Kaup Beach, Udupi


Its been couple of days in Udupi now and we haven’t visited any places due to festival celebrations. I was very much looking forward to the beaches and had planned it a few days back.  Kaup Beach is the one which I wanted to visit first because it’s less crowded. I had done my part of research on which part of the beach to go (far away from people and the crowd) to enjoy calmness and view of the waves undisturbed & unobstructed by others. They always fascinate me and bring me at peace with myself. We decided to go in the evening so that sunset can be watched.

Kaup beach is around 20 minutes from our home. Time was around 5.30 PM when we parked our car much before the parking and walked into the beach. The place was calm with not many people around. I immediately sat on the beach sulking in the humid air, sultry atmosphere by watching the waves hit the shore and going back, sun ready to dive into the water. After some time, I saw the lighthouse which was pretty far away from us, crowded where people looked ants who gather around sugar. My wife and her brother went ahead and got into the water to play with the waves and also to collect shells and stones. In the meantime, I took out my camera and took panoramic pictures of the beach, they (brother & sister) playing with waves and other things. While taking pictures, saw people trying water sporting activities such as Boat Parasailing, Jet Ski etc near the lighthouse.

 

Sun went down very quickly, that’s when the real beauty of lighthouse got showcased. Even from that far, the lighthouse was standout in such a dark background and was able to see those white and red stripes clearly. The light which kept circling around made me capture few images of it. As it was getting darker and darker, we decided to approach near the lighthouse to have some snacks before we go back our way to home. As we walked towards the lighthouse, crabs started to appear which frighten us at first but then we walked carefully towards the small shops near the lighthouse. We had snacks and walked with ice cream in our hands towards our car.

Lighthouse at far

It was satisfying to leave the beach with my mind being fresh and me being at peace. Looking forward to visiting the place once again.

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Diwali in Udupi


It’s been almost a year for our marriage and one of the biggest festival, the festival of lights was due next week. As a ritual, I had to visit my in-laws home for the festival. My in-laws had to shift to Udupi, as my Father-in-law works for the government. We had planned much early so that we can visit their home and also places near it. We decided to leave on 18th October and come back on 22nd.

I wasn’t well the morning we planned to start, was suffering from chest pain and vomiting. After an hour of delay, we started our journey around 7 in the morning. We drove for 2 hours when we stopped for breakfast at Mayura hotel. Within 30 minutes, we were back on road and had called her father to check for the shortest route to Udupi. Once the call got finished, we decided the route.

Route taken: Bengaluru -> Nelmangala -> Yediyur -> Kadur -> Tarikere -> Tirthahalli -> Agumbe -> Hebri -> Udupi

No. of Kms: 410+

The route taken was good but had a couple of cons to it: roads weren’t wide and traffic. The drive was busy until we reached near to Agumbe. It was past our lunchtime and after searching for good hotels from past hour, we reached Agumbe, so decided to have at first hotel which we see, and we found one at the bus stop. We didn’t expect good food and tried to keep the order simple, mint rice was choice of both of us. We’re surprised about the quality & taste of it. After having our lunch, we got back on road and entered the ghat section of Agumbe.

There is a viewpoint just after you enter the check post where we can have a panoramic view of the forest. It’s simply breathtaking where your eyes can only see one thing, Forest. After sulking in the beauty of it, we resumed our journey which was going down the hill. The weather changed drastically from being cool to humid very soon. On my wife’s insisting, we had to stop for a while in deep forest to get few pictures of us. Within a couple of minutes, we were gone from the place. By the time we reached Udupi, it was around 4 in the evening. All in all, it was a pleasant drive.

We rested for a while before all of them started the preparations for Diwali. In the evening, we went out to buy clothes & crackers for the festival. Lights were lit up all around the home and crackers sounds begin. The next day was auspicious as it was ‘Lakshmi Pooja‘ in the morning, followed by various types of food etc. In the evening,  after everyone got fresh, lit up the diya’s all around again and burst crackers ( I didn’t as I stopped bursting from a couple of years back). All except me burst the crackers including the grandfather of my wife was sitting and enjoying the moment while I was capturing the moments. Even my Father-in-law became a kid and enjoyed bursting of crackers. It went for around an hour before we got back inside the home, cleaned up yourselves and had our dinner. The day was spent well and there was a sense of satisfaction and relaxation on the faces of all the family members.

The next couple of days were also planned which will be on the upcoming blogs, keep you guys posted.

Happy New Year – 2017


An remarkable year has come to an end which was filled with stories painted in all sorts of shades. Many people will remember 2016 as a year of unprecedented surprises: demonetisation (which is probably the biggest story of the year), Donald Trump (earthshaking story of a rank outsider — a joke candidate, if we’re being honest) elected as US president, Uri terror attacks, Surgical attacks carried after the attack, followed by ban on muslim actors in bollywood, rise of PV Sindhu, Samsung Note 7 getting exploded etc. are notably top of the list. It’s been one heck of an year for the people of India (and US citizens after Trump was elected as US Prez). On the personal front, I have lost something very important in my life and gained few. Also I have reached few milestones in my life too: completed 5 years in a company, got married and joined a new company.

