Bike Trip to Lepakshi

Lepakshi was on the list for a long time, partly due to the some random reviews that claimed it to be a great place and partly due to the curiosity to see the world largest monolithic Nandi statue. So when Mr. Jeyahari wanted to go on a long bike trip, it was the first suggestion i made and it was accepted without any concerns.

The trip started at around June 24, 2012, 7.00AM and Rakesh joined us in Hebbal around 7.45AM. Decided to take NH7 through Chickballapur, Bagepalli followed by a 16KM ride on the narrow Lepakshi road. It was surprising to see Bangalore traffic police ready with interceptors at 8.00AM to catch the unsuspecting tourists who are driving over the speed limit on the free roads. I see traffic police more on weekends and rarely do they try to impose any traffic rules on weekdays during the wee hours, when people run amok. Anyway, i had learnt my lesson during the Nandi Hills trip and we were going slow at 50KMPH on the free roads, where 100KMPH was not difficult to achieve. Stopped for breakfast at Kamat and then reached Lepakshi after sometime around 11.00AM.

Stopped first at the infamous Nandi statue. And the first doubt that comes to people from TN is, is that bigger than the one at Tanjore ? Info is that the Nandi statue in Tanjore is actually the third largest. The second biggest monolithic bull is at the Bull Temple in Bangalore near BMSCE. Lepakshi was architecturally rich but after visiting Hampi, i was expecting more. The murals in the ceiling were interesting. The nagalinga was a little fascinating. Soon we finished roaming around and taking photos. Took a little rest, finished our lunch at a small hotel since there were not many lunch options around and started our journey back in the hot sun, which made us wonder whether 120KM in bike was really worth for what Lepakshi has to offer.

Decided to compensate it by stopping in Lumbini gardens at Hebbal. Looks a like a good place for a family and kids to spend a evening. The view of sunset was great. Never knew bangalore had so much to offer. Clicked few pics, had some snacks and returned home after what turned out to be a exhaustive ride and what turned out to be an ok trip overall.

Lonely Bicycle Ride To Chikka Tirupathi

This weekend was supposed to be a lonely one, with most of the people i hang out with comfortably settled at home. The good thing about loneliness is it gives an opportunity to convert the crazy ideas in mind into reality. One such i had in mind was to go on a long cycle trip and a trip all alone. Decided to put that into test with my friend’s cycle. Knowing my energy levels, decided on Chikka Tirupathi, a small temple around 30KMs from my home and plan was to wake up early in the morning and start the trip before it is too becomes too hot. And that always turns out to be the difficult part of the trip. As usual woke up a little late when it became too hot to sleep 😦

Finally started the trip at around 10.15AM. Soon felt like a wrong decision to roast yourself in the hot sun, when i had the option of spending the weekend peacefully at home watching a movie and roaming inside the city in bike. Still decided to continue for some more time and once i reached the outer areas, it became interesting with cool breeze adding a little to the motivation. Had stopped only once to take rest for the first 25Kms. Slowly and steadily i reached the temple at around 12.30PM. I was impressed, 12KMPH was not something i expected. The temple is pretty small and i spent little time roaming inside the temple.

Decided to start the return journey in the afternoon so that i can reach home before evening. Soon i realized it was a disaster. It was terribly hot and i was covered in sweat pretty soon. Short breaks didn’t help in anyway and i was riding without having lunch too. While i could manage outside the city the conditions worsened once i reached city. It became more and more horrible. Read somewhere that while going you sit on a saddle, during the return journey it feels like a needle. Would agree with that 100% it was a hot hot needle. With many many breaks which i didn’t want to count, reached home at last after four hours πŸ™‚

It was good trip to start with. Few mistakes from which i can learn. Hope to continue with this.

