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Old 27th November 2010, 17:48   #16
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Default Day 4: Malpe Beach, Udupi

Day 4 began with a bit of indecision. I wanted to go to Kaup beach and check out the lighthouse there. Haven't been to a lighthouse before.
But wifey wanted to go close somewhere like Malpe beach.
So Malpe it was.

Had our breakfast in the hotel and then we started out to find a way to get to Malpe beach.

There are no fixed auto fares for Malpe from Udupi. The lowest we could get was Rs.70/-. Instead we got the local bus which charged Rs.6/head to Malpe beach. The bus took us to Malpe beach via Kalmadi and Malpe town.

Upon arriving at Malpe, we had our lunch at the Paradise Isle Beach Resort right next to the beach. It was off-season so not much of a crowd there. The food was okay.

Post lunch, we decided to visit St. Mary's Island. But for that we have to catch another auto/bus to go back to Malpe town for catching the boat to the island. Wish we knew this earlier. We could have got down at Malpe bus stand itself. But as luck would have it, we had to catch an auto. Though a local guy has mentioned us not to pay more than Rs.20, but no auto would to the port below Rs.30. We had no choice either - no buses were in sight.

It was nearly 3:00 PM, at Malpe port. And we were waiting at the ticket counter. Seemed like we were the only passengers and the boat for the island won't start unless there are 30 passengers.

The beach wasn't close by either, so we had to spend the time doing nothing but wait.
No travel site that I've read recently points to this fact that the beach and port are exclusive of each other - completely separate and at least 25 mins walk from each other.
If only some people/visitors arrive and give us a hope of going there....

At the Paradise Island Beach Resort.
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Waiting for the boat to St. Mary's Island at Malpe port.
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A ship being repaired/prepared at the Malpe port/
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Old 27th November 2010, 18:21   #17
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Default Day 4: ...contd.

Our attempt to go to St. Mary's Isle was a failure. The wait was futile. After spending close to an hour at the booking office with no other person in sight, we gave up.

Got an auto back to the beach and spent a good 1.5 hours there before catching the bus back to Udupi. Our son spent a great time at the beach with his sand toys. And that's what satisfied us, after the disappointment.
We couldn't go back to Malpe the next day as we planned to leave Udupi for North Canara.

We had to wait for 15-20 mins before the bus came and we were back in Udupi town. I whole-heartedly recommend people to take the bus to the beach instead of an auto - takes about the same time, you get to spend time with the local people and it saves you money.

The best part of this disappointing day was yet to come. We knew of a place called Mitra Samaj in Car Street that served the most authentic Udupi cuisine, and were planning to have breakfast there the next morning. But to enliven things up, we decided to go there the same evening.

The dinner at Mitra Samaj - Masala Dosa, Goli Bajji and a Badam Milk to round it off. Great authentic fare. We also came to know that the shop would be closed the next day (Wednesday weekly holiday). So, we made it just in time. At last something was lucky for us.

After dinner, spent some more time on Car Street before making our way back to Mango Suites and called it a day.

Distant view of the Malpe port from the beach.
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View of St. Mary's Island from Malpe beach.
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Another view of St. Mary's Isle.
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At the Malpe Beach.
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A view of Manipal from our hotel window.
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Another view of Manipal from the hotel window
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A front view of the Chandramouleeshwara Temple, Udupi. No tripods taken - sorry for the quality.
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Car Street at night.
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Taken from a wall photo at the Mitra Samaj. The Car festival held in the month of January.
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Another photo of the Car festival at Mitra Samaj.
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The Mitra Samaj. No tripod - sorry for the quality.
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Old 27th November 2010, 19:02   #18
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Default Day 5: Maravanthe, Ottinene, Murudeshwar

The previous night I had booked an AC Indigo cab from Suman Travels @7.5/km, no strings attached. Supposed to start at 9:00 AM for Gokarna. Wanted to do the Udupi-Gokarna trip by bus, but again had to break my rule given the distance and the comfort of the baby.

According to our plan, first it's going to be Maravanthe, Byndoor's Ottinene Cliffs and finally Murudeshwar for lunch.
From Murudeshwar directly on to Gokarna. Lots of kms to crunch. Had kept my fingers crossed.