This new year wasn’t any different as my parents had come down to Bengaluru for health checkup planned for my mom in the coming days. Even parents of my wife had come to Benagluru to visit us at our new home. Thus, no plans were made on how to spend the new year. On the other hand, my cousin was planning camp fire at one of my cousin’s near Electronic city, followed by a visit to a temple early next morning. Medical tests were done the second time due to some issues, results for the tests came in and doctor advised my parents to come after a month, so they decided to leave same day (Thursday) by train. Her parents visited our home and spent a day with us and returned back on Friday to her uncle’s home. So, my cousin’s plan was ON and we informed him about our availability.

Plan was to gather few friends and  meet at the place decided by 9.30 PM. wp-1483626596172.jpgAs we had some work to attend in the afternoon, we picked up other friends and reached an hour late. We waited for others to join as they were getting food and snacks for the party. Once they were in, we started the campfire. When there are friends & campfire, the only other thing needed is ALCOHOL :P. Most of my friends started drinking and as courtesy,  I too had a peg with them. It was countdown time for the new year and everyone was ready on their toes to wish each others. Once it ticked 12 o’clock, we shouted aloud “HAPPY NEW YEAR”. Friends wished and hugged each others and were enjoying the moment by calling their beloved one’s. After an hour, we remembered of the cake we have brought in. All of us gathered around campfire and cut the cake. We danced for a while and had our dinner but few of the boys weren’t in the mood to have it so they continued to drink. I tagged along other ladies to home so that they can have a nap before we head to the Sri Mahalakshmi Temple which is near Goravanahalli early in the morning.

Goravanahalli is around 80 KM from Bengaluru, famous for its Mahalakshmi temple. Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi temple is dedicated to goddess Mahalakshmi and believed that the idol of Shri Mahalakshmi is self- originated. It’s a small temple but going by people words, its very powerful and many people wishes have come true. It took us around two and half hours (time was around 12.30 PM) when we reached near the temple and found the road was blocked by police due to huge rush. We were allowed to take the car near the temple as one of my friend’s wife was carrying. After parking the car, we had one more hurdle to cross i.e. to take tickets for special darshan which was a nightmare. It took us a good hour to enter the temple and pay a visit, but it was worth the wait. We then went for the dam which is adjacent to the temple. As the temperature was too hot, we relaxed a bit under the tree shade and progressed towards car to start our journey back to Bengaluru. It was 6 PM when we reached our friend’s home at Koramangala. We quickly had snacks and headed towards Yeshwantpur Railway Station as my wife’s parents were travelling. It took us 30 minutes to travel hardly a km or two, that’s when we dropped the plan and picked up another, which was shopping for my wife. That’s how, our new year ended with, SHOPPING :).

A day at TALAKADU


It’s been more than a month now that I got married and we haven’t spent some quality time together. Adding upon that was, setting up the home with furniture, shopping for household items etc etc. It was one busy month where the plans for next week was made a week or so prior.  Hence, the chance of escaping from the Bengaluru city was not in the cards for us, and decided we would think of it after a month when things settle down a bit.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-7-39-55-pmIt was post lunch, when we friends made up the plan for Talakadu for a day for the coming weekend (which was 18 December, 2016). Most of them were ready but one of my friend had to attend the ongoing training on weekends and had to opt out, due to which others also were dilemma. I took the same plan to my wife and she was up for it as this was a one day trip. But then there was going to her aunt and uncle home to purchase some household stuff pitched in. After confirming with them, we decided to leave on Saturday and pay them visit on Sunday. We googled the route and found the best way was through Malavalli (which happens to be, native place where one of my close friend).

We left Bengaluru at 8.00 AM and reached my friend’s home around 11.00 AM. Had good time there having spent a good half an hour with their family and loads of snacks. We enquired once again on what to see nearby and hit the road. Gagganchukki View point was half an hour from Malavalli and by the time we reached, it was 12.30 PM. It was disappointing to see very scare water and rocks. Within half an hour, we left from the place to Talakadu, deciding not to go to Bharchukki or Shivanasamudra Falls as there was no water. One of the most refreshing moment of the day was when we came across the narrow road which had lake on one side and fields on other side.

At Talakadu

We reached Talakdu at 1.30 PM and sun was blazing hot upon us. Upon reaching, we followed a group of school childrens who had taken guide in order to explain the importance of the sculptures, symbols, temples etc. We youngsters forget to know the history of places and visit places just to cover and for the thrill of it. I was of that kind earlier but maturity has brought in some good factors which encourages me to learn more about the place I’m planning to visit. It was sound knowledge we had gathered from the guide and the imagination and hard work of those people hundreds of years back has to be praised of. There are in total 5 temples (Pathaleshwara, Maraleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanatheshwara and Mallikarjuna) in and around Talakadu to visit, the five Lingams believed to represent the five faces of Shiva, form the Pancha pathi and have become famous tourist place in the recent times.

