Yana and Vibhuti: Exploring mythology

Monday, May 19, 2014 Unknown 4 Comments

I’m certain there’s no Indian who hasn't heard of the tale where Lord Shiva grants Bhasmasura the power to obliterate anything he touched into ashes (bhasma). It came as a surprise to me that the place where Mohini (Lord Vishnu’s only female form) had deceived Bhasmasura by making him touch his own head was barely a few hours from my college!

Yana Rocks

Situated at a distance of 25 km from Kumta, Yana is a village located in a forest of the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka known for its unusual rock formations. 61 massive rock outcrops composed of solid black and crystalline limestone exist in a 3 km radius here, out of which 2 are of notable size. The loose black soil seen around these 2 rock formations are believed to have been formed from the fire and ashes caused by Bhasmasura’s self-immolation.

3 of my friends (Henry, Nischal and Prashanth) and I decided on visiting this place last weekend. We then proceeded to a nearby waterfall named Vibhuti (translates to ‘ashes’). Apart from knowing that buses that plied between Kumta and Yana did exist, there was nothing we knew ahead of this unplanned trip. Here’s what we did.

Our itinerary:

0015: Train from Surathkal to Kumta (It departs from Mangalore sometime earlier at 2330)

0330: Arrival at Kumta Railway Station
Inquired about the bus stand, walked around 500m to get to it and learnt that there are only 3 daily buses from Kumta to Yana (0730, 1300 and 1700). With more than 3 hours to go for the first one, we slept on benches inside the bus station. Another first for us!

0830: Start of trek
The 0730 bus took us an hour to get to Yana. While the bus returned to Kumta, we began the short trek to the Yana rocks and caves. Took us less than half an hour to get to the first rock, after which we visited the temple situated at the base of the second. A priest explained to us in Kannada about the Shiv Ling that was formed naturally by a constant amount of water seeping through a minute hole on one of the walls of the temple. We then visited the stunning caves, which were part of the second rock. The whole place was deserted, although we did see a large number of bats and beehives!

The first rock
Beehives on the second rock
Posing with the Kannada TV actor

1030: Off to Vibhuti
We learnt that Vibhuti was another 15 km further from the temple. This meant that we now had to walk for over 30 km and get back to the bus stop at Yana before 6 pm. Seemed impossible, but we decided to do it anyway. No sooner had we left the temple than we met the crew of a Kannada television serial and conversed with them. Along with the delicious lunch that they offered us, they gave us what we needed the most – a lift! Although they were able to take us for only half the distance, we were thankful that our ordeal was now significantly reduced.

1200: After the lift
Began the long walk to the falls. Beat the afternoon heat with college gossip and other nonsense! Turned left at a fork we reached at 1330. Took us another half hour to get to the falls from here.

1400: Vibhuti Falls
Vibhuti Falls

The fact that the 4 of us were the only ones swimming here made it much more enjoyable. We learnt from a small group of people who approached the falls later that at 3 pm, a bus to Ankola was to pass the fork we had crossed some time ago. With barely 15 minutes to go, we got out of the water, dressed up hurriedly and sprinted along the rocky trail.

1500: Buses to Ankola, Kumta and finally Mangalore
Although we reached the fork 5 minutes late, we were lucky that the bus had been running late by 10 minutes that day. Got down at Ankola at 1715, after which we immediately took another bus that arrived at Kumta at 1800. There was a bus back to Mangalore at 1845 and we decided to have a quick bite before the journey. During the meal, however, we were all so engrossed in a silly heated debate that we missed the bus! Took the next bus at 2030 which dropped us right outside our college at 0030.

We had set out to visit Yana to explore a minuscule part of India’s mythology and rich heritage. What we got in return, along with that, was an unexpected dramatic fun-filled adventure that brought the 4 of us closer! Visiting exotic locations is only a part of what travel actually is; Exploring wonders near you that you’d be amazed to know even existed – that’s what it’s more about! SoSpeakUpNow! and encourage more people to do so!


  1. I guess its really Awsome n motivates me to do sumthin adventurous lik tht too...

    1. Well, what can I say, Praneetha? You've made my day!

      The whole point in writing these articles is to encourage people to travel more and I'm pleased to hear that I've motivated you to do so :D

      There must be loads of lesser-known places near you that would truly amaze you! Make it a point to explore them and share your experiences!

    2. I'll be writing another article on the Dudhsagar Falls sometime this week. Will let you know when I'm done publishing it.

      In the meantime, I suggest you read this article I had written on the Kumara Parvatha. Let me know what you think about the trek. :)


    3. Yes, I'm a bit late. But here's the article about the Dudhsagar falls I was talking about, Praneetha.


      Tell me what you think about it :)