Shivagange - Trekking delight to Dakshina Kashi

In this post , we share our team's visit experience to Shivagange in Nelamangala Taluk  - one of the popular one day weekend destinations 70 kms away from Bengaluru.

Few Highlights of this spot :

  • Mountain peak of about 2600 feet 
  • Mountain is in the form of a Shiva ling and a spring flows from top of Hill , referred as Ganga and hence place gets the name ShivaGanga
  • Known as Dakshina Kashi and a hindu pilgrimage center
  • Place of cave temples - Gavi Gangadhareshwara , Gavi Honnadevi , Gavi Veerabhadreshwara , Patala Gange , Olakallu Punyatheertha .
  • Trekking is of medium difficulty - not recommended for senior citizens
  • On top of Hill - Carvings of Nandi & temple of Gangadhareshwara
  • Shanthala Drop - spot at which Queen Shanthala of Hoyasalas committed suicide by jumping from top of hillock

It was a bright sunny Monday morning we headed towards this spot . Picking our team we took the NICE express road , Tumkur Dabaspet National Highway and took the diversion of 8 kms to reach this spot. Roads were fine , we enjoyed the drive . We had to pay Rs.30 as parking fee to enter inside the campus , area is surrounded with village houses & shops selling Pooja items etc. 

On entering Temple main gopuram , we noticed Cave temples of Gavi HonnaDevi & Gavi Gangadareshwara at a height of about 50 mts , we had to climb the steps to visit these temples. The temperature inside the cave was cool but as there was less air circulation , we were pouring with sweat !! We took darshan & headed towards Shiva temple where huge crowd was waiting for darshan . Shivalinga of about 2 feet is concentrated here.  A surprising phenomenon of Ghee when offered on Shivalinga turning back to butter may be witnessed here - which could be due to temperature difference. The ornate pillars & carvings gave us glimpses of Hoysala architecture. 

After covering main temple attractions , we headed towards trekking hill . Visitors informed - overall distance was about 2.5 kms , averaging 1.5 hours to climb . In the initial 1 km stretch , steps are carved on rock which makes it simpler  . Hawker shops serving refreshments like Bhel puri , Buttermilk , Juice etc were noticed at every 100 to 150 mts. 

Once we reached the spot Olakkal Theertha the journey starts becoming bit difficult due to the steepness . At this spot , there is a cave temple of Veerabhadreshwara - where its believed when placing one's arm in the small rock stone opening - if devotee if filled with good deeds he experiences the sparkles of water flowing down . Most of us were able to experience this sparkling water & felt blessed to have been on right path !!

After covering about 1 km , shiva parvathi temple may be noticed where dvadasha shivalingas are consecrated. These idols seem to be constructed recently .  The rocks were more steeper from here where we noticed trekking was quite difficult. Senior citizens are not recommended to climb above this level. Climb poles assist trekking.

With sun beating us & tiredness , few of us thought of returning back . But the spirit kept us moving and we reached the hill top within 30 minutes from here - it took us 100 minutes to fully cover the hill . The cool breeze at Basavanna / Nandi Idol was enticing & relaxed our nerves. A scenic view of Shivangage & surrounding villages strech was pleasureful to experience,

Nandi Idol on top of Hillock

There are 2 temples on top dedicated to Veerabhadreshwara & Gangadhareshwara . Besides is the spot known as Shanthala Drop , where queen of Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana during 12th century had committed suicide by jumping from top of hill.

Shanthala drop
After relaxing for few minutes , we started descending back  & reach at the bottom in 1.5 hrs. Anna Dasoha - free lunch / prasadam for all  - was arranged by temple administration between 1 to 3 PM , we had lunch here .

Kalyani at bottom of Hill

Emme Basava 

It was an overwhelming experience trekking  , at the same time experiencing ancient cave temples at this spot which makes it one of the best spots we have explored. Temple is open on all days till 6.30 PM . Do visit this spot and share your experience stories.