By Bus – As Kukke Subramanya is a popular spot for pilgrims, there are frequent government and privately-run buses on the route. Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya buses are available at frequent intervals. The distance from Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya is 275 km and can be covered in approximately 5 hours.
By Train – Direct Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya trains are not available and the closest train station is the Mangalore railway station. This is about 86 kilometres from Mangalore and this distance can easily be covered by a bus or by car.
By Flight – Unfortunately, there are no direct Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya flights. The closest airport to Kukke Subramanya is the Mangalore Airport which has daily flights arriving from Bangalore. This is why travellers often opt for an alternative mode of transport over a Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya flight.
By Cab/Car – The Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya distance is approximately 280 kilometres. Travel to Kukke Subramanya from Bangalore in the comfort of your own vehicle. Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya by car is best enjoyed when travelling with family or in a group. The question of how to reach from Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya can be sorted quite easily if you have a car or taxi at your disposal. The Shiradi Ghat section is said to be a beautiful stretch of road with scenic views.
Kukke Subramanya – The Pilgrim Town
Nestled in the beautiful Western Ghats of India is Kukke Subramanya, a pilgrimage destination located in the village of Subramanya in the southern state Karnataka. Kukke Subramanya temple is dedicated to Snake god Vasuki and Shiva’s Son Kartikeya, who is worshipped in the form of Lord Subramanya (the lord of all servants).
Things to do
Sightseeing in Kukke Subramanya consists of visiting various temples and sacred caves. Adventure enthusiasts can make their way through the dense forest and trek to the top of Kumara parvata, while trekking along the railway tracks on the Sakleshpur to Kukke Subramanya stretch one can enjoy exciting sights through tunnels, bridges, dense forests, streams and rivers.
Being a small religious region, Kukke Subramanya offers modest stay options to the visitors. Hotels in Kukke Subramanya include a few mid-range and budget properties along with temple lodges that provide clean and basic facilities to stay in.
We hit the road from Bangalore on the way to the Western Ghats to visit Kukke Subramanya temple revered as the abode of snake god.
It was our first visit. Crossing Bangalore via Peenya as predicted was driver's nightmare especially during the office rush hours. We left on a weekday so that we could avoid the week end crowd at Kuke. It was not a bad decision but what was not the correct one was to drive out late in the morning. Our suggestion to everybody attempting a journey is that one should plan to exit Bangalore before 8 PM.
We turned from Nelamangala (Tumkur road) towards the left on to the 6 lane toll highway going towards Hassan. What a relief it was to get a fresh breath of oxygen as we cruised away from the hustle bustle of Bangalore. The well laid out highway with flushing green farm lands on either side boosted our spirits and our zest for adventure which was somehow temporarily lost.
The effortless drive however crossed the hurdles of 4 toll collection booths, a irritant of sort of otherwise a memorable drive. One should always remember to carry loose cash in 10's, 50's and 100's to save time.
Just before Hassan one gets plenty of recreational joints including our beloved Cafe Coffee Day outlet at a petrol pump. My wife wanted to use the wash room, and being little particular about the hygiene aspect of the toilets the best bet for us was to halt at the CCD outlet. The outlet is very spacious and well maintained. We were probably the few families who have visited the place since morning. After sipping coffee and having a quick bite we moved on.
It took us approx 2 hours to reach the Hassan turning from Nelamangala. Hassan town is just 10 km inside from the Y turn.
You don't have to drive into Hassan city but keep on the left towards Mangalore. Please remember that its always advisable to ask the locals for the direction or otherwise keep your GPS on as most of the direction boards are in Kannada.
After turning on to the Mangalore Highway the road becomes undivided. Although a neatly laid out road, one has to be cautious about a few potholes here as there. There are a few bad stretches on this route.
Well now the real excitement began. It started raining. Our car started cruising into forest area with thick vegetation on either side. In between the forests you could see a relief of green meadows. We were now in the Sakleshpur area, the Coffee county of Karnataka, an hour's drive from Hassan. We initially couldn't recognize the coffee bushes on the road sides till it became apparent when we could see the vast stretches of coffee estates. We stopped by to pluck a few stems with green coffee beans. This was our first encounter with a coffee plant.
If one has time, there are options to wade into the narrow paths leading to coffee estates for a first hand experience of how the coffee is grown. Many coffee estates in Sakleshpur have home stay options for those wanting to take a break. But despite the luxury home stay infrastructure the food served in these places is a complete put off. If one is ready to compromise on that aspect, your stay will be just excellent.
There are a few coffee joints and restaurants on the way but the food is not impressive. I suggest you have coffee with some biscuits rather that eat at these roadside places. What made our day was that we had carried some Aloo Parathas from home. I strongly recommend those travelling to carry some food stuff with you.
Yes a few road side tea stalls prepare excellent tea and Bhajis and you can pick up some potato wafers and Chakli packets. In fact one memorable experience was this road side tea stall run by a village couple just on the edge of a waterfall. The tea was simply amazing and their hospitality unmatched. The people in these hills are very friendly and honest and appreciate reciprocation.
