LONAVALA & KHANDALA


  1. Destination: Lonavala & Khandala, Maharashtra, India
  2. Visited on: July 2nd 2016 – July 4th 2016
  3. Season to visit: June to September (Monsoon) & December to February (Winter)
  4. How To Reach:
  • By Train – Many trains are available from Pune and Mumbai to Lonvala.
  • By Car – One can easily drive to Lonavala from Mumbai and Pune

About: Lonavla & Khandala are towns and a hill station in Pune district in the Indian State of Maharashtra. It is about 64 kilometers (40 mi) from the city of Pune and 96 kilometers (60 mi) from the city of Mumbai. Khandala is just 3 Kms from Lonavala. 

Our Journey Starts:

It’s been quite a sometime that Niloy has moved to Pune from Bangalore with his wife. I and Anindita planned to meet them. So, we all decided to meet at Pune and then go to Lonavala and Khandala. I prefer to pre-book everything. I and Anindita boarded flight Indigo from Bangalore airport which departed at 05:45AM. As it was monsoon, the weather was worse in Pune. The flight made an attempt to land and at the last moment decided to pull up due to lack of visibility. The flight landed at 7:45 AM. We both boarded an Uber cab and reached Pune station. Met Niloy and his wife Saheli there, and we are all set for our trip to Lonavala.

We boarded a train from Pune station and reached Lonavala station within 1 Hr. The Hotel Metropole, which we have pre-booked is in a walking distance from the station and also in a prime location. When we reached Lonavala, it was raining lightly. The room in the hotel was nice. We freshened up quickly and hired a cab for sight-seeing. It started to rain heavily that time. People visit Lonavala during monsoon and enjoy roaming around drenched in rain, without taking a rain-coat or an umbrella. We took precaution with rain-coat though. On the way, we found, approximately 20 small water-falls flowing through different parts of the hill. People are partying with beer and loud music near the waterfall.

1

Misty Hills With Water-Fall

At first, we reached “Bhusi dam”. It was raining and also misty. The driver parked the cab in a parking area and we started walking towards the dam in a misty weather. The walk in the mist was fun. Bhusi dam has stairs in it. And when the dam overflows, the water flows through those stairs and people enjoy taking a bath sitting on those stairs. As it was early monsoon, yet to experience the water flow through the stairs. Food stalls are all around the place. After seeing the Bhusi dam, we stopped in a local shop asking what else are there around the dam. As per their suggestion, we started walking towards a point where three rivers confluence. After walking for 30 mins. through a jungle like ambiance, we reached the point. It was beautiful and obviously better than Bhusi dam. We came back and boarded the cab for the next stop. I must say, the entire journey is happening under full fledged rain.

3

Gusty Water Flowing Through The Stairs of Karla Cave

The we reached Lion point . It was misty all around and too windy also. In normal weather, one can witness beautiful stretch of hills all around. But we witnessed only mist. Yet it was a beautiful atmosphere all around. There are food counters everywhere. We had instant noodle “Maggi” and pakoras there with hot coffee. Hot food in cold and wet weather was awesome. After spending some time there, we boarded the cab and reached hotel. After freshening up, I and Niloy went out and got some Vada-pao (Indian version of burger) from a famous shop naming “Golden Vadapav”. We bought liquor too. At night, we are all set together in a room with drinks and food and shared all sorts of stories, including, personal experiences with ghosts. We also calculated the daily expenses.

Next morning, we hired the same cab to visit Ekvira Devi temple, Karla cave and Bhaja cave. We started early today because, as the day progresses, traffic also increases. After a half an hour ride, we reached the base of Ekvira Devi Temple and Karla cave. We had Vada pav from a restaurant and started walking through easy stairs. It took around 30 mins to reach Karla cave. While moving up, gusty water was flowing through the stairs, coming from a nearby river. Walking was quite challenging, yet fun.  

4

Inside Karla Cave

The Karla Cave is an ancient Indian Buddhist rock-cut cave. The cave was magnificent. Water flowing through the outer walls of the cave, resulted in a water-fall. We walked around the cave. There are also stairs to go upstairs. We then had to buy tickets to go inside the cave. The sculptures inside was magnificent. Carvings on walls represents history and telling a story of the past. After spending quite a time there, we moved to Ekvira Devi Temple located just next to Karla cave. Niloy and Saheli decided not to go inside the temple. So, I and Anindita went inside. At times, it remains very crowded. But we didn’t had to face any crowd that time. Then, we came back to the parking lot taking the stairs. On the way, we bought some tasty sweets named as “Kalakand” and “Peda”.

