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SHIVAGANGA
By Mohan Shenoy

Shivaganga is a picnic spot near Bangalore, Karnaataka . For children, Shivaganga is an ideal historical and also religious tourist spot. For the elderly climbing the mountain might be difficult.
Where is Shivaganga?
As on 1st June 2012.
One has to reach Dabaspete and then turn south towards Shivaganga located about 5 kilometers away.Those who wish to travel economical, can board a KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) bus at the Kempe Gowda Bus Station near Bangalore Railway Station.

The buses going to Pavgada are ideal because those going to Tumkur and Pune are not stopping at Dabaspete.

At Dabaspete the economy travelers can board a common autorickshaw which seats 6 to 8 people and quite convenient and takes one to the Shivaganga Hill base in about 20 minutes.

Those travelers coming to Bangalore for a visit can enjoy a peaceful and pleasant outing by traveling to Shivaganga for a One-Day trip. Climbing up the hill is an easy task because of the wide low steps.

There are temples, forts, caves and look-out points on the hill and visitors can enjoy roaming around the hill on convenient foot-paths.

There is a branch of the Sringeri Sharada Peetam here and the view from this Math is beautiful on a sunny wintery day such as in November and following 2 or 3 months.

Watch this YouTube Video

Names of the hillock through history
Historical Names of this Hill are as follows:
Vrishabhadri in Kritha Yuga
Shringadi in Treta Yuga
Mandakini in Dwapara Yuga
Karodiri in Kali Yuga
Shivaganga in recent times

Shivaganga Kshetra

PHOTOS

Hale Math (Old Math) contains five small temples and they are:Omkareshwar TemplePrasanna Paarvathi TempleAnjaneya TemplePanduranga TempleGanapathi Temple.

At a higher level there is a very old Temple dedicated to Goddess Swarnamba. A few steps away is Gavi Gangadhareshwar Temple. Inside this temple near the idol of Lord Gavi Gangadhareshwar is an opening that leads into an underground tunnel. This tunnel is very long and there is a story that it leads to the temple of the same deity in Gavipuram area of Bangalore city.

There are two lakes near the Hill: Kamala Thirth on the leftAgasteshwara Thirth on the right.Kamala Thirth was built by Magadi king Kempe Gowda to help local inhabitants with supply of ample water in summer time.

Paathala Ganga (Pattala Ganga) is a small water body within a above the second landing. Here the water is not very clear and there is darkness. A small electric bulb is sometimes aglowing. An exquisitely carved guard said to be Lord Veera Bhadreshwar is seen on one of the rocks near the entrance.
KING VISHNUVARDHANA
Vishnuvardhana was a famous king that belonged to the Hoysala present Karnaataka state, in the 12th Century. One of his queens was Shanthala Devi. She was a danseuse of excellence and the king was very fond of her.

Shanthala was unable to bear children and therefore she was unhappy. She committed suicide in her middle age by jumping from the peak of Shivaganga mountain.

The peak from where she jumped to her death is marked on the hill top. Visitors who know the story wish to go to the peak and look at the beautiful scenery of the land below. The mountain is said to be about 1300 meters above sealevel.

This mountain and the large number of temples on it are evidences of a vibrant history of Kannada people. Hoysala dynasty ruled over Kannada areas during the time of Ramanujacharya who established the Vishistadwaitha Philosophy in the 12th Century.

King Vishnuvardhana who was born a Jain converted himself into a Hindu following strong influence of Ramanujacharya. Many famous archeological master-peices came into existence during the Hoysala rule.

SHRINGERI MATH AT THE BASE OF THE HILL
SHARADA PEETHAM

The original main Shankar Math at Shringeri was established by Swami Shankaraacharya in the 9th Century at Shringeri, in Chckmagalur District of Karnaataka State.

In Shivaganga there is a branch known as Sharada Peetam with a Math where classes for trainee priests are held. Priesthood is a profession which many boys belonging to Braahman caste prefer for their livelihood. Once they get education in this Math and pass the prescribed examination then they can begin to practice as priests to perform verious religious rituals and functions.

This Math is owned and administered by a pontiff who is independent of the Sringeri Math at Sringeri. Various functions such as wedding and munji can be held here by the genral public upon payment of certain fees.
Vishnuvardhana was a famous king that belonged to the Hoysala present Karnaataka state, in the 12th Century.

One of his queens was Shanthala Devi.

She was a danseuse of excellence and the king was very fond of her. Shanthala was unable to bear children and therefore she was unhappy.

She committed suicide in her middle age by jumping from the peak of Shivaganga mountain.
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