This is a 20 days road trip from Bengaluru and back covering lots of places. To give a detailed depiction of the places covered, it is divided into parts. . . Stay tuned for the next excerpt coming soon !
Both my husband & I crazily decided to go on a long roadtrip, something unlike anything we’ve done before . . . and crazy awesome it turned out to be ! We went from Bengaluru – Halebeedu – Belur – Chikamagalur – Sringeri – Gokarna – Badami – South Goa – North Goa – Bengaluru in a span of 20 days !
Having watched loads of Hollywood movies where friends went on road trips – neverending roads and sceneries to treasure, I have always had it on my Bucket List and finally I was going on one !!
We planned out the duration and booked most places in advance as the trip started in December End and we didn’t not want to risk not having a place for the night .
Day 1 – Starting Point : Bengaluru
Distance from Bengaluru to Belur – Halebidu is 220km by road and takes around 4-5 hours to cover.
Leaving at 7:30 from home we managed to exit the city in an hour thankfully ! The route till Kunnigal was filled with acres & acres of farmland intervalled by small settlements and tiny water bodies. Swathi Delicacy in Kunnigal has been our all time preferred stopover. Clean washrooms, delicious food & excellent service unfortunately meant cramped parking lot. Being wedding season, people were on their way to their native places. Having our teas we got back on the road.
Off we went listening to my list of Bollywood songs, Mumbai girl that I am 🙂 Although i have lived in Bengaluru for a while i still am a Mumbaikar at heart. Being a Bangalorean himself my hubby does not care for desi music but he had no choice . . hahaha
So enjoying the never-ending stretches of plantations and hilly areas on both sides we headed towards Belur. The greenery a soothing balm to our city weary eyes. . .
Listening to my husband disrupting the flow of music to educate me with the history of the places we were passing by, we carried on. My husband is a history buff with a vast knowledge of Karnataka’s history. Even though I’ve always found textbook history boring, it’s endearing to watch him talk so passionately about the state he has lived in for most of his life, so i don’t disturb him 🙂 .
Paying toll after toll after toll we proceeded on the extremely well maintained roads. Zigzagging across the road, overtaking the numerous vehicles we went on, looking forward to the adventures awaiting us.
In the distance I spot windmills on the hills, signalling the start of Hassan. Crossing Hassan we head towards Belur, now listening to Grunge music(sigh ! ) thanks to my husband. Wind energy & solar power trying to be utilized as much as possible in many places like Chitradurga in Karnataka and hence the windmills.
Yawning my way though some more grunge music we headed on. . .
As Halebidu (also known as Halebeedu) comes first enroute we headed there. Had heard alot about the beautiful temple carvings from my husband and was curious to see it.
On entering the gates my first impression was that it looks just like any other ancient temple you get to see at Hampi. Being a stone temple it tends to look dull and dark from a distance.
Unfortunately for us it seemed to be a ‘Trip to Belur-Halebidu’ Day for many of the nearby schools. The place was cramped to the limit which made us want to turn tail and run ! But since we were already there we decided to give it a shot. We were surprised to find out that the temple was active! An active Shiva Temple. And boy were we happy that we had entered the temple! The carvings on the wall were unlike anything I’ve seen before!
Such exquisite detailed carvings on the walls, just blows your mind away. Levels and levels of carvings running continuously from one wall to the other all around the temple!
Each layer told a story, stories of Ramayana, stories of Gods & Goddesses, stories of wars. Each figure carved on the walls with a lot of effort, skill and patience. Every piece as beautiful or more than the previous one. So fascinating are the carvings that you could spend all day staring at them.
2 giant Nandi Statues were placed in a covered area with similar carvings. There is also an Archaeological Museum in the vicinity which is closed on Fridays, unfortunately for us, the day we went there.
In front of the museum stood a tall statue of Mahavir in all its glory against a green backdrop. Finally we left from there wishing we could have stayed longer, but as were on a tight schedule that day we headed for Belur.
We reached Belur in an hour. Belur is a larger temple complex. The temple is called Channakeshwara Temple.
The entrance to this temple reminded me of the entrance to the Virupaksha Temple of Hampi.
Like Halebidu, Belur is also an active temple. An active Krishna temple.
Belur & Halebeedu temples do have a few similarities but mostly they are quite different visually. The carving techniques used for both are not the same. Belur even has ancient Kannada scriptures written on some walls.
Personally i feel the carvings at the Halebeedu Temple were more stunning as compared to Belur Temple, so if you are short of time and can visit only one of them then you know which one to visit 🙂
We then reached Chikmagalur by 4 pm . . To read about Chikmagalur please check the link – RoadTrip-Part 2 : Chikmagalur