You may not know this place as it is a hidden destination. It is a hamlet amidst the dense jungles and hills. It is evident that only the locals from the surrounding regions know about this tiny yet mysterious village of Shirve. A hill far visible at a distance of this hamlet is Shirve Ghat (hill) near Karwar.
Photo Courtesy: Barn Images
Wondering what so special about this unknown destination? Shirve Ghat is amidst the forest which gives a mysterious feeling about this place. One visit here gives a feeling of a hovering spirit around you. Yes, a kind of haunted feeling comes to the mind. No, we are not saying it is a haunted place!
In fact, it is a bizarre place; Shirve Hill has a history of puzzling events that are interesting to know. No one has ever understood why or how some beliefs are formed about this place. Shirve Hill is also a home to varied flora and fauna, but no one is allowed to hunt or hurt the wildlife here. And those who kill or even injure animals are severely punished.
Shirve Gudda From a Distance
Interestingly, it is not just about hunting animals but even the plants and trees should not be chopped. What more! If anyone returns even with a pebble or a grass root from the hills are said to be prone to dangers. The locals say that they have been many such instances before where tourists have gotten into trouble after bringing back a stone or a stem from Shirve Gudda (Hill).
Another curious aspect is that the travellers should hike on barefoot. Yes, people are only allowed to walk without wearing footwear. You might ask how is it possible to trek in the thick jungle without footwear. True, it is an impractical custom but that it has been followed over many years. Well, another belief might baffle you more! Women are not allowed to trek in Shirve Ghat. You heard it right, like in Agastyamala, here also women are not allowed and no women have entered this hill for years now.
Photo Courtesy: Ashish Gupta
Naturally, you might ask why such beliefs or customs? One popular belief is the village deity Siddharameshwara and the statue of Nandi (bull) on top of Shirve Hill. Locals say that these two are the protectors of the region. Every year, a temple fair happens at Shirve village in the month of January. Special poojas (prayers) are performed in the shrine, usually the presiding deity Siddharameshwara is worshipped at night. It is during this time that some male residents of the hamlet trek to Shirve Hill to worship Nandi and come back to the village.
Historically, Shirve Ghat is full of ruined fort walls built during the British era. According to locals, there is also a well on the tip of the hill. It seems the water levels never drop and the well is full in all the seasons. So, if you are interested to explore this mysteriously mind blowing Shirve Ghat then head to Karwar in Uttara Kannada. A journey for around 35km from Karwar will take you to this peculiar destination of Shirve.
You must have heard of many such unusual places but no doubt Shirve Hill (Gudda) hits the top of the list of the peculiar places. No one knows why certain beliefs are formed, but it might be to protect the nature. However, it is just a thought, that doesn't stop it from being one of the mysterious places in Karnataka.
Explore if you are daring enough! Don't ignore the warnings or regulations while you are on this trip!