Oct 21, 2017

Purandara Dasara Mantapa, Hampi

August 14, 2014
This was our second day at Hampi. We had planned to spend half day here exploring the ruins, mostly by foot. We started at Virupaksha temple, walked the market street, visited Rama-Lakshmana and Yantrodharaka Hanuman temples, Varaha temple, Vyasaraja Matha and King's Balance which is near Vittala Temple. It was Pushpa's suggestion we take a different route back towards Varaha temple which passed by Purandaradasara Mantapa. This is the view from the river bank.. Purandaradasara Mantapa and Anjanadri Betta in the back-ground.

The Mantapa is actually in the river bed, similar to Krishnadevaraya's tomb at Anegundi. The mantapa is a simple looking structure, built of heavy granite blocks. It seems the mantapa is situated on a rockbed, no foundation required and also the reason for it surviving so many years. The platform next to the mantapa is a recent addition, every year a 2 or 3 day Carnatic music festival is held in memory of Sri Purandara Dasa. Its nice to see this historically important structure maintained nicely.

We enter the mantapa from the platform side. Purandara Dasa Namah.

The air in here was cool, nice break from the heat. This mantapa is made of 60 pillars, it is approximately 70' long, 40' wide and 10' high. As you see the pillars and beams are quite heavy, the workmanship is excellent.

One of the pillars has an image of  Sri Purandara Dasa facing the river side. Its a neat little sculpture depicting the great musician attired in a Kacche, Peta, Tamburi and Kartal. It is said that Purandara Dasa spent his last years at Hampi, singing at Sri Krishnadeveraya's court. He composed keertans in this mantapa. Our beloved Dasa wanted to compose 5 lakh keertans but he could complete 4.75 before he passed away at 80 years. Legend says that he took birth as Vijayadaasa at Cheekalparvi village near Manvi in Raichur district.

Another view of the interior. Try to imagine Purandara Dasa pacing around slowly engrossed in composing and singing. Probably his attendants and disciples would assist him with daily activities like cooking and cleaning.

Silently Pushpa has slipped out, found a comfortable spot to cool off. Tungabhadra is barely flowing.. usually this time of the year the river should be flowing well, submerging the matapa partly if not completely. The sound of water gurgling through the rocks was music. For poets this is really an inspiring spot!

The water is not too deep, a local man was fishing here, average height, water was chest level. There will be deeper spots, one needs to be careful if unfamiliar with this spot. Tungabhadra's path has lot of bends and narrow spots as it flows by Hampi and Anegundi, the current cant be trusted here.

A tiny stream over a rock follows an ancient path. Gentle waves are created as the stream's width narrows suddenly.

I too found a comfortable spot, raised my trousers and dipped my feet into the cool water. Ah, so refreshing. A moonlit night would be mesmerizing here.

We spent more time on the rocks than in the mantapa :)

We continued our exploration, back towards Achyutraya temple complex.

Oct 14, 2017

Shirdi Sai Baba temple and Basavanna of Vennached

A school time friend who's a builder posted a Whatsapp message about this beautiful temple some time 2016. Its unique look was captivating - its design was fresh and inspiring. A visit to Vennached was decided for sure. The shortest route from Hyderabad to Vennached is about 120 kms. Somehow a day trip never materialized. A trip to Dharwad was planned in August and we decided to touch Vennached on the way to Anegundi.

Aug 12, 2017
We left home early morning; took the ORR and exited at Telangana State Police Academy unction towards Vikarabad. The road was good excepting that passing through towns was slower than before because of ongoing road work. Soon we were at Ghadisingapur village; my plan was to turn left towards Dirsumpalli however a local person suggested us to go little further and turn left at Thunkimetla village. We were deep inside Telangana.. the countryside was interesting, a nice break from the concrete jungle we lived in. The road passed by several Lambani Thanda; we saw Lambani women in their traditional attire.. colorful skirts and blouses studded with mirrors and coins. Even their houses were unique.. the doors had colorfully painted frames. We reached Kosigi around 7-50; we stopped for breakfast and then resumed our journey. It was 8-30 when we entered Vennached. The temple is situated at the village square, the space around a 100 year old Neem tree.

