Devarayana Durga Trip

Travel Date: 13-January-2008
Location: Devarayana Durga (68 kms from Bangalore, 94Kms from Bangalore via Tumkur, 14Kms from Tumkur).
Mobile: Network available at the certain places like the bottom of the hills and some places near the top (Airtel and Reliance).
Bus: Direct bus available from KSRTC bus stand Bangalore Platform No: 3 at 8:00 am in the morning. Return direct buses are available at 3:30 pm and 4:00 pm.

Devarayana Durga (DD) is dotted with two main temples mainly the ‘Yoganarasimha’ Temple and the ‘Bhoganarasimha’ Temple. The hilltop gives a splendid view of the surrounding areas. About 3-4Kms from DD is another place called ‘Namada Chilume’.

Devarayana Durga

From Wikipedia entry, the history of DD is as under:

The place was originally known as Anebiddasari then as Jadakana Durga after a chief named Jadaka and finally as Devarayana Durga subsequent to its capture by Mysore king Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar.

Tradition relates that a robber chief named Andhaka or Lingaka had his stronghold here, and he was subdued by sumati, a prince, whose father, Hemachandra, was the king of Karnata and ruled from Yadupattana. On accomplishing the enterprise on which he had set forth, Sumathi is said to have established the city of Bhumandana near the present Nelamangala and taken up residence there for the protection of that part of his fathers kingdom.

Under the Hoysalas, there seems to have been, on the hill, a town called Anebiddasari or the precipice where the elephant fell. A rogue elephant, which the sthala purana describes as a Gandharva suddenly appeared before the town to the great consternation of the people and after doing considerable mischief, tried to walk up the steep rock on the west, when it slipped, fell back and was killed. The hill is accordingly called as Karigiri in the Puranas.

Under the Vijayanagara Kings, the use of the same name continued, and a large tank, named Bukkasamudra, was formed after throwing an embankment across the gorge from which the river Jayamangali has its source. Remains of the embankment and of the adjacent town can still be traced.

Coming to the details of the trip, early in the morning I and my friend missed the direct bus which leaves Bangalore at 8:00 am, as we were unaware of the timing we reached there at 8:05 am and the bus had left by then. We then took one of the numerous KSRTC buses which head to Tumkur (Cost Rs 36/- per head). The journey was quite fine, infact the middle section of the journey was quite wonderful due to very good road condition.

We finally reached Tumkur at 10:10 am. When we enquired at the bus stand only to find that the next direct bus is at 12:30pm. After a bit of looking around we found out that there are private buses to a place which is about 6Kms from DD. Hence we took the risk of having to walk around 6Kms and took the private bus (Cost Rs. 5/- per head) which left at 10:30am. We reached the cross road we were supposed to start walking at around 11:00 am. We began our long walk, but within a few minutes a kind gentleman offered us a lift in his car. He was a rice mill owner and he enquired about us and gave us a lot of information about the place.

We quickly reached the ‘Bhoganarasimha’ temple situated at the foot, we went inside the temple had a quick look around. Had Idli (Cost Rs. 10/- per plate consisting of 3 Idliys) at a small shop near the temple and our gentleman again offered us a lift to the top of the hills. The vehicles can go a good 2Kms through the zig zag road towards the top. But to reach the temple one has to climb a good few hundred steps. Here again we had a quick look at the temple, the temple is good and we had a good time there.

Pond at Devarayana Durga

Outside the temple is a small pond and beside that is the way to go right to the top of the hills. We ventured on the pathways, no steps here and went towards the top, we had to navigate through some rocks, narrow pathways before reaching the top. The top of the hill has some building structure which I am unable to say what. It looks like a place where the person keeping watch would rest.

View from top of Devarayana Durga

This place offered splendid view of the places around and it was quite a wonderful experience to be able to stand there with the cold breeze blowing. It took me to a totally different world all together. It was an experience which cannot be put down in words. People say what do you get by going up the hills, I say you have to climb one and see the view from the top to really understand the true feeling.

At around 2:00 pm we headed down the hills towards the bottom of the hills where we had first gone. This is the place where the buses stand. We quickly had our lunch (Puliogare – Cost Rs. 15/- per plate) at the same place where we had Idli’s in the morning. We though of heading back to Bangalore by the 3:30 bus. But finally at around 2:45pm we decided to walk the 3-4Kms to ‘Namada Chilume’, how could we miss this place which is so near by and we had so much time in our hands.

Hence we walked….walked…and walked….the roads were deserted expect for the old vehicles which were passings by. We had a great time walking through the area which was fully covered by trees, hence we did not feel the sun much. We were hoping to see the Yellow throated Bulbul which can be found here, but alas we could not spot any on the way.

Namada Chilume

We reached ‘Namada Chilume’ at around 3:20pm. . Myth has it that Rama on his way to Lanka halted here. As he did not find water anywhere around to wet the “nAma” (a kind of paste Hindus apply on their forehead), he shot an arrow into the ground, and a spring sprang and thus the name ‘Namada Chilume’. The spring can be still seen as a small stream of water coming out of the ground. The actual source is completely barricaded, hence they have made another hole into which the water flows from where people can collect the water. There is also an foot impression of Lord Sri Rama near that, which I surprisingly missed out and did not notice. There is also a deer park in the same campus. The entry fees to the place is Rs.3 per head.

Just opposite to ‘Namada Chilume’ is a nursery of medicinal plants which is being maintained by the forest department. This place is also good, but we could not stay longer as we had to catch a private bus (Cost Rs. 6/- per head) going to Tumkur which arrived here sharp at 4:30pm by which we reached Tumkur by 5:00pm. We had juice to gain some energy and quieten our thirst and left Tumkur by KSRTC bus (Cost Rs. 36/- per head) at 5:20pm. We reached Bangalore by 7:30 pm.

Tips/Suggestions

  • Always take the direct bus available as they do via the nearest route, unlike us who went via Tumkur.
  • If you are going by a private vehicle there are other places which can be visited near by, one which I can recollect is ‘Shivagange’, please ask around and you will surely find quite a few options.
  • The total expenses incurred by us for the journey was Rs. 131/- per head including the tickets and the food. Hence it is quite a cheap trip if you go by bus. Still cheaper if you can pack and take you food along. Though the small shop offering food is quite reasonably priced.
  • Do not just go till the temple at the top and return, instead climb further to the top for the ultimate experience.

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