Aretippur / Artipur, Maddur, Karnataka.

Visiting this place is serendipity. Not an easy find, aretippur a beautiful village nested in the bird sanctuary reserve of Kokrebellur.

This village host an Archeological site which has remains of Jain Basadi (basti) complex. Surrounded by fantastic nature and situated on a monolithic hill did truly compensated my disappointments with Mandagiri, Tumkur.

Seated Mahavir on the first hill.
Looking at the artisanship and facial expressions this price of art was executed in Hoysala style. There are pictures of the other findings which are now kept some where in store room I guess.

Really fun part of this visit was the climb of Kanakgiri a hill adjacent to this site. This is the best location of selected for Statue I have ever visited.

Climb of Kanakgiri.
Small opening from the rocks to go towards the top.

Just siting and looking at this Statue is reminder of something deep within. The valley areounf evokes the silence and vastness of chitta. The Mahavira (great victorious one) seating in lotus posture on the hill stands upright and seeming like roaring on the kanakagiri becoming the Bahuballi; abiding the Nirvana and Samsara.

View from the top. A meditative experience indeed.
Bahuballi.

Having said that, there is some new “development” going on here too. Visit this place before it loses it’s rawness.

Daigo
9764148789

Aretippur, Karnataka.

Mandagiri, Tumkuru

Hi I am in Tumkuru. Came here in hopes to see the largest monolithic hill in Asia.

Mandagiri, Tumkuru, Karnataka.

And I did see it. I kept my hopes high to climb the stairs that leads to the table top of this hill.

The climb.

But was welcomed by a hideous cement structure. Most of the natrual wonders in India are stained by such wannabe egotistical modern buildings. They do nothing else than merely marking and claiming the to be better the nature. Which is impossible.

Unlike some of the Jain Basadi and Hindu Temples of the past which were extention to the nature in Badami Lakkundi, Rattihalli and other parts if Karnataka.

Beautiful old temple behind the current concrete structure.

Today is full moon day. And also my Birthday day, would have been beautiful to sit on the table top and meditate on the changing phases of the stream of life.

Sunset from the top.
Moon rise.

Having enquired was told that 4.4 crore rupees are spent to build a cement Tree. That shit is expensive.

Leaving no breathing space on the table top. This structure starts even before the climb is over.

There is a saying in marathi, which sadly cannot be translated to English. “झगा मगा, मला बघा!” Marathi readers may try to translate in the comments 😆

Daigo
9764148789

26Feb2021

Tumkuru

Chitradurg

Destiny has brought me to Chitradurga. At the first glance of the magnificent fort of Chitradurga, once the capital and establishment place of Nayaka kingdom.

I am spending 4-5 days in Chitradurga. The fort is spectacular no doubt. But there is some thing special about this place.

I saw a sculpture of Banshakari feet (Padā) at the foot of Chitradurga. It was unusual site, as the sculpture did had the heritage quality to it, but also had a blend of contemporary thinking. Which seeked my attention.

I did enquired about the priest guide and every body I could find to know more about it.

It was next day in the evening, while I was talking stroll in the city, found an artist in his workshop. I asked him if I could see his artwork, to which he graciously agreed. I found the nature of the Padā reflected in the pieces he displayed.

I instantly showed him the photographer of banshankari feet to find out that he had sculpted it.

Kirti (sculptor of Banshakari Padā) working in his workshop.
Photo of the piece before sending to the temple

And this is the beauty of Chitradurga. The Indianness of the art here is intact. So much that even the contemporary work of art connects to the artisanship of the past.

Kirti was telling me about the similarity that reflects between Ajanta Ellora cave sculptures and Badami, inspite of the fact that they were done 1000 years apart.

And so does his work reflects same beauty and bhakti after 1000 years from then.

Ruins of the palace of Nayaka. The fort was under constant threat from Adil Shah and the Dynasty was dissolved during British Intrusion.

One more thing that I found interesting is that there is a cafe on the fort which is operated in an ancient structure.

Usability give purpose to a space and add to the spatial values. This is what is needed. Artworks is museum are like animals in zoo.

Now that all the ancient art and architecture rests in the cages and common people are deprived of it. This is time to built something new that would add to the beauty in this world.

I liked it, although they don’t serve Thumbs up!

This trip is going to take more time than expected. Seen so many places, been in so many spaces. I have already forgotten where I came from and where I am going.

But Chitradurga is going to be a bit longer stay.

Daigo
9764148789

Chitradurga

Rattihalli

Reached Rattihalli late night and there are no hotels in Rattihalli 😂

Nagraj and some locals from the town fixed me in this beautiful government banglow for the night.