By the time we finished paying visit to the temples around Talakadu, it was lunch time and we were hungry to the core. wp-1483538267175.jpgThere was a udipi style hotel in front of the temple. It was long time since our taste buds has tasted udipi style food. We sat down on the bench outside and had mouth-watering food (rice and sambar was just tempting). We finished our food and headed towards banks of Cauvery river to take a coracle ride and spent some time relaxing. It was soothing experience having taken the ride where water was very clear, can see fishes getting caught by fishermen, ducks making noises underneath algae. The ride costed us Rs. 120 per two persons in a separate boat. Once reaching the shore, we spent sometime in the water and then moved towards the tea stall. We sipped our tea and relaxed a while before kicking off to next temple. As we were at the crossing of the last temple, we were stopped as the road was getting constructed due to which we had leave it out. It took us around 3-3 1/2 hours to travel back to Bengaluru due to the traffic. It was 8.00 PM by the time we reached our home and ended our trip with neutral feelings.

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!

Escapade: Bike ride to Sangam, Mekedatu


Planning a weekend is a very challenging task in every software engineer’s life. I just want to escape the weekends in and around Bangalore and explore the nature with lots of fun and adventure. I lead a life where-in normality is very boring and unorthodox. It was yet another weekend where we all room-mates were boozing and playing cards. That’s when Shrinivas told his plan to go to Mekedatu with his wife on bike. As soon as we heard the plan, we said lets go for it. As usual, there were some dilemma in the mind of couple of room-mates whether to go or not due to pending office work but we were destined to pull them to the ride. Then he explained the plan on what are the places to be seen there and when to start and all.

For me, it’s very more than 5 years that I haven’t been on bike ride (last ride being Dandeli with M.Tech guys), so I was excited and up for it.  We decided to leave early morning around 4.00 AM and meet at Banashankari Bus stop. As planned, we (Lokesh, Vijay, Ravi and Me) reached banashankari around 4.00 AM and stopped at roadside stall for tea and quick breakfast. In the meantime, Praveen and Roopa joined us there. We were waiting for Mr. & Mrs. Shrinivas to arrive in order to start our trip. They arrived after half an hour, we filled up the tanks and started our bike trip. The weather added glare to our drive as it was bit foggy and not to chilly. We drove around 50 KMS to stop at Sri Srinivas Sagar hotel, Kanakpura for breakfast. We had a huge breakfast and moved forward to the Mekedatu.

We reached Sangam around 9:40 AM and got into coracle ride to reach other side of the river to visit Mekedattu. After reaching the other side, bus was waiting for us to take us to the location. When we reached the location, there was a railing (kind of high point) to see the water flow as the road to go down was shut down. I was in such a disbelief by seeing this as many a people told me so many things about the place. The place was fenced so that no one can go down. We didn’t come this far to this from some high point, so we all found a way that will take us down. We managed to go down and climb the rocks to see the water to a closer distance. One thing which stood out is the impact of water on the rocks, it pierced through the stones in ways which describes why its so dangerous. We took pictures there and relaxed for a while.

After an hour or so, we moved back to the top where in few bunch of people were agitated that they were not allowed to go down as forest officials arrived at the place. We ignored those fellas and hopped the bus which dropped us back at Sangam. My friends decided to get drenched in water and cool themselves up. I was in no mood to get into water so I did what I loved most, took pictures of those moments.  After all the fun, we crossed the rivers and were hunger for food. We quickly went into the restaurant beside the river and ordered food.

After finishing the lunch, we started our journey back to Bangalore but changed our mind and decided to visit Chunchi falls. Its about 10 kms from Sangam. We clicked few group pictures near a beautiful landscape and moved ahead. It was around 3:00 PM when we reached Chunchi falls. We parked our bikes and trekked to a high point first to see the waterfalls. Then one of the local guy informed us that there is one more view point where in you can see it clearly. So, we trekked down a bit to check the view point. After reaching to the view point, few of the them wanted to trek down to the bottom so that they can get into water yet again. Few opposed but that didn’t matter, so we all trekked down to the bottom of the waterfall.

By the time, we reached the bottom, Vijay and Ravi were already in the waters relaxing themselves. We had this Bluetooth enabled speakers which we turned on and everyone around us started shouting and humming with the songs.  After a while spending there, we decided to go back. By the time, we reached the top,  everyone was so exhausted and thirsty to hell. We rested their for a while and walked back to our bikes. By the time, we were half way to Bangalore, it started drizzling. We stopped by at two places and then later point moved even when it was raining. It was around 9:00 PM by that we reached home.

It was a great ride after many years and it made much more special with the company of wonderful friends. Looking forward to many more escapades :).

Atlast we went for a trip! – Day 2


    Day 2 started badly for me. When i woke up from sleep, i saw one of my legs swollen and i wasn’t even able to stand. My friends helped me with spray which gave a bit of relief. Just then one of the funniest and memorable moment happened in our room. The situation involved Chandra and Biswa. Even now, if we (Me, Pradeep, Akshay, Chandra and Biswa) remember it we laugh till our core. Just then, Harsha came into our room and informed that he hasn’t slept whole night. when asked why he didn’t sleep? he answered Shakun didn’t let him sleep. When he tried sleeping, Shakun started snoring which left many people awake 😉 . After a while, all of them were ready for the next destination. We took few pictures around the cottage and left the place. We decided to visit BABA BUDANGIRI as it falls in the way to Mullayangiri. Baba Budangiri  is a pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Muslims. The road to Baba Budangiri and Mullayangiri are narrow, steep and bad in condition.

