“Manne” also called “Manyapura”, the once ancient capital of a renowned Karnataka Dynasty – Gangaru (Gangas). They ruled between 350 to 1000 CE in the present districts of Kolar, Bengaluru, Tumkur, Mysuru, Mandya, Hassan, Chamarajanagar and a few parts of Kongu region of the present Tamilnadu state.
Manne (Manyapura) situated in Nelamangala taluk of Bengaluru rural district and is approx. 28 Kms from Nelamangala town.
Now it is a tiny hamlet with a few houses and greeted at the entrance with a welcome arch board in Kannada read as “Welcome to Capital of Gangas – Manyapura”.
It was the same place which flashed back to 1100 years as the city with palaces, beautiful temples, bustling markets now in ruins and remnants with just a small village with a few ruined historical monuments & temples.
The Gangas were one of the strongest dynasties who ruled in Karnataka till 10th Century, they started their rule with Kolar as the capital, then shifted to Manyapura (present Manne Village) and finally moved to Talakadu in Mysuru district.
This is a place which witnessed victorious war against the Pallavas of Kanchipuram by S’ripurusha as mentioned in one of inscription (see Epi.Ind. IV.140)
The Ganga King Prithvi -kougani whose first name was S’ripurusha , in saka 693 (776 A.D), the 50th year of his reign , was residing in Manyapura . It was probably destroyed by the Cholas, who refer to it among their conquests as Mannai or Mannai-kattakam. (see Epi Car.IV pg 2)
This ancient site has been fully neglected by Archaeology survey of India and Govt of Karnataka. In the historical map only, few temples got renovated but they were left prey to treasure thieves and miscreants.
To begin, visited the ancient, ruined temple of “Kapileshwara” dedicated to lord Shiva. It is 1200 years old with magnificent stone sculpture of two Dwarapalakas in the entrance, which is imposing even today, inside the main deity is missing and no idols left, also one notices a partly damaged Nandi statue.
The windows of this temple are beautifully carved with erotic figures on one side and other side with yaksha/yakshi on a branch of a tree.
The pillars inside the temple have stood the test of time for many centuries without damage organized with symmetrical identities.
Ancient Someshwara Temple (Chola’s period)
It is just 2 furlongs from Kapileshwara temple towards north direction, this temple has been renovated and adjacent to it, is a big banyan tree stood for many centuries.
This temple was built by Cholas and inside the sanctum the Shiva linga is magnificent along with Nandi statue.
Saptha matheyaru (Sapthamathrikas)
In between Kaplileshwara and Someshwara temple towards north, one can find the seven stone idols lying on the bank of ancient tank, the Saptha matheyaru (Sapthamathrikas) means seven divine mothers of Hindu mythology – Brahmi (With three heads), Vaishnavi, Varahi , Maheshwari, Kaumari ,Indrani, Chamunda and so on.
These ancient stones lying on the bank of tank without basic amenities by the ASI or Govt bodies.
Unknown Ruined temple
It is another ruined temple just opposite to Kapileshwara, but in very bad ruined condition and no information about it.
But the outside wall with beautiful stone carvings is eye-catching.
Remains of ancient Jain basadi in the midst of Manne village
The locals called it as Sooleyara devasthana, it is folklore word use by villagers for the dancing girls or Devadasis.
The ruined Basadi was built by the temple dancers and now just remains with magnificent lengthy pillars with one carving on top of stone with Padmavathi and Yakshi, one can guess that this monument belongs to Jain religion.
Usually, the Gangas were followers of Jainism along with they patronized Shaivite culture of Lakula Pashupatha and Shakti tradition.
Mannemma Devi temple
It is believed that the only temple in the world where Goddess is seated on an elephant (Mannema Devi), The royal emblem / seal of Ganga featuring with royal elephant.
It is mind boggling to witness that Archaeological society of India has never turned to see this place which once stood as a royal capital city with bustling markets and witnessed many rigorous battle fields.