Travelogue – Chinchoti & Tungareshwar Waterfalls

7th July 2011, 20:53hrs

It never seemed that we would have a sort of ‘double dhamaal’ in store for us while we hustled our way to Chinchoti and Tungareshwar falls with no signs of rain. Nevertheless we gathered at Dadar station to catch a train to Virar at 7:43am. The route to Naigaon station brought us an ugly picture of what was in store for us, until we reached Naigoan station at about 8:40am. Some cloud clapped mountains on the east side of the station increases the oomph factor of the rain and much needed relief for the eyes, more importantly the direction.

We then took an auto to Chinchoti naka(takes Rs.15/person) to be accompanied by two working class travellers and lampoon conversations of the auto driver which brought a glimpse of the place. The auto drops you on the crossroad of Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway (Chinchoti naka). The road ahead to the falls is diagonally en route to the interiors of Kaman village.

The residing villagers are the best signboards to the way up and are helpful. The road inward goes on getting narrower till we are surrounded by fields. We crossed the fields to find another narrow road which was adjacently placed to the stone walled railings of the village folks.

Just as we were about to cross the fields we were startled to be welcomed by a snake!

It was dozing away on the road hoping to be pounced upon by us. Luckily it feared away on our thought of bypassing it using mid-air techniques. We then rested for a while with humidity and cloudy weather getting on us. Mere looking around the place fooled us by its randomness. The track meandered through lush green forests, rivulets and rocky patches. Certainly, this was not merely a hike or a trail in the hills. It was going to be an altogether different outdoor experience. We then opened ourselves to snacks and water to recharge ourselves on the trek ahead.
As Confucius puts it, ‘It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop’ we yet again started our hike steadily, watching over our steps and looking forward to signboards. Gut instincts and luck favored us by bringing in villagers to show us the path to the falls (you always take a left when met with two roads!). We always made sure that we inscribed our directions on our way back on barks, flat stones or by arranging pieces of stones.

By such practices we never lost our way and were on track with time.
A half an hour walk in the woods accompanied by black-colored butterflies, humming insects and chirping birds will lead you to Chinchoti falls. There are half a dozen falls of up to 5ft in height here. One waterfall was just the right size and force for a good body massage. Grabbing the best spot to sit under a waterfall is a skill to master.
Time moved on but it lacked the urgency to compel us to move with it. many in the hideAll the activity had made us all very hungry indeed. We had carried loads to eat, and we had our lunch in the shade of trees and huge rock seats. We were amazed by the beauty and green tinted color of the pools created by the falls.

It was still 1pm and we decided to go forward to the parent Tungareshwar waterfall. Another half an hour trail left us at the dazzling white water of the 125 feet magnificent waterfall which with its beauty got etched on our minds permanently. With some more rocky terrain and some more ‘kekadda khans’ we finally relished the moment at the foot of the falls. The depth of water was appropriate for swimming and provided a relief to our hard earned gruesome walk. We for the first timed loved the cloudy weather and falls abaft.

The fun was doubled since it was better than the previous and we all were waiting for a treat.. it was so beautiful, stunning, and eye-soothing, there is no such adjective that can explain the scene, and it is still stuck up in our eyes.

Without any invitation we jumped into the water as the rocks through which we were passing were slippery and care had to be taken while going further.
It must have been around 3 p.m., impossible to determine from the light of day…the sun was practically hidden for the greater part of the day by dark dense clouds. The day was cloudy and the temperature must have been a pleasant 22 to 24 degrees, we decided to call it a day. We packed our bags with some breathtaking photography hurriedly to be welcomed by incessant rain. Perhaps nature wanted us to stay there for some more time!

the journey was a thrilling experience and the waterfall a beauty!

Fearing the accessibility of comforts we decided to start our journey back to the base village. Thankfully the etched marks were present and guided us on our way back! The rain with it had brought yellow colored crabs to cross our ways and bid us goodbyes. With more invisibility and less distance to cover we were at the base of the village.
The coolness of air and more importantly wet clothes made us stop at a village house cum eatery (first house after the bridge) to pour in garaam chai and Parle G.

The trip concluded with more group photos to preserve a lineage of memories. Indeed the journey was a thrilling experience and the waterfall a beauty!

Along with fun and learning we also came closer to nature. Memories of these ecstatic moments, being caught alone in the natural order of things, will haunt us till next season, and then it would be time for an encore!

Set of clothes for traveling – to & fro
2 Shorts, 2 T-shirts
Good pair of shoes, Slippers
Rain cheater / Raincoat / Umbrella
Big plastic bags for keeping wet clothes
Sleeping bag / Bed sheet, Mosquito repellent, Torch
Toiletries, towel, undergarments, Personal medicines


KARNALA – Bird Sanctuary, Fort & Trekking

Just as we are planning our getaway near Mumbai, I came across Karnala, a place famous for its fort pinnacle and of course floral and the bird sanctuary around.
The very first thing I came across are the following links with pictures and a bit info!

A blog on Karnala BS


India’s Beautiful Locations which u never visit till date…PART 1

Just  wanted to start my column on Picturesque Travel 

Sincere thanks to related)  for the pics and info! 


