Turuvekere Temples and Markonahalli Dam
This was our first day trip in the new year 2015. We wanted to go to a place nearby, but we found that we had covered almost all one-day tourist destinations around Bangalore. That’s when I visited our favorite travelogue “Payana” and found an interesting place called Turuvekere, where the blogger had mentioned the lost temples of Turuvekere.
When I read the blog and saw the photos, I found that place interesting and immediately told Thilak to have a look. Turuvekere is home to a number of Hoysala Temples. Both of us like to visit such old monuments. So, we felt Turuvekere is the best one-day trip destination to start this new year. When we told about this place to Rajath (my brother), he also showed interest in joining us. All three of us were set for this amazing trip on Sunday morning.
We wanted to leave early in the morning, but Rajath was not feeling well as soon as he got up. So, we decided to cancel the trip and went back to sleep. Later, when we got up again, he was feeling fine and he told us not to cancel the trip. All of us got ready really fast and started our journey from home at 9.30 AM. Not canceling the trip was the best decision we took.
The Scenic Route
As Turuvekere is a small village, we were not sure if we get good restaurants to have lunch or not. So, we decided to have a late breakfast in a good hotel on the way. As planned, we had breakfast at the Kamath hotel near Dabaspet at 11.00 AM. Traffic was not very heavy, so we could reach Tumkur early. When we took a diversion to Turuvekere from Tumkur main road, the road was narrow and vehicles were very less on the road. Thilak wanted to give Nano to Rajath to practice driving. He found the right place for safe practicing on the way to Turuvekere. Rajath drove the car pretty smoothly. Though I was feeling a bit scared, we had fun when he was driving. The road was in a good condition. It was like a very long straight line drawn to infinity. There were not many vehicles on the road. The scenery on both sides of the road was wonderful. We could see coconut and areca nut plantations throughout the way. It was a beautiful scenic road.
En route to Turuvekere, we found a large lake that was extremely beautiful. The water was very pure. We could see the reflection of the plantation on the banks of the lake very clearly in the water. It was a total surprise package for us. After doing a photoshoot for some time near that lake, we left from there to Turuvekere. When we reached Turuvekere, it was around 1.30 PM. Instead of visiting the temples, we decided to finish our lunch first. There were no good hotels nearby. GPS showed a hotel which was not at all there. Later we found a hotel at the KSRTC bus stop. The hotel was neat and we ate our lunch there.
After lunch, we started our visit to the temples. We had three temples to visit which were all near to the KSRTC bus stop. We took people’s help to find these temples.
The first temple we visited was the Chennakeshava temple. The temple was a typical Hoysala temple and was sculpturally rich. The temple was locked, so we could not go inside. It was looking beautiful from the outside but was not at all well maintained. We took a few photos outside the temple. The carvings on the temple were too good. We felt the temple should have been maintained well. The sunlight was perfect for the photoshoot. We took a few photos of the temple and the photos came really good. After spending some time, we left that place.
The next temple we visited was Gangadhareshwara temple which was very near to the Chennakeshava temple. But, we could not find it as it was not standing out like famous monuments. It was looking like a normal temple. This temple was also locked. But, when we checked with the people sitting near the temple, they told us that there is one more entrance to the temple from the backside. They showed us the priest’s home to get it unlocked but we preferred to go through the back entrance. The children were playing cricket on the temple veranda. No one was there to oppose, neither priest nor the devotees. This temple also was not in very good condition. There was a huge Nandi which was well polished and was beautiful. There was one more interesting thing in the temple, the bell made out of stone. What was surprising about this stone bell was, when we hit that bell it was making sound like a normal bell. We wondered how that sound was coming from a stone bell. We spent some time enjoying the sound of the bell and returned.
Moole Shankara temple
Our next temple to visit was Moole Shankara temple which was present exactly in front of the Gangadhareshwara temple. We could not go near this temple at all because the gate for the temple itself was locked. This temple was looking more beautiful than the other two temples and compared to them, this was under better maintenance. We did not go to the priest’s home to unlock the gate as we were running short of time and took photos from outside the gate itself.
Our next destination was Aralaguppe which was around 20 kms from Turuvekere and the time was already around 4 PM. The road that led to Aralaguppe was not that great and more than that, our GPS was not showing the proper route to go. Also, we wanted to go to Markonahalli before sunset. So, after discussing, we came to a conclusion to skip Aralaguppe and started towards Markonahalli.
The road to Markonahalli was amazing. When we reached near the dam, it was around 5.15 PM. The dam was huge and the place was well maintained. The gates were not opened from few days, so we could go near the gates of the dam. The water reservoir was very huge. There was a man who explained the functioning of the water supply through this dam. The dam was built in 1930 under the guidance of Sir. M Vishweshwaraiah. It was built across Shimsha River.
Back to Bangalore
At around 6.00 PM, the sun was about to set and the view from the dam was becoming more and more beautiful as the sun was setting. We had nice time capturing sunset moments. After sunset, we started our return journey. Since all of us were feeling hungry, we had snacks at the Grand Adiga’s hotel which was on the Bangalore-Hassan Highway. At around 9 PM, we reached home.
It was an amazing trip. The temples of Turuvekere are truly the uncherished treasures of Karnataka. Had it been maintained well, they would have become popular tourist attractions. The beautiful road leading to Turuvekere, the temples, and the amazing sunset at Markonahalli dam was the real treat for our eyes.
- Route Travelled: Onward: BTM Layout > Yashwanthpura > Peenya > Tumkur > Gubbi > Nittur > Turuvekere
Return: Turuvekere > Yadiyur > Markonahalli Dam > Bangalore-Hassan Highway > Nelamangala > Sanky Tank road > MG Road > Bannerghatta Road > BTM Layout
- Total distance (To & Fro): 322 km
- Mileage (Car): 19 km/l
- Fuel expense: 1135 Rs
- Total expense: 1537 Rs
- Photos: Turuvekere Temples and Markonahalli Dam Photos