Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Temple, Halasi - Temples of Karnataka

Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
A visit to Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha temple at Halasi was long time pending until finally we got an opportunity to take the lord's blessings during our trip to Belagavi. Halasi is an  ancient town and was the second capital city of the Banavasi Kadambas during the 4th to 6th century. This place was known as Palashi, Palasika, Halasige as per the various inscriptions found here. Later under the Goa Kadambas it was a minor capital between the 10th and 13th centuries. Halasi flourished under these two dynasties and remained as an important cultural site back then. Today this town lives in oblivion and has lost all its ancient sheen. 7 copper plates of the Kadamba dynasty were found here which have been dated back to the 4th century, thus making Halasi one of the oldest towns of this region. There are many other inscriptions found here belonging to the later kings.
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Sri Shankara Narayana Swamy Temple, Halasi
There are many temples here namely, the Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha temple, Sri Kapileshwara temple, Sri Suvarneshwara temple, Sri Kalleshwara temple, Sri Hatakeshwara temple, Sri Gokarneshwara temple and a Jaina Basadi. Due to paucity of time, we could visit only the Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha temple built in the 5th Century. The original temple built was dedicated to Lord Narasimha. The lord here is depicted with two hands in yogic postures and it is believed that this murti is a Swamyabhu or self- originated one. There is another big murti of Sri Yoga Narayana in the same garbhagriha installed later during the Goa Kadamba period. The inscriptions of 1169 AD found here registers the construction of this temple and installation of the murti of Ananta Virvikrama Narasimha by one Matayogi, as per the instructions of the king's mother.
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Grand Bhuvaraha Murti
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Yoga Narayana
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Garbhagriha   of Yoga Narayana
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Sri Swamyabhu Narasimha Swamy
The murti of Sri Bhuvaraha was installed in the year 1187 by King Vijayaditya III in the second garbhagriha, opposite to the garbhagriha dedicated to the main deity. Though there are two garbhagrihas, only the original garbhagriha has a Shikara in the Kadamba Nagara style, built probably much later during the Goa Kadamba period. This temple bears architectural resemblance to Sri Madhukeshwara temple at Banavasi to some extent. The temple has two garbhagrihas with an attached antarala, opening into a common Navaranga with 2 mukhamandapas. The central ceiling of the Navaranga carries a beautiful inverted lotus motif, but is now covered with a wooden plank. The temple is built on an elevated platform. There are a few smaller temples in the complex dedicated to Lords Shankara Narayana, Garuda, Maruti, Radha Krishna and also a stepped well. The complex is well maintained and its temples are functional. This temple is perhaps the oldest surviving temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha.
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Kadamba Nagara Shikara
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Alingana Chandrashekaramurti
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Stepped Well
Sri Bhuvaraha Narasimha Swamy Temple, Halasi
Sati Stone
Directions to Halasi: About 40km from Kittur towards Khanapur, deviation after Bidi.
1. Karnataka Gazetteer
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1.  Sri Kamala Narayana Swamy Temple, Degaon 
2.  Sri Shantheshwara Temple, Tilavalli
3.  Sri Mahadeva Temple, Kurdi/Curti Goa.

A Road Trip to Kolhapur and Satara from Bengaluru-2 Colors of Maharashtra

This is a photo post describing the colors of Maharashtra we witnessed  during our road trip to Kolhapur and Satara from Bengaluru.

Leading the Way
24 Shades of Green
Earth, Sky and Clouds
Every Plateau has a Colorful Side
Yellow Yellow Dirty Fellow
Blue and Yellow gives Green!
Weeds too...amidst Flowers look Colorful
Yummy... Vittal Vada !!!
Beautiful Wild Flower
Colorful Spread
Offers so Good that Even Messi Couldn't Resist from Shopping !
Krishnam Vande Jagadguru
Joy of Colors!
Strong Yet Delicate
Every Drop Counts !
Try Me...

Road Trippers Club Expedition to Neelakurinji Blooming at Kodaikanal

Neelakurinji Blooming 2018
Neelakurinji Bloom
August 2018 was the much awaited month for witnessing the rare Neelakurinji mass blooming that occurs once in 12 years in most of the areas of Kerala.  Last year we visited the Hills of Sandur to witness the rare Neelakurinji bloom, though in a small scale. This year around, we were sure it was going to be on a grand scale as we were planning to visit Munnar which is home to the largest mass  blooming of Neelakurinji. However, I received a message on whats-app one evening about a road-trip being planned to Munnar during the long weekend for witnessing this rarity and decided to tag along. But as the blossoming season was hit by the unexpected spell of rains across the state of Kerala, Munnar was distressed and as days passed by, the situation only deteriorated due to the continuing heavy rains leading to the floods all across the state. Also the news coming in from Kerala was not very encouraging to continue our drive to Munnar, and hence the team at RTC relocated the destination to Kodaikanal.
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As the D-Day arrived, the members of the team began their journeys mostly from Mumbai, while a few started their drives from Hyderabad and Bangalore. We reached Kodaikanal on the 16th evening as per the plan after visiting a few beautiful temples in Tamil Nadu, built during the Chola period.  After a good night's rest at Kodai, we were all ready the next morning  to go in search of the bloom. We all drove down to Vattakanal and much to my shock, this place was already crowded. After all the hustle and bustle of parking our vehicles, we were all set to start our trek. However, we were still unsure of the occurrence of Neelakurinji blooming on the hills there. Though the feedback after an initial inquiry about the bloom was not much encouraging, yet we all decided to continue our trek down and see what lies ahead.