So here we are looking at Vennached's Sai Mandir. What makes this structure unique is its perforated walls and Shikhara. These walls crate an enclosure yet connect the two sides- inside and outside. Light and air have plenty of ways to flow either ways. Adjoining the temple is a spacious platform partly shaded by the Neem tree. The design is neat and simple, giving it a classy look.

The temple is built on the traditional lines. It is east-facing, raised from the ground level, has a Pradakshina and a Shikhara. The temple has a high doorway like the doorway under a Gopura. The doors are wooden.

View of the Garbhagudi through the entrance.

The interior is simple and in lines with the exterior. However, people have cluttered the space with furniture. The temple design actually has provided the required utilities yet.. A family was participating in the Abhisheka ritual.

The walls are built in layers; the layers' thickness increases from bottom to top. The walls are made of red clay hollow bricks and grey stones called as Tandor stone. It seems like the designers wanted to keep use the least amount of cement as possible. Tandor stone, also known as Shahabad stones is a commonly used for building houses in Gulbarga district and surrounding places. The stones are used for walls, floors and roofs - not to mention shelves. You can see water tanks and benches too.

Closer look at a wall. The lower pradakshina. Its fun to see the game of light and shadows.

The building hasn't used much of paint. Only the columns and the hydro tower are painted.

Closer look at the bricks. My friend had remarked that building these walls wouldn't be easy work. From the looks of the quality, it needs skilled labor and careful supervision.

The temple platform for village meetings. The Neem tree too has a circular platform around it. Ample space for villagers to rest on. In fact, a small gathering was in progress; the rural electricity board meter reader was collecting dues.. a small crowd had gathered; everyone waiting for their turn.

The northern and eastern walls. The Shikhara is in Rekhanagara style, one of the styles that can be seen at Galaganatha temple at Pattadakal. Its truly an amazing structure. Like our ancient temples, seems like this too will not require much of maintenance.

The rear wall. The walls seem like inviting people to visit the temple. At the right of this picture is the hydro tower. The builder has careful eliminated the use of fiber tank.

Building the Shikhgara would have a difficult task. It looks so symmetrical.. wonderful creation.

Sai Mandir and Neem tree. It is said that, at Shirdi, when Sai Baba as a young lad used to meditate under Neem tree.

As I was walking near the rear wall I happened to notice a lovely statue of Basaveshwara. It was a pleasant surprise. I knew about presence of Lingayath community in Telangana but I'd never seen any pictures or idols of Basaveshwara yet. So this confirms people here are familiar of Basaveshwara. The pedestal seems semi-finished. The statue was unveiled on May-19, 2013. Wondering if Basava's vachana's are known to Telugu speaking folks.. meaning have the vachanas been translated to Telugu?

Well, the visit to Vennached was worthwhile, I got a chance to see one of the most beautiful buildings. Simple, neat, beautiful and practical. Thanks to my friend Nag (CNN).

How to reach Vennached from Hyderabad.
  • Hyderabad - Moinabad - Chevella - Manneguda - Parigi - Kodangal - Gadisingapur - Thunkimetla - Kosigi - Janampalli - Vennached.
  • Hyderabad - Moinabad - Chevella - Manneguda - Parigi - Kodangal - Gadisingapur - Dirsumpalli - Mallepalli - Gumdal - Vennached (this route is slightly shorter)
  • Hyderabad - Mahbubnagar - Mohammadabad - Janampalli - Vennached

Oct 7, 2017

Gagan Mahal - Sky Palace, Anegundi

August 13, 2017
Gagan Mahal is the most prominent building in Anegundi village. This brick and lime-mortar structure was built in the XVI Century by Vijayanagara rulers. From the heights of this palace, women of the royal family would watch the market during festivals.. window shopping from the lap of luxury :) The architecture is a mix of Hindu and Islamic designs. It's look and feel are in the  same lines as Kamal Mahal (Lotus Mahal) at Hampi and Gagan Mahal of Penukonda.

