Devarayanadurga which translates to “the fort of God” is a tranquil hill station located near Tumkur district in the state of Karnataka. Situated at an elevation of 4000 ft, Devarayanadurga is a perfect weekend getaway to live among the lush green trees and explore the hilly terrain. This place is replete with not only picturesque beauty but also has a rich historical, cultural and religious significance. There are a number of beautifully crafted temples which will provide you with inner peace and leave you awestruck. Untouched by Industrialization, in Devarayanadurga you will be able to witness the magic and serenity of nature.
Devarayanadurga is considered a pristine Hill station. having mythological importance. Myth has it that this was the place where Lord Brahma, the creator of the world performed atonement for thousands of years to please Lord Vishnu. Later, Lord Vishnu incarnated himself as Lord Narasimha here pleased with the penance. Later Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar, a Mysore ruler captured this place in 17th century and it was named ?Devarayanadurga? after him.
The temples built here are almost 2000 years old. They have splendid architecture designed in Dravidian style. The Chola kings were the patrons of these temples.
Devarayanadurga has a rich biodiversity. The forest in and surrounding Devarayanadurga are safe havens for threatened and rare species that live here peacefully. Panthers, leopards, bears are some of the wild animals that can be spotted easily strolling in the forests. The dense forest is also home to a number of birds including Honey Buzzard, Whitebacked Vulture, Pariah Kite, Eagles, owls and Little Grebe. A variety of snakes and lizards are also inhabitants of Devarayanadurga.
Places to Visit
1. Bhoganarasimha Temple
Situated at the base of the hill in Devarayanadurga, Bhoganarasimha Temple is built using intricate carvings and splendid architecture. Dedicated to Lord Narasimha, this temple has pillars in plenitude with historical inscriptions imprinted on them about the history of this place. This pristine place is visited by a lot of devotees.
2. Yoga Narasimha Temple
Believed to be 1000 years old, Yoga Narasimha Temple is located elevation on top of the hill. The temple is beautifully built surrounded by lush green trees and variegated hills. You would have to climb 100 steps to reach this place but the bird's eye view from here is mesmerizing and worth the cardio.
3. Siddara Betta
It is believed that a number of sagacious saints meditative and prayed here. Siddara Betta translates to Saint's Hill s considered sacred by the locals. The place is full of caves which are interestingly formed. This place is also replete in a number of medicinal herbs that are used to cure a lot of diseases.
4. Laxmi Narasimha Temple
Located at the hilltop, Laxmi Narasimha Temple is situation at an elevation surrounded by trees and hills. The pious temple is popular amongst people and a lot of devotees come here to seek blessings. The temple is surrounded by a peaceful aura that will make you relax and happy.
5. Namada Chilume
Namada Chilume is fresh water spring locate at a distance of 10 km from Devarayanadurga. Myth has it that the cold water that gushes out is because of the arrow that Lord Rama shot with his bow here. The footprints of Lord Rama are also believed to be imprinted near the ground. This place is a must visit not only because of this myth but to also witness its beauty.
6. Plant Nursery
A quaint nursery of plants was constructed y the Forest Department to preserve plants. It is home to about 300 medicinal plants and some rare plants. This place is a must visit to explore and gain knowledge about these plants. A stroll in this nursery will also fill your lungs with fresh airs rejuvenating it.
Things to Do
This hill station is just the right place for trekkers as it provides with thrilling hills to trek on and explore. The treks are full of picturesque beauty replete with greenery and wildlife. A trek in the hills will surely be a mesmerizing experience.
2. Watch the Sunrise and Sunset
Witness the spectacular beauty of the sun rising or setting from the hilltop. The hilltop is the perfect place to capture the picture perfect beauty of the sun along with the scenic beauty.
3. Bird Watching
The forests of Devarayanadurga are full of colourful chirping birds that flutter in the forest. These can easily be spotted, make sure to indulge in this activity.
Festivals and Fairs
1. Car Festival
In the month of either February or March the annual car festival of Bhoganarasimha temple is held. This ancient weeklong festival that is celebrated by performing rituals. The chariot of Lord Narasimha is decorated with gold ornaments and colourful flowers. The chariot then travels on the streets of the hills. So, if you visit Devarayanadurga during these months do not miss on attending this pristine festival.
2. Narasimha Jayanti
Narasimha Jayanti is celebrated to mark the auspicious occasion of birth of Lord Narasimha who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This festival is celebrated in the month of May every year with great joy. A ritual of Giri Pradakshine is undertaken by devotees which means to circle around the temple to show gratitude to God. Scrumptious food is prepared and served to the devotees including sweet jiggery drink, buttermilj and other food items.
Devarayanadurga is a full of resplendent natural beauty and intricately carved temples that makes is an ideal place to go and unwind. And make sure to ask the locals about the historical significance of this place as their mythic tales will be an enjoyable listen.
Devarayanadurga is a place that can be visited any time of the year. In summer and rainy season the temperature is pleasant but the ideal time to visit Devarayanadurga is during the months of winter season from November to February. During these months the weather is cool and the mountains are surrounded by mist making it look magical.
Tips For Visiting Devarayanadurga
1. Carry some eatables with you as there are not a lot of food joints in Devarayanadurga. 2. Since there are a lot of monkeys in this area, make sure not to tease them and take care of your belonging.
How to Reach Devarayanadurga
By Air: The nearest airport to Devarayanadurga is Bangalore International Airport in Bangalore which is located at a distance of 70 km. From here you can either opt for rental cars or buses. Both of them are easily available and will drop you at Devarayanadurga By Rail: The nearest railway station to Devarayanadurga is Tumkur Railway Station which is well connected with all the major cities in India. Tumkur Railway Station is at a distance of 18 km from Devarayanadurga and you will have to hire a car to reach there. By Road: Devarayanadurga is only 70 km away from Bangalore, so there is an option of either renting a car or booking a ticket in one of the various buses that runs from Bangalore to Devarayanadurga. The buses are well- maintained and run in regular intervals.