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Ramanagara was called Closepet during pre-independence times, named so after Sir Barry Close who built the old bridge here. Ramanagara district was carved out of the erstwhile Bengaluru Rural district in 2007. The district is surrounded by Bangalore Urban and Tumakuru in the north, Mandya in the west, Chamarajanagar in the south and Tamil Nadu state in the west. Cauvery, Arkavathi & Kanva are the three rivers flowing in the District.
Ramanagara is known for its Channapatna toys and sericulture. It houses one of the biggest silk markets in India and the silk produced in this region forms the main raw material for the famous Mysore silk sarees. Ramanagara is the largest market for silk cocoons in Asia. Therefore, it is also known as “Silk City’’.
Being a short drive away makes Ramanagara a popular weekend getaway for the Bengalureans and is also a perfect stopover enroute to Mysuru/Kodagu from Bengaluru. Ramanagara is a popular base for many adventure sports/ team building activities. It is famed for rock climbing and is also called the Mecca of Rock Climbers. The rocks and boulders were the perfect setting for the Hindi blockbuster movie Sholay which was shot on these picturesque rocks. Trekking at Savanadurga and Mekadaatu is also quite popular. It also has a film city located in Bidadi which is also famous as an industrial hub. And while in Bidadi, try the lip-smacking Bidadi Thatte Idli which is a larger and flatter variant of the traditional south Indian Idli but equally delicious.
For further information, visit the official district website click here!
- Ramadevara Betta Vulture Sanctuary: Forests around Ramadevara betta are declared a vulture sanctuary. Birds, particularly giant vultures are spotted here.
- Mekedatu & Sangama: Located in Kanakapura Taluk, it is an ideal spot for one-day outings. Sangama is the confluence of Cauvery and Akravati rivers. Nearby is a Shiva Temple locally called as Sangameshwara Temple. From here, trek 5 km to Mekedatu, amidst dense green forest and majestic hills, while you listen to the thunderous roar of the Cauvery River, as well as the sweet chirping of birds. Here the Cauvery River passes through a narrow crevice where it is believed that even goats could leap across; hence the name Mekedatu (Goat’s leap). Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation Limited (KSTDC) runs the Hotel Mayura Sangama Mekedatu here.
- Janapada Loka: Sri. HL Nage Gowda, is the creator and conceptual architect of this cultural centre. It is dedicated to promoting, preserving, publishing and propagating the native folk culture of Karnataka. Since its inception in 1979, it has been a platform for rural artisans, musicians and craftspeople to showcase as well as market their works of art. The main attraction of Janapada Loka is the folk arts museum which contains a spectacular collection of around 5000 artefacts that represents the essence of Karnataka's folk culture. Spanning over 15 acres, the complex houses museums, an open-air theatre, a studio and other structures.
- Revanasiddeshwara Hills: Revanasiddeshwara betta (hill) is a lofty conical granite hill south of Ramanagara. Revanasiddeshwara Hill is 3300 ft above mean sea level and has motorable road till the top. Bhimeshwara temple is said to be the oldest temple in the hill. Has an inner sanctum with brick and mortar shikhara in Vijayanagara style. Revanasiddeshwara shrine on top of a huge boulder is the main place of worship on the hill. View from top is mesmerizing.
- Veerabhadraswamy Hills: Adjacent to Revanasiddheshwara hills five more hills named after Veerabhadraswamy are also popular. These can be accessed via villages near them such as Kotahalli, Nelehalli and Achchalu.
- Kanva Reservoir: Kanva Reservoir is 10 kms from Ramanagara city and is an ideal picnic spot
- Tippagondanahalli: Large reservoir near Magadi town, currently closed to tourists for maintenance.
- Savanadurga: Savandurga lures you with its gigantic hills, lush vegetation and spectacular landscapes. This is a tall granite hill formed by the union of two high peaks (4024 ft above MSL). Two prominent temples frequented by pilgrims are the Veerabhadreshwara Swamy and Narasimha Swamy temples situated at the foothill. Tourists can go on a trekking, rock climbing or on a biking-hiking trail and indulge their adventurous spirit! Since the region is covered by thick vegetation, and inhabited by bears and leopards, ensure not to stay at the top after dark. Do carry essentials like water, food, a first aid kit and a survival kit in your backpack. Be careful while ascending or descending, and always move in groups.