The check out process was a breezy affair. The car was bang on time @ 9:00AM.

Started for Gokarna at 9:30AM after breakfast.
Baby and wifey drugged themselves up in anticipation of a bumpy and long ride.

The road till Murudeshwar from Udupi doesn't deserve to be called a road. It's in shambles more pronounced by the stiff support from the Indigo rear seat.
We reached Maravanthe at 11:15AM. Spent some time looking at the wonderful play of nature, between the Sowparnika River and the Arabian Sea. The river comes so close to the sea, yet turns back inland, leaving a narrow stretch of land in between. The National Highway has been built on this stretch and provides a breathtaking scenery.

At the Trasi beach.
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At Maravanthe.
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We reached Ottinene Cliffs, near Byndoor, at 12:15PM.
There are some cottages there run by the forest department, missed enquiring the rates. Ottinene is a beautiful place where one can see the Sowparnika River finally meeting the sea, from a cliff above. The Trasi beach and Maravanthe provides a perfect backdrop to the view and the Western ghats adds to the quality. This place would be heaven during sun set. Unfortunately, we have to miss it.
Would love to spend a day or two at Ottinene sometime in the future.

The Raghavendra Temple at Ottinene, on the highway.
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View from the Ottinene Cliffs.
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The road turns hilly as soon as one enters North Canara district after Byndoor.
The road condition is the worst around Bhatkal. No roads at all till Shirali.

Reached Murudeshwar at 1:30PM. Had a nice lunch at the Naveen Restaurant here.
Spent about 2 hours in Murudeshwar visiting the temples, Bhukailash and the beach.

Around 4:00PM, started speeding towards Gokarna. The last leg for the day.

The Shiva statue at Murudeshwar.
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Aradhya with the gopura towering over him.
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View of Netrani Island and the fishing boats, Murudeshwar.
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The Murudeshwar beach.
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Gadbad ice-cream.
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Looking out to sea from the top of the hillock, Murudeshwar.
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The Sun god's chariot.
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Krishna and Arjuna from the Mahabharata.
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Scenes from inside the air-conditioned Bhukailash museum.
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Another view of the Murudeshwar Shiva statue.
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Reached Gokarna around 6:00PM. Dusk was fast approaching and I knew that the last 500m road to the Gokarna International Beach Resort didn't exist.

We took the road to Om Beach, missed the Kudle Beach turn and landed up at the Namaste Guest House. Checked the double bedded room on offer there @Rs. 700, but didn't like the looks of it.
Turned back to the Kudle Beach road, the road was fit for an SUV not an Indigo. It was more like a dirt track. A desi hippie we found there told me that the road involved climbing down to the beach through slippery rocky and mud steps.
This seemed dangerous enough, and on top of it, it started pouring pretty heavily. So basically it boiled down to -
a. Stay at the resort
b. Carry all the luggage down there only to bring it all up the next day.
c. Risk walking down there in heavy rain with wifey and kid.
d. Try and figure out the resort from amongst a bunch of shacks in this rain.
e. Do all the above in darkness, as the day was done.

Or...

a. Go back to town
b. Stay at a hotel there
c. Easily accessible and the bus stand was close. We have to take the Karwar bus next day.
d. I get AC rooms with power backup.

Last edited by aryasanyal : 27th November 2010 at 19:11.
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Old 27th November 2010, 20:23   #19
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Seems like those photos of Udupi at mitra samaj are from Paryaya Festival.
And the Gadbad still looks slurpy. But I'd anyday prefer Gadbad from Diana.
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Old 28th November 2010, 10:54   #20
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Hi Arya

Wonderful log from you. It is remarkable that you indeed used the public transport (bus) from South Canara district. ofcourse it is one of the efficient one i have seen.

your pictures are excellent. the places you have visited bring out nostalgia in me. Voted as 5 star just now
Maravanthe is a nature's wonder. Murudeshwar is a man made wonder (by RN Shetty). Marvanthe to Murudeshwar road is a Governance mess,

I used to live in gokarna for 5 years in 1980s. I am eager to learn more about your experience of Gokarna as i want to go back there some time next year and re-discover some childhood friends.

