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Yana: An Ideal Destination for Family Trekking
By Florine Roche


June 11, 2014

For those who want to experience adventure but are averse to the idea of long and grueling journey on foot, a trip to Yana would be an ideal trekking spot for the entire family. Located amidst the thick and luxuriant foliage about 30 kms from Kumta, Yana offers wonderful trekking trails to nature lovers. Apart from the numerous trekking trails the gigantic and mind-boggling rock formations you are sure to make your trip to Yana an enchanting and fascinating experience. Yana is well known for the unusual rock formations. There are two gigantic hillocks and there are bat caves and the hillocks can be reached only by walking through short distance through the lush green forest. 


Members of Mangalore branch Youth Hostel Association of India conducted a family trek to Yana on June 1, 2014 and the trekking distance was only 2.5 kms one way. Being a family trek there were lot of youngsters in the group of 45 people who were part of this trek. We travelled to Kumta by the early morning train from Mangalore and from Kumta travelled another 25 kms though the thick and lush green forest through two tempo travelers to reach the spot nearer to the rock formations. On parking our vehicles we had to trek another 2.5 kms through the thick forest enjoying nature and her priceless bounty. The sound of the flowing stream on the pathway and chirping of birds was our constant companion as we meandered amidst the forest to come across the awaiting the black beauties - Mohini Shikhara and Bhairaveshwara Shikhara. 

Just before we could set our eyes on Mohini Shikhara the slender of the two, we came across a bat cave that smelt full of bat shit. But that did not stop us from exploring the cave. Though the atmosphere was quite nauseating its allure was irresistible. It looked like a man-made edifice with the touch of architecture. There was a huge bolder of a rock which was like a roof and naturally bats enjoy a safe haven beneath the protective cover of this rock. We tried our best to lift these rocks with all our might, though the entire exercise was meant only for photographs. 

We first came across Mohini Shikhara - the smaller of the two massive rocks that comprise Yana. It is about 300 feet in height and looks as though the rock looks it is horizontally sliced at many places. Just as we could relish those happy moments of enjoying the black beauty we could see the other rock – Bhairaveshwara Shikhara which is about 390 feet. While Bhairaveshwara Shikhara is broad and looks sturdy Mohini is slender. Located in the Sahyadri mountain range of Western Ghats these rocks are made up of solid black crystalline Karst limestone. Yana is also well known as a pilgrimage centre because of the cave temple just beneath the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara. 

On entering Bhairaveshwara Shikhara one should keep their shoes or sandals aside and ready to explore the cave with bare feet, in black dusty ground. Tourists are required to encircle the rock to get a full view of its beauty and grandiosity of the rock. A three meter wide opening leads us into the cave. Once inside you are exposed to a bat cave that smells nothing but bats and its shit strewn all around. Inside the cave in many places the rock at the top opens to give us a glimpse of the rays of the sun and also a breath of fresh air. It is quite a fascinating scene inside as the stone formations in various shapes and sizes tickle our imagination. 

The path inside the cave is quite zigzag and steps are quite steep in some places. One has to take the help of cave walls to make their way downwards. The trouble however, is worth because once you come out of the cave you get a fascinating view of the beehive dotting the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara on beneath the rock cavity or even in open area. We could spot more than 50 honey combs in one stretch of the rock. Tourists are warned not to disturb the beehive because the species of these honey bees is called “Hejjenu” which is notorious for its formidable stinging attacks. We had to whisper in low key tones for the fear of disturbing the honeybees. 

At the entrance of the cave there is a a Swayambu Shiva Linga (symbol of Shiva) over which a drop of water trickles from the roof. The quantity of the water dripping remains the same throughout the year, rain or shine. 

By the time we finished encircling the rock we were famished and we had to reach the railway station by 4.00 pm. Our group of the last to emerge out of the cave and naturally we had to eat our packed lunch of palav in a hurry. We trekked the same distance to reach the parking place and once again began our journey back to Kumta railway station. We got the 4.30 pm train and reached Mangalore at around 9 pm. Our tickets were booked in advance and the entire coach consisted of youth hostel trekkers. We had hilarious time singing multi-language songs, some playing cards and a few testing their power with words. It was a fun-filled trek and quite enjoyable especially for those who came with the family. More fun and less trekking and none complained. Wasn’t it the best mode to say goodbye to summer and welcome the rainy season? 



