Monday, March 13, 2017

Gandikota and Ahobilam

Dated : 11th March, 12th Mar 2017
Crew : Guru and Me

It is a vague plan without any precautions. But I enjoyed a lot for the trek. My intention is to visit a temple with a trek. Later I found, my decision was not bad.

We have started on the Saturday morning to catch the Chennai Exp(12164), where we could reach to Cuddapah, nearest to reach nearby city. Only 4 trains available to reach Cuddapah from Chennai.
But we missed it. Later started by 8:30 in bus from CMBT. Luckily we got the INDRA bus. The fare is around 470 INR. And reached Cuddapah by 3 PM.

One could see the following places on the way.
Bhaktha Kannappa Birth place
Kadapa Central Jail
Vontimitta -  Sri Ram's temple

There were no direct buses to reach Jammalamadugu. So catches Proddatur bus, it is 1.5 hrs journey. And catches another bus to reach Jammalamadugu, it is only 35 min journey.
A nearby road one can found the direct bus to reach Gandikota. As by the time we reach Gandikota(6:45 PM) the light got failed, we hardly can view the Canyon. That is the last bus for the day, so we completed sight seeing in 20 min and returned.

Sthalapuranam: (Source : Wiki)

Gandikota fort was ruled by the Mikkilineni dynasty.
In the year 1350 A.D. the Mikkilineni King Rama Naidu, who did not have sons, got his only daughter married to Pemmasani Kumara Thimma Naidu. He was the son of Rama Naidu's brother-in-law and was the king of Bellamkonda in Guntur District. Rama Naidu then made Pemmasani Kumara Thimma Naidu as the ruler of Gandikota. Since then Gandikota was ruled by the Pemmasani rulers.
Gandikota now came into the hands of the Pemmasani rulers from the ancient Mikkilineni royal family. Raja Pemmasani Kumara Thimma Naidu was the first king of Pemmasani clan and during his period, few developmental activities took place. The original fort was strengthened and the new forts at Jammala Madugu, Vajrakarur, Kamalapuram, Tadipatri etc were also built. The forts built by Pemmasani Kumara Thimma Naidu were more lavish and striking that he was said to be contemporary form of the Vijayanagar king Bukkaraya. (I.e. around 1350 A.D.). Another member from the Naidu family, Dharma Naidu was the General of Proudha Deva Raya (or Devaraya II), the son of Vijaya Bukkaraya. Another Thimma Naidu defeated the Bahamani sultan Ahmed Shah in the battle of Kalubarige in 1420 A.D. There was yet another Thimma Naidu, during the times of Sri Krishna Deva Raya, who was a great warrior. He was well-versed in capturing the forts of Udayagiri, Addanki, Kondapalli, Rajahmundry and Cuttak.
Pemmasani Ramalinga Naidu who was appointed by Krishna Deva Raya as the supreme commander of the Vijayanagar army was the hero of the famous 'Battle of Raichur'. During this battle Ramalinga Naidu almost massacred the armies of Bahmani Sultans were had to retire from the battle. Ramalinga Naidu was said to be a very good-looking person and many poets of his era wrote poems in praise of him. Ramalinga Naidu was the man behind the construction of the famous Ramalingeswara temple in Tadipatri.
Next Naidu in the line was Bangaru Thimma Naidu who gave shelter to Aliya Rama Raya, the son-in-law of Krishna Deva Raya. Salakam Thimmayya dethroned Aliya Rama Raya and declared himself as the king with the help of the sultans. Bangaru Thimma Naidu defeated the combined armies of the Bahamanis and Salakam Thimmayya. Bangaru Thimma Naidu made Aliya Rama Raya as the king and gave him back the Vijayanagar throne. Thus, another valorous hero of Naidu clan became a folk hero and was entitled as 'Bangaru Thimma Raju'.
After the fall of Vijayanagar Empire, the capital was shifted to Penukonda and Chandragiri was made the second capital. This second capital was constructed by Sri Ranga Raya with the support and guidance of Raja Bojja Thimma Naidu.
Eventually, Raja Pemmasani Chinna Thimma Naidu was the last king of Gandikota. He was, entitled as "Vetaru Tuniyala Meti Vaziru" in which "Vetu" means the stroke of the sword, "Aru tuniyalu" is six pieces. It is said that Chinna Thimma Naidu was so powerful that in the battle he could cut off a horseman's head along with that of the horse with a single stroke of his sword, hence the title. After being ruled gloriously for centuries and despite holding on valiantly for many months, the fort went into the hands of Muslim Turkic invaders from Golconda in the 17th century. The Golconda armies attacked Gandikota around 1650 A.D., under the command of Mir Jumla. Mir Jumla failed to take the fort even after months of seize. Finally, with the advice of Podili Linganna, a minister of Naidu's kingdom, Mir Jumla got Thimma Naidu poisoned and killed him.
Years later, somewhere in 18th century, the Marathas became the prime power in India, including the deccan region of Rayalaseema and Telangana. This made the people create stories like "Bala Nagamma Katha" that relieved them to a certain extent. The story was about Bala Nagamma, the princess of Gandikota who married the prince of Panagallu in Nalgonda. Bala Nagamma being kidnapped by a wicked Maratha 'mantrik', the hardships she suffered in his hands for many years, and finally a happy ending to the story by the Maratha getting killed by Bala Nagamma's son, was the content of the story.
A century later, this fort was conquered by Hyder Ali of Mysore and eventually went into the hands of the British.

Timings : People spend the nights in tent. Hope it is open all the time. But the last bus from Gandikota is at 7 PM. There was a Harita Tourism hotel, usually people stay there if they want to spend night in tents.
Ticket Fare : No entry fee.
How to Reach: Better to Reach Nandyala from Chennai
Nearest Place : Jammalamadugu(Bus stand/Railway Station), Proddutur,
Best time to Visit: After rainy season.
Duration: 2 - 3 hours
Highlights: Canyon, Suitable for Tent houses and Night stays.

From there we reached Allagadda, by taking the round route via Proddatur and then to Allagadda. As due to brahmotsavams(Processions), buses are available to go to Digu Ahobilam(11:45 PM)
We waited for one hour and the last bus started from there by 12:45 PM.
It is only 7 km drive. We reached to the main temple and took rest till early morning hours.
The temple gate opened by 6:15 AM and took Seegra Darshanam ticket(INR 50), returned in 15 minutes.

Timings : 6 AM to 6 PM
Ticket Fare : No entry fee.
How to Reach: Better to Reach Kadapa/Nandyala from Chennai
Nearest Place : Allagadda
Best time to Visit: Summer
Duration: 1.5 to 2 days if you want cover all the 9 temples
Highlights: Ugra Sthambam.
From there started to see the Nava Narasimha temples. On the way one first visit the Krodha(Varaha) Narasimha temple and then one can reach Jwala Narasimha Temple and can start to the Ugra Sthambam. It is one the good, very scary trek. The temple situated on the tip of the peak and need to do pradikshana around Temple is very scary one. The only support is the iron fence around the small God statue. And it is very hard to return from the Hill too. Too much slippery.
On the way, visited the Malola Narasimha Temple and then to the Karonga Narasimha temple near to parking area.

By the time, I am completely ran out of my strength but not the belief. I couldn't find the way to Pavana Narasimha temple, so my inability left to the god only. And I heard one should start from the Pavana Nara Simha temple and then the main temple. So I thought I should complete the trip in the next time. This is the second time, where I couldn't complete my planned trip.
From there we returned to Chennai. It took almost 12 hours to reach.

No comments:

Post a Comment