Places of Interest
After the down-fall of the Vijayanagara kingdom in 1565, Bellary came into the hands of a Palayagar family, the originator of which was one Hanumappa Nayaka. He lived at Bellary and strengthened its defence. The place was in the hands of this Palayagar family until about 1631. From that year till 1692, it was practically under Muslims, though the names of two Palayagars are mentioned as having some authority over it. Bellary was also under the Marathas for a short period round about 1678. In 1692, the Palayagars again obtained authority over the fort. In about 1764, during the time of one Ramappa, the town became tributary to Adoni, which had been granted as a jagir to Basalat Jung, brother of Salabat Jung, the then Subedar of the Deccan. In 1775, Doddappa, the then Palayagar, refused to pay tribute to Basalat Jung, declaring that he owed allegiance to Haidar Ali. There was a clash between the forces of Basalat Jung and Haidar Ali, in which the former were completely routed. Doddappa also fled and Haidar Ali took possession of the fort. The latter built the upper and lower forts as they are now. Tipu Sultan held the fort until his defeat in 1792, when it became the property of the Nizam. It was finally ceded by the latter to the East India Company in 1800, along with the rest of the district.
At this time, the lower fort, like all other forts, contained dwellings of a large number of people who had flocked to it for protection. Later, to make room for the buildings required by the troops, houses, shops, etc., were removed from the fort to Bruce Pettah after paying the owners some compensation. Bruce Pettah was named after Peter Bruce who had first been in charge of Harapanahalli and then, from 1806 to 1830, was the Judge of Bellary. Now, the lower fort contains a number of public buildings, offices, educational institutions and churches, the chief of which is the Holy Trinity Church which was originally built in 1811, enlarged in 1838, consecrated in 1841 and is at present a place of worship for the members of the Church of South India in the city. Immediately east of the foot of the steps, leading to the upper fort, is a strongly built rnantapa which is pointed out as the place in which Munro used to halt during his visits to Bellary.
The Cowl Bazaar was developed later than Bruce Pettah. It got its name from the fact that it was originally occupied almost entirely by the fol1owers and merchants belonging to the troops, who settled there under angreement (cowl) that they should be free from taxes. Mellor Pettah was named after Abel Mellor, who was the Collector of the district from 1840 to 1850. The Cantonment was established in 1801, Bellary then being the headquarters of the General commanding the region known as the ceded districts. The Duke of Wellington is stated to have resided at one period in the northernmost of the two bungalows, which adjoin the fort’s ditch, immediately west of the Fort Hill. The excellent well in the compound of this house is one of the six which tradition says were built by the six sisters of Palayagar Hanumappa Nayaka. One of the graves here is that of Ralph Horsley, Head Assistant Collector of Bellary and son of John Horsley, I.C.S., whose name has been given to Horsley-konda near Madanapalli. He was murdered by burglars, whom he was trying to capture, on the night of the 4th .July 1856 in his bungalow.
Bellary city does not contain temples or mosques of architectural merits. An old shrine of the place is that of Durgamma. The goddess in it is represented by a heap of earth covered with turmeric powder; silver votive offerings of representations of hands, eyes and other parts are made to the shrine by devotees whom she is believed to have cured of diseases. The annual festival in honour of the goddess takes place in February, at which formerly animal sacrifice and hook-swinging ceremony used to take place. The city has a Shivanubhava Mantapa. Of the various mosques, the two biggest are on the Jumma Mashid lane in Bruce Pettah and in the Cowl Bazaar. There are also two Dargas of local repute.
Several new extensions have come up in recent years. Educationally, the city has advanced a good deal. It has a medical college, three arts, science and commerce colleges, a polytechnic and several high schools. Industrially also, some progress has been made and when the steel plant is set up at Toranagal, there will be much impetus for starting ancillary industries at Bellary. The M G. Automobiles at Bellary is to-day one of the largest units of its kind in the Mysore State. The Bellary Spinning and Weaving Company Ltd. was established in 1963. There are several oil mills producing mostly groundnut oil and cake.
Bommaghatta (T. Sandur) is a small 1nterior village situated at a distance of about 48 kms. from Sandur. It has an old temple of Hulikuntiraya (Anjaneyaswamy) which draws devotees not only from Bellary district but also from the neighbouring districts.
Bhyradevanahalli (T. Bellary ) is about 12 kms. to the north-east of Bellary city. Very close to the village, there is an aqueduct which leads the low-level canal of the Tungabhadra project across the Hagari river. The headworks and reservoirs of the Bellary city water supply system are also located here.
Chellagurki (T. Bellay) is a village fl6 kms. from Bellary on Bellary-Anantapur road, which has become well-known on account of the Jiva Samadhi of Yerri Tata. This great saint came to Chellagurki in the year 1897 and after living there for about 25 years, he died there in 1922. He is credited with having performed several miracles. Pilgrims from all over the State visit the Sarnadhi of Yerri Tata, specially on new moon days and on the occasion of the annual car festival held in his honour. Facilities for lodging and boarding have been provided for the pilgrims. It has a high school and a rural dispensary.
Chigateri (T. Harapanahalli) is a village 12 kms. in direct line east-north-east of Harapanahalli. Gold-washing was formerly done here. Bruce Foote, in his memoirs of the Geological Survey of India (Vol. XXV, 89, 196), has said that short but good quartz reefs are pretty numerous in the southern and south-eastern flanks of the Jajikalgudda hill here, which were the source of gold which was obtained here. The streams which were washed for gold, according to him, were : (1) the upper part of Chigateri nullah, at a place called Chengulu; (2) a small stream north-west by west of Chigateri village; (3) a stream known as the Bovihalli nullah; and ( 4) the stream flowing on the northeast slope of Jajikalgudda, known as the Konganahosur nullah. Of these, the last was the richest and the first the second best. The place is having a high school and a dispensary.
Chikkajogihalli (T. Kudligi) is at a distance of about 26 kms. from Kudligi and 104 kms. from Bellary city, and is on the way from Bellary to Jagalur. It was formerly a very small village having 150 inhabitants and was without any modern conveniences of life. It has been now transformed into a bright model village, thanks to the initiative and imagination of Shri K. Venkataswamy, who is a native of the village and an enterprising businessman, and the constructive co-operation of the villagers and the various Government agencies. At first, a road about 30 kilometres long was constructed by the shramadan (voluntary labour) of Bharat Scouts and Guides who were joined by about a thousand men and women of the village. Afterwards, the Public Works Department took up this road and made it a pucca road. All the road vehicular traffic touches this village on the way to and from Bellary and Chitradurga. Now, this road comes under the National Highways. Nextly, a pravasi mandir (a travellers’ bungalow) was constructed and equipped with modern amenities. A co-operative society was started for supplying at a fair price the requirements of the villagers. It has been so developed that it is serving about twenty-five villages around. It has been advancing also short-term and long-term loans to the villagers.
An uncertain and meagre rainfall of 20 to 22 inches a year and lack of tanks and channels for irrigating the lands had subjected the villagers to frequent scarcity conditions and their lot was hard. Now new wells were sunk for lift irrigation and old wells were revived and diesel engine pumps were installed at a few wells. The village folk heartily co-operated in this uphill task. Fertilisers and good seeds found their way along the new roadway. A big poultry-farm is being run on modern lines under private management with technical help from Government. It supplies its poultry products to Bellary and neighbouring districts.
The Hanuman and Choudeshwari temples of the place were renovated. A weekly shandy on every Monday was organised with amenities of water, shelter and sanitation. A mat-weaving co-operative society was started with Government help of a capital of about Rs. 30,000. A good number of mats manufactured in the village were purchased by the society and sold in the towns. A mat-weaving training centre is also being run by Government at this place. The Village Panchayat started functioning from April 1961. The Government sanctioned a combined hospital; with a donation from Mrs. K. Venkataswamy, a building providing for twelve beds was constructed and equipped with modern amenities. Now there is also a veterinary hospital which is made also a sub-centre for artificial insemination.
In the kindergarten school, the children are given free meals and milk daily and clothes annually. The village has primary and middle schools and a high school. There is a general hostel which is being helped with grants by the Government. At first a branch post office was opened which was later upgraded into a sub-post office and telegraph and telephone facilities were also provided.
The Mysore State Co-operative Housing Corporation sanctioned about Rs. 90,000 with which 30 tenements were constructed. Besides, 69 houses were built under the subvention scheme for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. The Corporation houses have been rented out to teachers, doctors and other workers in the village. A branch of the State Bank of Mysore and a Horticultural Training Centre were started recently. A branch of the Bellary District Local Library Authority has been opened here and is working since 1971 It is providing facilities to the readers-more particularly to the high school students. A section of the Mysore State Electricity Board is working to serve the needs of the electricity consumers in the area. With the assistance of the State Bank of Mysore, a coir industry has been started. There is scope for developing this industry here. Thus there is an all-round development of the village which is now vibrant with new life. It is a shining example of what can be achieved by co-operation, self-help and determined cons tructive work aided by various Government agencies.
