Friday, August 23, 2013

Jog falls, Murudeshwar, Kollur and Udupi

Jog Falls, Murudeshwar, Kollur, Marvanthe, Malpe, Udupi, Karkala, Moodabidri

Long weekend of 15 August took us to the heart of Malnad at Jog Falls and Karavali coast of Karnataka.

Though I had already visited these place a few years back, but was a good opportunity to refresh the memories and also to be visiting with family as well as Vikas and his family.

Trains are most comfortable mode of transport in my view provided prior reservation is there. Unfortunately we could not get it properly and hence the option left was via road.

Though it was a long drive but we had a superior advantage of the brand new BMW X3. So when Vikas proposed, there was no way turning down this proposal.

The Jog (From left to right, Raja , Roaorer (lesser height fall), Rocket and Rani)
We started from Bangalore at around 130 PM. The plan was to reach Shimoga by evening and do night halt. Shimiga is about 300 KMs form Bangalore.

We took NICE road which dropped us just before Nelmangala crossing. From here the drive through Tumkur was via 4 lane highway and so things passed smoothly.

The route to Shimoga is Bangalore - Nelmangala - Tumkur - Arsikere - Shimoga.

As we reached near Tumkur, right side was the ShivaGangai Hills. I remembered my trip with Anil here a few years back. It is a good place for some trekking, though in my view not fit to be along with family and kids. They can visit till temple but beyond that its a bit tough.

The weather was good, Lord Bhaskar was playing with clouds.

We halted at Tumkur briefly for some refreshment at Pizzahut infront of the famous engineering college of Siddhaganga Institute of Technology.

From Tumkur we lost the advantage of 4 lane highway, though road was still quite good. As we approached Shimoga it started raining. But the driving skills of Vikas was a comfortable feeling for us.

I called a few hotels but all of them reported no availability. As we entered Shimoga, it was dark and also raining heavily, so instead of searching more thoroughly, we decided to halt whichever decent accommodation we get first. 

We stayed at Hotel Sundara Ashraya. It was quite decent budget option with bar and restaurant.  I feel some overhaul is needed at the hotel. Dinner we took at our rooms and went to bed.

Morning was pleasant and we all got ready quite early. Enthusiasm was there to be at Jog as soon as possible.

There is a famous Lion and Tiger Safari just outside Shimoga town, but the timings are 10 AM onwards, so we decided to move on to Jog.

The route is Shimoga - Sagara - Jog and the stretch is about 100 KMs.

This road is also known as Bangalore Honnavar Road.
The Majestic Jog Falls (253 meters)

Jog Falls is created by the Sharavathi River falling from a height of 253 m (830 ft), making it the one of the highest plunge waterfall in India. Nohkalikai Falls with a height of 335 m (1100 ft) in Meghalaya is supreme as highest in India. 

Sharavati, a river which rises in the Thirthahalli taluk, precipitates itself down the falls of Gersoppa, and discharging itself into the sea at Honnavar.

This falls of Gerusoppa is famous as Jog Falls.

The Sharavati comes down in four distinct falls. From left to right is Raja, Roarer, Rocket and Rani. Raja is highest.

The Tourism Department has built steps from the viewpoint to the bottom of the hill where the waterfall can be seen at the opposite side. There are approximately 1400 steps built to reach the bottom of the hill.

As we proceeded towards Jog Falls, it started raining heavily.

In between we halted at Sagara for breakfast. 

Jog Falls is at a little diversion from main Bangalore Honnavar (BM) Road, the sign boards are there to guide. But most of the time we remain dependent on Google Maps.

As we approached Jog Falls, we crossed the bridge on Sharavathi river. We stopped at bridge to capture the moments in camera.

It was drizzling a bit heavily now as we reached Jog and parked or vehicle. To our utter disappointment the entire valley was covered with thick fog and mist and the visibility was very very poor.

We had plans to visit down but Police had sealed the path. The weather was not good and nobody was allowed to go downstairs.

We waited there for sometime for rain to stop and fog to wean away. Our patience paid dividends and the nature unfolded its beauty infront of us.

We spend good times there capturing moments in Camera.

It started raining again and the valley again got covered with thick fog. It was time for us to move.