Hampi, at last

A late post about a trip that happened in March. Anyway, Sudden decisions, quick plans and we were off to Hampi, the former capital of mighty Vijayanagara Empire. Though train was the preferred choice, was not able to get tickets. KSRTC operates a single bus to Hampi and it turned out to be a bumpy ride. Info: There are lot of options to choose from, if you decide to stop at Hospet, a town near Hampi. Anyway, we wasted no time in finding a homestay in Hampi Bazaar close to Virupaksha Temple, and it looked decent.

Plan was to complete the sites around Kamalapur on the first day. Hired a bicycle (Rs.40 per cycle) and started the trip around 9AM. Started the trip with visit of the Monolithic bull in Hampi Bazaar, after which pushed towards Kamalapur. First stop was at Chandrasekhara temple, Saraswati temple and Octogonal tank followed by visit to Hazara Rama temple. The Hazara Rama temple had too many sculptures inside and on the outer walls. The ruins in front of the temple, just reminded how mighty the Vijayanagar empire might have been during its peak and how bad the invasion was. The beheaded bull and broken trunks of elephants stands as a symbol of invasion after centuries have passed. We then proceeded to Zenana Enclosure, which encloses the Lotus Mahal, elephant stables, Queen’s Palace basement and a small museum.

After a reasonable good food at a small tamil shop outside Zenana enclosure proceeded to Royal Enclosure. It did look great with the Mahanavami Dibba or the grand platform from where king used to watch the annual parade, underground chamber, the stepped bath and a lot of ruins. Stepped bath looked great. On the way back, visited Queen’s bath which didn’t look very interesting except for the name, Danaik enclosure which housed few more ruins, the underground shiva temple or Prasanna Virupaksha temple, statue of Ugra Narasimha, Badavi Linga, and the Krishna Temple. Cycling was fun after a long time and the hot sun was dehydrating. We were lucky enough to return in time to climb the Hemakutta hills for the sunset. The place was filled with foreigners from all around the world and for whatever reason we were the only people representing our country. The sunset was wonderful so was the Hemakutta temple complex and theΒ Sasivekallu Ganesha statue. An exhaustive but satisfactory day at the end.

Day 2 : Woke up early at around 5.15am and climbed Matanga hills, the highest point in Hampi for the sunrise. Once again, we were the only people from India there. Waited for the sunrise rejoicing the view of Achutha Raya temple complex from the top. The sun rise was awesome. After that returned back to room, got ready and went to Virupaksha temple, followed by visit to Hemakutta temple complex which also houses the Kadalekallu Ganesha among so many other beautiful temples. We continued as per plan and proceeded to Vittala temple complex stopping atΒ Achutha Raya temple, which was almost deserted. Proceeded via Courtesan’s street towards Vittala temple complex, visiting other small temple complexes, Sugriva’s cave, King’s balance. At last the Vittala temple complex, which houses the infamous Stone Chariot, the musical pillars and the Kalyana mandapam. With that we had almost reached the end of the trip. We had covered almost all the places we had planned for. Only item pending in the to-do list was a cool bath in Tungabhadra. We had a lot of time and Tunga in front and the next few hours vanished in the river. Little later, started the journey back to room, and in the way explored few more temples that were hidden from the normal path.

The only disappointment during the trip was food in Hampi Bazaar in front of the Virupaksha temple. Hotels are run by locals and food is a little more than horrible. If a foreigner has to rate Indian food based on the food available there, it would be close to horrible.

Anyway, Hampi turned out to be another satisfactory trip with Sai and Jeyahari, who were enthusiastic when it came to visiting places and fun to hang around with. Think the blog entry just managed to list the places, anyway believe me HampiΒ  was a lot fascinating and is worth a visit.

Photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/sens2003/HampiTrip

Shravanbelagola – Bike Trip

“Hampi” i said. Sai approved, and added if not anyone both of us will complete the trip. Ok, that was encouraging, if not Hampi, the probability of breaking out of bangalore was more that weekend. Soon Hampi was ruled out due to lack of crowd. Skandagiri was rejected since night trekking was no longer allowed there. Funny part, looks like few Policemen use it to bribe money from visitors. Even in bangalore, traffic police work with full force on weekends!! Anyway leave that. So the final option was Shravanabelagola – a jain piligrim center. And it was planned to be a bike trip. Exciting (to think)!!!!

