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Old 3rd January 2011, 16:37   #31
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Default Re: Old world and nether world:A slice of Rayalaseema

I dont think they are telugu inscriptions, I could not make out much from them, I suspect that they are in Kannada though!! Nice going Arya, this thread is really informative one!!
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Old 3rd January 2011, 17:34   #32
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Default Tadipatri

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Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
I dont think they are telugu inscriptions, I could not make out much from them, I suspect that they are in Kannada though!! Nice going Arya, this thread is really informative one!!
My bad! I thought they were in Telugu.


We woke up in Tadipatri after a night of so-so sleep. The Lodge is situated on the main thoroughfare of the town - C.B. Road, and to tell you what don't underestimate the traffic of Tadpatri by the size of the town. Whole night we could hear the trucks making their way across town, probably from the nearby cement plants. This ruined our sleep.

The town is a pretty busy place with nearly everything available (except a Maruti Service Station).

Some more about Tadpatri from Wikipedia -

Quote:
Tadipatri got its name from Tatipatri which means garden of palm trees. Another version is that Tataki, a demon lady who tried to kill Sreeram on his way to save the yaga of Viswamitra but was killed by Sreeram at this very place and hence the name.


Tadipatri has two notable temples within the town, the Chintala Venkata Ramana Swamy temple and the Bugga Rama Lingeswara Swamy temple. The sthala puranam or Local History says that these two temples were built in a day by two brothers. The Chintala Venkata Ramana Swamy temple was completed by the next morning but the Bugga Rama Lingeswara Swamy temple wasn't complete. The belief is that had this temple been completed it would have been 'Dakshina Kaashi', or Kaashi of the South. The architecture of these two temples to Dravidian and reflects the Vijayanagara style of architecture.
The Chintala Venkata Ramana Swamy temple is located in the heart of the town and it is situated in about 5 acres (20,000 m2). It is very well maintained and the vimana or Main Gopuram is recently rebuilt because it was damaged in one of the earthquakes. Ramayana, Bhagavata and Mahabharata epics are carved around the Garbha Griha. The epics are sculptured so nicely that when we see these sculptors it is as good as reading the story. There is a belief that there is a secret tunnel or sorangam from this temple to Gooty Fort. The face of the tunnel is still seen. However, it is blocked by a stone by Archeological Survey of India.
We were at a stone's throw away from the Chintala Venkata Ramana Swamy temple and decided to visit that first. After a quick dosa breakfast at Hotel Brundavan close to Himagiri Restaurant, we drove to the temple.

Some more information about the temple from this blog -

Quote:
The Chintala Venkataramana Murti temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The legend states Sri Timma Naidu built it under the orders of the Vijayanagar kings. The temple is built according to the Silpa Sastras. The garbha griha, the Madyaranga, the Astana Mantapa, the Antarala Gopura, the Prakara, the Yagnasala, and the Kalyana Mantapa etc contain sculptures from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Originally the temple was called Chintala Tiruvengala Nathaswami. Chintala describes the Lord as Moola Bhera discovered at the foot of a tamarind tree.

The main gopura faces the east and is a solid structure, built partly of stone and partly of brick. The stone part contains figures of Vidyadhara, apsaras and avatars in neat and well-arranged rows. Just above the threshold, there are two horizontal lines of carvings one showing an elephant procession, horse procession from one end to the other. Inside the temple, every wall is covered with beautiful and delicate pieces of sculpture. A stone chariot is also there. Two holes are carved in the chariot and twice a year the Sun`s rays touch the foot of the deity.

A Rangamantapa has forty pillars in the Vijayanagar style. Beyond the Rangamantapa is a Mukhamantapa, which has scenes of the Ramayana commencing from Putrakameshti Yagna of Dasharatha to the Pattabhisheka of Sri Ramachandra. There are rare sculptures of the incarnations of Vishnu. To the north of the main temple, there are shrines dedicated to the goddesses. Adjacent to the Paryanka Griha, is built in the shape of an octagon.
The main gopura of the temple.
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The beautiful and intricate work adorning the temple pillars.
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A small stone chariot in front of the temple. Seems like a scale model of the one at the Vithala Temple, Hampi.
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Another view of the temple.
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The beautiful interior of the temple.
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The temple architecture is very impressive and detailed. One can spend hours just observing the sculptures, carvings and stone-work of this temple.
And yes, we overshot our original time allocated to this temple visit, so much so that we had to drop plans of visiting the Bugga Ramalingaswamy temple - the other big temple in town - and had to drive straight to Belum Caves 30kms away.

