August 27th, 2010 by admin

Location: Chamarajanagar district

District Headquarter: Chamarajanagar

Distance: 210 km from Bangalore, 90 km from Mysore

Journey time: Around 4 hrs from Bangalore

How to reach there: By KSRTC bus via Mysore or Kollegal to BR Hills, private vehicle or bikes. Please note no bus is available from BR hills to K.Gudi. So private vehicle is preferable.

Route: Bangalore – Mysore road – Maddur – Take left turn after Maddur – Malavalli – Kollegal – yellandur – BR Hills

Where to stay: Government Lodges or private facilities

Where to eat: Sai Darshini

Language spoken: Kannada, Hindi and English understood to an extent

What to See: Hills, lush green forest and wildlife

Biligiriranga Hills or BR Hills is a unique range of hills connecting the Eastern and Western ghat ranges. Thus it allows free movement of animals from Eastern and Western ghat ranges and it features flora and fauna found in both the ranges. The forest there is called Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary or simply BRT Wildlife Sanctuary which protected under the the Wildlife Protection Act, 1973. The sanctuary covers around 539.52 square km and was created on 27/06/1974. The minimum temperature is around 10 – 15 degree and maximum temperature is around 20 – 32 degree. Among wildlife one can see Gaur, Sambar, Chital, spotted Dear, Leopard, Bison, Elephant, sloth bear etc

This area is inhabited by Soliga tribes which were nomadic earlier and supposed to be the original residents.

Out Story:

We rode past Mysore road around 9 pm. But we rode quite fast and reached BR Hills by 1.30 pm. On the way as usual indulged in lots of photography. On the ghat section there is an intersection, if you go straight you will reach K.Gudi and if you take right you will reach BR Hills. We decided to go to K.Gudi which is 20 km from BR Hills. This 20 km stretch within of heavily forested area is wonderful for ride. Roads are narrow but in good shape. However, be careful of the treacherous terrain and curve. On this way if you are lucky you will be able to spot Dears. At K. Gudi you will be greeted by the Jungle Lodge Resort maintained by the government of Karnataka. The cost per person/day at this lodge is Rs 2750 which includes stay, food and jungle safari. The cost was steep and no room available. The bookings has to be done at JLR office at MG road, Bangalore.

That afternoon we could avail the safari so we decided to go back to BR Hills after we found that private lodging facilities are available. At BR Hills we booked a 3 beded room for Rs 900 opposite a government guest house around 6 pm. We did not had lunch till then, so after the booking formalities done we went to have food at Sai Darshini little away from there. This is the only hotel in this area and offers only vegetarian food. Back in the room every body was quite tired so after getting little fresh, everyone went to sleep. Frank was the first to wake up in the middle of the night (around 2 AM) followed by Arvind and me. Then I woke up Deepak saying “shuva ho gayi mamu”. Time went awesome in the dark and tranquility of the hills and we enjoying lighter moments. Meanwhile Hemanth spotted a small scorpion in the room. It was brown in color. We did video of the scorpion until it went inside its burrough.

By morning 6 am we went to Sai Darshini to have coffee and then went to Biligiri Ranganaswamy temple at BR hills. During day time one has to pay a toll pass of Rs 10 to reach there. However, since we went early morning there was no one to collect toll. The temple is top of a hill, probably the highest point in the area. It was a awesome ride through the curvaceous road in the mist. Lord Vishnu is prayed here as Ranganaswamy. From the temple periphery one can get a awesome view of the surrounding forest. During our visit it was covered with cloud most of the time. At the stairs of the temple, we saw a big black Beetle. Frank was the first one to get cosy with it. Then we did a bit of photography with it. Back from the temple we had breakfast (set dosha and Idli) at Sai Darshini. Following this we packed our bags, vacated the room and left for K.Gudi.