India’s Beautiful Locations which u never visit till date…I m sure….
Temple, Kemmangundi
Kemmangundi Falls
Other Info about Kemmangundi
Kemmanagundi: 55 km north from Chikmagalur town is Kemmangundi, a scenic hill station on the Baba Budan range of hills. Kemmangundi is also known as K.R. Hills after Wodeyar King, Krishnaraja Wodeyar who had made it his favourite summer camp. Kemmangundi, at a height of 1,434 meters, is surrounded by thick forests and a salubrious climate through out the year. It is surrounded by the Baba Budangiri range and blessed with silver cascades of mountain streams and lush vegetation. Its beautifully laid out ornamental gardens and enchanting mountain and valley views are a treat to the eye. Spectacular sunsets are a must see from various locations in the district, even from the Raj Bhavan. For the adventurous, Kemmangundi offers many peaks to scale and intricate jungle paths to explore. This place has a beautiful rose garden along with many other attractions. There is a place called Z-point at about 10 minutes walk from this main place which gives a nice ariel view of the Shola grass lands of the Western Ghats.

Kemmanagundi Hills

Kallathigiri Falls: Just 10 km away from Kemmangundi is Kallahathigiri falls, also known as Kalahasti falls. Water cascades down from the top of the Chandra Drona hill from a height of 122 meters amidst fascinating scenery. There is an old Veerabhadra temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, constructed in a gap between rocks. This temple can be approached after crossing the waterfall.

Kallathigir Falls

Kudremukh: 95 km southwest of Chikmagalur town is Kudremukh (horse face) range, so named because of the unique shape of the Kudremukh peak. Overlooking the Arabian sea, the broad hills are chained to one another with deep valley steep precipices. Situated at 1,894.3 meters above sea level, Kudremukh is rich in iron ore deposits. The Kudremukh Iron Ore Company conducts mining operations, benefaction and transportation of the ore as slurry through pipelines to the post at Panambar near Mangalore.

Kudremukh range

Mullayanagiri: Mullayanagiri is part of the Baba Budan Giri Hill Ranges here. It stands 1930 meters and is the tallest peak in Karnataka. It is 6000 plus feet height is famous mostly to watch sunsets. Its breathtaking beauty leaves one enchanted. It is 6km from Chikmagalur town. Driving to Mullayanagiri is worth taking a risk. On the way is Sitalayanagiri where the water in the Siva temple neither increases nor decreases.The road to Mullayanagiri is very narrow with a views from steep cliffs. Driving to the peak is not possible and includes a trek up the hill from the half way point. There is a small temple on top of the hill. From the topmost point of the hill the Arabian seais visible on clear days. The small hillock in the temple compound is the highest point in Karnataka. The narrow road to the temple makes two way traffic immpossible. It is a great trekking spot in Karnataka.


Sringeri: 90 km west of Chikmagalur town is Sringeri situated on the banks of Tunga, a Vedic Peetha established by Sri Adi Shankara, the exponent of the Advaita philosophy in 9th Century A.D. It is famous for Vidyashankara Temple originally constructed by the Hoysalas and later completed by the founders of the Vijayanagar Empire and Sharada temple, an early 20th. century addition. In the Vidya Shankara shrine, there are 12 zodiac pillars, which are so constructed that the rays of the sun fall on the pillar corresponding to the month.

Sringeri Temple

Horanadu: Horanadu is 100 km southwest of Chikmagalur and has an ancient temple of Annapoorneshwari, which has been renovated recently. With the installation of the new image of Adi Shakti, now the temple is called Adi-Shaktyatmaka Shri Annapoorneshwari. The place attracts lots of pilgrims who are provided free boarding and lodging by the temple.


Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary: Occupies 495 sq. km. of wildlife sanctuary and Project tiger reserve.

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

Hebbe Falls: This beautiful waterfall is 10+ km away from the famous hill station Kemmangundi. This waterfall is inside coffee estate can either be reached by walk or by automobile. Here water streams down from a height of 168 meters in two stages to form Dodda Hebbe (Big Falls) and Chikka Hebbe (Small Falls).

Hebbe Falls

Kalasa: Kalasa is 92 km southwest of Chikmagalur and situated on the banks of the river Bhadra, is surrounded by lofty hills of the Western Ghats and is looked upon as one of the pancha-kshetras on the banks of the Bhadra. Close by are the pancha theerthas, the five sacred ponds. On a small hillock here is the Kalaseshwara temple in dedicated to Ishwara, with a Kshetrapala shrine of soap stone in Hoysala style nearby. The Madhawacharya bande, a large boulder at one of the theerthas here, is supposed to have been placed by Shri Madhawacharya the founder of the Dvaita school of philosophy. A statue of this acharya is carved on the upper portion of the rock.


Guru Dattatreya Bababudanswamy Darga: Situated on the Baba Bugan Giri is the Inam Dattatreya Peetha venerated by the Hindus and the Muslims alike. A laterite cave here is believed to have been sanctified by the residence of Dattatreya Swami as well as Hazrat Dada Hayat Mir Khalander. The worship here is conducted by a fakir and the annual jatra or urs is attended by both Hindus and Muslims with great fervors.

Bababudanswamy Darga

Amrithapura: 67 km north of Chikmagalur, Amrithapura is known for the Amritheshwara temple built in 1196 A.D by Amriteshwara Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala ruler Veera Ballala II. Delicacy of touch, originality of design and fine features have made this temple one of the notable structures of the Hoysala period.


Baba Budan Range: To the north of Chikmagalur town is the Baba Budan Range or Chandra Drona Parvatha as it was known in the ancient times, which has one of the highest mountain peaks between the Himalayas and the Nilgiris. The peak takes its name from the Muslim saint, Baba Budan, who resided here more than 150 years ago. Manikyandhara is water falls near the famous pilgrim centre Baba Budangiri Dattatreya Peetha where water spills down like small balls giving the visitors a memorable shower bath.