We boarded the cab to move to next spot “Bhaja cave”. By that time, too many cars moving to and fro through a narrow road and got stuck in a heavy traffic. Rain didn’t stop yet which started in Day 1, or even before. After spending quite a time in heavy traffic, we reached Bhaja cave. We had to take lot of stairs to reach Bhaja caves. View from the hill was beautiful. It was lush green all around. On the way, we had to buy tickets to visit Bhaja cave. Bhaja cave is a shorter version of Karla cave. We walked around the cave. There are many water-falls there also. I took bath wearing a rain-coat and keeping my phone and camera in my pocket. After that, both my phone and camera got damaged. Luckily, no harm to the camera memory card.  After seeing Bhaja cave, we came back and boarded the cab. The driver took us to a Dhaba (Restaurant) situated on Mumbai-Pune highway. The food was yummy. I liked Rice and Desi chicken a lot. The main-course was complemented by a dessert “Lassi”. After a filling lunch, the driver took us to a spot where we can take bath. I took bath in the water-fall, rest decided to have corn and watch me taking a bath. After that, we came back to hotel. By the time we reached hotel, sun was down

5

Way To Bhusi Dam

Again, we chat till late night. Next day, we left the hotel, boarded a train and reached Pune station from Lonavala. From Pune station, we hired an Uber cab to reach Niloy’s place. We were welcomed at their place with warm heart. We decided to cook food of our own. I and Niloy went out to get some mutton. After buying mutton, I marinated that with spices. Everybody put their effort to make the afternoon a memorable one. Saheli cooked rice and arranged all required utensils. Niloy grinded the whole-pepper, Anindita motivated us with her speech and I cooked mutton. After completing lunch, we took some rest. Woke up in the evening, I and Anindita boarded a cab and reached Pune airport. We boarded Flight “Indigo” which departed at 11:45 PM and reached Bangalore airport at 01:15 AM. From Bangalore, we booked a cab again to reach home.

Lonava & Khandala is a beautiful place to hang-around with friends. This is for the first time in my life, witnessed, continuous rain for more than 48 hours. Seeing old friends after quite some-time is also something. Warm welcome from Niloy and Saheli made the trip more special.

Note:

  • Eat food in Dhaba, available in Mumbai-Pune highway
  • Carry rain-coat / umbrella if visiting during monsoon. But tourists prefer to get drenched there
  • Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PICS OF LONAVALA & KHANDALA

COORG


 

  1. Destination: Coorg, Karnataka, India
  2. Visited on: February 13th 2016 – February 15th 2016
  3. Peak Season: November to January
  4. How To Reach:
  • By Bus – KSRTC Volvo buses are available from Bangalore to Madikeri and Kushalnagar. 

About: Coorg is known for its beautiful scenery. Tourists get fascinated by colourful scenery. Coorg is ideal for trekking.

Our Journey Starts:

I and Anindita decided to go to Madikeri area of Coorg in the first day and Kushalnagar area of Coorg in the second day.  We boarded the KSRTC Volvo bus (Airavat) from Majestic Bus station which departed at 11.15 PM. The journey was very comfortable. We reached Madikeri next morning around 7:00 AM. We checked in hotel “Coorg shell”. The room was good with basic facilities. We left our bag in the room and went out for sight-seeing. At first, we hired an auto which will take us to Abbey falls, Raja’s seat/tomb, Madikeri fort and Omkareshwar temple.

dsc_5424

Abbey falls

 

All the sight seeing places are very nearby.  At first we went to Abbey falls. Had to climb down some stairs to reach Abbey fall. While climbing down, witnessed, plenty of coffee plants on both sides. The fall had very less water that time. Then we boarded the auto and move to the next sight, Raja’s tomb. It is a monument. Then we moved to Madikeri fort. Nice place to walk around. We walked through the wide fort-wall pavement for quite some-time. Spent a good time there seeing the town from the high fort walls. Then we moved to Omkareshwar temple, which was closed at that time. Finally back to hotel. In the evening, we spent some time in shopping Coorg special coffee. I also tried “Coorgi Pork” (Coorg cuisine) which was delicious.

On the second day, we woke up early and booked a cab from the taxi stand to reach Dubare elephant camp from Madikeri, which is located at a distance of 17 Km. KSRTC buses do not go there. So, we chose to take a cab. We reached Dubare elephant camp in 1 hr, early in the morning at 7AM. The nature is at its best early in the morning. Not had the same feeling later in the day. River Kaveri flowing at a slow pace. We reached Dubare elephant camp through a boat which starts operating around 8:30AM. Reached Dubare elephant camp in 15 mins through boat. Once we reached there, found so many elephants around us. We took a walk around the elephant camp. One can opt to stay there also.

dsc_5539

Dubare Elephant Camp

 

The best part of Dubare elephant camp is, one can bath an elephant in the water of river Kaveri. We bought tickets for that. Elephants were taking a bath with supervision of trained personnel. We splashed water on the elephants and posed with them too. Baby elephants stole the show by running around and taking a deep splash in the river and playing with each other. After spending quite a time there, we took a boat and came back to the other side. Had some food and boarded the hired cab to reach Nisargadham. Dubare elephant camp is also good for people having interest in rafting. However, rafting is like just a boat ride on steady water flow.We reached Nisargadham from Dubare elephant camp in 30 mins. We had to cross a small channel of river Kaveri thorugh a hanging bridge. Many people were busy there taking a pedal-boat ride. Found lots of fishes too in the river. Nisargadham is kind of a forest . We did a zip-line activity there. There are some tree-houses to spend some time. Spend some time in river Kaveri also which is flowing through a rocky bed.

dsc_5659

Nisargadham

 

 

dsc_5740

Another temple inside Namdroling Monastery

After that, we boarded the hired cab again and reached Namdroling monastery in 15 mins. It is a beautiful monastery. The ambiance inside is beautiful . It has a huge statue of Lord Buddha. The paintings on the wall are attractive. From there, we moved to a home-stay “4 seasons home stay” which was booked in advance. After taking rest that evening, we boarded KSRTC bus early morning next day. We boarded KSRTC Volvo bus at 8:00 Am and reached Bangalore around 1PM.

