Thursday, December 24, 2015

Family Trecknic Around Western Ghat: 24 – 26th December 2015


Great time when close friends family get-together in mother nature for 3 days!!! Yes, the most memorable and great experience specially for kids and women around Western ghat during 24th – 26th December 2015.  Spending three days in remote village where completely away from Mobile network, crowd and life worries, full time dedicated to family, enjoying in the stream, taking kids on shoulders and doing small hikes, camp fire, tasty village homemade food, sleeping in tent, beautiful sunrise and sunset uffff unlimited fun.

There are no words to express the joy we had and totally unique experience to the all family members. I, Sudhakar and Shanthi Prasad decided to do treknic around Western ghat with family members.  Due to unavoidable circumstances, Shanthi Prasad dropped out from the event.  So I and Sudhakar decided to take family in our own car during 24 – 26th December 2015.  Shanthi Prasad fully arranged about our trip, we are great thankful to him.

The members were part of this great journey:

My side: Me, Wife, Daughter, Son & Nephew
Sudhakar: Himself, Wife, Father, Son & Daughter

Total: 10 Members

Route Chosen

Kolar – Bengaluru – Hassan – Sakaleshapura – Manjirabad Fort – Ghat

Ghat – Shanivarasante – Holenarasipura – Sharavanabelagola – Bengaluru – Kolar

24.12.2015

I have started the journey from Kolar around 4am in Maruti 800. The weather was very chilled and it completely fog. Visibility of the road was very poor, struggled a lot till Hosakote.  Sudhakar joined us at Nelamangala junction point at 7 am.

Now the speed up our pace, very soon reached Hassan Adiyar Anand Bhavan.  We all wanted to have breakfast.  The crowd in the hotel was unbelievable, the guys were not ready to take the order.  Decided to continue the journey and take breakfast somewhere on the Hassan bye-pass.  We found a small hotel for breakfast, unfortunately there was also nothing left to serve us.  You can imagine how the Bengalurian going out on the long weekends.  Sudhakar brought homemade food, we all shared it and finished the breakfast.  Continued our journey towards Sakaleshpura.

Reached around 11 am, visited the Manjirabad fort.  Very pain to see the fort, nobody was there caretaker.  Government authority should initiate the steps to maintain well.  Spent good time of photography and continued our journey.

We called the caretaker Atheesh and informed about our arrival on lunch time.  Reached the place around 2 pm. Smiling face Atheesh welcomed all of us. He took us to his relative house yard to park our cars.  From this point on wards only 4 x 4 vehicles can ply due to the road condition.


Quickly unloaded our luggage from cars and loaded to Mahindra Open top Jeep.  It was new experience to all of us.  Kids were more eager to enjoy the journey. It was almost 3 – 4 KMs journey in the rough terrain, after 20 minutes reached a small beautiful village.  This was the heaven where about spend our time.

We could see hardly 4 – 5 houses in the village, it is surrounded by the hills.  Very peace and calm place.  Atheesh introduced us to his family members, happily welcomed all of us.  

He gave us two options for stay, the one was within his home some two rooms, and another one was outside where the construction work was going on.  After discussion, family decided to stay in the construction portion.  It was RCC molded house with half portion completed.  There was no window doors and floor, it was just a raw house.

Taken up our luggage and dumped in the corner.  We all badly wanted the lunch, hot yummy food served by good soul.  After the lunch we relaxed sometime.

Atheesh chalked out our 2 days stay in details.  As per schedule, today we had a small hike trek in the dense forest to enjoy the Ghat valley.  Behind his house, there is a beautiful stream flows.  Ladies and kids were engaged to enjoy in the stream, I, Sudhakar, Sindhu & Chetan continued with Atheesh for a hike.

Very soon entered in the dense forest, Atheesh carried a gun for self-protection.  

Passing through the dense forest, reached the grassland.  Now we can see the entire valley in 360 degree.  The Kumara Parvatha also can be viewed from this place.  

Had a fun filled movement with photography on the peak.  After spending good time proceeded towards our base camp.

The kids and ladies were also spent good time in the stream.  The hot coffee / tea served with snacks.  The atmosphere slowly turning into cold.  Dinner was ready with many varieties.  We all had tasty dinner and got ready for fire camp.
It was quite a new experience to family members, Atheesh arranged the camp fire.  Enjoyed the fire camp with Antakshari game.  Retired for the day around 10 pm.

