Gavi Betta Sakleshpur – Mysterious Hidden Shiva Cave Temple

Gavi Betta Sakleshpur - Mysterious Hidden Shiva Cave Temple

Visiting the mysterious and hidden Shiva Cave Temple In Gavi Betta Sakleshpur is an adventure in itself, the temple is in a cave behind huge rocks.

Gavi Betta Sakleshpur - Mysterious Hidden Shiva Cave Temple

Have you been to the mysterious and hidden Shiva cave temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur, Hassan District of Karnataka, India? Chances are that you may not even have heard of it. Such is the mystical seclusion of this unique temple hidden behind huge rocks and boulders, high up on a hill in the midst of the Western Ghats of Sakleshpur in Karnataka, India.

Read on to know more about this unique and exclusive Shiva temple, known to very few people. Just reaching the temple is in itself a thrilling adventure. We felt really blessed to visit the temple during our visit to Sakleshpur.

Gavi Betta Sakleshpur & The Shiva Cave Temple 

Gavi Betta Sakleshpur - Mysterious Hidden Shiva Cave Temple

It is a strangely mystical and thrilling experience when you visit Shiva temples that are remote, hidden, and not visited by many. One such temple is located in the Sakleshpur Taluk of the Hassan District of Karnataka. Shiva presides here in a dark cave that is inhabited by bats, far from the gaze of human eyes. As we trekked towards this Shiva cave temple in Gavi Betta, our minds flew back in time to Uttarakhand when we had visited the underground Shiva cave temple of Patal Bhuvaneshwar, a temple that lies almost 90 feet beneath the ground.

We were in Sakleshpur to experience the place and the hospitality of the Sakleshpur Homestay Owners Association – To choose the best place to stay in Sakleshpur do checkout their site http://sakleshpurhomestay.org/

Visiting The Shiva Cave Temple In Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

Visiting Gavi Betta Sakleshpur
Visiting Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

One of the thrills of travel is visiting uncharted places, places that do not even show up on maps. These are places known to only a handful of locals. The Shiva cave temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur is one such temple. Our visit to the temple was part of our Sakleshpur itinerary expertly curated by the Sakleshpur Homestay Owners Association. But for the homestay owners who had planned our itinerary, we would not even have known about the existence of the unique and secret Shiva cave temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur.

It was our first day in what was proving to be an action-packed trip to Sakleshpur from Bangalore. We started the day by visiting the Patla Betta and experiencing its spectacular views. This had been followed by a visit to the Bisle Ghat viewpoint, Ridge, and the Mookanamane Falls. In the late afternoon after a satisfying local lunch at the homestay we were staying in, we left for Gavi Betta, where the Shiva cave temple is located.

On The Road To Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

Jeeps for hire to Gavi Betta Sakleshpur
Jeeps for hire to Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

We set off in high spirits towards what promised to be a great evening adventure at Gavi Betta Sakleshpur. The fresh mountain air brushed past us as we stood gripping the rails of the open Bolero Jeep, the vehicle that had ferried across the beautiful terrain of Sakleshpur, since early morning. It was smooth riding initially as we cruised along on the main road. Soon we reached a fork in the road, where we spotted a few jeeps lined up. We were told that this was the point from where you could hire these jeeps to take you to Gavi Betta and the Shiva Cave temple.

It was now that the adventure began. The journey to Gavi Betta and the Shiva cave temple is an adventure in itself. It is an exciting Jeep offroading experience.

Storm of dust as we go towards Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

We entered a narrow dirt track, that wound its way to the hill. As the Bolero cut through the loose mud, we raised a storm of dust behind us.

Soon, the path was lined by trees on either side of the road, low-lying branches brushed past us, and we had to keep dodging to avoid being hit. And of course, we had to hang on to the railings for dear life, as the Bolero swayed from left to right, its tyres screeched as it raised mud, but they gripped the road with a vice-like grip.

After some exciting moments, we emerged from the narrow dirt track to an open clearing and the jeep swerved to the right and took a path that led straight up a hill. The tyres of the Bolero hugged the ground like a long-lost lover as we reached the top of the small hill, only to see another bigger hill looming in front of us. This, was Gavi Betta.

