Wednesday 10 December 2014

5 Night Trekking Must do if you are in Bangalore

Anthargange is a mountain located in the shasthashrunga range and is situated just 70 kilometers from Bengaluru, Antargange in Kolar is a substantial field of volcanic boulders and rocks. These boulders, all heaped one on another create a whole network of cave-like formations and tunnels that make this a great place for cave exploration, light trekking, and camping. The hill is at altitude of 1712 mts from sea level. This place is known as south kasi because of Kasi vishweshara temple.A long staircase leads to a temple.There is a stone bull here with water flowing out of its mouth. No one knows the actual source of the water, which is how Antargange got its name (Antargange literally means ‘Ganges of the Deep’). An hour of climbing uphill leads to the approach route into the caves. The entire route twists through a dark maze of rocks, boulders, between cracks, and enters holes that sometimes will allow just one person to crawl through, all of which make for an enlivening experience. It’s well connected by train and bus. Bus will go almost to the top at either side of the hill. Enoromous space of campfire. Time to trek is around 2 Hrs.

One word that wades you're your mind when you think of Skandagiri is walking on and above the clouds. Skandagiri, also known as Kalavara Durga or Kalavara Hills, is an ancient mountain fortress. The peak altitude of Skandagiri is 1400 meters. 70 Km away from bangalore.
Attractive place on the way to the peak one can see the partial remains of local fort wall build by rulers of ancient kings which used by Tippu Sultan during 3rd Anglo Mysore War.Trekking at this place is pretty strendious which escalates from moderate to difficulty path on the process of reaching the peak.Trekking to the peak in the night is pretty challenging as path ahead is totally covered by the misty fog with the clearance of 30-50 meters.Which makes this place a so special one can view the best sunrise in Bangalore from this place, ideal time to view the sunrise is during the winter/summer season as the fog will be curtailed due to the humid conditions of nature and during monsoon sunrise can’t be seen due to cloud cover.

Kuntibetta located 130 km on the Mysore road towards Mandya and then a right turn, past sugar cane plantations with the characteristic smell of jaggery plants, will take you to Pandavapura. The betta gets its name from Mahabharatha kunti. As per history kunti spent some of their exile days here, hence the name kuntibetta.
Standing at the summit, one can enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding countryside, backwaters of Tonnur Kere, lakes and vast expanse of agriculture fields.

Makalidurga is a hill fort situated at the village by the same name. It is 60km from Bangalore and 10 km after Doddaballapura The fort at the summit has an old temple of Shiva with Nandi and it is believed that Markandeya Rishi performed penance here.Makali Durga (fort) stands atop a huge granite hillock, huddled up amidst the chains of mountains, formed like a valley closer to Ghati Subramanya, a well-known pilgrimage center. It has a fort on top, at the height of 1,117mts. There is a temple of lord Shiva.

Maribetta is situated close to Kanakpura on Bangalore-Kanakpura highway. Around 60km ride from Bangalore, on a state highway. It’s locally known as Karadibetta because here one can see lots of bear’s. The peak is not that high compared to other popular trekking spots around bangalore but the way to the top is fairly thorny and confusing at places.

A wise man travels to discover himself.” James Russell Lowell

Sunday 19 October 2014

Day -2 Gods Own Country- A visit Edakkal Caves, Phantom Rocks and Soochipura Falls

Day -2 : Planned destination was Edakkal Caves, Soochipura Falls. On the way from kalpetta to edakkal we happened to visit phantom rocks which was really awesome. Its almost 2 hrs journey from kalpetta to edakkal caves,though the distance is very less, road was narrow. Dont forget have fruits,buttermilk etc on way from parking to edakkal caves entrance. Phantom rocks is on the way from kalpetta to edakkal caves. we dint had any plan for trekking to phantom rocks, we just happened to see and click from pics from very far,but looks like its very good short trek.Overall the 2 days trek and tour really awesome, 19 friends, beautiful memories. Only disappointment in the tour was soochipura falls which was not worth and forest officials did not allow to the chembra peak.

Edakkal Caves:

 The carvings inside edakkal caves is beleived that it’s of 6000B.C. One can find very rare Stone Age carvings. The carvings are of human and animal figures, tools used by humans. Caves are located at edakkal hence the name edakkal caves.Lies 25km from kalpetta, which is 1 hr journey and 1200metres above sea level on ambukutty mala.Edakkal caves were inhabited several times at different points in history.The caves contain drawings that range over periods from as early as 5000 BC to 1000 BC. The youngest group of paintings have been in the news for a possible connection to the Indus Valley Civilization.Edakkal caves is maintained very well by the government.