25.12.2015

Always I would love to enjoy the Sun rise and Sun set in all of my treks.  This was not something different, Atheesh suggested some good place for sun rise point.  Again the same gang geared up to witness the beautiful sun rise.  

When we started from the base It was dark, soon we reached the view point.  The entire valley was filled with bird whispering, waited for a while for sun rise.  Enjoyed one of the most beautiful sun rise and spent good time for fun filled photography.

Back from the sun rise, other members were ready to start round trip of the day.  Soon we also finished our morning core jobs and ready for breakfast.  We all finished the breakfast and ready depart for a day trip.  Atheesh briefed about today visiting place.

Once again we boarded open jeep ride for thrilling ride.  

Firstly took us to the Kaaginahare.  You can view a beautiful valley surrounded by many hills.  He explained about few hill points viz., Aramane Gudda, Ombattu Gudda.  We can see the Shiradi Ghat highway from this place.



After spending good time, now moved towards a small hike point.  Certainly it was quite tough for first timer and specially kids.  I and Sudhakar took the kids on shoulders and continued the hike.  

Crossing a small peak, we reached a good hike point.  Found a bunch of tress shade, spent a good time with snacks.  All enjoyed the beautiful valley.

Now the next point was more challenging for the 4x4 driving.  Atheesh took us to the railway track.  It was really scary route in the jeep, a big salute to 4x4 which took us without striving much.

The train track connect between Bengaluru – Mangaluru.  We had relax walk on the Railway Bridge and tunnel.  Had witnessed passing the train. Everyone enjoyed the moment and continued our journey.

It was the time of Lunch, I think this was most beautiful place where we had it. None other than it is in Atheesh estate. He asked his wife to bring the Lunch to the stream so that we can reach by the same time. We had yummy hot lunch in the Mother Nature.

Now the real fun time in the water.  Sudhakar one year old daughter was most enjoyed in the water.  Everyone jumped in the water, had a wonderful fun-filled time.  After spending good time, left towards our base camp.


Relaxed sometime and all get ready to witness the sun set.  Few of us went to see the sunset.  After sunset spent relax time around village.  Had chitchat with the villagers and gathered more information about this beautiful place.

Now the time for dinner, really we are very thankful to this sweet souls.  Served tasty hot food and again arranged the fire camp.  The day was really tight schedule and more joy.

26.12.2015

The day was to depart from this village, soon we finished the job and get ready to leave.  Yummy breakfast filled in our stomach.  The group pic followed and all boarded to Mahindra Jeep.  

Said good bye to beautiful village and promised to visit again. Atheesh dropped us to the same place where our cars were parked.  Loaded the luggage back in the cars continued our journey towards Sharavanabelagola.

We decided to visit Sharavanabelagola while going back to Bengaluru.  Sudhakar’s father wanted to go Mysuru, so we dropped him at Holenarasipura. Taking Shanivarasante, Holenarasipura reached the Shravanabelagola around 2pm.


It was midday hot, taking children shoulder hiked the hill.  Took the darshana and continued our journey towards Bengaluru.  Luckily the traffic was less, reached Kolar around 8.30 pm.  The three days just passed like three minutes.  The memorable family trip will always provoke to do more and more.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Brahmagiri Trek – An Elephant Corridor: 12 – 13th December 2015

Brahmagiri always sounds for adventurous trekking place.  It was quite difficult to get the permission in the season due to more demand.  The actual plan was to go in October month, however by great difficulty and continuous follow up got the permission on 12th December 2015.  The kudos goes to my lovely friend Shanthi Prasad.

The team is set for 12 members and booked a Tempo Traveler. We put the pickup points Majestic Shanthala Silk – Kathriguppe – Raja Rajeshwari Nagar.  The TT came on time and left the Bengaluru around 10.30 pm.  The journey was as usual joyful with lot of fun.

12.12.2015
Reached very early morning around 4 am to Srimangala.  The place where Forest Office is situated and need to finish the official trekking formalities.  The weather was very cold and it was misty.  Most of the friends settled in the TT to get good sleep, few of us tried in the Bus stop.  We could not able to get sleep, so thought to explore the around place.  No specific destination, pushed the time till 7 am.  We all got freshen up in the public toilet and set ready for breakfast.

