Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Date : 20th Oct  to 23rd Oct 2011


20th October 2011
Sirsi-Banavasi-Marikamba Temple-Halt
21st October 2011
Sirsi-Jenukallu Gudda-Sathodi Falls-Magod Falls-Halt
22nd October 2011
Sirsi-Benne Hole Falls-Unchalli Falls-Yana-Vibhoothi Falls-Halt
23rd October 2011
Sirsi-Sonde-Sahasralinga-Suggavi- back to Bangalore


H Satish
S Viswanath
VD Bhat (Sugavi-Sirsi)
Sirsi Marikamba Temple, Sirsi
Sirsi (Kannada: ಶಿರಸಿ Śirasi) is a town in the Uttara Kannada district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is a hill station town with a population of around 90,000 people. The town is surrounded by lush green forest and the region is popular for a large number of waterfalls. Hubli is the nearest large city, and the main businesses around the town are mostly subsistence and agriculture based. Adike (Supari) (Areca nut) or (Betel nut) is the primary crop grown in the villages that surround the town, making it one of the major trading centres for Arecanut. The nuts grown here are transported all over India, and also exported abroad. The region is also popular for many other spices like cardamom, pepper, betel leaves and vanilla. The major food crop is paddy and rice is the staple food of the people. The majority of the people in Sirsi speak dialects of Kannada, most notably the Havyaka dialect. A sizeable part of the population, both Hindus and Christians, also speaks Konkani.

Reaching there

Road: Sirsi is linked to other parts of the state many state highways. Sirsi linked to neighbouring district headquarters of Dharwad, Udupi, Haveri, Belagaon, Shimoga. The state corporation has a very good network of buses to all major cities/towns in Karnataka and Maharashtra. VRL ( and Sugama Transport are the 2 major private bus operators.

 Railways: Nearest railhead is at Kumta. Kumta is 58 km from Sirsi. Kumta is situated on Konkan Railway line connecting Mangalooru to Mumbai. Major railhead is Hubli, which is the Zonal Headquarters of South Western Railways.

Air: Nearest airport is in Hubli which is about 2.5 hrs drive from Sirsi. Hubli is connected to Bangaluru and Mumbai by air

Mr. Satish H was in contact with the Uday Hegde (of Sirsi) to know the weather report at Sirsi to shoot the locations of various Waterfalls in the Taluk, as Satish H was busy with some private commitment, thought of postponing the tour programme, then came a green signal from Uday Hegde to start the journey towards Sirsi and he informed his friend VD Bhat of Sugavi to make all arrangements in Sirsi to take us for various tourist locations in and around Sirsi
Viswanath called me evening and informed to pack the bag pack and be ready early morning 5 am to proceed to Sirsi, I was bit confused to proceed or not because I need to take leave from Office as Budget Process has just begin, finally our boss agreed to sanction the leave and also permission from Home Ministry in Residence, all well smoothly, Journey started on 20th October 2011, morning 5-00 am along with Vishwanath, Satish and Harish reached our house (BOLERO Vehicle – Harish), proceeded from Yelahanka-Vidyaranapuram-Jalahalli reached the Bangalore-Tumkur Highway and the vehicle owner cum driver fellow photographer friend Mr. Harish drove the vehicle with slowly (120-140 km per hour) reached Chitradurga by 7-40 am, had a small breakfast at Aishwarya Port,

I called my colleague Sri Ramesh (NIC) and Sri Puttaraju, Assistant Director, The Directorate of Pension, Small Savings & Asset-Liability Monitoring’ (earlier Small Savings Dept) who were working at Davangere, had a next round of breakfast once again with them and proceeded towards Haveri-Hangal and reached Sirsi by 1 pm, as I booked the rooms at PWD IB, which was not good and one of my fellow friend also booked another guest house at APMC, only one room was available as we were four of them and also some power and water problems thinking what to do, first we had lunch at Hotel Madhuvan and enquired about room at Hotel Madhuvan, bad luck of our there were no rooms over there, we planned to visit Banavasi and Marikamba Temple, proceeded towards Banavasi, I called Mr Krishanmurthy who was working along with me, his brother Dattatreya Bhat was priest over there at Banavasi Temple his son srinidhi came and guided along with the Narration of importance of Temple of Banavasi after visiting the temple and banks of the river varada
Madhukeshwara Temple at Banavasi
Brief Information about BANAVASI
Banavasi (Kannada: ಬನವಾಸಿ) is an ancient temple town in Uttara Kannada District bordering Shivamogga district in the South Indian state of Karnataka .
Madhkeshvara Swamy, Banavasi
Banavasi is one of the oldest towns in the Karnataka state. It has grown up around the Madhukeshwara Temple built in the 9th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva the supreme God in Shaivism, a major branch of Hinduism.

