Exploring Karnataka


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December 8th 2009
Published: December 8th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

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Free flowing water
It was 5 of us, who had done some treks this year together with determination that no monsoon weekend should be spent without an outing. There were couple of others too who were part of this group but finally these were the 5 people who decided and actually confirmed their interest to take off for a long vacation and explore the real beauty of India. And they were Vidya, Rumi, Ashish, Saurabh and Laxmikant.
Initially when we started our discussions, we had plan to visit north India - Himachal Pradesh and surrounding places, but finally we all agreed on going to south India - for two reasons, one being the winter season - and we were told that lot of places would not even be visible because of dense fog and then the other reason was, while exploring the air tickets we found that we were getting a really economic option to fly to Banglore. The whole plan was then chalked out after we booked our tickets to Banlgore. We had decided to visit Madikery and then since we had almost 2 months in hand before we flew, we came out with a good list of places to visit, accommodation and
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Barachukki - waterfalls
the most important part transportation. Everyone has given their bit to set this all up.
The week before we flew was filled up with lot of excitement, everyone talking about their packing, their shopping, their expenditures and about their being away from the concrete and hi-tech world.
27th Nov:
We had our flight early morning at 6.45, Ashish house in Vishrantwadi was the meeting point for all of us. We all reached at his house on time, everyone being very punctual. Had a morning tea and some breakfast at his place and then went to airport.
When we got out of the Banglore airport, we found out that we had landed on to the new airport, which was build up and opened very recently. When we looked at the airport from within and from outside, we could not go without complementing it. It really appears to be build with the international standards.
We managed to find our Qualis very soon with our driver Basant Kumar, who was of the similar age, and had a typical South Indian accent, he also had came up with the plan and the list which he thought would be worth visiting which we later found
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Mysore Palace
that was really worth, and we would not have afforded to miss any of them. He took us to a small hotel, where we had our first typical south Indian breakfast - Idli, Masala Dosa, Onion Dosa, we all found that the test was little different than what we get in Pune, and it tasted better.
Now our trip was going to start, we all were tired because we had to get up very early and then had hardly any sleep in the night, but at the same time we were excited to start our explore India project. The first place that was not on our list and Basant had suggested was, Shivan Samudra - it has two big waterfalls, the first - Gaganchukki and the other one Barachukki.
He took us to Gaganchukki first, it was a little hot and humid, when we got out of our car. Then we walked for a couple of seconds to see a breath taking view of Gaganchukki, we were surprised to see that much water flowing in the winter season, which made us think how would it be looking in rainy season. There were big rocks and the water was flowing freely
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Colored Fountain
from all of them, then it was getting down at a place with so much speed and force that some droplets were getting spread with the wind. We went as close to the water as we could climbing down those big rocks and clicked our first pictures here. We immediately got into the car and started for our next destination.
The climate was not much different when we reached Barachukki. There was no view when we got down the car but we could see some steps going down. We didn’t realize the beauty of the waterfall until we reached closed to it. There were two big waterfalls, and there were some small circular boats - I forgot what they call it in local language. All of us decided to get into them and go below the waterfalls. We managed to bargain here to get all of us ride in mere Rs. 150/-. It was a totally new experience for all of us, we got into two boats and started going close to the waterfalls, the water droplets starting touching us and it was an amazing experience, then we went right below the waterfall and it got us wet. Then the
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Bandipur
men who had taken us near those waterfalls started rotating our boats in that water, and I can’t tell you how much fun that was. This was the place where Vidya lost her gifted Fast track goggles. Although a man went inside the water and tried to find her goggles, it was in vein.
Getting back to our car was another big task, as we were supposed to climb all the steps that we had taken, we were exhausted when we climbed them up again.
Then driver took us to some place where, Tipu Sultan is buried with his mother and father. This is considered as a holy place and people say that it is a symbol of close relationship between a mother and son. We visited this place when it had just started getting dark, we managed to click some photos of this place and got back to our car before it was really dark.
