Karnataka – Historic Tourist Destinations ||Episode 5||


The known history of India started around
2800 BC in the North Western part of India. In 300 BC the Maurya Empire panned the entire
length and breadth of India. Many empires and dynasties since then came
to rule the southern part of India, from Satavahana to Maurya to Pallava to Kadamba, Chalukya,
Rashtrakuta, Hoysala to Vijaynagara empire and a lot in between. But few left their lasting mark except perhaps
the Chalukya, Rashtrakuta, Hoysala and later the Vijaynagara empire. Welcome back my friends, as we continue our
historical journey in the southern part of India, Karnataka. It will be very helpful if you subscribe to
my channel and also click the bell icon so that you don’t miss any of my upcoming videos. If you feel this information is helpful, please
give me a thumbs up and share the video with your friends and family. I am very thankful to my friends, Balaji and
Prasad and many others who have immensely contributed with information for making this
video. Srirangapatna is an island town amidst the
Kavery river in Mandya district of Karnataka. Situated at a distance of 18 kms from Mysore,
the town is an architectural masterpiece of Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles. One of the most important Vaishnavite centres
of pilgrimage- the Ranganathaswamy temple, is the major attraction of the town which
draws thousands of tourists. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and
is one of the largest of its kind. The complex is surrounded by the beautiful
River Kaveri which adds to the beauty of the temple. The ghats of the river are frequented for
taking a dip before entering the holy temple complex. In Hinduism, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
is considered as one of the five most important and sacred shrines devoted to Lord Ranganath. These sites are called Pancha ranga Kshetram
and are of very high religious importance. The presiding deity of this temple is the
Adi Ranga, or the ‘first Ranga’. An inscription in the temple premises indicates
that the shrine was first sanctified around 984 AD. The temple has a rich history associated with
it and is visited by devotees from all over the world. The best time to visit the Sri Ranganathaswamy
Temple is between July and September, during the monsoons. This is the best time as River Kaveri gushes
with all its might and the sight is breath-taking. Famous for the Gol Gumbaj and other monuments
of historical heritage, Bijapur is a tourist destination in Karnataka that makes the visitors
travel back in time. Bijapur is located 530km northwest of
the State Capital Bangalore and about 550 km from Mumbai. Built around the 10th-11th century by the
Kalyani Chalukyas, Bijapur was known as Vijayapura in those times. Vijaypura literally means the City of Victory. The evidence found here reveals that it was
an inhabited place since the Stone Age. The history of this district is divided into
four periods, Early Western Chalukya period lasting from about A.D. 535 to Devagiri Yadava
period in A.D. 1312. Bijapur city is well known for its historical
monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of Adil Shahi dynasty. Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur is the mausoleum of
king Muhammad Adil Shah. Construction of the tomb, was started in 1626 and completed
in 1656. Ibrahim Rauza is another important monument
of Bijapur and is also known as the Taj Mahal of the Deccan. Ibrahim Rauza (Rauza means “tomb”) also
known as Ali Rauza, built in 1627, contains the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II and his queen
Taj Sultana. Located 38 kilometers east of Mysuru city
and 174km from the Bangalore city, Somanathapura, was founded by a general named Somanatha Danda
nayaka in the 13 century, while he was in the service of Hoysala King Narasimha III. He sought the king’s permission and granted
lands and resources to build and maintain the temples in the town, Somanathapura. On the banks of Holy river Kaveri, stands
the finest and most exemplary monument of Hoysala architecture known as the famous Kesava
Temple. Consecrated in the year 1258 AD, it is a temple
dedicated to might and beauty of Lord Krishna. The Kesava temple is one of the 1500 Temples built
by the Hoysala Empire kings in different parts of their kingdom. It is said to be the climax development in
Hoysala temple style and yet is unique in many other ways. The three sanctums once
housed beautifully carved idols of Keshava, Janardhana and Venugopala. Today, the idol of Lord Kesava is missing
but the other two are still worshipped by the visitors. The most characteristic feature of this temple
is its 16 different ceilings, each depicting a different stage of a blooming plantain (banana
flower). Small and large pieces of finely carved stone
chips are set in complicated patterns. There are images of deities decorated with
heavy jewellery, bangles on every arm, towering crowns and chunky anklets. The vimana over the sanctums have greatly
carved images of gods. The Chennakeshava Temple, also referred to
as Keshava, or Vijayanarayana Temple of Belur, is a 12th-century Hindu temple in
the Hassan district of Karnataka. It was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana
to celebrate his victory over the Cholas at Talakad in 1117 AD. The temple was built over three generations
and took 103 years to finish and Vishnuvardhana’s grandson Veera Ballala II completed the task. Standing on a star-shaped platform, the temple
has three doorways. It was repeatedly damaged and plundered during wars, repeatedly rebuilt
and repaired over its history. It is 35 km from Hassan city, 16 km
from Halebidu, 217 km from Bengaluru. Chennakesava is a form of the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and has
been an active Hindu temple since its founding. It is reverentially described in medieval
Hindu texts, and remains an important pilgrimage site in Vaishnavism. The temple is remarkable
for its architecture, sculptures, reliefs, friezes as well its iconography, inscriptions
and history. The temple artwork depicts scenes of secular
life in the 12th century, dancers and musicians, as well as a pictorial narration of Hindu
texts such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas through numerous friezes. It
is a Vaishnava temple that reverentially includes many themes from Shaivism and Shaktism,
as well as images of a Jina from Jainism and the Buddha from Buddhism. The Chennakeshava temple is a testimony to
the artistic, cultural and theological perspectives in 12th century South India. 105km from Mangalore airport, Sringeri Sharada
Peethamis one of the four Advaita Vedanta monastery established by Adi Shankara around 800
AD. The others being Dwaraka in Gujarat, Govardhana
in Odisha and Jyotirmath or Joshimath in Uttarakhand. According to legend, Adi Shankaracharya is said
to have selected the site as the place to stay and teach his disciples, because when
he was walking by the Tunga river, he saw a cobra with a raised hood, providing shelter
to a frog from the hot sun. The Sringeri monastery is on the banks of
the Tunga River in Chikkamagalur district. The Sringeri Sharada Peetham site includes two
major temples, one dedicated to Shiva (Vidyashankara Linga) and the other to Saraswati (Sharada
Amba). The Vidyashankara temple was built during
the Vijayanagara Empire in 1338 AD. It includes shrines and relief carving in reverence
of major Hindu gods and goddesses such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Saraswati, Parvati,
Lakshmi, Ganesha, Kartikeya, Durga, Kali and others. The stone reliefs also include a
large variety of Hindu legends from the epics and the Puranas. The Sringeri Peetham is one of the major Hindu
monastic institutions that has historically coordinated Smarta tradition and monastic
activities in South India, preserved Sanskrit literature and pursued Advaita studies. The Sringeri Peetham has been a library and
a source of historic Sanskrit manuscripts.

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