Banavasi lies deep in the rain forests of Western Ghats with the Varadha river flowing around it on three sides. It is located 374 km from Bangalore. The nearest railway station is 112 km away in Shimoga, Sirsi 21 km away, is the nearest town. Lodging is provided by some home stays and a tourist complex.
Coin of the Kadamba king who calls himself on the coin "sri dosharashi," thought to be Krishnavarma II (ruled c. 516-540). The reverse of the coin has the legend shashanka, which means "moon." The Kannada letters and another coin can be seen in the entry for Kadambas of Banavasi

In 2006, a 5th century copper coin was discovered here with an inscription in the Kannada script, one of the oldest such coins ever discovered. The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums said that the coin's inscription in archaic Kannada proves beyond doubt that Banavasi had a mint in the 5th century. The coin's discovery supports those seeking classical status for the Kannada language.
Adikavi Pampa, the first poet of Kannada, wrote his epic poems in Banavasi.

The town once was the capital of the Kadamba rulers, an ancient royal dynasty of Karnataka. They established themselves there in A.D. 345 and ruled for at least two centuries

The Sankalpa mantapa in front reveals the influence of the Chalukyan style, while the Nritya mantapa or the dancing hall was added during the Hoysala period and has exquisite carving on the pillars and the ceiling. There are also beautifully carved monolithic structures, credited to Sonda rulers.

The temple has several monolithic stone works such as a stone couch and triloka mantapa depicting heaven, earth and the nether. The idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu can be seen in the temple
Ardha Ganapathi, Banavasi
The unique attraction of the temple is the half idol of Lord Ganesha, whose remaining half is believed to be in Varanasi. Within the temple is also located an idol of Lord Narasimha having a peacefull face. Moreover, the temple has a sculpture of five hooded Naga, which belongs to the 2nd century. This five-hooded Naga sculpture has an inscription in Prakrit (the old language). As per this inscription, it was installed by Princess Sivaskanda Nagashri following the construction of a Vihara and tank at the site. The temple is visited by devotees of Lord Shiva during Shivaratri.

The Nritya mantapa or the dancing hall was added during the Hoysala period and has exquisite carving on the pillars and the ceiling. This is the spot where the legendary Shantala challenged the famed musician Allama Prabhu. She went on to become the wife of king Vishnuvardhana and inspired the renowned dancing sculptures of Belur and Halebid.


After some various angles of photography outside the temple we had
bought Pineapple after eating that visited Sri Bhat Residence had tea, left Banavasi and reached Sirsi we visited  Marikamba Temple had darshan over there

Tourist capturing the main view of Banavasi Temple

Varada River, BANAVASI
Banavasi Temple, Banavasi

Breif Information - Marikamba Temple

Sirsi is famous for the Marikamba temple, built in 1688. The famous 'Marikamba Jaathre', commemorating the goddess Marikamba is held by the temple authorities every alternate year. Nearly a lakh devotees from all parts of the country attend the fair, making it one of the biggest festivals in the region. Close to the Marikamba temple are the temples dedicated to Maha Ganapati and Shri Gopalakrishna.

