Friday, June 15, 2018

Photography Workshop at Neenasam [Heggodu]

Neenasam - Heggodu
Surprisingly who is having a patience to sit three days in the same place; listen the continuous lecture about different topics. But again, it depends on the subject, experts, interest of any individuals. And also matter the event organization. Indeed, I was the participant for unforgettable and most memorable Photography Workshop on 15 - 17th June 2018 at Neenasam, Heggodu.

Neenasam - Heggodu
My beloved friend, Vijayanand shared his experience and thoughts about his last year participation at this workshop. He was again wanted to join this year, due to exigency he could not. His feedback motivated me to join this workshop at any cost. Vijay has taken entire process to enroll my name along with other 7 friends. Thank you so much Vijay!!!!!!

I had been at Neenasam Heggodu, two months back during our bicycle tour. The place, location, surrounding environment is away from city. Very good place to relax and enjoy the nature. It is very close to Sharavathi Backwater.

Sharavathi Backwater
Every year this workshop is jointly conducted by Sagar Photographic Society (SPS) & Youth PhotographicSociety (YPS). It is three days practical oriented workshop.

Photography Practical Session - Sharavathi Backwater
Ever, I have participated this kind of workshop. I felt it was completely non-commercial; well managed; different subject experts, very simple soul, interactive with each one of the participant, and happy to help anyone who approach to these experts.

Yakshagana Artist
I had totally different approach in the mind about the photography. As we granted unlimited clicks of digital photos either in Camera or mobile. Randomly click some photos, little bit edits white balance and post on the social media. Keep counting the number of likes I get on it.

Practical Session
This workshop indeed changed my way of thinking about photography. Photo should not be a just click, it should tell some story. How many we click is not an important, but how many remain in the people mind is more important.

There was no choice to like the clicks by experts, all are excellent and outstanding. I never seen such photography skills in person, could be on internet. I understood, how much the dedication and patience is required to do the photography. I was stunned seeing a desired click took 11 long years to Sri Nagendra M. 

Got thrilled to know how he struggled to capture the flying squirrel shot for 3 years. How the experts spent years together become so perfect. I am so glad to meet many experts i.e., H Satish, Gautham Ramesh, Murali Santhanum, Krishna Bhat, Nagendra M, TS Gopal, G Venkatesh, KS Rajaram.

Bharathanatya - Artist
Three days practical session was involved shooting of Yakshagana, Bharathanatya, Tribal dance, village painting, outdoor photography at Sharavathi Backwater, architecture photography at Ikkeri temple etc.

Participants were around 70+ with mixture of profession, place, age; however, they all bonded by photography hobby. We all become a family members in three days. I was feeling like NSS camp where everyone enjoys it.

Temple Photography - Ikkeri
I am very thankful to entire expert team, organizers, volunteers for organizing such a wonderful workshop in the nature. I am definitely looking forward to join more and more workshops in future.

Practical Session - Background Lighting
Personally thankful to Pramod & Hemanth Kelkar for accommodating me and a special thanks to Vijayanand who introduced me such a wonderful workshop.

Our Palace During Workshop - Night Camp

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Bicycle Tour: Sringeri to Shivamogga (Shimoga)

Sunrise - Bhadra Backwater
Mind was blogging to go for a long ride on Bicycle. The last journey was Shivamogga – Kundapur, almost a month back. I raised this matter with Sudhakar to go for cycling around Dandeli. We had been in Dandeli on bicycle tour in December 2016. Last ride Shivamogga - Kundapur was dropout at last moment. I was finalizing the trail, we asked Vijay about his interest. He was more eager to join with us. The trail is shifted from Dandeli to around Tunga – Bhadra backwater.

Bhadra Backwater
In fact, it is peak summer; Sudhakar suggested to find out the nearest two-day trail around Shivamogga. Vijay added his thoughts to ride around NR Pura since his one of friend Dr. Srinivas is agreed to make the necessary arrangement. So, finally decided to ride from Sringeri to Shivamogga. Thankful to Vijay for finalizing the route, making stay arrangement at NR Pura.

