Saturday, October 16, 2021

Seegegudda Windmills !

 While watching windmills in some of the movies, I have always fancied going close to a windmill some day and it finally worked out when I visited Seege gudda

Located in Hassan district, this is approximately 200 kms from Bangalore. In case you plan to visit this place, make sure its a bike trip since cars would not go all the way to the hill top (unless you are fine with a long trek)

Also, this being a secluded spot, it would be better to go in groups.

On a sunday morning, we were all set for a bike trip (after ages!). 

We followed the google map and reached a spot which looked very far from the windmill. We had reached a field where bike wouldnt go and trek looked very difficult from the distance. The friendly localites guided us to reach the windmill. We could see the windmills from a far distance and we were all thrilled to go close to them. 


We reached the spot seen in google images and the windmills were just a stone throw away


The only scary part about the place was that it was secluded and there was a long stretch of road which barely looked like a road ! But there were spots where we could stop by and get a good view from the hill top.


We finally went close to a windmill and captured few snaps  

                              
 

When we stood beneath, it looked like a "Sasta Eiffel Tower" :D  

 


After spending some time far from the madding crowd, we returned back. Thanks for my 14 year old Unicorn for bearing with us :P 







Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Adichunchunagiri Peacock sanctuary

 The peacock sanctuary located close to Chunchunagiri temple (renowned pilgrim center) hosts several peacocks and serves as a good place to trek. You could either climb the steps and reach the hilltop or go hiking on an off road path. We chose the off road path since the steps were too crowded. 

The walk towards the hilltop seemed quite tiring and initially scary too (since we saw a warning on one of the rocks "beware of leopards"). We then saw a priest walk by and he said there are no leopards which gave us some relief. 

We continued walking past the huge rocks on either side hoping to see peacocks but unfortunately we couldn't spot any peacock (probably because we went there at the wrong time) 

We then noticed a temple and an adjacent lake. The lake looked beautiful and it looks like it is being developed for tourist attraction (though not complete).

The actual trek started from the temple which was at the foot of the hill. We had a temple priest to accompany us to the top of the hill. It was a short trek (a little tiring since it was during the afternoon) and we reached another temple which was filled with pilgrims. The crowd scared us (COVID !) and we returned back quite disappointed that we couldnt spot any peacock. But nevertheless, the trek was good. 

On our way back, we noticed a religious pond where devotees were hosting religious ceremonies along all 4 sides of the pond. We spent some time sitting near the pond and then headed back home. 

Note : After reaching home, I read another blog and was surprised to know that there are/were leopards in this place so I'm guessing the warning that we saw was true !... and I remember posing at a spot very similar to the one where leopard was spotted :P 


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Shettihalli church

 A very popular destination for bikers since many years - Shettihalli Church


Here's a small history about this church - Built by French missionaries during 1860's in Hassan (Shettihalli). After the Hemavati dam was constructed, the church got submerged in water but the ruins still remain ! For some of the localites this is a haunted ruin, for movie makers this is a popular shooting location and for travel enthusiasts this is a travel destination. 

If you plan to visit this spot, your experience would depend on which time of the year you visit. For most parts of the year, the church isn't submerged and the surroundings are dry. Initial monsoon days, the church is surrounded with water and during peak monsoon, the church gets submerged in water.

Early monsoon when the church is surrounded with water - The best time to plan your trip ! 

We carried tents for kids to spend some time on the green pastures on the way to church. There is enough space for kids to play around and you could even plan to have your breakfast/lunch/snacks here. 

We then proceeded towards the church which was at a walkable distance. Though we couldnt enter the church, the surrounding view was great and perfect for a photoshoot. 


After spending some time at the church we started our return journey.

Note : Make sure you check the weather forecast. Rains can ruin your plan since you might not find shelter if it starts raining when you are at the church (cars have to be parked on the roadside which is far from the church, when the muddy road leading to the church becomes difficult to drive) 

Pre monsoon when the surroundings are dry ! 

For most parts of the year, you can take your bike/car till till the church entrance (or inside too). This is when the film-makers plan their shoots too. We could enter the church and even walk around the church. We had to walk for a small distance to reach the water body. 

  

         

 

 Peak monsoon when the church gets submerged ! 

All you can do is stare at the church being submerged in water.












Mookanamane falls

 It wouldn't be wrong to call this a hidden treasure in Sakleshpur ! 240 kms away from Bangalore and a must visit spot if you are planning a trip to Sakleshpur. 


We reached the spot and noticed few resort rooms so I'm guessing there is a resort service which might have been operational before the covid breakout. There was ample space for car parking. We then had to walk a small distance to finally spot the waterfall.



It didn't match our expectation since there wasnt much to do apart from clicking a pic. After a few minutes we noticed people walking beneath and that is when we realized that this was just the start. There was a short trek to reach the bottom of the falls. Though we started off with confidence, I must admit that it didnt look very safe for minors. There were slippery rocks and it wasn't very easy for the kids. 





After we reached the bottom, the only regret we had was that neither could the kids get into the water nor could we leave them at a safe spot and step into the water ourself. This spot is better to visit without kids but it would be cruel to not let them enjoy this scenic view ! 



Since there was nothing much to do apart from clicking pics, we spent some time admiring mother nature and then started our return journey. The return trek was also a little scary but the boys were thrilled about their hiking experience ! 



In case you are planning to visit this, post monsoon would be the right time. Stay away from this spot if its raining and also consider the age group (15-50 yrs should be able to manage comfortably)


Ayyanakere

 Ayyanakere is situated at the eastern base of Baba Budan range hills (approx 225 kms from Bengaluru)




. It is the biggest lake in Chikmagalur and 2nd biggest in Karnataka. Being well maintained, this serves as one of the best Picnic spots in Chikamagalur. 

