Thursday, July 31, 2014

Agumbe Malnad Trip: Be Unhoused O my Soul, only the Infinite is your Goal...

Although monsoons started off late, it didn't fail to make up for the lost time this season. To get the essence and to get drenched, I visited the famous Malnad(literal meaning “Rain Country”) in
Sunset Point Agumbe
Karnataka when it rained the most, July. Recounting the places I visited during one day trip.

#Kundadri Hills, is located 15kms from Agumbe (witnesses 2nd highest rainfall in India and only abode of king cobra), is a monolithic rock formation with a Jain Temple at the top. Rising 3,200 feet above sea level, on full moon day, one can experience sun rise and the moon set simultaneously. The hill is named after a Jain monk Kundakundacharya who is said to have performed severe penance here somewhere around 400 BC. This hill is motorable and gated. Since the gates were shut when we went up, we had to find the priest, Shantinath Pandith, who stays at the bottom of this hill. Visibility was less than 10m and I was literally midst the clouds. Astonishingly, you’ll sight 2 ponds at the top of hill in which, one is 200 feet deep! No wonder, Kuvempu (First Jnanpith
Kundadri Hilltop
awardee for Kannada and Padma Bhushan) penned his beautiful poems here.

At #Kigga Rishyashringeshwara Temple, deer-horned form of Shiva is worshipped and believed to be of Treta yuga( Lord Ram’s times). The Legend of Rishyashringa is very interesting and it would rain if one prays here (we saw Karnataka govt. doing that recently). Beautiful small temple. Serene must visit.

#Sirimane Waterfalls, is hardly 6 kms from the Kigga temple, one among the many waterfalls of the Western Ghats of Karnataka. It’s a very well maintained by govt. and views are simply soothing. Falls is in midst of jungle and your camera will have a busy schedule! Worth
200 feet Pond at Kundadri Hilltop
visiting and do not forget to carry extra pair of clothes (changing rooms are also available).

#Sringeri is a place blessed by Shri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaitha fame. Legend says that the Acharya, during his travels, saw a cobra sheltering a pregnant frog from the heat of the Sun, on the banks of the Tunga river and established Sri Sharadamba temple and Sri Vidyashankara temple, an architectural marvel consisting of 12 pillars known as Rashistambhas (zodiacal pillars). Interestingly, the design of the pillars involve certain astronomical concepts. For example, the first rays of the rising sun fall on specific pillars with the zodiacal symbol on the pillar corresponding to the position of the sun.

#Kavimane & Kavishaila, Kuppalli is the highlight of this trip. It is the home of Rastrakavi
Sirimane Waterfalls
Kuvempu, most celebrated author of Kannada. It was heartening to see his house, place where he spent his childhood and later part of life penning his marvels, household items his family used and his books. The reconstructed house turned museum’s architecture- Thottimane (meaning “Tank house”) - complements the weather (characterized by heavy rain during the monsoons) very well and gives a glimpse into the life of people a hundred years ago in the Malnad. If the kavimane experience is akin to time travel, the Kavishaila experience is akin to walking in heaven. Kavishaila houses samadi of Kuvempu. You can also see another samadi and rarest of rare photo-gallery of Poornachandra Tejaswi, another famous kannada author, thinker, photo enthusiast and son of Kuvempu. I bought Kuvempu's
Sri Vidyashankar Temple, Sringeri
autobiography "Nenapina Dhoniyali" for the memory.

#Agumbe Sunset point requires no introduction. Scenic beauty captured in the serial, Malgudi days is the perfect testimony to this place. Roadside pond near to this point where peddle boats function, was made completely invisible by the fog this time around!

#Eateries near Seethanadi & Agumbe will serve typical malnad food and most of them are cooked in the home kitchen attached to eatery. Pathrode, goli baje, neer dose, halasu gidde, upkari and many others. Rains, food and coffee = Bliss!
Kavishaila Kavimane- Kuvempu's house