Where there is a hill, there is a temple! Very much true about the hills in India, right? So, this time let's travel to a cave temple built on top of a hill, known as Kailasagiri. Not only temple but also there are other surprises on the go. Of course, a great place for photography! Come on guys... rock rock rock! I mean this place is full of rocks ahh ;-)
As usual, this is also a 'not so crowded' weekend getaway from Bangalore. Apt for a short day trip. My brother and his wife came for a weekend and it was their 2nd wedding anniversary. So we thought of taking them to a place nearby where they can have a photo shoot as well. This time we did not have kids with us. It was a couple's day out.
Let's jump in to the route and other details.
Situated at : Chikkaballapura District, Karnataka
Distance : 70 km
Known for : Trekking, Cave temple, Reservoir
Best time to visit : Mostly during winters. Preferably in the mornings and evenings as it will be too sunny during the mid day. We went on Feb 2nd 2020.
Estimated travel time : 2hrs. We started at 6.45 am and reached by 8.45 am.
We had a stop by on the way to have our breakfast.
Route : Varthur, Balagere Road(Our place) – Whitefield – Hoskote – straight through Kadappa Bengaluru Highway – take left where you will see the big board 'Kailasagiri' – one more left from the next 'Y' intersection.
Expenses : Hoskote-Chinthamani toll plaza – Rs 55(double side, no Fastag here), Hoskote Highway Toll -Rs 20 (one side), Parking at Kailasagiri – Rs 10, Kaivara Reserve Forest(Kaivara Thapovana) – Rs 10 and other expenses for food.
Commute : Apt for bikers. We anyways, went in our own car. The village roads are best for countryside cycling (Carry one if you are a cycling enthusiast. Would give you a wonderful experience)
Temple timings : 9.30 am to 8pm, Pujas and rituals are performed here.
We reached the foothills around 9 am and the temple was not open. So, here comes the surprise as I said. There is a reservoir just nearby known as Ambaji Durga Reservoir. It's such a beautiful place with the lake and rocks.
It was perfect place for a photo shoot. Anyone planning for one, note this place. We took a cam full of photos, enjoyed the view and tranquillity of nature. There are few rocks where you can climb on it. Ended up as an adventurous photo session :-) Plus point is, not at all crowded so enjoyed our sweet time.
We had parked our car near the entrance of temple where the stone paved path begins. As expected, here as well we encountered the monkey army. The beautiful stone paved path will take you to the top where the cave temple is. Though I saw few old age people, I felt it would be difficult for aged people. This spot is best for youngsters and kids. I heard trekking is also an attraction here. We did not go for it anyways.
Once you reach the top it's such an amazing view. The breeze makes you feel ease.
The twin rocks sit together like someone had glued them many moons ago! It is believed that the Pandavas lived here for sometime during their exile.
Just below these huge rocks there are blue metal gates(doors) which are the entrance of cave temple. This cave is a recent man made construction and still going on.
The deities are Sri Jagadambe, Sri Vallabha Ganapathy and Sri Chathurmukhalingeshwara (Shiv linga with faces carved on 4 sides).
I must say how cool it feels inside. It's so refreshing. We took a walk inside and saw the main part of cave. A stage and hall where people can meditate peacefully. Photography is prohibited inside. Still managed to click few pics.
Post this, as usual we went to explore nearby places.
Found Kaiwara Thapovana which was a complete time waste. The place would have been a good spot if they had maintained well. Don't know for what purpose are they collecting Rs.10 per person as entrance fee! We saw two young couples inside and few swans caged inside a small pond. Took few photos here as well. Nothing much to explore.
Though we did not go, I will hint you few nearby places here you can visit.
- Vaikunda Betta ( This temple is just opposite to Kaiwara Thapovana)
- Ambaji Durga Betta with a Fort (Not suitable for families, apt for trekking)
- Bhima Bakasura Betta / Chamundi Betta (climb is around 500 steps, Lakshman Thirtha is here)
- Bheemeshwara Temple
- Sri Amaranarayana Swamy Temple
- Sri Yogi Narayana Mutt (Dedicated to Kaiwara Tatayya)
- There are few small shops nearby. Still advisory to carry water bottles.
- cap/hat, sunscreen (those who really worry about tanning ;-) )
- Wearing your sport shoes will do good.