Showing posts with label Beaches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beaches. Show all posts

Apsarakonda Falls and Caves

 Nestled on the edge of a hill and lined by a beautiful beach, this serene waterfall lies hidden amidst thick vegetation in Honnavar taluk of Uttara Kannada district. As we had halted in Honnavar one night, we decided to visit Apsarakonda the next morning. We left early in the morning thinking that the place may get crowded with people and also since early mornings are a good time to sight birds. 'Apsarakonda' means 'Pond of an Angel'.
Ready To Fall
After parking our vehicle, we walked up to reach the park entrance. There were no directions to the waterfall anywhere initially at the park and also since there was nobody to give us any information, we just walked ahead hoping to sight a sign board somewhere along. There were steps that lead us to a beautifully developed park though there were no signs of any waterfall yet. Luckily, the birds at the park kept us busy for quite sometime as the day started to get warmer.  Finding a way out of the park, we reached a point from where there was a way down and another way up! While my partner chose to rest at that point, I decided to go down and check the way out. A few minutes down, I reached a temple from where I could also hear the sound of the waterfall. Excited! I was. Walking a little further , I saw a few steps that led to the waterfall. Quickly backtracking,  I called for my partner who joined me mid-way and both of us reached the waterfall. Equally amazed on seeing such a beauty, we eagerly jumped into the waters and enjoyed the touch of those waters. It was calm and cool with just the nature and us. 
Seat Decorated With Sea Shells 
Steps To Bliss
Pond of  An Angel
Apsarakonda Falls
Hereon, we went on to explore the Pandava caves. We found two such caves, small in size, and guessed there would be many more.
Pandava Caves
Apsarakonda Beach
Paddy Fields
Monsoon Blossom 

Break Fast Time

The Prefect Road Trip - " Team G Square"


   On the evening of December 05 2008, I was in a hurry to end my day’s work as I had to join my friends for a road trip. Little did I know that this would turn out to be a life changing road trip. My friends and brother waited eagerly at home so that we could kick start our journey.  As usual we borrowed our sister’s Indica (car) for our trip and with the entire luggage packed and stuffed into the car, headed towards Goa. We drove on the NH-4 up to Tumkur and then took a turn towards Shimoga. It was time for dinner and so we stopped by at a Dhaba (highway eat-out) for a sumptuous meal. Heading on, we kept driving until midnight and decided to halt when we were about 15 km ahead of Shimoga (towards Honnavar). We had a good night’s sleep in the car and the next morning we woke up and found a nice spot to finish our morning ablutions and continued driving towards Goa. We had Jog falls for breakfast and Karwar for lunch. Then cruising along the west coast we reached Madgoan/Margoa, headed towards our family temple where we had booked our stay for the next two days. The following morning kept everyone busy but me, in marriage preparations. I had the privilege of resting as I was the lucky (read it as not-so-lucky) bride-groom. I spent the day’s end by the riverside dreaming about married life. The D-day arrived atlast! The marriage was a very simple affair and went on smoothly. We finished our lunch at the temple and headed towards Margoa railway station. Thanking them for being there, we bid adieu to our friends and family who boarded trains to return to their homes leaving the car to us. This was only the beginning of our new journey. Me and my wife headed towards Colva beach and spent a good amount of time enjoying the cool breeze. We later drove towards Panjim where we booked a room at a lodge that had a riverside view and spent the night calmly just like the river there. The next morning, we explored various forts and beaches around and did some parasailing over sea and spotted some dolphins far away in the sea. After the water sport, we rested for a while and moved on. On our way, we sighted a board directing towards Arvalem caves and falls. Feeling very excited, we inquired a few people and reached the caves and falls. The evening was spent enjoying the falls and late evening we headed towards Karwar. At Karwar, we halted at a fairly good lodge to spend the night.
Go Goa

