From Bengaluru - Sirsi - Sonda - Sahasralinga - Sirsi - Banavasi - Unchalli-Siddapur-Jog-Murudeshwar-Idagunji-Yana-Gokarna-Karwar
Take the NH-4 from Bengaluru and travel till Haveri 335kms, and take the Diversion to Sirsi, which is 74 kms away from there. (Sirsi to Bengaluru = 425kms).
The name Sirsi appears to have been derived from the true Shirsha. The fort of Sirsi is now in ruins where temples of Shankara and Ganapati could be seen. On the right side of Shankara temple is a small pond locally called as Shankara Tirtha. The popular Marikamaba temple is said to have built in 1689. The wooden statue is believed to have been found in a tank. Veerabhadra, Ishwara and the Parshwanath Basti are other temples in the town. Triambakeshwara temple and a Ganesh Shrine are just opposite Marikamba temple.
With Sirsi as the base, travel towards the North by the Sirsi-Yellapur Road to visit Sahasralinga 17 kms and Sonda Swarnavalli Matha + 5 kms.
SAHASRALINGA : A beautiful valley where the river Shalmala flows. The multiple Shivalingas found for considerable length in the river course of the Shalmala are an attraction. Each rock is designed with a linga and Nandi facing it.
SONDA : 19 KMs from Sirsi is the seat of one of the Ashtamathas of Udupi rto which Vadiraj Swami succeeded . it contains the Brindavana of Vadiraj Swamy. There is a fine Kalyani called Dhavalaganga behind this. The annual car festival of Trivikrama is held on the Holy Poornima which also synchronises with the day of the entry of Vadiraja in to Brindavana.
SWARNAVALLI : 16KMs from Sirsi is the revenue village where Swarnavallimatha was established. It has got shrines of Rajarajeshwari, Chandramouleshwara and Laxminarayana. On the forest route, from this mataha to Vadiraja Mataha , Sonda, a Jaina Matha could be seen which was also called as Bhattakalanka Matha.
Another +19 kms will take you to the Shivganga Falls, for which you may have to trek a bit. Nearby is a Island in the Shalmala river with a small Ganesh statue. The island is known as Ganeshpal.
ShIVAGANGA FALLS : 22 KMs from Sirsi. There is no proper road, and after moving through a moterable road from Hulekal to Smpigadde near Mensi village, one has to cross the thick forest in order to reach this spot. The small Sonda river falls in to a deep valley covered with thick ever green flora and presents a captivating view.
Return back to Sirsi, visit the 300 years old Marikamba Temple, and travel down South-West to Banavasi 24 kms from Sirsi, to visit the capital city of the Kadamba Kings. Pampavana is 1 km near Banavasi.
BANAVASI : The place is 22 KMs from Sirsi is one of the oldest towns of Karnataka with beautiful, natural surroundings. The river Varada flows on 3 sides. Madhukeshwara Temple originally constructed by the Kadambas, has got many additions in Kalyana, Chalukya and Hoysala Styles. There are many shrines big and small along the compound of the main temple. The Triloka Manatapa kept in the Navaranaga of the Madhukeshwara and the Asthana Mandtapa are wonderful monolithic creations.
From Banavasi, head towards Siddapur, and 35 kms before Siddapur (on Siddapur-Kumta State Highway) you will find the Unchalli falls (Lushington Falls) also known as “Keppa Jog”.
UNCHALLI FALLS : 35 KMs from Siddapur is a fine tourist spot. It is acombination of 2 streams one from Shankar thirtha [ Sirsi Town ] & the other from Manjuguni Tank [Sirsi Taluk ] which converges at Maddihalli [ Siddapur Tq.] which then flows deep down in to the rugged valley at Hunchalli from a height of 116 Mtrs and then flows westwards. The river is called Aghanashini from Maddihalli.
There is one more falls in 5km radius from Unchalli Falls, known as Burude Jog on the same road, towards Siddaapur.
DODMANE : 27 KMs from Siddapur is located in the beautiful surroundings of ever green forest and uneven landscapes, which together present a panaromic view of the valley. There is water falls here which is locally known as Burude jog. This is a highly captivating site.
BILGI: 13 KMs from Siddapur has temples of Veerupaksha, Mahadeva and Hanumanta. The Jain Basti in Bilgi is the biggest in the Dist. and a very beautiful complex structures.
Come down to Siddapur, and head towards Jog Falls which is 22kms from Siddapur (state Highway)
From Jog Falls, you have two options –
1. Take the State Highway towards Honnavar via Gerusoppa, or
2. Take the narrower road towards Bhatkal
If you take the First option, you can see the Gerusoppa valley, and the Gerusoppa – Nagara Bastikeri Jain Chaturmukha Monument, while proceeding towards Honnavar.
If you take the second route, you can see the 14 century Jain Temple - Theerthankara Basadi at Haduvalli 16 kms before Bhatkal, which was formerly the capital of Rani Channabyra Devi.
Anyways, you can travel and halt at Murudeshwar, which is 16 kms from Bhatkal towards Karwar on NH-17 and about 35 kms from Honnavar.
Murdeshwar is said to have a part of Atma Linga of Gokarn. Beautiful location of the temple surrounded by the sea is realy marvellous, and is a tourist centre.
23 kms from Murudeshwar and 15 kms before Honnavar is Idagunji, a religious destination, with the 800 year old Ganesha Temple. Along the NH-17, a diversion has to be taken towards the East to reach Idagunji, about 6 kms interior.
Then again, proceed to Honnavar, and 8 kms before Honnavar is the
Apsarakonda, at the confluence of the Sharavathi River and the Arabian Sea, which is a small waterfall, fit for Apsaras (fairies) to bathe and relax. There are also several big caves, said to have been used by the Pandavas, on the hillock at Apsarakonda, with a view of lush green fields, coconut groves, the sea and the river.
Honnavar - Historical Importance:
In 1502, Vasco da Gama imposed commercial restrictions on the Chief of Honavar , to accept the suzerainty of the King of Portugal during his second voyage to India. Later Honavar witnessed many battles between Mysore dynasty (Vijayanagara dynasty) and English East India Company.
Head towards Kumta from Honnavar which is 20 kms away. From Kumta, along the NH-17, take the diversion - road to Sirsi, to go to Yana. Yana is 28 kms from Kumta and 65 kms from Sirsi. No eating joints are available at Yana, so please carry your own food.
Yana - This place in thickets of the Sahyadri hills of the Western Ghats. Two huge rocks are the center of attraction here. There are two temples, temple of Shiva inside a cave and a Ganesha temple nearby. The other places of interest are a small waterfall and the forest itself.
From a place called Anegundi near Kathagaal before the Devimane ghats it is around 16kms walk. Jeep is the best mode of transportation anywhere in North Kanara, especially Yana. Jeeps can be hired at Kumta.
After grueling yourself at Yana, head down towards Kumta, until you reach the NH-17. Head North on the NH-17 to go towards Gokarna, about 30 kms. At Gokarna, visit the 18th century Mahabaleshwara temple, Kotitheertha, Jatayu Theertha, Om beach, Kudle beach.
Gokarn has been well known piligrim centre from the rime immemorial for Atma Linga brought by Ravana and is famous as Dakshin Kashi; It takes us to Krutayuga when Rama and Ravana lived.
Spend the night in one of the rustic, earthy, no-comfort Cottages on the Om / Kudle beach for a lifetime experience.
55 kms from Gokarna is Karwar.