- Manchanabele Dam: Situated around 45km from Bengaluru, the Manchanabele Dam is a small water dam built across the Arkavati River. The dam is one of the best spots for bird watching in these areas.
- Ramanagara Rock Climbing: Ramanagara district is known for its giant rocks. Ramadevara betta in Ramanagara attracts adventure seekers and rock climbers. Rock climbing and rappelling activities give a sense of adventure and test one’s endurance and fitness levels. Several travel companies operate guided tours and rock climbing expeditions to Ramanagara. One can sign up for such activities as rock climbing cannot be done alone or in small groups without expert help and supervision. Check https://www.wandertrails.com/activities/ramanagara-trek
- Longest Zip Lining: Shilhaandara Resort in Ramanagara offers South India’s longest Zip line adventure and other activities such as ATV Ride and team building activities.
- Eagleton - The Golf Village: Eagleton is an award winning 18-hole international standard golf course which is surrounded by a resort and golf academy with an expansive residential enclave with all modern amenities and facilities. Eagleton has been awarded as one of the Best Course in India by Asian Golf Monthly. It is the only course in South India to be listed in the Rolex Top 1000 Golf Courses of the World. In a first of its kind in India, Eagleton has also introduced night golf with the Par 3, 9 holes Executive Night Golf Course.
- Wonderla Theme Park: Wonder La is one of India’s largest amusement and water theme parks. Located on the outskirts of Bengaluru in Ramanagara district, Wonderla is spread across 82 acres, and has over 60 thrill packed rides offering entertainment and fun for all age groups. It also has a resort inside the amusement park - making it the first amusement park in India to have a resort built right inside it.
- Coracle Ride at Mekedatu: Visitors need to take a coracle ride in Sangama to reach Mekedatu, a scenic spot where Kaveri River is so narrow, even a goat can jump across.
- Adventure Sports and Games: Private operators such as Eagles Unbound organize ATV Rides, Zip lining, team building activities, obstacles course etc. https://www.eaglesunbound.com/
- Fever Pitch: An outdoor adventure sports location near Magadi, 38 kms from Bengaluru. Offers ATV rides, Kayaking, watersports, camping experiences, team building activities etc https://www.feverpitchholidays.com/
- Kabbalamma Temple, Kabbal: Located 14 km from Kanakapura, Kabbal has a big steep hill which resembles a Shivalinga. At the foothills, is a highly venerated shrine called locally as Kabbalamma. The deity here is also referred to as “Kalikadevi”. The jatra of this temple is held annually during Shivarathri which is visited by thousands of devotees.
- Ramadevara Betta Temple: Most popular spot in Ramanagara, located inside the Ramadevara Betta Vulture Sanctuary, requires climbing 400+ steps. Houses shrines of Lord Rameshwara and Parvathi. After visiting the temple and pond, hiking around the rocks gives captivating views of the surrounding.
- Magadi: The historic town of Magadi is located around 40 km away from Bengaluru city. In 1638, Kempe Gowda (who founded Bengaluru) was forced to leave Bengaluru and then made Magadi his headquarters. He built a fort and the Rameshwara Temple. Outside the town, is the complex of Someshwara Temple which was built in 1712. To the left of the temple is a mantapa that is believed to be Kempegowda’s Hajara.
- Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Magadi: Ranganatha Swamy Temple is located in Magadi and built in an elevated place called Swarnadri Parvata. It has a striking rajagopura which is visible from a long distance. The area in which this temple is situated is called “Tirumale”. There is vast prakara with a gateway. The garbhagriha has a Dravida shikara also having Vijayanagara workmanship. The main deity is a standing image of Lord Narayana.
- Hanumanthaayya Temple, Kengal: Located on the Bangalore- Mysore highway (3 km from Channapatna), is the temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman - Hanumanthaayya Temple. The Temple was renovated during the period of Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah, a former Chief Minister of Karnataka who is also credited with the conception and construction of the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru. The image of Lord Hanuman is sculpted in red granite (called as kengal locally) here; hence the place came to be known as Kengal. This image is believed to be consecrated by Saint Vyasa and the images of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are also enshrined in it.