We took the Honnavar road. The plan was to reach Murudeshwar, about 100 KMs away, by late afternoon. 

Earlier we had plans to visit Gokarna also, but after some discussions we dropped that idea and headed towards Murudeshwar.

Jog Falls to Murudeshwar Road: Driving in Western Ghats
As we took Honnavar Road from Jog, we came across the sign board of "Jog Yatri Mandira". Perhaps it was a tourist lodge. We went there, no one was there. From here one can see the falls from other side, from where it drops. The fog had engulfed everything, we could just get a faint glimpse.

It was raining heavily but the presence of tourists had made the place lively.

Vikas took the wheels towards Murudeshwar.

Driving is a winderful experience here. Miles of greenery, very less traffic and oxygen filled air, soothing to body, mind and soul.

As far as I remember by 3 PM we reached Murudeshwar.

Murudeshwar was a small village, but Industrialist and Philanthropist Shri R N Shetty has done wonders here. He not only helped in reconstruction of temple but also construction of Gopuram and numerous tourist facilities like lodges and hotels etc.

Murudeshwar Shiva

 But the most magnificent of them all is the giant idol of Shiva.

This 123 feet tall statue is the third highest of Lord Shiva in the world. The tallest Lord Shiva statue is said to be in Nepal known as the (Kailashnath Mahadev Statue).

We were skeptical if we will get a proper accommodation, I called RNS Yatri Nivas, they suggested me to go to RNS Highway hotel.

We went there and enquired if we can get any hotel with sea facing rooms. The staff there suggested us that RNS Residency is best but now full. He called RNS Tourist Lodge, luckily for us, two rooms were available. We rushed there and secured them.

It is just before RNS Residency and near the lotus feet of giant Shiva. The view was just fantastic, one one side Lord Shiva and on other side "Varun Dev" the sea god.

We went to the restaurent overlooking the sea, lunch time was over and we satisfied our selves with "Paav Bhaaji" and "Samosa"

It started raining heavily so we returned to our rooms and I spend my time till evening just watching the mighty ocean, infront of me.......

Evening, we decided to visit temple.

The Raj Gopuram is a new construction also has a lift so that one can go till 18th floor and see the glimpse of all around.

Now we were in the Temple of Lord Shiva, the "Dev-adhi-dev" (God of Gods)

Salutations to you my Lord. Thanks to you for showing me way to your lotus feet!!

Shiva holding Ganges
The origin of the name "Murudeshwara" dates to the time of Ramayana.

Demon King Ravana wanted to attain immortality by obtaining the Atma-Linga. Pleased by his prayers, Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked him for boon. But his wisdom got corrupted and instead of Atma Linga he asked for Mother Parvati, and Lord Shiva offers her to him.

On his way back to Lanka Narada tells Ravana that Lord had not given him the real Parvathi and that the real Parvathi was in Pathala. So Ravana frees mother Parvathi, goes to Pathala and marries a king's daughter, assuming her to be the real Parvathi. He then returns to Lanka, where his mother asks him for the Linga. Ravana then attains back his wisdom. He therefore prays to Lord Shiva again, begging for his forgiveness. Lord Shiva appears and this time, Ravana requests the AtmaLinga as his boon. Lord Shiva agrees to give him the boon with the condition that it should never be placed on the ground. If the AtmaLinga was ever placed on the ground, all the powers would return to Lord Shiva again. Having obtained his boon, Ravana started back on his journey to Lanka.

Sage Narada, who came to know of this incident, realised that with the AtmaLinga, Ravana may obtain immortality and create havoc on earth. He approached the Lord Ganesh and requested him to prevent the AtmaLinga from reaching Lanka. Lord Ganesh knew that Ravana was a very devoted person who used to perform prayer ritual in the evening every day without fail. He decided to make use of this fact and came up with a plan to confiscate the AtmaLinga from Ravana.

Murudeshwar Temple Complex
As Ravana was nearing Gokarna, Lord Vishnu covered the Sun with his "Chakra" to give the appearance of dusk. Ravana now had to perform his evening rituals but was worried because with the AtmaLinga in his hands, he would not be able to do his rituals. At this time, Lord Ganesh in the disguise of a Brahmin boy approached him. Ravana requested him to hold the AtmaLinga until he performed his rituals, and asked him not to place it on the ground. Ganesh struck a deal with him saying that he would call Ravana thrice, and if Ravana did not return within that time, he would place the AtmaLinga on the ground.

