Saturday 16 February 2013

Veerabhadra on a Hill

Trekking and weekend getaways

This is a hill with the legend of Veerabhadra, fort, cave temples, ruined watch towers, and a pond.   
This is also the hill that both Lord Narasimha and Lord Veerabhadra wanted. Both fought over the hill. Narasimha then chose to settle down at Ahobilam in Andhra Pradesh, while Veerabhadra decided to stay back at this hill itself.
Veerabhadra then chose a cave atop this hill. He is beautifully sculpted idol and is four feet in height. Locals says its antiquity is yet to be established but it goes back to thousands of years. Since them Veerabhadra is being worshipped here.
The idol is in a cave and every February a festival is held here which attracts thousands of devotes. A snake comes out of nowhere and coils itself around the feet of Veerabhadra. It vanishes as suddenly as it appeared, without harming anybody.
The construction of the temple around Veerabhadra is dated first to the Chola Kings.
The then Chola King is purported to have found a Shiva Linga here along with a Nandi or Bull. The Cholas then built two temples-one for the Linga and another for the idol of Veerabhadra which was already existing.
The entrance to the cave temple of Veerabhadra is just two feet in height. The Veerabhadra is black in color. The entrance to the Shiva temple too is by a doorway which is barely three feet in height.
The Nandi outside the Shiva temple has its own tale to tell. The Nandi is placed on a stone plate and it is quite heavy. It is believed that only a person with a good heart can lift it. If you cannot lift it, it means you have committed some sin or you are not a good person. You have to lift it odd number of  times-one, three, five and so on.
Do you disbelieve this tale. Then why not go to the hill and check it our for yourself.
Coming back to the Cholas, they then set about the process of fortifying the hill. They built several watch towers whose ruins can still be seen today and encircled the hill with a fort built sometime in the 12th century.
The fort is long gone and the only remnants of the Chola presence are the temples, a few watch towers and the odd boulder that were used for the fortification. The watch towers will give you a superb glimpse of the surrounding countryside.
This is Hullakadi Betta, a small hill, near Doddaballapur in Bangalore district. The climb to the hill is not all that steep. It can be both a picnic spot and a trekking point.
The hill is 80 kms from Bangalore and there are several routes to reach it. The route through Hesarghatta is full of greenery, wine yards and very little traffic. If you like driving in traffic, chose the oldest route-Yelahanka, turn left at the circle or police station, Yelahanka Main road with Wheel and Axel plant on the right side and go straight towards Doddaballapur and from there to Hullakadi.
The third route is to continue straight on the road to BIAL airport and proceed further till you get a junction where a sign points to Doddaballapur. Follow the road and you will come to Hullakadi.
Hullu in Kannada means grass and Kadi means twigs.
A similar Veerabhadra idol is in Lepakshi near Hindupur of Ananthapur district in Andhra Pradesh.

No comments:

Post a Comment