Nov 24, 2018

Anubhava Mantapa, Basava Kalyana

Anubhava Mantapa was the XII Century spiritual and philosophical conference whose participants were the mystics, saints and philosophers of Veerashaiva faith. The phrase "Anubhava Mantapa" literally means "experience center." The conference was presided over by Allama Prabhu and numerous Sharanas including Akka Mahadevi, Channabasavanna and Jagadguru Basaveshwara himself. Anubhava Mantapa was also called as Mahaamane.

Sept 2, 2018
We left Hyderabad around 5-15 AM and reached Basavakalyan around 7-30. Our plan was to see the 108 feet statue of Basaveshwara first but the garden wasn't open for public yet. So we had tea and then drove to Anubhava Mantapa, about 2 kms away. Anubhava Mantapa is situated in a elevated spot with open space all around. The place has a peaceful ambiance, as of now. Here we are.. looking at the arch welcoming visitors to Anubhava Mantapa.

Its a small building with a replica of Shiva Linga on the roof. There was a small group of Muslim clerics from Aligarh, UP had just entered the premises. They were here to learn about Basaveshwara and Veerashaiva faith.

This is the simple hall of Anubhava Mantapa.. simple living, high thinking.

At the end of the hall is a circular platform with a stepped pyramid on its rim. This a symbolic structure. Originally, it was a much higher platform, at its summit sat Allama Prabhu presiding over the conference of Shiva Sharanas.

Beautiful image of Jagadguru Basaveshwara on the highest seat.

Another view of the hall. Caretakers are dedicated to their duty.. work is worship is the maxim of Shiva Sharanas.

Here's a short video of a local person narrating XII Century stories of Kalyana revolution to the Aligarh group.

The Muslim group were completely engrossed in the narration. They must have developed admiration for the ways of Shiva Sharanas.

The picture over the doorway is a depiction of the conference presided over by Allama Prabhu. The pictures flanking the door are of Madiwala Machayya and Dohara Kakkayya.

Its always good to see the pictures depicting stories of Shiva Sharanas. Helps remember the great characters who were instrumental in the social revolution.

We decided to move on since we had planned to see many other spots within Basava Kalyana. Adjoining Anubhava Mantapa is a ground bordered by Neem trees. We found a cool spot for our breakfast.. chapati, sprouts and curds. Simple, good home food :)

We move towards the 108 feet statue of Basavanna and Sharanara Gavigalu.

Nov 17, 2018

Sangameshwara temple, Yevor

Venkatesh Bappargi, my friend from Wagangera messaged me on Whatsapp about his visit to Yevor Sangameshwara temple. He was on duty along with colleagues at Yevor, they took a break, rested at the temple and went around taking few pictures. Three things done- rest, deities' darshan and some pictures for memory. I'd to research little in Google Maps to get a proper understanding of the temple complex layout.

The temple complex consists a water tank, a mantapa with inscription and four or five temples. Of the temples, one is Trikutachala and remaining are Ekatachala. A temple with single Garbhagudi is called Ekatachala and those having three are Trikutachala. The temples seems to be built over a century or two since there are significant changes in the temple designs. 

Here's the sat-view of the temple complex from Google Maps. I've marked the spots to make identification easy.

A - Kalyani ~ stepped water tank
B - Ekatachala
C - Mantapa sheltering an inscribed slab
D - Trikutachala
E - Ekatachala
F - concrete structure

Floral motifs on the tank walls, the trapezoidal flower, an elegant design, is a common sight in temples of North Karnataka. That's the concrete structure - wondering why they had to build it so close to the tank - senseless builders! 

Zooming out & panning to the right, the other flight of steps comes into view. Sad to see the damage done by God knows who.. trying to imagine this tank in its original condition.. truly ancient builders were masters.. see the perfect straight lines and right angles.. as though they weren't created by hands but by power of mind. On the other side of the tank are two temples- one Ekatachala and one Trikutachala.

We are going around the tank.. water is fresh and the tank is deep. Think this is a well rather than just a tank. Its a practice to offer prayers or initiate rituals while the person is still wet, hence these types of tanks with seating arrangement.

For some reason, local people have covered the temple Shikharas with lime which is harmful to stone.

Different forms of Ganesha, all rituals start by praying to him first. If you take a look at the corner sculptures, they seem to be couples engaged in sexual activity.. kama-kreede. And right next to it is a man in meditation. Wondering what's that supposed to convey.. ancient builders never did anything random. 

With this view, we have covered all sides of the well. That's a Ekatachala temple without Shikhara. This is a open temple without walls except its Garbhagudi. Such temples were usually used for meetings. On Google Maps this temple complex is marked as Basaveshwara temple. Unfortunately Venkatesh did not have individual names, said its called Sangameshwara Devastana. He'll inquire whenever he visits Yevor again.

The four pillared mantapa with its inscription. The slab is inscribed on both faces, script and language is Kannada. The Basava seems like part of the original design.

Right next to the Mantapa is the Trikutachala. Its walls are made of pillars, similar to the Thousand Pillared temple of Warangal. The Shikharas are stepped.

Another view of the walls and a Shikhara. In the foreground, is a broken idol of a standing elephant.

