Tag Archives: 7.30 to 3.30 day trips in Bangalore

Devrayanadurga : Day Trips in Bangalore 7.30AM – 3.30PM (Trip 10)

15 Oct

This blog documents the 7.30 AM to 3.30 PM  day trips by a group from Mantri Classic (Koramangla , Bangalore) . We have been doing this  for the last one year – discovering amazing places in and around Bangalore. Energised ancient temples, architectural marvels – 1000’s of years old, lovely ashrams, treks, nature resorts all packed with simple and tasty food makes for a great day trip. Its a Fusion trip and thats the name of the group. The trips are very cost effective and average Rs 500 – 1000 / head inclusive of breakfast, lunch and travel. We travel on a Wednesday most of the time – mid week when the places are empty , and because we lave by 7.30 /7.45 and are back by 3.30 we beat the crazy Bangalore traffic.

We started this about a year back – its been fun , in the last 12 trips we have discovered amazing places. This blog shares the itinerary of trip 10   

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Trip – 10 :  Devrayanidurga – a Nice green Hill Temple near Tumkur (7.30 AM – 3.30 PM) 

The trip to Devrayanidurga was more like a day trip to a hill station. It was London weather , misty and cool and we soaked it all in with the green as green greenery engulfing us up the winding road to the beautiful and serene temple of Lord Narasimha. Devrayanadurga means “fort of rock” and this beautiful temple is ensconced between rocky hills with a beautiful water body behind at an altitude of about 4000 feet above sea level. ( Ooty is 7000 feet – so this is high)

Here are two temples are built for God Narasimha, one which is at the foot of the hillock called the Bhoga Narasimha and the other temple which is built on the hillock which is called Yoga Narasimha. Devarayanadurga is steeped in mythological importance. It is said that Lord Brahma the creator of the Universe, has performed penance for many years in the name of Lord Vishnu for several thousand years. Impressed by his penance, Lord Vishnu has incarnated himself as Lord Narasimha here. The temple was patronised by the Cholas and is well over 1000 years old.

We started as usual at 7.30 AM and headed to Tumkur Road Via Malleshwaram / Yeshwantpur , and after two toll roads stopped for breakfast at Shree Rathnam a nice and efficient Veg restaurant at 8.45 – It has a big inviting poster and you can’t miss it. (The restaurant is a 10 min drive after the 2nd toll on your left ). As you drive out from the restaurant look around for a flyover and take the access road and then a right from below the flyover – don’t go up the flyover. Follow Google Maps – there are signs that lead to Devrayanidurga and Goravanahalli Lakshmi temple. After a 15 – 20 min ride look for a left turn under an arched gate that takes you up the hill.

When we left Bangalore it was drizzling and the forecast was for rain in Tumkur – but we were lucky to have a misty day with low overhanging clouds amidst lush greenery with rain drops on the leaves and some bright yellow flowers. The drive up is a short ten minute ride – winding roads , you will cross some waterbodies, the views are very nice. Its empty and nice. You will reach a point where the road forks – to the left is the Bhoga Narasimha Temple and to the right is the Yoga Narasimha temple – a person standing there will charge Rs 20 for car entry. We went up – you can go all the way up and reach a point from where its only 100 steps to the Yoga Narasimha temple. Easy ten minute climb. You also have an option to walk up the steps from the point where the person collects the car entry fees – there are steps – that I guess would be a 1 hr climb.

As you climb up you will see a tree that seems to be coming out from the hill. We reached the temple top by 10.45 AM which was perfect – since they have a Abhishekam that starts at 11 AM – its a detailed procedure and you can view the 5000 year old idol being bathed with milk, ghee, butter, Chandan, and many more ingredients. The temple is small – but you can sense it is ancient.

Right behind the temple is a waterbody – there is a path that goes down to the source of the water body – but the steps to that place has been closed.

We spent over an hr at the Temple and then headed to a place called Namada Chilumme. This is on the way back after you have crossed the Bhoga Narasimha temple . (We did not stop at the Bhoiga Narasimha temple – but if you need a restroom break there is one near this temple). Almost halfway down  you take a right turn and drive for ten minutes ( ask the guy who sells the car entry tickets) and drive thru thick forests on both sides before reaching a point that has a Deer Park, A Siddha Garden and  Namada Chilumme.

