Here goes the Eight places that I visited, in visited order-->
#1. Vanvilasa Sagar or Mari Kanive, built by Mysore Maharaja, is a dam constructed over Vedavathi River. It’s 12kms off Hiriyuru, a major town in AH. We first visited Mariamma Temple, local deity, and started climbing the steps which was carved out in a unique zig zag fashion from a locally available big stones. We were awestruck when we reached the top. This dam was artistically built, which clearly showed out the great taste Mysore Maharajas had for building classic monuments! Long walk on the top of this dam between 2 mantapas (which were at the ends of dam), amazingly carved out 100 odd years back, will definitely make you think- why are we so incapable of building wonders now?!
#2. Halurameshwara Temple is 40 kms from Vanvilasa Sagar, towards Hosadurga. No doubt, was the highlight of this trip. As far as I know- this is neither historic nor beautiful, but it has stories to tell everyone. It has an astonishing well (Ugamagange) in front of Goddess Gange, were you sit and make a wish, and you are sure of getting Prasada in the form of things like- jaggery, grains, dates, bananas, coconut,etc.. The priest interprets the Prasada that you receive and predicts if your wish will come true or not. I laughed my gut off before I went to this place, and just to be a rebellion- made 4 wishes instead of only one that I was supposed to. I received “jaggery with curd”- which comes very rarely, and priest told me that my wishes will come true and that I had made multiple wishes!
#3. Chandravalli Caves is 40 kms from Halurameshwara temple or 3 kms from Chitradurga (again in AH). History dates back to 9th century here and a meeting room at a depth of 80 foot down from the entrance of caves took me by surprise. Initially a pious saint chose this place for his meditation and later, it stored a treasure chest. The dressing room, bath room, place to keep the treasure and ways they employed to keep it secure- is the reflection of the intellectual capacity back then. Also, serenity here is defined by- dense forest in one side, caves that are enthralling, river that is shining blue, waterfalls roaring down the rocks and gardens with pleasant colors!
#4. Chitradurga Fort is 3 kms from Chandravalli caves, or very close to AH itself, was built in
#5. Guru Kottureshwara Benne Dose Hotel, 60 kms from Chitradurga, is in Davangere. This is located in Gundi Chowltry road of extremely delightful city of Davangere (formerly known as Devanagari). Crowded place, no money for ambience, but priceless Benne Dosa!
#7. Siddaganga Matha is in Tumkur, around 70kms from Bengaluru. Has schools and hostels, provides education with no or minimal fees. Completely conceptualized and executed by the pontiff, who is 106 years old, known as “Nadedaduva Devaru”, Dr. Shivakumar Swamiji. Here we finished mangoes that we had bought in Davangere, delicious!
Last, but extremely important and reason behind this trip-
#8. SS wedding hall of Davangere and Silverline guest house (inside Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology) where we spent a night. We enjoyed dumb charades and some new innovative games before we signed off for the day at Silverline. Bapuji institutions are all over in this city and herds of sheep that pass by your car will definitely teach you a lesson or two!
[Photo Courtesy: Pranitha K S. Thanks to Rakesh, Vinu, Manju, Sanjay and Siva for being part of it. Also wishing a Happy Married Life to Santhosh and Soumya. Cheers!]