The Hoysala Temples of Nagalapura, Turuvekere, Tumkur

     'Nagalapura' is a village located in Turuvekere taluk , Tumkur district. This place is almost unknown but has two significantly beautiful and ornate Hoysala temples, which probably would have been grand like any other Hoysala temple, but today is nothing but ruins.
    Nagalapura was a prosperous town under the Hoysala rule, whose grandeur can be felt when we look at these temple . Like most of the Hoysala towns, this too has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Kedareshwara) and  another temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Chennakeshava).  The Kedareshwara temple is situated at the entrance of the village. This is bigger than the Chennakeshava temple though both  have the same plan of construction.
The Kedareshwara Temple
      The Kedareshwara temple is just like any other Hoysala temple in shape and design. It has five pattikas. The outer walls have amazing sculptures of Lord Shiva depicted in his various forms and vahanas(vehicles). 
Lord Ishana and Parvathi  on a Bull
Lord Varuna and his consort on a Crocodile
 The one among various forms of Lord Shiva is the Gajantaka, which is a destructive form taken by him  to over come the elephant demon Gajasura. This demon, created by the sages of Darukavana terrified gods and the people. Gajantaka is believed to bring prosperity.
      Siva carries an antelope in his left upper hand. It is held in several ways. Shiva's antelope (Mrga) denotes his rulership over nature. Antelope/ gazelle / deer is an ancient Indus valley symbol of the lord of animals and of all living beings .
Lord Shiva with an Antelope in his upper left hand
   There are various depictions on the outer walls like the Betala (Demon), a beautiful  lady, Lord Brahma , and many various forms of Shiva and his family.
Arjuna aiming at the Fish
Lord Shiva
Lord Brahma
The Five Pattikas
Music Troupe
A Beautiful Lady
Note the Heeled Foot Wear
The Temple
Side View of the Temple
  Since the temple was closed and the care taker who lived in a near by village was unavailable, we had to move on without seeing the inside of the temple.

    References used : The book "The Illustrated Dictionary of Hindu Iconography" written by Margaret Stutley.

Continued here...

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The Hoysala Temple of Sheelanere, K R Pete, Mandya

          'K.R.Pete', a treasure trove is home to many wonderful temples built by the Hoysalas. Our hunt for unknown Hoysala temples, this time lead us to a place named Sheelanere. 'Sheelanere' is small village located in K.R.Pete taluk, Mandya district. The Eshwara temple here was built by the Hoysalas in 1157 AD. This beautiful soapstone temple is situated near a huge lake, but in ruined state.
Eshwara Temple Complex
The Big and Beautiful Lake
             The temple was locked, but were able to peep inside through the grills. There was another temple (renovated) that housed an idol of Kshetrapala Bhairava. There was also a small room having two hero stones. There are many hero stones and idols  scattered around the temple and the lake. The huge lake adds a lot of serenity to this place.
Eshwara Temple
The Entrance
Lord Eshwara
Kshetrapala Bhairava
Lord  Ganapathy
People carved on the Stone
Broken Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Hero Stones inside the small room
War Scene Depiction on Hero Stone
    'Hero stones' (Wiki) or 'Veeragallu'  are stone carvings depicting the culture that prevailed those days . Majority of the hero stones found have 3 Phases or Panels or Pattikas. The bottom phase depicts war scenes, the middle phase depicts the hero being led by the angels to heaven and the top phase depicts the worship of god. Some of the hero stones found here had four phases, the top most depicted a scene from Kailasa (Abode of Shiva), where the hero is entering Kailasa  in the presence of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathi. For further reading click here:
 Hero Stone
Overall, this place is beautiful and serene.  

Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - Mysore Road - B R Koppal - Right turn - Pandavapura - Take right turn at the direction board (Kannada) - Sheelanere
Distance from Bangalore:145 kms 

Places to visit nearby: K R Pete, Hosaholalu, Machalaghatta, Hariharapura, Chinkurli, Kere Tonnuru, Kikkeri, Sindhughatta and many more.

