Distance: Around 68 km from Bangalore
Journey Time: 1 and half hour to 2 hours by Bus
How to reach there:
1. Regular KSRTC buses are available from KSRTC bus stand, Majestic, Bangalore.
2. By train upto Bangerpet and then 15 min travel by bus
3. Private vehicle
Route: Bangalore – Hoskote – Kolar
Where to Stay: Deepty Mahal (Rs 300/24 hours), Shanthi Sagar Hotel (Rs 250 – 300), Woody’s (Rs 750 – 1000+)
Where to Eat: Ruchi Sagar for light food, Shanthi Sagar, Tirumala (Near Deepty Mahal Tamaka, phone – 09611022320) – All these are veg restaurants
For non veg food, you may try the dhabas alongside Chennai highway towards Chitoor.
Kolar is the district head quarter of the district by the same name Kolar of the south Indian state of Karnataka. Kolar is a small town with few historical temples and places and is suitable for a one day tour. However, if you would like halt there for a night, it is advisable to find hotel or lodge before had as there are not many places of comfortable stay apart from the hotels mentioned above. There are few hotels opposite to the Kolar bus stand which you may try as your last resort. Kolar has rich history and that shows in the temples in and around Kolar.
Things to see:
1. Kolaramma temple: Kolaramma temple located at the southern end of the city is built by the Cholas and the presiding deity here is goddes Durga. Also, the temple has shrines of saptamatras. The temple has inscriptions of Rajendra Chola. Photography is prohibited inside.
2. Someshwara temple: Someshwara temple is an architect’s delight. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was constructed in Dravidian style during the 14th century during the early days of Vijaynagara rules. The intricately craved stones tells story of its own. The temple has various facilities like the Vasantha mantapa, yoga shaala, Kalyana mantapa etc. There is granite bull at the entrance of the main temple.
3. Kolar hills or Kolar betta and Antaragange: Kolar betta or Kolar hills are located around 2 km from Kolar town. One has to climb up the hills via 100 plus steps. This place is also know Satasringa (hundred peaked mountains). While climbing up, on the way a small lane leads to a platform from where you can see an awesome view of the rugged mountains. Also, the Antaragange is located on top of this hill. Legend has is it that Ganga is flowing from here in south India and that is the reason the name is Antaragange. Here, from the mouth of a ball water keeps gushing and nobody knows where from the water is comming. The water is believed to be sacred and is used as drinking water by people of nearby areas. There is also a temple of Lord Shiva besides Antaragange. However, be aware of monkey menace.
Note: To see all the above mentioned places, I suggest you to hire an Auto and it should not cost you more than Rs 150 including wait time.
Kolar Gold Field or KGF:
Kolar Gold Field or KGF is located around 27 km from Kolar. Also, one can reach KGF directly via Kolar bypass. Regular private or Karnataka state transport buses are available from Kolar and Bangalore. The star attraction of this place was the gold mines which are closed now. The history of KGF goes back to late 19th century when the mining started and the early 20th century when the gold mines were flourishing, a wholesome city came into being with the modern amenities. The workers of the gold mines the Birtish then constructed the city of Robertsonpet.
Where to eat: Durbar hotel just opposite KGF bus stand or eatries in and around the bus stand
Where to stay: Kotilingeshwara temple, Paid accomodation – food free (6 km from KGF)
Things to see:
1. Kolar Gold Fields: Kolar Gold fields has a mining history of over 2000 years even before the cholas to the Indian government after independence. It was believed to have one of the deepest mines in the world. However, Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) which ran the show here was closed in 2001 and subsequently all the mines were closed in 2003 due to limited deposit of gold and high operating cost. To see the gold fields one has to take prior permission. As of now BEML and Indian Institute of Metal operates in KGF.
Kolar Gold Field – Champion Reef Mine (Year 1910)
One of the gold mines – you can see this picture from the road
2. Kotilingeshwara temple: Kotilingeshwara temple is located at Kammasandra village around 6 km away from KGF bus stand. Regular buses are available to and fro. The speciality of this temple is it has 1 crore Shiva lingas(statues) in various shapes. People visiting this temple make wishes and if their wishes come true then they install a Shiva linga in their name. Lingas are available in various denominations costing in between Rs 3000 – Rs 50,000. The temple also have various other deities like Shantoshi maa etc. At the middle there is a huge 110 feet shiva linga and a Nandi in granite. Also, there is a tree wherein you can tie a rope after you perform puja(prayer) with the rope and can make wish as you like. The temple is an awesome sight with Shiva lingas all over.
1. Bytarayappana Betta: Bytarayappana Betta (hill) is located in Dodduru Karapanahalli near Aalamaram of Kolar Gold Fields in Kolar district. It has got a temple dedicated to lord Shiva who is worshipped as Bytrayappa. One can find some caves on this hill which is believed to have been used by human ancestors. The view from top of the hill is really beautiful, one can see the city of Kolar and the mining town of Kolar Gold Fields.
2. Bethamangala: Bethamangala is a small town in the Bangarpet Taluk of Kolar District, located 7 km from KGF and 3 km from Kotilingeshwara temple. It has interesting history starting from the days of Ganga rulers and a large man made lake from the British era. This large lake is popular picnic spot and it used to be the place of week excurisions of the British workers of KGF. This the source of water supply to KGF. From this lake the Palar river originates from underground. One should visit the Vijayendra temple of Ganga period which was modified by the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar rulers.
3. Budikote: Budikote or the “Fort of Ash” is a small village situated in Bangarpet Taluk of Kolar District, located around 20 km from KGF. It derives its name from an old fort located here. It is also the birth place of Hyder Ali, father of Tipu Sultan (earlier ruler of Mysore). There is nothing much to see and if you are time crunched, you may give this place a miss.
4. Guttahalli: Guttahalli is a small village in the Kolar district located around 15 kms from KGF, 29 km from Kolar, 21 km from Bangarpet and just 3 km from Bethamangala. It is famous for the Lakshmi-Venkateshwara temple also known as Chikka Tirupathi (Small Tirupathi). I am little confused if Bangaru Tirupathi and Chikka Tirupathi are the same.