       After visiting Baba Budangiri, we decided to have our breakfast here instead of having it in Mullayyangiri. This is when Prashanth started having motions due to reasons which cannot be disclosed 😉 . One of the scariest moment of the trip for everyone (including the driver) was when Biswa shouts “STOP STOP! I CANT SEE THE ROAD”. It scared the hell out of all my friends and also the driver which made him push the brakes much harder.  Biswa was sleeping at the last corner seat of the Tempo Traveller and when he got up and look out of window, he saw no ground below him which brought his heart in his mouth and made him shout that loud. We reached MULLAYANGIRI around 11.30 PM and sun was heading its way up. Mullayangiri is considered the tallest peak in Karnataka and has a temple on its peak. Prashanth was on his on way to perform nature call and rest of the friends started climbing the hill. By the time, we reached the top it completely drained our energy but the scenic view made us energize. It was a completely different experience and the cool breeze touching your face even at afternoon time was simply amazing.

          On reaching back at the bottom, everyone was thirsty so we all had ice creams and started to get into our vehicles for our next destination. As planned, our next destination was YAGACHI SPORTS PARK which entertains people with various kinds of water sports. But when enquired about it near chikmangalur, we got to know that it was closed due to reduced water level. It was then decided to visit HALEBIDU. We had a quick lunch in one of the hotels and started our journey to Halebidu. We reached Halebidu around 2.30 PM in the afternoon. The architecture was simply jaw breaking. We were looking around the temple and found a guide explaining about the sculptures and temple details to few foreigners and we sneaked in and started listening to the information provided by the guide. Each and every sculpture has its importance and some specific meaning attached to it. It was one historical place to visit and get the feel of it. We visited all the temples and surrounding places and strolled around the garden for a while. We rested for a while near the Buddha statue in the garden before starting the journey back to Bengaluru.

 

         It was 6 PM when we bid adieu to Halebidu and started our journey back to Bengaluru. All my friends were tired but still we had one last stop before Bengaluru and it was for dinner. We looked out for many dhaba’s on the highway but none were good and finally got into one dhaba which was good enough to eat. Non-veg guys (Bapi, Sachin, Anuj, Shakun) started ordering their starters and veg guys (Akshay, Pradeep, Harsha, Pralay and myself) their food but there was one guy who didn’t want to eat. Guess who? Its Prashanth 😉 (rem due to motions). We insisted him to have curd rice a bit which settle him stomach. By the time starters and main course appeared, we were baffled to see one big chicken at our table and when we enquired it was called “Punjabi Chicken”. Even the non veg guys were surprised to see that quantity given. Once the diner finished, we were back on road to complete our wonderful trip. It was around 11.30 PM – 00.00 AM when all my friends reached their respective room’s or home’s.

It was one of the wonderful experiences which included funny, scariest and wildest moments which i will cherish for the rest of the life. Thank you guys for making it so special. Hope we go for many more such trips ahead :).

Atlast we went for a trip! – Day 1


                   Its been more than an year that many of my friends at SOFTWARE AG were planning for a trip and it was delayed or cancelled due to one or other reason. Everytime someone raises the topic of trip, me n my friends used to laugh at it thinking it would get cancelled any way. But as times went by we were more inclined n serious towards going to a trip which looked far fetched dream to some one them. But one fine day, while having lunch at office the topic rose up again n my friends acknowledged each other for the trip rather than laughing at it (as they did earlier). It was decided then and there that we would go for the trip even if only couple of them turn up.

         We started discussing where can we head for and people started pouring with their own places to visit. Then we picked up the places which were feasible for us to plan for a w day trip. Once the places were picked, we put forth the same to all our group. And almost of them choose CHIKKAMANGALURU as there were many other beautiful n scenic places nearby it. We started sharing the responsibilities among ourselves. It was decided tat Akshay would take care of budget n collecting money from our friends so that he would track down everything we spend in the tour. He also informed our friends that he would bring khakra’s and other delicious stuff. I (avin) took up the task of arranging the vehicle which was a Tempo Traveller and also food items which can be used in the course of the journey.

     Everyone were waiting eagerly for the day i.e. Friday 26th September 2013 which was the day planned to leave for the trip. Anuj decided to come to the trip at the last hour and we were very happy to take him aboard. I was the last one to get on the traveller and the fun began. We had dinner at a dhaba and reached chikmangalur early morning around 3 AM. Some of them rested for a while and few of them watched TV. It was around 8 AM when we started from our lodge to our first place KEMANNAGUNDI. We had a small break in the way to have tiffin and take pictures.

En route to kemmanagundi hill

           Finally we reached a garden on top of kemmanagundi Hill where we rested for a while and started for HEBBE FALLS. It was just after 15-20 mins, we got a shock saying the route to hebbe falls is closed due to a recent Supreme Court order banning tourism in tiger reserves. It was a huge setback for all of us who were excited about visiting hebbe falls. But as they say “Nothing can stop determined people”, we were determined to visit the falls come what may. So there comes a person who says he can take us to the falls via private coffee estates but will be charged heavily. Few of them were reluctant at first but then agreed. We had to park our vehicle along road side and walk for around 2 KM because there was road construction in progress.  It was one hell of a ride with loads of bumps and jumps. It was more like a dirt race except we were in commader jeep. Vehicles were stopped nearly 2km away and we had to walk to reach the falls. Then, the moment arrived when we finally saw the water falling from very high and believe me its was BREATH TAKING view.

