Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kalleshwara Temple, Hulikal, Tumkur

During our course of conversation with the priest at Tandaga, he informed us about another stone temple situated about 3 km from Tandaga. He went on and appreciated the ASI, who helped restore the temple, which otherwise was in ruins. We were not aware of the temple of Kalleshwara in Hulikal. On following the directions given by the priest, we reached a canal, from where we had to take a right turn. Now, we were stuck in a rather funny situation, wherein there were two motorable roads turning right, running parallel on either side of the canal!! We stopped by to inquire a few locals about the route to Hulikal and none were really sure. Finally, we decided to trust our gut instincts and drove ahead, choosing one of the right turns. We traveled for almost 2 km with no signs of any temple around, nor any local in order to confirm about the route. We started to doubt our decision of taken the right right turn! Not giving up, we continued driving and luckily, an auto driver coming in the opposite direction confirmed to us that we were heading the right way towards the temple.
The Lovely Canal
A lady sitting nearby the temple confirmed to us that it was the Kalleshwara temple we were looking for. The temple has undergone restoration recently. Sadly,  there were no signs of any further maintenance, which was evident by the sight of water logging around the temple itself. Though the temple was locked, we were able to peep in and get a glimpse of Lord Shiva and his guardian Nandi through the grilled door. The architectural plan is very similar to the Chennakeshava temple of Tandaga. This temple was built by the Hoysalas, who, as we all know, are the masters of intricate temple architecture. Surprisingly, the Kalleshwara temple seemed to have the simplicity and plainness unlike most of the other hoysala temples, known for their artistic intricacies.
The Kalleshwara Temple
A Peep into the Temple
Inscription Stone
The Lake
Nandi Kambha

For details of directions, distance from Bangalore and places to visit around : Kindly click here

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tambdi Surla, Goa

 'Tambdi Surla' is a small village inside the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, Goa. This place houses one of the finest and probably the oldest surviving temple of Goa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva (Shiva) and is believed to be built around the 12th Century by Goa Kadambas. This is one of the few temples that has survived trough years and remains intact.
Mahadeva Temple
ASI Tourist Information Broad
Entrance and Sloping Roof of the Mukhamantapa
Lord Mahadeva 
Floral Ceiling- Unique Feature of Kadamba Architecture (Asta Kona, Eight Directions)
Decorative Artwork on the Pillar
Kadamba Nagara Shikara
Not sure what these are
Mahadeva Temple, Tambdi Surla
The temple is very well maintained by the ASI. There is no entry fee. We had no information regarding the priest of this temple.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Harihareshwara Temple, Harihara, Davanagere

      'Harihara' is a bustling town located about 13 km from Davangere district. This place derives its name from the famous Harihareshwara temple situated here. The temple is dedicated to the Lords Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva). It stands as a classical example of  the Hoysala architecture and is believed to have been built during the12th Century. Harihara is also known as Guharanya Kshetra or Dakshina Kashi.
Harihareshwara Temple
       The idol of Lord Harihareshwara inside the Garbagriha is about 6 ft tall, with parts below the deity's knee being buried under. This idol is believed to be a Swayambhu murthy (Swayam:Self ;  Bhu:Generate). The temple has a huge Mukhamantapa with 60 pillars. The exterior and the interiors of the temple are wonderfully carved. There is a temple dedicated to Goddess Parvathi  inside the temple complex. There are two beautiful Deepasthambas (pillars for lighting diyas) in the front portion of the main temple and many inscription stones inside the complex.
Pillared Alley
 Lord Harihareshwara 
Dwarapala and his helper
Artistic work on the Door Frame
Ceiling with the carving of the Asthadikpalas

Temple dedicated to Goddess Parvathi 
Inscription Stones 
       A saint named Guha lived on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. He had the reputation of being cruel, cunning, and  demonic. He desired to take control over the entire universe and thus, performed penance on the banks of the river to please Lord Brahma.  Pleased by his devotion, Lord Brahma granted a boon for which Guha asked for himself  to be eternal, and that it should be impossible for any man, demon, animal, god, or any other form of life, to kill him. Accordingly, and true to his word, Lord Brahma granted him this wish and left the place. Guha, after having gained the power of eternity began to trouble all life forms existing in the universe. Being troubled, noble men went to their favorite Lords to seek a solution for this problem. Thus, the form of the Lord Harihara (Shiva and Vishnu) was born in order to defeat Guha. Harihara and Guha fought war for many years, with Guha finally accepting defeat and begging for Salvation. After being pardoned and granted salvation in the form of  Lord Harihara standing on  his chest, Guha entered pathala and the Lord remained there with his feet buried under. Thus the image of the deity here is only visible up to the knee.
Amazing Symmetry
 The deities in the temple are worshiped regularly and the temple is very well maintained.

