Shri Channabasaveshwara Trust Commitee, Sri Kshetra, Ulavi
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The Vachana lore declares that the auditorium of mystic experience of such magnificent Kalyana literally glowed with blazing light of the enlightened knowledge of Channabasavanna  . The mystic lumaries of the age like Allamma Prabhudeva, Mahadeviakka , Basavanna , Shivayogi Siddarama and innumerable Sharanas have paid glowing tributes to the personality of Channabasavanna in their Vachanas . Veerashaiva religion steadily gained great popularity under the guidance and leadership of  Basavanna, Prabhudeva , Channabasavanna, Siddarama , Mahadeviyakka( Akkamahadevi) and others who led their life divine. Then some slanders like Kondi Manchanna embittered the mind of Bijjalla against Basavanna. At the same time the marriage between the son of Haralayya and daughter of Madhurasa took place and it gave full scope to the persons like kondi Manchanna to make King Bijjala spit fire and poison on all those who professed Veerashaiva religion and faith.

King Bijjala gave these two Sharanas inhuman punishment .as a consequence some of the staunch followers of Sharana Patha were inflamed with anger.  The entire community of the Sharanas who had faith in Ganachara ,Felt that there was no alternative.They planned and bided their time to kill Bijjala .Though  Basavanna most sincerely intended and tried his utmost that such a calamity must not take palce. According to the principles of sharana religion wherever injustice is done to the Sharana Relgion either they should fight against it in self-defence or to quit the place.Basavanna who believed in Non Violence went to the place of Lord Kudalsangama,his most cherished deity and became one and inseparable with him.

Here in Kalyan ,after the murder of bijjal by his own people in the name of sharanas , Channabasavanna went towards Ulavi accompanied by Kinnari Brahmayya , Maritande , Padihari Uttanna , Rachanna and innumerable Sharanas meeting stiff resistance from the army of Bijjala on the way and fighting fiercely with it. Confronting with great care and rare bravery the well equipped and fully armed army, which was giving them a hot pursuit Sharanas took their way to Ulavi via Toragal ,Godachi ,Sattigeri , Murgod, Nagalapura , Kadrolli, Kittur and Dharwad in order to safe guard the vachana sahitya of all the sharanas. . In the places where the Sharanas had rested and relaxed, there temples have come up as memories. Of such temple, The Ulavi Basavanna Temple on the holy hillock of Dharwad, now called the Ulavi Channabasavanna Gudda, is one.

            When the sharanas arrived at Ulavi from Dharwad, it was the exceptionally brave Kinnari Bommanna who saved the Sharanas from the molestation and torture by the army by turning the very face of the fiercely flowing river flooding its banks, against Bijjala’s army which was chasing them.  Hence the river was called from then onwards Kinnari Brahmayya river. (It can be seen even now in Mahamane cave)   

            In this Divine Abode at Ulavi, Channabasavanna conducted mystic symposium for a while along with his fellow Sharanas.  Afterwards performing austere penance at Ulavi he became one with the Lord and attained salvation.  On his Samadhi the present beautiful temple has been constructed.

            Even before the arrival of Channabasavanna,  Ulavi was a holy place of pilgrimage to Virasaivas.  But after the arrival of Channabasavanna it became a regular place of pilgrimage not only to the Virasaivas but also to the crores of Kannadigas.

            The Mahasamadhi of Channabasavanna is being worshipped  thrice a day.  A big fair held every year on the Maghashuddha Paurnima (full moon day) in the month of February.  That day the chariot ceremony takes place  Lakhs of devotees from Karnataka and Maharastra attend the fair.  That night when the full moon light floods the forest it is a very attractive and it is also considered auspicious.  One honestly feels that on that glorious moonlight night, the light of the enlightened knowledge of Channabasavanna spreads in every nook and corner despeling the encircling gloom and ignorance to those who have come to attend the fair.

            What else could it be but the supreme will of the Lord that the supremely enlightened soul, Channabasavanna came here to Ulavi from that distant kalian where a revolution had taken place?  By the advent of that divine soul this forest became a sublime place of pilgrimage.  It became the Divine abode of salvation.

            Hence, is not the ground trodden by the holy feet of the Sharanas the sacrosanct place of pilgrimage?

Reference:-  From The book : Ulavi the abode of salvation −>By Panchakshari Hiremath
Translated from kannada by Prof. C. N Hiremath              

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