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



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.