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Old 8th December 2008, 13:08   #1
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Default B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit

This will be my first travelogue on Team BHP. I’ve been in and out of the site, reading and posting, but never got around to writing a travelogue. So, here goes…

We had planned on visiting the Anatheshwar temple at Manjeshwar, sometime in the mid of Nov ’08. However, was unable to do so then, and it got postponed to the first week of Dec’08 and did so on the 4th and 5th.

I love to drive at night and more so if I know the route before-hand. Left home at about 0150hrs on 4th, via Mysore – Madikeri – Jalsoor to Kasargod. Mysore road is as good as ever, saw some accidents en-route (the usual), some dead dogs (again usual), stopped with brakes squealing for 3 road-bumps, flew over 2, did zig-zagging for the speed breakers (metal frame type) and reached the Mysore Ring Road turn off at 0350, covering a dist of 159kms, in 2hrs. Not bad eh.

Mysore ring-road is again the same, with huge road-bumps and direction boards galore. Took the turn for Madikeri route and again some well-maintained 4track roads, which after some kilometers turn to smooth 2track roads. They have installed cats-eye (I guess that’s what they are called) all along the road, with differing color to indicate sharp-curves and such. Piriyapatana roads have been laid except for about 200 meters, where it’s just 1 track. Kushal nagar came up in no time. There was thick fog for a few kilometers on both sides of Kushalnagar. With lights in dim and fog lights on, visibility would have been 15-20meters at the max, even lesser at times. It was the first time that I was driving through such thick mist, ORVMS getting blurred and windshield getting wet. Infact had to use the wiper intermittently to wipe of the condensed dew. That was a WOW experience for me. Tried capturing the fog, but it has not come out well.

Fog near KushalNagar:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050011.jpg

Kushalnagar to Madikeri is bad. Lots of potholes and some in “step” fashion, which makes it impossible to avoid. Again, there was fog in this section also. I met two Omnis racing in this stretch and one of them almost rammed into me, trying to overtake the other. Funnily enough, they had lights on bright and God alone knows how they were managing to drive thru all the fog. Locals who knew the road well I guess.

The fun started from Madikeri onwards. The path (will call it a road only if a gun is held to my head) from there on till Sullia is a bad bad mess. You drive in 2nd and 3rd gear and at times in 1st, falling into and climbing out of potholes. Some potholes have rocks, big ones similar to ones used by truckers as tyre-stops. You are left with nothing much to do other than bite down and keep driving slow. Managed to scrape the underside of front bumper and mud flaps 3-4times. The average speed came down quite a lot. Where there are no potholes, the path surface is made up of areas with 3-5cm of upper tar layer that has broken off (like scabs), resulting in a jarring ride all through. There are some stretches which are well paved and as you speed up, hoping that the worst is behind you, the path surprises you every single time. The worst I’ve driven thru ever . This route is a strict no to sedans or hatchbacks. Safari/Scorpio/Innova can handle this terrain so much better. Interestingly, there are so many 4wd jeeps there. The terrain suits.

Only photo I took of the car, right after Madikeri:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050017.jpg

Bad Roads:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050138.jpg

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050154.jpg

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050166.jpg

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050176.jpg

Scabs:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050203.jpg

From Sullia, things improve a great deal. You get to drive thru some nice scenic roads, well paved, except for some short stretches of scabs and some bridge building. The smooth winding surface makes you want to speed up and its fun. Keep an eye out though for private buses and mini-vans which has a habit of surprising you. They will be driving fast, half in your lane, while taking a turn and mostly you are going uphill when this happens. There are uphill and downhill stretches all through out till Kasargod and driving fast on curves can give you nausea like feeling. Something similar to when driving thru the Nilambur stretch.

The most “odd” part of the onward journey was the truckers, all of them kept to the left side of the road or moved with just a peck on the horn. Usually they drag race at 15kmph or act blind and deaf to your flashes & horn. Kudos to them, never have met a more disciplined bunch!!! Least did I know that they were being nice to me, as if by 6th sense they knew I’m on my way to some serious bad roads.

Reached Kasargod, at 0940hrs. A small town with a bunch of good people. Stayed at a place called Diera Residency, which charged Rs1275/- inclusive of taxes for double room AC and the room was pretty decent. Better still, the food was cheap. Even though it was a pilgrimage trip and maybe we should have stayed of meat, couldn’t help but eat some authentic local preparations for an early lunch. 6parottas and 2plates of chicken, cost Rs68/-. How is that??!!! Cheap isn’t it. Wait till you hear what we had for dinner, 1 Ghee Rice, 1 Chicken Biriyani, 1 Chilly Beef, 1 Beef Dry Fry, 2 Lime Juice. Bill, Rs168/-. Yes yes, I know!!! Thinking of going back sometime soon just to eat!!! The food was tasty and way too good for the price we paid.

