Our recent day outing made me wonder that the world has so much to offer and yet we know so little, probably one lifetime is not just enough to explore all the mysteries of the world.
This weekend we visited 2 beautiful and unique places, which I never knew existed until few days back, inspite of living in Bangalore for many years. Craving to take a break from daily routine, I started looking for day outing options from Bangalore.
Since we recently returned back from the vacation and taking another was not an option. Weekend outing sounded perfect. Last time for day outing we went to Nature Adventure Club, which was a real fun.A day outing at Nature Adventure Camp, Bangalore
I assumed that we had been to most of the places in and around Bangalore, but 10th Century Ramalingeshwara temple at Avani and Kotilingeshwara temple both located in Kolar, came as a pleasant surprise. Both are unique in there own ways and have their own stories to tell.
Start of the Day trip to Kolar
Leaving early in the morning is always the plan, but unfortunately we could never stick to it. We started late and managed to leave the house around 9.00 a.m. Since the plan was to enjoy a relaxed weekend, we hired a cab instead of driving ourselves. On the way we stopped by for the quick breakfast. You can find many options on the way right form traditional ones to Mcdonalds.
The roads all through were really good and you can spot the unique rock mountains. The sight of such huge rocks piled on top of each other made me wonder, how they are arranged so well without falling down.
Plan was to visit Kotilingeshwara temple first and then heading to Avani. We reached Kolilingeshwara temple around 11.30 a.m. thanks to the good roads.
Kotilingeshwara temple, Kolar – Kotilingeshwara temple is located around 100 Kms from Bangalore in a small village called Kamasandra in kolar. The fact that makes this temple unique is, as the name suggest “Koti” means Crore, temple intends to install 1 crore (10 million) Shivalings in its premises. At present it has 9 million Shivalings of different sizes installed all over the temple in the rows. Many of these Shivalinga’s are offered by Devotees and some of them has the family names engraved on them. Another fact, which makes this temple even more special and popular among the visitors, is that Kotilingeshwara enshrines the Largest Shivalinga in the world, which is 33mtrs tall and 11 mtrs tall Nandi idol right in front of the Shivalinga.
Once we entered the temple premises, the sight of so many Shivalinga amazed us. There are many temples in the Premises including that of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh along with their families, which the Priest claimed as one of a kind.
Being a Sunday, the temple was slightly crowded, especially for the Pooja offerings. Temple has huge open spaces, which makes it fun for the kids and toddler. Our little one had real fun running around the rows.
Once we finished the first section of the temple, we were struggling to find our way out of the temple but we landed into another section, which was even bigger. A huge open Area with the Gigantic Shivalinga in the center and Magnificent Nandi idol right in front, surrounded by hundreds of small Shivalinga.
It was an overwhelming experience to witness so many Shivalinga’s at one place. Don’t even attempt to count them.
Anyways we were in no hurry so we took our time to enjoy every moment, thanks to the pleasant and cool weather. It took us more than 1.30 hour at the temple. By the time we came out of the temple it was already around 1.30 pm and all of us were really hungry. There were not many options available except for cut fruits and some small stalls.
Since we couldn’t find any restaurant near by for lunch, we headed straight to Avani hoping to find some place for lunch on the way.
Information about Kotilingeshwara
- You can reach Kotilingeshwara through GPS if you are not aware of the roads.
- Timings: 6:00 AM- 9:00PM
- Entry Fee: INR 20 per person
- Camera Fee: INR 100 per camera
- Parking Charges: INR 30
- Linga Installation Fee: Starts from INR 6,000
Ramalingeshwara Temple, Avani Kolar
Although we could find the location on GPS, but we were not sure if that’s the right direction. There were no signboards at all.We were driving through a narrow road with lake on one side and lush green fields on the other. Occasional passerby’s were not of great help. We kept moving in the direction GPS was pointing, occasionally crossing some small villages on the way. However with some help from others we could finally reach the temple.
Temple is located in a very small village in Kolar district called Avani and has a very modest entrance. But once you enter, its just magnificent.
Just to give a little background before sharing our experience, Ramalingeshwara is a group of temples in one premise protected by Archaeological Survey of India as monument of National Importance. This 10th Century temple reflects Nolamba dynasty construction, which was partially renovated by Chola dynasty. Avani is also known as “Gaya of South”. The temple complex comprises four major shrines, one each for Rama, Lakshmana, Bharat and Shatrughan.
Avani is also known for the Sita temple situated on the hill besides the temple. Legend has it that Sage Valmiki, the author of Ramayana, was residing here during the period of Ramayana. Sitadevi lived here in his ashram while in exile and gave birth to her twin children Lava- kush here. The war between Sri Rama and his sons Lava and Kusha happened in this village.
The temple complex was very peaceful with hardly any visitors. By the time we reached it was already 3 o clock, although the doors of the main temples were open. Photography was not allowed inside the sanctum, there were no lights but we could spot the Black stone Shivalinga’s in each of the temple sanctum. We sat in the complex for sometime enjoying the serenity, peace and the surrounding view. Also contemplating if we should go to the Sita temple where was faintly visible form Ramalingeshwara temple. The guide at the temple informed us that one has to climb 600 rock steps to reach there and it takes anywhere between 2-3 hours to come back.
It was already 3.30 pm., we dint had lunch and there was not much to eat. Also it was already kind of dark .So with heavy hearts we had to postpone our trekking plans for the next visit. Although I am sure the view from top would be nothing but jaw dropping.
- If you are planning to trek to the Sita temple, its better to wear shoes.
- Carry water, cap and sunglasses with you
- Since you don’t get much to eat its better to either come early after breakfast or carry lunch with you.