For those who believe in astrology / fortune telling but do not have a horoscope in place, there is a ritual performed at the Maha Ganapathy temple by the priests there. The seeker has to frame the question that will have a binary outcome (Yes or No; True or False) The priest does the needful and the seeker is told about the verdict from Lord Ganesha. A lot of decisions like buying/selling property, choosing a vocation for higher studies are taken by some people through this ritual

21st OCTOBER 2011 - Sirsi-Jenukallu Gudda-Sathodi Falls-Magod Falls-Sirsi

22 km from Sirsi, famous Banavasi hobli is situated. Madhukeshwar temple is situated in Banavasi. The reighning deity Madhukeshwara of Banavasi, derived name from the colour of the linga, which has colour of honey.

and came back to Hotel Madhuvan as we reached the reception of the Hotel, the authorities blindly said there were no rooms to stay only available rooms was AC, then we requested that we are old customers of your hotel, finally they allotted only one room, we stayed over there and informed the hotel authorities to confirm another room for next day.
After having dinner at same Hotel where we stayed Satish H called VD Bhat of Sugavi to accompany the next day programme, he informed I will come over there by 5-30 am
At 5-30 am the Team was ready and also the VD Bhat of Sugavi was waiting near the reception of the hotel, nearby one small tea shop had tea and moved towards Jenukallu gudda
Jenukallu - Jenu means Honey, Kallu means stone and Gudda means hill.  This place is a viewpoint in the Western Ghat, which offers a panoramic view of the hills packed one behind the other.  Jenukallu Gudda is situated 17 Kms from Yellapur.  The Bedti River from Magod falls cuts across the green hills and bounces all the way to join the Arabian Sea beyond the hills
The breathtaking view of the valley is worth a visit and during sunset the change in the scene is truly magical.  There are three hills here, which are at a very high altitude.  They are Jenukallu Gudda, Kodekallu Gudda and Balekallu Gudda.  The highest hill is the Balekallu Gudda.  The roads are manageable but at certain points they do offer a challenge for small cars. It is famous for snakes, bisons and bears

As there was mist covered we couldn’t get a clear picture of Jenukallu Gudda, we had some record pics and had a breakfast at Shanbagh Hotel at Yellapur, next to that we bought some Honey, chocolates, some powders at Shanbagh Distributors, the man at shop was quite handsome and very attractive marketing skills (Mr Vishal Shanbagh-08419-261017/9900775307) moved towards Sathodi Falls, enroute to the falls we had a nice capture of Giant Spider with feed.
Sathodi Falls

Forest Entry Gate- Sathodi Falls

Brief Information about the Place:
From Yellapura, we need to take highway towards Hubli [exactly opp. direction of Magod falls] and then turn left towards ganesh-gudi [Immediately after the petrol bunk and ]. An Arch at the beginning of this road is a good indicator for the road towards Sathodi  falls. Roads are in  are good. After Ganesh Guddi there is only mud road with huge rocks/stones. From Ganesh Gudi, the falls is around 10km. For Sedan cars, avoid using car after ganesh gudi because the roads are more rocks/stones. Only cars that make to the base of falls are Indica and marutis apart from Jeeps. Also After Ganesh Guddi, it is just forest and forest and then comes the beautiful view of the backwater of Kodasalli dam built across River Kali.

Black Tree Monitor (Varanus beccarii), or Beccari's monitor
Also, to reach the place one can take a bus up to Barballi, and from there it is a long trek of about 10 km. The alternate route is to go up to Dehalli - Kattige via Ganesh Gudi, wherein a kutcha road winds all the way to the falls. Bikes are also available for rent at Dehalli, which is a common means of transport in this region

Sathodi Falls is a waterfall in India that is formed by several unnamed streams near Kallaramarane Ghat, Uttara Kannada District, near Sirsi, and 32 km from Yellapur. It is about 15 meters (49.2 feet) tall . The stream then flows into the backwaters of the Kodasalli Dam, into the Kali River Since the nearest fueling point is Yellapur carry your food and tentage. And you are not allowed to stay after 6pm in the forest
We had a nice session of photography at SATHODI Falls captured various angles nearby, while taking pics, mistakenly thinking rock Satish H fell into the water but nothing happened to him and Camera, Harish also had a same problem he had also fall down for him and camera was safe, it was somewhat managed and moved towards next destination to MAGOD Falls,
Another View of Sathodi Falls, Students from local enjoying the view of Falls over there
Full View of Sathodi Falls
Capturing the Panoramic vies of Sathodi Falls, through Third Eye
Giant Spider

Due to rains over the last few days, the falls was in its full glory and the beauty cannot be written down here but only seen and enjoyed! All through I was busy with my camera trying different perspectives and settings but still managed few good shots of the Magod, one can stay over there a Forest Guest house is situated there


