Saturday, September 18, 2010


Though the villages around Tumkur lacks good water resources, the few dams and reservoirs dotted across the district not only help augment the same but have also turned out to be spots of beauty. One such scenic spot is the Boran Kanive Dam near Bukkapatna. Borankanive can be approached from Tumkur either via Chiknayakanahalli and Huliyar or via Sira and Bukkapatna.

The latter is a better option. Driving to Sira on NH 4, take the road to the left before the flyover to reach Bukkapatna 20 kms away. A further 11 km brings you to the dam. At Bellara, a tiny hamlet on the way, is a lovely forest rest house. Surrounded by tall trees on all sides this makes for an ideal retreat for the night.

Leave your belongings here head for the dam site with some snacks.

DAM View
Follow the 1 km path to the left after Hoysalakatte village and climb up the steps and you will be rewarded with a view of the reservoir. Constructed as early as 1982 for minor irrigation, it stands 80 ft above the ground level. A couple of kilometres down the main road westward is a temple of Rangantha. The 35,000-acres of dense forest offer great scope for trekking.

Forest Rest House, Bukkapatna

There are three watch towers at different locations. Walking the trails over undulating terrain is quite enjoyable. Prior permission from the Range Forest Officer at Bukkapatna and a forest guide are essential.

According to Forest Dept, these jungles have a fair distribution of wild life like the fox, deer a black buck. Sighting of the rare 4 horned antelope has also been reported, he adds. As regards flora the area abounds in a variety of trees and plants including the dominant species of ‘Kamara’ tree (Hardwickia Binata).
Travel Tips

*How to go: Drive on NH 4 to Sira (120 kms) turn left and proceed to Bukkapatna (20 km). Another 11 kms further is the dam. Private buses reach as far as Hoysalakatte village and autos cover the remaining distance.
*Food and Water, Stay: Small hotels at Hoysalakatte.
If you say at FRH (Forest Rest House) the cook can arrange meals.
*Accommodation: For staying at FRH permission from RFO, Bukkapatna (958135 - 271539) is required. Otherwise stay at a hotel in Sira.
*Suggestion: Take care not to spoil the lake, the surroundings and trekking trails
(Article Courtesy : Sri BV Prakash) (Photographs : Sateesh N)

Friday, September 17, 2010


The Gokak Falls is a waterfall located on the Ghataprabha River in Belgaum district of Karnataka, India. The waterfall is six kilometers away from Gokak, a nearby town.

After a long winding course, the Ghataprabha river takes a leap of 52 metres (171 ft) over the sand-stone cliff amidst a picturesque gorge of the rugged valley, resembling Niagara Falls on a smaller scale. The waterfall is horse shoe shaped at the crest, with a flood breadth of 177 metres (581 ft). During rainy season, the thick reddish brown water sweeps far over the brink of the cliff with a dull roar that can be heard from some distance. There is a hanging bridge across the river, measuring about 201 metres (659 ft). Its height above the rock bed is 14 metres (46 ft).

One of the interesting features of this place are the monuments from the Chalukya era that are present on either banks of the rocky gorge.

There is an old electricity generation station which used to generate electricity during 1880s. A ropeway connects the power station to the cliff top.

July to September is the best season to visit the place. The Gokak Falls can be developed into a fine tourist attraction.

Nearest Railway Junction

• Miraj - All express and superfast trains stop at Miraj station. You can then take another train from Miraj which halts at Gokak or Ghataprabha stations.
Nearby Railway Stations

• Gokak Road - only few trains stop here
• Ghataprabha - few express trains stop here

It is recommended that passengers get down at Miraj junction and then take another train from Miraj which stops at Gokak or Ghataprabha stations.

Godchinamalaki Falls

The Godachinmalki Falls is a waterfall located on the Markandeya river in Belgaum district, Karnataka, India. It is 16 kilometers away from Gokak and 40 kilometers from Belgaum, a nearby town. It is located in a deep green valley on the west side of Konnur Road.

The Godachinmalki falls, also known as Markandeya falls, is located in a rugged valley, which is approachable from Godachinmalki village by walking through an irregular forest route for about 2.5 kilometers. It can also be reached from Nirvaneshwara Matha near Yogikolla, only by foot. Another route is from Pachhapur via Mawanur, which is about 6 kilometers. Presently this water fall is not easily accessible.

