Location: Kolar district, Karnataka, India
Distance: 442 km from Hyderabad, 201 km from Chennai, 86 km from Bangalore, 30 km from Kolar
How to reach there: By KSRTC bus, private bus or private vehicle from Bangalore.
Journey time: 1 and half hour by bus
Route: Bangalore – Hoskote – Mulbagal
Where to stay:
1. Hotel Mayura Apoorva
Old Madras Road, Mulbagal,
Kolar Dist. – 563 131 Karnataka, India.
Tel : 08159-42173
Where to eat: Hotel Mayura Apoorva, Sri Sripadaraja Mutt, Hotel Reddy Delux (Mulbagal)
Language spoken: Kannada, Telegu. Hindi and English understood to an extent.
Mulabagal is a taluk head quaters of the same name in Kolar district. It is pronounced in various forms like Mulabagilu, Mulbagal. It derived its name from Mudalabagilu, meaning eastern door in Kannada. It was thought as the entry from the east to the erstwhile Mysore kingdom or Vijaynagar empire. Mulabagal is full of legends linked with Mahabharath epic. It is believed that a Hanuman temple was erected by Arjun (one of the Pandav brothers). Also, sage Vasitha believed to have meditated here.
What to see:
Subramanyeswara temple: Lord Subramanyeswara temple at foot hills of Anjandri hill.
Vittaleshwara Temple: Another temple dedicated to Vishnu is the Vittaleswara temple and the idol is similar to Panduranga Vittala at Pandarapur in Maharashtra state.This is also very old temple and has a large gopuras (towers) and vast kalyani (pond).
Sripadaraja Math: The town was the residing place of Sreepadaraja Swamiji or simply Sripadaraya, a direct disciple of Saint Madhwacharya, who is known as third avatar of Vayu. The earlier two being Anjaneya or Hanuman, second being Bheema; the second Pandava. Madhwacharya established the Dwaita school of philosophy. Sreepadaraaja Swamiji who was the raajaguru (most important advisor) of the Vijayanagara kings, was known to have used kannada keerthanas (hymns) during pooja which was considered holy during those times. Sreepaadaraja Swaamiji was also known to was offering sixty four types of dishes naivedya (offering) to God everyday without fail. He has penned many keerthanas praising God and are still popular even after 600 years.
Baba Hyder Vali Dargah: Mulbagal is also sacred for Muslims as the dargah of Sufi Saint Baba Hyder Vali of Mulbagal is situated here here. Both muslims and Hindus worship at the darga and Urus festival is very popular here even to date.
Kurudamale Maha Ganapathi Temple: Situated at 8 km from Mulbagal. This place is famous for Lord Ganapathi Temple. The Idol of the lord ganapathi is made of single ” Saligrama rock ” and the height is about 21 Ft from the ground level. This Idol as well as temple is told to be 5000 yrs old.
The temple is at the foothill of a boulder filled stone hill. This place imbibes in itself an old world charm and given the age of this temple it is indeed mystic. If you would like you can explore a cave on top of the hill. You will have trek around a kilometer to reach there. Little away from Maha Ganapathi temple is another temple. I am not sure about the name but at the entrance you will find a Ganesh statue. This temple too seems to be very old and seems not many people visit here. If you keenly notice the temple architecture, you will feel it has been assembled. I mean the parts has been made somewhere else and has been assembled here. On the right hand side from the entrance there is a Nandi staute. At the back side outside the boundary, you will see two small stone structure resembling a store house. It is mystey to me, what might have been they used for.
If you have your own vehicle then no questions asked. Otherwise the fom of transport is passenger shared auto which charge Rs 10 per person. These autos are bigger than the typical autos and are customized to carry more passenger – 2 person besides the driver, 7 -8 in the middle and 3 -4 in the back side.
Narasimha Teertha: The Narasimha teertha is about 2 km from the town of Mulbagal. It is the sacred place where Swaamiji lived and had his brindavan (sacred resting place for Hindu sages) made, is now the headquarters of the Sreepaadaraaja Mutt founded by him. There is also a Swayamvyakta Yoga Narasimha temple near the brindavan.
Sri Virupaksheshwara Swamy Temple: It is also located in Virupakshi Village about 4 kilometres from Mulbagal. This temple was built in the 1200s by Vijayanagara Rulers and resembles the Virupaksheshwara Temple in Hampi. The pooja performances at this temple has been done by Agastya Gothra’s Sri V.A. Subramanya Deekshit and Sons. This is the only family that has been doing the pooja here since the temple was constructed and dates back to about 8 generations.
Avani is located 15 km from Mulbagal. It is one of the most interesting place in terms of history. This place is embroiled in Myth and legend. Avani was the capital of the Chola rulers and one see magnificient architecture around.
RAMALINGA TEMPLE: Here Lord Ram is prayed in the form of Lord Shiva – hence the name Ramalinga. The temple is an architectural wonder. Built around 1400 years ago by Chola rulers and during the time of Rajendra deva raya and two others. There are numerous Shiva linga around the temple and on the Lav Kush hill which may remind you of Kotilingeshwara temple. But the numbers are definitely not to the extent what you see there. In one of the chambers you will find Sita devi prayer in the form of Goddes Durga. In the same chamber you will find 3 statues of Nandi and behind them are the statues of three Chola kings who built this temple. Located at the foothill of Luv Kush hill, this one of the best temple one can visit.
The architecture of the temple is interesting. The temple do not many lock system, like the pillers are just placed on the ground and do not seems to have any cement in between or any foundation connection each other. Looks like all are balancing each other conforming to the law of gravity.
Nearby is Basava theertha, one can find a clean natural spring. Villagers use this water for even drinking purpose.
SHANKAR MUTT: It is located just besides Ramalinga temple and the presiding deity is Sharada devi. Sri Shankaracharya visited here and said to have installed the idol. You will have to walk little bit on the left hand side after comming out of Ramalinga temple. There is a small door on the hand side, go through that and then you will climb some steps to reach there.
Luv Kush betta or hill: This hill said to be one of the place where Ram, Sita and Lakshman stayed during their 14 years exile from Ayoudha. Legend says that on this hill Sita gave birth to Luv and Kush. Hence, the name Luv Kush hill. From the ground, the boulder fill hill gives a feeling that stones here are balanced in the air. The alignment is amaizing and looks like somebody went there and decorated the stones that way. One has to trek to the top, where a Sita devi temple is located. From here one can get a bird eye view of the surrounding area.
After you start trekking, you will find a liitle pleatue kind of place which will give a feeling that you have reached the destination but this not the case, you have still more to go. However, here you can indulge in photography and take some rest. Also, here you will find Valmiki ashram, where he is said to have meditated and wrote Ramayana. Now again you will have trek along stone fested route to reach the top. This place seems to be relatively unknown but I can say without any doubt it is one of the best romatic places I have seen. It has the potential to be in top 5 romatic places around Bangalore.
It is advisable to trek in early morning or late afternoon so that it is less strainous for you and you can also enjoy sunrise or the sunset. Also, the wind intensity makes one feel like, you are about to fly. Be cautios and do not venture at the edges. Also, try going there in groups.