memories of family outings.....


Treats in the backyard.....

One  can live for half a century in a place and not know of  little treats that lie in the backyard.
How is it that one never heard of Hedathale and Hemmaragala, when one was younger and hopping over to Nanjangud at the drop of a hat ? Half a hop beyond it lie two precious little shrines , centuries old . Renovated recently. And widely made known recently too.
A shrine of modest size and design, this little temple houses an absolutely charming idol of Santhana Venugopala in Tribhanga pose . Strangely, he is also called Hucchu Gopala because of a curious legend in which  a  royal couple pray for offspring and Gopala obliges , but when the child is born its gender keeps doing a flip flop between male and female . Thats some leela on the part of gopala to tease the couple itseems. Which sounded quite idiotic to me . At the end of the story, the obviously bored infant settles on a male identity and the grateful couple build this temple in gratitude. But they dint forget to label the benefactor as Hucchu (insane) Gopala .

That folktale aside, history says the place came under the rule of the Gangarasa s and the king's dream of a buried idol led him to build the temple, under guidance of the sage Kaundinya.  Inscriptional evidence states "The  temple  came under the leadership of the ‘hoysalas’ and their king Veeraballava donated lands to the temple for the daily needs of the rituals in the year 1298 AD in the month of Phalguna, on a Tuesday".
Kaundinya rishi's Danda is a revered object here and on weekends, visitors can get DandaSparsha ( a mild rap on the head by the priest with the cane ) which will ensure good fortune.

Though the old temple has got some facelift, it can still do with some help. The priest specifies it would be nice if we brought oil for lamps and beatenrice for neivedyam on our subsequent visits.
With hardly any noise around, it was so peaceful to sit doing nothing in the front porch, looking at  the lovely wooden roof. An inquisitive calf kept company.  There was even a board game etched on the floor to amuse oneself with. But, sadly, clueless about how to play that taditional game !


And then to Hadathale, a short distance away. This is a comparatively bigger town with a larger shrine. The Lakshmikantha Temple  has been fully renovated ,  without tiles and paint ( thankfully) and maintained well by a corporate group. Just beyond the compound wall , another beautiful temple can be seen crumbling away. Beyond help .

The Lakshmikantha Gudi  is 700 year old, Hoysala Trikutachala architecture, but with minimal sculptural decoration. Three shrines , to Lakshmikantha, Venugopala and Lakshminarasimha. In addition, a sanctum for a modern image of Andal, very pretty, who gazes back at one when the arathi is performed. Play of shadows ofcourse.

The ceilings are worked with lotus , snake and trellis motifs and borders on outer walls have lovely "bangle" like designs. The inner hall has lathe turned pillars. There are a few inscriptions on outer walls.

The front porch, the Chavadi is of interest here. Built by a palegara , father of 16 daughters, this pavilion has 16 facets with pillars and stone seats. The  palegara"s wife could seat all her daughters with their husbands in the stone seats in such a way that when she herself took her place, her daughters could see her, but the men could not. Propriety ! A neat trick of architectural  design.


Arun Visweswaran said...

Good discoveries !

YOSEE said...

yes, all the time right under the nose, yet took all this while to see them !