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Karwar is an important port city of Karnataka and serves as a Naval base too. It lies on the north western corner of Karnataka where the state shares a border with Goa. So it seemed like fun to drive all the way up to the border. Like I said in the previous post, for me, this trip to the west coast was like filling that gap between Kerala and Goa.

We didn't stay in Karwar during the trip. It was Gokarna that was our base for a few days. After the scenic drive along National Highway 17 (NH-17), when we got to Karwar, the kids were still fast asleep in the back seat. That was when we thought we'd drive up to the end of the state. On the way we crossed Kali Bridge that connects the banks of the Kali River. The Kali River, which originates in the Western Ghats flows into the Arabian Sea here in Karwar.

The area near the bridge is scenic. If you are passing by, it would be great to stop here and take in the vistas:  there's the massive Kali River joining the Arabian Sea, and the Devbagh Island on one side and on the other, is a river island (the person watching Devbagh's jetty told me it was called the Kali Island) sitting smug in the Kali River.

While we were in Karwar, we also stopped by the INS Chapal and had a look inside it. INS Chapal is a warship-turned-Maritime museum stationed just off Rabindranath Tagore Beach. Inside we saw the ship's mess, the officers's bunks, the bridge, the main engine, the places where the officers on duty answered nature's calls and all that. Now where have I seen this before? Aha! the SS Jeremiah O'Brien in SF. Oh my! that's another post that still hasn't gone up, it's not even in the drafts. My list of places visited and still not documented on this blog is only getting longer but that doesn't stop me from tripping. ;)

Coming back to the Indian Warship, here is a quick look into the INS Chapal. I particularly liked the life size figures that are on exhibit. I had read about it when I was doing my pre-trip homework but then it slipped off my mind while I was actually on the ship so I'm not lying when I say I got a start when I got to one of the cabins and saw a handsome gentleman in uniform peering at me.

After getting some education at the warship, we decided to have an easy evening at Ravindranath Tagore Beach and watch the sun set and allow sonny boy to do what he likes doing most -- playing in the sand.

From the warship and from the Beach, Karwar showed us all the islands that lie just off this port city - Kurumgud, Madhyalingad and Devgad islands. And in the evening when the sun was on its way down, they made such grand silhouettes out at sea turning the area into a very pretty picture.

A Karwar sunset
Before we left the seaside, we had an excuse to drive into the heart of the city. Our baby no.2 then a 11 month old had lost a part of her earing and if we didn't find something for those little ears, we would have had to put ourselves through the torture of another ear piercing. Thus we got a peek at Karwar's shopping district, although it was not part of the original plan.

Places we did not visit that you might be interested in:

  • Sadashivgad Fort
  • Children's Aquarium.

Linking to the meme
Our World 

Westward Bound: Both -- the sun and Columbia River.
(The Columbia River flows westward and empties itself in the Pacific Ocean)

A late evening shot from the Interstate Bridge on I-5.
The Columbia River, which flows here plays the border between the states of Washington and Oregon.

The above pictures were shot on a cell phone camera, and from a moving car; I just had to catch that late-evening light and that irresistible scene before we passed all of it. 

Linking to the meme -- 
Catching Light

You might also like the post on the scenic drive through Columbia River Gorge--
One mighty river gorge, two scenic routes and umpteen vistas

 Come, Trip with us. ;) 

PS: I'm travelling and may take a li'l longer to reply to comments and visit your blogs. Have a great week, everyone. :)

Just before the curtains fell on 2014, we went on our last trip for the year, to make sure the year ended on a 'high' note ( read tipsy note).

Still in 'Discover Karnataka mode' and in  road-trip mood, this time the plan was to drive along Karnataka's coast.

Our road-trip-along the coast started in Gokarna but we drove up to Karwar, from there. And we went the whole nine-yards by driving up till the Goa border and then driving all the way down to Surathkal near Mangalore.

Between Karwar in Uttar Kannada and Surathkal in Dakshina Kannada, we made stops in Gokarna, Kumta, Honnavar, Bhatkal, Ottinane, made a quick mini trip to Kollur and got back to the coast and then set foot in Marvanthe, Malpe and did another drive into Udupi- the town.

Although we toured the INS Chapal, a warship docked in Karwar and did a walk through Mirjan Fort in Kumta, treated our taste buds to some Bhatkal Biryani and all that, this trip was mostly about beach-hopping along the Karnataka's coast. It was about catching some sunsets and realising how much of the bounty that nature blessed the southernmost part of the west coast  with, extended into the state neighbouring it in the north.

The coconut palms, the terracotta tiled roofs and even the countryside along the coast looked not quite unlike what we are used to see along Kerala's coast. Now that Karnataka's coast can be safely checked off the list, it was nice to drop some pins in the gap between Kerala and Goa as far as our 'been-there travel map' is concerned. Wasn't that a holiday well spent!

Beach-Hopping along the Karanataka Coast

For a while now, I've been posting pictures '#FromTheRoad' on Tipsy from the TRIP's facebook page hoping to provide some vicarious travel for the followers. While we beach-hopped along Karnataka's coastline, these were the pictures that went up on the page. Now these images are mobile phone photographs and so, not the best, but a quick-look at the stops we made along the route.

From North to South -- that is -- from Karwar to Surathkal, here they are:

Rabindranath Tagore Beach, Karwar
Rabindranath Tagore Beach, Karwar, Karnataka

Om Beach, Gokarna.
Om Beach, Gokarna.

Kudle Beach, Gokarna
Kudle Beach, Gokarna

Murudeshwar Beach, Murudeshwar.

Ottinene Beach, Udupi dt.
Ottinene Beach, Udupi dt.