From there, via the shortcut route we reached Magod falls, As we entered Magod Falls, we paid Entry fee (ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಅರಣ್ಯ ಇಲಾಖೆ ಜಂಟಿ ಅರಣ್ಯ ಯೋಜನೆ ಮತ್ತು ನಿರ್ವಹಣೆ ಹಾಗು ಗ್ರಾಮ ಅರಣ್ಯ ಸಮಿತಿ ಮಾಗೋಡು, ಇಡಗುಂಡಿ ವಲಯ ಯೆಲ್ಲಾಪುರ ವಿಭಾಗ ) from there we got down some steps had a nice view of falls The ambience, settings, surroundings, weather - nothing had changed compared my previous visit and we got a chance to view this magnificent falls in all might and glory.

We had a Mandakki and Tea over there and moved towards next destination Shivagange Falls via Jadi Gadde route previous I visited the Shivaganga falls it was before sunset, this time also 10 mts before the sunset, luckily we had some few snaps over there
Forest Guest House, Magod Falls

Monkeys having rest at Forest Entry Gate, Magod Falls
SHIVAGANGA FallsThis falls is situated in Uttara Kannada District.39 Kms from Sirsi, one has to cross thick forest to reach this spot. The Shalmala river falls in to a deep valley from a height of 74 meter creating an enchanting water falls. The river valley presents a captivating view. A little further from the falls is an island locally called Ganeshpal because of a small Ganesh statue over there.
After taking some pictures left over there and reached Sirsi by 7-30 pm had dinner and chalked out next day’s programme

After taking some pictures left over there and reached Sirsi by 7-30 pm had dinner and chalked out next day’s programme

22nd Oct 2011- Sirsi-BenneHole Falls-Unchalli Falls-Yana-Vibhoothi Falls- Back SirsiBENNE HOLE FALLSAt 5-30 am the Team was ready and also the VD Bhat of Sugavi was waiting for us at the reception of the hotel, nearby one small tea shop had morning tea and moved towards Benne Hole Falls

On the way to Kumta from Sirsi after 21kms you get a small places called "kasage". From here the waterfall is around 6 kms away. Take the path which goes towards "Hosur" and till Hosur it is a jeepable track. The last house (Mr. Girish Hegde) in Hosur the walking in the land of the leeches starts. From here it is inly 2kms away, we had started with nice cool sounds of forest including birds reached the falls, captured the various forms of falls over there
This marvelous place is one among the numerous waterfalls (somebody said 18) in north Kanara. A tributary which later joins the river "Aghanashini" flowing through the dense forests of the devimane ghats region of the western ghats falling from a height of about 200 feets forms this spectacular visual treat

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

It is different 'cos nobody around, full of leeches and everything is green as usual. The feeling is different entirely cool and calm

Fellow Photographer Friend H Satish shooting Bracket Mushroom- near Benne Hole Falls

Vishwa drinking pure mineral Water without disturbing the flow- Benne Hole Falls nearby
Bracket Mushroom

We visited Mr. Girish House at Hosur, as he was in Bangalore, talked for some time with Girish Mother (he had visited my blog once regarding waterfalls and mentioned the name of the falls over there) called from his house to him and he informed that one more falls is located nearby within 1 to 1.5 kms as our programme was scheduled to reach Unchalli Falls we could not visit the falls over there other than Benne Hole Falls and had tea and left the place towards Unchalli Falls
Girish House at Hosur, Ragi Hosalli, Near Benne Hole Falls
Bracket Mushroom (Backlight effect)

Gopuram Flower (Temple Flower)
Wild Flower near Benne Hole Falls
Unchalli Falls
Unchalli Falls in one of the most scenic falls that I’ve seen and I love it! It is around 35 KM from Sirsi, situated amid dense forests and seems like a virgin fall i.e., one untouched by humans, YET! The falls are 5 KM from Heggarane village. Earlier, one had to walk for at least 2-3 KM after crossing Heggarane. However, now new roads have been laid and one can travel upto 0.5 KM from the falls

