A trip to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Participants:

1. Ritumoni and Biswajyoti
2. Wife (Chumki) and Myself

Date: 24th June, 2012

Mode of Transport: Swift Dzire

After going through the beautiful travelogues on various blogs, we decided to go to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Checked with Google, whether this would be a good time, and yes it was.

Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary is located in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka in India. It is a very small sanctuary, being only 67 sq. km. in area, and comprises six islets on the banks of the Kaveri River. It is located three kilometers away from the historic town of Srirangapatna and 16 kms north of Mysore. The islets came into being when a dam across the Kaveri river was built in the 18th century.

Route Information:

Take the Bangalore-Mysore state highway and after crossing the Srirangapatna town take a right deviation. The same road carries on to go to KRS/Balmuri Falls. It is about 133 kms from Hebbal, Bangalore.

Big Banayan Tree at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Bird Flock on tree tops at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Crocodile at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Birds rest at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Group Photograph at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

The seasons for visiting the park are: June – November (during the nesting season of the water birds).

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Entry Timings: 0900 hrs – 1800 hrs
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Entry Charges: Indian National – Rs. 50/-, Foreign National – Rs. 200/-
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Boating Charges: Indian National – Rs. 50/-, Foreign National – Rs. 200/-
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Parking Charges: Four Wheeler – Rs. 30/-, Two Wheeler – Rs. 20/-

A great place to spend a weekend and carry a good camera maybe a DSLR.

Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranganthittu_Bird_Sanctuary

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Tata Indica Xeta GLS

Going by the price rise in petrol, it was a tough choice to make whether it is a wise choice to buy a petrol car. But giving the extra amount you spent in buying the diesel car upfront is almost equivalent to the amount that you would spend in running the petrol car for some years. This is with consideration that the daily commute is less 50 kms. Moreover, in case of a petrol car the maintenance headache is much less.

So, taking into considerations of all this factors, I gifted myself the car on 19th May, 2012 with a 1.4L engine.

Tata Indica Xeta GLS

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Setting up an SMS Gateway on Ubuntu 10.04

How to do it? Below list the procedure.

Install the following packages,

root@ophiophagus:~# sudo apt-get install gammu gammu-smsd libgammu7 libgsmsd7

Attached the handset to your computer via USB, Serial etc. and on the other terminal, do the following,

root@ophiophagus:~# tail -f /var/log/syslog
May 22 21:37:30 ophiophagus kernel: [42750.936095] usb 7-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 11
May 22 21:37:30 ophiophagus kernel: [42751.166604] usb 7-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
May 22 21:37:30 ophiophagus kernel: [42751.223525] cdc_acm 7-1:1.1: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
May 22 21:37:30 ophiophagus kernel: [42751.227023] usb 7-1: bad CDC descriptors
May 22 21:37:30 ophiophagus kernel: [42751.230408] usb 7-1: bad CDC descriptors
May 22 21:37:30 ophiophagus modem-manager: (ttyACM0) opening serial device…
May 22 21:37:30 ophiophagus NetworkManager: SCPlugin-Ifupdown: devices added (path: /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb7/7-1/7-1:1.11/net/usbpn0, iface: usbpn0)
May 22 21:37:30 ophiophagus NetworkManager: SCPlugin-Ifupdown: device added (path: /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb7/7-1/7-1:1.11/net/usbpn0, iface: usbpn0): no ifupdown configuration found.
May 22 21:37:30 ophiophagus modem-manager: (ttyACM0): probe requested by plugin ‘Nokia’
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus modem-manager: (ttyACM0) closing serial device…
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus modem-manager: (Nokia): GSM modem /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb7/7-1 claimed port ttyACM0
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus modem-manager: Added modem /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb7/7-1
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus modem-manager: Exported modem /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb7/7-1 as /org/freedesktop/ModemManager/Modems/12
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus NetworkManager: (ttyACM0): new GSM device (driver: ‘cdc_acm’)
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus NetworkManager: (ttyACM0): exported as /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/Devices/15
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus NetworkManager: (ttyACM0): now managed
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus NetworkManager: (ttyACM0): device state change: 1 -> 2 (reason 2)
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus NetworkManager: (ttyACM0): deactivating device (reason: 2).
May 22 21:37:31 ophiophagus NetworkManager: (ttyACM0): device state change: 2 -> 3 (reason 0)

This will tell you to which device file the device is attached. In my case it was ttyACM0.

