Sightseeing and tourism
India – spicy and sweet in the exact right mixture, just like the wonderful food here. Alluring, welcoming, warm and inspiring, the state of Karnataka at the Southwest coast of India gives a unique experience of an exotic culture, an ancient and rich tradition, generous and friendly people and breathtaking scenery. But regardless how well you prepare for your journey, you can expect to be surprised and challenged. This is a land of great contrasts and contradictions and there will be possibilities to experience almost any situation from the very illogical and odd to the most heartwarming, fascinating, mind blowing.
Along Karnatakas’ pristine coastline you find popular and famous beaches like Om beach and Paradise beach near Gokarna and Kapu beach near Udupi scattered among the many idyllic and tranquil, though less famous beaches. There are numerous beautiful temples of great interest; you can spend time admiring ancient temples with unique architecture like the Chennakesava temple in Belur or visit the Krishna temple in Udupi founded in the 13th century, the center and pilgrim site for Vaishnavites. The Murudeshwara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is beautifully located, surrounded on three sides by the Arabian see, displaying the tallest statue of Shiva in the world. Or you can join the Hindu pilgrims visiting the Mahabhaleshwara temple in the temple city Gokarna or offer your devotion to Devi at the Mookambika temple in Kollur. Outside of Kollur, you can walk in the footsteps of Shankaracharya, climbing the hill of Kodachadri to its peak, enjoy the stunning scenery and visit the place where Shankaracharya spent time in meditation. Other stunning sights of nature you will experience if you visit one of the many waterfalls of Karnataka. If you long for city life, go to Bangalore, the capitol of the state and the IT center of India, or visit Mysore to experience its friendly atmosphere, its stunning palace or its happy celebration of the Navaratri festival in October.
Travelling to some of these must-see places of Karnataka, make sure to take time to enjoy daily pleasures like the delicious food here, so rich in taste and so generously served, try the sweet, hot coffee traditionally served in small metal cups, drink the tasty juice from the fresh coconuts, visit one of the many bakeries offering a rich assortment of sweets, and simply enjoy the pleasant feeling of spending time in a place offering what to a Westerner will seem to be variations of an eternal summer.
For more information:
Gokarna with Om beach: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Om_beach
Udupi Krishna temple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udupi_Krishna_Temple
St. Mary’s Island: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Mary%27s_Islands,_Karnataka
The village Pandeshwara has a long and rich cultural history, all centred around an ancient Shankaranarayana temple. The story of the temple and how Pandeshwara got its name is told in the Skanda purana (Sahyadri kanda), a part of the vast collection of Indian mythology. The events are dated approximately to third – fifth century CE. The story tells that the Pandavas, the heroes of the great epic Mahabharata, came to this place during their Vanavasa period; the 14 years they had to live in the forest. Their wife Draupadi was thirsty, but there was no water to be found. Finally Bhima, the second of the five Pandava brothers, hit his mace on the earth, causing water to come out. On this place they established a beautiful Shankaranarayana statue and worshipped God Shankaranarayana (the combination of Shiva and Vishnu). After this, the village is called Pandeshwara.
Still we have this beautiful pond in Pandeshwara. The Shankaranarayana statue you find in the temple, built on the same place where the Pandava brothers established the Shankaranarayana statue, near to the pond. The temple has recently been rebuilt, continuing the long tradition of worship on this place. Vijaya is the main priest of the temple and is every day performing pooja; the worship and offering to God Shankaranarayana.