October 2, 2010. On the way back from Apsarakonda, we had enough time. We decided to check out Ramtheeth and Karikannamma Temple commonly known as Sri Karikana Parameshwari Devastana. The temple is located on one of the highest peaks off NH17, about 12 kms from Honnavar. In fact the hill is visible clearly from the highway.
On the outskirts on Honavar, we turned off NH17 to our right. The road barely has any traffic... soon we were at a small village with an arch across the road going up the hill. We went up the twisty roads winding up the jungle covered hill. The road was pretty narrow and drivers need to be extremely alert. The road got steeper was we progressed and the air got cooler as we went higher. Soon we were in front of the temple gates. In the parking area heaps of dressed stones and sand were dumped ...signs of construction activity. Ours was the vehicle apart from two bikes already there.
First we saw a couple of large rooms scattered with cooking material, looks like a family conducted a pooja earlier in the day. in there we could see about 4 or 5 men chatting away ...probably after a nice feast. We asked these people for directions to the sanctum sanctorum ...just go ahead, you can see it on the right. We rang bells and a poojari came, opened the doors and did arti to the deity and gave us prasad.
The poojari closed the doors and went back to his company. We sat here for a while.
That's a two feet idol of a tiger facing the temple deity.
The temple must be about a hundred feet from the summit of this peak. The air was fresh and cool. It was silent and we could hear flowing water from the jungle below. We could see the Arabian sea shimmering... it would be warm and humid down there. We got a real-time comparison of two contrasting weather conditions.
A bunch of baby monkeys played on the rocks and branches of trees. They were mischievous... leaping, swinging, sliding, rolling... it was feat to watch them. One of them actually was hanging on to another's tail and swinging. The bigger monkeys stayed close by but gave the little ones enough freedom. There were a bit too far for us to take good pictures.
There's the Arabian Sea. Honavar is spread across the middle of the horizon. A small dot sits on the horizon, that's an island.
That's Basavaraja Durga.
We spent some time admiring nature and enjoying the cool air. I inquired if we could stay here over night. Yes, we could. I made up my mind to come and spend a day & night here some time. it would be fun to walk the hill road early morning.
Time to leave. We still had to go to Mirjan Fort and then to Gokarna to see sunset. We stopped half-way down the hill- it was warm here, we could feel the heat radiating from the tarmac below us.
If you are passing by or visting Honavar, do make some time to visit this wonderful hill.
Sri Karikana Parameshwari Temple Coordinates: 14°21'4"N 74°30'24"E