Aug 1, 2012

Narshimha Jhira, Bidar

Narasimha Jhira is a cave temple. The cave is more of a tunnel with chest high water. To reach the deity one has to wade through water entire length of the tunnel. During the 1996 Bidar visit Gulli and I did not go into the temple because we would get wet.

Jan 28, 2011

I was here with three maternal uncles. We reached the temple quite early, I think it was 8AM. The temple's premises was chaos, because of renovation activity the entire place was dug up. We got our tickets, we were the first ones to go into the temple. A young man from Andhrapradesh who also wanted to go in tagged along, perhaps he wasn't comfortable going in alone.

The tunnel's mouth. We'll have to walk 300 feet in chest high water. An air conditioning system is in place to pump in fresh air. The tunnel is well lit by a series of light bulbs. I'm trying to imagine how this tunnel would be sand fresh air and lighting systems.

I went in with my camera bag held high above my head. Initially water was clear and tummy level. As we went in deeper it rose to chest level and water wasn't that clean. We could see dead roaches and bat droppings floating. I had thoughts of turning back but curbed them. The air had a foul odor. We went in ignoring the conditions and finally reached the dead end, that's where the temple is.

The man accompanying us had brought offerings for the deity- flowers, incense and camphor. We struggled to light the agabhatti.

Shivalinga and Basavanna.

I guess this idol is Narasimha.

We must have spent five minutes in the temple. The stench of rotting bodies of roaches and bat droppings was too much to bear. On the way out, about half way through a family of 3 or 4 elders plus 2 kids passed by. The group was lead by a man with a little boy on his shoulder pushing a plastic bowl filled with offerings for the deities. One of the men seemed scared, he was shivering and chanting holy names. I think one of them asked how much more to go. We assured them its safe and not very far to go.

I was relieved to be back in the open and breathe fresh air. More people had gathered, many looked like Andhraites. The water from the tunnel flowed out into a shallow pool where kids were enjoying playing in the water. I felt it was better to go in early. Later the tunnel could get crowded and conditions worse then what we experienced. Anyway, the experience was unique.

We headed back to our hostel at the Agricultural Research Station outside Bidar. The other destinations on our itinerary of the day were Bidar Fort, Astur, Mahmud Gawan Madrasa, Guru Nanak Jhira and Barid Shahi Tomb.


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