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Monday, March 22, 2010

Kollur- Udupi District



Kolluru (Kannada :ಕೊಲ್ಲೂರು ) is a tiny hamlet situated about 40 km from Kundapur Town, about 140 km away from Mangalore City in Karnataka state in the southern part of India. This village lies at the foot of the Western Ghats and is famous for the Mookambika temple, a Hindu pilgrim center.

Myths and legends

Kollur is an important seat of Shakti worship. The temple is rich in puranic lore.

Legend goes that a Maharishi (monk) Kolan was enchanted with nature’s beauty and decided to perform a penance on a rock near the Agnitheertham. Lord Shiva, delighted with Kolan, appeared before him and blessed him. The Maharishi wished for the welfare of mankind and nothing else. The Lord, happy with Kolan, granted him his wish. He assured that a swayambu (autogenetic) Lingam would appear for his daily worship. However, Kolan wanted to worship Devi also. So, a swarna rekha (gold line) appeared on the Lingam, signifying Shakti. Thus, Shiva and Shakti are worshipped together in the Lingam. Besides this, a unique feature is that the other Gods and Goddess of the Hindu pantheon also believed to reside in aroopa (non-form) in the Lingam. It is thus believed to be an abode of the entire celestial congregation.

It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya had a vision of Sri Mookambika Devi and installed the deity here. The legend goes that Adi Shankara mediated at Kodachadri hills and Devi incarnated before him asking for his wish. He revealed his wish to install the Devi idol in a place in Kerala to worship where he wanted. Devi agreed but put forward a challenge that she will follow Shankara and he should not look back till he reaches his destination. But to test Shankara, Devi deliberately stopped the voice of her anklets when they reached Kollur whereupon Shankara turned and looked back because of doubt. Devi then asked Shankara to install her vigraha, just as he sees her, at that very location in Kollur.


Places of interest

  • Shri Mookambika Devi Temple
    • Devotees from all over South India visit this temple. Kollur is believed to be one of the seven pilgrim centres created by Parashurama, a Hindu mythological figure. The temple is devoted to the Hindu goddess Parvathi, wife of Shiva. While the other pilgrimages created by Parashurama are devoted to Lord Shiva, Lord Subramanya and Lord Ganesha, this is the only one devoted to goddess Parvathi.
  • Arishna Gundi Waterfalls
    • A scenic waterfall inside the deep jungle only approachable by trekking. Due to the special effect of the sun's rays falling on the water droplets around the waterfall, it looks orange/yellow in colour and so the name is "Arishna" (Turmeric/Yellow).
  • Kodachadri Mountain in the Western Ghats
    • Adi Sri Shakthi Mookambika Temple is on the top of the mountain believed to be the real abode of Devi from where Adi Shankara re-established it at the foothills at Kollur.
  • Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is aided by the World Wildlife Fund. This sanctuary is home to an endangered species called the Lion tailed monkey.
    • Spread along the Kundapur-Kollur-Shimoga road, this sanctuary is generally off the tourist map.
  • Sigandur is famous for the temple of Goddess Chaudeshwari. It is situated at a distance of 45 km from Kollur where a diversion from Kollur-Shimoga Road has to be taken at Nagodi.

How to reach Kollur


Kollur is around 37 km from Kundapur, the taluk headquarters. From Kundapur, one can take three different routes to reach Kollur.

  • One route is via Tallur-Hattiangadi-Karkunje-Vandse
  • The second route is via Hemmadi-Vandse
  • The third route is via Baindur (Byndoor)
  • However, the shortest route is through Hemmady. On the National Highway 17, after around 7 km from Kundapura, at Hemmady one has to take a right deviation to reach Kollur.
  • The nearest railway station is at Kundapura (40 km) where a few long-distance trains halt. You can get taxis from the station to Kollur. The station has a waiting room for passengers.

Railway Station telehone number: +91-8254-237365.

