March 28 our group of 9 (Latha, Vinay, Kavitha, Anitha, Joe, Pushpak, Raj, Suvarna and me) started off to M M Hills. M M hills is 210 km from Bangalore. We hired a TT @8.50 Rs per km. The TT started at Latha's and picked all of us and by the time we left Bangalore it was 6:30 am. Kavitha had listed quite a lot of temples to see and had made a note that all temples close by 10 am.
We reached Sathegallu at around 8:30 am. We went to Kote Varadharajar Swamy Temple but it was closed :-(. There was one Hanuman in the temple complex. We spent some time in the temple complex. We then started and searched for Gyana Ashwatha and Koormasanam but didn't find them.
Temple of Kote Varadharajar Swamy
From Sathegallu we started off to Madhyarangam. We first went to Sri Ranganatha temple there. There are 3 Ranganatha temples on the banks of Kaveri - Adi Ranganatha in Sri Ranga patnam, Madya Ranganatha in Madhyarangam and Antya Ranganatha in Tamil Nadu. Belief is that touring all the three places will mean the end of the ciruit of life on earth for any soul.
This temple was closed too but we had another load of people who had already landed there, so they got the main temple opened. There is also a Lakshmi temple beside it but they didn't open it.
Madya Ranganatha temple
Ranganatha Swami's Padas
Sri Ranganatha Swamy
Fortunately this temple was completely opened. Lord Someshwara resides there with Goddess Meenakshi.
Temple complex of Someshwara
We reached Kollegal at around 12 pm and temples were closed so we headed for lunch. There is only one hotel in Kollegala, Hotel Annapurna which serves decent food. But the employees of the hotel were pretty rude. Since most of the temples were closed in Kollegal we started off to M M hills.
M M Hills
M M hills is abode of Lord Sri Mahadeshwara is the incarnation of Lord Shiva. M M Hills consist of seven hills Anumale, Jenumale, Kanumale, Pachchemale, Pavalamale, Ponnachimale and Kongumale.
Temple of Sri Mahadeshwara
All the lodges are controlled by the temple management. Chandrashekar is the contact person. His mobile is 9986601196, land lines are 08225 – 272129 / 5272129.
Latha co-ordinated to get the rooms for us.
Morning puja: from 4 am to 6 am.
To attend this puja we need to take the puja tickets the previous evening from the ticket counter 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Evening Puja: from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
To attend this puja we need to take the puja tickets durign the morning.
When the puja is on, the gates are closed and no one can get in. General darshan starts at around 6 am in the morning and 7:30 pm in the evening.
Lunch and Dinner
Free lunch and dinner are served at a hall close to the temple. Lunch starts at 12 pm and dinner at 7:30 pm.
We reached M M hills at around 4:30 pm. We checked in to Guru Darshini Guest house. We got two guest houses with four beds each. Five girls checked in one room and four guys in another room. Rooms were old but maintained well and clean. All of us just crashed and had a sleep till 5:30 pm. we then freshened up and went to the temple at around 6:30 pm. The evening puja had started and temple was closed. At same time there was God's chariot so we could watch that.
We took some good pictures of the temple and at 7:30 pm we went to have dinner. We stood in the queue for dinner at 7:30 pm, by the time we could enter the hall for dinner it was 8:20 pm. Food was tasty and all of enjoyed every morsel.
At 9:00pm we went to the ticket counter and bought tickets for next day puja. Couple of them went for Sahasra Bilwa archane and couple for panchamrutha abhisheka. They asked us to be at the temple by 3 am next day.
After dinner at around 9:20 pm we went into the temple there was a small queue for darshan. Raj, Joe and I decided to have the darshan while the rest of them retired to the rooms. It was a peaceful darshan and we 3 of us reached the rooms by 10:15 pm and crashed.
March 29th all of us woke up early and were ready by 3 am and headed to the temple. To attend the morning puja the queue started at around 3:30 am outside the temple. We were there at 3:30 am, but there was no place to leave our slippers. By the
time we decided on where to leave our slippers around 20 people piled up in the queue. We went into the temple; only 20 odd people could see the puja performed, as it was a small hall. I was able to see the god at small intervals and in bits and
pieces. There were arguments and fights amongst people who couldn't witness the puja.
I really wish that the temple authorities did something about this. All should get an equal chance to see the puja.
After darshan, we collected the prasad and came out by 5:30 am. We went to the Basavana at the temple top. They had pasted banana to lord shiva there and many kept pasting coins.
We returned to our rooms and started from M M Hills at around 9 am.
We reached Kollegal at around 10:30 am, after a brief break we went to Chilakvadi, which is around 20 km from Kollegal. At Chilakvadi we visited Shambhu Lingeshwara Temple and Matt of Sharana Nijaguna Shivayogi. Shambhu Lingeshwara Temple has Shambhu Lingeshwara and Veerabarda swami.
Shambu Lingeshwara Swamy
We came back to Kollegal for lunch and went in search of the less known Haleparivaradavara Chavadi. We located this place with quite a lot of diffculty, it was in the Chitrachavadi Bidhi. There were 18th century paintings and carvings.
The temple complex of Maruleshwara was open but the main temple wasn't. Apart from the main lord, there was Subrameshwara / Navagraha / Shivalingas too. There were quite a lot of other idols around. This temple was built in 1920.
Temple of Maruleshwara