 

Note:

  • Buy Coorg coffee
  • Try to visit Dubare elephant camp if visiting Coorg.
  • Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PICS OF COORG

MUNNAR (KERALA)


  1. Destination: Munnar, Kerala, India
  2. Visited on: December 24th 2015 – December 28th 2015
  3. Peak Season: November to February
  4. How To Reach:
  • By Train – The nearest railway station from Munnar is at Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 kilometers from Munnar. The Ernakulam Railway Station is 130 kilometers away while the Madurai Railway Station is at a distance of 135 kilometers. From these points, you can either hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses wherever available.
  • By Bus- State-run or private buses, plying from various towns in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are the best way to get to Munnar by road. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation provides bus services to Munnar from all major cities in Kerala.
  • By Flight – The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 110 kilometers away by road. From Cochin, one can hire a cab to get to Munnar.

About: Munnar is a town and hill station located in the Idukki district of the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. Munnar is situated at around 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above sea level, in the Western Ghats range of mountains.

CLICK HERE TO SEE INFORMATION ON TRIP TO THEKKADY

CLICK HERE TO SEE INFORMATION ON TRIP TO ALLEPPEY

Our Journey Starts:

I and Anindita planned our Kerala trip well in advance through Makemytrip.com. Almost everything was organized by Makemytrip except the last day hotel stay in Allepey and the return flight. By referring this post, one can plan their trip of their own. When it comes to package tour, our experience with Makemytrip.com was not good.

We boarded Air-Asia flight from Bangalore airport at 08:55 AM and reached Cochin at 09:55AM. The driver from Makemytrip.com (Actually from a third party) was waiting for us. We boarded the cab and started towards Athirapally waterfall. We planned to visit Munnar after visiting this waterfall. It took 2 hours to reach the water-fall. Shooting for a movie “Bahubali” was done. It was a gusty waterfall. We had to climb down few stairs to reach the top of the waterfall. The view was nice from there. One can also take a view from the bottom, i.e., where the waterfall is actually hitting the surface after a huge fall. Had to go down through a curvy un-paved road. Once reached there, the view was majestic. Water splashes with the help of wind is all around us. Going down was easy. While coming up, it took quite an energy. Anindita got bit sick due to warm weather and lot of exertion. We took few breaks for rest, on the way up.

dsc_4644

Athirapally Water-fall

We boarded the cab and on our way to Munnar. It took more than 5 hours to reach our hotel “Wild elephant-Eco friendly resort”. It was already dark and our hotel was located in an off-beat location of Munnar where Google map stopped working. Reached hotel, with the help of a local person in a bike, who showed us the way. It was around 8PM. The driver was quite agitated with hotel location and denied next day’s sight-seeing tour to the tea factory.

dsc_4680

Tea-garden in Munnar

Took rest that evening, we woke up early next morning. The hotel is located in a serene location. The hotel is surrounded by hills. Only sound that we were getting are birds chirping all around. On asking the hotel manager, we figured out, there is a timid water-fall near the hotel. We started walking towards that. Birds chirping all around and we are walking through tea-gardens. It was a pleasing experience. After 15 minutes, we reached the water-fall. We took photos from all possible angle. Spent quite a bit of time there. Found, few tourists from nearby hotels taking bath there. We were not prepared to take bath, so played with water splashes. While returning, Anindita slipped and fell on the slippery rocks without hurting herself. On the way back, we have done some macro photography of many beautiful flowers. Spent the whole day relaxing. Later, took bath in the hotel swimming-pool.

dsc_4778

Nearby Water-fall

Again woke up early next day, and it’s Christmas. We again walked around the tea-gardens. Spent most of the time relaxing in the hammock and watching birds. In the evening, the hotel arranged a special Christmas buffet with a bon-fire. Met new people there. We spent a long time discussing our journey with a Swiss person and a sweet Indian honeymoon couple.

Next day, we left hotel early and started our journey towards Thekkady. Munnar was heavenly for us and it is rightly called as “God’s own country”

Note:

  • Visit tea-gardens
  • Try to stay in a off-beat location in Munnar to enjoy the nature at it’s best
  • Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PICS OF MUNNAR

KODAIKANAL


  1. Destination: Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India
  2. Visited on: December 3rd – 6th 2015
  3. Peak Season: During holidays and on any weekends
  4. How To Reach:
  • By Train – There are trains going till Kodai Road. From there, one needs to hire a cab and reach Kodaikanal after a journey of 90 minutes (approx.)
  • By Bus – Sleeper buses and Volvo buses are available from Bangalore which goes directly to Kodaikanal via Kodai Road.

About: Kodaikanal is a town in the hills of the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, India. It’s name in the Tamil language means “The gift of the forest”. Kodaikanal is referred as the “Princess of Hill stations”.