The Trikutachala temple entrance. Metal grills to keep out vandals, painted sculptures, cables hanging about.. aagh!

A fluted pillar on the right as you enter the temple. This design is very unique. Notice its base, as if a bunch of smaller pillars are held together by a slip band. Also the shorter pillars design is something new to me.

Going by the size of this hall and the vestibule, this seems to be part of the Trikutachala. These turned pillars would be mirror finished originally. The whitish coating on the pillars are remains of lime.. people's senseless deeds! The pillar design reminds me on Banashankari Devastana of Amargol.

The sculpted concave dome. This is a basic version compared to the much more complex versions seen at other Chalukyan, Rastrakutan and Hoysala temples.

A blooming flower on a beam. Simple yet beautiful.

A Garbhagudi. An elongated Shivalinga on a pedestal.

 The other Gabhagudi has three Lingas on a single pedestal. This deity reminds me of Tryambakeshwara Gudi of Kavital. The middle Linga is completely covered in Bilva Patri leaves.. Shiva's favorite.

This must be the interior of the temple marked as E. The circular wedge between the pillar and beam-holder seems like an independent object. Basically the entire structure is an assembled structure with no binding material. I feel its designed to be earthquake proof. So are many of our temples. Call them hi-tech piles of dressed stone blocks.

Ganesha.. sadly damaged. The garlanded slab on the left carries an inscription. The pillar in the foreground also carries an inscription. Every time I see ancient sculptures my wish to travel back in time becomes stronger.. a hopeless wish :-(

Deity of this temple- a Shivalinga. That's a piece of cloth covering the area around the Linga. Nice creation by some Bhaktini.

 This is the temple marked B.The walls are tightly packed columns.

The little temple's deity, a Shivalinga and its Basava. Normally Basava's face Shivalinga but here its opposite.

Not sure where these miniature temple Shikhara were found. Lovely creations.

Thanks to Venkatesh for letting me know about this lovely monument. Hoping to visit Yevor once, would be great to see in person.

Nov 14, 2018

Basaveshwara Devasthana, Basava Kalyana

My first visit to Basaveshwara temple was way back in Feb 1996, during the biking trip. Gulli and I had come to here around 5 AM, it was still dark and premises was dug up, mounds of dirt heaped around, construction work was on. Around the temple's courtyard is a long open hall for visitors to sit, rest, have food or sleep. On the walls were colorful paintings depicting stories of Shiva Sharanas like Madiwala Machayya, Kumbara Gundayya, Chamara Haralayya, Ambigara Chowdayya, Dohara Kakkayya, and others. Then I visited again Jan 2011 along with my maternal uncles.

September 2, 2018
Our day started with visits to Anubhava Mantapa, 108' statue of Basaveshwara, Kalyana museum and fort. As we drove through the town we decided to pay a visit to Basaveshwara Devastana. The temple hasn't changed much over the years and happy that the open courtyard is left as it is.That's the temple Shikhara. 

The inner temple is a congested place. This is the Garbhagudi below the Shikhara, inside is a black stone idol of Basavanna. This temple design is commonly found in northern districts of Karnataka. The idol here depicts Basaveshwara as a monk. A narrow path around this temple leads to another small shrine..

This is the second shrine, inside is another idol of  Basavanna decorated with silky garments and wearing a crown. This depicts Basavanna as a minister of Kalyana kingdom.

Jai Basavaraja.

Learn more about this XII century social revolutionist from an older post- Basaveshwara memorial at Gadag.

Nov 10, 2018

sunrise at Bidar

September 4, 2018
This is the view from the fifth floor of the hotel building on the main street of Bidar City. The weather was pleasant with a cool breeze coming from the west.

The bright orange ball is over the horizon.

Meanwhile a huge cloud has formed on the right.. like a raised elephant trunk.

Sun is between the horizon and another massive cloud. These are high altitude clouds, probably cirrocumulus clouds.

Sun goes behind the clouds..

The cloud on the right has turned into a massive fish now.

 Closer look at the cloud.

This is actually a group of smaller clouds. Wind breaks apart the formation, smaller groups break away from the main group as the day progresses.


Nov 3, 2018

few shots from Basava Kalyana

September 2, 2018
We started our tour of Basava Kalyan from Anubhava Mantapa, the meeting place of Sharanas where spiritual and philosophical debates happened. Being situated away from the town, the place has plenty of greenery, fresh air and wildlife. The path from the hall to entrance is flanked by bushes and small trees, as we walked Pushpa spotted the swallowtails. I was lucky to get six shots in all, here are the two beauties caught resting on mango leaf and tamarind leaves.

A pink trumpet bud and flower. Though these flowers are not used for religious rituals, they are grown for their liveliness.

At Kalyana fort, we met this very friendly buffalo. Pushpa called her ba ba and lo, she started coming towards us. Our guide shooed it away back to its grazing place.

Again at Kalyana fort, while we are the top, I think near Rani Mahal we saw this white-black cow grazing in lush green grass.

At the summit, I saw this magnificent bird hovering around. Of the 15 shots, this is the closest and best. This reminds of the kite seen at Barid Shahi tombs at Bidar in Jan-2011.

Check out the botanical garden of Bidar- Deva Deva Vana.