Aug 15, 2015

Sunset at Devarayanadurga

Devarayanadurga hills are near Tumkur. As the name indicates, the place was a fortification from ancient times. My first visit to Devarayanadurga was mid 1995, a solo ride from Bangalore. It was kind of stop n go trip. Though I drove past these hills several times, another visit never materialized until..

December 27, 2014
I was at Bangalore on vacation. A 3-day trip to visit forts near Tumkur was the plan. The plan was know to my friends Umesh and Manjula, residents of Tumkur. I arrived at their home by 4 PM, met Manjula's father Mr.  Channappa and son Vinayak. We chatted and snacked for a while. I suggested we go to Sri Siddaganga Matha, it would be my first visit. So it was Vinayak, Channappa and I.. Close to the Matha entrance was a  mile stone which said 11 kms to Devarayanadurga. A change in plan, we decided to visit the fort. It was almost sunset time.. Had to drive faster than usual.. We got glimpses of ruined fort walls, a gateway and a watch tower.

On this hill are two temples- Bhoganarasimha temple and Yoganarasimha temple -the former is at a mid level and latter is close to the peak. Also there are couple if traveller's bungalows couple of kilometers from Yoganarasimha temple.

Besides the road, an ancient foot path still exists. Many people take the footpath connecting the two temples. This Mantapa is a rest place for those taking the foot path. The Mantapa has been renovated recently, so is the stairway.

I parked my car where the roads ends. We were just in time for the sunset, within a minute Sun would be behind the hill.

That's Channappa and Vinayak. I shot with two different camera settings; here Sun and sky have become a patch of white. The other photo sky in red and golden yellow but my friends are in darkness..

Two bastions flank the gateway to the fort. Going by the look of the stone walls, I feel they were constructed during the rule of Hoysalas or even earlier. Notice the top part of the bastions- they are mud walls. At some point of time, one of the rulers got the walls heightened. I'd seen mud walls in forts only in North Karnataka, places like Gurmitkal, Chandriki and Lakshmeshwar.

On the left bastion's base is a passage entrance - this is believed to lead to a tunnel which connects to some far away place. A bus load school children from North Karnataka were visiting this spot.. some boys ventured a few feet into the tunnel.. the darkness inside wasn't friendly.. they came out heeding their friend's words. I could hear Vinayak inquiring with his grandpa.. what's in there?

This is one of the inner walls. A short distance to the temple remains. I think it was here I saw a poojari hurriedly descending.. his day's duty was done.

Sun had gone down, gold and red were rapidly changing to blue and grey. In the foreground are patches of white.. that's where Bhoganarasimha temple is and also the temple staff homes.

Another gateway just before the temple gates.

Just beyond the narrow passage between the two walls is Yoganarasimha temple entrance..

..alas, it was locked. If we had reached half an hour earlier, we could have been in and probably reached the hill summit. Looks like its not time yet.. I have to be patient.

Another look towards west.. bands of gold and orange dominated the sky.

Well, nothing more to see for now, we decided to drive back, Channappa suggested we check out the view from the traveller's bungalow but it's gates were locked. Close it was a ruined structure which looked like a living quarter, it had a lovely view.. for some reason it neglected.. perfect den for drinking and gambling.

That's a partial view from the ruined structure. We could see fields and houses below... lights were coming on and chimneys were smoking. Men were returning home and women folk were preparing to cook dinner..

The picture looks bright, thanks to the camera but it was darker. We left the spot, driving back towards Siddaganga Matha and Tumkur.


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