But before Ravana could return after completing his rituals, Ganesh had already placed the AtmaLinga on the ground. Ravana, tried to uproot and destroy it. Due to the force exerted by Ravana, some pieces were scattered. One such piece from the head of the linga is said to have fallen in present day Surathkal. The famous Sadashiva temple is said to be built around that piece of linga. Then he decided to destroy the covering of the AtmaLinga, and threw the case covering it to a place called Sajjeshwara. Then he threw the lid of the case to a place called Guneshwara (now Gunavanthe) and Dhareshwara.

Finally, he threw the cloth covering the AtmaLinga to a place called Mrideshwara in Kanduka-Giri (Kanduka Hill). Mrideshwara is now known as Murudeshwara.

Lord Ganesh writing Mahabharat as instructed by Sage Ved Vyasa
The current temple at Murudeshwara is built on the Kanduka Hill which is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Arabian Sea. A 20-storied Gopura is constructed at the temple. Two life-size elephants in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to it.

The main deity is Sri Mridesa Linga, also called Murudeswara. The linga is believed to be a piece of the original Atma Linga and is about two feet below ground level.

There was not much rush and we were blessed to be very close to the Lord in Sanctum.

There is also a shrine of a deity, as we cross the Gopuram, we also went there and paid our reverence.

Blissful Morning @ Murudeshwar
Now we headed towards the giant Idol of Lord. Below the idol, there is a beautiful temple of Lord in the name of Rameshwara. Also there is a galley where the legend of Murudeshwara Shiva is depicted in idols.

Nearby is the sanctum of Shri Shani Dev.

We visited the shrine there and paid our reverence.

It was time to go for dinner.

Watching the waves and taking much needed dinner was a joy.

That ended our second day of trip. Very satisfying and blissful in the lotus feet of Shiva!

Murudeshwar Beach
Till late night I just sat in balcony, watching the waves of the mighty ocean. It was monsoon season and waves were in a bit bad mood. They were announcing their presence by sheer force and sound!

We woke up early and again sat in balcony to see the mighty ocean. The fisherman had just started with their boats for fishing. It was raining but still these humble people took all the risk in their small boats

It was third day of our trip..

Lord Shiva is the protector, then what fear?

Surprisingly kids also co-operated and we got ready for another trip to temple.

First we went to the top of Gopuram to have the fascinating view.

I tried to capture the surroundings as much as possible in my Nikon.

Then again we visited the original shrine and then to Shri Rameshwara temple, Gallery and shrine of Shri Shani Dev. It was Saturday today and we were blessed that Shri Shani Dev gave us opportunity to be in his lotus feet.

The God of Gods @ Murudeshwar

Then a delicious breakfast and we took the road to the town of Kollur to be in lotus feet of mother goddess in the form of  "Mookambika".

Kollur is about 70 KMs from Murudeshwar.

It was raining heavily but the Google Map and driving skills of Vikas paved the way.

As we reached Kollur, the rain subsided little bit, we parked the vehicle at designated place and walked towards Temple.

One elephant infront of shrine was blessing all devotees.

The temple is constructed in Kerala Style and is one of the most sacred shrine of Mother in south India.

The goddess is called Mookambika as she is said to have slain the demon Mookasura. The image of the goddess on Shri Chakra is stated to have been consecrated by Adi Guru Shri Shankaracharya. 
Mother Mookambika @ Kollur
Legend say that Maharishi Kola was performing a penance. Lord Shiva, delighted with Kola, appeared before him and blessed him. The Maharishi wished for the welfare of mankind. The Lord, happy with Kola, granted him his wish. He assured that a swayambu Linga would appear for his daily worship. However, Kola wanted to worship Devi also. So, a swarna rekha (gold line) appeared on the Lingam, signifying Shakti. Thus, Shiva and Shakti are worshipped together in the Lingam. Besides this, a unique feature is that the other Gods and Goddess also believed to reside in the Linga.

