Avani   |   Kolar

Avani, Known as the Gaya of the south is a small village in Mulbagal taluk, Kolar district about ten miles from Kolar Gold Fields. The village is located at 32 km from Kolar, the district centre and 32 km 13 km from Mulbagal, the Taluk headquarters and is a popular location for rock climbing. The boy name Avani is of Sanskrit origin and its meaning is "earth". It is a not a Hindi name. It is perfectly a Sanskrit word and Sita was also called Avanisuta meaning 'Daughter of Earth' as the legend goes that she was found while ploughing the earth. Avani is famous for the Sita temple situated on a hill. This temple is one of the few temples dedicated to Sitadevi in India.

Avani has a cluster of Ramalingeshwara temple all within one courtyard dedicated to Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna as well as a Shankar Math built by the Nolamba Dynasty. Legend has it, that the hill above was home to Valmiki’s ashram, where Lava & Kusha were born and raised. . Even today the room where Sita gave birth to her children exists. The war between Sri Rama and his sons Lava & Kusha happened in this village.

There is also a belief that the sage Valmiki, Was residing here during the period of Ramayana in AVani. He was author of the epic Ramayana, based on the attribution in the text of the epic itself. He is revered as the Adi Kavi, which means First Poet, for he discovered the first sloka i.e. first verse, which set the base and defined the form to Sanskrit poetry. The Yoga Vasistha is attributed to him. The religious movement Valmikism is based on Valmiki's teachings as presented in the Ramayana and the Yoga Vasistha. And also believed the Nayak or Nayaka caste [in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh] was originated from Valmiki. These Nayaka community people is planning to start education center, Ashrama at Avani, planned was done.

Photography: [Journeys across Karnataka: #1]

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