Sunday, September 17, 2017

Statues of India 3: Thiruvalluvar Statue

Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari

At 133ft the Thiruvalluvar statue in Kanyakumari is the tallest statue in India built for mortal beings.

Also read about few other Statues of India.

Thiruvalluvar is well known for his work Thirukural. The statue was unveiled on 1st January 2000. The 133ft represents the 133 chapters present in the book. The 38ft pedestal represent the 38 chapters in the book on the topic virtue. The statue stands tall next to the vivekanadar rock memorial.

133 chapters of Thirukural contains 10 couplets each and a total of 1330 couplets. The book is grouped into three sections each dealing with virtue (அறத்துப்பால்), wealth (பொருட்பால்) and love (காமத்துப்பால்).

This is the most translated book in India under non religious category.

His birth place or year or family or any other details is not available clearly. It is generally assumed he was born somewhere between 4 BC to 7 BC. Some claim he was born in 300 BC. His religion was unknown so every major religion claim him as their own including Christianity.

Honors among many other:

Thiruvalluvar day is celebrated on 15th Jan every year (16th in leap years) in his honor.

Valluvar Kottam is another major monument in Chennai built in 1976 in honor of the great Tamil poet.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Statues of India 2: Shivaji statue, Vijayapura

Shivaji Circle, Vijayapura.

Chhatrapati Shivaji statue might be found in many parts of India. However Shivaji has close link with Vijayapura. Shahaji Bhonsle, Shivaji's father was a general under Deccan sultanates. At one time Shahaji lead the military of Adil Shahis of Bijapur.

Also read about few other Statues of India.

Shivaji's victory over Afzal Khan, the Adil Shahi general of Bijapur marked the raise of Shivaji's supremacy.
Afzal khan sent for Shivaji to discuss and bring to an end the clash between both forces. Shivaji knew how Afzal Khan murdered Kasturi Ranga of Sira during their meeting to discuss peaceful surrender. Shivaji carried a dagger under is cloth and killed Afzal Khan who tried to crush him. There are two sides to this story with each accusing other of treachery.

An interesting fact is though Shivaji captured huge land and lead the Maratha army for long time he officially became king in 1674 that is only 6 years before he died.

Honors among many other:

Indian government is building a memorial for the warrior king in Maharashtra. When finished this will be the tallest statue in the world surpassing the Buddha statue in China. Buddha statue is 420ft including the 66ft throne where as this will be 690ft.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Statues of India 1: Basaveshwara statue, Vijayapura

Basaveshwara statue, Bijapur.

Basaveshwara, Basavanna or Basava was a poet and a social reformer born in Bagewadi, Karnataka in 1105. He denounced class system and preached equality to men and women from all castes. He is considered as the founder of the Lingayat community in Karnataka. His poems are popularly known as vachanas. He brought in the anubhava mantapa or hall of spiritual experience where people from all backgrounds without discrimination participated in discussion on spirituality, economic and social issues. This is considered as worlds first parliament.

Also read about few other Statues of India.

Honors among many other:
1. Indian government minted commemorative coins in his name and released in 2006. He is the first Kannadiga in whose name a commemorative coin was released.
2. In 2003 then president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam unveiled the statue of Basavanna in parliament.
3. In 2015 Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi unveiled statue of Basavanna in Albert Embankment Gardens, London over looking Big Ben and British Parliament. Efforts of Dr. Neeraj Patil.
4. Basava express runs between Mysore and Bagalkot.

First post in new series about statues of India. The idea is to learn and spread knowledge about some of the leaders of our country.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Other places of interest in Vijayapura

Date: 12th Aug to 14th Aug 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Here is the list of other places in Bijapur that can be visited.

1. Sat Manzil:

Seven storeyed palace was built by Ibrahim Adil Shah II and renovated by Mohammed Adil Shah. The royal family relocated to this palace from Gagan mahal. Gagan mahal was later used as durbar hall. It was also the residence of Rumbha, Muhammed Adil Shah's mistress.

2: Jala Manzil

Water pavilion located between Sat Manzil and Gagan Mahal is the small structure in a small garden.

3. Taj Bawadi:

Built in 1620 by Malik Sandal, the architect who built Ibrahim Rouza. It was built in honor of queen Taj.

The dome above the octagonal shaped structure in front of Taj well.

4. Chand Bawdi: TIP: Skip it.

Built by Ali Adil Shah I in 1579 in honor of queen Chand.

5. Shri Siddeshwara temple.

Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located in the middle of the main market.

There are many other places with some interesting history. Some of the prominent ones outside the town are Basavan bagewadi, almatti dam, Torvi temple, parshwnath basadi etc.

Friday, September 8, 2017


Date: 26th Aug 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi, Muthusamy, Vijayalakshmi and Harsh

Fee: None for temple. Rs 10 - Adults, Rs 5 - Kids for Rajagopuram Lift.

Timing: 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 8:15 PM.

Distance: 530 Kms one way.

Parking: Available.

Food: Available.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Mirjan Fort, Om beach Gokarna.

At 121ft the Shiva statue in murudeshwar is the tallest Shiva statue in India, Second tallest Shiva statue in the world, 6th tallest statue in India. The rajagopuram measuring 237.5ft is the second tallest gopuram in the world. The place has a very interesting story. Ravana a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva was carrying the athma linga to Lanka. The linga cannot be kept down. All the gods wanted to stop Ravana from taking the linga. Here there are couple of version one is Lord Vishnu covered the sun to make it look like evening. Ravana had to perform pooja so he asks Lord Ganesha who has disguised as a Bhraman to keep the linga. Second version says Ravana wanted to answer natures call so he approached the Bhramhan. Ganesha agrees on the condition if Ravana doesn't come back after calling three times then he will keep it down. Ravana did not return after the third call and Ganesha kept the linga down. Furious Ravana tries to lift the linga forcefully but ends up breaking few pieces.

