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Old 4th October 2008, 22:52   #1
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Default Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage

It had been a long time since we went for a long drive. My hands and feet were itching, and I badly wanted to do a long long drive. At the same time, Bangalore T-Bhpians Khan_Sulthan and Chandan were organizing an off-road meet in Sakleshpur on Sept 27-28 weekend. I wanted to participate in this meet, but my wife had a different plan.

September 27th being my B-day, my wife wanted to present this pilgrimage trip as my Birthday gift. Hence a 4-day pilgrimage cum long distance pleasure drive was planned as below.

Day 1 Sept 27
Bangalore - Hassan - Sakleshpur - Shiradi ghat - Kukke - Dharmasthala - Mangalore (Halt at Mangalore).

Day 2 Sept 28
Mangalore sightseeing - Kadri, Mangaladevi temple, Ullal/panambur beach etc.

Day 3 Sept 29
Mangalore - Kateel - Mulki - Udupi (Halt at Udupi).

Day 4 Sept 30
Start from Udupi early morning - Kundapur - Maravanthe - Kollur - Kodachadri - Nagara - Hulikal - Thirthalli - Koppa - kudremuka - Kottigehara - Mudigere -Sakleshpura - Hassan - back to Bangalore.

Preparation done on Sept 26
All luggages were packed. I took out my Sparky to Cauvery petrol pump, Lalbagh and had tankfull of petrol and tire pressures checked and returned home. In the evening, I gave a thorough water wash with wax polish, and my Sparky was sparkling and ready for the journey.

Day 1 - September 27 - Saturday
It was exactly 04:01 am when I start my Sparky ON, put her in reverse gear, take her out of open gates and on the road. My wife closes the gates and she comes in and sits besides me. Whole surrounding was dark, and at this time, I switch on the headlights, with the clutch dipressed put my Sparky in 1st gear, hold the steering wheel with both hands, and just close my eyes. Oh my GOD ! It was such a euphoric feeling - at last we are going to drive on and on and on...

I always like peaceful and relaxed driving at speeds between 80 - 100. We slowly but steadily cross Tumkur road, Nelamangala, turn left at NH48 junction and head towards Hassan. At 6:45, we reach Kamath Upachar for breakfast. We start again at 7:30 and within no time cross Hassan and then Sakleshpur and approach Shiradi ghat.

Guys, I have read at least 1000 times about horrible Shiradi ghat road here in T-Bhp, but still I never thought the road could be this bad. I was extreamely cautious and driving very very slowly in 1st and 2nd gear. As we moved on, I encountered two peculiar situations all the way.

1. I am driving slowly on cemented road and suddenly the road ends and there is sea of potholes and stones in front. I put my Sparky in 1st gear. I do not want to take any underbody hits. I am just thinking which way to move and how to move and suddenly I hear some honking and when I look in the RVM, a KSRTC bus towering just behind the bumper as if he is going to swallow us .

2. I am driving slowly on cemented road and suddenly the road ends and there is mud road with potholes and stones. Now the KSRTC bus overtakes us at full speed and at the same time one more truck/bus passes in the opposite direction. Now the entire surrounding is filled with mud and dust and you just can't see anything in front or behind. Absolute CHAOS.

In spite of all this, I must say, my Sparky handled everything okay.

As we kept on driving through this hell, there was no sign of Gundya or Kukke cross road. We were getting very exhausted and tired. Just then as we approach a small bridge, I slow down a bit and suddenly the engine goes off and my Sparky stops in the middle of the road. And when I turn the ignition ON again, Sparky roares again as if nothing had happened. And then I release the clutch slowly and just when we start moving, I see one small snake cross the bridge and dissappear. Even now, when I think about it, I am feeling very excited. I will not forget this bridge in my life. It is named as *** BURCHINAHALLA SETHUVE ***.

After a few minutes of this incident, we reach Gundya cross. We take left turn and Kukke is 22 kms from here. It was a great relief to see good road and my wifey was telling me sarcastically that this road might have been built by temple authorities and not by GOVT and thats why it is in good condition.

We reach Subramanya at 11 am. We spend 1-1/2 hour here for darshan and by 12:25 we start again and reach Gundya cross at 12:55.

Shri Kshethra Kukke - Subrahmanya Swamy
Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0451.jpg

Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0455.jpg

It was exactly 2 pm when we reach Dharmasthala. By the time we park my Sparky and reach the main temple, it was 2:15 and the temple was closed for darshan. It will open only at 7 pm in the evening and we were a bit disappointed that we have to continue our journey without darshan.

Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala - Manjunatheshwara
Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0460.jpg

Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0461.jpg

At this time, some priests tell us that lunch is still being served and we can have lunch at the temple itself. It was only at this time that we felt hungry and rushed to Bhojanalaya. As we finished our lunch prasada, my wife announced that we are not going to Mangalore unless we have darshan of lord Manjunatha and that we are going to stay back in Dharmasthala for the day. As rooms were readily available at Vaishali, we check in and rest for some time.

We get up at 5:30, get ready, and go out for a walk around the temple. I was really surprised that inspite of being the weekend, there was not much of a rush and whole temple complex was calm and peaceful with very few people here and there.

