15 November 2007

Backbencher is Back

It had been an un planned, and un announced hiatus for me. For now, I am back.

There are two reasons for my unnoticed break,
1. Hectic schedules at office.
2. Jinx that couldnt be undone.

I appologise for going away without infromation.

Now, I am back with my complete traits, to get back in touch with you all, and to read all of your posts, give updates on whats happening etc.

To start with, let me share about a solo ride that I ventured on last Sunday. Here I go.

One Day….. Visiting Five Protected Ancient Monuments

I was on my bike….and fully prepared to ride long…I didn’t know how long. Started from home at about 8-20 in the morning, after a light break-fast. I was thinking of a ride on the ring road of Bengalooru, starting from home and back to home with a full 360 degree ride…

But as I started venturing on the ring road towards Marath Halli, had a wee feeling of a longer ride, on one of the National Highways… Suddenly remembered reading a coupla days ago about a Markandeshwara betta situated near Kolar. Being ashamed of the fact that having grown in Kolar, and not knowing about this hill… I felt a chill to conquer it right away. Instantly called Mother to inform about it, and amidst her strong protests, succeeded in getting a green signal to venture further.

And my bike turned to right from K R Puram…

The young rays of Sun had magical touch on my body, as I rode past KR Puram to reach Hoskote. As the Sunday morning crowd was lazily waking into existance, I was on my way to Arabhikottanur from where I had to take a right to reach Vakkaleri, where exists the Markandeshwara hill.
As I was riding I started making my itinerary… Included Kolaramma temple and Kurudumale to the destination list for the day. And I started calculating…this temple would be open till this time, so, I must make it fast there and such things..

Finally, when I looked at my watch it was showing 9:30AM when I reached Arabhikottanur. So, my pulsar turned right towards Vakkaleri. A ride that was mesmerising…amidst huge rocks, on a small neatly laid road…Wonderful ride. Fact that I was alone in the visinity added the thrilling masala to my feel. In no time I reached Vakkaleri village, stopeed to enquire, and to my luck found that the temple would be open, since there was a marriage that was scheduled for the day there. And I headed to the hill rightaway. Otherwise, since it was a Sunday, I had to take along the priest on my bike to worship in the temple. Mondays the temple would be open till the dusk, it seems. The Markandeshwara beTTa is just 2Kms from Vakkaleri, and a road is laid till atop the hill, steps are also there for the people who preferred walking.
Markandeshwara temple atop the Markandeshwara hill is a 15th Century Ganga monument, that stands on a beautiful hill top. It is said that the great sage Markandeya meditated to escape the strong clutches of Yama(death) with great devotion to Lord Shiva, here. A temple stands as a testimony to it.

And strangely enough, here is a well that has a black striped mark inside, which is said to be a mark of Yama paasha(God of death) that is extended till the Shiva linga inside the Garbhagriha. The temple also has intricate carvings on all the pillars with stories from Hindu mythology. Durga, Ganesha and Kartikeya temples are around the main temple of Shiva. Linga inside the Garbhagriha is made of Saligram stone, and is worshipped every Monday, with abhishekha.

It was crowded, thanks to a marriage that was going on in the temple. The temple also has a dining hall adjoining, and a couple of guest rooms.

I didn’t spend much time since the marriage was underway, and the crowd would otherwise be disturbed by my presence ;), so soon after the pooje I started heading down. People there, friendly them, asked me to have the marriage feast before leaving, I promptly refused and wished them all the best.

In no moment, I was zooming on the Malur-Koalr highway, towards Kolar. Oh! My Kolar, it looks the same, ‘Let the zamana change, I don’t change’ is its mantra. You leave a dust particle next time you go, and go back after a year, you can find it exactly where you placed it! Thats my Kolar for you.

Yeah there is a change only in the state of roads, they were good earlier.
I ran straight to Kolaramma temple, Goddess in the form of a scorpion is worshipped here, from ages unknown. A temple is constructed around the diety, that dates back to 12th Century Ganga rulers’ times. The temple was originally built by Cholas, and later enhanced by the Gangas, as the historians put it.
This is a mysterious, an interesting and a beautiful temple. As seen in the picture, outer walls has stone inscriptions that dates to 11th century of Chola times. Inside the temple, we can find some idols that are real huge in size, made by mud, some carved out of stone, all locked up in a room where a utsava murthi of the Mother is placed for darshan. There is one small cleavage in the floor of that passage where another idol of Kolaramma is placed, and they say one can hear the passing of a scorpion thru that opening. Very very mysterious in deed. Here, Along with Kolaramma, there are Sapta matrikes being worshipped.

Someshwara temple, another masterly built monument, located just about 200 mts from Kolaramma temple. This is a Vijayanagara styled monument with ranga mantapa, huge outer space, intricate stone carvings, big raja dwara(main entrance). It is a structure that dates back to 16th Centrury as identified. This is again of a strange existance since there is no other clue of Vijayanagara styled architecture, that is found in Hampi, around this place. Someshwara linga is a swayambhu made of saligrma stone.

I stopped nowhere else on my way to Kurudumale.
Visited two temples, viz., Someshwara and Varasiddhi Vinayaka(popularly Kurudumale Ganesha) temples. Strangely enough, these temples were crowded, first signs of the place getting commercialised, for Good? For bad? Time will answer.

Brief of these two temples : Someshwara temple in Kurudumale. This is a 17th Century Hoysala styled temple, destroyed, re built, and re-rebuilt to the final existance as of today. As written by me in one of the articles earlier, this temple has two kinds of carvings on its outer walls, one half is said to have been worked by Jakkanachari, and the other half by his son Dakkana.. No evidence to prove it though. off late this temple is getting very famous and I could find some visitors coming here on the Sunday.

