Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The cave-temple, Govardhana in Banglore

The statue you see, is of Lord Krishna, in the Govardhana Temple at Basavangudi, Bangalore.

The temple falls under the of the Madhava sect of Hinduism. Acharya Madhva (1238-1317) was the founder Philosopher of Tattvavada, more popularly known as the Dvaita School of Vedanta.

The 'cave temple' was built in 2004 by a lady named Dr. Nalini Rao, as a devotional offering. It is built in a unique architectural style to recreate the legendary mountain Govardhana.

It is believed that Lord Krishna once held up the mountain, on his little finger, for seven days to shield his village from torrential rains. Some Vaishnavites even believe that this mountain is an extension of Krishna, thus making it a holy site. The event, popularly known as 'Govardhana-shila' is often represented in religious art, but this temple is a whole different level of devotion!
A watercolour depicting Gowardhan Sila. circa 1640. Source: V&A Museum.
You can wander inside a mountain labyrinth to see beautiful scenes from Krishna's life carved on the walls. Instead of a closed sanctum, this idol of Krishna is at the heart of the temple.

In the background of this photo you can see Krishna conquering the poisonous serpent Kalia who terrorized the people of Brindavan. Krishna merely had to dance on the serpent's head for it to start dying. Legend's about Krishna always have a playful air to them, don't they?

This temple is quite unusual, for more than one reason. Firstly its focus on story-telling is commendable and makes for such an interesting visit. Secondly, how often do we see a modern-day Indian woman financing a whole temple?

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