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Recee to Basavana Betta

Basavana Betta is one the major hills in the cauvery widlife range. The hill is an wildlife area and comes under the reserve forest division. I got to know about a trek which starts from mutati. The trek is considered to be a difficult one and as the hill comes under an active wildlife zone, prior permission is required.

One can also go to the top by vecihle as there is a road to the top. As I was interested in trekking, searching on the net for info about permission, few of the websites suggested the permission can be obtained from Range forest office in Kanakapura.

I decided to head to kanakapura and to the forest office to see I can obtain the permission. Upon inquiring about the procedure to obtain the permission I was directed to the wildlife office where I met the ACF. When I asked about the permission for the trek, I was given the address of the DCF kollegala and was asked to write a mail to him requesting for permission. The ACF then said it is very unlikely I would be given the permission as basavana betta is teaming with wildlife and as per the policy trekking is banned in all widlife reserves. I could still go to the top of the hill via road if I desired.

I was a little downbeat after hearing permission would not be given so easily, however I decided to drive to the top of the hill. Upon reaching the base, I met a forest watcher and upon interacting with him, I was told it depends on the mood of the DCF, if I am lucky I will get the permission for the trek. The watcher told me to shoot a mail and hope for the best. There is a temple at the top of the hill and anyone interested can pay a visit.

Views from Bsavana Betta

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_MG_1601_resizeWith nothing much to do there I headed back after taking couple of photos of the nearby mountains. A short stop for lunch and a drive back on mysore road saw me reach home by 5.

Snaps can be found here

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Ride to Kaivara, Kailasgiri and an unfinished trek to kaivara fort

It had been more than a month since my trek to Chandrashila peak and the daily routine was getting monotonous. To break the boredom few of us from our office decided to go for a ride to kaivara and kailasgiri. Checking for places to visit apart from these two I chanced upon a fort built by tippu long time ago. One needs to trek to the fort and this would allow me to get some trekking done along with the ride.

With the places confirmed, myself shashank and 2 others met at Indiranagar on sat and started towards hoskote.

Group Snap

_MG_1394_resize_MG_1395_resizeKaivara is around 70 kms from bangalore and with the smooth tarmac on the chintamani- kaivara road we had a good time riding. We reached kaivara town in an hour and half and headed to yoginarayana mutt. The mutt is famous as the saint narayanappa had attained everlasting bliss here. The mutt has several photos depicting the life of the saint.

Yoginarayana mutt

_MG_1396_resize_MG_1398_resizeWe took few photos and after a quick breakfast we headed to kaivara zoo. The zoo was locked when we got there so we proceeded towards kailasagiri which is 5 kms from the zoo. We stopped briefly at tapovana which has the statues of several prominent saints. Inside one can see the statue of narasimha.

From the top of tapovana, we can see kaivara betta. We could also see fort remains on the top. Upon inquiring on the route to the top we were told we will have to obtain forest dept permission for the trek. I was suprised to hear this as a permission is required to climb this unknown hill. We decided to check regarding the permission on our way back from kailasgiri.

Kaivara Betta

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Our next stop was kailasgiri, which was reached after zipping through the empty roads. Kailasgiri is famous for its cave temples which was closed when we got there. We were told the place would open in another half hour but we decided to leave the place as dark clouds began to gather and we didnt want to get caught in the rain. Couple of snaps of the rock formation and the scenary surrounding the place we headed back. There is also a board at kailsagiri which prohibits people from trekking and wandering alone at ambajidurga hill.

Scenary near kailsagiri

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_MG_1438_resize_MG_1417_resizeWhen returning back we found the zoo open and went in. The zoo is run by the Karnataka forest dept. We inquired about the possibility of trekking to fort and surprisingly we were given the permission. Upon asking for the route we were told to take the left at gangothri marg and proceed. There is a well marked path which takes us all the way to top. The path is hidden in between however its well defined and one can follow the same to reach the top.

As we climbed higher, we encountered more rocks which made the progress little slow. We were about to reach the top when shashank said he would like to turn back as he was finding it difficult to climb. We climbed little further and decided to head back.

