Ramalingeshwara Group Of Temples In Avani Near Kolar


South India is full of beautiful temples with stunning architecture all around. The Ramalingeshwara Group of Temples in Avani, Kolar is one of them that is a must-visit. Avani is a small town located almost 30 km from the main town of Kolar, Karnataka. The place is located very close to Bangalore. Yet, it is unexplored and offbeat. It is declared a national heritage by the Department of Archeological Survey of India.

Luv Kush Betta at Avani, Kolar
Luv Kush Betta at Avani, Kolar

History of Ramalingeshwara Group of Temples in Avani

Carved Shikhara of Ramlingeshwara Temple at Avani near Kolar in Karnataka
Carved Shikhara of Ramlingeshwara Temple

As per the archeological survey of India, the temples in Avani were constructed in the 10th CE by the Nolamba dynasty. A minor South Indian dynasty who were also the followers of Lingayat tradition centered around Shivalinga worship. Later the temple was restored a bit by the Chola dynasty. The temple is constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. According to historian James Harle, the Ramalingeshwara Group of Temples is one of the earliest examples of temples with a group of Shrines surrounded by a single outer wall.

Read More – Jangamwadi Mutt of Lingayats in Varanasi

Ramalingeshwara and Lakshmanalingeshwara Temples
Ramalingeshwara and Lakshmanalingeshwara Temples

As per the local legends, Hindu Saint Maharishi Valmiki lived here. The plateau beside the temples is where his abode was. Lord Ram visited here after his return from Sri Lanka. It is also believed that the sons of Lord Ram and Devi Sita – Luv and Kush were born here. That is why the plateau is also fondly named ‘Luv Kush Betta’. Betta in Kannada means a hill. When Shri Ram was doing the Ashwamedha Yagna, this is where Luv and Kush stopped his horse, and war was initiated between Ram and his brothers, against his own sons Luv and Kush.

Later, Lord Ram and his 3 brothers decided to absolve their bad ‘karma’ of waging war against children by doing puja. That is when they established a Linga each of Shiva and did a puja of Shiva here.

Getting to these temples

Temple Entrance at Ramalingeshwara Group of Temples in Avani
Temple Entrance at Ramalingeshwara Group of Temples

From Bangalore, head to Kolar, and then further on NH 75. Almost 30 km from the main town of Kolar, a road from the main highway on the right side diverges inside the village of Avani. Travel 10 km on this road and one reaches the temples.

Since the Ramalingeshwara Group of Temples is a prominent heritage site of Avani, everyone in the village knows the route to it. Add to it the fact that the temple is the sole point of interest for most of the visitors. So, you can easily ask for directions to the temple. Even if you don’t know the local language. Just mention the name of the temple and the villagers will point you in the right direction.

Keeping on the path is really easy because there is only one main road leading to the temple. And the Luv-Kush betta is quite visible from afar. As long as you are nearing the plateau, you are in the right direction.

Visiting The Ramalingeshwara Group of Temples in Avani

Ramlingeshwara Temple complex
Ramlingeshwara Temple complex

As we step inside, the beautiful Dravidian-style architecture of the group of several small temples inside the main courtyard immediately captivates us. The intricate carvings on each and every pillar of the temples are especially notable. There is a Mandapa or porch before the main entrance of each temple, leading to the cell.

Dhwaj Stambh in front of the temple
Dhwaj Stambh in front of the temple

There is a Kalyan Mandapa (Wedding Platform) at the right side of the entrance. And a bench to rest on the left side. Inside the temple courtyard, there is a golden flag in the center, right in front of the entrance. Take a round of the temple from left to right in the clockwise direction and you will see all the major small temples and shrines that form the Ramalingeshwara Group of Temples. The carvings on the temple wall represent Deities & animals like Lions and Elephants.

Nandi Temple
Nandi Temple

There are signboards in front of each of the temples describing the rich architecture. Here’s the description from the one in front of the Ramalingeshwara temple.

