Friday, September 5, 2014

Nandi cycling trail

A fresh  morning, misty mountains, countryside cycling, soothing  weather, once in a while drizzling sky , pottery, silk extraction, magnificent temple, elegant kalyani(temple pond), yummy organic lunch and good company... Isn't it a dreamy day for  weekend ? It was the  stage set for my first  reintroduction to cycling after ages.Last I cycled was during my early college days. In and around Nandi hills, just a few kms away from Bangalore opens up unexplored experiences.
Nandi hills
 Cycling was always been in my bucket list. But for some or the other reasons I didn't get a chance to try one. I started to realize from last couple of years that my bones are going weak. I was  in  an urgency to check myself whether cycle is fit for me or not. Then I found this one day trail by Unventured.For some weird reason I never had a taste to go back to Nandi hills after my first visit about  10 years ago. Unventured had an interesting trail to explore around the foothills of Nandi hills. I was intrigued. I decided to go with them.
Nandi grama(village) - PC - Unventured
 Initially I was apprehensive about  balancing. My whole focus for first few kms was only on balancing  and to ensure I am not falling. After a few kms I started enjoying my ride and nature around me.
Fun time on the way
 This trail was intended to explore the countryside by cycle. We witnessed the extraction of silk from cocoons. Wonderful are the  silkworms  to weave such a fine silk in the form of cocoons and clever are the human beings to extract such a fine silk from the cocoon with  basic rural technology.
Silk extraction

Quiet railway station near Nandi village

We visited  a pottery making unit. We tried  our hands to make pots of our design and shape.It was amazing to watch the way potter was  turning clay into an art as if he is playing with butter. For my hungry tummy turning clay looked like a chocolate tower!! I wish it was ...
My clay chocolate tower at potter's house
 Highlight of the trail was visiting Bhoganandeeshwara temple in Nandi village. I didn't even heard about it. Such a vast temple complex which dates back to 9 century !! It has 3 temples inside. Arunachaleshwara, Bhoga Nandeeshwara and Uma Maheshwara. There is another temple on top of the Nandi hill for Yoga Nandeeshwara. Look at Bhoga and Yoga. While Bhoga is the base , Yoga is the peak.. It is very common in Hindu tradition to see god tagged with  Yoga located on top of the hill and Bhoga located  at base of the hill.  spiritual attainment and material pleasure go hand in hand.They are paradoxical and compliment each other.
When we visited, Kalyanostava was hapepning ( In Uma maheshwara temple). It is an interesting activity celebrating wedding of Uma and Maheshwara. There is a mantap which makes us spellbound looking at the intricate work. Sculpted in black stone is no doubt a master piece. It reminded me stone cot I had seen in Banavasi.
Priests caught in action
 Interestingly in this temple there are 3 statues of Nandi which is generally seen as single. This temple is surrounded by a lot of legends .
I love legends. Let me tell you one of them. When Shiva weds Sati, whole gamut of devas go to the Himalayas. It creates imbalance on earth. Then Shiva asks Agastya to go to south crossing vindhya mountains to maintain the balance. As Agastya couldn't personally be there at the wedding venue Shiva recreated wedding scene in Karnataka at Nandi village.People beileve it is good to get married in  this temple for long lasting marriage.
Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple
 Then comes Kalyani called Sringa theertha. Legend says Nandi dug the ground from his horn and water gushed out. Apparently this  Kalyani has water even during drought.It is  one of the beautiful Kalyanis that I have seen.
Sringa theertha - Kalyani
 We had sumptuous home made lunch at Silver oak farm which is at the base of Nandi hills on the way to Nandi hills by trekking

Whole experience of cycling was cool and I found it was not as difficult as I imagined. Thanks to Unventured team for motivating and being with us all the time inspiring. I wanted to give up at times, but  they didn't not let me give up. I am looking forward for many more such rides with them.


  1. A beautiful serie, great for SWF!

  2. Great capture, its a beautiful corner of India.

  3. Wonderful journey. The temple is beautiful.

    1. Yes Rajesh. It is so beautiful yet not crowded by tourist

  4. What lovely shots of your adventure!

  5. Beautiful posts on your whole blog!! Lovely!

  6. Hey Girija, Ran into your blog through Sky Watch Friday and i am glad i did. Totally loved your write up and really detailed photos,
    U are going to to the list of blog i follow!