Then on the way to Mysore, we visited Shrirangpatna. A very ancient temple is built up here and this temple is famous for God Sleeping Vishnu - Sri Ranganthaswamy temple. One can feel all the “Shaanti” once reaches here. This temple has several small statues of other Gods including Goddess Lakshmi. This temple is entirely built up with black stone, with a lot of circular pillars. It gives an amazing peace of mind once you enter inside the temple. We finished our darshan, and then came back to our car to head to Mysore. It had started getting dark and we were supposed to reach Mysore and look for a hotel for our two days stay. Mysore was another 17-18 kms from this place, we arrived there in some time and stopped at a very good maintained hotel. Although the owner agreed to reduce some rates for us, it was not fitting within our budget and we had to keep looking for another options. In front of this hotel, our driver found that the car gears were not working, so he arranged for another Sumo to take us to some other hotels and finally we all agreed upon staying in one of them, which eventually turned out to be a good decision.
When we checked inside the hotel, all of us were looking for a much awaited part - the rest. Everybody got fresh quickly and then ordered some north Indian food as a
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View from Brahmagiri
room service. All of us had that food but regretted that we ordered north Indian food there. The food quality was not so good. It was our first day of stay. Vidya had brought the playing cards and we started with it. We started playing “bluff” as she explained, and I was the one to lose the game with huge bundle of cards in my hands when everyone else had managed to get rid of their cards. We must have played till 1.30 am in the night before we went for sleep.
28th Nov:
Basant had informed us that getting his car ready would take him atleast 2 hours in the morning, and he suggested that we should do some shopping in nearby area till that time. When we got up and freshened in the morning, we went for a walk and to have some tea-coffee. On the menu cards here, Ashish found “Badam Milk”, and from here onwards, whichever place we visited for breakfast-lunch-dinner, he made sure to order Badam-Milk, wherever he found it. We all then went for shopping together, but in a little while found that we were already apart and had formed two groups. One was
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Onkareshwar temple
still busy with shopping some Saris and the other one busy exploring more in Mysore and had reached to Mysore palace already. Saurabh, Vidya and Rumi were busy shopping the saris whereas Ashish and me were the first to reach to the south door of Mysore palace. After a while others also shortlisted the saris they wanted to buy and then came to the Mysore palace door, where I and Ashish were waiting. We checked with Basant but he said he would require more time, then we started exploring the local market, the first group again busy looking for Saris and the other one just walking in the market, tasting some Mysore sweets. Rumi, Saurabh and Vidya bought some saries here worth Rs. 5000/-, 3000/-? and 1500/-? Respectively. When all this was over, it was already hot, must have been 1pm, and then Basant told that his car is ready. We asked him to come to the market and then he took us to have our lunch at “Vishnudhama” - the place suggested by a local. The food was not so great but was ok.
As soon as we finished our lunch, we went on to see the Mysore palace.
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Rai Family and the group near our Bungalow at Madikery
Believe me, it takes your breath when you see it from outside and it takes out the remaining when you enter inside. We stood in a long queue to get the tickets and then when entered inside, we took an instrument with headphone, which gives you the information about every point in the palace and you have no need to take a guide. This is a very good use of technology. We were shocked to see the palace from inside, it is maintained so well that you won’t believe that it was constructed hundreds of years ago and also we were told that the entire palace was constructed in 40 lakh rupees. Exploring the palace alone takes at least 2 hours. The palace is full of real looking paintings, some antiques, some snaps of Rajas and their family. Use of cameras is prohibited inside the palace, so we couldn’t take any photos inside. There is another adjacent palace near this one but we didn’t go inside, as we were tired. However, we managed to visit Krisna temple inside this area, that was good too. When we came out we had some photo clicking sessions before we moved out of the
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The Golden temple
palace.
As per our earlier plan we were supposed to go to Chamundeshwari temple but since it was late (somewhere around 5.30 pm), and we were told that temple closes after some time we changed our plan. Our next destination was Brindavan Garden. We had a quick snack at some place on the way to Brindavan Garden and then we were on right time to reach to the garden, only when it had started getting dark. There was a huge traffic on the road, also when we entered the premises, we could see the “Mela of cars”. We had to stand in queue again to get tickets. As we entered in, the colored fountains with different shapes and forms made us forget all the tiredness. It was a pleasant cold outside and we were surrounded by all the possible colors on all our sides. Exploring this garden must have taken another two hours before we reached to the last show of musical fountain which started at 8.15. The colored fountains were dancing on the tunes of some Kannada and Hindi songs and they concluded the show with “Saare Jahan Se Accha”. I now truly believe that “India is Great -
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Gutam Buddha
It’s really Saare Jahan Se Accha”.
