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Pilgrimage in Dakshin Kannada

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Pilgrimage to Dakshin Kannada (Karnataka) India between 07.06.2014 to 15.06.2014.
Dakshin Kannada has its southern border with Kerala and northern border with Karnataka and Goa. There are many important temples there located apart from each other across mountains (Western Ghats) like Kudremukh. These areas fall on Konkan Railway and are well connected by road through salubrious mountain tops and valleys. It is a pleasant route people who love nature, will enjoy. It is true to say that mountain forest connects these temples. You will be confused to say whether God is great or his creations. Yes, if Kerala is god’s own country, Dakshin Kannada is god’s gift to man and other life forms. Unlike Kerala, the vast terrain and area is not encroached upon by greedy people nor congested by human habitants.
The people in this part are simple and mind their own business. Curiosity does not kill them. Their main language is Tulu which is more akin to Kannada but Malayalam may have mixed up less than more. Very few people know Hindi but English helps. Dakshin Kannada has given us a few banking services and is home for one of the best educational institutions at Manipal. There have been good representations from the community of people in central governments. The popular hoteliers in Mumbai are from this region.

Journey proper:
We boarded a train ex-Thane – Mangalore Express about 11 pm and reached our destination – Udupi – before noon next day(1062 km) June 8,2014. After refreshing at Hotel Janardhan (near Sri Krishna Temple and Central Bus Stand), we dashed to have darshan of Lord Krishna through window grilled in 9 parts. This is reportedly ordained by the Lord to please one of his devotees who had to struggle to have darshan. You can find the main Gopuram and The Car in the album. We were lucky to have lunch prasada and retired to Hotel.
Evening we hired an auto to visit Malpe beach (11km) and witnessed the sunset. There is an island St Mary’s, visible to naked eyes (see photo). Trip to that island is forbidden during monsoon because of high tides and rough Arabian sea.
Of course we again had an evening darshan and retired to hotel. Udupi has importance of Lord Krishna’s temple. Generally other people are living on income from fishing industry and exports of marine products. Mr Vishwanath would contact us next morning at the hotel to take us to the programmed places and drop us at Dharmasthala near about 3-nights.

09.06.2014 Monday. Mr Vishwanath called on and together with had some breakfast at Hotel Kodiyar and after another darshan proceeded on longer tour. First visit to “Ane Gudde” Ganpati temple (30km) – an ideal way of starting. It is a beautiful temple well maintained amid natural surroundiungs. Ane means elephant and Gudde means mountain. Some Mahabharatha events are reported to have taken place here. Then we rode on road along sea shore intercepted by backwater areas. We halted at place called “Turtle Bay” where waves instigated by monsoon winds lashing at the shore. The sea is deeper from ashore itself and hence venturing into the sea is prohibited. It was pleasant to be cooled by sea breeze. Onward and we soon before noon, reached “Murdeshwar” (100 km). The large Shiva idol could be seen from far afar. We approached the precincts proper and the winds were blowing as if to sweep us off our feet. You see (photo) the tall south-Indian type temple structure of 18(?) storeys. There is lift arrangement to go to the top of the temple tower and see around from there. Of course, it is beautiful view vide photos. After going around, we dashed into the dining hall and had the prasada-meal consisting of rice-chaaru-sambhar, kheer, and butter milk, free. This became our menu for the next 3 days. We never felt we want something more. Whatever vegetable was it was all home grown, not even potato, etc. Maybe that was satwik food. Then we proceeded to Kollur.

Kollur is supposed to be 80 km from Udupi and it took approximately 3 hrs from Murdeshwar (<100km). It is equi-distance from both the places. Please verify.

We lodged with a Hotel Beena Regerncy adjacent to Mookambikai temple.
After freshening up dashed to temple. Here it rained fairly heavy for some time and stopped, We went in and had good darshan of the devi who is Saraswati. Kollur is on Kodachadri Hills. The devi combines the form of Shiva-Shakti and installed on “Sri Chakra” consecrated by Adi Sankara. MGR, a popular actor in TN is supposed to have presented a Sword to the temple. The temple is maintained in Kerala Style. Kollur, Mookambikai Road, Baindnoor, is on Konkan Railway after Kumata, etc but before Udupi. We were not lucky here to get any prasada meals and hence retired to our Hotel. Again in the morning we had darshan and proceeded to Shringeri. It falls in Chickamagalur district where from Indira Gandhi fought one of her parliamentary elections.