There are actually two falls formed here. The Markandeya river takes a first fall from a height of about 25 metres and flows into a rocky valley. After a short distance from the rocky valley, it takes the second fall from a height of about 18 metres. Later Markandeya river joins Ghataprabha river near Ghodgeri. Within the 6 km of radious there 2 Dams one built on ghataprabha river(hidkal dam)and one Markandeya river. The best time to visit these places is from June to September

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Male Mahadeshwara Hills

MM Hills Temple Gopuram
Male Mahadeshwara Hills is situated about 150 km from Mysore and is a sacred place, with its famous Shiva temple. Mahadeswara, as lord Shiva is called in this place, is a deity worshipped by one and all in the surrounding places. Amidst dense forest, the temple attracts not only the pilgrims but also nature lovers.

The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Male Mahadeshwara is located in South end of Karnataka state, in the Chamaraja Nagar District. It is a very popular & holy ancient temple, surrounded by 77 hills in the Eastern Ghats. The Lord Sri Mahadeshwara is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is a very famous Shaiva piligrim centre. The Lord Sri Mahadeshwara's miracles are beautifully sung by the village folk in Janapada (folk) Style. The height of the hill is about 930 m(3000 feet)above the sea level.

Mahadeshwara is the family god of the hill tribals Soligas, Jenu Kurubas, Kadu Kurubas and also Kuruba Gowdas of Mysore and Chamarajnagar districts.. But, historical evidences suggest that saint Mahadeshwara must have lived during the 15th century. Further, he was the third head of the Haradanahalli Math.[. About 600 years ago, Sri Mahadeshwara Swamy came here to perform penance and it is believed that he is still performing penance in the temple's Garbha Gudi in the form of Linga. The Linga, worshipped now in the Garbha Gudi, is a self developed (Swayambhu) one. Sri Male Mahadeshwara Swamy was moving on a tiger known as Huli Vahana (Tiger as a vehicle) and performed a number of miracles around the hills to save the people and saints living there. The area of the temple surroundings is 155.57 acres. In addition, the temple has lands at Talabetta, Haleyuru & Indiganatha Villages. The temple was built by a rich Kuruba landlord called Junje Gowda.

Story of Mahadeshwara

Ughe Anni Malaya Mahadeshwaranige, Ughe Anni huli govugala kataluva jaga dodayanige. Ughe, Ughe.

Lord Male Mahadeshwara was born in the Kaliyuga. He chose his mother as Uttrajamma. He learnt in Saluru Mutt at Male Mahadeshwara Hills. He has many legends which could are narrated on his name. To name one of them is Sankamma Kate. This narrates about the devotion she had on the Lord. Male Madheshwara narrates the adventures and achievements of a spiritual hero of the Shaiva people of southern Karnataka. Probably he lived in the 14th century. According to the story Mahadeshwara was born to a fair coloured virgin woman. Shiva incarnates himself on earth as Mahadeshwara to destroy an evil king called Shravanasura.

A pilgrimage to Malai Mahadeswara temple also includes a holy dip in the "antaragange", a stream flowing from a perennial source.

Poojas at the TempleApart from being a pilgrimage, M.M.Hills possesses natural beauty in the form of large tracts of forest area. The beautiful landscapes of hills and valleys are covered with extensive forests. These forest types vary from evergreen forests in Ponnachi Boli to Dry deciduous forests in most other parts. M.M.Hills is bound by river Kaveri to the north-east and by river Palar to the south. Thus, it forms an extremely important catchment area for both these rivers.

First Pooja: 5.30am
Rudrabhisheka: 6.00 am to 8.00 am and 10.30 to 12 noon.
Archana: 6.30 pm and 8.00 pm.
Sankashta Chathurti Poojas are performed on New Moon and Full Moon day of every month. Deepavali and Maha Shivaratri are very famous here.

