Highlights of Day 1

Date: 11-Aug-2012

Destination: Arsikere, Haranhalli

Sights: Hoysala temples at both Arsikere and Haranhalli.

Route: Bangalore ==> Nelamangala (via ORR from Mysore Road to Tumkur Road) ==> Tumkur (NH 48) ==> Gubbi (BH Road, NH 206) ==> Tiptur ==> Arsikere ==> Haranhalli (8 KM from Arsikere on Hassan Road) ==> Arsikere ==> Tarikere ==> Bhadravathi ==> Shimoga

Total Distance Covered: 313.8 KM

Places covered: Haranahalli, Arsikere (well, not really)

Well, this was the first trip for my Fabia (and of course, myself) in 2012 and we (i.e., my Fabia ,myself, Nandini and Vishnu) all were looking forward with great anticipation toward this trip.

I started my preparation from Wednesday (08-Aug-12) by getting the tank filled to the brim and also getting the tyres filled up to the right pressure.

Since we were going to stay in Shivamogga again, I wanted to visit those places that we hadn’t been to before and thus started my planning.

Enough of this preface. I shall get down to the nitty gritty now.

I had read about the Chandramoulishwara temple in Arsikere and about Haranahalli (made famous by its son – Haranahalli Ramaswamy) and its relatively unknown yet beautiful temples.

About Haranhalli (ಹಾರನಹಳ್ಳಿ in Kannada): Haranahalli is a quaint little village 8 KM from Arsikere on the way to Hassan (we need to take a left on NH206, BH Road, if coming from Bangalore). It has 2 beautiful temples – Lakshmi Narasimha (or Chennakeshava) temple and the Someshwara temple with the former getting a lot of importance (relatively speaking) than the latter.

We left around 7 AM on Saturday and we were in the outer ring road with 7:15 and reached the Nelamangala toll road by 7:30. However, after Nelamangala, the Tumkur road (NH 48) toll booth was choc-a-bloc with cars/lorries/buses et. al., no doubt heading out of Bangalore for the weekend.

Reached Kamat upachar on the highway (around 53 KM from home), to our left, before Dobbspet, around 8:10 AM. As I suspected, it too was pretty crowded. To reduce the waiting time, the waiter suggested that we choose a buffet breakfast for Rs. 100. The options before us were: idli, vade, khara baath, kesari baath, vaggarane avalakki (beaten rice)/avalakki baath, set dose and masale dose with tea/coffe/watermelon juice thrown in for good measure. I was able to do justice to the food available (:)) and it worked out to be pretty quick too.

Left Kamat around 9:15 AM and was able reach Arsikere at 11 AM whereby we inquired the whereabouts of the Ishwara temple. Unfortunately, none of the people we inquired knew about this temple. Without wasting more time, we asked the route for Haranahalli and were pointed to the Hassan road.

When we reached Haranahalli, the Lakshmi Narasimha temple was closed (locked). Upon inquiry, we found out that the keys to the temples (both Lakshmi Narasimha and Someshwara) could be procured from the archaka’s (priest) house. We proceeded thence and though the archaka had gone out, his mother-in-law gladly obliged and gave us the keys.

The Lakshmi Narasimha (or Chennakeshava) temple is beautiful and relatively well maintained when compared to its cousin (or is it step-brother:)) – the Someshwara temple. As in Belur and Halebidu and a lot of other places, all the statues have been defaced but the details and the intricate work (ಕುಸುರಿ ಕೆಲಸ) of each statue is stunning and we can spend hours looking at each statue.

We finished viewing the temple and returned the keys to the Archaka’s house and got the keys for the Someshwara temple and luckily, for us, an old man, called Manjanna, accompanied us to the temple. He showed around the Someshwara temple and I was sad to see the plight of this temple. It has to be said though, that this temple isn’t as beautiful as the other one. However, still the maintenance of this temple leaves a lot to be desired. We could also see a lot of bats within the temple. This says a lot about the maintenance (or the lack of it) of the temple. Need I say anything more?

