Yaana - the beautiful rock formations

Yaana, the very name brings the picture of two tall huge rock formations. The rock formations not only make it as a tourist spot, it is even housing Bhairaveshwara temple. Honey bees hive is also an attraction at this place. Also, it is believed to be sacred to visit Gokarna and Yaana on the day of Shivaratri.

Bhairaveshwara Shikara

Mohini Shikara

Legend says that a daemon did penance and blessed with boon from Lord Shiva by which if daemon keeps hand on anyone, they will burn into ashes. After getting boon, daemon was called Bhasmasura as whatever he touched will turn into ashes (bhasma) Getting boon from Lord Shiva Bhasmasura likes to test about his powers and tries to keep his hand on Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva will run away from Kailash to hide from Bhasmasura.

Closed look of Bhairaveshwara Shikara

Meanwhile, Vishnu dresses himself as Mohini, a beautiful damsel attracting Bhasmasura. Bhasmasura expresses his wish to marry Mohini. Mohini puts a condition that Bhasmasura should dance similar to Mohini. While dancing Mohini keeps her hand on her head, bhasmasura follows it and eventually burns into ashes because of the boon he got from Lord Shiva. It is the reason being the soil of Yaana being black and such type of soil is not found in the vicinity of Yaana. By that day, Lord Shiva in the form of Bhairaveshwara and Vishnu in Mohini form situated there in the form of rocks and the honey bee hives will be on to the hills till Lord Shiva leaves this place.

Bhairaveshwara Temple

The two large rock formations are named as Bhairaveshwara Shikara and Mohini Shikara. Bhairaveshwara  Shikara is the larger and taller one and below that there exists the temple of Bhairaveshwara. It is amazing to see the water dripping from rock on Bhairaveshwara.

sharp edges

inside rock formations

top of shikara

sharp edges

from inside of cave

One can go around Bhairaveshwara Shikara and marvel at the rock formations. Foot wears are not allowed around the Shikara and one can see the bats hanging to the top of rocks. Also, be aware of Leeches during Monsoons.
inside cave

For any information related to performing Pooja or anything can contact temple office on 08386295846

Yaana can be reached either from Kumta, Gokarna or Sirsi.

route sketch of Yaana, Vibhuthi falls and Unchalli falls

From Kumta: On Kumta – Sirsi road, one can take left turn while going towards Sirsi and it is 17 kms from Kumta. One can see the prominent display board showing direction to Yaana. It takes around two or two and half hours of trek to reach temple if you visit Yaana by this route. Vehicles will not go beyond the check post. There is direct bus from Kumta to Yaana one in morning and the other in evening. No need of climbing Devimane Ghat if you are planning only to visit Yaana. You can enjoy the road side waterfalls and also the greenery while trekking through this route.

From Sirsi: On Sirsi – Kumta road, take right turn near Manjuguni Venkataramana Swami temple arch. Again take right turn in front of temple to reach Yaana crossing couple of villages. No need to cross Devimane Ghat if you take this route to reach Yaana. Yaana is around 58 kms from Sirsi if you take this route.

From Gokarna: If you are at Gokarna and like to visit Yaana, take Hillur or Mogata route just coming out of Gokarna cross. A few curves are there on the way as it is Vaddi ghat but it saves lot of time than going towards Kumta and taking turn towards Sirsi route. On the way to Yaana you can also visit Vibhuti falls and can proceed to Unchalli falls visiting Yaana.

Food is a problem at Yaana as it doesn’t have any hotels, only snacks and kokam juice is available in the vicinity of temple. Considering the large number of devotees visiting this place, toilets are being constructed but accommodation is not available. Also, public transport is not available.

