Staff Correspondent

HASSAN: A large number of people witnessed Malekal Tirupathi Venkataramana Swamy Rathotsava at the hills of Malekal in Arasikere on Monday. It is two km from Arasikere in Hassan district.

The hill is known as Amaragiri Tirupathi. One had to climb 1,280 narrow steps to reach the temple that is atop the hill.

The hill is full of Ayurveda plants and herbal plants and flowering plants.

The temple is said to be 800 years old. Legend has it that the idols of Srinivasa and Padmanabha were installed by sage Batista Maharshi. This year a new chariot built at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh was used.

The old chariot is kept at Manjunatha Swamy Museum in Dharmasthala.

The police made tight security arrangements for the occasion.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) had arranged buses from Arasikere bus stand to the foot of the hill.

MLA Shivalinge Gowda participated in the function.