Aug 17, 2019

hero-stone near Bokyapur tank

I found this picture was while rummaging through a collection of pictures shot with my Yashica some time 2003 or 2004. This is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman situated near Bokyapur tank, a man made water body 2 kms northwest of Garag village in Dharwad district. I had shot this picture mainly for the inscription slab. The inscription is in Kannada. Going by the looks of the columns, this could be built during Chalukyan times. The two boys seen here are from a near by village called Hangarki.

Garag is known for Karnataka Khadi Gramaodyog Samyukta Sanga, a handloom center where the fabric for Indian flag is produced. Garag is also known for its ancient Jain Basadis and Madiwaleshwara Matha. The Basadis have been on my list for quite some time, hoping to see them during this year.
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Aug 10, 2019

Shri Bhagwan Bahubali statue, Dharmasthala

This picture was shot sometime 2003 or 2004 during my solo trip to Dharmastala. I wanted to be alone, in silence. In those two days, I visited all the temples there, the museum, saw a Yakshagana group practice and the Gomateshwara.

The statue is situated atop a hillock close to the entrance of Dharmastala. The summit is a plateau, its peaceful ambiance is something to experience, especially early mornings and evenings.

Below is a brief writeup on this statue on Shri Dharmasthala website..
Amidst the piety and frolic of the temple town of Dharmasthala, situated at a kilometer from the Manjunatha temple and led by a beautiful pathway, is the majestic shrine of lord Bahubali standing at a height of 39-feet. It was sculpted in 1973 by the famed sculptor Renjala Gopalkrishna Shenoy under the aegis of Shri Ratnavarma Heggade. The statue was then positioned atop the Ratnagiri Hill in February 1982 by Dr.D.Veerendra Heggade, after Shri Ratnavarma Heggade left to the heavenly abode.
This shrine can be reached by climbing steps of the hill for about 20 minutes or by road. The hilltop renders a heart-throbbing view of the temple town Dharmasthala with a lush green background in the mornings and lamp-lit in the nights.The best time for the tourists to visit this statue is in the morning to get away from humidity and sunny weather. On top of the hill, there are shelters and drinking water facilities for the pilgrims. The mahamastakabhisheka of lord Bahubali has since been performed thrice in 1982, 1995 and 2007, with a grand spectacle that brought together many jain monks and people from all over the country and beyond.
The monolithic stone sculpture of Lord Bahubali symbolizes renunciation, self control and subjugation of the ego as the first step towards salvation. The digambara form of Bahubali represents complete victory over earthly desires and needs, which forms the edifice for spiritual ascent towards divinity.
The transportation of the gigantic monolithic statue, 39ft. high, with a pedestal of 13 feet weighing about 170 tonnes, from Karkala to Dharmasthala was a tremendous challenge. A distance of 64 kilometers was covered with great public enthusiasm and participation, on a trolley with 64 Wheels, driven by 3 tractors of 250 HP over treacherously winding roads in 1970.

The other monolithic Bahubali statues in Karnataka are-

  • 60 feet statue, Shravanabelagola, Channarayapatna taluq, Hassan district
  • 41.5 feet statue, Karkala, Karkala taluq, Udupi district 
  • 20 feet statue, Venoor, Belthangady Taluk, Dakshina Kannada district
  • 20 feet statue, Gommatagiri, Bettadur, Hunsur taluq, Mysore district
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