Showing posts with label Chitradurga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chitradurga. Show all posts

Thipperudraswamy Mutta, Nayakanahatti

We reached Nayakanahatti and decided to visit the famous Mutta/shrine/temple dedicated to 'Lord Thipperudraswamy'. The temple being quite popular among the locals, always remains bustling with pilgrims. It is believed that Saint 'Rudraswamy' (original name of the Guru) did his penance in a mound of refuse and cow dung, thus gaining the title of "Thipperudraswamy". The prefix 'Thippe' is translated as refuse in the language of Kannada. It is said that he gained popularity after performing many miracles. The Ola-mutta or main temple is the place where he lived and met all the visitors. The guru is said to have entered jeeva samadhi (or live cremation) as per his wishes and hence was buried alive.
Thipperudraswamy Temple, Nayakanahatti
The Grand Rajagopuram 
The temple has a beautiful Rajagopuram (entrance) built about 250 years ago. There are two carved panels on either sides of the Rajagopuram. The left panel depicts a war scene between Lord Rama and the Demon Ravana. While  Ravana is portrayed beautifully with ten heads and twenty hands, on the panel top are seen soldiers with guns marching toward war. The right panel depicts a carving of Lord Hanuman's interaction with Demoness Surpanakha (Sister of Demon Ravana). The top panel here depicts the procession of the King and the queen. Both the panels are seen carrying  a  few erotic carvings.  The temple also houses a Shiva Linga installed by the Guru himself. One of the ceilings here has been carved beautifully and resembles an inverted flower bud. The outer walls of the temple carry numerous stucco figure which appear to have been painted recently.
War Scene Between Lord Rama and Demon Ravana
Interaction Between Lord Hanuman and Demoness Surpanakha 
 As Anna prasadam (religious offering of food after worship) is served here two times a day, we had an opportunity to energize ourselves so we could move on to our next with equal enthusiasm.
Carved Ceiling
Stucco Figures Carved on the Compound walls 
 PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

Shree Ramalingeshwara Cave Temple, Hosagudda Nayakanahatti

The priest was late as his vehicle was under repair and he had reached the cave temple by foot. We were glad that he made it just in time. We followed him to the cave temple and while he unlocked the door of the temple, he briefed us about this hill being called as Hosagudda (new hill) or Ramadurga hill. The Shiva linga here is believed to have been installed by Lord Rama during his journey from Ayodha to Lanka and hence the god is known as Shree Ramalingeshwara. Later, the Nayakas ruled this place and built the fort in order to protect this temple. Until recently, priest belonging to the royal family performed rituals and with his death the popularity of the temple declined.
The Ramalingeshwara Cave Temple
The Ramalingeshwara Cave Temple 
The current priest seemed genuinely concerned about his successor as this place no longer attracts people and hence maintenance of this temple may not be a viable option. While he got busy with the cleaning of  temple premises and preparing for the daily prayer rituals, we looked at the temple interiors and as usual were wonder-struck by the exquisite work on the ceiling of the cave temple about 12 feet above the ground. There are 6 sections of the ceiling with each being uniquely carved. The cave has a garbhagruha which houses Lord Shiva in the form of linga and a front porch. Inside the garbhagruha is a carving of Shiva linga with seven hooded serpent sheltering it.
Gajalakshmi
Explicit Carvings
Lord Hanuman
Pillar Head 
Kalinga Mardhana
 The front porch of the cave temple has 4 pillars which are carved to perfection. The ceiling sections carried some of the most beautiful carvings. The bird Garuda (a mythical bird also the carrier/vehicle of Lord Vishnu and his consort) is beautifully carved and is depicted holding a cobra in its beak and two young ones of the snake  by its feet. The opposite side of the same section carries a carving of another mystical bird with a unique beak which looks more like a merger of a lion face with an elephant trunk.The red ochre painting on these carvings gives it an extra rich look. We would have definitely missed out had the priest not made it before we left. We thanked the priest and continued our journey...
Garbhagriha Entrance 
Lord Ramalingeshwara
Ceiling Carving
Most Interesting Carving of Bird Garuda
Bird Garuda with its Catch
 PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