Though the falls is full of water perennially, thanks mainly to no dams obstructing the river’s path, as yet, the best time to visit it is between October – December. Avoid visiting Unchalli falls in the rainy season (June to September) since there are a lot of snakes around and also Leeches

Since it was only 10:30 hrs in the morning, the falls was little misty and consequently, milky! Though the water is full. From this viewpoint, one can only see half the falls and the base is not visible.
Then, climbed down a series of around 150-200 steps to reach the 2nd viewpoint. The view from there was stunning and we could see till the base of the falls. It was a wonderful sight and if one has the right company or no company (ideal!), one can sit in silence there and enjoy the water cascading down the gorge to their heart’s content

The route is steep downhill all the way to the first view point of the falls. The way back (steep uphill climb) is what is was worried about. Before proceeding further, let me warn you that, as far as my knowledge goes (I know it doesn’t go far but still), there is no route to get to the base of the Unchalli falls. We can only trek till 2 viewpoints from where we can ONLY see the falls in all its glory but can NOT experience it (like Jog Falls or Shivanasamudra).

Enroute to Yana

We moved a short cut route via Manjuguni-Devnalli, we had a lunch over there at Raghavendra Upahara Mandira, (Raghavendra Naik -08283-244661) which was run by two brothers, had Vegetable Palav and Avalakki with thick Curds (finest one) and butter milk  and ordered him to prepare Avalakki (Parcel) , after having lunch over there we reached Yana, now one can easily visit Yana because till the foothill of the Yana the road was made by the govt, reached had a darshan over there and pradakshine over the backside of the temple inside the cave we had some pics and moved towards our next destination Vibhoothi Falls nearby Yana it is some 5 kms after Yana

Route from Unchalli Falls (40 KM from Unchalli Falls):
Unchalli Falls – Heggarane – Aminhalli – Left at Kumta Road– Proceed for 0.5 KM on Kumta Road – Right at Kumta Road towards Hegadekatte –> Hegadekatte – Devanalli – Yana

Information about Yana  Yana (Kannada: ಯಾಣ)is a village in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India that is known for the unusual rock formations in its vicinity. It is located in the Sahaydri  mountain range of the Western Ghats, about 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Karwar port, 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Sirsi, and 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Kumta. The two unique rock outcrops near the village are a tourist attraction and a place for trekking, easily approachable by a small trek through 0.5 kilometres (0.31 mi) of thick forests from the nearest road head.

Yana is famous for these two massive rock outcrops known as the Bhariaveshwara Shikhara and the Mohini Shikhara ("Shikara" means "hill"). The huge rocks are composed of solid black, crystalline limetstone. Bhairaveshwara Shikhara is 120 metres (390 ft) in height, while the Mohini Shikhara, which is smaller, is 90 metres (300 ft) in height. Yana is also well known as a pilgrimage centre because of the cave temple below the Bhairaveshwara Shikara where a Swayambhu ("self manifested", or "that which is created by its own accord") linga has been formed. Water drips from the roof over the linga, adding to the sanctity of the place.
During annual festivities held here during the Shivaratri, a car festival  is also held. It is also a popular hill station because of its lush green scenic forest.


Dr Francis Buchan, a British official of the East India Company, surveyed the site in 1801. At that time, according to his reports, there were ten thousand dwellings. Over the years, because of naturally occurring erosion rendering the land infertile, people have migrated to other regions to pursue their vocations. At present, the place is inhabited by only a few families, one of them being the Pujari ("Priest") family.


Hindu Mythology links this place with an event in the life of the Asura, or demon king Bhasmasura. Bhasmasura, by austere penance, obtained a boon from lord Shiva. This boon made it so that when Bhasmasura placed his hand over any one's head, he would burn them up and turn them into ashes (bhasma). It is further narrated that, in order to test his powers, Bhasmasura wanted to place his hands on his patron Lord Shiva's head. He chased Shiva, which unnerved Shiva and prompted him to move from his heavenly abode to earth to seek the help of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu transformed himself to help Shiva, adopting the form of beautiful damsel named Mohini who enticed Bhamsasura with her beauty. Bhasmsura was quite infatuated by Mohini, and agreed to a challenge she issued for a dance competition.
During the dance competition, Mohini cleverly performed a dance bhang ("pose") with hand over head. Without realizing the gravity of this act, the demon king also placed his hand over his head and perished by the fire of his own hands, he was converted into ashes. It is believed that the fire that emanated during this act was so intense that the limestone formations in the Yana area were blackened. The loose black soil or ash seen around the two large rock formations in the area are cited as proof of the legend by devotees who see them as due to the fire and that ashes produced by Bhasmasura death. The two hillocks are also named for this event: the tall peak being Bhairaveshwara Shikhara ("Shiva's hill"), and the smaller peak, a few steps down below, being Mohini Shikhara ("Mohini's hill") where an idol of goddess Parvathi is installed. There are also several other small caves nearby. There is also a Ganesha temple in the vicinity




