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Monday, November 14, 2011

Sigandur temple, ferry ride, holebagilu

Sigandur is a place in western ghats some 50kms from Sagara and 50kms from Kollur  (Karnataka state). The place is popular because of Sigandur Chowdeshwari (Chaudamma) temple, who is believed to be powerful. But for travel enthusiasts, more attractive experience will be the ferry ride across river Sharavati.

Long long ago, when a dam was built across river sharavati (Linganamakki Reservoir  near Jog falls) which submerged lot of localities and turned places into islands. Barge service was started to help locals reach their destinations. For tourists, it also makes a nice ride, along with their vehicles. 
Having seen this in pictures, when I got the Aria I decided to take this route to reach my native. Though longer than regular Sagara-Udupi route, route via Sigandur added to fun and excitement. In Sagara town, take left turn towards Ikkeri and after covering about 40 kms, we get a place called Holebagilu (translates to River Door or entrance to the river). Being Monday afternoon, crowd was less and in about 15 mins we could get on the barge. Ferry staff have mastered the art of loading maximum vehicles on it. By seeing the size of vehicles they decide which one to be sent first and where it is to be parked. I drove the aria in reverse to park it on the ferry and got out to enjoy the ride.

Ferry ride lasted for about 20mins, giving enough time for photoshoot. Ferry (aka Jetti) is powered by two Ashok Leyland engines. About 5kms on the other side is Sigandur temple. Nothing unique as such, unless you believe in the divine power of the goddess.  After visiting the temple you may either go back or proceed towards Kollur or Hosanagara.

Point to note:
1.    On busy days like Sundays or during temple festival seasons, there can be huge rush of vehicles and since the number of barges/ferries is limited (only 2), if you wish to cross the river with your vehicle on the ferry, you may have to wait for several hours to get your turn. A more practical way will be to cross the river without the vehicle and take an auto on the other end, if you wish to return back after visiting temple. Else go very early in the day.
2.    Some taxi drivers just refuse to get their vehicle on board the ferry, fearing vehicles might rub against each other during the ride and might get damaged. I took the big aria on this ferry and nothing happened. Ferry or Barge is highly stable as it crosses the river and there’s no swinging. If going by rented vehicle, highlight this part before starting and ensure that driver has no issues. Just be sure to keep an eye on the vehicle as some people tend to lean against it or sit on it etc as the boat moves.
3.    Parking Fee: Rs 10, Ferry fee Rs 15 for cars, Re 1 per passenger
4.    Open till 5PM only, do not be late. (I’m told there can be more trips during peak season/festivals) and the guys will operate the ferry one more round if paid well, but haven’t tested these)
5.     Local vehicles, Buses get priority over tourist vehicles 
An interesting observation to me was the temple well, into which devotees threw coins, hoping that goddess would grant their wishes in exchange. A smarter way would have been to drop cheques. Even while passing Krishna River in train, train passengers used to throw coin into the river.
 Ok, finally a photo of the temple. I missed to take a long shot of the temple, so as to include the large empty field in front of it.
Above: Another barge coming from the opposite direction, with a Gajanana bus on it...
Below: Trees submerged till neck, can hint you about the depth of the water
    Nearby: 
    Kodachadri *  
    Jog Falls * 
    Nagara Fort *
    Keladi *
    Ikkeri *
    Maravanthe *
    Note: Some of the photos were clicked by Vinay as I was busy driving

    Related: Aria 4x4 review * Aria photoshoot Set 1, Set 2 * Aria in Mullayanagiri * ottinene

9 comments :

magiceye said...

15/- is quite cheap for the vehicle!

Trails of a Traveler said...

Interesting place indeed!

Ram

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Ram and Deepak.

Also glad to see 60+ people liking this post

Indrani said...

Great place... hope to visit.
These boat rides scare me somehow.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

:) Nothing to be scared of

Anonymous said...

Nice pics and useful points to note. Do you know what time do the ferries start in the morning?
One more que - is it safe to park the vehicle on this side of the river, visit temple and come back?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

8 AM if I am not mistaken

Yes, it is safe to park on the side and come back

Vinay N said...

Can I know what are the timings for ferries from Sagara to Sigandur.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

There'll be one every 30 minutes.. with 5 PM or so being last.

Not sure what time it starts in the morning.