Beach, Bikes, Ghats, Coffee, Crab n the Gang

Cold-infused air, endless knee-down moments on an endless road, cup of can-stove coffee, the de-tan dip, bed of pebbles, cannibal fishes, beach hopping, snorkeling on land, exoskeleton giants, silky waterfalls are what defined the whole experience in short.

Always wanted to do a long ride to a beach, especially Mangalore, Gokarna and Goa. So finally the dream ride came through on 11th October 2015, having included can stove coffee, ghats, waterfall, dip in cold river, boat ride and crabs just made it absolutely awesome.

Being a last minute trip, the gang shrinked to 3 and remained in perfect sync throughout the journey.

Anyway, time to let the digital memories do the talking :D.

Can-Stove Coffee

MUD1215-4137 (Custom)

MUD1215-4164 (Custom)

MUD1215-4301 (Custom)

Nungu – Must have on a hot sunny day, shaped like a seed, jelly looking and tastes just like coconut water.

MUD1215-4304 (Custom)

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Took a long 2 hour break dipping in Netravati River, Dharmasthala.

The endless ghat roads till Mangalore were absolutely awesome, no traffic, no potholes/ patches/ bumps (almost :P), tackles them all with a series of endless happy knee-down moments.

By 1700hrs we were at Mangalore hunting for a good place to stay. Unfortunately the only place we were able to find was a hotel called “Hotel Royal Park”; perfectly located, good rooms, good view, the ONLY elevator killed the mood when it literally took a minute to go from 5th to ground floor. Anyway, place was just perfectly located and everything was walkable from there.

MUD1215-4308 (Custom)

MUD1215-4321 (Custom)

Day 1 ended with a perfect dinner, tried Crabs for the first time, tasted awesome plus I was getting fed the meat directly instead of me cracking through those hard exoskeletons :D.

Jump started day 2 with super early morning walk to the bus stand, followed by a smooth bus ride to Udupi Bus Stand. There are frequent direct buses (so called direct; goes till Malpe City, changeover to another bus to go till the Malpe Beach).

Luckily when we arrived, a fishing boat arrived with their catch and started dumping the unwanted stuff (Variety of Crabs, Sting Ray, Shrimps, Cuttlefish, Start fish etc) on the beach. We are having a blast photographing and handling them, we were really to see them without actually diving in the sea.

Malpe Beach

Star Fish @Malpe Beach

Shell @Malpe Beach

Sting Ray - Malpe Beach

Cuttlefish - Malpe Beach

Crab - Malpe Beach

Octopus Egg - Malpe Beach

Shrimp - Malpe Beach

A fun fact about Cuttlefish (Search for “True Facts About The CuttleFish” on YouTube or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDwOi7HpHtQ) is that they can change their shape or texture and color to blend with the environment, plus they can hypnotise their prey.

Bought the boat ride tickets to reach St Mary’s Island (costed Rs. 200 per head). Ride was fun and bumpy, clear blue-green water.

On the way to St Mary's Island, Udupi

Eagle @ St. Mary's Island, Malpe, Udupi

Beach 1 @ St Mary's Island, Malpe, Udupi

Photo break 1 @St Mary's Island, Malpe, Udupi

Basaltic Rock Formations @St Mary's Island

Boat Ride to Malpe Beach

There was cultural fest running in Udupi which had to skip because of shortage of time. Caught a bus to Mangalore as fast as we can, reached room, got fresh and went on a beach hopping run next; Ullal Beach (plain shoreline, nothing to describe about), Someshwar Beach and Tannirbhavi Beach (sunset spot).

Someshwar Beach, Mangalore

Someshwar Beach, Mangalore

One needs to take a boat to reach Tannirbhavi beach from Sultan Bathery or drive through the only road through Mangalore Port, Panambur.

Sunset @Tannirbhavi Beach, Mangalore

Waiting for Boat Pickup @Tannirbhavi Beach, Mangalore

The day ended with a visit to one of the most beautiful temple in Mangalore, “Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple“.

Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple

Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple

Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple

Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple

Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple

Day 2 came to an end with another round of awesome dinner @Mangalore, this time we switched to Malabar Food.

Next day plan was to start by 0200 hrs from Mangalore, got delayed and started by 0530 hrs.

