Friday, December 30, 2011

Temples of Gadag_LAKKUNDI

Gadag-A district  endowed with many unique temples and architecture which I learn is  called the Gadag architecture or the western chalukyan architecture. I visited quite a few in this district and many more on the anvil. 

The first and the most beautiful are the monuments in Lakkundi. Situated about 12 kms from Gadag, a small town, boasts of many temples-more than 50, only a few have been restored by the ASI and they are truly master pieces. A museum maintained by ASI houses  many sculptures picked up in the vicinity of the town.

The Brama Jinalya

This headless image of a Thirthankara stands etched in time

The Kasi Vishweshwara temple -Probably unique clubbed to it is the Surya Temple. Richly decorated with tales form Mahabharata. Notice the architecture-Unlike the sand stones of Badami, Aihole , probably is the locally available stone and inspired by the north Indian architecture perfected by the earlier Chalukaians.

Classic view of the Surya temple from both sides 


The beautiful pillared Nanneshwara Temple seen across the road

This is a beautifully tank Bhavi-never seen a tank this beautiful laid out in the precints of  the mannikeshwara temple.

A delight to sit on the steps and marvel the skills of the  artisans 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


All along the way Shikaripur in Shimoga district we see board proclaiming it as the land of sharana-meaning many veerashiva saints were born here and Just before Balligavi lies Ududati or Udugani-the birth place of one of the greatest women of our land-Akka Mahadevi. A prominent saint of veerashaivim along with Shri. Basavanna, she probably was the only women to  throw away her clothes. To set foot on this ground, where she was born was a wonderful. A temple stands at this location. 

Balligavi is about 12 kms from Shikaripura  and very close to the Kadamba capital Banavasi.   An area rich with history is aslo purported to be the birth place of the Hoysala queen Shantala.

The Kedarareshwara temple- a beautiful piece of architecture, the guide here explains the foundation to have been laid by the western Chalukyas and the super structure by the Hoysalas.

 The  annual festival on

The resplendent emblem of Hoysala

The ceremonial car-decorated and pulled along the streets of the village once a year
In the vicinity of this village there are supposed to be many other temples in ruins, A museum adjacent stores the sculptures found

This is the Bherundeshwara temple situated right in the centre of the village. Said to have been erected by a  General of the Chalukya, its a tough task to photograph the sculpture inside the locked doors, but is one of the best I have seen. The lower part are the legs of a human and the upper past that of the ferocious double headed bird swalloing humans in its huge beaks turned away in the opposite direction. The anger on the face of the bird, humans stuffed in the mouth and holding more in the hands,I know not the significance of this ferociousness.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monuments of Ikkeri and Keldi

Sagar town in Shimoga District can be an ideal base to visit many a tourist site-Jog falls being  prominent on the list. Among the many historic monuments, I could though manage Ikkeri and Keldi. Sagar itself is a beautiful town - a tinge urbane and the idyllic slow pace of a village. This was one place I felt would be ideal to settle down .
Ikkeri is only a few km away from Sagara and the Prominent among the Keldi Nayakas who  ruled from Ikkeri is Rani Chennama, who is said to  have given shelter to for a long time to Shivaji's son Rajaram

Aghoreshwar Temple Ikkeri
A first look at the mantap, would make believe it to be mausoleum of a Muslim saint, but then here is Nandi - facing Shiva as usual. This explains the influence of the Muslim architecture which was widely adopted by the later Vijayanagar kings and their feudals.

Spectacular carving outside and inside especially in the sanctum sanatorium  is a treat to see.                                                                                                                                                      

The complex has a couple of smaller shrines  and is  littered with many  ruined sculptures. The best is this  one, Beautiful carved sandals is probably an indication to the beauty of the sculptures had it survived. I wonder who could these three scandal represent

On the other side of Sagar, again a few km away is Keldi. The Nayaka ruled from here, before they shifted their capital to Ikkeri.

Rameshwara temple at Keladi- The miniature temples carved on the wall - a style of  kalyani chalukyas?   

The best thing here is the mythical two headed bird called Gandaberunda in kannada on the ceiling  (also forms a part of the  official emblem of Karnataka State). What could be the significance of the ferocious bird ?-clutching elephants in its claws and lions in its beak .

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Saundatti-famous for the Renuka Yellama temple boast of a fort too. I would look at the imposing bastion but could never make it to the  fort. This time I made sure to visit.  th a temple inside.  Built by Jayappa Naik in the 16th century and later conquered by Hyder ali, the fort stands in good shape though some canon shot of the war could be seen along the walls.

