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Ladakh Diaries Part 9: Lamayuru

Lamayuru is one of the most ancient monasteries in Ladakh, the oldest surviving structure dating to the 11 th century CE. What makes this monastery particularly fascinating, is its location, amidst what is today called the “moonscape”, for the spectacular natural rock formations, which truly are “out of the world”! As per legend , there once existed a huge lake in this area, populated only by the Nagas (serpents). It was prophesized that there would be a great monastery built here. This prophecy came true when the great acharya Naropa (756-1041 CE) arrived. He emptied the lake, meditated for many years inside a cave, and built the first monastery here. The present structure is a new one, built around the cave where Acharya Naropa is said to have meditated. This legend seems to fit well with the geological formations seen in the area, which suggest this was a paleo-lake, which disappeared around 1000 years ago. Lamayuru is about 130 km from Leh , and the Indus River flows along th

More Temples at Pattadakal

The World Heritage Site of Pattadakal deserves more than just a cursory glance. There is so much to see and appreciate, and even during our short visit to the place, I clicked so many photos that I found it impossible to put all of them together in one post! Here are my first two posts on the temple complex at Pattadakal -

Continuing with our walk through the temple complex, we next arrived at the Chandrashekhara Temple. The plain and simple structure is the one which attracts least number of visitors, and consequently, is empty and easy to photograph!



The next temple is a striking one, the first here with the dravida vimana, the southern type of temple spire.



This is the Sangameshwara Temple, originally known as the Vijayeshwara temple, since it was built by the Chalukya king, Vijayaditya.





Look at the intricate lattices on the walls! No pattern is repeated! Some of the niches are empty, while some have figures of different forms of Shiva as well as Vishnu.Unfortunately, some of the niches are also empty, and some of the figures are incomplete. 

Detail of the vimana

The saga of incomplete work is evident all over this temple. Such as these on the base platform. It shows us how the artisans would have begun their work, and also tells us that the work was abandoned due to some reason. 

Another incomplete set of work
Outside this temple was a broken pillar, set at a lower level, in a depression. I wondered if it was a dhwajasthambam or temple pillar, but our guide wasn't able to shed much light on it.

Samhith standing next to the broken pillar...
he is about 4 ft tall, so that depression is at least 3 ft in depth!

Detail at the bottom of the pillar
Considering the rate at which I am going, I wonder when I am going to finish this series, but I can't help wanting to post almost every single photo I have taken! 

Coming up next: Some of the most beautiful temples at Pattadakal!


Pattadakal  Quick Facts
Getting there:
Nearest Airport: Hubli (about  120 Km )
Nearest Railway Station: Badami (29 Km)
Pattadakal is well connected by road to Badami (29 Km) and Aihole (24 Km).
Where to stay: There is practically no accommodation available at Pattadakal. The nearest city is Badami, where the KSRTC Mayura Chalukya is the best option. There are also other hotels and lodges in Badami. 

Comments

  1. Another lovely set of images Anu! 

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  2. Superb & informative post. Once again enjoyed the virtual photo tour.

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  3. Excellent images and information.

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  4. Very informative.

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  5. Nice photos...great blog! keep it up!

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  6. Nice blog about Pattadakal, great Pictures :-) keep it up,
    Also I read information about pattadakal at site:
    http://www.ijaunt.com/karnataka/pattadkal,

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice post.. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete

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