IB of Rattihalli

At the strike of dawn ran out the banglow towards the kadamba temple in Rattihalli.

Kadamba temple, Rattihalli.

I am also getting good at jumping over the fences and breaching from the back doors. Now it happens to be my forte.

I am kind of obsessed with these lion figures of Chalukya temples. This one has ornamentation on it’s torso.
Statue of Mahavira, Jainism was largely accepted and promoted at the times of Chalukya’s

There is so much more to this trip. The. Blog post might not be a true justice to the experience. But neither the less I will continue to share them.

What I really look forward to share is the material I am geting for the research, and will be more adequate and good set up to share the learnings from this trip; complied together.

Daigo
9764148789

Sirsi – Banvasi – Honnemadaru.

I am banking on the uncertainties. Met with unexpected rain, hence decided to halt in Sirsi.

Next morning went to the beautiful temple of Maarikamba in Sirsi and headed towards Banavasi.

Maarikamba temple, Sirsi
Paintings on the Maarikamba temple.

Banavasi

Banavasi was a spot yet again suggested by the locals. I am glad that I visited this place.

The temple is still in use and is well mentained.

Details of the monolithic bed at Banvasi.
Archeological findings on Banvasi kept in prison.
Carvings on a black schist pillar

Honnemadaru

Honnemadaru if a the gate of Paradise. Namito a lady which has spent her life k guarding this gate gave a boat ride in the back waters of Sharavati.

Honnemadaru

I also spoted the rare bird of paradise in Honnemadaru. The sight which I always wondered to see.

Road Honnemadaru to Sagar.

It was pleasure meeting a couple from Belgaum Yashodha and Shiva who were on vacation in the region. They insisted to stay in Sagar, but I was drifted towards Rattihalli.

Went to Rattihalli from here. Tried from the rowing boat in the backwaters and all soaked in rain.

Mirjan fort – Yana Caves

Unlike other forts which were built in the coastal Region of Karnataka and Maharashtra, which is also regarded as Parshuram belt and accomodate many structures from Chalukya, Satvahan and Kalyani Chalukya Dynasty; Mirjan fort stands out to mark the bled of Islamic and Portuguese architecture. The geometrical shapes and curves of this fort spread across 12 acres has no extention to the architectural evidence found arround this place. Which also makes it difficult to determine the era, in which it was built in.

St. Joseph Curch beside Mirjan Fort.

There is Konkani and Kanada speaking population which resides in this village and St. Josheph church.

A huge well that sources its water from Agnanashi River.

Yanna Caves

Yana caves is miracle of nature. The Karst rock formations offer spectacular view of where nature has carved it’s extraordinary poems.

I am heading towards Sirsi, as Naik form Gokarna had justed some Temples for the research arround that place.

View from the ghats of Sirsi.
A temple in Manjagunni, 10km in from Sirsi road.

Was suppose to pass Sirsi today, but it started raining heavily, hence had to halt in Sirsi.

P.s I did try many Soda Lemon today. But none of them tasted like the Shrikanth from Gangavalli made!

Diago,

9764148789

Sirsi, Karnataka.

Gokarna, Karnataka

Gokarna is blend of ancient culture and pop tourism coesxiting in harmony. The youth and corporate vacationers live within there sets of rules and there are boundaries to the religious culture that dates back to the era before Ramayan and Mahabharat.

There are shops that sell Souvenir shops for the fancies of foreigners, beside the shops that sell ritualistic objects for the pilgrims.

There are beautiful salt lagoons towards the outskirts of Gokarna

Salt lagoons of Gokarna.

Sujit now a friend had suggested Open House Food land to ear osters and crab. So I did go to the place and it did not fail to satisfy.

Crabs and Oysters

What else… Rested for a while that’s it. Something that awaits will come as I go.

Until next time.

Daigo,

976148789

19 Feb 2021

Ankola, Karnataka

Sufi from Ulavi suggest this place, instead of directly going to Gokarna.

I did back and forth Gokarna and Ankola, but keeping the stories of each place seperate to avoid confusion for you.

Reaching Ankola from Karwar the first thing I did was to rest on the rocks of honney beach and even slept for a while.

Honey beach (honnebail)

Went out to explore the jungle near by in search of an ancient Jain Basadi (temple). But it came to my understanding after roaming for 3 hours that many of the ancient structures are demolished by the locales to re-use them for living of some other ritualistic purposes.

