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Another day another fort

With ganesha festival over, the long weekend was drawing to a close. As usual a drive was planned , with the usual suspects (Srikanth and Shashi) joining in.  With the pickups done we hit the road and within a couple of hours we were at dabaspet. With empty roads, the ride was smooth for a few more kms, and the road conditions worsens after that.

A short break near a lake and a couple of photos followed before we continued our journey

Lake

Refilling at a petrol bunk we reached madhugiri , and after breakfast the ride continued. The road conditions deteriorates further and with low speeds we continued till we reached andhra border. With road conditions improving the ride also improved.

Scneary enroute to madhugiri

Another half hour we were back into karnataka and pavagada was just a couple of kms away. We reached the town and asked for directions to the fort.

A local accompanied who directed us to the fort also doubled as a guide.

Hills near pavagada

We soon reached the fort and began to long walk back to the top

Entrance

Pavagada fort was built by a vijaynagar chieftain in 1405. The fort has entrances in each level and appears to be heavily fortified

A couple of entrances at various levels

We roamed the fort for some time covering all parts of it, while taking photos.

View from top of the fort

Soon it was time to head back. We inquired about any alternative route to bangalore and we were told to go to via hindupur and lepakshi to bangalore. We were assured the road is good, which convinced us to take the route. The route appeared to be good for a while however it worsened after a while. We reached hindupur and had a late lunch before proceeding to lepakshi. The journey was quite slow due to the bad roads.

A short visit to the temple, and we left for bangalore.

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 Snaps can be found here

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Aimless Wanderings – Ride to chitradurga

With a 3 day long weekend, the usual  “where to go” discussions cropped up. With no bus/train tickets available to any place, I was yet to decide on where to go. My friend had to go to kukke, however lack to availability of return tickets forced me to think of other plans.

With no destination in mind, I left home on fri morning, hoping to cover what places come enroute and possibly halt for the day and return back to bangalore. Took the usual tumkur road, which was pretty empty and driving for an hour i reached kamat upachar on the outskirts of tumkur.

After breakfast, I was considering where to go, and I found chitradurga was 180 kms from kamat and was very much doable.  My first destination was vani vilas sagar dam which is also called marikanive dam. Reached tumkur and asked for directions. I was told to go to hiryur and then take a left at the arch and go further 20-25kms to reach the dam.

Driving for another hour or two with breaks in between and taking a couple of snaps, i reached sira and another hour of driving took me to hiryur where i asked for directions again. I found a guy who was going to the dam, and he asked me to follow him. Driving through a couple of small villages we reached the dam.

Highway

A brief history about the dam

Manrikanvie dam(Vani vilas sagar dam) was built by Maharaja of Mysore Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV on the river vedavati.  The reservoir has two mantapa which is built in the saracenic style and is considered an engineering marvel. This is also one of the few dams where public is allowed entry.

View near the dam

There were quite a few people on the dam, and I spent an hour experimenting with various exposures and taking photos. I left the dam by 2 as I still had around 40kms to go before I reached chitradurga.  Chitradurga is around 40kms from the dam and it can be reached in under an hour

Vani Vilas Sagar Dam

Reaching chitradurga, I made my way to fort while asking for directions.  After reaching the fort, i hired a guide who explained about the history of the fort along with all the other details. In addition to listening to the history i was busy taking snaps of the fort and its surroundings.

Chitradurga Fort

Hidamebeshwara Temple

It took us around 2-2 and 1/2 hours to cover all parts of the fort and by the time i came out of the fort it was 3 in the afternoon. The guide told me to visit chandravalli caves which is also very popular.  Chandravalli caves is of historic significance as the caves were inhabited by saints of ankali matt in belgaum. One can go 80 ft into the caves . The pungent smell coming from the caves prevented people from entering the cave even though there were many ppl present near the cave.  Jogimatti a hill station was the last place which could be covered. Apart from the forest there is not much exicting there so I decided to head back home

Lake near Chandravalli Caves

Chandravalli Caves

Having started my ride back from chandravalli at 4 i was making good time. Took a short break for a late lunch enroute and began to push. As i reached sira, the heavens opened up. With reduced speeds i managed to reach a bus shelter where i took a break for a while. The rain had stopped temporarily which allowed me to continue my ride. However after a short while, it began to rain very heavily. With no shelter in sight i had to continue my ride. The next 120kms was really challenging as the visibility was very less. Once darkness fell, I was literally driving blind.

