My rating on accessibility: ★☆☆☆☆
The Ramalingeshwara temple is situated in Avani town of the Kolar district. This is around a 100 kilometres by road from Bangalore and a good location for a day trip.
The temple has a historic relevance to the Ramayana. It is said that Sage Valmiki, who is also the author of Ramayana, used to reside in this area and had given shelter to Goddess Sita when Lord Ram banished her. This is also the place where she gave birth to Lava and Kusha during her exile.
The Ramalingeshwara Temple’s Rathotsava organised on the day after Shivaratri, is a premier religious ritual that draws a large crowd. The chariot, which is 74 feet in height, is the tallest one in Kolar district.
Maybe the town is called Avani (meaning = the earth) because of Sita. Sita was found in a furrow when ploughing a field and also returned to the earth in the end. **Trivia not related to this story: my name Mrunmaiy also means made from earth/ clay, basically one who is associated or connected with soil.
The Ramalingeshwara temple complex comprises four major shrines, one each for Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. There are other minor shrines, such as those for Vali and Sugriva. There are also separate temples dedicated to Lord Shiva comprising multiple Shiva lingas, and for Nandi bull.
The Ramalingeshwara temple is recognised by the Archaeological Survey of India as a monument of national importance. From a tourist perspective, you will not find any guides or information booklets in the campus. The best bet is if a priest is around who can give you a bit of history. We reached in the afternoon and there was nobody around so we were dependent on the boards outside each temple that gave a brief explanation of its relevance.
In terms of accessibility, there are roadblocks aka steps at the entrance of the Ramalingeshwara temple complex as well as the different temples inside. With the help of a few locals and the only other group of tourists, I was able to enter the temple campus. They lifted my manual chair over the steps. From thereon, I was able to smoothly go around the campus and observe all the temples from outside. I did not go inside any specific temple because of tall steps and narrow entrances.
I enjoyed this day trip primarily because of the great weather and most importantly the opportunity to observe the intricate architecture and carved designs on the different temples and shrines. The place was also very peaceful because there were hardly any other tourists. The clear sky, birds chirping and a sense of wonder of how these temples came into being out of rocks was a delightful experience.
Whether you are interested in history or just love exploring new places, I would recommend you do come here once. As I mentioned before, the Ramalingeshwara temple complex is not accessible so make sure you have someone to help you around. Also, better to come here in a manual chair and not a motorised one, because it will be difficult to lift 🙂
Some time back I also visited a 4,000 years old Ganesh temple in Adasa, near Nagpur. This temple is also known as one of the eight Ashta-Vinayaks in Maharashtra. You can read more about it and watch a video here.
Check out my video of the Ramalingeshwara temple complex below:
I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the above pictures from Ramalingeshwara temple in Kolar. Drop a comment in the section below and we can discuss.