Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Weekend Getaway 46: Antharagange Temple, Kolar

Date: 28th May 2017

Visitors: Pic below

Timing: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Fee: None

Main Deity: Lord Shiva

After visiting Kotilingeshwara temple we visited the Shiva temple in Antharagange. The place is famous among trekkers. We reached the place around 1:15 PM and it was bit hot. Early morning will be the ideal time to trek and explore the caves of Antharagange. We decided to visit only the temple and keep the trek for some other morning. The place is scenic surrounded by rocky mountain and tall trees. There are guides at the parking who can help explore the caves. The seven villages on top of the hill can be accessed either trekking or by vehicle.

190+ steps lead us to the temple of Lord Shiva and the Sacred stream. Beware of the monkeys that are ready to snatch any eatable.

The source of the sweet sacred water is unknown. We saw people trying to take bath in that water.

There is no option for food. One shop sells water and snacks so better carry food and water.

There is a viewing point on the left from where we can get the glimpse of the rocky mountain. The huge rocks near by offers opportunity for some nice profile pics.

Harsh for the first time did not complete the walk. He caught cold and threw up few times the previous night. He became tired after climbing few steps so Shilpi and Harsh went back to the TT.

The place is a ideal picnic spot for Bangaloreans. Adding this to list of places to visit this year.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Weekend Getaway 45: Kotilingeshwara temple, Kolar

Date: 28th May 2017

Visitors: Pic below.

Fee: Entry Rs 20, Camera Rs 100. No fee for mobile.

Timing: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Main Deity: Lord Shiva in the name of Manjunatha

This year was temple visit for the kids rather than malls or any game parlor. As part of the trip we planned to visit the famous Kotiligeshwara temple in Kolar. Surprisingly a group of 13 people got ready on planned time however the trip got delayed by 45 min because of other factors. We left home at 7:45 and the traffic already build up near KR puram area. Had to wait in a long Hoskote toll queue. Again waiting for table at SLV hotel for breakfast. After all the wait we reached the temple at 10:45 AM. There was a good amount of vehicles parked. We got the tickets and went to the temple. The temple complex has many smaller shrines for various gods. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva idols can be found in one shrine. There are only very few temples for Lord brahma in India, the main one in pushkar, Rajasthan.  There are currently 90 lakh Shiva linga of various size and shape kept in Kotilingehwara temple. The devotees can purchase linga in the temple and place it somewhere in the temple complex.

Also read about the Ramalingeshwara Temple, Avani

Apart from shiva Linga you can find idols of few other gods as well. The cost varies for all shape and size.

The first Shiva linga, Manjunatha was kept in 1980 and now after 37 years it has reached to the count of 90 Lakhs.

The devotees can keep the lingas and it costs somewhere between 4500 to 6000Rs for installing a linga in the temple complex.

And you can also find Shiva lingas installed by the fans of some celebrity. We saw 2 Rajinikanth, 1 Kamalhasan and a Jayalalitha Lingas installed right in front of the huge Linga.

The 108ft Linga is one of the biggest Shiva lingas in the world. The nandi is 35ft big.

The place is more of a tourist spot and with bahubali mania you can find people giving pose trying to lift Shiva Lingas.

A second bigger Shiva Linga and Nandi is also installed newly. We did not see that last time where we visited.

People who have installed lingas also perform pooja for their lingas of special occasions. The pooja for all lingas is performed by a group of priests everyday.

Like any other Shiva temple, this too gets crowded during Shivarathri festival.

There are few shops outside the temple selling photos and idols. There is also a small hotel but not sure of the food taste and quality.

The kotilingeshwara temple is one of famous tourist place around Bangalore. The other famous places like Antara gange, Kolaramman temple, Someshwara temple can be combined together and made an one day trip from bangalore.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend Getaway 44: Sri Ramalingeswara Temple, Avani

Date: 14th May 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi Harsh, Radheshyam, Usha, Sourav and Aarush

