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Sharavathi Nature Trails – Basavana baayi,Belligundi,Goodadagundi Falls and Water Sports

With the long weekend looming, plans were in full swing to go on a trek/trip. My plan of covering hampi for 3 days had to be shelved due to the crowd factor.  Me and my friends, decide to go to sharavathi valley and cover dabbe falls and kanoor kote. We contacted sampath of sharavathi nature trails and he suggested, that we cover a few waterfalls on the first and second day and do some water sports on the third day as dabbe had become quite popular and there would be a large influx of tourists.

Since we wanted to go for a trek , no matter the place, we agreed to the suggestion made by him. Tickets were booked to sagar for 24th night.  I met my friends Srikanth, Subbu Krishna with whom I  had trekked to kudremukh over a year back and Sarvana

After negotiating the traffic in mysore road , we headed to sagar. The bus was quite old and we had less leg space. After an uncomfortable journey we reached sagar at 5.30 in the morning. Our guide gangadhar was already waiting for us at sagar

Day 1

The bus to kargal had not yet arrived. We made the most of the time, by finishing our morning abulations. As we were speaking with the guide and the bus to kargal arrived at 7.30 and we boarded it.  As the bus passed via jog, we saw there was hardly any water in the falls. After some more time we reached kargal.

Gangadhar had arranged for the jeep to come to kargal. The required groceries for cooking were purchased and we drove to the starting point of the trek. We got down at a house just before the starting point to finish our breakfast.

House

We started our trek at 9 in the morning. The initial part of the trek is a wide jeep track, which goes all the way to a temple located a few kms from the house

Jeep Track

The temple has a statue of nandi which has water coming from its mouth.

Nandi Statue

A waterfall is situated a close from the temple, hence its name basavana baayi falls. This would be the first falls we would visit. The falls is quite small, and makes a small pond, which is ideal for swimming and playing in water.

Basavana Baayi Falls

While we were taking snaps of the falls, gangadhar informed us, we would be having lunch at the falls, as this was the last place where we would find water. Srikanth , Subbu n Sarvana went to play in the falls, while I relaxed, while gangadhar began preparing lunch

Scenery near falls

Lunch was ready around 12 and after finishing it, we began our trek to a house, located around 13kms, which would be our camping spot.

Gangadhar led the way and we followed him. The terrain consisted of a mixture of ascents, flat surfaces and descents. With thick forest we had to be careful while walking as there were plenty thorny trees, present .It is quite easy to get lost in the forest as there is no clear trail present.  We had to follow the guide, as he was the only one who knew the trail

Upon reaching a grassland, gangadhar informed us we have to cross another peak to reach the other side. He also said, there would be two steep ascents before we make it to the top of the peak and from there, it would be a continous, downhill walk till we reach our camping spot

With the afternoon sun beating down on us, we began the first ascent.  Proceeding slowly, we reached the top in around half hour. There was plenty of shade and we took a short break. The second ascent was through the forest and this didnt tire us very much.

At 3.30 we reached the top of basavana baayi peak. The views from the top were simply amazing. A short photo session was conducted and we slept for an hour , before we began the descent.

View from Basavana Baayi Peak

The downhill descent began at 4.30 and we soon reached the base of the peak. The rest of the trek was across fields and flat terrain, we reached the house where we were supposed to stay for the night around 6 in the evening. After freshening up and having dinner we retired for the day

Day2

The previous day we planned on leaving to the belligundi and goodadagundi falls as early as 6 in the morning. This however wasn’t meant to be. By the time we left it was already 8 in the morning. Without wasting any more time we left to belligundi falls immediately with gangadhar leading the way as usual

Crossing the grassland, we entered a small forest. Coming out of the forest we were presented with a wonderful view of the valley and the mountains. A couple of snaps later we moved to belligundi falls

Valley

Belligundi falls could only be viewed from afar as we had not planned to go down to the base of the falls. Since we had enough time, we relaxed for a while at the viewpoint.It would take a day to go to the base of the falls and come up.  Gangadhar mentioned that on a clear day we could see the Arabian sea from the place where we were sitting.Another interesting fact mentioned by gangadhar is that belligundi is 20ft higher than jog , which is considered to be the highest fall in Asia

Goodadagundi was the final waterfall which we would visit for the day. From belligundi falls it took us very less time to get to the top of goodadagundi falls.  To get to the base we had to take another route since the rocks were too slippery to get down from the top. The route we took to get to the base of the falls was quite steep. With loose sand, we had to get down carefully.

