Thursday, February 26, 2015

ನನ್ನ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಗಳ ವೀಕ್ಷಣಾ ವರದಿ

       ನನ್ನ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಗಳನ್ನು ವೀಕ್ಷಿಸಿದ ಸಹೃದಯಿಗಳ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆ.  ದಿನಾಂಕ:25.02.2015ರವರೆಗೆ

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sixth century Chalukya monuments - Badami

Badami is a taluk, in Bagalkot district in Karanataka, India.
Badami was founded by early Chalukyan king Pulakesi I ( 535 - 566 AD ) in the year 540A.D.
The Chalukya kings are credited with some of the best traditions of Dravidian architecture including an experimental blend of older South Indian temple architecture and the nagara style of north India.Badami is the home to several rock-cut temples.
Under the royal patronage of Chalukyam kings, Mahakuta, Aihole ( first capital of early Chalukyas ), Pattadakal and Badami ( a.k.a. Vatapi ) became great centres of experimentation in the temple building.

History of Badami

Badami was the capital of early Chalukyas who ruled much of Karnataka and AndhraPradesh between 6th - 8th century A.D. and was founded by the Chalukyan king Pulikesi I ( 535 - 566 A.D. ) in the year 540 A.D..
Badami was ruled by many Chalukyan kings and the greatest among them was Pulikesi II ( 610 - 642 A.D. ) who defeated Pallava king Mahendra Verman I and extended the Chalukyan empire upto Kanchipuram in the south.

Rock-cut Badami caves

The rock-cut Badami Cave Temples were sculpted mostly between the 6th and 8th centuries.
The four cave temples represent the secular nature of the Chalukyan kings
These four cave temples viz. Cave 1 is dedicated to Shiva, Cave 2 and 3 to Vishnu and Cave 4 to Jain Digambaras ( saints ).


The capital of the mighty Badami Chalukyas might have shrunk into a few scenic square kilometres in terms of touristy value. But Badami still retains its majesty. The locale of its famous cave temples, made up of two giant sandstone hills that flank the placid water of the Agastya Lake paint a stark picture of earthy reds, muddy greens and stone browns set against a sky of acrylic blue - burning an impression into the canvas of your mind. One that you aren't likely to forget in a hurry.
Bright yellow sunflower fields, red-ochre sandstone outcrops and cobalt blue skies. The journey to the Badami-Aihole-Pattadakal belt is a painting in the primary colours. The road to the past is nothing short of spectacular. Aihole has to be god's collection of temple prototypes. Believed to be the cradle of Dravidian temple architecture, Aihole's temple compendium spans styles and centuries, some as early as the 5th century - and some, like the Durga Temple is built on design that is seen nowhere else in the country. The Badami Chalukyas first had their capital at Aihole before they moved to Badami and it's justified in resting on its ancient laurels. For, Aihole has a lot of ancient laurels. Pattadakal, similarly, has a finger lodged in the book of time - when it was the place where kings were coronated. A little away from Aihole, Pattadakal stands like an island of majesty - just like its name suggests: 'pattada kallu' translating into coronation stone. A complex of eight temples, each one commemorates a landmark event in the history of the Chalukyas, which in turn was one of South India's most vibrant dynasties. The Malaprabha River flows by both Aihole and Pattadakal, a silent witness now as it was then.

Peeking from crags high above are the remnants of what look like watchtowers. You never know what you might encounter in the thick shrub undergrowth. Leopards have been known to pay unwelcome visits to the nearby villages to drag cattle away. Just a few kilometres apart, Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami can be covered in a day - a day well spent, at that! Badami is a snapshot of the past, where the elements, both natural and manmade, have been fixed in a tableau as if afraid to move on from a love affair that's well and over now. The love affair being, the glory days of the Badami Chalukyas who had moved their capital to Badami in the apogee of their run as a dynasty. Karnataka is a rambling old storyteller, and the most exquisite stories it has. Every place is steeped in legend and myth, and Badami with the Agastya Lake flanked by two rocky, almost-rectangular sandstone hills represent the Sage Agastya and the two ill-behaved demons, Vatapi and Ilvala. It's a steep climb up to its rock-cut cave temples. The four temples which are hewn into a rock, one level above the other, has the most exquisite carvings from the Hindu myths and the top most one, dedicated to the Jain faith, has iconography representing the thirthankaras who are considered the pillars of the faith. The view from here in the evenings is the stuff of epics. And yet, it pales in comparison with the one from the North Fort, which lies on the opposite hill. Man-made as it might be, the Agastya Lake has an untouched air about it, made complete by the brown sandstone Bhootanatha Temples that stand on its edge like ephemeral maidens, who might vanish any moment - so beautiful, that they are almost a mirage. Dedicated to the god of spirits and ghosts, the beauty of the Bhootanatha Temples glistening like a fleeting apparition in the dusk will haunt for a long, long time after you've left Badami.

