Sunday, October 26, 2008

Drive away on a boring Sunday evening!

It's Sunday evening.. Tomorrow it's Monday, and a holiday for Diwali.. Wait for my DSLR seems never ending though it's just one more day to go :-).  I and a cousin of mine decided to drive to Hebbal lake today.. However, since it was 4.30, and towards Hebbal there would be lot of traffic , I asked him if we can go to ThippagonDana haLLi lake instead.  This is the place I heard about but had never been to. From Basaveshwara Nagar, we started towards this place in search of birds and lake.. On the way there were a lot of birds but we decided to reach the lake rather than stopping by those birds. However when we reached the main gate of the lake it was closed and there were boards put up saying that the entry is restricted. After enquiring a person standing on the other side of the gate if we can get inside, he said we cannot enter the premises; if they allowed us then they would lose their job! I am wondering - since when, our govt became so strict?; rather, since when our govt employees became so obedient? 
We drove 2-3 kms further and we could spot a way from the backside. Though we could not go close to the lake we could see the bridge and lake from little distance away. There were lots of eagles flying above. The camera did not have much of the work to do. However the 2 enthusiasts did try to capture something there since we visited. :-)
It was a wonderful ride of 30kms one way, towards Taverekere and further. Mind was refreshed after crossing the outskirts of the city and finding the green on both sides. Fresh air is always good to breath you see! :-) 
Beams of the vehicle!
On the road behind the lake  
Working with slow shutter speed
            You can see few stars too
This is the last time I am posting pictures from a borrowed camera.  
From 28th of Oct, all pictures will be from my very own Canon EOS 450D/Rebel XSI :-) 
Just waiting to hold it and click every beautiful thing on this earth! 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

RanganatiTTu - Birds' Paradise

On a saturday evening I felt like driving to some place on Sunday. I was totally frustrated with the 2 days continuous travel that week. I wanted to get to some beautiful place which would wash my mind and make me fresh on Monday :-) The option which could strike my mind that time was, RanganatiTTu. and guess what? I drove my Honda Activa to the place from Bangalore. LOL! But trust me this 2 wheeler is the best one for a drive on smooth roads. 45kms milage and which could reach up to 80 km/hr. What else do you expect? ;-) Just posting here some of the best pics that I managed to get in Sony Cyber shot H5. Lovers in the Air Lonely Pied Kingfisher White Ibis Butterfly in a garden nearby Pollens of a flower

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"Journey to conquer the highest peaks continues.." - A trek to Thadiyendamol - Coorg District!

27th and 28th Sep, 2008

Place: Thadiyendamol, Near Kakabbe
District: Coorg
Route map:
Approximate route from Bangalore: Mysore road --> Sri rangapattana --> Right turn towards Hunsur --> Virajpet road --> After 5 kms Left turn towards Kakabbe -> There comes a sign board called (Misty woods)just follow that till you reach the home stays.

This place had been on top of my mind from many days. This was one of the trekking spots that I had not yet covered. 26th Sep, a fine Friday morning, for which every software engineer waits eagerly, I decided to spend the weekend memorably. Also my colleague who's last day in my company was nearing, insisted me to plan for some trek. Just a phone call to an estate in Thadiyendamol gave a kick start to our journey. I remember the plan wasn't working out that well, since everybody I asked about the trip had second thoughts about joining this trip. However 6 people were ready end of the day. Qualis was good enough to accomodate all of us. When Qualis left my house in Vijayanagar at 11 PM in the night, just after 2 kms it got punctured - The driver said 2 mins and he will replace it. The spanner got bent when he was trying to loosen the jammed nut. I really had second thought of continuing the trip then. However driver's friend nearby helped him fix this problem.

By the time I could pick up everyone from their house it was midnight. This is how our journey started towards the highest peak of Coorg.I want to make this post very simple, and to tell you how much successful and fun this trip was, the photographs are the witness! Here is the short story of the entire trip after we left Bangalore in the midnight.

Wonderful ride on Mysore road till Sri rangapaTTana, the place of Sultans! – Then a right turn towards Hunsur - We had to ask a lot of people about the correct road to Virajpet. By the time it was 3.30 am in the morning, driver realized that he was feeling sleepy. He parked the vehicle on the side, and slept off.

