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Sokkidre yana, Duddidre Gokarna !!!! A nice local proverb refers to Yana, a place, must to visited by adventurers, trekkers and nature lovers.

Yaana by praveen02008
Yana (ಯಾಣ) is a village in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India that is known for the unusual rock formations in its vicinity. It is located in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Western Ghats, about 60 km  from Karwar port, 40 km from Sirsi, and 20 km from Kumta. The two unique rock outcrops near the village are a tourist attraction and a place for trekking, easily approachable by a small trek through 0.5 kilometres  of thick forests from the nearest road head.

Yana is famous for these two massive rock outcrops known as the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara and the Mohini Shikhara ("Shikhara" means "hill"). The huge rocks are composed of solid black, crystalline limestone. Bhairaveshwara Shikhara is 120 metres (390 ft) in height, while the Mohini Shikhara, which is smaller, is 90 metres (300 ft) in height. Yana is also well known as a pilgrimage centre because of the cave temple below the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara where a Swayambhu ("self manifested", or "that which is created by its own accord") linga has been formed. Water drips from the roof over the linga, adding to the sanctity of the place.

During annual festivities held here during the Shivaratri, a car festival is also held. It is also a popular hill station because of its lush green scenic forest.


The two rock monoliths or hillocks, surrounded by thick forests and streams, rise sharply above the surrounding area near the Yana village. They are part of the Sahyadri hill range in the Western Ghats in South India and give a conspicuous identity to Yana and the entire hill range. The two hillocks are approachable only by walking through the lush forest growth and have attracted tourists and pilgrims. In the first rock hill, Bhairaveshwara Shikhara, there is 3 metres (9.8 ft) wide opening in the rock face that leads in to a cave. Within the cave, there is a bronze statue of 'Chandika', an incarnation of the goddess Durga. The cave has a swayambu ("self manifested") Shiva Linga ("symbol of Shiva") over which spring water trickles from the roof of the tunnel overhead. Emerging as a small stream, called the Chandihole, it eventually merges with the Aghanashini River at Uppinapattana. Devotees from among the local people see the emergence of the river as Gangodbhava (emerging Ganges).

The creation of the Shiva linga in the cave is attributed by scientists to the geological phenomenon formed by the stalactites and stalagmites in limestone formations. The Geological Survey of India confirmed that rock formations in the area have rich minerals such as limestone, manganese and iron. These minerals are likely to be extracted soon to set up industries, such as a cement factory.

A natural waterfall near here known as Vibhuti Falls ("Vibhuti" means "ashes") also attracts tourists.


Dr Francis Buchan, a British official of the East India Company, surveyed the site in 1801. At that time, according to his reports, there were ten thousand dwellings. Over the years, because of naturally occurring erosion rendering the land infertile, people have migrated to other regions to pursue their vocations. At present, the place is inhabited by only a few families, one of them being the Pujari ("Priest") family.


Hindu Mythology links this place with an event in the life of the Asura, or demon king Bhasmasura. Bhasmasura, by austere penance, obtained a boon from lord Shiva. This boon made it so that when Bhasmasura placed his hand over any one's head, he would burn them up and turn them into ashes (bhasma). It is further narrated that, in order to test his powers, Bhasmasura wanted to place his hands on his patron Lord Shiva's head. He chased Shiva, which unnerved Shiva and prompted him to move from his heavenly abode to earth to seek the help of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu transformed himself to help Shiva, adopting the form of beautiful damsel named Mohini who enticed Bhasmasura with her beauty. Bhasmsura was quite infatuated by Mohini, and agreed to a challenge she issued for a dance competition. 

During the dance competition, Mohini cleverly performed a dance bhang ("pose") with hand over head. Without realizing the gravity of this act, the demon king also placed his hand over his head and perished by the fire of his own hands, he was converted into ashes. It is believed that the fire that emanated during this act was so intense that the limestone formations in the Yana area were blackened. The loose black soil or ash seen around the two large rock formations in the area are cited as proof of the legend by devotees who see them as due to the fire and that ashes produced by Bhasmasura death. The two hillocks are also named for this event: the tall peak being Bhairaveshwara Shikhara ("Shiva's hill"), and the smaller peak, a few steps down below, being Mohini Shikhara ("Mohini's hill") where an idol of goddess Parvathi is installed. There are also several other small caves nearby. There is also a Ganesha temple in the vicinity.


During Maha Shivaratri, annual festivities are held here for 10 days. At this time, devotees (estimated to be around 10,000) on pilgrimage to this place (called 'Bhairava kshetra), after their ablutions, carry holy water from the spring in the cave to a nearby town known as Gokarn for performing Maha Mastaka Abhisheka (pouring libations on the idol of the deity being worshipped) of Mahabaleswara.

Route Map:

The road distances on the NH 17 connecting Yana village are: Kumta - 25 km, Sirisi - 40 km, Gokarna- 52 km and Hubli140 km. The nearest rail head is at Kumta, and the nearest airport is Hubli. The road from Bangalore is via Sirsi – a distance of 400 km by National Highway 4 (NH 4). The best approach to Yana is from Kumta or Sirsi. A road deviation between these two towns on the highway is near the village of Kathagala. There is also an alternate route to reach Sirsi from Yana via Sundholle and Anegundi. A single lane road is recently built to reduce the trek-length 0.5 km.

From Sirsi:  Go in Sirsi-Kumata state highway, after 5km you will get Hegadekatta cross at right side. Go in Hegdekatta road, after 11km you will get Hegadekatta. From that you go in Yana road up-to Vaddi cross (19km from Hegadekatta). In Vaddi cross take left deviation which is going towards Yana. Go in that road up-to 5km you will get parking place of Yana. Then walk 0.5km then you will get  "Bhairaveshwara Shikhara","Bhairaveshwara Temple" and " Mohini Shikhara".

From Kumta: Kumta-Katagal-Yana cross-Yana


From Bangalore 460 kms
From Nearest Town 40 kms (sirsi)
From Nearest Petrol Bunk 25 kms (kumta)
Nearest Medical Help-24kms (Hegadekatta PHC)
Nearest Hotel-(Sirsi, Kumata)

Photo Gallery:


Bhairaveshwara Shikhara

Mohini Shikhara

Sutthona Banni Team- Sirsi Wing


Photos : Shriharsha.B.S.-Banavasi, Prakash Hegde-Sirsi

Information Courtesy: Shriharsha.B.S. & Wikipedia

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