Saturday, July 20, 2019

Bicycle Tour: Mudigere to Manipal [Through Charmadi Ghat]

There are many ways to reach home Muniyalu from Bengaluru. However, we have to cross any one of the Ghat. I have already finished bicycle trip of Hulikal, Agumbe, Kuduremukha and Mookambike Ghats. This time decided to go through Charmadi Ghat.

Quite long time, I did not go for any bicycle tour. Monsoon is on peak, weather is tempting to take a challenge for a long ride. Initially, planned to go solo, at the last moment joined my close friend Sudhakar. We finalized the 20 – 21st July 2019, accordingly booked the tickets.

Route chosen:

Bengaluru – Mudigere by Volvo

Mudigere – Kottigehara – Charmadi – Ujire – Guruvayanakere – Bajagoli – Sharlalu – Muniyalu

Muniyalu – Shiroor – Hiriyadka -Manipal


Bus is scheduled at 10.45 pm; we had enough time to reach Majestic bus stand. Sudhakar and I reached ahead of schedule. After waiting half an hour, bus arrived at platform. We convinced the conductor, loaded the bikes in the luggage compartment, journey went well.

Day – 1: 20.07.2019

Sky was dark, weather was chill and its drizzling, the time is 5 am, when we reached Mudigere bus stand circle. Need to kill the time another one hour to start our journey. Assembled the wheels of bike and taken into bus stand. Decided to get refreshed and wait for sun-rays to start the journey.

Its now time to start peddling, after hot coffee and light snacks of bread. We expected, the journey is going to be happen awesome in the monsoon rain. After smart selfie, begin our journey towards Kottigehara.

Sudhakar brought homemade chapati and my-self curry. We decided to keep yummy food for lunch time and take the breakfast at Kottigehara.

Mudigere to Kottigehara is almost down trail. Drizzling giving an extra joy to our ride. There was no count for our photography. Taking many more breaks reached Kottigehara.

The breakfast totally disappointed us. We are unable to find any good yummy hotel. Ordered the Neerdose where the sambar was yesterday's. Compromised the situation and filled the empty stomach.

After a long break at Kottigehara, continued our journey towards Charmadi. Now the entire atmosphere become dark; rain drop increased; fog and mist captured the valley. 

I never seen such a wonderful monsoon magic in Ghat. We have stopped in may places to take the photographs.

Traffic was very less; taking multiple breaks reached Sri Annappa Swamy temple. It is in mid of Ghat; spent some time and continued our journey. After this point, the Ghat path get little wider; you won’t able to see the valley since it is covered hill both sides.

We had recalled our Charmadi Ghattrek memories which we ventured four years back. Indeed, every place looks different in the different seasons. Taking many more photographs, reached Charmadi village.

Decided to take a small tea break nearby hotel. From this onward, the trail is rolling; put target 5 pm to reach home; we are on-time.

After a small break, rain took a charge again. There is no point to wear the rain cheater since the heavy rain. We understood from the locals, school and colleges declared two days holiday due to heavy rain in the Dakshina Kannada district.

Very soon reached the Ujire; rain is pouring non-stop. From Ujire to Guruvayanakere road is very dangerous. The traffic is always more with heavy vehicles. Taking an extra precaution continued our journey in the heavy rain.

We have taken the deviation towards Karkala at Guruvayanakere. The traffic is manageable from this on-wards. We were feeling very hungry; however, the rain pouring non-stop. Decided to find the bus stop shelter to fill our empty stomach.

Found a descent bus stop at roadside. Homemade yummy food is always favorite. Chapati's and curry was not enough to our hungered stomach, again top-up with Bun + Bread.

We have come across high-tech Bus stop at Naravi, a small village. It has all modern facility viz., Wi-Fi, CC Camera, Water Filter, Digital Clock, Bus Timings etc.

After a long break, continued our journey towards Bajagoli. This is the place where the deviation takes us to Kuduremukha/Sringeri. I have chalked out the inner village route to reach Muniyalu through Shirlalu, Andaru. Traveled many times on this route.

