Holy Pilgrimage – Karnataka State –(Avani temples, Mulbagal temples, Badami Temples Caves, Balligavi temples and others ) -4

Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Karnataka State

Avani Temples, Kolar, Karnataka

Avani is a small village in Mulbagal taluk, Kolar district in Karnataka, India, about ten miles from Kolar Gold Fields. The village is located 50 km from the twin towns of Muddenahalli-Kanivenarayanapura. It is also a popular location for rock climbing.


Avani is famous for the Sita temple situated on a hill. This temple is one of the few temples dedicated to Sitadevi in India.This hill has the temple of Hari Shresta Adi Jambava, who gave Shyamanthak jewel to Lord Krishna. On the Same Occasion Lord Krishna Marries Jambavati]] the daughter of Adi Jambav. It is also known as the Gaya of the south and has ancient temples known as the Ramalingeshwara, Lakshmaneshwara, Bharateshwara and Shatrugneshwara, dating back to the period of the Nolamba Dynasty. It has been told that Sitadevi gave birth to her twin children Lava-Kusha here. Even today the room where Sita gave birth to her children exists.The war between Sri Rama and his sons Lava & Kusha happened in this village. The place is very near (About 9 km)to Mulabaagilu (Taluk head quarters) in Kolar District.
When Sri Narasimha Bharati IV of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham was on his sancharas', he camped here for a few days. During his stay here, in Avani, he found an idol of Goddess Shrada, in standing posture flanked by Srimajjagadguru Shankaracharya and the Sri Chakra. He consecrated this idol here and established a new Matha and installed one of his shisyas as the head of the new Matha. This matha is now known as Avani Sringeri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sharada Peetham. There is a branch of this matha in Basaweshwaranagar in Bangalore.
There is also a belief that the sage Valmiki, the author of the epic Ramayana, was residing here during the period of Ramayana.

Meaning of "Avani"

The name Avani is of Sanskrit origin, and means "earth". Hindu goddess Sita was also called Avanisuta meaning 'Daughter of Earth'. The legend goes that she was found while ploughing the earth.

Mulbagal Temples, Karnataka

Mulbagal is a town and taluk headquarters of Mulbagal taluk in the Kolar district in the state of Karnataka, India. It lies just off the National Highway 4


Mulbagilu (ಮುಳಬಾಗಿಲು) wastaken from the word mudalabagilu which means the 'eastern door' in the native Kannada language. Mulbagal was supposedly the eastern-most frontier (and thereby the entrance) of the state of Mysore; hence the name. Also, it was the eastern gate to the Vijayanagara Empire.


A legend specifies that the Hanuman temple here was installed by Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, after the Mahabharata war. Sage Vasishta is believed to have installed the idols of the main deity Srinivasa, Padmavati and Rama-Sita-Lakshmana.
In modern history, Mulbagal finds mention as the site of the Battle of Mulwagul (4 October 1768) during the First Anglo-Mysore War

Kurudumale Maha Ganapathi Temple

Kurudumale is northwest at 8 km from Mulbagal. This place is famous for Lord Ganapathi Temple. The idol of Ganapathi is made of single "Saligrama rock" and the height is about 21 feet from the ground level. This idol and temple is told to be 5000 years old.

Kshetra Palaka Sri Anjaneya Temple

Mulbagal Anjaneya Swamy Temple at Mulbagilu bus stand: Being tired after war Arjuna went on pilgrimage and bought his flag used during war consisting of Vayu Putra image and established in Mulabagal then called shathaka vatipuri. The temple has been renovated recently[when?] by a donor from the USA, a native of Chamareddypalli, a village near mulbagal.[citation needed]

