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Old 12th August 2014, 22:08   #1
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Default Uttara Kannada: Abode Of Temples, Rivers & Mountains

TRIP TO UTTARA KARNATAKA

CARPE DIEM: SIEZE THE DAY . The Latin saying in retrospect may somewhat signify what I was feeling when I set out for the trip but after having completed it am not sure in which category do I place it .. was it a calling of the western Ghats in the monsoons or was it a love of the waterfalls and empty lonely roads or was I led to visit the celestial abode of Gods and Goddesses seeing with these eyes their presence in full glory and hear about the deeds done by them in the age that has gone by ….

2. Am not sure which of the above it was hence I can no more classify this trip in to any one particular category and will leave it as such for each reader to form his/her own opinion. As with any trip this one too involved planning (a large part) and preparation (a minor part). The question was where to go in Karnataka and how would the route be … spent close to a month on this aspect reading literature to get an idea of what I wanted to do exactly. The final itinerary eventually turned out to be a circular loop into Uttara Karnataka

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3. The vehicle (INDOMITABLE ) was all set as it was being readied for another trip coming up later so nothing much in that aspect had to be done and having an idea what to takewe were pretty much set . One thing about road trips is that one starts the planning with something in mind but the final product that emerges is definitely different.

4. The trip was designed to take me through the dependable NH 4 transgressing in to SH 1 , 37 , 63 and 93 ride my luck on the treacherous NH 17 in monsoons, look from close the fury of the Jog falls and Onake Abbi falls , feel the celestial presence of Devi Mookambica at Kollur, listen to the words of the Shivaites and Vaishnavites at Murudeswara and Udupi , have a up-close glimpse of the mythical rivers of Uttara Karnataka while trying to reach the sangam of the sisters Tunga and Bhadra as they merge and see the birth of sacred Tungabhadra in front of my eyes . This trip was to take me into the wild life sanctuaries of Mookambika and Kurdremukh while I trek to Kodachadri in search of Sanjeevana peetha temple amongst cloud covered peaks of the Sahyadris. This trip was meant to be much more and it offered me more than I imagined it would …

5. Well here it is then, a medium sized trip covering just over 2000 kms spanning 06 days over State Highways and small towns in to the heart of Uttara Karnataka while the Monsoon 2014 raged over the Western Ghats.

# DAY I : Mumbai – Dharwad ( distance : 570 km )

1. The very first day of the trip, I had planned for an initial early start but then had a late night the previous evening which resulted in the start delaying by two hours and we eventually started by 0700 hours. The monsoon had just hit Mumbai a couple of days before and the rains were in fact lashing the city for the last 48 hours and I remember having spent quite a few evenings looking at the Indian Met website to trend the progress of the monsoon for this was after all a monsoon sojourn in to the Western Ghats .

2. The rains were at their full fury while we set out and the first glitch came up almost within the first 10 km when the recently purchased VX 340 navigator from MMI malfunctioned. I really could not understand why it so happened, though did RESET the system many a time but no success. Anyways this meant I had to rely on Google maps on the mobile app along with the backup hard copies of the Road Atlas that I had , so I was okay in that segment. The distance to Dharwad was a respectable 570 Kms and we hoped to cover the same in around 8 hours.

3. The Eastern Freeway proved to be a major boon and I am sure many a Mumbaikar will vouch for it as I zipped through the suburbs towards Vashi in order to leave the precincts of Mumbai city which is an exercise in itself .The route was supposed to be on the NH 4/AH47 towards Satara, Belgaum and beyond crossing the Khambatkini Ghats. This was our second visit to the Khambatkini Ghats and the first medium sized trip in terms of a proper photographic shoot happening all the time.

4. In just over two hours I had crossed Pune (on NH 4) and was all set to reach out to Satara and in due course cross the Kambatkini Ghats and the diversion to Wai which bought back memories of my recent trip out there. Satara was reached by 1300 hours and we had thali lunch total Maharastrian style at a small Udupi eatery. Many am sure will agree that whatever negatives this country has amongst the numerous positives is the varied delicacy available in different parts of the country and that too at small eateries with no fancy frills attached. The lunch was finished off with a nice meetha Paan  as we contemplated the traffic zipping on the highway just ahead of us, it was a pure light headed satisfied moment with thoughts of the road ahead , the promise of the obscure places and the feeling of a good lunch .