In non-stop rain peddling, reached Bajagoli. Home, Muniyalu is around 30 KMs distance. Took a tea break and continued our journey.

Bajagoli to Muniyalu trail is so beautiful. It passes through interior village road. We could not able to capture more picture due to heavy rain.

I had been getting an journey update call from home, children were waiting my arrival. Nothing much taking break reached the home at 4.15 pm.

Day – 1 journey come to an end which will be in memory for peddling non-stop rain.

Day – 2 : 22.07.2019

Second is always relax one when the day-1 camping is at my home. This time also not much different; decided to visit the favorite place Multlapadi. Daughter and Son also demanded to join with us.

After yummy breakfast, we went to Multapadi in car. This place is always one of my most favorite in this region. The stream is flowing very forcibly; mist is covered the Valikunja.

We had spent good time in photography; tried different poses. Now the time to visit Kabbinale Falls.

This is my first visit to this beautiful fall. It was on glory of this peak monsoon. However, forest department restricted public to venture this falls for many reasons. We have obtained the permission from guard and get in to the forest.

Gorgeous Kabbinale falls will attract more tourists, definitely. It is very easy to access from road. After spending some good time, returned back to home.

We have been getting a call from home for lunch. After yummy lunch, adieu to children and continued our journey towards Manipal.

As per initial plan wanted to visit the Malpe and Udupi. But considering the weather condition and heavy rain, decided to peddle till Manipal. Our return journey is booked from this place.

Today also rain did not give relax; enjoying the rain and local village route reached the Shiroor Math. This is one “moola math” of Udupi. 

I had been this place multiple time and also visited during Bicycle tour from Shivamogga – Udupi with friend Chandru.

We explored the surrounding area, spent some good time and continued our journey. We were not in mood to explore anymore place. Heavy rain completely exhausted our energy.

Passing through Hiriyadka reached the Manipal at 7 pm. Of course, it is a big challenge to ride bicycle from Hiriyadka to Manipal due to heavy traffic. We had enough time to catch 9.45 pm bus. Filled our tummy with yummy dinner and boarded the bus back to Bengaluru.

This will be remembered for long for couple of reason:
1. Non-stop two days rain            
2. Monsoon Charmadi Ghat        
3. Many waterfalls throughout the trail
4. Yummy homemade food

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Monsoon Trek (One Day Mission) – Kumara Parvatha [KP]

Kumara Parvatha [KP] trek will always allow our-self to test physical fitness. It will be more challenging to complete in ONE day. I had been to KP thrice, every time it gives a different experience all together. My previous all treks were TWO days.

This time we decided to complete the entire stretch from Kukke - Kukke Subramanya in one day. We knew it is not so easy, however taken a challenge ourselves to test our stamina.

We have chosen the 5th June 2019, World Environment Day and a Public holiday on eve of Ramzaan. Decided to keep the team size very small and travel by public transport to make it very economy trek. Final count is become three, me, Sudhakar & Balaraj.

Decision is taken on 4th June around 11 am. Planned to avoid outside food and carry the homemade food. We were very sure, crowd will be very less. Thank you so much to Balaraj & Sudhakar for serving homemade yummy food.

We met at Majestic bus stand around 10 pm. There was no planned reserve journey, get into the normal ordinary bus and begin our journey to Kukke Subramanya.

Journey was very horrible, we could not have proper sleep. Reached the Kukke around 5.30 am, bus was delayed by more than an hour. Quickly got refreshed in public toilet, finished tea and headed towards the starting point.

Our initial plan was to start the hike at least by 5 am to avoid the sun stroke, but we had no option. Guys are charged and ready to complete the expedition of KP in one day. Pace was good, humidity was more, cloths were wet by sweat. Initial trail pass through dense forest around 4 KMs. Taking multiple small breaks, reached the grassland.

Now the cool breeze gave little relax to the wet body. Continued our journey towards APC. On the way, we met two more person, who were on the march towards KP. But we were sure, they will not make it, since they got tiered in the initial trail.

