Shanmukha Temple and Omkar Hills – Tranquil Bi[ke]Cycle Ride 29/11/2015

Place: Shanmukha Temple and Omkar Hills, Bangalore

Distance: 30 km round trip
Route: Vijaynagar -> BU -> RR Nagar -> Shanmukha Temple -> Kaapi Katte -> Omkar Hills -> BU -> Vijaynagar
Bikes: Bajaj Discover, Honda Activa and Montra BiCycle
Crew:  Vinay, Vinooth kulkarni and Sagar (Myself)
Type: Temple
Ideal for: Friends & Family
Budget: 50/Head

Best of the Beast: Gopuram decorated with LED lights
Shanmukha Temple:
  • The Shrungagiri Shanmukha Temple is the first of its kind with an excellent architecture of the temple tower with Six Faces of Lord Shanmukha (Shan means Six, Muka means Faces) built on a hillock at Rajarajeshwari nagar.
  • Around 2500 crystals are installed on the Gopuram which are illuminated by LED lights at evening. Watching this temple at evening is a treat to the eyes.
  • The temple structure is divided into three stages
    • Panchamukhi Vinayaka (5 faced Ganesha) at the very entrance of the temple.
    • Lord Shiva within Havina Hutta (Snake’s termitarium) at the middle.
    • Lord Shanmukha at the summit with Six faced temple tower comprising the core.
  • There is endless collection of Lord Ganesh idols displayed at core of the temple atop.
Omkar Hills:
  • The temple houses replica of 12 jyotirlinga which are in the different parts of the coutry under a single roof, each one with individual Gopuram.
  • Sarvadharma Samanvaya Peetha (seat of equality for all religions), Banyan tree is surrounded by eight mini shrines of different religions.
  • Giant tower clock which is one of the biggest clocks in the world with each hand weighing around 40 kg.
  • A recently constructed Dhyana Mandir (as of 2015).
Sunday Morning: Vinay picked me up from my room at 6.30 in the morning. I had a cycle borrowed by my friend for my last week’s cycling event with BTC, Vinay insisted that he will ride bicycle. Vinay’s friend who stays nearby also joined with his Honda Activa. It was 7 by the time we left Vijaynagar.

All set for morning ride

Morning Ride: As the distance is short and Vinay was on cycle we cruised at low speed. Took Bangalore University route as it greets you with serene nature away from the dust and pollution. It took less than 40 minutes to reach the Shanmukha temple.

Vinay enjoying peddling

Shanmukha Temple: The architecture of the temple is worth appreciating. Thumb’s up to contractor Arunachalam whose extraordinary vision guided him to design the entire temple based on the very name of Lord Shanmukha (Shan means Six, Muka means Face). At the entrance there is a Panchamukhi Vinayaka Temple with Lord Ganesha riding a lion which is unique in its own. After meeting brother of Shanmukha we headed to have darshan of his father – Lord ShivaThis part of the temple is most beautiful with Shiva Lingam carved in Glass and decorated with beautiful lightnings. The entire structure itself is encapsulated in a Havana Hutta (Snake’s Nest) structure.

Shanmukha Temple Outer view
Panchamukhi Vinayaka temple at the beginning
Lord Shiva Temple encapsulated in a snake’s nest
Interior of Shiva Temple
Shiva Lingam carved in glass and decorated with beautiful lightnings

We headed to the main temple, one has to claim 50 odd steps to reach the summit. You can also see Nice road on the left and Savandurga Hills on the right. At the core of the temple Lord Shanmukha’s idol resembling the one on the Gopuram is installed. Gopuram is fitted with Sun tracking system with 2 horizontal and 2 vertical light sensors which captures maximum sun rays from morning to evening. Sun rays thus tracked are directed on to the main deity enabling Surya Kirana Abhisheka to Lord right from the morning. There is a huge collection of Lord Ganesha idols inside the core temple. We spend half an hour more before deciding to visit Omkar Hills as its less than 5 km.

50 odd steps to reach the summit

A big Thrishul rising from the snake’s nest

A closer look at the Thrishul
Main Temple housing Lord Shanmukha’s idol
Temple Gopuram with six faces of Lord Shanmuka himself

One the largest Monolith of Asia – Savandurga, the photo was taken on some other day at evening

It was almost 9.30 am by the time we left the place, I knew a fantastic hotel called Kaapi Katte nearby to have breakfast. Rates at this place will blow your mind, Idli-Vada at Rs 20 and everything else at very low rate. The quality and neatness of the place attracts so many residences of RR Nagar that it will be rush most of the time. After tasty Idli Vada, Masala Dosa and hot tea we were set to explore Omkar hills.

Kaapi Katte near Kanakadasa cicle, Rajrajeshwari nagar

Omkar Hills: 10 minutes drive took us to Omkar hills, its my 7th visit to this beautiful place. We visited the main temple where replica of twelve Jyotirlinga has been installed, the temple premises gives an excellent peaceful ambiance which makes us to forget the noisy Bangalore traffic. 

Entrance to the Omkar Hills
Omkar temple front view
Omkar temple side view
1,2000 kg bell –  one of the largest bells in the world
There is  a newly constructed Dhyana Mandir, we sat there for a while, the steps behind the Dhyana Mandir leads to the giant clock and Banyan tree. The view of the temple from back is stupendous, the tree is surrounded by eight mini shrines of different religion.

Dhyana Mandir front view
Dhyana Mandir back view
Inside the dhyana mandir
Omkar Hills – back view of Jyotirlinga temple
Sarvajana Samanvaya Peeta: Mini shrines of different religion at single place
Sarvajana Samanvaya Peeta:The tree at the center
Sarvajana Samanvaya Peeta: Mini shrines of different religion at single place

After couple of photographs we headed back to our respective home.

You can even visit Turahalli forest which is less than 7 kms from Omkar Hills.

I recommend you to read the below post where I’ve explained a lot about Omkar Hills and Turahalli forest

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