This pursuit involved extensive travel and study of the available literature on related subjects. I had to begin somewhere. Having not been trained in any related fields was proving to be daunting. I thought I should just work on the construction methodology and the canonical literature that guided the project execution of those times. As I started working it turned out that it will be an exercise in futility if I did not learn about the history of Art and Architecture in Karnataka. Not much was available by way of any comprehensive published work on their history and how these progressed over time. Though there is voluminous information available on Hoysala and Chalukya architecture, information about the monuments built during the times of other dynasties is minimal. I needed to piece together various fragments ments of information to reach somewhere. Moreover the changing religious preferences between the 3rd century BCE and 10th century CE and the existence of numerous sects in the religions had a very strong influence on Art and Architecture. Learning about Karnataka's history and how religious movements affected it became an essential part of my study.
Language was another handicap. I had to learn both Sanskrit and Kannada. I joined Sanskrit classes at Samskrita Bharati and simultaneously started learning Kannada from the self-learning books. Knowledge of Sanskrit was important to relate with the canonical literature and knowledge of Kannada helped me communicate with people in the field. Though I cannot speak Kannada well, I can understand if someone is explaining something to me. Most of the people who acted as my guides at various sites were Kannada speaking persons. My driver Mohan Kumar remained a valuable asset as he knows English, Hindi, armada, Telugu and Tamil. After a few visits to sites he had even mastered the questions that I may need to ask in the field!
Google maps come in handy when you go out looking for a village or taluk but locating an abandoned monument is another matter. I had to seek assistance from all kind of local resources. Among the people who helped in my search were postmen, policemen, school teachers, autorickshaw drivers, small shopkeepers, retired persons, revenue department officials and local farmers. Many of the monuments are not located within the precincts of villages. I needed someone to accompany me to the site which may be deep inside a forest or on top of a hill. Local people were ever willing to guide me to the right spot. Without their help it would never have been possible for me to finish my tasks.
One needs to get in touch with people who know the subject before one ventures out. A friend of over forty years, Jayanand Govindraj introduced me to three of his friends involved in temple photography and exploration. We exchanged emails and I got a direction that I needed to follow. Since one of them had conducted photography missions to temples in Karnataka, his tips came in handy. It is easier to understand Temple Architecture if you have a few books on the subject and you visit temples taking photographs of various parts and relate these with the contents of the books. Most Hindu (as also Jaina) Temples in Karnataka conform to the typical dynastic idiom and canonical literature on the subject. Understanding sculpture; however is different altogether. Firstly, not much by way of literature is available and secondly there are several Schools of Art about which you need to have some knowledge. Aparna Suresh who has studied Fine Arts gave me the initial insights into temple sculpture. She not only knows art and sculpture but is well versed in the agamic practices that go into temple construction and consecration. Discussions with her proved valuable for me. I have had a lot of fruitful and informative discussions with Mr. S Panchapakesan, Mr. Mohan Shenoy, Mr. Anil Kale, Mr. Jayadeva and Ms. Vidya Rao generally about temples, sects and rituals. My wife Shyamala deserves a special mention. Not only did she remain with me all these three years as support, she also visited several sites facing all the hardships of long distance travel through unfamiliar territories. She helped me in framing all the right questions that the book should answer.
The timeline for my study begins with pre-historic times, more particularly around 3500 BCE and ends at the middle of the fourteenth century CE, till the time Hoysalas were in command in larger parts of what is now known as Karnataka. Since the focus is on Art and Architecture, much of this work is related with sands, stones and sculpture. The earliest constructed structures and pieces of art relate to the times when use of bricks, terracotta and stones commenced. So much of what is contained in the book pertains to Mauryan and post-Mauryan periods though some pre-historic sites of primitive artistic, architectural and metallurgical significance have been studied.