It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya had a vision of Sri Mookambika Devi and installed the deity here.

The legend says that Adi Shankara meditated at Kodachadri hills and Devi incarnated before him asking for his wish. He revealed his wish to install the Devi idol in a place to worship where he wanted. Devi agreed but put forward a challenge that she will follow Shankara and he should not look back till he reaches his destination. But to test Shankara, Devi deliberately stopped the voice of her anklets when they reached Kollur where upon Shankara turned and looked back because of doubt. Devi then asked Shankara to install her vigraha, just as he sees her, at that very location in Kollur.

It is also said that original temple is at Kodachadri peak, which is at a distance of about 20 km from Kollur.

There was a little rush inside the temple, we took the special entry ticket. Just like most temples in Kerala, the male devotees should not wear anything above waist.

My son started crying and was not ready to remove his shirt. We somehow managed him, though he did not removed his shirt. Temple authorities did not stopped us as he is still a young kid.

Soon we were inside the small sanctum. The place is very very powerful and we were just overwhelmed with joy to be near the Mother the source of all energy. The energy with which the Sun and Moon rises, the plant grows and the cycle of birth and death continues....

Behind the main shrine there are a few small shrines. We visited all of them. It is said that the idol of Chandramaulishvara was installed by Shri Adi Shankara.

Driving through Marvanthe
Feeling happy, we came out of temple. It was drizzling a little and time for us to take road to Maravanthe!

Maravanthe is a famous beach near Kundapura. It is about 40 KMs from Kollur.

National Highway runs right next to the beach and the Souparnika River flows on the other side of the road, creating a spectacular scenery and considered only one of its kind in India. The river Souparnika, which almost touches Arabian Sea here, makes a U turn and goes westward to join the Sea only after a journey of more than 10 kilometres.

Weather was cloudy and breeze heavy with water. But it was not raining and so gave us opportunity to enjoy the spectacular view of the beauty of the nature.

We spend some time there and enjoyed coconut water.

Nature teaches us to go beyind rat race and stress. But we in our foolishness just overlook the message of nature.

Nature is never stressed, never its constituents are in competition to each other. Mortal humans always fight for fame, name, money and luxury and nature laughs on us!

The road from Marvanthe to Malpe was very bad.

We were quite hungry now. So decided to take lunch somewhere on way to Udupi, our next destination!

We took late lunch at a hotel midway.

I tried calling a few hotels but later decided to head towards Malpe beach and stay there in some hotel, if got it.

We went to a resort near Malpe, but it was a bit secluded so we didn't preferred it.  Finally we got two sea facing rooms at the Paradise Isle Beach Resort, though at a bit high cost.

Rooms were quite good, but the hotel, from outside, does not seems that it will be that costly!

Nature does not ask any materialistic thing from us, we humans put a money tag of its scenic beauty!!

Marvanthe to Malpe is about 45 KMs.

After taking some rest we all headed towards the beach nearby. Kids were doubly excited and were difficult to be in control.

To be free is the nature of NATURE!

Malpe Beach
The ocean was a bit violent and waves were fierce. We maintained a safe distance and enjoied the waves. Kids also did their bit of play with waters!

After getting tired we started back towards hotel and on way tasted the baked corn.

Nearby Udupi town is famous for the Krishna Temple. We were in two minds, to visit this evening or to visit next morning while proceeding towards Bangalore.

Vikas suggested to visit that evening only so we got ready and took the road to Udupi.

The Krishna Temple at Udupi is said to have the idol, which was earlier worshipped by mother Rukmini, the queen of Krishna.

The Krishna Mutt was founded by Shri Madhwacharya in the 13th century. He was the founder of the Dvaita school of Vedanta.

The temple is in Kerala style, but there is no boundation of dress.

One special feature of the temple is that the idol of Lord is not facing the door. Devotess do the "darshan" from a window called as "Kanak Jharokha" or "Kanak Khidki".

It is said that one Kanak Dasa, a pious devotee of Lord Krishna, was not allowed entry into the temple because of his low caste. Lord Krishna was so pleased with his worship that the statue turned towards where Kanak Dasa was praying, and the wall before Kanak Dasa broke up to allow the disciple to gaze upon his heavenly form.

