The Splendid Largest Jaina Temple of Chamundaraya Basadi, Shravanabelagola

Jain Temple of Chamundaraya Basadi, Shravanabelagola

Chamundaraya Basadi in Shravanabelagola is one of the largest Jaina temples on the hill both in style and in decorative features. The temple is 68 feet long and 36 feet wide. The temple consists of a garbhagriha, a sukhanasi, a navaranga and a mukhamandapa. It has an upper story above the garbhagriha and a Dravadian sikhara. The outer walls have decorations of pilaster over which are three friezes containing ornamental niches, yalis, and seated Jaina figures. The outer wall of the upper garbhagriha also has similar three friezes over which l is a simple Dravidian sikhara. These moldings attract the visitors even from a distance.

The mukhamandapa rests on four pillars with sloping eave on all the three sides. Thus the whole temple is very elegant. The lower part of the temple is interesting. It has undecorated flat base with neatly cut roundish and projected molding above. There is a similar but smaller molding above. Between the two moldings is a hollow flat surface with minor decorations. Then rises the wall with pilasters, and the highly decorated eave is prominent at the roof level. This is the most decorated part of the structure and adds a special grace.

At present there is a sculpture of Neminatha in the lower garbhagriha, five feet in height, flanked by male chauri bearers on either side. The garbhagriha doorway is decorated and has Sarvahna yaksha and Kushmandini yakshi. It is believed that this Neminatha image originally belonged to another temple but now kept here. The upper garbhagriha has an image of Parsvanatha of three feet in height. Its pedestal has an inscription which states that Jinadeva, son of the minister Chamundaraya built this Jina temple. Perhaps this refers to the consecration of the image in the upper garbhagriha.

The inscription on the pedestal of Neminatha states that it was consecrated by Echana, son of minister Gangaraja of the Hoysala period in 1128 A.D. From all these evidences it becomes clear that Chamundaraya built this temple in about 982 A.D., and the upper story was added by Chamundaraya’s son Jinadeva in 995 A.D., and the present image was brought from some other temple and consecrated in 1128 A.D. The very fact that it is named after Chamundaraya be taken as an evidence to say that it was built by him, who also set up the great colossus of Gommateshwara here.

Charlie Munger’s Sit-on-Your-Ass Investing Concept

Charlie Munger presented the model of “Sit on your ass investing” at the 2000 Berkshire Hathaway Annual meeting. Description courtesy of Losch Management Company, an Orlando, Florida-based investment advisor.

'Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor' by Tren Griffin (ISBN 023117098X) You have value investing, and growth investing, but now we also have “sit on your ass investing”, which is better.

The problem with value investing is it requires too much work.

First you have to find an undervalued stock and buy it cheap. Then you have to sell it when it the price reaches or exceeds your calculated figure for its intrinsic value.

Because this requires many decisions over a long period of time, Charlie Munger prefers his own method in which all you have to do is pick a really great company when it is attractively priced, and then just sit on your ass. The great advantage being that it only requires one decision.

Charlie said: “If you buy a business just because it’s undervalued then you have to worry about selling it when it reaches its intrinsic value. That’s hard. But if you can buy a few great companies then you can sit on your ass … that’s a good thing.”

The whole idea of not having to do something extraordinary is one all investors should heed, yet it is easy to forget, particularly in stressful situations.

Recommended Reading: ‘Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor’ by Tren Griffin

Mungerisms: Amusing Quotes from Charlie Munger from the Berkshire Hathaway 2014 Annual Meeting

Amusing Quotes from Charlie Munger from the Berkshire Hathaway 2014 Annual Meeting

Charlie Munger is not always politically correct, always offers a wealth of information, and hilarious now and then. At the 2014 annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, here are some of his best zingers:

