One of the places to visit near Bengaluru is Yaganti (ya-gaan-tee) in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. The village is known for an ancient Shiva temple. It is about 340 kilometres away and is a good option for a day trip, either by four-wheeler or two-wheeler.
The temple is surrounded by small hills on three sides. There is an interesting story about the deity. The temple was meant for Lord Vishnu. However, the idol was damaged, rendering it unsuitable for consecration. Eventually, Lord Shiva took his place. The damaged statue has been placed in a cave near the temple. There are two more caves nearby.
The temple itself is simple and small. Besides the three caves, an interesting feature is a small pond.
Visiting the caves is an adventure. The steps are smooth, narrow and steep. You will encounter water dripping from the roof, which makes the steps slippery. You can take the help of a metal railing, but the water drips on the path adjoining the railing. This is not for everyone, but that’s what turns this small journey into an adventure.
How to get there
Drive from Bengaluru to Gooty. After another 20 kilometres is a turn that takes you to the Chennekothapalli Road. After a kilometre, turn left into the Peapully-Yaganti-Banaganapalle Road. Another 45 kilometres to Patapadu where you take a left.
Once you are on the Peapully-Yaganti-Banaganapalle Road, you will pass several small villages. No eatery on the way, but plenty of small shops offer tea.
I would advise carrying food and water. A few kilometres before Patapadu is a reservoir. After visiting the temple, you can stop by, find a shady tree and sit down to enjoy the food you packed.
The temple is in a secluded location that can be attractive for camping overnight. You have toilets. While they are not pristine, they can be used. Torch lights are essential if you are planning to camp overnight.
You can get water near the temple, but bring your own food. The closest village Patapadu is 2 kilometres away. You can get basic groceries for an overnight stay. Did not see any eatery, but that is understandable because the village is small. No one is likely to be eating outside.
Like in any temple of Lord Shiva, Nandi is sitting outside the sanctum sanctorum. The interesting part is the size of the statue. The bull is huge, and devotees believe it is growing with each passing day.
Watch out for
The factory of KIA Motors in India is located in Penukonda in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. The unit is about 150 kilometres north of Bengaluru, on the right hand side. The premises is pretty big. Very neat and clean. No clutter inside, or even outside. The trucks to ferry the new cars are parked neatly a few kilometres away from the factory.