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Epic Ramayana Unfolds in our Backyard Avani – Kolar – Mulbagal, Karnataka!

Lord Rama's temple of solitude2Avani, meaning ‘Earth’, and this place happens to be the birth place of Sita Devi, wife of Lord Rama. She’s is bestowed by Mother Earth to the childless King Janaka – when he plough’s the land on the advice of a Saint to beget a child.
Sita Devi, wife of Lord Ram, the most beautiful, dutiful, gracious queen in Indian mythology has very few temples dedicated to her. The hilltop temple at Lava-Kusha Betta, Avani has an exclusive temple dedicated to her. It’s said it is here she returned back to mother earth on questioned about her purity in the end. This questioning was the acid test to Lord Ram, who forever was righteous in his deeds or actions. He was the epitome of righteousness in Hindu Mythology. When Lord Ram heard about the rumours of Sita’s purity, after he got her back fighting a bitter battle with the Demon King of Sri Lanka, Ravana where she was being held a prisoner and in his clutches after she was kidnapped when in exile, Sita Devi was apparently kidnapped from Bhadrachalam, a small city currently in Andhra Pradesh.
Lord Rama banished his wife Sita from Ayodhya. She took refuge with Saint Valmiki (author of the epic Ramayana) on this hillop at Avani. Here she gave birth to Lord Ram’s twin sons Lava and Kush. These brave kids once tied up in captivity, Lord Ram’s horse of Ashwameda Yaga. A fierce battle was fought at the foothills of this Avani hills, called the Lava-Kush hills today. This epic battle between father and sons was witnessed in pain by Sita from the hilltop.
One can see Sage Vishwsmitra’s  kutir, Sita’s kutir, Lava-Kush’s cottage, the 3 ponds – Dhanaskoti, Brahma Tirtha and Kashya Tirtha on the hill even to this day. An temple of solitude dedicated to Lord Shri Ram is also present.
Mahabharata’s Pandavas cottage can also be seen even today. Jambuvanta of the Shikantamani Pearl fame, his cave temple too can be seen here today. Lord Krishna married Jambavi, his daughter. That’s another set of epic tales connected story to this hill.
Avani hill is beautiful. The view during the climb is spectacular. The three spring ponds on top of the hill are picturesque. The boulder rocks standing piled up one upon other is an amazing site. Even to this day, pilgrims pile up small stones here and pray for their earnest wishes to be granted. The hillop is green with vegetation. Sita Devi temple is further up another adjacent hillock. It’s advisable to climb this hill early in the morning around sunrise to beat the harsh burning sun. The hilltop Sita Devi temple opens at 10 am.
The foothills of this Lava-Kush’s hill is a cluster of temples themed on Ramayana built by the Kannda dysnasty King’s ‘Nolambas’ of the tenth century. More about them in my next article coming next weekend. Till then let’s live the righteous way in pursuit of truth the way Lord Shri Ram lived. Any Mythology or epic teaches us good living.
The climb up this hill is moderate and will take 2 to 3 hours. It’s a good trekking physical fitness regime with your family and friends over the weekend. There’s nothing available here. Please carry everything over here. Snacks… Eateries… Drinking water…. Etc. Hotels and Restaurants are on the highway. This village Avani has a few tuck shops. To head to this place, Avani . . . one leaves Bangalore taking the Old Madras Road crossing the Krishnarajpuram Bridge. You cross two toll paying booths. After the second toll booth you take a turn right to Avani. Signboards are clearly marked. The 6.5 Kms village road takes you straight to Avani village. The hill is just adjacent to the temple. Local people are simpletons, ask them and they are ever ready to help. Public transport is in the form of buses, autos and vans and are better connected from Mulbagal which is 15 Kms away. Kolar is 30 Kms away. One doesn’t have to either go to Kolar or Mulbagal. It’s a 6.5 Kms turn off to the right from the highway. It’s better to have your own vehicle. Motorbikes and Cars welcome. Highway Restaurants are good, better stick to vegetarian one’s – Nandi, Adigaas, Maiyas, Kamats, or Sarvana Bhavan. Non-vegetarian are local Dhabbas. There’s a Coffee Day opposite a lake just before Kolar. The lake is picturesque during sunrise.
Make this day trip over the weekend. It’s a good 200 Kms drive to & fro. One can include other tourism circuit places in and around Kolar-Mulbagal, they are all Hindu temple circuits. The toll paying roads are beautiful. Worth the day off on a bright and early weekend.

Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography
[email protected]

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