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Second Edition 2019


Copyright © Outlook Publishing (India) Private Limited, New Delhi. All Rights Reserved
Price: ` 000

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As every effort is made to provide accurate and up-to-date information in this publication as far as possible, we would
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2 Karnataka
Front Section kakkabe 180
Introducing karnataka 14 Nadikeriyenda Ainmane
flavours of karnataka 24 nagarhole national park 186
crafts of karnataka 38
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary | Irpu Falls | Brahmagiri Wildlife
Dances of karnataka 42 Sanctuary | Permad
heritage and architecture 48
The big festivals 52 coastal karnataka
wildlife in karnataka 56 mangaluru 202
south karnataka Ullal | Tannirbhavi Beach | Someshwar Beach | Panambur Beach
| Surathkal Beach | Sasihithlu Beach | Polali Raja Rajeshwari
bengaluru 70 Temple | Kateel | Venur
Begur | Bannerghatta National Park | Hesaraghatta | Big Banyan
udupi 216
Tree | Devanahalli | Ramanagram | Janapada Loka | Channapatna
| Savanadurga | Nandi Hills | Kolar | Kokkarebellur | Galibore Manipal | Malpe | St. Mary’s Island | Kaup | Kundapura | Basrur |
contents

Nature Camp | Mekedatu Maravanthe | Karkala | Jomlu Theertha Falls | St. Lawrence
Basilica, Attur | Varanga | Nallur
srirangapatna 96
Murudeshwar 236
Ranganathittu | Pandavapura | Mahadevapura | Kere Thonnur
Bhatkal Idagunji | Honnavar | Baindur
Mysuru 104
gokarna 246
Brindavan Gardens | Karighatta | Nanjangud | Somnathpur |
Melkote | Talakad | Shivanasamudram | MM Hills Sanikatta Salt Pans | Tadadi Port | Mirjan Fort | Kumta | Yana
mysore dasara 119 karwar 256
Bandipur tiger reserve  122 Kurumgad Island
kabini 130
br hills wildlife sanctuary 134
hassan 139
Mosale | Doddagaddavalli | Shettihalli Rosary Church |
Gorur Dam | Chitradurga
halebid-belur 146
shravanabelagola 150
Kodagu Region
madikeri 162
Madapur | Siddapur | Ammathi | Bhagamandala | Polibetta |
Talacauvery
virajpet 172
Kadanga | Chelavara Falls | Kabbe Pass

4 Karnataka Karnataka 5
western ghats Vijayapura 390
Kukke Subrahmanya 266 Almatti Dam | Bilgi | Mudhol | Kudalasangama | Bagalkot
Dharmasthala Kalaburagi 402
Sringeri 272 Martur | Ganagapura | Malkhed | Afzalpur | Ghattaraga | Shorapur
Agumbe Bidar 412
Kollur 284 Jalasangvi | Humnabad | Basavakalyan
Kodachadri Hills | Maranakatte
Kudremukh 292 INFORMATION
Kalasa Tourist Offices 424
Chikkamagaluru  296 Tour Operators 425
Kemmannagundi 300 Transport Directory 426
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary 302 Accommodation Listings 430-447
Sitalayyanagiri Photo Credits 448
Thirthahalli 306 route planners
Chibbalagudde | Kavaledurga | Kuppalli | Sakrebyle South Karnataka 68-69
| Elephant Camp
Kodagu Region 160-161
Honnemardu 310 Coastal Region 200-201
Gademane | Tyavarekoppa | Sagar | Nagavalli
Western Ghats 264-265
Jog Falls-Lakkavalli 316 North Karnataka 330-331
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary 322
Kavala Caves | Anshi National Park
Huli Vana 326

north karnataka
Hampi 332
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary | TB Dam | Kanakagiri | Sandur |
Ballari|
Badami 358
Banashankari | Naganath Temple | Mahakuta | Pattadakal
| Aihole
Hubballi-Dharwad  380
Agadi Thota | Kittur | Saundatti | Attiveri Bird Sanctuary |
Belagavi/Belgaum

6 Karnataka Karnataka 7
▼ how to use this book

Route Planner
Each region opens with a
COASTAL KARNATAKA ROUTE PLANNER

how to use this book topo­graphical route planner showing


◆ national highways, state and
This guide to the state of Karnataka opens with an introductory segment that includes features on district roads
the state’s cuisine, culture, heritage, architecture, festivals, handicrafts and wildlife. The principle ◆ tourist spots such as temples, forts,

part of the book has been divided into five sections along regional lines, each centred around its wildlife/ bird sanctuaries, caves, etc.
most significant hub. Each destination has details of tourist attractions. The end of the book has
comprehensive hotel listings, with a list of amenities available at each city/ town.
Transport Directory
Orientation Lists contact details of tourist offices
across the country, with icons indi-
COASTAL KARNATAKA MANGALORE

Helps visitors establish


cating if only information is provided
— scattered on the name-boards at THINGS TO SEE AND DO

themselves in their
the gates of tiled-roof bungalows on
the city’s hillsides; in the profusion Mangaluru, it is said, draws its name

or if bookings can also be made.


of its venerable high-steepled from the goddess Mangaladevi to 194 KARNATAKA KARNATAKA 195

churches that dot the cityscape; and


in the plethora of commercial
establishments around town.
whom a temple was raised by an
ardent devotee, King Kundavarma,
back in the 9th century. Religion
particular location and
As befitting a port city, what will
strike you the most about Mangaluru
dominates this society, whose
economy is primarily agrarian. tells them the best way
is the veritable babble of languages
that you hear all around you all the
Exquisite temples
Manjunatha, Mangaladevi, and
like the

to travel locally. Tourist Offices ACCOMMODATION LISTINGS INFORMATION

This page lists contact details


time — Tulu, Kannada, Konkani, Sharavu Ganapathi are a part of the
English, even the odd snatches of religious circuit, as is the magnificent
Malayalam — all which commingle St. Aloysius College Chapel, with ,%'%.$ TRANSPORT DIRECTORY

of tourist offices across the


in the salty air to give Mangaluru its frescoes and oil paintings that
distinct sense of otherness. Mangaluruans are happy to claim as .! .OTACCEPTED !)2 "53
.( .ATIONAL(IGHWAY !CCOMMODATIONTYPE 3PECIAL(OTELNEEDS KEMPEGOWDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (BIAL) +324#&LYBUS
rivalling those in the Sistine Chapel. 3POTTHESEFLAGS 3POTTHESEFLAGS

country, with icons indicating


.0 .ATIONAL0ARK !LSOKNOWNAS"ENGALURU)NTERNATIONAL!IRPORT IT +EMPEGOWDA!IRPORT "ENGALURU
-ANGALURUISBIGONBEACHES MANYWITHINEASYREACHOFTHECITYBYATAXIRIDE ORIENTATION Those with more secular pursuits in HERITAGE TENTS SAFARI TREKS SPA ISLOCATEDAT$EVANAHALLI KMFROM"ENGALURU (ELPLINE#ELL
/PP /PPOSITE
mind, however, need not despair — 0/ 0OST HOMESTAY ADVENTURE CRUISE #USTOMER#ARE4EL 

Things to See and Do


Mangaluru is a budding conurbation long stretches of pristine beaches, a (%,0,).%3 +324#´S HRSNON STOP&LYBUS HOURLYSERVICE

if only information is provided


4% 4AXESEXTRA
MANGALURU that occupies around 132 sq km of
picturesque space on the far end of
7,3 7ILDLIFE3ANCTUARY -%42/2%3%26!4)/.3
4OBOOKANYSTATETOURISMHOTELINYOURCITY SEETHE4OURIST/FFICESLISTINGSONP
4OLL&REE
W BENGALURUAIRPORTCOM
OPERATESBETWEEN
+EMPEGOWDA!IPORTAND-YSURU°HRS2S

Gives a detailed
COASTAL MONTAGE the Karnataka Coast. It is the biggest 

or if bookings can also be


city and railhead here and now (/4%,3%!39!##%33 AIRLINE OFFICES +EMPEGOWDA!IPORTAND-ANIPAL VIA-ANGALURU
!)2).$)! ° HRS2S 
N BY
ARCHANA RAI alternating between a relaxed coastal features an international airport "ANKURA  'ORUMARA.0  -IRIK  !IRPORT4EL  

description of the main


WITH SAIRA MENEZES town ambience and the hectic pace (18km away at Bajpe) as well.

done.
"ISHNUPUR  +ALIMPONG  -URSHIDABAD 
&!34&!#43 4OLL&REE W AIRINDIAIN "ENGALURU-ETROPOLITAN4RANSPORT
of a 21st century urban landscape. Connected to all major metros, the #HANDANNAGAR  ,AVA  "ERHAMPUR  -ADURAIVIA#HENNAI #ORPORATION´S"-4# !IRPORT3HUTTLE3ERVICE

Y
ou’d think that cosmopolitan For those with more earthly railway station is about a kilometre 7HENTOGO3EPTEMBERTO&EBRUARYIS #OOCH"EHAR  ,OLEYGAON  .ABADWIP -AYAPUR  !,,)!.#%!)2 (ELPLINE W MYBMTCCOM
cities are a thing of the 20th impulses, the t bodies in the waters away from the city centre.
attractions in the area.
THEIDEALTIMETOHEADFORTHECOAST "UXA42  +OLKATA  0URULIA  4OLL&REE W AIRINDIAINALLIANCE AIR !IR CONDITIONED6OLVOBUSES6AYU6AJRA RUN
century, but Mangaluru might off lovely hought of the lip-smacking The main beaches in Mangaluru WHENFISHISPLENTIFUL TEMPERATURES '/!)2 EVERY MINSBETWEENTHEAIRPORTANDTHECITY
*ALDAPARA.0  +URSEONG  3AMSING 
#USTOMER#ARE 
just prove you wrong. Caught kane and bangude fry, or the are Tannirubavi (12km), Panambur BENIGNANDTHESEAABSOLUTELY

The entry prices and


$ARJEELING  -ALDA  +OLAKHAM 
4OLL&REE W GOAIRIN MANGALURU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
between the salty kisses of the breeze pleasures of plunging tired bodies in (14km) and Surathkal (17km) to DELIGHTFUL3UMMERSAREHOTANDHUMID $IGHA  -IDNAPORE  3ERAMPORE  ).$)'/ -ANGALURU!IRPORTISKMFROMTOWN
from the Arabian Sea and tremulous the waters off lovely Ullal Beach are the north, and Someshwar (11km) $URGAPUR  *HARGRAM  3HANTINIKETAN  4EL  (%,0,).%3
with the fragrances from the bio- inducement enough. There are a to the south. Ullal is a small town 4OURIST/FFICE INFORMATION

timings for sites are


*ALPAIGURI  -ANDARMANI  3ILIGURI  #ELL W GOINDIGOIN +ENJAR "AJPE -ANGALURU
geographical riches of the Western string of restaurants serving seafood that boasts the popular Someshwar L/FFICEOFTHE!SSISTANT$IRECTOR #HALSA  4AJPUR  -ONGPONG  30)#%*%4 !IRPORT$IRECTOR4EL 
Ghats, back in the day this charming delicacies that are just other- Beach. For travel between the $EPARTMENTOF4OURISM TOURIST OFFICES #HAPRAMARI7,3  4AMLUK  4HE3UNDARBANS 
#ELL  W MANGALOREAIRPORTCOMAAIAERO
W SPICEJETCOM

also given.
city was considered a cosmopolitan worldly. coastal towns, it is best to take a 2OOM.O #OMMERCIAL#OMPLEX INFORMATION INFORMATION & BOOKING 34!2!)2 AIRLINE OFFICES
town as early as the 10th century. There are no prizes for guessing taxi; autos are convenient to move ST&LOOR $AKSHINA+ANNADA
!IRPORT4EL  W STARAIRIN !)2).$)!
Popular for its exquisite temples, that it was the Jesuit priests in the about in town. It’s best to stay in -ANGALURU +ARNATAKA4OURISM 'ROUND&LOOR "-4# 5TTARA+ANNADA BADAMI STD 08357 (OTEL-AYURA#HALUKYA -ELKAMANAHALLI -ANGALA
/RIGIN"ELGAUM 4IRUPATIVIA(UBBALLI 4OLL&REE W AIRINDIAIN
flourishing industries and sunny 17th century who fashioned the Mangaluru and visit these beaches 4EL  W KARNATAKATOURISMORG 9ESHWANTPUR44-#"US 4EL  #LARKS)NN KSTDC 'UNDLUPET4EL#ELL
+ARNATAKA3TATE4OURISM 3TAND 9ESHWANTPUR#IRCLE #ELL4/ ,OCATION 6EERPULAKESHI ,OCATION.EAR#AVE4EMPLES   425*%4 ).$)'/
beaches, you’ll find while exploring ethos that still rule this quirky city on a day trip. Only Ullal has a #ELL$4# $EVELOPMENT#ORPORATION "ENGALURU $4# #IRCLE "ADAMI-AIN2OAD 2AMADURG2OAD4EL  W JUNGLELODGES #USTOMER#ARE4EL  W TRUJETCOM 4EL #ELL
that this charming city offers an on the Karavali Coast. Their staying option in Summer Sands 34$CODE +34$# 4EL
4EL#ELL #ELL W KSTDCCO COM2OOMSCOTTAGES4ARIFF /RIGIN*INDAL6IDYANAGAR W GOINDIGOIN
W KSTDCCO #ELL MADIKERI
appealing off-beat feel while influence is still visible to this day Beach Resort (see page 426). *UNGLE,ODGESAND $EPARTMENTOF4OURISM
 W CLARKSINNIN 2OOMS4ARIFF`    `    MEALS  6)34!2! 30)#%*%4
2ESORTS,TD BADAMI /FFICEOFTHE!SSISTANT 2OOMS4ARIFF`  4%&ACILITIES2ESTAURANT BEER SAFARISPP&ACILITIES2EST #ELL W AIRVISTARACOM #ELL 
W JUNGLELODGESCOM +34$# $IRECTOR   BREAKFAST4% BAR TRAVELHELP PARKING 46 AURANT BAR NATUREWALKS /RIGIN!HMEDABAD $ELHI W SPICEJETCOM
196 KARNATAKA KARNATAKA 197 4HE'OLDEN#HARIOT (OTEL-AYURA#HALUKYA 3TEWART(ILLS2OAD -ADIKERI &ACILITIES2ESTAURANT BAR
W GOLDENCHARIOTORG 2AMDURG2OAD +ODAGU ROOMSERVICE 46 ).!)(/,%34$ #OUNTRY#LUB AIRPORT TRANSFERS AIRPORT TRANSFERS
07$#OMPOUND 4EL  (OTEL-AYURA9ATRI.IVAS ,OCATION-ANGALA6ILLAGE 
34!4%4/52)3-/&&)#%3 "ADAMI #ELL4/ 4!8)3 +324#OPERATESFREQUENTBUSSERVICESTOTHECITY
(OTEL"ADAMI#OURT ,OCATION!IHOLE#ELL KMOFF"ANDIPUR#HECKPOST

Fast Facts
BENGALURU 4EL  0RE 0AID4AXI 4HERE´SA HR0REPAID4AXI#OUNTERASWELL
$EPARTMENTOF4OURISM(/ #ELL +34$#
,OCATION/  3TATION2OAD 2OOMS4ARIFF 4EL / / /  
+34$##ITY4AXI4EL 
'OVERNMENTOF+ARNATAKA (OTEL-AYURA6ALLEY6IEW 4EL   W `   &ACILITIES W COUNTRYCLUBHOLIDAYSCOM
HOTELBADAMICOURTCOM2OOMS 2ESTAURANT )NTERNET 46 2OOMS4ARIFF`  #ELL W KSTDCCITYCABSCOM SAMBRA AIRPORT, BELGAUM
COORG .EAR2AJA´S3EAT 3TUART(ILL
4ARIFF`    MEALSPP&ACILITIES2ESTAU 3TATE RUN+34$#CITYTAXISAREMETERED "ELGAUM!IRPORTISKMFROMTOWN

Indicates the best time to visit a destination keeping in mind the


.O ND&LOOR +HANIJA +34$# -ADIKERI
"HAVAN 2ACE#OURSE2OAD (OTEL-AYURA4ALAKAVERY #ELL BREAKFAST&ACILITIES BANDIPUR NP STD 08229 RANT NATUREWALK )NTERNET FARE2S KM (%,0,).%3
"ENGALURU 6IRAJPET 4ALAKAVERI2OAD 2ESTAURANT SWIMMINGPOOL "ANDIPUR3AFARI,ODGE JLR TIP &ORMERLY"USH"ETTA -EGA#ABS !IRPORT$IRECTOR4EL 
4EL  "HAGAMANDALA MANGALURU
TRAVELDESK )NTERNET ,OCATION!DJACENTTOTHE.0 7ILDLIFE2ESORT 4EL  W MEGACABSCOM W AAIAERO
#ELL #OORG $EPARTMENTOF4OURISM

climate/season. In addition, it lists the tourist offices in and around


$ISTRICT4OURISM 4EL  /FFICEOFTHE!SSISTANT
#ONSULTANT$4# #ELL $IRECTOR 414 KARNATAKA 410 KARNATAKA
2OOM.O #OMMERCIAL
/FFICEOFTHE$EPUTY$IRECTOR HOSPET/ HAMPI #OMPLEX ST&LOOR $AKSHINA

the destination, with contact details, address, telephone and web-


5RBAN $EPARTMENTOF4OURISM +ANNADA -ANGALURU
$ISTRICT0ANCHAYATH"LDG /FFICEOFTHE$EPUTY$IRECTOR 4EL 
+'2OAD "ENGALURU .EAR,OTUS-AHAL #ELL$4#
4EL +AMALAPURA (OSPET4ALUK

site. The STD code for the area is also mentioned.


VIRAJPET

Accommodation Listings
#ELL (OSPET"ELLARY MYSURU
#ELL4/ +ARNATAKA3TATE4OURISM
ANURAG MALLICK /FFICEOFTHE!SSISTANT $4# $EVELOPMENT#ORPORATION
$IRECTOR2URAL +34$#

A listing of the stay options across budgets at each destina-


$#/FFICE#OMPLEX +34$#  *HANSI2ANI,AXMI"AI
#HAPPARKALU (OTEL-AYURA"HUVANESHWARI 2OAD -YSURU
$HEER3ANDRA +AMALAPUR (AMPI "ELLARY 4EL 
$EVANAHALLI 4EL  #ELL
"ENGALURU #ELL

tion, with facilities of each mentioned. The listings should not


#ELL$4# VIJAYAPURA

Where to Stay and Eat


KARWAR +34$#
+ARNATAKA3TATE4OURISM $EPARTMENTOF4OURISM (OTEL-AYURA!DIL3HAHI
$EVELOPMENT#ORPORATION /FFICEOFTHE$EPUTY$IRECTOR 3TATION2OAD 6IJAYAPURA

be construed as recommendations either by the author or


WESTERN GHATS +34$# .(  .EAR24//FFICE 4EL
#ENTRAL2ESERVATION/FFICE 'OA-AIN2OAD+ARWAR #ELLN

This is a representative list-


the publisher.
408 KARNATAKA
s also act aso the pratincoles with ◆Timings 7.30-8.30 am, 10.30

ing of the accommodation


their grey and black plumage. am-noon Charges Rates vary for
different activities (if you have opted
Water sports for a 2N package, expect to pay extra

options in each destination, Despite the drizzle-rain-drizzle for water sports)

Route Planner Legend


scenario, a host of corporates fresh

with details such as phone


from Bengaluru are cluttering the
glorious but in the rains it’s a
completely different ball game. A
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

In Jog Falls
2ITUALDANCESAREPERFORMEDATFESTIVALSTOHONOURTHEGODSOFSACREDGROVES

Devarakadu: The sacred groves of Kodagu ➔


numbers, facilities and tariffs. short distance from the bank, the
trampoline and a mighty see-saw on
KSTDC’s 16-room Mayura Gersoppa
Hotel (Cell: 09480595732; Tel: 0818-
+ODAGUISTHEHOTSPOTOFTHESACREDGROVE
TRADITIONINTHEWORLDANDBOASTSTHEHIGHEST
DENSITY OF GROVES IN THE WORLD 3ACRED
DEDICATEDTO3UBBAMMA 'ANGADESHWARA
OR-URUDESHWARA DEITIESFROMTHE(ASSAN
OR OLD -YSORE DISTRICT )N -ERCARA AND

There is also a list of local


the river (complete with life jackets) 6244732; Tariff: `2,358-4,500, dorm
National Highway
GROVES OR TEMPLE FORESTS ARE ONE OF THE 3AMPAJE INFLUENCES FROM 3OUTH #ANARA
continue to be a huge hit. And when
the weather’s fine, there’s a choice of
bed `300 ) isn’t luxurious, but it’s the
best place to stay, with panoramic
OLDESTFORMSOFCONSERVINGTROPICALFORESTS
/FTHE SACREDFORESTSIN+ODAGU 
AND+ERALAPREVAIL ANDLOTSOFDEVARAKADUS
ARE DEDICATED TO NAGA DEVAS !NNUAL Railway Station Temple
restaurants and the kind of
ARE IN 6IRAJPET 4ALUK 4HESE GROVES ARE FESTIVALS OR NAMME SEE VIBRANT TEMPLE
kayaking, pedalling and rowing. views of the falls. Rooms are spacious NAMED AFTER LOCAL GODS  LOCAL DEITIES DANCES SUCH AS THE "OLAKK AAT LAMP
They make sure that lifeguards are and the staff helpful.
NH Number
MANYFROM+ERALA ANDMANAGEDBYLOCAL DANCE +ATHI AAT KNIFE DANCE 0EELI AAT

food served there.


ready at all times.
In Lakkavalli
Scattered across the twin hillocks are
VILLAGECOMMUNITIES
4HEMOSTPROMINENTDEITYIS!YYAPPA
WITHGROVESDEDICATEDTOHIM"OTEKARA
PEACOCK FEATHER DANCE +OMB AAT STAG
HORNDANCE AND#HOWRIAATYAKTAILBISON
TAIL DANCE BEING PERFORMED 3OME NOTED
Airport Masjid
!YYAPPA IS 3HIVA IN HUNTER FORM DEVARAKADUS INCLUDE THE !YYAPPA
the 24 twin-bedded cottages of River

Road
ACCOMPANIED BY DOGS WITH OFFERINGS OF DEVARAKADUIN+OLLATHOLBAIGODVILLAGE4HE
Tern Lodge (Cell: 09449599780;
Tariff: `7,500) with all mod-cons
TERRACOTTA DOGS -ANY DEVARAKADUS ARE
DEDICATED TO #HAMUNDI "HADRAKALI
SACRED GROVE HAS A HUGE MONOLITHIC ROCK
ANDASMALLEROBELISKNEARBY SIGNIFYINGHIS Cave Church
Getting There '%44).'4(%2%
and compelling river views from the
balconies. The 1N/2D package
"HAGAVATHY OR+ALI—DIFFERENTNAMESFOR
3HAKTISHEISOFFEREDTERRACOTTAHORSES)N
6IRAJPET REGION SEVERAL DEVARAKADUS ARE
YOUNGER BROTHER 0OLLAPPA 3UBRAMANYA 
4HE6ANA"HADRAKALIDEVARAKADULIESJUST
OFF THE MAIN ROAD FROM 6IRAJPET "ITTANGALA

This box provides details of


2AIL#ONVENIENTRAILHEAD"IRUR*N
KMHRS 2ESORTPICK UPCOSTSARE
`   /R CATCHABUSFROM"IRUR
includes accommodation, all meals,
jeep safari, boat ride, birding, forest
entry fee, camera fee and taxes. Water
DEDICATED TO 3ARTHAAVU FORM OF 3HIVA 
!ROUND3OMWARPET THESACREDGROVESARE
TOWARDS(ATHURVILLAGE4HE ACREGROVE
HASANANNUALFESTIVALON*UNE State Boundary Fort National Park/WLS
air, rail and road connections, TO4ARIKERE WHICHHASPRIVATEBUSES sports cost extra. The older cottages KARNATAKA 171

AUTOSSERVING,AKKAVALLIVILLAGE KM are located on the hilly peninsula,


Train Route Palace Tiger Reserve
nearest airports and rail-
FROMTHELODGE.EGOTIATEWITHANAUTO and the newer additions dot a small
FORTHEREMAININGRIDE!GOOD island, accessible by a wooden bridge.
CONNECTIONWITH"ENGALURUISTHE After an early dinner, warmed by

heads, and taxi fares to the *ANSHATABDI%XPRESS


2OAD4HEROUTEISALONGTHEWELL
some drinks, count the stars from
your perch on the bridge. Book USP Box Destination Beach Bird Sanctuary
destination. Info on conve-
MAINTAINED.(FROM"ENGALURUUPTO online or at the Jungle Lodges and
4UMKURFROMWHEREYOUGETONTOTHE
3HIMOGA"YPASS.( TO4ARIKERE
Resorts office in Bengaluru.
Nutritious, homely fare is served This comprises a short
nient train and bus connec- VIA'UBBI 4IPTUR !RSIKERE +ADURAND
"IRUR&ROM4ARIKERETAKEALEFTLOOKFOR
buffet-style at the Salt Lick in the
Gol Ghar, a gazebo set amidst the write-up, typically on a Main Places Peak
tions, road conditions and
THEBOARDFOR+UVEMPU5NIVERSITY AND foliage overlooking the river.
CARRYONFORANOTHERKMORSO TILLYOU
GETTO,AKKAVALLITOWN For details, see Accommodation Listings unique aspect of the Other Places Waterfall
contacts of taxi and bus on page 422 (Jog Falls) and (Lakkavalli)
destination, a local legend,
operators are also given. or an important personality.
302 KARNATAKA

8 Karnataka Karnataka 9
▼ introducing Karnataka introducing Karnataka

Lanka spawned five Shiva shrines


on the coast around Gokarna.
This is the hallowed land where
Lord Krishna turned around to
reveal himself to his ardent
devotee Kanakadasa in Udupi
(even today, the darshan of the
idol is from a window behind
the temple). Badami celebrates
the famous legend of sage
Agastya consuming the demons
Vatapi and Ilvala, while tales
recount the travels of the
Pandavas to the south.
Karnataka has witnessed the
rise and fall of empires. It was
here that Emperor Chandragupta
Maurya spent the later years of
his life as a Jain ascetic and died
in Shravanabelgola around
298BCE. Dynasties from the
Mauryas to the Satavahanas,
Kadambas of Banavasi, Gangas of
Outlook Archives Talakadu, Chalukyas of Badami,
Karnataka during monsoons Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra
introducing Karnataka (Halebidu), Rashtrakutas,
Durga) slew the buffalo demon Vijayanagara kings, the Bahmani
■ anurag mallick and country and the eighth largest Mahishasura, giving Mysuru and Vijayapura Sultans and the
PRIYA GANAPATHY by population. Though declared (Mahish-ooru) its name. Nayakas have ruled these lands.
a state after Mysore State was Karnataka is a land blessed by The Wodeyars of Mysuru, hailed

L
apped by the Arabian Sea renamed as recently as November the footprints of Lord Rama, as India’s longest dynasty, were
on its west, Karnataka lies 1, 1973 (celebrated as Kannada who met Hanuman and raised succeeded by Haider Ali and Tipu
on the tableland where the Rajyotsava), Karnataka’s recorded his vanara sena at the monkey Sultan and even the Mughals
Western and Eastern Ghats unite history goes back two millennia. kingdom of Kishkindha on the fought for control over this
into the Nilgiri hill cluster. The banks of the Pampa (Tungabhadra) terrain. Legendary travellers Ibn
name Karnataka is derived from History and Mythology in present-day Hampi. While Batuta, Nicolo Conti and Ptolemy
‘Karunadu’ or ‘black land’, Karnataka is the fountainhead crossing over from Kodagu to have chronicled how flourishing
referring to its bountiful black of the Cauvery, one of India’s Kerala and on the coast, sea trade and the ancient Hampi
earth. Stretching roughly 750km most important rivers. Mythology Lakshmana shot arrows into Bazaar lured people to these
from north to south and 400km says that goddess Cauvery mountains to create perennial shores from foreign lands,
east to west, the state is spread forsook sage Agastya to flow as a streams and waterfalls that bear including the Greeks, Arabs,
over 1,91,976 sq km; this is the river for the benefit of mankind. his name. Ravana’s inability to Portuguese, Dutch, French and
sixth largest state by area in the Here, goddess Chamundi (or carry away the atmalinga to the British. Their legacy of

14 Karnataka Karnataka 15
▼ introducing Karnataka introducing Karnataka

Prashant Panjiar
monuments still evoke awe. It is a and Kolar. Then there are the
great experience to see the rich dense forests and mountains of
architectural heritage of this the Western Ghats or Sahyadris
state. —from Baba Budan Giri,
the birthplace of coffee in India,
Geography to Agumbe, Kodachadri,
Karnataka’s sheer geographical Kemmangundi, and Kudremukh.
diversity makes it exceptional— All of these features collectively
the mysterious desert tract of make Karnataka one of the global
Talakadu with monuments hotspots of biodiversity.
buried in sand; giant limestone Birdwatchers and wildlife
formations at Yana near Sirsi; the enthusiasts flock to world-famous
stalactites and stalagmites of parks such as the Dandeli,
Kavala Caves near Dandeli; the Nagarahole, Bandipur, and
stunning peach-hued sandstone Kabini. Fringing the Western
ridges of Badami; the precariously Ghats are pristine beaches lined
perched natural granite boulders with forests and laterite cliffs.
of Ramnagaram (legendary The Karavali coast stretches
backdrop for the movie Sholay); 320km from Mangaluru to Karwar Coffee plucking at Coorg
the bouldering and rock-climbing called the Sapphire Route, one
haven of Hampi, Shivagange, of the most scenic coastal drives coastal Pilgrim Route—from Karnataka is also renowned
in India. A magical boat ride on a Mangaluru, via Udupi, Honnavar, for its silk production, agarbathi
Intricately carved sandalwood idols moonlit night in Karwar inspired Murudeshwara, and Idagunji to (incense sticks), areca nut,
the poet Rabindranath Tagore to Gokarna. The great acharyas coffee, honey, spices like pepper
pen his first play ‘Prokritir Shankara, Ramanuja, and and cardamom. The state has
Protishodh’ (Nature’s Revenge). Madhava taught here. Reformers unique and thriving handicrafts
Adding intrigue are the islands like Sri Basaveshwara, mathema- such as sandalwood carving from
off the coast—the tortoise-shaped ticians like Bhaskaracharaya, writ- Mysuru, lacquerware from
Kurumgad near Karwar; the fine ers Pampa, Harihara, and Kumara Channapatna, Bidri work from
dive site Netrani Island off Vyasa have enriched the heritage Bidar, Kinhala kale (wooden
Murudeshwara; and St. Mary’s of Karnataka. Schools of thought toys), and vibrant handlooms
Island near Malpe with fantastic flourished in Sringeri, Udupi, such as Ilkal and Kasuti saris, all
basalt formations. Dharmasthala, Gokarna, Katil, of which are great souvenirs.
Sunny beaches at Malpe, Kaup, Kollur, Kukke Subramanya,
Baindoor, Murudesh­­wara, Moodabidri, and Melukote. Food and Festivals
Maravanthe, Kumta, and Gokarna Kannada literature has the hon- From Bidadi thatte idli to Maddur
come with spectacular mountains our of producing the most (eight) vada and Davangere Benne Dosa
to the east. Jnanpith award winners in India. to Kundapur chicken, Karnataka
is a culinary heavyweight. It has
Literature and Legacy Arts and Crafts signature tindi (snacks), savouries
Karnataka is hailed as the land of Hailed as India’s sandalwood and sweetmeats like Mysore Pak,
poets, philosophers, and saints. capital (which also gives the Dharwad peda, Belgaum kunda
Many throng this state for its Kannada film industry its name), and the famous Coorgi pandi.
Prashant Panjiar

16 Karnataka Karnataka 17
▼ introducing Karnataka

la
ysa
Saibal Das

Ho
va
sha
Ke
Experience Heritage

ra
wa
esh
rud
Mu
Artists participate in a Dasara procession at Mysore

The state’s diverse cuisine is fervour of Bengaluru Karaga and


best enjoyed at homestays in Ganesh Chaturthi, the visual
Kodagu (Coorg) and Malnad, spectacle of Hampi Utsav and
besides Lingayat khanavalis, Vasanta Habba. Art and culture
Gowda ‘ragi mudde-saaru’ showcases include Chitra Sante
restaurants, Sauji eateries, Reddy and regular nad habbas (folk
messes, and military hotels. festivals). The state is the cradle
Karnataka’s pulsating cultural of Indian classical music legends
vibrancy is typically experienced Gangubai Hangal, Bhimsen
in its many grand festivals — Joshi, and Mallikarjun Mansur,
from the pomp and glory of while also playing host to the
Dasara in Mysuru to the street biggest rock bands, musicians,
and DJs from around the world.
The capital Bengaluru has an
Gold Rush extraordinarily multi-cultural
Rich in mineral wealth, Karnataka universe. The city has had many
has to its credit one of the oldest crowns, evolving from ‘Garden
Geological Survey Departments in City’ and ‘Pensioner’s Paradise’
the country, started as far back as to ‘India’s Silicon Valley’ and
1880. Nearly 90% of India’s gold ‘Pub Capital’. Living up to its
once came from the Kolar mines, tagline, Karnataka is truly ‘one
about 93km east of Bengaluru. state, many worlds’, allowing
Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka
each to find their own story. n 49, 2nd Floor, Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001
Phone: 080-2235 2828, Mail:info@karnatakatourism.org,
18 Karnataka Website:http://www.karnatakatourism.org
▼ introducing Karnataka the golden chariot

Photographs by ahtushi deshpande

several combinations that allow visits to spacious bed, soaking in the nuances
the alluring beach town of Kovalam (in of understated luxury. A plasma TV sits
Kerala); the French heritage-filled tiny across from me and there’s a cupboard
Union territory of Puducherry to stow away essentials. The window
(Pondicherry); the temple towns of separates me from the outside world
Thanjavur and Madurai (in Tamil Nadu); with the elegant drape of palest peach.
and even the gloriously green Alleppey A knock on the door and it’s the
backwaters (in Kerala). young steward of our coach (each one
has its own attendant, who’s like a
Revelling in quiet luxury concierge-cum-mum) who will be taking
At Yeswantpur Railway Station, we care of all our needs on the journey.
can’t wait to enter the inviting portals of With a quick smile, he checks if
the maroon and golden train snaking everything is OK, and then goes about
down the length of the platform. arranging a cup of fragrant tea outside
Chandan garlands and cooling drinks in the sitting area, common to everyone
with the traditional tikka see our in the coach.
auspicious entry into the coaches. It’s At the cocktail hour, the well-stocked
the opulent hush of quiet luxury, which Madira Bar is lubricating parched throats
shuts out the cacophonous world of an
Indian railway station, that greets me as Fine dining and a room fit for royalty
I slip into my designated cabin. Those
who travel a lot by train in India will
revel in this opulence and quietude.
The opulent interiors of the Golden Chariot exude an other-wordly charm Each of the coaches is named after a
major ruling dynasty of Karnataka —
The Golden Chariot Kadamba, Hoysala, Rashtrakuta,
Ganga, Chalukya, Bahmani, Adilshahi,
■ RANEE SAHANEY The 7N/8D journey originally took Sangama, Shathavahana, Yadukula,
travellers from the Karnataka capital and Vijayanagara. I am in the Chalukya

T
he global acclaim continues to Bengaluru to Mysuru, Srirangapatna, coach. The fully air-conditioned train is
come in waves even as this Kabini, Shravanabelagola, Belur, equipped with 11 residential coaches,
luxury train passes the 10-year Halebid, Hampi, Badami, Pattadakkal, two restaurants, a lounge bar, a spa, a
milestone. Come on board and you’ll and then onwards to Goa, finally mini-gym, and a business centre.
see why — ensconced in luxury on a returning to Bengaluru. That’s how the Our bags have been magically
magnificently furnished train, travelling Golden Chariot route began. brought from our hotel in Bengaluru and
along a fantastic journey that takes you Since then, the luxury train has deposited in our cabins, beautifully
to some of India’s premier wilderness added more enticing destinations to its appointed and accoutered in soothing
and beach areas, along with major itinerary, including some of the hottest classic tones of peach and beige — it is
UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So yes, tourist spots of neighbouring states really a hotel on wheels. You have your
Karnataka’s ever-popular luxury train is Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Accessed from private attached bathroom with a
very much on a roll, except when it’s four international airports (Bengaluru, shower, towels, and toiletries. I collapse
busy getting a soft makeover readying Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, and on a sea of downy pillows, arranged on
for the high season. Kochi), this super-luxury journey offers the inviting peachy eiderdown on the

20 Karnataka Karnataka 21
▼ introducing Karnataka the golden chariot

gates of the stunning Mysuru Palace.


Passing through the overwhelming
splendour of the rooms open to the
public, it’s hard to take it all in. Return
trips are very much on the cards. Then
we are off to the legendary Kabini River
The Information
Lodge, set by the Kabini river. The drive KSTDC’s The Golden Chariot offers
through the lush countryside gives us 2 circuits of South India
time to slowly unspool our thoughts and Pride of South
images from the morning. Soon, we’re Duration: 7 Nights/ 8 Days
bouncing over the rutted road that leads Boarding: Bengaluru/ Goa
off towards the jungle lodges. Itinerary: Bengaluru-Mysuru (Kabini,
The low-slung red-roofed bungalows Srirangapatna)-Hassan
with their spacious and cool rooms are (Shravanabelagola-Belur-Halebid)-
scattered in a thick pelt of verdure Hospet (Hampi)-Badami (Badami,
reaching out to the riverfront. The Pattadakkal)-Goa-Bengaluru
morning light on the river is exquisite,
an impressionistic painting created Southern Splendour
especially for us by Nature. Duration: 7 Nights/ 8 Days
The morning after in a boat on the Boarding: Bengaluru
river, spotting deer and wild boar on Itinerary: Bengaluru-Chennai-
terra firma and darters and kingfishers Mammallapuram-Puducherry-
on the river, are a mesh of vignettes to Tiruchirapalli and Thanjavur-Madurai-
The full-service dinner on the train has plenty of options from a varied menu ponder over at a luxurious breakfast, Kovalam- Kanyakumari- Alleppey
before we head out for Srirangapatna, Backwaters-Kochi-Bengaluru
and helping loosen metaphorical collars. menu. I opt for the grilled fish—it’s the famous bastion of Tipu Sultan.
Our group, comprising a Zurich-based delicious. Arjun, the photographer, Tipu’s palace is embellished with a Tariff
Pakistani finance man Nasir with his orders a thali. Some of the others riot of delightful paintings, but his For Indians the full package costs
ebullient Tamil wife Sangeeta (minus quickly change their order, watching mausoleum walls ring with silence and between `1.25 lakh and `1.50 lakh per
their triplets!), a German couple who’ve him tuck in with gusto. The interiors of solemnity. Twilight is a purple haze as head. Rates are updated at the start of
travelled on some of India’s top luxury Ruchi and Nalapa, the two restaurants, we drift in the direction of the Vrindavan the season. Tip You can also opt for a
trains, two well-known travel writers, a are inspired by Hoysala and Gardens for drinks and dinner, before 4-night journey of your choice and pay
Bengaluru-based photographer and Vijayanagara architecture, with getting back to the Golden Chariot for accordingly.
more, is swapping stories and bios…. furnishings in royal purples muted by the run to Hassan and Shravanabelagola,
The highs (mostly) and lows of the pretty florals. anticipating the joy of climbing over 600 Contact
sightseeing schedule in Bengaluru, the Lulled to sleep by the gentle chorus steps to touch the deity’s massive feet! The Golden Chariot
awful traffic jams, the loss of a more of the wheels of the Golden Chariot, in I must return to Delhi, unfortunately, Tourism House
urbane, verdant city.... Deeper into the perfect sync with the gleaming tracks, reluctantly, after getting back to Mysuru No. 8, Pappanna Lane
cocktail hour, the conversation changes. we arrive in Mysuru at some point in the and the train. I can’t make it to Hampi St. Mark’s Road
It’s Bollywood gossip and tomorrow’s night. Mysuru, calm and collected, waits and Pattadakal as I had planned. But I Bengaluru
destination now. in the cool morning for the crowds. urge you to do the full tour. It’s fabulous, Tel: 080-43464346
Dinner is a lavish full-service affair Cameras on alert, we snap pictures as especially since the each new season W goldenchariot.org
with plenty of options from a varied we roll into the parking area by the offers attractive combinations. ■

22 Karnataka Karnataka 23
▼ introducing karnataka flavours of karnataka

century by Hoysala King Veera South Karnataka


Ballala II, who was separated on With ragi (finger millet) being
a hunt in the forest and an old the popular staple, the signature
lady fed him the local staple dish from South Karnataka is ragi
benda kaal (boiled beans). In mudde (steamed finger millet
gratitude, he named this village balls). Often paired with mutton
Benda-kaal-uru or ‘Village of saaru or bas saaru, it is a hearty
Boiled Beans’, later on expanded agrarian meal popular across
by Kempegowda, a chieftain Mandya, Mysuru and Hassan.
from Yelahanka. The curry is made of toor dal,
Bengaluru is a microcosm of green gram, beans, dill leaves,
the state and indeed the best spinach and other greens; the
place to start your epicurean liquid is strained and spiced
adventure. From Davangere while the extract is tempered
benne dosa, Dharwad Peda to into a palya (dry fry). The term
Maddur vada and Andhra messes, bas saaru is derived from basidu,
Maratha eateries, darshinis and Kannada for ‘straining’.
military hotels to upscale bars
and speciality restaurants, you’ll To most people, idli-vada are Udupi staples
find them all here. Try the local
favourite donne biryani (served in
a ‘donne’ or sal leaf container)
Udupi restaurants such as MTR have a fascinating origin in the worship of Krishna and savour soft idlis, crisp dosas
and crunchy vadas at some of
Karnataka cuisine the most iconic eateries like CTR,
Vidyarthi Bhavan or Mavalli
■ anurag Mallick AND (finger millet) is the staple while Tiffin Room (MTR).
`Priya Ganapathy North Karnataka is dominated Vadas and bajjis are a popular

shutterstock
by jola or jowar (sorghum). Being teatime snack across Karnataka

G
eographically, Karnataka border areas, Northwest —made from menasinakayi (green
can be divided into Karnataka bears a touch of banana caper), balekayi (raw
distinct culinary zones. Konkani and Maratha flavours banana), iruli (onion), alugadde
The Karavali or Canara coast while the Hyderabad-Karnataka (potato) and sabbaki (pearl sago)
from Mangalore to Karwar leans region around Gulbarga-Bidar to medu vada (doughnut shaped
heavily towards fish and seafood, has culinary influences from fritters), masala vada (Bengal
barring religious towns like Andhra like meat, spices and gram patties) or ambode. Rice is
Udupi and Gokarna. The swathe gongura (sorrel) leaves. consumed in most regions but is
of Coorg-Malnad in the Western It’s ironical or perhaps some creatively interpreted in a range
Ghats displays a fondness for quirk of fate that the capital of of dishes like chitranna (lemon
pork, plantation spices, greens the bean-shaped state owes its rice), puliyogare (tomato rice),
and rice consumed in various origin to a humble meal of boiled vangibath (brinjal rice) and
steamed avatars called puttu or beans! According to folklore, bisibelebath (hot lentil rice dish).
kadabu. In South Karnataka, ragi Bengaluru was founded in 12th

