Friday, July 17, 2015

The Lord Garuda Temple, Koladevi, Mulabagal Kolar

  Witnessing a temple dedicated to Garuda is quite intriguing and fascinating, since not many temples are dedicated to Garuda as the principal deity. While travelling to Kurudumale (Mulbagal taluk, Kolar district), we noticed a board that read " Way to world's only temple dedicated to Lord Garuda". Without a second thought, we followed the directions and reached this temple. Koladevi is one of the few temples dedicated to Lord Garuda, the vahana (mount/vehicle) of Lord Vishnu. At first glance though it seems to be a modern temple, the idol of the main deity Lord Garuda is ancient having legends associated with the epic Ramayana.
Lord Garuda Temple, Koladevi
The Lord Garuda Temple, Koladevi 
Garuda, the king of birds is generally associated with Lord Vishnu but very rarely seen as being worshiped as a principal deity. The beautiful Garuda idol of this temple caught our attention at once as we entered the temple. It became obvious that the idol was sculpted during the Vijayanagar period. Simple in its outlook, Lord Garuda is seen kneeling on one knee while carrying Lord Vishnu and his consort Goddess Lakshmi in his right and left hands respectively. A close observation of the idol shows Lakshmi Devi seated at a higher position than Lord Vishnu, thus signifying prosperity. 
Lord Garuda Koladevi, Mulabagal, Kolar
The Lord Garuda 
Lord Garuda Temple
Decked Up for Puja 


One of the Puranas (ancient hindu texts) is also dedicated to Garuda, by the name Garuda Purana which speaks about his genesis and propagation and also enlists the various punishments given, specific to the type of sin committed.
Garuda Purana
There is another idol here dedicated to Lord Anjaneya (Hanuman/Monkey God), an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, known for his strength and valor. The idol is carved and positioned in such a way that the eyes of Garuda and Hanuman are in perfect alignment, as if staring into each other.
Lord Anjaneya Swamy Mulabagal
Lord Anjaneya Swamy 
Though not known much to the outside world, this temple of Garuda is vastly popular among the locals who strongly believe in and worship the deity regularly. There are also people coming from far off places who learnt about its popularity by word of mouth to witness the miracles of Lord Garuda.
The Hero 
We had a chance to witness one such instance of a family who paid visit to the temple for offering a prayer of thanks.  They were facing difficulty in finding a match in marriage for their daughter and decided to pay a visit and pray to Garudaswamy, a few days after-which she found a suitable match and hence their belief grew stronger. The temple priest also quoted a few instances of such kind and mentioned about how powerful the god here is.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Sulfur Springs of Kalagi, Gulbarga.

Kalagi was on our travel wish list as it was a noted center of political, religious and educational activities of the Kalyani Chalukyan era. While I was travelling across the Chincholi town of Gulbarga district, a passer-by referred me to witness the bubbling waters of Kalagi. As I was unaware of the existence of such a place, I became more inquisitive and boarded a bus right away to Kalagi. In an hour's time I reached the town of Kalagi, a dusty and bustling town owing to its connectivity between Gulbarga and Chincholi. When I inquired about the Kalleshwara temple, I was directed towards the other side of the town and was told that the temple was at a walkable distance. As I walked along, I was surprised to see the numerous old temples that adorned Kalagi's narrow lanes.
Kalagi, Gulbarga
Entrance to Kalleshwara Temple
Kagli, Gulbarga
Lord Shiva 
On reaching the temple, I found its in ruins, besides which was the restored temple with minor modifications, both dedicated to  Kalleshwara. This time, I decided to visit the restored temple at first which is now renamed as the Neelakantha Kalleshwara Temple. Adjacent to the temple is a huge water pond. As I stared at the waters of the pond, it took me some time to realize it was indeed a spring. On seeing through the clear waters of this pond and tasting it, I became sure of it being a Sulfur spring. I spent a good time observing the spring with the bubbles rising in the water.
Sulfur Springs Karnataka
water Pond
Sulphur Springs Karnataka
The Bubbles
The Ripples

My next stop was at the Narashima temple that was situated on the opposite lane. Quickly walking towards it, I sighted  an old temple present right at the center of an another water pond! Intriguingly, a close observation confirmed the waters of this pond to be a Sulfur spring too. The water from this pond is currently being used for supply by the local municipality and hence the entry to this place is restricted.

