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Old 19th December 2014, 16:19   #1
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Smile Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati

A good number of logs available here for Bangalore to Tirupati travel and I donít wish to add one more of the same. So the purpose of my writing this is to highlight our visit to some of the very ancient and rarely visited temples which can be covered along with a Tirupati visit.

A visit to Tirumala was already planned a month back and darshan tickets also booked at the same time at TTD centre at Vyalikaval. I have also booked hotel KVP Residency for our stay at Tirupati for 1 night. Only thing left was to book accommodation at Tirumala as our darshan time was for 8 pm on 14th December. I took this time on purpose to avoid the long waiting time in darshan queue. So it being Sunday night means relatively less waiting time. So we left that accommodation part to check only after reaching Tirupati on 13th evening.

My plan was to start from home at around 11:30 am on 13th December to have a leisurely drive and reach Tirupati only by evening by 7. But due to some other last moment dependencies, we could start only by 1 pm. And as on every weekend, there was heavy traffic towards whitefield road. Filled the tank at Shell pump on the way and again there was usual blockage at Hope farm junction. Once that was crossed, there was smooth sailing all the way upto Mulbagal by-pass where our first scheduled stop was to visit Virupaksha temple which is just 1.8 km away from the by-pass road. The map below will give you the clear idea of its location.

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-virupaksha.jpg

We have reached there around 3 pm, and although itís a small village road, the surface is pretty smooth and there is no problem to reach and park the car directly in front of the entrance to the temple. As soon as our car stopped there, many kids from the village gathered around and seemed to be happy seeing us there. I think they are quite habituated to expect small money from visitors and maybe some food items also. So that was the reason for their happiness.

As we entered the first gate of the temple, it seems this gate is always open and the inside premises are used by villagers for grazing their sheep. There was open mandap on both sides of the main Gopuram, where we could spot few villagers busy playing cards. On enquiry with them, they informed that the temple priest lives nearby and we should approach him to open the temple for our darshan. So we took along the local kids and reached the residence of priest. He was also happy to see us there and informed us that he will come and open the temple in 10 minutes. So we proceeded to have a look around the temple.

Main entrance to the temple directly on the road(captured from inside)

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Inside corridor well protected by strong inside wall

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Pillars in main temple mandap

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Rock carving depicting some story inside the main temple

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A couple of couples relaxing on the fence

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The inner wall captured from outside

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The priest opening the doors of other Parvati devi temple

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Temple tank (pushkarini) which needs a good cleaning

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The outer open corridor in front of the main gopuram

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The main entrance directly on the road

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The outer strong wall protecting the inside structures

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One more view of main gopuram from main entrance

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The main gopuram and side mandap on both sides

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Structure in the same premises which looks like a kalyan mandapam

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-sdc15066.jpg



A closer look at main gopuram

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The unique feature of this temple is the powerful Ďatma lingamí which changes colour from morning to afternoon to evening. Its red colour in morning around sunrise, then it changes to white as sun goes up in afternoon and it changes to honey colour by evening. Although we could not witness this phenomenon as we were there for a short time but we could see a brownish colour of the atma linga.

Another speciality of this temple is that, just like Gokarna Mahabaleshwar temple,here also not just one but two shiva lingas are there and that too one behind the other. The one at the back is the one worshipped by Atri maharshi and the one in front is the atma lingam presented to him by Lord Shiva himself. The priest also informed us that this atma lingam has very powerful radiations which can help autistic children and many people visit here and are benefited. Also there is a small square platform at a distance from the atma lingam, where anybody can stand upright with hands stretched fully above head and stand still meditating for few minutes and we can feel the vibrations in our body. We tried that and definitely felt a different calmness when doing so.

Another story that the priest told us is that a snake visits the temple every night after dark and after the temple is closed. And its not ordinary snake, but one with a crystal on its head which emits light. And he claimed to have witnessed the light eminating from sanctum sanctorum at night. We may never know the truth behind it so just have to take priestís word for it.

After seeing and hearing all this about this temple, it really made me sad to see the present neglect of the temple by authorities. The priest is paid a salary of Rs. 100 every month to take care of the temple. Can you imagine how anyone can manage such a huge temple premises with Rs. 100 a month? The priest is only continuing since its being managed by their generations after generations since Vijaynagar period. This temple has seen days of glory, when it was centre of activities for a number of surrounding villages. So I just wish more people can atleast visit this temple and try to imagine how it must be in its days of glorious past.

