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Old 4th January 2009, 00:14   #1
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Default 'Xing'ing around ! - Temples, Hills, Forests, Caves, Ruins, Forts and Highways...

The three of us returned on 2nd Jan after another wonderful road trip! [Sanjay, Sangeetha & Santro ;-)] Though we have been driving around for quite a few years now, this will be my first travelogue. So, E&OE (Errors and Omissions Excepted)

We started out at around 7.00am on the 27th of December and parked back at 10.30pm on 2nd Jan 09, making it a 7 day trip around Karnataka.. 7 days of sheer driving pleasure.

Day 1
Bangalore > Hassan > Chikmagalur > Kalasa > Hornadu
Around 330kms
Overnight stay in Hornadu

Day 2
Hornadu > Kudremukh > Sringeri > Agumbe > Kollur
Around 185kms
Overnight stay in Kollur

Day 3
Kollur > Maravanthe beach > Murudeshwar > Idagunji > Gokarna > Hubli
Around 390kms
Overnight Stay in Hubli

Day 4
Hubli > Badami
Around 130kms
Overnight stay in Badami

Day 5
Badami > Shivayogi mandira > Mahakuta > Pattadakal > Aihole > Hospet
Around 130kms
Overnight stay in Hospet

Day 6
Hospet > Hampi > Hospet
Around 24kms (12 + 12)
Overnight stay in Hospet

Day 7
Hospet > Chitradurga > Bangalore
Around 365kms
Back to base!

* Note: Since many smaller roads and places are not shown on Google maps, this diagram is not an exact route-map. I used an Eicher-Goodearth Karnataka road-map for planning the route.

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Drive details:
  • Total distance on the trip meter : 1692 Kms
  • Never drove beyond 10pm on any day [Avoided night-drives on unfamiliar roads]
  • Road conditions : around 60% good, 30% acceptable & 10% bad [Bad stretches mainly between Hornadu - Sringeri, on Agumbe Ghats, between Hubli & Badami]
  • Assumed that the average speed would be around 45kmph on country roads/state-highways and 65kmph on the NHs and planned the destinations accordingly.
Things to watch-out for while driving:
  • Unmarked speed breakers on the highways, before and after every village or town limit.
  • Seriously bad roads, potholes and craters! on the SK Border - Sringeri stretch, Agumbe Ghats.
  • Mofussil buses, Shared autos, Mini-trucks who seem to get this urge to stop suddenly without warning.
  • Trucks on NH4, NH17, NH48, NH63 & NH13, who decide to execute sharp overtaking maneuvers just when you are about to pass by.
  • Jeeps / Cabs / Buses who like to play chicken when there is no road-shoulder for you to move on to.
  • Sign-posts that are hidden behind vegetation, covered with posters or just non-existent. (Whenever you come to or cross a fork in the road with no sign-boards, stop and ask someone!)
Other comments:
  • The route is quite 'family friendly' with decent accommodation and food options in all the places where we stayed overnight.
  • Sleeping bags are recommended, since you will not have to worry about the cleanliness of the bed-linen, just spread your sleeping bags on the hotel beds. (Or carry your own bedsheets)
  • Bottled water (Bisleri, Kinley or local brands) is available through-out.
  • Eat light, stick to 'tried and tested' and well cooked stuff like Idly / Dosa / Rice & rasam etc.
  • Buy fresh bananas for a quick bite to eat during the day while exploring and chocolates for munching during the drives.
  • Carry a couple of tubes of Odomos mosquito repellant cream, else you might end up with a case of severe blood-loss by morning ;-)
  • The usual first-aid kit with some disinfectant, cotton, Electral, Band-Aid strips, pain-killers is recommended.
  • Floaters are good for walking around in most places, Sneakers for any trekking / climbing.
  • We came across SBI ATMs in most small towns on the way, as long as you have a Visa/Mastercard, cash should not be a problem.
  • We found that Airtel does not work in places like Kollur, Hornadu etc. A BSNL sim card should be useful if you need to stay in touch.
  • Avoid small and decrepit petrol stations and whenever you find a decent one, get a full-tank. [By making sure that you tank-up before the half-way mark, you are averaging out the quality of fuel, just in case the fuel quality is bad.]
  • Carrying a torch, toolkit and a tube-less puncture repair kit with a foot-pump is a safe bet.
  • When there are multiple routes to a destination, ask a couple of locals (bus/auto/truck drivers) for the best route. The shortest route may not always be the best of roads.
To be continued with a day-by-day highlights and pics...
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Old 4th January 2009, 11:13   #2
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Nice Travel. But why Dont you provide more description on that.
1. Deatials route. (You can use wikimapia and yahoo maps)
2. Accommodation
3. Few Pics
4. Any other tricks that can be avoided.
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Old 4th January 2009, 11:26   #3
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A nice travelogue.
Waiting for pics and highlights.
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Old 4th January 2009, 11:30   #4
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Nice start, HotStuff!

