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Hanuman Temple built by Karnataka’s 2nd Chief Minister – Kengal Hanumanthaiah

When travelling to Mysore on the State Highway SH-17, you can notice a beautiful temple in a vast area of land on the right passing 5 Kms from Ramanagar or just before entering Chanapatna – the land of toys in Karnataka. That’s the famous Hoysala Temple rebuilt by the second Chief Minister of Karnataka 60 years ago. Ironically he was known as Shri Kengal Hanumanthaiah, the same name as the presiding diety!
He was an ardent devotee of Lord Hanuman, also called Anjenaya locally. Kengal Hanumanthaiah came from this same village, Kengal. He was the statesman who built the beautiful seat of power building at Bangalore known today as ‘Vidhana Soudha’ – a landmark building of Bangalore City and Karnataka State. Today this architectural edifice is copied by most districts of Karnataka as the political seat of the house of ruling and power! This Temple was built by the second Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri Kengal Hanumanthaiah when he was building Vidhana Soudha as a personal tribute.
‘Kengal’ means ‘red stone’ and this region has a lot of them, hence the name. This temple was the third temple of the 108 Hanuman temple established by sage Vyasa, he is credited to have written the Hindu epic ‘Mahabharatha’. The Anjaney statue is self manifested on the red rock and is further smeared by the orange ‘sindoor’ or vermilion!
One more miracle vision is that the face of the Hanuman statue was facing north and today it faces east! This is a progression change of the diety over a period of time! Hanumanji here is adorned by a mustache! The statue is five and a half feet tall. This temple is visited by ailing pilgrims and childless couples. In faith if one asks, the prayers are met and answered. It’s time to visit this beautiful village shrine for divine intervention.
During the month of January (14-15) on Makara Shankranthi Day, the Sun’s first rays fall upon the idol, on the rest of the days… It does not! These festive days see the biggest cattle fair on the temple grounds. The temple is open from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 6 am to 10 pm on weekends and festive days. There’s a permanent small village shanty here – good village experience. Ample temple grounds to rest, relax and park your vehicle’s for a small fee. Next time stopover here for a pit-stop. Be blessed!
This Temple location is called ‘Doddamannugudde Forest’, Vandaraguppe Village’ at Kengal in Channapatna District. Karnataka. The Temple is a modern structure and there’s no trace of Hoysala bearings. It’s claim to fame is, it’s built by the second Chief Minister of Karnataka State, Shri Kengal Hanumanthaiah. His burial site lies close to his favourite diety closeby to the temple complex.The inner walls of the temple are adorned by his bio data and summary of his political life. It’s a short one hour drive of 56 Kms from Bangalore early in the morning. Saturday sees a lot of crowds in this temple.
-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography

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