Place: Adichunchanagiri Hills / Adichunchanagiri Matta, Markonahalli Dam, Kunigal Lake
Distance: 111 km from Bangalore
Type: Temple and optional trek
Ideal for: Family and serenity seeker
Trek Difficulty: Very easy
Trek Length: Less than 1 kilometer
Trek Duration: 45 minutes
I'm running out of places around Bangalore to visit on a weekend :( that said, planning a trip around Bangalore has become more difficult for me now than it was ever. Well, Adichunchanagiri was on my list since long but since it was a more of a devotional place I'd skipped it until now.
Brief about the place: Adichunchanagiri in Nagamangala taluk of Mandya district is the holy land, engulfed with divine resonance and vibrant nature. It is believed that Lord Shiva performed penance here, during which he devoured two demon brothers, Chuncha and Kancha. Who were pestering people in the nearby villages for a long time
|Best of the beast: Blood in the tank, Fuel in the veins|
. Thereafter, the place came to be known as Adichunchanagiri and Chunchanakote. Lord Shiva also assured that he would reside at Adichunchanagiri in the form of Panchalingas — Lord Gangadhareshwara, Chandramouleshwara, Malleshwara, Siddeshwara, and Someshwara. The place thus came to be known as ‘Panchalinga Kshetra’. This temple is the only one dedicated to Lord Kalabhairava in south India and no such temple has been constructed in the past 500 years.
Saturday Morning: I got up and 5.30 and I hit the road at 6.30 in the morning. The first thing I do soon after the ride starts is - have a hot cup of tea to kick start the journey but today was I was not in that mood. After Nelamangala I took a left turn which leads to the Hassan-Mangalur highway. This was the first time I was riding on this stretch, the 4 lanes national highway was a treat to the riders like us with less traffic. After around 60 kilometers I saw this beautiful Begur lake to the left so decided to take the first photo break. This obscure place was a heaven for photographers like me. There were so many different kinds of birds by the lake and the lake itself was spellbound by the morning sun rays.
|National Highway 75 was a treat to ride|
After half an hour of break, we started riding back at 9 am. It was an ideal time for breakfast and that hop cup of tea which I missed in the morning. There were so many restaurants on the highway and fortunately we stopped at this interesting place called "Kicchana Halli Mane". Great ambiance was complimented by tasty food. We ordered Idli-Vada and Mangalore buns to please our tummy. The tea was excellent here. We resumed the ride soon after breakfast.
|The buns look like a human face. isn't it?|
|Found this cute little puppy near a lake|
|Beautiful lotus flower|
Adichunchanagiri: After another break for a photo shoot, we finally reached Adichunchanagiri. Surprisingly, there were not many people around given the fact that it was a weekend. I parked the bike under shade and started walking towards the temple. After climbing around 200 odd steps we reached the main temple. We deposited shoes and luggage at the shoe counter (better to get rid of the heavy backpack as you have to do a little bit of trekking later on). It was 11 am in the morning but the sun rays were sharp. We started walking towards the main temple.
|Me giving a swag pose everytime we stop for a break|
|View of the Adichunchanagiri hills we will be covering today|
|Statue of Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji, who has immensely contributed to the field of education, medicine, and other fields through the mutt.|
|Nicely constructed stairs to reach the temple atop|
|Gigantic statues of dwarapalak at the entrance|
|As you climb you can get a complete view of the surrounding place|
Kalabhairava Temple: In 2008, a magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Kalabhairaveshwara has constructed at a cost of Rs 85 crore by Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji. As many as 1,200 people, including sculptors, toiled round-the-clock over nine years to make Swamiji’s dream temple a reality. It is entirely constructed using stones. Doors, pillars, ceiling, everything at the temple is in stone and there are about 64 different varieties of Bhairava statues.
|While I stepped back to climb the chain, few others climbed till the peak|
|Yet another cave temple at the peak|
I decided to go to the other peak which was relatively easy and need to cross boulders using iron roads only. There was a small cave temple on the way beyond which the second toughest pass of the trek was waiting for us. In the beginning, it looked scary but wasn't much difficult to cross. We reached a large flat area where there was a big lamp on the right. Maybe it will be lit up during auspicious occasions only. We sat there for some time enjoying the cold breeze and mesmerizing view.
|Shivalinga inside the cave temple|
|Oil lamp at the peak. This is the end point of the trek|
|Disconnect from the world to connect to yourself|
|Me enjoying the view of the surroundings|
It was 2 pm by the time we decided to descend. The descent was quick and easy. After having lunch at dasoha we left the place. I was happy to see the bike and helmets were safe and sound. I did want to visit the pushkarani but somehow we forgot about visiting it.
Markonahalli Dam: I navigated to Markonahalli Dam on the way back to Bangalore. We reached the dam in 40 minutes. There was a medium crowd at the place most of them were families with kids. The place was beautiful, the backwater was looking serene. It was sunny so we struggled to find a shaded place to sit and relax. I took a power nap for 15 minutes. I really wanted to watch the sunset from this place but it was just 4.30 in the evening. Waiting for more than an hour to watch the sunset didn't feel like a good idea so we decided to visit Kunigal lake which was another 25 kilometers away.
|Watching sunset would be amazing from this point|
Kunigal lake: If you are one those 90's kids then definitely you would have heard the song moodal kunigal kere. It was a very famous song in Kannada during early 2000. I did want to see the lake just for this reason. GPS navigation wasn't much help to find the exact entry point to the lake so we inquired locals for the directions.
|It was almost sunset time but we decided to go to Kunigal lake in the meantime|
|Anybody remembers this song?|
The lake was huge but it wasn't as beautiful as I had imagined while listing to the old song. Neither we could get a good view of the sunset from this point. This lake is not much popular with the tourists but there were so many localities who had come near the lake for the evening walk and to chill out with their friends and family.
|The lake wasn't as beautiful as expected though|
It was dark already so we decided to head back to Bangalore. another 70 kilometers didn't feel like a big deal to me. I wanted to have a hot cup of tea but sadly there were no restaurants on the left side. Though there were many good restaurants on the right. I reached Bangalore at 7 am and my home at 8 pm. It was an amazing ride
Conclusion: Adichunchanagiri is an excellent place to visit with your family. Or even if you are a devotional person this is a perfect place for you. You can't expect much on the trekking side but overall the place is a good call for a day's trip.
1. How to reach on Bus: Catch the buses going towards Mangalore, Hassan, and Chikmagalore and get down near Bellur Cross and take an auto or other buses to reach Adichunchanagiri, which is around six km from the Cross.
2. The temple would be open from morning 6 till evening at 8.30 pm. there is no closing time in the afternoon
3. Dasoha will be open till 3.30 in the afternoon so make use of the facility.
4. Climbing the hill could be difficult for aged persons.
5. Markonahalli Dam is an ideal place to witness sunset so plan your trip accordingly and don't miss it like the way I did.
I am getting sad so nice blog post but why our bloggers are not stopping here?ReplyDelete
Yes exactly. Most of the people are not aware of this place. Hope it will get attention soonDelete