Devbagh is a wonderful place, We drove to Devbagh beach resort (as walk in guest) last week while returning from Goa and spent half day there. May be once you post your pictures, i will upload couple pictures from myside if you give permission.

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Old 29th November 2010, 17:01   #21
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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Seems like those photos of Udupi at mitra samaj are from Paryaya Festival.
And the Gadbad still looks slurpy. But I'd anyday prefer Gadbad from Diana.
You may be right about the name of the festival. I forgot to note it down while visiting Udupi.
The Gadbad at Diana is really yummy, but this was the best we could get at Murudeshwar. I prefer having local food while travelling, so this time it was Neer Dosa with Chicken/Prawn Pullimunchi nearly everyday and gadbad Ice-cream to round it off in the end.
But the Naveen Hotel at Murudeshwar was a veg one, and the South-Indian thali there was really good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hi Arya

Wonderful log from you.
It is remarkable that you indeed used the public transport (bus) from South Canara district. ofcourse it is one of the efficient one i have seen.

your pictures are excellent. the places you have visited bring out nostalgia in me. Voted as 5 star just now
Maravanthe is a nature's wonder. Murudeshwar is a man made wonder (by RN Shetty). Marvanthe to Murudeshwar road is a Governance mess,
Thanks a lot for the wishes, encouragement and the rating!
We tried using public transport wherever possible, but broke the rule twice - once while travelling to Bekal and next on the Udupi-Gokarna stretch. Apart from these two exceptions, it was public transport all the way. I found the bus service to be good in both South and North Canara - the only difference was that South Canara had a number of private operators as well while North Canara was serviced exclusively by the govt. operators - NWKRTC and KSRTC.

Maravanthe is truly nature's wonder, but Ottinene is no lesser - one of the most spectacular views I have ever seen. As mentioned in my log, I'd love to spend a day or two there.

Missed doing the boating at Maravanthe and the visit to the village of Padukone. Was really pressed for time.

Quote:
I used to live in gokarna for 5 years in 1980s. I am eager to learn more about your experience of Gokarna as i want to go back there some time next year and re-discover some childhood friends.
Our Gokarna experience was so-so. Rains, our timing and the hotel stay made it really bad but the wonderful small beaches and the lush green of post-monsoon lifted our spirits.

Quote:
Devbagh is a wonderful place, We drove to Devbagh beach resort (as walk in guest) last week while returning from Goa and spent half day there. May be once you post your pictures, i will upload couple pictures from myside if you give permission.
Sure, feel free to upload your pics. In my next round of updates, I shall cover the Gokarna stay and the Devbagh stay.

Last edited by aryasanyal : 29th November 2010 at 17:05.
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Old 29th November 2010, 19:17   #22
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Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post
Missed doing the boating at Maravanthe and the visit to the village of Padukone. Was really pressed for time.

Our Gokarna experience was so-so. Rains, our timing and the hotel stay made it really bad but the wonderful small beaches and the lush green of post-monsoon lifted our spirits.

Sure, feel free to upload your pics. In my next round of updates, I shall cover the Gokarna stay and the Devbagh stay.

Ofcourse boating could be done elsewhere as well. famous padukones are all either in bangalore or in bollywood. i do not think you missed anything in Padukone.

Look forward to read your Gokarna part of the log. please share the pictures of the town if you have shot any. I will post my pictures of Devbagh only after you complete your part of the story.

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Old 1st December 2010, 14:50   #23
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Default Day 5-6: Gokarna

The choice was a no-brainer. The situation was so very skewed, even though we tried to make some way down the steps towards Kudle beach.

I requested Rajesh, our driver, to take us back to Gokarna town. The affable chap that he was, he was prepared to carry our luggage down to Kudle beach as well, readily agreed.

The rain was pouring cats and dogs, and the dimly lit streets of Gokarna looked eerie and straight out of a Sherlock Holmes story.
The only hotel I knew of in town was the Gokarna International hotel.
We checked into the hotel in the AC double room for Rs.800 and heaved a sigh of relief.

We said our byes to Rajesh - he would drive back to Udupi in the night. The total taxi cost had come to around Rs.3510/-

Made our way upstairs to the allotted room. It was a disaster.

