Sunday, December 6, 2009

Illi Nodu 4

Me: I give up.
Ed: Just another few thousand words. Come on..
Me: Hmmm
Ed: Uh oh ! I don't like that grin

800 steps up to the 80 feet breathtaking monolith.
It is dated around 981 and is supposed to Asia's biggest monolith. It has withstood over 1000 years of the onslaughts of weather and continues to impress people from all over. Though proportionally speaking he is less reassuring that Michelangelo's David. (Exeunt philistine)

The finish - for example seen in these nails and fingers is just wonderful. I don't know anyone who can even write a few lines on paper without scratching. Imagine a monolith !

Karnataka tourism was simple and impressive. For the kind of crowd the place handles daily, it was very well maintained.

We in TN have inscriptions lying about every place, with no idea what the deuce they are about. Sravanabelagola has hundreds of inscriptions. Every inscription has been given a serial number, has a glass case over it and an explanatory note for those interested. Most of them were just 'Vishnuvardhana was here". Good to know, anyway.

Here's a pillar in Melukote Chuluvanarayanaswamy temple

The curves and gaps that seem like metal are actually stone. Presumably single stone again.

Fine-ness being obvious to a novice does seem confusing. But that is what Hoysala sculptures seem to be all about.
Here is one from the Hoysaleswara temple in Halebeedu.

The filigree is to be seen to be believed. Even in this pic, you haven't yet seen it.

Here's another

Drummer 'tuning' (?) his drum tugging at the straps. The straps by which the drum hangs, the drum itself, the fingers between the drum and the straps - all in one stone. This particular piece is reproduced across several temples in Halebeedu and Belur.

Here is one stunning pillar in a Jain basadi for the thirthankara Adinatha- in Halebeedu - inadequately captured on camera

Close-up it gives the impression of a series of piled up plates that one has to yield to the temptation of trying to 'rotate' them.The fine finish of a smaller 'plate' sandwiched between two larger ones elicits the deserved "how the deuce!"

And here's another 'how' er

The wafer thin 'pillars' of a sannidhi on a pillar in Belur Chennakesava temple.

With that we finis. "Cut and print Ed"
Ed: Endnote, insight, tailpiece

Vacations are essentially masochistic. They remind you of how small cubicle actually is. We will continue to just go about living beside wonders.

(Belavady temple, Hassan district)


  1. My comment got eaten..
    so posting again:

    Everything sounds (and looks great)! I remember loving the sculptures in Halebeedu- thank you for reminding me why.

    I need to go back and read your previous travel posts in detail.

  2. Awesome! Simply Awesome! Wonderful travelogue my friend.

    "They remind you of how small cubicle actually is. We will continue to just go about living beside wonders." Truer words were never spoken my friend. Well there have been...but you know what I mean :)

    Also, was that you who exposing the palm reegai? :) How the deuce, indeed.

  3. Thank you Lavanya and Groucho.

    //Also, was that you who exposing the palm reegai?// Yes !

    //How the deuce, indeed.// Were you referring to the said rEgai. If so, then curious to know what is in store :-)

  4. Good point - gazing at works like these, being in the midst of very beautiful woods, meeting some people - the list of what can make me feel bad about a wasted life is endless. The tragedy is that being an overly pragmatic or practical middle class bloke can benumb your mind so much that the vast majority don't even realise the tragedy of the cube farms. Do the rich actually become wiser due to wider exposure ? I wundur ...

    I presume you have seen those thin musical pillars in meenachiyaam kovil.

    BTW, was it a package tour ?

  5. oops, I meant meenachiyamman kovil

  6. Illa, was referring to the thin pillars.

    //If so, then curious to know what is in store :-)//

    The astrologer in Amaithi Padai: Ninety fai-years, ayul getti! :))

  7. //BTW, was it a package tour ?//
    No. Just googled, booked and went.

    I've seen the Meenatchiyamman kovil pillars. As several parts of that temple were built in several periods, I am not sure what are the dates of the pillars. As the Hoysalas a bit after the Cholas and Pandyas I think they had different access to equipment to execute the fine-ness. The style - if I may even presume to understand it in this context - in those packed friezes are so different and impressive.

    Regarding cube-farm, I think it needs a long separate post on limits of self-deprecation.