Friday, July 29, 2011

ASI Museum , Aihole

            The 'Archeological survey of India' (ASI) is the most important organization dealing with archeological researches and responsible for protection of India's rich history and heritage. There are 41 ASI museums all over India. One of the museums is located inside the main enclosure of Aihole,  opposite to the famous Durga Temple. The museum houses many stone sculptures that were found in and around Aihole. The museum has an open air gallery exhibiting the various master pieces (mostly idols of various gods and goddesses and hero stones) of the Chalukyan era. The inside of the museum displays stone sculptures, artefacts and photographs of pre-historic findings and of the Chalukyan period giving information about the place of find and its approximate period.
Varuna (Rain God) on Makara (Crocodile)
Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Lajja Devi - Fertility Goddess (in the centre)
Intricately Carved Pillar

Beheaded Mohini
Lord Vishnu with his Consorts
 Pillar Base
Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha
Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Looks like ET
    Photography is limited to the open air gallery. The entrance fee to the museum  is as low as it can get with only Rs 2 per head. It proves a worthy place to get a quick insight into the history of Aihole and its significance during various periods including the pre historic period.
1 ASI .

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hoysala Temples of Sindaghatta, Mandya

      'Sindaghatta' is an erstwhile town of the Hoysala kingdom . There are many religious structures spread across the village. One such, located in the village center is the beautiful temple dedicated to Lord  Lakshminarayana, built during the 14th Century. The Lakshminarayana sculpture inside the Garbhagriha  is magnificent. The temple externally is not as intricate as many of the other Hoysala temples though internally, it has all the features representing the same.
Lakshminarayana Temple
Grand Entrance
Simple Shikara
Temple on a Raised Platform
There is an  inscription on the entrance corridor. There is also a tall Garuda pillar in front of the temple .The interior of the temple is a true reflection of patience and skill possessed by the artisans, craftsmen and sculptors.
Outer Ceiling
Ceiling 1
Ceiling 2
Ceiling 3
Decorative Door Frame
Lord Lakshminarayana on the Lintel
  Melted Carvings
Intricate Dwarapalaka
Lion Carving on top of the Pillar
Temple Gate and the Pillar
Garuda Kambha
Garuda Inscribed
 The priest lives by the side of the temple. We were unable to gather much information about this temple from the priest. The ASI maintains this temple while there is permanent care taker.
To be continued .............

Monday, July 11, 2011

Narayanadurga fort, Sindaghatta, Mandya

       On a hot summer morning, we set our journey towards "Sindaghatta", located near K.R.Pete Taluk of Mandya District. The place originally known as Siddhaghatta underwent modifications and came to be known as Sindhughatta which later became Sindaghatta as it is called now. The place derived its name as Siddhaghatta from the Siddhas who meditated here and resided in the nearby caves. With a couple of inquires, we reached this place comfortably. On further inquiring about the caves, we realised that we had to travel a little more to reach the hillock near Rayasamudra village. The final stretch on road towards the hillock from Rayasamudra is difficult.
    The Hillock is named Narayanadurga, but commonly known as Kailaseshwaradurga. We inquired about the caves but the locals denied of any existence of the same though the legends mention about it. On the top of the hill is a temple dedicated to Lord Kailaseshwara and remains of an old fort built by a local Chieftain. There are many legends associated with this place suggesting links with the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. This was a major reason our guides made sure we climbed the rocky hill bare footed.
First Tier
Initial Stretch
The Climb
       The Fort has been built on one side to prevent an attack from the enemies while the other is steep, acting as a natural mode of defense. It is a seven tiered fort, with every fort wall having an entrance each. All of them are equally artistic though only their ruins remain. The fort walls follow a zigzag pattern and one can get easily lost if venturing alone.
Amazing Views
Skillful Brick Masonry
Ruined Gateway
Stairway To Heaven
         There is a beautiful temple on the hill top originally dedicated to Lord Narayana (Vishnu). His idol was stolen and the later king worshiped Lord Kailaeshwara's (shiva) in Lord Vishnu's place. The temple currently houses a Shiva Linga and Nandi, but the most interesting feature was a pair of life sized Dwarapalakas which very few temples carry. There is a ruined mantap by the side of the temple and a few natural water ponds which are believed to have been originated from Bhima's toe, thumb, knee and mace and are named accordingly. We had heard the same story about this place from another priest (Mt Karinja).
Nandi Kambha
Religious Mark
Fort Entrance To The Temple
Temple Complex
Life Sized Dwarapalakas
Garuda Kambha
Inner View of Temple
Kailaseshwara Temple
Natural Water Pond
           We suffered sunburns on our feet as we had to climb the hill bare footed. Our guides were two local boys who were also climbing the hill to pay a visit to Lord Kailaseshwara .
Silk Cotton
Well Just Like Oasis
Lovely View
Sky Watch
To Be Continued .............