February 12, 2007

Belawadi Bytes

Found these while browsing through my picture collection yesterday…

I went to the Belawadi Hoysala temple at the peak of the recent language dispute in Karnataka , and look what I found sitting comfortable between the stones of the ancient temple… (Apparently the language dispute was not acute but chronic. Thanks D.)

At Belawadi, you are greeted by an obscure signboard saying that the temple is under the aegis of the ASI and the heritage monument is hajjar old. Workers are nonchalantly ripping up pieces of the temple and repairing other pieces of it, and the sounds are of a road-construction site, not those of an archaeological site by any means.

Surrounding the temple are homes of the villagers, separated from their heritage by a hesitant iron wire fence, which succeeds not because it is strong, but because nobody seems to want to pass through it in any case. We were the only tourists there, and immediately on our landing, we were greeted by faceless cries of “Pen please! Pen please!” As the children appeared, we gladly handed over our stationery, and I got this bright picture in return…

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