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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query banneraghatta. Sort by date Show all posts

The Mysterious Stone Circle of Bengaluru


'Bannerghatta' is a very popular tourist spot in Bengaluru. It is one of the most popular biological park (zoo) in India. Bannerghatta was declared as a National park in the year 1974 and is very rich in flora and fauna. One of the lesser known facts about this place is that it is also one of the earliest settlements around Bengaluru. The many artifacts found here have already made it evident that it  was occupied since the Neolithic age, which also means that people have been living here since from about the past 7000 years. This place is also home to the tribal settlement of Hakki Pikki. They still have managed to maintain their rituals and practices despite being close to one of the fastest growing metros in the World, Bengaluru. 
Mysterious Stone Circle of Bengaluru
 There are many megalithic structures found in and around Bannerghatta. One among these is the unique stone structure not found elsewhere in India. The circular stone labyrinth or popularly called the '7 tiered fort' or 'yeLu sutthina kote' (in Kannada). Although there are a few square stone labyrinths found in Tamil Nadu, the one seen here is rare. 
Ancient Labyrinth of Banneraghatta
 The 'Labyrinth' or  'Chakravyuha' or 'Padmavyuha' is a multilayered formation in the form of a 'Chakra' (circle) or 'Padma' (lotus). Such patterns have been used since the Mahabharata period. It is well known that the Kaurava's formed the Chakravyuha as an act of defense in order to defeat Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna. Although Abhimanyu was successful in entering and breaking all the circles, he remained stuck in breaking the seventh one as he had no knowledge about the same. He thus made a valiant effort in breaking the Chakravyuha formed by the Kauravas, only to attain martyrdom after causing significant damage. 
Chakravyuha Carving (12th Century, Sri Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebeedu)
Earliest Carving of Labyrinth belonging to Mesolithic Period (Usgalimal, Goa)
 'Labyrinth' or the'Chakravyuha' (in the language of Kannada) formed a significant part of prehistoric structures and rituals. Although the exact purpose of its construction or formation remains a mystery, a common belief of the labyrinth representing the journey of life, death and rebirth exists.   It probably symbolizes the complexity of life or the path of life and holds enormous spiritual power. The earliest documented labyrinth in India is from Usgalimal in Goa, which is in the form of an engraving on the rock bed. The Labyrinth found here is unique to India, whereas they are seen much commonly in Russia and other European countries. Sweden alone  is home to more than 300 such Labyrinths, of which more than a 100  are found in Swedish Lapland. Although such structures are commonly sighted elsewhere, they are rarely found in India. However, India has many sites that carry rock engravings and temple carvings carrying designs of the Labyrinth
Labyrinth Rock Etching (8th Century, Yadgir Fort)
Labyrinth Rock Engraving (11th Century, Pusphagiri, AP)
 Such structures were commonly built in the Eurasian countries roughly between 2000 BCE - 100 BCE. Hence we can safely assign the structure seen in Bannerghatta  also to the same period. But owing to the similarity in their design patters, it is very difficult to assess the mode of communication that existed between people separated by large geographic areas and the occurrence of similar patterns during the same period at different places is very intriguing.  The stone structure found here is located inside the forest of Bannerghatta. A walk of about 1.5 km from the hill top leads us to the mysterious structure. This structure is built of irregularly shaped rocks laid in a pattern similar to that representing a labyrinth. The centre or the end of circle comprises of a heap of stones with a small shelf like opening for worship. Even today many locals come here for offering prayers. Surprisingly, many married couples also visit here and take a walk together for longevity of their marriage and children.  Hereon, one can also visit the Suvarnamukhi, a pilgrim spot housing  temples dedicated to Lords Narasimha and Anjaneya and a thirtha/pond.
yeLu sutthina kote
I remember reading an article  about this place long ago, but was unable to trace the article or any other related to this structure. However, there is one article by the Karnataka Itihasa Academy which only mentions about this structure without any further details. Hopefully the interested ones in research field carry out a scientific study on this structure to ascertain the exact period  and probable purpose of its construction. It is a sure thing that this region is prehistoric, which is evident from the numerous dolmens and stone circles that can be sighted here and around. 
Labyrinth

References:

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Places to visit around Bangalore/ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು/ Bengaluru - Anniversary Post

   It is time to celebrate! The journey of Team G Square's blog for the last one year has been successful and we are extremely delighted. We started to blog with our major objective being able" to compile places we have visited  in and around Bangalore". And we are happy to know that since the time we have put our best foot forward in this direction, apart from having shared knowledge, we have also learned much from it and continue to do so. We celebrate by sharing our anniversary post which is a brief compilation featuring places to visit around Bangalore. On this occasion, we would like to wholeheartedly thank all our readers, bloggers, supporters and well wishers for having given us the much needed encouragement and good wishes.We also thank you for sharing such wonderful posts which help us learn more about our rich Indian heritage. We are very grateful to all of you. The places  listed below are already presented  in detail in our older posts (Click on the name of the place for more details).

