Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Symphony of heritage in Ramanathapura, Hassan

Ramanathapura, was an ancient religious centre located on the bank of the river Kaveri and is considered as one of the famous pilgrimage centres in Hassan district. It formed a part of Chola, Hoysala & Vijayanagara kingdoms.Traditionally famous as the Dakshina Kashi and Agasthya Kshetra. This place because sacred and it was the natural choice of the kings to perform the various spiritual activities in ancient time, however it is famous as a sacred and pilgrim place because of the River Kaveri and Sri Rameshvara Temple.

There are many temples on this village of Rameshwaraswamy temple, Prasanna Subramanya Temple, Agasteshwara temple, Pattabhirama Temple, Lakshmi Narasimha Tempe, Anjaneya Temple, Durgarameshavri Temple which are prominent. All the temples are built in Dravidian style. The best part of this village is that you can explore many other holy shrines around the vicinity that are well-connected to each other through walking distance. This is the reason the place is also known as the town of temples. This ancient Ramanathapura village is also known by various names such as Samvartakapuri, Vahnikapura and Tretapura.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Agni Deva (Vahni) performed a prayer in middle of the river Cauvery to wash off the curse of sage Bhrigu. The place is called Vahni Pushkarini. This Thirthasnana place is situated in middle of River Cauvery so that it became the holiest and the greatest of all Thirthas in South India. Devotes used to take a holy dip in this place before visiting the temples. The reason being, they believe that doing this will wash away all their sins. Devotees are also seen performing various rituals on the bank of the river Cauvery. There is a place like Kapila Shil where, saint Vishvamitra performed a prayer, it is said that chanting one Gayathri Mantra is equal to 1000 times in this place. There is one more place called Bhogarbha in this river were Kamadeva disturbed Shukracharya’s meditation and cursed him and made him as a stone
Sri. Vyasaraya swamy from Sosale Muth has established Vyasanjaneya Swamy Temple at bank of River Kaveri, Agasteswara Temple situated on left attaching to this temple. This is 560 years old Anjaneya temple constructed on a small area the main building of the temple has one Garbhgriha with 6 feet height Anjaneya idol.

Agasteswara Temple:
Agasteswara temple is believed that it has been constructed by sage Agastya. When Kaveri left sage Agastya, he followed the river from Bhagamandala and reached to Ramanathapura. He established this temple and worshiped God Shiva here. Inside the second Prakara there is a separate beautiful shrine for Mother Kaveri.   

Like a diamond inside the star this temple sits in the center of a majestic star shaped platform, the temple faces east and consists of a mandapa, navaranga and antarala or sukanasi. It is constructed in ekakuta style, consisting of one Garbhagrha (sanctum) which is provided with antarala. The temple has one entrance and a grand compound wall. 

Pattabhirama temple:
Pattabhirama temple is just a plain structure with beautiful Rajagopura. It is situated at heart of the village, 1km away from the Rameshwara temple here Lord Rama siting with goddess Sita on his lap. Bharat and Shatrughan behind holding with Chamara and God Hanuman on right side and Lakshmana on left side. There is no other idol in this kind exists in India and also three temples in India where Sita sat on Ram’s lap including this.

The idol of Pattabhirama temple is believed that it has been constructed by a sage Saubari the son of Kanva Rishi. Soubhari lived under water for twelve years when a king Mandhata was ruling the area. One day, Soubhari came across the king when king playing in the water with his children and grandchildren. This made Soubhari to feel that, he too should get married and to have children and grandchildren. He then married all the fifty daughters of Mandhata and settled. 

The car festival of this temple is on Mrigashira Ramanuja Saptaha. The Dwarapalakas at the entrance of the Gopura are beautifully sculptured. They stand tall to add grandeur to the hall.

Lakshmi Narasimha Tempe: The Lakshminarasimha temple was built during the reign of Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar. The ground plan of the temple is slightly peculiar. The temple has undergone a lot of reconstructions and has lost its original look. From the inscription it becomes clear that Rameshvara was a great Shiva centre. Sri Adi Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya and later Dhvita Saints also visited this holy place. 

Prasanna Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple: The Subramanya Temple has an interesting tale. 460 years ego Vibhudesha Theertharu Swamiji of Kukke Subramanya Matha started to travel towards Coorg to spread Madhva philosophy. During this tour he established Subramanya Temple at Sorlabbi. Then he visited Ramanathapura and stayed there for meditation and pooja. After completion of his pooja and meditation, he stayed at Sankranthi Mantapa. When he slept in the night, Lord Subramanya swamy appeared in his dream and ordered to construct a temple here. At the same time God Subramanya swamy appeared in the dream of Holenarasipura king Narasappa Nayaka. The God ordered him to give all support and co-operation required for the establishment of the temple with an assurance of male baby.

Then King Narasappa Nayaka met Swamiji and started to construct a new temple for Sri Subramanya swamy as per the directions given by Swamiji, thus a new and beautiful temple was constructed as wished by Subramanya Swamy. From this achievement the Swamiji becomes cheerful and satisfied hence he called the temple as Prasanna Subramanya Swamy Temple.

At the same time wife of Narasappa Nayaka blessed with a male child, finally Sri Vibhudesha Theertharu continued to worship the god until the end of his life. This temple is very famous and sacred as similar to Kukke Subramanya. The installed deity is made from black Saligrama stone. The idol consists of seven hoods. Soil taken from anthill is the main Prasadam here.

Rameshwaraswamy Temple: Ramanathapura is also connected with the story of Ramayana. Another interesting story linked to Lord Rama and Anjaneya himself visited this place and worshiped Shiva here. After killing Ravana on his return from Srilanka Lord Rama offered prayers to lord shiva to remove all his Brahmahatya sins by killing Ravana. 

The name of the town has however been derived from the famous Rameshvara Temple of this place. A portion of the historical Rameshwaraswamy temple tower has been damaged due to the incessant rains in 2019 due to this temple was closed for public visits. Rameshvara Temple stand as testimony to the architectural magnificence of the Chola and Hoysala ages in the history of medieval India. The temple also excels in artistic sculpture. Besides the finely carved pillars inside, the ornate gopura and intricately latticed walls with rows of parakeets above Mantapas are eye-catching. 
The familiar sight here is the children offering beaten rice and groundnuts for fish in the water. Village Panchayat, Local Youth Club and Society for Advancement of Aqua culture have created awareness among general public about the importance of protecting the sanctuary. Tor khudree one of the endangered fishes are found in the area.  The whole area is declared as a protected zone H.H, the Maharaja of Mysore, under the ‘Provisions' of Section 5(1) of the Mysore Game and Fish Preservation Reg. 11 of 1901, declared it as ‘Fishing Prohibited Area. 
During monsoon, the river floods the area and during summer, there shall be very low water level as a result of which distress conditions prevails for the fishes in the sanctuary. The construction of Harangi dam has reduced flow of water in the river and in summery months, it reaches a very low level. The depth is reduced due to siltation and also on account of accumulation of debris. When the water level reduces in the river, certain body parts of the fishes get exposed and are subjected to injury and disease which has proved fatal on many occasions.  Larger sized fishes have declined and population wise too, they have reduced in numbers. Torkudree are very much on the decline and Neolissochilus hexagonolepis are in large numbers in the sanctuary; in the interest of protecting the endangered, it is necessary to replenish these from other areas of the river.

1 comment:

weekend travelogue said...

Was surprised to see your blog after a long time. Had thought you had stopped blogging.