Baba Budan Range

Belur and Halebid: The twin temple towns of Belur and Halebid for a glimpse of Hindu temple art at its glorious best. In the 16th century, Belur-Halebid (both towns are spoken of in the same breath)
were at the heart of the throbbing Hoysala empire. The Hoysalas were huge patrons of art and architecture and built massive temples that have survived the ravages of time. Some of the sculptures are so exotic, erotic and eloquent – that you expect them to speak or move.About 16 km away from Belur is Halebid, the other temple town, equally magnificent but not as well preserved. Halebid was the capital of the Hoysalas till it was destroyed in the early 14th century after attacks by the Delhi Sultanate. The Hoysaleshwara temple survived the pillage but it somehow managed to remain incomplete even after 87 years of uninterrupted construction. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and has two enormous Nandi bulls at the entrance.

Belur Temple

Shravanabelagola:An ancient Jain pilgrimage centre is situated about 95 kms from Mysore, 157 kms from Bangalore and 52 kms from Hassan. It is nesltled between the Indragiri and Chandragiri Hills. The Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta Maurya retired to Shravanabelagola along with Bhadrabahu, a disciple of Lord Mahavira around 300 B.C to become a Jain ascetic, after handing over his kingdom to his son Bindusara. Thus, Jainism became popular in Karnataka during that period.


Ramdevra Mela
Men selling Red Vermillion,Lord Baba Ramdev At Ramdevra Village
Shree Ramdevji MandirRamdevra FairShree Ramdevji Mandir
A large fair is held in Ramdevra attended by lakhs (thousands) of devotees from far and wide. It is held from Bhadon Sudi 2 (Beej) to 11 (Ekadashi) (in the months August to September). Devotees irrespective of caste, creed or religious affiliations, throng to Ramapir’s shrine. They pay their homage by singing Bhajans and Kirtans (Devotional songs). Visitors are not allowed to indulge in vices.
How to reach Ramdevra Fair
To reach Ramdevra travel to either Mumbai or New Delhi and then take an internal flight to Jodhpur in Rajasthan. From Jodhpur you go by rail or road to Pokran in Jaisalmer District. Ramdevra is 12 kilometres from Pokran. Local people still travel on camels, bullock carts or on foot. During the fair, special buses and trains go from as far as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Bus Services : There are daily Buses from Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer to Ramdevra (Runicha).
Train Services : Train No. 4059 (Delhi Jaisalmer Express) from Delhi via Gurgaon, Rewari, Alwar, Jaipur, Jodhpur. Its run daily with classes 2AC, 3AC, Sleeper.
Train No. 4810 (Jodhpur Jaisalmer Express ) from Jodhpur. Its run daily with classes 3AC Sleeper.
Ramdevra in the Eyes of a Tourist
The centre of attraction is the Samadhi-Mandir, that is, the temple of Ramapir, which includes the samadhis of his parents, that is, King Ajmalji and the Queen Mata Meenaldevi. The other samadhis are of his grandfather Raja Ranjitsinhji and the elder brother Viramdevji and the two sons of Ramdevji. There are also some more Samadhis of very close family relations of Ramdveji. Detailed information can be obtained from either the Poojari of the Temple or the main Gadi-pati. In the Temple everyday the Arti times are 5.00 a.m., 9.00 a.m., 7.00 p.m., and 10.00 p.m. respectively.
Shree Ramdevji Mandir, AT Post RAMDEVRA – 345023, Dist. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India.
Whatever time of the year you arrive in Ramdevra, whether by day or night, there are places to stay, out of which the two, Hotel Poonam and Sardarsar Ashram, have reasonable facilities. To eat out you can get both Rajasthani and Gujarati food.
The other places of interest are: –
(1) Parcha -vav
(2) Panch-Peepli
(3) Palace of Ajmalji in Pokran
(4) Dhuni of Baba Balnath, Guru of Baba Ramdevji
(5) Cave of Bhairavsinh (Bhairav Rakshas (demon))