A) Hill Forts: 
1   Savanadurga (45 kms) 

Water Pond (Savanadurga Hill)

 2   Nijagal Betta (50 kms) 

Nijagal Fort

3   Skandagiri (50kms) 

Skandagiri Sunrise

4   Makalidurga (55kms)

Makalidurga Fort Entrance

5   Devarayanadurga (55kms)

Devarayanadurga

6   Huthridurga (65kms)

Rock Cut Steps - Huthridurga Fort

7   Gudibande (75 kms)

Gudibande Fort

8   Varlakonda (80 kms)

Lord Rama Temple Atop Varlakonda Hill

9   Kabbaladurga (80 kms)

Kabbaladurga Fort Ruins

10 Channarayanadurga (95kms) 

Channarayanadurga


 11 Gummanayakanapalya (140 kms) 

G N Kote

B) Hill Temples: 

1   Akkayamma Betta (25 kms) 

Goddess Durga inside a ruined Temple on Akkayamma Betta

2   Narsapura Betta (40kms)

  Agama spotted in Narsapura Betta

3   Mahimapura (45 kms) 

Beautifully Carved Pillar (Mahimapura Temple)

4   Aladahalli (50 kms) 

Lord Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Aladahalli

5   Bilikal Ranganatha Swamy Betta (50 kms) 

Common Jezebel Spotted on Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta

6   Mandharagiri (55 kms) 

Mandharagiri Hill

7   Heggunda (60 kms)

Heggunda Ramdevara Betta

8   Antaragange (60 kms)

Antaragange

9   Hadinakal (110 kms)

Lord Hanuman Pillar, Hadinakal

10 Hatyal (115 kms) 

Entrance to Narasimhaswamy Temple, Hatyal

11 Adichunchanagiri (120 kms)


Adichunchanagiri Temple

12 Shravanabelagola (150 kms) 

Lord Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola

C) Hoysala Temples: 

1 Kaidala (80 kms) 

Chennakeshava Temple, Kaidala

2 Hosa Budanur (100 kms)

Kasi Visveswara Temple, Hosa Budanur 

Anantha Padmanabha Temple

3 Aralaguppe (120 kms)

Ceiling Carving, Kalleshwara Temple, Aralaguppe
Chennakeshava Temple, Aralaguppe

4 Tandaga (125 kms)

Sculptor, Chennakeshava Temple, Tandaga 

5 Basaralu (130 kms) 

 Hoysala Emblem, Mallikarjuna Temple, Basaralu

6 Hariharapura (135 kms)

Ruined Temple, Hariharapura

7 Machalaghatta (135 kms) 

Nandi, Malleshwara Temple, Machalaghatta

8 Hosaholalu (140 kms)

Venugopala Temple, Hosaholalu

9 Somanathpuram (140 kms)

Mahisasuramardini, Keshava Temple, Somanathpuram

D) Water Falls / Dams and Reservoirs: 

T G Halli reservoir (30 kms) 

Peacock Pansy spotted at T G Halli Reservoir

Manchinbele Dam (40 kms)

Ashy Prinia spotted near Machinbele Dam



Kanva Reservoir (65 kms)

Kanva Reservoir


Jaramadagu Waterfalls (70 kms) 

Jaramadagu Falls

Chunchi Falls (75 kms)

Chunchi Falls

Sangama and Mekedatu (75 kms)

Sunset, Sangama

Vani Vilas Sagar Dam (140 kms) 

Vani Vilas Sagar Dam

E) Temples:


Binnamangala (35 kms)

Lord Shiva, Binnamngala
Gulur (80 kms)

Lord Ganesha, Gulur

Seebi (100 kms)

Gopura, Narashimaswamy Temple, Seebi

Kurudumale (110 kms)

Ganesha Temple Complex, Kurudumale

Melukote (140 kms) 


Kalyani and Yoga Narashima Temple, Melukote

F) Parks :


1 Bannerghatta National Park (25 kms) 

Red Eared Turtle, Banneraghatta National Park 

2 Ramohalli (30 kms)

Black Shouldered  Kite spotted near Ramohalli

3 Innovative Film City (35 kms)

Innovative Film City

4 Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (125 kms) 

Black Headed Ibis Family, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

5 Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary(130 kms) 


KWLS
6 Horsely Hills (140 kms)

Jacaranda  Avenue, Horsely Hills
Dancing Peacock, Horsely Hills
   We feel that our travel experience is only 'a drop in the ocean' and there is much more to see and explore. A life time may not be enough! Nature is vast, beautiful and is the most unselfish. It reminds us of the quote "the best things in life are free and worth every penny". Nature has been very kind to man and it is our duty to conserve and preserve the same. If not, we're afraid that the beauty it holds can be lost forever. Nature commands respect after all. The signboard below rightfully says it all I guess.

True. Isn't  it?