Sunday, October 4, 2015

Muregar Waterfalls, Sirsi

There’s nothing more relaxing than a weekend road trip. The ride to the Waterfalls is smooth and trouble free. We first reached Sirsi and continued on Sirsi-Hulekal road for around 12 km took left deviation towards Salkeni. About 7 km picturesque country road, one can see a sign board instructing us to take a right deviation for Muregar village. My friend Shrinivas also joined us; from here it’s around 5 km to the falls. Then we crossed a small cluster of houses name Muregar due to which this falls is also referred to as Muregar waterfalls.
Muregar Waterfalls is surrounded by pastures of lush, green and dense trees and shrubs, river side was very rocky and we were mostly walking over huge boulders.  We can actually get down to the bottom of the falls and have a beautiful view of the falls. We need to cross few boulders to get down. It is perceived to have high medicinal values as it flows across plethora of herbs with medicinal values.
Muregar Falls is also called as Teppige falls or Daggumane Falls. This falls originates from the stream Muregar Halla which is the sub River of Shalmala River. Here you can see the Shivalingas and other gods like Ganesha, Shanmuka etc. As per history, all these Shiva Lingas were built by Sirsi king Sadashivaraya (1678-1718).
The Waterfalls is full of Shivlinga of different sizes and shapes scattered all around. This aspect of the place makes it a cool place to chill out for both pilgrims and nature lovers.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Abalur :Epitome of the Shaivism

Abalur was a large town in ancient period, is situated at a distance of 4 km from Hirekerur tq Haveri. From early times, it was known as a famous centre of Jainism. However, its influence started waning from the 12th century A.D. When a proponent of Shaivism named Ekantada Ramaiah stood up against the Jains, the legend has it that, he cut off his own head during a religious disputation with the Jains and was brought back to life by Lord Shiva himself. The incidence is narrated by an inscription of 1200 A.D. found at the Someshwara temple.
 The same inscription mentions by name a few other Shivasharanas as well The Brahmeshwara (Basaveshvara) and Someshwara temples earned glory on account of the miracle performed by Ekantada Ramaiah. The Brahmeshwara temple is a simple stone structure in the Chalukyan style. The stone inscription found on the right wall of the Someshwara temple, records that subsequent to the above cited miracle, a local officer named Sanka Gavunda offered armed resistance against the breaking up of the Basadi but was thwarted. Thereafter, Ekantada Ramaiah is said to have restored the structure and converted it into a Shaiva temple. This incident is depicted through sculptures.
 The Someshwara temple at Abalur is a triple-shrine (trikutachala) structure. The Garbhagriha, Ardhamantapa and parts of Navaranga of this temple are believed to have been constructed by Ekantada Ramaiah, while the other parts of the temple, including the two other Garbhagrihas, appear to have been subsequent additions. There is a common Antarala immediately adjoining the three Garbhagrihas, and there is an open ardhamantapa and a mukhamantapa in the front having Kakshasana.
 The miracles said to have been performed by Ekantada Ramaiah are seen carved on the walls of the temple along with labelled inscriptions furnishing their details. On the right portion of the gateway is a sculpture showing Sankagavunda handing over a document to Ekantada Ramaiah and another sculpture depicting the breaking up of the Jina image and the consecration of the Shivalinga by the latter.
Other prominent early sculptures show Shiva receiving a piece of cloth from the hands of Jedara Dasimaiah, Shiva performing a dance before potter Gundaiah, and Siriyala. These are believed to be some of the most ancient sculptures of Shivasharanas and epigraphically references about this legend has it that the celebrated poet-philosopher Sarvajna resided at Abalur.
 Basaveshvara Tmple (Brahmeshwara) and Sarasvathi tmple, Abalur.
 Another famous typical Trikuta Brahmeshwara temple is situated near bus stand, the grand idol of Nandi in the Brahmeshwara temple was originally known as Abaluru Basavanna. A fair called Basavanna jatra is held annually. The interior is equality beautiful; there are three Garbhagrihas at the west, south and north with a common Navaranga.
 The doorways of Garbhagrihas are delicately carved. The Navaranga has beautifully carved Brahma, Durga and Gansha idols.The three Garbhagrihas had Shiva, Vishnu and Surya sculptures of excellent craftsmanship. A magnificent two-armed idol of Surya is found behind this big Basavanna sculpture.
 Besides there is a Saraswathi temple adjacent to this Brahmeshwara temple.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Monsoon trek to HGod Waterfalls

