Thursday, November 25, 2010

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta

The ever postponing chikkamagalur trip didn’t turn out as expected due to sudden burst of cyclone “Jal”.  This forced us to revisit the place from where our trekking/tripping started way back in 2009.

A hat-trick in a row, Sunil came in to our fold again. Me, Sandeep, Latesh, Yashdeep, Sunil, and one new smiling assassin Satish joined us. 

We started our journey at 13.00 hrs in our usual style, usual place Sandeep house with a pooja to our sarathi. We reached Gundlupet by 5.00 in the morning, we parked our vehicle near Sunil’s Cousin sister house, for a small nap.

The forest officials opened the flood gates for the vehicle by 7.00 AM.  The winding roads unwinded our previous sojourn to that place.  The view point of clouds bed, elephants grazing the forest area seen from that top all are breath taking.

This time, since we had luxury of time and space, we decided to summit as many mounds as possible.  After a marathon photo session, disproving Charles Darvin’s theory, we were seen clinging on to each and every bit of dancing trees, branches to prove our self we are cut above the rest, we marched past the winding mounds, we could able to cross four, and also reached highest peak in the vicinity.

The Mother Nature is at its best, she gave us a nice view 360 degrees.  Our camera was tiring after eating many wonderful snaps to its stomach.  Sandeep’s memory card cried a lot, my camera battery become hostile, but still we persuaded with our ambition to capture as much frame as possible, the outcome was words worth.

Then we slipped back to Balamuri Falls, after several discussion, as we wanted to reach back by 22.00 hrs.  The Balamuri falls welcomed us with both the hands, water was gushing like a rocket, and we played happily in its lap.  By the time, we came out like mermaids it was around 17.30 hrs, and we reached back to our safe places by 23.00 hrs.

The highs of this trip :
We were supremely confident of our time management, everything ticked as per the plan. We never wasted a single second, and we were bang on the target each moment.

Clouds bed on the unwinding path

Early morning darshan of lord krishna, sprinkle of hima (Ice water), what else you can crave for.

The lows of the trip :
Due to severe split head ache, I was a dead body on the return journey, Sandeep even checked whether am alive or dead.  The real reason for my headache is a Chidambara Rahasya (Mystery) for me. 

Over all a complete paisa-vasool.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to the past - Shivamogga

Nostalgic trip to the roots – Shivamogga+Jog+Varadahalli+Gajanoor+Shivaloka in Harakere

A phone call from shivamoga for a marriage of my cousin brother ignited passion to visit shivamoga once again.  I rarely miss an opportunity to visit my strong roots of my childhood, and also the interesting phase of my family, which taught us to how to wade through the turbulent time

Once again, I called my gladiator Sunil from my earlier trip to Madikeri, and Shivanasamudra, but unfortunately he was also booked by a similar gang to shivamoga, he was forced to bow to their request, so he sent another specialist in Venkatesh. 

We left Bangalore at 22.30 after our customary pooja to the vehicle.  We reached Shivamoga in the wee hours of Saturday. 

We took the blessings of the lord Hanuman temple in Kote, our grass root point, where we spent our childhood.  The visit to the post office, The temple, the roads leading to the temple, the bridge across the Tunga River brought goose bumps.  It was an absolutely life time experience for me.
By 9.00 Hrs we are on the corridor to Jog. 
Tunga River in full flow
Kote Post office - Childhood play station
Family pose - Kote Anjaneya Temple

The Majestic Jog falls
The jog falls had seen me six times earlier; as usual she was never tired of looking at me for the seventh time again.  But this time she was witnessing a golden moment in my life, as her eyes were getting filled with an eye catching presence of my parents.
Water flowing - Emotional at its best - Family Package

The heights of spirituality Sridhar teertha in Varadahalli (Varadapura)
This is a marvelous place to visit. This was my third trip to this place.  The calmness, the spiritual heights all brings an engrossing charging point resurrect yourselves.  The only film shot in this place according to my knowledge base is Amrutha Galige by master magician Puttanna Kanagal.My parents braved to climb the 225 steps leading to the temple at the top.
on the way of climbing steps to Sridhara Teertha