Last edited by aryasanyal : 3rd January 2011 at 17:45.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 17:43   #33
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Default Re: Old world and nether world:A slice of Rayalaseema

Nice pictures!! MX6, if you are reading this, could you please throw some light on why these ladies' scultptures generally make it to temples? They are unmistakably, errr aesthetic, but then again any specific reason that you know?
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Old 3rd January 2011, 17:52   #34
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Default Re: Old world and nether world:A slice of Rayalaseema

It is not Vijayanagara influence on the Architecture but forced demolition of Hindu Temples by the invaders.
They used components of Temples to build Shoe Racks as it is obvious in the particular picture.

Sateesh S.Magal
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Old 3rd January 2011, 17:59   #35
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Default Re: Old world and nether world:A slice of Rayalaseema

Quote:
Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
Nice pictures!! MX6, if you are reading this, could you please throw some light on why these ladies' scultptures generally make it to temples? They are unmistakably, errr aesthetic, but then again any specific reason that you know?
Till MX6 comes in with his solid explanations, here are some food for thought -

Erotic Sculptures in Khajarao temples : What's the mystery?

Erotic Sculptures In Temples
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Old 3rd January 2011, 19:41   #36
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Default Re: Old world and nether world:A slice of Rayalaseema

I'm not coming in with any explanations here in this thread.
Anil. Let's motor across to Kajuraho. What say.
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Old 31st July 2011, 00:19   #37
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Default Re: Old world and nether world:A slice of Rayalaseema

Sorry for the long delay.
This travelog has remained incomplete. Rounding it off.


It was getting late. The caves open at 10:00AM and it may become crowded or heated up due to the sun if we are late.
Getting out of the Chintala Venkataramana Murti temple, we dashed to our respective cars and drove straight to the main road and took a left.
Further down the road we took a left again, crossed the bridge over the Pennar River and drove towards our real destination - Belum.

Map displaying our route in Tadipatri town. Point A shows the part where the town more or less starts, Point B denotes the location of Kanchani Lodge, where we stayed, and Point C shows the point where we crossed the Pennar River en route to Belum.
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Soon after crossing the Pennar, we were surrounded by Sunflower fields - this was truly Sunflower country. Fields all around in the backdrop of little hills and this narrow straight road made the drive a scenic one.

Reached a junction and took right from there. Soon the fields were left behind and we started gaining height and some cement factories loomed right ahead. We were driving towards them!

And there we were in front of the huge Ultra Tech cement factory...
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At Ultra Tech Cement junction, we took a right and the road starts getting a little hilly. We crossed over to the next district - Kurnool - soon after this.
The road started deteriorating immensely - probably due to the heavy plying of the heavily-loaded trucks.

We crossed a huge windmill farm and small villages like Nagarajupalle, Itkyalla and then reached Kolimigundla.
Just before reaching Kolimigundla, there is a tri-junction. We need to drive straight here. Taking a right would take you to Proddatur town.

Downtown Kolimigundla was a busy village with wayward traffic, but all those are soon left behind and you enter Sunflower country again. We stopped for some pictures here.
We could see the large Buddha statue of Belum from here and the name 'BELUM CAVES' inscribed on the mountain side as well.


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After a brief photo-session, we drove on and the gates of Belum welcomed us. We drove inside and stopped in front of the huge Buddha statue. After a couple of photos, we drove to the parking. The sun was mild till now and we searched for some shade anticipating strong heat as the day progressed. Parking done, we walked towards the cave entrance. There wasn't much crowd in the ticket queue.

Tickets cost Rs.20/head.

Guide: Telugu?
We: English/Hindi.
Another Guide: Okay I shall come.
We: Rate?
Guide: Rs.300/-
We: Okay fine.

