My trip to Sringeri.

August 7, 2006

I share with u my experience of my trip to a wonderful place called Sringeri. I hope u enjoy it as much as I did. Read on…


We had plans to visit this gr8 place, from quite a long time. The day of our trip was fixed to be 6th august, 2006 (Sunday). Sandeep and I, had it planned pretty well. So everything was set, for what was going to be really an exciting jaunt.

On the day of the trip, I got up @ 5:30 in the morning, and after the usual rituals, I left my house at about 6:25 A.M. I went straight to Sandeep’s house. I found him almost finished with his preps as well. When we finally set out, it was about 6:35 A.M.

We reached the bus stop of Amaravthi colony, @ about 6:40 A.M. But to our gr8 dismay, we couldn’t get a single bus to Harihar. We had waited there for almost, 25+ minutes, only to see buses plying to Davangere, and none towards Harihar. (Except a few express buses, that don’t stop @ my place.) Finally, we had fortunes favoring us, when my friend Virupakshi, dropped us to the bus stand. It was a nice little ‘trips ride’. We thanked Virupakshi for his timely help and boarded a bus to shimoga, which was about to leave.

The bus left for Shimoga @ about 7:15 A.M. We had our tickets issued for shimoga, (it costs 41 bucks from Harihar), a place which is about 72+ kilometers from Harihar and takes about 2hrs by bus, to reach. I and Sandeep were awake till late night, the previous day, (I am a real internet geek and a perfect nocturnal creature!!!). So both of us needed the much needed nap. So we effortlessly crept in to nap. All the way till Honnali, we slept unperturbed and even the pathetic roads till Honnali, couldn’t wake us up from our ‘deep naps’.

It was about 8:15 A.M., when we reached Honnali, were a few college students got in to our bus, and a few others got down, as it was their destination. The wheels of the bus were back, rolling towards shimoga and so were our minds, towards completion (naps) of an undesired, abrupt interruption. I personally hate such abrupt disturbances, from a sound nap. It’s aftermath almost simulates a hallucination. But nevertheless, I had no time to blame anybody, so slept again.

It was about 9:15 A.M approximately, when I ‘got up’ to senses, along with my friend, Sandeep. We guys were really feeling rejuvenated after that nice nap. Soon after that we got down from the bus @ shimoga bus stand and headed towards, hotel Ashoka, for a quick break fast. My friend was really hungry, coz he had told me that, he sleept without a supper the previous night.

At about 9:30 A.M. we left for Sringeri, our final destination, in a bus we boarded @ the private bus stand. These are the buses, which are the ‘frequent fliers’ to Sringeri. We took the route of Shimoga – Thirthalli – Sringeri. We were told that, we would be @ Sringeri, by 12:30 P.M., (the tickets cost 55 – 58 bucks) a good 3hrs of journey by bus. It had been raining for quite a while I guess in shimoga, coz we could see its ‘impressions’ every where. But as of then, it was bright and clear, a nice environ for some one to set out for a trip

Just to keep us engaged during the travel, Sandeep got two English dailies, TOI and The Hindu. I took TOI and read it for a while, I happen to read article about “WWW … “, it was about the World Wide Web, and its contribution in making our lives better. August, 06, 2006 happens to be the 15th ‘anniversary’ of this technology. Hats off to those gr8 minds, if not for their ‘WWW’ technology, I would not have been able to register my experiences in my blog and you wouldn’t have been reading it.

I also happen to read about a nice article on ‘blogging trends in Indians’. It had meticulously highlighted, with stats, the trend of blogging in Indians, who off late seem to have been smitten, by this bug called ‘blogs’ (for a better cause though). It also emphasized on the need for medium like blog, where u get to share your views points with Lakhs of people out there. It also mentioned the names of few blogging sites. It also mentioned the goals of a blog, i.e. to reach an audience and making oneself ‘heard’

After reading a few more articles in TOI, about Negative attitude or something, we exchanged the papers. I now got in to Hindu. It also had an article about blogs, though it focused more on journalism evolution via blogs. I also read something about friendship day. The rest was those normal stuff u get in a daily.

Both the articles for sure proved beyond doubt that blogs are now more than just a trend. It was proved during the Mumbai blasts and showed that a blog can be something just an online dairy. I am, for sure a have become a ‘victim’ of this mania of blogs. It has given me a medium to speak my heart out, and put across my feelings opines, opinions and. It really seems to have taken me in one stride!!!