We had a dinner at a big looking hotel, where I and Rumi for the first time tried some non-veg dishes, which were just upto the mark. We came back to the hotel, singing lot of songs. Singing songs and playing some random games - finding hindi movie names etc, was part of our daily commute schedule. We never did any journey without singing any songs. Then we all stuck to our unwritten rule of playing cards everyday before we went for the sleep. However the game was changed today, and we were taught to play “Mendhikot” instead of Bluff - Vidya being our teacher again. Ashish was the most entertaining guy of the entire trip and especially for the card games. His questions were innocent and his style of asking them was excellent, we must have laughed till we got ache in our stomach. After this day, we got hooked to Mendhikot and we started playing it every night till late - at least 1am, although we knew that all the mornings we were supposed to get up and get ready early.
29th Nov:
It was 6.05am the next day, when we left
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Elephant Bathing
our hotel. It was difficult even to expect that the group will manage to get ready so early, but we all did it. We were on the way to Bandipur, we were told that it has some specific timings when the safari starts also, only in the morning we can see the wild animals etc. We reached Bandipur around 8.45 am, and quickly got our tickets to go inside the forest in a closed bus. Our bus was going to leave at 9.30, so we just walked around the ticket counter and to our surprise we saw hundreds of deers around, we captured some good photos and then we started capturing our own photos in those nicely built open huts.
Then we entered inside the bus and went on for a 45 minutes drive, the bus was taking us through the thick forest but we hardly managed to see any animals except deers, elephants, peacocks and monkeys. We were not very much satisfied and happy with this safari.
We then moved our morcha to visit Chamundeshwari temple. On the way we tried to visit another temple but the queue was so long that we decided not to enter inside. We
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ChannaKeshava Temple
came back after taking a couple of pictures there.
Chamundeshwari temple is located on the hill, the route is amazing, when we reached there it was 12.30 pm or so. It has some fixed timings when it is open. We got to know that it closes at 1.30 pm and then in the evening at 6.30 pm. We had somehow managed to get there on time. We stood in the long queue again to get Darshan. This place is considered to be a very holy place by locals. We took the Darshan of the Goddess and came out. It was past 1.30 pm when we got out, and also found out that we could have avoided the queue if we had taken the quick entry passes. We browsed through the local shops on the way when we were coming back to our car. We quickly got into our cars, and then decided to come back to the hotel, some of us still wanted to buy the Saries that they had short listed in the first shop that they visited in Mysore. When coming back, we saw a picturesque view point, where we halted for couple of minutes to take pictures.
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Sculptures
There was a huge rock on which we all could climb easily, we all took some good snaps here. It was a pleasant moment until we started getting down. Rumi was the first to reach to the ground, not because she was the fastest one, but because she came down rolling. We all were first scared thinking that she was hurt and then when realized that she was not hurt very badly we started pulling her leg. Thereon Rumi became “Rolling Rumi” or “Rumi - rock and roll” for all of us. Her leg was hurt a little and had scratches.
We came down, had food in a local restaurant and then Sari shoppers went on to their mission whereas others gathered at the hotel. On the same day we wanted to leave for Madikery, in the evening. Everyone got to the hotel, freshened up quickly and came down after checking out from the hotel to head towards Madikery.
Although Kushal Nagar, Dubbare elephant park, Nisargadhama falls on the way from Mysore to Madikery, we thought we will directly go to Madikery and come to these places from there. The main reason being that we knew we had a good
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Sculptures
accommodation arrangement at Madikery.
We again started our journey singing songs, Ashish suggested that we must go via Mysore Palace to see illumination around the palace. Basant was against it because he knew that the illumination is done only at Dasserra time. However, since we all were in agreement with Ashish, we asked Basant to take vehicle via that route only to get into traffic Jam.
We were crossing Kushal Nagar, when we started seeing some good hotels on the road, we decided to have our dinner and then proceed to Madikery.
When we reached Madikery - Rai uncle was waiting for us at a petrol pump. It must have been 10 pm, he directed us through those narrow roads to get to his bungalow. Until, we had entered inside the bungalow, we were not sure how it would be. When we entered inside, it was a pleasant surprise. It was a 3 bedroom ground floor. It had a huge hall, a kitchen, a praying place, and lot of necessary furniture. We all were happy to see this place. The owners - the Rai couple was of very helping nature. They made us feel at home. Although tired badly, we
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Carving of a Dwarpal at the temple
played Mendhikot before we slept.
30th Nov:
Our next plan was to visit Talacauvery - the origin of Cauvery river. We got up early, and started for Talacauvery, when we found Bhagmandala on the way. We took a break there to see the temple. It is a Lord Shiva temple - constructed in a Karalite style. We thought it was a good decision to take a halt there. The temple was too clean to too peaceful. When we entered inside, the daily pooja was going on, and some internal procession was happening. It was a good experience to see all that. We got out of the temple and headed to see a place to have some quick breakfast and we found a very small hotel which had nothing but Idlies to eat. We went for those idlies in that small hotel, and the idlies were too good for our taste.