One need to create a file with the following configuration,

root@ophiophagus:~# vi .gammurc
[gammu]
port=/dev/ttyACM0
connection=at
name=Nokia

The other option to create this file is to use the `gammu-config` command to configure it.

SMS Gateway Gammu Config

Viola, you are done with the configuration. You can test by the following,

root@ophiophagus:~# gammu –identify
Manufacturer : Nokia
Model : unknown (ABCD)
Firmware : N012345678
IMEI : 012345678901234
SIM IMSI : 012345678901234
root@ophiophagus:~#

root@ophiophagus:~# echo “SMS Testing” | gammu –sendsms TEXT 1234567890
If you want break, press Ctrl+C…
Sending SMS 1/1….waiting for network answer..OK, message reference=168
root@ophiophagus:~#

The `gammu` manual lists a lot of options for it’s configuration.

The above does work with only some mobile. I had tried at least 3 mobiles before succeeding. You can check the whole mobile database on the following link,

http://wammu.eu/phones/

Important notice: Network manager has tendency to lock your GSM device once you start your GSM Internet connection. The device stays locked even after you disconnect so you must make sure that `enable mobile broadband` option is unchecked before you use Gammu. If this option is enabled you will get permission denied errors from Gammu.

The above procedure does not work with CDMA mobiles.

Courtesy:

Develop SMS Gateway with gammu , php, mysql on ubuntu 10.10

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How to bypass Airtel torrents block

I have being using my Airtel Broadband connectivity for our residence mostly for browsing and downloading movies of the torrent sites. But lately, I have noticed that all the torrents sites has been blocked since last Friday. When one try to browse http://www.kat.ph/, http://torrentz.eu, you are shown a screen stating “Access to this site has been blocked as per Court Orders”. Damm, how to download, from where to download.

Airtel blocking torrent kickasstorrent site

Solution: Use a secured connection for accessing the sites. Use https instead of http. https://www.kat.ph/ would work like a charm. Seems like ISP forgot to block those 🙂

Bypass Airtel blocked torrent sites using https

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Kushalnagar-Madikeri Trip

Kushalnagar-Madikeri trip

Participants:

1. Chakrapani and family
2. Wife (Chumki) and Myself
3. Mom and Dad

Date: 6th – 8th April, 2012

Mode of Transport: Toyota Inova

My parents stay in Bangalore has not being quiet fruitful since they have hardly visited any place this time. Reasons being, no long holidays for me, work and weather is too hot to travel out. So, basically house arrest :-).

A long weekend came by and it was decided at least go somewhere to a nearby place. Destination still not decided but a vague plan in making, till the last moment. After lots of searching it was agreed to go a hill station wherein the weather would be comfortably cool compared to Bangalore. So be it, Coorg it is.

Day 1: KushalNagar

We started from Bangalore at around 1500 hrs and reached Kushalnagar at around 2000 hrs after 1 pit stop at Maddur, wherein we had our evening tea/coffee.

Since we have not made any prior booking, we started looking for a place to to rest ourselves. To our luck we were able to get our lodging at Hotel Kodagu Plaza which is located just opposite to Atithi restaurant. Since it was already late we decided to have food at Caravan Restaurant and off to bed for a bright tomorrow.

Day 2: KushalNagar

Tibetan Monastery (Golden Temple):

The Tibetan Monastery is located around 6 kms from Kushalnagar towards Mysore. It is said to be the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet. The settlement consists of a lot of monastries, educational institutions and hospitals. Major attraction of this place includes the 40 ft tall golden statue of Buddha, Padmasambhava and Amitayus. The walls of the temples are decorated with colorful paintings depicting gods and demons. A blueprint of the Tibetan monastry that exists in Tibet is also placed therein.

In case you plan to stay nearby to this place, there are a lot of hotels/lodges to serve to you. Near to this place is a shopping centre, wherein you can buy some Tibetain goods.

