At a distance of 30 km from Kolar and 98.5 km from Bangalore City Junction, Avani is a small village in Kolar district of Karnataka. Avani is renowned for housing varied ancient temples. It is one of top historical places to visit as part of your Bangalore tour and among the popular sightseeing spots around Bangalore. It is also a popular location for rock climbing.
The village of Avani received a prominent place mainly due to the legends associated with it. According to mythology, goddess Sita gave birth to her twin children Lava-Kusha at Avani. It is also said that the war between Lord Rama and his sons Lava and Kusha took place in this village. As per the local belief, sage Valmiki, the author of the epic Ramayana was residing here during the period of Ramayana.
Another legend has it that when Sri Narasimha Bharati IV of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham was on his sancharas', he camped here for a few days. During his stay in Avani, he discovered an idol of Goddess Sharada. The idol was in standing posture flanked by Adi Shankaracharya with Sri Chakra. He established a new Mutt, which is presently known as Avani Sringeri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sharada Peetham.
Avani also houses a Sita temple situated on a hill. This temple is one of the few temples dedicated to Sita Devi in India. This temple has the idols of Sita Devi and Parvati Devi. This is considered the place where Sita Devi went into ground after handing over Lava and Kusha to Rama.
Avani also has ancient temples known as the Ramalingeshwara, Lakshmaneshwara, Bharateshwara and Shatrugneshwara, built by the Nolamba rulers in 10th century. According to legend, Rama was performing Ashwamedha Yaga when his Horse was tied up by Lava and Kusha. Even after repeated requests by Lakshmana, Bharatha, Shatrugna and others, they did not free the Horse and fight took place between them. When everyone lost to Lava and Kusha, Rama himself turned up and had to fight. Later this was disrupted by Sita. This is a sin since the fight was between father and the sons and other relatives. This was the reason Valmiki installed the Lingas for papa pariharam. The entire compound comes under the purview of the Archaeological Department and is well maintained.
Maha Shivaratri and Ramalingeshwara rathostava are the famous festivals that are celebrated with great pomp and fervor here.