This region is filled with Goud tribe who are so much unaffected by the colonists. Many of the old people still wear the traditional attire while they still depend on the local ecosystem and jungles for thier livelihood. But this notion would still pass as the young generation is well connected to the modern India through internet and tourism. Many of the aspire to work in hospitality and are well accomodated by the thriving tourism trends in this region.

House built on the ruins of ancient jain temple.

This time I met Sujit on the ferry from Gangavalli river to Gokarna and he told me about his hometown Ankola. And many places that he explored as kid roaming arround in the jungles and on the beaches of Ankola.

Bela beach, Ankola

Sujit is yet another budding entrepreneur I have met on this journey. He has plans to start a resort on Bela Beach in near the Labrinth he showed me. Many kids who went inside have found silver coins on 50meters away from the entrance said Sujit. But the now the entrance of the Labrinth is closed due to land slide on the entrance and inside.

Labyrinth near Bela beach that opens 6km ahead near Gokarna main beach
View of Bela Beach from Basakall hill, Sujit with guy
who lead to the Labrinth.

It is fortune when one meets a guy like Sujit or Kiran and Sufi on the journey like this. They indeed open doors to the surprises which would be inaccessible as a tourist. A sense of local, a bit more indulgence.

Sujit aslo took me to this Babrudeva Jain Basadi. Which as idol from Kalyani Chalukya era. The structure arround it has been renovated and rebuilt many times over past hundreds of years.

Babrudeva, example of Kalyani Chalukya Style sculpted in black schists.

Although it is now a Jain Temple, the name and the idol suggested something else. Babruvahan, the son of Arjuna of Mahabharata who killed his father in battle. The Mangteshwar temple on a island of Bela beach supports the fact as it is said to have ties and exits since the time of Mahabharata.

Mangteshwar temple.

As I said earlier I was doing to and fro Ankola and Gokarna since I reached. The these too places are connected with a ferry on Gangavalli river. The captains of this ferry supermen, they lifted Karina multiple times to load her into the boat!!!

Commute from Ankola to Gokarna. Karina is going places 😆

Youth of this town is phenomenal. With lot of aspirations they are hoping to shap the local economy and bringing there community together into geniun and simple hospitality. No wonders this place has got recognition as a chillax adda.

Shrikant who started a tea and refreshments cafe near the ferry point on Gangavali river has reinvented the lemon soda drink which is quite famous arround. He uses freshly pressed lemon juice and crush to make it like now one else does. This is beauty found in unexpected place.

Amazing refreshing Lime Soda prepared by Shrikant, has experience in hospitality and want to start a new business when he might have to find other enterprise after completion of the Bridge, replacing the ferry.
View while having the lime soda 😉

Daigo,

9764148789

18Feb2021, Ankola

Karwar, Karnataka

Karwar if melting point of Konkani and Kanada. Being in Karwar is like being in Kanada speaking Konkani town. Some traces and influence of Marathi are inseparable from this town.

Where River Kali meets the Arabian Sea.

I saw it this town leaving under the shadow of Naval Base. Generally I walk the towns I visist from 15 to 25 km at peak. But most of the place that I was interested in like Anjediva Fort are restricted to visit.

But never the less this town does offer beautiful sights of Houses that have coastal British influence on them. And thers is an undercurrent of trend import from the tourism of Panjim, Goa too.

The market place of this place is the most active place, karvar being a port city. Although many trades have siezed to exist due to Naval Base presence, this town still reflect the trading history.

Red Sniper in hotel Amrut.
Pomphret that lasted for two days in my belly 😆, hotel Sea View.

Karwar did prophel something.

A resting place like Karwar offers a point to reflect on the journey. And while having breakfast at one of the joint in Karwar, I saw this picture of Hemamalini posing as Parvati in her performance.

India has always justified the forms and representations of the spirituality. She has honered every form that depicted the bhakti (faith) in its material form. May it be in dance sculptures or any other medium.

In the recent time mostly from the seventies it has seen gratification toward the visual elements regardless of the essential wisdom behind it which arises from the Knowing nature. This has indeed offered a new perspective and a stepping point for the research I am doing about architecture and Objective Art.

I saw a sculpture which was done so absent mindedly that the fingers of the status were misplaced. This is what happens when the art is found in the midst of having and not having, and calculative idealism. We as humans have always replicated. Our self in forms of the offsprings, and the nature in form of the art and things we creat. This might reflect the current phase of what we are doing. Copying with eye closed, without even knowing what we want, what we desire and what we are doing.

The collective consciousness has lost the contributions of the beauty of it’s individual indentity.

This tied me back to Badami where all this stared from to again contempt on the missing links of Indianness to the art in this country.