Showing posts with label Chikmagalur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chikmagalur. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Sri Neelakanteshwara Temple, Madhusudana Ashrama, Jammatige, Koppa, Chikkamagaluru

Last time around, I had the opportunity to explore this small yet very beautiful temple near Sringeri, dedicated to Neelakanteshwara swami. About 2 km from Hariharapura is Jammatige, a small village located on the banks of the river Tunga. Jammatige is home to a very beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Neelakanteshwara, a form of Bhagwan Shiva. This temple was built in 1654 CE as per the Indian calendar year  (or 1732 CE as per the English calendar). The credit of building this temple goes to Kallanna, s/o Kolluranna of Kalasa, as per the inscriptions found here on the temple base (Adhisthana). A paper inscription dated 1774 regarding donations to this temple by Sri K H Rudraiyya of Holalakere was published by Dr. B Rajashekarappa. The temple authorities also have records of damages occurred to the temple due to floods from river Tunga in the 20th century and details of the restoration activity. Sri Neelakanteshwara temple is built in typical Keladi style, devoid of Navaranga and comprising only the Garbhagriha, Antarala, Mukhamantapa and Prakara, the outer wall that encloses the temple sanctum. The walls of this temple are adorned with carvings from various epics, puranas and scenes from daily lives of people.

Sri Neelakanteshwara Temple, Jammatige

Details of Inscriptions found here
Sri Neelakanteshwara Swamy 

It was quite intriguing to witness Lord Ganesha atop his vahana, seated on an elephant howdah on one side and Goddess Durga on the other side, guarding the temple as dwarapalas of the garbhagriha. 

Door Frame of Garbhagriha 

Lord Ganesha seated on his Vahana on Elephant's Back

There are 2 friezes on the lintel of the Garbhagriha door - the top frieze carries carvings of Dwadasha (12) Jyothirlingas with a Nandi and the bottom frieze comprises of carvings depicting the story of  sage Valmiki along with the Saptharishis in Brahmaloka. 

Friezes of the Lintel depicting Dwadasha Jyothirlingas and Valmiki Kathe

The inner walls of the Antarala are decorated with many interesting and unique carvings.

1.   A beautiful carving of Dashabhuja Chandra deva on a chariot run by 10 horses (Dashashwa ratha) and next to this is a carving of Brahma deva along with Saraswathi Devi seated on a peacock.

Chandra Deva 

2.    Carving of Chaturbhuja Surya deva on a chariot run by 7 horses with Aruna as his charioteer depicted with Mandeha, an asura who troubled Surya deva daily at dusk. Read more about it here.

Surya Deva and his Chariot 

3.     A unique depiction of Lord Anjaneya and his son Makaradhwaja

Lord Anjaneya and Makaradhwaja

4.     One more beautiful and unique depiction of Sapthaloka (Svarloka, Satyaloka, Tapoloka, Janaloka, Mahaloka, Bhuvarloka, Bhuloka) –  7 upper realms on  Asthadiggajja (Airavatha, Pundareeka, Vamana, Kumuda, Anjana, Pusphadanta, Sarwabhouma, Suprateeka  – 8 elephants holding eight cardinal directions of the world) supported by Adishesha and who in turn is seated on Kuruma.


5.     Carving of Panchamukhi Brahma seated on a chariot.

Panchamukhi Brahma Deva with Chariot 

6.     Gopalakrishna swami

Venugopala Swami

7.     Garuda Deva

Garuda Deva 

The front outer wall of  the Antarala carries a beautiful depiction of the beginning and  ending of Kaliyuga along with the Shaiva Dwarapalas.
Beginning of Kaliyuga (when lust wins over righteousness)
End of Kaliyuga (when humans start eating other humans)

 The outer walls of the temples are adorned with carvings of the Dashavatara, Ramayana Katha, Bhagwat Purana, Mahabharata, Kailasaloka, Yamaloka and Naraka.

Ramayana Friezes 

Friezes Depicting Hell, Punishment in Hell and Story of River Ganga 

Kailasha and Yama Loka 

Mahabharata Friezes 

Asuraraja Ravana 

Tripura Samhara Shiva 

Ugra Narasimha Swami 
Shanmuga Swami 
2.  Chikkamagaluru Jilleya Itihasa Mathu Puratatva (Book by GoK)

Related Posts: 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Hoysala: Mallikarjuna Temple, Hirenallur, Chikmagalur

  While zipping through country roads to reach Amrithapura, which is home to one of the most beautiful Hoysala temple, we stumbled upon a milestone having a familiar name of Hirenallur. On checking our travel diary, we realized this place too housed a Hoysala temple dedicated to Lord Mallikarjuna. As we had more than one option now, we were in a dilemma and as time was ticking, we had to decide quickly.  We made a quick enquiry about the temple and decided to proceed as we heard it was a ‘not to miss’ temple. Not wasting much time, we headed towards this temple and in about ten minutes time reached this magnificent temple.
Hoysala Mallikarjuna Temple Hirenallur Tarikere Chikmagalur
Mallikarjuna Temple 
8th Century Ganga inscription 
   Hirenallur is a small village of Kadur Taluka of Chikmagalur district. The Mallikarjuna temple situated here is a very beautiful Hoysala temple lesser known to the world. There is very little information about this temple in the Internet and print media. The temple is believed to have been built initially by the Gangas during the 8th century according to an inscription recently found here. Later the Hoysala king Ballala II renovated this temple and must have added the two cells to the main cell during the end of 12th century.
Very Beautifully Decorated Shiva Linga 
Heavily Decked Central Ceiling 
Tandaveshwara on Central Ceiling 
Central Ceiling Hoysala
Complicated Craving on the Ceiling 