5. The INDOMITABLE was churning the miles quite comfortably with hardly any unwanted noises emanating from any quarter , the recent visits to the service workshops in preparation of the bigger trip coming ahead was doing the job well . The Michelin XM2 performed most admirably with superb road holding capability and with absolute no aqua planning observed even with the need of hard braking on one or two instances.

6. Post crossing Kolhapur we were at the Maharastra-Karnataka RTO check post by 1620 hours and I realized that I was lagging behind in the schedule but then photography does need patience and time .. So one had to be flexible in this scenario. The impression about the roads in Karnataka at least to my experience was excellent with wide open highways zipping through lush fields on both sides and yes windmills !! scores of them, is it possible that Karnataka has found a way of augmenting the electricity woes? I am not sure but they sure were many dotted on the horizon, their big blades rotating away merrily in the monsoon atmosphere which presented a wonderful sight indeed.

7. I did have an interesting conversation at the local tea adda on the highway with the car number plate generating an interesting discussion as to the origin of the car and what was it doing out here … it felt good to hear it . I am not sure how many have experienced this … the feeling of just sitting next to a long winding highway in the evening with fields stretching in to the distance on both sides and intermittent traffic zooming on with the monsoon sunset coming on as clouds black and heavy gather and then the fat water droplets start falling on you as u see the rains approaching from the distance.. Priceless I tell you to experience a moment like this .

8. I reached Dharwad pretty easily by around 2000 hrs in a heavy downpour and found my place to stay for the night easily enough. Hotel Hoysala is an above average place to stay, nice decent room with clean washroom and with car parking available which is a major deciding factor to many of us who travel.

9. It was after quite some months that I was on the road again and like the saying goes “Once you have travelled the voyage never ends “…It felt nice to hit the bed with the promise of a new dawn tomorrow

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UTTARA KARNATAKA SOJOURN

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PRESPECTIVE

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TOWARDS DHARWARD ON NH 4

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SWEEPING CURVES

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THE INDOMITABLE WAITS

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FAMOUS LANDMARKS

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KAMBATKINI GHATS

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WESTERN GHATS

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THE HIGHWAYS BECKON

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SCENIC MAHARASTRA

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INCREDIBLE INDIA

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SIGNBOARDS

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LOVELY MOMENTS

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WINDMILLS IN THE DISTANCE

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INDOMITABLE HOLDS ON

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ENDLESS HIGHWAYS - KARNATAKA

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NATURE UNFOLDS

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WINDMILLS AHOY

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Last edited by GTO : 15th August 2014 at 15:14. Reason: Removing naked b / u tags :)
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Old 12th August 2014, 22:37   #2
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# DAY II : Dharwad-Jog Falls ( distance : 200 km )

10. It was a decent time to start on the second day considering that I did not have to cover large distances. The highlight of the day was to be Sarhasalinga and Jog Falls but more on them later. For the moment it was important to have a nice hot breakfast and get on the move. The hotel checkout was a breeze and soon on a sleepy rain filled monsoon monday morning we were on the move.

11. The first stop was a road side eatery selling piping hot idlis and vada. For those who are used to the same in fancy restaurants I have to mention here that you are definitely missing something , the charms of road side messes and tiffin corners , relics of the bygone days are a MUST HAVE . They will never fail to delight your taste buds and fill the stomach with simple food that we as Indians have come to love.

12. Post the sumptuous breakfast we set our path on State Highway 1 of Karnataka towards Kalaghatgi. Now Kalaghatgi is a small town which is prominent for religious procession held on occasion of Gram Devi Jatra. The roads were awesome and the countryside straight out of Amar Chitra Katha edition, miles of green fields and lonely trees with a single shepherd hut in between. The feeling and thoughts emanating from within seeing these simple views which have become almost nonexistent in today’s humdrum life was overwhelming, memories of my childhood came rushing back pushing away the images of the city life that have clouded my mind and thoughts. As one stopped along the road and looked at fields of sugarcane, brinjal and chillies smelling the fragrance of fresh chilly on a clear rain filled morning everything suddenly fell in to perspective as to why were we out here … on a nondescript state highway in the middle of somewhere which has to be searched on the map but then when I am out here , it looks so significant unlike just a narrow line in a huge large scale map .

