Gomatagiri in Mysuru district’s Bettadoor is popular for its mini Gomateshwara (also known as Bahubali) statue. The 6 meter high monolithic statue at Gomatagiri is said to be 700 years old and forms an important Jain centre of worship in the district.
Gomatagiri, the hill on which Gomateshwara statue is located is about 50 meters high from ground level.
Key highlights of Gomatagiri:
Annual Celebrations: Once a year Gomatagiri statue is treated with ‘Abhisheka’ or pouring of divine objects. This Maha Masthakabhisheka celebration usually falls in the month of September
Views: Offers panoramic view of the surrounding- parts of Mysuru city, KRS can be seen at a distance
Statue carved in granite, using a single piece of stone during the Vijayanagara rule. Similar in design to Gomateshwara in Shravanabelagola but smaller in size (6 meters vs 17 meters)
Nearby: KRS Dam (20 kms), Balamuri falls (18 kms), Arabithittu wildlife sanctuary (15 kms) are some of the places to visit along with Gomatagiri.
How to reach: Gomatagiri is 153 kms from Bengaluru and 22 kms from Mysuru. Mysuru airport is 32 kms away and Mysuru city is the nearest railway station. From Mysuru Gomatagiri can be reached by hiring a taxi.
Stay: Mysuru city (22 kms from Gomatagiri) has budget hotels and luxury resorts across all categories.
Carnatic Music, also known as Karnataka Sangeetha is a form of music unique to South India. While north India follows Hindustani music, southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are known for Carnatic Music performances.
Elements of Carnatic Music
Major instruments used in Carnatic Music
Where to experience Carnatic Music:
Coastal Karnataka’s signature folk dance performance
Elements of Yakshagana:
The Hoysaleshwara Temple is a historic temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in Halebeedu town, which was once the capital city of Hoysala Empire. Halebeedu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka.
History: Halebeedu Hoysaleshwara Temple was built by Chief Architect Ketamala on orders of Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana during his tenure in 12th century. Hoysaleshwara Temple is built on the shores of a man-made lake called Dwarasamudra. Hoysaleshwara Temple was damaged by invading armies of Delhi Sultanate.
Design: Hoysaleshwara Temple is built in Hoysala style architecture, with a Nandi (official vehicle of Lord Shiva) statue guarding the temple from outside. Interiors feature images of flowers and animals, carvings of Hindu epics and sculptures showcasing Shila Balikes (Stone Girls or sculpture of young women in dancing poses)
Other temples: Apart from Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebeedu is also known for Kedareshwara Temple and multiple Jain temples. Kedareshwara Temple was built by King Veera Ballala the second and Queen Ketaladevi.
Museum: An archeological museum maintained by ASI inside Halebeedu Temple complex houses over 1500 sculptures and artifacts of Hoysala era.
Visiting Hours: Halebeedu Temple complex is open from 6.30 AM till 9 PM.
Places to visit nearby: Beluru Chennakeshava Temple is often visited along with Halebeedu (17 kms away).
How to reach Halebeedu: Halebeedu is 210 kms from Bengaluru and 170 kms from Mangaluru. Banavara is the nearest railway station (30 kms). Halebeedu has good bus service from district head quarter Hasana (33 kms)
Places to stay near Halebeedu: KSTDC runs Hotel Mayura Shantala in Halebeedu right across the temple complex. More options are available Hasana city (33 kms away)
Beluru is a historic temple town in South Karnataka, known for Chennakeshava Temple built in Hoysala style architecture. Beluru is situated on the banks of Yagachi river and was capital of Hoysala Dynasty, who ruled South India from 11th Century till 14th century.
Chennakeshava Temple: Beluru Chennakeshava Temple was built in 12th century on orders of King Vishnuvardhana. Chennakeshava is a form of Lord Vishnu. Around the temple, the intricate carvings depict stories from Hindu epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharatha, along with showcasing cultural grandeur during Hoysala tenure. Chennakeshava Temple is open daily from 7.30 AM till 7.30 PM.
Nearby: Halebeedu (20 kms), Mullayyanagiri Peak (50 kms), Shettihalli Church (55 kms), Yagachi Dam (4 kms) and Sakaleshpura (35 kms) are some attractions that can be visited along with Beluru.
Visit: Beluru is 220 kms from Bengaluru and 155 kms from Mangaluru. Mangaluru is also the nearest airport. Hasana junction 40 kms away is the nearest railway station. Bus services are available to reach Beluru from Hasana city. Beluru and surrounding areas are best explored in a taxi/own vehicle.
Stay: KSTDC runs the hotel Mayura Velapuri, 500 meters from Beluru Chennakeshava Temple complex. Hasana city, 40 kms from Beluru has more stay options.
Aihole is a historic site along the Malaprabha river valley in North Karnataka housing over 120 temple structures built in 4th century AD. Aihole is a delight to visit for those who love archeology, ancient temples and history.
