Showing posts with label Koppal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Koppal. Show all posts

In Search of Kanakagiri's Ashokan Edicts - 3

Following the guide's directions, we reached the base of the Lakshmi Narasimha hill. From hereon we started our climb to the top, where the edicts were supposed  to be present. We had to cross the path laid through dry thorny shrubs. It took us about 40 minutes to reach the top of this hill after which our guide took us towards the shelter. We were shocked to see that the entire area was vandalized  and there was no signs of any inscription as mentioned by  the guide. He too was surprised to see the entire area in this condition as he was sure of the presence of some  inscriptions on a  slab here, which  now was not be seen. We decided to explore the entire area with a hope to find some thing interesting.
Climb to Lakshmi Narasimha Hill 
Surviving the Thorny Shrubs 
Bird's Eye View of Lakshmi Narasimha Temple 
Carving of Vishnu's Feet 
Vandalised Mandapa 
But there was no luck in finding any edicts or clues regarding the same. We chose a different path to descend but the thorny shrubs and the warm sun added more pain during our descent. Our guide also mentioned about a ruined Venkateshwara temple situated close by. We decided to check it out and on reaching here, we realised that the temple has completely been vandalized owing to communal tensions during the 1970's. What ever remains today gives us a glimpse of the  grand temple that once stood here . The architecture resembled that of the Kanakachalapathi temple, also built here.  There are 2 beautiful small stone chariots here giving us the flavor of Vijayanagara Architecture. 
Stone Chariot of Kanakagiri 
Venkateshwara Temple
The last spot that we wanted to visit in Kanakagiri was the Venkatappana Baavi, a royal bath built by Venkatappa Nayaka. This royal bath has been artistically designed and is a feast for the eyes. We spent quite a good time exploring this well and admiring the architectural skills possessed by our forefathers. The sad part is that this well is in state of neglect and needs immediate attention. There is a popular local saying in this area that, "people with eyes must see Kanakagiri and those with with legs must see Hampi", implying that Kanakagiri temples are a delight to the eyes and one needs to walk about tirelessly to see the vast expanse of the ruined Hampi. Meanwhile, a friend of ours accompanied by his friend who is a local of Kanakagiri reached Venkatappana Baavi. The local person confirmed that he checked with a few others who are well versed with the history of Kanakagiri and confirmed to us that no such edicts as the ones we were in search of, exist here. Thus concluding our search of Kanakagiri's Ashokan Edicts, which still remains elusive. We spent sometime near a huge tank which was completely dry and finally bade a good bye to our friends and proceeded towards Bangalore. 
Venkatappana Baavi, Kanakagiri
Venkatappana Baavi, Kanakagiri
Dry Tank 
Sri Kanakachalapathi Temple 
Kanakagiri Fort Walls 
 The previous posts related to Kanakagiri's Ashokan edicts can be read here and here

In Search of Kanakagiri's Ashokan Edicts -2

While researching about this place, our inquisitiveness about King Bindusura (Father of Ashoka) increased. To our surprise, sadly, very little has been found out about him or documented as compared to king Chandragupta Maurya (Father of Bindusura) and Ashoka himself. Though Bindusara was the key person responsible for the consolidation of the Mauryan empire post Chandragupta era, it seems somehow the life story of Bindusura is missing. It is also quoted at many places that Sushima (elder brother of Ashoka) was the choice of Bindusura as the next heir of Mauryan empire. But Ashoka killed him and 5 other brothers to gain the throne. King Ashoka's life may be divided into two phases, that during pre Kalinga war and post Kalinga war, the war being the turning point.. Ashokan edicts give us the insight of Ashoka's second half of his life, the Buddhist way of life. The edicts are present even today across India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. There are 9 such documented Ashokan edicts in Karnataka, all of which have been visited by and written about by a fellow blogger. (Link: Ashokan edicts).
Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka, Dhauli Orissa
Minor Rock Edicts of Ashoka at Gavi Matha Koppal 
In continuation with our previous post, our perseverance was finally rewarded with a piece of information being disclosed by people at the temple about a rock inscription near Kattle Basavanna temple, though it wasn't sure whether  it was the same one we were looking for. They also gave us directions to this temple. We reached the temple and searched for the inscription, but found none. A person directed us to a few stones close by the temple. On close observation, we found one of them to be inscribed and poured water for further investigation that revealed inscriptions in Kannada language.
Kannada Inscriptions Near Kattle Basavanna Temple
 We closely checked all the rocks around the temple but found nothing. We went back and inquired  with people at the temple regarding the edicts. The same person who showed us an inscription near the temple also told us that there are some inscriptions atop a hill located close by. This information gave us goose bumps since Ashokan edicts are located on/close to hills. On asking him for more details about the same, he accepted our invitation to join us in our quest. Hereon, we headed towards the Lakshmi Narasimha hill, situated about 2 km from Kanakagiri. And our search for the edicts continued!....
Lakshmi Narasimha Hill 
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In Search of Kanakagiri's Ashokan Edicts

