So, past few weekends I am travelling to my "athe mane" in Dodballapur regularly as my wife is there :) and visited lot's of places there-
July 4th - had been to Nandi Hills - a beautiful small hillock about 70 kms from Bangalore. Not many "view" points to see as in hill stations but the whole place is great to laze around especially during the cool drizzling climate we had. Did a half round of the hill top after visiting the temple and then played some games - shuttlecock, Frisbee, volley ball etc. .. :)
Last weekend - Saturday - had been to Sai baba temple and Nandi temple on Dodballapur - Chikballapur road. Not to be confused with the Bull temple in basavangudi. It's in the Nandi village right below the more famous Nandi Hills we had been to last to last weekend. It's now called Bhoga Nandishwara temple, and has idols of Bhoga Nandishwara, Ugra Narasimha and Arunachaleshwara. An ancient and very beautiful temple - you can definitely feel the calm presence of god in such places :)... I really would like people visit it more often than the other newly architected modern malls kind of temple. We also visited Vrudhashrama - with Sai Baba temple and a basavanna temple on the way back.
Sunday was more adventurous - we planned to goto Nelamangala - Vishwaroopa darshana temple. Since it was only around 36 kms from dodballapur, we thought we should be able to get back in around 3 hours and hence left around 3:30 PM. This was one of the nightmarish road that I had ever travelled on - a road which didn't exist infact. After doing all circus on my bike on the muddy road, we reached madure, another small village which has this famous shani temple. We thought we will take a break and visited it. we spotted a small temple on a hillock as we continued our journey - Guddada AdiShakti temple. Climbed upon the hill and visited that too. Found that there was a drivable path to the top after reaching the top. Another temple we covered on the way was Jai Santoshi ma temple - recent one with some north indians settled there perhaps. Anyway, after lot's of tussles we finally managed to reach Nelamangala around 5:45. We had dosa in a small restaurant near the bus stand and set for Vishwa roopa darshini in Vishwa Shanti Ashram which is around 6 kms from the town on the Bangalore highway. we spent little more than an hour there - visiting various temples - rama, anjaneya, all avataras of lakshmi temples, Vittala Statue, Arjuna - Krishna chariot and finally the large idol of Krishna's vishwaroopa. Wasn't as well maintained as expected - could see cobwebs all over the roof of the building which has the main statue. But it's good place to spend an hour or more there.
We started back at 7 PM - just as it got dark. I initially thought can take the bangalore highway reach outer ring road junction and then head to hebbal. However since it would be almost double the distance, thought will manage the humpty dumpty road we had taken earlier. Since we saw some buses going from Nelamangala to Dodballapur - we thought we will have some company. But as it turned out, not only was the way pitch dark - except for the street light, there was absolutely no vehicle movement :(.. With hardly any houses too, it was a real scary scenario... As we reached dodballapur, it was a collective sign of "Thank god, we have some light now :)". Different experience but might be worth to do that once in a lifetime :)