I finally got myself out of these newspapers, only to find that weather had been playing “hide & seek” game. Yes it had begun to drizzle again. I just lazed in my seat and waited to reach Tirthalli, an intermediate destination. We finally reached Thirthalli, at about 11:10 A.M. We were told that, we had to wait another 45 minutes, coz a bus to Sringeri, from there, had not yet arrived. (Then I was acknowledged by the driver, a similar situation was usual on Sunday). Damn it!!! Suddenly all our plans seemed to be crashing. Coz even the fastest bus, (on this route) would drop u to Sringeri, nowhere within 1:45 P.M. and that meant a closed door @ the temple and a denial of ‘darshanam’ of goddess “Saradhamba”, until 5:00 P.M.

We just lolled around for a while and some how ‘killed the time’. It was finally about 11:50 A.M., when we left Thirthalli. But I tell u these guys, don’t leave the place until, they have a full bus. But they somehow keep up their time for sure. (God knows how …) The bus finally left for Sringeri @ 12:15 P.M, with a projected target time of 1:45 P.M., to reach Sringeri. We just had remotely begun to sense that, we would have to re-plan the whole trip.

The bus blazed through the cold winds of malanadu, amidst the rains, which by now had become torrent. Myself and Sandeep might have cursed the travel guy, a zillion times, only to get a false assurance from him that we could make it easily and have darshanam @ Sringeri. Then we just slipped in to short nap. I found myself awake, @ about 1:10 P.M, near a place “Gudda kere”. The travel guy told us that he was waiting for an agent, to submit, the collection details. It was still slightly pouring, not with the previous intensity though. Finally the ‘travel agent’ arrived and the bus was back on its journey, rushing its way through, all odds of “Nature, the almighty!”.

All though way through, we were seated in the last row of the bus, (my favorite place in a bus). We just had a ‘nice experiences’, nothing less than being in a roller coaster. The rains only seemed to aggravate in intensity and showed no signs of ‘calming down’. I was worried coz; I had ignorantly turned down my father’s idea of carrying an umbrella. Now I was here, repenting my ostentatious behavior of proving that I don’t need any advice from anybody.

We had another stop @ some place, I don’t remember the place though, @ about 1:25 P.M., for a tea break. (I dunno if it was the right time to have one). Soon the driver got back and I heard the conductor say, “Right right …”.Now I was anxiously worrying about the weather @ Sringeri. Bcoz rains in “malanadu” are mercilessly intense and u can’t commit a bigger blunder than being here without an umbrella. So I was waiting for those rains to stop.

Goddess, Saradambha, seems to have heard my prayers, and the weather, was undergoing a transition, all the time favoring us. We finally reached Sringeri; it was about 2:00 P.M. We hired an auto to the Sringeri temple, from the bus stop. We reached the temple and only found the doors of the temple closed. We stood there for a while, just gazing at it and also cursed our bad luck. Here was no way out, we had to stay back till 5:00 P.M. So in the mean time we thought of watching the river, Tunga, which seemed to be on full flow.

Sringeri is located amidst the Sahyadri hills (Western Ghats) in Chikamaglur district of Karnataka, heart of “malandu”, on the left bank of the river Tunga. We headed towards it’s bank, where to my to my pleasant surprise, I found my friend Vishwanath, who happened to be there with his parents. We talked there for while, and appreciated the beauty of the place. The Temple stands on the left bank of river Tunga. The river was flowing with full glare and force. It’s really a gr8 treat to watch the river from the steps that lead back to the temple. The river bank (left bank) has a classic beau ideal, of a snake sheltering a frog in labor, from the scorching rays of tropical sunlight. A place where even natural animosities did not exist, inspired Adi Shankaracharya to install at
that place, the Goddess of learning, Sri Sarada. What a paragon isn’t it?

We took leave off my friend, and left for lunch. We had to lunch outside in an udupi hotel, something u can find in plenty here. I personally recommend, that u plz refrain from going to these hotels, unless it inevitable, for two reasons:

1. it’s relatively costly.
2. The food isn’t worth its pay (in terms of its quantity). A modest meal would cost u 15 -20 bucks and it hardly makes a luncheon.

The Sringeri matt, provides an excellent meal (& supper), to all its visitors. It starts from 11:30 A.M. & extends to 2:00 P.M. So make sure you are available within that time slot for a lunch, if u happen to be out there any time.

After the luncheon, we had still ample time left over; it was only 2:50 P.M. So Sandeep came up with an idea of ‘exploring’ the place. But it was still drizzling, and we waited for nearly 20+ min for it to stop. In the mean while, I called back to my home, to inform them about our ‘new plan’. Yes, we had now planned to wait till we got the darshanam and offered a small pooja @ the temple. So our return time now extended from 9:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M. (midnight). Sandeep also did the same.