Dammur (T. Bellary) is about 17 kms. from Dammur Bellary city. It is well known for its cave temple and the Samadhi (tomb) of Venkappa. An annual fair is held here.
Daroji (T. Sandur) is situated about 48 kms. from Sandur and about 28 kms. from Toranagal, connected both by bus and train. It is best known for the big tank near it. This tank, which is said to have been built by Tipu, has been constructed by throwing a huge dam, about two and a half miles long and in places 45 feet high, across a valley through which flows the Narihalla. In May 1851, the tank breached in two places and the mass of water which rushed out destroyed the old village of
Daroji. The present village (New Daroji) was built later on. The tank now irrigates a large extent of lands. Excellent fish are caught in it and sent to the Bellary market.
Deogiri (T. Sandur) is a village on the top of a hill of the same name, about 28 kms. from Sandur. It is rich in iron ore and manganese. The ore is loaded by an electric crane. A mining firm called the Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Ltd.
(SMIORE) is operating here. The ore is transported by a ropeway also. A firm from Holland was mining manganese previously in this area. A township has been constructed here for the employees of the SMIORE.
The Donimalai hill range, which forms a part of the Bellary- Hospet range of rich iron-ore-bearing hills, is being exploited by the National Mineral Development Corporation (A Government of India Undertaking). This is the first venture of the N.M.D.C. not only in Mysore State but in the southern region of the country.
Devara-Timmalapum (T. Harap·anahalli) is a small village about three kms. from Harapanahalli on the Arasikere road. It has a big temple of Venkateshwara constructed by Dadayya Nayaka, a Palayagar of Harapanahalli. His son Ranga Nayaka also built the unfinished portion of this temple. They gave inam lands to the temple. There are carved stone images of these chiefs and their wives in the premises of the temple. There is also another shrine in the premises of this temple. The deity of this shrine is called Kannu-Kottappa (meaning healer of eyes).
The main temple has a big gopura which is said to have been built by a Tahsildar of Harapanahalli by name Kandi Seshagiri Rao. The place is known for its annual jatrra (car festival) which is largely attended.
Devagondanahalli (T. Hadagalli) is a village four kms. south of Hadagalli and about 152 kms. west of Bellary. Bruce Foote found probable traces of diamond-digging at this place. He says (Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India)
“An interesting outcrop of a true pebbly conglomerate with quartzite matrix is to be seen on a low hill just south of Dagunahalli (two miles south of Huvina Hadagalli). It is much hidden by red soil, but where exposed, much. broken np
into small pits like diamond-diggers” pits, and near the western end of the hill among the pits I observed two small platforms neatly edged with lumps of stone and strongly resembling the sorting platforms used by diamond-diggers at Banganapalli. Despite of many inquiries through taluk officials, I could gain no
information about this possible old diamond working ; nobody ever heard of it. The place has, however, an unmistakable resemblance to a diamond-digging, and the pebbly conglomerate is quite sufficiently like the Banganapalli conglomerate to render it quite probable that the pits and platforms are genuine traces of the work of a diamond-prospecting party in former but not very remote times.”
Gudekota (T. Kudligi), the headquarters of the revenue circle of the same name, is situated at a distance of 28 kms. east of Kudligi. It was formerly the residence of a Palayagar chief. Gudekota was one of the ‘Palayapattus’ (small principalities) which arose in the region taking advantage of the unsettled conditions after the decline of the great Vijayanagara kingdom in the 16th century. This Palayagar family was of the Beda caste. It gained control of the villages round about
Gudekota. One of its chiefs helped Bharamappa Nayaka I of the Bilechodu Palayagar dynasty of Chitradurga, which was a bigger and powerful principality, to conquer for the second time, Anaji, which was a strategic place. It appears that at this time the Gudekota chief was subordinate to the ruler of Chitradurga, The daughter of the Gudekota Palayagar, by name Bangaravva Nagati, was given in marriage to the above-mentioned Bharamappa Nayaka. The Gudekota Palayagar helped Bharamappa Nayaka again in successfully repelling the attack of the Rayadurga Palayagar. Haidar Ali, in the course of his return march from his campaign in the Bellary region, attacked and seized Gudekota, in the year 1777 A.D. (Hayavadana Rao, C., “History of Mysore “, Vol. III, p. 250, 1943). Thus ended the rule of the Gudekota Palayagars two years before the fall of Chitradurga.
The place has ruins of a fort on a hill which is remarkable for the enormous size of its blocks. Bruce Foote thought them about the largest he had seen in any part of South India. There are several rough routes leading up the hill On the top, there
are two curious wells ; one, from its unusually narrow, oblong shape, is called ‘Cradle Well’. The other is a stone-lined construction, about 35 feet square, which is excavated under a strange natural arch formed of many huge boulders heaped one above the other. The village has remains of several small temples. Near the eastern end of the tank here, there is an unusually large number of snake-stones, some of which are as high as six feet. It has a tank known as Bommalinganakere. There is a high school and a primary health centre.
Gunasagara (T. Kudligi) about 20 kms. south of Kudligi, is famous for the image of Gopalakrishna in the local temple, which is reputed for the excellence of its workmanship.
Hadagalli is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name at a distance of 150 kms. from Bellary city. The full name of the village is Huvina-Hadagalli
and the derivation of the word is said to be from ‘Hauvina ‘, the adjectival form of the Kannada word ‘huvu ‘, a flower; hadag a boat ; and halli, a village, meaning on the whole “the village of flower boats”. The story goes that in the days when the city of Vijayanagara flourished, flowers for its temples and palaces were floated down the Tungabhadra from this place. The story receives some confirmation from the fact that the village contains a number of old wells and is still known for its gardens, betelnuts and plantains. The older form of the name of the place can be
traced back to the eleventh century as is evident from an inscription. This epigraph dated in the year 1090 A.D., belonging to the reign of Chalukya Vikramaditya, which was found in the Keshavaswami temple at this place, states that the temple was constructed by Rebbaladevi, wife of the Brahmin general Revideva at Poovina-Posavadangile which was the place of her birth. It is a pleasant place and reputed to be very healthy.
Two of the temples at this place, Kalleshwara and Keshava-swami, are described in detail in Rea’s,” Chalukyan Architecture “. However, they cannot compare in richness of detail with those at Bagali, Magala or Hire-Hadagali. Neither of these was finished. The temples contain some delicate carvings which unfortunately have been greatly spoiled by wanton chipping and by frequent thick white-washing. When the wall of the old fort was demolished in 1866, two temples were discovered inside. Worship is now performed in both of them. The image in one of them, dedicated to Yoga-Narayanaswami, is of black-stone and quite exquisitely carved. Both are Chalukyan in style and have perforated stone windows on each side of the shrine door, which are characteristic of that style. There are two high schools, one rural college, a local fund dispensary and branches of two banks here.
Hagari-Bommanaholli (T. Hadagalli) is a village about 40 kms. from Hadagalli. It is now becoming a big commercial centre and has several oil mills. A number of families from the villages submerged in the Tungabhadra Project have been rehabilitated here. The Hagari-Bommanahalli Project is situated about four .kms. from this place.
Halavagalu (T. Harapanahalli) is a village 13 kms. south-west of Harapanahalli and four kms. from the Tungabhadra river. It contains a Chalukyan temple made of black-stone. It is the plainest of all the temples of this type in the district, there being hardly any carved work in it, though the rough blocks at the doors were evidently intended to be sculptured. A few drawings of the temple are mentioned in Rea’s book. The place is having a high school and dispensary.
Hampasagara (T. Mallapuram), a village on the bank of the Tungabhadra, about 20 kms. north-east of Hadagali, and the headquarters of the hobli of the same name has been well-known for its cotton-weaving. At the temple of Veerabhadraswami
here, a fire-walking ceremony takes place every year about December-January on the day of the car festival. The people who go through this ordeal do not belong to any particular families. The village has a high school and a dispensary.
Hampi (T. Hospet),on the bank of the Tungabhadra, is now a small village. It has given its name to the remains, which lie scattered about it, of Vijayanagara, the birthplace of the Vijayanagara empire and the capital of its kings.
The Hampi ruins cover about nine square miles ; but the fortifications and the outposts of the city include a far larger area. The whole area is dotted with a little, barren, rocky hills and immediately north of it flows rapidly the Tungabhadra. The
hills are of granite, weathered to every shade of colour from a bluish-grey to a rich golden-brown. Many of them must weigh hundreds of tonnes. In places, cyclopean masses stand delicately poised one upon another at the most hazardous angles, and in others, they form quite impassable screes. On the sides of these hills and along the low ground between them, there are the fortified enclosing walls of the old city which are often in several lines, one behind the other. In the valleys are the deserted streets and ruined palaces and temples.
