St Catherine Falls, Kotagiri, Ooty

         'St Catherine' water falls (seasonal) is located near Kotagiri  town, Tamil Nadu. The falls, nestled in the hills of the Niligris, is an added attractions for tourists visiting Ooty. The journey to the falls was a mesmerizing one.
Tea Garden and the Curvy Roads
Misty Morning

Tea Plantations
Mistea

        The water falls from a height of about 250 feet and is two tiered. A pleasant walk through a private tea garden takes us to the view point of the falls. The walk was amazing and we also found some porcupine  spines during our way to the view point. Though we visited during the monsoons, there was not much force in the waters, but definitely the weather made the place look more beautiful .

Awesome View
Clouds kissing the Hills
St.Catherine Falls
Second and the visible Tier
Hills around the Waterfalls
Wild Flowers
Tea Flower
Grass Flower
Finally some Monkey Business

The Hoysala Temple, Nagalapura , Tumkur

          This post is about the Chennakeshava Temple which is another small and beautiful temple of Nagalapura. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the favourite god of the Hoysalas. Any number of adjectives used to describe the Hoysala architecture seems insufficient. They are undoubtedly one amongst  the best architects of the world. There are very interesting one line legends about the temple some of which are that, this temple was built in a single day, built in single stone and many more.
Chennakeshava Temple
   The temple, built on a platform is poly angled (like many other Hoysala temples). It is an Ekakuta temple. The exterior and  interior of the temple are equally decorative and carry intricate carvings. The ceilings are magnificent and uniquely carved. The Garbagriha houses an idol of Lord Chennakeshava. The pillars are huge and carry a few motifs .
Ceiling -1
Ceiling -2
 Ceiling -3
Ceiling -4
Ceiling -5
 Ceiling -6

Lord Vishnu on the Lintel
Lord Cheluvanarayana  on the Lintel
The huge Pillars
An example of Skill and Patience!
Intricate !!!!
Lord Chennakeshava
       Our guide was a young boy of the village and seemed quite interested in sharing the history and legends of the temple. The outer walls of the temple are extremely artistic and contain carvings of various gods and goddesses.
Our Guide
Faded Entrance
Pattikas
Side view of the Temple
Mahishasuramardhini
Most intricate and  an amazing carving  (note the minute detailing)
     Nagalapura is a great place to enjoy architectural beauty. The Kedareshwara temple is being looked after by the ASI and has a permanent care taker, who resides in the neighboring village. The keys to the Chennakeshava temple are kept in a house nearby the temple. 

Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH48 - Right turn  towards Myasandra - Myasandra - Left turn after 3 kms (There is school on the right side ) - Left turn at the dead end - Right turn after 6 kms there is a board in Kannada - Nagalapura 
 
Distance from Bangalore:125 kms 

Places to visit nearby: Tandaga, Hulikal, Nonavinkere, Vignasanthe, Turuvekere and many more

Trip date : 27 Feb '2011

Reference: The hours - My Memoir 

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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.
Gajasuramurti
      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
Bhringi
Shanmuga
Mahishasuramardhini
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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