        The pain and efforts put by my friends  (travelling,  walking, jumping and sometimes scolding me 🙂 ) were payed well. When we went closer and felt the water, it was damn cold.  Many of my friends starting jumping into water and few restricted themselves. It was getting dusk when we started to leave hebbe falls. We stopped at one of the smaller falls and had our food which we packed on our way to falls. When we reached our vehicles it was complete dark. Now there was still 2 KM to be walked in complete dark with a tyre (which was punctured earlier)  in our hand to reach our vehicle. We watched the sky which was shinning with numerous stars. Finally, we reached our vehicle and decided that we would stay in a cottage kind of house which was on top of kemmangundi hill. We were given two rooms to stay and decided we would get up early and start our journey to MULLAYANGIRI.  Pradeep, Akshay, Chandra, Biswa and Me were in one room and Bapi, Harsha, Prshanth, Shakun, Anuj and Pralay were given the other room. There was no electricity and complete darkness except our cell phone torch and in the process of reaching our room, i twisted my ankle badly.

To be continued…

One of my favorite destination – MADIKERI


       I always wanted to go to some hilly area and stay there peacefully for a week or two and do nothing, just chill or watch nature. Many of my friends used to say that MADIKERI is one of the must-see places in karnataka. I used to fantasize how madikeri would look like, how weather would be etc. I always expressed my desire to go to madikeri to many of my friends and told them to plan about it but was always in vain. One way or the other, the trip was cancelled or delayed and i used to get frustated about it. Finally, My wish came true on 14th July 2012.

       Whenever i visit hubli for some work, i always used to meet my friend cum didu NEHA and SAMINA. They always took time out of their busy schedule and used to meet me whenever i visit hubli. We used to hang around so much. Once when i visited hubli to meet my sister, Neha and Samina expressed their desire to go for tour for which i ready agreed. We planned for a weekend around June but got cancelled due to personal reasons. Then they decided to go for tour in mid of July as they have holidays. Neha, Samina, Laxmi and I were on the list for the trip to madikeri. We decided that this time we would go for the tour irrespective of who is coming and who is not. After few days, we decided that the date and was fixed on 14th July 2012. We then asked our M.tech friends whether they want to join us in this tour and only Pradeep responded to yes. So the final members for the tour were Neha, Laxmi, Samina, Pradeep and Me. Laxmi, Neha and Samina would be arriving a day prior to the tour. I had already booked a taxi for the tour. We decided to go to madikeri from bengaluru and visit places on the way to madikeri.

       Early in the morning around 5.30 AM, the taxi had reached to pradeep and he boarded it. He reached to my room around 6 AM. We called up neha and samina to check they are ready or not but asusual, they weren’t. We reached to their PG around 7 AM but they got out around 8AM :). I expected it to happen so was chilled about the delay. We started from bengaluru and the journey to my much awaited place begun. I was very happy and excited about it. After few minutes of journey, we all had butterflies in our stomach so we planned to stop at some restuarant and KAMAT was the place. At Kamat, we found out that there was a buffer system which costs you Rs. 100 which included Idly, Dosa, Wada, Upma, Jilebi, Chutney, Sambar, Ladoo, Fruit salad,Juice, Tea, Coffee etc. We had our tiffin and started from there.

      As planned earlier, we first visited GOLDEN TEMPLE OF BUDDHA which is near Kushal nagar. We were at golden temple around 1.30 PM. I wasn’t much aware of this temple and enquired about it from friends and driver. I felt very peaceful when we entered into the temple. There was some kind of calmness around the temple which brings solace to you. There were monks praying, reading books inside the main temple where no visitors were allowed to enter. Then we went to other temple which was beside to it. On entering, we saw 3 huge statues in which one of the statue was of Buddha. The sculpture painting in the temple were so acute and colorfull. There was so much of art and wall painting in and around the temple which amazes the people. We sat there for few mins then came out of the temple and took some pictures. As we came out of the temple, there was a small market where in different kinds of clothing accessories, sweaters, jackets etc. were available. Laxmi, Neha and Samina purchased few items from the market and we started our journey to next place which was KAVERI NISARGADHAMA.

Entrance of GOLDEN TEMPLE OF BUDDHIST
Main Temple
3 Statues inside Golden Temple

      It was a 20min drive from golden temple to nisargadhama. We reached kaveri nisargadhama around 2.30 PM. The entry of kaveri nisargadhama had a hanging bridge followed by small jungle where in they had deers, Elepants, rabbits etc. As we started to walk inside, we saw many rest houses made of wood which were around 40feet above ground. People were climbing it with the help of ladder which was attached to it. We found one of the rest house to be empty and started to climb on it. We were thrilled and gals were scared about the wood house getting wrecked or getting broken. Once upon the wood house, we sat their for around 20mins chiling out and took pictures. Then we went further inside and saw deers. They were so beautiful and frightened when they saw us. We were told about elephant rides but were disappointed by not seeing it. We then came out of the nisargadhama and started our journey back to madikeri. DUBARE FOREST CAMP was the next place in our list which is to be visited. Dubare forest camp is famous for the elephant riding, elephant bathing, river rafting etc. We were at Dubare Elephant camp at 5.00 PM. We thought to see elephants, ride on them but it was not permitted. The timings for the elephant riding and bathing were in the morning around 10 AM – 1 PM. So we decided to visit it back while returing back to bengaluru.

