Bhagawan Nithyananda, was one of the greatest Yogis of modern times and was a ‘janma siddha’—one born with the full realisation of his own divine nature. He was an Avadhoota of incredible Yogic powers. He was an embodiment of love and compassion. He granted succour to millions of people who thronged to him for solace and divine grace.
He was a silent Yogi, who communicated through eloquent silence. He taught no one through words, but his whole life itself was teaching. He never preached or gave lectures. He spoke rarely, but he was a universal teacher. He was not a philosopher, but every word that fell from his lips contained the seed of perennial philosophy.
Hosdurg Fort, half a kilometre south of Kanhangad is one of the many forts built by the Ikkeri Nayaks during 15-1600 AD. The fort, now in ruins, houses a school and a few government offices. To the south-west of the fort is a temple that was also built by the Nayaks. The temple, dedicated to Shiva, is named the Poonkavanam Karpooreswara Temple.
Swami Nithyananda Ashram, Kanhangad is situated in this region said to be built during 1923-27. This Ashram was the abode of Bhagawan Nithyananda during his younger days when he constructed the 43 holy caves carving a single laterite stone, which was adjacent to the Hosdurg fort. These caves are considered to be an engineering marvel even to this day.
There are two temples — one atop of the Caves, that of Bhagawan Nithyananda, built in 1963 and the other one of Swami Janananda, built in 1989. Besides these two temples, there is another temple at Guruvan, 5k.m. away from Kanhangad Ashram. The serenity of Guruvanam attracts a number of domestic and international travellers even today. It is said that Saint Nityananda received enlightenment after observing penance here.
Though the Ashram and temples were renovated recently and have regained its vigour, the ruins of the Hosdurg Fort would greatly upset anyone who knows the history of the land. Hosdurg Fort is now in ruins and wears a desolate look owing to the lax attitude of the authorities concerned in preserving the historical monument. Acres of land in the heart of Kanhangad city which would cost billions must have fascinated the politicians, numerous government buildings have found its place here.
The pity is that the same still continues while the fort is almost ruined. It is nothing but ‘legal’ encroachment the greatest threat of Hosdurg fort. Even Archeological Survey of India, the organisation that we trust would protect those priceless monuments has a blind eye towards this significant fort in Kerala. If there is no attempt to protect the fort, sooner or later Hosdurg fort, the pride of a bygone era, would become mere memories.