The temple at Mosale leaves us wondering how many more such hidden gems are spread out across Hassan, and India at large. The architectural genius has left us awestruck. It is still early to start our journey back home though. So we decide to visit another Hoysala temple, at a village called Doddagaddavalli (try pronouncing that fast!). It is in a totally different direction from Mosale, on the way to Belur. So we head back to Hassan, and drive further on to Doddagaddavalli.
The drive is a nice one again, though not as beautiful as the one to Mosale. We again pass through old villages, and also some hilly terrain. At one point our path is blocked by a huge crowd approaching us- a herd of sheep! The man minding the herd looks fresh in a crisp white dhoti.
Finally a turn a round a corner brings us to a tiny open area, beyond which lies the temple complex. There is a neat looking house at the area.
In this post, I'll focus on the interiors of the temple.
The entrance hall to the temple is well lit, and is something like an outer verandah. There are many huge carved pillars. We spot the caretaker sitting there. Suddenly the priest emerges from within the temple complex, bearing a lit diya. We seek blessings. As is the norm in my home-town, we offer the priest some dakshina. But he refuses to accept it! He just turns it clockwise around the diya, gives it back to us, and tells us to keep it safe, as it has been blessed, and will be lucky for us. He also tells us to meditate in the temple surroundings, with our hands pressed together in a particular way. If we meditate with concentration, we'll feel a sense of calm and 'vibration', he says. This is the first time ever we've had an experience, where a priest has refused money offered to him. Our respect for the people of this town grows immensely.
Temple experience: We have reached at the right time, since the caretaker was almost about to close the temple and go back home. He opens the temple only if there are visitors, he says. If we felt a certain thrill inside the temple at Mosale, then here we experience something much beyond. The lighting is again minimum. The sanctum sanctorum seems to have a few external sources, else it's just natural light. There are structures of ferocious looking part-humans, standing guard at the entrance to each sanctum. There is a Nandi guarding a Shivling. The jewellery and decor on each idol is minimal, thus adding to the charming rusticity.
In all, there are four sanctum sanctorum, in four directions. That apart, the stone work is beautiful too. The trademark carved ceilings complete the picture. We spend a considerable amount of time inside the temple. And more beautiful murals await us outside.
(I read this morning in the newspaper, that the house I mentioned in the post, was gutted in a fire mishap. Five hundred sarees belonging to the temple, and about 5 lakhs of cash, became ash. Sad)
Read also: Hoysala Grandeur: A Snapshot (Part 1), To Hassan (Part 2), To Hassan (Part 2), Chennakeshava Temple, Belur (Part 3), Inside the Chennakeshava Temple (Part 4), Flamboyant Walls (Part 5), The Old Town: Halebidu (Part 6), Drive to Mosale (Part 7), Mosale banthu Mosale (Part 8), Wall Art at Doddagaddavalli (Part 10)