Showing posts sorted by relevance for query agumbe. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query agumbe. Sort by date Show all posts

Waterfalls of Agumbe, Karnataka -1

     We planned a trip to visit "Kunchikal Falls", the highest tiered waterfalls in India since the monsoons were high. The waters of the Varahi river fall from a height of about 1450 ft forming the Kunchikal Falls. It is located in Agumbe, Shimoga district . As we had very little information about this falls, we thought this would be a nice place to explore. But, as soon as we reached Agumbe, on inquiring about Kunchikal Falls, we were disappointed to know that  no permission was granted to visit the same since the falls is loacted inside the dam region. As usual, thinking everything happens for good, we moved on to explore the other beauties of the mighty Agumbe.We found a guide to accompany us in our journey of exploring the forest of Agumbe .
      "Agumbe" is known as the "Cheerapunji of the South". Most of the episodes of Malgudi days was shot in and around the village of Agumbe. This place is known for the sunset, especially during November to January. The forests of Agumbe is one of the most important part of the western ghats . This is home for the one and only rain forest research station in India . This place is also called as the "Capital of King Cobra" , since its forests is home to a very large population of King Cobras. Off late, naxal activity has increased in these areas. Though during our visit,  everything looked  under control. We had to cross many check posts in the village and usually permission is required from the police department to go into the forest . 
Welcome to the  Cheerapunji of South
         We gathered information on places to visit around . The village of Agumbe has 3 waterfalls namely, the Barkana Falls  , Jogi Gundi Falls and  the Onake Abbi Falls, nearby. Most of the people told us to avoid going to the Onake Abbi falls due to the heavy leech infestation on the way . Hence, we decided to explore the other two falls.
        Our first  was the visit to Barkana falls . It has to be viewed from a view point which is about 4 kms walk through the dense tropical rain forests . There is a jeep track which ends up into a walking trail. The abundant flora and fauna of this  region is a pleasure to experience and be a part of. It was breathtaking. Beautiful birds  especially those endemic to western ghats like the Malabar Trogon, Laughing Thrush , Flycatchers , Dark Fronted Babbler , Horn Bills and many more... can be spotted here,  regularly . The Barkana falls  is the tenth highest waterfalls in India.The waters of River Sita fall as Barkana from a height of about 850 ft. The view of the Barkana falls is just mesmerizing .
Rain-wet  Road
Amazing Roads
Country Side Agumbe
Path to the Falls
Into the Forest
Agumbe's dense vegetation
Barkana Falls, Agumbe, Karnataka
The Mighty Barkana
A Closer look
Barkana Falls, Agumbe, Karnataka
Barkana Falls
View of the Valley
A Great view
A Small Stream on the way
To be  continued ............................

Waterfalls of Agumbe, Karnataka -2

Continuing from  part -1 ....
      From Barkana falls we moved towards another falls by name Jogi Gundi.The force of the water was ferocious, falling from a height of about 20 feet . We had to walk for about a kilometer from the road to reach the falls.
The Walk
Natural Barricade
Jogi Gundi Falls, Agumbe
Jogi Gundi Falls

Later,  we went back to the village and had a good lunch. The only question passing our minds was whether to visit the Onake abbi  falls or not, since the locals had warned us about the leeches. Finally, we decided to give it a shot .The way to the falls is through a medicinal plants garden. The garden is about 3 kms from Agumbe. Here on, it is about 3 kms walk to the falls . This place was a haven for leeches, which made the trek more enjoyable . It is better not to stop anywhere in between, reducing the chances of interaction with the leeches.We continued our walk all the way up to the falls except for some photo stops. There are well laid steps from a certain point to the water falls . When we almost reached the falls, it started to pour heavily ,thus ruining our chance of photographing the falls.As we reached the destination, we realized we were at the top of the falls. On inquiring the guide told us there was an alternate route from Someshwara which  leads to the bottom of the falls ..
The Path
Forest Mile Stone
Indian Amazon
The Steps .
   Since we had only a day at our disposal and had to reach another place by evening, we had to leave Agumbe, which was very disheartening.
Directions from Bangalore:  Bangalore - Magadi - Kunigal - Hassan - Belur - Aldur - Balehonnur - Jayapura - Sringeri - Agumbe .
Distance: About 380 kms.
Stay/Accommodation :There are very few options for accommodation around Agumbe. On searching, we found a place just opposite to the Bus Stand - Mallya Residency (Mobile: 9448759363, Phone:08181-233042) Cleanliness: Average, Facilities: Minimum. This place is okay for an overnight stay. We also heard about home stays around the village.We suggest Sringeri as a better option for accommodation.
Places to visit Around: Kudlutheertha, Sirimane Falls, Sringeri, Kundadri Hills, Narasimha  Parvatha and many more.
Trip dates: 12 and 13 Aug 2010

