Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Monuments of Anegundi

Question: What to see in Anegundi?
Answer: Kadebagilu, Anegundi fort & village, Gagan Mahal, Chintamani, Sri Krishnadevaraya Tomb, Handicraft Center, Nava Brindavana, Rishimukha hill & Anegundi fort, Ranganathaswamy temple, Pampa Sarovara & Vijayalaxmi temple, Anjanadri Parvata, Onake Kindi, Aqueduct.. these are the ones I know of. If you explore, surely you'll find lot of interesting things, especially amazingly shaped rock formations. Anegundi's history goes back to prehistoric times. Archaeologists have discovered megalithic burial sites here.

July 28, 2012
Our plan for the morning is to see Kadebagilu, Gagan Mahal, Chintamani and Krishnadevaraya Samadhi. 
Arriving from Gangawati, Kadebagilu greets visitors to Anegundi. Kadebagilu means 'Last Gate' in Kannada. This is one of one of the gateways on the outermost wall of Anegundi fort. This might have been a Sunkada Katte- a sales tax collection post during Vijayanagara rule.
Kadebagilu
Ruins of rampart walls can be seen on this rock hill. If you take a closer look at the hill, you can see a number of shelters and hiding places. Close to the summit in the middle is an rock outcrop which offers excellent shelter, that might have been a sentry point.

Entering the fort. Notice the massive individual stones forming the wall. Some of the stones are 4 feet tall and 6 feet long- wonder how the stones were dressed to match perfectly and then put in place. Amazing!

 Image of Ganesha near Kadebagilu.

About 100 feet from the gateway is an ancient temple with a 10' high rock sculpture of Anjaneya.
Statue of Sri Krishnadevaraya just outside the Modalane Bagilu or the First Gate. Malatesh observed that the statue's face resembled Dr. Rajkumar's face very closely. I guess that's understandable with Rajkumar having played the lead role of the Kannada cinema Sri Krishnadevaraya.

View of Modalane Bagilu from inside.

First stop is at Gagan Palace on Royal Street. Construction seems similar to Lotus Mahal of Hampi. The palace is kept locked, tourists are not allowed in it :(

Close by is a handicrafts center where local people make things out of banana fiber which is available locally. Things made and sold are mats, hats, bags, baskets, pen-holders, and many more useful stuff.. they aren't really cheap. Even if you don't buy anything, a visit is worth the time.

Next , we move to Chintamani. The pillared structure on the left is the gateway to Chintamani and on the right is a Brahmin Matha.From here we need to go by foot, about 200 meters to Chintamani, place where Rama performed penance.
That's Tungabhadra river and on its rocky bank are two ancient stone structures. Perhaps they were  travelers' rest house.
 Tortoises and a fish on a wall.

Another gateway, a Vijaya Stambha and a row of serpent sculptures.
During my first visit, I was told that this is the spot from where Rama shot the arrow to kill at Vaali the king of Kishkindha, a son of Indra and the elder brother of Sugreeva. Vaali and Sugreeva were engaged in a fight on the hill across the river when Rama shot the arrow at Vaali's back. A bow and an arrow are engraved on the floor here, just ahead of the sculpted block (marked in white oval).
A larger drawing of the arrow. It looks more like a Trishula.
It is said that Rama feels remorse for having killed Vaali and performs Yagna and penance to attain Shanti ~ peace of mind. Entrance to rock shelter under which Rama stayed many days afters Vaali's killing.

 This is supposed to be the place where Lord Rama did penance.

Next we head towards Vijayanagara empire's most popular king's tomb. This 64 pillared Mantapa is said to be Krishnadevaraya's tomb.

As you see, the building is an array columns. It's a structure measuring about 50' x 50' with 64 columns of equal size in a 8 x 8 array. Does this have a connection with the chess board? Unfortunately, there's no information available. We had to wade through the flowing waters of Tungabadhra to reach the monument. Water felt great!

One of the aisles in the tomb.

An interesting variety of fishes are embossed on the slabs forming the steps.

One of the sides has a crocodile embossed on it. I do not remember seeing any tortoises.

View of Chintamani from Krishnadevaraya's tomb. Rocky hill in the background is Rishimukha Parvata.

From here, boats ferry people to Nava Brindavana. I saw 25 to 30 people squeezed into a small boat ..hardly a surprise, safety is not a concern to the boat operator.

If you want to see all places of Anegundi, mentioned at the beginning of the post, plan two full days visit and be prepared to walk and climb.

We head to check out the fort near Shivapura town and Hosaharalapura village.

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shivapura - Hosaharalapur fort

I had noticed this hill fort during my first visit to Anegundi. It is situated right next to Koppal-Anegundi road, between Shivapura and Hosaharalapura. .