Stopped on the way before reaching Sakleshpur, there was a small water stream flowing parallel to the road. Relaxed there for half an hour.

Chilled on the side of a water stream, on the way to Sakleshpur

Giant oranges (not sure what they are called), tasted much better than oranges – a bit extra sour, slightly bitter, extra strong Flavor.

Giant Oranges

Giant Oranges

Luckily spotted this beautiful waterfall alongside of road a few clicks before reaching Sakleshpur, took a short photo-break here.

Awesome waterfalls on the side of Sakleshpur Road

PG’s bike desperately needed a gearbox checkup, so we stopped at Sakleshpur (ask for Kitti Garage to anyone over there if your bike is in need of one ever, approx co-ordinates – 12.943905, 75.791237).

Next part of the journey was filled with almost non stop ride, with moments of refreshment breaks (loads of coconut water, cucumber etc).

Reached home by 2030 hrs

Odometer - Mangalore Trip

Advice:

  • Book a room in advance through OYO/ Stayzilla or similar stay apps.
  • ATMs in Mangalore and Udupi are like treasure chests, loot whenever you find one ūüėÄ
  • Motor Garages are closed on Sundays in Mangalore.
  • Try the local cuisines – Neer Dosa, Chicken Sukka etc.. and not to forget Crabs (or any other sea food)

And I am already in a mood to camp out somewhere in a jungle or a peak, lets see.

Until then, ride safe and trek safe.

Last Trip: Camping Under The Stars – Horagina Betta

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Camping under the stars @Horagina Betta

It was nearing the weekend and I needed to finalize another place for us to get lost (again), to explore, to camp, to witness something new and have a yet another much needed brain idling session.

This time I finally decided to get lost @Horigina Betta, its been stuck to the pending list for far too long.

Reaching Horagina Betta/ Nandi One:
Take the road toward Nandi Hill via Devanahalli, head straight on the mud road at the T-junction after Karahalli Cross. Left goes to Nandi Hills, right to Skandagiri from the T-junction. Trail from there is pretty simple one, easy to locate and follow, should take an hour to reach the suggested campsite. Follow the one on Google Maps or use this – “KMZ

Start of trek - Horagina Betta

Like always, we carried a short supply of dry wood with us as a backup, collected a lot more at the top.

Dipper hunt :).

Find the dipper

Camping under the star lit sky on a cold windy night, this probably is the best way to spend a weekend.

Woke up at 0330 hrs, woke the campfire, heated some water, drank and slept again :).

Camping under the sky @Horagina Betta

Woke up again at 0530, restarted the campfire, turned the music on, switched the camera on and had some serious fun :).

The morning views at Horagina Betta were great, but nothing can be more awesome than the view you get from Skandagiri.

And the roads to Nandi Hills turns alive again.

Boiling water for Green Tea, plastic bottle won’t melt but water will surely turn toxic especially if kept on a direct flame. In a survival situation its fine, all I had was Frozen water with me. I had wrapped frozen water bottle in old newspaper and carried along, even after some 18 hrs it was mostly frozen.

Boiling Water for Green Tea

Three of us were still hungry enough to carry on with the stage two of the trek, around 5 Kms round trip :). We (mostly) followed the trail on Google maps again.

Nandi Hills

No, that's isn't a Peacock. It's a dry wood, looked like a peacock from far

Reaching the top was fun, camping here wasn’t an option though.

As if star gazing wasn’t enough :D.

Reached the campsite safely, packed up everything and carried the garbage along with us till the base.

Took a bunch shortcuts on the way down, saving atleast a km.

Info in short:

  • Camp midway to the hill – loads of dry wood, clear ground, loads of stones to help build campfire/ support tents. Pegs won’t help you much, carry long guy-lines instead
  • Nights get chilly, windy, improperly pitched tent might fly-off
  • Follow the trail on google maps or KMZ, although it’s more fun to take a detour
  • Overgrown grass all around, difficult to judge the trail ahead, avoid night trek
  • Prefer full sleeves
  • Vehicles can be parked near the restaurant at the T-Junction
  • Top secret tip for better campfire, use an additional rock slab as a platform to build campfire on, this will make the fire run hotter.

Gears/ gadgets I carried :D.

