From Dichpally, the NH7 goes straight towards Nizamabad, instead, we took a deviation towards Armoor. Armoor, is 25 kms from Dichpally and 27 kms from Nizamabad. On the map, Dichpally, Armoor and Nizamabad form a triangle !
Armoor, a small town, has some very interesting hills. The hills look like massive pile of black rocks !
We haven’t seen any hill like this before. What is more interesting is that these hills are found only in Armoor. All other nearby villages have hillocks but none of them are like this !
There is a ghat road leading to the top of the hills. When you stop on the ghat road and look at the hills, from top to bottom, they look like one giant heap of rocks.
We found it very amusing, you would even wonder if there was solid surface beneath the rocks, we wanted to try pulling out one rock !
The views along the path are truly breathtaking though, we stopped every few feet to taken in those views. At places the terrain made us feel like we were in some other planet. It reminded of those pictures taken on Mars !
There are some deep caverns between these rocks. The place is also called Siddula Gutta (Sages’ hillock) because it is believed sages meditated in those caves.
The road stops at a point on the hill and from there one has to walk to the temple. A 10 minute walk through picturesque scenes later, we reached the temple. The Siddeshwar temple is a small temple with Lord Shiva as the presiding deity. The history of the temple is unknown but it has been renovated completely and the present structure is relatively new. A word of caution, beware of monkeys !
More than the temple, the most interesting part of Siddula Gutta is a cave inside which there is a Siva Linga.
One has to go inside this narrow cave. You will have to squeeze yourself through some parts and crawl on all fours through narrow gaps like this. We found it hilarious that people are expected to form a “Queue” here ! That’s what the sign on the rock says.
The Siva Linga is located in the depths of the cave.
You cannot stand to full height here, before the Lord, humans have to shed their egos and bend down seems to be the philosophy behind this ! There are some yogis here who perform the poojas. They pointed us to another small, dark opening between the rocks where there was another Siva Linga, in the darkness, it looked eerie. It is a wonder how they managed to pull electrical wires inside the cave for lighting and also how the yogis sit inside the cave with zero ventilation !
The visit to Siddula Gutta was the highlight of this trip. We then drove to the third point on the triangle – Nizamabad city. The internet gives an interesting story about how Nizamabad got its name. The place was called Induru, named after a king of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. However, in early 1900s, when the railway line was built, the station was named Nizamabad after the during Nizam king and the name has stuck since then. Nizamabad is an important city of North Andhra Pradesh.