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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Long Weekend Getaway: Part 9: Shivamogga and Bhadravathi

And here is the concluding edition of that weekend trip: the final leg of Shivamogga and Bhadravathi, continuing on from the last edition of Keladi and Ikkeri:

We left the historical town of Keladi and reached Shivamogga by noon, and had our lunch and set out to visit St. Thomas Church, which was supposedly the second largest Church in India. But we realized after speaking to the local folks that there was indeed a St. Thomas Church in Shivamogga, and the second largest Church in India was also present in the city, but they were two different churches. The huge Cathedral was in fact the Sacred Heart Church, right at the heart of the city, constructed in early 1990s. The architecture is extremely beautiful for such a new building, and would attract any visitor from a distance. The symmetry and the solitude one gets inside is inexplicable.

After this, we made our way to the Shivappa Nayaka Palace, which is again, inside the city, but is now converted into a museum, where centuries and millenniums old scriptures, sculptures and historical artifacts are placed for display. Of particular interest for me were the lost sculptures of 8th to 12th century Karnataka empires, telling stories of the Panchatantra and the powerful influence of Jainism.

Next stop was supposed to be the Bhadra River Project Dam as we bid good bye to Anurag, who left to Pune from Shivamogga. Karthik, Thomas and myself went to Bhadravathi, the industrial buzz town of yesteryear, and as we reached there, realized that the bus that was supposed to take us to the dam had broken down and there was no easy way to reach there and the sun was setting soon. We decided to complete the Bhadravathi trip by visiting the 13th Century Hoysala Temple of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, and could tick this off easily as we wandered through the wonderful inner streets of the old township.

We were back at Shivamogga in no time, and following a sumptuous dinner, got onto the next bus back to Bangalore, and there ended a wonderful unplanned three and a half day journey through the districts of Shivamogga and Chikkamagalur.

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