Thursday, October 20, 2005

Trip to the Canara region

[info]Sandeep, [info]Ashvin, [info]Ashok and I went on a 4-day trip (Oct 12-15) to the western ghats in Sandeep's new Opel Corsa. Missed [info]Chandan in the trip. Ashok has just returned from Sweden and Ashvin now sports a juttu.

Day 1: We travelled on NH-48 and reached Hassan. From here we headed to Belur's Channakeshava temple. These are incomplete architectures built by the Hoysalas celebrating their victory over Cholas. It was past noon and I was hungry by the time we reached Halebeedu ( poignantly the name translates to 'Dead City' ). From there we visited Jain Basti - temple of two tirthankaras. What caught our attention were the magnificent pillars having convex and concave mirror properties. Finally by 4.00pm we managed to eat lunch at Mayura Shantala. The food was not appealing neither was the place but no empty stomach complained.

Our plan was to reach Mangalore by night. But by 7.30pm we were forced to stop as the windshield turned frosty due to heavy rainfall. We reached Mangalore only by 10.30pm. Dasara procession was about to take place and we had no hotel rooms booked. We wandered for a while before settling for Taj Mahal - a modest hotel near K.S.Rao Road. My purse was nearly empty.

Day 2: This was going to be hectic day. Mangalore is blessed with many ATM's but I made three trips to find the right ATM to deliver cash. At breakfast we got to taste the Malayali delicacies "puttu" and "appam". Unless you are a connoisseur of coastal food you can at best avoid them. Mangalore has not many tourist spots other than religious ones. We spent some time at Pabba's ice cream parlour for "the famous Ideal ice cream". We skipped lunch and traveled along the Arabian Sea coast via NH-17. I realized that I had parted with my shoes back in the hotel. I had bought a pair of slippers for the humid weather and forgot the extra shoe baggage back at Mangalore. More on this one later.

We stopped at Kaapu light house. The view of the sea beside the light house was beautiful. The air smells fishy but the weather was simply excellent. We spent the night at Sagar Kinara close to Sowparnika river (the hotel by the shore). Again a modest hotel with basic facilities. Turtle beach resort is a better option for those planning a journey there.

Its late (yawn). I'll write on the next two days later. See the photographs at