Oct 30, 2017

monkeys of Anjanadri Betta

August 12, 2017
Anjanadri Betta is considered as the birth place of Lord Hanuman, at its summit is a temple dedicated to Anjaneya and his mother Anajana. On this beautiful hill live our Lord's kith and kin. I could see two types of monkeys- the smaller red-face monkeys and the bigger black-face monkeys. The latter is usually known as Langur. At the summit are the smaller variety. As Pushpa described, they keep to themselves bothering no one. During our visit we spent close to 45 minutes at the summit and had a good time seeing monkey antics.

Here's a monkey couple, they seemed to be a dedicated pair. The female was physically challenged, it had no hands. As I wondered how it managed on these rocks.. it demonstrated its ability to jump and balance on steep rock faces. Its confidence was no less than any other monkey. She was lively creature too, playing mischief with her mate.

The other attraction was large family consisting of several grown ups and lot of little ones. Two little ones were playful ..actually they were fighting over something. One particular scene was quite amusing here. As the fight got serious, the milder one ran away with the bolder one at its heels. The former hid behind its parent ..ah, I'm safe now. The latter, looking at the big monkey froze for a moment ..see below.

The hunted is peeping ..is it gone or still there? While the hunter is still wondering what next?

No more a hunter, it took couple of steps backward ..I can't take on the big fellow.

Oh no! What a shame, I lost!!

I can't show my face to any one now :( In the background, another monkey was silently watching the little one silently. Poor little fellow.

Else where.. another baby monkey was captivated by some insect in a puddle. It watched the creature patiently.

As it got more curious, it tried to grab the insect. No, the little one is still learning.

Closer to the temple was a loner. Sitting peacefully, enjoying the mild breeze, looking at the last light of another day passing by..

This was my third visit to Anjanadri Betta and all three visits were on Saturdays, the day of Lord Hanuman.
.........

Oct 28, 2017

Anjanadri Betta, Anegundi

Aug 13. 2017
ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟ 
ನಾವು ಆನೆಗುಂದಿ ತಲುಪಿದಾಗ ಸುಮಾರು ಮಧ್ಯಾಹ್ನ ೪.೩೦ ಆಗಿತ್ತು. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ನಾವು Home Stay ಯಲ್ಲಿ ಉಳಿದುಕೊಂಡೆವು. ಸುಮಾರು ೫.೩೦ ರ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಸ್ನಾನ ಮುಗಿಸಿ, ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟ ನೋಡಲು ಹೊರಟೆವು. ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟ ಹನುಮಂತನ ಜನ್ಮ ಸ್ಥಳವೆಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ.ರಾಮಾಯಣದ ಇತಿಹಾಸವನ್ನು ಹೊತ್ತ ಈ ಆನೆಗುಂದಿ ಆ ನಂತರದಲ್ಲಿ ವಿಜಯನಗರದ ಆಡಳಿತದ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಭಾಗವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಡೆಲ್ಲಿ ಸುಲ್ತಾನರು ವಾರಂಗಲ್ ಮೇಲೆ ಆಕ್ರಮಣ ಮಾಡಿದಾಗ, ಹರಿಹರ ಮತ್ತು ಬುಕ್ಕರು ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ತಪ್ಪಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಆನೆಗುಂದಿಗೆ ಬಂದು ವಿಜಯನಗರ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯವನ್ನು ಸ್ಥಾಪಿಸಿದರೆಂದು ಹೇಳಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. 
ಆನೆಗುಂದಿಯು ವಿಜಯನಗರ ಅರಸರ ಮೊದಲ ರಾಜಧಾನಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದು ನಂತರ ಸುಮಾರು ರಾಜಮನೆತನಗಳು ಇದನ್ನು ರಾಜಧಾನಿಯಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡು ಆಡಳಿತ ನಡೆಸಿದವು.ವಿಜಯನಗರ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯವು ಈ ಪ್ರದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಪಟ್ಟದಾನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಇಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಕಾರಣಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಈ ಆನೆಗುಂದಿ ಎಂಬ ಹೆಸರು ಬಂತೆಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ.
ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ನೋಟ
ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟವನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದ ತಕ್ಷಣ ಇಷ್ಟು ಮೇಲೆ ಹತ್ತುವದು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲ ಎಂದುಕೊಂಡೆ. ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆಯಿಂದ ಪ್ರಯಾಣ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದರಿಂದ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಆಯಾಸ ಆಗಲೇ ಆಗಿತ್ತು. ಆದರೂ ನಮ್ಮಲ್ಲಿ ಸಮಯ ಕಡಿಮೆಯಿದ್ದು ನೋಡಬೇಕಾದ ಸ್ಥಳಗಳು ತುಂಬಾ ಇದ್ದಿದ್ದರಿಂದ ಇವತ್ತು ಈ ಬೆಟ್ಟ ನೋಡಲೇಬೇಕೆಂದು ಬಂದಿದ್ದೆವು. ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಚಹಾ, ಎಳನೀರು ಅಂಗಡಿಗಳಿದ್ದವು. ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಚಹಾ ಕುಡಿದು ಮೇಲೆ ಹತ್ತಲು ಶುರು ಮಾಡಿದೆವು.

ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಪ್ರವೇಶದ ನೋಟ 
ಕೆಲವು ಕಡೆ ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳು ಎತ್ತರವಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ, ಕೆಲವು ಕಡೆ ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿದ್ದವು. ನಡು ನಡುವೆ ನಿಂತು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ವಿಶ್ರಾಂತಿ ತೆಗೆದು ಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಾ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಫೋಟೋ ತೆಗೆಯುತ್ತಾ ನಡೆದೆವು.

ಋಷಿಮುಖ ಬೆಟ್ಟ
ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದಿಂದ ತೆಗೆದ ಋಷಿಮುಖ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ನೋಟ. ಋಷಿಮುಖ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಕುರಿತು ಹೇಳಬೇಕಾದಲ್ಲಿ, ನಿಶಾಧ ಬುಡಕಟ್ಟು ಸಮುದಾಯದ ಬೇಟೆಗಾರನ ಮಗಳಾದ  ಶಬರಿ ಎಂಬ ಕನ್ಯೆಗೆ ಅವಳ ತಂದೆ ಮದುವೆ ಗೊತ್ತುಮಾಡಿದ್ದ. ಮದುವೆಯ ಹಿಂದಿನ ರಾತ್ರಿ ಅವಳ ತಂದೆ ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಕುರಿಗಳನ್ನು ಮದುವೆ ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅಡಿಗೆ ಔತಣಕ್ಕಾಗೆಂದು ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಬಂದಾಗ ಅದು ಅವಳಿಗೆ ಇಷ್ಟವಾಗಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳ ಮೇಲಿನ ಸಹಾನುಭೂತಿಯಿಂದ ಅವಳು ನಸು ಮುಂಜಾನೆಯಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ಮನೆಯನ್ನು ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಗುರುವಿನ ದರ್ಶನಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ನಡೆದಳು. ಎಷ್ಟೋ ದಿನಗಳ ಪ್ರಯಾಣದ ನಂತರ ಅವಳಿಗೆ ಋಷಿಮುಖ ಬೆಟ್ಟದಲ್ಲಿ ಋಷಿ ಮಾತಂಗ ಗುರುಗಳು ದೊರೆತರು. ತನ್ನ ಆಯಸ್ಸನ್ನು ಅವರ ಸೇವೆಯಲ್ಲಿಯೇ  ಕಳೆಯತೊಡಗಿದಳು. ಮಾತಂಗ ಋಷಿಗಳ ಅಂತಿಮ ಕಾಲದ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಶಬರಿಗೂ ಕೂಡ ವಯಸ್ಸಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಅವಳಿಗೂ ಮಾತಂಗರು ಸೇರುತ್ತಿರುವ ಶಾಂತಿ ನೆಲೆಯನ್ನು ಸೇರಬೇಕೆಂಬ ಆಸೆ ಇತ್ತು. ಆಗ ಮಾತಂಗರು ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಮನ ದರ್ಶನ ನಿನಗಾಗುವದು ಅದಾದನಂತರ ನಿನಗೆ ಶಾಂತಿ ನೆಲೆ ದೊರಕುವದು, ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಮನಿಗಾಗಿ ನೀನು ಕಾಯಬೇಕೆಂದು ಹೇಳಿ ಅಂತಿಮ ಉಸಿರೆಳೆದರು. ಅದರಂತೆ ಶಬರಿ ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಮನಿಗಾಗಿ ಕಾದದ್ದು, ರಾಮನ ದರ್ಶನದ ನಂತರ ಜೀವ ತ್ಯಜಿಸಿದ ಕಥೆ ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ತಿಳಿದಿದೆ. ಇದೇ ಋಷಿಮುಖ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ರಾಮಾಯಣದ ಇತಿಹಾಸ.

ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಕಲ್ಲುಗಳ ಚಿತ್ರ.
ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದಿಂದ ತೆಗೆದ ಚಿತ್ರ
ನಾವು ಮೇಲೆ ಹತ್ತಿದಂತೆಲ್ಲ ಕೆಳಗಿನ ನೋಟವು ಇನ್ನು ಸುಂದರವಾಗಿ ಕಾಣುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಈ ಬೆಟ್ಟಕ್ಕೆ ಹತ್ತಲು ಬೇರೆ ದಿಕ್ಕಿನಿಂದ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ದಾರಿ ಕೂಡ ನಾವು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು.

ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳ ಚಿತ್ರ
ಬೆಟ್ಟವನ್ನು ಏರಲು ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಅಂಕುಡೊಂಕಾಗಿ ಕೆತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ನಾವು ಹೋದಾಗ ಇನ್ನು ಕೆಲೆಸ ನಡೆದಿದ್ದರಿಂದ ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳ ಮೇಲೆ ಕಡಿಯನ್ನು ಹಾಕಿದ್ದರು. ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಜನ ಚಪ್ಪಲಿ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಹತ್ತಿ ಬಂದು ಕಡಿ ಕಾಲಿಗೆ ಚುಚ್ಚುತ್ತಿದ್ದರಿಂದ ಕಷ್ಟಪಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಕೆಲವು ಭಕ್ತರು ಹತ್ತುವಾಗ ಹಾಗು ಇಳಿಯುವಾಗ ಜೈ ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಮ್ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾ ಸಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು.

ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳ ಚಿತ್ರ
ಈ ಚಿತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂಡೆಗಳು ಅಡ್ಡ ಬಂದಿದ್ದರಿಂದ ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಬಂಡೆಯ ಕೆಳಗಿನಿಂದ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳ ಚಿತ್ರ
ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದಿಂದ ತುಂಗಭದ್ರಾ ನದಿಯ ನೋಟ
ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟವು ಹಂಪಿಯಿಂದ ಅಂದಾಜು ೨೩ ಕೀ ಮೀ ನಷ್ಟು ದೂರವಿದೆ. ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೇಲೆ ನಿಂತು ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಹಂಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿರುವ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಗಳು ಕಾಣಿಸುತ್ತವೆ. ಮೇಲಿನ ಚಿತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ನೋಡಬಹುದು ತುಂಗಭದ್ರಾ ನದಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಹಂಪಿಯ ಕೆಲವು ದೇವಾಲಯಗಳನ್ನು ನಾವು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು.