The Ramalingeshwara temple has a Garbhgriha (The innermost sanctum of a Hindu Temple), an Antarala (A foyer in front of the Garbhagriha), and a Navranga (A hall supported with multiple pillars, often used for dance performances as a part of the prayer offering). The pillars of this temple are of ornate style. They resemble the Manastambha design. The Adhisthana has moldings decorated with Kirtimukhas and Lions while the walls have pillars surrounded by Dravidian towers.

The Shrines & Temples inside the premises

Ramalingeshwara Temple
Ramalingeshwara Temple

The Ramalingeshwara Group of Temples contains a shrine named after each of the four brothers from the epic Ramayana – Ram, Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughan. Each of these shrines has a huge Shivlinga. These shrines are named Ramalingeshwara, Lakshmanalingeshwara, Bharatlingeshwara, and Shatrughanlingeshwara respectively. Three of the shrines stand adjacent to each other. These are the Ramalingeshwara, Lakshmanalingeshwara, and Shatrughanlingeshwara shrines.

Read More – Panch Kroshi Yatra around Kashi Khand

The Ramalingeshwara is the central one and is also the main temple. You will most probably find a priest inside this main shrine. Lakshmanalingeshwara has the largest Linga among all shrines. While the other three Lingas are almost the same size. The Bharatalingeshwara shrine lies on the other side of the temple premises. Some believe that it was the first shrine to be put up in this temple. Finally, there is a shrine dedicated to Parvati also in the temple premises. After all, where there is Shiva, his Shakti has to be there.

We particularly loved the peaceful environment and the beautiful carvings on the temples. There was hardly anyone else apart from us. And that makes it an even more beautiful weekend getaway from Bangalore. We went to each of the Shrines and said our prayers.

Thereafter, we moved further and reached the end of the temple premises. Apart from the shrines, there is a small Vigneshwara Temple with a small and beautiful idol of Ganesha on the far left of the premise. Ganesha, remember is the Parivar Devta or the family deity as the son of Shiva and Parvati.

Then, there are some Shivlingas on the front right of the courtyard, besides an ancient well. The well is still functional and contains drinking water.

The Sita Temple

Luv Kush Betta
Luv Kush Betta

There is a small temple of Sita atop the Luv Kush Betta. Although we didn’t trek to the top, there are stairs that lead to the top. And the views of the Ramalingeshwara Group of temples from there must be very beautiful.

There is a small and beautiful pond between the temple and the plateau itself, where lotus plants abound. This pond is believed to be the prime source of water for Sita when she lived here. The pond is believed to be holy and people use it for taking a holy dip. While the priests of the temple also bathed here. Using a few flights of stairs, you can go right into the pond.

Sita is also called ‘AvaniSuta’ (the child of the earth) as it is believed she was found while the earth was being plowed. It is believed the village derives its name from this same association of Sita with the earth. Along with the temple, there is a cave here which is believed to be the abode of Valmiki when he was staying there.

There is a faith that if a childless couple wants to be blessed by a child they should visit this temple. The lady should take a bath in the pond and then trek up the plateau to this temple. As she reaches the temple, she feels sleepy. And when she falls asleep, she dreams of a loving woman blessing her. And thereafter the couple’s wish for a child is fulfilled.

Festivals at the temples in Avani

Mahashivratri is celebrated on a grand scale here. A Rath Yatra is held during Mahashivratri that starts from the courtyard of the Ramalingeshwara Temple. Thousands of people from nearby villages and towns gather here during this time to witness and be part of the festival.

The Village

Well that still serves in the complex
Well that still serves in the complex

This village falls in the Mulbagal taluk. There are no train stations within 10 km of the village. It is best reached by direct buses from all the nearby cities including Bangalore. Also, self-driving is another great option to reach here. Sri Narasimha Bharati IV of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham had established a new Matha here. And installed one of his Shishya or disciples as the head of the new Matha. This can also be visited along with the main destination.

The village is also known as the “Gaya of South India”. However, we couldn’t find the exact reason as to why. Do tell us if you know, we are so interested to find out.

