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First impression of UK

My first impression of UK was from a flight;The sun setting, Pink city and the river Thames flowing through the bustling city
My eyes could capture the well spaced villas with its large glass windows and traditional chimney on roof tops. Beautiful, well spaced, clean city.
The notion stuck when I reached Cambridge. The sense of space is tremendous and the green spaces of city refreshing.
But the cold, Brr… I cannot bear it.
The villas are spacious, heated up and carpeted. the warmth envelops you and you forget the cold outside. The kitchens are equipped with latest gadgets ranging from toasters, blenders, mixers and automatic gas hobs.
The outside of villas are paved with pebbles and stones. This is to avoid slipping during snow fall.
The sheer variety of trees, shrubs and flowers can leave you mesmerized. The flowers are a delight to watch with rainbow colors present everywhere.

Flowers of cambridge

Flowers of cambridge


There is no resemblance to Indian plants anywhere.
Flowers of cambridge

Flowers of cambridge

The weather; what can I say about it? There are 4 seasons in a day. The daylight begins at 4:30 and ends at 9 during summer. So you can never predict the time looking at the sky. The day changes from being sunny to cloudy in minutes with occasional drizzles. Mind you I am talking about May here.
The city is breathtaking. And I will be covering it in my next post.

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Posted by on June 9, 2011 in UK

 

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The aromatic Eucalyptus oil

Having a blocked nose? Then inhale drops of eucalyptus oil in steaming water and lo your sinuses are bound to open giving you instant relief. Such is the power of eucalyptus oil that it is widely used as analgesic, an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent..

Eucalyptus tree

Eucalyptus tree

So when I saw rows of eucalyptus trees lined en-route Kolar I could not resist picking up few leaves myself.  I broke the leaf in to two and lo I could smell the oil. This led me to wonder how to get the potent oil. And when I researched this is what I found.

You can make eucalyptus oil at home just by crushing the leaves and storing them in an airtight jar. Pour almond oil over the leaves so as to totally cover the leaves. Then prick two vitamin E capsules and put it in the jar. This acts as a preservative for the leaves. Now leave the jar near the window for a fortnight and then stain the mixture. Store the oil in a colored bottle to make the oil last for longer duration.

What can you use this oil for? Eucalyptus oil is antiseptic, antibacterial, anti inflammatory and analgesic agent. So you can inhale the oil in steaming water to clear cold, coughs, headaches etc. But keep in mind that high doses can be harmful and children are more susceptible to such types of poisoning.

You can use eucalyptus oil in other ways too.

  • You can use it as a car freshener. Just don’t throw the freshener after it is empty. Fill it with few drops of this oil and see the fragrance filling your car.
  • For blocked noses, congestion in throat and headache put few 3-4 drops of oil in steaming water and inhale.
  • Putting a few drops of oil in a small bowl in your living room drives the mosquitoes away.
  • The oil can also be used for removing grease stains from clothes.

So the next time you see a eucalyptus tree don’t forget to smell this fragrant oil. Such things make travel more interesting and educational.

 
 

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Bhoga Nandeeshwara and Arunachaleshwara temples- Nandi grama

Last month I had a chance to visit a glorious temple built by kings of 5 dynasties. 5 dynasties did I say? Yes, the Bhoga Nandeeshwara and Arunachaleshwara temple near Nandi Hills is constructed by Gangarasa, Hoysalas, Pallavas, Cholas and lastly the VijayaNagara Kings. The interesting part; though it has been constructed by different kings in different centuries, when you view the temple as a whole you will never find the subtle architectural differences. Enough said, let us learn more about this ancient Dravidian style temple.

The Journey to the famous temples:

The temple is located in Nandi Gram near the Nandi hills. This village is surrounded by five hills Brahma Giri, Vishnu Giri, SkandaGiri, Divya Giri and Nandi hills. There are also five rivers which flow in this place Pinakini, Palar, Papagni, Arkavathy and SuvarnaMuki Rivers.

