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Friday, October 19, 2007

Exploring Kolar -1



Vasu and I have been on four backpacking tours until today. May it be Murudeshwara, Cochin, Exploring the Bangalore unknown to me either and this recent one to Kolar, all have been memorable and exciting, but this recent trip remains the most special and one of the best explorations I have had.

Kolar is only 70 Km from Bangalore and not many have heard a lot about this place except for the gold mines and Koti Lingeshwara (1 Crore Lord Shiva Lingas) When I gave a Google search on Kolar I found several places and my list came up to 20, must see places.

13th Oct, Saturday –

I met Vasu at KSRTC bus stand and we directly took a bus to Kolar. On the way as usually, we updated each other on our recent status. We reached Kolar at 9:00 AM after a two hour journey. We met Vasu’s friend Gour & his friend at the bus stand. On their bikes we rode to Gour’s house. Gour was surprised by my research on Kolar. He himself was unknown to these places. Originally from Orrisa, Gour has been in Karnataka for more than 6 years now. Gour markets medical products in the Kolar district.

I liked the atmosphere in Kolar city. It is a very small city, with narrow roads, houses sticking to one another yet appeared clean. The weather was pleasant.

We boarded the bus to Mulbagal, which is 27 Km from Kolar. It took us an hour to reach the destination. Exactly near the bus stand is an ancient and impressive Anjanya temple. The priest told me that the idol was installed by Arjuna himself, 5000 years ago. The temple was later built around it by the Chola’s. When we reached there, the main shrine was closed for decoration of the idol. So we made a quick decision to go to Someshwara Temple. I asked the manager of the temple for the directions to Someshwara temple. His answer is worth mentioning here –

“It is near by; take an auto, he would charge you Rs15.” And then he added. “Tell the priest that manager from Anjanya temple has sent you, he will perform a special puja for you.” :-)

I thanked him and left.

As directed, we took an auto to the temple. On the way we met a small boy who was riding around on his bicycle, I started a conversation with him and he was happy to guide us around the temple. He showed us all the shrines. I talked to one of the villager there and found out that the temple was built by the Chola’s. Government has identified these places as national heritage sites, but has done least to maintain them. A beautiful sculpture of lord Karthikeya on a peacock stands orphan at the courtyard. The head of the peacock is broken. The small boy told that many such sculptures have been abducted from the temple.


Idol of Lord Karthikeya

We thanked the boy and left back to Anjanaya temple. The doors to main shrine were still closed and after waiting for another 15 minutes, we gave up and left. We returned back to the bus stand and enquired with people about the bus to Kurudmale. A bus was expected to come at 12:30 PM. Another villager suggested that we take private jeeps at the junction ahead. We decided to take the jeep and walked towards the junction, just as we did so, a bus crossed us and exactly at the point of meet the conductor of the bus changed the board to Kurudmale. The timing was perfect. Happily we boarded the bus and left to Kurudmale.

I must mention that this is one of the most clean and beautiful villages I have been to. The main area of the village has two temples; one dedicated to Shiva and other to Ganapathi, and two shops, a veterinary hospital, a school and an ashram. The village appeared peaceful.

The 13 ft high Ganapathi idol is the main attraction here. I asked the manager to give some background and he was all excited to share the story. The idol is supposed be installed by Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara and the idol remained in midst the fields until King Krishna Devaraya built a temple. Since the idol was installed by the three Gods together, the place went on to be called – Kuddumale (Kuddu – Together) and over a period of time changed to Kurudmale. He also gave me a brochure that has a brief history and importance of the place.

From here we walked to the Someshwara temple. The priest here was very kind to us and performed a special puja. He too repeated the story of the village. Someshwara temple was built by the Chola’s. Temples in India do not allow photography of the God in main shrine. I had a vague idea of the reason but decided to clarify the same with this priest who looked very knowledgeable. He said that when an idol when worshipped in a shrine, over a long period of time generates and radiates positive energy and artificial lights reduce this effect. It’s also a known scientific fact that the high intensity of the light builds crack in the rocks of which the idols are made.