It is believed the cloth covering the linga fell in the present day Murudeshwar.

Lift in Rajagopuram takes to the top floor from where one can get birds eye view of the statue and the beach.

The cave museum under the Shiva statue depicts the story of the atma-linga. 90 odd steps leads to the statue outside the temple complex.

The temple vimana.

The idol of Ravana giving the linga to the Bhraman.

The chariot with Lord Krishna giving geetha upadesham to Arjuna.

Under lights.

We were here.

The place is one of the major tourist attraction in coastal Karnataka. A small water park is also being built to attract more tourist.

Aditional information:
Tallest statue in world: Vairocana Buddha statue in China - 420ft
Tallest Shiva statue in world: Kailashnath Mahadev Statue - Nepal - 144ft
Tallest Gopuram in World: Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Trichy, India - 239.5ft

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mirjan Fort

Date: 26th Aug 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi, Muthusamy, Vijayalakshmi and Harsh

Fee: None.

Timing: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Distance: 485 Kms one way.

Parking: Available.

Food: Not Available.

Photography: Officially not allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Murudeshwar, Om beach Gokarna.

The fort located between Kumta and Gokarna is one of the historical place in the region. There are various theories on who built the fort. The widely believed theory is it was built by queen Chennabairadevi between 1552 and 1602. She ruled over the north bank of Sharavathi with stronghold over malpe, karwar, mirjan Honnavar and ankola. Pepper was exported to Europe from this region and she was given the title pepper queen. The fort was last captured by Marathas before falling to British.

The fort was built with laterite stones with high walls and circular bastions.

Officially photography not allowed in this place. The guard at the gate allowed us to use camera as the officer in-charge is not in.

It started pouring the moment we stepped out of the car. We got back to car and waited for 10 min and the rain stopped.

From the look of the fort and the other places nearby its evident its been raining a lot recently.

We could see the fort with green cover all over making the sight pleasant.

The protective walls with embrasure.

Palace should have been here.

More views of the fort.

The circular bastions is the major attraction in the fort.

Panoramic view of the fort.

We were here.

One of the beautiful fort that we have seen. We would highly recommend to visit the place during or post monsoon. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sri Mookambika Temple, Kollur

Date: 25th Aug 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi, Muthusamy, Vijayalakshmi and Harsh

Fee: None.

Timing: 5:00 AM to 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Distance: 480 Kms one way.

Parking: Available.

Food: Available.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Murudeshwar.

Kollur temple dedicated to the goddess Mookambika is one of the important pilgrimage center for Hindus. The temple is located in the middle of the Mookambika wildlife sanctuary. Demon named Kaumasura was doing penance to get boon from Lord Shiva. Goddess Shakthi took away his speech so he could not ask for the boon when the Lord appeared before him. Enraged demon started disturbing the people and Kola Maharishi who was doing penance. Goddess then kills the demon and stayed in Kollur as Devi Mookambika. The goddess is worshiped as Saraswathi in morning, Lakshmi in afternoon and Shakthi in evening.

There are smaller shrines inside for Ganesha, Subramanya, Anjaneya, Naga etc.

We expected the temple to be crowded as it was Ganesh chathurthi but there was no queue and we had a peaceful darshan.

It was pouring non stop till we reached the hotel MahaLakshmi. Luckily it stopped for a while when we visited the temple.

We were here.
We had to cancel the trip to Kollur twice before for some reason and finally we had the blessings of Mookambika.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hoysala Temples 21: Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar

Date: 25th Aug 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi, Muthusamy, Vijayalakshmi and Harsh

Fee: None.

Timing: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Distance: 300Kms one way.

Parking: Available. Roadside.

Food: Available.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Ranebennur black buck Sanctuary.

Harihareshwara temple in Harihar is an ancient temple built in 1223 AD by Polalva a general in Hoysala king Narasimha II. The place and the temple came under many rulers over the period. Though some of the art work on the outer wall is destroyed the ornate interiors still remain intact. As the name suggest the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The main Idol is the fusion of both Hari and Hara. The story behind this is that the area was once the stronghold of the giant guhasura. He tormented the people as he had got the boon from Lord Bhramha that neither Vishu nor Shiva can kill him. To protect the people both the god came as one and destroyed the demon.

Front view of the main temple.

Total fifty six lathe turned pillars supporting the roof.

The 4ft Idol of Harihara inside the garbagriha. The left side represent Vishnu with Chakra and Sanku and right side represent Shiva with Trisul. Photography allowed.

Carvings of elephant, bull, horse on the roof.

Ornate doorjamb in the inner hall.

Aesthetic designs on the roof of outer mantapa.

Closer look at the doorjamb.

Few more roof designs.

Another shrine in the complex. Dedicated to goddess lakshmi.

Another view of the temple.

Huge stones with Kannada inscriptions preserved in the temple.

More pictures from the place.

Defaced outer wall.

There are two lamp post inside the temple. Each has Nandi and Garuda sitting facing the main temple.

We were here.

Another beautiful Hoysala temple that needs to be visited.

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