Date: 22nd October 2016
Places visited: Nandi Hills, Nandeeshwara Temple, Avalabetta and Lepakshi
No. of People: 2 Solo Bikers, Rajesh and Me
Over the Friday night’s dinner, Rajesh and I planned a day ride to Nandi Hills which is the most common place for a short ride for anyone residing in Bangalore. So we planned to sight the sun-rise at Nandi Hills and visit few more places over that stretch.
We started from Esteem Mall, Hebbal at around 4.30am and we reached the Nandi Hills Police check-post by 5.30am. The best part of Nandi Hills over a weekend is you will find lot many bikers who visit this place only to catch the glimpse of the sunrise. We rode through the traffic, finding gaps and riding those gaps to reach the uphill. We parked our bikes and stood in the long ticket queue at the ticket counter.
As we trekked to the viewpoint, we could find all the visitors seated with full excitement to watch the beautiful sunrise. Rajesh and I found a place to sit comfortably on the rocks; where I spent my time with some pups.
It was a cloudy morning that day. However; we could still catch a glimpse of the sunrise amidst the thick dark clouds.
We also checked-in to the hill-top historical temple, where you have a stone pillar and a temple pond.
As we had other destinations planned and we wanted to cover that day; we started our journey downhill and upon reaching, we stopped for breakfast at a restaurant there.
Our next destination was the historical Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple. I don’t remember the count of my visits to Nandi Hills and I missed to explore this historical temple during all of my previous visits to Nandi Hills. So this time, explored it.
This temple is been identified as one of the oldest temples in Karnataka dating back to 9th Century and has some beautifully carved out pillars and also has large temple pond. A very calm and silent place to spend some time to peace your mind away from the city’s traffic and noise.
Few More Pics from Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple through the slideshow below:
After exploring this marvelous and historical beauty, we rode through the villages of Chikkaballapur district and we reached Avalabetta, a place famous for the “Pointed Rock” and there are paved steps that take you to a temple. Keep walking further from here to reach the viewpoint. Please do carry your own food and water bottles and please be very careful with the monkeys that hover around this place.
There was a mad rush and people were waiting in a long queue to get their Picture on the Pointed Rock, and we didn’t want to join the long queue. I had visited Avalabetta sometime back in 2015 with riders from our Gixxer Club Bengaluru. Apparently, yet I don’t have my pic on this rock. Hopefully, next time I ride this side will get one selfie here.
Should you be riding to Avalabetta, don’t miss the trek to Gudibande Fort. Both Rajesh and I had trekked the Gudibande Fort before, so we skipped this and rode to Lepakshi, a temple in Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, dating its history back to 14th Century.
The “Hanging Pillar” inside the temple defies gravity. Yes, the pillar doesn’t have any support base to the ground. You can pass a paper or a piece of cloth beneath this grey pillar. This is a tribute to the engineering marvel from the historical architects.
Another attraction here is Shivaling which is sheltered by a Seven hooded Naga and it’s recognized amongst the biggest Naga Linga in India. You might have visited many Shiva Temples and always sight a Nandi in front of all the Shivalings, but here the Nandi Statue has another mysterious story which I will explain in the later paragraphs of this blog.
Rajesh and I with the Nagalinga at Lepakshi
Few locals here believe this place dates back to the era of Ramayana, as Lepakshi means “Jatayu”, as this place was where the bird Jatayu fell. There is a “Dance Hall” which is surrounded by sculpted pillars.
We had some juice before we made a move to the Nandi Statue. This is the biggest amongst the 12 Monolith Nandi in India, carved out of a single Granite Stone with dimensions of 15ft in height and 27ft in length. The finely carved ornament around the neck of this Nandi adds to the glory of this architecture.
Now let me explain to the mystery behind this Nandi and the Shivaling. If you stand by the right side of this gigantic Nandi, you can clearly see the Nagalinga (which is inside the main temple) distancing approximately 700mtrs from here, but the same Nandi is not visible to be seen from inside the temple.
We started our return journey at around 4 pm and stopped over for a late lunch at highway side hotel in Chikkaballapur and bidding good-bye to Rajesh at Hebbal flyover and reached back home juggling through the chaotic traffic of Bangalore City. Thank you, buddy, for an amazing travel memory.
Stay safe and tuned until I blog my next travel story !!!
Pic Credits: Temple Tank Pic of Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple from Wikipedia, Pointed Rock of Avalabetta from Google Images and rest all pics captured by Rajesh and Me.
Also Visit: Just Ride to Twin Rocks