Huligi first stop as Rahul emabarks on temple run

It is unlikely for the well-guarded Congress president Rahul Gandhi to lose his footwear, but that almost became a reality during his visit to Huligemma temple here on Saturday.

The 13th-century temple came alive in all its grandeur to welcome Gandhi, with priests chanting Vedic hymns, leading him to the deity. Rahul offered prayers at the temple, only to find his slippers missing when he came out. They were spotted after some frantic searching, with even members of his security detail looking for the pair.

Goddess Huligemma is named after Huligi, which is the old name of Munirabad where the temple is located. According to an inscription found here, Huligi was handed over by Vikramaditya VI of the Chalukya kingdom to one Chaturvedi Bhatta, who constructed an irrigation canal from the Tungabhadra river.

Gandhis next stop was the Gavi Siddeshwara Mutt in Koppal, one of Karnatakas oldest Lingayat centres. On the way, Gandhi witnessed a brief performance of the dollu kunita, a percussion-based folk art that involves dancing to the beat. While Gandhi chose to simply enjoy the show, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was a tad more involved as he clapped along. The Congress president also saw Nandikolu, Karadimajalu, Jaggaliga, Chande Mela and Keelu Kudure Kunita.

Koppals Gavimutt goes as far back as 273 BC during Ashokas reign, with inscriptions and sculptures available to suggest its origin. The annual Gavisiddeshwara Jatre is the biggest fair in Koppal district.

At the Mutt, Gandhi made an offering to the pontiff, who explained to the Congress leader the mutts history and activities. The Gavimutt visit could be an attempt to woo Lingayats, with several leaders of the ruling Congress rallying for a religion status to be accorded to the faith.

Gandhis four-day trip to the Hyderabad-Karnataka region will also include a visit to Kalaburagis Khaja Bandenawaz dargah and Anubhava Mantapa in Basavakalyan, Bidar district.

Dubbed as soft Hindutva to counter BJPs hardline Hindutva, Gandhi began visiting temples during his Deoria-Delhi Kisan Yatra before the Uttar Pradesh elections.

During his Gujarat campaign, Gandhi apparently visited 27 temples and the Congress won 18 seats in those constituencies. Of them, the party managed to wrest 10 seats from the BJP.

It is unlikely for the well-guarded Congress president Rahul Gandhi to lose his footwear, but that almost became a reality during his visit to Huligemma temple here on Saturday.

The 13th-century temple came alive in all its grandeur to welcome Gandhi, with priests chanting Vedic hymns, leading him to the deity. Rahul offered prayers at the temple, only to find his slippers missing when he came out. They were spotted after some frantic searching, with even members of his security detail looking for the pair.

Goddess Huligemma is named after Huligi, which is the old name of Munirabad where the temple is located. According to an inscription found here, Huligi was handed over by Vikramaditya VI of the Chalukya kingdom to one Chaturvedi Bhatta, who constructed an irrigation canal from the Tungabhadra river.

Gandhi’s next stop was the Gavi Siddeshwara Mutt in Koppal, one of Karnataka’s oldest Lingayat centres. On the way, Gandhi witnessed a brief performance of the dollu kunita, a percussion-based folk art that involves dancing to the beat. While Gandhi chose to simply enjoy the show, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was a tad more involved as he clapped along. The Congress president also saw Nandikolu, Karadimajalu, Jaggaliga, Chande Mela and Keelu Kudure Kunita.

Koppal’s Gavimutt goes as far back as 273 BC during Ashoka’s reign, with inscriptions and sculptures available to suggest its origin. The annual Gavisiddeshwara Jatre is the biggest fair in Koppal district.

At the Mutt, Gandhi made an offering to the pontiff, who explained to the Congress leader the mutt’s history and activities. The Gavimutt visit could be an attempt to woo Lingayats, with several leaders of the ruling Congress rallying for a religion status to be accorded to the faith.

Gandhi’s four-day trip to the Hyderabad-Karnataka region will also include a visit to Kalaburagi’s Khaja Bandenawaz dargah and Anubhava Mantapa in Basavakalyan, Bidar district.

Dubbed as ‘soft Hindutva’ to counter BJP’s hardline Hindutva, Gandhi began visiting temples during his Deoria-Delhi Kisan Yatra before the Uttar Pradesh elections.

During his Gujarat campaign, Gandhi apparently visited 27 temples and the Congress won 18 seats in those constituencies. Of them, the party managed to wrest 10 seats from the BJP.

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