We now headed for the sacred - holy place - Talacauvery. You start admiring the beauty of the place as soon as you reach near the gate. It’s maintained so well, kept so clean that you tend to forget that it is inside India. Initially we thought no photographs were
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Shrvanbelgola temple
allowed, and little disappointed we started keeping our cameras inside our sacks, when someone enquired with the security guard there and told us that the photos are not allowed only at the place where pooja is performed, where origin of Cauvery is seen. We all now were happy and started shooting with our cameras immediately. As we came close to the pooja place, we found that there was a big pond, in which some people were taking bath to reach to the origin where remaining rituals are performed. People enter inside that pond from one side and go walking through the water to reach to the other side and perform there pooja. We were lucky to see a couple with their 3-4 year child doing this ritual.
As we moved in further, we saw a Lord Shiva temple, a Ganesha temple inside. They were all good. Then we saw some steps going upwards, and we knew that it is called “Brahmagiri”. We decided to take those steps with our bare foots as we had already removed out foot-wears while entering this sacred place. We all climbed those steps with some reaching the top very fast and some (Rumi and Saurabh), catching us up in some time. From this place on one side, we were able to see the road which we had taken to reach to Talacauvery, whereas on the other side, we could see entire Talacauvery from the top. The free flowing air here, made us feel cool and took off all our tiredness. We shooted some photographs here and came down. On the way down, Ashish wanted me to take his photograh in a sleeping position. He then followed this protocol at some other places and insisted on taking his photographs in that position - .
When we started coming back from Talacauvery, we found a local shop, which was selling the local spices, tea and coffee. Some of us shopped the spices, coffee and tea from here.
The last thing on our agenda to cover on the same day was Raja’s seat. We went there but the show was yet to start so we decided to come to the house first, freshen up and go back. When we came to the house, the lights were off, entire Madikery was fillted up with Darkness, we thought we will not be able to go to see Raja’s seat and
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The group
see musical fountains but the time was with us. The electricity was up again and we quickly got ready to reach to Raja’s seat. We saw the musical fountain again here, with a very little crowd around, and when the show was over, we decided to relax in the park for some time. Rumi was taking rest in the house and rest of us were spending our time at Raja’s seat. We were really feeling relaxed, just sitting on the bench there and talking of all the ideas in our mind. Ashish started talking about the life - what is the purpose of the life? Although the topic was difficult for all of us for coming to a conclusion, we continued talking till we heard a whistle which was telling us to get out of the park. We continued the same topic again when we came to our bungalow for some time and then after having the home made south Indian food, headed towards playing the cards, and thus our 4th day was also over. It is also important to mention here that now the Mendhikot has entered into an exciting zone, where everyone has started understanding the game in much more detail, and the also the game of blaming each other of cheating, has started causing some light arguments between the teams.
1st Dec
We had liked sitting at Raja’s seat so much that we woke up early morning and went for a walk at Raja’s seat. I did two rounds of jogging whereas others clicked some sunrise photographs, and did some walking. We came back to home, had home made “Neer Dosa” and started getting ready for our next excursion. The place to visit today was Abby Falls. We started early in the morning and reached to the fall. We were told by our owners not to go below the water so we decided not to. The route to the fall again goes through a thick forest, the car can go only upto a certain point and from there you are supposed to walk. We walked down through that forest, making sure that Ashish’s photo in sleeping position is taken on a bench. We reached to the waterfall and were not so amazed with the quantity of water. Anyway, we took some pictures here and started our journey back. We had some good sugar cane juice here which
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Photo taken at Madikey - Raja's seat
made us feel fresh.
When approached back to Madikery, it was still looking good, sun was still shining right in the middle of the sky. We were crossing through the narrow roads when we encountered an hotel to have our lunch. The place name is “King’s way”. The owner seemed to be a “Houshi” person. He had a old Jawa kept inside the hotel, with a guitar near it, which read “I hate it when people touch my bike and guitar without my permission”. I requested him to take off the ribbon which was tied around the bike, so that we could take the pictures, and he gently agreed to it. We took some snaps and then started looking at the menu card. It contained all the North Indian Dishes, and we went for some of them, veg and non veg. It was an excellent food, excellent service and the most surprising part the owner was understanding our language - Hindi. Noticing that we were speaking Hindi, he tuned on some Hindi music, and the songs that were played were excellent too. Great choice man!! Keep it up - .
