Anegundi or Anegondi, is a place of historical and mythological importance which takes you back to the days of the Ramayana. It is surrounded by hills on three sides with the Tungabhadra flowing on the fourth side.
Anegundi translates to elephant pit from Kannada. It was the place which happened to be used for the bathing of the elephants during the rule of the Vijayanagar empire and was also the first capital of the empire.
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For those visiting this place, it would be a mesmerizing tour into the past. It is older than Hampi and is believed to have come into existence about 5000 years ago. It also boasts of a plateau which claims to be one of the oldest in the world.
To get to Anegundi from Hampi one can simply hop on to a motor boat or a coracle and cut across the river Tungabhadra. It is a five-minute ride and you will reach the ancient city of Anegundi.
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Anegundi is a year-around destination; however, the best time to visit would be during the months of November to mid March as the weather remains ideal for sightseeing.
More Of History
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Anegundi was the first capital of the Vijayanagar dynasty, and also the capital of several other dynasties. It was ruled by the Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, the Mughals, the Marathas and even Tipu Sultan in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, respectively. The king of Vijayanagar lost his kingdom to the British and the Nizam of Hyderabad after signing a treaty with them in the year 1824.
During the 13th century, it came under the rule of Malik Nayab, who was the representative of the Delhi Sultan, Mohammed Bin Tughlaq, after defeating the Vijayanagar king Jambujeshwara Raya. But he was later defeated by Harihara Raya and Bukka Raya.
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The localite believe that this is the place called Kishkindha, which is mentioned in the Ramayana. Kishkindha was the place where Rama met Hanuman and Sugreeva. It was ruled by the twin monkey brothers Sugreeva and Bali, until Bali drove out Sugreeva who took shelter at the Matanga Hill.
It was the cradle of the Vijayanagar Empire in the hands of Krishnadevaraya and falls in parallel line with the famous town of Hampi. The Anjanadri hill is said to be the birth place of Hanuman, and the mountains of Rishimukha have a close association with Ramayana.
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The Mourya Mane here is a representation of the Neolithic age. One can find a stone age colony, which is thousands of years old. There are several proofs of the Neolithic habitations in the form of paintings which are surprisingly clear and intact. In these dwellings one will find the proofs of the Microlithic, Megalithic and Neolithic age at the same spot.
Another prehistoric settlement is the Onake Kindi. The boulders here are covered with various rock arts and paintings of human figures and bulls in hues of red and white. On another is a circular diagram which resembles the sun and moon symbolically.
Dating back to 1500 BC is a depiction of the megalithic style of burial, which also includes a human body in the middle and is surrounded by a stone circle and other burial goods.
Constructed in the 16th century in the Indo Islamic style of architecture is the Gagan Palace or Gagan Mahal. The palace was built by the Vijayanagar rulers for the women folk to watch the market place during the local festivals. The palace still remains strong and reveals how grand and flourishing the Vijayanagar Empire was.
The Anegundi fort is a perfect example of traditional architecture followed in the past. The major area inside the fort complex is dedicated to the Durga Temple and a cave temple dedicated to Ganesha. It is said the kings of Vijayanagar worshipped the deity at the Durga temple before heading for any war.