The Male Mahadeshwara Temple which is nestled amongst green rolling mountains is a scenic weekend getaway. Located about 200 km from Bengaluru, the drive to the temple is an experience in itself especially during the monsoons when the mountains are crowned with wispy clouds. The chill of the winds, the sound of the forest and the green of the new shoots are refreshing.
The river Kaveri at Shivanasamudra splits into two, plunges downward forming two famous waterfalls –Gaganachukki and Barachukki and then re-joins thereby forming an island on which are situated two ancient temples – Ranganatha and Someshwara Temples.
Built in 9th century by the Chalukyas, the Navalinga Temple houses nine of the 12 jyotirlingas and is probably the only place to have such lingas.
Gajendragad is famous for being the place where Tipu Sultan, the Marathas and the Nawabs signed a treaty which marked the end of the Mysuru War II.
Once a stronghold of the Chalukyas of Kalyani, Sudi is now a forgotten town of crumbling stone monuments and ancient step-wells. The biggest and the most awe-inspiring among the forgotten monuments is the Jodu Kalasa Temple (Temple with Twin-Towers) which has two garbha grihas (sanctums) facing each other built on a high platform.
Hanagal was an important bastion even when the Hoysala Dynasty ruled over large chunks of Karnataka. Located on the left bank of the river Dharma, Hanagal has a connection to the Mahabharata also. The kingdom of Virat where the Pandavas spent a year incognito is identified with present day Hanagal. A crumbling fort and a handful of desolate temples from the 8th to the 12th century now dot the once prosperous town.
Chandravalli is an important archaeological site and deserves to be given importance by casual tourists and history buffs. Do visit Chandravalli when you visit its famous neighbour, the kallina kote (stone fort).
The temple at Hedathale is neither well known like the Chamundeshwari Temple near Mysore nor is it magnificent like the Virupaksha Temple at Hampi and maybe that is why it is so special. If you like quiet places filled with tranquillity and rich in architectural value, Hedathale is the place you should visit.
Located at the heart of old Bangalore City in Kalasipalya is Tipu’s Summer Palace. It lies hidden among the urban chaos but is unaffected by its surroundings. Tipu used this as his summer residence from 1791 onward till his death.
There's more to Ajmer than the dargah. There are many Mughal and Rajput monuments worth seeing along with the Ana Sagar lake where one can relax at the end of a long day spent exploring Ajmer.