Gears and Gadgets

Bed of Cloud – Checked

Getting lost – Checked

Stargazing – Checked

Next – Fusion of long ride, camping & beaches… Until then

Ride safe, trek safe.

The day we got lost in the wild @Aandi Gundi Betta

1830 hrs: Getting lost in the wild can sometimes be fun, not this time though. We are hungry, thirsty and dog-tired. We are surrounded by jungle, long grass and more importantly the darkness at some 1000m above sea level @Aandi Gundi Betta. We are short torches and all the geeky devices we carried are starting to show the signs of starvation. This exact moment keeps reminding me of the movie “6-5=2” (it’s a Kannada Horror movie – related to trekking with a supernatural topping, a must watch).
1845 hrs: Luckily I had recorded the trail while climbing, replayed that and somehow with the help of Ashok and Ramesh we got back on the correct trail.
1915 hrs: We reached the checkpoint, but decided to find another way since the trek further involved descend through some really steep and wet rock face.
1930 hrs: We are lost again, but this time in a Raagi field. This somehow remind me of all those Scarecrow horror movies I had watched; like Jeeper Creepers, Husk, Messengers etc.
1940 hrs: Battery is almost dead, and with just a couple of minutes juice left we intersected the initial trail.
1950 hrs: We could spot our vehicle in a distance and breathed a sigh of relief.

I was running short of camping spots around Bangalore, so decided to do a day trek and scout for camping spots on the coming weekend. Finalized on Aandi Gundi Betta/ Handi Gundi Betta (Coordinates – 12¬į43’35.8″N 77¬į18’59.3″E), Prasad created the Whatsapp group to continue further discussion with the team. Initial plan was to go for the Sunrise, but that got swapped with Sunset after the discussion.

 The day arrived, PK started from Electronic City for Domlur, parked the bike at some bakery with is key plugged to buy some snacks, only to find them missing when he came back. Me and PK had done a dozen of awesome trips earlier, and we were going to add another to the the list after some 2 years. Unfortunately he had to skip the trip and tow his bike back home.

Anyway, the final team got downsized to 8 from 12. We all met at the Nice road – Mysore road junction, and started towards Aandi Gundi. We stopped @Thirumala Green Palace near Wonderla, good enough place to have a lunch.

Reaching Aandi Gundi:

  • Be on a lookout for “Basavanapura” board on left around 4-5 kms from Rasta Cafe.
  • Take left, cross the Railway Crossing, and keep going till you find a large tree in middle of the road.
  • Take Right there, and left after some 30 meters (it’s a mud road, and will have small rock pillars on both side)
  • Continue on the mud road for a half km, park and find a trail towards left (Google map has a trail marked, or use this – KMZ GPX, use MyTracks, GPX Viewer or similar apps to view the trail on most smartphones).

Starting of the trail

View from the 1st steep climb

View of the 1st steep climb

First break after a steep climb.

Random pic

Hiding in the grass

The climb

View from the 1st steep climb

Second photo break.

Ramesh enjoying the view

Group pic the 2nd photo break

View of Aandi Gundi betta Steep face

View of the remaining climb

Panoramic View of the surrounding hills

Some random clicks on the way to 3rd photo break.

 

Selfie moments @Aandi Gundi

Sunset @Aandi Gudda Betta

By 1730 hrs we started descending, and somehow we starting offsetting from the initial trail and soon we reached a point where there was huge drop. I opened my “My Tracks” app and started moving back to somehow intersect with the initial trail.

A little before 2000 hrs we reached the parking, took a short break and started the hunt for the dinner dhaba on the way back.

Found a place near Bidadi – Cafe Coffee Day, Green Palace or something (was too tired to read the name :D).

Location, seating area, food were excellent, service was a laid-back though (and they don’t accept cards).

Anyway, Aandi Gundi trek was a success and we returned home perfectly safe, I am sure none of us will ever forget the experience of actually getting lost.

Hoping to go back to Aandi Gundi again sometime, but to camp at the top and witness the sunrise.

Will end the post with a checklist for whoever plans a trek, especially if it involves the darkness :).

