Know your neighbourhood - 31: Devanahalli Taluk

Overview: Devanahalli is one of the upcoming localities in Bangalore District with the Kempegowda Airport in its vicinity. The history of Devanahalli goes back to the 15th century when Kempegowda’s ancestors led by Ranabhairegowda settled in this region after migrating from Kanchipuram. They settled in Avathi, which happens to be the birthplace of Kempegowda, also in Devanahalli Taluk and a few kms away from the town. Devanahalli was a part of Gangawadi under the Gangas, then later came under Hoysalas and Cholas. During the Vijayanagara rule, Mallabhaire Gowda from the Avathi clan built a fort with the consent from Deva, a feudatory from Devanahalli. The fort was later annexed by Hyder Ali. Devanahalli also happens to be Tipu Sultan’s birthplace who later renovated the fort. The Venugopalaswamy temple inside the fort dates back to the Vijayanagara times.

Devanahalli Fort

Venugopalaswamy temple, Devanahalli

Tipu Sultan's birthplace, Devanahalli

Gangavara: This is an ancient village on the banks of Dakshina Pinakini river around 15kms from Devanahalli, believed to have been ruled by the Gangas and Nolambas in the 8th century. The village’s Someshwara temple was initially built by the Gangas, and later expanded by the Cholas, with the earliest inscription from this temple dating back to 10th century. According to the insriptions, the Chola ruler built temples around Bangalore district as a penance, like the Varadaraja temple at Tekal (Malur Taluk) and Bhoganandeeshwara temple (Nandi Hills).

Someshwara temple, Gangavara

Chowdappanahalli: The Shiva temple at Chowdappanahalli near Gangavara is also from the time of the Gangas, which was further renovated by the Cholas in the 13th century. The legend says that once there were 101 Brahmin household living in this area, who brought 101 Shiva Lingas from their pilgrimage and started worshipping it. One of the couples among them, Satya Shastri and Pavitra Devi, was childless and to ward off his ill luck, he steps out on a pilgrimage, leaving his wife Pavitra Devi behind. In the meantime, due to financial crises, Pavitra Devi requested food from Chowdappa, who hailed from the lower caste community. Due to this, the villagers started discriminating her and on Satya Shastri’s return from pilgrimage, he was asked to demand her wife for a test to prove her innocence. Outraged by this behaviour, Pavitra Devi cursed the entire village to be burnt to ashes, which eventually happened. As a penance, Lord Indra suggested them to install all idols at the current temple location and build a temple.

Chowdappanahalli

Nallur: One of Bangalore’s best kept secrets is the Tamarind Grove at Nallur. Spread over a vast area near Devanahalli, the grove has trees which are over 1000 years old and planted by the Cholas, possible by Raja Rajendra Chola himself. Some of the temple ruins can also be seen in the vicinity.

Tamarind Grove, Nallur
Venugopalaswamy temple, Nallur

Avathi: Having records since the reign of Kempegowdas, this small village near Devanahalli is also known for Thimmaraya swamy temple, probably built by Ranabhaire Gowda, after he found a pot full of gold coins near this spot. Also the hillock here is called Gautamagiri Kshetra as the sage Gautam is believed to have meditated at this place.

Kundana: A small village known for the Vijayanagara era fort and a trekking place is around 10km from Devanahalli. The route to the top of the hill fort offers views of some amazing rock formations. At the top of the fort there is a Chennarayaswamy temple with a small pond.

Vijayapura: On the outskirts of Devanahalli town is the village of Vijayapura, which has some temples from the Vijayanagara times like the Someshwara temple, Chennakeshava temple and Nagareshwara temple.  

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