Benakatti is an agriculturally active village. It's name is derived from the Lord's name- Benakappa. It was Erappa's plan to visit this temple first and then his home for breakfast. At the temple, which is under construction, I was shown the 5 foot, 5 tonnes Ganesha. The idol was made to order at Tirupati. Erappa and few other villagera had gone to Tirupati to place the order and then to take delivery. To be frank I was not impressed by the work but kept my thoughts to myself. Benakatti folks have contributed in more ways than one can think of; cash, kind and work without expecting anything in return. I asked why the new idol, what happened to the old one? The earlier idol was slightly damaged and such idols are not to be worshiped, hence the new one.
This is the earlier idol, placed in a small structure close to the original temple. I had trouble taking a decent picture because of the bright light blazing in through the narrow doorway.
The idol looks pretty ancient, probably from the Chalukyan era.
After few shots, Erappa blocked sunlight by covering the doorway with a cloth. The effect was diffused light, good for indoor shots.
The idol's design is similar to Sudi Ganapati especially the trunk's shape and the way its bent.
A short inscription was lying on the ground almost next to the temple door. Looks like some characters are numbers.
The little tiled roof structure houses the original idol. The stone building is under construction ...might take another year or two.
The red tiled structure is a Garadimane ~ gym for wrestlers. Soon the Garadimane will be demolished to clear the front of the temple. A new Garadimane will be built closeby.
That Babyan tree was planted by Erappa some 15 years back. Done with tour of temple, we headed to Erappa's home.
We had avalakki and tea. Erappa wanted to show the kitchen garden in the backyard. That's Bheemavva, his granddaughter.
This picture adorns the veranda along with other pictures of Gods and family photos. The picture depicts the scene of King Bijjala begging for mercy from Madiwali Machaiyya and Lord Basaveshwara watching over them.
Madiwali Machaiyya was devoted to Basaveshwara. Being a washer man by profession, he used to wash Basaveshwara's clothes. Bijjala the unpopular king is jealous, he and his soldiers try to defile Basaveshwara's clothes. But Madiwali Machaiyya, an avataar of Lord Veerabadreshwara, with an intention of defending, attacks the soldiers. Madiwala throws the bundle of clothes, a soldier and an elephant into the air. He also slays an elephant. Bijjala looses eye-sight. Basaveshwara who hears about the incident, rushes to the spot and begs Madiwali Machaiyya to forgive Bijjala.
Erappa is devoted to his profession, he's hard-working and enterprising. He's risen up from a humble beginning, working as a laborer in a farm. Erappa's family is originally from Bellikatti village, 20km north of Dharwad. The family has settled in Benakatti 60 years back.
Benakatti and Nigadhi are two villages which seems like one. People commonly refer to them as Nigadhi-Benakatti.
Benakatti Coordinates: 15°23'40"N 74°56'39"E