Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Drive to land of waterfalls, Sirsi - 2

So continuing from part -1 .  This part has more waterfalls .

After a good  overnight nap ,we  took the blessing of Marikamaba Temple , Sirsi . Very famous temple built during 17th century .
We went to another religious place nearby Sirsi is Sahasra Linga ( Meaning Hundreds of Linga ). Really nice place . From here we went to sonda Mutt . This place has so many different kind of places on can explore .
Marikamba Temple
           
Numerous lingas
Nandi assoc with linga
Malabar Grey horn bill
                                                          
Map Sonda Kingdom

                                
Sonda Temple
                                                               
The road
Peahen

The road
               
Onake Tubewell
Greenery

All these places are on Sirsi - Yellapur Highway .
From here Begins the waterfalls saga .

Shivgange falls:The Shivagange falls is a 74 m high waterfall on the river Sonda .This is about 22 km away from the town of Sirsi. The waterfall is located in an area of thick forest. From Sirsi one directly go to Shivgange Falls .
Shivagange falls
The Falls

From here we went to another falls  called Mini Niagara  of Uttara Kannada
Sathodi Falls : is a waterfall in Uttara Kannada, that is formed by several unnamed streams near Kallaramarane Ghat, 32 km from Yellapur . It is about 15 meters (49.2 feet) tall. The stream then flows into the backwaters of the Kodasalli Dam, into the Kali river. One need to walk for about 2 kms to reach the falls .
The Walk


Sathodi Falls
Mini Niagara of Uttara Kannada
                                                              
Last Waterfalls of the trip .
This the mighty falls of Magod   .
Magod falls: The height of the waterfalls is 200mtrs. This waterfall has to view from View point. There is a nominal entrance charge .
Magod Falls
Magod Falls
                                                                    
Majjige holle Falls
Finally Sunset at Jenakal Gudda
View from Jenakal gudda

View of the Valley

There is one ancient temple nearby called Chandramouli Vinayaka Temple .Very nice temple .

Overall Travel : Bangalore-Tumkur -Gubbi-Shimoga-Shorab-Sirsi-Yellapur-Sirsi-Harihara-Chitradurga-Bangalore .
Total kms: 1250 kms
Places Visited : Gudavi Bird Sanctuary , Unchalli falls, Sirsi temple,Sahasra linga, Sonda mutt, Shiva Ganga Falls , Sathodi Falls , Magod Falls  Jenakal gudda and The Ganesha temple.
Other places of interset nearby : Yana, Viboothi Falls ,Banavasi,Bene hole falls ,Brude jog ,Lalguli falls,Wattahole falls etc.
This why I call Uttara kannada has Land of waterfalls . Most of these waterfalls are perennial. There is considerable amount of trek required to reach the waterfalls but the pains is worth it .
Trip Dates : 15,16 Aug 2009

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Drive to land of waterfalls, Sirsi -1

This probably was a better way to celebrate our Independence Day. We planned to visit the waterfalls of Sirsi. We left Bangalore on Friday night around 10:30pm. The route we drove was from Bangalore- Tumkur - Arsikere - Shimoga - Shikaripur - Gudavi Bird Sanctuary.

Gudavi Bird Sanctuary (Bird lover's Paradise) : This is a good place for a bird-watcher. There are variety of birds here, which will quite impress the visitors. It is not only the birds but the serenity of the place is also very relaxing.
Gudavi Bird Sanctuary
Purple Swamp Hen
                                                    
Lesser Whistling Duck
Cormorant
    
Pheasant Tailed Jacana
                                                  
The Spoonbill
Southern Birdwing (Largest Butterfly in South India)

Grey Horn Bill
After Spending some good time with the birds, we moved towards Sirsi and headed towards Unchalli falls, located about 30 kms from Sirsi, on the Kumta road . This is a Perennial falls, about 380 feet in height . The waterfalls is created by the river  Aghanashini. Since the waterfalls was in full force, we could hardly see the falls . We had to walk down for about  a kilometer  to reach the waterfalls .We had to wait for some time to get the full view. There is also a way down  to reach  the base of the waterfalls ,but we were warned  since the place was slippery and full of leeches.
Entrance to Unchalli Falls

Unchalli falls

Just imagine the force of the water falls


Way down to the Falls
                                                                
To Be continued ..........





