A landscape dotted with hillocks and temples is what defines Devarayanadurga in Tumakuru district. Endowed with dense green cover at an altitude of 4,000 feet above the sea level, the pervasive hilly terrain is about 70 km from Bengaluru and 15 km from Tumakuru. The region’s diversity makes it a tourists delight, trekkers favourite and pilgrims sojourn.
The place was originally known as Anebiddasari, translating to the place where the elephant fell in Kannada. The present moniker, Devarayanadurga, was obtained in 1696 after it was captured by Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar, the then ruler of Mysuru. It is also called as Karigiri (Elephant Hill) as it resembles an elephant when viewed from the eastern side.
Enclosed in the thick of forests and perennial hummocks that run all through, the hills are dotted with several temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, including the famous Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple. The other two temples here are Yoganarasimha and Bhoganarasimha shrines, depicting the ascetic and familial forms of Lord Vishnu. The Bhoganarasimha Temple is placed at the base of the hill, while Yoganarasimha Temple is located atop the hill, from where one can get a bird’s-eye view of the serene expanse.
What makes Devarayanadurga further intriguing is the number of tourist attractions located close by. While driving down the hill towards Tumakuru, Meandering through the cuts and curves, and lush green wilderness, one comes across a deer park at Namada Chilume, five km away from Devarayanadurga.
Popular for its water spring, it attracts pilgrims and tourists alike. Within the vicinity, facing the water spring, is an old guest house where celebrated ornithologist Dr Salim Ali is said to have stayed during his visits to the place for survey and research.