Feb 23, 2010

Kamalanarayana Temple, Devgaon

Devgaon, Degulahalli, Kasamalagi and Halasi. Even though these places are close to Dharwad, I'd never heard people mention these places. A colleague who'd been to Halasi on a research project to take impression of an inscription at Narasimha temple. Directions I got; Halasi is close to Bidi. I knew Bidi is near Kittur.

I left Dharwad at 6AM, drove on NH4 towards Kittur. Few kilometers before Kittur, I saw Karnataka Tourism board with a list of tourist place in the vicinity.

I decided to visit all places... possible since they are all close by and roads are in pretty decent shape. At Kittur I turned off NH4 to my left towards Bidi.

About 5km down the road I turned left towards Devgaon. It’s a little village and anybody can direct you to the only temple- Kamalanarayana Gudi.

The temple is small but looks solid, lot of intricately sculpted stone art works.

Even though the side with sloping roof is the front portion the main entrance of the temple is on the right side.

This is the temple's main door.

As you step in and look up you see this wonderful wheel hanging from the ceiling. There are two such domes with delicately carved stone wheels.

Move in further, you can see two sanctum sanctorum.

Inscription in Halegannada (old Kannada) and Devanagiri.

I spent about 45 minutes looking around. I struggled to take pictures in here (I do not like to shoot with flash), either they would blur or turn out too dull. I shot a short video walking around the temple.

It's an interesting place to visit. If you are visiting Dharwad do not miss this monument. Make it a point to visit Kittur fort and Devgaon. If time permits you can visit Degulahalli and Kasamalagi, and Halasi also.


Feb 16, 2010

Sirsi-Banavasi Pineapples

Sometime 2000 I learnt that pineapples are grown near Sirsi and Banavasi but I could not get to see the fields. This visit I made sure I explored one. It seems snakes are plenty in these fields ...I watched every step.

...not very well maintained, lot of weeds. All the more better for creepy crawlies.

This pineapple is almost ready to be harvested though it does not look well grown.

I relish pineapple slices and also pineapple juice. For me it's the next tasty fruit after grapes and oranges.


Feb 8, 2010

Madhukeshwara Devasthana, Banavasi

A pair of elephants and some soldiers have stood at Madhukeshwara Temple gate for centuries welcoming visitors. The most beautifully crafted elephants I've ever seen.

This bouquet like object caught my attention.

Shields looks like UK flag is etched into it.

This is one of the two pillars standing opposite temple entrance...

...with Lord Ganesha on one of the four faces of the pillar.

That's Madhukeshwara Temple of Banavasi.

The architecture is unique to Kadamba temples; low and sloping roof. Another popular Kadamba temple I've visited is Tambdi Surla temple near Molem in Goa.

This stone Mantapa must have been carved out of a single stone. Somehow I failed to get a good picture even after shooting this on 3 different occasions. Banavasi temple is also popular for a stone cot but it's almost impossible to get a decent picture because it's locked up in a room.

Above is the left side of gopura and a wall filled with Shivalinga, Basavanna and elephants.

Below is the view of the rear portion of the temple.

These two panels which not only show the artist's skill but also tell Hindu mythological stories. The temple care-taker explained how on can see more than just a cow with two heads.

I wish I could spend more time... and see around the temple but I had to travel back to Sirsi, have lunch and then leave to Dharwad.


Feb 1, 2010

Unchalli Waterfall

After my visit to Yana, I drove back to Sirsi, filled petrol, fixed the flat tire, had a cold shower, had breakfast and headed towards Unchalli Waterfall. Half way down I saw police workers retrieving a Maruti Alto which had fallen off the road 30 feet down. I guessed the mishap had happened a day earlier. Drivers can be so careless... Soon I reached the end of the road. From here it was a short trek down a steep dirt track.

The watch spot was on the edge of the cliff. Little carelessness here could be fatal. The gorge is 100+ meters deep. Water picks up momentum as it goes down and a huge sprays fills the entire gorge. Notice the rainbow in the middle of the picture.

In the picture below, right bottom, you can see a path which possibly goes down into the valley. One of the visitors wanted to be brave and go down. I discouraged him. After hearing me and another person from his own group, he changed his mind.

I think about Unchalli and Magod waterfalls as sisters because of their similarities. Both are deep and inaccessible, their beauty has to be appreciated from a distance.

A short video-

I wanted to stay for some more time but I had to go to Banavasi and then head back to Dharwad. I'll surely come again when it starts raining. On the way back, police workers had pulled up the car, it was lying across the road, badly damaged. I wish the passengers are OK.

My next destination of th day was Banavasi.