Phantom Rocks:

The Phantom Rock is a beautiful archeological site located in Wayanad district, Kerala.The piece of natural art which has a skull shaped rock over a small boulder is formed out of huge metamorphic rocks and is locally known as “Cheengeri Mala” or “Thalappara”.
The serene environment surrounding the Phantom Rock of Wayanad, which is situated at about 2100 metres above sea level is an amazing destination for people who are seeking peace and solitude along with a bit of adventure.This picturesque destination which is 26 kms from Kalpetta; can be reached through a single narrow lane where trekking and camping are also popular activities amongst travellers.
Phantom Rocks

Soochipura Falls:

Once people reach the parking area, they have to pass through a security check at the
Entrance where they make sure you don't carry any plastic. It takes 10-15 minutes’ walk to the water falls and water flow is less during summer, which makes it easy to reach the rocks where water falls.Nothing interesting waste of time.
Soochipara Falls also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls is a three-tiered waterfall in Vellarimala, Wayanad, surrounded by Deciduous, Evergreen and Montane forests. Locally referred to as Soochipara ("Soochi" meaning "Needle" and "Para" meaning "Rock"), the 15-20 minute drive from Meppadi to Sentinel Rock Waterfalls offers  Scenic views of some of the best tea estates in Wayanad.

a. Entrance fees: 50 per head

b. Not Recommended.

Soochipura Falls

For Chembra Peak details :

"One's destination is never a place,But new way of seeing things" - Henry Miller

Saturday 18 October 2014

Day -1 Gods Own Country - A Trek to Chembra Peak

Chembra is located near the town of Meppady and is 8 km south of Kalpetta. It is part of the Wayanad hill ranges in Western Ghats, adjoining the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu and Vellarimala in Kozhikode district in Kerala. Its accessible from Meppady.The heart shaped lake is believed to have never dried up. You can find the lake halfway to the peak, after getting to the lake need to trek through about a km or two of dense trees.
Chembra is the tallest peak in Wayanad district of Kerala at 2100m as per the records of forest department. The peak is near the Meppadi (Meppady) town and in close proximity to the Vellarimala hill ranges partially in Kozhikode district. The peak offers a good view of the entire Wayanad district as well as some of the hill ranges outside Wayanad. Some of the taller peaks in Vellarimala ranges (notably Vavul Mala and Masthakappara, both in Kozhikode district) is taller than Chembra.One of the best place I trekked this year, will be memorable for years.Heart shaped lake which was most memorable one of all. Unfortunately we were not allowed to trek to the peak may be due to security reason. One good thing about chembra is, its kept very neat and clean by tourism department. Safety of trekkers is taken care by forest depratment as we were forced to accompany a guide.
Heart Shaped Lake

To Stay : Many lodges and Dormitory available at Kalpetta.

Where we stayed :

Misty Hills, Kalpetta :

Its located between lush green surrounding. Dormitory and rooms which we were given was very neat and tidy.Food served was very good. Hospitality also was also very good.Its one of the best place to stay in group and families.

Misty Hills

Camping : Not Allowed

Permission : Need to take from Forest office paying

Guide : Will be provided by Forest office itself.

Best Time to Trek : October to February

Trek Distance : 4.5 Kms One Way, But when we went we were allowed till the Heart Shaped Lake.

Time to Trek : 3-4Hrs

Difficulty Level : Moderate to Difficult

Leeches : Yes

Carry : Water Bottles, Energetic food

Not Allowed: Plastic Covers, Heavy food.

Start Point

On the Way
Somewhere in middle of trek

Yes we came by this route

Cloudy Afternoon
End of trek
Yes we also ...
Is it
For Details of Edakkal Caves,Phantom Rocks, Soochipura Falls :

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”. ― Michael Palin

Sunday 21 September 2014

Belum Caves

Belum Caves has a length of 3229 metres, making it the second largest natural caves in Indian Subcontinent. Belum caves was formed by the perpetual underground flow of chitravathi river. It’s located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. I had visited few caves in around but belum caves is amusing experience, which was explored by Robert bruce foote in 1884 and Thanks to AP tourism for maintaining very attractively. After which it was unnoticed till 1982 until german team headed by Herbert Daniel Gabauer conducted detail exploration of the caves in 1980’s.

Whats inside caves?