24 Karnataka Karnataka 25
▼ introducing karnataka flavours of karnataka

srikanth kolari
If Bidadi is known for its soft with mamsa saaru (mutton
fluffy thatte idli (shaped like a curry), chops, kaima unde (keema
thatte or plate and served as a balls), tale mamsa (brain curry)
pair), Maddur is synonymous and kaal (trotter) soup.
with the Maddur vada. A small Mysuru is a major culinary
town near Mandya between destination that spawned iconic
Bengaluru and Mysuru, Maddur dishes like Mysore masala dosa,
vada is a flat crisp made of rice Mysore bonda soup and of course
flour and semolina mixed with the Mysore Pak. Local eateries
sliced onion, curry leaves and like Mylari and GTR (Gayatri
asafoetida. Even today, travellers Tiffin Room) for South Indian
make a ritual pitstop at Maddur snacks, RRR for Andhra meals,
Tiffany’s for a bite of the Nasheman for biryani,
legendary vada, served with gatti Hanumanthu’s mutton pulao,
(thick) coconut chutney. The Poojary’s Fishland for seafood
dingy Jai Bhuvaneshwari Military and RR Mess/Tegu Mess for non-
Mess near Srirangapatna, which veg fare continue to rule the
has served famous patrons like roost. Wash it down with badam
the Late Dr Rajkumar, still dishes milk and other coolers at Brahmin
out the local staple ragi mudde Soda Factory and Mysore Pak The simple yet filling Udupi thali at Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
from Guru Sweets.
Masala dosas cooking on a gridle Davangere’s flagship dish is plates heaped with shavige are and khotte (idlis steamed in
the benne dosa, made with savoured with ladles of watery jackfruit leaves).
generous dollops of white butter coconut chutney. Being a coastal tract, coconut
and served with alu palya (potato is widely used – as oil, in grated
mash) and coconut chutney, best Coastal Karnataka form or as coconut milk. The key
savoured at Kottureshwara Benne Hemmed between Mangaluru to Mangalorean food is the
Dosa Hotel. Hundreds of bhattis and Karwar, Coastal Karnataka’s ‘baffath’ powder or red masala
(mills) produce mandakki (puffed flavours transition from Dakshina used in fries and curries, sourced
rice), served as mandakki oggarne Kannada to Udupi (See Page Xxx) from slender Byadgi chilli and
(spiced puffed rice) along with and Uttara Kannada. It is home round uru mensinkai or Kumta
mensinkayi bajji (chilli fritters). to various communities, each chili. The Mangalore Catholic
Every evening, stalls like TS known for their distinct cuisine. community is known for dishes
Manjunath Swamy Masala Mangaluru is an epicurean like pork salad, brinjal salad
Mandakki Angadi spice puffed delight with local snacks like (using the round striped mattu
rice into masala, khara or nargis ‘Mangalore Buns’, goli bajji, uppit- gulla aubergines), pork baffath,
mandakki. Davangere is also shira, sajjige-bajjil, khara roti and pork indad, kalees ankiti (pork
famous for its Shavige Street, an biscuit roti, best experienced at offal curry), Mangalorean fish
entire lane where shavige New Tajmahal Café. You can try curry, chicken stew and sannas.
(vermicelli) is made at home unique staples like moode Drop by at William Pereira Hotel,
industries and dried like screens (cylindrical idlis steamed in Mangala Bar & Restaurant or
of silken yarn on terraces. At screwpine leaves), gunda (rice Mary bai ‘mai jowan’ (literally,
Raghavendra Shavige Hotel, dumpling steamed in leaf cups) ‘mum’s food’) for a taste.
jyothy karat

26 Karnataka Karnataka 27
▼ introducing karnataka flavours of karnataka

Photographs by anurag mallick

Udupi Cuisine So entwined with the temple is the


tradition of Udupi cooking that even the
Kori-roti is a traditional dish
of the Bunts or Tuluvas (Tulu-
Most people believe that ‘Udupi’ amounts vegetables used are chosen according speaking community) with
to idli-vada-sambar. However, the Udupi to a rigorous system laid down by priests. flavourful chicken curry served
of popular consciousness has little to do Onion and garlic are taboo, for instance. with crisp wafer-thin roti made
with a culinary tradition that dates back Within strict satvik boundaries, the chefs from boiled rice.
to the 13th century, when the saint- devised signature dishes that typify In the past, koli-katta or cock
philosopher Madhvacharya established Udupi food. None are more scrumptious fighting competitions were
the Sri Krishna Temple in Udupi, a town than the dishes fashioned around the common and the losing rooster
on Karnataka’s western coast. The sage matti gulla, a squat greenish brinjal that usually ended up becoming
devised a set of elegant rituals to worship grows only in the hamlet of Matti. ‘chicken pulimunchi’, a curry
the godchild Krishna. The devout Home food is light and cooling in the named after its puli (sour)-munchi
believed that the baby Krishna would coastal heat. So a meal will consist of (spicy) flavour. Seafood is aplenty
wander away unless he was enticed to salads like the koosambri. Then the with iconic Bunt dishes like kane
stay by delicious foods. This belief thambli, considered the ultimate coolant. (ladyfish) masala fry, bolanjir
resulted in the naivedyam, where Seasonal greens are fried with ghee and (silverfish) rava fry and anjal
delicacies—no fewer than 14 varieties— then ground with pepper, jeera, and (kingfish) tawa fry, topped with
are offered to the deity daily. Gradually, coconut, thinned with buttermilk, and crunchy red masala fried in
the temple authorities also cultivated the served with rice as the first course. Next coconut oil. The fleshy and tangy
tradition of feeding devotees. comes the sambar. The meal is rounded bimbli fruit (Averrhoa bilimbi) is Mary Bai cookig her signature dish
The Brahmins in the temple and the off with Udupi rasam. widely pickled and used as a
maths that surround it had to learn not In keeping with coastal tradition, a souring agent especially for Further north, Kundapur is an
just the exacting rituals required to variety of steamed foods form a part of boothai (sardine) sukka. Eat at epicurean hotspot where the
correctly worship the godchild, but also Udupi cuisine. Idli batter is poured into Coconut Grove or Narayana’s Kundapur chicken and chicken
had to cook well enough to ensure that cups of jackfruit leaves and steamed. near the jetty. ghee roast were birthed in the
he hung about in Udupi. Religion and Ripe jackfruit is ground to a thick batter Gaud Saraswat Brahmin or legendary Shetty Lunch Home.
culinary tradition merged to produce with coconut and steamed in the leaves GSB cuisine is dominated by hing Continue up the coast to the old
food that is truly fit for the gods. of the teak tree. A balanced, nutritious or asafoetida. Despite being port town of Bhatkal, known for
diet is central to the philosophy of Udupi Brahmins, they follow a its biryanis, often paired with
A bowl of koosambri cooking; for their protein content, lentils pescatarian diet as GSBs are sirke ka pyaaz (onion in cashew
are a prominent feature. Udhina gojju, believed to have migrated from vinegar) and baingan ka khatta
made from raw urad dal ground with Gaud (Bengal) to the Saraswati (sour brinjal curry). Arabian
white pumpkin is a typical delicacy. river system, where a severe sailors who came here for trade
Through the monsoon, the Udupi famine led them to eat fish. Giri intermingled with local Jains
Brahmins make spicy chutneys that go Manja’s is the place to sample a and GSBs to form a new
well with boiled rice. Freshly ground with GSB fish thali and assorted fish community called Nav-ayaths or
colocasia leaves, ridge gourd, or yam and fries. The trading community of ‘the newly arrived’. Their dialect
spiced with tamarind, red chilli and salt, Bearys is known for rare delicacies borrows heavily from Konkani,
these are a fiery addition to bland like kalathappa (thick savoury while local tastes blend seamlessly
monsoon fare. No wonder then this faintly pancake), pinyanappa (steamed with Arabia. They make an
mocking proverb is so popular in the egg dessert), koli norchad (stuffed exquisite shaiyya jhinga biryani
coastal towns: “Brahmana bhojana priya fried chicken), biryani and sheer with prawns and a pinch of
(the Brahmin loves his food too well).” korma (vermicelli payasa). delicate vermicelli.
shutterstock

28 Karnataka Karnataka 29
▼ introducing karnataka flavours of karnataka

Fish curry-rice forms the kalwa (oyster) sukka and tisrya


major staple all along the coast (clam) sukka at Swetha Lunch
right up to Uttara Kannada, Home or butter garlic prawns
usually served with fish fry and a and karle ambat (crab masala) at
vegetable side dish like tindli-moi Hotel Amrut.
(ivy gourd with raw cashew).
Located south of Goa, Karwar Malnad
resonates with Konkani flavours Running inland parallel to the
and dishes like sungta song (thick coast, the hill tracts of Coorg (See
prawn curry) and the farmer Kodava cuisine Page 32) and
staple of kulith upkari-saaru Malnad in the Western Ghats are
(horsegram stir fry and curry). known for herbs, ferns and wild
Kokum (garcinia) and teppal (a produce like bamboo, mushrooms
Sichuan pepper relative) are and honey, besides an assortment
widely used as souring agents in of steamed fare. The Gowdas
curries. Sol Kadi, a piquant blend rustle up delicacies from kallele
of kokum, coconut milk and (bamboo shoot), kesa (colocasia)
fresh ground masala is a digestive and churn out a plethora of
cooler popular all along the kadabus (steamed dumplings) – A scumptious spread of traditional lunch
Konkan coast from Maharashtra, be it the savoury khara kadabu
Goa to Karnataka. Try an (rice envelopes with spiced Kashaya, made from shunti protein that make great dietary
assortment of seafood from lentils) or sweet ones with (ginger) and bella (jaggery) spiced additives – agasi (flax seed), gural
bandga uggi/mastani (mackerel), coconut, pumpkin or cucumber. with pepper, dry red chili, cumin, or ucchelu (Niger seed) and shenga
Traditional salads called kismuri garlic and onion, fortifies against (groundnut) chutney.
A tasty fish speciality are made from beetroot, carrot, minor ailments. Lingayats form a prominent
bale dindu (banana stem) and community in North Karnataka
suvarnagadde (yam). North Karnataka and are vegetarians. The twin
Besides Jains and Lingayats, In the hardy plains of North towns of Hubballi-Dharwad are
Malnad is also home to Haviyak Karnataka jola (jowar or sorghum) dotted with Lingayat khanavalis
Brahmins, who have a scientific is the primary staple consumed (eateries) like Basaveshwara
approach to food and churn out as jolada roti (flatbread); some Khanavali and Basappa Khanavali
delightful gojjus (curries), hashis prefer it kadak (crisp). Meals that serve jolada roti with yenne
(raita), chutneys and tambulis customarily begin with menthya badnekayi (brinjal curry), jhunka
(medicinal coolers) to combat pachadi (fenugreek salad) and (steamed gram flour cubes) and
the cold climes. Arshina tambuli, heirloom cucumbers. Methi hesarakalu palya (whole green
made from fresh turmeric root leaves help cut cholesterol, gram curry), liberally sprinkled
and buttermilk, is a lightly spiced control diabetes and act as with gural or uchhel pudi that
aperitif cooler. Vonagiru nellikayi roughage. The country cucumbers imparts characteristic taste.
tambuli made of dried nellikayi have less water content with tiny Buttermilk and majjige saaru
(amla or gooseberry) and fresh closely packed seeds that makes (buttermilk curry) help combat
coconut, is packed with Vitamin them crunchier. Also served the hot climate. Durgada Bail,
C and increases the body’s along with the meal are assorted Hubballi’s legendary Khau Galli
immunity. Shunti Bellada pudis (powders) packed with (Eat Street) fires up the evening

30 Karnataka Karnataka 31
▼ Karnataka cuisine flavours of karnataka

Kodava Cuisine and its underpinning is rice. The coffee


plantations were a 19th-century British
with stalls serving everything
from chaat, bhelpuri, ‘tomato’
Driving around Coorg, it’s easy to lose enterprise; before that it was rice that ruled omelette and other snacks! L.E.A.
one’s bearings. The district is essentially the land. The paddy fields needed protection (Lingayat Educational
one big tree-shadowed coffee estate cut up from wild boars, which were shot and eaten, Association) Canteen is known
by winding hill roads and the occasional resulting in that prince of Kodava dishes, for its terrific thuppa avalakki
small town market square with many pork pandi curry—succulent pork cubes coated (beaten rice with ghee) and their
shops and, always prominent among the in a tangy, smooth and very dark masala. signature Masala Toast!
vegetable displays, the bright green and Pandi has come to represent the The region has several native
yellow stripes of the rotund Mangalore specialness of Kodava cuisine—not only vegetables and dishes unique to
sautekaayi (cucumber). The plantation because it is one of those rare South Indian the region. Tingal avrekayi is a
bungalows are always tucked away at the pork dishes but also for its unique taste. local bean available only for a
end of long driveways. Arriving at these Pandi is tantalising partly because the dry tingalu (‘month’ in Kannada)
bungalows, the overwhelming feeling is one spices used in it are roasted before they are while karchikai (Momordica
of seclusion. This cut-off-from-the-world ground. The other vital factor is kachampuli, cymbalaria) is a tiny pod
feeling is what everyone comes to Coorg a local fruit that adds that crucial pungency vegetable that must be consumed
for. And as well-travelled and sociable as to the meat. Another delicacy is tender immediately after harvest, before
the Kodavas are, it is the rhythms of the bamboo shoot or baimbale. it bursts open. Both are made
seasons and the produce of the land that As for paddy, even though the Kodavas into palya (stir fry). Also popular Hubli Basaveshwar Khanavali Lingayat
continue to define Kodava food. do not grow very much of it any more, they are items like jowari dodda
The centrepiece of this cuisine is meat continue to honour those rice-eating mensinkayi (stuffed country north. Savajis or SSKs
traditions of old—pouring thin chicken curry capsicum) and gulagayi yenagai (Somavamsha Sahasrarjun
Pandi curry (pork curry) is unique to over the rice noodle-like nool puttu, turning (like a country cucumber). Kshatriyas) claim descent from
out delicious rice-and-coconut cakes called Besides jolada roti, North the mythic thousand-armed
pa-puttu, and insisting that pandi curry only Karnataka has typical staples like warrior Kartiveerya Arjun and
be eaten with kadambuttu (small, firm balls dapati (mixed flour masala roti). migrated from Central India to
of steamed rice). Their rotis are akki (rice) Wheat is used to make kuchida Karnataka and Maharashtra. As
ottis; their standard dessert payasa is kadabu (wheat dumpling), kshatriyas, bold flavours of meat
broken rice cooked in coconut and jaggery; kudisida kadabu (stuffed and spice dominate their rich
and Kodava snacks, such as bado-kajaya dumpling) and uggi chapattis, cuisine. During the festival of
and chikka-lunde, are made of rice flour. steamed on green cornhusk and Dussehra, they offer edimi
Were one to eat one’s way down the served with spicy kempu (red) (wheat-gram flour dumplings),
Western Ghats, the continuities in the food chili chutney and ghee! There’s a arithi (wheat flour diyas) and
would be hard to miss. Bamboo shoot is a tradition of pasta making as well lalpani (liquor) to their
part of Mangalorean food, too, as is where little dough beads are paramount deity Bhavani.
kadambuttu, which the Mangaloreans call pressed on a comb for stripes Eateries such as Nakoda and
pundi. The idiappam of Kerala is the nool and shaped into miniature shells Devika in Hubli and Savaji Hotel
puttu of Coorg and the shavige of Mangalore. or ‘shankha’. The broken wheat Milan and Kathare’s in Dharwad
Yet, unlike Mangaloreans and Malayalis, kheer soute bija huggi resembles serve kaima unde (keema ball),
the Kodavas go easy with the coconut, tiny soute bija (cucumber seeds) mutton chops, khara boti, tale
while the location of Coorg makes seafood and is a must in all Lingayat mamsa (brain curry) and karadu
marginal to its cuisine. Most importantly, of marriages and functions! (spicy) mutton.
course, only Coorg has got the pandi! Yet, all is not vegetarian up Northwest Karnataka shares a
Jyothy Karat

32 Karnataka Karnataka 33
▼ introducing karnataka flavours of karnataka

border with Maharashtra and Almatty Dam, Korti-Kolhar on


the Maratha love for spice is the Bijapur (Vijayapura) highway
apparent in the erstwhile British attracts travelers with fresh fish
cantonment of Belagavi from the Krishna river and matka
(Belgaum). Be it rassa (fiery curd, served with puttani-avalakki
curries) or sukka (spicy dry fry), (spicy Bengal gram powder and
red chili is essential and it’s easy beaten rice). Vijayapura is
to see why locals love their legendary for its ‘Bijapur oota’,
sweets too! Belgaum is known served in local eateries.
for its kunda or caramelized milk The Hyderabad-Karnataka
khova sweet and mandige region, bordering Andhra
(Konkani crepe pancake). Mutton Pradesh and Telangana, has
is the popular choice of meat, culinary influences of a meat
sourced from sheep farms in heavy, spicy cuisine and the use
Haveri while chilis are procured of gongura (sorrel leaves). Locally
from Karnataka’s ‘Chili town’ known as pundi palya, its popular
Byadgi. The erstwhile Muslim in Central and North Karnataka
principality of Savanur is and often made into chutney or
legendary for Shivalal’s ‘khara’ cooked with lentils or mutton. Ballari Cycle khova
(mixture) since 1931. Just past The addition of local Rayadurga
brinjals to mamsa (mutton) pundi SWEETS OF KARNATAKA dessert from Karnataka’s Karavali
Korti Kolhar chicken curry meal palya adds a typical flavour. coast. Malnad has a wide range
Hyderabad-inspired dishes like To say that Karnataka loves its of sweet kadabus (steamed
dum biryani, Kalyani biryani, sweets would be an desserts) made from cucumber
dalcha (meat with lentils) and understatement. From soft and pumpkin!
bread ka meetha are common in Mysore Pak to granular Dharwad One of the most loved
Kalaburagi (earlier Gulbarga). Peda and fudge-like Belgaum traditional sweets is Kai Kadabu,
Believe it or not, Karnataka kunda to crunchy Gokak a steamed dumpling filled with
also boasts of great Punjabi karadantu, Karnataka is a grated coconut, jaggery and
cuisine! In 1512, Guru Nanak delightful assortment of textures cardamom. Karchikai (or gujiya
came to the Deccan during his and flavours. in North India) is a fried
second udasi (spiritual journey) Ragi unde are laddu or sweet, dumpling with a sweet filling,
and created a jhira or fresh water lemon-sized balls made of finger typically made during Deepavali,
spring in Bidar that flows to this millet flour, powdered sugar or along with Kajjaya or Athirasa,
day. The langar (free kitchen) at jaggery, ghee, cashewnuts, raisins another festive sweet. Holige is a
Gurudwara Nanak Jhira feeds and cardamom. A teatime snack traditional sweet flatbread
thousands of visitors daily while and dessert, it is widely consumed ritually made on Ugadi, the
Rohit Restaurant nearby dishes across South and Central Kannada New Year. Mangalore
out authentic mah ki dal, makki Karnataka. Rave unde, a laddu Catholics prepare vorn, a moong
di roti, sarson da saag and Punjabi made of semolina, is also popular. dal payasa made of split green
fare. Come, celebrate the Chiroti or peni is a crisp flaky gram, a must at weddings and
diversity of Karnataka through layered puri dusted with castor the annual Monti Fest. Sheer
its food… sugar. Bale Hannu Halwa is a Kurma, literally ‘milk with dates’

34 Karnataka Karnataka 35
▼ introducing karnataka flavours of karnataka

shutterstock
in Persian, is a festive vermicelli and copious quantities of ghee.
pudding made on Eid-ul-Fitr. Renowned for its sweetness and
Karnataka has a plethora of notorious for its unmatched
payasas (kheer). Lingayat cuisine richness, it comes in two
is known for its huggi payasa variants—crumbly with pores or
made from cracked wheat and smooth and dense.
milk, a must at all marriages and
functions. In Mangaluru’s Beary Dharwad Peda
Muslim cuisine, Elaneer or Bonda Dharwad Peda’s legacy goes back
payasa is made of abundantly 175 years, when Ram Ratan
available bonda or elaneer (tender Singh Thakur migrated to
coconut). Here’s a look at some Dharwad from Unnao due to a
of the most iconic and popular plague and made pedas. However,
sweets of Karnataka. it was popularised by his
grandson Babu Singh Thakur.
Mysore Pak The long queues at the shop
Perhaps the most popular South earned the area the name Line
Indian sweet, Mysore Pak is a Bazaar! Unlike its flat cousins
melt-in-your-mouth fudge made from the north, the Dharwad A plate of the melt-in-your-mouth Mysore Pak
of besan (chickpea flour), sugar peda is round and grainy, with a
veneer of castor sugar. weddings, displayed in large Gulbarga’s Malpuri
Dharwad Peda; Mandige at Krishnamurti baskets, without being folded. While Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) is
Belgaum Kunda known for its paan mithai
Belgaum kunda was created by Amingad/Gokak Karadantu (shaped like a paan with a
accident thanks to cooks who Antinunde is a teatime snack stuffing of khoa), it is synonymous
had migrated from Marwar. Once made of jaggery, dry fruits, nuts with the malpuri. Not to be
Gajanan Mithaiwala, better and antu (edible gum). Since the confused with malpua, this deep-
known as Jakku Marwari, was ingredients were fried, it was also fried sweet is stuffed with khoa
boiling milk but forgot to switch called ‘karadi-antu’ (fried gum) and dunked in sugar syrup. The
off the stove. By the time he and eventually karadantu. In sweet was made famous by
returned, the milk had coagulated 1907, Savaligappa Aiholli of ‘Mamu Jaan ki Malpuri’, a tiny
to which he added khoa and Amingad became the first shop in Chappal Bazaar.
created Belgaum kunda. karadantu maker. Because it was
sold at Gokak, it became famous Ballari ‘Cycle’ Khova
Belgaum Mandige as ‘Gokak’ karadantu. Ballari (Bellary) is famous for its
Besides the eponymous kunda, ‘cycle’ khova, sold on bicycles
Belgaum (Belagavi) is known for Bhatkal Halwa and dispensed from brass
another sweet—mande or The coastal town of Bhatkal is containers on eco-friendly sal
mandige. A crepe with a thin famous for its Godi Halwa, a leaf plates, which accentuates
filling of sugar, ghee and khoa, it glutinous sweet made of godi or the taste! Buy from vendors who
is made on an upturned tava like wheat milk. Pick up a box from trawl the streets on bicycles or
a roomali but is folded like a Hashim Bakery or the historic have a bite at Bombay Sweets
dosa. It’s a must in Brahmin Bhatkal Sandow Halwa. and Abid Cycle Khova Store.

36 Karnataka Karnataka 37
▼ introducing Karnataka crafts of Karnataka

wood, is preferred for puja articles Ilkal Sari


and small, intricate designs— Originally manufactured in Ilkal,
jewellery boxes, decorative pieces, this traditional sari usually comes
card holders, souvenir elephants, in dazzling shades of green with a
etc. Rosewood and teak are what signature red silk pallu (border)
the connoisseurs recommend for with intricate Kasuti embroidery.
long-lasting furniture. Rosewood Ilkal saris represent the social
is also used for carved items like nuances of this region.
wall panels and clocks, but the
finest examples of rosewood craft Kinhal Toys
are to be found as inlay work. Kinhal has received only a
fraction of attention its famous
Bidriware cousin (Channapatna) has
From the land of the Bahmani received. These wooden toys
Sultans comes bidriware. painted with vegetable dyes,
Originally a metal craft from represent a folk art that originated
Persia, bidriware found its new from the small village of Kinhal.
home in Bidar, the capital of the
Bahmani dynasty. Artisans here Traditional Ilkal saris are a must-buy
developed the art further, making
it one of the most striking types
of handicraft any­where. An alloy
Karnataka’s tableau at the Republic Day parade in Delhi shows a Bidriware artisan of zinc and copper is used to cast
Bidriware articles, and the black
Crafts of Karnataka colour of the resulting object is
then etched and fitted with inlays
of silver and gold. Finally, after
Mysuru Paintings from pulp distinguish Mysuru the application of a special paste,
The famous gold-leaf paintings of paintings. Common themes are and a final washing, what emerges
Mysuru trace their lineage back religious iconography and scenes is a gleaming, black-and-silver,
to the days of the Vijayanagara from secular life. rather royal-looking object with
Empire. The fall of Vijayanagara intricate inlay work.
in the 17th century sent Wood Carving
shockwaves through the region, That the land of sandalwood and Mysuru silk
although many artists were rosewood produces some of the No mention of Karnataka’s ­crafts
rehabi­litated by Raja Wodeyar of most beautiful pieces of carved would be complete without
Mysuru. In the 18th century, wooden furniture and artefacts Mysuru’s silk saris. Karnataka
under Krishna Raja Wodeyar III, shouldn’t come as a surprise. On produces the bulk of India’s raw
Mysuru paintings emerged as a your travels around Karnataka, silk, and when this meets
distinct school. you’ll spot fine examples of this traditional craftsman-ship, the
The use of fine gold leaf over old and famous craft everywhere end product is gorgeous. Mysuru
thin layers of gesso paste, natural you go. Sandalwood, with its silk saris, especially with gold zari
colours and dyes, and paper made religious significance and soft borders, are the highlight.
Prashant Panjiar

38 Karnataka Karnataka 39
▼ introducing Karnataka

Toys of Gokak and Channapatna inspiration from various Hindu


Gokak, close to Belgaum, is epics, often using the game as a
known for its toys—wooden medium of storytelling.
articles assembled with paste, all

Cuisine
covered in a layer of gum, before Kasuti Embroidery
being painted. Gokak’s artisans The Lambanis, a once-nomadic
are particularly known for their people, now settled around the
lifelike reproductions of produce. Hubli-Dharwad region, are well-
Channa­patna, also has a strong known for their colourful attire, of Karnataka
tradition of wood items. traditional motifs, metal embel­
lishments and vibrant natural
Ganjifa Art hues which make their clothing
Derived from the elaborate images incredibly striking.
used to decorate playing cards,
and originated in Persia, Ganjifa Durries
art came into its own at Mysuru The vibrant-hued Navalgund
thanks to the Wodeyar rulers. In Durries or jamkhanas were
Mysuru, Ganjifa cards took initially made by weavers from
Bijapur living on Jamkhan Gali.
Colourful Channapatna Toys During the war between the
Sultans of Bijapur and
Vijayanagara, the Jamkhan
weavers migrated to Navalgund
in search of refuge and established
looms for weaving durries.

Pottery
You can watch potters at work at
Khanpur village in Belgaum
district and Narayanpura village.
Products include large sized jars
and containers, idols of
mythological deities, animal
figurines, pots and roof tiles.

Metalware
Going by ancient tradition,
Udupi is known for metal objects
made for religious purposes.
Nagamangala is an old bronze-
casting hub while Mangalorean
craftsmen create daily household
Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka
articles from bell metal. ■ 49, 2nd Floor, Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001
Photographs: anurag mallick
Phone: 080-2235 2828, Mail:info@karnatakatourism.org,
40 Karnataka Website:http://www.karnatakatourism.org
▼ introducing Karnataka

shutterstock

Dances of Karnataka Artists perform popular folk dances of Karnataka

Traditional drums, or dollu (to Veeragase has expanded to


Yakshagana Karnataka; Ghatta­dakore from signify, according to legend, a include folk variants as well. The
An operatic form of dance theatre, Mysuru; and Mudalapaya from drum Lord Shiva is said to have religious form of the dance is
Yakshagana might be one of southern Karnataka — as a mere made from the skin of a demon) still performed exclusively by
Karnataka’s most famous cultural dance form. Typical performances occupy centrestage in the music male dancers, dressed up as
exports. Its genesis can be traced start in the night, with singers composition, with flutes and warriors and adorned with
to the Bhakti movement of the and musicians providing a trumpets as accompaniment. rudraksha beads.
8th century, though Yakshagana’s narrative as the elaborately The dancers, perform­ing in a
earliest clear forms may have costumed and made-up dancers group, show off synch­ronised, Mysuru Bharatanatyam
originated in the 12th or 13th create a mesmerising audio- acrobatic moves that demand As with many other art forms,
century. It was in the western visual experience. great energy and dexterity. Bharatanatyam found patronage
parts of Karnataka, around the from the Mysuru Wodeyars —
18th and 19th centuries, that it Dollu Kunitha Veeragase Krishna Raja Wodeyar III,
really took hold, growing to This popular folk dance, closely Originally a religious dance form Chamarajendra Wodeyar, and
draw inspiration from secular associated with the worship of associated with the legend of then, Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV,
and religious life. Sri Beeralingeshwara, a form of Veerabhadra, the warrior created all of them helping Mysuru
It also took on elements that Lord Shiva, originated in the when Lord Shiva danced the Bharatanatyam evolve into a
make it impossible to pigeonhole rituals of the Kuruba Gowda tandavam after finding that his distinct school in its own right,
Yaksha­gana, or its close cousins community, from the northern wife Sati, insulted by her father, praised for its evocative
— Doddata from northern hinterland of Karnataka. had jumped into a sacrificial fire, abhinaya.

42 Karnataka Karnataka 43
▼ introducing Karnataka dances of Karnataka

anurag mallick

Mysuru Bharatanatyam’s symbolise the energy and spirit of


golden age came under danseuse serpents — drawn on the floor.
and guru Jatti Thayamma and
her successor, Padma Bhushan Kamsale Nritya
awardee K Venkatalakshamma. From the southern parts of the
In recent years, though, Mysuru state, primarily around Mysuru,
Bharatanatyam seems to have comes Kamsale nritya, or Beesu
declined in popularity, although Kamsale, a dance associated
one hopes that with the youth with the worship of Lord
once again displaying interest in Mahadeshwara, a form of Shiva.
traditional forms, this is just a Cymbal-like brass instruments
temporary phase. called kamsale provide the
accompaniment, as singers and
Nagamandala small groups of dancers, trained
Nagaradhane, a form of snake from an early age, depict the
worship practised in the coastal legend of Mahadeshwara slaying
regions of Karnataka, has given the demon Shravanasura.
rise to the Nagamandala dance.
This ritualistic style, performed Folk Dances of Kodagu
by Vaidya community members, The Kodavas have several
features dancing around an distinct traditions and rituals,
intricate mandala — said to many of which are derived from Performers taking part in the Bhoota kola or guliga ceremony

Beesu Kamsale depicts the slaying of a demon by Lord Mahadeshwara their identity as warriors. Bhoota Nritya
Bolukat, a group performance Bhootaradhane is a form of spirit
by men holding fur and swords, and family deity worship found
is associated with the legend of in the coastal regions of Karnataka.
Lord Vishnu and Bhasmasura. The ceremony of Bhoota Kola,
Ummathat, traditionally which goes on through the night,
performed by unmarried women culminates in an energetic dance,
and a part of the worship of with the performer invoking
goddess Kaveri (Cauvery), spirits and taking on the part of a
depicts Lord Vishnu as Mohini medium.
distributing nectar. Then there’s
Kombaat, which used to be a Jaggahalige Kunita
strictly religious form, with men A favoured celebration in some
dancing in a martial style whilst villages of Hubli-Dharwad during
holding deer horns. Other folk Ugadi, Jaggahalige Kunita uses
forms include Kolaata, featur­ the sound of the jaggahalige, a
ing men and women wielding drum made by wrapping a bullock
canes, and Suggi Kunitha, a cart wheel in animal hide, to set
group dance with performers the beat for the dancers, who
Courtesy wikipedia
holding swords. march as part of a procession. ■

44 Karnataka Karnataka 45
▼ introducing Karnataka carnatic music

getty images
elements of Carnatic music resulted in some, like Dr M Balamura­likrishna and
it becoming a distinct music form in its TN Krishnan, are still going strong.
own right. Referred to as the Father of The brightest star in this firmament
Carnatic music, Purandaradasa is of luminous personalities was the singer
credited with having made scores of who, in 1998, became the first musician
compo­sitions; however, only a fraction to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s
of these have survived. highest civilian honour — Madurai
The system of 72 root ragas, the Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi
Melakartas, which form the foundations (1916-2004). Also a recipient of the
of Carnatic, is believed to have been Ramon Magsaysay Award, MS
first devised in the mid-17th century by Subbulakshmi wasn’t just the leading
the composer Venkatamakhi, of Mysuru, light of the Carnatic tradition, but an
and later refined by Govindacharya. icon who became a cultural ambassador
Then, in the second half of the 18th for India. Her mellifluous voice, in a
century, came along the three legendary career spanning seven decades, graced
composers referred to as the Carnatic New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s
Trinity — Thyagaraja, Syama Sastri, Royal Albert Hall.
and Muthuswami Dikshitar. Over the years, new stars have
With the arrival of the European emerged. Artistes such as TV
empires came more changes that Sankaranarayanan,TV Gopalakrishnan,
became an integral part of the Carnatic and TN Seshagopalan are among these
A Carnatic music concert being held at a temple during a cultural festival tradition — the introduction of the violin, contemporary luminaries.
and the increased usage of notation to
Sounds of the Future
Carnatic Music
record compositions. Eventually, by the
time Independence arrived, the rapid Carnatic music has moved with the
urbanisation of India (ensuing in a times, keeping its essence intact, while

T
he unmatched complexity of happening some time between the growth in ticket-buying audiences), and incorporating new elements. Many
Carnatic music stands testa­ment publication of the Sangita Ratnakara the spread of radio formed a synergy musicians have put their classical
to its rich cultural under­pinnings. (mid-13th century) and the Sangita that firmly established Carnatic music in training to use in jazz, fusion, pop and
This form of art could only have sprung Sara (late-14th century). the hearts of millions of Indians. rock. Lakshmi­narayana Subramaniam
from a society that valued the guru- In north India, the arrival of Persian has recorded with the likes of violin
shishya parampara, carrying forward and Islamic influences led, eventually, Maestros great Yehudi Menuhin and jazz pianist
the work of poets, composers, and to what is now called Hindustani The years around Independence are Herbie Hancock, and performed with
artistes from the years gone by. Both classical. But south of the Vindhyas, it regarded as Carnatic music’s heyday. the New York Philharmonic. His
energetic and soulful, Carnatic music is was the Vaishnava Bhakti traditions Audiences then were privileged to see brother, Lakshmi­narayana Shankar,
the sound of our ancient civilisation. (such as the Haridasas) that held sway, several maestros take to the stage: the famous for his work in fusion, can
and, under the patronage of kings and Alathur Brothers, DK Pattammal, name John McLaughlin, Frank Zappa,
Genesis emperors, eventually evolved into the Sirkazhi Govindarajan, ML Vasantha­ and Lou Reed as collaborators. There
It was around the 12th or 13th centu­ry highly complex style of Carnatic music. kumari, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Tiru­ma­ are Nithyasree Mahadevan and Sudha
that India’s music tradi­tions, regarded It was the Haridasa Purandara­dasa, kudalu Chowdiah, MS Gopalakrishnan, Ragunathan, who’ve made their mark
by purists as a divine gift from the who lived in the late-15th and early- Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, Dwaram in fusion and cinema. Carnatic music
heavens, began to evolve into two 16th centuries in Hampi, whose efforts Venkata­swamy Naidu, et al. Many of lives on, flying the standard of tradition,
distinct schools, with a clean break at formalising and delineating the these legends have passed on, but welcoming new influences. ■

46 Karnataka Karnataka 47
Photographs by anurag mallick

Art and temple architecture flourished in Karnataka under several dynasties


Heritage & Architecture receiving much royal patronage. called the Vesara style. During
■ anurag mallick and On a lonely hillock at In the 4th century, the local this period, Chalukyan temples
PRIYA GANAPATHY Shravanabelagola, following the Satavahana dynasty rose and in Pattadakal, Aihole, Badami,
example of his guru, reigned for nearly three centuries. and Gadag were conceived and

K
arnataka’s architectural Chandragupta lived like a hermit Its disintegration gave rise to the Kannada literature evolved.
heritage is shaped by the and gave up his life around Kadambas of Banavasi (325- In 753CE, the Rashtrakutas of
various dynasties that 300BCE through the Jain 540CE) in North Karnataka and Manyakheta became the
have held sway over it. It is said austerity of sallekhana (fast unto the Western Ganga dynasty of dominant power in the Deccan
that a 12-year-long famine and death). The hill was called Kolar and Talakadu (350-550CE) for nearly three centuries.
human misery caused monarch Chandrabetta or Chandragiri in in the south. These were the first At the turn of the millennium,
Chandragupta Maurya to his memory. By 3rd century BCE, kingdoms to give official status Nripa Kama established the
abdicate the throne and embrace the Mauryan Empire extended to the Kannada language, as Hoysala Empire. Art and
Jainism. Led by his spiritual till Karnataka, ruled by Emperor evident in the Halmidi inscription architecture flourished, resulting
teacher Bhadrabahu, the last Ashoka. Rock edicts of Ashoka of 450CE, attributed to the in the construction of temples
acharya of the undivided Jain in Prakrit have been discovered Kadamba king Kakusthavarma. whose ‘sculptural exuberance’ can
sangha, Maurya and 12,000 in Chitradurga and Raichur. The rise of the imperial be seen in Belur and Halebid.
disciples left for South India led Understandably, both Buddhism Chalukyas of Badami paved the In the 14th century, to counter
by their quest for inner peace. and Jainism thrived in Karnataka, way for a new architectural idiom the Muslim expansion towards

48 Karnataka Karnataka 49
▼ introducing Karnataka

the south, sage Vidyaranya The Wodeyars of Mysuru,


Swami got the brothers Harihara former vassals of the Vijayanagara
and Bukka to establish the Empire, leased the state from the
Vijayanagara Empire with Hampi Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
as its capital. The Vijayanagara With the death of Krishnaraja
kings encouraged arts, religion, Wodeyar II, the Mysuru army’s
and literature in Sanskrit, commander-in-chief Haider Ali
Kannada, and Telugu, spawning assumed control over the region,
great works. After the defeat of until control passed to his son
the Vijayanagara Empire in the Tipu Sultan. To resist European
1565 Battle of Talikota and its expansion in South India, Tipu
resulting decline, the Bahmani Sultan or ‘The Tiger of Mysuru’
sultans of Kalaburagi and the fought four Anglo-Mysuru Wars,
Adil Shahi sultans of Vijayapura the last of which resulted in his
ruled over the region. The death and the incorporation of
Bahmani rulers encouraged Urdu Mysuru into the British Raj and
and Persian literature and Islamic the evolution of Bangalore as a
architecture, promoting a unique British cantonment. Karnataka
‘Dakkani’ culture. Following reveals layers of its fascinating
the fragmentation of the
Bahmani sultanate into five
kingdoms, the region eventually
history through monuments.
Go beyond Belur-Halebid, the
twin gems of Hoysala stone
Experience Seaside
came under the Mughal Empire. architecture, to lesser known
Hoysala sites; marvel at the
Sacred footprints at Chandragiri musical pillars and the Stone
Chariot at the UNESCO World
Heritage site of Hampi; visit
Badami-Aihole-Pattadakal, the
trinity of cave temples and
shrines described as the ‘cradle
of Indian architecture’; embark
on a Jain trail to the massive
Gomateshwara (Bahubali) statue
at Shravanabelagola; explore the
opulent palaces of the Wodeyars;
listen to echos under the world’s
second largest unsupported
dome, Gol Gumbaz at Vijayapura;
discover relics of Muslim and
Persian architecture in Bahmani
bastions of Kalaburagi and Bidar;
and stop at the historic Sikh
Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka
shrine of Guru Nanak Jheera. ■ 49, 2nd Floor, Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001
shutterstock
Phone: 080-2235 2828, Mail:info@karnatakatourism.org,
50 Karnataka Website:http://www.karnatakatourism.org
▼ introducing Karnataka THE BIG FESTIVALS

bidding adieu to Hampi. Huthri


But don’t fret if you can’t The Kodagu region might be best
make it in time for the Hampi known for its coffee plantations
Utsav; in December, it’s time for (apart from the serene environs),
the Phala Puja Festival, the but the Kodavas haven’t forgotten
annual ritual betrothal of Pampa the place rice cultivation held in
with Lord Shiva, and in March- their society. And they continue
April, Hampi wakes up to the to commemorate the harvest
sounds and sights of the season with Huthri, or Puttari
Virupaksha Car Festival, a Namme (‘new rice’; late-November
celebration of their marriage. to mid-December). There’s ritual
cutting of the crop and, of course,
Hoysala Mahotsava dance, music and frolic.
The Hoysala Dynasty has
bequeathed an unbelievable Vairamudi
amount of cultural wealth to One of the biggest events in the
modern-day Karnataka. So it’s Mandya region is the Vairamudi
only fitting that the Hosyalas’
remarkable contributions be Folk performers at Hampi Festival
celeb­rated with a festival at the
stunning temples they left
behind. In March, Belur and
Halebid put up the Hoysala
The Pattadakal Dance Festival brings artistes from all over the world to Karnataka Mahotsava, with classical
perform­ances by renowned
The Big Festivals artistes taking place against the
beau­tiful backdrop of these
Ugadi Hampi Festival ancient temples.
The Kannada new year of Ugadi Any time is a good time to visit
is a time for renewal and the World Heritage Site of Hampi, Pattadakal Dance Festival
anticipation, celebrated in late but there’s no better time to be Karnataka is home to not one but
March or early April, usually with here than during the three-day two monuments significant
a gathering of close family Hampi Utsav (usually in enough to be World Heritage
members. Ritual baths, November). The old monuments, Sites. In February, the Chalukyan
preparation of special dishes, and already haun­tingly gorgeous, stronghold of Pattadakal, a site of
temple visits are part of the Ugadi look dazzling by night. exquisite, over-a-millennium-old
tradition. Don’t miss the ritual Processions march through the temples, is the venue for the
tasting of bevu bella, a sweet-sour- area, evoking the royal grandeur Pattadakal Dance Festival (also
hot-bitter paste made from of this one-time imperial capital, known as the Chalukya Utsava)
jaggery, neem, mango, tamarind, and there’s music and dance at with performers from all over
and chilli, which serves as an all- every corner. And while you’re the world congregating here.
too-important remin­der that life here, pick up some of Karnataka’s Badami and Aihole join in the
is usually a mix of experiences! famous handicrafts before exuberant festivities.
Photographs: getty images

52 Karnataka Karnataka 53
▼ introducing Karnataka THE BIG FESTIVALS

saibal das

Brahmotsava. Held at the don’t forget to carry back some of


Cheluva Narayana Swamy Temple that holy water. Another Kodagu
in Melukote (during March or festival that visitors might want
April), the fortnight-long to drop in for is Kailpoldh in
festivities culminate in a August. This is when the Kodavas,
procession of Lord Cheluva warriors by tradition, take out
Narayana wearing his crown. their weapons for worship.
Villages stage events and contests,
Tula Sankramana and come nightfall, it’s time for
Primarily a Kodagu tradition, Tula merry-making and celebration.
or Kaveri Sankramana is held in
October, on the day the sun Makar Sankranti
enters the Tula rashi (Libra). A pan-India festival that’s
Devotees believe goddess Kaveri celebrated with as much gusto in
(Cauvery) gives darshan at Karnataka, the harvest festival of
Talacauvery on this auspicious Makar Sankranti (January 14,
day. Head for the small temple when the sun enters Capricorn) is
town in the Kodagu hills for a a time of prayers, ritual offerings
taste of the theerthodbhava at temples, and visiting friends
ceremony, in which the Kaveri and family. A dish prepared
river’s waters fill up a tank. And specially for Sankranti is ellu bella,
a mixture of sesame, jaggery,
Ellu bella, a special Makar Sankranti dish coconut, gram, and peanuts. At the centre of the Mysuru royal crest is the mythical bird Ganda-Berunda
Head over to rural Karnataka or a
temple, and you might witness
the ritual feeding of cows. A Perfect Ten Palace, lit up in all its grandeur. It displays
the Golden Throne featuring the
embedded insignia of the Ganda-
Mahamastakabhisheka Late September or early October is when Berunda, the mythical double-headed
Shravanabelagola, in the Hassan Mysuru, Karnataka’s most elegant city, bird that is the royal emblem of the
district of South Karnataka, is an truly comes into her own. Ten days of Wodeyars.
ancient Jain centre with a 17m pomp and ceremony mark the festival of Finally, on Vijaya Dashami, the 10th
high statue of Gomateshwara Dasara, a ritual remembrance of the tri­­um­ day, princely regalia is out in full force for
(Bahubali). The ritual anoin­ting ph of good over evil. Elaborate rangolis the Dasara procession. Starting with a
of Gomateshwara is a grand event (pictorial art using coloured powders) are ceremonial prayer by the scion of the
that takes place once in drawn in the front yards. Eve­n­ings bear Wodeyar dynasty, it culminates when the
12 years. During the festival, just that hint of the coming winter, suffused idol of goddess Bhuvaneshwari, the patron
all pilgrims may climb up a with the music wafting out of concerts held deity of Karnataka, is taken around the city
scaffolding raised for the purpose, on the palace grounds and the many for several hours atop a caparisoned
for a rare top-down look at gayana sabhas that dot the city. elephant.
the statue; only Jains are allowed Streets fill up with hundreds of visitors Mass culture blends seamlessly with
to perform abhisheka. The next trooping in to view Mysuru’s many land­ royal grand­eur during these festivities,
Maha­mastakabhisheka festival is marks. There is none which comprise a veri­table showcase of
due in 2030. ■ more imposing than the Amba Vilas Kannada heritage.
shutterstock

54 Karnataka Karnataka 55
shutterstock

The national parks of Karnataka are a delight for wildlife and nature lovers
Wildlife in Karnataka
The Kabini flows along the Heritage Sites. Karnataka’s wide-
■ anurag mallick and National Parks (Anshi, Bandipur, park’s southern boundary and ranging habitat supports a rich
PRIYA GANAPATHY Bannerghatta, Kudremukh, and forms a reservoir further down­ diversity of animal species and
Nagarhole), 18 wildlife stream to the south, forming a over 400 species of birds.

F
orests cover a fifth of sanctuaries, and nearly a dozen boundary with Bandipur (880 Perhaps the first step towards
Karnataka’s geographical bird sanctuaries. The Nilgiri sq km), where the Deccan Plateau organised wildlife in Karnataka
area, though only 3% Biosphere Reserve, located at the rises to meet the wrinkled folds started with the Maharajas of
landmass (roughly 6,600 sq km), junction of Karnataka, Tamil of the Western Ghats. Mysuru. The wild tracts around
is dedicated to wildlife. Yet, Nadu, and Kerala, encloses Recognised as one of 18 global Mysuru were littered with
Karnataka supports the largest within its range the world- biodiversity hotspots, the hunting lodges located deep in
elephant population in India famous Nagarhole and Bandipur Western Ghats harbour most of the jungle. Set against the
(nearly one-fourth), the highest National Parks. Nagarhole (575 Karnataka’s important protected backdrop of the misty Nilgiris,
concentration of gaur (over sq km), literally ‘Serpent Stream’ areas. Two sub-clusters of the Bandipur was once the Maharajas’
8,000) and one of the largest in Kannada, is named after a Western Ghats, Talacauvery and private hunting ground, as were
remaining populations of the small river that meanders Kudremukh (600.32 sq km), are Nagarhole, Karapura in the
endangered tiger (one-fifth). In through the centre of the park, in UNESCO’s tentative list of eastern fringe of Kabini sanctuary,
this state, you will find five before joining the river Kabini. sites to be designated as World and Biligiri Rangaswamy Hills.