Sringeri Hanging Bridge - Tunga River
This time wanted to keep a small size, so final list is myself, Santosh, Sudhakar & Vijay. More friends not shown interest, because of hot weather. Dates are finalized on 21st – 22nd April 2018. Well in advance as usual booked the tickets by Karnataka Sarige.

Route Chosen:

Bengaluru – Sringeri by Volvo [20.04.18]

Sringeri – Vishwanathpura – BG Katte – Koppa – NR Pura [Stay 21.04.18]

NR Pura – Bhadra Backwater – Umblebail – Shivamogga [22.04.18]

Shivamogga – Bengaluru by Volvo [22.04.18]

Relax @ Vishwanathpura
Hope, this is the shortest and very relaxed two day’s ride ever in my journey. Our motto of this ride is to explore Tunga & Bhadra Backwater. Beauty of this journey is, on the first day, our entire journey was on Tunga river and second day on Bhadra river. We met couple good human who extended their love and hospitality during our journey.

Sringeri - Sharadambe
Journey is begun by the blessing of Sringeri Sri Sharadambe in the morning after the breakfast at bus stop. Vijay pointed the interior village routes in his map. We feel tough trail also easy, if we have a good company. 

Initial Rolling Terrain
The initial trail was not so easy in terms of terrain, it was rolling and killing one. However, the small breaks will fill more energy to accept the challenges, taking multiple breaks reached Vishwanathpura.

Bicycle tour always gives an opportunity to meet good people. On the way, Vijay suddenly screamed “Hey!! Guys look at there, beautiful temple”. It was looking some beautiful temple which surrounded by green. We all agreed to explore the place.

Vishwanathpura Temple Way
It was temple - cum - residence. We entered premises opening the gate, which was 50 meter away from main building. Leading green trail took us closure to the temple. For a while we did not find anyone around, suddenly we heard a voice “Who all are you? Why you entered without permission?!!”. A huge man holding a stick asked the anonymous question. Just we said “Sorry to enter without anyone permission, we came from Bengaluru. Thought it is a temple so just we entered”.
Vishwanathpura Temple
The guy was started laughing so loudly saying “Hey cool…just I am kidding”. Believe me such a gentleman Mr. Palachandra Rao, invited us inside the home. He briefed about the place history. This place relates to Keladi Nayak’s rule and Sringeri Peetha. Every year Navaratri is celebrated very grandly.

Good Soul - Offered us Coffee
There are two small temples inside premises, i.e., Lord Venkateshwara & Shiva. He briefed the history of this place. Such a lovely person not allowed us without having coffee.

Vishwanathpura Temple Premises
He engaged his son Rahul with us to show Tunga river and his farmland. River Tunga flowing calmly just behind his house. We spent some good time, now its time to continue our journey.

Tunga River - Backside of the Temple
It was rolling trail, sometimes up and sometimes down, journey is continued. Cycling is always fun-filled, relaxed one. It will help us to explore more and more. While a pit stop at village, people suggested us to visit one more beautiful temple.

Historical Temple
Since our day peddling distance is less and we had enough of time, took many breaks. The climate was also good, panorama is more scenic. Not left to have the snacks under tree.

Relax Under Tree - Snacks
Taking multiple breaks, chatting with locals reached Narway. This was sounded interesting, yes Narway. Vijay already pointed in map about hanging bridge around this place. Initially we had little difficult to find, ultimately, we enjoyed the beautiful hanging bridge with photography.

Hanging Bridge - Norway
Killing terrain met after the bridge location. It was completely uphill around 5 KMs. The hot weather was made more tiered. After finishing the terrain, cooled by yummy Ice Cream. 

Thanda Cool Cool
Sunset view point gave us shelter in hot weather. Relaxed for sometimes to regain the energy.

