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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Map of Karnataka

Anegondi (अनागुंदी) previously called Kishkindha is a village in the Gangavathi taluk, Koppal district in Karnataka. [1] Anegundi is believed to be the Vanara kingdom of Kishkindha mentioned in Ramayana.



It is older than Hampi situated on the northern bank of Tungabhadra River, Huchappayana matha temple (with black-stone pillars and dance sculptures), Pampa Sarovar, Aramane (a ruined palace), Ranganatha temple, Kamal Mahal, and Nava Brindavana are the major attractions Nimvapuram, a nearby village, has a mount of ash believed to be the cremated remains of monkey king Vali. Anegundi is best visited along with Hampi, it is part of the world Heritage Site, Hampi.


Anegundi, believed to be the Vanara kingdom of Kishkindha (Kishkinta means in local language a forest where the Vanaras lived) in the epic of Ramayana, is at a distance of 5 km from the historical site of Hampi.

Anjanadri hill, the birthplace of monkey-god Hanuman, and the mountain Rishimuka are the other places near Anegundi associated with Ramayana. It is said to have one of the oldest plateaus on the planet, estimated to be 3,000 million years old. So, only local story-tellers refer to Anegundi as the maternal home of Bhoodevi (Mother Earth).

The village, located on the northern side bank of River Tungabhadra, was said to be the legendary Kishkindha, a kingdom of the monkey Prince Sugriva and the cradle place of the historic Krishnadevaraya dynasty of the glorious Vijayanagar empire and falls in the core zone of Hampi.


Pre-historic: Neolithic history is represented in this region by Mourya Mane, a several-thousand-year-old Stone Age Colony. Several Neolithic dwellings still bear paintings that are clear and intact even to this day at 'Onke Kindi'. This is the rare human settlement where we will find traces of Microlithic, Megalithic and Neolithic age of human life at one same spot. Anegundi area is older than the Vijayanagar empire, and as is old as the planet. As per geologists the Anegundi area is about four billion years old. Till date, this village is a living heritage site in its true sense. The nearest Pre-historic sites are HireBenekal, Chikkarampur, Mallapur, Venkatapur and Anjanahalli. Pre-historic rock shelters and paintings are found in Tungabhadra river valley.

Rock art: At Anegundi there is prehistoric settlement called Onake Kindi.[2] The boulders with rock art, a rock with some red and white markings had figures of human and bull. on another boulder there is a circular diagram like sun and moon and with some symbolism. Actually the rock painting are belonged to Iron Age, date back to 1500 BC and the faded circular painting a very rare depiction of a megalithic style of burial, also includes a human body in the middle surrounded by a stone circle and burial goods. The site of megalithic dolmens located up in the hills locals call it as Mourya Mane (morya means short in local language), about five to seven feet high sheet rocks forms four walls and another rock sheet used as roof (Neolithic period), it is about 10 km away from Anegundi, the Neolithic dwellings in the Elu gudda hill range, from Benegal to Indaragi gudda. About 1.5 km from Anegundi, there are rock shelters and paintings, paintings found in the hill ranges called locally as Elu gudda Salu.

Ancient kingdom: Anegundi the ancient town Kishkindha of Ramayana, a lively settlement has mahals and monuments (Gagan Mahal), there are forts and palaces, ruined temples, lush green padi fields.

Ramayana connection: Pampa Sarovar related to Shiva and Parvati featured in Ramayana, Sabari a devotee of Rama met here, the legends of Ramayana including Hanuman, Sugriva all are pervading around Anegundi. The pilgrims consider Pampa Sarovara a holy place.

Pre Vijayanagara period: Aneguni in Kannada means Elephant Gorge, it is older than Hampi, in fact the mother kingdom (cradle city of Vijayanagara). Anegundi history dates back to 3rd BC century was under Ashoka Empire. Anegundi was ruled by various dynasties like Shatavahanas, Kadambas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagara Empire and Bahamanis. Now this place is well-known tourism place.