From Wikipedia -

Quote:
Belum Caves is the second largest cave in Indian subcontinent and the longest caves in plains of Indian Subcontinent, known for its stalactite and stalagmite formations. Belum Caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. The caves reach its deepest point (120 feet from entrance level) at the point known as Pataala ganga. Belum Caves derives its name from "Bilum" Sanskrit word for caves. In Telugu language, it is called Belum Guhalu. Belum Caves has a length of 3229 meters, making it the second largest natural caves in Indian Subcontinent.
We started our descent through the opening that was the cave entrance. Our guide, Narendra Reddy, was a young informative guy. He told us the caves were basically remains of a dry river-bed - the River Chitravat that dried up long ago.

We went through the maze of chambers that were named to give them an identity and for easy reference. These names reflect the physical appearance of the features.

Simha Dwaram - seemed like a gate that had the lion-like appearance.
Koti Lingalu (Crore Shiva Lingas) - a structure resembling large number of shiva lingas.
Patala Ganga - The lowest point in the cave. It is named so because of an underground water source.
Maya Mandir - said to be newly opened to tourists and named for it's beauty.
Dhyan Mandir - said to be a solitary space where Buddhist monks used to meditate.
Mandapam - a large hall-like space in between

I'll let the pictures do the talking.

The Buddha statue, up close.
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Near the ticket counter plaza.
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Map of Belum caves.
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The entrance to the caves.
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Stairway to Belum.
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The walls of the Gebauer Hall.
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Another pit cave next to the cave entrance.
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The first section of the caves as one enters.
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The Simha Dwaram.
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Natural holes in the cave ceiling.
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A passage.
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The only stalactite-stalagmite column that we saw in the cave.
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A shot of the cave ceiling.
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A pipe sunk into the cave ceiling for ventilation.
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A shot of a passage.
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The ceiling of the Maya Mandir - this was a remarkable formation.
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The Koti Lingalu.
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Walls of the Koti Lingalu chamber.
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The Pathala Ganga. Notice the stalagmite formation at the top of the water source. It also resembles a Shivalinga.
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Another shot of the cave ceiling.
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The Dhyan Mandir or Meditation Hall.
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Last edited by aryasanyal : 31st July 2011 at 00:23.
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Old 31st July 2011, 00:44   #38
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Default Belum Caves 2:

The caves are very very well maintained and I should applaud Andhra Tourism for it's efforts in preserving this rare natural wonder and making it accessible to tourists. Only a part of the caves are open and the major part is still under research/study/mapping and off-limits to tourists.

Walking through the caves is exhausting because of the humidity which increases as the day wears on. Elderly and physically challenged people would be well advised to avoid this trip, or to take extreme caution, as there are several passages where one has to stretch, bend, crawl to cross over.

It took us well over 2 hours to cover the entire cave and by the end of it we were tired...dog tired. Took a breather and ascended back to the outside world.

We were hungry and ditched our initial decision of having lunch back at Tadipatri and headed straight to the Punnami restaurant near the main gate of the complex.
Lunch was basic south-Indian thali, but it was like manna for us. We ate and over-ate.

The Punnami Restaurant at Belum.
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A final look.
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A house on the Belum-Tadipatri stretch. The construction is done using some kind of fine stone slabs. This is something new I observed. Anyone knows about this?
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It was nearly 2:15 PM by the time we started our way back to Tadipatri. Reached there around 3:30PM and spent some time resting in our hotel rooms on reaching and then by 5:30PM decided to start for Bangalore, after some deliberation whether to stay back and avoid a night-drive.

My speedometer was again playing games and I took my car to a nearby mechanic, who removed my speedometer cable as a workaround.
That solved the issue for the time being, I was driving without any visual indication of the speed but, luckily, the problem didn't surface.
Sandeep, who decided to tail me for the entire return drive in case I needed assistance, told me that I was consistently driving at 80kmph.

The evening drive from Tadipatri to Anantapur is a awesome one with the desolate landscape and the evening glow adding a mystic charm.
Due to my car issue and to cover as much distance before sunset, we couldn't capture any photographs.
But as they say, the best photos are best stored in our memories.

We didn't stop anywhere on the way back and reached Bangalore around 10:30PM and headed to a restaurant for dinner. Post dinner, we were back home by 12:00AM.

Thanks!!
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