Date: 19th, 20th, 21st September,2009.
Route: Bangalore-Hassan- Dharmastala – Mangalore (19th September,09)
Mangalore- Agumbe – Marwante – Murudeshwar – Udupi- Mangalore (20th September,09)
Mangalore- Suratkal – Shirdi Ghat- Hassan – Bangalore (21st September,09)
Total Distance: 1200 Kms in 7+1 seater Toyota Innova.
KYA DEKHA.…places of Interest:
1) Dasahalli…95-99 KMs from Mangalore.
2) Dharmastala…Temple town in Western Ghats.
3) Agumbe…. Wettest place in South India.Height above 1500 mts above MSL. Famous for as view point for sun-set.
4) Marwante beach…Small but long Beach sandwiched between river canal and sea.
5) Murudeshwar…Temple town cum long beach
6) Suratkal beach… NITK College’s own beach.
Dashalli: Its a nice river side spot we discovered ourselves. Its between 95 and 99 KMs landmark from Mangalore on Mangalore-Bangalore route. Netravati river cuts through high ghats, creating a beauty. Although this years less rain effect could be seen here, with banks flooded just 50% to its capacity, but river speed was enough to keep us at bay and not to venture even 2 feet inside river. This particular spot can be figured out by presence of a temple, whose stair case leads to the river bank. Donot expect network, food, infact anything here. The place was so cool, I am already thinking of camping out for a night in this palce. Not to mention, people who donot care about nature, keep littering, are most unwelcomed here. Please leave this place untrashed.
Beware of leaches, Teju was one of our friend was a victim of a kiss of leach. The tiny insect resulted in blood flow in double digit milli litres and he knew only after half an hour. Indeed a Chuppa Blood sucking rustom.Surely, Teju gonna remember this love bite untill he gets next one.
Verdict: Must for people who care about nature and want to be a part of it for sometime atleast.
Dharmastala: Situated 20KMs off of Bangalore-Mangalore highway, Dharmastala has Manjunath Temple, Car museum, Annapa swamy temple, Gomteswar, Annapoorna food court to offer and surely is worth visiting once, unless you are a die hard devotee of the temple. Lots of hostels (Dharmashalas) to change up and if needed, can stay overnight. We changed in Saketha hostel for just Rs 70 for 6 pple for 2 hrs. The whole place is all owned by single person and looks like he is a collector of any thing old, be cars or temple carts used to draw idols.
The whole town centers around the Manjunath temple and has all the basic facilities needed like parking, a small market, restaurants etc. On a normal day, like the day we went, temple was a cake walk, with close to zero crowd. No entry fees, but males have to go topless inside the temple. The temple is completely unique and am sure won’t find this kind of architecture anywhere in world. The rainy weather is main reason for these. The temple is like a house with slanting roof tops. Infact the whole region architecture is something of this kind, with hardly any house boasting of a flat roof top.
Car museum boasts of cars of all brands,indeed all brands, all between 1900 and 1950. Entry to museum is between morning to evening and Rs 3 is charged. Strangely photography is not allowed, so remembrance is only memory you can come back with.
Annapaswamy temple, is right on road and one need to ascend some close to 50 steps to reach temple. Strangely here all temples are closed always, because of some superstitious belief of localites. But its good place to relax.
Gomteswar boasts of a huge idol of lord Mahveer Jain in a kind of park. The place is on top of a hill and is accessible by vehicles. The place provides good views of town and surrounding hills. Do go through story of lord and story of how the huge idol was made. No entry fees, parking facility available and photography is allowed.
Annapurna food court. Its the canteen of the main temple and free food is served everyday to all people. The canteen is very big and I guess can accomodate close to 1000 people at a time. Servicing runs like an industrial assembly (I wonder if Ford or Toyota learnt about Assembly system from here) and serves basic Kannada food consisting of rice, sambar, rasam, butter milk, saagu and of course water.
Verdict: Must see for once.
Murudeshwar: A growing tourist town, offering pictursque temple and long virgin beaches, situated 150KMs north of Mangalore. Although reached late, but did enjoyed the bath in rainy sunset. The beach has all basic facility needed for a touristy place. Has good restaurant right on beach, a bathing facility in a truck right on beach at your service. The concept was very good and hygienic, Rs 20 for a bath. Guess, should be implemented in all beaches.
The town developed by RNS group, boasts of now one of the largest Gopurams. We counted 20 storeys.The temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and so boast of a gigantic Shiva structure facing sea. The temple offers excellent spot for viewing sunset and is perfect get away for Mangloreans or people heading from Mangalore to Goa.
Verdict: 8/10. Perfect weekend spot. Only problem is approaching roads.
Suratkal Beach: Its part of NIT Suratkal college campus aand runs parallel to NH-17. How lucky guys, Wished I studied here.The beach is really cool and a perfect palce for friends gathering or a couple hideout. Although not big in breadth, but is long, long and really long, with coconut trees dominating the topography of the region. It also has a light house. Although opened only between 4PM -6PM, but always open upon request. Entry fee of Rs 10 is charged and care taker was really kind to explain the functioning of light atop the light house. Guess, he has really good relation with college guys adn must have thought all of us as college students.
But the top of light house provide excellent views of beach and surrounding area. If windy, surely its heaven to be at top. Recommended to visit off hours if want to be lonely atop the tower.
Verdict: 7/10. perfect for friends and couples. But no facility avaialble on beach and so plan accordingly.
FLAT TYRES: While coming had a very nice experiene of car breaking out somewhere near Dashalli only, with fourth element of modern life today, Network missing. Adding to that it was raining cats and dogs. Add to our luck, even the spare tyre was punctured. We were stuck right from 6 in evening to 10:30 in night. Interestingly, the tyres went flat when we were having an intense discussion on “presence of god”, with majority claiming to be atheist. Guess, this could be a reason. More coincidence, I realised it is the same place where our tyres got flat, 2 yrs back in mid night, during my first trip to Mangalore and the same shop proved to be saviour for us. Perfect recipe for a superstitious story for Aaj Tak n all breaking news channel. But all went ok and finally we reached Bangalore 4 in morning.
It was a good 3 day break from Bangalore and last incident of flat tyres in middle of no where added new direction to the adventure.
Near by places: This region is one of trekkers paradise, with toughest and roughest peaks of South India here. Kudremukh, Amedikal, Kumaraparvata, Saklespur train track being the most famous ones.
Special Request: I was amazed to see most of the places I visited this time, least trashed. Very difficult to find such places in India, with littering loving population everywhere. So please please if at all you visit these palces, please ensure zero foot print. Carry back your trash and dump responsibily. Also ensure peace and careful driving while crossing jungles. Please donot drink, trash and make noise in these last remaining habitats of fellow species. Just imagine how intriguing its for us when a single tiger enters our city, same would be for them as well.