Jul 5, 2010

Day out at Saundatti

I was disturbed with some happenings at office. I wanted to go out and clear my mind of all thoughts ...something like clearing history and cookies from a browser. I was done with my routine Sunday morning chores by 10. I packed my camera, two bottles of water and a pack of cookies (real cookies). I was dilly-dallying between Hebbali and Saundatti. I had heard that Hebballi is filled with ancient temples. Again I was confused if it was Hebballi or Shivalli. I thought Mohan mama, my mom's brother could clarify my doubts. Mohan mama was not sure. I decided to head towards Saundatti. As I was about to leave Suresh mama turned up, another maternal uncle. I asked him to join if he was free. Yes.

We drove past Inamhongal, Aminbhavi, Harobelvadi... I neither saw much sowing activity nor fields with tender green rows of newly sprouted plants. Lack of rains had delayed much of sowing activity. I wish it rained for farmers' sake. We drove past Saundatti up the rocky hill road, then the flat stretch on the rocky plateau. It was quite windy up here. Soon the temple was in our view, in the shallow valley to our right. Straight ahead was a larger valley. The hill on the other side of the valley was covered with windmills.

We got two coconuts, incense sticks, turmeric and vermilion ...offering for the Goddess.

I avoid crowded places, temples included, but I do not know what made me visit Yellamma temple. We bought special tickets Rs.20 each and stood in the line waiting for our turn for a view of the gharbha gudi sanctum sanctorum. I noticed a 3' x 2' board with two images of a man with palms together and some lines of Kannada text. The board explained the proper way of doing 'namaskara' in two steps and the benefits of doing so. When palms are joined together the thumbs have to be slightly away from the index fingers.

Step 1 - Bend neck & head slightly forward with palms at the forehead level. Stay in this position for 2 minutes (not sure about the duration).

Step 2 - Bring down palms down to chest level, neck & head still bent forward. Stay in this position for a minutes (again not sure about the duration).

These two positions are supposed to direct cosmic energy to our body and helps the body absorb it fully. I was really happy to see this board. Appreciate the person who conceived the idea of educating people in spirituality. If photography was permitted I would have snapped it. Normally one can see boards with a list of different poojas with prices for each of them. Madness!

We got Devi's Darshana, I did step 2 namaskara. We went around the temple ...on the sticky oil coated terrace.

Went to another smaller temple close by.

On the way back to the car park a local woman with a cane basket in her arms was peddling food- jolada rotti, chatni, palya, mosaru. I was tempted to try but resisted the temptation. We did not go back the way we came but took the other road to Saundatti which passes by the reservoir.

Driving downhill, we saw the reservoir filled to it's brim. We stopped at a junction; straight ahead to Saundatti and right turn to Gokak and Navilteerth. I asked mama if he had visited Navilteerth Dam. No. We decided to check out the place. A kilometer up th road, we took the left fork, towards Gokak. We could see a hill range ahead of us with more windmills turning gracefully. As we drove closer, we realized how huge each of the windmills were. I was toying with idea of climbing the hill and a get a closer look at the windmills...

Navilteerth Dam Gate. We were not sure if public was allowed in. A local confirmed visitors were allowed. We drove down the narrow road, parked close to the gate, bought handful nerelehannu from a hawker, they seem to have a cooling effect in warm weather. They tasted great! Wind was blowing from the reservoir on our left. We walked down the path, we saw some families picnicking, few young couples trying to get some time for themselves but the dam was not in sight. We walked down some steps and there was the little dam.

A typical 70s construction, this brought back my childhood memories of a visit to Lakkavalli Dam when we lived in Bhadravathi. I learnt that Navilatirtha is said to be where Mahatapasvi Shri Kumarswamiji meditated in 1932. I remember seeing the Swamiji sometime 1984 or 1985 at the ashram Tapovan, Dharwad.

Of the 4 gates, one was open letting out a steady stream of water which flows into the narrow valley beyond our sight.

