Tuesday 26 February 2013

Footprints of Bheema near Bangalore

There are plenty of places in India where people from Ramayana and Mahabharata period stayed. There are scores of places associated with their birth and death and also their heroic deeds. Many people have expressed regret that these heroes never set foot in or around Bangalore.  They say they have to travel to Kolar and Chikaballapur districts to identify themselves with the heroes of Ramayana and Mahabharata. They cite the example of Kaivara in Chikaballapur district and Arani in Kolar which are popularly associated with the Mahabharata and Ramayana respectively.
Well, well, well. How wrong are my friends. Bangalore too has witnessed the travel of the Pandavas and there is enough evidence of that in the form of  inscriptions and carvings. Unfortunately, not nay people are aware of it.
The hustle and bustle of daily life and the growing urbanization of the City has ensured that it has lost touch with history. The growth of Bangalore has been eating away the historical belly of the city. Gone are the iconic buildings, parks and playgrounds which once had a tryst with history. Areas that once boasted of their hoary past have been left far behind in the maddening race towards modernisation.
Two such areas that are almost lost to the modern world is the small village of  Aigandapura and another hamlet that is called Makali. Aigandapura is just 30 kms from Bangalore and in a few years it will become a part of  Namma Bangalore.
On first sight, there is nothing much to write about this village. But what if I told you that it has a few links that still show off its ties with the Mahabharata.
A few centuries ago, Aigandapura was a celebrated Agrahara under the Cholas. A remnant of that era is the Karaga festival that is still celebrated here.
Legends state that the Pandavas spent part of their Vanavasa at this place. Apart from this village the Pandavas also visited Makali near by where Bheema consecrated a shrine for Shiva. It still exists today. It is known as the Bheemeshwara temple.
There is also a huge footprint on the rock at a village nearby called Makali and this believed to be that of Bheema. The footprint is huge and it will give you an idea of how tall and might Bheema was. This is even today known s Bheemana Hejje.
There are also some small cup like depression on the rock and these are supposed to have been made by Bheema when he played dice with his brothers. This is really interesting as it shows that though the Pandavas lost their kingdom due to a game of dice, they did not take things lying down and that they did not blame the game for their temporal downfall. They were sportive and they continued playing the game of dice.
Coming back to Aigandapura, there are two important temples here. The temple of  Dharmeshwara and Gopalakrishna. There are many small shrines within the Dharmeshwara temple. They are  dedicated to Nakuleshwara, Sahadeshwara, Arjuneshwara and Kuntigudi.
The Bheemeshwara temple is spread out across the road and is on slightly higher plane that the other two temples. It is located on the banks of the Arkavathi river.
Aigandapura is on the Bangalore-Tumkur road. Travel on the Tumkur road and when you see a sign pointing to Hesarghata, turn right towards Hesaraghatta TB cross and again right towards Horticultural farm. Continue till Shivakote and travel on the same road till you reach Aigandapura.
Bheemana Hejje is approximate 18km from here. Take the Nelamangala road and after the toll gate, get onto the service road to reach Makali.
At Makali, turn right and get on to Alur road. Watch out for a school about 500 metres along the route on the left. At the school turn right on to a mud road. This road leads to Bheemeshwara temple.

1 comment:

  1. Thrilled to see the footprint and compare with my left foot.Mind went back to the days of Mahabharata and How the Pandavas made the best of Vanavasa days.