Thursday, 28 February 2013

Chunchanakatte: Interesting stories along the Cauvery

Chunchanakatte: Interesting stories along the Cauvery 

Overview: Chunchanakatte is around 15 kms from KR Nagar and is known for the waterfalls where the Cauvery cascades from a height of 20 meters. The roar of the river can be heard from a distance and especially during monsoons when the river is in full flow. Chunchanakatte is also known for many interesting stories from the Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Rama stayed here during his exile and Lakshmana, with his bow and arrow, fired at a rock from where different colours of water started gushing out so that they could have bath. It is believed to be of Turmeric, oil and shikakai which can be seen even today during monsoons. This place looks so out of colour during summers as you can see the last pic below.
Chunchanakatte FallsChunchanakatte Falls Chunchanakatte Falls Chunchanakatte Falls Chunchanakatte Falls in summer
Another interesting place near the falls is the ancient Kodandarama temple which belongs to Lord Rama’s period. It seems that a sage who was a devotee of Lord Rama wished to see Rama and Sita together and hence a temple was built at the very place. An interesting feature of this place is that the roar of the river cannot be heard inside the temple. Car festival is held every year during Sankranthi in Chunchanakatte which is worth seeing.
Kodandarama temple, Chunchanakatte  Kodandarama temple, Chunchanakatte A wedding ceremony Kodandarama temple, Chunchanakatte Kodandarama temple, Chunchanakatte
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chunchanakatte_Falls
How to reach: Car/Bike: Head on SH17 towards Mysore, Just after Srirangapatna, turn right towards KRS and head towards Elvala. At Elvala join the Mysore-Madikeri road. At Bilikere, turn right towards KR Nagar. Proceed further for 15 kms to reach Chunchanakatte.
Bus: KSRTC buses are available from Bangalore and Mysore to KR Nagar. From KR Nagar, private taxis and buses are available to reach Chunchanakatte.
Food/Accommodation: Accommodation is available in KR Nagar or Mysore. For day trip from Bangalore, it is better to carry food from home.
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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Kukke Subrahmanya & Dharmasthala: Pristine temples in a beautiful setting

Kukke Subrahmanya & Dharmasthala: Pristine temples in a beautiful setting

Overview: Every trip to Kukke Subrahmanya temple is very memorable. We set off in monsoon this time, that was for a special puja at the temple by a relative. We booked a tempo traveller this time as the number of people were more. We started from Bangalore at around 10am on a cloudy morning. We had our first pit stop at Yediyur where we had some snacks and coffee. Then our next stop was Hassan where we had lunch. One good thing about monsoons is that we can see streams of water flowing everywhere and is a pleasant sight. Once we reached the Shiradi ghat on the Bangalore-Mangalore highway the nightmare started. The roads were like non-existent in those areas. Full of potholes and the vehicles were piled up on the road. Slowly we crawled in that stretch but the scenic beauty around us made us forget the traffic. We reached Kukke Subrahmanya at around 6pm as we crossed over the Kumaradhara river and checked into a hotel.
BM Road BM Road, Sakleshpur Shiradi Ghat Shiradi Ghat
Next morning we visited the main temple of Kukke Subrahmanya after having a holy dip in Kumaradhara. The temple looks pristine with the Kumaraparvatha hills in the backdrop. Instead of gaining popularity this temple has maintained its beauty. We went pretty early in the morning so there was less crowd to deal with. We had the darshan of the Lord and our relatives got busy with the special pujas. Many doshas like the Sarpa Dosha puja is performed to free a person from the burden from his previous births. Apart from the main temple, there are several other temples nearby which can be reached by foot. On visiting these temples we went to the hotel and checked out. On our way we went to Kukke Sri Abhaya Mahaganapati temple which has a huge idol of Ganapati. Next to this is the Vanadurgi temple built in traditional style.
Heating water Kumaradhara river Kukke Subrahmanya templeKukke Subrahmanya   KumaraParvata Kumaradhara river Sri Abhaya Ganapati temple
From here we proceeded towards Dharmasthala. We reached Dharmasthala in around 1.5 hours crossing curved roads lined with forest. At Dharmasthala it was slightly drizzling but we proceeded towards the temple to have darshan. The crowd at Dharmasthala was a big one as it was mid-day and many devotees were lined up though it was well managed by the staff. After the darshan of the Lord Manjunatha, we went for the prasadam or Lunch. It was a huge dining hall and food served was piping hot. It was a wonderful lunch at the temple. One special feature of this temple is that it is administered by the Jains and the priests are Hindu Brahmins.
From the temple, we went to the Netravati which was full because of the heavy rains in the region.
Sri Manjunatha temple, Dharmasthala Sri Manjunatha temple, Dharmasthala Dharmasthala Elephants@Dharmasthala Dharmasthala Bus Stand Netravati river, Dharmasthala Netravati river, Dharmasthala Netravati river, Dharmasthala
From there we went to Ujire which is known for the Surya temple believed to be very powerful and anything asked in good faith is fulfilled. Unfortunately the temple was closed and we had to leave.
After experiencing the plight at the Shiradi Ghat, we decided to try the alternate route to Bangalore, via Charmadi Ghat. And Luckily this road was in much better shape and we were blessed with lovely weather and lot of waterfalls on the way. Charmadi Ghat is also popular among trekking enthusiasts. Will chalk out a plan to trek here sometime. It started raining very heavily by the time we were in the plains. On our way back we went to the Belur Chennakeshava temple and went for the evening Mangalarti. It was dark so we couldn't appreciate the beauty of the carvings of the Hoysalas.
Dharmasthala-Charmadi road Charmadi Ghat Charmadi Ghat Charmadi Ghat Charmadi Ghat Charmadi Ghat Charmadi Ghat Charmadi Ghat Chennakeshava Temple, Belur
After this we headed back to Bangalore non-stop.
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukke_Subramanya_Temple
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharmasthala
How to reach: Bus: KSRTC buses ply from Bangalore to Dharmasthala and Kukke Subrahmanya. There is also good connectivity between Dharmasthala and Kukke Subrahmanya
Train: Train No. 16515 YPR-Mangalore exp leaves Yesvantpur at 7:30 am and reached Subrahmanya Road at 3:10pm in the afternoon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and train no 16517 YPR-Kannur exp leaves Yesvantpur at 08:55pm and passes via Bangalore City and Mysore to reach Subrahmanya road at 5:30am daily. From Subrahmanya road, plenty of options available to go to the temple.
Return train 166516 leaves Subrahmanya road at 10:50am and reaches Yesvantpur at 7:25 pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; and 16518 leaves Subrahmanya road at 9:50pm and reaches Bangalore City at 7:05 am daily.
By Bike/Car: Take the Bangalore-Mangalore road, after crossing Shiradi Ghat, turn left at Gundya checkpost towards Kukke Subrahmanya. To reach Dharmasthala, return back to Gundya and turn left.
Food/Accommodation: Food(Prasadam) is available at temples in Dharmasthala and Kukke. Also many restaurants are present in these places. Accommodation is also available in these places but can become difficult in peak season.
Map:

