Must Visit Best Beaches and Tourist Places in Goa

Goa is world renowned for its beaches and attracts innumerable domestic and foreign tourists every year. The perfect holiday in Goa for many tourists is to laze under the sun on the picturesque and romantic beaches of Goa. When you picture Goa the first thing that comes to your mind is pristine scenic beauty of the s tate that nature God has blessed on it. But yes, there's much more to Goa than it's beaches. The tiny emarald land can boast of its unique history and culture. The culture here shows the confluence of the east and the west. The state is home to both beautiful temples and magnificent churches. The state's history dates back to 3rd century BC.

Various dynasties such as Kadambas, Silaharas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Bahamani Muslims etc have ruled Goa. But the strongest influence was that of the Portuguese. The state of Goa was a Portuguese colony for 450 years till 1962. The Indo-Portuguese culture and architecture here speak for the Portuguese influence on the state. Tourists can get a glimpse of the glorious history preserved in churches, forts, villages and cities.




Bangalore to Goa  Trip by Abhijit Roy on Team-BHP

This was the trip which was long due but just couldn’t materialize due to many constraints. Swarup (friend & neighbour, my ex-ITC colleague) also joined in this venture. Nikhil and Eslyn was also due to join us but was forced to back out due to illness and leave issues respectively. First Swarup booked the ITC Holiday Home in Dona Paula (luckily we got vacancy) and it was upto me to decide and plan the rest. I started my research on the route and based on discussions with Mr. Kumar and others in indiahighways group, felt that the Shimoga & Sirsi routes are the best so far out of the four available routes (other two Hubli-Ankola & NH4A were rejected). I didn’t want to take the Shimoga route as I have already done it before and hence zeroed it on the Haveri – Mirjan route. A day before bought all the snacks, a tankful at OMR, tyre pressure check etc.
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Koti Lingeshwara Temple - One Crore Lingas of Lord Shiva

Kotilingeshwara is the principal deity of the Kotilingeshwara temple. This temple lies in the Kammasandra village in the district of Kolar. The Kotilingeshwara temple houses the biggest Shivalinga in the entire world. It is said that during Mahashivaratri, there are close to two lakh devotees who visit this place every year. Kotilingeshwara is about 6 kilometers from the famous Kolar gold fields.

The Kotilingeshwara temple is located in a peaceful environment. There is plush greenery surrounding the temple. This world famous temple has lakhs of shivalingas that are spread over fifteen acres of land. There are close to 86 lakh shivalingas in the temple. The shivalingas are of various sizes and this is how the temple has got its name ‘Kotilingeshwara’.

There are more than a million lingas that have been installed in and around the temple over thirteen acres of land. The temple architecture is simply superb and you cannot help but wonder how these lingas would have been installed. Just outside the temple there are two flower trees, one Nagalinga and Cannon Ball flower. It is said that unmarried women who pray and tie a yellow thread to the tree are blessed with a happy married life.

The credit for constructing the Kotilingeshwara temple rests with Swamy Sambha Shivamurthy. The temple can be visited from early morning till about 9 PM at night. The tallest linga stands at 180 feet which is about 33 meters in height. There is a very big Nandi in front of the Kinga. The other small temples in and around the vicinity of the Kotilingeshwara temple are of Vishnu, Brahma, Maheshwara, Ganapati, Rama, lakshmana, Sita temple and Anjaneya.

It is said that the epic Ramayana took place during the Treta Yuga. The war between Sri Rama and Ravana clearly depicts victory of good over evil. When Lord Rama attained victory, he travelled from Dhanuskodi to Rameshwaram and installed the Linga. This was a noble way to providing moksha to those who perished. Lord Rama offered his prayers to this Linga and prayed for people who laid their lives down in the battle. It is said that in the Kali Yuga, the Kotilingeshwara temple has been built for instilling the same culture of peace, divinity and prosperity.

How to Get to Kotilingeshwara Temple

It is possible to reach the Kotilingeshwara temple from Kolar. You have to reach Bangalore and then proceed for Kolar. If you intend on driving down from Bangalore, then be prepared for a two and half hour drive. Bangalore is the closest airport. There are trains plying between Bangalore, Mangalore, Hubli, Hassan and Kolar. Other than the summer months, you can visit the temple any time between July and January.

Facts about Kotilingeshwara Temple
  • Daily pooja is performed at six in the morning and six in the evening by priests.
  • There are drums and music at the time of the pooja.
  • Mantras are recited and holy water is poured on the lingas.
  • Devotees can offer prayers to Kotilingeshwara by installing shivalingas.
  • The Kotilingeshwara temple also has rest house facilities.
  • Devotees who want to reside in the guest houses may have to do prior bookings.
  • Annadhanam (free food) is provided to all the devotees every afternoon.