The Stalls at the temple

Well this should be a easy guess

Enroute to savadatti is this dam site Naviltheertha. A nice picnic place 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kittur Rani Chennamma Memorial, Bailhongal

Search for some sites connected to history and you are sure to  get it.  Bailhongal is one such town in Belgaum District. Heart swells with pride by the mention of the warrior queen Kittur Rani Chennama, who died fighting the British. Here in Bailhongal she was imprisoned and killed. Setting my foot on this hallowed grounds of her samadhi was a heart warming experience.

Some ancient history too at Bailhongal, Ramalingaeshwara temple, Simple in architecture houses many ancient inscription,

A municipal water tank circa 1950   

A vast campus of the  Agriculture Research Centre here grows variety of crops for research

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Temples of HOOLI

On a journey from Savadatti to Ramdurga in Belgaum Dist, we learnt of  Hooli- a village 30 minutes away from Savadatti. We were directed to the grand temple complex of Panchalingeshwara. Recreated and well maintained-With a pillared mantap in the front and five sanctum sanatorium with five shiv linga, hence the name panchalingeswara.  Archaeological Survey of India has done a great job in restoring this temple. Now we learn of 100 temples of Hooli.

Off we go bare footed in the by lanes of the village, We come across a little structure in complete ruins, with cattle grazing.

A Little distance, and we are greeted by the awesome site many a temples scattered around on the hillock across this stream.


Unmindful of the thorns and growing excitement, we went on exploring the exquisite architecture.

Beautifully carved doorways, Pillared entrances to the inner sanctum


All these temples we were told were shaivates and each one had its own well. We could see many in the vicinity. How I wish I could explore all the hundred, I can only quote Robert Frost : Miles to go ......

Researched many a time on the net. Know not who are the architects of these magnificent site. Possibly Chalukya's or Kadamambas?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chitra Santhe

Our own Montmarte - albeit for a day, the road leading to the Chitra Kala Parishad in Bangalore takes on a festive air on the last Sunday of every January. Artist from all over, throng the foot paths to sell their exquisite art to suit all budgets. I was fortunate to buy a water colour at a good price last year.Waiting for the next edition..
Some photographs from my mobile cam.

Friday, June 24, 2011


On a day's visit to Calicut or Kozhikode, its swell to walk on the beach observing daily life morn and eve. Few Photographs.

Segregating their meagre catch

On the way to pick up the catch

The piers of an erstwhile port
Crushed ice with assorted juice -A delicacy before                      
 the ready  ice cream invaded                                                        Scandals of time

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Barcelona to Sydney in one year

To start blogging again was quite difficult, once your are out of the loop, it requires a  great deal of effort to start all over again. I have been travelling quite a lot; for  work and  otherwise; accumulated many a photos up and down the lane. Now that the ice is broken,  I thought the best would be to start with  Patrick.

It was early February and we were driving down from Belgaum in North Karnataka, and I saw this van, proudly proclaiming "Barcelona to Sydney in one year". I was able to catch up with this van at the toll gate. Mr. Patrick graciously pulled over and had a heart to heart chat. He along with his two lovely daughters and wife are on a journey of life time and were proceeding to the famed Hampi.

He spoke about his journey to India and how his vehicle would be shipped to Australia, during the time he would tour Thailand, Malaysia etc. It was such a pleasure taking to him and asked me to keep updated on . He must have completed his journey by this time.

Kudos to you Patrick

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Temples of Aralaguppe

On a visit to Tiptur about 200 kms from Bangalore, I did the usual search and lo! I could get a list of many ancient structures in and around. Managed to visit Aralaguppe -a small village 20kms away from Tiptur; which boast two wonderful temples- The Kalleswara and Chennakeshava.

Chennakeshava temple

 The Chennakeshava temple is amazing in this little village almost a oasis in the desert. Dated to have been built in the 13th century by the Hoysalas, this structure has all the attributes of the Hoysalan architecture of Belur and Halebid. The walls are sculpted with images of Vishnu in various avatars and the creativity of the creator is absolutely marvellous.
Front View of the temple

Rear View-The star shaped platform and the elephants placed at regular interval

Intricately carved wall

The Kalleshwara temple

Purported to be a Pre-Hoysalan structure, built by the Nolambas,The Kalleshwara temple has a two attractions which are worth many a visit -The extraordinary ceiling intricately carved and the sculpture of Uma and Shiva. The pillars of the temple are of granite, but the walls are of brick-may be a later day addition. The temple of this importance could be better maintained

The main attraction of this temple the ceiling which is something to be seen to be believed. Its amazing but proved difficult to capture of the nine panels on the ceiling I could get the these two

The Nataraj                                                                                    Pashupathi


A view inside-Lathe turned pillars, the ceiling and the the Shiva Linga

The Bull - Nandi                                                    Uma- Maheshwar- a unique sculpture