Weekends are meant to relax and refresh. But many a time, they get packed with activities it turns out to be another working day. Why not Look for opportunities to get out for quick breaks - may be a drive or a weekend day trip – to break the monotony?
This new series will focus on quick breaks or day trips from
our metros. The ones you can go in the morning and return on the same day. Places, which are within 150 KMs from our
metros. I am christening them as Bangalore Breaks, Chennai breaks etc.…
The first post in the series is on Devarayanadurga - a
small hill fort with a temple near Bangalore. We headed for a quick drive in
the last winter to watch the sunrise.
Devarayanadurga or DD in short is not new to me. I have been there as a kid
many times. My grandma's place was in
Tumkur. Those days were different as we used to go in a "Tonga” or "Horse Cart". Driven by
horse on non-existent roads, it was back breaking but fun. We would climb the
hill, have darshan of lord, finish the lunch packed from home in a nearby field
and get back home. These trips were more of a pilgrimage. I am not sure whether
anyone had visited DD in seventies to watch sunrise!!!
Sunrises and Sunsets are always fabulous when you watch from
the hills. DD was our choice as we did
not want to go to Nandi Hills, which is flocked by drinking/dancing boisterous
crowd these days.
DD is situated at a distance of 72 KMs from Bangalore and the road condition
throughout is good. Our idea was to reach there in time for sunrise, watch it
and come back home for breakfast after visiting the Yoga Narasimhaswamy temple,
which is on the hill. Getting up early, we reached the place around 6 AM with a
leisurely drive. There was no one except us in the parking area. The place was
pitch dark and had an eerie feeling.
I have experienced mist in North India and for the first
time I was experiencing the layers of mist floating around us here. It was a
great feeling but cold. The hill is part of Devarayanadurga Reserve forest
spread across 49 Square KMs and is home to wild animals like wild boar, Sloth
bear and leopard as well. We could see many wild rabbits in the brightness of
our headlight. The sunrise time being 6.47 AM, it was still dark when we
reached. We did not dare to go for a walk fearing
We sat in the car for sometime and started climbing the hill as the dawn set in.
The temple was closed - it opens only at 8 AM - but we were able to get to a vantage point. We kept our fingers crossed as the mist was very dense and were
afraid that we won't see the sunrise at all. But the mist slowly cleared and we
were lucky to witness a beautiful sunrise. The sun was playing hide and seek
and Brinda - who is the official photographer on all our tours - waited for
moments when the mist cleared and sun shone to click the pictures.
For more on the place and pictures.......
|Well laid out steps leading to temple on the hill|
|Devarayanadurga village.....enveloped in mist|
|The Mantapas on the way|
|Rock formation.......doesn't it look like a man's face?|
|A tree clinging to rock|
|The sun shows up .......amidst mist|
|The mist clears giving a glimpse of the village at foot hills|
|One of the lovely birds|
We did not stop to visit the temple and headed back to Bangalore after around 7.30. On the way we stopped over at Café Coffee Day for
a hot cuppa and back in Bangalore by 9.30 AM.
A morning well spent amidst nature......
– There are direct buses to DD starting from Government
Bus stand in Majestic area in down town Bangalore. It is a pleasant one and half hour drive from
Bangalore if you are driving in your car.
– The nearest railway station is Tumkur, which is well
connected to Bangalore. One can hire an
auto rickshaw to reach DD from Tumkur.
Best time to go
– Any time round the year. Monsoons will be
a great time to see low hanging clouds
in the valley below. Summers and winters are best for Sunrise and Sunsets. Summers will be hot during the day.
Camp Linger has started a camp site close to DD and it is worth exploring the place. Click on this link for more details
Camp Linger - Devarayanadurga
a) If you are planning to be there for sunrise, make sure you work backwards
after checking out sunrise time. Keep ten minutes to climb 100 odd steps before
you chose a vantage point.
b) The place is excellent for bird watching and I could see at least ten
species through binoculars. Since the temple opens only at 8 AM, it will be
worthwhile to hike in the forest watching birds after the sunrise. Take a look at this link here
c) Visit Bhoga Narasimhaswamy temple which is
at in Devarayanadurga village at foot hills. "Namada Chilume", a natural spring is a KM away. A deer park near this place will be loved by kids.
d) You can also visit Teetha Reservoir - a small reservoir on Suvarnamukhi
river which is on the way. Good place after rains.
e) DD and surroundings are excellent for camping . It is wise to take permission from forest department as the area is
known for sloth bears.
f) Nothing is available to eat and drink on top of the hill.
It would better to carry it. Small restaurants serving snacks are available in
Devarayanadurga village near Bhoga Narasimhaswamy temple.
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