Saturday 24 October 2015

St Mary's Island

The western coasts of the islands are a seashell haven with seashells of various shapes and sizes littered along the coast. There is no sand beach to swim and relax since it is scatted with basaltic rocks. But there are flat slabs to sit and enjoy the serenity of the place. The beach has security guards who ensure that visitors do not venture into danger zones of the islands. Watching Sun set at the Islands is also a special sight. It is a popular picnic spot with locals and tourists alike. December to March is the best season to visit the Islands.St Mary's Island is one of the unique geographical formation one can come across in India..
All links to the island are only through the mainland town of Malpe, which is a major fishing harbor. The beach at this location is enlivening. It is located at a distance of 5 km west of Udupi town, the administrative headquarters for the Islands.

Access to the islands:
The only way of getting to the islands is by boat. Regular ferry service ply the 6 km distance from the Malpe fishing harbor (which has a ship building yard also) to the islands. However, the frequency of these boats may vary depending on the number of tourists visiting. It is 58 km (36.0 mi) to the North of Mangalore, the coastal city of Karnataka, which is also the nearest airport.

The columnar basaltic lava found in these Islands, which is very well developed in the basalts of Deccan Trap, exhibit an imposing range of hexagonal shaped or multi-faced (polygonal) columns split into a horizontal mosaic. In geological idiom these are called “Columnar Joints". The lava rocks form regular five, six or seven-sided pillars, called “laminar lava”, and are found in varying heights in all the islands; the tallest of the columns is about 6 m. Considering the importance and rarity of such an occurrence, these islands were classified as a National Geological Monument in 2001 by the Geological Survey of India.


Friday 23 October 2015

Chathurmukha Basadi - Karkala

Chathurmukha Basadi
As the name itself state it has Four doors.The Chathurmukha Basadi is built in the form of a square mandapa or hall with a lofty doorway and pillared portico on each of its four sides and a pillared verandah. The roof is flat and is made of massive granite slabs. It has lifesize statues of three theerthankaras on each side. Itseems  It took 30 years to construct this temple. In all, there are 108 pillars inside and outside the temple.This place also came under the rule of Tippu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Mysore.Karkala houses important monuments of Karnataka and the history of these monuments that dates back to 1000 years. One such monument is Chathurmukha Basadi situated on the rocky hills in Karkala, Udupi district. This Basadi is one of the main attractions of Karkala.The temple is situated close to Ramasamudra, a scenic lake dedicated to Veera Bhairava’s son Ramanatha who died during his father’s time and the magnificent monolithic statue of Bahubali. You can get a fantastic view of Chathurmukha Basadi from the top of Bahubali Betta.

Kere Basadi

Kere Basadi is located in the middle of Anekere lake with the 1st Jain Tirthankar Lord Adinath as the main diety. It is also a Chaturmukha Basadi, i.e., it has idols and doors on all the four sides. Anekere features various birds, and you may love it if you are into bird watching and photographing birds. We saw a flock of birds over the lake during our visit. Alas, we aren't such experts in birds to tell you more about them ourselves.

View of Gommata Betta from Basadi
Ramasamudra lake is another lake in Karkala, said to be built by Veera Bhairava in the memory of his dead son Ramanatha.

Gommateshwa Statue: Mahamasthakabhishekha

How to Reach Karkala from Bangalore: Bus is the convenient option. Lots of private and Government buses available. 

Where to stay: Prakash Hotel, Swagath, Kings Court Etc

Where to Eat: Sagar Hotel, Prakash Hotel, Hotel Suhag

Sunday 18 October 2015

Day -2 - Yercaud

Yercaud is as charming and beautiful as the Hill stations on the Eastern Ghats and trekking here can be a standout amongst the most pleasurable experiences.Yercaud is a slope station in Salem District, in Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats; the Yercaud hill range is known as the Shevaroy Hills. It is located at a height of 1515 meters (4970 ft) above ocean level, and the most astounding point in Yercaud is the Servarayan sanctuary, at 5,326 feet (1,623 m). It is so named inferable from the wealth of trees arranged as a backwoods close to the lake, the name connoting Lake Forest. As a mainstream traveler destination, Yercaud is additionally called as Jewel of the South. Yercaud is joined with the city of Salem, Tamil Nadu through a Highway of 28 km.Must say its a "Budget traveller's Paradise".

