Ice cream at Pabbas, Mangalore


I had been to Mangalore a couple of times but never knew that there was a famous ice cream parlor for which people wait outside in a queue. I have heard people waiting for many things in line, but for you Ice cream?! I said to myself, “Okay, let’s try and see what’s so special about Pabbas“.

It was New year’s time and we had no plans of ours so my wife insisted to visit their parents home (which was in Udupi then). That’s when we planned to visit Pabbas as it’s only an hour drive from there. We reached Udupi in the evening of 28th December and rested for the day. Next couple of days, we visited a couple of beaches, explored new places in and around Udupi & Agumbe (St. Mary’s Island, Kudlu Theertha, Varanaga etc). IOn the last day, we went trekking to Kudlu Theertha in the morning and reach back around evening. Everyone dazed off for a while and around 6.00 PM, we suddenly planned to visit the ice cream parlor. We reached there by 7 pm and waited for 15-20 minutes to get the seating. The place was hustling with people and out of it with people gossiping, waiters rushing around etc. The first impression about it wasn’t good (as I seldom like crowded places). But, then the impression changed to neutral as one has to see the time of visit to the place (being a new year Eve) and the staff was experienced enough to manage the crowd.

I’m not an Ice cream fan but what intrigued me was their menu. I’m not referring to various kinds of ice cream flavors but how they have used ice cream in things I didn’t even imagine such as Pizza, Sandwich, Gadbad and many more. We tried many things(Chocolate Dad, Special Gadbad, Cake sandwich, Pizza ice cream, Tiramisu etc.) but my personal favorite is the Cake Sandwich. To sum it up, it was a good experience.

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Done with Ice creams

If you guys are visiting Mangalore and have a few evening hours to spend, then I would recommend you to try their Ice creams (check Zomato for the user’s pick to get the idea).

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Koodlu Teertha, Agumbe


It’s the last day of the year 2017 and the day was spent well. As I write this blog, I feel some calmness inside me due to the experiences which I had earlier in the day. As many of you are aware of my fondness for traveling, I follow many accounts related to tourism & travelers on Instagram. One such account posted a picture of a picturesque waterfall. At first, when I looked at it, wouldn’t believe it was in Karnataka. I went through the tags for the post and many other comments to find the name of the place, which was Kudlu Teertha, Agumbe.  Luck favored me as this place was en route to Udupi. I made up my mind to visit this place on my next visit to Udupi.

We had come to Udupi to be with my in-laws as we had a long weekend ahead on the occasion of New year. We had visited St. Mary’s Island the other day and couldn’t go to Kaup beach as we were tired. At night, we decided to leave for Koodlu Teertha early in the morning and reach back home in the afternoon as elders had plans to visit a temple. We left early in the morning around 8 from Udupi and reached Varanga to visit the Jain temple. By the time we left the place, it was around 9.30 AM. We went to Seethnadi Hotel to have our breakfast and from there to the destination.

The road to waterfalls is partly good (cement road) and partly off-road. Locals inform the travelers not to travel by their cars as they might get damaged but we decided to take it anyway. It took us about 45 mins to reach the parking area of the falls from the hotel. We didn’t expect the crowd to be large in number but then we were surprised. The entry ticket per person is Rs. 50 add to that the parking fee of Rs. 50 and camera charge Rs. 200. One has to trek for 1.5 km from the parking to reach the falls.

The trek to the reach falls is tiring as it passes through difficult terrain. There are few steps in between which might help the visitors a bit. It was tiring but when the waterfalls unraveled in front of us, it was just mesmerizing. The tiredness of trekking for more than half an hour vanishes by seeing the baffling beauty of the place and the height of the waterfall from where the water descends from a height of about 300 feet. It plunges straight into a pond which is not deep and one can swim easily. The calm and tranquillity found near the waterfall are just magical, adding to it was the echo of the sounds. To reach closer to the waterfalls, we had to cross a small water stream, as soon as we stepped into the water, it sent chills all over the body. Water was too cold which freaked many people and made the person jump instantaneously. Her cousins jumped into the water while we stood there admiring the waterfall.

