Skip to main content

Featured Post

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

Shivappa Nayaka Palace, Shimoga

As Diwali approaches, I have been re-living our trip last Diwali to Karnataka. We started on a devotional note, visiting SringeriUdupi and Kollur. But that did not stop us having unexpected surprises which had nothing to do with temples, as well as adventures that we had not planned for. We eventually reached our final destination - River Tern Lodge at the Bhadra Reservoir, and after two wonderful days there, headed back home to Mumbai. However, before we called an end to our travels, we still had something to see....

The bus stand at Shimoga was clean, well organised, and had huge posters of all the places you could visit around the city. There were quite a few interesting possibilities, but time was a luxury we did not have. We were due to board a bus back to Mumbai in a few hours, and in that short time, wanted to explore Shimoga. I remembered reading about the Shivappa Nayaka Palace on a couple of friends’ blogs, and decided to head out there. 



“Palace? What palace? There is no palace in Shimoga” was the response from most auto drivers we asked. I would have given up, and elected to spend our time at the bus stand, had not one old man listening to our conversation asked “You want to go to the museum?’ I jumped at the word ‘Museum”. It was certainly better than simply sitting in the bus stand! It was only when I asked him where the museum was, that he replied, “in the aranmanai’. Now, aranmanai is the Tamil word for palace, and that was where I had wanted to go in the first place. As we spoke, it turned out that the auto drivers only knew of the place as the museum or the ‘aranmanai’. They had no idea of either Shivappa Nayak or that this was his erstwhile palace!


The main gate was closed when we arrived at the palace, but our driver informed us that the big doors were kept closed most of the time, since there were few visitors. We entered by a side gate, and wondered if we had to buy a ticket... and if so, from whom. There wasn’t a soul to be seen. Eventually, someone emerged from a door, and when asked, seemed surprised to be asked if we had to pay a fee. “Go ahead and look around.” He replied.” The watchman has gone out for a while. He will be back soon.”


There wasn’t really much to see... The palace didn’t look big enough to justify its name, and built of wood, was a simple structure, not really what one would expect of a palace.





However, looking closer, we realised that it must indeed have been a beautiful residence at one time... Not a fort... not a palace... simply a beautiful residence worthy of a king!





More interesting was the area behind... the courtyard...



This is the actual museum, which the Archaeology department has filled with sculptures and rock edicts found in the area. Some of the sculptures are really beautiful and worth a closer look..... Such as this Narasimha...



Saptamatrikas..



And Mahishasuramardini...




Outside, the garden is well maintained, and even here, there are sculptures...



The sight of such beautiful sculptures out in the open does seem interesting, but even as we stood there, it began raining, and seeing these beautiful works of art getting drenched, day after day, year after year, seemed to me to be a sorry sight.


One broken peetham (stand) had filled with water...



One of the sculptures.. a beautiful one of Hanuman...



Had a snail on it!



Wonder what He would have thought of becoming a haven for a snail!


We wandered around the palace for almost an hour... since it was raining, and we didnt have an umbrella. Not a soul was in sight, except the old man who turned up now and then, just to keep an eye on us, I suppose. The watchman returned just as we were leaving, and as we turned back for one last look, we could see him standing by the flag post... all alone, by his post, guarding a place hardly anyone ever visited.




Shimoga

Distances:
  • Bangalore : 276 Km
  • Mangalore: 187 Km

How to Reach:
  • By Road: Shimoga is well connected by road to Bangalore and Mangalore. There are also AC Volvo buses from Mumbai to Shimoga.
  • By Air: The nearest airport is at Mangalore
  • By Train : Shimoga railway station is well connected to Bangalore. 


Where to Stay
Shimoga, being district headquarters, as well as a tourist hub, has many hotels and lodges to suit all budgets. 




Comments

  1. This is an awesome find. Never heard about this palace/museum before. Those sculptures look wonderful. Thanks for this info, Anu.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2012/11/our-lady-of-immaculate-conception-church.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Niranjan.. it isnt all that popular, but a few bloggers have written about it, which is how I got to know :D

      Delete
  2. WOW! Shimoga and palace. Never knew at all. Looks like a well maintained place too. Loved the pictures of the idols.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sankara.. and its a nice place.. def worth a visit the next time you are there!

      Delete
  3. What a desolately beautiful place, Anu. Just wondering, why can't the sculptures be placed inside the palace?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was just going through the web and got this link.... It is a beautiful piece well made. Rare piece where you can see the silent beauty of Shimoga. Rarely heard in the tourism dictionary. People talk of Jog falls... & forget but the city and people have more to share...
    Sometimes holding on to the purity of place makes a difference...Shimoga has more to share.

    Mohan Kumar

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good I read this about the Aramane or the Museum with those beautiful sculptures because same thing would have happened to me had I gone around asking for Shivappa Nayak's palace! Well, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Shimoga is such a beautiful place with its old temples and stunning locations. The Shivappa Nayaka’s palace is still adorned with traditional architecture style and the Kote Seetharamanjaneya Temple is a complete divine place and Kunchikal Falls, the highest waterfall gives you a breathtaking view.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely pictures righty captured to elevate the mood of onlooker ! Keep the good work going.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am very glad to read the post,it is very well written.You have done hard work in writing this post and i impressed your work.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

Gokarna Part II – The Five Lingams

We continued our Gokarna trip by visiting four other Shiva temples in the vicinity, all connected to the same story of Gokarna. The story of Gokarna mentions the Mahabaleshwara Lingam as the one brought from Kailas by Ravana, and kept at this place on the ground by Ganesha. (See my earlier post- Gokarna – Pilgrimage and Pleasure). However, the story does not end here. It is believed that, in his anger, Ravana flung aside the materials which covered the lingam- the casket, its lid, the string around the lingam, and the cloth covering it. All these items became lingams as soon as they touched the ground. These four lingams, along with the main Mahabaleshwara lingam are collectively called the ‘ Panchalingams’ . These are: Mahabaleshwara – the main lingam Sajjeshwar – the casket carrying the lingam. This temple is about 35 Kms from Karwar, and is a 2 hour drive from Gokarna. Dhareshwar – the string covering the lingam. This temple is on NH17, about 45 Kms south of Gokarna. Gunavanteshw

Rama Temple, Gokarna

To my right , the waves rush to the shore, eager to merge with the sand. To my left, the same waves crash against the rocks, their spray diverting my reverie as I ponder over the beauty of nature, and wonder what first brought people here. Was it this beauty that encouraged them to build a temple here, or was it the fresh, sweet spring water flowing from the hill here that made this place special? No matter what the reason, I am glad my auto driver brought me here. We are at the Rama temple in Gokarna, just a few minutes away from the Mahabaleshwara Temple, yet offering so different a perspective.

The Power of 8 - The Ashta Dikpalas and Ashta Vasus at Khajuraho

The four cardinal directions form the axis on which a temple is built, and are thus the basis of temple architecture. Leading from them are the eight directions, which are believed to be guarded by the eight guardians, or Ashta Dikpalas . In the temples of Khajuraho, great care has been taken by the sculptors to carve the Ashta Dikpalas on the walls, both inside and outside. They not only guard the temple, but also look over us as we circumambulate the shrine, protecting us by their presence. They are augmented by the Ashta Vasus , celestial beings which represent natural phenomena. Together, they enhance the idea of the temple as cosmos, enfolding within it, all the aspects of nature, both, on earth, as well in space.