Oct 3, 2015

Basavana Gudi and Kannada Shilashasana at Nidgal Betta

December 29, 2014

Nidgal Betta was found while scanning Pavagada area. From Google terrain I could estimate the height as 200 meters. Nidgal Betta is a stepped hill; roughly half way up is the step- a small plateau with ruins of a fort. Climbing Nidgal Betta's steep face was a tough task! The second bit was particularly difficult climb because of the slippery surface and few hand holds. My guides Thippesh, Nagesh and Naveen, teenage boys climbed effortlessly while I was gasping for breath and sweat dripping down my head and neck. At times its uncomfortable with the camera bag dangling from the shoulder. The struggle finally came to an end as soon as this shrine was in sight :) This little temple is dedicated to Basavanna aka Nandi, Lord Shiva's mount.

Its a small, beautiful  statue of a seated Basavanna. Its a sweet little calf. This statue is definitely ancient, probably 600 to 800 years old.

As you see.. there are two inscriptions. The grey tablet leaning on the wall. The second inscription is on the rock itself. There's a third inscription, also on the rock.

All inscriptions are in Kannada. The rock inscriptions must be the earlier ones while the tablet inscription seems recent.

The third inscription is on this boulder. You can see a rectangular outline, within it is the inscription.

The floral art on the tablet seems like Hoysala. Is it an age old custom to have Shivalinga, Sun and Moon accompany inscriptions?

These dressed blocks hint at a plan to build a temple here, for some reason the plan was abandoned. Today these blocks serve as steps to Basavana Gudi.

Right next to Basavanna temple is this rock, a small lamp pillar stand on it. My guides told every year a fair is held on this hill, that's when the lamp is lit up. Looking towards west.. Nidgal Betta is one of the many hills in this area, probably is the tallest.

And on the east is plain land. If not for this railing I might not have gone around the temple.

My guides spoke a mix of Kannada and Telugu. Naveen barely spoke Kannada.

Nagesh, Thippesh and Naveen,
Behind the temple is a sheer cliff. and these rock formations, they are part of Nidgal Betta. The standing rock is amazing. It looks as though the round boulder was placed there by some one.

Looking towards north from the temple. These twin rocks look like a pair or bullock heads.

We climbed down from the temple and stood close to edge of a rock.. the fort comes into view. This is the upper level of the fort. Ruins can be found on the lower levels too right until the base.

Do watch this video; I go around the the temple and then climb down to the neighbouring rock.

On the way up our guides take a taken a short break by clambering up to the ridge.

Nidgal Betta is a beautiful place. At the base of the hill is Nidgal a historic village. There are three other ancient temples; Narasimhaswami temple, Rama temple and I can't recall the third one. Close to Rama temple is a an Kalyani. Going by the looks of the temples and fort ruins, I think they were constructed during Hoysala and Vijayanagara rule. Even Chalukyas might have left their signature at Nidgal.



Manjula Umesh said...

Nice captures, while looking at first pic, it brought a feeling that it wld have been a Wow!! moment with a sigh of relief when the temple came in to vicinity ...it feels so great when reached the destination after a hard climb. That small cute Basavanna reminds me basavanna in Togarsi at Sri MallikarjunaSwamy temple.

siddeshwar said...

This particular climb was so tough I was longing for the summit. When the temple came into sight it was a relief.. end of torture, aah! Nevertheless, the sight was breathtaking, treat to the mind.