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Roadtrip Day 7: The End – Back to Bangalore

The final day of the trip , and I was amazed that the trip got over so soon. Instead of hurrying, up I decided to have a relaxed ride back to bangalore.

Left mysore around 10.30 and hit the mysore bangalore highway. I was crusing along as I was in no hurry to reach home. A couple of stops and I reached chennapatna around 12.30. Went to a roadside dhaba for lunch and relaxed for a while. Another hour and half and I was at Rajajeshwari Nagar Arch. Half hour later at 3.30 I reached home thus concluding a long and wonderful trip

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Roadtrip Day 6: Historical Mysore

Today would be a rest day for my bike and my cam. Instead of riding around, I decided to see the famous places in mysore. Left for mysore palace in the morning as it was the closest. A short walk took me to the entrance to the palace. With heavy security around the palace, no one was allowed inside. Seeing the palace from the outside, I went to the bus stand and took a bus to bannur and an auto to somanthpur.

The keshava temple in somanthpur is again built by the hoysalas and is considered to be an architectural marvel. As it was a weekday there were hardly any tourists and I could roam around the temple

Keshava Temple

I then visited talkad which is also very close to somanthpur. Legend has it that a woman, pursued by the Mysore Maharaja’s army, cursed that the bustling town of Talkad would be covered by sand and destroyed and that the royal family of Mysore would go abegging for heirs.

The place has interesting mix of temples belonging to different periods

Talkad

It was 1 in the afternoon by the time i finished seeing talkad. Came back to mysore and took some rest as I was planning to visit Brindavan gardens in the evening.

Another bus ride took me to KRS. Paying the entry fee i went to have a look at the gardens. Entry to the dam is prohibited.

KRS

There was a slight drizzle by the time I left KRS. Reached mysore and called it a day

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Roadtrip Day 5: Waterfalls Galore

I was under the assumption that I would have a smooth ride, from madikeri to irrupu falls as I thought the roads would be fine.

Early morning I went to abbi falls which is just 8 kms from the town. As usual I didnt want to experience crowd problem at the falls, so I decided to go early.

Due to the recent rains, there was enough water in the falls, and with no one present I could go about with my photoshoot without worrying about the crowd

Abbi Falls

A couple of tourists came along and soon a large crowd arrived. I packed me cam, and was back at the lodge. Soon, I packed my stuff and proceeded to virajpet. Today would be another day where I had to encounter bad roads, and this time it was all the way till peryipatna.

Reaching virajpet, I asked for directions for gonikoppa and went ahead. The roads looked like it had not been relaid in ages. Taking more breaks than driving, I reached gonikoppa after a few hrs. A short break and I was heading to ponanpet. It took a long time to reach ponanmpet. Next was srimangala, and soon I was at the intersection of nagarhole and irrupu falls.

Soon I reached irrupu falls, keeping my luggage in the registration counter, i headed to the falls. The falls looked majestic with water flowing in full force.

There were very few tourists, and I had ample time to play with various exposure settings in my cam to get the optimal shot

Irrupu Falls

I spent some time relaxing at the falls, while giving my tired body some rest.  Spending an hour at the falls, I headed back to the counter to collect my luggage and head to my final destination for the day – Mysore. I thought the ride would be incomplete without riding through the Nagarhole National park, as I would cover beaches, forests, ghats.

Suprise waited for me at the entrance of nagarhole NP. Two and Three wheelers werent permitted inside the park, which I wasnt aware. My attempts to negotiate with the officials were in vain, and they told me to go back to gonikoppa and then go to mysore.

The next few hours would test my patience to the max as I had to ride through some of the worst roads. I was relieved to reach the highway and soon cruising along some good roads at last.  One of the locals told me that the hunsur road, was also in a bad state and I could go to mysore via periyapatna. Bad roads again, welcomed me in periyapatna, and by the time I reached the Mysore-Bantwal Highway it was 4.30 in the evening. A short stop for some snacks and it was a non stop ride to mysore.

