Masinagudi, Into the Wilderness

This trip was meant to be high on adventure off the beaten track, triumph on adversity and new world of discovery. Finally after hours of discussion it was decided to drive through the wildlife of Mudhumalai and Masinagudi. Homestay confirmed, custom hoods ready, and the riders were all set to march along with their machines towards the wild. Photo credits: Aravind and Hema, the beauty of Masinagudi were captured at its best colors from their camera.

The Crew

A Toy, 3 Bulls and a Beast

Crew: From left Aravind, Nandhini, Sujay, Koushik, Deepan, Castro, Hema, Arun and Prem.

Route: Kanakapura – Malavalli – Mysuru ring road – Gundulpet – Bandipur – Mudhumalai – Masinagudi

Tip-off

  • Riding at night or early in the morning away from traffic needs more attention on the road to avoid the blind spots, it is advisable for the rider leading to flash a beam of light when he/she comes across a sign board to help the fellow riders following to beaware of what’s ahead.
  • Bad weather, downpour, roads covered by fog then switch on the LED tail lamp to make a safe route for other riders. (Most of the vehicles are not BS4 compliant yet)
  • Stay in the group, even if the road is clear and your aware of the route, don’t loose your group. One or the other will be comfortable to be within the sight.
  • When riding through the reserve forest don’t honk, people love to honk to avoid incoming traffic but not the animals, remember you’re travelling through their home.

 

Places to visit in Masinagudi

  • Mudhumalai safari
  • Theppakadu Elephant camp
  • Moyar dam
  • Maravakandy dam
  • Bokkampura Temple
  • Lord Muruga Temple (Short Trek)

Day 1

Decided to avoid Mysuru road as nowadays the route is over crowded.
Aravind, Nandhini and Sujay were sharp on the timings, 4 am and they are at the Kanakapura toll, on the other end by that time others were still stuck at Bannerghatta road. Managed to reach Kanakapura toll at 4:30 and join with rest of the crew, intro, hugs and morning wishes, distributed the custom hoods and off we started for the ride.

There can be nothing more satisfying than the feeling of dawn. Nature is at its best and is the glorious hour. The brilliant beams of the sun gives a splendid shade to the mists and knolls, mountains and valleys. It denotes the trip of the sun in the sky. Initially, there shows up a little chunk of light in the sky, later at that point it continued expanding in size. The brilliant coating is by all accounts rising and rising while the flying creatures started to sing to its sparkle.

100 km of whispering ride came to a stop at Malavalli junction for Morning coffee. A good long chat and to end the discussion to stop in an hour for breakfast before Gundulpete. A pleasant surprise was awaiting for us, clouds turned dark, drops of water were sensed, it took just few seconds to convert to a heavy rain, it was like a blessing from no where. This is what we were waiting for all these months. Nothing stopped us, everyone enjoyed riding in the rain. Reached Gundulpete and the crew in car were like was it a downpour? you guys seemed to be soaked and taken out from a pool 😤 Aravind was aware of what Gundulpete famed for.

Gundulpete is a place known for flourishing flowers, especially Sunflower and Marigold flower. In Gundulpete one can witness the vast landscape filled with yellow and orange colors. Acres of land cultivating  Sunflower and Marigold flower that produces a magic to the entire scene. Marigold flowers are mostly used for stage decorations and functions and it is from Gundulpete Tamilnadu and near by states gets this flora from at most reasonable price. Apart from this from a photographers point of view this turns out to be a picturesque location. Must visit if passing via Gundulpete.

Note: People around the village charge inorder to allow inside the flower estates and click photos, no worries, they are kind, give 10 rs and spend how much time you want to.

Other notable destination in Gundulpete is Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, we didn’t visit it since during the weekends it is mostly crowded and it would kill our time to reach Masinagudi.

The next 50 km ride was the most satisfying one, the vibes while crossing Karnataka border and entering into Tamilnadu was just amazing. Drizzling weather, moving grey clouds, monkeys, deer gathering at the road sides, peacock, peahens, elephants – awestruck 🤩 The most loved moment since there were no honking no over speeding and no pollution just a place to be riding throughout the day ⛰

Note: The road is closed between 10pm and 6am for safety purpose. Vehicle checks are mandatory and strict while entering TN border, so be cautious guys.

