Brief note on Channapatna Taluk

            Channapatna taluk comes under Bangalore rural district. Its headquarters is located in   Bangalore-Mysore highway. The total geographical area of  the taluk is 53,587 hectares. It has three hoblies, namely:

1)      Kasaba

2)      Malur

3)      Virupakshapura

            The total number of grama panchayaths in the taluk are 32. The taluk is famous for toys. World wide market is available for this toys which are manufactured by traditional as well as advanced industries. It is also involved in twisting of raw silk and manufacturing silk and coconut is a major product of the taluk. Various other activities are also carried out here by rural artisans for likelihood namely carpenting, Dhobi, Blacksmithy, Stone crushers etc. It has also pocessed the Kanva reservior which has got a siphon principle to make flow of excess water.

            Channapatna Taluk has Artisan Training Institute (A.T.I) which was established 94 years ago. This institute was established to promote Channapatna toys. These channapatna toys are famous throughout the world. These toys are made of a specific wood called "Aale mara". The other crafts being imparted are Carpentry, Lacquerware toys, coir and Blacksmithy. 

            CHANNAPATNA  situated on the state highway (60 km from Bangalore ) is one of the considerably old towns. In early 1873, Channapatna was the sub-taluk under Closepet (Ramanagaram) and in 1892 it was made a centre of full-fledged taluk and Closepet became a sub-taluk under Channapatna. One damaged Tamil record (now missing) found on the sluice of Ramannanakere approximately dating back to 1100 A.D. mentions that the sluice and cistern were constructed by one Choila official Kalumalam Vedu Appanai, a merchant residing at Siriya- Malavur. All other detils are lost (Cp 35). But the earliest mention of the place is in a Vijaayanagara record from neighbouring village Krishnapura date 1387 A.D., where there is a reference 'Channapattana Rajya'. It is locally said that in olden days, the place was also called 'Chandapura', out there is no epigraphical evidence to this view. The place is on the left bank of the Kanva river. The place was under the Gangas as Mankunda nearby (9 km from Channapatna) was the secondary capital of Gangas for some time. Later it was under the Cholas followed by the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara rulers. One of the ancient towns, Chickmalur is now a part of the Channapatna Munici- pality

        Across the Kanva river, in Malur or Dod Malur another town of the Chola times, now a hobli centre. Channapatna was the headquarters of a `rajya' under Vijayanagar and the Bhandarada Thimmappayya admi- nistered it in 1534. It became the capital of Jagadevaraya whose family was subordinate to Vijayanagara (from 1570 to 1630). (see also Chapter II). The fort of the town appears to have been built in about 1580 by Jagadevaraya. In 1630, Mysore ruler Chamaraja Wodeyar occupied Channapatna. The Marathas led by Gopala Hari took possession of the fort in 1759. But soon Haider Ali recaptured it. Tippu Sultan in 1790 dismantled the fort owing to its vulnerability and removed the guns and stores. The Mysore gate has disappeared now but closeby to it, on the north there is a stone Mantapa which might have been a gate. It was repaired by Dewan Puranaiah and even now there is a portion of the fort wall in the town area. 

            One of the striking buildings of the town is the Timmapparaja Urs Mansion on the Jayachamarajendra Road . This mansion built by Timmapparaja, a brother-in-law of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III is now crumbling down as it is badly preserved. This is an imposing three- storeyed building constructed with brick and mortar amidst a protec- tive well extending over an area of nearly two acres. It is known that Timmapparaja was the Foujdar incharge of Channapatna. The building is a typical Hindu mansion of the early 19th century with a rectangular jagali in front, large halls and rooms in the front and back, and a fine large open quadrangle behind. In the middle of the Court yard at its back, is a small pond which used to get water supplied through a fountain from a tank called Kunnirakatte on the Bangalore Road . 

