The road ahead

TRAVEL

The road ahead

TRAVEL If travel is very much part of your agenda this year, B V Prakash has ten places in Karnataka you must not miss out on.

Om Beach

This beach is one of the pristine beaches of the State close to the temple town of Gokarna from where one has to trek along the sea. It gets its name by virtue of two semi-circular bays which look like the symbol, ‘Om’. One can also trek to Kudle, ‘Half Moon’ and Paradise beaches from here.

Vajrapoha Falls

Located deep in the forests of Jamboti in Belgaum district, this tall roaring cascade is a beauty to watch but difficult to approach. Getting there involves crossing River Mahadayi twice and a walk through the dense forest. Approachable in summer only from the village of Jamboti.

Charmadi Ghats

The stretch of road from Kottigehara to Ujire near Dharmasthala is an exciting one to drive along. The area abounds in waterfalls originating from deep gorges between high hills. The vistas are panoramic and can be enjoyed from the Malaya Marutha guest house built by the Forest Department. Romantic sunsets are assured.
Kottigehara can be reached from Chikmagalur via Mudigere.

Kanchikal Gudda

This is a small hillock tucked away in the forest ranges of Gund near Dandeli. The short trek brings one to a view point with fabulous sights of the deep blue river of Kali down in the valley.

The surrounding hills with a blanket of greenery makes it more picturesque. One can trek here with permission from the Forest Department at Dandeli.

Bheemeshwari camp

Bheemeshwari camp by the banks of the Cauvery is a pristine retreat. Located within the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, it is a wonderful camp with the river, hills and wildlife. A trek to Basavana Betta is an exciting option. Romantic sunsets by the river make it more enchanting. Bheemeshwari camp can be reached through Kanakapura.

Nethrani Island

For an experience of scuba diving and spotting exotic underwater life, there is no other place than the shores of the beautiful Nethrani Island. Situated at 10 nautical miles from Murudeshwar, the waters around the island teem with a variety of colourful fishes and mindboggling corals. Diving here is a unique experience.

Sharavathi backwaters

As the Sharavathi broadens just before merging with the sea at Honnavar, a network of a few islands and canals have been created with the backwaters. Cruising along these backwater canals with a view of the mangrove forest is an unforgettable experience. The green coconut palms contrast with the deep blue sea to give a picture postcard view. Cruises begin from the jetty at Honnavar.

Bhasmangi 

Bhasmangi, a nondescript village beyond Madhugiri, has an ancient fort. The fort built by Budi Basavappa Nayaka and improved later by Hyder Ali takes you back to a bygone era. Some of the structures here still stand tall and are attractive. The village can be reached from Singaravutana Halli beyond Madhugiri.

St Mary’s Island

Located in the Arabian sea off Malpe is a group of four islands of which St. Mary’s island is a tourist’s paradise. Also called Coconut Island, it has columnar rocks formed ages ago by cooling of molten lava. The clusters of hexagonal columns of basalt rock are a geological wonder worth a visit. Can be reached from Malpe near Udupi.

Shishila

A reclusive town close to the pilgrim town of Dharmasthala, Shishila is where peace and silence reign supreme. Bounded on all sides by towering peaks of the Western Ghats, it is also a good base for numerous treks for the avid adventurer.

The river passing through teems with large mahseer fish, considered sacred and protected. On the way to Dharmasthala is Kokkada from where Shishila can be reached.

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