Sakleshpur, Bisle Ghat

Ride to the town of coffee, Sakleshpur. Well situated between Bangalore and Mangalore, Sakleshpur enjoys a moderate climate through out the year making it more comfortable for riders to pick this as a destination even during the summers. It’s hilly terrains with lofty green plantation makes Sakleshpur a  picturesque location. This blog has information about the most prominent places to visit in Sakleshpur and what would be the best season to visit.

Places to visit in Sakleshpur:

  • Manjarabad fort
  • Green route trek (Banned)
  • Bisle ghat
  • Jenukkal gudda
  • Hemavathi backwaters
  • Kukke Sybrahmanya temple
  • Belur-Halibedu

The crew: From Front in RE Krishna, in Apache me (KK)

Tip-off:

  • Riding in ghat section is challenging and anxiety driven, corners are appealing and welcomes the rider to take it at high speeds, but be aware all it takes is fraction of seconds. You don’t want to regret for your actions, Be cautious and stay in your limits.
  • When you come across any kitten or puppy on the road, don’t ignore, move them to a safe place before leaving, they come to the roads unaware. There’s nothing more important than a life.

Day 1: 5:00 assembled at Manyata tech park, filled petrol, checked the air levels, brakes, oils before leaving rest to the bikes. 230km drive didn’t seem to be long, early morning weather making it more easy for us to cover 190kms in 3 hours, by 8:30 we were at Hassan looking out for a hotel to fill our tummies.

11:00 Reached sakleshpur, and our first visit was to the Manjarabad fort (Star shaped fort). Manjarabad fort is one of the famed places to visit in Sakleshpur for visitors.

Opens : 8Am to 5Pm all day
Best time to visit: Jun – Feb avoid Summer season

The star fort built by Tipu Sultan in 1792 by using French  Military architects to secure his expansion from the British between Mangalore and madikeri (coorg), and as he was allied with French at that time he used the brains of the French engineers to build a star fort of the European style. As the fort is covered with fog and mist most of the times, Tipu named it as Manjarabad (manju meaning fog in Kannada)

12:30 Tender coconut – refreshment. Searching through the map for places to visit, nothing gave us a clear picture on where to visit, best idea is to check with people. We checked about waterfalls near by,

One sentence from the guy took our interest. He said there is a waterfall which needs to be visited by walking though railway track. Right away I knew it was the green route trek he was mentioning of, I went on to ask it is banned to walk through the railway track right?
He nodded with yes, but if you can manage to convince the rail guard you can go there. Without next thought we both said let’s go there. Thanked them before leaving to green route trek. Green Route Trek has been a dream as places to visit in Sakleshpur for most of the travelers, and TrailLess Travellers are not an exception.
All excited to trek the banned route. On reaching we see this board 👇🏼

There was the guard, went toward him and he shouted you’re not supposed to come here. It’s illegal, haven’t you both read the board. We nodded with yes, but we wanted to visit this place and asked for some time so that we can experience how the trek was. He denied all our requests, we waited waited and waited to convince him before the guard asking us from where are you coming? we replied, from Bangalore and visiting green route trek was our motive to ride here. He once again thought and told 2 hrs is the time, it’s 1 pm now, before 3 pm you should return back. There’s an engine that runs every two hrs on this route, if you’re caught then charges will be filed against you both under any cost. We were like thank you sir and off we ran on the tracks towards Tunnel 2.

Why it is banned?
People have lost here, rumors say some have even died. Some talk about paranormal activities. The bridges are rusted and it’s not safe to trek. The trek was banned at 2000 and if caught, punishment include imprisonment up to a year or fine of hefty amount or both. And it’s all true 🙄

Why it is called the Green Route Trek?
The Railway Segment from Sakleshpur to Kukke Subramanya road junction is known as Green Route trek and very popular amongst the trekkers in Western Ghats. The length of the trek is some 52 km which comprises 58 tunnels, 109 bridges and about 25 waterfalls. The railway track was closed down in 1996 for converting it to broad gauge from meter gauge. Goods trains started running on the track since 2005 and operations for passenger trains resumed in 2008. Most of trekkers starts from Sakleshpur and continues till Yedakumari which is some 22 km distance. It offers absolute wilderness to the nature lovers. Length of the tunnels varies from few meters to 600 meters and these tunnel are unexplored eco regions with high possibility of witnessing poisons snakes and insects. It’s because of the miles of lush greenery and mysterious forest it got it’s name as the Green Route Trek.

