Mahadev Temple: ‘The Emperor of Temples’

The 12th Century Mahadeva Temple at Itagi in Koppal District with splendid sculptures is said to be one of the finest examples in the country with respect to the magnificence and decorative details. The Mahadeva Temple at Itagi was built circa 1112 CE by Mahadeva, a commander (dandanayaka) in the army of the Western Chalukya King Vikramaditya VI.  Itagi is about 22 miles (35 km) east of Gadag and 40 miles (64 km) west of Hampi.

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Western Chalukyan art speaks volumes about the taste of the Chalukyan Artisans.

The well-executed sculptures, finely crafted carvings on walls, pillars and the tower make it a good example of complete Western Chalukyan art which speaks volumes about the taste of the Chalukyan artisans. An inscription dated 1112 CE in the temple calls it “Emperor among Temples” (Devalaya Chakravarti).The temple has a special place on the tourist map of Karnataka. The monument and sculptures that adorn the walls of the temple have a rich architectural value. This temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva.

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Aesthetic Sense is found in this beautiful temple..

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An inscription dated 1112 CE in the temple calls it “Emperor among Temples” (Devalaya Chakravarti)

One can have a glimpse of the high-towered Mahadeva Temple and a cluster of small temples around it while travelling on Koppal-Yelburga Road. It takes a few hours to watch the remnants of the temple and the architectural skill that glitter in daylight.

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Towards the north of the Shivalinga, there are five temples, of which two are dedicated to Murthinarayana and Chandraleshwari, parents of Mahadeva. There are 13 temples with Shivalingas around the main temple.

The east-faced main temple comprises a shrine with an antechamber, a closed hall with porches on either side of it towards north and south, and openings on either side with pillared halls. The temple roof is supported by 68 carved pillars. Of them, 26 are on the floor and the rest on the stone bench surrounding the hall and carrying the sloping eaves.

The carved columns are symmetrically arranged. The slabs on the central part of the ceiling have “Makaras” which spring from the jaws of “Kirtimuka” masks.

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Sojourn in time..

The walls of the inner hall are adorned with rich sculptures. The pentagon-shaped sanctum sanctorum and its outer walls have beautiful carvings. The 15-foot high main tower of the temple has carvings and projecting cornices.

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Beautifully carved…

The Mahadeva Temple is also known for its erotic sculptures. The temple has a “puskarani (teertha)” on its front side, which is still used by the villagers.

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Puskarini..

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The pillars in this hall bear similarities to the porch pillars at the Dodda Basappa Temple at Dambal and the lathe-turned pillars (whose rounded sections are lathe-turned) at the Kasivisvesvara Temple at Lakkundi.

The Mahadeva temple is officially protected as a national monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. This Temple has a history that is older than Hampi. The temple and its surroundings have been neglected for the past few centuries. The sculptures around the temple are in shambles. Hope Karnataka government takes proper care in protecting these Chalukyan architectural wonders.

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Art historian Henry Cousens called this monument the “finest in Kannada country after Halebidu”. These Western Chalukya monuments, regional variants of existing dravida (South Indian) temples, defined the Karnata dravida tradition. 

Discovering Telangana: A Fort Less Visited ‘Khilla Ghanpur’

On a bright Sunday morning, when we hit the roads to explore places around Mahabubnagar little did I know that it would mark a beginning to quite a few things in my life…. like my first outing with my new buddies while pursuing post graduation, my first time properly exploring Palamoor and getting lost in its mesmerizing beauty and then writing about it in my very first blog!!

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The secluded green valleys of Khilla Ghanpur hold Palamoor’s best kept secrets

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A quick weekend getaway to Khilla Ghanpur is best enjoyed when the sky is overcast, which makes the 30-km journey from Mahbubnagar delightful.

So we started our journey after finishing quick rounds at the Hospital we work at, around 12 noon ( yes you guessed it right, we are Docs!) and picking up some snacks and drinks for our journey to The Khilla Ghanpur, located at a distance of around 26km from mahabubnagar. We managed to cover the distance in about 30 mins with loads of enthusiasm and predictions about the place as we didn’t have much idea about it. Ghanpur is a small village and the roads were pretty narrow so we decided to park the car at a safe spot and start our trek to discover the fort. We managed to reach the top in another 40 mins with an amazing drizzly weather to increase the beauty of the hike.