        The first floor of the front building has a large Darbar hall supported by a row of six ornate wooden pillars. These have black stone pedestals, fluted shafts converging towards the top brackets, finely painted and gilded. The beams and ceilings which are all of wood, are beautifully painted with elegant designs formed of floral figures with in-fillings of swans, flowering creepers and plants. Even though the building is in ruins, the paintings are in good state of preservation and are pleasing to the eyes. Several of the doorways are finely designed and painted. The lintel of the front doorway has a fine little pavilion below which stands Venugopala reclining on a cow. Below an Ashwattha tree near this mansion are installed some stray sculptures of Brahma, Veerabhadra, Rama (seated) and Lakshmana (standing), Surya, Bikshatana Murti and Bhairava. To the north of this palace was a ston record (now preserved in the Janapada Loka near Ramanagar) dated 1756 A.D. It announces that one officer Viraiya built a tank on the orders ofKalale Nanjaraja. The industrial area of the town is called Shukravarapete and this portion is thickly populated. The Bazar (pete) lies to the north-east of the Fort. Popular items like lacquerware and toys, fine steel wires for strings of musical instruments (especially Veena) and glass bracelets are manufactured even today by traditional method at this place.

               The oldest temple of the place is the Varadaraja (in fort area) wherein the main deity is believed to have been originally installed by Sri Ramanujacharya. This is a hugh structure with a spacious inner Prakara. Its Garbhagriha is squarish with a tall standing image of Varadaraja (Narayana) having early Vijayanagara features. There is an Ardhamantapa leading to a specious Navaranga having six Vijayanagara pillars containing many relief sculptures on them. Over the Garbhagriha is a Dravidian Shikhara over its niches are stucco images of Dashavatara sequences. Facing the Navaranga is a specious Mukhamantapa with tall massive pillars having impressive relief sculptures depicting Vaishnava episodes. On either sides of the spacious Mukhamantapa are two Jagatis, having Vasantotsava and Kalyana Mantapas. Beside them are small shrines of Alwars and Ramanujacharya. At the left corner of the Prakara is the Soumyanayaki Ammanavaru temple with a Garbhagriha, a Navaranga and a small open Mukhamantapa.

        The annual Jatra here is held during Jeshtha when more than 10,000 people assemble. Beside this temple is a small temple of Prasanna Sri Rama , built in Mysore style, Near the Varadaraja temple is the Kundapura Vyasaraya Matha associated with Vyasatirtha, who spent his student days at Abbur near Channapatna. The building has a tiled roof and a spacious hall supported by stone pillars having relief sculptures in Vijayanagara style. The Garbhagriha has a standing image or Srinivasa described an installed by Vyasatirtha. The hall in the front has two entrances, one to the east and the other to the north. The letter entrance leads to a spacious pillared Mantapa also called Purandara Mantapa and has small cell to the right, facing west. It is said that while Vyasatirtha worshipped the image here, Purandaradasa had visited the place and had danced singing Keertanas in front of the image. 

        This Mantapa is believed to have been built by Purandaradasa out of his earnings from aims. No in the centre of the Mantapa is a grilled enclosure and inside are placed recent images of Purandara and Vijayadasa. One of the pillars in this Mantapa has a fine sculpture described as of Vyasatirtha. The Purandaradasa Aradhane is held here annually. In front of the main building is another small shrine of Anjaneya and the deity is said to have been installed by Vyasatirtha. Facing the Vyasaraya Matha is one more temple of Anjaneya . Beside the road, facing the Varadaraja temple is one more Anjaneya shrine are there is a Kannada inscription built in the front entrance. This record is dated 1553 A.D. of Sadashivaraya of Vijayanagara and mentions Channapatna sine, and the rest of it is defaced.

               Inside the town are temples of Lakshminarayana and Nilakanteshwara. The latter appears to be an 18th century construction as the pillars of the Mukhamantapa and outer Mantapa are in Mysore style. This is a huge structure with one Garbhagriha, two Ardhamantapas and a spacious Navaranga. The Navaranga is rectangular with four central pillars having several modern images engraved on them. The Nandi facing the Garbhagriha is of Mysore times. It is locally said that this temple was built by Jagadevaraya, a feudatory at Channapatna. The Neelakantaha Linga is very tall and has an appearances of greater antiquity. One more Nandi is placed in the spacious open Mukhamantapa and it is said to have been brought from the  precincts of the taluk office. The pillars of the Mukhamantapa contain fine relief sculptures of Shaiva Purana episodes. 

