A hillock for action, peace

A hillock for action, peace

A hillock for action, peace

The Karighatta Hill near Srirangapatna is a perfect mix of adventure and tranquility. Join Rashmi B Vas she explores this fascinating hill teeming with natural beauty.

Overlooking the confluence of river Cauvery and Lokapavani, Karighatta Hill stands at a height of 2,697 feet above the sea level. Karighatta beckons visitors for many reasons. This is a place for trekkers, nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, picnickers, film producers and the spiritually inclined.

There are two ways to reach Karighatta hillock from the base. One is a steep climb of 450 steps and other one is a road leading to the top of the hill.

The steps are broadly laid, flanked by large grass and stunted trees and gives us enchanting views of surrounding hills and beautiful landscapes down the hill.

The temple beckonsThe temple is situated in the midst of a plateau. The quadrangular temple complex is big and well maintained. It is dedicated to Bairagi Venkataramanaswamy who is also referred as Lord Srinivasa or Karigirivasa.

The main entrance has a lofty wooden door. The main shrine is dedicated to Vaikunta Srinivasa flanked by the idols of Yoga and Bhoga Srinivasa. The 6 feet tall idol of the main deity is made of black stone and is a beautiful sight. You can find a statue of Garuda facing the main deity and a Garuda gamba outside the temple.

Though the temple is very simple, there are many gopuras and kalashas at the top which are attractive. It is said that Sage Brighu had installed the idol of main deity Karigirivasa. The Vishnu padaka or the foot prints of Lord Vishnu can be seen behind the temple. To the eastern side of the temple is the sanctorum of goddess Padmavathi, consort of Lord Srinivasa.

There is also a marriage hall used for various religious functions. From various points across the plateau, you can view parts of Mysore, sections of Srirangapatna, paddy fields, coconut trees, canals and rivers and other hills like Kuntibetta, Chamundi hills and so on. This location is rich in flora and fauna and interesting rock formations.

This place is also famous for a breathtaking sunset.This hill is covered with long stemmed grass (E cynosuroides), also known as ‘darbe’. Darbe is considered sacred and is used in many Hindu rituals. During summer, these grasses dry up and turn dark brown and give the entire hill a smokey black appearance. This gives the hill it’s name – Karighatta or black hill.

Devotees from all over Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh gather during the traditional car festival held every year in February.

Adventure thrillsFor the adventure seekers, the eastern part of the hill offers a trail that leads right to the summit. On the way there are some sit-outs for the visitors to enjoy the beauty and serenity of this place. This trail is laden with huge boulders and gooseberry trees. Leopards visit this hillock frequently and you can also find many species of birds and butterflies.

As this hillock offers enchanting views, it attracts film producers too. Many Kannada and Tamil films and TV serials have been shot here.At the base of the hill, river Lokapavani, a tributary of river Cauvery flows majestically. The swift flowing river flows in a narrow valley. On the banks of Lokapavani, one can find small shrines and mango trees.

Karighatta can be reached from Srirangapatna or from Nimishamba temple in Ganjam. There are no buses to the hilltop. One has to alight at the base of the hill which is the Srirangapatna-Bannur road and then take auto rickshaws.