Thursday, October 22, 2015

Revisit to Kulgi – Anashi Nature Camp with Family [Dandeli]

I always wanted to utilize the long weekends to escape from the routine city life and get lost in the Mother Nature.  This time planned to spend with family three days Dasara vacation around Kulgi and Anshi Nature Camp, near Dandeli.  Planning happened well in advance to utilize the Dasara long weekend; the dates were finalized from 22nd to 24th October 2015. My niece also joined with her son to this wonderful trip.

This is my second visit to Kulgi Nature Camp, I was aware about the booking formalities.  The previous visit to Kulgi was with my daughter and cousin family in 2013.  This time one more added a beautiful place; Anshi Nature Camp. Finished the booking formalities for two tents, the first day stay at Kulgi and second day in Anshi.

Family were more excited to visit this place, they had many more queries about this trip.  This was maiden experience of them staying in the dense forest camp in the tents where no mobile connection; fear about wild animals; post monsoon creatures etc.  I & my daughter cleared all their queries and made their mindset to face the consequences arise during our travel.

Family members appreciated us for choosing a dense forest during the vacation. However they wished us to take extra precaution during stay. 

The day came very near; suddenly there was a twist in the event.  My sincere, so obedient Maruti 800 suddenly stopped in mid of traffic on 21st October 2015 around 8 pm. I was shocked!!!! Tried tried but could not start.  Luckily I got a mechanic shop very close where it stopped.  

He examined the issue; the problem was with electric supply.  Mechanic added the words "The issue is very serious; you have to service the Dynamo which is required one day time".  I am just stunned; not able to understand what is next?  He started the car through external battery and advised not to take risk of long drive.  

Now I had no option to arrange alternate vehicle within 4 – 5 hours.  As per our schedule, we should leave the Kolar by early morning 3.30 am. Called to my all cousins whoever having the cars, unfortunately they all were pre-planned for long weekend.  Even it was more tough to get a taxi too; already Demand Draft sent to Dandeli for advance booking of the cottage.  By grace of God and my cousin Nagaraj, he called me again around 9.30 pm.  He said “nothing to worry Anna, just take my car, I will arrange alternate for myself”.  I am just relaxed from the tension, whole heartedly thanked him and took his car.  Otherwise it was not possible us to proceed Dandeli.

The route we travelled:
1st Day : Kolar – Devanahalli – Doddaballapura – Dabuspete – Hubballi – Dharwada – Dandeli – Kulgi Nature Camp [1st Day Halt]

2nd Day: Kulgi Nature Camp – Ambika Nagar – Ganeshagudi – Supa Dam – Ulavi – Anashi Nature Camp [2nd Day Halt]

3rd Day: Anashi Nature Camp – Karawara – Jog Falls – Sagara – Shivamogga – Tumakuru – Bengaluru

The journey started around 4.00 am from Kolar.  Loaded our luggage and this was first long 3 days journey in the car.  To avoid the Bengaluru traffic, took the route Kolar – Devanahalli – Doddaballapura – Dabuspet to connect NH 4.  Initial ride was really slow since heavy fog and countless humps across the road.  As soon as reached the highway, the car pace was much faster.  Stopped for breakfast near Davanagere and continued our journey.

Taking a small breaks reached the Dandeli town around 12 Noon.  Our reporting time at Kulgi Nature Camp was around 11 am, however reached by 1.00 Noon.

Reported at the reception and soon finished the check-in formalities. They allotted the good tent which little far from the reception area.  Family members got so happy to seeing the tents.  
Our tents in Kulgi Nature Camp

They have something other perception in their mind about the tents.  Dumped our luggage and relaxed for some-time.

Kids were busy in exploring the nature camp.  There are many playing items for kids.  After taking a long relaxation, decided to explore around the area.  