Namada Chilumme is supposedly the place where Lord Rama stayed and shot a arrow on the ground to get water. Its past the deer park a short ten minute walk – on the way you will see Namada Chilume old guesthouse where Dr.Salim Ali had camped.

Namada Chilumme is a small hole in the rocky ground from where water is flowing out – and you can have a drink of this fresh clean water. Most people will head back from here. But wait – there are interesting views round the corner.

Near this point you will see a small mud trail going thru the forest. Take that trail – keep a stick with you as there are monkeys here. You walk for less than 10 minutes and come to a point that looks like a massive crater lake type cauldron surrounded by green hills with the rocky walls at its peak.

This is a nice place to enjoy the views – it also has a small temple like rock structure with pillars – which is dilapidated and you can try climbing up.

This place was lovely – it was almost 12 noon – and it was bright and sunny , we enjoyed the 30 minutes we spent here and then walked past Namada Chillumme and the deer park to the road where our car was parked.

On the opposite side of the deer park is a 15 acre Siddha Garden – which is full of medicinal plants. The gatekeepers tried to explain in Kannada all the various plants over there and we tasted many a herb and leaf with funny tastes.

This was our lunch spot. A picnic lunch – the good ladies had all prepared some tasty dishes and we enjoyed a lovely meal in the midst of fresh air and greenery.

Post lunch we left at 1.45 and were back by 3.15. (One car took a deviation for a Chai Break at Chitra Kala Parishad – so we were back at 4.15)

Devrayanidurga was another nature masterpiece we discovered. A hill station type place at Bangalore’s backyard was a rare find and I am sure a lot of our friends would love to visit this beautiful place. Its an easy 7.30 – 3.30 trip. 

 

Kolar & Avani : Day Trips in Bangalore 7.30AM – 3.30PM (Trip 9)

10 Oct

This blog documents the 7.30 AM to 3.30 PM  day trips by a group from Mantri Classic (Koramangla , Bangalore) . We have been doing this  for the last 1 year – discovering amazing places in and around Bangalore. Energised ancient temples, architectural marvels – 1000’s of years old, lovely ashrams, treks, nature resorts all packed with simple and tasty food makes for a great day trip. Its a Fusion trip and thats the name of the group. The trips are very cost effective and average Rs 500 – 1000 / head inclusive of breakfast, lunch and travel. We travel on a Wednesday most of the time – mid week when the places are empty , and because we lave by 7.30 /7.45 and are back by 3.30 we beat the crazy Bangalore traffic.

We started this about a year back – its been fun , in the last 12 trips we have discovered amazing places. This blog shares the itinerary of trip 9   

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Trip – 9 :  Kolaramma Temple – Someshwara Temple Kolar – Avani Rama Lingeshwara temples – Mayyas (7.30 AM – 3.30 PM) 

When you think of Kolar you think of Gold Mines – but there is more to Kolar. I had heard about the “Koti Lingeshwar”  temple in Kolar and as part of my recee went to check the place. We always try to do 3 things in our trips so I kept searching for other interesting places close by – thats how we discovered the ancient temples at Kolar & Avani. We were disappointed with Koti Lingeshwar – it does have many Shiv Lingas – but the place is so commercial and devoid of energy that we decided to skip it for the Fusion group.

Old Madras Road is a mess – so ensure you leave by 730 AM sharp or better 7.15 AM so that you can get past the inner ring road and the crowded sections of Old Madras road by 8.15 AM before the traffic madness starts. Kolar is 71 KM’s from Koramangla – 1 hr 30 min drive in the morning. We left by 7.25 AM and reached our breakfast point by 8.35 AM. Nandi Grand is the best place to stop – has a wide range of dishes – service is fast and restrooms are clean

Kolar from here is a 20 min drive – you take a clover leaf exit ( remember this is a toll road so if you have Fast Tag in your car it helps save time). Our first stop was the ancient Kolaramma temple. Built by the Cholas 1200 years back. The presiding deity in the temple is Mahishasuramardini, who is named Kolaramma by the local people. She is an eight-armed Goddess Durga. The devotees worship her by looking at the mirror which is placed opposite the idol. There is a special pooja conducted on Tuesdays and Fridays, temple is open till 2 PM those days – on other days it closes at 11 AM. The temple also has a large brass idol of a Scorpion that is worshipped.

