We reached Managalore by West Coast Express on the morning of 14th February 2018. Our train was originally scheduled to reach Mangalore Central around 4.30 am but arrived at 8.00 am only - late by 3 and 1/2 hours. We alighted and after crossing the overbridge reached the a/c waiting room on platform 1. We had a quick bath ,changed into fresh clothes and had some light breakfast at the Railway restaurant. Then we hopped onto the waiting taxi (a Toyota Etios) and were on our way to Kukke Subramania - our first place of pilgrimage on this temple tour. We reached our destination in about 90 minutes. Our friends from Bangalore, Kumar & Padmini had alreachy reached Subramania by a direct train from Bangalore and checked into Hotel SLR Residency. We met them there, had a brief coffee & conversation session and then immediately proceeded to the temple for darshan.We first visited the Adi Subramania Temple and then to the main temple and joined the queue. Chappals had to be deposited in a separate counter. Men had to remove shirts/banians before entering the sanctum. We were a few feet into the temple when we suddenly heard loud clanging of bells. We turned our head only to find an elephant squeezing in through the narrow entrance and then walking rapidly towards the sanctum. It was terrifying to see an elephant suddenly appproaching us without warning at such close proximity. We squeezed against the balustrades and let the elephant pass. We then offered prayers to Subramania,Vinayakar & Uma Maheswara when we encountered the elephant again. He(or she) was actually a gently young calf who was tethered to a corner and blessing devotees with his trunk. Later we exited and sauntered around in the open in the blazing sun, visiting souvenir & hanukkai shops and clicking selfies before repairing back to the Hotel for nice thali lunch.
After a brief rest we checked out and departed for Dharmasthala, a distance of 110 Kms.
|Selfie time - Above & below|
|The Temple elephant below|
|The serpentine darshan queue|
|The burgeoning crowd of devotees waiting for free meals offerred by the Temple|
|Selfie in bright sunlight|
|The gopuram or entrance tower|
|Selfies outside the souvenir shops|
|The colorfully decorated chariot|
|The souvenir shop|