We went into darshan Q at 6:30 and by 7:30 pm, had an eyeful of darshan of lord Manjunatheshwara. My wife had taken some pooja ticket, and we collect the prasadam of the same. Again we walk around temple complex for some time. It was so calm and peaceful that we felt relieved of all the exhaustion and tiredness of the entire journey.

We had dinner at temple, came back to our room, and had a good night sleep.

That ends day 1. As can be seen, we missed our plan of finishing Kukke and darmasthala and reaching Mangalore on day 1. Lord Manjunatha wanted us to stay in Dharmasthala and who can go against his wish?

Continued...
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Old 5th October 2008, 07:36   #2
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Hey BomBatt, Nice narration and pics.

How is the road from ShiradiGhat to Kukke? I think you did the full shiradi ghat and then took left for Kukke rather than take left immediately after Sakleshpur town. I would like to know the exact turnoffs for Kukke and then Kukke to Dharmasala?

Hear to see more.
Abhi
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Old 5th October 2008, 09:45   #3
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BomBatt thats a nice birthday gift you got its inspiring me to go on a lonnng drive keep it coming..

Abhi, a a month back i ws there the shiradi is in a bad state but still not what it was 1yr+ back but the condition will get worse....left from Gondya the roads are good till the shrine...from gondya to D'stha turn you get lots of bad stretches but very manageable...

You can also try to go via Bisle but the road is very narrow and road was not that good...

OT, Abhi i think i saw you yesterday in Vignana Nagar
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Old 5th October 2008, 11:24   #4
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Wow!!
That really back some great memories of the long drive that I had from Pune to Mangalore & back in May this year.

Had covered most of the places that you have mentioned.

I am waiting for my one year old son to grow up. I feel tied down because I cannot take him around at this age.

My Palio 1.6 is raring to fire up for another long drive.

Keeping fingers crossed that it happens soon.

Cheers!!
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Old 5th October 2008, 11:55   #5
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Hi bombatt,
Nice narration. Waiting for more pics.
I wonder, most of south India's temples are closed during 1pm to 4pm.
People from that area are used for those timings. Outsider may have some problem with this closing but there is no other way also.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 5th October 2008 at 11:58.
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Old 5th October 2008, 12:16   #6
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Lovely travelogue BomBatt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BomBatt View Post
As we finished our lunch prasada, my wife announced that we are not going to Mangalore unless we have darshan of lord Manjunatha and that we are going to stay back in Dharmasthala for the day.
Good decision, no point rushing. In my last trip to Dharmastala, we came back without darshan since they didn't allow the baby inside and we had gone just for sake of the baby. While my wife stayed outside with the baby, my older son and I did go inside, but a sea of topless guys completely blocked the view and I didn't want to wriggle through them. But I live only 2 hours away, hardly religious, so it was not a big deal.

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It was so calm and peaceful that we felt relieved of all the exhaustion and tiredness of the entire journey.
Now that's the exact point of a vacation.
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Old 5th October 2008, 12:19   #7
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Day 2 - September 28, Sunday

I get up from the bed to my mobile phone alarm which was set to sound at 6:30 am. I wash my face, lock the room from outside, and go to a nearby hotel for a couple of cup of tea and come back.

My wifey was still in deep sleep. I wake her up and after a refreshing cold water bath, both of us get ready. We finish our breakfast at Kamath Hotel and by 8:45, hit the road towards Mangalore.

We pass through Belthangadi and Bantwal and reach Mangalore at 10:30 am. We meet one of my wife's colleague at Kankanadi. He informs us that he has booked an A/c room at Hotel Roopa in Balmatta road. As soon as we check into the hotel, my wife gets a call on her mobile from her boss in Bangalore.

The boss has requested my wife to conduct a surprise audit check at their Mangalore office, which was opened recently ! Not just that, he also wants her to meet one of their major customers in Manipal (Manipal University) So, two days (Monday, Sept 29 and Tuesday, Sept 30) of our pilgrimage cum pleasure drive trip becomes an official trip .

After this, we relax for an hour or so and head straight to Mannagudda to one of my relatives place who had invited us for Lunch. We spend some time here and at around 4:00 pm, we say goodbye to our relatives and drive towards famous Panambur beach.

Here are some pics clicked at Panambur beach, Mangalore
Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0472.jpg

Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0475.jpg

Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0484.jpg

Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0495.jpg

After sunset, at around 6:45 pm, we start from the beach and in no time, we reach Ladyhill and turn right into Pabba's. We order gud-bud and Pabba's special icecream and that was our dinner for the day .

Day 2 of our journey comes to an end with us reaching the Hotel Room, watching TV for some time, and wishing good night to each other.

