Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kudala Sangama

KudalaSangama is my family deity's place... and mandates a yearly pilgrimage to the same. "sangama" is a confluence, rivers krishna and ghataprabha merge here and flow towards srisailam, another revered place in the neighbouring andhra pradesh. KudalaSangameshwara was also the personal deity of basavanna, a prominent kannada preacher and reformer who wrote "vachanas", short passages/poetry, teaching rightful conduct. the vachanas were a revolution at his time, because they were the first religious text to be written in kannada and not in sanskrit, as was the custom. these vachanas, much like kabir's dohe, form an integral and important chunk of kannada literature and feature in the state syllabus for schools

though i am not a big fan of temples/temple-towns, the note-worthy place here is the "aikya linga" of basavanna, placed at the point of confluence of the two rivers. old-time saints, when they died, left their souls in a linga. so, the linga, is actually at the bottom of the river, with a cylindrical structure built around it till the ground level. so you climb down a circular stairway to reach this place.

this is the 'ratha', the chariot, used during the annual festivities around shiv-ratri.

a few years back, the main temple and the rivers and the "aikya linga" mantap was all there was to kudalasangama. now, the temple has been given a facelift, with the courtyard done beautifully and flowering plants everywhere... and guesthouses and libraries and a museum and a bunch of other nice places to see.

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