Forty thousand persons attends Mahashivaratri in year 1880

Publisher Lawrence Asylum Press
Pages 485
Book from the collections of
New York Public Library

The Government of Madras in Order No. 1,751, dated 23rd December 1880, entrusted Gordon Mackenzie (Madras Civil Service) with the duty of compiling the Manual of the Kistna District.
Eight miles south-west of Narasaravupett is the lofty hill of KotappaKonda where is held a festival at new moon in February attended by large numbers, perhaps as many as forty thousand persons. There is a considerable trade in timber at this fair. All sorts of wood from bamboo switches to logs and beams, are carted there and are sold before the day is over. There is no made road but as the festival occurs in dry weather the carts go across country without difficulty, except near the village of Yellamanda, where the jungle streams have laid bare small terraces of ‘Kankar’ or calcareous tufa. The temple of Ramalingasvami in this village must be ancient for it contains eight inscriptions, the dates ranging from A. D. 1131, when the Chola kings held this country, down to 1555, when it owned the sway of Sadasiva of Vijayanagar. The shrine upon the hill KotappaKonda, is comparatively modern. No inscription older than A. D. 1750 has been deciphered there, but there are several on hill, on a stone pillar near a lingam on the road to the hill and on a broken stone near a deserted temple to the south of the village, which have not been read, and may throw height on the history of this shrine. The temple, some 600 feet above the plain, is approached by a winding flight of stone steps, which at the festival are densely thronged with pilgrims ascending and descending, the light coloured prabhas or ensigns making the scene very gay and picturesque. Some of these prabhas are stretched over large frame-works drawn on carts by a team of oxen. The hill-top is 1,587 feet above sea level.

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