The epical golden city of Kolar is the doorway to Tirumala (Tirupati Temple), the abode of Lord Venkateswara and is located in the southern state of Karnataka. It is about 70 km from the capital city Bangalore (Bengaluru). The city is famous for its holy temples, such as Someshwara and Kolaramma temples.
Historical significance of Kolar
Konganivarman, the founder of the Ganga Dynasty built the city of Kolar and ruled it for twenty years. Kolar, also referred to as Avantika-Kshetra, is famous for its pious foundations from ancient times. It has close links with the great legends, of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The author of the Ramayana, Sage Valmiki, is said to have resided here. Lord Rama is also believed to have spent a few days here on his way back to Ayodhya after his exile. Legend also has it that it was here that Sita came and gave birth to Luv and Kush after being rejected by Rama.
Attractions in and around Kolar
Kolar is subdivided into five taluks and each taluk has its own significance, which is elucidated below:-
Situated in the heart of Kolar, this archaeological structure dates back to the early 14th Century. A classic example of the Vijayanagara style of architecture, featuring heavy Prakara walls, a Kalyana Mantapa or wedding hall, a Mukha Mandapa with massive pillars, a Vasantha Mantapa or Marriage Podium and a shrine for goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva.
The temple has an ancient steep tank known as Kalyani. When this tank was initially discovered, many items manufactured in Canada, Britain and Belgium were discovered. The items included glasses, old pots and iron implements that were dumped into the tank by army officers.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the great sculptors who built this temple have breathed their very lives into each pillar.
The month of December would be the best time to visit this pious temple, as the climate is pleasant.
Goddess Shakti, in the form of Kollorama, is the presiding deity of Kolar. The Kolaramma Temple is her abode and was built in the Ganga Dynasty. The temples illustrate the Dravidian style of architecture with imprints of Chola inscription. The granite stone structure is 800 years old and is designed in an L-shape sharing two shrines on a single vestibule. One is for Durga, known as Kolaramma, and the other is for Saptamatrikas, the seven mothers.
Also known as Antaragange, it is a popular hill and trekking spot 70 km from Bangalore. The tracking point begins with the steps which lead to the temple known as Sri Kashi Vishweshwara temple. The temple also has a natural water pool. At the top of the hill, you would find the village called “Paparajanahalli”. It is well connected by road so you can drive directly if you need to. It takes 15 minutes to reach the temple and an hour to reach the village on foot.
Home to one of the world’s largest Shivalinga, the Kotilingeshwara Temple lies in the Kammasandra village in Kolar district. Every year on Mahashivratri, 600,000 devotees visit the temple.
In front of the largest Linga in Asia, there is a 35ft Nandi on a big platform. Eleven small temples of various deities are built around the main temple.
This temple resembles the popular Tirupati Temple of Swamy Venkateswara in Tirumala. It is 29 km from Kolar in a village called Guttahilli. It also has the famous Garuda vehicle for Lord Vishnu.
It is heavily crowded with pilgrims in the month of Shravan (July –August).
Budikote also known as Fort of Ashes, the fort derives its name from an event that happened in the past. It is said that a large-scale Yagya was performed here and left a huge mound of ash. Hyder Ali, the father of Tipu Sultan, built the fort. Famous temples to visit are Venkataramana and Domeshwara.
Kolar Gold Field
The visit to this golden city would be a waste if you did not visit the famous Kolar Gold Fields. They are believed to be the second biggest gold mine in the world. During the period of the British raj, it used to produce a huge amount of gold and employed workers from Germany, Italy, Britain and Anglo-Indians.
The Lord Venkateshwara temple, also known as Keka Temple, is located at Chikka Tirupati, a popular attraction of Malur. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
In village Shivarapattana, one can find award-winning makers of rock sculptures. The other two temples to visit are Shankaranarayana and the Markandeswhwara
Also known as “Little Kanchi” or “Tyakal”, it is a little village that was once famous for 101 wells and 101 Temples. The Sri Varadharaja Temple and Someshwara Temple are the attractions of this quaint place.
The name of this place was derived from the Kannada word “Mudalabagilu”, which means Eastern Door. The name is given due to the fact that the eastern entrance to Mysore as well as the Vijayanagar Empire. Very close by, a hill is supposed to be the first point of sunrise in Karnataka.
Another place that has links with the famous epics Mahabharata and Ramayana it is said that Arjun built a Hanuman Temple after the Mahabharata war. Maharishi Vashisht is supposed to have installed idols of Ram-Lakshman-Sita here.
Baba Hyder wali Dargah
The dargah of Sufi Saint Hazrath Baba Hyder Vali, it is over seven hundred years old. Both Muslims and Hindus come to get the spiritual blessings of the saint.
This temple is the home of the massive Saligrama Ganesh Idol, that is at least 12ft. long and about 7ft. wide. The unique feature of this temple is that it has been built from a single rock and has no foundation. The idol here matches no other Saligrama on Earth and is considered very powerful. People start new jobs or projects only after seeking the blessings of Lord Ganesh. It is also a favourite for all the politicians.
A temple that dates back eight generations, it was built in the 1200s by Vijayanagar rulers and is similar to the Virupaksheshwara Temple in Hampi. An unusual feature of this temple is that it has the figure of a lion in front of the Parvati Shrine.
Other famous tourist sites include:
- Anjaneya Temple – a popular Hanuman Temple
- Lord Subramanyeshwara Temple at the base of Anjandri Hills
- Vittaleshwara Temple – Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is a very old temple with large towers and a big pond
- Ramalingeshwara Temple – Dedicated to Lord Rama and where Sita stayed.
- Narseemha Tirth – The place where Sreepaadaraja Swamiji lived and had his “Brindavan” or sacred resting place for his sages.
- Sripadaraja Math – This is the home of Sripadaraja Swamiji, a direct disciple of Saint Madhwacharya, who is said to be the third avatar of Vayu, the wind God. The two earlier avatars are Anjaneya or Hanuman, and the second was Bhima, the second Pandava.
A rural place, it is famous for the cultivation of rice, ragi, sorghum, maize, pulses, oilseeds, cashews, coconut, areca nut, cardamom, chillies, cotton, sugarcane and tobacco. The nearby tourist attractions are Kaiwara Hill and Kailasagiri Hill, an hour’s drive from Srinivaspura. Other nearby tourist venues include Pillalamrri, Pillalamarri Archaeological Museum, Mallelatheertham, Umamaheshwaram, Alampur and Agasthyeswara Swamy temple.
How to reach Kolar
Kolar is well connected to all major cities’ transport routes.
The Nearest airport to Kolar is Bangalore International Airport, which is around 66.7 kms away.
The nearest railway station is Tyakal (TCL) in Kolar district.
Kolar is very well connected to the major cities of the country and has regular buses, both private and KSRTC. For those who wish to take a private scenic tour into Kolar, you can drive in from Bengaluru.
Kolar is a beautiful place that is magical, historical, cultural and yet very modern. This town is witness to our glorious history. Apart from being a tourist, you can also indulge in adventure sports like parasailing and rock climbing. The ideal time to visit Kolar is between July and September. Make Kolar your next holiday