According to a local tradition, there was a town on this site centuries before the birth of the Vijayanagara kingdom. Some of the most dramatic events in the great epic of Ramayana are stated to have taken place in Kishkindha and it is said that
this Kishkindha was close to Hampi. It was ruled in those clays, says the Ramayana, by two brothers named Vali and Sugreeva who were of the “monkey race”, which seems to mean a people having monkey as their emblem or totem. They quarrelled, and Sugreeva,, driven out by his brother, fled to the forest near the hill called Rishyamuka on the bank of the Pampa. It is here that Rama, the hero of the epic, accompanied by his brother Lakshmana, journeying in search of his wife, Seeta, came to know that she was carried off by Ravana. It is here again that his expedition to :Lanka, which ultimately resulted in the killing of Havana, was planned and organised. The present names of several of the localities around Hampi are, interestingly enough, identical with those in the epic. Pampa (Pampasaras) was the name of a tank near Anegondi in Raichur district. Pampa is also said to be the ancient and puranic name of the river Tungabhadra itself; Rishyamuka is a hill in Raichur district; Matanga Parv11ta or Matanga’s hill is one of the hills near Hampi and the Malyavanta hill lies to the east of it.
Coming to the medieval times, it was, as has already been said, the capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom. The account of its foundation, its rapid growth along with the kingdom, its rising to the greatest heights in about 200 years, its dramatically sudden fall and its utter destruction after the battle of Rakkasgi-Tangadgi in 1565 forms an absorbing story by itself. Of the wonder that
it was, several descriptions have come down to us. The earliest European visitor, whose account is surviving, was Nicolo Conti, an Italian, who was at Vijayanagara in 1420. Some 20 years later, in 1442, Abdur Razzak, an ambassador to the east from Iran, visited the city. ” The city of Bidjanagar,” he says,. ” is such that the pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it, and the ear of intelligence has never been informed that there existed anything to equal it in the world”. Duarte Barbosa, a Portuguese, who visited the city between 1504 and 1514, gives similarly glowing accounts of its riches and magnificence. He writes : ” The streets and squares are very wide. They. are constantly filled with an innumerable crowd of all nations and creeds ……. . . . . . . . . . . . There is an infinite trade in the city. . . . . . . . In this city, there are many jewels which are brought from Pegu and Celani (Ceylon), and in the country itself many diamonds are found, because there is a mine of them in the kingdom of Narsinga …. “
But of all the accounts of the Vijayanagara city in its heydays, that of Domingos Paes, which Sewell has given us in his history of this “Forgotten Ernpire “, is the most vivid and picturesque. Paes was a Portuguese who visited· Vijayanagara about 1520 in the days of Krishnadeva Raya. He speaks of the crowded bazaars where everything conceivable could be had ; of the fine houses of the merchants and the military men ; of the imperial throne made of jewel-studded golden plates ; of the maids of honour bedecked with gold and precious stones ; of the cavalry horses caparisoned in silk, damask, brocade from China and velvet from Mecca, with jewelled silver plates, upon their foreheads ; of the king’s private stud of 800 elephants and 500 horses ; of his palace decorated with precious metals, ivory and wonderful carvings, etc.
The destruction of Vijayanagara was indeed sudden, shocking and absolute. To quote Sewell, “with fire and sword, with crowbars and axes, they carried on day after day their work of destruction. Never perhaps in the history of the world has such havoc been wrought, and wrought so suddenly, on so splendid a city, teeming with a wealthy and industrious population in the full plenitude of prosperity one day, and on the next, seized, pillaged, and reduced to ruins, amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beggaring description.” (“A Forgotton Empire,” )
The most convenient starting point to see the remains of the city is Kamalapura, about 12 kms. from Hospet railway station. The fortifications proper, excepting their great extent, their massive construction and the ingenuity with which the local natural resources were utilised, present a few points of interest. ‘With the perennial Tungabhadra, unfordable for many miles, and the almost unclimbable rocky hills, linked together by the long lines of walls, the city must have been a place of great strength in the then conditions of warfare. The gateways, except one or two, are usually merely openings spanned by bracketed lintels. The ruined temples and other buildings are so numerous that even a mere mention of them would run into pages. The minor examples are scattered all over the site of the city. Most of the
ruins are along the road leading from Kamalapura to Hampi, there being only a few on the road from Kamalapura to Kampli. The first ruin to be met with on the latter road is what is known as the Ganigitti temple. It is a Jaina temple and the tower above its shrine is built in a series of steps, which is the most characteristic of the Jaina temples in this district. According to an inscription on the lamp-post nearby, it was erected by a Jaina general named Irugappa in 1385. There are several other temples of this faith and of similar design in other parts of the city. About three kms. further down, on a commanding site to the north of it, stands the temple .of Malyavanta Raghunathaswami. Like all other larger temples in the ruins, it is built in the Dravidian style, but the sculpture in it is better than in the majority of the others. Strange-looking fishes and marine monsters carved along its outer walls are worth noticing. In the inneremost shrine of this temple, is a boulder, and the tower of the shrine is perched on the top of this.
Returning to Kamalapura and setting out on the other road, leading to Hampi, the traveller passes through what was originally a gate with towers, but now merely a gap in the wall From this, the way leads first to the site of the old palace of the Vijayanagara kings and the various civil buildings which stood around it. Perhaps in no part of the city was the destruction wrought by the Muslims more complete than at this spot. It can be seen that except a few isolated instances, scarcely one stone is left upon another in its original position here. The first building which is, however, still standing, though in a ruined condition, is the Queens’ Bath, just north of the road. It is a swimming pool about 50 feet long and six feet deep. Just north-east of the Queens’ Bath, and inside the first wall of palace enclosure, are still standing a few yards of one of the stone aqueducts mentioned by Abdur Razzak. He says, ” One sees numerous running streams and canals formed of chiselled stone, polished and smooth”.
Immediately north of this, are the striking ruins of the great square platform of the House of Victory, as Paes calls it. Platform According to Paes. it was built when Krishnadeva Raya came (Mahanavami back from his victorious expedition against the king of Orissa Dibba) and, therefore, it was called the House of Victory. There was obviously another erection on the platform which is all that now remains. This is called the Throne Platform which is artistically a remarkable monument. It is known also as the Dasara Dihba or Mahanavami Dibba. It was near this place that the Dasara festival was celebrated on a grand scale. The spaces between the rows of the plinth-mouldings here are most elaborately and elegantly carved. Sculptures in bas-relief vividly depict various scenes of the Dasara festival, like processions of elephants, horses and soldiers, which are highly impressive. There are also hunting scenes and charming dancing poses. The kings of Vijayanaga used to sit on a gorgeous throne in the House of Victory and witness the nine-day Dasara festivities. A few yards west of this platform, rise the walls of what, from Abdur Razzak’s description of the site, was the royal mint, and immediately north of these are similar walls of the building which he calls the ‘Palace of the Danaik ‘. One interesting feature of these walls around the palace enclosures is that they are several feet thick at the bottom and taper off to only a few inches in width at the top. Westwards from the House Victory, the path passes by a temple nearly buried under earth and debris, the foundations
of another platform and a curious trough, 41 feet long, cut out of a single stone, and then leads through two ruined gates, to the temple of Hazara Ramaswami. This temple is believed to
have been the private place of worship of the royal family. The outsides of the outer walls of this temple are covered with courses of sculpture similar to those in the House of Victory. The chief attraction of the temple is the series of scenes from the Ramayana carved on two of the inside walls of the mantapa which lies north of the main entrance, and on the wallls of the courtyard adjoining it. Perhaps it was from these carvings that the temple derived its name (‘ Hazara Rama ‘ means thousand Ramas) . The whole series of carvings is the most noteworthy feature of the temple. North-east of the Hazara .Ramaswami temple, lies another block of civil buildings with high enclosing walls. From Abdur Razzak’s account, these appear to have been the ‘Diwan-khana’or public offices. The chief building now remaining is a two storeyed erection. Immediately west of this enclosure, are the
Elephants’ Stables, containing 11 stalls, built with domed roofs and arched entrances. Immediately east of the Elephants; Stables, are two small Jaina shrines in a dilapidated condition. At the south-east angle of the enclosure wall is the shrine of Rangaswami, containing a bas-relief of Hanuman, about nine feet high. South-west of this, is a little shrine of Pattanada Yellamma (goddess of the city). Some of the ruins lie along the road leading westwards under this wall and joining the road to Hampi. Between the two roads, near their point of junction, stands what used to be known as the underground temple, from which an underground passage was said to lead to the Hazara Ramaswami temple. Some half a mile further on, the road to Hampi takes a sharp turn between two small temples. The eastern of these is the Uddana Virahhadraswami temple. Near this temple are a number of sati stones. Nuniz gives a detailed description of the ceremonies attending the rites of sati in his time. A few yards west of the road, stands in an enclosure the huge monolithic statue of Ugra-Narasimha. An inscription on the stone in front of it states that it was hewn from a single boulder in 1528 during
