South Indian temple architecture has fascinated the world for centuries. The tall gopurams or towers, the pillared halls, the geometrically perfect gateways and the complex carvings are some of the many distinctive elements which have enamoured travellers and architecture aficionados alike. Apart from visiting these eclectic destinations, one can enjoy a memorable journey on the highways of Karnataka, exploring myriad attractions on the way.
The Glorious Hoysalas
The Chennakeshava Temple is located in Hassan district, a pleasant 220-km drive from Bangalore city. It is part of a larger temple complex that showcases the best of Hoysala architecture. Many visit this sprawling temple to marvel at the carved pillars, of which there are 48 of them, all exhibiting distinct designs. The Narasimha pillar is the most prominent one.
Close to the peaks of the Western Ghats and a pleasant drive north of the hill town of Chikmagalur, Amrutesvara Temple is another landmark temple that exemplifies the rich architectural designs of the Hoysalas. This temple is close to 900 years old. It is considered the catalyst for a famous age of architecture in the region. There are many structural highlights of the temple complex. The mantapa or large hall is a central part of the layout. Detailed carvings can be seen across the walls and inner ceilings of the temple. Many important Hindu religious tales can be studied on the walls of the temple. A location close to the Bhadra River adds an element of serenity to the mystique of this alluring structure.
Nearby Chikmagalur town is also known for its breathtaking scenery. The drive to this region is a very picturesque one – a big reason why informed travellers are booking cars for self drive in Bangalore so they can have a complete experience.
Short Temple Trips
Closer to Bangalore city, Kabbalamma Temple is located in the rugged terrain of Ramanagara, more recognizable as the place where the Bollywood movie Sholay was shot. The Dravidian architecture stands out with the arid and rock-defined backdrop. The temple is not the only attraction here. In fact, Ramanagara is a hub for trekking, photography and other outdoor activities. The rocky landscape is home to many rare bird species and mammals so many wildlife enthusiasts enjoy coming here.
What better way to enjoy a culture trip across Karnataka than by travelling on one’s own terms. There are many advantages to choosing a self drive car over public or chauffeured transport. Travellers enjoy complete privacy and have total control over the pace of the journey. The best road trips are the ones with impromptu stops and detours, possible only when the traveller is behind the wheel. Security is also important when heading out of Bangalore into the countryside. Modern car rentals like Zoomcar feature a wide range of well-maintained vehicles with 24/7 on-road support.
Bangalore is a city that encapsulates the magic of India. It is a city that looks to the future but it is also a gateway to a rich culture that has been forged for millennia. This legacy lives on in the temples of Karnataka, breathing through the rituals and the sculptures. Take a step away from the daily grind. Hop on a rental car and discover the many layers of this enigmatic state.