Vijayanagara period: Early 14th century, elephant enclosure in Kannada known as Anegundi, named because of elephant contingent of Vijayanagar army.[3] The first capital of Vijayanagar Empire and capital of several other dynasties. In 1334, Deva Raya the Chief Minister of Anegundi became ruler of Anegundi. When Delhi Sultans invaded Warangal, Harihara and Bukka escaped and came to Anegundi, later founded the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi. The Tallarighatta gate(Talwar Ghatta) (erstwhile toll gate) is the entrance to Anegundi from Hampi side, the collapsed modern day bridge under construction between Hampi and Anegundi across the Tungabhadra river. Crossing the river in a coracle (boat) which is circular basket shaped made of cane, bamboo and wrapped in a plastic sheet. "Coracle was used to ferry people in the Vijayanagar time also", it is mentioned by Dominoes Paes the Portuguese traveller in the 16th century, there is mention of carrying "about twenty persons and horses and oxen to cross the river."

During 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Anegundi was ruled by Bijapur Sultans, Moghuls, Marathas and Tipu Sultan. According to 1824 treaty with the British and Hyderabad Nizam, the king of Vijayanagar who was ruled from Hampi lost his kingdom, provided a monthly pension of Rs 300, forced to leave Hampi and make Anegundi as official residence, Rani Lalkumari Bai last descendant who received monthly pension.

Anegundi Fort: Anegundi has a Fort with many gates; there is a Durga temple and the Fort entrance, there are also tombs laying scattered around. There is a Ganesha cave temple. Vijayanagar kings used to pray before every battle at the Durga temple, then they used to visit Pampa Sarovar and Shri Lakshmi temple.[4] Royal descendants of Vijayanagar Empire are still exist in Anegundi.

Note: The following content is from the book - History And Legend In Hyderabad, Department of Information and Public Relations, 1953,pp.112-113

Anegundi: Anegundi recalls the days of the great Vijayanagar kingdom, for just across the Tunga-

[p.113]: bhadra is Hampi, the ruined capital of the forgotten empire — an empire which has been praised in glowing terms even in The Thousand and One Mights which gives a graphic description of the splendour of Vijayanagar.

Both Hampi and Anegundi were destroyed by the Muslim confederacy after the great battle of Talikotta (1565). The confederacy consisted of the kings of Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Bidar and Golconda. The Vijayanagar armies were led by Sedasivaraya and his brothers, and the Vijayanagar army was 82,000 horses, 9,00,000 foot and 2,000 elephant strong. The Muslim army was comparatively smaller but the battle seems to have been decided by the heavy artillery used by the Muslims. The battle is said to have been joined on January 5, 1565, and the number slain computed at 1,00,000.

Rajas of Anegundi are lineal descendants of the kings of Vijayanagar. The Vijayanagar dynasty ruled from 1336 to 1565. Anegundi means 'elephant-pit’ being the place where the elephants of the Vijayanagar kings were kept.

The ancient town of Anegundi which has also been identified by some scholars with Kong-Kien-na-pu-le (Kunkanapura) of Hiuen Tsang is in a state of complete ruin now. The remains of magnificent buildings of the Vijayanagar dynasty are still traceable and there are fine specimens in the pillars of the Oncha Appa-Matha and the screens and scupture of the Ganesa temple. The pillars are of jet black basalt and are deeply carved. The sculptures appear in relief on the surface of the pillars and are similar in design and workmanship to the pillars in the Huvina Hadgatta temple in the Bellary district.

The ceiling of the Oncha Appa Matha has also some paintings which consists of devices still in vogue in Rajputana and northern India. In one panel there is a figure of Siva with a long beard riding on five female acrobats who have joined themselves in the form of an elephant.

In another panel the same deity is riding on a group of five women who have united themselves together in the form of a horse. There is also palki formed of women in the same style. The outlines of the figures are weak and the colours are insipid. They probably belong to the 17th century.

ऋष्यमूक पर्वत

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[5] ने लेख किया है ...ऋष्यमूक पर्वत (AS, p.108) वाल्मीकि रामायण में वर्णित वानरों की राजधानी किष्किंधा के निकट स्थित था। इसी पर्वत पर श्री राम की हनुमान से भेंट हुई थी। बाद में हनुमान ने राम और सुग्रीव की भेंट करवाई, जो एक अटूट मित्रता बन गई। जब महाबलि बालि ने अपने भाई सुग्रीव को मारकर किष्किंधा से भागा तो वह ऋष्यमूक पर्वत पर ही आकर छिपकर रहने लगा था। उसने सीता हरण के पश्चात् राम और लक्ष्मण को इसी पर्वत पर पहली बार देखा था- 'तावृष्यमूकस्य समीपचारी चरन् ददर्शद्भुत दर्शनीयौ, शाखामृगाणमधिपस्तरश्ची वितत्रसे नैव विचेष्टचेष्टाम्' (किष्किंधा., 1,128)