the reign of Krishnadeva Raya who granted an endowment to the shrine. Though it is 22 feet high, all the details on it have been finished with great care, and though grievously shattered,it is one of the most striking objects among the ruins. Immediately north of this statue, stands a little building containing a huge linga On the rising ground just above this is the large temple of
Krishnaswami, which is yet another of Krishnadeva Raya’s additions to the city.. According to a local inscription, the temple was built by him in 1513 for an image of Krishna which he had
brought from a temple in Udayagiri in Nellore district, during one of his expeditions. East of the temple, was one of the bazaars. Beyond the Krishnaswami temple and just east Qf the road, inside
an open mantapa, is a huge monolith of Ganesha, who is ironically called the ‘Sasivekalu Ganesha’ (mustard-,grain Ganesha). A few yards further on, in a shrine with a handsome mantapa in front of it, is a companion monolith of the same god, which is similarly nicknamed as ‘ Kadalekalu · Ganesha ‘ (gram-grain.Ganesha). The path then passes down a steep dip into the Ham pi Bazaar. It is about 35 yards wide and nearly 800 yards long. The houses in it are used as lodgings by the pilgrims to the annual car festival. Paes describes this bazaar as being in his time, “a very beautiful street with very beautiful houses “. At. its eastern end is a large Nandi or bull and a mantapa erected on pillars of black stone finely carved in the Chalukyan style, of which only a few examples are found in the ruins. At the western extremity of the street stands the great temple of Pampapati or Virupaksha. The Virupaksha temple has a tower, about 120 feet high, on its eastern entrance. Pampa is said to have been the ancient name of the Tungabhadra. A legend says that Pampa was a daughter of Brahma and wife of Virupaksha or Shiva. The temple contains shrines of Shiva, Pampa and Bhuvaneshwari. Parts of this temple are older than the Vijayanagara kingdom itself. An inscription on a stone, standing to the north of it and dated in the year 1199, records gifts made to the temple by a private individual in the reign of a king Kali Deva of the Naga vamsha who ruled at Kurugodu in Bellary taluk. Later additions to it were made by the Vijayanagara kings. The shrine of Bhuvaneshwari contains a beautifully exeeuted Chalukyan doorway, flanked by pierced stone panels which are a characteristic of the style, and several Chalukyan pillars. The work of this style belongs to the 11th or 12th century. From the eastern end of the Hampi Bazaar, a stone-paved path leads to the river and thereafter winds among big rocks on its brink to the temple of Kodanda Ramaswami. Immediately beyond it, the path passes by the northern end of what is known as the dancing girls’ street, which leads up to the Achyutarayaswami temple. According to an inscription on its doorways, it was built by Achyuta Raya in 1539. The path then leaves the bank of the river and leads south on to the cave in which Sugreeva is said to have kept Seeta’s jewels. Closely are the remains of a ruined bridge which crossed the river on monolithic pillars. Its date is not known. Further on is a kind of torana, consisting of two tall stone pillars connected by a stone beam, which is believed to have been built to support the scals on which the kings, on their accession, were weighed against gold which was afterwards distributed among the priests. The path, after winding through some lesser remains, arrives at the great temple of Vijaya-Vitthalaswami. In some ways, this is the most notable temple in the ruins. In or about it were found as many as 23 inscriptions ranging from l513 to 1564. One of these shows that Krislmadeva Raya began the temple and endowed it with villages ; another says that his two queens built gopuras and presented golden. vessels to the shrine ; some others relate that Achyuta Raya and Sadashiva Raya and many private individuals made gifts of various kinds. The temple was probably never finished or consecrated. The work on it was perhaps stopped by the destruction of the city in 1565. A tradition says that this temple had been built specially for the famous image of Vithoba at Pandharapur, now in the Sholapur district of the Maharashtra State. Facing the main gate of the temple, are the scattered remains of a long bazaar. Inside the court, there is an elegantly crurved car or chariot made of stone instead of wood. It is badly cracked. On either side of the court, stand two mantapas which are notable instances of rich design and beautiful workmanship ; but they are entirely dwarfed by another building which is the glory
of the temple and of the ruins-the great mantapa which stands in front of the shrine. This rests on a richly sculptured basement and its roof is supported by huge pillars of granite, about 15 feet in height, each consisting of a central pillar surrounded by detached shafts, all cut from one single block of stone. These
are surmounted by an elaborate and equally massive cornice. This beautiful building has been most grievously injured by the destroyers of the city. Several of the carved pillars were attacked with such fury that they are hardly more than shapeless blocks of stones and a large portion of the central part has been
destroyed utterly (See also chapter II). Near this temple is the ‘ Puranandara Dasara Mantapa ‘ which has been also declared a protected monument. It is said that the great saint us-ed to sit in this mantapa and compose his keertanas. There is a new Jaina Ashrama on Ratnakoota Parvata at Hampi (See chaptetr XV) . An Archaeological Museum is being maintained by the Central Government at Kamalapura near Hampi (See chapter XV). In 1966, a 23 days’ padayatra was organized by the Basava Samiti, Bangalore, from this place to BasavaKalyan in Bidar district, a distance of about 410 kilometres, to
bring home to the people the egalitarian principles propounded by the Sharanas. A ‘ Praudha Deva Raya Man tapa ‘ is also planned to be constructed here by the Samiti.
Harapanahalli : is a town at a distance of 205 kms. from Bellary city and is lying in a hollow surrounded by low lines of hills, the most noticeable of which is the Gosaingudda, so called from a Gosain’s tomb on its top. It is the headquarters of the taluk of the same name, and has a municipality. Between 1868 and 1882, it was the headquarters of the Deputy Collector who was then in, charge of the three western taluks. Harapanahalli was the seat of one of the most powerful Palayagar families (See Chapter II under Minor Ruling Families). The old fort is in ruins. It differs from the other well-known strongholds in the district inasmuch as it is built on a low ground instead of on a hill, and it depended for its strength chiefly on the two tanks which flank the whole of its two sides. It had a double line of fortifications, built on the usual plan with circular stone bastions connected by curtains and surrounded by a ditch and rough glacis. Inside it, there is a Hanuman temple and a Jaina shrine. The latter, noticeable on account of its graceful stone dhwaja-stambha, is commonly known as the ‘Bogar Basti ‘. It has a number of images of the Teerthankaras arranged in rows one above the other. About two kms. south-east of the town along the Arsikere road, is a temple of Venkataramanaswami. It is said to have been built by Dadayya and Ranga Nayaka, the first two palayagars, and inside the enclosure there are small! Shrines containing their figures and those of their wives. Kannu-Kottappa (eye-healer or literally eye-giver) is represented by a stone inscribed with a shanka, chakra and a rama, in a mantapa just north of the main shrine of the temple. The goprura over the east entrance of the temple was built by one Kandi Seshagiri Rao, who was a Tahsildar of Harapanahalli. The most popular temple in the town is that of ‘Uru-Devate’ (goddess of the town). It is a little building to the north of the Arsikere road. The daily worship in this is done by a person of the Beda caste. In front of it is an extraordinary collection of snake-stones of various sizes and shapes. Within the temple hang some painted gourds which are the votive offerings made by devotees. A car festival is held in honour of the goddess. The priest_on this occasion is a Badagi (carpenter), the office being hereditary in his family. There is a temple of Mailara Lingappa in the north-west corner of the town, where an annual festival takes place. It closely resembles that at Mailara in Hadagalli taluk. A school of astrology and Ayurveda (Bharat Jyotishya-Vaidya Pathashala) is being run here for the past about 48 years. The late B. Hayat Saheb Siddhanti founded here the publication of an almanac called the Siddhanta Panchanga. ‘There are five High Schools, one Teachers’ Training College and two Junior Colleges at this place.
Hire-Hadagalli (T. Hadagalli) is a village at a distance of 17 kms. south-west of Hadagalli (Huvina-Hadagalli) .It contains one of the best Chalukyan temples of the district. The building is fully described and illustrated in Rea’s book already referred to. Its chief attraction is the carvings on the two doorways and parts of exterior walls. In the bay on the north wall, for example, says Mr. Rea, ” every detail of the carved work is as minutely finished as jewellery”. There is a high school here.
Holalu (T. Hadagalli) is a village in the southwest corner of the taluk at a distance of 32 kilometres from Hadagalli. The place is noted. for the beautiful image of Anantashayana (Vishnu sleeping on the serpent) . It is well carved in black stone. It was apparently executed elsewhere and brought here, as stone of this kind is not available locally. A popular legend connects it with the shrine at Anantashayanagudi in Hospet taluk (see also the account of that place).