Gagan Mahal has three levels- ground, first and terrace. The ground floor is always locked, out of bounds for tourists. In the elevation, the building is symmetrical; it has 3 balconies; capped by three towers; and flanked by towers with balconies at the top. The terrace can be reached through the tower on the right. As you see the towers are stepped, the signature style of Vijayanagara's residential buildings.

Lets go into the building.. this is the first floor.. the door is at the far end of this aisle cum balcony. The building has plenty of windows.. ample way for air flow. The walls at the right and far end seems to be recent additions.. guessing by their looks.

Its one long hall inside; there are three balconies and two rooms. Graceful arches join the building's columns and beams. The interior is similar to Islamic buildings excepting the sharp corners here.

The arched balcony covered by a grill. The balconies are designed for one way view. Those sitting inside can see outside but from outside, the inside of the building wouldn't be clear. Also the dimness would help keep the interior cool.

A comfortable nest. Back then the platform would be covered by soft beds and colorful sheets. Ample pillows and cushions to lean on. One would not leave this place on a hot summer day. The building designed for good for night life too, especially a moonlit night.

Through the spiral stairway in the tower the terrace can be reached. All the towers have shelters.. probably they were sentry posts. After all a king's palace needs security.

End to end view of the terrace.

The corner tower has a small staircase leading into a nest. Its also possible lamps were placed inside the nests.. the palace would have an enchanting look during a dark night.

I wish this monument was better maintained.. Kishkinda Trust who's in charge of preserving this heritage village should take steps in restoring the palace like how Andhra Tourism has maintained Gagan Mahal at Penukonda.

Sep 30, 2017

Saat Qabar - Sixty Graves, Bijapur

ಸಾಠ ಕಬರ್....

೧೮ ಆಗಸ್ಟ್ ೨೦೧೭ ಧಾರವಾಡದಿಂದ ಹೈದರಾಬಾದ್ಗೆ ಹೊರಡಲು ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆ ಸುಮಾರು ೬ ಗಂಟೆಗೆ ಮನೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟೆವು. ಸಿದ್ದಿ ಈಗಲೂ ಕೂಡ ಕೆಲವು ಜಾಗಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡಲು ಮೊದಲೇ ಯೋಚಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಹಂಪಿ, ಆನೆಗುಂದಿ ಎಲ್ಲ ಸುತ್ತಾಡಿ ಚರ್ಮ ಸುಟ್ಟಿದ್ದರೂ ಸಿದ್ದಿ ಜಾಗಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡುವ ಯಾವ ಅವಕಾಶವನ್ನೂ ಬಿಡುವದಿಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ನನಗೆ ಗೊತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಹುಬ್ಬಳ್ಳಿಯಲ್ಲಿರುವ ನಮ್ಮ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಕರನ್ನು ಸಂಧಿಸಿ, ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಸಮಯ ಅವರೊಡನೆ ಕಳೆದು ಮುಂದೆ ಹೋಗುವದರಲ್ಲಿ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ತಡವೇ ಆಯಿತು.ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ ಕಲ್ಬುರ್ಗಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಉಳಿದುಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು ಅನ್ನುವ ವಿಚಾರವನ್ನು ಬದಲಿಸಿ ಬಿಜಾಪುರದಲ್ಲೇ ಉಳಿಯುವದೆಂದು ನಿರ್ಧರಿಸಿದೆವು.

