Showing posts with label Kolar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kolar. Show all posts

Ambajidurga/chintamani Fort



Caution: An entry to this hill is strictly restricted and a board instructing the same has been put up in order to prevent people venturing into this hill. Updated: As per the comments by Umesh Sir and Sudhakar, the restrictions have been removed and people can visit this place.

Good Morning Ambajidurga
          Ambajidurga, the second fort we were on a look out for, between Kaivara and Chintamani, seemed so near yet so far way. Ambajidurga is situated atop a hill adjacent to the very well known cave temple of kailashgiri and the temple authorities have banned the entry to this hill fort owing to the unfortunate incidents that have taken place here a few years ago. long back, during our visit to Kailashgiri, we had inquired about Ambajidurga and temple authorities  simply denied its presence and refused to give any information, only saying that Ambajidurga was another name given to Kailashgiri. When we told them that the fortification on the neighboring hill was clearly visible and insisted on details about the fort, they replied that there was no route to the hill and no one can go there. So we did not bother much about it, and thought we will explore this place when the time is right. This day was not too far from the day that we conquered Rehmangarh! We were much eager to conquer Ambajidurga. We reached the spot from where the hill base from where fortification was clearly visible. An old lady who stopped by told us about the route to the hill top and gave us directions. We were glad that a route to the hill top existed and went ahead following her directions. The hill was gigantic and we looked too small in comparison to its massive size.
First tier of the Fort
Lord Hanuman Temple and The Fort Wall
Broken Gateway Arch
   Overnight rains had made the path slippery, but that didn’t matter much to us as we were engrossed in the thought of reaching the fort. Our initial climb was a little tricky as after reaching a certain point, we realized we were heading in a wrong direction. We halted and to changed our course of climb and headed in the right direction. After a few minutes of trek, we reached the first tier of the fort on the first hill (or the lower hill) and rested here for a while. Later, a short walk lead us to the  top of the first hill which was an open plain land having a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman and a few fort ruins. We were able to view the fortification on the upper hill but found no specific route. After investigating, we finally decided to make our own path and succeeded in our venture within no time.  We were at the fort entrance, and had a bird’s eye view of the surroundings including the now dwarfed fort of Rehmangarh.
Fort Entrance and Rehmangarh

Water Tank
Lord Shiva Temple
  The hill rises to about 4400 ft above mean sea level and was initially fortified by the local Palegars, which was then rebuilt by Tippu and finally fell into the hands of the British. There is a small temple atop the hill dedicated to Lord Shiva and a few ruined structures and water tanks. We were quite happy for having explored this fort too. We spent some time at the top and started to descend slowly and carefully down the hill. Our descent was a little tiring but calm, until we heard a person standing at the hill base shouting and signaling us to come down quickly. Initially, we thought of him to be a shepherd boy   calling out to his cattle, but later realized he was indeed waiting for us! Once we reached the base, he literally started shouting at us asking whose permission we had taken in order to go to the fort and my wife retaliated saying, we had inquired and only at the old lady’s suggestions, we decided to climb as she had not warned us about any restrictions. While he forced us to accompany him to the temple authorities, we insisted him on showing his identity card and if he did, we would surely go with him. Somewhere, we thought he was boasting about himself being a guard to the hill we had just explored. He argued saying there was a big board put up right at the entry point which strictly restricted any further entry. Truly, we were not aware of such a board. There was an exchange of words between him and us, and on demanding him to show where the board was put up, he took us a little away from where we started our trek and alas! There was the board! We told him that we had taken the path present much before this board and therefore had missed seeing it. We also questioned him about his absence during the time of our entry at the starting point. If he were to be a guard, he should have done his duty and cautioned us. We would have not ventured further at all. Finally a person associated with the Kailashgiri temple management who by chance had come to pick him, spoke to us and warned us in a rough tone saying that the place we had just ventured was really not safe and we shouldn’t have gone so far. On saying that we were not really aware of the board as it was put up in a wrong place and  since we had already made a safe return, there was no use of telling us now not to have ventured. There was an exchange of words again. It was slightly upsetting as this was the first time we had encountered such a rude behavior. Though our conversation ended sourly, we were quite happy that we had already explored the fort before they came and realized we would have missed so much, just in case destiny had taken us on the route towards that board! 
Lord Hanuman
 Mt Kailashgiri

Dwarfed Rehmangarh
Kissing the Clouds
     This was our dual-fort-adventure that ended with destiny being on our side. With both the regions being popular tourist spots, it’s quite hard to believe the fact that these hills are actually unsafe. We personally did not feel so, but who knows. Many places in Kolar district are considered unsafe, including the Antharagange hills. 