Gavi Betta Sakleshpur – Mysterious Hidden Shiva Cave Temple

There was no track or visible road, and barely visible tyre marks went straight up the hill, and before we realized it, our jeep headed straight up the hill in an almost 180-degree trajectory. We gasped collectively as we emerged on flat ground, we had reached the top of Gavi Betta.

View at Gavi Betta, Sakleshpur
View at Gavi Betta, Sakleshpur

The view from the top was stunning. “This is not the season right now, the mountains are brown due to summer, otherwise they are covered in green,” said our friends from the Sakleshpur Homestay Owners Association, who were showing us around. However, we felt that the view from the top was stunning. Rocks formed a ridge around a precipice on one side of the hill from which there was a sheer drop. The evergreen forests of the Western Ghats shone in the afternoon sun, in the valley below.

What To See In Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

Gavi Betta Sakleshpur
Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

Sudeep, the Homestay Owner who had graciously escorted us to Gavi Betta gave us a brief about Gavi Betta, as the wind blew across the valley that sprawled below us as we stood on the top of Gavi Betta.

“We are now on Gavi Betta, which is located in Sakleshpur, near the village of Uchangi,” he said. He went on to explain that near the foot of the hill, there is a big lake known as Gowdanakere and on top of Gavi Betta there are three viewpoints. He also mentioned that the Balancing Rocks were also located here. After this briefing and breathing in gulps of mountain air, we drove through the troughs and crests of Gavi Betta to our ultimate adventure of the day, the Shiva Cave Temple of Gavi Betta in Sakleshpur.

The Trek To The Shiva Cave Temple On Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

Way to Shiva Cave Temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

Our jeep slowed down before a small and squarish stone arch on which the word, “ಹೆಬ್ಬಾಗಿಲು,” in Kannada was engraved. The word was, “Hebbagilu,” which in English meant, “gate,” or, “main gate.”

Me on the way to Shiva Cave Temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

The “gate,” was just enough to let one person through. Of course, it was not necessary to pass through the gate, as there was no fencing! This “gate,” was the only indication of any structure in the vicinity. It was literally in the middle of nowhere, and there was no way we could have found it without the help of the locals.

Sunset at Gavi Betta Sakleshpur
Sunset at Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

From the gate, a narrow path led downhill. We walked in single file, the rays of the setting sun making made kaleidoscopic patterns, as they pierced through the dense forest cover. Dry twigs, leaves, and fallen branches of trees crackled beneath our feet as we walked down the narrow sloping track. We reached a small clearing and to our left, we spotted giant boulders on which were hanging giant bee hives.

Beehive at Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

Moving silently so as not to disturb the sensitive bees, we soon moved out of the wooded trail to emerge on a rocky path.

Squeeze through the rocks to rreach Shiva Cave Temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur
Squeeze through the rocks to reach Shiva Cave Temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

We squeezed through narrow gaps in the rocks to finally reach a portion where we had to literally squeeze ourselves through lying flat on the ground, army commando style.

At The Shiva Cave Temple On Gavi Betta

Walking towards Shiva Cave Temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

We soon reached the entrance of the cavern wherein was located the Shiva cave temple. We removed our footwear outside near a rock and stepped barefoot into the dark cavern. Though the temple was not a temple in the regular sense of the word, it was much revered and sacred. If you were visiting the temple, then you must not have eaten non-vegetarian food that day, and you need to walk barefoot inside the cave.

Shiva Cave Temple On Gavi Betta

It was a large cavern that we entered. It was pitch dark and we could sense the presence of bats. We looked up and could spot an entire colony of bats hanging from the rocks. It was an eerie feeling, however, the sight of temple bells soon soothed our frayed nerves as we proceeded deeper into the cavern. We soon reached what looked like a cul-de-sac, however, on closer inspection, we could see a narrow opening at the bottom.

We had to crawl through this opening to reach the opening of another cave.