  • Multitool/ lighter/ a small bottle of Surgical Spirit to start a fire
  • Extra water/ snacks
  • Full length pant/ full sleeve shirt/ jacket
  • Focus lights
  • Powerbank
  • Record the trail using “My Tracks” or similar

Ride safe, trek safe.

Wayanad Getaway to Claim Independence

There comes a time when you need your energy level replenished, mind cleared, new ideas etc.
Sometimes Independence can just be the freedom from pollution, traffic and the daily life ; that’s exactly what this trip was about.

Invisible speed breakers; ride through tar, mud, rocky patches, jungle & ghats; stroll with the leaches, trek to the heart shaped lake, life of the breathless fire, the talk, the tingling taste buds, and a yet another card holding the proof of life.

Woke up at 0200 hrs, took bath, checked the bike and mounted the bag behind. All geared up I left for Wayanad by 0300 hrs from home, joined the rest of the biker gang at the Banashankari bus stop. We cruised through the Mysore roads

Gopalswammy Betta Temple

Weather was just perfect when we reached the top; cloudy, misty topped with cold breeze. We decided not to spend too much time at the top as the return off-roading journey will turn insane once it starts raining.

Weather was acting absolutely deceitfully once we entered Kerala border; moment of shower, sunny, cloudiness just kept their NPr going.

A fun filled long ride lead us to our homestay by 1230 hrs; with a small detour through Gopalswamy Betta.

Got fresh and headed towards the Lakkidi View point followed by a visit to Pookode Lake.

Hair Pin Bend - Lakkidi View PointView from Lakkidi View PointThamarassery Churam Ghat Section, Lakkidi View Point, WayanadView from Lakkidi View PointView from Lakkidi View Point

Spent some 30 mins at the view point,  walked around, with a few digital & biological memories we left for Pookode Lake. It started raining by this time, we were still having a time of our life.

Decided to skip boating and instead we took a stroll around the lake. At some points this turned a bit scary – weird voices, drizzling, overflown lake flooded pathways, slippery & unstable rocky terrain with flying frogs, colorful snails, and of course leaches.

Pookode Lake

The next day hits-off with an incredible breakfast – Appam and Moong Dal Curry @homestay.

Chains hanging from topGreen Room - Summer Villa Homestay, Kalpetta, Wayanad

Phase one of day 2 plan was to trek Chembra Peak till the heart shaped lake. Parked our vehicles, paid the trekking charges, booked a jeep and we were off. The jeep ride till the start of trek point was amazing, so were the view of the tea gardens.

Loads of people opted for the anti-leech socks, some just replaced them with polythene covers in the jugaad style, we just tucked the bottom of the pant inside the socks (I must say it was definitely effective).

Tea Gardens on the way to Chembra PeakOn the way to Chembra PeakJeep ride till Chembra Peak start pointStart of trek, Chembra Peak, WayanadClose-up of leaf - Chembra Peak, WayanadBeautiful Colorful Snail - Chembra Peak, WayanadChembra Peak, WayanadHighlights and SHadows - Chembra Peak, WayanadHeart Shaped Lake - Chembra Peak, WayanadChembra Peak, WayanadChembra Peak, Wayanad

As usual “camera waale” were a bit slow, with loads of photo-shoots & breaks we finally arrived at the heart shaped lake.

By the time we reached the top the weather starting acting weird again. We started descending as fast as possible, midway the weather turned sunny; adding to the trouble the terrain turned slippery. Somehow we reached the trek start point, where we were supposed to wait for the jeep pickup. We chose to walk to the bridge till the jeep arrives.

Close-up of flower - Kanthanpara WaterfallsKanthanpara Waterfalls

Headed to homestay, got fresh and went for a walk in the city. Had an awesome local cuisine for dinner. In the meanwhile bonfire was setup by the homestay owner.

The next day I woke up at 0430 hrs, finished processing all the photos I had captured, sat out on the porch while listening to music with camera in one hand.

Had Idiyappam with Chana dal curry for breakfast.

Banasura DamBanasura Dam, Wayanad Banasura Dam, WayanadBikers posing for a shot while speed boatingBikers posing for a shot while speed boatingBikers posing for a shot while speed boatingBikers posing for a shot with life jackets after speed boating, Banasura Dam, Wayanad

Boat ride at Banasura Dam in Wayanad was fun, charged us Rs. 750 (5 person) for some 15 mins. Water was very clear – with a bluish tint everywhere.

