Sunday, July 29, 2007

This road is an ode to an elephant

This road is an ode to an elephant
Michael Patrao, Deccan Herald
The Elephant Rock Road begins from the South End Circle at one end where it meets R V Road to Jayanagar III Block on the other end where it meet the ninth main road, Jayanagar III Block.

The road is hardly half a kilometre, but it links several arterial roads and therefore this two-way road is traffic intense.
Once upon a time, thus goes a local legend, when Bangalore was just a mere forest, the air-borne goddess Patalamma Devi, riding on a flying elephant, descended on a serene spot which is now the South of Bangalore. After resting for a while, she ascended into the sky but left behind the elephant which was her vahana or vehicle.
Today the vahana (vehicle) is manifested in the form of a giant boulder in the shape of an elephant. It came to be known as Anebande or elephant rock and the road which passes along it came to be known as Anebande Road or Elephant Rock Road.
About 35 years ago, the outline of an elephant was drawn on the rock and people began to worship it. There are smaller rocks around the big rock as if they are a herd of elephants. Graffiti has been painted on two of the rocks spoiling the beauty of the rocks. After the formation of Jayanagar extension in 1948, this piece of land with rocks attracted many builders. According to local lore two engineers who attempted to remove the cluster of rocks died, as if giving out a warning not to meddle with a divine spot.
There is a small Varasiddhi Bhavani Shankar temple below the rocks which according to an inscription says that it was inaugurated by Shantaveera Mahaswamiji on November 6, 1994. Lakshmamma, a caretaker of the temple says, “Bangaramma, a former corporator of Jayanagar took the initiative to build this shrine to stop all illegal activities at the spot.”
There is a temple dedicated to Patalamma, which is the village deity of five villages around Jayanagar — Nagasandra, Kanakanapalya, Siddapura, Byrasandra and Yediyur. Sixty-year-old Pilla Krishnappa the hereditary temple priest of Patalamma temple says, “this temple has an antiquity of about 500 to 600 years. My father Taiyappa Muniyappa was a priest here as was my grandfather Pillappa. Once in three years there is a fire-sacrifice at this temple. The last one took place on May 23 this year.” The temple is managed by a Trust. Devotees come to this temple particularly on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Close to the temple are two long pillars with another stone joining them at the top with iron hooks. This is the swing on which the goddess Patalamma used to play or so the legend says. Today it is used on ceremonial occasions. Close to Patalamma temple is another small temple dedicated to Mahaganapathi. Another religious place on this road is the Sri Bhagwan 1008 Adinathswamy Digambar Jinamandira, housed in a modern building.
One of the older building on this road is the Southern Range of City Central Library founded in 1969. The Chamaraju Kalyana Mantap is a popular wedding hall in one of the cross roads.
Until recently it was largely a tree-lined residential area, but in recent times a few commercial establishments have come up such as Viveks (consumer durables retailer), Odyssey (books, music, cards,gifts, toys, stationery and multimedia retailer), Spencer’s Daily, health services like Fitness One, First Health (a multi-speciality clinic), financial service like ICICI Bank, HSBC Bank and ATMs and IT firms like Object Win and Navini Networks. There is a business boutique hotel called, The President, with speciality restaurants.


At Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at 4:40:00 PM GMT+5:30, Blogger Dr Rao said...

I have been associated with this road in the sixties and seventies.
It was a very quiet oad then and mainly connected thriving Basavanagudi to a new developing Jayanagar. It was the favourite of learner drivers. There was a large hatched building in the grounds opposite the elephant rock called Udayaravi Makkala Kreeda Kendra which provided sports activities to local children. This had been started by local enthusiasts and they also conducted annual painting competitions where we regularly won prizes. The club was unfortunately broken down as the structure was termed illegal. The Ganapathi and Patalama temples were there even then and it was common for motorists to stop at the temple for a quick prayer. I used to go to the City Central Library (CCL as it was known then)regularly. CCL was a new idea then and was extremely helpful to the children and adults alike. The librarians were very strict and silence and discipline were expected. The garden in CCl was very well maintained with the soothing sounds of water from the newly erected Kaveri statue.
I remember Syndicate Bank and Shanti Surgical Nursing Home nearby but there were few other commercial organisations.
The petrol bunk at the Southend Circle end was the last one and there was no other petrol bunk south of it for a very long time.
It is more than 20 years since I have left Bangalore and I am sure that the road has now changed beyond recognition.
Docrao, UK


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