A Secret Architectural Gem in Karnataka!

11th Dec 2019
Photo of A Secret Architectural Gem in Karnataka! by Sushantika

If you're ever wondering if there are places left to explore, in the crowded touristy corners, the answer is yes!

A place where it seems like time slows down and there is still plenty of calming greenery left around Bangalore, drive past the calming sugarcane fields in Mandya.

Stop at Madur, if you're driving down from Bangalore to savour a spicy snack known in this region. The famous Madur Vada is crunchy, filled with onions and served with a hot, coconut 'chutney'. Best accompanied with filter coffee, it's the perfect way to start your day.

The head towards the beautiful rural scene, which will make you stop to look at the cute homes adorned with rangoli (kolam) and filled with old world charm.

Head about 30 kilometres via NH275 to reach this little gem that's unassuming. The villagers didn't seem to know of the Shiva temple either. But with some guess work and taking some chances, we managed to figure out the location.

The temple seemed to be standing in the sunlight, plain as day and no one was around. As we walked in, the beautiful structure greeted us with its wide walls.

Gasping at the sight, we made our way towards the main door. It was closed, but it was truly remarkable, the kind of intricate work, which seemed intact. This is a 900-year old temple by the way and not something you'd usually expect of a structure this old, in India.

In search of the entrance, with an open door, we stumbled across another gorgeous piece of art, a peaceful Nandi, or a the bull which usually accompanies the Hindu God Shiva.

Luckily this led to an open door, and we entered what seemed to be dark and forgotten.

Numerous pillars welcomed us into the cool, stone structure, which seemed to have been home to some wonderful times, centuries ago.

As we looked across from the pillars, we saw the nandi, highlighted by the sun.

It must have been where the villagers entertained themselves with traditional board games, as the markings in the floor seemed to indicate that.

The pillars, each carved with delicate details, seemed endless at first.

They led us to the statues dedicated to all deities.

Primarily an abode for Shiva, each idol had a Nandi watching over the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum.

Adorned with different carvings, the creativity of the artists of the by-gone era truly shone through, even in the dark temple corridor.

None of the surfaces were spared, as carvings were strewn across the cold, stone.

As we made our way outside the temple, the exteriors were also covered in symmetrical detailing.

Meandering across the outside of the temple, it seemed as though the singular unit on the inside had separate units on the outside.

Careful not to touch any of the carvings, we examined the marvel that is this place, to its finest detail.

This temple not only left us speechless because of its delicate beauty, but it also had a lovely view of a lake. Good enough to jump into for an afternoon swim!

If you're still wondering where this temple is, I plan on keeping it quiet, so that hopefully more eager 'explorers' might come across for centuries to come. It is however listed in this cool resource. Let me know if you manage to find it!

This temple is a protected site, and while we enjoy marvelling at the architecture courtesy our ancestors, it's important to remember to keep the premises clean, not climb onto or touch the stone so that the beauty can live on.

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