Into the wild: Sakleshpur

It’s been one heck of a year for me with a big low in life and very short glimpse of happiness. It was my birthday week and I wasn’t in any mood to celebrate or be with friends rather wanted to give time to myself somewhere alone far from the city lights. Thus, we planned for a day out at  Tusk & Dawn Jungle Resort near Sakleshpur. I was in-need of such break in my life and gateway to sakleshpur was one light in the darkness. We had gone through many resorts but all were full as it was weekend. One of the friend suggested to try ‘Tusk & Dawn’ as they had visited it and gave positive review about it. After checking with the staff there, they informed us the availability of one cottage. We discussed and booked the cottage for one day by wiring the money to them. One of the things, I was looking forward to was, getting lost amidst of the jungle and relax. And what better way to to do that other than riding on bike (Royal Enfield Classic 350), which I had borrowed from my friend. The resort is around 280 Kms from Bengaluru. This time we were better prepared with proper clothing, bike gear (not to get tanned), selfie stick and Action camera (kind of  Go Pro – to record bike ride experience). We decided to start early morning in order to reach there around 11.30 AM, that’s when the cottage will be available for us. Also checked which route to be taken in order to reach in time and safely. Below was the route taken by us to reach the resort:

Bengaluru -> Nelamangala -> Kunigal -> Hassan -> Sakleshpur -> Tusk n Dawn

28 May 2016, we started early in the morning (around 5.30). Weather was very pleasant as it rained the other night due to which the chill got into our spine. We decided to have our breakfast around 8.30-9.00 after crossing Nelamangala. We stopped by to have our breakfast at KAMAT Restaurant (Idly Sambar was sumptuous). We hit back to road sooner in order to reach on time. It was time now for the Go Pro Camera show its magic as I mounted on my helmet. We started recording our bike trip unaware of the fact that it records even the sound (as we amateur about it). One of the things I liked is the road conditions, it doesn’t make you tired not even an iota of it. And adding icing on the cake was it was toll free for bikes (we travelled even by car and used to hefty toll). As we crossed sakleshpur, called up lady for route and she(resort owner) texted us clear instructions on NOT following GRPS or google maps as its incorrect. Following her instructions kept us taking in deep forest. The last 8-10 Kms were treacherous with mud and tiny particles of stones running deep into the jungle.

We reached the resort on time and the first impression on seeing it was WOW! The guy at the desk filled out the details and ordered coffee for us, informed what are the timings for lunch, what can we see around, about campfire, early morning trek, Off-road jeep travel etc. Upon seeing the cottage, I was relieved seeing how nice it was maintained even in such remote place. We quickly got freshen up and strolled around for a while until lunch was served (which was at 1.15 PM). The lunch was good and had homely taste. After having lunch, we took a walk around the place and went back to cottage for a good nap till evening. It was 5 PM when I woke up and got freshen up to visit a small waterfall near to the resort. But to our luck, it was dried out. Our disappointment was short loved as we had delicious black current fruits straight from the trees while going back to resort. The person in-charge told us that campfire would be setup around 7 PM.

 We were seated along the steps of the cottage when campfire was getting ready. Once it was ready, people gathered and enjoying it. There was a group of families of which one were celebrating their 13th anniversary. We wished them and had quality time seeing them dance on the tunes of old as well of new songs. Cake was brought in and thus celebrations started. After a while, dinner was ready. We quickly got ready and jumped in for it. Wasn’t expecting such a good dinner but they surprised us yet again with variety of foods especially hot and soft gulab jamuns. We had light dinner and headed back to cottage in order to wake up early morning for the trek.

It was 7 in the morning when I woke up and quickly got ready for the trek. The excitement and adrenaline of going to trek after a long time was flowing through me. At first, the first glance of the hill looked very tough as it was steep enough but it wasn’t. The morning breeze hit us and brought a chill when we climbed the small hill. My partner was already exhausted and wasn’t ready to climb further, even after pushing a lot. This brought disappointment and made me sad as we were so close to the hill yet couldn’t climb it. We sat there for 10-15 mins and caught our breathe. Suddenly, my partner called me up and signalled lets go. I was hesitant as in the process of pushing to limits, shouldn’t get hurt. Eventually, we agreed and started climbing the last part. Slowly and carefully, we reached the top of the cliff. Once reached, we couldn’t stop admiring the beauty of the nature. It was lush green all the sides with cool breeze. All the tiredness was whooped off like gust of wind from all the group of people. Everyone was chit chatting with each others looking into the calm and peaceful scenery.

After spending good half an hour, we started our trek back to the resort. It took us merely 40 minutes to reach resort. We quickly washed our hands and rushed for breakfast. After having breakfast, we went back to our cottage for bath in order to leave on time. We packed ourselves and were on schedule for departure from the resort, so that we can reach Bengaluru before evening. It was around 11.30 AM when we started. One of the wishlist of my partner was to ride the Royal Enfield (Even though she didn’t have much idea about it). After lots of persuasion, she agreed to ride it. And I must say, she is one quick learner. She drove for around 10-12 Kms without much handling from my side. This will always remain a special moment of the trip for me, Hands down! We enjoyed the ride back to Bengaluru was yet again the weather was riding with us. It was around 8 PM when we reached our room, completing one more bike ride.

Looking forward to lot more rides with you, baby!


