Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Belvadi – the Bakasura Town !

1belvadi-entrance-twin-elephants-welcome-youAt Belvadi, Bheema slays Bakasura – the giant who tormented this simple village folks for his daily requirement of food, a cartload of delicacies and a human being. The villagers took turn amongst the households sharing this obnoxious responsibility!
Bheema the Mahabharata’s epic gentle giant known for his compassion and strength volunteers to save a family of their only son and volunteers to drive the cart of food. He takes his own time delaying the deliverance of food and eats away the entire cartload of the giant’s food enraging Bakasura!  The infuriated Bakasura is challenged for a duel and Bheema slays him to death -saving the village of this daily ordeal. Belvadi was at those times was called ‘Ekachakranagar’.  A festival called ‘Bandi Bana’ is celebrated in this village even to this day. On this day a cardload of delicious food is taken and left outside the village remembering Bakasura and Bheema’s slaying of the giant!
In 1206 the Hoysala King, Veera Ballala II builds this beautiful temple of slate stone much known for its architecture and construction than its carving & sculpture unlike Belur and Halebedu!  This is a Trikuta temple or a three shrine temple of – Veera Narayana Swamy, Sree Venugopalaswamy and Yoga Narasimha Swamy. The idols are beautiful tall, intricately sculpted, carved and well displayed.
Two elegantly sculpted Elephant statues welcomes one into this beautiful early 13th century temple. The older first main shrine is Veera Narayana Swamy placed in the center and faces East, towering 8 feet in height…  this elegant Black Saligrama stone Vishnu idol with four hands stands tall flanked on either side by his palakas.
The second shrine facing North is  Krishna as Sree Venu Gopalaswamy playing the flute standing on a pedestal 7 feet tall. It’s a Black Saligrama Black Stone idol intricately and aesthetically sculpted and carved.
The third shrine facing south is Sree Yoga Narasimha Swamy – a yogic posture Saligrama Black idol majestically sculpted and carved invoking reverence to the ardent devotee. A seated Narasimha in a Yogic posture!
Sorry, no photographing the idols here! The rest of the temple you can. Even to this day the idols are worshipped with reverance. The pious Bhardwaja family does it dutyfully with reverance everyday, they also act as a guide explaining the history of this temple.  This Archeological Survey of India Heritage site is in excellent condition, no disfiguring inspite of being raided by raiders in search of fortune.
The inner walls of the temple are plain. Domed Ceilings are wonderfully sculpted and an art to watch for.  The lathe turned pillars a speciality of Hoysala architecture occupies prime position in the structure – an amazing structural engineering of those times supporting the 3 gopuras, the mantapas forming 57 bays internally. Exterior of the temple is aesthetically carved and sculpted!
23rd March each year sees the sunrise bathing the entire temple in light through it’s doorways & corridors with its first rays entering the entrance door flowing through bathing the main idol Sree Veera Narayana Swamy! A sight not to be missed – the equonix!!! The temple complex has lovely carved idols of Hindu God’s like – Ganesha, Shiva, Parvati and various idols of Vishnu in different avatars!
Belvadi is well connected by road and rail. Public transport is slow, better to have your own vehicle. Places to stay and eat are Chikkamagaluru or Hassan. Halebedu is just 10 kms. Belur is just another half an hour drive. One can stay at simple hotels or KSTDC tourism hotels at Belur & Halebedu, adjacent to the sites.
Chikkamagaluru is 29 kms from here – an hour’s drive, a place known for it’s natural beauty. Belvadi is on Chikkamagaluru – Javagal highway. Highway no. 234. One can end your historical holiday by resting and relaxing in this coffee growing estate town – numerous options to suit every budget. Carry cash and fill your vehicle with enough fuel when you travel these areas!
Belvadi is 220 kms from Bangalore. A beautiful tourism site to appreciate historical structure and beauty. It takes just an hour to see this simple structure. Artists, Architects and photographers may spend more… !
One can include this beautiful place Belvadi when one vists Belur, Halebedu, Hassan or Chikkamagaluru. Belvadi temple is open to public from sunrise to sunset on all days. A good weekend retreat.
These places are learning centers of our rich heritage. Roads are excellent and toll paying. Recently luxurious resorts have sprung around these regions. Happy Holiday Season – now is a good time to vist this tourist cicuit.

Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography
[email protected]

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