Picture1 – Karighatta view from Nimishamba
“Kari” in Kannada means black and “Ghatta” means hill. Karighatta is a hill 20Kms from Mysore just after Srirangapatna on the right side of the highway and if you are driving from Bangalore it is before Srirangapatna on the left side of the highway. The hill is mentioned in the ancient texts as “Neelachala” meaning “Blue Mountain”.
Picture2 – Karighatta Temple (left), View from the hill (right)
The hill is 2,697 feet above sea level. Atop the hill is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vaikunta Srinivasa/Vishnu. The black idol is beautiful and more than 6 feet tall, which was installed by sage Brigu. The vibrations and devotion felt in the temple cannot be expressed but has to be experienced. It is believed that if troubled people perform pooja/rituals here it brings about a positive change in their lives.
Picture3 – Vaikunta Srinivasa idol (left) decorated with Turmeric paste
On the left of the main deity is Yoga Srinivasa and on the right are Bhoga Srinivasa idols. Goddess Padmavathi the consort of Lord Srinivasa is installed in a separate sanctum.
The statue of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Srinivasa is installed facing the main deity along with the Garudastamba/the pillar of Garuda. A big marriage hall is present in the courtyard, which was used to perform marriage. A stone Vishnu Pada/footprint of the lord is present behind the temple.
Picture4 – Road to Karighatta (left), Vishnupada (right)
A well-maintained tar road leads to the temple. There are 450 steps for people who want to climb up the hill.
Picture5 – Views from the hill; Confluence of Lokapavani and Cauvery (left), River Cauvery (middle), Cauvery Canal (right)
The river Lokapavani a tributary of Cauvery flows beside the hills and joins Cauvery river at the foothills and continues to flow to meet Pashchima vahini/westwards branch of Cauvery river at Sangama. This confluence of the rivers can be seen from the hill. On a clear day, Chamundi hills, Mysore city, Srirangapatna Sri Ranganatha temple, Kunti Betta/hill and Nimishamba temple are all visible from atop the hill. Now a bridge cutting across river Cauvery and Lokapavani is built near Nimishamba temple for easy access to the hill from the other bank.
Picture6 – View of Kunti Betta (left), Nimishamba temple(right)
The hill has patches of grasslands, deciduous forests and tamarind trees. The grass is sharp and is known as “Darbe”, which is offered to the lord. Legend says that Vishnu during Varaha avatar/incarnation landed on this hill and shook his body and some of his hair fell and grew into these sharp “Darbe”.
There are few Dasayya/servants of lord Vishnu near the temple who recite the glory of the lord playing the cymbal and blow the conch shell in the end. These people are still seen in south Indian cities begging the whole day reciting devotional songs penned by famous composers like Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa.
Picture7 – Dasayya reciting the glory of Vishnu
During the battle of Srirangapatna, the Britishers had placed their cannons at strategic locations on this hill.
The annual car festival was initiated by sage Vaikhanasa thousands of years ago. The festival is held during Hindu month of Kumbha Masa Palguna, which is between February and March where many devotees congregate and take part in the festival.
Type of Place: Ancient Temple
Situated: Mandya district, near Srirangapatna, Karnataka
Distance: 20Kms from Mysore, 130Kms from Bangalore
Transport: Private vehicles
Timings: 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m and on government holiday 10:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m
Contact Person: Sri Shesha Iyengar – Mob: 93411 98456