The watery world in Gajanur
The dam across the river Tunga was in its prime glory, it was filled to the brim. It was memorable for its own reasons.  This dam provided one of the locations for Annavara song in Eradu Kanasu, and also it brought down many memories of my effervescent moments with putty and guru when I visited the previous time.
Gajanur Dam

The creation of mini kailasa in Haranakere
You give him clay, he will make sure he will bring god alive on this earth, that is the specialty of Mr. Kashinath, the artist, the master of sculptures.  The mini Kailasa on Hara Kere on the way to Gajanur Dam was a pleasant one.
Lord shiva with a inspiration smile on the lips

After a pleasurable visit to our roots, we returned back to our mechanical roots by the midnight of Sunday.

The glorious moments
  •  The glorious moments
    ·         My father friend who met him after a gap of marathon 60 years.  They last seen each other when my father was 17 years old, now he is 77.
    ·         Even though, he has painful legs due to operation had about a decade ago, he was delightful when he walked down to view the gorge point near the circuit house on the other side of the falls, which became famous after the Kannada monster hit movie Mungaru Male.
    ·         Strangely, he never felt pain after we returned to Bangalore; he was at his normal best.  When the brave heart is full of happy moments by speaking to his near and dear ones, where will be the place for the pain?  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trip to the waters - Shivana Samudra

Trip to the waters - 8th August 2010
A photograph carried in the news paper, spurred the idea of re-visiting the Shivanasamudra falls.  As usual Sandeep gave me warm shoulder to my plans.  Due to his parents visit, Our smiling assassin Vinay couldn’t join our barmy army. 

I summoned our gladiators Sunil & Raaghu from our madikeri exploits, and they obliged my request.  We eight of us ventured in to mysore road for the elusive water cascade in Shivanasamudra.  The eight were Sunil, Raaghu, Sandeep, Latesh Pawar, Yashdeep, Selva , Myself, and the beautiful Sonalika.
Selva, Srikanth, Yashdeep, Sunil, Sandeep, Latesh, Raghu in order from left

As per our plan, after picking the deadly trios Latesh (Smarty), Yashdeep, Selva from Sarjapura Outer ring road, I dashed in from the Vijayanagar, and finally warm pooja waiting for us in Sandeep’s house.

Our first breakpoint was Kadamba near Maddur.  The hot hot Idlis, Crispy Vada, the saucy Pongal enegised us to travel towards Gagana Chukki.

The Gagana Chukki is a water fall created by the cascading River Cauvery from the great heights. The view was breathtaking.  It plunges in to the deep gorge creating ocean of milky smoke, and hammering noise on our deaf ears.
That is Gagana Chukki!
Group snap shot at Gagana Chukki

Here we only savored the breathtaking view, and the photo session.  We are all working in an IT industry, but later realized, there was a serious bug in our human evolution.  If you want to know, just have a glimpse on the monkey-snappy moments.

On the way to Bhara Chukki, the second water fall in the island of Shivanasamudra, we stopped for a while on the age old, beautiful, standing tall in the testing time,  a stone bridge.  Again the bug in the human software surfaced, we had a nice time.
Wonderful stone bridge on the way to Bhara Chukki

Our next exploits was waiting for us.  The Bhara Chukki was waving its hands from a distance.  We couldn’t neglect the temptation; we headed to the call, and ventured in to the waters.  The experience cannot be explained in our 108 keyboard, only our cameras could tell the fairy tale.
Bhara Chukki at its best

All of us had a great time in the water, but we were careful personified. The diving Sunil, and Raghu, Carefully enjoying “smarty”, wearing heart on his muscled shoulders “Selva”, Enjoying with a haunting smile “Yashdeep”, myself enjoying the splash of water, and looking around for the beloved once, and Sandeep experiencing his penchant for water drenching.  Sandeep went to back to pick his third eye to capture the rumbling moments of our watery ploy.

We came out from the water like a mermaids, had hot hot chilly bajjis on the banks of the falls.  It quenched our thirst of hungry up to certain extent, it enabled to hold our appetite till we reached Somanathapura. 
Entrance to the Somanathapura Temple

The Somanathapura temple construction was started in 12th Century, it was completed in difference phases over a period of close to 300 years plus.  It was majestic, a great example of Hoysala dyanasty rulers rich value of upholding culture, heritage.  The temple is breathtaking with intrinsic carvings, which we fail to write even on the paper.  It is truly marvelous, only revisiting again and again is tribute to the Sculptures of this Sand/Soap stone wonder.