The plan was to start early before bangalore wakes up. Sai took the job of disturbing the dreams and accomplished it with perfection. Started at around 6.20AM with free roads and early morning chillness to tackle. The ride was smooth, as the Unicorn and Apache sped at 80 to 90 KMPH till we reached NH4. After that the speedometer wobbled between 90s and 100s and at times above that too. Fun, it was. Can call it madness/risk or whatever. But the fingers had gone numb, felt more like a wood holding on to the clutch and accelerator. Sun popped up slowly and it was battling against the early morning chillnesswhen we reached Bangalore – Mangalore highway. The highway was free,Β  the silent Unicorn glided at 90-100 KMPH. Cool breeze, early morning sun, a smooth bike, free highway everything was in our favour.Β  Those bike advertisements are true, you can forget even if it is a girl sitting behind. The four lane road ended, and we took the SH to Shravanabelagola with 18KMs left to cover. We had reached there in exactly 3 Hrs, with 3 pit stops few of which were considerably long.

Finished breakfast and took 10 minutes to reach the top of first peak, Vindhyagiri. ASI has done some work, maintaining the structures, but cementing them has spoiled the architectural beauty. Highlight was the 57ft Gommatheshwara statue. Same story with Chandragiri too. The temple complex also houses few beautiful temples. At the top there was Chandragupta Paduke. After a while came down and started back to bangalore with a full watermelon packed. The journey was once again smooth, till we reached the bangalore in the evening. Back to maddening traffic and pothole filled roads. Anyway a welcome break, it was.

Photos – https://picasaweb.google.com/sskganesan/ShravanaBelaGolaBikeTrip, https://picasaweb.google.com/111446569907392516250/Shravanabelagola?noredirect=1

KumaraParvatha Trek – A walk above the Clouds

A blog after a long time. Finally accomplished one of the trips that remained hidden in the convolutions for a long time. And we accomplished it on Oct 15, 2011. A quick plan and fast action saw us boarding the Kannur Express on the weekend. With tents and sleeping bags, packets of bread we were all set to conquer the highest peak in South India, KumaraParvatha. The route we chose was from Kukke Subramanya to KumaraParvatha. Looks like there is a also a different route via somwarpet and is a bit easy to trek. Few people start from somwarpet reach kumaraparvatha and camp there, and then start to kukke on the next day, essentially covering both the routes. But we started from Kukke, since it looked like the most beaten track with very little opportunity to get lost.

Day 1

6.00AM to 10.00AM – Preparing for the trek – Woke up at 5.00AM to see the train cutting through the western ghats in full moon light, with the valleys resembling a sea of clouds. Beautiful sight indeed. Reached “Subrahmanya road (SBHR)” railway station, wasted no time in hiring a taxi and soon we were in Kukke. And this place was busy, and finding a lodge to just take bath and get ready turned out to be a tough task. Finally had to settle down for a home stay. Spend some time getting ready, finished breakfast and then it was only after 10.00AM we started the trek.

10.00AM to 2.00PM – Trek through the rain forest – A right turn just before the temple takes us to the tar road that leads us to the trekking path. Spent a little time equipping ourselves against the leeches which seemed to be in abundance. The real trek started with a steep climb in a rain forest. It was fun trekking in the rain forest. Since it was just after monsoon, could see the bark of tree covered in green by algae or whatever it is. The difficult part was climbing. Though the hunter shoes bought from Russel market, Bangalore broke the leech attacks, it started causing more damages than the leeches. I slowed down a bit. After around three hours of trek in the forest, we reach the grass lands. A beautiful place offering too many scenic views, but the time was wrong. We entered the grasslands after 1.00PM and it was terribly hot. It makes sense to start the trek early and cross this grassland well before afternoon. At 1PM walking in the scorching sun was nowhere near enjoyment.