Sripadaraja Mutt Mulbagal

The town was the residing place of Sreepadaraja Swamiji, or simply Sripadaraya, a disciple of Saint Madhwacharya (who is known as third Avatar of Vayu) (the earlier two being Anjaneya or Hanuman, second being Bheema, the second Pandava).
Madhwacharya established the Dwaita school of philosophy. Sri Sreepadaraaja Swamiji is the disciple of Shri swarnavarna teertharu. He is the cousin of SrI Brahmanyateertharu. Sri Sreepadaraaja Swamiji is the vidya-guru (spiritual teacher) of Sri Vyasarajaru, whose name is taken with extreme devotion among the scholars.
Sreepadaraaja Swamiji who was the raajaguru (most important advisor) of the Vijayanagara kings, was known to have used kannada keerthanas (hymns) during pooja which was considered holy during those times. Sreepaadaraja Swaamiji was known to offer 64 types of dishes, naivedya (offering), to God every day without fail. He has penned many keerthanas praising God that are still popular after 600 years.
Sreepadaraaja Swamiji has composed a grantha (book that discusses spiritual matters) called "vagvajra".

Narasimha Teertha

The Narasimha teertha is about 2 km from the town of Mulbagal towards east on NH-4. It is the sacred place where Swaamiji lived and had his brindavan (sacred resting place for Hindu sages) made. It is now the headquarters of the Sreepaadaraaja Mutt founded by him. There is a Swayamvyakta Yoga Narasimha temple near the brindavan.

Someshwara Temple

Apart from the famous Hanuman temple, this town has a Someswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Shiva linga here is similar to that at sacred Kashi or Varanasi. Legend says the childless can pray for a child by making pradhakshinas.

Virupakshi Swamy temple

Sri Virupaksheshwara Swamy Temple is in Virupakshi Village about 4 km from Mulbagal. This temple was built in the 13th century by Vijayanagara Rulers and resembles the Virupaksheshwara Temple in Hampi. One family has been doing the pooja here since the temple was constructed and dates back about eight generations.

Other famous temples in Mulbagal Taluk

1.   Venugopala Swamy Temple located in Kavathanahalli, 5 km from Mulbagal its a 400-year-old temple.
2.   Lord Subramanyeswara temple at foot hills of Anjandri hill.
3.   Vittaleshwara Temple: Dedicated to Vishnu, the idol is similar to Panduranga Vittala at Pandarapur in Maharashtra state. This is a very old temple and has a large gopuras (towers) and vast kalyani (pond).
4.   Sreenivasa Temple in Jyothi NagaraPet was built by Sri RangaDasulu.
5.   Agustheshwar Temple at the center of Mulbagal.

Small hills in Mulbagal Taluk

Small hills (Betta is a Kannada term for hill) are in and near Mulbagal. These are very convenient for a day camp like trekking and hiking.
  • Mulbagal Hill Mulbagal town has beautiful hill, with small temples on top of the hill.
  • Chikkuru betta, Black & white small hills these small hills are nearByrakur.
  • Doddahatihalli Rock Port, Doddahatihalli is a village has a historical small rocks port located 1 km from RajendraHalli, Rajendrahalli (31 km from Mulbagal), a modern village near Byrakur
Kappalamadagu village and panchayath sri channakeashava swamy temple every year channakeshava bramha rathotsava celabrete grandly..........mulbagal to kappalamadagu 5 km

 Sripadaraja Mutt Mulbagal

The town was the residing place of Sreepadaraja Swamiji, or simply Sripadaraya, a disciple of Saint Madhwacharya (who is known as third Avatar of Vayu) (the earlier two being Anjaneya or Hanuman, second being Bheema, the second Pandava).
Madhwacharya established the Dwaita school of philosophy. Sri Sreepadaraaja Swamiji is the disciple of Shri swarnavarna teertharu. He is the cousin of SrI Brahmanyateertharu. Sri Sreepadaraaja Swamiji is the vidya-guru (spiritual teacher) of Sri Vyasarajaru, whose name is taken with extreme devotion among the scholars.
Sreepadaraaja Swamiji who was the raajaguru (most important advisor) of the Vijayanagara kings, was known to have used kannada keerthanas (hymns) during pooja which was considered holy during those times. Sreepaadaraja Swaamiji was known to offer 64 types of dishes, naivedya (offering), to God every day without fail. He has penned many keerthanas praising God that are still popular after 600 years.
Sreepadaraaja Swamiji has composed a grantha (book that discusses spiritual matters) called "vagvajra".