The road distances on the  NH 17 connecting Yana village are: Kumta - 25 kilometres (16 mi), Sirisi - 40 kilometres (25 mi), Gokarna - 52 kilometres (32 mi) and Hubli 102 kilometres (63 mi). The nearest rail head is at Kumta, and the nearest airport is Hubli. The road from Bangalore is via Sirsi – a distance of 400 kilometres (250 mi) by National Highway 4 (NH 4). The best approach to Yana is from Kumta or Sirsi. A road deviation between these two towns on the highway is near the village of Kathagala. There is also an alternate route to reach Sirsi from Yana via Sundholle and Anegundi. A single lane road is recently built to reduce the trek-length 0.5 kilometres (0.31 mi).
Reached Vibhuti Falls by 5-30 pm trekked nearly 2 kms to reach the destination, as it was inside the thick forest, light was dull , we need to shoot the pics with slow shutter speed, had a nice view over there and captured all the angles of the falls over there

Vibhuti falls which is a beautiful waterfall about 30 Ft high and is a natural pool. Vibhuti falls is located  along the scenic banks of river Gangavali. Enter the gateway to the most unspoilt, untouched and unexplored exciting island by crossing the calm river through boat. Feel the heaven and tranquility surrounded in the crib of evergreen forests, majestic bamboo groves, landscaped garden and palm, impressive flora and fauna, magnificent rivers and natural scenic beauty. A holiday with unlimited frills and thrills will create a memorable journey of your life.

Vibhuti falls is one of the beautiful waterfalls in Karnataka at the right side of the fall lies an agricultural field and to its left lies the jungle. The narrow road passing in front of it winds to the valley and ends there. Many big and small waterfalls around Vibhuti are found in abundance. There are many temples in this region too.  Most of these places are considered very sacred.  This region also encourages trekking but only for experts as rock climbing on these ranges can be dangerous

Came back to Devnalli had Tea with special item prepared for us by Raghavendra Naik it was a mixture of some ChowChow, Dry Fruits,Om pudi, Ona kobbari,Cashew etc it was nice one along with that we had Mirch Bajji and had tea and also we bought pure honey over there and reached back Sirsi, Mr. Uday Hegde was accompanied for the dinner near the hotel, as he had dinner in his residence he had a company with us and chatted nearly till midnight 12 pm and thanked Hegde and Bhat for all the co-operation for us throughout the Tour.

23rd October 2011 –Sunday (Sirsi-Sonde-Sahasralinga-Suggavi- back to Bangalore)

we decided to visit his residence and reached over there it was a small village. The Total population of Sugavi about 30 families lives over there, Met his father and mother over there had light refreshments over there and thanked once again for all the co-operation met by Mr. Bhat and moved towards Bangalore via Haveri-Davangere- Chitradurga-Tumkur (had Thatte Idli at Ravi Darshan, Kyatsandra) reached Banglore by 5-30 pm
As we slept very late, we woke up at 6-30 am (usually 5-30am) by 7-00 we moved towards Sonde Math, had pooja over there, visited Swarnavalli Mutt and reached Sahasralinga meanwhile Mr. Bhat had called Satish H to visit his residence at Suggavi ( Sirsi-Banavasi Road),

I and my team heartily thank once again to Sri VD Bhat, Sri Uday Hegde, Sri Girish (Hosur), Sri Mahalaya (Karwar), Sri Ramesh (NIC) and Sri Puttaraju, AD (of Davanagere)