Bull Temple
Badami Caves
Chamundi Hill
Places of Interest
People Culture

The Jog falls in Karnataka are magnificent falls, set in the wild and unspoilt surroundings. Nature here has not been disturbed for the tourist tappings i.e unneussary constructions and falling of trees. The Sharavati river crashes nearly nine hundred feet down forming four main channels named king, queen rocket and roarer. Just after the monsoon season or rainy season the falls are a magnificient and awesome sight to see. At this time the falls are surrounded by mists. The 50 km long hirebhasgar reservior now controls the flow of the Sharavati river in order to generate hydro-electricity but inspite of this there is an vast difference between the wet and dry season flow of the waterfalls. The Mysore power corporation releases water to the falls every village has a modest population of about 13, 300.
Jog falls village is 16 km from the nearest railway station at Talguppa. Trains from Bangalore involve a change in Shimaga town.
Shimoga to Jog falls
From Bangalore there are two road routes to Shimaga and Jog falls. The first is National highway 48 which is a better and guider route, the second is National Nighway 4 which is a slower route with poor road surface.
Jog falls is nestled in the Western ghats. The drive up the hill is glories giving a birds eye view of the festile and magical western ghats.
Climate: Jog falls are situated up the cool climes of the Western-Ghats.
Clothings: Light cool dresses for summer. During the monsoon season the nights are cool. Warm clothings will be required for the winter months i.e. December to February.
Language: Kannada is the principal language of this region. Few people also understand English and Hindi.
The main place of interest as the name itself suggests is the “Jog falls”. The sharavati river crashes nine-hundred feet down in four main falls. The highest is the Raja (King) fall which falls 250 m below forming a 40 m deep pool. Next to it is the Roarer, while a short distance to the south is the Rocket it is called so aptly because it spurts great shafts of water out in the air, In contrast the Rani (Queen) over the rocks gracefully.. The walk to the bottom of the falls for the hale and hearty is recommonded and one can take a dip in the pool created below by the falls, during the dry season. This venture would be impossible during the monsoons as the flow in the falls increase and the mist shrouds these falls. There is dampness everywhere and the vegetation becomes bright green with water drops dripping from the trees.It is best to visit these falls at the start of the cool season just after the monsoon rains have finished to see the falls in its magnificient and sepectacular form. Though now the 50 km long hirebhasgar reservior regulates the flow of the sharsvati river in order to generate hydro-power yet there is a vaste difference between the flow of the waterfalls in the dry and wet season.
(a) The government owned (Karnataka Tourism) “Sharavati Tourist Home” is comfortable clean and reasonble priced. It offers good view of the falls.
(b) Tunga Tourist Home : This is also a cheap and comfortable place to say.
(c) Inspection Bunglow at Jog falls : This is often heavily booked and its booking can be done at the District Commissioners at Shimaga.
(d) Guest-House near the falls : Reservations has to be done if one plans to stay here, through the Supt. Engineer (Elec.) Mahatma-Gandhi Mydro-electric works Jog Falls.
(e) Jog-falls Guest house : Maintained by the Tourist department. Reservation can be done through its resident manager.
(f) Woodlands : This is another place where one can stay at Jog Falls but is not upto the mark.
Rivers : The Sharavati river and the Hirebhasgar built over it.
One can enjoy the beauty of the Jog-falls high-up in the western Ghats of Karanataka state. It is at its spectacular best just offer the rainy season and the beginning of the cool season i.e. Nov. to January
Crowd at Jog Falls
Shimoga is a true picture of nature\’s bounty-landscapes dotted with waterfalls, swaying palms and lush paddy fields make for picturesque locales.

Shimoga, almost central on the Karnataka map is the rice bowl of the State. The rivers Tungabhadra, Sharavathi, Varada and Kumudavathi inundate the luxuriant greens of the region.Shimoga was ruled by the great Indian dynasties of the Kadambas, Gangas, Chalukyas, Rastrakutas, Keladi and Vijaynagar Kings. Shimoga ( Face of Shiva), was established by the Keladi rulers. It reached its pinnacle during the rule of Shivappa Nayaka around 1600 A.D.

The Sahyadri ranges,part of the Western Ghats, feed the rivers round the year, and inundate the fertile alluvial soil, this nature\’s blessing makes it the bread basket of Karnataka. The Sharavathi Hydel Project and Varahi Project provide a substantial portion of the state\’s power needs.

Today, Shimoga is more than just a tourist destination. Its rich tradition in education, fine arts and culture remain deeply etched in its people and place. The enchanting natural scenery of hills, hillocks and green dales, rivers and streams, dense forests, flora fauna, forts, temples and historical places, sandalwood and spices, add to this mouth-watering cuisine and touching hospitality and you know you\’ve got – HEAVEN ON EARTH

Bhadra Dam – Karnataka
Cheruthony dam – Kerala
Elephants in Idukki-Kerala
Boats at Manasbal lake
31640002 A. LOCATION Jammu and Kashmir, India. 34:15N, 74:40E; 1,583 m above sea level. B. DESCRIPTION Manasbal Lake is located about 30 km north of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir State. It has predominantly rural surroundings with three villages, Kondabal, Jarokbal and Gratbal overlooking the lake. Manasbal is considered as the \’supreme gem of all Kashmir lakes\’ with lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) nowhere more abundant or beautiful than on the margins of this lake during July and August. It is the deepest lake of Kashmir valley and perhaps the only one that develops stable summer stratification. Manasbal is classified as warm monomictic lake and circulates once in a year for a short time. The other lakes in the region either have weak stratification or are polymictic. Close to the northern shore are the ruins of a fort which was built in 17th century by a Moghul king to cater the needs of caravans that used to travel from Panjab to Srinagar. On the south, overlooking the lake is a hillock-Ahtung which is used for limestone extraction. The eastern part is mainly mountainous and towards the north is an elevated plateau known as \’Karewa\’ consisting of lacustrine, fluviatile and loessic deposits.
The lake has no major inflow channels and the water supply is maintained through spring water inflow and precipitation. An outlet channel connects the lake with the Jhelum River. The outflow of water is regulated artificially.
The local population uses the lake as a source of water, for fishing and for obtaining food and fodder plants. Many people are involved in harvesting and marketing of lotus rootstocks which are extensively eaten in the State. In recent years, tourism has caught up with the Manasbal Lake in a big way and as a consequence there are lots of pressure on the terrestrial ecosystem which is being exploited at many places.
The origin of the lake is still unresolved but there is no denying the fact that Manasbal is very ancient. The local people believe in the legend that the lake is bottomless. Over the years as a result of human pressure the lake has become eutrophic. The water body is virtually choked with submerged weeds particularly during summer which is the high tourist season. The deep water layers become anoxic with considerable accumulation of hydrogen sulphide (Q).

