Revolutionizing Awareness

helping humanity, make choices, more so through awareness, than ignorance

Posts Tagged ‘Shiva’

Magical Hampi – Blissfully lost in a time-warp

Posted by Admin on May 24, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/magical-hampi-blissfully-lost-in-a-time-warp-1331140839-slideshow/

Magical Hampi – Blissfully lost in a time-warp

Hampi, the medieval capital of the Vijayanagara Empire (14th to 16th century AD), is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its boulder-strewn hills, stunning jewel-box temples and the Tungabhadra River that runs among them make Hampi spectacular. Stories abound in every nook and corner, making this land of ancient legends a photographer’s playbook. The little town attracts tourists in droves, and the fact that almost everything is in ruins doesn’t seem to matter at all; in fact, it only adds to Hampi’s charisma. Strolling through the ancient markets and temples can throw you in a time-warp, says photographer, traveler and wildlife enthusiast RADHA RANGARAJAN as she shares these telling images that tempt you to clamber onto the roof of a bus and head to Hampi.

Photographer, traveler and wildlife enthusiast RADHA RANGARAJAN loves to wander, camera in tow. An aesthete, her forte is creative and offbeat compositions. Radha has presented her images in many forums and publications. Faces intrigue her and she loves to tell stories through her photographs. Birds, butterflies, leaves and shafts of light fuel her imagination. Besides nature and wildlife photography, she enjoys traveling and making images of people and places. Enjoy more of her work at her blog.

Hampi

The Virupaksha temple is one of the most recognized structures in Hampi. Located at the Hampi Bazaar, it has an iconic 160-foot tall ‘gopuram’ or tower at its entrance. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Though the city was destroyed in 1565, worship in the temple has persisted over the centuries.

Hampi

Hampi attracts a wide variety of people – backpackers, pilgrims, tourists, history enthusiasts, photographers… The locals add to this wonderful mix and what you get is a very intriguing array of faces. Sit on a step by the Hampi Bazaar or walk around the temples for some absorbing people-watching.

Hampi

An Indian Nightjar sits pretty by the side of the road. Hampi’s birdlife is very rich. Hoopoes, Sirkeer Malkohas, Indian Eagle Owls, Yellow Wattled Lapwings and Painted Spurfowls are some of the species one can sight in and around the town.

Hampi

A threatened species like the Yellow Throated Bulbul or our friendly neighborhood Green Bee Eater, they are all around. Matanga Hill is probably the best place to sight the very shy Yellow Throated Bulbuls. Watch out for groups of them flying from tree to tree, twittering all along.

Hampi

On an evening at Hampi, turn left into the narrow lane at the entrance of the Virupaksha temple. A short walk up Hemakuta hill sets you up to witness a memorable sunset.

Hampi

One of the best sunset spots in Hampi, Hemakuta Hill attracts a lot of people in the evening. Get there early, choose a good vantage point and settle down for an evening you won’t forget for a long time.

Hampi

The early bird gets the best sunrise! A steep climb up the Matanga Hill before the break of dawn can give you one of the best sunrise experiences of your life. With a rocky landscape on one side with a view of the Achyuta Raya temple and the river on the other side, the rising sun has a beautiful canvas to paint. It is advisable to take an experienced guide along if you want to walk up the hill before dawn.

Hampi

While the sun rises, the early morning mist fights a losing battle and eases away, revealing a breathtaking view of the hills on the far right of the Matanga hill. Green fields at the banks of the Tungabhadra River and a lone ‘mantapa’ on a rock complete this view.

Hampi

The ruins of the Achyuta Raya temple look so serene and beautiful that one can only wonder how grand the temple must have looked 500 years ago. It rests at the foot of the Matanga hill. This is the pillared ‘Mahamantapa’ and two of the three ‘Mahadwaras’ in the temple complex.

Hampi

A ‘Kalyana Mantapa’ – a marriage hall for the annual wedding ceremony of God and Goddess – is at the northwest corner of the Achyuta Raya temple. Beautiful stone carvings adorn stunning, tall pillars in the Mantapa. When light seeps through the hall, it is a sight to behold.

