Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ferry Ride from Holebaagilu to Sigandur

On Wednesday, 5th October 2011, me and Manju went to Sigandur taking a day off from Ninasam Culture Course 2011 at Heggodu. Decision to visit Sigandur instead of Ikkeri or Keladi (which were historical places) was mainly because of the mode of transport from Holebaagilu to Sigandur, a ferry!
Traffic jam near Holebaagilu
Heggodu to Holebaagilu : We boarded a bus towards Sagara from Heggodu in the morning and got down at a stop after being said that one can catch the bus to Sigandur there instead of going to Sagara. After few inquiries we came to know that there were only few buses to Sigandur and when the bus finally arrived, it was overcrowded. We thought of backing out on the plan but finally succumbed to our adventure instincts and boarded the bus. There was not even an inch to keep our feet anywhere. In these tough times, comic relief was provided by the conductor of the bus entertaining the crowd! I also noticed the usage of a different Kannada term for 'move inside' the bus unlike jarugi used in Bangalore. People from in this region of Malnad use the term daati. Kannadigas generally use this term to mean 'cross' - like cross the road, cross the river. I thought this usage might have been because people here cross rivers more often! :)
Ferry Carrying People, Bus and other vehicles
Talking of hardships, this was only the beginning; more were to come later! Somehow managing unprecedented rush in the bus, we reached some 2-3 kms away from Holebaagilu, place where one needs to board the ferry. Why not at Holebaagilu? Beacause of traffic jam. But in this remote town of Malnad, how come? It was a jam created by Bangaloreans for the most part. How? - It was Dasara season and that day, it was Mahanavami. We then also noticed the bus being decorated with flowers - it was the day of Ayudha Pooja too and huge number of people had come from all over Karnataka and particularly from Bangalore(as it was evident from the registration numbers of vehicles parked) to visit Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple. Analyzing the situation the bus conductor started giving back some part of the ticket money as the passengers now would not be able to reach Sigandur via this bus! Me and Manju got down from the bus and walked till Holebaagilu and waited for the ferry.
View of Sharavati River from Ferry
Ferry or Launch Ride : When the ferry arrived, people were allowed to board first and then the vehicles - cars, bikes and vans. The first thing we did boarding the ferry was securing a strategic place to sit so that we can enjoy the ride watching the exquisite natural surroundings. Sitting on the edge of the ferry seemed perfect to view the nature in our travel.Our ticket for this travel cost mere Rs.1 per person! Because it was operated by Govt. of Karnataka. Sitting on the edge of the ferry with legs dropped we could see the water flow underneath our feet - wonderful. Kids on board were too excited and posed for photos whenever I took the camera out! We could also watch another ferry carrying the bus and other vehicles too. Other fantastic view - was of the vegetation in the submerged river, clear sky and the hills nearby in one shot!
Ferry near Sigandur
Sigandur by Road : Once we reached the other end of the Sharavati river, it was about 1 30 pm and we were extremely hungry. There are few small hotels here. Lemon rice, chutney and pakoda - a combination which I felt like one of the best meals I had in recent times. From here, there are private players transporting passengers to Sigandur Temple and their mode of transport - jeep and car. Needless to say, they operate only after the vehicle is fully occupied or rather tightly packed with passengers.
Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple
Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple : Since it was an auspicious day, huge number of devotees were visiting the temple. I had wait for a long time to get a darshana of the goddess as people were sent in batches to view the idol of Chowdeshwari.
Areca nut palms
Areca nut Palms, Return Journey and Meditation! : After the visit to the temple, me and Manju went exploring the nearby estate filled with areca nut palms. We went further to find a green plain ground; watching the clouds in a clear sky lying in the ground is what we did to pass time there! Coming back from there, we returned back to the river bank this time in a jeep. In the return journey, we were not so lucky as we did not get the strategic place to sit in the ferry. Once we reached Holebaagilu, Manju had an idea. To sit by the river without talking as a form of meditation. He did so and I did too with a twist, having a book in hand to read! After half an hour or so we were on our way back to Sagara and then to Heggodu ending a wonderful day. 
View of Sharavati River from its bank at Holebaagilu

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