March 17, 2012
Anegundi = Ane + Gundi which translates to elephant + pit. Anegundi is on the northern bank of river Tungabhadra while Hampi occupies the southern bank. It is said that royal elephants of Vijayanagara empire were brought here for bathing, hence the name Anegundi.
Anegundi, Anjanadri hill, Rishyamukha and Pampa Sarovara are within 5km of each other. All these places have referred to in Ramayana. Anegundi is believed to be the monkey kingdom of Kishkindha. Anjanadri hill is believed to be the birth place of Hanuman. Rishyamukha hill is where Sugreeva lived and Rama & Laxmana meet Hanuman on this hill. It is believed that Rama and Laxmana had bathed in Pampa Sarovara.
Anegundi is said to be 3000 million years old, hence its one of the oldest plateaus on Earth. Anegundi is rich in Neolithic history. Two well known neolithic sites Moremane and Onake Kindi are within 10kms of Anegundi village. Moremane aka Mourya Mane is a Stone Age colony of several stone structures with paintings. Moramane is a prehistoric human settlement where one can find evidence of human activities spread over Microlithic, Megalithic and Neolithic ages. Anegundi village itself is a living heritage site.
Wikimpia screen-shot of Rashyamukha Parvatha, Tungabhadra river and Anjanadri Betta.
A - Anegundi fort entrance
B - Durgadevi temple
C - Anegundi fort's inner entrance
D - Fort wall running North-South
E - Pampa Sarovara and Shri Vijayalakshmi temple
F - Tungabhadra river
G - Hanuman temple on Anjanadri Betta
Anegundi fort is spread over a large area enclosing Anegundi village and most of Rishyamukha hill. The fort would undoubtedly be the most formidable one because of the hill's terrain. Rishyamukha hill resembles a heap of massive boulders, boulders measuring 10' to 50' in length and weighing hundreds of tonnes. The gaps and chasms between the boulders are deep and treacherous. The unfriendly terrain itself can deter enemy advance over the hill. I wonder if anyone ever tried scaling this hill during night?
Here it is- the impossible fort Anegundi. These are the steps leading up to the fort gate.
There's the entrance, a narrow doorway. Perhaps this was one of the inner gateways.
Rishyamukha hill is a heap of boulders.Some boulders are up to 40 feet long and 10 feet thick. The gaps between the boulders varies from few inches to several feet. Some of the chasms are deep, dark and dangerous. While walking on these boulders one needs to be alert. One careless step situation can be unthinkable.
Part of Rishyamukha hill and the fort as seen from Anjanadri Betta.
The temple has a Gurukula where boys from surrounding villages live ans learn temple duties. This boy was very enthusiastic about showing the Goshaala and the calves. Behind the little swami is the crumbling fort wall with a calm looking down at us.
A video of Anegundi fort.
Anegundi fort coordinates: 15°21'10"N 76°28'58"E