Miscellany

Miscellany

Gokarna’s famed Om beach

The Om beach at Gokarna is one of the most widely-visited beaches in the state. The beach is a picturesque one, and much like Goa, has a large number of foreign tourists. The beach is known for its shallow waters. What’s more, the place is also an important religious retreat for most Indians. According to the Gokarna Purana, “By merely stepping into this holy place, one is rid of all sins.” Here is located the famous Atmalinga, which has many mythological connotations, dating back to the Ramayana. Apart from the Om beach, Gokarna has many quiet beaches nearby. A half-an-hour’s walk south ofGokarna and one runs into many quiet beaches. The most number of tourists turn up here during the summer months of April and May. There is accommodation aplenty at the beach, what with hotels, cottages and huts. Gokarna is 200 km from Mangalore and 56 kmsouthwest of Karwar. Plenty of  government buses are available from both Mangalore and Karwar.

U D Nagendra

Kallahalli’s 800-yr-old temple

‘Chikka Tirupati’ nestles in the middle of a small village called Kallahalli in Kanakapura taluk. Take a turn to the right at the 54th km on the Bangalore-Kanakapura road, where there is a welcoming arch. This temple, which is more than 800 years old, houses an idol of Lord Venkateswara, which is a replica of the idol in Thirumala, and just as sacred.
This 800-year-old temple is the focal point of the village. Endowed with the wondrous natural beauty of hills, lakes, woods and green fields, this pilgrim centre draws thousands of devotees every year to participate in the various processions and poojas conducted at the temple.  A tall imposing gopura (tower) decorated with a number of images of gods and goddesses, adorn the structure.

The Brahmotsava chariot festival is conducted with great pomp on the full-moon day in the month of ‘Magha’. The air is filled with chants of ‘Govinda, Govinda’, when thousands of devotees throng the place.

How to get there: By road. Frequent buses to Kanakapura and then either walk or hire an auto-rickshaw

Accommodation: Basic facilities near  he temple. It is best to stay at Kanakapura. The PWD guesthouse nearby could be used for a temporary stay. Food: A few eateries present at the village. It’s advisable to go to Kanakapura for a decent meal.

D B N Murthy

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