      Making inquiries the next morning at the lodge reception about places of interest nearby, we got to know of great places such as Yana, Mirjan fort, Gokarna and so on. We headed toward Gokarna and offered our prayers and moved on to the beach. Without wasting much time we decided to explore Yana since we had heard a lot about this place before. We walked by foot to enjoy the bliss of the Western Ghats during winter. With no breakfast our 12km trek to Yana was wonderful and an unforgettable one.  We reached a village on Sirsi-Kumta highway and stopped by at a small shop and ate everything they offered us. So hungry we were! From here, we decided to head towards Unchalli waterfalls near Sirsi. We reached the crossing where we had to deviate towards the waterfall at around 5pm and had to travel 20km more to reach the waterfall. We were now in a dilemma whether to proceed or not as it would turn dark by the time we reached. We decided to head towards the falls and were greeted by a swiftly moving deer which in no time vanished into the woods, thus giving us a signal of the wildlife activity here. Finally, we reached the point from where the trek to the falls began. The Sun had already set and darkness gradually started to engulf the area. With a lot of courage, we walked towards the falls. After walking for about half a kilometer, we realized it was too dark to proceed as nothing was visible. We safely returned to our vehicle and headed to our friend’s house near Honnavar, where we had our night’s meal and crashed onto our beds.
     After a sumptuous breakfast the next morning, we were at the jetty point waiting for the jetty to take us to an interesting place revealed by our friend, the Mavina Kurve Island. Mavina Kurve is a small and serene Island nestled in the River Sharvathi. The jetty ride was quite pleasant and rewarding. Hereon we moved towards Mirjan fort, which was under restoration by the ASI (Archeological Survey of India) during our visit. We had no idea about its history at that time. The guard there told us not to take photos using a camera though he allowed mobiles to do the same. After a good stroll inside the fort, we   drove towards Karikana Parameshwari temple located atop a hill close by to Honnavar from where we had a good view of the Arabian Sea, Sharvathi River and the surrounding hills. Now it was time to head towards the Mighty Jog, considered to be the highest plunge waterfalls of India. On the way we stopped at a view point to get a wonderful view of the Sharvathi River. We reached Jog, and as the water trickled down the rocky hills, we only wondered about how wonderful it would be during the monsoons. We were curious to we see the spot where a scene for the movie “Mungaru Male” was shot.   Later, while driving towards Sagar, a board directing towards Ikkeri caught our attention and in no time we were in front of a huge and magnificent temple built by the Keladi kings during the 17th Century.  We were quite surprised as we were not aware of such a temple. It was late evening and we reached Heggodu, a village that houses a famous cultural organization called NINASAM, started by K V Subbanna (a famous Kannada artiste). We were quite hungry as we had forgotten to have our lunch and went in search of the canteen here. The hot Idlis with chutney served here were the best we have had till date.  We inquired about the route towards Mangalore and were directed to reach Thirtahalli first. Driving on the winding roads in the dark was a pleasure. People at Thirtahalli recommended us to head on to Sringeri for halt, where we crashed for the night.
     We woke up little late in the morning and moved towards the temple of Sringeri. At South Kanara border, we turned towards Kudremukh and reached the Kudremukh Nature camp. Unfortunately we were not let into the camp as we failed to get a prior permit. He suggested we visit the Lakkya dam and Hanumangundi waterfalls. On reaching the Dam site, we realized the visiting hours were in the evening. Not wasting much time we reached Hanumangundi falls. After paying the required fee, we had to walk down to view the falls. The falls looked majestic and seemed like it awaited for its first visitor of the day. We spent a lot of time here enjoying and exploring the surroundings until a noisy crowd walked down.  Our ascent was tiring. We decided to end our exploration here and reached home for lunch.
A Wonder Called Karnataka
    Personally, this was the perfect road trip I had ever been on. To have started this road trip as a bachelor with friends and ended the trip with my friend for life (my wife), having traveled in a borrowed car through unfamiliar routes, without much preparation or planning was an adventure by itself and a once in a life time experience. It was undoubtedly an amazing road trip, but most importantly it opened a new avenue in our lives.  “Team G Square” was born with a desire to explore and discover every inch of Karnataka and beyond. We only wish that this journey never ends…..

An Evening at Bekal Fort, Kasaragod

'Bekal Fort' (Wiki)
Flying High
Lonely
Waves Kissing the Rock
Shadow Play
Golden Waves
Perfect End to a Hard Day's Work
A Photographer at Work 
Captured

