Devarayana Durga is a rocky hill station situated in the midst of picturesque scenery at an altitude of 3940 feet, about nine miles east of Tumkur town of Karnataka State of India. It is 65 km from Bangalore, India, by road on Tumkur road There are 3 elevations and seven gates leading to the top. The lowest elevation situated is the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple.
Near by are 2 springs known as Ane done and Jaya tirtha, they form the source of the streams Mangali and Jaya. These unite at Irukasandra at the foothill. These hills are the source of the river Shimsha.
At the mid elevation, there are two other springs known as Rama-tirtha and Dhanus-tirtha. There is a large cave nearby with figures of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana. One can find the Government Travellers Bungalow and few places of rest here. The most important of all are the Yoganarasimha and the Bhoganarasimha temples.
History of Devarayana Durga
Originally known as Anebiddasari (the place where the elephant fell) it was named after a chief named Jadaka called as Jadakana Durga. Finally this place is known as Devarayana Durga after it was captured by Mysore king Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar.
Tradition relates that Sumati, a prince, whose father, Hemachandra, was the king of Karnata and ruled from Yadupattana. He fought for this place having overthrown a robber chief named Andhaka or Lingaka. Sumathi is said to have established the city of Bhumandana near the present Nelamangala.
During the Hoysalas rule, a rogue elephant seems to have fallen down the steep rock, this place is known as Anebiddasari. According to the sthala purana, a Gandharva suddenly appeared before the town to the great consternation of the people and after doing considerable mischief, tried to walk up the steep rock on the west, when it slipped, fell back and was killed. The hill is accordingly called as Karigiri in the Puranas.
During the Vijayanagara Kings rule, a large tank, named Bukkasamudra, was made throwing an embankment across the gorge from which waters from the river Jayamangali flowed. One can still see the remains of the embankment and of the adjacent town.
Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple
This temple has been built in the Dravidian style of architecture, faces east. It has been constructed by Kanthirava Narasaraja I.
The enclosure and tower were repaired in 1858 by the Mysore King Krishnaraja Wodeyar III according to the inscriptions. At the base of the hill is the Bhoga Narasimha temple and Yoga Narasimha temple is on top of the hill.
There is a temple of Narasimah , Kumbhi on the third elevation stands. This Narasimha temple consists of a Garbhagriha, a sukanasi, a navagraha and a mukhamantapa. There are three sacred ponds or Kalyani here known as Narasimha-teertha, Parasara-teertha and Pada-teertha.
A Hanuman temple, known as Sanjivaraya, who stands with folded hands is present. This temple is said to be older than the Lakshmi Narasimha temple. Higher up above is a small shrine of Garuda.
The Car festival or the Jatre of the Devarayana Durga Sri Bhoga Narasimhaswamy is held during Phalguna Masa(month), shuddha poornima (Full moon) day around the Month of March/April in Devarayanadurga. On this day the chariot/car/Ratha of Sri Bhoga Narasimhaswamy is drawn in the main Ratha beedhi of the hill town. The festival draws devotees from all over Bangalore-Tumkur and surrounding region.
Devarayanadurga Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy’s Jayanthi, an annual celebration of Narasimha avathara day or the birth day of Narasimha takes place during month of Chaitra, Shudha chathurdashi (May month). During this occasion thousands of people gather from all parts of Karnataka and celebrate. Eats and savories like Panakam (Jaggery drink), buttermilk, phalamruth and free feeding is done to all devotees coming for the Darshan (Sacred View) of Lord.
According to the Hindu puranas, the ritual of circling the hills known as Giri Pradakshine on which the temples were situated, is considered very sacred. Many devotees undertake this journey at Devarayana Durga.
How to reach Devarayana Durga
By road: 68 kms from Bangalore, 14 kms from Tumkur Town
- From Bangalore -> Yeshwanthpur -> Dobbespet -> right turn under the flyover leads to Devarayandurga
- From Bangalore -> Kyatsandra, after second toll gate (1 Km) on Tumkur road take a right at Kyatsandra -> Siddaganga Mutt -> Namada Chilume -> Hanuman Temple Devarayanadurga. (Recommended Route)
Nearest Town Tumkur
Nearest Railway Station: 25 km away in Dobbespet
Nearest Airport: Bangalore