Friday, 27 March 2015

Ancient Step Well - Agrasen Ki Baoli

In ancient India step wells (Baoli) were built to store rain water from the torrential seasonal monsoons. Step wells can be seen in parts of the country where water was scarce and normal wells would dry up fast. What separates the step well from tanks and other water holding structures are the steps leading up to the base of the well, the steps are used to access the low ground water during the dry season.To build step wells deep trenches were dug up and they lined the walls with stone and created steps leading up to the base of the well.
Agrasen Ki Baoli Delhi
Agrasen Ki Baoli is a step well in New Delhi built by King Agrasen in the 14th century. The well is located in the heart of the city close to Connaught place surrounded by urban buildings. 
Delhi Travel Blog

The main feature of the well is the 104 steps leading to the base of the well, the steps are flanked on both sides with a series of carved chambers and passages. Bats and pigeons have made their homes in the nooks and cracks  of this magnificent structure. 
India Travel Blog

The well is open to visitors every day of the week and there is no entry fee or camera fee . 

Close By Attractions 
  • Jantar Mantar
  • Janpath Market
  • India Gate
  • Connaught Place
Fun Fact
Some say the well is haunted and there are articles on-line that claim Agrasen Ki Baoli  is one of the most haunted places in Delhi. 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015


The Hoysala Kings ruled most part of Karanataka, the Southern state of India from 10th to 14th century. These Kings were great patrons of Art, Architecture and  commissioned some of the  best stone temples ever built.
chennakesava temple belur
Chennakesava Temple, Belur

The city of Belur was the capital of the Hoysala kingdom until it was annexed by the Mughal ruler Allauddin Khilji. The Mughals looted and plunders the capital city after which Halebidu was established as the new capital. The temples and monuments of Belur are the best examples of Hoysala architecture and the highlight is the nature of the carvings; so intricate that they look like carvings made on sandalwood rather than stone.
chennakesava temple belur
The temples are build on raised platforms and at Chennakesava temple elephants are carved on to the base of the platform.
Hoysala Temple
The charging Elephants at the lower section symbolize strength and stability ,the lions above symbolize courage and valor and the horses above them symbolize speed.
chennakesava temple belur

The most famous Hoysala temple was built to commemorate the victory of the Hoysalas over the Cholas in the great battle of Talakkad. It took 103 years and talented workmen to built this magnificent stone temple and is worshiped till date .The interiors of the temple are intricately carved, the strenght of stone has given way to the beauty of idols, ornamental carvings that almost look like metal grill work. The temple was built for Lord Vishnu and Chennakesava literally translates to Handsome Vishnu.
chennakesava temple belur

chennakesava temple belur

View of the Gopuram an ornate tower at the entrance of the temple. The Gopuram  is filled with sculptures of different incarnations of Lord Vishnu and beautiful women. The detailed status is of garuda .
Belur Karnataka

chennakesava temple belur
The ornate carvings found in the different Hoysala temples indicate that music and dance were given high importance during this period.

The temples at Belur are carved out of soap stone (steatite), this stone is soft and easy to chisel but attains rock hard firmness when exposed to the atmosphere.

Hoysala sculpture

The exterior walls have carvings of every god in the Hindu religion and some from Jainism . The Hoysals were Jains before they converted to Hinduism.
chennakesava temple belur

Halebeedu was well fortified with huge boulders and a moat to keep out invaders from the north. The Hoysala empire extended from river Kaveri in the west and Krishna in the east and was enriched by fertile deltas of the rivers.The prosperity and wealth of the Hoysalas kings attracted the forces of the Delhi Sultanate, who invaded and annexed the town in 1311. The invaders took back with them camel loads of gold, silver and precious gems. Halebeedu was attacked a second time in the year 1326 after which the Hoysalas were forced to relinquish their beautiful capital. It was never re-occupied again and the capital was moved to Belure just 16 kms away.