3.Saptasvarala Guha or Musical Chamber
4.Dhyan Mandir or Meditation Hall
5.Thousand Hoods
6.Banyan Tree Hall

Buddha Near Entarnce

Belum Caves gets its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Bilum’ which means ‘cave’. There are three big sinkholes in the cave complex, one of which has been converted into the main entrance. These natural caves are located in the midst of flat agricultural land in the limestone area close to ‘Kolimigundla’ village, in Kurnool district. Though the total explored length of the cave complex is around 3.5km, around 1.5 kms is open to the public. There are still several passages that are yet to be explored and cleared of remains, though the guides will carry torches and most of the main passages are well-lit. There is also an underground stream and a mini waterfall deep inside the caves, called ‘Patala Ganga’. Not sure if siva linga is carved or formed. To reach Patala Ganga There are several pillar formation, several passages that are too narrow to be opened to the public and you can only look into them and wonder what lies around and ahead. Lots of interpretations ‘Koti lingalu’, ’1000 hoods’, ‘Simha-dwaram’ etc. There are still quite a few passages yet to be explored and they have been barred for the public.Existence of Buddhists also found here.

What to carry inside caves: Water only, torch not required.

Guide: Will be available with free of cost. If possible please pay some random amount.

Entry Fee: Rs.50.

Where to stay: APTDC Haritha Hotel (Dormitory per person Rs.60, 21 bed capacity) or tadipathri.

To Eat: APTDC Haritha Hotel limited menu, a shop near ticket counter.

Nearest Places: Tadipathri, Gooty,Jammalamadugu,Gandikota.

How we reached: Bangalore –Gandikota—Belum Caves.

Must Go :

Entrance of Belum Caves

"Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling"- Margaret Lee Runbeck

Saturday 20 September 2014

Gandikota - "Grand Canyon of India"

Gandikota fort was built in 13th century AD. It was founded in 1123 by Kapa Raja of nearby Bommanapalle village and a subordinate of Ahavamalla Someswara I, the Western Chalukyan king of Kalyana. The fort was made more impregnable by Pemmasani Thimma Nayudu.The fort was under the control of Pemmasani Nayaks for over 300 years. The fort of Gandikota acquired its name due to the 'gorge' (in Telugu it is called 'gandi'), formed between the Erramala range of hills, also known as Gandikota hills reducing its width to a mere 300 ft. It’s called “Grand Canyon of India”.

My Insight:

Fort is surrounded by treacherous hills, deep valley and massive boulders of red stones. It’s natural defense for the fort. It has its own history during Kakatiya, Vijayanagara and Qutub Shahi periods. Its implausible architecture of temples, masjid waves many travelers every year. An eye catching beauty of canyon with pennar river flowing. Now the fort is under archeological department but maintenance of the splendid architecture is thumps down.

Places to Visit:

1. Fort Entrance
2. Charminar
3. Jail
4. Madhavaraya Temple
5. Royal Tank
6. Jama Masjid
7. Ranganatha Swamy Temple
8. Granary
9. Gandikota Gorge View Point
10. Rayala Cheruvu
11. Gandikota Village
12. Anjaneya temple near entrance

Stay Options:

1. Can stay inside jama masjid or outside granary with tents, But since it is under archeological department it may be offense, but still people stay.

2. APTDC Haritha resort is good place to stay.10 double rooms and 3 dormitories of 8 each capacity.Rooms are clean with attached bathroom facility.
Tariff : Double rooms: Rs 735
           Dormitories : Rs 1500
3. Can get good hotels in tadpatri which is 50Km away from Gandikota

Food Options:

1. APTDC Haritha resort is not expensive. Its veg & Egg restaurant,No drinks served.
2. A small shop near fort entrance where we can find eatables and soft drinks.
Route Options:

By Own Vehicle : Bangalore --> Kadiri -->Pulivendula --> Muddanur --> Jammalamadugu --> Gandikota
By Bus : Bangalore --->Kadapa -->  Jammalamadugu --> Gandikota

Gandikota History
Gandikota Charminar
Jumma Masjid


Madhavaraya Temple

Madhavaraya Temple Entrance

Checkout what it is !!

Panaromic View of Madhavaraya Temple

View of Masjid & Madhavaraya Temple from Ranganatha Swamy Temple

Travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer.

Saturday 13 September 2014

Muneshwaraswami Betta Trekking

Truly unexplored place, away from hustle bustle city life .Fully covered with greenery all around good & hills, a good half day out with buddies.Villagers say that during shivarathri festival the hill will be with full of devotees,Rest of the time there will not be none. There are few rooms at the top but nobody was there.No idea why the rooms are there. There is no temple at the top,only nandi at the top.

How to Reach : Bangalore --> Kanakapura--> Achhalu village--> Muneshwara Betta Temple Base.      
Best time to Trek : Early morning September - December

Difficulty Level : Easy

Time to Reach peak from Base : 1-2 Hrs.

Carry : Water and if required food.

Co-ordinates : latitude 12.47135,longitude 77.36522

Route: After kanakapura keep going about 10km, ask anyone there for achhalu village.Mark a hill with Nandi statue at the top.

Note : Follow the light poles

Land Mark : AchhaluVillage

Parking : Near the temple


"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware- Martin Buber"