Driving through the greenery of a forest is always an amazing experience. So, if you are looking for a scenic drive close to Bengaluru, head to the Devarayanadurga forests, which got its name when Mysore King Chikka Devaraja Wadiyar captured it in 1696.
The place is home to rocky hills surrounded by forests. The hills rise to an altitude of 3,940 feet. The place is also known for a natural spring. The forest can either be entered from Dobbspet side or Tumakuru side. We would recommend you start from the Tumakuru side. —As you drive into the forests, it gets thicker and your first stop will be Namada Chilume, the natural spring. As per local myth, it is believed that Lord Rama visited the place on his way to Sri Lanka. As he wanted water to apply a tilak or nama on his forehead, he shot an arrow and the spring was born. Hence the name Namada Chilume (spring). People even point out a footprint believed to be that of Lord Rama.
From Namada Chilume, one can head to the nearby hill station Devarayanadurga, which is home to an old temple named Bhoga Narasimha. The natural spring is believed to be the birthplace of River Jayamangali. There is also a deer park nearby and an old guest house, where the birdman of India, Dr. Salim Ali had once stayed.
From here you can take a drive to the Yoganarasimha Swamy Temple.. The winding road takes you halfway. From there, you need to climb a few steps before you reach the entrance. If you want to reach the summit point, you can climb the boulders which is exhausting but come with a beautiful view of the nearby hillocks and forests. It has some rare medicinal plants. There are actually 300 varieties of rare ayurvedic plants to be found. The road is in a fairly good condition with occasional bad patches. While returning, you need to go back to Tumakuru. Instead, head to Dobbspet and then come back home.
Here is a word of caution : It is advised not to venture to the place during the night as it is risky.. Tumakuru police keep a strict vigil and make surprise raids on those travelling in the night. The place is also pristine, so avoid throwing plastic. As there are only a few hotels, it is suggested that you carry your own food. The approximate distance from Bengaluru is 70 kilometres.