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Snaps can be found here

Roadtrip day 4: Karkala/Moodbidri n Ride to Madikeri

With the kudremukh ride completed, I decided to take today’s ride a little easy. Packed up and left for karkala at 8.30 in the morning. An hour of riding, took me karkala and to the base of chamukta basadi.
Karkala is another place which has a statue of bhabubali. It is not as high as the one present in sravanabelagola, however, this also makes for a nice tourist spot

Bahubali@ karkala

The place was closed, and with nothing to do there, I moved to moodbidri, which has the famous 1000 pillar temple.

Moodabidri – 1000 pillar temple

Photography is permitted inside the sanctum storum, however upon payment of 100 Rs one can take photos from outside. The money collected is used for the renovation of the temple.

I got the receipt which allowed me to take photos of the temple from the outside.  The temple is well maintained.

The 1000 pillar temple

Offering my prayers at the temple, i asked for directions to go to puttur. I was told to go to bantwal and ask for directions. Driving in the ghats was fun as usual. Once the ghat got over, the actual pain of driving began. With huge potholes present everywhere, it was a very tiresome effort to keep driving. Taking frequent breaks i kept moving forward. Finally at 11.30 I reached puttur.

The ghat from puttur to madikeri is in a even horrible condition. With heavy vechiles plying in those roads, huge potholes have appeared, throughout the ghat and riding was a real pain. It took almost 2 hrs to reach suliya and I immediately went to the nearest hotel for lunch.

The ride continued after madikeri, however the road condition had not improved. A sudden downpour saw me take shelter at a local store. The shower allowed me to cool my aching back and ass for a while, as driving on those pathetic roads were becoming a real problem. Fortunately the rain didnt last long and I continued my journey

I came across an unknown waterfall on the way and the scenary had also improved. I could consider this as a consolation for the bad roads

Unknown Waterfall

Landscape at puttur ghat

With 5 kms to go to madikeri town, it was time for another break and a cuppa. Finally at 6.30 in the evening I reached madikeri. After checking into the nearest available lodge, i took a long rest, before heading to a hotel for dinner and it was nap time to give rest to my battered body

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Snaps can be found here

Roadtrip Day 3: Raid De Kudremukh

After getting a good sleep the previous night, I got up early, as I was excited to be biking in kudremukh, which is considered to be a bikers paradise. I was initially thinking of seeing barkhana falls in agumbe and then going to kudremukh, however I had to drop the plan of visiting agumbe as I wouldnt be able to reach udupi by sundown. Agumbe had to be done separately.

Sirimane falls was just 16kms from sringeri and I went there first. Passing through kigga, I reached the falls. One needs to enter their name and phone no at the registration office.

Around Sirimane Falls

One can reach the falls, after climbing down a short flight of stairs. A few people were already there at the falls, and were having playing in the falls.

Sirimane Falls

Experimenting with various exposure levels, I spent my time at the falls. I noticed the camera’s battery was running very low, hence came back to the registration office and put the battery for charge, and relaxed for an hour. While speaking with the guy there I got to know that one can get permission to trek to narasimhaparvata just after nemmar. However, no camping is allowed on the keep. One has to return back to base before nightfall as the area is a hotspot for naxal activities.

Once the battery was charged, I began the ride to kudremukh. In order to go to kudremukh, one has to come back to kigga and then head to nemmar-> Eska border->Kudremukh

All vechiles entering kudreukh range has to be obtain a reciept at the entrance of the checkpost. Checkposts are located for vechiles coming from sringeri/karkala. One needs to go out of the park limits in 1 hr and fine for overstaying in the park limits is Rs 100 per hour.