Artistic wood piece with different faces
Rest House

      Our next place to visit was RAJA SEAT, which was in the heart of the Madikeri city. Many of my friends and others suggested me to visit raja seat in the evening as the view is awesome, so we planned accordingly. We were at Raja Seat around 6.10PM in the evening. It started drizziling when we got there. I was in love with the place and the weather was perfect. We entered raja seat and had a glimplse of the view from there. I cannot express how i was feeling when i was seeing it. The one thing which came to my mind when i saw it was ” THE WAIT WAS OVER AND IT WAS MUCH BEAUTIFUL THAN WHAT I DREAMT OF IT”. I seriously recommend people to pay a visit to Raja Seat to anyone who is visiting madikeri. It was feast for the visitors eyes, i bet on it. The weather was perfect for the time. Slighlty dirzziling, chilly, clouds all over the sky, greenary all over, zig-zag roads in betwwen the hilly areas and beautiful scenery. I just felt like to stay there forever. But we had to leave as we needed to look out for home stay. We found one broker who saw a home for us and we checked in there. We then came out for diner at ATITHI RESTAURANT. We chit chatted for sometime and ordered food. I wanted to go for walk at night in the drizzle. I always kind off had this interest of walking while it drizzling. We had our diner and headed out to our room to sleep. But the night was not yet over, we didn’t want to sleep so fast so started to play Dumsharaz. Pradeep was not interested in it so he went to sleep. Neha and Laxmi were on one side, samina & Me were on the other. It was such a fun playing that game where laxmi didnt know much hindi flims and took advantage of it :). After an hour or so, we thought its time to sleep but i was in no mood to sleep. Everyone slept but i was awake as i wanted to explore more of the city and thrill myself but couldn’t.

A view from Raja Seat
A view from Raja Seat
At dawn in madikeri

       I simply layed on bed and waited for the morning in order to have a see the sunrise at madikeri. I got up around 4 AM in the morning and had bath. Then went on the roof to view the scenery and as expected, it was beautiful. I was staring at the sunrise and also listening to the sounds of birds as there was not much noise. Then i woke Pradeep, Neha, Laxmi and Samina to get ready as we need to leave early. We already planned to visit Talacavery, Abbi falls and Dubare elephant camp. We started around 6 AM from madikeri to TALAKAVERI. The road to talacavery was completely ghat section. There were few spots on the way which were so beautiful that would keep you mind refreshed and guessing. It was around 8 in the morning when we reached Talacavery. Talacavery is the place that is generally considered to be the source of the river Kaveri. The view from the entrance of the temple was eye-watching. We went into the temple and prayed for sometime and went to betta (i.e. cliff). We started climbing and saw the vicinity filled completely filled with color green. When we were at top of the cliff, we couldn’t see anything else other than fog. It was all around the place. The place was very cool and everyone was shivering with cold. Ah! it was such a awesome experience to our eyes. The fog cleared for merely half a minute and we could see the forest around. I saw lone house/cottage in the middle of the forest. We stayed there sometime and started moving as planned to visit ABBI FALLS. Once we exited from talacavery, we found a small shop where he was preparing Mirchi and onion pakoda. It was perfect time to have them. It started drizzling again and we were having garam garam mirchi and pakoda. While going to madikeri from talacavery, there is a place “VIEWPOINT MSL 3700” which is simply superb to see. I made the taxi stop and took pictures of the beautiful scenery and enjoyed it for few mintues. Then headed back to Abbi falls.

A view from Talacauvery entrance
A view of temple from the cliff
A small cottage in the midst of forest
View from VIEWPOINT MSL 3700
VIEWPOINT MSL 3700

       We were at ABBI FALLS at 11.30 in the afternoon. We spent an hour or so at abbi falls seeing the falls and people who were busy taking pictures with their families. It was small waterfall when compared to what i have seen in many other places earlier but the atmosphere was the same. We then started moving towards DUBARE ELEPHANT CAMP. We reached Dubare around 2PM in the afternoon and decided to go for river rafting. Now, this again was one of my things on the adventure list to do. We decided among our friends that we would river raft for 7KMS but the support team didn’t agree as there was not much fast flowing stream present so we had to compromise with shorter distance. River rafting for 7kms would cost you around Rs. 700/- where as the shorter distance costs you Rs.200/-. We were forced to take the shorter one but believe me it was hell lot of fun. The guide on the boat showed us the tricks and amused with his sudden tactics. I would highly recommend anyone who is visiting dubare to river raft for sure. We were drenched completely in the water so we decided to change our clothes and start our journey back.

