If you are looking for a short weekend destination near Bangalore, which is filled with a blend of mound, natural grandeur, excitements and spiritual worth; Shivagange is the place for you. Located nearly 60Kms from Bangalore and in a small town called Dobbaspet, touring Shivagange is an absolute delight for visitors.
The significance of this 804.8 meters elevated Shivagange mountain peak is its shape, which looks like a Shivalinga and there is a water spring that flows from the peak to the surface of earth. This divinely scenario appears as if the Ganges is flowing from the Shivalinga. Based upon this pious combination, the rocky terrain has been named as Shivagange. Today, Shivagange is turned to a popular Hindu pilgrimage near Bangalore surrounded by many holy shrines. This is the reason why Shivagange is also known as Kashi of South or Dakshina Kashi. Some of the prominent sacred shrines here are Patala Gange, Gangadhareshwara temple, Nandi Statue, Olakala Teertha, Sri Honnadevi Temple etc.
Besides its religious significance, the mountainous environs of the place offer you a thrilling trekking trail to reach atop the knoll. This 3-4km trekking trail caters an absolute delight to all adventure freaks who gather here for a spectacular trekking experience. Galore of natural exquisiteness with multiple water spots and picturesque vista around the territory makes Shivagange an ideal site for picnicking as well. So, explore a unique blend of adventure and pilgrimage at Shivagange near Bangalore.
Best time to visit:
Shivagange is a place that you can visit throughout the year. However, if you want to be there for trekking in particular, the best time is from October to March, when the weather is soothing and favourable. Being situated in a mound terrain, summers are not that hot in contrast, still you can feel the warmth. However, monsoon is not a good time for trekking and rock climbing, as the rocky terrain gets quite slippery due to rain.
Moving ahead, winters are quite pleasing at Shivagange and you can feel a restful atmosphere altogether atop the hill. Winter can best be felt here from December to February.
Places to see:
When at Shivagange, the place is laid out with some offbeat attractions to offer on the go. Starting from holy shrines to suicide point, the rich variety of Shivagange will fascinate your presence to a great extent. Let’s explore the key attractions at Shivagange hill:
Shivagange, the popular Hindu pilgrimage centre and a mound in Karnataka offers you a blend of temples and statues on the go. While trekking the knoll, you will come across some striking temples and statues that are positioned here in reverence of Hindu deities.
One such deity that will grab your attention at the first instance is Lord Ganesha. After scaling some initial steps of trekking, you will be welcomed by a statue of Lord Ganesha on the left side. It is believed that before starting a religious trek, taking the name of Lord Ganesha showers his blessings on all devotees and makes their trek quite relaxing and meaningful.
If you move further just opposite to the statue of Lord Ganesha, you will explore your next destination Patala Gange atop the hill. This place is called Patala Gange just because of the emerging water from the underground of the hill. You can observe two big rocks here filled with water, which further links the underground water to Antaragange in Kolar. It is said that with times, the level of water here keeps on changing. A rope is also provided aside the dark cave so that visitors can move ahead holding the rope.
After scaling 30 further steps, you will notice a statue of Nandi, which is beautifully positioned in the rock. As per Hindu mythology, Nandi is a bull, which is eminent as the holy mount of Lord Shiva. Heading right from here will take you to a monumental tower and a temple of Honnadevi. The surrounding stones and rock structure will offer you some embossed manuscripts in Kannada language.
Probably the most offbeat and surprising attraction is yet to be explored on the hill. Positioned at an elevation of nearly 500 meter atop the hill, stepping into Shantala’s Suicide Point stimulates all your wonders manifold. This spot is located opposite to the Nandi statue.
As the name suggests, the site is named after Shanthala Devi. She was the wife of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. It is said that Shanthala Devi jumped from this hill point out of depression, as she was unable to give birth to a baby. According to local people, before jumping from the hill, she prayed to Honnadevi temple.
After so many years since that incident, people still can hear the sound of her anklets after dusk. This is the reason people still flock this spot expecting something inexplicable things to witness. However, the suicide point is now encircled with fencing. Apart from its mystifying significance, Shantala’s Suicide Point is also popular for offering a picturesque vista from the peak. You will also find a small temple here, which often remains unnoticed by most of the visitors.
Railings and steep trail will lead you further to another attraction at Shivagange i.e. the temple of Gavigangadhareshwara. This holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Presence of earthen lamp keeps the low roofed temples enlightened. One of the significant occasions in this temple is during abhisheka, i.e. a holy ritual. It is said that the worship is done here with ghee, which turns to butter. Plenty of worshipers flock here to offer their reverence to Lord Shiva. There is also a dark cave next to the temple, which connects it to another holy temple of Gangadhareshwara in Bangalore. In addition, backdrop of the temple showcases some eye-catching carvings in the pillars. Thus, it can be said that visiting this temple at Shivagange is really a remarkable experience for all visitors.
