Real art is instigating, for it is only the inspired that can touch our senses in a lasting way. Whether its beautiful, arousing or provocative, it has to comes from a deeper sensibility of ones psychic to create and connect to our higher intellects. It is the masters that we look up to and try to follow, but eventually it is only the cream that reaches the top. These are the ones that live on and may seem to challenge time it self.
Creativity comes from the revered quarters of our minds; hence it should not be tampered with, and if we tinker or destroy art we are meddling with our own sacred sanctuary within, and if we do try to decide what art should stay or go we become part of the problem. Haven’t we seen how the Buddhist shrines get blown up in Afghanistan! Never worry about cheap imitations or art that doesn’t deserve it place, just like a dead leaf they will soon fall off the tree.
Great artist have the skill to take our breath away. It is their ability to bring what’s within into physical form for the world to admire. Great art can never be replicated; it is the deeper aspect of ones ability that makes art unique, after all, just as we are all unique, so is art.
The artist of the east are unlike the artist of the west, if you visit the Vatican you soon find that every artist is mentioned and given credit for his work. Where as in the east, such as India the artist is never mentioned. The Gods and Goddess can never play second fiddle, for it for them that all this is done. The picture that you see above is an example of that. This is Balur in South India. The skilled master sculptures did not crave for fame or wealth, only their dedication, honor and devotion for the supreme.
Belur is in Hassan district, Karnataka, South India. The master sculptures sacrificed their self-recognition for the Hindu God Lord Vishnu-the preserver of the universe- and the other Gods and Goddess that accompany him. Every part of the temple is exquisitely chiseled to perfection. The stonework looks like metal in some places. Construction began in 1117 A.D. by King Vishnuvardana of the Hoysala dynasty and took about 103 years to complete, only to be plundered, vandalized and some parts destroyed by a kingdom for the north . After that Belur fell into hard times and rendered the temple nonfunctional or should I say partly serviceable, attracting more tourist than devotees.
My visit to Belur was some time in May of 2014. I was fortunate enough to be accompanied by a friend of mine. We left Bangalore around 6.30 in the morning, roughly covering 220 km in 3½-hours. Once you leave the growing bustling city-Bangalore- the drive is pretty nice and the roads are great, with not much traffic.
The temple is in a small town and as you approach the temple you will notice an outer wall, with a gopuram –a tall tower with carving of Gods and Goddesses – and two large wooden doors to greet you and there is not much of any security. It was about 10 a.m. when we reached Belur and it was beginning to get hot and since we are not allowed to enter the temple with footwear the stone floor around the temple tend to burn your feet. So either you should get there very early or wear on a pair of socks, that’s what I plan to do the next time I visit this amazing sanctuary.
I was awed by work put into every facet of the temple. Every bit of the temple screamed excellence, and if you are into photography, you will be overwhelmed and wonder how to include everything you see.
1100’s to 2014 is a long time in my estimation and the The Chennakesava Temple has withstood the test of time. In fact the passage of time has add a rich patina to the walls and sculptures. Rather than spinning you tall tales I will post some pictures, and I hope my pictures will do justice to this magnificence place. Thanks for reading.