En route to Devarayana durga is a place located called Namanda Chilume (the Spring of Tilaka/Nama) at the base of the hill road leading to Tumkur. Tilaka or Nama or Pundraka is a ritual mark on the forehead, of sandalwood paste, coloured earth or vermilion.
Namada Chilume near Bangalore
Based on the Puranas it is believed that Sri Rama during Vanavas (exhile to forest) on his way to Lanka halted here. He wanted to apply Nama or Tilaka on his forehead, not finding water anywhere around to wet the “nAma, he shot an arrow into the ground, and a spring sprang and thus the name (Rama)-nAmada chilume.
The spring can be still seen, the water comes out from a small hole throughout the year and never dries up and there is a foot impression of Lord Sri Rama near that.
Namada Chilume old guesthouse where Dr. Salim Ali had camped. Photographer Gpitta
This place is enclosed by the forest department. Little away from the current government guest house, just facing the spring is an old, dilapidated guest house constructed in 1931. Dr. Salim Ali, ornithologist also known as the “Bird man of India” was said to have stayed in this guest house during his visits to this place, around 1938.
Interestingly enough there is a moist deciduous patch behind the old guest house, adjoining the huge rock face and Dr. Salim Ali had collected moist-deciduous species in this area, which are no longer to be seen now.
Nursery Near Namada Chilume
The forest department has developed a nursery of medicinal plants near Namada Chilume. There are about 300 varieties of rare ayurvedic plants in this nursery. Group of similar species of plants are cultivated on specified plots for easy identification of the plant varieties.
The nursery is located at a forest spot beside Tumkur-Devarayanadurga bus route. The nursery, known as the mini forest of medicinal plants, has been developed with the objective of conserving endangered species of plants on Devarayanadurga hills.
Deer Park Near Namada Chilume
There is a Deer Park in the vicinity of the Namada Chilume, one gets reminded of the deer park in Lal Bagh. There many spotted deer taken care by the forest department. One can enjoy the un-polluted greenery and fresh air of the Namada Chilume.
It is good try for an one day trip from Bangalore. One needs to carry their own water and food, though there are small shops around. Also there is a Kamat outlet nearby on Tumkur Road for food and refreshments.
How To Reach Namada Chilume
By road: 68 kms from Bangalore, 14 kms from Tumkur Town, near Devarayana Durga.
From Bangalore -> Yeshwanthpur -> Dobbespet -> right turn under the flyover leads to Devarayandurga
From Bangalore -> Kyatsandra, after second toll gate(1Km) on Tumkur road take a right at Kyatsandra -> Siddaganga Mutt -> Namada Chilume