I was pretty pleased with the location where it was situated, how it was not disturbed by the visitors, not much litter around and no washing of clothes or any absurd things we see at other places. I had the plans to swim but then dropped it due to water being so cold. We sat on the rocks immersing our legs into the water and looking at the waterfalls, huge rocks and the echoes created by the people in happiness. It was serene and the atmosphere around makes you feel rejuvenated. Time had passed around 2 hours at this place that’s when we called her cousins to come out of the pond to which they were dejected. After a lot of persuasions, they came out and changed their clothes. As we walked back, everyone was happy to the core of visiting this wonderful place. Upon reaching near parking, we had snacks (bread omelet, lemon juice, cold beverages etc.) at a small shop and started our journey back to Udupi.

Important Information:

  • Best time to  visit: August to December
  • How to reach from Udupi:
    • By Bus: One can take a bus, get down at Hebri and hire an auto.
    • By car: It’s an hour and 30 minutes drive.
  • If your planning to visit the waterfalls, also visit Varanga Basadi which is nearby (best time is evening).
  • As the waterfall is deep in the forest, it’s recommended to carry water bottles and snacks along with yourselves.
  • In monsoons seasons, be watchful of the leeches.
  • Kindly DO NOT litter and let’s keep the nature clean.

Amrutesvara Temple, Amruthapura


It was time for us to head back to Bengaluru from Udupi after such a long break. My Father-in-Law also accompanied with us as he had a meeting next day in the Bengaluru office. We left Udupi in the morning hours after having our quick breakfast at home. The weather was warming up and birds started their singing while we drove from the hilly areas. We crossed Agumbe in no time. After a while, we stopped at a small hotel somewhere in the interiors of a small village to have our breakfast, again. One of the famous food in and around is ‘Mangalore Bun‘. We all had a heavy breakfast this time and started our journey.

As we were reaching Thirthalli, my wife told me about Amrutesvara Temple which is near Tarikere. I never heard of the temple name before. Her aunt had told about the recent visit to the temple to her, so did her father. They expressed the desire to visit the temple as it on the way. We saw the signboard pointing to left just as we crossed Tarikere. As we took left from NH-206, had to travel another 6 km to reach the temple. One wouldn’t know amidst the village, there comes a piece of history. I didn’t notice at first as its just after a turn. The temple is maintained well with lush green garden all around and a fence guarding the temple. Sun was blazing hot which made the walk more difficult. As we entered the temple’s outer sanctum, we felt cooler.

The sculptures, idols, black shining pillars supporting the temple, carvings all around showcased the amazing talent of sculptors in Hoysala dynasty. It really baffled me seeing the carvings which such precision and thoughtfulness. As per few guides information, each side of the temple wall depicts a story in anti-clockwise. The temple walls have lots of miniature decorative towers which has its own significance. As we go around the temple, we see a couple of more temples. There’s a specific broken sculpture near the tree which signifies 12 sun signs sculpted in one rock. After looking around, we sat in the outer sanctum for a while, one of the temple poojari informed about the food provided by the temple.

We sat there for a while admiring the beauty of the temple before we headed back. I took a couple of pictures of the temple, inner sanctum, sculptures outside, miniatures on the temple walls etc. Many people travel the road we had taken but very few know about the temple. If anyone is going on that route, I urge them to pay a visit to this beautiful temple, which has a lot to say and show about Hoysala dynasty and its architecture. The best time to visit the temple would be in the evening.

Trip Details (By Car):

Route (From Bengaluru): Bengaluru -> Kunigal -> Tiptur -> Arsikere -> Kadur -> Amruthpura (247 Kms)

Route (Towards Bengaluru): Udupi -> Agumbe -> Thirthalli -> Tarikere -> Amrutesvara Temple (187 Kms)

Malpe Beach, Udupi


Malpe Beach, famous among rest of the others and one of the primary reason being St Mary’s Island. It’s also famous for low-end water sports which are why picnic seekers and conventional vacationers are the primary habitats of it. The reason I wanted to visit this beach was that of its picturesque sunset at the Arabian Sea in the backdrop of St Mary’s Island hence gets crowded in the evening. However, In the daytime, you will only get a hazy and distant glimpse of St Mary’s Island.

