If you are a devotee of Karnataka’s cultural heritage, then this book could be the one that should be part of your collection. And, if you love history, well it is another reason why you should not miss this 193-page marvel.
Put together by Raintree Media exclusively for Raj Bhavan, the book Karnataka -A Cultural Odyssey takes you through a rare journey capturing the cultural grandeur at its best.
While coffee-table books have often stood out for their eye-catching visuals, what make Karnataka -A Cultural Odyssey truly special are the photographs landscaped all across the pages.
In the take-off section there’s an interesting bit on the rise of Bangalore which traces how the city got its name.
The name Bangalore has different attributions; an inscription discovered in Begur (on the outskirts of the city), dating back to the 9th century Ganga dynasty which refers to Begavalooru (a city of Guards). The most popular legend stems from the 12th century and refers to an old woman giving benda kalu (or boiled beans) to Hoysala King, Veera Ballala-II, who was lost in the area during a hunting spree. He is said to have referred to the place as Bendakaluru, which, with the passage of time, became Bengaluru and anglicised to Bangalore. The city has officially again reverted to Bengaluru, says the book.
In the section devoted to Raj Bhavan, what catches your eye is the fact that it houses nearly 30 species of birds. The book claims that migratory birds like Blyth’s Reed Wabler, Greenish Leaf Warbler and Booted Warbler land at Raj Bhavan every year, as part of their winter schedule.
The Heritage and Architecture section, among others, tells the tiny story of Lad Khan temple in Aihole (Bagalkot district.) Though dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Lad Khan temple is named after a Muslim prince who used this temple as his residence for a short while. Another unusual aspect of the shrine is that the architects of the 5th century seem to have endowed it with two mantapas (pillared hall) - a mukhyamantapa (entrance hall) and a sabhamantapa (gathering hall), says the book.
Found of Faith section tells you about the two strong religio-philosophical movements (Veerashaiva and Madhwa) in Karnataka. The prominent shrines in Gokarna, Dharmasthala, Mookambika, Karkalla, Sullia, Udupi and Bhatkal find a prime place. Chapters like the Festivals and Celebrations, the Arts, and Flavours of Karnataka give the book a picture perfect finish.
Above is only an introduction to the book, Karnataka - A Cultural Odyssey, and not a review. The first copy of the book was handed over to the President Pranab Mukherjee in Bangalore, recently.