Hoysala: Lakshminarayana Temple Hosaholalu, K R Pete

       "Hosaholalu", located  in K R pet taluk of Mandya, houses a beautiful Hoysala Temple dedicated to Lord 'Lakshminarayana' .It was built by King Vira Someshwara in the 13th century AD. The local legend states that, during the construction process of the temple, glittering gems were found buried under ground and hence the village got the name Hosa Haralu (Haralu in Kannada means Gems) and as time elapsed it became popular as "Hosaholalu".
Lakshminarayana Temple
        This temple is a Trikuta type i.e, three shrined  with a single central tower. The temple is dedicated to Lord Lakshminarayana , and the other two shrines contain sculptures of Lakshminarasimha and Venugopala . These sculptures are a perfect example of Hoyasala  art .
Lakshminarayana
Lakshminarasimha
Venugopala
        The door frames, pillars and ceilings were heavily carved . On one of the pillars, there is a carving of  a thumb sized monkey sitting in a  majestic pose and drinking 'Elneeru' (tender coconut milk ) referred as "Hebbettu Anjaneya ".
Upper Portion of the Door Frame
Door Frame
The Heavily Carved Pillars
  Pillar Top
Hebbettu Anjaneya
Ceiling 1
 Ceiling 2
 Ceiling 3
       The old pillars have been used to construct a mantap in the front in about 16 th century AD . This gives an odd look to the temple. The mantap was built with the purpose of storing Vahanas (Vehicles) used during festivals . The exterior beauty of the temple is an equal match to the interior beauty . The temple stands facing east on a raised platform and a poly angled ground plan. The temple has six pattikas having carvings of Elephants , Horses , Creepers , Puranic tales ,Crocodiles and Swans.
 Front Porch
Six Pattikas
              To increase the height of the temple, the walls were constructed in two tiers. The lower tier has sculptures  and the upper tier has small decorated single or double pillars, shikaras. The shikara of the temple is also heavily carved .
Shikara
Two Tiered Wall and the Shikara
          There are many sculptures on the outer walls of the temple mostly dedicated to various forms of Vishnu and his consort . There is sculpture depicting  the scene of Vasudeva  standing in front of donkey with folded hands probably referring to the proverb " To get one's work done , one has to prostrate even before a donkey " .  This refers to story when Lord Krishna was born and Vasudeva carried him  in the basket  outside the Jail . He saw a donkey braying actually indicating the god omen. But he didn't wanted the braying sound to awake the jail guards , so he folded both his hand and prayed to the donkey and silenced it .
Vasudeva and the Donkey
Samudra Manthana
       The  Keys of the temple remain with the priest . Though the priest was unfriendly, he obliged to come and open the temple door. The temple is nicely maintained by the ASI. No entry fees as of now.
       Directions from Bangalore - Bangalore - Mysore road  - B.R.Koppal - Right turn - Pandavapura - K R Pete - Left turn - Hosaholalu
       Distance from Bangalore: 140 kms
       Trip date: 28 Nov 2010
       Places to visit near by :  Hariharapura , Akkihebbalu , Varahanatha Kalahalli , Kikkeri , Govindanahalli , and many more
       References used :  Publications of Government of Karnataka on Mandya .

    