King’s way owner had told us about some places which he thought we should be visiting, one of them was GaliBidu and the other one was “Mandal Patti”. The “Mandal Patti” is a much admired place in Madikery and lot of film shootings take place there, so we were excited to see this place. We started on this route, but could go to the place because of really horrible condition of the road. We had to turn back after crossing some 3-4 kms of road. Then we decided we will go to Galibidu - which has some Tea estates. On the way, we found a small dam and a power house, where the nature view was amazing, we took some snaps here and then headed towards Galibidu. As we went on and on, the road started becoming narrower, and we were not seeing any big tea plantation anywhere after crossing 7-8 kms. We tried to enquire with locals but hardly any locals were found on the road, so we decided to come back, teaching ourselves to be happy with the small tea and coffee plantations on the road. We had stopped at the last point where we had reached, we clicked some quick photos here, it was a Ghana Jungle. We stopped at another location while coming back. Vidya and Ashish decided to climb up the hill which had Tea plantation on it, others decided to wait near the car and click some photos. When we all were about to board on the car, Rumi started shouting that she is seeing blood between her fingers on her leg, she thought something had bit her. Basant found out that it was a Litchi - in local languate “Jigni” that had bitten her. Everybody then started looking at their shoes and jeans, and everyone was bitten at least by one Litch except Ashish and Vidya. Vidya had not figured it out until we reached to the Fort in Madikery. When we reached there, she found that she was also not spared. The unique thing about this bite is that the blood don’t stop flowing out of the body immediately even if the Litch has been removed from the body. It takes a while to stop the blood flow.
The Madikery fort did not have much to see, it has been already converted to some government office. On the fort there are two huge statues of Elephants and a Ganesh Temple.
Our next destination was Omkareshwar temple, we went there when it was about to start getting dark. Again, this is a big temple, you can take photos inside and outside, which we did before we came out of this temple.
2nd Dec:
Next on our cards was, Tibetan Monastery and Nisargadhama. We decided to visit Tibetan Monastery first. The place is at around 1.5 hrs distance from Madikery. As we started approaching the place, we started seeing lot of Lamas and the new part to see was that they could riding the bikes.
We went inside the temple premises and tried to browse the temples that they have built up. They have 5 (perhaps one or two more than that) temples, one of them being the main one, which has all the statues covered with Gold (Not sure whether they are only Gold plated or real Gold). All the temples are huge; the entire area is called Golden Temple area. The place is maintained very well, and the access is granted to almost every place to public. No restrictions and one can take photographs anywhere they want including Lord Gautam Buddha Statue, and the praying area of the Lama’s. We spent a lot of time here clicking lot of photos in the premises. Sitting inside the main temple was a very peaceful experience, when we started feeling sleepy, we decided to get out of the temple.
Outside the temple, there are many Tibetan shops, where one can buy some antiques, clothes, and toys for children. We decided to have lunch first and then peep into the shops. We spent another 2 hours, finishing our lunch and exploring those shops. Some of us bought some gift items for their friends and relatives from here. Ashish bought a funny “chipku” item from here which he tried on Vidya while sitting in the car on the way back.
Now we were heading towards Nisargadhama. It wasn’t too far, we must have taken half an hour to reach here. After taking the entry tickets, we started getting inside via a hanging bridge, as we entered in, we saw thick Bamboo plantation all around the place. With the rays of Sun coming through those Bamboo trees, the entire atmosphere was looking exciting. We checked out the map of the place and decided to walk into a particular direction to be able to see elephants. This was the place, where some of us clicked some profile photos in a model style. This place has some elephants, deers. One can take elephant ride here, this place also has cottages and one can decide to stay here. Anyway, rather than animals the place is admirable for its natural beauty, the river flowing right through the resort, it gives a good site to take more pictures and spend valued time. From the hanging bridge, while coming back, we saw big bunches of big fishes swimming inside the water underneath the bridge.
That day we were back home early. We spent some time in our house talking to each other and then around 8pm went out to have dinner at “Choice hotel”. After we finished the dinner, some of us went to the local market to finish their shopping of spices and I decided to come back to the house. I spent time watching the fireworks by our Bungalow owner and his neighbors, that day being some festival.
When others came back after their shopping, we were back to the game of cards to end our last day of stay with Rai family.
3rd Dec:
We got up early, as we were told that Dubbare Elephant Camp follows a specific schedule to bath and feed the elephants and we wanted to catch that all. Bidding our adieu to Rai family by taking some pictures with them, we started moving towards Dubbare Elephant park. We reached at the camp at around 8.45am. To see the elephants we were supposed to take a raft to cross the river and reach to the other side. When enquired, we got to know that the first boat will start at 9.30 am, so we decided to have our breakfast in the hotel there. This was the costliest breakfast we had in entire south India trip. We killed our time by eating the omelets and talking to each other. At 9.30am we were given life saver jackets which we put on our bodies to ride the raft. We got down at the other side and we were all on our mission of capturing the photos of elephants. We saw the elephants very closely, some of them very peaceful, while some arrogant and angry. The cool and calm elephants and their caretakers were letting people come close to the animal, whereas the caretakers of angry animal were requesting people to stay away.