After viewing both the temples, we went to the archaka’s house and returned the keys. The aunty (archaka’s mother-in-law) in their house invited us in and asked us to have lunch with them. Though we declined, she insisted that we at least have some boost/coffee and we obliged. This made me think whether we would offer the same warmth and hospitality to a guest visiting our house and if that guest happens to be a stranger, well, you know the answer! 🙂 Our heartfelt gratitude to that lady and hats off to her hospitality!

Left Haranahalli around 1 PM and reached Shimoga at around 3:15 PM. Upon arrival, we were told to hurry to the restaurant since the lunch closes at 3:30 PM.  The lunch was pretty decent. After lunch, it was time for a rest. Lo behold! it was time for the missing rains (missing in Bangalore that is) to arrive in Shimoga and it rained around an hour or so.

We stepped out around 7 PM, roamed around Nehru Road (walkable distance to BH Road) for sometime, did some shopping too! Clothes in Shimoga looked prettier and less expensive as compared to Bangalore (or is it the case of “the pasture on the other side is always green”). During the time of this roaming, we found out about ತಿನಿಸು ಅಂಗಳ (tinisu angala – the yard of eateries is the literal translation) wherein all sorts of VEG food were available. This is somewhat similar to (but not equal to) the tindi beedi (food street) in VV Puram, Bangalore, wherein everything (again, VEG) is available on a single street. We had paddu, fruit salad and some steaming hot idlis too. All of this added up to a grand total of Rs. 100! Very reasonable indeed.

Returned to the hotel and hit the sack since we had to make an early beginning the next day.

Some photos of the day:

Haranahalli Chennakeshava Temple

Beautiful Sculptures – Chennakeshava Temple, Haranahalli

Someshwara Temple Haranahalli

Here’s the route map to Haranahalli and Shimoga.

As usual, before I end the first day’s account, a few caveats:

1. Lunch isn’t available anywhere on the way, except at Shimoga. So, be sure to either get it packed in Bangalore (or where ever you have breakfast like Kamat Upachar) or reach Shimoga in time for lunch.

2. If anyone knows the way to Arsikere’s Ishwara (hoysala) temple, please do let me know the route. I have to admit here that my research on Arsikere’s Ishwara temple was inadequate. I assumed that anyone would be able to direct me to the temple which wasn’t the case, unfortunately.

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Well, We’re off to Shivamogga (Shimoga for the uninitiated) tomorrow. Planning to stay at the same place – Hotel Samrat Ashoka on BH Road.

This time we’ve planned to visit Thirthahalli and surrounding areas and also Sigandhuru (Chowdeshwari Temple) and Jog falls, if possible.

Will update the blog once I am back!

Given the amount of negative feedback regarding TAFE Access Ltd’s customer service, I was very apprehensive about my first service.

Thankfully, I found the service to be good enough. It, certainly, wasn’t as bad as people were saying it was (read the Team BHP’s members’ comments to know more).

I was present at the service centre by 9:30 AM. A pleasant woman (the receptionist) greeted me and asked me to wait for my “service advisor”. The said person appeared in 5 minutes and took in all the notes, prepared the job card, requested for the service book (that comes with the manual) and updated it.

All this took around 20 min. He informed me that once the car is ready, he would call me up (which he promptly did!). I also requested for dropping the car to my office. He said he would try since we have to book for pickup and drop service 2 days in advance.

I left the place around 9:50 AM and actually, got a lift to the nearest bus stop in my car!

Around 2:30 PM in the afternoon, my “service advisor” called me to inform that the car was ready and if needed, they can arrange for a drop to my office and of course, that would lighten my wallet by 200 Rs (only the drop not the cost of service), to which I agreed.

The driver reached my office around 3:30 PM and gave me a call. When I went out to meet the person, he showed me the bill and the maximum amount was spent on the engine oil – a whopping 3574 Rs without VAT of 13.5%!!!!. Oil filter, air filter and other miscellaneous items consumed another 1400 Rs and with VAT, the total serivce amount added upto Rs. 5641!