A Monsoon Trek in the Western Ghats, Kavaledurga Kote, Shimoga/Shivamogga

On inquiring about the route to the fort of Kavaledurga to a local, he replied saying, "Are you guys crazy to venture out there during these rains!? The path will be very slippery. Go straight, walk along the field bund and you should reach the base of Kavaledurga".
Brightly Colored Mushroom Welcoming us to the Fort 
We nodded our heads and thanked him for the information and concern shown by him. We walked as per his directions and reached the end of the fields from where the path laid to the fort was visible. It was only when we laid our first steps did we realize we were in for something! As we started our trek uphill on a very slippery slope, we noticed our steps almost matched that of a disco! We surely would have proved to be a tough competition to Micheal Jackson or Prabhu Deva. Even carefully laid steps with caution were slippery, and after slipping and trekking uphill for a good 40 minutes or so, we reached the second gateway of the fort from where the climb seemed easy and the views from here were mesmerizing.
Walk along the Field Bund 
Kavaledurga Hill fort
At the Base of the Kavaledurga Hill 
Kavaledurga Kote
First Look of Kavaledurga Kote
Entering the Fort 
The history of Kavaledurga Kote (Fort) goes this way, "This place was also called as Bhuvanagiridurga owing its name to the temple of Goddess Bhuvaneshwari, which is located in the village and is of considerable antiquity. The fort was a stronghold of the Nayakas of Keladi, who fortified this hill post their liberation from the Vijayanagar kingdom. The credit of building this forest fort goes to King Venkatappa Nayaka, who also built a palace and village inside the fort walls. The fort is three tiered and surrounded by thick forests, which proves to be a perfect defense structure. Out of the many temples built inside this fort area, the three that have survived the test of time are the Kashi Vishwanath temple, Shikhareshwara temple and Lakshmi Narasimha temple.
Lajja Gowri, Lord Hanuman and Elephants on the Wall at the Fort Entrance
 The Kashi Vishwanath temple is a beautiful structure and a unique one due to the presence of 2 dwajastambhas or stone pillars in front of the temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a linga and is built in typical Keladi style of architecture. Besides the temple lie remains of another structure with only pillar bases. A small rock with a temple of Lakshmi Narasimha at its top is seen right opposite to this temple. A little further from this temple is the ruins of a huge palace where King Venkatappa Nayaka lived. These ruins are a feast to the eyes and a sight difficult to forget. Besides this is a small yet charming queen’s bath. Further from here is the topmost point of the hill, with the temple of Shikhareshwara. We did not trek to this spot as the rains intensified and the weather looked threatening.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Kavaledurga
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Kavaledurga 
The Palace, Kavaledurga
The Palace, Kavaledurga 
 There are many water ponds which were full owing to the incessant rains and were a sight to see. The descent also was too slippery with fresh rains and drizzle every now and then. The only saving grace was that we did not have any fall or injury. Though the trails were too slippery, we enjoyed the trek thoroughly and will always remember the enchanting views Kavaledurga offered .Overall, the trek was exciting and adventurous.
The Queens Bath 
One Among the Many Water Ponds Here
Other Places to Visit Nearby: Thirthahalli, Agumbe, Hulikal, Kolluru, Kodachadri, Nagara Fort and many more. 
How to reach Kavaledurga Kote: Drive on Thirthahalli - Agumbe highway; Take right at about 7 km from Thirthahalli and travel for about 10 Km to Kavaledurga village. The village is located about 18 km from Thirthahalli and 350 km from Bangalore. 
Accommodation: There are no accommodation facilities inside the village, though one can pitch their own tents inside the fort area or in the village premises with prior permission of the villagers. However, the closest and a better option would be to stay at Thirthahalli which offers good accommodation choices. 
Where to eat: There are no eateries in Kavaledurga; Thirthahalli is the closest and a better option. 

PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

A Winter Trek in the Western Ghats, Ballalarayana Durga Fort, Chikmagaluru

Kudremukha Hills, Chikmagalur
Kudremukha Hill Range in Monochrome
 A long pending trek to Ballalarayana Durga fort finally materialized last winter during our trip to Horanadu. 'Ballalarayana Durga' hill is located about 40 km from Mudigere and the fort can be reached via two trek routes - the longer 2 day trek route via Bandajje Arabi Waterfalls from Mundaje and the shorter day trek from Durgadahalli. We decided to a take shorter route since our partner Adhi was a year and a half year old. Road is laid up to Durgadahalli, where we parked our vehicle and started our trek. The initial path of the trek took us  along a few local estates and a bit of steep climb welcomed us to this hill. The climb progresses amidst lush green grasslands which opens up into a beautiful natural landscaped vista.
Trekking in Chikmagalur
The Initial Trek Path
Ballalarayana Durga Fort
First Look of Ballalarayana Durga Fort
Shola Forest, Western Ghats
Shola Forest of Ballalarayana Durga
Trekking in Western Ghats
Break for the Little Trekker on Demand

The walk through the grasslands was quite easy and very pleasing to the eye. Undoubtedly, we spent more time on photography then trekking! As the trek continued through the grasslands, we reached a junction with two diversions and after much deliberation, we decided to take the route on the left and bang on! We were on the right track. We had to cross a few smaller hills in order to reach the base of the hill that housed the fort. We had a clear view of the fort hereon. The early winter weather was perfect for this trek and as usual, this time of the year is always pleasant. We entered the fort wondering about the reason of its being built here in the first place, later only to be abandoned and why no further attempts were made by other kings to occupy/modify/rebuild this fort. Much of the fortification still remains intact  giving us an idea of how magnificent it was, back then.
Trek route along the Grass land
Trek Route Snaking Along the Grass Land
Vigna vexillata Flower WesternGhats
Vigna vexillata Flower
Neelakurinji Flower Western ghats
Neelakurinji Flower
Flower of Western ghats
Forest Malenadu
Another Stretch of Shola Forests
Ballalarayana Durga hill range falls under the Bankal range of Mudigere forest division. This hill is said to have been fortified by the Hoysala Kings in 12th century, which also played a significant role in defence activities due to its strategic location. We did not get any further information regarding the history of this fort. It probably seems like the fort was abandoned with the downfall of the Hoysala dynasty. One can get a view of the entire Kudremukha hill range, Charmadi ghats and other hill ranges. While we were just about to start our descent, we spotted a few trekkers coming towards the fort taking the Bandajje Arabi route. We waited to speak to them and find out their experience uphill and assured them that the descent down the hill from here was not as difficult. They inquired from us about the possibility of hiring a vehicle at Durgadahalli and as we knew, we informed them that the chances of availability of vehicles were quite bleak. We offered them to join us so we can give  drop them all to the nearest place from where they can get a  bus back to Bangalore. Without a second  thought, they readily accepted our offer. After they rested for sometime, we all started our descent. All along, they were quite excited to see our little partner Adhi doing the trek! We reached our vehicle and as promised, we dropped the boys at Kottigehara. Overall, it was a wonderful experience of trekking amidst so much greenery!
Gaali gudda
Gaali Gudda Hills
Bandajje Arabi waterfalls
Towards Bandajje Arabi Waterfalls
Cheering Up the Young Trekker
Ballalarayana Durga Fort
Ballalarayana Durga Fort
Ballalarayana Durga Fort
Fort Walls Snaking Across The Hills

Other places to Visit nearby: Kalasa, Horanadu, Chikmagalur, Sooramane Abbi Waterfalls, Khandya, Mullayanagiri, Bababudanagiri, Kudremukha and many such.
How to reach Ballalarayana Durga:  Cross Mudigere, proceed towards Kottigehara, take a right turn towards Kalasa and reach Sunkasale. Take a left turn here and proceed till you reach a dead end and take a  left turn to reach the starting point of the trek. This village is located about 34 km from Mudigere and 312 km from Bangalore.
Accommodation: There are no accommodation facilities inside the village, although one can pitch their own tents inside the fort or village premises with prior permission of the villagers. However, there are many home stays in the area which also offer guided treks to this hill.
Where to eat: There are no eateries here; Kottigehara and Kalasa are the closest and better options.
Permission: Not required for this route.  However, the trek through Bandajje Arabi waterfalls route requires prior permission, which can be obtained at Bandajje only. Also, guides are provided by the forest department.

Related Posts 
1. A Monsoon Trek to Kavaledurga 
2. Dandeli Resting in the Lap of Nature
3. Waterfalls of Agumbe
Always Remember to Respect Nature and Wildlife. And Do not  litter.
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