Naga Bana – Photos

My home in Nellitheertha, just like any other in Tulu Nadu, has its own Naga Bana (Snake Forest). That stretch of forest is “reserved” for Nagas. All the Naga related rituals and Pujes happen in the Bana.

Throughout Tulu Nadu, the Naga Banas, by virtue of the reverence and fear associated with them, are virtually untouched pockets of greenery. They are, in a sense, the lungs of the forest 🙂

Some photos from the Bana…

 

Naga Bana - 1
Naga Bana - 1

 

Naga Bana - 2
Naga Bana - 2

 

Rivulet around the Bana
Rivulet around the Bana

 

Rivulet
Rivulet

Distances between…

Travelers may find this useful. Will update this more as and when I figure more distances. All distances approximate.

Bangalore – Mangalore (via Kunigal – Chennarayapatna –  Hassan – Sakleshpura – Uppinangadi) : 360kms

Bangalore – Mysore : 140kms

Mysore – Madikeri (via Hunsur – Periyapatna – Kushalnagara): 120kms

Madikeri – Mangalore (via Sampaje – Sullya – Puttur – BC Road): 140kms

Mangalore – Udupi : 60kms

Udupi – Kundapur : 40kms

Mangalore – Dharmasthala (via Uppinangadi) : 70kms

Mangalore – Subramanya (via Uppinangadi): 90kms

Subramanya – Dharmasthala (via Gundya): 60kms

Madikeri – Subramanya (via Sampaje – Sullya – Puttur) : 120kms

Udupi – Bajpe (via Mulki – Kinnigoli): 55kms

Mangalore – Bajpe (via Mulki – Kinnigoli): 30kms

Sode FAQ

Based on the search queries that lead to hits to my pages, I am going to post (hopefully correct) answers to questions that people have about Sode.

Q) Distance from Bangalore
A) 430 kilometers. Mysore is roughly the same distance.

Q) Other nearby places
A) Hubli is 100 kms away. Sirsi is 20 kms.

Q) Facilities available at Sode
A) Rooms are available through the temple administration itself, though they get full during weekends. If rooms are unavailable, they provide safe lockers @ Rs 5/- per day!

Q) Rest rooms?
A) The rooms have attached rest rooms. The public rest rooms (which you have to depend on if you do not get a room) are average.

Q) Food?
A) The temple provides lunch and dinner. There is also a small inn nearby which provides good quality South Indian dishes.

Q) How do I get to Sode?
A) Sugama and VRL roadlines run daily buses to Sode from Bangalore. You need to book in advance though. The buses reach Sode around 7:30AM and leave around 8:30PM. The departure time is not set in stone. The buses wait till the Bhoota Raja Bali and dinner is complete. KSRTC buses are available from Sirsi to Bangalore, Mysore and Hubli.

Q) What about local transport?
A) There are buses to Sirsi every two hours. In between, there are private tempos running between Sirsi and Sode. The last bus to Sirsi is at 5:15PM so one needs to plan well if returning from Sirsi.

Q) How can I visit nearby places?
A) Lots of places such as the Tapovana, Sahasralinga, Vyasa Raja Matha, Venkataramana temple, etc are worth seeing. The best option is to enquire at the shops near the temple entrance. They will arrange for Jeeps at reasonable prices.

Q) Driving directions from Bangalore?
A) Bangalore – Tumkur – Chitradurga – Haveri – Sirsi. From Sirsi, take the Yellapur highway and you will find signboards pointing towards Sode.

Q) Any thing else?
A) You better carry and wear a dhoti when visiting the temple(s).

Sode Sahasralinga

Sahasralinga is another fascinating place very close to Sode. It is on the Sirsi – Yellapur highway and is about 9kms from the Sri Vadiraja Swamy matha.

This place is on the banks of the river Shalmala and contains hundreds and hundreds of Shiva lingas. Many of these are complete lingas while a few are incomplete. There are also numerous statues of Nandi, Ganesha and other deities.

This place was used as a school by sculptors over many centuries. Sculptors taughts their students and kids the art of sculpting “Vigrahas” or Idols using the rocks on the banks of this river. Hence one can find so many idols carved out here. It is believed that the place was used by sculptors during the reigns of the Kadambas and Chalukyas also.

Sahasralinga means “Thousand Lingas” and it is obvious how the name came about for this place. There is also a myth associated with this place according to which a local chieftain once had a dream that a thousand lingas needs to carved at this place in one night and that is how the lingas were made. But there is no supporting evidence for the same. Also, if the dream indeed occur, then I am sure a thousand “proper” lingas would have been carved while we can spot a few “incomplete” ones.

