Archive forItinerant

Trip to Marconahalli Dam, Melukote and Tonnur Kere

Participants:

1. Harsha
2. Srinvas R.
3. Shrikant Gaikwad
3. Myself

Date: 20th November, 2011

Mode of Transport: Bajaj Platina 125 cc, Unicorn

Through-out my earlier trip blogs, I have no-where mentioned the time of start/end time, but I thought of having this for the first time, so that it would be useful to other travelers/biker’s also.

Time: 7:15 hrs

Marconahalli Dam:

Started alone from Kodigehalli to join the group at the Toll in the Tumkur Highway. We went pass Nelamangala and to took a left to follow the Bangalore-Mangalore Highway (NH 48). Driving in the morning hours is fun as you can have very less traffic and you can view the majestic hills far off covered with clouds. We drove at a leisurely pace taking snaps here and there. We reached the Kunigal by-pass and had breakfast the Brindavan Fast Food, on the right. We continued on the NH 48 to reach Markonahalli (opposite to Hotel Mathrushree). We took a left from their and after biking for around 8 kms, to reached our first destination.

Time: 10:45 hrs

Marconahalli dam built was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar under the guidance of Visweswaraiah across the river Shimsha. As we reach the dam gates, we were welcome by the caretaker’s son Mr. Manjunath. He informed us the the dam has 6 crush gates and 5 siphons. With a depth of around 90 ft in the middle and an area of about 3500 sq. kms, the dam is a home for large number of fishes. Fishing is also practiced here in the morning hours. Mr. Manjunath took us downstairs (knee deep water) to give us a overview of the siphons and how it works as a suction pump to pump in access water, as it water moves above the danger level. The dam also hosts a rail for moving a temporary shield in case one of the main gates fails due to water pressure. The crane holding the rail is around 2 T as informed by him.

With water full, the view from the top of the dam was awesome. Crystal clear water glittering due to sun shine with a green grassy background, will be in the eyes of the viewer. There is also a park down there but it is not well maintained.

Marconhalli Dam Walls

Marconhalli Dam

Marconhalli Dam View

Siphon in the dam

Time: 11:50 hrs

Melukote:

We continued on the same road that led us to the dam. The green paddy fields on both sides made the ride worthwhile. We reached Nagamangala which is around 55 kms from the dam, and continued our journey towards Jakkanahalli. From there, Melukote is around 5 kms. We took a right there to start the climb to the temple. One haves the first glimpse of the temple standing tall on the top of the mountain on the left. Since the the visit is just after the rain, almost everywhere you can find out a lake with water full to it’s capacity.

The temple on the top of the hill is dedicated to Lord Yoga Narasimha. One needs to climb some steps to reach the temple. One can have a good beautiful view from the top of the temple top.

Naraswami temple view from base

Footsteps to the temple

Melukote Temple Entrance

A Kalyani is also located at the base of the temple.

Melukote Kalyani view from the top

The `Puliogare` which you get near the temple is told to be awesome, but we were unlucky to have it.

Time: 13:45 hrs

Tonnur Kere:

As we continue on the road from Jakkanahalli, at a distance of about 20 kms, we reach Mahadevpura. We took a right here to enter the village. As we make in roads through the village, we see the glimpse of the sugar factories. Sugar cane been crushed, juice being boiled and later put on vessels to make jaggery. It was an wonderful experience. We road for about 15kms to reach the lake.

This is an ideal location to enjoy lunch and spend time playing. The water, though safe near the shore, is said to be dangerous. Crystal clear water glittering due to sun shine was a view to be seen. People were there enjoying swimming and taking bath. Since the water was above the required level, a man made waterfall was also in place, wherein people were enjoying smashing water everywhere.

