On 12th March’15 the history students of class 12C visited Melukote and Somanathpur along with history teachers Ms. RoopaRavindran and Ms. Latika Menon, to enhance their knowledge about the Hoyasala and Vijayanagara architecture. They first visited the Yoganarasimha temple at Melukote which gave them an insight into the strategic construction of this temple. Another striking feature was its location on a hilltop. This is a typical example of how a temple served as a socio-economic, political, religious and cultural institution as the complex included a ‘Kalyani’, a ‘marriage-mantapa’, a ‘Rangamantapa’ and a platform for the royalty to view the cultural functions.
Their next stop was the Cheluvanarayanaswamy temple at Melukote, significant for its idol- the ‘CheluvanarayanaUtsav Murthy’ which was taken by the Sultans during their raids. Following a dream that Ramanujacharya had, the idol was retrieved from Delhi. BibiNachiyar, the Sultan’s daughter was so mesmerized by the idol that she followedRamanujacharya to Melukote with the idol. Another highlight of the trip was Raya Gopuram,a structure which is incomplete as the masons could not complete it within the one-day deadline given. Their last stop was Somanathpur- an epitome of the Hoysala architecture. The temple is breathtakingly beautiful, each and every corner is carved with intricate patterns depicting various stories.
From this trip they gathered valuable insights of the life and architecture of the Hoyasala and Vijayanagara reign. These 12 hours certainly proved to be a time capsule for the students who relived the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka, as they travelled back in time. Each student had a unique experience, but together they etched memories of the forgotten glory of the ancient times.