Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waterfalls of Sirsi, Uttara Kannada - Part II

So continuing from part -1 .  This part has more waterfalls .

After a good overnight nap ,we  took the blessing of Goddess Marikamba at Marikamba Temple , Sirsi . Very famous temple built during 17th century .We went to another religious place nearby Sirsi is Sahasaralinga (Meaning Hundreds of Lingas) a really nice place . From here we went to Sonda which is famous for its Sode Vadhiraja Mutt . Sonda has so many different kind of places which one can explore .
Shri Marikamba Temple, Sirsi
Shri Marikamba Temple, Sirsi
Sahasaralinga, Aghanashini River, Sirsi
Sahasaralinga, Aghanashini River, Sirsi
Sahasaralinga, Aghanasini River, Sirsi
Nandi at Sahasaralinga
Malabar Grey Hornbill
Malabar Grey Hornbill
Places to visit in Sonda, Sirsi
Places to Visit in and Around Sonda
Sode Vadhiraja Mutt, Sonda
Sode Vadhiraja Mutt, Sonda
All these places are off Sirsi - Yellapur Highway.
A Common Sight Here
From here Begins the waterfalls saga .
Shivaganga Waterfalls:The Shivaganga waterfalls is a 74 m high waterfall on the river Sonda .This is about 34 km away from the town of Sirsi. This waterfall is located in thick forested area. From Sirsi one directly go to Shivaganga waterfalls via Vanahalli .
Shivaganga waterfalls, Sirsi, Uttara Kannada
Shivaganga Waterfalls
Waterfalls of Karnataka
Shivaganga Waterfalls
From here we went to another waterfalls famously called as "Mini Niagara of Uttara Kannada"
Sathodi Waterfalls : Sathodi Waterfalls is a waterfall in Uttara Kannada, that is formed by several unnamed streams near Kallaramarane Ghat, 32 km from Yellapur . It is about 15 meters (49.2 feet) tall. The stream then flows into the backwaters of the Kodasalli Dam, into the Kali river. One need to walk for about 2 km to reach the waterfalls.
Sathodi Waterfalls, Yellapura, Uttara Kannada
Mini Niagara Waterfalls of  Uttara Kannada
Sathodi Waterfalls, Yellapura, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka
Sathodi Waterfalls

Last Waterfalls of the trip.
This the mighty waterfalls of Magod.
Magod falls: The height of the waterfalls is 200mtrs. This waterfall has to view from View point. There is a nominal entrance fees.
Best Waterfalls of Karnataka
Magod Waterfalls
Magod Waterfalls, Yellapura, Uttara Kannada
Magod Waterfalls
Finally Sunset at Jenukallu Gudda 
Jenukallu Gudda, Yellapura, Uttara Kannada
Sunset at Jenukallu Gudda
There is one ancient temple nearby called Chandramouli Vinayaka Temple dedicated to lord Ganesha is beautiful Konkan styled temple .
Overall Travel : Bangalore - Tumkur - Gubbi - Shimoga - Shorab - Sirsi - Yellapur -Sirsi - Harihara - Chitradurga - Bangalore
Total km: 1250 km
Places Visited : Gudavi Bird Sanctuary , Unchalli falls, Sirsi Marikamba temple, Sahasaralinga, Sonda mutt, Shivaganga waterfalls , Sathodi waterfalls , Magod waterfalls  Jenukallu Gudda and Lord Ganesha temple.
Other places of interest nearby : Yana, Viboothi waterfalls, Banavasi, Bene hole waterfalls, Lalguli waterfalls, Wattahole falls etc.
This why we call Uttara Kannada as "Land of waterfalls". Most of these waterfalls are perennial. There is considerable amount of trek required to reach the waterfalls but the pains is worth it .

