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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

_MG_1422_resize_MG_1420_resizeKailsagiri

_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

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Bhairavadurga Fort

Bhairavadurga is part of the 9 durgas or Navadurgas i.e forts surrounding Bangalore. The remaining 8 are as follows : Nandidurga, Savandurga, Channrayanadurga, Devarayanadurga, Huliyurdurga, Huttridurga, Kabbaladurga and Makalidurga. Searching the net on about the place I got the location and headed out to pay a visit to this fort. The plan was decided and Chetana, Vikyath and Teddy joined for the trek.

The route for to reach bhiravadurga is as follows : Bangalore -> NH 48 -> Solur -> Take right -> Kudur -> Travel another km, u’ll get an arch -> Take left and proceed till you reach the base of the fort.

We left bangalore on sat early morning and soon we were cruising on the the mangalore highway. Solur was reached in no time and the journey continued while asking for directions to kudur. A brief stop for couple of photos of the tree covered route and we resumed our journey.

Road to Bhairavadurga

IMG_6305_resizeWe spotted the fort atop the hill and we took the photo of the hill which we were about to takle.

Bhairavadurga fort atop the hill

IMG_6307_resizeWe met two local kids who had been to the top and they agreed to take us to the top. The path is confusing as there is no direct route to the top. The path we took was steep and we had to climb to the top on the rocks while doing a balancing act. The path is strewn with thorns and the long grass makes the path virtually invisible. It was a slow progress and soon we reached a clearing where we could see the countryside. A short stop for couple of photos of the country side and we proceed to climb further

vast serene country side

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Climbing little more we reached the first tier of the fort where we could see the crumbled walls. The fort also has a few standing stones and dilaplated ruins of stuctures

Ruins of Bhairavadurga Fort

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IMG_6334_resizeWe spent some time roaming around the fort and the kids showed us couple of foot prints which they said belong to lord bhairava. Spending some more time there before heading back.

Footprints

IMG_6344_resizeDescent was again a tricky affair as we took a different route. The overgrown grass made it difficult to place our feet and there was always a possibility of slipping. An hour and half of descending took us back to the car thus concluding the trek

Snaps can be found here

Golconda Fort

Golconda fort is one of the major tourist attractions when one visits Hyderabad and as I was in the city of nizams on official work, I decided to pay a visit to the fort.  The fort is in ruins and has become a major attraction now.

The ruins contains 4 distinct forts and is 10 kms in ong outer wall with 87 semicircular bastions (some still mounted with cannons), eight gateways, and four drawbridges, with a number of royal apartments & halls, temples, mosques, magazines, stables, etc. inside.

I reached the fort after finishing my work. I could get only a couple of hours to visit. Those who are interested in knowing the history of the fort and significance of each structure can take a guide who’ll explain the history of the fort. Since I had less time i decided to just go ahead and take a few photos. As I was roaming the fort I heard a guide mention action scenes of the bollywood blockbuster Wanted was shot at the fort.

There is also a laser show at the fort after dark and those interested can buy the tickets for that.

Few Snaps of the fort

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Snaps can be found here

Manjarabad Fort

This was one place which I wanted to visit but managed to miss due to various reasons. I somehow decided to cover this along with a few other places during a 4 day visit to coorg and surrounding places.

While returning back I took the longer route instead through somwarpet in the hopes of seeing mallali falls->shukarvarsante->kodlipet->shanivarsante->sakleshpur.  Wet roads and cloudy skies welcomed me as I parked the car near the tea stall which is next to muddy road leading to the fort

Wet roads n Cloudy Skies

The fort was built by tippu sultan. The work started 1785 and completed in 1792. The main purpose of the fort was for defense and to store ammunitions.

One can reach the fort after walking on a muddy path next to the hotel and climbing a flight of stairs

Fort Entrance

There were plenty of visitors to the fort who were enjoying themselves. However I couldnt see any guide or any person who could give me a tour of the fort and explain the history. This meant I had to just take a few snaps and move back as I was asked by my dad to get back ASAP


Fort Inners

The huge area around the fort and the cloudy skies made a good setting to get some good snaps

The fort area and the mountains

The fort is present in Donigal on the Bangalore-Mangalore highway

The fort is ideal for a short stopover on the way to mangalore and this can be clubbed with other places such as Bisile Ghat.

I went back to the car after taking a few snaps, hoping to come back some other day

Snaps can be found here

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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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

Makalidurga

After a amazing ride to somwarpet and madikeri last weekend,I was thinking of a trek this weekend. Makkalidurga a small hill 50 kms from bangalore and 10 kms from doddaballapur was choosen for this weekend’s trek. Kiran agreed to join, and we headed out to doddaballapur on sun.

With roads being empty on sun morning we reached doddaballapur in an hour. Asking for directions we proceeded towards makkalidurga.

Makkalidurga

Makkalidurga is a small railway station, which has a temple nearby. The peak which stands at 1350 mts can be scaled in an hour. There is an old ruined fort at the top of the hill and a shiva temple which locals visit.The railway track running next to the temple, makes it an ideal spot for photography and also for bird watching

Railway Lines

We started the trek after reaching the base of the temple. The trail starts from behind the temple and goes all the way to the top. There are marking on the stones, indicating the path. By following the markers one can reach the top.  The climb is gradual and it becomes steep as we go higher. We can also get to see a huge lake and other mountains.

Rivers and vast mountains

As the climb gets steeper, we had to climb on the boulders to get to the top. After an hour of climbing, we reached the top of the hill from where we could see the peak. Taking rest for sometime, we headed to the fort.  There is godown, which was once used, and a small shiva temple on top. After spending some time on the top, we headed back.

Inside the fort

Shiva Temple

Another hour of climbing down and we were back to the base of the temple.

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Snaps can be found here

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