I took my car for a day trip to Bangara-Tirupathi and Kotilingeshwara temple on Sunday at 7.30 AM with my family. The places are around 90KM east of Bangalore, via Hoskote. Passing several under-construction flyovers on NH4, we reached Kolar from where we took Bangarapet road towards right. An unexpected rain was accompanying us all over the journey. Around 9Am, we reached SN Veg Restaurant. The place was quite and cold with not many people around. But they served us with very good breakfast of Idli/Vada, Masala dosa and Masala tea.
The road from Kolar to Bangarapet is great with several straight stretches, moderate greenery and with a little traffic. After reaching Bangarpet, we took left turn towards Bethamangala. We passed by the BEML, and Kotilingeshwara temple [we thought of stopping there while returning] we reached Bethamangala. The ride further, taking a left turn after a small sign indicating Bangaru-Tirupathi, was lonely without many people on the way. In an occasion, I thought we lost the way, but the temple appeared suddenly from solitude. It was a small place with rocks, with a few shops and temple.
Temple was not at all crowded. The welcome signs inside the main Gopura are the Pushkarani [almost one-fourth size of that in Tirupathi] and a photo showing the head-shaving provision. After second Gopura and Navagraha mandapa, steps to the hill-top Sanctum start. It was not steep, but there are around 50 steps, wet due to rain, but not slippery. The deity, Lord Venkateshwara blesses everybody through a small window with 6 holes. After coming down from the hill and surviving a beggar-flock, we visited temple dedicated to Godess Padmavati, situated on top of another nearby hill.
We returned from that place and reached Kotilingeshwara temple. There was paid car parking, and place was crowded despite the rain. The place was well constructed and guided unlike Bangaru-Tirupathi. Several shops selling toys, pooja items and dolls are present on all sides of the temple. After entering the temple, I felt like I am in the middle of ocean of Shivalingas. Temples dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara, Venkiteswara, Parvati, Ganesha, etc stood in that ocean. A huge Shivalinga and Nandikesha were the main attractions. The Annadaana hall has prasada-lunch every day from 12.00 noon till 2PM. The food [comprised of sweet-pongal, curd-rice, pulao and rasam-rice] was simple but tasty.
Ocean of Shivalingas
We started back at around 1.30PM. I decided to drive back via Tekal/Malur/Hoskote. This was appeared to be bad with full of potholes. The incessant rain added to my agony. But I enjoyed the drive, especially the Tekal stretch. At one point of time I felt like the road has come to an end with the huge hillocks and rocks in front of the car. It was just a dream though!! I was not able to photograph several parts due to the rain hitting hard on my glasses, but when it subsided a little I took a snap. I have edited the same to show my dream. In another occasion, I got scared as there was not a human-being around for miles and just vacant land and rocks staring us, with the pot-holed road in the middle! We reached back Bangalore at 5PM. I wanted to visit Antharagange and Kolaramma temple/lake at Kolar, but the rain washed my dreams away.
Thanks to Mr. B.V. Prakash for suggesting this place as a weekend getaway. Following blogs also helped