After the early lunch, we went to the temple which was about 28kms away and as luck would have it, there was a festival going on. The temple is different from others in the combination of deities who are worshipped. Lord Shiva and Shesha/Anantha are the main deities. The idol of Lord Shiva is considered as a “swayamboo” (self-emergent). With the festivals going on, the temple was echoing with chants and worshippers chorusing with “Govinda”. In spite of all the chanting and general noise level owing to the huge crowd, one can still connect with the inner self and find some all elusive sense of peace and well-being. At least I did.

Top Part of the "Rath":

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050019.jpg

Side View, rather Diagonal View. Check out the size of the wooden wheels. You can compare its height with the man standing right next to it:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050024.jpg

Close-Up of one of the idols on the Rath:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050025.jpg

Anantha/Sesha:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050044.jpg

Lord Shiva:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050052.jpg

Gods on the way to the Rath:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050076.jpg

Gods being carried into the Rath:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050085.jpg

Inside:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050092.jpg

Not sure what to make out of this, but spotted eagles flying above the temple in a circular fashion once the dieties were brought out of temple:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050097.jpg

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050099.jpg

Since it was festival time, there were lots of police men around to guide traffic and maintain decorum. Interestingly, all of them I interacted to, be it for parking or asking for directions (talked to about 4 of them at different times), were so well-behaved, without any touch of the usual arrogance in their voice. Infact when I asked one for directions to get back to Kasargod, since I had to take a different route owing to “rath-yathra” that was scheduled from the temple, he asked another police man about the route and came back with clarifications. You don’t see such people around, especially in khaki.

On the way back to Kasargod, we visited Ananthapura Lake Temple, which is the “moolasthanam” or “original seat” (as a web site mentioned), of the Padmnabhaswamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram. As the story goes, it is said that Lord Krishna, went thru a cave from Anathapura to Thiruvananthapuram. It is the only lake temple in Kerala and the idol is made out of an Ayurvedic medicine material. We did some poojas here and the guy who sits to write out the pooja coupons happily explained to us all about the temple and its history. Photography is prohibited and hence no snaps. The link given below mentions the story as well as some other interesting details:
Ananthapura lake temple is guarded by a vegetarian crocodile

On my drive back to, I was contemplating as to how life is so simple for him. He is a hardcore devotee and his life revolves around the temple. There was a genuineness about him that was so appealing and complete. God bless him.

The drive back was uneventful, except for fog even at 0800hrs in some stretches between Jalsoor and Sullia. Started at 0550hrs and reached home at 1340hrs.

Fog on the way back:

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050126.jpg

B’lore to Manjeshwar – Temple Visit-2008_12050175.jpg

Do let me know if you need any info about the route or the temple. Comments are welcome.
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Old 8th December 2008, 13:58   #2
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From Madikeri, did you try the Bhagamandla -panathur route to reach Kasargode ?? If so, how are the ghat roads in the forest now ?
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Old 8th December 2008, 14:03   #3
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Unni good report..

What would be the distance from Bangalore via madikeri -kasrgod to Mangalore? and how are the roads??
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Old 8th December 2008, 14:09   #4
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Hi Unni,

Good to know that you achieved your objective of visiting the temple at Manjeshwar. Nice pictures which gives a good idea for people who plan to use this route. Hope to see more travelogues from you in future. As i presumed, nothing has been done to improve the road condition between Madikeri & Sullia.

One comment, on your picture with the caption "Lord Shiva". I think it is Lord Ugra Narasimha.

Best Regards/Satish Prabhu
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Old 8th December 2008, 14:11   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prabhusati View Post
Hi Unni,

Good to know that you achieved your objective of visiting the temple at Manjeshwar. Nice pictures which gives a good idea for people who plan to use this route. Hope to see more travelogues from you in future. As i presumed, nothing has been done to improve the road condition between Madikeri & Sullia.

One comment, on your picture with the caption "Lord Shiva". I think it is Lord Ugra Narasimha.

