MURDESHWAR, SRINGERI TRIP-PART II

After our visit to Murdeshwar, we had a good night’s sleep and woke up early the next day. We vacated our hotel at 6 am. As per our request, the manager at our hotel had arranged a Tata Indigo for our trip to Sringeri, 110 kms from Mangalore. We had a nice hot coffee while waiting for our car (Hotel Srinivas has a neat vegetarian restaurant and it was up and running at 6 am and some guests were even having piping hot idlis served at that time). The car arrived at 6.15 am and were on our way to Sringeri on a cold, drizzly morning.

Our first stop on the way was at the town of Moodbidri, 35 kms away from Mangalore. We had our breakfast at the town. The town was famous for its Jain temples and we decided to have a look at the most famous one, the Thousand Pillar temple at the heart of the town. The temple was built completely in wood and it had three floors with wooden staircases linking them. We were the only ones at the temple at around 7.30 am and the whole place was eerily calm. The main priest of the temple was kind enough to show us all the dieties right up to the third floor. The temple has a tall Mahabali diety, at the ground floor(just like the one at Sharavanabelagola). Locals started coming in for darshan as we were leaving the temple. Unfortunately, I could not take any photos of the temple, since photography was prohibited. From there, we proceeded on our way and reached Karkala. From Karkala, there are two routes to Sringeri. One route is through Agumbe ghats which is to the north of Karkala and the other route(NH 13) is to the east of Karkala.

We took the more adventurous Agumbe ghat route. It started raining heavily, as we reached the town of Someshwar, at the foothills of the ghats. Our car moved ahead cautiously amidst the narrow ghat roads and pelting rain. What made the ride more thrilling was the thick forest cover(the ghat road is situated on the fringes of the Kudremukh Reserved Forest), with not a house in sight for almost 15 to 20 kms at a stretch. We had signboards reading “WATCH OUT FOR SNAKES” and “THIS IS THE LAND OF THE KING COBRA” on the way. Anyone will think twice of getting down and taking snaps of the scenery if they saw those boards. We reached Agumbe viewpoint amidst continuous rain and stayed there for just a couple of minutes. We could not get a clear view of the valley below because of the rain. On a clear day, this is a famous stopping point on the way to Sringeri. For your information, Agumbe is the place which gets the highest rainfall in Karnataka and some say it gets the second highest rainfall in India after Cherrapunji. Amidst the rain we passed through Agumbe(actually the town has just one road with housing quarters for forest officers on either side). Every house in this area is covered with thick blue/black sheets(looked like polythene sheets) over their roofs and walls, to protect them from the continuous rain which lasts for months at a time.

The rain eased up as we neared Sringeri and we reached the pilgrimage town around 10.15 am. The beautiful temple is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. We had a relaxed darshan at the temple, because there was not a very big crowd. After darshan, we went down to the river bank. There were people feeding the fish in the river with whatever snacks they had brought with them. We too joined the feeding crowd and had a very good time, amazed at the sight of fish jostling for their food. Then we crossed the bridge over the river, and reached over to the beautiful green parks at the other end of the river. We spent some time amidst the lush green surroundings of the park. Since we had a train to catch at Mangalore at 4 pm, we left Sringeri at 11.30 am. We could not go to Annapoorneshwari temple at Horanadu which is 85 kms from Sringeri, which we left for another visit. On our return we took the NH 13 route to Mangalore. This route is also a very scenic one, thickly forested (for atleast 30 kms from Sringeri) with the Tunghabhadra river accompanying you all the way.

Sringeri Temple

Sringeri temple

Bridge over the tungabhadra river

Steps to the river from the temple

We reached Mangalore well in time at 2.30 pm. Since we had completed all the temple visits, we decided to go in for some much need Non-Vegetarian lunch. We chose the Kairali restaurant, very near to the junction, specialising in Kerala style dishes. We had excellent Biriyani, fried fish and chicken gravy. We thanked our driver for suggesting the restaurant and took our train and reached Tiruppur at around 1 am the next day. Great holidays.

6 Comments

  • Roopesh says:

    Good one. In the same trip to Murudeshwar, we had been to Sringeri as well coming from Chikmaglur. The temple is ancient and serene. We passed through Agumbe and climbed the sunset point and watched the breathtaking valley beneath. We didn’t see any cobra thankfully but place is rich in biodiversity.

  • Gita AM says:

    Nicely written. I remember these places – Agumbe, Sringeri and the millions of fish in the river, from a trip about 25 years ago!

  • Hemanth says:

    All –

    Agumbe is also hometown of ‘Malgudi Days’ TV serial. I grew up watching ‘Malgudi Days’ and this town brings complete justice t its beauty. If you are not aware of this program, you should really look it up.

    Venkatt- Next time, when you are in karkala, do visit the ‘Bahubali’ statue temple. The Bahubali statue is about 40 feet in height and is on a hill with nice scenery and surroundings. Its really beautiful.

    -Hemanth

  • venkatt says:

    Hemanth, thanks for ur comments. I was really unaware of the Bahubali temple in karkala. Next i will make sure i see it.

  • Tanu Mehta says:

    Excellent overview, it pointed me out something I didnt realize before. I should encourage for your wonderful work. . I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

  • kallu says:

    It is about 18 years now when I had done this route with friends on bikes. What you have written is exactly how it is fresh in my mind. Agumbe is indeed the place for 2nd highest rainfall in the world. I still remember it used to rain just like that and we used to race with the rain on bikes. One can see the rain coming and we used to race in the opposite direction till the rain catches us and we all get wet. Agumbe indeed has the world’s highest density of Cobras.

    Like Hemanth said, don’t mis the Bahubali temple in Karkala.

    On this route you find few Cashew factories as well. One can get real good export quality Cashews at good rates. And that are normally more than happy to show people the process how Cashews are made. For some who will be interested – there is Cashew faney (local liquor) as well.

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