Temples constitute the largest part of the monuments I studied. Since till the fourteenth century, Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism were the dominant religions practiced in India, influence of these three religions on Art and Architecture constitutes a wide spectrum of this book. Canonical literature on Temple Architecture and Iconography has been written since 3rd century BCE. It includes not only ritualistic directions but also guidance involving use of sacred geometry. As I started understanding different types of Temple Architecture, I realized that extensive use of fractal geometry, mathematics, astronomy and geology was made in their design and construction. I searched for research publications pertaining to these areas related to Temple Architecture and found that a lot of work is continuing on this in various institutes in India and abroad. I have listed various publications I referred to in the List of References. Sections in Chapter 4 of the book are devoted to the canonical literature and the scientific temper that went into Temple Architecture.
Thanks to Information Technology, it is easy to get access to even the most obscure and rare publications from the archives. There are numerous organizations and institutions which provide downloading facilities for such rare works from their archives on payment of nominal fees or membership charges. This shortens substantially the time it takes to get hold of a publication and to take down notes from it. All that trouble of having to go searching for a library that stores such publication is obviated as a search on the linked networks of research institutions takes you directly to the site where the information is available. Had this facility of digital search not been available, it would have taken me several years more to write the book. A list of some of such sites is furnished at the end.
If I were to describe the book in one word, I'll call it a collage! So many scholars and professional researchers of repute have been working in related areas since the first quarter of the nineteenth century. I have learnt and taken down notes from all these works to put together in one volume. I am grateful to all these great men and women for having given me an insight into this area. I have listed them all inside the book and the List of References at the end.
To me it appears that Chapter 4 of the book will turn out to be the most useful for a layperson as it details most of the information about Temple layout, planning, components and architecture in simple and easily understandable terms, illustrated with photographs. History of Art and Architecture in Karnataka is detailed in chapter 5 describing separately the influence of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism on it. Chapter 6 details seven Heritage Circuits of importance in Karnataka. That should help interested persons to plan their Heritage tours. While photographs having direct contextual bearing are inserted in the main body of the book, photographs of general interest and those relating to the Heritage Circuits have been inserted separately as Plates at the end in Chapter 10. On the whole I feel that this book should be a good companion for visitors to the monuments in Karnataka.
I will be failing in my duty if I do not thank the various people who helped me in the field. The people who gave me their names and phone numbers are listed here. Mr. Hyder, Ayurvedic Practioner Hunukunda (9902961501), Mr. SR Anatharaman, Retired Postman Salgame. Mr. Venkatesh, Revenue Department Tadimalangi (9141554591), Mr. Anjani, ASI (9481823543), Mr. Sripal Jain and Mrs. Anant Lakshmi, Gommatagiri (9980614139), Mr. Vijay DS, Archaka and Mr. Someswar, Librarian Dharmapura (9880693008 and 9008383643), Mr. Srinivas, Anne Kanambi (9448592041), Mr. Jaya, Sindhaghatta ( 9901954544), Mr. Chamanayaka, ASI Alur (8749042835), Mr. Satyanarayana, ASI (9481207229), Mr. Ambreesh, ASI Bagali (7259804122), Mr. DB Kulkarni, Ingaleshwar (9980423325), Mr. Veerabhadra Gowda B Patil (9916112384) and Mr. Mohammad Hassan at Ron, Mr. Kiran Avadhani, Mathuru (9448839873), Mr. Lakshman Rao, Aralaguppe (7353272070), Mr. TG Ananth Rao, Ranganathaswamy Halebid (9448742370), Mr. Ashok Ishvarappa Jyoti, Halasi (8970204929), Mr. Prashant Chipragathi, Devarunda (9448470630), Mr. Revanna Kumar Librarian, Anur (8277691779), Mr. Satyanarayana, Marehalli (9964291582), Mr. Pampapathi, Hirebenkal (8151896076), Mr. Prashant Bharadwaj, Belavadi (9035041518), and Mrs. Pushpa Reddy, Kolar are the people who helped me in locating the sites and giving details about these. There are still many more who didn't wish to disclose their names and phone numbers for inclusion in a publication.