Add Rs. 200 for the drop and the whole thing came upto Rs. 5850 or roughly the amount of money that I would spend on getting my Pulsar 180 serviced for 3-4 years! 🙂

Anyhow, the service quality was good enough and my interaction with TAFE Access people was positive. So, as they say, all’s well that ends well.

It’s fast approaching that time when my car would be due for service, her first! I’ve only done around 8000 Km on this car and have not even touched the 10000 KM mark nor do I think I would, given that  the first service is due in only a month.

Actually, I’ve booked the 3rd of May as the date of my car’s first service! Will keep you posted on the quality of service provided, the charges and any other things worth blogging.

Oh! By the way, I am planning to visit Mysuru and its sorroundings the coming long weekend (2-4 April). Hopefully, that trip would be interesting enough to blog!

 

Day 5

Date: 29-Dec-2009

Destination 1: Marikamba Temple, Sirsi

Checked out of the hotel around 09:00 hrs and proceeded towards the famous Marikamba temple in Sirsi. The temple is built in the typical Mangalore style and is quite elegant.

Marikamba Temple, Sirsi

Paintings inside the temple

Endgame

Route: Sirsi –> Haveri –> Ranebennuru –> Davanagere –> Chitradurga –> Sira –> Tumkuru –> Nelamangala –> Bengaluru (a distance of around 410 KM).

 After seeking the blessings of Marikamba, we left Sirsi around 10:00 hrs and headed on the above route towards Bengaluru. The road from Sirsi to Haveri for the first 30 KM is in a poor state. It is a single lane road and because of the constant rain, the ends have been chipped off. This makes the road very dangerous whenever any vehicle comes from the opposite direction. Be very careful on this road.

Upon reaching Haveri and NH4 (Pune Bangalore Road), the road is pretty good in patches. The golden quadrilateral project (the project that AB Vajpayee government had envisaged and started) is still going on and on. Seems like the the present union government is not interested in finishing the project lest the old government take the credit.

Diversions are the norm with some good patches thrown in between as exceptions. This continues till Chitradurga whereupon the road becomes a 6 lane highway and one can zoom away and easily maintain speeds above 100 kmph till the tollgate before Nelamangala. Also, note that all these roads are tolled roads.

No good hotels to have lunch at, unfortunately, on this road, till Tumkur. This is because the highway by-passes all the towns on the way. Anyway, reached Sira around 15:00 hrs and had to stop there at a not so good hotel to quell the growling in the stomach.

Left Sira around 15:30 hrs and headed straight to Bangalore. Reached the Nelamangala tollgate at around 16:30 hours, the NICE tollgate at around 17:05 hrs and we were home by 18:00 hrs.

Thus ended my first (of the many more to come, I am sure) long trips on my Skoda Fabia! Till next time, namaskaara and take care.

Day 4

Date: 28-Dec-2009

Destination 1: Unchalli Falls

Sights: Unchalli Falls

Route: Sirsi –> Aminhalli (14 KM from Sirsi, on Kumta Road) –> Heggarane –> Unchalli Falls (35 KM from Sirsi)

Unchalli Falls in one of the most scenic falls that I’ve seen and I love it! It is around 35 KM from Sirsi, situated amid dense forests and seems like a virgin fall i.e., one untouched by humans, YET! The falls are 5 KM from Heggarane village (Kannada: ಹೆಗ್ಗರಣೆ). Earlier, one had to walk for at least 2-3 KM after crossing Heggarane. However, now new roads have been laid and one can travel upto 0.5 KM from the falls.

Though the falls is full of water perennially, thanks mainly to no dams obstructing the river’s path, as yet, the best time to visit it is between October – December. Avoid visiting Unchalli falls in the rainy season (June to September) since there are a lot of snakes around and also Leeches.

Once I had visited the falls in June 2004 and there was NOT a soul in sight during our 6 KM trek to the falls and back and once we were back in Sirsi, we were actually scolded and advised not to visit Unchalli falls or any other falls that abound Sirsi, because of the snakes & Leeches and hence, my advise.

