The hollows of the rock mysteriously secreted honey in order to replenish the lost energy of Lord Hanuman! Wow, what an interesting legend associated with this place. The story goes like this, 'while returning with the Sanjeevini hill, Lord Hanuman felt exhausted and decided to rest at the nearest place and thus reached Thrayandurgam. Here he found honey that was secreted in the curious hollows of one of the rocks and got refreshed after which he flew back to save Lakshmana, the brother of Lord Rama. ‘Tiyaranadurgam’/ ‘Thenidurgam’/ ‘Thrayandurgam’ is a small lesser known hill fort near Kelamangala.
|The Sacred Hollows of Thrayandurgam|
One Sunday morning, we headed in search of Tiyaranadurgam as per our sources, but in the map of Google this place was marked as Thrayandurgam. However when we reached here, the sign board carried the name of Thenidurgam! It was quite interesting to see that the place had different names, out of which two were from government sources. We parked our vehicle at the base of the hill and started walking towards the hill. At the outset, this place seemed perfect for prehistoric settlement. The fortification was visible right from the start. As steps have been laid till the top, reaching the peak was comfortable and did not take much time. At the beginning of the trek, we met a shepherd and inquired about the presence of any cave paintings, for which the reply was negative. So we moved ahead but kept a check for rock art all through our climb.
|Thenidurgam Hill Fort|
|In Search of Rock Art|
We reached the remains of the second gateway whereat the fortification is very similar to that of Balagondarayanadurgam and probably built during the rule of the Ankushagiri Palegars. Sadly not much history about this place is documented. Here we found a nice spot to sit and munch on a late breakfast. While the rest were enjoying the breakfast, I went ahead to explore the environs. The presence of a peculiar rock around attracted me, as also reminded me of the “Ghante kallu” (bell rock) of Sanganakallu and so I decided to check it out. It was a bit tricky to reach here amidst thorny vegetation. And to my surprise it sounded like a bell when struck, pretty much similar to the action of the Ghante Kallu. The rock produced different notes of sound when struck at different places of the rock. Yes! Our ancestors were very much interested and had immense knowledge about music from time immemorial.
|The Musical Rock " Ghante Kallu"|
|Break the Fast|
|Small Cave Temple En-route|
|Gateway to The Final Tier|
I descended further to investigate its surroundings for any evidence to support the above findings. The small cave found here did not find help us much. I returned to my trek partners and had my share of breakfast. We continued our trek and reached a small cave temple which housed small murtis of Lords Ganesha and Hanuman. There were a few stones placed behind them, probably representing the local village deities. Continuing from here, we reached the third gateway or the top most tier of the fort. There were remains of a few structures here amongst which a brick structure probably a mansion or a royal house was in a comparatively better shape than the others. Then, we reached the rock with mysterious hollows and sat underneath wondering about their origin. The hollows in various patterns and shapes were quite unique and intriguing. It was in these hollows that Lord Hanuman found the honey that was magically secreted by the rock itself.
|The Hollows that Secreted Honey|
|Inspecting the Hollows|
So many wonderful hidden stories exist that if one tries to interconnect these, a beautiful narration can be carved out as almost every place in India has its association with Lord Rama or the Pandavas. Under this rock was a shelter that was built probably during the time of fortification and was in use until recently. We found pug marks of two animals probably that of a mother and its child. However later, a shepherd confirmed that it was that of a bear and its cub which were captured by the Forest Department on request by the villagers a few weeks back. From here there was another small cave shelter of the same period probably used by royal priest back then and now abandoned. We then reached the main temple of Lord Hanuman; where the lord is beautifully carved on a rock. There is a beautiful water pond besides the temple from where water is used to perform abhishekam for the Lord. The water pond is home to many colorful fishes of different sizes and kept us engaged for a long time. While the kids and Sunil were busy spotting the fishes and tracking its path, we went around exploring the other remnants of the fort. Overall it turned out to be a wonderful outing apart from being a short and interesting fort-trek accompanied by a lot of mystery.
|Spotting the Fishes|
|Bird's Eye View of Thenidurgam|
1. Madras State Gazetteer - Salem