Shiva Cave Temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur
Shiva Cave Temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

It was inside this cave that there was a Shiv Ling. The Shiv Ling had been recently worshipped, there were dried flowers on it as well as remains of incense sticks. We could feel the reverberation vibrations of, the sacred mantra, “Om Namah Shivaya,” as we looked with awe at this form of Shiva, hidden from the world deep inside this cave inhabited only by bats.

As the opening was very narrow, we took turns looking at the Shiva Linga, and then crawling backwards, legs first. With a feeling of contentment and strange bliss, we emerged from the darkness of the cave, just in time to catch the dying embers of the setting sun. We watched the rosy glow of the evening from a crack in the rocks, the rosy tinge of the evening light merged magically with the green of the forest. It was a moment of sheer bliss.

We headed back to the Bolero jeep that waited near the gate, taking the same narrow path between rocks and trees. But the day’s adventure was not yet over. It was almost dark, however, we stopped to get a quick glimpse of the Balancing Rocks.

Balancing Rock - Gavi Betta Sakleshpur
Balancing Rock – Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

We had to climb down onto a precarious precipice from which we could see the Balancing Rock in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur. A huge rock stood perched precariously over a smaller rock. It must have stood like that for countless years, an ode to the miraculous ways of nature.

We were tired, but very happy, as we made our way to the welcoming warmth of the homestay where a warm and delicious dinner awaited us. It has been a day packed with action, a day on which we had experienced the myriad wonders of Sakleshpur, from nature, adventure, cuisine, and spirituality at the Shiva Cave temple.

The Shiva cave temple is not visited regularly, our host informed us that locals of Sakleshpur and also from Coorg had come together, and organized a pooja at the cave temple annually on the occasion of Shivratri.

 

Check our YouTube video for an immersive audio-visual experience of Gavi Betta and the secret Shiva Cave temple.

Other Places Of Interest In Sakleshpur

Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple
Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple

Sakleshpur is an ideal weekend getaway from Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Udupi, Chennai etc. However, it has so many places of interest that you may actually need 4-5 days to cover all the places of interest. Experiences in adventure, nature, culture, cuisine, and heritage await you in Sakleshpur. Here is a list of popular places to visit in Sakleshpur.

  • Bisile Ghat
  • Manjarabad Fort
  • Patla Betta
  • Hosahalli Betta – Shooting Point
  • Shiva Cave Temple on Gavi Betta
  • Balancing Rocks on Gavi Betta
  • Mookanamane Falls
  • Kaginere View Point
  • Kari Gundi, Kaginere
  • Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple
  • Yattina Buja
  • Pandavara Gudda
  • Kadumane Falls
  • Ridge Point
  • Hoysala Ugama Sthana
  • Shettihalli Church

How To Reach Gavi Betta | Shiva Cave Temple | Gavi Betta Distance

Gavi Betta Sakleshpur
Gavi Betta Sakleshpur

Most of the hills and viewpoints of Sakleshpur including Gavi Betta can be accessed through jeeps and normal cars cannot go there. You can hire four-wheel drive jeeps at various points in Sakleshpur. However, the best option is to take the help of your homestay owner who will be able to organize the visit perfectly. Click here for Sakleshpur to Gavi Betta Route Map.

Sakleshpur to Gavi Betta Route Map
Sakleshpur to Gavi Betta Route Map
  • Gavi Betta distance from Sakleshpur town is about 55 kilometres
  • Gavi Betta is at a distance of about 27 kilometres from the village of Palahalli
  • Gavi Betta is at a distance of about 22 kilometres from the village of Uchangi
  • Sakleshpur is at a distance of about 220 kilometres from Bangalore

Reaching Gavi Betta By Air

The nearest airport to Gavi Betta is Mangalore. You can fly to Mangalore and travel by road to Gavi Betta.

Reaching Gavi Betta By Train

Sakleshhpura Railway Station at a distance of about 55 kilometres is the nearest railway station to Gavi Betta. There are plenty of trains to and from Bangalore, Mangalore, Karwar, and other places. Some of the trains also have Vista dome coaches attached.