Leh Fort – Laddakh

Gokarn Beach

Gokarn is in the Karnataka, which means no beef on the menu, but the surf is just as good and the beaches are less crowded than Goa. The village temple houses a lingam the sight of which, according to Hindu belief, cleanses the pilgrim of previous sinful behavior. The town beach is also considered a holy area, with Hindus from all over India performing pujas in the shallows. Needless to say, swimming and sunbathing on the town beach are not encouraged. So on our first afternoon in Gokarn, Helene and I took a quiet walk along the surf instead. As well as all the puja articles (mostly flowers and coconuts) washed up on the sand we also came across a dead dog, a syringe and several men going to the bathroom: more reasons not to swim at the town beach.
Gokarna is about 200km north of Mangalore (7 hr by bus) and 56km southwest of Karwar on the seashore. According to the Gokarna Purana, “By mere entrance into this Ksetra (holy place), one becomes liberated from hundreds of sins, including even brahma-hatya (the killing of a Brahmin).” Moreover, it is said that one becomes free from rebirth by just looking at the Atma-linga, by hearing the roar of the sea, or by taking birth in Koti-tirtha.
Many long-term foreign visitors come to Gokarna, as there are nice secluded beaches nearby. A half-hour walk south of Gokarna are four good, secluded beaches popular with long-term travelers. The most popular time to visit is between January and February. Many people come from Goa after New Years, especially for the full moon.
Money can be exchanged at the Om Hotel.

Four of the most beautiful beaches in India are located south of Gokarna, in the jungle. The first beach is called Kudle Beach, and it is about a twenty-minute walk from Gokarna. To get to Kudle, take the path that starts on the south side of the Ganapati Temple. The path goes uphill and then drops down to Kudle Beach, a beautiful, kilometre-long white sand beach surrounded by palm trees. At this beach there are simple huts and beachside eating places. You need to bring your own bedding. There is fresh water here.

Om Beach
The next beach is OM Beach, thirty-minutes further south. The beach got its name because it is shaped like the auspicious Om sign. There are some really basic huts and some chai shops to eat at. Many Indian pilgrims visit OM Beach on Sundays by bus and holidays to see the sites. Best to come here on the weekdays
There are two more beaches—Half- moon and Paradise—each a thirty-minute walk from one another. You can get bottled water and food on all the beaches near Gokarna including the Main beach, Kudle, Om, Half Moon and Paradise beaches.
Mahaballeswara Temple
This Siva temple is said to be next in sanctity only to the Vishwanath Siva Temple in Varanasi. It is often called the Kashi of the South. Hindus come here to perform the death rites for departed ancestors.
Tradition states that Lord Rudra (another name for Siva) was sent to Patalaloka by Brahma to undergo penance. He eventually returned through the ear of Mother Earth and blessed her with the name of Gokarna (go, “cow”; karna “ear”). Thus this place served Rudra as a womb. It is also known as Rudra Yoni and Adi Gokarna. As time passed, Rudra collected the essence (sakti) of all Brahma’s creations as well as his own essence and created a golden deer with four legs, three eyes, and three horns. Eventually, the three horns (representing the three guna-avataras) were placed at Pushkar (Brahma), Shaligram (Vishnu), and Gokarna (Siva). These places are known as Siddhi Ksetras.
Ravana desired to possess Siva’s powerful horn-linga, also known as Prana-linga or Atma-linga, so he performed penance and received the linga in a box at Mount Kailash. Ravana then returned south with the linga on the condition that wherever he placed it, it would become permanently rooted.
At the demigods’ request, Lord Vishnu contrived a means to trick Ravana through Ganesh, disguised as a brahmacari. Eventually the Atma-linga was placed at Gokarna, rooted all the way through to Sapta Patala, and became known as Mahaballeswara (maha—great and bal—strength) .
A major festival is held here during the birthday of Siva (Siva-ratri) in February. During this festival, a deity of Lord Siva is placed on the huge temple Ratha (chariot) at the end of the bazaar near the Maha Ganapati Temple.

Other Places in the Area
The Shri Maha Ganapati Temple is dedicated to elephant-headed Ganesh.

Koti-tirtha Kund is said to have been created by Garuda. There is a Krishna Temple here which is said to be where the Lord went to perform penance after killing Banasura. There is also a temple dedicated to Sri Venkateswara (Balaji).
Ram-tirtha, is said to be where Rama, Sita, and Laksman visited after leaving Lanka. Lord Rama and his brother Bharata are said to have performed penance here. There is a beautiful temple on the hill overlooking the sea at this place.

Where to Stay and Eat

On the Beach
The Spanish Place has huts on Kudle Beach just big enough to sleep in and to store a backpack for Rs 100. You need your own sleeping bag or mat; they furnish a lock. There are fairly primitive toilets and fresh water for showering. Has two rooms with bath (common toilet) for Rs 250.
At OM Beach, Namaste has basic huts for Rs 75 and rooms with common bath for Rs 150. Has a restaurant and Internet access.
There are other basic huts and rooms are both OM and Kudle Beaches.
If you are going to sleep on the beach, you should leave your valuables in one of the hotels in Gokarna, such as Vaibhav Niwas or Nimmu House.
It is not a good idea to sleep alone on an isolated beach.
In the Town
OM Lodge (56445) has basic rooms with bath for Rs 175 and A/C rooms for Rs 400.
Rama Garden, about half a km north of town, has huts for Rs 65/75 and beds for Rs 35. It is usually full.
New Prasad Nilaya (56250, 57135), about half a km from the temple, is a modern place with basic clean rooms with bath for Rs 200 and Rs 250 with a balcony. Hot water in bucket.
Vaibhav Niwas (56714) has small rooms with common bath for Rs 75/100 and Rs 125/175 with bath. It has left-luggage facilities.
Kinara Hotel, has clean rooms with bath for Rs 200/250. Some rooms have a balconies.
Nimmu House (56730), Manibhadra Rd, near the temple, has clean rooms with common bath for Rs 75/100 and with bath for Rs 150/200. You can sleep on the roof for Rs 40. It is a friendly, well-managed, family-run place. It has left-luggage facilities. It is most likely the best budget place.
Shastri’s (56220), Main Rd, has really basic rooms for Rs 50/75 and rooms with bath for Rs 140.
KSTDC’s Hotel Samudra (56236), on a hill overlooking the sea 2km from town, has clean rooms with bath for Rs 150 for a double and Rs 250 for a room with four beds.
Gokarna International (088386 56622), on the main road, has modern rooms with hot water and a nice balcony for Rs 250/300 up to Rs 750 for an A/C deluxe room. It overlooks a palm tree grove. It is a good place. Checkout time up to 4 pm. Recommended.

