While my husband was away in Vegas, I decided on a photography tour to Belur Halebid including a day’s break at Chikmagalur along with my son and my mother. I have been driving since long and have driven out of Bangalore to hill stations nearby, but this was my first time without any adult capable of helping me with directions, which is where I lack.
My mother though 60 plus takes at least 2 years to gain confidence about a particular route given our experience with her. Today also thanks to Ola & Uber apps, she can come to my place easily, provided I book those cabs for her. Otherwise, she is independent and in fact techno savvy- uses youtube to learn bhajans and then sing in her circle of friends.
The third one in our gang was my son who is in class 2. This generation eats breathes and sleeps with screens either phone or TV or Tab and that makes life all the more complicated. Anyway given the situation the onus to help me with directions came on to my son but little did I know what would be the result of the same. As per his father’s instructions, he was told,” You know google maps right, help mumma with that tomorrow when you go for the trip”.
Started at around 10 am. As soon as the first toll booth came, I asked the fellow sitting there for directions he said, U-turn. Guess, he only knew Kanada and he felt obliged to give some answer to my Hindi sentence. I wasn’t convinced since my husband had explained at least the way out from Bangalore. I started driving slow to understand where I was I heading to. Now my son took out the phone. And he started,’ this is not the road, this is wrong. I couldn’t see any other road to go back so I continued driving. A little ahead sign boards read Mangalore route straight. I took a sigh and increased the speed.
Again a little ahead my son said,’ Shit Mumma, “We’re on the wrong road”. Google says something else. Again there was no other road in any other direction. I continued as usual. After a while my son said, ‘o ya ya this is only right, this google arrow keeps turning back and forth.’ Best part he wouldn’t even type anything to avoid spellings.He would use the voice mode to ask, ‘ Road to Halebid’ Road to Halebidu’ some 3-4 times. Pronouncing Halebidu was difficult for my son itself how would Google understand. Google took Halebidu in Indian Accent to something else every time and once it took us to some route in the USA on the maps.
This went on, every other second my son would get up from his slumber to look at google and say,’ Shit we are on the wrong road’. Turn that way. When passing through villages he would ask me to take some God forsaken village route and tell me that is the shortest route that google is showing. My good sense prevailed and I took longer routes, kept asking people wherever possible and asked my son to shut the google up. However, when he wasn’t googling, it was his music which was harassing. Same songs – ‘Lean on’,’ Champion’ and ‘Don’t let me down’ for the 100th time.
After all this torturous fun, we finally reached the road to Halebid site but instead of our hotel, people directed us to some other hotel with a similar name within the city of Hassan. Waste of 20 more minutes and by 1 pm we were finally at Halebid site and to our hotel, the only hotel in the village opposite to the architectural site. Had lunch, took some rest and then went for temple tour in the evening and here I am to show you what lies in our remote villages of Halebid Belur in Karnataka, India.
Halebidu, Belur & Chikmaglur trip over weekend – The highlights
Belur Halebid was long due. I wanted to visit these temples since I had seen a few samples of fine Hoysala workmanship in the Venkata Art gallery in Bangalore a few years back.
About Halebidu temple in Karnataka
Halebidu was the 12th-13th century capital of the Hoysala empire. The temple was built during this time by Ketamala (around 1121 AD) and attributed to King Vishnuvardhana. There are two temples in the complex namely Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples. Basically its a Shiva temple and some even call it ‘Varanasi of the South’. I went to Halebid temple the next morning too just to sit in front of the majestic Shivlinga.
The intricate workmanship on stones makes one awe at every glance. Seriously so much of hard work and efforts would have gone into making of these. I wonder what kind of artists Hoysala empire must have had in those times of yore looking at these temples, astounding for its wealth of sculptural details.
Sculpture at Hoysaleshwara temple in Halebidu Karnataka by Travel Jaunts
Sculptures in Halebidu temple complex by Travel Jaunts
I specifically loved this Shiva and Parvati sculpture in the picture below. Have taken many close ups too.
If Halebidu is dedicated to Shiva, Belur is to Vishnu. And they say Halebidu has been made more beautiful from outside, however, Belur is more beautiful from inside. Unfortunately, since these temples are comparatively dark from the inside, I couldn’t take proper pictures of Belur temple from inside.
About Belur Temple in Karnataka
Belur was the early capital of the Hoysala empire. The temple in Belur called as Chennakeshava temple is dedicated to Vishnu (Chennakeshava, meaning handsome Vishnu). The centerpiece where the Vishu idol exists is surrounded by the Kappe Chennigaraya temple built by Shantaladevi, queen of king Vishnuvardhana. As they say, Shantaladevi herself had danced in front of the main shrine during its installation and her dance-inspired the poses of the figurines on the temple walls.
Anyway, do you think kids can understand and enjoy such things? Difficult ! There attention span is so less and taking them to a village that too, to just see temples is not an interesting thing at all but this is what I did. Made him take lots of photographs, asked him to jump and give poses and feel like one of the superheroes who can fly in the air. He even made a video to demonstrate how to fly in the air in this place.
After Belur, we left for Chikmagalur which is hardly 30 km from there. Chikmagalur was not the same as I had left it a year back. Last time it didn’t rain much as a result of which the place was quite dry and hot comparatively. I was longing for the greenery that I had seen on the way to Bhadra tiger reserve last year. This time we were also staying very near to the city which was a drawback. However, the attractions were nearby so we visited buttermilk falls, highly acclaimed tourist attraction by the locals and took walks in coffee estates on the way to Mullayanagiri & Kemengundi.
The best part of this trip was the training session that my son conducted for my mother. I was upset since whenever I asked my mother to take a picture of me and my son at the falls, she would hold the SLR camera as if it was a snake in her hand. She would be too scared to take one focused picture.
I tried to teach her but in vain. Finally, the little one with us came to her rescue. He explained to her how to hold the SLR camera, how to focus and when to click. And she took this picture of ours.
At the end, my son said to me, ‘Mumma, teaching requires patience.’ The same son doesn’t show patience with us many times.Nonetheless, I smiled and thought its the bonding between these two generations which makes things perfect for us (the generation in between)
Ciao till my next adventure with my two partners in crime!