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A Memorable Evening at Koodalasangama

(A Travelogue - By Lakshmi Menon)

My trip to Koodalasangama : During my north Karnataka trip, I had the fortune of visiting Koodala Sangama, one of the important pilgrim centres of Lingayat faith, in Karnataka. Three rivers - Krishna, Malaprabha and Ghataprabha - meet on this holy site, and then flows towards Srisaila, Andra Pradesh. First, Krishna and Malaprabha join and a bit later Ghataprabha joins. Kooalasangama is perched on the meeting point of these rivers. In ancient India this place was known as Kappadi Sangama.

This place is also famous for being the birth place of Saint Basaveshwara, a social reformer of Karnataka. He was also the founder of the Lingayat faith. He opposed caste and inequalities in the society. He lived here in the 12th century (1134-1196) and wrote several famous poems. It is believed that after spending his last days here, he became lingaikya-merged with God. Thousands of people flock here to see the beautiful sight as also to pay their respects to this great saint.

We reached there in the evening and hence couldn't spend much time as much as we wanted, but still could see some of the most important things there.

We saw Aikya Mantapa, the holy samadhi of the saint, which is below the water, but well protected. Earlier the Linga used to get submerged in water in rainy season. There is a huge concrete enclosure surrounding it, and a bridge is connecting it to the main land at Koodala Sangama. The Basavalinga (which is said to be Swayambhu Linga) along with the saint's Samadhi can be seen at the Aikya Mantapa.

Another important thing to see at Koodalasangama is the ancient temple dedicated to Lord Sangameswara, built in the Chalukyan style architecture, with beautiful stone carvings. The deity is worshipped in the form of a linga here. Kudala Sangama is an Old Shaiva Kshetra mentioned in Shivapuranas, Sri Sangameswara being the main deity. The idols of Basaveshwara, Neelamma, Ganesha and Nandi are installed in Navagraha, with beautiful carvings of animals and flowers.

There is also a huge auditorium (Sabhabhavana) which can accommodate about 6000 people. The exquisite doorways on four sides named after Gangambike, Nilambike, Channabasavanna and Akka Nagamma, surround the huge grey dome in the centre.

Sharana Mela is the important festival celebrated here on the Makara Sankranti daywhich normally falls on the 14th January.

We also visited Basavana Bagewadi, another important place in the locality, about 30 kms away.

Located in Bagalkot District of Karnataka,this holy place is now under the care of the Kudala Sangama Development Board.

Information for those who want to visit Koodalasangama

The distance from Bijapur is about 85 kms and 15 Kms from Almatti Dam. It is just 8 Kms from Sangam cross on the NH 13. The nearby towns are Hungunda, Ilkal, Bagalkot and many buses ply from these places to Kudala Sangama.

Travelogue continued here...