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Tuesday 31 March 2020

Hampi - Surprises At Every Turn

The monuments of Hampi are taking a breather for the first time in a number of years. The multitudes of footfall have been replaced with silence as the whole of India is under lock-down. I could not help but wonder what if the lifelike carvings in these beautiful monuments just came out for a walk in this silence to take over their land again.

Wild imaginations aside, join me in visiting just a few of these incredible carvings on this short tour. They are from different visits and different temples but all hold the same magic.

Beautiful lady at the entrance of Krishna temple
Notice the hairband and the choker
among other accessories

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Menhirs - A Revelation From The Ancient Past

It is not just ancient temples or monuments but ‘simple stone structures’ from a bygone era that has fascinated me for a long time. Imagining how people lived, worked and what kind of food they ate say 3000 to 5000 years ago has been a topic for discussion with my friends.

As such the Hampi excavations and the unearthing of the most fascinating temples built by the Vijaynagar kings in Karnataka is a story to be visited any number of times. But Neolithic or megalithic structures which are disappearing due to urbanisation too makes for an interesting and fascinating account for anybody who believes that history is to be known and understood in its right perspective for us to live in the present times.

A view of the menhir in the far corner
A view of the Menhir in the far corner

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Itagi Mahadeva Temple - Music Set In Stone - Part II

For those who have directly landed on this page, the post continues from the previous post. For continuity and hopefully lesser confusion, requesting you to glance there first.

Dancing Shiva on the ceiling
The partially damaged dancing
Shiva on the ceiling

Itagi Mahadeva Temple - Music Set In Stone - Part I

Itagi is only 7km from the Mahamaye temple in Kuknoor and it is not uncommon for those who visit the Mahamaye temple to visit the Itagi Mahadeva temple.  We were no different and followed the same trail thus reaching Itagi within 10 mins .

Temple Chariot
The chariot gets a makeover
for the festivities.

Saturday 14 March 2020

The Jagara Valley’s 400 Year Old Heritage

Continued from Bhadra Forests - In Its Full Bloom

For many years now, it has been my interest and passion to see anything that is old and ancient. Old buildings, carvings, motifs, inscriptions and temples have fascinated me.  Not just these, I have made it a point to look for natural heritage too. I have always wondered as to how they have managed to survive all these years amid the ravages of  time, changing climate and last but not the least, man’s greed.

The Jagara Teak
The Jagara Teak

Monday 9 March 2020

Bhadra Forests - In Its Full Bloom

Any visit to the hill district of Chikkamagaluru is incomplete if one does not catch a glimpse of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary (also a tiger reserve) which is home to big as well as small animals including tigers, leopards, elephants, gaurs, deers and a host of other species. I not only wanted to see the Sanctuary through the eyes of noted wildlife conservationist D V Girish but also wanted to understand and imbibe what went behind Bhadra’s conservation all these decades. Girish picked me and Tharangini from our hotel in Chikkamagaluru town at 5.15 am on a pleasant morning in the month of January.

Surrounded by hill ranges, Bhadra in its verdant beauty
Surrounded by hill ranges, Bhadra in its verdant beauty

Tuesday 3 March 2020

Navalinga Temple - A Heritage In Peril

Continued from Mahamaye temple.

The Navalinga temple or the set of 9 temples,  behind the Mahamaye temple is said to be built by the Rashtrakoota dynasty between the 8th and 13th century. Built in the Dravidian style of architecture, each shrine houses a Linga as the name suggests.

The Navalinga temple with its multiple scribbles on the outer walls
The Navalinga temple with its multiple
scribbles on the outer walls

Mahamaye temple - Linking Us To The Mahabharata Era

The Mahamaye temple is enveloped in a maze of streets  in the small town of Kuknoor in Koppal district of Karnataka. Its historical significance dates back to the times of Mahabharata and has quite an interesting tale to tell. The temple by itself is fully functional with throngs of devotees  descending upon the temple on a daily basis.

This was our first stop on the way back from Koppal towards Hospet.  We were beginning to feel  pretty sure that Google Maps was taking us on a wild goose chase. The more turns we took along the winding streets, it was impossible for us to believe that such an ancient temple could actually be situated amidst so many houses  and narrow lanes. But then there it was. A large entrance, painted in bright orange, loomed before us abruptly just as a lane ended.  We had to owe Google Maps an apology for doubting it.