Arvalem Caves and Waterfalls, Offbeat Places to Visit in Goa

   We were  heading back from our  short Goa trip  during which we had visited mostly the places it is famous for, the beaches and the forts obviously. Along our way back, we happened to see a  Dept.of Tourism Board , Goa , directing us towards Arvalem Falls and  a Rock Cut Temple . Definitely, we were curious to know about these places and proceeded further.

    Arvalem is a small village located in Valpoi Taluk, North Goa District.  It is about 60 kms from Panaji . The major attractions of this place are the rock cut caves and  the Arvalem Falls. While one of the rock cut caves is a major attraction, there are few more around this place.

    The rock cut cave is known as " The Pandavas Cave". It is believed that, the Pandavas of Mahabharata (epic) sought shelter in these caves after being exiled . The existence of the cave has been traced to the 7th century AD. The cave has five compartments with one Shiva  linga in each  compartment . 
The Arvalem Caves
Shiva Linga

Shiv Linga
 Here on, moving  further about a kilometer took us to  the small village of Arvalem . There is a  Rudreshwar temple here, which most likely was recently renovated. The main deity  worshiped here is Shiva in the form of a Linga. A small walk ahead will lead us to the Arvalem Falls, cascading from a height of about 60 ft . The sound of the falls was by itself very refreshing. There is a platform from where one can freshen up from the waters of Arvalem.

There were also remains of a previously working micro hydel  generation project here dedicated to Smt. Indira Gandhi . 
Arvalem Waterfalls
Micro Hydel Generation Project

Directions from Panaji :

View Larger Map
    Two kms from Sanquelim . No entrance fee .

Trip Date : 09 Dec, 2008  .
Places to visit nearby : Ponda, Old Goa ,The Many Many Beaches Around , Fort   Aguada , Chapora Fort , Alorna Fort, and many more!

Need of the hour

Wish we could follow Such discipline . Life would get much better
Lane Discipline

Chandravalli Garden, Chitradurga

  Chandravalli Thota ( Garden) is a famous place in Chitradurga  .Last summer, we had been to Chitradurga to visit our Relatives . As it was summer, we restrained ourselves from going to the fort and decided to go to Chandravalli Thota which is located in the outskirts of the town  . Our only idea about the place was a garden with a lake . So we decided to explore . Little did we know what was in store for us .
The Chandravalli Lake
     The lake is huge and is surrounded by three hills . Swimming is prohibited in the lake . There are crocodiles in the lake . Proceeding further, a sign pointing towards right and reading " Ankali Math" on a bin caught our attention. We decided to go  and find out what was there .The first striking thing was the  cave temple with five lingas , known as Panchalingeshwar and the lingas are Dharmeshwar , Bhimeshwar , Arjuneshwar , Nakuleshwar and Sahadeshwar, which can be linked to the Pandavas of Mahabharata .

Panchalingeshwar Temple
  After visiting the temple, towards our right was a structure which had many entrances and kept us wondering what it could be. On further investigation, we found that one of the many entrances  had a  path leading us downwards. Since it was completely dark, there were no chances of going further without any source of light. Hence we moved on to explore the place from the other entrances. There were all interlinked forming a network of rooms. One of the rooms had a big opening through which we could see other structures similar to these.
Entrance to the Cave
The rear side 

View from the window
This place was full of interesting structures.A bed like platform , probably used by the sages as a  Peeta  for their prayers was found in the innermost room. We spent a lot of time in seeing   various  elements and were amazed at their brilliance in the field of architecture and construction. Most of the structures were a part of the rock which formed the cave.
 Natural light aiding visibility inside the cave
Entrance to the main hall
On our way back, we were just curious to check about the place  we had left  unexplored. Luckily, we saw a  man sitting in front it with a torch. It was quite obvious he was the guide who would take us around  and give us some details of the same only if we payed him his charges of Rs.10 per head.We happily told him to proceed. On inquiring, he told us this place was named 'Ankali Math' or 'Paradesappa Gavi' . Findings inside the Math were rather very interesting .
The Main Entrance from outside
The Main Entrance from inside
The Peeta which was used by the sages (opposite to the linga)
The Linga
The bathing place of the sages
Decorative workmanship