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Waterfalls of Sirsi, Karnataka

Gudavi Bird Sanctuary, Shimoga
Welcome to Gudavi Bird Sanctuary
This probably was a better way to celebrate our Independence Day. We planned to visit the waterfalls of Sirsi. We left Bangalore on Friday night around 10:30pm. The route we drove was from Bangalore- Tumkur - Arsikere - Shimoga - Shikaripur - Gudavi Bird Sanctuary. Gudavi Bird Sanctuary (Bird lover's Paradise) : This is a good place for a bird-watcher. There are variety of birds here, which will quite impress the visitors. It is not only the birds but the serenity of the place is also very relaxing.
Cormorant Bird at Gudavi Bird Sanctuary, Shimoga
Cormorant Bird at Gudavi Bird Sanctuary, Shimoga
Eurasian Spoonbill at Gudavi Bird Sanctuary Shimoga
Eurasian Spoonbill
Malabar Grey Hornbill at Gudavi Bird Sanctuary Shimoga
Malabar Grey Hornbill
Birds of Gudavi Bird Sanctuary, Shimoga
It's Birds Everywhere
Birds of Gudavi Bird Sanctuary, Shimoga
Southern Birdwing Butterfly (State Butterfly of Karnataka)
Southern Birdwing Butterfly (State Butterfly of Karnataka)
After Spending some good time with the birds, we moved towards Sirsi and headed towards Unchalli falls, located about 34 km from Sirsi, on the Kumta road . This is a Perennial falls, about 380 feet in height . The waterfalls is created by the river  Aghanashini. Since the waterfalls was in full force, we could hardly see the falls . We had to walk down for about  a kilometer  to reach the waterfalls .We had to wait for some time to get the full view. There is also a way down  to reach  the base of the waterfalls ,but we were warned  since the place was slippery and full of leeches.
Places to Visit in Uttara Kannada
Welcome to Unchalli Falls
Unchalli waterfalls, Sirsi, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka
Misty Unchalli Waterfalls
Waterfalls of Karnataka
Mighty and Powerful
Unchalli Waterfalls, India's best waterfalls
Unchalli Waterfalls

Continued here..

Related Posts:
1. Waterfalls of Agumbe
2. Waterfalls of Kolli hills
3. Mighty Hebbe Waterfalls 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Places to visit around Bangalore/ Bengaluru part-4

23. Varlakonda
             Type: Hill, fort , Temple
             Nearest Town : Chikkaballapur
             Distance from Bangalore : 75 kms
             Trek Distance: 2kms ( one way)
             Trek Level : Easy
             Directions: Take the Hyderabad highway NH7, cross Chikballapur,  proceed on the highway till the village of Varlakonda is reached. On the left, one can sight the Hill with some fortifications on it . Take a left turn and drive for about half a kilometer.
             About: It falls under the lesser explored place category. Climb is easy but there are no exact routes to the top. There is a small temple on the top and some old ruins. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama.
VarlaKonda Trek near Bengaluru
View of Varlakonda Hill from the Road
Temple on the top of the Hill
24. Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta 
            Type: Hill, Temple, Wildlife
            Nearest Town : Harohalli
            Distance from Bangalore : 50 kms
            Trek Distance: 4 1/2kms ( one way)
            Trek Level : Moderate
            Directions : Take the Kankapura road up to Harohalli ,then take a left turn after the bus stand and immediately take a right  to reach DoddaMarlawadi. At the circle, take a right and continue straight for 3kms till you reach a village named Konnaldoddi. Here on, take a left , travel about 300mts, take another left turn to reach the temple.
            About: This is a popular place. People have a fair idea about it. There are many cross tracks on the way ahead but do not deviate . There are directions up to the top but confusing. View from the top is  awesome . One can see the entire region of Banerghatta  National park on one side and  the town of Kankapura on the other. Caution: Avoid making noise and use of mobile as it is known to distract elephants. Yes, this hill is a habitat for the big mammals . 
Bilikal Rangaswamy Hill, Kankapura
View of Bilikal From The Road
Bilikal Rangaswamy Hill, Trek Near Bengaluru
Temple on the top of the Hill
Route to the Top
25. Somanathpuram
           Type: Temple, Historical interest
           Nearest Town : Malavalli
           Distance from Bangalore :140 kms
          Direction: Take the Mysore Road till Maddur, reach Malavalli and follow directions to the temple.
          About: It is a very nice stone carved temple. It was built by Hoysala Kings Narshima III under the leadership of Somanatha. Thus, the name. Take a guide if  interested in knowing the details of the carvings, etc. Behind the temple is the river side (about 1km form the temple)  where peacocks can be spotted if lucky. Places to visit nearby include Shivanasamudram, Cauvery fishing camp and Talakad .
Carvings on the walls of the Temple