Our Journey Starts:

I and Anindita boarded the KSRTC sleeper bus from Shantinagar Bus station which departed around 10PM. The journey was very comfortable. Reached Kodaikanal bus stop around 8AM next day on December 4th 2015. Plan was to stay in Kodaikanal for 2 nights and 3 days. Hotels were pre-booked. We booked 2 different hotels for each day. We reached hotel Richwin after a 10 minutes’ walk from the bus stop. Hotel people was courteous and allotted a room in the first floor (Room No. 201) which has all the basic amenities like sofa, electric kettle, tooth brush, tooth paste, etc. The deluxe room comes with a balcony too. The hotel is located just next to magnificent “Coaker’s walk” and Bryant Park.

DSC08306

Vattakanal Falls

On the way to the hotel from the bus stop, there are many tour operators offered sight-seeing at good price. We hired one guy named Lakshmanan who offered the best price. After a quick freshen up, we boarded the booked Tata Indica and out for sight-seeing. The sight-seeing activity doesn’t take too long, so we clubbed few sight-seeing together. Here is the list of sight-seeing given below.

Tour –I ( Kodai Local sight-seeing)

  • Coaker’s walk
  • Green Valley view
  • Golf course
  • Pillar’s Rock
  • Devil’s Kitchen (Guna cave)
  • Pine forest
  • Moier point
  • Kodaikanal Lake

Tour – II (Picnic Tour)

  • 500 years old tree
  • Vattakanal falls
  • Pambar falls (Liril falls)
  • Echo Rock
  • Dolphin’s Nose
  • Mountain Beauty
  • Lion Cave
  • Neptune falls
  • Bryant Park
  • Kodaikanal lake

Tour – III (Forest Tour)

  • Silent valley
  • Fire Tower
  • Caps Fly Valley
  • Berijam Lake
  • Medicine Forest

We clubbed Tour I and Tour II in day 1 for Rs. 1400. Else, each tour cost Rs. 800. We kept Coaker’s walk for the next day as it was very close from our hotel. At first, we went to Vattakanal falls. The waterfall is gorgeous with gusty water flowing from top. Then we started to trek to reach other waterfalls. The trek was scary as we had to walk through the flowing water of the fall. Tour I is not for older people. All other people must keep their shoes in their car and walk bare footed. From Vattakanal falls we moved to Pambar falls, also known as Liril fall as the shooting for the Liril soap advertisement took place there. Then comes the Echo Rock, Dolphin’s nose and Lion cave. All places are located in a very short distance. Then we moved back to the car after a scary, yet fun filled trek of 90 minutes. We skipped Bryant Park too, as it was very close to our hotel.

DSC_3619

Pambar (Liril) Fall

DSC_3710

Pine Forest

Then the guide took us to tree which is 500 years old. Then on the way we witnessed, Green valley view and Pine forest. Pine forest is a serene place and good for photography. We witnessed lot of mushrooms around. Just after Pine forest, comes Devils’ kitchen (Guna cave). This is a lovely place and a must visit. The tree roots are creeping like snakes and the foggy weather added a charm to the atmosphere. The actual cave is now closed after a tragic death of 12 people.

DSC08367

Devil’s Kitchen (Guna Cave)

Then we went to Pillar’s rock. This is another magnificent creation of the God. It is formation of four rocks and each rock looks like Mayan faces or faces of Indian gods and goddesses. We couldn’t see this formation due to fog. We visited again the next day to see the Pillar Rock early in the morning to catch a breath-taking view. After visiting almost all places except Kodai Lake, Coaker’s walk and Bryant Park, we came back to the hotel. We covered Tour I and Tour II in 4 hours. After a quick freshen-up, we moved out to see the Kodaikanal town. Later in the day, came back to the hotel and relaxed.

DSC08442

Pillar’s Rock

On day 2, we woke up early and went to Coaker’s walk which opens at 6.30 AM. Entry fee to Coaker’s walk is Rs. 10 per head and Camera costs Rs. 20. Coaker’s walk offers the most majestic view of the hills from Kodaikanal. It is a stretch of 1 Km which offers a peaceful walk with a view of the hills. One can try the powerful telescope to see the Kodai town closely. Then we planned to go to Pillar’s rock again as we couldn’t take a view the previous day due to fog. We took the same car and went to pillar’s rock. There were no tourist at 8AM in the morning and enjoyed the serenity of the place.

DSC_3816

View from “Coaker’s Walk”

As we booked a different hotel for the 2nd day, we took our bags and moved to the other hotel which was close-by. This hotel “The Villa Retreat” is a renowned one in Kodaikanal. However, I didn’t like it in compare to Richwin hotel, though rooms were comfortable.

Then we came back to the Kodaikanal town and had breakfast and again moved towards Kodaikanal Lake by walk. Reached Kodai Lake after a walk of 10 minutes. It is huge star shaped lake. We hired two bi-cycles and took a ride around the lake which took almost an hour. We took a boat ride too. Boat ride is quite expensive there, yet not that great. One can enjoy horse ride too around the Kodai Lake. It is a commercialized lake and don’t expect peace.

