Sep 23, 2015

Rama temple and Ramteerta, Nidgal

December 29, 2015
Tumkur district is one of the districts with many forts. The middle part of the eastern border is lined with forts starting from Devarayanadurga to Pavagada. These forts are located on hills/hillocks surrounded by plains except Devarayanadurga and Nidgal - these two forts are located on hills which are part of hill ranges. Nidgal village is situated at the base of Nidgal Betta, a peak surrounded by a group of hillocks. This peaceful little village was an important place once upon a time. The presence of a big fort, ruins of palace, several temples, inscriptions and a stepped well proves its place in history.

While researching I happened to stumble upon an article on Nidgal in Deccan Herald. Quoting a line from the article: Nidgal, once called Kalanjana Giri, Kalanjana Durga and Neelavathi was a prosperous town and a capital under the Gangas, Nolambas, Hoysalas, Cholas, Mysore Wodeyars and Sultans, writes M B Sadashivaiah.

Ancient temples located in and around Nidgal are: Sri Nagareshwara temple, Sri Someshwara temple, Sri Ishwara temple, Yoga Laxminarasimha Swami temple and Parshwanatha Jaina Basadi. Besides ancient temple there's a temple dedicated to Shirdi Sai Baba and a mosque. I visited two temples- one at the peak's summit and one in the village. The latter is ancient, going by its architecture it was built during Vijayanagara rule. If I'm not mistaken its should be a Rama temple. This temple is also a cattle house; divine beings at a holy place. A handful of Nidgal folks I met were nice people. They asked me to step inside the temple and take a look.

That's the temple, a simple one. Those pillars are definitely Vijayanagara style.

A closer look at the elephants flanking the steps. The temple doorway has Dwarapalas and mesh windows. Simple yet beautiful. Thanks to the folks for maintaining the place neat and tidy.

A cattle-shelter occupies one of the corners. This pair of feet on a pedestal is an indication this temple is dedicated to Sri Rama..

There ends my tour of the temple. I promise to visit Nidgal again just to see its temples.. most probably during my visit to Pavagada fort. The objective of this visit was to see the fort situated on this hill which I did. This is one of the gateways of the fort at the base.

Where there's a temple, there has to be a source of water. Temples of Nidgal have wells. Here's one ancient stepped well.. Ramteerta is considered as a holy spot by locals.

The name Nidgal must be very old, probably from Neolithic times. Reason for saying that: name ends with 'gal' which means stone.


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