2.00PM to 5.30PM – Bhattar’s Mane to Mantapa – To our relief reached Bhattar’s Mane and it was time for some rest. Didn’t have food since we wanted to reduce the weight on our bags. The trek started after a short lunch. Few 100 metres from Bhattar Mane, is the forest checkpost where we have to pay the entry fee. Looks like the entry fee has been increased to 200 per head. We continued our trek through the grasslands with the highest peak at distance in sight. Few people returning, warned us the KumaraParvatha/Pushpagiri is not the one that is visible but will have to trek beyond that. Also the peak that is visible is not as easy as it appears. We crossed peak after peaks, the highest visible peak looked near but there were still few small peaks to cross. As it approached dusk, the clouds started settling, and it was awesome, for we were walking above the clouds on the lush green grasslands. The trek was fun. I loved this part with the mists brushing our face, green grasslands all around and clouds beneath us. We were at the pint which was visible from the Kukke temple. Beyond this, we could see a rocky mountain, which needs to be crossed to reach Pushpagiri.

6.00PM – 7.30PM – Lost in the forest and crawl in the dark t highest point in South India – Think we relaxed a little too much. The HP gang took the lead with the task of setting up the tents in the next flat land. We continued after a short rest engulfed in mist, the HP gang was nowhere in sight. Rakesh, Chandra and myself, walked slowly. It was alalmost dark and interestingly there was a small forest in front of us. Time for fun!!!! Trekking in forest in dark would be foolish, staying there with just sleeping bags would be equally foolish too, since the tents were with HP gang. Used our intelligence to choose a less foolish decision and entered the forest. Had also read in a blog that to reach pushpagiri, you need to cross a forest and climb a small slippery hillock, so was a little sure that we are on the right track. The forest was pitch dark, fortunately had few torches. The torch showed us the way, but at no point we were sure whether that was the only way.

Aim was not to panic. Imagine a thick rain forest, full darkness, no people around and occasional sounds of rustling leaves, howling wind, remote sound of water. Believe me, it did cause a little fear. But we marched on, and a little later we were welcomed by remote shouts from our friends. Sai was shouting my name on top of his voice. Poor fellow, he looked a little frightened. I did relish the fact we had just had a night trek in a rain forest. Dont think i would get a chance to do it in future. This was followed by a steep ascent on the slippery hill, where a small stream down. With just few torches and no clear way, we crawled to the top. We had reached the second highest point in Karnataka.

Wasted, no time in setting up the tents. Generous Rakesh had donated a few units of blood to leeches. Everyone was too tired to check anything, and dozed off asap.

Day 2

3.00AM to 7.30AM – Sunrise – Woke up at 3.00AM the next day. Mohan from HP was hungry and his noise had woken up half of the group. With not much left to do, laid idle till 4.00AM and then ventured out after that. It was bright outside due to the moonlight and spent a little time outside enjoying the chillness of western ghats, waiting for the sunshine. The expectation was that sun would rise majestically above a sea of clouds. What we got was disappointment, as Sun decided to play hide and seek with the help of mist & fog. Not a great sight after a strenuous 14KM trek.

7.30AM to 12.30PM – Pushpagiri to Bhattar’s Mane – Started the trek back at 7.30AM. Soon we saw the path we had trekked/crawled in the dark. At times ignorance is bliss. We had climbed a narrow, slippery hill where miscalculated step could have taken us direct to heavens. The rain forest was thick, it is still surprising to see that we had crossed it in pitch dark. Anyway the initial trek was fast and with occasional pit stops, reached Bhattar’s Mane a little faster. Had a sumptuous lunch which i finished with six cups of buttermilk and started the trek back through rain forest.