Unchalli Falls

Unchalli falls is one among the magnificent waterfalls of Karnataka. It is also being called as Lushington falls as this falls was reported to the outer world by a British officer. An added advantage of visiting this water fall is, it is well connected through good roads and very little of walking (about half a kilometer) is enough to reach the view point. When I visited this falls almost ten years back as part of school trip, we walked around 3 kilometers on mud roads to reach the view point but now roads are made till the gate of water falls.

way to Unchalli falls 

A little of ups and downs while walking and few steps will take you to the first view point from where one can witness the half portion of water of Agnashini river falling with roaring sound among the greenery. It is also called as Keppa Joga because of the sound of water falling from a height of 116 meters. 

view from first view point

Second view point is few more steps down from the first one and there is no proper way to go beyond this view point. One can go through the rough route jumping on steep and slipping rocks but that is of high risk as there is no grip or anything to hold for support. It is better to view the water falls from this point than going beyond.

view from second view point

Unchalli falls can be reached wither from Sirsi or from Kumta. It takes much time coming from Kumta as one needs to come through Devimane Ghat, full of curves. I wonder about the never ending road repair work on this ghat whenever I travel by this route.

view of valley

From Sirsi, unchalli falls can be reached very easily as it is just 30 kilometers drive from Sirsi. During Monsoon many people come to visit this falls to witness the magnificent waterfalls and it will be drizzling while nearing the waterfalls which will give you a feel that you are in completely other World.

Scuba Diving at Netrani Island, Murudeshwara

It was surprising to know that Scuba diving do exists in Netrani Island, a very small island free from human habitation present adjacent to Murudeshwara beach in Arabian Sea. Murudeshwara is at a distance of 30 kilometers from Honnavar. Netrani is also called as Pigeon Island and Netrani or Netra Gudda in local language. It is being mainly used by Indian armed forces for arm testing purposes. One can reach this island hiring a motor boat from Honnavar. Also, there is a temple on Island where many people offer goats and hens praying Goddess to fulfill their wish.

view of Netrani Island from boat

After the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, coastal guards and local police have made it mandatory to get consent from them before going for the dive. Also, the same rule applies for the people planning to visit temple on Island, but be careful about climbing on to island as it has sharp structures similar to glass, it can cut your skin.

Island with sharp glass like structures at base

Diving is organized by Dive Goa at Murudeshwara Island and they do have expert divers instructing tourists to go for fun dive. Prior to dive, basics of diving will be given at RNS Yatri Nivas hotel swimming pool.

scuba diving gear - ready to sail

It takes one and half hours or two hours (if winds are strong in the sea) to reach Netrani from Murudeshwara beach. Diving is done in group mostly, so always make sure that you are free and don’t plan for any nearby places on the day before or on the day of dive.

cave like entry at base of Netrani Island

Also, have a brief idea of species found at Netrani Island like Parrot fish, Butter fish, Sea Urchin etc. It will be helpful for you to identify species under water when you encounter. It will not be possible to speak underwater each other, communication will be through signaling.

place of Scuba diving

Dive lasts for around 30 minutes, it will be real fun provided one takes the precautions suggested by instructors. The cylinders for breathing under water used for dive at Netrani will have compressed air which we breathe outside. Keep blowing out water holding your nose often, even if you feel slight pain in ears. Ears will pain a lot if care has not has not been taken underwater due to change in water pressure. Don’t take heavy food as one may vomit because of sea sickness or one can take tablet to avoid that.

Top of Netrani



Dive Goa even organizes PADI certification course for interested divers provided they fulfill the necessary conditions. Mr. Ajey Patil organizes dives and he can be contacted on 09325030109 or 09325030110 for any information related to dive. Best time to contact him will be in evenings as he will be busy with dives in morning and no mobile signals near Netrani Island.

beautiful sunrise visible from Honnavar bridge

Don’t be panic at any time under water. Follow the instructions correctly you will have fun. It’s not mandatory to know swimming to go for fun diving unless you look for certification or deep sea diving. Photographs underwater will be taken at an additional cost of Rs 500. I feel the qualities of photograph are not so good if you want to keep memory of your underwater experience you can take. It costs Rs 4500 for one dive and Rs 6500 for two dives on the same day. 

Honey Trapping

An informal definition of Honey Trapping will be ‘retrieving information of any sort about a country or a person using any means’. Using the means of ‘Wine, Wealth and Women’ is prevalent in honey trapping. But recent addition to that is cyber space using social networking sites or any other means of online means of communication to gather confidential or secret information.

