Avani, Kurudumale and Mulbagal: Glimpses of Ramayana in KarnatakaOverview:
The journey of 120 kms from Bangalore takes us several centuries back. After reading a lot of blogs on Kolar district very rich in heritage, we decided to visit a few places the district has to offer. We started from Bangalore at 6am and very quickly crossed Hoskote as it was a Sunday and there was very little traffic. We had packed our breakfast and had it somewhere on NH4 highway. Below is the description of all the places we visited:
1) Kurudumale: We had to take a left deviation just before entering Mulbagal town to reach this place. Kurudumale is known for its Ganesha temple which has a 14 ft idol of Lord Ganapati which is believed to exist since ages. Around the idol a temple was built by Sri Krishnadevaraya. It is believed to have immense powers and the devotees are bound to be blessed with whatever they ask from the Lord.
Along the same road we went to Someshwara temple which was again a beauty. The scenic hills in the background and the exquisite carvings on the temple added to the attraction of the place. This temple is a very ancient built in Pre-Chola era and is built without any foundation. Nice serene surroundings and cool and cloudy day made us spend some more time at the temple.
2) Mulbagal: Our next stop was Mulbagal, the Taluk headquarters. Though we need an entire day to see all the major attractions in Mulbagal, we decided to see just one important place near the bus stand, the Hanuman temple. This temple is known for the Hanuman idol which is believed to be installed by Arjuna after the Mahabharata as a mark of devotion to Hanuman, the symbol on his flag on his chariot. The temple was amazing but was not too crowded. An idol of Ranganatha Swamy was also present hich was very soothing to see.
The other places in Mulbagal which we missed are Subramanyeswara temple, Vittaleshwara Temple, Sripadaraja Matt and Baba Hyder Vali Dargah. I will visit these places in my future visits.
3) Avani: As they say, the best is yet to come, we reserved the last place to Avani which was our main place to visit in this trip. Avani, meaning earth, is reached after taking a detour from Mulbagal on the way to Bangalore. The village road leads to Avani. Its better to seek help of the villagers or even Google Maps is good enough to guide. We were awestruck at the first sight of Avani. We had a very old and ancient temple in front of us built with stones giving it a classic look. Within the premises we has small temples having Shiva Lingas installed by Rama, Lakshmana, Bharat and Shatrughna during Dwapar Yuga. This temple was built by the Nolambas and is believed to be around 1200 years old. We visited all the temples and it was a great feeling. Apart from this beautiful temple there is a hill which has Ramayana all over it. For experiencing this we needed to climb up the hill. After discussing about our physical health condition we decided to climb the hill. There was a guide who accompanied us to the top. The first spot on the way was a cavity between two huge boulders which is supposed to be the place where Sita Mata watched her sons fight with their father Lord Rama from a distance. Sita mata is believed to be weeping behind the boulder. After walking a few steps we found stones placed on top of one another kept by people asking for wishes. A few steps ahead we found a cave in which sage Valmiki is supposed to have stayed and is known as 'Valmiki Ashrama'. A little ahead was a boulder named ‘Urilu bande’ where Sita Mata used to roll her stomach inside a cavity below the boulder to cure stomach ache. Further was a proper cave house carved out of a rock and was believed to be the place where Sita Mata gave birth to Luv and Kush. The guide went inside and gave a fistful of mud from inside and asked us to take it with us. The next was a small pond where Sita mata used to wash clothes and there was a lamp stand made out of rock. We came across a cave which is called “Panch Pandavara Gudi” meaning temple of 5 Pandavas which has Shivalingas installed by each of the Pandavas. Next was another cave where Sita Mata used to keep her utensils. There was a portion which looked like an inverted vessel and on tapping it, made the same noise as is done by any vessel. Hanuman is believed to have forged the vessels into the rocks later. At last we reached the top of the hill where we had a Sita temple which looked so sacred and holy. This is believed to be the place where Sita Mata went down into the mother earth and got ‘moksha’ from her life on earth. We took aarti from the priest and we decided to start our descent as it became very cloudy and there was a possibility of rains. We reached the base in around 45 mins and had our lunch there. There is a Shankaracharya Mutt inside the village which we visited while leaving the place.After this we started our journey back to Bangalore.
This trip was so fulfilling that we enjoyed each place and every moment of it.
How to reach: By own vehicle- NH4 towards Kolar, Bypass Kolar to reach Mulbagal, before Mulbagal town take a left turn towards Kurudumale. On the way back visit Mulbagal, then proceed towards NH4 to Bangalore, After around 5 kms, take a left turn towards Avani.
By public transport: Plenty of direct buses ply from Bangalore to Mulbagal. From Mulbagal hire a private taxi or auto.
Food/Accomodation: Kamat Upachar is available on NH4 near Kolar. Not many options available in Avani.
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