13. From Kalaghatgi I set my sights towards Yellapur travelling on State Highway 93 on a superb tar road through rows of plantations of Teak , Betel Nuts , Gooseberries with hardly any traffic or people in fact. The road winded itself through dark forests with a green canopy covering the sky making the sunlight work very hard to reach to the bottom of the plantations, simply excellent feeling it was . From Yellapur we moved towards Sarhasalinga on SH 93.

14. Sarhasaling : 1000 Shivlings , the thought of this intrigued me when I was planning my itinerary and had made up my mind to visit this place to see for myself. The place was on a diversion path 37 KM from yellapur branching off from the main State Highway snaking away into the dense foliage which surrounded the State Highway itself. As I gunned the INDOMITABLE on the path towards the place of which we knew so little and had seen very limited pictures. After around Km 5 came to a dead end and there lay Sarhasalinga. The mythology states that King Sadashivaraya of Sirsi carved these hundreds and hundreds of Lingas and Nandi on the banks of the River Shalmala. It is believed that for every Linga carved there is a Nandi paying homage. This place was supposed to be one of the energy centres owing to the presence of the energy being generated by the scores of lingas. However considering the flooded state of the river, most of the shivlings were under water and I could see only a few handful. There is a hanging bridge on the river something similar to the ones we see in North East of India going to the other side though what lies out there is anybody’s guess. In the sleeting rain I could hardly think of crossing the swaying bridge and going on to the other side to find out more . The place though was tranquility redefined with us the only two souls out there. I spent some time sitting there in the rain looking at the swollen river waters gushing past wondering where does it finally slow down. Eventually it was time to move onward towards Sirsi and Siddapur. The distance to Siddapur is around 41 km and it took us an hour to reach.

15. The Western Ghats were in full glory and every turn of the road presented a different vista , a mesmerizing image of what this country has within herself .The lunch was simple local cuisine in a small yet seemingly popular restaurant. The destination for the day was reached by around 1600 hours as we checked in to Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa , a KSTDC run establishment situated at the best locale possible for someone who wants to view Jog in its full glory. The room booked was by far the best of the entire trip and in fact one of the top 5 hotel rooms that I have stayed till date. The check in was effortless as I had done a online reservation. The evening was spent among mist, clouds, monsoon showers with the mighty JOG in company throughout and it was definitely worth the travel in the rains on State Highways to experience JOG in the rains

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GREENS

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IDYLLIC

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LOVE TO STAY HERE

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SOLITUDE

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THE INDOMITABLE MOVES ON

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JOG FALLS

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WRAITHS OF MIST

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FOG RISES

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PANAROMIC
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GERUSOPPA AKA JOGA
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LONG EXPOSURE ATTEMPT
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OBSCURE HIGHWAYS
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STILL UTTERLY
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STATE HIGHWAYS ; KARNATAKA
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SARHASALINGA
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NANDI HOLDS THE LINGA

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THE SHIVA LINGAS
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NANDI
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SYMMETRY
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PARADISE
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MYSTICAL
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THE INDOMITABLE : RESILIENT
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MYSTERIOUS AFTERNOONS
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ROAD TO FREEDOM
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MIGHTY JOG
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Old 13th August 2014, 08:43   #3
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Default re: Uttara Karnataka: Abode Of Temples, Rivers & Mountains

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th August 2014, 08:54   #4
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Default re: Uttara Karnataka: Abode Of Temples, Rivers & Mountains

Great pics there swsumit I take this route at least 4 times a year and can tell you this is the driver's dream to drive on! NH4 especially in Karnataka and any route that goes from Hubli towards Goa! Monsoon brings all the colours that nature can paint and its a treat to eyes and soul.

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Originally Posted by swsumit View Post

Attachment 1273493
SCENIC MAHARASTRA
Saw this pic - was it in Maharashtra? I think its near Belgaum... There are few windmills that have come up recently. A lot of windmills you can see near Chitradurga too.
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Old 13th August 2014, 09:11   #5
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@SWSumit, nice travelogue and lovely pics. Makes me want to head out, now !

You were lucky at Jog .. lot depends on water let out. We did it last monsoon, yet didnt get to see it.

Sahasra Linga is best seen a little after the monsoon, when the water in the river is lesser. There are so many Shiv Ling's there..

Quote:
Your pic here:
Uttara Kannada: Abode Of Temples, Rivers & Mountains-shnandi.jpg
The other view of this Nandi:

Uttara Kannada: Abode Of Temples, Rivers & Mountains-sahasralinga1.jpg


The trip that you have done is Uttara Kannada ..