The time was around 17.00 hrs, we decided to visit the Balmuri Falls, and the world famous Brindavan Gardens, and then head towards Bangalore.  But our beautiful decided to take rest, and so her masters Sunil, and Raghu decided to give a gentle tap on her to encouraging shoulders. She started smiling again, but after a break of good 1800 seconds.

Since our beautiful took rest, we decided to cut down our visit to Brindavan Gardens, but we made sure to visit Balmuri ravishing water.  But to our bad luck, Sun said enough is enough, let me log off.  But the sun was clever; he painted the back ground on a grand scale to give more work to our third eyes in the depleting light. 
But the snap shots were encouraging, and our master clicker Sandeep, satisfied with the clicks of his life.

We had a nice North Karnataka full meal in Kamath Loka Ruchi near Ramanagara, and safely reached Bangalore around the midnight.

It was again a fabulous outing with the dependable Sunil and Raaghu. Smarty (Latesh) and his gang of gladiators, and the ever dependable Sandeep provided the able support to plan and execute the outing with poise.

Our beautiful was none other Sonalika, the Car.  She was smart, she heeded to all our requests and accompanied us through out the day. A great thanks to her from all of us.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Madikeri Exploration

Golden Temple-Nisargadhama-Dubare elephant camp-Maandala Patti-Raja Seat-Abbi Falls-Bhagamandala-Talakaveri - June 25th - 27th 2010.

The four elite gang included Vinay, Sandeep, Ravi and Myself, decided to venture in to the cold, misty Madikeri.  For our surprise the “driving” force Sunil brought one of his friends Raaghu, he was effervescent.  and both brought a lively atmosphere to our trip. We had a nice time in the next 48 hours.

Sunil started from Bannerghatta Road picking up Vinay from Belandur Junction, Then Ravi near Gopalan Mal in Mysore Road, Myself from Vijayanagar, and finally Sandeep near BHEL  factory on Mysore Road.  After a small pooja to the vehicle, left Bangalore behind at around 1.45 in the night.
Our first stop was near Maddur, where we literally woke the Chai wala, and he offered a wonderful Tea. 
In the early morning reached Bylakuppe – Golden Temple.  It was an architecture marvel, and it was engrossing, spent about an hour there relishing the details of each and every bit of the golden temple.
It was good spot to start our memorable trip.  Then we headed towards Cauvery Nisarga Dhama.  We were there at 8AM in the morning.  It was a beautiful island, where we are the only four people around, then slowly the countable people from the nearby cottages started pouring in.  But it was silent island, except for the birds twitter, and gentle rhythmatic symphony from the flowing Cauvery, it made an awesome setting for us to chill out.  Photo session was more demanding from the gang, where we latched on to each and every place to frame ourselves in the lovely nature.
The Dubare elephants were waiting for us.  We Six of us ventured in to the Rafting.  It was breathtaking experience.  We made a good out of half an hour in the flowing river.  The Guide and lifesaver “Shankar” helped us to know thing or two about the rafting.  It was Rs.100/ per head for an half an hour rafting, they had closed 7.5 Kms rafting due to swollen river. It was good outing for all of us.  The elephants taking bath, feeding the giant with Raagi+Huruli Mudde was a treat to watch.  In between there were crew from “Samaya” News channel taking interviews from the senior citizens to throw the limelight on the elephant camp. We were amazed to see the giant animals heeding to the words of the man and it is painful to see the ambitious man depriving innocent animal’s privacy and freedom. 

The next destination was our star attraction “Maandala Patti” A good 20-30 kms from winding Madikeri Ghats. 

The drive uphill was a breathtaking experience, as I read in the blogs, Driver should have more enthusiasm and guts to drive the pitiable, and narrow winding path to reach the top.  Our driving force Sunil was in great form, with effortless ease he took us to the top of the mountain. The chilled, mystic,  weather added intoxicating moments for our trip.  Even though our eyes couldn't penetrate beyond ten to fifteen feet due to thick fog, still we could able to have a glassy moments on this hillock.  We drenched in the rain, jumped all over the place, we were shivering but still, the boyish, cheeky smiles were on our face, coz the experience cannot be explained. I decided to venture in to this location again in the post monsoon.

