Mar 23, 2013

Hanamasagar fort & Abhinava Tirupati

November 24, 2012

It was noon when we arrive at Hanamasagar fort. This place is known more for Venkateshwara temple rather than the fort. Folks refer to the place as Abhinava Tirupathi. There are two ways to reach this fort from Hanamasagar town: one is by footpath and the other by road. This is the gateway to the fort (as seen from inside) and Venkateshwara temple is located within the walls of this fort.

That's the temple. The stone in the foreground is a grinding stone, I have no clue why its kept in the open here. In the inset is the top part of a small structure opposite the temple. This temple originally was a small structure, what we see is recent construction. The inset is a small structure opposite the temple, it is similar to minarets of Adil Shahi architecture.

A shelter has been made in the front yard for visitors' benefit.

The temple priest was about to lock the doors as we reached. We got a good Darshan of Lord Venkateshwara. Here's a board which states this place's history in brief.

Here's a rough translation: This temple has history dating back to the time of Bijapur Adil Shahi's rule i.e. about 400 years ago. Katapura was a small kingdom ruled by Shrimanta Timmappayya Desai who was a devotee of Lord Venkateshwara. Every year Desai would visit Tirumala temple (in present day Andhra Pradesh) without fail. During those days people going on pilgrimage would walk all the way. As Desai aged he found it difficult to carry out his annual pilgrimage to Tirumala. He was worried about not seeing his Lord's image. One night Desai had a dream in which his Lord orders him to visit Hanamasagar hill and look for a sleeping cow and an image of his feet. The Lord also commands Timmappayya Desai to worship his feet and not travel all the way to Tirumala. Timmappayya Desai along with family members finds a cow sleeping on a pair of feet as seen in his dream. Desai was happy to see his Lord's feet. He starts living on Hanamasagar hill spending his time in his Lord's service. Some time later, Desai begs to see the full image of his Lord because he's not satisfied by just worshiping his feet. As an answer to his prayers Lord Venkateshwara commands Timmappayya to search for his murthy on a washerman's stone at Kalabhavi village near Kushtagi town. As directed Deesai finds his Lord's image, brings it to Hanamasagar hill, installs it there and gives a name to the place as Abhinava Tirupathi. Later a small temple and a kitchen were constructed.

The priest locks the temple doors and off he goes. Malatesh and I go exploring. Hanamasagar Kote is a small fort and mostly in ruins. We walked along the walls on the north; as you see the walls have collapsed. Construction style is similar to forts of Gudur, Chikanal and Belur. We found a small dolmen close to the wall (see inset). It is a known fact that Hanamasagar hill is a prehistoric site. Some where close to this hill in the plain below is a prehistoric stone arrangement which I'm trying to locate for quite some time now.

Now we are outside the fort walls.
Malatesh checks out the surroundings.

Part of Hanamasagar town.

We are the tip of the hill, looking in the south-easterly direction.

That's the inner fort; rectangular in plan and comprising of four bastions, one at each corner. Close to where I was standing I saw a stone with an unusual texture.

Closer look at a well preserved bastion.
Another bastion as seen from the outside.

Efforts have been put in to restore some parts of the fort.

A short video-

We were hungry and the place was peaceful, we almost decided to have lunch here however, we decided to head towards Chandaalingeshwara temple near Bilagi.

Hanamasagar fort coordinates: 15°52'34"N   76°2'49"E



architect Nikhil said...

Thanks for sharing the full translation of the story of the temple. Very fascinating. There are always such stories of dreams and discovery of the deity figure in stone. The pattern of stories brings more reverence to the stone, adds the "prana" into the idol making it out of the world. It also tells of the faith of the devotee and his ishta deva talking to him/her directly. This adds even more magic. Instead of dismissing them as stories, I am inclined to believe our land with such a long history - of decay, destruction, reconstruction and continuity - it may be possible that these idols are "resurface" from one era to another. But that can be more said by analysing the idol features. And in many cases these are so simple and raw images, that it may be so. And I do feel, may be the buried/lost/forgotten idol with "prana" surfaces in dreams of the true believers. It is upto one to believe and feel the magic or dismiss and live without the magic :) Thanks Siddeshwar. (Hey, this time your pictures were more saturated than warm as generally, have you changed your camera or processing? Or may be the light was such.)

siddeshwar said...

Thank you for sharing your view point, I agree with it. About the images, its the light and also I might have used wrong settings. The temple picture is terrible but that's the only image I had :-( I should have shot with my mobile camera... some times low resolution images look fine for such conditions.