To our surprise Meenmutty Waterfalls was open to public, and was just 2.5 kms from Banasura Dam.

There are two routes, one goes to the top to the start of the falls and the second goes to the bottom where once can take a dip.

Wayanad is blesses with many waterfalls, some being too dangerous to reach have already been closed (banned), some closed for the season, some are blesses with Entry – timings. So in short one would be on a real tight schedule if looking to cover them all.

Banasuramala Meenmutty Waterfalls, WayanadWooden Bench @Banasuramala Meenmutty Waterfalls, WayanadBanasuramala Meenmutty Waterfalls, Wayanad

We headed back to homestay to freshen-up, pack up and leave for Bengaluru.

The return journey till Mysore was fun, drizzled throughout. Once we reached Mysore it started raining heavily, roads were all flooded. I got separated from the group after the dinner, kept riding non stop most of the time. Rain almost stopped once I crossed Kangeri and to my surprise it looked as if it just drizzled in Bengaluru this whole time. It was 0030 hrs by the time I reached home; completely drenched, atleast the bag and the stuff inside were completely dry.

Rambutan

Bought Rambutan – a lesser know cousin of Lychee somewhere near the Kerala RTO check post. Tastes like Lychee, a bit bigger in size and more flavorful. Everyone at home loved it, wish I had brought more.

Oh! forgot, I killed the bike battery some 40 km before reaching home, forgot to disconnect the charging cable from bike, got wet, shorted and TADA! – no headlights for the next 10 kms.

At the end, it was an insane trip, worth all the troubles we had gone through. Wayanad is truly God’s Own Country. Never trusted the saying but they just don’t call Kerala ‘God’s Own Country’ for nothing.

Thanks to Sreejith, had an amazing foodie experience in Wayanad (I can still feel my taste buds tingling :)).

Not to forget the hospitality offered by Mr. Pramod during our stay @Summer Villa, Kalpetta.

Places Covered: Wayanad, Kerala – Chembra Peak, Pookode Lake, Lakkidi View Point, Gopalswamy Betta, Kanthanpara Waterfalls, Banasuramala Meenmutty Waterfalls, Banasura Dam
Distance: ~700 kms round trip
Stay: Summer Villa Homestay, Kalpetta, Wayanad

Journey to the land of flight masters – Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

The frozen controls, the macro vision, birth of the breathless fire, the golden shower, journey to the land of flight masters, overworked friction generator, sun-baked hot leather saddle, sweat drenched homosapien, roar of the mighty inorganic powerhorse, and a (yet another) card holding the proof of Life.

Boredspiration:
With loads of boredstorming and boredspiration over a span of 2.5 month evolved boreductivity. Okay, so this is how much I got bored of using the boring bore-less words that I had to get evolved by reading through the boring edition of the Urban Dictionary :P. In brief this is how screw loose packed trips are evolved.
The Plan:
РStart early, witness the sunrise @Kanva Reservoir
– Breakfast¬†@Maddur Tiffany’s
РVisit Dariya Daulat Palace
– Shoot some birds @The Land of the Flight masters – Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
– Head back home, have lunch on the way back.
The Trip:
With a delayed start of an hour we reached Kanva Reservoir by 0630 hrs on March 16 2014. Built a campfire, opened snacks and relaxed.
View of the Moon behind a tree. - Taken on Mysore Road

View of the Moon behind a tree

Sunrise @Kanva Reserrvoir

Sunrise @Kanva

Kanva Reservoir

Roads to Kanva

With¬†a delightful¬†breakfast¬†@Maddur Tiffany’s (poori, masala dosa and Mangalore buns :P) time neared to shoot some birds @Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary via¬†Dariya Daulat Palace.

Dariya Daulat Palace, Srirangapatnam

This was my 3rd visit to Ranganthittu bird sanctuary, and was a delight to spot these Painted Stocks as soon as I entered the place.

Flight Masters @Ranganthithu Bird Sanctuary

Painted Stocks @Ranganthitttu Bird Sanctuary

White Stork

White Stork

Sun-Dried Bats for sale!