1.30PM to 4.30PM – In Rainy rain forest – The hunter shoe i bought for trekking and preventing leeches was causing more damage than the leeches. Had to slow down and i had Rakesh for company. We walked slowly through the last 2KM in the rain forest.Β  Every step ached at 6 or 7 points in each feet. Woodlands would have done a better job. I walked like a tortoise. How a trek in rain forest would be in heavy rain ? We were shown that as the heavens opened up. Yet another amazing experience!!!! It was surprising to see that it took around 15 minutes after start of rain for the few drops to reach us. The trees leaves were acting like umbrella till then. We continued walking slowly through the rain forest enjoying the rain. It was yet another wonderful experience.

End of 28KM trek – Soon the rain stopped, and we had also reached the end. Our gang was waiting for us. Looks like they reached around an hour before us. Anyway, we had completed the 28KM trek, trek to the highest point in South India successfully. What about leech attack ? Fortunately i didn’t suffer any during the trek, but at the end of the trek, discovered a leech sucking blood near my ears. I hate leeches. Checked into a hotel and had plans of visiting the river for a cool bath. But rains forced us for a rest which we did with full acceptance.

KumaraParvatha turned out to be most satisfactory, interesting and adventurous trek. The gang as usual was rocking!!!! The gang – Rakesh, Chandra from my company. Sai, Mohan, Anoop & Mahesh Kinni from HP.

Photos at – https://picasaweb.google.com/sskganesan/KumaraParvatha.

Mullayanagiri Trek

After two year, around the same time, we were there again with the same goal, to complete the Mullayanagiri – Bababudangiri – Kemmangundi trek. Started the planning with 6 people and the count suddenly soar to 17 in the middle with Eric anna and his old HCL team pitching in, finally we were 15. Tickets booked, tents arranged from BMC, foods stuffed in backpacks we were ready on friday night. Weather report said, 30% chance of storm on friday, saturday and Sunday, we decided to try our luck on the remaining 70% –Β  optimism πŸ™‚ Few stuffs like Western ghats, south west monsoon, windward side, lee ward side which i had learnt in geography lingered in my mind for a while, but the trip was on.

Reached chickmagalur @ 4.45AM, checked into a small hotel (selection lodge), paid 850 for two rooms and we were ready for the trek at around 7.30AM. Booked a jeep for 700Rs to drop us @ Sarpadhari, the starting point of the trek. Additional Info: there is also private bus available next to chickmagalur bus stand, and it starts at 8.00AM.

Start of the trek: After around an hour journey reached Sarpadhari and around 8.30AM. As we had expected, he was waiting for us. The moment we stepped out of the jeep, it rained πŸ™‚ Undetterred we started the Mullayanagiri ascent from Sarpadhari (sarpa – snake, dhari – path). The rain was brief but enough to make the path slippery. The ascent turned out to be pretty tough and drained a lot of energy. Remember the sleeping bags, tents and food items which added to the weight. Thanks to the rain, We were soon engulfed in mist. Beautiful green grass, misty white backgroun, cool breeze and soft drizzle. What else do you need. It was fantastic. Better felt, than explained.

Anyway the trek to the Mullayanagiri peak sucked a lot of time. Fortunate we didn’t have leeches to suck blood too. Atleast we didn’t care about them. At around 11.45 to 12.00AM we reached the peak. Explored the two caves a bit, recharged with a bit of snacks and started the next part. The walk to BSNL tower.

The Confusion: From mullayanagir, finding the path that would lead to BB Hills became a tough task. Tried my phone GPS, explored a few paths it didn’t help. Map reader, Sai tried with his compass and map, but we were stuck for a while. Discussions started, should we continue was the question ? It just reminded me about the last trip to Kemmangundi, where we climbed a peak, and when the discussion started and the trek was aborted. Thanks to Mani(HCL), he found a path and started exploring. I ran behind him. We explored for a while, and walked a few KMs and found there does exist a neat and clean path. Met a few BMC guys, who were stuck too. Told them about the path and came back to our gang. And the trek started again.

