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Old 3rd February 2009, 22:24   #1
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Lightbulb 'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...

First the basics:

[1] This is a good one-day weekend trip from Bangalore. Total distance from Airport road to Shivaganga and back was 142kms on the odo.
[2] Only equipment needed will be a pair of sneakers for a comfortable walk [people even climb up barefoot or in normal footwear], caps, sun-glasses and a liter of water per person.
[3] It is a 2 hour climb all the way to the top and a 1.5 hour climb down.
[4] There are small shops selling water, cucumbers etc. all the way till the top.
[5] Though there are steps or notches cut into the rocks up to the top, it is a strenerous climb, not advisable for the elderly.
[6] Kids with an adventurous streak will enjoy this unique experience, since there are railings to grab along the difficult parts of the path, it is relatively safe too.
[7] Do not carry any eatables, soft-drinks, water bottles, coconuts, bananas etc. in transparent plastic covers. There are lots of pesky monkeys on this hill and they'll invariably jump on you if they see anything edible. Carry all your stuff in a back-pack.(A schoolbag will do just fine)
[8] Start early from Bangalore around 6am, you'll beat the traffic and the climb up will be easier too.
[9] Unless you are planning to be back in Bangalore by lunch time, it is preferable to pack a light lunch for a 'picnic'. [We did not notice any significant hotels in the place.]

Note: If you do get jumped on by a monkey or if they approach you, do not panic or try to run. They'll not hurt you. They are just trying to see if you are carrying anything edible. They have developed this nasty habit of checking people out...(sometimes even seeing if you have anything in your pockets).

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Pics + Travelogue to follow...
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Old 4th February 2009, 00:27   #2
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Arrow Shivaganga - A Sunday in the Sun...

A friend of mine recently asked me...
Quote:
How come you suddenly turned so religious? You seem to be doing too many temple trips these days
Look at it this way:
[1] Most of the well known and scenic places in India, be it a hill-top or a river bank, there is usually an ancient temple built there.
[2] The reverse of the above statement holds good too; just visit any place which has an ancient temple and you'll see some scenic or unique places around it.

So either way, it is temples and temples all the way! :-)

Coming back to the travelogue, we had returned the previous night after our Melkote - Srirangapatna trip and slept late into Sunday morning. Woke up at 9.00am, lazed around with tea & the newspapers till around 10.00am, had a late breakfast and considered the 'to do' list for the rest of the day.

Having finished most of our veggie & grocery shopping chores during the previous week, we had time on hand to catch up on a movie or something.

The conversation went towards: the heat outside > summer is almost here > After Feb, not many treks till monsoon > maybe we should try to cram in a couple of treks before March > Are there any 'quick-trek' places around Bangalore > I remember reading about this place called Shivaganga somewhere on Tumkur road...

I knew that Shivaganga is near Dobbspet on Tumkur road and had read about a phenomenon that is supposed to happen at the Shiva temple there - ghee turns into butter when anointed on the idol and there is a teertha (natural spring) famous for something.

Just on a whim we tanked up and headed off towards Tumkur road. If nothing, it would atleast be a leisurely drive! Traffic was 'acceptable' all the way to the outskirts of Blore and we crossed the Tumkur road toll plaza by around 12.30pm.

We came across a couple of the yellow Karnataka Tourism boards showing that Shivaganga was indeed close by. I was also wondering about the other places on the board and wanted to look them up later. Got info on Devarayanadurga :
Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Hey there is one more Narsimha Temple at Devarayandurga. Comes on Tumkur Road. Nice place to visit. Next time you can try this place.
- Thanks @snaronikar! will head that way sometime soon.

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-1.jpg


When you reach Dobbspet, don't take the road-over bridge (flyover), but take lower road and turn left at junction. Shivaganga is just 6kms from there. Soon you will start seeing the Shivaganga hill. [The Dobbspet ROB is the first one on NH4 after Nelamangala]

Absolutely no problem with the roads, smooth tarmac all the way up to Shivaganga.