11:30 Reached Masinagudi, the first stop was at a hotel, mark my words you drive in the rain or cold weather the first one to knock the doors is your tummies, Saraswathi Mess – small one but the epic taste they bring out, makes one not to stop eating. Checked in the Green Acres homestay, was a perfect fit for 9 to 10 members (can extend to 12 members). Well situated, and hassle free in identifying the  stay. Has parking facility, to our surprise had a carom too, had a cricket bat but no ball. What else first activity was to rush and get a place at the carom board, the ones who actually knew to play were quiet but the ones who really don’t know how to point the striker were the ones fighting for the place. An hour or so playing carom rather I would describe as fun cracking hour, then our exploration started.

Only these four knew to play the game properly, silent and concentrating only on the game. Apart from these four if others were on the table, the entire place becomes lively.

Mayar Dam

10 km away was Mayar Dam.
In the mean time while the crew were getting ready, me (Koushik), Deepan and Sujay went for a coffee and enquired about driving two wheeler to Mayar Dam, though we were aware it is not advisable to ride in 🏍, we took risk driving there. But as our crew members and other mentioned we saw and felt why they advised to take a jeep. Just after 2 km entering the forest of Mayar Dam, we saw two jeeps halted in middle of the road. We stopped our vehicles way behind them, waiting for a signal from the jeep drivers, in the mean time we discussed what shall we do? is it an elephant, is it a deer, or what?  We dared to make our move, went near the jeep and to our left a bear was on the branches of the tree and it was a huge one too. And all of a sudden in front an adult Sambar deer just hopped from the bushes crossing the road to other end in a flash. Deepan with his arrogant voice demanded us both not to take risk, let’s move out and board a jeep with rest of the crew. With due respect to his words (literally 😅) we went back to homestay discussed the happening and with the entire crew boarded a jeep to Mayar Dam.

A Church near Mayar Dam, some abandoned buildings that turns out to be a group photo location.

Day 1 explorarion halted with Mayar Dam and Maravakandy dam. As usual the long chat as in every trip with the entire crew to sign off day 1.

Day 2
Safari, Theppakadu Elephant Camp and Bokkampura was the itinerary.

Safari timings 6:30 am to 8:30 am and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Theppakadu Elephant camp 8:30 am to 9:30 am and 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Castro takes the organizer role for the day. Sharp by 6:30 everyone were up, all excited for the safari. Me (Koushik) and Castro went ahead to get passes for the safari which was 7 km drive from our stay while leaving Aravind to handle the huge burden of getting the entire crew ready on time for the safari 🤣 just kidding everyone were responsible when it came to timings.

Note: Government organized safari costs 340 per head and requires minimum of 15 to 20 members to start. Safari time of 90 mins
Private safari costs 5000 per vehicle that can accommodate 9 to 10 members. Safari time of 120 mins
Elephant safari 4 members costs 1120 but distance not covered as that of vehicle safari.

Government organized it very well. We would recommend to opt for the same.

We were not lucky enough to spot tigers, cheetah but we were fortunate enough to witness deer herd of bison and our national bird Peacock wide spreading it’s mesmerizing greenish blue colorful train displaying his beautiful plumage and attracting a Peahen. Most of us have seen it in TVs or YouTube but to view it live with our eyes inside a forest is such a satisfying scene.

We returned from safari at 9:30 am and we were unfortunate enough to visit Theppakadu Elephant camp as it was closed. We requested the ranger to allow us in but he replied even if I allow, you will not be able to see any elephants since the mahout has moved away the elephants from the camp. So visitor plan your timings accordingly. Get the first slot of the safari (6:30am) so that you can visit Theppakadu Elephant camp in the morning itself.

Bokkampura temple

The most powerful temple quoted by the locals. Didn’t enter the premises but everyone had minute to spare in front of the temple, all I prayed is thanking for all the fun these two days had to offer and wished for safe return of the entire crew to Bangalore.

