Trekking and Weekend Getaways
This is one of the few hills that is as isolated as they come. Though it is near
it is deserted most of the times. This is good place for trekking and spending a quite weekend with family and friends. Bangalore
Since it is near another hill which is more famous, trekkers and visitors give this hill a go by. This is the hill of Hemagiri near Huliyurdurga in Kunigal taluk of Tumkur district.
The Hemagiri hill comes after Huliyurdurga and it is one the Kunigal- Kollegal- Maddur road. This perhaps is the only hill which has three important shrines.
This hill, which rises to a height of more than 2000 feet, is much less known that Huliyurdurga but it is perhaps more isolated and sparsely populated. The climb too is equally steep.
This towering hill can easily be accessed from the north-west through a stone arch, beyond a stretch of cultivated land. Visitors can ascend the hill easily as the paths are marked by electric poles. There are numerous water bodies along the hill top.
This is the Hemagiri betta or hill and it is a place of pilgrimage for locals. It has temples of Mallikarjuna and Varadaraja Swamy. If you are lucky, you can see bears near the
temple. Bhairava Cave
The hill is 3800 feet in height and is one of the many hills dotting Kunigal taluk.
The Varadaraja temple is very famous and it attracts a large number of people from nearby villages and Kunigal and Tumkur. It is popularly called
. The idol of Varadarajaswamy is worshiped in the form of a Saligrama. Hemagiri Varadarajaswamy Temple
Varadaraja Swamy is also called Hemagiriappa. The idol is a round stone on the floor, signifying its origin as an Udbhava murti. A large footprint of the deity is seen outside the temple. A wooden chariot is another unique feature of the temple.
A grand fair is held during Shankranti, which attracts a large number of devotees.
The climb from the Varadaraja Swamy temple to the top is not all that steep. When you reach the top, you will find two mantapas and a small pool with clean water. The temple at the top is dedicated to Mallikarjuna. There is a small Nandi and pond in the front. Pooje is done only on Mondays and on Shivaratri in February. The temple generally remains closed on other days.
The view from the top of Hemagiri hill is enchanting and you can make out Huliyurdurga in the distance.
The best route from
is to go upto Nelamangala and head towards Kunigal. When you reach Kunigal, look out for the road pointing to Huliyurdurga and take the road. The moment you reach Huliyurdurga, you can spot the Hemagiri Betta which looks bigger and taller than Huliyurdurga. Bangalore
The Hemagiri Betta is 2 kms from Huliyurdurga. It can be accessed from
through Magadi (50 km) and Huliyurdurga (30 km). Bangalore
When you approach this hill from Huliyurdurga side, you come across a temple dedicated to Baireshwara. The idol here is in a cave and it is believed to be a Udhbava murti. Look out for bears here.
The pooje for the deity is performed only on Sundays.
Near Hemagiri is another hill called Kumbhi. This has the ruins of a fort built by Kempe Gowda. This hill too is a good place to spend your weekend. Hemagiri is about 80 kms from
Six kilometres from Hemagiri is the village Ujjini which is well-known for the
. temple of Chowdeshwari
, held after Ugadi, is famous and it goes on for five days. The jatra includes the ritual of walking on fire (agnikonda) with the utsava murti of Nidsale Chowdeshwari and Ujjini Chowdeshwari and the karga. This ritual is a sight to see and is once in an year ritual. Chennapatna is 21 kms from here. temple jatra