We had planned a day earlier to visit Murdeshwar and another temple in order for us to return back by evening to Malpe beach. The road to reach Malpe beach is very busy and narrow. It took us good 30 minutes to reach there. As we reached near, we were astonished to see huge crowd everywhere and added to that was parking issue. The place was too crowded and vibrant section of Malpe beach. There is also a beautiful marble statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the beach side. Restaurants, Coconut vendors, are in surplus on the beach side. I dropped my wife, her mother and grandfather near the Gandhi statue in search of parking, went so far ahead (nearly a km) and parked the car.

We (me & her brother) decided not to walk back so far as the sun was setting already. I informed about our whereabouts and told them we will catch them up after half an hour. I was amazed to see two sides of the beach: one which was so crowded & bustling and the other being so scarce. I was lucky that we parked our car on the road, which was hardly 100m from the beach. The first impression of the beach was very clean and a positive vibe of it. We sat down near the empty boats which were far away from the water and people. The color of the sky, the raw smell, very few people around made me pleased to a great extent. We gazed as far as possible into the sea looking for ships, boats or anything which caught our attention. I was so lost in the waves coming by that her brother had called me twice before I came back to normalcy. We were getting calls to come back as it was getting darker and they needed to go back home. As we started back, so did many people, created the traffic. We were forced to take another road which proved lucky for us. We picked them up within few minutes and headed back to home.

I haven’t had much time to spend at the beach nor had time to travel to St. Mary’s island, which is why I decided to go for it one more time with ample amount of time on hand and try few water sports.

 

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.

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.

Chikmagalur – Day 2


Next day, we got up early and were ready in no time by finishing our breakfast provided by the hotel and started towards HIREKOLALE LAKE. We weren’t aware of this earlier but got to know from the hotel receptionist. It’s a half an hour drive from Chikmagalur and you will not know that the place exists (as we hardly saw any signboards of it) until the corner of it. It was drizzling when we reached there but we decided to move forward. As we reached halfway, the drizzle got heavier and we traced back to our car for shelter as there was nothing else we can hide from the rain. We were having talks whether to stay until the drizzle stops or move ahead for next destination but then suddenly drizzle got weaker and eventually it stopped. We stepped out and walked out to see the spectacular view of the lake. The weather was perfect which added to the scenic beauty. We were just in the awe of the place. We went around for a while and took pictures of this beautiful place.

As planned, the next destination was KEMMANAGUNDI, which had many places nearby. As we started towards our next place, we were stuck in traffic jam and amidst of all that, one of the car drivers hit us from back, damaging the car. I was furious, got down to inquire. The person explained the situation they were in (they were traveling to the cemetery for a funeral) and told us to follow them so that we can settle there. That was the mistake which we did because once we reached the cemetery, the guy flipped and told us to wait until they come back (which we had no idea when they will be back nor did they) or go and file a complaint with police. That left me agitated & fumed, wanted to damage his car on revenge but decided against it, as it would make me one like him. We left with a heavy heart to our next place. We stopped in between for a coffee sip at Coffee & Pepper (which has a cafe and also resort). The place looks very classy and for a change, I had ordered Cold Coffee and liked the taste so much that I placed one more. Rest of them chose hot coffee which made them refresh & active for the journey ahead.

KALLATHIGIRI FALLS, where water cascade’s down the hill and a small waterfall is formed in front of the temple. One can find an old Veerabhadra temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was too crowded when we reached there as families were bathing and doing rituals of their own. We visited the temple and headed towards Kemmanagundi wasting no time. As planned yesterday, we planned to go for a trek at Z-Point. We enquired and there was a group of local Jeep drivers who would take us halfway at a cost of Rs.300/- per person. We quickly finalized and hopped on the jeep, must say, it was completely off-road. After roughly 20 mins, the driver stopped and told us to follow the trail. As we started, we encountered SHANTI FALLS, passing which we would see the point where we were trekking to. As we kept trekking, it became steeper & steeper with the wind becoming heavier and heavier. I could hardly see any colors other than green (the grass), blue (the sky) and brown (the soil). It took us more than an hour to reach midway and everyone were numb as the breeze made more noise and the cold made the hands & legs freeze. We could hardly see each other as the fog was passing through us.