The Ghat section can be divided into two. The lesser ghats (the coffee estates section of Sakleshpur) and the Shiradi Ghat section. As we enter the Shiradi Ghat section after a drive of 45 minutes from Sakleshpur, the entire flora and fauna changes. We can see dense forests on either side. With barely an escape for sunlight one can hear gush of water flowing through deep jungle ravines on the left side. In the entire stretch through the Shiradi ghat section, you will have the mountain and the cliffs on your right side and the deep valleys, ravines and forests on the left. Every few hundred meters you find water running down the hills or a waterfall. A typical monsoon experience in the Ghats. One can find holiday travelers getting wet in these falls.
If one is a photographic enthusiast you capture colorful and rare wild flowers, colorful plants and trees and of course the nature at its best.
Caution: One should attempt getting into small accessible falls with not much of a current. You can't imagine the force with which the water comes and the larger stones a very slippery to hold onto and it can prove to be fatal.
You come across boards with picture of a tiger announcing that you are in the Tiger territory.
One exciting incident happened. My wife took a video of a waterfall in the jungle. There was gushing noise of the water but in the surround sound she captured a roar of a tiger. The tiger would have been not more than 100 feet away from us. We were lucky in many ways.
It rains buckets in this section. Sometimes you wade through a fog, sometimes you can see clouds below you and sometimes you are in the clouds. It's truly a mesmerizing experience.
The road in this section is a newly laid one but the barricading on the drop side has not been done as yet and one has to be really careful while driving. A fatal accident can take you down hundreds of feet. Do not try and overtake vehicles until unless you are very sure.
As we move further, on the left side you can see a fully blown river flowing down in all its glory with numerous rapids and falls. It's the sacred Kumaradhara River revered and worshiped by the locals. All along the journey the river continues to flow along with you on your left.
We reach Gundya village from where we turn left leaving the Mangalore highway for Subramanya village which is approx 22 km inside and takes half an hour to reach there. The road is narrow but well laid and marked. We cross the bridge over Kumaradhara River in two places. The entire path is through a very dense forest. We at last reached Subramanya village well before the sunset as planned.
Subramanya village welcomes you with an arch gate. The temple town is approx. A kilometer inside from the gate. The entry point is where there are bathing ghats along the river where people take a dip before visiting the temple. So if you look on your right you will find shops selling clothes and plastic mugs for bathing in the river. The Ghats are around 50 meters inside from this point. It's advisable to use the mugs to bathe rather than venture into the river as the water current is very strong and also the river is Crocodile infested.
Near the bathing ghats stands an excellent hotel called Vijay Comforts. In fact it's arguably the best hotel in town. The hotel has an excellent restaurant serving range of cuisines including authentic North Indian. The rates are very reasonable compared to Bangalore standards and the food as good. If you desire North Indian food than you will not find a better place in this town.
It's not a bad idea for long travelers to first have food, than bathe at the ghats before proceeding for the temple which is a kilometer inside.
If one has his own vehicle and would like to do night halt than I would strictly recommend this hotel. The rooms are neat and spacious and the ambiance is just great. The only negative side is that there is no room service except for the morning tea.
There are two temples which are a must to visit. The main Kukke Subramanya temple and the Adi Subrahmanya temple which is around 200 meters away from the main temple at the back side. The approach is from the left side of the main temple.
We were spellbound by the majesty of the temple standing tall in front of a mountain range. A true delight for a photographer.
For those driving in their vehicle the parking area is just after turning right from the front of the temple. There is ample parking space with no charges.
There are many hotels and restaurants in this area serving snacks and meals.
For us the visit was truly a memorable one and a lifetime experience and I wish the same for all those wanting to travel in future.
Tips for the travelers:
1) Leave early to reach the Ghat section by not later than 1 PM. The entire ghat section including the lesser Ghats till Subramanya village takes approximately 3 hours to cross. If you want to spend more time with the nature than reach even earlier.
2) Carry food stuff and water.
3) Do not drive fast and avoid overtaking.
4) Be careful on the turns as there are chances that you will find rashly driven taxis.
5) Do not forget to carry umbrellas especially during the monsoon time.
6) Make sure your vehicle is filled with fuel and you will not come across any Petrol Pump in the Ghat section. You will find one Indian Oil pump approx 5 km before Subramanya village.
7) Carry first aid kit for emergency.
8) Mobile connectivity in the Ghat section is very poor. Even in Subramanya village the network connectivity is very low.
9) Carry cash as there are chances the card swiping facility will not be available at places and even if it's available, the lines would be down.
The journey time can be divided as follows:
A. Bangalore city section till Nelamangala turning B. Nelamangala to Hassan section: Approx 2 Hours C. Hassan to Sakleshpur: approx 1 Hour D. Sakleshpur to Gundya village via Shiradi Ghat section: approx 2 Hours E. Gundya village turning to Kukke Subramanya: 30 minutes.
Very Pleasant Drive. Shiradi Ghat is a 35 km stretch of ghat section on the NH-48 highway (New number: NH 75) through the Western Ghats connecting Mangalore and Bangalore, the state capital of Karnataka. This section of the highway has refreshing scenic views to offer during monsoon, while passing through the highway. Went through this stretch just a couple of days ago, on my way towards Mangalore from Bangalore.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) provides good connectivity in Karnataka and outside Karnataka. It is dependable. Only road on the way to Kukke, Subramanya is very bad. The bus starts right on time from Central bus station in Bangalore and reaches almost before time. Buses are neat and clean. We travelled onward by Vovlo.