  • On the interplay between CEOs and corporate directors regarding compensation: “You start paying directors of corporations two or three hundred thousand dollars a year, it creates a daisy chain of reciprocity where they keep raising the CEO and he keeps recommending more pay for the directors.”
  • On CEO pay and work habits: “Does the Supreme Court work less hard because they don’t get paid like corporate executives? We have some corporate directors who draw more pay than members of the Supreme Court. That’s crazy,”
  • 'Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger' by Peter D. Kaufman and Ed Wexler (ISBN 1578645018) On taxing the 1%: “The taxes on wealth were much higher when I was much younger. So for somebody of my age, I don’t think they’re ruining the world because I’ve lived through way more punitive taxes on the rich than we have now … I don’t think everybody who’s been especially favored should take the last dollar that he or she should get. I think we all have an obligation to dampen these fires of envy.”
  • On Facebook, Twitter, and the appeal of social media: “It just doesn’t interest me at all to gab all the time on the Internet with people and I certainly hate the idea of young people putting in permanent form the dumbest thoughts and the dumbest reports of action that you can ever imagine.”
  • On his favorite advance in technology: “I’m in love with the Xerox machine.”
  • On Donald Sterling, the then-owner of NBA Clippers, who then faced racial remarks and lifetime ban:”He’s a peculiar man. He’s past 80. His girlfriend has had so many facelifts she practically can’t smile. This is not the noblest ideal of what the American businessman should be.”

Insightful books about Charlie Munger

The Magnificent Bhoganandishwara Temple Complex in Nandi (near Bangalore)

Sculptures at Bhoganandishwara Temple Complex

Bhoganandishwara temple in Kolar district is one of the finest Dravidian temples in Karnataka.

Actually it is not a single temple but a complex built over a period of more than six centuries beginning from eighth century A.D. According to inscriptions this temple was built by Ratnavali, the queen of Bana king Vidyadhara. As Bana Vidyadhara ruled during the last quarter of the eighth century A.D., the earliest part of this temple should have been built by that time. There are many Chola inscriptions of eleventh century A.D. in this temple.

The temple consists of a huge prakara of 320 feet long and 250 feet broad. The original temple consisted of two garbhagrihas, two sukhanasis, navaranga and two nandimandapas. The northern garbhagriha had an image of Bhoganandishwara while the southern garbhagriha was dedicated to god Arunachaleshwara. Sukhanasi and navaranga have finely carved jalandhras with sculptural embellishments. The nandi mandapa has Chola inscriptions and perhaps this was built during the Chola period.

Bhoganandishwara Temple Complex in Nandi

The four pillars in the navaranga are carved with minute sculptures on all the sides. The ceiling over these pillars is huge and has Siva and Parvati along with eight dikpalas. In front of the navaranga entrance is the nandi mandapa with doorways on east, north and south. In front is a kalyanamandapa built of black stone. There are ceilings of ashtadikpalas. The beams have fine sculptures of Siva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, etc. The pillars are also carved with gods and goddesses like Hanuman, Vishnu, Lingodbhava, Krishna, Surya, Tandavesvara, Brahma, Gopalakrishna etc. The patalankana in front of the mukhamandapa is surrounded by an open verandah which stands on an ornamental plinth.

The outer walls of the early shrines have decorative plinths with pilasters, turrets and jalandhras with some sculptures here and there. In the prakara are found two shrines of a later period which have Prasanna Parvati and Apitakuchamba aspects of Devi as consorts of Bhoganandishwara and Arunachalesvara. To the north outside the encloser is a hall known as Vasantha mandapa which has sixteen fine pillars. Opposite to it is another mandapa with four pillars known as Tulabhara mandapa. To the north of this is a tank called Sringitirtha. Thus the entire temple complex is vast and attracts a large number of pilgrims from all over Karnataka.

The Elegant Wooden Tipu Sultan’s Palace, Bangalore

Balconies and Wooden Palace of Tipu Sultan in Bangalore

The Bangalore fort was an ancient one with contributions from Chikkadevaraja Wadeyar, Haidar Ali, and others. Tipu Sultan dismantled some parts of it after 1792 but Dewan Poornaiah rebuilt the fort in 1800 A.D. Tipu’s palace is here within the fort area by the side of fort Venkataramana temple and actually it is very close to the Bangalore Medical College now.

