Friday, 4 January 2013

Around Shimoga –2: Nagara Fort, Kollur & Kodachadri

Around Shimoga 2: Exploring the heart of Karnataka  Nagara Fort, Kollur & Kodachadri 

Overview:
In a bit of adventurous mood, we set off today from Shimoga to Kollur by a private bus. We had an early breakfast and started early at around 7:30am. Considering the distance to be around 125 kms, we were expecting to reach Kollur by 11:00. But we were surprised when the conductor said we will reach only by 12:30 pm. Though we came across a number of beautiful villages and streams, the ride was really uncomfortable. It looked like me and my wife were the only people travelling all the way from Shimoga to Kollur. We passed through Nagara which has a beautiful fort alongside the main road built by Shivappanaika which was later captured by Hyder Ali. Nagara is around 84 kms from Shimoga.
Shimoga-Kollur road Shimoga-Kollur road Nagara Fort Nagara Fort Nagara Fort
We reached Kollur at around 12:00pm as told by the conductor. The Mookambika temple is in the middle of a beautiful setting of the western ghats. it is built in Kerala style and the main deity of Mookambika was installed by Adi Shankaracharya after meditating in the Kodachadri hills. Legend says that the Devi appeared in front of Adi Shankara and asked for a wish. Adi Shankaracharya wished to install the idol in Kerala but the Devi put forward a condition that she will follow him and he will not turn back till he reaches his destination. But the Devi deliberately stopped her footsteps which prompted Adi Shankara to look back and at this moment she asks him to install the idol at that specific point in Kollur. This temple is visited by many people from all over India.
Mookambika Temple, Kollur Mookambika Temple, Kollur
We had our lunch in Kollur and after spending half a day in travel we wanted to cover something more today. We decided to visit Kodachadri hills. There are no buses but some jeeps which are capable of climbing the hill. We got into a jeep shared by a few more people. The total cost of the ride to and fro is around Rs. 1300 though it might have changed now. We started towards Kodachadri at around 2pm. Initially the ride was pretty smooth till Nittur. From Nittur the climb started and there was no proper road to the top. The ride was very bumpy and at some curves it appeard quite scary. It requires a lot of skill to drive in those conditions. As we were moving the landscape suddenly started changing and it became very foggy and misty. The hills were very green at this time of year making it look magical. Many people undertake trekking at this place. Though we have to be careful of leeches during rainy season. We reached the top of the hill in 1.5 hours. There was a small temple near the jeep stand and a small tea stall was also present. People have to trek from this point to the top where there is a small temple dedicated to the Devi where Adi Shankaracharya had meditated. It was really chilly and misty and had to be careful with slippery rocks.
After visiting the temple, we started back towards our jeep. But there was a big family travelling with us yet to return. So we had to wait for them. We walked a few yards down to enjoy the beauty of ghats.It was alrady 5:45 and the driver said that the last KSRTC bus from Kollur to Bangalore via Shimoga is at 7pm. So we had to really hurry. As it was really late, the driver suggested us to get down at Nittur to catch the bus. We reached Nittur at around 7:05pm and enquired a few people and fortunately the bus had not yet come. We were wondering what to do if there was no seat availability in the bus thinking about spending the night at someone's place in the village. It had already become too dark and the road was completely deserted. Finally the bus came and luckily there were seats available. We reached Shimoga at around around 12:00 am, a bit tired so crashed to sleep. A great experience, to say the least.
On the way to Kodachadri Nittur Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri  Kodachadri Kodachadri   Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri Kodachadri KodachadriKodachadri KodachadriKodachadri
How to reach: Nagara is around 85 kms from Shimoga. Continue on that road to Kollur which is around 125 kms from Shimoga. From Kollur, hire a jeep to Kodachadri or trek to the top.
Private buses available from Shimoga to Kollur. From Bangalore, KSRTC bus services available to Kollur.
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodachadri
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kollur
 
This post is also an entry for momentum of moments contest of www.redbus.in

8 comments:

  1. I always fall short of words to admire your eyes that ends up seeing all that a normal traveler's eyes would miss. Kodachadri has been a popular location in my biking fraternity and we call it the "K-Top". Felt nice to see it again through your eyes!

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  2. Kodachadri has been one of the favorite jaunts for trekking and personally I don't recommend the jeep ride (as I have seen at least a congregation of 15-20 jeeps and 100+ people picnicking there... many times), the beauty you get to enjoy through the trek route is second to none :)

    I personally hope the road never gets motored and this place never becomes a replica of Mullaingiri!

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  3. Thanks, nicely written description on shivamogga, shivappa naayaka etc.

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  4. lovely captures. Thanks for sharing

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  5. Beautiful captures. It is so misty and gorgeous.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/01/old-goa-of-cathedrals-churches-chapels.html

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  6. jeep ride total cost Rs. 1300/-.
    for how many people???!

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  7. wow. This is so beautiful places. I like this place so much. pictures are so impressive. Thank you for sharing.
    Looking for bus ticket in online visit Bus Ticket Booking Online

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  8. Nice post thanks for sharing this article.. Visit here for Service Apartments in Bangalore

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