February 4th, 2009 by admin

Distance: Around 125 km from Bangalore and 51 km from Mysore

Yourney time: 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours from Bangalore and around 45 minutes from Mysore

How to reach there:

From Bangalore

One can reach Melkote from Bangalore by car/taxi, by travelling on the Bangalore Mysore state highway and reaching the Mandya town. Just after Mandya, there is a right turn which goes to Melkote. Alternatively, one can take any of the numerous trains that go from Bangalore to Mandya and then take a bus/taxi from Mandya to Melkote. You can board the KSRTC bus upto Mandya and then any city or private bus. There are some buses which go directly from Bangalore to Melkote.

From Mysore

There are buses that go from Mysore to Melkote. Alternatively, one can catch a bus that goes from Mysore to Tumkur (and onwards) and get down at a place called Jakkanahalli Cross. Melkote is around 6 km from there. Bus start from Platform No.2 of Mysore Bus Stand. Charges Rs.32/per adult. From Jakkanahalli Cross lots of share auto’s pay charge Rs.6/per person. Self Hire autos charge Rs.50 until Chelvanarayanan temple.

Where to eat: Either eat at Mandya city or on the highway.

Where to stay: Either stay in Mandya, SriRangapatna or Mysore.

Languages spoken: Kannada, Sparringly English and Hindi

Melkote is located in Pandavapura taluk around 35 km from Mandya city, which is the headquaters of Mandya district and Mandya is 90 km from Bangalore. It is almost in between Mysore and Bangalore on Bangalore – Mysore highway. Here land is formed from some of the oldest Earth’s crust and is also know as Tirunarayanapuram. It is said that vaishnava saint Sri Ramanujacharya stayed here for long time and made it as prominent center of culture and education. The Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana became a follower of Sri Ramanujacharya.

What to see:

1. Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple: Here the presiding deity is Lord Cheluva-Narayana Swamy or Tirunarayana or Lord Krishna. In one of the annual report of Mysore Archeaelogical Department, it stated that people used to worship here even before Sri Ramanujacharya renovated this temple and offered prayer. From the records of that period there seems to Tamil influence and vaishnava worship in this area. Tamil influence one may argue from the name “Tirunarayanapuram”. The word “Thiru” is typically used in Tamil language. The Wodeyar kings of Mysore were special patrons of this temple and has bestowed special offers and protection. Raja Wodeyar in 1614 adopted vaishnava religion and offered a gold crown set with precious jewels known aas Raja mundi. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III also present one such crown known as Krishnaraja mundi. There is another crown — Vairamudi or Vajramukuta, which seems to be older than the other two crowns but no one knows where from it came. The annual festival of this temple is known as vairamudi festival and it draws lakshs of people.

Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple

2. Yoga-Narasimha Swamy Temple: On the hill nearby is the temple of Yoga Narasimha.

3. Library & Sanskrit College: There is a library maintained by Yatiraja Swamigalu of Melkote which has many works in sanskrit and other languages. The sanskrit college around 1853 known as Sri Veda Vedantha Bodhini Sanskrit Mahapathashala is a reknowned centre of learning vedic knowledge.

If you are interested in study of sanskrit then visit the awesome website – http://sanskritdocuments.org/

4. Kalyani or Pushkarani: The temple has a large pond known as kalyani teertham or pushkarani. The stones banked steps and structures around are beautiful and it has featured on many movies.

5. Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary: Just 5 km away from Melkote town is the Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary. The temple sanctuary was put in place in 1974 mainly to protect the wolfs. It has two parts Mudibetta and Narayandurga. Mainly short dry plants feature this area along with other wildlife like — spotted deer, bonnet macaque, leopard, jungle cat,black buck, wild pig, langur, Indian fox etc. One can also spot numerous birds and even peacock at times.

6. Thondanur Lake: Thondanur Lake is situated around 25 km from Melkote on Pandavapura road. It is said that water never dried up here. The water is so clear here, that Tippu Sultan called it Moti Talab (pearl lake). The fresh water body can be a nice place to spent time in late afternoon or before evening watching the sunset.