The Trek Continues: So we started the trek again at around 12.55PM. We started walking towards Attigundi. The path was neat and clean, and the trek was not at all difficult, when compared to the Mullayanagiri ascent from Sarpadhari. Enchanting views through out the path. The path continued to play hide and seek with the help of mist, but it was not tough to stay on the path. Around 1.30PM we were reminded about the Sun, and that gave us the opportunity to see the beautiful ridge in the front. The ridge is the next part to be covered to reach BB Hills. After around 30 minutes we reached the police checkpost, ending the first part of trek and the ridge in the front to be covered after lunch. Time was around 2.20PM

The Interruption: We were having lunch, when a forest officer met us with a smile. We had met him at Mullayanagiri peak, where he had given us some suggestions. Interacting we came to know that, we still have around 4hrs to cover (if we walked fast). And if it rains we would be stranded in the ridge, where we cannot camp too. So he suggested going to BB hills and camping there or booking a room there. With that he left, and rain arrived. So we decided to try our luck at BB hills. With the help of few forest gaurds, booked a jeep to BB hills. The forest gaurds were very very helpful. The jeep journey was fun, as i got an opportunity to travel, standing on the jeep steps and hanging to the back of the jeep. A wise decision, as the torrential rain would have wrecked havoc, if we had continued with the trek.

End of Trek: When we reached BB Hills, it was raining cats and dogs. The option of camping out, was ruled out. After some heavy lunch at a local hotel, looked for a room. Rooms were horrible. So decided to get back to chickmagalur to decide. Going back to Kemmangundi again next day, didn’t sound like a good option, so booked KSRTC tickets to bangalore. It was at chickmagalur i discovered a leech has managed to suck good amount of my blood. Can only wonder at the way they manage to suck blood without pain.

Though the trek ended, it was satisfactory when compared to the previous one. But still the place continues to amaze me. Should plan for the next trek to this place soon after the monsoon ends.

Photos @Β https://picasaweb.google.com/sskganesan/MullayanagiriTrek#

Bike Trip To Mysore

Few last minute changes in plan, i was left alone to travel to Mysore to attend Nandan’s marriage. Most of the time, if i am left alone, i will leave the plan alone and continue with my work. This time i wanted to attend the marriage. Was breaking my head over Bike/KSRTC for a while. A crazy idea just needs a gentle push from a more crazier head, and my roomie took care of the job. Thank to Jebasingh, we were on my Unicorn the next day morning with 140KM to cover. The trip did start with few resolutions like will maintain 50KMPH, will not change lanes unnecessarily, will reach home before dark etc etc.

The first resolution to go was 50KMPH barrier, it was lost somewhere inside the city only. The weather was awesome, as it had rained the day before. So the ride was enjoyable in the morning. Reached mysore in around 2 hour 30 minutes. Next few hours was great, as i met most of the DP folks, the people with whom i had worked for around 3 years.

After the marriage, went straight to Chamundi Hills. Bad idea, considering that it was around 2.00PM. Qualified to be called hot and horrible, still there was enough enthu left to click a few snaps. After that proceeded straight to Brindavan gardens. Would have atracted more, if i had seen before visiting gardens around bangalore.

So it was at 7.50PM, we realized the need to go Bangalore. The night journey did spark some fear. Combined to this, it rained in few placed. Ended up searching for the road at few places, when light from the opposite lane, blinded us completely. Whenever a city passed by, we got excited, as though we had discovered electricity. Finally after a tired jouney, reached Bnagalore around 12.30PM.

This happens to be the first long trip in bike. Wonder whether i would be able to do 388KM in a single day later πŸ™‚ Uploaded a few photos at picasa, those who are interested check it out.

Delhi-Agra-BITS-Shimla Trip

Wanted to post a detailed day by day post about the trip, but as usual it stopped with the thought. Cause is laziness but i think most of you would be thankful for the same πŸ™‚ Anyway that happens to be the first trip beyond Pune. Three guys with hindi knowledge limited to “Hindi Nahi Maalum” planned for a 9 days trip. It did turn out to be great. Will try hard to keep it short.