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The varied hues of Nature and fresh air rejuvenated our senses.

It was a magnificent view indeed from the top of the rocks with remnants of fort wall, and a lovely pond underneath. We passed through a giant fort door, saw some great Flora and Fauna an absolute treat for a nature lover to finally reach the top. We were a little distracted in between though by a group of wild monkeys far away making gruesome noises. All this was soon forgotten after reaching the hilltop and capturing the scenic beauty of the less trodden fort in the memories forever!!

 A brief insight into the history of the fort

The Ghanpur Fort is a hill fort built on a rocky hill by King Gona Ganapa Reddy in early 13th century. He ruled this area as a feudatory to Kakatiya rulers. Gona Ganapa Reddy is son of Gona Budda Reddy who was famous as the poet of Ranganatha Ramayana, a pioneering Telugu Literature. Khilla Ghanpur also known as Ghanpur, Ganapuram, was named after Kakatiya king Ganapathi Deva. Since this Ghanpur has a Khilla (fort). The name “Khilla Ghanpur” became much more popular. There are several towns in Kakatiya kingdom with its name as Ghanpur.

Khilla Ghanpur  was built by joining two mountains by Recharla Padma Nayakulu and Gona Ganapa reddy in 1224 A.D. This fort has witnessed many wars between Bahamanis, Vijayanagara Kings, Bijapur Kings and Qutub Shahi Kings etc. The cannons which still exist have been kept on the top most side of the fort.The fort is spread on rocky and hilly area of 4 Sq kilometers and though its dilapidated  there are several remains of the walls and building blocks inside the fort. The fort has beautiful rockscapes and greenery with 2 ponds which were used as drinking water supply for the fort army.

People believe that there are two secret tunnels inside of the fort. One is connected with the village at the bottom of the mountain and the other one is connected to the Panagal fort. After Buddapuram war,this fort has witnessed a historical wedding of  Kakatiya’s last king Pratapa Rudra with Gona Ganna Reddy’s daughter.

Some of the beautiful Landscapes:

So that’s a take on its past but right now it’s a quiet and serene place which was a treat for the wanderlust in me and my buddies.

After spending a wonderful evening, when the sun was setting, we headed back to our car as the clouds were also getting darker indicating more rainfall. We Had dinner at our local favorite hotel 97 on the way back and reached our place to end the eventful day.

Guest post by Dr. Meghana Subhash

Temple Travelling: Kadiri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

Kadiri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple is located in Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is said that devotees who offer prayers here get relieved of their sorrows, sufferings and sins. IMG_9467

History:-
The town got its name from Khadri, in Sanskrit, meaning Indian mulberry. It is believed that Lord Shri Khadri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy came out of this tree. The main deity in this temple is Ashta Bahu Shri Narasimha who has eight hands clawing open the body of Hiranyakashipu.  This was one of the ten avatars or reincarnations of Lord Vishnu.

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The specialty of this temple is that after the daily obeisance known as Abhishekam is performed; the Lord Narasimha is seen to be sweating despite being wiped clean by the temple priests.

Narasimha means ‘Man Lion’ as that was the form taken by Lord Vishnu to kill Hiranyakashipu who could not be killed otherwise. It is merely a mention on how truth can overcome evil despite the difficulties. He is envisioned as a half man with the torso and lower body and the face and hands, that of a lion.

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The scriptures say that Lord Vishnu, in one of his incarnations as Lord Narasimha , in his rage descended down on to earth as Ugrarupa to kill Hiranyakashipu, who wanted to avenge the death of his brother Hiranyaksha . Hiranyaksha was killed by one reincarnation of Lord Vishnu as Varaha. He took the people to task and tortured the sages and the common people for praying to Lord Vishnu. The sages appeared before Lord Vishnu to end this terror. In the meanwhile Hiranyakashipu got a boon from Lord Brahma after praying fervently for a favour. The boon was that it would be impossible for any human to kill him. Ultimately, Lord Vishnu had to reincarnate as Narasimha to kill Hiranyakashipu, as he was about to kill his own son for showing allegiance to Lord Vishnu.