This hill apparently has four faces; it looks like Nandi from the east, Ganesh from the west, Linga from the south and like a cobra with an open hood from the north. We were not aware of this and did not observe anything. [We were told about this only later...]
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-2.jpg


Shivaganga has a sobriquet 'Dakshina Kashi'. There are a few temples on and around this hill, the main deities are 'Gangadhareshwara' and 'Honnamba'. Drove into the village and found a parking place...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-3.jpg


To trek up the hill, we had to pass by the main temple. Our plan was to reach the top first and then visit the main temple on the way down...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-4.jpg


A view of the Shivaganga village...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-5.jpg


There are steps or notches cut into the rock...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-6.jpg


See the peak behind the hillock? That is the destination...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-7.jpg


Go on a weekend or on a public holiday and you'll find school kids, families, pilgrims etc. all walking up the hill...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-8.jpg


It gets quite sunny, especially so during summer. So start your climb up as early in the morning as possible...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-9.jpg


There are 'Traffic jams' on the hill too. If you are a fast climber, you'll have to 'overtake' the groups who are walking up at a leisurely pace...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-10.jpg


First stop is at a place called 'Olakallu Teertha' i.e. 'water in a stone'. A natural spring in the hills...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-10a.jpg


This is a cave temple with narrow entrances...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-10b.jpg


There is a small hole carved into the rock floor behind the garba-griha, through which you can reach out and touch water from an underground spring. You'll have to lie down and really stretch your arm out to touch the water. The local belief is that only 'good people' can touch the water , so you'll see everyone struggling to make the cut ;-)
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-10ba.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-10c.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-10ca.jpg


Complete the pradakshina and come out to continue your upward climb...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-10d.jpg


Another view of the surroundings...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-13.jpg


A Nandi carved on top of a rock, with a precariously balanced mantapa!
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-14.jpg


The climb gets a little tougher from here onwards...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-15.jpg


As mentioned earlier, you'll see families, groups of kids etc. all walking up the path...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-16.jpg


Some parts of the climb are really steep. But thanks to the railings on both the sides, you can navigate up the rocks...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-17.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-18.jpg


See the projecting rock ledge on the top, that is the peak...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-20.jpg

There are some small temples and mantapas scattered all over the hill...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-21.jpg

It is a little scarier than it looks. The other side of the rock on which the Nandi is carved is a sheer drop! So you'll notice everyone grabbing onto the railings for dear life :-)
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-22.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-22a.jpg


The temple at the top...
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-22b.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-23.jpg


Contd...
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Old 4th February 2009, 00:43   #3
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Arrow Shivaganga - Contd...

This place is called 'Shantala drop'. Apparently Queen Shantala, wife of the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana (Also known as Bittideva) jumped to death from here. It is an almost 500ft drop from this point to the rocks below...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-25.jpg


A rock ledge on which there are a couple of pillars with oil lamps on top. When lit, they should be visible for miles around...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-27.jpg


On the edge of this ledge, there are two bells chained just beyond our reach. Not sure what it their significance since they can be reached only by crawling right to the edge of the cliff and reaching down to the chains. You can see the bells which on your way up...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-27a.jpg


Monkeys! They grabbed a water bottle from someone and while fighting for it, they dropped it over the ledge. The bottle fell more than 500ft onto the rocks below, and these three guys were watching the bottle go down...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-28.jpg


The rocky ledge, as seen on the way down. You can see the two bells dangling at the edge of the rock...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-29.jpg


Started our walk down at around 4.30pm...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-31.jpg


This is another natural spring called 'Antharagange'. Someone mentioned that you can actually walk into the cave and the water is waist-high. Did not try it though...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-33.jpg


One more lonely Nandi on the way down...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-34.jpg


Most of the shops on the path will close at around 5.00pm, people will be descending from the top till around 6.30pm...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-39.jpg


An evening at the top...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-40.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-40a.jpg


Another Nandi parked on an arch on the path...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-41.jpg


After quite a few stops along the way to take pics etc. It was almost 6.30pm by the time we reached the main temple at the bottom of the hill. It must have been quite a prominent temple in its heyday. Several structures now seem to be in a neglected state...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-43.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-44.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-45.jpg


The main temple is again a cave temple, said to have been patronized in recent times by 'KempeGowda', the founder of Bangalore. This is the Gangadhareeshwara temple where the ghee turning into butter phenomenon occurs.

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-46.jpg

Infact, somebody has put up a video on youtube that apparently shows this phenomenon. Watch from the 4th minute onwards in the video...




There is a small opening to a tunnel from inside the temple. The sign in Kannada says "Kempegowdara kalada Bengaloorige suranga marga". i.e. a tunnel from the times of Kempegowda, which leads towards Bangalore...

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-47.jpg

Tried to take a peek inside the tunnel, it has been walled up after a few feet.

'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-48.jpg


Finished darshan, went back to the car and started back towards Bangalore. We were ravenously hungry after all the walking up and down the hill. Reached home, freshened up and hit Barbeque nation for some yummy unlimited prawns on the grill... What a way to wind up the day!