"Roadissi" Dancing on the Roads of Orissa

      "Roadissi" is the chronicle of our road trip to the beautiful state of Orissa/Odisha.  After reading a newspaper article about the famous temple of India "The Sun Temple of Konarak" being in danger, we decided to visit this marvelous  temple. Though our initial plan was only a 2 to 3 days trip covering Puri - Konark- Lake Chilika - Bhubaneshwar, on researching for places in Orissa, we realised 2 to 3 days were insufficient!!! A good 10 to 15 days would give us a good chance of covering most of the places and since we were driving so far, it made sense to make the best use of our time! Rule number one was to complete all our official works so we could take leave without any hindrances. Finally, we managed to get a good  two weeks leave and here on started our adventurous and unforgettable road trip to Orissa.
       Orissa is blessed  with immense natural, cultural and religious heritage. James Fergusson (author of the book " History of Indian and Eastern Architecture") declares in his book that " there are more temples now in Orissa than in all the rest of Hindustan put together". W W Hunter stated that "From end to end, it is one region of pilgrimage". Orissa, rightly called as the land of temples, is home to the most beautiful masterpieces of architecture. 
Our Itinerary
1) Pilgrimage - Puri Jaganath, Puri  and the Lingaraja  Temple, Bhubaneshwar
2) Architectural, Hindu - Konark, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Banks of  the River Mahanadi
3) Architectural, Buddhism/Jainism - Dhaulagiri, Udayagiri (2), Ratnagiri, Lalitagiri and Khandagiri
4) Natural wonders - Atri and Taptapani Hot Water Springs
5) Wildlife - Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha, Chilika and Satkosia
6) Beaches - Gahirmatha, Chilika, Puri, and Chandrabagh
7) Forts - Sisupalgarh and Cuttack
8) Art - Pipli, the Art Village
9) Asokan Edicts - Dhaulagiri and Behrampur
 Unfortunately, the Simlipal Tiger Reserve remained closed due to Naxal activities in the region, thus ruining our opportunity of visiting the reserve as well as India's second highest waterfall - the Barehipani waterfall (1300 ft), which falls inside the reserve limits. Also, visits to Satkosia, Taptapani, Cuttack and Behrampur  failed to materialize due to various reasons. Apart from these, as it was road trip, we got to explore a lot of hidden treasures of both states, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Road trips always are an added advantage as we have no time limits and free to explore any place we feel like!

Places to visit in Orissa
Roadissi - Dancing on the roads of Orissa
  Our companions of the trip
1) Information Center -  "Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent " by Takeo Kamiya, India - Eyewitness Travel of DK, Incredible India of IMS, Wildlife Holidays in India of Outlook Traveller, Konark - By Thomas Donaldson, Temple Cities of Orissa - By Balaram Mishra and few details collected from various websites
2) Clicking partners - Canon Power shot G3 (5 GB) and Canon EOS 450 D (16 GB)
3) GPS -  Eicher Road Atlas (wonderful road atlas) and IMS India Road Atlas
4) Music partner - Our good old pen drive with 4 GB capacity, full of songs (old and new Kannada and Hindi songs, dropped the latest ones as some of them have no meaning at all!!)
5) Telecom partners - BSNL, Airtel and Vodafone - had three for safety as we were unsure of the connectivity (though it turned out to be far better than we expected). Very important to keep in touch with our loved ones
6) A travel diary for writing  down  details of places visited, etc., including expenditure

Our Travel Oath
1) Not to exceed a speed limit of 100 kmph (Result:Never exceeded 100 kmph)
2) No night driving beyond 10 pm . (Result:Oath broken on last day while returning back, by celebrating New Year's during the drive)
3) Calling home everyday (Result:Did not dare to break this one!) 
 
The only package trip we opted for, during our trip : 2 days at the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. Halted at the Sand Pebbles Resort, very close by to the sanctuary limits

Total Cost : Under Rs 60,000/- per couple, including the Bhitarkanika package (16k) and diesel expense (14k), which are the major contributors

Road Conditions : 95 % of the roads were excellent, rest were manageable except  for a kilometer stretch that leads to the Bhitarkanika Sanctuary
Total km : 4438
Number of Days : 14, 19 December 2010 5:15 am to 01 Jan 2011 2:30 pm
Total No of photos taken : 14 GB, 7352 clicks
The Beginning
Morning Hues
First Sunrise of our Trip
Smooth Road Connecting Chintamani and Madanpalle
A P State Highway  61
Traffic Pile Up on the River Godavari Bridge
Traffic Jam at Vizag Steel Junction
Awesome Road Connecting Puri and Konark
Wow ! What a Sight - The Sun Temple, Konarak
Muddy  Road Leading to the Wild Bhitarkanika
Last Sunset of our  trip  (Visakhapatnam)
 The End and Beginning of a New Journey





The dance shall continue ......

Just Like That -3

 Water covers 71% of the earth's surface and constitutes about 60% of  the human body weight.  A compilation of a few of our favorite captures having water as its main theme is presented below.
Namada Chilume, Water Spring,Tumkur
Atri Natural Hot Water Spring , Orissa
 Stepped Tank (14th Century), Bhoganandishwara Temple, Nandi
Agastya Lake ( Man Made,5th Century),  Badami
 Honnamana Kere, Somwarpet
Natural Lake, Avani, Kolar
Umbalagundi Falls, Madikeri
Jedupala Falls, Madikeri
Bhitarkanika Back Waters, Orissa
Sharavathi River Valley, Karnataka
Tungabhadra Dam, Hospet
      Sea Mouth ,  Lake Chilika joins the Bay of Bengal
One of the India's cleanest Beaches, Orissa
Kaup Beach, Udupi
This compilation also marks our 100th post!!!