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Kolar (Kolara in Kannada) town, the district headquarters was formerly known variously as Kolahala, Kuvalala and Kolala. Kolar was called Kolahalapura (violent city) during the middle ages, but later came to be known as Kolar. Kolar district is located in the southern region of the state.
Kolar was the first capital of the Gangas, till 4th century AD. In 1004 AD The Cholas took over Kolar with their empire. Later, Kolar came under the Vijayanagar empire, before being taken over by the British in 1768. In 1792, the British gave Kolar to Tipu Sultan.
Kolar is the eastern gateway to Karnataka. Kolar has become popularly known as the "Golden Land" of India. It is famous for its erstwhile gold mines, hill stations, fortresses and temples. The languages spoken here are Kannada and Telugu.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN KOLAR DISTRICT
Kolaramma is the presiding deity of the town of Kolar. This ancient temple was built by the Cholas in the South Indian style. The Kolaramma temple is L- shaped temple which has two shrines, one dedicated for Durga (Kolaramma) and the other for saptamatras. Both have a common entrance hall. The temple itself has beautifully carved statues, well-carved door and designs all done using granite stones. The temple is of Dravida Vimana Style built in Ganga Tradition.
Kolar Betta or Kolar Hills
Kolar Betta was also known as Satasringa hills (the hundred peaked mountain). This Place is also a popular picnic spot. This hill has an extensive plateau on the top. Antargange, a perennial spring on the east of the hills has become a popular tourist destination. Though so much of water streaming out from the mouth of a stone bull (Basava), nobody knows the source of water or the place from where it originates. Water is seen streaming out throughout the year.
Someshwara temple is situated in the heart of Kolar town. The temple is dedicated to Lord Someshwara (Lord Shiva). This is fine example of Vijayanagara style, complete with a massive pillared mukha mandapa. Heavy Prakara walls, ornate Kalyana mantapa and a Devi Shrine, lofty gopura at the entrance is known for fine stucco figures on the tower, while the door frame is carved in typical Vijayanagara style with dwarapalas etc.
Avani is about 15 km from KGF. Avani is also known as Gaya of the south. Avani has a cluster of Ramalingeshwara temples all with in one courtyard dedicated Rameshwara, Lakshmaneshwara, Bharateshwara and Shatrugneshwara, dating back to the period of the Nolamba dynasty. The temple dedicated to Sita situated on a hill. It is also believed to be the site of Valmiki's ashram, where Lava and Kusha were born.
The temple dates to Brigu Maharishi's days and is built on rocks. The temple is replica of the famous Sri Venkateshwara Temple of Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh. This temple attracts lots of pilgrims particularly during the month of Shravana (July/August). Darshan of the deity is through a chequered window in the sanctum.
Bethamangala is about 30 km from Kolar. Bethamangala is a small village in Bangarpet taluk. It has a large artificial lake which is a popular picnic spot. Bethamangala is also home to the Vijayendra temple which dates back to the period of the Gangas, and has been renovated by the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar rulers. The temple here has beautiful sculptures.
Budikote literally meaning "fort of ashes". Budikote is a small village in Bangarpet taluk. It is also the birth place of Hyder Ali, father of Tipu Sultan. It has an old fort.
Chikka Tirupati is located in Malur taluk of Kolar district. The main attraction of Chikka Tirupati is Sri Prasanna Venkateshwara temple dedicated to lord Vishnu. The lord is standing with his consort Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. The right hand is in Varada hasta (the boon granting hand). Chikka Tirupati is visited by many pilgrims during the month of Shravana (July - August).
Kolar Gold Fields (KGF)
Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) is located at a distance of 30 km from Kolar. KGF is a largest and oldest gold mine of India. The gold mines at KGF had the deepest mine pits in the world. The Champion mine is the deepest mine in the world. A Double Decker elevator was used to carry visitors deep down to where gold-bearing quartz could be seen. These mines are closed now. The town is also popular for its silk farming and wool spinning.
Kammasandra is about 5 km from Kolar Gold Fields (KGF). This place has a collection of number of Shiva Lingas spread over an area of 15 acres. More than 80 lakhs of such Lingas have already been installed here since 1974. Kotilingeshwara has the distinction of having the biggest Shivalinga (108 ft) in the world and accompanying it is a 35 ft tall Basava. The entire project involves the installation of one crore shivalingas of various sizes, hence the name 'Kotilingeshwara'.
Kurudumale is located at a distance of 12 km from Mulbagal. Kurudumale was capital of the Hoysala dynasty. Kurudumale is famous for the Ganesha temple built by a Vijayanagara kings. A temple dedicated to Shiva called the Someshwara temple which is also situated in Kurudumale. The temple was built during the Cholas period. The interesting fact of Someshwara temple is that it is built of a rock without any foundations.
The main attraction of Malur is a temple dedicated to Lord Prasanna Venkateshwara at Chikka Tirupati. The other temples of Malur are Shankaranarayana and the Markandeswhwara. There is a village called Shivarapattana, where one can find national award winning rock sculpture makers.
Mulbagal (Mulabagilu in Kannada) is about 30 km from Kolar. Mulabagilu has been taken from the word Moddalabaagilu which means the eastern-door in Kannada language. A legend specifies that the Hanuman temple here was installed by Arjuna. The other attractions of Mulbagal are Someshwara Temple, Vittaleshwara Temple, Sripadaraja Math, Narasimha Teertha, Baba Hyder Vali Dargah and Kurudamale Maha Ganapathi Temple.
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