After some time, elephant bathing started, we saw many elephants with their riders coming to the water, it was a nice and niche experience for all of us. We were sitting on the bank of the river, on the benches and watching the entire show, when I realized that I had forgotten my wallet inside the jacket I used. I had given that jacket back while getting down from the raft. I was little afraid but was lucky to get my jacket back. Some of the elephants were throwing water on people with their trunks, and the children were loving it. After spending some more time, watching the elephant feeding and rides, we decided to start back. Got the raft and came to the other side of the river where Basant was waiting for us.
On the way we visited Harangi dam, but we didn’t see any water, so without spending much time we decided to go to Hasan.
Now we were heading towads Hasan where we had decided to take a halt and look for accommodation. On the way, we passed through a village called “TwareUrru”, where we saw a small religious Math, we spent some time there at the bank of river, then started for Hasan and near another village called “Rangnathpuram” where we had our lunch in a very very small hotel. The food was delicious, we had tried a south Indian thali and some idlies.
We reached Hasan around 4.30pm, and we were lucky to find a hotel which was fitting in our budget “Kadamba Hotel”. That was the first hotel we enquired, rooms were spacious and charges were nominal. We spent our evening playing Mendhikot, then went for dinner at Suvarna hotel, which was very close by and a decent place. Ashish gave a party that night. We also bought a cake while wandering on the roads. We wanted to celebrate Vidya’s birthday that night. We all were exhausted but somehow managed to stay awake to celebrate her birthday at 12.00, and the cake cutting was done with a plastic spoon instead of a knife.
4th Dec:
In the morning, I and Ashish went for a walk, we must have covered 1 km distance when we saw a good looking star hotel - Hotel Ashok. A Thought stuck to our mind - we should arrange Vidya’s birthday party here.
Today’s day was to be spent at Belur and Halibidu as per our plan, and we headed for it after having our masala dosa, paper dosa, breakfast at Kadamba hotel.
Belur is at a 1.5 hrs distance from Hasan. It has a very old Vishnu temple. It is famous for the carvings that are done on all the internal and external walls. Every carving on the walls tells a story from ancient Purana’s. We took a guide who explained lot of carvings on the walls, The Ram, The Vishnu, Ganesha, Parvati, Shiva, Brahma and so on. He also explained the clothing and hair styles of those statuses, which makes us believe that the fashion trends in practice now - were already found and exercised by old timers - 1000s years ago. This is a beautiful place and one can spent 2-3 hours easily at this place just looking at those carvings, and trying to understand the stories behind them. One specialty of the temples in Belur and Halibidu is that they have star shape, and their walls start with Elephants - Symbol of Strength, Lions - Symbol of Courage and Horses - Symbol of Speed which were of prime importance at the time of wars. The temples are maintained very well and the Government has provided them the protection.
Halibidu was the similar one, difference being, it has been destroyed by invaders many times. The temple still has the stones, on which the carving work was started but was never finished due to constant attacks. In the local language “Hali” means ruined and so the place name. This temple is surrounded by a big garden and it’s worth spending time in that beautiful landscape after finishing the admiration of temple itself. We went to the bank of the lake, sitting on a Katta there we spent lot of our time, it was very much relaxing.
After coming back to the hotel and freshening up, we went to Hotel Ashok for Vidya’s party. Service here was extremely slow, but the food was good, so we didn’t mind spending our two hours at this place.
This was our last day of stay and last chance of playing Mendhikot. On the last day, the arguments finally got the heat and we had to quit the game without finishing it.
5th Dec:
We were already afraid that there are more than 1000 steps to reach to the temple of Bahubali at ShravanBelgola. But reading more, relaxed us a bit, when we came to know that there are 614 steps. I then did some calculations and explained to the group that we have to climb our office work floor from our parking area for 5 times, and we will be able to do it. Everyone then was little relaxed but at the same time determined that they will climb to the top.
When we reached to Shravanbelgola, we could see the steps from our car parking, we thought we will be able to make it and we actually climbed all the steps easily. The steps are made so comfortable that it made the climbing easy, we had not imagined that it would be that easy. As we started climbing up, looking back would give us very good views of the Shravanbelgola, a holy lake and big rock patches, it was hilarious. We went inside the temple which is a “Shraddhasthan” for Jain community. The temple is build so high and with so many big rocks, which makes us think how could have people managed to get those rocks there and carve them to make the place so beautiful. This was our last chance to click some more photos, and we did the photo shoot.
We came back and headed towards Banglore airport which was another 3-4 hours journey. This was the first time, when we started feeling that our journey is too long. We were little sad that our trip is getting over, we were finding it tough to cut time sitting in the car. Basant dropped us to the airport around 7pm and this our trip concluded.
What’s left is just the beautiful memories and the rocking time we had during those 9 days.



