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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Hampi Part 9 - Hazara Rama Temple


The name ‘Hazara Rama Temple’ makes you wonder – a thousand Ramas? Would there have been a thousand idols of Rama here? Or just a thousand carvings depicting Rama? And why the word ‘Hazara’, which has its origins in Urdu, and not ‘Sahasra’ – which is the Sanskrit equivalent? Or is it simply a corruption of the word? As it turns out, though there are a thousand (or more) depictions of Lord Rama on the walls of this small, but beautiful temple, the name might have something to do more with its location than the Lord it was built for. ‘Hazaramu’ is the Telugu word for audience hall or the entrance hall of a palace, which is where this temple is located. This might have been the private temple of the Vijayanagara kings, which is probably why it is not as huge as the other temples in the city.





This is one of the few temples where every inch of the outer wall is filled with carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana. By the time we visited this temple, it was already dark, and  my camera could not really succeed in bringing out the beauty of the individual panels….

Most of the scenes on the outer wall depict elephants and horses - at least thats what we could see in the dark! They looked like armies.... Rama's army???





Left to me, I could have spent hours poring over each panel, identifying the scenes depicted on them, and telling Samhith the story, besides of course, photographing each and every one of them!

Scenes from the Ramayana on the inner wall.... If I had time, I would have photographed scenes separately so that I could have written this post in the form of the story.... Another time :(




There arent only scenes from the Ramayana... Krishna figures too, quite prominently...




and here is one of Mahishasura Mardini

However, it was already dark, and the fact that the temple was empty except for our group only heightened the eeriness already present…..

Probably it was the almost complete darkness in the sanctum, which had some beautifully carved pillars I managed to capture……

Vishnu - with Sridevi and Bhudevi



This, it seems is Kalki... I love this representation on a horse instead of the ones we see today with a horse-face!

Hanuman

Ganesha




Or probably it was the destruction that the temple had experienced when the invaders had hacked at the head of every single figure on the gopuram…..



There was something about the temple which prevented me wandering off alone with my camera, as I normally do, and I stuck with our group, keeping in mind that the next time I was here, I would make it a point to keep at least half a day aside for this temple alone!


Comments

  1. The panels on the outer wall may not be Lord Rama's army. In fact if you notice it appears in one of the panels next to the gate certain horse traders who appear like Arabs are showing the horses to a stately nobleman /King.

    ReplyDelete
  2. quite possible!! i am only a layman when it comes to this!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice. Truly knowing Hampi I think will take a lifetime.

    ReplyDelete

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