Devarayanadurga is located very close to Tumkur district in Karnataka. True to its name “Devarayanadurga, when translated aptly means “Fort of the God”. Though it had various other names, it got the name Devarayanadurga after the Mysore ruler Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar captured it on one of his victorious feats.
The place is located above 4000 feet above sea level and can be a weekend pilgrimage spot and getaway for a quick retreat or picnic, to escape from the grind of the daily hustle and bustle of city life. It is also a trekker’s paradise, due to the fact that it has numerous hillocks surrounding it, and many wildlife enthusiasts, in fact, throng the place for various wildlife shoots etc. It is declared as a protective reserved forest by the forest department of Government of Karnataka.
Since it is closely located to Tumkur city and district and also the IT city of Bangalore, the crowds swell here on weekends and public holidays.
Mythological Importance of Devarayanadurga
Devarayanadurga is steeped in mythological importance. It is said that Lord Brahma the creator of the Universe, has performed penance for many years in the name of Lord Vishnu for several thousand years. Impressed by his penance, Lord Vishnu has incarnated himself as Lord Narasimha here.
Various mythological books describe this place as a very sacred place, as there is a pond with sacred water which is believed to run through the idol of Yoga Narasimha, which can be experienced even today as one enters the entrance of the temple premises.
The fort or the temple is built in the Dravidian style and the temples are said to be about 2000 years old. The temple enjoyed the rich patronage of the Chola Kings which was well known for its sculptural excellence. Here two temples are built for God Narasimha, one which is at the foot of the hillock called the Bhoga Narasimha and the other temple which is built on the hillock which is called Yoga Narasimha.
Temples to Explore in Devarayanadurga
Bhoga Narasimha Temple : The Bhoga Narasimha Temple is located at the base of the hillock of the Devarayanadurga and the deity as we all know is dedicated to Lord Narasimha. This temple enjoyed the patronage of many kings from various dynasties and also is well known for its simple but beautiful architectural marvel. There are numerous pillars dotting the temple, on which inscriptions have been carved regarding the history of the temple and the various rulers.
Yoga Narasimha Temple : Another temple which is located in Devarayanadurga is the Yoga Narasimha Temple which is on the hillock. Around 100 steps have to be climbed to reach the temple and the scenic beauty will definitely leave the climbers spellbound. Lush greenery can be found around the hillock which gives a relief from the tedious task of climbing the steps.
Lakshmi Temple : There is a temple which is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi near Devarayanadurga which is called as the “Goravanahalli Lakshmi” and is revered by many Hindus. The approximate distance between Devarayanadurga and Lakshmi Temple is around 22 kms and locals will be of great help in guiding the route.