Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chennakeshava Temple, Anekere, Hassan

   Anekere is a small village belonging to Channarayapatna Taluk of  Hassan District. It is home to one of the beautiful temples built by the Hoysalas and dedicated to 'Lord Chennakeshava (Vishnu)'.  The two distinct features of this temple are the Temple Compound Wall and the Khalasa on the Temple Shikara. The Khalasa here is supposedly the largest one found in the state. 
The Big Khalasa
 The temple is a perfect example of Hoysala architecture, though smaller in size when compared to the other  Hoysala temples. On keenly observing, we found an interesting feature on its Navaranga Ceiling wherein, its central portion is carved in a way that it resembles a Conch (Shanka). The entrance has a beautiful porch.
Navaranga Ceiling
Ceiling 1
Ceiling 2
Outer Porch Ceiling
The Grand Entrance and  the Front Porch
Lord Chennakeshava
Intricate Dwarapalakas
Lion Face Carving
Garbagriha Door Frame
Temple Entrance Door Frame
Pillar Carving
Antique Tulasi Pot
   It is surprising that this wonderful temple is not yet under the purview of the ASI. The temple has been renovated with the help of  Shri Dramasthala Manjunatha Trust. As the priest was unavailable during our visit, the only  information we got of the temple from the locals was that it was built by the Hoysalas.
Chennakeshava Temple
Another View of  the Temple
Ancient Temple Compound Wall 
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH48 - C R Patna - Left Turn (near Ganapathi temple after medical center )- Anekere (8kms from C R Patna)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Galaganatha" - The Pyramidal Temple

     "Galaganatha", a small sleepy village on the banks of the river Tungabhadra of  Haveri district is well known for its 'Galaganatha' or the 'Galageshwara' Temple built by the Kalyana Chalukyas. The temple is situated at the holy confluence of rivers Varada and Tungabhadra. A notable and distinguishing feature of this temple is its heavy pyramidal base and the strong curtains walls built around the temple in order to protect the temple from river floods. One has to appreciate the architectural skill of the Chalukyas, since this temple has been standing in its place for almost more than a thousand years, whereas the entire village was washed out due to continuous floods. The new village came up a  little further from the temple.
The Galaganatha Temple
       There is another temple to the left of the Galageshwara temple known as the Malleshwara temple, built during the period of the Rashtrakutas. The main temple of Galaganatha is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of  a Linga. Inside the garbagriha is a pacha-linga idol symbolizing the confluence of the five rivers viz., the Tunga, Bhadra, Kumadvathi, Varada and Dharma. There are beautiful carvings of Lords Vishnu, Bhairava, Surya, Shiva, and of Goddesses Mahishasuramardini, Kali, etc., inside the temple.
The Malleshwara Temple
Galaganatha Linga
River Goddess
Pancha Lingas
Beautiful Carvings depicting War Scenes
 March Towards a War
Lovely Door Frame
Nicely Polished Pillars
 Skillfully Formed Pillar
        There is a ruined mantap inside the temple complex where some sculptures are kept. Its believed that there are about 101 Shiva Lingas around the temple and on the banks of river. 
The Ruined Mantap
Nandi Kambha
Some of the 101 Lingas
Hero Stone and A Linga
Rear View of the Pyramidal Temple
The temple priest is a kind gentleman and shared various stories related to this temple. According to him, the temple was built by the great legendary Sculptor Jakanachari, out of a single rock.  He continued to say that the linga here is a Sparsha Linga, which is underneath the present visible Linga and is considered very powerful. In the earlier days, when people kept iron near the Sparsha Linga and prayed to god, it turned into gold. As people started to misuse this power, the king decided to cover the same with a structure called 'Galaga'. Hence, the deity here came to be known as Galaganatha or Galageshwara and in due course the village too became popular for this temple and came to be known as Galaganatha .

Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore-NH4-Tumkur-Chitradurga-Davangere-Ranebennur- Right Turn towards Guttal-Right Turn towards Havana-Left Turn to reach Galaganatha
Distance from Bangalore: About 350 kms
Places to Visit Around: Choudayyadanapura, Kuruvatti, Haveri, Ranebennur, Harihara and many more

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Garuda Lenka Kambhas , Agrahara Bachahalli

          'Agrahara Bachahalli', a village located in K R Pete Taluk of Mandya District  was one of  the most prosperous erstwhile towns of the Hoysalas. It is home to numerous temples built during the Hoysala period. The "Huniseshwara Temple" is the most prominent and well maintained temple in the village.  A priest who was passing by the place, on finding a Shiva Linga under a tamarind tree, built a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and thus the name Huniseshwara (Hunise in Kannada means Tamarind). The interiors of the temple has been completely renovated. The Shikara (Gopura) is heavily and intricately carved.
The Huniseshwara Temple
     A unique feature is the Garuda Lenka Kambhas, which is also found in the Malikarjuna  temple at Basaralu, Karnataka apart from the Huniseshwara temple. An interesting and strange fact is that, though the Garuda is associated with Lord Vishnu, both the temples having Garuda Lenka Kambhas are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The pillar at Basaralu has lost  most of its sculptures on the pillar-top unlike the pillars here that are complete and well preserved.
Garuda Lenka Kambhas
Lord Huniseshwara
Lord Ganapathi
Kala Bhairava
Lord Shanmukha
Central Ceiling
Natya Mantap
Lovely Pillar
Empty Devakosthas
The Huniseshwara Temple

The caretaker of this place, an elderly person  in his early 80's lives in a small house near-by temple the temple complex . The temple was renovated with the help of Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatha Trust .

To be continued .....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Mystical Charmadi Ghat

  "Charmadi Ghat" is one of the hot spots of Western Ghats and is home to innumerable waterfalls and hills. It also has a reputation of being a favorite trekking spot. The Ghat section, recently being upgraded to National Highway standards (NH234)  is in best of its conditions. The drive along the Charmadi stretch is an amazing experience, especially during the monsoons and the post-monsoon period.

Lovely Lavender Flowers bedeck the Lush-Green Hills
Charmadi Ghat