It’s been a while since I went to Nuggehalli. The main issue is the distances between the different Hoysala temples. I usually prefer to combine Nuggehalli with other temples, but that becomes a bit hard when you have to be zigzagging across the highway. Now, I tend to hit those around a spot. And sometimes, not stress myself and just spend time in one place. The best solution seems to be to do more rides more frequently. Just need to remember to do that.
This time the destination was the Mallikarjuna temple, Basaralu. This was at a sweet location, near Nagamangala, and on the curve back towards Bangalore. So the plan was to leave early, have breakfast at Swathi, hit Nagamangala, get to Basaralu and then back home for lunch via Huliyurdurga and Magadi. The plan kept getting postponed from early March due to one reason or the other. And I finally zeroed in on the 18th March. Only to have other errands intrude on it. I don’t particularly enjoy weekend rides, but there didn’t seem to be any other option. So the 17th it was.
I left at 7:15 AM, and the ride was a bit more stressful than I would have liked. Hassan highway is no Mysore Road, but on weekends the traffic can get a bit rowdy. Vehicles that like to pass you close by, zipping two-wheelers, the whole charade of bad driving notorious on our streets shows up. But I reached Swathi at 8:40 AM without issues. After breakfast I was off by 9:00 AM.
Continue reading “Day trip – Basaralu”
The Hoysala hunt continued with two new places added to the list, thanks to Twitter. Technically, there was just one – Aralaguppe, but the place was close to Turuvekere, and a bit of digging showed me two other places there.
This time S joined me for the ride, and we left at aroud 7:45 AM from my place, me on the Bull 500, and S on his Electra. For the second half of October it wasn’t too cold. We did the usual route of Tumkur road -> Hassan Road and the usual breakfast stop at Swati Delicacy before Yadiyur. After Yadiyur, there was a right to be taken towards Turuvekere. Right after the turn we were greeted by a pristine B road. Two lanes width, just about wider than that, and going all the way in that condition to Mayasandra where we had to take a right and then a left to avoid going towards Gubbi. Turuvekere was reached at around 10:15 AM.
The first temple on the list was a Chennakesava temple, from around 1260 AD. Unlike other Kesava temples, this wasn’t too ornate. It didn’t have much carvings outside, and the ASI or PWD had also done a shoddy job with some concrete support at the top. Continue reading “Day ride – Turuvekere and Aralaguppe”
Despite having done a bike ride to and from BR Hills a few days back, having the whole week off meant that another was always on the cards. This time S signed up. I had come across the Jain Basadi of Kambadahalli from @drvivekm‘s instafeed. Googling revealed that this was one of the oldest structures standing in that area, having been built around 900-1000 AD. Most of the Hoysala temples tend to be a few centuries younger. The oldest would be the ones on top of Chandragiri in Shravanabelagola. It’s also been a while since I went there!
Anyway, the start was later than my preferred pre-7:30 AM. Winter and S having to ride all the way from beyond Indiranagar meant that an early start wouldn’t be feasible. We left from my place at 8:25 AM and rode down to Swati Delicacy near Yediyur for the breakfast stop. Despite being heavily crowded we managed to find a table, and I didn’t have to fight for an own table as is the case when am on solo rides.
Post breakfast we rode down towards Hirisave and took a left where it said Bindiganavile. There was also another board saying “Kambadahalli 19KM.” These days when roads get widened and people end up losing the old sign boards and milestones, it was a welcome sight! The road alternated between awesome, ok, okayish, to watch-out for potholes without ever degenerating to a bone rattler. We reached the road from Belagola to Nagamangala and took a right there. A road went to the right which announced Kambadahalli at 1 KM, but we did not take that. The next right had an arch with Jain insignia and icons all over it. This was our turn. Within a Km of this turn, the Jain structure loomed on our right.
The first structure you see is the pillar. There were inscriptions on it, but we could not date it. This might have been a later addition too. Later meaning from the Hoysala period.
Continue reading “Day trip: Kambadahalli and Hosaholalu”
After much “being on the radar”, the Lepakshi ride was finally agreed on. Anand had already been there some months back and knew the way. There really isn’t much knowing the way required, though. You head straight North on the Airport Road from Bangalore, avoid getting into the Airport, and keep going North. Cross the border into Andhra, and take left where a board with an arrow left says “Lepakshi”. Go on for 16 km on that road, and you see the Nandi on the right. Go on a bit further, turn left where everyone else does, and you have the Veerabhadraswamy Temple.
Well, this is pretty much what we did. We left from my place at 7:45 AM, me on my Bullet Electra, and A on his Classic 500. I expected an arrival at Lepakshi at 10:30 AM with a half hour for breakfast. The Goraguntepalya railway overbridge is now ready, so timings should be predictable. The breakfast stop was at the fancily named “The Indian Paratha Company”, which was reached at around 8:45 AM. The place was crowded, and seating was in the morning sun. The Paratha came on time, but we spent 20 minutes waiting for tea. What was expected to be a 30 minute stop, took 1 hour. Really good food, but service needs to go a long way!
The ride along NH7 is plain boring. There is no other term for it. You get your speedometer to 80-90 Kmph, and stay there on the four lane road and keep watching the odometer ticking. There are neither trees nor curves to keep you interested. We reached the turn-off from NH7 by 10:40 and the Nandi before 11 AM.
The Nandi is carved out of a monolith and thankfully we got a few shots before the crowds streamed in. I figured it might be smaller than the one at Bull Temple road or the one at Chamundi hill. Turned out, I was wrong on all counts. This is the second largest Nandi in India, after one in Aimury, Kerala.(Not completely verified accounts I believe. Some claim it’s the largest.)
Apart from size, the carvings showed a garland of bells, and what looked like two ghosts on the body.
Continue reading “Day Ride – Lepakshi”