Monday, 5 August 2013

Visit to Hassan, Karnataka

Curved towards Hassan
Hassan ( हासन ) district is a natural scenic place about 185 kms south-west of Bangalore & 115 kms from Mysore in Karnataka. Newly laid out four lane toll road is good & with beautiful lush green scenes along entire length of NH-75. Restaurants & farm houses dot the road. Its height is 934 meters above sea level & it has pleasant breezy weather similar to Bangalore.

Monsoon clouds over NH-75

On the right track for Hassan
This eleventh century town was founded by Channa Krishnappa Naik, a Palegar or Chieftain & is an architectural capital of Karnataka showcasing the Hoysala style marvellous temples. Hoysala dynasty ruled from eleventh to fourteenth centuries from the capitals at Belur & later Halebidu in this district. They were influenced by Jainism but have built temples of Vishnu & Shiva as well.

Hassan has many technical colleges & educational institutions. It is also known for master satellite tracking facility of ISRO.
Kapi Break

Udupi restaurant owner
Name of the town originates from the presiding deity Hassanamba - the Smiling Goddess  A temple of Hassanamba is situated in the middle of the old town. It is rather unusual that the temple opens only for a week in the month of Ashwayuj -during Diwali & rest of the year it remains closed. Inside the temple there is no idol but three faced anthill. Shopkeepers around the temple informed of the following stories.

Entrance to Hassanamba Temple
* Seven maathrikes(mothers) flew from Kashi & while floating over Hassan, liked it & three of them chose divine shelters in different places in the district. One of them is Hassanamba the ever smiling Goddess. 

* While closing the gates of the temple for a year, a burning lamp filled with ghee & two bags of rice – anna naivadyam- are kept. The lamp is found burning & rice intact while opening on next Diwali.

* Alaudin Khilji after having defeated Devagiri & Warangal looted Kohinoor diamond & took it back to Delhi. Incidentally there he lost it to East India Co. From there the looted diamond now sits in the crown of British queen. Anyways Khilji deputed Malik Kafur to plunder the Hoysala temples in Belur & Halebidu in this district. His men camped here & cooked meat near the anthills. Due to curse of the Devi his soldiers started dying one by one. Kafur asked Devi to be forgiven & made a temple here!

* The temple was made by Channa Krishnappa Naik in eleventh century. As per wishes of Devi conveyed to him in his dream, the temple is opened once a year.

* A painting of 9 headed Ravana playing Veena is said to be inside the temple. Its significance is not known.  
Hassanamba Temple
In every historic place, temple or monument in India such variety of stories are heard. I feel that local people, historians & scholars in the know of such places should sit together & finalise such stories to the extent possible & place it on digital media.

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