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Old 8th March 2012, 15:10   #1
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Default Coastal Karnataka

Coastal Karnataka
Days : 7 nights and 8 days
Places covered : Karwar, gokarna , Murudeshwara, udupi , Mudabidri, karkala, venur , Dharmasthala and sirsi
Date : 22 Dec 2011 to 31 Dec 2011. Winter is best time to visit to any coastal areas as in summer it become very humid.
Vehicle : Santro GLS
Total kms: 2147 kms round trip
Travelers : On pune to karwar - 4
On return journey : 2 as one couple was only with us till karwar for first 2 days and then returned back to pune via Neeta Volvo.
Roads : NH4: Pune to hubli , NH63 : hubli to ankola , NH17: ankola to udupi
Road condition : Excellent roads in entire trip.
Only some bad patches on NH17 between Honnavar and Murudeshwara.
Other this all the state highways in Karnataka are really good without a single pothole on any road.
Toll paid : Toll is from pune to hubli on NH4 and NH63 only. After Hubli no toll till udupi
Beaches : karwar - devbaug beach , Gokarna – OM beach , Udupi - malpe beach , Maravanthe beach and st. mary island
Temples: Gokarna - Mahabali temple
Murudeshwara: Shiva temple and world tallest gopura and Shiva statue
udupi : Shrikrishna temple
moodbride venuer and karkala : Jain temple and bahubali statute (Gometeshwara)
Dharmasthala: manjunatheshwara temple and shri ram kshetra
sirsi : marikamba temple
waterfalls: unchali falls , sirsi
adventures : yana rocks , sirsi jungles stay and sahastrlingam at sirsi
Karwar : estuary view resorts
gokarna: Om beach resort
udupi : Hari om residency
sirsi: bakula home stay
Distance : Pune to karwar via Hubli 600 kms . Distance via hubli is more about 100kms but time saved is lot due to excellent road till hubli and then till karwar also. Time with lunch and breakfast breaks is 9 hrs.
Karwar to gokarna is 60kms 1 hour drive on NH17 so you can have halt at either karwar or gokarna.
Gokarna to Murudeshwara is 80 Kms and 1.5 hrs drive on NH17
Murudeshwara to udupi is 100 kms and 2.5 hours drive. In route you can take a break for an hour or so at marvanthe beach near kundapur.
Udupi to Dharmasthala is 120 kms and in route you can visit , Mudabidri, karkala and venur
Udupi to sirsi is 210 kms via Kumta and in route you can visit yana and unchalli falls
Sirsi to Pune via hubli is 530 Kms and 8 hrs drive with all breaks.
some observations
Good parking place all across the tourist place in Karnataka
People hardly speck any word if you ask them for direction. They will just do the hand gestures and spoke only 2-3 words like left, right and straight
but they are always willing to help you. There are hardly any good restaurant on the state and national highways in coastal Karnataka and
it’s better to have lunch , dinner at the place where you are staying , on road, hardly anything. Dhabs and family restaurants on roads are not that much and not at all hygienic
South India thali is the only item you can get in road side restaurants
Chapatti quality is worst so they always suggest you to have puri instead of chapati
No toll once you cross hubli till udupi and back
In Christmas , on every tourist place you can see minimum 3-4 buses full of children’s who came for school picnic.
Expect minimum 1 hour long Q at all the major temples in Karnataka so plan accordingly. Q management is not very good in temples and too much rush and difficult to stand in Q with kid.
Always book in advance in Christmas , We visited at least 8-10 hotels in udupi before getting a decent t accommodation
Rate are at least 25% to 30% high in last week of December
Entire environment in coastal side is pleasant ad cool so it is best season to visit coastal area
From march onwards , entire coastal area will be humid and you cannot roam around during day so always prefer oct-jan when you want to go to coastal areas.
In the entire trip hardly see any policeman in route in Karnataka

Day 1
We decide for coastal Karnataka as it has all the combinations of beaches , jungles and temples.
Plan to start early at 4 am but started at 4:45 am in the morning from Pune. Reached Kolhapur at 8 am and did breakfast at Hotel goa ves , just after tavadei ghat ends near nipani. Goa is right turn around 158 kms from this place.Good hotel for breakfast. Start at 10 am from this and reached at hubli at 12:30 pm.

