Know your neighbourhood-5: Bannerghatta Road

Overview: Bannerghatta forest is perhaps the most popular of all in Bangalore. It is a well visited tourist destination and offers wild life safaris as well. Just along the Bannerghatta forest is a cluster of villages like Ragihalli and Thattekere which is developing into a cyclers' paradise with photographers getting to spot several species of birds especially during winters.
Ragihalli Road
At the gate of Bannerghatta is the Champakadhama temple which was built during the Hoysalas in 1257 CE.  He built temples in the southern parts of the city like Anekal, Jigani and Haragadde. Several Kannada and Tamil inscriptions dating between 12th and 13th centuries can be seen all around the temple walls and floor. One such important inscription at the entrance wall of the temple mentions the name of a place Juguni (today's Jigani), which is described as a chief Agrahara of Gangavadi Nadu. A series of Atmabali stones can also be seen a few metres in front of the temple. Another inscription mentions the name 'Vanniyaraghattam', which became Bannerghatta. The Champakadhama temple is also considered as 'Madhya Narayana Kshetra' of Bangalore District. A short trek uphill from Champakadhama takes one to Suvarnamukhi, a beautiful pond which is believed to have medicinal properties. There is also a temple dedicated to Lakshminarasimha Swamy near the pond.
Bannerghatta National Park

Champakadhama Temple

Inscription mentioning 'Juguni'

Suvarnamuki Pond
Inside the wilderness of Bannerghatta forest, several Megalithic burial sites have been found and can still be traced near Ragihalli area. The burial sites are believed to be more than 3000 years old. The local Irula tribes still bury the dead in the same manner as was followed by their ancestors, by placing slab of rocks over the dead and covering the stone by smaller stones. Mysterious circular network of stones can also be spotted near Suvarnamukhi near Bannerghatta which may also date to Iron Age.
Mysterious Stone Circles

Pre-Historic Site
Hulimavu: The village of Hulimavu was earlier known as Amrapura as per the inscriptions found locally, later started to be known as Hulimavu, which translates to ‘sour mango’. The pre-historic cave at Hulimavu is several thousand years old where sages are known to have meditated. A legend says that Hulimavu was once under the king of Sarakeya(today’s Sarakki) and the king built the Kodandarama temple in the 17th century which was later renovated.in the 18th century. The natural cave at Hulimavu is a prehistoric dwelling and some Ash mounds were seen around the cave. Legend says that this was a place where sages used to meditate. Hulimavu also has an ancient Someshwara temple, renovated during the post-Vijayanagara times. Outside the temple in the courtyard, a broken image of Surya with Ganga features can be seen.
Hulimavi Cave temple

Hulimavu Someshwara Temple
Hulimavu Lake


Bilekahalli: In the midst of the crowded Bilekahalli just 2 kms north of Hulimavu is home to the 11th century Someshwara temple built by the Cholas. A part of the original structure is intact but is surrounded by a new set of walls.
Arekere: Just off Bannerghatta Road is a minor reserve forest called the Doresanipalya Reserve forest of around 40 hectares.
Gottigere: To the south of Hulimavu is the area of Gottigere, where one could see a beautiful Kalyani near Gali Anjaneyaswamy temple. This Kalyani has been now covered due to Metro construction.

Bilekahalli Someshwara Temple

Gottigere Kalyani
Doresanipalya Forest

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. There are NO Chola temples in Bangaluru. In fact, there are no Chola inscriptions in Bengaluru except for one at Kengeri (traditionally a part of Ramanagara).

    Someshwara Temples belong to the Hoysala period. Temple inscriptions of the period are often in Tamil as the Hoysalas had employed a few Tamils as Stanikas. This was earliest presence of Tamil in Bengaluru.

    During Haider Alis time an influx of Tigular community increased Tamil population and by 1890 census it had reached 4% of the total population.

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