Travellers on a trip to Kolar District 'must visit' Kolaramma Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi (Kolaramma). This is an L-shaped pilgrimage site that was built in the Dravida Vimana architectural style. It is around a 1000-year-old site that was constructed by the Cholas.
The earlier Kings of Mysore used to visit this pilgrimage site in order to get blessings of the presiding deity, Devi Kollaramma. Upon visiting the temple, tourists would be instantly struck by the carved designs and statues that were completed using granite stones.
Chelamma, the scorpion goddess, is another deity of the Kolaramma Temple. As per local beliefs, offering prayers to Goddess Chelamma would protect devotees from scorpion bites. A Hundi (in Kannada) or well is a part of this pilgrimage site, which is used to accumulate offerings from devotees. As a part of tradition, devotees have to put one coin into an opening lying on the floor of the site.
Someswara Temple is counted among the 'must visit' attractions of Kolar District. Dedicated to Lord Someswara, one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva, the temple is located at the centre of the town of Kolar. This pilgrim site was constructed during the 14th century in the Vijayanagar architectural style.
The kalayana mantapa lies inside this site and its pillars are embellished with intricate carvings. The carvings found on these pillars resemble Chinese, European and Thai architectural styles. The top section of the kalayana mantapa had been designed in Chinese style. This amalgamation of architectural styles of India and foreign lands at Someswara Temple displays the importance of trade during the Vijayanagar Empire.
Travellers on a trip to Kolar District are 'recommended' to visit the village of Avani that is renowned for its group of Ramalingeshwara temples. Avani, otherwise known as the Gaya of the South, is located at a distance of 10 miles from Kolar Gold Fields. This village has a temple that is devoted to Goddess Sita; it is one of the rare pilgrimage sites dedicated to the deity.
According to mythology, Goddess Sita gave birth to Lava and Kusha at the Avani village and the battle between Lord Rama and his two sons happened at this site. Tourists can get the chance to view the room (Valmiki Ashram) where Lava and Kusha were born.
As per the local belief, Valmiki (author of the epic Ramayana) once used to reside at this site. Upon visiting Avani, travellers would come across a math, named Avani Sringeri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sharada Peetham. This math was established by Sri Narasimha Bharati IV after he discovered the statue of Goddess Shrada while residing in Avani.
This idol is in standing position inside the math and is flanked by Sri Chakra and Srimajjagadguru Shankaracharya. Tourists planning to visit Avani village can also undertake trekking and rock climbing.
Tourists on a trip to Kolar are 'recommended' to visit Kolar Gold Fields that is located in Bangarapet Taluk. The site is renowned for producing gold during the British Raj. During the colonial period, the city was home to nationals from Italy, Germany and United Kingdom, apart from Anglo-Indians.
Kolar Gold Fields was once home to thousands of families of employees working in Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. (BGML). However, since 2003 this figure has reduced to less than a hundred thousand due to closing of mines.
The British had termed Kolar Gold Field site as 'Little England' because of its landscape and temperate weather, which is similar to that of Britain. Upon visiting the site, tourists will get the chance to sight the bungalows constructed in British architectural style.
Kolar is the second city in Asia after Tokyo (Japan) to get electricity from the hydroelectric project. This hydroelectricity project (Shivanasamudra) was the first in South India, which was commenced on 1902 to generate electricity for the Kolar Gold Fields. Travellers can explore the famous Dodabetta Hill that lies at an elevation of 3195 ft to the east of Kolar Gold Fields.
It is 'recommended' that travellers should explore the Adinarayanaswamy Temple that lies on top of Yellodu Hills in Kolar District. It is a cave temple that is situated at a distance of 12 km from Bagepalli. This pilgrimage site enshrines a stone statue of Udbhavamurthy sans ornaments and jewels.
On every Sunday, a special puja is performed at this site. Devotees across the country converge at Adinarayanaswamy Temple during the Car Festival that is organised on the third Sunday of Magha month, which falls between February and March.
In order to reach this temple, pilgrims need to climb a total of 618 steps. Out of 618 steps, the two steps close to this pilgrimage site are unusually high and can be crossed only with the assistance of a rope.
It is 'recommended' that travellers should visit Kolar Betta that is situated at a distance of 2 km from Kolar Town. Kolar Betta or Kolar Hills, previously called Satasringa Hills (hundred peaked mountain), acts as the ideal picnic spot for tourists. Upon reaching Kolar Betta, visitors will get the chance to explore a huge plateau.
Moreover, Antara Gange, a perennial spring can be viewed in the eastern side of this hill. Tourists can see water coming out from the mouth of stone bull (Basava) that can be spotted at Antara Gange. This water keeps on flowing throughout the year, though the source of this water is still a mystery. The water is considered to be sacred by natives.
As per popular belief, Ganga flows at this site from South India, which is why the spot has been named Antara Gange. A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated besides Antara Gange. Travellers interested in exploring Kolar Betta have to climb more than 100 steps in order to reach it.
Travellers exploring Kolar District are 'recommended' to visit Koti Lingeshwara Temple that is located in Kammasandra Village. Swamy Sambha Shiva Murthy built this temple with a 108 ft tall Shivalinga which is regarded as the biggest linga in the world.
Devotees can also see a 35 ft tall idol of Nandi, the rider of Lord Shiva, which has been placed in front of the presiding deity. Pilgrims from all parts of the country visit the Koti Lingeshwara Temple during the occasion of Maha Shivaratri.
Upon reaching this temple, they can see other deities here, namely Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama, Lord Maheshwara, Lord Anjaneya, Goddess Annapoorneshwari and Lord Brahma. Some shrines are dedicated to Goddess Kannika Parameshwari, Lord Venkataramani Swamy and Goddess Karumaari Amma and Lord Panduranga Swamy.
Devotees visiting this temple offer prayers to the presiding deity by placing lingas that can be purchased from the site. The daily pooja is performed by 10 priests twice a day, at 6 am and 6 pm. The priests of this temple recite mantras along with drums and music and pour water on every linga installed at the site.
Tourists are 'recommended' to explore Markandeya Hill that is situated close to the Vokkaleri Village in Kolar District of Karnataka. This site has been named after Sage Markandeya. According to local belief, this place had been used by Markandeya for performing tapas.
Upon reaching Markandeya Hill, tourists would get the chance to see a temple and reservoir that have been labelled with a similar name. The temple located on this hill is renowned among devotees for the Yama pasha marks. Markandeya Hill is surrounded by thick forests and, therefore, it is the ideal site for travellers who want to spend time amidst calm surroundings.
A trip to the holy shrine of Vidurashwatha is recommended to all tourists passing by Kolar. This site is situated about 10 km from Gowribidanur Taluk and is counted among the most important shrines of the country. Upon reaching this shrine, travellers would notice the holy Ashoka tree that was planted here in Dwapura Yuga by the renowned saint, Maitreya Mahamuni.
An ardent follower of Lord Krishna named Vidhura used to revere the shrine which earned it the name Vidurashwatha. The Ashoka tree has four special features that are linked to the tree of human life. Some elements of this tree are used in order to prepare medicines. This site is connected with a historical event as the Satyagraha Movement took place here in 1938.
Due to its link with mythological and historical events, Vidurashwatha Kshetra is known among people as a meeting place of dharma, marma and patriotism. This shrine is visited by thousands of devotees every year during the Car Festival (Brahmarathotsava).
This festival is organised in the month of Chaitra on full moon day. Numerous wedding ceremonies are held in front of the presiding deity. Travellers can also explore the 'Satyagraha Memorial' that is situated behind the shrine.