Tuesday, May 27, 2014

KODACHADRI

Kodachadri

Kodachadri is a mountain peak with dense forests (elevation - 1,343 metres above sea level) in the Western Ghats in South India(Shimoga Dist., Karnataka State). It is declared as natural heritage site by Government Karnataka.
The name comes from native word "Kodacha" or "Kodashi" which means hill of Kutaja flowers and "Adri" a Sanskrit word, both combined together coined the word Kodachadri. Kutaja in Sanskrit means Girimallika or Jasmine of the hill. The hilly region that is full of 'Jasmine of the hills' plants is "Kutajadri". It is also called "Kutachadri" and "Kodashi Parvatha"


Location

Kodachadri forms a background to the famous temple of Mookambika in Kollur. It is located at a distance of 21 km from Kollur and 15 km from Nagodi village, in Hosanagara taluk. There are different routes to reach the Peak of Kodachadri and the difficulty varies highly with respect to the route chosen. However it is challenging to reach the peak in monsoon due to heavy rains that make the routes slippery. Kodachadri receives an annual rain fall of 500 cm to 750 cm and it rains for about eight months in a year. Situated in the middle of the Mookambika National Park and considered as a biodiversity hotspot, it is home to several endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna. The peak is barren due to strong winds and the thick forest cover at the base makes the peak invisible from lower ground level and also several other smaller peaks and hills exist around the peak. The important animal life includeMalabar LangurMalabar Pied HornbillMalabar Grey HornbillParadise flycatcherIndian TigerIndian LeopardIndian Elephant, HyenaGaur,Indian rock python and many more, of which several are threatened.

History

Kodachadri seems to have attracted the attention of humankind since early prehistory. Several monolithic structures or menhirs were built here in prehistoric times. Rocks with dimensions greater than 12 feet were used in their construction. These large structure can be found just 20 Kilometers outside of Nagara-Nilsakal. A temple dedicated to the Ancient Mother Goddess Mookambika is located near the top of the peak. The temple is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims and it is said to stand where thousands of years ago Mookambika fought and killed the demon Mookasura. In Historic times, people used to trek from Nagara state, a nearby place and Europeans trekked to the peak during 19th Century. Lewin Bentham Bowring, who served as Commissioner of Mysore between 1862 and 1870, records that Kodachadri is "clothed with splendid forests, and the ascent is very steep indeed in one place near foot....The view from the top of the hill, which has a bluff appearance from the distance, though it is as sharp as a knife in reality, is very fine, commanding a long stretch of great Ghat range, a considerable portion of Canara (Kanara), and a vide view over Malnad". He further records that, Kodachadri is visible from Merti Peak near Sringeri.

Kodachadri is visited by locals and Keralites in large numbers since long time. Sage Adi Shankara is said to have visited this place, meditated here[5] and he also established a temple at Kollur. A small temple called Sarvajnapeetha, built with stone is dedicated to Adi Shankara at the top of Kodachadri.[5] Some of the pilgrims from South Indian states who visit Kollur take a trek to Kodachadri also. Dr. K. Shivarama Karantha, noted writer of Udupi District trekked to Kodachadri in 1940s and appreciated the natural beauty of this place by placing Kodachadri as most beautiful of three mountain peaks of coastal Karnataka (the other two being Kuduremukh and Kumara Parvata)

Forests

The Shola Forests and thick forest cover Kodachadri and the nearby hills and the place has a cool and beautiful landscape. The forest of Kodachadri and nearby hills is tropical rain forest as seen all along Western Ghats, a World Heritage site

Iron ore

Kodachadri hill contains iron ore in its soil and test digging was also done here during 20th century and it was identified that the stones found here have magnetic properties.However commercial mining in large scale did not take place at Kodachadri, though there are efforts to lease out the surrounding hills to mining companies to mine manganese and iron and local people have strongly opposed such a move in view of possible environmental damage. In such anti-mining protests, local people under the leadership of Shri Raghaveshwara Bharathi of Ramachandrapura Mutt, Shimoga district and environmentalist Ananth Hegde Ashisara demanded ban on all mining activities in Ambaragudda, which is near Kodachadri and other hills of the area.

