Our company has recently changed its working calendar and now, we have our weekly off on Wednesdays instead of Sundays. When I woke up this Wednesday morning, a weekend when the rest of the world is working their asses off, halfway through their week… I sat wondering how I was going to kill the rest of the day amidst the four walls of my house, all jobless.
Suddenly I remembered about a place I was told about by friend long ago. She had done her internship during the final year of MBBS at ‘Kaiwara’. I jumped out of my bed and began to google for it. With lot of information available online, I was able to jort down the list of places to see in and around Kaiwara and prepared a quick route map. I dragged my mum along, pulled the car out of the garage and zooommm we went…….
List of Places covered:
Narayanapa Mutt; Bheemeshwara temple; Bheema baana Betta or Kaiwara Betta; Tapovana; Vaikunta betta; MahaKailasaGiri Betta; ChenaKeshava Cave Temple; Alambagiri Venkateshwara temple
It was around 09.00.a.m. when we started from Bangalore. We reached Devanahalli from where we took the Vijayapura bypass road. At an average speed of 60kmph, a drive of a good 45min from the Bengaluru airport is what it took us to reach Kaiwara.
As soon as one enters the Kaiwara town, a small lane on the left leads you to the Narayanapa Mutt. This is a mutt managed by M.S. Ramaiah trust. This is where Saint Narayanappa attained ‘Jeeva Samadhi’. Half a kilometer away from the Mutt is the “Bheemeshwara temple”. This is where the mythology has it that Bheema killed Bakasura during the exile period of the Pandavas. There is a group of small temples there, each named after the Pandavas within the same premises. Overlooking the Mutt is the Bheema baana Betta or Kaiwara Betta. We thought of giving it a miss considering the number of steps we had to climb up. Maybe a hike that I can plan for some other day.
We drove for one kilometer further and reached ‘Tapovana’, the place where Saint Narayanappa used to meditate, back in the days. There is a small garden around there, which can be given a miss. Few yards uphill from there, we reached the ‘Vaikunta Betta’. At the base of the hill is the ‘Amaranareyana Temple’ dedicated to Lord Vishnu built by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. Climb upstairs, we reached the ‘Yoga Narasimha Temple’. The structure seemed to be ignored by the visitors. But we enjoyed the calm in this cave temple, believed to be the place where the Lord appeared in front of Narayanappa. The temple terrace had an excellent view of the entire town. A word of caution though: With too many monkeys around there, it was no monkey business.!!
We then commenced the best stretch of the drive. After an uphill drive of 5kilometers, we wondered how beautiful Mount Kailash (in the Himalayas) could be if the lesser known ‘MahaKailasaGiri Betta’ in Kaiwara was this beautiful. Atop the hill, is a set of newly chiseled man-made caves that houses 3 temples.
Unlimited food is provided to every pilgrim/visitor at KailasaGiri temple and the Mutt between 12.30.p.m and 3.00.p.m. So, we decided to hog some yummy temple food at Kailasa Giri itself. By this time, we had covered all the places I had googled to visit in Kaiwara. But it was still 2.30.p.m and we had a lot of time left. While coming downhill, we decided to follow a signboard which indicated the way to ‘ChenaKeshava Cave Temple’. But it was quite a disappointment after reaching there. We could’ve skipped the visit to this place.
I then remembered someone mentioning about ‘Venkateshwara Temple’ in Alambagiri, located about 10kms from Kaiwara. The place is supposedly famous for Paper made handicrafts. So, we decided to explore this place too. But some renovation work in this ancient temple was in progress and there were absolutely no shops in that place (forget handicrafts stores). We were disappointed again by the unfruitful drive until there.
As per google, there was ‘Ambaji Durga Cave temple’ 7kms away from Kaiwara, and we tried to enquire with a few locals about the place. But nobody seemed to have heard of it and hence, we thought of giving it a miss. With this, we thought it was time for us to return back to where we belong to- The Bengaluru city.
- Kaiwara alone is a nice place to plan a drive with family or a group of biking friends. Though it was a small trip, it was a pleasant one.
- Kaiwara is famous for silk rearing & weaving. You will come across several houses stacking up the cocoon rearing trays for most of your way. Maybe you should try to pick up some silk stuffs while you are there or get hands-on working experience at silk rearing.