KushalNagar Tibetian Monastry

KushalNagar Tibetian Temple

KushalNagar Tibetian Idols

Nisargadhama:

Located around 3 kms from Kushalnagar, Nisargadhama is a river island formed by the river Kaveri. The island hosts to thick bamboo groves, sandalwood and teak trees along with a beautiful deer park. The island is accessible through a hanging rope bridge. One can get into the water and play all day. The forest department runs a guest house therein.

KushalNagar Nisargadhama Rope Bridge

KushalNagar Nisargadhama Kaveri

KushalNagar Nisargadhama Path

Dubare (Elephant Training Camp) :

On the way to Dubare, the rain gods were felt pity on us and it started raining. The weather was awesome. We were not able to go to for the training as we were already late (reach before 3 pm, else it will be closed). People were enjoying boat rides and dipping in water, since it is shallow.

KushalNagar Dubare Kaveri

Chiklihole Dam:

The dam forms from one of the tributary of Kaveri. With rain coming puring heavily, the view of the dam was very picturesque. The rain drops hitting the water even made it looking awesome. We were able to go near to the water courtesy our driver, who handed over a huge umbrella to us. The area surrounding the dam is very attractive with a lively thick green forest on the background and an island formation in the middle.

KushalNagar Chiklihole Reservoir

KushalNagar Chiklihole Dam Path

KushalNagar Chiklihole Dam

Harangi Dam:

Harangi Dam/Reservoir is located near Hudgur village at a distance of about 9 kms from KushalNagar. The reservoir is formed by a masonry dam built across the Harangi River which is a tributary of Kaveri. As informed by locals, going inside the dam is restricted since last 5 yrs. Water is released only in the evenings/late nights with prior intimation to the villagers, since the path leading to the village is sub-merged in water due to the water.

KushalNagar Harangi Dam

Day 3: Madikeri

Omkareshwara Temple:

Built in 1820 and located at the heart of the town, the temple depicts the architectural view of both the Islamic and Hindu culture. The small pond in the front, as in case with normal hindu temple, the mantap in the form of a mosque and the Lingam in the centre is all well mixed.

It is said Lingarajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions. That Brahmin became a Brahmarakshasa and started troubling the king. The king got rid of the so called Brahmarakshasa only when he brought a Shivalinga from Kashi and installed it after building a temple. The shivalinga was named as Omkareshwara and regular rituals were performed. The bars of the windows of the temple were made of Panchaloha and an alphabet ‘lim’ has been placed in between the bars.

Madikeri Omkareshwara Temple

Madikeri Omkareshwara Temple Wall Paintings

Madikeri Omkareshwara Group

Abbey Falls:

Located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines, the falls appear suddenly, the water cascading over rocks into calm pools. A hanging bridge constructed just opposite the falls comes in handy for the tourists for photographs. There is a Kali Mata temple on the other side of the bridge and coffee and black pepper trees on the other side. One needs to walk down around 500 meters. for viewing the falls.

Madikere Abbey Falls Path

Madikere Abbey Falls

Gaddige – Raja’s Tomb:

Though, we have not visited this place, I had a glimpsed while on the way to Abbey Falls on the right, through the city. I had to a Google search before coming to know, what place that was. No photographs for this.

Madikeri Fort:

Madikeri fort was first built by Mudduraja in the last quarter of the 17th century. He also built a palace inside the fort. It was eventually rebuilt in granite by Tipu Sultan who named the site as Jaffarabad. In 1790, Doddavira Rajendra took control of the fort. The palace was renovated by Lingarajendra Wodeyar II in 1812-1814. It has been renovated again to host a lots of government offices. No photographs for this too.

Bhagamandala:

Bhagamandala is located in the upstream stretches of river Kaveri and is joined by two tributaries, the Kannike and the mythical Sujyoti river. It is considered sacred place and is a common practice for pilgrims to take a dip in the triveni sangama. The Bhagandeshwara temple is located at foot distance from here. KSTDC has a hotel nearby where both food and lodging is available.

Madikeri Bhagamandala

Madikeri Bhagamandala Temple

Talakaveri:

Talakaveri is generally considered to be the source of the river Kaveri, though, there is not a permanent visible flow from this place to the main rivercourse except during the rainy season. A tank has been erected on a hillside, at the place that is said to be the origin. It is also marked by a small temple, and the area is frequented by pilgrims. The river originates as a spring feeding this tank, which is considered to be a holy place to bathe on special days.