            There are also many Bhakta images. One more Linga with a seven hooded Naga canopying it is placed in the Navaranga and the either sides of the Navaranga entrance are two cells having image of Narayanaswamy (to the left) and a marble image of Adi Shankaracharya (to the right). Outside, to the left of the Central Garbhagriha , is a separate shrine of Prasanna Parvati. There is a gateway in the front and its tower is said to have been built in 1970. The monument is well preserved. Special Poojas are offered in Kartika and on Mahashivaratri day when thousands of people visit the temple. Near this temple, to the west is another temple dedicated to Lakshmi-Narayanaswamny. It is renovated very recently. The main structure is in post-Vijayanagara style. Inside the Garbhagriha is the large of Narayana seated, with his consort Lakshmi also seated on his lap. This has later Vijayanagara features. Inside the Ardhamantapa is a Narasimha Kamba. To the entrance of the Ardhamantapa are two Dwarapalaka images. Outside the temple to the right is a small shrine of Anjaneya. Above the Garbhagriha is a mortar Shikara by Mysore rulers. In the front of the Navaranga is a modern hall and after this is an open Mukhamantapa with original pillars. Other temples of the town are Marikamba, Verrabhadra, Sugreeva, Rama etc. Modern shrine of Kannikaparameshwari and Saibaba Mandira are also found.

               The place has many Muslim monuments. In the Daira locality, there are nearly 33 mosques belonging to the Mahadeeya community. The Jamia Masjid (of Hyder's times) in the Syedwadi area is the oldest Mosque in the place. In the Bade Makhan locality at the entrance of the town, is an old Mosque of the same period. Nearby there is a Dargah ascribed to Syed Aqil Shah Khadri, who is described as preceptor of Nawab Haider Ali. A copper plate of Krishnaraja Wodeyer II of Mysore dated 1759 speaks of Mogehalli village being granted as `Fakirdharma' at the instance of Haider Ali. Haider also donated the Maganur village to "Khadir Shah Sahib Matha" in 1761, perhaps to this very institution. The tombs are in a spacious hall, about 20 feet square and its ceiling has a dome in Mughal style with a bulbose body placed on a floral base, surmounted by a Kalasha. 

            A verandah runs around the square structure and the stone pillars on the west are designed as those of a temple. The Urus is held annually when more than 5,000 people assemble. The building is surrounded by a number of tombs. One more Dargah ascribed to Syed Ibrahaim, a Commandant of Tippu Sultan is situated on the Bangalore road, facing east. It has a small central dome which is less squattish than that of the other tombs and has a Kalasha stop. The main door has a tablet over the lintel stating that "tomb of Sayyed Ibrahim, Commandant of Bangalore". Near this Dargah outside is the tomb of Ummar Khan. It is said that it has a large underground chamber in which hangs a cradle. Across the main road near the tank are two Dargahs ascribed to Rouse-Ullah-Shah and Huzur Ali Shah. The Urus is held here during Rajjab. In the front area are two mosques, locally called Badi Maszid and Madina Maszid. 

            In the Pattanawadi extension is one more Dargah ascribed to Syedanibi and nor- mally silk merchants and bidi workers visit it. The two also has Arabic schools called Ashrafia Daira School and Mohammaids Arabic School in the Syedwadi area. There is one more Arabic School called Madina Arabic School in the fort area where religious education is imparted. The place has St.Joseph's Church, of the Roman Catholics, built in 1955. There is one more Church of the Protestants called C.S.I. Bethany Church, a recent structure. This Church is also running a Bethemy Ashrama, a centre of the Old Aged destitutes. Buchanan, who visited the place in 1900 calls to a very beautiful country full of trees and also states that the place had 1,000 houses. He refers to numerous coconut gardens and sugarcane fields. He also speaks of the industries producing bottles and bangles, steel wires and Sugar and Jaggery. Channapatna has many industries and of these Government Spun Silk Factory (1936) in Mangalvarpet is notable. {Chikkamalur} (3 km of Channapatna, now a part of the Channapatna Town Municipality ) is situated on the left bank of the Kanva river. 

            This  was an old Agrahara under the Cholas and the Hoysalas. The place has temples dedicated to Arakeshwara, Gopalaswami and Kalleshwara. The Arkeshwara temple across the main road is a simple structure in Chola-Hoysala style with a small Garbhagriha, an Ardhamantapa and a spacious Navaranga. The Navaranga has four very plain octagonal pillars with a dancing dias in the centre. The pillars have no ornamentation. On the outer walls of the Garbhagriha are typical pilasters and niches in early Hoysala style. To the north of the Navaranga is a door leading to a small chamber with a brick niche in which perhaps was formerly housed a Devi image. Inside the Navaranga are placed fine images of Saptamatrikas, Virabhadra (with Veena), Shanmukha, Varadaraja and Surya. The Ardhamantapa has three Ankanas extending from north to south, and then a smaller Ardhamantapa leading to the Garbhagriha. The Linga installed over a tall Panipeetha appears to be of the Chola- Ganga times. There is a spacious inner Prakara around the temple.