I again stress that the 20 km stretch from BR Hills to K.Gudi is awesome for riding but take precaution while riding. Do not give inexperience people to ride here. We reached K.Gudi around 11.30 pm. We were told there by guards that the safari is scheduled at 3 pm. So we went to see the local Soliga tribe settlements. We saw two settlements nestled among the hills and nature. We had the previlage to talk to one elder Soliga man who told now a days they speak just kannada. They just receive government given pension or go to far away lands like Coorg or kerela to labor to earn money. We took pictures of the people in their native custom. But be careful they demand money if you ask them to be photographed. The settlements are located 4 km from K.Gudi on the way to BR Hills. You will have to take a right turn after the safari road.

Back at K.Gudi we waited for the safari. The 1 hour jungle safari cost Rs 130 per person. Meanwhile we sighted big elephants, wild boar and a friendly dear. The spotted dear was just too comfortable around. She played with us, let us touch her and had biscuits from us jumping like a dog. The safari jeep, a Mahindra 4 by 4 was ready by 3.30 pm. In the safari we saw a Leopard on the tree eating a dear, many spotted deers, stags, Gaur, jungle Owl etc. During the second part of the safari it was raining like cats and dogs. We were back at K.Gudi by 5 pm. It was still drizzling but we had no option but to leave for Bangalore. We had to hurry as the forest gate at the Chamarajnagar side would be closed after 6 pm. This stretch of 11 km from K.Gudi to the next forest gate is very scenic as you can see the plains from hills. We also spotted parrot, wild hen and mongoose.

After driving for sometime we took a turn for Yelandur. As Chamrajnagar would be longer as we will have to ride via Nanjangud, Mysore to Bangalore. So via Yelandur we reached Kollegal – Malavalli and given a brief stoppage at Maddur Cafe Coffee day. Reached Bangalore around 12 o’clock. Lastly went to have food at Empire, Shivajinagar. Reached home at around 1.30 am.

August 9th, 2010 by admin

Location: Chamrajanagar district

District Headquarter: Chamrajanagar

Distance: 135 km from Bangalore

Journey time: Around 2.5 hrs

How to reach there: KSTDC tour package, break journey on KSRTC buses and Private vehicle. However, if you want to take bath in the falls and spend more time then you should hire a private vehicle.

Route: 1. Bangalore – Mysore road – Muddur – Malavalli – Shivanasamudra

2. Bangalore – kanakpura road – kanakpura – Malavalli – Shivanasamudra

Where to stay: No place to stay

Where to eat: Restaurant at Gaganachukki (food is decent)

Language spoken: Kannada, Hindi

Best time to visit: July to October

What to See:

Shivanasamudra falls is also known as bluff. Here, the first hydro electric power station of Asia was commissioned in 1902. Electricity from here was first supplied to Kolar Gold Field (KGF) making it the first town in Asia to use electricity. Shivanasamudra falls is formed by two branches of river cauvery. The eastern branch forms the Barachukki falls and the western ranch forms the Gaganachukki falls.

Team members: Deepak, Arvind, Avnesh, Srinivas, Dilip, Hemanth, Rajesh, Jeet

I always emphasis that for any trip, one should leave early. However, on many occasions we miss on that. This time we agreed to leave 6 am but by the time we left Bangalore it was almost 9 am. We lost precious 3 hours for which we could not explore anything apart from the falls. But no disappointemnt though as bath at Barachukki falls was an amazing experience.

We all met at Domlur layout and then went on to have break fast at Shanti Sagar there. As we passed Bidadi, it was time to zip. At Muddur took left for malavalli. I suggest you look for yellow boards which displays the distance of tourist destinations for direction. After riding through winding roads and photo shoots in between, we reached the front gate of Gaganachukki water falls where a hydro electric project is in place. I visited the hydro electric project in 2004 but these days people are not allowed inside. Once you pass the gate, you will have to ride for another 3 km to reach Gaganachukki water falls.

