Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Kolavara Heritage Homestay & Sringeri

In continuation to my previous blog Why this Kolaveri

Day 02: 27 October 2013

Next day we woke up around 0700. Sun was getting out slowly and it was getting warmer. We did not feel too much cold as expected. Had tea, which was very good, and just lazed around. Another family who had come from Bangalore were busy making their travel plans for the day. I had not planned anything for the day and thought will do as I feel like.

The atmosphere was so calm and peaceful that I really did not feel like venturing out anywhere for the day. Just want to be with me, myself and I in that pristine surroundings. But keeping the kid and others busy was not an easy thing, and Sringeri being close (about 40 kms), thought will visit Sringeri temple. The owner suggested that we visit Sirimane falls as well, as it is just 13 kms from Sringeri. So the plan was made. I estimated that the round trip would take 3 - 4 hours. Since the plan was made by around 0930, by the time all of us got ready and left, it was 1030.

The ride to Sringeri

The owner uncle told us clear directions on how to get to the main road which goes to Sringeri. We need not trace back the route which we took while coming. There was another route which could take us to main road in the direction towards Sringeri. His directions were - "Always take left, keep taking left turn on the tarred roads till you reach the main road. It is about 5 kms from here.". I had switched on my navigator and mapped Sringeri. It also showed some directions. We started. Took the first left, then second left, and reach the third point. Now, my navigator was showing 'Go straight', but I could see a left which is a tarred road (well, how well tarred was it is another debate. It could be argued that it was not a tarred road as well.) I was in doubt. I found a local person and asked him for directions to Koppa which is en-route Sringeri. He guided us straight. So with my navigator and this person suggesting the same direction, I headed straight.

I was only worried about the road condition here. There is one more risk that the navigation tool might suggest roads which were there when it's software was update. The road could be there now or need not be there as well and the condition of the road was also not certain. 

The road straight was not good. It was narrow and broken. But I went ahead. The navigator kept showing me directions and I followed. Asked one more person on the way for Srigneri and he also pointed in the same direction. So I was happy. By now we had traveled more than 5 kms from Kolavara and I was certain that navigator is showing me a different (and shorter??) route to the main road. I had missed what the owner uncle had told, at that junction. 

The route was very scenic through the woods, bamboo forests and water-bodies. Roads were there, but not good. Finally reached the main road and headed towards Sringeri. Superb roads from there, and driving was fun too with the winding and curving roads. So, in short, we did a longer stretch on the bad roads and lesser on good roads than what we would have done if followed owner uncle's directions. But, we did save lot of distance in that process, at least 7-8 kms.


Reached Sringeri in almost an hour from the homestay. There was rush since it was a Sunday. Had darshan at the Vidyashankara temple and Sharadadevi temple. There was some new construction happening there since our last visit in 2009. There is a Gopuram which is 127 mts which is under construction, and there is a new temple for Shankaracharya which is almost complete. There were 2 elephants and one cow which were blessing people (trained to do so). Tip their masters, they will bless you and you can take photos with them. We wanted to take Samyu closer to an elephant and did so. She was not scared, but was amused to see the elephants and cow.

Next destination was Sirimane falls. Asked for directions and headed towards the falls.

Sirimane falls

The route from Sringeri to Sirimane falls was good. First few kms were on the main road, and then a right which was going in the direction of the falls. The roads were in good shape and was mostly empty. Passed through good vegetation, small villages. I love this kind of place. Vast green spaces, farms, woods, streams, and fresh air. In about 8kms we reached a temple town of Kigga. The road from this point was narrow, and was not of good surface. In about 5 kms we reached the falls. It is pretty far from main road, about 10 kms. 

The falls are tucked inside thick vegetation, and nobody can guess there is a falls nearby. We parked at the parking slot, took the tickets and started descending the steps towards the falls. It was a superb view, and the falls were great. Unlike other falls, this was a safe one where one could take bath safely right under the falls.

We did not plan to take bath, and had to get back for lunch at the homestay. It was already past 1300 hours and it would take minimum 1.5 hours to reach back. So we spent around 15 - 20 min there while Janaki ventured to get her feet wet, and for few snaps. We returned to the car and started back to the homestay. The route was same, and this time I took the route suggested by the owner uncle. It was longer on good roads and shorter on bad roads.

Reached homestay at about 1430 and went straight for lunch. Lunch was simple, tasty and nutritious. We were a bit tired after the quick trip, and so we got back to the rooms, took a good nap. Evening was again time for roaming around and a chat with the son of the owner. He took us around the area showing the crops that are being cultivated, their pond, mini-waterfall, and other plantations. It was a nice, informal, and informative chat with him. It was getting dark by the time we got back.

They had put up the camp fire by then and few of us assembled around it for chatting. By around 2000 hours dinner was served, and was usual stuff - good and healthy. We slept off early as we had to head to Kollur tomorrow morning. Another eventful day came to an end.

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