         The Gopalaswamy temple inside the village proper is in Chola-Hoysala style. It has a Garbhagriha, two Ardhamantapas, and Mukhamantapa. The pillars of the M ukhamantapa and the doorway of the Navaranga appear to be in the 14th century style. They bear many Tamil and Grantha inscriptions. One dated about 1100 A.D. records that this pillar was the donation of one official Tiruvirunda Perumal of Tirumayilapura. Second pillar record also of the same date mentions that it was donated by another official Suraiyadevar of Kundur. The third pillar record states that one official Odalam Solan Muttipillai caused its erection. The pillars have fluted shafts and on the cubical mouldings appear various bas-relief sculpture of Narasimha, Janardhana, Venugopala, a lady feeding a deer etc. The pillars are elegant and are crowned with capitals having pendent drop brackets. There are Dwarapalas at the entrance of the Navaranga which are very crude. 

        The Hoysala style Venugopala image inside the Garbhagriha is about one metre tall. The Prabhavali with Makaratorana has Dashavathara images. There are Chola pilasters on the outer walls of the Garbhagriha. The Shikhara over it appear to have been renovated by the Vijayanagara rulers. To the north-west of the Gopalaswamy temple on the right bank of the river is a small temple of Kalleshvara with a large Kalyani to its north. The temple of Kalleshvara with a large Kalyani to its north. The temple appears to be a Chola construction and bears numerous Tamil inscripections on its pillars and walls. The temple appears to have been renovated with brick and mortar during late Vijayanagara period. The pillars of the Navaranga are sixteen-sided and fluted type with sculptured cubical mouldings. The Navaranga and Ardhamantapa doors have the {rudraksha} bead {motifs.} The Linga inside the Garbhagriha is a small one on a square pedestal. {Devara Hosahalli} (3 km from Channapatna) situated across the railway line to the east of the Channapatna town is a popular pilgrimage centre in the taluk. 

        The place is  noted for a Vijayanagara temple of Prasanna Anjaneya . It has a squarish Garbhagriha with a standing profile image (1.5 metres tall) of Anjaneya ascribed to Vyasatirtha. There is a Shala Shikhara over the Garbhagriha. There is no Ardhamantapa. The spacious Navaranga has square pillars with circular capitals at the top and many of them have the Vijayanagara {lanchana} represented by the divine boar, dagger and sun and moon. The deity is believed to be having healing powers and hence is called Sanjeevaraya. Crude carvings with names of individuals coming for treatment of mental diseases are engraved all round the floor of the courtyard inside. The annual Jatra is held on Ashadha Suddha Dwadashi when more than 20,000 people assemble, coming from   for off places. The place also has a Lakshmi temple described as the Gramadevata. There is a store inscription near the local tank stating that Machegavunda built a tank with sluice and granted lands for its upkeep. 

        Another damaged record in a grave speaks of land transaction by one Tondanayaka son of Timmenayaka. Both these records have only cyclic years (Cp 192 and 193). {Brahmanipura} (Channapatna tq; P:1774) situated (five km from Channapatna) on a deviation road from Channapatna-Revanashideheswara Betta was an Agrahara. It is said to have been granted by King Krishnadevaraya to the Maadhwa saint Brahmanyatirtha of Abbur. At the inter-section of the deviation road is an Anjaneya temple built in Mysore style. Inside the village is one more Anjaneya temple ascribed to the Vijayanagara period. The present structure is a tiled one with a stone Garbhagriha and an Ardhamantapa. The image of Anjaneya is said to have been installed by celebrated Maadhwa saints Brahmanyatirtha, Sripadaraja and Vyasatirtha together.The image, one metre tall, is a profile one in relief, neatly executed with Rama, Lakshmana and Sita at the top. One copper plate recod from the same place is dated 1758 A.D. by Srirangaraja (7) mentioning the gift of a village Budinatta in Talingunte Hobli to some Lakshmidharatirtha and donor is an official named Masti Krishnarajagaudarayya. The place also has recently built temples of Lakshmi and Masanathamma. At a distance of two km from the village is a small hillock having a Narasimhswamy temple. There is a cave near it to which Brahmanya Tirtha is said to have performed penance.