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    Default South Karnataka Temple Tour

    I had a long cherished desire to visit the famous Temples of Karnataka like Sringeri,Udipi,Kollur etc,.. I went on the Temple Tour organised for South Karnataka Temples by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation. I liked it so much that I went again taking one of my friend with me since he was not conversant with Kannada or othe r languages other than Tamil.
    It was and is still ,the most satisfying tour organized by any one.
    I give below my experiences in brief.
    I suggest the anyone wishing to visit these temppes may just take this Temple Tour and visit all these places without any worries.They will get their monies' worth and go home satisfied.

    his is reproduced from my blog in www.wordpress.com,Rvraajan's blog

    Temples of Karnataka

    I love visiting Temples. Especially the Temples of South Karnataka are so fascinating,that, I like seeing them again and again.So when a friend ,who does not speak/understand Kannada/Hindi.desired to visit these temples. I offered to take him along with me. This was my third tour of this circuit. My friend lives in Katpadi, near Vellore and I live in Secunderabad

    The places covered are:Horanadu Annapoorneswari Temple, Kalasa Shiva Temple, Sringeri Sri Saradha Temple, Kollur Mookambika Temple, Murudeshwar Shiva Temple, Anagudde Sri Ganesa Temple, Udipi Sri Krishna Temple, Kateel Sri Durga Parameshwari Temple, Mangalore Gokarnatheswara Temple, Mangalamba Temple, Kadiri Sri Manjunathaswami Temple, Dharmasthala Sri Manjunathaswami Temple, Kukke Sri Subramanya Temple.

    The tour as per brochure is 5 days, i.e. 4 nights and 3 days. 2 nights on bus travel for onward and return journeys and 2 night stays with accomodation provided by the KSTDC. Night halts were at Kollur and Mangalore. Thursday night departure from Bangalore and return on Monday early morning .

    This tour is advised for those who do not follow/understand Kannada as the bus routes are all written in Kannada language only and mostly only Kannada is spoken throughout. Ideal for a couple of travellers as they can share a double room.

    So on a Thursday night at 9.00p.m. we left KSTDC offices, Badami House in Bangalore after we had our supper. Two buses were scheduled for this trip on that Thursday as there were many tourists. We reached Horanadu in the early hours of Friday and the KTDC had made arrangements for us to have our bath and freshen up ourselves and by 6.00 am we were in the temple.There was enough time to see the abishekam and the alankaram of the Goddess with Swarna Kavacham, (Golden dress). Men have to remove their shirts and banians and go inside the sanctum sanctorum bare chested. Prasadam in the form of upma made of Aval (Chudwa). beaten rice is given and the pilgrims take it happily as it is Sri Annapoorni’s prasadam, the provider of food to all in this universe.

    Then after another pradakshinam and a quick darshan of the Goddess everyone is back in the bus of the next leg of the Temple Tour. On to Kalasa.

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    In a little under an hour an a half we were at Kalasa, famous for its Shiva Temple. After a good darshan of the Lord we left Kalasa for Sringeri. We reached Sringeri a little before noon. The scenery throughout the most part of this tour on the western ghats is beautiful ., All green and lush forests. One feels like settling down in the sylvan surroundings at Sringeri. Hotels are not costly at all compared to Chennai/Bombay or Bangalore for eatables.

    Since we were told that the Jagatguru was in the Math, most of the persons rushed to have a quick darshan and seek his blessings. Then we had a darshan of the Goddess Sharadamba and the Adi Shankara and fed the fishes in the river.We saw the small figure of a frog being protected at that time from the scorching sun by a snake opening its hood above the frog on the banks of the river. This scene made Adi Shankara to establish his Math here.

    The story goes : Sri Adi Shankara saw that in this place,Sringeri the animals that are eternal foes are friendly. He observed a pregnant frog being protected from the scorching rays of the noon day sun by a snake which opened out its hood to provide shade to the frog. Hence he chose that place,Sringeri for his Math and the Temple.