Fee: None

Sri Ramalingeswara temple, Avani is located around 100Kms from Bangalore. On the way back from Sri Kalahasthi we saw the board pointing to Avani. It was only 4:30 PM so we decided to take a detour and visit the place. It happened to be a good decision. When we reached the temple there were few people. There was a male and feminine guards on duty. When inquired for a guide they themselves accompanied us and gave a good overview of the temple and its rich history. The temple is around 1000 years old. After winning the war against Ravana, Lord Ram prayed to Lord Shiva in Rameshwaram first and he made second stop in this place. It is actually a group of temples with Ramalingeshwara being the main shrine. Lord Ram worshiped the Shiva linga here. The other shrines are lakshmanalingeswara, Bharatheswara, Satrugalingeshwara, Vali and Shugriva temple, Vigneshwara, Subramanya temple and Navagrahas. The Linga in Lakshmanalingeshwara shrine is the biggest of all the lingas inside the complex. Sita Devi gave birth to Lava Kusha on the near by hill. The legend says that Lava Kusha stopped the Ashvamedha horse and was about to fight with their father without knowing it. Lord Hanuman arranged 3 stones one on top of other so that Sita Devi could see from hill top and stop the war. Those stones can be still found on the hill. We did not have time to climb up so we decided to visit the place again. Its said the stone utensils used by Sita Devi is still there on the hill. Another post on all the interesting stories about the hills coming soon after visit.

Also read about Anthargange temple.

Few pics from the place.

Ornate pillars in the temple.

Beautiful roof carvings.

Subramanya Temple.

Ganji Mantapa, Where the food was prepared for the people who constructed the temple.

Ramalingeshwara temple.

Small stone pillars.

Rear view of the Vimana.

Another view of all three Vimanas.


Vali and Sugriva temple.


Group pic infront of Ramanjaneya shrine.

It would be nice if such a significant religious place gets additional visibility and maintenance. There are many must visit places around Bangalore and this for certain gets into top 5.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekend Getaway 43: Srikalahasti Temple, Srikalahasti

Date: 14th May 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi Aarush, Radheshyam, Usha, Sourav and Harsh

Fee: Rs 50. Free available as in all temples. The price for Rahu Ketu pooja varies from 300-5000.

Main Deity: Lord Shiva

Srikalahasti temple is the only panchabhoota sthala present outside of Tamil Nadu. Other 4 panchabhootha sthala are
Lord shiva in this temple represents wind (vayu). This temple is famous for the rahu ketu pooja and we saw various places offering the pooja service at varying cost. As always the low cost one was crowded and pooja was performed in a hall. The 2500Rs one was performed inside the main shrine and were only limited people. There were poojas for 500 and 1500 as well. The temple is around 1500 years old and its the only temple in India which is not closed during solar and lunar eclipse. There is a smaller temple on top of the adjoining hill for Kannapa nayanar. He was one of the 63 nayanars. The legend says he was ready to offer both his eyes when he saw the blood was oozing from the shiva linga. Shiva moved by his devotion stopped him and gave him back the eyesight. 
The temple was bit crowded when we reached but it was moving fine. There are many smaller shrines inside including Ganesha and Karthikeyan. We climbed up to the kannapar temple on the hill to get the full view of the temple. The view the beautiful and it would have been even pleasant if there was water in Swarnamukhi river. 
Few pics from the place.

One of the famous Hindu temples dedicated to lord Shiva and a must visit place.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Things to remember while visiting Tirupati

We visited Venkateswara temple in Tirupati on 13th May 2017. In this post we tried to give some information that one needs to remember while visiting the temple. The temple gets 50K to 100K visitors everyday. This increases on special festivals. With so many people visiting, the rules are strict and needs to be followed at any cost to not cause any inconvenient situation.

Few things to remember.


Book the tickets online from the ttd website.
Make sure you provide the correct ID proof and make sure to carry the same.
Kids below 5 years does not need any proof. Kids between 5-12 years need to carry ID proof to get free entry. Adults need to carry the exact same ID proof that was given during ticket booking. You can select any time slot as per your convenience. Tickets can also be booked on behalf of others.
Carry the print out of the ticket.

Dress code:

Kids are allowed with pant. Adults are supposed to wear full pant or dhothi. There are people selling dhothi outside and they tell trousers are not allowed and try to sell you their stuff. We saw men wearing jeans and was allowed inside. However it will be good if people went in traditional dress.


No luggage is allowed inside. There is cloak room in multiple places and all the belongings can be deposited in there. No electronic device allowed inside. Mobile, camera and footwear should be deposited and slip collected. The luggage can be collected from the common area. All the things are transferred from ATC cloak room in small lorries. If you do not wish to click pictures of the temple outside leave the mobile and camera in car else leave it in cloak room so you dont have to walk back a lot.

