Monday, 3 June 2013

Bettadapura: A village with rich history

Bettadapura: A village with rich history 

Overview: The Sidilu Mallikarjunaswamy temple on the top of Bettadapura hill is one of the hidden marvels of Karnataka.
Bettadapura or "Land of Hills" is known for the famous Sidilu Mallikarjuna Swamy temple which was built by the Cholas more than 1000 years ago and has not been damaged much as the visitors have to climb a hillock to reach there through a flight of 4000 steps. Bettadapura is home to the Sankethi community which migrated from Shankottai in Tamil Nadu around 600 years ago. From Bettadapura they migrated to several other villages along the banks of Cauvery.
Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura
One significance of the temple is the fact that the temple is believed to be hit by lightning at least once a year around Deepavali time. Hence derives the name "Sidilu" meaning lightning in Kannada. Also a jaatre or procession is held once a year during Deepavali in which many people from the surrounding villages take part by carrying the idols of Lord Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati to the top of the hill and bring it back by evening.
We started climbing the hill at around 6am on a very early summer morning. The temple priest also climbed along with us. As it was early morning so we didn't feel the pain of ascent. It becomes difficult to climb as the day sets in. There are mantaps at regular intervals for a quick power break. At around half way mark we reached the ruins of the ancient Veerabhadra temple which has a Shiva Linga guarded by the Nandi bull. The temple is too dark from inside and is not at all maintained. This place is completely in a neglected state and is used by the climbers to relax for a while.
Ruins at Bettadapura Beginning of the climb Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura  Veerabhadreshwara temple, Bettadapura Veerabhadreshwara temple, Bettadapura
We continued climbing the steps and reached the top in around an hour and a half from the beginning. The temple premises looks wonderful and the view of the village from the top is breathtaking and its worth the effort spent in climbing around 4000 steps. The temple is built on a plateau and is a simple stone structure with a Gopuram. The inner sanctum of the temple has a Shiva Linga or Mallikarjuna which is believed to be struck by lightning every year. We explored every bit of the temple and had the puja done by the priest. The Nandi bull on top of a pillar which guards the temple and has been witness to people from different dynasties visiting this place. We had packed breakfast from home so we had it at a place near the temple. A lot of monkeys were pestering us near the temple so we had to go down a bit and have our breakfast.
Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura BettadapuraBettadapura  Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura Bettadapura
A good 2 hours on the top of the hill makes us feel away from civilization and all the stress of the world below us.
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bettadapura
How to reach:  Bus: There is a direct bus which goes to Bettadapura from Bangalore. Alternately, board a bus to Mysore, from there, there are buses bound towards Hassan via Bettadapura.
Car/Bike: Head on SH17 towards Mysore, after Srirangapatna, turn towards Elvaala to join Mysore-Madikeri road. Continue on the road till Periyapatna. At Periyapatna, turn right towards Bettadapura on State highway 21.
Food/Accommodation: The nearest place to stay is Mysore or Hassan where we get. Please email me on arun45208@gmail.com for arrangements for stay near Bettadapura if you want to experience rural culture and beauty.
Map:

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12 comments:

  1. Spell bound !! Absolute beauty ! I cant say which photograph is the best ..all of them are well captured.Still I select the Frog !!
    Detailed Post !!
    Loved your work !! Happy to have stumbled Upon on your blog !! Amzing work !!

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  2. This is absolutely a brilliant discovery. Never heard about the place. Awesome post Arun!

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/06/the-long-way-home.html

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  3. nice post Arun, any signs of 'animal sacrifices' around...?

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  4. This is a very good post. Thanks for informing why it is known as 'Sidlu Mallikarjuna' Temple. Photos are as always fantastic. The pillar on the edge looks interesting.

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  5. Beautiful pictures with good information...

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  6. Really it's fine .But negligency of all govt there is no improvement done here,it's really bad.

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  7. If one needs peace and natural air, they need to visit this place. I atleast did not find any wild animals but not sure how safe it is for people to go in less number.
    Thank you Arun for the pictures and info.

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  8. My grandfather was a doctor in Bettadapura and my grandparents lived to serve people. My parents lived in Bangalore. But, I was a blessed kid to be born in this beautiful town. I lost my grandparents when I was 10. Ever since, I have gone there about three times (Its 20 yrs now).

    Every time I go through the immigration, I am bound to get this question - "Where is Bettadapura"? I smile at them and try to explain. I have so many childhood memories attached to this place, no matter how many breathtaking places I go to, it can't replace what this place is for me.

    I live in San Francisco now and tonight, I really wanted to see if there is something I can find on the internet to mull over these memories and I stumble upon your blog post. I can't thank you enough for doing this. Every single picture out there is precious to me. Thank you so very much again for doing this. More power to you! :)

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