Monday, 15 March 2021

Ramadevarabetta - a duet of legends

Legend in different time frames. First, the mythology of Ramayana and next, the legendary super-hit movie Sholay. Ramadevarabetta, close to Ramanagara, holds dear more than one reason for its prominence. The fictional Ramgad in the Indian film Sholay is the actual place at the foothills of Ramadevara Betta. Well laid out steps, painted colourfully, takes you to the top of the hill. A versatile place, it hosts a working temple for the spiritual, mesmerizing landscape for nature lovers. 

At 60 kilometres from Electronic City, Ramanagara, also known as the land of seven hills, has various viewpoints with captivating sceneries. The vast parking lot can accommodate several cars and motorcycles. A diversion at the humongous Hanuman statue on the main road will take you towards the destination. Apart from a small shop at the foothills, the main Mysore Road is the only other option for food. 

 


The hill is part of the Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary. This gives a chance to the bird watchers an up-close view of the rare birds. There is a check-post where Rs.25/- per person, Rs.10/- for a two-wheeler is collected. Remember, you are not allowed to fly your drone here. The timing for the temple is 9am to 5pm. Because of that, the gate will remain closed at other times. Climbing approximately 350 steps is not an arduous task. There are plenty of stone benches to rest, with ample greenery around.

Opposite the Rameshwara Temple, there are seven boulders, signifying Sapta Rishi (seven saints). The holy pond of Ramateertha is not accessible, as its depth is unknown. Folk tale says Rama shot an arrow to form the pond, which has not dried ever since. There are various small temples with statues of different deities. To add to that diverse enchanting scenery from a variety of viewpoints.

 


 Folklore tells us the story of Kakasura (king of crows). During the exile, Rama and Sita happened to visit this place. While Rama was asleep, the crow attacks Sita and not wanting to disturb the husband deep in sleep, she decides to tolerate the pain. Rama is awakened when a drop of Sita’s blood falls on him. Rama aims an arrow at the crow, at which the bird flew to Vishu and Shiva for refuge. They suggested asking for forgiveness from Rama. For forgiveness, the crow had to sacrifice a part of its body. Which happened to be the left eye. Hence it is said that crows can’t see from their left eye. Also, a crow has never been seen in the locality since.

Sugreeva captures the moment when Rama ascended the throne, with Sita on the left, Lakshmana and Hanuman on the right - carved on a stone. On his way to Kishkinda, he had to battle a demon named Sukhasura, during which he had placed the idol on the ground. After which, he could not move it and has remained there from then on. This is another legend from mythical times.

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