Shivagange,.....hilly retreat

From Here & There

The Shivagange hill is an important tourist destination near Bangalore. The hill is situated near NH 4 and is visible from the road.

The hill has four faces; it looks like a bull (nandi) from the east, a snake from the north, Ganesha from the west and a huge Shivalinga from the south. The hill is situated about 56 km from Bangalore on Bangalore-Tumkur road.

It is also known as Dakshina Kashi. The main attraction is the cave temple dedicated to the deity of Gangadhareswara and Goddess Honnedevi. One has to climb 260 steps to reach the entrance of the cave. A 120-ft-tall gopura (tower) greets visitors.

Inside there is a small hall, which leads to the entrance of the cave shrine. Inside the cave is the linga. Mantapas of various sizes are visible en route to the temple. The second mantapa is full of carvings and known as the Girija kalyana mantapa.

There is small shrine dedicated to the snake gods nagadevathas, worshipped by the local people. The left side leads up to the hilltop. Here, another beautiful mantapa greets visitors, which was possibly built to use as a place for relaxation. After climbing about 200 feet, an idol of the sacred bull, nandi, on an eight-foot pedestal is situated.

Then the steps will be disappeared and the rock climbing will be the only option to reach the top. Then there is the teertha kambha, which is behind the shrine. This pillar was constructed by Emperor Narasimha I. On Makara Sankranti day, water is said to spring from the pillar. Shivagange is situated near Dobbspet on NH4, 50 km from Bangalore. The hill is six km from Dobbspet.

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