Smiling face, Sajjan, APC In-charge welcomed us and briefed about the weather condition and other formalities. We paid Rs.350/- each forest entry fees and obtained the receipt. Now the time is to fill our empty stomach.

I am very thankful to Balaraj & Sudhakar who brought homemade variety food. The quantity is also more, offered the forest personnel too. Decided, not to carry any food since it was late breakfast.

The real trek challenge starts from this point, unloaded our extra luggage, carried the extra water and snacks. Weather was very cool, ahead KP is inviting us to test ourselves. Without making further delay, headed towards the peak.

KP was calm, cool and very silent. What a moment, only we three in entire valley. Pre-monsoon rain made green carpet entire range, its looking so beautiful. One greater thing is, it is very neat and clean now. We should appreciate and thankful to who recently cleaned the entire KP.

Very soon reached the Kallu Mantapa. I would like to mention a sad part here, last year this range was flooded by heavy rain. But, presently there is no water source available in this season. Kallu Mantapa had always water source, unfortunately, this time it completely dried.

Relaxed for sometimes and continued our journey. From, Kallu Mantapa to Shesha Parvatha is really challenging. Steep ascend will kill your energy and make thirstier. Taking multiple small breaks reached the Shesha Parvatha.

The weather was turned completely cool, clouds are passing through us. Valley was hide and seek with mist, spent sometimes and continued the hike towards peak.

Leeches were more active in the range of Shesha Parvatha – KP peak. The size and volume also more, they not allowed us to passthrough without sweet bite. Very soon reached on the peak.

When reached the Kumara Parvatha peak, time was around 12.45 Noon, we were the king on the top. Wanted to spend some good time near temple, but the mosquitoes destroyed our plan. They are totally different types, looking like honey bee, they started attacking on us.

Quickly taken couple of photographs and headed back to Shesha Parvatha. Filled our stomach with yummy snacks and return journey started towards APC.

The sky turned into dark, started thunderstorm and lightening, without making delay, increased our pace. Not taking break anywhere reached APC around 3.45 pm and felt happy to reach the safe zone.

Plan went well as per schedule. Lunch was waiting for us, again filled with tasty food. Relaxed quite long time chitchatting with forest official.

Now the time to pack-up, adieu to the personnel, continued our journey to Kukke. This time the pace is fast, target is to reach latest by 7 pm. Sky is turned into cloudy and slowly started getting rain drop. We predicted, heavy rain will give farewell. Even we too wanted to shower by natural water. Rain force is increased, very soon the entire region is flooded. Enjoyed the heavy rain which fulfilled our bath.

Finally, we came out from forest and headed towards temple. The journey comes to an end. Indeed, this trek will be remembered for many unique reasons.

1. We have completed this trek in one day i.e., 12 hours. [Including 3 hours breaktime]
2. Only three during entire trek
3. First time in our trek, peak is occupied by us
4. Weather was awesome
5. KP is very clean, calm, neat & tidy

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Bicycle Tour: Horanadu to Malpe [ Through Agumbe]

Rain is pouring non-stop since morning; the atmosphere is completely dark; there is no hope of stopping rain; with the distance around 30+ Kms yet to cover to reach our camping site having the great Agumbe Ghat to cross; standing at the first curve of Ghat; there is no bright torch; time is already 8 pm; this is the scary situation during Bicycle ride from Horanadu to Malpe on 4th & 5th August 2018.

Monsoon was on peak; bicycle was calling for one more ride; this time decided to explore from Horanadu to Malpe, day one camping at my home. 

Finalized Trail:

Bengaluru – Horanadu : Travel By Volvo

Horanadu – Kyatanamakki – Sirimane Falls – Agumbe – Hebri - Muniyalu : Day - 1 Night Halt

Muniyalu – Perdur – Kodi Bengre – Malpe – Udupi – Manipal

Manipal – Bengaluru: Travel by Volvo

I had decided to keep the team small size. Santosh happily accepted my invitation, Ashok also showed interest to join us. We three planned to hit the trail.