Best Regards/Satish Prabhu
Yes its "Lord Ugra Narasimha"
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Old 8th December 2008, 14:23   #6
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Quote:
Anatheshwar temple
who are doing the pooja here?
Namboodiri's or Tulu brahmins(embrandiri's)?
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Old 8th December 2008, 14:30   #7
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After enduring the Madikeri route, I'm surprised you took the same route on the way back to B'lore You could have tried Mangalore-Shiradi-Blore for a change
I had taken the Madikeri route a year ago and suffered during that long cratered stretch after Madikeri and vowed never to try it again until they repair it.
Shiradi is definitely hell, but only for a relatively short stretch compared to after-Madikeri where the potholed road seems endless
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Old 8th December 2008, 15:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepclutch View Post
who are doing the pooja here?
Namboodiri's or Tulu brahmins(embrandiri's)?
Neither. Gowd Saraswat Brahimins - GSBs. See Welcome to the site of Srimath Anantheshwar Temple, Manjeshwar

IIRC, the temple has rooms, but not sure if they let out to non-saraswats (or beef eaters, for that matter. Just joking).
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Old 8th December 2008, 15:45   #9
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I dont know that.I thought kasaragod as tulunad.
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Old 8th December 2008, 15:51   #10
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Will be on a trip to Kollur by the end of this month. Added this temple also to the list as soon as I read it.
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Old 8th December 2008, 17:52   #11
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Nice pics and explanation. Whatz the total distance you travelled ? Regarding the eagles flying, it is same as sabiramala wherein, while taking the ornaments of god, the eagles will be up and flying.
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Old 8th December 2008, 18:48   #12
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Great one. I read the same as snaronikar did say about the eagles flying. There are lots of stories with shabarimala. Plan to go there once.

Well buddy good you didnt try the bhagamandala pananthur route. Not many vehicles use it and so its like risky
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Old 8th December 2008, 19:16   #13
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Very nice pilgrimage there Unni, quite a lot of information too about the temples, the drive on bad roads really kills the enthusiasm of a long drive.
Regards,
Hari.
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Old 9th December 2008, 00:00   #14
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You should have also tried the Bekal Fort near to Kasargod. I had been there a long time back. Nice place.
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Old 9th December 2008, 02:37   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by for_cars1 View Post
After enduring the Madikeri route, I'm surprised you took the same route on the way back to B'lore You could have tried Mangalore-Shiradi-Blore for a change
I had taken the Madikeri route a year ago and suffered during that long cratered stretch after Madikeri and vowed never to try it again until they repair it.
Shiradi is definitely hell, but only for a relatively short stretch compared to after-Madikeri where the potholed road seems endless
Had thought about it, but was of the understanding that Mangalore - Shiradi - B'lore was even worse. Next time maybe!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
IIRC, the temple has rooms, but not sure if they let out to non-saraswats (or beef eaters, for that matter. Just joking).
Ha ha... Good One. Can't help but eat some beef when in Kerala.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlobeTrotter View Post
Will be on a trip to Kollur by the end of this month. Added this temple also to the list as soon as I read it.
It'll be great experience JK. Maybe, we'll join you for the Kollur trip. As discussed, lets see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Nice pics and explanation. Whatz the total distance you travelled ? Regarding the eagles flying, it is same as sabiramala wherein, while taking the ornaments of god, the eagles will be up and flying.
Total distance came upto about 830km (round-trip). I was not aware of the ornaments of God and Eagle connection. Need to find that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Great one. I read the same as snaronikar did say about the eagles flying. There are lots of stories with shabarimala. Plan to go there once.
Sabarimala is a different experience altogether. Its on of those "must do" trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
Very nice pilgrimage there Unni, quite a lot of information too about the temples, the drive on bad roads really kills the enthusiasm of a long drive.
Regards,
Hari.
Thanks Hari. Almost around the time you did a temple visit eh. Had read your travelogue yesterday. Good one with lots of photos. This time around, didn't take much photos on the way, due to lack of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sowmya View Post
You should have also tried the Bekal Fort near to Kasargod. I had been there a long time back. Nice place.
Time was a constraint and hence had to give it a miss. There are infact some more temples in that area, plus an old mosque and Bekal fort. Not to miss, the beach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecherian View Post
From Madikeri, did you try the Bhagamandla -panathur route to reach Kasargode ?? If so, how are the ghat roads in the forest now ?
Nope, I took the Madikeri - Sullia - Jalsoor route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
Unni good report..

What would be the distance from Bangalore via madikeri -kasrgod to Mangalore? and how are the roads??
Thanks Lohithrao. The distance till Mangalore via Madikeri-Kasargod would be about 430km. The roads till Kushalnagar are great. From there on till Sullia is a mess. After that the roads are good again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prabhusati View Post
Hi Unni,

Good to know that you achieved your objective of visiting the temple at Manjeshwar. Nice pictures which gives a good idea for people who plan to use this route. Hope to see more travelogues from you in future. As i presumed, nothing has been done to improve the road condition between Madikeri & Sullia.

One comment, on your picture with the caption "Lord Shiva". I think it is Lord Ugra Narasimha.

Best Regards/Satish Prabhu
Thanks Satish. Yes, nothing much has been done to improve the conditions. They have started doing some patch work, but again need to see how effective its going to be.

I stand corrected with regard to the deity.
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