Hospet: is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name and has a municipality. It is situated at a distance of 64 kilometres from Bellary. It is an important commercial, industrial and educational centre. The town was built by the Vijayanagara king Krishnadeva Raya between 1509 and 1520 in honour of Nagaladevi whom he married. He called it, after her, Nagalapura, and it was one of his residences. In his time it was, in a way, the entrance gate to the city of Vijayanagara for the travellers coming from Goa and other western parts. According to Paes, a Portuguese traveller, it was a very strong place fortified with walls and towers and there lived in it many traders and it had a large population as the king induced many merchants to settle there. Krishnadeva Raya also made the enormous embankment south of the town which connects the two ends of the two parallel ranges of hills which, further south, enclose the Sandur valley. It was carried out with the assistance of Joao de la Ponte, a Portuguese engineer, whose services had been lent to the king by the then Governor-General of Goa. Along the top of it, now runs the chief road to the taluks of Hadagalli, Harapanahalli and Kudligi. Immediately south of the town, at the northern end of the big embankment, rises a prominent hill of a curious conical shape with smooth grass-covered sides, which is called the Joladarashi (meaning heap of jowar) hill .. Further east along the same range, is the bold peak of Jambunatha-Konda, about 3,000 feet above the sea-level, and half way up, in a very picturesque glen, is the temple of Jambunatha. The distance from Hospet to the foot of the hill is about three miles and a paved way leads up to the temple. The temple itself is of no particular interest, but there is a mineral spring which is believed to have healing virtues. The old Hospet town has one long bazaar street with a temple at the end of it and with a number of small lanes. Chittavadgi,
an important old suburb, was extended eastwards to join the rest of the town. There are three Muslim tombs east of the bazaar street ; they are said to be of persons slain in some battle. The well east of the bazaar street, called Subedar bhavi, and the mosque adjoining it were constructed, according to an Urdu inscription in the latter, in Hijri 1200 (A.D. 1785-86) by one Gaffur Khan who was the Subedar of Hospet under Tipu at that time. Now several new extensions have come up.An old industry of the place is cotton-weaving. Hospet was once famous for its trade in jaggery which is now under decline. Several new industries are coming up at this place. There is a sugar factory being run since 1935~36 by the India Sugars and Refineries Ltd. The Tungabhadra Steel Products Ltd .. is another important industrial concern established recently. There are several oil mills. After the steel plant is set up at Toranagal, there will be Good scope for starting ancillary industries at this place. There are several high schools and an arts, science and commerce college here. At Amaravati near here, many of the offices connected with the Tungabhadra Project are situated. (See also under Amaravati).
Jaramali (T. Kudligi) is a village and hill about 14 kilometres south-west of Kudligi. The hill is about ~2750 feet above sea-level and some 800 feet above the surrounding area and is a most conspicuous landmark for miles around. The fort on the top of it, now in ruins, was formerly the residence of a Palayagar. family.
Kamalapura (T. Hospet) ) is about 12: kilometers north-east of Hospet. It includes a part of the site of the old city of Vijayanagara. It was for some time the residence of the Raja or Anegcmdi. Jt contains a fort with a high, round tower in the centre, circular bastions at the four corners and other bastions in · the middle of the. walls connecting these. A stone well “within it is believed to be sacred to Brahma, Formerly, the manufacture of huge shallow iron pans used for boiling sugarcane juice, was a considerable industry in this village. The iron was brought by pack bullocks and was smelted and worked by blacksmiths.
Kampli (T. Hospet) is a town lying 33 kms. north-west of Hospet and 22 kms. from Kamalapura. Until 1851, this village was the headquarters of what is now Hospet taluk, which was then known as Kampli taluk. It has been an important place since ancient days. It was a Chalukyan capital in 1064 and the Cholas had once conquered it. Later, it is mentioned by Ibn Batuta as one of ‘the strongholds of the original chiefs of Anegondi and still later, it was a kind of outpost of the city of Vijayanagara. Its fort, which is built of the dark rock found locally in the bed of the Tungabhadra, stands on the edge of the river. It is said to have been built by one of the Palayagars of Bellary. The fort is crowded with houses. The ‘peta ‘, which is outside the fort, is also equally crowded. The streets in it are extraordinarily narrow. The great heroes, Kampila Raya and his son Kadugali Kumara Rama, died fighting the invading Muslim forces. Kampli formerly had a weaving industry. It also produced jaggery from the sugarcane grown on its wet lands and was also noted for wood-carving and manufacture of toys. There is a Cooperative Sugar Factory at Kampli working since 1954, which provides employment to about one thousand persons during the crushing season. The place has a ‘ Gandhi Kutir ‘ which renders social service to the people of the town.
Kanam.adavu (T. Kudligi), a hamlet of Alur revenue village situated about 40 kms. from Ujjini, has the samadhi of a Veerashaiva saint named Sharanarya who lived here about a hundred years back and who is stated to have performed miracles. The place has also a Veerashaiva Matha which is running a high school.
Kappagallu (T. Bellary) is a village 12 kilometres north-east of Bellary and about four kilometres from Moka Bellary road. The granite hill within its limits is known as the ‘Peacock Hill’. This name is said to have been given to the hill as it was the ‘ home ‘ of a number of peafowl in olden days. The hill is now chiefly noteworthy as containing the remains of an extensive pre-historic settlement.
There are three ash-mounds situated at the foot of the hill. Such mounds found in some places in the northern part of this State and in Andhra Pradesh have been ascribed to the neolithic age by some scholars. There has been difference of opinion about the origin and cause of these large-scale burnings. In 1965, an elaborate scientific examination of the biggest of the three ash-mounds here, which was better preserved, was made by G. G. Mujumdar and S. N . Rajaguru under the general guidance of H. D. Sankalia and the results were published in a monograph (“Ash-mound excavations at Kupgal “, Poona, 1966) . The diameters of the mound measured about 54 m. and 48 m. in north-south and in east-west directions and the highest portion was about 4.2m. from the level of the surrounding ground. Field and laboratory studies ” fairly confirmed” that the mound originated from burning of huge accumulation of cow-dung in the neolithic age. It appeared to the investigators that there were two burnings here, which were not of an industrial nature. However, the cause of such accumulation and its burning remained unknown; perhaps it was a ritual. The supposed metallurgical origin of slags and ashes here was disproved. At the base, there seemed to be a natural soil profile (sterile fossil soil) “developed on the gravelly and sandy granitic materials”. In the basal zone, were found patinated basaltic flake tools which were considered to be of a pre-neolithic age.
Kariganur (T. Hospet) is about four kms. from Hospet. It has recently gained importance because of iron ore mines.
Kenchanagudda (T. Siruguppa) is a village on the bank of the Tungabhadra, about six kms. south-west of Siruguppa. The place contains two forts, a lower fort in which most of its inhabitants used to reside formerly and an upper one on the top of the rock called Kenchanagudda, which gives the village its name and on which Kenchana Gowda, a local chief, had his mansion. After abandoning the lower fort, the population moved interior to a distance of about a mile from the river. At the foot of this rock is the temple of Gangadhara.
Built into its southern wall, is a long inscription, dated in the year 1708, giving the genealogy of Kenchana Gowda and stating that he built the temple and the upper fort. According to this record, he had three sons, of whom one Virupaksha followed him as the chief. This latter, who was called Pampapati, was succeeded by his widow Tangamma, whose name is well-known in the locality. She is said to have narrowly escaped capture by Tipu Sultan on one occasion. A story is told about the end of her rule, according to which she had two sons, who were both captured by Tipu. One was murdered and the other was converted to Islam. Fearing that this convert would succeed her, it is said, she made over her possession to the East India Company, in exchange for a life pension. The place has the cave of Siddha Mallayya., a saint, with a Kannada. inscription near it. The village also contains a brindavana (tomb) of a disciple of the famous saint Raghavendraswami of Mantralaya.
Kogali (T. Hadagalli) is a village six kms. north-west of the point where the three taluks of Hadagalli, Harapanahalli and Kudligi meet. In olden days, it was a place of some importance, being the chief town of a sub-division called the Kogali-500, corresponding more or less to the present Hadagalli and Harapanahalli taluks ; this was a part of Nolambavadi-32,000.
The village was also once a Jaina centre of considerable importance. Even now there is a Jaina Basti (temple) here with an image of a Teerthankara which is of more than a life-size and in the usual posture of contemplation. There are other Jain relics elsewhere not only in this village, but also in neighbouring villages. In and near the Basti are several inscriptions and these, along with the records in the Bagali temple (Harapanahalli taluk), give us particulars of some of the chiefs who ruled the area. In 944-45, it was governed by a Chalukya feudatory of the Rashtrakuta king Krishna III. Under the Chalukyas of Kalyana, it was ruled in 987-88 by Aytavarman and in 992-93 by Adityavarman (who might be the same as Aytavarman). In 1018, a Nolamba feudatory of the Chalukyas called Udayaditya was in charge of it and in 1068, it was ruled by Jayasimha, younger brother of the then ruling Chalukya king Someshwara II. Kogali itself has inscriptions belonging to the Chalukya, Hoysala and Vijayanagara periods.
Kombali (T. Mallapuram) is at a distance of about ten kilometres from Huvina-Hadagalli. Madalaghatta is a hamlet of this village situated on the right bank of the Tungabhadra river. ” Madalaghatta” means ” the first platform or dam ” and it is said that the village was so called, because it was the scene of the first attempts of the Vijayanagara kings to construct an anicut across the river. The remains of the old dam could be seen till recently, before they were submerged under the Tungabhadra reservoir. There is a picturesque temple of Anjaneya on the bank of the river (now the reservoir) . At the time of the annual jatra about the month of December, a large crowd assembles to witness the car festival. On the opposite bank of the river, is Korlahalli of Mundargi taluk in Dharwar district. There is a ferry route for crossing the Tungabhadra river to the Dharwar side.
