Temples and Greens.

It is that time of the year again when we shut shop and take a break for the monsoon. Yes!!! The monsoon arrived early this year. I would rather say, it is bang on time this year after a long hiatus. After a hectic few months, time seemed to pass very slow in the last few days and so we began planning on our holiday. The last year, we took off on a long break – Our driving trip to Ladakh. This year too we decided to drive but of course not a long one as the previous.

The Western Ghats are the most beautiful to drive around during the monsoon. With constant drizzle and fog at most places, views all around are breathtaking and the drive itself is refreshing. For a long time, we wanted to do the famous temple circuit in these areas clubbed with a few other temples outside and now was the time. So we decided to venture out on a 8 – 10 days drive which covered a few temples in Karnataka and around. With the routes and some basic information on the places we jotted down, we ventured out this morning at 07:00 am. Our first stop – ‘Sri Kukke Subrahmanya’

For people who are unaware of this place, this is the same place which became famous after Sachin Tendulkar and Shilpa Shetty’s visit. Here is a link to the same – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukke_Subramanya_Temple

We reached Kukke at 08:30 am and in no time; we were out of the place. Our next destination – ‘Dharmasthala’. As expected, it was crowded and to top it all, it started pouring when we reached there. After a long walk through the gates of the temple and a long wait in the queue we got a glimpse of the lord Manjunatheswara. From here we headed out to Ujire where we had a quick lunch and departed for our next destination – Horanadu – ‘Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple’

On our way to Horanadu, we came across this board which read – Hemavathy Moola Kshetra. We had heard of this from a close friend in Sakleshpur and decided to take the 1.5 km detour to check out the place and man!!!! It was worth it!!

With a narrow road, enough for one car to pass by at a time, this place is set amidst the back drop of hills and the view of the valley and hills in the front. This is the place where the mighty river Hemavathy takes birth. The water level in the pond here does not change one bit, though this place receives very heavy rainfall every year. It remains the same through all seasons. Unlike most places which are hyped and crowded, this is a quite, serene and most importantly a clean place. There is a small Ganapathy temple here and on meeting the priest of the temple, we got to know the story of the place which seemed very interesting to me. It goes like this….

“Way back, there was a maharishi named Gautam Maharishi. Once a little boy from a low caste named Jabali came to him and asked him if he could be his disciple. The Maharishi refused to take him in as a disciple But when the boy kept insisting, the Maharishi gave him 250 cows and told him that if he could graze the cows in this area and grow their number to over 1000, he would accept him as his disciple. Now this was next to impossible as the whole area around there was a barren land and there was no sign of water either. However, the boy took this up as a challenge. Over a period of time, his cows strated dying due to lack of water in the place. Seeing this, the boy began meditation and penance. Happy with the boy’s devotion, goddess Parvathy one day appeared and gave him a boon that there would be water in this place henceforth.

However, the water would be flowing water and it would bring with it gold and success where it flows. The river was hence named Hemavahini (Hema means ‘Gold’ in Sanskrit) which later on came to be called Hemavathy. Sakleshpur too got its name from here. Sakala – Aishwarya – Pura (wealth all around).”

We spent sometime in the Ganapathy temple here in peace and headed out to Horanadu post that.

Horanadu is again a beautiful place and very clean too. The idol of Goddess Annapoorneshwari is beautiful. We finished our poojas at the temple and headed out to Shringeri at 05:30 pm. We found a basic place to shack up for the night. In the morning, we plan to visit the temple here and head out to our next destination.

More tomorrow!!!!