Touring Karnataka

Touring Karnataka

Jog Falls

We chalked out a travel plan to Uttara Karnataka after we got an invitation to attend a wedding at Sirsi.

We were excited to travel in our newly bought Tata Hexa car. We left Bengaluru on an early Saturday morning and drove non-stop till Chitradurga, where dozens of windmills installed on small hillocks welcomed us. We had breakfast at a hotel on the highway on the outskirts of Chitradurga.

Located 200 km from Bengaluru, Chitradurga is a landscape of rock hills, picturesque valleys and huge towering boulders. We visited the famous Chitradurga fort; we walked 3-4 km into the fort to see the small secret opening where Onake Obavva killed many of Hyder Ali’s soldiers.

Our next stop was Jog Falls. On the way to Jog Falls, we admired the scenic view offered to us by the villages of Hirekerur, Shiralakoppa, Sorba (where we stopped for lunch) and Siddapura. It was evening when we reached Jog Falls.

Located in Sagara taluk, this waterfall is the second highest plunge waterfall in India. The Sharavathi river descends down in four distinct falls named as Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket. Sir M Visvesvaraya pioneered a hydro-electric power plant at the Linganamakki dam that was constructed across the Shravathi river.

As heavy rains had occurred in the recent past, the falls were a delight to our eyes. We were just in time as within minutes, mist and hazy clouds engulfed them, blocking the beautiful view. This was followed by a sudden downpour through which we drove to Sirsi through the slippery roads to retire for the day.

We visited Sonda Mutt in the afternoon.

Located 21 km from Sirsi, Sonda Mutt is one of the Astha Mathas established by Sri Madhwacharya, famous dwaita philosopher.
It is believed that God in the form of Hayagriva (white horse) used to visit daily to have the prasadam prepared by Swami Vadiraja Thirtha. In the evening, Sri Bhutaraja Puja is done to ward off evil entities. However, due to time constraint we didn’t wait till evening. The temple premises are very clean and there is a strict dress code for men (dhoti) and women (sari or salwar).

We next visited Sahasralinga, located at a distance of 9 km from Sonda and 14 km from Sirsi. It has thousands of shivalingas carved on rocks in different sizes, on the banks of river Shalmala. The specialty of this place is that each linga has a carving of nandi facing it.

Next we visited Banavasi, the ancient capital of Kadamba empire. Located 24 km from Sirsi, the Madhukeshwara Temple was built in the ninth century. There is a ‘nritya mantapa’ built in the Hoysala period that has exquisite carvings on pillar and ceiling. The main deity is a honey coloured Shiva Linga. There
is also a huge monolithic nandi statue in the temple.

On the way back home, we visited Marikamba Temple in Sirsi. The deity here is a eight armed goddess Durga riding on a tiger. The walls have murals in Kaavi art form wherein it is first dyed with red pigment. A big buffalo is being taken care of; its blood will be drawn and sacrificed to the goddess during the annual Rath Yatra.

Reminiscing the rich culture and historical importance of different places we visited, we drove 406 km via Haveri-Rannebennur- Davengere National highway to reach Bengaluru late on Sunday night.