Trip date : 26 Jan '2011
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Corjuem Fort, Aldona, Goa

         After a sumptuous meal at Panjim, we decided to go in search of Fort near Alorna. The location of this fort as per our pre-trip research was somewhere in northern Goa nearby to Mapusa. Our loyal road map/GPS (Eicher Good Earth Road Atlas) also showed a fort near Alorna. But the local map we bought in Goa ( had no signs of the same. When we tried to match the maps, the local map showed a place named Aldona and a fort little further from this called the Corjuem Fort.
        With an assumption that both these places (Alorna and Aldona) could be the same, we headed towards Mapusa. Later we came to know that there are actually two different forts . After some inquiries with the locals, we finally reached Aldona and followed the directions marked by the Government of Goa 'Protected Site' to reach the fort. 
Corjuem Fort
        The fort is believed to have been built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and was used as a strategic point to attack the Marathas and the Bhonsles. This fort is also associated with a Portuguese lady soldier named Ursula e Lancaster, who tried to make it big in a man's world. She disguised herself as man and joined the army. The Corjuem Fort could easily be one amongst the smallest of forts of India.
Fort Walls
Closer View of the Watch Tower
Watch Tower form the Inside
     Nothing much remains inside the fort walls except a well (source of water), a chapel, a room/pantry and four ramps. The sturdy fort walls are in a good shape even without any maintenance. There is no entrance fee. 
Portuguese Inscriptions
The Pantry

The Well, Pantry and the Ramp
The Chapel
Directions: For directions, click on the Location tab below.

Places To visit nearby: Chapora Fort, Fort Aguda, Arvalem falls, Nanjus Fort, Vagator Beach, Anjuna Beach, Baga Beach, Calangute Beach, Mayem Lake, Lamgao and many more.

Trip Date: 4 April ' 2011

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Winged Jewel : Black Winged Stilt

 "Black Winged Stilt" (Wiki) is one of our favourite birds because of its long  pink legs. This bird is usually found near water bodies. Though it has a reputation of being shy, this time it seemed very friendly and gave us an opportunity to captures its various moods. 
Meal Time
Its Walky time after the meal!
The above picture was shot near Rushikulya beach ,Orissa. The beach is known for its mass nesting of Olive Ridley Turtles during January - March.
Identification Guide : A field Guide to the Birds of India, by Krys Kazmierczak   
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Winged Jewel : Ashy Crowned Lark

       Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark  (wiki) is a common bird found in stone areas with sparse scrub, dry cultivation, sandy riverbeds and dry tidal mudflats. Though we have spotted this bird many a times, this trip gave us an opportunity to photograph the bird. Below are some captures of the lark's photo shoot!

Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark (Male)

Handsome! Ain't I?

  This bird was spotted near Devaragudda , Haveri district.

Identification Guide : A field Guide to the Birds of India, by Krys Kazmierczak  

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Manyapura/ Manne- The lost Capital of Gangas

    "Manyapura (Manne)" is home to many temples built by the Gangas. The most famous amongst them  are the 'Kapileswara temple and the 'Someswara' temple. The Someswara temple is in a very bad state with no maintenance. The temple looks engulfed by many outgrown plants which need to be cleaned. There is an idol of Nandi inside the temple which is partly damaged.
Someswara Temple
Ruined Temple
The partly damaged Nandi Idol
Stone  Pillar
Pattika of Lord Ganesha
 Our guides were eager to show us the other hidden treasures of their village about which we had no clue. They took us to Lord Hanuman temple which was completely renovated. But the most impressive part was the pillar on which the lord was inscribed. Within the temple compound, we found an interesting sculpture of  Lord Ganesha , a Hero Stone and again a partly damaged idol of Nandi.

Lord Hanuman Temple and the Pillar
Lord Hanuman
Hero Stone
Lord Ganesha
      Thereon, we moved towards the center of the village which housed a few temples, inscriptions and a Mantap. The mantap currently serves as a storage  place for fodder.
Devi Temple Shikara
The Lady  ( Devi's Reincarnation )
Devi's Temple
The inscriptions
      Just when we had in mind that we had covered all places of historical importance here, the kids surprised us by telling us they had another special place in store for us that was worth visiting. They took us to their school. While we wondered what made them bring us here, they took us to place that looked like a miniature museum. Recently an idol (only the head portion) was found around this place, which is believed to be of either the Buddha or the Mahavira (not sure). Our guess would be Mahavira since the Gangas  followed Jainism. Shravanabelagola, Kambadahalli and other Jain temples were built during their period .
Hero Stone
Naga Devathas

Beheaded Idol
        Manyapura (Manne) is a really wonderful place filled with history which has been lost somewhere due to our negligence. There are many other small temples in this village which we sadly could not cover. It is advisable to take help from the  locals to move around the village.

Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH4 - T Begur - Take right turn - Thayamangondlu (8 kms) - Proceed further till the railway crossing (NH207)-Take a  right and immediate left turn - Manne

Distance from Bangalore: About 50 kms 

Places to visit nearby: Nelamangala, Binnamangala, Shivagange, Nijagal Fort and many more.

Trip Date: 14 Jan' 2010

References : 
1 Photographs up and down the  lane  .
2 Nelamangala planning authority(website doesn't exist now)

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