Sunday, May 22, 2016

Shri Yathiraja Swamy Betta, Ramanagar

Our hunt for a place to trek around Bangalore along with our one year old led us finally to Shri Yathiraja Swamy Betta, a hillock located off the Ramanagar - Magadi state highway. As we were aware of the presence of steps in order to reach the hill-top, we chose to climb this hill keeping in mind our little team partner. We drove to the hill base comfortably and after parking our vehicle in a mango orchard under a big tree, proceeded towards the hill. The hill looked bald, devoid of any kind of vegetation.
Shri Yathiraja Swamy Betta 
  The presence of rock cut steps have always inspired us to climb with more enthusiasm. The climb was fairly easy and we reached a point which is supposedly believed to have been the place where Ramanujacharya gave the  Vishwaroopa (Omniform / Universal form) darshana. A short descent hereon leads us to a small temple dedicated to Lord Yathiraja. The legends goes, "This hill was inhabited by saints who were doing penance for a long time in the caves. One day, it so happened that Ramanujacharya came to this place in the form of Yathi (Saint) and on asking the residing saints for a place to live in, they obliged by allowing him to stay with them. As days passed by, Ramanujacharya advised all the other saints to leave this place and go away. But the saints refused to do so and it was at this moment that Ramanujacharya exhibited the Vishwaroopa darshana. On witnessing this, the saints feared Ramanujacharya and were forced to leave this place".
The Rock Cut Steps
Hills around Ramanagar
Hills and More Hills
Remains of Fort 
Place Where Ramanujacharya gave Vishwaroopa Darshana 
  It is believed that the idol of Yathiraja here in the cave temple was installed by Ramanujacharya. Unfortunately, the cave temple was locked and there were no signs of the priest of this temple anywhere. There is a perennial spring besides the temple whose flow has reduced off late owing to this year's enormously hot climate. The spring water was clear and cold. We spent a good time resting under the shade of  the very beautiful tree of Plumeria.
The Spring 
Spring Water and Reflections
Shri Yathiraja Swamy Temple
Plumeria Trees
Directions - Bangalore - NH275 - Ramanagar - Right Turn at Ramanagar Traffic Signal - 8Kms - Take Left towards Koonumuddanahalli - 1Km Right side is the hill.

Reference - Ramanagar District (Book in Kannada) written by Prof. M. Shivananjaiah

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Mahadeva Temple, Itagi , Koppal

 Ittagi/Itagi/Itgi, situated in Yelburga Taluk of Koppal district is well known for its 12th century Mahadeva temple belonging to the later Chalukyan period and is regarded as one of the finest of temples in the country. An inscription in medieval Kannada present inside the temple premises states that the temple was built by Mahadeva, a Dandanayaka (army general) of the Chalukyan king Vikramaditya VI in 1112 A.D. The temple has been rightfully described as “Devalaya Chakravarti”, meaning ‘Emperor among temples’. 
Mahadeva temple, Itagi
The Mahadeva Temple, Itagi

 Temple Complex
 The temple facing east is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a garbagriha which houses the Shivalinga and an antarala (ante-chamber). In front of the ante-chamber is a closed navaranga having porches with doorway and mantapas, towards its north and south. The ceilings are exquisitely carved. An open navaranga or pillared hall at its front is huge, having about sixty pillars out of which twenty six large pillars stand on the floor supporting the main roof, and the remaining shorter pillars stand on the stone bench (kakshansana) around the hall supporting the sloping overhangs of the roof. The pillars are sculpted at its base and carry various designs while the central four are geometrically carved exhibiting angular patterns throughout. The original shikara of the garbagriha is partly damaged at the top and has been replaced by a modern element. The outer walls of the temple are almost plain, devoid of any sculptures and carry niches and pilasters with geometric designs, and friezes with minimal carvings.
Pushkarni at the front of the temple
 Stepped Well
Entrance
Open Pillared Hall at the front

Pillars with sculpted bases
Decorative door-jamb
4 Lathe Turned Pillars 
There are two shrines dedicated to Murthinarayana and Chandraleshwari, the parents of Mahadeva and 13 small shrines having a Shivalinga each, surrounding the main temple. The temple has a pushkarni (theertha) in its front and behind the temple is an open stepped well which has an entrance, and sloping walls on its other three sides. It was a treat to see them both filled with water.
Intricate Ceiling
Decked Lintel 
The Mahadeva Temple of Ittagi is magnificent and stands as a proof to the greatness and grandeur of the Chalukyan style of architecture.  

                          Inspiring Traveler
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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Avarebele Mela 2016-A Tasty Treat To The Tongue!!!

 I write this post as I'm relishing the Avare Kadlekai Chikki/Avare Peanut Brittle courtesy Avarebele Mela 2016 being held at Bangalore. A crunchy bite of it aroused my taste buds, breaking the peanuts and Avare as the jaggery melted along.
Avarebele mela 2016, Bangalore
Artificial Fort Entrance to Avarebele Mela
Avarekai/Avarekalu/Avarebele (in kannada) or Field Bean/Indian Bean/Flat Bean belonging to the bean family of plant species is a seasonal crop and is famous among the south Indians. Another form is Hithkbele Avarekalu or Pressed  Field Bean where the outer peel of the seed removed for use.
A Relaxed Moment 
Avarebele Mela, organised by Sri Vasavi Condiments and farmers from Magadi is held every year to celebrate the onset of avarekai harvest during the months of December-January. A not to miss for Bangaloreans and Avare lovers, the fest offers varieties of food items with Avare as its base ingredient. The stalls put up serve us with a wide range of delicious sweets and  savouries including snacks, chats,etc., all of which exhibit the green color of Avare in someway or the other.  Apart from being delicious, the foods also showcase various textures palatable to the mouth. We had a chance to taste the items of Mosaru Kodubele/Spicy Curd Ring, Othu Shavige/Rice Noodles, Hithkabele Holige/Sweet Flat Bread, and Masala Vada/Spicy Deep-Fried Fritters which we relished completely. The other sweets included Jalebis and Jamoons that seemed succulent and utterly mouthwatering. The menu offers more than thirty varieties of foods which are unique in every aspect. It is indeed a pleasure to our senses of taste, smell, sight, touch and sound!

The Green Army
Avarebele mela
A must visit for the locals and tourists who are around during this time, the Avare celebration is truly an unforgettable experience which promises to bring us back again and again, year after year!
Avarebele Mela has begun from 7 January 2016 and will go on up to 24 Jan 2016 from 11:00am to 10:00pm at Sajjan Rao Circle, V.V.Puram, Bangalore. So, if you are around remember to visit!
Chat Menu 
Fresh Avarekalu
A Tasty Treat



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