The older non-functional window AC was still there as a heritage ornament filled with insects of all tropical variety.
The small bathroom was filled with a large bath-tub - not sure if that offered any help to any boarders - it was dirty!
The bed sheets, seemed washed, but were filled with beauty spots from older guests.
A large cockroach jumped out as soon as I opened the wardrobe. I closed it no sooner than I opened it, expecting to see a lot more of the similar kind.
The floor mat provided for the bathroom was filthy, wet and reeked of mud. We asked them to change it but the replacement was worse.

I can go on and on about the negatives. But the one positive was that this international hotel provided us a shelter for the night, and the new split AC worked. There were two balconies in the room - one overlooked the front street and the other a neighbor's compound.

We freshened up and had veg thali dinner at the Purohit Restaurant attached to the hotel.
Called it a day.

Day 6:

Next morning we had masala dosa for breakfast at the same outlet. Then fixed up an auto for Rs.400/- to take us to Om and Kudle beaches apart from the temples in town. We couldn't stay at the beaches, so this was the next best thing that we could do.

Gokarna beaches are quite different from the ones that we are normally accustomed to seeing.
Here, the water was kissing the very edge of the coast where the shacks and small eateries were setup. Probably due to high tide.

We got down to the Om Beach and spent about 10-15 mins there. Then we went to the Kudle Beach drop off point from where it's a 5-8 mins downward trek to the beach. The one that we avoided doing the previous evening.

Sonali and Aradhya waited in the auto while I did the distance in 7 mins, spent 20 mins in the beach and again took a flat 4 mins to surface to the auto parking spot.

The Kudle beach is very dirty with all the night-long party leftovers. Met a Czech lady who is planning to start a hotel-cum-ayurvedic centre there.
Couple of snaps later, I was on my way. Not venturing into Kudle at evening was a wise decision, I thought.

Back in town, we visited the Koti Theerth tank, did tarpan (that day being Mahalaya), and then visited the Mahabaleshwar temple.
Me and Aradhya had to remove our shirts before entering the sanctum sanctorum.

It was a whirlwind visit, but enough to give us an idea of Gokarna. Another longer trip to this town beckons.

Done the trip, made a dash to the hotel, got freshened up, took luggage, went to the bus stand. Had to catch the 12:15 bus to Ankola, since the only direct one to Karwar left at 10:45AM. The bus was right on time.

We hoped to reach Ankola by 1:10PM. And then catch the Karwar bus from there.
Lunch at the Devbag resort is on till 2:30PM. Can we make it by then?

Aradhya at the room in Gokarna International Hotel.
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Kudle beach from the road above.
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Another side of the Kudle beach. The beach is basically nestled between these two promontories.
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Om beach.
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A view of the rough sea at Om beach.
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Another view of Om beach.
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The road from Gokarna town to the Om beach. The huts are part of the pricey Swaswara resort.
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Aradhya at the Om beach.
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On Om beach. Notice the high tide has left nothing of beach in view.
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Looking uphill on the path to Kudle beach.
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Looking downhill on the path to Kudle beach. It was wet and slippery. God knows what would have happened had I decided to go down the previous night.
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First view of Kudle beach. I thought it was very dirty. Maybe because of the heavy rain the previous night.
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Scenes from the Kudle beach.
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The Koti Theerth tank, Gokarna.
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The ghats of the Koti Theerth.
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Sonali at the Mahabaleshwara temple, Gokarna.
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Street scenes in front of the Mahabaleshwara temple
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Last edited by aryasanyal : 1st December 2010 at 14:54.
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Old 1st December 2010, 14:58   #24
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Nice pics mate. My dad is from Udupi and i have visited this place a number of times. And there is something about this place that makes you keep coming back. May be its the temples. Love the Anantheshwara temple. Did you happen to notice the 2 hands at the top of the temple. Some story i read has that, when these hands orient themselves at a particular angle, there will deluge and the world will come to an end.
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Old 1st December 2010, 15:04   #25
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The beach shores are just beautiful .. been to mangalore so many times but never made it to marvathe.. looks like its time i pay a visit.
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Old 1st December 2010, 15:12   #26
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Nice pics mate. My dad is from Udupi and i have visited this place a number of times. And there is something about this place that makes you keep coming back. May be its the temples. Love the Anantheshwara temple. Did you happen to notice the 2 hands at the top of the temple. Some story i read has that, when these hands orient themselves at a particular angle, there will deluge and the world will come to an end.
Thanks!
As you enter Car Street in Udupi, you are transported to a different era. What I thought of immediately was the Malgudi Days serial. The atmosphere of the place is right out of older days.

