Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pandava Caves, Aravelam

The ancient Caves in Aravelam is must visit place for history buffs. These 6th century caves are small that have 5 compartments. The Buddhist monks have carved these caves out of a single hard laterite rock. 

These caves are also known as the Pandava caves as it is believed that Pandavas have stayed here at some point during their 12 year exile as described in the Mahabharata.

At a later period these caves have been converted to shaivite caves. 

Shivlings carved out of granite of different shapes and sizes have been placed in each of these caves. These Shivlings are placed on raised platforms.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Flower Garden of Samdruptse

In the park where tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava in Samdruptse is located there is a beautiful garden.

There are variety of colourful flowers in this garden.

We could also see some flowers that I was seeing for the first time.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Karma Shri Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies, Rumtek

Inside the Rumtek Monastery Complex at Rumtek behind the main monastery, is the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Golden Stupa.

The institute constructed in the year 1984 is the most beautiful building in the complex. The students who study here spend at least 9 years to complete the studies. 

The institute is decorated with colourful murals.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Rang Mahal, Ellora

We have already seen details of Kailasa Temple of Ellora in the earlier post. This 8th century temple has strong architectural influences  of Pallava and Chalukya styles.

Within the enclosed courtyard, there is a flat-roofed main shrine dedicated to Shiva, and an image of his mount Nandi. The rectangular main shrine is called Rang-Mahal because after its completion, the temple was plastered and painted. 

The temple has niches, plasters, windows as well as images of deities and other figures. The 7 meter high plinth is decorated with life size elephants and mythical animals.

The two storey main shrine has Vadys Mandapa, Nandi Mandapa, a pillared hall, an antechamber and a small sanctum surrounded by five subsidiary shrines.

The pillared hall is supported by 16 pillars each with different set of carvings on them.