It is said that Lord Narasimha emerged from the Khadri tree to act his part in killing Hiranyakashipu at this place. The temple was built by one Ranganayudu, a Palegar of Pathariapattanam.

The Rangamantapam has been ornately carved with scenes from the Ramayana and further down, the Lakshmi mantapa has depictions of the Mahabharatha. There are inscriptions on what the rulers have given to the temple. The carvings and scriptures have started fading due to the vagaries of climate and weather.IMG_9463

Infotips: The temple opens at 6:30am until 12:45pm and then it will be closed at 12:45am and  it starts at 16:30hours in the evening and continues till 20:30hours in the night. The temple remains closed from 12:45 to 4:30pm in the afternoon.

Peru 8K HDR: The most realistic and cinematic experience

Peru 8K HDR explores the people and landscapes of Peru. This footage was captured in 8K UHD (4320p) and 60fps resolution with the brand new Red Helium 8K Super35mm sensor delivering the most realistic and cinematic experience, especially when viewed in HDR!

Shot over 2 weeks traveling all over of Peru: from Lima, to the amazon in Iquitos, Cusco, Ollantaytmbo and of course the stunning Machu Picchu, Puno, Lake Titicaca and the inner island of Taquile.

Chronicles of Yellowie & Vader: The Third Wheel

While watching Yellowie enjoy the nature, Vader didn’t notice the car approaching him right ahead. Vader, who was distracted by the beauty of both Yellowie and Bhutan almost crashes into the car approaching him!
After coming as close as a millimetre, the car applies a sudden brake…..

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Yellowie wants to travel the world with Vader..

“Whoa whoa whoa watch it man!  Rule #1 of a car is to look at the road.”
It was Silver Wings. A very energetic free spirited car, a wanderlust, a dare devil who has a ‘never say never’ attitude. And is a real player in the game of life, who lives in now and never thinks about aftermath.

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Silver wings:A very energetic free spirited car who don’t know where he is going..

Vader, coming back to his senses due to the sound of the sudden brakes screeching, stops, with his engine pounding in fear! The image of the accident that could have happened sent jitters down his body.. “Oh I’m so sorry, I was just looking around” he says.
Yellowie drives to Vader fearing that something bad might have  happened to him, but hugs him dearly seeing that  he’s okay. “I’m fine I’m fine don’t worry” says Vader, looking at her peacefully 🙂

Yellowie and Vader

The couples that are ‘meant to be’ are the ones who go through everything that is meant to tear them apart, and come out even stronger

Silver Wings looks at both of them with an awe and says “so I see you both came for your honeymoon.”
Vader and Yellowie look at each other, blush and say “oh no no we’re here on a casual trip.”

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” Oh great! Do you guys mind if I join? I’m here alone.” Says silver wings.
“Oh sure, that’d be great” says Yellowie excited to meet new friends. Vader, who loves being alone except while with Yellowie, gives him a stern look and doesn’t say a word, just  because he knows Yellowie loves meeting new people.

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The Journey doesn’t start at the beginning, it begins at the end.

Off they go together to begin their adventurous journey in the Himayalan mountains in the Great Kingdom of  Bhutan.

To be continued…

Prequels :

1. Chronicles of Vader & Yellowie: A Cute Love story

2. Chronicles of Vader & Yellowie: Two different People bounded by Love

3. Chronicles of Yellowie & Vader: The Journey begins..

Stay tuned more to come….

Cuteness overloaded: Aira-‘The Princess in the Family’-II

Aira

She leaves a little sparkle where ever she goes..

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Baby in the Basket..

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Let there always be love in her eyes and a crown on her head..

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Such a big miracle in such a small girl..

Pic Credits: Dr.Ashish Reddy, Dr. Abhishikta Reddy, Dr. Nagasaitej & Shanker reddy

Tasty Tuesday: Juicy Jamrul fruit

Commonly known as Water Apple or Java Apple in the rest of the world, Bengal knows this fruit as the good old Jamrul.  It originated from the region between Malaysia and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, where they grow as wild trees in the coastal forests. But it has now been introduced in many Asian countries including India.Kalighat Kali temple, Kolkata, West Bengal (8)

 This evergreen tree of the Myrtaceae family grows to a height of 5m to 12m. The fruit in itself is watery and slightly sweet. It has very thin skin with colorless juice. The fruit contains one or two seeds or no seed at all. The attractive fruits resemble bell-shaped berries.