Madikeri Talakaveri Entrance

Madikeri Talakaveri Origin

Madikeri Talakaveri Temple

One can climb a further more and have a good panaromic view of the distant hills place as well as of the Talakaveri Forest Range.

Madikeri Talakaveri Climb to Top

Madikeri Talakaveri Panaromic View

Madikeri Talakaveri View from Top

Raja’ Seat:

Raja’s Seat is a small pavilion with a garden surrounding it and a musical fountain and offering a view of the green valley below. Though we went there to see the sunset across the stretching blue mountains, we were greated with rains and clouds passing by. The view down below to the valley was awesome.

Madikeri Raja Seat

Madikeri Raja Seat View

Madikeri Raja Seat Views

Overall, it was a good trip. Thanks to the driver also who maneuvered the vehicle very nicely through the curves.

Courtesy:

http://www.gocoorg.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/
http://www.coorgtourism.org/

Shanthi Bites,
Opp Nisargadhama, B.M Road,
Kushal Nagar, Coorg
Ph. No. +91 8276 27 12 07
Mobile. +91 9481 07 07 07
www.shanthibites.com

Kodagu Plaza,
1-405, Kodagu Towers, B.M. Road,
Kushal Nagar, Coorg
Ph. No. +91 8276 27 33 18

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Saklespur (Donigal-Yedakumari) railroad trek

Participants:

1. Subhasis Ray
2. Neelima Sharma
3. Somya Mani
4. Srinivas R.
5. Myself

Date: 4th December, 2011

Mode of Transport: KSRTC Bus

The Green Route “Trek on the Railway Track”, as it is well known, is a trekkers paradise, stretching from Sakleshpur to the Subramanya Road Station. Though the track was being abandoned some years agao, it has become active with with replacement to the tracks and goods train plying through the track. The trek forms a part of 56.80 kms stretch from Sakleshpur to Kukke Subrahmanya, which is dotted by 58 tunnels, 109 bridges and about 25 waterfalls.

Since we had only one day at our hands we decided to start the trek from the Donigal Railway Station to Yedukumari Railway station and be back, a distance of about 17.20 kms one way. This stretch has around 17 tunnels with around 24 bridges (not the exact count).

Time: 21:56 hrs

The tyres finally moved towards our destination. A pit stop in the Hotel MTR at 00:47 hrs.

Time: 03:00 hrs

The bus reached Sakleshpur. We were in two minds of whether we should continue on the same bus or take a local bus. When contacted with the bus conductor, they informed that they would drop us near Donigal Railway station.

Time: 03:30 hrs

But to our good/bad luck, we were dropped near a group of small tea stalls, after around 20 minutes ride from Sakleshpur bus stop. We decided to have a cup of tea on the small stall and also inquire about Donigal railway station. There the person informed that we have to walk around 3-4 kms to reach the station. So, be it. We all decided to walk. With torches in our hands, fog/mist all around, the screeching sound of vehicles passing by, smell of burning tyres, we en-devour the journey on the Bangalore Mangalore Highway on foot. As we travel, we have the sights of the coffee estates, Shentha Estate on the right and DoddaMane Estate on the left.

Time: 05:00 hrs

After moving for around one and half hours like nomads we were finally able to get to our first destination, Donigal Railway Station, from where we planned to start the trek. We had to walk back for almost half a kilometer, after consulting a local, to reach the road leading to the station. We reach the station only to find it empty. Even the station master was in deep sleep. Since it was still dark, we plan not venture out of the station, but gave some time to revive ourself by taking a small nap under the open sky.

Where is Donigal Railway Station?

Donigal Railway station, located in the outskirts of Saklespur is a small railway station, which caters the needs (signaling only) for passing good trains. It is located just around 1 kms from the passing NH 48. One has to cross the Muthappeswar Seva Trust on the right and just after crossing the bridge get down (in case you are taking a bus/cab) and go on the right (broken tar) muddy road. In case you plan to trek from Sakleshpur itself, Donigal would be around 4 kms from there.