On the way back to homestay visited Singara hydroelectric power plant outlet where the water gushed out from the power plant. Permission are not granted nowadays to visit.

12:30 almost 24 hrs since we have checked-in. It was time for checkout. 13:30 checkout out, and hardheartedly bid good bye to Masinagudi. Return journey are always boring one, but following the rain clouds and getting ourselves drenched, exchanging the bikes, stopping at regular intervals kept the same spirit as that of our onward journey. 20:00 our 6⃣0⃣0⃣ kms 🚗🏍 of enthralling journey came to an end when we all reached Bangalore.

Its been quite a long writing on new destindtions, will make it atleast one for a month. Readers like you always do, keep supporting us, thank you for all you’re extended support. Until next time, stay tuned 👋🏽

Nandhi Hills, Grandeur To The Pinnacle

Driving to the most renowned destination, Nandhi Hills. Nandhi Hills doesn’t need any introduction, and it has reached to each and every one in and around Bangalore. So here’s some of the least known facts of Nandhi Hills,

Nandhi Hills also called as Ananda Giri meaning hill of happiness, and is one among the Navadurga – Nandhidurga fort built by Tippu Sultan as the ancient Dravidian Temple dedicated to Nandhi is located at the hill and is termed as one among the Navadurga.

Dandiganahalli Dam, Concealed Treasure

Looking out for a destination where you can surround yourself with beautiful pristine landscape, in between a pleasant atmosphere with modest climate? Then Dandiganahalli is the answer for your quest. When the water level is moderate the lush green meadows is a treat for the eyes and this place has lots of pastures for a safe camping too. Though the reservoir has been closed permanently it still serves as a water source for near by villages, and is becoming a popular weekend getaway for travellers due to its serene landscape and calm surrounding. No need permission to enter the premises, but make sure not to litter the place, it up to us to preserve the extinct reservoirs.

Pros:
Located nearby to Bangalore, within 100 KM of radius.
Easily accessible, Google Maps has the perfect location of this reservoir.
Cons:
Good condition road till Chikballapur, the last 6 KM is off road and are of not good condition, but it is manageable. Even cars can be driven through it.

The Crew

Dandiganahalli Dam

Not much of a planning for this trip, the destination was decided on Saturday evening and it was well executed on Sunday, kudos to the team.

The trip started with a distinct taste of hot and tangy flavor – Briyani at Hoskote, Mani Briyani. Mani briyani is well known and popular among Bangalore-ans for the early morning Briyani, and readers if you haven’t tasted yet, better plan for a day, it is worth a visit. (And you need to wait in a long queue for your taste buds to relish the heavenly flavor of the Briyani)

Note: Open only three days a week Tuesday, Friday and Sunday between 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM.

With our tummies filled, Dandiganahalli was the only stop remaining on our minds. Around 11:30 reached Dandiganahalli, and there were already people mostly bikers occupying the entire arena for photographs, and so do us.

It had a mix climatic condition, at times the grey clouds covered the entire sky and it seemed to rain but only leading to disappointment. But that didn’t stop us from the fun, chit chat, exchanging the rounds for getting focussed by the camera looking out to capture a pic that would best suit for profiles  while few went on to explore the area. Dandiganahalli has lots of wareabouts to look out for.

Spent quality time exploring the destination, before revving back to Bangalore. And on our return the sign of monsoon were seen, it started to rain when we were on the Devanahalli high way, ahhhh what a pleasure it was, anxiously waiting for monsoon to be high this season.

A wonderful experience, staring the day with Briyani, without any expectation we went to Dandiganahalli and it had a surprise, at the end a day well spent. Until next time, keep following and keep supporting, see you guys.

Medigeshi, Invigorating Trek

Featured For: 

Recommend For: Trekkers

Best time to visit: All season except rainy days the rocks can be slippery

Time to trek: ~45 mins to 1 hour

Things to carry: Water bottles, Snacks, Trek Shoe, better wear jean as it will provide grip while trekking down the mid-section on the trek.

