Had an unexpected chance to visit Channapatna last week. My, the city had a lot to offer. From delightful toys to beautiful silk the city had it all. It even boasted a temple which was 1000 years old and still running strong. Curious to learn more? Then journey along with me as I take you through the fresh sites of Channapatna.
Toys, toys everywhere as you enter the city. Located on SH-17 Bangalore- Mysore highway the Land of toys has you smiling at every step with its wonderful display of toys.
Wooden horses, bullock carts, pretty dolls, pot ladies, figures depicting village life style, wooden instruments like flute, xylophone etc leave you mesmerized. Kids will surely love this place.
The toys are made from Aale- Mara (Ivory-wood) and sometimes from Rosewood and sandalwood. The wood is lacquered or coated with a colored varnish to give a durable finish. The wood is carved in to desirable shapes and finally vegetable dyes are used to color them. Thus the toys are safe and hygienic to use for small kids.
Seeing those cute toys I could not resist picking up some for my kid as well.
Nadhi Narasimha swami temple:
After the purchase we headed towards Nadhi Narasimha swami temple.
Though there is no Nadhi (The River Kanva ) here the temple which is believed to be 1200 year old exists. And it is a very sacred and religious temple of Lord Vishnu in the man-lion form. The Narasimha form of Vishnu symbolizes the divine anger of God. And hence the worship of this God needs special attention .Generally only priests who have taken the vow of celibacy can perform the worship. The idol of Narasimha in this temple however is accompanied by goddess Lakshmi and so the God is said to be in more relaxed form.
Significance of the Nadhi Narasimha temple:
The specialty of this temple is that whatever you wish for comes true when you recite the Moola mantra (holy prayer) displayed in front of the temple.
The meaning of the prayer goes something like this,
” O angry and brave lord Vishnu, your fire radiates everywhere. O lord Narasimha you are everywhere and you are the death of death (who surpasses even death). To such a powerful and divine Lord, I surrender.”
The devotee recites the mantra going around the temple for 48 rounds. He then ties a coconut in front of the god asking for the fulfillment of the wish. And his wish gets granted.
The locals swear that no devotee has ever gone dejected from here. Therefore at all times you will see a flock of devotees in this temple.
The surrounding area of the temple boasts of silk, corn and sugar cane fields.
And the view of the temples from the fields is quite inspiring.
Seri Culture of Channapatna:
On the way back we saw silk farms being set up. The Seri culture farmers here bring silkworms or caterpillars and feed them with silk or mulberry leaves. A straw mat is kept beneath them.
After about 45 days the silk worm starts creating liquid silk which on contact with air hardens. After 2-3 days there is a cocoon fully covering the worm. The cocoons are then soaked in boiling water and they are uncoiled to get the silk threads. And one interesting fact is that to produce 1 kg of silk you require minimum of 3000 such worms.
All in all a wonderful learning experience I should say.
Kengel Hanuman temple:
While returning back to bangalore we stopped at Kengel Hanuman temple. The idol of Hanuman is made from red rock of Kengel and hence the place got the name Kengel Hanuman. This idol of hanuman sporting a moustache is consecrated by VyasaTirtha who was the Guru of King Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar Empire.
VyasaTirtha; one of the founders of Dvaitha philosophy and guru of Kankadasa and Purandaradasa did an imprint of the figure of Hanuman on the rock. Thus the Hanuman which is worshipped here is a sculpture –relief structure and is highly sacred. It is the only idol of hanuman in India having a bell tied to his tail.
How to get to Nadhi Narasimha temple, DoddaMallur : Travel on state highway 17 connecting Bangalore- Mysore. On the way you cross Ramanagaram, Channapatna and finally Dodda Mallur. After reaching Channapatna about 2 kilometers or so you will see Aprameya temple archway towards the left hand side of the road. Opposite to this temple and towards the right hand side of the highway you will see a small mud road . There is a big board here indicating the directions to “Sri Nadhi Narasimha Swamy temple”. Follow that to reach the temple.
Kengel Hanuman temple is located on the right hand side of SH-17 highway. Once you cross RamaNagaram you come across this temple. To the right of this temple is the famous Kanva Reservoir which can also be viewed.