Yaganti is a Shiva temple located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. It was built in the 15th century by the Vijaynagara king Harihara. The legend behind the temple is quite interesting. Sage Agastya wanted to build a Venkateshwara temple at this site. However, the idol could not be installed as its toenail was broken. The sage got upset over this and performed penance for Shiva. Then, lord Shiva appeared and said that the place is more suitable for himself as it resembles Kailash. The sage requested Shiva to appear along with Parvati as lord Uma Maheshwara in a single stone. And the idol was established at this temple. The temple is surrounded by karst hills from three sides. In the hills, there are three caves: Agastya cave, Venkateshwara cave, and Veera Brahmam cave. The temple showcases the typical Dravidian style of architecture. The biggest attraction of the temple is Pushkarani. It is a small water tank which is full of fresh water coming from the hills. Devotees generally take bath in Pushkarani and then visit the temple.
I parked my bike outside the temple and started walking toward the Pushkarani. The tank was much smaller than what I had thought. However, the steps, doors, and pavilions were beautifully constructed. The water looked deep bluish green; surprisingly it was clean and fresh. Some men were jumping and playing in the water. Their noise was a bit irritating. I once thought of taking a bath; however, with all the ruckus around, I did not feel like stepping in. I clicked some pictures and moved toward the temple. The Gopuram was tall and beautiful. It blended well with the surrounding hills. The temple was unfortunately closed. I walked inside the temple courtyard. The famous growing Nandi was right in front of me. It is said that the stone of which Nandi is made has unique properties and it grows 1 inch every 20 years. It is said that once upon a time people could comfortably walk around the Nandi. Today, however, the Nandi is touching the temple pillars on all sides. When I looked closely, it appeared to be out of shape. Probably the Nandi rock was indeed expanding. It would be interesting to investigate this further and find out what is causing expansion of the rock. I could not see the single-stone statue of Uma Maheshwara. I felt a bit disappointed, but then I decided to explore the entire temple complex. The three caves were in the hill located on the right side of the temple. I climbed to all of them and had a look. The view of the temple and surrounding hills was mesmerizing from the Veera Brahmam cave. The Gopuram looked majestic at the background of the karst limestone. I clicked some pictures and came out.
Suddenly the sky became grey and within a moment, it started pouring. I had escaped the mighty monsoon showers until now. But now, the rains had finally caught me. Fortunately, I was still at the temple and could take a refuge at a nearby tea shop. I sat there sipping hot chai, waiting for the showers to recede. In around fifteen minutes the rain stopped. I wore my raincoat and started the bike to ride back to Anantpur. I decided to take a little longer route via Banaganapalli and Tadipatri. The shorter route leading to the Bangalore–Hyderabad highway was in shambles and the recent showers must have made the situation worse. I was in no mood of having a Motocross Madness experience. As I crossed Banaganapalli, the weather became clear. In fact, the roads were hardly wet! I realized that the showers were a result of just a passing cloud. Whatever! I was happy that I had escaped the rain. This road was in overall good shape. The landscape was dotted with lush paddy fields. Suddenly, the road took a sharp uphill turn and ended up next to a huge reservoir. I was pleasantly surprised at the scenery in front of me. I stopped for a moment, took some pictures, and moved on. Within two more hours, I reached Anantpur. Next day being Ganesh Chaturthi, the markets in the city were flooded with people. I reached the hotel, finished dinner, and retired for the day. The next day, I returned to Bangalore.