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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Solo Tour Diary: Trip 3 - Coastal Karnataka - Day 1 - Kundapura

Continued from "The planning"

So yes, the bus arrived on time - 8.45 pm. It was a comfortable sleeper bus, but somehow, I didn't get sleep until post midnight. In my previous journey with Durgamba, the bus was an hour late due to PATHETIC roads in the ghat section, but this time, I'm guessing the roads weren't that bad.

The bus reached Udupi by as early as 7 am. I had woken up by then. It then went through Manipal and other places before reaching Shastri circle, Kundapura at 8 am. I was happy - 1 hour bonus! :)

In my original plan, I had estimated that I would reach Kundapura by 9 am (based on previous benchmark) and I had planned Kundeshwara Temple, Pattabi Ramachandra temple (next to the Kalyana Mantapa in Koteshwara) and of course, Koteshwara's famous Kotlingeshwara temple. But thanks to this one hour bonus, I was able to cover another famous temple, that I had not heard of until then - the Anegudda Vinayaka temple :)

So yes, I checked in to JK Residency at Shastri circle, which was where Shithil had booked a room for me. It was a decent room with a slightly worn-out, but clean bathroom - good enough for a solo traveler.

I quickly freshened up and by 9 am, I set out to visit the Kundeshwara temple (which is just diagonally opposite to the hotel, across the street). It was a nice little temple. No dress restrictions.

I quickly finished seeing that, walked back to Shastri circle and decided to head to the Kalyana Mantapa. There are plenty of buses (public and private) plying frequently from Kundapura to various places. I hopped on to a mini-bus and got down at Koteshwara. The ticket cost just about 8 Rupees. I saw the Pattabhi Ramachandra temple first, visited it.

And then headed around the shops nearby to the Kalyana Mantapa, which was behind the temple.

As I entered, I was straightaway directed to the breakfast area and enjoyed some nice breakfast. I then headed inside, met Shithil. There was still some time to go for the Muhurtha, which was at 12 pm. He was soon to get busy with some rituals, so I told them that I'd come back after visiting the Kotilingeshwara temple. It was then that he suggested that I could also visit the Anegudda temple which was a few km away. So yes, that was a bonus addition to the list :)

I walked around to see the Kotilingeshwara temple and it was good. No dress restrictions here too.

I then headed to the bus stop opposite the Kalyana Mantapa and took another mini-bus to Anegudda. The ticket was again, around 8 bucks. From the main road, it was about a 2 to 5 minute walk up to the downhill temple.

The temple had a lovely little pond surrounding it, replete with fish.

I then walked up the stairs to the bunch of temples uphill.

Finally, I headed towards the Anegudda temple. It was very nice!
No dress restrictions again, at any of these temples.

Once done, I spotted nungu-sellers! There was NO WAY on earth a Nungu-addict like me could resist buying one :D So I did!

I then walked back to the highway to catch a bus back to Koteshwara, in time for the Muhurtha.
Once done, I headed for the yummy maduve yele oota and had a heavy lunch :D

By this time, I got a headache, due to lack of good sleep. Since I only had to cover Kodi beach and Maravanthe beach for the rest of the day, I decided to go slow - I headed back to the hotel room for a good nap until 3 pm. When I woke up, my headache had subsided.

I then took a bus to Kodi beach. I didn't get a direct bus, so I got down at Vinayaka Talkies on the highway. From there, I took an auto to the beach. The driver said 50 bucks. I thought it was a fleece, but then I realized it is actually a long-winded route to the beach and it's definitely not easily walk-able.

Once we reached the beach, I was just awestruck. "WOW!" is the first thing that came to mind on seeing how calm, serene and deserted it was. But for a bunch of 3-4 girls who were playing there, the beach had NO ONE. Just dogs and crows.

I had planned to stay here for about 15 minutes, but I think I must have spent at least about 30-45 minutes just enjoying the peace, the tranquility, the calming sound of the waves and the gentle breeze that refreshes you. Awesomeness!

With a heavy heart, I walked back to the road and got a bus to Shastri circle. From there, I took another bus to Maravanthe beach. The ticket cost about 15 bucks. That's all! It took about half an hour to reach Maravanthe. Once the bus crosses Trasi bus stop, from the highway itself you get a breathtaking view of the ocean! :)

There are a few shops along the highway, near which the bus stops and you get down.

Maravanthe has large rocks, but it has sand too. When I reached, there was no one. Vast, empty space, but not necessarily just the peaceful sound of waves - there was blaring truck and bus honking in the highway right behind.

As the sky grew darker, the crowds started coming in, eagerly waiting for a sunset.

But it was a very cloudy evening and there was no sign of the sun. At around 6.15 pm, I gave up and began to head back to the road. That's when I saw this scene in the sky, straight out of a Hollywood sci-fi movie!

I immediately rushed back to the beach and boy, am I glad I did !!!!!!

I may not have witnessed a beautiful sunset, but I witnessed this scene, which I just can't describe in words :) I won't even try. See the pictures yourselves! :)

Christopher Nolan could've easily filmed some scenes of Interstellar here! :)

So yes, fully satisfied, I headed back to the highway, which was creepy by then. There is no proper bus stop. You've to wait behind a line of lorries, where the bus will come and stop. It was quite dark too. I could already hear some drunk singing at the dhabas near the beach. Fortunately, I soon got a bus back to Shastri Circle and I reached the hotel by 7.15 pm.

I ate at Coastal Heritage, the restaurant in the hotel complex itself - it was okay. Expensive, like any Bangalore restaurant, but really good food - I had a bottle of Kingfisher beer (which completely cured my headache :P) and yummy Gobi Manchurian and Egg Noodles. Filling enough for all the roaming around!

I then headed back to my room and crashed, looking forward to an exciting Day 2.

Day 2 can be read here.

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