With pleasure, I present my Guest for this Sunday... Shalini Baisiwala!
She is an interior designer by profession. Writing is a passion for her which coupled with travel love, blossomed into her blog where she loves to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on her blog. She is a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time.
Over to Shalini...
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I am quite a history and architecture buff; combine that with my love of photography and travel and you have one helluva deadly combination. I love to explore places I live in/ travel to and being in Bangalore a few years back, I capitalised on all of these hobbies in plenty. One such road trip I took was to the gorgeous temple town of Belur in the Hassan district which is about 200 odd Kms from Bangalore by road.
A bit of history lesson on Belur told me that the main temple here is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and was built over a period of 100+ years in the 12th century during the rule of the Hoysala kings. This temple city has some of the most exquisite architectural details and sculptures from that era and thousands flock to this town for a view.
In fact the day we landed there, the temple complex was teeming with visitors in great abundance; so much so that every one of my photographs is teeming with folks in beautiful attire. There were hordes of families out for a temple visit dressed in their finery and made for quite a photo op in several places.
Chennakesava is the name of this temple and is derived from two words; Chenna meaning beautiful and Kesava is another name for Lord Vishnu. Put it together and you have Handsome Vishnu as the literal translation of the temple name in English. Something to smile about and maybe entertain the tourists with ;-)
The walls of the temples are characterized with sculptures of deities in various poses, scenes from Ramayan and other spiritual texts and make for quite a study. The intricate carving and the details embellished out are a delight to capture- both by the eye and in the camera.
One of the most popular sculptures of note here is the Darpan Sundari or the maidan with the mirror. I quite agreed with the assessment of it being truly gorgeous; note the details carved out for her jewellery and clothes.
Another sculpture that caught my fancy was the emblem of the Hosyala empire which seems to be a cross between a lion and a dragon to me.
Not to be missed out are the miniature shrines built all across the temples; each carved with such detail as if it’s the main temple itself. In fact no corner of the temple complex has been ignored; each point has been lavishly sculpted. No wonder it took three generations of the Hoysala kings to complete this temple complex.
Beautifully carved pillars, intricate sculpture work on the lintels of doorways and stunning symmetrical friezes - all pay homage to the love of art and architecture of the Hoysala kings.
Belur temple has been nominated for the UNESCO heritage sites and we felt it truly deserves to make the list.
I always wonder if truly such craftsmanship was the work of human hand or alien – what is your opinion on this?
Pls do check out Shalini's post Colours of devotion as well!
This post is written for the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo
Linking up for #wordsante with Namysaysso for every post deserves some love
You can reach out to Shalini at...
You can reach out to Shalini at...