It is said that this palace was begun by Haidar Ali in 1781 and Tipu made use of it later. Though the original facade and the frontal portions are not available now, the palace still makes a lasting impression as an elegant and magnificent structure worthy of the palace. The palace is basically built of wood, except for the peripheral outer walls built of mud and bricks.

Tipu Sultan's Palace, Bangalore

The superstructure is of wooden frame with two stories with minute wooden carving decorations. What now remains is a frontal corridor with an upper balcony. Wide cusped arches are very conspicuous by their presence and they add a great majestic appearance. The wooden pillars with tapering design are very tall and this adds majesty to the entire structure. The walls and ceilings are of great attraction as they contain paintings of the contemporary period, consisting mostly of geometric designs and floral decorations.

Originally the upper story had four halls each comprising of two balconies and some rooms. The balconies faced parts of the office and was also used by the prince. At times it served as an audience hall also. At the end of the balconies were some rooms which were used for private purposes of the family of the Sultan. Though they look small from the present standards, with high roof they were cool and convenient for the people to live. There is a Persian inscription to the left of the verandah which calls it abode of happiness and envy of heaven. Its construction was started in 1781 and was completed in 1791 A.D.

Facade and Front of Tipu Sultan Palace in Bangalore

After the death of Tipu Sultan it was used by Krishnaraja Wadeyar III to give audience to the citizens of Bangalore in 1808. Subsequently it was temporarily used by the British army. The Karnataka State Secretariat also worked from here. Finally it was taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India which has made it a protected monument. Thus it is a rare and elegant wooden palace at Bangalore.

The Greatest Writers Passed Over for the Nobel Prize in Literature

The Greatest Writers Passed Over for the Nobel Prize in Literature

Many of the best writers of the past 112 years have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, but there have been some astounding omissions right from the start. The list of great writers who were alive after 1901 but never received the prize is shocking.

Tour the Captivating Mount Fuji and Hakone National Park

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

Hakone National Park is one of five parks that make up Japan’s Fuji-Hakone-lzu National Park, centered around Lake Ashinoko, or Ashi as it is tenderly known, a adored site in Japan with unparalleled views of the imposing Mount Fuji. It is a popular day-trip destination among tourists keen to go out of Tokyo. Fuji-Hakone-Izu is the most visited national park in Japan.

Located within a volcanic territory, Hakone is famous for its hot springs, health resorts, spas, and therapy centers. The area has long been thought to have magical healing qualities, and people in quest of renewal flock here in the thousands. Never fear if you have not booked into one of the treatment hotels; it is still doable to enjoy a sake bath with green tea: Hakone Kowakien Yunessun is a hot springs spa resort and water amusement park open to the public all year round, a ideal pit stop after trekking the peaks of mounts Komagatake and Kanmurigatake. Those seeking a longer life head to Owakudani, in the Great Boiling Valley, an area with active sulfur vents and hot springs. Here they boil eggs, which turn black and slightly sulfuric, and if you can stand the smell. Fable has it that eating one egg adds seven years to your life.

Lake Ashi, Hakone National Park Hakone also boasts the generally celebrated Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands and an open-air museum, with masterpieces on display by celebrated modern artists, including Picasso, Rodin, and Miro. However, Lake Ashi steals the show. It is set in a surreal landscape with snow-covered Fuji as a stage set and the bright red torii gates of Hakone Jinja shrine to the fore, a Shinto shrine forever marking the entrance to a sacred space, another world. At 72,400 feet high, Mount Fuji dominates the skyline across the waters of Lake Ashi. Spring is cherry blossom season in Japan and the most exceptional time to visit the park. Travelers can take in the imposing cone of Mount Fuji through pale-lavender and rose-colored branches in the park during the Sakura season.

