2 States

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This weekend I found myself at the Kukke Sri Subramanya temple which is about 2.5/3 hrs away from Mangalore in the state of Karnataka.

A scenic drive through lush green forests & plantations of coconut,betel nut & rubber took us to this little temple town located in the beautiful Western Ghats range of Karnataka. Overlooking the temple is the famous mountain of Kumara Parvatha & you have to cross the Kumardhara river to take Darshan which according to legend is made up of water from all the holy rivers of India.

As we entered the town what struck me was the silence … no holy songs blaring from loudspeakers, no beggars milling around, no dirt piled up & no cacophony of pilgrims amidst all the chaos & confusion.
Instead what I found was utter peace & quiet, everything & everyone going about in a totally organised & systematic manner ! This was unlike any of my earlier experiences in holy towns across India.

Trip Advisor had recommended Hotel SLR Residency but we went with Hotel Vyas Mandir which was recommended by a friend who frequents this place. And it turned out to be good advice as the place is bang next to the temple… very convenient when you need to go for Pooja. If you stayed at SLR you’d need a car to get to the temple because it’s a 10 minute walk at least. Though in terms of pricing & appearance of rooms both are pretty much the same … Neat & clean … Nothing fancy … Only that Vyas is a little more colourful & newer.

Oh ! I must mention the delicious Prasadam we had at the Mandir … The best sambhar I’ve eaten ๐Ÿ™‚


Next day in less than an hour we were in another state … Kerala, which the tourism ads proclaim as Gods own country ! Believe me all the hyperbole seems justified when you get there. So much so that I launched into hyperbole myself when I tweeted that “I was in heaven”.

We stayed at the Vivanta by Taj in Bekal which is in Kasaragod, the Northern most district of Kerala, renowned as the land of Gods, forts, rivers, hills and beautiful beaches.
We were there for precisely 24 hours but they have undoubtedly been one the best 24 hours of my life ! See there’s something about Kerala that prompts hyperbole !

We stayed in a beautiful villa with a plunge pool, outdoor bathtub & shower area with a room that opened out onto the backwaters which met the sea in the distance. The sea is rather rough in the rains & it’s not safe to swim but we went for a walk on the beach & got sprayed with the salty water as it was high tide & the waves were really big. It was a sight to behold … the rough sea in front of us, the lush green backwaters behind us & a beach strewn with shells & driftwood … especially beautiful shells which looked like peacock feathers !
Rather reluctantly I left the beach to go explore the rest of the property. There’s a lot to do – Kayaking, Cycling, trip to Bekal fort, a fitness centre, kids play area , pool overlooking the backwaters, a little library & of course the famous Jiva Spa. We couldn’t do any of the above … I’m saving that for my next trip. Instead we ate yummy Malabar fare by Chef Ashok & Chef Mrinalini & enjoyed a drink in the cozy bar while we were entertained by the bartender Prince with some cool bar tricks which the husband & I intend to use at our next party ๐Ÿ™‚ I must also mention the hotel staff who looked after us extremely well especially Jermin.

After an eventful weekend as I drove back to Mangalore to catch my flight I thought about my journey through 2 States which were completely different from each other in terms of language, food, clothes , etc & yet they seemed similar … That similarity I think is our Indian ness which binds us together as a nation in spite of being so vast & diverse. We could very well have been like Europe with each state being a little country in itself but we aren’t … We are a huge country & we celebrate our unity in spite of our diversity… that’s what makes Mera Bharat Mahaan ! Difficult to stay away from hyperboles in this blog … Especially since Independence Day is around the corner ๐Ÿ™‚



  1. That was a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your wonderful experience! ๐Ÿ˜€ When in India, my family and I love visiting Mandirs around the country, an incredible experience in itself, and your photos remind me of that great feeling. Would love to visit these places one day! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Payal you if you like visiting Mandirs then you must go here … It had a beautiful setting & was very peaceful.

  2. Like you mentioned, you have had the best of both the states. And in Kerala the northern part is the best. My friend who is a Kayaking enthu did mention that they discovered some good waters in Wynad for Kayaking.
    Yes, the similarity is our Indian ness which binds us together as a nation.

  3. I almost felt transported there and jealous that we haven’t been there yet. Have heard so much about Kerala. It’s a pity that when we plan a holiday we tend to skip the destination and take it for granted and go to dubai and Bangkok which are just malls after every kilometer.

  4. Manasi – beautifully captured and so well written, makes you want to put these locales on the bucket list. Loved the ending on Indian-ness …

    1. Thank you Nitika. You must visit Kerala… there’s so much to see in our country … Incredible India ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This is a truly inspiring piece. The destinations sound amazing! You’ve captured the spirit of the land, on both sides of the border. And I enjoyed the mention of the foody delights we all so love. Need tips for our car trip from Mumbai to Bangalore and Coonoor later this month… your blog has made the journey, in the peak of the monsoons, even more exciting than I imagined — something to look forward to!

    1. Madhuri thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Your comments mean a lot to me my dear best selling author, friend & fellow foodie !

    1. Hey Padmini I remembered you throughout this trip ! I remember you used to go to Mangalore in the holidays & you spoke Tulu at home . Btw my introduction to a South Indian thali began at your home … I loved the mountain of rice & that laal bhaji :)The houses I saw also reminded me of your Juhu house with that quadrangle & verandah … Happy memories of all the times we spent together ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Excellent manasi your writing is so visual. I am from kerela and i can say hyperbole it is…. I loved the way you have used names of all the people at the hotel , the staff especially… completely depicts your personality and warmth. Waiting for more manasi

  7. Manasi, reading your blogs always transports me to your destinations and gives me the feeling that I am right there. That’s a great talent. You keep me engrossed!!!

  8. Mansi….agree with all views that ur writing transports u to the places u have mentioned. Beautifully written. Makes me want to go to Kerela again. We did a home stay at thekkady in a cottage by the backwaters, ate with the family and went vegetable shopping in their little row boat -an unforgettable experience.

  9. Hi Mansi.. superbly described and really want to visit this place now.. next time when I come India I wud visit it. Really liked every small details u have captured.. we were visiting with u..

  10. God bless you…you have gone to a wonderful and most powerful temple of kukke subrahmanya.
    there are some exquisite places around the temple too….
    next time try out the following.

    1. go to a place called hettur from subrahmanya [it is a fantastic dense forest road – asphalted too] . u need to switch on the headlights of the car in broad daylight.
    2.there is a view point on this road where you can see 3 district at one time [hassan, dakshina kannada, madikeri]
    3. you can buy some pure spices, bananas,cocunut oil etc
    4.next time you can stay at a place called vijaya comforts which is the best hotel as of now in kukke subrahmanya…

  11. Lovely pics.. You write so.. ‘ In that moment’ way.. You literally take us there in our imagination.. Please start vlogging… We want to see more of you Manasi….

  12. Such an awesome travelogue! Enchanting indeed. Manasi, you transported me back to Mangalore where I have my roots and where I was born.

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