We started from Sirsi around 08:30 hrs after breakfast and reached Unchalli Falls around 10:00 hrs. The road, as mentioned earlier, is newly laid and is very scenic. There are also clear signposts on the way making it very easy for us to reach Unchalli Falls. When I visited Unchalli falls in 2004, we had to ask every other person on the way (and there were very few to speak of!), to make sure we were  on the right track and there were hardly any milestones/signposts. The signposts, though helpful for the tourists, also spwans commercialisation (and over utilisation), which is not so good.

Without digressing further, let me take you on the right path to Unchalli Falls! We were the first people to reach Unchalli (that day), thankfully and without further ado, parked our car and proceed to the falls on foot. The route is steep downhill all the way to the first view point of the falls. Even my parents were able to make it to the first viewpoint without much difficulty nor did I expect any given that it was all downhill. The way back (steep uphill climb) is what is was worried about. More about that later.

Before proceeding further, let me warn you that, as far as my knowledge goes (I know it doesn’t go far but still), there is no route to get to the base of the Unchalli falls. We can only trek till 2 viewpoints from where we can ONLY see the falls in all its glory but can NOT experience it (like Joga or Shivanasamudra).

Since it was only 10:00 hrs in the morning, the falls was still misty and consequently, milky! Though the water is not as full as in the rainy season (when I visited it last in June 2004), it was still good enough. Certainly not as dry as Joga (I could not resist the temptation to take a dig at Joga). From this viewpoint, one can only see half the falls and the base is not visible.

Waited for around 10 min for my parents to join us. Then, I and Nandini with Vishnu in tow, climbed down a series of around 150-200 steps to reach the 2nd viewpoint. The view from there was stunning and we could see till the base of the falls. It was a wonderful sight and if one has the right company or no company (ideal!), one can sit in silence there and enjoy the water cascading down the gorge to their heart’s content.

On the way to Unchalli Falls

Milky and misty Unchalli Falls (as seen from the 1st viewpoint)

Unchalli Falls from 2nd Viewpoint

After taking in the exhilarating scenry, we returned to the 1st viewpoint and rested for around 10 minutes on some benches, strategically placed, just before beginning the long climb back! There is a water tank there which supplies (badly needed) COLD water to thirsty beings like us. While we were resting, it flashed upon us that to help my parents climb up with the least difficulty, it would be useful for them to carry a wooden stick. Found a lot of wooden sticks, conveniently placed near the 1st viewpoint! So, anyone who has difficulty in climbing back, can take the support of these readily available wooden sticks!

Returned to the parking area where there is a small tea shop run by the local farmer. This person is very knowledgeable about the local sightseeing options and is a veritable encyclopaedia when it comes to routes! Inquired with him the route to Yana and found that there is a short cut available to Yana from Aminhalli!

 

Destination 2: Yana

Sights: Bhairaveshwara Shikhara, Mohini Shikhara

Route from Unchalli Falls (40 KM from Unchalli Falls): Unchalli Falls –> Heggarane –> Aminhalli –> Left at Kumta Road –> Proceed for 0.5 KM on Kumta Road –> Right at Kumta Road towards Hegadekatte –> Hegadekatte –> Devanalli –> Yana.

Route from Sirsi (35 KM from Sirsi): Sirsi –> Kumta Road (10 KM) –> deviation towards Hegadekatte –> Devanalli –> Yana.

I don’t think anyone needs an introduction to Yana. It is a very popular trekking and picnic spot. Alas! Now, there is no need even to trek. The roads are laid such that you need only to walk (steep downhill, of course, like Unchalli Falls) around 0.75 KM from the parking spot to reach Yana. The roads are newly laid and in pretty good condition albiet a trifle narrow in some places. So, do be careful while driving.

Again, the route is very scenic. The journey itself makes it worth the while to visit Yana (or Unchalli Falls, for that matter). Anyhow, left Unchalli Falls around 11:45 hrs and proceeded on the above route towards Yana. The tea owner and Unchalli Falls also mentioned that since there is not much distance to be covered on foot, even my parents can make it to Yana. Reached Yana around 12:40 hrs and proceeded on foot to the renowned volcanic rocks.