Day 1 : At Capital City : April 2, 2011 the day i had the first flight journey of life time. The only thing i liked was the initial acceleration when the flight sped on the highway, other than that it was horrible. Bike is fantastic and even journey in SETC is better compared to the 2 hour journey amidst the clouds. All the hype about Air Hostesses too vanished. They were extremely beautiful. Would not deny the fact, but their well trained actions reminded me about robots. Brain is so tuned, that it produced a curve in the lips when some words were uttered. Few called it a beautiful smile. Landed in Delhi at around 2.30PM, went to Karol Bagh for the hotel. Thanks to the wise decision from Nirmal’s relative, for choosing Karol Bagh. It resembled more of a Tamil Area, and we felt at home. Later visited India Gate, and it did look great. Returned back to see the final, and what a moment it was πŸ™‚

Day 2: Agra Trip : Had booked the trip with Panicker Travels. The trip started at 6.00 AM in the morning. First stop was at Agra fort followed by visit to the world wonder, Taj Mahal. Too crowded to enjoy the beauty, but it did look great. Stopped at Mathura on the way back to see Lord Krishna’s birth place.

Day 3, 4, 5: @ Pilani : Anyway thats the reason behind this trip. Prepared for the trip to Pilani, for the viva on tuesday. Thanks to our junior William, he made the trip and stay in Pilani a pleasant one. Roamed around the campus like college students, but the students there gave a weird look πŸ™‚ Viva is something i like to forget and visit to the campus is someting i would not want to do again, but would take the memories with me for a long time. BITS seems to have given its students a lot of freedom, and walk on the college roads in the night was interesting. Anyway on wednesday we were on our way back to Delhi, and got a chance to test the North indian village transport πŸ™‚ It rocked, literally πŸ˜‰

Day 6, 7, 8: Trip to Shimla : Day 6, once again booked trip to shimla with Panicker travels and it did start exactly at 6.00 AM. We went via Chandigarh and was impressed with how well it was planned and built. Stopped at a lake, rock garden and rose garden. Nothing of interest for adventure loving bachelor crowd. Reached Himachal later in the evening and cool weather created some interest. Reached Shimla in the night and it was awfully cold. Next day morning, visited Kufri and in the afternoon, went for shopping in the city. Day 8, we started back to Delhi, and visited Pinjore Garden and Kurukshetra on the way. Was happy to get down from Shimla. Reached Delhi in the night.

Day 9: Last day of the trip, roamed around Delhi. Tried Delhi Metro, visited Raj Path, roamed around Jamma Masjid, Red Fort and then around Connaught’s place. Flight was in the evening, and after the two and half hours boring trip, we were back,

Through out the trip, feasted well and it is during this time i would have ate a lot of panneer and pizzas. The trip was fantastic over all (i am not takign into considertion the viva though) !!!

Weekend Trip – Mekedatu

I didn’t go home past weekend. Not a big deal, but few of my friends get surprised by that. The idea of spending the weekend sitting at home started disturbing me and thought about going somewhere. Checked with Arangs, Jeyahari and Nagarajan, and Mekedatu was decided. Though i had second thoughts, thanks to the enthusiasm of the others, finally the trip was on.

Everything in the trip was an experience. We went in Tata Nano. We were not sure how it would work, moreover being newbies self driving was a challenge, and there was a small ghat section before reaching Mekedatu and we tested Tata Nano for the first time in that, travelled 4KM sitting on top of the bus, took bath in river after a long time.

The route to Mekedatu from Bangalore is through Kanakapura. From Bangalore take the kanakapura road, after reaching Kanakapura there is a small left turn that takes you to Sangama. Get the help of locals to get the Sangama road. We had thoughts of filling petrol after Kanakapura, but later learnt that there are not Petrol bunks after kanakapura, so drove back to kanakapura filled the tank and progressed again.