Tonnur Lake

Tonnur Lake View

Panaromic view of the lake

Time: 15:30 hrs

We continued on the same road to Padavapura and a glimpse of the village life. Sugar cane fields and factories on the either side and a smell of jaggery made it aromatic. We reached the Bangalore – Mysore highway and continued to reach Hotel Amravathi on the outskirts of Mandya, at around 16:30 hrs and leisurely spend some time there to relax ourselves.

Sugarcane juice being boiled

Jaggery is being prepared

Time: 19:30 hrs

Started from Hotel Amravathi on the Bangalore – Mysore highway, after having lunch/dinner back to Bangalore.

Time: 22:00 hrs

Reached back home to got hooked on to the Internet again to plan for the next trip.

The Group

At the end of the day we drove around 327 kms and thanking all of my travel mates for having such a wonderful journey.

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Visit to Shanmukha Temple

Participants:

1. Chakrapani and family
2. Srinvas R. and Raksha S.
3. Wife (Chumki) and Myself

Date: 22nd October, 2011

Mode of Transport: Bajaj Platina 125 cc, Hero Honda Passion, Unicorn

We were suppose to visit this place last week itslf but it did not materialize due one or the other. Shanmukha, means a ‘Six Faced God’. A huge six faced statue of Lord Shiva is built therein.

This temple is built on top of a barren Hillock in Rajarajeshwari Nagar. The foundation of Shrunga Giri was laid on 3rd March 1995. Dr. Arunachalam was the chief architect and visionary for the project. Inside the temple, you find various statue’s of Lord Ganesh.

On the base, is the small temple dedicated to Panchamuki Ganesh (Murgan).

A devi temple is also located just opposite to the Shanmuka Temple.

Route Information:

The temple is located in Rajarajeshwari. While going on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, you get the arch near the Gopalan Mall. Take the left and travel straight up.

Take a left just after Iyengar’s Cool Palace and Just Bake, which will directly lead you to the temple.

You can have a view of the temple from the NICE road also.

Shanmukha Temple

Three faces of Lord Shiva

Courtesy: http://shanmukhatemple.com/

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Belur-Chikmangalur-Hebbe Falls-Sringeri Trip

Participants:

1. Shrikant Gaikwad
2. Rajesh R.
3. Srinivas R.
4. Chakrapani and family
5. Wife (Chumki) and Myself

Date: 13th – 15th August, 2011

Mode of Transport: Toyota Inova

This trip plan has been a mixture’s of yes and no’s. Is this the right time or should it be planned later? Will it rain?

No. It did not rain at all except some small drizzles. The best part of it was that all the falls were full, flowing to it’s mightiest.

Day 1:

We started from Bangalore at around 8:30 hrs and reached Belur at around 13:00 hrs after 2 pits stops.

Belur:

We went inside the Chennakesava temple complex to explore it. The temple complex is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank. The intricate workmanship includes elephants, lions, horses, episodes from the Indian mythological epics, and sensuous dancers (Shilabalikas). Inside the temple are a number of ornate pillars curved with numerous artefact’s.

Belur Temple

Group photograph on the temple courtyard

We reached Chikmangalur at around 15:00 hrs and after booking a hotel went out to explore the surroundings. As we move around the mountains towards the peak, we could hardly see the surroundings as clouds move in and out. It was awesome.

Mist on the way to Baba-Budangiri Hills

Trees covered with mist on the way to Budangiri

Guru Dattatreya – Baba Budan Swamy Darga:

Guru Dattatreya Baba Budan Swamy Darga on the Bababudan hills in Chikmagalur Taluk is an ancient and important institution held in high esteem by Hindus and Mohammadans alike. It is located in the Baba Budangiri Ranges. We were not able to go inside this, since a fence has been erected last year due to some riots (as informed to us by locals).

Manikya Dhara:

Manikya Dhara Falls is located on the Baba Budan Giri HIlls. Manikyadhara Falls also offers an opportunity for witnessing beautiful surroundings and greenery on the hills. Manikyadhara, meaning ‘a string of pearls’. It is believed that a bath would cure all aliments and you remove all your sins here and you would find a dashboard there stating the same.