A good set of pointers and notes.

Waiting for the day to day account of your trip.
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Old 4th January 2009, 11:48   #5
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I was anticipating a lot of travelogues coming up post long weekends. I am pretty excited about this.

@hotstuff: Surely a good start. I am hooked too, for your day by day logs.
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Old 4th January 2009, 12:41   #6
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Nice writeup and good account of the travel. Will except a lot of things including where you stayed, lodging charges etc.
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Old 4th January 2009, 20:17   #7
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Default Bangalore > Hassan > Chikmagalur > Kalasa > Hornadu

The prelude
Both of us had leaves that had to be exhausted before the year end and we planned to take the time off during the last week of December 08. We would have a block of holidays starting from Saturday the 27th Dec 08 up to Sunday 4th Jan 09.

The previous week…

“So, what plans for the New year's eve?”
“Let me plan something… you fancy Goa or Pondy or something else?”
“I’ll go with the ‘Something else’, Goa & Pondy will be too crowded”
“Ok… how about heading down south? I haven’t seen Tanjore, Kumbakonam, Madurai etc. we can drive all the way down to Kanyakumari and cover quite a few places enroute?”
“Well, mom wanted to go to Tanjore, Chidambaram etc. so it would be nice to plan that trip when they come to Bangalore”
“Ok… let me think over it for a couple of days and we'll come up with the 'something else'”

Vacation plans were being discussed by colleagues and friends… and someone mentioned about going to the Annapoorneshwari temple in Hornadu. I had been to Hornadu with my parents around 20 years ago and I had vague memories of an old tile roofed temple set in a green valley, I remember the driver asking us all to get down at a couple of places where we had to ford across a stream… and I remembered being served hot and tasty food in the temple verandah. It would be nice to go back there again.

“Hey, I propose going to Hornadu, its been quite a while since either of us have gone there, so why not Hornadu, Sringeri and other places nearby. Winter is a good time to drive around in Dakshina Kannada”
“I did go to Dharmasthala & Kukke early this year remember?… so skip those”
“Ok, let me find what are the other places around Hornadu and Sringeri that are worth visiting and I’ll chart out a trip”
“Sounds like a good plan!”

Spent a few hours over the next two days poring over various websites including Tbhp. While searching around for places to be seen around Sringeri and their distances, I came across this webpage: Kollur-Goddess Mookambika blessed devine destination, Karnataka, India

The page mentioned distances from Kollur to Sringeri, Gokarna, Murudeshwar. Hmmm! interesting… where did I put the Karnataka road map.

Initial thought was to cover all the places around Sringeri - Kollur areas, take the coastal stretch till Gokarna, reach Hubli via Ankola and then NH4 all the way back to Bangalore. I noticed ‘Badami’ was a little further up from Hubli… I had been to Badami once as a kid and Sangeetha had never been to that area… so why not cover that too? with Bijapur and Hampi almost equidistant from Badami, I opted for Hampi.

