Place 7: Devarayana Durga and Namada Chilume

IMG_8671After my visit to Makali Durga in March, I had temporarily stopped visiting places due to other programs.  But one fine day when I received a call from Suhas (my frined), asking me to plan a weekend journey in bike, I instantly told him the place Deverayana Durga.  Devarayana Durga is a hill located at a distance of 65km from Bangalore and situated near Tumkur.  It has a fort, temples, mesmerizing nature and difficult trekking trails.

When we left Suhas home on Sunday it was already half passed seven in the morning.  We took Nice Road at Magadi Road junction reached NH4 which leads to Tumkur.  The sun was still hiding behind the cloud, with less temperature cold breeze and drizzling we felt like we are invited for a new day by nature.  With perfect climate, signal free National Highways and well maintained bike, all these were pushing digital speedometer to show the number 110!  I had an awesome riding experience that day.  After reaching Dabbaspete we took SH3 (State Highway3) and reached Udigere.  Following the KSTDC sign boards, we reached the base of Devarayana Durga.  From here one can start climbing the hill thorough steps or else bike can go up to a parking lot which is at haft way of the hill.  Before reaching parking lot we crossed 13 hair-pin-bends which are not so difficult compared to other hills.

From here we started to climb the hill through steps, which are neatly constructed.  This hill has two temples, Boga Narasimha temple which is at base and Yoga Narashimha temple on top of the hill.  The total height of the hill is around 3940ft above sea level.  History says, this hill was called as Jadaka Durga (Jadaka is a ruler of this region), later when Mysore King Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar conquered this region, the name of the hill was changed to Devarayana Durga.  This hill is also called as ‘Karigiri’, that is kari means Elephant and giri means hill.  When you see this hill from far you can see the hill in the shape of Elephant.  The fort which was constructed here was a very huge fort and has seven doors to enter.  Today you can see the remaining of this fort.  The hill also houses the river Jayamangala’s and river Shimsha’s origin.  After having the glimpse of fort, we
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IMG_8469entered through one door, half way through the temple we met with a deity of Garuda, Rama and Anjaneya.  This deity was very huge in its size and an open temple too, which means no garbhagudi.  It is unique in its construction because all three of them are seen on a single stone.  You can have a splendid view of surroundings from this point.  After this we reached stone mantapa, and then entered the Yoga Narasimha temple.  This temple is very beautifully constructed with a waranda outside and garbagudi dedicated to the deity of Narasimha an awathar of Lord Vishnu.  You can also find the deity of Ganesha and Lakshmi inside the temple.  Beside the temple there is another sacred place called ‘Pada Theertha”, where the water after abhishekha flows here.  This water finally reaches the sacred Kalyani near the temple formed between the rocks.
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IMG_8513IMG_8508IMG_8496Mesmerizing nature, view of other mountains looks amazing at this point.  But the real journey is yet to come.  After the temple, there are no steps to climb the hill to reach the final point called as ‘Khumbi Shikhara’ (top of the hill).  You should trek to reach the top.  We went on searching for route and ended up in wrong direction in our first search.  Later finding the right direction, we started our trekking for next half of the journey.  The trekking path is moderately difficult, searching the correct path in a densely spread bushes was very difficult.  At some point you should crawl under the bushes to reach other point.  After having a 5min trekking from temple, you will reach another plain rocky surface which is directly above the temple.  This is a huge plain rocky area that you can see on this hill.  You can get amazing views from this point.

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The climbing becomes very difficult (especially for beginners) from this point.  As I and Suhas have got little experience of trekking, we started climbing the hill up to the last point.  At one time I was unable to climb the hill by hanging my camera to neck.  Noticing the difficulty, I packed my camera and then started climbing.  With our good habit of climbing, without any trouble we reached top of the hill, which was called as “Kumbhi Shikhara” It has stone mantapa and a bell.  One who climbs the top should ring the bell, and the sound from the bell spreads all over the hill indicating somebody has reached top.  It was our first business to do after reaching the top and we did it.  We took photos of beautiful landscape, chains of mountains, and even the top view of Yoga Narasimha temple.

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The view from tip of the point is breathtaking.  High breeze which hits on your face, surrounding view of mountains will make you forget your tiredness.  I feel that even though nature gives you a difficult path to climb, but once when you accomplish it, nature always displays its charming beauty, mesmerizing views in front of your eyes, which is an unforgettable vision for every nature lovers.  This is true at this place and even at all places.  After spending an hour on top, and listening to Bhavagethe (our routine practice at every hill), we started our descending journey.  During trekking, downwards journey is always difficult than upward journey.  But with our experience, we came down easily without having any problem.  At the base of the hill, you can get Fruit Juice, tender coconut and chaats.  We had light lunch by having chaats and juice and then moved on to our next place Namada Chilume.