Where to Eat
There are basic chai shops that make meals on Kudle and Om beaches.
Prema is a decent pure veg place with good ice cream, located across from the Main Siva temple.
Pai Hotel, Main St, has good, cheap vegetarian meals and dosas.
Shri Raghvendra Restaurant has good vegetarian food.
Hotel Vinaya, on the main street, has vegetarian food.
Vishwa Niwas, has good breakfasts.
Kinara Hotel has a veg restaurant and ice cream.
Shri Shakti Cold Drinks, Car St., near the temple, makes fresh juice, homemade cheese, breads, and cakes.

Train The Konkan Railway passes close to Gokarna. Express trains stop at Karwar, Kumta (23km), and Ankola (25km). The passenger train stops at Gokarna Road (10km). A buses departs from Gokarna at 11 am to meet the train going to Margao at 11.30 am. Gokarna Road Station (70487) is 9 km from the town of Gokarna.

Bus If you do not get a direct bus to Gokarna, catch a bus to either Ankola or Kumta and from there take one of the frequent tempos (shared auto-rickshaws) .
There are direct buses to Karwar at 7 am, 8 am and 4 pm. To get to Karwar at other times, catch a bus or tempo to Ankola and another bus from there.
There is a direct bus to Goa (5 hr) at 8 am. You can also catch a bus to Karwar and then to Goa from there. If you are coming from Goa with a group, you could rent a jeep or van and split the cost. This is a comfortable way to travel.

There is a direct bus departing to Mangalore (252km) at 7 am anxe “Sringeri” d returning at 1.30 pm. To get to Mangalore, you can also catch a bus to Kumta, then a bus to Mangalore. There are four buses to Hubli in the morning and one in the afternoon and one bus to Hampi at 7 am. There is a bus from Bangalore at 9 pm and from Mysore at 6 am.

Riding through pine forest – Kashmir
on the way to Gomukh
Vaga Flower
Idukki Dam-Kerala
Misty Mountain-North India
Bibi Ka Maqbara
Bibi Ka Maqbara was built by Prince Azam Shah, son of Emperor Aurangzeb, in the late 17th century as a loving tribute to his mother, Dilras Bano Begam. The monument\’s name translates literally to \’Tomb of the Lady\’, but has earned the nickname \’poor man’s Taj\’ because it was made to rival the Taj Mahal. It is situated in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The tomb in itself represents the transition from the ostentatious architecture of Akbar and Shah Jahan to the simple architecture of the Later Mughals. The comparision to the Taj Mahal has resulted in a general ignorance of the monument.
House boats in Dal lake, Srinagar
Darjeeling Sunset
Bhagsu Nag Waterfall
Bhagsu And Dharamkot “villages with natural beauty”

Bhagsu Nag Temple

located one km from McLeod Ganj is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Bhagsu Nag, the snake god, and to Lord Shiva. A freshwater spring, in which pilgrims to take a holy dip flows through the temple. A beautiful waterfall, well worth visiting, is located about a 20-minute walk from the temptle. The Bhagsu temple is located in the picturesque Bhagsu village, a Gaddi tribal village whose traditional livelihood was herding and farming. The village has become one of the main tourist centre in the area during the last few years, and many of the local people are now engaged in tourism. The village has a large number of restaurants and guesthouses.
Dharamkot and Bhagsu Nag, on the periphery of McLeod Ganj are the main villages inhabited by the Gaddi, a shepherd tribe and the original inhabitants of Dhauladhar. Both these villages house a multitude of small guest houses, and are good venture points for short and long hikes around Dharamsala and the Dhauladhar mountain range.
The town of Bhagsu, 2 km from Dharamsala, has been fully settled by young Israelis, fresh from military service, and hanging out large groups
The Israelis in Bhagsu come in such large numbers that there is no culture shock; everything is written in Hebrew, and India is transformed into a familiar land of nice hikes, cheap food/drink, and no parental supervision.
Photocopies pasted on walls are ubiquitous. Most are in English. A sampling, verbatim:

– Tibetan Healing Massage
– Tibetan Cooking Classes
– We serve Pure Organic Vegetarian Tibetan Food
– Learn Hindi with Sunil
– Learn Hindi. Contact KAILASH.
– Traditional Modern Tibetan Cooking Class: Sangyo\’s Kitchen
– Tibetan Cooking: Lhamo’s Kitchen
– Learn Tibetan Astrology
– Palm Reading
– Acupuncture
– Learn Reiki
– “Reiki is a relaxation technique also a way of transferring healing energy. Reiki can bring great relief to physical mental emotional level. Reiki also develops spiritual level. It bring state of balance and harmony.”
– “Recommended by Lonely Planet”
– “Recomended by Lonly Planet”
– Universal Yoga with Vijay; Ashtanga Yoga; Vinyasa