The first sighting of Yana is that of the Mohini Shikhara to one’s right (if one approaches Yana from Sirsi/Hegadekatte side) and the view does take your breath away! A furlong of steps and one can see the magnificient Bhairaveshwara Shikhara to one’s left and we’ve arrived at Yana!

On the way to Yana!

Bhairaveshwara Shikhara @ Yana

Mohni Shikhara @Yana

Inside Bhairaveshwara Shikhara

Inside Bhairaveshwara Shikhara - 1

Vishnu@ Gopalakrishna temple Yana

After resting for sometime at Yana, my parents had already returned to the parking lot. They again did the reutrn climb with the help of wooden sticks available aplenty at Yana. We explored Yana to some extent and returned to the parking area feeling tired but happy at the same time! My parents were quite happy that even they could make the trek to Yana a success! Parents happiness at seeing Yana – priceless. 🙂

Left Yana around 14:30 hrs and reached Sirsi around 15:45 hrs. On the way, it started raining too, just to add to the already excellent environment! Partook some lunch at Hotel Madhuvan and we all rested for around 1 hour.

 

Destination 3: Sahasralinga, Sonda.

Sights: Sahasralinga, Sonda Matha, Swarnavalli Matha, Jaina Matha, Muttinakere Venkataramana Temple etc.

Route to Sahasralinga (15 KM from Sirsi, 20 min drive): Sirsi –> Sahasralinga (travel 14 KM on Sirsi Yellapura Road. At the signpost, take a left turn and travel 1 KM to reach Sahasralinga).

Route to Sonda (20 KM from Sirsi, 30 min drive): Sirsi –> travel 16 KM on Sirsi Yellapura Road –> Take a left turn at the signpost –> Sonda (4 KM from the left turn).

After resting for an hour in Sirsi, we left for Sahasralinga and Sonda around 17:00 hrs. Reached Sahasralinga around 17:30 hrs. Sahasralinga, on the banks for the river Shalmala, is a place where one find Lingas carved on stones that abound the river. Read more about Sahasralinga here.

After staying for around 10-15 minutes in Sahasralinga, we left for Sonda and reached it around 18:10 hrs. We first went to the Muttinakere Venkataramana Temple, which is around 500 years old (if not more) and is a quaint little temple. It seems that the daily pooje is not performed anymore at the temple. We met a student of the Sonda Matha, who had taken a sankalpa to perform pooje to Venkataramana and hence was performing his pooje there. Anyhow, we somehow managed to have darushana of Venkataramana on Vaikunta Ekadashi!

It was 18:30 hrs by the time we got out of the temple. The sun had already set and darkness had also settled in! We also found, to our dismay, that the road to Sonda Matha was a mud road. Moreover, the rain earlier had made negotiating it quite tough. So, decided to visit the Matha during our next visit and headed straight back to Sirsi.

Sahasralinga - 1

Sahasralinga - 2

 

 On the way back, I took a wrong turn and found that out after travelling around 5 min in pitch darkness. The road was so narrow and dark that it became quite difficult to even reverse my car. My father had to step out and guide me in reversing the car! I wonder how people travel on these roads in pitch darkness in 2 wheelers or on foot. God help them.

It also started to rain, just to add to the fun, I suppose. Anyway, there were no more hiccups and we reached Sirsi by 19:30 hrs. Had an early dinner and retired to bed, early too.

 

Notes:

1. A wooden stick to support you is very useful in Unchalli Falls and Yana for anyone with climbing difficulties. Just look around and you can find a lot of them around.

2. Beware of leeches  in both Yana and Unchalli, especially if the conditions are wet! Though it is supposedly good for one’s health if the leeches do manage to suck blood, since they suck blood only from the veins, thus relieving one of the “bad” blood in the system.

 

Day 3

Date: 27-Dec-2009 

Destination 1: Sakkare Bayalu 

Sights: Sakkare Bayalu Elephant Camp, Gajanur (or Tunga) Dam, Harakere 

Route: Shivamogga –> Gajanur Dam –> Sakkare Bayalu (via NH13, 15 KM from Shivamogga, on the way to Tirthahalli) 

On Day 3, we planned to visit Jog Falls and and some sights close to Sagara (on the way to Jog). However, we also wanted Vishnu to enjoy seeing the elephants being washed/bathed at Sakkare Bayalu! The Hotel people said that all elephants come at around 7:30 hrs to have a bath. Believing him, we left Shivamogga at 7:30 hrs and reached Sakkare Bayalu at 8:00 hrs. 

