After a hectic organising and coordinating schedule, the team behind the months-long Gudi Sambaralu temple dance festival got together for a trip to a beautiful resort located in a 700-acre coffee estate near Bengaluru. Sharing how the travel plans fell into place, Kavya, one of the members says, “It started out with a few of us planning to go to Bengaluru and Primroses, the resort. While chalking out the route map, we saw that there were three beautiful 900-year-old temples on the way which we decided to include in the itinerary.”
She adds, “The team loves ancient temples and is always game to visit them at any given opportunity. The five-day trip gave all of us a chance to relax and have fun.” The team first flew to Bengaluru and then went on a road trip towards Chikmagalur. Srimani, another team member reminisces, “We spent two days trekking, exploring the coffee trails and hiking up the hills nearby.” She describes the trek as “difficult — a 5k walk at first, followed by a steep trek, climbing almost 70 floors in height. We were apprehensive about it in the beginning, but once we started it, we finished it with ease.”
The six-member team also visited the 900-year-old Chennakeshava temple built by King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala dynasty, renowned for the Shila Balikas sculpted on the exterior walls. “One can spend hours admiring the sculptures which are very intricately carved on soapstone. The temple is star-shaped and unique to all of Hoysala architecture,” shares Kavya.
Going from one temple to another led them to the Veeranarayana temple in Belavadi, set amidst a quaint hamlet and the Hoyasaleshwara temple in Halebidu. This temple is known for its elaborate carvings of stories from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagavatham epics. “All three temples were built around the same time and are amongst the most beautiful temples we have ever seen. We felt like we needed to bring back everyone we knew to witness this beauty in person,” concludes Kavya.