Monday, 18 February 2013

The hill shrine where a bow and arrow is worshipped

Trekking and Weekend Getaways

This is one hill that you can motor to the peak. The hill is visible for miles around  and the temple on the top is a landmark that has its own share of myths and legends.
The most important and perhaps the most searched article in the temple is not the deity, which is well-known though, but a huge bow.
Legend has it that the huge bow could not be lifted by several villagers when it was found at the base of the hill. Several villagers and devotees gathered together but their combined might could not even lift the bow and arrow let alone move it from its place. It was left to a small boy to undertake the task. He effortlessly lifted the bow and arrow and walked upto the temple on top of the hill and deposited it near the sanctum santorum where it still stands today.
Both the bow and arrow are made of Panchaloha.
The composition of a panchaloha is laid down in the Shilpa Shastra, an ancient Sanskrit book on icon making. Panchaloha generally comprises alloys of  gold (Au), silver(Ag), copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and lead (Pb). These are the main and major constituents. A Panchaloha may have other metals too, depending on their size, shape and usage.
The panchaloha bow here is still kept at the Ranganatha temple which also houses the idols of  Ganesha and Anjeneya. The boy is regarded as Ranganatha himself  who came here and carried the bow and arrow to the temple.
This is the Maradi Gudda and the temple is called Maradi Ranganatha. The worship of the bow and arrow is an intersting legend of this temple and it still continues today.
The Maradi Rannganatha temple has a forty feet gopura. The small Kalyani nearby is beautiful and the water is used for worshipping the deity.
Though the temple is ancient-belonging to the 13th century, the structure has been constructed or renovated recently. The deity is made of black stone and it adjoins the bow and arrow. There is a deity of Lakshmi too.
The road to the hill is through rolling fields and greenery. The hill is adjacent to Ranganathapura village in Sira Taluk of Tumlur district. It is also called as Pancha Kalasha Gudda.
The hill is135 kms from Bangalore and in recent years it has become popular because of the availability of  medicinal plants and shrubs in and around the hills. There is a small lake called Purusharama Kere at the base of  Maradi Gudda.
The best route to Maradi Gudda is by travelling upto Sira and from there take a left to the village of Hulidore. At Hulidore, a mud road to the left takes you to Maradi Gudda.
It is easy to spot the hill as it is visible for miles around. The last  stretch of the road is metalled and it winds its way up steeply. The climb is pretty steep. The temple is generally deserted and in case you want lunch to be arranged call up the priest on his mobile no

958135 205033.
In case you have time, take in the ancient monuments of Sira.

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