Abbi Falls
River Rafting @ Dubare Elephant Camp

      As we were anyhow passing via Mysore, we decided to visit BRINDAVAN GARDENS. We got there by 6PM in the evening. We saw the aquarium house first and started moving towards the fountains. We later realised we haven’t got much time left so we had to leave abruplty. We didnt even see 10% of the gardens as we were getting late, so we left in the middle and started our journey back to bengaluru with no stops further. We reached bengaluru around 9.00 – 9.30 PM. And it was around 11 PM when pradeep reached his room. Everyone was so happy about the trip and enjoyed to the fullest. Personally, it was the best trip of my life till now surpassing all. It was much above my expectations. It will be one of the highlighted page of my life, for sure.

@ Aquarium House in Brindavan Gardens
A view @ Brindavan Gardens

Thanks to Pradeep, Neha, Laxmi and Samina for making the trip so excited and fun-filled 🙂 :).

 

 

 

Dandeli on Bike’s


                 Its was the month of October and we were frustrated with college torture and routine. We wanted a break from the daily routine and planned for one more trip. When consulting with our classmates (mostly boys),  we found out that many people weren’t able to make out and few of them were not interested at all. So Me, Jagadeesh, Guru, Shivraj and Deepak discussed about the trip and decided that we people will go on bikes to DANDELI. We had only two bikes  one of them was of jagadeesh and other was of guru. We were in need of other bike which deepak brought from his friend. Now the plan was decided and we were energized with the feel of going on bike. We decided to go on 22nd October 2010.

              As planned, we woke up very early in the morning around 3AM and started getting ready. I already informed my sis about the trip and she was bit hesistant about we going on the bike, but i convinced her. Around 4AM (we follow the same time always for the trip), Jagadeesh, Shivraj and Deepak arrived at my home to pick me up. We then picked up guru and started our journey from hubli to dandeli via dharwad. We were on empty stomach and wanted to have at-least tea and biscuits which we saw at one small shop roadside near dharwad and stopped there. We took the picture of it and captured the moment.

@ small shop near dharwad

After sipping tea and smoking (not me), we continued our journey to dandeli forest. As we were going far from dharwad, we saw the road become more lonelier and adventurous. The road curves, sounds of various birds, humming, cool air hitting your chin or ears and making u tickle around. There were quite a few times, where we raced parallely on the road. We saw many scenerie’s of nature which was overwhelming. At one place, she stopped our bikes aside to the road and got down from the bike. We decided to stay there for few mins and leave. We started jumping around and singing loudly. Then everyone posed for the pictures and we also took group pictures lying on the road or sitting in the middle of the road. There were few incidents where i was about to click the picture and suddenly there was vehicle coming behind which petrified us.

On the dandeli road
Its just a pose for the picture 🙂
On the road of dandeli

          After finishing the photo session on the road, we continued the journey and reached dandeli in an hour or so.  One of the friends of shivraj was living in dandeli, so called him up and asked whether he can show us any places  near by to which he agreed. We picked him up and started going away from dandeli to reach a spot where we can relax or enjoy and no one to disturb us. We reached a place where we parked our  bikes and started walking from there. We went nearly 1km into the forest from where we parked the our bikes.  We were having mixed feeling enthralled about all this and fear of going deep into the forest.

Half way in the forest
Deep inside the dandeli forest

      We finally reached the place what we were looking for. It was very calm place with dangerous kali river running beside it. The place was perfect where we can enjoy mother nature to the fullest. The weather was sultry and we were sweating. We wasted no time and jumped into the river. The currents were very strong which pulled many people into the river. We were very cautious about that fact back of our minds. We made fun of each other by pulling them suddenly, attacking one person at a time, circling single person and throwing water on his face and he has no way to hide.

A view of river Kali from our spot
Enjoying @ river kali

                     We played around the river for a quite a few hours. One after the other, everyone came out of the water and were changing into other clothes. As we were changing clothes, the climate started changes and we saw dark clouds started covering the sky. Within few mins, sky was completely covered with dark clouds and started pouring. We had taken only one extra pair of dress that too was not planned. One of the dress were drenched and the other we wore few mins back. Rain got worse within few mins and we had no place to hide ourselfs till 1-2 kms. Our new clothes were completely drenched and we were worried about cell phones and wallets which can be damaged. So we put all the cellphones into many layers of plastic and placed at the below part of the bag just to make sure that atleast cellphone and wallet were not damaged. We started walking towards the bike but were finding difficulty in moving as the rain created a small stream of water running on the small path from which we entered. As i was wearing flip flops, the small stream made difficult to me as i was on flip flops. I later removed them and placed it around bag. At last after battling it around, we reached our bikes and rain was still pouring down heavily. Then to my shock, i saw blood coming out  of my legs. When observed keenly, it was biten by leeches. We decided to ride bike in rain and with only shorts and t-shirts. I still remember, Shivraj was wearing a towel around his waist and sat back in one of the bikes. We were enjoying every sec of the trip. We weren’t aware what was going to be happen in the next second. We traveled back to dandeli village and stopped at one restaurant.

Jaga and Guru @ hotel in dandeli
Pose by Kannada SRK (Shivraj Kumar)
Deepak @ restaurant in dandeli

             We finished our lunch and made ourselfs dry. When checked the bags, we found shivraj and my phone was not reachable as water somehow got into it.  After finishing our food, we started moving out of dandeli and slowly on the road to hubli. There were many scenery’s which made us to explore more and more. After travelling to some distance we got to know about the place where many shooting were filmed. Bikes weren’t allowed inside nor was there any route  for bikes. We parked our bikes half a kilo meter far and viewed the place. The view from the place was eye pleasing.  We took few pictures there and started our journey back.

