Bengaluru to Begur… My journey of time in stones

As the monsoon blesses Bangalore city in India with a striking panorama I decided not to search for places of incomparable destinations with scenic beauty for my one day city stroll.
On 25th July 2018, I set out for one day trip to a place called Begur located 25 km away from central  district of Bangalore city. Crammed narrow road lanes filled with deep potholes from Bommanahalli off Hosur main road  NH 7 of India will take you to the dilapidated (now under restoration) Panchalingeshwara temple, Begur (now a part of busy IT corridor) and to the ruined structure of Begur fort.

Photo by stockresearch52IMG_20180725_094836.jpg

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Photo by stockresearch52

While traveling I was loudly recollecting the quote of Eduardo Galeano, “History never really says goodbye. History says, ‘See you later.”IMG_20180725_095823.jpg

I understood the meaning when I reached Begur, Bangalore.

IMG_20180725_104304The inscriptions written in Halegannada (ancient kanada language),found in a stone at the   Nageshvara Temple, Begur –undoubtedly as per archaeological experts refer to a settlement called Bengaluru existed as early as 890 CE and which means Bengaluru is 1100 years old.Begur  must have been a center of  political, commercial and religious activities  and over the days the civilization moved towards what is popularly known as Bengaluru. Begur has thus become the origin of  modern Bengaluru city.IMG_20180725_103558

Photo by stockresearch52( beautiful stone carvings at Begur temple)

Unique ancient architectural   structure found in the form of  a Hindu temple and a neglected mud fort  speaks volumes of history ,culture and belief systems of this quaint village of  Begur .

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IMG_20180725_095328.jpgHere history narrates contrasting tales and facts about ancient political struggles and the birth and nurturing of different styles  of  temple art and architecture with local festivities.

Indeed this historical revelation opens a grand new chapter in the history of Bengaluru.

Priceless stone carvings and hero stones are laying ignored along the side walls o f the temple crying for attention.IMG_20180725_105450.jpg

Photo by stockresearch52( beautiful stone carvings at Begur temple)

I also learnt from the head priest of the temple and few students of architecture who were present on the day at the temple site that some stone carvings and art works are kept in its original form in the Vishvesvaraya Museum, Bengaluru.IMG_20180725_1054561.jpg

Photo by stockresearch52( beautiful stone carvings at Begur temple)

At the temple entrance and inside you will  get stumped with striking features of unique temple architectural designs besides what history records confirm that, this more than 1200 years old Pancha Lingaeshwara temple, built in 8th century AD, by first Chola dynasty king Kulutunga Raja and subsequently by Rajasimhanandi of Talakad Ganga Dynasty.IMG_20180725_103235.jpg

photo by stockresearch52

One can strikingly notice some Hindu temple features ,the only one of its kind at the Panchalingeswara temple. The temple houses 5(Pancha) lingaas, the symbol of Hindu god Lord Shiva. Nagareshwara (prime) and others include Parvathi Nageshwara, Choleshwara, Karneshwara, Kaalikamateshwara and hence the name Pancha Lingeshwara.IMG_20180725_103114(1).jpgIMG_20180725_095810.jpg

photo by stockresearch52

The height (ceiling) of the temple roof seemed to be around 6.5 feet and the outer gopura is not more than approx 10 feet. An idol of SURYA (sun god) is facing the Nageshwara lingam, that is west. (Some call this as sun god temple)  I also noticed that idols of Vinayagar, Chamundeswari, Kala bairavar, Vishnu, Chandran and Kashi viswanathar, Sapta matruka (Matrikas – )  and a serpent occupy inside the central area of worship of  Nageshwara(form of lord Shiva). This type of arrangement, of idols, is unique and unusual.IMG_20180725_095239.jpg

Photo by stockresearch52(temple ceiling is less than approx 6.5 feet)

There are carvings of ashtadikpalakas (Guardians of the directions -) and coloured yantras on the ceiling. You will also come across a very rare  stone work of two handed (both valampuri (trunk is turned right side) and edumpuri (trunk is turned left side) Vinayagar.IMG_20180725_0947562.jpg

Photo by stockresearch52(scriptures carved both in Tamil and kanada language )

One can find  scriptures carved both in Tamil and kanada language on the bottom of the stone blocks. Here you will notice that the short stone pillars are beautifully engraved with circular discs in the middle adding a different dimension to temple architecture.

Pictures taken by me posted  here will speak the uniqueness of architecture and life style associated with temples and monuments housed in the history pages of  Begur.IMG_20180725_114156.jpg

Photo by stockresearch52..(way to Begur mud fort)

This temple is surrounded with three big gopurams which is getting built with the fund support of local residents and builders of Begur. IMG_20180725_103903.jpgIMG_20180725_103633.jpg

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Photo by stockresearch52…((Outside the main temple… the above gopurams have been constructed recently)

Nearby  one will notice a lake called Begur lake in a pitiable condition demanding maintenance.The crumbled mud fort just one km away from the temple complex will discomfort any visitor on poor maintenance. The place has become a play ground and grazing place for cattle’s of that area.

History and architectural buffs may make worth a trip to Begur and nothing great to attract panache tourists.

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Photo by stockresearch52( beautiful stone carving at Begur temple)

Art in stones at Begur temple stood quiet and peaceful in singing the tunes to history.

On my return back to home I was reminded of Percy  Shelley’s words that “History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Bengaluru to Begur… My journey of time in stones

  1. Congratulations for your excellent narration of Begur temple’s architecture and colourful photographs and the history behind it. Looking forward to see more such writeup. VENKATARAMAN R 

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