Goodadagundi is a multi tiered falls which consists of multiple stages. Srikanth told that this falls is also called koosalli falls near the coast.

Time was spent taking snaps and playing beneath the falls. After a couple of hours we headed back to the house for lunch. We were informed a van was arranged to transport us to the water sports site.  Another group of 13 ppl from chennai had come for the trek.  The organizers had arranged for the van to accomdate the 17 of us.

After lunch, we relaxed for a long time. The van which was supposed to come at 2 didnt arrive till 4.30. We left the house at 5 and began our journey to the camp site which was 60 kms away. Travelling while standing on the back of the way, was a different experience which a few of us enjoyed a lot.

With a small break in kargal we proceeded to the island where the water sports would be held. We reached sharavathi backwaters at 8. We had to wait for the boats to come and transport us to the island. Wearing life jackets we began to row the boats towards the island. It took us a while to reach the island, as everyone were new to rowing. Having struggled a bit initially, we soon got used to rowing. We finally reached the island at 10.3o.

We were alloted tents and after dinner we slept immediately as everyone were tired

Day 3

With just water sports scheduled for the day, we woke up around 7. The island where the sports are held is located in sharavathi backwaters.

Sharavathi Backwaters


The backwaters comprises of a cluster of island which can be reached by boats.

Islands in sharavathi backwaters

As usual we were given life jackets and we were allowed to play in the water.  A few kayak’s were present along with coracles. Those interested in kayaking and coracle rides were free to pursue their interests.

These activities went on till afternoon. After a nice lunch and siesta we headed back to the mainland.  It was raining intermitently in the meantime, and we soon reached the bus stand.  A quick change of clothes and we were waiting for the bus to arrive.

We reached sagar at 7 in the evening. We had enough time left as we had booked the return tickets at 10. We spent the roaming the streets of sagar and munching on chats. We boarded the bus at 10.30 and returned to bangalore, thus concluding a eventful trek

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Waynad

Having been in the house last week, with some pending work to be completed, I was itching to get back on the road.

I initially thought of covering Mookamane Abbi Falls, Herrur Hills and kagginahare aka kagineri ruins  in sakleshpur. After checking a few blogs on the route and the road conditions , and discussing with my friend , it was found that we had to park our vehicle and then walk to the falls and we had to travel a few kms on sandy jeep track to reach herrur hills. Since we were planning on going in the car,  it was not possible for the car to go all the way till top. The car had to be parked at the base and we had to climb to the top

When my friend informed , his friend and wife were joining for the trip, I knew , we had to find accommodation also. Our initial plan of camping atop herrur hills would not work.  Hotels and home stays in sakleshpur were costly as there  was no budget hotels available and leaving the car in the open was ruled out as the area around kagineri and herrur hills was elephant territory. After some more discussions we zeroed in on waynad as it was an ideal spot for a weekend visit.

I had been to waynad in may with my parents and we couldn’t cover all the places. This was my second visit and i wanted to cover the places which I had missed out during the first trip.

I had covered Edakal caves, phantom rock, karapuza dam , kuruva island and muthanga wildlife sanctuary during my first trip.

Karapuza Dam Backwaters

View from Edakal Caves

During this visit we covered Banasura sagar dam, Sunrise Valley, Likkidi, Kanthapara waterfall and phantom rock.

With things planned out , we left for waynad at 6 in the morning to escape the morning rush in Mysore road. With very less traffic so early morning we reached Mysore by 8.30.  A quick breakfast and after meeting a common friend who had joined us there, we headed to waynad promising to visit his house before going back to Bangalore.