Byndoor (Baindur) (26 km) is another railway station where a very few long-distance trains halt. It is situated between Kundapura and Bhatkal stations. Buses to Kollur, are available every 30 minutes from 6:00 am in the morning to 8:30 pm in the night. The bus stand is 3 km from the railway station.

The nearest Airport is Mangalore International Airport at Bajpe. There are pre-paid taxis to Kollur from the airport and it is a 3 hours drive or approximately 150 km.

Kollur is a 2 hour drive from Udupi, so a visit to Udupi can include Kollur. The drive is a very scenic one.

By road, Kollur can be reached via Shimoga or via Mangalore when coming from Bangalore. There are bus services available in these routes. Buses are also operated between Kollur and Chennai, Sringeri and Guruvayur.

SCENIC LOCATIONS ON THE WAY TO KOLLUR

1. On the way to Kollur, you will come across a railway crossing; from there you can take a left turn (i.e. if you are coming from Kundapura city via Hemmady route to Kollur) and travel for about 10 minutes whereupon you will have to cross a very beautiful river covered by coconut trees on both its banks. It is an excellent location and one should see it standing on the bridge.

2. Between Hemmady and Kundapura, there is a place known as Haladi Hole. The place is called Herikudru; the view of the sunset from here, is very beautiful.

Photo Gallery:

Goddess Mookambika



















Photos: Sutthona Banni Team-Mysore
Information Courtesy: Wikipedia

Friday, March 19, 2010

St. Mary's Islands-Udupi District



St. Mary's Islands also known as Coconut Island, are a set of four small islands in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Malpe in Udupi, Karnataka, India. They are known for their distinctive geological formation of columnar basaltic lava (pictured).

Scientific studies indicate that the basalt of the St. Mary’s Islands was formed by sub-aerial subvolcanic activity, because at that time Madagascar was attached to India. The rifting of Madagascar took place around 88 Ma.

The islands form one of the four geological monuments in Karnataka state, out of the 26 ‘‘Geological Monuments of India’’ declared by the Geological Survey of India in 2001. The monument is considered an important site for "Geo Tourism".


History

According to folk legend, in the year 1498, Vasco da Gama landed at St. Mary's Islands on his voyage from Portugal to India, fixed a cross on the island and named one of these islands, El Padron de Santa Maria, as a dedication to Mother Mary, before he proceeded to Kozhikode in Kerala. It is from this name that the islands have got their current name.


Geography and topography

Out of the four islands which form St. Mary’s Islands, the northernmost island has a basaltic rock formation in a hexagonal form, the only one of its type in India. The island covers an area which is about 500 m (1,640.4 ft) in length with a width of 100 m (328.1 ft). It has prominent coconut trees, its cover reflecting in an azure south sea colour, and hence the island is also called Coconut Island. There is no habitation on the islands.

The north-south alined islands are in a non continuous chain. The four large islands are Coconut Island, North Island, Daryabahadurgarh Island and South Island.

The type of rock formation seen on Coconut island is also found atn the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. The stretch of sea between the islands and the long curve of the beach at Malpe is serene and calm.

The islands are generally aligned parallel to the coast line, which provide clues to the phenomenon of uplift of the west coast of India. The islands’ terraces and elevated beach deposits along with the tide gauge data at the dead oyster beach in Suratkal beach (further south of the islands) have been deduced as proof of the reported fall in sea level of about 1 mm/per year.

The highest elevation at Coconut Island, which has generated interest among geologists and tourists, is about 10 m (32.8 ft) above msl with surrounding areas in the form of platforms in the elevation range of +6 m (19.7 ft), +3 m (9.8 ft), +1.5 m (4.9 ft) and + 0 m which are stated to have been formed by wave action pointing to an “episodic sea level rise or fall of land”.

