April 3, 2011.
One of the restored temples in Badami region which most tourists do not notice or do not bother to visit. The temple is off Banashankari-Shivayogi Mandir road, its one kilometer inside a shallow valley in between ridges. The location is little secluded, that made me wonder; why such a location?
The approach road was under repairs, we (Praveen and Suresh mama was my company) had to park our cab pretty close to the main road and walk.
We were the only people here. First thoughts on seeing the temple: Looks quite simple and plain. Why did we bother to walk one kilometer on pebble scattered dirt path under the blazing Sun. Anyway, we are here, let's check it out.
Basavanna caught my attention. A good piece of work.
The interior is a contrast of the exterior. Columns and ceiling are packed with art. I just snapped a couple of images. Nagadeva just above Basavanna.
Lord Shiva & Parvati riding Nandi.
Lord Brahma on Lotus.
No idea who these characters are riding a ram ...it looks more like four men have floored the animal. The ram's horn stands out in the image.
Cannot identify these characters riding a leaping horse. Saddles were used back then.
The temple floor was littered with bat droppings and air was not very healthy. I decided to go out and check the exterior. Walls are plain but windows are decorated.
One round around the temple and back at the front, the figures on the columns caught my attention. Something different...
Couples in intimate positions.
Of six such couples, I found this most beautiful. The posture depicts love and closeness between them.
A closer look. Check out the curves, they look so natural. This is the most sexiest piece of stone-art I've ever seen. I was totally captivated by this image, spent a good ten minutes appreciating it.
Yes, the one kilometer walk on pebble scattered dirt path under the blazing Sun was worth the trouble. And the answer to the question why such a location: who ever got his temple made, wanted to keep it a secret ...not for everyone's eyes- that's my thought.
I'll make it a point to visit Naganatha temple again and spend time inside. I'm sure I missed lot of interesting art... we had to leave since the main topic for the day was Aihole.
The only video I shot here.
Naganatha temple Coordinates: 15°54'10"N 75°44'19"E