Our Experience:
The moment we entered the tunnel, it was dark, completely dark, we heard only our voices, it was scary, even the coolest person will lose his nerve, we started to question ourselves, what if a train comes now? what if we were caught? Or what if we were rammed by the engine? Our photos will be in the papers next morning … 😱 weird thoughts. It took us 15 mins to cross one tunnel, walking through the rails were challenging, and it was adventurous feel, thrilling it was, woooh, went past tunnel 3, 4 and we started to feel the anxiety/panic as we were the only ones there, surrounded by forest, rattling noises and rusted tracks. Stood for a moment, just imagined how it would have been to trek the entire 22 tunnel and now we got the feel as to why this trek was banned. Time to move back, we were back by 3 pm, and as the guard mentioned few minutes later an engine followed our arrival. We were safe at the waterfall by that time, splashing waters with joy.

And we saw the water flow after crossing tunnel 3😍

Even in the hot weather, water was flowing through the rocks, there was a setup made by the workers such that the fresh water flows through the pipe to get collected in cans, we went on to drink and it was pure, sweet and super chill.

Our Day 1 ends here. Rest of the evening was spent in the town of Sakleshpur.

Day 2: Bisle Ghat

Started well ahead of our timing. 4:30 am, once again taking the wrong route which led to Kukke Sybrahmanya wasting 1 hr before catching the correct way. Ahhh, spoil sport.

Note: There is only one petrol station on the way once you move out of Sakleshpur, so make sure the tank is filled to cover the 50 KM stretch. The ghat section is considered as one of the most dangerous roads in Karnataka, be extra cautious on cornering, as the corners are so addicting for a biker to take it at high speed which may lead to a havoc. Even me (KK) experienced slide of the back wheel on few corners, managed to elude the impending danger. Be careful guys.

The drive to Bisle Ghat is a mesmerizing one, countless corner, surrounded by greenery it will be a one to be remembered. Bisle ghat is a view point on the midway of the ghat, google maps has correct marking for this location. As the name itself describes the tower is built to witness the beauty that the ghat has to offers. Summer or Monsoon or Post Monsoon season, bisle ghat never disappoints its visitors. For all riders out there, if you have an itinerary, then mark Bisle ghat in the list of places to visit in Sakleshpur.

Next stop was Mallalli waterfalls. 24 Km away from Bisle Ghat, the route may be confusing, check with people to make sure your driving on the right way. It was unfortunate that Mallalli falls was closed for visitors as few students visited a week before our journey tried to climb the rocks and reach the top and fell breaking his leg, and leading to closure of the falls until June.

Spent some time eating the snacks before leaving to Bangalore, managed to visit Gorur Hemavathi Reservoir on the way.

20:00 Hrs reached Bangalore. To summarize, Day 2 was a partial mess, except for the Bisle Ghat view point, Green Route Trek hit us by surprise and it came out from no-where, good luck as we got a chance to experience and feel it on our own rather than being a  reader all these years. Summer has come to an end, start of Monsoon in Karnataka and so do for upcoming rides. Stay tuned readers.

 

Wayanad, The Green Paradise

As the saying goes “It’s all about the person who is riding the machine.”, it is the other way in my terms, “Spend equal time on setting up the machine that adds LIFE to your days”, the confidence you get on riding few kilometers is more important than anything else to complete a journey and that confidence needs perfect engineers, am happy to have found them who understands what I need the bike to deliver.

Meet the men behind the success of all my trips (Shankar and Laxman from Arunagiri TVS), starting from 2018 to till date, before and after a trip my Apache goes for screening to them.

I have to give it to these guys as whenever I go to them and say “This bike is going on a long trip the upcoming weekend”, their expertise comes into play. Once again thanking Shankar and Laxman for all the support in setting up my Apache. Nevertheless to mention Mathu (Ashwa TVS) from 2016 to end of 2017, oh my goodness, the blog post of 2017 speaks the rest.

Now lets get into the trip.

A trip coming out from no-where. Third trip of 2019 and this time it’s in bike. Though Wayanad was in the 2019 bucket-list, never expected it to be this earlier.

There’s nothing quite like taking to the open highway in summer and no doubts Wayanad is NOT the destination to visit during summer season. Most of the tourist places remains dry and closed between Mar – May due to forest fire. Still there remain few spots in Wayanad which can make a stand out even during the summer. So this blog is all about Wayanad district.

The crew: From left Prashant, Krishna and me (KK)

Course

  • Mysuru – Nagarhole (5 am – 6 pm) – Wayanad (Taken)
  • Mysuru – Gundulpet – Bandipur (5 am – 6 pm) – Wayanad (Recommended)
  • Mysuru – Hunsur – Thithimathi – Wayanad

Tip-off

  • Riding in summer is not that easy, both for the rider as well as the machine. Engines tends to get heated soon affecting the viscosity of the oil, so make sure to re-fill fresh set of oil before a long trip.
  • Keep yourself hydrated, this keeps away the drowsiness, tiredness.
  • Check post to enter Nagarhole and Bandipur closes at 6 pm, so plan accordingly.
  • Keep a low profile while riding through forest, remember not to honk or stop. We are just a passerby.
  • When riding at night/through complete darkness and you are in a group, make sure biker leading has a low beam and biker behind has a high beam, this increases the range for the rider to drive easily. When riding through curves/ghat sections, it is recommended that the rider behind toggles between low and high beam, by this way riders can be aware of the upcoming corners way ahead instead of getting into panic with just few meters to take the corner.
  • Make sure you’re aware of the conditions of your vehicle, tyre pressure, fuel level.

5:30 It was a late start, and crossing half the distance before sun comes up diminished the moment when we reached 100 km mark. It’s going to be a uncomfortable ride from Mysuru, as the temperature was too high, but thanks to coconut shops on the way that kept us hydrated. One could take two routes to Wayanad from Mysuru, via Nagarhole wildlife or Bandipur wildlife, all that matters is the distance.

Let’s read about Wayanad, and best possible options for stay and tourist spots.

Wayanad named as the green paradise of Kerala is nestled among the mountains of Western ghats proving to be enchanting with varied wildlife and culture. Wayanad hills is contiguous to Mudumalai forest in Tamilnadu, Bandipur forest and Nagarhole forest in Karnataka forming a vast land mass for the wildlife to move around in their own natural adobe.

Wayanad District Map

Places to visit in Wayanad

Travelling via Mysuru – Gundulpet – Bandipur then the best available stay option will be at Kalpetta or Vythiri (homestay and OYO rooms are available) and the following are the nearby spots to visit,

  • Muthunga wildlife sanctuary
  • Sultan bathery
  • Edakkal caves
  • Karapuzha dam
  • Soochipara falls
  • Chembara peak
  • Pookode lake
  • Lakkidi
  • Calicut
  • Ooty route adjoins from Kalpetta

Travelling via Mysuru – Nagarhole then the best available stay option will be at Mananthvady or kurvadweep (homestay and OYO are available)

We stayed at Mananthvady (White fort OYO) and places to visit

  • Balle elephant camp
  • Kurumbalakotta peak, best for sunrise and sunset view point. Trek distance of 2.5 (~5 km two way) km.
  • Meenmutty waterfalls
  • Banasura dam
  • Thrissillery temple
  • Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary
  • Pazhassi Raja tomb
  • Thalasery and kannur route adjoins from Mananthvady

Halloween Nagarhole

There could be nothing more to ask for than riding through the forest, it is a 40 km stretch – at halfway point lies the Kerala – Karnataka border. The scene could have not been similar to that of monsoon season but still it was justified, rays of light fell through the canopy of trees, the fresh air free from pollution, elephants 🐘 and deer 🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌 grazing along the greenery with no fear of anything. Children splashing the water and fishing in their mother saree in the pond remembered the golden old days ❤ The wind just brought in scent of pine needles to our nostrils as we sped along in our bikes. Witnessing the tires disrupting the fallen leaves leaving them swirling behind and yellowish trunks of the trees standing tall with leafless branches among them stood a fully grown tree in dazzling green and orange leaves, it was like witnessing Nagarhole in disguise, summers are Halloween days in Nagarhole 

Spot the elephant 😝👇🏼

Safari too is available at Nagarhole, the trails prove them. This can be enquired at Balle forest office.

14:00 Stopped by a shop for a snack and that’s where we came across Ziyad, who was helpful in guiding us on the place to stay and mentioned about Kurumbalakotta – sunrise spot and other destinations in Wayanad, he informed that Chembra peak is closed due to forest fire (this peak was the prime spot for our visit 😠). Information mentioned above are the reverse KT from him 😄

15:00 Slowly riding through the forest, reached Mananthavady, surfing OYO for a stay, confirming the stay at White Fort , would rate it , had our lunch, roamed around Mananthavady in the evening trying out local cuisine, planning for day 2 and rested ourselves to make it early for the sunrise spot.

Day 2:

The Sunrise Trek

4:00 We all were in a deep sleep, as our alarm snoozed for the third time, but it was just a 10 minute delay to what we have planned. Kurumbalakotta was a 30 minute drive from our place.

Note: There are two ways to reach the top, one is to trek 4 kms and other way can be reached by vehicles itself. There were equal crowd for both. We trekked all our way to the top.

5:40 Reached the trekking spot, where a person guided for the parking space, still it was filled with darkness, needed to switch on our mobile torch to settle things at the parking. Ziyad mentioned about the sunrise timings between 6:30 to 6:45, it was quarter till 6, so we had quite a bit of breathing time to reach the cliff.

Trek Distance: ~5 KM (up and down)

Trek Difficulty: Average to Difficult

Best time to Visit: Summer and Post Monsoon (Avoid during Monsoon season)

It is mix of hike and walk, you may also come across a point where you will stand in front of a stretch that is inclined at 80 degree 😱, this one is a test for your stamina. You might feel you have reached the top, but looking ahead stands another stretch that seems to be  more challenging than the one you had taken earlier. It took us 40 minutes to reach the top, and the view that stood in front of us made us feel the worthiness of the trek. It felt like we were standing tall, above the clouds. The clouds were separating the land below and the upper sky, mesmerizing.

