Day 3 was dedicated exclusively to visit Kollur, initially we had plans to stay in Kollur. After not being able to find a convincing place to stay, decided to make the trip to Kollur out of Udupi. The plan was to get to Kollur before the Maha Mangalaarati (The final aarati before temple closes for the noon).
We started from Udupi around 9.30 AM. Again we took the route the GPS showed us. Joining the NH 17 from the hotel was straight forward. We were on the NH 17 in about 10 minutes. One thing I must say about the NH 17 is that, it seems to be in widening mode for eternity now and its still not complete, I would say I did not see much work going on it either. The stretch from Udupi to the point where there is a deviation for Manipal, the road is bumpy at best and the patches on the potholes definitely don’t help the ride quality. It gets better afterwards, but there is too much of zig-zag, moving from one side of the road to another to another as the opposite side is being “widened”. I would say its a drivers nightmare to drive on roads like these. There are some stretches before and after Brahmavar where it is two sided, but there are idiots (99% of them are two-wheelers) who choose the high speed lane to pop up, with the sun beating down and mirages on the road, its better to be off a couple of feet from the median.
Soon we crossed the towns of Kota, Saligrama, Koteshwar and approached Kundapur. You have to be on the watch out for muddied boards that points towards Kollur. If you keep going straight on NH 17 you enter the town. As one approaches Kundapur town, bear right at the fork to take the bypass. As I had driven on this stretch before I knew the route and took the bypass. This was probably the worst stretch of road I travelled on during this entire trip. I wouldn’t say this road is littered with potholes, its an insult to them, they are craters. There are two bridges on this stretch and this probably the only place where you can shift up beyond 2 gear. If you are in a vehicle with less GC, you should be extra careful about getting the under body bruised. After navigating this pathetic stretch, we took the right turn towards Kollur.
We had done this route before and knew the roads were good. It did not disappoint us, the roads got better and its a pleasure to drive on this stretch, with lots of greenery and very little traffic. The road gets better as one enters the Mookimba Wildlife Sanctuary. I somehow love driving here than anywhere else, it gives a feeling of calmness, may be its Mookambika’s grace 🙂 . Soon we were in Kollur, the time as 11.10 AM. Total distance was 75km.
We parked up in the general parking area, there were not that many vehicles around and we sensed that the temple was not crowded. And it was true, we just walked into the temple had a good darshana of the deity in a relaxed manner with no one hassling around. The maha mangallarti was at 12.15 PM. We settled down and waited for the aarti to get over. Once that was done, had delicious prasada (lunch) at the temple and headed back towards Udupi.
During our last trip on this route, we had visited two Ganesha temples on this stretch at Hattyangadi and Aanegudde. So we decided to see if the temples were open and visit them this time too. So on our way back from Kollur towards NH 17, about 5-6km before the highway intersection there are boards to take a left turn towards Hattyangadi and we took that turn. This is a narrow road, that passes through some paddy fields and coconut farms and hits a road that again comes from NH 17. The point where it intersects that road, one can see an arch that has the name of ganesha temple on it. Take the road under the arch and it will lead you to the temple after about a 3 km drive. Its a nice little temple and it was open, but no pooja or aarti there.
We started from here, joined back the road near the arch, took a left turn on the road to join NH 17. In a few minutes we were on the horrible stretch of NH 17. After negotiating the stretch , crossed Kundapur and we wanted to visit the second Ganesha temple of Aanegudde, near the small town of Kumbashi. After about 6km from Kundapur, one can see a arch on the left side (when going towards Udupi), take the road under the arch and you will reach the temple after about a kilometer. This temple was open as well and we spent about 15 -20 minutes there.
We were now back on NH17 and heading towards Udupi, we reached Udupi by around 4.30 PM. We rested for a while and had coffee at Shanti Sagar in Udupi (opposite Udupi Bus Stand). I opted to stay back in the room, while my folks decide to pay another visit to Krishna Mutt and do some shopping in Udupi. They left around 6 PM and were back by 8 PM. We decided to try out a different place for dinner and went to Woodlands, which is a 5 min drive from our Hotel. It was not much crowded and we found parking easily. I had some dosas, while my folks opted for South Indian Thali. The food was great and very reasonably priced. We finished dinner, returned to our rooms and retired for the day.
Udupi – Kollur – Udupi
Total Distance : 150 km
Stay : Hotel Century Executive, Udupi