Fort Hulukudi had more in store than our expectations. The priest informed us that the steps we climbed to reach the temple were only recently laid by the temple trust and was not the original route to reach this temple. The actual route to reach the temple was from the opposite side of the route we had taken for ascent. He advised us to take the route behind, which currently is not in use and look out for the big bull statue (Nandi) and a huge stone resembling a butter ball. He also told us that the fort here was built by a local king. We thanked the priest and moved on in search of the Nandi. On our way we met a local who volunteered to walk down with us and share information about this place. He told us about a long forgotten town at the hill base, named Mahdeshwara. Here on, we started out descent along with him and decided to explore the Fort first.
|Steps leading to the Watch Tower|
|Crumbled Fort Wall|
|Another Watch tower|
|Fort wall stones scrambled all over|
|Rock Cut Steps|
A long flight of rock cut steps led us to a small temple that housed the Nandi. The Nandi statue was huge and quite impressive. It is supposedly carved out of a single stone. From here, we went in search of the butter ball stone. This is very much similar to the boulder named Krishna's butter ball in Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu). After this, we reached a stone arch which marked the hill base (This arch is the original entrance to the temple).
|The Nandi Temple|
|Veerabhadra Swamy's Butter Ball|
|Entrance Stone Arch|
After a small walk through the village fields, we reached the forgotten town of Mahdeshwara. At the entrance of this village was a ruined temple of Lord Shiva and looked quite grand. Our guide left us to ourselves to enjoy exploring the temple and also mentioned about a small cave besides the temple. Meanwhile he went to arrange some lunch for us. This temple was simply beautiful and kudos to our guide and his family who are actually taking care of this temple inspite of not receiving help from anyone. The Shiva Linga is a large one and resembles Chola architecture. There is also a Tamil inscription on a stone by the side of the temple.
|Decorative Door Frame|
|Interior Decorative Frame Work|
|Art work on the Ceiling|
|Entrance to the Cave besides the Temple|
|Our Sumptuous Lunch|
|Way to Mahdeshwara|
|Hulukudi Veerabhadra Swami|
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