Check post:

Stop the car, let other passengers to go through the security check. Driver needs to be with the car. Need to open the trunk as well as the bonnet of the car and let the security inspect it.


Do not stop the car while driving up unless you spot a really big place to pull over. Since its one way the vehicles turn very fast in the curves. There are many speed breakers (but small ones) while coming down so do not speed. There are few designated parking areas but the hill is too big and there are many places to park on the road side.


It is going to be crowded any day of the year. Make up your mind to wait atleast an hour or more. If you can get darshan before that then you could be really lucky. As in any place where its crowded in India do not expect people following queue.


You are allowed to carry water bottle. Sometimes the wait gets too long and definitely people need water. The water bottles are allowed in a bag.

You are Welcome.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Weekend Getaway 42: Sri Venkateswara Temple, Thirumala Tirupati

Date: 13th May 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi Harsh, Radheshyam, Usha, Sourav and Aarush

Fee: Rs 300 booked from the temple website. Toll Rs 30.

Timing: I guess full day. Cars are not allowed up from 12 midnight to 2 AM.

Main Deity: Lord Venkateswara, incarnation of Vishnu.

6 year ago we were pushed, pulled, crushed, waited for 4 hours and finally came out without worshiping. 6 years later it was the same except that we stood only for an hour and finally had the blessing of Lord Balaji. We had booked for 4 PM slot on 13th. We reached haritha hotel in kalahasti at 11:45 AM itself. The hotel is bit faraway from Tirupati. We rested for couple of hours and started at 1:30 from the hotel. We reached the base at 2:00 PM. After the checking at the toll we drove up the thirumala hills. The good part about the drive is its a separate route for climbing up and down. The view from the hills was beautiful but there are very few places to stop. The view especially while coming down in night is breathtaking. The view of tirupati under light was truly mesmerizing at while coming down after sunset. We struggled a bit to find the ATC parking area where the Rs 300 ticket holders need to report. We parked the car a near the Indian coffee house and walked to the parking area. We had few pain moments and a separate post on what to do and not to do coming up soon. After we got our tickets checked we joined the line. We kept moving at slow pace but we thought its fine as long as we move. We were expecting huge crowd as it was saturday evening and holiday season. We managed to get the darshan of Lord venkateswara in an hour and half which was not bad. We had more trouble in the crowd while coming out than while going in. The exit was closed for 15 min for the uthsavar to be brought in. This caused more people to be gathered to get out and it became unmanageable. The door is small and either people can go out or come in. The guard block one side and let people in and then block other and let people out. Harsh and I came out first but other got stuck and came out after 10 min. One thing i regret is leaving phone in car. The temple was decorated beautifully with serial lights. We did not have any phone to take pic. We could have deposited the phone in the cloak room and took it back after coming out. Anyway we came out had some snacks and again made a long walk back to car. We reached the hotel around 9:45, had dinner and fell asleep immediately.

Also read about Srikalahasthi temple near Tirupathi.

Few pics from the visit.

Expect the pushing, shoving and squeezing. If you do not like it just don't go instead of cribbing.

Arulmigu Kuzhandhai Velayutha Swami Temple, Kurunthamalai

Date: 30th April 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Timing: 7:00 AM to 12 Noon, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Fee: Parking Rs 20

Main Deity: Lord Murugan

After confirming the pooja timings in Madeswara temple kuttayiur we reached Kurunthamalai at 6:30 PM. We were not aware the temple will be closed very soon. During festivals the temple will be open for longer time. The person at the parking asked us to rush as the temple will be closed at 7. There were some 50+ steps to climb up. There are small shrines for lord ganesha and karupanna swamy on the way up. There were only couple of people only before us and they too were leaving. The temple is located on the small hillock and the evening views from the top is amazing. The idol of lord murugan was decorated beautifully and we had a nice darshan in temple. We were there till the closing time and climbed down. The temple gets lot of visitors from the nearby and faraway places during the festivals like thaipoosam and tamil new year. There is also a shrine for Lord hanuman on a smaller hillock opposite.

Few pics from the temple.

On the way to the temple.

Main entrance to the temple.

Steps leading up.

View of the temple.

Inside the temple.

Temple bell.

Other smaller shrines.

Hanuman temple.

Beautiful temple and a nice place to visit.

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