Friday, June 18, 2010

Places to visit around bangalore part-4

****Continuing from the previous list...... 

23. Varlakonda
             Type: Hill, fort , Temple
             Nearest Town : Chikkaballapur
             Distance from Bangalore : 75 kms
             Trek Distance: 2kms ( one way)
             Trek Level : Easy
             Directions: Take the Hyderabad highway NH7, cross Chikballapur,  proceed on the highway till the village of Varlakonda is reached. On the left, one can sight the Hill with some fortifications on it . Take a left turn and drive for about half a kilometer.
             About: It falls under the lesser explored place category. Climb is easy but there are no exact routes to the top. There is a small temple on the top and some old ruins. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama.
View of Varlakonda Hill from the Road
Temple on the top of the Hill
                  
24. Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta 
            Type: Hill, Temple, Wildlife
            Nearest Town : Harohalli
            Distance from Bangalore : 50 kms
            Trek Distance: 4 1/2kms ( one way)
            Trek Level : Moderate
            Directions : Take the Kankapura road up to Harohalli ,then take a left turn after the bus stand and immediately take a right  to reach DoddaMarlawadi. At the circle, take a right and continue straight for 3kms till you reach a village named Konnaldoddi. Here on, take a left , travel about 300mts, take another left turn to reach the temple.
            About: This is a popular place. People have a fair idea about it. There are many cross tracks on the way ahead but do not deviate . There are directions up to the top but confusing. View from the top is  awesome . One can see the entire region of Banerghatta  National park on one side and  the town of Kankapura on the other. Caution: Avoid making noise and use of mobile as it is known to distract elephants. Yes, this hill is a habitat for the big mammals . 
View of Bilikal From The Road
                    
Temple on the top of the Hill
                    
Route to the Top
                            
25. Somanathpuram
           Type: Temple, Historical interest
           Nearest Town : Malavalli
           Distance from Bangalore :140 kms
          Direction: Take the Mysore Road till Maddur, reach Malavalli and follow directions to the temple.
          About: It is a very nice stone carved temple. It was built by Hoysala Kings Narshima III under the leadership of Somanatha. Thus, the name. Take a guide if  interested in knowing the details of the carvings, etc. Behind the temple is the river side (about 1km form the temple)  where peacocks can be spotted if lucky. Places to visit nearby include Shivanasamudram, Cauvery fishing camp and Talakad .
Carvings on the walls of the Temple
    

Keshava Temple
                  
26. Akkayamma Betta 
            Type: Hill, Temple
            Nearest Town : Chikjala
            Distance from Bangalore : 25 kms
            Direction : On the way to the new Airport, at Chikjala,  take a right  turn to reach the hillock.
          About: It is one of the less explored  places around Bangalore. There are a lot of temples and cave temples on the top. The place seems more lively during Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays with special kind of pujas .
View of the Hill
Welcome to Akkayamma Betta
Devi
Temple
                                                              


Biking in heaven, Kodagu

     This undoubtedly was one of the most exciting trips we have ever been on. Traveling 700 kms in less than 48 hrs to experience heaven could not have been any better. We were destined to be in heaven on a day celebrated as World Environment Day! It’s truly said that the best things in life are for free and worth every penny. And Nature proves it the best!
 Our initial plan was to leave early on Friday evening and travel as much possible, so we could save time the next morning. Since our work schedule held us up until late evening, we decided to meet at our friend’s place in Kengeri. It was 9.15pm by the time we reached his place. Soon after, talks about our plans and general talks went on through dinner.  After relishing the colorful Avalakki bath and Payasam, all of us were fully charged and determined to start off the next minute! It was about fifteen past ten when we kicked our bikes and hit the road. We decided to halt at Kushalnagar which is about 242 kms from Bengaluru. The three bulls we rode on were Discover 125cc, Bullet 300cc and an extraordinary Passion Plus (would be about 100000000...........cc, since it never ran over 50kmph!) .Nine of us traveled the whole journey. Four guys, three bikes, a girl and God. Our Plan was to go on an exciting Road trip to Madikeri.
The bulls
The riders
         We made sure our bulls don’t go hungry! After fueling, we were on road cruising at about 60kmph initially. We started racing towards Ramnagara, but the Desh ki Dhadkan seemed to lub dub at a lower rate! It gave us a chance to enjoy cruising since the roads were all ours and the weather was perfect for the ride. Mostly, our speeds were 55kmph which increased our time of journey. After a six hour long ride with multiple 10 minute breaks, we reached Kushalnagar by 4:30 am. It was Saturday morning. And the long ride had strained us. We rested at a lodge and decided to start around 10:00am.
           After the much needed rest, we checked out of and rode towards Harangi Dam. It seemed very dry waiting for the rains to fill it up. After stopping for some pictures, we moved further towards Somawarpet. All of us just loved the ride. We saw green everywhere! We reached a golf course on our way which was lush green and tempted us to stop our bikes and take a walk to see what was on the other side of it. What a gorgeous view it offered! The hillocks, the greenery, the curvy roads, and the freshly flowering tree with yellow flowers made it picture perfect. By the side were cows grazing and it seemed to me like this was the best way amidst nature. None could miss capturing the beautiful scenery.

