Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bangalore Weekend - Quick drive to Shivanasamudra and Somanathpura

We had recently visited Shivanasamudra and Somanathpura on a Saturday. It was really a good visit and here is a brief write-up on how to reach, what to see etc.

How to reach Shivanasamudra:

  1. Drive on SH17 (Bangalore - Mysore highway)
  2. Reach Maddur and take a left turn to get on SH33
  3. Drive on SH33 which will lead to Malavalli, a small town
  4. Continue further and join NH209 which will eventually take you to Shivanasamudra

    Except SH17, road condition is not good and be prepared for a bumpy ride! Shivanasamudra is almost 130 kms from Bangalore.

    Here is the route on google map to get a better idea.

    View Larger Map

    Alternate route is to take Kanakpura road from Bangalore, which is NH209 but the road condition is unfortunately bad again.

    At Shivanasamudra, Kaveri River splits into two causing western and eastern branches. The western branch is known as Gaganachukki Falls and the eastern branch is known as Bharachukki Falls. Both are spectacular.

    Gaganachukki Falls:

    Gaganachukki Falls (twins) can be viewed from two different locations, one from the Shivanasamudra Watch Tower and the other from the Darga Hazrath Mardane Gaib.

    View from Watch Tower

    A view from the Darga Hazrath Mardane Gaib

    Bharachukki Falls:

    A short drive on NH209 brings us to the eastern part of the falls - Bharachukki. It is the best as one can climb down and have a closer look at this amazing falls. The roar of the falls is just refreshing and can not be described in words but experience it.

    Bharachukki Falls

    A closer look

    A view from the Teppa

    Recommended try at Shivanasamudra:

    A teppa ride to have the closest view of Bharachukki is something great. The boat-man steers the Theppa through the rapids of rising water that really gives a thrilling experience. You can literally touch the falls and you also realize the depth of the water. Boat-man told me that it could be as high as 80 feet! At the end, he gives a nice 360 degree spin for a while, which is cool.

    Waiting Teppas

    But, the sad thing is that the visitors have really littered the place with plastics, which makes us realize that after all we are here to do damage than enjoy the serene beauty of nature.

    You can enjoy the pure nature and may want to stay-put till evening :-). But, If you need to visit Somanathpura, climb up to get into your vehicle. In no time, you will be on the route to Somanathpur (Please refer to the initial route map) and soon you will realize that the journey ahead will be harder than you thought. Worn out road will be a major obstacle unless you have a serious off-roader like Hummer :-)

    Once you reach Chennakeshava Temple at Somanathpura, you will forget all the pain. The mesmerizing temple with its extremely detailed carvings will definitely touch you.

    A view of Chennakeshava Temple - The tripple shrines (Shikharas or Gopuras)

    A rear view of the Shrine

    Depiction of various types Shrines seen in Northern and Southern India

    Star shaped platform has detailed 6 layers of Friezes. Lowest of all is the procession of Elephants symbolizing the strength of the base, horsemen, a band of foliage, an imaginary beast "Makara", depictions from hindu epics and Swans. Each object in these friezes is unique and shows the expertise of the sculptors.

    Panel Carvings

    An incomplete depiction of Shrine kept as a challenge for others to try out?

    Each lathe turned pillar looks unique mainly because of the ancient primitive tools used for turning the stone blocks.

    Rear view

    Hindu Deities

    You can spend a good time exploring the detailed carvings and trying understand what they tell us. You can also get government provided guides to get more details about different carvings.

    Once you are done appreciating the temple, you can head back to Bangalore via Shrirangapattna-Mandya->Bangalore or Bannur->Malavalli->Maddur->Bangalore routes.

    What to carry?

    Extra pairs of cloths if you want to get wet at Shivanasamudra, packed food as getting a decent hotel around these places is difficult and of-course a good Camera.

    Round trip distance is approximately 350 kms. Incase you don't want to drive, you may try conducted tours by KSTDC to these locations.

    We hope you enjoy as much we did. All photos are taken on my Olympus C8080WZ camera

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DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

Looks very interesting, I nerver ever heard of Shivanasamudra. why not tell us more about it?

Vikas said...

Thanks DD2 for looking at my blog.

Yeah, it is an interesting place and a popular picnic spot near to Southern Indian city Bangalore. But, its popularity is mostly confined to Bangalore and other surrounding areas so you may not have heard about it at all!

Please take a look at this wikipedia link on it.

sats said...

Nice pictures and clear directions on how to reach. Photos look more interesting than the real place!

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Hai Baji said...
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Medha P said...

hi dear,
I like to visit Resort and spa during my vacation.Im looking out for a good resort to visit this weekend.planing for Bandipur resorts and kgudi resort

sitara kumari said...

Hi,very nice an intresting blog,thanks for sharing wonderful looking out for such kind of day out for a Resort in Bangalore