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Old 4th February 2009, 08:23   #4
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Ah, HotStuff, looks like you are in a travelogue writing spree !! nice photographs. I passed that yellow board a couple of time near Dobspet but never turn to that direction.
May be I cannot turn in near future as well till my daughter gets to atleast 5 yearrs of age.

Abhi
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Old 4th February 2009, 09:55   #5
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Thats excellant one. Reminded me my 2005 trip to this wonderfull place.

Good work!

Ravi.
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Old 4th February 2009, 11:31   #6
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Great writeup. I should hopefully be able to go their this week end.

Thiyags
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Old 4th February 2009, 21:25   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Ah, HotStuff, looks like you are in a travelogue writing spree !! nice photographs. I passed that yellow board a couple of time near Dobspet but never turn to that direction.
May be I cannot turn in near future as well till my daughter gets to atleast 5 yearrs of age.
Abhi
- Thanks Abhi! With regards to travelling there with your daughter, she might probably appreciate a trip to 'Innovative film city' on Mysore road better. Seemed to be a kid friendly place. Will dig up the pics from my archive and put them up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravibhat View Post
Thats excellant one. Reminded me my 2005 trip to this wonderfull place.
Good work!
Ravi.
- Thanks Ravi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thiyags22 View Post
Great writeup. I should hopefully be able to go their this week end.
Thiyags
- Thanks @Thiyags! Just start as early as possible and enjoy the trip!
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Old 4th February 2009, 23:45   #8
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Once more!!!

As Abhi mentioned, you are in travel and travelogue spree. What's the plan for next Saturday? And then the Sunday???

BTW, Devarayandurga is also a very nice place to visit. You can drive the car till halfway up the hill. From the parking lot, there are steps to a temple. The temple also has a pond beside it.

There is a path to go to the top, goes by the side of the pond and beyond. You have a stone built structure at the top of the hill. You can enjoy the cool breeze, sitting in the shade - just amazing.

Before the ROB was built in Dobbspet there was right turn one needed to take. So now it must be from under the over bridge. Alternate route is to go to Tumkur, and take a V turn back.

You can also visit Namada Chilume on the way back.

Dobbspet also has a Kamat Upachar - wonderful place to have your breakfast/lunch/snacks/dinner - whatever time you are reaching the place.
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Old 4th February 2009, 23:50   #9
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A picture of devarayandurga, from the top of the hill, the temple and winding road below.
'Xing'ing around ! - Shivaganga, a sunday in the sun...-devdurga-023c.jpg

@Mods: Could not upload a picture with 'edit' option, hence the new post.
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Old 5th February 2009, 02:33   #10
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That seems to be a wonderfull trip, Nice Pics.
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Old 5th February 2009, 08:16   #11
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No need to go till Tumkur (ofcourse you can choose that if you want to have those delicious Thatte idlis at Pavithra Hotel).
Otherwise there is a well marked direction if you donot take the Dobbspet flyover, right turn under the bridge.

For North/East bangalore guys can take Yelahanka - Dodaballapur - Dobbspet route to reach Devarayanadurga.

Abhi
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Old 5th February 2009, 13:20   #12
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Hotstuff, you are posting some real cool stuff. Great job and very informative. Keep it up.



Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
No need to go till Tumkur (ofcourse you can choose that if you want to have those delicious Thatte idlis at Pavithra Hotel).
Otherwise there is a well marked direction if you donot take the Dobbspet flyover, right turn under the bridge.

For North/East bangalore guys can take Yelahanka - Dodaballapur - Dobbspet route to reach Devarayanadurga.

Abhi
I would suggest to go till Tumkur and then take turn there towards DDurga as the roads are very good till you reach D.Durga. When I took the Dobbaspet road (that was 3 yrs back) the road was not in very good shape that time. I don't how it is now.
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Old 5th February 2009, 14:26   #13
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I would second kaushik. The roads from Dobbspet are not good. But the condition of tarmac is perfect if you go to Tumkur and then take right. If i remember right, on the way a zoo is there too, situated in a very lonely and full of green location.
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Old 6th February 2009, 15:31   #14
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Looks like you are "weekend" travelling spree. Whatz up for this week? You keep on travelling to bettagalu, guddagalu, templegalu etc in this hot sun?

BTW, excellent photos and narration. Keep the travelogues coming.
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Old 6th February 2009, 18:52   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Looks like you are "weekend" travelling spree. Whatz up for this week? You keep on travelling to bettagalu, guddagalu, templegalu etc in this hot sun?

BTW, excellent photos and narration. Keep the travelogues coming.
- For a change, nothing much for this weekend I guess. Need to catch up on some reading, some office stuff to take care of and also need to upload a couple of travelogues from some old trips.
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