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Cave Temple - Denkanikottai

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Denkanikottai is located in Krishnagiri district in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is around 27 km from Hosur and 65 km from Bengaluru.


Why the name Denkanikottai?
There was a demon by name Devakandan who got the astounding strength by way of boon from a 4 faced Lord Brahma. He started troubling the sages as well as the Deva. To kill the demon, Lord Venkatesa took the form of hunter and killed him with the help of the instrument by name Denkani. From that time this place was called by the name Denkanipuram. Then it was named as Denkani kottai (fort). Over a period of time it was renamed as Thenkanikottai.

Cave Temple:
Gavi Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple is located in Denkanikottai. As the name suggests, the main deity is Lord Narasimha. Gavi means cave in Kannada. Of the 10 avataars, Lord Narasimha is the intense avatar of Lord Vishnu.



History:
History goes like...

During the period of exile, Pandavas stayed here at the cave. Pandavas sculpted the Lakshmi Narasimha and started worshiping daily. After staying for some time Pandavaas left. Thereafter it was not worshiped. Over a period of time Kaliyuga also started.

There was a king by name Dharmavarma who started ruling this place Denkanikottai. Once he visited the nearby forest for hunting. He didn't get anything even after waiting for a long period of time. Feeling disappointed he started to return. On his way back he saw a small hillock. He was in search of an animal in the cave. He could not find any animal. But instead he found the priceless possession. Can you guess it? Yeah you got it right. It is none other than the sculpture of Lakshmi Narasimha. Even though he could guess that the sculpture is that of God he was not able to identify the deity.

He approached the sage Kanva (who is the immortal) was doing penance. The king took the sage along with him to this cave. Sage on seeing the sculpture, immediately recognised and said this is Lord Lakshmi Narasimha who slayed the demon Hiranyakashipu. The sage narrated the whole incidence about Lord Vishnu taking the form of Narasimha and slayed the atheistic demon. When Prahalaada approached the furious Narasimha, he gave up his aggressiveness and gave the darshan as Lakshmi Narasimha. The sage through his  clairvoyant told that the sculpture was sculpted by the Pandavas. The sage instructed the King to start the pooja for the sculpture which is sure to benefit the people. The King after hearing built the temple around the cave. Thereafter this temple was in prosperity.

During the invasion of the foreigner most of the part in and around this place was demolished and the assets were looted by them. After the incidence this place lost its pride. The poojas were also  stopped. After many years, only on the eve of Lord Narasimha Jeyanti the temple was opened and for the rest of the year it was locked. Since past 10 years with the help of devotees the temple was renovated. Daily pooja is being done.

This hillock is easily approachable by steps as well as by road (though road leading to temple is not good). It has 108 steps.

The procession deity is Vasantavallavaraayar. He is blessing the devotees along with the consorts Sridevi and Boodevi. One would see the procession deity only on the procession days and on special days. For safety reason the procession deity lives in the another temple. During special days deity is specially anointed and adorned.

Special Days: New Year, Thai pongal (usually 14/15th of January), Vaikunda Ekadasi, Narasimha Jeyanti, full moon day and on new moon day.





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Rare Lakulisa sculptures

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Who is Lakulisa?
Lakulisha is considered as the last avatar of Shiva. Lakulisha means the lord with a mace or stick. For more details you can visit wikipedia.

Around 25 km from Madurai lies the rock cut Shiva temple as Lakulisa (Lagulisa) at the Aritapatti village. This temple is unexplored by tourists as it is hidden in the small village. The drive to Aritapatti is filled with paddy fields and all around greenery, with the chirping sound of the birds making yet another ride so calm and peaceful.Beyond certain point we cannot take our vehicle. This rock cut Shiva temple is situated over the small hillock. Once you reach Aritapatti, inquire local people for the Shiva temple. People are friendly and they will guide you to the place.

Depending on the season you visit, you might need to climb and go around the hillock to reach the other side of the Temple. If there is no water in the pond, then you can cross over to visit the temple. When we visited it was a rainy time, and it rained the previous week and the pond was filled with water. Villagers sent their kids to guide us without any expectation. There were 5 kids and all were very excited, chit chatting with us. They were with us till we returned to the starting point.

As per the Department of Archaeology - Tamil Nadu, local people call this Shiva temple as Idaichchi mandapam. This Shiva temple is an example of the early Pandya rock cut temple architecture. This belongs to the 7th to 8th century A.D. It has a Garbagriha as well as the front mandapa. This is one of the rare Lakulisa sculptures found in Tamil Nadu.

Lakulisa

Apart from the Pandya rock cut Shiva temple, Aritapatti has various stone inscriptions belonging to different ages, 2000 year old Jain beds and water source atop the hill with a small dam. People here are not much aware of the history and are not aware of the location. We had difficulty in locating these places. We inquired many people, but in vain. There is no signboard leading to these place. Luckily, one person had knowledge about the history and he directed us. We captured few shots and returned.

 



Map:

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Scenic drive in Gravel road - Bettamugilalam

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Bettamugilalam is about 100 kms from Bangalore and 30 kms from Panchapalli Dam. From Panchapalli dam we proceeded towards Bettamugilalam.