In between all the chaos, all of sudden was a streak of sunshine which brought up smiles on many people who were on the hill and faded slowly. We sat there admiring the nature and enjoying the view and feeling the air which was so fresh and enthusiastic. We were so lost that none of them had a check at the time. After some time, the weather changed drastically and we could see the bad weather approaching us, that’s when we decided to trek down. We reached back to our car in just more than an hour. Everyone was hungry to the core, we went to Krishnarajendra Hill station which has a hotel in it. We had our food and moved out as we had to head back to Bengaluru. Everyone was satisfied and also tired of the activity done in the day. This is my 4th trip to Chikmagalur but every time it was different. Always enjoyed coming to this place and always will. Looking forward to many more trips in and around the city.

Chikmagalur – Day 1


It’s been many months now that I haven’t been focusing on writing my travel experiences because of various reasons but as they say, “old habits never die”, so here I’m trying to put down one more journey we had taken. It was to CHIKMAGALUR with me, my wife, my brother, and Mr. & Mrs. Vijay. We started our journey late night in order to reach the place in time. We stopped somewhere after Kunigal and had wonderful food (Egg fried rice and Jeera rice) and continued our journey. We reached around 5 AM in the morning and quickly freshen up ourselves to reach Mullayangiri. The time was 9.30 in the morning when we reached and it was fog all around and we weren’t able to see hardly 100 meters. Forest department had closed the road due to heavy fog because of which we needed to walk for nearly 3 Kms to reach the steps of Mullayangiri. By the time, we reached the top it was 12 but it didn’t seem like it as fog covered all around and it was freezing like hell with a very cool breeze.

A temple resides on top of the hill which is small but feels very warm once entered. We spent nearly an hour on the top with many people taking photos of them and friends at many places. With the fog, our visibility was very less and the breeze made us shiver all the time but it was the moment to enjoy too. We headed back down and we were amazed to see the weather not change an iota.  We reached our car and headed towards Baba Budan or Manikydhara falls. We decided en route to visit Manikydhara falls first and then visit Baba Budangiri. The weather was not different here with many things in sameness such as greenery, fog, clouds and cool breeze. We were hungry when we came out of Baba Budangiri, so decided to have our lunch there. It was such a change to have lunch at a place where the food smells and taste different and the weather was at its best.

We checked the time and it was 5.30 PM which informed us to head back to our hotel. While driving back to the hotel, we saw this place called “Siri Coffee” and heard about its popularity for coffee. And me being a coffee freak cannot let that chance let go, so we decided to give it a taste. We relaxed for a while and ordered a couple of coffee and snacks. Must say, coffee did taste differently and I liked it. We finished our cup of coffee and got going from there. We reached the hotel, rested for a bit and went out for dinner somewhere nearby which was popular in the local. We walked back our way to the hotel and laid on the bed immediately as we were dead tired so that we can be fresh tomorrow.

Route Taken: Bengaluru -> Nelamangala -> Kunigal -> Hassan -> Belur -> Chikmagalur

Kms: 250+

Time taken: 5 Hours

Places Visited: Mullayangiri Peak, Manikdhara Falls, Baba Budangiri, Siri Coffee Cafe

Best Time to Visit: After rainy season (September-January)

Drive to BYNEKAADU


It’s been a more than a month now that we haven’t gone anywhere on weekends, family tie-ups and other commitments took up our time. Life at office was not that great as there was no real work, pretty much nothing to do (except browsing, learning or talking with friends). It was monotonous and everyone in my friend’s group needed a timeout, especially me who was frustrated to the core. Topic of trip on weekend brought up yet again by a friend and discussed it for a while, as we would leave that feeling while move inside our office. We friends talked about going on a trip but that never charted out properly. This time, it was on a serious note to go on one. We have been checking places to visit in the month, which suits the season, and most of pointed to either Kerala or Chikamagalur. Votes were up against both of them and the Chikamagalur came on the top, as its nearby and also on the hills. The difficult part was to select where to stay, what to see and what to ignore as we had only couple of days to rejunavate. There were many places to stay but we had our picked place: CoffeeGuda. Upon enquiry, we had to change to Bynekadu as there was no wooden cottage available in the earlier. We made an advance payment of Rs.5000 and that was when everyone was tad relaxed as the plan was ON. Everything was set now and we friends decided to leave at midnight 12 from my place in one of my friend’s XUV.