The priest claimed that the shrine of Goddess Durga is supposed to be over 5000 years old and was installed by Parashuram. This is a shrine visited by Adi Shankaracharya and is considered to be a very powerful deity. Legend has it that the fight with Mahisasura started here and finally ended at Chamundi Hills.

In the center of the temple, there is Saptamatrikas. They are seven mothers placed in a significant key position.

Its a small but extremely powerful temple- the architecture has the stamp of Cholas written all over it with its intricate carvings. I have had the good fortune of visiting this beautiful temple 3 times within a month.

A short walk from this temple is the Someshwara temple – you need to rush as this temple also closes by 11 AM. We were comfortable on time , we had reached Kolaramma by 9.15 and headed to the Someshwara temple 200 metres away by 10.15 AM. Built a little later – this is a grander and larger temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. We visited on a. Tuesday and the temples were empty – the weather was bright and sunny and pleasant and it was perfect to relax and enjoy the magical beauty of these ancient temples. I continue to be amazed at what lies in the vicinity of Bangalore – such beautiful temples at a 100 km distance – less than 2 hr drive and most people in Bangalore have no clue about them.

 

But this was more in store as we headed for Avani a small village located 20 km from Kolar – 30 min drive. Enroute we stopped by at a modern Mayya’s Complex that has multiple restaurants , super clean rest rooms , showers , feeding room and ATMS’s. This complex is world class – I am yet to see a nicer set up in any highway across India. We stopped for a restroom break and then headed to Avani.

Avani is known for the Sita temple situated on a hill. This temple is one of the few temples dedicated to Sita in India. There is a belief that the sage Valmiki was residing here. Sita lived here in his ashram while in exile. Sit gave birth to her twin children Lava – Kusha here. Even today the room where Sita gave birth to her children exists. The war between Lord Rama and his sons Lava and Kusha happened in this village.

Avani is also known as the Gaya of the south and has ancient temples known as the Ramalingeshwara, Lakshmaneshwara, Bharateshwara and Shatrugneshwara, dating back to the period of the Nolamba Dynasty 

A monk from the Sringeri Peetham camped here for a few days and found an idol of Goddess Sharada in standing posture flanked by  Adi Shankaracharya and the Sri Chakra. He consecrated this idol here and established a new Matha and installed one of his shisyas as the head of the new Matha.

 

The temples are built by the Nolomba dynasty and later renovated by the Cholas. The gopurams look a bit like those built by the Pallavas. They are well maintained and the best part is they are totally empty. There are multiple small temples of Shiva each consecrated by Lord Rama &  His Brothers.

Close to the temple is a hillock which is a 2 hr trek ( up and down) and leads to caves where Sita is supposed to have lived. We reached the temple by 11.45 and with a deadline to return by 3.30 we had to keep the Trek for a later date.Photo Credit  http://aravindgj.blogspot.in/2017/

After visiting the main temple complex we visited the Sharada temple which was closed and then headed for lunch at the Mayyas complex. While coming back its on the other side of the highway – but there are gaps in the median that allows you take U Turn with travelling far. A good lunch and we left by 1.30 to reach home by 3.15 PM.

Kolar & Avani were great discoveries – so close to Bangalore , fascinating temples, lots of history & mythology, excellent roads , good food – so easy to cover in a day trip from 7.30 AM to 3.30 PM.

The trek up the hillock is pending and thats is on our To Visit list soon.

 

 

 

Malleshwaram : Day Trips in Bangalore 7.30AM – 3.30PM (Trip 8)

9 Oct

This blog documents the 7.30 AM to 3.30 PM  day trips by a group from Mantri Classic (Koramangla , Bangalore) . We have been doing for the last 1 year – discovering amazing places in and around Bangalore. Energised ancient temples, architectural marvels – 1000’s of years old, lovely ashrams, treks, nature resorts all packed with simple and tasty food makes for a great day trip. Its a Fusion trip and thats the name of the group. The trips are very cost effective and average Rs 500 – 1000 / head inclusive of breakfast, lunch and travel. We travel on a Wednesday most of the time – mid week when the places are empty , and because we lave by 7.30 /7.45 and are back by 3.30 we beat the crazy Bangalore traffic.

