Trip to Shivaganga

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This was my first long distance tour on a two wheeler. Thanks to my friend for giving her scooty for long time. With this scooty teenz I horned my driving skills and that I am able to ride on Bangalore roads now. My research showed Shivaganga is around 60 km from Bangalore and we will have to go via Dobbaspet. We decided to take Honda Dio for this trip as we felt TVS scooty Teenz may not support such a long journey through we have taken Teenz on our trip to BIAL and Devanahalli. I reached Rajajinagar around 9.45 am. There I test driven the Dio and somehow was I was not that comfortable, particularly with the brake. Following this we decided to take the Teenz.

Route: From Rajajinagar one has to take Dr. Rajkumar road – Yeshwantpur – Tumkur road – one would see two yellow colour boards erected by the tourism board showing distance of sightseeing destinations – little after the second yellow board one would see a white cement erected board telling “Shivaganga 6 km, take left” – however this board is written in kannada – if you do not know to read Kannada, keep asking people after the second yellow board for this shortcut direction. Route Via Dobbespet is longer. However, if you want to go by public transport, you will have to go via Dobbaspet.

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On the way we filled the tank. This scooty Teenz has an issue of not using the fuel from the reserve. Got to report this in the next servicing. Driving on the highway is relatively easier than the city roads. However, one has to be careful of the speeding bus, trucks and the construction of a flyover which is going on around Jalahalli cross.

We decided to re-visit Vishwa Shanti Ashram on the way in Arasinakunte. This would give little rest to the vehicle and also we can see the ashram in day light. Last time, when we visited here – it was almost evening. After half an hour, we started again for Shivaganga. From here Shivaganga is around 35 km. After Nelamangala you will get a toll gate, two wheelers can ride through the side. As I saw there is no charge for two wheelers, while others have to pay. While traveling on the highway to Tumkur, you can see a hill on the left hand side traveling along with you. It is Shivaganga hill, where we were visiting.

Once you are on the narrow shortcut route as described above, you will start to get a feeling of country side. This one road will take you directly to Shivaganaga. On way is an intersection, do not take left or right, just keep riding straight. The left turn goes to Manchanabele dam around 47 km from there. In fact if you take this road you can come out at Mysore road via Manchanabele dam and Dodda Alada Mara (Big Banyan Tree).

For two wheeler parking you will have to pay Rs 10 at the entrance of the pilgrim center. For 4 wheelers the tariff is higher. You can park your vehicle anywhere near the steps which takes you to the top. If you are not carrying water or food, it is the place to buy. If you are climbing till the top of the hill then you must carry water and some food. However, be careful of monkeys. Shivaganga almost resembles a monkey kingdom.

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After climbing the steps little bit, you will find a Durga devi temple on the right hand side. Little further on a plateau is the main Shiva temple. It said the Shiva linga is self origin in nature and has been here even during the time of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. The temple structures has been built by the local chieftain Kempe Gowda. Inside the chamber where the Shiva linga is located, there is a chamber where Kempe Gowda is said to have keep jeweleries and precious things. And on the left hand side corner there is tunnel which is said to go till Gavi Gangadeshwara temple in Basawanagudi in Bangalore. The temple authorities have has left a small opening now. I tried to use the searchlight of from a mobile phone but was not able to see anything. It was pitch dark. Outside the main chamber there is statue of Nandi and a Shiva statue made of metal.

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Just before entering the Shiva temple, on the right hand side a narrow lane leads to Patala Ganga. Here, you can see a small reservoir of water inside a cave between two giant monolithic rock. One can get down through steep steps to reach the water. No is sure where from the water is coming. Entrance fee is Rs 2.

Now the actual climb starts along the body of the hill. Next stop is Olakala Teertha. Here too, the entrance fee is Rs 2. Located inside a cave, one has to go down through steps. First, you will be able to see Shiva idol there and then around scantam sanatorium one need to take a round. Here, one will find a water source inside the rock. One has to insert their hand full length to touch the water. The water here is considered holy and no is sure where from it is coming.

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If you notice, you will find some nice flowers

From here, the difficult part of the trekking starts. Old people, children or if one is scared of heights may not go beyond this stage. Advisable to climb in group. On the way you will have to climb steep rocks where steps have been carved out. Take the help of iron railings for support. The first took may scare you little but you can do it. Just keep in mind, you have to be careful. Along the climbing route, one can see an awesome view of the surrounding. Little below the top, there is summit where we took rest. I was almost exhausted and slept flat on a stone. There is a shop where you can buy tea/cofee,snacks,water or fries (locally called bhajis).

After taking rest, you can start for the last and most difficult section of the journey to the top. Here at one place the rock is very steep and windy. So be careful and hold the iron railings for support. On the top you will find few more temples and a Nandi statue. From there it feels like you are at the top of the world. A nice panaromic views awaits who reach there. The top point is also know as Shantala point, as queen Shantala, wife Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana is said to have commited suicide by jumping from here.

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It takes a complete day to see Shivaganga completely. It is advisable to start early in the morning. Through the shortcut route Shivaganga is around 50 km from Bangalore. On the way back we noticed a temple in white marble. We decided to visit there. We found it was Prabhadevi mata mandir (seems to be a Jain temple). The temple is still under construction. It is a nice place to visit. Reached Rajajinagar around 8 pm and still we did not had lunch. Had Bangra fish fry at Empire Family Dabha, Rajajinagar. I reached home by 9 pm. This sudden one day trekking after a long time has taken a toll. I had got cramp on my right knee and was limping little bit while climbing down the hill too.

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Mountain goat – I have never seen such a large goat

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Read my earlier post about Shivaganga for more info. If you have some other info or any suggestion, please leave a comment.