ಇದು ಬಿಜಾಪುರಕ್ಕೆ ನನ್ನ ಸಿದ್ಧಿಯೊಂದಿಗೆ ಎರಡನೇ ಭೇಟಿ. ಮೊದಲ ಸಲ ಬಂದಾಗ ಯಾವ ಜಾಗಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡಲಿಕ್ಕೆ ಆಗಿರಲಿಲ್ಲವೋ ಅವುಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡುವದು ಎಂದು ನಿರ್ಧಾರವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಅದರಂತೆ ಬಿಜಾಪುರಕ್ಕೆ ಬರುತ್ತಿದ್ದಂತೆ ಲಂಡಾ ಕಸಬ್ ತೋಪನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ ಸಾಠ ಕಬರ್  ನೋಡಲು ಹೊರಟೆವು. ಈ ದಿನ ಅಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಬಿಸಿಲಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ನಮಗೂ ಸರಿಯಾದ ದಾರಿ ತಿಳಿದಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಗೂಗಲ್ ಡೈರೆಕ್ಷನ್ ಮ್ಯಾಪ್ ಆನ್ ಮಾಡಿದೆ. ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ದೂರ ಹೋದ ಮೇಲೆ ಅದು ಕೂಡ ಸರಿಯಾದ ದಾರಿ ತೋರಿಸದಾಯಿತು. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಯಾರನ್ನಾದರೂ ಕೇಳೋಣ ಎಂದು ಕಾರ್ ಕಿಟಕಿ ಇಳಿಸಿ ಇಬ್ಬರಿಗೆ ಕೈ ಮಾಡಿದೆ. ಅವರು ನಾವು ಕೇಳುವ ಮುಂಚೆಯೇ ನಮಗೆ ಆ ಕಡೆ ಹೋಗಬೇಕೆಂದು ಹೇಳಿದರು. ಬಹುಶ ತುಂಬಾ ಜನ ಪ್ರವಾಸಿಗರಿಗೆ ಮಾರ್ಗದರ್ಶನ ಮಾಡಿದ ಮಹಾನುಭಾವರಿರಬೇಕು .. ಅವರಿಗೆ ಧನ್ಯವಾದ ಹೇಳಿ ಅವರು ಹೇಳಿದತ್ತ ಹೋದೆವು. ಸಿದ್ದಿ ಮೊದಲೊಮ್ಮೆ ಇಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಬಂದಿದ್ದರು. ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ ಸಮೀಪ ಹೋದಾಗ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಜಾಗ ನೆನಪಿಗೆ ಬಂತು. ಕಾರ್ ಅಲ್ಲಿಯವರೆಗೂ ಹೋಗಲ್ಲ ಇಲ್ಲೇ ನಿಲ್ಲಿಸಿ ಹೋಗೋಣ ಎಂದರು. ಸರಿ ಎಂದು ಕಾರ್ ಅಲ್ಲೇ ನಿಲ್ಲಿಸಿ ನಡೆಯತೊಡಗಿದೆವು. ಮಣ್ಣಿನ ಇಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಾದ ದಾರಿ, ಎರಡು ಕಡೆ ಕಂಟಿ ಬೇಲಿಗಳು. ಅದರಲ್ಲೂ ಬಣ್ಣ ಬಣ್ಣದ ಹೂಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಬಣ್ಣ ಬಣ್ಣದ ಚಿಟ್ಟೆಗಳು. ನಡೆಯಲು ತುಂಬಾ ಖುಷಿ ಎನಿಸಿತು. ತುಂಬಾ ದೂರ ಏನಿಲ್ಲ ಸುಮಾರು ೨೦೦ ಮೀ ದೂರ ನಡೆದರೆ ಸಾಕು ನಾವು ಸಾಠ ಕಬರ್ ಬಳಿ ತಲುಪಬಹುದು.

