A Museum of Hindu Mythology: Surendrapuri
We have been living in Hyderabad for some time and I have visited the Golconda fort many times. It has been one of the default historical spot for us to go whenever we were giving a guided tour to our guests both from India or my colleagues from US.
Our CTO Tom has been to India many times and he is probably equally familiar with the city of Nizams by now if not more than me. So when this time Tom was in town me and my colleagues were in dilemma what to show him as he had a weekend to kill and we were not allowing him to waste it in the comforts of the hotel he was staying in.
So my colleague Sri came up with a good idea and suggested we go to Bhongir fort which is just about 50KM outside of the city on the Warangal highway. Sri has been to the fort many times and actually had some very fond memories of the fort from his college days.
One of his close friends house is right at the bottom of the Bhongir fort (the name actually started as Bhuvanagiri) and by that I mean literally at the bottom of the fort. This friend’s family has been living at the bottom of the fort for centuries and we were fortunate enough to meet his father who lives in the house. They also have an ancestral house next to the new house where the 96 year old family patriarch still resides. We could not meet him as he has gone to Hyderabad for some work.
Tom being an true Indophile loved the idea of visiting the rustic India and explore where no American from our company has gone before. We picked him from hotel early morning and stopped by one of the nicer south Indian restaurant to have some breakfast. Tom has decided to skip the breakfast at his hotel to taste some authentic south Indian dosas.
|The Lion Mouth Entrance To The Museum|
After some yummy breakfast we started on the highway to Warangal. The fort comes on your right hand side when you are coming from Hyderabad. We decided to first go to the nearby mythological museum where the complete Indian Mythology is depicted in form of idols.
Entry to museum of Hindu Mythology Surendrapuri: A Portal to another world
A huge open mouth of a lion welcomes you which is actually the entrance of the museum. We found the fee to be a little stiff at 250 per person and they do not allow any cameras or mobile phones to be taken inside the museum.
|Giant Shiva Idol|
One can see the complete Ramayana and Mahabharata in form of idols, the expressions on the idols are really amazing. We really liked the museum except for the hell part of it where the idols were to graphic with various sinners being boiled, cut, and beaten in the hell( would not recommend for kids). I tried to take a bypass from the hell but unfortunately there was none so I had to go through my share of hell. I guess it was a message for me, after seeing the torture in the hell part of the museum I am seriously thinking of sinning a little less. Let us see how much I succeed.
We really enjoyed giving Tom a crash course on Indian mythology which helped me to recollect my childhood memories when I learned most of these stories sitting on the lap of my grandfather as a child.
We thoroughly enjoyed the museum and then decided to scale the monolithic rock on which the fort is located. If folklore is to be believed this rock is the largest monolithic rock in India and there are only 1-2 larger than the same anywhere in world one of them being Uluru rock in Australia.
Our story on the climbing the fort will appear in the next post.