Around Shimoga –3: Gajanur Dam, Mandagadde, Kuppalli, Teerthahalli, Sita river & Agumbe
Overview: We didn't want to strain ourselves too much as there was a reception in the evening which we had to attend. So we booked a cab in the morning to head towards Teerthahalli. First place to visit was Gajanur Dam which was nice and calm. The dam is built across the Tunga river. A few kilometers from Gajanur we went to Sakrebayalu elephant training camp where they train elephants and is run by the Government. From there, we went to Mandagadde bird sanctuary. Though we could not catch any rare birds, we saw a group of pelicans in the waters.
Next we went to Kuppalli, the native place of the great poet from Karnataka, Kuvempu. Kuvempu's family home is well maintained in Kuppalli and has been converted into a museum where his songs are played throughout the day. Its a typical rural house with Thotti Mane in the living room. The kitchen and the utensils used by the family members are well preserved. The first floor has all the artifacts received by Kuvempu in his lifetime. Second floor has the entire collection of books written by Kuvempu.
Another main attraction at Kuppalli is the Kavishala which is a rock monument made of rocks located amidst hills. This is where Mahakavi Kuvempu used to write his poetry. Its so calm and serene over there that would inspire any poet.
Then we went to another temple nearby called Chibbalagudde where we went to the famous temple of Sri Siddi Vinayaka and Matsyadhama. The river Tungabhadra flows on the back side of the temple which has a variety of fishes.
We then came to Teerthahalli for lunch. Teerthahalli is a small lovely village and many scenes from the TV series 'Malgudi Days' have been shot in this village.
Post lunch we decided to visit Agumbe and Sita river. We crossed Agumbe and reached Sita river. The river was greenish in colour and was having great rapids and was ideal for white water rafting. We sat near the river for a while and enjoyed the river flow. Also there is an interesting story behind this river. It is said that once in a year during midnight, the river suddenly changes its direction for sometime. The time and day when it happens is not known.
We then started back towards Agumbe to catch the sunset view. Unfortunately it was very cloudy and foggy so we couldn't catch the magical sunset. It was already late evening so we decided to head back to Shimoga to attend the reception.
How to reach: Take the Teerthahalli road from Shimoga, Most of the places are on the way. Kuppalli is around 10 kms from Teerthahalli.
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