Hampi

Hampi

A market street, or what is also known as the courtesan’s street, leads to the Achyuta Raya temple. The ruins add to the serenity of the place. Also, the street and the temple are hidden snug behind Matanga hill and attract fewer tourists than the rest of the temples.

Hampi

Intricate stone carvings of mythical wars, pillars that create music when tapped, massive monolithic pillars and a huge temple yard – the Vijaya Vittala temple is an architectural extravaganza.

Hampi

Need souvenirs and gifts to remember Hampi? Wander around Hampi Bazaar and you are sure to find trinkets like these, mostly made by local artisans.

Hampi

Thanks to the iconic stone chariot the Vijaya Vittala temple is the most popular spot in Hampi. This chariot is the emblem of Karnataka Tourism. From the marks on the platform, where the wheels rest, it appears that the wheels were once free to move around the axis. It has and probably will always be the flag-bearer of Hampi’s relics.

Advertisements

Posted in Ancient Architecture, Hindu Empire, India Forgotten, Picturesque | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Magical Hampi – Blissfully lost in a time-warp

Chandrashila – In the arms of Shiva

Posted by Admin on May 24, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/chandrashila-in-the-arms-of-shiva-1329741657-slideshow/

Chandrashila – In the arms of Shiva

From Tunganath, the highest Shiva temple in India, a trail leads up the hill towards the peak of Chandrashila. On a clear day, this unique vantage point offers a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. This, truly, is Lord Shiva‘s kingdom. This is the second part of the slideshow about Tunganath by Travel Editor BIJOY VENUGOPAL

Chandrashila

The peak of Chandrashila, cloaked in fog on this autumn morning, looks out at a panorama of mountains. Chandrashila is 13,000 feet above sea level.

Tungnath temple

The Tungnath temple has withstood the continuous assault of the elements.

Bell at Tungnath temple

A bell rests against the stone wall of the temple.

Ganesha, Tungnath temple

A relief of Ganesha carved on the temple wall.

Weathered exterior of the …

Continuous exposure to wind, rain and snow has left scars.

Lodgers chat over tea

Shopkeepers and mule drivers make conversation outside the small snack shops, which double as lodges. Most have one or two tiny spare rooms, rented out for the night. Common toilets are available but they are terrifying.

Devloke Hotel

Our room at Devloke Hotel, with a view of the mighty mountains, was not uncomfortable. For safety and warmth, we tucked into our sleeping bags. At night, we heard rats on the roof. Our host Naveen assured us that they were harmless.

Sadhus at Tungnath

Two sadhus joined us at breakfast and began to smoke a chillum, after which the younger of them began to stare at the mist in silence. The elder sadhu proceeded to sew a tunic from a length of sack. They told us that they were on their way to Badrinath, 140 km away by road, on foot. When we expressed our surprise they told us about an old path through the forest that a few sadhus still frequent. We saw them seven days later on the road to Badrinath.

Akashkund at Tungnath

Inspired by the story, we decided to go looking for the trail. From Akashkund, believed to be a source of rivers, a stream meanders downhill towards Chopta.

A farmer's hut in Dug …

Along the trail we came across a simple farmer’s hut set in a forest glade beside a brook and with a cucumber vine bursting with bright yellow blossoms.

Curious Onlookers

There were no dangers along the way. We were told to watch out for Himalayan Black Bears but none came to meet us. However, a herd of grazing cows and buffaloes showed interest and we had to hurry on quickly.

The old pilgrim trail

We scouted the foothills of Chopta for the ancient pilgrim route. It was a footpath, and most of it was overgrown with vegetation. Yet, remnants of it were still to be seen at this meadow in Dugalbitta.

Cowdust hour

The pilgrim trail intersects the road at various points and through a lot of hard climbing we were able to return to Chopta to spend the night. From the trail we saw these cattle return home for night.