Kottur (T. Kudligi) is the headquarters town of the hobli of the same name situated at a distance of about 19 kms. west-north-west of Kudligi. It is a commercial centre. It is sanctified by the samadhi (tomb) of a great saint named Basappa Lingaswamy or Kotra (Kottura) Basappa or Kottumswamy who lived at this place. There is a long purana in Kannada about him. His tomb is in a large rectangular stone building on the eastern side of the town. It is enclosed all round with granite walls, parts of which are carved. He is worshipped also in a big temple which is in the middle of the town. The shrine is said to have been originally dedicated to Veerabhadra. The saint is said to have set up a linga in ‘Muru Kallu Matha’ (meaning three-stone monastery); each side of each of its three shrines is built of three large blocks of stone. These sacred spots connected with the saint are visited by a large number of devotees.
The place is known for weaving of cotton cloths. The place is a centre of considerable commerce. The weekly market, which is the best attended in the area, provides a great opportunity for traders of all kinds. The place is having two high schools, a private college, a primary health centre and banking facilities.
Kudatini (T. Bellary) is a large village, 20 kms. west-north-west of Bellary and is on the railway line between Bellary and Hospet. Two Rashtrakuta inscriptions dated in the years 947 and 971 A.D. were found here, the latter mentioning the setting. up of an image of Skanda (Kumaraswamii) . Three grants of the Western Chalukya king, Vikramaditya VI, and one of Jagadekamalla of the same dynasty, belonging to the 11th and l2th centuries, were also discovered here. These frequently mention “the forest where Subramanya (Kumaraswami) sat in penance”. There are inscriptions belonging to the Hoysala and Vijayanagara periods also. There were found also two stones sculptured with figures apparently commemorating local heroes, besides a sati stone. East of the village, there is a line of black rocks formed by the out-crop of a trap dyke. Some five kms. from Kudatini, to the north of the pass leading to Toranagal, through the low-lying line of hills running down from the ‘ Copper Mountain’, is found a curious ash-mound, the origin of which gave rise to much speculation. (The local people call the spot” Boodikanive’ (ash-pass) or” Boodigunta” (ash-hill). Kudatini is one of the centres of blanket-weaving in the district. Very fine and costly blankets are made here. There is a high school in this village.
Kudligi is the headquarters of the taluk of the same name, and has a municipality. It is situated at a distance of about 80 kms. from Bellary city. The old town has narrow and ill-made lanes. There are now three well laid out extensions. There is a prominent temple of Siddheshwara on a rock south-west of the town. The festival of the village goddess was formerly a very popular event with the local people. The place is having a high school and banking facilities.
Kulahalli or Koovlahalli (T. Harapanahalli) is a Kulahalli village about ten kms. north-north-west of Harapanahalli. It contains a temple dedicated to Goni Basappa built in a style which is rather unusual Goni Basappa was a sanyasi who was held in great esteem in the region.
Kurugodu (T. Bellary) is a village situated at a distance of 28 kms. from Bellary on Bellary-Siruguppa road and lies close under the eastern end of Kurugodu hills which are conspicuous from Bellary to the north-north-west. It is a historical place. Inscriptions show that as far back as the beginning of the seventh century, it formed a part of the possessions of the early Chalukyas of Badami. Later, under the Chalukyas of Kalyana, it was the chief town of the Ballakunde-300 division. About 1185, it was also for some time a residence of the Western Chalukya kings. It was reduced in 1191 by the Hoysala king Ballala II. Much later, Kurugodu was one of the forts in the possession of Palayagar Hanumappa Nayaka referred to under Bellary. The present village and the fort were built by Devappa, a descendant of Hanumappa Nayaka, in 1701-02. Haidar Ali took this place in 1775 and probably improved the fort. The citadel on the top of Hanumanta hill and the lower fort are connected with each other by a path up the hill, protected at intervals by circular bastions.
At the western end of the village, is the temple of Basaveshwara with a conspicuous modern gopura. Within it is a large Nandi or Bull of Shiva, which is a monolithic sculpture, about l2 feet in height. Attached to the temple, is what is known as ‘Nilamma’s matha’ held in great esteem. Nilamma was the daughter of a resident of Sindigeri, five miles east of Kurugodu, who lived during Haidar Ali’s rule. She is said to have led a very virtuous life and is credited with having performed miracles. There are a number of viragals in the village.
On the site of old Kurugodu, there are also nine old temples forming one group and a tenth standing alone on the other side of the Hanumanta hill. All these temples have been constructed of granite without the use of mortar. The inscription in one of them, dated 1175-76 A.D., mentions its erection by a merchant. The architectural aspect of these temples has been dealt with in Chapter II. The place is noted for blanket-weaving. There is a high school here.
Kuruvatti (T. Hadagalli) is in the extreme west of the Hadagalli taluk on the hank of the Tungabhadra, at a distance of 36 kms. from Hadagalli. It is famous for its Chalukyan temple and its cattle fair. The latter takes place at the time of the car festival about February-March. The temple is dedicated to Mallikarjuna. It is built of black stone and is elaborately carved. Its chief attractions are two of its door-ways, the east door of the shrine being a specially fine example of the style.
In the mantapa in front of the door-way leading into the shrine is an elaborately carved torana, the only one to be found in the Chalukyan temples in this part. The building is described and illustrated in detail in Rea’s book. There is a high school here.
Mariammanahalli (T. Hospet) is about 11 kms.from Hospet. A number of families from the villages submerged under the Tungabhadra Project have been rehabilitated here.
Magala (T. Hadagalli) is a village south-west of Hadagalli, about 25 kms. from Hadagalli and about two kms. from the Tungabhadra. It is noted for its Chalukyan temple of black soap-stone, dedicated to Venugopalaswami. This consists of three shrines opening on to a central mantapa. The door-ways leading to the shrines from the mantapa, especially that on the west, are exquisite in design and workmanship. The ceilings too are probably the finest in the whole series of Chalukyan temples of the district. There is a Suryanarayana shrine in the premises.
Mailara or Mylara (T. Hadagalli) is in the extreme south-western corner of the Hadagalli taluk, at a distance of 33 kms. from Hadagalli town and about two kms. from the Tungabhadra river. It is well-known for the annual festival held every year about February at the local temple dedicated to Shiva in his form of Mailara or Mallari, meaning the defeater of Malla. A legend says that a demon called Mallasura and his brother, having perfomed a severe penance and extracted from Brahma a promise that they should never be harmed by any human being, began to harass the rishis who appealed to Shiva. The latter took on a new form, and taking with him his forces to the number of “seven crores “‘, also in new forms (of dogs), warred with the Asura and his brother for ten days and slew them both with his bow. The pilgrims to the festival go about shouting “Elukoti! Elukoti ! ” (seven crores). The ‘goravas ‘, a special name for the men and women who have taken the vow, dress themselves up in blankets and run about on all fours, ” barking and pretending ” that they are some of Shiva’s “army of dogs.” A huge wooden bow, about ten feet long, symbolic of that with which Shiva slew Mallasura, is brought and placed on one end. A Kuruba (shepherd), who would be fasting for some time, climbs partly up the bow, being supported by those near him. For a minute or two, he stares in the four directions and then begins trembling as a sign that he has divine inspiration and then calls out ‘silence!’. Then the pilgrims wait for what he may say by way of prophecy. After another minute or so and again gazing upwards to the heaven, the shepherd pronounces a word or a sentence which is believed to indicate the future for the coming year. The Mailara festival is also important as a cattle fair.
Mallappana-Betta (T. Hadagalli) is the chief peak of the Mallappana-Gudda range of hills which are of Dharwar rock and is at a distance of 16 kms. from Hadagalli. Standing about five kms. south-west of Sogi, it is about 3,177 feet above the sea-level. Its conical summit contains a natural cave, about 30 feet deep, in which has been placed an image of Mudi-Mallappa. A large number of people visit it on the new moon day of every month. The view from the top is well worth the climb. On a clear day, the hills as far as Rayadurga can be identified.
Moka (T. Bellary) ,the headquarters of the hobli of the same name, stands on the bank of the river Hagari and is at a distance of about 17 kms. from Bellary city. There is an agricultural farm here, and a large area of lands has been brought under irrigation. The Malleshwaraswamy temple here attracts a number of pilgrims, especially during the car festival.
Nimbalagiri (T. Kudligi) is a big arecanut-growing centre. It was also noted for the manufacture of woollen blankets.
Nilagunda (T. Harapanahalli) is 12 kms. southwest of Harapanahalli. It contains a small but beautiful Chalukyan temple dedicated to Bhimeshwara. The temple never seems to have been completed, the tower over the west shrine being unfinished and some of the blocks along the base being left uncarved. The carvings on the ceiling of the central compartment of the mantapa and on the door-way to the central shrine are very attractive. The images in the shrines of Ananthashayana and Lakshminarayana in this village are also fine examples of Chalukyan work. The steatite (soap-stone), of which these temples are built, must have been obtained from the hill in this village, which is the most important source of this kind of stone in the district.
