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Coastal Karnataka

Planning for a trip during long weekends is always a problem.Treks were ruled out due to summer and  i was searching for other places to go.  With hill stations such as kodaikanal  charging twice the normal rate, owing to the holiday season, I was running out of places go visit. Finally after a lot of  searching , i zeroed in on the beaches of uttara karnataka even though the weather would be hot and humid.

Srikanth as usual decided to join and I managed to convince kiran to tag along. Kiran said he would bring his friend along. I had asked him to book the tickets to sirsi and return tickets from udupi, so that we could cover a few beaches along the coast.

Day 1

With the booking done, we boarded the bus to sirsi on thursday @ 10.30 pm.After a long journey, we reached sirsi at 8 in the morning. We took a room which was run by the marikamba temple trust to freshen up. Upon finding the tap in the room wasnt working, we had to use the public toilet to finsh our morning abulations. Once everyone were ready, we checked out and headed to the bus stand to catch a bus to yana.

We were informed that there werent any buses to yana, and we had to look for local transport. After a lot of negotiations, we took a local car to yana, which would be the first place we would visit. With the sun climbing up, we began our journey to yana and we reached there at 11.30.

Yana is a important piligrimage center. The two monolithic rock formations called bhiravashikara and mohinishikara which is of 200 ft and 120ft  are the main tourist attractions in yana. Other popular activities including trekking, bird watching  and rock climbing.

Bhiravashikara

After visiting the temple, we went inside the cave to have a look. Steps are being built to the cave and a passage way is made inside the cave, which allows people to explore the cave.

Inside Bhiravashikara

One can exit the cave from the back or through the same route. Walking on the hot gravel can be tricky if we exit the cave from behind as we have to remove our slippers before entering the cave.  coming out of the cave, we could see mohinishikara at a distance and we decided to head towards it

Mohinishikara

Having spent some time taking photos and exploring the surroundings, we headed back to the vehicle and to gokarana.

We took a short break at a view point in devimane ghat before continuing our journey.

View from devimane ghat

Having reached gokarna at 3 we headed to a hotel for lunch and then to om beach.

Gokarana is a small temple town which is famous for its beaches. Go-karna, means ‘cow’s ears’ in Sanskrit. According to legends, Lord Shiva emerged from a cow’s ear and so the name. It is located at the meeting point of the two rivers Gangavali and Agnashini, which is shaped like an ear.

Om Beach Gokarana

Lush green surroundings enroute to om beach

With the heat becoming unbearable, me, kiran and his friend headed to the sea for a dip. The driver had asked us to come back at 5.30 so that we could go to paradise beach which is located behind the gokarna temple.

We spent some time lazing in the water, before heading to paradise beach. Kiran and srikanth went to the temple, while i took a stroll on the beach, looking for an ideal spot to shoot the sunset.

With the sun already setting, we had a small photo session, with everyone giving their best poses for the camera.

Sunset at Paradise Beach

With the sun set, we asked the driver to drop us to gokarana bus stand, so that we could catch a bus to kumta.  We paid the driver the agreed amount. The bus to kumta soon arrived and we reached kumta at 9.30 at night. After checking into the hotel we headed for dinner and we hit the bed, thus concluding the first day of sight seeing

Day 2

While having dinner, we had asked the hotel guy to tell us places which we can see in kumta. He told us bada beach is the closest, which we could visit. The next morning, we headed to bada beach which was located around 10kms from the hotel. The beach was pretty desolated as it was already 8 in the morning, and the humidity was increasing.

Bada Beach

We took a stroll on the beach, and spent some time taking photos, before heading back to the bus stand. After a short wait, we got the bus and went back to hotel. After a quick shower, we checked out and headed to honnavar and then to murudeshwara.

I had read about an ancient chennakeshava temple built during the hoysala reign located in honnavar and i was interested in seeing it, however upon reaching the bus stand, the auto driver told us we had to get down before the bus stand at a place called harki. He offered us to drop us till there. When he inquired as to why we wanted to go to harki, we told him the purpose of our visit. He told us there is no such temple and instead told to go to murudeshwara.

The following link shows the location of the temple in honnavar.

As we werent sure of the location, we asked the auto guy to drop us to the bus stand, where we took the bus to murudeshwara, which we soon reached after half an hour.

Murudeshwara located close to honnavar is a famous piligrimage and tourist location. The 70ft statue of lord shiva is the main attraction here. Apart from visiting the temple one can also play in the sea which is located next to the temple and indulge in some water sports such as jetskiing which we did.

Shiva Statue in Murudeshwara

Murudeshwara Beach

After finishing the water sports, we had lunch before heading to marvante. We reached marvante by sundown and we waited for the sun to set, so that we could start another sunset shoot.

Sunset at marvante beach

The sun soon set, and kiran told me he would show me the place where we can see the sea on one side and the river on the other.

Marvante

Marvante river on the opp side of the beach

We headed back to the bus stand, and took a bus to kundapur. After checking into the hotel, we headed to the hotel for dinner and then it was nap time.

Day3

This would be the last day of our trip, and we were wondering where to go. Initially we thought of covering st mary’s island and a few less frequented  beaches around udupi, but since we were visiting beaches for the past two days,  we thought of going to some place else. Srikanth however insisted, we sleep till evening, in the hotel and catch a bus to udupi, before heading back to bangalore

After much haggling, we decided to go to karkala and moodabidri, which has important places of worship for jains. Moodabidri has a 1000 pillar temple, which none of us had seen.

With the plan set , we checked out and took a bus to udupi. After reaching udupi,  kiran suddenly said, he wanted to go to st mary’s island, as he had visited it a long time back and wanted to visit again. With the destination changed at the last moment, we had to agree to go  to st mary’s island.

We took a bus to malpe beach and bought tickets to the ferry which takes people to the island.

St mary’s island is an uninhabited island situated near malpe. The island is famous for the basalt rock formations which occurs in various forms.

St mary’s island

While srikanth and kiran’s friend were relaxing and trying to take snaps of an eagle floating above, me and kiran went around exploring the island. The island’s rock formations allows one to climb over the rocks thus giving a panaromic view of the island.  Jumping across rocks we went round the island.

A few snaps of st mary’s island

Having explored the island, we headed back to the ferry and back to dry land. We spent the remaining time roaming around udupi, and we paid a visit to the krishna temple in the evening. After having dinner at woodland’s resturant, we boarded the bus to bangalore.

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Snaps can be found here

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About Subbu
Name: Subbu Interests : Trekking,travelling Hobbies: Photography

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