Places of interest







Sarvajna peetha

Sarvajna Peeth is a small temple like structure near the peak where Adi Shankara meditated.This small structure bears a name which is similar to Sarvajñapīṭha, also called Sharada Peeth of Jammu and Kashmir. which was visited by Adi Shankara during his long spiritual journey, where he defeated other scholars in philosophical debate and opened the southern door of the temple. Another temple is located near travellers' bungalow and is believed to be the moola sthana (the origin) of Sri Mookambika Devi. From this spot, it is a 2 km trek to the peak. Just below the peak, an almost vertical path leads to a small cave called Chitramoola, from where the Mookambika temple of Kollur is visible.

Ganesha Guha

Ganesha Guha is near the trekking path to Sarvajna peetha

Iron Pillar

One iron pillar of about 40 feet length is planted erect in front of Moola Mookambika Temple near peak of Kodachadri and it is compared with massive similar historic iron pillars located at DharMount Abu etc.Devotees believe that this is the trishula used by goddess Mookambika to slay a demon called Mookasura as per local tradition. Indian scientists from IGCAR Kalpakkam and KREC(Now NITK), Suratkal conducted a test on the Iron pillar and found that it was made from traditional Indian metallurgical skills and not from modern casting methods. It is found made of pure iron. It is also found to be less affected by corrosion, despite of humid conditions prevailing there due to heavy rains.This iron pillar is considered as testimony of ancient Indian iron craftmanship.

Hidlumane Falls

Around 5 km from Kodachadri is Hidlumane Waterfalls and it can be reached by trekking on a bridle path, which involves a little adventurous trekking.

The Hidlumane Falls
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Arasinagundi falls

Another water falls in deep forest is Arasinagundi falls which 6 km from Kollur, at the bottom of Kodachadri near Dhalli village.

Belakallu theertha

One more waterfalls called Belakallu theertha is located near Mudur, Jadkal (and 15 km from Kollur) and at the bottom of Kodachadri on southern side and involves easy trekking to reach.

Nagara fort

Nagara Fort is around 25 km from Kodachadri where an old fort built during 18th Century is located and the landscape created out of backwaters of Linganamakki Dam on Sharavathi River surrounds Nagara town.

Sunset

The sunset watched from Kodachadri peak on a clear day is an enchanting experience. The Arabian Sea is visible from the peak on a cloudless day and sun literally goes down into the sea and due to the proximity to sea, the shape of golden sun changes every minute. At the beginning it looks like an inverted pot, then like a vessel, a hat, a ring with double edges and so many shapes are visible which is an interesting sight. The sunrise is also seen from another hillock behind the Tourist Bungalow is also beautiful and the hillock is called Venkatarayana Durga,with some remote connection to some Palegara Kings who ruled the surrounding places. During sunrise, the plateau below is usually covered with mist and it looks like a vast sea of curd with some high peaks peeping out of the misty plateau.

Trekking in Kodachadri

Trekking to Kodachadri peak starts from Nagodi village or Nittur, Shimoga village which are located at the base of Kodachadri. A night tented stay can be undertaken near peak with the permission of Forest Department, Govt. of Karnataka. In case of need, there is an Inspection Bungalow maintained by Government of Karnataka and a temple prist's house, with simple food on request. There is little accommodation at Kodachadri. Kollur (21 km) has several Guest House and lodges as well as homestay accommodation. Nearest Town Kundapura has Lodging accommodation.

