The temple which Bhavani left: Tulja Bhavani temple
Hyderabad: At first look, it would seem an ordinary village deity and temple. But much folklore surrounds the ancient Bhavani or Tulja Bhavani temple constructed by the Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji in the remote Bhavaniammapally village of Medak district.
The village in Zaheerabad mandal was originally called Bhavaniammapalle after the Goddess. It was changed to Khanjomalpur by later Muslim rulers.
Shivaji, an ardent devotee of Goddess Tulja Bhavani, reportedly camped in this small hamlet during his campaigns against Mughal rulers and constructed the temple.
The temple is still intact, barring damage to its outer compound wall. It is now being reconstructed by devotees led by Mr E. Vittal Goud and his team, who have constituted a temple committee.
The temple area is spread over 10 acres. Interestingly, just opposite the Tulja Bhavani temple is a small but rare temple of Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Shivaji frequented the Tulja Bhavani temple in Tuljapur in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra. It is the family deity of the Bhosale royal family and one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. It is believed that the Goddess gave him a sword for the success in his expeditions.
“It is a very powerful deity and people come from all parts of the state, from Karnataka and also from Maharashtra. It is believed the Goddess fulfils one’s wishes. Elders say that the Goddess left for Tuljapur and after that the locals neglected her,” Mr Vittal Goud said.
Rumours also speak of a tunnel linking it to Tuljapur in Maharashtra, and a treasure trove in the sanctum sanctorum. But this has not been proven.
“We did see an underground room which might have been used by Shivaji Maharaj for hiding arms. It is now covered by granite. There is no trace of tunnel,’’ Mr Goud told this correspondent.
The temple also has idols of Kalika Devi and Parasuram. The priests are Marathas.
A three-day jatra is celebrated annually during March/April, mostly during Hanuman Jayanthi. “On Purnima, we organise anna daanam. We came to know that some people in Naldurg in Maharashtra and Bidar are linked to the temple. But we could not trace them,’’ he said.