Time: 06:30 hrs

The short nap was quiet reviving for us as it make ourself feel fresh. We went hunting for the station master but still he was not to be seen. We thought of going ahead instead of waiting for him, since we would loose valuable time if we don’t start early. We went ahead and started our trek from the station. We planned to reach Yedukumari Station and move onwards to reach the highway from there through the jungle (though it did not materialize later). We started from Donigal at 50/0 as the railway mark.

Start of the track at Donigal

Morning view of the railway track

As we move along the trek, we came across a series of bridges and tunnels. You can see the beautiful ridges, canopy of the far forest from the bridges. The view from the top is breathtaking. As we moved into the first tunnel, it was all dark. My first on foot experience on a railway tunnel. As we enter the second tunnel, there is a small opening and as you move out you hear the loud roaring of a stream flowing down, as it makes it ways across the stones. The view is very beautiful.

View of flora by the side of the track

Stream flowing by

Time: 10:45 hrs

We reach 59/400, where we got into another station. I don’t remember the name of the station. But we took some time to rest in there. We inquired to a gentlemen, about the distance to Yedukumari station to which he informed that it would be another 8-9 kms from the current location. We had to pass through one of the longest tunnel which was about 592 m and one of the longest bridge over a stream. The tunnels were a marvelous piece of constructions dated that time around the 1950-1970’s.

View of a bridge over a stream

One of the longest tunnel 592 m

Time: 12:35 hrs

Finally reached Yedukumari. Milestone 67/200. It was a quiet a relief to see the the station name on the board. We have walked a continuously for 2 hrs without any break. Much needed lunch break. There is also a canteen in there. We had omelette’s and rice. It was nice speaking to the gentlemen from Delhi who serves you in this canteen.

P.S: Try avoiding meeting the station master Mr. Rakesh Singh there. Seems like a troublesome person, as we experienced.

Group at Yedukumari Station

Time: 14:20 hrs

We decided to head back to Donigal itself since the route through the forest is not convenient. As informed by the people therein, the forest homes to a lots of tuskers and leeches. And from the station, it would be around 5 kms to the highway. We asked for assistance but since it was Sunday there was no one around to take us through the forest area. We had to make it on our own. With sun going down by the hills, we decided to head back on the same trek.

Tunnel opening

Sakleshpur Bridge

Time: 16:30 hrs

Reached back 59/400.

Sakleshpur Hill View

Sakleshpur railway track

Time: 18:30 hrs

We were able to get on to the highway just after the underpass. There is a small trail which leads you to the highway. We tried stopping some buses, but in vain. Finally we had to walk for some more time on the Bangalore Mangalore Highway before getting a lift by a private jeep. They dropped us at the Saklespur KSRTC bus stop, from where we planned to take a bus back to Bangalore.

Sakleshpur goods train

Time: 21:00 hrs

Hungry and dying for some food, we managed to grab food in a small veg restaurant in the bus stop itself. Our feet and shoulders were all giving up now and there is no point waiting for Volvo/Rajhamsa, since those would only ply after 23:00 hrs. So we went ahead and popped into a KSRTC bus to Hassan.

Time: 22:50 hrs

The bus dropped us at Hassan, from where we took another bus to Bangalore. We dozed off just as the bus started to move towards Bangalore.

Time: 02:50 hrs

Reached Majestic bus depot, which marked the end of the eventful day in the lush green mountains and and the stony railway treks of Sakleshpur.

Looking back, at the end of the day we walked around 43 kms. I would like to thank my fellow trekkers for having such a wonderful/unforgettable trek.

Courtesy:

http://bmcindia.org/events/sakleshpur-railwaytrack-trek.html

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On top of Madhugiri fort

Participants:

1. Harsha
2. Srinvas R.
3. Chakrapani and family
4. Shrikant Gaikwad
5. Myself

Date: 27th November, 2011

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

Time: 9:30 hrs

It was a bit of yes/no, since it has been drizzling all these days and climbing the rocky surface can be a bit tricky. But as the weather forecast showed some(Sun) rays of hope we decided to go on the ride. We all assembled at the Nelamangala Toll Plaza at 9:30 hrs to start the journey. After crossing the toll road, we decided to have breakfast at Kamat, which is on the left (just before the Dobbaspet flyover).