Relax to escape from Hot
Koppa was not far after riding the steep trail, soon entered the town. We were feeling hungry. Vijay wanted to have the lunch in the hotel, but homemade yummy Paratha – Curry was waiting inside the bag. 

Water - Melon
Decided to have the lunch outskirt of the town somewhere in the nature. As a top-up to the hungry stomach, filled with watermelon.

Beautiful Trail
Homemade food always yummy during cycling journey. Most of the time, we try to get from home. This time thankful to Santosh & Sudhakar for bringing the Chapati, I carried the Tomato curry. We finished the lunch in the roadside Coffee estate.

Lunch Break
We had enough time to reach Narasimharaja Pura [NR Pura]. Vijay already informed his friend about our arrival. Dr. Srinivas, a Government Hospital Doctor of NR Pura, is close friend of Vijay. Journey is continued with multiple breaks, reached the NR Pura by 5 pm.

NR Pura - Entrance
Vijay friend arranged our stay at one of his known vacate home. We had very relaxed roaming around the town, finished the dinner, adieu for the day.

In front of Night Shelter
Sunrise and sunset always precious and unique for any nature lovers. We decided to witness the lovely sunrise across the Bhadra backwater. Morning ride won’t make you much tiered, had wonderful time at backwater.

Sunrise - Bhadra Backwater
Doctor took us to NR Pura timber yard. Understand that, this yard is started by British. Now it is owned by Karnataka Forest department. It was very painful to see such huge tress cut for improve the facilities to human.

Timber Yard - NR Pura
Breakfast should be always heavy, which tolerate the delay of lunch. Not to take any risk, finished the breakfast at NR Pura. Now the time to say good bye and thanks to Dr. Srinivas. We thanked him for his great hospitality and expressed the interest to visit again, journey is continued.

Dr. Srinivas @ NR Pura Hospital
Santosh Gupta is like a doctor for us. He always helped us for any vehicle breakdown or fine tuning the issues. Most important thing is, always he carries the tools and accessories. 

Dr. Santy Repairing the Bike
We never bother about the bikes, if he is with us in the ride. This is second time, Sudhakar bike's chain cut. First time was during our Bisle Ghat ride. Luckily Santosh has all the accessories, the journey is continued after repair.

Beautiful Trail @ Bhadra Tiger Reserve Forest
Again, we deviated the main road trail, decided to take inner route. Taking the localities help, we entered one of the most beautiful lonely forest trail Bhadra Tiger Reserve. 

Beautiful Trail @ Bhadra Tiger Reserve Forest
There was no bond of time, our return journey bus scheduled at 11 pm from Shivamogga. We spent good time on photography, relaxed under tree.

Relax @ Bhadra Tiger Reserve Forest
Sometime in 2016, myself, Sudhakar and Vijay visited the Bhadra backwater near Umblebail. This time also wanted to visit since we had enough of time. 

Bhadra Backwater
Very sad to see the water level gone completely low. We walked far away in the backwater spent some good time of photography.

Bhadra Backwater
Every good thing – sweet moments should end-up. The time is to windup towards Shivamogga. On the way not missed to fill the hungry souls. Evening rain shower welcomed us to Shivamogga.

On the way to Shivamogga
Overall it was very cool – relaxed journey with lovely friends. There was endless fun across the ride. Met lovely bunch of people and decided to peddle in the monsoon. This is very perfect trail to beginner; who want to enjoy the cycling tour.

Entire Team

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bicycle Tour: Shivamogga (Shimoga) to Kundapur

My Chetak @ Sharavathi Backwater
Always the tour / trip will not thrill if everything goes smoothly as per pre-plan. Odd incidents always keep in our mind for a long time. A situation, you have to travel by a train along with Bicycle, suddenly the authorities refuse to load your bikes and give some excuses to transport next day. This was the situation of our bicycle tour from Shivamogga to Kundapur on 24 – 25th March 2018.

