Day 1 (Aug 29) : Bangalore-Hasaan-Chikmangalur-Traikere-Bhadravati-Shimoga-Sagar-Jog Falls

Day 2 (Aug 30) : Jog Falls – Bhatkal-Murudeshwar

Day 3: Murudeshwar-Bhatkal-Kundapur-Halady-Agumbe-Sringeri-Chikmangalur-Hasaan-Bangalore

After covering 485Km on the previous day, the mood was to take it easy. Woke up late around 0600 and had a leisurely coffee.

Most guests were having tea in their rooms, so I was all by myself in the verandah. After raining incessantly though the night, the rain had stopped for a while. Bird had emerged from their shelters and the cacophony among the trees was pleasant.

I noticed that unlike a regular homestay, this was more like a hotel with individual rooms/cottages and a set of staff to cater to them. The only homestay like association was a common dining room. Guests too stayed in the confines of their rooms and came out only for food.

Over the second cup of coffee I made my plans for the day. The plan was to ride to the coast and find a place to stay somewhere between Udipi and Gokarna. There were two options to get to the coast, one straight to Honnavar and the other  to Bhatkal. Looking at the map, the Bhatkal road offered a longer drive through the hills. So Bhatkal was where I decided to go. And it turned out to be a good choice.

Deciding to skip breakfast, I took a bath and got ready. While I was getting dressed, the rain started again.

Soon I was out riding though the slight drizzle. As I turned off from the Honnavar highway towards Bhatkal, the rain intensified.

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Geared up for handling the rain

The road to Bhatkal was mostly in good conditions with some isolated patches of roughness. The surroundings were beautiful. There was hardly any traffic and I could stop where ever I wanted to take pictures or just to take in the scenery.

I will let the pictures speak for themselves on the beautiful landscape.

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Smooth tarmac surrounded by dense jungle
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Picture postcard scenery
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Mountain lakes with submerged boats too
A 5 shot panorama in the Sharavati Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
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Sometimes one needs to park the bike on the side and sit down to take in the views.
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“So long had I travelled the lonely road…” – credits Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

After a while the decent to Bhatkal started and along with that came the waterfalls. Every seasonal stream was now a raging waterfall. The road condition also deteriorated.

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Silky smooth cascade
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Another raging waterfall

Just before Bhatkal the terrain flattens out like a plateau with the road snaking though lush green landscapes dotted by seasonal ponds. Unfortunately the place seemed to be popular with the tourists. Paper plates, cups and napkins were strewn everywhere messing up the beauty of the place.

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The plateau before Bhatkal

At Bhatkal, I turned North towards Murudeshwar. I had seen several pictures of the large Shiva statue and wanted to have a look. I was also hoping to find some accommodation so that I could dump my luggage and then ride on to Gokarna.

Murudeshwar is a small village dominated by the Shiva temple. Near to the temple there are numerous lodges. This being off-season I easily found a room at the RNS guest-house at 50% discount.

The room was nice with an excellent view.

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Room with a view

After dumping my stuff in the room, I changed into dry clothes and stepped out for lunch. I realized I hadn’t eaten anything since the morning tea. Given the heavy rain, I walked down to nearby the Naveen Beach Restaurant. The South Indian food section was  packed while the upstairs North Indian section was pretty much empty. I should have taken a hint, but the lure of better view from up made me climb the stairs.

While the view was nice, the food was not. I managed to finish enough to satisfy my hunger. Given the heavy rain, I decided to skip the Gokarna plan. The objective of hitting the coast had already been reached.

Going back to the room I settled down to watch the rain hammer the waves.

Once the rain slowed down, I planned to see the temple and walk about the village.

Towards evening, the rain slowed down to a drizzle and I stepped out to check the temple and the village. I first took a circuitous route around the Shiva statue and then took the elevator up the Gopuram. On the 18th floor there is a viewing platform with windows on all four sides. From here one can see quite far on the coast.

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View towards the North from Murudeshwar Gopuram
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View of the idol from Murudeshwar Gopuram
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View towards the South from Murudeshwar Gopuram
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View towards the North from Murudeshwar Gopuram

After getting down from the Gopuram, I strolled down the coast watching the fishing boats unload their catch for the day. The dinner plans were decided – fresh fish.

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Fishing boats lined up after days work
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Lone fisherman
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Scavenging stray

The village market was dominated by a temple half way down the street. Small shacks sold shell jewellery and Chinese made plastic toys. Owing to the rain, there was scares activity.

Coming back to the guesthouse, I climbed to the terrace and took some panoramic pictures.

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Murudeshwar Gopuram & Idol
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Murudeshwar Gopuram & the coastline

Back in the room I watched some TV till it was time for dinner. Stepping out for dinner, I asked around for good place to eat fish. Nair’s was the recommended by almost everyone. So I trotted down the street to find the place.

This was a small place with 4 tables. The crowd validated the recommendations and so did the fish.

Post dinner some long exposure night photos.

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Illuminated Shiva idol
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Long exposure of the waves

Overall an easy day covering just 100Km through a beautiful terrain under heavy rain.

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