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A day out in Kolar

With the heat beginning to get to everyone this summer in Bangalore, I thought this would be a an appropriate visual for everyone. It’s such a nice feeling – to fall into the water, looking upwards and feeling the spray all around you… SPLASH!

Splash!

I frankly don’t even remember the last time I did this… do you? The sheer pleasure of this seemingly simple act is quite difficult to measure. Or express in words.

We spotted a group of boys having a lot of fun in the water on a day trip to the town of Kolar. That’s the place you go in search of gold. Or at least it used to be. The Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) have since closed down so we couldn’t really go in search of our pot of gold after all.

The idea was to ride to Kolar in sleek horses, in full cowboy (and cowgirl) attire and swing up to some poor unsuspecting locals and say “Sona ke paas le jao!?” Okay, so this was all of course mostly in my vivid imagination. We took a Ford Fiesta instead.

Footfalls

Kolar is well-known for a few temples steeped in history and we headed to this one called the Kashi Vishveshwara temple at Antargange. This is where water gushes out of a Nandi bull statue (where all the boys were having themselves a frolicking good time) and streams throughout the year.

The water supposedly flows underground (from the Ganga – well there’s no way to prove otherwise) and sprouts up on the earth here in South India. At this very spot – and therefore the name – Antargange.

Lined up

Once the boys finished their water games, they all sun themselves while we roam around the smallish stone temple and area which houses the main lingam. The rocky hillsides around this area are also good for trekking in case you’re feeling adventurous. Unless, it’s the peak of summer when you’d be well advised to do what the boys did – take a dip instead.

Our next stop is the Koti Lingeshwara temple. For those who need a translation, Koti is crore and linga refers to Shiva (linga). There are around 86 lakh lingams – not that I can imagine anyone actually counting them – and the aim is to reach a crore. It will suffice to say that there were many more than can fit into your imagination (and mine, vivid as it is).

1, 2, 3, 4...

Rows and rows of them. Basically, everywhere you look around, there’s only one thing you will see. Lingams. The tallest one is around 108 feet tall accompanied by a large Nandi bull.

People come in from far and wide to see this temple.

In case you’re interested, Kolar has much history – having gone through it’s share of battles that ancient people indulged in at the drop of a hat. Actually, we still haven’t been able to get rid of that habit. So the Cholas and Pallavas (remember ancient history) contributed their bit to the local scenery till the Vijayanagara kings took over. After their fall, there were more feuding lords (really, what else would they do but feud?) trying to take control.

Then it came under the rule of Mysore Rajas. Hyder Ali Khan and Tippu Sultan. The latter was ultimately defeated and the territory was then shared by the Mysore Rajas, Hyderabad Nijam, Marathas & Britishers. This town came under the rule of Maharaja of Mysore and became the district head quarters. Krishnaraja Wodeyar was responsible getting the roads and railways connected.

So that’s a brief history of Kolar. The Kolar Gold Fields too has an interesting past. It was one of the major gold mines in India but was closed in 2003 due to reducing deposits and increasing costs. The mine is considered the world’s second deepest gold mine and is supposed to have been mined for gold during the last 2000 years or so. We, of course, missed the bus.

In case you want to venture out to Kolar, it is about 69 kms away from Bangalore on the Chennai-Bangalore National Highway No 4.

~~ My Kolar Album

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30 Comments

  1. what a fabulous shot, the first one!
    the sheer joy of getting wet and cool in the heat 🙂

  2. saw the pic on flickr… i absolutely love it!! makes me want to jump into a pool of water as well…

  3. Interesting. I hadn’t thought of Kolar as a drive destination till now. I should see your blog more often! Oh, and the pics are as good as ever, of course 🙂

  4. @ charu: thanks! was nice to watch the boys having so much fun!

    @ abhijit: thanks!

    @ anjali: thanks!

    @ sathish: hey, thanks man. and are you back in bangalore? you seem to be travelling a lot these days 🙂

    @ vri: me too! if only i could find one somewhere nearby!

    @ zoo: thanks! and yeah, you should visit more often 😉

    @ manasa: thank you, that was a ‘golden’ comment too 🙂

  5. Yes, too much of travel these days… planning on a week of travel to Goa in shoe string budget next month… plan is to cover Goa from south to north…

  6. Pingback: Kolar | DesiPundit

  7. This brought back so many memories. In the many years I was in college (near Kolar) I visited these places numerous times. Antarganga has a special place in my heart for I had some amazing experiences when I camped there.

    Thank you Anita for this wonderful visual treat.

  8. Nice photographic shots with neat explanation. Even though I stayed so close to Kolar (in Blore), I could never explore the place. I should visit Kolar sometime, when I get to BLore 🙂

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  11. Had been to Kolar once, didn’t do any sight seeing. Last time I covered Chennai Bangalore by Bike I travelled via Hosur… Next time will travel via Old Madras Road and Kolar…

  12. @ Sathish: good, good! but goa in summer! best of luck 🙂

    @ Kishore: you’re most welcome!

    @ Srikanth: thanks!

    @ Praveen GK: you should yes. it’s worth a visit!

    @ Rajiv: sure! do i get a treat if you win though? 🙂

    @ Shrinidhi: you should!

    @ Ashish: thanks! gosh, delhi. bangalore is bad enough!

  13. Nice post , came here from JK’s history carnival. Lot more of history hidden at Kolar , from the myth that its gold fields sprout from mayavi marichan’s golden deer mask , which eventually landed up at kolar after he was killed by Rama; the british bringing people from arcot to work in mines as locals were fearful of rakshas of the depths , to the indian space research setting up a secret research base deep down the mines where they make interesting things like nuke crackers. 🙂 well the last one was out of my imagination. who knows ?? there are some underground activity happening at kolar from 1965 , prossibly the reason why its closed to public.

  14. @ devanampiya: thanks for all the history! i am sure there’s a lot of hidden facts that we don’t know about! very interesting, i must say…

  15. Arthur J. Lewis says

    Hi Anita, You really brought back to me my memories of Kolar. I was born and brought up in Kolar – now retired and settled in Bombay. I remembered my childhood days standing under the waterfall from the Nandi bull’s mouth at Antharaganga. As a youth I have explored the 7 villages on the Shatashringa Parvata – the Antharaganga Hills are known as. Whenever I go down south I do make it a point to visit Kolar, though I do not have any relations there! Thanks for your write up and the wonderful pics which made me go down memory lane.

  16. @ arthur: that’s awesome! i’m glad i could bring back some of those memories for you!

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  18. Jithendra says

    Nice article, Great pics… Just for this I think I am gonna visit kolar today…
    Stay beautiful…

  19. Prasanna says

    Thanks for visiting my home town. Hope you enjoyed the glory of the lost city.

  20. Nice Post..Very Nice pics too..One thing good about Kolar is that its very near to Bangalore, the drive is very smooth with the new highway in place. I like the hilly landscape just before Kolar!

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