Hassan Windmill Temple – A tryst with the wind giants

Standing under the warm morning sun while the gentle winter breeze flirted with my hair, I looked at the surreal landscape in front my eyes. Verdant mountains dotted with a myriad of windmills stood proudly under an azure sky. There was no rush of people or vehicles around or no vendor trying to sell souvenirs to tourists. The soothing silence was cut through by occasional chatters from a few people around. I said to myself exultantly – โ€œFinally I am hereโ€. This is my story about how a small temple tucked away in a village in Hassan stole our hearts and made it to our list of all time favourites. Here is a complete guide to visit this little heaven which we fondly call as the โ€œWindmill Temple of Hassanโ€.

Windmills near the Mavanuru Malleshwara temple
That happiness when I saw it for the 1st time

The Story Behind

It was in 2018 when we stumbled upon an article about a temple surrounded by windmills. The pictures in the article spoke volumes about its beauty with the windmills peeking through the clouds during sunrise. It was a sight entirely out of this world and we were totally tempted to visit it. But neither the article nor any other source over the Internet had any information on its whereabouts. The only thing we knew was it was somewhere in Hassan. But we were not going to give up easily, because it is not every other day that we come across places we feel a connection with. So the search began looking for all Hassan temples on Google Earth which were on a hill and were close to the windmills. Finally our effort paid off and we got to know the name and exact location of the temple in 2019.

Being close to Bangalore and with excellent road conditions, this can even be done as a half day trip if started early in the morning. It takes around 3-3.5 hours from Bangalore by car. We decided to visit this place as part of our Hassan Trip. This gave us the opportunity to visit it twice, once during the day and then the next day during sunrise.

The beautiful Mavanuru Malleshwara Temple
The beautiful temple
Windmills everywhere eyes could see
Windmills everywhere eyes could see

So where is this windmill temple?

Though we call it the Windmill Temple, the actual name of the place is Mavanuru Malleshwara Temple. It is located in Hassan district of Karnataka. This place is ~30 kilometres away from Hassan main town and ~170 kilometres from Bangalore. The temple is perched on top of a hill with beautiful views of the town, mountains and windmills all around. Though a small one, it looks stunning in bright golden colour and houses Lord Shiva as the deity. 

Windmill temple on top of the hill
See that temple on the hill? That is the one
The Mavanuru Malleshwara Temple early in the morning
The temple early in the morning

How to Reach the Windmill Temple

There is no public transport available to the temple. So the only way to reach is by your own transport. The road to the temple is in good condition and is suitable for both cars and bikes. The route is well marked on Google Maps and you can directly follow it to reach the temple. After taking the diversion from the main road, it takes around 20 minutes to reach the temple through a slender path passing through small villages and empty fields. And the view all through is awesome with greenery and windmills for company.

Views on the way to the windmills
Views on the way

Best Time to Visit

November – February:  Preferably the winter months since Hassan is a very hot place otherwise. Also, you get the best sunrise views during this time.

July – October: Monsoon or just after monsoons when everything is bathed in fresh greenery and the temperature is cool enough. But not a good time if you want to visit for sunrise.

Our time of visit: Last week of January

We recommend visiting early in the morning (by 8am) to avoid heat and to enjoy the place in its most tranquil form.

Our Experience

Around 10 am we stopped at the windmill temple on our way to Hassan. It was a crisp winter morning and the golden painted temple shone bright under the clear blue sky. The windmills looked so close from the temple that we could hear the sound of their blades cutting through air. There were hardly people around except for some volunteers who were cleaning up the premises and a few local visitors. The panoramic views from the temple were simply breathtaking. We wondered how such a gem existed for so long away from the touristy eyes being not so far from the main town. But then would not we all want it to stay the same forever, peaceful and unspoilt?

Windmill temple of Hassan
Every corner of it was charming

We were really excited for the sunrise the next morning and got ready by 5am to start for the temple. It was still dark and the drive through the deserted town under a sky full of stars was absolutely thrilling. The last part of the drive was a bit adveturous as we passed through the narrow road flanked by trees and bushes only in the headlight of our vehicle.

It took us around 35-40 minutes to reach the temple from our hotel in Hassan town. The surrounding area of the temple was scarcely lit and the sound of the windmills in the dark felt a little eerie. To top it all, there was no one else in the vicinity except the two of us and our driver. The town below was still asleep and the stars above were shining bright. From somewhere not very far, came the call of a peacock flowing with the wind. 

Before sunrise at windmill temple
View at 5:50 am
Before sunrise at windmill temple
The temple compound before sunrise

Gradually the orange colour started spreading across the sky as the sun slowly ascended above the horizon engulfing everything in a warm mellow glow. The unfettered first rays of the sun illuminated the temple premises as if paying respects to the Lord. With the rising sun, the whole surrounding came back to life again. Birds chirped incessantly in the nearby trees, a cute mongoose moved around the bushes and the monkeys started jumping around the trees. It felt blissful to be there at that moment, having the whole place to ourselves. We finally left the place at 8:30am and still there was not another soul around. What a beginning to the day it was! 

View of the windmills before sunrise
This is how the windmills looked before sunrise
Sunrise views from the windmill temple
And here comes the sun
Sunrise at windmill temple
When the 1st rays of the sun peeped through the Pilars

Check the sunrise time before going to the temple. We started early and had to wait for long for the sunrise. In January end, the actual sunrise started around 6:45 am. So plan accordingly.

Other Pointers

  • There is no bathroom facility, shop or food outlets in the temple premises. So carry a bottle of water for your need. 
  • Restaurants are available just a few minutes away on the main road.
  • Though there is no dress code for visiting this temple, dress appropriately as it is a place of worship.
  • The last patch of the road to the windmill temple (after you pass through the village) does not have any kind of lights. Though it did not feel unsafe anywhere, but we recommend going in a group or with people who speak the local language (Kannada) if you plan to reach before sunrise.
  • If you plan to see the sunrise from the temple in winter, carry a good jacket and scarf. I underestimated the cold and was shivering for one long hour till the sun came up.

We have been in a quandary for a long time on whether to publish the name of this place in our blog. Because looking at the current trend, any place that gets too popular gets spoilt very soon with tons of people crowding and littering the place. And we definitely do not want that to happen to this one. But then, we thought about all those like us who travel to such places to seek peace and happiness. So this blog came into life. Our humble request to all of you is to be responsible when you travel so that beauty of places like these stay intact for others to see. 

If you have been to this place or have any questions, do let us know in the comments.

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