After negotiating traffic in najangud , we proceeded to gundulpet and then to sultan bathery. With good roads I was enjoying the drive. A quick stop for cuppa and we proceeded to kalpetta. My friend took over the driving and with roads becoming better and better we were moving at a good pace.

Enroute to kalpetta we stopped briefly at phantom’s rock.

Phantom Rock

The place provided some fantastic scenery however, I was sad to see the amount of quarrying going on. We spent some time taking snaps of the rock formation and the scenery before leaving to kalpetta.

Scenery near phantom rock


We finished lunch around 2 and headed to banasura sagar dam.  Driving among lush tea estates and asphalt as smooth as silk was a experience in itself.  As we proceeded higher , more curves began to appear.

Roads & tea estates

But with excellent roads we had no problems in negotiating the turns and we reached banasura sagar dam backwaters. With hills on either side, the place was quite scenic. We spent some time there taking snaps before heading to the dam

Banasura Sagar Dam Backwaters

Hills and water


The scenery was even better atop the dam. Banasura hills in the backdrop and the vast expanse of water provided a picture perfect location. We proceeded along the dam enjoying the scenery and taking snaps.

Banasura Hills

After  paying 300 for the boat ride and we set of for a ride on the water which lasted for 20 min.

Waters of Banasura Dam

We left the dam and returned back to kalpetta. It was already dusk by the time we drove down to Likkidi also called vythri viewpoint. It was dark by the time we reached the viewpoint and we couldn’t see anything. With nothing else to do , we headed back to the hotel.

We went out for a short stroll before retiring for the night. Once we reached the hotel we checked with the manager about the places which we could cover the next day. We also had plans of leaving waynad on sunday and with a brief stopover in mysore , we thought of making it back to Bangalore by 7 in the evening.

Things however didn’t start with a positive note on Sunday :(. By the time we left the hotel it was 7.30,  hour and half behind schedule. We immediately went to phookot late which was 13 kms from the hotel. When we reached there we found the gate wasn’t open. Not wanting to waste any time , we headed to vythri viewpoint.

Vythri

Spending some time at the viewpoint and enjoying the early morning sun we left deciding where to go on the way. As we weren’t sure as to what time phookot late would open , we went to kanthapara falls which was about 20 kms.  I was told not to go to soochipoora falls which was on the way because lots of people would already be present at the falls and it would also be dirty.

We proceeded towards kanthapara falls driving among tea estates. The road to kanthapara is quite steep. Driving slowly and negotiating the steep stretch , we reached the falls. I was thinking we would be the first to be at the falls , however a car was already present 😦

Kanthapara Falls

By the time we left the falls it was 10.  Sunrise valley which was around 6 kms would be the final spot which we would visit. The road would become a mud road after going some distance. We parked the car near a house and we went to the valley.

Sunrise Valley

It was already 11 and we were running quite late. We knew we couldnt reach bangalore by sundown. Reaching kalpetta we checked out. A quick lunch and we headed back to mysore at 1 in the afternoon.

With a few delays due to traffic we reached mysore at 4 and headed to our friend’s house.  Spending an hour in his house we left for Bangalore at 5 and reached home by 9 at night after dropping my friend’s at their houses.

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Less Known Hosyala Temples

After a hectic week of working in the night due to client requirements , I got some much needed rest on Friday  when my team lead said i need not come to office in the evening. I finished the remaining work from home while searching for a few places to visit on the weekend.

While browsing aravind’s blog I came upon a few less known hosyala temple’s near Mysore which could be covered in a single day. I was initially planning on covering these during dussera but couldn’t due to  time issues. Now that I had ample time I set out to cover these places as I had missed them during my earlier trip. I had taken the directions from aravind before and I just cross checked them with my uncle before heading out

Apart from Belur,  Halebid and Kesava temple in somanthpur , the Hosyala’s have built other temples around Mysore which are not aware to many people. Some of the other temples built by hosyala’s are

  1. Sri Lakshminarayanaswamy temple in Hosaholalu
  2. Sri Bramheshwaraswamy temple in Kikkeri
  3. Sri Panchalingeshwaraswamy temple in Govindahalli

All these temples are within 15-20 kms from each other which makes it ideal for a one day visit along with belur halebid and sravanabelogla

I set out on sat morning around 9 towards panadavapura on my brother’s bike. Cruising at good speeds I reached pandavapura around 10.30. From Pandavapura I had to travel to KR Pet which is 30 kms.