ಸಾಠ ಕಬರ್ ಬೇರೆ ಐತಿಹಾಸಿಕ ಸ್ಮಾರಕಗಳಿಗಿಂತ ಭಿನ್ನವಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದರ ಕುರಿತು ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಅಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಚನ್ನಾಗಿ ನಿಗಾ ವಹಿಸಿಲ್ಲ. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಜನ ಬರದೇ ಇರುವ ಕಾರಣದಿಂದ ಈ ಜಾಗ ಬಿಕೋ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಿರುತ್ತದೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಅರವತ್ತು ಗೋರಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಲವೊಂದಿಷ್ಟು ಒಡೆದಿವೆ, ಕೆಲವು ಬಿರುಕು ಬಿಟ್ಟಿವೆ, ಕೆಲವುದರ ಮೇಲೆ ಕಸ ಬೆಳೆದಿದೆ. ಇದು ಬಿಜಾಪುರದ ಐತಿಹಾಸಿಕ ಸ್ಮಾರಕಗಳಲ್ಲೇ ಕಪ್ಪು ಚುಕ್ಕೆಯಾಗಿ ಉಳಿದುಬಿಟ್ಟಿದೆ. ಆದರೂ ಕೂಡ ಬಿಜಾಪುರಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದ ಪ್ರವಾಸಿಗರು ಇದನ್ನು ನೋಡದೆ ಹಿಂತಿರುಗಲು ಇಷ್ಟ ಪಡುವದಿಲ್ಲ. ಎಣಿಸಿ ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಒಟ್ಟು ಅರವತ್ತಮೂರು ಗೋರಿಗಳನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ಗೋರಿಗಳು ಅಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಆಕರ್ಷಕವಾದ ವಿನ್ಯಾಸವನ್ನೇನು ಹೊಂದಿಲ್ಲ, ಬೇರೆ ಐತಿಹಾಸಿಕ ಗೋರಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಹೋಲಿಸಿದರೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಸಾಧಾರಣ ವಿನ್ಯಾಸದಲ್ಲಿವೆ.

ಗೋರಿಗಳ ಕಟ್ಟೆಗೆ ಹತ್ತಿಕೊಂಡು ಒಂದು ಕಟ್ಟಡವಿದೆ. ಅದರ ಮೇಲೆ ಹತ್ತಲು ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಕೂಡ ನಾವು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ಅದರ ಕಟ್ಟಡ ಬೇರೆ ಮುಸ್ಲಿಂ ಐತಿಹಾಸಿಕ ಕಟ್ಟಡಗಳ ವಿನ್ಯಾಸದಲ್ಲೇ ಇದೆ. ಮೇಲೆ ಹತ್ತಿ ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಆ ಅರವತ್ತಮೂರು ಗೋರಿಗಳ ವಿಶಾಲ ನೋಟ ಕಾಣಬಹುದು.

ಈ ಕೆಳಗಿನ ಚಿತ್ರ ಗೋರಿಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆಯೇ ಇರುವ ಬಾವಿಯದು. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ನಾವು ಒಂದು ಮಸೂತಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಒಂದು ಟಾವರ್ ಕಟ್ಟಡವನ್ನು ಕೂಡ ನೋಡಬಹುದು. ಇದೇ ಬಾವಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನೂಕಿ ಈ ಅರವತ್ತಮೂರು ಜನರನ್ನು ಕೊಂದಿದ್ದು ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆ.

ಈ ಮಸೂತಿಯ ಕಟ್ಟಡದ ಮೂರು ಅಂತಸ್ತುಗಳನ್ನು ನಾವು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ಒಂದಸ್ತಿನಿಂದ ಮತ್ತೊಂದಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಲು ಮಸೂತಿಯ ಒಳಗಿನಿಂದ ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳಿವೆ. ಕಟ್ಟಡವು ತುಂಬಾ ಆಕರ್ಷಕವಾಗೇ ಇದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಅದರ ನಿರ್ವಹಣೆ ಅಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಚನ್ನಾಗಿಲ್ಲ.

ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣುವ ಬುರುಜು, ಬಾವಿಯಿಂದ ನೀರು ಸೇದಿ ಬೇರೆಡೆಗೆ ನೀರು ಸಾಗಿಸುವ ಕಟ್ಟಡದಂತೆ ಕಾಣುತ್ತದೆ.

ಕೆಳಗಿನ ಚಿತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಸೂತಿ ಒಳಗಿನಿಂದ ಮೇಲೆ ಬರಲು ದಾರಿಯನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು.