The ride towards Bettamugilam was filled with thrilling experience. We followed the map to Bettamugilalam. We were half the way from destination. We checked Google map which showed U-turn and drive via Denkanikottai. But Nokia's HERE map showed different route. We got confused and asked many locals if the road will take us to Bettamugilam. Everyone said yes except one person (and he was correct) who directed as through Denkanikottai as Google map indicated. We were in total confusion which route to take. We made up our mind, took risk and continued the path we were going. After few kilometers we felt something was not correct. We asked the locals whether the car is accessible towards Bettamugilalam. He said yes car can go in this way. Still we were not convinced, but continued our journey. The road was very bad (no roads, only rocks) condition. At one point it became even more worst road to drive. As we were driving, again enquired with the person from the other side in his 2 wheeler. He scared us by saying it is time for herd of elephants to cross the road. Finally managed to reach Bettamugilalam before it was dark.

The road was bad but the surrounding scenery towards the Bettamugilam was awesome. Fresh air to breath and greenery all around. It was evening and the orange hue was making the sky more lovely. When we were approaching the check post at Ariyur forest, the police asked how did we manage to come as there was no road. That is when we realised that "unpaved road" option was checked in map.

The 4 km of unpaved gravel roads was not easy. But enjoyed the drive. It is best to drive 2 wheeler in these path than travelling in the car.






Note: There is no facility like restaurant and rest room.

Map: The route we took.

 
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Panchapalli Dam - A weekend getaway

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Panchapalli dam is a little known place that is situated around 85 km from Bangalore, in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. The small dam is built on the river Chinnar and is surrounded by beautiful green hills. A serene dam with beautiful skies and the bright sun.

The road we took was Bengaluru -> Attibele Anekal road -> TVS factory -> Madhugiri -> Denkanikottai –> Panchapalli Dam.

There was a heavy traffic jam towards Hosur. Hence we took Attibele Anekal road. The road condition here was ok-ok till TVS factory. After this, it was good. The road leading to the dam was greenery and scenic. There were not many vehicles on the road. Immersed in the beauty of nature that surrounded us, we drove slowly breathing the fresh air. We stopped at the mini waterfall for the photo session.

When we reached the dam, we were expecting that this place would be crowded with people during the weekend. To our surprise, we did not see anyone else other than the gardener. We spent some time strolling and taking photos near the dam. On the other side of the dam there is a park. We walked down to the park and had a relaxed evening.

In old Tamil film there is a song,

Aandavan padachan enkitta koduthaan
anupavi raja nu anuppi vachaan
enna anupavi raja nu anuppi vachaan,
aandavan padachan enkitta koduthaan

God created this Universe, Gave it to me
he asked me to enjoy the gift of nature so he sent me here
he asked me to enjoy the gift of nature so he sent me here

This was true with us. After hectic week at work, got sometime to enjoy the gift of nature and relax.

Note: 
  • No shops or hotels nearby. It is good to carry food and water.
 

Other Information:


Map: 
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Multicoloured Mirror Temple (Darpana Mandira) and Mural Paintings @Sri Kanyakaparameswari Temple, Bengaluru

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Sri Kanyakaparameswari temple

Sri Kanyakaparameswari temple was built in the year 1989, built on the 14ft hillock. It is located in Kumara Park West next to Sriram Conventional Hall Bengaluru. Not many people know or heard about this temple. Hence we struggled a bit to locate this. We came to know about this temple from wikipedia when reading some other article. Temple is not visible from distance.

Goddess Sri Kanyakaparameswari is adorning the temple with her divine smile holding parrot on the left side. The other deities are Lord Venkateswara, Sri Kedareswara are in the Southern style. The temple exhibits some of the important pilgrimage centres in India like Badari, Kedar, Haridwar, Benaras, Puri Jagannath, Sri Rama Janmabhoomi, Madurai Meenakshi and Vivekananda Rock using Mural paintings. This temple is the fusion of both North and South Indian temple architecture. The richly carved sanctum, arches and the idol of Sri Kanyakaparameswari are made of white marble by the renowned sculptors of Rajasthan. 


If you want to get the prasad (crystal sugar), drop Rs. 2 coin in the Annapoorneswari idol located before the exit door.

Darpana Mandir:

Darpana in Sanskrit means mirror. This temple is located above the main temple. The special feature is the ceilings are beautifully ornamented with multi coloured mirrors depicting Nakshatra mandala, Dwadasha Rashis, Dashavatars and planets. The statues of Gayathri, Geethopadesha and Vishwa roopa Darshana sparkles our eyes with multi coloured mirrors in their background with the special sound. Twelve important events highlighting the life history of Vasavi is depicted here. We really loved the statue of Hanuman tearing the chest showing Rama and Sita in his heart with the electronic effect.

Entrance fee Rs. 5.

Bhagavad Gita

Darpana Mandir
Gayatri Devi
Vishwaroopa darshanam
Hanuman
Prasadam
Kanyakaparameswari

Map:

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