Hotel Goa ves , right turn to goa: 155 kms from here
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From hubli, you have to go to right towards ankola on NH 63 .
So go below the flyover at hubli , take a left turn then U turn towards a toll booth and then again left turn below the flyover to touch hubli-karwar road. Entire hubli- karwar road is beautiful without a single pothole goes via thick jungle and you can see manu monkeys on this road.

Beautiful Hubli-Karwar Road
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But there are hardly any hotels or eat outs till you reach ankola .
Only one major town named yellapur is in between, other then that nothing is there in entire stretch.
Reached T junction where NH63 meets NH17 . Right turn is towards karwar and Left towards Ankola/udupi. It was 2 pm when we reached this T junction and everybody was hungry as there is no good hotels till ankola so though we have to go to karwar , we decided to lunch at Kamat upchar which is just 2 kms from this junction towards ankola.

Hotel Kamat Upchar near T junction
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so had 2 north Indian and 2 south Indian thalis at Kamat upchar. Thalis are good South Indian is Rs. 65 and north Indian is Rs 120. This is only place where you can get decent food , from team bhp forums many members recommend this hotel so we had our lunch there and it was worth . It was 3 pm when we finish our lunch and then proceed to our first destination in trip: Karwar which is still 40 kms from this hotel. Booking was already done at Estuary view resort at karwar. Reach at 4 pm in the hotel . Read some good review about this hotel and called them up. Normal rates re Rs. 1400 for an AC room but due to Christmas it was RS. 2000 till 4th Jan. Other couple which joined me at the last moment till karwar did not booked it. We just called up at hotel and informed
one more room is needed. He pays only Rs. 1400 after some bargaining. This hotel location is very good and i believe it is the best location in entire karwar city. This hotel is located on a fort named Sadashivegad. You can see the forts walls in this hotel and since this is located at top on the fort , view is very good from balcony of any room. You can view a river kali meeting to sea from this hotel. Estuary means area where river meets to sea and it is exactly same view from this hotel.

Bridge on River Kali ,Yellow building on the top of the fort is Estuary view resort , Karwar
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Rooms are good and specious and food is of OK quality.
Some last 100 meters path to this hotel is very rocky and difficult for any vehicle as you have to climb up to fort to reach this place. Karwar town is some 5 kms from this and Tagore beach or karwar beach is 3 kms , so in the evening after tea and some rest , visited Karwar beach or Rabindranath tagore beach.
Beach is not that good with lot of smell of fish and garbage around. Water is also no clean but black and sand is also not good. Not too many people was enjoying this beach so i was totally disappoint and came back to hotel at 10 pm after visiting some local mela at beach. Order at hotel some light dinner in the room itself and sleep.

Sunset /view from the rooms of estuary view resort
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Day 2:
Early morning did breakfast at same hotel. It was included in a package.
After breakfast , we headed toward s devbaugh beach. It is a private beach in a island and can accessible only via boat. Right below the bridge on kali river , there is an admin office of devbaugh beach resort. Ferris/Boats are available from below this bridge to devbaugh. so i enquired at their office that i just want to visit the beach and came but only ferry till beach is not a option here. You have to take one day package of Rs. 600 per head which include to and from ferry to devbaugh beach , Lunch and tea. Timings are 12:30 to 5:30 in the evening. It was just 11 am when we reached there so i was in confusion whether it is worth paying Rs. 600 per head for a devbaugh but then there is nothing much to see in karwar as tagore beach we already did and it is not that good so booked 4 tickets for a day outing at devbaugh.
After that for an hour or so did some roaming in karwar city and came back at 12:30 below that bridge to get ferry boat to island.

Ferry for devbaugh beach resort below the bridge , you can see estuary view resort at top also
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Reached in 10-15 mins at devbaugh and then realized that Rs. 600 for a day trip is definitely worth. Beach is very calm and cool. Beautiful beach with very few people as it is not public beach and only visitors on beach are those who are staying at devbaugh beach resort or those like us who came for a day. Actually i did try booking for cottage at devbaugh beach resort but it was totally booked but then also no worry as you can visit the beach for a day and came back in the evening. Beach was very clean . Small cottages and tents are there with beautiful view.

