Of Step-wells and Kalyanis

Lak9

As you zip through the Gadag – Koppal highway you will be forced to slow down at Lakkundi village due to the half a dozen or so speed-breakers distributed generously along the road. This is only to be expected in villages adjoining the highway in India, right?

And you curse the road-builders for this inconvenience and accelerate angrily once you cross the village.

Did it occur to you that maybe the excessive number of speed-breakers at Lakkundi have been installed there for a purpose other than causing inconvenience to you?

Did you get the feeling that the numerous speed-breakers at Lakkundi are actually imploring you to stop -over and have a look around? I guess not. 

You just drove past a treasure trove of History and culture – of the Kalyani kind.

Lak10

If you bother get off your SUV and begin to explore the by-lanes of Lakkundi you will stumble onto numerous ancient temples and step-wells of exquisite craftsmanship. 

Ah, I see, you are now prepared to give Lakkundi a glance..good. Come let’s explore..

Lak1

We pass by a few temples — then you say you know all about Chalukyan period architecture and temples. 

After all you have been to Badami,Pattadakal and Aihole, haven’t you?

But my dear sir, pardon me for correcting you. Yes, these temples are of the Chalukyan period but not of the Badami kind!

And you go “HUH?”

Lak3

You see, there were Chalukyan dynasties of all kinds those days..What you are referring to are the Badami Chalukyans. And then there were the Eastern Chalukyans who ruled from Vengi. But the temples here at Lakkundi were built by the Western Chalukyans of Kalyan.

Well read, as I am sure you are Sir, you look a bit chastened. You know, History has a habit of ambushing the unwary.

Lak5

Oh, I can see you are awestruck by what you have just seen and your camera has become hyper-active..

You say you have seen these kind of pushkarnis and step-wells at several other places too..

But I would like to add that what you are seeing and photographing here are called Kalyanis – I know it is a bit confusing, especially for a man of your extensive knowledge, but there it is..

Lak2

There is a reason these wells are called Kalyanis. Kalyani literally means “she who causes auspicious things” – therefore faithfuls who take a bath in these wells will have auspicious things happening to them, you see.

Lak4

Now you are admiring the craftsmanship of these temples and are silently applauding the Kalyani artisans of yore – but here I again I must interrupt your thought process and remind you that these are carved in the Gadag style of Architecture…

Lak8

I can see you are getting a bit irritated and have shoved your camera into the bag..you seem to be keen on getting back to the air-conditioned comfort of your SUV…

Understandable. I guess, what with the Sun beating down on you so harshly and the dust getting into your mouth…

Lak7

I am sorry you had to leave in such a hurry. Good day, Sir, have a safe and comfortable journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: india, photo essay, photography, tourism | Leave a comment

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