Sita’s place


Ramalingeshwara_group_of_temples_(rear_view_of_shrines)_at_Avani

Mythology adds to the spice when it comes to visit an ancient place.  One such place with a Ramayana link is AVANI in Kolar District.

There is a beautiful Temple at the foothills of a hillock.  The Karnataka Gazetteer says, the place was earlier known as  AVANTIKA KSHETRA and was considered to be of great sanctity.  “According to legend, the hill was the residence of poet Valmiki, the author of Ramayana, and is therefore known by the name VALMIKI PARVATA also.

Ramalingeshwara_group_of_temples,_view_no._3_at_Avani


Rama is said to have encamped here for some time on his way back from his expedition  to Lanka and Sita, when subsequently abandoned by her husband, is said to have come here and given birth to her twin sons.  The place is mentioned in Bana inscription, the professed date of which is 339AD.  In a later inscription, it is called the GAYA OF THE SOUTH.

Interestingly, there is also another hillock near Avani known as KARVEDI KONDA.  This place was said to be another camp of Lord Rama.  The story goes that during Ashwamedha Yaga, when Luv and Kush tied up the horse, Rama and his sons fought a war between Karvei Konda and Avani.

Entrance_to_mantapa_(hall)_in_Someshvara_Temple_at_Kolar


Ramlingeswara Temple Avani Hill


Apart from stories, the hillock offers a good climb.  As you move up, you get a panoramic view of the nearby hillocks.  En route, there is a small spring.  You could rest at the summit.  In fact, many people trek to the summit just to sleep.


Entrance_to_a_shrine_in_Ramalingeshwara_group_of_temples_at_Avani


There are also a number of ancient temples at the foothills.  They stand at the southwest corner of the hill and consist of a dozen different buildings in all within a single courtyard having two gates, one in the south and the other in the east.  Ten of these forma sub-group dedicated to different deities like Shiva, Parvati and Subramanya.  Local mythology attributes the consecration of these images to the days of Sri Rama and his brothers.  However, there are inscriptions indicating that these temples go back to the Ganga times.  While the majority of these shrines belong to this period, reconstructed or at least renovated in the Chola period, there is evidence to show that at least one temple, that of KAMAKSHI, was built during Vijanagara days.

——– Sridhar Vivan.
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