Cottage at devbaugh beach resort
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Photos of Devbaugh beach and also resorts area
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We decided to have lunch first and then relax for an hour than then enter into water as it was sunny day. Lunch is buffet type with 2-3 sabjis, sweet and other items. Good quality food with veg and non-veg options available. After lunch just relaxed at some zoola on the beach and then enter into water. There is specified area marked on devbaugh beach where you can enter into water. Lifeguard is also there which will guide you how much inside you can go. There are showers available and also baths/towels and toilets for day visitors so we enjoyed at beach till 5 pm and then came back to see some water sports. Lot of water sports options are there like banana boat riding . They literally
get the banana boat turn upside down in the middle of kali river . It seems very dangerous but due to life jackets nobody sinks . Then get in to ferry for karwar at 5:30. I strongly suggest to book devbaug beach resort as this is the only place in karwar where you can enjoy a lot. Beautiful beach with good views and clean and sand and water. If you do not get booking here then stay at Estuary view and get an day package to this beach for Rs. 600 per head . If you have limited time then do not visit tagor beach ,as it is not clean and public beach. There is one ship museum where one ship is there which
can be viewed from inside . This are the only tourist places in karwar and can easily covered in one day.
Day 3:
Did breakfast in the hotel and then headed towards Gokarna which
is 65 kms form karwar. I did booking for Om beach resort at Gokarna.
Very good resort with specious double rooms , hall and bedroom. Due to pack season tariff was Rs. 3000 but normally it is Rs. 2200 to Rs. 2400.
Roads from karwar to gokarna are excellent. Reached Gokarna cross in an hour and from this cross you have to take right towards gokarna. We decided to have darshan first and then check in to hotel so asked for a directions for temple.
Route to Mahabali temple at Gokarna goes via narrow lanes and parking is at end at Gokarna beach.
Reached at temple at 12:30 pm and saw a long queue with lot of school children who are from various school and it was school picnic season in entire Karnataka. There was total chaos and no queue management exist, people are rushing and enter in queue anywhere and like anything.
We waited for, 15-20 mins and relished that it is very difficult to get darshan at least for 1 hour and since i was with a 6 yr old kid and also very hungry , we took the darshan from outside and moved towards hotel. There was no management and no volunteers or police to arrange proper queue for a darshan and total mismanagement due to schools trips .
Om beach resort is excellent and beautifully maintained with lush garden in entire premises.
Om beach is around 15-18 kms from this hotel. This hotel is just at the start of the gokarna town . As soon as you enter in Gokarna town , first left turn after paying entry toll to town is toward om beach and this hotel is located on the same om beach road.
so did the check in and had lunch at hotel. Good food and excellent service. This om beach resort is from the same group who manages estuary view resort at karwar.

Om beach resort Gokarna
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so did some rest and at 5 pm proceed towards Om beach. This beach is rocky with lot of rocks and a shape of Om can be seen from the view point beach is very small and nothing grate about this beach except its shape of Om.

Photos Om beach
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There are other beaches also in gokarna like half moon beach and paradise beach but we enjoyed at this beach till the evening and then came back to hotel at 8 pm. If you have time then only visit this gokarna , else nothing grate about its beach. Only good spot is Om beach view from the top and if you are religious then mahabali temple at gokarna.
One observation is that there are many cows in gokarna town and as gokarna mean ear of cow , in town , on beach you can see lot of cows.
Day 4:
After breakfast in the hotel , proceed towards Murudeshwara which is 80 kms from Gokarna.
Murudeshwara is on the highway and hardly 2 kms from the main NH17. It has a worlds tallest gopura and worlds second tallest statue of Shiva .

Photos of in–route to murudeshwar
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here also lot of schools trips was there but queue was moving fast so did a darshan of Shiva in 15 mins . This gopur is beautiful and also the Shiva statue. As you entered in Murudeshwara city , you will notice that everything is named as RNS here . Like RNS residency , RNS restaurants , RNS colleges , university , RNS hospital , RNS highway hotel etc. This is big name here. Murudeshwara beach is crowed with lot of people around so we just walked on the beach for 10-15 mins. and had lunch at Naveen beach restaurant . This i restaurant is built in on beach with some pillars
are inside the sea. very good view of sea and one can enjoy from the restaurant but food is worst. Only option was south Indian thail for Rs. 42 .Too much rush was there and we did lunch and left for our next destination Udupi at 3 pm.