ಮಸೂತಿಯ ಒಳಗಿನ ಚಿತ್ರ. ಈ ರೀತಿಯ ಕಟ್ಟಡ ವಿನ್ಯಾಸವನ್ನು ನಾವು ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಐತಿಹಾಸಿಕ ಮುಸ್ಲಿಂ ಕಟ್ಟಡಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣಬಹದು.

ಮಸೂತಿಯ ಹೊರಗಿನಿಂದ ತೆಗೆದ ಚಿತ್ರ.

ಅರವತ್ತು ಗೋರಿಗಳ ಕಥೆ....
ಈ ಅರವತ್ತಮೂರು ಗೋರಿಗಳ ಕತೆ ತುಂಬಾ ರೋಮಾಂಚಕ ಹಾಗೂ ದುಃಖದಿಂದ ಕೂಡಿದೆ. ಈ ಗೋರಿಗಳು ಆಫ್ಜಲ್ ಖಾನ್ ಎಂಬ ಸೈನ್ಯಾಧಿಕಾರಿಯ ಹೆಂಡತಿಯರದೆಂದು ಹೇಳಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಆಫ್ಜಲಖಾನನು ಬಿಜಾಪುರ್ ಸುಲ್ತಾನ್ ಅಲಿ ಆದಿಲ್ ಶಾಹ್ ೨ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಸೈನ್ಯಾಧಿಕಾರಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದನು. ಇವನು ತುಂಬಾ ಧೈರ್ಯಶಾಲಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಯುದ್ಧಗಳನ್ನು ಗೆದ್ದವನಾಗಿದ್ದನು. ೧೬೫೯ ರಲ್ಲಿ ಬಿಜಾಪುರ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯವು, ಮುಘಲ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಮರಾಠರ ಆಕ್ರಮಣಕ್ಕೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕು ಕುಸಿಯತೊಡಗಿತು. ಆಗ ೨ನೆ ಅಲಿ ಆದಿಲ್ ಶಾಹ್ ನ ಅಪ್ಪಣೆಯಂತೆ ಆಫ್ಜಲ್ ಖಾನನು ಮರಾಠ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಠನದ ಶಿವಾಜಿಯನ್ನು ಎದುರಿಸಲು ಪ್ರತಾಪಘಡಗೆ ಹೋಗುವ ನಿರ್ಧಾರ ಮಾಡಿದನು. ಆಫ್ಜಲ್ ಖಾನನು ಜ್ಯೋತಿಷ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಪಾರವಾದ ನಂಬಿಕೆಯನ್ನಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದರಿಂದ, ಯಾವುದೇ ಯುದ್ಧಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗುವ ಮೊದಲು ಜ್ಯೋತಿಷಿಯ ಹತ್ತಿರ ಹೋಗಿ ಭವಿಷ್ಯವನ್ನು ಕೇಳುವದು ಅವನ ರೂಢಿಯಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಅದರಂತೆ ಈ ಸಲವೂ ಹೋಗಿ ಕೇಳಿದನು. ಜ್ಯೋತಿಷಿಯು ಈ ಬಾರಿ ಯುದ್ಧದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೋತು ಮಡಿಯುವದಾಗಿ ತಿಳಿಸಿ ಯುದ್ಧಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗದಿರಲು ಸೂಚಿಸಿದನು. ಆದರೆ ಆಫ್ಜಲ್ ಖಾನನು ಈಗಾಗಲೇ ಸುಲ್ತಾನರಿಗೆ ಮಾತು ಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ದರಿಂದ ಹೋಗದೆ ಇರುವದು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ.