Having spent quite some time in Davanagere, I have been to Chitradurga 4 to 5 times during my school and college days and whenever we drove past the fort on NH4, I would remark to Sangeetha that I’ll take her there sometime. Since it lay on the way back to Bangalore, I decided to include that too… googled around for the distances between all the places, noted down the ‘must see’ spots for each location, checked out holidayiq and other sites for accommodation options and got the final plan approved :-) starting the count down to the 27th…

Day 1 – Saturday 27th Dec 08
Bangalore > Hassan > Chikmagalur > Kalasa > Hornadu

The original plan was to wind up early on Friday and hit the road by 5.00am on Saturday. But both of us got held up till late by office work and by the time we came back, finished the last minute packing etc. it was close to midnight. So decided to get atleast 6 hours of sleep and hit the road at 7.00am sharp.

Rolled out at 7.00 as planned from home on Airport road and I opted to take the NICE roads from Hosur road all the way till Tumkur road. Two reasons for this; one was to avoid the inner city traffic and mainly to get some smooth tarmac to see if the car had any alignment or balancing problems. I had got a full service done recently, but wasn’t sure if the balancing had been done correctly. Pushed the speedo all the way up to 140kmph, car was running true, with no vibrations. Good! Reached Nelamangala by around 8.00am, turned towards Hassan.

First pit stop at Kunigal for breakfast. I just stopped at the first decent looking hotel in town with a couple of cars standing in front. Had some ‘not so good’ idlis and continued ahead. We noticed quite a few better hotels just after Kunigal… would have been better to stop at one of those.

The first of the many many Nariyal-Pani stops over the next 7 days…

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Initial plan was lunch at Hornadu and Dinner & stay in Sringeri, but due to the 7.00am start, we were close to Chikmagalur at lunchtime. Decided to have lunch in Chickmagalur and stopped over at ‘Planters Court’. Saw these two old gentlemen displayed in front; one is a BSA, not sure what the green one is…

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As we move up into the hills, it starts getting greener and cooler…

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Stopped for a quick bio break along the way and noticed this green fella in the grass, practically invisible! He hopped onto a wall before I could click…

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One of the many rivers and streams that we would cross over the next few days…

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Caught a glimpse of some white-water in one of the valleys, walked down a bit to see the first waterfall of the trip…

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The gopuram at Kalasa…

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The Kalaseshwara temple. Had a quick darshan, a walk around the temple and moved on…

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Reached Hornadu by around 5.00pm and it was crowded!!!, thanks to the weekend rush. The Annapoorneshwari temple had grown and changed beyond what I remembered… the quaint tile roofed temple complex was hidden behind the modern concrete accommodation and dining halls. The old-style entrance arch was renovated into a new structure… there were a lot many buildings around and the valley was much less greener than what I remembered. Well, the price of popularity I guess.

There were scores of vehicles parked all around and many more were pouring in. We parked close to the temple and headed to the temple accommodation only to find it completely booked. There was a waiting list for rooms and we got WL number 32. The person at the counter mentioned that rooms might get vacated at around 9.30pm and 10.30pm when the RTC buses leave from Hornadu, we should come back and check at around 8.30pm. Walked around to the nearest lodges and found them either fully booked or only 5 to 8 sleeper family rooms available.

“Should we finish darshan and proceed to Sringeri? Looks like there might be a problem with the accommodation. But since we have to have the prasadam meals which starts at 7.00pm, we will be here till 7.30pm atleast”
“If Hornadu is crowded, Sringeri might be too, let us halt here tonight. Also, you said that the road to Sringeri might not be good for night-driving? Let us first finish darshan and then worry about what next”
"Ok Ma'am, let me get a towel" (Guys have to take off their shirts before entering the sanctum, as a mark of humility, you can put a towel around your shoulders though.)

Had a good darshan of Annapoorneshwari, proceeded to the prasadam meals hall and had a hot and ‘quick’ dinner. The temple folk at Hornadu, Sringeri, Dharmasthala have perfected the process of serving 1000s of meals every day, into a smooth and streamlined operation. All enter, plates and glasses, round 1, round 2, round 3 and all out! Not more than 15 minutes for an entire batch of a few hundreds.

