With Shrungagiri Shanmuka temple behind us, it was onward to Omkar hills, which was around 5kms further. In 15mins, I could notice the white temple tower standing tall touching the blue skies and in few minutes, we finally reached Omkar hills at 11 am.
[caption id="attachment_3786" align="alignnone" width="1048"] Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Temple view[/caption]
Brief on the place:
Omkar hills - As the name itself contains the spiritual incantation "OM", so is the place - an abode of spirituality and peace. The main attraction of the hills is the Dwadasha jyotirlinga temple. The other areas of interests are Sarva dharma Samanvaya, Matsya Narayana temple, huge HMT Clock tower and Dhyana Mandira.
The view from the hills is fantastic and also this is one of the highest points of the city i.e.2800ft above sea level. The place is suggested to be visited early morning for cooler breeze and peaceful atmosphere. The place is lesser known for a weekend hangout and appeared less crowded.
[caption id="attachment_3785" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Main temple - front view[/caption]
As we were parking our vehicle, the guard informed us the temple would close at 12 pm. That was a saviour and we hurried to the entrance of the temple.
Dwadasha Jyotirlinga temple
The temple architecture had the touch of the Orissan temples - Kalinga architecture. The design of the Vimanagopura - pure white temple tower and golden trident disc on the top, gave me the feel of a unique architecture. This is only one of its kind to look around in Bengaluru.
[caption id="attachment_3782" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The temple towers - Blissful[/caption]
The temple grounds spread the bliss of spirituality. As we entered the temple, we were blessed to witness 12 Jyotirlingas under the same roof.
[caption id="attachment_3759" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Nandi at the entrance of the temple[/caption]
Jyotirlinga refers to the Supreme Lord Shiva in the form of fiery light. Out of which, he appeared in another form as Lingodhbhava (Shiva linga). The auspicious 12 jyotirlingas are located in various parts of India.
[caption id="attachment_3808" align="alignnone" width="1126"] Temple is a form of Kalinga Architecture[/caption]
The main intention of Omkar hills was to install these 12 Jyotirlingas at the same place, so that even a common man will have the opportunity and satisfaction of visiting these holy temples. A 20 minutes stride inside the temple, with 12 garbagrighas with a brief history completed the temple tour.
[caption id="attachment_3742" align="alignnone" width="987"] Nandi at the temple entrance on a tall pillar.[/caption]
|3||Vishwanatha||Varanasi, Kashi||Uttar Pradesh|
[caption id="attachment_3764" align="alignnone" width="1024"] 1200 kg Bronze bell for temple purpose - Heaviest in India[/caption]
Besides to the temple, we noticed a beautifully constructed meditation center known as Dhyana Mandira.
Dhyana Mandira - Front view. Beautiful, Isn't it??
The architecture was a treat to eyes. The whole structure was peach coloured. The pillars were an art of floral patterns.
[caption id="attachment_3778" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Well carved pillars with floral designs[/caption]
As we stepped inside, we could feel the calmness the place is maintained with. A white Shiva linga was placed in the centre and surrounded by beautiful wall paintings based on ShivaPuranas.
[caption id="attachment_3779" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Shiva linga inside Dhyana Mandira[/caption]
The outer walls of Dhyana Mandira are decorated with mural arts of Vishnu Dashavathara. They were iconic and gave me a quick recall of Indian mythology.
[gallery ids="3762,3763,3765,3766,3767,3768,3997,3996,3769,3771" columns="2" link="none" size="large"]
Giant Clock Tower
While at Dhyana Mandira, a huge 40 feet HMT Clock tower caught our attention. Wow, we exclaimed. As we moved proximate to that we were surprised to realise that it is the second largest clock tower in the world and is bigger than Big Ben, London UK.
[caption id="attachment_3745" align="alignnone" width="836"] 40 feet Giant HMT Clock tower[/caption]
I had this big doubt, whether this clock was working :P. Fortunately, Yes it's working !!! , but was showing a wrong time though. Another speciality of this clock is at the commencement of every hour, the clock chimes the sound of Shankanada followed by “Om” five times. However, I do not remember hearing anything !
HMT, as a company is dear to my family as my grandpa worked there. We have at least 6 sets of HMT watches at our home. So, this clock tower was a proud moment for us.
Sarvadharma Samanvaya Peeta
Behind the main temple, we noticed an entrance leading to Matsya Narayana temple. As we ascended the stairs, there was a wide area sheltered by a big banyan tree which is known as Sarvadharma Samanvaya Peeta. Sarvadharma Samanvaya refers to the equality of all religions, to be tolerant and secular in the society.
[caption id="attachment_3754" align="alignnone" width="1086"] The entrance of Sarvadharma Samanvaya Peeta[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3756" align="alignnone" width="1086"] The banyan tree and surroundings[/caption]
It is believed the Vana Durga devi is the presiding deity of Omkar hills and habitats under this sacred banyan tree. I noticed that a lot of people were offering camphor here to worship the goddess.
[caption id="attachment_3752" align="alignnone" width="713"] Sri Vana Durga devi[/caption]
As a means of the social equality of all religions, the tree is surrounded by notable religious reformers. This depicts that among the diversity of various religions, we can still coexist with harmony.
[gallery columns="2" link="none" size="medium" ids="3751,3750,3749,3748,3747,3746"]
Matsya Narayana temple
On the other side of the banyan tree, there was small temple dedicated to Matsya Narayana temple. Matsya Avatar is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of Fish. We had not seen this form of Vishnu and this temple is one of its kind found in the city.
[caption id="attachment_3753" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Matsya Narayana temple[/caption]
Vishwamitra Veda Vidyalaya
Omkar hills is actually an Ashrama Samsthana. The Ashrama provides training to Gurukula students in Vedagamas. The best part is that the Vidyalaya is providing FREE accommodation, food, clothing and study materials for the students during their entire course which normally will be 6 years.
[caption id="attachment_3757" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Vishwamitra Vedavidyalaya[/caption]
By the end of this, we were damn hungry. We had the packed breakfast at the hills and had to depart from here to reach Pyramid Valley, Kanakpura road. I will catch you with my next interesting post. Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.
Keep travelling !! :)
- Omkar hills is located in RR Nagar, 40kms from Majestic. JSS college is the main landmark of the place.
- The spot is reachable by BMTC buses and own private vehicles. A paid parking lot is present near the main temple.
- Temple timings - Monday to Saturday - 7:00 am to 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 8 pm.
On Sundays and Govt holidays - 7:00 am to 8:30 pm.
- Best time to visit would be early mornings for sunrise and late evenings for sunset. The view from the hills would be breathtaking. Weekdays would be less crowded.
- The Ashrama provides Anna Prasada i.e lunch every day for the devotees from 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm.
- Photography is prohibited inside the temples and Dhyana Mandira.
- An ideal hangout place for family and friends.
- Facilities of drinking water and restrooms available.
- Please maintain cleanliness and sanctity of the temple premises.