After a while it stopped raining and we were out exploring the small town. We happen to purchase a nice photo of goddess Saradambha along with Guru Sri Adi Sankaracharya and Sri Bharati Theertha swamiji. Sandeep got himself a nice piece of art of goddess Saradambha and a few cards of the same. Then we got in to a cold drink stall and had a ‘Fanta’. That’s Sandeep, he is very uncanny and a ‘rebel’ in himself. It was his idea to have a cold drink in that cold & chilly weather, and as usual I had to concur.

It was about 3:40 P.M., when we returned to the premises of the temple. We now were able to hear a very nice voice, melodiously singing some classical songs. The voice seemed to pull us towards itself, much like a whirlpool. We got in to the hall, where we discovered that it was a musical performance, staged in commemoration of Vidhwan late Sri Kanchana V Murthy. We relished the musical treat, offered by a ‘brigade’ of girls. It was followed by another musical entertainer, a renowned classical singer from shimoga (don’t remember his name). I enjoyed them a lot. It was 4:55 when we left the hall, but the musical extravaganza was still on.

The temple re-opened @ exactly 5:00 P.M., (I must tell u these ppl are very particular about time) and we finally got the much awaited darshanam of goddess “Saradambha”. The golden image of Sarada was also installed then at the Sarada temple. The temple also houses ruby images of Venugopala and Srinivasa and a Nandi made out of a large pearl. Several inscriptions are seen in the temple, describing contributions made by the Vijayanagar emperors. It so spectacular to watch the goddess there. There is for something special about this place. It draws devotees from all round the country and even abroad. I liked the calmness and sanctity of the place. I have been here on 3 occasions before, and the fact that it nurtured such a rich culture and heritage for centuries, still fascinates me.

Then we visited The Vidyashankara temple, built in memory of Guru Vidyashankara or Vidyathirtha by Vidyaranya, with the aid of the Vijayanagar rulers in the 14th century. This temple combines the Hoysala and Dravida architectural features. It stands on a richly sculptured basement. There are six doorways leading into the temple. The twelve pillars in the mandapam are named the Raasi pillars, and are so arranged that the sun’s rays fall on each of them, in the order of the solar months. A perfect blend of science and spirituality.

One can also go to take the darchanam of Sri Bharati theertha swamiji, who reside on the other back of river Tunga. A bridge connects this end of the bank to a wonderful, ‘vanam’, full of lush greenery and calmness, on the other. We couldn’t go since the time of visit (on normal days) is from around 10:30 A.M to 12:30 P.M. and from 5:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. If not for the delay of our visit, we could have had the darshanam of swamiji as well.

We returned back to the Sarada temple, to offer a “Kunkumarchanam”. By about 6:00 P.M., we had finished with the pooja and we left the temple premises, half-heartedly. I wish I could have stayed there for some more time, but we had no other option and we had to return, coz we were getting late. We finally got a bus, to shimoga @ 6:15 P.M. The conductor of the bus, told us that we woud be there @ shimoga, by 9:15 P.M.

It was around 9:15 P.M., when we reached Shimoga. I must admit it again, these guys (private bus) are very particular about time and they proved it again. We had our supper, @ hotel Ashoka, (it adds to the list of those relatively costly hotels). I phoned my house to tell my parents about my “whereabouts”, and told them we would reach Harihar by 12:00 P.M.

Before we boarded, the Belgaum bus (these buses go to Belgaum via Harihar), Sandeep and I happened to talk to our friend, who informed us about the “campus recruitment status” and latest developments. We were happy to discover that 3 of our friends from E&C had got placed in Tech Mahindra. The bus left the Shimoga bus stand, by around 9:45 P.M.; we were back to Harihar, our final return destination.

I was all the thinking of this nice place and the fun we had there. We got a seat in the last row of the bus. (But I didn’t like about it was it had a thick film of the entire all the filth of the city. We just wiped it off and had to re-occupy it. It was a nice moonlit night and we wheeled ourselves towards Harihar.

I gracefully accepted an open invitation from goddess of sleep “Nidra Devi”. I had for the Nth time, in the whole journey crept in to another short nap.

It was finally 11:40 P.M, when we got up. We saw glimpses of the familiar buildings and the NH4 highway. Bus was cruising through, we were approaching our final destination, Harihar, my home town. It was exactly 11:50 P.M., when we got down from the bus and hired an auto back home. I reached my home finally by around 12:15 A.M.

The day for sure had turned out to be truely a memorable one. I had enjoyed every moment of it and relished my entire trip.


U can find a few nice pics(I got those pics from my friend and nice pics of the temple).


PS: The trip has left in me, a lingering feeling, one of total blissfulness.

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