Cave Architecture of Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, Bangalore

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, Bangalore

The cave temple dedicated to Gangadhareshwara in Gavipuram of Basavanagudi in the heart of the city of Bangalore is a unique structure of great antiquity. The original shrine carved within a cave of rock has a door thirty feet wide and about seven feet in height. In front of this were built a mandapa and a sikhara during the period of Kempegowda of Bangalore. More important are the monolithic sculptures of trisula (trident), damaru (drum) and chatri (umbrella). They are of huge dimensions and hence prominently visible.

The cave has two garbhagrihas, one dedicated to Siva and the other one is for Durga, at the right side. Both are apsidal in nature. Gangadhareshwara shrine has a sukhanasi and before it is a nandi. Both the linga and the nandi are carved out of the rock. The shrine of Durga has no sukhanasi and before the shrine are two pillars on both sides. Both shrines have separate pradakshinapatha. At the right side of the Durga temple is a square shrine which has no image now. On the right are two more small caves. The walls are built of bricks of the later period. However, in the interior are carved pillars to support the roof.

Nandi Bull at Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple From the outside, the Gangadhareshwara shrine has a fine circular sikhara which has carvings as well as niches with pilaster like decorations over which is a circular pot-like kalasha. The Surya shrine has a vimana of eight sides. Both these are stucco creations of the period of Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore.

This temple has some fine sculptures too. Durga shrine has a four feet high Lakshmi sculpture with four hands. The sculptures of Bhairava, Dakshinamurti, Saptamatrikas have been kept inside the temple. Some of them may date back to eleventh century A.D., of the Chola period.

There is no evidence like inscription to date the Gangadhareshwara temple. However, on the basis of stylistic evidence, the earliest part of the temple may be dated to the Chola or Ganga period during the eleventh century A.D. The subsequent additions of the mandapa, sikharas and monolithic sculptures were made during the period of Kempegowda in the seventeenth century A.D.

Because of the cave architecture, this temple is unique in the history of art at Bangalore.

Ex-Google’s Marissa Mayer on Nine Principles of Innovation

The last decade’s most remarkable business story has been the rise of Google as a dominant force in computing. Whenever a company becomes wildly successful in a brief span of time, it naturally becomes an object of fascination for corporate executives and even the general public.

Marissa Mayer on CreativityMarissa Mayer, then Vice-President for Search Products and User Experience at Google, and presently CEO of Yahoo, shared nine guiding principles of innovation that have helped her succeed with Fast Company:

  1. Innovation, Not Instant Perfection. “The Googly thing is to launch it early on Google Labs and then iterate, learning what the market wants—and making it great. … The beauty of experimenting in this way is that you never get too far from what the market wants. The market pulls you back.
  2. Ideas Come from Everywhere. “We have this great internal list where people post new ideas and everyone can go on and see them.
  3. A License to Pursue Your Dreams. “We let engineers spend 20% of their time working on whatever they want, and we trust that they’ll build interesting things.
  4. Morph Projects Don’t Kill Them. “Any project that is good enough to make it to Labs probably has a kernel of something interesting in there somewhere, even if the market doesn’t respond to it. It’s our job to take the product and morph it into something that the market needs.
  5. Share as Much Information as You Can. “People are blown away by the information you can get on MOMA, our intranet. Because there is so much information shared across the company, employees have insight into what’s happening with the business and what’s important. … It allows us to share what we know across the whole company, and it reduces duplication.
  6. Users, Users, Users. “In a truly virtual business, if you’re successful, you’ll be working at something that’s so necessary people will pay for it in subscription form. Or you’ll have so many users that advertisers will pay to sponsor the site.
  7. 'The Google Guys: Inside the Brilliant Minds of Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin' by Richard L. Brandt (ISBN 1591844126) Data is Apolitical. “Run a test on 1% of the audience and whichever design does best against the user-happiness metrics over a two-week period is the one we launch. … We probably have somewhere between 50 and 100 experiments running on live traffic, everything from the default number of results to underlined links to how big an arrow should be. We’re trying all those different things.
  8. Creativity Loves Constraints. “People think of creativity as this sort of unbridled thing, but engineers thrive on constraints. They love to think their way out of that little box: ‘We know you said it was impossible, but we’re going to do this, this, and that to get us there.’
  9. You’re Brilliant? We’re Hiring. “There is this amazing element to the culture of wanting to work on big problems that matter, wanting to do great things for the world, believing that we can build a successful business without compromising our standards and values.

