Sunday 9 December 2012

The well by a Rayaru devotee

We all know the story of how Raghavendra Swamy helped an unlettered person, Venkanna, to became a Dewan of the Nawab of Adoni (Adwani), Siddi Masud Khan.
Adoni was the capital of Nawab Siddi Masud Khan a nobleman of the Adil Shahi kingdom. Adoni then was part of the Adil Shahi Kingdom and the then Emperor of Bijapur, Muhammad Adil Shah,   had appointed Siddi as the Jagirdar of Adoni.
After Aurangzeb ravaged Bijapur in 1686 and took the last Adil Shahi Emperor, Sikander Adil Shah prisoner, Siddi Masud Khan declared his independence and began ruling Adoni and surrounding areas as an independent ruler.
He had still retained Venkanna as his diwan and Venkanna, with the grace of  Raghavendra Swamy, had undertaken several developmental works for the people of Adoni and surrounding areas.
Adoni is a holy city and its history goes back to the times of the Ramayana. The Ramjala lake in Adoni was formed when Lord Rama shot an arrow into the earth when Sita wanted to drink water. This lake is fed by the Tungabhadra river.
The Ranmandala hill is a famous tourist and pilgrim spot. The famous Hanuman Temple is situated here. It is here that Hanuman killed some of the demons who were disturbing Rama.  
Adoni has a number of temples dedicated to Ganesha. A local legends says that if the water levels reaches the belly of a Ganesha idol in Adoni, the city will be completely submerged underwater. Interestingly, Adoni has an elevation of just 430 metres and it is prone to frequent flooding.
However, one interesting place of interest is the Venkanna Bhavi. Yes, as the name suggest this was the well constructed by Raghavendra Bhakta and Diwan Venkanna.
One of the biggest wells in the area, it is more than 350 years old,
Venkanna had followed the teachings of Rayaru or Raghavendra Swamy to always think of helping others. He had decided to construct the well for providing a permanent solution to the water crisis that Adoni always faced.
Venkanna took the help of water diviners to find out the best spot for the well. Unfortunately, no water appeared even after several days of digging. One night he had a dream in which he was asked to give a sacrifice or “bali” of a pregnant woman if he wanted water to spring out.
Venkanna decide to sacrifice the life of  his daughter-in-law. The moment the sacrifice was done, water began springing out. However, the water was salty as he had sacrificed the life of a pregnant woman. Even today, the water of the well is not used.
Unfortunately, the well became the suicide point of  Adoni. The civic and police authorities have, therefore, restricted access to the well.
Adoni, before Independence, was known as second Bombay because of the manufacture of cotton and textiles.
The Kaman Bavi was built by Masud Khan for providing drinking water to his subjects. The Jumma Masjid is another structure worth visiting. It was built by Madu Quadri, a nobleman of the Bijapur court in 1680. It is located within the Adoni fort, which is in ruins now.
By the way, Venkanna was one of among the hundreds of  anguished devotees when Raghavendra Swamy entered Brindavana in Mantralaya in 1671. Siddhi Masud Khan and Venkanna met Raghavendra Swamy many times to discuss the construction of the Brindavana.
It was Raghavendra Swamy himself  who showed Venkanna the place from where he wanted the stones for the Brindavana to be brought. That place still exists and it is known as Madhavaram.   
Mantralaya, the abode of Raghavendra Swamy, is just 42 kms from Adoni.
Bangalore is 339 kms from Adoni.

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