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Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Serenity of Galaganatha: Chalukya Splendor on the banks of Tungabhadra

Imagine this. A calm evening of the rainy season. No clouds around. Sun is just about setting. You are standing on the banks of river Tungabhadra, which is not yet at its roaring best as there haven't been enough rains in the season. There is a lone fisherman trying to get the last few scalps of the day so far away from you in the middle of the river that even his presence and his minor movements do not affect the peace that surrounds you. A few parrots fly back home overhead once in a while with their happy chirps. You are staring east. Behind you is an architectural marvel - a temple that is so unique that you can't decide whether to sit and watch the serene flow of the river forever or catch the glimpse of every nook and corner of the intricate beauty of this temple before darkness sets in. You are fighting a battle with the fading light to fill your senses up with these details, but you are also fighting a battle within yourself on whether to capture and hold the beauty of the nature in your senses or to explore this 11th century Kalyani Chalukya splendor. Welcome to Galaganatha.

The Galageshwara Temple at Galaganatha, Haveri district of Karnataka faces east, and oversees the Tungabhadra river, a majestic construction that is to this day, unparalleled in design, highlighted by the spectacular pyramid shaped completion of the main sanctum shrine. This town, known as Palluni before, was named after the presiding deity of this temple, the huge Shiva Linga of Galageshwara. Inscriptions indicate the contributions made by the Chalukya king Vikramaditya, and mentions one Mukhari Brahmayya as a great exponent of music who had mastered 32 ragas. Here are a few visuals. Surreal experience.

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