Kudremukh Highway Pass

Having obtained the pass I continued on my journey to the junction which is 16kms from the checkpost. As uusal roads were pretty bad and had to drive slowly. Reaching the junction, after taking a small break at a shop I went to hanumangundi falls. The scenary and roads were simply amazing and I was enjoying the views as well as the ride. Stopping frequently for snaps i continued on my journey

Scenary near hanumangundi falls

Reaching hanumangundi falls, I took the entry ticket and dumping my luggage in the ticket counter i went down the steps to the falls. I had visited kudremukh a year back as an office trip and due to the crowd and time constraints, I had to miss out on a lot of snaps. With very few people present at the falls, I made the most of the oppurtunity,  by taking various snaps before the place became tooo crowded

Hanumangundi Falls

As expected a large crowd shortly afterwards, while I was heading back to the top. Taking my luggage, I procedeed to lakhya dam. The scenary got even better, and I couldnt resist stopping at every turn and taking smaps

Scenic Kudremukh

Reached Lakhya Dam in a couple of min. Met a couple of bikers there and had a chat with them. Photography is not allowed inside the dam and one can spend some time enjoying the scenic views

View From Lakhya Dam

Managing to click a few snaps, I returned and then headed to kudremukh forest office to inquire about how to get permissions to trek to kuremukh peak and to few other peaks in the kudremukh range. Upon getting the info, i headed back to the junction, another few kms of descent and I was out of kudremukh NP, thus fulfilling my desire to go biking on the route :).

A small break and it was time to head to karkala and to the udupi. Few more hours of driving took me to manipal, where I had another break in CCD, and then it was all way to udupi. After checking into a hotel, I went to kapu beach to see the sunset, however I managed to reach the beach just after the sun had set. With people leaving the beach, I managed to get a few shots of the lighthouse, before I went back to the hotel

Lighthouse @ kapu

It was again time to hit the sack , thus concluding an exciting day of riding

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Snaps can be foundhere

Roadtrip Day 2: The Hoysala Trail

For the second day of my trip, i was planning to cover the hoysala temples around hassan. Normally when people visit hassan, they tend to visit only belur and halebid. However there are plenty of other temples built by the hoysalas around hassan, which people dont tend to visit.

I came across a few of these temples while browsing and decided to cover these and then head to sringeri.

As instructed by the hotel guy, I took the road to ariskere. The initial part of the road is full of pot holes and the progress was slow. Inquirying for directions for haranhally I moved ahead.

Driving for another hour i reached haranhally and I could see someshwara and chennakeshava temples in the main road.

Temples of Haranhally

The temples are in a state of neglect and this is quite evident. As I had reached the place early the temples were not yet opened, so no one could tell me about the temple.  I spent sometime taking photos, before going to ariskere.

The chandramoulishwara temple in ariskere is a mix of chalukya and hoysala architecture. The guide present at the temple told me, that its the only temple in karnataka which has a locking mechanism for the pillars. The temple was built over 600 yrs ago by a queen who was ruling the land at that time.

Chandramoulishwara Temple

The dome inside the temple is a fine piece of architecture brilliancy. Due to the interlocking mechanism most of the weight of the dome is supported on top. There are elephants carved around the base of the dome. As per the guide the dome was also called ‘Nirytagruha’ or the ‘Dance Place’ where dance programs were being conducted.

Dome inside the temple

The guide also told me to visit another temple in arikere before going to javagal to see Lakshmi Narashimaswamy temple.

After thanking the guide i headed to javagal which is 30kms from arsikere. There are sign boards mentioning the distance to belur, halebid. One needs to take a left and proceed further another 3 kms. There is a huge poster of the temple as one reaches arikere. Ask the locals for the directions for the temple

Temple in Arikere

The temple being closed, I reached javagal. Here also there is a large poster showing the directions to the temple. The temple is located inside the town

Lakshminarasimhaswamy Temple

The temple is actively used for worship by the people. Having seen the temple, I then went to belavadi, which is approx 20-25kms from javagal. There is veera narayana temple present here, which is again built by the hoysalas. There were a few tourists present in the temple already by the time I reached there

Veera Narayana Temple -Belavadi

The time was already half past 1 and I still had to see halebid and lakshmi devi temple in doddagadavalli. I left for halebid, soon after seeing the temple.

With halebid being quite a popular tourist spot, there were a large no of tourists present.

Halebid

I spent sometime in halebid and then went to belur. I inquired about doddagadavalli, and one of the auto drivers told me, to take the hassan highway. There is a board marked doddagadavalli. Taking right there would lead me to the temple. With time running out, I decided to skip that and decided to go to sringeri directly.