56 Karnataka Karnataka 57
▼ introducing Karnataka WILDLIFE IN Karnataka

anurag mallick

These lodges and the wildlife Remains of these old kheddahs


preserves surrounding them can still be seen at Mastigudi
became blueprints for modern- when the Kabini recedes.
day national parks in Karnataka. After kheddah operations were
Maharaja Jayachamarajendra ended and capturing wild
Wodeyar Bahadur became the elephants was disallowed,
first Chairman of the Indian elephants were transferred in the
Board for Wildlife. In 1892, he early 1970s from the Maharaja’s
established the Khaas bangla at palace in Mysuru to Nagarhole.
Mysuru, a 10-acre enclosure to Jobs with the Forest Department
house birds and animals, which were created for local tribes as
evolved into Sri Chamarajendra mahouts or guards. Dubare
Zoological Gardens. Till 1912, Reserve Forest in Coorg
the Mysuru Zoo was under his (Kodagu), where elephants for
personal administration. the Dasara used to be trained, is
The need for elephants for now the site of an elephant
the Mysuru Dasara festival led interaction programme.
British officer GP Sanderson to Perhaps the best place to start
pioneer and perfect the kheddah your wild adventure is
system of capturing elephants. Bannerghatta National Park
(260.51 sq km), located 22km
Chameleons, tree frogs add to biodiversity south of Bengaluru. It has a lion
and tiger safari, a herbivore
safari, a mini zoo, a reptile park, Elephants, once chased and captured, now have a thriving presence in the state
a museum, and a picnic corner.
Be it K Gudi camp in BR Hills or named after Englishwoman Ms the shola-grassland habitat in
the Kali Wilderness and Cinthera, who discovered it in the upper regions—Talacauvery
Adventure Camp at Dandeli the 20th century. A dense (105 sq km), named after the
Wildlife Sanctuary (475.02 sq evergreen rainforest with rich origin of the river Cauvery;
km), each wildlife haunt and biodiversity, the Sharavathi Pushpagiri (102.59 sq km); and
habitat is unique. Kavala Caves, Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a Brahmagiri (181.8 sq km), whose
at the heart of Dandeli Sanctuary, refuge of the endangered lion- eastern tip touches the north­
are quite tiny and have a seperate tailed macaque, the great Indian western edge of Nagarhole.
entrance. You have to descend hornbill and Indian lories. Another key hub is a huge
375 steps and then crawl through Biligiriranga Swamy Temple swathe of green running along
a winding passage of 40ft to Wildlife Sanctuary (492.46 sq the coast from Baba Budan in
enjoy the stalagmite formations, km) is at the junction of the Chikkamagaluru radiating
in particular the venerated Eastern and Western Ghats, and towards Shimoga and
Shivling. Located in the dense has flora of both regions. Kudremukh. Gudavi and
forests of Dandeli, Syntheri Rock In the Western Ghats, Coorg Mandagadde bird sanctuaries
is a monolithic limestone has several wildlife sanctuaries lie in Shimoga district, while
structure towering over the forest characterised by evergreen and Shettihalli (395.6 sq km) is
floor to a height of 300ft. It is semi-evergreen forests, as well as adjacent to Shimoga town.
Photographs: shutterstock

58 Karnataka Karnataka 59
▼ introducing Karnataka JUNGLE LODGES AND RESORTS

alamy images / india picture Srikanth kolari


considered one of the top five wildlife
lodges in the world — and with good
reason. A sprawling colonial estate in
the heart of elephant country, where
tiger sightings are not uncommon, the
Kabini River Lodge echoes with the
call of the wild. This 54-acre property
has its charms and traditions, which
transform a tourist into an adventurer,
hungry to explore.
Looking for a once-in-a-lifetime
experience? JLR’s Dubare Elephant
Camp is just the ticket. Elephants, lots
of them — and you’d get to meet them
up close and personal here. This camp
is where you can get to understand the
Asiatic elephant a little better as trained
naturalists take guests through the
history, ecology, and biological aspects
The eco-tourism pioneer Kabini River Lodge; bath at Dubare Elephant Camp amidst Karnataka’s many sanctuaries of these wondrous beasts. You get to
and reserves is a hub of wildlife and ‘interact’ with the elephants by
Jungle Lodges and Resorts adventure tourism, trekking, camping,
fishing, whitewater rafting etc, which in
observing them closely and giving
them a scrub-bath; you’d also learn
■ Aroshi handu holiday at the world-famous Tiger Tops turn aids environment conservation. about their food habits and how to take
Jungle Lodges in Nepal. The magical Whether you opt for a tent, room, care of them. River Tern Lodge, on

T
he forests of Karnataka have a aura of the Chitwan National Park with or an independent cottage, the varied the other hand, opens up another
long and royal history. From the its plethora of wildlife — tigers, properties of JLR invoke a community- unique experience altogether, as you
British to the Dukes of Russia, elephants, leopards, sloth bears, like feeling. Mealtimes are interesting discover how thousands of river terns
hunters from across the globe came to crocodiles, and a host of bird species as everyone gathers by the campfire, use an island on the Bhadra waters as
these forests; now, the jungles seduce — and his experience at Tiger Tops regaling each other with the exciting a nursery. The timing for the nesting
the wildlife lover, the botany buffs, and captured Rao’s imagination. And so, happenings of the day in the wild or period has to be perfect, with most of
photographers of every ilk. Spread he commissioned Tiger Tops to build a even sharing personal anecdotes, the fledglings well off the island by the
across these stunning forested lands similar resort back home in Karnataka. nourishing their inner storyteller. time the monsoon waters drown the
today is a string of lodges, under the Thus, in 1980, was born Jungle Lodges The serene beauty and location of island; for the ‘late latifs’, their nests
umbrella of Jungle Lodges and Resorts, and Resorts (JLR). With great ideas the JLR properties will leave you and fledglings are tragically lost in the
set up by the Karnataka government. come challenges, and JLR was no spellbound as you head out on a swirling waters.
These lodges have been curated to stranger to them. In 1987, Tiger Tops morning safari or boat ride. The hot Nothing makes you more aware of
be an intrinsic part of the experiential decided to withdraw its managerial summer months bring the animals to how much we take for granted than a
holidays in the state’s many national operations and handed over the reins the banks of the river Kabini, while visit to the wild. Be prepared to leave
parks and wildlife sanctuaries. to the Karnataka government. during monsoons the forests are lush these forested and riverine habitats as
The inspiration came in 1978, when JLR was India’s first foray into eco- with greenery but the animal sightings an environmental activist — the wildlife
former Karnataka chief minister, the tourism, serving as an eye-opener for are fewer in number. experience is known to touch the
late Sri Gundu Rao, spent a thrilling people. This group of 16 resorts set JLR’s Kabini River Lodge is deepest recesses of one’s mind. ■

60 Karnataka Karnataka 61
▼ introducing Karnataka

Someshwara Sanctuary (88.4 sq rainforest ecology, behavioral


km) lies to the northwest of ecology and cobra management.
Kudremukh, while the Bhadra Melukote Wildlife Sanctuary
Wildlife Sanctuary (492.46 sq
km) was upgraded to a tiger
(45.82 sq km) was set up primarily
for the protection of the wolf,
Experience wildlife
reserve in 1998. while Daroji Bear Sanctuary
Karnataka also has specialised near Hampi is the only sanctuary
wildlife preserves set up for the in North Karnataka set up to
protection of specific species. protect the sloth bear. Karnataka
Adichunchangiri (0.88 sq km), is home to around 2,500 leopards
in Mandya district is dedicated as of 2018. The majestic but
to the peacock. Ranibennur (119 elusive black panther can be
sq km) was declared a sanctuary spotted in Anshi-Dandeli Tiger
to protect the blackbuck. Reserve or in Kabini.
Often known as India’s cobra With its lush greenery and
capital, Agumbe offers nature’s favourable climate, Karnataka is
bounty all year round. Fascinated a haven for domestic and
by the reverence people showed migratory birds. It also offers
towards snakes in the region, sightings of 4 hornbill species.
well-known herpetologist During his survey of the birds
Romulus Whitaker set up the of Mysuru, ornithologist Dr
Agumbe Rainforest Research Salim Ali advocated the
Station (ARRS) in 2005 which establishment of a sanctuary at
conducts research in areas like the site of two islets along the
Cauvery. The isolated islets and
Safaris make for a thrilling experience the abundance of aquatic insects
made Ranganathittu a favourite
abode for birds and it became a
bird sanctuary in 1940.
Following this pattern, other
bird sanctuaries were set up in
similar habitats. Ghataprabha
Bird Sanctuary in Belgaum is a
stretch of 28km of the river
Ghataprabha. Kokrebellur near
Bengaluru and Gudavi are large
waterbodies that have evolved
into aquatic bird sanctuaries. For
birding, November to March is a
good time when migratory
species can be found, while
October to April is the best time
Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka
to visit wildlife parks. ■ 49, 2nd Floor, Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001
anurag mallick
Phone: 080-2235 2828, Mail:info@karnatakatourism.org,
62 Karnataka Website:http://www.karnatakatourism.org
KARNATAKA
TOURISM

Choose The Perfect


Destination For Your Ideal
Vacation

Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka


49, 2nd Floor, Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001
Phone: 080-2235 2828, Mail:info@karnatakatourism.org,
Website:http://www.karnatakatourism.org
South
Karnataka
Culture, architecture, and the wilderness
in your backyard – that’s what great
holidays are made of
south Karnataka Route Planner

68 Karnataka Karnataka 69
south Karnataka Bengaluru

fast facts
When to go The city has great climate
all year round. Catch local festivals like
Bangalore Karaga at Dharmaraya
Temple in March-April, Ramzan on
Mosque Road, St. Mary’s Feast in
Shivajinagar on Sept 8 and Kadalekayi
Parshe near Bull Temple in Nov-Dec.
Tourism Offices
● Department of Tourism (HO)
Government of Karnataka
No. 49, 2nd Floor, Khanija Bhavan
Race Course Road, Bengaluru
Tel: 080-22352525/ 2727/ 2828
Cell: 09686633491, 07795516979
(DTC)
● Office of the Deputy Director
(Urban)
District Panchayath Bldg, KG Road
Aerial view of Vidhana Soudha and High Court (foreground) buildings beans.’ Pleased, he settled a village Tel: 22204415
at that spot and called it Benda-kal- Cell: 09686633491
BENGALURU uru (Village of Boiled Beans).
Kempegowda, a feudatory of the
● Office of the Asst Director (Rural)
DC Office Complex, 213, Chapparkalu
Where religion meets science Vijayanagara kings, formally Dheer Sandra, Devanhalli
founded the city in 1537 and shifted Cell: 09591778824 (DTC)
■ anurag mallick And HAL and ADA are all based here; his capital from Yelahanka as this ● Karnataka Forest Department
Priya Ganapathy ‘Silicon Valley of India’ after the place had several large water bodies Aranya Bhavan, 18th Cross,
software boom; India’s original ‘Pub and natural defences of the Malleshwaram

P
erhaps no other Indian city City’ and ‘Microbrewery Capital’; Savanadurga range to the east and Tel: 080-2334 3770
has as many epithets as and now also the ‘Expat Capital’, Nandi Hills to the north. W aranya.gov.in
Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru being home to about a tenth of Kempegowda built a town enclosed ● Karnataka State Tourism
— India’s fifth largest and fastest India’s expatriates. by a mud fort and named it Development Corporation HO
growing metropolis has been called Its folkloric origins speak of how Bengaluru, after his mother’s village. Central Reservation-Accommodation
‘Pensioners’ Paradise’ for its easy Hoysala king Veera Ballala got He divided the walled city into petes Ground Floor, BMTC Yeshwantpur
retired life; ‘Air-conditioned City’ separated from his hunting party. to house people of various vocations. TTMC (Bus Stand), Yestwantpur Circle
for its pleasant cool climate; ‘Garden Tired and hungry, he encountered Kempegowda’s son Kempegowda II, Tel: 43344334
City’ due to its parks and canopied an old woman in the forest who fed who succeeded him in 1585, marked Cell: 08970650070/ 75
lanes; ‘Aerospace Capital’ as ISRO, him a dish of benda kal or ‘boiled the boundaries of his capital by

70 Karnataka Karnataka 71
south Karnataka Bengaluru

Photographs by anurag mallick


letting four oxen walk in four
cardinal directions; the place where
they stopped, he erected four
watchtowers (now well within the
city). He beautified the town with
getting there lakes, temples, and irrigation tanks
Air Kempegowda International Airport around residential areas. As the city
Bengaluru, Devanahalli (36km/1 hr; Toll- prospered, neighbouring powers
free tel: 1800 425 4425; KSTDC vied for control and in 1638, the
Counter cell: 08970650072; Adil Shahis of Bijapur conquered
W bengaluruairport.com) is well- Bengaluru and handed it to Shahji,
connected to all major Indian airports Shivaji’s father. In 1686, Mughal
and several in Asia and Europe. Pre- emperor Aurangzeb captured
paid cabs (Karnataka City Taxi Tel: 080- Bengaluru and, in 1689, the Mughal
41552222, 41553333; Mega Cabs Tel: subedar of Sira province leased
4747474) charge `800+toll to MG Road Bengaluru to Chikka Devaraja
in the city centre. BMTC’s Airport Shuttle Wodeyar of Mysore, who
Service (Vayu Vajra; Toll-free tel: 1800- strengthened the fort and built the
425-1663), with air-conditioned Volvo Kote Venkataramana Swamy Temple.
buses services the airport-city route Under guidance of the Maharaja of
Rail The three major stations, City Mysore, German botanist and Interiors of Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace
Railway Station, Yeshwanthpur, and landscapist Gustav Hermann
Cantonment, are connected to Delhi, Krumbiegel planted tecomas, born with British nightlife. son Tipu Sultan, the fort had a
Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and tabebuias, cassias, jacarandas, and A century after the British made unique oval shape with eight
many other cities by daily trains rain trees, each flowering sequentially this their cantonment, Karnataka’s doorways. Only parts of the fort wall
Road Bengaluru is connected by NH4 through the seasons. Army new leaders chose from Greco- and the Delhi Gate with its intricate
to Chennai, by NH7 to Hyderabad, by commander Hyder Ali, who later Roman, Indo-Saracenic and Persian friezes remain, besides a
NH48 to Mangalore, and NH209 to became ruler, added to the tag of Dravidian styles for the new public Ganesha Temple in the quadrangle.
Coimbatore. SH17 connects Bengaluru ‘Garden City’ by laying out a 140- buildings. Today, most of these Situated within the old fort walls,
with Mysore, which is a 3-hr drive. acre park called ‘Lal Bagh’, named heritage structures like Mayo Hall, Tipu’s Summer Palace stands in a
KSTDC runs Karnataka Taxis (Tel: 080- after its profusion of red roses. Oriental Building, State Bank of well-maintained garden next to
44664466) across the state. State The colonial era began in 1808, India, BRV Theatre, The Bible Society Ventakaramana Temple. Its
buses run from here and from when the Mysore Maharaja leased stand alongside gleaming glass-and- construction began under Hyder Ali
Shantinagar Bus Stand (Cell: land in present-day Ulsoor to the chrome high-rises, giving the city its in 1781 and was completed by Tipu
07760990531) and Satellite Bus Stand British who made Bengaluru unique mix of old and new. in 1791. Built out of teak in Indo-
(Cell: 07760990530) on the Bengaluru- (anglicised to Bangalore) a Islamic style, the two-storey wooden
Mysore Highway throughout Karnataka cantonment, moving their troops THINGS TO SEE AND DO structure is similar to Daria Daulat
and to neighbouring states. Types of stationed at Srirangapatna. A large Bagh at Srirangapatna.
buses include luxury sleeper Volvos and parade ground came up in the heart Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace u Palace entry fee Indians `25,
deluxe Rajahamsa Executive. Tickets of town (today’s MG Road) along and Fort Foreigners `300, Children below 15
for private buses can be booked with churches, barracks, bungalows, Originally a mud fort built by free, Video Camera `25 Timings
through Red Bus ( W redbus.in) tree-lined avenues, and rambling Kempegowda in 1537 and later 8.30am-5.30pm
parks. The famed ‘pub culture’ was reconstructed by Hyder Ali and his u Fort Timings 8am-5.30pm

72 Karnataka Karnataka 73
south Karnataka Bengaluru

Bangalore Palace gifted to the Maharaja of Mysore by


Modelled on the Windsor Castle and King Alfonso XIII of Spain, who
sporting Tudor architecture, stayed at Bangalore Palace during his
Bangalore Palace is a gem that seems exile in the 1930s.
right out of a fairytale — with u Entry fee Indians `240, Foreigners
fortified towers, circular turrets and `480 Camera Cell phone `300, Still
beautiful manicured gardens. Set in `710, Video `1,480
the spacious Palace Grounds that has
witnessed many rock concerts, Lalbagh
weddings, exhibitions and rallies, Spread over 240 acres and inspired
the palace is accessible from the rear by the Mughal gardens of Sira,
Vasanth Nagar entrance. Pick up the Lalbagh is home to India’s largest
excellent audio guide (voiceover in collection of rare tropical and
English by actor Roshan Seth) from subtropical plants and trees from
the office as you navigate through Europe, Afghanistan, and Persia. The
the armoury, durbar hall, chambers neo-classical Glass House, modelled
and tiled hallways with photos of on London’s Crystal Palace, is the
royalty and the kheddah (elephant centre of attraction. The brainchild
capture by chasing them) operations, of John Cameron, the superintendent
besides Mysore Ganjifa cards. In an of the gardens, this structure was
inner courtyard is a royal bench built in 1888 to mark the visit of Bangalore Palace is modelled on the Windsor Castle of Britain

Devotees visiting the Lalbagh Kempegowda Tower Prince Albert Victor, heir to the Car `50 (no vehicles can go inside)
Prince of Wales. Constructed with Eco-Vehicle Ride Adult `100 (1 hr)
steel and glass manufactured in Children below 12 free, above 12 `20
Glasgow, the Glass House once (9am-6pm) Tel: 080-26571925
sheltered plants imported from
Europe. Over the years it fell into a Bull Temple/Dodda Ganapati
state of disrepair, until it was Temple
renovated in 2003, using laminated Lending its name to one of the oldest
glass. It is the venue of the bi-annual residential localities in Bengaluru is
flower show. Explore the park’s other basavana gudi, literally ‘Bull Temple’,
standouts: Band Stand, floral clock, one of the city’s top landmarks. Built
one of the four watchtowers erected during the reign of Kempegowda I,
by Kempegowda, a 300-year-old silk this monolithic idol of black stone is
cotton tree, rose garden, topiary, the site of the annual groundnut fair
lake, bonsai garden, and Maharaja Kadalekayi Parshe in November-
statue. Another historic feature is the December. A few steps lead to the
rocky outcrop of peninsular gneiss, a adjacent shrine of Dodda Ganesha,
national geological monument. It is also known as ‘Satya Ganapati’ or
among the oldest rocks on earth ‘Shakti Ganapati’. Kempegowda is
dating back to 3,000 million years! believed to have chanced upon an
u Entry fee `25 Parking Bike `20, etching of Ganesha on a rock near

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Courtesy wikipedia
the Bull Temple, which his sculptors travelogues of 1792, this temple’s
carved into an 18ft high sculpture. unique feature is that on Makar
u Timings 6am-12 noon, Sankranti (January 14), the sunrays
5.30pm-8.30pm pass through a window and fall
directly on the Shiva linga.
Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
Located in the nook of a small hill KR Market
called Harirayanagudda in The atmospheric Krishna Rajendra
Basavanagudi, the ancient cave Market or City Market is one of the
temple dates back a thousand years biggest flower markets in all of Asia.
and was expanded by the city’s Originally a water tank and then an
founder Kempegowda I. The tall 18th century battlefield during the
suryapana or monolithic pillars Anglo-Mysore Wars, the Krishna
bearing motifs of moon and sun, Rajendra Market was established in
Bangalore Karaga Shiva’s trident, damaru (drum) and
stone parasol (umbrella) were etched
1928 and named after the Maharaja
of Mysore. Only two buildings from
This ancient festival is an important feature of the karaga carrier has never stumbled in the in his time. Dedicated to the celestial the British era remain today, while a
Bengaluru’s religious calendar. The origin of history of the festival. couple Shiva-Parvati, the deities are modern building between them
the nine-day Karaga festival (March-April) The procession meanders through the set inside a gavi (cave), hence the houses flowers and vegetables on the
goes back more than five centuries. It city area, stopping to give blessings at the name. Mentioned in British lower floor, dry goods on the next
celebrates the chief deity of the Thigala veerakumaras’ homes and temples in the
community, goddess Draupadi, who is said to vicinity. The procession also halts at the The Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple is often visited by devotees
embody the ideal woman. dargah of Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan, the 18th
The festival, which involves all faiths, gets century Muslim saint, a proof of the secular
its name from the earthen pot from which the nature of this festival. Legend has it that on
goddess is invoked. The karaga is made from hearing the approach of the karaga, the saint
the sediments of a saltwater pond at ran towards it, but fell and was grievously
Sampangi Tank. It is installed in the injured. The Hindus applied kumkum to his
Dharmaraya Swamy Temple near City wounds, which miraculously healed. Hazrat
Market, where it is sanctified and worshipped Mastan prayed to Draupadi that after his
for the duration of the festival. On Chaitra demise, the karaga stop at his tomb, a
Poornima (full moon day of Chaitra month), tradition that continues to this day. As dawn
the last day of the festival, the karaga is breaks, the procession returns to the temple,
carried in a procession that begins at midnight devotees splash turmeric water on each
and continues till the morning. Carrying the other and two chosen ones remain at the
karaga requires great skill, stamina, and temple to drink a sacrificial lamb’s blood. The
concentration, and the bearer prepares karaga is returned to the saltwater pond and
through rigorous fasting and penance. Sword- the bearer of the pot breaks his fast. The
carrying veerakumaras from the Thigala karaga carrier is said to assume the form of
community accompany and escort the karaga goddess Draupadi and dresses in feminine
carrier on his journey. They have the licence attire, wearing his wife’s bangles and
to kill: they may execute the karaga carrier if mangalsutra, while his wife takes on the role
he stumbles and drops the pot! Fortunately, of a widow till her husband returns.

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floor, and machines, tools and including Queen Victoria’s statue


accessories on the upper floor. opposite MG Road, King Edward
VII’s statue near Minsk Square, and
Cubbon Park the Chamarajendra Wodeyar statue.
Spread over 300 acres in Bengaluru’s Notable buildings here are Attara
central district opposite the Kacheri (literally ‘18 offices’; once
Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium lies housing the offices of the secretariat,
the city’s beloved lung space, Cubbon it is now occupied by the High
Park. Originally created in 1870 by Court) and Seshadri Iyer Hall or
Sir John Meade and named Meade’s Central Library.
Park after the acting commissioner
of Mysore, it was finally named in Government Museum
honour of the longest-serving Located at the edge of Cubbon Park,
commissioner, Lt Gen Sir Mark this is the second oldest archaeological
Cubbon. Integrating rocky outcrops museum in South India. Established
with thickets of trees and bamboo, in 1865 on Museum Road by noted
grassy expanses, flowerbeds and Orientalist and surgeon Edward
fountains, the park has multiple Green Balfour, the museum shifted
accesses. Traffic is closed at 5am-8am. here to a larger space in 1877. The
Cubbon Park has several historical new building was in Palladian
buildings, statues, and monuments, European Classical style with
Corinthian columns, floral motifs,
A bust of M Visvesvaraya fluted pillars and arches decorated
with heads of Greek gods. It was The brick-red Government Museum was established in 1865
designed by Lt General Sir Richard
Hieram Sankey, Chief Engineer of Visvesvaraya Industrial & Science Show, 3D show, and Wright
Mysore. The museum has galleries Technological Museum (VITM) Brothers Flight Simulator.
dedicated to Sculpture, Paintings and The museum was started in 1965 and u Entry fee `75 Timings 10am-6pm
Antiquity with vira kallu (hero stones named after noted civil engineer, Closed on festivals like Ganesh
or memorials), inscriptions, coins, Diwan of Mysore and Bharat Ratna Chaturthi & Deepavali
musical instruments and treasures M Visvesvaraya, whose black marble
like the 450 AD Halmidi inscription, bust graces the ground floor in front Vidhana Soudha
the oldest example of the Kannada of the Engine Hall. In the front Built in 1956, the legislative assembly
text; the Begur inscription that first garden are specimens of a portable of Karnataka, the Vidhana Soudha
mentions ‘Bengaluru’; a model of steam engine, an indigenous HF-24 houses the offices of the state
Tipu’s 18th century Srirangapatna Marut aircraft, and an Archimedes secretariat and is the largest of its
fort; and some cannons. The entry Screw conceived by the Greek kind in the country. Covering an
ticket gives you access to the small inventor. There are different galleries area of 50,000 sq m, this stone
Venkatappa Art Gallery which is dedicated to How Things Work, Fun building is a fusion of several
located next door. Science, Electro Technic, Space, architectural styles — Dravidian,
u Entry fee Adult `20, Child `10 Biotechnology, BEL, Science for Kids, Rajasthani, Chola, and Kannada.
Timings 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday and Dinosaur Alive, with shows like Fashioned out of locally quarried
(Monday closed) Science on a Sphere, Taramandal, granite, the Vidhana Soudha is

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Bangalore Darshini by Foot (Tel 080-41203095, 07019272365 W


bengalurubyfoot.com) organises Food Walks,
BMTC runs sightseeing bus tours from Bangalore ‘Pete’ walks, the Tipu Sultan tour
Kempegowda Bus Station, Majestic. For just or exploring the old quarters of Malleshwaram
`400, enjoy a full-day city tour in an AC bus and Basavanagudi. INTACH (Tel: 080-
that starts at 8.30am and covers more than a 42064839 W intachbir.org) does ‘Parichay’
dozen popular sights: ISKCON temple, Tipu’s heritage walks once a month. There is a
Summer Palace, Gavi Gangadhareshwara Fraser Town Food Walk by Unhurried ( W
cave temple, Bull Temple, Lalbagh, etc. For unhurried.in), Jaunty Roads (Cell:
35 years, Deenadayalu has been with 09945694161) in the MG Road area, and
KSRTC and serves as an entertaining tour Aliyeh Rizvi of Native Place does an old city
guide. He speaks many tongues and sings walk during the annual karaga.
Veera Ballala’s legend of ‘boiled beans’ in
Kannada, Tamil and Telugu for passengers. Wine & Craft Beer Tours
Tel: +91 9972464148, +91 7022030257 A fairly recent but growing phenomenon,
W mybmtc.com wine and craft beer tours are a great way to
discover the city’s love for high spirits and
Bangalore Heritage Walks appreciate the nuances of wine-tasting with
Explore the city on foot with Arun Pai’s visits to nearby vineyards and wineries. The
Bangalore Walks ( W bangalorewalks.com), Kadu Vinery Tour (Tel: 080-26602666, Cell:
from Military Heritage Walk to Victorian 09148551404; `400pp, transportation not The legislative assembly, Vidhana Soudha, is a fusion of architectural styles
Bangalore Walk and Cubbon Park Walk to included) is a good day trip to their vineyard
Green Heritage Walk in Lalbagh. Bengaluru in Ramnagara, 70km from Bengaluru city; the decorated with frieze panels, Chowdiah Memorial Hall
1-hour tour around the winery is followed by ornamental motifs, floral carvings, Dedicated to Karnataka’s celebrated
Paintings within Tipu Sultan’s Palace 6 types of wine-tasting and an a la carte and geometric designs. Renowned violinist T Chowdiah, the hall is a
lunch (chargeable extra). There is Kinvah sculptor Shilpi Shamachar crowned popular venue for cultural events.
Wine Tours (Cell: 09379907300, the dome with India’s lion emblem. Built by architect SN Murthy, the
09620424002; `1,500pp with lunch in A twin structure, the Vikasa Soudha, structure is built in the shape of a
Yelahanka and a 3-hour tour around Nandi finished in 2005, stands alongside. violin. Rebuilt several times due to
Valley Winery with wine-tasting, grapes its complexity, opened in 1980, it is
stomping, lunch). If you love beer, take a St Mark’s Cathedral an exact replica, down to the strings,
Microbrewery Tour at Windmills Craftworks Built for the British army, the keys, bridge and even the bow!
(`1,000pp) to see how craft beer is made; construction of this church was
also involves tasting of beer. Toit Brewery started in 1808 and later additions Jumma Masjid
Tours (Cell: 09019713388; W toit.in; `850pp were made in 1901. Following an Located in Bengaluru’s Cantonment
+taxes, includes beer samples, food pairing) unfortunate roof collapse and fire, area, the Jumma Masjid or ‘Friday
are organised for groups of up to 20 on the the church was given a facelift in Mosque’ is an elegant brick structure
first Saturday of the month, besides tours for 1927. Today, the beautifully restored with gleaming granite pillars,
private groups. Brew Tours at Geist (Cell: church is set in a picturesque garden. intricate jaali work and ornate stucco
09886442369) take place on one Saturday a A High Renaissance structure, it has floral motifs on its façade. Built in
month (price on request). Tip Kadu Vinery been modelled after St Paul’s the early 19th century, entirely out
has grape-crushing on Sat/Sun at `500pp Cathedral and other 17th-century of razed material from Tipu’s Palace
and 1 hr guided tour with wine-tasting. churches in England. in Srirangapatna, the mosque was
prashant panjiar

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damaged by cannon fire and the first Sunday in January are good
renovated in 1836. platforms to buy various types of art
from local artists.
Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath u No. 1, Art Complex, Kumara Krupa
Established in 1960, KCP is the state’s Road Tel 080-2226 1816
premier visual arts institution W karnatakachitrakalaparishath.com
offering courses in painting, Adults `10 (Children below 5 years
sculpture, graphic art, applied art, art have free entry)
history, traditional Mysore paintings
and leather puppetry, besides master’s ISKCON Temple
degrees and doctoral studies. The Art Perched atop a monolithic hillock in
Complex hosts regular hobby classes, Rajajinagar, the grand temple
workshops, demos, artist camps, complex of ISKCON (International
dance performances, folk theatre, Society for Krishna Consciousness) is
photography exhibitions, puppet spread over 7 acres. Constructed to
shows and music recitals all year commemorate the birth centenary of
round. The museum has 13 its founder Sri Prabhupada, the Sri
permanent galleries on eminent Radha Krishna Temple is an unusual
artists like Nicholas Roerich and HH blend of Dravidian and modern
Kejriwal, and Folk Art, International temple architecture. Ornamental
Paintings, Mysore Traditional Gallery arches and illuminated cascades of The ISKCON temple in all its glory
and Leather Puppets. The Art Mart water lead to the elaborate
and the annual Chitra Sante held on rajagopuram. The gold-plated offered during rahu kala, otherwise was more wilderness than city at the
kalashas, gold chandeliers shaped considered inauspicious by Hindus. time. Renovated in 1889, recent
Steps leading up to the campus like inverted lotus flowers, intricate The festive fervour is best captured additions to its façade are idols of
woodwork and beautiful paintings of during the birthday of Banashankari Ardhanareeshwara, Shiva-Parvati,
Lord Krishna adorning the lofty Devi on September 13; Dasara and Ganesha, an Anjaneya temple,
ceiling are noteworthy. The high- celebrations in October; and the the Basavatheertha Kalyani, and the
tech temple complex has a Vedic temple’s anniversary in December- Narasimha temple.
museum, an open theatre for January. The temple also lights up on u Timings 7am-12 noon,
concerts, a massive 10,000 sq ft hall Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays when 6.30pm-9pm
and landscaped gardens. Don’t go devotees offer hundreds of lamps to
without tasting the prasad, handed the holy goddess. Someshwara Temple
out by a temple functionary as you u Timings 6am-12.30pm,4.30pm- Built by Chola kings, this magnificent
exit the temple. 8.30pm Shiva temple in Ulsoor displays a
fusion of Chola, Hoysala, and
Banashankari Temple Kadu Malleswara Temple Vijayanagara styles. The compound
Located on Kanakapura Road, it was The 350-year-old Kadu Malleswara was constructed later by Kempegowda.
an ardent devotee, Somana Shetty, Temple lends its name to the bustling The lofty rajagopuram (main temple
who brought the idol of Banashankari neighbourhood of Malleswaram. tower) and the dhwaja sthambha (flag
from Badami to Bengaluru and built Built around a swayambhu or self- pole) are noteworthy while the main
the temple in 1915. In a unique manifest Shiva linga, it earned the shrine has elaborately carved pillars
departure from the norm, prayers are prefix of kadu or ‘jungle’, as Bengaluru and ancient inscriptions on the walls.
Courtesy wikipedia

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shutterstock
Some of the pillars resonate with stone. Witnessing the incident, the
musical notes when struck. divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and
Shiva wished to establish themselves
Shiva Temple at the spot and transformed into
Located on Old Airport Road, the three stone pillars that can still be
open-air shrine has a 65-ft statue of found here. Spread over 5 acres, the
Lord Shiva in lotus pose with the hilltop temple was built in 1969.
river Ganga flowing out of his matted Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated in a
locks. Devotees toss coins in the grand manner over 12 days with
wishing pool and undertake a pujas, abhishekas (anointment) and
simulated Amarnath yatra, around a distribution of mahaprasad.
cement cave with replicas of the 12 u 9th Block, Jayanagar
jyotirlingas. It is a popular spot on Tel 080-26580500, 26594255
Shivaratri (Feb-Mar) when chants of W ragigudda.org
‘Om Namah Shivaya’ resound u Timings 8am-11:30 am, 5pm-8:30
through the air. pm, Mahamangalarti 11 am, 8 pm
u Timings: 10 am to 8 pm
Ulsoor Gurudwara
Ragigudda Sri Prasanna Opposite the picturesque Ulsoor Lake
Anjaneyaswamy Temple and its Kempegowda watchtower Interiors of St Mary’s Basilica
The Hanuman temple in Jayanagar is stands the main Sikh centre of
believed to have miraculously worship in Bangalore. Built in 1946, of moulded bunches of grapes and religious faiths.
originated from a big ‘heap of finger it is a simple white structure with artistic stained-glass windows from u Tel 080-2530 1206
millet’ (ragi gudda) that became a pristine marble floors. Special prayers Paris. The patron saint of this Timings 5:30 am to 12 noon, 4 pm
are offered on Sunday, after which legendary church is said to exercise to 8.30 pm, Thu open till midnight
The hilltop temple was built in 1969 langar (free meal) is served to all. miraculous powers. The annual St W infantjesusshrine.org.
Guru Nanak’s Birthday in Oct-Nov is Mary’s Feast is held across eight days
celebrated on a large scale. The in September and draws thousands Cultureama: Art, Craft, Music,
gurdwara also offers accommodation of believers from different faiths, Dance, and Theatre
to tourists for a day. who come to pray dressed in For those who appreciate music and
u Sri Guru Singh Sabha customary orange. the arts, there are several venues
Opp Ulsoor Lake, Kensington Road u Shivajinagar, Opposite Russell hosting regular events and festivals.
Tel 080-25553461 Market The city has several art galleries like
u Timings 4 am to 9:30 pm Tel 080-22865434 the National Gallery of Modern Art,
u Timings 5 am to 7:30 pm Peepletree Art Gallery, Venkatappa
St Mary’s Basilica Art Gallery, Crimson Art Gallery,
Built as a small chapel in 1818 by Infant Jesus Shrine Gallery Sumukha, Sublime, and
Abbé Dubois, the church was Established in 1979 by Rev Dr Rangoli Metro Art Centre. The
transformed into a grand edifice in Lourduswamy, then Archbishop of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath near
1874 by Rev LF Kleiner. The Gothic Bangalore, the church in Viveknagar the Golf Course is another pioneering
architecture interiors of the church sees huge crowds on Thursday, the institution promoting art with
reveal stately arches vaulting towards day dedicated to Infant Jesus. The regular craft and textile exhibitions
the ceiling, rich Corinthian capitals church draws devotees from all and the much-awaited annual event
shutterstock

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Chitra Santhe showcasing local HAL Heritage Centre and


artists. Rock shows, jazz concerts, Aerospace Museum
Carnatic and Hindustani classical It is quite natural that the country’s
recitals take place at various venues first aerospace museum ought to be
across the city. Hard Rock Café, The in India’s ‘Aerospace Capital.’ Located
Humming Tree, The B-Flat Bar, on the premises of Hindustan
Windmills Craftworks, Social, Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the
Bangalore Gayana Samaja, The Blue museum showcases the evolution of
Room, Max Mueller Bhavan, Alliance India’s aviation industry and
Francaise de Bangalore, Chowdiah aerospace achievements over six
Memorial Hall, besides the Bangalore decades through various aircraft
Palace Grounds, have been regular models and a Wall of Fame photo
venues for music shows. gallery. There are flight simulator
Regular productions by various games, a mock air-traffic control
different theatre groups and annual tower and a small theatre with hourly
theatre festivals always keep the audio-visual shows. A number of
crowds milling in to spaces like planes and choppers developed by
Ranga Shankara, Jagriti Theatre, HAL are lined up in hangars outside
Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Ravindra — from jet trainer Ajeet to Advanced HAL museum is India’s first aesrospace museum
Kalakshetra, Gubbi Veeranna Light Helicopter Dhruv and a mock
Rangamandira, Atta Galatta JN Tata up of Tejas, India’s indigenous Light Eng) and ‘Stars’ (4:30 pm Eng) daily famous painter’s work and art
Auditorium, and Nrityagram. Combat Aircraft. There’s a small with ‘Dawn of Space Age’, an materials. The exhibits include 20th
cafeteria, an Aero Modelling Club for additional show only on Sundays century landscapes, plaster-of-Paris
Exibit at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium children above 12 years and a (10:30 am Eng). Another highlight is works and abstract wood sculptures,
reference library with a collection of a short news capsule on events besides other renowned artists.
aviation books and magazines. A concerning astronomy, like the Contemporary art shows are often
must-visit for aviation buffs! launch of indigenous satellites. The held here where artists showcase
u NHAL Airport, Varthur Road planetarium houses a permanent their works.
Tel 080-2522 8341 exhibition on space and astronomy, u Kasturba Road
W hal-india.com/heritage.asp and holds science exhibitions for Tel 080-2286 4483/3737
u Timings 9 am to 5 pm school children. u Timings 10 am to 5 pm Monday
Entry Adults `50, Children `30 Still u Chowdiah Road, High Grounds Holiday
camera `50, Video Camera `75 Tel 080-2220 3234, 2226 6084 Adults `20, Children below 10 years
Flight Simulator Games Basic `50, W taralaya.org are charged `10
Motion `100/head for 10 min u Timings 10 am to 5:30 pm Holiday
Monday & second Tuesday Indian Music Experience Centre
Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium Entry Adults `50, Children `30 India’s first Interactive Music
Set up in 1989 and renovated in Museum, it has 9 internationally
2016, the biggest attraction of the Venkatappa Art Gallery designed exhibit galleries showcasing
planetarium is the sky dome that Built by the state government in 108 musical instruments. The
screens regular shows pertaining to memory of K Venkatappa who fascinating hands-on museum allows
the galaxy in Kannada and English. painted the Mysore Palace Durbar visitors to create their own music
Catch ‘Our Solar System’ (12:30 pm Hall, the art gallery houses the and has an interesting Sound Garden.
Courtesy museums of india

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The Learning Centre imparts music Palace Road


classes from experts with regular Tel 080 22342338
workshops and free movie W ngmaindia.gov.in
screenings. u Entry Indians `20, Foreigners `500,
u Brigade Millennium Avenue, Opp Students upto 18 years free
Wood Rose Club, JP Nagar 7th Phase Timings: 11 am – 6.30 pm, Monday
Tel 08040908054 is closed
W indianmusicexperience.org
u Entry Adult `250, Children 5-12 Shopping
years/Senior Citizens `150
Timings: 10 am – 6 pm, Open on all Bengaluru has a slew of top malls like
public holidays, Monday closed Orion, Garuda, Gopalan, Meenakshi,
and Mantri Square Mall, besides
National Gallery of Modern Art high-end brands on offer at UB City.
Inaugurated in 2009, the NGMA Buy a wide range of Karnataka
showcases modern and contemporary handicrafts like statues, sandalwood
art by renowned Indian painters like carvings, inlay work and Bidriware
Raja Ravi Varma, Jamini Roy, Amrita from Cauvery Emporium on MG
Shergil and Rabindranath Tagore. Road or Cottage Industries Emporium.
Nearly 500 exhibits are spread For saris, head to Mysore Silk Udyog Luxury hotels are in abundant in Bengaluru, but budget accommodation is plentiful
thematically in halls, rooms and in Commercial Street. The Quad, a
corridors across two floors. new F&B and shopping complex Indian, Continental and local Where to Stay
u NGMA, Manikyavelu Mansion, outside the international airport has cuisine, try Koshy’s Parade Café on
some stores for last-minute buys and St. Mark’s Road, a colonial-era relic From budget to boutique and upscale
The British brought pub culture here street shopping as well. from 1952. For South Indian fare like luxury, Bengaluru offers a wide
idli, dosas, vada and uppitu, head to choice. A charming heritage hotel
Where to Eat CTR Shri Sagar in Malleswaram or founded in 1887, Taj West End (Tel:
Vidyarthi Bhavan on Gandhi Bazaar 080-66605660; Tariff: 18,560-
Bengaluru is a thriving gastronomic Main Road. For Andhra meals on 3,20,000 +breakfast) is set amidst
capital. From Nikkei cuisine at IQI to banana leaf and biryani, there’s leafy environs, opposite the Bangalore
pan-Asian at Fatty Bao and Sriracha Bheema’s on Church Street and Turf Club, with 116 rooms, full
to Gowda cuisine at Bengaluru Oota Nagarjuna Restaurant on Residency service spa, pools and restaurants
Company, the Bengaluru palate is Road or Indiranagar Double Road. Masala Klub, Mynt, and Blue Ginger.
unbelievably eclectic and For Kerala cuisine, there’s Coconut The Leela Palace (Tel: 25211234
experimental. Award-winning Oota Grove on Church Street, Bekal or Tariff: 13,375-2,67,500 +breakfast)
Bangalore above Windmills Thalassery while for Chettinad on Old Airport Road is a majestic
Craftworks in Whitefield brings cuisine, try Annachi and Anjappar. modern palace hotel offering 357
authentic regional flavours from When you’re in Bengaluru, don’t rooms, dedicated butler and access to
across Karnataka, paired with quirky miss the local donne biryani, typically Royal Club Lounge for the suites.
local cocktails like ‘Varathur served in sal leaf containers or Occupying a green corner of MG
Overflow’. Yet, the old traditional ‘donne’. Also check out the Dindigul Road, the city’s prime shopping and
and iconic joints are still very legend Thalapakatti biryani, now entertainment quarter near Ulsoor
popular. For a mix of Kerala, Anglo- open in Bengaluru on 100 Ft Road. Lake, The Oberoi Bengaluru (Tel:

