Heggodu is a culturally rich village in Karnataka. It is located at a distance of about 8 km from the Sagar (Sagara) town in the Shimoga district. Heggodu is famous for being the location of the cultural organisation NINASAM which makes outstanding contributions in the fields of theatre, films and publishing.
NINASAM – The Cultural Identity of Heggodu
NINASAM stands for Sri Nilakanteshwara Natyaseva Samgha. It is a world famous drama institute cum organisation dedicated to the growth of art and culture. NINASAM was founded in 1949 by Kuntagodu Vibhuthi Subbanna, an acclaimed dramatist and writer in Kannada. NINASAM has around one hundred members. Currently NINASAM is headed by K. V. Akshara, son of K. V. Subbanna.
NINASAM started from a small thatched hut in the green environment of Heggodu village. In the last 6 decades NINASAM has grown to become one of the most renowned cultural organisations of Karnataka through their socio-cultural work. NINASAM developed into a multi-faceted organization and branched out into several units like the NINASAM Theatre Institute, NINASAM Tirugata, NINASAM Foundation and others. NINASAM’s work has brought it national and international recognition in the field of theatre and related arts.
Akshara Prakashana – The Publishing House in Heggodu
Akshara Prakashana is a publishing house in Heggodu that was established by K. V. Subbanna in 1957. It was started as a small private publishing unit with the intention to publish K. V. Subbanna’s own writings. Soon it began to expand and publish the writings of the up-coming new writers of that era. Akshara Prakashana focused on publishing literature in Kannada related to theatre, which included translations of plays from other languages as well.
Akshara Prakashana is now a widely known organization. It has so far published more than 800 books belonging to various subjects like literature, theatre, films, philosophy and humanities. It also supports NINASAM through relevant publications. The presence of Akshara Prakashana in Heggodu has further established Heggodu’s identity as a culturally vibrant place.
Tourist attractions near Heggodu
Heggodu is surrounded by several places of natural beauty and historical importance. Some of the tourist attractions near Heggodu are:
Sagara is a small town in the Western Ghats range that is famous for the Marikamba temple and the Mahaganapati temple.
Keladi is a temple town that is known for the renowned Rameshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Keladi Museum contains old manuscripts dating back to the era of the Keladi dynasty’s rule.
Ikkeri is a historical village that is well-known for its splendid temple complex and the famous Aghoreshvara temple.
Varadahalli or Varadapura is a small village which is the location of the famous Shri Sridhara Swami Ashram. The ashram is dedicated to Shri Sridhara Swami, a great saint of the 20th century.
Jog Falls is the second highest plunge waterfall in India. It is the tallest un-tiered waterfall in the country. Locally it is also known as Gersoppa Falls, Geruoppe Falls or Jogada Gundi.
Honnemaradu is a small village that is situated on the back waters of River Sharavathi. It is well known as a destination for a wide variety of water sports.
Sigandur or Sigandooru is a small village that is known for the Sigandur Chowdeshwari temple. The ancient temple attracts hundreds of devotees every day.
How to reach Heggodu
Heggodu is situated at a distance of about 359 km from Bangalore. The place is located near the town of Sagara. There are several means of reaching Sagara and then proceeding towards Heggodu.
The nearest airport to reach Sagara is the Mangalore International Airport that is located at a distance of about 142 km from the town. Cabs can be hired to reach Sagara from the airport.
The Sagar Jambagaru Railway Station connects Sagara to various cities and towns of Karnataka and beyond. Local means of transport are available to travel between Sagara and Heggodu.
There are direct buses that connect Heggodu to Bangalore. Frequent buses connect Sagara to major towns and cities in Karnataka. There are KSRTC buses as well as private buses that ply between Sagara and the nearby places, including Heggodu.