• Panoramic view of Sravanabelagola
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Chikmagalur Trip – Part IV: Shravanabelagola

    [Continued from Part III here] I think a little background is in order to understand what we sometimes see in front of our eyes during our travels. My humble attempt at a condensed explanation of Jainism follows: Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world, believed to have originated from India. Followers of this religion do not believe in a god in the strictest meaning of the term, there is no single all-powerful entity that has the power to control the universe. To Jains, the universe has no starting point in time and will remain for ever- all living beings go through a continuous cycle of life and…

  • Panoramic view of the Chennakesava temple Belur
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Chikmagalur Trip – Part III: Belur and Halebidu

    [Continued from Part II here] The Hoysala empire ruled most of Karnataka and parts of present day Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during a reign which stretched from the late 10th century to the mid 14th century. Wikipedia narrates the origin of the name Hoysala thus: “Kannada folklore tells a tale of a young man Sala, who saved his Jain guru Sudatta by striking dead a Lion he encountered near the temple of the Goddess Vasantika at Sosevur. The word “strike” literally translates to “hoy” in Hale Kannada (Old Kannada), hence the name “Hoy-sala”. This legend first appeared in the Belur inscription of Vishnuvardhana (1117), but owing to several inconsistencies…

  • BB hills near Chikmagalur
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Chikmagalur Trip – Part I

    [Trip undertaken in Oct 2012] We had just come back from a delightful Hampi trip, that first weekend of October and our feet were itching to go explore Karnataka some more. A couple of debates on possible destinations included Valparai, Ooty and its southern sisters Coonoor, Kotagiri, even Kodaikanal (we did go on a trip to Ooty later) among others. I thought the heat in Hampi had been exhausting and was looking forward to someplace cooler and more refreshing. Chikmagalur had always been at the back of my mind, if for nothing else, because I found the name endearingly funny ever since I was a kid. One image of Ayyanekere…