History of Medigeshi is not as immense as others, may be that’s how simple I learnt from the Villagers. Breaking the name Medigeshi as Medi – Ankle and Kesha – Hair, the fort was built by Nagga Reddi as his wife’s hair touched her ankle (yes you read it right, hair touched her ankle) and that’s how it got its name Medigeshi. The fort walls still remains intact making the scene amusing all the way during the trek, and it kept me wondering why and how it has lost fame over the years. There is Venkataramana temple and Lakshmi Temple at the foot hill which was also built by Nagga Reddi and this marked the start of the trail for the trek.

Being a year-round rider, I’ve encountered a fair share of both hot and cold weather conditions, but conditions get worse when one needs to ride to Andra Pradesh border on a summer season. But as the saying goes,

“Those places where you find resistance in yourself, that’s where growth happens.”

A cup of soothing tea at Nelamangala junction and the next only stop was Medigeshi.

Note: Google maps leads to Medigeshi village, enquire the villagers to reach the start of the trek.

Reached Medigeshi village, enquired a localite on the starting point of the trek, safeness of the trek. He asked me to reach Venkataraman temple, adjacent to the temple a fortification would be visible which marks the starting point of the trek. And also asked me to keep track of the temple while trekking down since the trek is not a straight path so that I would not miss the actual way.

And this is how the trek goes

Segregating the trek into three sections

Initial Section

This is the easiest section comparatively, where you go through two fortifications, both are visible from the bottom itself. Just like a warmup before an intense training. Not sure what was ahead.

Mid Section

Mark my words, the scariest of all three. Once you cross the second fortification, a huge 75 degree inclined rock will stand in front of you. Turing left right nothing will work out, that’s the only way to go further, and it will definitely get a toll on you. This will be a test of one’s endurance level.

Final Section

After the tiring mid section trek, everything seemed easy from that point. The rest of the trek had craved steps on the rock, making it comfortable to pass through, 150 steep steps to reach the third fortification.

Note: Watch out for the PALE ORANGE footpath, they provide no grip on the trek shoes.

From third fortification, things got more interesting, reaching the fort itself was like going through a maze. Straight I went, leading to a fort wall, left turn and in the dome, straight in and entered another dome, then a left, came out of the dome and there it stood in front of me, like a lone survivor the FORT itself.

But it was quite far, I knew there could be some way to reach the fort, started looking and here is the interesting architecture, found a cave through the rocks, from where light was passing in from the other end. Didn’t dare to try it out as there were signs of rock slides. Opposite to the cave there was a pond built, went there and another way emerged out adjacent to the pond. Followed the path and it lead directly to the fort (from top, the cave was also visible marking second way to reach the fort), simply amazing.

Then the exploration started, it was a huge vacant land spread at the top with bunkers and fort walls constructed all over the mountain.

Spent quality time at the top, munching on the snacks, resting on the rock looking at the clouds moving at a steady phase, the morning cold breeze while my eyes started to close slowly inch by inch. A sound power nap for 15 min on the rock bed before sun started to shine right on top of my face . Return trek started. As mentioned by the localite keeping track of the temple at the base was really helpful as multiple times in the mid section lost my path and the temple helped to regain my position and trek in the right way. And rough and tough jean provided extra grip on the 75 degree incline rock 

At the end, prayer to end the trip with 

A historical place that needs to be noticed off. A group of friends with all the needy carried to the top then this turns out to be a prefect camping spot. Thank you readers for all your continued support. Until next trip, stay tuned.

Shivagange, Energetic Trek

Featured for: 
Trek Distance: ~4 Km (to and fro)
Difficulty: Moderate
Best time to visit: Make sure you visit when it is not raining.

Shivagange located near dobbaspet Is a well known Hindu Pilgrimage and is also considered as Dakshina Kashi (Kashi of the south). Situated close to Bangalore at around 60 km, it also serves as one of the best trekking and photogenic destination. The sacred mountain is shaped as a shivalinga with a historical statue of Nandi on top of a steep rock making Shiva gange invincible in nature. The religious hill holds two Lord Shiva temples, one at the footsteps of the hill and other at 4km at the top of the hill. The trek gets more interesting while moving closer to the top as the path gets narrower and the climb gets harder. At the end as the saying goes “beautiful view comes after the hardest climb”

Bangalore to Pune NH, the signs of monsoon were seen, come weather, hot tea at nelamangala, clicking photos, recording videos managed to record the gear shifting video too.
Sunday dawned bright, it was 6 am, decided to trek before leaving home and the nearest destination that Google maps had was shivagange. And that’s how it all started.