Manikya-Dhara at Baba Bundangiri Hills

Group photograph on the way to Manikya Dhara Falls

Day 2:

Kalahasti Falls-Raj Bhavan-Rose Garden-Shanti Falls-Z Point:

Kalahasti Falls is located at Kallattipura in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka at a distance of about 10 kms from Kemmangundi. There is temple located besides the falls dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has three stone carvings of three elephants at the entrance. Water cascade water over these elephants and devotees believes that these waters have the power to cure diseases.

Kalahasthi Falls

The rose garden is being maintained by the Horticulture Department (Karnataka). Just besides is the Raj Bhavan. The old Horticultural Guest House is also located besides it. Z point is a vantage point at Kemmangundi and can be reached by a steep uphill trek of about 90 minutes from Raj Bhavan and is another place from which to view the sunrise. As you walk towards the Z point you go through Shanthi Falls (a small fall). View from the Z point can also be experienced not written. You can find gust of winds throwing you out. One word “Awesome”.

Shanti Falls on the way to Z-Point

Kemmungundi Z-Point on the way

Hebbe Falls:

Hebbe Fall is situated at a distance of about 8-10kms from Kemmangundi. One can either trek the whole way or take a local jeep to cover the distance. One passes through coffee plantations and dense forests.

Mode of Transport: Local Jeep
Road Condition: Was there a road?
Vehicle Condition: I am alive to write the blog.
Journey: A bumpy ride

Since we were late from Z-point, we preferred to take the local jeep rather then doing the trek. We bargained to Rs. 175 per person. The road is along a steep and narrow path on the edge of the hills with one side coffee plantations and the other side dense forest. Once in the jeep, rest assure all the food items would be digested, since one would be jumping from one corner to another inside the vehicle. After about 40-45mins drive one reach the end of the road. One needs to walk around 20-30 mins, crossing 3 small streams to reach the base and view the majestic falls.

Muddy Road on the way to Hebbe Falls

Hebbe Falls at it's full flow

The water would be chill but one can take a dip (it’s very pleasent).

Note: Please bargain for the price. But kuddos to the driver who takes pain to drive on that road and you still come in single piece. One needs to be careful while crossing the streams, since at times the water force might be high.

Day 3:

Sringeri:

We started towards Sringeri at around 8:30am after dropping the plan to Bhadra National Park. The road was not so smooth as from Bangalore to Chickmangalur. There was a bad patch of road for about 5 kms after which the road was awesome. We had some good snaps being taken there. There were coffee planataions on one side, while the huge mountain on the other side.

We reached Sringeri at around 11:30 hrs and had darshan.

Sringeri Temple

We started from Sringeri at around 14:30 hrs and were back in Bangalore at around 22:30 hrs with 3 pit stops.

Anyways, it was a memorable weekend and thank to all of my travelmates for the same.

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Ride to Nrityagrama

Participants:

1. Shrikant Gaikwad
2. Srinivas R.
3. Wife (Chumki) and Myself

Date: 12th June, 2011

Mode of Transport: Bajaj Platina 125 cc, Unicorn

Nrityagram is a residential school for Indian classical dances and an intentional community in the form of a dance village, set up by Odissi danseuse Protima Gauri in 1990. It is situated near the Hesaraghatta Lake at a distance of about 35 kms from Bangalore.

The most noticeable thing that you would find is that of a students life style. They seem to follow the age old tradition of taking care of the Guru’s. As per this ancient method, students look after and care for their master by growing fruit and vegetables on the land, cooking, cleaning, and earning through dance recital.

Route Information:

The place is around around 35kms from the main Bangalore city located besides the Hasarghatta main road via Jalahalli. Drive down the road till you reach the horticulture research centre and take a left from there. Move down little and take the first right towards “My Native Village”. Drive down further more and you can see a board to take the right towards the Nrityagram place. It would be around 5 kms from this point (a lone stretch, but too good).

