Shivagange and its fort
Last updated: 17 January, 2011
S V Upendra Charya 17:07 IST
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A small town near Tumkur, Shivagange is known for the 16th century Shivappa Nayak’s fort (now in ruins) and also for the famous hill spot where the queen of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana, known as Natyarani Shanthala, is said to have leapt to death and sacrificed her life for the good of her beloved king.
It was in Shivagange that Magadi Kempegowda, founder of Bangalore, had his official treasury. Kempegowda is also said to have built a secret tunnel leading to the Gavigangadhareshwara temple of Basavanagudi in Bangalore. The treasury spot and the entry point of the tunnel route can now also be seen inside the Gangadhareshwara temple of this historic hill town.
With many temples and shrines dedicated to Ashta Shivalingas situated atop the hill surrounded by several teerthas (holy ponds) like Patala Gange, Agasthya teertha, Kanva teertha, Kapila teertha and Olkallu teertha, Shivagange is called Dakshina Kashi.
Shivagange is also known for its centuries-old Sharadamba temple founded by Sringeri Math during the reign of Mysore’s Raja Wodeyar. On the day of Sankranthi every year, hundreds of devotees visit Shivagange mainly to witness the most eagerly awaited Sankramana Gangotpatti when natural water oozes out from a certain rocky spot atop Khumbi Betta (peak hill).
Interestingly, this phenomenon is known to occur only during Sankramana. At Shivagange, Sankranthi is celebrated with a month-long cattle fair and the festivities associated with the hill temples are dedicated to Gangadhareshwara, Goddess Honnadevi and Veerabhadraswamy. Shivagange is just a six-km journey from Dobbespet on the Bangalore–Tumkur route (NH4).
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