EP 15 Yellapur to Murudeshwar | Yaana caves, Vibhuti falls, Kumta handicrafts
Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host Harish Bali. We are in Yellapur right now and today we are travelling to Murudeshwar. We will reach Murudeshwar by the evening, of course, after stopping at different places on the way. First of all we are going to visit Vibhuti Falls. Then we will go to Yaana Caves, which is 8 km from the Falls.
From there we will move on to Murudeshwar. Right now, as I told you, we are in Yellapur. The temperature of this place, versus that of the coastal region,... ....comprising of areas like Mangalore, Udupi, Murudeshwar and beyond.. ... is at least 5-6 degrees variable. There is a cool breeze blowing right now, which feels good. The time is 6.30 am and date is 7th December.
We've reached the Vibhuti Falls. Look at the surroundings, this environment is so peaceful. We need to purchase the entry ticket, priced at Rs. 10 per person. After that, we need to walk for a kilometer to reach the Falls. I am really liking the way leading to the Falls.
Look at this path! Wow! There are trees, overground roots, soil, stones, in fact, I can see roots everywhere. Look at how far these roots have grown from the tree. We have walked about half a kilometer. From here, I can hear the sound of the Falls, but cannot see them.
If I ignore the blue sky, and look around me, full 360 degrees... ...I can only see greenery around me. Tall trees, total green surroundings. Walking on this path has made me very happy.
Absolutely natural environment, it feels good to be here Wow! That is wonderful! This looks great! Let us go up these stairs. You can see this large waterfall, in which the water is falling down... ...from the bigger mountains down the smaller ones and then these rocks... ...before accummulating here and then flowing further in this direction. They have installed a railing here, beyond which we cannot go. So, we will have to appreciate this natural breauty from this place itself.
We enjoyed our Falls visit immensely. The time is 9.30 am and our next destination is Yaana Caves, 7-8 km from here. So, let us go to Yaana Caves. We travelled from the Vibhuti Falls, through a mix path, through dense forest, etc...
....and after a 40-minute drive, we've reached the parking lot at Yaana Caves. We have to walk for 500 m more in this direction. We will visit the caves, come back here and then leave for Kunta. How far is Kunta from here by road? Sir, 65 km. 65 km from here. Alright. But when we checked on Google Maps, it showed Kunta to be 30 km away from Yaana Caves. That must be some other route then.
Yes, must be. Hmm. That is another route, but we will be taking this route. This is not the link road, thus, it is longer. Got it! Thank you brother! Anyways, we will start walking to the Caves. The area, where we are travelling right now, is the Sahayadri range in the Western Ghats.
Oh Wow! Look at this rock formation! These rock formations are pointed at the tip and beautiful to look at. There is another formation in this direction but... ...it is against the sunlight, so we won't be able to see it properly. But this one is a beauty and clearly visible. Lovely! I have been looking at these huge rock formations for the past 10-15 minutes. It is feeling so good to observe these rocks that I don't want to look anywhere else.
Superb view! Wonderful! Let us go on. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva inside this huge rock formation. We went inside and had the darshan of the deity. We cannot show you the inner sanctum because videography is prohibited.
Lord Shiva is present here in the "Bhriveshwara" form. This idol of Lord Shiva appeared on its own here, nobody has created or placed it here. The temple priest told us that throughout the year, water keeps dripping, one drop at a time... ....over the Shiv Ling here, whether it rains or not. We will take a round of this Cave from inside and then meet you here. Such a huge structure! This is where we will start our Parikrama! Super huge! I've never seen such type of rock structure formation in my life. This 'Shikhar' (summit) is known as "Bhairaveshwara shikhar".
In other words, Lord Shiva's Shikhar. And the Shikhar that we saw earlier is called "Mohini Shikhar. You must've heard the ancient tale of the demon Bhasmasur and Lady Mohini,... ...in which Bhasmasur turned himself into ash by placing his hand over his own head. The priest also told me about a local belief inspired by that story.
The locals believe that since Bhasmasur turned to ashes in this place, due to that... ...the soil of this area is black in color Marvellous! There are a total of 61 big and small rock formations around Yaana Caves. Right now, you are looking at the Bhairaveshwar Shikhar and right in front of it is Mohini Shikhar.