The distant Nandi hills

Arunachaleshwara- Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple:

This magnificent temple which measures 320 meters in length, 250 in width is a wide corridor temple. Though it looks like one single temple it is actually 3 different temples; Arunachaleshwara, Bhoga Nandeeshwara and in between of these is a smaller temple of Uma-Maheshwara.

AruNachaleshwara- Bhoga Nandeeshwara

About the temples:

The temple is basically a Lord Shiva temple. Lord Shiva is represented in 3 forms. Arunachaleshwara depicts the childhood of Shiva; Bhoga Nandeeshwara depicts the youth and Yoga Nandeeshwara the renunciation stage of Shiva. The sanyasa (renunciation stage) of Shiva, Yoga Nandeeshwara is located on top of Nandi Hills. But the other two stages childhood and youth are worshiped in this Arunachaleshwara- Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple.

Arunachaleshwara temple: This as previously said is the childhood phase of the Lord.  It is built by Gangarasa in 10th century. Inside the temple you can see a 2 feet idol of Lion Ganapati. It is called as Simha Ganapati. Opposite the temple there is the figure of Nandi made of granite stone.

Simha Ganapati, Bhoga Nandeeshwara

Uma Maheshwara temple:

Next to Arunachaleshwara temple is the smaller temple of Uma Maheshwara temple. This temple too was constructed in 10th century by the Hoysalas. The idols of Shiva with Parvathi can be seen here. In front of these idols is a small kalyana Mantapa or marriage hall. The hall is created with four black stone pillars. The east facing pillar has Shiva and parvathi seated; the south pillar has Brahma and Saraswathi, the north depicts Vishnu and Lakshmi and west has Agni (God of Fire) and Swaha Devi in it.

UmaMaheshwara temple

The pillars also have figures of parrots carved on them. There are around 500 in number. The beauty of these pillars is that the sculpture has left not even an inch of free space in them. Along with the beautiful parrots there are creepers, animals, goddesses etc depicted on these stones.

All around the temple the marriage scenes of Shiva and parvati are depicted.

UmaMaheshwara temple

The temple of Uma Maheshwara is especially famous for the married couple who come to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva after their marriage.

Bhoga Nandeeshwara:

This is the main temple which is built by Cholas. The idol is mesmerizing to look at and you feel the presence of God when you prostate before it. This idol Bhoga Nandeeshwara represents the youth stage of Shiva. As the youth is the time for fun and celebrations, many important functions are celebrated in this temple. In contrast no significant functions take place at the Yoga Narasimha temple at the top of Nandi hills.

The Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple has beautiful carvings done everywhere. There is a statue of Rajendra Chola, AstaDikPalakas in the ceiling. Opposite to this temple there is statue of Nandi made in black stone. This is much more attractive than the granite Nandi found opposite to Arunachaleshwara.

carvings at BhogaNandeeshwara temple

Inside the temple courtyard there are two other temples of Prasanna parvati (wife of Bhoga Nandeeshwara) and Apita Kuchamba (wife of Arunachaleshwara). The walls of these temples are also carved with scenic pictures of Shiva-Parvati wedding.

To the north of the temple lies two structures Vasantha mantapa and Tulabara mantatpa both constructed by VijayaNagara kings.

Shringa theertha

There is a beautiful pond here which goes by the name Shringa theertha. It is a place fit to meditate. There is a small temple of Shringeeshwara here.  There is an interesting story behind this place getting the name shringa theertha. It is said that Nandi the bull plunged his horns (Shringa) in to the ground for water. And the water of Ganga gushed from it. Hence the name shringa theertha. It is also said that a sage named Shringi meditated here.

The theertha is also believed to be birth place of south Pinakini River. Surrounding the pond there are plenty of beautiful statues albeit in a damaged state. But the beauty of the idols and their carvings can still be felt. It is quite serene place with a distant view of skandagiri hills covered with clouds.

The front of the temple has a beautiful green courtyard where in you can relax. There is a small pond or theertha here too named GereKola.

