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2 Forts and a dry waterfall

With the pre monsoon showers lashing the city the past few days, I had assumed that there would be plenty of water around bangalore as well. This made me to search the net for a couple of places that could be visited in a day. I came across one jaramagadu falls near chikballapur which could be done in a day. Searching some more i found a fort located around 30kms from chikballapur.

With the  places mapped out, I headed out on sat morning. The overcast skies made driving easier soon I was near nandi hills, which I decided to visit on my way back. I was cruising along the highway stopping in between for a few photoshoots

Clouds atop Nandi Hills

Soon, I reached chikballapur and asked for directions to the falls.I was told to go straight and take left and proceed till chikballapur bus stand and continue further from there till kethanhalli.

The scenary improved as I went towards ketanhalli. A couple of photoshoots on the way and I proceeded

Scenary near kethanhalli

Driving a short distance, I again inquired about the falls at a shop and I was asked to go straight and take a left at a mud road and proceed for another km. One has to walk for 3 kms through a forest to reach the waterfall

The cool weather and the scenery made driving fun and I somehow managed to miss the turn and thus ended up riding further. A couple more kms of driving and I came across a group of men and I decided to ask them about reaching the falls from kethanhalli.

While chatting with the people I came to know that the falls was completely dry now and there was a board indicating the way to the falls, however a recent murder had prompted the forest department  to remove the signboard, also i got to know that the forest officals are not allowing anyone to go near the falls. Also one of them told me there is no route from ketanhalli and to reach the falls we need to go to Jangamarappanahalli which is en-route to kethanhalli.

Jaramagadu will have to wait till monsoon. The excellent roads and the scenary sort of compensated for the disappointment of not being able to go to the falls.  A small photoshoot and I headed to the highway

Roads and Scenary near jaramadagu

 

Jaramagadu Falls Fact file

Name of the falls – Jaramagadu Falls

Location– Chikballapur

Distance from Bangalore– 80kms

Best Time to visit – Monsoon

How to reach: Bangalore->Devanhalli->Chikballapur->Jangamarappanahalli. One has to walk 3 kms from Jangamarappanahalli to reach the waterfall. It is advisable to ask the locals to guide the way.

Nearby places to visit – Skandagiri, Nandi Hills,Divyagiri

One has to pack food either from home or from chikballpur

With the visit to the falls ruled out, I then headed back to the highway and to gudibande which has a fort.

To reach gudibande one has to go to peresandra and take a right at the bridge. Travel another 14kms to reach gudibande

Another half hour of driving and I reached gudibande bus stand and asked for directions to the fort. One has to travel a little further into town and take a right at the arch and proceed further till u reach the base of the fort

First look at gudibande fort

The fort was built by a Byre Gowda who was a local chieftain and a robin-hood of sorts to the people. There are steps which will lead all the way to the top.

The fort is a multi-level fort which has many secret passages for escape. The fort also has an excellent rainwater harvesting system, as this is evident from the numerous small pools which is formed at various places in the fort

A few shots of the fort

The  fort is surrounded by various hills and the scenary from the top shows the dry nature of the place

Hills surrounding Gudibande Fort

Legend has it, that when the chieftain was fending off a British invasion, he was attacked from behind and his head was chopped off and his body was decapitated. The place where his head fell, it got immortalized in stone. The locals who had accompanied me to the top showed the statue of the chief’s head which is present at the top of the fort.

The chief

I spent some time at the fort roaming around, before heading back to the base and back home.

Gudibande fact file

Name of the fort: Gudibande fort

Location: Gudibande

Distance from Bangalore: 90kms

How to reach: Bangalore->Hyd highway->peresandra->Right turn to gudibande->Gudibande

The place is well connected by buses

Approx time to reach top of fort: 1-1.30 hr

Nearby Places to Visit: lepakshi

One needs to pack food either from home or from chikballapur as there are no hotels in gudibande

Reaching devanhalli i went to see the devanhalli fort which also happens to be the birth place of tippu sultan. Only the outer portion of the fort remains while the interior has been converted into residential city. A couple of snaps of the fort and I was cruising back home

Devanhalli Fort

Snaps can be found here

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kotebetta

The summer months can be a hard time for trekking as the humidity and scarcity of water prevents us from going out anywhere. After a prolonged break from my trek to kabbaladurga , I decided to head out for another trek, when shashi asked me about my plans for the weekend. I decided to head out to kotebetta in coorg, this time with shashi and his friend for company.

With the usual bookings done, we headed out to madikeri on fri night and after a comfortable sleep we reached madikeri at 6 in the morning. The next bus to somwarpet would leave shortly and after finishing our morning ablutions, we waited for the bus to arrive, which was unfortunately late. As the private bus stand was very close to the main stand, we headed there and caught the bus to hatti hole which is the starting point of the trek. A short stop for breakfast and we started the trek.

River Hatti

We passed by the river hatti and after a couple of kms we found a hanging bridge built which is used by the people to cross the river. It was decided we would spend some time at the bridge when coming back

The hanging bridge of hatti hole

After walking a couple more kms we found a board indicating the direction to kotebetta and the approx distance. The distance from the board to the top was 7 kms and it was a continous ascent.

Way to kotebetta

The climb began and we were moving at a good places, while taking snaps. There was a good breeze blowing and we proceeded at a steady pace.

With breaks in between, we proceeded on the well defined trail. The sun was beating down on us, however the cool breeze blowing made the climb easier. As we proceeded higher, the scenary improved and we could see the lush green cover of the western ghats

Scenary near kotebetta


A couple more hours of climbing and we reached the end of the trail. The destination was still further away, and we proceeded further by climbing on the rocks and stones. Another hour of climbing and we reached the top. There was a temple at the top where we had a photoshoot and had a small siesta

View from top of kotebetta

After sleeping for an hour or two we began the descent. The trail is a little confusing at the end of the jeep track, and we got lost for a brief period of time. However we could get back to the correct path soon, and we continued the descent. A couple of short stops and we were back to the base.

A quick dip in the hatti river and a couple of shots at the hanging bridge we were on our way to coorg thus completing another eventful day trek

Kotebetta Factfile

Name of Peak: Kotebetta

Distance and How to reach: From coorg, take any bus which goes to somvarpet and get down at hatti hole bridge. All buses stop at hatti hole. From the bridge the peak is about 11-12kms.

Sources for Water: There is plenty of water during rainy season. There are a few wells at the top where one can fetch water

Difficulty Level: Moderate

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Snaps from shashi’s cam

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