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Namada Chilume is a small place just 8km from Devarayana Durga towards Kyathsandra.  If you follow the KSTDC sign boards, it is not difficult to reach this place from the hill.  It is said the lord Rama and his team visited this place during their 14 years exile.  During their stay, Rama searched for water to apply tilaka on his forehead.  But he could not find water nearby, then he shot an arrow at the rock, arrow made small hole in the rock and water came down from the hole.  Rama used this water to apply tilaka on his forehead.  So the place got its name Namada Chilume (Spring of Tilaka).  Today you can see this spring of water here and it is been well protected from government.  Some region at this campus is fenced and visitors can see Deer in this protected area.  Just opposite to Namada Chilume, Karnataka Forest Department has a nursery of medicinal plants.  A nominal entrance fee is collected and this place can also be visited.  After having a nice walk in both the campus, and taking photos, chatting with other peoples, we left the place for our final destination of the day!

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Our final destination was “Pavithra Hotel” Kyathsandra.  Kyathsandra is a place situated next to NH 4 before Tumkur.  It is famous for its Butter Tatte Idli’s (Plate Idli’s).  Like Bidadi Tatte Idli, Kyathsandra Tatte Idli is also very famous.  Coming to a places like this (a place with a special food) and not eating is literally a crime! (Sentence copied from Rohan who hosts “Strictly Street” TV Show in TravelXP HD channel, one of my favorite programs)  We both had Tatte Idli’s until we satisfy our stomach, and then started our Bangalore journey late in the evening.  Again the riding was wonderful; we followed the same route, and reached Bangalore in time.  After a long time of not having a trip, this trip was accomplished in its high fashion.  Before leaving Suhas home, I told him, hey our next destination is “Kailasa Parvatha” near Chintamani Road.  He smiled at me and said OK WE WILL GO!

Devarayana Durga and Namada Chilume are packed with historic stories, sacred temples, wonderful nature, hard trekking trails and what not!  In my opinion if a place includes all this, it is worth visiting these places by making our time in our busy schedule.  Do visit once.

How to go:
By Road: Bangalore- NH4- Dobbespete- Udigere- Devarayana Durga- Namada Chilume

Food:
Fruit Juices, Tender Coconut, Chat etc., are available at Devarayana Durga.
For hotels you should come to Kyathsandra.

When to go:
All through the year.


-Viswa Keerthy S (July 28, 2013)

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Place 5: Nandhi Hills

IMG_0627This place is one of the hotspot for people who love nature, calmness, joy, and history.  And it is also one of the most popular sightseeing for Bangaorians.  Nadhi Hills is situated in Chikkaballapur district, which is at a distance of 60km from Bangalore.  The hill is popularly called as Nandidurga or Nandi Giridhama.  The height of the hill is around 1479m above sea level.  History says, during the Chola’s time it was called as “Ananda Hill” (Hill of Happiness).  Even now this phrase is true and you will definitely fall in love for its calmness and pleasant nature when you visit.  Hence most people say that this place is heaven for nature lovers.  The hill includes a Summer Palace built by Tippu Sulthan, Nehru Guest House, Sri Yoga Nandishwara Temple, source point Arkavathi River and a very famous Tippu Drop.  The architecture of Tippu’s summer palace resembles the style of Dariya Dowlath which is located at Srirangapattana.  Inside visit of this palace is closed for public, it can only be seen from outside.  It looks very elegant in its construction.

IMG_0454IMG_0466After taking a quick walk inside the giridhama you will reach Sri Yoga Nadhishwara temple, a temple dedicated to lord shiva.  It looks very old and has rich history in it.  Beside the temple there is an extended sky walk to see the surroundings from the top.  The view from here is incredible.  The chains of surrounding mountains, Skandagiri Hill looks very beautiful from this point.  After this, you should walk little far on rocks to reach the famous point called Tippu’s Drop.  It’s a steep cliff on top of the hill, and the view from here looks very scary and dangerous.  It was said that, during Tippu’s rule, prisoners were pushed to death from this point.  Hence the place was called Tippu’s Drop.  The source point of river Arkavathi can be seen beside this drop.  This river flows across the Bangalore and joins the river Cavery at Sangama, Kanakapura.  There is a beautiful dam constructed to this river near Manchenbelle which is yet another picturesque location to visit.  At last you will find Nehru Guest House, which was constructed during the British Period.  Rooms are available for tourist at this guest house. There is also a Gandhi House, where Gandhiji himself stayed here during his visit to Bangalore, but this guest house is only for dignitaries.

