Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sunday Outing

"You dont know Kannada?" He asked suddenly In English.
I fought hard to restrain from showing any signs of amazement. Only a smile and a sideways shake of head.

"Ok. Send this picture to my address". He removed his wallet and showed his address:

D.Mahadevayya (Community Health Guide/ Boat Man)
s/o. Devarasanayaka
Kaliyur, Narasipur Taluk
Mysore Dist.

I guess everybody here knows English, given the fact its a tourist spot. The place is Talakadu, about 140 Km. from bangalore. We had just taken a ride in his "theppa" (a disc shaped boat) across to the opposite bank of Kavery and back. I also made him pose for a photograph.

The plan was to go to a place called "Shivanasamudra", a place with scenic beauty and some water falls on saturday Feb 25th 2006 so that I can attend a concert on Sunday eve (Shivaratri). But the trip got deferred to Sunday. We started off in a qualis, and after having our breakfast at a town called "Bididhi", famous for its huge idli called "thatte idli", we reached there after nearly 3 hours, not to mention the absence of a tar-road. Yet it was surreal sight watching people on top of private busses going to almost unreachable place of the same country of which Bangalore was once a part.

While travelling, I happened to see a hill to my left and a temple gopuram appeared on top of it. The driver informed us that its a nice Shiva temple. We took a detour and he parked near the base of the hill. On top of this hill called Somashaila presides Lord Mallikarjuna. Seemingly very old architecture, we had a nice bit of climb, given the fact that "Bangaloreans" tire easily.

After that, we went to the Kavery river bank, and driver made it a point to repeat that all this water goes to Tamil Nadu. Perhaps he was expecting some comment from us... Anyway, we found a lot more sand than we were expecting. One can see how Kavery's course changed over the millenia. Someone told us about a few ancient recently discovered monuments and temples here. No time was lost-- up we went to the other side of the undulating land with sand top. The first monument we sighted was the Pataleshwara temple.

Further on, we came across a huge circular valley with a very ancient construction amidst. A guide was heard telling some interested telugu people that this was one of the pancha Narayanas established by Ramanuja. This was recently discovered and was in a bad shape before they dis-assembled it and put it back. A bigger temple also exists here, still in the dis-assembled state. Efforts are on to number the stone-blocks used and arrange them back.

Very close by is the Vaidyeshwara temple. If the other two were old, this must be much older. With that amazing architecture in sight and no one to stop us from capturing it on camera, we cut loose with our weapons. The statue of the deity had an imposing and commanding presence, given the rather large and relatively dark hall, giving it an hoary appeal.

One of the places in that temple that caught my attention was the five lingas in the rooms at the back of the temple. The Linga shown here is the centre most and most imposing one. It reminds me of Egyptian Architecture. And inside lives, verily, Pharaoh of the Worlds! From here on, we went to the Kavery bank. After Swimming (I cant, so I didnt), Theppa rides and water melons , we came back here for lunch. There is a very small mess just in front of the temple declaring that it is a "brahmin tiffin and mess". What more to be needed from life?? We had our fill there alright!

All said and done, this was my best Shivaratri ever when I visited three Temples of Shiva-- one on top of a hill, one below ground and one on level ground. Lord of the Three Worlds! Icing on the cake: I cannot forget the coincidence that the boat man's name was Mahadevayya, who helped us cross the river (of our life?) on that holy day. Alas! A symbolist's predicament! Looking too much into everything!

Then we went to the water falls about an hour from there( which might need another post...)



yadbhavishya said...


But I had a calm Atharvaseersham+Rudram+Pancha Suktam session in the evening. Peaceful.

Random Walker said...

Temples are supposed to look this serene! Thanks for sharing.

(siva-siva-siva yanarAda... PantuvarAli)

Ragz said...

nice pics kedar....i hope to visit one such place next time i m there in india

Gandaragolaka said...

Actually, Vidya will tell you how averse I was, to visiting temples watching the few totally commercial ones that I had seen since my childhood.

We need more examples like these to realise that a lot of things that we do are not actually pointless.