A Nostalgic trip to Hoysala Temples

I went on a Heritage tour to Hassan district, Karnataka to explore and study the Hoysala temples and it’s architecture in the beginning of the month. I was accompanied by some of my good friends Dr.Praveen, Dr.Girish & Dr.Vamsi mohan. This post is just an introductory post of few important Hoysala temples. I will be writing more in detail about these temples in my coming posts.

Sala fighting the Lion, the emblem of Hoysala Empire ..

Sala fighting the Lion, the emblem of Hoysala Empire ..

The finest expression of the artistic consciousness of humankind is what you see in the temples of Belur, Halebid and Somnathpur in Karnataka.

How many years did this romance between chisel and the stone take to produce these rhapsodies in sculpture?

What provoked them to do extreme hard work in creating such marvels?

What motivation made them to create such art?

How did Hoysalas aesthetic sense found such beautiful art?

How did beauty find so many manifestations?

These are the questions that raised in my mind while wandering around these jewels in Hassan district which sprang from the kingdom of Hoysalas…These temples go beyond the limits and speak volumes, about it’s culture, civilization and most importantly its relentless pursuit of perfection.

Keshava Temple, Somnathpur:

This temple was built by Somanatha, a general of Hoysala Narasimha III funded by the king. It was completed in 1269. Somnathpur is just 36 kms from Mysore.

Chennakeshava temple, Somnathpur (10)

Profile of Keshava temple, Somnathpur

Chennakeshava temple, Somnathpur (7)

The experience of seeing these jewels is unparalleled..

Chennakeshava temple, Somnathpur (2)

Visiting these temples was a wondrous experience I say..

Chennakeshava temple, Somnathpur (3)

This one proves that “Art & Architecture has no death”

Chennakesava Temple, Belur:

Belur was an early Hoysala capital in Hassan district. This temple was built in 12th century by the king Vishnuvardhana.   Belur is 220kms away from Bangalore.

Chennakeshava temple, Belur (23)

Main shrine of Kesava known as Vijaya Narayana & Gopura as a backdrop.

Chennakeshava temple, Belur (14)

Entrance of the Chennakesava temple

Chennakeshava temple, Belur (16)

Exquisite sculptures with a backdrop of entrance Gopura

Chennakeshava temple, Belur (21)

Total recall of the history..

Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebid:

Halebid was the original capital of Hoysalas. Hoysaleswara Temple was built by Ketamalla, an officer of King Vishnuvardhana. The construction was started around 1120 CE and completed in 1150 CE. This temple is older than Chennakesava temple, Belur. Halebid is 16kms from Belur and 150 kms from Mysore.

Hoysaleswara temple, Halebid (2)

Entrance of the Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu

Hoysaleswara temple, Halebid (1)

The temple’s walls are replete with the most richly sculpted friezes. There are scene from the epics , the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Bhaghavata.

The Finest works of Human hand and Mind..

The Finest works of Human hand and Mind..

Hoysaleswara temple, Halebid (4)

The middle row is inscribed by a mythical creature called Yali. Which is a combination of 7 Animal body parts Lion legs, Crocodile Mouth, Peacock Tail, Monkey Eyes, Pigs Stomach, Cow have, Elephant body

Stay tuned to know more about these Marvels…!! 😉

Batu Caves: A Mix of Culture, Nature and Adventure

Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in the Gombak district, 13 Kms from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It takes its name from Batu River, which flows past the hill. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.

Entrance shrine at Batu caves..

Entrance shrine at Batu caves..

History:

This place has became famous only after the limestone hills were recorded by colonial authorities including Daly and Syers as well as American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878. Batu Caves was promoted as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader. He was inspired by the ‘vel’-shaped entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Murugan within the caves.

In 1890, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Murugan Swami in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there. Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920 and have since been replaced by 272 concrete steps.

The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old.

The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old.

'Lord Murugan Statue' is the tallest statue of Hindu deity in Malaysia and second tallest statue of Hindu deity in world, only second place to the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal. It also the tallest statue in Malaysia at 42.7 metres (140 ft) in height.

‘Lord Murugan Statue’ is the tallest statue of Hindu deity in Malaysia and second tallest statue of Hindu deity in world, only second place to the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal. It also the tallest statue in Malaysia at 42.7 metres (140 ft) in height.

