• Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    A road trip following the Kaveri

    The Kaveri (or Cauvery) has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. For peasants and the gentry, it is a source of life and livelihood, for pilgrims it is as sacred as the Ganges and for politicians, it is a pivot that might decide the fate of the next election. For tourists and travelers though, the river can be a source of great inspiration. For it is born in a spring adjoining a temple, been a witness to kingdoms and civilizations of great importance through the ages, it’s waters irrigate the great rice bowl lands of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. A gently flowing river, I have often wondered…

  • Karnataka coastline
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    A road trip along the Karnataka coast – Udupi and Mangalore

    [Continued from Part I] Often on the Karnataka coast, you come across endearing sights of backwaters surrounded by palm and coconut trees, swaying gently with the sea breeze. There is an alternate version of life going on, on these waters that is at once laid back, languid and yet extremely charming. Hands up, if you haven’t sketched some of these scenes in your primary school drawing books. Udupi One does not need to talk a lot on Udupi, considering it is the birthplace of the eponymous Udupi cuisine, that is now famous all over the world. A visit to the Krishna temple and the various eateries dotting the road to…

  • Sowparnika river Karnataka coastline
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    A road trip along the Karnataka coast – Honnavar to Maravanthe

    Far from the cliched list of ‘tourist places in Karnataka’, a road trip along the picturesque Karnataka coast (called the Kanara) had been on my mind since the past year and a half. For some reason though, I kept pushing it down the priority list. In August this year however, this dream of a road trip materialized. Although we skipped Karwar and Gokarna (Gokarna, well, started it all) since we’d been there earlier, we did cover the 180 km stretch from Honnavar to Mangalore. This covers major stretches of the Uttara Kannada district (Karwar-Bhatkal), Udupi district and Dakshina Kannada district. Even in the peak of the monsoon season, I was undaunted…

  • Jog falls
    Karnataka

    What a Jog

    Many a time has an enthusiastic tourist made the long journey to Jog falls to end up with something like this. This was in the peak of the monsoon season, as you can make out from the greenery around. Supposedly, one of the highest waterfalls in India, its moniker ‘Joke falls’ among blogging circles is well-deserved going by this photograph. And to think, the state authorities have created a parking lot, a state tourism hotel, viewing areas to benefit the hordes of tourists. Just wonder whether somebody forgot to turn on the secret waterfall switch. Honestly though, I have no idea if this is due to the rainfall deficit or…

  • Panoramic view of the Chennakesava temple Belur
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Chikmagalur Trip – Part III: Belur and Halebidu

    [Continued from Part II here] The Hoysala empire ruled most of Karnataka and parts of present day Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during a reign which stretched from the late 10th century to the mid 14th century. Wikipedia narrates the origin of the name Hoysala thus: “Kannada folklore tells a tale of a young man Sala, who saved his Jain guru Sudatta by striking dead a Lion he encountered near the temple of the Goddess Vasantika at Sosevur. The word “strike” literally translates to “hoy” in Hale Kannada (Old Kannada), hence the name “Hoy-sala”. This legend first appeared in the Belur inscription of Vishnuvardhana (1117), but owing to several inconsistencies…

  • BB hills near Chikmagalur
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Chikmagalur Trip – Part I

    [Trip undertaken in Oct 2012] We had just come back from a delightful Hampi trip, that first weekend of October and our feet were itching to go explore Karnataka some more. A couple of debates on possible destinations included Valparai, Ooty and its southern sisters Coonoor, Kotagiri, even Kodaikanal (we did go on a trip to Ooty later) among others. I thought the heat in Hampi had been exhausting and was looking forward to someplace cooler and more refreshing. Chikmagalur had always been at the back of my mind, if for nothing else, because I found the name endearingly funny ever since I was a kid. One image of Ayyanekere…

  • Gol Gumbaz
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Bijapur Trip – Part III

    [Continued from Part II here] The next day, we had a quick breakfast (from Lalit Mahal’s restaurant itself – piping hot and delicious idly-vadas) and caught an auto rickshaw from outside the KSRTC bus stand. The auto driver, while on the way to the Gol Gumbaz, offered to take us to all the sights in Bijapur for, what was in his opinion, a measly sum of 700 bucks. Last night’s cheap dinner was still on our minds and we thought it was too much – so we bargained down to 500. That would make it a 100 for each of us, which was still too much, a mistake that we…

  • Kasi Visvesvara Temple
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Bijapur Trip – Part II

    [Continued from Part I] Pattadakal is a cluster of around 10 temples built in South Indian, North Indian as well as a combination of both styles of architecture. Pattadakal means the ‘coronation stone’ or ‘site for coronation’ and it indeed was one, for the Chalukyan kings. UNESCO‘s website writes about this fascinating architectural wonder thus: “Three very closely located sites in the State of Karnataka provide a remarkable concentration of religious monuments dating from the great dynasty of the Chalukya (c. 543-757). There are the two successive capital cities – Aihole (ancient Aryapura), Badami, and Pattadakal, the ‘City of the Crown Rubies’ (Pattada Kisuvolal). The latter was, moreover, for a brief time…