We started this about a year back – its been fun , in the last 12 trips we have discovered amazing places. This blog shares the itinerary of trip 8   

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Trip – 8 :  Veena Stores – Malleshwaram temples – Kote Venkatramana Temple – Mahabodhi Society – Little Italy (7.30 AM – 3.30 PM) 

As usual we started at 7.30 AM and headed to Malleswaram via MG Road and Windsor Manor and reached our breakfast point by 8.10 AM. Malleswaram is old age Bangalore – narrow well maintained roads , smells of jasmine flowers , dotted with temples – its a good mix of TN & Karnataka – full of great economical eateries – of which Veena Stores is amongst the best. Located at 15th Cross , Margosa Road Its a small 100 sft store which serves piping hot delicious food – take away only. Weekends can be a mad rush with waiting time of over an hr as Mercs and BMW’s line up for pick up – but on Wednesday we were served in minutes. Kesari Bath, Idli Vada, Sweet Pongal, Kharabath, Filter Coffee and a few more authentic tasty dishes all of which cost 30 – 40 Rs a plate.

A few minutes drive from here is 15th Cross Rd which is home to 4 majestic temples – adjacent to each other. The Kaadu Malleshwara Temple, Sri Dakshinamukha Nandi Tirtha Kalyani Kshetra, Gangamma Temple and a beautiful Vishnu temple. The Kaadu Malleshwaram Temple dates back to 1600 AD – and was built during the period when the Marathas held sway over Bangalore and is said to have been built by Venkoji Shivaji’s step brother who found a “Swayambu” there during one of his Tax Collection drives. its a well maintained beautiful  green temple on a small hillock with lots of open spaces. There are 40 steps that lead to the temple top.

Diagonally opposite to this is a unique temple worthy of the UNESCO world heritage tag – The “Dakshinamukha Nandi Tirtha Kalyani Kshetra“. Some say this temple is 1000’s of years old and was unearthed recently. Water from the Nandi gushes on to the Shiva Lingam and then flows to a pond which some say is the underground source of the Sankey Tank. Of the 4 temples on this road – these two are outstanding and we spent most of our time here. But do visit the Gangamma and the Vishnu temple also. In all you can budget 90 – 120 minutes to cover these 4 temples. Right next to these temples is a Brahmins Coffee Bar – so if you want to grab a coffee before you head out – you can do that

Our next stop was another historical temple – Kote Venkatramana Temple. The 17th century Venkataramana temple is located near the old fort (“fort” is kote in Kannada language) adjacent to what was once the residence of Mysore Wodeyar royal family, and later became the palace of Tipu Sultan. Temple closes by 12 noon – and we made it comfortably by 11.15 AM . Its a 20 min drive from Malleswaram. The green lawns of the fort adjacent to this temple looked inviting but we decided to keep the forts and palaces visit to another day. You need a drive – as parking is an issue at all these places.

Keeping the Fusion spirit in mind our next stop was the Mahabodhi Society of Bangalore located next to Freedom Park. A 10 min drive from the Kote Venkatramana Temple.

A zone of peace and equanimity – the centre has a large meditation hall , a beautiful Pipal tree, a stupa and a small garden . They also have a lovely store. This is a residential centre for Monks in Training so keep the chatter low.  If you are a meditative person you will love this place and can spend a few hrs here – but we had to move on keeping in mind our 3 PM return deadline.

It was 1 in the afternoon when we left the Mahabodhi Society at Gandhinagar and we drove past the tempting stores of Chickpet and Avenue Road heading back to Koramangla – on the way stopping for a roaring lunch at Little Italy ( Tavarkere Road near St John Woods apartment). One of the members of the group is a partner owner here and she magnified an already delicious buffet spread. The lunch buffet here is also a well kept secret – the variety of food is impressive , very tasty all of which is backed by excellent service. And to top it all its reasonably priced.

Home was a short 10 min ride from here and were back by 3 PM – we had seen some amazing places in the heart of Bangalore. This is an easy trip to replicate – packed with good food , history , architecture , mythology, spirituality and tranquility – the perfect elements for a Fusion trip.

