Monsoon pilgrimage – Horanadu, Kuduremukha, Sringeri

Horanadu – Kuduremukha- Hanumangundi fallsSringeri

Date: 17 – 18 Aug 2012

Mode of transport: Car

It was 7:30pm when we reached Horanadu, as we did a stopover at BaLehonnuru matha. We went straight to the familiar lodge and got two rooms. The lodges at Hornad belong to the temple and hence cost Rs. 200/night. They have basic amenities, are very clean. Carrying bed sheets to cover the cot and blankets for yourselves is advisable.

We washed ourselves and got ready for the most awaited part of the trip: the meal at the temple dasoha. It is one of the best meals I’ve had in my life. I wonder how they manage to make it so tasty every-time, though it is prepared in a huge quantity. So, in the queue we stood and had delicious meal of simple rice, sambar, rasam and payasa. Then we went for the puja and darshana of goddess Annapurna. One can give daana (donation) of anna (rice) here at the temple. Or can sponsor one meal.

The idol of Annapurneshwari is so beautiful that I want to keep looking at her for a long time. In daylight, the mountains that surround the temple can be seen. If you are a mountain lover like me, you’ll find it peaceful and serene. The road that leads to Horanadu ends there and to go someplace, one has to go back by the same road.

There are many shops in the temple complex where Ayurvedic items, puja items and toys etc., are available. I bought two small oil lamps.

We slept peacefully that night and woke up early for the hot water. Hot water is available between 5:30am – 6am. After having breakfast of avalakki and hot filter coffee at the temple, we left for Kuduremukha.

View from Lakhya dam

View from Lakhya dam

We reached Lakhya dam and took a leisurely stroll. My heart broke on seeing the patches on the mountain-face created by mining. The brown patches on the green mountains stands witness to the greed of humans. A scenic beauty is spoiled forever. How many more centuries would it need to recover from this blow? I have no idea. I feels sorry for those mountains every time I go there. The dam has no water. It has silt which is actually the water after it is used to wash the iron ore.

Kuduremukha ranges can be trekked too. We have done the trek to Kuduremukha peak. You can find the details here.

Hanuman Gundi falls

Hanuman Gundi falls (pic taken on previous visit)

Our next stop, Hanumangundi falls is on the way from Kuduremukha to Sringeri. It started raining heavily as we were leaving Lakhya dam. We climbed down and up the falls in heavy rain, which is a first for me. The falls itself is beautiful as always, but I am kind of bored of visiting the same place. I just enjoyed the physical exertion of climbing the steep stairs that lead to it. When we got back, we were all dripping wet.

We reached Sringeri by 6pm and did the familiar routine of washing our feet in the river and visit to the temple. After the dinner at the temple, we started back towards Hassan.

All in all a mundane trip, save for the beautiful ghat section in which the places are. Malnad region and Coorg district are the most beautiful places in Karnataka.

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Kotebetta climb

It was a beautiful morning. A bit too sunny for my liking, but it was beautiful nonetheless. According to our plan we headed towards Madapur from Somwarpet by around 9 am and reached Madapur 15 minutes later. Since we had a private drop-off, we chose to get down at the HattihoLe bridge (a little further from Madapur). It was me, S and our friend. The river HattiHoLe flows with such a melodious sound that it stayed with me for a long time. In Kannada we call it “jhuLu-jhuLu naada”. It is melodious and rhythmic. Made me want to take a dip in the water, but we had a much serious business at hand. Also, I couldn’t see a way from where we could get into the water. I wasn’t sure of the currents either. Better not venture into unknown waters.

We started on the beaten path taken daily by workers and owners at the estates en-route. Yes, there are a lot of coffee estates on the way. At some point we came across a signboard indicating the direction of Kotebetta and the distance.

Hatti HoLe

Hatti HoLe - The river at the base of Kotebetta

Direction board at the base

We saw a hanging bridge on our way, which was very well-built. I personally have a phobia to step on anything that doesn’t hold still. It was a great experience to walk on this bridge while it swayed above the river in full flow. But we didn’t cross the bridge for our trek.

The hanging bridge

Then we walked through bushes, patches of forests and open lands trying hard to ignore the scorching sun. But he didn’t ignore us. We were tired more often and kept sipping water throughout the climb. The climb was made worthwhile by breathtaking view of the mountains around.

Me and our friend, watching the drifting clouds

The clouds drifted freely, making our view hazy but equally wonderful. We could feel the cool wind as we reached a considerable height. We also experienced clouds on our skin once we reached the peak. They drifted toward the peak, and we stood there, arms wide open as if to embrace the passing clouds. Meanwhile getting chilled by their cool.

Temple

Temple at the peak. Not the actual peak. The actual peak can be seen behind the temple.

There is a temple at the top and we observed that there had been a sacrifice the previous day for the deity. However, I wasn’t interested in going inside the temple. We watched the mountain ranges and passing clouds for a long time, after which the guys relaxed a bit on the low-lying rocks, S read Sherlock Holmes while the friend watched an episode of Friends. Yes, that is exactly what they did! While I was busy capturing their madness on camera.;)

After spending some time there, we decided it was time to climb down. The climb down somehow seemed never-ending. We got back to the bridge where there is a bus stop and had some tea at a nearby shop. In Coorg, private bus transportation is really good. Everybody seems to know everybody else. And people are very friendly, making jokes about things and generally being joyful. It was raining faintly and the bus we got into was a small one. The conductor loaded a bunch of bananas into the bus and I was surprised to see that he gave everyone in the bus a banana each while he ate one. Now, who does that these days?

We got down at our stop and walked back to my sister-in-law’s house for a hot bath and food, while remembering the wonderful trek.

Information:
Kotebetta literally means Fort-mountain. It looks like a Kote from far away, hence the name. There is no fort on the mountain. Google says it is the 3rd highest peak in Karnataka, next to Tadiyandamol and Brahmagiri. Madapur is located around 20 km away from Somwarpet. The buses which goes to Madapur from Somwarpet stops at Hattihole, and there are plenty return buses before dusk. Who knows you might get a banana or two too 🙂

Updated after a few memory refreshers from my husband 🙂 I should give it to him, he has a great memory.

Save a grassland, save nature

Spreading the word, to save a grassland in Hesarghatta (near Bangalore), which is a wonderful habitat for migratory birds. The place is under threat from Govt. which wants to build a theme park there.

Please share the news and stop a natural habitat from being exploited. Please sign the online petition and support the cause.

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-chief-minister-vidhana-soudha-bangalore-stop-the-development-of-a-theme-park-on-the-grassland-near-hesaraghatta?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=friends_wall