June 23, 2012

I stopped at Hosaharalapura to inquire path to go up the hill. A bunch of school kids told its an easy climb, you can reach the summit in 10 minutes...
There are several walls to defend the core of the fort.
July 28, 2012

After the visit to Hire Benakal previous day, we had spent the night at Gangawati. Morning first we visit Kampli Kote, next was Shivapura fort. The fort did not look very far but the slope was steep. Neelappa was ahead of me and lagging behind me were Mohan mama and Malatesh. Stains in wavy patterns left by water flowing down hill.
Crumbling first line of defense
A lonely sculpture of Ganesha surrounded by tiny houses made by people in mark of their pending wishes. the fort wall did not look strong, it was quite thin.
Beyond the wall a flight of steps carved in the rock surface, it was quite helpful climbing this part. Actually these steps are made for wet weather. You can notice water stains running parallel to the steps, I'm sure climbing during rainy season would be dangerous without these steps.
The striking feature of this wall is the size of the stones; these are really small compared to the massive rocks used to build fort walls. Beyond the wall, on the horizon, just to the right of the midpoint, is Tungabadhra dam.
Neelappa decided to wait for Mama and Malatesh. I was eager to reach the summit, kept moving up.
Second line of defense
A neatly maintained cave temple and a mantapa. The rock on the left resembles a Linga.
Bsavanna on the Linga.
Inside of the rock temple. I cannot remember what deity resides in here.
Fruther up, a irrigation canal comes into view. The canal fed by the Hospet reservoir weaves its way between the rocky hills towards Sanapur reservoir.
A rock shelter.
The inner most fort seems to be a small one. I was surprised to see a family of four here; husband, wife and two kids.
The family was from Hosaharalapaura. The man claimed he was in charge of performing rituals at the Devi temple here and they stay here all day and go home by dusk. The shrine is a part of the fort wall, close to the gateway. I take a few steps past the gateway, the inside was packed with throny shrubs and bushes. the gateway had two chambers on either sides, seemingly occupied by the family outside.
Neelappa poses before the surviving bastion, the temple priest in the background.
The temple priest shows us the two sources of drinking water on the hill. This fort had the potential to become a major fort but some reason it remained a minor one. Right next to the hill is Bhoruka reservoir and power generation plant.
Beyond the reservoir, close to the horizon on the left is another fort- Kumara Ramana Kote. Malatesh mentioned that a several scenes of a historical movie was shot there. Near Kumara Ramana Kote is Hema Gudda right next to the state highway connecting Gangawati and Koppal.

The side and rear parts of the fort are in ruins.
The priest's wife and son. The kid was yelling his head off when I aimed the camera at them. The wife told that her son thinks I was a doctor and he's about to receive an injection. Poor little fellow!
The daughter was too shy to stand alone for a picture, she would not let mom go.
On the way back I noticed the pond I missed while climbing up.
The climb down was much faster. Our plan was to spend some time at Anegundi fort- see Chintamani and Krishnadevaraya tomb and head back to Gangawati for lunch.

Shivapura fort coordinates: 15°20'47"N   76°21'27"E

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kampli Fort

July 28, 2012

We leave Gangawati after breakfast. On my list of forts was Kampli, I remember locating ruins of the fort on the banks of Tungabhadra. I was glad to see flowing waters of Tungabhadra. We cross over from Koppal district to Bellary district. Looking at Kampli Kote from the bridge; where are the ruins?

No sign of an fort wall. Perhaps, the ruins are hidden in the greenery.

Kampli Kote is a busy place. Fishing and fish trade sustains the economy here. At the village entrance business was in progress; basket full of fresh fish was being auctioned. Close by were half a dozen shops dealing with fishing nets and related accessories. This is actually a port which also serves as a washing ghat.

Regular boats cannot be navigated through the maze of islands in the river. Hence, coracle building is  an important business here. We could see coracles in various stages of production.



Of course these are hybrid coracles. I call them hybrid because lot of plastic wire is used to bind the bamboo strips. Even plastic sheets are used for water-proofing the structure.

I had given up seeing fort ruins. However one of the folks told us go to the other end of the village, there's a dwara-bagilu. We decide to walk since the street was quite narrow and busy with people and two-wheeler traffic. A hero stone under a banyan tree.

Looking back towards the port area. I was at a junction. We turned left and then a immediate right.

One of the houses' outer walls had a row palm prints. I asked a passerby why those hands were painted There's a wedding in that house. A strange custom.
Looks of the houses gave an indication of people's prosperity in this little village. Down the street we could see the fort's gateway and some remaining rampart walls..
Under the  arch was Kannada text in red; Kampli Gandugali Kumara Ramana Kote.

Architecture seems to be Vijayanagara era's.

The outside of the gateway. To my left was Hole Anjaneya Swamy temple which seemed ancient but we did not venture in.

Back at the port area, one of the folks suggested us to check out the Vijayanagara era Pampapathi temple on the other side of the state highway. That's the temple's gateway.

It's a small temple dedicated to Shivalinga. The poojary explained the specialty of the Linga. Normally the 'arm' is on the right but here it is on the left.

Namah Shivaya

The temple is away from the road and surrounded by banana plantation. It had a peaceful ambiance.

A collection of Naga sculptures opposite the temple gateway.

Tekkalakota is about 42km from here but I dropped the trip. Instead we head back towards Gangawati from where we went to Anegundi and then to Shivapura. Between Shivapur and Hosaharalapur there's a granite hill with ruins of a fort on it.

Kampli fort coordinates: 15°25'28"N   76°35'23"E

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