Booked the KSRTC bus to Horanadu and return journey from Manipal. We met at Majestic bus stand ahead of bus schedule on 3rd August 2019. Not struggled much to deal with conductor to settle down our bicycles. Journey went well.

Bus reached Horanadu on time; weather was very cool with a light drizzling. We got refreshed in the temple premises of Dharmashala. 

Annaporneshwari Temple provide morning breakfast, however considering the time constrain, filled our stomach in outside descent hotel.

 After a small relaxation, got ready to begin our expedition.

The atmosphere was pleasant for ride, started our long journey. Oh my God, initial trail was very steep, it killed our energy.

 Taking many breaks visited a Jain basadi.

Shri 1008 Bhagwan Parshwanath Digamber Basadi is a beautiful location. Spent sometime taking pictures.

Almost 10 KMs initial trail was completely steep, you won’t get flat road. Our body got good relaxation after tough ride. It is very beautiful valley surrounded by many hills. Everywhere  green and only green.

Rain was pouring non-stop. This trail is very scenic which connect to Sringeri, however the road condition is not so great. It is ideal trail for mountain bikes. Passing through Menasinahadya,we reached the highway junction.

We reached Bengaluru – Sringeri highway junction, Gadikallu. Rain took a heavy charge,and it was unable to see the road. On the way we met a farmer who was carrying grass in the heavy rain. We asked about the village road to avoid this highway. He was more curious about our journey and advised to take the highway. Added to this, suggested not to do cycling during monsoon which may cause your death too by tree falling.

This is quite common when we go cycling or trekking. We took it as a suggestion and continued our journey. After a few kilometers encountered  another deviation at Ginikal. Rain took a small break; again, met a gentleman and asked about the inner village route to reach Sirimane Falls. 

However, he suggested to take highway which pass through Srigeri. We wanted to avoid Sringeri as we had visited it many times.

We ignored the advice and we took the inner village route of Nemmaru which connects the Mangaluru – Solapur highway. Farmers were on job; beautiful village trail filled our eyes with nature.

Already lunch time was passed, we were very hungry. Homemade carried food was waiting for us. The rain didn't allow us to have on the open sky. After passing the Tunga river bridge,we found a descent bus stop.

We paused by that bus stop and filled our hungry stomach with yummy food, relaxed for sometimes. 

We were behind the schedule, decided to pace up our journey. We took the deviation from highway towards Kigga. Inner routes are more pleasant to peddle.

After an hour we reached the Kigga village. This place is very popular for rain god “Rishi Shrunga” temple.

Sirimane Falls is around 5 KMs distance from Kigga. We had to comeback on the same way to continue our journey towards Agumbe. Our friend Ashok was feeling little tired, advised him to rest at Kigga. However, he expressed to peddle and witness the Falls.

The Falls trail was tough one, it was not so easy to peddle for the tired boy. He struggled a lot to during the ride, as a team we managed him to cope up with our pace.

The falls is a beauty during monsoon and the people were less. We spent sometime in the falls,and headed back to Kigga.

The real challenge  starts now, we must cross the Agumbe Ghat before dusk. Distance was around 30 KMs, time was 5 pm.It was raining heavily, there was no visibility of the road. Our friend was struggling to peddle again, motivating him we reached Begar.

Sky was growing dark,we halted for a coffee break. There was one more shocking news!!! Villagers cautioned about the Tusker, which had attacked yesterday on Agumbe road. I was abit worried about Ashok, who was consistently struggling. Myself and Santosh kept on motivating  him,  and finally we reached Agumbe around 7.30 pm.

Our day 1 camping was at Muniyalu, my home. Still we had 30+ KMs distance to reach. Crossing the Agumbe Ghat is the most challenging phase. There was no sign of rain to stop. Santosh suggested to stay-back at Agumbe. I had informed about our arrival to home on dinner to my wife, she was waiting.

I convinced  Santosh about the Ghat road since every weekend I travel through this to home. Passing through the Agumbe village and Ghat check-post,we reached the sunset view point. The place was pitch dark, fog had completely covered the road, torch light was not enough. A moment mind stopped thinking; we all panicked; taking risk will be more expensive. The Ghat is about 12 KMs with 13 hairpin bend curves. We decided to go back to Check-post.

