Archive for December, 2010


Welcome to Nanda Kishore’s personal page.
You can find a detailed descriptions of my journeys, my passion and my thoughts (reflections)
Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions.

After a week of awesome time with my cousins and family, i went to Bangalore, to meet Mayur and Bhargav and Kaki. I reached bangalore from hyderabad on 4th December, in the morning at around 7 Am and went straight to Bhargav’s home at koramangala (near forum). It was a long time i had seen him, and i was really very excited to meet him. A few minutes later Kaki arrived and very soon we were lost in all the tech talk. Kaki had bought an DSLR (first one in our wing! :) ), which me and bhargav explored for a while.

We were to go to Jog falls and shimoga for 3 days, but had not planned anything so far. We decided to book an indica for the 4 of us (mayur,bhargav, kaki and myself) and get away without any plan. And to spend the rest of the day we decided to go nandi hills on bikes. Bhargav and me then went IIMB to meet Mayur and get his bike. Since it was already getting late around 1 in the afternoon, we decided to go to bannerghatta national park. After spending somme time at Mayur’s room ( which i was really impressed with), we had lunch and then again decided that the national park would be closed soon and there was no point going there. And hence we ended up at Lal Bagh!! :) We then started planning on where to go and what to see in the next few days and not surpsingly we decided against the trip (phew!!) (improper planning and the idea that jog falls had very little water because of a dam above!!). We then decided to get to coorg for 2 days and the end the trip with a trek to the top of coorg! :)


We started early in the day (6 AM — Thats way too early by our standards) towards mysore. The road from bangalore to mysore was amazing with the driver touching speeds in excess of 100 in an indica! After a small stop for break fast, we went straight to the KRS dam (Krishna Raya Sagar) in the outskirts of mysore. After a brief session of photography and admiration of the dam, we headed on our way to the district capital of the coorg region, Madikeri.

On our way to Madikeri we stopped at various spots of tourist importance. First amoung them was the Golden temple at bylakuppe, few kms from kushalnagar, enroute Madikeri. Hundreds of Buddhist monks live here. While the exterior of the new Zangdokpalri temple looks majestic with a majestic rainbow arch, the interior of the Golden temple next to it is awe-inspiring. The path to the Zangdokpalri temple passes through a sprawling garden. Around the garden are the residential quarters of the monks. A better write up of the temple for a good read: http://madikeri.org/bylakuppe

We then stopped for a late lunch near Cauvery Nisargadhama. Nisargadhama is forest resort just 3kms from Kushalnagar towards Madikeri off the state highway. Nisargadhama is a 25 acre island formed by river Cauvery with bamboos, teak, sandalwood trees streams and wild life(supposedly!! We could just find deers there :D ) covering it. It is also famous for its hanging bridge which connects the island helping us to cross river Cauvery.

After our lunch we took a small detour towards Dubare Elephant camp situated around 20 kms from the main road. It was supposedly an elephant capturing and training camp of the Forest Department of Coorg. Though we did not see many elephants there, we did some still water river rafting (I couldn’t find a better oxymoron). Never the less it was great fun as we went along the coast of the river dodging our way through the branches that grew low and perpendicular to the river. It was just like playing a dodging game on some video game console :) After a few minutes i took a plunge into the river where the water was deep. It was great fun to be in the water (thanks to the life jacket i had on me) The way up to the raft was again little tricky, but i eventually made it (not before i was scolded a couple of times! lol!! )

After i got myself into some dry clothes, we took off towards madikeri. It was close to 90 mins drive from there and we reached the town at around 7 PM. We wen’t straight to the hotel Hill View (Trust me — there was no great view at all!) and called it a day. We were all tired after the rafting and the journey and were soon asleep after we had our dinner.