Other important details:

  • There are 10 small windows or holes for air and light to enter in the temple, 4 are found in Aruna chaleshwara, 2 in Uma maheshwara and other 4 in bhoganandeeshwara temple. The beauty of these windows lies in the fact that there are beautiful statues carved outside of it which are themselves real beauties.Light holes, Bhoga Nandeeshwara
  • You can see two pillars in front of the temple constructed by VijayaNagara Kings. These are worth observing.

The best time to visit this place is during Shiva Rathri. The mela of cows takes place here during this time. You can see plenty of devotes here during this time.

Getting there:

The route is the same as taken for Nandi Hills. Cross Devenhalli airport at NH-7. For Nandi hills you take a left from the main road. After some time you will reach a T-junction. For Nandi hills you take a left at this junction. But for reaching the Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple you should take a right. Continue on this road to reach this 1000 year old temple.

So what are you waiting for? Go check out this architectural wonder which is comparable to Belur and Halebeedu in its architectural style.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2010 in BhogaNandeeshwara, Karnataka

 

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JanapadaLoka

Did you know that the ordinary bamboo is our life long companion right from birth until death?

I learnt the usefulness of bamboo when I visited JanapadaLoka some 40 kilometers away from Bangalore. There I heard this beautiful song “Biduru(bamboo)” from one of the guides. The song describes how bamboo is our life long companion. Starting from childhood it accompanies us in the form of swing, becomes a horse when we grow up, flute when we reach adulthood.  It forms the pillars of the marriage mantap and accompanies the bride in to her new home in the form of jewelery boxes. During old age it becomes the walking stick and when we die it forms a part of our last rites. Truly moving isn’t it?

JanapadaLoka was an eye opener in every sense. Though it showcases the rural life of Karnataka, its message is relevant in the modern world in all aspects. Before you feel I am traversing in unknown territory let me give you a brief gist on JanapadaLoka.

Janapada Loka:

Janapada Loka is a treasure house of folk culture of Karnataka showcasing folk art, culture and lifestyle of traditional Karnataka.  Spread over 15 acres of land near Ramanagara it has been a cultural hub for the past 16 years. Founded by Shri Nage Gowda the place is a show window showcasing

  • Lokamatha Mandira- a museum which displays the daily life of rural Karnataka
  • Chitra Kuteera: a tribute to the founder Nage Gowda and a photography exhibition displaying the different folk forms of Karnataka.
  • Loka Mahal: a two storied building displaying folk culture, yesteryear items, dolls, folk instruments etc.
  • Shilpa Mahal: displaying stone figurines of 10th century.
  • Dodda Manne: a workshop wherein you can see workers engaged in pottery.
  • Open Air Theater: done in Greek style and which can seat about 1000 people at a time.

Description of the place:

One of the major attractions of this place was Divaru Mane (House of Divaru). Divaru is a caste found in Malnad (western and eastern parts of Western Ghats) districts of Shimoga and Kadur. They also call themselves Billavas in some places.Divaru Mane, Janapada Loka

Divaru Mane, Janapada Loka

The house was efficient in every respect and took in to account the heavy rains of Malnad. Built of mud the house was very simple and compact.  The house was neatly adorned with beautiful Rangoli drawings. To avoid moisture and insect attacks there were openings in the kitchen walls to store grains like Ragi, rice, bajra etc. This prevented ants and other insects from having a feast on them.  There were also shelves and bamboo holding made at the top of the kitchen to hold cooked items and groceries.

To light up the mud house there were spaces craved on the walls to hold small diyas or lamps. Inside the house there was a small area to warm water for bath. Though the bathroom was outside the heating or the fire was lit from inside the house. The heated water in brass vessel was directly available at the bathroom. Quite innovative, don’t you think?

On the outside there were fishing and betel nut equipments hung. There were also tiny bells hung outside the house which were tied on the cattle when they were left in the forest to graze.

