22nd February, 2020
Rama Vaidyanathan, Bharatnatyam
Elgandal Fort, Karimnagar
Based on a mystical mantra from the Skanda Purana, “Jeevaha Shivaha Shivo Jeevaha” – there is Shiva in every Jeeva, and Jeeva is Shiva, “Sivoham” is a composition that points towards the divinity in each one of us. Rama Vaidyanathan takes a deeper glance at the relationship between the finite and the infinite with a series of thought-provoking moves in this Bharatanatyam composition. The meaning resonates throughout the piece, symbolizing the connection the soul makes with the Supreme Being, ‘Jeevatma-Paramatma’. Combining Nritta, Bhava and Bhakti, the dance of Rama Vaidynathan with six of her students left the audience enthralled on the day after Shivaratri.
Originally known as Veligundula, Elgandal is a hillfort built during the Kakatiya
dynasty (1083–1323) and served as a stronghold for the warriors Musunuri
Nayaks. It is historically important because it has been ruled by five dynasties:
Kakatiya dynasty, Bahmanis, Qutub Shahis, Mughals, and Asaf Jahis. It was the
headquarters of Karimnagar during the Nizam dominion.
Elgandal Fort is one of the best surviving forts in Telangana. Within the premises of the Fort exist tombs and dargahs of various Muslim saints like Syed Shah Munawar Quadri Saheb, Doola Shah Saheb, Syed Maroof Saheb, Shah Talib Bismilla Saheb and Vali Hyder Sahib. These attract devotees in huge numbers.
The Alamgir mosque, built by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb is another major attraction. It is crowned with three minarets unlike the usual four minarets found on every mosque. The temples of Nelakantha Swamy and Narasimha Swamy are also located inside this fort. Elgandal Fort is situated on the banks of the Manair River (a tributary of the Godavari River). Located amidst palm groves, it is approximately 10km from Karimnagar on the Kamareddy road.