For devotees and pilgrims there is Dasoha Bhavana, where Anna Dana (free food) offered through out the year. One can find accommodation and lodging at guest houses at MM Hills. There are many temples and shrines near by MM Hills

The forests of M.M.Hills have been famous for wonderful regeneration and stock of sandalwood and bamboo. The forests are inhabited by a variety of animals, birds and reptiles. They are found in large numbers too. Elephants are the most prominent species. This last estimate puts the population of elephants at more than 2500 in the district, which includes Bandipur National Park too. Frequent sightings of guars (Indian Bison), sambars, spotted deer, jackals, sloth bears, porcupine, etc., apart from rare sightings of tigers, leopards and wild dogs are possible in and around this area. The Male Mahadeshwara Reserve Forests, has an approximate area of 39361.45 ha and has few small villages like Ponnachi, M.M.Hills, Kombadikki, Kokkebore, Doddane, Tokere, Tholsikere, Palar, Gopinatham,Indiganatham, etc., as enclosures within the reserve forests

Route : Bangalore - Mysore – Kollegala-Kamagere-Hanur-Gowdahalli-Maha Madheswara Beta (M.M.Hills / Madhewara Malai in Tamil)-Mysore - 210 Kms
Trek to Palar from M M Hills is famous and takes about 2 days. One has to trek to Nagamale (1000m) via Indignata (874m), a hill which has a huge rock split into two portions which resembles a Linga guarded by a snake. On the next day the trek will begin from Nagamale to the Parasalnatham (654 m) then Palar. This route has scenic view and one can enjoy the nature bounty.

Contact details:

Deputy Conservator of forests,
Kollegal Division
Phone: 08224-252027
Fax: 08224-252027

Note to Trekkers:
One has to carry food and water. The villagers in the area are helpful but there is no electricity at Indignatha. The first day will be more rigorous and tough. Beware of wild animals and take necessary precautions. MM Hills has food facilities.

The MM Hills has been on the map for sandalwood smuggling, elephants poaching. Veerapan, a dreaded smuggler, was shot dead here.

How to reach:

By Road to M M Hills:
From Bangalore: - 210 kms
From Mysore: - 130 kms
From Palar to Mysore via M.M. Hills by bus - 160 kms
From Palar to Bangalore via M.M. Hills, Kollegal by bus - approx 270 kms
From Palar to Bangalore via Mettur, Darmapuri by bus - approx 290 km

Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Nearest Railway Station: Bangalore

Highways Touched : SH 212, SH 209

Eco-Trek: M M Hills to Naaga Male
Operated by: The Eco - Development Committee reporting to Kollegal Forest Division, Karnataka Forest Department

Trek-in-brief: This is a difficult but very rewarding two day trek. An important pilgrimage place - Male Mahadeshwara Hills is the start point. You go through beautiful and mythically mentioned landscapes. You will pass through the lands where the legendary bandit Veerappan had hideouts at various points. The first day's stop will be at Naagamale. Second day you will start trekking towards Palar on the beautiful paths endowed with ample beauty of nature.

Difficulty level: Very Difficult

Must watch or know about:
  • This is a difficult trek. Enthusiasts are advised to be physically fit to undertake this eco trek path
  • Look forward to staying with the warm and loving people of the forest on your night halt at Naagamale. This may open up a few more perspectives towards living.
  • Mythological importance of M.M. Hills
  • See the Shiva temple at Naaga male, where it is believed that a serpent in the form of a rock guards the linga from the rays of the morning sun
  • Scenic landscapes. One of the best photo-ops in all these eco treks we have planned for you or for that matter anywhere in the world
  • Shola forest patches at the top of Ponnachi Boli
  • Elephants, Bears, Deer and Panthers can be sighted
  • More than 50 kinds of birds have been recored as observed in these areas
Route details:

First day: M.M. Hills - Heliyur - Indiganatham - Tekne, Naagamale (first day halt in the evening)
Second day: Naagamale - Parasalnatham - Palar (Night halt or disperse)


Day one: Start from M.M. Hills at 8:30AM. Six hours of trekking to reach Naagamale. Night halt at Naagamale

Day two: Destination Palar. Start from Naagamale at 8:30AM. Six hours of trekking to Palar.

Distances and Duration:

Number of days: Two days
Number of night halts: One night at Naagamale. If needed extra night halt at Palar.
Total distance to be trekked: 24 kms
Distance to be covered on the first day: 14 kms - from M.M. Hills to Indiganatham to Naagamale
Distance to be covered on the second day (To Palar): Eight kms - from Naagamale to Palar

Facilities: Your first night halt is at Naagamale. There are no guest houses or camp sites at Naagamale. Here you have to stay with the hospitable locals. This is part of the local people development initiatives of the forest department.