Previous visit we did a bird watching in the dense forest, however this time they not advised to take the children in those trail.  So we all decided to go a long walk around the camp.
Nature Walk around Kulgi Nature Camp

After finishing the evening nature walk, back to the camp.  Now the time to coffee / tea and evening snacks.  Homemade snacks gave us additional yummy taste with the camp food.

It is a good thing about the camp that, they telecast a short documentary about the Dandeli, Kali river and the dense forest.  We all set to watch this documentary.  Really it gave us enough information about this place.
After this we headed to dining hall for dinner.  The camp was filled with travelers since a long weekend.

Finished our dinner and all set for a good sleep.

We got up around 7 am.  The morning was so beautiful with mist and birds whispers.  Quickly we finished our morning karmas and headed towards breakfast.  
Breakfast in Kulgi Nature Camp
The yummy breakfast filled our stomach and vacated the Kulgi Nature Camp. Today’s our stay was at Anashi Nature Camp one more beautiful place.

I chalked out the important places to cover in our timings.  Firstly we went to Ambika Nagar where hydropower generation takes place.  Camera is not allowed here. We have to finish some security formalities before heading to watch beautiful valley of Kali river.  The valley was breath taking view, enjoyed lot in the nature.
Kali River Valley
Next headed towards Ganeshgudi where the white river rafting activity takes place.  We were not so lucky to enjoy the rafting, however explored the surrounding area.  
Soon we covered the Supa Dam and headed towards Ulavi temple.  Spent good time and our next journey was to Anshi nature camp.
Ulavi Sri Channabaseveshwara Temple
It was almost getting dark, we entered the camp around 6pm.  I loved this place in first sight, it is more beautiful than the Kulgi.  

Finished the check in formalities and allotted two beautiful tents.  The tents are better and comfort, attached bathroom, solar lighting and very good corridor for relaxing.

Dumped our luggage in the respective tents.  There is playground for children.  Kids were enjoyed in the park.  We had very relax time chitchat and spent a good time.  
Relax in Anshi Nature Camp

The dinner call came around 8pm.  By the time all tents and dormitory got filled with travelers. 
Anshi Nature Camp
They served very tasty food, finished yummy dinner and roamed around the camp sometime.  The time was to retire for the day.  Overall the day was super.

Anshi Nature Camp
The day started very relax, we had no any preassigned destination to visit today.  We finished our morning core job and finished the breakfast.  Children spent again a good time playing in the park. 
Anshi Nature Camp
Ladies had relax walk around the camp. I and daughter were busy in experimental clicks of photography.  
Anshi Nature Camp

Anshi Nature Camp
We left the beautiful place around 11 am.
Anshi Nature Camp
Decided to take a round trip through Karawara – Jog falls then Bengaluru.  The ride from Anshi to Karawara is very scenic, enjoyed the driving in the Ghat section.  

We reached the Karawara beach around 1 pm.  Children wanted to enjoy the beach, spent almost two hours good time on the beach.
Kids Enjoying in Beach

Kids Enjoying in Beach
We were hungry very badly, unfortunately didn’t get a good vegetarian hotel till Ankola.  The time was almost 4pm, finally we got in Kamath hotel.  It was fully crowded and the lunch time already passed.  Asked the waiter to bring the available food, something filled in our stomach.

The toughest journey started now, the time was around 5pm.  I have to cross the Jog falls ghat section in the day light.  Continued on the highway till Honnavara, took deviation towards Jog falls.  As soon as hit the deviation road, the condition was very poor.  Narrow road with short curves, the speed came down.  Luckily my son was in deep sleep, else it was not so easy me to pace the drive.  Very cautiously finished the ghat stretch.  Children were more eager to see the Jog Falls, however the time was not permitted us.
Near Karwar
When reached the falls point, it was completely dark.  Continued the journey towards Bengaluru.  Took a small break of half an hour at Mavinagundi.  We all had hot Bajji and coffee.  The time was around 8pm, decided to have the dinner somewhere near Sagara.
Somewhere in Dense Forest
I think this is my second night self-ride with family.  When we reached the Sagara no one had mood to take the dinner, so continued the journey.  Everyone slipped into sleep, it was like a solo ride.  I drove non-stop till Arasikere, the time was around 12 midnight.  Took a small tea break and continued the journey.