I MUST end this Note with an apology. I am not formally trained in any of the fields this book required me to comment on. I am not trained as a Historian or an Archaeologist or an Architect, or an Anthropologist or in the field of Fine Arts, yet I took the audacious decision to write a book on Art and Architecture. I know I may not have succeeded in creating a work commanding great appreciation but I am sure I have tried to explore as many dimensions relating to Karnataka's Art and Architecture as was possible within a span of three years. To that extent this work may have remained wanting in professional finesse expected in a book of this kind.
Exploration and excavation at sites of archaeological and historical significance started in Karnataka over 150 years ago. Extensive field work was carried out and numerous monuments were studied from -carious angles. But the largest amount of work was done on temple architecture and temple building styles. wouldn't have been possible if the inscriptions too weren't simultaneously studied, translated and their contents understood both from historical perspective and the social and economic standards of those days. Religion ion played a very big role in all matters social and political those days. Hence studies of religious zad literary works of those days too became important. Huge amount of researched information is now recallable for anyone to understand and appreciate Karnataka's rich heritage.
Various scholars initiated these studies during the pre-independence era results of which were published numerous journals, books and chronicles. A few names that come to mind from those times like BL Henry Cousins, James Fergusson, Percy Brown and others are still quoted as authorities on the eject. Indians too did tremendous amount of work in this field and their works found appreciation at pious international platforms. Prominent among them are R Narasimhachar, Dr. MH Krishna, Dr. MS Ni....,araja Rao, S Settar, Suryakant Kamat, Dr. KA Nilakanta Sastri, Varija R Bolar, KV Ramesh and many others.
Most of the researched articles were compiled in journals and the Mysore Archaeological Report (MAR) dished every year stood out distinctively as a source of authentic information. Now that digitization 'rats- overtaken the printed matter, most past books and journals have been digitized and are available on archives. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was established by archaeologist Alexander Cunningham 111- 1356. ASI is an institution that to this day remains responsible for documentation, restoration and ?refection of monuments across India. ASI also publishes well researched articles in its annual reports =tied Indian Archeology (year) A Review. Even these reports have been digitized for past years and are Viable on archives.
Numerous monographs got published of which many had specialized contents. Many of the books that are referred to were published during the pre-independence era. Many among these are available today only in the digitized form. All these publications and Reports helped disseminate information about the heritage among wider class of people. However, a very large amount of knowledge so created was written and talked about by specialists and experts in their respective fields. As such lay person either did not have access to it or was not able to comprehend it easily. The position remains almost same even today as all archaeological research remains in the hands of the government or its appointed agencies. Government agencies invariably have a typical style of producing reports which may interest those who are connected with government work but commoners may not find them interesting with the result that most attempts at creating awareness about heritage do not yield the desired results. However, governments do invest a large amount of effort in this direction. 1.2 Karnataka: Anitiquity, Etymology, Geography and Language
Karnataka's relationship with Mythology: According to a Hindu legend, the sage Parasurama beheaded Renuka's head with an axe on the orders of his father, the great sage Jamadagni. Parasurama tried to wash the blood stains off the axe by dipping it in various rivers, but a sesame-sized blood stain remained on his axe, until he dipped his axe in the Tunga River near Tirthahalli. This place is now called Parasurama Tirtha (or Rama Tirtha). Near Rama Tirtha, there is a stone Mandapa called Rama Mandapa. This legend has made Tirthahalli a holy place for Hindus and there is a belief among them that a dip in the river Tunga will cure one of all sins.
Tirthahalli has a rich archaeological history with Neolithic sites uncovered in Kundadri Hills near Agumbe and portholed burial chambers found at Arehalli near Tirthahalli. Some legends relate Tirthahalli with Ramayana too. Rameswara Temple is the main Hindu temple of Tirthahalli. It is near Parasurama Tirtha. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has a Lingam which is said to have been installed by sage Parasurama himself. The day when Parasurama cleansed his axe to remove the sesame-sized blood stain, the New Moon Day of the month of Margashirsha in the Hindu calendar, is termed Yellu Amavasya. Yellu meaning sesame and Amavasya meaning New Moon day, and Tirthahalli has an annual festival, Yellu Amavasya Jatre to celebrate this.
