Location: Chintamani taluk, Chikaballapur district, State: Karnataka, India
Distance: 75 – 80 km from Bangalore
How to reach there: By bus or private vehicle. KSRTC buses are available from Majestic bus stand, Bangalore. One has to unboard at Kaivara cross and from there have to travel again 3 km by auto or bus to reach Kaivara town. If you reserve an auto (Rs 25) or if shared Rs 5 per head from 5 persons.
Route: Bangalore – Hoskote – Kaivara bypass – Kaivara
Journey time: 1.5 – 2 hrs
Where to stay: Yogi Narayanaswamy ashram and a few lodges in Kaivara,
Where to eat: At Kailash giri cave temple – food is provided free of cost. Hotels in Kaivara town is not that good. If you are looking for non veg food, then one should try the dhabas located along Kaivara bypass.
Language spoken: Typically kannada and Telegu. Also, English and Hindi is understood to an extent.
Kaivara in Kannada means a compass. Not sure why the name is so but one can easily get lost around the rocky terrians of boulders and vast expanse of zig zag plains. So people in older days might have required a compass to navigate this place and hence the name Kaivara. It is very small town of around 2 -3 sq. km. Kaivara has religious importance and is historically attached to the epic Mahabharath. Kaivara was knows as Ekachakrapura during Mahabharath time(Dwapara yuga).
What to see:
1. Ambaji Durga / Kailasanatha Kshetra/ Kailashgiri: Here the temple is located inside man made caves in a monolithic stone hill. One can drive till the vehicle stand on this hill. As you start climbing one can have an awesome view of the rugged stone hills and the plains below. Inside the caves one can find Ganesh, Shiva (Chaturbhuj Shiva – Shiva with four face), Lakshmi temple. There is also a big all. If any one shouts then it echos even outside. There are two entrance as of now but they are working on craving out more caves. Construction started around 14 years ago and work is still going on.
Caution: Do not loiter at isolated parts of the hill as there were incidents of mugging my anti-social elements.
2. Amaranarayana Swamy Temple: This is the ashram of the saint Narayanappa who meditated and achieved enlightment here. The temple gives a good view of the boulder filled hills nearby. In fact the temple is attached with one such hill. In one of the top chamber of the temple you will find various small idols, place for homa etc. You can see the cave where Sri Narayanappa meditated.
3. Yogi Narayanaswamy Ashram: This is the ashram of Sri Narayanappa and behind the statue of the saint remains his samadhi (last remains). This ashram is maintained by M.S Ramaiah trust. It also provides free food and lodging.
Just opposite to the ashram is the Bheema Bakana betta(hill) where it is believed that Bheema of the Pandava brothers of Mahabharath killed demon Bakasura on this hill. There is myth that one of the caves even now have the corpse of Bakasura and it ejects blood during Shivarathri.
It is easily an one day tour. If you leave early in the morning, you can even cover Chintamani. From Kailashgiri, Chintamani is around 3 km. from Kaivara bypass, Chintamani is around 15 km.
Note: If you are looking some examplery things then you may like to re-think. But visiting here, I think you will not repent given how myth and history is inter twinged with this place.