 

Lepakshi & Shivaganga : Day Trips in Bangalore : 7.30AM – 3.30 PM (Trips 6 & 7)

26 Sep

This blog documents the 7.30 AM to 3.30 PM  day trips by a group of enthusiastic Bangalore explorers from Mantri Classic Koramangla.  We leave after the school bus departs and are back home when the kids return. Thats what we have been doing for the last 1 year – discovering amazing places in and around Bangalore. Energised ancient temples, architectural marvels , 1000’s of years old, lovely ashrams, treks, nature resorts all packed with simple and tasty food makes for a great day trip. Its a Fusion trip and thats the name of the group we gave to this team. The trips are very cost effective and average Rs 500 – 750 / head inclusive of breakfast, lunch and travel. We travel on a Wednesday most of the time – mid week when the places are empty , and because we lave by 7.30 /7.45 and are back by 3.30 we beat the crazy Bangalore traffic.

We started this about a year back – its been fun , in the last 12 trips we have discovered amazing places. This blog shares the itineraries of trips 6 & 7  

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Trip – 6 : Visit to Lepakshi 

Located 120 Km from Bangalore – on the Bangalore Hyderabad road , beyond Devanhalli is the Lepakshi temple. The road is excellent – we left at 6AM and after a relaxed breakfast at Sri Krishna Grand ( You will find many restaurants after you cross the Airport Toll on your left side) we reached by 8 AM.

Lepakshi is a medium sized temple complex –  you can park the car right in front of the temple and enter in a few steps. As per Mythology this was the place where Jatayu fought against Ravana as he was carrying Sita. The main temple is dedicated to Virbhadra and was built during the Vijaynagara reign.Virbhadra is a fearsome form of Shiva. He was created by the wrath of Shiva and destroyed the Yagna  of Daksha, after Daksha’s daughter and Shiva’s consort Sati self-immolated in the sacrificial fire. The temple also has an Altar for Durga and Lord Rama. A small room led by a narrow alley is said to be the place where Sage Agastya meditated.

Its a semi finished temple – the main Sanctum Sanctorum area is complete but the courtyard and Kalyana Mandapa is unfinished. The main temple has intricate carvings the inspiration for many textile designs and the famous Lepakshi hanging pillar.

A 30 min drive from here is a place called Vidurashwatha. This is a small village known for the Ashwatha tree which is believed to have been planted by Vidura.  The tree fell down in 2001. But part of the trunk is still preserved.  It is interesting to see hundreds of Nagadevata idols installed around the tree. Don’t forget to visit a small memorial built for 35 freedom fighters who lost their lives when police opened fire on them. This incident is knows as Jallianwala Bagh of South India.

The roads were excellent and we were back in Bangalore by 11.30 – Lunch at the Orchard Hotel on Palace Orchards , a short stopover at the Chitra Kala parishad and were back home by 2.30.

(Lepakshi temple is in Andhra – can be very hot in summer , best time to travel is Nov – Feb)

Trip – 7 : Shivaganga Trek 

Shivaganga known as Dakshina Kannada is a Shiva Linga shaped 2700 feet peak located about 75 km from Bangalore near Tumkur at Dobaspete. The place is famous for its ancient temples and as a Trekking destination.

We departed Koramangla at 6 AM and reached Shivaganga at 8 AM after a nice breakfast at Shree Rathnam a nice and efficient Veg restaurant – It has a big inviting poster and you can’t miss it. (The restaurant is located after a 10 – 15 min drive post the 2nd toll). As you drive out from the restaurant look around for a flyover and take the access road and then a left – don’t go up the flyover.

There are three sets of temples – the 1st is a 10 min walk up – the path forks , the right side goes to the Gavi Gangadeshwar , Devi Temple and Patalganga , while the left side is the way up the hill. Legend has it that there are underground tunnels that connects this temple to the Gavi Gangadeshwar temple at Basavangudi.

At the halfway mark – about 1 hr of trekking you reach an ancient Virbhadra temple and a underground water tank called Okkal Theertha. These are all cave temples and the priest claims that the idols are thousands of years old.  The views are beautiful and it was breezy all thru the trek. ( there are two ways up – the shorter route bypasses the temples in the middle )

As you near the top of the hill you will see a massive Nandi and at the summit there are two small temples. The oral also has the suicide drop point – from where queen Shanthala a Hoysala queen committed suicide.

The trek is a medium grade trek – takes about 90 minutes one way . Total distance is ~ 2 Km one way. The trail has rock steps for almost half the distance, the last 15 – 20 minute stretch is very steep. There are monkeys all around – so do carry a stick to scare them and don’t carry and food items in your bags. There are shops on the way for water and juice.