Overall, it is a great place for the spiritual soul, architecture lovers, and tranquility lovers. For those who love ancient temples or heritage sites. And for those who get intrigued by the legends associated with temples. As well as anyone who is looking for a peaceful offbeat destination. Being a bit of all of the above, they made a perfect destination for us.

Recommend you read the following articles.

Chalukyan Temples of Hubli – Dharwad

Jain Temples of Moodbidri

Padmanabhaswamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram

Ramayana Temples in Sri Lanka

Kanyakumari Temple

This is a guest post by Neha. She and her husband Abhishek are travel enthusiasts & travel bloggers by passion. Neha is a Software Engineer by profession. They travel with their little daughter far and wide, sharing their experience through their travelogue Revolving Compass. They are spreading their love for travel through all their social media platforms as well. You can connect with them on Facebook & Twitter.


  1. Thank you so much for giving home to this article on Inditales! The temple is a gem of a place and of so much historical significance. I am really happy people from far and wide will come to know of this temple.

    • Thank you, Neha for writing the lovely post for IndiTales. Hope lot of people will visit these temples after reading this post. It is our endeavor to put light on the lesser-known heritage of India always full of stories.

  2. Im happy I got connected to you. Getting to know more about India and it’s heritage. What a serene place and temple.. going through it only got me in another mood

  3. Hi Anuradha,
    interesting, as usual. The place reminds me of Hampi, the landscape is similar.
    Greetings from Poland, Jan

  4. We spent an entire month in India and still I feel like I didnt see enough. I totally missed out on the areas around Banglore cause we only flew in and then immediately went to Ft. Kochi. SO I would definitely want to go back and explore it and the surrounding areas like Kolar and Avani. The Ramalingeshwara temples look amazing. I loved the amazing temples we saw throughout the entire west coast. It always amazed me the artistic stone work they were able to accomplish!

  5. These temples are lovely! I’ve never been to Karnataka but I know there are a lot of historical sites there and if I ever plan to go, I’d definitely like to visit them. I’m not in awe of cities as much as I am in awe of historical places and this includes religious ones even though I’m not a religious person. Having visited all sorts of temples in Asia, I think it’s time I started exploring some in my own country. Thanks for sharing this post!

    • Medha, if you have not experienced the temples of India, you can not understand this country. Temples were our social, economic, cultural and administrative spaces for a long time in history. Why this disclaimer – not religious.

  6. The picture with the temple complex walk through is beautiful! You get the feeling of being back in the past as if time has stood still. I never knew there was a temple complex in Kolar. I do remember seeing the place on my map but obviously I was ignorant of the existence of a beautiful temple complex. I like the carvings, the peaceful atmosphere, the ancient vibe. It’s amazing that there are almost no visitors! =D

    • Helene – you have very well captured the essence of this quaint temple that not many people visit. Imagine the days when the small village lived surrounding this temple and how peaceful the life would have been there.

    • Hi Helene. Do you know this is one of 4-5 beautiful temples which are in Kolar district of Karnataka. And the place is so close to Bangalore as well. Makes for a perfect day trip

  7. Karnataka is one of the areas of India I have not visited and hence was not familiar with Ramalingeshwara group of temples. They look incredible, and your photos really show the beautiful details of the carvings. I guess it would be pretty impressive to visit during festival time!

  8. Man i had never heard this.. Hindu Saint Maharishi Valmiki lived here. Luv kush were born here and so many other ramayana reference is so cool.. Also that you’ve mentioned of how to reach there is definitely gonna be of help whenever I go here..

    • Gabriela – you will find temples in India wherever you go – in every city, town, village, locality, street. Some towns are temple towns full of them. If you can tell me which part of India you are visiting, I can guide you to some of the must-see temples there.

    • Hi Gabriela. You will be amazed that the day we did a trip of this temple, we visited 5 other temples, all ancient and beautiful 🙂 You really need to plan your time well as there is just so much to see and do in India

  9. Avani and their temples look beautiful. I’m a huge fan of hidden gems cities. I didn’t realize there were different types of temple construction. Looks like you got lucky and there weren’t many people visiting.

