In today’s networked and complicated world, it so easy to forget the basics while chasing our dreams. In search of shiny new toys, we forget simple joys and every once in a while, reality comes crashing down on you. You stop everything else and just sit down and drink in the moment. At that moment in time, there is only a single sound – the undulating rhythm of waves crashing against the shore.
Its like all your other senses are numb.
you can see but don’t really process whats in front of you.
you can feel the breeze but can’t really sense it’s gentle caress.
Golden rays light up the world around you but all you want to do is close your eyes and listen to that rythm – a gentle murmur that ebbs and flows. You feel it slowly seep up from your feet all the way to your head and all you can do is drift away in its embrace. It’s hard not to surrender to the emotion that lifts you up – Joy! Pure, simple, unadulterated joy that comes from surrendering to the stimuli around you and doing nothing to disturb the fragile balance that exists for a few precious moments. Nothing disturbs this peace but your own restlessness – that newly ingrained urge to pick up a device and capture the moment. Alas, the image you capture is a very pale imitation of the experience and in the headphone induced solitude of a cubicle, you wonder why you chose the ghost of an imitation over the real experience.
Last minute planning
Long weekend, old friends along with family, an urge to drive down to the coast – all of the above resulted in a furious few hours of homestay search on Gmaps. We always wanted to explore the coast line around Udupi and a few posts about Kodi Bengare piqued my interest. The search was focused around Udupi – Kundapura stretch and we stumbled upon Adigara Angala (Adiga’s Beach Village Homestay) located a few kms from Koteshwar. A quick phone call with Mr Adiga and stay was no longer an issue.
Plan was very simple – drive to the homestay, explore the coast, visit murudeshwar (few friends hadn’t been there), get back home. Decided to avoid Charmadi as we did not want to spend hours behind tankers & buses and hence decided to drive down via Belur – Chikmagalur – Sringeri – Agumbe – Goliangadi. We always thought that Aldur – Balehonnur was one of the best stretches of ghats in Karnataka that one can drive. Someshwara – Goliangady is another beautiful stretch of twisty tarmac – fast curves and minimal traffic. Abundance of tree cover and the silence all around makes it a very pleasant experience.
A friend of ours once mentioned that driving to him was like meditation – the focus on road ahead and single minded thought of moving forward making it a liberating experience. While we don’t fully agree with him, If a drive to meditate was on the cards, then the road through Someshwara sanctuary would be a prime candidate.
6 am start on 26th Jan morning, we made good time and were able to cross Agumbe just after noon, even after a 45 minute breakfast stop at Swathi Delicacy. Lunch was delicious neer dose and veg meals at Hotel Mayur, Someshwara. Don’t miss the Kokum juice if you happen to stop there for a bite. By 2.30 we had got off NH66 after crossing Koteshwar and entered the narrow lanes that would lead us to so many interesting places over the next few days
Our own private beach
We spent 26th Jan evening at Beejadi beach. Clean (if you ignore all the plastic that is washed ashore from the sea), quiet and secluded, this was the perfect place for us to end the day. Just a 10 minute walk from the homestay, this beach has a long stretch of almost white sands and a gentle slope that allows you to wade quiet a distance into the sea and enjoy the waves. Its perfect for families with kids to spend time enjoying nature in its almost pristine state without a lot of intrusion from locals or other tourists.
The other side of Murudeshwar
27th Jan was spent driving to and from Murudeshwar. The less said about the road conditions, the better. It took 2 hours to drive 70 kms from the homestay to Murudeshwar. The only pockets of joy were the few minutes spent at maravanthe and this isolated stretch of sand that we got to know about through Team BHP. We would have loved to watch the sunset from this stretch of the coast but shuddered at the thought of trucks/busses barreling down the 2 lane with high beams on. Hence drove back for 2 painfully agonizing hours and spent some time lazing in the courtyard of the homestay.
The original plan was to drive down to Kodi Bengare and watch the sunset but after 4 hours of torture on the road to murudeshwar, we really did not want spend another 2 hours on the road. The homestay manager mentioned a lighthouse nearby and hence we decided to visit the same. Kodi beach and Lighthouse turned out to be another surprise package as we had to drive on a arrow straight road with the sea on one side and coconut tree lined homes on the other. On the whole it was another evening well spent, far from the madding crowd.
Kodi beach did have more footfalls when compared to Beejadi beach and I guess the lighthouse is the primary cause for the same. We also did happen to see a few couples having their pre wedding/post wedding photo shoot at the beach. The grooms today do have to jump through a lot of hoops to keep their better halves happy.
The next day morning, we decided to drive further ahead from the lighthouse and explore the end of the road. The road ends at a construction site where a couple of walkways are being constructed. Not sure if these will be thrown open to the public, similar to the one at malpe. On the way back, we spotted a peacock strutting along the seashore looking for its morning snack.
Route & Road Conditions
Option 1: Nelamangala – Hassan – Chikmagalur – Sringeri – Agumbe – Someshwar – Goliangady – Halady – Koteshwar
Road conditions: Good to very good tarmac on the entire stretch except for a few places where culverts are being built. This route requires one to drive through 200 odd kms of Ghats, which is fun because of the greenery around and good roads. If you are traveling with folks who dont enjoy twisties, then Options 2 makes more sense. If you dont want to visit Sringeri, then the alternate route for bypassing Sringeri would be Nelamangala – Hassan – Chikmagalur – Jayapura – Narve – Hariharapura – Agumbe – Someshwar – Goliangady – Halady – Koteshwar
Approximate driving time: 7 – 7.5 hours of driving time (excluding breaks)
Option 2: Tumkur – Chitradurga – Channagiri – Shivamogga – Hosanagara – Nagara – Hulikal – Koteshwar
Road conditions: Good to very good tarmac on the entire stretch except for a small stretch between Channagiri – Shivamogga where road work is in progress. Hulikal ghat is also supposed to be in good conditions and this route has a much smaller section of ghats that need to be negotiated as compared to Option 1.
Approximate driving time: 8 hours of driving time (excluding breaks)
Thanks for reading and Happy Suttings!
Also do check out our post about Adiga’s Beach Village Homestay.