Sunset at Tungnath

We made haste and arrived at Tungnath to watch the sunset. The next day, we planned to explore the peak of Chandrashila.

Towards Chandrashila

Above Tungnath is a small rocky path leading to a peak called Chandrashila, about 13,000 feet above mean sea level. There are no trees here, only rocks and grassy meadows called bugyals.

View from the path to Cha …

The trail offered us fleeting glimpses of the snow-capped peaks of Kedarnath and Chaukhamba but the mist quickly veiled them.

Himalayan Monal pheasant

We saw a shape move in the dim light of early dawn. It’s a Monal pheasant, the state bird of Uttarakhand. When it steps into the sun we see its colors — dazzling violet-blue, green and orange. It surely stole the peacock’s thunder.

View of mountains from the …

Chandrashila

We climbed for nearly 40 minutes, catching our breath every now and then. Finally, a rusted, wind-battered signboard announced our destination.

Chaukhamba from Chandrash …

For an instant, the mist cleared and we were offered the breathtaking view of Chaukhamba, its four snow-capped crowns gleaming in the morning sun.

Cairns and prayer stones

Exploring the peak, we came upon stacks of stones arranged in cairns. Someone was already here, and praying hard.

Meditating for mind contr …

Ahead of us, on the edge of a cliff, a South Korean gentleman aged about 50 meditated on the morning sun. He was shirtless in temperatures that hovered around zero degrees Celsius. Small huddles of chrysanthemum flowers adorned the cairns.

Cleaning up the mountain

Nearby, his companion collected plastic bags and trash left behind by other tourists. The men said they were here to practice mind control. Every morning, they would climb up to Chandrashila before dawn and wait for sunrise. We were moved beyond words. As we watched, more tourists came by, chatting loudly. One of them was eating a bar of chocolate. He suddenly discovered that his cell phone had received a signal and jubilantly announced it to his two friends. They shouted and laughed for a few moments and then the first chap crushed his chocolate wrapper and dropped it on the ground. As we watched them with embarrassment, the Koreans smiled at us and continued cleaning up the peak.

Posted in Ancient Architecture, Hindu Empire, India Forgotten, Picturesque | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Chandrashila – In the arms of Shiva

Tungnath – The Kingdom of Lord Shiva

Posted by Admin on May 24, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/tungnath-the-kingdom-of-lord-shiva-1329732700-slideshow/

Tungnath – The Kingdom of Lord Shiva

Tungnath, at 12,073 above mean sea level, is the highest Shiva temple in the world, discounting perhaps the Amarnath Cave shrine near Srinagar, Kashmir, which is situated at an altitude of 12,756 feet. Tungnath is second in importance among the five mountain shrines collectively known as the Panch Kedar. The temple opens for worship after winter snows melt in June and remains open until late October when snowfall cuts off access to the temple. At this time the deity is moved ceremoniously to the Ukhimath, thousands of feet below. Besides its majestic location against a backdrop of cliffs, peaks and snow-clad mountains, Tungnath is also popular with trekkers, who make it a point to witness the sunrise from Chandrashila, a nearby peak at 13,123 feet. To reach Tungnath from Delhi, drive or take an overnight train/ bus to Rishikesh (236 km) and drive/ take a bus to Ukhimath (170 km/ 6 hours). Halt overnight and catch the morning bus for Chopta (17 km/ 1 hour), a roadhead at 9,500 feet. Tungnath is a 4-km trek from here. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun (258 km). This is the first of a two-part series on Tungnath by Travel Editor BIJOY VENUGOPAL

Note from the Admin : – To The Great Lord of all The Lords.

Tungnath Temple Uttarakha …

Tungnath, a stately and serene temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the second of the five Kedars, the others being Kedarnath, Madhyamaheshwar, Kalpeshwar and Rudranath. The legend behind the temples is rooted in the Mahabharata. It is said that the Pandavas, after the Great War at Kurukshetra, wished to atone for the sins of fratricide and the killing of Brahmins. They were directed to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. The Lord, however, was in no mood to pardon them as he was angry at the magnitude of their sins. Taking the form of a bull, the Lord hid from the Pandavas at Guptkashi in the Garhwal Himalaya.