A place near dandeli

           As we started towards hubli, it was getting dark very soon in the forest and rain was till drizzling. We were riding the bikes in rain from 2-3 hours. I remember one incident where me and guru were on one bike and jagadeesh and shivraj were on the other bike. Deepak was riding alone on his bike. As we were talking andriding the bike, it slowed the pace but deepak was going on fast. After few mins, we saw deepak going very slowly in his bike and their was tension and fear in his face. When asked what happen, she shouted on us saying, where the hell were you people? We cooled him down a bit and asked him whats the matter. He then narrated that, while is was riding the bike, suddenly a big snake came in front of him with its fin open. He was horrified by seeing this and to console himself that he has friends with him, to his bad luck we wern’t there behind him as we were riding slowly. Then We kept the pace and managed to reach hubli safely at late night and we were fully tired with all day journey on bikes.

It was one of the must had experience in my life and still have glimpses of this trip in my eyes. It was a special trip and will always be!

Syntheri Rocks


                  It was in the month of February that we planned to go for the next trip. Gals complained us last time saying they weren’t informed of any trip and were angry at us. We promised them that we would inform them next time when we plan for a trip so that we all (boys & gals) can have fun. As we were planning, we asked gals as promised whether they are willing to come or not. They replied saying, many of the gals are willing to come for the trip. We then sat together and started to plan where all to go. Many of friends suggested places but we eventually decided to visit Ulavi Channabasaveshwara Temple and Syntheri rocks

                 The date was fixed for the trip, and it was on 19th February 2010. We decided to leave very early in the morning so as to return back soon. As planned, we got ready around 4 AM in the morning and were told to meet at one place so that it would be easy to pick many people at once. Jagadeesh and Deepak were in charge of the trip. Me, Shivu, Indira, Akshata, Jagadeesh, Shivraj and Deepak meet @ Sirur park circle where the vehicle was waiting for us. We all then hopped into the vehicle and started to pick up other friends from their homes. We then picked up Neha nad Samina from their homes and started towards pradeep home. We picked him up and started towards Guru’s home to pick him up and started our journey towards ulavi temple.   It was a foggy morning where we weren’t able to see other objects within 20meters. It was such a thrill seeing so much fog on the way.

A Foggy Morning
@ Early Morning on the way to Ulavi Temple

               We then reached Ulavi temple and took the darshan of Basavaanna and roam around the temple just to get feel of it.  In order to remember this moment, we clicked many snaps and had breakfast near ulavi temple.

In Front of Ulavi Temple

                    We left from ulavi temple and were on the way to Syntheri rocks, when we sWe stopped at one of the spot which had one watch tower from which we can see the never-ending dandeli forest. The view was awesome. Wherever our eyes saw, it was filled with green color. We then clicked few snaps there and continued our journey towards Syntheri rocks. 

View from Watch Tower
Gals pose @ watch tower
Boys @ watch tower

                After few hours of chit chatting, antakshari, pj’s etc. we reached Syntheri rocks. We need to park the the vehicle a bit far and need to walk few steps and then down the stairs. When we took the stairs, we saw the water flowing in smaller streams and bigger rocks holding in support with each other. It was at least 0.5 km steep down from the top where the vehicle was parked. We got down to base and saw the scene of water flowing with cool air moving around us.

               At first, we relaxed for sometime on the rocks beside the smaller streams of water. Then boys started playing with water and drenched all other friends.  Boys then changed into shorts and plunged into water and pulled many others into water (boys not gals :)).  Gals went to other place in order to have their privacy and we boys respected that. Boys started shouting (as always) and clapping on the water hardly. I still rem, the only person who wasn’t dragged or pulled into water was Shivkumar Umadi aka Shivu. We forced him but were in vain so gave him the punishment of clicking our pics :). Everyone was chiling around in water, diving, sleeping on big stones in water etc.

@ Syntheri rocks
Enjoying at the fullest with friends @ Syntheri rocks

                 Gals were enjoying their own way by being around the rocks and spilling water on each other faces. We were in water for hours and were totally exhausted. Now we all were hungry and wanted something to eat desperately.  We dressed and took  few snaps around the scene with boys.

Before leaving Syntheri Rocks

                As we started our journey back to hubli, everyone was completely tried and were sleepy. On the way back, we planned to have diner @ RED FORT located on the way hubli. It was around 7 PM when we reached Red Fort and everyone got up and refreshed themselves. We sat in the open garden and started ordering like hungry lion looking for fresh :). Everyone popped up when starters were served and enjoyed the dinner with jokes, moments spent in the journey etc.

Diner @ RED FORT

      It was around 9PM when we finished our diner and came out of the restaurant. We took one final pic of the trip outside the restaurant (below one) and left the place. Then by dropping everyone at their respective homes, it was late for us (Me, jagadeesh and Deepak). Finally, everyone were at their home and were happy about the trip. It was memorable trip, all in all. Hope for the next trip with all you people :).