Day 1 in Sirsi, an oldest town in Karnataka
We can start by spending the first day by visiting the oldest town in Karnataka, the Banavasi town. Ruled by the Kadamba dynasty, Banavasi offers an archeological marvel. The Madukeshwara temple in Banavasi dates back to 9th century. Making it a must see place in Sirsi.
The travel involving to Sirsi will have its toll on you. Especially if you travelled from Bangalore or far more than that. After the Banavasi temple visit, you can call in it. Or you can go a little more around the same region to Swaranavalli Mutt. It takes 41kms from Banavasi.
The Shri Swarnavalli Mahasamsthana of Uttar Kannada district is one of the famous and the main Shankara peethas in India. The mutt was founded by Aadi Shankaracharya at Dashashwamedha Ghat kashi in 9th century. It is peacefully nestled at the banks of River Shalmala.
Day 2 in Sirsi, land of waterfalls
If nobody told you, Sirsi can be called as the ‘land of waterfalls’ in Karnataka. With its numerous waterfalls that are recently being noticed and the natural ones that are created along the hilly slopes of the city will make it all a worthy visit in the summer.
The Sirsi trip will be etched in your memory for a long time! You can start day – 2 by pulling on your shorts and dipping around the water pools across the city. To make it nice and clean, let’s start from top to bottom –
Unchalli Falls trek or lushington falls
Benne Hole falls
Mukti Hole falls
Here you go, I give you with complete discretion. You choose. The government has done all the geo-tagging and you can easily find these falls and their ways in and around Sirsi on google. While you are here, it is only fair to taste the iconic local foods!
Sirsi is famous for its seafood delicacy. The Rava Fish fry is most popular in Sirsi, apart from that the city is also a hub for street foods, and famous veg options like Udupi style cousins’ such as Dosa, mangalore buns, kashaya etc. Kashaya is the local coffee/tea for the people here. A blend of all the healthy spices is offered like coffee/tea in every home here. They are a must try in Sirsi.
Day 3 in Sirsi, to find natural ponds
On the third day, you can take a long drive or a walk or go cycling in the narrow downhill streets of Sirsi. You will find natural ponds, creeks and colorful flowers around each and every turn. That is something about Sirsi. All homes, each and every one mind you, displays an array of various colorful flowers in their gardens and compounds. A charming destination in Uttara Kannada, Karnataka I must say.
Before the sun gets over head, a half a day trip to Yana caves will suffice the wanderlust in you. Here is everything you need to know about Yana!
Located 1 hr from Kumta in Sirsi via Mattighatta road is the gigantic Yana caves. A natural wonder of Karnataka. The cave is known for its unique structure which is a karst limestone hill. The Yana caves is not only a sight to behold but also gives out an elaborate spiritual aura.
The temple located below the cave known as ‘Swayambhu’ or self – manifested shiva linga. As a cherry on top, a naturally emerging spring waterfall drips (flows during rainy season) over the head of the linga. The river is said to be Aghanashini. The hilly structure starts with the Bhairaveshwara shikhara and continues in a 61 limestone rock structure, within a radius of 3 km.
Don’t forget to visit Yana
Yana is a National Natural Heritage Site. Attracting tourists all over the country. Legend has it that a demon king Bhasmasura performed ultimate devotional austerities for Lord Shiva on this hill and asked for a unique boon, where everything he touched turns into ash. To try it out, Bhasmasura chose his favorite person, Lord Shiva himself.
Shiva had to run and ask the help of Vishnu, where he disguised himself as a beautiful damsel, Mohini. Mohini encouraged Bhasmasura to dance like her. Enchanted by her beauty he did what she did. In sync with her dance, Mohini placed her hand over her head and Bhasmasura followed suite, hence he turned into ashes.
The loose black soil or ash seen around the two large rock formations in the area are cited as proof of the legend by the devotees. Very near to Yana, you can find Vibhuti falls. ‘Vibhuti’ meaning ash. A ledendary waterfalls that is spread wide and gushes through the valley during monsoon.
The MahaShivratri festival is celebrated in full glory for 10 days in Yana. People travel from far places to witness the Maha Mastakabhisheka performed on the linga.
Peaceful day in Sirsi
Your trip to Yana will take you almost a day. When you come back in the evening, as a closure to your trip to Sirsi, you should visit the iconic Marikamba Temple.
Located in the centre of the city, is Marikamba Temple. Blessing thousands of devotees every day, the temple dates back to 1600s. The Marikamba temple is an ancient gem that proudly shows off the cultural heritage of Karnataka.
With unique traditional Kaavi murals painted on the front walls of the temple, it is an ultimate place to close your trip. Its serene beauty over the high raised platform will give you the best spiritual experience in Sirsi.
What is so special about Marikamba temple?
Legit question. There must be something right? The idol of the goddess Marikambe is made of wood. The Stone statue is right there but it is covered by a wooden carving. If you look closely, the look of the goddess is unlike any other goddesses in the south Canara or Dravidian style.
The goddess here is unique & arguably one of a kind with a soft glow, surreal eyes and red ethnic beauty! She is 7 feet tall and is mounted on a tiger in her full glory. Marikamba Temple is a must visit place in Sirsi. If you are lucky you will be served with the most delicious food on the planet here. You will also get to see a huge – gigantic breed of buffalos in the perimeter of the temple.
How to reach?
You can go to Sirsi by car via NH 48
There is also a daily connectivity of trains to Sirsi.