Steeped in mythology

The Pandavas caught up with Shiva. Bhima, the second of the brothers, spied a large bull grazing and recognized it as Shiva. He grabbed the bull by its tail and hind legs, but it disappeared into the ground. Later, various parts of the bull reappeared at different locations in the Himalaya.

In the "arms" of …

The sacred bull’s hump appeared in Kedarnath, the arms at Tungnath, the navel and stomach at Madhyamaheshwar, the face at Rudranath and the hair and head at Kalpeshwar. In gratitude, the Pandavas, who were then in the Himalayas en route to their passage to heaven, built temples at each of these locations. It is also believed that some of the bull’s fore portions materialized at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The velley of Ukhimath

Terraced fields overlook the valley at Ukhimath. The seat of the Omkareshwara Temple, this town is where the idol of Tungnath is worshipped after winter snowfall renders the mountains inaccessible. On clear days the town offers a breathtaking view of the snowcapped Kedarnath peak. The Mandakini River, a tributary of the Ganga, roars in the valley below. Eventually, it joins the Alakananda at Rudraprayag.

Chaukhamba from Ukhimath

A short drive from Ukhimath is Deoriya Tal, a picturesque mountain lake surrounded by forests of oak and chir pine. A heart-stopping view of the four-pronged peak, Chaukhamba, is reflected in the placid waters of the lake. To get to the lake, which occupies a small plateau at about 8,000 feet, trekkers must walk a 2-km uphill trail from Sari.

Waterfall near Ukhimath

A picturesque waterfall by the roadside near Ukhimath. Some parts of the road to Sari, a village from where the trek to Deoriya Tal begins, have been taken over by streams and waterfalls. In the monsoon, parts of the road may be washed off completely. Landslides and mudslides also block traffic.

The road to Gopeshwar

Before motorable roads made these hill shrines accessible within a day from Haridwar, pilgrims traveled on foot from the roadhead at Rudraprayag. Tired of many years of the government turning a deaf ear to their demands for a motorable road, the people of the region went on a hunger strike. The move paid off. Buses were introduced to connect Rudraprayag with the district headquarters at Gopeshwar through Chopta, a picturesque route that skirts the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary where the five temples are located. As a reminder of the protest, these buses are inscribed with the legend “Bhookh Hartal”, Hindi for Hunger Strike.

Shack in Chopta

After visiting Deoriya Tal the previous day, we reached Chopta by the “Bhook Hartal” bus from Ukhimath. The tiny hillside village was cloaked in mist and we were hungry. Unable to see much further we followed our noses to a shack where parathas and instant noodles were cooking. The sign on the modest little eatery promised lots more, but we made do with warmth and passable food.

Bhotia dog in Chopta

It looks quiet and peaceful in Chopta but one look at this sleeping Bhotia dog told us another story. Notice the spiked metal collar around its neck – this is intended to prevent leopards from killing it. Leopards are opportunistic hunters and frequently prey on dogs with a bite to the throat. The tough metal collars may be uncomfortable for the dogs but its spiky edges have protected them from many a marauding leopard.

The trail to Tungnath

Misty mountains tower over Chopta. After breakfast, we begin the 4 km-climb to Tungnath. The paved trail winds through a tract of dense forest interspersed with alpine meadows, known as bugyals in the Garhwali dialect. Ahead of us, walking in leather slippers and a thin saffron robe was a sadhu. How he defended himself against the punishing elements we do not know. But then again, centuries ago a young saint from Kerala, Adi Sankara, walked these very paths.

Pathway on the mountain

Through veils of mist we looked back at the road we had travelled. The oak trees wore shaggy coats of moss and fern. In the peak of winter, the trees will be bare.

Deodar trees

Only the hardy, fragrant deodar trees will resist the snow. Their leaves are modified into hard, tough needles and their barks secrete resin that prevents the snow from freezing the sap.