The lake is usually crowded on weekends and it is quite hard to find a parking spot if you visit on a busy day. Once you reach the entrance gate, you would find a small deserted forest area on your right and a small canal for kids to play on your left. If you go further ahead, you would find the lake which has a unique walkway.

You may have to wait for your turn to step into the walkway since you would find tourists busy clicking pics but if you like photography, it is definitely worth the wait ! 

The lake is surrounded by hills thereby increasing its scenic value. There are few spots from where you could jump into the lake and swim around (at your own risk). If you are not a great swimmer, you could spend some time enjoying the scenic view.

                    

While returning back to the gate entrance, you could take a diversion and walk through a deserted forest area close to the entrance gate

                    

We also spent some time at the canal for kids to play since they couldnt get into the lake earlier. 

                                    

After spending some quality time by the lake we started our return journey. 

                                   

Parvathamma betta - Hassan

 Parvathamma betta - At a distance of 21 kms from Sakleshpura and 33 kms from Hassan, Parvathamam betta is a scenic hills located in Dyathapura village in Karnataka

                  

This was there on my wishlist for quite sometime and finally visited on 9th Oct 2021. Located about 200 kms from Bangalore, the place is a bliss for nature lovers and beginners in trekking. The route is perfect for a monsoon ride since you will get to ride through lush green trees, fields and pastures on both sides of the road for about 20 kms after deviating from the bangalore-mangalore highway.

Pit stop at some estate on the way
to Parvathamma betta
              
Some pond on the way
                  



After reaching the spot, we started exploring some random spots before the actual trek started. Kids would love this spot since they have ample space to play around 
     
                          

Further ahead of this spot, less than a km away we found the parking spot and starting point of the short trek. My boys were thrilled about the trek and it looked perfect for all age groups. Initially there were few steps and thereafter you are free to chose your path to trek further. 


Martin's attempt at photography and I guess he fared well as a 5 yr old !

If you aren't tired yet, you can still continue trekking and after each stage you will be greeted by a stone entrance (like the above pic), few more scenic spots, space to relax with your family and beautiful landscape for photography. 

Small break between the trek
 
After the second stone entrance, there was a beautiful pond which is well maintained by mother nature ! A mandatory photo-spot for tourists ! 



There were lot of stones placed in such a way that it looked like natural sofas/chairs. We sat there enjoying the breathtaking view


Further ahead, there was a temple but we planned to return back since the place started getting crowded. We were fortunate to have reached there at a time (3:30 pm) when there were no visitors and the whole place was free for us to explore. We started our return trek (by 4:30pm) to stay away from the crowd keeping the covid restrictions in mind. 


This marked the end of our wonderful trek and I must say this is a must visit spot if you are passing by Hassan/Sakleshpur/Chikmagalur. 







Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hulikallu

With a bunch of good friends to hang out with,
                                      Destination is just name sake
And once you have your destination fixed, 
                              Memories for sure you would make 
Doesnt matter where you go
                Be it a mountain, island, waterfall or a lake 
Hulikallu, here we come half a dozen guys
                                This sure is a much needed break !! 

Hulikallu : Like Jenukallu, Rotikallu and Ghatikallu, this is yet another beauty nested in Sakleshpur. Huli stands for tiger and Kallu means Stone. For your info, Tiger is the name of a well trained dog in this resort !! 




7th April 2016 : 6 of us were all set to spend the long weekend in Hulikallu (situated in Sakleshpur, approx 250 kms from Bengaluru). Our journey started at 6 AM from Bengaluru since we had to reach Hulikallu by 11 AM. After a couple of pitstops we stopped by Ossoor restaurant for breakfast. 


The adventure had started even before we reached Hulikallu due to the bumpy route. We reached Hulikallu right on time and were greeted by the resort guys with a welcome drink. After a quick glance at the resort surroundings, we freshened and up and had an early lunch. 

Next in line was a quick nap and then gully cricket following which the resort guys took us to the sunset point. A walk in the nature within the resort premises to view the sunset sounded interesting but unfortunately we reached after the sun had set :P 



After returning from the sunset walk, we played water polo in the swimming pool and then had snacks offered by the resort. Camp fire was set up by late evening and we had dinner. We had to sleep early since we had to wake up early the next morning for a trek.


The trek started early in the morning. Though it sounded a bit stressful, we were quite comfortable walking up the hill through some green pastures and forests.

After about 2 hours of trek, we finally reached the spot where we were set free to relax in the natures lap. 'Tiger' acted as a perfect guide and turned out to be a better poser for pics. Far from the madding crowd, amidst the natures art, we spent some quality time relaxing wondering if all these would remain the same years down the lane. Strange but true that the current traffic obsessed Bengaluru was as beautiful as any of these spots once upon a time. Hope these remote scenic spots do not fall under the cruel eyes of industrialization.

With the wonder dog "Tiger"
Up Up and away !! 





After an hours break we started our return trek to the base camp. All of us were thrilled to head towards the adventurous activities which were part of the package. We started off with the rope walk and then tried the tarzon slide. 
By 11 we were back to our rooms and it was time for us to bid adieu. Tiger being a super smart resort resource, turned sides when a new group checked in. We were quite amazed at how a dog could be trained to this extent. The guide also mentioned that Tiger was smart enough to guide a group on its own.


After packing our bags, we started our return journey. By late evening we reached Bengaluru, watched a movie in Sangeeth theater and reached home by mid night.