Sooner we reached the foothill. Take the left turn to visit Bhoganarasimha temple or continue straight along the hills to reach Yoganarasimha temple. There are steps foothill to reach the top. Also,there is a motorable path to reach the top, which we preferred. The roads are in good condition and a pleasure to bike riders.
Once we reached the hill top, lots of monkeys welcomed us. Please refrain carrying bags except water to escape from monkey hassles. The aroma of Eucalyptus / Nilgiri trees freshened up our cells. The first view of Devarayanadurga appeared to be a fort. Devarayanadurga got its name from Mysore king Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar who built a fort here with seven entry points. The hill temples were patronized by the successive rulers of Wodeyar dynasty. Many inscriptions and historical remains dating back to the Hoysala and Vijayanagar periods have been found in and around Devarayanadurga.
Well constructed 435 steps approx take you the top. Climbing up is really fun, as the view gets better as we go higher. The place gets cooler and cooler under the huge rocks.
The temple timing is 10am to 5pm every day and abhisheka at 11am. Devotees in thousands are known to visit Devarayanadurga during the annual car festival of the Bhoganarasimha temple held in Phalguna masa (Feb-March). The week-long annual jathre-and-temple festivities remain an ancient tradition.
The ancient temple houses garuda sthamba, the goddess Lakshmi and the main deity Yoganarasimha. When we entered the temple, they applied the naama / tilak to our forehead. The temple is believed to have a history of 750 years. The garbagriha is carved out from a huge rock and houses the main deity. Also, we found the 17 sculptures of Alwars and rishis. Photography is strictly prohibited.
Outside the temple, a small Kalyani is found. We sat nearby and relaxed for a while.
Opposite to the temple is the Kumbhi betta. Previously, one was allowed to climb the top of this hill and explore scenic views. Right now, this is prohibited. It was a memorable experience of climbing the steps and exploring this ancient temple.
We could spot the traveller guest house on the opposite hill, which looked awesome. We thought we would explore it. When we reached there, we found nothing, but a building of traveller guest house with police station. As we descended from the hill, we headed towards a small place, yet peaceful Vidyashankara temple. Follow to my next post Tumkur has several places for rock climbing and trekking. It’s a hub of history and ancient temples. There are lots of researchers heading to Tumkur to explore its true history. Exploring Tumkur has been a new experience to me. This can be a good day trip away from the city. Keep travelling ! 🙂