Flash back to this day in 1993. We undertook a 3 day trip to all the temples on the western ghats of Karnataka.
My family( mom,dad, sis and me), My aunts, uncles , my cousins Uma, Nalini, Ganesh, Cheeru , Preetha and Naveen along with our other extended relatives numbering more than 50 hired a bus from Bhageerathi travels at Netkallappa circle, Basavanagudi.
We started on the night of 12th Jan from Gavipuram extension – our boarding point. We travelled 350 kms via Hassan to reach Dakshin Kannada. The fun we had in the bus consisting of ages between 5-70 is beyond words.
Day 1 Our stop was in the morning at Kukke Subrahmanya Kshetra . It is a village blessed with river Kumaradhara and beautiful mountains like Kumara Parvata . The temple here is dedicated to Lord Subrahmanya who had manifested with Vasuki (the king of serpents). The temple has a snake pit which is worshipped here and the mud from the pit is considered as prasadam instead of sacred ash. From there we drove to Dharmasthala.
Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala is the abode of Manjunatha swamy on the banks of River Nethravathy. The main deity is in gold. A very well managed and pilgrim friendly place is Dharmasthala. There are various guesthouses matching 5 star hotels in cleanliness and décor. The dining hall Annapoorna serves free food to all the pilgrims from their mechanized kitchen. There are many places of interest in Dharmasthala like the vintage car museum, Manjusha an artifact museum and a statue of Bahubali. After seeing all these we rested our tired body at the Guesthouse.
Day2: We set out to picutresque Kateel located 26 kms from Mangalore. This place is the abode of Goddess Durga parameshwari on the banks of river Nandini. After a good darshan we travelled to our next stop at Udipi.
When we spent our time having darshan, The bhageerathi travels crew were busy cooking tasty food for us on open grounds with the raw materials they had bought. Delicious whole some foods were catered to all the fifty of us along with sweets. The sweets like kai holige( dry coconut Puran poli) and rations were brought by them from Bangalore to suffice for 3 days. We generally had food made from the travels though there were exceptions like Dharmasthala and Udipi.
Now over to udipi.
Udipi is a divine place and is famous for the temple of Lord Krishna. A beautiful dark bejeweled Krishna is the main deity. Another prominent place is the’ Kanakini kindi’ literally meaning kanaka’s window . This is a window by the side of the temple through which one can see the deity. It is through this window Lord Krishna gave darshan to Kanaka dasa – a devotee when he was refused the entry into the temple. Udipi is also synonymous with Indian Brahmin cuisine world wide. Their dishes are mainly sweetish due to the presence of fruits and coconut. Will share more about this in a later blog.
From Udipi we drove to Malpe beach. The beach was non-commercial and hence very clean in 1993. All of us played with the waves of the Arabian sea for some time. After having our fill of fun , we now left for Kundapur.
At Kundapur we visited the Kotilingeshwar temple. As the name suggests there are koti lingams (crores of lingams very small and cannot be seen by us except the big one which is the main deity). This is a big temple except us there were not many people. Inspite of it being pongal it was not looking festive but it was very clean. Dakshin Kannada does not celebrate sankranthi/ pongal. According to our itinerary we were supposed to drive towards Murdeshwar. Unfortuntely one of the senior citizen oldest lady who happened to be the mother of my Uncle’s B-I-L’s brother’s mother in-law(Is your head reeling?) took seriously ill.
Now all her sons took her to Manipal Hospital. The doctors had lost hopes on their case. The rest of the 45 spent our night in a choultry close to the temple . We children as always were making merry with games and pranks unaware of the old lady. Miraculously the old lady went on to improve her health though she had to be treated at the hospital and lived longer than her healthy daughter-in-law.
Now murdeshwar was knocked from our itinerary due to time lost in Kundapur.
Next day morning we resumed our 40 kms journey towards Kollur at the foot of Western Ghats.
More about Kollur, Sringeri, Horanadu and kalasa in part II