Access to the islands

The only way of getting to the islands is by boat. Regular ferry service ply the 6 km distance from the Malpe fishing harbor (which has a ship building yard also) to the islands. However, the frequency of these boats may vary depending on the number of tourists visiting. It is 58 km (36.0 mi) to the North of Mangalore, the coastal city of Karnataka, which is also the nearest airport. The famous religious town Udupi, is about 60 km (37.3 mi) West North West of Mangalore. Mumbai, Udupi and Thiruvananthapuram are linked to Malpe, by the West Coast Railway. The Konkan Railway (map pictured) passes close to the Islands, starting from Mangalore passing through Udupi, Kundapura, Goa, Ratnagiri and Roha close to Mumbai. Malpe is 4 km (2.5 mi) from Udupi town.

Photo Gallery:









Photos: Prakash Hegde-Sirsi
Information Courtesy:Wikipedia

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Udupi District



Udupi district (Tulu/Kannada: ಉಡುಪಿ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ) in the Karnataka state of India was created in August 1997. The three northern taluks, Udupi, Kundapur and Karkal, were separated from Dakshina Kannada District to form Udupi district. Udupi district is surrounded by Uttara Kannada district in north, Dakshina Kannada district in southern direction. Shivamogga district borders on north east side and chikamagalur district on east. Arabian sea is on west of Udupi district. Udupi is famous for Udupi cuisine orginated at Ashta Matha, i.e., eight Matts and Sri Krishna Temple. Udupi is also one of oldest Educational Centres. The administrative headquarters of Udupi district is Udupi town. Population as per Census 2001 was 1,112,243 of which 18.55% were urban.


Language

The primary languages of Udupi district are the Tulu, Kannada and Konkani. The Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts are sometimes referred to as Tulu Nadu, as they constitute the Tulu-majority region. Muslims in the district are mainly speak Beary bashe.

Some inscriptions in the Tulu languages are found in and around the village of Barkur. The ruins and inscriptions are in need of being preserved.


Cuisine

Udupi restaurants serving Udupi cuisine are popular all over India and have found its way into other countries also. Udupi (Udipi) restaurants are typically south Indian vegetarian restaurants. In Mumbai or Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore, Udupi restaurants are famous for tasty vegetarian food and courteous service.

Education

Udupi has a literacy rate of 92%, high compared to other districts of Karnataka. Udupi also tops the 10th and 12th standard exams held every year by the Karnataka State Education Board.

Udupi district is home to internationally renowned educational institutions. The Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) runs schools, colleges and institutes of higher learning. Similarly, the Nitte Education Trust, located at Nitte, heads a large number of educational institutions.

Agriculture and horticulture

The Udupi district was once thriving rice and coconut producer, but now not so. Also one can find arecanut (betelnut) gardens here and there. Cashew is also grown. Milk is procured from farmers by Karnataka Milk Federation which has a dairy processing plant at Manipal in the district. Recently few private enterpreneurs have started procurement and processing of milk.

Commerce and industry


The district has mostly small scale industries. There is not any noteworthy industry at present, but few industries are coming up in the district. There are some red clay tile (Mangalore tile), cashew nut, coconut oil industries providing employment to hundreds. There is a printing press at Manipal belonging to Pai group doing high security printing like cheques, share certificates etc. The district (Undivded South Canara) was birth place of Four public sector banks (PSB) namely Vijaya Bank, Canara Bank, Corporation Bank and Syndicate Bank. There were many small insurance companies before nationalisation. There is divisional office of LIC at Udipi town. The district has branches of scheduled banks making density per population served above the national average of India. Some Computer software companies like Robosoft Technologies & SourceHub India Pvt Ltd has set up their Corporate Office & Regional Office here. Robosoft has brought Udupi a significant place in the global IT scenario.

A thermal power plant is being set up at Nandikoor in Udupi district by Nagarjuna group for generating electricity. The plant has generated controversies with respect to environmental impact. Suzlon has set up manufacturing facility at Padubidre for making wind mills. Work for setting up of underground petroleum crude reserve at Padur ( Padoor ) in Udupi district by central government has commenced. Environmentalists fear that such large projects will destroy evergreen forests in those areas once for all. Also causing severe pollution of environment.