An hour later after descending we were back to the zoo. At the entrance we informed the ticketing guy we would come back shortly to complete the climb. When asked about trekking in ambajidurga hills we were asked to take permission in kailasgiri. Bidding goodbye to the forest gaurd we headed back to bangalore thus completing an eventful half a day outing

Shettikere Hoysala Temple

After spending a month at home due to work and other factors, it was time for a break from the daily routine. As usual Srikanth decided to join me and upon searching for places to visit, we came across a non descripit temple in Shettikere which was not visited by anyone.

After getting the directions we hit the road and after couple of hours of driving, we reached shettikere. The temple is located in the village itself and the villagers showed us the way.

We were expecting to see a majestic temple in the lines seen in belur, however we were in for a dissapoinment. The temple was completely renovated.

Shettikere Temple

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The temple pillars were painted in various colors and the carvings present on the walls of the temple seemed to have been removed.

We were wondering who would have done this, when we saw the temple priest approaching the temple. We inquired about the renovation and we came to know the temple was in a bad state and the interlocking mechanisms had given way over a period of time and water was seeping in through the cracks.

The villagers had informed ASI and as per the priest, the ASI officer from Shimoga had visited the place for inspection and had ordered renovation of the temple. We could clearly see the numbers marked on the wall.

Renovated Temple

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Interestingly ASI has a board outside monuments indicating destruction or vandalism of the monuments would be punishable by monetary fine and / or a jail term and its ironic that the ASI would look to renovate the entire temple just to plug in few cracks.

ASI Notice

IMG_7936_resizeThe priest also mentioned that the sanctum sanctorum has also been moved back from where the diety was originally present. We could see new doors present rather than the old iron doors present originally. We were disappointed in the place and we soon left after having a look inside the temple.

The return journey was quick and we reached by 4.30.

Snaps can be found here

Manyapura – The lost city of the gangas

The gangas were one of the powerful dynasties in karnataka. They had built their capital in kolar before moving it to Manne or manyapura. I came across this place when looking to visit some offbeat places around bangalore. Manne is home to kapileshwara and someshwara temples. There is not much info present about this place. The nelamangala planning authority site has only few lines mentioned about this place.

I decided to visit this place and took some photos of the ruined structures.

Manyapura

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Avani

The area around kolar and mulbagal is steeped in history going back to the Ramayana. One such place is Avani located two kms from mulbagal on the Kolar highway. The place has deep links to Ramyana as the story of Uttara Ramayana (The story of Ravana’s defeat and Rama and Sita movig back to Ayodhya and sita being sent to the forest) starts here. It is said that Sita gave birth to her twin sons lava  and Kusha on top of the hill also known as Lava-Kusha Betta and witnessed the war between Rama and his sons ending in huge defeat for Rama’s army.

Hillock

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Each place mentioned in Uttara Ramayana, a comparable place is present in Avani. The place where the horse Ashwamedha was tied to the place where Sita gave birth to her sons and where she sat and witnessed the war between her husband and her sons after the completion of ashwamedha yagna. All the places can be found here. The place has ramayana lore written all over it as Avani means earth and Sita was also called Avanisuta. The place also has historical signficance as the first anglo mysore war between Hyder Ali and the british was fought in Mulbagal and finds reference in Battle of Mulwagal.

Apart from the hillock Avani also has the Ramalinga temple dating back to the days of Ramayana and is thought to be built by the Nolambas. Rama here is worshipped as an aspect of Shiva.

Ramalinga Temple

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Considering the mythological and historical significance of the place I decided to pay a visit to Avani on Friday. A planned early morning ride was not to happen due to the drizzle and it was delayed start for the ride. As usual it was jam packed till hoodi after which the traffic thinned out and the ride became smooth.

Cruising for an hour I stopped at Adigas outside of kolar for breakfast and then headed off to Avani. There are signboards everywhere and it is difficult to miss the place. Soon I was at the place and headed to ramalingeshwara temple which is situated in the middle of the village.

The place was empty and I could spend some quality time taking photos of the temple. The temple has inscriptions written on the walls. There was however no one to explain what it was. Spending some time there taking photos I headed to the hill also called lava kusha hill.

