Nov 26, 2009

few of my travel companions

These things have traveled quite a bit

Wildcraft backpack
Karnataka & Goa atlas
Yashica camera
Parker pen

Nov 20, 2009

Bow Bow

Travelling in Intercity from Bangalore to Hubli, I overheard a bunch of noisy students going for a holiday to Goa. They were pulling each others' legs playing a game and the loser had to say this-

bow 1s bow
bow 2s bow bow
bow 3s bow bow bow
bow 10s bow bow bow bow bow bow bow bow bow bow

It sounded hilarious even at 5.


Nov 12, 2009

Itagi and Kuknur

October 2009

After lunch, Advesh and I continued our journey... he spoke about various other historical monuments in Gadag district as I drove on NH63. At Bannikoppa we turned off the highway and took the narrow country road. A short drive and we were at Itgi, I parked the car under a tree opposite Itgi Panchyat Office and walked to the temple which is about 50m away. The temple complex was strewn with stone slabs of various sizes in various stages of work. A full scale restoration activity was in progress.

Carvings at this temple are intricate and detailed.

One should see this temple with their own eyes. This well is completely renovated with new stones. The structure looks nice but the water...

This small structure is a temple, there are totally nine such temples but only two or three have Shiva Lingas in them. Rest all seem to be vandalized.

This is the front yard of an incomplete temple.

We spoke to one of the workers, actually he's skilled at carving out stones. He admitted that what ever they did was just rough work and they could never come close to what artists of the past created. He himself was so appreciative about the hollow carvings with minute details etched into them. It was around 4PM and the group leader was waking up his team members from their siesta, asking them to gt back to work. Most of them were reluctant to open their eyes...

Having covered most of the temple complex, we decided to head towards Kukunur, which is about 8km from Itgi.

This is inside Kukunur temple. Since this is an important pilgrim center of Koppal district, the main temple is renovated with oil paint, distemper, ceramic tiles and steel rails.

We spent about 15 minutes looking around, actually there's not much to see. We headed back towards Lakkundi. I dropped off Advesh there and then drove back towards Dharwad.

Nov 6, 2009

Temples of Lakkundi

Finally I did visit Lakkundi many years after hearing about it's ancient temples and wells. It seems that long time back the village was known as 'Lohigundi' which became 'Yakkundi' and finally became 'Lakkundi' the present day name. I learnt this from my guide Advesh F Kalbandi. Kalbandi is a Kannada word for a boulder.

Lakkundi is known for it's 101 temples and 101 tanks. Every temple has it's own well or tank known as Kalyani. We might find 101 temples if we could go back in time but at present, only about 14 temples are identifiable of which only 6 (see below) are under the care of Archeological Department.
1. Bramha Jinalaya,
2. Naganatha Temple,
3. Naneswara Temple,
4. Kashi Vishwanatha Temple,
5. Manikeshwara Temple and
6. Kumbareswara Temple

My first stop was at Jain Basti, there's a museum also but nothing great, it looks more like a godown,

A beheaded statue...

and a pair legs of the body missing.

An ancient inscription in Kannada. If one can spend some time on it, it can be read and understood.

One of the columns which probably acted as a mirror. I wonder how the column would have looked back those days.

This looks like a tower from which water was drawn up from the well below it. The water was greenish and surrounded by thorny shrubs called jaali-gida.

This Kasivisvesvara temple, you can find lots of intricately worked carvings here.

Makarathorana, the emblem of Kalyana Chalukya dynasty.

A scene from Ramayana, monkeys hauling stones to build for Lord Rama to cross over to Lanka. At the bottom of the picture, you can see fishes, turtle and crocodile.

This looks like a scene from Mahabharata of the warriors fighting an elephant and the other warrior is firing arroes from his bow. Notice the clouds on the top of the picture.

That's a scene inside an elephant's stomach; the story is about Lord Shiva slaying a demon. Evil cannot escape his wrath no matter how hard they try.

This is a carving of ten-headed Ravanasura fighting an elephant.

This is one of the wells, to be correct we call it Kalyani. This Kalyani belongs to the Basavanna temple which is right next to a water tank.

We climbed up the stair-case and got a bird's eye-view of Lakkundi.

This is Manikesvara Temple. This temple has a stepped well and the well is locally called as muskin bhanvi meaning well in a veil because of it's canopy. The day I visited, it seems the water level was low. The day being hot and humid, I washed my face and hands in the cool water, it was quite refreshing.

That's Advesh my guide and three local boys. The boy in maroon shirt is Shrikant. He displayed his diving and swimming skills here.

Talking about other historical places in the surrounding area Advesh suggested we could visit Itgi which is famous for intricate work. He also suggested Dambal. I chose to check out Itgi which was about 30 kilometers from Lakkundi and Advesh agreed to joined me. We stopped and had uppit (I had packed two boxes for lunch), dates and water under a tree in a field next to the highway. Hunger satisfied, we moved on to Itagi and Kukanur...