This was being planned for quite sometime now – from last year, to be precise. Me switching jobs meant the plan could not materialize in 2014.
But in 2015, I wanted to make it count. And the plan pretty much went like clockwork considering the initial logistics hiccups that we had to face. Buses, government and private, refused to carry the bikes in the cargo or in some cases, they weren’t convincing and not confident about shipping the bicycles.
So we headed out in a car. Some pictures and the routes we took.
Three days | Three bicycles | 157 kms | Western Ghats | Monsoon | Karnataka | India
Day 1: Dandeli -> Supa Dam -> Ganeshgudi -> Dandeli – Night halt [ 50 kms ]
During the performance of the “ಹರಿಭಕ್ತ ಸುದನ್ವ” (Haribhakta Sudhanva) in our residential layout.
A small episode from the Bhagavadgitha/Mahabharata.
“Sudhanva, who is a great devotee of Krishna, fulfills his desire to see Krishna in person by defeating Arjuna.
Krishna gives into Sudhanva’s wish, appears before him and helps Arjuna kill Sudhanva thereby granting him salvation.”
Yakshagaana, the traditional dance form of Karnataka is one of the most popular too in the state. Often used to portray and narrate stories from the old texts. It involves very dramatic enactments, with the artists using bright colored paints, attire. Usually performed in the night under lights, it can go on all night.
Fantastic to watch the energy in the performances. Watch this space for a small film on the same.
It was Thursday, 2nd of October, Gandhi Jayanthi and Saturday, 4th of October was Dasara – A Friday’s leave invested meant another long weekend on offer! Yay! We had planned this well in advance! Actually Jyothi did. We had our stay booked at Meriyanda Nature Lodge. While going through the reviews, this had turned out to be one of the most sought after stays in the Coorg area. We were skeptical about the availability – even three weeks before the actual dates. Fortunately, one of the Planter’s Cottage was still available and we grabbed it without a second thought.
The resort cottages are excellent with a huge sit out opening up to the view of the coffee plantation and the Coorg hills and mountains beyond. One of the walls of the cottage is mostly glass and fully open giving you a very nice view of the surroundings.
Also, one unique thing about the cottages – no TV, no Cellular signal and other distractions. This meant lots of interactions with other folks in the resort. We made several friends there during our stay! Along with others, Donald Pereira and family were friends we made and got along well – we had breakfast , lunch and dinner together for the rest of our stay there in the woods. Donald and Zarine are originally from Goa and settled in Doha and were visiting their kids – Christian and Stefan, who were on Dasara vacation. What a time we had together!
It was Dasara! That meant, a lot of fun and frolic in the resort! It was a totally festive atmosphere out there! Meriyanda had arranged numerous activities – Dandiya, games , a professional free-style drummer troupe etc.
With the monsoon in full swing in late July pan India, it was time to head to THE place to be in the monsoons – The Western Ghats. After some deliberation on where to head out for the weekend, the winners were – Honnavara and Kasargod. Honnavara – the Apsarakonda Falls, just beside the beach, the water falling from a small hill with a thick, dense forest cover. I had never heard of the place, but TripAdvisor and other websites gave solid reviews for the same. Kasargod – for the famous Bekal Fort. I had planned Bekal Fort many a times in the past, but never materialized. I had seen it only in pictures. This monsoon it would be then!
I want this blog to be more of a photo blog than a write-up. So I will allow the pictures to portray the places than my shabby writing skills, which might spoil the whole narrative.
Day 1: Bangalore – Sagara ( 400Kms).
The Drives, the Selfies, the Rain…
Day 2: Sagara – Honnavara (90Kms) – Apsarakonda Water Falls (8Kms) – Udupi (127Kms).
Apsarakonda Falls | Honnavara
Maravanthe Beach | NH 17
Day 3: Udupi – Kasargod (104Kms) – Bekal Fort (16Kms) – Bangalore (380Kms).
Bekal Fort Overlooking The Arabian Sea
In Bekal Fort
Total Distance Covered: 1200Kms.
Bekal Fort | Kasargod
Some moments captured in motion ( draft only. not completely mastered yet):
It is the season – the season of the hikes. It has started raining here in Karnataka with the monsoons arriving, although it was a week late than usual. The right time to start hiking in the Western Ghats is after a couple of rains. The vegetation turns green and pleasant to the eyes. Sun will be milder ensuring a pleasant hike. During the monsoon itself will be a very bad time, most of the places are leech infested and it would not be a pleasurable experience.
With that said, I wanted to start the same with a hike. I got the opportunity to go on a small hike when my father-in-law informed me of a hike arranged by Koramangala Club through BMC. The place decided was – Karadi Betta. It is also known by multiple names like Mari Betta, Bananthi Betta etc. The rocky hill is located around the Kanakapura Town. It is located 3 Kms from the town of Kanakapura. Kanakapura itself is around 70kms from Bangalore and 1.5hrs of travel time ( See map for the locations).
One of the most popular waterfalls in Karnataka. The best season to visit and experience the thrill is post monsoon. I got lucky and happened to visit Shivanasamudra in October of 2013 after a bountiful monsoon.