Places to visit around: Davangere, Uchangipura, Uchangidurga, Kanakuppa, Chitradurga, Ranebennur, Haveri, Harpanahalli, Bagalli, Anekonda, and many more.

Distance from Bangalore: 275 km 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just Like That -3

 Water covers 71% of the earth's surface and constitutes about 60% of  the human body weight.  A compilation of a few of our favorite captures having water as its main theme is presented below.
Namada Chilume, Water Spring,Tumkur
Atri Natural Hot Water Spring , Orissa
 Stepped Tank (14th Century), Bhoganandishwara Temple, Nandi
Agastya Lake ( Man Made,5th Century),  Badami
 Honnamana Kere, Somwarpet
Natural Lake, Avani, Kolar
Umbalagundi Falls, Madikeri
Jedupala Falls, Madikeri
Bhitarkanika Back Waters, Orissa
Sharavathi River Valley, Karnataka
Tungabhadra Dam, Hospet
      Sea Mouth ,  Lake Chilika joins the Bay of Bengal
One of the India's cleanest Beaches, Orissa
Kaup Beach, Udupi
This compilation also marks our 100th post!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Saga of Hairpin Bends -Kolli Hills

   A chance to attend a friend's wedding at Madurai gave us yet another opportunity of exploring the state of Tamil Nadu. Since last time around, we had missed exploring the Namakkal fort, we wanted to do it this time and also as the time was very short (a day), we had to minimize the number of places we could visit.  As we started our journey on Saturday morning, we were welcomed by rain and as we continued, it showed no signs of stopping. Due to the receding north east monsoons, there were heavy rains and hence we thought it would be the best to visit waterfalls.  Our plan now was to explore the lovely  Kollimalai /Kolli Hills, the beautiful  Akashganga waterfall and a few temples around. We were fully aware that we had to cross the seventy hairpin bends to reach this amazing place courtesy our fellow bloggers - Shankara and Mitr
An initial View of the Kolli Hills and its Magnificent Waterfalls
      After inquiring at various places, we reached  the hill base. There is a forest check post where they collected from us a minimal entry fee along with our details. Hereon, the saga of the hair pin bends started and we began to enjoy the journey more, amidst the mist, the rains, the curvy roads and the lush greenery.
First Hair Pin Bend
  Don't know what it really says, though we were proud to be amidst Kolli hills!!!
Tourist Places of Kolli Hills
An Awesome Morning!!!!
Hair Pin Bend
Winding Roads
70th Hair Pin Bend
We crossed the 70 hair pin bends and wow, what a journey it was! There were still no signs of any waterfalls anywhere. We reached a place called Semmudu, the largest village of Kolli hills. There is another check post here and they collect a fee for further entry. On inquiring about the falls here, he gave us directions telling us it was about 19 km from the check post along with an alternative option of taking a short cut, which would save us about 10 km, the chances of losing way in the latter was much easier. We took the short cut and after traveling some distance, we reached an unknown village where we spotted some hot food being served and fed ourselves sumptuously with dosas, parsthas and omelettes. In no time, we reached the Arappuleshwara Temple. It was chilly weather and we were almost shivering due to the cold. We headed towards finding the way to falls  But, to our dismay , we realized that the entry to the waterfall was temporarily suspended for all, because of heavy rains. And they would open the gates only after the rains subsided until it would be safe for the public. Not being very disappointed, we inquired about  another falls called the Masai falls, near Masai Periswamy temple. The locals informed  us that, at this point in time, it would be difficult for us to go to the temple and the falls due to the heavy rains. From here,  we proceeded to the Arappuleshwara temple and after a quick darshan, we had some hot herbal soup that was prepared locally and tasted perfect. We wrapped up and started driving towards Madurai.
Lovely Tribal House
Water Everywhere
Misty and Cloudy
Raging Clouds
Misty Kolli Hills
   While returning, we took the longer route to make sure we don't miss anything worth watching and later realized that we had to drive through an additional 39 hairpin bends! All put together, we crossed more than 175 hair-pin bends of Kolli hills, which was a  wonderful experience. There are also a  few small resorts in the hills which offer accommodation. Since ours was a short trip, we didn't get chance to check out any of these  resorts. Kolli hills is an ideal weekend getaway from Bangalore. Like most of the hill stations, this place is also abused by irresponsible tourists who do very little for keeping our environment safe. A humble request to the tourists, from us and all who care for our surroundings and the environment  is, please do not  litter, use the waste bins for throwing garbage, which is present at most of the tourist places. Avoid use of plastic wherever possible. Nature is god's gift. Help in keeping it beautiful. 

Await for more hidden secrets of this place..........