Our quest to find the surviving Ashokan Edicts in Karnataka took us to the elusive Ashokan edicts at Kanakagiri. Probably there is no Ashokan edicts here or the information on the internet is incomplete regarding the same. 'Kanakagiri', translated as 'Hill of Gold' is located about 30 km from Gangavathi in Koppal district. After visiting a friend's place at Gangavathi, we got a chance to go in search of the edicts. Early next morning we headed towards Kanakagiri. From various sources of information, we had learned that the Ashokan Edicts are placed inside the temple though unaware of its exact location.
The Main Entrance
Kanakagiri is referred at many places as "Ashoka's Swarnagiri". Our task of finding the edicts began as we entered the the first temple which was the Kanakachalapathi temple. This temple was built during the Vijayanagar period by the Nayakas of Kanakagiri. While our eyes were eagerly in search of the edicts, a room in front the main Gopuram caught our attention. On carefully inspecting the room interiors for the presence of any edicts, we found none. A beautiful stone slab depicting a scene involving the king and queen was placed in front of the room.
Shri Kanakachalapathi Temple , Kanakagiri
Shri Kanakachalapathi Temple 
The Stone Panel Depicting a Scene between King and Queen
As we entered the temple we sighted three big inscription panels, a close examination of them revealed that they had nothing related to emperor Ashoka. This temple is dedicated to Lord Kanakachalapathi, a form of Vishnu. The Sabhamantapa has beautiful pillars and stories from Ramayana etched at the top of the wall. The temple has been maintained very well, but no one here had any idea about the Ashokan edicts. The priest was not all in the mood to discuss about Ashokan edicts and the temple manager along with others present around too confirmed that there is no such edicts present here.
The Stone Inscriptions 
The Sabhamantapa
The Dwikuta Temple
A Scene from Ramayana

On showing them the book we referred to on Kanakagiri that spoke about the edicts, they remained unconvinced, until one among them finally gave in.....
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The Mahadeva Temple, Itagi , Koppal

Ittagi/Itagi/Itgi, situated in Yelburga Taluk of Koppal district is well known for its 12th century Mahadeva temple belonging to the later Chalukyan period and is regarded as one of the finest of temples in the country. An inscription in medieval Kannada present inside the temple premises states that the temple was built by Mahadeva, a Dandanayaka (army general) of the Chalukyan king Vikramaditya VI in 1112 A.D. The temple has been rightfully described as “Devalaya Chakravarti”, meaning ‘Emperor among temples’.
The Mahadeva Temple, Itagi
The Mahadeva Temple, Itagi 
The Mahadeva Temple Complex
 The temple facing east is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a garbagriha which houses the Shivalinga and an antarala (ante-chamber). In front of the ante-chamber is a closed navaranga having porches with doorway and mantapas, towards its north and south. The ceilings are exquisitely carved. An open navaranga or pillared hall at its front is huge, having about sixty pillars out of which twenty six large pillars stand on the floor supporting the main roof, and the remaining shorter pillars stand on the stone bench (kakshansana) around the hall supporting the sloping overhangs of the roof. The pillars are sculpted at its base and carry various designs while the central four are geometrically carved exhibiting angular patterns throughout. The original shikara of the garbagriha is partly damaged at the top and has been replaced by a modern element. The outer walls of the temple are almost plain, devoid of any sculptures and carry niches and pilasters with geometric designs, and friezes with minimal carvings.
Pushkarni Right Opposite to the Temple Complex 
Stepped Well
Entrance 
Murthinaryana Temple 
Opened Pillar Porch at the Front 
Nine Banded Door Frame
 There are two shrines dedicated to Murthinarayana and Chandraleshwari, the parents of Mahadeva and 13 small shrines having a Shivalinga each, surrounding the main temple. The temple has a pushkarni (theertha) in its front and behind the temple is an open stepped well which has an entrance, and sloping walls on its other three sides. It was a treat to see them both filled with water.
Intricate Carved Ceiling
Decked Lintel 
 The Mahadeva Temple of Ittagi is magnificent and stands as a proof to the greatness and grandeur of the Chalukyan style of architecture.  
Inspiring Traveller
We are glad for having completed six wonderful years of travel and blogging. We heart fully thank all the readers for their constant support and encouragement. Keep it going...Cheers!
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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'