    Then all had purchased/collected temple prasad to take home and had our food at the temple dining hall. Almost all the temples in the South Karnataka provide free food in day aand night to pilgrims and they take it gladly as divine prasad. I have to admit that thanks to Sri Annapoorneswari whom we visited first she ensured us food from all temples for us everyday of the tour!

    Around 3.30 p.m. we left Sringeri for Kollur for the darshan of Goddess Mookambika. At night fall we reached Kollur and we were taken to our lodgings by KSTDC as we were to stay here for the night.,. Since we were two we had a double room and relaxed a little and had a cup of coffee. Later we visited the temple and had a nice darshan of the Goddess Sri Mookambika and later had our food in the temple itself.Around 10.00p.m. we slept and I woke up at 4.00 a.m. had a bath and went to the temple for the Nirmalya seva. The atmosphere was very nice with Sri Mookambika Suprabatham being played in the loud speakers and quite a large gathering waiting at this early hour for their darshan,.The deity will be given the traditional abishekam after the removal of the alankarams and later after a satisfying darshan of Sri Mookambika, we went to our place of stay and we started off on the next leg of the tour. On to Murudeshwar.

    En route to Murudeshwar, at a town named Bhatkal we stopped for breakfast.Then we reached Murudeshwar on the coast of the Arabian sea. Here is the world’s tallest statue of Lord Shiva, 123 feet tall.on the sea coast benevolently looking at us and a 20 storeyed Gopuram, temple tower. The complex has come up thanks to the efforts of one R.N.Shetty, a businessman and a philonthropist.

    .After visiting the temple, taking snaps of the majestic Lord Shiva we had a cup of coffee in the seaside restaurant and came to the bus for proceeding to the next place, i.e. Anagudde Sri Ganesa temple.

    According to the legend, Saint Agastya was performing a Yagna to propiate Varuna the Rain God as there was a prolonged draught causing a lot of suffering to people. A demon, Kumbhasura was disrupting the yagna and Lord Ganesa gave a sword blessed by him to Bheema with which the demon Kumbhasura was annihilated and the Saint Agastya could successfully conclude his yagna.The Lord Ganesa is said to be very powerful and is revered by all.

    After a good darshan of the Lord, the remover of all obstacles ,(Vigna nasaka) we boarded our buses for our next temple, Udipi Sri Krishna Temple.

    We reached Udupi at around noon and had a quick darshan of the Lord Krishna . Here one has to have the Darshan of Lord Krishna through the nine holed window with silver covering.As the crowd is large one has to have a quick darshan and has to give way for the others. If time permits and there is less crowd you can always go around and come again in the queue. After seeing all the sannidhis and collecting prasads for taking home and seeing everything we took food in the temple itself. Sri Krishna Prasad!

    After everyone is finished with lunch, we sat on the bus and proceeded to our next place of visit as pere schedule, to Kateel Sri Durga Parameswari Temple.

    Situated on the banks of the river Nandini, this temple for the Goddess Sri Durga Parameswari is very famous. Said to be very powerful and giver of boons the temple is well attended and is very crowded during festivals. We pray for the welfare of our near and dear, contribute our mite to the hundi and taking the sthalapurana like in everyplace we visited came out satisfied to our buses. Next halt is Panambur beach near Mangalore city where we are slated to halt for the night at the accomodation provided by KSTDC.

    After relaxing and enjoying the surf at the Panambur beach for over an hour.we were taken to the Gokarnatha temple , also called Kudroli temple. It is a modern one with giant elephant statues at the entrance and Sri Krishna teaching Arjuna the Baghavad Geetha inside. Then we were taken to our lodgings in Suratkal I believe. We had our dinner in a restaurant, Sadanand and hit the bed

    Next day morning we were taken to theMangalamba Temple in Mangalore. The city has taken it’s name from the Goddess. Then we were taken to Kadiri for the Manjunatha Temple. It is an ancient Shiva tmple with nine theerthas for the nine planets for the holy bath. Then we visited the Mahaganapathy temple.

