Ramohalli, A Serene Tourist Spot near Bangalore
Ramohalli which is about 28 kms South-East of Bangalore, is a serene and interesting picnic spot and has a sprawling 400-year old Banyan tree and also famous for the Mukthi Naga temple.
Mukthi Naga temple
If travelling by taxi, one can take the Mysore road route. After Kengeri, have to get the Kumbalgod cross. At the Kumbalgod cross, one can see boards guiding us to take right turn for the Big banyan tree. Then will have to cross a railway level crossing and then to travel through the Kumbalgod Industrial estate. The Banyan Tree is only 6 kms from this place.
Big Banyan Tree at Ramohalli
Around halfway track, one can turn right to go to the Mukthi Naga temple, which is around 2-3 kms on a kutcha road. Its a temple of Seven headed Nagadevatha. It is believed that Lord Subramanya is in the form of Naga. This is one of the biggest in the world. Eventhough the Nagadevatha temple is a new one, the history behind it is more than 250 years old.
It is believed that Pilgrims who make 9 pradakshinas around the 'hutta' (anthill) where the serpent resides will have their wishes fulfilled within 90 days. Devotees have to first do this pradakshinas, then will have to visit the Siddhi Vinayaka temple and then only, offer prayers at the Mukthi Naga temple. There is a small office in the temple to issue pooja tickets, sell prasadams and cassettes/VCDs.
More info about this temple can be had at www.subrahmanyakshetra.com and http://www.mukthinagakshetra.com
After visiting this temple, one can proceed to the Big Banyan tree. It is about 3 to 4 kms away from the temple. One can see lot of nurseries and farm houses on the way.
The Big Banyan tree spreads over an area of about four acres. It is called 'Dodda Alada Mara' in Kannada meaning Big Banyan Tree. This Banyan tree with its vertical root system is said to be the biggest tree in Karnataka.
The main thick trunk of this banyan tree has withered giving life to innumerable new hanging roots and branches with lots of leaves. Branches extending beyond the limits of the banyan tree on all sides have slanted towards the ground.
There is also a belief that under the 400-year old tree, Sage Muneshwar did penance. The rustic settings and also the enchanting view of the nearby Savandurga hills makes this an ideal picnic spot. The State tourism department runs a restaurant to cater to the needs of the tourists.
The 400 year old Banyan tree though awesome has lost much of its past glory. The size of the Banyan tree has reduced considerably in the past 15-20 years and also that the branches are withering away and dying.
A victim of pollution? Though the place is cool and shady, there is no proper maintenance of the premises. One could see that most of the branches of the Big banyan tree have been vandalised. We can also watch out for lots of monkeys over there. One can spend time enjoying under the tree shade.