The way is to go via Jalahalli -> Doda Byalakere -> Hasaraghatta -> Take right -> My Native Village -> Nrityagrama. Road condition is good.

Nrityagram

Nrityagram Hut

Temple at Nrityagram

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nrityagram
http://www.nrityagram.org/

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Meenakshi Temple and Bannerghatta National Park

Participants:

1. Shrikant Gaikwad
2. P.C. Gautam
3. Wife (Chumki) and Myself

Date: 22nd May, 2011

Mode of Transport: Bajaj Platina 125 cc, Bajaj Caliber

The national park comprises of around 104.27 sq.km in area and is mostly covered by dense forest and scrub land making it an idle home ground for wild animals such as tiger, lion, bison, leopard, wild boar, deers, elephants etc. The mammals are left freely in the forest and the visitors are taken around the forest in a well caged mini-bus to view these animals. Different partitions with huge gates and moats separate the forest into the herbivores section and the carnivores section.

The visitors are allowed to view the forest area only in the ‘safari’ (joy ride) buses and are not allowed to get off the bus whatsoever. I felt like going inside a big cage :-), but worth visiting. The park is open from morning 9 am to 4:30 pm.

It also comprises of a Zoo and a Butterfly Park.

Entry Fees:

There are a lot of variations in the fee structure depending upon the trip you want to undertake incluing the following.

a. Grand Safari – Rs 165, Zoo ticket is a must for this.
b. Zoo – Rs 45
c. Still Camera – Rs 25
d. Leisurely elephant ride – Rs 60
e. Nature trail – Rs 70

Route Information:

The national park is about 28 kms from Mekri Cirle and is very much accessible via public transport. BMTC buses including both Volvo ply to the national park. En-route to the national park you could come across the Meenakshi Temple on the right and Meenakshi Mall on your left.

Meenakshi Temple

Deers feeding inside the park

Tiger at the Bannerghatta National Park

Snakes in the zoo

References: http://wikitravel.org/en/Bannerghatta_National_Park

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Trip to Kotiligenshwara and Bangaru Tirupati

Participants:

1. H.S.Venkataramana and Family
2. Wife (Chumki) and Myself

Date: 20th March, 2011

Mode of Transport: Tata Indica

The Kotilingeshwara Temple is situated at Kammasandra near Bethamangala, Bangarpet Taluk, in Karnataka. As the name suggest, Kotilingeshwara houses 1 crore of Linga’s though as of now, it is estimated to be around 92 Lacks and still growing. The temple is being constructed by Swamy Sambhashiva Murthy. There are small temples of various deities constructed within the premises of the temple. The Lingas installed, vary in sizes, from small to big. Pooja’s are being performed to each of the Linga’s installed.

Bangaru Tirupati resembles the famous Sri Venkateshwara Temple of Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh. The Vishnu temple and the Padmavati temple is situated on small hills, you have to climb some steps for the darshan. You need to view th Vishnu idol through the window not via the door. The view from the top of the temples is awesome as you can view the greenery surrounding the temples.

Narasimha Theertha is around 5 kms from the Mulabagilu, and one of the prime mutts of Raghevandra Swamy, dedicated to Sripadaraya. As you go around the place, you locate the brindavana, his study place and a pond. It is said that Ganga flows in to the pond.

Anjaneya (Hanuman) Temple located in Mulabagilu is stated to be installed by Arjuna around 4000 yrs ago. A special flower is being offered to the deity everyday by one or the another, all round the year, irrespective of it’s blooming season.

Route Information:

Kotilingeshwara is around 100 kms from Bangalore on the old Madras road. The best route would be,

Bangalore -> Hoskote -> Kolar (bypass, take right at railway gate) -> Bangarpet (take left after 5 kms) -> Kotilingeshwara

We have not gone via this route, but went via Bethamangala. Just take right before the medical college (a large statue of Lord Rama), and go towards Bethamangala. Take left after you reach Bethamangala and after traveling around 10 kms you would find Kotilingeshwara temple on the left.

