Monday, December 28, 2009

Valikunja (Ajjikunja)


The hills beacon us like we belong there in its lap one more trek organised by Mangalore YHA this weekend to ‘Valikunja’ near Kudremukha national park situated 1039m above the sea level.
As per our plans everyone reached Andaru village late evening & Ramesh Kamath sir’s local friend arranged for very tasty food & shelter at a local school. Sudeer from our group took initiative to arrange program & take responsibility to get permission from Kudremukh National Park department.
We started our journey through one mud jeep track; we went on slowly on this long, winding, steep road in the middle of thick tropical forest. Forest guide told us that this road was constructed long back when the Government wanted to estimate the proposition of Uranium some rare earths (Bangargudda) on this mountain range. Might be they found that it won’t be profitable to undertake mining Uranium here or might they didn’t find anything here, they abandoned the project and hence Valikunja was saved from devastation.
Dense forest completely covered this mountain and we had to climb 9.5kms non-stop up in this jungle. High moisture content in this weather almost all the animals found in these forests of South India could be seen here also. Deer, tiger, leopard, wild pig, sheep, fox, wolf, monkey, variety of snakes are the common animals found in these forests. Even we saw Elephant & Bear mud’s in several places; the varieties of birds are also seen here. We took sufficient water from one small stream before entering the open place.
After that we came to an open place where we could see grassland. Wherever we see it was full of lush greenery & mountains were really amazing. There was cool fresh breeze. This is a typical feature of Shola tropical forests, which characterize the Western Ghats of India. Grasslands cover the peak even though the whole mountain is covered by dense forest. We rushed towards grasslands like mad.
Next 6kms tough walk in open grassland was pleasant last stretch to the peak was a little dangerous with slippery rocks we reached the peak. The clouds were slowly uncovering the mountains and the view was splendid.
Really it was excellent experience we should thank for last night rain which had on this place & also cloudy atmosphere. Otherwise it would have been little difficult ,a slight drizzle had started by the time we descended totally exhausted walking around 30kms at a stretch it was one kind of an experience where body mind soul all are strengthened to give a living experience.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pancharbi and Kela Arbi Waterfalls

Last trek when we visited DanaGundi waterfalls we had planned to go to this place, but the locals over there suggested it would be better if we went after rainy season as it's located in dense forest, so we decided December would be the right month to visit this place.
One early Sunday morning we decided to go to this place on our bikes we left early in the morning, with a wonderful pleasant weather our bike ride was very nice highly energetic and fully charged we reached the village Mala after a tough trek on mud road a hard track we reached an estate we parked our bikes near the estate and started our trek.
We saw many small streams as rainy season had made it's mark a wonderful stream on the way and we followed the brook walking in streams can be extremely wonderful but very dangerous too since rocks are very slippery and a single neglected step could land any one in big injury and once in such a dense forest getting help is a dream.
Further down the stream wading through it with great difficulty lot of confusion we reached bottom of Pancharbi falls. It was a beautiful fall which falls from 100ft water was extremely cold and nobody was ready for a bath, we had our breakfast relaxed enjoying kamath sir's banter near the beautiful cascading waterfall, some of us decided to go up the fall though there was no way we some how managed to make one and reached the place WOW! What a splendid view we had from the top.
We returned to the village & finished our lunch at a local hotel after that roamed around few places surrounding ‘Mala’ village.
By evening we reached Kodange Mala village, our teammate Sudheer had heard some unknown waterfalls nearby so we decided to go there we managed to locate the falls and spent rest of the day there, Manjaltar River created a cascading beautiful falls called “Kera Arbi (SirikalaGundi)”between two rocks.
We had some kind of adventure going up the falls & to another side of the falls and enjoyed our fete, altogether we had a wonderful time a very enjoyable weekend trip to remember.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Early morning very comfortable weather we started our journey from Mysore with my friend Car. Around 9 we reached this temple. It is a big temple complex which located in the town on the right bank of River Kapila & this ancient temple dedicated to Shiva - Nanjundeswara or Srikanteswara that is rich in legend, historical and artistic significance also it’s known as "Dakshina Kashi .

The shrine, cosmic Linga representing Shiva is very ancient one. Earliest records are available from the reign of Gangas who ruled this region for more than seven hundred years (325 - 1000 C.E). The original temple is of early Ganga period.

