People forever seek new and offbeat weekend spots to visit. Goa has long become over cluttered and the new find, Gokarna is fast losing its charm as a holiday destination. If you have been to these places, or even you haven’t, here's a weekend that will blow you away.
Murdeshwar is a small town on the coast of Karnataka, north of the Bhatkal taluka. If you’ve travelled to Gokarna, it is only slightly further along the way.
And you just can’t miss it. If you are travelling anywhere near it, India’s tallest (the world's second tallest) Shiva statue will greet you from afar, calling you in, like a guiding beam of solitude that only the serene face of Shiva will do.
Towering at a majestic 123 feet, it is a wonder to behold. Built at a cost of 5 crore rupees, it took over 2 years to build.
The 20-storied Raja Gopura, built right next door, provides a stunning view of the statue with the mesmerising backdrop of the Murdeshwar beach.
And these don’t even include the amazing temple and its grand entrance flanked by two life-size elephant idols. Although the inner sanctum is closed off for visitors, the temple is still worth visiting.
For the beach-lovers, it has a serene beach with calm, shallow, waters with a slew of water sports. In all, a complete package.
Once you've had your fill of the beach that is a balm for sore eyes, head towards Mangalore on NH66. Barely an hour and a half into the journey, you'll near a quiant little town called Kundapura.
An hour into the drive that you'll see the name ‘Soans Island’ plastered along a few signposts (near Kundapura). You can ask around, fiddle around with your GPS, maybe lose your way a few times, but yet reached there eventually.
Unbelievably so, it is literally an island resort. After parking near the river, you'll travel in an ancient looking boat, (Yes, a boat!) with your bags to your destination. It is a house built with a couple of rooms with rooms opening into the river.
It'll take you a 20 minute joyride on the boat get to the island. Sounds like a opening scene of a horror movie, right?
As you reach the island and disembark, you will be accosted (for affection) by two ragamuffins, Rocket and Comet.
The pair will happily lead you to the house quickly and settle by the door, like a couple of dwaarpalaks. What a welcome!
Dump your luggage in the rooms and go straight for the balcony. What views!
You can stay there till evening as your house attendant will bring you freshly brewed coffee and snacks. After exploring the island on foot you can go back to the boat where your boatman will take you down the river and around the island.
The night will be unusual - bird calls, insects chirping, and thereafter total lack of any other sound. The sounds of nature will first unsettle you and then draw you in, calming you, lulling you into blissful slumber.
Nature has an amazing way of putting you to sleep. And then waking you up. You will be awakened before there is enough daylight, to the loud crowing of the cock. As irritated you'll be at first, it is just an invitation to sample the beauty of the river at dawn.
When you leave later in the morning, you will already be taken so aimlessly adrift by nature, that you'll crave more for it.
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