Kalyani: The Royal Tank

Halebidu houses the beautiful Hoysaleshwara Temple that has some intricate and amazing sculpture. However, not many are aware of another beautiful structure, just 3 km from this temple, that's definitely worth visiting. 
Hulikere Kalyani. Lying close, yet very well hidden unless you go looking for it, this is a beautiful step well, with multiple landings and mini-shrines at each level. Water level rises up in the rains, else its is devoid of water in the dry seasons. The mini shrines are 27 in number, thought to represent the 27 stars followed in Astrology.
       
 
One thing that struck me was, when we went there, an old lady was praying and performing an aarti along with other prayer rituals, very solemnly, all alone. There was no one around, no photo ops. This is the power of prayer. Power of Dharma. Power of Shakti. 
As with the other Hoysala structures, no stone is left untouched (literally) by the magician sculptures. Elephants can be seen everywhere. They really must have loved these gentle giants. 
To any one who visits Halebidu, I would definitely recommend visiting this tank. Getting there involves taking a detour from the main road, just short of Halebidu, and driving through some narrow roads and lanes. People will definitely stare, to see who's entering their quiet village. A couple of them actually came near the tank and spoke to us. (Mangularalli thumbaaa sekhe! It is very hot in Mangalore) 

       See also: Hoysala Marvels      On the Hoysala Trail

We left the place wondering and picturing how it might have been in those days of Hoysala glory. How the place might have been bustling with activity. How the queen accompanied by her assistants would have come to the Royal Bath.

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