Biligiriranganabetta, a significant tourist spot in Chamarajanagar district lies 90 kilometers from Mysore and 15 kilometers from Yelandoor in Chamarajanagar district headquarter.
It is also known as Biligiribetta, Bilikallaabetta and Shwetadri, which lies about 1,552 meters from sea level. It is also pilgrimage center and picturesque tourist spot that is being flocked by tourists throughout the year. It is a delight to trekkers and for those pilgrims seeks divine graces.
Natures bounty rejuvenates spirits:
Biligiriranganabetta that lies in 540 square kilometers has nature’s bounty beckons the tourists. The cool breeze as one enters Biligiriranganabetta during peak summer transpires one to another world. The lush greenery of sandalwood trees, rosewood, teakwood, varieties of trees, tiger, leopard, elephants, wild buffaloes, deer and other wild animals, cluster of forest dwellers, plantations of coffee, orange, plantains, gooseberry, tribals carrying forest produce on their heads walking in winding dirt roads, the deers running in lightning speed, etc baffles one all along the journey.
Nature binds with tribals:
Biligiriranganabetta is a national sanctuary and links east and Western Ghats. It is the abode of Asian elephants and white-patched tigers and also nature’s trove of over 700 species of plants. Nonetheless, over 200 varieties of birds, wild dogs and other animals thrive in the sanctuary. The tribals, locally known as Soliga are living in the sanctuary since several centuries, who depend on forest produce to sustain their living.
A temple dedicated to Biligiriranganataswamy is located on the hillock. The temple is an ancient structure built in David style. The temple draws the lineage of Ranganat deity of Sriranganapattana, Sriranga deity of Trichy. It has the façade of temple in Chamarajanagara. The metal casted idol of Biligirirangaswamy (Srinivas) is located in the sanctorum on the right. The idols of deities of Tamil Nadu are also placed in sanctorum.
As per copper-inscription, it was known that Bilikallu was donated to Tiruvenkatanat by Hadinad Muddaraj in 1667. Divan Poornayya has granted the revenue of 2 villages to upkeep the temple here. The ancient scriptures, say that Biligirirangabetta was known as south Tirupati. The idol of Gangadareshwar lies on the top of hillock. Bhargavi river flows 16 kilometers from the temple. It was believed that Gangaraja of Shivasamudra had built a fort for his son-in-law that was known as Kunchukote – the remains of which can be found even now. There lies Tulasamma sanctuary that is known as Brindavan and a cake in the middle believed to be of great visionary Kanakadasa.
Offerings in the form of footwear:
Its significant that every year, a pair of footwear is being offered to Biligiriranganata by two families living in two different villages, who make one each of footwear. The sizes and shape does not vary despite the tradition has come a long way since several centuries. The footwear that were placed in the temple box seems to get worn out by the next celebration every year. The devotees believe the touching of footwear bring them good luck.
Need further development:
There lies several trees that are indeed many centuries old just 10 kilometers from the temple. The nature lovers indeed will love the dense forest of Bedaguli, Honnameti, Attikani that lies around Biligiriranganabetta. The need of the hour is to develop the spot to attract eco-tourism. The accommodations are limited except the guest house maintained by PWD and forest department. The tourism and forest department had to take earnest interest in constructing cottages for the benefit of tourists.