On our way back, the road was in a pitiable condition due to heavy rains, A troop from Bangalore in a tempo traveler were stuck in an muddy path when they were negotiating a curve.  We converged ourselves to bail them out of the woods.  In this scene three people were decisive Raaghu who first showed herculean interest to bail them out, then the smiling assassin “Vinay” who inspired us to pull them out from the ditch, and finally Sunil who was instrumental in taking the TT and also a Maruthi Alto out from the pitiable stretch.  Even though our plan of visiting the Abbi falls on the same day dashed out, but the experience of pulling the vehicle to the safety was a good enough to keep the memories for a long time.  All of us had a permanent muddy stains on our clothes, surely we may win Rin super Contest. The troop from the tempo traveler was kind enough, later on they followed us just like a shadow till we travelled back to Bangalore.

We reached Madikeri, visited the famous place “Raja Seat”, but according to me, it was a small park just like any other park in the busy Bangalore, but on an elevated slope. 

The chat shops near the Raja seat was not an encouraging one, but the savoring chilled ice cream in the rainy, cold weather was a great experience.

We stayed in an “Home Stay” for Rs.1300/- . The facilities were not good enough, but we didn’t had any choice as we were tired a lot, after a not so good dinner in the town, we slipped in to the bed. 

We all woke up around 8.30 in the morning, still Madikeri was in deep slumber, we went a small temple Kundur Motte Choudeshwari Temple to start our day two trip.
Our next site was the majestic Abbi Falls.  As we reached the falls around 11.30, it was crowded, hardly we found a place to take the snaps to include one of us in the frames.   In the Maandala patti due to heavy rains, my camera lens got exposed to the rain gods, and it showed its true colours in the Abbi Falls location, photos taken were not good for eyes.  But only the memoirs were preserved for our life time.

The Road to Talakaveri was a treat to the eyes.  But the weather gods started playing again, the climate changed just like asking run rate when India bats second in the cricket match.  In one turn we could see the blazing sun, the other turn a sharp shower.  When we reached the top around 14.00 Hrs , the hillock witnessed heavy rains, our patience reached a limit, then we started walking towards the holy point of the Cauvery in the heavy rains.  We stepped in to pond, felt like we were getting freezed. After taking the holy dip and also the theertha from the holy pond, we climbed up the Brahma Giri which was a good 300-400 steps above the holy pond.
 We had hot bajjis near the parking lot, it was good enough to energize our cold body.  We reached Bhagamandala around 17.00 Hrs, we took the blessing from the god and started towards Bangalore.  On our way, again one “Marthi Omni” needed our hands of god to bail them out.   We had a good time with the cycles of the boys who were playing around.

One the way to Bangalore, Sunil took all of us to his house on the outskirts of Mysore.  His mom prepared hot hot bajjis and delightful coffee.  We are all grateful to her.  Our sagging shoulders required some kind of energy, which came in the form of Bajji and Coffee.

Our driving force Sunil brought down memories of our Sahasasimha Vishnu by posing like him and also some memorable chartbusters from his great hits.  It was nostalogic journey as we had plenty of Annavaru mattu Sahasasihmana hadugalu playing in the music system throught out the trip.  Literally this trip will be dedicated to the two stalwarts of our kannada cinema whose innumerable pictures were shot in Mysore, Madikeri and sorroundings.

Some of the immitated images can be seen below :-)

After the dinner near Mandya around 23.00Hrs, We reached Bangalore at mid night around 1.00 Hrs safely.  

The engrossing moments of the trip
·         Wonderful combination of Sunil and Raaghu.
·         Photographic R & D from myself and Sandeep.
·         My Drenched camera, played safely all the way, except Abbi Falls, and Talakaveri
·         Rafting and Elephant Camps was breathtaking experience.
·         The last and but not the least mesmirsing Mandala Patti, which was  craving for more from us.
·         It was an expensive trip, but it was fully a paisa vasool.