On the way back we checked out some old construction equipment. Looks like a mortar mixer and tar heater.

I liked this place. We decided to head back towards Saundatti. Near the gate I noticed a old vehicles; roadroller, tipper and a bus.

We drove back to Saundatti, visited the fort, it's more of a children's park inside. At the peak is Kadsiddeshwara Temple.

We spend about 20 minutes, got bored and decided to head back to Dharwad.

Even though cookies were cleared my mind was still disturbed. The problem was more like a virus, it required some amount of action...



Syn-chemist said...

You are right, the fort look deserted now. But the contribution from Tyagaveer "Lingaraj Desai" (Shirasangi, Navalgund and Saundatti provinces were under his rule) is really great. What ever KLE is today, its because of his contribution (with an initial investment of 6 lakh -"Navalgund-Shirasangi Trust" - in 1906). Even the Shirasangi fort is almost in ruined state (u might have seen "Ondaanondu Kaladalli" Kannada movie..). When ever I pass by Saundatti/Shirasangi fort, I remember about his great contribution to education...

Thanks for posting...

Ace said...

The fort is awesome...have added it in my travel itenary :)

siddeshwar said...


Syn-chemist, Thanks for your informative comment. I've seen "Ondaanondu Kaladalli". So the 'vade' is Shirasangi fort?

Ace, have a good trip! Do visit Navilteerth dam.

Syn-chemist said...

Yes, you are right. Most part of the movie was shot in Shirasangi. Girish Karnad made lots of changes to give that image, other wise it was in good state (a high school, named after Lingaraj Desai was running in that premises). A murder in that 'vaade' made the authorities to shift the building and that is reason why it is in its ruined state now...

BCN said...

its so nice to see this informative site and information about soundatti( parasgad). I found this site when i was showing our place to my daughter and asking her to do project on her native place.

i grew up in this beautiful place, now settled thousands of miles away (UK) its really nostalgic. I congratulate the contributor to this site. I am visiting this year and I am going to all these places once agin with my little one to show where i grew up.

My daughter is really excited to go her native

siddeshwar said...

Thank you BCN. It's really a nice way to make your daughter learn about your native place.

same as above said...

Shri Ganeshaya Namah Shri Rama Jayam
The 25th February,2014 -

While one of the visitors gone Saudnatti and narrated all about this Goddess so I feel necessary to submit a few lines on this eve that First of all I came across about Yellammaa naataa in the year 2004 i.e. on 10th of February when I was at Gangapur - Karnataka during Maagh Mela Jatra with a small piece of photo sold during the Jatra at a cost of Rs. 10.00 only. However, it was in February,2005 when I had been to Hubli on an Office duty - where one person gets down of train at platform No.2 would definitely come across a small temple of Goddess Yellammaa erected in the station premises and on enquiring constant could get collected some more informations and visited. It is this Goddess Mother Yellammaa while we worship our offerings to her - the Pujaris never take a single pie for the Puujas he perform he solemnize on behalf of we public, but being a Hindu tradition - I gave him happily which he took as a Token of Rs. 1.00 Rupee One only - All must see as to whether is it miraculous or not and on the contrary, we visit other temples what is the pooja charges one may nice observe. This miracle I could see at Trivandrum/Kanyakumari once again while I met One of the Railway colleagues and I had the same collections which I could at a detailed manner at - J B Khanna Publications at Chennai- Madras - though J B Khanna Framers is now - Late i.e. no more - but we can very much see his Art of drawing this specific divine mother. That is why it is said that Saundatti kee Yellaamaa - even on the recent Maagh Puurnimaasee got held from 14th to 20th Feb'2014 Saptaah - lakhs and lakhs had the grace of Gods - but the miracle can we imagine 1.25 lakh people taking bath at one place only in one day to solemnize this Goddess. Its true and bitterly true and one will and one has to accept it that such huge public gather take place at Saundatti. best regards and well done. Namaskar - Shekher Iyer - Railways - Jabalpur. ( M.P.).