Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mallikarjuna Temple, Basaralu

Basaralu is a small village in the Mandya district of Karnataka 75kms from Mysore and 130kms from Bangalore. This village is known primary for the ornate Mallikarjuna Temple. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built in the 13th Century by Harihara Dannayaka, who was in charge of the armies under the Hoysala King Narasimha II. 

The temple is a fine specimen of Hoysala architecture and it stands on a platform. The temple plan is that of a three shrined with only the one shrine having a tower. The three shrines are connected by a common hall. Since the lateral shrines have no tower over them, they do not appear like shrines at all from the outside. Rather, they are absorbed into the walls of hall. 

The tower and walls of the temple are highly decorative with intricate carvings of Gods, animals. The tower has a large domed roof over it and the kalasa on top of it. 

By the side of tower is the Hoysala emblem of the Hoysala warrior fighting a lion. The base of the temple has six layers of intricate pattikas starting with war elephants at the bottom, horse riders above it, the Hoysala emblem, scenes from episodes like the Mahabarata, Bhagavata and Ramayana, crocodiles and the last layer has swans. 

The exterior walls of the temple are carved beautifully. Some of the sculptures on the walls are Ganesha, Narsimha, Shanmuga. 

How to Reach: Traveling from Bangalore to Mysore at Mandya turn right to Nagmangala. It is around 25kms from Nagmangala.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cone Shells at Bhitarkanika

Bhitarkanika National Park is home for many common as well as rare birds. But birds are not the only wild life here. While boating we came across many cone shells on the shore.

They are thick golden and black color cone shaped shell of varying stripes or speckled appearance. Cone Shells or Cone snails as they are sometimes called have teeth like small harpoons.