We started  our climb at 8AM – reached the top by 9.30 , spent 30 min at the summit , had a few glasses of refreshing lemon water and were back at the base by 12 noon. On the way back we had lunch at the Orchard Hotel near Place Orchards and were back home by 3 PM.

The temples open only by 9 AM – so on the way up you may miss it. Weekends tend to be crowded – I have been there on a Wed and a Saturday. Its empty on weekdays. Summers can be warm – Nov to Feb is the best time.

 

 

 

 

 

Pyramid Valley, Bhoga Nandeeshwara, Gave Gangadeshwar ++ : Day Trips in Bangalore : 7.30 AM to 3.30 PM (Trips 1 – 3)

13 Sep

Bangalore has amazing weekend getaways – with Coorg , Bandipur, Chickamagalur close by – its a paradise for travellers. That is well known.

I discovered after nearly 25 years in Bangalore that the city also has a plethora of amazing sights that can be covered in less than a day. We call it the 7.30 to 3.30 trip. Leave after the school bus departs and be back at home when the kids return. Thats what we have been doing for the last 1 year – discovering amazing places in and around Bangalore.

Energised ancient temples, architectural marvels , 1000’s of years old, lovely ashrams, treks, nature resorts all packed with simple and tasty food makes for a great day trip. Its a Fusion trip and thats the name of the group we gave to this team – which is me (1 man) and about a dozen women with a lot of positive energy.  The trips are very cost effective and average Rs 500 – 750 / head inclusive of breakfast, lunch and travel. We travel on a Wednesday most of the time – mid week when the places are empty , and because we lave by 7.30 /7.45 and are back by 3.30 we beat the crazy Bangalore traffic.

In the last one year after I retired – I realised that one of the most frustrating and thankless jobs is that of an highly educated housewife. Housework ( especially kitchenware)  is 24by7. Its monotonous and it never stops. Even if you are 40+ there is a child in you – and who doesn’t like to travel and see new places. A time comes when pubbing and partying becomes boring. So exploring the city is a good pastime. Its like a monthly holiday.

We started this about a year back – its been fun , in the last 12 trips we have discovered amazing places. This blog shares the itineraries of these trips so that you can replicate the same with your friends.

Trip – 1 : Pyramid Valley , Kanakpura Road

Pyramid Valley is a serene and peaceful place full of greenery. Its like an Ashram – you can meditate, be by yourself , even stay there and attend some programs. I have been wanting to attend their full moon meditation session. The place is the Karma Bhoomi of its Founder Brahmarshi Patriji.

Departure from Koramangla 7.45 AM , Arrival 9.30 AM ( We could have reached faster by the NICE Road – avoid the BTM / JP Nagar , Kanakpura Road – it was jammed – maybe better now with the Metro)

Google maps will take you to this place – its a small detour from the Kanakpura main road on your left – there are signs and it comes after you cross The Art of Living ashram.

Watch a Video explaining the concept of the Pyramid Valley and the meditation techniques taught there and then enter the massive 160 ft X 160 ft Pyramid – supposedly the largest in the world for meditation. They claim that the intensity of meditation inside a Pyramid is 3 times higher. And yes the Meditation is indeed intense at the topmost raft right below the cone of the Pyramid. Visit the store and then drop by at the Cafeteria for a wholesome snack. they also serve free lunch at around 1 in the afternoon.

We had some Upma & Coffee and then on the way back stopped by at JP Nagar – at a nice homely place for Pasta and were back home by 3 PM.

http://pyramidvalley.org/about-us/

 

 

Trip – 2 : Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple , School of Ancient Wisdom (Near the Airport) 

On the foothills of the Nandi Hills – an outstandingly beautiful temple with intricate sculptures that is over 1000 years old and was developed by multiple dynasties over centuries – The Cholas, Pallavas, Hoysala’s, Ganga and the Vijaynagar empire  – and you can see their unique architecture styles in the three sanctum sanctorum’s of the temple that houses Lord Shiva in his 3 forms – as a child (Arunachala)  , youth (Uma Mahesh)  and Adult (Bhoga Nandeeshwara) The Chola Pillars, Pallava Stupas ( similar to the Shore temple) and the intricate carvings of the Hoysalas adds to the grandeur and peace of the temple. This temple is one of Bangalore’s best kept secrets – if in the US this would have been a UNESCO world heritage site.

