Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kuruvatti - Mallikarjuna Temple

Kuruvatti” is a village nested on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. This place is home to a very beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Mallikarjuna. It was built in the 12th Century by the Kalyana Chalukyas and later improvised by the Hoysalas. The god here is referred to as Trailokyamallesvara and Ahavamallesvara in some of the inscriptions. This temple is located in the center of the village and attracts a huge crowd from all over the State during festival days. This temple is a typical Chalukyas masterpiece, with unique features such as the carvings of Apsaras on the pillar tops of the front porch and numerous Nagabandha carvings on the door frames .There is also a detached Nandi Mantap in front of the temple.

Mallikarjuna Temple
Apsara on the Pillar Top
Skillfully Executed Pillar
Lord Ganesha
Lord Surya
King Someshwara with his Two Queens and Two Helpers
Makara Torana
Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu
Beautiful Door frame
Dancing Couple
Seven Banded Door Frame

Saiva Dwarapalas
As the priest was engrossed in the temple daily rituals and crowd management, we did not have a chance to know more about the legends of this temple.
Blessed One
On Request Photography
Wooden Chariot

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Acrobatic Lizard

Here I come
Warming Up
A Perfect 10 on 10 move!
Holding On
One Foot Balance

An amazing display of body balance by a Lizard, that lasted for about 10 - 12 minutes . 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Fort and A Lost City - Hulukudi

Fort Hulukudi  had more in store than our expectations. The priest informed us that the steps we climbed to reach the temple were only recently laid by the temple trust and was not the original route to reach this temple. The actual route to reach the temple was from the opposite side of the route we had taken for ascent. He advised us to take the route behind, which currently is not in use and look out for the big bull statue (Nandi) and a huge stone resembling a butter ball. He also told us that the fort here was built by a local king. We thanked the priest and moved on in search of the Nandi. On our way we met a local who volunteered to walk down with us and share information about this place. He told us about a long forgotten town at the hill base, named Mahdeshwara. Here on, we started out descent along with him and decided to explore the Fort first.
Watch Tower
Steps leading to the Watch Tower
Crumbled Fort Wall
Village Mahdeshwara
Another Watch tower
Fort wall stones scrambled all over
Fort Wall
Rock Cut Steps
A long flight of rock cut steps led us to a small temple that housed the Nandi. The Nandi statue was huge and quite impressive. It is supposedly carved out of a single stone. From here, we went in search of the butter ball stone. This is very much similar to the boulder named Krishna's butter ball in Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu). After this, we reached a stone arch which marked the hill base (This arch is the original entrance to the temple).
The Nandi Temple
Veerabhadra Swamy's Butter Ball
Entrance Stone Arch
 After a small walk through the village fields, we reached the forgotten town of Mahdeshwara. At the entrance of this village was a ruined temple of Lord Shiva and looked quite grand. Our guide left us to ourselves to enjoy exploring the temple and also mentioned about a small cave besides the temple. Meanwhile he went to arrange some lunch for us. This temple was simply beautiful and kudos to our guide and his family who are actually taking care of this temple inspite of not receiving help from anyone. The Shiva Linga is a large one and resembles Chola architecture. There is also a Tamil inscription on a stone by the side of the temple.
Mukaneshwara Temple
Decorative Door Frame
Interior Decorative Frame Work
Art work on the Ceiling
Lord Mukaneshwara
Tamil Inscription
Entrance to the Cave besides the Temple
The next temple we visited was dedicated to Lord NarashimaSwamy. This temple currently has been renovated to give it a modern look. The spacious place all around this temple served as a dinning hall for us where we were accompanied by two other little friends for a sumptuous and tasty  lunch comprising of  Bisi Bele Bath (Dal and Rice  with Vegetables) and Kosambari  (Dal and Coconut Salad). After this heavy and much needed lunch, we rested for a while and walked towards a mantap that housed another huge Nandi. A little further, we were amazed to see an open air temple of Lord Hanuman. The image of Hanuman carved on a big rock was magnificent and looked like it had been painted recently.
Our Sumptuous Lunch
Nandi Mantapa
Beautiful Nandi
Lord Hanuman
Way to Mahdeshwara
Our journey came to an end here and we walked through the fields towards our vehicle. We chatted for a while with our guide and then came the time to say goodbye to him, thus ending one of those journeys, which initially looked unworthy but later turned out be one of  the most exciting and interesting trips of ours. We wholeheartedly thank our guide for taking us around this place and sharing everything he knew and dedicate this to him and his family.
Hulukudi Veerabhadra Swami

References :
1 Travel blog .
2 Wikimapia