During the free time in the afternoon while on the Bird Survey at Jungle Lodges and Resorts, I wanted to go and visit the Biligiri Rangana Temple. As I said, Vijay Cavale zapped me by unhesitatingly offering me his Terracan...so I asked Yathin and Amogh along for company and off I went.
For some reason that I have not yet been able to find, the river Kaveri is associated, all along her course, with the god Vishnu, as Ranganatha. We have temples to him in Srirangam, and Ranganathapuram in Tamizh Nadu, and Srirangapatna and places like Biligiri Rangana Hills, too. Here's a detail from the top of the temple, which depicts Vishnu:
Vishnu is dark (the name of his incarnation, Krishna, means, literally, "dark") but is often depicted as blue instead! He has a conch and a divine wheel called the srichakra in his hands. His consort is Lakshmi (as Ranganatha, the consort is named Ranganayaki.)
The temple door is guarded by Dwara Palakas (literally, guards of the openings) and here's the detail from the depiction of one of them:
This is the Kalasha, or divine pot, that surmounts the temple. These are often covered in gold plating.
And here is the temple bell, heavily decorated with flowers. You can see the beginning of the name, "Sri Biligiri Ranga..." on the bell, too, in Kannada.
As we went around the temple, I saw several granite flagstones with figures etched on them. I have heard that devotees do this so that as other devotees' feet touch their images, they accrue more and more of "punya" or good karma and are thus better qualified to either go to Heaven or take a better birth the next time around.
That'a detail from the temple chariot or Ratha (I couldn't get the right angle to get the whole of it, and this detail was inspired by deepsan's photos.)
This devotee, or rather mendicant, who was sounding a gong and asking for alms, caught my eye....he has the Vishnu caste-mark on his forehead and holy beads around his neck. A saffron-coloured cloth, that he has used as a turban, is associated with religion and spirituality, too.
And several devotees had lit small pellets of votive camphor or kalpoora on the walls surrounding the temple:
And, just to remind me that I was here on a bird survey and had better get back, was this little fellow, sitting perkily on the temple wall....house sparrows are no longer seen within the city limits of Bangalore, for various reasons. They are gregarious, chirpy, delightful little birds.
Well...those were the vignettes of my visit to Sri Ranganatha at his temple in the hills!