We got down, and stood outside to discuss all problems in the world, one of them was traffic in Bangalore J. Meantime, I took out my camera to take few shots of Moon. I had gone through a lot of training material on Photography of late. I wanted to apply this learning in this trip. The moon danced up and down in my camera. My desperate effort to capture the moon wasn’t successful but it created magical pictures. J

After an hour we woke up our driver to tell him that we were supposed to go for a trip J We reached Virajpet early morning at around 6.30 am, and then moved towards Kakabe. All along the way the scenery was ecstatic! Believe me eyes couldn’t get more satisfaction than that. Rajiv Gandhi National Park on the way was thick and green and had a pride of its own! The mist and fog covered the green fields here and there as if to decorate Mother Nature. The curvy roads lead us towards the peace and beauty of the greenery. Beautiful water birds and lot of other flies were amazing to see.

The owner of the home stay showed us a great hospitality to welcome us and treat us with breakfast and tea. It was 8am in the morning and we were thinking what the plan should be. After a little discussion we came to a conclusion that we trek to the peak post lunch, considering a lot of factors like lunch, sun set etc. It was a very good decision. Meantime we freshened up ourselves. I and Larry went out for a walk after breakfast. We rushed into the backyards of a house to find a water stream and large green field a little further. My camera had a lot of work to do there since it was the best spot for photography. A lush green cultivated field - several types of butterflies and some other insects with full of colors - sound from the small water stream as if it was pouring water on the dusty mind to clean it up – everything around was soothing. Had a good time there applying my photography skills.

Backyard of a house, Thadiyendamol

After Lunch we started our trek to the highest peak. Though there was tar road till some point, we decided to walk rather than taking a jeep drive. The uphill was really steep, but we got to see nice views on the way, and hence it wasn’t that tiring. By the time we reached the place where the tar road ended and where exactly the trek starts, we had taken about 1 hour. From that point onwards it was real trekking – thick green trees and bushes on the sides and a completely rough mud roads – and that’s what I like , “Real trek” J

There were many other troops for the trekking, including Bangalore Mountaineering Club who were really enthusiastic. We saw that they were carrying tents too to make a halt near the top of the hill during that night. It was really tempting; we drooled on it a bit J However, we had a “Josh” to stay back on top without tent, which didn’t last long; in fact the “josh” ended right there when the chilling cold attacked our body just after the sun set.

Road to Heaven - Nearing the Peak

The way towards peak was just like a Road to Heaven. As we climbed up we felt tired but looking up to the peak pumped in more energy in us to push ourselves. But when we reached the top of the hill, it was rejuvenating. It was 5.20 PM when we reached the top. The following pictures are enough to express how good it was at the peak J That was one of the best sun sets ever I could see. How best can I explain the beauty of distant clouds which looked below our level, the horizon created during the sun set, refreshing breeze, soothing atmosphere! All experiences are just captured in my camera; It was the fantastic weather for photography, trust me, whatever it required for photography – Optimum light, Optimum clouds, no rains – everything was available at the highest peak of Coorg.

As I told before we could not wait on the top for longer time after sun set since it was getting colder. We trekked down few hills and by the time we reached BMC’s tents it was dark! We had borrowed a torch from the home stay owner, which was of great help for six of us. Every now and then, we turned off the torch and looked towards the sky to find zillions of stars; the sky looked so rich and bright like never before. We walked brisk but carefully towards the foothill. We asked the driver to come till the point where tar road was available. By the time we reached down, the driver was there and it was a great relief getting into Qualis. We were really hungry because we didn’t carry even a chocolate while trekking. As soon as we reached back, we freshened up and grabbed the most delicious and tasty food prepared by Aunt in the home stay. It tasted just amazing!

Next day I got up early at 7 am and wentout for a walk, again, just to breathe the sweet air. The breakfast was wonderful again; I am really grateful to the home stay owner and his wife. Initially the amount that he said he will charge us looked to me costly but after Sunday morning’s breakfast when we were leaving, it really looked a very small amount. Though we hardly spent 30 hours there in Thadiyendamol, all of us felt we were there for weeks. We said bye to uncle and aunty, the driver then took over and drove towards a beautiful water fall called Chelawara water falls, on the way back. The water fall is as good as Hebbe falls in KemmannugunDi. If you are going to Thadiyendamol, this is a must visit! We tried our hand reaching just below the water fall, and took a nice bath.

Chelawara water fall, few kms from Thadiyendamol
Nothing interesting happened on the way back to Bangalore; apart from Upendra’s dilogues in Buddivantha entertaining us to the fullest!

When we reached Bangalore it was Sunday 5PM. The individual expense on this trip was just 1550rs including everything. So Thadiyendamol is amazing place to be visited, which is situated less than 300 kms from Bangalore (5 hours drive) and gives you the best experience. And if you are going there anywhere between Sep and Nov, wonderful time to visit!

Just go for it!