Pic. Courtesy :wikipedia.org
Kempe Gowda, a feudatory of the Vijayanagar Empire had constructed a mud fort in Bangalore and made it his seat of rule. Around the fort he had developed ‘petas’ for many artisans and trades. Thus the town grew in size and style. As a devoted Hindu he had always encouraged construction of temples and agraharams around the temples. He thus made Bangalore a business hub as well as a cultural centre. This dynasty developed Bangalore further to the envy of others. Although it was not strategically an important place for commerce the development done by the Gowdas had invited envy and soon Bangalore fell into the hands of Bijapur Sultans. The Mughals in turn gave it to Wodeyars for a consideration.
A new oval shaped fort was built south of the old mud fort. Again the reign changed to Hyder Ali and then to the British. Hyder Ali got the oval fort rebuilt in stone, as a part of his defense strategy. Ever since, Bangalore developed into a commercial and military centre of strategic importance. The work started by Hyder Ali to build within this fort was completed by Tipu Sultan. After Bangalore came under the control of British, they neglected the maintenance of the fort because of the fact that it was in the midst of a cluster of commercial “petas”, denying the exclusivity they needed.
Pic. Courtesy :wikipedia.org
It is important to note that the fort housed the entire the armory of the earlier rulers. All the governmental works were executed from the fort and most of the important officials were staying and operating from the fort till the reign of Tipu Sultan.
With the influence of Dutch, French and the English people, new methods of warfare had come into operation. The local rulers also adopted the same and accordingly the arsenals for the war had to be changed. Therefore Hyder Ali introduced new weapons along with the traditional ones. The inventory for the weapons grew with more enemies around. The safe storing of the large extent of the weapons became important. To make way for this within the fort, the officials who were till then residing within the fort had to be moved out.
Even from the days of Kempe Gowda, the Vijaynagar tradition of worshiping Sri Hanuman as the deity for bestowing braveness and success was in vogue. Although the reigns had changed people who lived within the fort continued the worship of Lord Hanuman. There were many Sri Anjaneya worshippers inside the fort. When they were to move out, they took along with them the idol of Sri Anjaneya. The administrators of the fort provided the devotees with adequate space to build a temple for Hanumanji at a short distance from the Fort.
The deity was known popularly as “Kare Kallu Sri Anjaneya”. In Kannada “kare” means black and “kallu” means stone. The idol of Sri Anjaneya Swamy was made out from dark black granite stone and hence this name. When Kare kallu Sri Anjaneya was inside the fort there was a tradition of placing all the weapons before the deity and only then the weapons were made use of in the war field. This tradition was continued even after the temple was shifted to the new location outside the Fort. It was strongly believed that with the blessing of Sri Kare Kallu Anjaneya the enemy will be destroyed and victory will be assured.
Today this big temple for Sri Anjaneya Swamy is located just opposite to the Police Quarters on the main Mysore Road. It is within a very short distance from the Bangalore fort. The Mysore Road is laid east to west at this point and this temple is on the left wing of the road as one moves from the Fort. The temple, though on the main road, is tucked inside and one can see the arch which leads to the temple. The temple has a three tiered “Vimanam”.
Entrance to the temple is through this arch which is north facing. It is on an elevated plain and one has to climb few steps, to reach the entrance. The tall and beautifully designed porch holds the arch, which is crowned by Sri Rama Parivara in the center, flanked by Sri Anjaneya and Sri Garuda. One will step into an open space through this arch. In the center of the open space is the ‘dwaja stambam’. Three small arches can be seen on the terrace of the temple. At the center is Sri Rama Parivara, and on the right is Sri Gopalakrishna and on the left is Sri Mahavishnu.
One can have a clear dharshan of Lord Anjaneya from near the dwaja stambam itself.
The idol of Sri Anjaneya Swamy is about six feet tall. The idol shows the deity in walking posture and it is of ‘ardha shila’ type. East facing Lord is seen as if walking Northward with His left lotus foot in the front. His right lotus foot is slightly raised and only His toe is touching the ground. Both His feet are adorned with the ornament “thandai”. His dothi- in a tight kacham – clings tightly to his thighs. His waist is adorned with decorative belt like ornament, which also houses a small knife. His Left hand is holding the stem of sowgandika flower with its leaves. The flower which is in ‘yet to blossom’ state is seen above His left shoulder. His raised right hand shows the ‘abaya mudra’ - showering blessings to His devotees. His two hands are adorned with bracelets in the wrists and keyuram in the arms. He is wearing two garlands, one of which has a pendant attached to it. The sacred thread- ‘yagnyopavidham’- adores His chest. On His shoulders rests the ‘uttariyam’ – the upper garment. The raised tail of the Lord is seen as if in “Ohm” form. The curved end of the tail rises above His head and is adorned with a small beautiful bell. The Lord is wearing ear-studs. His “kesam” is neatly tied. He is wearing a crown. His face is calm and quiet and at the same time it shows strong braveness. His protruding teeth are in confirmation of this strength. His bright, brilliant and fearless eyes only add to the even otherwise grand appearance of the Lord.
Come to this kshetra and pray to Kare Kallu Lord Anjaneya and regain all lost courage and face the challenges bravely.
Ed [April 2014]
Welcome to the pages on Son of Wind God Vayu Lord Anjaneya Swami -Vayusuthan.
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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.