Early morning sunrise are always special. You often forget what it’s like to wake up early and just sit back and enjoy the moment of a fresh start of the day. The only thing I saw were the bright orange sun rays passing through the white clouds offering beautiful light. It was a satisfying moment.

9:00 The trek back started, 9:30 we were at the place where we had parked our bikes, took few photos that would suit for the crew and off we started for Meenmutty Waterfalls. From this point it was a complete spoiler 😒

11:00 Reached Meenmutty waterfalls, it was closed due to the forest fire a week back and will not be opened until the end of may, rode back to Banasura Dam, again disappointment stuck at the gates, as it was closed on a local bandh demanding increase in salary by the officials. Checked with people of the village and found out the bandh was declared just a day before. Also inquired on other place to visit nearby, again to our disappointment just to hear the word most of the tourist spot are closed due to the district bandh (we were like why during our visit?)

Wayanad is best to visit during the months of July to January. Its advisable to avoid during summer as natural calamities like forest fire will ruin the plans. We will ride back to Wayanad again.

Our next stop Mysuru, 3 hours drive, visit Mysuru Palace at 19:00 and to rest was our plan, being Sunday the bright gold lighting makes the palace shine like a diamond. Only on Saturday and Sunday the palace will be lightened up between 19:00 and 20:00, no need tickets for witnessing it. Mysuru palace doesn’t need any introduction,

And the chariot ride around the palace, few photoshoot, walk around Mysuru streets before ending our day 😜

Weekend well spent. Completing third ride of 2019 at 644 KM, 🏍 leads 2 trips to 1 🚙.  It is just the starting week of March but it feels like May, summer this year is very bad at Karnataka. Lot more trips to come, it all depends on the weather as to when the trips are going to happen 😅, until then stay tuned and enjoy reading.

Gandikota, Grand Canyon of India

Unlike other trips, this one is a special ride and will be remembered for ages, its because of the people in the group, as this group joins together once in every year during the same season just for one cause “Ride, Explore and Enjoy the moment”. And this time it’s the so called Grand Canyon of India, Gandikota.

Gandikota is a massive structure that is built by Chalukyan King on the Erramala hills, surrounded by natural valleys and huge boulders. The fort is gorgeous and there’s one other thing that has made this location famous for, it’s the Pennar river that flows between the gigantic Erramala hills that has earned the name “The Grand Canyon of India” and no doubt it’s Ginormous.
Surfing through fort reveals a small town with hundreds of families residing for years. Other structures include a granary which shows how they used to store food for the fort in case of an emergency. Then there is a massive Masjid(Jama Masjid) and a temple(Madhavaraya Temple) right beside each other. There is also a jail, one can visualize how cruel and less tolerant the Kings were towards any wrong doers in the kingdom. This place is definitely a symbol for the rich, varied Indian culture and heritage.

What does Gandikota signify?
Gandikota is a single word from Telugu Language, Gandi means Gorge and Kota means fort.
Best time to Visit: September to February (Avoid during summer seasons)

Day 1:
4:00 Meeting this crew after 365 days, handshakes, hugs, hi5, laughs on yelling endearing names, happiness spread all around. I starred at a moment with thought running on my mind “first trip in a car, should I take it?” Before deciding, my friends pushed me in, because they knew what I would decide.

The Crew: From Bottom left Raghu, me(KK), Krishna, Shankar, Hari and Siva

11:00 First Pit-Stop Belum Caves

Tip-off

  • Timings: 10 am to 5:30 pm
  • Transportation – Tadipatri is the nearest railway station, from there one need to hire a bus to ride 30 km.
  • This place is hot during summers, though APTDC had n-number of ventilations inside the caves that doesn’t wipe out the sweat.
  • Accommodation – APTDC Tourism run dormitory that needs to be booked in advance. Near by stay – Anantapur, Kurnool or Nandyal.
  • Food – no good hotels/restaurants nearby, APTDC run canteen is available. Better to carry fruits/snacks and water bottles to be in the safe zone.

Largest and the longest cave system in India well known for its speleothens formations. The cave was formed by the action of water flow on limestone deposits over millions of years and officially it was found on 1884 by Robert Bruce Foote. It was later taken over by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) and removed the debris to built a pathway and made the cave accessible to the public.

The entrance has a huge 40 foot Buddha statue that symbolizes the role of monks in the history of the caves.

