Jul 23, 2016

Haralayyana Paduke, Bijjanahalli

Haralayyana Paduke means Haralayya's slipper. Haralayya was a tanner by profession who lived in Kalyana, present day Basava Kalyana. He was a contemporary of Jagatjyoti Basaveshwara and King Bijjala. Haralayya and his wife Kalyanamma were part of the Sharana movement led by Basavanna. During one of the Sharana gatherings it so happened that Haralayya greeted Basvanna formally saying “Sharanu”  to which Basavanna responded “Sharanu Sharanarthi.” Haralayya was nonplussed by Basavanna's greeting, who was a close aide of Kalyana's ruler King Bijjala. Haralayya felt that he had committed a grave sin because he had let a great soul like Basava had respected lowly person. To free himself of the sin, Haralayya decided to make a pair of slippers from his own skin. Haralayya's wife Kalyanamma said she had an equal right, and she decided to join her husband in the . The couple cut off skin from their thighs, tanned it and made pair of slippers befitting a nobleman. When the shoes were presented to Basava, he was awestruck, touched his eyes to the slippers and placed them on his head. Basavanna said the slippers were divine, he could never think of wearing them and returned them to the couple. This story is from the XII Century CE.

Nearly 800 years later the slippers were rediscovered at Bijanahalli near Malked about 60 kms from Gulbarga. A small shrine has been built for the slippers. A few scientist tested samples taken from the slippers and confirmed they were made of human skin. Of all the ancient artifacts known, these slippers are unique.

I was curious to see those ancient slippers, my wait of 4 years came to an end on July 2, 2016.

Our journey from Hyderabad to Bijapur started early morning. Our first stop was at Sedam to see few ancient Hindu temples and a Jain Basadi. Next was Bijanahalli; as we approached Malkhed, on the highway, on the right is the arch of Bijjanahalli.

Its one straight road from this arch to the abode of Haralayyana Paduke; no forks in between. We reached Bijjanahalli around 11 AM; villagers were helpful; two youngsters lead us to the shrine, where two more joined. The boy in white school dress is Shivasharanappa - his family is in possession of Haralayya's slippers.

Shivasharanappa, Ramesh, Srinath and Ambarish
This is an artistic depiction of the scene where Haralayya & Kalyanamma present the slippers to Basavanna. Having learnt that the slippers were made of their own skin, Basavanna places them on his head out of respect. Two ladies flanking Basava are his wives Neelambike and Gangambike.

So this is the little shrine for this extraordinary pair of shoes. They are placed in a locked wood-glass case.

Rituals are performed everyday by Shivasharanappa's family.

As seen from the front..

..and from the side. Watch this video of Haralayyana Paduke to see clearer pictures of the shoes.

We thank our young friends for showing us the shrine and head back to Malkhed; we pass by Malkhed bus-stand which has an interesting theme.. modeled like a fort. Cheers to the architect who designed it and to the team who constructed it.

We head to our next destination Nagavi near Chittapur. Historical sources say that India's second university existed at Nagavi, the first one being Nalanda.


Unknown said...

Had read about this in school days, but never knew it really existed. Awesome buddy !!!

Unknown said...

ಬಾಲ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಕೇಳಿದ,ಓದಿದ ಕಥೆಯನ್ನು ಕಣ್ಣ್ಮುಂದೆ ನೇರವಾಗಿ ನೋಡಿದಾಗೆ ಅನುಭವಾಯ್ತು,ನಾವು ನೋಡಲು ಕಾತರರಾಗಿದ್ದೆವೆ,,,ವಂದನೆಗಳು

Manjula Umesh said...

I still remember how i got terrified when i heard the story of Harallaya for the first time from my father as a bed time story when i was a kid, now too when i think of Harallaya making footwear, it brings chill to the bone, its very hard to imagine, its beyond the imagination the devotion, respect couple had for Basavanna, how they did it?

I wasn't aware the footwear does exist, Thanks for the post.

Unknown said...

ತುಂಬಾ ಸ೦ತೊಷವಾಯಿತು ಶರಣರ ತೊಡಯ ಚಮ೯ದಿ೦ದಾ ಮಾಡಿದ ಪಾದರಕ್ಷೆಗಳ ನೊಡಲು ನಾವು ಪುಣ್ಯವ೦ತರು

siddeshwar said...

thank you, all.