Mysuru has many hidden treasures around it and one can keep exploring as much as they can. During one such quest of mine, I found this place, which is best suited for a small trek. This place called Bettadapura is close to Mysuru and one of the places near Mysore within 100 Kms. distance and hence one can visit and get back the same day.
Early mornings are always good for traveling, trekking and enjoying the nature, same with Bettadapura Temple which is one of the places to visit near Mysuru for nomadic travelers. An ancient temple and trekking are the main and only attractions of this place.
Where Bettadapura is Located?
Bettadapura is located at a distance of 80 kms. from Mysuru. The road is good hence the drive will be comfortable. Head towards Hunsur, from there to Piriyapatna from where there is a deviation towards Bettadapura Hillock. We started at around 8.30 from Mysuru and reached the base of the hill by 10.45 am, this was with a break for breakfast. Take Hunsur-Piriyapatna Route. Keep watching after about 75 kms. you will find a deviation towards the right which takes you to the foot of the temple.BETTADAPURA WEATHER
What makes Bettadapura worth visiting?
This is not a well known place and only locals know about this. It is not very crowded, specially on week-days. The location is fantastic and it is a combination of greenery and rocks with carving portraying different images. There is a temple atop the hill, built in stone, which is said to be around 1500 years old.
There are two stone elephants and an arch at the entrance to the steps. There is a Nandi statue with some carvings in Old Kannada opposite to the entrance arch. There are about 1600 steps. Initial steps are very small like 2-3 inches rise and as we go up the height of the steps also increases. The locals do not find this place exciting but I found it good because of history, location of the place and carvings on the stone.
I spoke to local people who were taking their sheep and cattle for grazing. He was confident that he can go up and come down the entire stretch in one hour and he also smiled and said you people can not. It is true because we are not used to this type of walking.
It took more than 30 minutes to climb 500 steps. It is not very strenuous but as we are not used to this type of walking we need more time.
Sidilu Mallikarjuna Temple
The presiding deity of the temple is Mallikarjuna and the temple is known as Sidlu Mallikarjuna temple. There are 2-3 version of stories about the name of this temple. The temple is said to belong to Chola period and is built using huge granite stones. It is really a wonder as to how these huge, heavy stones were carried atop the hill and for what reason this temple was built. The main point about the temple is that there is a hole in the backside of the temple. The significance of this is not clear.
There are many inscriptions in old Kannada which are not very clear and hence much information can not be gathered from these inscriptions. The steps have some unique carvings. I could not make out the reason behind these carvings so just clicked a few photographs.
The place is good for trekking in groups as it is not very much crowded and only a few locals who bring their livestock to feed them throng this place.
- Climbing up the stairs is easier compared to climbing down as the stairs are slanting downwards.
- Better to carry some eatables and water bottle as nothing will be available during the entire trek.
- Enjoy the nature and picturesque views along the path.
- Observe the carvings on the steps while climbing.
This is not a familiar or well known place which is like other commercial destinations, but certainly a place worth visiting. You can drop in here while traveling from Mysuru to Madikeri.
Do not forget to feast yourself with fresh sugarcane juice at the entrance where you deviate from the main road to Hillock. Specify not to add ice cubes. The vendor said he gets cane from Holenarasipura, sugar cane juice tastes awesome here.
Other attractions near Bettadapura
Madakalleshwara and Jenukalleshwara – We can also explore hills which are nearby. These are also good for people who are interested in nature and trekking.
Golden Temple – It is situated in Bylakuppe, which is just 20 kms. from here. The Tibetian camp in Bylakuppe houses the Golden Temple which is worth visiting.
Where to find a good accommodation?
If you are looking for accommodation amidst nature, I suggest Kaveri Nisargadhama, which is at a distance of about 27 kms. Located on the banks of River Kaveri, they offer different types of accommodations. Better to book them in advance and online booking is available.
Let me also make it clear that if you are expecting some excitement, this is not the place for you. Visit this place only if you like to trek a path that does not have any frills and get a glimpse of how our ancestors were living. The place is not well maintained so be careful while walking. This is the right place for those who are merely interested in trekking without any excitement, fun of any type.
So next time when you are around Mysuru or Madikeri, do visit this place!
External Sources – http://wikiedit.org/India/Bettadapura/222666/