The moment one enters the caves his/her adventure begins, though there are markings and the path is illuminated with varied lights, one still gets confused which path he/she had taken earlier. It is a maze built across black limestone’s. The entrance chamber is named after a German speleologist Mr. Daniel Gebaur, “Gebaur Hall” who explored and mapped the caves in 1982/83.

One can witness the spectacular natural creations of what a dense water flow can cause to a rock, sinkholes, narrow path (one need to curl him/her self to go through it), crawl through holes, underground stream and the saint bed. For people who are interested in the study of speleology then Belum Caves is the right place to start with.

14:30 3hrs and 30mins of exploration inside the cave, stunned by the beauty (truth – most of the time spent posing for photos 📸). Our next stop THE GRAND CANYON.

15:00 Jammalamadugu is the near by town before Gandikota, and if you need things to purchase get it from here, once you cross this town then the next 14km it’s driving through a wide spread desert. Had our lunch in Jammalamadugu before moving to Gandikota.

16:30 Reached Haritha Hotel (APTDC, the only stay near Gandikota) the fort is 5 minutes walk-able distance from the hotel. Since we had a contact (thanks to my group that explored Gandikota on sep 2017, officially I was a part of the crew, only for half way through, needed to turn back due to an engine failure then, how can I forget that day – Black day in TLT), his name was Siva, called him and told we have two 3 member tent, need to set it up and also arrange food for dinner.

Tip-off

Haritha hotel is the only stay available at this point of time , and booking a stay is not that easy.

Alternate Option

  • One can carry tent that can be set up near the valley. People from haritha hotel will guide for setting up the tent if needed.
  • There are separate restroom facility for men and women setup at haritha hotel for people who stay at tent. Just that need to walk few minutes from the place of stay and might need to stay on queue. The maintenance is very good.
  • Food is available at Haritha hotel itself, if you need separate food just put a word to the person who sets up the tent, he can prepare it for you.
  • Countable number of charging ports are available at Haritha hotel reception, just wait for your turn to charge your mobiles.
  • Apart from this if you need anything you need to travel back to Jammalamadugu.
  • BSNL and JIO have a strong network connection apart from that Airtel and Vodafone 😖, don’t ever think of it.
  • Kayaking in Pennar river is available, it is charged 500 per head for 20 to 30 mins. For all the information and tent setup contact the persons below.

Tent Setup/Food Preparation and Kayaking Support:

Siva: +91 9398300919 / +91 9985444233

Chelapathy: +91 8500603157 / +91 7989498609

17:30 Grand Canyon – Watch the Sun Go Down

Witnessing Grand Canyon at the first place, for a moment we all were immobile, stunned by the gorgeous valley that stood still between the Erramala mountain. Questioned myself why on earth have I delayed it so long to visit here.

About half-hour before sunset, found a perfect spot for camping preferably to do something unusual. This is a good time to let time pass naturally and without any interruption. It’s always tempting to have a few moments to witness one of the world’s most incredible spectacles – sunset over Grand Canyon, India. As the sun approaches the edge of the rim, the shadows within the Canyon shifts slowly, changing the colors and textures within. Moved to the near by cliff and the view it gave out was breathtaking, watched the sky spin into a color wheel, as the Canyon grew dark the sky above and the river below illuminated with reds, oranges and blues. It was an unfathomable experience.

21:30 Sky full of Stars

Just because it’s dark doesn’t mean Gandikota is completely invisible, lay on your back start watching the dark blue sky with stars sprinkling all over, adding to this was the camp fire, ah what a pleasure! Camping across the valley, with bonfire to soothe the temperature, reading the most adorable book ever (“The motorcycle diaries”, a book that’s so close to me(KK)) and gazing at the stars, it’s a magical moment. I wished this moment could last longer, not more I can expect for.

Dinner was arranged in the mean time, both veg and non veg were available. It was a buffet set up by Chelapathy. After dinner, had long fun discussion before moving to our respective tents and resting ourselves for the upcoming kayaking (Decided to quit the trek at Ahobilam, due to time restriction. Thank goodness considering my leg condition 😅)

Day 2:
5:00 It wasn’t sunrise at that moment, and yet we were awake. It was completely dark out there, but the fun never ended, started from where it was left the last night, in-fact few hours back.

6:30 Sunrise at Gandikota

8:30 Swing in Kayaking 🚣
Needed to trek down to reach the banks of the river Pennar, from where Kayak starts. The trek was around 30 minutes, jumping through the rocks and trees. Once we reached the shore, had our life jacket on and off we jumped on the kayak, the best part was neither of us knew to row 😂 (that’s how best moments are made of) Krishna being the leader, Raghu at the tail end and me(KK) being the photographer (unspoken truth when no body knew to use a DSLR you become tied to your camera) while on the other end Shankar the leader, Hari at the tail end and similar to me it was Siva there. The comedy of errors began, Krishna was with full force rowing, no sync with Raghu, at a moment our kayak started to spin because of our atrocities 😅, we had moved so long that Shankar and team were barely visible.