Photos of murudeshwars Gopur and shiva temple
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Old 8th March 2012, 15:42   #2
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Photos of murudeshwars beach continue

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Udupi was about 100 kms form Murudeshwara. Road is good except some bad patches in 10 kms between Murudeshwara and honnavar
There is only one small toll booth in between and amount is Rs. 5 , but to pay Rs. 5 , you waste the petrol of Rs. 10
Some 10 mins needed to clear that toll booth and everybody is saying that for Rs. 5 , petrol wastage is more then that.
On the way to udupi , there is beautiful beach on NH 17 , marvanthe beach.

Photos of beautiful NH17 in route to udupi
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Cool and beautiful,long marvanthe beach. Not at all crowed and hardly any hotel near this beach, Only one i think , name is sagar kinara and some small tea stall are there. But you must visit this beach. clean , calm and with zero crowed.On the left there is a pond of sweet water and on the right there is a sea and beach and NH17 passed thru middle. Beautiful view

Photos of marvanthe beach
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Now comes the photos of one south Indian family who were enjoying at the marvanther beach.
See this man literally take his wife on shoulder and get into the water

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We take a break here and enjoy a beach for 45-50 mins and then again started for udupi. For udupi i did not made any prior booking . I thought that since udupi is a big town with lot of hotels
i can directly walk in to any good hotel. i was with me a list of good hotel ready. so entered in udupi town . There is big square with signal installed on NH17. Left turn is towards udupi town , right towards malpe beach and straight is mangalore. There are some 2-3 hotels in this square.
so first i visited sharda international , here all room was full
Then i visited karavali hotels pvt. lts in the same square , here also all rooms was full. I asked manager here, where can i get good accommodation and he told me its very difficult as every hotel in udupi are almost full. Then i realized that i did a great mistake. It was Christmas period and in udupi all good hotels are full. Then i entered in udupi town and look around all the major hotel on that road. It was 7 pm and getting dark so worried a little. I then visited Hotal aayan, Hotel ramkrishna , Hotel udupi residency and some 2-3 more and all were full so finally in one lane , bang opposite to Krishna temple gate , there was one Hari om residency
I enquired then and luckily one fellow was check out and cleaning was going on. Manager told me only 1 AC room is there. Though rate is Rs. 1000 , he asked me Rs.1225 due to peak season. He knows that i am searching hotel on that road and not getting anywhere so no option but to pay Rs. 1200 . Rom was with AC and specious, clean and just 2 mins from main Krishna temple. There is very good veg restaurant name veg paradise just below the hotel so that way its location is very good. Inside the city near to main temple. It was already 7:45 when we got the hotel and still manager told me that it will take some 15 mins to clean the room so we went to veg paradise , had tea and came. Room was good with AC and TV , clean toilet and Gopur a or mahadwar of Krishna temple can be seen from the window of a room. so we take rest a, had dinner in veg paradise . You must try Gadbad ice-cream at this hotel . Very good. . All the ice cream flavors from this hotel are good. So soft and cool. Highly recommend place for ice creams and other items in udupi city.

Photo of Hotel Veg parsdise , Udupi
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Day 5
We wake up late and plan to get darshan first but queue was too long so decided to do it next day in the early morning , had breakfast
and roam around the temple area for some window shopping but nothing great for shopping so then we moved towards malpe beach to visit st. mary Iceland. Ferry boat is available from malpe beach till the island. Ticket is Rs 85 for adult and Rs. 50 for child
It takes around 45 mins to reach the st. mary Island. It is small place with rocky beach. You cannot get anything on island other then some lays and biscuits. Rocks formations in the island is must see. people enjoy the rocky beach by sitting on rocks . There are some water sports activities are also here.
WE left this place after 2-3 hours and had lunch. Evening we proceed to malpe beach. This beach is really beautiful and long and clean. but at the same time it is somewhat crowed. Many school trips and tourist you can find here. There is only one beach resort named paradise isle beach resort on this malpe beach. Beautiful resort but somewhat costly. WE enjoy the sunset at malpe beach and had dinner in Karali hotels panchami .