I began the ride to sringeri via mudigere-aldur-balehonur. The road to mudigere was in pathetic condition, with huge potholes present. I had a hard time driving on these roads, as there were more potholes than the road. Finally I reached mudigere and asked for directions to aldur. The road was initally good, and it later deteriorated. Progress was very slow and I reached Aldur around 4.  I stopped at a hotel at the junction and for a break and asked about the road condition. I was told that the road is very good for driving.

I began the descent from aldur to balenohur and I had an amazing time going down the ghat. Stopping occasionally to enjoy the scenary around me and to take photos, I reached balenohur

Scenary enroute to sringeri

I soon reached a bridge and the river flowing underneath the bridge had a very serene feeling to it

Scene @ bridge

It was getting dark and I was still 30kms from sringeri. A pedal to the medal kind of driving , and I reached sringeri and checked into a lodge. An early dinner and I hit the sack to give my tired body some rest

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Snaps can be found here

Roadtrip Day 1: Sravanabelagola / Gorur Dam

The 9 day long weekend, made me to initiate a roadtrip covering a few places in karnataka. This was initially planned by me n srikanth, however this became a solo roadtrip as srikanth couldnt make it due to unavailability of leaves. After mapping out the places, the route was mapped in google maps and it looked good for a 1 week roadtrip.

A few calls to discuss the route to be taken and the possible condition of roads,surfing the net for a couple of extra places which could be fitted in the list, i began the ride on sat oct 30th.
Filling the tank up to the brim, i took the usual nelamangala-hassan route and was cruising along as there was less traffic. A deviation at nelamangala took me to hassan road and I was maintaining good speed. Since there was enough time, I took a right turn at IOL bunk to reach deepambudhi lake which I had already visited once before.
Deepambudhi Lake
Though no photos were taken, I spent some time walking along the lake and enjoying the scenary, before moving to markonhalli dam, which is also enroute to hassan. Another half hour of biking took me to the dam. As usual entry was prohibited and I went to the backwaters to spend a few min.
Markonhalli Dam
Note: Snaps shown here are from my earlier visit to both these places
My next task was to figure out how to reach rosary church, which was submerged when gorur dam was being built. A few blogs and links I checked, indicated the church was near shettihalli, however when I reached shettyhalli and inquired about the church, I was suprised as people told me there was no ruined church present. One of them asked me to go a couple of kms further and ask.
A few people told me there was one present in nuggenhalli, however I wasnt sure if it was the same church. Further inquiry proved futile as people had no idea about the church. The clock showed 1pm and i was still quite a long way off from hassan.  I headed to a hotel for lunch and then to sravanabelagola to see bhabhubali.
A lake on the net provided a good backdrop and i took a few snaps.
Lake
Reaching sravanabelagola, I went to see bhahubali. There were quite a few people present considering it was the start of a long weekend, with 1st Nov also being a holiday. A couple of other monuments in the vicinity caught my attention and I went to have a look at those
Monuments
Having reached the top, I went to see lord gomateshwara. A few people were offering their prayers, while others were busy taking snaps
Gomateshwara
After offering my prayers, it was time to head to hassan. A couple of hours of driving, took me to the town limits. Checking into kadamba hotel, I asked the guy in the reception about a few other places I had marked to visit. He told me I can only visit gorur dam now as it was already 4 in the evening. The next day I can take the ariskere road and cover the remaining places as all the places are on that part of town.
Having agreed to his suggestion, I went to gorur dam, which is 22kms from the hotel. People are allowed to go to the lower level of the dam, however no one is allowed on the upper level, where one can see the water.
Gorur Dam
A couple more people had come to see the dam, and we were let inside after giving the instructions, one should not go beyond the lower level of the dam. Clicking a few snaps, I roamed about while others were busy with their photoshoots
Gorur Dam from Inside
With nothing much to do in the dam, I came back to the hotel, and retired for the day.

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Snaps can be found here
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