Showing posts with label Shimoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shimoga. Show all posts

A Monsoon Trek in the Western Ghats, Kavaledurga Kote, Shimoga/Shivamogga


On inquiring about the route to the fort of Kavaledurga to a local, he replied saying, "Are you guys crazy to venture out there during these rains!? The path will be very slippery. Go straight, walk along the field bund and you should reach the base of Kavaledurga".
Brightly Colored Mushroom Welcoming us to the Fort 
We nodded our heads and thanked him for the information and concern shown by him. We walked as per his directions and reached the end of the fields from where the path laid to the fort was visible. It was only when we laid our first steps did we realize we were in for something! As we started our trek uphill on a very slippery slope, we noticed our steps almost matched that of a disco! We surely would have proved to be a tough competition to Micheal Jackson or Prabhu Deva. Even carefully laid steps with caution were slippery, and after slipping and trekking uphill for a good 40 minutes or so, we reached the second gateway of the fort from where the climb seemed easy and the views from here were mesmerizing.
Walk along the Field Bund 
Kavaledurga Hill fort
At the Base of the Kavaledurga Hill 
Kavaledurga Kote
First Look of Kavaledurga Kote
Entering the Fort 
The history of Kavaledurga Kote (Fort) goes this way, "This place was also called as Bhuvanagiridurga owing its name to the temple of Goddess Bhuvaneshwari, which is located in the village and is of considerable antiquity. The fort was a stronghold of the Nayakas of Keladi, who fortified this hill post their liberation from the Vijayanagar kingdom. The credit of building this forest fort goes to King Venkatappa Nayaka, who also built a palace and village inside the fort walls. The fort is three tiered and surrounded by thick forests, which proves to be a perfect defense structure. Out of the many temples built inside this fort area, the three that have survived the test of time are the Kashi Vishwanath temple, Shikhareshwara temple and Lakshmi Narasimha temple.
Lajja Gowri, Lord Hanuman and Elephants on the Wall at the Fort Entrance
Slippery 
 The Kashi Vishwanath temple is a beautiful structure and a unique one due to the presence of 2 dwajastambhas or stone pillars in front of the temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a linga and is built in typical Keladi style of architecture. Besides the temple lie remains of another structure with only pillar bases. A small rock with a temple of Lakshmi Narasimha at its top is seen right opposite to this temple. A little further from this temple is the ruins of a huge palace where King Venkatappa Nayaka lived. These ruins are a feast to the eyes and a sight difficult to forget. Besides this is a small yet charming queen’s bath. Further from here is the topmost point of the hill, with the temple of Shikhareshwara. We did not trek to this spot as the rains intensified and the weather looked threatening.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Kavaledurga
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Kavaledurga 
The Palace, Kavaledurga
The Palace, Kavaledurga 
 There are many water ponds which were full owing to the incessant rains and were a sight to see. The descent also was too slippery with fresh rains and drizzle every now and then. The only saving grace was that we did not have any fall or injury. Though the trails were too slippery, we enjoyed the trek thoroughly and will always remember the enchanting views Kavaledurga offered .Overall, the trek was exciting and adventurous.
The Queens Bath 
One Among the Many Water Ponds Here
Other Places to Visit Nearby: Thirthahalli, Agumbe, Hulikal, Kolluru, Kodachadri, Nagara Fort and many more. 
How to reach Kavaledurga Kote: Drive on Thirthahalli - Agumbe highway; Take right at about 7 km from Thirthahalli and travel for about 10 Km to Kavaledurga village. The village is located about 18 km from Thirthahalli and 350 km from Bangalore. 
Accommodation: There are no accommodation facilities inside the village, though one can pitch their own tents inside the fort area or in the village premises with prior permission of the villagers. However, the closest and a better option would be to stay at Thirthahalli which offers good accommodation choices. 
Where to eat: There are no eateries in Kavaledurga; Thirthahalli is the closest and a better option. 

PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

At the Confluence of Rivers Tunga and Bhadra, Koodli Sangama, Shimoga/Shivamogga

Kudli Sangama
Confluence of Rivers Tunga and Bhadra 
Kudli/ Koodli Sangama is a small village located at the confluence of rivers Tunga and Bhadra. The mighty Tungabhadra originates here and takes an easterly course towards the Bay of Bengal. It is one among the most prominent rivers of India and has been a centre of activity for many centuries. The surrounding areas of Kudli have been under continuous occupation since the Paleolithic period. Various dynasties have ruled this place starting from the Satavahanas of Banavasi to Nayakas of Keladi. Kudli is home to many temples built during various periods, such as Lord Rameshwara temple, Shringeri Shankar Mutt, Narasimha temple, and Vidyashankar temple. We first visited the Sangama or Confluence of the rivers Tunga and Bhadra with overflowing waters, thanks to the good rains! We enjoyed sitting by, watching the river and people around here. 
River Tungabhadra
River Tungabhadra Flows from Here
Rameshwara Temple, Kudli
Rameshwara Temple 
Bramhalingeshwara Temple
Shikara of  Rameshwara Temple
Hoysala Emblem on Vestibule 
Lord Veerabhadra and Bhikshatana Murti
 The Rameshwara temple here was built in 12th century by the Hoysalas and is dedicated to Lord Shiva in form of Linga. Though the super structure of this temple is of the non-ornate type of Hoysala Architecture, the Rameshwara Linga seems to be of much earlier times than the Hoysalas. This is a simple ekakuta temple with navaranga being connected by three mukhamantapas. There are three inscription stones in the compound of Rameshwara temple out of which one is in Kannada, probably belonging to the Western Chalukyas or Hoysalas and the other two seem to be scripted in Sanskrit/Marathi. The Chintamani Narasimha temple which is closely located to the Rameshwara temple was closed during our visit. It is believed to have been built during the same period as the Rameshwara temple with a similar plan. The Keladi styled Rajagopuram welcomes everyone to the Chintamani Narasimha temple.
Keladi Styled Rajagopuram of Chintamani Narasimha Temple 
Inscriptions Slab Stones 
Shringeri Shankar Mutt
Sharadamba Temple 
Sri Vidyashankara Temple
 We went on to visit the Vidyashankara temple which was under the renovation and finally visited the Shringeri Shankar Mutt. In the premises of this mutt are two temples dedicated to goddess Sharadamba and the great saint Shankaracharya. This temple remains the second choice after Kollur Mookambika temple for the ritual of Vidyarambham or Aksharabhyasa (the ritual of introducing small children to the world of learning and writing). We witnessed a few families performing this interesting ritual wherein small kids write their first letters of their mother tongue in a plate full of rice grains. It was time for the Anna prasadam (Lunch) which is served here to all, and we moved on to have a hearty and sumptuous meal. 
Other places to visit nearby: Shivamogga, Gajanur Dam, Mattur (Sanskrit Village), Sakrebyle Elephant Centre, Bhadravathi and many such. 
How to reach Kudli: Located off the Shivamogga - Honnali Highway, about 15 km from Shivamogga.
Accommodation: There are two mutts here which offer accommodation, though getting one depends on availability. A better choice would be to stay at Shivamogga and make a day trip as there are plenty of options in Shivamogga to suit all budgets. 
Where to eat: A few small eateries are present here as it is a pilgrim center. Anna prasadam is served daily during lunch time at Shringeri Shankar mutt. 
 PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.


Good Bye -2015

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."-Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Wishing all a very Happy New Year - 2016. Have a great, fun-filled and an adventurous year ahead!


Bandallidurga Trek
Ride atop Nandi Hills
Cycling around Sharavathi River Valley (Photo credit: Prashanth M)
Drive through Bisle Ghat
Walkway leading towards Bisle View-Point
Twin Hills of Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri at Shravanabelagola
Betteshwara Temple at Agrahara Belaguli, Hassan
Lakshminarasimha Temple at Javagal, Hassan
Chennakeshava Temple at Ambale, Chikmagalur
Asokan Rock-Edicts at Gavimatha, Koppal
Mahadeva Temple at Itagi, Koppal
Age no bar for travel-An inspiring young lady from Bengaluru at Itagi Temple
Venkatappa Baavi (Well) at Kanakagiri, Koppal
  Cave Temple at Amminabhavi, Dharwad 
The Fortress of Chitradurga  
The Mighty Gol-Gumbaz, Bijapur
World's Heaviest Medieval Cannon (weighing 56 tons)  at Bijapur, 'Malik-E-Maidan'


The Standing Stones of Nilaskal, Shimoga

After visiting the prehistoric site of Byse, while driving back on the highway connecting Nagara with Nittur, a PWD board that read Nilaskal caught our eye. Nilaskal, a pre-historic site was on our to- explore list from quite sometime and now was our chance to find out what was in store here. On inquiring at a local general store on the other side of the road, we were told to take the immediate right turn and drive until we reached a school,besides which was a field, the site of Nilaskal. Nilaskal in Kannada means a standing stone, and this village is rightfully named so due to the presence of these stones. In no time we were in front of the school and parked the vehicle by the side. As we got down, we immediately spotted a big stone fallen near the school compound while a bigger one stood erect inside the school premises. Our search for  more such stones began and without much difficulty we entered the field that housed Menhirs of various sizes, standing tall and proud, many had fallen. They were spread far and wide across the field. While the scientists believe that these stones are aligned in a way that the rays when the sun rises and sets during the solar solstice fall in between these stones, the alignment pattern still remains a mystery even today. Sad to know this site remains neglected.
Pre Historic Site Nilaskal
Menhir Inside School Premises 

Pre Historic Site Shimoga
Tallest Menhir Found Here


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