 During monsoon the rain drenched forests of the Western Ghats can give off an eerie glow allowing a rare glimpse into one of nature’s spectacular eccentricities. It was my heart’s desire to visit the Western Ghats during the monsoon, coupled with fog and mist, unspoiled greenery, numerous gushing waterfalls and plenty view points with relatively less crowd.  Lot of planning went into this trek we were looking forward for this monsoon trek since it was quite some time we had gone out during rains.
 On the morning of July 4th at around 7AM we left Honnavar in a hired tempo. It was drizzling and all through the route. Western Ghats were its best in this season, green everywhere you could see and filled with countless waterfalls and I would say this is the best time to explore waterfalls when everything around water is alive. We reached the village around 8.30 AM. My friend and our guide Mahabaal was there to welcome us, further he impressed us a lot with his courage, manner, navigation and arrangements.
 We followed him through narrow wooden bridge to a small house where his uncle living since 40 years. They prepared for us some delicious food; I just loved the food and Jack-fruit. After 1 hour break we started trekking with limited languages. By now it was again raining heavily. The dark storm clouds gathered above the craggy pinnacles in front of us as we readied ourselves to hike.

The initial trail was incredible through the green soaked sleepy hamlet. The road was highly scenic. Rain smell of eucalyptus was very pleasant though after a very tiring journey. It was nice to sight many orchids, fungi, lot of geckos, smaller streams, many wild flowers, insects and many more in those thick woods while walking. Green mountains, Areca nut plantations never ending small streams wild flowers were enough to make anybody a poet.

There was nothing but the sound of the flowing water and that of the waterfall at a distance was simply magical. Gushing milky waterfall on end was a pleasure to get drenched but the main difficulty was along with skies opening up mother earth also decided to sing and dance down the mountains in form of swollen streams making it really tough testing our strength to the maximum, but of course we did manage to cross most of the streams.
Thankfully there are no leaches here like in the Western Ghats. After crossing several streams we reached the base in around one and half hours. It was a nice to walk in the rain, and on slippery rocks with leech and passing through numerous streams and amazingly huge trees. We didn't know if it was the rain or the fall we got drenched in but we were so engrossed in its beauty nothing mattered except for nature's beauty.

 Deep inside the jungle a mixture of sweat and rain was tricking my face as I scrambled though a damp narrow cascade. We were just there and it was amazing to see the spectacular waterfalls, here water plunges in 8 stages and the fall is in its full glory during the monsoon. Standing bottom of the 5th stage on one side of the deep ravine looked into a waterfall filled with lush vegetation, wild flowers and the steep contours formed a dramatic foreground to the rising hills and clouds brewing behind me, every inch of the earth suffused in a generous green.
 Usually the upper section contains loose rocks and is not climbed while people are below. Failure to hear the warning, Inexperience with area I made a wrong attempt and witnessed a bad incidence. The rock had at least a 20 meter unobstructed fallen to one of my teammate back with minimum harm.
We had our pack lunch nearby stream and our afternoon hike through the small tribal hamlets had extended late into the evening, hindered with incomplete attempt to the hidden waterfalls.
We filled our heart's content monsoon trek was at its best. From the start to the end we were blown away by the beauty and serenity of the trial.  We stopped many times to remind ourselves how lucky we were and to revel in the natural beauty of our surrounds. What a wonderful trek. Mahabal was a wonderful guide so perceptive in how he cared for us throughout the journey. He was completely at home in this landscape and looked after us brilliantly.

I would like to thank the each team member for making expedition successful with such wonderful trekking experiences. That love for walking on country is very infectious. I really hope to come on more treks with this team in the near future. My feet are already itching for the next adventure! The experience was very important to me, something I will treasure for the rest of my life.