88 Karnataka Karnataka 89
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Ankur Bhalla
25585858; Tariff: 12,500-1,25,000 Marriott overlooking the Turf Club
+breakfast) has 160 rooms with with spiffy rooms and suites, cool
efficient service, specially curated restaurants, a café and chic equestrian
private dining, cultural experiences themed bar. City specialists called
and relaxing spa treatment for guests. Navigators offer guests exclusive
Overlooking the Bangalore Golf local experiences across the city. In
Course, ITC Windsor (Tel: 22269898; Whitefield, the Bengaluru Marriott
Tariff: 12,000-2,00,000 +breakfast) Hotel (Tel: 49435000; Tariff: 8,700-
boasts grand architecture, period 18,000 +breakfast) offers luxe
furniture, art and an unmistakable amenities and facilities in its 391
colonial air. Choose from 240 rooms, plush rooms, ideal for business and
sip sundowners at Dublin the bar or leisure travellers. St Mark’s Hotel
indulge in a gastronomic journey at (Cell: 08040019000; Tariff: 7,495 +
its award-winning restaurants. breakfast) is a 4-star hotel in the
Sheraton Grand Bangalore (Tel: heart of Bangalore with around 96
42521000; 10,500-69,500 +breakfast) rooms, a restaurant, bar, and a
at Brigade Gateway near the World rooftop event space.
Trade Centre and Orion Mall, is at The Park Bangalore (Cell:
walking distance from ISKCON 08025594666; Tariff: 6,000-11,000
Temple. It has 230 rooms and a host +breakfast) is one of the earliest
of dining options. modern luxury boutique hotels here A big cat beats the heat in a rock pool at the Bannerghatta National Park
Renaissance Bengaluru Race and has 109 rooms, gym and Aura
Course Hotel (Tel: 08046855555 spa and the award-winning Italia for AROUNDS Bannerghatta National Park
Tariff: 8950) is a classy hotel by Italian fare. The Elanza Hotel (Tel: (22km)
66604545; Tariff: 5,500-6,600) is on Begur (13km) Spread over 104 sq km, the park is
A tastefully decorated restaurant Richmond Road and offers 43 rooms Once an important town under the home to several endangered species.
with breakfast. Goldfinch Hotel (Tel Gangas and the Cholas, Begur is a Bannerghatta Biological Park, a small
080-41291300, 8904036489 Tariff: Bengaluru suburb off the Hosur area in the northern part of the
4500) just off Race Course Road is highway near Electronic City. Begur National Park, houses a 7.5-acre
the flagship hotel of a boutique is significant because it has a butterfly park, reptile park, aviary
chain with over 50 rooms and a few 1,100-year-old inscription, the oldest and zoo where visitors can get close
popular restaurants Banjara, Kabab existing reference to a place called to animals like elephants, leopards,
Studio and Sanadige, legendary for ‘Bengaluru’, referring to a war. Besides primates, hippopotamus, zebras,
seafood and coastal fare. The Capitol a thousand-year-old circular fort wild boar, sloth bears, reptiles and
(Tel: 2228123; Tariff: 4,000-12,000) (only the gateway and portions of birds. There are two rescue centres
on Raj Bhavan Road has over 140 walls remain) and a lake, Begur has for lions and tigers, a small play area
rooms, a restaurant, bar and pool the stunning temple complex of for children, a café and an area
and other services. There are budget Panchaligeshwara with the where elephant rides are organised.
hotels in the Majestic area around Nageshwar, Kamateshwar, You require permission to venture
the main bus and railway stations. Nagareshwara, Choleshwar, and into the National Park, unless you’re
Kameshwar Swamy shrines located staying at JLR’s Bannerghatta Nature
For more, see Accommodation Listings in the town centre. Camp located within the herbivore
on page 431-432 uTimings 7am-12 noon, 4.30-7pm section. Overnight visitors can

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prashant panjiar
explore several trekking trails like the Empire, it was enlarged by the Dewan
1.5 km hike to Mirza Hill or the 3.5 of Mysore, Seshadri Iyer, thus
km trail to Uddigebande. allowing Bengaluru access to tap
u Safaris Jeep safari `3,500-3,500 water — back then, the water was
(zoo+safari+butterfly park+camera; brown and used to be jocularly called
AC bus safari Adult `500, Child `300; ‘Seshadri coffee’. While in
Non-AC bus safari (zoo+safari) Adult Hesaraghatta, visit Nrityagram, the
`280, Child `140, Foreigners `400 famous dance village set up by the
Timings 9.30am-­5pm, Safari late Odissi danseuse Protima Bedi.
10am-4.30pm (Tue closed) Camera
Still `25, Video `200 Boating `60 pp Big Banyan Tree (27km)
(30 mins) Timings 10am-4.30pm Nestling next to the sleepy little
Contact Tel: 080-29776466; village of Ramohalli is one of nature’s
W bannerghattabiologicalpark.org marvellous wonders. The dodda alada
Hesaraghatta (25km) mara (literally ‘big banyan tree’ in
Famed for the tranquil 1,600-acre Kannada) is believed to be nearly 400
lake and manmade reservoir, years old and its branches and roots
Hesaraghatta is also one of the few are spread across 3-4 acres.
surviving grassland ecosystems A class in progress at the Nrityagram dance gurukul at Hessaraghatta
around Bengaluru, supporting several Devanahalli (35km)
species of wintering migrant birds. Originally called Devanadoddi, tank. Ever since the movie was shot, Channapatna (61km)
Originally created by Emperor Devanahalli, the site of Bengaluru’s the hillock became known as Sholay Channapatna is synonymous with
Achyutha Raya of the Vijayanagara international airport, is also famous Gudda. Ramadevarabetta can be its trademark lacquerware toys that
as the birthplace of Tipu Sultan. The reached via a turnoff just before have given this place international
Entrance to the Channapatna Temple original mud fort was built in 1501 Ramanagaram town. recognition and acclaim. The
by local chieftain Malla Byre Gowda industry came up during the rule of
of Avathi, reconstructed in stone in Janapada Loka (52km) Tipu Sultan, who encouraged this
late 18th century by Hyder Ali. Inside Right next to Kamat Lokaruchi, the craft. Kanva Dam, 13km from
the fort are houses of Tipu Sultan, dramatic folk motif on the gate in Channapatna, offers a stunning view
Hyder Ali, and Dewan Purnaiah, a brass relief, flanked by instruments of the local scenery, and is a favourite
high-ranking official. About 150m announces Janapada Loka, a 15-acre with birdwatchers.
southwest of the fort, in an orchard complex set up by late bureaucrat
called Khas Bagh, is a memorial and folklorist HL Nage Gowda, who Shivaganga (58km)
marking Tipu’s birth in 1751. also donated his vast personal As one drives along the Bengaluru-
collection of folk artefacts. The Tumkur Road, the Shivaganga hill
Ramanagram (47km) museum has a stunning collection, rises nearly 1,400m above the plains.
Dotted by dramatic rocky hills and including a variety of agricultural, When viewed from a distance, the
mountains, Ramanagaram served as hunting and fishing implements, outline of the hill resembles the
the backdrop for the Bollywood weapons, household gadgets, figure of Nandi on the east, Ganesha
blockbuster Sholay. The pivotal point traditional masks, dolls and shadow from the west, a cobra from the
is Ramadevarabetta, a hillock outside puppets. By far the most impressive north, and a Shiva linga from the
the town, with about 350 steps exhibit is an exquisitely carved south. This is a well-known
leading to a Ram shrine and temple temple chariot. pilgrimage centre. Nearly 300 rough-

92 Karnataka Karnataka 93
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prashant panjiar
Kolar (65km) birds as ‘daughters of the village’.
The first capital of the Ganga dynasty, With the help of the NGO Mysore
Kolar has a rich history. Until not too Amateur Naturalists, a pen has been
long ago, almost all the gold in India constructed to care for fledglings
came from here. Its mines, located at falling from their nests. In turn, the
an astonishing 10,000ft, were the bird droppings are a rich source of
deepest active mines in the world. fertiliser for the villagers. When
The town’s main attraction is its visiting, don’t approach the birds, or
temples. The presiding deity of Kolar try to attract their attention.
is the eight-armed goddess Durga,
worshipped as Kolaramma. Such is Galibore Nature Camp (100km)
the goddess’s power that her idol is At Galibore near Sangam, stay in
not placed in the direct gaze of the tented cottages, have your meals at
devotee but in a corner of the the Gol Ghar, and experience nature
sanctum; visitors are allowed a at its best. Visit Bheemeshwari
Windy climes at Nandi Hills, which has the famous Yoga Nandishwara Temple glimpse of her reflection in a mirror. Adventure and Nature Camp at
The pit near the sub-shrine is believed Muthathi 14km away for a day of
hewn stone steps lead to the summit, at 1,500m, it is quite cold even to be the habitat of scorpions. adventure. There’s no overnight stay
with small temples on the way. during peak summer months and Overlooking this pit is the image of here, but the `2,950pp rate includes
chilly in the winter months. The Kapala Bhairavi, the goddess of forest entry charges, lunch and
Savanadurga (60km) invigorating weather, coupled with scorpions. It is said that, every year evening tea/coffee.
A massive rocky hill jutting out of numerous trails, makes the place on the fifth lunar day of the fortnight u Contact Tel: 080-40554055, Cell:
thick forests, Savanadurga towers popular with hikers, bikers and of Vishaka, a scorpion emerges from 09449599768/ 09449597885, e-mail:
1,207m with a circumference of others. Tipu Sultan is believed to the pit and stays near the deity info@junglelodges.com
14km at the base. The ruined hill fort have visited this cool and peaceful before disappearing.
was the seat of the Magadi rulers and retreat often between battles and Mekedatu (110km)
later Tipu Sultan’s retreat. The earliest strengthened the fort from these Kokkarebellur (87km) Literally ‘goat’s leap’, Mekedatu is a
record of Savanadurga is from hills. Nandi Hills has a number of A nondescript village with no source scenic spot where the Kaveri river
1340CE by Hoysala ruler Ballala III, popular attractions like Tipu’s Drop, of fish for the birds to nest and mate, gushes through a deep and narrow
when it was called Savandi. Though a 600m cliff where, according to Kokkarebellur has been the chosen gorge that’s barely 10m at its widest
the summit seems contiguous, it legend, Tipu Sultan ordered haunt for spot-billed pelicans and point. The name is derived from an
consists of two peaks: Karigudda condemned prisoners to be flung off painted storks for years. The winged incident where a local villager saw a
(black peak) and Biligudda (white the precipice. Ironically, it is also the visitors (kokkare means ‘stork’) come goat leap across the gorge to escape a
peak). Although there are no steps to best vantage point one can be at to from as far as Europe, Siberia, and tiger. The rocks are slippery and it’s
climb, the local authorities have marvel at glorious sunsets on clear Australia and stay for 7-8 months a unsafe to swim — many have not
devised a clever route, marked with days. The famous Yoga Nandishwara year, with The villagers treat the been as fortunate as the goat! ■
white arrows. Despite this, the climb Temple, which gives the hills their
is still considered treacherous. name, is dedicated to Shiva and is
believd to have been built by the
Nandi Hills (61km) Cholas a long time ago. u Entry fee
#Awesomekarnataka
Rising dramatically and terrifyingly `20 Timings 6am-6pm Parking Car
steep in places, Nandi Hills is both `150, Bike `30 Nandi Hills Tel:
magical and awe-inspiring. Perched 09448636496 (Special Officer)

94 Karnataka Karnataka 95
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Turn left to commune with a abode. Within, lies the lord on the
beautiful river, whose melodious back of a snake, dark as the night sky
movement you will carry in your with a benevolent smile. A visit to
heart for a long time to come. his temple makes a refreshing change
from the usual sobriety of prayer.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO The Lakha Dweepotsava, when
one lakh lamps are lit during Makar
Srirangapatna is set within and
around the ruins of Tipu Sultan’s
fort, which encompasses most of
what lies on the north bank. The
fort, built during the Vijayanagara
era, strengthened by the Wodeyars
and then taken over by general
Hyder Ali and his son Tipu, is
considered to be the second-strongest
in India. It cannot be viewed as a
Photographs by prashant panjiar single entity; rather your interaction
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple with it is a constant as you roam Wellesley Bridge over the Cauvery River
between the sights, passing through
SRIRANGAPATNA its Bengaluru, Mysuru, Delhi, Water,
and Elephant gates. Every so often,
THE BECKONING ISLE its walls will rear up in picturesque
locales perfect for a photo-op, like
■ NANDINI SRINIVASAN Empire’. The lanes between the near the aged Wellesley Bridge.
turfed outline of the Srirangapatna fast facts

M
any tales of valour and Fort bear touching memo­rials to the Jama Masjid When to go Srirangapatna is pleasant
glory are tucked into the life of this unique king. As you enter the town, the minarets all through the year, but November to
folds of the unassuming But if you’re not too keen on of the mosque beckon you. This April is the coolest season
island town of Srirangapatna, former going ‘historical’ on a weekend and simple, graceful structure was built Tourist Offices
capital of Mysuru. Maybe it’s due to need other diversions, Srirangapatna in 1787 by Tipu. The prayer hall has ● Office of the Deputy Director

the guile of the beautiful Cauvery won’t let you down. The drive itself, a row of cusped arches and a ceiling Department of Tourism
river that you tend to lap up every past the golden rocks on which the carved with grape­vine designs. PES Engineering College Road
anecdote the guide narrates. You blockbuster Hindi film Sholay was Mandya
tend to believe that the legendary shot several decades ago and through Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Tel: 08232-238377 (DD Office)
sword of Tipu Sultan, housed within the paddy fields of Mandya, is The presiding deity of the holy isle of Cell: 09481155975 (DTC)
the State Treasury, is sacred and no rewarding in itself. Srirangapatna elicits a very different STD code 08232
one dare touch it. It’s not too difficult to find your response from his devotees. There’s ● KSTDC Information Office
If stones could speak, probably way around Srirangapatna. Cross something about the expression on Hotel Mayura Riverview Srirangapatna
every tiny pebble on the banks of the river to enter the town, then Sri Ranganathaswamy’s face that’s Mysuru Road
the Cauvery would make the English turn right for the abode of Lord very human. A long walk through Mandya
go red with reminiscences of Tipu ’s Ranganatha­swamy and the legend his dark, many-pillared temple leads Cell: 08970650004
victories over the ‘Unconquerable of Tipu Sultan. you past his divine peers and to his

96 Karnataka Karnataka 97
south Karnataka SRIRANGAPATNA

anurag mallick
Sakranti on January 14/15, is a sight The Obelisk
to behold. Outside the temple, an About 200m down from the dungeon
ancient chariot awaits your is a monument that marks the place
inspection, as do a dozen stalls where Tipu Sultan died, while trying
selling kitschy keepsakes. Pick up to prevent a British soldier from
sets of Tipu Sultan postcards: Tipu pulling out his legendary sword from
beheading Britishers, Tipu killing a its scabbard. It is said his body lay
tiger with his bare hands, etc. there for two days before the locals
◆ Timings 7am-1.30pm, 4pm-8.30pm noticed and recognised it. A com­
Puja timings 7.30am-9.30am, mem­orative obelisk, housed within a
6pm-6.45pm small enclosure into which you may
not enter, marks the very spot where
Captain Bailey’s Dungeon Tipu fell dead. You may take a photo
A little further up the temple towards through the railings.
the right is the place the British
dreaded the most. On an elevated Dariya Daulat Bagh
platform near the fort wall are the This wooden palace built by Tipu in
dungeons where Tipu’s prisoners of 1784, set amidst manicured lawns,
war were jailed. In the underground looks modest from the outside, and
prison you can see hooks on the for the most part is hidden from Devotees near the holy idol
walls to which the prisoners hands sight by green shades. But the wealth
were chained. In the midst of the of paintings on the walls and the If you’ve carried lunch with you, wall says ‘from this the moon has
chamber, there lies a well-preserved , intricacy of the interiors leave the the palace lawns are an ideal place borrowed its light’ and refers to it as
ancient cannon. visitor enthralled. Also called the to idle around under trees which are the ‘House of Sleep’. Tipu’s favourite
Summer Palace, Tipu used this as an full of great big bumblebee hives tiger stripes cover the walls. At the
View of the Gumbaz, tomb of Tipu Sultan alternative resort to receive visitors and monkeys. The palace is on the Dariya Daulat Bagh, turn left and
and conduct durbars. road to Ganjam and Sangama. continue along the Sangama Road
There is a good collection of ◆Entry fee Indians `25, Foreigners till you reach a fork in the road.
period furniture, coins, fabulous `300 Video camera `25 (in the Here, turn right towards the Gumbaz
paintings, murals and plenty of garden only) Timings 9am-5pm and the Sangama.
historical data of Hyder Ali and note Still cameras not allowed inside ◆ Timings 8am-6pm
Tipu’s conquests in the museum the museum. Video cameras may be
within the palace. used with permission from the Sangama
The painting of Lord Cornwallis Director General, Archaeological The Sangama, 3km south of the
receiving the sons of Tipu Sultan as Survey of India, New Delhi town centre, is where the two
hostages by Robert Home touches branches of the river Cauvery reunite
the chords of your heart. One of the Gumbaz in joyful exuberance. A pilgrim’s
most impressive items on display is ‘Tiger of Mysuru’ Tipu Sultan, his chamber lies in ruins just before the
a world-famous portrait of Tipu by father Hyder Ali, his mother, sons steps that lead down the small ghat
the great German neoclassical and other members of the royal to the water. The tiniest of shrines
painter Johann Zoffany. Probably family lie buried in this splendid marks the spot where the waters
the closest likeness you’ll ever see of monument called Gumbaz. The meet. The river is full of coracles
the great king. inscription in Persian on its western taking pilgrims for a ritual dip.

98 Karnataka Karnataka 99
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Dodda Ghosai Ghat Karighatta


This bathing spot, with a Sri Radha About 1km after the Wellesley
Madhava Temple by the banks, is Bridge back towards Bengaluru, cross
nice enough for a dip in the Cauvery, the bridge over the Lokapavani River
but watch out for the water level. It’s and turn right towards Bannur.
not a good idea to wade too deep Another 3km further, you reach the
into the waters. The temple is run by 450 steps that lead up to the
the Narasingha Chaitanya Mutt and Venkataramana Temple atop
is open to visitors only on Sundays Karighatta hillock. The sweet smell
(6am-6pm). To get there, turn right of jaggery being made in the huts
at the 200-year-old Abbe Dubois nearby permeates the air. The trek up
Church opposite Ganjam on the is worth it for the temple is situated
Sangama Road. in a large compound fringed with
tamarind and gooseberry trees.

WHERE TO EAT

Eat at the resorts, or at the highway


eateries. The latter serve only thalis
getting there and dosas, but are fresh and safe for
Air Nearest airport: Bengaluru kids. A few bakeries in the heart of
International Airport (125km/3 hrs). Taxi town make excellent fresh bread,
to Srirangapatna costs `2,800-5,000; biscuits, chips and cake. The food in
KSRTC Volvo bus fare: `150-300 the resorts isn’t inviting enough, but
Rail Srirangapatna Railway Station is they do have tables laid out near the
connected to cities like Bengaluru, river. Mayura River View is a
Mysuru and Hubballi by trains like restaurant and bar that serves North
Chamrajanagar-Tirupati Express, and South Indian cuisine.
Bengaluru-Chamarajanagar Passenger,
Mysuru-Talguppa Express, WHERE TO STAY
Vishwamanava Express, Chamundi
Express. Rickshaw fare from Railway Srirangapatna offers good options,
Station to Main Town (1km) is `30-40 most by the river. Amblee Holiday
Road Srirangapatna lies on the Resort (Mobile: 09341912221,
Bengaluru (125km/3 hrs)-Mysuru 09845002665; Tariff: `1,500-3,000;
(22km/45 min) Highway. Taxi or bus TE) has a swimming pool and a small
would be the best option from either of boating stretch along the Cauvery,
the two major cities. Bus State and peopled by ducks that surround your
private buses ply regularly from boat. Fishing is part of the package.
Bengaluru; KSRTC/private buses from The Cauvery river flows behind as
Bengaluru (2-3 hrs/ `150-700); from well, pro­viding a soothing view.
Mysuru (1-2 hrs/ `35-60) Hotel Mayura Riverview (Tel:
08236-297114, Cell: 08970650004/

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south Karnataka SRIRANGAPATNA

shutterstock shutterstock
home to marsh crocodiles as well.
◆ Entry fee Adult `50, Child `25,
Foreigners `300 Timings 8.30am-­
5.30pm Vehicle fee Bus `125, Car
`30, Contact Deputy Conservator of
Forests, Wildlife Division, Mysuru;
Tel: 0821-2481159
◆ Location Ranganathittu is 18 km
away from Mysuru Air Mysuru Rail
Mysuru Junction

Pandavapura (10km)
The small town of Pandavapura has
an interesting mythological tale. It is
said the demon Bakasura lived here
and harassed the villagers who sent Amazing rock structures at Thonnur Lake
him a cartful of eatables along with a
person to devour daily. That is why have a couple of scenes shot here, as
In nearby Pandavapura, the Melukote kalyani (pond) is a major attraction the place was originally called ‘Hiri it provides an ideal backdrop for a
Yede’ (yede means food). But the rustic setting. The Cauvery is particu­
99; Tariff: `2,000-5,000) has 25 rooms AROUNDs Pandava brother Bheema killed the larly enticing here.
along the riverbank and a small demon and the place was renamed
playground. The location is magical. Ranganathittu (4km) Pandavapura. The town is also home Kere Thonnur (14km)
At night you are lulled to sleep by About 3km off the Bengaluru-Mysuru to the only temple in India that is Drive to Pandavapura, then take the
the melody of the river that lies a highway lies this hidden gem. Six dedicated to Ahalya, sage Gautama’s immediate left before the town.
stone’s throw away from your room. isolated islets on the river Cauvery wife, Lord Brahma’s daughter. From Continue past the lake till you see a
Balaji Garden Resort (Cell: make up the Ranganathittu Bird Srirangapatna’s Baburayanakoppal small bridge. Take the immediate left
09844892031, 08105996260; Tariff: Sanctuary. The sanctuary has paddy Circle, turn right for Pandavapura. turn. About 2km down the road, a
`700-1,500), on the Mysuru- fields, streams, dense foliage, and board announces Kere Thon­nur. Tall
Bengaluru road, near Paschchima hundreds of migratory birds from as Mysuru (12km) trees along the shores enhance the
Vahini, has 46 rooms, most with far as Siberia and Australia. See page 104 beauty of Thonnur Lake. Sail around
attached bathrooms, and a vegetarian A dam built in the 1700s created the lake in round boats. The temples
restaurant. There is no pool and the islets and made the place fertile Mahadevapura (13km) here date back to the Chola era. Tipu
playground at this hotel. for birds. A tree-lined path leads to Drive 8km further up from Karighatta called this lake Moti Talab. On the
Young Island Resort (Tel: 08236- the river from where you can take to this village, famous for its movie way up, stop and get under the falls
297333, Cell: 098545190925, the 15-minute boat ride around the connections. Many regional movies created by the lake water. ■
09880191272; Tariff: `2,900-4,000), islets. The best time to visit is
with 22 rooms, is located 3km away December to April. The river here
at Paschima Vahini Circle and offers teems with fish. The banks are heavy #Awesomekarnataka
a restaurant and swimming pool. with reed beds, eucalyptus and
acacia. The islands are covered with
For more hotels, see Sriranga­patna Accom­ bamboo, arjun and pandanus trees;
mo­dation Listings on pages 444-445 and flocks of birds. The sanctuary is

102 Karnataka Karnataka 103


south Karnataka MYSURU

time to consolidate itself when the known as Mysore Palace, was built in
British started interfering. Hyder 1912 — a fire had burnt down the
Ali’s son Tipu Sultan bravely took old wooden residence in 1897.
on the challenge until he was killed Designed by Henry Irwin (whose
in the Battle of Mysore in 1799, crowning work the Viceregal Lodge
earning the grudging ad­mi­ration of still lords over Shimla), this pal­ace is
his enemies, who nickn­a­med him dominated by domes, turrets and
the ‘Tiger of Mysore’. col­onnades. Beautifully restored and
The Wodeyars returned to rule maintained, the palace is a treasure
Mysuru, sub­ject to the British writ. trove of art anti­ques and rare collect­
Once again, Mysuru revived its links ibles. In the Marriage Pavil­ion (open
to art and lear­n­ing. It’s a tradition to the public only du­ring Das­ara)
that lives on till today, like the die- you can see the cha­ndelie­rs, cast-
hard fans of RK Narayan’s Tales from iron pil­­­l­ars from Gla­s­gow and a Be­l­­
Ma­l­g­udi who’ll swear they can gian gla­ss-decorated ceiling. This is
recognise its lan­dmarks everywhere. also where the jewel-studded
It’s a city that harks back to a past 14th-century Golden Thro­ne is
when the finer things in life still placed. It is believed that under all
saibal das
mattered. It’s a place where time is that decoration it is suposed to be
Splendour of Mysuru’s Dasara Procession measured in seasons and not made of fig wood.
seconds, and where a horse-drawn
tonga still continues to run alongside
MYSURU an autorickshaw.

The city beautiful Things to see and do


fast facts
■ Archana Rai Bengaluru embraced science and Mysuru’s glorious past does not just
strode ahead into the emerging live on in its ro­yal edifices, churches, When to go All year round

T
o veer off State Highway 17 world of techno­logy, Mysuru or museums with rich collections. Tourist offices
and pass th­r­­o­­­ugh the arched remained enmeshed in a time-warp It’s pa­­l­pable in the unhurried yet ● Office of the Deputy Director
gate to Mysuru city is a of old-world royalty. often grand lifestyle of its people, Department of Tourism
symbolic act. One leaves behind the The Wodeyars made Mysuru and its literature and perfor­ming Mysuru Division, Hotel Mayura,
frenetic bustle and the determined grand and irresistible, particularly arts. Cap the city experience with a Hoysala Complex, JLB Road,
post-modernist throb of Bengaluru, so under the rule of Chi­kka Devaraja Mysorean sunset. “Even today I Mysuru
Mysuru’s eastern neighbour and, in Wodeyar (1673-1704). He promoted would assert, after having visited Tel: 0821-2422096 (DD Office)
many ways, the gracious old city’s art and literature, besides instituting many parts of the world, that Cell: 09620270688 (DTC)
upstart sibling. large-scale admi­ni­strative refor­ms. nowhere can you witness such W karnatakatourism.org
Until 1973, when Mysore State By the late 18th century, however, masterpiece sunsets as in Mysore…” ● KSTDC Transport Wing
was re­named Karnataka, it was the their sway over Mysuru wea­k­ened wrote RK Narayan in My Days. Yatri Niwas Building, JLB Road
spirit of Mysuru that imbued the when their gene­ral, Hyder Ali, Tel: 2423652
cultural and social life of the region. rebelled to establish a capital in the The palaces Cell: 08970656400 (7am-9pm)
To be a cultivated person was to be nea­rb
­ y Srirangapatna. The yo­ung Home to the Wodeyars, the Indo- STD code 0821
Mysorean. But through the 70s, as Muslim kingdom barely had the Saracenic Amba Vilas Palace, also

104 Karnataka Karnataka 105


south Karnataka MYSURU

prashant panjiar
◆ Entry fee Adult `70, Child `30, Tanjore and Mysuru gold leaf
children below 10 yrs free Timings paintings also form a part of the
10am-5.30pm, open all days delectable collection.
Next to the palace is the Mah­a­ ◆Entry fee Under revision Timings
raja’s Residence, now a museum 10am-5pm, open all days
with a good collection of art and Located 5km from Amba Vilas
artefacts. Nor­mally lit on Sundays Pal­ace, within the sprawling campus
and public holidays, the grand of the University of Mysore, lies the
structure is a treat, especially du­r­­ing beautiful Jay­a­lakshmi Vilas Palace
Dasara when every eve­ning its entire built in 1905. It houses one of
panoply of 97,000 bulbs shine bright Mysuru’s best landmarks the Folklore
and illuminate everything around. Museum. With over 6,500 articles
◆ Entry fee Adult `70, Child `30 on display, this museum is one of the
Timings 10am-5.30pm, open all biggest of its kind in Asia.
days Cameras Not allowed ◆ Entry fee Adult `15, Child `5
The Jagan Mohan Palace houses Timings 10am-1.15pm, 2.30pm­-
the Sri Jayachamarajendra Art 5pm, closed on Sundays and public
Gallery with its collection of Raja holidays Cameras Not allowed
Ravi Varma and Nic­ho ­ las Roerich The second largest palace in the
paintings. Ancient musical city, the Lalitha Mahal, is a The Gothic spires of St Philomena’s Church
instruments, ivory, sculptures and spectacular white sto­ne building,
situated at the foot of the Cha­mundi St Philomena’s Church statue of the demon Mahisha­sura,
Interiors of Jaghan Mohan Palace Hills. Built in 1913 by Krish­na­­raja Mysuru’s only British edifice, on who was slain by the goddess. Nearby
Wodeyar IV, it served as a palace for Ashoka Road, no­rth of the Amba is the monolithic Nandi.
guests. The tradition of hospitality Vilas Pal­ace, is this Gothic church ◆ Entry Ordinary darshan free, special
co­nt­ i­nues with ITDC now running it built in 1931. It’s an imp­o­sing darshan `100 Timings 6am-2pm,
as a 5-star hotel. structure with imp­ressive stained- 3.30pm-6pm and 7.30pm-9pm; its
Atop Chamundi Hills lies the glass windows and twin spires that open on all days
abandoned royal retreat of Rajendra stretch 175ft into the sky.
Vilas. Its main draw is its spectacular ◆Entry Free Timings 6am-7pm, open Other Sights
view of Mysuru. all days Cameras Not allowed Over 60,000 palm-leaf manuscripts
in San­skrit and South Ind­ian
Rail Museum Chamundeshwari Temple languages are housed in the Oriental
Located behind the railway station, Perched atop the Cha­mundi Hills, at Re­s­ea
­ rch Insti­tu­te. Located behind
this little known but impressive a height of 1,000ft on the eastern Maha­raja’s College, its prized
museum has locomotive coaches, edge of Mysuru, sits the 11th-century possessions incl­u­des Prof R Sha­ma
paintings and photographs, narrating Cham­u nd­e shwari Temple, Sastry’s tran­slation of Kautilya’s
the ‘Rail Story’. The prize exhibit is dedicated to god­dess Durga, the Artha­shastra. It’s one of Mysuru’s
the Maharaja’s Saloon, crafted for family deity of the Wodeyars. You many glorious treasures.
the Wodeyar rulers in 1899. can either climb the 1,000 steps to ◆ Entry Free Timings 10am-5.30pm,
◆Entry Adult `30, Child `15 Timings the temple or drive up the winding closed Sundays/ Second Saturdays
10am-1pm, 3pm-5pm, Mondays ghat roads. As you approach the To experience Mysuru at its best,
closed Cameras Free temple, you can see the towering simply walk. The 150-acre Karanji
saibal das

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Debanjan Bose
Kere (next to the zoo) is refreshing. It also features vignettes from the
Skirting the Manasagangotri Campus TV series Malgudi Days, directed by
is Kukkarn­ahalli Kere, renowned the late Shankar Nag, which made
writer RK Narayan’s muse. Narayan a household name across
India. Time to return to old
RK Narayan House favourites like Swami and Friends,
For those readers who loved the Waiting for the Mahatma...etc.
iconic Malgudi Days, a walk around
its vastly popular author RK Melody Wax Museum
Narayan’s House in Yadvagiri can This heritage building, less than 3
be a thrill, because this is where he km away from Mysore Palace houses
wrote his now classic stories. life-size wax statues dressed in
The house has been restored with traditional attire along with a wide
the help of the Mysuru City range of musical instruments, said
Corporation and has been to be the largest collection in
transformed into a museum now, Karnataka. The museum was created
featuring the books that Narayan in honour of musicians from across
wrote, the desk and chair he used, the world, comprising 19 galleries
his clothes, the Padma Bhushan and each with a different display of
the Padma Vibhushan bestowed music and art. Entry Rs 30 Timings RK Narayan House, where he wrote many of his hugely popular stories
upon him — along with photographs 9.30 am - 7.00 pm
documenting his life. on the Western Ghats), or the anywhere in the country —
Regional Museum of Natural ecological inter­relationship among everything from the Postal Training
Mahishasura statue at Chamundi Hills History (RMNH) plants and animals with emphasis Institute to something important
A visit to the RMNH in Mysuru can on conservation of nature and sounding in linguistics. What this
be a pretty enlightening experience natural resources, and much more. means, essentially, is that largish
as it is highly learning-oriented. swathes of land are left free for a wild
Opened in May 1995, the museum, Mysore Zoo growth of trees and other flora,
which nestles by the Karanji Lake One of the oldest zoos in India, the managed with adorably varied
with the Chamundi Hills as Mysore Zoo provides shelter to a degrees of dedication, around low-
backdrop, is a popular stopover for wide range of flora and fauna. It has slung, slanted-roof homesteads. So,
the throngs of visitors who pass spacious enclosures both for the walk by on a nippy day with the
through this historic city with its animals. Also in abundance to be promise of rain, and the green
palaces and historic and globally found here are various rare species of somehow seems greener against the
renowned Dasara celebrations. plants and trees. Over 2 million pall of grey skies.
Browse at leisure amongst the tourists visit the zoo annually.
models, translites, AV aids, dioramas, Shopping
thematic, interactive and Walkabouts
participatory exhibits, which focus Steeped in southern gentility, Mysuru For shopaholics, Mysuru’s well-
on the natural world in all its simply lends itself to fine walks. The planned markets can be a treat. Walk
intriguing diversity, be it the floral, city-town is a diffidently colonial into the Devaraj Urs Market —
faunal and geological wealth of throwback with possibly the highest named after a notable former chief
South India (with special emphasis per capita institutional presence minister of Karnataka — off Sayyaji
anurag mallick

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saibal das
Rao Road. This market is a delightful What to eat
medley of colours and smells. You
will, among many other things, find Taking a tiffin break in Mysuru is the
Mysuru’s very own special fragrant most delicious thing to do. The city
jasmine and the tangy betel leaf. offers terrific ‘set’ dosas (fluffy, soft
Also, on Sayyaji Rao Road is the pancakes made of beaten rice, served
government-run Cauvery Arts in sets of three), masala dosas, uppittu,
Emporium, known for its genuine rava idli and Mysuru rasam. Tasty
sandalwood and ivory inlay work. If savouries like churmuris and pea­nut
you are looking for antiques, check masala also entice. But the most
out Nayanotsav, near the zoo. outstanding feature of the city is the
Drop by at the Government Silk web of bakeries set up by Mys­uru’s
Weaving Factory on Mananthavady Vaishnavite community, the Iyengars.
Road, where you can watch the Try out the veg bun cakes and nipattus
famous Mysuru silk saris being at the Iyengar Bakeries on Devaraj
woven. The factory also houses a Urs Road and the nearby Sayyaji Rao
retail outlet, besides one on KR Road. The sublime Mysuru rasam is
Circle. To buy their soap, contact arrived at by adding a freshly ground
their Bengaluru head office. masala of coriander seeds, dry red
chilli and desiccated coconut. The
Grand Mysore Palace
Yummy Mysore pak and dosa delight crisp Mysore dosa is lashed on the The focal point of the city’s meticulous trousseau and much more. Ornate as the
inside with a light spread of a tangy planning, the city’s signature and the home palace is in its royal purple garb, when it’s
coconut and red chilli paste. And of the Wodeyars was designed by the illuminated you have to be there to believe
how can anyone forget the Mysore English architect Henry Irwin. Built on the how it feels to see it when 97,000 electric
pak — if ever there was a simple recipe ashes of the old wooden palace (gutted in a bulbs light up at once.
that called for the greatest expertise, it fire during the February 1897 marriage of Visitors are required to explore the
had to be the sweetmeat that Mysuru Princess Jayalakshamanni) between 1897 palace interiors barefoot; shoes and
made famous. The perfect pak will and 1912, this palace (also known as Amba sandals are removed just before entering
melt in your mouth even before you Vilas Palace) exudes a grandeur that is the palace. These can be secured (free of
can say Mysuru. quite unmatched. charge) at the stand located by the
The restaurant at Hotel The Durbar Hall with its ornate and entrance gate. You must leave your camera
Dasaprakash is recommended for sculpted pillars, the Kalyana Mantapa, the here as well (fee `5) as no photography is
excellent South Ind­ian thalis. Mylari jewel-encrusted Golden Throne (displayed permitted inside.
Hotel has a melt-in-the-mouth sagu only during the Dasara celebrations; see ◆ Palace entry fee Adult `70, Child `30,
dosa and some superb filter coffee. page 119) and the Golden Howdah Children below 10 yrs free, Student groups
Bombay Tiffany’s high teas are (elephant seat) are some of the other get a discount Timings 10am-5pm
exceptionally great. The Nalpak treasures of the palace. The walled palace Illumination timings During the 10 days
restaurants in Ittigegudu, complex also houses several temples and of Dasara, 7pm-9pm; General/ national
Kuvempunagar, and VV Mohalla are shrines and the Residential Museum, run holidays and Sundays, 7pm-8pm
the best places to head for scumptous by Srikantadutta Wodeyar, the scion of the ◆ Resi­dential Museum entry fee Per
delicacies like akki and ragi roti, and erstwhile Mysuru royals. The museum person `40 Timings 10am-5pm Contact
the very spicy bisi-bele-huli-anna main­tains a royal collection of silverware, Deputy Director, Mysore Palace, Tel: 0821-
(hot-lentil-tamarind-rice). chandeliers and furniture, crystal, royal 2421051, 2434425
Photographs: shutterstock

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Courtesy southern star

Where to stay The advantage of location goes


to The Viceroy (Tel: 0821-2428001;
A laid-back stopover city en route Tariff: `1,700-6,900), which faces
the Kodagu, Wayanad, and the the Mysore Palace. At the upper end
Nilgiris, Mysuru has plenty of hotels of the scale is the Hotel Southern
to choose from. Book in advance. Star Mysuru (Tel: 2426426, 2427427;
Cell 09448067750; Tariff: `6,000-
12,000). Karnataka Tourism’s
Mayura Hoysala (Tel: 2426160;
Tariff: `1,100-2,300; TE; dorm
`3,200-4,000; TE) is a good option
but book well in advance. Kings
getting there Kourt Hotel (Tel: 2421142; Tariff:
Air Mysuru Airport is connected only to `3,500-5,500; TE) is nearby.
Chennai International Airport by Trujet, The friendly, tidy and wi-fi-
and Chennai is connected to all metros enabled Mauve Orchid (Tel:
and major cities in India and several 4191965; Tariff: `2,000; TE), a B&B
destinations in Asia and Europe. set in a century-old property, is
However, Kempegowda International tucked quietly behind a department Hotel Southern Star Mysuru is among the upscale properties in the city
Airport in Bengaluru (175km/ 31/2 hrs) is store and health club in a central
connected to all metros and major cities location. Of the 12 quaint, spacious Mysore (Tel: 6633333; Tariff: `2,399; hotel that successfully aspires to a
in India and most destina­tions in Asia ‘heritage’ rooms on the ground TE) in Nazarabad are other good qualitatively professional standard.
and Europe. Taxi from Bengaluru costs floor, two are air-conditioned. budget options. Windflower Resort The immaculate rooms and suites,
`9-20 per km to Mysuru There are also four contemporarily (Tel: 2522500; Website: all of them air-conditioned, are
Rail Over a dozen daily connections, furnished ‘apartment rooms’ with thewindflower.com; Tariff: `7,970- done up in sober beiges and browns.
including the fast Shatabdi, Rajyarani, glass-cubicle showers and balconies 25,240) fills the vacuum in The bathrooms aren’t dinky either.
and Tippu expresses run between on the first floor, often offered as contemporary luxury at Mysuru — They have two restaurants and a
Bengaluru and Mysuru Junction. Mysuru pairs with a common living area for it’s popular for its tranquil yet easily buffet breakfast on the house.
Express is a very convenient connection even big families. accessible location, understated
with Chennai. Yeshwantpur Express is a Closer to the city centre, the aesthetics, spacious rooms, friendly On the Outskirts
good connection with Mangaluru business traveller’s choice would be service, good food and spa, although Such a legendary address is the
Road From Bengaluru, SH17 via the compact and efficient Hotel MB the lone restaurant gets overcrowded public sector ‘Ashok Elite’ Lalitha
Mandya and Srirangapatna is the most International Palace Side (Cell: on weekends and in high season, Mahal Palace (Tel: 2526100,
used route, a comfortable drive down a 09739786223; Tariff: `2,000-4,000), while the pool gets mixed reviews. 2470222; Tariff: `4,000-35,000; TE)
well-serviced road all the way to Mysuru. near the bus stand and part of the All rooms offer views of a waterbody that its website gives its location as
Alternately, take NH209 till Malavalli and hotel chain with properties spread at the centre of the property and ‘Mysuru 570028’; we’re assured
then turn right to Mysuru via Bannur. across Karnataka. come with private balconies. post gets delivered that way. The
Bus KSRTC has Rajahamsa (`196-220), In a similar price band is Hotel Neither particularly central nor palace, built in 1921 by the city’s
Airavat (`294), Airavat Club Class (`326- Siddhartha (Tel: 2522999/ 888; off the map, Jade Garden (Tel: ruling Wodeyars, once hosted the
331), Karnataka Sarige (`129-136), Non- Tariff: `2,340-5,400; TE). Hotel 4008222; W jadegarden.in; Tariff: viceroy in the 2,000 sq ft suite that
AC Sleeper (`242) buses from Dasa­p rakash Paradise (Tel: `3,540-4,800) sits pretty on a wide now bears his name. There’s an
Bengaluru’s Satellite Bus Station 2410366, 4008400; Tariff: `1,500- but quiet side street near the bustling indefinable charm about this
5,500; TE) in Yadavagiri and Ginger Law Courts. This is a mid-range extravagant property. Yet its

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alamy images / india picture


cheapest rooms (best rates are water, vegan food and awesome
available online) are astonishingly Continental breakfasts on
affordable. Lalitha Mahal Palace is weekends. There are four rooms
superbly located at the foot of (three are big, one is a bit smaller).
Chamundi Hills. Opposite is the On the Mysuru-Nanjangud Road
serene Indus Valley Ayurvedic is The Village Resort (Tel: 2481310/
Centre (Tel: 2473437; Tariff: 766; Tariff: `6,500-12,000; TE; 2km
`18,072-37,190 inclusive of meals, from the city centre). Grand Maurya
Mysuru Pickup/ drop, consultation Resort (Cell 09902429378; Tariff:
with doctor, Ayurvedic treatments, `3,500-4,000; TE) is on the Mysuru-
yoga session), offering treatments Hunsur Road in Hinkal.
and Ayurvedic vege­tar­ian cui­sine. Top of the list in a city known for
Pitched for the yoga scene here, its palaces is Green Hotel (Tel:
Anokhi Garden (Cell: 08861600781; 4255000-02; Tariff: `2,440-6,797),
W anokhigarden.in; Tariff: `1,500- near the university campus west of
2,000) is a longish way off from the the city centre. Formerly the
centre of town. The charming Chittaranjan Palace, its USP is
guesthouse, run by Frenchwomen environmentally sustainable
Marie and Flora, offers solar-heated tourism. On Sundays, it runs a green The stunning, soothing interiors of Lalitha Mahal Palace hotel
bazaar. Between 7am and 10am, one
Intricate idol at Somnathapur Temple can pick up organically grown rice, ◆ Entry fee Adult `20, Child `10 occasions of the temple, an emerald
honey, fruits and vegetables from all Timings 6.30am-9pm, open all days necklace given by Hyder Ali is placed
over Kodagu (Coorg). Cameras Not allowed around the lingam.

