Saturday, March 5, 2011

My first destination is a very small village called Mosale which is at a distance of 14 Kilometres from the town of Hassan. We had to take a detour from the main road, travel 3 kilometres on a very bad and muddy road passing through 2 other villages on the way to reach this village which has not DSC00655more than 25 houses. There is very limited public transport available up till here, so watch out. There are nice paddy fields on either side of this road and it is a pleasant journey with nice breeze. The Chennakesava and Nageshwara Temples are right in the middle of this very small village.

This is a twin temple complex facing east and is without any pedestal. Both these temples are modelled on the Ekakuta, meaning one floor. The temples are of typical Hoysala architecture and in active worship. The priest lives quite nearby opens the temple for the customary rituals everyday. Otherwise the temples are opened only if there are tourists. We will first visit the Chennakesava Temple which in the right of the complex. The temple has DSC00615been partially rebuilt outside and you get to see it by the sculptures made in cement on the top level. The entire outer part of the temple is carved with amazing sculptures. Each sculpture is carved in such a way that they reside in a shrine which is superseded by a turret. Most of the idols are disfigured with the wear and tear over the centuries.

As the main deity Chennakesava is one of the forms of Lord Vishnu, you will find the sculptures of his DSC00618incarnations on the outer walls. There is a small mantapa  supported by round pillars at the door. There are dwarapalas at this entrance through which i walk inside to enter the Mukhamantapa. Both the dwarapalas are evidently monoliths, however the faces are disfigured.

The mukhamantapa has four round pillars made of black stone. The upper structure lies supported on these pillars. The pillars are delicately carved with amazing design on the round wheel. However, for some reason the design is incomplete on some part of the wheDSC00635els. The temple is 950 years old and its clearly evident in the wear and tear inside. However, its being maintained on and off by the ASI. There are around 6 smaller shrines in this temple dedicated to the Devi form and incarnations of Lord Vishnu. One shrine is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the god with an elephant head. The main deity, Chennakesava occupies the shrine in the middle. The ceiling is entirely carved with various designs and human forms.  I spent around 10 minutes inside this temple and came outside to have a tour of the outer structure of the two temples.

As i mentioned earlier, the entire outer side is carved with various forms of Vishnu and others. For example, in this picture you can see Garuda, Lord Vishnu and a DeviDSC00641 idol. There are other sculptures like Krishna lifting the Govardhana mountain, dancing on the Snake called Kaliya and other stories in his life. Most of the idols are disfigured as they were made out of terracotta unlike the main structure which was made of stone. I entered the other temple in this complex once i completed my tour of the outside.

The Nageshwara Temple is similar in structure to the Chennakesava Temple, however the deity is Lord Siva in the Linga form. The architecture inside looks the same like the other temple with the same five turrets over a shrine.We find a small DSC00651antarala here unlike the other temple in the complex. We will of course find the Nandi Bull in the mukhamantapa right in front of the antarala. Even the pillars are of the same design. The ceiling has been recently renovated with the stone treated with chemicals by the ASI. There are again more than one shrine inside with Linga and Karthikeya as one of the deity. There are two inscriptions that you find in stone plates and the text wore off over the centuries. They are no doubt inscriptions mentioning about the King Veera Ballala and the commissioning of these two temples.

With the excitement of exploring a new place i moved on to visit the next place, Doddagadavalli. For the blog, we will talk a a little about Hoysala architecture and its nitty-gritty things in the next Post.


Deguide said...

The twin temples are worth a visit, most of the tourist avoid it since it is off track.

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