Brief Note of Devanahalli
Devanahalli taluk situated 36 kms from Bangalore has four major hobli centres as follows:
- Vijayapura Hobli
- Channarayapatna Hobli
- Kundana Hobli
- Kasaba Hobli
The Taluk has got 21 Grama Panchayaths having 44,935 hectares of area covered and the villagers mainly depend upon silk based activity like reeling, Weaving, Twisting type of industries and other rural industries like carpentry, Masonary, stone cutting. Based upon the artisan orientation in the taluk, the multipurpose co-op societies are being existed.
1) Taluk Level Artisan's Multipurpose Co-op Society (Devanahalli).
2) Taluk Level Artisan's Stone-cutter's Multipurpose Co-op Society(Devanahalli).
DEVANAHALLI , a town situated at a distance of 39 km from Bangalore, is a taluk headquarters and is mentioned variously in several records as Devanapura, Devandanahalli, etc. In about 1501, Mallabhaire Gowda of Avati is said to have built a fort with the consent of `Deva' a feudatory at Devanadoddi and changed the name of the place to the Devanahalli. In 1747 Mysore dynasty conquered the place. The Marathas conquered it several times from Mysore . The remains of this fort were formerly seen inside the present fort. The present fort with large and tall walls having bastions at suitable points is acri-bed to Haider and Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan also changed the name of the place as Yousafabad (the abode of Yosuf, the finest man), a name which however never became popular. Since Devanahalli was his birth-place, Tipu `frequently undertook hunting as well as pleasure excursion to this place', says Kirmani.
There is a memorial now at the birth place of Tipu Sultan outside the fort. It is about six feet tall with a pillared enclosure and square top and bears a stone tablet. It has a n enclosure. The area called Khas Bagh, now contains many tamarind trees, a few mango trees and a small dried pond. It was once an enchanting spot, being Tipu's private park. Inside the fort are temples dedicated to Venugopalaswamy, Nanjundeshwara, Chandramauleshwara, Veerabhadraswamy, Ranganathaswamy, Kalamma, Balagopala (old), Nagareshwara and Basaveshwara. The Venugopalaswamy temple has a tall Rayagopura at the entrance and has a spacious inner Prakara. Two Vishnu statues of Ganga times placed at the entrance are said to have been ground from Gangavara village. The images are impressive and one of them has a Prayogachakra in one hand, Shankha, Abahaya and Gada being the attributes of remaining hands.
The Garbhagriha has a standing Venugopala image of Vijayanagara style. There is a Dravidian Shikhara over it. The Navaranga has four black stoned pillars carved with fine relief sculptures on all sides, such as Hayagriva, dancing female figures with attendant musicians, a conch blower, a Kinnara with the lower portion of his body in bird form, a huntress removing a thorn from her leg, etc. The Mukhamantapa has niches over the frontroof. They have fine stucco figures. The brick Shikhara has two many stucco figures alround. The outer walls have a frieze of large images illustrating scenes mostly from the Ramayana.
The story of Balakandais well illustrated by the figures on the north and south walls. A portion of the frieze on the north will have interesting scenes like Rishyashringa being brought from the forest to Ayodhya by dancing girls, asharatha performing the sacrifice with the help of Rishyshringa and other sages. The story is continued on the south wall upto the Ahalyoddahara episode. A frieze on the east wall to the left of the entrance represents the story of Vishwamitra teaching archery to Rama and a portion of the south wall also illustrates the sports of child Krishna and by its side are the Dashavataras of Vishnu. In a cell in the Prakara an artistically executed gild vehicle of god called Chitragopura-Vahana with two female figures standing on either sides is kept.
This Utsava is held on the Chaitra Poornima (April) every year. It is said that a grand illumination is arranged on this day and one lakh lamps are lit. A silver cup and a bronze gong belonging to the temple bear inscriptions stating that they were presents from Haider and one Dondu Raghunath, a subordinate of the Peshawa Balaji Rao respectively. The Nanjundeshwara temple is a small building with two cells in a line and a common Navaranga. It is said that this was earlier called Kashi Vishveshwara and is regarded as the oldest temple in the town. All the door ways of this temple are well served. The Dwarapalakas at the entrance of the Ardhamantapa have over them pilasters carved with the vase and creeper motifs. To the left of the Navaranga are images of Narayana, Takshaka, Brahma, Karkotaka, Saraswati, and Subhrahmanya etc.The Chandramauleshwara temple with a spacious inner Prakara is built in Vijayanagara style. The Garbhagriha has a Shivalinga and there are two cells on either sides with images of Ganapati and Parvati enshrined respectively. There is a Siddheswara temple (Matha) of the Veerashiva Community with a seated figure, about one-and-half metre high of Siddeshwara with two hands, the left holding a Linga and the right offering worship.
The place also has a Mahantha Matha. The large pond knows as Sarovara is said to have been built by Deewan Purnaiah and the Anjaneya in the Shrine near to it is called Sarovaranjaneya. The Ningamma temple of the fisherman community has a fine stucco seated image, about five feet high of the Goddess with four hands holding trident, a drum, a sword and a Panapatra in them. There is a small hillock on the Avati road called Parvatagudda having shrines of Anjaneya and Veerabhadra on it. The last mentioned is enshrined in a small cavern and there is also a small stream. The place also has a mosque of Tipu's times with pleasing minars. Devanahalli has a traditional school of sculpture called `Shilpakala Shala' which was being run by great sculptor A.C.Hanumantacharya.