Ramaghatta (T. Harapanahalli) is a village at a distance of 35 kms. from Harapanahalli. The blankets manufactured here are well-known for their fine texture.
Ramanadurga (T. Sandur) is a hill station at a distance of about 16 kms. from Sandur town and about 20 kms. from Hospet town. The Trigonometrical Station here is at a height of 3,256 feet from the sea-level. (A similar station at Sandur is at a height of 1,815 feet from the sea-level). On all the sides of this hill station, the ground falls sharply, thus affording excellent views into the Sandur valley on the one side and over the western taluks on the other. The place gets its name from the village and the fort of the same name, which stands on the southern end of the plateau. There are remains of the old fort, in the form of walls of enormous blocks of stones. According to a local tradition, it was built by prince Kumara Rama of Kampili, a great hero. The Ramadeva temple here is said to be named after Kumara Rama (who had been hidden in this area for some time by minister Bychappa Nayaka in order to save his life). This is confirmed by an inscription found at the place. Though it is not a contemporary record, it clearly states that a temple was erected in memory of Ramanatha Odeya (i.e., Kumara Rama) by his admirers in appreciation of his supreme sacrifice. The epigraph is dated in the Shaka year 1450 when Krishnadeva Raya was ruling. The present temple of Ramadeva, where this inscription was found, is reported to have been rebuilt out of the ruins of an older temple, apparently the one referred to in the inscription.
During the Second World War, army units had been stationed here. A hospital was built here to nurse wounded soldiers. A sanatorium set up here was used mostly for the benefit of soldiers and Europeans and later closed. There was a handicrafts training centre here during 1943-44. There are a few bungalows belonging to individuals of Bellary and other places. The mean temperature here for April and May is only 26.7″C. The highest figure recorded in the hottest month is 30.5″c. Beautiful mango gardens are situated here. During the months from August to December, every year, forest flowers of various colours, presenting a pleasing sight, can be seen here. When the steel complex at Toranagal near here comes up, the importance of this place will considerably increase. There is a proposal to construct a tourist bungalow at this hill station and to develop the place as a tourist spot. The western base of this hill has got rich deposits of haematite.
Sandur is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name, situated at a distance of about 48 kms. west of Bellary city. It has a municipality and a junior college and a high school. It was the capital of the Sandur State, a small principality, ruled by the Ghorpade ruling house.
The town is accessible through three passes, Bhimanagandi near Taranagar, Obalagandi towards Yeshawantanagar, and the Venkatagiri pass. According to one version, the name of the town is derived from ‘sandu’ + ‘ur’ which mean in Kannada gap (or pass) and town respectively. In the past, it is said to have been called also Skandapuri (i.e., city of Skanda or Kumaraswamy, whose temple is situated nearby) . It is a pretty town with equable climate. The place seems to have been Fortified in some way in olden days. Haidar Ali built a fort altogether outside it, west to the road leading to Bhimanagandi. It is called the Krishnanagar fort, a quadrangular structure with stone curtains, some 20 feet high, protected by frequent bastions and a terreplein inside and surrounded by a ditch and glacis ; it was entered into by only one gate-way. Beyond Krishnanagar, there is .Bhima-teertha and near Taranagar, a village at a short distance, there is Bhairava-teertha. Both these teertha have perenuial springs flowing from clefts in the rocks and there is a shrine at each of them. Above the Obalagandi pass also, there is a temple which is dedicated to Narasimhaswami.
The vitthoba temple at Sandur has a shrine containing wellcarved stone pillars and a beautiful ceiling. The Raja’s palace is an elegantly built modern structure. The famous Kumaraswami temple complex is about 12 kms. away from the town and is picturesquely situated on the wooded slopes at the head of a ravine.
A legend says that Karthikeya (Kumaraswami) on his way to the south from Kailasa rested here with sage Agastya.. Twice in five years, the ‘ Mahayatra ‘ of the deity is celebrated and this attracts pilgrims from various parts. According to a legend, Kumaraswami, the son of Shiva, killed a demon named Tarakasura who dwelt on the Sandur hills. There are a few Bati stones and several inscriptions in the temple. Among the epigraphs, the most interesting one is of the time of the Hoysala king Ballala II dated in the year 1206 A.D. It refers to gifts made formerly for offerings to the Shanmukha temple by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna III. There are actually two temples here, one dedicated to Parvati and the other to Kumaraswami. Both these are centrally protected monuments of national importance. The Parvati temple is the older one and architecturally also it is more important. It was constructed in the typical southern vimana style in the early Chalukyan period and is datable, according to the Archaeological Survey of India, ” perhaps to at least the middle of the 8th century A.D., if not slightly earlier “. A massive wagon-shaped tower on the roof of the front mantapa was also added. The top portion of the main tower of this temple over the garbhagriha seems to have been renovated at a later date. There are fine figures of divinities in the main cardinal niches and many well-executed images placed on pedestals in the interior of this temple. The other temple, that of Kumaraswami, which has become more well-known, belongs to the later Chalukyan period; it is datable to the late 11th century A.D. and is relatively plainer. It does not have now its original super structural tower, but has a renovated shikhara constructed later. The image of Karthikeya (Kumaraswami) is made of black stone and he holds a club in his hand and beside him stands a peacock, his usual vehicle. In accordance with an old custom, women do not see this image of Kumaraswami. Outside these temples, there is a tank with steps on all sides, which is called Agastya-teertha. It is surrounded by small shrines. A path, which takes off from the right side of the road, leads to a little shrine of Harishankara, where a perennial mineral spring pours through a rudely carved mouth of a cow, into a square basin. Also behind the shrine, there is a cave. At the foot of the hills on which the Kumaraswami temple stands on the Kudligi side, there is another shrine of Kumaraswami, known as Navilu-swami, meaning a peacock god.
Sarvodayagrama (T. Kudligi) is about three kilometres from Gudekota on the main road connecting Kudligi and Rampur. The settlement has been organised on Gandhian lines in an area of about a hundred acres, under the guidance of Shri M. Vasudevacharya, a Sarvodaya worker. The lands were donated by Shri Allum Karibasappa in 1961 under the Bhoodan Movement. A Co-operative Farming Society was established, which is now considered to be one of the best farming societies. Three irrigation wells were dug with the help of Rs. 10,000 donated by Shri Khushiram Sait. Activities of all-round development were taken up, as sufficient funds were made available to the society under ‘ Rural Development Funds ‘ and other schemes. A considerable extent of lands was levelled and rendered fit for modern agriculture. The Government constructed 14 houses under the Rural House-Building Scheme. There is a cow-shed sufficient for about 100 cows, where cows sent by Gorakshaka Sabha are protected. In 1969, a tank at an estimated cost of Rs. 2,40,000 was constructed by Government. It can now supply water to about 200 acres. There is a recreation centre, a godown, a drinking water well, a fish-pond, a poultry-farm wherein 100 birds are kept, and a Government primary school. The institution is also aiming at starting a model school, a health centre and a dairy farm.
Seedaragadda (T. Bellary) is about eight kms. from Bellary city. The Central Government is running a Soil Conservation and Research Station here.
Shidigallu- (T. Kudligi), until recently, was well-known for smelting of iron which was brought on pack bullocks from the Sandur area.
Siruguppa is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name standing on a narrow branch of the Tungabhadra at a distance of 56 kilometres on Bellary-Raichur road. It has a town panchayat and one high school. The name Siruguppa perhaps means ” pile of wealth ” and is well-earned by it on account of its rich wet lands watered by the channels from the river. The lands around this place, together with those surrounding Ibrahimpura and Desanur, are reputed to be among the best lands in the district. From these lands are sent to Bellary and other places large quantities of paddy, plantains, cocoanuts, sweet potatoes and garlic. On a bastion of the fort here, stands an old temple of Shambhulinga, the oldest temple of the place. The temple of “Kotturu Basavanna” is a modern structure with a conspicuous gopura. It was built in 1887 by a rich local merchant. A sugar factory is being established at this place.
Sogi (T. Hadagalli) is about nine kilometres south-east of Hadagalli. It is known for its melons which arc considered to be of special sweetness and are very large. There is a Chalukyan temple of Kalleshvara in the village. The place has a high school.
Somalapura (T. Sandur) is a village on the road from Kudligi to Sandur situated at a distance of 9 kms. from Sandur. lt contains three varieties of pot-stone occurring in the beds close to the base of the Dharwar rocks. The stone is used for making vessels, etc
Tambrahalli (T. Mallapuram) is a village situated about mid-way between Bellahunishi and Hampasagara. It is at a distance of 56 kms. from Hospet. A Ranganatha temple is situated at a distance of about four kms. from Tambrahalli west colony and it is said that it (the temple) was constructed about 300 years ago by Obaraya Nayaka who was then the Palayagar of this area and was subordinate to the chief of Harapanahalli. The deity is said to be an udbhavamrurthi and is very small in size. The image of Narayana is lying on a serpent and there is also a Shivalinga beside the deity. There is a step-well which is attached to the temple. A car festival in honour of the deity is held in the month of Phalguna (about March) on the full moon day. A poultry unit has been organised here under the Applied Nutrition Programme.