Lord Narashima Temple
Lord Narashima Temple Kagali

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Standing Stones of Nilaskal, Shimoga

After visiting the prehistoric site of Byse, while driving back on the highway connecting Nagara with Nittur, a PWD board that read Nilaskal caught our eye. Nilaskal, a pre-historic site was on our to- explore list from quite sometime and now was our chance to find out what was in store here. On inquiring at a local general store on the other side of the road, we were told to take the immediate right turn and drive until we reached a school,besides which was a field, the site of Nilaskal. Nilaskal in Kannada means a standing stone, and this village is rightfully named so due to the presence of these stones. In no time we were in front of the school and parked the vehicle by the side. As we got down, we immediately spotted a big stone fallen near the school compound while a bigger one stood erect inside the school premises. Our search for  more such stones began and without much difficulty we entered the field that housed Menhirs of various sizes, standing tall and proud, many had fallen. They were spread far and wide across the field. While the scientists believe that these stones are aligned in a way that the rays when the sun rises and sets during the solar solstice fall in between these stones, the alignment pattern still remains a mystery even today. Sad to know this site remains neglected.
Pre Historic Site Nilaskal
Menhir Inside School Premises 

Pre Historic Site Shimoga
Tallest Menhir Found Here

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Karnataka's Khajuraho - Bagali


Bagali, Davangere
The Kalleshwara Temple Complex
 Bagali is a small village located in the Harapanahalli taluk of Davangere district. The Kalleshwara temple here is considered to be one of the rare temples of India. Unique in its style and appearance, it is popularly regarded as Karnataka's Khajuraho. There are very few temples in India where the goddess and god of love (Rathi and Manmatha) are carved as Dwarapalakas. Here one can see the beautifully carved images of them guarding the temple. This temple was built during  the 9th century AD by the Rashtrakutas which later underwent modifications under the reign of Chalukyas and the Hoysalas.  
Kalleshwara Temple, Davanagere
Pillared Alley
Lathe Turned Pillar
Heavily Decked Door Jamb
Exquisitely Carved Lintel 
Temple Priest Feeding the Royal Elephant
Dwarf Drummer
Lord Bramha,Vishnu and Maheshwara
The Goddess and God of Love (Rati and Manmatha)
  Bagali is referred to as Baguli and was one of the capitals during the  rule of Hoysala King Ballala II. However, to a large extent the credit of building this temple goes to the Western Chalukyan king Vikramaditya VI. The main temple of Kalleshwara is extensively carved and has been built to perfection. The open Sabha mantapa/ Natya mantapa of the temple has 59 exquisitely carved pillars and none are similar. The four central pillars are the most beautiful with the detailing on them being parallel to none. While the ceilings of the mantapa are beautifully carved, the door-jambs are very skillfully executed and go on to serve as the perfect examples of Chalukyan architecture. 
Kalleshwara Temple Bagali
Sundari
  • Lord Ganesha
    Lord Ganesha
Killing of King Hiranyakaship
 Lord Shiva in the form of a big Linga is worshiped here even today. Many small shrines  dedicated to various gods are present around this temple. While major portion of the temple exteriors remain simple, the upper portion is adorned with reliefs of erotica. Though the erotic carvings beat that of Khajuraho in number (in depicting the various postures), they are far from being as perfect. With 62 carvings, it stands proudly as one housing the largest collection of erotica images. The prototypes of these images were taken to Paris for further examination as  a part of study and are now a part of the Paris Museum.
Erotica
The Water Source
Extensively Carved Hero Stone
The Temple Complex

Featured post

Madhya Pradesh, The heart of Incredible India