I and my daughter, had the opportunity to visit Huvina Hadagali, a Taluk in Bellary District, which is about two hours drive from Hospet in Karnataka State. The occasion was the engagement ceremony of my cousin on July 20, 2008. The place has some significance to me as it is located very close to my father's hometown Harpanahalli, from where I get my family name. And my father's cousins live in Huvina Hadagali. I vaguely remember to have met them in my childhood and vice versa. I vividly remember their mother, my paternal grandmother's younger sister who was a lively, affectionate and wonderful human being. She had stayed with us for a month during our childhood and entertained us with her innumerable stories. We kids were very fond of her.
Huvina Hadagli is famous for Jasmine flowers. It is said that the flowers (Huvu in Kannada) from this place were sent in a boat (Hadaga in Kannada) on the River Tungabhadra to Lord Virupaksheshwara, the presiding deity at the famous Virupaksha temple at Hampi, the Capital of Vijayanagara empire in the 12th century. And this is how the place derives its name, Huvina Hadagali.
The engagement ceremony was held in the premises of an old temple dedicated to Lord Chennakeshava. The sculptures in the temple appeared special, but is in a bad state of affairs, due to poor maintenance.
My curiosity to get some historical inputs about the temple led me to understand that it was a 900 year old temple built by Amarashilpi Jakanachari , a legendary sculptor credited with building many fine temples, including the famous sculptures at Belur and Halebidu in Karnataka. Adjacent to this temple was another creation by Jakanachari, a Shiva temple, equally wonderful and in a slightly better condition than its neighbouring temple.
My daughter took the initiative of taking a photograph of Lord Chennakeshava from the entrance of the temple.
We also visited an Anjaneya Swami Temple (called Madalgatti Hanumappa in the local Kannada dialect) situated on the banks of River Tungabhadra at a place called Madalgatti which is about 15 kms from Huvina Hadagali. The ancient temple has been renovated with granite and marble and is well maintained. The three day annual fair is very popular and well attended by localites and people from the neighbouring villages and districts. Here Lord Hanuman is believed to fulfill the prayers and wishes of his devotees.
For me, it was definitely a memorable trip!