Sharavathi Backwater
Indeed, we missed the train, lost the time, lost the money, however we executed Plan B and made it success. Despite peak summer, peddling across coastal with two freshers, crossing the Sharavathi river, enjoying the roadside food, camping in the beautiful Nature camp, visit to Kollur Mookambike temple and finally ending at beautiful Kodebailu Kundapur beach.

Bank of Sharavathi River
My bicycle tour / treks are always most welcome to freshers. I can recall my initial struggle to getting short list in Bangalore Ascenders [BASC] events. Yes, it is not so easy to manage the freshers in treks or bicycle tour where there is no backup. But I always said WELCOME to anyone who are confident in their abilities.

Route chosen:
Bengaluru – Shivamogga by Volvo – 23rd March 2018

Shivamogga – Ayanur – Ripponpet – Harthal – Hulibana – Hasirumakki – Nittur – Nisarga Viharadham

Nisarga Vihardhama – Kollur – Vandse – Hemmadu - Kundapur – Kodibailu Beach

Kundapur – Bengaluru by Volvo

The team is framed with seven members viz., Adarsh, Ananth, Lovely, Madhu, Vijay, Kushal & myself. We booked the train ticket till Shivamogga well in advance to save the cost. Team was divided into three groups. Now I am familiar with railways formalities since our last ride Hubli to Karwar traveled by train. We all assembled at Bengalur Railway luggage counter at 6.30 pm. Train was scheduled at 11 pm. 

My Chetak
There was shocking news waited for us. Railway authorities refused to board our bikes with same train which we suppose to travel. They gave unprecedented reason that “Minister is traveling by this train, we can’t load the luggage. You can expect to dispatch by tomorrow afternoon train”. I requested him lot, but refused to load the bikes. Luckily Vijay & Madhu deposited their bikes in the morning, so it is dispatched by afternoon train, they were safe.

Mid of Forest
The journey is decided, return tickets were booked from Kundapur, we have to plan option of B. Quickly we rushed to Majestic Bus stand to travel by Volvo. The stand was completely empty, the time was just 7.30 pm. for safer side decided to book online ticket in two separate buses, tickets got confirmed, it scheduled at 10 pm.

Now the team was cool, aligned our bikes on platform, decided to fill our stomach. Batch wise finished the dinner, waited for a bus.

Roadside Relax
Luckily, we got descent bus crew, loaded our bikes in luggage compartment, settled on our seat. In the first bus Ananth, Lovly & myself traveled. The second bus was scheduled at 11 pm in which Adarsh & Vikas, finally Madhu and Vijay traveled by train.

Journey went well, early morning by 4.30 am we reached Shivamogga bus stand. Finished our morning core job at stand, waited for others to join with us. Everyone reached on time, got refreshed. The team is ready to start the ride.

Beginning of Journey - Shivamogga Bus Stand
Time was around 5.30 am., still the sky was dark. We thought it is the right time to begin our expedition. After a group pic at bus stand, the journey started. Always cycling tour is very curious to public. Many asked about our planning, journey and wished a good luck.

Outskirt of Shivamogga Town
Sun is yet to arise; our pace is slowly getting fast. As I mentioned, there are two freshers, who never peddled any MTB. Slowly they also getting fine-tuned with peddle.

Sunrise @ Outskirt of Shivamogga
We reached the Lion Nisarga Dhama, out skirt of Shivamogga. Slowly Sun started to show his red face. I have not missed to capture in mobile, the journey is continued.

Stop @ Ayanoor
Our pit stop is at Ayanoor. Thank you to Vijayanand, who finalized the route. We wanted to travel more and more interior village route. After small tea break, journey is continued.

Ripponpet Road
We were bored to ride on the Shivamogga – Honnavara highway. We took deviation at Ayanoor towards Ripponpet. The trail is become more beautiful; traffic was not much; continued the journey.

Forest Curved Road
Trekking / Cycling always gives an opportunity to meet good people. They shower lot of love and affection. Ripponpet was about 10 KMs, our water bottles were empty. Stopped road side home to fill our bottles. 