Ganesha temple in Kurudumale, situated on the same road as that of Someshwara temple, but here a huge Ganesha idol is being worshipped from ages unknown. It is said that the Ganesha statue was being worshipped in a open field, until Krishnadevaraya built a temple around it. Its too huge to imagine(14ft in all), bigger than the Dodda Ganesha of Basavanagudi.
You can read more about Kurudumale here.

And after all the adventures, I came back to Kolar, had my lunch, and spent some time in my ancestral house where no one stays as of today, and was back in Bengalooru by 5:45 PM.

An approx. 250KMs ride that started without an intension of one. A Sunday that was well spent.

NOTE: One can include Antharagange betta(2KMs from Kolar) and Avani betta(Kolar-Mulabagal highway) to the itinerary, if they have time. If you have another day's time, you can also include Kotilingeshwara temple(near KGF), Bangaru Thirupathi temple(KGF-Mulabagal highway) and Chikka Thirupathi(near Malur) and Yeldur.

Route and estimates :
Bengalooru(South) -> BTM Layout -> Marath halli -> KR Puram -> Hoskote -> Narasapura lake -> Arabhikottanur(55 KMs - NH4)

Deviation 1 : Take a right
Arabhikottanur -> Vakkaleri(10 KMs)

Deviation 2 : Take a left inside the pointing arch right in the middle of the village.
Vakkaleri -> Markandeshwara betta(2 KMs)
Markandeshwara betta -> Vakkaleri

Deviation 3 : Take a right on the Malur-Kolar highway
Vakkaleri -> Kolar(14 Kms)
Kolar -> Mulabagal (23 KMs, NH4)

Deviation 4 : Take a left to Srinivasapura highway, just before Mulabagal town starts
Mulabagal -> Kurudumale gate (12 KMs)

Deviation 5 : Take a right inside the arch pointing the Ganesha temple.
Kurudumale gate -> Kurudumale (3 KMs)


Infolines said...

That's Kolar Darshan from back bencher!!!!!!!!!

have seem Markandeshwara betta its koooooooool place. It can covered in Half day from Bangalore. The Chick Tirupathi in malur Thaluk also intresting!!!!!!!!!!!

Aravind GJ said...

Very good and detailed description of the tour.

neela said...

Nimma kolarada yatre bagge odi sripadarajara smaraNe aaytu.
Nice narrative.

Kadalabal said...

wonderful write up it is amazing you had covered all these places in just less than10 hours and had a great ride including visit to ancestral house.
photos and sthala purana have added great value to write up and certianly I feel you have got great potential to bloosm into a full fledged writer. your are one in mb apart from shruthi and otheres who have got great narrative capacities and I wish you all will emerge a good writer.


ರಾಜೇಶ್ ನಾಯ್ಕ said...

There is some great fun in going alone on a ride. You kow it and I know it too. I can very well imagine the feeling you had while riding on those long empty stretches of rural roads. The spots you covered in a single day have made me envy of you. Very well written and informative post. You are back with a bang.

Srik said...

Thanks all for the encouraging words.

Naren, Nice to see you back too :-)

Yes, Chikka Thirupathi is a nice place. I have been there only once though. Also, After having visited Chikka Thirupathi, if you travel to Kolar, you will come across a village called "SHIVARAPATTANA" where even today, people are engaged in carving beautiful statues out of stone, normally this is called a 'Shilpa Grama' for the same reason. Nice place to hang around if you take any interest in such art.

Arvind, Thanks :)

Neela, Yes, Narasima Theertha of Mulabagal is a nice place aswell.

Thanks for standing by me all thru. Full fledged writer :D I laugh at myself about a thought of it, but an avid reader, yes I am.

Rajesh, A ride on those empty stretches was really magical.

Sanjay M said...

Really agree with Praneshavaru, Srik! Its definitely great reading Srik, thanks for taking us along with you! :) All that in 10 hours is truly amazing... its incredible how time can get s t r e t c h e d... wish we could live our entire life like that :)

Prashanth M said...

Wonderful log, Srik...

Prasanna L.M said...

hi srik, nimma posts oodi bahala dina aagittu. Its nice to see you back in the blogosphere.

Srik said...

yes, time stretches when u r at the source of it. Whenever I hear 'I'm too busy, i dont have time', I derive it as 'I dont want to do it'! There is no other answer that is possible. Thanks for all the nice words!

I truely missed you on this journey yaar.

Thanks. I will manage to update you regularly.

bachodi said...

BTW what do you call your trips as
theertha yatre .. or prapanchan paryatane

Srik said...

Bach, U can call it "In search of pleasure"! Some get it in yaatres, some in prapancha Paryatane... as for me.. I get pleasure in traveling. But in India, when you travel to a place(any place for that matter), you are bound to get back in time, and you are bound to get to visit an old temple with a unique and strange heritage of its own, a hill top or an archeological site or a naturally exquisite place or wherever! This is how I do not distinguish between a Theerth yaatre or/and a paryatane or any other meaning.. Instead of attaching any meaning to my visit, I like to enjoy the place, temples or otherwise too!

Ramachandra said...

Any idea about kurudumale temple timings on Sundays?

Srik said...


Kurudumale temple opens at 7 AM and is open thru the day, till 8PM on Saturdays, Sundays, all Sankashta chaturthy days and major festivals.

This arrangement makes it possible for people to have a peaceful darshan of the Lord.

On all other days the temple closes by 12:30PM and opens again by 5:30PM. But the archak can open the temple for darshan on demand. His residence is close by and could be enquired upon reaching there to locate.