Kaivara is a small town in Chickballapur district of Karnataka. The town was known as Ekachakrapura in Dwaparayuga. The Pandavas of India's greatest epic lived here during their vanavasa (period to be spent in forest). Bheema, the brother of Dharmaraja, has established a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Bheemalingeswara temple).

There are instances from Mahabharath and Ramayana that point to Kaivara. Bheema is said to have fought Bakasura on the Bheema-Bakasura Betta. Lakshmana quenched Sita's thirst by splitting open a hill. The stream is known as Lakshmana theertha. In recent past the place is known for saint named Narayanappa. Also known as Kaivara Thathayya.

Kaivara is famous for the saint called Narayanappa or popularly known as Kaivara Thatayya in Kannada and Telugu. He lived here during the last half of eighteenth century and first half of nineteenth century. Thatayya was a bilingual poet. Narayanappa has written number of prophecies about forthcoming events Kaala Jnana. He has also written Keertanas (poems in praise of the Lord in different forms) in praise of Amara Narayanaswamy, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, both in Kannada and Telugu languages. The Keertanas are comparable to those of famous Keertanakaras of Karnataka like Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa. He also appears to have influenced by the Vemana Kavi and Veera Bramhendra Swamy of present-day Andhra Pradesh and also Sarvajna of the present-day Karnataka.

One of his valuable writings is Bramhanandpuri Shataka in which he has explained all the nuances of Yoga in depth and detail.

There is one unique poem in which half of the each line is in Kannada and the other half in Telugu language.

There is an Ashram dedicated to the Thatayya. Kaivara has become a pilgrimage and a tourist place because of the cave in which Thatayya meditated and attained the supreme spiritual enlightenment. The Ashram, the cave, Amara Narayanaswamy temple, Vaikunta (temple) by the side of the cave and the hillock (on which Bheema supposed to have killed the Bakasura) are the places worth visiting. Food is distributed as prasadam at Kailasha giri cave temple. The prasada timings are between 12.30-3.30 p.m.

The bonus point is the beautiful park maintained by the forest department of Karnataka. Kaivara is an ideal place to visit during the weekend as it is very near to Bangalore (which is about 65 km away), the capital of Karnataka. Free boarding (prasada)and well maintained low cost accommodation are available at Ashram. The other places of must see very near to Kaivara are Ambaji durga (cave temples) and the temple of Lord Venkateswara in Alamgiri. Chintamani Town is the nearest taluk centre and also a business hub of this part of Karnataka.

Bheema Bakana Betta
The main attraction for youngsters in Kaiwara is Bheema Bakana Betta or Kaiwara betta, a hillock replete with historical and mythological tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana which is a visual treat for trekkers. From a distance of several kilometres, Bheema Bakana Betta appears like two elephants engaged in a tussle, on a head-on collision. The hillock has got its name from the fact that Pandava prince in exile, Bheema vanquished Bakasura, the rakshasa here.

Legend has it that the Pandava princes along with their mother Kunthi lived in Kaiwara, which was known as Ekachakrapura in those days.

The famous fight between Bheema and Bakasura had taken place in these hillocks and it is said that Bheema split Bakasura into half, pushed him in a cave and closed its entrance with a large boulder. While doing so he is supposed to have said "until the name of Bheema exists in Bharata, you will not be liberated from this place". It is said that every year during the festival of Ratha-sapthami at Kaivara, a red-white liquid oozes out of the cave.

The entrance to the hillock is just opposite the Sri Yogi Naraeyanappa Ashram. Although it is quite steep, climbing is not strenuous because of the stone steps that are laid all the way to the hillock.

Amaranarayana Temple, Kaivara

Amaranarayana Temple is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The architecture of the temple is attractive. The temple has four sculpted stone pillars carved with finely sculpted motifs. This constitutes the Navrang Mandapa. The idol was installed here by the king Vishnuvardhan who belonged to the Hoysala dynasty.

Aranya Rama Temple, Kaivara

Aranya Rama Temple is a small temple located in the forest very near to the Amaranarayana temple. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Rama, where he resides with his wife Sita devi and brother Lakshmana.

Bheemeswara Temple, Kaivara

As per the legend, Bheema killed the Demon Bakasura when the Pandavas were in exile here. To honor this deed a temple was built here for Bheema which is the Bheemeswara Temple.

Yoganarasimha Swamy Temple, Kaivara

Yoganarasimha swamy Temple is at a distance of about one kilometer from the Mutt on a small hill called Vaikunta. This is the place where was Narayanappa on meditation for over three years. Narayanappa The statue is of Narayanappa is also located here. A prayer room is beautiful in the temple which is huge and boasts an excellent view over the hills and valleys. It is an ideal place for meditation.

Apart from this there is a beautiful park maintained by the forest department of Karnataka. Kaivara is an ideal place to visit during the weekend as it is very near to Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka.

If you have enough time to spend, then visit Kailasagiri, which is about 7-8 km away from Kaivara.

Narayanappa Mutt, Kaivara

An ashram dedicated to the famous saint and Telugu-Kannada composer and writer Narayanappa (1730-1840 AD). According to local history, the saint- poet Narayanappa was initially a bangle seller. There after he got his call and dedicated his life to sainthood writing and composing many literary works some of which are the famous 'Amaranarayana Shathaka and 'Kaalagnana'.

The Management of the Ashram undertakes many social, religious and philanthropic activities. Provision of free meals to pilgrims and accommodation at very nominal rates are some of these activities. The authorities also conduct mass marriages between June and December.

Hotels Lodging in Kaivara

There are hotels in Kaivara town and Dhabas at Kaivara cross. If you can travel to Chintamani which is around 11 kilometers from Kaivara you can hope to get some good hotels like Shanti Sagar. Lodging is available at Narayanappa ashram and even in Kaivara town.

Kailasha Giri Hill

About 6-7 kilometers from Kaivara is Kailasha giri hill where you can see the following cave temples.

Ambaji Durga Cave temples: These man made cave temples are located at the foot of a huge rock-hill from where you can get a panoramic view of Chintamani. Though the hill is great for exploring rocky terrains and streams originating from rocks, you are advised not to roam without guidance. There are lots of mugging incidents reported here. On top of the Kailasha giri hill there is also a lake, which is the prime water supply for Chintamani.

Ananta Padmanabha and Chenna Keshava cave temple: Unlike Ambaji Durga this temple is not man made. It is a natural cave temple housing the beautiful idol of Ananta Padmanabha and Chenna Keshava.

How to reach Kaivara

Kaivara is at a distance of 65-70 kilometers from Bangalore in Chintamani Taluk, Chikballapur district. You can either take the Bangalore-Hoskote-Kaivara cross-Kaivara route or Bangalore-Devenahalli-Vijayapura-Jangamakote-Hcross- Kaivara cross- Kaivara route. After reaching Devenahalli you must take a right towards Vijayapura, then a right towards Jangamakote at Vijayapura, cross Jangamakote, reach H-cross and then take a left to get to Kaivara cross. If traveling by bus you will easily get KSRTC buses till Kaivara cross. From there you will have to catch an auto to get to Kaivara town which is about 3 kilometers or so.