For more details, see Mysuru Accomm­ Karighatta (20km) Somnathpur (35km)
o­dation Listings on pages 442-443 Just outside of Mysuru to its north, is Somnathpur, set on the banks of the
Karighatta, a place that resonates Cauvery, is known for its historic
AROUNDs with Puranic lore. On the hillock temples. This region was ruled by
here is the Lord Srinivasa Temple, several eminent dynasties, beginning
Srirangapatna (12km) believed to have been built by the with the Gangas in the 5th century,
See page 96 sage Bhrigu. The temple is surrounded followed by the Cholas, the Hoysalas,
by tall slender grass known as dharbe, and the feudatories of the
Brindavan Gardens (18km) said to have grown from the skin Vijayanagara Empire right up to the
Mysuru’s piece de resistance, Brindavan shed by Lord Vishnu in his Varaha 17th century. While historical records
Gardens, is to the north-west of the (boar) avatar. may sometimes falter, the region is
city, at the foot of the Krishna Raja rich in legend.
Sagar Dam. Arrayed below the dam Nanjangud (22km) The Keshava Temple at
is the terraced and well-tended This beautiful and grand 11th-century Somnathpur, 30km from Talakad,
garden landscaped with fountains Shiva temple is on the banks of the stands in a square of modest houses.
— one of them actually dances to river Kabini, to the south-west of The Hoysalas were known for their
music (Timings 6.30pm-7.30pm). Mysuru. Devotees throng here for temple-building and are credited
It’s great for a pleasant evening but the healing powers of Shiva as Lord with exten­ding the Chalukyan style
tends to be cro­w­ded on weekends. Nanjundeswara. On special of temple architecture, and
anurag mallick

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anurag mallick
combining the Dravidian and Indo- Mysuru tried to force the widow of
Aryan styles. An inscription inside the local chieftain, Alamelamma, to
the gateway says that this temple part with her jewels, she condemned
was built in 1268 by Somanatha the city to a dirge of sand (and the
Dandanayaka, a Hoysala general, in Wodeyars to infertility) before
the reign of Narasimha III. jumping into the Cauvery. And so it
came to be. The Archaeological
Melkote (40km) Survey of India has, over the years,
North of Mysuru is Melkote, the excavated many temples from the
spiritual centre of the Sri Vaishnavite sand, though several are supposedly
Iyengars. The saint-philosopher still buried to this day.
Ramanu­jacharya is believed to have Talakad is known for the
lived here for 14 years. The panchalinga temples, or the five
Cheluvarayaswami Temple has a lingas, said to be born of Shiva
coll­­­ection of rare jewels, used to himself. Shiva as self-healer and
dress the deity, Vaira­­­mudi, during naturopath, Vaidyanatheswara,
the temple festival. presides in the Vaidyanatheswara
Temple, a granite structure topped
Talakad (48km) with a tower of mortar. A tiered Entrance to the Talakadu Vaidyanatheshwara temple
The capital of the Gangas, prized by dhwaja-stambha or flagpole stands
the Hoysalas, Talakad became buried in the courtyard. The walls of the a sand bank to get to the Pathaleswara panther. Herds of elephants have
under sand in the course of its temple have large sculptured panels and Maruleswara temples, which been known to venture as near as
history. When the Wodeyar ruler of of Shiva in his many avatars. Climb have just the cells containing the the village outskirts in these regions.
linga, without the grand As a possible day trip from
View of the Melkote Yoganarasimha Temple from the summit superstructure, reputedly the oldest Bengaluru, this is the place for an
of the temples in Talakad. ideal week­end break. The Cauvery
For a lesiurely study of the two river splits into two streams here —
temple towns, stay overnight at Barachukki and Gaganachukki.
Jaladhama (Cell: 09945695942; About 9km by road from Georgia
Tariff: ` 9,800 + meals per couple), a Sunshine Village, turn left at
resort at Mudukuthore close to Panditahalli and drive to Shri
Talakad. There are many small Vishveshwaraya Hydro­electric Plant,
eateries in Talakad and the Udupi labelled the ‘Bluff’. From Bluff, it is a
Mess next to the Vaidyanatheswara short 5-min drive to the waterfalls.
Temple serves tasty veg meals. The sight of cascades of water
◆ Location 35km or so from Mysuru spreading out over two vast hillsides
Airport Air Mysuru Rail Mysuru Jn greet you here. The water is being
diverted to feed what was the first
Shivanasamudram (77km) hydroelectric plant in Asia.
Shivanasamudram is the domain of Gaganachukki has a dargah on
Mother Nature. These hills are home the opposite bank, a short drive
to wild boar, peacocks, partridges, across to the other hillside. A word
elephants and even the occasional of caution though — in these
anurag mallick

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Photographs by saibal das


regions, the falls represent a literal pool, games room, lounge and
Xanadu for boisterous local revellers library. The tariff includes bonfires,
and their ilk. The falls are, therefore, a morning trek, all meals, tea and
best avoided on public holidays coffee. Book well in advance.
while being quite accept­able ◆Location In the Mandya district,
on weekends. Don’t swim here, it is on the banks of the Cauvery river Air
treacherous and mishaps have Bengaluru Rail Not suitable for going
occurred. A couple of food stalls and to Shivanasamudram
a few vendors selling fresh coconut
water and locally grown gooseberries MM Hills (112km)
liberally spiced with red chilli Male Mahadeshwara Hills, also
powder complete the experience. known as MM Hills (3,000ft), is a
Barachukki is just beyond the sacred spot about 140km from
dargah, a few kilometres away. The Mysuru. Surrounded by dense forests,
falls here form a sylvan, deep pool. the ancient temple here attracts not
You can swim here or even catch a only devotees but nature lovers as
coracle ride. well. The temple is dedicated to Lord
The villages of Malavalli, Mahadeshwara, believed to be the
Panditahalli, Manchanahalli, incarnation of Lord Shiva. The legend
Hebbani and Shimsapura seem is that Lord Mahadeshwara still A grand procession in front of the splendid Mysore Palace
forgotten by time. Do not miss the performs penance in the temple, in
traditional Friday market where you
can purchase some unusual items.
the form of a Shiva linga. Thousands
of pilgrims from Karnataka and
MYSORE DASARA
A forest by daytime is harsh and Tamil Nadu throng the hills to take
distant, by night it becomes an a holy dip in the Antaragange near ■ AMIT MAHAJAN who killed the demon Mahisha­sura,
enigma. A drive at night is a great the temple. This water flow erupts and who literally lords it over the city

D
way to indulge in some post-dinner from the ground and its exact origin asara in Mysuru is different from her hilltop abode. The demon is
thrills and spot some wildlife. is still a mystery. from the northern Duss­ehra; said to have lived in these hills and
Pujas are performed thrice a day it has nothing at all to do gave Mysuru its name.
Where to Stay and Eat and festivals like Shivaratri and with Rama, his story or his triumph The festival became institution-
Georgia Sunshine Village (Tel: Diwali are celebrated. The temple over Ravana. India’s major religions alised here and attracted state
08231-247646, 247783, Cell: provides lodging to devotees in its are highly accommodating organisms; patronage during the reign of the
09845754661; Tariff: `4,500-5,500, guesthouses, which have modern as they spread, they absorb the Vijayanagara rulers. An Italian
with meals) is the only place to stay amenities. The best time to visit is religious practices of their new traveller, Nicolo Dei Conti, witnessed
in Shivana­samudram. Facilities during Mahalaya Amavasya, Dasara, followers. Festivals thereby come to the celebrations in 1420 and left
offered here include a swimming Diwali and Karthika Masa. ■ contain within them multiple a detailed account — the Wodeyar
celebrations, joys and memories of rulers made Chamun­da their tutelary
various com­munities, ritualised, deity, and began the tradition of the
#Awesomekarnataka evolved and then assimilated over
long periods; gods and goddesses get
regal Jambu Savari in 1805 during
the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III.
multiple names and stories. In The king conducted a special durbar
Mysuru, Dasara is a festival devoted in the Mysore Palace during Dasara,
to the goddess Chamun­deshwari, which was attended by members of

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the royal family, special invitees, roads, trees, shops, police, their
officials and the masses. With the mounts and people — infect every
amalgamation of Mysore State into heart and produce a mega celeb-
the Indian Union, the pageant is ration, the Mysore Dasara.
now flagged off by the chief minister The crowd out­side the palace and
or governor of Karnataka, and along the Dasara pro­cession route is
attended by the scion of the Wodeyar unbelievably thick. There are
family. Hence, the celebrations in cordons, trying to contain the
the Mysore Palace are quite a bodies and their fervour, but they
spectacle to witness. spill over, on to the road, trees, roof­
tops and just about every perch in
the festival sight. The overwhelming faith of
this popula­tion gives the festival its
I am up and about early on the 10th sustenance. The faithful have
and final day of the festival. My traversed many miles, have come in
hotel balcony offers a view of the from the surrounding villages and
palace and I can see an insistent towns, will wait hours, come rain or
stream of people making its way sun, to get the fleeting opportunity
towards the palace gate. The to pray to the deity who is royally
festivities drape every­thing in view, touring the city in a procession.
connect all of it together — palace, This procession, called the Jambu
Savari, is the culmination of the
10-day long Dasara festival. The The illuminated splendour of the palace (left); Colour and action at Dasara festival
Mysore Dasara celebrations are
spread out across several locations complex, after which the procession grounds. The entire route, cordoned
in the city such as Jagan Mohan is inaugurated by the governor and off with ropes and with people
Palace, Town Hall, and Kalamandira. the scion of the Wodeyar royals; at packed on either side of the road, is
However, the most important venue around 2pm, they climb a stage and heavily policed. Moving in the thick
is in the grounds of the 20th-century shower flowers on the idol of crowd, I realise that it is here that
Mysuru Palace. This becomes an Chamundeshwari, sitting in a golden the real throbbing heart, the spirit
open-air setting with the majestically howdah atop Balaram. of this lively celebration, lies. These
lit palace providing a stunning back- Bala­ram is the elephant for the crowds give life to the exploits of
drop to classical Indian performances. day, clothed in the most brilliant the performers; without this adoring
Every evening, as the sun sets and blues, yellows and magentas. Amidst audi­ence, the entire show is but an
spreads its reddish glow in the sounds of cannon fire, several empty routine. The crowds love the
western skies, nearly 97,000 palace pachyderms accompany waves of display, and clap, laugh and scream.
lights come on, all at once, convert- dance groups, music bands, horses, But it’s the diminu­tive idol of the
ing the gigantic struc­ture into a camels, vintage cars and colourful goddess that has the biggest, the
dazzling silhouette and leaving the tableaux out from the palace gates most significant presence. Crowds
assembled crowd agape. on to Mysuru’s streets. The grand greet her with worshipping cries,
The palace is also where the pageant moves at a snail’s pace and the young run after her, the elderly
Jambu Savari begins. A puja is held takes about three hours to cover the plaintively bow to her, as the 10-day-
in a temple within the palace 4.5km stretch to the Banni Mantap long fiesta comes to an end. ■

120 Karnataka Karnataka 121


south Karnataka BANDIPUR TIGER RESERVE

objections from many quarters to


the ban on night driving through
the reserve appears to be only
strengthening the resolve of
conservationists to maintain the
status quo. The case is pending in
the Supreme Court. I’ve been so
pleased to learn that in a recent
move by the Forest Department,
visitors from June 2019 have to go
outside the park to get their tickets,
now available at the new counter at
STPF Campus of Melukamanahalli,
near Anjaneyaswamy Temple, from
where they can also board their

FAST FACTS
When to go April to January is a good
time to visit, but the best animal
getty images sightings are from September to

BANDIPUR TIGER RESERVE The king of the Bandipur jungles December. The park is sometimes
closed from February to April due to
Lifeline for CONSERVATION It’s the 21st century and driving heavy forest fires
through the pristine swatches of the Go there for Tigers, elephants, gaur
■RANEE SAHANEY AND natural heritage. Its ecotourism reserve, I’m shocked out of my Wildlife/ Forest Dept offices
RAMAN KUMAR warriors are working apace to ensure reverie by the intrusion of the roar ● Bandipur Range Office
that generations to come will of a bus spewing smoke and merrily Tel: 08229-236043

E
lephants…tigers…sandalwood continue to delight in its amazing racing down one of the two national ● Conservator of Forests & Directors
and teak...Exotic. Alluring. wildlife and botanical discoveries. highways running through the Gundlupet, Ooty-Coimbatore Road,
Endangered. All prey to Given the status of a reserve in 1932, reserve that connect Gundlupet and Chamarajanagar
rampant development and man’s Bandipur is also one of the best Wayanad and Gundlupet and Ooty. Tel: 08226-236043 (Online booking)
relentless abuse of Nature’s bounteous managed tiger reserves, blessed with No wonder there are increasing Tel: 295004 (Reservations,)
largesse. Sequestered amongst the a provenance of careful preservation instances of animals getting killed Cell: 07760407576 (Deputy Forest
tropical forestlands of the deep of this habitat with its varied — and, because of the sound and Range Officer)
south, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, one vegetation, exotic mammals, light disturbance, being driven out W bandipurtigerreserve.in (online
of India’s oldest and finest game avifauna and insect population, from of the forests — resulting in booking)
parks, is valiantly fighting on to as far back as the early 20th century heightened cases of man-animal STD code Bandipur 08229
preserve Karnataka’s monumental by people of foresight. conflict. The on-going crescendo of

122 Karnataka Karnataka 123


south Karnataka BANDIPUR TIGER RESERVE

shutterstock
safari vehicles. I remember earlier sq km was declared the Bandipur
we had to drive about 5km into the National Park. Subsequent additions
forest to reach the ticket counter. of land have expanded the total area
The intent is to further cut down of the reserve to 912.04 sq km.
the disturbance caused by human Sprawled along Mysuru and
movement inside the forest. Chamarajanagar districts in the
Previously the exclusive game foothills of the ‘Blue Mountains’ —
preserve of the Mysuru royals, the the stunning Nilgiri Range —
reserve was drawn under the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National
umbrella of Project Tiger in 1973 — Park, one of India’s Mega Diversity
ranking high amongst the very first Areas, derives even greater ecological
nine tiger reserves in the country for significance by being part of the
the conservation of the rapidly contiguous swathe of forestlands
dwindling numbers of the apex and savannah grasslands that
predator of the Indian jungles. By include those of the Mudumalai
1985, its extended sprawl of 874.20 Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu,
Nagarahole National Park, again in
Karnataka and the Wayanad Wildlife
Sanctuary in Kerala. Bandipur is an
intrinsic component of the 5520 sq
km stretch comprising India’s first
biosphere reserve: the Nilgiri
getting there
Biosphere Reserve.
Air Nearest airport: Mysuru Both the elephant and the tiger A spotted deer and peafowl in the wild
International Airport (75km/1.5-2 hrs); are critical for the ecosystem of this
Taxi from Mysuru to Bandipur NP costs constantly under-threat landscape What’s deeply concerning is the The lastest tiger census ranks
`2,000-2,500; KSRTC Volvo bus fare — a stunning bio-geographic zone wrecking of this critical natural Karnataka with Madhya Pradesh
`250-300 comprising generous chunks of wild corridor by rampant development, (Bandhavgarh) for the high density
Rail Nearest railhead: Mysuru (80km/2 spaces of the Western Ghats, the making the wildlife exceedingly of its tiger populace. The tiger census
hrs) is well connected to all major cities. misty Nilgiris and the splendid vistas vulnerable to man-animal conflict conducted in 2018 (as part of the
Bus from Mysuru to the Bandipur of the Deccan Plateau. The issues. Shrinking terrain, shifting All-India Tiger Estimation 2018 or
checkpost costs `80. Taxi fare is contiguous forested stretch, of habitats, forest fires and changing AITE-2018) covered five tiger reserves
`2,000-2,500 Bandipur National Park, Nagarahole monsoon patterns are now par for (Bandipur, Bhadra, BRT, Kali, and
Road Bandipur NP Is located on the National Park, Mudumalai Wildlife the course, robbing the wildlife the Nagarahole, a national park),
Mysuru-Ooty Highway and is well Sanctuary, and Wayanad Wildlife space it needs to roam, hunt and Kudremukh, and three wildlife
connected by road. Regular buses are Sanctuary, is home to the world’s mate. Its precious botanical sanctuaries (Pushpagiri, Brahmagiri,
available from Mysuru (2 hrs) and from single largest Asiatic elephant plenitude has suffered too. and Talacauvery) in Karnataka,
Bengaluru (5 hrs), Taxi fare from populace. Karnataka alone, Bandipur’s great treasure, its revealed that Karnataka had one of
Bengaluru `6,000. Bus KSRTC/ Volvo according to a 2017 wild elephant elephants, continue to be ruthlessly the highest tiger populations in the
from Mysuru (80km/2 hrs) is `80-300; census, has more than 6,000 of targeted by poachers for their ivory country. In Bandipur alone, from
fare from Bengaluru (250km/ 5-6hrs) is these gentle giants (housed in the to feed a flourishing international January 8 to 13, there were sightings
`550-600 protected environs of Bandipur, market. And the poor tiger? Tiger of as many as 18 tigers, 8 leopards,
Bahdra and Nagarhole). parts, too, are big business. 224 elephants, 63 wild dogs, 56

124 Karnataka Karnataka 125


south Karnataka BANDIPUR TIGER RESERVE

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bison, hundreds of deer, and other by the Forest Department begin
wild denizens of these forests. from the range office. Trekking is
now permitted in Bandipur. The
ORIENTATION excellent Interpretation Centre and
Souvenir Shop are bustling hubs.
The Mysuru-Ooty road leads to the Northwest of the Bandipur Safari
entry point of Bandipur National Lodge rears up the highest peak of
Park. The Reserves headquarters and the Nilgiris in Bandipur; this is
range office (Tel: 08229-236043) are Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, at
located nearby. The new ticket whose summit lies the
counter, STPF Campus at Venugopalaswamy Temple
Melukamanahalli village, near dedicated to Lord Krishna. The
Anjaneyaswamy Temple, is located spectacular Moyar Gorge acts as the
outside the forest, near the entry southern boundary between
point of the Park. Bandipur Safari Mudumalai and Bandipur game
Lodge, run by Jungle Lodges (JLR) of parks. The park is watered by ten
Karnataka Tourism, is also located Moyar, Kabini, and Nugu rivers.
here. JLR alone is now licensed to Many resorts are located in and
operate jeep safaris. No private around Masinagudi town (see Where
vehicles are allowed inside the to Stay and Eat on page 129). Jeeps
reserve. Mini-bus safaris operated can be hired from Masinagudi (26km

Panoramic view of Bandipur landscape during a jeep safari Mother and baby elephant in Bandipur, one of the major habitats for the animal

from Bandipur) for `2,500 for 2 hrs those chancy predators, the dholes
from the Forest Department’s Eco- (wild dogs) that roam the forests in
tourism Wing (Cell: 08300255046). packs like local Romeos but can be
fearsome when they attack prey en
THINGS TO SEE AND DO masse from all sides. And there is the
forest, magnificent on its own.
Jungle Safaris Safaris: Forest Department mini-
Rides into the parks on especially bus safari fee `350 pp Timings
laid-out dirt roads called ‘game roads’ 6.15am-9am (2 trips), 2.15pm-5pm
offer excellent views of wildlife. At (2 trips) Jeep safari fee ` 3,000 (6
Bandipur, only Jungle Lodges (JLR) pax) Timings 6.15am-8am,
can conduct jeep safaris. Other 8am-9.45am; 2.30pm-4.30pm,
resorts now have to route their jeep 4.30pm-6.30pm
safaris through JLR. Keep your eyes note Elephant safaris have been
peeled not just for the elephant, or discontinued.
the elusive tiger, but also for the sly
leopard, the magnificent black velvet Moyar Gorge
skinned, white socked gaur, the lazy It’s totally worth the ride to this
sloth bear and the comic antics of stunning gorge, which separates
Courtesy bandipur safari lodges

126 Karnataka Karnataka 127


south Karnataka BANDIPUR TIGER RESERVE

Courtesy bandipur safari lodges


Interpretation Centre and pp), run by Karnataka Tourism’s
Souvenir Shop Jungle Lodges, has well-furnished
Located at the entrance of the rooms; its tariff includes full board
Bandipur Reserve, the interpretation plus morning and evening safaris,
centre provides information to forest entry fees and taxes per person
visitors on the wildlife of this region. per night. Amongst private hotels,
The souvenir shop stocks some there is the popular Windflower
interesting takeaways for friends Tusker Trails (Tel: 08229-236055/
and family, a little piece of Bandipur 66, Cell: 09901446666; Tariff:
in your bag when you leave. `15,930-16,990), near Mangala
village. It has tastefully designed
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT cottages and organises village visits
and short treks. MC Resort (Tel:
As the Bandipur reserve gets hordes 233044/ 45; Tariff: `7,080-8,250,
of visitors round the year, there is a with meals) in Melukamanahalli
wide range of stay options here village, adjacent to the park, is
suitable for all budgets. Staple snacks another option.
such as tea, biscuit, and vadas are There are many more private
quite easily available in several places resorts around Masinagudi in Tamil
in this area. For proper meals, the Nadu, a town located about 26km
hotels you put up at are the most from Bandipur. Options here include
convenient options. The Forest Jungle Hut (Tel: 0423-2526240;
Bandipur Safari Lodge, run by Jungle Lodges, is one of the best properties here Department has 19 rooms and three Tariff: `6,490-8,566, +breakfast) and
dorms in Bandipur (Tel: 08229- the Monarch Safari Park (Tel:
Bandipur from Mudumalai. From of Mangala, Chikkayelachetti, and 236043/51/60; Tariff: `1,600 for two), 2526250/ 343; Tariff: `3,500-4,500),
the Bandipur side, the Moyar Gorge the areas that are home to some dorms (`2,016-4,470 for the full which has a restaurant. The Bamboo
or ‘Mysore ditch’, created by the private tourist resorts, which get dorm). For bookings, contact the Banks Farm (Tel: 2526211; Tariff:
turbulent Moyar river on the park’s fully booked in season. office of the Conservator of Forests, `7,000, with meals) offers safaris
southern boundary, can only be Year-round eco-tourism activities Gundlupet, Chamarajanagar (see Fast and accepts credit cards. Green Park
reached by jeep safari or trekking. are on offer for visitors who are Facts on page 123) Resort (Tel: 252-6351/ 486; Tariff:
Eco-tourism is another thing to looking to combine a bit of Tip At the time of booking any forest `2,500-6,500), is another convenient
explore at this reserve. For over the recreation with a genuine attempt accommodation, it is mandatory to option close to Bandipur.
past three decades, Bandipur has to be involved in the conservation also pay the park entry, safari and
been at the forefront of the eco- of this spellbinding wildlife guide fee etc. For more, see Bandipur Accommodation
tourism movement in India. environment. It’s a big hit with Bandipur Safari Lodge (Tel: Listings on pages 430-431. ■
Extending over an area of 82 sq km, botanical enthusiasts, photographers 08229-233001; Tariff: `6,800-8,300 Inputs from Soumya Prasad
which is about 9.4% of the total and environment buffs.
area of the reserve, the eco-tourism Some of the resorts, such as
activity is conducted extensively in
the twin ranges of Bandipur (54 sq
Wildflower Tusker Trails (which
started out as the highly popular
#Awesomekarnataka
km) and GS Betta (28 sq km). In Tusker Trails by a descendant of the
addition, the eco-tourism area in Mysuru royals) also organise such
Kundukere range abuts the villages thrilling activities.

128 Karnataka Karnataka 129


south Karnataka Kabini

the Kabini river was successful. The other creatures. Besides packs of
unique feature of a Kakanakote dhol, gaur, jackal and over 300
kheddah was the river drive, first species of birds, one can spot
conceptualised by Sanderson in fascinating arachnid species like the
1891 in honour of The Grand Duke ornamental tree trunk spider,
of Russia’s visit to Mysuru. The vast jumping spider, two-tailed spider,
operation involved thousands of giant cross spider, giant wood spider
people who beat drums and drove and tent spider.
the elephants across the Kabini river
into the stockade. Special galleries THINGS TO SEE AND DO
were set up for distinguished guests
and royalty to witness the drama. Wildlife Safaris
Over the next century, 36 kheddah All safaris in Kabini start from the
operations were held until it was Gol Ghar, the river-facing gazebo at
finally banned in 1971. The Kabini
river was dammed in 1974 for
irrigation. Now, visitors congregate
here for yet another spectacle.
After winter, the reservoir waters
are released for irrigation. As the
A jeep safari in the forests of Kabini
Photographs by anurag mallick
waters recede, dormant grass shoots FAST FACTS
begin to sprout, turning the tract When to go All year round, but the
into a giant grazing ground, forest and weather are at their best
Kabini attracting elephants in their
hundreds, the largest such
between October and March, with good
animal sightings from February to May,
Prison turned free range congregation in Asia. Increased when massive elephant congregations
protection has led to a spurt in tiger take place during peak summer. The
■ anurag mallick and Sultan of Mysuru failed to capture numbers, with 221 in the Bandipur- Gundre jatre fair is held during Ugadi.
PRIYA GANAPATHY any wild elephants. A stone Nagarahole tract alone. Since Kabini Tourist Offices
inscription records his disgust and is wedged between the two parks, ● Department of Tourism, Government

A
historic area that served as an warns about the futility of the task the intersecting tiger territories of Karnataka
exclusive hunting reserve of and his curse upon anyone who result in good sightings. No. 49, 2nd Floor, Khanija Bhavan,
the Maharajas of Mysuru, tries it in the future. Wildlife photographers flock to Race Course Road, Bengaluru
Kabini was the site of the legendary No further attempts were made Kabini forest to shoot its legends Cell: 09686633491, 07795516979
kheddah operations, where entire until the first British kheddah like Mr Kabini or Bhogeswara Tusker, W karnatakatourism.org
elephant herds would be stockaded operation by Colonel Pearson in with ivories so long, they scrape the ● Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd.
into a ditch. Select ones were caught 1867, which was also unsuccessful. ground. The biggest leopard with Ground Floor, West Entrance
and trained for timber operations Another officer, GP Sanderson from the largest territory is the Water Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road
and the Mysore Dasara festival. The the Canal and Irrigation Department, Tank Male or Torn Ear while the Bengaluru
first attempt to capture elephants in made an attempt in 1873 and met a Backwater Female tigress gives great Tel: 080-40554055
this manner was made by Tipu similar fate. However, his second sightings as does the solitary black W junglelodges.com

Sultan’s father Hyder Ali in 18th attempt in 1874 at Kardihalli in the panther. Yet, in the quest for big STD code 080
century. Despite using his army, the Kakanakote forest on the banks of mammals, it’s easy to miss out on

130 Karnataka Karnataka 131


south Karnataka Kabini

and a Responsible Tourism Walk.


Kabini River Lodge (Cell:
09449599754; Bengaluru reservations
Tel: 080-40554055; Tariff `8,885-
15,694, +meals, 1 boat safari, 1 jungle
safari pp; dorm `5,095-6,501 +meals,
getting there
1 boat safari, 1 jungle safari pp) once Air Nearest airport: Mysuru Airport
served as the hunting lodge of the (70km/ 1 hr) is connected only to
Mysuru royals and has been rated as Chennai International Airport by TruJet.
one of the Top 5 Wildlife Resorts in However, Kempegowda International
the World by the British Tatler Travel Airport in Bengaluru (250km/ 5 hrs) is well
Guide. Water Woods (Bengaluru connected to all major Indian airports and
reservations Tel: 080-46732010; Tariff several in Asia and Europe by all Indian
`16,140-23,554 +meals), located in domestic airlines and several international
Karapura, is a lovely waterfront carriers. Taxi costs `9-18 per km
property on the banks of the reservoir. Rail Nearest railhead: Mysuru Junction
Kaav Safari Lodge (Kochi (71km/ 1 hr) is connected to
reservations Tel: 0484-2864800, Cell: Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai,
09995803861; Tariff `17,230-18,600 Guwahati and other cities. Taxi costs
+meals) at Malalli Cross is a private `2,000 (Non-AC) `2,700 (AC)
six-room safari lodge with four rooms Road From Mysuru’s Hand Post Circle,
Elephant; Crested Serpent Eagle; Kabini Gaur in a complex with a common living; take the Mananthavady Road till Kabini
and an upper deck facing the forest Circle. About 5 km from Antarasante;
the iconic Kabini River Lodge, run by are two drives a day of 3 hrs each, at and two plush tents on stilts nearby. enter the jungle road to Kabini River
JLR. The serene boat ride accesses 6.30 am and 3.30 pm (reporting time Overlooking the disused old forest Lodge at Karapura. The resorts are 2km
parts of the lake not reachable by at your resort is 30 minutes prior). department road, you can spot gaur ahead. Bus Daily KSRTC bus services
jeep for sighting wildlife such as While the safari cost is billed into the and big cats right in your backyard. serve Kabini from the Central Bus
mighty elephants and crocodiles. JLR per person tariff, most other The Serai Kabini (Cell: Stand in Bengaluru
Wildlife safaris are carried out by resorts have an all-meals package 09945602305; Bengaluru reservations
boat on the reservoir or by jeep in and charge for the boat or jeep safari Tel: 080-40012200, Cell:
the two tourism-heavy zones. The separately (`1,650 pp), including a 09900063960; Tariff: `41,900-64,480 now run as The Serai. Kayaking,
forested Zone A is significantly larger transfer to/from JLR. +meals for 2N; TE) at Karapura bicycle trails, bonfires and nature
and covers part of Nagarahole’s Village, Antarasante Hobli, was once hikes are arranged on request. n
Antharasanthe wildlife range while Where to Stay and Eat tiger conservationist TGR ‘Tiger’
on the other hand, the quaint Ramesh’s resort Cicada Kabini before For more, see Kabini Accommodation
lakeside Zone B covers DB Kuppe Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge it was acquired by Coffee Day and is Listings on page 438
range, the preferred route in hot (Bengaluru reservations Tel: 080-
summer months. Unlike most other 25127000, 46184444; Tariff `30,600-
wildlife parks, Kabini does not shut 36,900 +meals & nature activities), #Awesomekarnataka
down in monsoon, and the jeep and located in Bheeramballi Village, was
16-seater and 20-seater safari vans formerly known as Orange County
and boats are equipped with a Kabini. It offers a luxurious stay with
canopy, come rain or shine. There Kuruba dances by a poolside campfire

132 Karnataka Karnataka 133


south Karnataka BR Hills WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

In recent years, the sanctuary has THINGS TO SEE AND DO


been exposed to the ravages of
quarrying along its fringe areas. This sanctuary is covered with thick
Overgrazing is another threat that jungles and a multitude of peaks
has to be handled effectively. rising and falling like the ebbs and
tides in an ocean of greenery. Whether
ORIENTATION you choose to just soak in the
goodness of nature or fold your hands
The two entry points to the sanctuary in silent prayer at the temple, rest
are Yelandur and Chamrajanagar, assured that a visit would rejuvenate
which are about 40km apart. The your senses.
Chamarajanagar entry is about 40km
from the sanctuary via the K Gudi
Camp, while Yelandur is 18km from
the sanctuary. The route is scenic
from the Chamarajanagar side, with
the road winding up the hill via
Vandarbal village in the foothills. FAST FACTS
The forests are dense, the valleys When to go September to April is the
deep, and they make for an best time to visit. The sanctuary,
enthralling sight. If you plan to halt however, is open throughout the year
at Chamarajanagar for the night, Tourist/ Forest Department offices
you need permission from the Forest ● Conservator of Forests

Courtesy jungle lodges


Department (see Fast Facts). But if BRT Tiger Reserve, Wildlife Division,
The leopard is among the major carnivores at BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary you are not staying back, make sure Sultan Sheriff Circle,
you are on your way out by 6pm Chamarajanagar
sharp. The forest guards are pretty Tel: 08226-222059
BR Hills WILDLIFE SANCTUARY strict about the rule.
Apart from the tents put up by
W aranya.gov.in
● Office of the Deputy Director
at Lord Ranganatha’s feet the K Gudi Camp run by Jungle Department of Tourism
Lodges, right next door is a forest 2nd Floor, Room No. 17,
■ SUNAAD RAGHURAM excellent bridge between the Western resthouse and the Jungle Lodges Deputy Commissioner Bhavan,
and Eastern Ghats, facilitating the office located in the hunting lodge Chamarajanagar

T
he Biligiri Rangana Betta or BR exchange of the gene pools of their of the erstwhile Mysuru royals. Tel: 08226-226512
Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, also diverse flora and fauna. Jeeps are available on hire at Cell: 09481815220 (TO), 09886070411
known as the Biligiri Ranga­ This wildlife corridor witnesses Chamarajanagar or Yelandur to (DTC)
swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, some of the largest numbers of wild travel to the sanctuary. Expect to ● KSTDC
was formed in June 1974 close to the elephants and tigers east of the pay `1,500 for a day trip from Hotel Mayura Bharachukki
BR Temple precincts. Originally Western Ghats in the southern Chamarajanagar and about `800– Shivanasamudra, Kollegala Taluk,
spanning an area of 322 sq km, it peninsular region. The forest is also 1,000 from Yelandur. Chamarajanagar
was expanded in 1987, after which it home to gaur, dhole, giant flying ◆ Timings Safari hours are from Cell: 08970650053
covered 534 sq km. The strategic squirrel, and the endangered chou- 6.30am-8am, 3.30pm-6pm Cost STD code 08226
location of the sanctuary provides an singha (four-horned antelope). `450pp (10-seater vehicle)

134 Karnataka Karnataka 135


south Karnataka BR Hills WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

prashant panjiar
Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple stopped the resident monkeys from
The presiding deity of this temple is performing their crazy acrobatics.
Lord Ranganatha, whose giant,
21-inch sandals are said to protect Dodda Sampige Mara
his feet as he wanders through these This is a mammoth champak
forests by night, keeping vigil. Said (Magnolia champaka) tree deep inside
to be a few thousand years old, the the forest that is revered by locals.
temple is perched on a peak offering According to the Soliga tribals, sage
panoramic views of almost the entire Agastya planted it some 3,000 years
region, and can be reached either on ago. The stream flowing nearby to
foot or vehicle. Behind the temple is where the tree stands is a sight to
a spine-chilling 1,000ft drop into the behold. Approach is only by jeep, as
dense jungle. Iron railings, installed the terrain certainly doesn’t resemble
for safety in recent times, haven’t your neighbourhood park!

Boodipadaga
Deep inside the sanctuary is a regal
hunting lodge. Now slightly derelict,
it was once a famous forest residence
of the erstwhile Mysuru rulers. This
getting there is where elephants used to be trapped
Air Nearest airport: Mysuru airport by the pit method, and also where Muntjac deer at BR Hills
(100km/2-3 hrs) and Bengaluru airport the scourge of the jungle, sandalwood
(230km/5-6 hrs); Taxi from Mysuru/ smuggler and brigand Veerappan, Trekking environs of the Basavananni Kere
Bengaluru to BR Hills Sanctuary costs was incarcerated for a few weeks in The Boodipadaga area, like most area deep inside, should give you
`7-12 per km 1986. Today, it is the Forest parts of the BR Hills, offers the intre- ample scope to explore the wildlife
Rail Nearest railhead: Chamarajanagar Department Inspection Bungalow. pid trekker enough mud for her and spot animals. The journey
(44km) is connected to Mysuru with a Sloth bears and wild elephants often boots. The place is ringed by hillocks through the jungle is bound to be
few trains. KSRTC bus from Chama­ lurk around the lodge. Not too many and mounds clothed in lush jungles. full of surprises as you could find an
rajanagar to BR Hills costs `30-40. visitors have returned from this part Anna-Tamma Gudda, Sulare Gudda, animal standing right in the middle
Road Take the Mysuru highway to of the jungle without seeing at least Ittige Bare, Devara Betta, Jenkalbare, of the game road as you bank a curve
reach BR Hills via Yelandur. It takes one of these two animals. Malki Betta and Karadi Gadde are or go up an incline. Sightings happen
about 5-6 hrs from Bengaluru. Bus some of the spots that you can trek around K Gudi Camp itself if you are
From Mysuru to Chamarajanagar Ragikallu Madu to. But not before you have the nod lucky. Once a panther was seen just
(90km/2-3 hrs) KSRTC buses ply on This is a unique natural formation of the forest department and a tribal behind the dining area at about
these routes. Fare: KSRTC buses `75- not too far from Boodipadaga. The guide, without whom you are bound three in the afternoon, perched on a
80 till Chamarajanagar; from water from a stream forcefully gushes to lose your way. tree. Another time, a sloth bear came
Chamarajanagar to BR Hills bus fare is into a rocky depression (madu), hurtling down a slope near a log hut
`30, which is available only in the creating a whorl, much like the Jungle Safari as alarm calls rented the air. The time
morning at 7.30am and 8.30am; taxi movement of a stone grinder used to Even if you are not fortunate enough was nine in the morning. Although
fare from Bengaluru (230km/5-6hrs) to crush millet grains. Ragi means millet to spot wildlife on the main road, it is generally safe to hang around,
BR Hills is `2,500-3,000 in Kannada and kallu means stone. the safari in the jungle that takes you there is always the possibility of such
Hence the name. on the Aane Hadu Road into the surprises springing upon you.

136 Karnataka Karnataka 137


south Karnataka

alamy images / india picture


WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

Visitors have three options: a Jungle


Lodges tented camp, and two forest
resthouses inside the sanctuary.
K Gudi Wilderness Camp
(Bengaluru reservations Tel: 080-
40554055; Tariff `5,570-8,124pp
+meals), the Jungle Lodges’ luxury-
tented accommodation is full of
rustic stylishness. It has eight
permanent furnished twin-bed tents
with modern toilet facilities. Three
furnished ethnic huts on stilts (log
huts) with attached modern toilet
facilities are also available. Quaint
hurricane lamps light up the night,
Foresters carry out a tiger census as there is no electricity here. The
Gol Ghar at the camp offers buffet
There is a pond within the Jungle breakfast, lunch, and dinner along
Lodges campus that is frequented with coffee, tea and snacks.
by wild elephants, especially during The Forest Rest House (Tel:
summer. A massive tusker is a 222059; Tariff: `1,600 +entry
particularly famous visitor, say the charges) has two rooms and is run
locals. There are two tame elephants on solar power. Another FRH,
in the camp, Kyateshwara and Jaya­ located in K Gudi, has three rooms.
lakshmi. It is Jayalakshmi on whose The caretakers here can prepare your
sturdy back you ride into the jungle. meals. Both FRHs can be booked
According to a recent survey, there through the office of the Conservator
are 17 tigers in this sanctuary. of Forests in Chama­rajanagar (Tel:
Carnivores also include the leopard, 08226-222059). You could also stay
wild dog, lesser cats, and sloth bear. in Chamarajnagar, where plenty of
Amongst arboreal mammals, two stay options are available.
species of primates have been found.
Surveys in the forest have recorded For more, see BR Hills WLS Accom­­
254 species of birds. modation Listings on page 433. n

#Awesomekarnataka

138 Karnataka
HASSAN

punit paranjpe
Priest at a temple in rural Hassan

HASSAN
The goddess smiles

■ anurag mallick and Shettihalli, a scenic dam, the twin


PRIYA GANAPATHY temples of Mosale, and other lesser-
known architectural gems of the

L
ocated between Bengaluru and Hoysala Empire.
Mangaluru, where the rolling In the heart of the city stands the
plains gently slope into the temple of goddess Hassanamba.
Western Ghats of Sakleshpur to the Locals believe that this smiling
west and Chikkamagaluru to the (hassana) goddess (amba) presides
north, Hassan is blessed with over the welfare of the city and also
pleasant climate all year round and gives the place its name. According
has been called ‘Poor man’s Ooty’. to the temple’s sthala purana, the
With decent hotels, mostly name Hassan is derived from
located on the arterial Bengaluru- simhasanagiri (the hill that resembles
Mangaluru (BM)Road, Hassan is an a throne), where Lord Shiva in the
ideal getaway well positioned for guise of a kirata (hunter) had
interesting sights — a village-themed engaged the great archer Arjuna in a
resort, the drowning church of duel, witnessed by the saptamatrike

Karnataka 139
north Karnataka HASSAN

Photographs by anurag mallick


or seven mother goddesses. A town Things to See and Do
came up around the temple and was
called Simhasanapura, which over Hassanamba Temple
time got shortened to Hassan. While The temple is dedicated to goddess
the temple is open all year round, Amba, a form of Shakti. Legend has
the shrine of Hassanamba is opened it that Lord Shiva had fought Arjuna
to the public just once a year. in his kirata roop before gifting him
Besides being a base for the the weapon pashupatastra. Since the
temples at Halebidu-Belur, Hassan saptamatrike wished to see the
lets one follow the Hoysala trail to birthmark on the valiant Pandava’s
the Chatteshvara Temple at back, Shiva allowed himself to be
Chatachattahalli; the Lakshmi pinned down temporarily, for which
Narasimha and Someshwara temples he then cursed the goddesses and
at Nuggihalli; the Chennakeshava upturned the earth, sending them
and Someshwara temples at to their respective locations. The
Haranahalli; the Trikuta Temple at goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati, and
Belavadi with shrines of Saraswati dwell on Simhasanagiri;
Veeranarayana, Venugopala, and Varahi, Indrani, and Chamundi
Yoga Narasimha; the Kattameswara reside on Devagiri; while Kenchamba Entrance of the Hassan Hassanamba temple
Temple at Arsikere; the Lakshmi is the presiding deity at Kenchamma
Narasimha Temple at Javagal; and Hoskote on Sakleshpur Road. Koravangala Where to Eat
the Vasantika Devi temple at Sosevur A natural stone image at the Just 11km from Hassan, off the
(now Angadi), where the foundation Hassanamba temple complex depicts Arsikere highway, Koravangala is Most of the city hotels have decent
of the Hoysala Empire was laid. Shiva in his hunter form while a home to three Shiva temples built restaurants like Shantala in Hassan
small shrine to the left is dedicated in Hoysala style that date back to Ashhok, Hoysala in Southern Star,
to the goddesses. The inner sanctum the 12th century. The present name Swaad in Hotel Raama, and Parijata
opens only once a year for a period of the hamlet is a phonetic in Mallige Residency.
of 9, 11 or 15 days in October/ corruption of its older name
November depending on the lunar Koramangala. Legend has it that the Where to stay
calendar. Don’t miss the unusual main shrine, the Bucheshwara
FAST FACTS image of Ravaneshwara, a nine- Temple, was built in 1173 at the Hoysala Village Resort (Tel: 08172-
When to go All year round. The headed form of Ravana playing the time of the pattabhisheka (coronation 256764; Bengaluru Tel: 080-
Hoysala Festival is held in January veena in an anteroom. It is said that ceremony) of Ballala II by his 22340166/ 88, Cell: 09591077400;
Tourist Offices to appease Lord Shiva, Ravana pradhan (minister) Bhutanatha Raja, Tariff: `13,500-19,000 + meals)
● Office of the Deputy Director  created a veena by chopping off one or Buchiraja for short, hence the located in Handinkere village, Belur
Department of Tourism of his heads and using other organs name Bucheshwara. An inscription Road, features crisscrossing flagstone
Sumaka Yathri Nivas Building, of his body. His tenth head forms mentions the architect Bhutanatha pathways that lead to laterite and
AVK College Road, the instrument’s tuning knob, the Raja as a Brahmin officer in the terracotta cottages with vernacular
Near Old Bus Stop, Hassan stomach forms the base, his spine family that served Narasimha I, styling and garden-facing sitouts.
Tel: 08172-268862 forms the fret-board and the entrails Ballala II’s father. There are two Besides a bar, pool, multi-purpose
Cell: 09880988825 (DTC) form the strings. Like Arjuna, smaller shrines of Nakeshwara and conference hall, and facility for
STD code 08172 Ravana, too, was then gifted a divine Govindeshwara built by Buchiraja’s Ayurvedic massage, there’s cycling
weapon by Lord Shiva. brother in 1160. through nearby villages.

140 Karnataka Karnataka 141


north Karnataka HASSAN

Southern Star (Tel: 251816-17; garden and approachable by a


Tariff: `3,000-5,000; TE) opposite driveway. It has 37 rooms, a bar,
Karur Vysya Bank, BM Highway, restaurant,coffee shop, swimming
features 47 modern rooms with a pool, Ayurvedic massage, shopping
business centre, travel desk, and arcade and also offers car rentals.
massage on offer. The popular Stay Simple Riverdale Resort
Hoysala restaurant here is known (Cell: 07846011011; Tariff: `3,750
more for its North Indian dishes +breakfast & dinner) set in a 21-acre
and has an attached bar. The hotel coconut plantation amid paddy
also organises excursions in and fields adjacent to the Hemavathy
around Hassan with guides. river near Ramanathpur temple,
Hotel Hassan Ashhok (Tel: offers 10 spacious rooms and
268734-36; Cell: 08884454900; cottages. Designed in stone with
Tariff: `5,900-14,720 +breakfast) slanting roofs, the rooms overlook a
opposite the District Collector’s tidy garden, with a multi-cuisine
Office and centrally located 1km restaurant, swimming pool and
from the railway station and ½km recreational activities on offer.
from the bus stand, is tucked away Mallige Residency (Tel: 260332- The elegant Mosale twin temples
off the highway, overlooking a 33, Tariff: `2,100-2,650 +breakfast)
is a modern hotel with the choice of origin of the Hoysala dynasty. The platform. The stone canopy depicts
standard, deluxe, executive rooms temple ceilings are elaborately scenes of Kailash with exquisitely
and suites; it also features Parijata, a carved with geometrical patterns carved divinities outside the
popular pure veg restaurant. and there are richly carved deities sanctum sanctorum.
on the temple walls. Built in
For more, see Hassan Accommodation Vishnuvardhana’s era by noted Doddagaddavalli (20km)
getting there Listings on page 437 sculptors Jakanachari and Located on the route from Hassan to
Air Nearest airport: Mysuru Airport Dankanachari, the Chennakeshava Belur, Doddagaddavalli was once a
(115km/ 21/2 hrs), but Kempegowda AROUNDs Temple has a beautifully sculpted prominent town called Abhinava
International Airport, Bengaluru (219km/ 6ft idol of Vishnu with a prabhavali Kolhapura, where one of the most
5 hrs) offers more connections. Taxis Mosale (15km) (decorative arch) depicting Matsya, prosperous businessmen of the
cost `9-18 per km A short drive from Hassan is Mosala Kurma, Varaha and other Hoysala kingdom, Kulhana Rahuta,
Rail Hassan Railway Station is well Hosahalli or Mosale with two incarnations of Lord Vishnu. resided with his wife Sahaja Devi.
connected with major cities, including stunning 13th-century Hoysala The Ranga Mantapa has a florid, The devout couple sponsored a
Bengaluru and Mysuru temples dedicated to Chennakeshava lotus-shaped ceiling carved with congregation of Lakshmi temples
Road From Bengaluru take NH-4 to and Nageshwara. Locally called figures of ashta-dikpalakas (guardians around 1114, built by sculptor
Nelamangala and turn left onto NH-48, Awali-Jawali Devasthana, or literally of the eight directions) astride on Malloja Maaniyoja. From the point
the Mangaluru Highway Via Kunigal, ‘twin temples’, they are built in their vahanas (vehicles), while the of chronology, this has been declared
Yediyur and Channarayapatna to Trikutachala style out of soapstone. carved canopy of the Navaranga hall as the first-ever temple built in
Hassan Bus KSRTC offers several Identical in design and workmanship, has various floral designs. The Hoysala style and is a landmark
services, including Rajahamsa Executive they stand a few feet apart and each adjoining Shiva Temple is dedicated because of several firsts. It is the only
`257, Airavat Club Class `501, temple has an elegant tower in front to Nageshwara and has a beautifully instance where an idol of
Karnataka Sarige `199 from Bengaluru with a fine carved figure of Sala with sculpted Nandi idol in front and a Mahalakshmi has been enshrined,
the tiger, alluding to the mythical prominent linga on a star-shaped where both the Vaishnava and Shaiva

142 Karnataka Karnataka 143


north Karnataka HASSAN

Gorur Dam (25km) Bisle Ghat (88km)


At the confluence of the Yagachi With pristine rainforest and winding
and Hemavathi rivers, Gorur Dam is roads, Bisle Ghat is a hidden gem
a scenic reservoir created by the that connects the temple town of
146ft high dam stretching for Kukke Subramanya with the coffee
4,362m. Located on the Hassan- estates of Sakleshpur.
Arkalgud road, the dam is a hugely
popular picnic spot and plans are Chitradurga (90km)
afoot to transform it into a Chitradurga lies in the Vedavathi
destination on the lines of the Valley, in central Karnataka, 198km
famous Brindavan Gardens. northwest of Bengaluru.
Gorur village also has a lot of Chitradurga’s fort was so impregnable
Hoysala shrines—Para-Vasudeva that it acquired the moniker ‘fort of
Temple at the town entrance; the stone’. But it’s not just a magnificent
Yoganarasimha Swamy temple built example of military fortification —
in 1586 on the banks of river old temples, a palace complex, fine
Hemavathi; and smaller shrines of carvings and other remnants of a
Trikuteshwara and Kailaseshwara. bygone era, all make it a time capsule
There are two inspection bungalows for Karnataka’s rich heritage.
View of the Chitradurga Fort at Gorur Dam where one can stay
after reservation from the Chief Shravanabelagola (53km) (see page
ways of worship are present and is missionaries for British estate Engineer, Hemavathi Project. 150)
the only example of a chatushkuta or owners, the Holy Rosary Church
four sanctuaries within the same served as the mother church of the Sakleshpur (41km) Chikkamagaluru (61km) (see page
structure. Though the main temple area. It was submerged a few decades This gorgeous hill station is situated 296)
complex is named after Mahalakshmi, ago due to the flooding of the Gorur near NH48 is part of the Malnad
four sanctuaries enshrine the idols of dam, 8km away. However, the solid region and is filled with beautiful Where to Stay and Eat
Mahalakshmi, Mahavishnu, Mahakali ruins have withstood the ravages of hilly slopes and plenty of coffee and KSTDC’s Hotel Mayura Durga (Tel:
and Bhootanatha in the shape of a several monsoon and seasonal spice plantations. 234342, Cell: 08970656600; Tariff
linga. Entering the enclosure through floodwaters that submerged it. `2,128-2,799) is 2km from the fort.
a columned mantapa, the ceiling Cruciform in shape with a long Manjarabad Fort (46km) Naveen Regency (Tel: 08194-
displays a relief of Shiva in the form nave and two wings, the church is a Built by Tipu Sultan in 1972, this 230052, Cell: 07406667669; Tariff
of Nataraja. The temple has a four- tribute to the excellent workmanship unique fort displays the brilliance of `1,455-3,540) is on NH4 Bypass.
cornered shikhara with four small of the masons of those days. Islamic architecture in India. One Hotel Aishwara Fort (Tel: 231823;
cells marking the cardinal points laid However, after many years of can even view the scenic beauty of Tariff: `850-1,700) is a short walk
out around the central navaranga. pressure from the water, the roof the Arabian Sea from this fort. from the fort. ■
has caved in though part of the altar
Shettihalli Rosary Church (21km) and the central nave remain. When
Drive via Shankaranahalli past fields
of sunflower and castor to the rural
the dam is full, only the tip of the
spire is visible. Salvaging stained
#Awesomekarnataka
backwaters of Shettihalli to see its glass and other parts of the ancinet
famous ‘drowning church’. Built in shrine, a completely new church
1860 in Gothic style by French was built at Jyoti Nagar.

