Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Our Treasure - I

Para Vasudeva (Vishnu), at Badami Caves, North Karnataka
'Eega Raja durbarada olage praveshisiri', the guide said and we were asked to enter this beautiful palace hall-like place in the Badami Caves.

It took sometime for me to decipher what he was saying...I was stunned at the beauty of the sculpture...it was mind boggling! I really had a feeling that I had entered a palace!

We had a 2 week visit to Ajanta-Ellora Cave paintings/sculptures in Maharashtra, Aihole, Pattada Kallu and Badami cave temples in Karnataka.

Badami caves were built by the Chalukya King, Mangalesha in the year 578 CE. We can see an old Kannada inscription on a stone here about the period. Badami was called Vatapi in those days. These rock temples (4 temples, one for Shiva, 2 for Vishnu and one for Jain/Mahaveera) are carved out of the soft Badami sandstone on a hill in the late 6th to 7th centuries.

This temple of Vishnu was the best and the biggest and it had splendid giant figures of Paravasudeva, Bhuvaraha, Harihara and Narasimha (all avataras of Vishnu). I will post the other pictures later! The guide said that the avatara of Vishnu here, is called Para Vaasudeva!

A closer picture of the sculpture! Look at the heads of the snakes, the fingers, nails, toes, ornaments, the flow of the anga vastra (the cloth flowing from the shoulder), the way the feet are poised...click on the picture to view clearly!

You can see the tiny figures around the main sculpture here! The snake's body looks so natural, thin in the end and then it becomes thicker on top!  These sculptures go beyond religions!                                                                                       

The 70 feet wide cave in which this sculpture is seen.
The Vishnu temple is on the left. We had to climb many uneven steps to reach there.

The caves were carved through these rocks! Incredible!

This beautiful photograph is by Dinesh Kannambadi.  Looks clearer than my picture!
Many more beautiful sculptures are there.  This post will become tooo long then.  I am planning to do small small posts, so that it would be easy to read.

We have got so many precious treasures here, in our own country.  I regret for not visiting these places earlier.  We should be very proud of our ancestors for leaving treasures like these for us and our future generation to admire.  These cave temples will stay for thousands of years to declare the greatness of our Indian heritage.






P.S.: Our Treasure - II is here!

        Our Treasure - III is here!


Saritha said...

Most of the ancient temples are destroyed by the rulers who came into india. And what is left is been destroyed by visitors.

The pics look so clean and status are un-touched sandhya. I was always interested in the history but never got a chance to see much. I have been to elephanta caves in mumbai and all the statues are destroyed, like nose is gone,no fingers etc and people write on the walls.
I once when to see Kakatiya rulers built 1000 pillars temple...Even that was not in a good shape but i loved the carving and sculptures. I didnt had camera then so no pics.

KParthasarathi said...

Fortunate are you to see such magnificent pieces of sculpture.The pictures and the captions below bring out the beauty of the idols and the temples.

SG said...

Happy Pongal to you and your family. Thanks for the wonderful travelogue and sharing these beautiful photos.

Sandhya said...

SARITHA: I was upset when I saw the beautiful sculptures with broken nose, arms etc. in Ellora, Aihole, etc. The enemies did half of them and the rest were done by own visitors. Nobody gives importance to our heritage. At Ajanta caves, it is written everywhere not to use flash, since it would harm the ancient paintings...many did not bother and continued using flash.

Here, it is less. Most of the sculptures are in tact.

Since we are bloggers now, we will take our camera with us always, Saritha!

K PARTHASARATHY: I had goose bumps as soon as I entered this area surrounded by beautiful sculptures. I can still feel the way I felt when I saw this sculpture, Trivikrama and one shiva's sculpture. They are unbelievably beautiful sculptures.

Thank you, Partha Sir!

SG: Thank you and our wishes to you and your family, SG!

Have you visited this place?

Shail Mohan said...

Lovely sculptures and write up too. Will wait for the rest of them eagerly :)

Though it is easy to blame enemies for destroying ancient monuments, no one pays much attention to the vandalizing and neglect by our own countrymen. When it says not to use flash, can't they even follow that!

BK Chowla, said...

I have been to Janta Ellora caves...Those are just beautiful and speak volumes on sculpture efforts and technology in oldest days

Rama Ananth said...

Beautiful pictures, and very interesting write up too.

Rama Ananth said...

Beautiful pictures, and very interesting write up too.

Sandhya said...

SHAIL MOHAN: Our people will never have the 'our country' feeling. This site is ASI approved one. Still, care is not enough. But why to blame others, we ordinary visitors, do our best to destroy these treasures.

Thank you, Shail!

BK CHOWLA: In Ajanta, did you notice the shamiana type ceiling? Incredible.

I did a mistake in wishing for Lohri. I wrote Baisaki. Sorry. Our wishes for Lohri to you and your family!

RAMA ANANTH: Thank you, Rama!

Destination Infinity said...

Happy Pongal :)

The Tiger Caves near Mahabalipuram are similar. I wonder if architects in those days had close connections.

Destination Infinity

ashok said...

Happy Pongal Sandhya

sweetyshinde said...

Very true. What I hate is tourists littering such sacred places with cola bottles and wafer wrappers.
I wish we appreciated our wealth as much as foreigners treasure their tourist spots.sw

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

Magnificent statues.Withstood the ravages of man and time.A real treasure trove.

Bikram said...

beautiful pics

and you know one thing that makes me angry is that not much is being done to preserve our culture and heritage .. much much more has to be done

Hope you had a good pongal ..


Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: A guide at Aihole said that the queen had visited temples in Tamilnadu and was impressed. She asked the sculptors to take tips from them. This is the guide's version. But we saw dravidian influence in some temples in Aihole. Will write about them shortly.

ASHOK: Thank you, Ashok! Our wishes to you and your family too!

SWEETYSHINDE: Same people are careful not to litter when they visit abroad!

RAMAKRISHNAN RAMANATHAN: More are yet to come. You will be astonished, Ramakrishnan!

Onkar said...

Very nice pictures.

Zephyr said...

Great pictures and post, Sandhya. We truly have so many treasures which we don't care to preserve and take pride in.

Sandhya said...

ONKAR: Thank you, Onkar!

ZEPHYR: Yes, we don't take pride in what our ancestors have achieved. Outsiders should come and appreciate them first and then we follow them.

Shail Mohan said...

Reading it again and marveling at the sculptures!

Sandhya said...

SHAIL MOHAN: Thank you, Shail! I get overwhelmed when I see pictures of these treasures in our own country. As usual, promotion and maintenance is not enough.

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