Because of it the idol is west facing "Pashim-abhi-mukha".

Shri Madhvacharya also established eight Mutt to take care of temple. All these are located near the temple.

There are two ancient Shiva Temples nearby. Ananteshwar and ChandraMaulishwar. We visited both of them and luckily for us, none of three shrines that we visited that blissful evening, had rush. We had very good "darshan".

It is said that it was at "Ananteshwar" temple, where in the "gurukula" Shri madhvacharya got his education.

Time for dinner!!

Udupi is also famous as the "Kitchen of India".  It is said that "Dosa" was "invented" at Udupi.

There are many restaurants here offering delicious vegetarian food. Some of them are at temple street itself.

Getting stuffed, we returned to our hotel and went to the lap of mother goddess in the form of sleep!

Our last day of trip (fourth day) was welcomed by good rain as I glimpsed the sea from the hotel. Vikas had gone out for a walk and he enquired about the jetty where the ferry starts for St. Mary's Island. The ferry service was not there. It operates after September, when the sea is a bit calm.

St. Merry's Island is about 7 Kms away from Malpe.

It is said that Vasco-da-gama, the portughese explorere, while coming to India, landed here and describes the coconut of this place as having the sweetest water. From here he proceeded further and landed near Calicut in present day Kerala.

Not sure why he could not see the Udupi beach nearby!

A good breakfast started the day. It was our last day of trip and we had to start for Bangalore. We had decided to visit the Jain shrines at Karkala and Moodabidri on way.

Karkala is about 45 KMs from Malpe. It was drizzling as we encountered the streets of Karkala.

The name of the town is derived from kari-kal, meaning black stone in Tulu language. This language is a "speak only" language in the coastal part of Karnataka.

Karkala is on the top of a granite bed that is about 300–500 ft thick.

King Veera Pandya, at the insistence of his Guru Lalita Keerti, installed a large statue of Bahubali on the rocky hill of Karkala. The date of the installation has been ascertained as February 13, 1432. Veera Pandya also installed the Brahmadeva Pillar in front of the statue in 1436.

Peach and Bliss: Lord Bahubali @ Karkala

The road goes till top of the small hillock which has the giant idol. The temple gates were open. Besides Bahubali there are shrines of two more Jain Tirthankars.

There are many Jain Temples (Basadi) in and around Karkala and Moodabidri.

The next important Basadi is the Chaturmukha Basadi. In our last visit a few years back at the occasion of marriage of friend Pundareeka, we had visited this place. This time we just took a glimpse from near the Bahubali statue. It was raining and so with kids, we decided to proceed further.

Chaturmukh Basadi (Jain Temple) @ Karkala
King Immadi Bhairava constructed the Chaturmukha Basadi on top of a small rocky hill in 1586 AD. The Basadi has four identical entrances from the four quarters leading to the Garbagriha and hence is popularly known as Chaturmukha Basadi. The Chaturmukha Basadi is built in the form of a square mandapa with a pillared portico on each of its four sides and a pillared verandah. It has statues of three theerthankaras on each side and images of 24 theerthankaras. In all, there are 108 pillars inside and outside the temple.

Now we proceeded towards the town of Moodabidri about 15 KMs from Karkala.

Because of widely grown bamboo in ancient days, this place got named as MoodabidriMoodabidri comes from two words: Moodu and Bidiru.Moodu means East and Bidiru means bamboo.

It is said that there are 18 lakes, 18 Jaina Basadis, 18 temples, and 18 roads connecting various villages in Moodbidri.

It is said that once a Jain Monk saw that a cow and a tiger are drinking water togeather at a pond. He sensed some divine presence there and after excavation found a statue of Parshwanatha.

He got this idol installed in the temple famous as "Guru's Basadi".

Guru's Basadi @ Moodabidri
Guru Basadi is the earliest of the Jain monuments. The stone idol of Parshwanatha, about 3.5 metres tall, is installed in the sanctum of this basadi.

As we reached in temple, the main gate of sanctum was closed, though I had visited the shrine a few years back, I was a bit disappointing of not getting darshan of the idol of peace and bliss.