Photos of St Mary island , Udupi
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Photo of Paradise Isle beach resort , Malpe udupi
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Photos in-route feery to St. Mary Island
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Sunset at malpe beach, Udupi
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Old 8th March 2012, 15:57   #3
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Default Re: Coastal Karnataka

Wonderful travelogue, Sandeep and really good pictures. Enjoyed the same. Thanks also on the update on the Hubli-Ankola-Karwar NH stretch - taking this road for the first time next week and this is a very timely update.


Last edited by root : 8th March 2012 at 15:57. Reason: Spelling change
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Old 8th March 2012, 16:29   #4
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Default Re: Coastal Karnataka

I think , this is the only beach resort , bang on the beach ay udupi.
Rest all hotels are in udupi town , 8 kms from beach.

Paradise Isle Beach resort, Malpe beach, Udupi

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Day 6
Morning we wake up early and before breakfast proceed for darshan at Krishna temple. Morning not too much crowed and Q was not that long and dashn completed within 20 mins. You have to remove top cloths like shirts, underwear. Small Krishna statue can be seen from a small window
of size 2 X 2 . This temple is big and you can find many ISKON people here.

Photos of Rath Utsav at Shri Krishna Temple , Udupi
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Photos of Shri Krishna Temple , Udupi
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After darshan and breakfast, we decided to proceed to visit jain temples around udupi and then to Dharmasthala
There are 2-3 major jain temple around udupi. We first visited karkala where jain temple and babubali statue is there.
Very good statue of height 42 feet . karkala is 40 kms towards manipal . After karkala we visited Moodbidri to see thousand pillar temple.

Photos of babubali at Karkala
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Photos from Top of babubali at Karkala

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Then we proceed toward venur which has similar babubali statue is there and jain temple. Then finally to Dharmasthala to see Manjunatha temple.
How come this jain temple are in Karnataka ? Because jains are majority found in north side in Rajasthan but in Karnataka there are 3-4 major jain temples around udupi.

Photos of Thousand pillar temple at Moodbidri
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Photos of Bahubali temple at Venur.
You can see a platform is being built for MahaMastaAbhishake Ceremoney
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We reached Dharmasthala at 4 pm and temple was locked and opening time was 6 pm so roam around for some time and then proceed towards udupi because
i was planning to reach udupi before dark. Dharmasthala is good place with lot of devotees from south has came. Good faculties and Q management
we were planning to have lunch in route from udupi to Dharmasthala but there is hardly any good hotel in the entire route .
Finally we decided to have lunch at dhrmasthala but here also some small 2-3 restaurants with south Indian thali only and not at all hygienic but no option . Thali was Rs. 22 so you can imagine what kind of restaurant it is, but when you are on travel you have to adjust . On state highways
there are hardly and good eat outs in Karnataka, On NH17 also from karwar till udupi , except kamat upchar at ankola , i did not see any good place for lunch/dinner. but as soon as you enter in Maharashtra from Kolhapur till pune you can see hundreds of restaurant s ad dhabas all along the road
but same is not true in Karnataka on NH17 or on NH63 between hubli and karwar. Here also except yellapur no big town and no good place for lunch
that why i think kamat upchar at anloka was flooded with many tourist vehicles

Photos of Manjunatha temple ,Dharmasthala
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Photos of Shri Ram temple, in route to Dharmasthala
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Old 8th March 2012, 16:50   #5
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Day 7:
WE check out from udupi early morning , had breakfast in city itself and then proceed towards sirsi , our next destination
Udupi to sirsi via kumta. Till kumta NH17 and then Kumta - sirsi road, This road is excellent with many curves but very smooth drive.
Once you reached kumta, you have to take right towards sirsi which is 60 kms from here.
After proceeding some 30 kms from kumta, then there is left turns towards yana rocks. Yana is 15 kms inside the main road and these
road goes thru think jungle.

Photo of Enterence to Yana rocks, near sirsi
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we reached yana at 4 pm and came to know that it will take minimum 1.5 to 2 hrs to go top and came to parking place. since i have kid with me it will take longer time so decided to skip yana as we have to reach sirsi before dark and we are not that adventurous to do
trekking for an hour or so. but it is a good place and if you have time you must visit this rocks. . Then again came to kumta - sirsi road . WE already had a booking with bakula homestay in sirsi. This hoemstay is in thick jungle and around 5-7 kms from the main sirsi town , difficult to get in so called manager and he asked us to enter in sirsi town near stat bank and then he send his man along with us to reach the homestay in jungle.
The road to bakula home stay is currently full of dust and kaccha road but the work is going on for tar road.

