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Saturday, 22 January 2011

Hoysala Expedition Part 15: Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi

The Veera Narayana temple at Belavadi, a village in Chikkamagalur district of Karnataka, is an epitome of symmetry. This trikuta Hoysala temple built in 1206 AD, houses Veera Narayana as the main deity, with Venugopala and Yoganarasimha in the the other two sanctum sanctorums. The temple is characterized by over a hundred neatly carved and designed pillars, and a lot of elephant statues of various shapes and sizes. The Tulunadu style enclosure at the entrance and the stone roof tops of the main temple are unique to this temple, and the statues of the three deities are outstandingly beautiful.

Although the Channakeshava temple of Belur, Hoysaleshwara temple of Halebidu and Keshava temple of Somanathapura come right up in th list of the most beautiful temples of Hoysala period and architecture, this temple at Belavadi is in no way inferior to any of the former three. The village itself has its place in mythology, with the Ekachakranagara of Mahabharata times, where Bakasura was defeated by Bheema, believed to have existed at the same place where Belavadi stands today. Although the more recent Udbhava Ganapati temple has started attracting more devotees, from the angle of serene architecture, this timeless beauty of Veera Narayana temple continues to mesmerize visitors even today.

The photo compilation is here:

Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Sights and Sounds of World Samskrit Book Fair: Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, here is more from the cultural programmes that happened on the sidelines of the World Samskrit Book Fair. On Saturday, 8th January, 2011, 1003rd edition of "Kavyachitra" was conducted at the Kuvempu Kalakshetra, Bangalore, in association with Samskara Bharati and Abhinaya Bharati.

Kavyachitra refers to a cultural entertainment model where a poet and an artist take up challenges from each other, audience, and experts to create poetry and paintings on the spot. Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh was in charge of the "Kavya" part with Artist B. K. S. Varma took up "Chitra". Varma is credited with making painting, a form of "performing art".

Some pictures (click on them for larger versions) and videos from the mesmerizing two hour event are below:


1. Varma drawing Sarswati using colour soaked thread:

2. R. Ganesh concentrating on Varma's masterly work:

3. Flautist Venugopal also forgets to play his flute, enchanted by Varma's artistry:

4. Finshed Product: Godess Saraswati:

5. Humble Varma finishes another work, this time, depicting Valmiki and Shankaracharya:

6. Shiva Tandava:

7. Varma's challenge to Ganesh:

8. Varma responds to Ganesh's challenge:

9. Drawing Lord Vishnu from 'Om':

10. Depicting "Vande Mataram":

11. Great Samskrit scholar Gautam Patel from Gujarat is lost for words while expressing his experience of watching Ganesh and Varma at work:

12. Garba dance being performed by a group of people who had come all the way from Gujarat:


Kavyachitra Part 1: Shatavadhani R. Ganesh and B. K. S. Varma from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Kavyachitra Part 2: Shatavadhani R. Ganesh and B. K. S. Varma from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Kavyachitra Part 3: Shatavadhani R. Ganesh and B. K. S. Varma from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sights and Sounds of World Samskrit Book Fair: Part 1

I had been to the World Samskrit Book Fair that is going on at Bangalore from 6th to 10th January, 2011, and here are some updates from that:

On 6th January 2011, day 1 of the fair, "Jnanaganga", an exhibition on the knowledge heritage of India was inaugurated by former India cricket captain Anil Kumble, and a model of "Samskrit Village", where all interactions happen through Samskrit, was inaugurated by Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri, the primary and secondary education minister of the Govt. Of Karnataka. Also attending the occation were N. Gopalaswamy, former Chief Election Commisioner of India, and industrialst Sadanand Mayya. Also at the end of day one, was classical singing by Vidwan Vidyabhushana.

Photos from the formal function (click on images for enlarged versions):

Photos of the Samskrit Village and Exhibitions (click on images for enlarged versions):

Video of Anil Kumble's speech (some unavoidable movements while recording)

Anil Kumble speaking at the inauguration of "Samskrit Village" from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Video of Vidwan Vidyabhushana's singing (again, some unavoidable movements while recording)

Vidwan Vidyabhushana singing on day one of Samskrit Fair from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Part 2 of this article, on Kavyachitra and other cultural programmes, coming up later...