Sonda: The Lush Temple Village located in the lap of the Western Ghats - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Sonda: The Lush Temple Village located in the lap of the Western Ghats

Digambar temple near Sonda, Karnataka

It is the kind of place where peace, spirituality and lush nature go hand in hand. It is a place where prehistoric rock art, beautiful Hindu and Jain temples and a matha established by Sri Madhvacharya exist in close proximity to each other. It is the kind of place where life seems to move at a much slower pace. I am talking about Sonda or Sodhe, the lush temple village that is nestled amidst the Sahyadri mountains and is surrounded by the dense jungles of the Western Ghats.

As a thumb rule, most tourists visit this village for the 13th century Sodhe Matha (also known as Sri Vadiraja Matha), one of the Ashta Mathas established by Sri Madhvacharya, the famous Dvaita philosopher. The main deities worshipped here are Lord Bhuvaraha, Lord Hayagriva and Sri Bhuta Raja. The brindavana of Swami Vadiraja Tirtha can also be found here. But, there is more to Sonda, than the Sodhe Matha. There is the Rama Trivikrama temple and stone chariot, built in Vijayanagara style, the Shankarnarayana temple built in Chalukyan style, the many Digambar Jain temples located in and round Sonda, the Mundigekere bird sanctuary (a breeding ground for cattle egrets and some other waterfowl), the Sahasralinga on the river Shalmala and the many Jain monasteries.

Each of these places offer rustic charm, pristine nature and oodles of peace.

Lake in front of Sonda Vadiraja Mutt

So, if you happen to be in the Uttara Kannada region for a day trip, weekend trip, monsoon holiday or for a longer trip, don’t forget to add Sonda and its many attractions into your itinerary. This temple village is also the kind of place where one can stay for a much longer duration if detox, meditation and rejuvenation are on your mind. And while you are here, do remember to pay a visit to the famous waterfalls of Uttara Kannada for a waterfall bath and natural massage.

Temple next to Sonda Vadiraj Mutt, Karnataka

How to reach there:

The nearest airport would be Hubli airport, about 110 kms away.

The nearest railway and bus station would be Sirsi, about 20 kms away. Regular buses ply from Sirsi to Yellapur and you can get share taxis or autorickshaws from the bus stop.

There are two to three routes to reach Sonda from Sirsi, but the easiest one is to head north on the Sirsi – Yellapur road and turn left at the Sonda deviation towards the Sodhe Mutt and then turn right at the Sodhe Vadiraja Mutt arch.

Where to stay:

There are a few simple places to stay at Sonda like the Yatrinivas at Sonda and the Sodhe Mutt. There are also many homestays in the region that can offer you a lush environment with a local experience. My personal favorite is Tavarumane homestay, a blissful rural holiday destination in Karnataka.

For something fancier, head to Sirsi.

Best season to visit:

Sonda is open all year round, but if you want to experience the lush atmosphere in all its glory, either head there during the rains or right after it/

Where to eat:

There are a few small shacks at Sonda where you can find a small bite to eat. For something more, try the restaurants on the Sirsi-Yellapur highway. For a wide variety of dining options, head to Sirsi.

If you don’t want to do the long commutes for food, it might be prudent to eat at your homestay or carry a picnic meal with you.

Other tourist attractions nearby:

1) Mundigekere bird sanctuary – great place for relaxed birdwatching

2) Shankarnarayana temple – Chalukya era temple hidden in the forest

3) Sahasralinga – home to thousands of Shiva lingas on the banks of the river Shalmala

4) Magod Falls – a colossal monsoon spectacle

5) Vibhooti Falls – Karnataka’s jungle waterfall with a natural swimming pool

6) Yana rocks and caves – magical place in the forests of Karnataka

7) Shivapura hanging bridge – a motorcyclist’s delight

8) Sathodi Falls – Karnataka’s prettiest jungle waterfall

9) Devimane ghat – monsoon beauty home to medicinal plants and herbs

10) Bilihole Falls – hidden waterfall amidst the untouched forests of Western Ghats in Karnataka

11) Unchalli Falls – stunning monsoon holiday destination of Karnataka



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