The shrine of Arunachaleshwara representing Shiva in his childhood it was built by the Gangas, Uma Maheshwar was built by the Hoysalas and Bhoga Nadeeshwara was built by the Cholas.

A very well maintained temple, spotlessly clean, with a beautiful tank that is supposed to be the source of a small river – you can easily spend 90 – 120 minutes enjoying the beauty of the place.

We left Koramangla at 7.45 AM and reached our breakfast joint – Indian Paratha company at 8.45 AM. This place is located on the Bangalore Hyderabad highway just after you pass the Airport. Being a Wednesday it was empty  – the Parathas here are outstanding and the service was excellent. (Weekends the place gets really busy)

From here the drive time to Bhoga Nandeeshwara is less than 30 minutes – we were at the Temple by 9.45 AM. Departure from Bhoga Nandeeshwara at 11.30 AM and reached our next stop – The School of Ancient Wisdom on IVC road by 12 Noon.

The School of Ancient Wisdom is a doorway to transformation and enlightened living. Its a mystical place that was founded by the saintly  Manize Sait (Late)  under the guidance of the masters. Its a centre where the belief is on the concept of energy – and Ram one of the founders of the place was an excellent guide. We had a lovely veg lunch here and left by 2 and were back home by 3.30. (You have to inform them before hand if you plan to have lunch here)

Trip – 3 : Brahmins Cafe – Ramkrishna Ashram – Gave Gangadeshwar Cave Temple – Jain temple  

This trip was in the heart of Bangalore in and around Basavangudi.

7.45 AM we left Koramangla and we reached our first stop – the Legendary Brahmins Cafe . You have limited option of dishes – Idli, Vada, Upma, Kesari, Coffee. They serve only Chutney – but its the tastiest Chutney you can eat. A standing joint the food is tasty and the service is very efficient.

Less than a km from Brahmins Cafe is the Ramkrishna Mission Ashram in Basavangudi. A well maintained green enclave which has a large meditation hall , a rock commemorating the spot where Sarada Devi meditated, and a rock bench on which Vivekananda was supposed to have spent time when he visited Bangalore.

This is where we found a unique flower – which has a hood and a small Shiva Linga in it. The Couroupita guianensis, known by a variety of common names including cannonball tree  is sacred to Hindus, who believe its hooded flowers look like the nāga, and it is grown at Shiva temples.

The centre also has a large book store that has an excellent collection. ( Budget 30 – 45 min at the Ramkrishna Ashram) – added advantages clean bathrooms and very convenient parking.

Next stop was the Gavi Gangadeshwar Temple – a rock cut cave temple of Shiva where the Linga is a Swayambu and every year on Jan 14th the light rays mysteriously fall on the Shiva Linga from a narrow gap in the windows . A narrow tunnel behind the Shiva Linga is home to many ancient sculptures of Gods and Rishis and the priest claims that there is a hidden tunnel between the temple and Varanasi. He also added that the temple was from the Treta Yuga and more than 5000 years old. The temple has astrophysical relevance and is highly energising.  We visited the temple on Jan 11th on Thiruvathirai (Arudhra Darisanam) – surprisingly the temple was empty and getting ready for Jan 14th. It would have been impossible to visit a famous Shiva temple in Tamil Nadu on this day.

(For more details http://www.livemint.com/Sundayapp/X3uvXrojiRaPr31fhf6IQI/The-mysteries-of-Bengalurus-famed-Gavi-Gangadhareshwara-tem.html)

Right next to the temple is the Samadhi of Narayan Maharaj an enlightened soul. A short walk from here on a hilltop is a Hanuman Temple. During his exploration of the area of the town he was planning to build, Kempegowda-I came across the hillock housing the swayambu Anjaneya Swami in the Karenji area. He built the Gharbhagraham for the Anjaneya Swami and also arranged for the performance of the Pranaprathista of the deity. He made arrangements for the performance of the daily pujas in the temple. It is believed that Janamejayan, the grand son of Abimanyu, had done penance at the hillock in which Anjaneyaswamy’s idol is located. (Budget 30 – 45 minutes) and then we headed to our next stop – the Jain temple at Basavangudi. Budget 30 minutes here.

And we wrapped up the busy morning with lunch at Kamath Bugle Rock – a place that serves excellent North Karnataka food. We covered a lot of ground between 7.30AM and noon and could do justice to the excellent meal. Departure at 2 and we were back home by 3.