Honey Trapping has its existence even in the ancient periods even though the term ‘Honey Trapping’ was not prevalent. One can remember stories of using poisonous girl to retrieve information or kill anyone during Mauryan Empire. Now, the same old wine is in new bottle with added present day technology.

Honey Trapping is majorly used to get the information about defense of another country from the higher level officials. The main targets will be the officials working in the Embassy. Honey Trapping is done in such a way that one cannot make out that they are being trapped. There are no straight forward steps or procedure to get someone trapped, it can go to any level including romance or beyond! Recent suspensions of officials working at Indian Embassy abroad and few IAS officers are instances of officials being trapped.

Honey trapping recently being used to check the loyalty of a person in relationship. Even TV shows telecasted few shows how they trapped crooks. Honey Trapping is not like spying about a person, it is like making use of someone either man or woman to closely associate with the other to gather information. Giving lump sum money or taking advantage of weakness of a person is common thing.

In Cyber space, honey trapping will be done mainly using social networking sites or chat rooms. Hacking databases to access critical information about a country or its opinion about other countries is also a kind of honey trapping! In social networking sites all of a sudden a charming girl or a handsome guy will send chat or friend requests and starts to being close so that the confidence is gain. Interestingly a person of opposite gender is used in these purposes.

Tips to avoid being victim of Honey trapping:

1) Don’t entertain any calls or SMS conversations from unknown persons

2) Take enough care while conversing or connecting with people in social networks, especially when someone tries to gain personal information about you

3) Don’t believe people easily, showing over friendliness all of a sudden.

Many times it so happens that you are good and circumstances of making you victim will be high so be careful.

Sri Gnana Saraswati Temple, Basara

Basara is a small village on the banks of river Godavari. Basara has Sri Gnana Saraswathi temple along with Godavari Ghat, Ganesha temple, Vedavathi Shila (stone), Dattatreya statue and Vyasa Guha (cave) Basara is connected quite well with the bus and trains. The trains running between Hyderabad to Maharashtra will pass through Basara and have stops there. Many buses are there to reach Basara.

garden around temple

Main deity is Gnana Saraswathi Devi and along with her Lakshmi idol is also present in the sanctum sanctorum. Many were ignorant about Lakshmi idol in the sanctum, when I asked other visitors about idol. Later I asked priest and got to know that it is Lakshmi idol. The temples having Lakshmi and Saraswathi together are rarely found.

devotees can sit and take rest under shade on the way to temple entrance

'Aksharabhyasam' will be done in masses making devotees to sit in two different halls in front of sanctum based on the tickets taken. For the devotees with Rs 500 ticket, Aksharabhyasam is done in the hall in front of sanctum and for devotees with Rs 20 ticket the Aksharabhyasam will be done in the adjacent hall having small idol of Devi Saraswathi. Devotees making individual request to priest to make their kids to write on slate is seen once the pooja is over.


large hall in front of Saraswathi Devi Sanctum where Aksharabhyasam is performed

adjacent hall of performing Aksharabhyasam

Adjacent to Sanctum is Dattatreya idol is placed in front of topless tree. The top of tree has an attractive hanging of Devi Saraswathi holding Veena.

Lord Dattatreya

Gnana Saraswathi with Veena

Behind Sanctum there is Mahankali idol to which devotees can offer oil for the lamp. Oil brought from outside will not be allowed to pour in the lamp. It has to be purchased paying Rs 5 in temple premises itself.


Saraswathi statue is found on the adjacent hill on the way to Vyasa Maharshi Guha. Vyasa Maharshi Guha is having idol of Vyasa Maharshi and Devi Saraswathi. The entrance to cave is quite narrow and one has to crawl a bit to reach inside the cave. There is an entrance fee of Re 1 to this cave and also photographers will be available around for devotees interested in taking pictures.

Sarawathi statue near to Vyasa Guha

Vyasa Guha entrance 

Saraswathi idol at Vyasa Guha

Vyasa Maharshi in front of Saraswathi statue

Behind Vyasa Guha there is Ganesha temple. Temple is recently built but it is having the old stone like idol having the similarity of Ganesha.

