Sunday, February 26, 2017

Casual Visit to Kudlu Theertha Falls [Sita Falls]

When you made a list to visit place, after repetitive attempt if it is not succeeds for one or other reason and finally you made it to happen with family, the joy of success is no limit.  Yes, Kudlu Theertha falls was tried thrice before, at last it happened to visit with family on 26th February 2017 on Hero Honda Pleasure.

The earlier visit failure because lack of time, closure for monsoon and road repair.  This time made a mind to must visit.  My son favorite mode of transport is two-wheeler, so thought to go on Hero Honda Pleasure.

From Muniyalu it is hardly 35+ KMs one side, need to travel Muniyalu – Varanga – Mudradi – join to Agumbe – Udupi highway move towards Agumbe then take right deviation from Sita Nadi arch.  The road condition is good till 10KMs away the falls.  It is a challenging forest ride of 10 KMs till reach to the base point of Falls.  Please note the timing is 9 am to 3pm.

We enjoyed the forest trail off road driving and reached the Forest Check Post.  The parking lot was filled with various vehicles from Buss to two-wheeler.  We must pay Rs.50/- forest entry fees and need to trek 1.5 KMs to reach the beautiful falls.

Of course, the forest trail is shaded with big trees and department made cement steps wherever the public feel difficulty to trek.  As usual my son started his own tune asked me to take him on my shoulder.  The trek went with slow pace, reached the falls.

The crowd was unbelievable, the entire range filled with tourist.  It was very painful; however, the litter was bit controlled by department taking Rs.10/- for each plastic bottle as a deposit amount.  

Spent some good time in the water with my son.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Visit to Raichur Fort

Got an opportunity to visit Raichur on occasion of colleague daughter marriage on 19th February 2017.  After the marriage, I and my friend Suresh went to explore the Raichur Fort.   

We spent an hour of time to explore the fort.  Unfortunately, the fort is turned into graveyard.  

Everywhere you can find only the graves except one or two historical monuments.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Day visit to Holy Place – Mantralayam

Mantralayam visit was one of the long pending place in my list of visit.  At last a time came to visit a wonderful holy place with my Reliance friends on 18th February 2017.  Got an invitation from Reliance ex-colleague daughter marriage at Raichuru, so thought to visit Mantralayam too.

We booked the Nanded Express from & too, Bengaluru to Mantralayam Road and back from Raichuru to Bengaluru. 

Ten friends boarded the train on 17th February 2017 around 10.50 pm to Mantralayam Road.  Train was delayed by one hour, reached the station at 9.30 am.  We can get many local taxi of Auto’s and other vehicle to get a drop to Mantralayam which is around 16 KMs from Railway Station.  They have fixed fare of Rs.20/- each.  We hired an auto and headed towards holy place.
One of our friend booked the rooms online, so we did not find much difficult to get the boarding.  The Dharmashala’s maintained well, we occupied two double rooms.  Got refreshed quickly and headed towards Sri Raghavendra darshana.  
The sun was itching very sharply, luckily the crowd was not much.  Very relax finished the darshana, and headed towards Prasada Nilayam.

The empty stomach without breakfast we all badly hungry, filled with delicious prasad.  We could not able to explore much around the temple, since hot weather.
Decided to relax for some time at room and then go to visit Panchamukhi temple.  It is sacred holy place where Raghavendra Swamy did meditation and blessed with five gods.  Only mode of transportation is own vehicle or hired Auto.  We made a good deal of Rs.70/- each to and from Mantralayam to Panchamukhi temple.  The surprise thing, temple is in Karnataka and its around 21 KMs from Mantralayam.
We all had good humpy dumpy ride and reached the temple.  Could be the off season, the devotees were very less, comfortably finished the darshana and headed back to Mantralayam.
Many of us wanted to take one more time of Rayara blessing, so again finished one more round.  We boarded the bus to Raichur at 7.30 pm to attend the marriage.
The short journey was very fun filled and blessed one.  It is very painful to see the Tungabhadre river, not even single drop water was left.  It is indicative of bad rain fall of last year.  Definitely loves to visit again this place in peak monsoon to get the bless of Raghavendra Swamy and glory of Tungabhadre.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Bicycle Tour: Shimoga to Udupi - Malpe

On Malpe Beach
A casual talking converted into a cycling trip from Shivamogga to Malpe on 11 & 12th February 2017 for around 170+ KMs in two days.  After the Dandeli cycling trip in last December , I did not touch my bike.  Of course, this is not the right time to go for cycling long trip since the beginning of summer.  I and Chandru, my friend decided to do some event, either it is trekking or cycling.  Trekking is ruled out, because we were not able to gather more friends, second option was thought to do cycling.  

I should appreciate Chandru will power and congratulate him for successfully completing this ride. He is the person neither tried any MTB cycle before this nor peddled before a long time.  Just I gave him an option and he was ready with full spirit.  The challenge was getting a good bicycle for him, hired a bike and set ready to be on road.