People are always kind heart for trekkers and bicycle expediters. I have experienced it several times; this time too. We came back to Check-post, met a kind - heart staff. Briefed about our adventure journey and delayed schedule. Requested him to arrange any vehicle to pass the Agumbe Ghat.

One more interesting fact, the staff was from Muniyalu. He enquired in detail about my home at Muniyalu and advised not to take risk in the monsoon. The time was around 8.30, he mentioned getting empty goods vehicle was rare, however there was a bus at 8.50 pm which goes to Mangaluru. Immediately he called to the bus driver and requested to stop at the Check-post. We thanked the god and forest staff, eagerly waited for bus.

Bus is arrived as per schedule, asked us to load the bikes on the top. Rain was pouring nonstop; Santosh hiked on top; myself and Ashok lifted the bicycles up. Conductor and driver insisting to finish it fast,as it was getting late.

We looked like aliens to entire passenger, each one asked different question, interrogation session went on. Suddenly driver shouted “Hey men..your bicycles will fall down, go up and tie something”. Again, our captain, Santosh went up and tied the bungy cord, rain was still pouring non-stop.

Within half an hour we reached Hebri. Thanked the bus guys, luckily, they did not demand more price. The further journey to Muniyalu is around 12 KMs. We decided to little relax, needed small break. Non-stop ride made us tired.

It was already 10 pm; after abit of relaxation,  we got ready to continue the ride to home. We came across one more twist, the torch was missing! We searched entire baggage’s,but could not find. One or two shops were open,so we went to get the torches. Without lights it unable to ride in that pitch dark.

Thank God..! we found the torch inside the bag cover. We got relaxed, continued our final phase of journey of the day. After a non-stop ride we reached home at 11 pm. Madam was, of course furious about my late arrival almost 6 hours. Adventurous day came to an end after yummy dinner.

Yesterday's rainy ride made us a little tired. However, today's distance was very less, just 50+kms of easy ride. We decided to start the ride late after lunch.

Muniyalu is a very beautiful place and very rich in monsoon. There are many places to visit within 20 KMs of radius. How can I miss to take the most favorite place of my entire family, Mutlapady. My son also joined us,and went in my car to explore the surrounding areas.

We had a very good time in Mutlapady, enjoyed a lot in the paddy field. The atmosphere is greenery everywhere.

Next target is Varanga, Kerebasadi. It’s all different experience to travel in a boat to reach the temple. The Basadi is in the middle of a pond.

Got a call from home, lunch was ready. We all went back to home, finished the lunch and got ready to continue our journey. My son was missing me.

Instructed Ashok to peddle fast so that we can cover maximum beaches. Journey went on passing the inner beautiful village trail. On the way, stopped many places for photography.

We had more time, bus schedule was at night 9 pm from Manipal. Took the interest and opinion about exploration of beaches, both agreed.

After Perdur, we took a deviation towards Santhekatte. This inner route connects the National Highway. Today weather was opposite, however it was drizzling in between. Peddling on the easy terrain, taking multiple breaks we reached the highway.

We decided to explore the Kemmannu - Kodi-Bengre – Hoode – Malpe beaches. I had been to these places many times with family. These are the regular weekend gateway with family.

Kemmannu trail is very beautiful, riding on the concrete road, both the side coconut trees, gives pleasant experience. We spent sometime on the hanging bridge at Kemmannu.

Next destination was Kodi-Bengre beach. This is an unique beach with one side river and sea on the other side. We can see both at the same moment.

After Kodi-Bengre we spent sometime at Hoode and continued our journey to Malpe. We decided not to spend much time there. It was getting dark, witnessed the sunset at Malpe, crowd was more.

Most memorable two days bicycle tour come to an end. We peddled around 200+ KMs. Both days gave different experience and unforgettable moment of crossing the Agumbe Ghat. Finished the dinner, and boarded bus to back Bengaluru.