Divaru Mane, Janapada Loka

Loka Matha:

Loka Matha was equally revealing. It made me realize how complicated I had made my life with gadgets. There were nicely stitched Pooja trays, photos of goddess made in Ravi Verma style by early 20th century women on display. All were made from beads and pearls and beautifully done. Hmm… No Zee T.V serials for these women.  Then there were various hand fans on display. Some of these fans could be moistened to give cool as well as scented air. What an idea, right? These fans called as Lvancha fans are available in the nearby shops in Ramnagar and Chanapatna.

LokaMatha, JanapadaLoka

Then there were fruits baskets, jewellery boxes, sieves, churners, mortars etc. There were also large granaries to hold grains. These granaries were sealed from above with cow dung and the grains were scooped from the bottom. A novel way to store grains for months together right?

Graneries, LokaMatha

Another useful device I saw there was a noodle press and a plank. Rice noodles were prepared by this press. Cooked rice was pressed by this tool and the noodles dropped out through the small sieves or holes at the bottom of this tool. The noodles were then relished with sweetened coconut milk. There was also a plank to prepare thin noodles for making sweet rice pudding.

Apart from these there were salt containers of wood, bamboo and ceramic used to store pickles, spices etc. These containers prevented salt from absorbing moisture and so were ideal for storing pickles and other items.  There was also a portable wood stove carried by the travelers of olden days. They cooked their own food on the road and did not prefer to eat outside at all. Talk about discipline and being systematic!

Outside the LokaMatha there was a large corn grinder of stone which was operated with the help of Oxen or Buffalo to powder grains.

LokaMatha, JanapadaLoka

Loka Mahal:

At the Loka Mahal there were all types of dolls on display. There were dolls used for Dasara festival, Garudi dolls brought out during fairs and festivals,  MekkeKattte idols used in ghost worship in Kundapura etc. Toys of the olden days like chess, chanemane, and petlu were also on display.

MekkeKatte idols, Loka Mahal

For those of you who haven’t seen the “tala patra” or the pamphlets there is a display of 17th century Ramayana and Mahabharata(Kumar Vyasa’s works) in scrolls. These are called as Palmyra menus. To write on these palms a pen called Kantha was used which is also in display. In olden days such important documents were often rolled and stored in bamboo containers or Bidirande and hidden in bamboo lines of thatched roofs. Money was also hidden in such canes to avoid getting stolen. These can also be seen here.

Folk art too gets a mention in Loka Mahal. There are various Yakshagana art forms displayed here. The Thenkuthithittu, a south coastal Karnataka yakashagana dance form and Badagathittu north coastal Karnataka style are shown here. These both differ in their dance steps, costume design and have different styles of dancing.

LokaMahal, Janapada loka

Then there are masks. The Soma, both red and yellow with their entire attire is shown here. Somas are companions of village deities and these are worshipped in every village. Sacrifices are performed for Somas, boons granted and the dance of Somas continues throughout the night. There are also chau masks of North Eastern India which again is a performance of high jumps, violent movements and gigantic facial expressions.

Chau mask, Loka Mahal

Also shown here are certain tribes of Karnataka like Goravailya, Dasaiya etc. Their attire is truly stunning with shells and colorful patches in their costumes.

Numerous stringed and leather puppets are also shown here.  The stringed puppets are manipulated with 4-5 strings tied behind the puppets. These are very flexible puppets.Puppets, LokaMahal

Leather puppets, LokaMahal

Shadow or leather puppets on the other hand are flat figures cut out of leather. They are pressed against the screen and light source is placed behind them. The show begins with colorful shadows (created by light and figures) on the screen.

Some more things worthy of mention are red wasp’s nest on display which takes the wasp 2 years to build and water lamps which use water to cool the lamp to reduce the lamp’s oil consumption.

Wasp nest, LokaMahal

A truly mind boggling experience don’t you think?

Finally few stone figures of ShilpaMahalStone Figures, Shilpa Mahal

Stone Figures, Shilpa Mahal

With our culture being so rich don’t you think it is time we introduced this to our kids too. Let them too know about Yakshagana, puppetry shows and dolls. Introduce them to the rich heritage of Janapada culture and you will definitely have left our kids a valuable heritage.