There are forest department guest houses at M.M. Hills and Palar which can be availed of by paying according to tariff

At M.M. Hills you can stay at the Malai Mahadeshwara Temple guest houses that have to be booked in advance. Please visit for more details

How to reach M M Hills (the start point):
From Bangalore: Travel to M.M. hills by bus - 210 kms
From Mysore: Travel to M.M. hills by bus - 130 kms

How to depart from Palar (the end point):
To Mysore: Travel via M.M. Hills by bus - 160 kms
To Bangalore: Travel via M.M. Hills, Kollegal by bus - approximately 270 kms
To Bangalore: Travel via Mettur, Dharmapuri by bus - approximately 290 kms

Contact details:
Deputy conservator of forests,
Kollegal Division

Phone: 08224-252027
Fax: 08224-252027

Please check the links above for the route map and tariff. Also, check the photo gallery for this route.

Important note: Please ensure that you do read the guidelines and be prepared accordingly if you have got a route booked. We insist on following certain norms which have to be imposed upon one and all due to the nature of our work.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Water Falls in Karnataka (Western Ghats)

Satoddi Falls
Magod Falls
Shivagange Falls
Benne Hole Falls
Unchalli Falls
Waate HaLLa Falls
Burude Falls
Vibhooti Falls
Jog Falls
Dabbe Falls:
Kudlu Teertha
Jomlu Teertha
Sirimane Falls
Hebbe Falls
Abbey Falls
Iruppu Falls

Satoddi Falls

Satoddi Falls: In the Ganeshgudi range forest of the yellapur taluk you will find this waterfall after 25+ kms travel in from Yellapur.

Satoddi is on the verge of submersion. The Kodasalli dam built down the stream of the river is the cause for the danger and in turn death of this beaut iful waterfall.

Just after yellapur on the Yellapur-Hubli highway you will find a board saying something about eco- tourism and Satoddi on the left side just after the forest check post. From Yellapur you will get buses which will take you to a place called Barballi. From here it is about 8kms walk.

Since the nearest fueling point is Yellapur carry your food and tentage. And you are not allowed to stay after 6pm in the forest .
Fact File

Geo ... place {satoddi falls} in Yellapur(25+ kms) taluq in North Kanara dist rict in North West Karnataka.

Other places of interest : - magod, ganesh gudi, yellapur

Distance ...
From Bangalore 450+ kms
From Nearest Town Yellapur 25+ kms
From Nearest Pet rol Bunk Yellapur
Nearest Medical Help yellapur
Nearest Hotel yellapur

Best Time Winter and early Summer

Magod Falls
This waterfall of the Bedti river is around 17kms from Yellapur. You have to take deviation to the left after around 5kms on the way to Ankola from Yellapur (this highway ride which actually starts from Hubli and ends near Ankola meeting NH 17 is an experience by itself. Almost empty smooth road with your loving vehicle). This place has a forest guest house though, do carry your food and water supplies.

To reach to the bottom of the waterfall you have to take deviation of about 10+ kms on the way to the pace (there is a place with 4 roads meet ing at one place , take left ) to walk upstream to reach the waterfall.
This height of this water fall is around 650ft . On the way to this waterfall you will find nice lake called "Kavade Kere" of about 60acres area.
A word of caution : Avoid sundays and holidays as it will be crowded (most ly with unhealthy social practices) .

Geo ... place { magod} in Yellapur taluq in North Kanara district in North West Karnataka. Other places of
interest : - satoddi falls.

Distance ...
From Bangalore 500+ kms
From Nearest Town 17kms(yellapur)
From Nearest Petrol Bunk yellapur
Nearest Medical Help yellapur
Nearest Hotel yellapur

Approach :
Best Time Early Winter, Late Rainy Season.

Shivagange Falls

This waterfall is in a unique point of Western Ghats, on the border of three taluqs of North Kanara district (Sirsi, Yellapur, Ankola) . At about 45kms away from Sirsi. You can take a bus going to Jaddigadde. From this Jaddigadde the waterfall is around 3+ kms distance. Though a motorable road is available walking is a pleasant experience.The height of the waterfall is around 200ft . A little further away is a Ganesha temple in the middle of the river. This temple is on the upstream.

