The rocky hills of Ramanagra were the stage for one of India’s most iconic movies and today are a favoured trekking and adventure sports destination. But this scenic and desolate looking wild expanse is also home to one of the most enigmatic shrines in Karnataka – Shree Kabbalamma Temple which is dedicated to Goddess Shakti or Kabbalamma.
It is the major worshipping centre for the population of the nearby villages. The beautiful temple is nestled amidst the terrain that Ramanagram is famous for, the juxtaposition of an elaborately built structure with the stark natural landscape around it.
Quick Facts about Shree Kabbalamma Temple
- Best Time to Visit: October to February
- Address: Kabbalu, Ramanagara – 562126 (MAP)
- Phone: +91 80 231 9000 / 236 17700
- Website: shreekabbalamma.com
History of Shree Kabbalamma Temple
The temple has only recently become prominent outside its surrounding vicinity. The village and fort get their name from the presiding deity of the site. It is known as the only major Hindu temple for around 28 villages in this area, so it has locally always been a very important spiritual site.
Legend and Rituals
Devotees come to this temple to seek fulfilment and solutions in many areas. It is believed that those looking for a good marriage or well-being for their spouse can come and offer prayers at this shrine. The resident bull is also an important part of the more recent legends surrounding the temple, and many come for the blessings from this animal, considered a representation of the deity.
An interesting ritual is associated with this resident bull or Basaveshwara. A devotee who promises to make an offering to the bull will have to sleep on the floor, allowing the bull to walk over him or her. Even small children are made to lie down in front of the bull. Devotees also tie bundles of currency notes to the horns of the bull, as part of the offerings or expression of gratitude for wishes being granted.
Architecture and Festivals
As one approaches the temple, the backdrop of a rocky dome provides the foil for the white obelisk tower of the shrine’s high mandapa. The temple is fenced off with walls and sports an arch. The pillared mandapa and the gopuras are the most striking features of this temple, which is built in a Dravidian architectural style.
The main deity is represented in a sculpture, the central shrine of the temple. Other sculptures include that of a Nandi or bull and a small wooden rath or chariot is also one of the attractions in the temple. The temple has a large space in front of it, for festivals to be conducted. From the gateway to the mandapas, the temple is adorned with intricate stone art, depicting the many representations and stories of the mythology associated with the deity.
The main festival that is held at the Shree Kabbalamma Temple is the Kabbalamma Jatre, celebrated with much fanfare by the many devotees, most of them from the surrounding area. During this festival, the deity is carried on a rath or chariot and taken for a procession around the village before it is returned. Devotees all try to be part of the pulling party, as it is considered auspicious.
The Kabbal village, where this temple is situated, is also home to the Kabbal fort, built on a large rock that is around 250 metres high. Kabbal Fort or Kabbal Durga as it is known locally is a great destination for treks and nature photography. The summit of this rocky landscape offers magnificent views of the surrounding arid plains and granite formations. One can see this large rock from many kilometres away and it is considered a major landmark in this part of Karnataka.
How to Reach Shree Kabbalamma Temple
Kabbal village’s relatively close proximity to Bangalore means there are multiple transit options for those who want to visit. Options include buses and private cabs.
The closest airport of Kabbal village is Bangalore International Airport, 114 kilometres away. The best route from the airport to the temple is NH209.
The closest railway stations include Bangalore East (84 kilometres), Bangalore Cantonment (81 kilometres) and City Railway Station (80 kilometres away).
To travel by road from Bangalore to Kabbal, travel south for 80 kilometres on the NH209; this route falls on the way to Mysore. One can catch a bus to Channapatna, Kanakapura or Ramanagram to find their way to Kabbal. Channapatna is 22 kilometres away from the village and Kanakapura is 15 kilometres away.
The beauty of Karnataka lies not only in its historic towns and modern capital city. To understand more about the culture of this place, it is always recommended to dig deeper into the local curiosities and landmarks that dot the vast region. The villages of the state hold many colourful and vibrant secrets, offering a window into the rich legacy of the region. A visit to Shree Kabbalamma Temple brings you to a centrepiece that binds together spiritual doctrine, architecture, and natural beauty.