Thursday, September 24, 2009

SRS Betta

Rajesh, Girish and I had been here the same day we visited Thenginkalbetta.








A natural spring atop the hill ...I wonder how water accumulates this high up the hill.




This is the second spring ...in the cave like formation of rocks on the top.




We had a good time here and then back down we had a solid breakfast of idli and kadle-bele vade and proceeded to Thenginkalbetta.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shravanabelagola on New Years Eve 2008

Durga, Deepi, Gulli and I.

Just before Shravanabelagola, we stopped at aalada mane. We tried explaining how jaggery was made from sugarcane.

We parked the car close to Vindhtagiri and started our climb...



...Durga and I were the first to reach the top. We explored the ruins and the temple.













We spent lot of time sitting in front of Lord Bahubali ...admiring the beauty of the statue and families performing pooja.





A group of school children were being told the story behind the statue ...it seems it was made at Karkala and brought here. I remember the teacher explaining pretty well but it did not register in my memory. Some of the kids at the back were distracted... when I was shooting the little pits on the floor. My guess is that this was used for playing some kind of game.



One cannot help admiring the skill which created this wonderful art work. The curly hair is so evenly spaced.





I wonder what skill the artist possessed to create this extremely complex floral design in stone.



We decided to head down, all of us were hungry. We found a place which served home made Jain food. Lucky we found this place or we would have ended up eating at some restaurant who would have served God knows what.

Next we went straight to Chandragiri and went up the hill ...



Deepi found a cool spot in one of the temples for his siesta. I left these guys here exploring the 16 odd Bastis.













It was pretty warm ...Deepak and Gulli found another spot to rest their tired legs.



Most people like to slide down the rock here. It took us 10 minutes to get Durga join Deepi and Gulli slide down the rock. Gulli and Deepi went up for another ride!



On our way back home, we stopped at a dhaba for dinner ...food was not so good but we did not have much choice there. We reached home just before mid-night.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lepaksi revisited

Dec 26 2008

This was my third visit to Lepaksi. The last one was in 2002 with Dad and Praveen. This time I was with Durga, Mom and Deepi. We left early but the journey was slow because of ongoing road work. Breakfast was on the go and Durga kept us busy with her games and riddles. One of her questions ask "what is green outside and yellow inside and has thorns" and I replied back jack-fruit. One of my question was "what is yellow outside and white inside" and she was struggling ...I gave her a hint as we passed by a shop with bunch banana hanging but that did not help her. Instead Deepi told her the answer.

The 22km drive from the NH7 to Lepaksi brought back lot of memories about Dad. During our visit -his last visit- he had given some money to a small Shiva temple. He was a staunch Shiva-bhakta.

We stopped to see the Nandi first...





At the temple, we paid respect to the Gods inside and then our guide showed us around starting with how the name 'Lepaksi' came into existence as a result of an incident from Ramayana. Then he told us many stories about around the temple ...I can't recall all the things he told.



This is the corridor from the temple entrance to the front-left corner



and this is the left side corridor. The temple is situated on rock and hence elevated from the ground level.



This is one of the five Shivalingas within this temple.



That's Deepi next to the natural spring shaped like a human foot. It's supposed to be a foot print from one of the mythological stories ...I think it's Hanuman's foot-print.



According to our guides, these circular shallow pits are supposed to be lunch plates used by the artists but the 've also heard that these were the palettes used to mix vegetable colors for paintings made on the ceiling.



Its evident that the temple construction was abandoned before the completion. In the background is the Kalyan Mantap which has 60+ pillars with unique designs which are used for Sari borders.



This is another view of the Kalyan Mantap.



Art-lovers could spend hours studying these lovely creations ...every pillar is unique with all types of creatures.



We spent lot of time taking pictures and studying the temple construction. By 1pm it was very warm and Durga was hungry and we decided to head back ...stopped at a dhaba for lunch near Devanahalli and stopped by to take a picture of Devanahalli Fort.



We were back home before sunset.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Davangere and Shamnur

The trip was planned the day I met Uncle at my cousin's wedding at Bangalore. I left home at 5:05 and caught the bus to Hubli station at Dasankoppa Circle. At the station I could see few people wearing masks to protect themselves from Swine Flu. The train left on time and also arrived at Davangere on time. Went straight to Dr.Nagaraj uncle's place and freshened up. My cousin Lekha & kids came. And then after a short while uncle and his colleague Dr.Nagappa came. We went to Rasmi Residential School for girls where Dr.Nagappa hoisted the National Flag and gave a short speech on importance of discipline ...a short but a very meaningful speech it was. Then was program for kids to show their talents; speech in Kannada, Hindi & English, group songs, dances, mono-acting ...it went for almost an hour. The girls performed pretty good.





We headed back to uncle's house, stopped for a benne dose on the way. At the house, we bid bye to Dr.Nagappa and then left to an aunt's place where we had lunch and slept off. Evening over tea uncle and my 3 aunts told me about the good old days when they were kids. It was time for me to go to Shamnur, my grandfather's place. Outside, it was time for these kids to play after a nice after-lunch sleep. The little fellow in blue tee is my nephew and the rest are his friends.



I went to Shamnur village, now it's a part of Davangere city. I had to wait for few minutes for my cousin to come ...meanwhile I met Siddesh who showed me the 'Buddha' temple. I told him it was Mahaveera. The statue is definitely ancient and people have maintained it well ...except for the glazed tiles :( This little temple is right next to my uncle Basavaraj's house.







Shivu, my cousin, and I went to Hanuman temple. On the way I found this stone inscription. I've seen such stones in many other places too ...like the ones at Thenginkalbetta and near Savandurga.





My next point on my agenda was to see Neelamma Bindapla alias Neelajji. She's my grandfather Dr. B Siddappa's eldest brother's wife. She's the only surviving member of that generation and she's supposed to be 105 years old. There are no records to prove her age but she definitely looks 100+. She can see, hear and speak well but her memory is not so good. It seems she was very strong woman in her younger days.



That evening I had dinner at one more aunt's place and retired pretty early since we had planned to go for a morning walk at Kunduwada lake. As a kid I never liked Davangere because of it's dry weather and lack of greenery. However the place has changed and it's much more greener. Uncle and I walked around the lake ...the place is pretty interesting we could spot few water birds which migrate to this place during this season.








This stone caught my attention. Uncle explained that it's called 'tugu'. The stone supports the ball-valve mechanism to control the out-flow of water. Water from this lake is used for irrigating agricultural lands and also drinking water for a part of Davangere. Uncle said that some of the dried up wells have revived because of this lake.





That's Kere Choudeswari temple and the young man in the picture is the archaka. It seems his grandfather installed the image and worshiped it many years ago and local people helped build the temple we see now.





The hill seen in the picture below is Bathi hill, that's where our home deity is.



The walk built up a good appetite and we headed to another aunt's place where we had churmari ...a satisfying breakfast. And it was time for me to pack up and catch my train back to Dharwad. On the way to the station uncle told me the story of why donkeys make sound the way they do. It was a very funny one. I'll share that story some other time.

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