Asoka's Edict, Jatinga Rameshwara

     One Saturday, we planned to visit Chitradurga and explore Brahmagiri and its environs the next morning. Brahmagiri is one amongst the most ancient places in Karnataka and is located in Chitradurga district and also very close to Bellary. The three sites of archaeological importance here are Brahmagiri, Asoka Siddapura and Jatinga Rameshwara. All the three sites house minor rock edicts of Emperor Asoka of the Mauryan period which were first discovered and reported by Sir Benjamin Lewis Rice in the year 1892. Our plan was to explore Brahmagiri, Asoka Siddapura and finally Jatinga Rameshwara. But while traveling towards Brahmagiri as per our plans, we missed the cross that turned right towards Brahmagiri and proceeded further. On inquiring, we realized we had come too far and had to make a U turn to return.  While returning we found a board directing us towards Jatinga Rameshwara and hence decided to explore this place first and later move on to the next site.
Good Morning
  Jatinga Rameshwara is a hillock located off the Bangalore - Bellary highway. It houses a fort and Asokan minor edict. As we approached the hillock, we realized there was none around and so we ruled the hill. The place covers a vast expanse and viewing this wide stretch of hill range, a momentary doubt arose in our minds of whether a complete coverage of the place would be possible. We set our time limit as we had two more sites to explore and started our ascent. Steps are laid up till the first tier of the fort and hereon, the terrain turns flat making our walk easier. As we walked on, we found a shelter and a little further was a temple complex.
Climb Up to Jatinga Rameshwara Hill
Old Rock Cut Steps V/s Recently Laid Steps
First Sight of Shelter and the Temple Complex
   We headed towards the shelter in search of the Asokan edicts. We entered the room and started examining the rock for the presence of any edicts. Finally we found a few letters etched on the rock that remained intact while most of the letters have been rubbed away and erased due to wear and other various natural activities. The efforts of one British Officer Sir Mortimer Wheeler who was solely responsible for building a permanent shelter in order to preserve the rock edicts is worthy of mention and much appreciated. From here, we moved towards the temple complex.
Plumeria tree and Shelter
Asokan Edict

Continued here …..

An Adventure Called Jatinga Rameshwara Part - 3

After witnessing the Asokanedicts, temple complex and the rock inscriptions, it was time now for us to hunt for evidence of pre-historic period.  According to the book ‘Bramhagiri’ by Dr. S.Y. Somashekar, a variety of cave paintings were discovered in this place by A. Sundar and his team during their work in A.D 1978. One such group of cave paintings according to the book is found on a group of rocks known as “Nagarapade” (meaning hood of a snake), located just behind temple complex. Though we were able to locate this group of rocks and the inscriptions, we were unable to spot any cave paintings. We scanned all the rocks of this group, its neighboring rocks and surroundings, but our efforts were of no avail, except for sighting a few wild geckos!
Wild Geckos
Butter Ball

Fort Walls

  As time was ticking and we had to visit other sites, we were in a dilemma whether to search the other side of the hill or proceed towards our next destination. We gave ourselves a little more time in order to continue our search for the cave paintings.  We scanned the area around ‘Nagarapade’ again and later moved towards the Dodda betta (Big hill).  As we walked a little further, we found a small structure similar to a dolmen, but without the cap stone. Suddenly, a fast hopping hare crossed our path and vanished in a split second giving us no chance of capturing it.
Dolmen like Structure
Dodd Betta (Big Hill)
Shelter with Some Sculpture 
Small Ruined Temple

     Further down were a few ruined structures. A pair of painted spur fowl caught our attention and we moved slowly towards them. Being shy in nature and feeling their romance being disturbed, the birds quickly took shelter under the rocks so that they could continue their activity. We proceeded further without disturbing them. Walking on, we found steps that led us down, from where the bird’s eye view was mesmerizing. We checked the time and thought it would be too late for us to venture further and returned.  
Spur Fowl Running
Bird's Eye View

   We were in a state of sadness for not having found any paintings until what we saw on one of the rocks midway gave us a ray of hope.   

Our Guest post in Huchchara Santhe

Santhosh B S of Huchchara Santhe was kind enough to give us an opportunity of sharing space on his wonderful blog by writing a guest post. He is an avid nature/adventure traveler and blogger, who has covered various destinations in Karnataka, especially with regards to wildlife and birding. Kindly read through our guest post on Summer Spa - Umbalagundi Falls. 

Enjoying under the Summer Spa