North Karnataka would mean more like Dharwad - Belgaum - Gadag - Bagalkot - Bijapur ..

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Old 13th August 2014, 10:01   #6
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Originally Posted by condor View Post
The trip that you have done is Uttara Kannada ..

North Karnataka would mean more like Dharwad - Belgaum - Gadag - Bagalkot -
You are right. It is also known as North Canara.

@SWSumit, thanks for covering my native place
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Old 13th August 2014, 10:45   #7
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Beautiful! This one picture says it all.

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Old 13th August 2014, 13:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Beautiful! This one picture says it all.

+1

No words and am stunned ! Simply Mind blowing pictures.
Tempts me to make a trip sooner than later

-Ravi
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Old 13th August 2014, 13:55   #9
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Good one! Loved the pics too. You have nice skills in getting the right shots.
I had been to Jog a couple of years ago, but timing was not good enough to see heavy waterfall.
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Old 13th August 2014, 16:46   #10
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Sumit, amazing snaps and what a tempting drive. Had been to Jog in 2008 and stayed at the KTDC property, except for being large rooms there was nothing to say about, but now looking at the red building, appears that they have done a complete makeover. The "Road to Freedom" photos is too good. What was your mileage in your trip.
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Old 13th August 2014, 18:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majumon View Post
Sumit, amazing snaps and what a tempting drive. Had been to Jog in 2008 and stayed at the KTDC property, except for being large rooms there was nothing to say about, but now looking at the red building, appears that they have done a complete makeover. The "Road to Freedom" photos is too good. What was your mileage in your trip.
hii ,
glad that you liked the TL.
Total odo was 2200 kms and yes the place has been renovated completely

regards
sumit

Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
Great pics there swsumit I take this route at least 4 times a year and can tell you this is the driver's dream to drive on! NH4 especially in Karnataka and any route that goes from Hubli towards Goa! Monsoon brings all the colours that nature can paint and its a treat to eyes and soul.




Saw this pic - was it in Maharashtra? I think its near Belgaum... There are few windmills that have come up recently. A lot of windmills you can see near Chitradurga too.
Hii ,
glad that you liking the TL, yes this is in Maharastra

regards
Sumit

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Old 13th August 2014, 18:51   #12
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# DAY III : JOG FALLS – MURUDESWARA (distance:145 km)
16. Today we were supposed to visit the temple town of Murudeswara but that was coming up later, right now the agenda was exploring Jog to heart’s content. JOG, India’s second Highest plunge waterfall with a fall height of over 290 meter was displaying its rising strength with each passing hour as the monsoon rains relentlessly swelled the river Saravathi . The River Saravanthi flooded with the recent rains reaches the edge of the cliff and falls in a deep chasm over 250 feet deep (and this is dangerous definitely) .JOGA, also known as Gerusoppa is divided into four falls – RAJA which is one complete unbroken fall over 250 metre meets the ROARER halfway which rushes towards it at an angle of 45 deg with heavy force and both then rush downwards into the chasm. We then have the ROCKET which shoots jets of water as it falls downwards and then there is the serene RANI which falls over the cliff in a cloud of mist and water droplets. There are steps built to reach the bottom of the falls but their permission depends on the state of the falls and the weather conditions. One can view the falls from two locations – the normal view from across the cliff where one can see the entire enclosed cliff and the the four falls distinctly and the second one is along the cliff using the series of steps built , however this is the tricky part and one has to be careful not to slip as it is a long way down in that case . I was fortunate to witness the vigor of the falls in monsoons as they were building up their strength and the symphony of the rain and mist added to the charm .After JOG we decided to visit the nearby locations including the famed Linganamakki Dam built across the Saravanthi River , over 2.4 km long . For this we employed the services of a local guide to show us the Linanamakki dam as well as the JOG alternate route as I wanted to be safe on both the fronts. The same can be hired on location at Jog at a minimal cost.

17. Post JOG the agenda was to drive to Hoonavar on the NH 206 through dense forested areas , check out few point of interest like the Hanging bridge at Karki and the railway bridge on Saravanthi river. We was quite interested on seeing this railway bridge from a distance as I had read very sketchy account of a certain view point existing which afforded a panoramic view of the Saravanthi Railway bridge. My objective was to click the image of a train crossing the river. It took me quite a bit of searching around asking the local auto rickshaw operators and finally could locate the place. The route to the place involved a narrow tar road which ended at a enclosed perimeter plantation which was obviously a private property. I enquired from the local guards and they upon knowing that I wanted to click pictures they agreed to let me through.

