By Shobha Rao Smilemaker
Mangaluru, Sep 28: People spend so much of time, money and effort to take a break from the routine and go to hill stations where they can reconnect with the amazing beauty of nature.
Mangalureans are surrounded with the sea on one side and rolling hillocks on the other, so they are really blessed, because just within few minutes of driving distance, they can get amazing natural views from the top of a local hill.
Leaving Mangaluru city to the other side of the Ullal bridge, we soon found ourselves driving past many university campus including the sprawling Mangalore University at Konaje. Soon our car was taking twists and turns and we slowly made our way up a small hillock.
The sight that greeted us on the top was such a surprise. We got a panoramic view of the Netravati river in her full glory.
We tried to identify the few tall buildings of Mangalore city on the opposite side of the river, the Expert college campus, the Naraharishiva hill temple that we had visited earlier and other popular landmarks.
This was probably a rare hillock that was surrounded with flowing water on three sides, with an amazing different view from every corner.
The temple itself had a unusual style of architecture, being of rectangular shape in the front with circular roof from behind.
There is an interesting piece of history as explained to us by the temple priest.
Just a few decades ago, this was a site with the ruins of the foundations of some previously unknown ancient temple, which was supposed to be demolished centuries ago by European invaders.
During a ritual at a nearby temple, the locals questioned the spirits about the origin of this Innoli temple ruins and then decided to reconstruct a Shiva temple at this very spot. It is now said that Lord Parashuram himself must have installed the original Somnatheshwar idol in this spot of the ancient temple which was supposed to have been visited by the local brave Queen Abbakka in the 17th century.
Grand renovations to the temple took place in 1999 under the guidance of Prof I V Rao. This is one of the rare temples with hardly any people, so it was a pleasure to spend moments of silence in the presence of the Lord.
So please do smile and visit the Innoli temple, the next time you want to enjoy the rare combination of spiritual and natural beauty.
Shobha Rao Smilemaker has a vision of living in a world where people use their ability to find and make smiles in any situation. She is a lawyer by qualification, a soft skills trainer by passion, a motivational speaker, a freelance journalist, a bestselling author, an avid traveler and founder of 'Smilemakers Trainings'. She can be contacted at www.shobhasmilemaker.com.