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Monday, October 13, 2014



Gajalakshmi Sculptures

The earliest images of Gajalakshmi in India are found in Bharhut, Madhya Pradesh. Here, two elephants can be seen pouring water on goddess Lakshmi who is standing on a lotus. In Karnataka, earliest image is that of a pendant found in Thalakadu which has the embossed figure of standing Lakshmi with elephants.
Gajalakshmi, seated on a lotus flanked by elephants, can be seen commonly in lintels of door frames of temples and houses through out Karnataka. In some parts of Karnataka, Gajalakshmi sculpture is worshiped as ‘Bananthi Kallu’ – ಬಾಣಂತಿ ಕಲ್ಲು . On the occasion of a birth in the family, the idol is kept face down for the safe delivery of the baby. After the successful delivery, the idol is re installed to its original position.

Badubbe – ಬಾದುಬ್ಬೆ

In northern Karnataka, Gajalakshmi idols are commonly found near water bodies. Rarely, some of them have inscriptions and are called Badubbe -ಬಾದುಬ್ಬೆ  sculptures. There are many inscriptions in Kannada which mention a ritual Badubbe Parva  ಬಾದುಬ್ಬೆ ಪರ್ವ( Badubbe habba, festival) and Badubbe hola – ಬಾದುಬ್ಬೆ ಹೊಲ( fields of Badubbe). These inscriptions belong to the period before 12 and 13th centuries. No inscriptions of later centuries are found which mention Badubbe. Now, Badubbe worship has been completely forgotten in the region. In many places, Badubbe idol is used as Bananthi Kallu – ಬಾಣಂತಿ ಕಲ್ಲು as explained above.
A very unique Gajalakshmi sculpture is shown below.  Here an erotic scene is depicted on one side at the bottom and a women in labor is depicted on the other side. This is a very sculpture which is not found anywhere else in the region.

Konana Thale – ಕೋಣನ ತಲೆ – Buffalo Head

Konana Thale ಕೋಣನ ತಲೆ- Bison Head sculptures are found in the districts of Haveri, Dharwad, Gadag, some parts of Bellary, and Bijapur districts. In present times, like Gajalakshmi sculptures, the significance and worship of these sculptures are faded away. They are often found outside of village boundaries and in some places, by the side of Gajalakshmi sculptures. In most places, they are carved on boulders at outskirts of villages. Sometimes they are depicted with flowers between the horns. Many villages across Karnataka have the word ‘Kona’ in them, like,  Konanan Thale, Konana Thambigi, Konandur etc.
These sculptures are not found in southern parts of Karnataka. In this region, Durga sculptures with goddess standing on the head of a buffalo are seen near the tanks or near water pond and wells. This shows that these images may relate to the worship of source of potable water.
Rarely, these sculptures are found with inscriptions. On the buffalo head of Kachchavi village, there is an inscription belonging to 5th century AD. On the basis of this evidence, we can say that these buffalo heads were worshiped as early as 5th AD in northern parts of Karnataka.

Gosaasa – ಗೋಸಾಸ

These stones were installed to denote the donation of cows. Some varieties in this category were installed in a place to define its existence.  These were installed to declare progression of a ದೊಡ್ಡಿ- doddi – barn to a village fit for settlement. Typically a place used to be declared as a village if it contained a place of worship-temple, and a lake to sustain the livelihood of people. These stones typically have a plough and a lotus etched on them. You can find Gosaasa stones arranged in a matrix grouped in numbers like 3, 6, 9, 12.  Some of them have interesting sculptures like ox or oxen ploughing the fields, Kalasaas (scared pots), twin fish, or an elephant.This culture of erecting Gosaasa stones which existed in the region is long forgotten and there is total lack of awareness among people about Gosaasa stones. If you come across such stones in your vicinity, the Academy requests you to educate people who might be using such stones for domestic purposes.
In a village in northern Karnataka, an interesting sculpture was found with swans, tortoise and a fox depicting the story from Panchatantra by Vasubhagabhatta. This is an important find, as Vasubhagabhatta’s Panchatantra stories are considered to be the oldest and such depiction in stone is rarely found in India. It is interesting to note that some of Vasubhagabhatta stories are depicted similarly in South East Asian countries.

Shula Brahma – ಶೂಲ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ

Shula Brahma is a devotee, who on a precious day, sacrifices his life  sitting on a sharp spear which pierces his body.  There are memorial stones erected for such Shula Brahmas across Karnataka and parts of Andhra which were part of Kannada region. This ritual came to practice with the advent of Veerashaivism in Karnataka. The Shula Brahma or the devotee is shown sitting on a sharp spear planted on the ground sacrificing his life for his religious faith.  In some stones, Shula Brahma is shown standing by holding the spear on the side.