Photos of way to Bakula homestay, Sirsi.

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Photo of Cotttage and Garden at Bakula homestay, Sirsi.
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This homestay is very good, fantastic location in the heart of jungle with excellent food. They have arranges ad camp fire at night. Rooms was big and there is huge garden of coconut and supari trees in the area. Also small waterfall where you can take natural bath is there. River flows right behind the homestay and you can enjoy nature beauty here. It was worth booking here.
Tariff was RS. 1500/- including dinner and breakfast. Service was good and all the cottages are without any TV with no range for any mobile except BSNL. so its compete e jungle sty here.
Temp. was low may be around 6 to 7 degree and it was cold in sirsi.
Morning we did a breakfast in homestay and proceed towards unchali falls which is some 40 kms from here. It is on the kumta-sirsi road
towards kumta . You have to take left and moved around 15 kms and then tracking of 500 meter to reach the first view point of unchali falls.

Photos of way to unchali falls , near sirsi
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First i thought that in December , is it good to visit waterfall but manger here told me that water is there all around the year in unchali falls and also in other falls near sirsi except jog falls.
and believe me it is worth visit in any month in the year. Road till parking of unchali fall is in good condition

Photos of Unchali falls , near sirsi
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After unchali falls , we again came in sirsi town to visit Marikamba temple. It is n town itself and had lunch near the temple.

Photo of Marikamba temple, Sirsi
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The we proceed towards sahastralingam which is 18 kms from sirsi towards yellapur . This is amazing place with hundred of shivlingas. All cross the river , many are below the water , so you cannot see them. All stones carved with shivlingas. This is something you cannot see anywhere else. All the Shivlingas spread across the river.
After this we proceed further on the same road towards Yellapur, take right turn towards Hubli and then reached NH4 at Hubli , take left towards Kolhapur for night hault.

Photos of Thousand Shivlingas named Sahastralingam at Sirsi
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Day 8
Morning visited Mahalaxmi temple and did a darshan and proceed towards pune after lunch at Kolhapur to reach pune by evening
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Old 8th March 2012, 21:37   #6
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Your Pics remind me of my college days. Surathkal and my College beach. Nostalgia. Thanks for sharing the pics. Do you have pics of Surathkal Beach?
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Old 9th March 2012, 13:39   #7
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Originally Posted by Funda View Post
Your Pics remind me of my college days. Surathkal and my College beach. Nostalgia. Thanks for sharing the pics. Do you have pics of Surathkal Beach?
No , I did not visit that beach. In udupi i only visit malpe beach and this st mary island.
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Old 9th March 2012, 14:03   #8
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Fabulous trip you had man and nice pics tooo. Though I had passed through Karwar many times, I never had any info about Devbagh beach. Next time it is for sure to be on my itinerary. Also Sirsi looks beautiful.

Can you post more information about Sirsi and the crowd at the place you visited.

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Old 9th March 2012, 18:44   #9
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Originally Posted by 2500cc View Post
Can you post more information about Sirsi and the crowd at the place you visited.

In sirsi, you can visit various water falls like unchali falls.
sahastra linga which is in the river Shalmala and thousand lingas are carved on the rocks in the river bank. See phots ablove.
Then you can have jungle stay at Bakula home stay or any other
You can visit Yana (Bhairavakshetra) famous adventure tourist place with unique rock formations. It is located in between thick forest of Sahyadri mountain range valley. Trekking of 2 kms to for yana .
Then Banavasi , 25 Km from Sirsi is Ancient capital of Karnataka, was home to Kadamba empire. Here you can see Madhukeshwara Temple, Monolith Asthana Mantapa and Triloka Mantapa.
Then Sonda , capital of the Sonde Kings , it is 20 km from Sirsi. Here you can go to Swarnavalli Matt and the Vadiraj Matt in sonda.
but sahastra linga is a unique place , truly amazing.
goto visitsirsi.com for more details
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