Shankar and team were right on the mission, row for few meters stay, stop rowing let the flowing river do the rest, take selfie, video and burn themselves in the sun. That was not the case with me(KK), Raghu and Krishna, it was total opposite, Krishna with all enthusiasm rowed sorry splashed the rowers against the flowing river such that when we walked out, our kayak was half filled with water, while me and Raghu cracking all possible dialogues and making fun out of it during the entire kayaking. Chelapathy’s stare on us while handing the Kayak spoke the rest 🤐, thank goodness we didn’t drown ourselves in the river.

11:30 Tents were removed, had breakfast and explored the fort before moving out of Gandikota.

14:00 Our return journey to Bangalore started

It’s a trip I’ll always remember as it was different from other trips – because of the people, the place, and most importantly a trip taken in TLT. And this group will once again come with an entertaining exploration in 2020.

Now comes the best part, How I felt riding in the caravan?

A first trip in a car, featured in TLT. Indeed a different experience, first ride in a car, which I usually never like to do. But believe me at the end of the trip I was fresh as I was when I started the trip, which would have been the opposite when am riding a bike. The comfort is surreal, one thing that I enjoyed being in a car is you don’t need to worry about the space, no need to be choosy on things to carry. Usually when tripping in bike I use to be very careful on carrying clothes as it should get fit in my camera bag so that I can carry the tripod too. But that never was a constraint. All I wanted to carry I did it.

Weather would be a big drawback when riding on a bike, even though when it rained me and my crew use to enjoy and ride, during hot summer that would not be the case. Being in a car, hot out there? turn on the AC, raining? no problem, sit back and stare the droplets flowing on the window shield, free from pollution and no need to stop for power naps, just swap the driver seat and keep moving. Securing things was not a problem at all. It was a hassle free ride 🚙

BUT, there’s always a but when riding in a car. There were situations where I felt riding through a bike would have been more engrossing, especially on the curves and long stretch that was similar to Leh. Wanted to feel each and every bit of the atmosphere while moving through regions, riding a bike touches ones soul, that’s what I missed. And most importantly playing music tracks🎼 can lead to a debate especially when there is an ARR(me), Yuvan and Illayaraja (Shankar) fan in the crew 😅 Usually I use to feel for my Apache not being besides on a trip, but not on this trip, “The Motorcycle Diaries” a best companion, indeed a copybook to my Apache.

Here’s The Beast who was the prime reason for success of the trip

It’s a coincidence that even Shankar has named him the Beast, in my terms the Beast has just evolved (from Apache to TUV 😆)

More trips to come for this year, stay tuned, as always follow and keep supporting. Happy reading guys.

Chitradurga, Vanivilas Sagar Dam

Will be updated soon

Madhava Mantri Dam/Bhoruka Power Station

Best time to visit: Summer (Mar to Jun) and Post Monsoon (Sep to Jan)

Madhava Mantri Dam built across river Cauvery near Talakadu is one of the oldest dam in Karnataka nearing 900 years of its service from the date of its construction. Built on 1140 AD by Madhava Mantri ruler during the time which served the purpose and also earned the name as Kaveripura (now not referred as such) for helping people in T. Narasipura taluk with the rich water source. It was in 2013 when the water flow was very high, parts of this dam were damaged. This dam is on the sights of current government for a facelift, hope the government preserves the original one and constructs the new dam.

The name Madhava Mantri has lost its identity over the years, it is due to the Bhoruka Power Corporation which has over powered Madhava Mantri that even people around the village were not able to recognize it rather than few who had spent their life in the village.

Emergency Contact Number
Nice Road: Electronic City to Bannerghatta Road, Kanakapura Road, Mysuru Road, Kengeri, Tumkur Road
8722800026
8722800027

Tip-off

  • Felt a moment of drowsiness while driving, don’t hesitate to stop, have a POWER NAP for some time, let it be on the rock beds, lawn, hotel table while waiting for the food, coffee shop anywhere. Even a 5 minutes of power nap will keep oneself fresh for the entire journey. Remember all it takes is a fraction of second, and we don’t want to be the reason for it.
  • Keep yourself hydrated all over the journey, especially while you’re out driving, plays a vital role.
  • This point is for the ones who use to have the earphones while driving, even I use to do it, no regrets, but have the volume as low as it can be, as in the NH when its windy/rainy the horn of buses and trucks are suppressed and are heard only when they are few meters behind, would result causing in panic, remember listening music is involuntary action and driving is a voluntary action.

Google Maps Reliability: 99%

Follow google maps till Talakadu Kaveri Bridge, from there ask the people to get to the dam. Summary of the way from the bridge, take the right turn after the bridge, drive few kilometers (~3 KM) until you sight the sign board “Bhoruka Power Corporation LTD” on the right.

