To the other side of the temple to the east are two more entrances facing to the Dwara Samudra Lake and to both of these east doors are the Nandi Mandapa's built with huge Nandi (the Bull, an attendant of Lord Shiva) statues inside it, being majestic in appearance and beautiful in composition. The walls on this side are more or less plain with less number of sculptures and pillars holding the roof structure and pierced perforated window structures are placed similar to that of the Belur temple.
|Nandi Mantapa 1|
The first Nandi statue from the north is of more importance and is more beautifully carved than the other. It has a plain mantapa with pillars and open to air without any walls, it doesn’t have a garbhagriha, but has model shrines on either sides of the Nandi mantapa.
|Friezes on the base of the Nandi Mantapa 1, beside it is the Nandi Mantapa 2|
|Side view of the Nandi Mantapa 1|
|Pillars of the Nandi Mantapa 1|
|The more beautiful and ornate of the two Nandi statues at the Nandi Mantapa 1|
The second Nandi mantapa is larger than the first one, similar to the first one it also has two model shrines on wither sides of the entrance and stands on a number of pillars with open structure, the only difference is this has a garbhagriha (sanctuary) with a beautiful Surya (Sun god) idol, carved out of black stone. The image of the Sun god Surya stands 7 ft. (2.1 m) tall.
|Nandi Mantapa 2 with a shrine of Sun God behind Nandi statue|
|Pillars of Nandi Mantapa 2|
|Nandi statue at Nandi Mantapa 2, this was larger than the first one|
|Sun God statue Beautifully carved from black stone, it was totally dark inside the shrine|
An 8 feet tall sculpture of Ganesha including the platform rests at the south entrance, away from the temple platform.
Archaeological Museum of Halebid:
The museum was established in the early part of 1970’s. This museum has more than 1500 sculptures, architectural members; inscriptions of historical significance retrieve in and around Halebidu. The collection is displayed in a closed sculpture gallery as well as in an open air museum with a large reserve collection. It also display 18 ft. Tirthankara image from the ruined tank of one of the Jaina basadis.
|Tall Jain sculpture at the museum|
The open air museum has in its display many sculptures of importance like Govardhana giridhari Krishna, dancing Shiva, Nataraja and Veena Saraswati, dancing Ganesha, elegant couchant Nandi to name a few. The Sculptures of Brahma-Saraswati, Nagna Kala Bhairava, Mother and Child, wooden carvings and a bronze statue of a Tirthankara have been the important display in the sculpture gallery. The master pieces of this museum have represented Indian art in the various exhibitions held at France, Japan and other countries.
Opening Hours: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Closed on – Friday
Entrance Fee: Rs 5/- per head (Children up to 15 years free)
After visiting this temple one would have to imagine, how would have this temple be 800 years ago when it was constructed with its twin towers on top of the roof, it must be surely a marvelous structure, making it feel jealous for the foreigners to invade it twice, and many sculptures of the temple have been stolen and few of them taken to western countries, making it incomplete as its whole, otherwise the glory of the temple would have been enormous.
Though the temple was repeatedly ruined by the enemy kings of those days, I liked the whole temple being protected today by the government (or the Archeological survey of India), there were about 50 labors being employed for safe guarding the temple, and also they won’t even allow you to touch the walls of the temples, which should be pretty must appreciated. I personally feel they are the rare history of humankind and must be protected for generations to come; best way is to grant it as a UNESCO world heritage site for its rarest kind of man made marvels. If building huge structures is one kind of man made marvel then building a cutting edge quality structures carved entirely out of stones and lasting about 900years even after ruined by so many rivals, is another kind of man made marvel, some of them are so intricate that even with the present day machines it is pretty much difficult to even attempt to construct these kind of sculptures. Instead of granting world heritage sites for less meaningful and recently constructed structures, UNESCO should more concentrate on protecting the ancient structures in the process of protecting the history of mankind.
Kedareshwara temple and Parshwanatha Jain Basadi...To be continued...