It seemed easy but while trekking it is not the same. You need to battle out with the heat, humidity, shaky legs and the monkeys(yes you read it right, MONKEYS), if they see a tourist with a backpack off they jump on you and open them up in search of food.
It’s been a long time since I trekked and that had its effects, had no stamina to continue the climb seamlessly. Reached a point where the great Nandi was seen. And that marked the climb of the last stretch, it is narrow, the climb gets harder, and so do the monkey army. It really is a test for ones stamina.

And finally after an hour off trekking, reached the top of the hill, on one hill stood the mighty structure of Nandhi, and on the other hill the temple.

You can reach to the Nandhi, but if you’re enough that it is not conquered by Monkeys.

Hanging bell on the edge of the rock, still remains a question as how did someone manage to do so..

A refresher after the tiring trek.

Avalanche, Queen of Hills

In the season of heat, me and my brother are here riding in the verdant landscape, a place proven to be the source of Tea for most of the state in India, yes you guessed it right, its Ooty (Ootacamund), Avalanche to be precise. Ooty well known for its blue mountains, beautiful landscapes, splendid green downs, fresh-home chocolates, it is a hill of extraordinary scenic beauty endowed with salubrious climate, no doubts it is called as Queen of Hill Station. Neverthless for the teens in Coimbatore it’s like a one stop destination, “boring in Coimbatore? Not able to sleep at night? Come let’s drive to ooty for a cup of tea.” Ooty is so close to our hearts, we love Ooty.

April 28 – May 1, being a holiday season, we are aware how route via Mettupalayam will be bottle necked. Decided to take the least known route, to drive via Kerala, Anaikatti, Mulli and Ooty/Avalanche. 99% of tourist will avoid this route, major reason on being quite secluded and non availbility of public transport, but the distance remains the same.

The Crew

Royal Enfield -> Yogesh, (me) Koushik
Driving on this offbeaten track from Anaikatti to Mulli was adventurous, taking us through a huge variety of scenery, quiet village roads, meadows fringed with towering trees and the experience of cornering the ghat section with Royal Enfield, it’s just classic. Words fail to describe the magnificence of Ooty.

Coonoor Map

Indigenous variety of Flora

Crossing the Kerala border, verification on crossing the state border is mandatory and the officers are strict, failing to provide any one of the following docs will result in non allowing to cross the state border, DL, insurance and RC copies are mandatory for the check. Once the legal documents are good an entry is made before opening the doors to enter Ooty.

Ramaiah Sagar/Reservoir and power generation unit (2400 Meters Above sea level)

Ramaiah Sagar has six hydro-electric power generation unit also called as Kundah Power House is one of the major electricity generating unit in Tamil Nadu. Avalanche, Emerald along with Upper Bhavani form the source of water for Kundah Power House. This project is a symbol of India-Canada co-operation hence the power house is named as “Canada Power House”. Canada power house 2 the one seen in picture has two power generation unit that generates 180 MW of electricity and stands as a major power resource for Ooty and Coimbatore.

Canada Power house 2

Kundah Power House Details

  • Kundah Power House 1 – Kundah Bridge, generates 60MW, 25 KM from Ooty
  • Kundah Power House 2 – Geddai, generates 175MW, 16 Km from Kundah/Manjoor
  • Kundah Power House 3 – Parali, generates 180MW, 122 Km from Kundah
  • Kundah Power House 4 – Parali, generates 100MW, 122 Km from Kundah
  • Kundah Power House 5 – Avalanche, generates 40MW, 18 Km from Kundah
  • Kundah Power House 6 – Poruthimund Dam, generates 30MW, 26 Km from Kundah

10:00 Crossing 43 hair pin bends we reached Manjoor, had breakfast, a good long chat at the hotel before starting to Avalanche. 16 Km away, 32 hair pins remaining from our destination and we were running on reserve fuel, the worst part is from Manjoor to Avalanche there is no petrol station, sharing the thoughts of leaving the vehicle behind, catch a bus and leave (on normal roads itself its difficult to push an Royal Enfield in hills no way). We started to calculate the distance 32 Km on total, taking hills into consideration 3 ltrs of petrol, the vehicle would be running for a minimum of 60 Kms, had our fingers crossed and off we went through the hills.

