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Kondajji – Allananatha: Here You ‘Abhisheka’ Lord Vishnu!

kondajji-allanatha-graceful-looking-lord-vishnu-with-shanka-chakraA 18 feet statue of Lord Vishnu meant to be installed at the famous Channakeshava temple at Belur as Lord Allanatha lies abandoned in this village 15 kms away. The reason unknown! This beautiful statue was burried in this village too. . . protected from the vandalism of Muslim invaders, who were on the rampage destroying idols of Hindu deities.
17 kms from Hassan surrounded by other towns like Alur, Arkalgud, Belur, Arsikere lies this little village of 257 hectares – a town of less than 200 households and less than a population of a thousand people! This insignificant agricultural village of lush green fields has one of the most beautiful 14th century temple of Hoysala art & architecture on a mound after the village called ‘Kondajji’. Near the temple is a small hillock called ‘Shigada Gudda’ – the view from atop this hillock down to Kondajji is beautiful!
Kondajji village has this Lord Vishnu’s statue – a Beautiful Intricate well sculpted carved gigantic 18 feet statue of black stone. This statue is attributed to the 14th Century Hoysala Vijayanagar King Ballala III. This is the most extraordinary diety of Lord Vishnu as Janardhana. . .  locally known here as ‘Lord Allanatha’.
The giant idol has good sculpted work with a unique facial expression! Here Lord Allanatha holds the conch – the ‘shanka’, the wheel – the ‘chakra’ and ‘kamala’ – a lotus flower with Lord Lakshmi on him. The entire deity is ornamented in delicate carvings all over. It also has a beautiful head piece crown – the ‘keerita’ and is carved both front and back… the body carvings and sculpture are an attribution to Lord Vishnu’s ‘Mohini’ form. . . Just Beautiful! This beautiful idol captivates the mind and the heart of the ardent devotee! This Lord Vishnu statue – Kondajji Allanatha imbibes reverence on the onlooker!
Another unique feature of this tall idol is that every devotee is allowed entrance to the sanctum santorum of this temple. This idol has a rolling scaffolding where the devotees stand on it. . .  lifted up like an elavator, raised above to the desired height and are allowed to do the ‘abhisheka’ or bathe the ritualistic statue in accordance to the Hindu rituals. Most disappointing about this place is the modern cement structure coming around this idol. It simply robs the aesthetics.  But for the village’s old woman, this beautiful idol would have been discarded in this village burried and for reasons unknown never went to Belur. That’s why this place is called . . . ‘Kond’-‘ajji’ . In Kannada meaning ‘brought back by granny’.
This nondescript place is 189 kms from Bangalore. Good toll paying roads take you here, including Kondajji in your Belur & Halebedu trips will be an enriching experience. This place is well connected by rail and local transport once you reach Hassan.
Hassan – Chikkamagalur tourism circuits are educative, entertaining and rejuvenating. Old art, architecture, hills, valleys takes you away from the hustle & bustle of the city. Travelling, trekking and staying in these areas are less expensive and doesn’t hurt your pocket.
Travelling on these good roads, is a scenic beauty boon. Driving – an absolute pleasure on these immaculate highways.

-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh

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