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
IMG_8440

IMG_8443

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.
IMG_8483

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.

IMG_8499

IMG_8527

IMG_8843

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.

IMG_8504
IMG_8549

IMG_8585

IMG_8522

IMG_8478_79_80_tonemapped

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.

IMG_8862

IMG_8868

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!

IMG_8854

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)

Advertisements

Place 4:Makali Durga

indian railwayMakali Durga is a fort hill which is 60km from Bangalore.  The place is located in the state high way of Bangalore-Gauribidanur and it is just 10km from Doddaballapur.  The height of the hill is around 1350mts above sea level.  As I said it’s a fort hill, on top you will find the wreckages of the fort, built by Tippu Sulthan.  At the base of the hill, there is a temple of lord Shiva and Nandi.  The railway line which passes near the hill ads up to the beauty of Makali Durga.  There is a small railway station near the hill, which makes easy accessible to Makali Durga through trains.  Unlike the other places for example Savandurga, this place is isolated from common people.  That is, you hardly find peoples here.  No shops, no hotels, no people around makes you still more exciting.

This place is a paradise for trekkers.  It’s a moderately difficult trekking place.  The hill is covered with small thorny shrubs, trees and rocks.  Route markings for climbing the hill are not so good.  Better to search our own route and explore the place.  This makes trekking really exciting and challenging.  If you are a first time visitor it is advised to take at least one person with you who has seen this place earlier.  There is high degree of chance that you may go in a wrong way and end up in worst situation.  As I said there are no shops, hotels around this place, it is good to pack your food.  Most importantly you must take plenty of water.  Remember you don’t get water at this place.  And make sure to drink less water during trekking.  While climbing, the sight from top of the hill is magnificent.  The view of Gundumgere Lake is really an awesome experience.  And the view of the passage of trains and goods carriages through the curved paths will make you still more exciting.  On top of the hill there is a fort built by Tippu Sulthan.  It is almost at its last stage of destruction, and it needs proper maintenance from government. Breathtaking view of the chains of mountains from top is unforgettable.  You could see Nandi Hills and Skandagiri Hill from top.  Night trekking can also be done, but it needs proper planning and arrangement. Overall this place is one of the best one day trekking destinations for Bangalorians.

IMG_9569

IMG_9595IMG_9594IMG_9592

IMG_9667

IMG_9622I and my friends (Pramod, Naveen, Achyut) left Hebbal Fly over at 9pm in the morning, reached Makali Durga in Naveen’s Innovae car.  Innova car took all the responsibility of making sure that our journey was comfortable.  Thanks to Innova!  My frined Achyut was a professional trekker.  Except Achyut, for all of us, it is our first time visit to Makali Durga.  With Achyut professional guidelines we started to climb the hill.  At first, we felt hard to climb due to rocks and shrubs. But after adjusting to the surroundings climbing was very easy and we took many pit stops while climbing.  Based on Achyut guidelines we took plenty of water with us.  During our trekking we were making sure that we were not dehydrated.   At half way through our climbing, we met other group from ‘Suvarna TV’, who had come for trekking.  After meeting, all of us went together.  The sight from high altitude was awesome.  After reaching top and having the glimpse of the Tippu’s fort, we finished our lunch.  Our descending journey was equally difficult like the climbing; searching route was very difficult while descending.  At last we came down and all through the day our lens was making noise and took some beautiful photos.  Finally Innova took the job of returning us safely to home.  Thanks to Naveen and his Innova.  A one day trek was completed in its high fashion.

IMG_9671

IMG_9777

IMG_9741

IMG_0545

How to go:

Makali Durga is well connected by road.  The state highway to Gauribidanur from Bangalore will pass through Makali Durga.

By Road: Hebbal Flyover- Yelahanka- Rajankunte- Doddaballapur- Follow the Gauribidanur Raod until you get Makali Durga Railway Station. (There is no proper notice board beside the main road. It is advised to ask locals after Doddaballapur)

By Train: There is train which runs all day from Yeshwanthpur at 08:15am and stops at Makali Durga Railways Station.  Return train is at 02:00pm at Makali Durga Railway Station.  Except this train no other train stops at this railway station.

Food:

No hotels, no shops nothing.  Pack your food.  Take plenty of water.

When to go:

It is difficult to climb during monsoon season.  Summer season is the best.

Some of our photos…

Viswa Keerthy S
30-03-2013.