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.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lion Safari+Gajanoor Dam+BRP+Jog+Sigandoor+Kollur+Shringeri+Horanadu+Kalasa+Shimoga Local 8th October 2008 to 12th Oct 2008.

To break the monotonus working atmosphere, decided to make a trip to gateway of Malenadu “The Shimvamoga” with my life time buddies Putti, Guru, and my sweet heart Savitha and my papa. On the 8th Day of October 2008, Myself, Savitha, Papa, and Putti left Bengaloru to Shivamoga.  Guru reached us by train.
9th October 2008
We reached Guru’s house by 6.30, got refreshed.  By that time hired maruthi van arrived, we packed in to the vehicle and headed towards the lion safari on the way to Gajanur dam. 
The safari was a good outing, the lush green, the dense forest, the endangered Lion, Tiger was a visual treat for us. 

Gajanur Dam was extremely lively.  We remembered Annvara hadu “Endendu Ninnanu marethu from Eradu Kanasu and many more of his movies were shot here.
The haranakere, famous for life size statues of the lord shiva, Subramanya, Ganesha, Parvathi, and Shiva’s subjects in Kailasa was a viewers delight.  Our manasu saluted the master craftsman Kashinath from Shivamoga.

The Bhadravathi River Project was amazing, water water water everywhere.  We played with water for sometime, then headed towards Shivamoga the sun was signing off from his duty for the day.
Our visit to Kote Anjaneya temple in Kote brought down memories of my childhood spent in the vicinity of the temple. 

Ramanna shresti’s park was a very good.  The giant statue of the lord Ganesh welcomed us.  Again the master craftsman Kashinath’s hand did a magic.
10th October 2008
We left Shivamoga in a Maruthi Van by 6.00 Hrs in the morning.  Guru mom joined our gang.  Our first stop was Sridhara Ashrama in Varadahalli.  The Ashrama, the Dwajastamba were a great piece of peace.  My ears were echoing “Hindustanavu endu mareyada” song from Amrutha Galige which was picturised in this location.

The second stop was the majestic Jog falls.  Even though it lost its majesty due to less rainfalls during that time, but it is, and the deep valley, and gorge point will sends chill the down the spine through the year. We happened to stand on the gorge point to assume ourselves as a hero from the kannada blockbuster “Mungaru Male”.

We hoped in to the Launge in the backwaters of the river Sharavathi to take us to the Sigandoor Chowdeshwari temple.  The cruise on the backwater was really breathtaking with the scenic beauty around.  Then we ran in to Kollur in the latenight, and halted.
11th October 2008
Next day, we had Mookambika Darshan and headed towards Shringeri.  The goddess Sharadamba was a any devotee’s delight.  The vidyashankara devasthana was a architecture wonder. On the way to Kalasa we found a nice waterfalls, played around, and then headed towards Kalasa and then to Horanadu.
We had dinner there and returned to Shivamoga late in the night.

12th October 2008.
Since we had booked the seats to Bengaloru late in the night, we were forced to spend the whole day wandering in Shivamoga.  So we hopped in to Shivappanayakana Aramane.  It was a very old palace of Nayaka’s.  The museum was equally impressive.

This was my sojourn to my childhood days.  Memories brought down like a thunder from the rainy sky.  Many thanks to Putti, Guru for providing me the necessary back support for the trip, eventually after this  trip  our friendship faded in to the smokes, but the snap shots, which proves to be, breathing moments of my life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Belgaum+Amboli+Jamboti 28th – 30th Aug 2009

Contact of Rohit – The man with a magic wand when camera in his hands.
Am a hardcore follower of Rohit’s photography, surprisingly received a well planned trip to Belgaum on our company’s mailer list.  High on enthusiasm to travel, accepted to join a bunch of 8 unknown people for the life.  But it proved to be opening the flood gates of trips and treks in Rohit’s company.
27th August 2009
The team consisted of Rohit, Harish, Gururaj, Satya, Naveen, Subhojit, Sangram, Yeshwant and myself. We started from Dhanvantri Road near Majestic Bus stand in a Temp Traveller at 23.00 Hrs.
28th August 2009

Travelled overnight, reached Belgaum by 9 O’ clock in the morning.  We started very well, by taking blessings of the Lord Ganesh in a make shift temple in a public place.

Then headed towards Hidkal Dam.  It was ocean of water al-round.  Then our visit to Godachinamalki water falls was really a breathtaking one.  With water al-round, it reminded us to Ksheerasagara in vaikunta- the abode of the lord Vishnu.   The words will not describe the water splendor in the form of falls, even though water was not falling from a great height, still it was a picturesque place around. Took bath there, played with water close to an hour, then headed towards Gokak falls.

The Gokak falls seems to be a damp squib with no water in the falls, it brought enough tears in our eyes.  It reminded us, how cruel the mankind is, who is simply on a machine to destroy the mother nature.  The hanging  bridge across the water falls was simply awesome.  Almost a century old bridge, which is mainly built for the people, who are working for the Gokak mills, to cross the water falls, still in its glory.  The walk on the hanging bridge in the windy afternoon was really awesome.  We just imagined how it will be when the water falls will be in its glory during the monsoon times.
Our temp traveler turned towards Belgaum, stayed back in a hotel, played poker – a playing card game launched and taught by Rohit till 2 o clock in the night.
29th August 2009
Woke up by 7.00 in the morning, decided to take a Bus to Amboli in Maharastra, as the permit for tempo traveler was found to be around Rs.2500/-
There we hired a Maruthi Van on payment of Rs. 800/- if my memory is correct to take us around in Amboli.  Our first point was a temple on a rainy ghat “Hiranya Keshi Kund”. It was a good temple, but the path leading to the temple was maintained extremely well.
Then we headed towards Kavaleshad point – The star place of our trip.  The scenic beauty, playing “I spy you”,  to give a glimpse of what it was storing on a misty weather.  As The sun god showing little mercy, we could able to see the spectacular valley with “n” number of waterfalls around.  We ended up loosing the count every time, coz, whenever we start counting, either rain gods completely covered the valley or sun gods were at the mercy of chilling misty winds.  I lost at my words to describe the breathtaking valley, only some my snaps can provide a glimpse of what I was trying to tell.

Then the driver took us to one more magnificent place, The Amboli Ghat.  The falls in the ghat was at its glorious splendor inviting us to enter its house of water covered with mist.  We couldn’t resist the temptation, entered in to the water climbing the neatly constructed water flowing steps, which lead us to the basement of the waterfalls.  The chilled bath was a memorable one. The drive down to the Bus stand in Amboli was even more scenic.  Our camera didn’t disappoint us; it heeded our words, and swallowed all the scenic locations in its memory card to keep a memento through our life.  

30th August 2009.
The drive to Jamboti forest was really amazing one.  Our driver had a tough time driving through the moist, slippery, winding, muddy path.  Finally he had to bow his heads down, as the Tempo traveler refused to go further. We started trekking on a treacherous route to reach the Mandovi river, then a local jeep driver gave a lift till the jamboti village which was a good 2-3kms away from our last stop of tempo traveler.  Then we hired a localite to take us through the Jamboti forest to reach the Vajrapoha waterfalls.  But eventually we couldn’t make it to the falls, as the river was in full flow, to reach the waterfalls, we were suppose to cross the river, then cut through the dense forest, which was next to impossible.  We were forced to satisfy with the glimpses of the Mandovi river and the Jamboti forest.  With a half hearted we headed towards Belgaum and then to Bengaloru.