These are the two most prominent Shikhars, while the rest are of different sizes. We've come back to the place where we had parked our car. I've found out that in order to go to Kumta from the caves....
...I would need to walk back to Yaana village, which is 1.5-2 km away. From there you'll get a ride to Kumta. And if you ride your own vehicle, you will get down there and then come to Yaana caves We came to this side because we were coming from Yellapur. Now Kunta will be 65 km from here.
We've also been told that there is no mobile network in this area. Alright, so we will leave here, in the direction of Kunta. We've reached the Mirjan Fort. You are looking at the exterior of the fort. You can go inside the fort, without having to pay any entry fees.
In this description, at the entrance, there is no reference to when the fort was built. However, it is written here that this fort was built by Shareef-ul-Mulk, who was ruling Ponda... Now, we'll go inside. Wow! It looks beautiful from up here. I was reading some additional information about the Fort. It is said that the Queen of Vijayanagar ruled here for 54 years and lived here as well.
We've reached the top of the fort. I can see the whole fort from here. On this side of the fort, there is greenery everywhere. I can see a well here. After the end of Vijayanagar empire, this place was ruled by the Bijapur Sultans. For some time, Marathas also ruled over here.
And after everyone else, came the Britishers. To visit a fort like this, you must take a guided tour because... ...the way a guide explains everything, or takes you to specific spots... ...helps you to understand and visualise the context of the fort better. But I think, since this place is not thronged by tourists, they don't have guided tours here. So, to understand the context and history of this fort, you can either read the information on this board or... ...look up some online resources. There is cool breeze blowing, so standing here on top feels good.
Looking at the condition of this fort, one may feel that it could be better maintained but.... ....this is again a natural environment. I would definitely advice that if you are travelling on this route,... ...you must spend some time here. You will definitely enjoy this place.
One more thing, you just need to deviate half a km from the highway to reach here... ...so, it is not too long a detour as well. Just before we reach Kunta, we are passing over this bridge. Just look at how beautiful this Aghanashini river looks! Awesome view! This river originates in Sirisi. I remember when we visited Gokarna, Estuary Point, to be precise...
...we saw the confluence of this river and the Arabian Sea. As soon as we reached Kunta, I saw this hotel Pandurang International. There is a restaurant next to it, where we will eat our lunch and then continue our journey. The main seating space of this restaurant is towards outside but that was full. They have arranged a table for us separately and there is no one else sitting here. Let me describe my meal to you.
Dahi (curd), Kheer (rice pudding), Rasam (appetizer), Sambhar,... ....mixed vegetable curry, a dry vegetable curry, pickles, poori and rice. We often eat Kundru at home too. But this taste is different because it has raw coconut, coconut oil and light spices in it. This dish, made of Moong dal, potates in coconut gravy, also has a very simple taste. They've also used Moong sprouts, along with Moong dal, in this dish! I am really liking its taste! I haven't had rasam yet.
Look at the texture of rasam! In the past few days of my travel, I've noticed that people prefer to eat rice with rasam... ...instead of rice with sambhar. That is what I've noticed in a few restaurants. Good! Less on chilies, high on sourness! Overall good! What is the name of this dish? We call it Koot locally! I really liked the taste of this Koot. In the restaurants in Mangalore and Udupi, boiled rice is usually served in the meals but...
....once you cross Udupi, you won't get as much boiled rice. Sambhar is okay! I mean overall decent taste. What I liked the most about this meal is this vegetarian curry. I liked it so much that I ordered a second helping of it for myself. Along with this dry dish, these two curries have become my new favorites.
OKay, so I will finish my lunch as I enjoy it. After that, I'll taste the kheer. Usually, we make kheer with rice. But here, they've added maida (refined flour) noodles into milk to make this kheer. What is different about this kheer is these small bits of maida noodles in milk. One more thing that I've noticed in the past few days is that every sweet dish has clove in it.
I can feel the flavor of clove in this kheer as well. Overall good place! The cost of this meal is Rs 95. They also offer additional servings. The place is clean and hygienic. It was a good decision to eat here.
Now we are going to the Kunta market. There, we will see the famous Kunta handicrafts. I will join you again in a few minutes. There is a lane called Gudigal lane in Kunta. There are a lot of people here who work in handicrafts. We came across this shop called "Mahalasa Kala Kendra."
