Overview: A road trip to the hills and plains of Chamarajanagar district was on my wish list for a long time. We started off with Male Mahadeshwara Betta. The Mahadeshwara hill temple built at a height of 3000 feet was built by Junje Gowda dedicated to the Veerashaiva saint Mahadeshwara. This temple is popular with both pilgrims and nature lovers as the entire area is rich in flora and fauna. It is said that Saint Mahadeshwara lived here in the 15th century.
The temple is located in the midst of seven hills in the Western Ghats, which are rich in flora and fauna. The hills provide a pretty sight while driving to the temple. The hills connect Karnataka to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
Within the temple premises, one can see the new Gopuras overlooking a kalyani, where both old and new tanks can be seen. On certain days like Shivaratri, the chariot is taken around the temple where thousands of devotees witness the event.
From MM Hills, we proceeded towards Dhondenling Tibetan settlement at Odeyarpalya. The Tibetan settlement here is one of the lesser known monasteries in Karnataka.
After having lunch at Kollegal, we proceeded to BR hills. We drove directlty to the Biligiri Ranganathaswamy temple, dating back to 11th century. Apart from the main deity of Ranganatha, the temple has deiteis of Ranganayaki and Alvars.
After overnight stay at a hotel in the hills, we proceeded to the BR Hills viewpoint near the temple. The view was spectacular and it was very windy in the morning. Unfortunately, we couldn’t spot much of wildlife in BR hills except the deer.
Next in the series will feature the plains of Chamarajanagar district
How to reach: MM Hills can be reached from Bengaluru via Kanakapura, Malavalli, Kollegal into the hills. The roads are in good condition and are regularly repaired. Buses ply regularly from Bengaluru and Mysuru. By train the nearest station is Chamarajanagar. From there buses are available to MM Hills.
Food/Accommodation: Good resorts are available at MM Hills, Kollegal, BR Hills and K Gudi. For food, the hills have basic food options available.