This place was famous as moodala or mulubagilu since it was the eastern door of the sacred kshethra, Bhoovaikunta or Thirupathi. The sthalapurana goes to say that Koundinya rishi did penance here. Anjanadri mountain where Anjanadevi did tapas to get worthy son is also here. In Dwapara yuga, the flag post in the chariot of Arjuna given by Agni had the sannidhya of Hanumantha. After the war Arjuna led by Krishna installed that Anjaneya here. There is a puranic story also that daily kethaki flower is offered to Hanumantha here everyday.
Agastheshwara installed by sage Agasthya is also here in the middle of the town and this idol is very old . This temple has not seen the light for some time. Recently, a few devotees have strived hard to renovate it with the help of Archak. at present it has gained its past glory and pride and now it has attracted the devotees and the Deity has a great power to bestow all the good to its devotees.
Viroopakshi, is a village 2 kilometers away from the town towards south. There exists Viroopaksheswara Swamy temple, identical in archetecture to that of Hampi temple. On Rathasapthami day only after sunrise, the rays of the sun fall on the linga in the sanctum sanctorum. That is how the gopuram of the temple has been constructed..
In the heart of the town Vittalanarayaswamy temple exists , The Panduranga of Pandhrapur had been kept here for sime time with the fear of invasion. At the time of Sripadaraja, that was shifted from mulbagal to Pandrapur and an idol of Vittala was installed here. A stone inscription before the temple explains this.Vittalanarayana is worshipped as Kshetramurthy. This town has hosted all the schools of thought say; Veerashivas, Shiaivites, Vishistadwaitins, Dwaitins and others. This was known as the second capital of Vijayanagar empire.
The then Rajaguru of Vijayanagar kings, Vidyaranya belongs to Adwaitha school and Akshobhya theertha to Dwaitha school, had made Mulubagilu as their platform for vadagosti. Vidyaranya, was famous as shaddarshanacharya. Akshobhya theertha was well known for his argumentative skills and Scholarship. "The heat of vedavidya generated by the lions at war in a dense forest had made mulubagil a place of high activity. Vedanta desika of Visishtadwaitha stood there to deliver the judgement, in that intellectual war fought at that high level. Yukthi-prayukthi the narrative style, tarka-nyaya etc., where the deciding factors encircled by impartiality, scholastic eminence and objectivity. Vijayanagar and Anegundi Keladi kings as well as eminent pandiths were present to honour the victory decision.
Akshobhya theertha had camped in the cave in front of the shiva temple on Hanchukallu betta in Mulubagilu and Vidyaranya in a cave even now called Vidyaranya guha. .
The meaning of "Tatvamasi" shruthi was the topic of the debate. Akshobhya muni rejected Vidyaranya's interpretation of the shruthivakhya as per yukthi, with the help of nigama agama pramanas and established sarvajna sidhanta. It was a critical, specific, clear and a suited explosion of pramana vakyas. The scholars who were witnessing Akshobhya theertha's oration flowing smoothly like Ganga with pristine purity and like the sound of ocean with all its dignity were held spellbound. The judge Vedanta Desika wrote his decision in the form of shloka and sent. "Asinaa thatva masinaa parajeeva prabhedina, Vidhyaranya maharanya Akshobyamuni rachinath" with the help of the sword "tatvamasi" which actually means difference between jeeva and Brahma, Akshobya yathi felled the dense forest called Vidyaranya. To commemorate this event a victory post was erected on that mountain top. The public debate between Akshobhya theertha and Vidyaranya that took place and Vedanta Desika's judgement shloka were inscribed for record on a pillar post and it was called as jayasthamba.
At Narasimha theertha near Mulubagil Akshobhya theertha, using angaara sketched Lord Narasimha before entering the debate and later on the murthy was formed its own. Vyasaraja installed Hanumantha to augment the sannidhana vishesha of the Divine place. To this sacred kshethra students came for learning dwaitha darshana and tatvajnana under Sripadaraja from all parts of the country.