So how to get there?

This place is 45 kilometers from Bangalore. Just travel on the Bangalore Mysore highway until you reach RamaNagar. After some time you will see the Janapada loka at the right side of road just next to Kamat LokaRuchi hotel.

Where to eat?

Try the famous Kamat hotel located close to the Janapada Loka. You are sure to enjoy the local delicacies that they dish out.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2010 in JanapadaLoka, Karnataka

 

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Channapatna -Toys, Toys everywhere

Had an unexpected chance to visit Channapatna last week. My, the city had a lot to offer. From delightful toys to beautiful silk the city had it all. It even boasted a temple which was 1000 years old and still running strong. Curious to learn more? Then journey along with me as I take you through the fresh sites of Channapatna.

Toys, toys everywhere as you enter the city. Located on SH-17 Bangalore- Mysore highway the Land of toys has you smiling at every step with its wonderful display of toys.

Wooden horses, bullock carts, pretty dolls, pot ladies, figures depicting village life style, wooden instruments like flute, xylophone etc leave you mesmerized. Kids will surely love this place.

Channapatna

The toys are made from Aale- Mara (Ivory-wood) and sometimes from Rosewood and sandalwood. The wood is lacquered or coated with a colored varnish to give a durable finish. The wood is carved in to desirable shapes and finally vegetable dyes are used to color them. Thus the toys are safe and hygienic to use for small kids.

Channapatna Toys

Seeing those cute toys I could not resist picking up some for my kid as well.

Nadhi Narasimha swami temple:

After the purchase we headed towards Nadhi Narasimha swami temple.

Nadhi Narasimha temple, Channapatna

Though there is no Nadhi (The River Kanva ) here the temple which is believed to be 1200 year old exists. And it is a very sacred and religious temple of Lord Vishnu in the man-lion form. The Narasimha form of Vishnu symbolizes the divine anger of God. And hence the worship of this God needs special attention .Generally only priests who have taken the vow of celibacy can perform the worship. The idol of Narasimha in this temple however is accompanied by goddess Lakshmi and so the God is said to be in more relaxed form.

Significance of the Nadhi Narasimha temple:

The specialty of this temple is that whatever you wish for comes true when you recite the Moola mantra (holy prayer) displayed in front of the temple.

The meaning of the prayer goes something like this,

” O angry and brave lord Vishnu, your fire radiates everywhere. O lord Narasimha you are everywhere and you are the death of death (who surpasses even death). To such a powerful and divine Lord, I surrender.”

The devotee recites the mantra going around the temple for 48 rounds. He then ties a coconut in front of the god asking for the fulfillment of the wish. And his wish gets granted.

Nadhi Narasimha temple, Channapatna

The locals swear that no devotee has ever gone dejected from here. Therefore at all times you will see a flock of devotees in this temple.

The surrounding area of the temple boasts of silk, corn and sugar cane fields.

Silk fields of DoddaMallur, Channapatna

And the view of the temples from the fields is quite inspiring.

View of Nadhi Narasimha temple, DoddaMallur

Seri Culture of Channapatna:

On the way back we saw silk farms being set up. The Seri culture farmers here bring silkworms or caterpillars and feed them with silk or mulberry leaves. A straw mat is kept beneath them.

Moths being put on straw mat, Channapatna

After about 45 days the silk worm starts creating liquid silk which on contact with air hardens. After 2-3 days there is a cocoon fully covering the worm. The cocoons are then soaked in boiling water and they are uncoiled to get the silk threads.  And one interesting fact is that to produce 1 kg of silk you require minimum of 3000 such worms.

Cocoons to be harvested, Channapatna

All in all a wonderful learning experience I should say.