Tea shop on the trail

It is the end of the season and most of the shops are deserted, but one teashop offers piping hot ginger chai. It is still early in the morning. As we stood there catching our breath and sipping tea, a red fox appeared out of the hillside and slunk away into the forest before we could bring out our cameras.

Never run out of gas

Most tourists choose to ride mules to the top but a few nature buffs, like us, prefer to walk the entire distance. However, people like this porter transporting a gas cylinder on his back have no choice.

Temple bells, Tungnath

Finally, we hear bells peal in the distance. And we see the spire of the temple poke out over a sea of mist.

Milestone, Tungnath

A milestone informs us that we have reached our destination.

Main street, Tungnath

Here in the main street leading up to the temple, time takes a backseat. It’s like being back in the Stone Age. The huts have roofs of solid slate, weighed down with rocks. Only the waterproof plastic sheets are a reminder of modern times.

Ruined huts, Tungnath

The ruins of shepherds’ huts and old lodges line the main street. Most are uninhabited.

Shops near Tungnath

Shops selling materials for puja do brisk business. The flowers, coconuts and incense are brought on muleback from Chopta, where they have arrived after a long journey from the plains.

Tungnath - Priest's c …

The priest’s chair is placed invitingly outside the temple but we choose to sit on the cool stones in the small courtyard. The priests of the Tungnath temple are local Brahmins from the village of Maku, a few thousand feet below. In all the other Kedar temples, including Kedarnath, the priests are from Udupi or Kerala, a tradition dating back to Adi Sankara’s reforms.

Posted in Ancient Architecture, Hindu Empire, India Forgotten, Picturesque | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tungnath – The Kingdom of Lord Shiva

The Sun Temple of Modhera

Posted by Admin on May 20, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/the-sun-temple-of-modhera-slideshow/

The Sun Temple of Modhera

The Sun Temple in Modhera, Gujarat was built in the early 11th century by King Bhimdev, in dedication to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. The temple’s magnificent exterior is intricately carved, and designed in such a way that the sun’s rays illuminate the temple’s sanctum at dawn during the equinoxes. Besides the sanctum, the temple has a pradakshina patha and a sabha mandap, as well as a Surya Kund, a massive tank with stunning miniature shrines that adorn its steps. Yahoo! reader DHARTI PATEL, a student of sculpture and art of Gujarat, shares her experience as she visits the temple of Surya.

Note from Admin : – Behold the grandeur, grandness, magnanimity, intricacy, harmonious and holistic architecture and structural materialisation of this revered and renowned architectural masterpiece dedicated to the Higher Forces of Consciousness shaping Our World perpetually.

sun temple

Temple & Kunda: The Sun Temple at Modhera’s dates back to early 11th century CE and was built by King Bhimdev I in 1026 CE.

sun temple

Sabha Mandap View South West: The mandapa as usual is peristylar with an octagonal nave covered by a splendidly carved dome.

sun temple

Sabha Mandap: This hall of religious gatherings is a magnificent pillared hall. It is open from all sides and has 52 intricately carved pillars representing 52 weeks in a year. The carvings depict episodes from the Hindu epics of Ramayan, Mahabharat and Krishna Lila (i.e., story of Lord Krishna).

sun temple

Toran:Two huge ornamental arches called Torans form a gateway to the Sabha Mandap.

sun temple

View of the Toran, north to south.

sun temple

Front view of the Toran.

sun temple

The exterior of the temple walls have 12 different postures of Aditya, the Sun God, along with eight Dikpals.

sun temple

The eight Dikpalas are the Guardians of Direction, guarding specific directions of space. They are traditionally represented on the walls and ceilings of Hindu temples.

sun temple

The inner half occupies the Garbhagriha and the front one the mandapa (hall). The sanctum sanctorum is 11 feet square inside. Between the outer walls of the sanctum sanctorum and that of the temple is the pradakshina marg (the circumambulatory passage). This passage was roofed with flat slabs laid across and carved with rosettes on the undersides and above this, rose the sikhara.