Marawanthe Beach
Marawanthe Beach, Udupi  dt.

Malpe Beach, Udupi
Malpe Beach, Udupi dt.
Surathkal Beach, Surathkal, Dakshina Kannada

Coming soon: More details and better pictures from all those foot-stops along the Karnataka Coast. Keep tripping with us. :)
The Lights and Shades-of-Grey edition:

As I went through my travel albums I found that I had more photographs from that morning's (read post- Utah's Rocky Deserts -I) Amtrak journey through Utah. It was interesting to see how light played on the rocks and bushes and created shadows as it rose.

So here is another post of Utah's rocky deserts catching the morning light. I decided to go black and white this time, to keep monotony at bay and to show you what the light does to the landscape. So here are the pictures of the semi arid-area in black and white and several shades of grey:

Linking to the meme -- 

If you missed the previous post which was in 'colour, you might want to check it out here --


Every now and then, I have what I call 'travel cravings.' Sometimes I crave the seas; sometimes, the mountains; and sometimes, forests. I recently had this strong desire to see some art-on-stone (that's not something that happens very often). And I couldn't ignore it. Hubby was game for it so we buckled up the little ones in the back seat and drove to what might be a destination getting popular by the day -- Lepakshi.

Lepakshi might be in the state of Andhra Pradesh (or Seemandhra) but it's just about 120 kilometres away from Bengaluru and so it's fast becoming a favourite among day trippers in the city (Move over, Mysore and Chikkaballapura (read Nandi Hills) ;) ).

Lepakshi is a small town in AP's Ananthapura District. For some time now it has been attracting people from India's Silicon Valley and other parts. The attractions here are a few temples and whole lot of admirable sculpture in granite.

What left me tipsy at the end of the day were the ornate pillars of the Veerabhadra Temple in Lepakshi. Built in the Vijaynagar style of architecture this temple is quite a display of pillars, sculpture and paintings of another era.

Pillared Hall, Lepakshi
The entrance into the second enclosure of the temple. And the pillared Hall


Ranga Mantapa ceiling, Lepakshi
The sculptured ceiling of the Dance Hall
Pillars and murals, Lepakshi
The pillared hall and the murals on the ceiling.
Wedding Hall, Lepakshi
Pillars of the Kalyana Mantapa (wedding hall).
Talking of pillars there's one that must get a special mention. This is the famous Hanging Pillar. Now if you haven't read about it or don't have somebody showing it to you, you would probably pass it off as just another of those sculptured pillars of the Veerabhadra temple. Having heard about it, I thought this one might be the pillar that everybody crowded about. Let me say, I was wrong. First of all, there weren't a whole lot of visitors and devotees in the temple premises even though it was a Sunday.

After walking around the temple and taking in all its sights-of-stone it stuck me that I had missed the pillar. And I couldn't leave with out seeing the celebrated column. Spotting a lady who seemed to know her way around the temple, I thought she was the one to approach. She was a local and seemed to know only Telugu. However, she gathered what I was trying to tell her in Kannada and through gestures and in the language she knew she directed me to it. As I was taking a good look at it, she came by, spread a towel on the floor and moved it toward the foot of the pillar. It easily slid through and went through a good part of what was supposed to the be bottom of the pillar. That was testimony to the fact that the pillar wasn't for the most part attached to the floor of the pillared hall in which it stands.

Hanging Pillar - 1, Lepakshi
The Hanging Pillar
bottom of hanging pillar, Lepakshi
The bottom of the Hanging Pillar
Proof - Hanging pillar, Lepakshi
A towel being slid below the pillar; that's proof that this pillar is not attached to the floor.
Lepakshi has a connection with the great Indian epic Ramayana, and even owes its name to it. It is believed that after abducting Sita from the forest, Ravana and Sita came this way on the way to Lanka.

Later Lord Rama, while looking for his wife, is said to have came this way too. They say it was here on these rocks that the exiled king encountered a wounded and dying Jatayu. Rama supposedly uttered the words 'Le pakshi,' (meaning 'get up, bird') to the badly injured Vulture who tried to fight Ravana. And that is the story behind 'Lepakshi'

Durga Padam
Durga Padam or Sita's Foot.
Sita is said to have set foot here on the way to Lanka. And this is the mark of that.
Ganesha, Lepakshi
This Ganesh (elephant headed god) is another attraction at this temple.
Nagalinga, Lepakshi
The Naga Linga.
They say that the naga (the snake) was carved while the sculptors waited for their mother to make lunch.
kitchen, Lepakshi
The kitchen where the sculptors' food was said to have been prepared.
Viroopanna's eyes
The eyes of Viroopanna.
The story: The builder Virupanna and the ruler are said to have had a misunderstanding on the temple funds or something like that, on which the King ordered his eyes to be removed. Virupanna on hearing this decided to do the job himself. He is believed to have pulled out his eyes and thrown it against a temple wall. These two marks on the wall are said to be a mark of the blood from his eyes.

The Monolithic Nandi 

This Nandi is like the Welcome-to-Lepakshi sign. It's the first thing you see when you enter this small town. With a height of 4.5 meters and a length of 8.23 metres, it is believed to be the biggest monolithic Nandi.

Nandi, Lepakshi

Linking to the meme-- 
Our World

One morning in Utah's rocky desert-land.
The dry land watching the sun on its way up. 
And catching some early morning light.
And my lens was busy catching the landscape catching the light.
These pictures are from a moving train.
Utah's dry side, its canyons and rock forms and all, was like a grand treat for my eyes and my camera. And the morning light that shone on the landscape made it a grander.
Thank you for the votes, Indibloggers.

Linking to the meme --


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