Thondanur Lake

February 3rd, 2009 by admin

Distance: Around 20 km from Mangalore city, 370 km from Bangalore, 50 km from Manipal, 40 km from Udupi, 1,015 km from Mumbai

How to reach there: By train using Bangalore – Mangalore train from Mysore and Bangalore and then public or private bus to Surathkal. One can use Konkan railway to reach here from Mumbai. Also, bus services are available from various cities to Mangalore and then city bus service to Surathkal.

Where to stay: Hotel Lalit International (0824-2476343), Hotel Panchami (0824-2479533), Hotel Saroj (0824-2271212), Hotel Sathyapra (0824-2279100), HOTEL SADANAND (0824 – 2475370, 2475570). As Surathkal is nearby one can even stay in Mangalore.

Where to eat: HOTEL SADANAND (0824 – 2475370, 2475570), Dhabas on Highway, Kamadhenu Bar and Restaurant (0824-2475654 ), Tikka Hut Fast Food Restaurant (0824-2478386). You can aslo eat in Mangalore.

Languages spoken: Tulu, Kannada, Hindi, English

Surathkal is small suburb of Mangalore on NH 17 and is famous for housing India’s number 1 National Institute of Technology (NIT), formerly known as Regional Engineering College (REC). It also has few big name industries like The Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (MCF) and a port The New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT). Legend has it that the name Surathkal has been derived from the Tulu word “shiradakal” which means headstone.

What to see:

1. Sadashiva temple: Also, known as Narahari Parvatha Sadashiva Temple is located in the Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada District. The temple located on top of the is hill is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are 4 ponds in featuring the shape of Shanka (Conch), Chakra (Wheel), Gadha (Weapon) and Padma (Lotus). It is believed to be scared to take bath here. The Surrounding of the is enchanting scenary.


Evening view from Sadashiva temple

2. Krishnapura Matha: It is one of the ashta matha established by Sri Madhwaacharya located around 3 kilometres from Surathkal. The extensive wooden work are worth seeing.

3. Lighthouse: The lighthouse is located near the Sadashiva temple and it gives an awesome view of the surrounding and the Arabian sea.

surathkal lighthouse

4. Beach: Surathkal has some of the most clean and pristine coastline and beaches. One take a long stroll just listening to the music of Arabian sea. Do check the sunrise and sunset.

surathkal beach

If you have tie in hand do visit the country side as much you can and relish the coastal food as much as you can. 

January 31st, 2009 by admin

Distance: Around 60 km from Bangalore

Journey time: 1 and half hour to 2 hours

How to reach there: Private bus to Dobbspet and then by auto (minimum fare Rs 10) to Shivagange. Private buses available from KR market. There are few KSRTC buses also available from Majestic to Dobbspet. Shivagange is 8 km from Dobbspet.

Route:

Route 1: Take a left turn to NH48, (which goes to Mangalore). Travel till Gudemarana halli(16 KMs from Nelamangala). Take a right turn, travel for 15 KMs to reach Shivagange.

Route 2: Instead of taking left near Nelamangala, go stright on NH4 till Dabaspet(20KMs from Nelamangala). Take left turn and travel for 6 KMs to reach Shivagange.

Where to eat: Not available, carry your own food and water. However, on the way on Tumkur highway you will get a lot of dhabas.

Where to stay: Not available

shivagange

Shivagange is small hillock located at a small distance of 60 km from Bangalore city. Shivagange got its name from the Shiva temple atop the hill and the spring water(Gange) which flows here. This place is very popular with trekkers for and pilgrims due to the presence of large number of temples. If ones starts early then Shivagange, Namada Chilume and Devarayana Durga can be conered in a single day. To climb up the hill is approximately a 2 km trek. It is also know Dakshina Khashi or the Kashi of South India.

What to see:

1. Gangadhareshwara Temple: Gangadhareshwara, an avatar of Shiva is the deity of this ancient temple. In the inner sanctum it is said that there is a tunnel which runs upto Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Bangalore. However, it is closed from both side and no one has yet tried checking the route.

