The Chennakesava Temple of Somanathapura, built during the rule of the Hoysala Dynasty of Karnataka, illustrates the prolific skills of the sculptors of that era. It is a sheer exhibition of Hindu scriptures moulded in lifelike sculptures. For an artist, it is a temple where the creators left behind an art gallery for the generations to come. Even for a layman, it would have been a school to grasp the unwritten mythology through an easy pictorial representation. Historians claim it to be an artwork that led Hoysalas to the zenith of their architectural glory. This ornately chiselled ancient temple of India is located near Mysore and is also accessible from Bangalore by road.
Being a non-functional temple, it opens only at 8:30 am and closes down before the sun sets by 5:30 pm. On any weekend it would be a sea of humans in the temple complex. However, weekdays are quiet and only a handful of tourists come for a visit here. We went on Thursday noon and we were around 10 people on the premise at any given time. We took about two and a half hours to completely understand the stories depicted in each sculpture. Read more
“Oh dear Lord, let me be born again in Banavasi, if not as a human then maybe as a honeybee. Let me over the flowery fields surrounding this beautiful land.” – Adikavi Pampa.
The Banavasi village is still a less explored place, the beauty of which has inspired the works of many ancient poets. A belief also persists that Mahakavi Kalidasa was inspired to create ‘Meghdoot’ by the beauty of Banavasi. Dramatically set around the Historic Madhukeshwara Temple, Banavasi looks like a movie set in the land where Varada River flows on both its sides.
The quiet and often misty lanes of Banavasi are flanked by old-styled and yet aesthetically neat houses. The ancient walled fort dating back to the 5th Century now lies in ruins veiled by bushes and trees. The town of Banavasi also finds its traces in the work of Claudius Ptolemy. (the one who created the first world map) Read more
It is one of the divine destinations of Karnataka. There are total five monoliths of Gomteshwara – the son of the first Jain tirthankar(Rishabhnath Swami) in the state, the tallest one(58 ft) of which is located in Shravanbelagola making it a tourist hot-spot. It is also considered to be the tallest monolith in the world. Chandragupta Maurya is said to have died here after he assumed the life of an ascetic. Fascinated by these facts and the craze for the fictional character of Bahubali, I planned a day trip from Mysore to this divine place that led to the creation of a blockbuster movie. Read more