When mature, the fruit will puff outwards with a slight concavity in the middle. The color of the fruits ranges from white to pale green. There are two types of Jamrul fruits one having white fruits and the other with pink fruits.

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There are two types of jamrul fruits one having white fruits and the other with pink fruits.

Java Apple must be plucked carefully, because bruised fruits rots easily. The fruits are generally served uncut and eaten fresh. In some places the fruits are used to make pickles.

Medicinal value:

Their astringent flowers are said to stop fever and diarrhoea and they have low energy value. The carbohydrate level in ripe Jamruls is about 4g per 100g but there is fair amount of Vitamin C in it.

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This Water Apple comes into bearing after three to five years of planting in the field and the plants bear fruit for about 20 years.

The red hard wood of the Water Apple tree is used for constructing huts in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The Saturday Night Market: An out of box experience

Arpora night market is a ‘must visit’ in Goa. It is a great place & is a fun way to pass several hours. It has many number of food stalls, live music, a cosmopolitan crowd and lots of stalls offering you a variety of stuff from fancy dresses and trinkets to articles for home decoration- the night market at Arpora seems to come out of the Arabian nights. The market has a lot of stalls selling similar goods, so shop around for the best prices; be prepared to haggle for a good deal. The place is worth revisiting.

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Every Artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. -Henry Ward Beecher

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It has the right mix of both local and international crowd, This market has something for everyone. A visit to this market will definitely make your trip to Goa complete..

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Saturday night market is every food lover’s paradise.

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Attar are non alcoholic, pure oriental perfumes extracted from exotic flowers..

If you go to Goa and miss this place, you might want to consider visiting Goa again. The place is also known for the parties which have very nice music. I absolutely loved this market and I can say it’s a MUST visit place.. Happy Sunday my dear bloggers..

Saturday story: Power of perception 

A little boy went to his old grandpa and asked, “What’s the value of life?”
The grandpa gave him one stone and said, “Find out the value of this stone, but don’t sell it.”
The boy took the stone to an Orange Seller and asked him what its cost would be.
The Orange Seller saw the shiny stone and said, “You can take 12 oranges and give me the stone.”
The boy apologized and said that the grandpa has asked him not to sell it.
He went ahead and found a vegetable seller.
“What could be the value of this stone?” he asked the vegetable seller.
The seller saw the shiny stone and said, “Take one sack of potatoes and give me the stone.”
The boy again apologized and said he can’t sell it.
Further ahead, he went into a jewellery shop and asked the value of the stone.
The jeweler saw the stone under a lens and said, “I’ll give you 1 million for this stone.” 
When the boy shook his head, the jeweler said, “Alright, alright, take 2 24karat gold necklaces, but give me the stone.”
The boy explained that he can’t sell the stone.
Further ahead, the boy saw a precious stone’s shop and asked the seller the value of this stone.
When the precious stone’s seller saw the big ruby, he lay down a red cloth and put the ruby on it.
Then he walked in circles around the ruby and bent down and touched his head in front of the ruby. “From where did you bring this priceless ruby from?” he asked.
“Even if I sell the whole world, and my life, I won’t

be able to purchase this priceless stone.”
Stunned and confused, the boy returned to the grandpa and told him what had happened. 
“Now tell me what is the value of life, grandpa?”

Grandpa said, 

“The answers you got from the Orange Seller, the Vegetable Seller, the Jeweler & the Precious Stone’s Seller explain the value of our life…

You may be a precious stone, even priceless, but, people will value you based on their financial status, their level of information, their belief in you, their motive behind entertaining you, their ambition, and their risk taking ability. 

But don’t fear, you will surely find someone who will discern your true value.”

*Respect yourself.*

*Don’t sell yourself cheap.

*You are rare, Unique, Original and the only one of your kind.*

*You are a masterpiece because you are a MASTER’S PIECE.*

*No one can Replace you.*

*Value the value…

Courtesy: Google