Temple trails of Karnataka – Part 1: SUBRAMANYA & DHARMASTALA

February 28, 2012 By: Venkat Category: 01 January, 02 February, 03 March, 04 April, 09 September, 10 October, 11 November, 12 December, Best Time, Cities, Karnataka, Mangalore, Religious, StatesOfIndia, Tamil Nadu, Theme

The month of January ushers in along with the New Year gorgeous weather throughout South India bringing us respite from the heat. Also mid-January is holiday time in Tamilnadu, where we celebrate Pongal, the harvest festival. Usually at this time of the year, me and my better half, make use of the vacations taking off to some beach destinations which usually means Goa. But the beach theme had begun to get repetitive and this time we both wanted a change. Our first idea was to do a trip of Navagraha temples in Tamilnadu, but since they will be too crowded by locals during Pongal and considering Kerala was a strict no-no during the peak Sabarimala season, we shifted our sights towards the temples of Karnataka.

Having settled on Karnataka Temples as our destination, I then proceeded to finalize the itinerary by choosing the important destinations, avoiding places which we had visited in our earlier trips. The famous temple route of  South Western Karnataka is Mangalore- Subhramanya-Dharmastala-Hornadu-Sringeri-Kollur-Udupi-back to Mangalore. This round trip needs at least three days if every place is to be appreciated fully. Murdeshwar beach temple can be included too if one has more time.
Since, we had already visited Kollur Mookambigai temple, Sringeri and Murdeshwar in our earlier visits(My earlier post: Murdeshwar, Sringeri Trip in Feb 2011), after extensive scouring of Google Maps, I decided to cover the temples in this order: Mangalore junction to Kukke Subhramanya-Dharmastala-Belur-Halebeedu-Horanadu-Kalasa and back to Mangalore. Chikmagalur was decided as my halting point during the trip as it was the biggest town on the route with some decent accommodation. I booked a Tata Indica cab for our three day trip at Taxiforsure.com. Their rates were reasonable at Rs.2000 per day  for 250 kms incl. driver charges.
We departed on 13th Jan from Tirupur at 6.50 pm by the West Coast Express. Half the folks in our compartment were heading towards Goa and were having a boisterous night, leaving us with a feeling of envy and jealousy, wondering whether we had made the right decision to get on this temple trip. All those thoughts vanished as the train arrived in Mangalore right on time at 4.45 am the next day. We checked into a hotel near the station and freshened up . The taxi service we had booked was very professional and our driver, Altaf, having confirmed our arrival by phone, reached our hotel at 6 am.

With the chill of a dark winter morning still clinging to us, we started our journey to Kukke Subramanya temple, 105kms from Mangalore. I soon got chatty with the driver who was a Mangalore local and conveyed our desire to have tasty food unmindful of the ambience or the location of the restaurants. He understood our preferences and stopped at a roadside eatery, 30 kms into our journey at Lakshmi Nivas (K.T.Hotel), in a small spot called Kalladka on NH 48. We could see many Bangalore registered cars parked in front of  the small hotel at that early hour which showed its popularity. The hotel was packed to its capacity and the taste of their super soft Idlis, Aloo Pooris and Dosas tasted divine. The bill for three was an unbelievable 85 rs. With both the stomach and heart(not to mention the wallet) thoroughly satisfied, we drove through pretty decent roads to reach Subramanya at 8.45 am.

The eatout that left us wanting more...

(more…)

In a Religious Town, Dharmasthala

February 22, 2009 By: Arvind Category: 01 January, 02 February, 03 March, 10 October, 11 November, 12 December, Karnataka, Religious

14 Feb 09

When the bus arrived at Dharmasthala at 7 am this morning, it was two hours behind schedule. Not that the delay mattered to me because I had a full day to see this famous town of pilgrimage; but it left me a bad impression of private bus services. For once I had booked on a private bus instead of the usual KSRTC. The bus left Bangalore much later than I had imagined. It stopped for an hour near Majestic for loading goods. It developed a technical fault along the way. When the driver ignored it, ever other impatient vehicle on the road was overtaking the bus. Finally, at about 5 am, the driver and the conductor decided to replace the wheel. Nursing a slight neckache, I was half asleep. It seemed like ages before we started moving again.
(more…)