It is 90 km from Udupi and is on the left bank of river Tunga and at the foot of Sahyadri Hills (Western Ghats) (Maybe 130km from Kollur. Adi Sankara established one Mutt known as Sharada Peeth and Shankara ensured the Peeth is protected by Kalabhairava (East), Durga Temple (South), Anjaneya Temple (West) and Kali temple (North). Kumbhabhishekam was in progress and we went around and witnessed the poorna ahuti by Swamiji. We had the samashti Bhojana and then proceeded towards Horanadu.
En route we stopped at Agumbe which is atop a Ghat Head receiving highest rainfall in Karnataka, the place is a scenic beauty. The place is a vantage point for watching sunset and the lush green valley below. After a long hairpin bend rides reached Kalsa where Shiva is in Kalasa swaroppa. The priest told us Sage Agastya was born here and is an old Agrahara. After climbing down the steps (identical to Hora Nadu) we proceeded to Horanadu and were lucky enough to get a simple accommodation (you can stay here only 24 hours and should vacate) Charges are just about Rs.120/- and the whole precincts including the temple proper and lodging are maintained by Shri Bhimsekhar Joshi. We had very good darshan of Sri Annapooraneshwari and were also fed by her. Then retired to our lodge nearby. The place is picturesque and a scenic beauty.

Next morning after darshan rolled on to Kuke Subrahmanya via Dharmasthala. Kukke is about 160 km from Udupi and 100 km from Mangalore. . It must be more than 200 km from Horanadu. Lord Kartikeya is the presiding deity and the place borders Western Ghats. The moorthy here was once covered by Kukke or Basket and hence it came to be known as Kukke. Kukke Linga is inside the temple and Subrahmanya is elevated and above the form of Vasuki, the sepent. Subrahmanya Mutt is maintained by the disciples of Madhwacharya. Sachin Tendulkar performed Rahu-Ketu parihara pooja here. There was a very good crowd and we had to have special darshan. We had the regular menu and after going around the place proceeded to Dharmasthala (a return route of 60 km).
Shri Vishwanath dropped us at lodge Vaishali near Temple. A good and cheap accommodation . Again the rent money goes to SDM University. After freshening up and snacks went to temple and had good darshan Shri Manjunatha and his escort. After dinner retired to our lodge, “Vaishali”. Next morning after routine, proceeded to visit ‘the car museum’ maintained by Shri Heggade showcasing old and vintage cars. It is worth a visit. Dr Heggade's family from generations maintain the temple Manjunatha and Dharmasthala. He is jain by faith. The temple priest at Manjunatha are vaishnavites and it is a wonder how things so orderly.
Along side we established contact with Shri Manjunath the replacement arranged by Shri Vishwanath to take us to Mangalore via Kateel. He called on us at 1.30 pm and on we rolled on. En route visited Annapoorneshwari at Hosanadu, a good temple, Moodbidi (Jain’s holi place) and then Kateel. Shri Durgaparameshwari resides in the middle enflanked by the river Nandini. After darshan we proceeded to Mangalore (75 km) the last stop for us to return and landed at Hotel Srinivas suggested by Shri Vishwanath. In all we paid Rs.12K @ Rs.3000/day plus Rs.300/day for night halt totally.

Freshened up in the morning, and after tiffining , went to Gokarnatheswara Temple a beautiful temple well maintained where also resides Kala Bhairava, Sai Baba. From there auto-ed to Mangaladevi temple but could not have darshan as it was out of time. Hence proceeded to Market and did some shopping and returned to hotel. Evening again went to Mangaladevi temple and had darshan.
Next day morning made to a hotel near City Centre. Then packed up and settling up hotel bills, we proceeded to Mangalore Junction which is a bit far off than Mangalore Station which is nearby. The train was on time to take us back to Mumbai (Thane) .
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i was planning for these kind of south kanara trip.....thanks for your info....
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