View of Kodaikanal from Vattakanal

Mountains and More Mountains
Towering Heights
Eagerly Walking Down
We reached the first view point named the mountain view, from where the sight of Kodaikanal was breathtaking. While I inquired with a local regarding the Neelakurinji bloom, he replied in the affirmative directing us to the next view point. With much enthusiasm, we continued to descend and proceeded further to reach the Dolphin's nose view point (named so due to the shape of this rock) and lo! There it was! Blooms of the beautiful Neelakurinji!. This light purple colored flowers bloom once in 12 years and grow only at an altitude between 1300 meters to 2400 meters above MSL. The patches of Neelakurinji blooms here seemed much stressed and disturbed owing to the crowd movement and irresponsible plucking of the flowers by flocking crowds. We stopped by the echo rock point and rested for a while. As we continued our walk further down, we could spot more pockets of the Neelakurinji bloom. When we inquired about where the path would lead us to, we were informed that this route would end in Munnar in about 16 km. At this point we decided to halt our descent and head back.
Dolphin Nose Kodaikanal
Dolphin Nose
Cyanotis tuberosa
Neelakurinji Mass blooming At Dolphin Nose
We Trekked Till the Last

 The climb up was a bit tiring and uneventful. We regrouped at the start point of the trek,while a few  headed to the parking lot to bring up their vehicles. One of our vehicles halted up slope and due to the terrain and the narrow space available for driving, it was tricky to either go back down to the parking or come up. However, a good Samaritan came to our rescue and with the combined efforts of RTC, the vehicle was driven up slope and we moved ahead. The evening was enjoyable and to top it up, the wild Gaurs visited the resort and spent quite sometime alongside. The entire experience was a wonderful one! It was great meeting like minded road trippers from various parts of India. Kudos to the entire team for having completed this expedition successfully! Read more about the drive here. If you wish to join us on such drives, kindly visit the website of Road Trippers Club for more information and  be a part of many such fabulous drives across India. We are very thankful to Vineet and the RTC team for tagging us along for this drive and ensuring that we witness the rare phenomenon of Neelakurinji blooms.
Experience and Curiosity
Young Explorer
Clouds Kissing the Mountains
Wild Gaur with Cow

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Sri Tribhuvaneshwara Temple, Devagiri, Haveri

Sri Tribhuvaneshwara Temple, Devagiri, Haveri
Sri Tribhuvaneshwara Temple, Devagiri
'Devagiri' is a small village about 10 km from Haveri and close to the Bangalore - Pune highway. This place was called by different names by different dynasties such as Devingiri, Devageri and lastly as Devagiri. It is believed that a branch of Kadamba dynasty was ruling from "Triparvata" which is the oldest record name of Devagiri. Three copper records of the Kadambas were discovered in this village, two of which are dated to 455 AD  were issued by King Vijayasri Mrighesavarma and the remaining one was issued by the crowned prince Devavarma. All the three records speak about the construction and maintenance of  a Jain temple referred to as Arhat Bhagavata Chaityalaya. Though no Jain Basadi was found in this place, it is said that there is a mutilated murti of Lord Parshwanatha seated in padmasana posture behind a Mosque in a private land.
Ruins Scattered
Chalukyan Herostone
Veeragallu Belonging to Chalukyan Era
A stone inscription found here dated to 600 AD refers to a feudatory who was ruling this place from Banavasi. The other inscription dated to around 7th century AD speaks about the land grant given to a temple by the Badami Chalukyan Emperor Vikramaditya II. Another gives us information regarding a gift of one thousand cows by Amarakeerthy to the village temple in 8th century AD. Later this place was ruled by the Rashtrakuta king Govindabbe during 9th century AD as per a stone inscription here. The construction of the "Tribhuvaneshwara Temple" and a reservoir by Tribhuvanasingi is recorded in a 1102 AD inscription belonging to the Kalyani Chalukya King Vikramaditya VI. The various inscriptions found here mention about the temples built here such as the Chaityalaya, Kankaleshwara, Govindeshwara, Chatmeshwara, Grameshwara, Tribhuvaneshwara to name a few. Except for the Tribhuvaneshwara temple, most of the rest are either untraceable or modified beyond identification. Sri Tribhuvaneshwara temple  is popularly called now as the Basavanna and Eshwara temple.
Sri Tribhuvaneshwara Temple
The Front View
Sri Basavanna Temple
Shaiva Dwarapalaka and a Stone Inscription
Although the Eshwara/Tribhuvaneshwara temple has undergone restoration, the original structure has been retained wherever possible. Remains of the temple and its ruins seen spread across gives a fair idea of the destruction by the Bahamani sultans here. The Eshwara temple consists of a Garbhagriha, an antarala and Navaranga pretty much similar to the Basavanna temple. A rare and unique feature is the presence of a Makara torana at the threshold (Hostilu in Kannada) of the door. The door jambs of Antarala have some beautiful carvings of the Gandharvas. Many inscriptions and broken murtis are kept in the temple complex. There is a huge tank besides the temple which today is in  a ruined state, with few murtis scattered across. There is a much revered Lord Hanuman temple in the center of village which is believed to have been built by a Brahman Dewan under the Nawab of Savanur.
Navaranga, Antarala and Garbhagriha of Sri Tribhuvaneshwara Temple
Lord Ganesha with Gandharvas on the Door Jamb
Central Ceiling Decked with Lotus Flower Carving
Makara Torana Attached to Hostilu of Mukhamantapa
Part of Makara Torana
Damaged Navagraha Panel with only 6 Remaining
Further excavations are necessary in order to explore more about the history of this village and to rediscover and restore the lost temples. 

1. Dharwad District Gazetteer - GOK