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Published: October 1st 2013
“ Hey Shaf, be ready in the morning, we're going somewhere with Pradeep and shall be back after a day or two “
It was Melwin over the phone, We used to call him Mel or Melly. He was my classmate and Colleague and is a dear friend in Bangalore. Pradeep is his childhood friend; I met him couple of times and became his friend as well. Nice guy and a driving passionate. He is good at driver seat on any roads.
Next day Pradeep came a little late and picked me from the spot and the car directly went to pick Pradeep’ s friend.
It was in the year 2011, We straight away drive through Tumkur road from Bangalore, and took a tea break. Started again and reached Chitradurga. I have not seen those many windmills, They are placed on the rocky terrain near the highway. We had some thunder coconut and grapes sold by localities near the road.
Then I knew we're heading towards Devangere, The Speedometer of the car almost
touched 170 speed. Finally we reached. Davangere is surrounded from Chithradurga, Bellary, Shimoga, Chikmagalur and Haveri districts of Karnataka state.
That time Pradeep’s sister was a medical PG student there, because of some issue with her car, Pradeep wanted to exchange her car with another. On the way I could see lot of educational institutes in Devangere. The place is known for higher educational institutes of high standard, also famous for textile cotton mills. Now mainly the economy revolves around rice and sugarcane industry.
We had a nice Cafe Coffee Day treat from Pradeep's sister and i heard her calling Pradeep 'Deepu', thats how I came to know his nick name.
Everything in the car changed except our audio CDs. When we started again, he often played my favorite kannada songs in the car and he was translating it for me as well.
It was getting dark and we got some food parceled, and tasted some special fried fish there itself.
Now we are in the middle of Dandeli Forest.
Dandeli is an adventure destinations in north karnataka, Located in the middle of western ghats. There are many options for staying, We found a
Jungle lodge and stayed there.We had our dinner secretly outside the lodge which was prohibited in that area.
The lodge actually was a hut made of bamboos and cotton sheets, we got up before the sun rise and had a hot tea , then left for a forest drive in a jeep . There was couple of other jeeps as well with us. It was a total 2 hour up and down drive in the dusty forest. We had the magnificent sunrise view from a peak spot in the forest, also some nice photo clicks as well.
You can visit Dandeli any time of the year, a variety of birds can be sighted like kingfishers, darters, robin, bulbuls, woodpeckers etc. flying around. There are plenty of wild animals in the forest, but I‘ll tell you , animal sightings in that wild depend on sheer luck.
Rafting on Kali River and Kayaking are famous there, Even non-swimmers can fully enjoy rafting in kali river.
After a cool shower and breakfast, we packed again and reached Syntheri rock.
A drive for about an hour followed by a walk through the scenic jungle will bring you to this
incredibly beautiful sculpture of nature.
This is a very tall granite rock located deep inside the thick Dandeli forest, Kaneri River is gushing ferociously by its side, the Syntheri Rock is a spectacular Sight.Thousands Of pigeons have made this rock their home and one can have the amazing view of the hives of rock bees hanging by touching the river below it.
While returning I was reading the travel guide book which Pradeep used to carry with him. One of the power house of karnataka ,Supa dam (built across Kalinadi river) and Cavala Caves are few kilometers away from Dandeli, but we could not make up to it.
We were on the way to shimoga by then - The rice bowl of Karnataka, afternoon we reached Shimoga Tiger and Lion camp. That wild camp is few kilometers away from the town. Actually we were thinking to go to Jog falls, since it was on the way, We stopped over. Just like the Bannerghatta safari, I saw tigers in the open and so very near us from the van. We also saw spotted dears, lions, peacocks etc.
We left the wild camp immediately and targeted Jog Falls
by evening. It’s about 100 kms from Shimoga. This is one of the highest waterfalls at western region of Karnataka in India, and during the monsoons mainly four stream of water gush in full strength. The funny thing is they are named Raja, Rani, Rocket, and Roarer respectively .We were not so fortunate to witness jog in its maximum strength since it was pre-monsoon we reached there. More than a thousand steps has been constructed from the top of Jog Falls till the bottom.
One of the great kannada poet Kuvempu was born near shimoga and even wrote poem on jog falls it seems, Deepu was singing it by ensuring ‘m listening it.
At night we took a room in a hotel at shimoga itself.
Next day morning, on the way back to home Deepu wanted to visit the famous temple at Shringeri, again 100 kilometers ride from Shimoga.
We also spent some time in the lake there, Melly also played with camera for a while there.
While coming back to Bangalore we were having fun in the car. Stoped on the roadside and had another break on tumkur highway.
stop at Sunday market near Tumkur, then straight to Bangalore.
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