Walked back to the accommodation to find that the WL was cleared upto WL-5. With more than an hour to go till the next bus left at 9.30pm, we just decided to wait in the car. Lowered the front seats fully, put the pillows we had carried on the head-rest, lowered the windows a little and snoozed off for a while.

I woke up at 9.30pm and found that the waiting list had moved only till WL-11. I decided to check with nearby lodges again and found a double room available at the ‘Devi’ lodge a little further from the temple. Not the best of places, but the room had a clean loo and a place to spread our sleeping bags, all that we wanted. Parked in the area behind the lodge, freshened up, set the alarm for 5.30 and logged out for the night. (Hot water is available only from around 6.00am, so no point waking up too early)

Annaporneshwari temple; took this pic the next morning from the balcony of the ‘Devi’ lodge room, without any zoom. Now you get an idea of how far the lodge is from the temple… and its location in context of the temple.

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Old 4th January 2009, 23:48   #8
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great travelogue - very descriptive and well written!
eagerly waiting to read the rest!
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Old 5th January 2009, 00:18   #9
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Default Hornadu > Kudremukh > Sringeri > Agumbe > Kollur

Day 2 – 28th December 08
Hornadu > Kudremukh > Sringeri > Agumbe > Kollur

Woke up at 5.30am, got a couple of buckets of hot water from the common tap in the passage to wash up, a cup of hot chai from the hotel below the lodge, packed everything back into the car. Had some breakfast in the ‘Annapoorneshwari hotel’ that seems to be right in the temple complex. (Walk up the temple steps and turn right) Settled the room charges (Rs.500) and we set out from Hornadu towards Sringeri at around 9.00am.

There are some picturesque tea gardens along the way, we stopped at one which had an outlet selling tea, tea-powder and other stuff. Had a chai and walked up into the tea gardens to take a closer look at where our daily cuppa comes from…

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Took some more pics along the way…

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What’s with this pic? Well, a PJ ;-) The song playing on the stereo at the time was the old Shammi Kapoor number ‘Bar Bar Dekho, Hazaar Bar Dekho…’ and we came across Chandan Bar, I just could not resist taking a pic…

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The hills at Kudremukh. If you are keen on a good trek, there is a path starting near a forest checkpost along the way for a good 8 – 10km walk to the point from where you can see the ‘Kudre-Mukh’ [Horse Face] rock formation. Since both of us have trekked around Kudremukh in the past, we skipped it and headed further.

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The Lakya pollution control dam site. Not a dam in the true sense, but more of a collection area where the mining-waste water is allowed to stagnate so that the sediment or silt settles here before the water is allowed to join a river or stream.

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I believe there is no mining happening in this area now and the dam is just a plain, dry, lake bed. It reminds you of the dried up lake beds in the US which are used for speed runs. I did see some vehicle tracks in the lake bed, so vehicles can drive down into it… hmmm.

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Stopped along the way to take a look at some visible iron ore along the road. A quick gyan session in geology followed:
“There are two types of Iron ore deposits in India, Magnetite and Hematite…”

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Stopped at a small water-fall along the roadside. Looked down into the valley and saw this pretty tree…

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A bunch of village kids, all waiting for their turn to get an individual photo clicked… except the lady in blue, of course.

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Stopped again at the ‘Hanuman Gundi’ waterfalls. It is a good 200 steps down into the valley floor to see the falls…

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Hmmm… the problem with walking down is that you have to walk all the way up again :-(

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“Hey… what’s that?”
“That is a suspension bridge”
“Let us go take a look”
“Sure, I read about a similar bridge at a village near Honnavar, we’ll stop over there too tomorrow”

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Reached Sringeri at around 1.30pm, had a quick darshan at the Sharadamba & Vidyashankar temples and headed towards the dining halls for the prasadam bhojanam. A simple but tasty meal after a long drive tastes heavenly!

A pyramid of plates?

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The hungry crowd…

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The Vidyashankar temple…

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A view of the river… yes, the fish are still there, happily gulping down mandakki (puffed rice) thrown in by the visitors. Don’t they get bored after all these years (decades ?) of eating mandakki day in and day out ???

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“Why are you taking pics of the trash trolley ?”
“Hmmm… guess.”
“Oh… alloy wheels???”
“Yup, I think they are from a now extinct bike from Enfield, called the Explorer…”

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Started off at around 3.00pm towards Kollur via Agumbe…

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A view from the Agumbe ghats, a little after the sunset point. Though it was too early for the sunset, there was a small crowd at the sunset point. We thought there was no point in waiting till sunset, so continued ahead. The concrete road surface is all broken up and there are some bad potholes on this stretch. A little after this pic was taken, we went over a pothole which was bad enough to jerk the wiper switch into ‘on’. I stopped by the side to see if there was any tire damage etc.

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Old 5th January 2009, 00:30   #10
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Default Day 2 continued...

We saw this ‘Humvee ka baap’ on the roadside at a village on the way. The Omni parked alongside provides a scale to comprehend the proportions of this armoured 4x4 with impressive ground clearance. It was parked in front of a police station. Probably borrowed from the army for anti-naxal operations ? I could not find any markings on the vehicle… I think it was a place called Amper.

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Sunset… close to Kollur.

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Reached Kollur by around 5.45pm and started hunting around for a lodge to unpack and freshen up before heading to the temple. There are quite a few decent lodges within walkable distance from the temple. Dont go by the looks of the place from outside, walk-in, enquire about the rates and ask to see the rooms. We found one who quoted a reasonable Rs.400 per night, parked the car inside the compound, changed and walked to the temple.

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The deepa stambham in Kollur temple.

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The deity at Kollur is a unity of three Goddesses, Mahakali-Mahalakshmi-Mahasaraswati. Mookambika is revered by a lot of Keralites. Infact 90% of the crowd in the Kollur temple seemed to be Malayalees. We bought some pooja tickets and joined the queue. Finished pooja, had dinner at the prasada bhojanam hall and walked around the temple for a while.

Hmmm…my kind of chariot. Look, it has a steering wheel!!!

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Another pic…

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Walked around the streets of Kollur for a while before heading back to the lodge to bed down for the night. We had a big drive ahead of us for the next day.

The Kollur mookambika temple…

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Old 5th January 2009, 14:11   #11
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Default Kollur > Maravanthe beach > Murudeshwar > Idagunji > Gokarna > Hubli

Day 3 – 29th Dec 08
Kollur > Maravanthe beach > Murudeshwar > Idagunji > Gokarna > Hubli

Day 3 was going to be a fully packed, with lots of places to cover, so we had decided to start off as early as possible. Woke up at around 5.00am and hit the road by 6.00am. Since this would be the first time that we would be going to the much talked about ‘Maravanthe beach’, we thought of giving ourselves plenty of beach-time.

“Let us get into the water at Maravanthe, play around till we get tired, freshen up in one of the resorts on the beach and then head out further. If it gets a little late by the time we reach Gokarna, we can halt for the night there itself and continue to Hubli tomorrow?”
“If you get too tired to drive after the beach stuff, we can even stay back in the next stop, Murudeshwar, at the RNS hotel”

I had got the car washed at the Lodge the previous day and we started off at 6.00am sharp… just crossed the Kollur arch and ‘Splat’! a wad of bird poo hits the wind shield. Stopped reluctantly to clean-up…

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Reached Maravanthe by around 8.00’ish. The beach is clean! Amazingly clean!!. Probably as clean as a beach can be in India. We were all excited about getting into the water, stopped on the roadside, locked and ran towards the sea…

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Oh oh! This is not exactly a ‘people friendly’ beach. Unlike the beaches in Goa where you can walk into the water to almost a couple of hundred feet, you can hardly walk a few feet into the sea and the water reaches upto your waist and it gets deeper quite fast. The waves were quite strong and this is a beach for sitting or walking along the sand… not for playing in the water. Looks like the beach is so clean because it is not attached to a popular tourist destination like Murudeshwar or Gokarna and not many people visit it since you cant get into the water. [There are some resorts along the way where the sea might be a little more friendlier. We did ask a shopkeeper at one of the beachside shacks if there was any other place where we could get into the water, he answered in the negative.]

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A perfect beach for a long walk...

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Next stop, Murudeshwar. Though the temple and the surrounding constructions like the huge Shiva and the chariot are impressive, they are all modern cement and concrete structures.

Even as you drive into the town, RNS (R.N.Shetty’s) presence can be felt everywhere. If you have seen the RNS Motors building on Tumkur road, notice the arched windows, the brown lines coming out from the arches and running all around the building. Several buildings in Murudeshwar, such as the bus-stand, complexes around the temple etc. follow the same pattern indicating RNS’s contribution.

The entrance gopuram is apparently the tallest of any Hindu temple in the world. Overall, they have done a good job.

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We completed the darshan and walked up to the ‘Sea view’ hotel for a quick bite. Got a sea-side table and took some pics…

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Sangeetha saw the jet-ski ride on the beach and wanted to check it out. We drove onto the beach next…

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The guy charged us Rs.200 for a ride that would last around 5 minutes. Hmmm… Sangeetha did not realize that she would get fully drenched over the next few minutes :-)
She walked around in the sun for a while to dry herself. Not exactly a clean beach to walk on...

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Dusted off the sand from our shoes and clothes and hit the highway again...

Idagunji is famous for an ancient Ganesha temple, it is a 4km deviation from the highway, from near a place called ‘Manki’. We parked the car and walked up to the temple. A tiny old lady blocked our way and insisted that we buy some flowers and tufts of grass as offerings at the temple. Initially we said no… but the lay was quite persistent and finally I surrendered and paid up. Supposed to be Ganesha’s favorite flower since the petals resemble an elephant’s trunk.

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The Idagunji Ganesha temple…

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I had read about a ‘Hanging bridge’ over a branch of the Sharavathi river, in a village called Karki. This place is a couple of Kms deviation after Honnavar. We overshot the small road, turned back and found the narrow mud road that took us all the way to the beautiful suspension bridge. Just ask around for ‘Toogu Sethuve’ and the locals can guide you to it…

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Some more nariyal-pani! This time a boat load of the stuff to choose from.

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We reached Gokarna a little after lunch time (around 2.15pm), the temple was closed till around 5.00pm. We asked around for a good place to grab lunch and we were advised to head towards the main beach, which is quite close to the temple. There are a couple of restaurants just near the entrance to the beach, parked in the beach parking lot and finished lunch. We asked about other nearby places and the hotel guy spoke about the ‘Ram Mandir’ on a nearby hill.

A short drive took us to the Mandir. It is a serene place, offering some great views of the main beach and the sea around.

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There is a natural fresh water spring in the temple compound, the water is supposed to have medicinal properties to cure a lot of ailments. We took a couple of sips each…

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Went into the mandir, it was totally empty and peacefully silent. The lone pujari was snoozing near the entrance. Walked for a while in and around the temple, took some pics and headed out.

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More pics…

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A flight of steps took us further up the hill, on the top there is a small shrine dedicated to ‘Bharateshwar’, who was a saint or holy-man. You can make out the dome of the shrine in the top left corner of the pic…

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A view of the Ram mandir on the way down from the top of the hill…

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We went to the famous ‘Om’ beach next. The beach is naturally shaped like the Sanskrit ‘om’. We had driven up to the hill on the other side of the beach and saw the inverted ‘om’…

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Stopped for a quick bit at the ‘Namaste café’ on the beach. The house cat decided to join us…

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Old 5th January 2009, 14:38   #12
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Default Day 3 continued...

