Sunday, July 23, 2006

A back-before-lunch to Koodli

Waters of Tunga and Bhadra mixing at Koodli

Koodli is the place where two rivers, Tunga and Bharda, join and Thungabhadra is formed. It is 15 kms from Shimoga, and a nice place for a weekend evening trip.

As you approach the Tunga bridge on the bus route to Shimoga from Bangalore on BH road, you shall have to take a right turn just before the bridge, also called the old bridge. Within minutes, you would have left the busy city behind. This is what I love about small cities: it is so easy to get away, though there is not really any pressure to 'get away' as in Bangalore. The route takes you through rice fields and arecanet plantations. The
road is ok-ok, if you have a normal back which does not complain for some bumping up and down.
There is a temple of Krishna at pillangeri, enroute to Koodli, which we decided to
skip this time.

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Images on the go

We shall go through some of the history here while we reach the village:
Nothing much about the river, that has been there for a long number of millenia with minor changes in its course and formation, I guess. Something can be said about the matt here, let me save that for the end of the blog :-) You will have to take a deviation to the left when you come near a bridge built for Bhadra river. There is a direction board there, but it is simple logic: you need to go to the meeting place of Tunga and Bhadra, you have started from Tunga, so take a deviation when you are about to cross Bhadra. After bumping up and down on the bike for a while, we approached the village. It is quite a small place, and does not look economically or academically rich. The road directly goes to and ends at the meeting place of two rivers.
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The Sangama

Oh! that view is something. two of the most important rivers in karnataka meeting to
form arguably the biggest river of karnataka, tungabhadra. It really is a big river there, especially in rainy july. You will be at the edge of the traingular land, staing at a watery paradise with a serene background of lush green.
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Tunga and Bhadra approaching from either directions

If you look out at Tungabhadra, Tunga brings the sweetest of indian waters from the left while Bhadra brings the industry-killed black water from the right. The difference is all over the place. Usually Tunga dominates the place, being the bigger river, and also because bhadra has a huge dam some 30 kms back. I even tasted both waters, and I could tell the which was which even if I were blindfold.
The temple looks hoysalic in style and architecture. There is a hoysala lion at the top also. This is an old temple, and carries some historical value, though apart from a board saying it is a national monument, nothing else is here to explain anything. There is another temple adjoining, too.
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The Hoysalic Temple Pictures

We spent a very enjoyable and calm half an hour at the sangama, during which time I slipped in the water once, without any danger.
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The interior of the temple

If you trace some 10 steps back, you shall come to the entrance of the matt I was
talking about. This has a campus of say about one cricket field in area. A serene place where we talked to the present swamy for a few minutes.

A pleasant ride back home completed this back before lunch trip, and now a lazy monday morning blog should also end here.

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The Koodli Matt

My Trip's photo archive

Sketch of koodli matt history:
Sometime in 15th or 16th century, the chief swamy of shringeri had gone to a
teerthayaatre, probably to kashi. He did not return for a long time, causing unrest
in the shringeri villagers and matt's people. As deaths during long trips were common those days, the deputy swamy was asked to take up the post of the chief, which he did after much deliberation. But interestingly, the chief was alive and did return to Shringeri after a few days. But he of course could not go in to the matt where his own pupil was the chief, so he left shringeri and started his own matt at the sangama of tunga and bhadra, koodli, and this came to be known as koodli matt.
Now in the beginning of 1900s, a new swami took the position of the chief swamy here. He was formerly the teacher of his highness Krishnaraya Wodeyar the 4th, Maharaja of mysore. This brought good times to this matt again. Between the original founder and this person, few talnted persons had been chiefs here, which made this place keep up the standards.
After independence, one perticular person was very telented and influential, and made the matt a noted place again.
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