Sripadarajaru is revered by all madhvas. It is believed that he is the incarnation of Dhruva. His contributions to Dvaita, Haridasa Sahitya, and the then existing social and political circumstances were considerable. He was also the vidyaguru of Sri Vyasaraya.Sripadaraya or Sripadaraja is considered to be the originator of Dasakuta.

Sri Sripadaraja (the saint of saints) is none other than the very incarnation of Shri Dhruva raja, the son of King Uttanapada.


Badami  cave temples, Karnataka

The Badami cave temples are a complex of temples located at Badami, a town in the Bagalkot District in the north part of Karnataka, India. They are considered an example of Indian rock-cut architecture, especially Badami Chalukya Architecture. Badami, the capital of the Early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka in the 6th to 8th centuries, lies at the mouth of a ravine with rocky hills on either side and a town tank in which water from the ravine flows. The town is known for its ancient cave temples carved out of the sandstone hills above.

Badami (Kannada: ಬಾದಾಮಿ), formerly known as Vatapi, is a town and headquarters of a taluk by the same name, in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India. It was the regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for rock cut and other structural temples. It is located in a ravine at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya lake.


The name Vatapi has origin in the Vatapi legend of Ramayana relating to Sage Agastya.There were two demon siblings Vatapi and Ilvala. They used to kill all mendicants by tricking them in a peculiar way. The elder Ilvala would turn Vatapi into a ram and would offer its meat to the guest. As soon as the person ate the meat, Ilvala would call out the name of Vatapi. As he had a boon that whomsoever Ilvala calls would return from even the netherland, Vatapi would emerge ripping through the body of the person, thus killing him. Their trick worked until Sage Agastya countered them by digesting Vatapi before Ilvala could call for him, thus ending the life of Vatapi at the hands of Ilvala. Two of the hills in Badami represent the demons Vatapi and Ilvala.
It is also believed that name Badami has come from colour of its stone(badam -Almond)


Temple caves

Badami was the capital of the Early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between the 6th and 8th centuries. It was founded in 540 AD by Pulakesi I(535-566 AD), an early ruler of the Chalukyas. His sons Kirthivarman (567-598 AD) and his brother Mangalesha I (598-610 AD) constructed the cave temples. The greatest among them was Pulakesi II (610-642 AD) who defeated many kings but failed to capture Pallava's capital Kanchipuram.
The rock-cut Badami Cave Temples were sculpted mostly between the 6th and 8th centuries. The four cave temples represent the secular nature of the rulers then, with tolerance and a religious following that inclines towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. cave 1 is devoted to Shiva, and Caves 2 and 3 are dedicated to Vishnu, whereas cave 4 displays reliefs of Jain Tirthankaras. Deep caverns with carved images of the various incarnations of Hindu gods are strewn across the area, under boulders and in the red sandstone. From an architectural and archaeological perspective, they provide critical evidence of the early styles and stages of the southern Indian architecture.
The Pallavas under the king Narasimhavarman I (also called Mamalla Pallava) seized it in 642 AD. Vikramaditya I of Chalukyas drove back Pallavas in 654 AD. and led a successful attack on Kanchipuram, the capital of Pallavas [This statement needs reference]. The Rashtrakutas absorbed karnataka including Badami around 757 AD and the town lost its importance. Also see Chola-Chalukya wars.The Chola-Chalukya wars were a series of wars fought from 992 C.E. to 1120 C.E. between the Chola and the Chalukya kingdoms .It was occupied by the Hoysalas.
Then it passed on to Vijayanagara empire, The Adil Shahis, The Savanur Nawabs, The Marathas, Hyder Ali. The Britishers made it part of the Bombay Presidency


The Badami cave temples are composed of four caves, all carved out of the soft Badami sandstone on a hill cliff in the late 6th to 7th centuries.  The planning of four caves is simple. The entrance is a verandah (mukha mandapa) with stone columns and brackets, a distinctive feature of these caves, leading to a columned mandapa – main hall (also maha mandapa) and then to the small square shrine (sanctum sanctorum, garbhaghrha) cut deep into the cave.  The temple caves represent different religious sects. Among them, two (cave 2 and 3) are dedicated to god Vishnu, one to god Shiva (cave 1) and the fourth (cave 4) is a Jain temple. The first three are devoted to the Vedic faith and the fourth cave is the only Jain temple at Badami.
The cave temples date back to 600 and 700 CE. Their architecture is a blend of North Indian Nagara Style and South Indian Dravidian style. As described above each cave has a sanctum sanctorum, a mandapa, a verandah and pillars. The cave temples also bear exquisite carvings, sculptures and beautiful murals.[5] Important part of historical heritage at Badami cave temples are inscriptions in old Kannada script. There is also the fifth cave temple in Badami – Buddhist temple in natural cave which can be entered only on all fours.

