Popularly known as the Untouched Heaven, Honnavar situated in North Karnataka attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, travellers and explorers on daily basis. Regardless of its vastness, this particular town carries a vast heritage in terms of nature, culture and traditions. I was fortunate enough to witness one of those heritage elements of Honnavar when I recently visited this town to attend my pals' wedding rituals. Weddings are fun when you go with a group of buddies who explore things collectively. Thankfully, even though we were at the edge of rushing back to Mangalore after the completion of the wedding, we somehow managed to visit the popular temple of Honnavar which holds spiritual significance and natural excellence.
We were 6 people who went together in the evening hours of one fine Sunday in December. One person among us is a localite who literally guided us almost everywhere including this place. We were lucky enough to have him with us because, without any further doubt, we could explore the places in peace. He and the other one came by bike whereas my three other pals and I drove our car all the way to the hilltop temple.
The route is magnificent to this temple and the roads are wider and well-constructed. So there's no need to worry about the travel. Generally, people explore the backwaters of Honnavar as they became pretty famous after people started posting Instagram-worthy pictures. Indeed, they ruined most of the beauty of those backwaters already. That was one of the reasons why we couldn't explore those during those times as entry for visitors was temporarily restricted. But we didn't leave the town with the dissatisfaction of not exploring the beauty of Honnavar.
After travelling on those breathtaking ghat roads by embracing all the twists and turns of the whole route for around 20 minutes, we finally reached the spiritual destination where one could easily feel the temple vibes. It is a temple of the Goddess Kali incarnated as Parameshwari, the wife of Lord Shiva to protect nature around and to bless the people with health and wealth. This temple is one of the rich heritage spots of Honnavar where people visit to seek blessings from the goddess herself, and also to witness the eye-feasting scenic views of mountains, backwaters, clouds, trees and even the sea. In fact, soon after we went there, we captured a selfie to cherish the memory of being there during the golden hour of sunset.
Due to winter, the day was short and we had to be quick enough to explore everything in a few minutes span. After reaching the main arch of the temple, one can find stairs leading all the way to the temple and other spots where devotees can clean themselves, eat, shop and pray peacefully. There's even an ashram and a small meditation premises too. Imagine meditating on a mountain at such a height with exotic nature around you, doesn't it feel peaceful? Well, I felt extremely peaceful when I visited this temple and prayed for a while.
After offering our prayers, we climbed a few more stairs to witness the typical scenic view of the temple on one side and the mountains on the other. Through our local pal, we came to know some mysterious facts about the temple. It is believed that tigers roam around the temple premises as it is on the top of a hill connected with a dense forest range around. Hence, visitors aren't allowed after sunset. But the mystery is, the tigers won't attack visitors as they don't cross a particular limitation that is surrounded the temple premises. People believe that it is the essence of the temple and the goddess.
According to Hindu Mythology, Tiger is considered the mount of Goddess Durga and one can see many picturizations of the incarnations of Kali mounted on tigers as their vehicles. So, there is a belief that tigers don't surpass the mountain limitation around the temple premises and won't attack or disturb devotees who visit the temple to seek blessings. It felt fascinating when I heard the story while being physically there at the place itself. After spending some good time over there exploring the rocky and greenery of the temple hilltop premises, we stepped down.
On the way down, I found a small glass window through which one can see the whole landscape view of in and around Honnavar covered with rich nature in the forms of fields, forests, backwaters, lakes, mountains, trees and oceanic waters too. In this untouched heaven, this place stays intact in terms of spiritual connection and nature's creation.
We ended up spending some time capturing the moments and the scenic views of this hill and the temple before leaving at once. And that's how I bagged some memories from this place on my recent trip to Honnavar. I really hope people don't ruin such heritage spots by chasing behind social media validation to click endless pictures so that other travellers get a chance to witness such beautiful spots. Truly, Honnavar is one of the places in North Karnataka that's worth planning to visit and to spend some peaceful time!