ಅವನಿಗೆ ಈಗ ಒಂದು ದೊಡ್ಡ ಚಿಂತೆ ಎಂದರೆ ತನ್ನ ಮರಣದ ನಂತರ ತನ್ನ ಅರವತ್ನಾಲ್ಕು ಮಡದಿಯರು ಬೇರೆ ಮದುವೆ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದು. ಇದು ಅವನಿಗೆ ಸುತಾರಾಂ ಒಪ್ಪಿಗೆ ಇರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಅದಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಅವನು ಅವರೆಲ್ಲರನ್ನು ಯುದ್ಧಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗುವ ಮೊದಲು ಕೊಲ್ಲುವದಾಗಿ ನಿರ್ಧರಿಸಿಕೊಂಡನು. ಬಿಜಾಪುರದಿಂದ ಸುಮಾರು ೫ ಕಿ ಮೀ ದೂರದಲ್ಲಿರುವ ನವರಸಪುರ ಎಂಬ ಸ್ಥಳಕ್ಕೆ ತನ್ನ ಮಡದಿಯರನ್ನು ಒಬ್ಬೊಬ್ಬರನ್ನಾಗಿ ಕರೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಹೋಗಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಆಳವಾದ ಬಾವಿಗೆ ನೂಕಿ ಕೊಲ್ಲತೊಡಗಿದನು. ಹೋದವರು ಮರಳಿ ಬಾರದಿದ್ದನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ ಒಬ್ಬ ಹೆಂಡತಿಗೆ ಸಂದೇಹ ಬಂದು ಅವಳು ತಪ್ಪಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಓಡಿಹೋದಳೆಂದೂ, ಅವಳು ಯಾವುದೊ ಊರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿ ಅಲ್ಲೇ ಅವಳನ್ನು ಕೊಂದು, ಸಮಾಧಿ ಮಾಡಿದನೆಂದು ಪ್ರತೀತಿ ಇದೆ. ಉಳಿದವರ ಗೋರಿಗಳು ಆ ಬಾವಿಗೆ ಹತ್ತಿಕೊಂಡೆ ಇವೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ಗೋರಿ ಮಾತ್ರ ಖಾಲಿ ಇದೆ.

ಇದಾದಮೇಲೆ ಆಫ್ಜಲ್ ಖಾನ್ ಯುದ್ಧಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗುತ್ತಾನೆ. ೧೬೫೯ ನವೆಂಬರ್ ೧೦ರಂದು ಶಿವಾಜಿಯಿಂದ ಹತನಾಗುತ್ತಾನೆ.

ಇದೆ ಈ ಅರವತ್ತಮೂರು ಗೋರಿಗಳ ದಾರುಣ ಕತೆ. ಈ ಕತೆಯನ್ನು ನಾನು ನನ್ನ ಒಬ್ಬ ಸಹೋದ್ಯೋಗಿಗೆ ಹೇಳಿದಾಗ, ಅವಳ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ಆಫ್ಜಲ್ ಖಾನ್ ಸತ್ತಾಗ ಅವನ ವಯಸ್ಸೆಷ್ಟಿರಬಹುದು? ಮತ್ತು ಅವನು ೬೪ ಮದುವೆ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾದರೆ ಒಂದೇ ಬಾರಿಯಂತೂ ಇಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಮದುವೆ ಆಗಿರಲಿಕ್ಕಿಲ್ಲ, ಬಹುಶ ಈ ೬೪ ಹೆಂಡತಿಯರಲ್ಲಿ ಮದುವೆ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡು ಒಂದು ವರ್ಷದಲ್ಲೇ ಅಥವಾ ಅದಕ್ಕೂ ಕಡಿಮೆ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲೇ ಒಬ್ಬ ಹೆಂಡತಿಯಾದರು ಈ ದಾರುಣ ಹತ್ಯಾಕಾಂಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಲಿಯಾಗಿರಬಹುದು ಎಂದರು.... ನಿಜವಾಗಲೂ ಎಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಘೋರ! ಎನಿಸಿದ್ದು ಆ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ... :(

ಅಂತೂ ಸಾಠ ಕಬರ್ ನೋಡಿ ನಾನು ಸಿದ್ದಿ, ಬಾರಹ ಕಮಾನ್ ಕಡೆ ನಡೆದೆವು. ಮನಸ್ಸು ಮಾತ್ರ ಆ ಘೋರ ಹತ್ಯಾಖಾಂಡದ ಕತೆಯನ್ನೇ ಮೆಲುಕು ಹಾಕುತ್ತಿತ್ತು....