Many of us brought the home made food for breakfast and today’s lunch.  We all gathered in a plain ground near the Forest Office. Put our food in the mid and all enjoyed the yummy homemade breakfast.  The forest officials reached around 8 am.  Shanthi Prasad quickly finished the formalities and we paid the trekking fees.  Now again we have to travel in the TT till the starting point of the trek.

Irppu falls is the beginning point of the trek.  The distance is approximately 8 – 10 KMs.  We all boarded the TT and continued the journey.  The guide was waiting for us at the Irppu Falls.  Everyone got ready to hike the Brahmagiri.  We took the group photograph and headed towards the trail.

Initial trail take you to Irrpu falls, before just 500 meters we entered into the forest.  It is thick forest with complete shade.  Of course it is very tough during peak monsoon with Leeches.  Continued our journey with guide.  The trail was really awesome in thick vegetation.

Taking a small breaks we entered into the grassland.  Now we can see the 360 degree view.  All peaks are decorated with green carpet.  Spent good time for photography and had lot of fun.

Soon we reached the Narimale Guest House.  This is the only place where we can camp during the night.  This range is strictly prohibited to camp in the forest and also elephant attack is quite common. Little part of the guest house is abounded, it is well maintained with all kitchen vessels.  The guest has double bedroom with cot, a big Hall, Kitchen section, veranda, sit-out and back yard.  It is fully protected by electrical fencing to prevent from the Elephant attack.  This is very ideal place for camping in the Brahmagiri.

Dropped our luggage and quickly finished our lunch.  Again it is sharing homemade lunch, finished the lunch and ready to scale the Brahmagiri.  We all got relief from our luggage, carried a small backpack with snacks and water.  Our guide gave brief instruction about the trail and wild animal movement in this area.  Asked us to unite in the group and not to go individual away from the group.

It is complete open grassland with flat terrain.  We can easily view the entire valley.  Crossing the small stream continued our journey.  You will get an opportunity to put your foot one in Karnataka and another one is in Kerala.  

Clearly you can find out the state boundaries.  Continued our journey enjoying the awesome nature and weather.  Suddenly guide said “silent, look at the bunch of Elephant”.  We spotted some 8 – 9 elephant group.

We all happy to spot the bunch of Elephants.  Enjoying the valley again we come across single tusker.  Guide little deviated the trail and safely crossed the elephant area.  We all continuously shouting to push it into forest.

Now the real fun and challenging part of the trek. The final stretch of the Brahmagiri is not so easy to ascend.  Guide was watching the tusker not to rush towards us, so he asked us to ascend the final stretch.  

It was really fun, we all literally crawling to reach the peak.  The path was very slippery and there was nothing to hold the grip. By great difficulty we all reached the peak.  The joy of reaching the peak was awesome, no words to explain the joy.  Spent good time on the peak.

The descending was more challenging than the ascending.  Again taking more time we all came down to the base point.  The guide was suggesting us to move fast since it is getting dark.  The tusker was still at the same place.

We all moved so fast to reach the Narimale guest house.  Again we spotted a bunch of elephants. Reached the camp site by 6 pm.  

Dinner team was ready busy in preparation, few of us helped them in cutting the vegetables, bringing the water from far stream. Hot bisibelebath was ready, we all finished the yummy dinner. The time was to open our sleeping bags, by the time was 10 pm.

13.12.2015
Night we had a good sleep, when opened the eyes the time was 5 am.  Guide was about take us a beautiful view point where we can witness the sunrise. It was again a small hike, we witnessed beautiful sunrise. 

Now the time to prepare the breakfast. Quickly we all engaged preparation of breakfast.  Many of us were busy in photography and fun.  Finished yummy breakfast and good bye to Narimale guest house.


The trail was remain same, taking multiple breaks reached the basepoint Irrpu falls.  The humidity was more and we all badly required to dip in water.  Enjoyed in the stream and had good fun time.

The time was to adieu Brahmagiri and back to the practical life Bengaluru.  Reached around 8pm and good bye to all.  It was memorable trek to all of us.