Hidden wonders near Solur

Most of the kings and palegars were known to be pious and built many temples to their chosen gods.

In Karnataka alone, thousands of places of worship were built. Some of them became famous, made it onto the government lists and are protected by the government or respected Mutts. But some historical places in the State haven’t been recognised by the government, tourism department or the archeological department.

The conditions of these temples are pathetic. Even near Bangalore, there are many structures and temples which are not well-known but afford a good opportunity for a quick trip for pleasure.

Unknown beauty

One such place is the small town of Solur, 35 km from Bangalore, situated on the Kunigal-Hassan highway. Around four kilometres from Solur, is a small hillock on the left. Atop the hillock sits a fortress, which is beautifully built in an area of about 5,000 sqft.

This fort had a gateway, an armory, a residential complex, a temple and security outposts. But now, only the walls of the beautiful fort remain, while the temple was recently reconstructed.

Unfortunately, no historical information is available about this place. According to the locals, the fort and temple were built by the palegars who once ruled the area. The lord of the temple here was a family deity of the palegars. I surmised that the fort, which was built at least 400 years ago, could have been built during the time of Kempe Gowda.

Ranganatha temple

The temple is dedicated to Sri Lakshmi Ranganatha and is situated on the right hand corner of the fort. The main idols are goddess Lakshmi and lord Vishnu in the reclining posture on the coils of the great snake Anantha.

The small mukha shaped mantapa leads to the garbha griha. Here are small idols of Garuda, Anjaneya, Narasimha, Vishnu, Ganesha and others on the outer walls of the shrine.

The entire area was once protected by huge walls which are now slowly crumbling away. The fort’s structure was built with large stone slabs.

Once at the top, visitors can enjoy enchanting views of the surrounding areas. The area, completely surrounded by thick jungles, hills and greenery is soothing for our overworked eyes. From this spot, the Shivagange hill looks like a shivalinga. This area is perfect for camping, picnics and short trips. You need to bring your own food and water. A high mega-pixel camera is recommended. If you do visit, don’t litter, clean up before you leave.

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