Keshava Temple
26. Akkayamma Betta 
            Type: Hill, Temple
            Nearest Town : Chikjala
            Distance from Bangalore : 25 kms
            Direction : On the way to the new Airport, at Chikjala,  take a right  turn to reach the hillock.
          About: It is one of the less explored  places around Bangalore. There are a lot of temples and cave temples on the top. The place seems more lively during Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays with special kind of pujas .
View of the Hill
Welcome to Akkayamma Betta
For more places around Bengaluru. Click here
Related Posts:
1. Prehistoric site of Sanganakallu & Kappagallu
2. 101 places to visit around Bengaluru
3. 15 places to visit in Mysore

Biking in heaven, Kodagu/Madkeri

     This undoubtedly was one of the most exciting trips we have ever been on. Traveling 700 kms in less than 48 hrs to experience heaven could not have been any better. We were destined to be in heaven on a day celebrated as World Environment Day! It’s truly said that the best things in life are for free and worth every penny. And Nature proves it the best!
 Our initial plan was to leave early on Friday evening and travel as much possible, so we could save time the next morning. Since our work schedule held us up until late evening, we decided to meet at our friend’s place in Kengeri. It was 9.15pm by the time we reached his place. Soon after, talks about our plans and general talks went on through dinner.  After relishing the colorful Avalakki bath and Payasam, all of us were fully charged and determined to start off the next minute! It was about fifteen past ten when we kicked our bikes and hit the road. We decided to halt at Kushalnagar which is about 242 kms from Bengaluru. The three bulls we rode on were Discover 125cc, Bullet 300cc and an extraordinary Passion Plus (would be about, since it never ran over 50kmph!) .Nine of us traveled the whole journey. Four guys, three bikes, a girl and God. Our Plan was to go on an exciting Road trip to Madikeri.
The bulls
The riders
         We made sure our bulls don’t go hungry! After fueling, we were on road cruising at about 60kmph initially. We started racing towards Ramnagara, but the Desh ki Dhadkan seemed to lub dub at a lower rate! It gave us a chance to enjoy cruising since the roads were all ours and the weather was perfect for the ride. Mostly, our speeds were 55kmph which increased our time of journey. After a six hour long ride with multiple 10 minute breaks, we reached Kushalnagar by 4:30 am. It was Saturday morning. And the long ride had strained us. We rested at a lodge and decided to start around 10:00am.
           After the much needed rest, we checked out of and rode towards Harangi Dam. It seemed very dry waiting for the rains to fill it up. After stopping for some pictures, we moved further towards Somawarpet. All of us just loved the ride. We saw green everywhere! We reached a golf course on our way which was lush green and tempted us to stop our bikes and take a walk to see what was on the other side of it. What a gorgeous view it offered! The hillocks, the greenery, the curvy roads, and the freshly flowering tree with yellow flowers made it picture perfect. By the side were cows grazing and it seemed to me like this was the best way amidst nature. None could miss capturing the beautiful scenery.