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IMG_0493IMG_0514IMG_0523IMG_0569IMG_0573IMG_0637The houses constructed between the trees by using bamboos are gorgeous.  In case if you pack your food, this junction will become a perfect place for your eating point.  It is worth spending time here which makes us feel very calm and pleasant.  This place becomes heaven if you visit during morning times.  Sun rise behind the cloud looks amazing.  As I said, this is the most popular one day sightseeing place in Bangalore, lot of people visit every year for its beauty, charming nature, pleasant climate and its rich history.  This place certainly gives you a pleasant and a refreshing feeling when you visit.

How to go:

By Road: Bangalore- Hebbal Fly Over- Yelahanka- Doddaballapur- D Cross- (Taka right turn @ this circle)- follow this road until you hit a notice board which says “Nandhi Hills 0km”.

You can also go from Bangalore- Devanahalli- Chikkaballapur- Nandhi Hills.

 Food:

On top there is a hotel called “Mayura” from KSTDC.  And other shops can be found.

When to go:

All through the year.

-Viswa Keerthy S

Place 3:Shivagange and Siddagange

Shivagange

ShivaShivagange is a small holy village in Tumkur District, and it is one of the famous Hindu pilgrim centers in India.  The village got its name due to the hill which is present there. The height of the hill is around 1368mts from sea level and it looks the shape of ‘shivalinga’ when it is seen from far.  It is located near Dobbespete, which is 54km from Bangalore.  The place is very famous for its Gangadhareshwara Temple, which is built for lord Shiva.  And it is popularly called as “Dakshina Kashi” (South Kashi) by South Indians.

Gangadhareshwara TempleApart from the temple, the hill also includes Pathala Gange, Olakal Theertha, Nandi and Shanthala Drop on top.  Each of these places has deep history in its creation.  At the base of the hill you will find lord Shiva temple, which is Gangadhareshwara temple.  The temple is very famous for its mysterious abhisheka.  It is believed that if you perform ghee abhisheka, the ghee will turn into butter.  Inside the temple there is old cave, which is now locked with iron gate and they say this cave connects with the other cave, which is at Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Bangalore.  Beside this temple you will find Pathala Gange, which is a small underground spring.  It is formed between two huge rocks and there are narrow steps to go down to see it.  Historically it is said that Pathala Gange is connected with the Antaragange which is in Kolar.  But it is hard to imagine this connection today, as both the places are very far from each other.  Olkal Theertha is another mysterious location in the hill.  This place is found exactly at the mid way while climbing the hill.  One has to go in narrow place between the rocks to find the small spring.  It is a small pot hole in the rock, if you see from top with a torch, you can see water inside.  It is believed if a person is good and dutiful; he can touch and feel the water, others cannot!  After this temple, climbing became very difficult due to the narrow steps of rocks.  On top of the hill you will find Nandi and a small Shiva temple.  You will also find queen Shantala’s suicide point known as Shantala Drop.  The view from top of the hill is mesmerizing.

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Olakal Theertha

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It is place which is a combination of historic temples, religious believes, mystery, trekking and a mesmerizing nature.  The experience you get is unforgettable.  A must visit place for people who love to explore places and the history.  The landscape view from high altitude and some of the breathtaking spots in the hill is amazing.  Most part of the hill is rocky, and a proper iron railing has been put to climb the hill.  You will find lot of monkeys all over the hill, and they are always ready to attack on your belongings.  When you visit, make sure to take something for monkeys.  Overall it is a fantastic picnic spot for one day!

Siddagange

Siddaganga Mutt

Sree Sree Sree Shivakumara SwamijiSiddagange is small village which is 10km far from Shivagange.  It is located near Kyathsandra which can be reached through NH 4 from Bangalore.  Siddagange houses an ashrama called Siddagange Mutt,the oldest ashrama in Tumkur District.  It also has gurukula which offers education, food, shelter for poor children’s.  Siddagange mutt is now headed by Sree Sree Sree Shivakumara Swamiji, who is called as Nededaduva Devaru (Walking God).  He is continuing his humanitarian work even at the age of 107years.  Every day they perform ‘Annasantharpane’ (food) at the free of cost for the pilgrims who visit this place.  It also has a hill which houses the temple of Siddalingeswara and Siddalingamma.  Everyone who visits Shivagange always visit Siddagange.

How to reach

1. Frequent KSRTC Buses available from Majestic.

2. There is a railway station at Dobbaspete and Kyathsandra. And frequent train is available from Majestic Railway Station.

3. It is best if you travel in own transport.  From Bangalore take NH 4, reach Dobbespete.

Food:

There are good hotels at both the places.  Kyathsandra is famous for its “Tatte Idli’s”! Don’t forget to taste it.

When to go:

All through the year.

I with two of my friends Naveena and Naveena went to these places in train.  Our journey was comfortable in train, and we climbed both the hill and even took the blessings of Shivakumara Swamiji.  Meanwhile took some beautiful photos.

-Viswa Keerthy S
10-11-2012