Innovations were made during the reign of Hoysala, Vijayanagara (1339-1565 C.E) and Wodeyars of Mysore. Tippu Sultan of Mysore was a patron of this temple. It is said that the sultan believed that his elephant was cured of diseases by the grace of the presiding deity of this temple and hence he made endowments to this temple.

Local legend says, this is the place of churning ocean by gods and demons to obtain nectar. Before obtaining nectar, deadliest poison gushed out, which would have destroyed the entire universe. Shiva the savior came to rescue and himself gulped down the venom, to save cosmos. Most of it got struck in his throat which turned green or blue. Hence he is also called Vishakantha (poison throated) or Neelakantha (blue-throated).

His consort Parvati prevented the poison from entering Shiva's system by hugging him and clinging to his throat which otherwise would have been disastrous.

Hence he is also called Shreekantheswara (Shree means Goddess Parvati) and the town got the name as Nanjangud which means the place of his residence.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


On our last trip to mysore melkote was our final destination, my friends Ravi and Anirudh had planned everything very well, we reached the place by 5pm. Melukote (High or superior Fort) is a one of the principal sacred places in the state.
The place is also known as Tirunarayanpura. It is built on rocky hills known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri overlooking the Kaveri valley. This shrine is known for its long standing association with the spiritual leader Ramanujacharya. Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana who had become a follower of Ramanujacharya granted the fertile land as Ashta-Gramas on the banks of river Cauvery.
Melkote has two distinct temples. First temple is situated on the top of the hill is an attractive temple dedicated to Lord Yoga Narasimha. After climbing 100 more steps we reached Narasimha Temple. It is believed that the image of Yoga Narasimha temple was installed by Prahlada. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III presented a gold crown to this temple.

After that we visit Kalyani (The temple houses a large pond called as Kalyani Theertha)The temple premises also houses the oldest Sanskrit college named Sri Veda Vedantha Bodhini Sanskrit Mahapathashala.
This ancient Sanskrit college in India dates back to 1854. The institution continues to provide instruction in Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy.
After that we visited one half constructed temples which is also one of the very famous place here. When we finish all this temples it was already late so we moved to the main temple which is a square building of large size but very plain is dedicated to Lord Cheluva Narayana Swamy. The temples of Melkote have made the town a popular tourist attraction.

My friend Ravi brings Puliyogare & some sweets from priest house everyone tasted it & returned back with nice memories of our ancient spiritual word.

Vairamudi Utsav or Vairamudi festival, this temple of Melkote is popular for its Vairamudi Utsav, which is held in the month of March/April, the procession idol of Cheluvaraya Narayana Swamy is decorated with a diamond crown and taken out in procession.
The Vairamudi utsav, which is the chief annual celebration, is witnessed by more than 4 lakh people.It is believed that the diamond crown is not to be viewed at when it is not worn by the utsav murthy (procession idol); hence every year, on the occasion, the officiating priest takes out the crown from its chest with his eyes blindfolded and then places it on the head of the idol of Sri Cheluvaraya Narayana Swamy.This Crown set known as Rajamudi was presented to the temple by Rajawodeyar of Mysore & Krishnaraja Wodeyar3 also presented a crown set with precious jewels known as Krishnaraja Mudi.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ombattu Gudda

Ombattugudda was always eluding us though we planned to go this place many times we always ended up going else where or an incomplete climb, this time we decided again on our bikes, first we collected complete details from Rajesh Naik based on his guidelines we started on Saturday by 5 in the evening, we had rain as company through out finally we reached Moodgere by 11pm since it was very late we decided to stay at a temple near the town.

We woke up to a bright fresh crisp morning very early and started our journey again after an hour we reached Lakshmi Estate; we parked our bikes and started walking from the estate office. Initially for some distance it's a jeep track and then it is dense forest, there are two routes to this place and without a proper map we tend to get lost.

Our early morning walk in the forest with cool breeze non stop banters from Kamath Sir was too good we were just enjoying nature wonderful walk and having plenty of fun, we had our breakfast in the middle of forest rested for some time and continued our journey again after some time we reached an open place and the view from this place was amazing we never felt tired though after the hard bike ride and walking we could still go on with the same energy.

Another hour of walking in dense forest we came out of the forest and stepped on the first hill we had eight more to cover,The peak is so named because there are 9 prominent humps on top. When I reached the last peak I thought Ombattugudda was my dream but now I felt I am on the top of that dream land really I am lucky.

Such a nice place it was, this place was fully surrounded by hills. On return we had bath under one beautiful hidden waterfalls in Estate.

Alekan Waterfalls - Charmadi Ghat