not gather any more information about the temple.
The Temple Entrance
The Temple
The Hero Stone
    Finally we reached Hariharapura and drove towards the priest's house. The priest was more than willing to guide us about the temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Harihareshwara. The Lord Harihara is a combination of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The temple has undergone continuous renovation under various kings. There are two compartments in the temple dedicated to Lord Harihara and Lord Eshwara. The sculptures are intricately carved and  the Shiva Linga has the image of Lord Ganesha's trunk which has to be observed keenly.
Harihareshwara Temple
Front View
Lord Ganesha
Shiva Linga and Nandi
Lord Harihara
Note Nandi and Garuda
Linga with trunk
       From here, the priest took us to another temple dedicated to Chennakeshava. The Lord Chennakeshava is the family god of the Hoysalas. This temple is also in a ruined state with absolutely no maintenance. The idol of the temple has been shifted to another location and a new temple has been constructed. The interior is quite a Hoysala masterpiece.
The Shikara
The Pillar
Empty Garbhagriha
Decorative Door Frame
Chennakeshava Temple
    This place requires serious attention and maintenance. While visiting, this place can be clubbed with Hosaholalu . The Temple priest lives in the same village and is quite friendly and helpful.

  Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - SH1 7- B R Koppala - Right turn - Pandavapura - K.R Pete - Left turn - Travel about 8 kms - Hariharapura.

Distance from Bangalore : About 135 kms

Trip date: 28 Nov 2010

Places to visit around : K R Pete, Pandavapura, Tonnur Kere, Melukote, Nagamangala, Hosaholalu, Kikkeri, Govindanahalli and many more.

Related Posts:
1. Shree Malleshwara Temple, Machalaghatta
2. Shree Kalleshwara Temple, Angur
3. 100 Must visit lesser known temples of Karnataka  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Buddhist Chaityalaya , Aihole

        'Aihole'  was a centre for Buddhism and Jainism even before the Chalukyas ruled this place. There are two cave temples in this region dedicated to Buddha and Mahavira. We were unable to  visit the latter due to time constraint. We visited the Buddhist Chaityalaya (temple), situated on Megutigudda .
    This cave temple is unique  in the sense that it is partly built and the remaining elected in the rock. This temple belongs to 5 th century AD. It is a two storeyed structure and the pillars are quite simple. There is a small cave near the temple having  inscriptions in Kannada.
Well Laid Steps
Final Climb
Buddhist Chaityalaya
Door Frame
Empty Garbhagriha
View of Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple Complex
To be continued

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Legends of Yana, A trek in Uttara Kannada

      "Dreams come true", yes that's what I realised when we reached this place. I have been dreaming about this place since the day I came to know about it. Although this trip was not planned, when the tourism board on NH17 directed us towards Yana, there was a brief discussion. After a while, we reached the last part of the motorable road towards Yana. Roads were under construction meaning the trek distance had reduced ( how sad ).
The Drive
Roads in the Woods
   As we  proceeded, we came across a few houses and small streams. At the start point, there was not a single soul to guide us expect for the board notifying this is forest area and  stated a statutory warning. Our walk began and we crossed few small streams, beautifully colored butterflies and various other forms of life. We did not realize the distance we had trekked since the surroundings were so beautiful and beyond imagination. Lost in the woods, we had also forgotten about not having had our breakfast.

Mighty Spider
Common Jezebel
     About Yana: "Yana" means 'travel' or 'journey'  in Kannada.Yana is one of the a natural wonders of the forests of Western ghats (Sahyadris) and is also a prominent pilgrimage centre. Yana is situated in Kumta Taluk , Uttara Kannada District. Yana is famous for its rock formations (black crystalline lime stone ,whose sides have roughened due to constant exposure to air ). It is said that there about 61 such different rock formations, among which 2 are very popular and sacred. The two popular rock formations have been named as 'Bhairaveshwara  Shikara' and 'Mohini Shikara'. Mohini Shikara is about 90 meters tall and is long, sharp and slender , whereas Bhairaveshwara Shikara is large and broad. There is a natural cave inside the Bhairaveshwara Shikara, which houses a natural Shiva Linga called Bhairaveshwara and water drips from the  rocks over the head of the linga, which is described as Gangodbhava .
About the Place (Sthalapuranam)
Mohini Shikara
Bhairaveshwara Shikara
The Mighty Shikara
Entrance to the Temple
Statutory Warnings
Intricately Carved Venugopala
         Apart from the greenery and rock formations, the  legend associated with this place  is quite impressive. The most popular and accepted legend of Yana however is that of the Bhasamasura (Demon). The legend says that it was here that the demon acquired a boon from Lord Shiva that anyone on whose head he places his hand would reduce to ashes. After securing the boon , he threatened Lord Shiva that he would place his hand on Shiva's head. He chased Lord Shiva to this place and to save Shiva, Vishnu appeared as Mohini, an enchanting lady of marvelous beauty who challenged Bhasamasura to dance as she does if he wants her to be his own. When he agreed and danced as she did, she trickily placed her hand on her head, and the demon did the same to be reduced into a pile of ashes, which is today known as the Mohini and Bhairaveshwara Shikaras.
 Rock Formations
   This place comes to life during the festival of Maha Shivarathri. During this time, an annual jatra is  held here. Sirsi is the best option for accommodation .

Trip date : Dec 2008
Places to visit around : Unchalli falls , Sirsi , Kumta , Gokarna , Devi mane Ghat , Vibhoti falls ,Mirjan Fort and Many more . 

References Used :A traveler's Guide to "Shri Bhairaveshwara Yana " , a book in Kannada .

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Grand Durga Temple of Aihole

   "Aihole" is one among those places in India where the temples outnumber the houses. Aihole is considered as the "Cradle of Hindu Temple Architecture" or "Primary school for South Indian Temple Architecture". This place served as a capital to the Western Chalukyan rulers. It can be also linked to pre historic age, Buddhist and Jainism. There are around 140 temples in this region and the sad part is that almost all are ruined. There is a continuous effort on the part of the ASI to improve and restore the place. Aihole can also be considered a Laboratory, since there was experimentation with various architectural styles in which the temples were constructed .
      'Durga temple' is one among the most prominent temple here. This temple has a straight front and a rounded apse, resembling the Buddhist temples. This temple belongs to the 7th century AD. A unique element of this temple is the circumambulatory provision inside the temple (corridor around the shrine that continues to the Mandapa). The outer walls of the temple have intricately carved figures of Narasimha, Mahishasuramardini, Varaha, Vishnu, etc . Pierced windows are provided with pleasing patterns to allow light into the hall. The shikara seems to be influenced from the North Indian style of architecture.              
The First Look
Durga Temple
Dwarfs in different postures
The Grand Entrance
Ceiling Carvings
Ceiling  Carvings
 Intricately Carved Walls
Majestic Door Frame
Drunken Couple
Note the Colors of the Parrots
Pattern 1
Pattern 2
Pattern 3
Pattern 4
Pattern 5
The Corridor
Surya Deva with His Consorts
Final Look
To Be continued ...............