Lord Vishnu Ananthasayana
Lord Ananthasayana 
Lord Shiva and Parvathi
Uma Maheshwara 
   The temple is a trikuta with Shiva Linga, Keshava and Surya Deva adorning the cells. The central ceiling is a masterpiece with complicated carvings on it and overshadows the beauty of this temple. There are sculptures of Ganapathi and Sapthamatrikas in the sabhamandapa of the temple as usual. The three Shikaras of this temple are heavily decked with images of the various gods and goddesses on them. This temple has been renovated by a few keen locals with the help of Sri Dharmasthala Trust under the guidance of Dr.Veerendra Hedge.
Lord Ugra Narashima 
Shikara and Outer Wall 
Carvings on the Shikara 
    There is a big and beautiful garden around the temple.  Another small temple adjacent to this temple is dedicated to Mailara Linga, housing two beautiful idols of Mailaras. On our way back, another small beautiful temple amidst a farm caught our eye.  This one too was dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga. 
Mailara Linga 
Shiva Temple in the Farm 

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Winter Trek in the Western Ghats, Ballalarayana Durga Fort, Chikmagaluru

Kudremukha Hills, Chikmagalur
Kudremukha Hill Range in Monochrome
 A long pending trek to Ballalarayana Durga fort finally materialized last winter during our trip to Horanadu. 'Ballalarayana Durga' hill is located about 40 km from Mudigere and the fort can be reached via two trek routes - the longer 2 day trek route via Bandajje Arabi Waterfalls from Mundaje and the shorter day trek from Durgadahalli. We decided to a take shorter route since our partner Adhi was a year and a half year old. Road is laid up to Durgadahalli, where we parked our vehicle and started our trek. The initial path of the trek took us  along a few local estates and a bit of steep climb welcomed us to this hill. The climb progresses amidst lush green grasslands which opens up into a beautiful natural landscaped vista.
Trekking in Chikmagalur
The Initial Trek Path
Ballalarayana Durga Fort
First Look of Ballalarayana Durga Fort
Shola Forest, Western Ghats
Shola Forest of Ballalarayana Durga
Trekking in Western Ghats
Break for the Little Trekker on Demand

The walk through the grasslands was quite easy and very pleasing to the eye. Undoubtedly, we spent more time on photography then trekking! As the trek continued through the grasslands, we reached a junction with two diversions and after much deliberation, we decided to take the route on the left and bang on! We were on the right track. We had to cross a few smaller hills in order to reach the base of the hill that housed the fort. We had a clear view of the fort hereon. The early winter weather was perfect for this trek and as usual, this time of the year is always pleasant. We entered the fort wondering about the reason of its being built here in the first place, later only to be abandoned and why no further attempts were made by other kings to occupy/modify/rebuild this fort. Much of the fortification still remains intact  giving us an idea of how magnificent it was, back then.
Trek route along the Grass land
Trek Route Snaking Along the Grass Land
Vigna vexillata Flower WesternGhats
Vigna vexillata Flower
Neelakurinji Flower Western ghats
Neelakurinji Flower
Flower of Western ghats
Forest Malenadu
Another Stretch of Shola Forests
Ballalarayana Durga hill range falls under the Bankal range of Mudigere forest division. This hill is said to have been fortified by the Hoysala Kings in 12th century, which also played a significant role in defence activities due to its strategic location. We did not get any further information regarding the history of this fort. It probably seems like the fort was abandoned with the downfall of the Hoysala dynasty. One can get a view of the entire Kudremukha hill range, Charmadi ghats and other hill ranges. While we were just about to start our descent, we spotted a few trekkers coming towards the fort taking the Bandajje Arabi route. We waited to speak to them and find out their experience uphill and assured them that the descent down the hill from here was not as difficult. They inquired from us about the possibility of hiring a vehicle at Durgadahalli and as we knew, we informed them that the chances of availability of vehicles were quite bleak. We offered them to join us so we can give  drop them all to the nearest place from where they can get a  bus back to Bangalore. Without a second  thought, they readily accepted our offer. After they rested for sometime, we all started our descent. All along, they were quite excited to see our little partner Adhi doing the trek! We reached our vehicle and as promised, we dropped the boys at Kottigehara. Overall, it was a wonderful experience of trekking amidst so much greenery!
Gaali gudda
Gaali Gudda Hills
Bandajje Arabi waterfalls
Towards Bandajje Arabi Waterfalls
Cheering Up the Young Trekker
Ballalarayana Durga Fort
Ballalarayana Durga Fort
Ballalarayana Durga Fort
Fort Walls Snaking Across The Hills

Other places to Visit nearby: Kalasa, Horanadu, Chikmagalur, Sooramane Abbi Waterfalls, Khandya, Mullayanagiri, Bababudanagiri, Kudremukha and many such.
How to reach Ballalarayana Durga:  Cross Mudigere, proceed towards Kottigehara, take a right turn towards Kalasa and reach Sunkasale. Take a left turn here and proceed till you reach a dead end and take a  left turn to reach the starting point of the trek. This village is located about 34 km from Mudigere and 312 km from Bangalore.
Accommodation: There are no accommodation facilities inside the village, although one can pitch their own tents inside the fort or village premises with prior permission of the villagers. However, there are many home stays in the area which also offer guided treks to this hill.
Where to eat: There are no eateries here; Kottigehara and Kalasa are the closest and better options.
Permission: Not required for this route.  However, the trek through Bandajje Arabi waterfalls route requires prior permission, which can be obtained at Bandajje only. Also, guides are provided by the forest department.

Related Posts 
1. A Monsoon Trek to Kavaledurga 
2. Dandeli Resting in the Lap of Nature
3. Waterfalls of Agumbe
Always Remember to Respect Nature and Wildlife. And Do not  litter.