Kishkindha is believed to be the monkey kingdom of the Vanara King Sugriva, the younger brother of Vali of Ramayana times. This was the kingdom where Sugriva ruled with assistance of his friend, Hanuman after he was installed as the chief by Rama. This kingdom is identified to be the region around the Tungabhadra river (then known as Pampa Sagar) near Hampi and is located in Koppal district of Karnataka. The mountain called Rishimukha near the river where Sugriva lived with Hanuman, during the period of his exile also is located here only.
During the time of Ramayana the whole region was dense forest called Dandaka Forest extending from Vindhyas to the South Indian peninsula. Hence this kingdom was considered to be the kingdom of Vanaras which in Sanskrit means forest beings (vana and nara). Hanuman was the best-known figure among the Vanaras. He was the general of the Vanara king Sugriva who was installed on the throne of Kishkindha by Rama. Sangria’s elder brother Vali was the former king of the Vanaras. He was slain by Rama.
Later during the Mahabharata times, one of the Pandavas, Sahadeva was said to have visited this kingdom during his southern military campaign to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice. Sahadeva defeated the Pulindas, the hero and then marched southward. And then he beheld the celebrated caves of Kishkindha and in that region and fought for seven days with the Vanara kings Mainda and Dwivida. Those illustrious kings however, contributed to the mission of the king Yudhishthira.
The Tungabhadra and its surrounding hills and lakes are linked with ancient legends described in the sthalapurana, a compendium of local myths associated with Virupaksha temple at Hampi. This identifies the goddess Pampa with the village of Hampi, known as Pampakshetra in ancient times. Described as the `mind born' daughter of Brahma, the creator god, Pampa diligently performed penances on Hemakuta hill above the Tungabhadra river, thereby attracting attention of Siva. The god was seated in meditation nearby, having destroyed Kama, the god of love who had come to distract Siva in his meditation. Siva eventually betrothed himself to Pampa and married her and he came to be known as 'Lord of Pampa' or Pampapati.
Ramalinga Group of Temples, Avani Avani is famous for the temple dedicated to Sita situated on a hill. This temple is one of the few amples dedicated to Sitadevi in India. This hill also has the temple of Hari Shresta Adi Jambava, who gave Stacnanthak jewel to Lord Krishna. On the same occasion Krishna married Jambavati the daughter of Adi It is also known as the Gaya of the south and has ancient temples known as the Ramalingeswara, bisionaneswara, Bharateswara and Shatrugneswara, dating back to the period of the Nolamba Dynasty. It lieLeved that Sitadevi gave birth to her twin children Lava-Kusha here.
• The room in which Sita gave birth to her twin-sons is believed to exist there on the hill. This village to be battleground between Rama and his sons Lava and Kusha when they held Rama's horse When Sri Narasimha Bharati IV of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham was on his sancharas, he camped for a few days. During his stay here, in Avani, he found an idol of Goddess Sharada, in standing flanked by Srimajjagadguru Shankaracharya and the Sri Chakra. He consecrated this idol here and a new matha and installed one of his sisyas as the head of the new matha. This matha is now as Avani Sringeri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sharada Peetham. There is also a belief that the sage the author of the epic Ramayana, was residing here during the Ramayana period.
The origin of river Cauveri too is linked to mythology. The legend goes that the Cauveri river was held in a Kamndalu (a container of sacred water) by Sage Agastya.Vinaayaka (Lord Ganesha) took the form and perched on the kamandalu of Agastya when Agastya was meditating. When Agastya realised Ise shooed away the crow. But the divine crow tipped the kamandalu and toppled it. Out poured and started flowing. The crow disappeared and in its place stood a small boy. Agastya thought
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
Item Code: NAQ519 Author: Lalit Chugh Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2016 Publisher: Notion Press ISBN: 9789352068241 Language: English Size: 11.00 X 8.00 inch Pages: 414 (Throughout B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.8 Kg