Pre-Historic Cave Paintings of Anegundi Near Hampi

           That Sunday morning, we were confused whether to go to Hampi or Anegundi since we had only half a day at our disposal and the long distance between our resort and Hampi was also a factor  . So,we decided to explore Anegundi . On driving towards Anegundi ,one milestone made us very curious as it read Cave paintings and directions for the same were given . We traveled in the direction given but failed to locate the place. We came back to the main road from where we had taken the deviation . We inquired about the cave paintings to a local shop keeper . He kindly obliged and arranged us an auto driver as our guide to this place .
       On reaching this place, we realised it would be impossible  to find it without a local guide. But, looking at the place we wondered where the caves were because all we could see were paddy fields on boulders. We walked through the paddy fields and reached the gate which was locked. On seeing us, the guard  who had the keys came by to open the gate for us.  We thought the government was in charge of this place but later on inquiring we came to know it was owned by a private party .
         After entering the gate. we walked a long path which had turned into marsh due  to the continuous downpours . Finally both our guide and guard showed us the paintings and they were unbelievable.  Mainly, it had paintings of various animals the pre historic men saw , the hunting scenes , and of men and women.
Paintings No.1
   The above painting probably describes a hunting seen and shows the pre historic men used a bow and arrow type weaponry and rode on animals like horses for hunting.
Painting No.2
Painting No.2
       Careful observation of the above painting shows that it is of a man. The most interesting part of this painting is probably the place where it is painted. We wondered how they painted at such a height  ( almost 15ft high from the ground, second pic is indicates the height).
Painting No.3
            This Painting contains  a large number of animals and various scenes of hunting .
Painting No.4
      This is a painting of a huge snake and the largest of all paintings we saw here .
Painting No.5
     The above painting contains a crab/scorpion and a dog like animal .
Painting No.6- Our Favorite One
    This is the painting of  a bird carrying three people on its back and is truly amazing . Few believe that this could have been an imaginative painting , where as few others believe that the men  saw god flying in this manner .
Painting No.7
   This is probably the most unique painting belonging to this site which is probably not found anywhere else of this kind. Most of the other paintings bear a resemblance to various other sites across India . The initial belief was that this was a "Megalith Burial Site "  with dead people at the center. But, a recent article published in the Bangalore Mirror dated Dec 28 2010 ,titled " Prehistoric man drew Maps " , suggests that this is not megalith burial site but a map depicting the physical features of the area .  The archaeologist T M Keshava and his team suggests that the paintings were made using red laterite clay and is almost 4000 yrs old .
        This was a wonderful experience for us since we did not expect such an interesting place during our trip. Though the exact meanings of the paintings are a real mystery , we can only create meaning to suit today's world. Why  they painted? What it really means? Was it for communication purposes? There are many more unanswered questions.  Thanks to this place. It really made our trip a memorable one . It took away all the pains of our journey (read about it here ).
     Finally, we have to thank our kitten for making us rewrite the whole post again . This post has come out more informative than the earlier one.
     This place requires serious maintenance and urgent work has to be taken on preserving the precious paintings. Whatever we saw was  just a glimpse of the paintings since a lot more are believed to be present inside the caves and surrounding hills and are yet to be explored.
     This place is located very close to Anegundi in Gangavati . To visit this place, it is always better to hire a local guide at least for the first time . Most of the local auto drivers double up as Guides . 
      There are a lot of places to visit around. A few to name are the Pampa Sarovar, Anegundi Fort , Anjanadri Hills ,Cave Temple ,Hampi, Reservoir, and the Durga Fort .  
       Trip date : 3rd  Oct 2009 and 24th April 2010.

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Narasimhaghada Trek, Belthangadi

         'Narasimha Ghada' or 'Narasimhanagadi' or 'Jamalabad' (current name) is a hill top fort nested in Kudremukh National Park . This place is about 8 kms from Belthangadi (DK). We came to know about this place when were travelling from Belthangadi to Venuru . We decided to explore this place when we were returning from Venuru . We reached the base of the hill around 2:00 pm. There is a forest check post at the hill base where we can  get a permit for entry (Rs.40/- per head) . The man there put a word  that it will be difficult to reach the top during that time since we  were already late and were asked to return by 6:00 pm. We decided to climb up to 5:00 pm and return from that point . However, we managed reached the top much earlier than expected .
         This fort was built by Tipu Sultan after capturing the local ruler and destroying the old structure. Later, this fort was captured by  British from Tipu during  the 4th Mysore war . Tipu named this fort after his mother Jamalbi .Nothing much remains expect  a few ruins here and there . Most impressive part was the trek .Though steps were laid up to the top , rain water had made them very slippery and difficult to climb.
Initial Climb
Rock Cut Steps
Slippery Pathway


   The hill top was a flat surface having ruins of fort, micro ave station and a water pond . We got a birds's eye view of the entire range of Kudremukh National Park . We were also able to spot a water falls far away on another hill.
View Mid Way
Bird's Eye View
View from the Top
Another View
   On our way to the hill top, we spotted various forms of life.
Blue Dragon
Skimmer
Green Dragon
Dragon Fly
Common Sailor
Camouflaged  Lizard
Spiny Lizard
Stag Beetle
Cup  Mushroom
Mushrooms
Mushrooms
Wild Grass Flower
This is a wonderful place to explore and popular among trekkers.

Trip Date :  27 Sept' 2009.

The Jewels of KWLS

    KWLS is home to a variety of insects, mushrooms and other small creatures. It is an ideal environment for the creatures to thrive. There were many such, which we were able to see  though most were beyond our  identification skills (i.e., exact names ) .
Tortoise
Frog
Green Dragon
Blue Dragon
Spider
Long Legged Spider
Checkered Beetle
Leaf Beetle
Blow Fly
Grass Hopper
Millipede
Moth
Stink Bugs
Praying Mantis
Caterpillar
Pupa
Wild Flower
Wild Grass Flower
Agaricus
Mushrooms
Mushroom
Orange mushroom
    Altogether, a wonderful place to spend exploring the vast areas of  the forests on foot .We would like to thank the D.F.O  for providing us an opportunity to explore this place and  giving us assistance during our stay.This place attracts very few tourists since there are no organized tours/safaris. Special thanks to our guides (elephant trackers/guards) who were very cooperative all along.