Someshwara Temple

We had to wait for a few hours before the next bus arrived, hence we decided to relax there for a while. Gour began a play with a small boy who was extremely happy to have found a good company in us. As we were waiting for the bus, an auto came by and we decided to go back to Mulbagal in it. I sat in the front along with the driver. The drive was pretty slow but interesting. The driver was a Muslim and was a day away from their major festival Eid. I spoke to him for a while. The perfume smell from his kurta disturbed me a little but I think it’s better than the smell of overused shirt. :-)

He showed us a good hotel in Mulbagal were we had Raagi mudde ( Raagi balls is a common food found in this part of Karnataka)

From here, we drove in a private bus to Avani. When I read about Avani on the net, I was over excited about seeing it for its historic importance. Avani is a small village in Kolar district and has a temple with several shrines for Shiva dedicated to Ram, Bharatha, Lakshmana and Shatrugana. It seems Rama himself has installed these Linga’s. And it is also believed that the hill behind the temple homed Valmiki’s ashram. Lava and Kusha were supposed have born here. Villagers told us that they have many nice sites up the hill like place where the Ashwamedha horse was tied and temple dedicated for Sita too. Due to lack of time, we were unable to go up there.



Temple At Avani



We returned back to the bus stop and had a cup of tea. The villagers told us that the bus would come at 5:30 PM and it was only 4:00 PM now. Another option they said was to go to Kashipura cross, from where we could find plenty of buses. We walked a little to the next junction. It was a peaceful sight of villagers sitting by an old tree chatting and driving away the day’s fatigue.




I tried asking for a lift with which ever vehicle that passed by – Auto, Lorry, Tempo etc but nobody were going the way we had to. Finally a tractor stopped for us and we got on it. The ride was excellent. We sat on logs of wood and enjoyed the bumpy ride.


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These places are so rich in cultural heritage but still they are less known villages in our country. They do not attract tourists as the approach and transportation is limited to these areas, which is a pity. Or may be otherwise it is good in a way that they are unaffected by tourism, thus they still bear the same natural beauty.

We reached Kashipura cross on a free ride and thanked the driver. We took a bus to KotiLingeshwara. On the way the bus stopped at Bangaru Thirupati temple. We could not resist getting down at the place and made a quick decision to change our plans.

Banagru thirupati means Golden Thirupati which boasts of its small golden Idol of lord Srinivasa. The temple is nice and the main shrine is at a height on top of a rock. From here the view is excellent and we also got a glimpse of the sunset. It was a beautiful sight to watch the birds chirp back to the nests. A priest here told us that it would be a good idea to visit Koti Lingeshwara during the night. He told that the place would be lit up and would look impressive.





We took another bus to Koti Lingeshwara. There are few lakhs of Shiva linga’s here and the aim is to install one crore. I was not at all impressed by this place as I did not like the idea of installing Lingas on the roads and streets which lie careless. I also saw few dogs near the 108 feet high Shiva Linga. But the 108 ft high Linga is impressive though. There was no power in the village thus I could not capture the sight.

From here we went to KGF town and had dinner. We returned back to Kolar at 10:00 PM and crashed on to bed.

To Be Continued.......

6 comments:

  1. nice one.. gud place f info 4 the most exotic places...

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  2. awesome post!!
    we dont have such heritage installed 5000 years ago.
    im juz awed soooo much :)
    love that pigeon. thanks for sharing!!

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  3. @BJ - Thanks.

    @Niki - Glad you liked the pictures.

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  4. Hi Ajeya
    Thanks so much for thinking of me. I will be writing again, I just don't know when. I hope its soon. I really miss writing. I've started jotting down some thoughts when I get time, maybe those thoughts will be my next post. Life has taken its own course, with a teenager, braces, contacts, a broken arm...you get the picture. I'm just going with the flow and hoping to change the course soon. Thanks again for caring....

    Travelplaza

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  5. TP - Oh thats not good news. Well I hope all will turn positive soon. Waiting for your return.

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  6. Nice...especially coz you mentiond those simple fun things - auto, tractor, villagers under a tree !!

    And about your comment on 'how tourism isn't rampant in these places' - believe me tourism can only be more destructive..all that large number of people can leave behind is trash and plastics ! No value add really.

    Hope these places remain humble and retain their natural rustic beauty.

    Thanks again for the amazing account of places you have visited.

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