Rushyasringa Village and Temple
Kigga is a village with one road and large tile roofed houses built on either side of the road surrounded by lush green landscapes of trees and plants. At the end of the road is a structure without the grand architecture grandiose of the normal temples. This is a temple for the deity Rushyasringa. Unlike the outside view of the temple inside there is a large sprawling courtyard. The entry leads to the dwajasthamba, mukhamantapa and the sanctum. There you will be greeted by the priest who will give you all details of the temple. The deity is Rushyasringa.
The legend about the Rushyasringa
According to the legend the area was a forest. One sage by name Vibhandak sat there and did penance to appease the god. During the penance, under some mysterious circumstances a deer became pregnant and gave birth to the progeny of the sage. The child had a horn like that of deer. Hence he was named as Rushyasringa (sringa means horns in Sanskrit). Vibhandhaka raised his son in the same place and the boy grew up like a saint and everybody thought the child is like any other child of the sages.
The kingdom Angadesh nearby was reeling under draught continuously for some time without rain. Sage Narada recognised the potential of Rushyasringa and suggested to the king of Angadesh to invite the boy. Accordingly the boy was invited to Angadeh. As soon as he stepped into Angadesh, there was thunder and heavy rain followed bringing an end to the draught of long period. The entire kingdom rejoiced with this end of their misery in the form of draught. The king was so pleased with Rushyasringa; he gave his daughter Shantha in marriage to him. The people of the country Angadesh worshiped him as the rain god. However, Rushyasringa went to the forest with his wife and there he started doing his penance to the Lord Chandramouleswara. Lord Chandramouleswara appeared and suggested to build a temple at the foot of the hill. Accordingly the temple was built. In the later years the temple is renovated. It is believed that the Lingam here is the evidence or trace of the horns. It is known as the Rushysringa Temple. The temple is surrounded by the dense forests. There is large temple pond which has the water in green colour. It is a quiet and tranquil place. It is believed that if a Pooja is done here for rain, it is sure to rain.
Sirimane Water Falls
About 5 k m from Kigga and 22 k m from Sringeri there is a beautiful water fall. It is easily approachable by road. It can be reached from Kigga by walk auto or other vehicles. The water falls is in a beautiful natural set up under the green canopy of the trees. There are steps to the top of hill from where the water falls. Comparing to the other waterfalls of the Western Ghats this waterfall is smaller. But in beauty it is second to none. It will be a good time to visit this waterfall immediately after the rainy season. The advantage of this water fall is that it is easily approachable by road as the road is good. The bad aspect is that since it is easily accessible, it will be full of picnic crowds. Another bad aspect is the vandalism. People coming here write on the stones and the place is littered with plastic water bottles and bags.
Those who are interested in trekking, they can go to Narsimha Parvatha which is on a different direction from Kigga. From Kigga there are two paths one to the Sirimane waterfalls and the other to the Peak. For the peak there is no road and only trekking is the mode of travel through the forest. This peak is the origin of about 4 -5 rivers. It is inside the Kudremukh National Park and entry fee will have to be paid. In Kigga itself there is a forest department who will give good guidance in this respect. From Kigga it will be about 4 to 5 hours walk and there may not be water available in between so it is better to take water. From there the trekking will be to another peak at Agumbe and in between there is a valley with a village and paddy fields called Mallandoor. Evening halt can be in this village and next morning the trekking can be started to Agumbe which is about 3 hours trek from Mallandoor. From Narsimha hills to Mallandoor it is about 7 – 8 hours. So the trip has to be planned properly in consultation with the forest department of Kigga.
How to get to Kigga
Sringeri is the nearest town. From there buses are plying to Kigga at the intervals of 3o minutes. From Sringeri Kigga is about 15 k m. Sringeri is well connected Bengaluru by buses. If bus is selected to go to Kigga there may not be vehicles to go to Sirimane falls. Only by walk of about 5 km. If a vehicle is hired at Sringeri, the vehicle can go up to the Sirimane falls.
Other nearby Places of Interest from Kigga
Narsimha Parvatha, Agumbe, Sringeri, Uluve Bird Sanctuary. On the way to Agumbe if a little deviation is taken there is a Barkana view point from where one can vie the Barkana waterfalls and the Western Ghats forest from a distance. Another place with a deviation is Jogigundi. From here one can see a stream forming a water fall. This place is also good camping area.
For Hospital, food point and petrol Bunk nearest centre is Sringeri.