A Marvellous Excursion To Mahakuta -Dakshina Kashi
This is an account of Marvellous Excursion To Mahakuta (also called Dakshina Kashi). Mahakuta is a village in Bagalkot district of Karnataka state, India. It is an important place of worship for Hindus. The temples are dated to the 6th or 7th century CE and were constructed by kings of the Chalukya dynasty of Badami. It is enlisted as one of the Protected Monuments by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
How to Reach?
There are two ways to reach Mahakuta. One is by trek and another by Road.
By Walk: There is a trek road via Agastya Lake (Badami). You just have to follow the trail on mountains to reach Mahakuta. Even some archaeological milestones guide you on the way.
By Road: Mahakuta is a 15KM ride from Badami, a popular touristic place in Bagalkot District, Karnataka, India. There are three ways to reach by Badami but I suggest you take the road via Adagal. The road is in very good condition. You can reach Mahakuta by 20-30 mins from Badami.
I suggest you to be cautious and keep your speed in check or you may be surprised with hurdles like this.
The temple complex is full of temples. You can find hundreds of them in all directions. That is why the place is also called “The Mahakuta group of temples”. The main temple is a Shiva monastery. The temple complex is clean and well maintained. Regardless of Government aid, the Community dedication to keep things well is found everywhere. It is spiritual dedication which has won over the tourism guidelines.
In comparison with Badami and Banashankari, interesting to see the importance of dustbins in such a remote archaeological site. We hardly find them in Universities.
Though historical, this place is monitored by CCTV cameras.
Tank of Ablution: (ಪಾಪವಿನಾಶ ತೀರ್ಥ)
A natural mountain spring flows within the temple complex and feeds fresh water into a large tank called the Vishnu Pushkarni (“Lotus pool of god Vishnu”) and an ablution tank called Papavinasha Tirtha (“Tank of Ablution”). Among the several shrines in the complex, the Mahakuteshvara temple, built in the dravida style, and the Mallikarjuna temple are the largest. There is a small shrine in the centre of the Vishnu Pushkarni tank and in it is a Shiva linga (the universal symbol of god Shiva) called Panchamukha linga (“five-faced linga”), one face for each direction and one on top.
The Holy Dip:
I was told that taking a dip in Ablution tank purifies the soul. I took the Holy Dip in water. The water tranquillizes your mind. You just become calm. Just peace. It may be a Placebo Effect but things just work. Thanks to Mahantesh (The Tank Gaurd) who monitored my belongings.
Mahakuta is well known for its mischievous monkeys and they stand for it. Watch your stuff as they may snatch and steal your stuff.
Who do you think can give a better pose than these monkeys?
I was looking for a place to keep my baggage to free myself to explore the place. Found an old man selling coconuts. I requested him to look after my baggage for few hours. He readily agreed. On return by evening to collect my baggage, his son was present. I asked him about my stuff. He returned it. I took out my wallet to pay 10 rupees as a token of respect for the service provided as I did during my Badami visit. The shopkeeper denied taking money. I was wondered how the hell this is possible in this materialistic world. As a token of respect, I bought some coconuts for 30 rupees. As a matter of fact, he made business with this kindness. This is one small example of “Good things happen to those people who do good things.”
I found people are humble and genuine. There are no impurities in their mind. They know what is important. What is not! Life is Simple here. They do not have tons of money but do have a contented life. No fake smiles.
By evening, I was running short of time I tried to visit The Shivyogi Mandir, Govanaki (3KM ride from Mahakuta). At the entrance, I was greeted by a physically challenged person to give admission ticket. I felt happy to see right kind of job to the right person. As I entered, found a Shiva Temple. And they also have a beautifully crafted temple car (ther). They brag about it as the tallest car (ther) in Asia. (I personally did not find Accreditation on this).
The Shivayog Mandir is also known for its Vibhuti Production house. They use the cow dung from ‘Goshala'(a home for cows) present in the premises of Mandir. Interestingly the cow dung is fetched by resident students of Mandir. They are taught humility this way.
The Gurukul System is still alive here. You can see children learning discipline in everything. They sweep the Madir every evening. They prostate to God in devotion. They help elders performing spiritual practices. These kids enjoy outdoor games. They are physically active away from gadgets. While their counterparts are thinking about love and breakups in cities.
Overall it was a blissful experience. If you looking for a peaceful remote place in North Karnataka, this is best I can suggest you.