Sep 12, 2015

Kalyani at Ratnagiri

When I mentioned about my trip to a friend, he said Ratnagiri was his grandfather's place, he asked me to check out the big well ~ Kalyani near the village. Subbu had visited Ratnagiri many years ago.

December 28, 2014
Ratnagiri is a small village in Anantapur district but its a place of historical importance. The village is based at the base of a rocky hill. On the village outskirts are ruins of fort walls.. I think a moat ran along the wall. Besides the wall, inside the fort is this stepped well ~ Kalyani. About 100 meters from the well are ruins of a temple on higher ground. Going by the looks of the ruins and well.. it is Vijayanagara style construction. The temple has stones wall, its Shikhara is brick and mortar. Unlike Chalukyan temple builders, Vijayanagara counterparts went for brick and mortar Shikharas/Gopuras.

The well could be 40 to 60 feet deep with 20' water.

As seen from the other side of the well; in the background is temple ruins. The walls are also stepped, these stone walls prevent dirt from collapsing and also helps keep water fresh and clear. Back then water level would be much higher, probably 10 or 20 feet below ground level.

A simple arch marks the beginning of the steps.

A pair of elephants adore the arch.

Down the first flight of steps. there are few sculptures.. floral, animals and human.

Fish has to be seen in a well. Fishes, tortoises and frogs keep water clean. I remember seeing sculptures of fish and tortoise on temple floors. Frog is considered as Mallikarjuna, rain god. Forgs croaking indicates coming rain.

Below the fish is a serpent which seems to be a cobra.

The temples and Kalyani. I'm quite sure the temple would be vandalized thoroughly. I was hungry and tired, no mind to go exploring the temple. I headed back towards the car, parked on the other side of the fort wall.

Between the village and fort wall are ruins of a temple and a stepped well. A rock formation close to this temple seems to be a den for gamblers :(

Just like the bigger well, even this well remains neglected. Perhaps, village folk especially youngsters should take interest in cleaning wells.. in many villages wells are the only source of water. By doing so, the talent of cleansing wells gets preserved.

Here's a short video of the Kalyani.

That's Ratnagiri hill, ruins of the fort visible clearly. In the foreground is a Mantapa.

In the following post we'll climb the hill and tour the fort.


1 comment:

Subra Srikant said...

Siddu, You missed one more beautiful kalyani which is inside the village and still in use by the local people.