Mar 28, 2011

Sangolli, Turmari and Hunasikatti

Continued from Kittur Fort.

The 15 kilometers road to Sangolli was a mix of tarred and dirt patches but not uncomfortable. About a kilometer before Sangolli a direction board at 4-way junction caught my attention. The arrow pointing to the left was for Turmari, the village where many scenes from Shankar Nag's first movie Ondanondu Kaladalli were shot. main location being Turmari Goudaramane. It was a long time wish to see the village and the house but I was not able to locate the village until this moment. Another destination got added.

Sangolli is a small village and the bus-stand happens to be at western end. I stopped at a shop selling cool drinks and tender coconut to inquire if there was any memorial or a museum for Krantiveera Rayanna. No museum but there's one community hall named after Rayanna and a statue just across the street. While the shop keeper pointed out the directions, another person got into the conversation- Mahesh from Kittur, volunteered to show me the statue.

That's Rayanna, with a sword and a shield.

That's the community hall mostly used for weddings. Few villagers were busy washing the floor. I asked for the hose and ran water over my feet and arms was refreshing.

One of the villagers invited us to see the temple dedicated to Rayanna.

That's Rayanna's idol flanked by two wooden weights used for bodybuilding workouts. The one on the right is an ancient one, used by Rayanna himself and the one on the left is a recently to complete the tradition of maintaining a pair of weights. These weights are to be twirled around to strengthen muscles in the wrist and forearms- warriors needed powerful arms to wield sword & shield.

With eyes shut Rayanna seems to be meditating. His face projects a serene expression.

I said bye to the temple caretaker. I mentioned my plan to visit Turmari to Mahesh and he agreed to join me. We headed back to Sangolli bus-stand, had a lime soda at the only cool drink shop and bid bye to Sangolli. We head towards Turmari, 7 kilometers away.

At Turmari we asked our way to our destination, Shri B C Patil's house. As I drove through the streets I tried to recall scenes from Ondanondu Kaladalli ...even though the village has changed over the decades, some remain unchanged, like the stone-walls between houses and streets. Goudaramane is on the village outskirts.

The moment I saw the house lot of scene's from the movie flashed before my eyes...

The cement floor is a recent change, back then it was dirt floor.

That's the main entrance. I introduced myself to two men of the Patil family and asked permission to see their house. The younger member Umesh Patil showed me around the house.

Portions of this 300+ year old two-floor mansio has undergone changes but it's recognizable mind just compares the present to the past. Umesh told that originally the house had 100 doors. I did not bother to ask how many rooms.

Massive teak pillars adorn the center of the house.

Intricate woodwork decorates every beam-column intersection.

We climbed up the wooden staircase to the first floor. A multi-purpose hall. Important part of Ondanondu Kaladalli were shot here. Closing scenes of the story are shot here. This gallery is similar to the gallery in Sirsangi Vaade.

Looking towards the main entrance.

Another staircase (not the one we took earlier). The movie's hero Gandugali, gets stabbed and tumbles down this staircase.

Thanks to Umesh for patiently showing us around. Few members of the Patil family actually live here, most of them have migrated to cities. I'm aware of the difficulties of maintaining such a house... its labor intensive work, yet the house is maintained well. One of the ladies told me that the walls are built of triangular mud bricks. I got to see few where plastering had fallen away. I thanked the members and we left. Mahesh suggested a shorter route to NH4. As we drove, Mahesh told that we could see a Lingayath Mahta at Hunasikatti. Fine.

At Hosamath (also called Rudramuni Ashram), a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, right next Malaprabha river.

Hosamath was cool and peaceful.

That's the sanctum sanctorum. ಶ್ರೀ ರುದ್ರಮುನಿ ಶಿವಯೋಗಿಗಳು ಹೊಸ್ಮಟ್.

Two artworks caught my attention. Tortoise and two fish.

Four monkeys but only eight limbs. When you look at individual monkeys, you can see four limbs. There was also a short inscription dated 1912 above the doorway.

Ashram caretaker's son (left), two of his relatives (middle) and Mahesh (right).

That's river Malaprabha flowing South-North. A river flowing South-North direction is considered holy in Hinduism. The place is generally peaceful but buzzes with activity on Amavasyas (New Moon nights).

