Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Twin Temples of Mosale

To commemorate our Foundation Day of Canadia Trust on December 08, 2012, we planned a one day trip to Mosale - A Hoysala Architecture site. 

Mosale is about 10 km from Hassan. Here two small temples are found lying side by side, equal in design and execution, forming a perfect twin. Both temples are complete, and notably their superstructures show fine sculpture. It was built about 1200 AD and today it is found at the northern edge of the small village, in a nice rural setting. 

Twin temples of Mosale seen from the East end

Pillar design

Nagesvara temple 

Twin temple from the southern end

Twin Temples from the South-Western end

From the South-East corner

Carvings on the wall of the Chennakesava temple

Carvings on the walls of the temples
Both temples are of a simple plan, they consist of a shrine with nose, a closed hall and a porch. The southern one is Saiva and named Nagesvara, the northern one is Vaisnava and named Chennakesava. The temples are identical and aligned, and so it is possible to consider them as dvikuta, as an ensemble with two shrines. Because both shrines have a tower, the pair offers a very fine view. 

Happy kid's face amidst the carvings 

Gopura of the Nagesvara temple

Sculptures on the Chennakesava temple

Sculptures carved on the walls

Carvings on the walls
The shrines are of a simple design, square with three projections per side. Their superstructures are a marvel, because they are complete and because their decoration is so successful. The two beautiful kalasas and the two beautiful Hoysala crests are the most striking, but also all architectural parts below them deserve attention, because the traditional decorations are so fine and undamaged. The same holds for the superstructures of the halls and the porches. These consist of a row of topping miniature roofs above heavy eaves, and are perfectly decorated and preserved. 

The interior of both temples is fine. In the cella of the Nagesvara-temple there is a linga and in the cella of Chennakesava temple there is a cult-image of Kesava. 

One of the pillars inside the Nagesvara temple

Priest and his god
After our temple visit in Mosale, we all headed to the lake at the village entrance and had our packed lunch for the day. TS and Lavanya had got us Puliogre, and we all had a good time at the beautiful lake. And because we had some more time left before we headed back to Bangalore, Dhiraj suggested us to visit Anekere temple. We all readily agreed. Will post photographs of Anekere in my next post. 

Source for the text: A Complete Guide to Hoysala Temples by Gerard Foekema

(C) Srikanth Parthasarathy

Monday, January 14, 2013

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary

Two years ago, when I visited Chennai, I had planned to visit Point Calimere. Somehow the plan did not work. And since then I was longing to see this place. Fortunately this year I was so close enough to this place that I had no reason to miss visiting the sanctuary. Although the main objective of our trip was to visit the Cholan Dynasty temples, (how many temples can you see anyway?) I was able to squeeze in a day to visit Point Calimere. 

Painted stork at the Ramsar Site - Point Calimere
Point Calimere, also called Cape Calimere, is a low headland on the Coromandel Coast, in the Nagapattinam district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is the apex of the Cauvery River delta, and marks a nearly right-angle turn in the coastline. A historic landmark here was the Chola lighthouse, destroyed in the tsunami of 2004. 

The forests of Point Calimere, also known the Vedaranyam forests, are one of the last remnants of the dry evergreen forests that were once typical of the East Deccan dry evergreen forests eco-region. The Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, with an area of 24.17 km², was created on June 13, 1967. Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary is located where the Bay of Bengal meets the Palk Strait. The sanctuary was created in 1967 for the conservation of Blackbuck as its population was dwindling due to poaching and lack of legal protection. The sanctuary includes the cape and its three natural habitat types: dry evergreen forests, mangrove forests, and wetlands. Point Calimere homes the endangered endemic Indian Blackbuck and is one of the few known wintering locations of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper.It also holds large wintering populations of Greater Flamingos in India. The area is dotted with salt pans and these hold large crustacean populations that support the wintering bird life. (Source: Wikipedia)

One day visit to this place is not enough to see the variety of avi-fauna and the migrant population. However, we were lucky enough to get some brilliant sightings. Some of them are posted as under:

(click on the images for the enlarged view)

Greater Egret

Group of Egrets and White Ibis
Bar-headed Geese
Little Egret
Greater Egret and Painted Storks 
Eurasian Collared Dove
Shrike against the Sun
Blue-tailed Bee Eater
Little Ringed Plover
Endangered Blackbuck (Male) in its lush green habitat
Spotted Doves in a row
Egret Flight
Little Tern about to capture its hunt
Tern Flight
Fisherman and the Storks
Painted Stork Flight

Brahminy Kite

Group of Godwits

Silhoutte of a Heron

Wild boars lit by sunset at the sanctuary
Sunset time
For more pictures visit my Flickr set here

(C) Srikanth Parthasarathy

Chennakesava Temple Panorama, Somanathapura

I had not visited this place only because of the fact that this place is always crowded. Just like Belur and Halebidu, this place attracts too many tourists. Last week, I had an opportunity to visit this masterpiece on a weekday and absolutely enjoyed the visit. Although there were only a few people (mostly foreigners), thanks to the school (supposed to be educational) trips, within no time the place got crowded. 

Somanathapura is a town located 35 km from Mysore city in Mysore district, Karnataka, India. Somanathapura is famous for the Chennakesava Temple (also called Kesava or Keshava temple) built by Soma, a dandanayaka (commander) in 1268 CE under Hoysala king Narasimha III, when the Hoysalas were the major power in South India.The Keshava temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture and is in a very well preserved condition. The temple is in the care of the Archeological Survey of India as a protected heritage site. (source: Wikipedia)

(Click on the photographs for the enlarged view)

All the epic stories that you know are on the walls!

Chennakesava Temple, Somanathpur

I was amazed to see those intricate carvings. The best of all.

Carvings on the walls

Gopura and its stories

Every story has a wall here and the viceversa

Panorama of the Chennakesava temple from the East 

Close up of the carvings on the walls. Absolutely marvellous

(C) Srikanth Parthasarathy