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 ]
Republic Day and a long weekend! Something had to be planned, but had not been planned. It was a last minute dash to head to the western ghats and hike up the mountains there. Mullayanagiri and Bababudangiri were the two candidates chosen. Myself, Boda (Rajavardhan) and Paccha (Prashant) headed out of Bangalore towards Chikmagalur by around 3pm on the Saturday, the 24th Jan 2015.
While on the way, we frantically try to hunt down a hotel room, motel room, a dormitory or anything which we could just sleep for the night. But Chikmagalur was full, with absolutely nothing available there. We would reach the place by 9pm in the night. Finally, Boda decided to call his uncle and arrange something since his uncle knew someone influential. And Muthodi Forest Camp it would be. We reach there in the dead of the night – it was midnight on the absolutely stunning star filled skies all through our drive in the forests. We woke up the cook as advised and asked him for our accommodation for the night. It was the Salim Ali Room in the forest camp – an open room, museum by the day. With nothing to sleep on, we decided to use our tents and sleeping bags which we had taken along with us. It was a pretty sleepless night. A stuffed tiger on a stone pedestal gave us company through the rest of the night.
The next morning, we were longing for a hot cup of tea, some warmth and information. We went to the cook’s room and found all that. We freshened up and enquired about the hike to the mountains – Mullayanagiri and Bababudangiri and were told no camping up there. We decided we would try our luck in Kemmanagundi. The road to Kemmanagundi through the Muthodi reserve is a really run down forest trail. We found a small village on our way and had breakfast – neer dosa. That was the only option we had as it was already ready and to prepare anything would take time. We hogged on what was available and proceeded. No metal, very uneven – our progress was slow through the forests. But we were presented with stunning sceneries, beautiful landscapes, blue winter skies. No complaints there. We reached the forest check post and parked out cars there and decided to hike. Again, no camping up in the mountains:( But we decided to head out towards the famous ‘Z’ Point. It didn’t take us long to get to the ‘Z’ Point and reached the top by around 4pm. We spent an hour or so up there and headed back before sunset. The landscape was a beautiful one. Kemmanagundi was slowly but surely restoring its vegetation after several years of abuse through mining the rich ores!
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):