Let us go and find out what kind of handicrafts they sell. I have with me the shop owner. Namaste! Namaskar Sir! He told us that the handicraft business in Kunta is 200-250 years old. And this shop was launched by his father approximately 88 years ago. Correct! Those are a lot of years Sir! We want to check out a few handicraft designs that you sell. This piece is called "Relaxing Ganpati" and in this, Lord Ganpati is in a relaxing position.
This piece is made in wood that doesn't crack and doesn't rot. The botanical name of this wood is "Malina Arborea." What is the price of this piece? It would be around Rs. 38,000. Can we see some designs made in Teak wood? This is an idol of Sai Baba in Teak wood. Really good! Can we see some of these designs? This is an idol of Lord Krishna. This is a beautiful idol.
Is it made in sandalwood (chandan)? This has been carved out of a single piece of sandalwood. Single piece! Yes, single piece. You can see, it has intricate work done on the backside as well. There is such intricate work all over the statue and it costs Rs. 95,000. It takes about 3-3.5 months to finish this statue.
Sandalwood is in any case costlier. Yes, it is very costly. It is looking beautiful! This is also in single piece wood. It has elephants carved upon it. This is another object made out of single piece wood & it is preferred by Japanese and Chinese people. This is a creative piece, which most Indians also like to use for Vastu reasons.
Happy Man! Yes, it is called Happy Man! Or it is also called the Laughing Buddha! We've come to visit Sir's unit, where all the work takes place. To be very frank, I am highly impressed with a couple of things here. First and foremost, whatever work you showed us, that is done in single piece wood... ....is highly intricate and fine. Correct! It isn't an easy job. People who have been doing this for past generations are able to accomplish it.
If you ask someone to learn it today, that would be very difficult. Second thing is this chair that he showed me. I remember a while ago, when I was looking to buy a similar chair for my home...
....I could not find any chair cheaper than Rs 20,000-22,000. But here, the cost of this chair, made in teakwood, is Rs. 10,000. The wholesale rate is even cheaper, at Rs. 8,500. Sir, you have a large set up. Yes, all due to grace of God Look at this beautiful chariot.
One thing that I noticed is that some of your carvings are of divine figures - Gods and Goddesses. Apart from that, you have other items too, which have been carved out of wood. Correct! This is a chariot on which the idol is placed and taken out in a religious procession. It is called 'Ambari.' Rath (chariot) is called Ambari locally.
I had seen a similar, but huge, rath in Gokarna as well. Just imagine, this work has been going on for the past 88 years, started by your father. It was a good experience to visit you. We, as well as our viewers, learned a lot about Kumta handicrafts at from you.
Kumta is 200 km away from Mangalore and about 150 km from the Goa airport. Sir, thank you very much for taking out time for us! Namaste! Namaste! After travelling 30 km straight from Kumta, we've reached the Apsara-Kunda waterfall. This is the parking. We need to go into this direction.
We've reached near the waterfall, after walking down 40-50 stairs. This waterfall is not very huge, just a small one. But if you want to take a dip, you can do that easily.
You would enjoy standing below the waterfall for a few moments. I am not in the mood for a bath right now, otherwise... ...whenever I see a waterfall, I love to take a dip in it. We will spend 5-10 minutes here and then go back. After watching the Falls, we came back up the stairs and reached here.
Now we are going to another viewpoint, called Apsara-Konda beach viewpoint. The beach viewpoint is right there and we've already purchased the entry ticket at Rs. 10 per person. We will go there and then, on to another tourist attraction. The sea is at least 300-350 m away from this point. Though one cannot see the beach view from here, but there is ample of seaview to be enjoyed. The only advantage of this point is its different perspective since it is located at a height.
In the past 15 days, I've already seen beaches from different angles,... ...therefore, I hope you'll understand why I am not very excited about this view. But still, you can visit here once for 5-10 minutes. Let us now go to another viewpoint.
This viewpoint is closer to the earlier one, and from here, we are a little closer to the beach. And we are enjoying this seaview. There is also a garden here, with a few benches, where you can sit and relax.
Talk with your companions and appreciate the beauty around you. We will continue our journey after another few minutes.