We had a family function to be attended in Kumta. After regular office hours, I cycled back home, took my bags and boarded the last bus to Belgaum at 11.30pm.
The story of my First Cycle Ride to Office and back home will be shared in a separate blog.
Day 1: Friday, 20th April 2018
Upon reaching Belgaum at around 7.30am, I quickly hired an auto to reach home. Within no time I had my breakfast and got ready to take the bus journey to Kumta along with my parents and grandma. I usually don’t book any hotel rooms when I travel solo or with my friends, but as I was traveling with my family, it was well planned and I booked a family room at Hotel Pandurang International, Kumta much in advance.
We checked into the hotel at around 6 pm in the evening and over the snacks and chai, the conversation between my Dad and me:
My Dad: what is the plan now for today?
Me: let’s go to the beach.
My Dad: It’s too late to go to the beach now, the sun might set and it might get dark!!!
I quickly checked for that day’s sunset time on Google and the time showed as 6.45pm and I replied let’s go to the beach and see if we can catch a glimpse of the setting Sun. The Baada Beach at Kumta was at a distance of around 10kms from the Hotel. We hired an auto and made our way to the beach. Though we missed the sunset but spent some time at the beach.
Baada Beach, Kumta
The Rocks at the Seashore
Being at the seaside at Twilight time, watching the waves rearing up before crashing down into the rocks at the beach, pounding the sand shores with their white foam. Wow:) that was Bliss!!!
My Grandma, my Dad, me and my Mom at the Beach
At the Beach
My Parents at the Beach
B.E.A.C.H “Best Escape Anyone Can Have”
Letting my Soul and Spirit Fly while I look at the Infinite Blue Sky
Happiness comes in Waves . . . Selfie time with Family
We also visited the Kanchikamba Parmeshwari Temple that stood beside the beach and went back to the hotel room.
The path to Kanchikamba Parmeshwari Temple
At the Temple entrance
Day 2: Saturday, 21st April 2018
We hired a taxi and the plan was to visit Yana Rocks and Mirjan Fort.
Yana, a small village in the Uttara Kannada (Karwar) district of Karnataka, known for its natural caves amidst 2 monolith rocks named Mohini and Bhairaveshwara. A very famous pilgrim place which is the home to a Shiva Temple.
Post breakfast at the hotel, we started our journey early at 8 am and headed to Yana which is just 30 kilometers which takes a 45-minute drive from Kumta.
Few buses ply on this route, so it’s better to have your own vehicle; car or bike or rental vehicles to reach there.
We took the National Highway 66 and detour towards Yana. The road to Yana was amazing amidst the thick lush greenery all over. The road although single lane had a lot of curves and we had a smooth drive. Within no time we reached the parking lot at the base of the Yana Rocks. I was very excited to get to the hilltop and see the Twin Monolith and trek the caves and soon tick this place off my list.
Important Tips: Please do carry some snacks and water bottles while you start the trek. There are a couple of shops at the base and beware of the monkeys. The trek is a mix of mud lanes through the forest and paved steps taking you to the hilltop. In case you visit this place during monsoon, do carry basic first aid as this place is prone to Leeches.
Welcome to Yana
Few shops at the base near the parking lot
Walking up the mud lane
There are benches placed by the Karnataka Forest Department so that visitors can take some rest.
That’s the trail to Yana
A small water stream enroute
As we reached a small temple enroute, we could see the gigantic Monolith, basically the Mohini Hill.
The Mohini hill as seen while climbing the steps to Yana
The magnificent Ash colored Mohini Hill at Yana
The Mohini hill as seen from the other side
Panoramic view capturing both the Monoliths at Yana
As we continued climbing the steps, we reached the main cave temple located below the Bhairaveshara Hill. This is a Shiva Temple where the Linga was formed naturally and the water drips from the roof over the Linga that adds to the sanctity of this place. Photography inside the temple premises is banned and hence couldn’t click any pics of the Linga.
Bhairaveshwara Hill, The main Temple Peak
A shop inside the main temple premise
We walked around the temple. Usually, in all temples, devotees walk around the sanctum, which is called as Pradakshina. In Yana, this walk passes through the natural caves of the Bhairaveshara Hill which makes it unique and interesting.
The perfect family pic
There were shops near the main temple where we could gulp some cold drinks and bottled fruit juices.
Few shops beside the main temple
Post all the fun we descended down the stairs to the parking lot where our humble taxi driver Mr. Santosh waited for us patiently for more than a couple of hours until we reached back to the base.
It was a long pending trip to visit Yana, though we visited Sirsi and Kumta very often, we couldn’t make it to Yana. It’s better late than never.
We quickly made our way to Mirjan Fort, which is around 30kms en route Gokarna. This is a Fort of historic ruins dating back to the 16th Century. It’s a huge and a mysterious fort surrounded by coconut plantations and you can sight the Aghnashini River flowing when you stand atop the walls of the fort. There are a couple of secret passages in the fort which is banned for visitors and any guesses to where those passages lead to? Nobody knows!!!
At Mirjan Fort
Inside Mirjan Fort
Panoramic View of Mirjan Fort
At the Historical Ruins of Mirjan Fort
I Had been to this Fort a few years ago and wanted to explore it again this time. This fort is just a kilometer detour from the main highway NH66.
We then went back to Kumta, had our lunch at Hotel Sanman and went back to our Hotel Room. After a few hours of rest at the hotel, we went to the temple of our Family Deity Shanteri Kamakshi and attended the family function on the following day; Sunday.
The pooja at our Home Deity Temple
After a good time spent with my family, relatives, and cousins; my parents took the bus back to Belgaum and I boarded the night bus to Bangalore.
Useful information on how to reach Kumta and other things to do.
Nearest Railway Station: Kumta
Nearest Airports: Bangalore, Mangalore, Goa, Hubli, and Belgaum
Road Connectivity: Kumta is a Taluka on the NH66 having ample bus connectivity from Karwar, Mangalore, and Hubli.
Food and cuisines famous here: Have the seafood at Hotel Moonlight and Gadbad Ice-cream at the ice-cream parlor (Shimla Ice-Cream Parlor) besides the Hotel Moonlight.
Things to do: Kumta Beach, Baada Beach, Yana, Mirjan Fort, Gokarna, Murdeshwar, Boat Ride through Aghnashini River and a list of temples on the Car Street in Kumta.
I have pledged not to Trash my Travel and keep the environment and ecology as you love to see. Have you promised the same ?
Stay safe, always be happy, keep traveling, You only have ONE life, live it to the fullest !!!
Until next time.
Also visit: Family Trip to Sirsi and Banavasi