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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Nagarahole & Irupu Falls: The last leg of Karnataka

Nagarahole & Irupu Falls: The last leg of Karnataka

Overview: I had been to a family function in Periyapatna, so decided to extend my trip to Nagarahole and Irupu falls. As the safari starts at Nagarahole at 6am, we decided to halt at Srimangala which is around 24 kms from Nagarehole at a relative's place. We left early morning the next day for the safari. The safari started at around 7:20am and went on for around 1 hour. But it was disappointing for us not to spot any wildlife in the jungles. We saw herds of deer but no sign of any other wildlife. On our drive back we saw a couple of peacocks just on the side of the road.
Approaching Nagarhole Peacock @ Nagarhole Nagarhole Nagarhole Nagarhole Nagarhole Nagarhole Nagarhole Nagarhole
We then proceeded towards Irupu falls which is around 19 kms from Nagarahole towards Srimangala. We were running out of fuel and were getting tensed as there was no fuel station on the way. One person told that the petrol pump is at Srimangala around 12 kms from there but we can get petrol from local shops in Kutta. To avoid any risk, we took around 5 litres of petrol at a mechanic shop in Kutta. A bit more confident now, we headed towards Irupu. At Irupu, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Rameshwara at the base. The temple is built in traditional Kerala style with circular domes. After visiting the temple, we headed towards the falls which is around half a kilometer trek from the base. We had to cross the jungle area and small streams to reach the falls. Once we reached the falls, we were happy to see water cascading from 80 ft and had lot of water as it was post monsoons. The river Lakshman Teertha flows through Irupu falls originating from the Brahmagiri range of hills. Also there were a lot of peacock butterflies which are known to be found in large number in this region. Its better to reach the falls early in the morning as the crowd is less and it becomes too crowded later in the day.
Near Iruppu Irupu fallsIrupu Sri Rameshwara temple  Irupu falls Irupu falls Irupu falls Peacock Butterfly @ IrupuPeacock Butterfly @ Irupu  Irupu falls
How to reach: Bus: KSRTC buses plying from Bangalore and Mysore to Virajpet stop at Gonikoppal. From Gonikoppal private buses ply to Kutta. From Kutta, Private vehicle can be hired to reach Nagarahole.
By Car: Travel towards Mysore and after Srirangaptna take the right deviation towards Elvaala to reach Madikeri road. At Hunsur, turn left towards Murkal to reach Nagarhole. Please note that the road to Nagarhole is open only between 6am and 6pm.
Food/Accommodation: Accommodation is slightly difficult to get in Nagarhole. There are a few guest houses run by the forest department but for that prior permission has to be obtained from Bangalore or Madikeri. Apart from that some homestays are available at Srimangala and Kutta.
Map:

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