Belgaum: One comes across hundreds of small, pillar-like structures made up of small rocks around the historical Parasgad Fort, which is next to the well-known Yellamma Hills where the goddess Renuka Devi is worshipped, in Saundatti taluk.
Each such structure has its own story and symbolises the faith, hope and aspirations on the person who made it. They are an offering to the gods made by those seeking answers to their problems.
Many people go to temples, mosques, churches and gurudwaras with a prayer and vow before the Lord to repay His generosity in some way. It could be in cash or kind or by way of service, such as `annadanam,' tonsuring the head, `urulu seve,' special pujas or donations. Behind every such vow there is an expectation, a dream, an ambition, a grievance or a desire.
Some places of worship attract plenty of devotees, many professing other faiths, because they believe that their prayers there will be heard. One such place is the Parasgad Fort, which houses the Ramteerth Kund and temples to Parashurama, Rama, Sita, Shiva, Nandi and Jamadagni.
A majority of visitors to Yellamma Hills, just 4 km from the fort, pay obeisance at these temples too. Before they start climbing down the rocky hill from the fort to reach to the temples below, many devotees collect small rocks and pile them one on top of the other with a vow to present an offering in return for an answer to their prayers.
Many of these rock `pillars' remain standing over the years, withstanding strong winds, rain and the large number monkeys found all over the premises of the fort.