To go to this place you will have to take the deviation before you start walking down the valley for the waterfall.

Forest Department has built a viewpoint a lit t le away from the place, from there you get a nice view of the waterfall and the valley. One has to take their rat ion from Sirsi. There are tea shops at jaddigadde and other places like Hulekal, Vanalli (places en route.)
One word of caution : don’t try to get into the water near the waterfall. Many has already tried swimming (both amateurs and experts) and did not come up.

Fact File

Geo ... place { shiva gange falls} in sirsi(40+ kms) taluq in North Kanara district in North West Karnataka.
Distance ...

From Bangalore 400+ kms
From Nearest Town40+ kms(Sirsi)
From Nearest Pet rol Bunk Sirsi
(you get some amount at Hulekal)
Nearest Medical Help Vaanalli 12+ kms
Nearest Hotel Sirsi, tea shops at Jaddigadde, Vaanalli

Approach :

Best Time during and after monsoon, Early Winter

Benne Hole Falls

This marvelous place is one among the numerous waterfalls (somebody said 18) in North Kanara. A tributary of the river "Aghanashini" by name ’beNNe hoLe’(hoLe is big stream in Kannada) flowing through the dense forests of the Devimane Ghats region of the Western Ghats falling from a height of about 200feet forms a spectacular visual treat (of course mental too) .

On the way to Kumta from Sirsi after 21kms you get a small places called "Kasage" . From There the waterfall is around 6kms away. Take the path which goes towards "Hosur" and up to Hosur it is a jeep track till the last house in Hosur. From here it is 2kms walk to the waterfall.

Places of interest : - Unchalli Falls ,Yana.

Distance ... From Bangalore 440 kms
Sirsi to Benne Hole - 35 Kms
Benner Hole to Kasage - 29 Kms
Kumta to Benne Hole - 37 Kms
Kasage to Hosur - 3.5 Kms

From Nearest Petrol Bunk Sirsi
Nearest Medical Help Ragi Hosalli 9+ kms
Nearest Hotel Ragi Hosalli( tea shop, snacks) and Sirsi.

Approach : Get Down at Kasage from enroute Kumta from Sirsi. ( this stop is 5km before Ragi Hosalli) .
Best Time Early Winter (we went in rainy times,it is different ’cos nobody was around, hellua rain, full of leeches and everything is green as usual. The feeling is different entirely).
For any guidance and help please do contact
Girish Hegde
Hosur Near Benne falls
Po Ragihosalli
SIRSI (North Kanara) 

Unchalli Falls

This place in thickets of the Sahyadri hills of the Western Ghats is around 30kms from Sirsi and 35kms from Siddapura. Here river ’Aghanashini’ running through thick woods makes a spectacular waterfall. The KSRTC buses will go up to a place called Heggarani. From Heggarani it is few kilometers walk.

Jeep is the best mode of t ransportat ion anywhere in North Kanara. You can hire a jeep either in sirsi or anywhere your base camp is and take convenient drives.

fact file

Geo ... place { unchalli falls} in Siddapura taluq in North Kanara district in North West Karnataka.

other places of interest : - honnavar, yana, kanoor, jog, karwar

Distance ...
From Bangalore 400+ kms
From Nearest Town 25kms (Sirsi)
From Nearest Petrol Bunk 25kms (Sirsi)
Nearest Medical Help ~ 10kms Aminalli
Nearest Hotel ~ 25kms Sirsi, Tea Shops at Aminalli.

Approach ...

Best Time Any Time, esp. Early Winter

Waate HaLLa Falls
One of the numerous waterfalls of the Western Ghats. This beaut iful waterfall is at few kilometers distance from Unchalli Falls.

A tributary to the Aghanashini River makes this wonderful falls some 30kilometers away from the Sirsi Town falling from a height of around 100+ feet .

The water bigger than st ream and smaller than a river, by name Waate HoLe makes this visual treat . ’Waate’ is the local name for the river side bamboo which can be found in plenty here. and hole is Kannada for a medium sized river.