Gaganachukki has ample parking space for both two wheelers and 4 wheelers. Here you can see river Cauvery split into two streams and cascading over the rocks from a height of around 98 meters. As walk near to the falls, your ears will be buzzing with roaring sound of the gushing water and wind. For best view, decent through the steps to the watch tower. On the other side of the falls you can see the powerhouse in the gorge. There is a dargah called Darga Hazrath Mardane Gaib behind the Gaganachukki falls. This dargah can visited while visiting Barachukki falls which located around 10 km from Gaganachukki falls. One word of caution, do not try to climb down from this side towards the falls, it can be fatal. On the way one can see catchment areas of river cauvery.

At Barachukki one has to descend around 150 – 200 steps to reach the falls in the midst of woods. After reaching the base area, one has to be careful as our pre – historic friends will be waiting to pounce on your bag. I suggest you keep your bag on the stones near the falls shore and go for bath. However, be careful as the water bed is full of rocks, so do not try diving and swimming. This falls is more happening than Gaganachukki falls. After playing in the water for sometime, I told Deepak, may be we can explore the falls on the right side. Soon we went little upstream and crossed the stream to the reach the base of the amazing falls. Be careful while crossing stream as stones at places may be slippery. This place is just wonderful with the gushing water, rocks and woods. The water bed here too is rocky, but as you go towards the plunging water you can find some sandy area beneath your feet. Deepak took the lead in climbing the rock to taste the fast moving water. Soon I followed as it was too good to miss. On the cliff, as I sat the high speed gushing water bombarded my back. What a massage it was! Such a nice place, nobody was in a mood to leave. However, we decided to leave so that Hemanth and Dilip can come here and have sometime.

At the base camp, we decided to go for coracle ride. This guy charges Rs 100 for upto 4 people. He took us just besides the falls where we could literally feel the water of the falls. Amazing feelings and view when you could see the falls from right below.

We left Barachukki falls around 5 pm. The ride was little synchronized as night descended and further more my cell phone was out of charge. Riding through dark night and woods was a feeling in itself. Hemanth was switching off head light of the bike to check how dark it was – it was complete dark. At Muddur we took a break at Cafe Coffee Day. After a cup of Cuppachino, we were back on the roads. On the way we again met all the other partners. Reached bangalore by 10.30 pm and went straight to Green Onion at Residency Cross road to have food. Reached home by around midnight.

August 1st, 2010 by admin

Pearl valley is the anglicized form of Kannada term Muthyala Maduvu. In Kannada muthu means pearl and maduvu means valley. It is so called as the water falls creates drops water resembling pearl. It is a popular picnic spot with lots of greenery around. The star attraction here is a small water falls. It is located at the periphery of Bannerghatta National park and one see the boundary of the Bannerghatta National park here.

Location: Anekal taluk

Distance: 40 km from Bangalore

Route:  1. Bangalore – Bannerghatta road – take right from Anekal circle – on the way to chandapur take right at the sighnboard “nature valley” or Muthyala Maduvu written in kannada.

2. Bangalore—>Hosur Road—>Chandapura—>Anekal—>Muthyala Maduvu

How to reach there: Private vehicles

Where to have food: KSTDC Mayura hotel

Where to stay: Not available

Best Time to visit: August to November

Team members: Jeet, Bhushan, Santosh and Hemanth

carrier: Yamaha FZ, Hero Honda Splendor and Honda Aviator

Our story:

For quite sometime I was contemplating a trip with office buddies and finally we took off on Thursday morning around 6.30 am. Met the other 3 people on the trip at IIM and we moved on. On the way we halted at a small time road side hotel and were treated with tasteless food. However, that did not lessen our enthusiasm for the journey ahead. Here starts the zip zapping with 3 bikes on the roll. Soon we past Bannerghatta national park. After little over an hours drive we reach Muthyala Maduvu or Pearl valley.

There is parking lot available just in front of the KSTDC hotel. You will have to shell out Rs 10 for entry fees. After parking our vehicles, we started descending into the gorge. As we reached near the water falls, I thought I was viewing the tiniest water falls in the world. The last time we visited in 2004 and 2005, the falls had more water then what we saw now. I assumption was that it was raining these days, so there should be more water. If you want to see the water falls basically then suggest you go there at the end of rainy season and particularly after it rains for few days.

