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Channagiri Trek

Channagiri is one of the tallest peaks around bangalore. The rest being Skandagiri, Bramhagiri, Nandigiri and Dibbigirri. Standing at 1400 meters it is only couple hundred meters less than nandi hills. These hills are ideal for a one day trek due to the close proximity to the city.

I had read about this trek after completing horagina betta and was planning to do it. With Oct 2nd being a long holiday I decided to do this trek and giving me company were Vinay, Chetana and Vikyath in this exploratory trek.

Members for the trek (Vinay, Chetana, Vikyath-1st photo and Me – 2nd Photo)

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To get the exact route to the peak, I had referred various blogs and all of them mention about the trek starting from Sultanpet. We however decided to go to muddenhalli, the birth place of Sir M Visvesvaraya and start the trek from there. Our initial plan of starting the trek at 7.30 went for a toss and by the time we started the trek it was 9.30 with the sun already blazing.

The initial path was through fields and lake bund where we could see mountains in the backdrop. Here as well there is no direct route and we have to make our own route to reach the top.

Scenary enroute to channagiri

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A short stop at the lake for couple of snaps and we began the long climb to the top. The sun was beating down hard and it was a slow climb to the top. We passed through some trees and a dried up water path on the way to the top.

Way to the top through trees and rocks

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As we climbed further we found two large stones next to each other and we climbed we found a narrow passage through them. The scenery improved as we climbed higher. Couple of snaps and we continued on our way. It was already 11 by the time we reached the half way point and we took breaks in between where ever we found trees and to quench our thirst

Vast Greenary

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Climbing for another 45 min we were at the top. There were already couple of other trekkers there. At the top there is a temple and a small pond. We relaxed for a while and chatted with the others. They had mentioned they had climbed from sultanpet and they were planning to stay back till evening. Spending some time at the pond while dipping our feet in the cool waters made our tired bodies relax more.

Pond atop channagiri

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There is also a hanuman temple atop the hill and we found some tall stones present there. Since we had enough time, various poses were tried and photos were clicked. Enjoying ourselves we spent an hour or so there before deciding to head back.

One of the guys mentioned there is a temple just below from where we came and we took a short detour to have a look at the temple before heading back.

Cave Temple

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Another hour and half we were back to the car thus ending a good trek which was pending for a while.

Our next place to visit was Sir MV’s house in muddenhalli. The samadhi or the legendary statesman is also present very close to his house and there are directions given when we reach the place. A short stop at his samadhi to pay our respects and we went to see his house

Statue of Sir MV

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Photography is not permitted inside the house which is converted into a museum. All the achievements of the great man are cataloged there. The museum also contains the various awards he had received including Bharat Ratna.

Our last place on agenda was the Bhoganandeeshwara temple which is built and rebuilt by the Cholas, Gangas and the Hoysalas. The different parts of the temple were built by different dynasties. The priest at the temple told us about the different parts of the temple. The intricate carvings remind of the hoysala temples in belur and halebid.

Bhoganandeeshwara Temple

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The temple has also has a pond and as it was a long holiday there were hardly any visitors there. Looking at the fishes in the pond, we spent some time there chatting and relaxing before heading back to the city thus concluding a well spent day.

Pond @ Bhoganandeeshwara Temple

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Snaps can be found here

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Aralaguppe and Thurvekere Hoysala Temples

With another weekend looming in the corner, I was planning for another day trip. The summer heat meant there were very few places to visit and scouring the net, I found out about hoysala temples in Aralaguppe and nearby places in tunkur. Searching around I found thurvekere and Nagalapura also contained some fine monuments. With the places decided, the journey began on sat morning.

A short stop for breakfast and I was crusing along the NH 208 towards tiptur with the first stop being aralaguppe

Name of the place: Aralaguppe

Location: Tiptur, Tumkur

How to reach : Take the Bangalore Honnavar highway and keep proceeding till u get KB cross which is 130 kms from bangalore. A couple more kms on the same road and you get a gravel road to your left. Proceed on the same road till you reach aralaguppe

What to see in Aralaguppe: Chennakeshava and Kalleshwara temples

A 3 hour journey took us to aralaguppe and we reached chennakeshava temple around 12 in the afternoon. The temple like all hoysala temples is built on the star shaped pedestal. The caretaker present at the temple told us that the temple was built in 13th century. The temple is a ekootachala or a single celled temple . The temples here are built by Nolambas and Hoysalas respectively

Front entrance of Chennakeshava Temple

As with all hoysala temples the temple is covered with intricately carvings depecting various stories from the puranas.

