Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mookanamane falls & Hoysala temples

A quick visit to Gandikota was on the cards but as always, with only few people confirming and the long distance overwhelming us, we rather chose to explore few Hoysala temples around Hassan as well as visit the Mookanamane Abbi falls near Sakaleshpura.

Impromptu decisions and next morning me, Prashanth (Payaniga) and Avinash were off towards Sakaleshpura in search of the Mookanamane falls. Prashanth had a vague idea of the location of the falls having visited it few years ago. Sakaleshpura town was very quiet considering that the Shiradi ghat roads were closed for repair and also that the tourist flow is low during the rainy season. We were happy with the almost non-existent crowd and had a heavy breakfast at Surabhi restaurant, right next to Hotel Ashritha where we planned to stay for the night. With packed lunch we proceeded towards the falls but it turned out to be trickier than expected as we lost sight of the route and had to scout for people at many crossroads on where to go. Google maps assisted to an extent but considering the patchy network, it was not very reliable.


The landscape changes as soon as you cross over Hassan and being monsoon time, it was all shades of green everywhere all along the route and the smell of the earth after the rains is infectious. Cool breeze, drizzling rain and the shades of green along the countryside kept us company throughout the day infecting us with some wonderful vista views, pure air and dollops of energy to keep us going.


Sometimes, asking the locals for directions can actually detour you as we experienced this and after losing a couple of hours of going around, we finally reached closer to the falls. Rains were reluctant to leave and stayed with us and those umbrellas we carried came to our rescue as we embarked on the path to the falls being half a kilometer away. We could hear the roar of the falls getting louder as we moved closer and finally we reached the upstream area navigating ourselves on the slippery track all along. The water flow was heavy, strong currents, muddy water (due to soil erosion) and it did look scary at first sight but then, monsoon is the only time when you get to see a waterfall in full glory.


We had to navigate through the bushes, rocks holding on to them dearly and watching every step or lunge we took to finally reach the downstream or rather bang in front of the mighty falls. The umbrellas we carried became defunct as we were all drenched due to the rain and the splashing water from the falls. I was mighty impressed by the size of the falls being very wide and the water gushing down from a decent height to create the roars we were hearing. We were thrilled to be there enjoying the nature’s beauty in its rawest form but were also skeptical in staying long in front of the falls as a heavy gush of water would be trouble for us standing exposed in front. At times we had to shout to communicate to each other in front of deafening sound of the falls.


After the customary photo shoot and with growling stomachs, we cautiously made our way back to the parked car where the packed food was devoured in a flash. Manjarabad fort remains unseen as the delays during the day ensured we would be late and the gates locked. Back to Ashritha hotel, we spent the evening chatting through the night and making plans for the next day.




(Kondajje temple and below Chennakeshava temple, Saalagaame)



Early next day, we left early as we had quite a few places to cover and the intention to see the historical Hoysala temples that are spread around the Hassan region. We did manage to see the Kondajje temple near Belur followed by Chennakeshava temple located in Saalagame near Belur and then Boocheshwara temple located in Koravangala and finally the Aanekere Chennakeshava temple near Channarayapatna (CR Patna) before heading back to Bengaluru. Of all the lot, the Kondajje temple presents a sorry state of affairs to such an extent that you cannot make out that it’s a temple of the Hoysala era.


(Boocheshwara temple, Koravangala & below Aanekere Chennakeshava temple)


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