Again it was a non-stop journey till Bengaluru, reached the home by 3 am.  Dropped the cousin at home and continued the journey to Kolar.  I was tiered and now getting sleep.  The last stretch of 60KMs journey made me more tiered.  For a while stopped the car, washed my face and continued the journey.  When I reached the home it was 4.30 am.  Thanked to God for reaching home safely.

The four days family trip was most memorable.  It will be remembered for a long time.  Relaxed festival holidays in the Mother Nature experience was awesome. I am decided to spend a good time in lonely places in future.

Entire Team

Day -1 Ride

Day - 2 Ride

Day - 3 Ride

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Day-3: Road Trip to Rameshwaram, Dhanushkodi & Kanyakumari

Third Day Journey

Kanyakumari Exploration – Back to Bengaluru
Yesterday painful departed story was echoing today also.  We all set to witness beautiful sun rise at Kanyakumari. Left the home early and reached well in advance at venue.  This is my second visit to Kanyakumari; I had very bitter experience solo travel to Kanyakumari in 2012.

The place was very crowded; people were waiting the beautiful sunrise. Unfortunately sun was not visible till 7. 30 Am; the cloud hided him. Explored the nearest place and decided to visit the famous Vivekananda Rock.

The ticket queue was very lengthy for rock visit, decided to finish the breakfast before heading towards queue. Finished breakfast at the nearest hotel and stood in the queue.  Enjoyed the shopping experience while in the queue.

We all boarded a small ferry which took us Vivekananda Rock.  Explored around places doing fun of photography.  The place is unique and most beautiful, I love this place.

Back from the rock and headed back to Nagarcoil.  Our original schedule was pushed almost 12 hours delay.  Many of us not slept properly last night, so we put two options.  The first option is take rest till early morning 2 am and then proceed; second option is take rest till 9 pm and leave in the night itself.  Most of the team members voted the second option.  We finished the lunch at hotel and retired for the day.

Woke up evening 6 pm and the packed our luggage.  We all ready to leave Bengaluru in the night.  The night journey is not recommended on the two wheelers, however considering the Monday rushing to office everyone decided to take a risk.  Promised each one of the biker not to ride above 60KM/h and take a break each 60-70 KMs.

The initial journey again indicated us about very tough journey, drizzling started within 5 minutes of our journey.  We covered our luggage to avoid any damages, continued our journey.  By the grace of god, rain stopped and our bike pace got increased.

Really it is not so easy to ride the bikes on highway in the night, taking multiple breaks reached midnight Madurai.  Few of members wanted to take a long break; parked bikes near Dhaba had chitchat till 3 am.  Again continued our journey to Bengaluru.  The time was around 4.30 am, many of us fully tiered and wanted to take small nap somewhere.  Found a good village Bus stop shelter, parked bikes and slept almost two hours.

The sun rays were itched us, we all opened our eyes.  A small nap gave us more energy and refreshment.  Finished morning core job and continued our journey.  Now the stop for breakfast, the food was really yummy.

When we reached the Salem, the clock was ticked to 11 am.  We all sent SMS for extension of a day leave.  There was no chance to reach Bengaluru before afternoon.  Enjoying the ride, taking multiple breaks reached Krishnagiri around 1.30 pm.  Finished the lunch roadside restaurant and continued journey.

The last stretch again the rain welcomed us with it shower, removed our jackets and continued journey in the rain.  I got down at Hosur to proceeded Kolar; however the day was leave for me in the office.  Night journey without sleep made me tiered; luckily I got a seat in the bus.  I reached the Kolar evening around 4 pm and thankful to god and team reached home safely.