2. Olakala Teertha: Olakala Teertha, is another temple where a spring water flows in between rocks and one has climb down steep narrow rock. It is said that who is honest or good can touch it. But looks like if you enter your hand deep inside and search for while, you will be lucky.

3. Nandi Statue: The Nandi statue is located at the heighest poing at Shivagange. This point is known as Shantala point. It is said that from here Queen Shantala wife Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana commited suicide. From here one can get a awesome view of the surrounding area.

shivagange

4. Patala Gange: The word Patal gange literally means underground Ganga. In this temple you will see water flowing from underground and hence the name. The water level keeps changing throughout the day. Legend has it that water here is connected to Antaragange in Kolar. The water is considered sacred in both the places.

It would be wise to leave this place before dusk.

January 12th, 2009 by admin

Most of the times one can hear from people who wants to see or explore new things that there are not enough things to see in Bangalore. That may be partially true inside Bangalore but just outside Bangalore within a radius of 100 km a lot of unexplored teritorry is waiting for you. In this post I will discuss what could be the options for you:

1. Makali Durga: Makalidurga located around 60 km from Bangalore near Doddaballapur offers various options to visitors like trekking, hiking, bird watching, strolling around on the hills and wild etc. The hills here are the same of Nandi Hills ranage. You can also visit a fort and a Shiva temple located on top of the hill at fort on top 1,350 mts above sea level. At the base of the hill there is a big beautiful lake. The hill along with the fort is located around 2 km from the railway station.

Route: Bangalore – Guntakal line

Train and buses are available to reach there. Planning for activities here, click here

makalidurga
Makali durga Hill Fort View

makalidurga

2. Ghati Subramanya: Ghati Subramanya is around 60 km from Bangalore and is famous religious center. Here the famous Ghati Subramanya temple is located. The chief deity here is Lord Subramanya and Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. It also has Adi Sesha and Vasuki. The uniqueness of the temple is, Sri Subrahmanya is facing east and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha is facing west in a single image. One can have darshan of Lord Narasimha through a mirror placed rear side.

Distance: Around 60 km from Bangalore, 12 km from Doddaballapur

Route: Bangalore – Devanahalli – Ghati Subramanya

Ghati Subramanya Temple
Ghati Subramanya Temple Entrance

3. Devera Betta: It is located around 50 km from Bangalore in Hosur district of Tamil Nadu. It offers rock climbing on the two monolith hills and has a temple on top of one hill. Read more ….

4. Suvarna Mukhi at Bannerghatta National Park: Suvarna Mukhi is a stream which flows from the range of hills inside Bannerghatta National Park. One has to trek inside after reaching the park and requires special permission. Bannerghatta National Park is located around 25 km from Bangalore. Regular buses are available from Majestic and Market.

5. Doddaragi Halli Betta and Chikkarahi Halli Betta: These are two trekking routes opened to the public by the forest department sometime back located inside Bannerghatta forest range. These dense forests are home to various wild life like elephent and one can view them from the watch towers available here. One requires to take permission.

Distance: Around 30 km from Bangalore

6. Thottikal Falls: Thottikal Falls located around 40 km from Bangalore and around 12 km from kalkere in the Bennerghatta forest range.

7. Nandi Hills: Nandi Hills the name which most of you may know, is the popular escape of Bangaloreans. It is a popular trekking, picnic and outing spot.

8. Skandagiri or Kandavarahalli: Located around 70 km from Bangalore in between Nandi hills and Chikkaballapur Skandagiri is a popular trekking spot. Read more …..

Route: Bangalore – Hebbal Flyover – Yalahanka – Devanahalli – Chikkaballapur – Skandagiri

When to visit: November to January

skandagiri

skandagiri

9. Muthyala Madu or Pearl valley: Pearl Valley is located around 50 km from Bangalore city and is very popular with young people.

Route: Housur road – Anekal – Pearl velley

10. Savandurga: It is located around 60 km from Bangalore in the Magadi taluk. It is popular with rock climbers.

January 9th, 2009 by admin

Distance: Around 70 km from Hubli, 160 km Goa, 340 km from Mangalore and 480 km Bangalore

How to reach there: By bus or train upto Hubli and then local bus to Yellapura. KSRTC buses are available from Bangalore, Mangalore etc.

