A visit to the ‘jinxed’ town

Originally one of the taluk centres from the larger district of Mysore, Chamarajanagara taluk was bifurcated from Mysore district in 1997 and became a new district consisting of Kollegal, Yellandur and Gundulpet taluks with the historical Chamarajanagar town as the district headquarters.

The town was known as the ‘jinxed’ town, which most of the chief ministers (since the 1980s) prefered not to visit during their tenure. The belief has been that any chief minister in office, will lose his post within six months of visiting this town. Bordering Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Chamarajanagar district is surrounded by pristine forested hills like Biligirirangana Betta and Male Mahadeshwara Betta. Chamarajanagar district has hills, valleys and natural environs spread over fifty per cent of its total area consisting mostly of semi-arid lands. Chamarajanagar is known for its nature spots, hill temples and Jain shrines. The district got its name from the district centre.

Chamarajanagar is where the Mysore king Khasa Chamaraja Wodeyar IX (1766-1796) was born. In the early 17th century when it was known as ‘Wodeyanooru’ or ‘Arikottara’, Chamarajanagar was ruled by various dynastic rulers from eighth century to 20th century i.e. from the Gangas to Mysore Wodeyars.

In 1818, Arikottara was renamed Chamarajanagar by Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1794-1868), the son of Khasa Chamaraja Wodeyar IX, in whose memory a memorial ‘Janana Mantapa’ was built.

Built in 1826, the Chamarajeswara temple named after Chamaraja Wodeyar, is the town’s main attraction. The annual car festival of this temple is held in Ashada Masa (July-August) on a grand scale.

S V Upendra Charya

Hoysala art at Settikere

The State is full of temples that highlight our glorious history. The temple at Settikere in Tumkur district’s Chikkanayakanahalli taluk, is one of them. The temple reflects the fine art and architecture of the Hoysala period.

According to the information available at Yogamadhavaraya Swamy temple at Settikere, the town was known as Dharmaprakasha Pandita Puri in ancient times. It is said that a certain Gopaladananayaka built this temple in 1261 during the reign of Hoysala ruler Mummadi Veeranarasimha. The temple also has a small statue of Gopala. The temple has been designed along the lines of Somanathapura’s Keshava temple.

The whole temple has been built on a platform three feet from the ground. It is basically a trikuta (three-towered) temple. The garbha gruha (sanctum sanctorum) has the statue of Yogamadhavaraya Swamy.

The statues of Lakshmi Narayana Swamy and Venugopala Swamy statues on the right and left sides of the Yogamadhavaraya statue respectively are attractively sculptured. The idol of Yogamadhavaraya Swamy is in a yogic pose.

The Settikere temple is 150 km away from Bangalore and 70 km away from Tumkur. It is located 18 km from Tiptur and eight km from Chikkanayakanahalli

Manjunatha A P

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