Monday, July 27, 2009

Ganesh Shrines, Hampi

Hemakuta Hill is one of the tallest hills in Hampi. There are large number of temples, archways and pavilions on this hill. The climb to this hill is not as steep as the nearby Matunga Hill. The Hemakuta Hill top is almost a flat expanse of rocky sheet with occasional ups and downs. From the top it offers splendid view of ruins all around the Hampi. The most of the temples in this area are dedicated to Lord Siva, the major one being the Virupaksha temple at the north of this hill. All the images can be clicked for bigger view.

The two most important shrines on this hills are dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

Sasivekalu Ganesha

Located on the Southern foothill of the Hemakuta Hill, the giant monolithic Ganesha statue is locally called Sasivekalu Ganesha. The name is due to its resemblance to the sasivekalu (mustard seed).

The monolithic statue is carved out of a huge boulder measuring about 2.4 meters (8 feet). On the statue around the tummy the snake is carved. The three hands hold the goad, pasha (noose), and his broken tusk. The fourth hand which holds modak (sweet ball) is broken and not reconstructed.

An open pavilion is build around the statue. According to inscriptions found nearby this pavilion was built by a trader from Chandragiri in 1506 AD, in memory of one of the Vijayanagara king – Narasimha II (1491-1505 AD).

Kadalekalu Ganesha

On the northeastern slope of the Hemakuta Hill is another giant statue of Ganesha, called The Kadalekalu Ganesha. The name is due to its resemblance to the kadalekalu (Bengal gram).
This also happens to be north of Sasivekalu Ganesha.

Even this giant statue of Ganesha was carved out of a huge boulder. This statue measures 4.5 meters (15 feet) tall. A sanctum is built around the statue. The pillared hall in front of this sanctum is as charming as this giant statue itself. The open hall constructed by unusually slender and tall pillars. Each of them is highly ornate with mythical themes.

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