sun temple

The exterior of the sanctum has many carved images of the Sun God, portrayed as wearing Irani Style Tiara, Long Shoes and Jeweled Belt.

sun temple

The god Surya portrayed here with with seven horses.

sun temple

Lord Vishwakarma – who constructed the golden Dwarka city for Shri Krishna.

sun temple

Goddess Parvati with an apsara.

sun temple

Goddess Parvati with dancing Shiva.

sun temple

The Surya-kunda, also known as Rama-kunda is rectangular, and measures 176 feet north to south, by 120 feet east to west.

sun temple

The Suryakund is a fine example of geometry and pattern art. It has108 miniature shrines carved between the steps inside the tank.

sun temple

There are many terraces and steps leading to the water level. On its sides and corners are various small shrines with the images of gods and goddesses.

sun temple

The missing Toran Arch: Outside this sabha-mandapa are two pillars of a toran from which the arch is missing. From the toran a flight of steps leads down to the kunda.

sun temple

In viewing the Modhera temple as a whole the aesthetic sense at once responds to the elegance of its proportions, the entire composition being lit with the living flame of inspiration. But apart from its material beauty, its designer has succeeded in communicating to it an atmosphere of spiritual grace. The temple faces the east to that the rising sun at the equinoxes filters in a golden cadence through its openings, from door way to corridor, past columned vestibules finally to fall on the image in its innermost chamber.

 

Posted in Ancient Architecture, India Forgotten, Picturesque | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Sun Temple of Modhera

Halebeedu – the crown jewel of Hoysala temples

Posted by Admin on May 5, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/halebeedu-the-crown-jewel-of-hoysala-temples-slideshow/halebeedu-photo-1336120076.html

Note from Admin : – Behold the remnants of a civilization vastly superior to any of the western nests of plague found today. Try matching the depth and details provided in the Architecture of theses buildings in any of your past and modern civilizations. Observe the sanctity of theses places, their sacredness, solemnity, peace and quiet. No occult and perverted rituals and blood sacrifices to some abstract gods like in your western secret societies and no abuse of victims be they children or women. Just sacred gathering of people to adore and garner prayers upon and request humbly of provisions of grace and blessings from magnificent beings of Light from the Higher dimensions. True Gods they be not Ets posing as Gods like in your Holy Bible and other ancient scriptures. The beings we worship are beings of pure consciousness.

The energetic vibrations associated here are harmonious to the Tree and Sacred Flower of Life. It accentuates the incoming rays of the Great Central Sun itself aiding the believer in the individual Ascension process.

  Behold the glory and multitude and vastness and continence, unwavering over several millennia and yugas of my glorious motherland, her beauty and traditions rooted in the ancient cultures of her unfathomable and legendary past you worthless wretched disgusting Caucasian vermin.

You bring desolation and unwarranted destruction with wanton disregard for her Godliness. You try and destroy my proud nation with your jeans, disgusting coffee, McDonald shit junk food, multi national corporations for all types of goods and services founded in your filthy western nations based on unethical and moral disregard for human values and ever cringing for more profit and insatiable greed, ridiculous and shallow cosmetic products, base disgusting music, songs and hip hop pop rock culture along with forcing us to learn your version of history in our education books and forever holding us guilty to your white man’s burden. Yeah right! It truly has always been the coloured man’s burden.

I will not tolerate or put up with this any longer. I will not let my country be one of your playgrounds anymore.

One more thing, you think you have those disgusting looking three sided or four sided hideous pyramids numbering 86,000 around the world, all so remnant of a signature of overdrive for power by the Atlanteans and the Orion factions.

Guess what, we have 86,000 temples in India alone, discounting the ones in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar(Burma), Java, Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines. Not to mention the fact that it was and still belongs to the more massive and submerged continent of a bygone era –  Australia is our land and our remnants there the Aborigines were butchered and are now near extinction, ruled by whites who were sentenced to it as convicts of a penal colony of the British Empire and whose descendants are exactly what their forefathers were and will always be.