    Then after breakfast we proceeded to our next place Darmasthala. On the way at a place called Ujire we visited the Pattabhirama temple which is fairly new.Like Birla mandirs it is clean,.

    From Ujire we went on to reach Darmasthala for the famous Lord Manjunathaswamy Temple. Being a Sunday it was very very crowded and as it was time for afternoon pooja it was closed for some time. we waited in the queue and here we spent the maximum time waiting, nealy 2Hrs.30 mts. for the darshan.It was so crowded and the crowd not moving away from the sanctum sanctorum quickly enough after darshan, it was like the Tirupathi darshan. A fleeting moment looking at the Lord and the shouts of “HOGI BHEGA, HOGI” “Go fast, Go’ from the priests trying to speed up the movement of the crowd of devotees. Later after darshan we went to the huge dining hall to partake the prasad bhojan. It was quiet hot in Darmasthala and I am unable to imagine what will be thee devout pilgrims’ plight if he waits like 3-4 hrs in the queue!! THAT too in the summer!!!!

    From Darmasthala we went on to Kukke Subramanya for the last place on out visit. on the way about 6 Kms from the temple we came across the river Kumaradhara. As it was hot and we had enough time we requested the bus to be halted as we wanted to take a bath in the river as is done by many locals. The cool waters of the river was pleasant after the day’s long journey and after about 45 minutes we went to Adi Subramany temple first. Here Lord Subramanya, (Lord Karthik in the north) is worshipped in the form of a snake. As per legend Lord Subramanya saved the snake Vasuki from a Garuda while returning from destroying Surapadma. and both Vasuki and Lord Subramanya were brought in a basket to the town(Kukke=Basket in kannada). Here the Temple closes at evening early as it is said snakes come to the sanctum saanctorum. From there we went to Kukke Subramanya and had a darshan during the evening pooja.This temple is famous for the Parihara of Sarpa Dosha.

    In contrast with all the temples we visited and others that I have visited, the crowd control is totally lacking here. There is no sense or order here and people just stand in all vantage points and do not move out with the abetments of the priests. Also there is no discipline or control in the maitaining of a queue system for the night prasad bhojan,..MIGHT IS RIGHT. people jump over railings and overtake pilgrims who wait patiently for their turn to enter the dining hall. I noticed it last time I visited about a year ago and it appears to have deteriorated now.They can begin with taller and covered railings to start with,and an officer posted to see that people do not jump queue!!!

    Hence with reluctance we had to leave the line and take food in the hotel outside the temple. I feel the authorities of the temple owe it to the visiting pilgrims to set matters right. Bigger crowds than this are handled well and in an orderly way to everyone’s satisfaction at Darmasthala,Sringeri, Kollur Udupi and elsewhere. If there is a will there will be a way found.I SINCERELY HOPE THAT IF I GET ANOTHER VISITING OPPORTUNITY I WILL BE ABLE TO REPORT A BETTER CROWD CONTROL IN KUKKE SUBRAMANYA.

    With a sigh that this signs the end of our tour we, theTemple Tour group sat on our bus at 9.00p.m. and left Kukke Subramanya for Bangalore. May be the driver and the guide were eager to reach home. we were brought to Bangalore at 0430 Hrs!.

    Thus ended a beautiful tour of South karntaka temples. The guide, I have to admit was very nice, patiently explaining and cooperative. But in a trip of this nature for better communications they can be trained in spoken English by KSTDC.The knowledge is there.A little training will make them excellent.

    After visiting the Baangalore ISKCON temple and a few more local temples we left by Brindavan express to Katpadi where I left my friend and via Chennai I returned to Hyderabad.

    This tour is a very mentally satisfying tour in the time span available. This tour is advised for people who do not speak Kannada or who do noes not have time to travel to all these places on their own. This is a pretty good tour and Kudos to KSTDC.

    I am sure this Temple Tour will remain popular in KSDC.

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    Last edited by bmbcAdmin; 02-09-2012 at 05:37 PM.

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