Indian Pond Heron or Paddybird

Indian Pond Heron or Paddybird

Painted Stock

White Stork - Flight Masters @Ranganthithu Bird Sanctuary

Run, Stork, Run

Catch me if you can

Shortage of Gator-ade on a lazy Sunday morning

I saw you giggle Mr. Gator

And.. done
Headed back home.

Yet another BORING weekend @Shivanasamudra :P

Places Covered: Shivasamudra (Gaganachukki and Bharachukki waterfalls)
Total distance: ~300 Kms
Time: ~12 Hrs
Mileage: ~7 ltrs.
Previous Trip:  Savanadurga, Manchanabele Reservoir and Big Banyan Tree

(Sometime back) Planned a ride to Chikmagalur on 12-14th January 2013 as a new  year special ride. A week before the the D-Day, I was busy fine tuning the plan (to include as much biking as possible :)). Being a festival season, 5 people dropped the plan at last moment. And since I had 2 days in my hand, not planning a trip is just not me :).

I had plans of visiting Hogenakkal Falls, Shivanasamudra/ Talakad since long back, they just kept getting substituted.

So I finalized a solo trip to Shivanasamudra/ Talakad on 14th.

About Shivanasamudra (looted from wikipedia :P)

The Shivanasamudra Falls is on the Kaveri River.  The island town of Shivanasamudra divides the river into twin waterfalls, Gaganachukki and Bharachukki.
Asia’s second hydro-electric power station after¬†Sidrapong¬†is located at the waterfall and is still functional.

Route


Peenya  -> Mysore Road -> Left turn after Bharat Petroleum Bunk near  Bibadi (~35 Km from Peenya) -> Head straight for around 10 km, joins Kanapura Road -> Take Right and continue on NH 209 till Malavalli -> Take left after Mahadeshwara Temple and head straight.

Trip

Though I planned a solo trip, I informed my friends about my trip in case someone changes their mind. 3 others cared to join me at the last moment.
As per the plan we left my place by 0400 hrs. There aren’t any good eateries nearby (other than Kanakpura), so it’s best to pack and go.
We reached Shivanasamudra by 0800 hrs. Took a few snaps of the waterfall. Shivanasamudra is a must visit place during monsoon.
 Gaganachukki Falls, Shivanasamudra

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Savanadurga Trek/ Manchanabele Dam/ Big Banyan Tree

Places Covered: Savanadurga, Manchanabele Reservoir and Big Banyan Tree
Total distance: ~120 Kms
Time: ~12 Hrs
Mileage: ~3 ltrs.
Previous Trip:  Shivagange Trek

This was one pending trip since a long time (as always :)).  So finally on 6th January 2013 I plotted a plan to trek Savanadurga.

Went out for grocery¬†shopping the night before the trip, loaded my bag with snacks. Filled up the tank, cleaned the bike, fixed my navigation setup,¬†reconnected¬†the mobile charging unit, tuned carburetor¬†for performance… and bikey ready to burn some rubber :).

About:

Savanadurga is among the largest Monolithic Hills in Asia. There is Nandi idol at the Hill top, which is 1226 meters above sea level.

Manchanabele Dam¬†is just ¬†a few clicks from Savanadurga.¬†It’s is a small reservoir, build across the river Arkavathi¬†for irrigation purpose. Place is quiet and peaceful enough to spend some time, though lacks tree cover for shade.

Dodda Alada Mara (Big Banyan Tree) is a giant Banyan tree located in the village of Ramohalli, spread over 3 acres and is supposed to be atleast 400 years old.

Route:

Trip:

The group consisted of 4 people and 2 bikes (again), I seriously miss riding without pinion :(, will pakka plan a solo trip in future :).

Back to the log, we left my place by 0400 hrs, stopped around 15 km before Savanadurga for a Coffee break, don’t remember the place name, bas Google bharose hum to.

Roads were fine throughout the trip, except in the village limits. We reached Savanadurga foothills by 0600 hrs, parked our bikes in front of the Temple and started the hill climb.

It’s nearly a 300 meter climb and can be done in around 2 hours. The view from the top is insanely awesome. There are no steps or supports to help you out, except a chain of arrow marks for direction.

Be sure not to visit on a rainy day or night. Also it’s best to start the climb early in the morning, by 6 AM is good enough. Carry food and water, there is nothing available on the top.

