If you intend to burn some calories, then head to Shivagange hill, about 52 kms from Bengaluru central (UB city). By the time you ascend and descend the hill, you would have lost considerable amount of bad cholesterol.
Though we started to the Shivagange temple at about 10 am, I felt the ideal time should be about 7 to 8 am. The earlier we start, the lesser we will encounter vehicular traffic in the city limits. You know there seems to be no difference between the weekdays and weekends in the garden city.
There are plenty of restaurants in Bengaluru-Tumakuru highway so it is better to skip the breakfast in the city limits in order to save some time. We had our breakfast in Kamath restaurant in Dobbaspet, very near to our destination.
We were four of us in two motorcycles. Mine was the Royal Enfield Bullet RE350 and the other one was the Thunderbird 350. The ride was awesome while we reached our destination. We were little exhausted while returning.
The roads are good right from Bengaluru to the Shivagange hill. The only concern was the speeding trucks. We were making an average of 60-70 kmph and the trucks were doing more than that. That is our bullet.
We had to be on the safer side, on the left, to ensure our safety as well as passage to other vehicles. If you are a first timer, be careful on the highway. You can relax once you take the diversion towards the Shivagange hill from the Bengaluru-Tumakuru highway.
As you near the destination, you will witness a breath taking view of the Shivagange Hill and the temple. I suggest that you stop and take a few photographs and some selfies too. I planned to do it while returning and that never happened as we were in a hurry. The situation made me to realize how important was to “plan and choose the right partner for the journey”.
The parking is towards the left of the temple stairs. On the right are several shops selling flowers and other ritual items. The devotees could buy them to offer it inside the temple.
While climbing the stairs, do not hold eatables or water bottles in your hand. Our good little friends, the monkeys are in great population here, right up to the summit. They love to snatch anything from you they feel worth eating.
We saw two women behind us climbing the stairs surrounded by these little fellows. The women were scared and shouting in confusion. The monkeys were determined to grab anything from them that they could feed on.
The middle-aged women panicked and shouted in a manner that called for more attention from the other monkeys too. Santosh, who rode with me in his Thunderbird, advised the women to show their empty hands to the monkeys. They did so to convince the monkeys that they were not holding anything that is worth eating or anything for that matter. The women were finally free to proceed.
Reaching out to the Sri Gangadeshwara temple is not an easy task. Especially for those who are not used to climbing uneven stairs like this. My heart started racing heavily as I neared the temple. This was only a portion of steps we climbed for the day.
At the Gangadeshwara temple, it was the time for the Abhishekam of Shivalingam with butter. We spent at least more than half an hour witnessing the rituals. This gave us respite to gain some energy to climb rest of the un-even stairs to the Pathalaganga temple where the spring water arises from the underground.
There is a belief that if a person wishes for something, puts her or his hand inside the spring water pocket, and is able to pull out some water, their wishes will come true.
We were all determined to try that and find out whether we could fulfil our wishes. However, it is a double challenge to climb further to the Pathalaganga temple from Gangadeshwara temple.
The temples in this hillock are rock cut. Even the stairs leading to the temples are rock cut, they are uneven and in some places, there are no stairs at all. You have to climb the rocks!
“Take great caution while climbing the stairs or rocks here, they are very slippery”.
I was carrying my camera, a good reason to stay behind. I took a couple of photographs, and took rest in every shops that I came across while climbing the stairs.
My friends were far ahead and waiting for me to join them so we could go into the temple together. One of my friend, my pillion, got a call from office (from this boss) and was in a hurry to return to office. The situation spoilt our other plans.
I was still climbing the stairs towards Pathalaganga temple. My heart was racing heavily. I could feel the rhythms on my face nerves while the drops of sweat were falling down. However, my situation was not that serious, I joined my partners in a few minutes, and we went inside the cave temple together.
The spring water pocket is located behind the sanctum of the temple. As the cave roof is very low, we had to bend a bit as we proceeded towards the water pocket.
We all were standing in a queue waiting for our turn. We had to bend more and more as we neared the water pocket. It was a good exercise until the queue stopped abruptly. As we bent more, the pressure was on our hips. The people behind us could not withstand the pain and started shouting at those near the spring water pocket to move. They were busy filling the water in the cans. Was their plan was to fulfil the wishes of the entire generation?
Finally, it was my turn. I wished for so many things in few seconds and put my hand into the water pocket. I could not feel the water until the top surface touched my shoulder. Oh god, did I wish for something impossible. I did not; I asked for only basic things. If I do not get the water, I will be devoid of those basic things. I was pushing my hand further while my thoughts ran like this. Finally, I felt the water, grabbed a handful.
It was time now to descend as fast as possible and help my friend reach the office before his boss could pull out a pink slip. Do we need to put efforts to climb down the stairs? Not necessarily if our legs are all right. As I climbed down, it was more pain with lots of vibrations. We were barefoot. I felt like rolling down and that will send me up.
The fun was while riding back to Bengaluru. You got to try this to experience this.