1st Nov 2019
Photo of Kudajadri hill Mookambika, Udupi, Karnataka, India by Vineetha Sanjay

Incredible India always leaves me spell bound. Every travel that I do in India, I come to appreciate my country more and more... and the latest to to that never ending list is 'Kodajadri' the looming mountain behind the auspicious Mookambika devi temple in Kollur, Karnataka.

What started out as a pilgrimage trip of the temple, all we needed was to take a jeep and trek 45 kms into the western ghats to make it a trip of a lifetime. The driver of the jeep, as cool as a cucumber turns into a dirt road inside the forest without a word... and we murmur 'wow' and soon enough all our 'wow' turns in 'ow' as the jeep treads through no-roads and low waterfalls to make it to the top. After the enthralling roll-e-coaster ride, he drops us off at a location stating 'be back by 4:45pm else it will be difficult to see the path. Our experience coming up made us take his remark very seriously, but the 3 km steep trek was equally tempting.

Where the jeep dropped us, there were 4 ancient temples. After paying my salutations to them, all I was thinking was to start my trek up the 70 degree incline of 3 kms. With the winds, mist aiding the sun to play hide & Seek, it was indeed a difficult climb for a novice like me, but nothing or nobody prepared me for what I felt as I reached my destination... Saw the unimpressive quaint little structure from the corner of the mountain, felt a little down. But another 500 mtr turned my downwards grin to a full blown upwards curve... sat at the foot of the structure closing my eyes (as instructed by my mother at the foothills, who unfortunately could not climb up with me), I could image how Adi Shakaracharya must have felt when he came there 1200 yrs ago. The peace that descended on me was un-explainable. No wonder that place is called "Sarvatnypeedam'' - The crown of knowledge.

One more ticked off my bucket list.....