Like the proverbial Jatinga birds committing harakiri at Assam due to magnetic and wind energy fluctuation, Kaivara too can cause confusion among human beings. It was a first hand experience that prompted me to come to a conclusion. After covering most of the tourist places at Kaivara and Alamgiri instead of taking the Bangalore route we proceeded towards Madanpalle with signposts too misdirecting us. It was hunch to enquire with natives that re confirmed that we were travelling in opposite direction. We reversed our drive in the right direction and realised that Kaivara has a potential that can cause confusion in the minds of tourists.
Kaivara seems to be well known for Thathaiya ( grandpa ) who was born in this town in 1726 AD and lived upto ripe old age of 110 years. Narayan Thathaiya is famous for his miracles and practical predictions He attained his samadhi in 1836 at the brindavan. But one of the intriguing fact is that a fortress has been built on top of the hillock opp the Vaikunta temple by feudatory of the Vijaynagar Empire. The route to this fortress is unclear, when we enquired with the forest department staff, they were evasive in their reply quoting the zooming of the land etc. Some stated that nobody is allowed to visit the fort after January because of shrubs and thick vegetation. But the fact remains that most of the hideouts are literally rented out to lovers to spend their time. Kaivara is rated as one of the best trekking routes around Bangalore, maybe commercial considerations is compelling to keep it of regular tourists radar. The Mysore Gazetteer states that the ancient fort was renamed as Rehman Durg by Tipu Sultan who renovated the fortress to an extent after he lost possession of Nandi Durg to the British in 1791.
Legendary importance of Kaivara mentions that Bheema killed Bakasura in bitter battle and buried the demon inside the crevice of the hillock. On every Shivarathri blood oozes from the demons skull according to belief held locally. This hillock is located bang opposite the Thatiayya's place and Bheemeshwari temple. If one has to have a closer look than one has to ascend around 150 steps on to the hillock.
Vaikunta Temple : This temple is situated approximately 2 kms away from the Thatiaya's complex. It seems to be ancient temple which has been renovated with and additional modern concrete structure. The temple complex is supposed to dedicated to Thatiaya who is supposed to have gained yogic powers in the cave situated in the complex.
Tapovan : This complex is maintained by the Forest department, one can have long walk upto 2 km inside the green enclosure. There is a party cottage at the end of the route inside the Tapovan. The place seems to be for hire. The hillock leading to the fortress too can be ascended from this base camp as it were. There are few enclosure containing rabbits, peacocks, and other birds along with monkeys.
Kailash Giri : A recent cave temple developed by the local MLA, which may be crass commercialisation. The grilled gates on the hillock is dampner considering that they wanted to ape other cave temples. The architects should have avoided such contraptions to secure the temple. Instead the doors to the sanctum could have been gated. The first entry hall resembles the Belum cave, which maybe eventually used for marriages and ceremonies i presume. The lake which is under development once it is filled with water would turn this location into a good picnic spot. Parking places are under development.
Alamgiri temple : This Venkateswara temple is completely renovated, it is alleged to belong to Ganga period who were earlier rulers of the territory. All the idols seem to have been dismantled on the facades of the temple premise. The pillars are left with some crude carvings only. The soap stone platform reveals that Hoysalas too may have been involved in the procession of expansion of the temple complex.
Thatiya's Prediction : He predicts that eventually world will come to an end, with wild animals surviving and 2/3rds water will vanish. Eventually world will be rebuilt with integrity learning from the past mistakes.
Overall Kaivara is one day trip from Bangalore, it is just 80 kms and a round trip of 200 kms maximum including Chintamani. One has to be cautious regarding the confusion in the route on the return, guys if you have covered most of the getaways around Bangalore this is worth a visit.