Mar 27, 2012

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple and Badami Museum

December 16, 2011

While driving from Badami to Banashankari, about a kilometer from Badmi to the left-hand side you can see a stairway going up the hill. those steps lead to am ancient temple- Ranganathaswamy Gudi. This time I wanted to see the hill temple. At 10-45 AM, it was really hot. I drove though the narrow dirt road towards the hill and parked my car near a school. Construction activity on the path to the stairway was in progress.

Its a short climb.

About 100 steps up, under a small rock shelter is a small open air temple. Two men and a boy had come to offer prayers. Badmi's extension areas.

This gap in the rocks is a natural formation.

Very close to the temple is platform & pillar. The small cave has a pond inside, a natural source of water in this rock hill.

There's the temple, it an ancient structure. For some reason every square inch of the exterior has been painted. Even though its a small structure it has two entrances, both in the front. I heard voices of two men speaking. One man was washing the deities while the other one was sitting in the front porch. To my questions about the temple's history there were no satisfying answers. However the sitting man asked me to see another cave few feet away.

Another source of water. Looks like this water is used for washing purposes. The temple is close to the summit. There a path leading out into the open but it was blocked by thorny bushes. Wonder where that lead to.

I was tired now. Decided to leave.

Google Map screen shot.

A - pillar and cave with water
B - temple
C - cave with water

Back at Ranganath's home, I had a cool-water bath, had three bananas and stretched out. About an hour later, Ranganath was back from college. We had lunch at a khanavali near KSRTC bus-stand and went to the archaeological museum near Agastyateertha.

At the museum, we saw several interesting sculptures from various time periods and locations. One of important artifacts here is Lajja Gauri, a life-size stone sculpture of naked woman in child-birth position. The other attraction is a six foot wide scale model of Sidlaphadi. Having visited Sidlaphadi earlier during the day, I could notice a slight difference. Anyway, the model gives a good feel about the pre-historic site for those who cannot visit it. Accompanying the model are several paintings of groups of cavemen going about their chores. The museum is very well organized and a good source of information about Badami and other historic places nearby.

Photographs of prehistoric rock painting had caught my attention during the last visit. We spent some time looking at them and tried to learn about their locations. One of the staff gave some directions to Ranganath, it seems one was very close to the Kappe Arbhata Shasana, a Halegannada inscription. Other paintings were near Sri Ranganathaswamy temple. After a five minute rest, we went in search of the paintings. Ranganath located Kappe Arbhata Shasana.

This Shashana was composed by Kappe Arbhata, a poet in Pulakeshi's court. It describes Pulakeshi's character and maxim.

We scanned the surrounding rock surfaces for paintings. No such luck. We went up a flight of steps leading to a small temple. Nil. We decided to find a person who has actually seen them and take their help. Post-lunch jaunts are not always comfortable, especially in hot weather. We abandoned the search for paintings and went to Bhoothnath temple.

Ranganath wanted me to see a small stone shelter he used to visited during college days. It's within Bhoothnath temple complex. The shelter has a low entrance, we had to almost kneel down to get in. Inside was cool, we spoke about other monuments and future plans to locate the elusive paintings. Ranganath promised to join me in the hunt. I'll be back at Badami soon.

Ranganathaswamy temple Coordinates: 15°54'48"N 75°41'18"E



Rakesh Holla said...

Very informative blog...
Nice articles...
I dint visited this temple..thanks for sharing...

siddeshwar said...

Thank you.

Temple location is interesting. Do go there during a visit to Badami.