Lost temples of Karnataka: Chandragutti

Overview: We stumbled upon this place called Chandragutti during our visit to Banavasi. Chandragutti was known as Chandraguptapura during the ancient times when it was a stronghold of the Kadambas of Banavasi. The temple situated on the top of a hill is a large natural cave approached by a flight of steps where a Shiva Linga is worshipped.
The place is associated with the saint Jamadagni and his wife Renuka, the collosal hip like boulders in the cave are identified as Renuka in hiding when Parshurama persued her. The outer facade of the cave forms a vestibule in front of which is an imitation of the Chalukyan style and a pillared Sabhamandapa is also present added during the Vijayanagara period in east-west orientation.
The top of the hill further takes us to a tower which was a bit sticky due to the oil lamps which are lit everyday by devotees. The place offers a stunning view of the surrounding hills. Chandragutti is also known for the nude procession which takes place on certain days after having a holy dip, people offer their prayers to the Goddess. But as per the latest reports, this nude fair has been banned by the Government.
There is also a fort in Chandragutti which we missed during our visit. Please check http://karnatakatravel.blogspot.com/2011/11/chandragutti-fort.html for more details on that

How to reach: Bus: KSRTC buses ply from Bangalore to Soraba and Sirsi. Buses are available from Sirsi and Soraba to Chandragutti.
By Bike/Car: Take the NH4 to reach Ranebennur, from there, take a deviation towards Soraba and proceed further to reach Chandragutti.
Food/Accommodation: Vanavasika tourist home in Banavasi is the nearest place to find good accommodation around Chandragutti.
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