Where to stay: Banana County, Pai’s Sambhram Lodge

Where to eat: Road side Dhabas or above mentioned hotels

yellapura picture

Yellapura is small town in the Uttara Kannada (south Canara) district of the Indian state of Karnataka. Located in the western ghats of India, Yellapura or Yellapur is surrounded by dense forest.Yellapura falls on the way from Ankola to Dharwad. It is nature lover’s paradise. If you would like to be just with yourself and nature visit Yellapura. One should explore the wandering valley, green forests and two gushing water falls.

Things to see:

Satoddi falls: It is one of the most photogenic falls in Karnataka and is located 25 km from Yellapur town. To reach there while travelling towards Hubli one has to take a left turn. It is awesone view the road going alongside river Kali. It is advisable to visit there in between November to April. Visiting in Monsson season can be risky.

Magod falls: The name Magod falls originated from the village name which is located near to this falls. To reach there one has to ride about 1.5 km from Yellapur on the Yellapur-Karwar Highway(NH-63), and then a left turn will lead to Magod falls. Magod waterfalls is situated 19 km away from Yellapur, in the Magodu village. It comes on the way from Ankola to yellapur. Here, the Bedthi river takes two distinct leaps to hurtle from a height of 650ft. into a rocky ravine. The dense forest, the gushing water and a breathtaking view makes it a place to visit. Near the falls, there is a sun set point called Jenu Kallu Gudda where you can see a beautiful view of the sun set.

magod falls

magod falls
Courtesy: Rajesh Naik

Kalache: You can also visit a beautiful village called Kalache, amid lush green hills, just 30 km from Yellapura.

December 9th, 2008 by admin

Kolar

Distance: Around 68 km from Bangalore

Journey Time: 1 and half hour to 2 hours by Bus

How to reach there:

1. Regular KSRTC buses are available from KSRTC bus stand, Majestic, Bangalore.

2. By train upto Bangerpet and then 15 min travel by bus

3. Private vehicle

Route: Bangalore – Hoskote – Kolar

Where to Stay: Deepty Mahal (Rs 300/24 hours), Shanthi Sagar Hotel (Rs 250 – 300), Woody’s (Rs 750 – 1000+)

Where to Eat: Ruchi Sagar for light food, Shanthi Sagar, Tirumala (Near Deepty Mahal Tamaka, phone – 09611022320) – All these are veg restaurants

For non veg food, you may try the dhabas alongside Chennai highway towards Chitoor.

Kolar is the district head quarter of the district by the same name Kolar of the south Indian state of Karnataka. Kolar is a small town with few historical temples and places and is suitable for a one day tour. However, if you would like halt there for a night, it is advisable to find hotel or lodge before had as there are not many places of comfortable stay apart from the hotels mentioned above. There are few hotels opposite to the Kolar bus stand which you may try as your last resort. Kolar has rich history and that shows in the temples in and around Kolar.

Things to see:

1. Kolaramma temple: Kolaramma temple located at the southern end of the city is built by the Cholas and the presiding deity here is goddes Durga. Also, the temple has shrines of saptamatras. The temple has inscriptions of Rajendra Chola. Photography is prohibited inside.

2. Someshwara temple: Someshwara temple is an architect’s delight. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was constructed in Dravidian style during the 14th century during the early days of Vijaynagara rules. The intricately craved stones tells story of its own. The temple has various facilities like the Vasantha mantapa, yoga shaala, Kalyana mantapa etc. There is granite bull at the entrance of the main temple.

3. Kolar hills or Kolar betta and Antaragange: Kolar betta or Kolar hills are located around 2 km from Kolar town. One has to climb up the hills via 100 plus steps. This place is also know Satasringa (hundred peaked mountains). While climbing up, on the way a small lane leads to a platform from where you can see an awesome view of the rugged mountains. Also, the Antaragange is located on top of this hill. Legend has is it that Ganga is flowing from here in south India and that is the reason the name is Antaragange. Here, from the mouth of a ball water keeps gushing and nobody knows where from the water is comming. The water is believed to be sacred and is used as drinking water by people of nearby areas. There is also a temple of Lord Shiva besides Antaragange. However, be aware of monkey menace.