Continued...
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Old 5th October 2008, 12:40   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
How is the road from ShiradiGhat to Kukke? I think you did the full shiradi ghat and then took left for Kukke rather than take left immediately after Sakleshpur town. I would like to know the exact turnoffs for Kukke and then Kukke to Dharmasala?
Abhi, Yes I did the full Shiradi ghat. I did not know that there is one more road from Sakleshpur to Kukke. As Lohit Rao mentioned, You continue on NH48 till you reach Gundya cross. From Shiradi to Gundya cross, road is somewhat okay. Gundya cross to Kukke, 22 kms of excellent road. From Kukke again you come back on same road to Gudya cross, continue for another 17 Kms on NH48 (which is bad again). Here there is a right diversion to Dharmasthala. This stretch of 23 Kms from NH48 to Dharmasthala is very good.
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Old 5th October 2008, 13:06   #9
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Nice travelogue and pics, Deepak. Keep them coming.
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Old 5th October 2008, 13:50   #10
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Day 3 - September 29, Monday

This was supposed to be our Mangalore sightseeing and travel to Udupi day, but it turned out to be an official work day for my wife. Eventhough I was somewhat sad, my wifey was raring to go. She is going to give a surprise visit at her Mangalore office, explain all process and procedures, and do some bossgiri. So, she will be busy till 6 pm.

We get ready quickly and drive down to Kodialbail near PVS building to Hotel Ayodya for breakfast.

Friends, if you want to taste some authentic Mangalorean breakfast, please try this hotel.

First, we order for Kotte Idli with Mangalore special Dhali thoya and chutni
Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0500.jpg

Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0503.jpg

Kotte is prepared with jackfruit leaves which are stitched with bamboo sticks to form a cup in which idli batter is poured and steam cooked. Eat this with dhali thoya and fresh coconut chutni. Very different and very tasty.

After finishing this, we order "Biscuit rotti"
Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0505.jpg

Board displaying Patholi, thekkare idli, Nayyappa, Buns, Biscuit rotti, pundi, theek rotti - sukka bhaji...
Kukke-D'sthala-Kateel-Udupi-Kollur-Sringeri-Hornadu-Kalasa A Pilgrimage-dscn0507.jpg

Where else in the world you get such a variety of food for breakfast?

After having a stomachful of breakfast, I drop my wifey to her new office at Kankanadi and drive to one of my uncles place which is at Highland quarters, Vaslane. I am visiting them after some 5-6 years. We discuss all the things that happened in those 5-6 years. I had my lunch here and at 2:30, I say goodbye to them.

Instead of going to hotel room, I think of exploring some Mangalore and just drive to Kadri hills and back to Hampanakatta. Road construction work is going on at many places and there are road blocks and diversions everywhere. My camera was left in my wife's bag, so I couldn't click any photos.

Here, I must mention that I was really surprised to see so many Sparkys in Mangalore. In fact, I saw more Sparks than Santro/I10/Wagon R/Estilo etc. I wonder why. Is it because Mangaloreans are supposed to be very intelligent? Guys don't get offended and bash me up .

I return to hotel room in the evening. Wife comes back at around 7:30 pm. She had a great day at the office with presentations and meetings. We call room service and Order an Ice chilled beer for me and some chicken 65 and biryani for dinner to end the day 3.

Continued...
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Old 5th October 2008, 14:10   #11
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Hey Deepak, nice travelogue there; I liked this part the best

Quote:
It was exactly 04:01 am when I start my Sparky ON, put her in reverse gear, take her out of open gates and on the road. My wife closes the gates and she comes in and sits besides me. Whole surrounding was dark, and at this time, I switch on the headlights, with the clutch dipressed put my Sparky in 1st gear, hold the steering wheel with both hands, and just close my eyes.
I was wondering if you would take us through every gear change and acceleration throughout the trip.
Jokes apart, very nice pics and please post more. Your beloved Sparky has not yet made an appearance in the pics.
Regards,
Hari.
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Old 5th October 2008, 14:14   #12
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Bombatt you seem to be quiet familiar with the the mangy...
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Old 5th October 2008, 14:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BomBatt View Post
First, we order for Kotte Idli with Mangalore special Dhali thoya and chutni
Locally it is known as Gunda, I remember making those small leaf baskets as a kid.

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After finishing this, we order "Biscuit rotti"
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Oops, you may have ordered Biscuit roti, but what you got was buns.
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Old 5th October 2008, 14:54   #14
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Samurai, It was indeed biscuit rotti. In photo it looks similar to buns but I have tasted buns at Dharmasthala, but this one was like Poori with coconut masala filling inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
Your beloved Sparky has not yet made an appearance in the pics.
Yes Hari, I was so overwhelmed with driving and visting temples that I somehow forgot to stop and click photos. Even now, while typing this travelogue, I am wondering I could have clicked a lot more photos

@Lohit, I am Mangalorean by birth but not all that familiar with Mangalore. Only 2-3 years of my early childhood spent in Mangalore. Rest of all at Davangere, Shimoga, Mumbai, and Bangy.

Last edited by BomBatt : 5th October 2008 at 15:00.
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Old 5th October 2008, 15:41   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BomBatt View Post
Samurai, It was indeed biscuit rotti. In photo it looks similar to buns but I have tasted buns at Dharmasthala, but this one was like Poori with coconut masala filling inside.



Yes Hari, I was so overwhelmed with driving and visting temples that I somehow forgot to stop and click photos. Even now, while typing this travelogue, I am wondering I could have clicked a lot more photos
This happened with me too, i dint even take 1 pic:(
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