Take this turn and it will lead you to the Power station, this is the recently constructed power station and people refer to this instead of Madhava Mantri. If you reached a point where you read the sign board as Hemmige Village, then you need to turn back to find the board as shown above.

Enroute to Madhava Mantri, a resort to make note of, Talakadu Jaladhama. One need to take a ferry to reach the resort, with cauvery source surrounded by trees and pleasing weather. It sure seems to be a worthy stay for a weekend, groups visiting Talakadu can book the stay over Jaladhama.

The ride was a super exciting with nature offering its best at post monsoon, clear skies, moderate weather, surrounding basin of madhava mantri flourishing in green colors, silent waters, chirping birds, the roots of the banyan trees that provided a joyful swing over the river flow, a perfect place to spend quality time.

Bhoruka Power Station:

Learnt for a villager on the history of the dam, which I had mentioned on the top. Also enquired on whether a visit to the power station is allowed, he told you can give it a try and also enquired on the way to reach the actual Madhava Mantri dam. It was unfortunate that the entry to Bhoruka power station was restricted.

Way to Madhava Mantri dam is just parallel to the power station, just besides the bridge take the turn to reach the dam itself, find this sign stone and take the turn, kind of off road for couple of kilometers. One can enter in to the waters and spend as much time as he/she can, no restrictions, just watch out on the slippery rocks.

Kemmangundi, Escape into the Serene Land

A blog coming live after 30 days, lots of transitions happening over the days, that, even I stopped opening TLT page for a while, and getting back on track was quite a challenge. August was a flood hit month for western part of Karnataka, washing out Coorg and routes of Mangaluru, the season which turns out to be the best time to visit is now a tragic. It’s now I opened the analytics page and reviewed the stats which raised my eye brows, with no activity on the page over a month and still readers proved me wrong, viewers activity was still stable and growing, this is why I like monsoon. Explored Kemmangundi on 12th August and here’s the post on it.

Kemmangundi a panoramic hill station in Tarikere taluk of Chikmagalur elevated at 1434m above sea level and it’s because of this elevation the hill experiences mix of hot summer and heavy rains during the monsoon.

Best time to visit: Post Monsoon Sep – Jan
Trek Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Nelamangala, Kunigal, Channarayanapatna, Arsikere, Kadur, Lingadahalli, Kemmanagudi

Tip-off

  • Riding on a ghat section is always an adrenaline pushed one, and a rainy day is just like a warm welcome into the incautious zone. Be cautious on the speed and braking.
  • Riding down the cliff in a bike with a stopped engine is the most dangerous act, inviting for a havoc, remember running engine is an additional brake for the vehicle.
  • Trekking during monsoon? Carry a pack of salt handy to get rid of leeches. Lighters and match sticks will stand no match on the foggy and drizzling weather.
  • Protect your DSLRs on a rainy condition, in extreme foggy weather, the effect can be seen on the camera screen getting covered with fog. Its better to remove the battery to avoid further damage.

 

NH-Emergency Contact Number
Tumkur, Pune NH – +91 8050050056
Nelamangala NH – 18004252248
Nelamangala, Hassan, Mangaluru – +91 9900074460

Day 1: 11 August 2018

It seemed like August being a trip to Chikmagalur in TLT only difference is the year.

Combination of ride and exploration. 280 Km of ride –sense of monsoon rains, dark clouds gathering, NH pit stop enjoying the tea with the sights of passer by vehicle, crystal clear Arsikere road, it was like defragmenting the memory after a month of toiling.

The last 15 Km was potholes filled ride, it was manageable in dry conditions (not the same on return journey), 12:00 reached Kemmangundi, when it comes to choosing a stay online the options is limited with only Z-point lodging, but not the same when you’re in Kemmangundi, the place is filled with lodge and homestays. Here are few of the options,

Tanvi Rest-INN (Stayed) Homestay and Resorts too available ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Contact: 9980921991, 9945231274
Brundavana Lodging ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Contact: 897156064, 8884912500
Z-point Lodge ⭐⭐
Contact: 080959 68318
Places to visit:
  • Kalhatti Falls
  • Hebbe Falls – 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Will be allowed in batches through jeep and then 2 KM of walk, cost 400 per head in jeep, private vehicles not allowed)
  • Z-point Trek  – Open all time (Recommended to visit after 6 AM and return before 6 PM, takes nearly 1hr 15 min to reach the Z-Point, for beginners 1hr 45min to 2 hrs.)
  • Krishna Rajendra Hill Station (Raj Bhavan) (well known for sun set view point and bhadra reservoir)

Kalhatti Falls, Hebbe falls, Z-point and Krishna Rajendra Hill station are on the same way, first comes Kalhatti falls and to end with KR Hill station. It’s 10 KM to Z-Point trek and in another 2 KM KR Hill station, and the entire half day it was raining. The rain just enlightened Kemmangundi, riding in the hill on a raining day is a blessing, 5 KM of good road, 2 KM off road (in very bad condition) and 5 KM manageable road. Spared Z-point trek for day 2 as it was already 5 in the evening and almost covered with darkness.