The rain continued to pound and i managed to reach the nelamangala toll booth where I had to take a mandatory break. After a cuppa and a couple of snacks , I was on my final leg of the reach home. Luckily tumkur road was free of track and I would drive more freely. Finally at 9.30 , I managed to reach home fully drenched thus ending an adventurous trip, where I managed to cover 500kms and also get to see some great scenary and drive 100+kms blind in pouring rain on a NH.

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Snaps  can be found here

Kaidala and Maralu Basaweshwara Temple

After my trip to chennai, I was itching to hit the road again, as my trip to chennai was confined only to the hotel room and a few trips to marina beach and elliot’s beach, along with a visit to St Thomas Basilica. The weather in chennai made it difficult to go out.

My friend had told me about an old temple which was covered by TV9 , and it could be covered in one day. Since it was in gubbi , we also decided to cover kaidala.

We began our journey in search of the temple after picking my friends and headed towards the crowded tumkur road. An hour of driving took us to kamat upachar on the outskirts of tumkur. After a sumptuous breakfast, the actual search for the temple began. We first inquired at the petrol bunk, however we werent able to get a correct location. We were asked to go to gubbi road and inquire there.

Proceeding further we took the gubbi road as directed, and after driving for a short distance we again asked for directions, this time  we could get a more concrete answer. We were asked to go straight without turning anywhere, the road would lead us to a circle, after taking left we were asked to inquire there. While going towards the circle, we found the deviation to kaidala, however we decided to see this while coming back.

Upon reaching the circle, we stopped to inquire about the temple again. Now we were told to proceed straight for another 10kms, then take a left turn and inquire there. With not much options left we continued. It was almost 3-31/2 hours since we started our journey and there was still no sign of the temple. We stopped near a lake for a break and to take some snaps

Lake

Continuing on, for a few more kms, we found some paddy fields. This called for another stop and another photoshoot

Green Paddy Fields

After a couple of kms with the road leading to nowhere we stopped to check for directions again. We were in for a shock when we heard we had come 12kms ahead. We were asked to go back 10kms and take a left to chelur and proceed for another 25kms. The temple is located within chelur town limits.

Since there was no other option, turning the car around, we headed back and after 10kms we approached the marker which showed chelur to be 25kms.Turning left, we continued along the road, only to find that there is no road in most of the places. With huge craters everywhere, driving was becoming problematic. With reduced speeds, we kept moving and after an hour of doing some off roading 🙂 we managed to reach chelur limits. The temple is present at a short distance after taking an immediate left near the circle.

The clock was showing 1pm when we reached the temple. I was expecting a temple like those present in belur or halebid. However the temple is quite small and devoid of any sculptures.

Maralu Basaweshwara Temple

As it was afternoon the temple was closed. There is a pool next to the temple and a cave well a few feet away from the temple. There is a saying that if the water in the temple dries out completely, mankind would cease to exist. (Dont know how far this is true, but looking at the water level, one can assume it coincides with the mayan prophecy of the end of days in 2012 🙂 🙂 )

Lake near temple

Steps leading to the base of the cave well

As the temple was closed we had nothing much to do. Taking a few snaps of the temple complex, we headed back to kaidala. Return was through the same road and after an hour of arduous driving, we hit the highway, and after a short while we reached kaidala

The temple lacks the grandeur like those present in belur/somanthpur. However the main attraction is the chennakeshva statue present in the temple.

After a short darshan, we headed back to bangalore, thus concluding an interesting trip

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Snaps can be found here

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