Bangaru Tirupati, is around 9 kms from Kotiligenshwara temple, from the Bethamangala bus stop. Anjaneya temple is around 2 kms from the Narasimha Theertha.

Road to Kotilingeshwara

Kotilingeshwara Temple

View from top of Bangaru Tirupati

Narasimha Teertha

Anjaneya Temple at Mulabagilu

Members of the trip

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Trek to Shivgange

Participants:

1. Shrikant Gaikwad
2. Chakrapani
3. Srinivas R.
4. Vijay Sankar
5. Wife (Chumki) and Myself

Date: 13th March, 2011

Mode of Transport: Bajaj Platina 125 cc, Hero Honda Passion, Unicorn

This was trip which I have been planning for some time but was not able to make it, for one thing or the other and finally, it happened that too after my marriage.

`Shivgange` derives it’s name from it’s shape (Shiv Linga shape) and springs running underneath (Ganga). Ideal for one day trek, this place is near Dobbaspet, Tumkur district, at around 54 kms from ISRO HQ, New BEL Road. `Shivganage` is also known aliasly as “Dakshina Kashi” or Kashi of South India. The presence of a large number of temples have made it into a pilgrimage center.

1. Gangadhareshwara Temple: Gangadhareshwara, is said to be one of the forms of Lord Shiva. It is below a huge rock and as such the roof is very low. It is said, that the offerings in Ghee turns into Butter, not sure how. There is also a tunnel therein (inscription therein), which as per the locals, connects to Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Bangalore.
2. Patal Gange: The word describes it’s meaning, underground Ganga. The water level keeps changing throughout the day. It is said to be connected to connected to Antaragange in Kolar. The water is considered sacred in both the places.
3. Olakala Teertha: Olakala Teertha, is another temple on the way to the Nandi statue, at around 1 kms from the base. You need to put your hand inside a small opening and touch the spring flowing underneath. It is said to be lucky in case you are able to touch or feel the water.

There is a huge statue of Shiv/Parvati on the way to the the Nandi Statue. Seems this is newly constructed.

4. Nandi Statue: The Nandi statue is the nighest point of the hill. It is around 3 kms from the base. The view from the top is awesome. There is also a point where Queen Shantala wife of Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana committed suicide. This point is known as Shantala drop.

Route Information:

The place is around 54 kms from ISRO HQ. One needs to go straight on to NH4 till Dobbaspett (around 20 kms from Nelamangala). As you reach Dobbaspet, don’t take the flyover, go underneath and take left turn and travel for 6 KMs to reach Shivagange. As you move on the road, you will have a good view of the hill.

View of Shivgange from the base

Statue of Shiv Parvati on the way

Route to the top

Nandi statue at the top

There are lot places to cool yourself on the way to the Nandi, making it less tiring.

Note: Do not carry any bags. Monkeys therein will snatch anything whatever they can get hold of.

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Visit to Vishwa Shanti Ashram

Participants:

1. Shrikant Gaikwad
2. P.C. Gautam
3. H.S Venkataramana and Family
4. Myself

Date: 2nd January, 2011

Mode of Transport: Tata Indica

The Vishwa Shanti Ashram is located in Arasinakunte village on Bangalore in Tumkur highway near Nelamangala town. It is spread around 20 acres of land. As you enter the premises, there is tall statue of Vijaya Vittala. On one side there is Gayatri devi and Navagraha. On the right hand side is the temple of Santoshi Ma.

Again as you proceed further, after paying the entrance fee, on the right hand side you can see 7 women depicting 7 rivers flowing from the mountain. On the left hand is the Bhagavad Gita Mandir. The architecture of the temple is Lord Krishna advising Arjuna on a chariot during the battle of Kurukshetra. You enter through the chariot. Inside the temple is the Vishwaroopa idol, a form of Lord Vishnu. There are incription of Bhagwat Gita on the granite walls of the temple.

