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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF POPULAR PICNIC SPOTS NEAR KGF - 1. BETHAMANGALA


Bethamagala is a small town in Kolar District, about 5 miles from KGF. It has a large man-made lake and is the underground source of the Palar River.  Bethamangalam as it was known earlier, was afavourite picnic destination close to KGF.  Hordes of people from KGF would flock to KGF to spend the day in the serene and beautiful surroundings of the Bethamangala Lake. Swimming, fishing and boating were the added attractions. As children, it was our favourite picnic spot where the School took us for picnics. The water works had a beautiful garden around it and the youngsters loved swimming in the reservoir. However, this idyllic spot was also the place for a number of tragic swimming accidents, and the water works had many notices pasted all around warning people of the dangers.
The British Government had built the Water Works in Bethamangalam in 1903 for filtered water to be supplied to the KGF Mines through huge pipelines from here.  The Bethamangalam  Lake was a popular spot for sailing, fishing. and a beautiful picnic spot for the British population in KGF. A Sailing Club was established here around 1905, and it had a good number of Britishers and Europeans as members. A beautiful Club House was constructed, which had a well stocked Bar, a reading room, a Billiards and Snooker Room as well as a Swimming Pool. The Sailing Club had a fleet of canoes and Row boats, and served as a berth for private boats and canoes also.

 


The Bethamangalam Club House was later converted into the Government Guest House.
 
 

Just before Bethamangala, there is a small temple town called Kamasandra which is famous for its Temple dedicated to the Lingam of Lord Shiva. It is called the Koti Linga Temple as it has almost one crore  Lingas offered by devotees .

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