Since it was already 4 pm now and we had brought our lunch packed with us, we requested the priest to have it in serene environment of temple premises which he happily
agreed. So we finished our lunch there and also shared it with the kids who were still playing outside and waiting for us. You can see the innocent happiness on their faces.

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-sdc15068.jpg

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-sdc15069.jpg


Next on the itinerary was the Kurudumale Ganesha temple, which is well known and also promoted by government with road sign boards marking clear directions to reach it. Its around 12 km from Virupaksha temple and road is in good condition. We reached there at 5 pm and we could see 3-4 other cars already there. So itís a well known temple and visited by many regularly unlike what we have seen earlier in the day. It has very big and beautiful Ganesha idol. The temple is surrounded by rocky hills as seen in pictures below.


Map to the Kurudamale Ganesha temple from Virupaksha temple

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-kurudumale.jpg



Main entrance to Ganesha temple

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Front view of temple

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Rocky hills surrounding the temple

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Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-imag1391.jpg



Left side view of temple

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-imag1392.jpg



Back side view of temple

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-imag1393.jpg

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-imag1394.jpg





Few hundred meters from this temple is another ancient temple, Someshwara temple. It was already 5:30 and we were very much behind schedule to reach Tirupati. So we rushed through the temple and there was no one else here, so we could quickly finish darshan and proceed. Few pictures taken with cell phone as camera was left behind in car.

Someshwara temple

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-imag1401.jpg


Temple next to Someshwara temple which was not accessible

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-imag1400.jpg



Ammavaru (Parvati devi) temple

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-imag1395.jpg

One last stop was at the famous Anjaneya swamy temple of Mulbagal town. Its very much at the centre of town and was crowded being a Saturday. Its said to be installed by Arjuna after Mahabharata war. The board at the entrance to the temple says so.

Board at the entrance of Anjaneya temple at Mulbagal

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-imag1402.jpg


(...to be continued )
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Old 19th December 2014, 18:51   #2
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So we quickly finished darshan at the temple, took blessings of Hanuman and continued to our onward journey to Tirupati. Time was 6:30 pm by then. The road upto andhra border is complete 4 lane and smooth. So absolutely nothing to report in this section. Only after entering the Andhra Pradesh, the road becomes 2 lane undivided and most of the Volvo bus drivers on this stretch believe that both the lanes belong to them only, so need to be extra careful with them. The road is also having few bad patches and its not a straight road. So overtaking is bit difficult. By 8 pm we reached the Chittoor by-pass and that section is good road with less traffic. Traffic increases once we reach the Chittoor- kadapa road and this road is known to have rash drivers. So again careful driving is necessary. And added to that was constant rain making things worse.This again is 2 lane undivided road except for a small railway underpass where the road is abruptly divided which I felt is risky at night time. Just when I thought so while passing by, I saw an indica taxi balancing neatly on the centre divider with hazard lights blinking. It was quite a lucky escape as the car wasnít looking damaged in anyway and nicely balanced with all four wheels in air. It must have travelled atleast 50 mtrs like that with wheels in air. Thankfully there was nobody around so I hope nobody got injured. But its really scary.

Finally we reached our hotel in Tirupati by 10 pm. The hotel is just in front of bus stand. so just checked in and went to have dinner as the hotels near to bus stand are the ones which are open and serving late in night. Returned to hotel and called it a day.

Next day we have planned to climb to Tirumala on foot using the steps, so left the car at the residence of one of our acquaintancesí who live in Tirupati. Took around 4 hrs to reach Tirumala after climbing 3550 steps over 9 km of walk. But surprisingly it was not very tiring and I was still feeling fresh after reaching Tirumala. Went to TTD office to book our accommodation in guest house and again having some known person there helped in getting one. As planned went to darshan queue at 8 pm and had darshan and came out of temple by 10:30 after having good satisfactory darshan of Venkateshwara swamy. Went back to guest house and had good sleep.

