Raichur was our base 3 days during our tour of Raichur and Yadgir districts. We visited several forts near Raichur including Maliabad fort. A e-friend from Raichur had mailed me about Usukina Hanumappa temple, though it was on our list time did not permit a visit. When I heard about the temple I had imagined that Hanuman's temple would be surrounded by sand. Usuku means sand in North Karnataka Kannada, its southern counterpart is 'Maralu'. I kept wondering if the temple was surrounded by sand or if the deity itself was made of sand. I'have to wait for another year.. another day..
July 8, 2016
After a short vacation at Dharwad, Pushpa and I were driving back to Hyderabad. We made good time, we were on the outskirts of Raichur city by noon. It was a spontaneous decision to skip the bypass road and enter the city.. plan was to visit Usukina Hanumappa and lunch at Shivayyana Khanawali. We passed by Raichur Agri University.. entered the city, drove on the bridge and took right... in general direction of the Manik Prabhu Gudi and Usukina Hanumappa . We found our way through the unfamiliar parts of Raichur.. passed by LVD College.. one straight road to Manik Prabhu Gudi.. The temple stairway seems like its stretched a pair of hands.. welcome!
The temple has a peaceful ambience. The whitewashed stone structure, the arched gateway and the Neem tree creates a serene atmosphere. The temple entrance was manned by a teenage boy who seemed physically challenged. Visitors have to enter name and phone number in a register.. there's a school inside for disabled children hence this system of monitoring visitors.
We learn that Hanuman temple is about a kilometer from Manik Prabhu temple however the dirt road was not fit for a car. We drove about half kilometer, the path was really bad now, bikes can go but nor a car. We walked rest of the way.. here's the temple, sadly the gate were locked.
We drove back into the city, we took a different route.. the narrow streets of old Raichur. Close to the fort we passed by the Ek Minar Masjid. Less than a year ago, I'd seen a picture of the mosque on social media. The picture clearly showed a temple existed there upon which this mosque was raised. Well, this is nothing new in North Karnataka districts. There are several places where you can clearly see demolished temple parts used in mosque walls and steps.
We were hungry know, managed to reach Shivayyana Khanawali on time, We were the second customers of the day. had a satisfying lunch :) From Shivayya we learned that the bridge across river Krishna was closed for repairs. The alternate route would be Raichur-Gadwal-NH44. If not for my friend here, we would have driven towards Shaktinagar and back.. saved us 45 kms of distance and time.