Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Devarayanadurga & Goravanahalli: Day trips from Bangalore

Devarayanadurga & Goravanahalli: Day trips from Bangalore

Overview: Devarayanadurga has become a popular tourist destination of late. For many reasons, Devarayanadurga has been able to attract tourists from all age groups, for trekkers, rock climbers, photographers and more importantly, pilgrims. The temple has two important temples - YogaNarasimha and BhogaNarasimha. This can be reached by climbing a series of steps to the top. The Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple is built in Dravidian style and is believed to be renovated by the Wodeyars in the 18th century. BhogaNarasimha temple is at the base of the hill and Yoga Narasimha temple is on top of the hill. Also there is a Kalyani next to the Hanuman temple at the top.
For the trekkers, there is a pathway which leads to the top of the hill and there is a bell on top of the hill. The climb is not so tough and many climbers take it up. It is said that the hills look magical during rains and we were lucky enough to catch the rains but because of the rains we could not make it to the top of the hill through trekking. It was still raining till we reached back to the parking lot. Next we went to Namada Chilume, which is a natural spring believed to be struck by an arrow by Lord Sri Rama during their vanavasa.
Devarayanadurga Devarayanadurga Devarayanadurga
Another popular pilgrim center near Devarayanadurga is Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi temple. This is visited by a large number of pilgrims everyday and is like a fair once you are in Goravanahalli. It is believed that the idol of Shri Mahalakshmi is self originated. The temple was developed and maintained by Kamalamma who is much revered by the locals and there is a shrine dedicated to Kamalamma next to the Mahalakshmi temple.
 Goravanahalli Goravanahalli Goravanahalli Goravanahalli
These three places can be covered well within a day. Also if time permits one can visit Hebbur Sharada Mutt.
How to reach: KSRTC buses ply from Bangalore to Devarayanadurga. It is advisable to check the timings before planning.
Car/Bike: Head north on NH4 towards Tumkur road, after crossing Dobaspet, head towards Kyathasandra, from there, turn right towards Siddaganga Mutt. From mutt take the road to Devarayanadurga.
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devarayanadurga
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namada_Chilume
Food/Accommodation: Kamat Upachar is available at Dobaspet for food. Accommodation is available even at Devarayandurga.
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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Lost temples of Karnataka: Kaitabhairaveshwara temple-Kotipura, Kubatur

Lost temples of Karnataka: Kaithabhaireshwara temple-Kotipura, Kubatur

Overview: Kotipura is a small village near Anvatti in Western Karnataka. We visited this place during our visit to Banavasi. The Kaitabhairaveshwara temple complex in Kubatur, Kotipura is a marvel to watch. Kubatur has a rich historical significance having been ruled by the Kadambas of Banavasi, the Badami Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Kalyani Chalukyas, Hoysalas of Dorasamudra, nayaks of Keladi.
The Kaitabhairaveshwara temple was built in 1100 AD during the Hoysala period and was known as Kotishwara in inscriptions. It closely resembles the Chalukyan temples in plan, pillar order and Shikhara. The sculptors of Mahishasuramardhini, Bhairava and Ganesha adorn the superstructure. There are 5 entrances to the Mahamandapa. Lateral entrances are provided in addition to the other entrances. The pillars of Mahamandapa are Lathe turned and polished to give it a shiny look. The ceilings are ornate and the parapet has sculptures of Ugra Narasimha, varaha, Garuda, Keshava among others. An inscription in this temple refers to major temple forms of India mastered by skilled architect.
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How to reach: Bus: KSRTC buses and also several private buses ply regularly from Bangalore to Hangal. Buses are available from Hangal to Anvatti. From Anvatti hire local transport to reach Kotipura.
By Bike/Car: Take the NH4 to reach Tumkur, before reaching the town, turn left towards Shimoga. Travel to Shimoga via Tiptur and Arsikere. From Shimoga, take the Honnavar road to reach Anvatti. Anvatti can also be reached from NH4 to Ranebennur, from there take the state road to Anvatti via Chikkakerur.
Food/Accommodation: Plenty of options available for accommodation at Shimoga, Ranebennur and Banavasi suiting all budgets.
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Monday, 15 July 2013

Tungabhadra Reservoir: In true colours

Tungabhadra Reservoir: In true colours 

Overview: A visit to any dam/reservoir whenever the water level is up is really good as we experienced during our trip to Tungabhadra reservoir in Hospet. The dam gates were open and water was gushing out from all the gates. The garden was also well maintained and the reservoir behind the dam resembled an ocean. Also we could see water all around us even on our drive back from Hospet.
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How to reach: Bus: KSRTC buses ply frequently from Bangalore to Hospet.
By Car: Travel towards NH4 and at Chitradurga, turn right on NH 13 to reach Hospet.
Food/Accommodation: Accommodation is available for all budgets in Hospet.
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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lost temples of Karnataka: Harihareshwara temple, Harihar

Lost temples of Karnataka: Harihareshwara temple, Harihar

Overview: The town itself gets its name from the Harihareshwara temple. I went to Harihar during my trip to Davangere for my sister-in-law's Convocation. Harihar is around 17kms from Davanagere. Dedicated to Lord Harihara, a fusion of Shiva and Vishnu deities. Built in typical Hoysala architecture with square mantapa plan. Built in the 13th century, the temple has many beautiful carvings and inscriptions from the Hoysala dynasty. The temple overlooks the Tungabhadra river. To reach Harihar, direct buses are available from Bangalore. Also it lies in the Bangalore-Hubli railway line. By car, one can reach Harihar by driving along NH4.
Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar  Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar Tungabhadra river, Harihar
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harihareshwara_Temple_(Harihar)
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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Mekedatu: A Goat’s leap

Mekedatu: A Goat’s leap

Overview: Mekedatu is probably the last popular tourist destination on the Cauvery basin on the Karnataka's side. Once the Cauvery crosses Makedatu, it enters Tamil Nadu at Hogenakkal. To reach Mekedatu, we have to first cross Sangama, meaning confluence of rivers. There is a small temple as well at Sangama. We crossed the river by foot which was around knee deep to the other side. It was fun crossing the river as we rarely get a chance to do that.
On reaching the other side of the river, we have some old discarded buses which take us to Makedatu. There are no proper roads to reach Mekedatu. The roads are suited only for a 4X4 vehicle. The condition of the vehicle and the roads combined was a horrific experience. We somehow managed to reach Mekedatu in around 30 minutes. We could hear the Cauvery roaring from a distance. We couldn't wait to reach there and quickly made our way into the rocky boulders.
We have to cross massive rocks which are very light in colour and are in weird shapes as if they have been carved out. They look like volcanic rocks formed out of eruptions many years ago. We reached the sandy land path and finally had a glimpse of Cauvery cutting through a narrow gorge. Mekedatu translates to 'Goat's leap' in Kannada which means there is space for a goat to leap through to the other end of the gorge. We spent some time near the Cauvery hearing its flow and then headed back through the same route.
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How to reach: Bus: KSRTC buses ply regularly from Bangalore to Sangama.
By Bike/Car: Take the NH209 to Kanakapura, at Kanakapura, head towards Sangama. Sangama is around 90 kms from Bangalore. From Sangama, cross the river to the other side and board a bus to Mekedatu.
Food/Accommodation: Not many options available for food on the way. Its advisable to carry home food.
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mekedaatu
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