Transportation

From Bangalore, one has to go to Shimoga (285 km) and from there, one can take public transport to reach Nagodi village (Hosanagara Taluk). From Udupi, it is three hours journey to Nagodi village, from where trekking starts.
Kodachadri peak is connected with an all rough jeep road (partially metalled) on which only jeeps can travel. As this hilly road is not maintained properly, only expert local jeep drivers can take the jeep to the top. Jeeps are available for hire at Kollur and at Kattinahole village near Kodachadri base. Motorcycle riding on this highly uneven, steep, mud track with sharp hairpin curves with gradients, may be challenging and risky. However, Government departments have commenced construction of a quality road to top, after a stay (by private tourist operators) opposing construction of road is vacated(during 2011) and this proposed work includes overall development of Kodachadri area.

See also


Courtesy Wikipedia


MYSORE

History of Mysore

The word Mysore is a corrupted version of "mysooru", which is derived from the word "mahishur" or "Mahishasurana Ooru", which means the town of Mahishasura in Kannada, the local language. Mysore has been associated with the Puranic story found in the Devi Bhagavatha. According to the story in the Devi Purana, Mysroe was ruled by the demon Kind Mahishasura. Mahishasura was a buffalo-headed monster. In response to the prayer by the Gods and Goddesses to save them from the demon, Goddess Parvathi, took birth as Chamundeshwari and killed the monster on top of the Chamundi hill near Mysore. Hence the hill and the city have the names Chamundi Hill and Mysore respectively.

It is said that after killing the monster the Goddess stayed on top of the hill, where she is worshipped with great devotion to this day. The famous 10 daylong Dasara of Mysore is in honour of the Goddess Chamundeshwari and is a celebration of this victory of good over evil. Before the rise of the Gangas in the 10th century there is little historical evidence relating to Mysore. The Gangas established their supremacy in the 2nd century and they ruled over a large part of Mysore till about 1004 AD. In the 3rd century they established their capital at Talakad on the banks of the river Cauvery.

There is an inscription on Chamundi Hills that was done in 950AD during the reign of the Gangas. This inscription is the oldest inscription found in Mysore. The Cholas ruled Mysore for over a century after the Gangas. The Chalukyas followed the Cholas. The Hoysalas drove the Cholas from the remaining part of Mysore region in the 12th century. Hoysala are known for the beautiful temples they built during their reign. It is said that they built or expanded the existing temples in Mysore and on the Chamundi Hills. There is an inscription in Mysore by the Hoysalas that dates back to the 11th and 12th century.

After the Hoysalas came the Vijayanagar Kings and then the Mysore Yadu dynasty came to power in 1399A.D. They were the feudatories of the Vijayanagar Kings. This dynasty also contributed to temple building in Mysore. Bettada Chamaraja Wodeyar, the raja of Mysore rebuilt the fort of Mysore and made his headquarters and called the city 'Mahishura Nagara' meaning the city of Mahishur. Many inscriptions done in the 17th century and later refer to Mysore as 'Mahishuru'. Raja Wodeyar moved the capital from Mysore to Srirangapatna. After the death of Tippu Sultan in 1799, Mysore became the capital of the Wodeyars once again.

During the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III the town of Mysore expanded and moved beyond the walls of the fort. Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV developed Mysore into a beautiful city with excellent planning. Under his reign Mysore became famous for its wide roads, magnificent building and elegant parks. Today Mysore is a modern city that has managed to retain its quaint old world charm. Today Mysore in famous in the world for its sandalwood and rosewood artifacts, stone sculptures, incense sticks, inlay work with ivory and its exquisite silk sarees.

Tourist Attractions in Mysore










Mysore is a major tourist city of Karnataka. The city was the erstwhile capital of the state and hence has played an important role in the history of the state and of South India. Today it has developed into a modern city like many other cities in the country. But this city has not lost touch with its rich historical and cultural legacy. Mysore city is a favourite tourist destination in Karnataka. Tourist from within the country and from outside come see the splendour of the city of Mysore. The city has a number of places a person can visit. There are a number of Royal buildings, gardens, waterfalls, temples, museums and modern amusement parks.

