Araluguppe and Turuvekere Trip

After a lot of yes, no, and can’t, I finally decided to visit Araluguppe and Turuvekere in Tumkur district on last Saturday.

The weather was just perfect for a long drive. Light to moderate drizzle and cool breeze. The not-so-NICE road and really nice NH4 made the journey till Tumkur untiring and uneventful. The fun began once I hit NH208. My first destination was Araluguppe and my only landmark for that was the KB Cross (short for Kibbanahalli Cross). When I asked locals for the route and distance from NH208, I got various replies ranging from 10-15 kms to 50 kms. It was like, I travel 10-15 kms, ask someone and he says “another 20 kms” or a shocker like “oh, it is far. It is another 50 kms…”. Somehow I managed to go all the way and reached a huge circle, just about 20 kms before Tiptur. I remembered reading somewhere that I have to take left just about 20 kms before Tiptur. The signpost near that circle said it is the Turuvekere road. Since I had also read that Turuvekere is about 20 kms from Araluguppe, I confidently took a left there. Fortunately, it was time for my bike to take break and I stopped over at a shop. On enquiring, the shopkeeper told I took the wrong left turn! I thought, “oh, great!”. I had to drive another 5-6 kms and then take a diagonal road next to some temple. He highlighted that I can take the “wrong” road and still manage to reach my destination, but the other road is good. There I go, so-near-yet-so-far.

I finally reached the temple and took the diagonal road. But what started as a good road, turned nightmarish after some time. I was wondering if that this is his definition of a “good road”, what is bad road! Trust me, whoever said “Enjoy the journey, not the destination” didn’t even know about this road. On the same road, I saw four youngsters on cycles blocking my way. My mind again started working… what if they attack me, how many cards do I have, how much cash do I have, being an isolated place is there an escape route atleast, and even if I try to escape how fast can I go on this road. Well, by the time I reached them, they gave way and let me go. After further enquiries, I finally reached my destination Araluguppe at about 3.00. Thanks to the roads (and my usual breaks), the 150 kms journey took 4 hours.


At the entrance of Araluguppe is a railway overbridge. I wonder how these villagers sleep with trains running at their doorstep. Anyway, this place is known for its 700 years old Channakeshava Temple built by Hoysalas and 1008 years old Kalleshwara temple built by Cholas. However, this place is not found on the Karnataka Tourism signposts and website. Only way you can find this is blogs.

Here are the pics:

The only indicator to the Channakeshava temple. Look right and you see the temple.

Department of Tourism board

Entrance of the temple

Aralaguppe temple
Temple story both in Kannada and English

Around the temple

Side view of the temple
Temple gopura
Walls of the temple
Another view of the temple
Ugra Narasimha
Rama, probably
Another deity carved on the wall
Vishnu, probably

Some sculptures on the wall. Read more about them in the story above.

Another vishnu sculpture

Ugra Narasimhaswamy Temple attached to the Channakeshava Temple — I was quite surprised to see this. Hoysala temples are always complete star-shaped temples. This is perhaps the only place which has another temple attached to the main temple. Curious to know the story behind this change.

Temple entrance
Deity inside the temple

The ladies adda

Well in front of the temple

The Kalleshwara Temple has Goddess Parvati seated on the lap of Lord Parameshwara. This supposedly is the only such statue in the world. Another speciality of this temple are navagrahas on the ceiling. The temple was being cleaned and decked up for a fest to celebrate 1008th year anniversary.

Kalleshwara Temple

Kalleshwara temple complex

The temple is not so good, but the lake is very peaceful. 

My next destination was Turuvekere. Not willing to take a ride back on that “good” road, I enquired for an alternative route. They said I can directly go to Turuvekere from there on a “good” road. As I found out later the road is really good except for a couple of kilometers. (Those couple of kilometers are pathetic.)

Turuvekere is about 17 kms from Araluguppe. On the way is this scenic Mallaghatta lake.

View of the Mallaghatta lake
Another panoramic view of the lake


I reached Turuvekere by 5 pm. This town has several ancient temples. The ones I visited were closed by the time I reached.

Gangadhareshwara Temple

Highlights are the giant Nandi statue and a 2ft stone bell. I managed to take a couple of pics from outside the compound.

Gangadhareshwara temple

Moole Sankareshwara Temple

This 15th century temple was built by Hoysalas. Though there is hardly any architectural detailing, it is definitely worth a dekko.

Moole Sankeshwara temple
Side view of the Moole Sankareshwara temple

Finally, the Channakeshava Temple. The smallest Hoysala temple I have seen.

Channakeshava temple
Side view of the Channakeshava temple

From here, I headed back to Bangalore and reached home by 9.30.


A tip to those who prefer Kamat Upachar: After Nelamangala, you get one Kamat Upachar. Don’t eat there. The taste is below average. Go further up, about 10 kms or so (watch out for huge Café Coffee Day hoardings to know the exact distance) till you find another Kamat which has petrol bunk and CCD in the same premises. Eat here. This is a typical Kamat taste. I actually drank the sambar here.

The Araluguppe Channakeshava temple gate was locked when I reached. With my mind busy with thoughts ranging from cursing the government to not reading hints (yeah, I read Alchemist recently), I checked with some villagers who pointed me to the temple watchman’s house. The lady there gave me the keys of the gate and the temple, asked me to spend as much time as I want and get the keys back. Wow!

Locals encouraged me to jump over the compound wall of Moole Shankreshwara temple and take the pics. The lady in the house facing the temple was more than happy to take care of my bag till I came back.