Very artistic

The Resting Place of the Sages

Place to light lamps

Another entrance which has carvings of  peacock and swan on either sides

The guide explaining the significance of  the place

Vibhuti Kunda

Gods of the sages

   According to the Department of Tourism (Karnataka government), this place is a Pre-historic site . The excavations at this place has  revealed  connections with neolithic , megalithic and early historic ages . Coins , ornaments and other artifacts excavated suggest that  they maintained trade with Rome.This place can also be linked to various religions .
  We were absolutely thrilled after seeing and listening to its history. We found it hard to believe that such a structure was planned and constructed. The lowest point from the entrance is at a depth of about 140 feet. This place had continuous supply of water . The interlinked rooms were designed  such that ,a person inside in the main hall could see what's happening in the neighboring rooms . This place is just like a maze , where it is very easy to get lost . This place mainly served the purpose of meditation .It also had various paintings and sculptures on the wall which have stood for so many centuries . 
  Hopefully this place survives the vandalism of the people .We only wish that  people enjoy the place and leave it  just as it is. 

No entry fees .This place is maintained by the local trust
Timings : 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Distance from Bangalore : 205 kms 
Places to visit nearby : Chitradurga Fort , Jogi Matti , Himavat Kedara , Adu Malleshwara , Vani Vilas Sagar Dam.
Trip Date : 01 May, 2009 

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Kanakuppa Fort, Near Jagalur Karnataka

         This about lesser known place located in Jagalur Taluk of Davanagere District . This place is known  as "Kilah Kanakuppa" . This fort was built by Palegars of Chitradurga . Erstwhile town of  Jagalur was located inside the fort  .  Few decades back people moved out of the fort and three new villages were formed , namely Jagalur (current), Kilah Kanakuppa and Kanakuppa. Jagalur today is the Taluk Headquarter .  
        Kilah Kanakuppa is a largely fortified town . But it lacks the complexity of Chitradurga fort . The main fortification cover three small hillocks . The important aspect of the fort is  an area encompassed inside the fort walls .Another aspect is that, the fort has just one outer wall .The boundaries of  the fort by itself act as natural defense from enemies .
       Direction from Bangalore :  Bangalore- NH4- Chitradurga-NH13 till Jagalur Cross (30kms from Chitradurga) take left -SH45-Jagalur- SH45 Kanakuppa Cross (4kms from Jagalur)- take left -Kanakuppa. Total Distance from Bangalore - around 240 kms .
Kanakuppa Fort Davanagere
The Fort and the Hillocks
        Some time in April this year,  we were travelling from Hospet to Jagalur to meet our relatives . On  our way we saw this fort and wished to visit this next time whenever we get  an occasion  . After inquiring about the fort, we came to know the name of this fort as Kanakuppa Fort . It is believed that Sage Kanva did his penance here in a cave.It is also believed that there is also a secret passage from here that leads to Chitradurga fort .
       Villagers here are quite helpful and will eagerly show one the fort . But there are  a lot of Sloth bears in the area of fort according to them . But one can avoid such areas. Much of the fortification still remain . Most interesting point is that of  rain water harvesting system, which is so evident across the different regions of  the fort. Its just not here but many forts have developed or felt the necessity of rain water harvesting .
Direction to pond
The First of the many ponds
Second of the many ponds
The third one and so on!
       There are a few temples at the base of the hill and at the fort entrance . There are two entrances to the fort. The first is from the Kilah Kanakuppa side and other from Kanakuppa . Both entrances are huge .
Entrance from the Kilah Kanakuppa
Inside view of Entrance
The Kanakuppa entrance from inside
The Kanakuppa entrance from outside

Door Hinge
Viragals or Hero stones kept outside the temple 
Pair of Dusky Crag Martins
Ruined temple
        This temple was in a really bad shape whereas the temple besides it was in a fairly good shape and was also being used by locals for worshiping. Probably this temple was plundered during war or by local people in search of treasures. There are a lot of Viragals or Hero stones around and inside these temples .
Temple viewed from the top of the fort
Ruined structure
Top portion of fort on one hill
Top portion of the fort on another hill

Note the carvings on the right side pillar of the entrance
Highest point of the fort
Lord Hanuman
Final view of Fort
        This place is an ideal place for weekend outing  . Chitradurga is ideal place for accommodation . This  place is fairly  clean and tidy . Nice place for birdwatching too . But no sign of ASI ( Archeological survey of India ) .

Trip Date: 18 July 2010

Places near by : Chitradurga Fort , Chandravalli  gardens, Jogi matti , Uchchangipura fort , Uchchangidurga fort , Ujjini Temple , Ramdurga Fort , many more

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1. 125 Forts of Karnataka 
2. Raichur Kote
3. Madhugiri fort