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Explained: How Karnataka plans to develop Hanuman birthplace on the lines of Ayodhya’s Ram temple

This comes at a time when Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are engaged in a tussle over the "real" Hanuman Janamsthal. What is the Karnataka govt’s Hanuman temple plan? What is Andhra’s claim, and how has Karnataka countered it?

The announcement has come at a time when Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are engaged in a tussle over the “real” Hanuman Janamsthal. (File)

The Karnataka government has ordered authorities to start work to redevelop a temple site at Koppal district’s Anjeyanadri Hill, believed to be the birthplace of Hindu deity Hanuman.

State tourism minister Anand Singh has said that a blueprint for the development work is ready with Rs 100 crore set aside for the project.

The announcement has come at a time when Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are engaged in a tussle over the “real” Hanuman Janamsthal.

While Karnataka claims the Hindu god was born on the Anjeyanadri Hill in Kishkinda near Hampi in north Karnataka, Andhra is pegging Anjanadri in the seven hills of Tirumala as his birth place.

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What is the Karnataka govt’s Hanuman temple plan?

The BJP government led by Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai wants to connect the Hanuman temple at Anjeyanadri Hill with the Ram mandir coming up at Ayodhya through a tourism corridor.

The project includes the improvement of the already existing temple at the Anjeyanadri Hill. The temple overlooks the Tungabhadra river which is just 20 km away from the world heritage site of Hampi.

It is believed that Hampi is ‘Kishkindha’, the ancient kingdom of ‘vanaras’ or monkeys referred to in the Ramayana.

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The project includes road improvement and development of alternative routes to the hill temple.

In a statement issued Saturday, Bommai directed officials: “The project needs 60 acres of land. Of this, 58 acres is private land belonging to farmers. Acquire the land after taking farmers’ consent or purchase through the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB).”

Bommai has taken personal interest in the project and held various meetings regarding the project.

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The CM also said that he would visit the hill site on July 15 for another review meeting.

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What is Andhra’s claim?

In December 2020, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages the temples including the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh, formed an expert panel comprising Vedic scholars, archaeologists, and an ISRO scientist to study and submit a report pinpointing the actual birthplace of Hanuman.

Later in April 2021, the committee claimed that Anjanadri Hill in Andhra was the birthplace of Hanuman. TTD executive officer K S Jawahar Reddy had earlier said there was mythological, astrological and scientific evidence to support their claim.

What is Karnataka’s counter?

Several Karnataka ministers have said that the Anjeyanadri Hill near Hampi has a reference in Ramayana where it is described as the place where Hindu god Ram, and his younger brother Laxman met Hanuman. The hill has a Hanuman temple at the top with a rock-carved idol and Rama, Sita and Anjana Devi temples in the vicinity. The Karnataka government is going to develop this hill as a pilgrimage centre with the tag of Hanuman Janmasthala (birthplace in).

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In fact, soon after the TTD panel was formed, the Karnataka Tourism Department started working on its plans to develop the hill temple site.

First published on: 27-06-2022 at 04:18:05 pm
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