Ganesha Temple at Basara

Another attraction is Vedavathi shila (stone) producing different sound when hit by a stone. We can listen to many sounds if we keep ears to stone and hit on other side. When I asked about it to a person designated to look after the stone premises he told that the stone is a kind of ‘Tanka Shila’ producing musical sound.

Vedavathi Shila (stone)

Godavari Ghat has Shiva temple on the banks of Godavari River. It is considered to be a holy river and one can take bath in the river. Even boat ride is there. Temple trust runs free buses for the convenience of devotees to visit Godavari river.

Godavari Ghat

Shiva temple on banks of Godavari

Saraswathi statue at Godavari Ghat 

Even railway station at Basara has temple kind of entrance

Food and Accommodation at Basara: 

Basara has many private lodges (may be around 20) apart from the Andhra Pradesh Government own Haritha Hotel. Reservation at this hotel can be done online through APTDC website or through E-Seva counters of Andhra Pradesh. Standard check out time there is 11:00 AM so adjust your timings according if you are booking at this hotel. Basara also has Guest houses owned by TTD committee and Vaishya community. Tariffs are mainly season dependent with minimum being Rs 200 for normal Non-AC rooms. 

Pulihora Prasadam given at temple premises is good. The hotel present in temple premises provides hygienic food but not so tasty. Many hotels are also present near Godavari and Saraswathi temple. Many shops selling Notebooks and slates are found around temple.

GOD - Generator Operator and Destroyer

I had been to Kedareshwara temple at Halebidu recently. Temple guide (I mean the people who are very well acquainted with the history of place and explains the same to visitors) was giving interesting summary related to the stone carvings made on the walls of temple. His major carvings made on the walls of temple. His major claim was that the Westerns have inspired from Indian culture, traditions and even epics. One of such claims is that the word ‘GOD’ is also derived with inspiration from Indians.

Pointing at the beautiful carvings of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara made on temple walls, the temple guide was explaining the meaning of word 'GOD' with its expansion.

Brahma - the Generator 

Vishnu - the Operator

Shiva - the Destroyer

According to him the acronym ‘GOD’ stands for Generator Operator and Destroyer. Hindu Mythology has characters like Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. Brahma being the Creator of Universe he was called as Generator. Vishnu being responsible for all the activities of Universe, he was called Operator. Maheshwara or Shiva having the image of destroyer of evil is called Destroyer.

Putting all together the Generator, the Operator and the Destroyer are responsible for all the happenings of this Universe. 

Charminar, Hyderabad

Charminar is present at the heart of Hyderabad city. Four minarets are connected with arches. Charminar attracts visitors from all over the World and Charminar has the popularity of Global Icon of Hyderabad. The Archaeological Survey of India has declared Charminar as a protected monument and also it is one of their very few ticketed monuments of India.


Closed look of upper portion of Charminar

The name Charminar also means four towers (char=four, minar=towers) Each Minaret is having Onion like dome at the top popularly called as bulbous dome found in Islamic Architecture. 

Beautiful Minarets

The purpose of tall Minarets was to announce or give specific instructions to people assembled at Mosque for offering prayers.According to historical sources, Charminar was built by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah in 1591 to commemorate the end of plague disease in the city.

Arch connecting the Minarets

It is allowed to go till first floor and public visit to second floor is restricted. From the first floor one can spot the Mecca Masjid present very near to Charminar, High Court and Golkonda fort.

Clocks are present on the four sides 

Design of roof visible from ground

View of Charminar roof

The Minarets look like blossomed flower with its petals encircling the style.

view from the balcony of first floor, there is Choodi Bazaar outside the visible arch

Recently Charminar is in news because of the construction of Bhagya Laxmi Temple attached to the Charminar walls. When I visited Charminar , the entry to Bhagya Laxmi Temple was closed with Paramilitary forces guarding the surrounding area. Also there was the aroma of special food being cooked on the occasion of Muharram.