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.