144 Karnataka Karnataka 145


south Karnataka Halebid-Belur

highlight is the nature of carvings The temple is star-shaped, like


done on the walls, so intricate that other prominent Hoysala
they resemble carvings done on architecture, and this allows a larger
sandalwood rather than stone. surface area on which to execute the
Halebid is in almost pristine con- carvings. Anyone who has overdosed
dition even after almost a thousand on the tall vimanas and gopurams of
years of living history. Visiting it is a other South Indian temples will find
pleasure, partly due to that fleeting this one a relief — no need to crane
sense of reconnaissance one your neck at an awkward angle to
experiences on seeing the see the top. Further, all the truly
Hoysaleswara Temple, a relic from marvellous sculpture is conveniently
almost forgotten history textbooks, placed at more or less eye-view
and partly owing to jewellery-like level, thanks to the elevated platform
sculpture of the temple. that surrounds the temple.
saibal das
The best part of Halebid is the Never mind that the temple is
Carvings at the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebid finely executed carved sculptures in actually incomplete — none of the
its temples. Along with Khajuraho guides tell you that an imposing
and Konark, the temples here at vimana was part of the original
Halebid-Belur Halebid have ornate carvings,
precisely done. These are so
design and was not executed at the

double Take numerous on the walls that they


should form a noisy cluster with
■ Dhanwanti Nayak temple, particularly the locking humans and animals speaking to
systems that used grid locks, each other — but they don’t. The

H
alebid-Belur go together like interlocks and the pin and socket Hoysaleswara Temple, although
twin cities. Separated only by system; they were used for attaching incomplete, resembles a finely fast facts
a short drive, both were separately car­ved panels onto the engraved casket. Some of the When to go Ideal time to visit is between
home to the Hoysala Dynasty for walls and ceilings. sculptures are actually hollow, rather October and February
three centuries (mid-11th to mid- than being simply carved onto the Tourist Offices
14th century). They were founded by things to see and do walls. So a stick passed into the ear ● Dept of Tourism, Govt of Karnataka
a Jain, Nripa Kama, whose kingdom of a figure can come out through Sumaka Yathri Nivas Building,
was sandwiched between the Cholas Hoysaleswara Temple the nose and so on. AVK College Road, Hassan
and the Chal­ukyas. The main attraction is the Strict Vaastu Shastra has been Tel: 08172-268862
The Halebid and Belur temples Hoysaleswara Temple, which followed to make the temple Cell: 09880988825 (DTC)
are cut from the soft stone called actually comprises two temples extremely comfortable even in hot ● Dept of Tourism, Govt of Karnataka
chloritic schist. It allowed for very joined by a single platform. The weather. One wall, for instance, is Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road
fine detailing, evident in the second temple is the Shantaleswara completely solid to block out the Bengaluru
intricately-carved temple walls. The Temple. Together they took roughly afternoon sun, whereas the other Tel: 080-22352828
tradition of ivory and sandalwood 100 years to build and are still has numerous perforations to allow W karnatakatourism.org,

handwork is reflected in the incomplete. This temple is set in a air and light to enter without karnatakaholidays.net
sculptures of these temples. Of pristine lawn and the restoration increasing the tem-perature inside. STD code Hassan 08172
special interest are the engine­ering work done on the temple gives one The resultant inner space is cool, Bengaluru 080
techniques used in ‘assembling’ the an impression of impeccability. The dim and lovely.

146 Karnataka Karnataka 147


south Karnataka Halebid-Belur

saibal das
Where to eat

Try Belur’s Vishnu Regency on KG


Road for good North Indian and
South Indian food. It has clean getting there
restrooms and ample parking space.
Hassan gives you an opportunity Air Nearest airport: Mangaluru (Belur is
to try Malnad specialities such as 127km/ 3.5 hrs), connected by daily
ragi balls with both mutton and flights to Bengaluru, Chennai and
vegetarian stews. Indian food can be Mumbai. Taxis charge `9-20 per km
enjoyed at the two restaurants in Rail Nearest railhead: Hassan (Belur is
Suvarna Regency. The Belur 36km/ 30 mins), connected to Bengaluru
Restaurant at the Hoysala Village and Mysuru. Taxis charge `9-20 per km
Resort is popular for its Indian and Road From Bengaluru, it is a smooth
Continental meals. Hassan Ashhok’s drive till Hassan (4.5 hrs) on national
multi-cuisine Shantala restaurant is highways, and another 40-45 mins to
popular for its Continental and Belur/ Halebid on state roads. Taxi from
non-spicy Indian dishes. You could Bengaluru costs `9-20 per km Bus
The breathtakingly beautiful Chenna Kesava Temple at Belur also try the KSTDC Mayura or some Regular deluxe and standard buses ply
of the Udupi-style restaurants here. between Bengaluru and Hassan. The
time of construction. The structure because its vimana was dismantled Kamat’s Rest­aurant, 35km away Hassan-Belur bus leaves every 15 mins
is still pleasing in its proportions in 1879 to protect the sanctum from Hassan, en route to Bengaluru, See Route Planner on page 68
and the temple complex is large sanctorum. Miniature shrines flank has good vegetarian fare.
enough for you to pick a corner and the steps to the temple. It is an In Hassan
remain undisturbed in your ekatachala temple, with one shrine Where to stay For a heritage experience, there is the
cogitations. When the sun gets too on a single platform. In the sanctum, Hoysala Village Resort (Tel: 08172-
hot, go indoors and the latticework the large image of Chennakeshava In Halebid & Belur 256764; Tariff: `13,500-19,000
will allow just enough light and air is profusely ornamented. The The KSTDC Mayura Velapuri (Tel: +meals). Hotel Hassan Ashhok (Tel:
to let you contemplate the pillared navaranga platform on which 08177-222209; Tariff `1,500-3,500; 268731-35; Tariff: `5,900-14,720
halls and marvel at the hollowed devadasis performed their dan­ces is TE) in Belur has 14 rooms. +breakfast) is an old favourite on the
statues of yore while you cool off. the largest platform of its kind. The KSTDC Mayura Shanthala Bengaluru-Man­galuru Road. Suvarna
◆ Entry Free Timings 7.30am- (Tel: 273224; Tariff: `999-1,900) in Regency (Tel: 264279; Tariff: `1,176-
Chennakeshava Temple 7.30pm Photography Free, but Halebid has five rooms and a 2,420) is also on the same road.
Located in Belur, this temple complex photography of the main deity restaurant. Hotel Vishnu Regency
has two entrances but one gopuram. strictly prohibited. (Tel: 223011, Tariff: `800-1,200) on For more, see Halebid-Belur Accomm-
This present brick tower was built in To the left, is the smaller, less Kempegowda Road has 20 rooms. odation Listings on page 436 ■
1397, in place of the mahadwara that elaborate shrine dedicated to Kappe
was burned down during the reign of Chenni­garaya. At the back of the
the mercurial Sultan Mohammad
bin Tughlak. The temple stands on a
temple are three buildings — a large
man­dapam, the Andal shrine, and
#Awesomekarnataka
raised platform and looks like a the Soumyanayaki Temple — built
carved casket made of wood polished later, using materials from ruined
to perfection. It has a flat roof Hoysala buildings elsewhere.

148 Karnataka Karnataka 149


south Karnataka ShRAVANABELAGOLA

LEGENDS AND MYTHOLOGY

An inscription of about 1180 CE at


Shravanabelagola tells the story of
Bahubali. Gommata or Bahubali was
a son of Adinatha, the first
Tirthankara. His brother Bharata,
who ruled at Ayodhya, challenged
his brothers to fight for the kingdom.
Bahubali defeated Bharata but
returned the kingdom to him. He
then stood for a whole year in the
Yogic pose (Pratima Yoga), which the

fast facts
When to go October-March are the
most temperate months

ShRAVANABELAGOLA Hilltop view of Shravanabelagola Tourist offices


● Office of the Deputy Director
DHAVALA SAROVARA — SAINT OF THE SILVER LAKE depictions of male and female Department of Tourism
deities. The key to this apparent Sumaka Yathri Nivas Building,
■ Vijay Nambisan residents of Shravanabelagola. The paradox is that humans need a AVK Coleage Road,
city’s history reaches back to the figure to meditate upon to realise Near Old Bus Stop, Hassan

D
riving towards earliest days of an idea of India. the best in themselves. Tel: 08172-268862
Shravanabelagola, even 10km The first Indian emperor, And surely they see it in Cell: 09880988825 (DTC)
away a man-like shape Chandra­gupta Maurya, made his Gomateshwara, a highly revered STD code 08172
becomes apparent, brooding over retreat here after relinquishing his figure among the Jains. Seekers of ● Hotel Mayura Velapuri
the flat landscape from atop the only empire to his son and undertook a trivia will appreciate the fact that at Temple Road, State Highway 110,
hill on the horizon. From outside the fast unto death in accordance with over 17m, his is said to be the tallest Belur, Hassan
town the gigantic bust is clearly the Jain tradition. That was over statue carved from a single rock in Tel: 08177-222209
visible, but within the town he is 2,300 years ago, and even Chandra­ Asia; some say it is the tallest Cell: 08970650026
masked by his hill and his temple. gupta was not the first Jain to seek monolithic statue in the world. STD code 08177
This gentle colossus, Bahubali or refuge here. And seekers of peace will surely ● Hotel Mayura Shantala
Goma­teshwara, has been gazing out The Jain teaching is more a way derive it from Gomateshwara’s Opp Hoysaleshwara Temple,
upon the world for just over a of life than a religion. Though it monolithic, steadfast patience and Halebid, Hassan
thousand years. admits the whole Hindu pantheon, the calm smile on his lips, the smile Tel: 08177-273224 Cell: 08970654600
Yet, even the ancient Bahubali is it adores the divine in humanity. of one who has conquered himself STD code 08177
among the younger perma­nent Yet, Jain art abounds in classical and thus the world.

150 Karnataka Karnataka 151


south Karnataka ShRAVANABELAGOLA

Photographs by shutterstock
statue also holds. But he could not it its name. Shravana derives from
attain peace because he was standing the Sanskrit word sramana, meaning
on his brother’s land. Bharata, ascetic, and is the common
understanding this, gave him back appellation of Jain monks. The tank
the kingdom, upon which he is about 150m square and best seen
attained enlightenment. during the climb. It is easy to walk
Local inscriptions and histories around the town. The stiffest
say that Bhadrabahu, a Jain acharya challenge is the climb up the hills:
and descendant of Mahavira, over 650 steps to the top of
predicted a famine in the north and Vindhyagiri Hill (to the south) and
moved from Ujjain to Shravana­ about half that to Chandragiri Hill
belagola with 12,000 disciples. He (to the north). Palanquins (dolis) are
was followed here by Chandra­gupta available for the former.
Maurya, who attended to the acharya
in his last days and thereafter THINGS TO SEE AND DO
attained samadhi himself.
The smaller hill, Chandragiri, has
ORIENTATION the older and richer monuments. A
little lower down the hill, within an
Shravanabelagola is centred around old stone wall, are 16 monuments,
the bela-kola (white tank) that gives 13 of which are temples of Jain Priests offer worship at the feet of the gigantic Gomateshwara statue
Tirthankaras. The oldest date to the
The massive Gomateshwara statue 8th century and the oldest Neminatha, and Santinatha. It is worship of gods, so most Jain
inscriptions to at least the 6th another 100-odd steps to the top of buildings are not really temples.
century. The larger hill, Vindhyagiri, the hill and there are smaller shrines The massive rock-cut architecture
has the statue of Bahubali at its and many structures along the path. and the crenellated walls make it
summit with a temple around him Notable amongst them is the figure seem more of a fortress, yet there is
and several smaller temples below. of Gullakayajji, an old woman said no evidence that it was used as
The statue is supposed to have been to be an incarnation of goddess such. Perhaps it is best to use the
consecrated in 983CE. The town Padmavati, who inspired the Jain word ‘basadi’ or ‘basti’, which
between these hills has many Jain sculpting of Gomat­eshwara. She means simply abode.
tem­ples and monasteries. cleaned the statue with a local fruit, Up more steps and round more
It’s best to rise early, in whatever a gulla-kayi, when the scholar turns, you come at last to the
season, and make the longer climb Chavun­daraya could not. quadrangle where Gomateshwara
up the rock-cut steps of Vindhyagiri The main doorway to the fort/ stands. He is sculpted with all the
while the air is fresh. temple at the top is called mahapurusha lakshana (signs of a
Akhandabagilu because it was great man) such as long earlobes,
Vindhyagiri carved out of a single stone. broad shoulders and long arms. The
An elegant three-celled temple, 572 Flanking the door are figures of expression of peace on his face is
steps up, stands on a high terrace Bahubali and his brother Bharata. worth travelling a long way to see.
buttressed by slabs of rock. This is It is difficult to know what to call Chavundaraya was a scholar and
the Odegala Basadi and has images the main structure. The Jain way writer as well as minister of the
saibal das
of the Tirthankaras Adinatha, does not give prominence to Ganga king Rachamalla. Jain legend

152 Karnataka Karnataka 153


south Karnataka ShRAVANABELAGOLA

says that when his mother was told


the story of Bahubali, she took a
vow not to eat or drink until she
had seen his famous image at
Paudanapura (said to be near
getting there Purushapura or present-day
Air Nearest airport: Bengaluru (157km/ Peshawar). Chavundaraya set out
31/2 hrs), well connected by all major with her on the long journey but
airlines from all metros. Taxi to near the present site, goddess
Shravanabelagola costs `3,000-4,000 Padmavati appeared to him in a
(approx for return) dream. She said the journey was
Rail Shravanabelagola is connected to impossi­ble, but that Bahubali would
Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Sholapur, appear at Vindhyagiri.
Mysuru, and Hassan by trains like Next morning, Chavundaraya
Gomteshwara Express, Bengaluru- ascend­ed Chandragiri and shot an
Kannur Express, Hassan-Solapur arrow towards the bigger hill, where
Express etc. Rickshaw fare from railway it hit a rock. He had the statue
station to main town (1km) is `10-50 and carved out of this monolith. It is
bus fare is `10 con­ceived as the main figure in an Chandragiri hill, where Acharya Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta Maurya lived
Road From Bengaluru, follow NH4 imag­inary temple, and set against
(Tumkur Road) north past Yeshwantpur the sky, it is the epitome of the mastakabhisheka is due in 2030. scent of an age when kings and holy
to Nelamangala. Stay below the flyover Digambara (‘sky-clad’) Jain ideal. The Tourist Information Centre men lived only for their duty and
at the Nelamangala intersection to get The actual sculptor is unknown. (Tel: 08176-257131) of the their dharma.
onto NH48 (Mangaluru Highway). From In the corridor around the Shravanabelagola Digam­bara Jain There are 576 inscriptions on the
here, it’s a smooth drive along NH48 quadrangle are some 30 marvellously Matt Institution Managing rocks — the most found on a single
past Kunigal till Hirisave, short of carved figures of the Tirthankaras. Committee (SDJMIMC) at the foot site in India. They date from the 6th
Channarayapatna. At the centre of ◆ Timings All day of Vindhya­giri is very good with to the 19th cen­turies and speak of a
Hirisave, turn left to catch State Highway ◆ Related info There is a Navakalasha info and advice. The Karnataka dozen dynas­ties, includ­ing the
8 (Chettali Road) to Shravanabelagola. Puja to Gommateshwara every Tourism Office next door is also Gangas, Rashtra­ku­tas, Cha­­lu­k­yas,
From Mysuru, drive to Srirangapatna Sunday at 8am. Footwear must be quite helpful. Hoysalas, Vijayana­gara kings, and
and catch State Highway 7 (Arsikere left at the bottom of the hill (at Wodeyars. Notable are the signature
Road) to Krishnarajpet. A country road Chandragiri, too); the charge for Chandragiri of Cha­vun­daraya and the title
leads north from Krishnarajpet to safekeeping is nominal. There are To the historically minded, ‘Kaviratna’ denot­ing the Kannada
Shravanabelagola but is good (or bad) in clean toilets at the foot of Vindhya­ Chandragiri is much more interesting poet Ranna. Inside the wall below
patches. KSRTC buses ply from giri. The Mahamasta­ka­bhi­sheka than the larger hill. Known as (perhaps the ‘vapra’ of the old name)
Bengaluru and Mangaluru. If you stay in or ritual anointing of Gomateshwara Katavapra (which connotes a is a wealth of archi­tecture. Most
Hassan, a day-trip to Shravanabelagola is a grand event that takes place fortification) or Kalvappu from basa­dis are in the south­ern vimana
by taxi will cost `2,000-2,500. Bus No once in 12 years; the last one was ancient times, it gained sanctity from style but betray half a dozen different
direct KSRTC buses to Shravana­ in February 2018. All pilgrims may the visit of Acharya Bhadrabahu. His influences. As there are guides on
belagola. Private buses ply regularly. climb up the scaffolding for a rare cave — where the slanting mass of the spot, and many explana­tory
Fare from Bengaluru (140km/2-3 hr) to top-down look at the statue; only rock above almost presses on the book­lets are available, only the more
Shravanabelagola is `150-500 Jains are allowed to perform beholder’s eyes — and that of curi­ous and beautiful details are
abhisheka. The next Maha­ Chandragupta, higher up, are remini­ men­tioned here.

154 Karnataka Karnataka 155


south Karnataka ShRAVANABELAGOLA

ahtushi deshpande

WHILE IN Shravanabelagola `900 for a five-bed room Hall rate is


`650 (25 pax) and `850 (40 pax).
A good long early morning walk These rooms have attached baths
among the fields is recommended. (Indian toilets) and gey­sers. Write to
In the town, the Jain Math or the General Manager, Accom­­mo­
monastery, where the acharya resides, dation Section, SDJMIMC,
has some interesting wall paintings Shravanabelagola, Hassan
from the 18th century. The temples District-573135. Jains may also write
are of the Hoysala period, from the to the Secretary (Tel: 257131), SDJ­
12th century onwards. The Bhandari MI­MC (address as above). There is
basadi and the Akkana basadi are accommo­dation at Vindhyagiri itself,
pleas­ing, finished temples. The and Jain food is available.
Kalamma Tem­ple has a seated four- Hotel Raghu (Tel: 257238; Tariff:
handed image of Kali. `600-1,000), facing the tank in the
Tip Bahubali and Shravanabelagola centre of town, is a fairly simple
are sacred to the Digambara Jain sect place with a basic restaurant. Besides
and it is not unusual to see ‘sky-clad’ these, the many comfortable hotels
These elephants at a temple can only be the work of master craftsmen monks in town and on Vindhya­giri. in Hassan town (see page 437, 50km
You will be wise to accept their away, are a good base for extended
The Kattale basadi (dark temple) study­ing, but the basadi is notable customs if you want to blend in visits to Shravanabelagola.
is the largest and most elaborate but for a flight of stone steps within the Shravanabelagola is strictly
also the poorest lit. It has a passage building, leading to a second storey WHERE TO STAY and eat vegetarian. Hotel Raghu is a
around the sanc­tum, but the tower with a second shrine cham­ber, said reasonable place for refreshments,
overhead is now miss­ing. The 1.8m to be built by Chavundaraya’s son. In Shravanabelagola, the SDJMIMC with tiffin and thalis. There is a Jain
figure of Adinatha is a fine piece of Many of the basadis do not now (Tel: 08176-257258, Cell: Dosa Palace on the north­ern end of
Hoysala art. The annexe to this hold their original deities. Some 07892471068) provides basic the tank, with much the same rates.
temple, the Chandragupta basadi, figures have been shifted here from accommo­dation for visitors. It Jain food is available at the
dates to the earliest Gangas and is other temples, or carved long after operates 22 guesthouses and two SDJMIMC-run temple hostel.
probably the oldest basadi here. the basadi was made. dharamshalas on Channaraya­patna
Tradition has it that this was built by The free-standing Kuge Road. These have rooms with two, For details, see Shravanabelagola
Chandra­gupta, and though it is at Brahmadeva Pillar perhaps dates three, four, five, and six beds, plus Accommo­dation Listings on page 444
least a millennium later, it is possibly back to 974. It has a seated figure of unfurnished halls. Up to 200 people
built on the site of his structure. It’s Brahmadeva on top and eight can be housed in the rooms, and 300 AROUNDs
remark­able for its two delicate, elephants supporting the pedestal, people in the halls. In these
filigreed screens of soapstone. These of which five remain. On the guesthouses, the rates are `200 for a Belur (see page 146)
bear minutely carved scenes from opposite side of the enclosure is an two-bed, `310 for a three-bed, and Halebid (see page 146) ■
the story of Bhadrabahu’s dream and unfinished statue half-sunk in the
Chandragupta’s abdication, and their ground. This is said to be an image
end in Shravanabelagola.
The Chavundaraya basadi, one
of Bahubali’s brother Bharata,
though the guide said it was a
#Awesomekarnataka
of the finest, is a contemporary of working model for the Bahubali
the Bahubali statue on the opposite statue. However, its inscription
hill. The friezes and motifs are worth dates it to around the year 900.

156 Karnataka Karnataka 157


Kodagu
Region
The compelling richness of fragrant
coffee plantations, colonial nuances and
warm hospitality
Kodagu Route Planner

160 Karnataka Karnataka 161


Kodagu Madikeri

is from the 9th century that the Veerarajendra in 1790, who added
region’s history is clearer. Some of his own touches to the complex,
South India’s most celebrated putting in the two life-sized masonry
empires of the time ruled over this elephants, and a stone turtle on the
region. The list includes the likes of palace grounds — artefacts that are
the Chola Dynasty, the Gangas, still standing today.
Changalvas, and the Pandya, The British, who allied with
Kadamba, and Hoysala empires. Veerarajendra in his battle against
The Haleri kingdom reigned over Tipu Sultan, took over the fort in
Kodagu for more than 200 years 1834. The Church of St. Mark’s
from the 16th to 18th centuries, inside the complex is a remnant of
before it passed into the hands of this rule, as are the clock tower and
general-turned-ruler Hyder Ali and portico. The church also has a
his son Tipu Sultan. The British museum full of artefacts from
occupied the region from the early the region, particularly from the
1800s until Independence. British era. The museum also has a
There is a lot to see in the segment dedicated to hometown
beautiful Kodagu district — from hero, Field Marshal KM Cariappa.
cultural and historical sites such as
old forts and foreign settlements
and places wrapped in the embrace
of nature to modern resorts and
quaint cafés. For the adventure buff,
there is everything from trekking to
shutterstock
The Madikeri Fort, built in the 17th century by Muddu Raja, was expanded later whitewater rafting and angling. fast facts
Kodagu has a little bit of When to go Ideal time to visit is between
everything: history, adventure, October and May
Madikeri natural beauty, and, of course, those
legendary coffee plantations.
Forest Office/ Tourist Office
● Office of the Assistant Director
Coffee Country Department of Tourism
Things to see and do Stuart Hill, Madikeri, Kodagu
■ Sid Kapadia ground. One of the biggest coffee Tel: 08272-228580 (AD Office)
hubs in India, this hill district is Madikeri Fort Cell: 09448004466 (TO)

C
offee is a seemingly magical spread across 4,102 sq km of the In the heart of Madikeri town lies the Cell: 09844535509, 08073829204
elixir, with its bewitching Western Ghats. Besides large swathes famous Madikeri Fort. When it was (DTC)
aroma and heady kick of of coffee and spice plantations, first commissioned by Muddu Raja STD code 08272
caffeine, that recharges people the Kodagu is home to dense forests and of the Haleri kingdom, the fort and ● KSTDC Information Office
world over. While most Indians may experiences heavy rainfall. Its the palace inside the complex were Hotel Mayura Valley View
prefer the lure of chai instead, there proximity to Bengaluru makes it the simple mud structures. Tipu Sultan Near Raja’s Seat, Stuart Hill,
are many of us who prefer a good perfect getaway for urban dwellers. occupied it for a brief period in the Madikeri, Kodagu
old ‘cup of joe’. If you play for the Though it is widely believed that late 17th century and re-built it with Cell: 08970650028
coffee team, then the Kodagu district the Kodagu region has been stone. He was eventually overthrown STD code 08272
of Karnataka (or Coorg) is its home inhabited since the 2nd century, it by Haleri emperor Dodda

162 Karnataka Karnataka 163


Kodagu Madikeri

ANURAG MALLICK
Omkareshwara Temple any more. Whether or not the legend
From afar, you might mistake this is based on any truth, the temple
magnificent 18th century temple for itself is quite gorgeous and definitely
a dargah for its bright orange and worth a visit.
gold paint job. Commissioned by
king Lingarajendra II of the Haleri Raja’s Seat
dynasty, the temple was dedicated to Also known as the ‘Seat of the King’,
Lord Shiva. Legend has it that this this spot in Madikeri is a perfect
temple was built as a form of vantage point to watch the golden
atonement; the story goes that a sun setting over the valleys around
Brahmin was caught in the political Kodagu. Clearly, the former monarchs
crosshairs of the monarch, and of the Kodagu district thought so,
because his death was unjust, his too, because this spot has long been
spirit lingered, giving the king a place of relaxation for the region’s
nightmares. The king’s courtiers then royalty, and there’s even an old
advised him to build this temple in pavilion here from where they used
order to make peace with the to enjoy the view. Today, the spot
Brahmin’s spirit, and supposedly, the has a sprawling garden, complete
idea worked. After building the with a musical fountain, and even
Omkareshwara Temple, the king has a little toy train for children.
wasn’t plagued by those nightmares ◆ Entry fee `10 Golden Buddhas at the Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement, spread over 3,000 acres

The Omkareshwara Temple is said to have been built to appease a Brahmin’s spirit Gaddige and is home to the Namdroling
The Raja’s Tombs, or the tombs of Monastery and the famous Golden
the sleeping kings, are the final Temple. Over 3,000 Buddhist monks
resting place of king Dodda live in the monastery, which was
Virarajendra, his wife Mahadevamma established in 1963, and today has a
on one side, and flanked by a tomb high school, institutes, a research
for Lingaraja (his brother) on the centre, a nunnery and more. The
other side. Though the tombs are monastery is also amongst the few
built in the Indo-Saracenic style of places in India where Losar or the
architecture, with a dome in the Tibetan New Year is celebrated in
centre and turrets on the four corners February or March. During this
of the structure, since the kings were period, decorations are put up,
all Hindu, there are carvings of Lord processions are held, and the
Shiva and Nandi on the tombs. compound is even treated to
traditional Lama dances. The massive
Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement golden Buddha statues draw many a
A Tibetan settlement spread across tourist to the settlement.
3,000 acres of land, Bylakuppe was
established in 1961 by exiled Tibetans Cauvery Nisargadhama
fleeing from Chinese rule. It is one of A small island in the Cauvery river,
the largest Tibetan colonies in India, Nisargadhama can be accessed via a
ANURAG MALLICK

164 Karnataka Karnataka 165


Kodagu Madikeri

shutterstock
hanging bridge. The island is a great Dubare Elephant Camp
place to get away from the chaos of If you are fascinated by pachyderms,
busy Madikeri and enjoy a relaxing Dubare is the place to go to. Run by
boat ride. With sandalwood trees the forest department, the Elephant
and bamboo groves all around, Camp is home to a huge herd, and
taking a walk here is an immensely trained naturalists give you an insight
enjoyable experience. The island also about these gentle giants. You can
has enclosures that house spotted not only watch the elephants in
deer and rabbits. There is also an their natural habitat but also get up
assortment of adventure courses to close and interact with them;
keep children occupied. The island elephant rides are available. These
has a special spot where the fences are all elephants that have been
surrounding the island part to allow retired from logging operations and
you to venture into the Kaveri River. a visit to this camp is an extremely
The place is peaceful (when not too informative and enjoyable one.
crowded, which it usually is on
weekends and holidays) and a great Coffee plantation visits
spot to relax. You can even choose to With Kodagu’s strong coffee
live in treehouses and bamboo credentials, it’s not surprising that
cottages run by the state’s forest plantation walks, visits and stays are Pristine beauty of the Cauvery Nisargadhama forested island
department if you wish. a part of the tourist setup. You can
◆ Entry fee Adult `10; Child `5 explore coffee plantations, see what `3,068-6,136) and Hill Town serene and tranquil surroundings.
the plants look like, and depending Hotel (Tel: 223801) offer 50 rooms, Gubbimane Homestay (Cell:
Dubare Elephant Camp upon the time of the year, even while another property nearby, The 07760795415; Tariff: `1,300pp +all
witness the beautifully red cherry- Highton Hotel, has 31 rooms. You meals) also in Kabbinakad, serves
like coffee plant in bloom, or witness need to call ahead for rates. Club vegetarian meals. Amanvana
the process of air-drying the seeds Mahindra Kodagu Valley (Tel: Luxury Spa Resort (Tel: 08276-
extracted from the plants. Visiting a 221114; Tariff: `12,000-20,000), 279353-55, Cell: 09480696070/ 71;
plantation is an important addition located on Galibeedu Road, offers Tariff: `13,325-14,988 +breakfast,
to any to-do list if you are a coffee adventure sports, and has a pool, activities), Kannika International
nut and would like to understand spa and library. The Last Resort (Tel: 274728, 273318; Tariff: `1,998-
how that delicious brew goes from (Cell: 09880742726; Tariff: `2,500pp, 2,499 +breakfast), and Parumpara
seed to plant to bean and eventually with meals), in Hosapatna, is a Resort & Spa (Cell: 09901308444;
rests in a jar on your kitchen mantle swanky private cottage with four Tariff: `5,600-10,500, full dorm:
as coffee powder. cosy rooms. `11,500 +two meals; TE) are good
The Forest Department has options in Kushalnagar.
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT a guest house (Tariff: `400-600) Madikeri has superb eco-farm
with two rooms at Nanjarayapatna and plantation stays as well. Located
In Madikeri, Coorg International Post near Valnoor. The Tamara 2.5km from Madikeri, Shanti Estate
(Tel: 08272-228071-72, 229390; Coorg (Bengaluru Tel: 080- Bungalow (Tel: 223690, Cell:
Tariff: `4,800-11,500 +breakfast; TE), 71077700; Tariff: `14,000-18,000 09845505200; Tariff: `500-1,000pp)
Karnataka Tourism’s Mayura Valley +breakfast; TE), in Kabbinakad is spread over acres of coffee estate.
View (Tel: 228387, 298387; Tariff: Estate, is a luxury stay, offering Golden Mist Plantation & Resorts
shutterstock

166 Karnataka Karnataka 167


Kodagu Madikeri

ANURAG MALLICK
(Tel: 265629, Cell: 09448903670, and monks, on a winding hill road
09663923679; Tariff: `3,000pp, with will take you to Madapur. The road
meals), and Rainforest Retreat (Tel: to Madapur from Bengaluru, in fact,
265638, Cell 09481501623; Tariff: opens up on a typical countryside
Cottages `3,000-4,000, tents `2,000 landscape — palm trees, paddy fields
+breakfast) are located in Galibeedu. and a scattering of villages. But once
Nestled in leafy environs, Hillyside you reach the tiny hamlet Madapur,
Estate (Tel: 08276-262666, Bengaluru it will bewitch you with its unique
reservations Tel: 080-41237561, rustic charm. Whether it’s a trek to
Cell: 09880031470; Tariff: `1,500) is Makkala Gudi Betta or the ‘Kodaikanal
a good choice. of Kodagu’ to enjoy the backwaters
of Harangi reservoir or a visit to
For more, see Coorg Accommodation Mallalli Falls, this is a place where
Listings on page 441. you can get in tune with nature and
let the Madapur river wash your
Arounds troubles away.
Check into any of the two
Madapur (21km) beautiful homestays. Run by the
A 90-minute drive from Kushalnagar, owners of a coffee plantation, Bel
a market place bustling with activity Home is a beautiful estate with a
great view. The knowledgeable
The lush greens of Siddapur owners not only offer their valuable Bhagamandala, with its three temples, is at the confluence of three rivers
insights into this gorgeous slice of
Kodagu, they also spoil your taste Ammathi is an education in Kodava cuisine.
buds with delicious Coorgi home- The annual Family Hockey Festival Bonfires can also be arranged.
cooked food. Coorg River Valley here was intended to integrate far- Coorg Golf Links (Tel: 298009;
Homestay is another excellent flung Kodava families. The plan Tariff: Non-members ` 3,000,
option where you can relax by the worked as relatives made it a point to members `1,500) also has a beautiful
riverbank and enjoy the chirping of visit Coorg during the month-long cottage, overlooking the golf course.
birds and savour the delights of fest that has become the Woodstock Sand Banks (Cell: 09448588150;
living in the lovely independent of Sports. Tariff: `3,500-4,000) has cottages and
cottages. Spacious bedrooms, a Homestays offering a variety a thatched hut that serves as a
swimming pool, and plenty of fresh activities and Coorgi food dot the charming dining area.
air and open spaces will ensure area. Do make bookings for your stay
your utmost comfort. well in advance. Bhagamandala (35km)
Evolve Back Resort (Tel: 08274- This is a temple town at the
Siddapur (28km) 252481-84; Tariff: `33,000-70,000 confluence of the Cauvery with the
Before the British colonialists +meals, activities) offers serene views, Kannike and the invisible Sujyothi
transformed Siddapur’s lush forest a plethora of activities and a choice rivers. Three temples are dedicated to
cover into coffee estates, it used to be of three restaurants. Bhagamandal­eswara, Subrahmanya,
called Siddhapura. The drive to this Alath-Cad Estate (Tel: 252589, and Vishnu. These temples are lit up
town is scenic and 8km away is 252190; Tariff: `2,500-4,000) is in by oil lamps during a festival in
Ammathi, a place worth visiting. Ammathi. Their home-cooked buffet October/November. A dip in the river
punit paranjpe

168 Karnataka Karnataka 169


Kodagu Madikeri

Srikanth kolari
tall atop the Western Ghats and
provides a spectacular view of the
multiple green hues of a vast coffee
plantation. Meanwhile, the gorgeous
50-year old Glenlorna Bungalow
with its sprawling bedrooms is best getting there
enjoyed with a steaming cup of tea, Air Nearest airport: Kannur International
overlooking the only tea plantation Airport, Kerala (90km/2-3 hrs) and
in Kodagu. Although set in the Bajpe International Airport, Mangaluru
quietude of the countryside, the five (136km/3-4 hrs). Both are well-
bungalows are far from old school connected to most major cities of India.
— room service, laundry service, Air India, Indigo, Spicejet, etc are some
television channels, and wi-fi are of the major carriers which serve
available on-site. domestic and international destinations.
Moreover, there are plenty of fun Taxi hire cost (two-way) from Kannur to
activities to keep you engaged Madikeri is `4,000-5,000, and from
throughout your stay. Birdwatching, Mangaluru `5,000-6,000. KSRTC Volvo
photography, cycling, nature walks, bus fare from Mangaluru is `500-700
trekking, golf and open-jeep drives and normal bus fare is `140-300. There
through lush plantations, where are also private bus services to Madikeri
you can learn about coffee-making (4 hrs/ `550-600)
Tata Coffee’s Woshully Estate Bungalow, Polibetta techniques, can keep you busy. The Rail Nearest rail head: Hassan (104km)
fresh air infused with the aromas of /Mysuru (117km). It is a 3-hr drive to
at Bhagamandala is a papa­snana; it is Polibetta (39km) coffee, vanilla, pepper and other Madikeri from both. Taxi to Madikeri
said to wash away your sins. Another Kodagu is a land of mesmerising spices add to the inexplicable beauty costs around `4,000-5,000. There are
site worth a visit is the Bhagamandala beauty and scenic charm, which was of the place. KSRTC buses which ply from Hassan
temple. The Kodava king Dodda a huge attraction for the British, (4 hrs/`123) and Mysuru (4 hrs/ `118-
Veera­rajendra reconstructed this 200 who carved out a string of estates in Talacauvery (43km) 347) Road Madikeri is quite well
years ago. It has carved ceilings and the most spectacular of locales. At Talacauvery, the shrine to goddess connected by road as it lies on the
pillars painted with vegetable dyes. Polibetta is considered the ‘coffee Kaveri is set against the backdrop of SH-88 and can be easily accessed by
home’ of Coorg and is located 40km the Brahmagiri Hills, which rise up road. Bus KSRTC buses ply regularly
Where to Stay and Eat south-east of Madikeri, a part of to 4,396ft. A dip in the spring at from Hassan (104km/ 4 hrs/ `123),
There are a few lodging options in Kodagu’s ‘Golden Quadrilateral’. Talacauvery is the punya­snana, the Mysuru (117km/ 4 hrs/ `118-347),
Bhagamandala. Of these, KSTDC’s The Tata group, which has a great holy dip. The only accommodation Mangaluru (136km/ 3-4 hrs/ `500-700)
Hotel Mayura Talakavery (Cell: interest here in the coffee business, options, for Talacauvery, are in to Madikeri
08970650030; Tariff: `1,344-1,456, offers five ‘holiday home’ bungalows Bhagamandala (8km). ■
dorm bed `200-300), has comfortable in the area that are now operated by
lodging. The hotel’s dining hall Taj management, and serve up an
serves good vegetarian food. For excellent experiential sojourn of rich #Awesomekarnataka
meals, the Mayur Residency is a history, luxury and heritage.
clean eatery. You can also eat good The Polibetta Bungalow, with its
vegetarian food at Santosh Hotel, wooden flooring and intricately
right next to the temple. engraved Victorian furniture, stands

170 Karnataka Karnataka 171


Kodagu VIRAJPET

called it Virarajendrapet after foot of Malethirke Hill, which wears


himself, which over the years, got a bottle-green cloak owing to its
truncated to Virajpet. dense forest cover with the spire of
The cultural mix in Virajpet is St. Anne’s Church visible from afar.
what makes it different. After the
Battle of Plassey in 1757 and the
defeat of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula by
the British, many Bengali Muslims
moved to the south, to settle in
Kochi and Kannur. The Kodagu king
invited them and various other fast facts
communities to populate his newly When to go A good time to visit is
founded town. About 100 between mid-December and June,
descendants of these Bengali when a series of annual festivals take
Muslims from Kannur came to place. The temples of local deities like
Virajpet during mid-1790s. The area Bhagavathy and Bhadrakali are at their
where they established homes is colourful best. The first festival in Coorg
known as Bengali Street. Virajpet is kick-started by Kundath Bott in Kunda
accommodated Bunts, Gowdas and Village (after Tula Sankaramana around
Brahmins from South Kanara, October 17th/18th) and the last festival
SHUTTERSTOCK
Christians from Kannur and takes place at Barana Namme in
The St. Anne’s Church spire is visible from afar amid the greenery Periyapatna, Moplas from Malabar, Kandangala Village. The Bhadrakali
Tamilians from Madras, Telugu namme (Kali festival) at Kukloor Village
Chettis from Andhra, Devangas and in Virajpet takes place around April 23
VIRAJPET Jains from Mysuru; even today
avenues like Telugu Street and Jain
and is a colourful and spirited
celebration.
born of a war Street can be found in town! Tourist Offices
Due to its proximity to the Kerala ● KSTDC
■ anurag mallick and Bombay, from the south via Heggale border, Virajpet developed as a key Hotel Mayura Talakavery
PRIYA GANAPATHY pass in Kodagu (Coorg), aided by commercial centre of Kodagu. The Virajpet-Talakaveri Road,
Veerarajendra. The British and the country’s first beekeepers’ Bhagamandala,

H
istory recounts how the Kodavas proved to be invaluable co-operative society was formed Kodagu
valiant Kodavas repeatedly allies, especially in the Fourth Anglo- here in 1936 and Virajpet shot to Tel: 08272-243143
took on the might of Hyder Mysore War, in which Tipu Sultan fame as the highest producer of Cell: 08970650030
Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. After was killed. A new relationship was honey in Asia. One of the main ● Office of the Assistant Director
several rebellions, the Kodava king forged, which paved the way for a districts of Coorg, Virajpet is a nodal Department of Tourism
Veerarajendra I entered into an transfer of cultures — from British town. Shops jostle against each Stuart Hill, Madikeri, Kodagu
alliance with the British against the etiquette to Scotch and love for the other on either side of the narrow Tel: 08272-228580 (AD Office)
Tiger of Mysuru. It is said that gun and game. Legend has it that road that swoops and rises. The Cell: 09448004466 (TO)
Srirangapatna, Tipu’s stronghold, the Kodagu king Veerarajendra I frenetic commercial activity, coupled Cell: 09844535509, 08073829204
was attacked by Lord Cornwallis founded a township in 1792 at the with honks and people speaking (DTC)
from Bangalore and by General spot where he first met Major different tongues adds to its vibrant STD code 08272
Abercrombie, the Governor of General Robert Abercrombie. He air. The township is located at the