Sakkare Bayalu is a sleepy hamlet (but for the elephant camp) on the way to Teerthahalli from Shivamogga and no doubt, gets its name from a lot of Sugarcane fields that abound. The practice here is that the mahutas early in the morning go to the forest to locate their elephants and cajole them (as if they needed any cajoling) to have a bath in the Tunga backwaters (formed by the Gajanur Dam). Beacuse of this reason, there will be a continuous and asynchronous inflow of elephants into the camp. 

To our surprise, we found that it was closed and would NOT be opened until 8:30 AM. So, what better way to utilise the time than to visit Gajanur Dam (situated 1 KM before from Sakkare Bayalu on NH 13 – Teerthahalli Road). 

Earlier the dam was small with only 4-5 crest gates. The dam was expanded in the year 2000 and now has a lot of gates! The view it provides is pleasing to the eyes and if not for the elephant’s calling, we would certainly have spent more time there.

Lovely view of Gajanur Dam

Another view

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reached Sakkare Bayalu around 08:45 hrs and found that a lot of people had made their way in (by paying a fee of Rs. 30/- per adult) and in fact, all of them were ogling at a solitary elephant being bathed by its mahuta. It was too crowded to rendering photography meaningless.

However, myself and Vishnu (and a LOT of otheres) also joined the mahuta in bathing the elephant. Vishnu, instead of (or in addition to, dpending on your point of view) bathing the elephant, also drenched himself with water and totally enjoyed the experience as we also did! Again, if not for the Jog Falls trip, we could and would have spent a lot of time there. It is a beatiful place and worth visiting again. 

Harakere is a small village in between Sakkare Bayalu and Shivamogga and has a Shiva temple. There is a big statue of Shiva seated in a padmasana which is the temple’s highlight! Stop by if you have time. We didn’t because of the lack of it. 

Left Sakkare Bayalu around 09:15 hrs and reached Shivamogga around 09:45 hrs. Had sumptuous breakfast, got our lunch packed (pongal + Madduru vade + pakoda), checked out of the Samrat Ashoka hotel and headed towards Sagara! 

  

Destination 2: Keladi/Nada Kalasi 

Sights: Keladi Temple complex, Nada Kalasi Temple complex. 

Route: Shivamogga –> Sagara (73 KM from Shivamogga) –> Keladi (right turn at Sagara onto Soraba road, 15 KM from Sagara) 

Route only till Sagara is shown. Google Maps says that we have to turn left in Sagara – DO NOT go by it. Ask around in Sagara, if you are unsure! 

 

Keladi is a temple village located on the way to Soraba from Sagara. It was the first capital to the erstwhile kingdom of the Keladi Nayakas, of whom Chowdappa Nayaka (founder) and Shivappa Nayaka are its two famous sons and Rani Chennamma, is the famous daughter. Won’t bore you with any more details because I can go on and on and on and on…… Below are some wonderful photographs of the Keladi Temple. 

Wooden carvings at Keladi

Navagrahas with their Vahanas @ Keladi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vaastu Purusha @ Keladi Temple

Secret passage from within Keladi temple to without!

 

Shiva Linga with a tiny Ganesha at the top!

Ganesha zoomed!

Ganesha zooooooomed!

Bison (Kona) and Elephant Sculpture

Bison (Kona) and Elephant Sculpture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Keladi temple, we met a tourist who said that a place called Nada Kalasi (only Kalasi to the locals) is also a place worth visiting and thence we headed. 

Nada Kalasi: From Sagar, take the road to Soraba. After 6-7 kms is a nada kalasi bus stop. Take a right turn here and follow the tar road. You will cross nada kalasi village, and then contibue on tar road and the Temple is on the left side of the road. 

