The gigantic crystalline-like rock formations of Yana stand proud and tall among the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats in Uttara Kannada District. Yana is an ideal destination for pilgrims, trekkers, and nature-lovers alike. A 16km trek through the cool and breezy hills brings you to the foot of the mountain where the rock formations begin. At the top, a stunning sight awaits you: the awesome Bhairaveshwara and Jaganmohini shikharas (or peaks). A cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva lies below these shikharas. The vagaries of time have caused these limestone structures to turn blackish brown and lots of beehives dot the rock surface.
A popular legend associated with Yana holds that Bhasmasura, an evil demon, performed penance to Lord Shiva and obtained the power of reducing to ashes anybody on whose head he placed his hand. An ungrateful Bhasmasura, however, soon decided to test the boon on his benefactor. To escape from him, Lord Shiva came to earth and hid in this place. Lord Vishnu taking the form of a beautiful woman Mohini, challenged the demon to dance and made him touch his own head and thereby reducing him to ashes.
Yana rocks are an adventure seeker’s ultimate destination. Yana in Uttara Kannada district attracts trekkers and climbers from all over the world.
Why Visit Yana:
- Hike up to the rocks: Yana attracts hikers because of its two massive rock formations, known as Bhairaveshwara hill and Mohini hill (90 meters) in height.
- Temples: At the bottom of Bhairaveshwara hill, a Shiva temple, believed to be self emerged exists. Water drips on the Shiva Linga from the top of rocks.
- Bird Watching: Probability of bird spotting is very high at this rocks and nearby areas.
- Waterfalls: Trek to visit Vibhooti waterfalls will be an excellent adventure activity in Yana (9.7 kms by trek from Yana, longer road access available but 70 kms by road)
There is a Kannada saying “Sokku iddare Yana, Rokka iddare Gokarna”- If you have lots of money to spend, go to Rona (Gokarna), if you are feeling over enthusiastic, visit Yana. This saying was due to extreme difficulty one had to face in the past to reach Yana. Now well paved roads take you till the bottom of the rocks.
The names of the majestic rocks at Yana are linked to an interesting section in Hindu mythology. A demon named Bhasmasura manages to get a unique gift that anything on which he keeps his palm burns into ashes (bhasma). With this unique skill Bhasmasura wrecks havoc and attempts to try his skill on the very person who granted the gift- Lord Shiva. Fearing his life, Lord Shiva seeks help from Lord Vishnu, who takes the shape of a beautiful woman named Mohini and appears in front of Bhasmasura. Trying to win over Mohini, Bhasmasura accepts her challenge to dance with her and perform the same steps as she does. As the dance progresses, Mohini keeps her hand over her head. Bhasmasura performs the same act and burns into ashes.
How to reach Yana:
Plan about half a day to explore Yana. A visit to Yana rocks can also be clubbed with a visit to Murudeshwara (76 kms), Gokarna (48 kms) and Karwar (90 kms) along the coastline would be a wonderful option especially for those looking to enjoy some vitamin sea.
By Train: Kumta is the nearest railway station to Yana from KSR, Bengaluru Station. You can hop on to Karwar Express which is usually scheduled for 5:30 AM from the departing destination. There are trains available from Mangaluru Railway Station to Kumta as well. Karwar Express transits via Mysuru Railway Station to Bengaluru with the station of arrival being Kumta, totally close to 470 kms away from Yana.
By Road: Travelers can either take their own vehicles and drive through the smooth NH 48 from Bengaluru to Yana which is approximately 470 kms and close to 9 hours by road.
There is bus connectivity such as KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) and private buses as well up to Kumta from Bengaluru.
The closest city to Yana, Sirsi, is about 30 kms and takes about 1 hour to reach the destination.
The next closest town to Yana is Hubli-Dharwad, which is about 104 kms give or take and takes close to 3 hours of travel by road.
By Air: The closest airport to Kumta is Debolim Airport, Goa to reach Kumta and the rest that follow are closer based on distance from the coast and connectivity. You may either hire taxis or hop on to the public transport to reach Yana or your accommodation in Kumta or the surrounding locations.
Places to stay near Yana: Multitude of hotel options are available in Kumta.