- Dodda Mallur: A village in Channapattana Taluk, popular for temples of Aravindavalli, Sri Ramaprameya Swamy, and Ambegalu Navaneeta Krishna. Dodda Mallur village is located on the banks of Kanva River, 3 kms from Channapattana.
- Devara Hosahalli: Home to Vijayanagara era Prasanna Anjaneya temple
- Brahmanipura: Home to Vijayanagara era Anjaneya temple, 5 kms from Chennapattana.
- Harohalli: Home to Arunachaleshwara, Krishaswami, Basaveshwara, Bhimeshwara and Anjaneya temples.
- Honganur: Home to Nagaswamy, Kodi Bhairava, Anjaneya, Lakshmi, Koladamma, Gopalakrishna, Maramma and Ishwara temples.
- Jalamangala: Home to Lakshmi Narayana temple built in later Vijayanagara style and another Narayanaswamy temple said to be from Kempegowda era.
- Kallahalli: Popular for Vijayanagara style Srinivasa temple.
- Kengal: Birthplace of Kengal Hanumanthayya, late chief minister of Mysuru was born in Kengal, a town 3 kms from Chennapattana. Kengal is home to Anjaneya temple, Venkataramana and Shani temple.
- Kudlur: Home to Mangaleshwara temple and Sri Rama temple. Kudlur was a popular town during the Chola era.
- Sugganahalli: Home to Narasimha temple of Vijayanagara era.
Nature & Wildlife
- Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary: In 2012, around 346.41 hectares was earmarked as a protected area for the vultures which have been roosting in these areas for many decades - which is the Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary. It is India’s only vulture sanctuary, and perhaps the only place in Karnataka where the critically endangered and endemic Indian white-backed vulture and long-billed vultures are found.
- Galibore Nature Camp: Take a break from the chaos of city life, unwind, and rest in the lap of nature. A property of Jungle Lodges & Resorts, the Galibore Nature Camp offers a fascinating wildlife experience. Get cozy with spotted deers, grizzled giant squirrel, marsh crocodiles, turtles and snakes, etc and get acquainted with over 230 species of birds. For more information, visit www.junglelodges.com
- Channapatna Lacquerware: 60 km from Bengaluru is the small town of Channapatna or locally called as gombegala ooru (the town of toys). Every day, over 3000 local craftsmen produce colourful lacquerware including wooden toys, games/ puzzles, jewellery, coasters, napkin rings, powder boxes etc. This vegetable-dyed lacquerware is protected as a geographical indication (GI) under the World Trade Organization. The toys, which are lightweight yet tough, were originally made exclusively from ivory wood and coated with lacquer made from vegetable dyes. Traditionally, the colours used are a mix of vegetable dyes and food-grade pigments. The natural dyes include turmeric for yellow, indigo powder for blue, vermillion or kumkum powder for orange and red, and katha (acacia tree extract) for brown. The colours used for these toys specially for infants/ children is non-toxic and thus safe. Visitors are encouraged to visit toy shops or manufacturing units and encourage local craft by purchasing toys or dolls that appeal to them. In the 2015 Republic Day parade, the Karnataka tableau featured Channapatna handicrafts and won the third prize.
- Innovative Film City: Located at Bidadi in the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway, this entertainment zone contains a global film production centre, museums, India’s first comprehensive film school, an amphitheater, a 100,000 sq ft food court, water rides, go karting and much more.
- Pyramid Valley International: Located in Kanakapura Road, Pyramid Valley International is administered and run by Pyramid Spiritual Societies Movement. The Trust, a not-for-profit organization, was founded by Brahmarshi Patriji in the year 2003, to setup an international Meditational University near Bengaluru. It is considered to be the world’s largest meditation Pyramid and is constructed in a scientific way. The centre conducts regular classes and seminars on Meditation/ New Age Spirituality and its benefits. The place also has a library with a good collection of Spiritual books. A must visit place for mental relaxation.
- Bevooru: Ancient Jain center and popular for pottery and toys. Thimmappana Betta near Bevoor has a 16th century Venkataramana temple. Bevoor is also home to Usalamma Chowdeshwari, Sri Rama, Maramma and Kempamma temples.
- Bidadi: Toyota Kirloskar Motors, makers of Toyota cars and SUVs have their plant in Bidadi. Bidadi is also home to several other industries