ಆಂಜನೇಯ ಗುಡಿ
ಅಂತೂ ಹೇಗೋ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ನೆತ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ತಲುಪಿದೆವು. ಸಹಜವಾಗಿ ಬಂದಾಗ ಇಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಆಯಾಸ ಬಹುಶ ಆಗುತ್ತಿರಲಿಲ್ಲವೇನೋ! ಹೈದೆರಾಬಾದಿನಿಂದ ಆನೆಗುಂದಿಗೆ ಪ್ರಯಾಣ ಮಾಡಿ ಸುಸ್ತಾಗಿದ್ದರಿಂದಲೂ, ಕಡಿಮೆ ನಿದ್ರೆಯಿಂದಲೂ ಬಹುಶ ಇಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಆಯಾಸ ಎನಿಸಿದ್ದು.

ಋಷಿಮುಖ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಚಿತ್ರ
ಋಷಿಮುಖ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಇನ್ನೂ ಹತ್ತಿರವಾಗಿಸಿ ತೆಗೆದ ಫೋಟೋ. ಈ ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೇಲೆ ನಿಂತರೆ ಆಗಿನ ಕಿಷ್ಕಿಂದ ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಭಾಗಗಳು ಕಾಣುತ್ತವೆ.

ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೇಲಿನ ನೋಟ
ಮೇಲೆ ತಲುಪಿದ ಮೇಲೆ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ ಆಂಜನೇಯನ ದರ್ಶನ ಪಡೆದೆವು. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಆಂಜನೇಯನ ಮಂತ್ರ ಪಠಣ ನಡೆದಿತ್ತು, ಕೇಳಲು ತುಂಬಾ ಹಿತಕರವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ತೀರ್ಥ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಬೆಟ್ಟ ನೋಡಲು ಹೊರಗಡೆ ಬಂದೆವು. ಆಂಜನೇಯ ಜನ್ಮಸ್ಥಳದಲ್ಲಿ ವಾನರ ಸೈನ್ಯವನ್ನೇ ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ಯಾರಿಗೂ ಏನು ಮಾಡದೇ ತಮ್ಮ ಪಾಡಿಗೆ ತಾವಿರುವ ಮಂಗಗಳು.

ಸೂರ್ಯಾಸ್ತ ನೋಡುವ ಸ್ಥಳದ ಚಿತ್ರ
ಈ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೇಲೆ ಸೂರ್ಯಾಸ್ತ ನೋಡಲು ಒಂದು ಜಾಗವಿದೆ. ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ತುಂಬಾ ಸುಂದರವಾಗಿ ಸೂರ್ಯಾಸ್ತ ಕಾಣಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಹೋಗಲು ಅವಶ್ಯವಿದ್ದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೂಚಕಗಳನ್ನು ನಾವು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ನಾವು ಪೂರ್ತಿ ಸೂರ್ಯಾಸ್ತದವರೆಗೂ ಕಾಯದೆ ಮಳೆ ಬರುವ ತರಹ ಇದ್ದಿದ್ದರಿಂದ ಆದಷ್ಟು ಬೇಗ ಹೋಗಬೇಕೆಂದುಕೊಂಡೆವು.

ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೇಲಿನ ಫ್ರಾಂಜಿಪ್ಯಾನಿ ಮರ
ಆ ಪೂರ್ತಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೇಲೆ ಕೇವಲ ಒಂದೇ ಮರವನ್ನು ನಾವು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು ಅದೇ ಫ್ರಾಂಜಿಪ್ಯಾನಿ ಮರ. ಯಾವುದೊ ಚಿತ್ರಕಾರ ತನ್ನ ಕುಂಚದಿಂದ ನಿಸರ್ಗದ ಒಡಲನ್ನು ಬಿಚ್ಚಿಟ್ಟಂತೆ ಸೂರ್ಯಾಸ್ತ ನೋಡುವ ಜಾಗದಲ್ಲೇ ಈ ಮರ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯ ಸೂಚಕವಾಗಿ ನಿಂತಿದೆ.

ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಹಿಂದಿರುವ ಗದ್ದೆಗಳ ಚಿತ್ರ
ದೇವರ ದರ್ಶನವಾದ ಮೇಲೆ ನಾನು ಸನ್ ಸೆಟ್ ಪಾಯಿಂಟ್ ಗೆ ಹೋಗಿ ಕುಳಿತುಕೊಂಡೆನು. ಸಿದ್ದಿ ಮಾತ್ರ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಕಡೆ ತಿರುಗಾಡಿ ಫೋಟೋ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಬಂದರು. ನಂತರ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಸಮಯ ಅಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ಕುಳಿತೆವು. ತುಂಬಾ ಆಹ್ಲಾದಕರವಾದ ನಿಸರ್ಗದ ಸ್ವಬಗು ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದ ಯಾವುದೇ ಪ್ರವಾಸಿಗರನ್ನು ಹಿಡಿದಿಡುತ್ತೆ.

ಆಂಜನೇಯ  ಮತ್ತು ಅಂಜನ ದೇವಿ ಗುಡಿಯ ಚಿತ್ರ
ಅಂಜನಾದ್ರಿಯ ಆಂಜನೇಯ ಗುಡಿಯು ಬಹು ಹಳೆಯ ಹಾಗೂ ಚಿಕ್ಕದಾದ ಕಲ್ಲಿನ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನ. ಒಳಗಿನ ಪ್ರತಿಮೆ ಕೂಡ ಕಲ್ಲಿನದು. ಗುಡಿಯನ್ನು ಯಾವುದೇ ರೀತಿ ನವೀಕರಿಸಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೂ ಈ ಜಾಗ ಪ್ರವಾಸಿಗರನ್ನು ಆಕರ್ಷಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಸುಮಾರು ೬.೪೫ ವೇಳೆಗೆ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಬಂದು ಮತ್ತೆ ನಮ್ಮ ರೂಮಿನ ಕಡೆ ಹೊರಟೆವು. ಮರುದಿನ ಹಂಪಿ ನೋಡುವ ತಯಾರಿ ಕೂಡ  ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಿತ್ತು.

ಜಯ ಹನುಮಾನ ಙ್ಞಾನ ಗುಣ ಸಾಗರ |
ಜಯ ಕಪೀಶ ತಿಹು ಲೋಕ ಉಜಾಗರ ||
ರಾಮದೂತ ಅತುಲಿತ ಬಲಧಾಮಾ |
ಅಂಜನಿ ಪುತ್ರ ಪವನಸುತ ನಾಮಾ ||
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Oct 21, 2017

Purandara Dasara Mantapa, Hampi

August 14, 2014
This was our second day at Hampi. We had planned to spend half day here exploring the ruins, mostly by foot. We started at Virupaksha temple, walked the market street, visited Rama-Lakshmana and Yantrodharaka Hanuman temples, Varaha temple, Vyasaraja Matha and King's Balance which is near Vittala Temple. It was Pushpa's suggestion we take a different route back towards Varaha temple which passed by Purandaradasara Mantapa. This is the view from the river bank.. Purandaradasara Mantapa and Anjanadri Betta in the back-ground.


The Mantapa is actually in the river bed, similar to Krishnadevaraya's tomb at Anegundi. The mantapa is a simple looking structure, built of heavy granite blocks. It seems the mantapa is situated on a rockbed, no foundation required and also the reason for it surviving so many years. The platform next to the mantapa is a recent addition, every year a 2 or 3 day Carnatic music festival is held in memory of Sri Purandara Dasa. Its nice to see this historically important structure maintained nicely.

We enter the mantapa from the platform side. Purandara Dasa Namah.

The air in here was cool, nice break from the heat. This mantapa is made of 60 pillars, it is approximately 70' long, 40' wide and 10' high. As you see the pillars and beams are quite heavy, the workmanship is excellent.

One of the pillars has an image of  Sri Purandara Dasa facing the river side. Its a neat little sculpture depicting the great musician attired in a Kacche, Peta, Tamburi and Kartal. It is said that Purandara Dasa spent his last years at Hampi, singing at Sri Krishnadeveraya's court. He composed keertans in this mantapa. Our beloved Dasa wanted to compose 5 lakh keertans but he could complete 4.75 before he passed away at 80 years. Legend says that he took birth as Vijayadaasa at Cheekalparvi village near Manvi in Raichur district.