Harangi Dam
Harangi Dam
The Gang
Golf Course
India's Official Mower
Cave temple
View of the lake from the top of the peak
About forty five minutes passed by, and we realized time is evil and we had to move on! We reached Somawarpet; we inquired about the route to Honnammana Kere, a small lake about 7 kms from Somawarpet. After spending some time near the lake, we decided to trek the hillock just in front of the lake. We got to know about a cave temple on that hillock which made us more curious. Steps were laid only up to the cave, but up ahead is a trail that leads to the peak. View from the peak top was gorgeous. But little had we realized that the best was yet to come.
After getting down, we explored an old temple at the base of the hillock. Inside the temple, resided Shiva in the form of a Linga and Nandi guarding him. The small temple had idols of other gods and the ceiling too carried some decorative carvings. It also had a tree which seemed to have sprung from the top of the ceiling. It was indeed a beautiful temple.
Ruined Temple
Temple and hill we climbed
Hatti Hole
We traveled back to Somawarpet for at Canara lunch home. They served us full meals after which we moved towards Madikeri. Now, our destination was a place named Mandalpatti. We had to stop by at few places and check on the route since we really did not know the exact route to this place. After a lot of queries, a group of men told us to reach Hatti Hole and people there would guide us on how to go further. On our way, we stopped by a rivulet. The water level was perfect for us to go down and across. Since the sun went down and it was getting dark, we moved on towards our destination. We inquired about the route to Mandalpatti, and the man who answered us was surprised to know that we actually were heading to that place on bikes! The route told by him was very confusing and hard to remember. We followed his directions up to a point where the road lead to two paths. After a small discussion we decided to follow our hearts and move on the right path! Slowly, it turned into a 4x4 road, on which riding a bike would be risky but challenging and exciting for a biker! The bike ride on this path was the best part of the whole journey. And any biker, with no doubt, would enjoy it thoroughly. An opportunity for a ride like this, itself, was worth the journey.  After a lot of negotiation with the roads and lot of ifs and buts, checks on the route every now and then with a handful of people we spotted throughout, we reached the approach road to Mandalpatti, a place unknown to most if us. As we moved further, the light went down and we hurried to get a view from the top. The place had turned into a misty heaven, the beauty of which cannot be expressed in words but only experienced. It seemed like we were amidst clouds and they were passing across. Suddenly, the place grew brighter. The clouds had moved on. The view form top was gorgeous and will always remain in our eyes forever. We had never seen a place so heavenly.
We spent some time here, and left to Madikeri. We had to rush on since it was already dark and drizzling. After a safe ride, we reached the lodge and freshened up for dinner. After a long night’s sleep, we went on to see Omkarnatheswara temple, Abbey falls and Gaddige. At this point in time, we wished to see Mandalpatti again! We revisited Mandalpatti.
About Mandalpatti:  20 km from Madikeri.
Directions: Take the road towards Abbey Falls .At the Y fork deviation, go right. There is a sign board for Pusphagiri WLS which is 17kms. This place inside wildlife sanctuary gives you a view of Kote Betta on one side and Pusphagiri range on the left .The View is just awesome.  One needs to pay a small fee for entry. Apart from the watch tower, there is the Forest Dept. Office, the last point till where your vehicle can go. Beyond this, the nature will take you on for the walk of your life.
Great Roads
Off roading near Madkeri
Some More Great roads
The View 
Road To Mandalpatti
Kote Betta, Madkeri
View of Kotte Betta (named so since it looks like a fort)
Signage near Abhifalls
Abhi Falls, Madkeri
The Falls
Pusphagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Pusphagiri WLS 
We were back to Madikeri for lunch and left to Bengaluru. We reached Bengaluru by 11:00 pm.
Places visited: Kushalnagar, Somawarpet, Honnammana Kere, Hatti Hole, Mandalpatti and Madikeri.
Route: Bengaluru - Mysore road till Srirangapatna. Then take the bypass road (Ranganathittu bird sanctuary road) , Yelawal - Kushalnagar -Harangi Dam -Somawarpet -Honnammana Kere –Somawarpet – Hatti Hole - Mandalpatti-Madikeri –Abbey Falls- Mandalpatti - Madikeri -Kushalnagar-Yelwal-Srirangapatana- Bengaluru.
Travel Distance: 700+ kms
Trip Date: 5,6 jun 2010. Caution: Reach Madikeri and then travel to Mandalpatti. Roads from Hatti Hole to Mandalpatti absolutely not suitable for bikes or cars.

Related Posts
1. Waterfalls of Sirsi
2. Waterfalls of Agumbe
3. Kemmanagundi