172 Karnataka Karnataka 173


Kodagu VIRAJPET

ANURAG MALLICK
Stay at little homestays tucked magnificent view of the town. It’s a
away around town, visit a devarakadu steep climb and it’s more sensible to
(holy grove), play golf at Bittangala take a jeep to reach the top. You need
and escape to nearby getaways like to disembark and trek up a short
Chelavara Falls, Nalknad Palace, distance to visit the Shiva temple.
Padi Igguthappa Temple, and
Thadiandamol, the tallest peak in St. Anne’s Church
Kodagu. (See Virajpet on page 447) A key landmark of Virajpet, St. Anne’s
was originally built as a small
Things to See and Do European-style church in 1792 under
the direction of Father Gullivan with
Malethirke Hill the support of Kodagu’s rulers. It was
Virajpet town is dominated by the dismantled in 1811 and again in
Malethirke hill, which commands a 1868 to be replaced by a new spacious
church in the present Gothic style.
The most magnificent aspect is the
180ft steeple, besides the copper
roof, decorated interiors and statues
from the Bible. Although King
Veerarajendra I presented a gold
getting there crown, an ornamental brass box and
Air Nearest airport: Kannur International a brass lamp to the church, only the The glass-like sheen of the crystal waters of Perambady Lake
Airport, Kerala (58km/1-2 hrs), Bajpe lamp with his inscription remains
Airport, Mangaluru (165km/4-5 hrs); Taxi today. The location is picture-perfect temple right next to the clocktower An 18-hole course (6950 yard, par 72
from Kannur to Virajpet costs `1,200- as the church is tucked away from and during the annual Ganesh course), it hosts more than a dozen
1,400; and KSRTC Volvo bus fare is the road and rises amidst leafy Chaturthi festival, this busy Virajpet tournaments through the year.
`400; from Mangaluru, KSRTC Volvo coconut trees and red-roofed junction gets chock-a-block with Interspersed with water bodies, tanks
bus fare is `450-570 buildings with vast paddy fields on devotees of the elephant god. and natural hazards, the front nine
Rail Nearest railhead: Mysuru (110 km/ one side and the majestic Malethirke holes are fun to play while the nine
2.5 hrs) is well connected to all major hill in the background. Perambady Lake at the rear are flatter, narrower and
cities. Bus from Mysuru to Virajpet From Virajpet town, take the main more challenging.
costs `110-140. Taxi fare is `2,500- Clocktower road towards Kerala via Meenpet. u Contact Coorg Golf Links, Spring
3,000 A prominent landmark, the Just a little past the check-post the Valley Annexe, Bittangala Tel:
Road Take the Mysuru highway and clocktower stands on an elevated road curves and the beautiful 08274-298009
follow SH-88A to reach Virajpet via point right in the middle of Virajpet’s Perambady lake lies like a glimmering
Tittimati, Gonikoppal and Bittangala. It main street. It was built in 1911 by sheet of glass. The trees and the SHOPPING
takes about 51/2 hrs from Bengaluru. Mukkatira Aiyyappa to commemorate densely foliated hill looming in the
Bus From Mysuru (110km/2-3 hrs) British King George V’s visit to India. background cast a stunning reflection Coffee, spices, honey, home-made
KSRTC buses ply regularly on these An inscription on the clocktower in its still waters. wine and snacks can be bought from
routes. Fare: KSRTC/private buses mentions the foundation stone was Virajpet and Gonikoppal. Pick up
`110-300; fare from Bengaluru laid by Sir Hugh Daly, the Chief Golfing at Bittangala traditional Coorg jewellery like
(235km/5-6 hrs) is `550-600 Commissioner of Coorg, on February The dew-drenched golf course is best peechekathi, odikathi, kupya chale,
5, 1915. There’s a beautiful Ganesha experienced in the crisp morning air. kokkethathi and jomale at Coorg

174 Karnataka Karnataka 175


Kodagu VIRAJPET

ANURAG MALLICK
Traditional Jewellery Works on nature with neat and clean rooms
Gonikoppal Road in Virajpet. and a sitout that serves as the dining
area where home-cooked Kodava
Where to Eat fare is served on request. Rooms are
equipped with en suite bathrooms
While driving into Kodagu, make a and TV. A trip to their coffee estate
lunch stop at Cuisine Papera in can be arranged at an additional
Gowri Complex on the Virajpet- cost. Ambatty Greens (Tel: 08274-
Mysuru Road in Gonikoppal. Try 298004, 298012; Cell: 09008785744;
local Coorg cuisine like pork choodals, Tariff: `10,880-12,160 +breakfast) at
voneyy yerchi (smoked pork), bemble Bittangala, Coorg Golf Links, is run
(bamboo shoot) and pandi curry. by the Amritara chain. The golf
resort is in a picturesque valley and
Where to Stay offers 24 aesthetically designed
rooms overlooking the 18-hole golf
37, Malabar Road (Cell: course and Ambatty Hills on the far
09886827885; Tariff: `2,000-3,000) side. The restaurant has an electric
at Anugraha, 37/12B, Malabar Road, fireplace at its centre with an indoor
is an independent house located in and outdoor section overlooking the Ritual dances are performed at festivals to honour the gods of sacred groves
town overlooking paddy fields, a golf course and an attached bar. The
garden and a backyard with a small
patch of coffee bushes. Despite being
complex has beautiful landscaping
in a 2-acre patch, enhanced by two
Devarakadu: The sacred groves of Kodagu
close to town, the B&B is snug amidst waterfalls, a lily pond, with plenty of Kodagu is the hotspot of the sacred grove dedicated to Subbamma, Gangadeshwara,
tradition in the world and boasts the highest or Murudeshwara, deities from the Hassan
Kick back and relax at the serene Ambatty Greens density of groves in the world. Sacred or old Mysuru district. In Mercara and
groves or temple forests are one of the Sampaje, influences from South Canara
oldest forms of conserving tropical forests. and Kerala prevail, and lots of devarakadus
Of the 1,214 sacred forests in Kodagu, 508 are dedicated to naga devas. Annual
are in Virajpet Taluk. These groves are festivals or namme see vibrant temple
named after local gods (165 local deities, dances, such as the Bolakk aat (lamp
many from Kerala) and managed by local dance), Kathi aat (knife dance), Peeli aat
village communities. (peacock feather dance), Komb aat (stag
The most prominent deity is Ayyappa, horn dance) and Chowri aat (yak tail/bison
with 162 groves dedicated to him. Botekara tail dance) being performed. Some noted
Ayyappa is Shiva in hunter form devarakadus include the Ayyappa
accompanied by dogs, with offerings of devarakadu in Kollatholbaigod village. The
terracotta dogs. Many devarakadus are sacred grove has a huge monolithic rock
dedicated to Chamundi, Bhadrakali, and a smaller obelisk nearby, signifying his
Bhagavathy, or Kali — different names for younger brother Pollappa (Subramanya).
Shakti; she is offered terracotta horses. In The Vana Bhadrakali devarakadu lies just
Virajpet region, several devarakadus are off the main road from Virajpet-Bittangala
dedicated to Sarthaavu (form of Shiva). towards Hathur village. The 16-acre grove
Around Somwarpet, the sacred groves are has an annual festival on June 15.
Courtesy AMBATTY GREENS

176 Karnataka Karnataka 177


Kodagu VIRAJPET

ANURAG MALLICK
they walk over burning heaps of coal tributary of the river Cauvery near
and leaping flames. Cheyandane on the way to Kabbe
Holidays homestay. The falls are
Where to stay visible after walking a few metres
Springdale Estate Villa (Cell: into the forest and gush down from
07676107777; Tariff: ` 3,500 a height of 150ft on a rock shaped
+breakfast; TE) is located at Kadanga, like a tortoise, thus called embepare
Arapattu Village. (tortoise rock) in the local language.
A short drive from the main road The deceptively beautiful falls are
takes you up a long driveway leading approximately 100ft deep in parts.
to lush coffee and spice plantations One can easily get pulled into its
for a luxe countryside stay with four dangerous waters and cautionary
spacious double room villas. Stroll signs warn visitors against getting
around the plantation, which has a into the water. More than 20 people
stream flowing through it, go have died here. The falls are at their
birdwatching, angling, trekking or best during monsoon.
just curl up with a book on the
balcony that offers great views of Kabbe Pass (23km)
the property. Lunch and dinner Kabbe Pass has been the proverbial
The Chelavara Falls are formed by a tributary of river Cauvery served on request `400 pp, at the bridge between Kodagu and Kerala as
resort’s in-house restaurant. trade and culture crossed borders
greenery, and open space. Coorg 20-40ft deep and 10ft wide. Their The Windchimes Retreat (Cell: over the years. Through the pass,
Golf Links (Tel: 298009; Cell: linear extent is estimated as 500 to 09686976113, 09513331333; Tariff: spices and rice from Kodagu were
09740260346; Tariff: `3,000; TE) at 600 miles in ancient times. Although `4,500-7,500 + breakfast; TE) at exchanged for salt from Kerala,
Spring Valley Annexe, Bittangala, traces of these kadangas can be found, Manjunatha Estate, Heggala Road, resulting in the subsequent
has six rooms (open only to members most have disappeared due to is set in the hills of Virajpet on a transmigration of culture. The open
and their guests) a restaurant, a intensive land use. Admire the sunset 50-acre estate; the resort offers a shrines of Kodagu acquired the
snooker table and bridge as additional over Soma Male, visit the Balamuri Chimes standard room and Wind typical Kerala roof and the rain god
recreation. The conference hall can Ganesha temple or trudge up to the room, both with king-size panel Igguthappa, with his brothers and
be booked through members. Bhagavathy temple, 2km from town. beds, balcony, wardrobe, leather sister, crossed the hills from Kerala to
The annual festival at the Bhagavathy sofa and bathroom. Amenities Kodagu. You can trek to the pass to
arounds temple, usually on March 21-24, include minibar, tea/coffee maker, see the green hills of Kerala gradually
culminates with the priest going into LED TV and iron. stretching out on one side while
Kadanga (10km) a trance and performing twelve Chomakund, Hanging Rock, Kabbe
Kadanga serves as a vital link to different dances around the temple. Chelavara Falls (22km) Kund, Baliyatra, and Baliyakund
Kodagu’s feudal past. The kadangas On March 28, the Choundi Teray A natural waterfall formed by a small loom on the Coorg side. ■
of Kodagu are said to be the most (festival of Chamundi’s spirit) takes
ancient war trenches known in the place and three chosen persons
world, mentioned in stone
inscriptions dating back to 888 and
become channels of the deities.
During the teray, similarly attired
#Awesomekarnataka
have existed long before the use of and face-painted like Kerala’s
fortifications. The town is named Theyyam, they get possessed by the
after these war trenches, which were three gods and become oracles as

178 Karnataka Karnataka 179


Kodagu KAKKABE

honey producer in South-East Asia. Karnataka after Mullaiyanagiri in the


But a chance virus wiped out the Baba Budan Range. Thadiyen­damol
resident bee population. What you lures trekkers with the promise of a
lose on the swings, you gain on the glimpse of the coastline.
roundabouts. The bee crisis deflected The trek is gentle, but the last
attention to something more than quarter is a steep climb. The 21/2-hr
honey — the bountiful nature that climb (one-way) from Palace Estate
produced it. Birdwatchers and back­ (see page 438) is shorter, but the
packers realised that there’s more to longer 31/2-hr climb from Honey
Kodagu than Madikeri. They marched Valley Estate (see Where to Stay and
through the clouds to rediscover Eat on page 183) passes through thick
Thadiyendamol, and the sleepy rainforest and more scenic terrain.
Kodava village of Kakkabe in the
shadow of the great mountain.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO

With a landscape not tarnished by


Coca Cola signboards, Kakkabe is fast facts
alamy images / india picture
nature’s laboratory. It can transform When to go Kakkabe is accessible
The majestic Thadiyendamol peak is the tallest in Kodagu a boring natu­­­ral science class into throughout the year, but avoid July-
an exciting practical tour. It offers August when the rainforest receives
interactive modules on the heavy showers and teems with leeches.
KAKKABE formation of clouds, the manufacture
of honey, and the process of cross-
The post-monsoon months are very
rewarding for birdwatchers. Ideal
cloud-cloaked mountain pollination — with waterfalls, season is between September and May
gurgling streams and treks as your Tourist Offices
■ anurag mallick and the rain god Igguthappa, along with break periods. ● KSTDC
PRIYA GANAPATHY his siblings, migrate from Kerala to The rainforest cover gives the Hotel Mayura Talakavery
Kodagu. Soon after, the sky darkened. region a rich bounty of rare orchids, Virajpet-Talakaveri Road,

T
hadiyendamol stood tall. For Igguthappa had smiled; he brought plants and birds. Scenic treks take Bhagamandala, Kodagu
centuries, he had been the rain. A Malabar whistling thrush, his you to Mallamma Betta, Soma Male Tel: 08272-243143
lone sentinel, towering over blue-black coat ruffled, was caught and Kabbe Pass, from where you can Cell: 08970650030
lesser peaks and serving as a landmark unawares by the fat drops of rain. see clouds caressing Kerala’s hills. ● Office of the Assistant Director
to seafarers. The tallest peak in Thadi­yendamol had covered himself Department of Tourism
Kodagu, on a clear day he could see in a giant white cloak and disappeared Thadiyendamol Stuart Hill, Madikeri,
as far as the coast. Over time, he had from view.... Now it is just you, the There’s something awe-inspiring Kodagu
seen spices from Kodagu being amplified sounds of a rainforest about the name itself. Derived from Tel: 08272-228580 (AD Office)
exchanged for salt from Kerala. He come alive and a faint mountain Malayalam to loosely mean ‘I’m the Cell: 09448004466 (TO)
had observed also the subsequent trail, with no end in sight. Tallest’ (thadi means broad, yenda is Cell: 09844535509, 08073829204
exchange of culture. How the open Not too long ago, this little village mine and mol is top), Thadiyendamol, (DTC)
shrines of Kodagu acquired the in the heart of the south-west Kodagu at 5,730ft, is the highest peak in STD code 08272
typical Kerala roof. And he watched rainforest used to be the largest Kodagu and the second highest in

180 Karnataka Karnataka 181


Kodagu KAKKABE

Photographs: anurag mallick


Igguthappa Temple temple is 21/2km from Kakkabe. Get
Whoever said ‘there’s no such thing onto the road to Madikeri. Take a left
as a free lunch’, has obviously not under the arch. After a kilometre,
been to the Igguthappa Temple. Not take a right to the temple.
only are you handed prasad on a ◆ Timings 6am-2pm, 6pm-7pm Puja
platter, you are given a three-course timings 6am-12.30pm
meal of payasam, rice and two types
of sambhar with wild mango pickle Nalknad Palace
to boot (1pm to 2pm). Worshipped Built in 1792 by Doddaveeraraja,
as ‘one who gives grain’ (iggu is Nalknad Palace served as the royal
Kodava for ‘grain’, thappa means ‘to hunting lodge and summer home of
give’), Igguthappa is the de facto rain the Kodava kings. Since there were
god. Such are his powers that he has four villages in the vicinity, the place
expanded his portfolio to include was called Nal-nadu, a Kodava word,
any wish that you may ask for — an which over time got shortened to
engineering degree, a child, or the Nalknad. Call it what you will, a
girl of your dreams! Thousands palace it isn’t. A double-storey
gather for the Kaliyarchi Festival in structure with a conical roof, the
March when the god is taken on a decrepit building has intricate
procession to the top of Mallama wooden friezes and wall murals. The
Betta and reinstalled in the temple, local Kapala tribals — they are An ornate structure next to Nalknad Palace; worship of rain god Igguthappa
followed by ceremonial dances. The originally believed to be from
official date of the harvest festival Ethiopia — were brought here by the WHERE TO STAY AND EAT offer and the odd Continental
Huthri is also determined here. The king from Kerala to look after (pala) breakfast thrown in. Lunch (`200) on
the palace. Located on the road to Palace Estate (Cell: 09483198446, request. Misty Woods (Tel: 08272-
Virajpet, 31/2km from Kakkabe, the 09880447702; Tariff: `3,600-4,300 238561; Cell: 09448406405; Tariff:
palace is quite neglected, with just a +breakfast, dinner and tea/coffee) at Cottage `7,000-11,000 +breakfast and
caretaker to look after it. He’ll let you Kakkabe Post stands on a flat patch dinner) is located on a lush 100-acre
into the palace. Entry is free. just above the 18th century Nalknad estate with two waterfalls. Well-spaced
Palace; the estate offers a spectacular cottages in three categories — the
getting there Rock climbing and treks view. This converted wooden granary Mansion House, Vernacular Styled
Air Nearest airport: Mangaluru Airport A 1-hr walk to Nilakandi Waterfall, on pillars has a porch to prop your Cottages, Fairytale Cottages — offer
(172km/ 5 hrs) and Bengaluru (260km/ 3km away, is one of the shorter treks. feet up and soak in the views of 21 rooms built aesthetically using
8hrs). Bengaluru is well connected to Apart from barking deer, pangolin Kodagu’s rolling hills. The homestay clay bricks and wood, large bedrooms
most other cities in India and also and the flying squirrel, it’s a good can accommodate up to 18 people. and swanky attached baths. They
abroad. Taxi charge `9-16 per km place to spot the honey-loving South The 50-acre farm, located on the edge have an Ayurveda centre, a huge
Rail Nearest railhead: Mysuru (127km/ Indian marten. There are many other of a forest, grows coffee, cardamom, thatched gazebo, and a restaurant
3hrs). Taxis charge `9-16 per km routes of varying difficulty. Suresh pepper, silk and bananas. Endowed serving Kerala, Coorg, North Indian,
Road Take the road from Bengaluru via Chengappa of Honey Valley Estate with an exceptionally wide range of and Chinese cuisine.
Srirangapatnam-Hunsur-Kushalnagar- has marked out 28 of them. Palace native trees, flowers and birds, Palace Coorg Coffee Country (Cell:
Madikeri-Napoklu Nad-Virajpet road for Estate has the ideal terrain for Estate also has a wild mountain 09686401945; Tariff: `3,200-4,250
about 31km to reach Kakkabe trekking, streams and a 50ft waterfall. stream. There’s farm-fresh fruit, +meals) at Palace Road has 16 rooms
Guides are available. organic coffee and Kodagu cuisine on spread across a riverside villa and

182 Karnataka Karnataka 183


Kodagu KAKKABE

gold paddy fields. It has 10 double around


Kodavas: An unusual race rooms. Home-cooked Kodava food
adds a special touch. Nadikeriyenda Ainmane, Karada
Kodavas or Coorgs, the natives of Kodagu, adage goes that ‘a Kodava is born with a The Tamara Coorg (Tel: 238000, (23km)
form a tight knit society that fiercely gun in one hand and a hockey stick in the Bengaluru reservations 080- About 11km from Kakkabe, Karada is
guards its unique customs and traditions. other’. They have martial dances and are 71077700; Cell: 09739833939; known for its spectacular ain-mane
With their origins shrouded in mystery, the exempted from the Arms Act since the Tariff `14,000-`18,000 +breakfast; (traditional ancestral home) of the
Kodavas have intrigued historians and British days, thus permitting them to own TE) is at Kabbinakad Estate, Nadikeriyenda family. The turn
anthropologists alike – from theories of a firearm within Coorg without a licence. Yavakapadi village. Part of its through the arch takes you 1km
Greek or Indo-Scythian ancestry and links They have a distinctive traditional charm is the 4km drive off the inside to what is considered one of
to Kurdistan and Arabia (their sash and costume; men wear a kupya (black main road to the resort past hairpin Kodagu’s best preserved ancestral
dagger is very similar to Yemen and the wraparound robe) and chaley (brocaded bends. Running through a private homes with a typical inner courtyard
Omani khanjar). The Puranas refer to this red silk sash) with a ‘check vastra’ 181-acre coffee plantation on a and profusely carved doorway and
land as Krodadesa while the Kodavas (chequered red headscarf). Kodava fenced 8-acre patch landscaped windows. The road then forks to a
consider themselves as children blessed women have a unique sari drape, done with exotic plants, the 5-star resort gorgeous viewpoint.
by Goddess Kaveri (thought to be derived toga-style with the pleats tucked at the offers plush wood-panelled Balinese
from kod, ‘to give’ and avva or ‘mother’). back and the pallu taken over the front cottages on stilts with a balcony. Where to Stay and Eat
Being animists and ancestor right shoulder. Formerly knotted, it is There are 56 rooms across 29 villas. Keemalekad Estate (Cell: 099806
worshippers, they maintain devarakadus today clasped with an ornamental brooch. Elevation, the spa set in a beautiful 66766; Tariff: `1,400-1,750pp) at
(sacred groves) and offer meedi (ritual The unusual style commemorates the 140-year-old Subedar Bungalow, Karada Village offers a rustic eco-
offering) to their karona (ancestors). legend of River Kaveri’s swift currents offers signature coffee therapy and adventure experience. Apart from
Weddings and ceremonies are marked that are believed to have turned their sari other anubhavas (experiences) and the traditional Kodagu non-veg
by the absence of priests, officiated pleats backwards. has a Yoga Temple designed like the dishes, Keemale’s menu offers
instead by elders. Kodavas have Kodavas speak a dialect known as sanctum sanctorum of a temple. organically grown, local vegetarian
characteristic names, including a Kodava thakk and use the Kannada The resort’s green efforts include an delicacies. Lunch/dinner `300pp.
maneypeda (clan name) through which script. Besides Coorg coffee, honey, organic vegetable garden, waste Kabbe Holidays (Cell:
they trace their lineage. Historically, oranges and spices, Kodagu is famed for segregation site and in-house 09448976460, 07259278429; Tariff
agriculture, sports and war have been its distinct ethnic cuisine, made from Gaushala or cow barn, developed `4,000-4,500 +breakfast) at
their prime occupations and their martial locally abundant ingredients like kumme for breeding indigenous livestock Chelavara Village is on a plantation.
tradition is reflected in their emblem – the (mushrooms), bemble (bamboo shoot), such as the Malenadu Gidda. With three waterfalls in the area, a
overlapping weapons of odikathi (broad termey (ferns), kemb (colocasia) and the note Children below 12 years of age brook, a natural pool and a hike to
sword) and peechekathi (dagger). Some legendary pandi (pork) curry seasoned are not allowed at the resort because Kabbe Pass presenting magnificent
of the country’s best-known soldiers, like with the local vinegar, kachampuli and of the risky steep terrain. views of Kerala, it is a birdwatcher’s
Field Marshall KM Cariappa and General paired with kadambuttu (steamed rice paradise and an ideal base for nature
KS Thimayya, are from Coorg. A popular dumplings) or akki otti (rice roti). For more, see Kakkabe Accommodation lovers. The cuisine is a scrumptious
Listings on pages 438-439 spread of Coorgi dishes. ■

two deluxe and semi-deluxe blocks. enthusiasts. King’s Cottage (Cell:


Honey Valley (Tel: 238339; Cell:
08197444939; Tariff: `550-3,950;
09567270165, 09845963883; Tariff
`3,600 +breakfast and dinner) in the
#Awesomekarnataka
TE) is located in the Honey Valley Palace Estate area, nestles amongst
Estate. The 56-acre farm is popular forested hills and coffee plantations
with families, nature and adventure and overlooks carpets of green and

184 Karnataka Karnataka 185


Kodagu NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK

National Park makes for a truly catcher, Malabar pied hornbill,


thrilling experience. golden-backed parakeet, southern
The creation of Nagarhole tree pie, grasshopper warbler,
National Park can be traced to the orphean warbler, yellow-billed bab-
notification of a 285 sq km game bler, green imperial pigeon and the
reserve in 1955, which included the white-bellied woodpecker.
reserve forests of Arkeri, Hatgat, and
Nalkeri in Kodagu. In 1974, reserve
forests from Mysuru district were
added and it was upgraded to the
status of a National Park in 1998.
Though the park was renamed after
the late Rajiv Gandhi, it is still called fast facts
by its popular name, Nagarhole . When to go November to February is
Interspersed with the forests are ideal weather, though animals flock to
swampy areas called hadlus the watering holes in the dry summer
dominated by grasses — grazing season, so chances of sightings
grounds for many herbivores. increase significantly.
Sprouting grass in the meadows Tourist/Wildlife/ Forest Dept Offices
attract elephants and gaur in large ● Conservator of Forest and Field
numbers besides sambar, Indian Director
shutterstock
muntjac, mouse deer, four-horned Project Tiger
Tigers at the Nagarhole National Park antelope, wild boar, crested porcupine Rajiv Gandhi NP/ Nagarhole Tiger
and black-naped hare. Leopards can Reserve
be found along the fringes. Other Forest Campus
Nagarhole NATIONAL PARK carnivores include jungle cat, dhole
(Asiatic wild dog), striped hyena, and
Hunsur
Tel: 08222-252041
call of the wild jackal. The resident primates include W Nagarhole tigerreserve.com

the common langur and bonnet ● Office of the Assistant Director


■ anurag mallick and park and finally meets the Kabini, macaque, sloth bear, pangolin, giant Department of Tourism
PRIYA GANAPATHY the largest river draining the forest. A squirrel, flying squirrel, giant fruit Stuart Hill, Madikeri,
dam built on the Kabini has created bat and the elusive slender loris. Kodagu

O
nce an exclusive hunting a splendid lake south of the park, Watch a red flameback wood- Tel: 08272-228580
preserve of the Maharajas of which separates it from Bandipur pecker busily chip away at a tree Cell: 09448004466 (TO), 09844535509,
Mysuru, Nagarhole is today Tiger Reserve. To the southeast lies and slow down to strain your ears 08073829204 (DTC)
the beacon of conservation as the the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, and identify birdcalls from a forest ● KSTDC
hub of two of India’s most reputable while to the west, coffee plantations cacophony of squawks, hoots and Hotel Mayura Valley View
wildlife schemes — Project Elephant separate the park from the Brahmagiri twitters. The diversity of Nagarhole Near Raja’s Seat, Stuart Hill,
and Project Tiger. Situated in the Wildlife Sanctuary. Such proximity ’s vegetation has resulted in a wide Madikeri
Deccan Plateau, it also forms an to wildlife buffers and gently variety of birds. Spot the red spur- Cell: 08970650028
integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere sloping landscape with shallow fowl, grey junglefowl, blue-faced STD code Hunsur 08222
Reserve. The Nagarhole river, literally valleys makes Nagarhole a top wild malkhoa, the yellow-browed bulbul, Madikeri 08272
‘Serpent Stream’ winds through the getaway. Spotting a tiger at Nagarhole white-cheeked barbet, Nilgiri fly-

186 Karnataka Karnataka 187


Kodagu NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK

shutterstock
Nagarhole also has owl species buffer zones), the park offers great
such as the short-eared owl, Oriental sighting opportunities as a 30m area
scops owl, and spot-bellied eagle on either side of the forest tracks is
owl. Sometimes, a drive down the regularly cleared of vegetation,
Nagarhole Main Road is more allowing an unobstructed view.
enriching than a foray into its trails However, the tourism zone covers
with tuskers frequently spotted by only a small patch of 30 sq km and
the roadside. the Forest Department’s wildlife
safari is in a 20-seater canter that
THINGS TO SEE AND DO barely lasts over an hour.
u Entry fee: `250 Timings: 6am-8am,
Wildlife safari 2.30pm-4pm Safari Forest Dept bus
Nagarhole is perhaps one of the Adult: `500, Child/Student `250
finest remaining habitats of the Asian Camera: `200-400; JLR Contact
Elephant in India. Huge herds amble Veeranahosalli and Nanchi Gate,
down in the summer months, which Cell 09632566454
is an excellent time to watch them in
their element. Nagarhole is worth Whitewater rafting
visiting in the dry season, when wild The advent of monsoons in Kodagu
animals are spotted in large numbers brings the additional thrill of white
near sources of water. Spread over water rafting in the KKR or Upper An elephant family holds its ground in the face of advancing tourist vehicles
640 sq km (combining core and Barapole river, not far from the
Nagarhole National Park. Since the the only lodging available inside the secluded homestay set in a 30-acre
A Gaur spotted at Nagarhole Barapole river is rain-fed, the gushing park, daytime and weekends are plantation just 2km from the forest,
waters last for three to four months noisy with tourists and vehicles. and has four spacious rooms with
after mid-June till November. Mornings and evenings are magical en suite bathrooms. Home-made
u Contact Southern River Adventures with the jungle coming alive with fresh food includes Kodava cuisine.
Cell: 09845514122 chirping birds and alarm calls. Bison Manor Country Retreat
For bookings, contact DCF (Cell: 08277455379, 09900700768;
Where to stay and eat Hunsur or Chief Wildlife Warden, Tariff: `3,400-4,030, tents `1,400pp,
Bengaluru Tel: 080-23345846. dorm `1,200pp) at New Grand
Forest Guest House (Cell: Tiger Teak (Cell: 09900652459, Estate, Kutta, is a boutique country
09844204083; Tariff: `1,600-2,000, 08861736831; Tariff: `1,500-2,000 jungle retreat 5km from Nagarhole .
full dorm: `2,400 +entry charges) at +breakfast, dinner) at Begoor Village, It offers nine rooms (standard and
Nagarhole Tourist Complex, inside Nagarhole Road, Nalkeri Forest, is a deluxe), besides a dorm and tent.
the forest. simple, fully furnished homestay The Hornbill multi-cuisine restaurant
The Forest Department guest­ with good views from the balcony. serves veg and non-veg fare from
house gives you a chance to stay Bring your own snacks and South Indian, North Indian, and
where all the action is. The forest beverages. note Under renovation. Chinese cuisines. The property
lodges are located on a patch next Spice Glade (Cell: 09945274533, features a playground and terrace,
to the information centre-cum- 09880218048; Tariff: `3,900-4,300 with lots of greenery around the
booking office. The food here is +breakfast, dinner) at Kutta, south coffee estate. Trekking and wildlife
basic vegetarian fare. Though it is Kodagu, is a picturesque and nicely safaris are arranged on request.
anurag mallick

188 Karnataka Karnataka 189


Kodagu NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK

Courtesy KADAMA KOLLI RESORT


Machan Wilderness Lodge (Cell: offer a great view of the surrounding
08970335544; Tariff ` 6,600- plantation. There are 12 rooms in a
8,260+all meals) at Nagarhole choice of twin cottages with rustic
Churicad, K Badaga village, interiors and modern bathroom and
Srimangala, is tucked away in the multilevel cabin rooms with separate
middle of a coffee estate. Its tastefully entrances and sitouts. Vana
designed rooms are built with restaurant serves local Coorgi and
minimum ecological footprint and South Indian fare and offers a
360-degree view of the estate. The
Library Lounge comes with an
indoor fireplace and wildlife tales of
the national park adorning the
walls, besides freshly brewed filter
coffee and cold pressed juices served.
getting there Safaris, bonfires and barbecues are
Air Nearest airport: Kannur International organised on request.
Airport, Kerala (112km/1-2 hrs), Bajpe Narikadi Estate (Cell:
Airport, Mangaluru (250km/5-6hrs); Taxi 09845134464; Tariff: ` 3,400
from Kannur to Nagarhole NP costs +breakfast and dinner) at Kutta
`1,500-2,000; KSRTC bus fare `100- stands at the edge of the sanctuary The Kadama Kolli Resort is great for big groups of friends or extended families
250; from Mangaluru, KSRTC Volvo bus on Kutta main road and offers six
fare is `450-570 spacious rooms offering simple Veeranahosahalli, Hunsur Taluk, is is on the northern fringes of
Rail Nearest railhead: Mysuru (130 km/ comfort, and pet-friendly ambience set in a 40-acre mango orchard. This Nagarhole and stands right at the
2-3 hrs) is well connected to all major with homely food. The Kadama eco-friendly resort offers a mix of entrance to the park, making it
cities. Bus from Mysuru to Kutta costs Kolli Resort (Cell: 09481101158, AC luxury suites and adobe-style vibrant with plant and animal life.
`150. From Kutta (7km) to Nagarhole 09341101158; Tariff: ` 6,500 cottage clusters spread across green Open-top jeep safaris, eco-tours,
by auto costs `100-200. Taxi fare from +breakfast and dinner) at Parakatageri lawns, each with verandah, treks, campfires, film show, coracle
Mysuru to Nagarhole is `3,000-4,000 (Pookola) village and post office, bedrooms fitted out with woven rides and fishing can also be
Road Take the Mysuru highway bypass 12km from Birunani town, is a furniture sourced from Thailand arranged. The accommodation
via Ranganathittu onto SH-88 and after scenic getaway in the foothills of and Indonesia, a courtyard and comprises 10 double rooms (six
Hunsur turn towards Nagarhole via Brahmagiri. It has five independent open-to-sky bathrooms. Lagoon regular and four large standard); 6
Murkal and Veeranahosahalli. The road cottages and two independent suites fringe a 6-acre lake, with Swiss tented cottages to fit four
closes after sunset. The nearest town is houses. The cottages can take four islands of mango trees. The multi- persons; and four family rooms/
Kutta (7km) on the southern fringe of persons in each comfortably, while cuisine restaurant dishes out local dorms. Food is served only at the
the park while Hunsur is 45km away the independent houses can fit 12 Mysuru delicacies, Indian, Chinese Gudara, a spacious thatched hut.
and Gonikoppal 40km. The drive takes people each, making it great for and Continental. Besides jungle They also run the rustic Sundara
about 5-6 hrs from Bengaluru. Bus from groups and families looking for a safaris, activities include zipline, Vana Farmstay near Hunsur that
Mysuru (130km/2-3 hrs), KSRTC buses digital detox. Activities include paintball, jumarring, board games, accommodates up to 20 people.
ply regularly on these routes. Fare: jungle gym, whitewater rafting and swimming, cycling et. Chilligeri Estate (Tel: 08274-
KSRTC/ private buses `150-200; bus herpetology walks and workshops. Jungle Inn (Tel: 08222-246022; 244265; Cell: 09448582496,
fare from Bengaluru (250km/5-6hrs) is JLR King’s Sanctuary (Cell: Cell: 09902363906; Tariff: `2,500- 09845803904; Tariff ` 1,900pp
`300-400 09449597878, 09449599796; Tariff: 3,500) at 19th km, Hunsur- +breakfast, dinner, tea, snacks), at
`6,280-8,496pp +all meals) at Nagarhole Road, Veeranahosahalli, Manchalli, near Kutta, is named

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Kodagu NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK

anurag mallick
after the pepper vines abounding on AROUNDs
the plantation and the picturesque
Brahmagiri mountain range forming Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary,
a backdrop. Chilligeri is a century- Wayanad (8km)
old cottage set on a 100-acre Wildlife enthusiasts can hop across
plantation of coffee, pepper, betel the state border from Karnataka to
nut, and banana. Alluring with red- Kerala, just a few kilometres south of
roof tiles and red-oxide floors, the Kutta. Jeeps and guides can be
cottage has standard rooms for arranged to take you to the Tholpetty
families and couples, besides an Forest Range of the Wayanad Wildlife
outhouse or family cottage for five Sanctuary. Cost for the jeep hire
adults. The lovely garden and from Nagarhole and the guide fee
fabulous view of the Brahmagiri are negotiable; however, if you have
range from your window are other your own vehicle, drive through the
highlights. Foodwise, there is ethnic elephant migratory corridor to
cuisine and exotic homemade wines. Thirunelly temple at the base of the
Activities include trekking, visit to Brahmagiri Hill and Wildlife
tea garden, safaris at Nagarhole Sanctuary nearby.
National Park, and Tholpetty u Timings 7am-10am and 3pm-5pm.
Wildlife Sanctuary. Contact Asst. Wildlife Warden,
Tholpetty, Tel: 04935-250853 The beautiful Irpu Falls are at their picturesque best right after the monsoons
Irpu Rameshwara Temple
Irpu Falls (15km) Irpu Rameshwara Temple (14km) the Lakshmana Teertha, extinguished
The beauty of Irpu Falls is heightened The Ishwara Temple is also known as the fire and blessed its waters with
after the rains, when the rainforest is Irpu Rameshwara Temple, as it is the power to absolve a person of his
glossy green and the 51.8m cascade believed that Lord Rama consecrated sins. Some believe it was Lakshmana’s
becomes a raging torrent. A visit at the Shiva linga. The story goes that tears of regret that became the
any other time of the year could be a Rama and Lakshmana were returning Lakshmana Teertha. To sanctify the
tad disappointing. Scarcely 1km from victorious from Lanka and crossing spot, Rama instructed Hanuman to
the Ishwara Temple, the well marked- over the Brahmagiri Hills from Kerala get a linga from Kashi. When
out trail to the falls winds past a to Kodagu, when Lakshmana felt a Hanuman didn’t return as the
sacred banyan tree before sudden surge of anger. He handed appointed hour drew near, Rama
disappearing into the forest to the his bow and quiver to Rama and shaped a linga out of mud and he
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. Along stomped off; but oddly, the moment was about to consecrate it, when
the walk from the Ishwara Temple to he stepped into Kodava land, his Hanuman arrived.
Irpu, spot colourful birds and anger dissipated. Upset that Rama had doubted
brilliantly hued butterflies. Endemic Rama explained to his brother him, Hanuman wrapped his tail
to the Western Ghats, the Malabar that Kerala’s earth could incite around a mountain in anger, but
banded peacock, common banded passions while Kodagu bestowed Rama pacified him by shooting an
peacock, and Paris peacock can be calmness. A remorseful Lakshmana arrow and proclaiming that the Kashi
seen here. Located near Kurchi shot an arrow into Brahmagiri and linga would be installed wherever the
village, Irpu is 7km from Kutta, and threatened to consign himself to the arrow landed. He further decreed
9km from Srimangala. flames that shot forth. Rama created that the temple at Permad would
anurag mallick

192 Karnataka Karnataka 193


Kodagu NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK

shutterstock
have more significance than the place could turn even brothers into
Ishwara Temple at Irpu. Hanuman enemies. Kodavas believe that when
was calmed, but the imprint of his siblings fight in Coorg, it is because
tail was left forever on of this curse. It is customary to pay
Hanumantabetta. Irpu in Sanskrit your respects at the Irpu temple
means ‘enemies’, hinting that the before taking a dip in the Lakshmana
Teertha. The temple has a low
shikhara and a circular garbha griha in
Bode Namme: South Kerala style, with shrines of
Gandharva, Bhairava, Mahadeva,
Coorg’s tribal fest Ganapathi, and Parvathi. An
About 7km after Nagarhole lies the town inscription dated 1763 marks the
of Kutta. Legend has it that the goddess renovation of the temple and records
Kali came and settled with the low-caste the legend of Rama.
Kurubas, and had a child. She called him
Kutta and the place where he was born Where to Stay
was named after him. A festival is Ramcad Estate Guest House (Cell:
celebrated every year in Mid-April to 09448144982; Tariff `1,800pp
May in honour of the Kurubas all over +meals) near Irpu Falls is a lovely
South Coorg. Called the Bode Namme, homestay on a 40-acre coffee and
festival, it always starts on a Tuesday pepper plantation. It has been named
and is a time when Kuruba men dress up as Ram’s Forest (Ram Cad). The A Nilgiri langur spotted at Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
in loud garish clothes as women, go homely place offers five cottages that
begging for alms, drink themselves silly can accommodate three people in Falls, is an ochre-coloured homestay sanctuary is contiguous with the
and sing bawdy songs. In this fortnight of each and around 15 to 20 people in that has a wide choice of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala
revelry, tribals are literally found littered total. There’s a separate dining facility accommodation — four standard and a forested corridor punctuated
across the landscape, rather sloshed or in each of the cottages. rooms, two deluxe rooms (for 3 pax), by coffee plantations connects it to
passed out due to exhaustion. However, Tropical Blooms (Cell: and two family rooms for eight Wayanad and Nagarhole .
refined Kodavas steer clear of this 09008163304, 09448475222; Tariff: people. There’s a restaurant serving The evergreen forests are dense
chaotic festival, often packing their `3,000, dorm `2,500pp +all meals) home-cooked Indian and local and moist with very little light
children indoors as soon as they hear on MN Irpu Road lies in the foothills dishes, indoor and outdoor games, a streaming in through the canopy.
the crazy trumpets in the distance. of the Brahmagiri range and offers plantation trek, duck pond, and The forests abound with gaur, sloth
elegant premium rooms and dorms, 24-hrs power backup. bear, elephant, barking deer, tiger,
a cosy lounge stocked with books, leopard, jungle cat, primates like
TV in common areas and a dining Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary lion-tailed macaque, bonnet
room where buffet North Indian, (110km) macaque, and the Nilgiri langur,
South Indian and local fare are Spread over 181 sq km, the Brahmagiri besides the Nilgiri marten or chinge-
served. The sprawling lawn is great Wildlife Sanctuary stretches in a wide kooli, and the elusive slender loris.
for campfires and barbecues with arc from Kutta to Makutta. The The area is great for birdwatching
great hill views all around. diverse habitat ranges from lowland and butterflies. The best time is
Sherlock’s Jungle Retreat (Cell: rainforests in Makutta Wildlife Range October to May. Stop by at the
09591762383; Tariff: `4,200+ to high-altitude shola-grasslands in Reserve Forest Office at Srimangala
breakfast), located 400m from Irpu the Srimangala Wildlife Range. The before taking the diversion to Irpu to

194 Karnataka Karnataka 195


Kodagu NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK

Courtesy WIKIMEDIA COMMONS


Where to Stay nature walks etc. Many of the staff
Inspection Bungalow (Tel: 08274- have worked here for decades. As
246331; Cell: 09611758153; Tariff: per records, their forefathers came
`1,500 + entry charges are applicable to these plantations in the 1890s
here) near Srimangala Range Forest from Tamil Nadu and Ceylon as
Office, Srimangala labour for British planters. At
Glenlorna, you can see third
Permad (18km) generation labourers who migrated
About 8km from Irpu is the Permad from Sri Lanka, erstwhile Ceylon.
temple. Lord Rama’s legendary arrow
shot from Irpu landed here and Mrityunjaya Temple Badagarakeri
became the spot where the linga that A very unique Shiva shrine located at
Hanuman brought from Kashi was Badagarakeri (14km from T
consecrated. Rama further conceded Shettigeri). The temple is very
that Hanuman’s Shiva Temple at popular with locals. Shiva is
Permad would rank higher than the worshipped here as Mrityunjaya or
Ishwara Temple at Irpu. Even today the ‘One who conquered Death.’
during Mahashivratri, before the It is said that the Churning of the
puja commences at Irpu, a puja is Cosmic Ocean yielded the medicine
performed a day prior at Permad. god Dhanvantari, the goddess of
wealth Lakshmi, Kalpavriksha, the
Glenlorna Tea Estate is a rare jewel in the predominantly coffee country of Kodagu Glenlorna Tea Estate (Tel: 080- Tree of Wishes, amrita (divine nectar),
23570761; Cell: 09481610695; Tariff: and other gifts. While the devas and
avoid backtracking for permissions. trek from the Forest Rest House leads `6,000-8,000+ breakfast) at Hudikeri asuras fought over the spoils, no one
After a written permission, guides to the highest point in the range, the In a land known for coffee, it is dared touch the vicious poison
accompany you to the Forest Rest Brahmagiri peak (1,740m). From astonishing to see vast swathes of halahala. It was so toxic that even its
House on Brahmagiri’s summit. there, a 21/2km trek leads to Munikal tea plantation. Glenlorna is the only fumes were lethal.
(literally ‘Sage Rock’), the Kannada tea plantation in Kodagu with a Lord Shiva drank the poison,
The 4km trek from Irpu Falls (2-3 name for Pakshipathalam. It is said 50-year-old bungalow run as a which turned his throat blue and
hrs) leads to the Forest Rest House at that the ancient caves were the plantation stay by Tata Coffee’s Ama thus he earned the name Neelkanth
Narimalaibetta, from where Narimala meditation spot for sages. The deep Plantation Trails. With five sprawling (Blue-Throated One). Since Shiva
Peak is a 11/2km trek. The mountain valley is an excellent birdwatching rooms, the lone tea bungalow is had conquered certain death, he also
literally means ‘Tiger Hill’, as tigers site. Return the same way or hike located past Birunani and usually came to be called Mrityunjaya.
used to inhabit the area. The basic 7km downhill to Thirunelli and offered as a whole unit to groups People come to this temple to pray
two-room Forest Rest House is come back to Irpu via Kutta. (max 13 people). Activities include for a long life.
equipped with a kitchen, so pick u Entry fee `150 Trekking fees `200 cycling, factory visit, tea picking, u Puja timings Starts at 10.30am ■
supplies beforehand. See the imprint Guides `500
of what is believed to be Hanuman’s Tip Permits For trekking or stay at
tail on Hanumantabetta. From the
FRH, about ½km along the path to
Narimalaibetta, contact Srimangala
Forest Office, Forest Range Office,
#Awesomekarnataka
the right, two signboards indicate near bus stop Wildlife Range,
treks to the Brahamagiri range and Srimangala, Tel: 08274-246331
the Munikal Caves. The 5km return Cell: 09611758153

196 Karnataka Karnataka 197


Coastal
Karnataka
Restock your treasury of holiday
memories with surfing, beachcombing and
culinary temptations of a high order
Coastal Karnataka Route Planner

200 Karnataka Karnataka 201


Coastal Karnataka MANGALORE

doesn’t matter if you don’t know in the plethora of commercial


any of the local languages, you’ll establishments around town.
discover that most of the If you are doing the scenic thing
Mangaluruans are quite friendly and and driving down to the coast, the
will come forward to help you find waving coconut palms and the
your way around. towering areca nut trees that frame
As can be observed in any other lush green paddy fields are the first
place in India, religion is deeply indication that the topography is
enmeshed with life in Mangaluru as about to change. That is, if you
well. For the pious, no amount of haven’t already begun to feel the
perspiration in this humid city will trickle of sweat down your spine.
deter their resolve to pay homage at As befitting a port city, what will
the multitudinous places of worship strike you the most about Mangaluru
that this district offers. is the veritable babble of languages
The beautiful Milagres Church that you hear all around you all the
in downtown Hampankatta, built in time — Tulu, Kannada, Konkani,
prashant panjiar
1680, was razed to the ground by English, even the odd snatches of
Mangaluru's beaches are great for spending leisure time with your loved ones Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. Malayalam — all which commingle
Though it was rebuilt, a hundred in the salty air to give Mangaluru its
years later, the church collapsed due distinct sense of otherness.
Mangaluru to structural reasons and was rebuilt
and modelled, this time, along the
Coastal Montage lines of St. Peter’s in Rome.
For those with more earthly
■ BY ARCHANA RAI alternating between a relaxed coastal impulses, the thought of the lip-
with SAIRA MENEZES town ambience and the hectic pace smacking kane and bangude fry, or
fast facts
of a 21st century urban landscape. the pleasures of plunging tired