अर्थात् "ऋष्यमूक पर्वत के समीप भ्रमण करने वाले अतीव सुन्दर राम-लक्ष्मण को वानर राज सुग्रीव ने देखा। वह डर गया और उनके प्रति क्या करना चाहिए, इस बात का निश्चय न कर सका।"

श्रीमद्भागवत में भी ऋष्यमूक का उल्लेख है- 'सह्योदेवगिरिर्ऋष्यमूक: श्रीशैलो वैंकटो महेन्द्रो वारिधारो विंध्य:।' (श्रीमद्भागवत 5,19,16) तुलसीरामायण, किष्किंधा कांड में ऋष्यमूक पर्वत पर राम-लक्ष्मण के पहुँचने का इस प्रकार उल्लेख है- 'आगे चले बहुरि रघुराया, ऋष्यमूक पर्वत नियराया।'

दक्षिण भारत में प्राचीन विजयनगर साम्राज्य के खंडहरों अथवा हम्पी में विरूपाक्ष मन्दिर से कुछ ही दूर पर स्थित एक पर्वत को ऋष्यमूक कहा जाता है। जनश्रुति के अनुसार यही रामायण का ऋष्यमूक है। मंदिर को घेरे हुए तुंगभद्रा नदी बहती है। ऋष्यमूक तथा तुंगभद्रा के घेरे को चक्रतीर्थ [p.109]: कहा जाता है। चक्रतीर्थ के उत्तर में ऋष्यमूक और दक्षिण में श्री राम का मंदिर है। मंदिर के निकट सूर्य और सुग्रीव आदि की मूर्तियाँ स्थापित हैं। प्राचीन किष्किंधा नगरी की स्थिति यहाँ से 2 मील दूर, तुंगभद्रा नदी के वामतट पर, अनागुंदी नामक ग्राम में मानी जाती है।


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[6] ने लेख किया है ...अनेगुंडी (AS, p.22) तुंगभद्रा नदी के तट पर बसा हुआ अत्यंत प्राचीन नगर, जो कर्नाटक राज्य के रायचूर ज़िले में स्थित है। नगर के दूसरी ओर हंपी के खण्डहर हैं जहाँ 16वीं शती का प्रसिद्ध ऐश्वर्यशाली नगर विजयनगर स्थित था। तालीकोट के निर्णायक युद्ध (1565 ई.) के पश्चात् हंपी और [p.23]: अनेगुंडी दोनों ही नगरों को मुसलमान विजेताओं ने लूट कर नष्ट-भ्रष्ट कर दिया था। अनेगुंडी शब्द का अर्थ हाथी-घर है। यहीं विजयनगर दरबार के हाथी-घर है। यहीं विजयनगर दरबार के हाथी रखे जाते थे। अब यह जगह बिल्कुल खण्डहर हो गई है। कुछ विद्वानों के मत में चीनी यात्री युवानच्वांग द्वारा वर्णित 'कोंगकीनयापुल' या कंकुनपुर यही अनेगुंडी था।

विजयनगर के नरेशों द्वारा बनवाए हुए भवनों के चिह्न यहाँ अब भी वर्तमान हैं। 'ओंचा अप्पमठ' के स्तंभ और गणेश मंदिर की पाषाणजालियां तथा सुन्दर उत्कीर्ण मूर्तियां प्राचीन कला-वैभव के ज्वलंत उदाहरण है। स्तंभ काले पत्थर के बने हुए हैं और उन पर गहरी नक़्क़ाशी है। स्तंभों की नक़्क़ाशी और उन पर मूर्तियों का उत्किरण बिलारी ज़िले के हुविना हदगट्ट मन्दिर की याद दिलाते हैं। ओंचाअप्प मठ की छत पर प्राचीन चित्रकारी के अंश भी मिले हैं। एक फलक पर हाथी की मुद्रा में स्थित पांच नर्तकियों के ऊपर शिव को आसीन दिखाया गया है। इसी प्रकार घोड़े तथा पालकी की आकृतियों के रूप में स्त्रियों का अंकन किया गया है। यह चित्रकारी शायद 17 वीं शती की है। जनश्रुति के अनुसार रामायण में वर्णित वानरों की राजधानी किष्किंधा अनेगुंडी के स्थान पर ही बसी हुई थी।

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