It’s a perfect place to plan a ODT when clubbed with “Manchanabele Dam” and “Big Banyan Tree”, which are pretty close-by.

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Shivagange Trek

Places Covered: Shivagange
Total distance: ~100 Kms
Time: ~10 Hrs
Mileage: ~3 ltrs.
Previous Trip: Frozen ride to Talakona via Horsley Hills

This was one super short trip (100km round). Nothing much to write, will still provide as much info possible. Will let the photos do the talking .
My recent relocation to Yelahanka (Bangalore) presented me with an opportunity to strike-off the remaining places nearby Bangalore.

List of pending places nearby Bangalore:
Shivagange
Savanadurga
Madhugiri
Nijgalbetta
Bilikalbetta
Melukote
Hogenakkal
Shivanasamudaram and Talakad

Most of these place are relatively close-by, first 6 are trek locations and last 2 are waterfalls.

Shivagange is one of those many trek spots I missed, inspite being real close to Bangalore. So on December 16th 2012, I finalized a plan to Shivagange. 1400 meters above sea level being the highest altitude at Shivagange.

Route: Yelahanka > NH4 Highway (Tumkur Road) > Nelamangala > Dobbasapete > Shivaganga (have to take left from the highways, Shivagange is around 6 km form there)

We (4 friends, 2 bikes) started by 4:30 AM in the morning, took a coffee break near Nelamangala. We reached Shivaganage by 7 AM. First thing I did is took the below snap of the Hills.
Shivagange Hills

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Frozen ride to Talakona via Horsley Hills

Places Covered: Horsley Hills and Talakona
Total distance: ~580 Kms
Time: ~23 Hrs
Mileage:¬†haven’t calculated, must have burnt around 12-13 ltrs.
Previous Trip:  Trip to Dandeli/ Karwar/ Gokarna/ Murdeshwar

Not literally frozen of-course, its Andhra Pradesh. I guess the unexpectedness of the level of cold in AP made me feel even colder :).  The temperature throughout the ride was just above 10 degrees, coupled with 60-70 kmph riding speeds is good enough to result windchill in negative.

About Horsley Hills:
Horsley Hills is like  an  Appetizer at 4100ft, blessed with loads of trees (especially Eucalyptus, Jacaranda), 3-4 hair pin bends, awesome climate, peaceful, away from the traffic/ Janta and no pollution makes it a perfect getaway for relaxation.
There is nothing much to do here other than pure relaxation.
Also if you are lucky, you might get a chance to spot Sambar Deer.
Awesome breakfast buffet at APTDC (Rs 90 per head, includes dosa/ idli/ pongal/ coffee/ tea).
Trekking and some adventure sports (run by APTDC) are also there, haven’t done that.
There is a small park and a small zoo opposite to APTDC Hill Resort.

About Talakona Waterfall:
Talakona waterfall is around 100 km from Madanapally. Waterfall is in Sri Venkateswara National Park.
With a 270 feet tall, it is the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh.
There is also a 250m long canopy rope walk.
The water here is believed to be rich in minerals which flows through herbs and has healing properties. Talakona was declared as Bio-Sphere Reserve since a variety of herbs and plant species are available.
While heading towards Talakona, one can see the rocky side of Tirumala Hills.

Route:
Hoskote> Chintamani Bypass> Madnapally> Horsley Hills> Madanapally> Talakona (Tirupati Road)


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Trip to Dandeli/ Karwar/ Gokarna/ Murdeshwar

Places covered: Dandeli, Kali Nadi, Karwar, Gokarna, Murdeshwar.
Total distance: ~1400 kms
Number of days: 4
Previous trip: Trip to Lepakhshi via Nandi Hills

Got a call from a friend on 23rd October 2012, inviting me to join him on a trip to Dandeli with his family. Wanted to go there from a long time, so without thinking any further I just accepted it and booked a ticket for the same night. Booked a seat in Rajhamsa – KSRTC. The bus was at 2045 hrs from Majestic, so I reached there an hour before.

The next morning (0700 Hrs) I was in Dandeli. One of my friend’s relative was working in West Coast Paper Mill Ltd, so we stayed in their quarters.

Attended the evening Dussera function over there.

  

  

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