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Comments on this article
Lance D' Costa, Mangalore / Abu DhabiTuesday, June 17, 2014
Interesting write up...superb photos. It was nice to see the Birindas on the tree which I have not seen from quite a long time !!
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florine roche, Mangalore/KuloorSunday, June 15, 2014
Yes Renny it is kokum (birinda) which we spotted on the way and were tempted by the red-green fruits. We did succeed in getting one or two fruits (the present generation does not know its taste) using a stick without harming the tree.
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Renny Lobo (Rodrigues), Gurpur Kaikamba/ Abu DhabiSunday, June 15, 2014
Dear Florne,

Photo # 5- Please tell me what fruit tree is that ? Binda/ Birinda.

Feeling like inhaling a fresh breath while reading and seeing the photographs. At the entrance of the cave there is a a Swayambu Shiva Linga (symbol of Shiva) over which a of water trickles from the roof.

" The quantity of the water dripping remains the same throughout the year, rain or shine." - fascinating - thanks so much for the article.
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Ramadas Acharya, Udupi/PuneSaturday, June 14, 2014
This article is very nicely written.Photographs are very impressive.One thing is really painful to see on one of the photograph people are writing girl friends name or their name on this beatiful rock and spoiling the charm of rich heritage monuments.Torists are interested in seeing the places in its original forms and enjoy not interested in filthy comments and distruction.
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jimmy Noronha, bellore/LucknowFriday, June 13, 2014
I enjoyed reading the trip to Yana and loved those beautiful pictures, and the accompanying write up is a pleasure to go through as it richly brings out the beauty of the place. I wish I could shift my daily walk at least for a day to this heaven of a beauty on earth.
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George A. Borromeo, Angelore, Mangalore, IndiaFriday, June 13, 2014
The article tickled my dormant taste buds of Trek and Travel. Photography was superb. Florine, you are great!!!!
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Vikram Nayak, MangaloreFriday, June 13, 2014
Very informative article madam. even i enjoyed lot YANA trekking. Thanks to YHAI Mangalore Unit
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C. Siddharth, MangaloreFriday, June 13, 2014
It was an enjoyable trek. Nice spot for a family trek. Looking forward to many more treks like this one.
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Rammohan, Puttur D KFriday, June 13, 2014
I visited Yana in 1974 trekking all the way on foot from Main Road leading to Sirsi and had the benefit of free hospitality of a night halt at a niegbhouring landowner who took us to the site through foot way then It was a wonderful experience. However, I feel sorry to see that on the rocks names are etched as if to perpetuate the names or visit .
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Lydia Lobo, KadriThursday, June 12, 2014
I can experience the feeling of detachment from the hustle and bustle of this part of the world once you leave your vehicle behind.

Good job YHAI and Florine, for giving us a touch of nature each time you experience a trek. Wishing you loads of energy to continue your adventures.
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santoshprabhu, indiaThursday, June 12, 2014
Way back in 1997 Yana was not so famous. it became famous aftern kannada movie Nammora mandara hoove. During my college days in 1996 we had misfortune of missing the only bus to yata at katgal katri. So we went off on foot for entire 20 kms to the Rock Hill. it was a life time remembering experience
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R.Bhandarkar, M'loreWednesday, June 11, 2014
Kaalen Go? Yanak Wosun 'Trek' gee?
Makaa welyaar haavn doosren boreen
idea' Deethalon!
Wosun , chodun, 'pulav khavun' return gee?
Theyn Kaalen Asondee...I am one the first to be a member of the FF club! What FF? 'Florine Fan' man
'Florine Fan'...
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Vincent Pinto, MangaloreWednesday, June 11, 2014
Even I witness the Yana Track...its enjoyable. Thanks Florine for detailed article
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