Temple Carvings

Some of the prominent carvings include ugra-narasimha, Narayana, Lakshimi, Ganesha among others.

Carvings

The Garbhagriha houses sculpture of Keshava of Hoysala period. The Prabhavali has miniature sculptures of Dasavataras of Vishnu. The pillars that support the navaranga and the ceilings are elaborately worked. We spent some time admiring the beauty of the temple. The caretaker present there however couldnt give me more information regarding the temple. A couple more snaps amd we left to see kalleshwara temple.

The kalleshwara temple situated next to a large lake was a big disappointment when compared to the chennakeshava temple. The temple was constructed like a simple temple without any carvings

Kalleshwara Temple

The temple was locked and there was nothing much we could do. Roaming on the outside and a photo of the huge nandi.

nandi

There is also a huge lake next to the temple, which is used by the locals for washing their clothes and for other things. With nothing much to do there we headed back to the car

Our next destination was Thuruvekere where there are few more hoysala temples present. We were in thuruvekere after a short drive from aralaguppe. There are two temples which one can  visit when in thurvekere

The Channigaraya and Moola Shankara temples are the prominent temples in thurvekere. We reached Channigaraya temple first, however we found a group of people playing cards there. We decided  to visit moola shankara temple which is just a short distance from Channigaraya temple. When we reached there we found the gates to be closed. The wall however was short enough for me to jump into the temple compound which I did to take a few shots

Moola Shankara Temple

We went back to Channigaraya temple hoping the crowd would have dispersed which wasnt the case. We left for bangalore as it was already 2 in the afternoon. A short stop at kamat for lunch and we were home by 5 thus concluding another day tip

Snaps can be found here

Arkavati Dam and Mallikarjuna Temple — Basaralu

When visiting sangam/mekedatu there is one dam which was always evading me. Though I had seen the signboard numerous times I never did consider visiting it. While checking for places that can be covered, in a day I chanced upon Harobele Dam, which caught my attention.

Since I had to go to mysore, I decided to cover this along with a few other places before reaching mysore.

Research on where to go apart from the dam lead me to mallikarjuna temple in basaralu which is 30 kms from Mandya.  I was in no hurry to reach mysore so decided to explore the dam and then head to mandya and visit the temple before reaching mysore

Fact File about Harobele Dam

Harobele or Arkavati Dam is built on the river arkavati. The dam supplies water to kanakapura and nearby. While popular tourist spots such as sangam, mekedatu and cunchi falls are heavily polluted, the dam is free from any of this, which is a good sign.  It would be helpful if ppl who plan on visiting the dam dont litter the place, with junk

Distance From Bangalore : 90 kms

How to reach: Take the sangam road from kanakapura and stay on the road till you see a board pointing the direction towards arkavati dam. The dam is 5 kms from the signboard

Road Conditons: Not so good after taking the left from the signboard

I reached the dam around 11 went inside, to take some snaps. The place was relatively empty except for a couple of workers. Took a few snaps of the dam and the landscape and went to have a chat with the workers. I was told that the dam was constructed to provide water for kanakapura and nearby towns. The dam was constructed in the 80’s, however as always the dam was completed after few years due to red tapeisim  and lacks of funds. Now the dam serves a very important purpose.

Few snaps of the dam and the landscape

I headed back to the main road and then to malavalli. Reached the highway and was cruising towards mandya shortly.

The mallikarjuna temple in basaralu is one of the typical hoysala temples. It was built by one harihara nayaka who was the commander in cheif under the hoysala king raja imadi narasimha.

Mallikarjuna Temple

The temple is built in a typical hosyala style with the base being star shaped. The carvings depict various stories from the mahabharata n the puranas.

Carvings

The shikara contains the hoysala emblem which adds to the grandeour of the temple.

Shikara and the Hoysala Emblem

The place is maintained well by the ASI

The temple has beautiful Dravidian Shikhara on its main garbhagriha, which houses a “Balahari Shivalinga”  and a beautiful lotus on the ceiling . The two small garbhagrihas facing each other, housed a “Naga Nagini”  sculpture in one  and the “Surya Deva” (Sun god) in the other. The vestibule has the symbol of Hoysala , Sala killing a lion .

Note: Photography is not allowed inside the sanctum scrotum

Mallikarjuna Temple Fact File

Name of the temple: Mallikarua Temple

Location: Basaralu

Built in : 13th Century AD

How to reach: Bangalore->Mysore highway->Mandya->Take right to chick mandya-> Take Left to basaralu.

Total Distance: 130 Kms

Road Conditions: Few potholes along the way, overall road conditions are OK

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Snaps can be found here

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

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