The journey will be remembered forever, the team, the trail, the long ride, departing from the team, beautiful beaches, historical places, overall a long and long night ride without sleep.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day-2: Road Trip to Rameshwaram, Dhanushkodi & Kanyakumari

Second Day Journey

Dhanushkodi - Rameshwaram to Kanyakumari
Second day was very interesting & painful day; the team separated on the way even though having the latest technology gadget viz., Google Map, Mobile etc.
The day is started early; we have to cover many places.  

The plan & route was chalked out:
Rameshwaram – Dhanushkodi – Rameshwaram – Witness Sunset at Kanyakumari

Got up very early around 5 am, got refreshed and had tea nearby lodge.  Loaded our luggage to bikes and headed towards Dhanushkodi.  The distance is hardly 15 KMs, the beauty of trail is awesome.  On the way the sun raised; reached the Dhanushkodi around 8 am.

Parked our bikes near a pity shop where we had fruits and juice.  Some places I love very much even though it is completely abounded. In practically nothing we can find except haunted Dhanushkodi village, shattered buildings & beautiful beach.  However I loved this place very much like Hampi.  I got to know very surprise about the sea; one side the waves are very high and another side it was very calm like a river.  I personally don’t know the scientific fact behind this, loved this place.

Regular local tempo carries the travelers to Dhanushkodi haunted village on regular basis.  They charged us around Rs.150/- each.  Journey on beach in Tempo was new experience in my life; took enough of pics.  Tempo mainly stops two places; one where we can see haunted church, school, railway station and second one near Ramasethu, Srilanka border.  The cab driver said, Srilanka is hardly 22KMs away from this point. 

At each place gave us half an hour time to explore the place. We spent well enough of time taking photographs.  Photos speak the beauty of this place.

Back from the beautiful beach visit of Dhanushkodi, further moved towards Rameshwaram.  Whenever Rameshwaram touch my ear, remember the great visionary & beloved our President APJ Abdul Kalam home town.  We visited the Kalam sir home.  

In the first floor, we can find his great achievement history with beautiful photographs.  They are maintained very well.  The painful part is on the same building at 2nd floor, stalled a commercial women stationery shop which is irrelevant to his residence.

We were already late by half a day; the original plan was to reach Kanyakumari before noon. Finished our lunch at hotel and headed towards Kanyakumari.  The bikes were on its pace, the twisting breaking point was at Ramanathpuram.

At some point of time, we got departed from Vijay & Kiran bikes; we chased few kilometers could not find them.  They tried to call us; however the mobile were in the bag so could not able to contact each other till 5.30 pm.  We were in the dilemma that they were ahead of us.  When we reached Tirunelveli the time was 6.00 pm.  It was almost getting dark.  Understood they are very far behind us around 80 KMs.  After conversation with them; they asked us to move towards Nagarcoil where night halt was decided.

We stopped a while at Tirunelveli for tea break.  Asked few of locals about Kanyakumari way, they suggested taking some internal route Sathankulam which was short route.  We about to take that route; suddenly got in my mind why not to check once in the google map.  When we checked in google, it was suggested to take highway route where we can move fast and safe.  Ignored the person suggestion and moved with google map.

On the way I was keep on updating our movement status to rest of the team.  Alas! they did the mistake taking the internal route which we ignored.  When I called they already missed highway route of Nagarcoil; now the distance between us was more.

Chandrkanth cousin Dr. Praveen is staying in Nagarcoil where he arranged our dinner and stay for night.  They asked us to move and reach the Nagarcoil and wait for them.  I and Sudhakar reached comfortably to Praveen home at round 9.30 pm.  Got refreshed taking bath and had yummy hot dinner.

When we called the team, they were almost 120 KMs away from Nagarcoil.  We decided to retire for the day and wait for them.  The day was very painful all of them losing a good trail.  The team is rejoined us at midnight 1.00 am.  There words and face were indicated us that they really disappointed on us.  A small turn departed us almost 10 hours.
                                                                                        Day-3 Journey