Route Information:

As you go on towards Tumkur from Bangalore, one needs to take a right at below the Dobbaspet fly-over to go to Madhugiri. It is around 56 kms from the fly-over. This is a straight road till you reach Koratagere, where you need to take a right. The left goes to Tumkur. The same road takes you to Devaranyana Durg and Siddara Betta. The road condition after Koratgere is not so good. Though it a tar road but you can just see the pebbles in it. The total distance is about 114 kms from Heball (one way).

Madhugiri Fort:

The Madhugiri Fort, nestled in the steep slopes of the Madhugiri Betta in Tumkur District, was built around 1678 during the reign of Raja Hera Gowda during the Ganga period. Further fortification was done by Hyder Ali, to whom it is credited the most. Looking up from the base of the hill, Madhugiri Fort looks like a maze of randomly built series of strong walls on the slopes. There are a number Mantapas located in various parts of the fort overseeing the base. There are several water tanks along with granaries on top of the hill to serve to the needs of soldiers. It is one of the beautiful fort of the era. The fort looks like a maze of randomly built series of strong walls on the slopes.

At 3930 feet elevation, Madhugiri is a single hill and is the largest in Asia and second largest in the world.

Madhugiri Fort View from base

Time: 12:15 hrs

We reached the base of the fort and after parking our bike’s we started the climb at around 12:25 hrs. The initial climb was pretty easy with ASI doing some renovations and building up some good stone steps. As you pass the first guard wall you can view the glimpse of the 4th majestic fort wall.

Since the rains have just pass by in some months ago the greenery in the rocks is still alive. We had some nice photo shoots in an around the first fort wall.

Madhugiri Fort Mantap

As we move upwards, the steepness also increase but the small steps carved out on the rock made it look easy. There was a place where the water was flowing making it very slippery. The worst part was when we had cross a stretch with right side to the cliff and the other side is the fall. Thanks to the railing support, it was helpful to overcome this. It would have been a night mare without the support.

Railings for support

From there on there is no support, though now the climb is not so steep. For once you would feel that you are on top of the fort, but not to your wishes, you have to climb more. You could hardly see the fort walls from there. After taking some break some photo shoots we moved ahead to our destination. As you gasp your breath, you think what is next? How much more? But you would reach there in another 40 mins of walk from there.

Madhugiri Fort Climb without railings

Madhugiri Fort

A small fort welcomes you on the top. Though the walls are worn off, you can still figure out how good it was. There is also a small house, I assume it was for the soldiers, with natural lighting.

The view from the top is awesome. It can’t be described but should be felt.

View from top of Madhugiri Fort

Panaromic View of the surroundings

Time: 15:35 hrs

Fully satisfied with the view/scenery at the top, we started the decent to reach the base at around 16:50 hrs.

Time: 21:00 hrs

Reached home after having dinner at `Maruthi Panjabi Daba`, some 30 kms from Bangalore (on the right in case you are coming from Madhugiri fort).

The trekkers group

Total Odometer: 228 kms

Courtesy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhugiri
http://www.bmcindia.org/events/bmc-madhugiri-trek.html
http://www.filmapia.com/published/places/madhugiri-fort

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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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Money, Money and Money

Who does not want ? From a small child who knows the value, to the eldest person, everyone runs after it and tries to possesses the most, irrespective of the ways of attaining it. Why so craze? Is it simply an instrument or an addictive drug, the more you have, the more you want. It is very difficult to have an exact answer but yes, it is a drug which you need to have to survive this materialistic world.

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Technology for the masses (Contd) …

One more instance that I ran into. We had gone out for dinner to Sree Nandhini Palace, which is located in New BEL Road opposite to Beijing Bites, with one of my colleagues. Though I have visited this place many number of times, this was the first time I have noticed them using technology.

WiFi was installed in the whole area. Waiters were carrying iPhones instead of the regular pen and paper to take the orders. They have built in an customize application to run on them to take the orders as well as print them to a network printer near the counter.

Electronic gadgets being part of the common man shows the progress that India has made and about the economic reforms that it have undergone.

Waiter with the iPhone ready to take order

iPhone on the banane leaf

Technology for the masses …

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