Bangalore City in South India is known for many things and one of them has got to be Ramanagaram. What is it exactly? Located about 48 kilometers to the southwest of the city and with elevation of 935 meters above sea level, Ramanagaram is a rocky terrain that is composed of seven picturesque hills. They are Somagiri, Shivaramagiri, Yatirajagiri, Krishnagiri, Revanna Siddeshwara Betta, Sidilakallu Betta, and Jala Siddeshwara Betta.
It is a rock climber’s paradise. Climbers and enthusiasts from all over the world come here to challenge themselves by climbing world-class climbs such as the “Gabbar Ki Asli Pasand” and “Labor Pain” on Wanakkal wall, “UIAA” and “Kalia” on Rainbow wall, and “Darkness at Dawn” and “Black Diamond” on Anna Thamma Rock. From a distance and at different angles, people say the Ramanagaram hills and walls resemble a serpent, a lingam, Ganesha or Lord Hanuman.
On the hilly region are important landmarks and attractions, such as historic temples, granite quarries, caves, and the Bidadi Industrial Area. It is also a popular location for movie shoots. Some of the temples here are the small Venugopalaswamy Temple, Prasanna Ambadevi shrine, Rameshwara shrine near a pond, Parvathi Temple (or Thryambakeshwar Temple) and the Vijayanagara-style Arkeshwara Temple, which was renovated by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. These religious structures are made more beautiful, sacred and enigmatic with the presence of several statues and rock carvings of saints and deities.
In addition to these religious landmarks, Mother Nature also creates an indelible impression on the hills. The area is marked by closepet granites, a kind of stone that was formed only during the Lower Proterozoic era. There are so many of these rocks here that the British used to call the place Closepet Hills. The rock belt that runs for 50 kilometers from north to south is closepet granite, which is composed of potassic granite, low-grade granite, iron-manganese ores, and the younger gneisses of granitic and granodioritic composition. It is unfortunate that granite quarrying now threatens this important landform. Such activities are sure to harm the ecological balance of the area, and shoo away endangered species that are known to reside on the hills. Quarrying will definitely scare away the yellow-throated bulbul, long-billed vultures, sloth bears and tigers that were found in the region in the 1900s.
Another threat to the environment is the Bidadi Industrial belt. Found here are a power plant, manufacturing unit for Toyota, manufacturing plant for Coca Cola, silk industries, and other cottage industries such as handicrafts, stone carving, terracotta products, pottery and carpentry. The silk industry is doing quite well here, which is why the hills are often referred to as India’s Silk Town. It is one of the biggest silk markets in the country.
Finally, as proof of how majestic this place truly is, several major Indian motion pictures have been shot on location here. Two of the most memorable ones are “Sholay” and “A Passage to India”, which was shot on Ramadevara Betta. To anyone wanting to personally see these location shoots personally, Ramanagaram is only 48 kilometers away from Bangalore City on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway.