Monday, January 24, 2011

Our Trip to Shimoga

I am Gokul residing in Bangalore with my wife Ramya and my 3 year old son by name Pranav.

We thought of celebrating our 5th Wedding Anniversary ( which was on 19th Jan) by a visit to places in and around Shimoga.We had a memorable trip.We had another couple(Venu and Supraja) joining us from Chennai in order to celebrate their 5th Wedding anniversary along with us.

We all started together in my Ford Ikon flair car from Bangalore on 20th Jan 2010 around 2 PM.We took the route towards Hebbal flyover  in order to reach Tumkur enroute to Shimoga.We had a stop-over at McDonanld's in Nelemanagala ( below the Nelamangala flyover)  for some snacks.We took the toll Road towards Tumkur .We passed through the places Arisikere-->Birur-->Tiptur-->Tarikere-->Shimoga.

We had booked for an accomodation in "Inchara-Home Stay" which is on Shimoga-Thirthahalli Road.  The road condition on the  entire stretch from Bangalore to Shimoga was 90% good with a few areas having potholes.  We reached Shimoga around 10:30 PM and hunted for a good Vegetarian restaurant.We managed to find one and had dinner there as most of the other restaurants were closed.

We drove down from Shimoga  towards Thirthahalli and reached a hamlet called "Mandagadde" wherein we had the Inchara-Home Stay.  We had little difficulty in finding the way to "Inchara -Home stay " at Mandagadde as the sign board leading to the place was not very much visible. We reached there at 11:30 PM and retired for the day.

Inchara-Home Stay is in the midst of a mini forest and during night time there was pitch darkness. The environment where Inchara is loacted is beautiful but there was no much of hospitality during our stay.

On Friday ( 21 jan) , we went to Sakrabyle Elephant camp.We all enjoyed the motor boat ride.My kid had fun sitting on a baby elephant in the elephant camp. The boat ride was a little expensive ( Rs.150 for 4 people) but had a nice time.

We then went to Lion Safari situated on the Shimoga-Sagar route.My kid was very happy seeing Lion/Tiger/Deer etc at close quarters...

From there ,we drove down to Koodli.  Koodli is a place where  the rivers "Tunga" and "Bhadra" meet and flows as "Tungabadra" across various holy places in Karnataka and AP.

The river has a nice crystal-clear, free-flowing water and it was very clean.We had a nice holy dip in the river.My kid is very fond of water and he thoroughly enjoyed there. The place is of picturesque beauty .

Legend says that Prahalada in the Treta Yuga had a holy dip in this  river and  to his surprise  he could notice a  beautiful statue floating around in the river and moving towards him.It was Lord Narasimha's statue .

Prahalada  had installed  the Narasimha statue on the bank of the river at Koodli.
We had dharshan of the brindavanas of "Sri Akshobya Theertha" and "Sri JeyaTheertha " , great pontiffs of Uttaradhi Mutt who had preached "Dwaita philosophy'.

From Koodli, we drove down to Holehonnur ( just 2 kms away from Koodli Narasimha temple). We had a nice dharshan of another Uttaradhi Mutt pontiff "Sri Sathya Dharma Theertha".

We came back to our "home-stay" around 8:00 PM at Mandagadde.We had a nice dinner served to us at the Home-Stay. After dinner, we had a fun playing Chess and Antakshari till 11:00 PM and then retired to bed.

Next day morning we wanted to cover places in and around Thirthahalli. We had coffee at 7:30 AM at our home-stay and started driving down towards Thirthahalli . Our first stop-over was at Mahishi. From Mandagadde, we travelled a distance of 16 kms on the Thirthahalli Road to reach a village called Malur and from Malur we  need  to take a deviation on the left and drive around 12 kms to reach Mahishi.

Mahishi  has a Brindavana of " Sri Sathya Sandha Theertha", one of the Uttaradhi Mutt pontiffs and "Paramaguru"  of "Sri Sathya Dharma Theertha" ( at Holehonnur) . Mahishi has a serene and peaceful atmosphere  and no much of habitat in and  around the Mutt. We have the Tunga river flowing down at just 0.5 kms away from the Mutt. The water is crystal clear and it is picturesque beauty in the surrounding with full of greenery. We a nice dharshan at Mahishi and spent some time on the bank of the Tunga river taking a few snaps.

"Sri Satya Sandha theertha " was one of the great pontiffs of Uttaradhi Mutt and has done lot of miracles. His Guru " Sri Satya bodha theertha" had extended the life of " Sri Satya Sandha theerha" by 10 years by praying to Lord Rama and made him the pontiff of Uttaradhi Mutt.

Miracles performed by " Sri Satya Sandha theertha " can be found in the below link.

From Mahishi, we drove down to Theertha Halli and had breakfast there around 8:30 AM.We went to Bheemanakatte ( just 3 kms from Theertha halli)  and saw a nice "Hanging Bridge" across the Tunga river.Its a narrow road full of trees that leads to the Hanging bridge..Enjoyed the nature's bounty there , took soem snaps and started to Sringeri.

From Theerthahalli, we took the Agumbe road and about 15 kms before Agumbe, we took a deviation to reach Sringeri. The entire distance from Theerthahalli to Sringeri was just 35 kms. We had a nice dharshan at Sringeri Sharada peetam and had food in the temple.

We again came back in the same route towards Theerthahalli and went to Ambuthirtha ( which is located on the Thirthahalli-Arga road-about 10 kms from Theerthahalli). This place is the origin of Sharavati river  and starts froma Shiv linga. From there , we went to Achakanne falls which is aroudn 10 away from Ambuthirtha.
We spent some time in the falls and drove back home to Inchara home-stay around 8:00 PM.

Next day ( 23-jan) we started early in the morning around 5:45 AM and took the road towards Shimoga from Mandagadde.We had breakfast at shimoga at around 7 AM and started driving down to Jog falls on the Shimoga-Sagar-Jog falls road. We reach Jog falls around 9:15 AM..Only one of the 4 waterfalls( Raja-Rani-Rover-Rocket) was in full flow and the otehr 3 had very less water flowing down....We started from Jog around 11 AM and drove down straight to Bangalore.We took the same route

Jog- Sagar-Shimoga-Tarikere-Birur-Tiptur-Arisikere-Tumkur-Bangalore.

We had lunch at around 2:30 PM at Tiptur .The food was good. Our next stop was at Kamat upachar after crossing Tumkur.We took the Nelemangala toll road and entered Hebbal to get inside Bangalore city.The Nelamanagla toll road is too good but there was huge traffic Jam at the fag end of the flyover due to merging traffic.  We reached home at 9PM. 

Our friends ( Venu-Supraja) had to start in about an hour to take the train to Chennai.

It was a memorable trip and we all had a nice time.