12:00 Reached Avalanche lake and the shocker, the checkpost was closed, the slots for safari were full and there was no vacancy to park the vehicle itself. Tourist started to queue up, within minutes the entire road was filled with cars and bikes, few even tried to use their influence by contacting higher officials and bypass the queue, but nothing worked, the security didn’t show any soft corner for recommendations. In the mean time we both moved up the hill nearby landed our bags and rested looking at all the drama the tourist were performing.

In the mean time checked with other tourist who returned from safari, mentioned the safari is total waste, due to crowd the safari gets finished within an hour with not much stops to view upper bhavani and lakkadi lake and Emarald lake.

We decided not to waste time getting stuck inside, so spent time resting at the hill taking photos before making our move back.

Emerald Lake

12 at noon and still due drops seen

Though we didn’t have the chance to visit, here are the details on spots available for visit,

From the check post, one can drive his/her own vehicle up to 3  km, after which the vehicles will be parked and need to board the forest transportation (a bus) for rest 2 hours of the trip. They charge 150 rs for the entire journey.

  • Lakkadi Lake 12 Km
  • Upper Bhavani 24 Km
  • Emerald Lake 12 Km
  • Kundah 24 Km

On starting our return we were like in search for water in desert, the sign of relief on seeing Bharat petroleum sign board saying “Petrol bunk 2 km away.” And again the hurting part the petrol price 78 odd rupees per litre, it really hurts.

Kundah Tea Factory

Also came across the waterfalls. Spent worth-full time before marching towards Coimbatore.

The bike tank covers were open, and the cloth was out from the covers. Looking around, we spotted the culprit responsible for this act, also got hold to snap a photo, beware of him 

Monkey it was. They do it in search for food. With full rights they use to jump from one vehicle to the other and open the tank covers and start their check. The good thing about the monkeys is they don’t scratch anywhere on your vehicle, they do their checks and if they find food they take it else leave things as such and move to other vehicle. So gentle they are 

A day well spent, though it was summer the humidity was very less, we were able see due drops even at 12 noon, Ooty a best getaway destination during all season. Avalanche, Ooty a must visit destination for all riders, photographers, people who want to spend a day surrounded by serenity. Until next time, happy summer holidays guys.

Arkavathi Reservoir/Chunchi Falls

Best time to visit: All Season

Recommended for: All age groups can visit, Chunchi Falls – Need to trek down, trek is easy.

What makes this ride extra special?

The PULSAR is back, yes it’s the same machine which marked the black day in TLT, now its back in action after 6 months ready to conquer the streets.

Arkavathi Dam built across the river Arkavathi, a tributary of river Cauvery and this was constructed recently in 2004. Mentioning the dimensions of the dam, covers a length of 720 mts at 29 mts height with 4 spillway gates. The dam is surrounded by natural beauty, the calm and soothing atmosphere offers visitors a wonderful weekend getaway for some worthful relaxing moments.

A challenging season among the four, the good aspect is days are longer which gives us more time to explore and the down side is battling with the burning temperature. After a month we decided to ride, the trio are back.

The Crew

RE: Deepan

Pulsar: Harish

Apache: Koushik

5:30 For the first time in 2018 TLT riding towards Kanakapura road, we have seen Kanakapura as a rain hit, cold and breezy one, not sure how it resembles during the summer. With the benefit of doubts, entered Kanakapura road and a short discussion on the distance, to reach Arkavathi need to go through Kanakapura so we had another 40 Km ahead of us, we decided to stop in the regular hotel Krishna Sagar at Kanakapura for a coffee. And here comes the confidence booster from Harish, ah just 40 KM, in 30 min we can reach there. Reality we took 45 minutes.