Paparajanahalli Fort, Antharagange Kolar

Though the fort of Paparajanahalli was within a striking distance from the hill range of Antharagange, we missed exploring it every time we were around Antharagange. Thus one day, I finally decided to explore this place and started early in the morning. A vague estimate of distance to this place would be around 8 km from home, which would make it a 16 km trek on completion.  The initial walk from home was across the national highway which then merged with narrow winding roads leading to Antharagange. A kilometer's walk hereon took me to a hiking trail to this hill and I promptly took a deviation towards this route and continued my climb. After an ascent of around 15 minutes, I reached the Therahalli temple, a very beautiful temple indeed which we had visited earlier during one of our journeys around this place.
Antharagange, Kolar
Elvis Stone
Mahagopuram, Therahalli
Lord Shiva Temple, Therahalli
Lord Shiva Temple Complex, Therahalli 
Without spending much time here, I headed towards Paparajanahalli, still following the hiking trail and reached a place from where the route seemed to vanish. Fortunately, a shepherd who passed by informed me about the Pandava caves located close by and gave directions to reach Paparajanahalli. After paying visit to the Pandava caves, I got down and started walking along the roadway to reach Paparajanahalli. On inquiring about the fort at Paparajanahalli, a joyous lady directed me towards the fort. The real trek had just begun. As I gradually gained elevation, portions of the fortification became visible.
Interesting War Sculptures with Elephant and Horses
Green Locust 
Probably the Fort Entrance
Fort Walls 
Ruined Rampart
On my way to the hill top, I met a shepherd who engaged me in a conversation and found me stupid as I had come all the way and all alone to this place. I smiled and moved on. Though not much of  the fortification remains, it is quite evident that a big and grand fort once existed here. After a thorough exploration covering all parts of the hill, I rested for a while at a nice spot and satisfied my hunger with the food I carried in one go. The views from atop the hill  were enchanting. I had to get back home as the weather got warmer. The whole experience was worthwhile.
Skillfully Executed Stone Umbrella 
A Water Pond Atop of the Hill 
Hills of Antharagange Hills 
Bird's Eye View of Kolar 
Click here for location 
PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

Places to Visit Around Bangalore/ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು/ Bengaluru Part -11

Continued from here..

Type: Hill, Fort, Temple Town 
Distance from Bangalore: 110 km
Trek Distance: 1.5 km (One Way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - Old Madras Road - Till Mulbagal 
About: Mulbagal forms the eastern gateway to Karnataka and is popular for its Anjaneya temple and Namkeens (Savories). The fort is supposed to have been built during the Vijayanagar period which later underwent renovations during Tippu's rule. There are 2 big boulders on the peak of the hill known as Mahadeva Gundu and Babaiah Gundu. More
Mulbagal
Mulbagal Fort 
57. Hulukudi 
Type: Hill, Fort, Temple Town 
Distance from Bangalore: 80 km
Trek Distance: 1.5 km (One Way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - Doddaballapura - Right turn towards Devanahalli -  Right turn after 6 km - about 4 km to reach the hill base
About: Hulukudi is an erstwhile town of the Cholas. There are many inscriptions here belonging to this period. There are also many temples on the hill and in the village - Veerabhadraswamy temple, Narashima temple, Mukaneshwara Temple, Anjaneya temple and others. There is no much history known about the fort . More
Hulukudi
Nandi Enclosure, Hulukudi Fort
58. Lepakshi 
Type: Temple Town 
Distance from Bangalore: 110 km
Directions from Bangalore: A) Bangalore - Doddaballapura - Gauribidnaur - Hindupur - Lepakshi
                                           B) Bangalore - Devanahalli - Chikkaballapura - Bagepalli - Lepakshi 
About: The Vijayanagar King Virupanna is known to have built the Veerabhadra temple here. Though it has passed through the hands of many kingdoms, the  contribution of the Vijayanagar Kings is vast. This place is also associated with the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The fresco paintings on the ceilings are remarkable, leaving one to only wonder about the immense skills people possessed during those times. The statue of Nandi situated at about 600 meters from the temple is another excellent piece of artwork of the Vijayanagar period. More
Lepakshi
Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Lepakshi 