Another view of the interior. Try to imagine Purandara Dasa pacing around slowly engrossed in composing and singing. Probably his attendants and disciples would assist him with daily activities like cooking and cleaning.

Silently Pushpa has slipped out, found a comfortable spot to cool off. Tungabhadra is barely flowing.. usually this time of the year the river should be flowing well, submerging the matapa partly if not completely. The sound of water gurgling through the rocks was music. For poets this is really an inspiring spot!

The water is not too deep, a local man was fishing here, average height, water was chest level. There will be deeper spots, one needs to be careful if unfamiliar with this spot. Tungabhadra's path has lot of bends and narrow spots as it flows by Hampi and Anegundi, the current cant be trusted here.

A tiny stream over a rock follows an ancient path. Gentle waves are created as the stream's width narrows suddenly.

I too found a comfortable spot, raised my trousers and dipped my feet into the cool water. Ah, so refreshing. A moonlit night would be mesmerizing here.

We spent more time on the rocks than in the mantapa :)

We continued our exploration, back towards Achyutraya temple complex.
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Oct 14, 2017

Shirdi Sai Baba temple and Basavanna of Vennached

A school time friend who's a builder posted a Whatsapp message about this beautiful temple some time 2016. Its unique look was captivating - its design was fresh and inspiring. A visit to Vennached was decided for sure. The shortest route from Hyderabad to Vennached is about 120 kms. Somehow a day trip never materialized. A trip to Dharwad was planned in August and we decided to touch Vennached on the way to Anegundi.

Aug 12, 2017
We left home early morning; took the ORR and exited at Telangana State Police Academy unction towards Vikarabad. The road was good excepting that passing through towns was slower than before because of ongoing road work. Soon we were at Ghadisingapur village; my plan was to turn left towards Dirsumpalli however a local person suggested us to go little further and turn left at Thunkimetla village. We were deep inside Telangana.. the countryside was interesting, a nice break from the concrete jungle we lived in. The road passed by several Lambani Thanda; we saw Lambani women in their traditional attire.. colorful skirts and blouses studded with mirrors and coins. Even their houses were unique.. the doors had colorfully painted frames. We reached Kosigi around 7-50; we stopped for breakfast and then resumed our journey. It was 8-30 when we entered Vennached. The temple is situated at the village square, the space around a 100 year old Neem tree.

So here we are looking at Vennached's Sai Mandir. What makes this structure unique is its perforated walls and Shikhara. These walls crate an enclosure yet connect the two sides- inside and outside. Light and air have plenty of ways to flow either ways. Adjoining the temple is a spacious platform partly shaded by the Neem tree. The design is neat and simple, giving it a classy look.

The temple is built on the traditional lines. It is east-facing, raised from the ground level, has a Pradakshina and a Shikhara. The temple has a high doorway like the doorway under a Gopura. The doors are wooden.

View of the Garbhagudi through the entrance.

The interior is simple and in lines with the exterior. However, people have cluttered the space with furniture. The temple design actually has provided the required utilities yet.. A family was participating in the Abhisheka ritual.

The walls are built in layers; the layers' thickness increases from bottom to top. The walls are made of red clay hollow bricks and grey stones called as Tandor stone. It seems like the designers wanted to keep use the least amount of cement as possible. Tandor stone, also known as Shahabad stones is a commonly used for building houses in Gulbarga district and surrounding places. The stones are used for walls, floors and roofs - not to mention shelves. You can see water tanks and benches too.

Closer look at a wall. The lower pradakshina. Its fun to see the game of light and shadows.

The building hasn't used much of paint. Only the columns and the hydro tower are painted.

Closer look at the bricks. My friend had remarked that building these walls wouldn't be easy work. From the looks of the quality, it needs skilled labor and careful supervision.

The temple platform for village meetings. The Neem tree too has a circular platform around it. Ample space for villagers to rest on. In fact, a small gathering was in progress; the rural electricity board meter reader was collecting dues.. a small crowd had gathered; everyone waiting for their turn.