Note: To  see all the above mentioned places, I suggest you to hire an Auto and it should not cost you more than Rs 150 including wait time.

Kolar Gold Field or KGF:

Kolar Gold Field or KGF is located around 27 km from Kolar. Also, one can reach KGF directly via Kolar bypass. Regular private or Karnataka state transport buses are available from Kolar and Bangalore. The star attraction of this place was the gold mines which are closed now. The history of KGF goes back to late 19th century when the mining started and the early 20th century when the gold mines were flourishing, a wholesome city came into being with the modern amenities. The workers of the gold mines the Birtish then constructed the city of Robertsonpet.

Where to eat: Durbar hotel just opposite KGF bus stand or eatries in and around the bus stand

Where to stay: Kotilingeshwara temple, Paid accomodation – food free (6 km from KGF)

Things to see:

1. Kolar Gold Fields: Kolar Gold fields has a mining history of over 2000 years even before the cholas to the Indian government after independence. It was believed to have one of the deepest mines in the world. However, Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) which ran the show here was closed in 2001 and subsequently all the mines were closed in 2003 due to limited deposit of gold and high operating cost. To see the gold fields one has to take prior permission. As of now BEML and Indian Institute of Metal operates in KGF.


Kolar Gold Field – Champion Reef Mine (Year 1910)


One of the gold mines – you can see this picture from the road

Read more:

1. History of KGF

2. Kotilingeshwara temple: Kotilingeshwara temple is located at Kammasandra village around 6 km away from KGF bus stand. Regular buses are available to and fro. The speciality of this temple is it has 1 crore Shiva lingas(statues) in various shapes. People visiting this temple make wishes and if their wishes come true then they install a Shiva linga in their name. Lingas are available in various denominations costing in between Rs 3000 – Rs 50,000. The temple also have various other deities like Shantoshi maa etc. At the middle there is a huge 110 feet shiva linga and a Nandi in granite. Also, there is a tree wherein you can tie a rope after you perform puja(prayer) with the rope and can make wish as you like. The temple is an awesome sight with Shiva lingas all over.

Around KGF:

1. Bytarayappana Betta: Bytarayappana Betta (hill) is located in Dodduru Karapanahalli near Aalamaram of Kolar Gold Fields in Kolar district. It has got a temple dedicated to lord Shiva who is worshipped as Bytrayappa. One can find some caves on this hill which is believed to have been used by human ancestors. The view from top of the hill is really beautiful, one can see the city of Kolar and the mining town of Kolar Gold Fields.

2. Bethamangala: Bethamangala is a small town in the Bangarpet Taluk of Kolar District, located 7 km from KGF and 3 km from Kotilingeshwara temple. It has interesting history starting from the days of Ganga rulers and a large man made lake from the British era. This large lake is popular picnic spot and it used to be the place of week excurisions of the British workers of KGF. This the source of water supply to KGF. From this lake the Palar river originates from underground. One should visit the Vijayendra temple of Ganga period which was modified by the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar rulers.

3. Budikote: Budikote or the “Fort of Ash” is a small village situated in Bangarpet Taluk of Kolar District, located around 20 km from KGF. It derives its name from an old fort located here. It is also the birth place of Hyder Ali, father of Tipu Sultan (earlier ruler of Mysore). There is nothing much to see and if you are time crunched, you may give this place a miss.

4. Guttahalli: Guttahalli is a small village in the Kolar district located around 15 kms from KGF, 29 km from Kolar, 21 km from Bangarpet and just 3 km from Bethamangala. It is famous for the Lakshmi-Venkateshwara temple also known as Chikka Tirupathi (Small Tirupathi). I am little confused if Bangaru Tirupathi and Chikka Tirupathi are the same.

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