Y
ou’d think that cosmopolitan A coastal province, it has been bodies in the waters off lovely Ullal When to go September to February is
cities are a thing of the 20th split into two districts — Dakshina Beach are inducement enough. the ideal time to head for the coast,
century, but Mangaluru might Kannada, with Mangaluru as its There are a string of restaurants when fish is plentiful, temperatures
just prove you wrong. Caught premier city, which is more ‘Catholic’ serving seafood delicacies that are benign and the sea absolutely
between the salty kisses of the breeze than any other in Karnataka; and just other-worldly. delightful. Summers are hot and humid.
from the Arabian Sea and tremulous Udupi, the seat of the Dvaita branch There are no prizes for guessing
with the fragrances from the bio­ of Hinduism. The nearby town of that it was the Jesuit priests in the Tourist Office
geographical riches of the Western Moodabidri hosts a rich tradition of 17th century who fashioned the ● Office of the Assistant Director
Ghats, back in the day this charming Jainism, making this place a blend ethos that still rule this quirky city Department of Tourism
city was considered a cosmopolitan of faiths. Shaped by its coastal on the Karavali Coast. Their Room No. 02, Commercial Complex,
town as early as the 10th century. location and history as a major port influence is still visible to this day 1st Floor, Dakshina Kannada,
Popular for its exquisite temples, town, the vibrant culture of the — scattered on the name-boards at Mangaluru
flourishing industries and sunny people of this city is amply the gates of tiled-roof bungalows on Tel: 0824-2453926
beaches, you’ll find while exploring highlighted through their different the city’s hillsides; in the profusion Cell: 08105472464 (DTC)
that this charming city offers an dance forms, handicrafts, cuisines, of its venerable high-steepled STD code 0824
appealing off-beat feel while festivals as well as the rural sports. It churches that dot the cityscape; and

202 Karnataka Karnataka 203


Coastal Karnataka MANGALORE

prashant panjiar

ORIENTATION The main beaches in Mangaluru


are Tannirubavi (12km), Panambur
Mangaluru is a budding conurbation (14km) and Surathkal (17km) to
that occupies around 132 sq km of the north, and Someshwar (11km)
picturesque space on the far end of to the south. Ullal is a small town
the Karnataka Coast. It is the biggest that boasts the popular Someshwar
city and railhead here and now Beach. For travel between the
features an international airport coastal towns, it is best to take a
(18km away at Bajpe) as well. taxi; autos are convenient to move
Connected to all major metros, the about in town. It’s best to stay in
railway station is about a kilometre Mangaluru and visit these beaches
away from the city centre. on a day trip. Only Ullal has a
If you’re coming by road, the city staying option in Summer Sands
starts where the lush palm groves Beach Resort (see page 442).
end near Kankanady. Hampankatta
is the city centre, and a large number THINGS TO SEE AND DO
of commercial establishments are
located here. The KSRTC Bus Stand Mangaluru, it is said, draws its name
is at Bejai, 3km north of from the goddess Mangaladevi to
Hampankatta. Local buses start from whom a temple was raised by an Painted interiors of the beautiful St Aloy­sius College Chapel
the State Bank, around 1½km south ardent devotee, King Kundavarma,
of Hampankatta. back in the 9th century. Religion sky. All the beaches have ubiquitous legend. Built as a mark of piety by
dominates this society, whose and grand signboards that warn King Kundavarma on the advice of
A sculpture at Sri Mangaladevi Temple economy is primarily agrarian. swimmers about the dodgy sea. That two Nepalese sages, this temple and
Exquisite temples like the doesn’t stop Mangaluruans from the Kadri Manjunatha Temple are
Manjunatha, Mangaladevi, and enjoying them. Families flock to the closely interlinked in the rituals and
Sharavu Ganapathi are a part of the beaches for some boisterous practices they perform. On the nine
religious circuit, as is the magnificent picnicking and take home snapshots, days of Navaratri or Dussehra in
St. Aloysius College Chapel, with in which everyone is smiling, as October, the Mangaladevi Temple
frescoes and oil paintings that souvenirs. In some ways, it seems as comes alive in a grand celebration
Mangaluruans are happy to claim as if Mangaluru has gone back to being of the devi. The Swayamvara
rivalling those in the Sistine Chapel. a small town, having forgotten its Parvathi puja in the temple is one
Those with more secular pursuits in intentions of being a snazzy city that involves young girls doing a
mind, however, need not despair — somewhere in the merrymaking of special fast and also receiving
long stretches of pristine beaches, a the evening. It’s this heady sanctified holy sandalwood paste
golf course, and a variety of water combination of the old and the new from the priest after the ritual puja.
sports are all available within 20km that makes Mangaluru such a ◆ Timings 6am-1pm, 4-8pm
of Mangaluru city. wonderful and popular destination.
Mangaluru is big on beaches, St. Aloysius College Chapel
many within easy reach of the city Sri Mangaladevi Temple Located right in the centre of the
by a taxi ride. The stretches of sand This eponymous temple on the city, on the campus of St. Aloysius
and surf are marked by translucent southern tip of Mangaluru city is College on Light House Hill Road,
waters shining under a clear blue fairly humming with myth and this chapel is, indeed, an architectural
Photographs by anurag mallick

204 Karnataka Karnataka 205


Coastal Karnataka MANGALORE

DINODIA photo library

gem. Built in 1900, it has a series of


Phalguni River Lodge paintings that cover every inch of
its roof and walls. Primarily frescoes
This Jungle Lodges resort, located just painted upon lime-washed walls,
outside Mangaluru, is an excellent option the scenes depict the lives of saints
for a back-to-nature sojourn. Though it is ranging from St. Thomas to St. John
not by JLR tradition attached to anything De Britto. A labour of love by the
resembling a national park or sanctuary, Italian artist Brother Antonio
Phalguni River Lodge, overlooking the Moscheni, these paintings also
river nevertheless makes for an excellent include oils on canvas that were
exception to the rule. The USP of the extensively restored by INTACH.
lodge is its neighbour and inspiration — ◆ Timings Tuesdays to Sundays
Pilikula Nisargadhama — a Karnataka 9.30am-1.30pm; 3pm-5.30pm;
state-promoted eco-education and Mondays 9am-12.30pm; 2-4pm.
tourism development project. Spread Visitors not allowed during the
over 370 acres that’s home to the Pilikula divine service Camera No
Lake and a stretch of tropical forest, photography and videography
Pilikula features a 165-acre biological inside the Chapel. Guided tours For
park that harbours a snake house as well groups every 30 mins. Contact Cell:
as over 65 species of free-ranging birds 09740908505 Mr Henry Pereira The facade of Milagres Church is modelled on Rome’s St Peter’s Basilica
and tigers, lions, leopards, mouse deer, (Chapel Guide), Tel: 0824-2449749
sloth bears, crocodiles, porcupines, wild Chapel & Museum Tour fee Indians The cathedral, which was desecrated region, it celebrated its centenary
boars and elephants in enclosures that `100, foreigners `150 and destroyed by Tipu Sultan, was year in April 2015. On November
resemble their natural habitat. There’s rebuilt by the British in 1813 and all 18, 2018, it celebrated 450 years of
also an arboretum, Science Park and a Rosario Cathedral those Christians who had survived its hallowed site.
heritage centre. Back at the lodge, you The ‘Mother Church’ of the Tipu’s wrath and 15-year exile in
have a choice of accommodation in Mangalore Diocese and the city’s Srirangapatna. The cathedral you Milagres Church
comfortable AC rooms or suites. oldest cathedral, dating back to see today stands on the site of the Built in 1680, this church was razed
1568, was established by the Portuguese-era ‘Factory Church’ of by Tipu Sultan, who suspected the
Portuguese when they first landed 1568. It was Fr Henry Buzzoni who Catholics of Mangaluru of being
in Mangaluru and set up a factory was the driving force behind the secretly affiliated with his arch
and godowns for storing spices here. rebuilding of the church in 1915. enemy, the British. Rebuilt in 1811,
Italian traveller Pietro delle Velle, Its more spacious structure a decade after Tipu’s death, it
who arrived in Mangaluru in 1623 replicated the lofty dome of St. collapsed again a hundred years
refers to it as the Church of the Holy Peter’s Basilica in Rome and features later. Rebuilt for the second time in
Rosary at Bolar, the other two being beautiful stained glass windows, 1911, its frontage is modelled on St.
Our Lady of Mercy of Ullal and of while the main altar of Jesus and Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
St. Francis of Assisi at Farangipet. Mary has been created with mosaic
The royal stone insignia of the king tiles. What is truly breathtaking, Kadri Manjunatha Temple
of Portugal dating back to 1568 can however, is an ornate wooden pulpit On the Kadri Hills within Mangaluru
be seen at the entrance, testifying to with images of the Evangelists and city, lies the Kadri Manjunatha
the changing fortunes and the Mary and Jesus. The first Roman Temple, dating back to 1068CE.
enduring faith of the congregation. Catholic church in the Canara Among the oldest Shiva temples in

206 Karnataka Karnataka 207


Coastal Karnataka MANGALORE

peninsular India, it commemorates


the legend of Parasurama, whose
extreme penance pleased Shiva and
who was taught the art of combat
getting there by Shiva himself. The caves atop
Kadri Hill, on which the temple is
Air Mangaluru International Airport at situated, are popularly known as the
Kenjar, Bajpe, is 18km/ 45 mins away; it caves of the Pandavas. The
is connected to several major airports, Padmasanastha Lokeshwara, a
including Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, bronze statue within the temple, is
and Hyderabad, among others by Air among the oldest bronze sculptures
India, Indigo, and SpiceJet. in the country. Individual shrines to
There is a 24hr pre-paid taxi counter Durga and Ganesh flank the main
at the airport and KSRTC offers bus temple. Statues of the Buddha and
services to the city as well. Lokeshwara adorn the
Rail Mangaluru has two main railway Padmasanastha Temple as well.
stations: Mangaluru Central Railway
Station on Old Kent Road, Sharavu Maha Ganapathi Temple
Hampankatta, and Mangaluru Junction In the heart of the city in Sharavu Maha Ganapathi Temple is as much a culture hub as a place of worship
Railway Station at Shantinagar, Padil, Hampankatta on GS Road near the
on the outskirts of the city. Taxis and State Bank, this temple, dating back spectacular view of sunsets, make Surfing Ashram
autos are readily available at both. almost eight centuries, is both a for a pleasant interlude. Drive down There’s something about the wind
Bengaluru is connected by the Kannur pilgrimage and a cultural centre. It to the Lighthouse Hill Park for a in your hair, the smell of sea and the
Express. Trains for Delhi, Mumbai, and hosts performances of Yakshagana, look at snakes, deer, and many other powerful thrill of riding a wave. The
cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu include the dance drama famous in the fascinating animal friends. It will be surfing ashram in Mangaluru is the
Nizamuddin-Trivandrum Rajdhani Canara region. There is no fee for a nice break for the children after a perfect place if you want to learn
Express, Mumbai CST-Mangaluru seeing the Talamaddale performance, long, hot day. the sport in a clean and encouraging
Junction Express, Malabar Express, which is a narrated drama without environment. Situated in the coastal
and Mangaluru West Coast Express. costumed dancers. Revered as a Sulthan Battery village of Mulki, the Ashram Surf
Taxis and autos are readily available at deity of great power, Sharabeswara About 6km from Mangaluru city Retreat offers activities like surfing,
both rail stations in Mangaluru. Maha Ganapathi is worshipped in centre in Bolur, lie the ruins of an stand-up paddle, kayaking,
Road From Bengaluru, take NH-75 via an elaborate festival that marks important 18th century watchtower bodyboarding, jet-ski, meditation,
Neelamangla, Kunigal, Channarayaptna Ganesh Chaturthi every year, as built by Tipu Sultan near the scenic yoga and much more. Not quite
and Sakleshpur to Mangaluru (7-8 hrs). well as during the Car Festival that Gurpura river. Tipu, who ruled the your usual spiritual experience but
Taxis from Bengaluru to Mangaluru begins on Chandramana Ugadi day area from 1782 to his death in 1799, would appeal to those who believe
charge `8-20/km Bus KSRTC operates (the Kannadiga New Year) in April. followed on the heels of his father that nature is, indeed, the highest
buses from Bengaluru and Mangaluru, Hyder Ali in resisting British power. Their guest rooms offer a
starting from 6am, and there is also an Lighthouse Hill Garden occupation in the Canara region. comfortable stay with a homely feel.
overnighter; the main KSRTC stand in If you’re thirsting for some cool Built as a blockade to prevent enemy You can surf year-round but the
Mangaluru is at Bejai. The city is also evening sea breeze after a sweltering battalions attacking from boats on waves are in best form during the
serviced by Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and day of devout genuflection, a drive the Gurpura river, this watchtower months of May-June and September-
Andhra Pradesh state buses. up the Kadri Hills is just the ticket. is fashioned like a fort with spaces October. For an additional charge,
The hills, with winding roads and marked out to mount cannons. you may also enjoy snorkelling in

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Coastal Karnataka MANGALORE

the Arabian Sea. Friendly people, popular cashew drink — kajucho


delicious food and free wi-fi are sure sorro, distilled quietly at home so,
to make you want to return. unfortunately, not freely available.
u Contact Mantra Surfing and Lucky is the traveller who gets to
Adventure Sports Centre, No. 6-64, sample this brew. Other absolute
Kolachi Kambala, Bappanadu, must-tries include macaroons from
Mulki, Mangaluru; Cell: City Bakery, gadbad and dilkhush at
09663141146; e-mail: surfsup@ Ideal Ice Cream Parlour, Mangaluru
surfingindia.net; W surfingindia.net/ halwa from Komal Sweets in
ashram-surf-retreat Hampankatta. Also take back some
of Mangaluru’s famous, smoky, dark
SHOPPING date palm jaggery.

The cashew tree in Mangaluru is as WHERE TO EAT


versatile as the coconut palm. A
quick visit to Fernandes Cashew Seafood reigns supreme in this coriander and chillies to make marvai pundi.
Factory and you are greeted by the coastal town, and it should not Bunt Cuisine Fiery bangada curry, giant crab masala,
fragrance of the nut. There’s also the come as a surprise that they’re dry prawn in coconut and tamarind and the
excellent at it. A trip to Mangaluru Just the food alone can be a good enough piece de resistance of Bunt cuisine, kane,
Moode; Kadle usli is incomplete without loading up reason for a visit to the Karavali Coast. or lady-fish fry — are other seafood stars.
on a lovely meal at any of the Drenched in coconut, spiced with locally Gujje aajadhina is the vegetarian version of
numerous restaurants that dot this grown cinnamon, oora munchi or red chilli, a chicken curry spiced with fenugreek and
charming city. The fresh morning and with the unmistakable tang of tamarind coconut gratings. Ripe jackfruit lends itself
catch is the ticket to heavenly — food cooked by the Bunt community to the Bunt delicacy, pelakayida gatti. The
gastronomic delights and one of the epitomises coastal cuisine in all its glory. A pulp is ground to a paste with coconut and
best places recommended is Machali lot of it is about meat and fish. As summer rice and the batter steamed within the
Restaurant, which true to its name, beckons, steamed rice dumplings are fragrant leaves of the teak tree. The delicate
serves the best of the rest when it dipped into a mean clam curry cooked in a gatti is then eaten dipped in the richness of
comes to variety and innovation. masala of coconut, mustard, fenugreek, country chicken curry.
Ask for their super special Prawn
Ghee Roast. Gajalee Seafood
Restaurant is another option and it sorpotel, and fish curry rice. Sands Beach Resort at Ullal are
is the local favourite. This hilltop Cardamom at The Taj Gateway seafood and local dishes.
restaurant is best known for its Hotel has a multi-cuisine menu.
crispy batter-fried Bombay Duck, Cellar, located on KS Rao Road, has WHERE TO STAY
Tawa Fried Fish and prawn dishes. a bar and is another good option.
A wide range of Mangaluru’s For Continental, Chinese and Thai, Mangaluru has ample staying
many cuisines are on offer for head for Hotel Moti Mahal on options catering to various pockets.
sampling among its restaurants and Flanir Road. Also try Hotel Ayodhya Advance bookings are necessary in
eateries scattered across town. The for authentic vegetarian treats like peak tourist season, approximately
Pereira Hotel opposite Government moode and gunda. The speciality at September to June, especially if you
Law College serves authentic Oriental Flavours (formerly are travelling in a large group and
Catholic food, like sannas, pork Memories of Joanna) in Summer would like to stay in a particular

210 Karnataka Karnataka 211


Coastal Karnataka MANGALORE

prashant panjiar

hotel. If you want to stay on the +breakfast), 5 mins from the railway
beachside, remember only a couple station on KS Rao Road, has 45
offer sea views. rooms with room service and TV.
The Taj Gateway Hotel (Tel: Hotel Navarathna Palace (Tel:
0824-6660420; Tariff: `5,500-18,000 2441104/08, 4261104; Tariff: `1,499-
+breakfast; TE) overlooks the 6,000 +breakfast; TE), 5 mins from
confluence of the Netravathi and the railway station, has 63 rooms,
Gurpura with the sea. Ask for rooms laundry, room service and TV, but
facing this stupendous sight. The no restaurant. Poonja International
Taj is Mangaluru’s best hotel. Among (Tel: 2440171-86, Cell: 09141955527;
the plusher options, Ocean Pearl Tariff: `1,699-5,999 +breakfast; TE),
(Tel: 2413800; Tariff: `7,000-7,499 also near the railway station, has
+breakfast; TE) in Kodialbail is a 104 rooms, and a travel desk. Hotel
pretty good choice. The Verda Srinivas (Tel: 2440061; Tariff:
Saffron (Tel: 4255542, Cell: `1,500-3,500 +breakfast; TE), with
09108025400; Tariff: `4,500-7,400 its 50 rooms, is located in the heart
+breakfast; TE) is also centrally of town. Hotel Woodlands (Tel:
located and offers very decent mid- 2443751-53; Tariff: `1,568-3,300) is
range accommodation. Hotel on Bunts Hostel Road, and has 30
Mangalore International (Tel: rooms and a restaurant.
2444860-64; Tariff: `1,500-3,200 One of the oldest resorts on the Worshippers at the Hazrat Madani Dargah at Ullal
Karnataka coast, Summer Sands
Summer Sands, Ullal Beach Resort (Tel: 2467690-92; piece of cloth from Saudi Arabia. Trust property is the Tannirbhavi
Reservations 08861373737; Tariff: Famed for its healing powers, this Beach, a location for various barge-
`6,270-23,260 +breakfast, dinner) is dargah, like others of its ilk, draws mounted power projects in the
an escape from the bustle of people from all faiths who descend region. Not much frequented by the
Mengaluru. The sea off Ullal Beach in droves to observe the Uroos. locals, this stretch of sand can
is not great for a swim but there’s a Also visit the Rani Abbakka provide you with a bit of splendid
pool in the 15-acre palm grove, plus Fort, built by a Jain queen, at isolation; you’ll have just the
spacious cottages. Ranipura. Rani Abbakka is barely faraway silhouettes of cargo ships
known outside Dakshina Kannada, docking into the port for company.
For more hotels and details, see but is a legend in these parts for
Mangaluru Accommodation Listings both successfully rebelling against Someshwar Beach, Ullal (13km)
on pages 441-442 her husband, the Raja of Mangaluru, Ullal, in south Mangaluru, has the
and retaining Ullal’s independence; most pristine and rocky beach face
AROUNDS and also standing up to Portuguese in the Canara region. Jagged rocks
rule. The queen landed quite a few overlook the sea, which, however,
Ullal (11km) crushing blows on the European most locals consider too rough for
The Dargah in this beachtown is invaders, before a massive Portuguese swimming. The great rock that abuts
famous for its Uroos Fair, held armada was sent to defeat her. the sea is Someshwar’s main draw,
every five years. Built in memory of as are the series of resorts that line
the saint Madani, legend has it that Tannirbhavi Beach (12km) this picturesque stretch of sand and
he sailed to the Ullal coast on a Abutting the New Mangaluru Port water. The Summer Sands Beach

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Coastal Karnataka MANGALORE

shutterstock

Sasihithlu Beach (22km) leather ball is offered to the deity


White shores, less crowd and clean through the week-long festival. On
waters... what more can one want in the final day, men drawn from the
a good beach? This little known Bunt community square up against
gem, so close to the city, has it all. each other in a night match using
To reach here, start your journey the ball that has lain at the feet of
from Sasihithlu Village and take the the goddess for the past week. It is a
kutcha road passing amidst an acacia tumultuous end to a week of colour,
grove. If noisy places are not your pomp and devotion.
thing, this beach is the perfect place
to kick back and relax. Kateel (30km)
Adjacent to the scenic backwaters Kateel, which means ‘waist of the
of Nandini and Shambhavi rivers, river’, lends its name to the famed
this lovely beach seems almost cut- Kateel Durga Parmeshwari Temple
off from the external world. The situated on a small island. About 50
water is shallow and the waves years ago, the temple was a lonely
gentle, hence making it the perfect spot, not terribly popular with
spot to take children to. November devotees. The turnaround happened
to February is the best time to visit, when a storm hit the area around
although if you’re a bit adventurous, 1944 and everything was washed
Five-minute camel rides are among the attractions of Panambur Beach you should visit from June-August away except the sanctum of the
during the monsoons. goddess.
Resort offers beach volleyball and sand sculpture contests. The beach
boating trips to St. Mary’s Isle. These is also a favourite venue for Team Polali Raja Rajeshwari Temple Venur (36km)
are open to non-guests. Trips to St. Mangaluru, which organises kite- (22km) Located on the Moodabidri-
Mary’s Isle begin from Malpe Beach, flying festivals every summer. Yet another example of the dominant Belthangadi Road in Dakshina
2 hrs from Mangaluru, and not from Devi cult that rules over the Canara Kannada, this town is known for its
the resort. Surathkal Beach (17km) region, the deity in this very ethnic 38ft tall Gomateshwara statue,
As you zip up NH17 towards Udupi, of temples is a blazing red-coloured installed on an elevated terrace on
Panambur Beach (14km) you’ll pass Mangaluru’s best-kept goddess. A lovely drive from the south bank of the Gurpur river.
Drive up NH17 and leave behind secret: Surathkal Beach, which must Mangaluru through winding ghat Sculpted by Janakacharya, the statue
Mangaluru’s chemical haze to be a be rated as among the cleanest bits roads, the Polali Temple plays host was commissioned by the Jain ruler
part of the congregation on this of coastline on the Karavali. With its to an annual festival that culminates Veera Thimmana IV Ajila in 1604.
city’s most visited beach. As entering lighthouse and close proximity to in a football match. Commemorating The town also has eight basadis and
the water is risky, you’ll have to the National Institute of Technology, the devi’s feat of annihilating the the Mahadeva Temple. ■
make do with 5-minute-long camel Karnataka, this is a favourite haunt asura by stamping on his head, a Inputs by Parikshit Rao and Aroshi Handu
rides here. You may, however, have of Mangaluru’s hip crowd. But
to vacate the beach after sunset — remember, swimming here can be
there’s a good chance that the police
will otherwise chase you away.
dangerous, so ask the locals before
you jump into the water. You can
#Awesomekarnataka
District authorities organise carnivals climb up the lighthouse here, built
at Panambur, and the festivities in 1972, or lounge on a few benches
include boat races, air shows and constructed on the rocks.

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Coastal Karnataka UDUPI

celestial architect Vishwakarma.


After Krishna’s demise, the great
archer Arjuna placed the statue in
Rukmini Vana, where it got buried

fast facts
When to go Udupi is at its best during
festivals like Holi, Janmashtami
(Krishna’s birth) and the biennial
Paryayothsava. Held once in two years
on January 18, the Paryayothsava
marks the handing over of
responsibilities to one of the heads of
the eight mutts for a two-year turn.
Special ceremonies, religious
discourses, rathotsava and temple
elephant processions take place during
festivals. Across the year, Ramanavmi,
Narasimha Jayanthi, Krishna

UDUPI The famous Sri Krishna Temple in Udupi Leelothsava, Ganesh Chaturthi,
Anantha Chaturdashi, Subrahmanya
Krishna Consciousness synonymous with Brahmin or sattvik Shashti, Vasantha Puja, Jagarana Seva,
vegetarian cuisine (sans onion and Thulasi Puja, Laksha Deepothsava, and
garlic) and soon, Udupi ‘pure veg’ Dhanu Puja are celebrated with great
■ anurag mallick and (principle of duality). He established restaurants, tiffin rooms, and cafés pomp in the temple. During Makar
PRIYA GANAPATHY the ashta mutts or eight Vaishnava proliferated. Even today, thousands Sankranti, the harvest festival,
monasteries and, over time, Udupi throng the Krishna Temple daily for ceremonies go on for eight days.

L
ocated 60km north of became the seat of Madhava a glimpse of the beautiful idol.
Mangaluru, Udupi is considered renaissance and the Krishna Bhakti It is said that mother Devaki Tourist Office
the holiest of the seven mukti Movement. Few know that Udupi is entreated Lord Krishna to show the ● Office of the Assistant Director
sthalas or sacred sites in coastal also considered the birthplace of the childhood pranks that he played on Department of Tourism
Karnataka. Blessed by Lord Shiva and masala dosa. Its origin is attributed to his foster mother Yashoda. Krishna Deputy Commissioner Office Complex,
sanctified by the great saint the need to feed the mass of pilgrims assumed his child-like form, broke Rajathadri, A-Block, 2nd Floor,
Madhavacharya, it is home to the flocking into the temple town with the pots to steal butter and snatched Manipal, Udupi
famous Udupi Sri Krishna Temple. something healthy, quick to cook, away the churning rod and rope. Tel: 0820-2574868 (AD)
This is where Madhavacharya lived and substantial. Thus, spiced potato Charmed by this infant form, Cell: 08762444986 (DTC)
and taught 700 years ago and was added to a plain dosa and the Krishna’s consort Rukmini got a STD code 0820
propounded the Dvaita philosophy masala dosa was born. Udupi became statue of Bala Krishna crafted by the

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Coastal Karnataka UDUPI

Photographs by ANURAG MALLICK


in mud. Centuries later, it was dug Lord Krishna came in a boat. The
out as a lump of gopichandan (sacred famous Car Street, where devotees
yellow earth) and carried off draw the temple chariot during
unknowingly by sailors. As the ship festivals, is the hub of all activity.
sailed down the west coast, it was While the 800-year-old Sri Krishna
hit by a storm near Malpe; the Temple is the star attraction, the
sailors cried for help. Madhavacharya, older shrines of Anantheshwara and
who was meditating by the sea, Chandramouleshwara stand like
waved his bark garment and the sentinels. Every ceremony at the
sailors managed to come ashore. In Krishna Temple begins with a visit
gratitude, they offered him any to these two temples.
valuable item from their laden ship. Today, Udupi is no longer a small
Madhavacharya just asked for a sleepy coastal town but a bustling
lump of earth and that’s how the hub on Karnataka’s spiritual circuit.
idol resurfaced. He installed it in a It serves as a good base to explore
temple and began worshipping it; Jain sites like Karkala, Varanga, and
the rituals instituted by him are Nallur in the hinterland, Manipal,
unchanged to date. The place was Malpe and St. Mary’s Island, besides
called Udupi (from udupa, Sanskrit Kundapura and Maravanthe further
for boat), referring to the spot where north on the coast.

Statues on Sri Krishna Temple’s spire Things to See and Do The Sri Krishna Temple chariot is drawn by devotees on Car Street during festivals

Enter Car Street through Kanakadasa right hand and a rope in the left, the through a tiny crack in the wall.
Road to the Sri Krishna Temple tower only idol of its kind in India. The Pleased by his devotion, Sri Krishna’s
with Kanakana Kindi (Kanakadasa’s innocent expression of the idol is statue is believed to have swivelled
window) below it. To the right is attractive. Next to it is the sacred fire around to give him darshan. On the
Kanakadasa Mantapa, beyond which lit by Sri Madhavacharya that has opposite side of Kanakana Kindi is
is the Anantheshwara Temple in the been burning for centuries and has Kanakadasa Mantapa, a domed
middle of the complex, with the never been allowed to be extinguished. structure housing his life-size statue.
Chandramouleshwara (or Chandres­ Legend has it that when Chaitanya At the site of the original entrance
wara) Temple located in front. Mahaprabhu came to Udupi, he lit a stands a statue of Chenna Keshava.
lamp from this one and took it to The entrance is opened only once a
Sri Krishna Temple Vrindavan, where Krishna had spent year on Vijaya Dashami. The trained
A unique feature of this temple is his adolescence. temple elephant ‘blesses’ devotees
that Lord Krishna is not worshipped A slatted window grille behind with its trunk in return for coins and
directly but through a nine-holed the temple is called Kanakana Kindi, bananas. Krishna, considered as the
window called Navagraha Kitiki. through which Krishna had revealed Lord of fourteen worlds, is worshipped
Dedicated to the nine planets, the himself to his ardent devotee, fourteen times a day with rituals
silver-plated window is an exquisitely Kanakadasa, a low-caste Kuruba who extending from 4am to late night —
carved screen through which visitors was not allowed to enter the temple. ten services are carried out till noon
view the idol of Krishna as a small Undaunted, Kanakadasa went behind and the remaining four in the
boy, clutching a churning rod in his the temple and prayed to the Lord evening hours.

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Coastal Karnataka UDUPI

u Sri
Krishna Temple Jagadguru Shri
Madhwacharya Moola
Mahasamstana, Car Street, Udupi
Timings 4am–9pm Cell:
08452040404, 09987123949, 09224
444455 W udipikrishnamutt.com

Anantheshwara Temple
Legend has it that a childless couple
once prayed to Lord Shiva at the
Anantheshwara or Ananthasana
Temple and were blessed with a son,
who grew up to be the 13th century
philosopher-saint Madhavacharya.
Ever since, childless couples come
Anantheshwara Temple here for blessings. This was where
Madhavacharya received his spiritual
education and later expounded on
the Dvaita philosophy. Lord Chandramouleshwara Temple, at the site where Shiva was worshipped by Chandra
Parasurama is worshipped in the
form of a linga in this shrine and a Chandra Pushkarni, the temple tank forth in the southwest corner of the
40ft tall deepastambha (lamp pillar) where Lord Shiva had pardoned the tank. Then onwards, it is believed
getting there stands outside. Madhavacharya’s Moon god, was later appropriated as that once every 12 years, the sacred
Air Nearest airport: Bajpe Airport, birthplace Pajaka is 12km away Madhava Sarovar. Ganga flows into this tank to cleanse
Mangaluru (54km/1 hr). Taxi to Udupi where his foot impression is herself. Adjacent is a gau-shala or
costs `1,800-2,500, KSRTC Volvo bus enshrined in a temple. Madhava Sarovar cow shelter maintained by the
fare: `95/ Regular bus: `50-70 The sacred tank with green waters temple trust.
Rail Udupi Railway Station is connected Chandramouleshwara Temple was initially part of the
by direct trains like Rajdhani, Garib Legend has it that Chandra the moon Chandramouleshwara Temple. After Ashta Mutts
Rath, Sampark Kranti, Humsafar, god undertook a penance here in the Madhavacharya gave the newfound The eight maths or mutts (religious
Matsyagandha Express, etc to all the forest to redeem himself from a curse idol of Lord Krishna a holy bath centres) instituted by Madhavacharya
major cities on the Konkan Railway line. by Daksha Prajapati. Since Lord Shiva here, it came to be known as Madhava can be found around Car Street —
Rickshaw fare from railway station to was worshipped by Chandra, the Sarovar. According to legend, when Kaniyooru Mutt, Sode Mutt, Puttige
the main town is `35-40 temple that sprung up around it was Madhavacharya was a little boy, he Mutt, Admar Mutt, Pejavar Mutt,
Road Udupi is well connected by road called Chandramouleshwara. The expressed a desire to visit Badrinath. Palimaru Mutt, Krishna Mutt, and
to Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Mysore tiny entrance, surrounded by shops His guru, being very fond of him, did Shirur Mutt. The mutts are appealing,
(Mysuru), and other cities in Karnataka selling religious brassware, is easy to not wish to be separated from his with wide arches, large squares, and
Bus KSRTC buses ply regularly on miss. The yellow-coloured, high- favourite disciple. So he prayed to vernacular architecture. The
these routes; KSRTC/private buses roofed structure houses a swayambhu the lord for a remedy, and an management of the Krishna Temple
from Bengaluru (8-10hrs/ `424-1,032); (self-manifest) linga that changes akashvani (divine voice) instructed is shared in a rotational term of two
from Mysuru (7-8hrs/ `550-650); from colour thrice during the course of him not to travel north, as Ganga years by the mutts. During the
Mangaluru (1 hr/ `59-474) to Udupi the day — black in the morning, herself would come south to visit biennial Paryaya Festival, officiating
blue at noon, and white at night! him. A white stream of water sprang priests hand over responsibilities to

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Coastal Karnataka UDUPI

other pontiffs and the streets are full confectionery shop and an
of devotees, processions, elephants, assortment of halwas made of godi
and fireworks. During festivities, (wheat), badam (almond) and
pilgrims draw the golden, silver and kushmand (pumpkin), besides holiges
bronze chariots parked nearby with from Cinema Restaurant, Diana
great fervour. Restaurant, and Mitra Samaj.

SHOPPING Where to eat

From Krishna statues to photographs Mitra Samaj (Tel: 0820-2535600)


of the Balamurali idol, vessels and was started in 1949 by Nittur Gopal
brassware like diyas, bells and picture Holla as a small tea shop sharing a
frames, the shops around Sri Krishna wall with the Chandramouleshwara
Temple sell a wide range of religious Temple. The last of the original
paraphernalia. Pick up cashew Udupi restaurants, even now, no
macaroons or malpuris from any garlic and onion is used in the veg

Udupi annadana and the masala dosa A lot of bananas from the Udupi market go to the temple elephant during festivals
It is widely believed that the world’s
favourite South Indian dish – the masala food here. Try goli bajji, uppitu dishes. Try the famous fish meals
dosa – was created at Sri Krishna Temple (upma), bullet idli, Mangaluru buns, with anjal fry at Hotel Thimmappa
in Udupi. For centuries, the temple has biscuit roti, parota with kurma, in Adiudupi.

prashant panjiar
followed the tradition of annadana or pineapple shira and the massive
feeding devotees sattvik pure veg cuisine Outlook dosa (Thursday closed). Where to Stay
cooked by Brahmins. But none anticipated They also run Mitra Café adjoining
the massive inflow of pilgrims. Cooking a the Mitra Hospital on the Old Post Udupi has several pilgrim lodges,
meal of rice, lentils, and vegetables for Office Road. The iconic Diana chowltries (resting places), and
such huge numbers became cumbersome. Restaurant (Tel: 0820-2520505; Cell: guesthouses run by different mutts
An urgent innovation was needed. A 09448132202) is the birthplace of and temple authorities. Geetha
temple priest suggested that a potato the legendary ‘gadbad’ ice-cream and Bhavan, Birla Chowltry, Sri Krishna
filling, sans onion or garlic, be added to the serves a good range of local snacks Dhama, Admar Mutt Chowltry, Sri
simple dosa. As news of the masala dosa and halwas. Venkatramana Temple Guest House,
spread, so did the small eateries that For a wider variety of authentic Puttige Mutt, and Pejawar Mutt’s
promoted it. Tiny Udupi cafés, with their Udupi fare, check out New Cinema Adhokshaja Mandir are some basic
staple fare of dosa, idli, vada, uppitu and Restaurant) in Mythri Complex and options, besides city hotels and
puri palya, spilled out of the temple town ajadinas (dry fry) and chutneys. It marked Woodlands Restaurant (Tel: 0820- lodges. Manipal nearby has better
and across India. Yet, Udupi cuisine has the beginning of the tiffin-room culture in 2522807). Hotel Arya in Koteshwar hotels with more luxurious beach
much more to offer – pumpkins, gourds, south India and spawned a chain of Udupi on NH-17 is known for its mentya resorts at Malpe and Kundapura.
jackfruit, colocasia leaves, raw bananas, cafés across the country and beyond. dosa. Ramakrishna Hotel (Tel: 0820- Samanvay Boutique Hotel (Tel:
mango pickle, sambar with ground Everywhere, brand ‘Udupi’ is built on three 2523189-93) on Geetanjali Road has 0820-2500250, Cell: 09448011111;
coconut, rasam, adyes (dumplings), pillars: hygiene, taste, affordability. two restaurants, Amantran and LX Tariff: `4,366-6,000; TE) near
Brasserie, that serve multi-cuisine Govinda Kalyana Mantapa,

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SHUTTERSTOCK
maddale or mridangam, an essential Kinnimulki Main Road, is the only
musical accompaniment in Yakshagana 5-star hotel in Udupi; the new
performances. The glittering pride of the boutique property is cut off from
Deccani Sultans of Bidar, the Humnabad the town’s bustle. It has 48 rooms
Nawab Mahal, is a late 19th century with luxurious linen, housekeeping
structure with coloured, glazed tiles, Belgian service twice daily, large work desk,
glass and lamps, exquisite Austrian bathtub with walk-in shower and
chandeliers, a spiral, cast-iron ladder from luxurious bathroom amenities.
Birmingham and beautiful Bidriware. The There are two vegetarian restaurants,
highlight is the Vijayanagara Kamal Mahal an MTR outlet outside, a coffee
of Kukanoor, believed to be the only shop, yoga studio, foot reflexology
surviving wooden structure of the famed by FootWorks and complimentary
Vijayanagara Empire. Built by the military breakfast. The 3-star Hotel Sharada
governor during the reign of Harihara II, it International (Tel: 0820-2521968,
served as the residence of the army 2522910; Tariff: `1,500-4,500; TE)
commander or Dandanayaka. The home is located on NH-17, Adi Udupi,
History, architecture, and artefacts come together in this recreated 7-acre village named after the lotus frieze motif in the Bannanje, offers 42 rooms with
ceiling framed by bulbous pendants. A room service and Internet; it also
Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village Museum large hall houses a big cache of bhootas,
family deities, pre-Vedic pagan gods and
has two multi-cuisine restaurants
with a bar. Hotel Sri Ram Residency
Sometime in the 1970s, the sight of an Durbar Hall, a trading house-cum-residence outlandish animal figurines. There is a (Tel: 0820-2530761; Cell:
antique pillar being used as firewood called Hungarcutta Bansale mane, the 300-year-old vessel of bell metal where 09035446019; Tariff: `1,500-4,500;
disturbed banker Vijaynath Shenoy so much Byndoor-Nelyadi house, the Belgaum curd or buttermilk stays fresh for a week TE) near the Head Post Office Road,
that he bought the piece and dedicated his Peshwada, a British Cantonment home from and containers where rice could stay fresh Thenkpete, is a 2-star hotel in the
life to conserving the endangered architectural Bangalore (Bengaluru) with terracotta tiles for five years! Visitors can explore the heart of town with TV and telephone
heritage of the region. The result was Hasta depicting Queen Anne on the façade, and a open-air museum through two tours. in rooms with views of the city and
Shilpa, a trust established with the patronage 250-year-old Vaderhobli House of the Koni Southern Stroll is ideal for first-time the sea from the rooms on the
of the Pai family, besides Finnish and Karanths of Kundapur. Each structure is visitors and the elderly, while the Eastern upper floors. The tariff includes
Norwegian aid, to preserve the rich legacy of unique. Kunjur Chowkimane, a ‘courtyard Jaunt was opened in 2018. complimentary breakfast.
Dakshina Kannada. It brings together history, house’ of Shivalli Brahmins from Udupi, u Address Alevoor Road, Opp Hotel Lake Hotel Kediyoor (Tel: 0820-
architecture and artefacts in a recreated dating back to early 19th century, is built in View, Manipal 2508222, 2522381; Tariff: `1,500-
heritage village, with 26 traditional homes the architectural style of Kerala based on the Tel: 0820-2574577; Cell:09845229701 7,000; TE) near Service Bus Stand,
artfully restored. Rare heritage structures on 15th century treatise Manushyalaya Email hastashilpatrust@gmail.com Shribeedu, is a landmark hotel with
the verge of being demolished were acquired Chandrika. Bhatkal Navayath Muslim House, www.indiaheritagevillage.org 38 rooms and offers room service,
by the trust and transplanted into the 7-acre a 200-year-old mansion from Bhatkal, has no Tours Southern Stroll (11/2 hrs): Wed/Fri/ Internet and same-day laundry. The
complex in Manipal. Among the oldest conspicuous veranda; tinted glass and slatted Sun; Eastern Jaunt (11/2 hrs): Tues/Thurs/ Gokul Krishna veg restaurant serves
structures is the 700-year-old Jangama Mutt windows with tiny vents protected the privacy Sat Timings 11:30 am, 2 pm, 4 pm (Oct- Udupi cuisine and the Gazebo
of Puchchamogaru. The three-century-old of a conservative Muslim home. Each of the May); Monsoon Walk (1 hr): 10am, Restaurant offers non-veg fare; the
Sringeri House was built as per Vedic richly carved wooden pillars is unique with 11.30am, 2.30pm, 4pm (June-Sept) Kediyoor Confectionery has freshly
traditions, and the Vidyamandira was the sterling brass work on the doors. Harkur (Mondays closed) made cakes and sweets. Treebo
residence of the pontiff of Ramachandrapura Olaginamane, literally, ‘interior house’, was Ticket `300 pp/ `500 pp for both tours Vijaya Grand (Tel: 0820-2531141;
Mutt in Shimoga. You will find a Mangalore built 400 years ago for a Harkur Bunt family. (senior citizen and students 50% off). Tariff: `1,800-4,200; TE) located on
Christian House, the regal Mudhol Palace Its spindle-shaped pillars are inspired by the Monsoon Walk `200 pp Old Post Office Road, opposite

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Kalpana Theatre, Diana Circle, is a the 600-acre campus has well laid
budget hotel with 30 air-conditioned out roads, towering college buildings,
rooms; it has no in-house restaurant, hospitals, hotels and cafés. The
so breakfast has to be ordered in. town’s chief landmark is Tiger Circle,
named after the big cats that used to
For more, see Udupi Accommodation roam here once. Smrithi Bhawan
Listings on pages 45-446. (9.30am-1pm, 2.30pm-6pm, closed
on Sundays), the house where Dr
AROUNDs TMA Pai lived from 1898 to 1979, is
now a museum dedicated to his life
Manipal (8km) and achievements, documented
Manipal is to education what Udupi through photos, awards and
is to vegetarian food. The small accolades. Don’t miss the scale model
university town revolves around the of the township, which gives a bird’s
institutes established by the Manipal eye view of Manipal. Beyond
Group, founded by the late Dr TMA Syndicate Bank building is Dr TMA
Pai, a doctor, banker, visionary, and Pai Planetarium, (Tel: 0820-
philanthropist. From the first 2571922) with 69 seats and four The fishing centre of Malpe caters to the appetite of fish-lovers across Karnataka
institute Kasturba Medical College in daily shows on the solar system
1953, today the Manipal Academy of (English 10.30am/ 2.30pm, Kannada 2km to a dead end at the edge of a (Cell: 09844736230) on the Main
Higher Education (MAHE) runs over 11.30am/3.30pm, Tuesday holiday). high plateau to End Point, which Road serve multi-cuisine dishes and
two dozen professional colleges Special shows are conducted between offers a view of the Swarna river tasty snacks.
where lakhs of students pursue 2pm and 3pm for groups of 50 or meandering below and amazing In Manipal head for Country
academics. A vibrant young town, more. Further down the planetarium, sunsets. On Udupi Road, Govind Pai Inn & Suites by Radisson (Tel:
within the Manipal Institute of Samshodhana Kendra Tel: 0820- 0820-2701600; Tariff: `3,800-
An Indian meal at a Manipal restaurant Technology campus, lies the 2521159, Cell: 09902710092 15,000; TE) located on Rajathadri
Venugopala Temple. Built in 1973, (9am-5pm, Saturday ½ day/ Sunday Road, Vidyarathna, KA Nagar. A
it fuses architecture of three faiths closed) at MGM College Campus casual 4-star hotel, it offers 54
— the sanctum is like a Hindu shrine boasts a huge collection of books on rooms, an outdoor infinity pool,
and houses a statue of Krishna history and Indology accumulated spa, business centre, fitness centre.
playing the flute; the large dome and by Rashtrakavi Govind Pai. Within
mosaic flooring are Islamic; while the same complex is the Regional Malpe (6km)
the tall bell tower is typical of Resources Centre for Folk Situated at the mouth of the Udyavara
Christian churches. In front of the Performing Arts with a gallery of river, Malpe is an important fishing
temple is Brindavan Garden, a well- wooden artefacts and statues in centre with a picturesque beach and
maintained park with a sculpture of copper and brass. Outside are a few a natural harbour. At the busy fishing
two large elephants at the entrance. stone images and inscriptions. pier, an assortment of bangda