  10. Great detailed write up on Ramalingeshwara Temple. I knew about this temple in Avani but was completely unaware of the history of the temple. The temple complex is really pretty, huge and pretty. Views from the mountaintop will be just amazing. Great pictures too.

  11. I am sold that there’s really a lot of things to see, know, and experience in India. I like how this post is so informative about the Ramalingheshware Temple. So much beauty and history. I love the Luv Kush Betta! I think I can not see all of what India can offer in a month (the pass the I can get).

  12. Thank you temple explorers and gifted authors of this very fine post with photographs. I hope the KA Govt. will promote tourism to this temple with such sacred history.Given the architectural marvel ,deep Ramayana blessings.this was and is spiritual gold mine of Sanata n a Dharma that gifted Bharat,the Kolar Gold.Mines that saved poor India in the 50s and 60s. I will surely visit this temple on my next visit to feel prouder of my Hindu and Karnataka heritage.Jai Sri Rama.Om.

  13. Thank you temple explorers and gifted authors of this very fine post with photographs. I hope the KA Govt. will promote tourism to this temple with such sacred history.Given the architectural marvel ,deep Ramayana blessings.this was and is spiritual gold mine of Sanata n a Dharma that gifted Bharat,the Kolar Gold.Mines that saved poor India in the 50s and 60s. I will surely visit this temple on my next visit to feel prouder of my Hindu and Karnataka heritage.Jai Sri Rama.Om.

  14. Nice place, neatly elaborated. I had been to this place 3-4 times. I think the place is much older than we anticipate.

    thanks for the post.

  15. We visited this temple today and were pleasantly surprised to find this amazing place close to Bangalore. Weather was more than kind providing gentle breeze and slight drizzle which added to the beauty of this place.
    Your writeup covers all the details and sums it up beautifully but I must mention that you missed the best part of trekking and visiting the rare Sita mata temple at the top which was a very satisfying and great experience. The view from the top was the best one could witness.
    Thanks for your lovely writeup.

  16. ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಇಂದು ರಾತ್ರಿಯೊಳಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಕೈ ಕಾಲಿಗೆ ಶಕ್ತಿ ನೀಡು ತಂದೆ, ನಿನ್ನಯ ದರ್ಶನ ಪಡೆದು, ರುದ್ರಾಭಿಷೇಕ ಸೇವೆ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿ, ಪ್ರತಿ ವರ್ಷ ಬಿಲ್ವಪತ್ರೆ ಅರ್ಚನೆ, ಅನ್ನದಾನ ಸೇವೆ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿ, 108 ತುಪ್ಪದ ದೀಪ ಹಚ್ಚಿ, ಒಂದು ಮಡಿಕೆ ದೀಪದ ಎಣ್ಣಿ ಹರಕೆ ಅರ್ಪಿಸುವೆ ತಂದೆ ದಯಮಾಡಿ ಇಂದು ರಾತ್ರಿಯೊಳಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಕೈ ಕಾಲಿಗೆ ಶಕ್ತಿ ನೀಡಿ ಕಾಪಾಡು ತಂದೆ.

  17. ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಕಂದೂರು ರಾಮಲಿಗೇಶ್ವರ ಇಂದು ರಾತ್ರಿಯೊಳಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಕೈ ಕಾಲಿಗೆ ಶಕ್ತಿ ನೀಡು ತಂದೆ, ನಿನ್ನಯ ದರ್ಶನ ಪಡೆದು ಮಹಾರುದ್ರಾಭಿಷೇಕ ಸೇವೆ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿ, ದಾಸೋಹ ಸೇವೆ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸುವೆ ತಂದೆ ನನ್ನ ಮನೆದೇವರು ಕನಕೂರು ರಾಮಲಿಗೇಶ್ವರನ ಮೇಲಾಣೆ.

  18. […] More than anything else, I was super impressed by the beautiful architecture of the temple of Avani that immediately reminded me of the temple of Lepakshi. And the group of shrines inside the temple campus that reminds one of the panch ratha group of monuments in Mahabalipuram. There are many interesting details about the temple of Avani. Read more on the beautiful temple of Avani and it’s surroundings here in this post. […]


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