If you live in or around Bangalore or are visiting the city, you would not want to miss paying a visit to this place. You must have heard about the grandeur of the hills that surround the place, but also not without the mention of people who flock to these places in large numbers. So, what if there lies a similar place minus the crowd where you can get lost and experience serenity? Avalabetta often called as “Nandi Hills without the crowd” is a perfect place to relish the same scenic beauty as the Nandi Hills but without the commotion. Standing on the top of the hill, you can witness the magical view of lush green trees and variegated rocky terrain which is spread out profusely. Avalabetta is a place filled with tranquility especially if you witness the sunrise or the sunset standing atop.
Fables and Myths
The hills make interesting formations as if a painter had artistically arranged them to create an abstract to be showcased in a museum. This place has interesting history. It is believed that when the ocean was in turmoil because of the wrath of Gods and Demons, a lot of species, both good and bad, sprang out of it. One of the species among them was the pious Cow. It is believed that the cow first landed on this particular place. If you think this is just a made up fable, make sure to see the hoof marks of the cow on the rocks.
What to See
1. Avalabetta Hilltop
Avalabetta is maintained by the Forest Department and hence is in good condition. To reach the hill top you will have to trek a little bit but the quietude in the atmosphere replete with greenery will make it worth. If you get tired, sit on the boulders and enjoy the panoramic view while soft breeze flows around you. If you wish to witness the view in its full glory, reach the hill either during sunrise or sunset. The beauty during this will leave you awestruck. But beware of the mischievous monkeys who live all around the place.
2. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is situated on top of the Avalabetta hills. The spiritual insides of the temple are well complemented by its pristine surroundings. The villagers offer cow milk to make their wishes come true in front of the Deity. But, if you make a wish with a pious heart without the cow milk, your wishes will also surely come true. The most interesting thing about Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is the priest who takes care of this temple. He will mesmerize you by telling the history and mythological significance of this place. Make sure to have a conversation with him.
3. Gudibande Fort
Gudibande Fort is at a mere distance of 23 km from the Avalabetta hills and was built in the 17th century which makes it almost 400 years old. It is a multi level fort with splendid façade which was constructed under the supervision of Byre Gowda, a local chief. The fort is famous for its water harvesting and 19 rock ponds located on different levels of the fort. Since the fort is situated on top of a hill, the view from it is enchanting. You will be able to see the small colourful homes, verdant trees and hills which make it a picturesque view. If you want up pump up your adrenaline level, trying going through the 25 feet long dark tunnel. As only one person can go through at a time, it might make you claustrophobic but the light at the other end will make you feel like a winner. On top of the hill is a Shiva temple where you can pray and seek blessings.
4. Dandiganahalli Dam
A massive dam is located at a distance of 23 km from Avalabetta which is quite a sight to see. It is a major source of water to the nearby villages. There are no restrictions and you can freely explore the dam without any hindrance. The dam is surrounded by hills and you can also see birds flying down to quench their thirst. The dam is surrounded by calmness and the majestic view that it provides makes the place a must visit.
5. Srinivasa Sagara
Srinivasa Sagara is a lake located at a difference of 23 km from Avalabetta. The lake is replete with water. The fishing boats floating peacefully at the edges of this lake add to the serenity of this place. Sit by the lake and enjoy some peaceful moments with nature. The greenery surrounding this place looks stupendous while the sun is setting.
There is a government guest house at the top of Avalabetta hill which is run by the forest department. The facilities provided are not extravagant but sufficient for a comfortable stay. This is the only place where you will get food, so if you want, pack some eatables with you to enjoy at the hilltop and during the journey. Since the whole trip requires a lot of trekking, opt for sport shoes instead of fancy footwear. Carry plenty of water with you because the beaming sun might leave you dehydrated.
Avalabetta is a perfect getaway to get a break from your monotonous routine. It is filled with picturesque places to visit and splendid architectures which will be a treat for your eyes. The tranquility that surrounds the place will make you relax and let you cherish the small moments in life with you loved ones. The treks will bring you closer to nature. Yours lungs, which are otherwise polluted by the low quality of air in cities, will finally breathe a sigh of relief to get a breath of fresh air.