Telckailakota (T. Siruguppa) is a town 43 kms. north of Bellary on the Siruguppa road. West of it, lies a bold group of granite hills containing many fine blocks and tors. The place is called ‘Papekallu’ in a Kannada inscription dated in the year 1021 A.D. found on a rock here. The epigraph was meant for announcing concessions in payment of dues on cultivated lands and mentions an officer of high rank named Brahmadhiraja who had the responsibility of the entire administration (Samasta-Rajyabhara-Nirrupita) (“The Stone-age Hilldwelllers of Tekkalakota ” by Nagaraja Rao, M. S. and Malhotra, K. C., pp. 104-105, Poona, 1965) . Along with the village adjoining it, Tekkalakota came under the control of Palayagar Hanumappa Nayaka of Bellary after the down-fall of Vijayanagara. He built a fort which stood round about the Amareshvara temple in the southern part of the village, but of which almost no trace now remains. It was perhaps from this fort that the village got its name, which means southern fort, in contrast with the Hale-kote or the old fort, further north.
It appears that in 1725, Hanumappa’s descendants who were ruling Tekkalakota from Bellary, lost it to the Muslim governor of Adoni. In 1759, Basalat Jung, who then held the Jagir of Adoni, appointed one Hassanulla Khan as the Amildar of Tekkalakota. Ten years later, in 1769, Basalat Jung gave it as jagir to one Pir Mohidin Saheb. It was captured by Haidar Ali in 1775, and he built the square stone fort which adjoins the Siruguppa road. The Amareshvara temple contains an inscription which states that it was built by one Jakka Raya in 1511, as an offering to Shiva and in honour of the king Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagara. The temple, which had been nearly buried in earth and debris, was excavated and provided with a set of steps leading down to it.
West of the village, is the temple of Kadu Siddappa, a saint, and a mantapa under which he is buried. Many miracles are said to have been performed by Kadu Siddappa. It is stated that he brought rain whenever it was wanted, protected the village cattle from wild beasts and on one occasion mounted a wall and made it move about. His help is still invoked when difficulties arise. In the north-eastern part of the village, about two miles away, is a temple of Hari Mallappa, where a festival and a fair are held annually. The place is noted also for weaving of cloths by the Dudekula section of Muslims. There is a high school here.
- S. Nagaraja Rao conducted excavations at the site on the hills of Tekkalakota in order to ascertain the particulars of living of the stone-age hill-dwellers of the area. This was done between November 1963 and March 1964 under the direction of H D. Sankalia and the results were published in a monograph (“The Stone-age Hill-dwellers of Tekkalakota,” Poona, 1965). Pottery characterised by grey, pale-grey, brown, buff, dull-red and black and red wares, edge-tools, non-edge tools, blades, etc. made of stone, bone tools and bone and shell objects, terracottas, beads, a well-made copper axe besides five small copper objects, two gold ornaments, fractional burials and animal remains were discovered. The evidence disclosed a settled life, domestication of animals, practising of agriculture and making of pottery during the neolithic period. The basic technology was of stone, and copper played a very restricted role during the period. An examination of the human skeletal remains by K. C. Malhotra revealed that the racial types that existed there were ‘mediterranean’ and ‘proto-australoid’ in a mixed form.
Toranagal (T. Sandur), situated on the road linking Bellary and Hospet, is about 28 kms. west of Bellary city and 21 kms. east of Hospet. The village is said to take its name from the fact of its being the outer gateway (torana) to Vijayanagara city. The village has a wood . depot belonging to the Forest Department. The great bare blocks of rocks surrounding the conical hill which rises close to the village, are in strong contrast with the smoother, grass-covered slopes of the Sandur hills. On the north side of the hill, occurs a very handsome dark prophyry, its blackish grey base studded with bright fleshcoloured felspar crystals of large size” In some parts of the rock, the longer axes of these crystals lie in two directions which are nearly at right angles to each other.
Toranagal has been selected for the location of the fifth integrated steel plant and will become a big steel town. The Prime Minister of India inaugurated the work on the fifth steel plant on October 14, 1971. The Vijayanagara Steel Project, as it has been called, is designed for an initial production of two million tonnes of steel with the provision for future expansion to four million tonnes.
The new township will assume huge proportions and will occupy about ten thousand acres of land to accommodate the workers and the service ,population alone in addition to a similar area to be covered by the plant complex. The population is expected to reach the figure of two-and-a-half lakhs during the first phase (by about 1980), while it may reach the optimum of five Iakhs by the end of the current century. The development of the town is proposed to be entrusted to a statutory body called the New Town Development Authority to be constituted under the proposed amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act. The primary object of the authority will be to develop a co-ordinated town, not only for the steel plant, but also covering the whole region including ancillary industries. The State Government have already constituted an official committee for considering the questions of accelerating land acquisition, planning, water supply facilities, transport and communications in the area. It will also consider the questions relating to training of technical personnel and labour. The Toranagal site is served by broad and metre-gauge railway lines, as well as by a State Highway leading to Hospet and Bellary. The two air strips in the vicinity at Bellary and Ginigera can be further developed.
The Tungabhadra Dam, about six kms. from Hospet, has become a centre of tourist attraction. The reservoir formed by the construction of the dam has spread within a gorge and makes a vast sheet of water extending over an area of 146 square miles. The project, though primarily intended for irrigation, generates electricity also as a bye-product. It attracts a large number of tourists, including students of engineering. The Tungahhadra Board maintains a motor launch in the reservoir which is made available to the tourists for pleasure trips. The facilities made available to anglers for fishing in the pools formed in the canals provide an additional attraction for tourists. There is a Tourist Home at the T. B. Dam site. There are three guest houses located on the hillocks on either side of the Tungabhadra Dam, namely, ‘Vaikuntha’, ‘Indra Bhavan’, and ‘Kailasa’, which command excellent views of the reservoir. Besides these guest houses, there are also two inspection bungalows.
There is also an air strip at Ginigera (in Raichur district) which is situated at a distance of about 12 kms. from the dam site. When the steel plant comes up, this area is bound to attract more tourists, if adequate and suitable accommodation and other facilities are provided. The Government of Mysore have recently sanctioned a sum of Rs. 1.20 lakhs for constructing a large rest shed in the Tungabhadra camp area. This will remove the difficulties of middle income group tourists to some extent.
Uchchangidurga (T. Harapanahalli) is a village and a hill-fortress in the south-east corner of the taluk, at a distance of 28 kms. from HarapanahaHi. The old name of the place appears to have been Uchchashringi, which, inscriptions show, to have been one of the chief towns of the Kadambas about the fifth century A.D. Later on, it was the capital of the province called ‘Nolambavadi-32,000.’ It was reputed to be a highly impregnable fort. It was taken from the Nolambas by the Ganga king Marasimha II about 970. The place was governed in 1064 by a Chalukyan prince of Kalyana and in 1165 by a local Pandyan chief named Vijaya-Pandyadeva. Records at Bagali mention three other Pandyan chiefs who held this place between 1079-1100. According to an inscription, the Hoysala king Ballala II took it from a Pandyan ruler but restored it to him.
The hill consists of a very bare, steep, rocky ridge, more than a kilometre in length from north to south. On the north and west, its sides are almost perpendicular and it has been likened to the fortress at Gwalior. A modern village stands at the foot of the rock and. on its top, in addition to a few houses, there is a wellknown temple of Uchchangiamma. The Dasara festival in this temple is largely attended. There is a high school at this place.
Ujjini (T. Kudligi) is a big village near the southern border of the taluk, some 16 kms. south-south-west of Kottur and about 21 kms. from Kudligi. It is the seat of one of the important religious heads of the Veerashaivas. This ancient religious institution is called Ujjayini Saddharma Peetha. The matha of this guru is the most notable building in the village and has, within its walls, a temple of Siddheshwara. There is a finely carved lotus on the ceiling of one of the compartments of the mantapa in front of the shrine in this temple. There is a private high school and a Sanskrit Pathashala run by the matha here.
Viranadurga (T. Kudligi) is a boldly picturesque granite hill, about six kms. south of Kudligi. It is impregnable on all sides except the north, where there are some houses built close to it. The fort on the top of it is said to have been unsuccessfully attacked by Tipu.
Yeshwantanagar (T. Sandur) is a small pleasant township, about eight kms. from Sandur. The registered office of the Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Ltd. is located in the ‘Lohadri Bhavan’ here.
Yemmiganur (T. Bellary), situated at a distance of about 46 kms. away from Bellary, has the samadhi of a great saint known as Jade Tata. The Low-Level Canal of the Tungabhadra Project has provided irrigational facilities as a result of which the village has considerably improved.