DAY- 1 :

We reached the place at 7.15 in the morning and were welcomed with refreshing taste of coffee. The view from the place was scenic with fog all around and river flowing behind it. We moved into our wooden cottage (of which we were the first people) and within minutes all my friends were out of the cottage to explore the riverside. They played around for a while and then we all went for our breakfast. Food was of Mangalore & local style which brought more craving to all my friends and wife. After finishing our breakfast, we played Badminton for a while and hopped on the jeep for the waterfall visit. It was an 30 minute off-road drive from the stay. The waterfall resides behind one of the houses of the villagers. It was not much of excitement after seeing the waterfall, as water flow was not great. Water was super cold and we were afraid of getting hypothermia. It took us sometime to get adjusted and once soaked in, we spent an hour or so playing around before we left from it.

We came back to our stay and had kokum juice to quench our thirst  and went straight to Bhadra river for swimming/floating. Life jackets were given to all of us and we had blast there. Water here was clean as a whistle. Even after swimming and floating in the river for more than 2 hours, people were hesitant to come out of it, so were we. With heavy heart, we came out of the river and went to our cottage for a quick bath. It was beyond lunch time by the time we all had finished our bath and everyone was hungry to the core. We had our authentic mangaluru cuisine food and then couple of guys (Venu and Navin) had to drop off from the plan to visit the hill as they needed rest and others were ready with sleepy heads as we had to visit GAALIGUDA in the evening. Road to the Gaaliguda been through the wars, it was as steep as it can get with lots of bumps and trails (as if, the road was created by the jeeps).

Our driver was friendly in nature and shared us good information about the place, what people do for living etc. The vehicle reached the top of the cliff, thats when he shutdown the engine and told us to walk to the other edge for sunset. It was remarkable to see how the sun sets down especially when it dips down rapidly behind the mountains. It was refreshing as there was cool breeze with almost no sound except the human voice. We reached back to cottage and had hot sip of coffee. In the meantime, campfire was being set for individual groups. Couple of my friends wanted to booze, so we ordered drinks for them and snacks were on the resort. By the end of the day, one of our friend (Kamal) was very high and hilarious by his words spoken and also by his actions. It was 11 PM when we reached the cottage, everyone were so exhausted that they hit the hay as soon as they touched the pillow.

 DAY – 2:

Plans for day 2 were not as scheduled as day-1 and we wanted to laze a bit in order to sulk in the cool weather and little fog which was around the hills. Everyone woke up from a good sleep and as decided last night, we got ready for badminton match. It was one hour of badminton play which was fun-filled and enthralling. We rushed to have breakfast and in no time got ready so that we can start for the Kudremukh drive. First place to visit en-route was Tea Estate near Sumsay. The beauty of this place was the Ganesh temple in its estate. Few of my friends were excited to be inside tea estate as it they were first timers. A good thirty minutes were spent taking pictures, enjoying the view and strolling around. Then we headed our way to HANGING BRIDGE which is in the village of Jamble, which comes under Kudremukh Forest. So, we have to first register ourselves with the forest department check post and take the paper slip which gives us free entry pass for a particular duration, exceeding which fine has to be paid. After collecting the free pass, we resumed and headed for the Hanging bridge.

Just as you pass the Jamble village, you can find the bridge connected to the road. We hopped on the bridge and found the water level was too low and the greenery was losing it charm as the season was changing. After shaking the bridge and frightening couple of my friends, pictures were snapped and selfies were clicked. After that we hit the road to visit KADAMBI FALLS which is around 16 Kms from the Hanging bridge. The road to the falls was ghat section and scenic at few places. When the falls appeared at first, we didn’t acknowledge that, this was it. Only when we saw the board beside it, we realized this was the falls we came to see from so far away. The water flow was very very low, which brought us disappointment. We hardly stayed there for 10 minutes and were headed back to our cottage.

On the way back, we stopped at the tea estate to have hot cup of tea and purchase few stuff for home. We reached cottage around 2.15 PM and had our lunch. After lunch, we packed our bags, settled the account with the resort and started our journey back to Bengaluru. It was 3 PM when we started our journey and reached our home by 10.30 PM. everyone was tired but no one of them and we had a blast even while coming back.

Looking forward to many more trips, treks and parties with you guys :).

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!