Omkar Hills/Omakara Betta Trip

Travel Date: 19-July-2008
Location: Omkar Hills, Near Rajarajeshwari Nagar
Mobile: Full network coverage available (Tested on Airtel, except at the top of the hill).
Transportation: Take any BMTC #225 or #222 bus from KR Market (Tipu’s fort)
Food: Better to carry if planning to stay for long.\

Omkar Hills also known as Omkara betta is situated about 4 to 5 Kms off the Mysore Road and is one of the lesser known places for weekend hangout. Situated at an altitude of 2,800 ft it is one of the highest points in the city of Bangalore and offers an magnificent view of southern Bangalore. Another attraction of this place is the very huge clock built by HMT, more about this later.

Coming back to the complete details, I started off to Omkara hills by getting on a route 225 BMTC bus from KR Market (Next to Tipu’s fort) at 12:10 pm, I am compelled to believe all the #225 and #222 route buses go till very close to the Omkara hills, but it is always best to confirm with the conductor/driver before getting in. As most of the people may not be aware of the place, the next best identification of this place is Rajarajeshwari Nagar and JSS college.

The bus continued on the Mysore road (halting for a brief while at satellite bus stand) till the huge arch leading to Rajarajeshwari Nagar and then turned left to reach Rajarajeshwari Nagar and continued on, I am not sure which place the bus was going, but I got down at the JSS college stop and after a short walk reached the JSS college at around 12:55 pm.



I could see the hill top from the road itself, the untarred road just before the entrance of the JSS college seemed to lead to the hill top. This is where my stupid brain took over, instead of asking for the proper path to the top of the hills, I thought since this is not a very popular place the roads might not be tarred and continued. This is when I heard the big gong going off to indicate that it was 1pm. I continued walking for a good 6-10 mins in the slum like place then finally managed to get to the top of the hills from the backside jumping the fence!! This is when I saw a tarred road coming to this place. (Note to self : Don’t under take any unwanted trekking expeditions, Also a traffic cop was booking a case against a vehicle opposite to JSS College, should have asked him.) So the hill top should be a good 500-700 meters from JSS College.

Once on top hill there are a couple of things that caught my eye, the first is the very huge clock whose dial has a diameter of 24 ft. This clock was made by HMT and is assumed to be the second biggest clock (I would not bet on that…) and is told to be bigger than the Big Ben….yes the world famous clock situated in UK.

The other aspect of the clock which makes it unique is: (quoted from http://omkarhills.org/) :

At the commencement of every hour, the clock chimes the sound of couch (Shankanada) followed by “Om” five times. The Shankanada is meant to awaken the consciousness of everyone to the great truth which is revealed by five Omkara to follow. Om which is a combination of three syllables A, U and M – represents the three states of life (the waking, the dreaming and the deep sleep state), creation, existence and dissolution, etc. It is the hub of the wheel which represents all the gamut’s of our life.

Second thing that caught my eye was the beautiful view of Bangalore, though the new temple coming up in the premises blocks us getting the complete view, it is still a very good experience, the cold breeze blowing about….no one around to bother you…..this is a true untapped bliss.

May be the time I reached was the reason not many people being around, but there was sure a huge platoon of the special task force (police) ready for action. But sure had a great time spending a good hour and a half here.

Another attraction is the area surrounded by the banyan tree which is named the ‘Sarvadharma Samanvaya Peetha’ which means seat of equality for all religions. The tree is surrounded by eight mini shrines of different religions.

The hill is known for the beautiful view it offers of the sunset, but alas I could not wait for another 4-5 odd hours waiting for the sun to set. So I set off to another location near by called ‘Shidhar Gudda’, I took a bus from near the JSS college and got down two stops later, walked for a good quarter kilometer only to see the place closed. It had visiting hours 8am-1pm and 5pm-8pm. So seeing no point in waiting around there I headed back to the bus stop. On reaching the bus stop I asked a person about the bus frequency, on knowing that I wanted to go to Kengeri bus stop he told it is better to walk as it is just half a kilometer away,

So I quickly walked to the bus stop and got into #227 bus back to the city. This is when I realised, If one starts early around 9am, one can go to not only the above two places but also to other two places I had already been namely ‘Dodda Alada Mara’ and ‘Muktinaga temple’ by boarding the #227 bus from Kengeri. And if one has a vehicle one can go till the Menchibele dam also.

All in all had a great mini trip and enjoyed every moment of it.

[Note: This was originally published on Jul 20, 2008 in my earlier blog nithinkamath.info which is no longer under my control]

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