Inscriptions @temple wall

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Sita and Valmiki Caves

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The hill has various caves including the one where sita gave birth to her sons and the rocks where she saw the war. The area around kolar is devoid of any greenary however I could find a lush green surrounding around avani. Couple of photos of the surrounding and I headed back to bangalore.

Scenary around Avani

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Snaps can be found here

Day out at innovative film city

Innovative film city is located around 50 km from Bangalore just after wonderla near Bidadi. This is one of frequently visited places near bangalore. The place is a theme park with attractions of various kinds.

Innovative Film City Entrance

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The entry fee costs 600, however for some of the attractions one needs to spend extra. During my visit last week i found the roller coaster was under repair.  The main attractions would be the Mirror Maze, Fossil Museum, Ripley’s museum, 4D theather and the Louis Tussad’s Wax museum.

Attractions inside Innovative Film City

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There are lot of vacant areas present in the complex and construction is underway in many places. Overall one would need around 4 hours to cover all the attractions.

 

Dabbagauli

Nestled in the fringes of karnataka-tamil nadu border is a relatively unspoilt place called dabbagauli. Bangalore Mirror had posted an article on the same a year back and going through it made me plan for a drive there. The drive was still in planning phases for close to a year and finally after getting some free time I decided to head to this place.

There are two routes to dabbagauli. One needs to go to kanakapura and take a deviation

Route 1 : Bangalore->Kanakapura->Kodihalli->Hunsanhalli ->Take Left and Hunsanhalli ->Oorgaum->Right at Oorgaum to reach Dabbagali

Route 2: Bangalore->Kanakapura->Kodihalli->Hunsanhalli -> Right at Hunsanhalli -> Belapatti-> Dabbagali

I decided to take the second route as it would allow me to do some off roading. It was an early morning start and i reached kankapura in a hour or so. A short stop for breakfast and I was cruising along to Kodi Halli.  A couple of photos of the river and I was zooming along the well tarred road to hunsanhalli.

River on the way to Kodi halli

IMG_4894_resizeThere was intermittent construction work goin on and parts of the road was getting relaid. One has to be careful when driving on these jelly stones. Negotiating couple of stretches of these and I reached hunsanhalli where I asked for directions to Belapatti.

The road passes through some amazing scenary and I took my time taking photos of the landscape before moving ahead

Scenary near Dabbagauli

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The tar road continued for some more time and I soon found a mud road with the directions given to dabbagauli. The luxury of tar road ends here and one needs to do some off roading to reach belappati.

Directions and Road to Dabbagauli

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The road goes uphill and becomes more dangerous as we go ahead. One needs to be careful when driving here. Luckily retarring work is going on and parts of the road have been relaid till belapatti.

Negotiating the steep curves I reached belapatti and again asked for directions. Driving some distance I found the sign board and took right and continued. From here on its entirely downhill and the loose gravel makes the ride tricky. The descents are fairly steep and driving very carefully i reached the banks of river cauvery. I was expecting to be alone there however I found some people who had come there ahead of me.

The Hosur Wildlife forest division has a put up a list of Do’s and Dont’s and one needs to abide by them to ensure we keep the place clean.

As the rainy season has just began, there was not enough water in the river, however the river was flowing with all its might. Its dangeroys to get in the river as the water might be full of currents.

Cauvery

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There are couple of temples there which one can visit. Since elephants and other wild animals roam in these parts care should be taken when visiting these areas. Spending some time there and clicking snaps I headed back to home heading via the same way.

A stop in hunsanhalli for refreshments and a chat with the shop keeper revealed that one can camp in the temples at dabbagauli. Locals at hunsanhalli and nearby villages visit the temples and people from bangalore also visit this place. I was also told there is a dam off hunsanhalli where elephants come to drink water in the evenings and one can have a good chance of spotting an elephant if one goes there in the evening.

Thanking the shop keeper for the info i headed back home, thinking of another visit to this place to cover the dam. Anchetti which is a short distance from hunsanhalli can also be covered via this route.

Snaps can be found here

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