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Chunchunkatte falls

Located 60 kms from Mysore, chunchunkatte falls is part of the cauvery river and is present in KR Pet. A visit to mysore last weekend, allowed me and my cousins to head to the falls on saturday evening.

The falls is also famous for kondanda rama temple situated on banks of the temple. With enough water the falls looks  very picturesque.

We left home by 4 and reached the falls after asking for directions from KR pet.  It took us an hour and half to reach the falls as we had to drive on the roads which was riddled with potholes. By the time we reached the place there were enough people already.

View of chunchunkatte falls

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According to legend Lord Ram did his vanvas here. The significance of this place is that the sound of the powerful falls can be heard all over except inside the sanctum sanctorum of the centuries old temple, the story goes that Lord Ram was tired of the constant complaining of Sita and gave a curse saying that the tongue of a woman should not be sharp and since Cauvery (river) is considered to be female the noise that the river generated would not be heard in the sanctum sanctorum of the lord. It is also said that when Sita was tired and weary and wanted to have a bath, Lord Ram directed Lakshman to fire an arrow at a rock, once Lakshman fired the arrow, water in 3 different shades started pouring out, one with turmeric, one with oil and one with shikakai (fruit for hair – natural shampoo). These shades are visible even today when there is considerable amount of water flowing in the falls.

There were enough people by the time we reached the falls. We spent some time there climbing on the rocks and taking photos.

After a session of rock climbing,  it was time to head back to the temple as it was getting dark.

View of the temple

DSC_0086_resizeTo our bad luck the temple was closed. With nothing else to do, we decided to head back after taking few more snaps of the falls.

Closeup view of the falls

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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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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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Snaps can be found here

Hogenakal Falls – Niagara of India

Hogenakkal falls also called Niagara of India was the destination for this weekend’s outing. This was a place which I wanted to visit, but couldnt due to lack of company or my parents unwillingness to send me there.

After discussing a few options,me and my friend headed out to hogenakkal in my car as I wanted to go this place no matter the cost. After picking up my friend from basavanagudi at 6.45,  we zipped past the empty bylanes to reach BTM layout where we had encountered a little traffic. Soon we reached hosur road which was amazing empty since it was only 7.15 in the morning. I was enjoying the drive as there was no traffic.  We reached attibele and the road widened up as this stretch was relatively empty except for a few trucks which were blocking our path 🙂 , I had to drive carefully as people run across the road and I didnt want to hit anyone 🙂

With a pedal to metal kind of driving we reached A2B restaurant around 8. A quick stop of breakfast and we were off.  My friend took over the driving and we proceeded further. Since we had the whole day i told my friend to reduce the speed and we were cruising at speeds of 80-90 kms/hr.

Crossing krishnagiri we reached dharampuri. After negotiating the traffic we entered the state highway , which was maintained neatly. We were proceeding at a constant pace when we the signboards welcoming us to hogenakal. The winding provided some good scenery, which my lens duly captured

Winding Roads to Hogenakal

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As we moved further , we reached the ghats. The road going down to the falls provided with some excellent views. A small photo-session was conducted there to capture the amazing scenery

scenery near hognekkal falls

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We reached hogenkkal falls and since this was my first visit to this place, I wasnt quite sure what to expect. I had read in numerous blogs that the moment u reach the parking lot people swarm the car/bike and ask if we want to see the falls or get a massage. The blogs do not lie 🙂 n this was the case here.

We initially thought the falls would be located close by which can be seen from afar, which is not the case. Coracle or commonly called theppa in local language is the only way to reach the falls

Coracle /theppa is a round bamboo boat which is lined with animal hide/canvas and tar at the bottom used in South India mostly

The price for a full 2 hour ride is 600 Rs, which as per the coracle ppl is fixed by the govt. However the price can be bought down after some hard negotiating.

People come from Karnataka / TN and also from kerala to see the falls all through out the year.

Me and my friend decided to take the full 2 hour ride as we had come all the way to see the falls. The coracle guy said we can pay after seeing the falls and if we are convinced. We started the downhill ride for the first series of falls.

TN Falls

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Falls from another angle

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After spending some time taking photos we proceeded further. The rocky view provided a good spot for taking some nice photos. With the water and the rocks the place looked like a mini grand canyon

Mini GC ????

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The ride continues until we have to break and walk a further 1 km to reach the main falls.

The main falls is present in the Karnataka side and per the locals the entire was once abode of veerappan. The falls is part of MM Hills forest range. After spending some time there we headed back.

Hogenkkal  Main Falls

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After paying the guy 500 for 2 hrs we left hogenkkal at 1.30 in the afternoon. While coming we took an alternate route (Hogenakkal->Rayakottai->Palakkodu->Hosur->Bangalore)  which helped us avoid the highway.

The roads were very good and the drive was pleasurable. We reached Bangalore at 5 and I reached home by 6.30

Some facts about hognekkal

Hogenakkal is a series of 20 odd water falls present at the Karnataka-TN border. Since it is present at the border the falls are called TN falls and Karnataka Falls

Distance from Bangalore – 180 Kms

Mode of transport to see the falls – Only way to see the falls is by using the coracle

Fare – 30 at the entrance , 20 for coracle. 500-600 for 2 hrs coracle ride(price can be bargained)

Best time to visit the falls – Though the falls can be visited all year-round , best time to visit is post monsoon when the falls will be full

Note: There is no hotels in hogenkkal apart from hotel tamilnadu. The only hotel enroute is A2B

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Snaps can be found here

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