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8th December 2009

Hey gr8 blog. You compiled everything in a nice way. This blog will help us in recalling all the excitement, fun, friendly talks, fights we had in this nine days time. Great trip guys........hope we will have some more in future :)
8th December 2009

Thanks
Thanks Vidya. It was certainly a rocking time with all you people.
8th December 2009

Awesome blog!!
Very well written with almost all details. Gr8 work Lax. The round boat near Barachukki is called "Teppa". I googled it :) The temple which deserves specific mention for the extraordinary and exemplary carvings is called the "ChennaKeshava" temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, in Bellur. Chenna means beautiful and keshav means Vishnu. Also, i remember the guide mentioning that Halebhidu was earlier was called DwarSamudra, because of the beautiful lake besides it (on whose banks we had setup our katta). We had Lax’s belated bday party on the last day for lunch at a place called hotel Mayura on the ShravanBelagola - Bengalurru highway which also deserves specific mention for extremely good food and service.
8th December 2009

Thanks Ashish
Yeah, Good suggestions. I will try to accomodate them in blog somehow.
8th December 2009

Awesome blog.....thank you all guys for such pleasant and nice memories.
8th December 2009

Great blog
I like the detailing and effort put in. Good work Pinu!
9th December 2009

Exploring Karnataka
Read till the end :) and it was engrossing for sure. Nice pictures, can add more in the end as well.
11th December 2009

This is a good life!
Hey, you write so well!!! kept me interested till the end! khupch chhan lihilays and the pictures added more fun in that!!!! Manasi
16th December 2009

I did it!
Hey Laxmikant, I finally read through your entire article - took me almost an hour! Seems that you and your group really enjoyed your trip! Some of the places seem worth visiting. The photos are good too. Also, you have written some gems such as "It’s maintained so well, kept so clean that you tend to forget that it is inside India." which made the reading enjoyable. I tried hard to ignore the grammar and spelling at some places, but you know me:)...I couldn't resist commenting. It took me some time to understand that by "Litch" you meant the blood-sucking leech. Amit and I are visiting a friend in Bangalore for Christmas. We too are planning to see some areas such as Coorg or Mysore during that trip. Did you guys visit Coorg? Btw, dare I hope that you read my blog for our Diwali trip? Keep writing, Nilambari
11th August 2013

Wow..gd detailing..it is like a safar to tht place sitting here only..gd..keep it up...
22nd October 2013

Thank you!
Thanks to you for reading it and providing your comments - :)

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