The northern and eastern walls. The Shikhara is in Rekhanagara style, one of the styles that can be seen at Galaganatha temple at Pattadakal. Its truly an amazing structure. Like our ancient temples, seems like this too will not require much of maintenance.

The rear wall. The walls seem like inviting people to visit the temple. At the right of this picture is the hydro tower. The builder has careful eliminated the use of fiber tank.

Building the Shikhgara would have a difficult task. It looks so symmetrical.. wonderful creation.

Sai Mandir and Neem tree. It is said that, at Shirdi, when Sai Baba as a young lad used to meditate under Neem tree.

As I was walking near the rear wall I happened to notice a lovely statue of Basaveshwara. It was a pleasant surprise. I knew about presence of Lingayath community in Telangana but I'd never seen any pictures or idols of Basaveshwara yet. So this confirms people here are familiar of Basaveshwara. The pedestal seems semi-finished. The statue was unveiled on May-19, 2013. Wondering if Basava's vachana's are known to Telugu speaking folks.. meaning have the vachanas been translated to Telugu?

Well, the visit to Vennached was worthwhile, I got a chance to see one of the most beautiful buildings. Simple, neat, beautiful and practical. Thanks to my friend Nag (CNN).

How to reach Vennached from Hyderabad.
  • Hyderabad - Moinabad - Chevella - Manneguda - Parigi - Kodangal - Gadisingapur - Thunkimetla - Kosigi - Janampalli - Vennached.
  • Hyderabad - Moinabad - Chevella - Manneguda - Parigi - Kodangal - Gadisingapur - Dirsumpalli - Mallepalli - Gumdal - Vennached (this route is slightly shorter)
  • Hyderabad - Mahbubnagar - Mohammadabad - Janampalli - Vennached
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Oct 7, 2017

Gagan Mahal - Sky Palace, Anegundi

August 13, 2017
Gagan Mahal is the most prominent building in Anegundi village. This brick and lime-mortar structure was built in the XVI Century by Vijayanagara rulers. From the heights of this palace, women of the royal family would watch the market during festivals.. window shopping from the lap of luxury :) The architecture is a mix of Hindu and Islamic designs. It's look and feel are in the  same lines as Kamal Mahal (Lotus Mahal) at Hampi and Gagan Mahal of Penukonda.

Gagan Mahal has three levels- ground, first and terrace. The ground floor is always locked, out of bounds for tourists. In the elevation, the building is symmetrical; it has 3 balconies; capped by three towers; and flanked by towers with balconies at the top. The terrace can be reached through the tower on the right. As you see the towers are stepped, the signature style of Vijayanagara's residential buildings.

Lets go into the building.. this is the first floor.. the door is at the far end of this aisle cum balcony. The building has plenty of windows.. ample way for air flow. The walls at the right and far end seems to be recent additions.. guessing by their looks.

Its one long hall inside; there are three balconies and two rooms. Graceful arches join the building's columns and beams. The interior is similar to Islamic buildings excepting the sharp corners here.

The arched balcony covered by a grill. The balconies are designed for one way view. Those sitting inside can see outside but from outside, the inside of the building wouldn't be clear. Also the dimness would help keep the interior cool.

A comfortable nest. Back then the platform would be covered by soft beds and colorful sheets. Ample pillows and cushions to lean on. One would not leave this place on a hot summer day. The building designed for good for night life too, especially a moonlit night.

Through the spiral stairway in the tower the terrace can be reached. All the towers have shelters.. probably they were sentry posts. After all a king's palace needs security.

End to end view of the terrace.

The corner tower has a small staircase leading into a nest. Its also possible lamps were placed inside the nests.. the palace would have an enchanting look during a dark night.

I wish this monument was better maintained.. Kishkinda Trust who's in charge of preserving this heritage village should take steps in restoring the palace like how Andhra Tourism has maintained Gagan Mahal at Penukonda.
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