How Google Fuels its Innovation Factory

  1. Innovation, not instant perfection.: Google launches early and often in small beta tests, before releasing new features widely
  2. Ideas come from everywhere.: Google expects everyone to innovate, even the finance team
  3. A license to pursue dreams.: Employees get a “free” day a week. Half of new launches come from this “20% time
  4. Don’t kill projects—morph them.: There’s always a kernel of something good that can be salvaged
  5. Share everything you can.: Every idea, every project, every deadline—it’s all accessible to everyone on the intranet
  6. Worry about usage and users, not money.: Provide something simple to use and easy to love. The money will follow.
  7. Don’t politic, use data.: Mayer discourages the use of “I like” in meetings, pushing staffers to use metrics
  8. Creativity loves restraint.: Give people a vision, rules about how to get there, and deadlines
  9. You’re brilliant, we’re hiring.: Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin approve hires. They favor intelligence over experience

The Tallest Free-standing Stone Sculpture of Gommateshwara in Shravanabelagola

Gommateshvara in Shravanabelagola

The statue of Gommateshvara at Shravanabelagola, the tallest free standing stone sculpture in the world has given a unique and international cultural status to Karnataka.

Shravanabelagola is the most sacred religious centre of the Jains. It has a hoary antiquity dating back to the third century B.C., when Bhadrabahu along with the Maurya king Chandragupta came and settled down here. From then on many Karnataka dynasties like the Gangas of Talakad, the Chalukyas, the Hoysalas, the rulers of Vijayanagara and others patronised this Jaina sacred place.

However, it was during the period of Ganga king Rachamalla IV (973–999 A.D.), the place became famous because his minister Chamundaraya consecrated this image of Gommateshvara on the summit of the hill commanding a picturesque view of the whole area. A large number of Jaina temples were built here at different periods by various dynasties which have made this center an open air museum of Jaina art.

Colossal Image of Bahubali in Shravanabelagola The real attraction of Shravanabelagola is the colossal image of Bahubali also known as Gommateshvara. Its height is 57 feet and is the tallest stone sculpture in the world. The image is nude and stands facing north; in an erect yogic posture. The serene expression of the face is remarkable. The hair is curly and the ears are long, the shoulders being broad and the arms hang down straight with the thumbs turned outwards. The lower portion adds majesty and grandeur. The entire image stands on a pedestal which is in the form of a lotus. The foot measures nine feet in length; the toes are 2 feet 9 inches; the middle finger is 5 feet 3 inches; the forefinger is 3 feet 6 inches; third finger is 4 feet 7 inches; the fourth finger is 2 feet 3 inches.

Shravanabelagola is a sacred religious centre in Jainism

The face of Gommateshvara is most artistic and is a commentary on the success of the skill of the sculptor who carved it. The eyes are half open and the eye balls appear as if real. This also symbolizes the pensive mood of the saint. The total effect is one of majesty, grace and dignity, and expresses his compassion towards the fellow beings and hence is considered as the best in this type. Gommateshvara has been watching the human beings and their sufferings for the past one thousand years and people are looking at him for guidance for an ethical and religious life. Thus he is inspiring people to follow the path of Dharma. Once in twelve years a special ritual called Mahamastakabhisheka takes place when lakhs of people assemble here to be blessed by the compassionate Gommateshvara.