Kaivara – for believers and trekkers

Just 60 kilometres from Bangalore lays the rocky temple terrain, Kaivara that attracts tourists, trekkers and temple goers alike.

If cave temples, glimpses of mythological history and trekking is in your weekend itinerary then visiting Kaivara just 2 hours drive from Bengaluru, is a good option. Located near Chikballapur in the Chintamani district the place is replete with historical and mythological tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana.  The zigzag plains of Kaivara perhaps leave one confused when visiting the place for the first time. That is why the need of a ‘Kaivara’ or a compass to traverse the place. Hence the name Kaivara.

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There are instances from Mahabharath and Ramayana that point to Kaivara. Bheema is said to have fought Bakasura on the Bheema-Bakasura Betta. Lakshmana quenched Sita’s thirst by splitting open a hill. The stream is known as Lakshmana theertha. In recent past the place is known for saint named Narayanappa. Also known as Kaivara Thathayya.

Places to see:

AmarNarayanaswamy temple: The temple has the beautiful idol of AmarNarayana.

Narayanappa ashrama:  This is the ashrama of Kaivara Thathayya.

The statue and his last remains are kept here. The ashrama provides free food and lodging. Mass marriages are conducted here in the months of June to December.

Bheema-Lingeshwara temple: Opposite to AmarNarayanaswamy temple you can find the Bheema-Lingeshwara temple. Here you will find 5 Shiv lingas installed by each of the Pandava brothers.

Bheema-Bakasura Betta: Opposite to Bheema-Lingeshwara temple you will find this hill. It is a 30-minute climb to the hill with around 700 stone steps to take you atop. At the top you can find the Lakshmana theertha, hanuman temple and a Chamundeshwari temple. It is said that the goddess Chamundeshwari took a dip in the holy waters of Lakshmana theertha after slaying the demon Mahishasura. Yoganarasimha Swamy temple: About one kilometre from Bheema- Lingeshwara temple is a small hill called Vaikunta. Atop this hill you can find Gavi Amarnarayanaswamy temple, Yoganarasimha cave temple and a meditation hall.

Kailasha Giri: About 6-7 kilometers from Kaivara is Kailasha giri hill where you can see the following cave temples.

  • Ambaji Durga Cave temples: These man made cave temples are located at the foot of a huge rock-hill from where you can get a panoramic view of Chintamani. Though the hill is great for exploring rocky terrains and streams originating from rocks, you are advised not to roam without guidance. There are lots of mugging incidents reported here. On top of the Kailasha giri hill there is also a lake, which is the prime water supply for Chintamani.
  • Ananta Padmanabha and Chenna Keshava cave temple: Unlike Ambaji Durga this temple is not man made. It is a natural cave temple housing the beautiful idol of Ananta Padmanabha and Chenna Keshava. Other places to visit:

How to get there?

Kaivara is at a distance of 65-70 kilometers from Bangalore in Chintamani Taluk, Chikballapur district. You can either take the Bangalore-Hoskote-Kaivara cross-Kaivara route or Bangalore-Devenahalli-Vijayapura-Jangamakote-Hcross- Kaivara cross- Kaivara route. After reaching Devenahalli you must take a right towards Vijayapura, then a right towards Jangamakote at Vijayapura, cross Jangamakote, reach H-cross and then take a left to get to Kaivara cross. If traveling by bus you will easily get KSRTC buses till Kaivara cross. From there you will have to catch an auto to get to Kaivara town which is about 3 kilometers or so.

The road condition is quite good as it is a National Highway. You may encounter some problems only after Kaivara cross as the road to the inside of Kaivara town is not in a great condition.

Trekking guidelines:

  • Except for Bheema- Bakasura hill trekking in other places is not recommended for a novice trekker. The rocks could be dangerous without the help of an experienced trekker.
  • When trekking to Bheema- Bakasura hill make sure you keep a look out for monkeys. Snacks and other eatables can be easily snatched away from you by these naughty monkeys.
  • Don’t trek if you have babies or small kids with you as the journey of even 30 minutes can be arduous for you as well as your kids.
  • The best time to trek is in the months of December to March and June -September when it is not raining.

Food and accommodation: Food is distributed as prasadam at Kailasha giri cave temple. The prasada timings are between 12.30-3.30 p.m. There are hotels in Kaivara town and Dhabas at Kaivara cross. If you can travel to Chintamani which is around 11 kilometers from Kaivara you can hope to get some good hotels like Shanti Sagar.  Lodging is available at Narayanappa ashram and even in Kaivara town. Pitching tents is not a good option as the entire terrain is rocky.

A request:

Please maintain the sanctity of the place. Though Kaivara is such a beautiful place with full of religious significance, visitors are not aware of its significance due to lack of guides and sign boards. The surroundings of Lakshmana theertha for example are strewn with plastics and juice bottles.


  1. Aravind Chakravarthi says:

    Ms Hariprasad,

    A very valuable piece of information and well compiled in writing and pictorial representation.

    If I ever have a chnace to visit this place will surely use your article as a guide :).

    Thanks once again and keep the good work going.



  2. sudheendra says:

    Very nice description. Simple short and straight forward. Nice pics.


    Highly grateful for all the detailed information.

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