The ride was pure, and spell bound when we saw the rain hit roads, striking us with strong cold wind, unexpected condition during summer.

6:15 At our regular refreshment hotel. Started with coffee, by the time idly got ready, plate for each, enquired what else is ready, the chef told vada will be ready in 10 minutes and his 10 minutes lasted till 7:30, but that one hour was more productive and fun with our shit chat.

8:30 The way was familiar, while riding we checked with each other and realized it was similar to that of Chunchi falls. Enquired a villager and he mentioned first will be Arkavathi reservoir and moving further for another 10 km will be Chunchi falls. He directed us with the correct way to the reservoir (as usual google maps was leading to no mans land). The morning vibes on reaching the reservoir, silent atmosphere, tall steel structures, birds flapping their wings over the water and people in coracle with fishing nets, it was more lively and soothing.

Not sure what they were discussing.

This is how we explore, if something happens, fled away from that place.

Sign for being the next capetown 

The reservoir proves to be a major source of water for the nearby villages, though the water level doesn’t seem to be such, but during monsoon season the water level is believed to be at its max.

Found a perfect spot under the tree shade, snack time. And the chat begun, this time it was about 2018 milestone. Without second thought (location) was the word that came out from Harish and Deepan, when as to why (location) ? 2017 milestone total 1000 KM, 2018 double it, as simple as it is. Without wasting much time updated the same in website (since we were aware when time goes by plan changes by.)

Next visit to Chunchi Falls

9:45 Second visit to this secluded waterfall (not anymore), ticket counter has been put up, as entry fee of 10 for two wheelers and 20 for four wheelers, and on reaching the place another fee is collected as parking fee of 10 for two wheeler and 30 for four wheeler. And more over even a sign board with marking directing the way for the trek and the trek down has been modified. Just remembered the old days where we jumped through rocks, lost path, being stealth and everything got changed over an year. Spotting tourist was once rare and now this has become a tourist spot. But one remained the same, not allowed to get in the water. Click here for Chunchi Falls (2017 visit)

Overall a day well spent. Rides had been normal in Q1, more rides planned in Q2, hoping to execute them successfully. Thank you readers for all your valuable feedbacks which kept us improving the blog and so do on our rides, happy to share featuring TLT at Digital Travel Guru which earned us a place where bloggers collaborate. Keep supporting and keep following like you always do. Until next ride, c u soon.

Mandaragiri/Basadi Betta

Recommended for:  All age groups

Best time to visit: All season

Things to Carry: Water, Snacks

Into the hottest season of the year having longest days and shortest nights, no surprise temperature is at highest peak point, but that’s not stopping from riding and this time Mandaragiri Hills.

The Crew

This place is popularly known as Basadi Betta and is one of the important pilgrim centers for Jainism in Karnataka. Pinchi shaped 81 ft high Gurumandir first of its kind in Jain History. The Guru Mandir is dedicated to the Digambar Jain  ascetic Acharya 108 Sri Shanthinsagarji Mahara. Shri Mukha Mantapa at the base has installed tall statue of Chandranatha Thirthankara inaugurated in 2011. The Mandaragiri hill is a small hillock with well carved 435 steps which houses 4 ancient temples of which 2 are from 12th century and other two from 14th century. And it would be a disgrace if am not mentioning the Mydala kere garnishing the entire area.

6:00 Shortest ride, just 60 KM and an hour to reach this ancient beauty. Spot few morning walkers and riders reaching Mandaragiri. One can reach the top by hiking through 435 steps or take your bike to the hill through the off road. First the hike, not the one that would test your stamina, hardly 10 minutes of walk took me to the hill. When you have gone through Huthriduga, Huliyurdurga, Kabbaldurga then this one is a cakewalk 

A small pond to the left of the hill. The entire surrounding was covered with rocks, red muddy sand, it was like being in middle of a desert. Moving behind the hill, a glimpse of water was seen, with all the excitement moved forward and then the beauty was revealing itself. It was Mydala Kere lake,

10:00 While descending the hill along with Nischal and team (a fellow traveller, got ourselves introduced for the first time) a person (guard) was hiking with keys and hundi, when asked he told he will open the Gurumandir. And what took, got down, now its time for my bike to do the hike.

