Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The smell of old rocks of a 1000 year old temple-Helebidu

Dating back to 12th century, The Hoysaleswara temple in Helebidu in Hassan district in Karnataka ,is a masterpiece, studded with a profusion of will be blinded by the intricacies and the minute detailing carved on the rocks.

The basement of the temple has the most richly sculptured friezes. Horsemen charge, war elephants charge, all in stone. Scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata add to the grandeur.

I visited the temple a second time recently and found that half a day is not sufficient to  explore the carvings. the temple enshrines the deities of Hoysaleshwara and Santaleshwara, named after King Vishnuvardhan Hoysala and his wife Queen Shantala
the carvings on walls

 Shivlingam in the sanctorum has been commended as a perfect prototype of Hindu style of architecture. Its architecture is considered as the pinnacle of Indian architecture.

visiting the temple in the monsoons gives it an even grandeur look and feel . walking towards the main temple you can smell the wet grass and soil from the garden around it and get the earthy aroma.

inside the temple
once inside the temple, you get surrounded by cold blanket.

instead of getting a damp ,dark and a confined space smell, you actually smell of old rocks with water dripping inside the small hole and pores. the fragrance is mixed with the garlands on the shrine and the smell of the flame of "Aarthi" or "Karpoor" burning.

its a mix of fragrance of  fresh flowers ,burning cotton strands dipped in pure ghee and the old rocks.

Its like the smell we get in villages inside the houses made of clay roofs and walls but it is surprisingly refreshing and clean .

The play with the sun and shade and placement of the pillars inside the temple is spell bounding. the pillars inside are carved in a such a way that lights reflect from each and falls directly on the main diety which is shiva. the shine on the pillars and floor is still the same . when light falls on floor, it looks wet and shines tremendously.
the play with pillars and sun and shade
the walls outside which are lined with carvings of mahabharata and ramayana stories. You can actually take a full round of the temple and see the stories unfold itself in the form of 3D sculptures.

the rain makes the exterior of the temple shine and when you go near to the small carvings or sculptures you get a earthly smell of old rocks mixed with water. you can feel the labor of the people who have tolled for years to make this masterpiece.
temple during monsoon

it is indeed a HOLY fragrance, with a difference. one you would not get inside crowded temples.

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