The water here is much cleaner than in Murudeshwar, so we waded into the sea, clambered up some nearby rocks… There were some boat rides going on nearby, decided to take a look…

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The guy quoted a ridiculous amount for a 20 minute boat ride into the sea and a look at another beach called the ‘Paradise beach’. Just when we made up our mind to pay-up, he said he’ll be back in a minute and went back to his boat and started bailing out water from the bottom!

See the guy bailing out with a blue bucket from the boat in the middle? He must have bailed out atleast four to five buckets of water… heading out for a ride in a very leaky boat? not a good idea… We opted out and headed back into town towards the Mahabaleshwar temple.

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We entered the temple and were in for a rude shock. The place was reeking of phenyle! They were washing down the place with buckets full of the stuff. Also, a couple of guys in saffron approached us mentioning that since there is a Monday evening rush, we should opt for a special pooja for a quick darshan. We did not see much of a crowd and said ‘no, thanks’. Headed inside and one more guy approached with the same proposition for conducting a special pooja…and he was a little too persistent, this was getting ridiculous! Shrugged off the guy and stood in the queue… darshan took us exactly 10 minutes. We were somewhat saddened by the crass commercialization of the place and the way in which quite a few people in the temple were out to mislead visitors and make a quick buck…

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“Just checking if you could give me something to eat…”
“Sure, have some biscuits, as long you promise not to pee on my car!”

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Since it was quite early to wind up for the day and there wasn’t anything else that we wanted to see in Gokarna, we decided to continue with our original plan and halt at Hubli for the night. Tanked up and moved on towards Hubli. The road is quite acceptable, there are few potholes and bad patches along the way and I kept the speed down to 75 – 80kmph… till an Innova cab overtook us at 100+, he seemed to know the road quite well and I used him as a pilot car. The next 60 kms were covered in a flash!. He was cornering around the ghat sections at 50+ and I was following suite... I was confident as the tarmac was in good shape on these sections and I was also running on four almost new Bridgestone Potenza GIII 175/60 R13s. I did have a tough time keeping up with him... He was not taking any stupid risks though, like overtaking on blind corners etc.

After a while he must have grown suspicious about this car that seemed to be hell bent on following him and not overtaking even when there was on opportunity and he finally pulled over in front of a small dhaba along the way.

I moved on and covered the next 20+kms at saner speeds till a Tavera with a Hubli regn number (KA 25) overtook us and I chased him all the way to Hubli. Entered the city and stopped to ask for directions to a decent hotel. There was a guy on a bike heading back into the city with his wife, he gave us the normal directions…”Go straight, next circle take left… take the third right from there till you reach…” He could see that I was getting a little confused and said ‘Please follow me’. He was kind enough to guide us for the next 10 odd kms, stopping for us when we got stuck in traffic and making sure that we were behind him and took us all the way to the Swathi hotel, waved goodbye and zoomed off. Could not thank him for being so considerate.

Swathi International is a good place with A/c – Non-A/c rooms starting from around Rs.600 per night. It is located just a cross away from the road that we would take the next day to Badami (continuation of NH63) and it is right in front of the Hubli-Dharwad Corporation Office.

Checked into a room, had a hot shower, a nice meal and hit the sack. With just a 100kms drive to Badami ahead of us for the next day, we planned to take it easy, wake up late and move out only post an early lunch. Remembered to deactivate the pesky alarm in our mobiles before logging out for the day.
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Old 5th January 2009, 15:40   #13
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Brilliant travelog! Lovely pictures too! Enjoyed every word and picture and looking forward to more!
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Old 5th January 2009, 15:48   #14
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hotstuff, can just its a sakath travelogue and a detailed one!..
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Old 5th January 2009, 19:31   #15
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Amazing writeup, and good photographs. Looks like you were trigger happy shooting everything from dogs and cats to flowers, bar signs etc...
But liked the flowers, very unusual, and the tallest temple too. Very nice snap.

Looks like you've been Xinging all over the place, and having a real blast!!!
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