There are plenty of holes into the crust of the Earth below temple foundations in India and Sri Lanka which lead to very ancient underground caverns and subterranean cavities inhabited by all sorts of reptilian races and beings of a semi advanced nature. They are not too violent or too spiritual and they don’t like to be disturbed.

How many times have you heard of them coming to the surface abusing and raping us in the middle of the night or conducting experiments on us or even eating us? Not much not because it isn’t recorded or documented but because we each know how to treat one another and give and take respect. We don’t disturb them and they don’t trouble us. Simple. Also we do not propagate hate and violence in our daily life like how you do all the time in your parts of the world.

So they are not drawn to positivity which we maintain very well on the surface. Where there is violence there they are being given an open ticket of entrance. Also we do not secretly or morbidly worship any of them in our temples, all those photos where you see snakes, those are the good ones and allegorical in nature than literary. So we don’t call out to them secretly to come up and perform sick twisted rituals through our bodies on infants and virgin girls.

What? Is it too hard to comprehend that there are good reptilians as well. The ones with honour and dignity just as much as any well natured and good human being.

Think about my ramblings…

One more thing…when we pray to our Gods we ask them to put up wards in all places where we live so that the nether world beings do not infringe on our privacy.

The name Halebeedu means ruined city, a coinage that took effect after the capital of the Hoysala empire was sacked by the Mughal sultanate twice. Its original name was Dwarasamudra and the temple here is considered the crowning glory of Hoysala architecture.

Enjoy this photo-essay by ANANTH V RAO

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
ANANTH V RAO is an engineer by profession and a hobbyist photographer with a passion for picturing architectural grandeur as well as nature and wildlife. He was born and brought up in Hassan, Karnataka, a place known for its culture and heritage. He lives in Bangalore.

Halebeedu

Known as Dwarasamudra in the 12th and 13th centuries, Halebeedu was the capital of Hoysala Empire. It is situated at a distance of about 30 kms from Hassan, Karnataka. The name Dwarasamudra (Dwara = Entrance, Samudra = Sea) came due to the presence of a lake constructed beside the Hoysaleshwara temple, which resembled the sea. It then changed to Halebeedu (ruined city) after it was laid to ruin by the Moghul sultanate twice. The Halebeedu temple is considered as the ultimate work of Hoysalas and it took more than a century to complete building.

Halebeedu

Halebeedu temple comprises of two shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleshwara are the two deities in this temple.

Halebeedu

The segment that joins the Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleshwara shrines.

Halebeedu

There are eight friezes on the temple walls. Each carries an array of decorations. The lowest frieze depicts charging elephants, which symbolize strength and stability. Above them, in order, are friezes with lions, which symbolize courage, floral scrolls as decoration, horses for speed, another band of floral scrolls, depiction of Hindu epics, Makara (beasts) and finally a frieze with hamsas (swans). No two animals are alike in a total frieze span of over 200 m.

Halebeedu

The plinth and the temple is built in the form of Sri Chakra (star shape), a characteristic feature of Hoysala architecture. Sri Chakra is considered most auspicious in Hindu religion.

Halebeedu

The walls of the temple consist of carvings of different deities of Hindu mythology as well as stories from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas.

Halebeedu

This is Varaha (the boar), the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Varaha saved mother earth from the demon Hiranyakasha.

Halebeedu

Govardhana Giridhari – Lord Krishna holding up Govardhana mountain to protect his village Gokula from the torrential rains caused by Lord Indra. The people and cattle can be seen seeking shelter beneath the mountain. The carvings are so intricate that one can see monkeys, hunters, tigers and a lizard in the mountain above Lord Krishna.

HalebeeduGajasura Mardana. Lord Shiva, as Gajasura Mardana, is slaying Gajasura, the elephant demon by ripping him off from inside out. Observe the two legs and tail of the demon above Shiva’s head.

HalebeeduNataraja Shiva, the king of dance. It is believed that Shiva as Nataraja performs this thandava in order to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for Brahma to begin the process of creation. Observe the snake making way through the ear of the skull and exiting through the eye socket to the right of Shiva.