Harangi Dam
The Gang
Golf Course
India's Official Mower
Cave temple
View of the lake from the top of the peak
About forty five minutes passed by, and we realized time is evil and we had to move on! We reached Somawarpet; we inquired about the route to Honnammana Kere, a small lake about 7 kms from Somawarpet. After spending some time near the lake, we decided to trek the hillock just in front of the lake. We got to know about a cave temple on that hillock which made us more curious. Steps were laid only up to the cave, but up ahead is a trail that leads to the peak. View from the peak top was gorgeous. But little had we realized that the best was yet to come.
After getting down, we explored an old temple at the base of the hillock. Inside the temple, resided Shiva in the form of a Linga and Nandi guarding him. The small temple had idols of other gods and the ceiling too carried some decorative carvings. It also had a tree which seemed to have sprung from the top of the ceiling. It was indeed a beautiful temple.
Ruined Temple
Temple and hill we climbed
Hatti Hole
We traveled back to Somawarpet for at Canara lunch home. They served us full meals after which we moved towards Madikeri. Now, our destination was a place named Mandalpatti. We had to stop by at few places and check on the route since we really did not know the exact route to this place. After a lot of queries, a group of men told us to reach Hatti Hole and people there would guide us on how to go further. On our way, we stopped by a rivulet. The water level was perfect for us to go down and across. Since the sun went down and it was getting dark, we moved on towards our destination. We inquired about the route to Mandalpatti, and the man who answered us was surprised to know that we actually were heading to that place on bikes! The route told by him was very confusing and hard to remember. We followed his directions up to a point where the road lead to two paths. After a small discussion we decided to follow our hearts and move on the right path! Slowly, it turned into a 4x4 road, on which riding a bike would be risky but challenging and exciting for a biker! The bike ride on this path was the best part of the whole journey. And any biker, with no doubt, would enjoy it thoroughly. An opportunity for a ride like this, itself, was worth the journey.  After a lot of negotiation with the roads and lot of ifs and buts, checks on the route every now and then with a handful of people we spotted throughout, we reached the approach road to Mandalpatti, a place unknown to most if us. As we moved further, the light went down and we hurried to get a view from the top. The place had turned into a misty heaven, the beauty of which cannot be expressed in words but only experienced. It seemed like we were amidst clouds and they were passing across. Suddenly, the place grew brighter. The clouds had moved on. The view form top was gorgeous and will always remain in our eyes forever. We had never seen a place so heavenly.
We spent some time here, and left to Madikeri. We had to rush on since it was already dark and drizzling. After a safe ride, we reached the lodge and freshened up for dinner. After a long night’s sleep, we went on to see Omkarnatheswara temple, Abbey falls and Gaddige. At this point in time, we wished to see Mandalpatti again! We revisited Mandalpatti.
About Mandalpatti:  20 kms from Madikeri.
Directions: Take the road towards Abbey Falls .At the Y fork deviation, go right. There is a sign board for Pusphagiri WLS which is 17kms. This place inside wildlife sanctuary gives you a view of Kote Betta on one side and Pusphagiri range on the left .The View is just awesome.  One needs to pay a small fee for entry. Apart from the watch tower, there is the Forest Dept. Office, the last point till where your vehicle can go. Beyond this, the nature will take you on for the walk of your life.
Great Roads
Some More Great roads
The View 
Road To Mandalpatti
View of Kotte betta (named so since it looks like a fort)
Signage near Abhifalls
The Falls
Pusphagiri WLS 
We were back to Madikeri for lunch and left to Bengaluru. We reached Bengaluru by 11:00 pm.
Places visited: Kushalnagar, Somawarpet, Honnammana Kere, Hatti Hole, Mandalpatti and Madikeri.
Route: Bengaluru-Mysore road till Srirangapatana. Then take the bypass road (Ranganathittu bird sanctuary road) , Yelawal - Kushalnagar -Harangi Dam -Somawarpet -Honnammana Kere –Somawarpet – Hatti Hole - Mandalpatti-Madikeri –Abbey Falls- Mandalpatti - Madikeri -Kushalnagar-Yelwal-Srirangapatana- Bengaluru.
Travel Distance: 700+ kms
Trip Date: 5,6 jun 2010. Caution: Reach Madikeri and then travel to Mandalpatti. Roads from Hatti Hole to Mandalpatti absolutely not suitable for bikes or cars.
 

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