18. The entire exercise was well worth it as the view of the huge Sarvanthi and the rail bridge on it was definitely exquisite. The down side was we had to wait in the pouring rain for over an hour to finally click the picture that I wanted in totally drenched clothes. It was already evening by the time I was through with what I wanted and Murudeswara was still on the horizon. The situation demanded some hot steaming dosas followed by filter coffii and Kamat, Hoonavar obliged us on both the requirements. Murudeswara is 54 km from Hoonavar on the NH 17 and I made good speed reaching the destination by 1800 hours.

19. Murudeswara is a small temple town and the name by which the town is known is another name for Lord Shiva. The sea side down on the Arabian sea boasts of one of the most beautiful beach that I have come across and more than that what draws one to this place is the Murudeswara temple and the world’s second largest Shiva Statue at over 123 feet . The temple itself is surrounded on three sides by the Arabian Sea. There is a Raja Gopura constructed by businessman R N Shetty which is over 23 feet and offers a spectacular view of Lord Shiva in the backdrop of the Arabian Sea. However visitors are permitted only up to 18 floors using a lift.

20. The main deity of the temple is Sri Mridesa Linga and is about two feet below the ground level, the inner temple is lit by oil lamps only held by priests. There are a number of other gods worshipped within the perimeter of the main temple which included ganapati ( I saw a balck idol ganapati for the first time ) , Lord Anjeyna , the Nava Grahas which impart prosperity and good will .

21. What I felt is something within me which cannot be put into pen and paper but all I can say is that it was permeating into me totally as I witnessed the Mangalaarthi performed in the evening. Our stay was at a place called Dhenu Athithiya which was an good hotel considering the town itself. The room was very economical with clean washrooms and a veg restaurant. Car parking space was available.

22. The day came to a close and I for one was content with the places that I was fortunate to see , truly realized that in this country religion is the bed rock , it guides every action that we perform consciously or subconsciously .


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BOAT ON SARAVANTHI RIVER

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PRESPECTIVE IMAGE

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SIGNBOARDS

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GANAPATI IDOL AT MURUDESWARA

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FLIGHT UNBIDDEN

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FREEDOM AND GRACE

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EVENING AARTHI AT GANAPATI TEMPLE

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JOG BEGINS

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GREEN AND POWERFUL

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RAJA FORMS UP FOR THE PLUNGE

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LOVED THIS PRESPECTIVE OF RAW POWER

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POWER BEGINS

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JOG VIEWS

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THE CLOUDS FEEL LOW BEFORE JOG

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SARAVANTHI COMES TUMBLING

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MAGNIFICIENT

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KARNATAKA TOURISM

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LINGAMAKKI DAM

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LORD SHIVA
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DIFFERENT MOMENTS

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FOGGY PATHS

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MIST FALLS DOWN IN PEELS

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RAJA GOPURA AT MURUDESWARA

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ENTRANCE TO MURUDESWARA TOWN

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GUARDIANS AT THE RAJA GOPURA

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B&W STILL

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VIEWS

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AT NIGHT

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THE EYES GAZE UPON ALL
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Old 13th August 2014, 19:00   #13
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Default Re: Uttara Karnataka: Abode Of Temples, Rivers & Mountains

Beautiful photos. Did the guide take you to have different views of the Jog?
River is Sharavathi though.
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Old 13th August 2014, 19:00   #14
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Default Re: Uttara Karnataka: Abode Of Temples, Rivers & Mountains

# DAY III : JOG FALLS – MURUDESWARA (distance:145 km)

The visual delights continue

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THE GOPURA RISES

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INTO THE LIGHT

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MOMENTS

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PANAROMIC VIEW SARAVANTHI RAIL BRIDGE

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NANDI WATCHES OVER LORD MRIDESA AT MURUDESWARA

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EVENING PEACE AT MURUDESWARA TEMPLE

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INDIAN RAILWAYS
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Old 13th August 2014, 19:04   #15
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Default Re: Uttara Karnataka: Abode Of Temples, Rivers & Mountains

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Beautiful photos. Did the guide take you to have different views of the Jog?
River is Sharavathi though.
Hello ,
thanks for the views on the pics. The guide took me to Lingamakki dam and yes to another view point of Jog other than the one seen from the KSTDC point.

regards
sumit
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