This places is also quite close to one more water falls by name Unchalli Falls. And the beNNe hoLe falls. The Sirsi-Kumta road is the main road connecting to the nearest places to these places.
Other places of interest nearby are : Yana, Unchalli Falls, BeNNe hoLe Falls.

How to get there:

Take a bus from Sirsi which goes to HaggaraNi, get down at a place by name Nilakunda. From here it is 3kms walk to the valley, where one has to climb down to reach the Waate HaLLa falls.

Fact File:

Waate HaLLa falls is 30+ Kms from Sirsi in North Kanara district .

Distance from Bangalore : 430+ kms.
Nearest Hospital : Sirsi.
Nearest food point : Aminalli (Tea shop) , Sirsi.
Nearest Petrol Bunk : Sirsi.

Burude Falls

This wonderful waterfall is around 20+ kms from Siddapur and 55+ kms from Sirsi, on Siddapur-Kumta road. The way to get down to the river is through a small creek which is dry in summer. And which will be full in rainy and winter seasons which makes the entry to the waterfall and the valley impossible. The first step of the waterfall has an amphitheater sort of setting where hundreds of people can sit and watch the glorious waterfall and feel the mist rushing towards them. On the other side after a serious climb down you will get to see the other end of the waterfall. And the last stretch of this waterfall can only be heard from here. If you have a heart for climbing you can climb down to the edge of the rock to see it partially. This one is a wonderful one. This could be a ideal two day spot. On the way to Kumta from Siddapur after Kyadagi (1+ kms) you will get down at iLimane cross and take a walk for 5+ kms to reach the waterfall. Do carry your ration and tentage. This place can also be reached by trekking from the Unchalli waterfalls along the stream. And god knows who called it burude, he must have been a brainy.
Fact File

Geo ... place { burude falls} in Siddapur(20+ kms) taluq in North Kanara dist rict in North West Karnataka.

Other places of interest : - Jog, unchalli, honnemaradu
Distance ...
From Bangalore 450+ kms
From Nearest Town Siddapur 20+ kms
From Nearest Petrol Bunk Siddapur
Nearest Medical Help Siddapur
Nearest Hotel Siddapur

Approach : Best Time Winter and early summer

Vibhooti Falls

Vibhoot i falls is 50Kms from Sirsi in North Kanara district and is around 8kms away from the Yana.

Distance from Bangalore : 400+ kms.

Nearest Hospital : Sirsi.
Nearest food point : Devanalli (Tea shop) , Sirsi.

Nearest Pet rol Bunk : Sirsi.

How to get there:

Take a bus from Sirsi which goes to Mattighatta,Devanalli via Hegadekatta.You will not get a bus which takes you near the waterfall you will have to walk the Vaddi Ghat after you get down at Vaddi cross or Yana

One of the numerous waterfalls of the Western Ghats. This beautiful waterfall is at few kilometers distance from the place Yana. Along with the two huge rocks there is one more limestone rock structure (which is quite small in size compared to the giants) in the vicinity. When asked a localite said the waterfall got the name as Vibhooti falls because of this Lime Stone rock nearby. Once the Vaddi ghats are over you can feel the humidity of the coastal Karnataka (Coast is few hours journey from here) . One will have to take a deviation at a place called Mabagi. From here the water fall is around 3kms distance. Though one finds few houses nearby the tentage and food are the items one should pack.

When we visited this wonderful place we gave a visit to Yana also. To our horror we saw roads under construction till the foothill of the Giant rocks. In our previous visits we enjoyed walking on a small path in the thick woods to the place. One could not have imagined that there would be a road sometime in future to Yana. Road for a four wheeler. We believe it won’t be long we have all the facilities of a picnic spot. Why people are so fond of facilities?

Other places of interest nearby are : Yana, Unchalli Falls, BeNNe hoLe Falls.

Jog Falls
This is the place where the river Sharavati falls from a height of 292m forming a glorious waterfall. The river forms four different tracks which are named ’Raja’, ’Rani’, ’Roarer’ and ’Rocket ’ which are named aptly by the majesty they display.

This place can be reached from sagar (30+ kms) , siddapur(21kms) or honnavar ( 60 kms). When you are coming from Siddapura take a right turn at a place called "Mavinagundi" which is few kms before jog. (You wont get this place if you are coming from sagar) . And there are a few places where you can stay overnight . These places are run by KSTDC.