I reached KR Pet in around 45 min and asked for directions to hosholalu. Hosaholalu is 2 kms from KR Pet was my first destination. There is a sign board showing the route to the temple once you reach hosholalu.

Lakshminarayanaswamy Temple

The temple is built on the similar lines of kesava and halebid temples i.e on a star shaped stone. The temple is surrounded houses and is well maintained by the ASI.

This temple has 3 shines and is called as a trikuta temple as explained by the priest present in the temple.  However he seemed to know very little about the temple and there were no guides around

A structure is built in front of the temple which spoils its beauty

After spending some time clicking snaps I headed out to kikkeri which is 15 kms from KR Pet. Upon reaching kikkeri i asked a few people directions to the temple and i was surprised to see people didn’t know about the temple. One of them asked to go to the town and inquire. I asked a person at the tea shop and he gave me the directions to the temple.

Bramheshwara Swamy Temple Entrance


The temple is situated next to a lake which is present near the town. There is a sign board one of the walls of a house advertising the presence of the temple

Lake near temple

The temple is not fully completed as some of the sculptures are not fully finished. The temple was closed by the time I reached there. I could however get inside the temple as parts of the wall has collapsed.

Bramheshwara Swamy Temple

Though the temple represents a fine piece of hosayala art , it is sad to see the temple is being neglected by the local people. Luckily there is no physical damage done to the temple

My final destination was govindahalli which is 5 kms from kikkeri. There is a rock slab just a few meters from kikkeri police station showing the direction to panchalingeshwara temple.

The temple is located amidst fields and has an air of freshness around it.

Panchalingeshwara Temple

The temple was closed when i visited, however an old lady near the temple gave me some info regarding the temple. The temple is huge and it has 5 sanctums for 5 shiv lings. Shiv lings  are named as  Tatpurusheshwara, Aghoreshwara, Sadyojateshwara,Ishanyeshwara  and Vamadeveshwara .

The 5 santums


A nandi statue is present for each of the 5 shiv lings. While  Aghoreshwara and Vamadeveshwara have their nandi statues outside , the nandi statues for Ishanyeshwara, Tatpurusheshwara and Sadyojateshwara are present inside the temple

Nandi Statue


The sculptures are missing from a few places in the temple. Theft might be a likely explanation.

I had finished seeing all these temples and I still had enough time to get back to Bangalore.  Sravanabelagola is just 11 kms from kikkeri and I was thinking of covering even that and then head to belur and halebid which was just 90 kms.

I however decided to cover these at a later date and moved to srirangapatna which around 50kms from kikkeri.

I reached srirangapatna at 3 and headed to dariya daulat which was tippu’s summer palace.

Dariya Daulat


Photography is allowed only outside the palace. The place houses paintings of srirangapatna during its fall along with the guns and other artifacts of tippu’s era

Guns used during Tippu’s Reign

After visiting dariya daulat I then visited gumbaz which contains the bodies of tippu and his family.

Gumbaz

After seeing gumbaz , left to see the remaining places in srirangaptna namely , colonel bailley’s dungeon , jumma masjid and rangathaswamy temple before heading to Mysore

Canon at colonel bailley’s dungeon

I spent the evening visiting the palace and relaxing

The next day i headed out to KRS and I wanted to see the venugopalaswamy temple which was recently renovated. I had visited the temple last year and the renovation was still under progress. The temple is located at the KRS backwaters.

Brindavan Gardens


Lot of things had changed in one year and due to some new construction being done I could not locate the place. Had to return home empty handed :(. I had taken a few snaps from my earlier visit

I left KRS and reached home at 3.30 in the afternoon.

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