Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Avani - Kolar district

Avani is situated in Kolar district, which can be approached from NH – 4 from Bangalore or Chennai, one has to take a diversion on the outskirts of Mulbagal on the Bypass towards Bangarpet, approximately 6 kms one gets to take a right turn, one might miss out on this spot, if one does not keep a close watch, otherwise one might land up in Bangaru tirupathi.  The other alternative route is to approach this place from Kolar to Bangarpet to Kotilinga, Bangaru tirupathi and reach Avani.  I was particular that we visit this place, since it had an ancient temple of the Chola era and Shankar Mutt branch and the best part is the Lav Kush Birth place. ( We nearly missed the route to Avani, thanks to my wife's prompt spotting of the milestone diversion to Avani, kudos to the navigator )

This climb to the hill is better attempted with a guide.  One has to bargain and get a best deal.  Well we hired our guide at Rock bottom price, but ended up paying a little more since it involved sheer adventure and thrill.  Our guide was Ravi, who is poor school drop out and forced to labour because his parents can’t meet two ends of their family.  We started our ascent at 3.00 pm and reached the peak at 3.45, mainly because we were fit as a fiddle this time around, after our Pavgada adventure.

The hill is filled with history of Ramayana.  The first spot one gets to reach is the spot where Lav and Kush were born.  There is a small cave where Sita is supposed to have given birth to twins.  Then one gets to the pond where Sita is supposed to have washed her clothes.  A small lamp is etched on the rock for Sita to light the lamp.  Then as one walks towards the peak one comes across, Rama’s chair and Horse stable, wherein Lava & kush tied the horse which were meant for the aswamegha yagna.

A separate chamber for the sage vishwamitra is also available.  Further as one moves up many rock formations and sheer sizes and shapes can be a rock climbers delight.  I am surprised how this place is missed by adventure seekers in rock climbing.  A multitude of  small, medium and large sized rocks are available to explore.  It will send the adrenalin pumping for any rock climbers. Nothing can get better.

After a hetic climb one reaches the peak to be welcomed by the whiff of cool breeze and panaromic scenary of Avani which is breath taking to the core.  The temple in commemoration of  Sita Devi, wife of Rama along with diety Parvathi is installed.  The poojari performs Pooja in accordance to your wishes and budget.  Here Sita devi is alleged to have gone into the earth after handing over her sons to Shri Rama.

Laxman is supposed to have split the rock with his arrow to a water spring which turned into a pond.  This pond was used for drinking water by Sita Devi.  Lav and kush spent their best part of childhood in this area, before leaving with Shri Ram.  There is also a living place for sage Valmiki.

For sheer adventure seekers, one gets to rock and roll in the rocky crevice.  Our guide Ravi being a young and supremely fit boy like a drum stick rolled like knife passing through cheese within seconds.  Then it was my turn, it was claustrophobic because of my big build. I aborted my first attempt.  Then my wife took over and she managed with difficulty to roll over again and again.  ( It was a real agnipariksha, for Sita Devi herself during the ancient times known as Urulu seva, which mean rolling over one's side in dedication  )  Then I thought I will over the hurdle by using the sliding technique till ¾ the distance and then roll over balance ¼ distances.  Ultimately this was the climax of the trip.  One should not miss Avani for the sheer adventure value on the rocks.  For epic minded people discover some episodes of Ramayana.  For others it can be great amount of subjects for photo shoot opportunity.  For some people it is tying their hopes of begetting a son or daughter, and for some getting relieved of financial problems.

The Ramlinga temple is supposed to have built by the cholas.  Surprising the temple is good shape despite being more than1000 years old.   The architecture of the temple is superb, the story of Ramayana etched all over the façade of the temple.  Some of the statues are obviously missing from its place, the ASI has still not got its act together.  I hope they quickly act and initiate proceedings to preserve the heritage, otherwise antique seekers are bound to replace the original masterpieces with duplicates.

Overall Avani can be a one day trip or circuit if planned well in advance.  Tourists are advised to carry sufficient water, it can be dehydrating, a pinch of salt along with sugar can relieve the cramps if one has a tendency for excessive sweating.  One does come out with flying colours after rocking and rolling on the peak dedicating one's wishes to come true by Urulu Seva.  If you have any unfulfilled dreams try  rock & rollicking expreience @ Avani.

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