Kukke Subramanya Temple – Accomodation and Travel

I see that there are quite a few hits to my blog on Kukke Subramanya Temple. Of course, most people get to the page wanting to know how to reach Kukke and where to stay. Which means my writeup is a completely useless article for them. So, here I go in my attempt to be of some use to the devotees of Kukke Subramanya.

Accomodation: There are quite a few guest houses at Kukke. Ashlesha, Karthikeya, Kumarakrupa and Skandakrupa are few of them. Courtesy this site, the phone number for booking rooms is 281224 or 281400. The STD code for Kukke is 08257. There is another lodge called as the Sriniketana lodge which is also pretty reasonable. I do not have the number but the folks from the other lodges should be able to provide the same.

Travel: The road through Shiradi ghats and through Charmadi ghats (through Mysore-Madikeri-Puttur) are both horrible. And I can’t see them being repaired any time soon. Traveling on one’s own vehicle could be a nightmare. The best option, according to, is to take a KSRTC Rajahamsa bus from Bangalore overnight. Its really convenient. Plus you can book two way tickets online.

In case you are not able to book accomodation and have to reach Kukke (with family), the better thing to do would be to land up in Dharmasthala and take an accomodation there. There are multiple guest houses available there and chances of obtaining one are brighter. Dharmasthala to Kukke is about 60KMs and you can cover it in less than 2 hours plus there are lots of public transport buses available.

P.S: I am now even more convinced about what I wrote a few days ago over here. Two weeks ago, Nitin and I landed up in Kukke. Nitin wanted to go there and I was his guide 🙂 Hoovina jothe naaru swarga serithu!

Route

From Bangalore :- Bangalore – Nelamangala – Kunigal – Chennarayapatna – Hassan – Sakleshpura – Gundya Junction – (left turn on NH48) – Subramanya. Approximate distance is 280kms. Road quality is (a) excellent till Sakleshpura, (b) bad then onwards.

From Mysore :- Mysore – Hunsur – Periyapatna – Kushalnagara – Madikeri – Sampaje – Puttur – Subramanya. Approximate distance is 220kms. Road quality is average.

Update:  As of March/April 2008, the Shiradi Ghats section between Sakleshapura and Gundya (near Kukke) has significantly improved. Work is progressing at a rapid rate. Out of the 45kms, almost 30kms is very good. You will have to travel a little slow in the remaining 15kms. I managed it in a Honda City which has one of the lowest ground clearances. So you can imagine!

Update: See some photos of the road and Shiradi ghats as of July 2008

Update (January 2009):

Found this excellent website with complete and useful information on the temple. Click here.

My visit to Kukke Subramanya

Kukke Subramanya Temple has always fascinated me. There is an element of mysticism and energy about the place and temple I cannot describe. To borrow the words of my uncle – “There is a Agochara Shakti (invisible energy) in the place, temple and the deity”.

I remember an aunt of mine telling me recently that only those whom Lord Subramanya grants his grace can visit the place and have his darshan. If he doesn’t want it, you cannot see him even if you get to the temple. I believe this to be hundred percent true. It was five years ago and we were starting off from Bangalore in our car to Mangalore for the annual festival at Nellitheertha. My mother suggested that we visit Kukke on the way and then proceed. For some strange reason, Guru and I put it down very rudely. We took a break at Sakleshpura at around 11AM and headed towards Mangalore through Shiradi Ghats. Midway, a red car stopped us and informed us of a major pileup just ahead. “Its going to take more than 24 hours for the jam to clear. Two tankers have collided. Get back” he said.

Back we came to Sakleshpura and checked with multiple people. All of them told us the same thing – “You have to go through Kukke to reach Uppinangadi and then Mangalore”. (we now know that they were wrong. There are other routes to get to Mangalore from Sakleshpura). We reached Kukke but the temple was closed. We did get to eat food at the temple but did not get Lord Subramanya’s darshan.

Towards the end of December last year, my colleague Gautham casually suggested that I visit Kukke once and pray to Subramanya. I immediately decided to do so. Just a couple of days later when I was planning my Nellitheertha trip, Ananthu told me about his planned trip to South Kanara and Nellitheertha. I quickly realized that Kukke was in his radar. It was finalized immediately that I would hop into his car once the Jaatre was done and visit Kukke. We visited Dharmasthala before Kukke and landed at the temple on a Saturday morning. Believe it or not – I got to have darshan of the Lord 4 times in 4 hours, in spite of the huge rush.

It was certainly a very very satisfying experience for me, something I will cherish for a long time.

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