Kengel Hanuman temple:

While returning back to bangalore we stopped at Kengel Hanuman temple.  The idol of Hanuman is made from red rock of Kengel and hence the place got the name Kengel Hanuman. This idol of hanuman sporting a moustache is consecrated by VyasaTirtha who was the Guru of King Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar Empire.

Kengel Hanuman, ChannaPatna

VyasaTirtha; one of the founders of Dvaitha philosophy and guru of Kankadasa and Purandaradasa did an imprint of the figure of Hanuman on the rock. Thus the Hanuman which is worshipped here is a sculpture –relief structure and is highly sacred. It is the only idol of hanuman in India having a bell tied to his tail.

Kengel Hanuman, ChannaPatna

How to get to Nadhi Narasimha temple, DoddaMallur : Travel on state highway 17 connecting Bangalore- Mysore. On the way you cross Ramanagaram, Channapatna and finally Dodda Mallur. After reaching Channapatna about 2 kilometers or so you will see Aprameya temple archway towards the left hand side of the road. Opposite to this temple and towards the right hand side of the highway you will see a small mud road .   There is a big board here indicating  the directions to “Sri Nadhi Narasimha Swamy temple”.  Follow that to reach the temple.

Kengel Hanuman temple is located on the right hand side of SH-17 highway. Once you cross RamaNagaram you come across this temple. To the right of this temple is the famous Kanva Reservoir which can also be viewed.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2010 in Channapatna, Karnataka

 

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Chikballapur at close quarters

Wish to break free from the concrete jungle of Bangalore? Then why not head towards Chikballapur some 60 kilometers away from Bangalore? What to see there, you ask? Then here is a brief glimpse of this place.


Few facts about the place:
Chikballapur is a popular district famous for its silk industry. Surrounded by five hills it is a must –see destination for hikers, trekkers and not to mention walkers. The place is enclosed by all sides with rolling hills and mountains. These hills five in number are known as Pancha Giris and go by the names Nandi Giri, Chandra Giri, Brahma Giri, Hema Giri and Indra Giri. There is also another very popular trekker’s hill called as Skanda Giri
The district encompasses 6 taluks BagePalli, Chikballapura, Chintamani, Gudibande, Gowaribidanur and finally Shiddalgatta.
Last weekend we had a chance to visit two noteworthy places in Chikballapura; Muddenahalli and Rangasthala. Here is a brief description about them.
Muddenahalli: Ever heard of Sri M Visvesvaraya? Definitely you would have. He was the architect of the famous KRS dam at Brindavan, Mysore. He was also responsible for Mysore University, State Bank of Mysore, Mysore chamber of commerce etc.
Muddenhalli which is 7 kilometers from chikballapura is the birth place of this famous engineer.  His residence is now a popular museum showcasing the life and work of Sri M.V. Some of the things which is sure to catch your attention at the museum is the

•    Legendary Bharatha Ratna which was awarded to him in 1955.
•    His passbook of State Bank of Mysore which is the statement and proof of his simple, unpretentious living.
•    His numerous awards and laurels like Knight Commander, Doctorate, Kaisar-i-Hind, fellowship by IISC etc.
•     A very ancient dictionary gifted to him by his principal which he used for 80 years, his passport, books and horoscope.
•    A glimpse of his routine. He lived healthily for 102 years and he was a strict vegetarian plus a teetotaler.
One thing that I learnt from the old newspaper cuttings of Gazette was that he did not confirm to the views of Mahatma Gandhi. He was always of the opinion that industrialization is important for the development of a country which was contradictory to Gandhi’s view that Industrialization hampers the growth of a country.
The place also has a tomb or Samadhi of this great yet simple person.

Even if you aren’t a great fan of him visit the place for its scenic beauty and countryside.

After all with the majestic Nandi hills as background it sure is a nature lover’s paradise.