The drive was pleasant, there was not much traffic in Kanakapura road and the Kanakapura-Sangama road is good after one or two KMS with very less traffic. Tata Nano got too many looks after reaching Kanakapura, i dont know what they meant though.

Reached Sangama around 12.30PM. Sangama is the place where river Akravathi joins Kaveri. We then crossed the river in coracle to take the bus to Mekedatu. That was a special bus, wait for the photos to see how special it is. They charge 40 for the bus and 40 for the coracle trip, and they gave a discount of around 80 Rupees, after some calculation/discounts it came to 240 for 4 people. The coracle drive was ok.

The most thrilling part was the bus journey. The bus top was reserved for guys like us and we seized the opportunity. The route was so bad, and the bus was worse enough for the route. So the journey was wonderful. From Sangama to Mekedatu it takes 15-20 minutes for 4KM through the rough roads. Reached Mekedatu, where river Kaveri flows through narrow gorge, show its wrath on the rocks there by making the rocks, smooth and slippery. You can sit and watch how Kaveri flows furiously through the gorge or the rocks, if you don’t have your girlfriend near you. We sat and watched the rocks for a while.

Started back to Sangama and took bath in the river for one full hour. It was wonderful, there was current but holding to the rocks it becomes enjoyable. The next one hour, was spent in the river, enjoying the river and also the comedies of the drunkards around. Finally after a enjoyable bath in Kaveri, started the journey back to home. On the way back drove through Nice road, which was nice.

Mekedatu, is a good place to visit for a day during or after monsoon season. No scenic places except for the narrow gorge, but the drive to Mekedatu, bus ride sitting on the top, the bath in river made it interesting. Anyway, drunkards are leaving behind their broken kingfisher’s and signatures and families are adding enough plastic plates, packets and litter to spoil the place.

Yet to get the photos, but you will find them in a day or two at http://picasaweb.google.com/sens2003.

Bheemeswari River Rafting & Shivasamudra

After a few failed attempts at trips and treks, this trip to Bheemeswari became special just for the reason that we are going on a trip. Also probably the first trip with friends and families for the anna’s who got married before sometime. As usual, the trip was planned all of a sudden, happened fast and ended well.

We started from Bangalore at around 6.30AM in the Innova which Pramod Anna managed to book. Loaded the car with so much of snacks and food that would suffice around 20 people, but taking into consideration that myself and Mani are going, we didn’t take any chance. The plan was to go through Kanakpura and reach Bheemeswari. In few minutes, DP started the snacks grinding job and provoked others too and we all soon obliged. First stop was at some place after kanakapura, for breakfast. Hotel guys gave us the option of poori and spicy tomato rice, both of which were not good.

The journey was fun filled. We crossed a small hillock on the way and the scenery was good. We managed to reach the Kaveri fishing camp by around 10.30AM i guess. Quickly checked whether rafting was available and fortunately it was. The charge was 600 Rs per head. We soon paid the amount and geared up for the task wearing the life jackets and helmets. Soon our guide arrived gave the instructions and we started with our quest, 8KM ride from the camp to Muttati.

Rafting in kaveri is graded +2 rapids and is easy for beginers and non risky. The water was calm and there were few rapids here and there which gave a little ecstasy. Our guide Amit, manoeuvered the boat between the rocks with ease and explained about rafting in general, about the place, about rafting in North India. But all in Hindi 😦 😦 Could make out the overall meaning of what he said, but we had a very patient translator Reena Anni who translated each and every word.

In the middle of the ride, we can get into the water and have a dip, and it was cool. Soon the ride came to an end and we came back to the fishing camp. And then started on the long ride to shivasamudra. I think this is the fourth time i am visiting the falls, so it was not that exciting. Visited Barachukki and gaganachukki and started on the long journey back to Bangalore, with a little sleep and as usual with non stop chatting.