Transportation

The Udupi district has two national highways passing through, one is NH-17 and another is NH-13. The national highway 17 which moves in north and south direction connects Udipi with cities like Mangalooru, Karwar, Murudeshwara, Kochi, Madgaon, Ratnagiri and Mumbai. Another national highway 13 connects district with Shimoga, Bijapura, Solapur, Chitradurga and Hospet.The district has network of bituminised roads connecting district centre with moffusil areas. The Konkan railway connects district with neighbouring districts and states. The major railway stations are Udupi and Kundapura. At present nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport at Bajpe which is at 55 Kilometre from the town of Udupi.

Temples

The famous Udupi Krishna Temple is located in Udupi. Udupi is the place where Sri Madhwacharya,one of the greatest proponents of the Vaishnava faith began his philosophical journey

Kuthpady is known for the Subramanya temples, which are visited every year thousands of pilgrims during Subramanya Shrasthi, which falls in November-December It is also home to Brahma Vishnu Maheshwara Temple (Kanangi Temple) atyayuga Yogashrama and Ramakrishna Bhajana Mandira.

Tourist locations

Beaches
  • Malpe: About 6 km from Udupi town, Malpe is an important fishing and trading harbour.
  • St. Mary's Island: An island on the Arabian Sea near to Malpe
  • Kaup (pronounced "Ka-Aap"): About 12 km from Udupi with a beach and a lighthouse
  • Maravanthe: About 42 km from Udupi. The NH-17 is flanked on the left side by the Arabian Sea and on the right side by the Souwparnika River. However, due to continuous sea erosion, the Arabian Sea has come dangerously close to the NH-17.Still the road exists miraculously between sea and river and after this spot, river makes a U turn and goes eastwards and meets sea at Kundapura, after a journey of about 10 km.

Religious places


  • Udupi Shree Krishna Temple.
  • Pajaka: About 12 km from Udupi. This is the place where Madhvacharya preached his Dvaita philosophy.
  • Kollur: About 74 km from Udupi, nestled among the Western Ghats. It is considered the abode of Goddess Mookambika and attracts tourists from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Karkala: About 37 km from Udupi. Jain basadis (temples) and Gomateshwara (giant statues) are notable features. Other important places are Padutirupathi Sri Venkataramana Temple, Attur St. Lawrence Church, Sri Hosamarigudi Temple, Sri Ucchanggi Mariamma Temple, Sri Ananthapadmanabha Temple, Sri Padmavathi Temple, Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple, Sri Siddhivinayaka Temple, Sri Umamaheshwara Temple and Salmar Jama Masjid.
  • Anegudde: About 30 km from Udupi. Famous for the temple of Lord Ganesha.
  • Attur Church: About 25 km from Udupi. Famous for its yearly fair, attended by people from all religious groups.
  • Barkur: About 15 km from Udupi. The erstwhile capital of historical Tulu Nadu, Barkur is dotted with temples and Jaina basadis.
  • Saligrama : About 27 km from Udupi, with a Lord Guru Narasimha swami temple.
  • Pernankila : There is an ancient Ganapathi temple in this village.
  • Perdoor Anantha Padmanabha temple: 22 k.m from udupi towrds agumbe -shimoga state highway Monthly Sankramana is very famous in state.
  • Hiriadka Veerabadhra temple is one of the oldest temple located about 16 km from Udupi.

Wildlife sanctuaries

The Udupi district has thick evergreen forests in the eastern part. They form part of Sahyadri or Western Ghats of India. These forests have wide range of flora and fauna.

  • Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary: About 40 km from Udupi. It contains rare species of animals, birds and medicinal plants.
  • Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary: About 50 km from Udupi. Spread along the Kundapur-Kollur road, this sanctuary is generally off the tourist map.
  • Shirva Pilar khan Bird Sanctuary: About 03 km from Shirva