Why visit Aihole:
Durga Temple: Durga Temple is the primary attraction in Aihole and most spectacular representations of Aihole Temples. Durga Temple complex houses an archeological museum and art gallery.
Ladkhan Temple showcases iconography from Shaiva, Vaishnava and Shakti traditions of Hinduism.
More temples: Garudagudi, Chakragudi, Ambigaragudi, Rachigudi, Kuntigudi, Hallibasappa Gudi, Badigargudi, Trimbakeshwar temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, Jyotirlinga Temple are some other major temples.
Ravana Phadi Cave: Ravanaphadi is a 6th century rock cut cave temple in Aihole housing Shiva and Parvathi. Ravanaphadi is about a km from Durga Temple complex. Extensive artwork featuring Lord Shiva, Parvathi, Ganesha and Vishnu can be seen inside the cave.
Places to visit near Aihole: A visit to Aihole is often clubbed with visit to Pattadakal (14 kms from Aihole) and Badami (35 kms from Aihole)
How to reach Aihole: Aihole is 450 kms from Bengaluru. Hubballi is the nearest airport (140 kms from Aihole). Badami and Bagalakote are the nearest train stations (both 35 kms from Aihole) Aihole has good bus service and road connectivity from Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka.
Places to stay near Aihole: Three and four star hotels are available in Bagalakote and Badami towns (both 30-35 kms from Aihole).
The Bangalore Fort or the City Fort was built by Kempe Gowda who was a chieftain of the Vijaynagar Empire in the year 1537. The fort was initially build as a mud fort but was later reinforced with stone by Haider Ali the ruler of Mysore Kingdom and father of the famous Tipu Sultan.
The fort was the stronghold of Tipu Sultan during the Mysore wars when Lord Caorwallis lead the attack on the fort. A marble tablet in the fort wall records the spot where the British breached the fort wall leading to its capture in 1791.
Most of the fort walls fell to ruin and only two of the 26 bastions remain today
Delhi Gate showcasing Indo-Islamic architecture
The Ganesha Temple build by Tipu reflects his respect for other religions
Gignatic wooden door with rows of metal spikes at the entrance, I am guessing the metal spikes were to prevent war elephants from ramming down the fort gate.
The fort lies close to one of the oldest markets in Karnataka the K.R. Market, and its very easy to reach by bus, auto and taxi. Make sure you also visit Tipus Sultans Summer Palace which is about 100 meters away from the fort.
The Hoysala Kings ruled most part of Karanataka, the Southern state of India from 10th to 14th century. These Kings were great patrons of Art, Architecture and commissioned some of the best stone temples ever built.
Chennakesava Temple, Belur
The city of Belur was the capital of the Hoysala kingdom until it was annexed by the Mughal ruler Allauddin Khilji. The Mughals looted and plunders the capital city after which Halebidu was established as the new capital. The temples and monuments of Belur are the best examples of Hoysala architecture and the highlight is the nature of the carvings; so intricate that they look like carvings made on sandalwood rather than stone.
The temples are build on raised platforms and at Chennakesava temple elephants are carved on to the base of the platform.
The charging Elephants at the lower section symbolize strength and stability ,the lions above symbolize courage and valor and the horses above them symbolize speed.
The most famous Hoysala temple was built to commemorate the victory of the Hoysalas over the Cholas in the great battle of Talakkad. It took 103 years and talented workmen to built this magnificent stone temple and is worshiped till date .The interiors of the temple are intricately carved, the strenght of stone has given way to the beauty of idols, ornamental carvings that almost look like metal grill work. The temple was built for Lord Vishnu and Chennakesava literally translates to Handsome Vishnu.
View of the Gopuram an ornate tower at the entrance of the temple. The Gopuram is filled with sculptures of different incarnations of Lord Vishnu and beautiful women. The detailed status is of garuda .
The ornate carvings found in the different Hoysala temples indicate that music and dance were given high importance during this period.
The temples at Belur are carved out of soap stone (steatite), this stone is soft and easy to chisel but attains rock hard firmness when exposed to the atmosphere.
The exterior walls have carvings of every god in the Hindu religion and some from Jainism . The Hoysals were Jains before they converted to Hinduism.
Halebeedu was well fortified with huge boulders and a moat to keep out invaders from the north. The Hoysala empire extended from river Kaveri in the west and Krishna in the east and was enriched by fertile deltas of the rivers.The prosperity and wealth of the Hoysalas kings attracted the forces of the Delhi Sultanate, who invaded and annexed the town in 1311. The invaders took back with them camel loads of gold, silver and precious gems. Halebeedu was attacked a second time in the year 1326 after which the Hoysalas were forced to relinquish their beautiful capital. It was never re-occupied again and the capital was moved to Belure just 16 kms away.
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