Relax at Malpe Beach
We booked the KSRTC ticket from Bengaluru to Shivamogga and back from Manipal to Bengaluru.  The route we choose:

Bengaluru – Shivamogga [By Airavat]

Shivamogga – Gajanoor – Sakrebailu – Mandagadde – Thirthahalli – Agumbe – Someshwara – Muniyalu [Night Halt at my home] – Approx. 126 KMs

Muniyalu – Ajekar – Shiroor – Hiriyadka – Manipal – Udupi – Malpe: Approx. 60KMs

Manipal – Bengaluru [By MultiAxle Volvo]

Chandru arranged the rented bicycle from Malleshwaram and reached directly to Majestic bus stand.  I reached all the way from RR Nagar.  The bus was scheduled at 11 pm, without any issues we loaded our bikes in luggage compartment, the journey went well.

Reached the Shivamogga bus stand around 5.15 am.  Quickly unloaded our bikes and assembled the front wheel.  We decided to finish the morning core job at bus stand.
On the way to Thirthalli
The sky was slowly turning into blue, started our journey towards Thirthalli.  The morning was pleasant with cool breeze.  The roads were empty and slowly started our ride.  Soon we reached Gajanoor Dam, had a small photograph session and continued the journey.

Gajanoor Dam
The next pit stop was Sakrebailu.  People were waiting for elephants, hope we reached very early in the morning so we could not able to see the elephants. 
Sakre Bailu
Continued the trail in the forest, this stretch is most beautiful.  Passing through the dense forest is amazing, one side, Tunga river is all the way and another side thick forest.  Reached the Mandagadde around 9.00 am.

Mid of the Forest
Now the time to fill our stomach with breakfast.  There was a road side cart hotel, yummy Palav filled our stomach and continued our journey. 
Break for Breakfast
The target is reach to Thirthalli at the earliest.  Rolling terrain with gradual ascend make you tiered.  The sun was on our head, the atmosphere was very hot, tiered body reached the town around 1.30 pm.

Near Mandagadde
We thought to skip lunch and take some other place, considering the hotel availability, finished the lunch in Udupi hotel.  The mind and body went in relax mode, this is very tough time to continue the journey in the hot weather.

Entrance to Thirthalli Town
By great difficulty we peddled around 5KM and decided to retire the body for sometimes in the shade.  We had good half an hour nap under the tree. 

The day was more challenging and we had target to reach my home Muniyalu around 125 KMs.  Thought not to delay more, continued our journey towards Agumbe.

Agumbe Sunset Point
Reached Agumbe around 5.45 pm, the sun was setting in west.  This is my second journey around Agumbe on cycle.  The first one did in reverse ascending the ghat from Someshwara, however it was descending the Ghat.  Just took few photographs near sunset point and continued our journey.

In Agumbe Ghat
Ghat road was busy as usual, reached Someshwara within 30 minutes. Stomach filled with evening snacks and continued our journey towards Muniyalu.

Victory sign after Agumbe Ghat
The distance is almost 25KMs, the sun was set in dark, the challenge to peddle in Someshwara Wildlife sanctuary range. Chandru bike was not having the torch, managing with single bike light crossed the stretch.  Family was eagerly waiting to welcome us, reached the home comfortably with tiered body at 8pm.  With yummy dinner retired for the day.

The overall 126KMs journey was super, a special kudos to Chandru for maiden achievement without any prior practice.

2nd Day Flag Off by my Prince
We started the day very relaxed, finished the breakfast at home and left around 11 am. Son was missing me a lot, by heavy heart left towards Udupi.  Now a days I am well versed with internal routes around Udupi and eager to do cycling in this range. 

Near Shiroor
We took interior route to reach Udupi, on the way visited Shiroor Krishna Matha.  The place is so beautiful, spent a good with photograph and continued our journey.

Shiroor Math
Humidity was more, sun was very harsh, trail felt so difficult, taking multiple breaks reached the Hiriyadka.  Paid Darshana to a famous Veerabhadreshwara temple.  Continued our journey towards Udupi.  Taking small breaks, passed the Udupi and headed towards Malpe which was our ending point.

On the way to Udupi
The victory timing was around 3pm, reached our ending point of Malpe beach.  We both celebrated the victory and wished Chandru for successful completion of his journey.

Malpe Beach
We had enough of time, searched for shade to relax for sometimes.  Slept under umbrella for an hour and then headed towards beach game.  

Sunset at Malpe Beach
I did not like to get in water, Chandru enjoyed the beach around an hour.  After spending good time with photography, headed towards Udupi back.

We skipped the lunch, both did not feel hungry.  Searched a good 3 star hotel for dinner, finished the tasty food and boarded the bus at Manipal back to Bengaluru.

Beautiful Evening at Malpe Beach
The journey went well, covering over all 170+ KMs in two days.  Day one was very tough and a long one, however second day was very relaxed.  I decided to choose the same trail in sometime peak monsoon.