Closeup view of Lord Murugan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Closeup view of Lord Murugan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A view from the top of the Batu caves. Rising almost 100 m above the ground, the Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines. 

A view from the top of the Batu caves. Rising almost 100 m above the ground, the Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines.

Tips from my perspective:

1. To reach it’s better to take Intrakota bus No 11D from the Central Market or the City liner bus No 69 at Jalan Pudu to get to Batu Caves. Taxis are also available anywhere around city.

2. Be careful while carrying food because the monkeys may snatch it out of your hands.

3. Trust me you won’t regret climbing up the stairs, though it looks a lot to climb. Once you reach the top you can learn a lot about Hinduism. Paintings and scenes of Hindu Gods can also be seen in the Ramayana Cave.

A great place to add to your itinerary when you visit Malaysia. 🙂 🙂

Guest post: A Parrot’s Empathy

A creative mind or soul would definitely bring lively emotions and bring different perspectives of what we see… This is what exactly happened.. One my friend my very good friend Dr. Shweta Chatterjee wrote this poem based on the picture which I took in Hong kong . I have never seen the beauty of this picture until I read the below lines from her.. I hope you’ll like it too..

Oh, Nature’s An Another Beautiful Creature,
Other than Me,
You have travelled miles away from home,
Just to click my picture,
with such great enthusiasm and ecstacy?
And so I finally decided,
To stand on my feet wisely,
showing all my courtesy,
And offering you not an inch more trouble,
For you have been loaded your back with priorities enough,
In the name of “Falsehood of Reality” and “Power of Almighty”!
Here  I assure, you find, Peace but no woe ever,
If you see through my rounded small eyes,
That has seen every sunset at this empty sea shore,
Created only for “The Virtuous and Wise!”
My wings are folded,
Just to pose,
Like a “King of my Territory”, “The Air”
Where I do not fear,
when I roam in search of food, water and Freedom Forever!
Oh Dear! Let me take you to the other end of this view for once,
Where I found happiness yesterday,
Wrapped in a bottle within a piece of paper,
Somebody wishing for something awkward might be,
But my reading skill is not that good you know, practically!
And that little boat over there,
Rowing rowing rowing all day all night long,
Not knowing exactly to stop and start again,
Since when and where shall come the end,
Which it doesn’t know ,
So just following its Day dreams is the only aim it hear,
When its inner ear calls n asks,
What are you willing to seek further,
You, The Ultimate Seeker,
from this World Full of Terror and Desire?

I can't stop appreciating her for her deep observation.. Captured at Stanley, Hong kong

I can’t stop appreciating her for her deep observation.. Captured at Stanley, Hong kong

Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Anantagiri Hills, Vikarabad

Lord Vishnu is in the form of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy and Ananthagiri is named after him. Padmanabha is another incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Here he is lying on Anantha, the snake that floats upon the cosmic waters in Vaikunta. Mythology has it that Brahma was born out of the navel of Padmanabha. His wife, Lakshmi is with him.

Sri, Ananta Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Anantagiri Hills, Vikarabad1.

Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Anantagiri Hills

Location:

The temple of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy is located on Ananthagiri hills of Ranga Reddy district, Telangana which is 75 km from Hyderabad.

Sri, Ananta Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Anantagiri Hills, Vikarabad (2)

A view from inside to outside of the temple complex

History & Mythology:

According to Skanda Purana it is believed the temple is installed by the Rishi Markandeya in Dwapara Yuga. Attracted by peaceful atmosphere of Ananthagiri hills Markandeya Rishi came here for yoga sadhana . Every day Markandeya used to go to Kasi from Ananthagiri to take a holy bath in the Ganges through a cave due to his yoga sadhana. On one day he was not able to go to kasi as Dwadasi enter the early hours of the morning. Lord gave Darshana in dream and arranged the Ganges to flow to perform a holy bath for Rishi.

Sri, Ananta Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Anantagiri Hills, Vikarabad (5)

Hanuman Idol in Ananta Padmanabha Swamy temple, Ananthagiri

Rajarshi Muchikunda after fighting for years with rakshasas came to Ananthagiri to take rest and went into deep sleep, He got a boon from devendra that who ever spoils the sleep of his can be killed by burning to ashes.