Next day morning checked out from there and took a taxi down to Tirupati. From there picked our car and proceeded to Tirchanur to have darshan of Padmavathi devi temple. Finished lunch also there and by then it was 2:30 pm. So now was the time for my next planned temple visit.


Sri Parashurameshwara temple, Gudimallam



This is 2200 years old Shiva temple and also regarded as oldest shiva temple where continuous puja is happening without a break. Another unique feature about this temple is the Shiva linga here is very different and unique which you can see in the picture below.

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-sdc15083.jpg


A closer look

Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-sdc15084.jpg



The google map shows a long route to this temple and I recommend to follow the following map to be used based on the route that we took.


Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-gudimallam1.jpg


Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-gudimallam2.jpg



From Tirchanur, this temple is around 21 km towards Chennai side.Its also near to Tirupati airport. So roads are good even though single lane. Take a road to Papanaidu peta, which is small town on the way. From there even if the map confuses you, locals will guide you on correct way to reach temple.

This temple is now under ASI control and they have stopped daily puja at the temple. But subsequently, the villagers requested the ASI to allow them to perform daily pujas and also appointed a local priest for the same.

The mysterious story about this temple is that the main chamber or the garbha-gruha where the shiva lingam exists, gets flooded with water every 60 years. The water gushes through a small duct which can be seen in the adjoining wall and fills the main chamber and with the force of water it rises to the top of the shiva lingam and flows down. Again the water subsided also suddenly and disappears in few minutes. Last such event happened in December 4 , 2005 and there are people who witnessed this. This is said to be Ganga coming to do abhishekam of shiva lingam here.

Photography is not allowed in the temple premises and its only allowed with permission from ASI office at Chandragiri fort. I managed to take few pictures from outside.


Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-sdc15091.jpg


Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-sdc15092.jpg


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The temple is surrounded by beautiful landscapes of lush green fields and big mountains at a short distance.


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Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati-sdc15098.jpg


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After spending some peaceful time there and feeling refreshed, we started our return journey to Bangalore by around 4:30 pm. I wanted to cover the undivided section of road upto Chittoor before dark and managed to reach Chittor by-pass by 6 pm. From then on, we just made one stop at Mogili town to have darshan of Mogilishwar swamy, another Shiva temple directly on the Bangalore highway. It was last Monday of karthik month as per tamil calendar so there was quite a crowd at that time. From there on we just stopped at the usual Woodyís at Kolar at around 9 pm and reached home at 11 pm.

Temples visited:
1. Virupaksha temple, Mulbagal
2. Kurudamale Ganesha temple
3. Someshwara temple, Kurudumale
4. Sri Anjaneya swamy temple, Mulbagal
5. Sri Venkateshwara swamy temple, Tirumala
6. Padmavathi temple, Tirchanur
7. Sri Parashurameshwara temple, Gudimallam
8. Sri Mogilishwara temple, Mogili
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Old 20th December 2014, 12:19   #3
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Default Re: Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th December 2014, 16:52   #4
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Default Re: Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati

Beautiful travelogue and excellent narration, truly salute the depth of spirituality of our ancestors who gifted us these jewels in the form of temples

Really admire you taking the beaten path and sharing with us these pictures and the associated stories with them.
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Old 22nd December 2014, 10:24   #5
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Great write up Yogee. I'm personally not a religious individual, but the great thing about the temples/other places of worship in India is that visiting them really makes you explore the vast expanse of our country.

I did a road trip by motorcycle and touched upon the Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra during the peak monsoons. The experience was amazingly memorable and still one of the best rides I ever did. Our trip included a lot of flat tyres and shorting head light bulbs, so quite eventful too . Your post has tempted me to do a similar trip again, but by car.
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Old 22nd December 2014, 14:47   #6
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Nice log. I'm familiar with the temples at Mulbagal: parents frequent it and I tag along for the drive and relaxing nature of less-noisy, less-crowded and old temples. Going to have to visit the others in your list now!

Re: Kurudamale (or Koodumale, originally), here's an excerpt from "Kolar Gold Field (Unfolding the Untold) By Dr. S. Srikumar" about its origins.

Name:  Screen Shot 20141222 at 2.41.20 pm.png
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EDIT: the watermark is blocking the word "Somasundareshwarar".

The priests make it a point to mention this if they see that you can understand one of the local languages. Not exactly like this book excerpt they blame it on something else for the corruption in name.