A slok from the Bhagwad Gita,

” Bheeshma and Drona the which are the banks; Jayadratha the water;
Gandhara a blue water lily;Salya an alligator; Kripa the current;
Karna a great swell of water;Aswathama and Vikarna frightful
crocodiles; Duryodhana the whirlpool;was crossed by Pandavas,
that battle-river, because of their boatman Keshavah. “

Route Information:

The place is around 30 kms from Yeshwantpur Raiway Station on the way towards Tumkur. You may take the new toll bridge, but make sure you get of the bridge just before you reached Neelamangala. The journey time will be around 1 hr depending upon the Bangalore traffic :-).

There are BMTC buses from Majestic also.(All 258 series buses, from Majestic and Market)

Entrance of Visha Shanti

Visha Shanti Chariot with Lord Krishna and Arjun

Lord Vishnu with all 10 incarnations

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How petrol pump attenders cheats?

Well, a simple answer to the above question… Distract the customer with all sort of questions.

I had some bitter experiences at least 3 times (not sure how many times before) in the last couple of months when I felt the attender has cheated me. And it became very true when I noticed the same when done to another person filling up.

As an example, when you say you could fill up X amount, they press 0 and after a few seconds the another attender will come and distract you with cash or all sort of questions. While you are answering those questions the former will press a key wherein you meter reading will say that you have filled up X amount.

The best way to save yourself is to avoid re-filling in this stations.

I am mentioning the petrol bunks wherein I was cheated and I request readers to keep your eyes glued to the meter while filling petrol in this stations.

1. Bharat Petrolum – Sanjaynagar Main Road
2. HP Petrolum – Munireddy Paliya (Towards Bangalore Cannt from Mekri Circle)
3. Indian Oil – Dasarahalli Main Road

Next time I will make sure I have the video footage of the whole act.

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Adventure trip to Hogenakkal Falls

Participants:

1. Shrikant Gaikwad
2. Srinivas R
3. Chakrapani
4. Vijay
5. Rajshekar K S
6. Srikanth Chandragiri
7. Myself

Date: 12th September, 2010

Mode of Transport: Bajaj Platina 125 cc, Bajaj Pulsar, Hero Honda Passion

Hogenakkal Falls or Hogenakal Falls known as the “Niagara of India” is a beautiful waterfall which is formed from the Kaveri River. It is located in the Dharmapuri district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and at around about 180 km from Bangalore. At Hogenakkal, the Kaveri, drops and creates numerous waterfalls as the water cuts through the rocky terrain creating a continuous thunder. The word Hogenakkal is derived from the the Kannada words Hoge, which mean smoke, and Kal which describes the rocks.

Route Information:

There are at least 2 ways to reach this destination from Bangalore. I exactly don’t remember the way we took while coming back, but this route is shorter then the one we took while going towards the destination. I am not in a position to describe that route, but we have entered Bangalore via Electronic city.

The one that we took while going towards Hogenakkal is as follows,

Outer Ring road -> Hoskote -> Right turn (below flyover) -> Mallur -> Bagalur -> Hosur -> Chikka Belagondapalli -> Hogenakkal

The road is good condition is very good and is not crowded as other roads, as it makes it wineds across the villages. We had all had a very good experience of the village life out there. The best part of it as we enter the forest area, which is inhabited by animals including the elephants, which we had an experience while coming back.

It is very difficult for me to elaborate the experience that we had gone through including the accident which Srikant and Rajshekar had in the jungle with both of them shivering. Anyway it was a good ride, which took almost 10 hrs of bike riding covering a distance of around 372 kms.

Road to Hogenakkal

Hogenakkal Falls from the overhead bridge

Hogenakkal Falls

Images: http://ophiophagus.assamonnet.org/album/Hogenekkal

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