DSC_3850

Kodaikanal Lake

From there we went to a Tibetan restaurant for lunch. The restaurant “The Royal Tibetan” is quite famous and ranked high in Tripadvisor. Food in Kodaikanal is not great. However, food in this Tibetan restaurant is awesome and really a value for money. I highly recommend this place. This restaurant is just a 3 minutes’ walk from the 7 cross petrol bunk and 10 minutes from KSRTC bus stand. One must try “Momos” there.

DSC08358

Floral Formations in Pine Forest

After a filling lunch, we again headed towards Coaker’s walk to take a view of the hills in the evening light. It was great. However, I believe, the view was better early in the morning as there was no fog then and also there were very less people around which offers a calm atmosphere. We tried sweet corn there and it was best corn I ever had in my life. On each bite on the corn, the juices are splashing on my face. Kodaikanal is also famous for home-made chocolates. The shop named “The chocolate factory” is a renowned one in Kodaikanal which offers some beautiful home-made chocolates. We bought some chocolates from there. We also tried “Hot-chocolate” there which was thick and yummy. Kodaikanal is also famous for natural oils. I bought “Citriodora oil” meant for hairs. This oil is tried and tested and giving positive results.

DSC_4137

Way to Berijam Lake

For the last set of sight-seeing, that is Tour III (Forest tour) we booked a shared bus. Costs are Rs. 250 per head. The tour operators are required to take permission from the forest department for this trip, which is not a challenge at all. Next day we checked out at 9AM and kept our bags with the hotel owners and went out for sight-seeing. The bus picked us at 9.30AM and picked many others on the way until it is full. This trip was fun with the people in the bus.

DSC_3996

Berijam Lake View from distance

First, we went to Silent Valley which offers a view of nomad’s village surrounded beautifully with hills. Then the Fire tower. It is just a watch tower to see whether the forest is in fire or not. Next is a very funny place named “Caps fly valley”. If one throws leaves/hankies/caps down, it will fly back to him due to difference in atmospheric pressure. View of medicine forest is just a view of a dense forest from top. Berijam Lake is a beautiful lake located in a leach infested region. Avoid walking on the grass. The way to Berijam Lake is wonderful. All trees are covering the road from both sides. This place is also a photographer’s paradise.

DSC_3986

Fire Tower Covered With Fog

Later, our guide took us little inside to show some animals, where all were attacked by leach. However, I was lucky enough and the leaches only climbed my shoe and didn’t get a chance to taste my blood. Then we were taken to a shop for shopping. Bought some chocolates there too. On the way back, it started to rain heavily and the entire place turned into fog magnet with a poor visibility. But we enjoyed that atmosphere too. Once we are dropped in the hotel, we changed and freshen-up in the hotel’s common change room and went for lunch at “The Royal Tibetan Restaurant”. After a filling lunch again, we moved to the KSRTC bus stop with our backpacks.

DSC08459

Cycling Around Kodaikanal Lake

There is a renowned Pastry and Ice-cream shop near to the bus stand named “Pastry Corner”. One need to reach there before 5PM to try pastries, else it gets over. We tried natural ice-creams there which were very tasty. Vegetarians can try “Hotel Astoria” which is one of the best in Kodaikanal offering veg-dishes.

DSC_3888

Early-Morning View Of Kodaikanal sky

We boarded the KSRTC sleeper bus which departed around 7PM and reached Bangalore Shantinagar Bus stop around 3 AM. From there, we booked a cab to reach home. Being to Kodaikanal is a lovely experience and felt it is better in many ways in compare to Ooty.

Suggestions:

  • Eat at least once at “The Royal Tibetan Restaurant”
  • Pastry and ice-cream lovers can try “Pastry Corner”
  • Kodaikanal is paradise for chocolate lovers. Try home-made chocolates.
  • Don’t walk on the grass while in Berijam lake
  • Tour I and Tour II can be combined in 1 day
  • Tour I is not for older people as it is a trek through the flowing water of the waterfall. Chances of skid are high.
  • Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PICS OF KODAIKANAL

RANGANATHITTU BIRD SANCTUARY & KRS BACKWATER


  1. Destination: Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary & KRS Backwater, Karnataka, India
  2. Visited on: December 13th 2015
  3. Peak Season: Winter (December – February)
  4. How To Reach:
  • Car/bike – One can reach this sanctuary by own car/bike or by any hired vehicle

About: Ranganathittu bird sanctuary is in Mandya district of Karnataka, India. It is the largest bird sanctuary of Karnataka. It is located 3 Km away from historic town Srirangapatna and 16 Km north of Mysore.