Route: Silkboard -> Hosuru -> Krishnagiri -> Salem -> Rasipuram -> Karavalli -> Semmudu - Kolli Hills -> Salem -> Yercaud -> Bangalore

Places to Visit:

Yercaud Lake: a pool surrounded by gardens and well-wooded trees.

Lady's Seat: Tourists can have a panoramic view of the plains below through the telescope mounted at the Lady's seat.

Killiyur Falls: a 90-foot (27 m)-high waterfall.

The Servaroyan Temple: Situated atop Servaroyan hill, the annual festival of Lord Servaroyan is celebrated in May every year. The temple is a narrow and dark cave having the God Servarayan and the Goddess Kaveri inside, which are believed as the deities of the Shevaroy Hills and Cauvery River.
Bear’s Cave: Situated near the Norton’s Bungalow, Bear’s Cave is considered as one of the abodes of Lord Murugan.

Green House: The greenhouse cultivates many varieties of flowers and spices.

Pagoda Point: It is lined with stone of pagodas and offers a breathtaking views of eastern ghats.

Budget place to stay: TTDC

Photography Credits: Suhas, Arun, Ajay, Kevin


Saturday 17 October 2015

Day 1- Kolli Hills

Kolli Hills is a mountain range in Eastern ghat. Situated in Namakkal area of Tamil Nadu, it is around 280 km from Bengaluru. Compared with other hill stations, this is moderately known and less went by tourists.The street from Bengaluru to Namkkal was great on account of four line. The main excruciating part is Hosur Krishnagiri stretch which is being augmented to six paths. The mountains ranges from to 3500ft to 4500ft with the tallest top Vettakaramalai, ascending to 4663ft above ocean level and covers region of 280 km. The Kolli Hills has 70 fastener curves and several turns and winds to achieve the highest point of the slopes. Slopes has two perspective focuses, a noteworthy waterfalls, 3 other little falls. A temple and numerous different attractions. We began at around 6:30 in the morning, getting a charge out of the cool, crisp morning thundering through the expressways towards Hosur.Stopped close Dharmapuri for breakfast at a roadside joint (aah ! I simply adore the without moving dosas there :), and proceeded with our approach to Salem where we ceased for fuel. We proceeded on NH7 south of Salem towards Namakkal for another 35 kms he far up comprised of 70 barrette curves and it was a great ride. The twists were not exceptionally soak, and with extensively huge bends and secured with trees completely through. At long last we came to Semmedu, had some pineapple slices.After a pleasant shower, we went to a perspective, where the entire town of Semmedu and Rasipuram was unmistakable underneath. We made a beeline for yercaud, we reached around 7.30PM.

Route: Silkboard -> Hosuru -> Krishnagiri -> Salem -> Rasipuram -> Karavalli -> Semmudu - Kolli Hills -> Salem -> Yercaud

Places to see in Kolli Hills:

Akaashaganga Waterfalls: The main attraction of Kolli Hills. Akasa Gangai is an enchanting 300 feet waterfall of river Aiyaru, located near Arappaleeshwarar temple it is the main attaction of Kolli Hills. 1302 steps lead down to the falls.

Masila Falls: Unpolluted waterfall is not as huge as the Akash Ganga falls, but good enough for taking bath.

Arapaleeswarar Temple: It is a 12th Century Shiva temple right opposite to Akash gange waterfalls.

Botanical Gardens. This place is an ideal spot for loitering around with kids. There is a view point at the top of this Botanical Garden.

 Mini Falls: This is a small waterfalls situated close to the Arapaleeswarar temple.

 Sikku Parai View point: Also known as Suicide point it gives an incredible view of the valley. Watching sunset is amazing feeling.