The city of Mysore is known as the 'City Of Palaces'. There are number of buildings built by the Royal family and are exquisite examples of Dravidian architecture and display grandeur and lavish life lead by the Emperors while they ruled the state. Apart from the Palaces there are number of other tourists attractions that one can visit in Mysore. One of the popular spots is the Chamundi hills and the temple on top of the hills. This prominent landmark of Mysore is a favourite destination for the locales as well.

The KRS dam and the adjoining Brindavan Gardens are worth visiting. The Brindavan Gardens is one of its kinds in the country. It is famous all over for its colorfully lit dancing fountains that come alive once the sun sets. There are three lakes in Mysore that have become a haven for migratory birds and are set in lush green surroundings that are relaxing and worth visiting. The Mysore Zoo is the oldest Zoo in the country and was set up by Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar in 1892. 

The Zoo flourished under Royal patronage and was handed over to the Government after independence. Today the Zoo is equipped with the most modern facilities and is a pioneer in breeding animals in captivity. Another famous monument of Mysore city is the Philomena Church that has a relic of the 3rd century St. Philomena preserved in a catacomb in below the main altar. The Church is also famous for its 175 feet high spires. These are some of the important sights to see in Mysore city.

How to Reach Mysore

Mysore is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka. Mysore was the erstwhile capital of the state when the Wodeyars ruled it. Since time immemorial Mysore has played an important part in the history of South India and especially of Karnataka. As time has passed though Mysore has changed according to the changing times it still retains its old world charm and continues to be to a quaint little city that is relaxed and moving at its own leisurely pace. Travelling to Mysore is easy. It is well connected by road and rail to all the major cities in India. Mysore does not have an airport though there are plans to construct an airport shortly. The nearest airport is in Bangalore.

By Road
Mysore is 139kms to the south west of Bangalore. The state highway that connects these two cities is very well maintained. Travelling from Bangalore to Mysore by road is a pleasant experience and will take about 3hrs. The Karnataka Road Transport Corporation has excellent bus service to Mysore. There are ordinary buses, semi-luxury buses and luxury buses operated by the Government of Karnataka. Every half an hour there is a non-stop bus to Mysore from Bangalore Bus Station. Corporations of other states and private tour operators have buses plying to Mysore as well. All these facilities have made Mysore extremely accessible by road.

By Train
Mysore is connected with a number of trains to Bangalore. The super fast luxury train the Shatabdi Express connects Mysore to Madras. The quickest and most comfortable way to reach Mysore is via Bangalore.

By Air
The nearest airport to Mysore is Bangalore (139 km). All the domestic airlines in the country operate their flights to Bangalore from all the major cities in the country. Some international airlines too have flights to Bangalore. Bangalore is to have an international airport shortly.

Local Transport in Mysore

Mysore has played an important role in the history of South India from ancient times. Hence there are number monuments in the city that represent this rich cultural heritage. Mysore is known for its splendid palaces and magnificent temples. These monuments are spread in and around modern Mysore. While visiting Mysore you will have to travel to these places. Given below is information about the local transport available in Mysore to commute to the various tourist attractions.

Auto Rickshaws
This is the most reliable and accessible mode of transport in the city. In the day pay by the meter. After 10pm the drives will charge you 50% more than the meter reading and after midnight you will have to pay twice the meter reading.

Private Taxis
There are private taxis available that you can hire for a day. There are a number of Car rental companies. Most hotels provide this service; therefore you can check with your hotel. This mode of transport is reliable and affordable.

Buses
Buses run by the State Government ply in and around Mysore. They ply along fixed routes and the cost is nominal. If you want to be part of the everyday life of the common Mysorean then hop onto one of these buses and you could have quite an adventure.

Tongas
Tongas are horse driven carts that are also means of transport in Mysore. They will take you around the city but at slow and steady pace. If you want a close look at the city and catch some rare sights that you would not otherwise see then you could try this mode of transport.



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