In southern part of India, we have a dedicated God and the temple that is worshipped by a household. And for my family it is Adi Chunchanagiri. I have been visiting this temple from my childhood and I have seen it improve and grow over the years. Even though I am not a religious person, the main reason why I love this place is because of the memories that I have had for these years.
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About Adi Chunchanagiri
Adi Chunchanagiri, also known as Mahasamsthana Math, is a town on top of a hill in Mandya district of Karnataka state. At a height of 3300 feet, the town is the spiritual headquarters for Natha Parampare and Jogi cult of Hindus in Karnataka. It is also the seat of the Vokkaliga community. The place has many temples and lakes around.
How to get to Adi Chunchanagiri?
Adi Chunchanagiri is around 110 kilometres from Bangalore city, towards Nelamangala and Bellur Cross. The road journey takes just less than two hours and can be easily visited as a one day trip from Bangalore. The route has toll roads and there are many parking spaces at the temple.
There are three ways to get to Adi Chunchanagiri from Bangalore via public transport:
- Train – There are frequent trains between Yeshwantpura in Bangalore and BG Nagara. From BG Nagara, one can take a taxi or an auto rickshaw to Adi Chunchanagiri. The distance between BG Nagara and Adi Chunchanagiri is just around 10 kilometres. Up to date information on trains can be found on IRCTC website.
- Bus – There are many buses that leave from Majestic or Yeshwantpura in Bangalore to Adi Chunchanagiri. The nearest bus stop is the Manu Vana Vijayanagara. Ensure to ask the bus driver or the conductor so you know when to get off. The buses are run by KSRTC website.
- Metro – Bangalore is slowly becoming into a metropolitan city and the city has had a few metro lines that are the fastest way to travel between the stations. The nearest metro station for Adi Chunchangiri is Hosahalli metro station (the purple line) and then taking a taxi or auto rickshaw.
Story behind Adi Chunchanagiri
According to legend, Adi Rudra handed this area over to Siddhi Yogi. Siddhi Yogi established the Siddha Simhasana and the Math. In 2013, the present head Sri Nirmalanandanath Swamiji became the head as the 72nd head of the Math.
According to mythological story, Lord Shiva fought and killed two demons Chuncha and Kancha at this place. After that, Lord Shiva gave the place to Siddhi Yogi, when then established the Siddha Simhasana and the Math. Lord Shiva also guided Siddhi Yogi to spread the righteousness among the society.
Things to see in Adi Chunchanagiri
Climb to the main temple
For a person like me who loves hiking and trekking, the temple was great for some exercise. There are around 200 steps to reach the main temple and one can take those steps to get a bit of weekend body movements. Climbing the steps are not hard and you will see many devotees doing that.
One can also go higher than the main temple to the peak. The peak has a statue of Nandi outside and a small cave temple. There is also a belief that a small heavy statue of Nandi in the cave temple indicates that the devotee’s wish can come true or not. If a devotee lifts, then their wish would come true and if they cannot lift, then the devotee needs to wait till their wish comes true. The statue is around 2 to 3 kilograms.
Visit Sri Kalabhairaveshwara Swamy Temple
The only temple dedicated to Kalabhairaveshwara (Lord Gangadhareshwara) in South India is at Adi Chunchanagiri. The temple is one of the oldest temples in India and is said to be around 2000 years old. It is open between 6 AM and 9 PM and there is no entrance fee to enter the temple.
- The temple is very crowded especially in front of the main deity.
- Make sure to ask the priests before taking pictures of the deity and inside the temple. I asked the main priest before taking the below picture.
- Dress appropriately. Do not wear shorts or clothes that reveal a lot. Respect the culture and traditions.
- Take your garbage with you or throw them in the dustbins placed every where around the temple.
See the Big Ganesha
I love Lord Ganesha. He is intelligent, smart and naughty. So, seeing the Big Ganesha was one of my favourite things in Adi Chunchanagiri. The statue is on the way to the peak and makes a great place to take a picture.
Visit the Adi Chunchanagiri peacock sanctuary
Adi Chunchanagiri peacock sanctuary was created to conserve the peacocks. Today, the sanctuary is home to many other wildlife such as bats, mongoose and cats. The sanctuary also has many birds and is a great place for spotting various Indian birds. It is open every day between 6 AM and 6 PM. There is an entrance fee of INR 15 per adult for Indians and INR 50 per adult for foreign nationals. Photography is an extra cost.
Do you love spotting birds and taking their pictures? Read 5 birds to spot at Ranganatittu bird sanctuary.
The sanctuary also runs safaris everyday, for an extra cost, between 8 AM and 5 PM and it is one of the best things to do at Adi Chunchanagiri.
Safety for solo female travelers
Adi Chunchanagiri is very safe for solo female travelers. It is a place of worship and generally everyone minds their own business. But definitely be careful if you are walking around at remote areas. Also, be cautious while traveling on a public transport and taking a taxi or an auto rickshaw.
Adi Chunchanagiri is a great place to visit and it makes a perfect one day outing from Bangalore city. It is an interesting place to see the devotees and to enjoy the spectacular landscapes.
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