Our Journey Starts:

Visiting Ranganathittu bird sanctuary in winter was in my plan for quite a long time. This time, Bangalore Adventurers organized an event to visit this sanctuary. Without wasting any time, I and Anindita registered for the event. We met with the group in front of Decathlon at Mysore road at 6.30AM. We were a group of 9 people including I, Anindita, Narendra, Kushagra, Sandeep, Vijay, Raju and the organizer Sachin. After a short introduction, we started our journey in Sachin and Narendra’s car.After half an hour, we made a halt for breakfast. The place is renowned for Thatte Idli. Food was amazing there. After a heavy breakfast, we boarded the cabs and started our uninterrupted journey towards the sanctuary.DSC_4307

We crossed historical town Srirangapatna on the way and reached Mandya. After a journey of total 3 hours, we reached sanctuary. The sanctuary is being monitored by the forest department. After paying an entry charge of Rs. 60 per head, we went inside and parked our car. Quickly, we went to a bird watching view-point where we observed birds like Storks, Pelican etc are breeding and enjoying the hot winter climate. We all captured the flying moments of this birds.DSC_4588

Then we decided to go for a boat ride which costs Rs. 60 per head or one can hire the entire boat for Rs. 1000 which accommodates around 15 people. The boat ride was the best part of this trip. We took a closer view of all the birds that migrate all the way and reach here. The water is also infested with crocodiles. Never been so close to live crocodiles. Seen crocodiles taking a sun-bath (lol) from a distance of 2 feet. We were provoking Kushagra to put hand in the water and feel the cold water. It is one of the best places to see all sorts of colorful birds including Kingfisher. We also got a breath-taking view of Storks and Pelicans catching fish from Kaveri Lake in the flight.

DSC_4285

Photo of Crocodile taken from boat ride

After a successful boat ride, we walked around inside the sanctuary. Total activity took around 2 hours. Then we moved out and headed towards Balmuri waterfall. It is situated at a distance of 30 minutes from the sanctuary. It is called a waterfall, but it is actually a stream with a drop of only 2 feet. Vijay, who was very interested in seeing a waterfall actually got syked seeing that. Narendra and Kushagra took a bath there.

DSC_4423

Balmuri Fall

From there, we headed back to the Mysore road and stopped our car in a nice restaurant for lunch. After having good lunch, we started our journey towards KRS backwater. We reached there after a journey of 30 minutes. It is located very close to Brindavan gardens. KRS backwater is being enclosed by the KRS dam. Huge Venugopala swamy temple just next to the backwater added charm to the place. The temple is still undergoing construction. After taking many pictures around the backwater, we went inside the temple. The temple is enormous and sculptured beautifully. One can witness sunset there if staying till evening. Raju, Narendra, Kushagraha and Sachin again took bath there.

DSC_4446

Venugopala Swamy Temple at KRS Backwater

By this time, all were tired of the scorching sun and wanted to head back home. We boarded cabs and came to a halt near the sanctuary again as it was on the way back. We calculated all expenses and shared equally. Later, we gathered around and shared our positive feedback as there was no negative feedback to share after such a wonderful trip.

DSC_4398

Hunting Fish

We boarded the cab again and headed back home. On the way, we stopped for 15 minutes for tea break. I moved from Sachin’s car to Narendra’s car so that he can drop us at Silk board crossing which will be on their way. Similarly, Vijay, who was in Narendra’s car moved to Sachin’s car. After saying ‘Adieu” to all, we headed towards Silk board. Narendra had some great collection of music and played in the car. On the way, we again met Sachin and his co passengers near Banashankari which was quite a coincidence. As we all do not know the way to reach Silk board, we started to follow Google map. Due to some wrong turning or whatsoever, the map is always showing the way through “Niece: road which we didn’t want to follow. After a lot of confusion and with the help of Anindita and Kushagra’s navigation skills, we reached Silk board. Narendra and Kushagra headed towards a Dhaba in search of “Naan”. I and Anindita headed back home from Silk board.DSC_4585

It was a wonderful trip. I personally enjoyed the sanctuary and the backwater a lot. Will definitely look forward for any such events organized by Sachin or Raju or by the Bangalore Adventurers team.

Suggestions:

  • Try “Thatte idli” on the way
  • Carry spare clothes for taking bath in Balmuri falls and KRS backwater
  • Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PICS OF RANGANATHITTU BIRD SANCTUARY

GOKAK & GODACHINMALKI WATERFALLS


  • Treknic Destination: Gokak & Godachinmalki Waterfalls
  • Visited On: 05th – 8th September 2014
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Visit: During Monsoon (July – September)
  • How to Reach: Number of trains goes to Gokak from Bangalore. Or one can change train from Hubli to Gokak. KSRTC buses are also available from Bangalore and Hubli.
  • Expenses : Rs. 1500/Head (Approximately)
  •  About: The Gokak Falls is a waterfall located on the Ghataprabha River in Belgaum district of Karnataka, India. The Godachinmalki Falls is a waterfall located on Markandeya River in Belgaum district, Gokak Taluk, Karnataka, India. It is 15 kilometers away from Gokak and 40 kilometers from Belgaum. It is located in a deep green valley.

The Journey Starts: We couldn’t book Rani Chenamma Express from Bangalore which goes till Gokak through Tatkal due to rush. Ticket of 12 “Bangalore Ascenders” members was booked in the train “Golgumbaaz Exp.” which departs Bangalore City station at 6.30PM till Hubli. Some members boarded the train from Bangalore City Station. Me, Mohammad Rafi (Organiser), Nazma and Ramesh boarded from Yesvantpur. We met the other 8 people in the train and spent some good moment in knowing each other.