Kalhatti Falls,

A temple surrounded with falls, better not to have this on priority, as it is crowded and not maintained at all. Cleanliness is a concern here.

Hebbe Falls,

Next to Kalhatti falls, hebbe falls needs to be visited in department jeeps and they cost 400 per person, the ride would take up to 30 to 45 mins and would drop you till the place the jeep could reach from where one needs to walk upto 2 KM to reach the falls. One can enjoy in the cold water of the falls, no restrictions.

Note: The jeep that you hire, will wait till an hour before the return journey. So make sure you’re on time else the situation gets difficult as the mobile networks go off (only BSNL available), remember you’re in a forest.

Learnt from the officer, earlier private vehicles too were allowed, but few years back people have spotted tigers wandering on the way to the falls, though none were harmed, as a precaution public and private vehicles were stopped and the ride to falls is guided by the forest department. It’s good that with minimal fee one can have a relaxing walk to Hebbe falls.

Krishna Rajendra Hill Station or Raj Bhavana and Bhadra Reservoir

Next to hebbe falls comes a check post, vehicles will be checked before moving further. In next 2 km is start point of Z-Point trek (spared for next day), and then comes KR Hill station and Bhadra Reservoir. KR hills is most renowned for sunset view point, it was fortunate that the entire scene was covered with fog that day. The rocks were slippery, drizzling, fog covering the view point and the reservoir making it difficult to view anything. Bhadra reservoir was barely visible.

Return to stay, downhill ride was a mesmerizing one. Came over few land slides too, luckily wasn’t in the scene when it happened.

Day 2: A day spent in rain

7:00 Morning peeking out of the window, it was fully covered with fog, ghost grey fog, noiseless and bloodless. Witnessing it was mirage-like as it moved.

8:30 started uphill 10KM to explore Z-Point, and the fog seemed to diminish slowly and turning into drizzles. And there was no hope for recovery in the weather, might not be the ideal season to trek but expected there was a thrilling experience ahead (including leech) 😫

Z-Point Trek
Recommended to visit after sunrise and return before dark.
No permission needed
Total trek distance  ~5 km
The trek itself keeps one interesting as it has must stop pitstop sections

  • Shanthi falls

Difficulty – Easy
Trek time – 20 to 30 mins

  • Peshi Point

Trek Difficulty – Moderate (on dry conditions), Challenging (on rainy conditions)
Trek Time – 15 mins

  • Z-Point trekking peak

Trek Difficulty – Moderate (on dry conditions), Challenging (on rainy conditions)
Trek Time – 45 mins

On a total the trek can be completed under 2 hrs one way.

The walk till Shanthi falls was a butter smooth one, it was just a 20 min walk for us. Needed to go through the hurdle where the stream of water flow was heavy due to the previous day rain. Reaching Shanti falls marks half way of the trek but, the real trek was awaiting..

One can get in the falls and spend some valuable time, be cautious the rocks are slippery on rainy conditions and one will be prone to leeches. It’s from this point the leech army are waiting for their prey.

Shanthi Falls

Note: Carry a pack of salt while trekking z-point during monsoon or post monsoon since the lighters and match box are no match for the conditions.

The rest of the trek was complete thrilling and adventurous one. Moving just 500 mts away from Shanthi falls, reached the narrow one way path and from this point till the peak the trek was surrounded by lush green exotic flora, drizzles, fog covering in front, the cold wind producing witch kind of scream, running water stream in the walkway, and emotions were combination of joy and fear, like “HedonePhobos”. And on reaching the peak, spell bound, after all the fight with leeches the view that stands in front of you is just hypnotising. Nothing more could have asked for a better start for the day.

Quality hours spent on the peak before the return trek. Apart from idle time spent at Shanthi falls, Peshi Point and Z-point peak the total trek time alone would have been around 3hrs and 15mins.

Came across a gang of trekkers with nothing in their hand, checked with them are they carrying anything to protect from leeches, NO was their instant answer, shared the experience and handed over half pack of salt to them.

Reached the stay around 13:00 hrs, lunch at red hills hotel, got the chain lubricated and at 15:00 hrs journey of 280 KM to Bangalore started, the journey which could have lasted for 6 hrs got exceeded to 8 hrs and 30 mins thanks to the bad weather, monsoon was at top. But riding in the rain is never a constraint, its then the eternal joy is felt.

In a sentence, Kemmangundi Escape into the Serene Land.

Until next time, 👋🏽👋🏽, and as you always do, keep following and supporting.

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.