We started back from Jog in the afternoon of the 15th January, 2010. Of course, we couldn't see any crowd on the streets and told the driver to go to Ikkeri Agoreshwara temple.

The tourist cab drivers usually have a set path to show the people and this guy is no exception. He started moaning that Keladi is off the path and it would be better go to Shimoga after Ikkeri. I kept insisting on it. So as a compromise, he thought, I will be happy to go to another temple on the way to Ikkeri. So he stopped at Varadapur.

Now, here is a place where it seems like a local godman, Sridhara swamigal, attained samadhi and the temple and the samadhi are in on a hillock. I am a modest believer and think of temples as places where I usually achieve some amount of inner peace. But I do not like most of these godmen and definitely its not in my plan to go find places where they attained samadhi and visit. So gave an earful to the cabbie and started to Ikkeri.

Ikkeri was the capital of the Keladi Nayaks, who were subordinates of the Vijayanagara emperor. They are just like the Nayaks of Madurai, in terms of their temple building and Ikkeri has a beautiful temple which they've built around the 15 - 16 century.
At the entrance
Today, Ikkeri is a small village where the only reminder of the past glory is this temple. Again, no crowds. The temple itself is a national monument and is maintained well by ASI. It is a small temple but nonetheless is breathtaking. Its architecture is different from the Hoysala temples, and there is more symmetry in the pillars and the squareness of the temple was amazing. After a brief darshan, we went around taking pictures and trying to capture the beauty of the place and temple.
On the roofNandi
The Nandi is big and very much polished. The symmetry of the design can also be seen in the jewels worn by the various dancing figure, in the upper part of the temple and the various entrances which had big elephants. Sibi kept asking for the Yali's and I was having hard time explaining why we couldn't find one.
Girl with a savari
One of the interesting thing to note is that I was able to find some erotic panels in the temple Prahara. These were small, hardly 10-12 inches by 10-12 inches panels, at the eye level in the prahara and there are very few and many more look like they've been defaced. I took a few pictures and before Sibi could ask any questions, moved on.
Erotica - 2
One thing that I always find amusing is to see that our ancestors at least till 500-600 years back, had no problems with openly depicting erotica on the panels of no lesser places than temples. The society has grown so prudish that even buying erotica in Chennai is impossible before everyone gives you the look. While Britain has outgrown the Victorian morals, we have taken custody of it. But then, given our population, whether we do need to have open erotic panels is actually a very valid question.

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