Halebeedu

Uma Maheshwara. Shiva in a calm state with his consort Parvathi in his lap. A mongoose sits beneath Parvathi as her mount.

Halebeedu

Mahishasura Mardini is one of the furious forms of Goddess Parvathi. Mahishasura Mardini slew the buffalo demon, Mahishasura, after nine long days of fighting. This is celebrated as Mahanavami or Ayudha Pooja in southern India.

Halebeedu

Makara is a mythical creature, the front portion of which is in the form of an elephant or crocodile, and the hind portion is in the form of a peacock’s tail. Makara is the steed of Goddess Ganga, as well as of the sea god Varuna.

Halebeedu

A play of light and shadow in the temple precincts.

Halebeedu

A visitor standing amidst the hand-lathed filigreed pillars of Halebeedu temple admires the intricate carvings on the walls.

Halebeedu

Lord Hoysaleshwara. Halebeedu temple is among the Hoysala temples where regular worship is held.

 

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Halebeedu – the crown jewel of Hoysala temples

The beautiful temples of Bali

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos–the-beautiful-temples-of-bali.html?page=all

The Indonesian island of Bali is home to the majority of the country’s Hindus. Balinese Hinduism is characterized by the worship of the supreme god Acintya, along with the trinity in Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The art and ritual of the Balinese Hindus trace back to influences from the 4th century when Hinduism reached the island’s shores. Balinese temples are ornate, beautiful and situated in visually stunning locales. LAKSHMI SHARATH traipses through Bali and returns with these breathtaking picture postcards.

By Lakshmi Sharath | Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – Tue 24 Jan, 2012 2:16 PM IST

A roadside temple in Bali
Roadside Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH
If you think India has many shrines, think again. In Bali, Indonesia’s Hindu island, there are temples everywhere – in streets, atop mountains, clinging to cliffs, on the seashore, and in the courtyard of every home.

Devotees at the Mother Besakih temple
Balinese Hindus at the Mother Besakih Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The Mother Besakih temple is one of the most important temples in Bali. It is located atop Mount Agung. It is not just one shrine but a cluster of 20 temples overlooking the villages and the green slopes of the mountain. Balinese believe that the good spirits along with their deities reside here and the shrines resemble houses built for them.

Goa Gajah
Goa Gajah temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Goa, I learned, is pronounced “Guha” as in many Indian languages. It refers to a 1,000-year-old cave excavated here that houses the Hindu trinity of gods and Ganesha, whom the Balinese know as “Gajah” (as in elephant). The 11th century site, called Lwa Gajah, was not discovered until the 1950s and was believed to be a sanctuary of a Buddhist monk. Carved images of the Buddha and smaller shrines and a step-well dot the green landscape here.

Uluwatu
Pura Uluwatu is one of Bali’s most spectacular temples © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Bali’s shrines are often located in the most exotic landscapes. This is Pura Uluwatu right atop the cliff. The scenery is breathtaking as you climb uphill through a small forested area patrolled by boisterous monkeys.

Bali’s royal shrine
Royal shrine in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Pura Taman Ayun, literally “beautiful garden”, is the shrine of the royalty in Bali. Built in the 17th century, this temple in Mengwi, south Bali, is believed to house the ancestors of the royal dynasty and their family deities.

Puppets galore
Puppets in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The sounds of performances fill the air as you walk into any of these temples. Wayang or shadow puppetry, the Kecak or fire-dance, and various other local dances like Barong, Legong and Pendet are some of the art forms to experience while you visit these shrines.

Sunset at Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

No trip is complete without a glimpse of the spectacular sunset in Tanah Lot temple, a tourist magnet located on a rocky oceanic island. The 15th century shrine, dedicated to the sea spirits, was built under the direction of a priest and is believed to be guarded by snakes.

Lakshmi Sharath is a media professional, traveler, travel-writer, photographer and blogger.

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The beautiful temples of Bali