Yeah, I saw the hands, but couldn't take pics, as it had become too dark. Good to know the tale behind them.

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The beach shores are just beautiful .. been to mangalore so many times but never made it to marvathe.. looks like its time i pay a visit.
It's high time, sir. Pay a visit before all resorts and hotels start springing up close to that place. Till now it's pretty serene.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 23:11   #27
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Thanks arya for the pictures of the Gokarna beaches, koti tirth tank, temples, streets etc. From the pictures i have a feeling that nothing much has changed in last 23 years. We moved out of Gokarna in 1987.

in one of the pictures which shows the kudle beach, there is a temple on the hill top. once a year there used to be "Vana bhojana" program where the Temple God will move out and spend a day at that temple and there would be a feast, We used to look forward for that day, which used to happen (i think) in the hindu month of Kartik.

i remember several of my class mates and friends had their homes around the koti thirtha tank and the bylane which leads towards the mahabaleshwara temple.

I also remember several of my friends had the names like Mahabala, Mahabaleshwara, Mahadeva, Mahesha, Gajanana, Ganapati, Ganesha etc etc. Probably i may not recognize them now or vice versa.

If you have any more pictures of the streets of Gokarna, please post them, they would help me to remember the fond childhood or teen-age memories. My sincere thanks to you for sharing the details and pictures.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 23:32   #28
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Zimbly Zooburb!! Love the narrative and pics!! An inspiration for my future travels!! Keep them coming
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Old 3rd December 2010, 00:17   #29
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Nice pictures there. Seems like you had a good time. Keep them coming!
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Old 3rd December 2010, 00:29   #30
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Thanks arya for the pictures of the Gokarna beaches, koti tirth tank, temples, streets etc. From the pictures i have a feeling that nothing much has changed in last 23 years. We moved out of Gokarna in 1987.
My pleasure in helping you revive your nostalgia.
Even though this was my first visit, I am pretty sure that nothing much has changed there in the last 30 odd years, except a couple of mobile towers and some new vehicles on the streets.

The lanes and by-lanes remain the same as it was earlier. From the looks of it, the town also seems to have pretty much kept the same boundaries, except some new structures beyond the bus-stand.

There are some houses close to the salt pans on the road leading to Gokarna from the National Highway. Even those look pretty old.

Quote:
in one of the pictures which shows the kudle beach, there is a temple on the hill top. once a year there used to be "Vana bhojana" program where the Temple God will move out and spend a day at that temple and there would be a feast, We used to look forward for that day, which used to happen (i think) in the hindu month of Kartik.
The small pleasures of sharing data on this forum. One gets to know so much more about a place. I actually wanted to visit this temple, for the view that it might offer. Unfortunately, the gates were locked.

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i remember several of my class mates and friends had their homes around the koti thirtha tank and the bylane which leads towards the mahabaleshwara temple.
I believe the bylanes are unchanged except maybe for some new construction...no actually I didn't see any new construction. Lots of Brahmin houses there - the names of house owners on the door indicated so.

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I also remember several of my friends had the names like Mahabala, Mahabaleshwara, Mahadeva, Mahesha, Gajanana, Ganapati, Ganesha etc etc. Probably i may not recognize them now or vice versa.
Now you are making me mushy about my childhood friends with whom I have lost contact.

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If you have any more pictures of the streets of Gokarna, please post them, they would help me to remember the fond childhood or teen-age memories. My sincere thanks to you for sharing the details and pictures.
I apologize that I don't have any more pictures of Gokarna town to share. I wanted to walk down the lanes of Car Street and take some photos, but the tight schedule didn't allow me.
If I'd have known your love for Gokarna, I'd have definitely taken some more.

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Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
Zimbly Zooburb!! Love the narrative and pics!! An inspiration for my future travels!! Keep them coming
Thanks Ragul - looking forward to some of your travel experiences as well.
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