However, the deficit of water in the water falls was made up by the adventurous trek we did in the wild there. In 2004 I remember with couple of friends climbed up the hill and had food and stuffs there. But this time we were little more adventurous and decided to explore uncharted territories. Bhushan used to tell me about his adventures in and around Belgaum. His manoeuvrings to find ways in the wild showed ample experience. We made our way through thorny bushes, sometimes loose and steep hill side to some beautiful places on the hill top. We descended back with Hemanth’s torn shirt.

Following this we went back to water falls area where a shooting was going on. A man was acting meditation. After they went, we went there and took pictures.
Sometime later, we went to the KSTDC hotel. Ordered for cold drinks and settled on the balcony overseeing hills and the gorge. After chilling out there for sometime, we left back for Bangalore. As we reached Bannerghatta, it started and it kept chasing us till I reached home.

May 23rd, 2010 by admin

pyramid valley

Location: 1.5 km off Kanakpura road in Kebbedoddi Village, Harohalli Hobli

Distance: Around 35 km from Bangalore city center, 26 km from Banashankari bus stand

How to reach there
: I suggest you better go there by private vehicle. However, you can go by bus. Catch any bus going to Kanakpura and get down at Kebbedoddi Village and catch a auto or walk to pyramid valley.

Route: Bangalore – Kanakpura road – Nice road junction – after 17 km look for Pyramid valley sign on the left hand side – take left here and ride another 1.5 km to reach Pyramid valley

Where to have food: Pyramid campus has a dinning area where free food is provided during lunch and dinner hours

Where to stay: Accommodation is available

Languages spoken: Mainly they were speaking in Telugu but Kannada, Hindi and English also spoken and understood

pyramid valley

Pyramid valley is basically a international mediation center. A giant pyramid has been constructed in a valley amidst greenery. It is believed that pyramids can attract huge energy, so meditating here can shower one with positive energy. Pyramid valley was founded by Brahmarshi Patriji who also formed the pyramid Spiritual Societies Movement.

At the entrance you will be asked by the security to enter you details like name, address, phone #. As you proceed, you will be greeted by a Buddha statue and in the background the hidden tip of the pyramid. The pyramid can accommodate over 5000 people at a time and they claim it to be the largest meditational pyramid in the world.

At the entrance to the pyramid you can see various contemporary art of India and various meditation teachings by the founder. Inside the pyramid one is supposed to maintain complete silence. At the middle of the pyramid base, they have created a higher dais which can be climbed using a staircase. This place specifically earmarked for people weo can meditate for at-least 1/2 an hour.

pyramid valley

It conducts classes, workshops and seminars on meditation at the campus. The campus is 40 acres in area and the pyramid stands 104 ft tall.

Contact Info:

Head Office:

Pyramid Valley Campus
The Pyramid Spiritual Trust (India)
#609/5, 15th Cross, J. P. Nagar 6th Phase
Bangalore 560078, India
phone: +91 80 4343 2525
email: info@pyramidvalley.org

Campus address:

Maitreya-Buddha Vishwalayam, Pyramid Valley
Kebbedoddi Village, Harohalli Hobli
Kanakapura Taluk, Ramanagar Dist.
Karnataka, India

Website: http://www.pyramidvalley.org/

May 3rd, 2010 by admin

Location: Koratagere taluk of Tumkur district

Distance: 80 km from Bangalore and 30 km from Tumkur

Journey Time: Around 2 hrs from Bangalore depending on traffic

How to reach there: KSRTC and private buses ply from Kalishipalyam. As buses are few, it may be wise to travel in private vehicle.

Route: Bangalore – Yeshwantpur – Jalahalli – Nelamangala – Dobaspet – take right turn under flyover for Goravanahalli, Devarayanadurga etc

Goravanhalli Mahalakshmi Temple

The Maha Lakshmi temple located in Goravanahalli is very sacred. It is said that any wish made here comes true. Also, the idol of Sri Lakshmi is said to be self originated. Apart from Mahalakshmi, it also features other deities like Marikamba and Nag dev (snake god). One can opt of special darshan which cost Re 1 per person. There is nothing much difference between special and normal darshan.