One more temple that you may reveal on the go is Olkala Teertha, which is also dedicated to Lord Shiva. However, the key attraction here is the sacred spring that flows down the surface. You need to spend little money to access the temple. Few stalls are also there around the temple where you will find some religious goods to confer. There is also a small hole through which one can try to touch the holy water. It looks quite easy to touch the water putting your hand through the hole. But, the reality is something just opposite. According to the local inhabitants it is believed that only a spiritual person can touch the water. One more attraction here is the statue of Lord Shani, which is positioned on the other side of the hole.
Moving few meters further from Olkala Teertha, you may notice a queue of visitors. Don’t let the queue to deviate your patience. This is the place where visitors travel from long away to witness the holy Ganga water amidst the craggy knoll. It is said that since inception, the water has never disappeared from here. You can feel an amazing divinity once you touch the cold water here.
If you are tired of long trekking, there is nothing to fuss. Numbers of small vendors and stalls you will find on the go offering some decent eatables like bhelpuri, soft drinks, fruits, buttermilk etc. These will work as booster for you before you step ahead.
Your next destination on the peak is Shiva Parvati Statue. Nestled amidst big rocks, the elevated site of Shiva Parvati Statue offers you a splendour panorama. There is a small shelter as well that works as an absolute booster for a much needed break. This spot is often scaled by adventure lovers. However, avoid carrying any food items at this site. The reason being, this location is an abode to many monkeys that are good at snatching the foods from visitors.
Now, its time to get back to the plains. Once you reach the plains, you can commute to Tumkur by bus. On the way you will find several stalls where you can have tea and snacks.
Note: On your way back to the plains from the peak, it may take 1:30-2 hours time. Be watchful while crossing the steep steps on the hill. Some of the eatables atop the hill are available comparatively at higher prices.
Being one of the short weekend getaways in Karnataka, the place has no dearth of south Indian platters to meet your gastronomic needs on the go. You will come across various food stalls catering you light snacks, refreshing tea, biscuits and cake. In addition, few restaurants are there where you will find common south Indian dishes like dosa, idli, vada etc. However, atop the hill, the food stalls will showcase some much needed eatables like cucumber, cold drinks, buttermilk and bhelpuri.
Note: For trekkers, it is advisable not to carry much food for a comfortable excursion.
The best way to get there (Shivagange) is by road i.e. either by cab or by bus. However, for travellers outside Karnataka, flights and trains are also available but up to a certain location. Let’s see the convenient means of transport to reach Shivagange:
By Air: Nearest airport is Bangalore airport, which is located around 60Kms from Shivagange. This airport is ideal for both domestic as well as for international travellers. Once you reach airport, hire a taxi or get into a bus to travel further.
By Train: The best way to reach Shivagange by train is through Tumkur. There are several trains from Bangalore to Tumkur, which will reach you there in 1 hour 20 minutes. From Tumkur the distance to reach Shivagange is merely 25 Km that can be travelled in half an hour time by road. Some of the important rains to Tumkur are KSR Bengaluru-Tumakuru Passenger, Bangalore-Hubli Fast Passenger, Siddhaganga Intercity Express, Jan Shatabdi Express and Bangalore Tumkur Passenger.
By Road: This is probably the most convenient means of commutation to reach Shivagange from Bangalore. There are several government and private buses from Bangalore that pass through Tumkur and Dabbaspet. You can get into those buses. In addition, you can hire a cab to reach the destination in one hour time.
Note: In order to keep a tab on the route map please click here. Also, be informed that total travel time may differ depending on the time of travel, mode of transport, route and the traffic.
Places to Stay:
Being one of the popular pilgrim centers and weekend mound near Bangalore, Shivagange witnesses frequent footfalls of visitors round the year. And if you want to explore the scenic beauty around Shivagange, stay there at least for 2-3 days. This will require you some comfortable accommodations to get the best out of your relaxing weekend.
Some of the commonly visited hotels are available within 20kms from your destination. If you are looking for an accommodation that caters you the basic amenities with pleasant ambience, Tumkur is the right place for you. Depending on the type of hotel and facilities you avail, the charges may range from INR 600-INR 1500 or more. For your convenience, some of the hotels are listed as follows:
#Sri Nanjundeswara Grand Inn
Ring Road, Gokual Extenction, Bangalore Shivmoga Ring road, 572103
NO 129, 2nd Main Road Rashi Orchirds, Behind ITC Factory,
Near New International Airport Road, 562157 Bangalore, India
Sri Shivakumar Swamy Circle B.H Road Tumkur
Bangalore India 572102
Opposite APMC Yard,Mahalakshmi Nagar,
NH-4, Tumakuru, Karnataka 572103
So give your weekend an amazing blend of thrill, mystery and devotion. The tale of Shivagange remains untold unless one explores the site with great zeal.