Cave 1

The first shrine has at its entrance Shiva’s door keepers; to the right inside is the figure of Shiva of about five feet height and in the tandava dancing pose with 18 arms. Beside him are Nandi, dancing Ganapati, etc. There is a neatly carved perfect figure of Mahishasuramardini and several other rock –cut dwarf images of kubja ganas, Nagaraja or snake king, Vidhyadhara couple, etc. are on the ceiling.

Cave 2

The second cave and on its front are the guards or dvarapalakas holding lotus in their hands. East and West walls of the cave have large images of Bhuvaraha and Trivikrama. On the ceiling are engraved Ananthashayana, Bramha, Vishnu, Shiva and Asthadikpalakas.

Cave 3

The third cave is dedicated to Vishnu, and is the best and the biggest, and it has splendid giant figures of Paravasudeva, Bhuvaraha, Harihara and Narasimha. All these statues are engraved in a vigorous style. An inscription found here records the creation of the shrine by Mangalesha in 578. There are some paintings on the ceiling and the style indicates maturity but has lost its original dazzling colour. The bracket figures on the piers here are some of the finest.

Cave 4

The fourth cave is Jaina which lies a little east of cave III. The sanctum is adorned by the image of Mahavira. The pedestal contains an old Kannada inscription of the 12th century A.D. which registers the death of one Jakkave. Scores of Jaina Thirthankara images have been engraved in the inner pillars and walls. In addition to it, there are some idols of Bahubali, Yakshas and Yakshis. Some scholars assign the cave to the 8th century


The nearest airport is Belgaum about 150 kilometers away. It is on the Hubli - Sholapur rail route, and the rail station is 5 kilometers from the town. It is also connected by road to Hubli and Bijapur. Badami is reachable from Bengalooru by a 12-hour bus ride, or by a direct train "Bijapur Express (train no. 6535 and 6535A)" or with a combination of an overnight train journey from Bangalore to Hospet followed by a short bus ride from Hospet to Badami. Another train journey could be from Bangalore to Hubli (8–9 hours) and then a bus ride to Badami (3 hours). Badami is around 130 km from Hubli. Local transport is by Rickshaws, tongas and city buses.
Badami is around 150 km from Hospet which has a decent motorable road. A car journey would take around 4 hours from Hospet to Badami


Balligavi Temple, Karnataka

Balligavi (Kannada: ಬಳ್ಳಿಗಾವಿ) a town in Shikaripura taluk Shimoga district of Karnataka state, India, is today known as Belagami or Balagame. Its ancient names are Dakshina Kedara,Valliggame and Valligrame. Dakshina Kedara means Kedarnath of the South. A place of antiquity, it is known for its ancient monuments. It is also famous as the birthplace of the great Virashaiva saint Allama Prabhu   and is closely associated with Vachana poetess Akka Mahadevi who was born in nearby Udugani. She was a contemporary of Allama Prabhu and Basavanna, the founder of the Virashaiva movement. Balligavi is also the birthplace of Shantala Devi, queen of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. Many famous Hoysala sculptors like Dasoja, Malloja, Nadoja, Siddoja hailed from here. Today, Balligavi (Balli in Kannada means creeper or vine) is a quite town much of whose daily routines revolve around agriculture and the famous 11th century Kedaresvara Temple and Tripurantakesvara Temple. Balligavi is located 72 km from Shimoga city and 12 km from Shikaripura town in Shikaripura taluk.