IMG_1616

GOKAK WATERFALL

The train was on time and reached Hubli at 4.00AM the next day. We had some breakfast at Hubli station and got ready for the train Rani Chenamma Exp. This train was scheduled to leave Hubli station at 5.30AM. We had tickets for general compartment and the plan was to ask a TTE to convert those tickets so that we can board the reservation compartment. Train again came on time in Hubli. At first some of us boarded the general compartment. No empty seats there. In the mean time, couple of us conveyed a happy news got from TTE, that, we are boarding the reservation compartment. Ticket will be converted by paying the extra fair. We all rushed to the reservation compartment. It was almost vacant. Everyone took berth of their choice and had a good sleep. Woke up next morning with the call of Tea vendors and “Vada-Pao”. Had “Vada-pao” and tea in breakfast. Then we met an interesting person more closely. Ramesh who was travelling with us turned out to be an Ex-commander in a Navy Submarine. We heard some thrilling experience from him. That was a real lucky to travel with a person of that caliber. While listening all the thrilling stories, TTE passed us without recognizing and didn’t ask for the extra fare as he thought we have boarded the train from Bangalore only. We reached Gokak Station around 10AM on 06th September. From there we took private bus to reach Gokak waterfall for a fare of Rs.15/head. 10703620_756089431096516_3317285707514469034_nOnce reached the Gokak fall, one needs to take the Hanging Bridge to cross the river. It was magnificent waterfall. Crossing the fall through a hanging bridge was just awesome. Took photos while on the bridge. Once the river is crossed, we found a small temple on the right. Just beside the temple, we got down through an entrance to move towards the waterfall as close as possible. The view was magnificent from there. The roaring sound of water made it more thrilling. We had numerous photo shoot there as the spot was so nice to observe the fall closely. The valley where the river is crawling to reach it’s destination between the hills gives a serene feeling. Local vendors are available there. We had corn and masala muri ( puffed rice with masala). Then we crossed the hanging bridge again to move to earlier location. After getting down a little, one can be very close to the waterfall. The distance between you and the fall could be as less as 5 meter. Rafi took the entire individual’s photo separately so that one can use it as a Facebook profile picture. Then it started to rain suddenly. IMG_1623Wearing all rain gear, we visited a temple of Chalukya Dynasty near to the river only. We started our journey to find a camping spot. In between, we had our breakfast in the mill factory located nearby. Food was really good there. Locals are the best navigator in all areas. On asking few locals, we reached a spot. Then Rafi decided to trek down a moderate jungle for 15 minutes. Once reached the spot, we were all speechless. It seemed we are closer to the heaven. We all fixed our tent facing towards the waterfall to spend the night. One can see the gorgeous waterfall directly sitting inside the tent. It was windy then and started raining cats and dogs. In that, we arranged tarpaulin and put some heavy stones to stop it from flying away in the heavy wind. It’s time for cooking now …

GOKAK VALLEY

GOKAK VALLEY

Surprised to see a portable stove with a fuel which shapes like a coin. Some our team members took the responsibility of cooking and they did good in cooking popcorn, maggi, besibele bhaat and other south Indian dishes. Biscuit with milk-maid added flavor to it. We called Aashish as milk-maid man as he licked every drop of it without getting bothered about what others are saying… After a heavy continuous rainfall of 2 hours, the rain finally stopped. The water in the fall looking more gorgeous now as it has increased it’s volume due to rain. Again, number of photos taken in the evening and at night. The waterfall was nicely lit with halogen. At night, we all slept comfortably inside the tent using respective sleeping bags. Woke up early in the morning to experience the early morning view of the water fall. It was gorgeous as always. Some people responded to nature’s call in nature only. We have spent around 20 hours from day 1 in praising the waterfall from every possible angle. After admiring the fall for quite sometime in the morning, we planned to pack up and head towards the next destination after a short breakfast session.

???????????????????????????????

GODACHINMALKI WATERFALL

We climbed up through the forest to reach the main road and had breakfast in a small shop. We hired a car (Force) and started our journey to the next destination “Godachinmalki waterfall”. It took 30 minutes to reach there. Once reached, we had to walk between cultivation fields at first to reach the river. After walking for 5 minutes, we could hear the roaring sound of the waterfall. After another 5minutes, we met the river building up for a fall. We started walking further keeping the river on the right. It was nice experience, you and the river going side by side. After travelling a short distance, we finally reached the waterfall. I was astonished to see the breath and intensity of the fall. More astonishing is, tourist was so close to the fall. It was quite risky, but also an experience of a lifetime. Surrounding rocky terrain and gorge added flavor to it. View was magnificent. Sound of the water was roaring, water sprinkle which is flowing with the wind will mesmerize you. Never been so close to a waterfall ever. From quite a long time, we were planning to take a bath in the water. It’s impossible to take bath in the fall, but one can take bathIMG_1727 in the river where it is building up for a fall. We headed back a bit and all didn’t waste much time to change and splash in the water on finding a good location to bath. Water was cool and refreshing. Enjoyed a lot there. After a nice bath, we boarded the same hired cab and reached Gokak station well in advance. We had to pay Rs. 800 to the cab driver for taking extra time. It took an hour to reach to the Gokak station. On the way to Gokak station you will find many picturesque Banyan tree which will definitely draw your attention.  Once reached Gokak, we had lunch at local shop just outside of the station. After lunch, Some of us spent time in playing cards while waiting for the train.