Photography Credits: Suhas, Arun, Ajay, Kevin

Saturday 10 October 2015


A less heard place, lovely hill spot called Avalabetta(Avalakunda) which I heard my friends. The Idea was riding from Bangalore to Avalabetta. The only difference that I could make out between Avalabetta and Nandi hills is Avalabetta is less crowded. Hoping it will be the same in coming years. The hill offers us a charming view of the country side, the rolling hillocks, and the large strips of green sand the hazy outline of distant backdrop. There is a motorable road today which will lead you to the to the summit of the hill. The hill side is a green treat. As far as your eye can see, you can view the beautiful countryside with hills, valleys, lakes, trees and winding roads. This is a photographer’s delight. The Forest Department has built a paragola for tourists to sit back and enjoy. The guest house here too belongs to the Forest Department. For reservations and other issues, please contact the Forest Department at Chikaballapur. There is a small shrine dedicated to Hanuman. The stream and the pond is vested with a lot of religious significance. During Shravana, a special jatre is organised  every Saturday during which devotees from nearby villages and Chickaballapur come to fulfill their vows. The pond is called as Annammadonaha. There is a belief that if married women who are childless bathe here, they will get children. Many women come here for bathing at the pond and then praying to Lakshmnarasimha. Nowadays, daily prayers are offered at the temple.
There are a series of steps behind the cave that lead to the peak. The climb offers a good view of the bush forest and small animals that scamper about. Of course, the view around the Hill is breathtaking. Villagers say the name Avala Betta is in honour of the seer who lived here and meditated for several years before attaining samadhi. There is a dam nearby village called Darbur.

How to reach: Driving on Bellary road (NH7) from Bangalore, at 14 kms after Chikballapur (52 kms) look out for a road on the left and proceed to Mandikal (11kms). From Mandikal, the hilltop is at a distance of 11 kms.

Permission: Not required

Parking: Base of hill

Food: Not available

Fees: No

Nearest places to visit: Gudibande Fort , Varlakonda Fort , Nandi Hills, Chikkajala Fort  

PC: Mohan, Kevin, Mahantesh

Sunday 4 October 2015

Malnad Ride - Day 3- Shravanabelagola

Shravanabelagola town is arranged between two slopes Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri with a tank in the middle of, to be specific, Belagola meaning Bili Kola or white lake. Shravana or Shramana implies Jain plain, which means, way of life rehearsed to seek after religious and otherworldly objectives keeping away from common delights. The town is named after this Jain parsimonious and lake. The spot is a Jain journey focus as there is 57 feet solid statue of Gomateshwara on southern slope, Vindhyagiri confronting North.little wonder then that over centuries. Shravanabelagola is a photographer’s delight. The unquenched thirst one develops after capturing Lord Bahubali on film at Vindhyagiri Is further deepened by inscriptions. And sculptures that virtually speak history dating back to Indus Valley Civilization; and much more.The Mahamasthakabhisheka, the head anointing ceremmy of the Lord Gommateshwara Sri Bahubali observed once every 12 years in Jain Dharmic cycle is an Integral part of ancient and composite Indian tradition.We rose further to achieve crest where Bahubali statue is situated. Around the statue there were arrangement of 14 little symbols of different thirthankaras called 'Suttalya'. We had darshan of Bahubali. The statue, focus of fascination, is the tallest solid statue on the planet. The statue is cut wonderfully as though ant colony dwelling places encompass it and creepers surround up to thighs. As per the data accessible, it was introduced by Ganga King Rachamalla Sathyavaka's pastor Chavundaraya in 988 AD. Gomateshwara or Bahubali was a child of first Jain Thirthankara, Purudeva. He was changed after he won the battle for kingdom battled against his sibling Bharatha.Went to Basadis on top of the slope and attempted our fortunes to surround Thyagada Kamba, a column and if one encloses by his hands it is accepted to be a fortunate image. On our way up, we saw many individuals move up 2-3 times to offer a few religious pledges, numerous a times, holding kids. Subsequent to hovering round the statue, seeing every one of the 24 Thirthankaras and overpowered by the Majestic statue, we took a few snaps of the engravings and began back.

Day 1 : Bangalore -- Settihalli Church -- Belur -- Halebidu ( Halt at Halebidu )
Day 2 : Halebidu -- Jeenukallu Gudda -- Halebidu -- Shravanabelagola (Halt at Shravanabelagola)
Day 3 : Shravanabelagola -- Bangalore

Other Lord Gommateshwara's in karnataka.
1. Karkala Gommateshwara
2. Venur Gommateshwara
3. Dharmasthala Gommateshwara