Abbey Falls

The next morning we went to Abbey falls around 12 kms from madikeri. The waterfall is located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines. An awesome path through coffee and cardamom plantations leads to the waterfalls. The roar of the falls can be heard from the road itself. There is a hanging bridge just opposite the falls which gives an awesome view to the tourists. We spent an good part of 2 hours and started on our way to Talakaveri

Talakaveri is around 50 kms from Madikeri and is considered to be the source of the Kaveri river. It is located in the Bramhagiri hill near Bhagamandala at an altitude of 1276m. A tank or Koneru has been erected on a hillside, at the place that is said to be the origin. It is also marked by a small temple. We trekked up to the top of the hill and then we were off back to Madikeri. In the evening we went to the Raja’s Seat and tried some sunset photography! (it was an awesome sunset, with the sun going into the mountains. We then went to some temple in Madikeri and took to bed early.


 

The next day, we started very early for a trek that i would remember for a very very long time. After what i had during my previous trek, i was sceptical about this one. But since Bhargav kept saying it was fairly flat, i had the courage to do it! We reached Thadiandamol ( base village for our trek). We started our trek to the highest peak in the district and the 2nd highest peak in karnataka at an altitude of 1750 mtrs above MSL. For a start Kaki also wanted to come as far as we could. The gradient at the start of the trek was a bit too high, and kaki started to break down.

To make things worse we missed the main route and had to take another route which was more tough! But with some determined climbing by kaki we were able to make it to the main path in an hour. All along the way we came across many streams of very pure cold water trickling down the slopes of the mountain. We were treated to some awesome sceneries along the way of the valley and the mountains surrounding it. The path started to flatten out for one Km which we could cover very easily. The trail took us through pine trees and very beautiful streams. In another hour around 11:30 we reached the base of the highest peak. The base had an amazing stream of fresh water, where we took some rest and ate our lunch (chocolates and some biscuits :P ). Kaki decided to stop here, where as bhargav, mayur and myself carried along.

The next few meters of the climb was a very rocky terrain, which we covered in the next 20 mins. We took a small breather and carried along. The trails started to become more and more rocky with each step having to be a bigger stride upwards. I could hear my heart thumping very very fast, and my slippers (A big big blunder not to have shoes) started to wear out! The trail slowly lead us to a very dense forest. Ducking below low branches and climbing along the roots of the trees we were making some progress. The jungle got very dense and at certain places it was very dark and scary even at noon. We were literally running through the forest and in about 15 mins we were out of it.

Me and Bhargav enjoying the view of the valley

Another 15 minutes of painful trekking and we were in sights of the main peak. The very sight of it gave me a new lease of energy and i was in a flash mid way through the climb. I was going on and on frequently urging myself to push it till the end. in my anxiety i started pushing it too hard and in 10 minutes i reached the top only to realise it was a Fool’s Peak (A term coined by me for a local maxima if you assume the mountains were like a graph). The majestic peak stood in front of us, and we were all surrounded by green grass. We took to photography there for 30 minutes and then slowly went to the top. I was leaping in hapiness. My joy knew no bounds. All my pain vanished in a few seconds and was rejuvenated by the achievement.

After spending some time at the peak, we started our way down. We decided not to stop anywhere as some rain bearing clouds were glooming around the horizon. My floaters had given up on me and i was left to the mercy of the sharp stones all to myself. To add more troubles, i was cramping up, which hindered my muscle movement. Very soon i lost both bhargav and mayur who literally ran down the mountain and i was left all to myself. But that was not a point of giving up! I kept going urging myself not to break down. All my effort was having a good result.. we were now descending at a decent pace. We were down to where Kaki was in around 40 mins! After stretching my muscles for a while, we descended all the way to the cab.

We started back to bangalore at around 5 and after stopping for dinner at Mc Donalds on the banglore–mysore highway, we reached bangalore at 11 pm. That was one hell of a trip, something i was longing to do for a while now. It was far too great fun i had in the last 10 days and now i had to leave all of it behind and had to get back to some serious work back at office! :(

All the credit for the wonderful photography goes to KB and his awesome DSLR!
Special thanks to Bhargav for actually planning the trip and taking some critical time off work at some short notice! :)