Waterfalls

  • Kudlū Theerthā Falls: About 42 km from Udupi. A waterfall located deep in the jungles of Western Ghats, close to Hebri town. This is a beautiful water fall in any standards, and may become very weak during Feb-May. With a height of about 300 feet, it falls directly into a pond which is considered holy by local people, because, sages meditated here thousands of years ago. There is one more water fall above Kudlu theertha, called Manga theertha (monkey theertha) named so because, only monkey can reach it as the path is very steep inside the forest.
  • Barkana Falls: About 54 km from Udupi. Located in the Western Ghats at the junction of Udupi, Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru districts, the falls are a 45-minute walk from the Udupi-Shimoga state highway.
  • Belkal Theerthā Falls: About 50 km from Udupi. Cascading waterfalls, located deep in the Western Ghats. This falls is about 400 feet and there will be no water during Feb-May.
  • Arasina Gundi, near Dali village off Kollur, is a beautiful waterfall within the forest.
  • Jomlu Theertha :Near Belve village about 35 km from Udupi, a small water fall about 20 feet height created by River Seethanadi. This is second water fall of this river, first one being Kudlu Theertha.
  • Kosalli Water falls near Byndoor, Kundapur Taluk is a beautiful spot situated at the northern boundary of the district.

River islands

The rivers Swarnā, Chakrā, Sitā, Varāhi and Kubjā contain beautiful and often unexplored river islands. Called Kudrūs, some of the islands are inhabited but lack basic facilities such as drinking water, electricity and transport. Examples of the islands include Skool Kudrū, Kannada Kudrū, Katte Kudrū, Benne Kudru, Bavali Kudru and Shetty Kudrū.

Photo Gallery:

Lord Shrikrishna

Shrikrishna Temple





Photos: Prakash Hegde-Sirsi
Information Courtesy:Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gudnapura Lake-Uttara Kannada District



Gudnapura is a small historical village and famous pilgrim spot situated in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka.

This place is situated 4kms from Kadamba's Kingdom Banavasi. Here there is a big lake called as "Gudnapura Lake". On the bank of lake there is a temple of "Lord Shri Bangareshwara". You can also see the "Queen's Mahal", and other historical things on the bank of this lake. Every year there is a "jathre (Rathotsava)" and "Teppotsava" in the temple. This place is very beautiful to see the sunset.

This place is good for picnic.

Route Map:

Bangalore-Shivamogga-Banavasi-Gudnapura
Mysore-Banavasi-Gudnapura
Hubli-Banavasi-Gudnapura
Sirsi-Gudnapura-Banavasi

There is direct bus facility to Banavasi from major cities. From Banavasi you have to pick up the Sirsi bus.

Photo Gallery:


Lord Bangareshwara

Gudnapura Lake

Rani Nivasa (Queen's Mahal)

Photos & Informations: Shriharsha.B.S.-Banavasi

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kurudumale-Kolar District



Kurudumale, a place in the Kolar district of Karnataka state, India, is famous for the Ganesha temple built by a Vijayanagara kings. This place was believed to be the place where Devas would descend from the heavens for recreation on earth. The ganesha temple is considered to be very powerful. Many people start new jobs or new work only after taking the blessing of Lord Ganesha. There is another temple dedicated to Shiva called the Someshwara temple which is also situated in Kurudumale. The interesting thing about this temple is that it is built of a rock without any foundations. Another interesting thing is the architectural style of the temple; this temple is considered to be older than the Ganesha temple and was built during the Cholas period. Half of the temple has different style of carving, believed to have been done by the legendary artist Jakanachari and the other half is believed to have been carved by his son Dankanachari. The part of the temple supposedly built by Dankana's has statues and carvings which are more intricate and sophisticated. Ganesha temple in Kurudumale, situated on the same road as that of Someshwara temple, but here a huge Ganesha idol is being worshipped from ages unknown. It is said that the Ganesha statue was being worshipped in an open field, until Krishnadevaraya built a temple around it. Its too huge to imagine (14 ft in all), bigger than the Dodda Ganesha of Basavanagudi.

Photo Gallery:

















Photos: Praveen Joshi-Bangalore
Information Courtesy:Wikipedia

Banavasi Kadambotsava

Banavasi-Kadamba Dyanasty Video by Sutthona Banni Team

Sutthona Banni Team's Video Song