Met Lovely Lady
We met a lady who is a retired Head Mistress. She introduced to ourselves, offered us to have Mentya Dose and snacks. Respected her love and affection, thanked her for offering, politely skipped the invitation. Purchased grapes near their home, journey is continued.

Journey is continued
We were feeling hungry, badly needed the breakfast. Decided to fill at Ripponpet. Found Sri Raghavendra Udupi Hotel. Verity of items gave lot of energy to our tiered body. 

Breakfast Filling Station @ Ripponpet
Met Vijay friend who runs a Petrol Bunk in Ripponpet. Invited all of us to his Bunk. Spent some good time and continued our journey.

Vijay Friend
Ripponpet to Heggodu we took completely interior route. The sun was started itching very badly. But lonely village off road ride was more interesting one. Whenever felt need a break, just relaxed under tree. Reached Haratala village, had cool drinks.

Mid of Forest Relax
Journey is continued; few of our friends tiered very badly. The rolling terrain, hot weather was making more trouble to peddle us. Motivating to team members reached Chikkabilagodu. Few of us were reached early and waited others join. Sometimes deviation point make confusion to fellow rider.

Tough Ride in Hot Weather
Our water bottles were empty, saw an old lady who is working in garden. Asked “Amma swalpa neeru kodtira? (Mother, will you give little water)”. So happily, called all of us and asked to relax at her home. By the time her son came out and introduced each other. They forced us to accept their Tea offer. Thankful to them offering tea to the tiered soul.

Met with one good soul - Offered Tea
All friends reached the point, journey is continued. We were hungry very badly. Vijay suggested to take break at Heggodu [Neenasam] where he know the person who can serve the lunch. The distance was not much, it was just 3 KMs.

Journey Continued
Unfortunately, the person was on leave, asked the localities about hotel. We got descent hotel but only choice is Palav. Something is better than nothing, decided to load our hungry stomach. Tasty Palav with Bajji and Buttermilk made heavy lunch. We all very happy getting such a wonderful lunch.

Lunch Point - Heggodu [Neenasam]
Our day one ending point is Nittur Nisarga Viharadham. The distance was around 40+ KMs. We need to cross Sharavathi River at Hasirumakki. Understood from local, the last trip of ferry is by 5.30 pm. Considering all these facts, asked the friends to peddle fast.

After heavy lunch, it is not so easy to ride in the hot temperature in rolling trail. Taking multiple small breaks reached the deviation point Hulibanada. Many of riders wanted a long break, but myself and Madhu decided to peddle till the Hasirumakki and inquire the timings. We both peddled very fast. I had crossed the Hasirumakki during Hosanagara – Kodachadri – Jog Falls ride.

Hasirumakki - Sharavathi Backwater
Hasirumakki is such a wonderful place, Sharavathi backwater welcomes you with its beauty. We had more time to relax, the last ferry is at 6 pm. I and Madhu had good photography time till they join us.

Pose to Pic
Team very soon reached to Hasirumakki, loaded our bikes. Crowd was little more since it is weekend. Compare to Sigandoor ferry, this is better of less crowd. 

Ferry Journey across Sharavathi River
Since it is last trip, ferry was waiting for little more time. After loading our bikes, relaxed very cool on the river bank.

Fun @ River bank
We wanted to witness sunset at Sharavathi backwater. After crossing the river, we had fun-filled moment. Spent more time on photography, enjoyed a lot. Now it is hard time to move fast towards Nittur.

Sunset at Hasirumakki
Two of friends were really tiered, struggling to peddle anymore. We had no any option until reach to Bengaluru – Kollur main road. Sharing the experience, giving the tips of ride, at last we reached the main road.

On the way to Nittur
Out of 7 members 5 wanted to hire some vehicle and reach the camping site. Nisarga Vihardham of Nittur was around 15+ KMs. It was already dark, very difficult to ride on this busy road. Luckily, we got an Auto, who agreed to drop till the camping point. Loaded the bikes along with personnel, adieu for happy journey.