Goravanhalli Mahalakshmi Temple

Goravanhalli Mahalakshmi Temple

Nearby is a reservoir on river Suvarnamukhi known as Teetha reservoir. The drive to Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi temple is a very pleasant one through the country side with hills and greenery. The road is little narrow but in pretty good shape. One you take the road for Goravanahalli at Dobaspet, do not expect any petrol bunk. But don’t despair, shops at small market places stock petrol. They typically charge little more than the market price. I was charged Rs 60 for 1 litre that is around Rs 8 extra.

Theetha Reservoir

If you leave early in the day, you can see many places around Goravanahalli. Devarayanadurga comes on the way, Madhugiri fort, Siddara Betta and Siddaganga temple comes little further. We went to Devarayanadurga on the way back. As you travel you will see a big gate under construction, take right here for Devarayanadurga. It is 5 km from here. If you are coming towards Goravanahalli, the gate will come on the left hand side.

Goravanhalli Mahalakshmi Temple

We reached Devarayanadurga around evening and it was awesome to watch the surrounding in the twilight zone.

April 26th, 2010 by admin

Yesterday the plan was to do a wide ranging recce of Chikballapur viewing many places. But by the time I left house it was almost 10 am. We were on Sankey road when I remembered that I didnt bring the camera. So again went home to get the camera. So you can say, we actually started from Bangalore around 1 pm.

Destination: Chikballapur and Muddenahalli

Route: Bangalore – Hebbal – Yehlankha – Devanahalli – Chikaballapur

Distance: Chikballapur is around 55 km from Bangalore. While Muddenahalli is located around 7 km from Chikballapur.

Journey time: 2 Hours by bus, 1 – 1.5 hrs by private vehicle and 2 wheeler

Where to eat: There are many dhabas besides the road. Many of them serve liquor as well. So if you are with family or female friends do recce before you check in. We had food in Alankar restaurant located just before Chikballapur town. Looks decent and have separate area for family. A plate of chicken biriyani cost Rs 52 ( looked more like a fried rice with fried chicken, though chicken quantity was more).

What to see:

1. Sir.M.Visveswaraiah Memorial Museum and Birth Place: There are 2 -3 ways to reach here. One from inside Chikballapur town and two just before entering Chikballapur town. As you approach Muddenahalli, you can Nandi hills standing apart among other smaller hills. As you approach further you should be able to see the structures and the clock tower of Sathya Sai Grama. Go further and on the way you will see sign on the right hand side for Sir.M.Visweswaraih Memorial Museum and Birth Place. Take right turn here. After a while you will find Sir.M.Visveswaraiah Memorial Museum and the house where he born. A little further is his samadhi (grave). It is very neatly maintained.

Sir.M.Visveswaraiah (1860 – 1962) was born in Muddenahalli, studied in Central college, Bangalore and went on to become the dewan of Mysore. He is also a recipient of Bharat ratna. Read more ……

Entry to Sir.M.Visveswaraiah museum is free but photography is prohibited inside. It has various collection from his lifetime. The house where he once stayed is being renovated now.

2. Saythya Sai Grama: As we were already there, so we thought of seeing it. To enter inside, one need make an entry at the entrance. A beautiful blue gate leads to a altogether world from the surrounding. This is a campus built by Sathya Sai Baba, who also has a campus at Whitefield, Bangalore. It has school, college, hostel, guest house, dairy, apartments, temple among others. But the best part is still under construction. It is a structure on a hill with one room and a clock tower. One can drive right upto the platform. From there can get a magnificent view of the country side.

For more info, visit here.

Read more at Sathya Sai website

While we were still there, it started to rain. It was almost 6 pm then and we could not afford to wait anymore. Filed up petrol at Chikballapur and started for Bangalore again. We were completely drenched – this season’s first rain bath! Reached Bangalore by 8 pm.

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