Monday, December 21, 2009

Madhur Temple

Madhur Temple on the banks of serene Madhuvahini river is situated in Kasargod district of Kerala with Lord Shiva as its chief deity. This is yet another splendid temple complex. The chief deity is believed to be founded by a Harijan woman. Lord Ganesha (Elephant God) structure of this temple is very popular all over south India.
(you can click on all the pictures to have a closer look)

This beautiful temple stands tall in the middle of lush green paddy fields all around. In front of this flows the unhurried river peacefully bussing the bushes and plants on the banks.

The Muslim ruler Tippu Sultan of Mysore once reached this temple during the first half of 1700’s

There is a mark on one of the structures of this temple which is said to be from the sword of Tippu

It is said that he reached the temple with the intention of attacking. But he felt thirsty when he reached and had water from the temple well and left without making any untoward attempts against the temple

Another interesting fact; a pious and upfront ruler, he was a Hanuman (Monkey God) devotee and installs a Hanuman deity wherever he builds a fort.

This 300+year old structure is again a splendid testimony to temple architecture of the bygone era.

The peaceful Madhuvahini river~~~~~~~~

Random shots

A few shots on the way towards Kerala...


The Chennakesava Temple in Belur (Hassan district in Karnataka)was built on the banks of the Yagachi River. Belur is 222 km from Bangalore

Chennakesava simply means "handsome kesava" which mentions the Hindu God Lord Vishnu

Belur and Halebidu are two prime centers of Hoysala Empire.

Hoysala Empire was a powerful kingdom which ruled most of the present day states of Karnataka and some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh between 10th and 14th century AD. Belur was the capital initially and later shifted to Halebidu.

The Chennakesava temple complex situated here in Belur is an architectural marvel and a classic display of Hoysala architecture.; dedicated to Lord Vishnu and a ‘must see’ place whenever one travels towards the southern part of India.

Feminine prettiness, grace and physique is very well handled by the artists under the Hoysala architecture

The south Indian temple architecture involves skilled craftsmanship and this is at its best when comes to Hoysala architecture which gives more importance to carvings in detail rather than height or size.

The Hoysala artists used Soapstone (Chloritic schist), a soft stone as basic building and sculptural material.

Unlike other kingdoms, here the artists were treated with great respect and the names and whereabouts of them were also scripted on the walls. Though one has to take help from the local guides and have to observe closely

The temples of Belur and Halebidu are a proposed UNESCO world heritage sites

This temple was built by king Vishnuvardhana in 1117 CE in remembrance of his victory over Cholas at Talakkad.

I had already posted a few months back about Talakkad and the temples which were covered under sand dune for centuries, and later unearthed a few decades back.

The outer walls of these temples depict the Hindu epics in a very systematic manner.

The temple of Halebidu has been described as an outstanding example of Hindu architecture and an important milestone in Indian architecture.

In fact Halebidu which is just 16 km from here(Belur), is even amazing in terms of its external workmanship. We were unable to make it, as we had a few many things lined up and was in a hurry as we were heading for a friend's marriage.

Hope you liked this amazing temple complex and its details. Tomorrow will upload a few more other pictures. Till then.......take care.... :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Extra-ordinary Indian

This is not just a forwarded mail. The moment I saw this article I thought I should share this with you all. Because this throws light to a very Extra Ordinary Man - Mr.N.Krishnan

The article goes like this.......

"I don't feed beggars. They can look after themselves. The mentally ill won't ask anyone for food or money," They don't move around much too. I find them in the same place every day"

says N Krishnan who has been feeding the mentally ill on the streets of Madurai thrice a day for the past seven years after leaving his chef job in a 5-star hotel in Bangalore

He says "I change the menu for different days of the week.. They will get bored if I serve the same food every day,"

Krishnan cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner with the help of two cooks. He takes it himself to his wards on the street each day.

"That morning he put the food in a large vessel, the pickle in a smaller one and loaded it into a Maruti van donated by a Madurai philanthropist.

Ten minutes later we stopped near a man lying on the ground by a high wall. Krishnan placed the food next to him. The man refused to even look at it, but grabbed the water bottle and drank eagerly. "He will eat the food later, looks like he was very thirsty," said Krishnan.

At the next stop, he laid the dry leaf-plate and served the food. He then scooped some food and started feeding the mentally ill man himself. After two morsels, the man started eating on his own."

We then crossed a crowded traffic signal and stopped the vehicle. On seeing Krishnan, four individuals moved slowly towards the Maruti van.. They stood out in the crowd with their dirty, tattered clothes and unshaven beards.

They knew this Maruti van meant food. But they did not hurry, knowing that Krishnan would wait for them.
Krishnan served them under a tree and carried water for them. "They are not aware enough to get their own water," he explained."

And thus we went around the city till the 'Akshaya patra' was empty. Of course, it would be full again for dinner later in the day."

As we returned, a startling fact hit me. Not a single mentally challenged person had thanked Krishnan. They did not even smile or acknowledge him. Still Krishnan carried on in a world where most of us get offended if someone doesn't say thank you, sometimes even for doing our jobs.

The food costs Rs 8,000 a day, but that doesn't worry him. "I have donors for 22 days. The remaining days, I manage myself. I am sure I will get donors for that too, people who can afford it are generally generous, particularly when they know that their hard earned money is actually going to the poor. That is why I maintain my accounts correctly and scrupulously."

He then pulled out a bill from the cabinet and showed it to me. It was a bill for groceries he had bought seven years ago. "This bill has sentimental value. It is the first one after I started Akshaya."

The economic slowdown has resulted in a drop in the number of donors. Earlier, they sustained meals for 25 days.

Software giants Infosys and TCS were so impressed with his work that they donated three acres of land to him in Madurai . Krishnan hopes to build a home for his wards there. He has built the basement for a woman's block which will house 80 inmates, but work has currently halted due to a lack of funds.

This, however, is not the sum of his good deeds. Krishnan also performs the funerals of unclaimed bodies in Madurai . He collects the body, bathes it and gives it a decent burial or cremation as the need may be.

He gets calls, both from the municipal corporation and general hospital for the funerals

He recalls with a little prompting how one day he saw a mentally ill man eating his excreta. He rushed to the nearest restaurant and bought the man five idlis. The man ate voraciously, and then smiled at him. The smile made Krishnan want to do it again and again.

Krishnan has not married and wonders if anyone would want to marry a man who spends his days cooking food for others. He is firm that his life partner has to agree to this kind of life.

His parents were initially shocked, but are now very supportive of their son. They advise him about the cuisine and also about how he can streamline the process.
One wonders why he left his job in a five star hotel to bury the dead and feed the mentally ill. To this he just smiles and says, "I like doing it."

Mr. Krishnan is doing this -

** not for political motive, because they can't vote

** not for any relegious conversion, because they don't know what they are

** not with any expectation to get something in future, because they wouldn't remember him even if they become normal

He is doing this great work without having any expectation. This is true nishkaama karmayoga (selfless service).

We are proud of you Mr. Krishnan and feel still there are great human hearts around us!

God Bless You!!

For more information on N Krishnan's trust, log on to:
Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy. Action is no less necessary than thought to the instinctive tendencies of the human frame.