Nisarga Vihardham - Nittur
Myself and Madhu had really big tough time to ride till Nittur. Both of had no torch or bicycle light, but we peddled with josh and reached the Nisarga Viharadhama. The day was really long ride around 108 KMs. finished the check-in formalities, got quickly refreshed, had delicious dinner, relaxed for the day.


Nisarga Vihardham
Nisarga Viharadhama is perfect place for family and team outing. It is around 5 KMs far away from Nittur village. They have made small huts with simple amenities. It is run by Manjanna who is in conservation of nature since long time. Thankful to Vijayanand for arrangement of stay and introducing such a wonderful place.

Sunrise @ Sharavathi River
The friends were really tiered by yesterday ride, out of seven, only three of us proceeded to witness the sunrise across the Sharavathi. Morning was pleasant, bird whispering gave more joy to us. Soon reached the hanging bridge which is the popular point. Spent some good time in photography.

Beautiful Sunrise
We are back from sunrise, by the time team was ready. Quickly loaded our luggage and waited for breakfast. Very delicious Dose server, filled our hungry stomach. Now the time to leave the beautiful place. Took a group photograph with Manjanna and said good bye to him.

Entire team with Manjanna - Architecture of Nisarga Vihardham
We started the journey late at 10 am, very soon we reached the Nittur village. Assumed that ride will be easy considering the yesterday trail. Couple of time, I had been in this trail on motorbike and car. Most of the trail is trailing, however it is not so easy in hot weather.

Taking a small break near Sigandoor cross, continued our ride. We reached the Kollur Ghat; the ghat is ride around 16 KMs downhill. But downhill riding is also not so easy, we have to take care extra care.

Entering into Kollur Ghat
Cautioned the friends to taking extra care, ride is continued. Enjoying the downhill ride reached the view point. Weather was getting hotter since going closure to coastal. Thought to give a small break in Ghat for photography, spent some good time and continued our journey.

In Ghat
Very soon reached the Kollur. Considering the time constrain and crowd, decided to skip the darshan. Just paid darshan from outside. 
Kollur - Mookambike Temple
Friends wanted to dip in water to escape from hot and relax for sometimes. We headed towards Souparnika river, jumped in water.

Dip into Souparnika River
After a long break, journey is continued in hot weather. I was sure, the journey will be very tough. Instructed the team members to take alternate mode if they not able to ride. Outskirt of Kollur, we had watermelon.

Pit Stop to escape from Hot weather
Ananth & Lovelesh decided to skip the ride, taking an auto help left to Kundapur. Rolling terrain was killing one, upon the hot weather; increase in the humidity; journey was tough. In many places, I could not able to peddle, pushed by walk.

Stop to refill water bottle - on the way to Kundapur
Taking multiple breaks, reached the Vandse. Avoided the lunch in between to make easy the ride. Other friends were very far, Madhu reached little early. Both of us decided to have light lunch till they join with us.

Journey continued......
Finished the lunch nearby hotel, relaxed in the public bus stand till they join us. Tiered souls reached one by one. They wanted to relax for sometimes. Taking small nap at bus stand, continued our journey towards Kundapur.

Cool Relax at Bus Stop - Vandse
Now the Kundapur is feeling very close, just 15 KMs. Mentally we regained the energy, reached the Mangaluru – Goa highway. Always it is boring to ride on highway, we had no option of 10 KMs. The final stretch on highway peddled fast reached the destination.

On the Way Kundapur....
We wanted to witness the sunset on beach. Time was running fast, asked the address of Kodibailu beach. Peddled very fast to reach the beach. The sun was about to set, we had comfortable time to view. Enjoyed the beautiful sunset, relaxed for sometimes.

Kodibail Beach
Journey is come to an end, day two was around 80+ tough ride in hot weather. We congratulated each other for completion of ride. Appreciated the maiden ride of Lovely and Kushal. Finished our dinner nearby hotel and boarded the bus to back Bengaluru.

Team Victory Salute