The place also boasts of Sathya Sai Gram which is a beautiful campus housing school, college, temples etc. There is also a clock tower which gives you a panoramic view of the country side.
For lack of time we did not visit this place. We were busy heading towards our next destination Rangasthala you see.
How to get there: To reach Chikballapur take the NH-7 Highway crossing Bangalore, Yelahanka, Devanahalli and finally Chikballapur. The distance is 56 kilometers and takes about 1-1.5 hours if you are driving. Once you reach chikballapur ask for Muddenhalli. On the way to Muddenhalli you will pass SJC institute of technology on your right and after some time a big yellow sign board showing the directions to Sathya Sai Gram. When you follow this route you will soon see a sign on the right for the museum too.
The timings of the museum are 11-5 P.M

Rangasthala:Rangasthala, the abode of Lord Ranganatha(Vishnu in sleeping posture) is a beautiful location situated at the North of SkandaGiri hills. This Dravidian style temple with its beautiful pillars and stone carvings is an architectural marvel.

Formerly this place was known as Avanti. Later on when Lord Ranganatha along with his consorts Bhoo and Neela devi appeared before SapthaRishis the place came to be known as Rangasthala. It is said that the SapthaRishis or the seven sages did penance here for a number of years to please Lord Vishnu.

Rangasthala temple

The stone statue of Lord Ranganatha is in a sleeping posture with the snake Adishesha spreading his hoods on his head.  His consorts Bhoo and Neela Devi sit near his leg. Lord Vishnu is surrounded by all gods, goddesses and the SapthaRishis.

The idol is quite beautiful not to mention blissful. The entire idol is four feet and is carved out of a single Saligrama stone.  The design of the Garbha Griha or inner sanctum is in the form of a basket. The sculpture’s imagination was that the beautiful idol in the basket was gifted by Vibhishana to Lord Ganesha.The construction is also a scientific marvel with the sun’s rays first touching the Lord’s feet during Makar Sankramana.

The outer premises of the temple are in sharp contrast to the peacefulness of inner sanctum. The stone pillars have varied carvings of wild animals like lions, elephants, man eating tigers etc. There are also different stone figures mounting horses in each of the 13 pillars. The significance of all these carvings is this;” Let man not fall prey to his senses which can bring nothing but disaster. Instead let him surrender to God which is bound to bring him closer to the blissful state of Lord Ranganatha.”

There is an old pond nearby which is the Shanka and chakra theerta. Unfortunately this theerta is in a very neglected state with creepers and plants surrounding the pond.
Sadly this temple though having a deep history has not been maintained properly. The renovations and the building of outer gopuram are still taking place.
But if you ignore this fact and just go for the darshan of God then you can probably pray in peace. The hills overlooking the temple are also quite spectacular and will make up for the lack of cleanliness in the surroundings.
You can expect the drive from Bangalore to be very pleasant. At this time of year grape vines, yellow, pink marigolds, golden brown corn fields will greet you at every step once you cross the Devenhalli airport.

MariGold magic

So be prepared to be reinvigorated in mind, body and spirit.
How to get there: Ask for directions for Gauribidanur road once you reach Chikballapur. Once you take the road after some 5 kilometers you will see a sign board on the right pointing towards Rangasthala. Turn right until you reach the dead end. You will soon see the main temple gopuram with a pond nearby.
Where to eat: Best to alight in NH-7 highway for food as there were no good restaurants near the places we visited.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2010 in ChikBallapur, Karnataka

 

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Mackerel sky snapshots

To wash the dirt sands of city we took the NH-7 highway heading towards chikaballapur. On the way we stopped at lush green fields near the Jain temple.

Some of the snapshots

Fields of Chikballapur

Fields of Chikballapur

The Sun at this point decided to play hide and seek with the clouds.

Hide and Seek

The pale rays of the sun were reflected on the quivering coconut leaves and created a spectacular sight in itself.

Sunlight on the trees

The dark clouds, the half hidden sun and the shaky leaves created a magical moment and connected us to a higher power.

Fully hidden sun

The birds were heading back home and the cool strong breeze was announcing the arrival of rains. so we decided to head back home ourselves.

Note:As much as I would love to take credit for these photographs the truth is they have been taken by my husband.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Travel Sojourns

 

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