This village, twenty minutes\’ walk further up the hill from McLeod Gunj, is a favourite picnic spot with a panoramic view of the Kangra Valley. It is possible to rent houses from local Indians if you are planning a longish stay
Dharamkot looks like mini-Israel. Shalom in blue and white greets you at places. Blaring music and Hebrew fill the air. Gleaming 350cc mobikes manoeuvre their way in and out of the potholed roads. But what hits most is the strong smoked smell emanating from cafes.
3 kms. north from McLeodganj past the Mountaineering Institute you reach the settlement of Dharamkot. Set amidst tall pines and rhododendron forests, the site offers good views of the Dhauladhar range and has the Tushita Research Centre that runs courses in meditation. A fair and festival dedicated to Shiva is held at the small Dal Lake at a height of 1,837 metres. At Dharamkot is the Tibetan Children’s Village, which runs a school and training institute to about 2,000 students. Many of the children who stay here are orphans, while some have been left in safe custody by the parents who returned to Tibet.
The best weather in this part of Himachal Pradesh is from October/November, with warm sunny days and pleasant nights. It can be quite hot during the day (up to 25°C) at lower altitudes and at higher altitudes (over 10,000ft) the temperature can drop to -1°C at night. In late March/April there is the added attraction to many of rhododendron in bloom. The monsoon season starts from Mid June until the end of September.
Although the departures are timed to coincide with good weather, please bear in mind that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and that you should be prepared for any adverse conditions.
Altitude: maximum altitude 4,328m (optional); average 3,000m. Most of the paths on this trek are well maintained, being trade routes between the villages. At the top end of the valley there are only shepherds\’ paths to follow.
Nice Pic. of Hardware for heartburn
A tuch of warmth at Leh
Bhimakali Temple – Sarahan
Located halfway up a high mountain side, steeped in legends and unique hill architecture with its resplendent glory and remarkable natural beauty, the gateway to the tribal region of Kinnaur, Sarahan is about 29 kms off from Jhakri the establishment of biggest hydel project under S.J.V.N.L., and from Jeori it is about 17 kms.The road to Sarahan composes pictures of pastoral perfection, as the apple orchards gardens of rare medicinal herbs, a variety of wild flowers and fields surround the small hamlets with their slate roofed houses.Deep down the valley sight of serpent like movement of puranic Shatadru and the beauty of distant blue hills around add for long, different hues, in the memory of its spectator.The temples\’ unusual architecture and wealth of carvings, have made it a resplendent example of pahari hill is a place that offers extraordinary travel experience.It is a place of pilgrimage, the base for numerous treks, a heaven for nature lovers and the temple complex itself attracts a variety of admirers.
By Rail : There is no rail service to this place and the nearest railway station at Shimla is connected by a narrow gauge line from Kalka ( 96 kms. )

By Road : It is 180 kms. from Shimla and 550 Kms from Delhi. Tourists can hire jeeps and taxies which are available at Shimla and Rampur. A number of buses are also available to reach this place. By car Sarahan is six hours from Shimla.The route is on NH -22 upto Jeori, which is 11 kms beyond from Jhakri, from where the road bifurcates to Sarahan. This is the most convenient communication network to this religious place. If driving extra fuel is recommended however petrol pumps on the route are at Shimla, Theog, Narkanda, Rampur and Jeori.There is no direct flight to Sarahan and the nearest airport is at Shimla ( 198kms. ) house.
Some Important Distances 1. Shimla – Srahan 180 Kms. 2. Rampur – Sarahan 40 Kms. 3. Narkand – Rampur 65 Kms. 4. Rampur – Jhakhari 11 Kms. 5. Jhakhari – Jeori 11 Kms. 6. Narkanda – Sainj 35 Kms. 7. Sainj – Rampur 30 Kms. 8. Sainj – Kumar Sain 18 Kms. 9. Rampur – Suni 82 Kms. 10. Rampur -Karsog 75 Kms. 11. Sainj – Shimla 100 Kms.

Route to Sarahan

Dusk – Udaipur (Lahahul)
Way to Rangrik Monastery near Charang Village (Kinnaur)
with the Priests of Rangrik Monastery
Wall painting at Dhankhar monastery
Ganga at Rishikesh
River Bhagirathi at Gangotri
fast food indian style
Young trekkers at Tungnath
Tungnath (12,070) is the third of the Panch Kedar–five Himalayan temples identified with Shiva, of which Kedarnath is the most important. All five can still be reached only on foot, and all of these temples are high enough that they close in the winter, when they are snowbound.
The footpath to Tungnath begins at the little town of Chopta, and is a steep walk, climbing over 3000 feet in only 2.5 miles. This photo shows the gateway at the beginning of the path, with the Tungnath name painted on the crest of the arch–seemingly promising that it is close by. As at Kedarnath, one can hire a horse to ride up to the temple.
This gateway is recent, and was not there during my 2002 visit. This photo is from June 2005..
This sign identifies Tungnath as the third of the Panch Kedar (supposedly the place where Shiva\’s trunk came to rest). The lines underneath list the distance to the temple as 4 km (most other sources say five, so they may be shading the truth a little here), note that anyone who is unable to travel to the temple itself can leave donations in the donation box at the gate, and gives contact information for anyone wanting to do ceremonies there.

