The gigantic 8/9 metres tall image of Ugra Narasimha is located in the south of the Hemakuta group of temples that includes the Virupaksha Temple. The Narasimha is a four-armed figure seated under the canopy of a seven-hooded snake.
Beyond the Krishna Temple Complex is the celebrated but badly damaged sculpture of Narasimha, carved out of a single boulder. The recent discovery of the detached figure of Lakshmi identified this massive sculpture as Yoga Lakshmi Narasimha.
Now in a damaged state, the awesome image depicts the benign aspect of the god since a part of the right hand goddess Lakshmi skirts around the Narasimha suggesting that goddess Lakshmi was originally seated on his lap. The monolith s disfigured but its significance is undisputed.
The Hidimbeshwara temple is the oldest temple the hill. The other temples in the hill fort are those of Ekanathamma; Phalguneshwara, Gopalakrishna, Anjaneya, Subbaraya and the Siddeswara.
A huge kettle-drum, in one of the temples, 6 feet in height and 10 feet in circumference is said to be Bhima's. Walk across to the stones that ground the gunpowder for Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan.
Badami town is best known for its beautiful cave temple, cut into the cliff face of a red sandstone hill. They display the full range of religious sects which have developed in India. Two of them are dedicated to Vishnu, one to Shiva and the fourth is a Jain temple. There's also one natural cave which is a Buddhist temple.
51 kms southeast of Hassan, this is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centers. Here is the 17 m high monolith of Lord Bahubali - the world's tallest monolithic statue. Thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka -a spectacular ceremony held once in 12 years, when the 1000 -year- old statue is anointed with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2005 A.D. Shravanabelegola is 158 kms from Bangalore.
The ISKCON Temple was built recently by the International Society for Krishan Consciousness. As you climb the granite steps you will encounter three small shrines before the main temple. The three idols of Lord Krishna in the main shrine are made of brass.
This temple is one of the most remarkable examples of Hoysala art. The interior and the exterior walls of the temple are covered with intricate sculptures depicting the various Hindu gods, sages, stylised animals and birds, and friezes portraying the life of the Hoysala rulers.
The temple is set in a well-maintained garden adjacent to which is a museum containing a collection of fine sculptures. Inspite of the fact that construction of the temple started in the year 1121 (Approx.) and there was 80 monotones years of labour the temple was never completed. Among the other famous temples of Halebid are the Kedareswara and Jain temple.
The Channekeshava Temple at Belur was constructed in the year 1116 to celebrate the victory of the Hoysala's over the Cholas at Talakad. Intricate carvings can be found on the interiors of the temple. The sensational seven storied gopuram is exceptionally beautiful with some breathtaking sculptures explicitly depicting the apres-temple activities of dancing girls. The temple is enclosed in a paved compound with a well and a bathing tank. Among others temples of Belur are the Channigaraya and the Viranarayana Temples.
Karnataka - the ancient dynastic land of India, which once nurtured great Indian dynasties, is a charming state of coastal beauty and tall wavering palmgroves. Travel Hampi, Halebid, Gulbarga, Badami, Bidar, Bijapur, Halebid and Belur and get a glimpse of Karnataka's historical heritage or enjoy the nightlife of the Silicon Valley of India - Bangalore.
Mangalore, Hassan Madikeri Mysore Chikmagalur Karwar