What began as driving lessons to a friend at Whitefield, Bangalore, turned out to be a (half-)day trip to this relatively not-so-well-known place called Avani(earth) in Mulbagilu taluk. This village is steeped in mythology, and is considered an important spiritual destination.
From Whitefield, NH4 towards Chennai will take you to Kolar. 30 odd kms ahead, is a clearly marked right turn to go to Avani. About 6km from here is the small village of Avani, dominated by temples and a mosque. All roads lead to the temple. There is a small parking lot at the base of the hill. This is also where the Sharadamba temple is, alongwith a "matha/mutt" attached to it. Right beside the temple is the mosque and beside the mosque are steps leading to Valmiki Ashram, where Sitadevi lived during her exile and gave birth to her twins, Luv and Kush. After a flight of well-laid steps is a rock-face with steps cut into it. Some more climb and you arrive at the Ashram, with two temples - a Sitadevi temple with an extremely tiny inner chamber and a Shiva temple. Behind these two temples, there is one more temple. From here, the view of the town and its surroundings is beautiful!