Recently I visited Kukke Subrahmanya and Dharmasthala for the second time. First time I visited in 2008. This time I visited with my mother. Sunday night we left Kukke Subrahmanya from Bangalore Majestic bus stand on a KSRTC Rajahamsa bus. Ticket cost per person is Rs 283. For tickets you visit – http://www.ksrtc.in. Road conditions after the diversion off Tumkur road is bad due to construction activities at many places. Tumkur road is now in much better shape as the six lane work is almost completed. The elevated expressway is also almost complete.
We reached Kukke Subrahmanya bus stand at 5.50 am. It was still dark there. Typically it starts to clear up around 5.30 am in Bangalore. We boarded at SLR Residency with room rent for Rs 450. Checkout time is 24 hrs and please note that the hotel does not serve food as most of the people have food at Subrahmanya temple. However, you can get fast food like Dosha, Idly, cold drinks etc.
Kashikatte, Kukke Subrahmanya,
Sullia Taluk, Dakshina Kannada – 574238
Ph: 08257 – 281679
Location – around 0.5 km from Subrahmanya temple and 0.25 km from KSRTC bus stand
This is one of the best hotels in Kukke Subrahmanya. I suggest you take a room the 3rd floor as you can get a good view of the surroundings from there. One can go to the balcony or terrace for some photography or open view. Around 10 am we left for Subrahmanya temple – first we took darshan of Lord Subrahmanya. Here a baby elephant was blessing people. The elephant was very intelligent as he was blessing people only on receiving money or offerings on his trunk and blessing them with the trunk by touching it on people’s head.
Then we went to Adi Subrahmanya temple which located around 1 km away from the main Subrahmanya temple. We had food at Kumar Kripa near the temple. All over Kukke only veg food is available and food quality is around average. It was middle of November month but it was still so hot – the sun was just too scorching. It was almost the same what I experienced during my last visit in June 2008. Following this we went to the hotel and took a nap. It started to get overcast by 3.30 om and by 5.30 pm it was pouring heavily. My first glimpse of rain of western ghat. Evening at around 7 pm we went out to take a tour but it started to drizzle again and we came and soon it started to rain again. However, by pm the sky was clear and I could see starts and moon.
Note: There is a small Ganapati temple just before Aslesha Guest House. If you would like you can visit there.
Next day morning we checked out of hotel at 7.30 am and left for Dharmasthala in a KSRTC express bus at 8 am. It took 2 hours to reach there. The route between Kukke Subrahmanya and Dharmasthala is very beautiful with forests and numerous streams. The first is at 6 am. At Dharmasthala any bags are not allowed inside the temple. However, ladies hand bags are allowed. Free luggage counters are available so that people can keep their baggage. For keeping shoes you need to pay Rs 2 per shoe. After keeping our luggage we headed straight for darshan. Thankfully, the queue was not that huge and we were done within half an hour. There things which I missed during my visit last time, I checked them now.
Car museum: This car museum is one of the best collection of vintage cars in India. Its has collection of Renault, Austin Morris, Daimler, Mercedes, Ford, Lincon (kind of a limousine) 1991, Chevrolet etc. It has various collection bullock carts from different regions and time periods.
River Netravati: Netravati originates in the forests of Kudremukh of Chikmagalur district. The bathing ghat is around 1 km from the Dharmasthala main gate. Auto (and jeeps) are available and cost Rs 20 per trip. It is believed to be holy to take bath here. However at times people make the steps to the river very dirty with soaps and shampoo packets. River Netravati meets river Kumardhara of Kukke Subramanya at Uppinangadi and flows into Arabian sea near Mangalore.
Rathnagiri Bahubali Vihar: It is small hill atop which the 39 feet statue of Lord Gomateshwara – a Jain saint is located. To reach the top of the one has to climb around 150 steps. However, an all weather road is available just besides the steps which can take to the top. From the top you can get a nice view of the surrounding. The steps to the top are located just after the Dharmasthala main gate on the right hand side.
We had food at Hotel Aparna. Here food the gravy was good but quality and quantity is not proportional to cost. I was told they server the best food around there. Around 1.45 pm we left for the new KSRTC bus stand in an auto (Rs 15). We boarded a normal red bus (Rs 206/person) as Rajahamsa bus was not available until next one hour. I suggest not to go to the new bus stand as all bus comes in front of Dharmasthala main gate before leaving. We started from Dharmasthala at 2.30 pm and reached Bangalore at 11.30 pm. On the way saw the woods of western ghats, lofty hills, coffee estates and numerous running streams.