Sunday, July 27, 2014

Twin Temples of Marle

5th July 2014

Marle is a small nondescript village but for the Hoysala Temples in the village. Situated few km away from Chikmagalur, this village has two beautiful Hoysala Temples. Located in the same compound, the Keshava and Siddeshwara Temples have their traced to the period of Vishnuvardhana who rules the Hoysala kingdom in 12th century.

Reaching Marle village was not difficult thanks to helpful villagers. A small detour on Chikmaglur-Belur road leads to the village. The Temple is situated in an open area next to the lake.

The Keshava Temple has two small elephant statues holding lotus at its entrance. One of the lotus is damaged.

The Temples does have some good carvings.

In between the Temples are two stone slabs with inscriptions.

The Temples were locked and hence we could not enter to its interior. The priest who had the keys stays far away from the Temple.

The Temple does not seem to be under ASI maintenance but surprisingly it is clear of encroachments. While the compound is of no hindrance for the animals to enter, it does provide an artificial security to the Temple.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shigekhan, Bhadra

5th July 2014

An uphill road that goes from Muthodi in Bhadra wildlife sanctuary leads to Shigekhan which provides panoramic views of the sanctuary.  This 2.5 km stretch was fit for only four wheel drive vehicles.  A forest guest house is also located here.

Last week I was in Muthodi with my family for an evening visit. A casual talk with forest official revealed that the road to Shigekhan was improved. He encouraged us to go up and have a look. That was great news!! And indeed that road though muddy was decent enough for any cars to move.

What we did not expect was that the Shigekhan guesthouse was occupied by drunkards. Shocked to see someone ‘encroaching’ their ‘holy land’, they tried to bully us by claiming themselves as forest officials. Without permission no one can enter this area, they barked. While I was taken aback, my wife started telling that they do not look like forest officials!! I clearly told that it was forest department people at Muthodi who sent us here.

Unfortunately, due to the canopy of trees, the views can be seen only from the terrace of the guest house.

The caretaker seemed to be worried and came to me and told that he would take us to the terrace. It was then I realized those guests were ‘drunk’. Obviously they were not forest officials but some law abusing citizens. Considering its isolation, it was not safe to spend much time when family was around. So, we quickly took some snaps and drove down.

Though the place was great, we were disappointed that we could not spend good amount of time in that serene place.

Its a pity that there seems to no end to my encounters with unruly drunkards!! Whether it is Bhadra, Anashi or Belikal the story remains the same.