Jun 15, 2019

hero-stones of Chinnenahalli

..continued from quick stop at Madhugiri.

February 27, 2019
Anil, Nag and I were out on a day trip. Anil had some work at his village Thippagondanahalli. We arrived later than planned, agenda disrupted. We came to Chinnenahalli in search of a person Anil had to meet. As we waited in a tea shop in front of the government school, I noticed the neighboring temple. Tired of siting, I ventured into the temple premises to check out the cement sculptures atop the building. Normally we see Nandi but this seems like a goat, isn't it. Going by the hump behind the neck, it must be a bull but its snout makes its a goat :)

That's the temple facade, the pillars are ancient, probably 500 years old. Village people had kept this place clean, flowering plants taken care of.

The temple's walls are plain, simple structure it is. However, the temple premises has lot of open space which is used for village gatherings during festivals.

Opposite the temple is a Banyan tree with a rectangular platform where idols of Sarpadeva are kept. This is where I noticed a hero-stone camouflaged in the shadows. With e closer look around I found four of them. Hero-stones are basically memorial to warriors who had sacrificed their lives, in a battle or during some life-saving act.

This stone is the largest of four. It depicts a well built warrior wielding his sword and staff. The image on the left is a depiction of the warrior departing this world. Or, it could be showing two warriors.

The second hero-stone shows an archer holding a bow and an arrow. Going by his attire, he seems to be a prince as well. The accompanying female other character is  offering an object to the warrior. The detailing of the sculpture is interesting.. hair tied into a bun on the head, jewelry, footwear, hand clasping the arrow shaft and the arrow head. There's something special about this sculpture.

The third stone shows one warrior offering Namaskar. This warrior is attired slightly different, instead of kachche, he's wrapped the panchi around his hips and thighs. He's wearing heavy jewelry but there are no weapons at all. His face shows a serene expression.

The fourth stone is half buried in dirt and leaves. This seems to be the smallest of the four. The posture is similar to the previous warrior. The facial features have faded slightly. With this ends the historical research here.

The banyan tree and coconut leaves have created a nice scene. Going by the number of rings seen on the sawed off stub, this branch was about 20 years old, so the tree could be of the same age or more.

While Anil was busy with a meeting, as I was looking around, Nag had just ended a phone call. The village school had just closed for the day and students leaving the place. Nag quietly watched students while he was unaware of being watched :) BTW, villagers here usually rear cows and sell milk to dairies through collection points.

Chinnenahalli is a small village situated at a point where two groups of hill converge. One half of the village has a large rock formation on which few houses have been built. The green-colored house did not require any foundation work. I walked up the rock to get a better view of the surroundings.

The hill seen here is Midigeshi, its an historically important place, it was a power center. At the base of the hill is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara and on the hill are ruins of fort and temples in Vijayanagra architecture.

On the northeastern side of the village is this rock hill. Check out the number of standing stones here, all of them seem to be leaning at one angle.

Panning to the left, the other side of the hill comes into view. Beautiful rock formations these are.

As I was shooting this hill, Nag and Anil hailed me. Anil's work was done and we were leaving.. our next destination was Thippagondanahalli and then to Seebi Narasimha Devasthana off Sira-Tumkur highway.

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