Ramadurga Fort, Nayakanahatti

The Nayakanahatti fort was on our radar since the time we had visited Kanakuppa, but somehow we never managed to visit this fort. However, our recent Dussehra Festival vacation permitted us to visit this place in leisure. That Sunday morning, we started our 45 minute drive from Chitradurga to Nayakanahatti. It was a nice morning drive and cruising our way through the picturesque rural landscapes, we reached Nayakanahatti. There were no signs of any fort here but on inquiring with the locals, we were told about the presence of a  fort about 4 km from here. Following the given directions, we reached the village of Ramadurga and a fort was visible in the distance on a small hillock.
Fort Ramadurga, Nayakanahatti
Fort Ramadurga, Nayakanahatti 
As we drove closer to the fort site, we realized that most of the fortification remained intact. We started our ascent towards the fort and sighted 2 tiers of fortification, which is quite unusual with regards to the Nayakas style of architecture. Most of the forts built by them exhibit  3 or 7 tiers of fortification. This fort also lacks the complexity of the Nayakas style of architecture. The fort walls are built with neatly dressed stones arranged in layers. We reached a cave temple dedicated to Lord Ramalingeshwara (Shiva) which remained closed. Nandi (the Bull), the guard or protector of Lord Shiva is seen outside the cave. The idol of Nandi is very beautiful though the face appears to be damaged. A peep inside the cave temple seemed to have many surprises in store which made us feel bad about the temple being locked.
Road To Bliss
Crumbling Fort Walls
Neatly Dressed Up
 We entered the second tier of the fort and sighted two natural water ponds filled with clean and clear   water. The ponds together are known as Akka-Thangi honda. A little further are two artificial pits which were probably used for water storage. Although the fort did not have any additional structures, we found a big number of balancing stones belonging to the modern era. These stones are placed by the local people with a popular belief that the wish or desire of building their own house will be fulfilled if the stones remained intact in a balanced condition. We started our descent and while walking towards our vehicle met a shepherd who informed us that the priest opens the cave temple everyday by 9am and looked surprised as he hadn't turned up yet. Just as we were nearing our vehicle, an elderly person introduced himself as the priest of Ramalingeshwara temple.
Balancing Rocks 
Artificial Pond
Akka Thangi Honda 
Cave Temple
 PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

Good Bye -2015

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."-Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Wishing all a very Happy New Year - 2016. Have a great, fun-filled and an adventurous year ahead!


Bandallidurga Trek
Ride atop Nandi Hills
Cycling around Sharavathi River Valley (Photo credit: Prashanth M)
Drive through Bisle Ghat
Walkway leading towards Bisle View-Point
Twin Hills of Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri at Shravanabelagola
Betteshwara Temple at Agrahara Belaguli, Hassan
Lakshminarasimha Temple at Javagal, Hassan
Chennakeshava Temple at Ambale, Chikmagalur
Asokan Rock-Edicts at Gavimatha, Koppal
Mahadeva Temple at Itagi, Koppal
Age no bar for travel-An inspiring young lady from Bengaluru at Itagi Temple
Venkatappa Baavi (Well) at Kanakagiri, Koppal
  Cave Temple at Amminabhavi, Dharwad 
The Fortress of Chitradurga  
The Mighty Gol-Gumbaz, Bijapur
World's Heaviest Medieval Cannon (weighing 56 tons)  at Bijapur, 'Malik-E-Maidan'


Brahmagiri and Ashoka Siddapura

 After having an adventurous time at Jating Rameshwara we went in search of the Ashokan edicts of Ashoka Siddapura. The locals here on inquiring directed us towards another site of the same kind at Brahmagiri, which was supposedly much easier to locate than Ashoka Siddapura. (The edicts of Ashoka Siddapura  is situated in the interiors, far away the village and is not very popular as the Brahmagiri among locals). At Brahmagiri, we were greeted by the ASI care taker who volunteered cheerfully to be our guide for the afternoon. First, we visited the edicts of Brahmagiri, one amongst the best preserved and maintained Ashokan edicts in Karnataka. The symbols of the script are quite clear. He then showed us the translated meaning with the message it carried. The edict here generally speaks about peace and kindness to be shown towards all living beings.
Sign Board 
Enclosure Built To protect the Edict
Ashoka's Message of Peace
 
Kannada Translation of the Edict
  After carefully examining the edict, our guide took us to an ancient grave yard. Here we were able to witness a huge number of Dolmens belonging to the 2nd century BC, attributed to the Mauryan Empire. The ASI has built a compound in order to conserve these structures, few of which are intact. Though, beyond the compound limits, there are many such dolmens waiting to be preserved. Hereon, we were privileged to visit a place where accidentally, the ASI team discovered an URN burial (which is believed to be the grave of small children) as the ground had been washed away during monsoons.This discovery was accidental  and intriguing.
Dolmen with missing top slab
Intact Dolmens
Burial site outside the ASI enclosure
URN burial
We next moved on to find the edicts of Ashoka Siddapura. Our guide was kind enough to join us along  as he was much aware of its location. We had to walk about ten minutes though the fields to locate a cluster of boulders named as "Emme Thammana Gudda" on which the edicts are etched. Unfortunately, the edicts here are equally in a disturbed state as in Jating Rameshwara. They too spread the message of  peace and kindness, though the size of was comparatively smaller to Brahmagiri. Without our guide, reaching this place would have been impossible. He gave us information about the recent findings of Hindi inscriptions just behind these boulders, which probably hints us of the existence/beginning of Jainism during that period. The presence of a Jain temple in this environ also enhances this feel.
Edict of Ashoka Siddapura
Enclosure built to Protect the Edicts
View of Brahmagiri Hill from Emme Thammana Gudda
Hindi Inscriptions
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