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Saturday, 23 April 2011

Hoysala Expedition Part 17: Kedareshwara Temple, Halebidu

About half a kilometer away from the Hoysaleshwara temple of Halebidu, and adjacent to the Jinalaya complex of Basadihalli, stands the little known Kedareshwara temple. This trikuta temple is no inferior to the other masterpieces in and around the region, but has somehow lost attention of the authorities and tourists alike. Known to be built in 1220 AD, this temple is always locked these days, but in the middle of the day, there is enough sunlight that allows the visitors to get a sneak peek into the temple's beauty, and the Kedareshwara linga in the main sanctum becomes clearly visible. Outer carvings are as majestic as the Hoysaleshwara temple, with many a stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavata coming alive through the friezes that run around the star shaped basement.

Here is a look at the temple's beauty:

Kedareshwara Temple, Halebidu from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Heartbeat Ensemble concert of Ghatam Karthick and Co. at Bengaluru Gayana Samaja

Just noticed that the Carnatic music season has begun this week at Fort High School, Chamarajapete, Bangalore with the Rama Navami concerts, and that reminded me of the concert I attended a couple of months ago, of the "Heartbeat Ensemble", led by Ghatam S. Karthick, consisting of Embar S. Kannan on Violin, whizkid K. Sathyanarayana on Keyboard, Poongulam Subramanian on Mridangam and Arun Kumar on Drums.

Needless to say, the renditions and experiments of the group were mesmerizing, and the lyricist in Karthik, composer in Kannan were also in full display. A couple of snippets that I recorded from the concert:

Ghatam Karthick's Heart Beat Ensemble: Raga Jog from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Ghatam Karthick's Heart Beat Ensemble: Medley from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Hoysala Expedition Part 16: Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu

After a longish break, its time to catch up on a few of my pending blog assignments, specially a few Hoysala expeditions I had carried out last November, which have not yet been written about. So here goes, back with possibly the most beautiful and the most historically important of all the Hoysala temples, The Hoysaleshwara and Shantaleshwara twin temples at Halebidu, at Hassan district of Karnataka.

Halebidu, which is now a quiet, but well known town in southern Karnataka, was once the power center of southern India, serving as the capital of the mighty Hoysalas for most of their reign. Known as Dwarasamudra and Dwaravati during those days, the city of Halebidu was ruined towards the end of 14th century when the rulers of north stared expanding their reach across India. However, the Hoysaleshwara temple stands tall having withered multiple storms of cultural oppression, and is testimony to the pinnacle of artistry of the sculptors of those times.

The temple itself is known to have been built in 1120 AD, when Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana was establishing the foundations of the empire that later earned great respect throughout southern India. Vishnuvardhana had been given the title "Hoysaleshwara", and that name itself was used to name the main deity - the majestic shivalinga - of the temple constructed during his time, indicating the respect his citizen had towards the great king. The adjoining sanctum has another shivalinga, which is named "Shantaleshwara", in the honour of Vishnuvardhana's famous queen, Shantala.

A video that depicts the beauty of the temple, with raga Saramathi as the background score as a tribute to the bhakti of the sculptors, here goes:

Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.