Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bicycle Solo Ride to Home [Muniyalu] from Hosanagara

When planned journey get abandoned due to non-availability of reservation, it’s provoke me to do solo cycling ride to home. The unplanned maiden SOLO journey peddled to home Muniyalu on 23rd June 2018. I had been rode to home on bicycle couple of trails; Kalasa – Muniyalu, Chikkamagaluru – Muniyalu, Shivamogga – Muniyalu. I was in search of new trail. This time decided to peddle through Hulikalghat, from Hosanagara to Muniyalu.

I had been to Hosanagara last ride of ‘Hosanagara to Jog falls’ last year. During that ride, we covered surrounding Hosanagara places viz., Savehaklu – Chakra Dams, Nagara fort etc. I am little aware about the trail and, we had been this route on CAR trip of around these places.

There is an interesting story to do this solo journey. While booking the Tatkal train ticket to Bengaluru – Shivamogga, unknowingly booked in reverse ‘Shivamogga – Bengaluru’. Later I realized the mistake. Thought passed in the mind, who not to try Bicycle ride to home? So, the trail is chosen Hosanagara to Muniyalu. Booked the Airavat a day before, luckily got a seat. Without any hurdles, journey went smooth.

I got down at Hosanagara around 4.30 am. It was perfect weather for cycling; already wet bus stand shown indication about the peak monsoon. As usual got refreshment at public amenities. By the time, Bus stand hotel was serving the morning breakfast. Considering the darkness, wanted to spend sometimes. Finished the yummy breakfast and ready to ride.

Journey is begun with selfie; the cool breeze with drizzling gave an additional encouragement to peddle. Solo journey is always self-decision, you can stop wherever you want, you can keep pace whatever you want, there is no dependency. Very soon reached the famous Ganesh Temple on the way to Nagara.

Last time, I could not able to visit the Ramachandrapura Math. This is very popular for largest cow protection. They are taking care the different breeds of across country. I was very curious and eager to visit this place. We have to take deviation around 2 KMs from main road.

Soon reached the Math, taken permission to enter the premises. It was very proud and appreciation moment for the noble cause. The in-charge person explained about the place and cows.

Journey is continued towards Nagara Fort. I had been at fort twice before this visit. Last year monsoon cycling and family visit. Abounded fort walls look very beautiful in the monsoon. Nothing much left, but it’s looks more beautiful in the monsoon.

When I entered the fort, I am alone. It was drizzling all the way. Spent sometimes on photography and continued the journey.

I took the next pit stop at Masthikatte for snacks and relax. People were more curious to know about my journey. Similar repetitive questions ‘From where you are coming? Why you riding? Do you not get tiered? Why you take a risk in the rain?’ etc. I just replied it’s my hobby and passion.

Journey is continued towards Hulikal Ghat. Prayed at Chandikamba temple which is on the way of Ghat. View of the Ghat is very panorama.

Everywhere the streams are become falls, enjoying the ride reached Hosangadi.

Again, taken a break for snacks, my target is to reach the home by Lunch. I had enough time to cover the distance. While having the snacks, asked the hotel person about any inner route to reach Hebri. Surprisingly, he mentioned about inner forest route which connect to Amasebailu. And also mentioned about the forest permission.

Finished the snacks and thanked him, decided to check the luck. After couple of meters ride, got a police check-post. Police personnel stopped and inquired about my journey. Initially they refused to permit and also mentioned about the missing the route and restricted region. I made them to get confidence about my journey, finally they guided the route and allowed me to continue.

After two KMs ride, I entered the forest trail. I was the alone with gorgeous river flow, bird whisper. Just stopped for a photograph, suddenly got a siren of Monkeys. For a moment got scared, I had no option except continue the journey with courage.

Of course, it was scary, but at the same time it was so beautiful trail. It was almost 3 – 4 KMs inside the deep forest, finally got a hope about the civilization.

Far away I seen some building, and it was Amasebailu ‘Anti-Poaching Camp (APC)’. Guards stopped me; inquired about trespassing the territory. I briefed about my journey and permission obtained at police check-post. They thoroughly checked my ID proof. After confirmation they allowed me to move further. Please note that this route is not meant for public.

Enjoying the inner route, spent good time across the journey. Passing the Amasebailu continued the journey towards Hebri. I felt the inner route is most beautiful trail of this journey. All the way rain was pouring taking multiple small breaks.

Journey was coming to an end, reached the Hebri by 2.30 pm. Now the remaining 12KMs was well known to me, taking small break peddled towards home Muniyalu. Reached the home at 3.45 pm.

This is again memorable for me due to the maiden solo journey. Certainly it motivated me to take more solo challenges.

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