Kalayavana rakshasa took control of Dwaraka and followed Lord Krishna and Balarama to Ananthagiri and spoil the sleep of Muchikunda and was killed. Lord Krishna gave darshana in the form of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy to Muchikunda and blessed him to take a permanent place in the world in the form of river. The same river today is supposed to be Moosi which flows through Hyderabad.

Sri, Ananta Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Anantagiri Hills,.

Love this click of Gopura @Sri AnantaPadmanabha Swamy Temple

Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy also gave darshana to markandeya and converted into a charka to swamy. 400 years ago Nizam Nawabs used to come here for hunting and to take rest in the peaceful place of Ananthagiri hills, one day lord Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy came to Nawab dreams and asked him to build the temple for him. The main temple of lord is constructed by Hyderabad Nawab.

Garuda Statue outside of the temple complex

Garuda Statue outside of the temple complex

How to reach ?

Buses are available from MGBS and you can also hop on those buses coming from MGBS in Mehdipatnam and langerhouse, Drive to this place is a 2hour ride and is enjoyable with a scenic view.Sri, Ananta Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Anantagiri Hills, Vikarabad5.

Tips from my Perspective:

1. This is one of the best weekend getaway for all the Hyderabadi’s. It is the nearest hill resort we’ve around our place.

2. If you are looking for stay options then APTDC’s Haritha Resort is the best bet. Though I didn’t visit this resort, I am suggesting you by my friend’s words that it has the best view.

3. You can also go to Kotapalli project which is a 20-25mins drive from Ananthagiri hills.

Ps: Totally Iphonegraphy- All the pictures are taken by my Iphone 5

Thursday Throwback: Sunset at Chapora Fort

As a passionate traveller, I love to explore many sunsets across the world and capture those Sunset pictures through my camera lens, as they always evoke good memories. Sunset at Chapora fort is really an unforgettable experience for me. The Chapora fort is a hidden jewel in Goa, it has a beautiful view from the top. The fort sits on a prominent position which command the views in all directions. It also has steep slopes on all sides. The fort follows the outline of the higher slopes.  It is a pleasant place to wander that offers fantastic views north across the Chapora river to Pernem, south over Vagator and also far out to the Arabian Sea in the West.

View from Chapora fort, Goa

View from Chapora fort, Goa

It was built by the Portuguese in 1617 on the site of an earlier Muslim structure. Intended as a border watchpost, it fell to various Hindu raiders during the 17th century, before finally being deserted by the Portuguese in 1892. Lying in ruins now, the fort was an attempt by the Portuguese to reinforce their stronghold over the Goa territory and prevent further conflicts.

That’s my friend Vamshi on the wall of Chapora fort, Goa

That’s my friend Vamshi on the wall of Chapora fort, Goa

Inside the fort, the church, once dedicated to St. Anthony, has disappeared and only a few signs exist of the barracks and housing that once filled this vast area. The wide expanse of open space is only a tumble of stones. A natural valley to the beach protected by rocky promontories provides an excellent natural access to the sea.

This place has gained more popularity after it was featured in the bollywood movie, Dil Chahta Hai. Everyone who visits this place take photographs in Dil chahta hai pose. Since we don’t want to copy someone, So we didn’t tried that pose 😛

Studying the orientation & behavior of the birds during the sunset..& experiencing one of the best sunsets in India @ Chapora Fort

Studying the orientation & behavior of the birds during the sunset..& experiencing one of the best sunsets in India @ Chapora Fort

The surreal beauty of this ancient monument is always observed during two times in a day i.e., sunrise and sunset. Chapora Fort can leave one with a resounding sense of peace and calm. Given all this, the fort has become a major attraction for photographers for its sheer aesthetic beauty. For Tourists, India without Goa and Goa without sunset at Chapora Fort is unimaginable..

Sunset at Chaporafort, Goa

Sunset here is so beautiful that we almost seem like we are looking through the gates of heaven..

 More pictures of the sunset:

Tips from my perspective:

  1. Climb up for either sunrise or sunset.
  2. The approach to the fort the hill is steep and has small rocks and pebbles all the way due to which you can slip easily. Be careful while climbing.. However it is worth it to climb up the hill to the fort over the gravelly path as the view from top is amazing.
  3. Carry some snacks and drinks with you..
  4. This will be definitely a romantic getaway..So plan it well and surprise your spouse 😛