Thirthahalli is a small town in the district of Shimoga amidst dense forest of Western Ghats. As one enters Thirthahalli from Shimoga , they come across Anandagiri Gudda. It’s a small hill which can be climbed anytime of the year. At the top of the hill, one cannot miss out the large mantapa. The Scenic beauty from the top of the hill is worth the climb. As one goes through the town, the next prominent thing is the River Tunga which flows through the town. The Bridge built across river Tunga is also very unique.
Thirtha in kannada means Pure and Halli means Village. The origin of the name dates back to Mythological story of Sage parusharama. According to the Story , Sage Parusharama Chopped his mothers head on the orders of his father, sage Jamadagni. Parashurama tried to wash the blood stains off the axe by dipping it in various rivers. In spite of his efforts, stain remained on the axe and was washed away only when he dipped his axe in the river Tunga at Thirthahalli. The spot where he washed his Axe obtained holiness and came to be called Ramatheertha. Around Ramatheertha there are Chakratheertha, Shankatheertha, Gadatheertha and Padmatheertha. Near Ramatheertha, there is a stone mantap called “Rama Mantap.” Between Ramatheertha and Chakratheertha there is a cave where people used to meditate.
This is also a very holy place for Hindus because of the belief that a dip in Tunga can cure one’s sins and also because of the presence of Sri Rameshwara Temple.On the River Bank. This temple is built of stone and stands on a high place on the bank of the river Tunga which flows majestically through this town. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has the “Mood Linga ,” which is said to have been installed by Sage Parashurama himself.The main attraction at Thirthahalli is the Yellu Amavasya jatre which takes place every year. As one goes out of Thirthalli, the scenery on either side of the road, with arecanut, coconut trees and palms,is spellbinding .Towards Agumbe, one will come across Siddeshwara Gudda. From the top of this hill, one will be able to see Kodachadri and Kundadrri.
There are lot of tourist and unexplored attractions around Thirthahalli.
Mrugavadhe : Mrugha in Kannada means animal and Vadhe in native language means Killing. It is believed that during Ramayana, Maricha in the disguise of a Golden Deer was killed by Rama here.
Kavaledurga : Kavaledurga is situated at about 20 kms on the Thirthahalli-Kundapura road and is at 5000 Ft above sea level. A small fort was constructed at Kavaledurga, near Thirthahalli at around 9th century AD. fort is ruined to a large extent and what remain are two fortress and the Mylaareshwara shrine. At the top of the hill is the Srikanteshwara Temple. The view of the Western Ghats and the Varahi and Chakra rivers are mesmerizing.
Ambuteertha : River Sharavathi originates at Ambuteertha which is 10 Kms from Thirthahalli on the Thirthahalli Hosanagara road. 2 Km from Ambutheerha, one can find the Accha kanya falls, where Sharavathi falls 6.1 meters in preparation before Jog falls.
Chibbalagudde : Chibbalagudde is 10 KM apart from Thirthahalli on Thirthahalli-Koppa road and has lot of fishes at Tunga river.The Siddi Vinayaka Temple here is quite famous.
To reach Thirthahalli :
By road : From Bangalore, one has to take the National Highway NH-206 to reach Shimoga and then take NH-13 (Thirthahalli road) to reach Thirthahalli. Thirthahalli is at a distance of about 62 km. from Shimoga. Thirthahalli is around 330 km from Bangalore on Raod and 190 Km from Mangalore.
By rail :The nearest railway station is in Shimoga. Numerous trains run from Bangalore ,Mysore and Hubli to Shimoga.
By air : The nearest airport is in Managalore and is 190 Kms from Thirthahalli.