A week of Surprises

I don’t know from where to begin and what to write at first. But then I let my fingers and mind go in sync with each others to pen down this post. It was 22nd May, 2016 and I was in train travelling to Bengaluru from Bidar. I was reading from my kindle that’s when my gal called to talk as we haven’t spoke from coupe of days. We were speaking casually when she informed to pick up a packet from her cousin who is coming to station (to pick his parents). I was bit taken back on hearing those words so asked again what is it?what it contains? But she didn’t disclose and said to wait till morning. It seemed ages before sun rose up and I was waiting for the train to stop at station. Eventually the train stopped and her cousin handed over the packet to me.

img_1716Surprise 1: Handmade greeting card

Once I was in cab going to my room, I called her up and asked whether I can open it or not, to which she said YES. I opened it and was very deeply touched with the gift. It was such a beautiful and cute handmade birthday card with her unspoken words written on it. It brought tears to my eyes. I called her up and expressed my feelings on seeing the gift. That’s when she said, it’s a week of surprises.

Surprise 2: Pizza at office 

It was Tuesday and as usual working day for both of us. I was in middle of some work when she asked when are you going for lunch?(She asks me everyday so wasn’t surprised) to which i replied not hungry. Little did I know that she had ordered pizza for me with the help of my close friend MEER. What was appealing and nice of her was she ordered even for my friends.

Surprise 3: karaoke song 

I woke up in the morning and called her to check whether she woke up or not. We spoke for few minutes and disconnected the cal to get ready. After a while, I get a voice note in whats app. I thought some kind of motivational or funny voice note but I was wrong. It was a beautiful song ‘chahu mein aana’ sang by her from the movie AASHIQUI 2. I was deeply moved because I have asked numerous times to sing at least a line of any songs but she didn’t. I was laughing and smiling by listening to her voice, it was fun but what connected more was her attempt to make me happy.

Surprise 4: Dinner date

It was fourth day and I was waiting for today’s surprise. I called her up many a times and checked for it. After lots of persuasion, she said “she will meet me today”. It was quite common that we meet, I said. It was evening time and I made a call to her just to talk for few minutes. While talking to me, she sent me a message which had today’s surprise. It was a dinner date at THE PERMIT ROOM. She reached there few minutes back and was looking stunningly beautiful in green denim skirt. We reached there around 8.40 PM and seated at top floor. We tried various food items and of all of them, Iyengar Egg Puff was different and delicious. We finished our dinner and headed back to our room around 10.30 PM.

Surprise 5: A card and loads of chocolates

She had come to my home to spend sometime with me the other day. She left to her office in the morning directly from my home. As it was early in the morning, I was busy getting ready to go to office. After finishing everything and was about to leave, I opened my drawer to pick up my watch and what I saw was today’s surprise. It was a greeting card with loads of chocolates.

img_1714Surprise 6: A wrist watch 

I wasn’t in good mood from past week due to some problems so decided to go somewhere calm and away from everyone to relax and give a break from my regular life. We checked and book Tusk and Dawn jungle resort near SAKLESHPUR. We had a relaxing and rejuvenating evening with camp fire and nice dinner. It was bed time and I was getting ready to sleep on my bed, when she from nowhere brought a gift. I was dumb shocked as I remember she didn’t carry much luggage (only one backpack). When opened, there was decorative items with a small greeting card. I was literally shaking all decorative items to check if they contained something but nothing was inside them. My happiness reached another level when she took a square box out of nowhere. When opened, I saw one of my favourite watch in my hand. A FOSSIL watch.

Surprise 7: Coffee cake

7th day, the last day of the week and last day of surprise. img_1677We were back to Bangalore and had been to jewellery shop to take gift for her friend. When we were back to my home, my roomies (Lokesh & Vijay), Shrinivas and Preeti had come to celebrate my birthday. I expected a normal flavor cake but it turned out to be a special cake, it was a COFFEE CAKE.

This how my week ended with loads of surprises, love and happiness :). Thank you for making it so special.

Nagarthpet Dosa Walk

It was Sunday and I was lazying around at my room. I woke up around 5.15 PM and was still in sleep mode, that’s when my phone buzzed and the notification for the event was displayed on the phone. It came to my mind that I had marked as “Interested” in attending this event couple of weeks back. I was bit reluctant at first as the place was bit far from my room (Basava nagar) and I wasn’t feeling well too. But then decided I will go for it irrespective of what happens as I was at home doing nothing from two days. I informed Vijay about the same and he agreed to join me. We got ready in 10 mins and headed towards the place.

img_1091-1We reached the place around 6.45 pm and weren’t sure whether  we reached the correct placed or not, that’s when I noticed the place-holder of the community “Best Bangalore” which confirmed me that we are at right place. We parked our bike opp to temple and went to the first stall where there was bit crowd. We ordered a plate idly which was very delicious and very soft with the chutney they provided with. After gulping it, we ordered “PUDI MASALA DOSA“. The first bite of the dosa made such an impression that I wouldn’t forget. It was sumptuous and very different from the ones what we have regularly. The ghee on top of it added the extra taste. And when asked  for the price, he said Rs. 50/- (which is reasonable when compared to the dosa stall what we eat daily). The start was delightful, I said.

We moved ahead and checked other food stalls. We were not in position to have anything else so decides to stroll around for a while then start again 😊😋. After half an hour or so, we came back at started with Masala papad. We thought it would be like a lighter snack but soon it proved wrong. The papad was thick with spicy chutney and different kinds of vegetables on top of it. It was merely Rs.20/- per papad. We finished and went further to taste lemon rice. It tasted nice but we have tasted much better. We ordered one more pudi masala dosa and told him to parcel it. We headed back to our bike when I realized vijay wanted to taste Hot Badam milk. We took one glass with malai which was of Rs.30/-. After having milk, I casually asked Vijay if he wants to try out something more to which he said “No”😜.  We left the place with a smile  on the face, largely because of the dosa we had.

I must say, people who want to try different kind of dosa, then it’s a must visit place. You won’t be disappointed.