Dec 16, 2017

Sasivekalu Ganesha, Hampi

August 14, 2017

The name "Sasivekalu Ganesha" means mustard seed Ganesha. The name is associated to Ganesha's round shaped belly which is as round as a mustard seed. This east facing monolithic statue is situated on the southern slope of Hemakuta hill.

Sasivekalu Ganesha's chubby form is treat for eyes. He is attired with a crown and simple jewelry. In his hands he's holding a modak, broken tusk, a goad and a noose. Around his waist is a tied tightly serpent. According to legends, Ganesha once consumed lot of food, as a result his stomach was on the verge of bursting. To prevent tummy burst, Ganesha tied a serpent around his waist.

Sasivekalu Ganesha sits on a pedestal inside a simple Mantapa. It's height is around 8 feet. According to inscriptions, this monument was built in 1506 AD in memory of Vijayanagara king Narasimha II who had ruled between 1491-1505 CE.

The 16 pillared Mantapa. The mantapa's pedestal, columns, beams and roof are dressed granite blocks. The mantapa's crown is brick and mortar work in Indo Saracenic style.

Simple but beautiful creation.

The side views..

..and the rear side. Wikipedi page on Sasivekalu Ganesha mentions that Ganesha is sitting on Parvati's lap and that can be made out only in the rear view.

Notice the patches of plaster on the columns. So the mantapa's columns were originally covered in plaster and probably painted too. Over time, the plaster has fallen off.

Patches of plaster can be seen in this view too.

From the Sasivekalu pavilion a flight of steps carved into the rock leads to a gateway.

Mantapa and Ganesha as seen from the steps.

Somewhere near the steps is a granite block with an image of reclining Vishnu.

On the south-eastern face of Hemakuta hill is a bigger idol of Ganesha known as Kadalekalu Ganesha also sheltered in a mantapa.

Dec 9, 2017

Elephant Stables, Hampi

August 13, 2017
Anyone visiting Hampi can't miss elephant stables, one of the best preserved monuments. These building is adjoining the Zenana Enclosure. This long building has 10 domes and a central tower. Probably the central tower was also capped by a dome however it's bare now. Technically this is a 3 storey building.

In plan, the building is  approximately 272' long and 35' wide. In elevation, the overall height is approximately 50 feet. There are eleven stables, each stable has an arched doorway. The eleven arches are complimented by niches.

The building architecture is Indo Saracenic. There are two types of domes- ribbed and stepped.

The central hall was obviously meant for men, probably the chief stable keeper's office.

A closer look at the central hall. Its like a building on a building. Had the dome survived the test of time, the building would have been in its original look.

View of the central tower from the ground below. Wondering why those projecting beams.

One of the arches. The outer wall is approximately 7 feet thick. That's required of an elephant stable withstand the beasts forces.

This is an example of an inner dome. The royal standards applied to stable as well. After all, oxen, horses and elephants were treated like family members in Hindu culture. Wondering if an elephant ever knew the difference between a plain and a design filled domes. So, pet pampering has an history.

Stable interior. If I remember correctly, two stables have man sized doorways on the rear wall.

The stables are connected by man-sized passages 

The dim interior keeps the heat away. That's Nilesh, our friend from Pune.

Close to the Zenana enclosure and Archaeology office are these two pillars ..7' to 8' high. These might have been used to tie elephants. There could be other purposes too.

Right besides the elephant stables is another long building- the Guards' Quarters.

Dec 6, 2017

view of Almatti waters from Kolhar bridge

August 18, 2017
The road from Dharwad to Bijapur goes across river Krishna, where Almatti reservoir backwaters can be seen submerging village and farm lands. Here are few pictures of coconut trees and fields in water.

The bridge near Kolhar village is named after it. Its one of the longest bridges spanning approximately 3.2 kilometers.

At the edge of the water are standing sugarcane. No worry of watering them ..however there will be challenges during harvest time if the water remains at this level.


Dec 2, 2017

Guddada Siddeshwara Devalaya, Bilagi

August 18, 2017
Plan for the day was to leave Dharwad morning, reach Bijapur afternoon and visits some historical spots of Bijapur. I'd heard of Bilagi, since it was on the way, we decided to visit the ancient temple dedicated to Siddeshwara. The temple is situated in a cleft on the slope of a hill. The distance between Bilagi cross (on Hubli-Bijapur road) and Siddeshwara Devalaya is about 5 kilometers., the road passes through Bilagi town.

The ambiance in and around the temple is peaceful except during Amavasya and Jaatre when the place is crowded. So, this is the temple entrance. This temple seems to be renovated recently, may be 30 years ago.

The gateway to the temple enclosure. On two sides of the enclosure are sheltered platforms for visitors to rest or camp overnight.

Plants and trees welcome visitors here. Summer days are warm here, the trees help cool down and also reduce the glare. In this enclosure are two main temples. This one is dedicated to Sri Siddeshwara, a form of Lord Shiva.

The temple has two doors facing east and north. The temple itself is east facing. The design is architecture is Chalukyan. The Sabha Mantapa has four pillars in the center, where Basavaana sits facing his lord inside the Garbhagudi. Notice the stone screen separating the Sabha Mantap and Garbhagudi.

Basavanna and the deity. Pushpa beating the drum gently ..boom boom.

The other temple ..can't remember to which god this is dedicated to. It is said that in this complex there are shrines dedicated to gods namely Parvati Devi, Veerabhadreshwara, Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara, Banashankari and Mela Siddappa.

View of the gateway from the temple. Visitors can sit in peace and feel relaxed.

 Ancient sculptures.. Nandi and Parvatidevi?

Just outside the temple is this rock face. A cavern at the top, its mouth was blocked with thorns, probably to prevent people venturing into it.

 The slope has been excavated to create flat ground to accommodate people during fairs. Its amazing to see the layers of rock, thickness is uniform throughout.

On the opposite slope are two more shrines which we did not visit. I'm guessing the one with the big Basavanna is dedicated to another form of Shiva. During rains the place would be amazing with torrents cascading down the rocky slopes. Wish people had planted more trees on these slopes, they would help retain water.

It was almost 1-PM, we moved on to move on. While researching, I learnt there's a well in Bilagi town named "Aarettina Baavi" which translates to "Six Bull Well." It would have been interesting to see the well ..perhaps some other time.