The sign was put up by the Badrinath-Kedarnath temple committee, which administers most of the important temples in the Himalayas, and which has an office and welcome center just across the street from the gateway. In most places these offices are staffed with local brahmins, who obviously know about the local sites, and this is a way to get people jobs in their home areas.
June 2005
As noted, the path up to Tungnath is one uninterrupted climb. Here\’s a shot taken reasonably close to the top, the path winds up and finally turns to the right, which is where the temple is.

Although this was part of the traditional pilgrim road between Kedarnath and Badrinath (or the people at Tungnath obviously had interests in having it seen as such), a British official noted in 1912?? that many pilgrims were reluctant to climb so high, and took a path around it.
June 2002; photo courtesy of Nick Barootian
Here\’s a picture of the temple compound showing the two main temples. Architecturally they show similarities to other Himalayan temples such as Gupt Kashi and Kedarnath–stone construction, painted decoration on the exteriors, tall towers, and a wooden platform over the top of the highest tower. Note too that the temples are roofed with stone slabs–very sturdy construction! The man is one of the local brahmins who is waiting for any clients to arrive.

Tungnath is at over 12000 feet, and even on a summer day the air has a chill to it.
This photo comes from 2002, courtesy of Sarah Helminski.
Here\’s a more simple straight-on shot of the Tungnath temple itself. The 5 Kedars each claim to have been founded over a different part of Shiva\’s body, and Tungnath claims to have the trunk.

I\’m sure that pilgrim traffic (and thus patronage) would be relatively limited here, given the circumstances.
This photo comes from 2002, courtesy of Sarah Helminski.
Here\’s a close-up shot of Nandi–who always sits with his face towards Shiva–adorned for morning worship with flowers and yellow clay. The three lines (tripundra) are the symbol worn by Shiva\’s devotees, and the mark above it on Nandi\’s flank probably represents Shiva\’s third eye.

This photo comes from June 2006.
As the Lord of Obstacles, Ganesh is guardian of the threshold, and as at Kedarnath, Tungnath has an image of Ganesh just to the right of the temple entrance (whose painted decorations are visible on the left). Ganesh has been adorned and worshipped with flowers, but an interesting feature here is the liquor bottle used to hold the liquid for worship (probably oil, although it could be honey). Liquor is highly proscribed, and seen as polluting, but apparently a reliable container is a good thing, whatever its antecedents.

At right is the edge of the ubiquitous collection box.
June 2006

As at most places, the primary temple (whose wall is on the right) is surrounded by smaller temples. The center temple is to Shiva\’s wife Parvati–who as a loving wife is never far from her spouse–and at the far right are group of five small shrines (only three are visible) for the Panch Kedar. Tungnath is one of the Panch Kedar, and so appears in this grouping too, as well as in the primary temple.

June 2006
For Health only – The only Health Centre for the Charang Villagers
Trailing from Lamber to Charang
Leisure at Lamber
Rainy day in Lalanti
Lalanti is a charming hamlet situated 15 km from Charang in Kinnaur District, Himachal Pradesh. It lies at an altitude of about 4,420 m on the Kinnaur Kailash-Baspa Valley trek route. Surrounded by high altitude meadows, Lalanti offers enchanting views of snow-clad peaks all around. Lalanti Pass is the main attraction here. It offers a panoramic view of the Kinnaur Kailash Range. Lalanti Gad River flows through the village. Nearby tourist destinations include Kalpa, Lambar, Chitkul, Kunnu, Charang, Sangla, Moorang and Thangi. Lalanti is an ideal base for trekking and mountaineering. Base camps are available. The nearest railway station and airport are at Shimla.
Feeling Hungry ? Let\’s cook now. Charang Village

Parikarma at golden temple-Amritsar( Punjab)
Sliding on Snow on Charang La (5200mt)
Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore
Indian Village
Through the mysterious valley of Charang
Greens of Chitkul (3300mt)
Chitkul, on the banks of River Baspa, is the first village of the Baspa valley and the last village on the old Hindustan-Tibet trade route. It is also the last point you can travel to without a permit. Of particular interest at Chitkul are its houses with either slate or wooden plank roofs, a Buddhist temple and a small tower. The Kagyupa temple has a highly valued old image of the Shakyamuni Buddha, a Wheel of life and four Directional Kings on either side of the door.
Chitkul is practically the last point of the famous Kinner Kailash Parikrama as one can hitch a hike from here onwards. After one crosses over the 5242 m high Charang Pass, it is a long and steep run down through slithery scree slopes to Chitkul (3450m). The powerful goddess of Chitkul is the only non-Buddhist deity to which respect must be paid by the parikrama pilgrims. It is believed that the local Deity is related to the Deity of Gangotri and till recently the locals would carry the Deity to Gangotri on foot over high mountain passes.

The road from Chitkul moves down through birch and pine forest strewn with boulders. The river either ambles through pretty glades or rushes through huge mounds of rocks with forested flanks and towering rock faces closing in the valley on either side. Less than half way to Sangla, is Rakcham village, built beside the river. From Rakcham one can follow a forest path on the left bank of Baspa to Sangla via Batseri. It is one of the best walks in this part of the Himalayas, especially during autumn.

One can also walk down to Nagasthi from Chitkul, the last Indian border outpost manned by ITBP personnel. It is a level walk of about 4 kms. one way. The personnel who remain cut off from the rest of the world for almost 6-7 months a year because of snow invariably welcome the guests with cheerful smiles and a hot cup of tea.


Going to attend Gaye Holud

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