Reaching Gavi Betta By Road

Gavi Betta Sakleshpur Karnataka
Gavi Betta Sakleshpur Karnataka

Sakleshpur is ideal for a road trip from Bangalore or from Mangalore or Mysore. It is a perfect weekend getaway from Mangalore and also a great weekend getaway from Chennai. Gavi Betta is well connected by road to other places in Sakleshpur, Hassan district, as well as Coorg, and places like Bangalore and Mysore.

Check out our 75 best road trips from Bangalore.

To travel to Gavi Betta/Sakleshpur you can book your flight tickets right here through Cleartrip or Makemytrip or CheapAir or Priceline and fly to Mangalore. If you are thinking of a road trip, do check out the rental car options.

Where To Stay For Visiting Gavi Betta | Shiva Cave Temple

Homestay at Sakleshpur

Sakleshpur has many homestays and resorts. For an authentic experience of the region, its culture, and its lifestyle, staying in a homestay is the best option. You can choose from over 100 homestays who are members of the Sakleshpur Homestay Owners Association, and you will surely have an amazing experience in Sakleshpur.

You can select a homestay for your weekend getaway in Sakleshpur from over 100 homestays, each of which offers beautiful locations and impeccable hospitality. Check out this list of Sakleshpur Homestays from the Sakleshpur Homestay Owners Association. You can directly call them for booking or queries.

We hope you liked reading about the Shiva cave temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur. Do let us know if you have any queries or need any clarifications. For more such interesting and informative content subscribe to our blog and monthly newsletter, “Postcard From India.”. Also, do not forget to connect on our social media handles.

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Gavi Betta Sakleshpur - Mysterious Hidden Shiva Cave Temple

Our visit to Sakleshpur in Karnataka, India was organized by Sakleshpur Homestay Owners Association to promote sustainable tourism through immersive local experiences of cuisine, culture, and adventure provided by members of the Sakleshpur Homestay Owners Association. The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are our own. #travel #Sakleshpur #VisitSakleshpur #Sakleshpura #Sakleshapura #Malenadu #WesternGhats #Weekendgetaway #Karnataka #hillstation #DekhoApnaDesh #IncredibleIndia

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Gavi Betta Sakleshpur - Mysterious Hidden Shiva Cave Temple

Gavi Betta Sakleshpur - Mysterious Hidden Shiva Cave Temple

10 thoughts on “Gavi Betta Sakleshpur – Mysterious Hidden Shiva Cave Temple”

  1. I loved reading your post about the Gavi Betta and Shiva Cave Temple in Sakleshpur! Your vivid descriptions and stunning photos transported me there. Can’t wait to plan my own trip!

  2. I like to walk around the cave. It’s fascinating & intriguing.
    As always, your post are interesting & informative with full details.
    People living in Bangalore or Mangalore should visit sakleshwar.

  3. That’s such an interesting hidden temple! We Hindus tend to associate God with inaccessibility. Harder the place to reach (mountain peaks, glaciers) and there resides our God. Great adventure!

  4. Bedabrata Chakraborty

    Surprising that there are so many hidden gems of Karnataka. We are kind of exploring the state with you. The pictures of Gavi Betta are mesmerizing. Love how nature and religion seamlessly integrate here.

  5. Wow! What an incredible and hidden gem of a temple! The mystical seclusion and the thrilling adventure of reaching the Shiva cave temple in Gavi Betta Sakleshpur truly make it a unique and exclusive destination. It’s amazing to learn about lesser-known places with rich cultural and religious significance. Feeling blessed to visit such a remarkable place must have been an unforgettable experience. Thank you for sharing this intriguing discovery with us!

  6. Wow, what a breathtaking experience! I’ve never heard of Gavi Betta and Shiva Cave Temple in Sakleshpur but your post has forgiven all my ignorance;)
    Hats off to you for covering this lesser known temple in detail.

  7. We have planned many times going to this place but some how didn’t work out but after reading your post I know there are so many places especially Shiva Cave Temple in Sakleshpur and going to cave looks like quite adventurous , will plan it soon.

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