It is said that here the rare Jain palm leaf manuscripts of 12th century A.D. are preserved.

It was still raining and we took some tea from a nearby stall.

Closeby is the another famous shrine of the "Thousand Pillar Basadi".

"Tribhuvana Tilaka Chudamani Basadi" is the largest and the most ornate of the Jain temples of this region. It is also famous as "Thousand Pillared Temple".

Thousand Pillar Basadi @ Moodabidri
 This is a large granite temple built in 1430 A.D. It houses the 2.5 metres tall bronze image of Lord Chandranatha Swamy.

The temple is famous for the open pillared hall in front, consisting of a large variety of ornate pillars decorated with carvings typical of Vijayanagara style of construction. A 15-meter-tall single stone pillar called "Manastambha" stands in front of the Basadi.

Time to move towards Bangalore.

It was raining as we took the Mangalore Bangalore Highway at Bantawal!

Driving through this stretch of western ghat was a pleasure, road was not that good.

Just before Sakleshpur, we stopped briefly to enjoy the drizzling weather, waterfalls and Netravati river.

Netravati River near Sakleshpur

We had decided to take lunch at Sakleshpur. It was about 3 PM when we reached here, but luckily lunch was still being served, so we took our time to relax and take food.

Sakleshpur is famous for Coffee estates. We had visited here a few years back with Ralsh while returning from Chikmanglur.and stayed one night at Manzeerabad Club. There is a small Manzeerabad Fort nearby, constructed by Tipu for military defensive purposes.

Now it was the last stretch of journey. The formidable BMW just floated on 4 lane highway as we crossed Hassan, and by late evening we were at the doorsteps of Bangalore at Nelamangala.

In next about one hour, we reached the home of Vikas via the NICE road. 

Here I took my Alto and in next half an hour, we were at home sweet home.


  1. really great information and location..........

  2. Good. We ( two
    Friends from Oddisa and Two from Chennai) wish to visit Udupi Murdeswar kollur..during May.
    Will it be Very Hot? How
    Iy Temperature in May.

  3. Will it be Cool in Agumbey In May..

  4. My trip to Murudeshwar Temple – India

  5. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

    Rooms in Munnar

  6. Great post! thanks for sharing this beautiful post in your blog. Its really awesome to read this blog & the pictures admires a lot about those places. Book your bus tickets in SRS Travels and enjoy your trip.

  7. Nice pics, Very Interesting. I too like falls very much. Check out Kinara stay if you would like to visit again,it's a Hotels Near Gokarna.

    1. This Kinara stay is excellent place to stay in Gokarna. Good food they provided.

  8. Wow, very nice post with well written blog. Thanks for sharing this post with awesome pictures. Love to visit this place. I was planning for my trip to this place for long time. Hope we will reach this place soon. Explore to this place by booking Bus Tickets in advance to enjoy the trip.

  9. Hi
    Jog Falls, Gerosoppa Falls or Joga Falls, located in sagara taluk, is one of the highest plunge waterfalls in India. It is a segmented waterfall which, depending on rain and season, becomes a plunge waterfall. The falls are a major tourist attraction and is ranked 13th in the world by the waterfall database. They are also known as the Gersoppa Falls or Jogada Gundi.

    Very interesting post, we enjoyed each and everything as per written in your post. Thank you for sharing this article because it’s really informative. If you are planning for your holiday and searching for the beautiful place to spend your time then you can wander around this vibrant city. It really helps people to plan for future trips. If anyone want go to visit these places and your online bus ticket booking advance in SRS Travels and get more Bus Ticket Offers.

  10. Hi,
    Jog Falls located near the Jog Village. The view from "Jog Falls Falling Point" is located near the Kodakani village of Siddapura, Uttara Kannada and View Point In Sagara Karnataka. Jog Falls is also called by the names such as Gerusoppe falls, Joga jalapatha and Jogada gundi in regional language 'Kannada'.

    Very interesting post, we enjoyed each and everything as per written in your post. Thank you for this article because it’s really informative. If you are planning for your holiday and searching for the beautiful place to spend your time then you can wander around this vibrant city. It really helps people to plan for future trips. If anyone want go to visit these places book your online bus tickets advance in SRS Travels and get more offers.

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