THE HANGING BRIDGE OF GOKAK

THE HANGING BRIDGE OF GOKAK

Train was late in reaching the station by half an hour. We boarded the Rani Chenamma Express from Gokak around 5.45PM. Had fun in train also. I bought a famous local sweet “Kunda” from the train vendor. It tastes amazing. After having dinner in the train, we reached Yesvantpur next morning (8th September) around 6AM. From there, all took their individual way to reach home. It was a breathtaking experience of camping, experiencing two waterfalls, cooking in nowhere, experience in the train, experience on Submarine stories and facts…It was quite an offbeat location. It is really a beautiful place and it is a must visit for all adventure lovers as well as occasional wanderers….

Click Here To See All PIcs Of Camping & Waterfalls  

SHIVANASAMUDRA WATERFALL


  1. Destination: Shivanasamudra Falls
  2. Time Of Visit: During monsoon (July – October)
  3. Visited On: September 2013
  4. Suggestion: Carry extra set of clothes as there is nice provision of taking bath in water-fall
  1. About: The Shivanasamudra Falls is on the Kaveri River after the river has wound its way through the rocks and ravines of the Deccan Plateau and drops off to form waterfalls. The island town of Shivanasamudra divides the river into twin waterfalls. This creates the fourth largest island in the rivers course. A group of ancient temples are located here and there likely was a village.

This is a segmented waterfall. Segmented waterfalls occur where the water flow is broken into two or more channels before dropping over a cliff, resulting in multiple side by side waterfalls. It has an average width of 305 meters, a height of 98 m, and an average volume of 934 cubic meters / sec. A common misconception about these waterfalls are that the left segment is called Gaganchukki and the right segment is

CORACLE RIDE AT BHARACHUKKI

CORACLE RIDE AT BHARACHUKKI

called Bharachukki. In reality the Bharachukki falls are a few kilometers to the south-west of the Gaganachukki falls. This is due to the Kaveri river itself splitting a few kilometers to the south into western and eastern branches. The western branch results in the twin waterfalls of Gaganachukki, whereas the eastern branch results in the Bharachukki falls. The Gaganachukki waterfalls are best viewed from the Shivanasamudra watch tower. There is another approach to the Gaganachukki falls from the Darga Hazrath Mardane Gaib (Imam Ali). Despite warnings being posted, people climb down the rocks and attempt to view the waterfalls from behind/top, resulting in many fatal accidents. It is 139 km from the city of Bangalore.

  • How To Reach: The two falls are not well connected by bus. Buses fly regularly to Kollegala from Bangalore as well as Mysore. From Kollegala, one can hire cab or autorickshaw to reach the falls. However, buses to Kollegala can be crowded and hiring a cab from Bangalore or Mysore is advisable.
  • The Journey Starts: We were in a group of 12 people. So we booked a Tempo Traveller (TT) from Bangalore which is a perfect vehicle for 12 people. We all boarded the vehicle at 5AM and reached Shivanasamudra after a drive of 3 hours. We had breakfast on the way in Mysore Road. There are some good restaurants which serves nice veg food. We had a lovely Dosa there.
GAGANACHUKKI

GAGANACHUKKI

Once reached Gaganachukki falls, the view is breath-taking. It’s a nice waterfall. We climbed down through boulders to experience the fall from the closest range. To get down, there is small broken gate on the left. Getting down is difficult and could be risky. It is not advisable to get down. Never take a chance of getting down if going with family. Water is gushing out just next to us with a roaring sound. Spend quite a long time there, taken photos enjoyed every bit of it. Then we boarded the vehicle once again to reach Bharachukki falls which is about two kilometers from Gaganachukki. We went there with a mindset of taking bath in the falls.We changed dress in the vehicle, took around 100 steps in stairs to get down. The view is nice from the stairs itself. Once we are down, we found a small stream passing by, which needs to be crossed to reach the main waterfall. One should be always careful in these streams and waterfalls. Slightest of careless movement can break your bones.

IMG_0804

PEOPLE TAKING BATH AT BHARACHUKKI FALL

We reached the waterfall after crossing the stream. It is a huge and magnificent waterfall. All were taking bath there. We also rushed to the fall to take bath. In one part of the fall, there a section caved inside. Go inside that, you will find yourself behind the water. People do jump around and swim. Caution once again – Don’t go too deep in the valley, as water current might pull you inside. There are security guards blows whistle to make one alert if going too deep.This is the step taken after reporting lot of accidents. One of my office colleague died there two months back, when water current pulled him far away while taking a bath and moved too deep inside. One can enjoy Coracle ride also in the stream. They charge quite a bit. Don’t forget to bargain. After taking bath, taking number of photos, we all climbed up the stairs and boarded our vehicle. On the way again, we had nice Veg-lunch served in banana leaf. After completing lunch, all were too tired. We boarded the vehicle and got back to Bangalore. It took around 5 hours while coming back in heavy traffic of Bangalore. In the end, it was a nice fun and my first ever bath taken in a water-fall… It’s a lovely day out…Don’t get scared with lot of warnings. Be matured, stay safe and enjoy every bit!! Click Here to See All Pics Of Shivanasamudra