“Explore the many worlds of Karnataka, India.” If you are someone who loves geography and are very much interested in learning about rock formations, caves and more; and if adventure is your thrill then there is a place to meet all your needs. The name is Yana caves situated in Karnataka India.
This beautiful natural wonder is located in Kumta; Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka, India. This place is a natural habitat and home to wildlife besides it is also a pilgrimage site. It attracts tourist from all around the world.
Karnataka- one state many worlds is not just a phrase but is indeed one state with many worlds from ancient era’s still standing tall in this century.
Knowing the history of natural formations is always a mystery and sometimes unbelievable. This place too has history behind the formations and why it is so popular among travel buffs and trekkers.
This region is one of the wettest places in the world and thus it is home to flora and fauna and hence been tagged as a region of bio diversity. It lies amid the Sahyadri mountain ranges of the Western Ghats.
When you enter this village you can see the beautiful rock formation from a distance and one would surely want to have a closer look at it.
The History of these marvelous Monolithic rocks goes back to Hindu mythology and knowing it will make you think if all this is true? Well whether we believe it to be true or otherwise; catching a glimpse of it will make you proud that you were able to witness it in this life.
Lord Vishnu then forged a plan he transformed into Mohini a seductress and finally tricked Bhasmasura to end his own life by placing his hand on his own head. Due to this whole event the caves turned black from the ashes of Bhasmasura. Unbelievable ? Believe it.
It was formed millions of years ago and the black colour is due to iron manganese and silica present in them. Go see it to believe it
The Sanctum of the shrine:
The shrine is a popular spiritual location as devotees of Lord Shiva flock together to get a glimpse of him. The Swayambhu Lingham is located in the temple shrine on the top and is a heavenly abode.
Monolithic rocks stand out due to their size, the temple is of bhairaveshwar shikara and the Linga is said to be self – emerged. The water drips over the Linga and is the attraction which further adds the holiness to this place .The rituals are performed everyday by the local priests and the annual festival is also held with pomp and gaiety.
You can complete a revolution from the start of the cave to the end and is a sight you should never miss.
Geology; Wildlife and more about this place:
The Yana rock towers or the monolithic structures are between 300 and 400 feet amidst the green landscape. The two most popular towers are the largest and the tallest ones.
The Bhairaveshwara Shikhara stands 390 feet high, while Mohini shikhara stands 300 feet tall. The names of course have been given based on the past events as per history. These weather beaten rocks form eerie shapes due to corrosion and have caves inside them due to underwater springs and the rain effect. One such cave is home to the swayambhu linga (formed by stalagmites and stalactites) and around this lingam is formed the Bhairaveshwara temple.
This Bhairaveshwara temple, located at the bottom of this massive black limestone karst rock, is extremely popular with locals especially during festivals (Shivaratri) and for divine ablutions
As an outsider, it takes a while to understand this culture, but you can certainly admire one of Mother Nature’s stupendous creations.
While the insides of the caves are home to endemic bats and swallows, the top of the rocks are home to raptors and the surrounding forests are home to a wide array of wildlife that include colorful butterflies, tigers, leopards, sloth bears, king cobras, macaques and so much more.
A true adventure lover will surely pass through it without many hiccups.
What is so spectacular there?:
The Yana caves have everything to offer for all kinds of travelers; be it a nature lover, trekker, rock climber or ;a geography and history lover; a blogger; vlogger; a writer or an artist or photographer or just a pilgrim. This place will leave everyone awe struck.
An insta-grammable place I can say. You will surely indulge and immerse and would never want to return back. This place is truly magical and the aura is going to stay with you forever.
Experience of the trek: As a trek enthusiast, I must say this place is my most favourite. It has always been in my bucket list and when I got the chance to visit. I was amazed. I visited post monsoon and it was pretty humid but the eagerness to reach this place clouded other thoughts. The rocks and the flora and fauna simply let me indulge .Small streams , small beautiful creatures on the path and as you reach the top the rock formation look more beautiful and your eyes aren’t enough to see it.
Before reaching the main shrine there are small stops to rest and small temples for other gods too; you can take breaks and reach to the top. The shrine inside the caves is altogether another fulfilling experience. The climb to the top can be a little hard for beginners as there are several steps to climb and not really a straight path. However slow and steadily you can surely reach the top.
Once you’re there you will thank yourself for making it to the top and you will want to visit again.
On the way to the peak you can befriend several tourist from the neighborhood and the local visitors and also tourist from across the globe.
I was mesmerized and I recommend everyone to see this place once in their life time if ever you are in Karnataka.
Inside the cave:
The entrance to the cave is easy but you have to be aware of a few nocturnal animals, although the center of the cave is where you can feel the coolness and also a ray of light right below you. If you haven’t posed for a picture here then you’re surely missing out.
Even if you aren’t a picture lover but a nature lover don’t miss to capture it with the lens of your camera and the lens of your eye
The return is always sad because you never know if you would get another to visit the same place again. Even if you do each experience is always new.
The trek downhill seems easy but is actually difficult; simply because, you have keep tiny steps and go slow so you don’t trip and also allow people to go at their own pace ; as the visitors are plenty.
The journey is just memorable. At the end of the location there are several tiny shops selling small snacks and juice items, you can quench your thirst and hunger from here and then say adios to the place until another time.
Best time to visit:
The monsoons are the best time to visit Yana if you wish to see the forests in its full splendour. However, heavy rains are not everyone’s cup of tea and hence the post monsoon and winter season is ideal for all kinds of visitors. Even though Yana can be technically explored all year around, it can quite hot and humid during the summer months.
Location (How to get there): Karnataka is easily accessible as it has several means of transport. You can take a flight to Mangalore or Bengaluru from anywhere around India. From there you can either take a road or train route and you will easily locate the Yana caves as it is amid the city of Kumta. A One hour from Gokarna or karwar ; and from Mangalore its about 260 kms by road which is about 5hours . There are trains from Bangalore and Mangalore to Kumta or Karwar and one can reach this place by taxi or own vehicle.
Remember to follow the rules and the timings and be a responsible traveler.
While I write about this blog all my memories from this place just streamed in my mind and I am surely making a trip again to this place. If you are thinking of visiting too then don’t hesitate; just pack your bags and go visit now.