Sep 23, 2017

Aldi Buruj - the largest turret of Bijapur

August 18, 2017
I'd read about this monument in the tourism booklet on Bijapur a year ago and the day to see it finally arrived. This turret was the last spot on our list for the day. We drove through bad side roads of Bijapur to reach the northeast part of Bijapur fort i.e. behind Gol Gumbaz. The turret is truly massive.. much higher than Upli Buruj and greater in diameter in comparison to Badi tope Buruj of Bidar fort. This is the view of it as seen from outside the fort, from the bridge across the moat. As you see, the turret's condition is pretty good.

Another view from the bridge.. the turret is about 115 meters from where I stood. The approach to the turret's base was unfriendly, so before venturing into the chaos, I inquiries with few people. A young man fishing in the moat waters told me the stairway to the turret was closed and locked, no way to reach its top. The second inquiry was with a boy and his sister in school uniform; the boy said that few days back a group of boys had climbed it; one of them climbed the wall and reached the base of the curved stairway, then threw down a rope and the rest climbed holding on to the rope. Not much hope of reaching the top :(

This is the neighboring bastion, seen in the foreground in the previous picture. Check out slots in the wall.. for gunners to fire at enemy forces. Though it looks well preserved in this view, this structure has deteriorated.

Looks like the bastion was damaged when the rampart wall was demolished to make way for the road. However, these ancient structures are still strong, with little care they will make good tourist spots. Check out the circular hole on the right side of the wall. Wondering if its a rain water drain.

I made up my mind to reach the turret for a closer look. Except for the weeds, the surface was fine. View of Aldi Buruj from the rampart wall. On the turret is a semicircular wall.. the cannon swivel stopper. Its confirmed there's a cannon out there but no view of the cannon from here. The cannon is known as Aldi Buruj Tope.

I ventured right upto the structure. The base of the stairway was a good 15 feet from the my feet and not much of a hold too. Even if I climbed up, climbing down would be impossible without a rope or a ladder. Well.. hoping there's another time. So, I turned around to go back..

I was surprised to see people so close by.. I'd not realized them coming up here. They were local folks. One of them said that dared to ventured here after seeing me up here. In fact they had seen me on the bridge and then coming up. It seems he wanted to explore this but never got the courage because of the stories floating about a huge serpent around this spot. It seems they had checked out the base of the turret and found no stairway from there. He said a part of the stairway might have collapsed. Then we spoke of the cannon. I said the cannon might be as large as Landa Kasab Tope.. the young man said no, it a smaller one and it can be seen if moved to higher ground outside the fort. He pointed to a spot close by. I thanked him for the info. If not for them, I might have missed seeing the cannon.

While on the rampart, a view of the wonderful Gol Gumbaz. What an imposing structure.

We drove out of the fort and reached a spot slightly higher than bridge. The cannon came into view :) Yes, the young man was right. The cannon is smaller, about the same size as the cannons on Upli Buruj.. may be slightly larger.

I got two shots, here's a zoomed in view of it. The cannon is well preserved and it has a gunner sight too. Thanks again to those people.

Having traveled the entire day with lot of stops in humid weather was tiring. I just wanted to park the car, check into some place and take a nice cold bath. Pushpa did the searching and we decided on Sabala Heritage Home situated off Bijapur by-pass road. The resort was about 3.5 kms from Gol Gumbaz. We liked the place.. anything was fine from the dusty main streets of Bijapur. The resort owner, a lady was friendly and passionate about farming. We checked into our room, it had a rustic setting. The bed had a mosquito net over it.. peaceful sleep guaranteed. The view from the window had nothing but farm land. A hot cup of lemongrass flavored tea refreshed us. The cold water bath was refreshing. Then it started raining, perfect end to end a day. Dinner was fresh jolada rotti oota, it was home food :) We hit the bed early..