One Saturday, we planned to visit Chitradurga and explore Brahmagiri and its environs the next morning. Brahmagiri is one amongst the most ancient places in Karnataka and is located in Chitradurga district and also very close to Bellary. The three sites of archaeological importance here are Brahmagiri, Asoka Siddapura and Jatinga Rameshwara. All the three sites house minor rock edicts of Emperor Asoka of the Mauryan period which were first discovered and reported by Sir Benjamin Lewis Rice in the year 1892. Our plan was to explore Brahmagiri, Asoka Siddapura and finally Jatinga Rameshwara. But while traveling towards Brahmagiri as per our plans, we missed the cross that turned right towards Brahmagiri and proceeded further. On inquiring, we realized we had come too far and had to make a U turn to return. While returning we found a board directing us towards Jatinga Rameshwara and hence decided to explore this place first and later move on to the next site.
Rameshwara is a hillock located off the Bangalore - Bellary highway. It houses a
fort and Asokan minor edict. As we approached the hillock, we realized there
was none around and so we ruled the hill. The
place covers a vast expanse and viewing this wide stretch of hill range, a momentary
doubt arose in our minds of whether a complete coverage of the place would be
possible. We set our time limit as we had
two more sites to explore and started our ascent. Steps are laid up till the
first tier of the fort and hereon, the terrain turns flat making our walk easier.
As we walked on, we found a shelter and a little further was a temple complex.
We headed towards the shelter in search of the Asokan edicts. We entered the room and started examining the rock for the presence of any edicts. Finally we found a few letters etched on the rock that remained intact while most of the letters have been rubbed away and erased due to wear and other various natural activities. The efforts of one British Officer Sir Mortimer Wheeler who was solely responsible for building a permanent shelter in order to preserve the rock edicts is worthy of mention and much appreciated. From here, we moved towards the temple complex.
|Climb Up to Jatinga Rameshwara Hill|
|Old Rock Cut Steps V/s Recently Laid Steps|
|First Sight of Shelter and the Temple Complex|
Continued here …..