The Swami told us to visit during rainy season to see Malaprabha. I could imagine the water and the greenery. I've decided to visit sometime between August and October this year ...hopefully.

Under this tiled roof is the grave of the artist who built this temple.

A typical Matta will have a chariot. Hosamat too has one. Those are three of the four half buried stone-wheels which have given way to lighter wooden wheels. In the background you can see sugarcane fields, probably Matta's land.

Thanks to Mahesh, I got to see a wonderful place. However, I missed out seeing Shri Kumaraswamiji's house. We drove to Itgi Cross on NH4 where Mahesh got off and I drove towards Dharwad. Route traveled..

Sangolli Coordinates: 15°43'4"N 74°50'1"E
Hunasikatti Coordinates: 15°42'42"N 74°45'3"E

Mar 20, 2011

Kittur Fort and Palace

Saturday morning, I decided to explore Kittur fort again. Probably this was my 5th visit to Kittur fort. Driving towards Kittur from NH4, I turned left towards Choukimatha. I had visited once few years ago. The place has a peaceful ambiance. Choukimatha is connected to Shri Guru Madiwaleshwara of Garag and also Rani Chennamma's family. It seems infant Madiwaleshwara was found in a banana plantation close by to Choukimatha.

Below these stone platforms are the graves of holy men of this Matha. Each of the graves had one Naga-Linga-Pushpa on it, surely placed on it earlier in the morning.

Naga-Linga-Pushpa never fails to fascinate me. It's shape, color and fragrance are unique. It's one of Lord Shiva's favorite flowers.

Close by is a Naga-Linga-Pushpa tree with it's trunk full of buds, flowers and round fruit the size of a shot putt. The air surrounding the tree was saturated with the sweet fragrance.

The place is a typical Matha... ancient temples and tombs, an open well, plenty of coconut & other varieties of trees, and surrounded by fields. This matha houses a students' hostel for college going boys. Except for a couple of them most were gone for the day.

A little Shiva Linga on one of the tombs.

About a kilometer and half from here is Kittur Fort.

A - Western gateway, present main entrance
B - Museum
C - Palace
D - Eastern gateway
E - deepest part of the moat

The fort wall facing the West...

and the wall facing North. A moat runs right around the perimeter of the wall. Probably the moat was fed by water from a lake close to the Eastern wall.

View of the palace ruins from atop the fort wall.

The eastern gateway as seen from outside.

Bastions flanking the gateway are restored... plastered with a thick layer of cement-sand mixture!!

I was suprised to see the palace courtyard dug up, looks like some sort of excavation in progress. Walking through the array of rectangular pits I picked up few pieces of broken pottery as souvenirs.

Palace Durbar- conference hall.

View of the dairy in the foreground.

Kitchen Garden.

Water storage facility.

Secret Well

Swimming pool.

Pole Star viewing shaft.

You can see many interesting parts of the palace such as the pooja room; kitchen & it's stoves and chimney; wash basins; pipelines built into walls, bathrooms, drainage system, etc.

I went around the wall... a portion in the Southern wall has collapsed.

Just opposite the museum is this structure probably used as a watch tower. If I'm not mistaken, I remember seeing a big tree close by, it's missing now.

I went to check out the collection at the museum. The open air part has a couple of cannons and stone sculptures from various villages in the vicinity.

Mahasati, Location: Honnidibba, Belgaum District, Kalyana Chalukya, 13th Century AD

Gajalaxmi, Location: Auradi, Belgaum District, Kalyana Chalukya, 10th Century AD

Basavanna (Nandi), Kittur

On inquiry a local suggested me to check out Gadarmaddi near Kalmath, seat of a local pontiff.

Gadarmaddi, an ancient tower similar to the one inside the fort is atop a hillock. It offers a good view of Kittur and surrounding plains. Unfortunately five cell phone towers stand on this hillock... better to spend as less time as possible.

Done with Kittur sight-seeing. The same person who suggested Gadarmaddi asked me to check out Rayanna's statue at Sangolli. I decided to drive down 15 kilometers to Sangolli, birth place os Krantiveera Rayanna, one of the trusted lieutenants of Rani Chennamma.