According to village lore, the Kenchamma Hill near Kanthapura is red because the goddess Kenchamma fought off an evil demon there, and the blood from the battle soaked the hill. Kenchamma Hill offers Kanthapura’s residents physical proof of their goddess’s providence for them and demonstrates the way the village’s traditional religion is grounded in the landscape and topography of its surroundings. The hill is an important directional landmark for Kanthapura’s people, and Achakka frequently notes when people pass it on their travels, as passing the hill demonstrates that one has entered Kenchamma’s domain. Kenchamma Hill plays an important role in the villagers’ resistance campaign, too. Achakka believes that “no policeman could catch” anyone who hides out there, presumably because of Kenchamma’s protection. Ultimately, this proves false—the policemen beat protestors there just before the villagers burn Kanthapura to the ground. In this way, although Kenchamma hill symbolizes the villager’s deep cultural and physical sense of connection to the land on which their village rests, it also symbolizes the ways in which that connection can be violently severed.
Kenchamma Hill Quotes in Kanthapura
Sometimes people say to themselves, the Goddess of the River plays through the night with the Goddess of the Hill. Kenchamma is the mother of Himavathy. May the goddess bless us!