Legend has it that Balligavi was the capital of a Asura king (demon) and hence was called Balipura (city of Bali). The Pandavas later arrived here while on their Vanavasa (forest dwell) and installed the Panchalinga (five lingas) and hence the name Panchalingeswara to the well known temple here. Linga is the universal symbol of Shiva. Archaeologically Balligavi dates from the Satavahana-Kadamba era and the Chaturmukha linga (four faced linga) here is in their style. The earliest inscription mentioning the name Balligavi is a 685 CE Badami Chalukya inscription.

Golden age

The golden age of Balligavi was during the rule of the Western Chalukya Empire during the 10th-12th centuries. Balligavi during these times had six mathas, three puras "extensions", five vidyapithas "places of learning", and seven Brahmapuris. The mathas belonged to Shaivas, Vaishnavas, Jainas and Buddhists. The Kedareshwara matha belonging to the Kalamukha Shaivas and the Kodiya matha was well known and had the patronage of the Hoysala emperors, marking the place as one of religious activity. Records also indicate that an ancient University existed here. The town also had 54 temples and supported 60,000 residents during that time. Earlier to the Chalukyas, the area came under the Banavasi province of the Kadamba Dynasty. Important Kadamba inscriptions like the Talagunda inscriptions, near Balligavi have been collected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Kedaresvara temple

This is an excellent example of a trikuta "triple towers" temple in a transitional Western Chalukya-Hoysala architecture.  It is the oldest example of such a combinational style in Karnataka according to reports from the Mysore archaeological department. The temple faces east and has a stepped entrance on three sides. The entrance on the sides is a Western Chalukya idiom.  The central shrine has a linga (universal symbol of Shiva) made from black marble (Krishnashila). The shrine to the south has a linga called Brahma and the shrine to the north has a statue of Janardhana (Vishnu). The temples outside plan is in "staggered-square" style with many projections and recesses which is a Hoysala design.  The outer walls of the open mandapa (hall) have carvings of women wearing fine jewellery. Two Hoysala emblems were added in 1060 CE by Hoysala Vinayaditya. The superstructure (tower) of the vimana are very well decorated with sculptures of Tandaveshwara, Varaha, Uma Narasimha, Bhairava etc. (avatars of Shiva and Vishnu) and the sukanasi of all three towers still exist.  The western shrine is the oldest dating from the 7th or 8th century. Attached to the vestibule that connects the shrines is a well designed open mantapa with two rows of pillars. The outer row of pillars are 16 faced while the inner row of pillars are lathe turned with bell shaped mouldings, a style popular with both Western Chalukys and Hoysalas. The ceiling of the mantapa is flat and the inner ceiling is well carved with lotuses in them. The central ceiling has the carving of Tandaveshwara (dancing Shiva) with eight dikpalakas (guards). The entrance to the shrine which faces east has a Nandi, the bull and a celestial attendant of Shiva.


Balligavi is located 72 km from Shimoga city and 12 km from Shikaripura town in Shikaripura taluk.


Pincode : 577427 

Transport to Shimoga


Shimoga has a total road length of 6632 km with 222 km belonging to the National highways and 402 km belonging to state highways.
  • National Highways:
  • State Highways:
    • SH-1 passes through the towns of Agumbe, Thirthahalli, Shikaripura.
    • SH-25 passes through Honnali and Shimoga.
    • SH-26 passes through Ayanur, Arasalu and Hulikal.
    • SH-27 passes through Begar and Agumbe.
    • SH-48 passes through Sorab and Shikaripura
    • SH-50 passes through Jog, Mavinagundi, Siddapura, Chandragutti, Soraba.
    • SH-52 passes through Thirthahalli, Nagara
    • SH-57 passes through Sikaripura, Shimoga, Lakkavalli
    • SH-65 passes through Agumbe, Begar, Koppa, Narasimharajapura, Sulageri, Bhadravathi.
    • SH-62 passes through Siralakoppa and Sagara.
    • SH-77 passes through Soraba, Masur, Sagar, Hosnagar.


The rail network in Shimoga district:


Shimoga airport is under construction in Sogane, 6 km from Shimoga city. Airports at Bangalore, Mangalore and Hubli will be connected to Shimoga airport.





Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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