Type: Hoysala Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 120 km
Directions from Bangalore: A) Bangalore - NH 48 - Right turn at Nayakanahalli - Santhe Bachalli
About: The Mahalingeshwara Temple here serves as a very good example of Hoysala architecture that flourished during the 12th century. The temple interiors are beautifully executed. The Veeranarayana temple is supposed to have be built during the Vijayanagara period. More
Hoysala Temple
Mahalingeshwara Temple Santhe Bachalli
60. Kendatti Madivala 
Type: Prehistoric Site 
Distance from Bangalore: 50 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 7 - Left turn at Kendatti - Kendatti Madivala
About: The standing stones/Menhirs here tell a wonderful story about the skills of these prehistoric people. This site is spread across a few acres and one can witness the various prehistoric burials. More 
Pre historic Site
Stone Circle, Kendatti Madival


The Lord Garuda Temple, Koladevi, Mulabagal Kolar

  Witnessing a temple dedicated to Garuda is quite intriguing and fascinating, since not many temples are dedicated to Garuda as the principal deity. While travelling to Kurudumale (Mulbagal taluk, Kolar district), we noticed a board that read " Way to world's only temple dedicated to Lord Garuda". Without a second thought, we followed the directions and reached this temple. Koladevi is one of the few temples dedicated to Lord Garuda, the vahana (mount/vehicle) of Lord Vishnu. At first glance though it seems to be a modern temple, the murti of the main deity Lord Garuda is ancient having legends associated with the epic Ramayana.
Lord Garuda Temple, Koladevi
The Lord Garuda Temple, Koladevi 
Garuda, the king of birds is generally associated with Lord Vishnu but very rarely seen as being worshiped as a principal deity. The beautiful Garuda murti of this temple caught our attention at once as we entered the temple. It became obvious that the murti was sculpted during the Vijayanagar period. Simple in its outlook, Lord Garuda is seen kneeling on one knee while carrying Lord Vishnu and his consort Goddess Lakshmi in his right and left hands respectively. A close observation of the murti shows Lakshmi Devi seated at a higher position than Lord Vishnu, thus signifying prosperity. 
Lord Garuda Koladevi, Mulabagal, Kolar
The Lord Garuda 
Lord Garuda Temple
Decked Up for Puja 


One of the Puranas (ancient hindu texts) is also dedicated to Garuda, by the name Garuda Purana which speaks about his genesis and propagation and also enlists the various punishments given, specific to the type of sin committed.
Garuda Purana
There is another murti here dedicated to Lord Anjaneya (Hanuman), an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, known for his strength and valor. The murti is carved and positioned in such a way that the eyes of Garuda and Hanuman are in perfect alignment, as if staring into each other.
Lord Anjaneya Swamy Mulabagal
Lord Anjaneya Swamy 
Though not known much to the outside world, this temple of Garuda is vastly popular among the locals who strongly believe in and worship the deity regularly. There are also people coming from far off places who learnt about its popularity by word of mouth to witness the miracles of Lord Garuda.
The Hero 
We had a chance to witness one such instance of a family who paid visit to the temple for offering a prayer of thanks.  They were facing difficulty in finding a match in marriage for their daughter and decided to pay a visit and pray to Garudaswamy, a few days after-which she found a suitable match and hence their belief grew stronger. The temple priest also quoted a few instances of such kind and mentioned about how powerful the god here is.

Year 2013 Part 2 - Forts

Jating Rameshwara Fort, Chitradurga
Haranahalli Fort, Arsikere
Tekalkote Fort, Bellary
Mulabagal Fort, Kolar
Avani Fort, Kolar
Rehmangarh Fort, Chintamani
Ambajidurga Fort, Chintamani
Madhugiri Fort, Tumkur
Garudanagiri Fort, Arsikere
Kavaledurga Fort, Shimoga
Nagara Fort, Shimoga
Aimangala Fort, Chitradurga
Paparajanahalli Fort, Kolar
Bhalki Fort, Bidar
Bhatamabar Fort, Bidar
Rameshwara Fort, Bidar
Basava Kalyan Fort, Bidar
Bidar Fort
Manyakheta Fort, Gulbarga
Sira Fort, Tumkur
Bellary Fort