From Keladi, proceed toward Sagara. Around 2-3 KM before reaching Sagara, you will have to cross a railway line. Take a left just before that and continue for around 5 KM to reach Nada Kalasi. 

The sculptures at Nada Kalasi are very good and a blog, which describes its history, with photos, well enough.

 

Destination 3: Ikkeri/Varadamoola 

Sights: Aghoreshwara Temple at Ikkeri, Varadamoola 

Route: Shivamogga –> Sagara (73 KM from Shivamogga) –> Ikkeri (left turn at Sagara, 5 KM on the way to Sigandhuru) 

Route from Nada Kalasi: Proceed to Sagara (on Soraba Road),  pass the BH Road (NH 206) and continue straight on the Road to Sigandhuru. There is a signboard after travelling 4 KM on that road, which says: 1 KM to Ikkeri (right turn), 4 KM to Varadamoola (left turn). 

Proceeded to Ikkeri first to have a glimpse of the magnificient and overwhelming Aghoreshwara Temple. It is a huge temple purportedly built by Chowdappa Nayaka. It appears similar to the Beluru and Halebidu temples but the sculptures are not that great here to warrant even a comparision. SIZE is what this temple is all about. Don’t believe me? See for yourself! 

HUGE Enterance

Nandikeshwara @ Ikkeri

Aghoreshwara Temple in all its glory

I’ve never seen such a huge temple in my life! As I said, it’s all about SIZE. The sculptures are good but not as great as Beluru or Halebidu. The interior of the temple is also pretty huge and the ceiling itself is around 25 ft in height! There is a (relatively) small Ammanavaru (Parvathi Devi) temple beside this huge one. Overwhelming is what you feel when you see it for yourself.


From Ikkeri, we proceeded to Varadamoola (route described above). Varadamoola is a quaint, quiet and a sleeeeeeepy little hamlet wherein the river Varada takes birth. A lovely place, if only for its idyllic beauty. There is a Pushkarini (a small pond) and I presume a temple beside it. We sat at the Pushkarini for around 10 minutes in TOTAL silence. Not a sound to be heard, apart from the chirping of the birds, the whooshing of the wind and the Moo Moo (or Amba Amba) sounds of the cows.

My Fabia in all her glory @ Varadamoola

Varadamoola

Varadamoola

Overall, it was wonderful sitting in silence for at least 10 min! Anyhow, had to tear myself away from Varadamoola coz we still had to visit Jog Falls!




 
Destionation 4: Jog Falls
 
Sights: Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket waterfalls
 
Route: Sagara –> Jog Falls (BH Road/NH 206, 32 KM from Sagara)
 
Left Varadamoola around 15:00 hrs and headed towards Sagara and thence to Joga (Jog Falls in English). On the way, stopped at a quaint little bridge to finish the Pongal + Madduru vade + Pakodas!  Consequently, reached Joga around 16:30 hrs.
 
To see Joga in all its rugged beauty is a sight to behold. Alas! To see Joga bereft (well, almost) of all its water is a sight for sore eyes. Yes, the famed Raja, Rani, and Rocket waterfalls were nothing but a trickle save for Roarer, which was the saving grace. Overall, seeing Joga without its elixir of life was quite disappointing.
 
To overcome this disappointment, we decided to have our photograph taken and superimposed (morphed, to be precise) onto another photo of Joga with LOTS of water! It cost us Rs. 120 but I think it was worth it. What do you think?
 
Anyway, left Joga around 18:00 hrs and reached Sirsi around 19:15 hrs. We had booked a room in advance in Hotel Madhuvan, which was pretty decent but not as good as the one in Shivamogga (Hotel Samrat Ashoka).
 
Route from Joga to Sirsi (distance of around 58 KM). One caveat is that the road is a ghat section for some distance. The route is also very scenic. So, take in the beauty as you drive and be careful!



 
Sirsi stay details: Hotel Madhuvana, College Road, Sirsi Taluk, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka – 581402

Phone: 08384-237799, 237759



Notes: Again, If you are planning to visit all the places listed above on the same day, there is no decent hotel to have lunch at. So, better have your lunch packed at Shivamogga.