Kavi Shaila and Kavi Mane
Yet another trip to our hometown from Bangalore and an opportunity to tick off one more place from our bucket list. This time, it was Kavi Shaila, a memorial built for the legendary Kannada poet/writer Kuvempu. It is located in Kuppalli village of Thirthahalli taluk, Shimoga district. In our school days, we have read many works of Kuvempu and visiting his home and the memorial made us nostalgic.
As always, we started from home at 3.45 AM. Took the Hassan highway and reached Chikmaglur at 7.45 AM, finished breakfast in Vishnu Delicacy and proceeded towards Koppa following the same route that we take for home (via Chikmagalur > Aldur > Balehonnur > Jayapura). Proceeded straight towards Koppa in Jayapura and then deviated left at Koppa town towards Kuppalli.
Kuppalli is a very small village and as soon as you enter, you can see glimpses of memorials created for Kuvempu and his son Poornachandra Tejaswi (another popular Kannada writer). One thing you will notice as soon as you enter Kuppalli is its pin drop silence. Proceed further till Kuppalli bus stop and you will see the iconic ancestral house of Kuvempu. Nestled amidst the dense forests of Western Ghats, the house itself is a beautiful tourist spot. The big house is now renovated and is converted to a museum. It is called Kavi Mane which means “House of the Poet”.
- Timings: 9.30 AM to 6.30 PM on all days.
- Entrance Fee: 10 Rs/person.
- Photography and Videograpgy is strictly prohibited inside the house.
The three storeyed house with tiled roof is very big and is built in a traditional Malenadu style. In the middle of the ground floor there is a tank with open roof. In the ground floor, you can find the Mantapa in which Kuvempu’s wedding took place. The rooms on the ground floor has very good collection of Kuvempu and his family’s old photographs, names of their family members, and the household artifacts used by them. The first floor can be reached by wooden stairs and it houses numerous awards received by him including the prestigious Padma Bhushana, Padma Vibushana, and Karnataka Rathna awards. Kuvempu was the first one to bring the most prominent Jnanapeetha award for Kannada literature. The various articles used by Kuvempu are also kept neatly on the first floor. The second floor has a great collection of books written by him and the ones published by his publications. One will definitely be surprised to see the number of books present in that room.
Just outside the house, there is a small room where the household items used in olden days were kept. Kavi Mane is very well maintained and the place where it is located makes it worth the visit.
Before visiting Kuppalli, I had thought Kavi Shaila means house of Kuvempu i. e. Kavi Mane. Upon visiting the place, I got to know that Kavi Shaila is a rock memorial dedicated to Kuvempu built after his death. Few steps of climb (around 300) from Kavi Mane, you can find Kavi Shaila on top of a small hillock. Even, vehicles can go till the top via a different road. The memorial is built such that the huge rocks have been placed in a circle very similar to Stonehenge. His body was laid to rest at the center of this rock monument after his death. The view of western ghat is breathtaking from this point. The place is so peaceful that Kuvempu used to come, meditate, and write his works here.
We departed from Kavi Shaila at 1 PM and started towards home via Koppa > Agumbe > Hebri and reached home at 3 PM.
- Route Travelled: BTM Layout > Hassan > Belur > Chikmagalur > Aldur > Balehonnur > Jayapura > Koppa > Kuppalli > Kavi Mane > Kavi Shaila
- Photos: Kavi Mane and Kavi Shaila Album