Learnt from the guard that he used to open the mandir everyday between 9-10 in the morning and closes by 6 in the evening. Lets see few photos inside the temple

At the base of the hill

In spite of the midday heat, this is the season for some delicious fruits, got hold of few like jackfruit, watermelon and muskmelon to beat the heat.

Mandaragiri is a perfect picturesque and a half day getaway during the weekend.

Madakasira Fort, into Vijayanagara Samrajam

Recommended For: 

Best time to visit: All over the year

A ride to the age of Vijayanagara period and no doubts this has been declared to be of National importance. First interstate ride, crossing Karnataka and entering into AP.

Into AP, Andhra welcomes me

Madakasira is mostly called as Shivalaya by the people, and was constructed during the 8th Century during Vijayanagara period. At the fort hills stands Lord Shiva Temple which is why Madakasira is called as Shivalaya, and this place come to life during the festive days especially during Maha Shivaratri, almost 500 people gather at the fort hill during the night and pooja will take place at regular intervals all over the day. In other days it is visited by few people mostly by villagers and tourists and it remains as a least visited national importance.
Source: A boy from the village

Things not to do

Madakasira fort has lots of cave formation between the rocks, try not to enter and explore them as the caves may be hollow and may lead to a fall. Mentioning this as I came across a situation where the previous night a villager tried to enter one of the caves and resulted in falling down 120 ft, and after hours of crying loud people were able to identify that a person has been stuck. And it was when I trekked the situation was informed to the fire rescue people for the rescue. Be aware.

There are three ways by which one can reach Madakasira Fort,

  1. Via Nelamangala, Dabaspet, Madhugiri and Madakasira Recommended – Good Roads, Shortest distance
  2. Via Dodaballapura, Madhugiri and Madakasira Not Recommended – Roads are in bad condition and quite secluded too (Regret that I took this route)
  3. Via Devanahalli, Chikkaballapura and Madakasira Good Roads, longest route

Better to carry snacks, if planning to spend some time over hill.

8:00 Reached Madakasira village, Telugu being my mother tongue, there is no problem for me in communication, checked with the local about where the trek starts and had a chat about the place.

The trek is straight forward, it is well paved with rocks stacked up like steps, so there will be no difficulty in finding the path. The trek will keep one interesting and for people who love archaeological visits Madakasira won’t disappoint.

The Crew

Crossing each fortification is always a thrill,

The Burj

While trekking came across this boy, accompanying me, it was a good long chat from then. Lucky that I had a person to share the trek with. Learnt that he used to come with his brother to offer pooja to Lord Shiva and also about the history of this temple. Once you reach the fort hill, you can find the Shivalaya (Lord Shiva temple) and adjacent a lake, learn that during raining season it would be completely filled.

Introduced to his brother who was preparing for the pooja, and they offered me to step in the temple and also with their permission took snaps too.

From the temple, far away there was a lantern structure seen, learnt that during festive season a person would climb up and light the lantern that would burn across the day. And he said even I can reach there, but need to climb rocks and advised to be careful.

The way from temple to the lantern it is like walking through a maze. Keeps one wondering always as what could be next. Excellent.

Here’s where the entire fort can be seen in a side view. Mesmerising.

And here comes the power nap, first power nap in 2018  explored every nooks and corners of the fort, astonished by the way it had been constructed, took snaps, clock was striking 12:00 and started to trek down. And the people were welcoming, the person whom I checked with for the parking and start of the trek, invited for lunch on my return, so kind of him 

Karnataka Welcoming ..

A good place to visit and hangout with friends, if you’re ready to battle with the heat, considering you’re in AP.

Ending Feb with 1 ride, until next time, c u guys. Happy reading.

Markonahalli, Devarayanadurga, Solitary Voyage

After a long time, reliving the moment how everything got started. Once in a while a solo ride really makes a difference, in fact gives the freedom to learn. Not one but two exploration this time, click on any of the below to get started, happy reading

The Course