Continued from: /blog/post/2846887
Shri Kuvempu's House is in Kuppalli in Theerthahalli taluk of Shivamogga district. There are no railway lines in this region. The nearest station is SMET. From Shivamogga you can take a bus directly to Kuppalli or take a bus to Theerthahalli first and then take another to Kuppalli. There are a lot of buses. It costs around 80 rs and takes about 2 hrs to reach the village.
From the bus stop, its just about 1 Km to his house.
There are many things to see at this place.
The foremost is his house - "Kavimane" - "Poet's Home". This is a beautiful typical Malnad region house. Since photography is prohibited, I got only outside pics. The house is surrounded by wooded area and arecanut plantations. The house is naturally well-lit with each room's window opening to outside greenery. There is an open courtyard in the middle with a Tulasi plant in the middle. Other articles used in those days like wooden ladle, cooking utensils made of brass or copper. Big wooden boxes to store rice and various other implements of the day like heavy wooden cradle, palanquin are kept on display. There is also his marriage invitation which is framed. The pillars of the house are made of wood and quite exquisitely carved with designs. Now superbly polished and maintained in the same condition.
Then there is the first floor, which one can reach using steep wooden stairs. There his books, various awards, their citations, degrees are kept along with his personal belongings like glasses, shawls etc... The second floor similarly hosts similar memorabilia.
But to me the highlight of the entire place is the "Karnataka Ratna" award, of which he was the first recipient. It is huge and magnificiently made of brass.
The Jnanpith award was not here but with his family in Mysuru.
My description is inadequate :(
One has to see it to enjoy the place and the serene atmosphere. Outside the main house is the cow shed, which has a bullock cart of that era. The washing room for utensils and toilets are outside too. The whole house is surrounded by trees and breeze constantly keeps blowing through.
Just outside the house is the stairs that leads to the hill which is his final resting place called "Kavishaila". I couldn't go as the climb was tough and there is also a road that leads to the place, only people with vehicles make the trip . Granite slabs containing engraved poems of Kuvempu are there I was told.
After Kavimane when you walk back to the main road, there is Thaponandana which houses a gallery of his works and a centenary building where people gather and watch videos of his works and discuss.
Apart from this, there is another center for learning constructed by a University in his honor on the main road near the bus stand.
The whole place is beautiful surrounded by greenery all round. The walk of 1Km too was easy amidst plantations and fields and wooded area. Hats off to the Karnataka Government to restore his house and maintain it. For building the centenary building similar to the house construction and also his final memorial and the engravings of poems. It is an inspiring place even if one doesn't know Kannada,
It will truly be a great experience to see this Malnad type old house and spend some time amidst the lush western ghats.
The entry to this house costs 10 rs - the ticket itself has pics of various places for which also the ticket is eligible. Outside the house is a small shop to sell eatables to tourists. A well built toilet, very cleanly maintained is next to it.
Timings: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Open on all days.
The route to this place from Shivamogga itself is awesome with Tunga river or its dam's backwater accompanying you most of the way. On the way you can see house after house set amidst Arecanut plantation, with beet-red arecanuts being dried outside.
The whole Malnad region is worth a visit. See last 6 Pics:
1. Agumbe - one of India's highest rainfall receiving place, home to King Cobra Sanctuary, the place where Shankar Nag shot Malgudi Days is just 45 Kms from this place.
2. Sringeri - Famous as the place where Adi Shankara established the first mutt is some 40 Kms away.
3. The whole place has many many waterfalls. If you are interested further, you can see this person's videos where he explores all these places and lots of waterfalls: click here
and also this: click here
Only thing is... to explore Malnad, you need your own vehicle as buses don't reach all the places. And also for staying - homestays are a plenty here, but again costly. If you cant afford like me, then you need to just go there for a day and return :(