EDIT2: How are the roads between the Mulbagal temples? It was quite bad about 4-5 months ago.

Last edited by nareshov : 22nd December 2014 at 14:50.
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Old 22nd December 2014, 16:14   #7
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Beautiful! Now that's truly a weekend project. What better concoction than a:
- A peep into history
- A small dose of architecture
- Some highway driving
- A touch of hills ..

Ideal mix for a great weekend! Thanks for sharing
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Old 23rd December 2014, 12:19   #8
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Default Re: Rarely visited Ancient Temples: On the way from Bangalore to Tirupati

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfafan View Post
Beautiful travelogue and excellent narration, truly salute the depth of spirituality of our ancestors who gifted us these jewels in the form of temples

Really admire you taking the beaten path and sharing with us these pictures and the associated stories with them.
Thanks alfafan, I'm glad that you liked the travelogue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
Great write up Yogee. I'm personally not a religious individual, but the great thing about the temples/other places of worship in India is that visiting them really makes you explore the vast expanse of our country.

I did a road trip by motorcycle and touched upon the Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra during the peak monsoons. The experience was amazingly memorable and still one of the best rides I ever did. Our trip included a lot of flat tyres and shorting head light bulbs, so quite eventful too . Your post has tempted me to do a similar trip again, but by car.
Thanks Tushar, And i believe one need not be a religious person to really admire the beauty of these ancient structures. These are really national treasures and need more and more people to visit them.That only will help them being noticed and preserved for our future generations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nareshov View Post
Nice log. I'm familiar with the temples at Mulbagal: parents frequent it and I tag along for the drive and relaxing nature of less-noisy, less-crowded and old temples. Going to have to visit the others in your list now!
.......

EDIT2: How are the roads between the Mulbagal temples? It was quite bad about 4-5 months ago.
Thanks nareshov, Thats a good piece of information. In fact the name 'Mulbagal' itself comes from 'mudalabagilu' which means eastern door in kannada.

And the roads are good except for the roads in town of Mulbagal. All roads are recently laid after your last visit maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Beautiful! Now that's truly a weekend project. What better concoction than a:
- A peep into history
- A small dose of architecture
- Some highway driving
- A touch of hills ..

Ideal mix for a great weekend! Thanks for sharing
Thanks ampere, and yes, this trip had all the necessary ingredients to make a roadie even more excited for a drive.
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Old 23rd December 2014, 12:50   #9
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There are many such hidden treasure troves of Hindu specially Shiva temples ,recently had been to Nalagonda and happened to visit Chaya Someshwara temple ,similarly at this temple also it is believed the main linga is protected by Sarpa Kala in the night and also the sunrays directly fall on the linga thru vent and project shadow on the backdrop.
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Old 3rd January 2015, 19:06   #10
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Amazing travelogue. Hardly heard about these temples. I am much tempted to do this trip when I am in Bangalore next time. Pictures were perfect, which added more beauty to your narration.
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Old 5th January 2015, 13:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm_arjuna View Post
There are many such hidden treasure troves of Hindu specially Shiva temples ,recently had been to Nalagonda and happened to visit Chaya Someshwara temple ,similarly at this temple also it is believed the main linga is protected by Sarpa Kala in the night and also the sunrays directly fall on the linga thru vent and project shadow on the backdrop.
Thanks Arjuna and I derive a different pleasure in exploring these hidden treasures


Quote:
Originally Posted by arunsivaramgec View Post
Amazing travelogue. Hardly heard about these temples. I am much tempted to do this trip when I am in Bangalore next time. Pictures were perfect, which added more beauty to your narration.
Thanks Arun, I would definitely recommend a visit to these places if you have sufficient time to explore these.
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Old 5th January 2015, 14:26   #12
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Another feature of Gudimallam temple is Gopuram. It is neither round/nor like north indian temple. It is called gajaprushta shape of like the back of elephant. The shiva linga is believed to be of satavahana period dating back to 2nd century BC. Similar Shiva linga portraits were seen on Satavahana coins. Ther is no other shiva linga anywhere in world like this one.

There is another temple near to Virupaksha temple. it is called rama laxmana temples. That one also belong to Vijayanagara period.
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